By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Los Angeles (CNN) – Forgive Darren Aronofsky if he’s begun to identify with the title character of his new film, “Noah.”
Like the infamous ark-maker, the 45-year-old director has weathered a Bible-sized storm – and it’s not over yet.
Aronofsky’s epic, which stars Russell Crowe and boasts a $130 million budget (with marketing costs to match), rode a swelling wave of controversy into American theaters on Friday.
Despite fierce criticism from some conservative Christians, "Noah" was the top box-office draw last weekend, raking in $44 million in the United States.
Part Middle-Earth fantasy flick, part family melodrama, the film is an ambitious leap for Aronofsky, director of the art-house hits “Black Swan” and “The Wrestler.”
Both of those films were showered with praise and awards. “Noah,” on the other hand, has sailed into a stiff headwind.
Glenn Beck and megachurch pastor Rick Warren blasted the film. The National Religious Broadcasters insisted “Noah” include a disclaimer acknowledging the filmmakers took “artistic license” with the Bible story. Several Muslim countries have banned the movie, citing Islam’s injunctions against depicting prophets.
Even Paramount, the studio releasing “Noah,” has agitated Aronofsky, testing at least five different versions of his film with focus groups.
“I can understand some of the suspicion because it’s been 50 years since an Old Testament biblical epic has come to the big screen,” Aronofsky said recently. “And in that time a lot of films have come out of Hollywood that have rubbed people the wrong way."
Box office report: 'Noah' wreaks Old Testament havoc on its competitors
2014 is supposed to be the year Tinsel Town reversed that trend and finally got religion.
A decade after “The Passion of the Christ” surprised Hollywood, rankled liberals and raked in $600 million worldwide, big studios are backing a flotilla of faith-based films.
In addition to “Noah,” there’s “Son of God” from 20th Century Fox, which came out in March and is culled from the History Channel’s megahit miniseries, "The Bible."
In April, Sony Pictures will release “Heaven is For Real,” based on the bestselling book and produced by Bishop T.D. Jakes, a Texas megachurch pastor and multimedia entrepreneur.
The movie “Exodus,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale as Moses, is scheduled for December. So, too, is “Mary, Mother of Christ,” which is billed as a prequel to Mel Gibson’s “Passion.”
More biblical epics may be on the horizon. Steven Spielberg is reportedly in talks to direct another movie about Moses, and Warner Brothers recently bought a script about Pontius Pilate.
The box office hasn’t seen this many faith-based films since Charlton Heston delivered the “The Ten Commandments” in Technicolor. And that’s not even counting “God is Not Dead,” the indie sleeper that took in $8.5 million last weekend.
So what’s behind Hollywood’s religious revival?
“The biggest factor is the dynamic growth of the box office in international markets,” said Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore, one of the forces behind “Noah.”
MORE ON CNN: A flood of reviews for 'Noah'
Moore pointed to the $14 million his film has made in Mexico and South Korea, two of the more than 20 countries where “Noah” will run this year.
As Hollywood’s supply of comic-book heroes seems to run dry, studios know the Good Book comes with a built-in audience of billions. The Bible’s heroes and villains are jeered and cheered on nearly every continent. Its morally complex stories are rife with blockbuster-ready special effects like locust plagues, apocalyptic floods and talking donkeys.
But the controversy over “Noah” illustrates the promise and the peril of bringing the Bible to the big screen.
Yes, there’s a ready-made audience that loves the book, but will they tolerate a script that strays from Scripture? On the other hand, will increasingly secular young Americans flock to see films that look and sound like sermons?
"The earlier emphasis of faith-based films was to sacrifice quality for the message," Jakes said in a recent interview. "But it's dangerous to divide entertainment from evangelism. You're not going to connect with the average movie-goer if you're not putting out good stuff."
But even Jakes, a longtime pastor and film producer, said it's not easy to turn a religious text into a movie.
Megachurch pastor and multimedia entrepreneur Bishop T.D. Jakes' latest film, "Heaven is For Real," releases in April.
The author of "Heaven is For Real" has been adamant that the movie mirror the bestselling book. And Jakes cautions that the film's depiction of heaven does not comport with Christian orthodoxy.
"It's a little boy's vision of heaven," he said. "It's not a theological film by a council of scholars."
Like Jakes, Mark Burnett said he sees the silver screen as an evangelistic tool.
"We believe that over the next few decades, billions of people are going to see 'Son of God'," the reality-show producer said. "This is not just some film to us."
Burnett pitched his movie hard to religious leaders before its release. Evangelical pastors like Rick Warren rented out entire theaters, and Catholic bishops endorsed the film – which hews to the New Testament telling of Jesus’ life.
The Christian push lifted “Son of God” to No. 2 on its opening weekend in February when it made more than $26 million in the United States.
Since then, sales have fallen sharply. But Burnett cautions filmmakers against bowdlerizing the Bible to succeed at the box office.
“There’s a big price to pay for departing from the sacred text,” he said.
Just ask Universal Pictures, the studio behind Martin Scorcese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” which sparked outrage in 1988.
Not only did Christians boycott the movie, in which Jesus fantasizes about married life, some sent death threats to studio executives.
“These stories hit really sensitive areas,” said Elijah Davidson, director of the Reel Spirituality program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
Noah’s tale is a prime example. Just four short Bible chapters, it’s more sketch than story: The protagonist doesn’t speak until the boat finally lands ashore.
“And yet it’s a foundational story for many Christians,” Davidson said.
For centuries, theologians have taught that God’s covenant with Noah and post-flood promise to be merciful prophesied Christ’s later arrival.
Building Noah’s arc
Aronofsky, who describes himself as culturally Jewish but not especially religious, said he respects how important the Noah story is for believers.
“We tried very hard not to contradict anything in the Bible,” the director said. “But we also wanted to bring the story alive for a 21st century audience.”
Wiry and intense, with a shaved head and a Brooklyn accent, Aronofsky looks like a man who’s just finished one fight and is girding for another.
“What’s been missing from the whole controversy is my personal passion for the film,” the director said. “I’ve been thinking about this for 30 years.”
"Noah" director Darren Arnofsky's previous films have included the art-house hits "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler."
When he was 13, Aronofsky’s middle-school class in Coney Island was asked to write about peace.
He penned a poem about Noah called “The Dove” that was recognized by the United Nations. (As a thank you for setting him on the creative path, Aronofsky gave his teacher, Ms. Fried, a bit part in “Noah.”)
Even as a child, the director said, the Noah story unsettled him.
Aronofsky didn’t see the happy tale of rainbows and doves told in children’s books. He saw the humans and animals consumed by the waters – the world drowning in the deluge outside the ark.
As he began his film career, the director grew obsessed with telling the Noah story from that perspective – and employing the power of modern special effects to portray Earth’s first apocalypse.
“It’s one of the oldest and most famous stories in the world,” Aronofsky said. “And yet it’s never been told on the big screen.”
There are good reasons for that. After all, it’s a dark story.
God, distressed at human wickedness, decides to hit the cosmic reset button. His waters wipe all life from the planet, except for the fortunate few on the ark. After the storm, Noah gets goodly drunk – perhaps the first known case of survivor’s guilt – and curses the descendants of his son Ham to slavery.
To understand Noah, and to give his character a story arc, Aronofsky and his co-writer, Ari Handel, spent 10 years poring over the Book of Genesis and the midrash – stories written by rabbis to fill out the Bible’s narratives.
They also read texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Book of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch, a work ascribed to Noah’s great-grandfather. Handel, who studied neuroscience, is known as an obsessive researcher. The script’s bibliography runs five pages long, single-spaced.
“We had to figure out how Noah and his family would get through this, and what it would feel like,” Aronofsky said.
The studio also hired a Christian consultant for the film. John Snowden is a former youth pastor at Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church, where Moore, the Paramount executive, is a member.
Snowden, who was pastor to Moore's son, said the filmmakers’ questions ranged from the sublime (Why did God create human life?) to the ridiculous (Would Christians be upset if Noah wears pants?).
“I gave them a sort-of manifesto of Christian theology,” said Snowden, 38, who now lives in Nepal. “The most important part of the story is why God created humanity, which is basically to reflect God’s glory. Those are the kind of conversations we would have.”
Script or Scripture?
Several evangelical leaders have posted positive reviews of the film, and, with the help of a Christian marketing firm hired by Paramount, are spreading the word that nothing in "Noah" belies the Bible.
But others aren’t so sure.
On March 16, megachurch pastor Rick Warren tweeted this message to his 1.3 million Twitter followers:
Director of new “Noah” movie calls it “The LEAST biblical film ever made" then uses F word referring to those wanting Bible-based [films]
For the record, Aronofsky said he’s made the “least biblical biblical film ever made.” That is, don’t expect the camel-and-sandals settings of last century’s Bible movies.
“We wanted to smash those expectations, Aronofsky said. “We are reinventing the biblical epic for the 21st century.”
Count conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck among the unimpressed.
Before he even saw the movie, Beck, who is Mormon, called “Noah” a “slap in the face” to religious people.
“It’s dangerous disinformation,” he told his 10 million radio listeners.
After Paramount screened “Noah” for Beck last weekend, he acknowledged that blasting the film sight unseen was “kind of a dirtball” move.
Then he blasted the movie again, calling it a “$100 million disaster.”
Beck’s biggest problem with “Noah” was Noah himself, whom Mormons believe is the angel Gabriel in human form.
“I always thought of Noah as more of a nice, gentle guy, prophet of God,” Beck said, “and not the raving lunatic Paramount found in the Bible.”
MORE ON CNN: Is 'Noah' film sacred enough?
Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, said he has the same problem with Aronofsky’s depiction of Noah.
The Bible calls Noah a “righteous man,” Johnson said. In the movie, his character is much more complex.
Noah begins the film as a rugged environmentalist who teaches his family to respect the Creator and all of creation. As he becomes increasingly zealous, Noah seems bent on destroying life rather than saving it.
“I understand that the writers want to create tension and resolve it, but they push it to a spot where if you haven’t read Genesis, you wouldn’t know whether Noah is really a man of faith or not.”
Moore, the Paramount executive, said focus groups had similar questions: How much of the film is from the Bible and how much was invented by Aronofsky?
At Johnson’s urging, Paramount agreed to include a disclaimer before the opening credits and in marketing materials stating that the film is “inspired” by the Bible and true to its values but takes certain liberties with the story. (The language mirrors Dreamworks' disclaimer for “The Prince of Egypt,” which was based on the Book of Exodus.)
“People needed to know upfront that this is not a literal re-telling of Scripture,” Moore said. “It helped set their expectations for a movie about a guy who goes on an intense journey. This is probably not the Noah they remember from Sunday school.”
Aronofsky and Handel insist, however, that their film never directly contradicts Genesis, and even takes pains to remain faithful to it. The ark, for example, is built to the Bible’s specifications, down to the last cubit.
Ultimately, though, the director has little patience with literalists on either side of the believer-atheist divide.
It's ungenerous to insist, as some Christians do, that there is only one way to interpret Genesis, according to Aronofsky. But it's also pointless to argue, as some atheists have, that no ark could possibly hold all the animals.
The story of the flood has lasted for millennia not because it’s "right" – or wrong – but because it’s deep and alive and unsettling, the director said.
The artist's job, like Noah's, is to make sure those kinds of stories survive – to prepare us for the next storm.
This entire topic is ironic comedy at its best...
LET's Religiosity Law #1 – “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
Can you imagine if people molted and there were like, dead skin collection facilities?
Enjoy your sammich and yer welcome.
Bad enough that there are blood and sperm banks, yuck.
Maybe it would just be used close to home – cut down on the use of mulch. Forensics would involve additional tasks...
We should move on this.
Careful there mama. God doesn't like the girls very much, if you upset Him too much he may turn you into a salt lick, He has done it before, so the story goes.
Well most mammals actually eat the placenta after they've given birth. Imagine humans doing that. There is a lot of protien and iron in one of those.
"...Eating your placenta, or afterbirth, is called placentophagy, and while it's not a new idea, it's been getting a lot of buzz lately..."
I'm surprised Gwyneth Paltrow hasn't written about it on GOOP.
Having been born again over and over again, I have a whole freezer full of placentas, do you have a good recipe?
I have a nice pâté...you can put it on a cracker.
Please tell me it is a cooked pate and not some sort of sushi thingy.
I'm about to lose my lunch...
You gonna eat that?
The movie industry will use whatever is at their disposal to make money, including using distortions of the Bible to do so, such as "The Ten Commandments" starring Charleston Heston in 1956. Just as the tobacco industry will "soft-soap" the dangers of smoking, so likewise of the movie industry and its slant on the Bible.
And because the movie industry takes "artistic license" to produce a so-called Biblical movie, many will accept this "version" rather than what the Bible really teaches. And even those who attend the churches are often duped into believing what a movie may present instead of seriously examining the Bible, showing how gullible they are or the failure of their religious leaders to teach that which is "the truth", unlike Jesus who never distorted or "watered down" that which is true.
Where should a person look to find what is true regarding the Bible and God, at a movie or the source that the book of Isaiah says ? At Isaiah 55, it offers this invitation: "Come, all you thirsty ones, come to the water! You with no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost (unlike Christendom's religious leaders who pass the collection plate often many times for money). Why do you keep paying out money (like so many people of the churches) for what is not bread, And why spend your earnings for what brings no (spiritual) satisfaction? Listen intently to me, and eat what is good, And you will find great delight in what is truly rich.....Search for Jehovah while he may be found. Call to him while he is near."(Isa 55:1, 2, 6)
Jesus said that in our day there would be a "faithful and discreet slave" that would "give....meat in due season".(Matt 24:45, KJV) This "slave" is providing "meat in due season", not "crumbs" like the religious leaders of Christendom.(see Luke 16:19-21 which pictures the Jewish religious leaders as "the rich man" and the common people as "Lazarus" who were fed spiritual "crumbs" and thus in very poor spiritual health)
Jehovah God has seen to it that ' true food and true drink ' (John 6:55) that started with Jesus Christ after the abolishment of Judaism be provided to "his domestics", all those who have allowed themselves to be "taught by Jehovah".(John 6:45)
"And because the movie industry takes "artistic license" to produce a so-called Biblical movie, many will accept this "version" rather than what the Bible really teaches."
Fans of the Batman comics also complain that the Batman movies weren't true to the original source material. They get pretty agitated about their hero, too.
Did you see "Batman and Robin"?
Why did Batman and Robin have rubber ni.pples on their costumes but not Batgirl?
Certainly a question for the ages....
Actually, I never saw that one, but your point is a good one.
You mean you never saw Schwatzenegger as Mr. Freeze uttering such pithy one liners as "Ice to see you" (yep – just like McBain in the Simpsons) and "let's kick some ice" ?
Bane has some wonderful dialog as well, including "Arrrrgh" and "rrrrarhgrr".
No, can't say I have. Sadly, your description of it doesn't make me want to, either.
Plus, I live in "Cally-fonya" as the former Governator would say. I've seen enough of Ahnuld.
"rather than what the Bible really teaches."
So then there is interpretation to understand what the Bible "really teaches", right? How do you know that the "artistic license" applied for this movie is not a manifestation of someone's interpretation?
So when they do the strict interpretation of the bible story is Eddie Murphy going to be the voice of the talking donkey?
Liked your comment. Bible-thumpers need to realize that it's difficult for a filmmaker to be consistent with biblical teachings since so many of them are self-contradictory. What a waste of time and money....
I have not seen this film, but sight unseen I'll bet it is heavy on CGI and light on script and acting. What the producers want is something that will be watched more than once. Yearly for example. They may or may not succeed, but if enough agnostics walk in to this film they will be less so when they walk out. Who hasn't read Genesis? But I don't go back and re-read it constantly to remember the details.
"I have not seen this film" "but if enough agnostics walk in to this film they will be less so when they walk out."
Really? That is a tall statement coming from someone who hasn't seen the film. It might make them more so, but how would you know without watching the movie?
It was an IF / THEN statement.
Your "If" pertained to whether agnostics would go see the film which isn't really an if, i'm sure many have and many will.
"they will be less so"
That is where you should have used "they may be less so" if you didn't want to sound as if you knew how they would react to seeing a film you had not seen.
To clarify, I don't mean Agnostics. I mean those people that are agnostic towards whether or not the details are consistent with the bible.
"But I don't go back and re-read it constantly to remember the details."
Like most Christians, why dwell on the details, that just always seems to test your faith right? Why read all the numbers Genesis gives on how many animals, how big the ark was, how many cubits over the tops of the mountains the water got in 40 days and 40 nights of rain. Who cares that it would require 25 ft an hour of global rain to accopmplish this feat. Who cares that there is no possible way for Noah and his family to have built, filled and then fed all those animals and kept the ark clean for a year at sea AND to land within a few hundred miles of their origin after have a globe covered in water spinning for a year beneath them. I mean, why would anyone want to keep reading the details when it's so much easier to not test your faith and just believe because it feels so good...
That was sarcasm. You are 0 for 2.
"Who hasn't read Genesis? But I don't go back and re-read it constantly to remember the details."
"That was sarcasm."
sarcasm: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.
irony: the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
Well dammit we can sure as shit agree on that.
Movies should only containwhat YOU think the bible says. Right.
You watch your movies and I'll watch mine.
If you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole world is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all those religions, even the que.erest one, contain at least some hint of the truth. When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most. — C.S. Lewis
Really think about that. If you are an atheist, you are really saying that most of humanity (who believes in a higher power), is wrong. I know that that is not proof of anything, but you should really ask yourself why most of humanity believes in a higher power. Has most of the world's population just been deceived for thousands of years? Better yet, what new knowledge do you have that allows you to deny this idea that most of the world believes in some way or another?
Yes, most of humanity is wrong and slowly but surely coming to realize that. Religion is in decline.
It is not a case of non-believers having any new evidence for the non-existence of gods. It is a case of believers having no actual evidence for their claims, after thousands of years of pretending they did. The probability of there being any gods, even just one, is very low, virtually zero.
Because people are afraid of dying.
Because people want definitive answers to the big questions of why are we here, and does it really matter, cosmically speaking, if I don't get up and go to work this morning*?
It's easy to understand why religion exists. It's only in the last couple of centuries that we have been able to come up with answers that explain how we came to be here that don't involve "God". As to "why" we are here, if religions did such a good job of answering that, philosophers would be out of a job.
* Apologies to Douglas Adams.
"Better yet, what new knowledge do you have that allows you to deny this idea that most of the world believes in some way or another?"
I don't need new knowledge, I just need to see that the premise that "god exists" has not met its burdan of proof to accept the claim as true.
You think that's air that you're breathing now?
The earth is not flat.
The sun does not go around the earth.
Eclipses are not gods sending messages.
Matter is made up of particles that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Many diseases are caused by germs.
The moon is not made of green cheese.
Babies are not delivered by storks or found in a cabbage patch.
The probability of there being any gods, even just one, is virtually zero.
Do you see a trend?
justbecause there SEMS to be a trend does not make it so....bad corollary attempt
You are in denial or ignorant. While a couple of the examples are tongue-in-cheek, they all indicate things that a majority believed at one time or another. It is only a matter of time before religion dies out. In fact, I give it about 40 years in the developed world – a couple of generations of young people and time for many delusionals to die off.
LOL>..like what you say is anything new? give it 40 years? People been saying that for 2000 years man..get over yourself, live and let live
hotairace: Religion will never die out. There will always be a significant number of people who prefer comforting fairytales to harsh realities.
so it is a bad thing to use things to help us deal with reality? don't YOu all do that? use friends to talk to to help YOU thru harsh realities? goodness..i dontthink you thought this through
You unfortunately are correct – there will always be a few that continue to clutch their holy books and beliefs, just as there are still a few who truly believe in astrology. That being said, I don't think it will be too long, 2 to 3 generations, before believers will be the minority.
so what if they are in minority? this is not a popularity contest
"so it is a bad thing to use things to help us deal with reality?"
You are certainly free to think anything you like. The problem is that you (and other evangelicals) INSIST that your way is the ONLY way and that your myths, superst'itions and fantasies are the truth, Truth, and even TRUTH(when you are feeling extra pedantic), without an iota of verifiable evidence. You condemn those who cannot accept those fantasies precisely as you perceive them and call them SINNERS, who are DOOMED for eternity.
and so what is terrible of that..calling rthem sinners and such> you are free to choose to accept the message or not...we cannot make you do it....we are not Muslims who kill others fornot accepting (yes..there are a FEW that do...but itisnOT Biblical) and really..no one is suffering from my belief..so why worry?
Of course christianity is not a popularity contest – you, Theo and your ilk are great examples of that.
When delusionals are in the minority, they will lose their special but unwarranted place in society. It will be easier to eliminate faith based discrimination – all will be more equal. As the sin/death cult declines, fewer people will commit suicide because they won't be made to feel evil according to the trash in The Babble.
But there will always be a few mentally ill hanger-ons making life unpleasant for others. Enjoy your end times, but please, leave innocent children and non-believers alone.
sorry;..btu those who do the scuicides are NOT result of true worship of God..cause we are evil does NOT make us worthless..that is secualoirst carp..we HAVE worth...and unfortunately yes..SOME Christians dont convey that..but the Bible showed clearly we HAVE worth..if we didnt..Jesus would not have been sent to die for us...pour worth is NOT in our deeds (which is what the world beleives and is endlessly shallow-thus for THAT reason people would commit suicide) our worth is that we are CREATIONS by God..he took care in creating us
@kermit4jc: "so it is a bad thing to use things to help us deal with reality?"
Yet another straw man. You seem pathologically dishonest.
Keep in mind that "mainstream" atheism is highly agnostic. In light of that, it is evident that both your statement and that of C.S. Lewis are too simplistic. Many – most likely most atheists, do not hold a belief in the God of Abraham and perhaps certain other notions of deities for various reasons, but they do not claim the non-existence of deities/creative forces yet unknown to them. That's an important distinction because with consideration of such, one will start to consider possibilities that do cross the minds of agnostics and atheists: creative forces vs. deities, creative forces of intelligence or no, personal gods or no, etc, etc.
And to add a bit more to tie it to your OP – thus your terms "higher power" are obviously too generic. If you substitute that with "God of Abraham" your will get much different arguments and responses than if you substitute it with the "Deist Creator God" that many of the founders of the U.S. government believed in, for instance.
I can understand agnosticism (not having a belief on God), but when I talk about atheism, I am mostly talking to those who definitively claim that there is no God. I think that it is a far greater leap of faith to say there is no God, than there is to say that God exists
I am an agnostic and an atheist, since you can be both. I do not believe in any of the gods men have defined, since I do not believe they have the definition correct, nor is any sentience seen of any gods.
I do believe that there may be something that may fit the description of god, but find it highly unlikely. More unlikely is that any man has ever correctly defined what is there. It is very possible that life itself is the only sentience, and we have only scratched the surface as to what that means. It is quite possible that the universe, and everything in it is a natural occurance...we simply do not know, so if one claims there are NO gods, it is as baseless as those who claim there are.
We simply do not know.
Whether or not any gods exist, the religions based on those beliefs are completely man made, and likely exceedingly inaccurate to what is really there.
Perfectly stated Doris.
I have debated many religionists in my life and they simply have a lot of trouble grasping your simple statement.
Religious indoctrination is just a trap, they don't "get it"
Thanks for your Eminently Enlightened post.
For me the fact that there are so many different religions was a major issue. Sure most people believe in some higher power, but if said power exists, they are obviously not very good at getting the message across, OR most people are still wrong about WHICH God. The religious must still ask the same question,
"How is it that so many people have chosen the wrong God?"
" I know that that is not proof of anything, but you should really ask yourself why most of humanity believes in a higher power."
For the same reasons you said you became a Christian. One, you're afraid of death, and two, the people around you (in your case, your wife) wanted you to become one. For most, it takes the form of childhood indoctrination,
If you believe any one religion you also think most of the world's population is wrong.
Good Xtian thinking right there.
YES! You are starting to get it!
Almost everything that humans have come to know about the earth and the universe has been WRONG.
400 years ago, (50 years ago in the USA), almost everyone (save Galileo and Bruno) believed that the Sun went around the Earth.
Now, we know that isn't the case.
Newton, a great man and the father of modern mathematics, optics, and natural philosophy, believed that "time" was constant and unchanging.
Now, we know that isn't true.
Einstein, couldn't accept Quantum mechanics.
Now, we KNOW that Einstein was wrong, Quantum mechanics is the source of Randomness.
The entire bible is on the table now, so, there may be a "Super-intelligence" that created our Universe, but is it Anthropomorphic? Like us?
Does it have "emotions" which are a feature of Earthly Primates as the bible suggests?
Probably NOT. So get over it, our entire Civilization has been advanced by PROVING the bible wrong at every step.
Its man made, and the "men" who made it couldn't pass the 5th grade STAAR test.
Get over it.
It's strange how all of those things you just mentioned have faded from the common knowledge, but the idea of God has remained.
I don't think the Bible has been proven wrong at every turn. In fact, I think that, the fact that it has survived should cause you to question, why so many people believe it. Might it be the case that there is something there worth a look?
"why so many people believe it" – could say the same thing about the Gitas or the Koran.
In my opinion, people believe in these texts for a variety of reasons and get from them a variety of beliefs which consistute their religion. The forms and tenants of these religions (unsurprisingly) vary almost as much as their are members of these groups.
And this is an argument from popularity, yes the popularity needs to be explained (and I believe it has to do with the way beliefs are created in the brain) but it doesn't make the bible any more true than it does any other philosophy/religion that others believe in.
They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.
Look, I am quite sure that YOU are one of the 20 percenters that will NEVER stop "believing" whatever, but the rest of the world will have moved on.
I guarantee you this, the BIBLE has LOST the game, it is on the run in EVERY demographic except the "over 67" age category.
But old people don't determine the future, old people can slow down the changes, but the young folks are the future.
Also, increasingly, Bio-Technology is moving into the forefront of our global economy, and the FACT of Evolution is the Bedrock of Bio-Technology and every emerging medical advance.
So, you can continue to flog the dead horse, but Christianity will be subsumed by time, diluted into a distant (bad) memory of delusion.
Good riddance, you are the last of a dying breed...
"It's strange how all of those things you just mentioned have faded from the common knowledge, but the idea of God has remained."
It should be noted that there has never been a single "idea" of God. Over the course of human history the idea has taken almost every form imaginable.
The propensity of people to make up gods so they can explain the otherwise unexplainable and believe they have some amount of control over nature by proxy just seems to be part of human nature.
"I don't think the Bible has been proven wrong at every turn."
I know nothing in it related to the spiritual has ever been shown to be true.
"In fact, I think that, the fact that it has survived should cause you to question, why so many people believe it. Might it be the case that there is something there worth a look?"
I was a Christian for four decades. I did considerable looking from inside. It's all hokum.
You should consider the following:
– The majority of the world's population does not accept the Bible as true.
– Even among those who call themselves Christians there is considerable disagreement about what they believe.
– Christianity has survived because it was well designed by its authors, who obviously had keen insights into human natue.
– Christianity has been so widely accepted because it's not a religion so much as it's collection of religions with something for almost everyone. Under this umbrella are churches that hate gays and churches that ordain them to the ministry. There are flavors such as the Amish that demand lot of sacrifice while other Christians feel little need to sacrifice anything.
There are Christians who handle snakes and speak in tongues. There are churches heavy on rituals such as the Catholics and others that have virtually no rituals at all.
Christianity popular because no matter what you want out of your religion there's probably a Christian denomination that offers it.
A woman has some friends over for dinner and is preparing the meal when her friend notices that the woman cut about two inches off the end of a roast before putting it in the oven. The friend was curious as she had never seen this done before and asked "Why did you cut the end off the roast?" to which the woman replied "Well, that is how I was taught to cook roasts when I was growing up so i've just always done it." So the woman dicded to call her mother and find out why she had taught her daughter to cook roasts in this way. Her mother said "Well i'm not sure dear, thats how Grandma always taught me how to cook roasts" So the woman calls up her Grandmother and asks "Grandma, whats the reason for cutting the end off our roasts like you taught Mom to do?" and the Grandma replied "What? Why would you do that?! I nly cut the end of the roast off because my pan was too small!"
The number of people doing something doesn't make it wise, it just keeps it unquestioned which has been a breeding ground for corruption and malfeasance. Organized religion is a gangrenous limb that must be excised from the body for the whole to survive. Once removed the world will go through some shadow pains but we will be stronger as a species.
You are correct that traditions can propagate through the ages without people questioning it.
Christianity has been questioned from it's inception. Very wise men have questioned it through the ages. I would wager to say that it is the most thoroughly studied and reviewed and questioned religion out there.
The fact that, even though thoroughly questioned for thousands of years, it still is around should raise questions. At the very least, it should cause you to want to study it thoroughly to understand why so many people believe it.
It should be studied for the psychological issues at play. The use and effect of propoganda, group think, and the power of the mind to create enough self affirming delusion to believe in things that cannot be shown to be true. Why this myth has gained popularity, and other myths popularity has waned, so much so that the believers of one myth will even scoff at the beliefs of similar myths, disregarding them as untrue and baseless, but cannot apply the same to their own myths. Simply fascinating.
From an abnormal psychology standpoint, there is a career there.
"At the very least, it should cause you to want to study it thoroughly to understand why so many people believe it."
I have and I don't limit myself to studying christianity. The variety of belief in the world is far to rich to restrict to just one subject.
Bare this in mind though, intelligence does not grant immunity from incorrect beliefs. Beliefs are rarely (if ever) arrived at through a logical assessment of the facts. More often, a belief is established for emotional reasons and then rationalized using a selective sampling of the facts at hand. Therefore smart people are in some ways even better at believing "odd" things because they are better at defending/intelectuallizing their beliefs.
Ah, the old "you should study it" line, just more stinking bullshit from guidedans. The reality is that atheists generally know the Christian dogma better than Christians do. It is actually the Christians who lack study of their own folklore. And as for the whole crazy Christ-sacrifice story, how is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there. guidedans, the foundational story of your crazy religion is complete nonsense.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
The fact is I have studied the bible for decades. What I find ignorant and often offensive is the assumption by Christians and other religious persons that the reason I and others are atheist is because we just haven't studied enough or at all. I know it's easy to make that mistake because most religious persons tell themselves that the study they have done confirms their faith and that should be enough for everybody else too. I believe this is in part due to the "Dunning–Kruger effect" which is a cognitive bias in which unskilled or lightly skilled or studied individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptltude.
Yes, it's been questioned for centuries and for centuries its adherents have evaded those questions with one tactic or another. Christianity was designed to ensure its followers are comfortable never answering a question with an answer that can be tested or providing any evidence.
It's easy to understand why many people believe it. The answer is two-fold:
First, it's a very appealing narrative. You get to live forever. You get to see your loved ones again after after they die. There is always justice, because if justice isn't served in this life it will be served in the next. It let's the relatively poor and powerless masses feel they eventually be on an even footing with the rich and powerful. It gives you a god who loves you know matter how much you screw up. It gives you a friend with the power to control the weather, protect you in dangerous situations, ensure your victory in battle, protect you from natural disasters, ensure your harvest will be good and your hunts successful, and so on. Anyone with half a brain can see the appeal.
Second, you get all that in exchange for practically nothing. There is so much variety in what Christians believe it has a flavor to suit almost anyone. Trust me, if you had to live like the Amish to be a Christian there wouldn't be very many Christians at all. If you want to feel you're sacrificing for your beliefs you can be Amish, but if you prefer a much less controlled lifestyle you can belong to a denomination whose beliefs are less strict, or you can even belong to no denomination and simply interpret the Bible as you see fit.
When you combine the obvious appeal of the narrative with the nearly infinite flexibility a Christian has in how he applies his religion to his live it should be pretty obvious why Christianity is so popular, and it has nothing to do with being true by any definition.
tha tmnay be the way SOME Christians go about it..I for one did nOT go about it that way...I sought truth..not based on feelings (like I "want" god to exist) I accept truth wherever I find it
Look at it the other way. Take the set of specific beliefs that you hold to be true and that sets them apart from other beliefs. You would find that most of humanity disagrees with you.
"Really think about that. If you are an atheist, you are really saying that most of humanity (who believes in a higher power), is wrong."
Really think about this: If you believe in God you believe most of humanity is wrong. You believe atheists are wrong. If you are a Christian you believe Muslims, Hindus and people in every other religion are wrong. That alone means you think more than two-thirds of the world's population is wrong.
If you're a Mormon you believe all the other Christians are wrong. If you are a Baptist you think the Mormons and the Catholics are wrong. If you are Episcopal, your church ordains gays to the clergy and you think the gay-hating Westboro Baptist Churchers are wrong. When all is said and done you believe at least 90% of the world's population is wrong.
If you're a Muslim you believe Christians are wrong. If you're a Shiite Muslim you believe the Sunni Muslims are wrong.
And so it goes. Billions of sincere people who can't even begin to agree about the nature of God because they all believe stuff some people long ago just made up. Think about that.
MY God you are so out of touch..we DO think about it..we do not follow things blindly.....andpopularity does nOTmake something right...being sincere does not make it truth....
"MY God you are so out of touch.."
Yet another one of your pathetic, un-Christian responses. You say I'm out of touch but fail to identify a single thing I said that's wrong. Go ahead, oh thoughtful one, quote one thing I said that's wrong.
"we DO think about it."
Based on your comments I wouldn't call what you do thinking.
"we do not follow things blindly."
Ultimately you do. You embrace a belief system that is wholly unsupported by any objective evidence. It's based on a few basic beliefs that are not supported by any evidence, and from there a vast web of beliefs, "answers," excuses and theories is built, absolutely none of which can be objectively tested, you believe it all on faith, which is just belief.
"....andpopularity does nOTmake something right"
I never suggested otherwise.
"being sincere does not make it truth...."
I've said that myself.
yes..thetrein lies YOUR problem..you ASSUME that NLY objective evidence is good enough for myself....srry.subjective evidence does nt meamn tofollow blindly..you limit life and reason by looking only at objective...thus you live inside a box..and it can be tested...I test it all the tie..i see the results...others test it too..they see results..sorry..but you are out of touch of what WE experience
@kermit4jc: "yes..thetrein lies YOUR problem..you ASSUME that NLY objective evidence is good enough for myself."
You couldn't be more wrong. It's obvious you're willing to anything you need to believe to prop up your delusions.
"subjective evidence does nt meamn tofollow"
Would it really kill you to not post gibberish for us to decipher?
I never said subjective evidence means to follow blindly, so this is yet another one of your straw man arguments.
"you limit life and reason by looking only at objective...thus you live inside a box..and it can be tested...I test it all the tie..i see the results...others test it too..they see results..sorry..but you are out of touch of what WE experience"
I deal with reality, all the time. You deal with it selectively. You sound pathetic acting as if your willingness to treat fairytales as if they are real somehow makes you superior to me.
I am in no way thinking im superior to you..there is where you all get off base with reailty.....thinking that if someone has knowledge more than others..or does more good deeds than others, they are more superior...we are all equally human...not from what we do or know....we all have equal value..not from what we do or know...a murderer has equal value as a human and is equally as human as those who do not murder.....
"you should really ask yourself why most of humanity believes in a higher power."
I have and this is what I came up with: A belief in a higher power is motivated by two things:
A need to have answers
Humans seem almost pathologically unwilling to accept that they don't know the cause of something. This is a good thing when it drives us to study, research and work to learn the answers to yet unanswered questions.
But many people are lazy, or the tools needed to answer a question may be well beyond us. Whatever the reason, it's quite common for people to resort to their imaginations to fill in the gaps in their understanding. Many people seem almost pathologically incapable of accepting that they don't and can't know the answer to questions.
Throughout history people turned to the supernatural to explain that which they could not otherwise explain. Thunder and lightning were caused by Thor's hammer. Epileptic seizures were caused by demonic possessions. Disease was caused by evil spirits. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods were the actions of an angry god. Many of these explanations have been relegated to the dustbin of myths and legends, but many still continue to persist.
But while the need to have answers, even if you just make them up and have no objective reason to believe they are true is nearly universal, there has been enormous variation in the details. Christians, Vikings, the ancient Greeks, the ancient Egyptians and followers of thousands of other religions offer different answers and concepts of god, and the reason is simple: Each one had a concept of god born out of someone's imagination. With no interaction between different groups of people each has been free to come up with it's own version of god.
An escape from the harsh realities of life
Most believers throughout history construct a religious narrative in which they never truly cease to exist. There is a god or there are many gods who will exert control over nature to their benefit, such as ensuring successful harvests, plentiful rain, protection from natural disaster, healing the sick and so on. There is a god or there are many gods who will ensure their safety and victory in battle. By and large believers believe some supernatural power will make their lives better than it could possibly be without that supernatural power. The believe this for one reason and one reason only: they want to believe it.
"Has most of the world's population just been deceived for thousands of years?"
What knowledge do you have that allows you to deny what people in other religions believe? Or that Santa Claus, leprechauns, and vampires don't exist?
While the movie "Noah" made $44 million over the weekend, Southern California is bracing itself for a magnitude 7.5 earthquake after Friday's magnitude 5.1 earthquake with over 100 aftershocks stretching from Orange County to Hollywood.
May God protect.
Vic, are you implying some kind of connection there, like the movie ticked God off or something?
Hopefully not. I'm just perplexed.
And why are you perplexed?
Perplexed? And here I thought you were bolluxed by the babble.
The whole thing is unsettling along with the mudslides in Washington. What a tough Spring it has been already for a lot of people.
Of course god loves us all but really likes to see us suffer, what an ashhole of god you believe in.
The dimwitted are frequently perplexed. It goes with the territory.
The dimwitted are frequently perplexed. It seems to go with the territory.
Natural processes (mudslides and earthquakes) should not be perplexing. Loss of life is saddening. Belief in alleged but never proven supernatural beings who supposedly love everyone but allow so many people, especially innocent children, to die, now that is perplexing! Perhaps what you are feeling is your brain telling you to drop the superst!tious bullsh!t.
@Vic: "The whole thing is unsettling along with the mudslides in Washington."
I pity you, Vic. I really do, because you are one gullible, dimwitted fool. Stuff happens. It always has and always will. That's nature of the universe. California has had earthquakes for as long as we have historical data about the region. There is nothing supernatural about them or when they occur. Disasters have struck during and after religious events.
Droughts, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and so on have been occurring on a fairly regular basis for at least as long as people have been able to record accounts of them and there has never been a shred of evidence suggesting they are anything more than natural phenomenon whose occurrence and timing have anything to do with anything supernatural.
"What a tough Spring it has been already for a lot of people."
Not when you put it in perspective. You're talking about a fairly small number of people in nation of 310 million and a world of 7 billion. Several thousand people die in this country every day. That's just how it is.
@Blessed are the Cheesemakers: "And why are you perplexed?"
This question cracked me up knowing you know full well why Vic is perplexed. Reality constantly perplexes people like Vic.
Of course there is a connection.
Just look at the earthquake that stopped production,
the power outage that stopped the editing,
and the storms that kept the marketing quiet.
In short, it tooks years for this movie to be planned, created and released. Any earthquake over that time could have been interpreted as a sign from god that this was a bad movie.
People in Southern California should be frightened. The recent earthquakes are a reminder that human infrastructure is puny compared to the natural forces of the planet.
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake located in the basin would be pretty devastating. (The 1994 Northridge quake had a magnitude of 6.7.) Generally speaking earthquakes (such as happened in the last couple of weeks) relieve stresses in the ground rather than act as precursors.
It's my impression that they were both fairly shallow and localized. This is usually a good sign rather than a bad sign. Of course I am not a geologist.
Well, they are not precursors, and they are not predictable either; however, they are indicators of how strong they could happen along the fault lines, which is why Southern California is bracing itself just in case a magnitude 7.5 earthquake happens along the Puente Hills fault line, along which the magnitude 5.1 happened last Friday night, which could be more damaging than 'Big One From Hell,' as they call it, along the San Andreas fault line. God forbid.
God is a pretty nasty b@stard what with flooding the whole earth like that. I think that kind of freak would not forbid a massive earthquake at all, but would just enjoy all that human suffering, is that not his gig?
A believer might say "May my god protect me from your god."
I survived the 9.0 in Tokyo. I guess some alleged but never proven god's aim wasn't very good.
That 2011 earthquake was more than 230 miles from Tokyo.
That's a bit like saying you experienced the La Habra quake from Fresno.
As a 9.0 magnitude though I'm sure it was very dramatic and depending where you were could have been pretty scary. I was in the Bay Area for the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta quake. The experience of an earthquake depends very much on your surroundings.
True, we were a long way away. The above was a poor attempt at humor, about some god trying to punish non-believers via natural disasters.
@hotairace: Actually I'm not a GOPer only emphasized your point: God missed you by 230 miles. That's pretty poor aiming for a god, if you ask me.
Last Friday (March 27) was the 50th anniversary of the magnitude 9.2 Alaska earthquake in 1964 that caused significant damage in Anchorage.
It also produced tsunamis that killed people as far away as Oregon (five) and California (thirteen).
"The Pink Panther" was releasd on March 20, 1964. "From Russia With Love" would be released on April 8.
Any time there's a bit of movement, the news media goes into hyperdrive about "the big one".
It's just like when there's a big storm and Christians start wailing about "end times" and Jeebus' imminent return to earth.
Yes. Can you imagine the reaction of the end-timers if the "big one" really hit LA.
Just imagine the TV footage of the Crystal Cathedral in ruins.
The Pacific Northwest is probably more at risk of the "big one" than southern California. They actually had one – in 1700 that is estimated to be around a 9.0 in magnitude.
Based on the past frequency, it could well be another 200-300 years until the northwest sees a subduction mega-thrust quake.
Earth quakes are caused by well-understood natural phenomena, and in Southern California these events are a fact of life.
Your insistence that "god will protect" or that "god can protect" is bizarre in the 21st century.
But it is nothing more than an expression of the mystery that existence itself represents, YOU CHOOSE, to believe that god or gods exist, and YOU CHOOSE to believe that they "protect" in pretty much the same way that the followers of Zeus did in antiquity.
Keep that to yourself, its pathetic.
You are way downplaying the danger of earthquakes!
While it might be understood why they happen, they are UNPREDICTABLE, which puts lives at severe risk.
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake along the Puente Hills fault line, along which the magnitude 5.1 happened last Friday night, could kill thousands of people, much more devastating than the 'Big One From Hell,' as they call it, along the San Andreas fault line.
And yes, God forbid.
While they may not be precisely predictable, they are nonetheless, predicatble.
At some point, we know the major faults in CA will have earthquakes, It is only a matter of time. Those who continue to live where the threat exists are taking their chances. They choose to live there despite the risk, same asa with any natural disastor.
There will be hurricanes that devestate coastlines...people will still live there.
There will be tornadoes down tornado alley...people will still live there.
There will be floods and people will still live in flood prone ares.
They need to be prepared, or move where there are lesser threats.
Yep, San Fransisco is a prime example, sitting on a major fault line.
Earthquakes are not "Unpredictable" as you say, we actually have very good statistical data that has enormously predictive value, although the science is in its infancy.
Also, we know WHY the California quakes happen, the bible is completely uninformed on this simple concept, it is called plate tectonics, and it is the reason why the volcanic pacific rim is earthquake prone.
But to the unscientific mind of the religionist, everything is scary and unpredictable, so woe is you!
Nothing quite fails like Prayer....
The Southern California landscape cannot support the population density that exists there today.
Earthquakes are unkind to high density living.
The cycles of fire and rain leading to mudslides are unkind to high density living.
But the biggest problem is water. It is a desert. There isn't enough water in the western United States to support continued population growth in Southern California. Perhaps it will take a big earthquake to stop people wanting to live there. Either that or someone needs to come up with solar-powered desalinization on a huge industrial scale (besides making salt).
GUADALUPE, Calif. (AP) — Rescuers have ended their search for a 43-year-old man swept to sea during a baptism ceremony on a Southern California beach. — SFGate, March 31, 2014
If noah is a success at the box office, I have a great idea for a sequal. It's basically 2 1/2 hours of Noah's kids engaging in hard core in/cest.
If Mel Gibson can make a Bible movie that's basically 2 hours of torture po/rn, why not literal po/rn?
It can start out with Cain and Eve and move on to Lot and his daughters....
Oh goodness. Well, perhaps you might give Robert Dornhelm a call (director Spartacus 2004 miniseries) – he would probably be appropriate for that.
Actually, Noah's boys had their own wives. You have to get to the grandkids before the inbreeding starts.
incest noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
S3xual relations between persons who, because of the nature of their kinship ties, are prohibited by law or custom from intermarrying. The incest taboo is generally universal, although it is imposed differently in different societies. Usually, the closer the genetic relationship between two people, the stronger and more highly charged is the taboo prohibiting or discouraging s3xual relations. Some sociobiologists consider that inbred populations have diminished reproductive success and become gene pools for hereditary disorders. Some cultural anthropologists argue instead that the incest prohibition, with the corresponding rules of exogamy, acts to require males to seek s3xual and marital partners outside the group, thereby establishing useful alliances. Other theories emphasize the need to control s3xual jealousies within the family or to prepare children to function with restraint in adult society. No single explanation seems satisfactory, causing some to question whether incest should be treated as a unitary subject. Most cases of incest that come before criminal courts concern s3xual intercourse between fathers and relatively young daughters (see child abuse).
So most likely, Noah was doing the sons' wives.
Is Tinto Brass still working? He would be perfect to direct.
If it exists, po/rn has been made about it.
try google and see if i'm right.
Oh my goodness I had this dream last night that I was in this room observing the writers, editors and director of this film going over all the last minute details of finalizing it for release. What a strange dream. Then I woke up and the oddest thing happened. A mourning dove showed up on my windowsill with what looked like some olive leaves in its beak. Then it hit me. It's like an intertwining of Noah's time and this time. This movie is the Word of God – it is God-breathed! Finally, some proof that we agnostics have been waiting for! Praise baby Jesus. Amen.
Is that The Shrub hiding behind that red nose?
I do not know much about the study of theology and how one goes about getting a degree in divinity? Do they offer a program on how to sell the sillier stories, such as Noah and the Garden of Eden? Do they give advice on how to operate a scam? Do they demonstrate on how to look sincere when begging for money? Do they offer scholarships in the name of some of the great ones, ie. Jimmy Swaggart and Marjoe Gortner? Do they provide a legal basis on how to cover up scandals? Do they provide a course on how to cheat on your taxes, oh wait, never mind!! Do they provide a policy on how to keep women in their place, subservient? Any information would be appreciated. I know so little about the second oldest profession, hustling the sheep for some god, the clergy.
It certainly is an interesting "field". On one hand, you have people you want to study everything there is to know about ancient texts – people like Bart Ehrman. But then, on the other hand, you have the self-taught, or the virtually self-taught.
Speaking of movies, Robert Duvall ought to make a prequel to his 1997 film "The Apostle" (written, directed and starring Duvall). He's 83 now, and that might be too much for him, but it would be great to see some concept for the earlier life of his charismatic Pentecostal preacher character – what led him to become the character we saw in that movie.
people who want to study...
Believers, I'd like to help you achieve your dreams, to help your biblical prophecies come true, which I understand culminates with the return of Jesus, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that.
I also understand that non-believers (an antichrist?) must get into power before Jesus can return. If that is the case, you'll have to do your part by allowing that to happen, by stopping preventing non-believers from getting into power.
I'm ready to do my part, are you ready to do yours?
Frighteningly enough, some believers are actually trying to hasten the 2nd Coming.
Rory Alec, one of the head honchos from "God-TV", claims he received a psychic message from God that told him to "Prepare the land for the return of My Son" – so he's been organizing tree planting compaings in Israel.
According to Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division, the Jewish National Fund took God-TV's half million dollar donation and started planting forests in spots designed to drive out resident Bedouin Arabs.
The forests planted by these Jews and evangelical Christians are preventing Bedouin Israelis from ever returning to their land, forcing them to live in poverty and neglect.
We can be pretty sure that is the intent of these forests, given that the Israeli police have razed the village more than a half dozen times.
But hey – Jesus can't come back until all the heathens and heretics are booted out of Israel, right?
So, an hour and half later and no believer wants to step up and tell us atheists how we can advance the believer plan. What does that say about the plan and believers' faith in it? Maybe they're not so anxious for the plan to be played out? Maybe they are more interested in clinging to their earthly existence? Or??
They won't even tell me about the study or theology, enquiring minds want to know.
It's interesting how many Christians will point to the reestablishment of the State of Israel as some kind of miraculous sign of the End Times without acknowledging how much help the Zionist movement got from Christians wanting this prophecy to be fulfilled.
If you take a long enough view, it resulted from the decline of the Ottoman Empire.
So did the current situation in Crimea.
WOW ! People are actually arguing that it is OK to kill children, babies, and fetuses as in the Noah story. The argue God is the creator and judge and, besides, they get to to heave.
If faith can make people justify what happened in the Noah story, it seems there is no limit to what people can justify in the name of their god. All the while, they are claiming the high ground for love, peace, and morality.
The question is that if God is a morally good Being, how could He do this? I want to first make a point that I believe some atheists misunderstand when they think God must keep the moral commands He gives US. I’ll give you an example. If I took the life of an innocent person it would be murder. Therefore, I do not have the right to take the life of an innocent life. But why think God is restricted from taking life? Can not the One who gives life take it as He pleases? I agree with William Lane Craig when he said that “God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second. If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative. What that implies is that God has the right to take the lives of the Canaanites when He sees fit. How long they live and when they die is up to Him.” If I were to go outside this afternoon and a bullet should strike me, killing me, God has certainly done me no wrong. Remember that each breath of air we take is dependent upon God allowing us to do so.
There is another aspect that I want to touch on that is very important to this subject. I believe that children and infants who die at a young age, before the age of accountability (which varies by each child) actually inherit eternal life, for God’s grace is imparted to them. It is important to remember that God works with eternity in view. God doesn’t wrong these children’s lives by removing them from the world. They actually inherit the great blessing of being with God where believers, including myself long to be. Even Paul himself said that he desired to depart to be with Christ, which is better by far (Philippians 1:21). Notice that last part, “better by far”.
All the above is good according to the fantasy role playing game you are engaged in. It bears no relation to reality 'cause there is absolutely no actual evidence for your or any god. Stop pretending to know things you do not, stop indoctrinating innocent children and grow up.
" I agree with William Lane Craig"
That alone discredits you as living in the 21st century and caring about humanity. Grow up and leave the imaginary friends with childhood. Your god is a vindictive monster and if it were real, the miserable thing wouldn't stand a chance of being free in society. It doesn't get a free pass regardless of what your small, weak mind may think.
Just as mortality is inherited through Adam, so is Original Sin inherent in all babies because of his terrible sin of curiosity.
The absence of sanctifying grace in the new-born child is an effect of the first sin, for Adam, having received holiness and justice from God, lost it not only for himself but also for everybody else.
No baptism = stained with original sin = bound for eternal damnation.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that babies are automatically "saved".
"There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the Doctrine of Divine Mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. 'The Almighty,' he explained, 'finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores."
– Robert Heinlein
tf: "some atheists misunderstand when they think God must keep the moral commands He gives US."
Exactly. You wouldn't want God to lead us by example. If he were to do that, people might get the wrong idea and think that leading by example is a good thing....
God is in a distinct position apart from man. God not only creates life, but God is always enabling life (giving the next heart beat and next breath that you and I take). Our every second of existence is dependent upon God giving us that. I don't see God as owing me anything, including another breath. If He chooses not to give me this, God has done me no wrong. In fact it would be a greater blessing from the Christian perspective because I would then get to inherit eternal life and be with my Savior, whom I long to see. To the Christian, death is a blessing. It is when we get to leave this life to inherit something far greater.
tf: "God is in a distinct position apart from man."
Oh, so God could be non-intelligent then? Maybe not even a singularity?
That might make more sense. A bit more like what Spinoza wondered.
t certainly takes too much tricky mental gymnastics to make a god be both distinctly apart from man, but also where man is supposed to be in this god's image. I find that aspect of God much too self-serving to a particular group of people living in a certain area of the world millennia ago.
" To the Christian, death is a blessing. It is when we get to leave this life to inherit something far greater."
Then why cry at funerals, why not kill yourselves, why are you upset with abortion if you can send the child straight to your god.
The ridiculousness of baseless beliefs.
The ridiculousness of your ignorance..first of all..abortion is done by people who have NO right to take life...and why we cry at funerals..why do we cry when we miss someone? common....ever been to a funeral??? ever been to one of a close friend or relative? youre going to miss them....even when people take trips..sometimes there is crying..cause of separation....
It certainly takes...
"Then why cry at funerals, why not kill yourselves, why are you upset with abortion if you can send the child straight to your god."
Christians can rejoice at funerals but that doesn't mean they're not sad to be without the loved one for the short time on earth. Concerning abortion, human beings do not have the right to take an innocent life.
When I say God is in a distinct position, I'm referring to the fact that God not only creates life, but God is always enabling life (giving the next heart beat and next breath that you and I take). Our every second of existence is dependent upon God giving us that.
But tf, that's a personal god versus a deity or force that could have created the universe that just set things in motion and then left us to our own devices. What proof do you have, what good evidence do you have that this god of yours is a personal god with all the attributes that you've claimed for it so far? And what proof or good evidence then do you have that such a god is not ethically answerable to anyone or anything?
The existence of objective morality and the historical data surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus are two of the evidences I like to use with skeptics for the existence of God. God's nature is the foundation for objective morality.
Except that there is no such thing as "objective morality".
And there is no foundation (actual evidence) for any god. The house of cards continues to crumble. . .
And what historical data for the alleged death and alleged resurrection of your alleged but never proven lord?
tf: Wow, whoever brainwashed you to this extreme is a monster. The rationalization you give for your gods actions is a little odd. Why would anyone worship such a violent creature? Have your delusions but please stay away from children.
"The existence of objective morality and the historical data surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus are two of the evidences I like to use with skeptics for the existence of God. God's nature is the foundation for objective morality."
That presents no evidence at all for any deities.
Would you be surprised to find that plants exhibit similar behaviors as what you refer to as moral? They do communicate, and it has been found that older trees will shuttle carbon and other nutrients to the saplings...they share and distribute their resources, basically nurturing their young. plants show signs of moraltiy, with no discernable brain or other central processor. It seems all morality is is the natural chemical and electrochemical signals and the reaction of those signals by other life forms.
You cannot possibly use that as any form of evidence for any deities without being dishonest.
Truth, please provide the problem with the rationalization.
tf: "The existence of objective morality and the historical data surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus are two of the evidences I like to use with skeptics for the existence of God. God's nature is the foundation for objective morality."
In other words, you like circular proofs...
If Hitler thought what he was doing was morally good, would you say he was wrong?
"when they think God must keep the moral commands He gives US"
And how much respect does a father deserve that's less moral than his children? And the whole "potter" analogy (which you obliquely refer to) is the height of moral relativism and reprehensibility. Making a pot is NOT the same as making a living, breathing, feeling, sentient being and then deciding the chuck the pot. For one – what you are suggesting is that god decided the people on earth were irredeemably evil. There was no chance AT ALL that any of the children, babies, etc. drowned in the flood could be redeemed? That to me shows a flaw in judgement from a supposedly supreme judge.
The people were and still are evil in themselves. How does God wrong the children by giving them an eternal inheritance with Himself? Keep an eternal view in mind.
So you agree that some people can actually be irredeemable? No hope for redemption with god before death? Because that's the choice he took away from all those that died. And in the case of children, you seem to be referring to the Age of Accountability theology, I would be interested if you can find any biblical evidence for this belief (esp. in light of original sin).
I have the eternal framework in mind, and by that framework, I see all but one family being sent to hell with no chance at redemption.
its foundin the concept of sin..WHAT is sin? a CONSCIOUS decision one makes..how then can a baby who has no grasp of right or wrong,death or life, consequences and no consequnces consciously make a decision to do wrong? its all in knowiong what sin is...and knowing the mind of children
"So you agree that some people can actually be irredeemable? No hope for redemption with god before death? Because that’s the choice he took away from all those that died. And in the case of children, you seem to be referring to the Age of Accountability theology, I would be interested if you can find any biblical evidence for this belief (esp. in light of original sin)."
I believe that a person can reject God for the last time while in this life. See 2 Samuel 12:23 and Isaiah 7:15,16 concerning age of accountability.
Isaiah – "“He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.” (ESV)
That's a pretty weak association to base such a fundamentally important theology. Because what it is speaking to is the ability to choose right or wrong, that has no bearing on the stain of original sin. (Oh and PS – Isiah doesn't say "virgin" anywhere. The more correct translation would be "young woman" – but you would only make that mistake if you'd only read the OT in greek, not hebrew. Odd that...).
2 Samuel 12:23 “But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” (ESV)
Here David is saying that his child is dead. That's all, there's nothing in it to advance the idea of an "age of accountability".
So if these are what you are basing your belief on, I'd say it's a fairly shaky foundation.
So, in other words, God doesn't have to be moral. Because He's God.
This is the point that I see atheists make all the time and you just confirmed: God is immoral.
Christians all in the sudden being put out by Hollywood rewriting their book of fiction into something even remotely watchable? They've been doing the same thing for centuries to stay ahead of their target audience – just enough tweaking that the Churches will is served while not quite enough to completely alienate the masses.
By my estimation the prophets, cardinals, bishops, reverends and pastors should be thanking their lucky stars that Hollywood chose to dogpile on their sad, boring fantasy script at this time....might have just given the old con a bit more life.
If the prophets, bishops cardinals, reverends and pastors were to get their 10% cut of the box office, which of course they believe they are ent!tled too, they would imploring their particular flock of sheep to go watch the movie.
“People needed to know upfront that this is not a literal re-telling of Scripture,” because so few have actually read it for themselves, even the ones who claim to follow the bible.
There is nothing that will lead you away from Christianity quite like reading the bible cover to cover...
you know..i almost agree with you..merely reading the BIble cover to cover...I like to STUDY it..and it has not lead me away
study = rationalize how the inconsistencies aren't actually inconsistencies but "mysteries" of God...
sure.but that's NOT how I do it..try again..
I don't really care how you do it or don't do it. I live happy every day and there is nothing the religious zealots can do about it, and that makes me smile even more. They are losing their grip on this nation like they lost their grip on reality long ago. It's actually kind of fun to watch as the religious are being challenged on every front, even from their young children who now can simply Google something there parents try and tell them about how the universe works and get actual answers instead of invented puffery meant to support their religious views.
neverbeenhappiertheist: it is even more amusing when they start throwing in those empty proxy threats. it reminds me of the wizard of oz "don't look behind the curtan!!"
I studied the Bible for many years. I still have mine, with many favorite scriptures highlighted. No matter how much you study it you're still stuck having to rationalize on a regular basis why what you believe as a Christian doesn't match reality.
The Bible is certainly full of wisdom and is worthy of study for that reason alone, let alone how important is has been to Western and Middle Eastern sociopolitical history. But does studying it with the pre-supposition that it is God's inerrant Word do it justice?
If we take the first story in Genesis, for example – to those wearing God glasses it explains how the world and the first people came to be, why we die, why childbirth is so painful and treacherous etc. The God-fearing reader interprets it as His punishment to mankind for Eve's disobedience.
Read strictly as a parable, no more literally true than Aesop's fables, the story teaches that with self-awareness comes self-responsibility. One may chose to live in blissful ignorance, enjoying the splendors of the world, wallowing in sybaritic delight while staying blind to any perspective beyond one's own fulfillment – but at some point we must become aware ourselves, our own mortality and the effects of our behaviour and choices on those around us – and that is when life becomes more difficult.
"There is nothing that will lead you away from Christianity quite like reading the bible cover to cover..."
Objectively listening to what Christians say works pretty well too.
God KILLED all but 4 men.
God KILLED all but 4 women including KILLING EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN..
God KILLED EVERY CHILD.
God KILLED EVERY BABY.
God KILLED EVERY FETUS.
God KILLED EVERY EMBRYO.
Guess that somehow looks MUCH BETTER for you.
Yes it does look better..now yorue actually trying to debate..rather than play on peoples emotions..and I have NO problem with the God who is GIVER, CREATOR and JUDGE of all life to take that life....from this earth....I don't know why you have a problem with it..if you do...
I'm not trying to play on anyone's emotions. I have clearly told you that I left out the MEN and WOMEN because they SUPPOSEDLY were 100% guilty of sins. I was talking about those who OBVIOUSLY weren't guilty of sins and if you are too dense to understand that, there's nothing I can do.
BUT..YOU mentioned BOTH adults and children...so how can you be saying that now?
The ONLY adults I mentioned earlier were PREGNANT women and when God killed them, he murdered their fetuses.
Read next time.
right..and the pregnant women are sinless??
I don't know of any civilized nation that executes PREGNANT women. What provision did God make for the INNOCENT babies, fetuses and embryos? How many babies did Noah's family SAVE?
FIRST of all..weak attempt to copare god to humans..humans are not the Judge..and Creator of life....second....ALl those unborn and under aged children go to heave...for sin is a CONSCIOUS decision one makes...
The thing you are debating is objective right and wrong vs subjective right and wrong.
If killing babies is objectively wrong then it's still wrong even when God does it. If it is merely subjective and we are the subjects of what makes something right or wrong, then God doesn't have to care about murdering us or our babies because he/it would not be "subject" to those same laws. So Kermit is arguing for subjective right and wrong, which means there is no such thing as universal objective sin, sin apparently is just the pure illogical whim of their creator being so there is no point in even trying to rationalize it.
uhh...then you deny context in all things? there is such a thing as CONTEXT....WE are not God..WE are not Judge..so nothing is changed at whim..its all about perspective and context
"pure illogical whim" = "don't eat that fruit!"
ahh so you don't like laws and rules huh? anarchy is the thing for you eh?
Not at all what I said, I like rules and laws, at least ones that are made by humans for humans because anything else would be silly. Our laws have evolved socially over tens of thousands of years and I think that is great and will continue to participate in the law making functions of society as long as I have a vote in my city, state and country. Will I ever try to impose my personally held opinions on what may or may not exist after humans die on any other citizen of this great nation? No, that would be moronic and hypocritical as I would refuse to accept others personally held opinions when they do not match my own. That is what freedom is all about. This is a secular nation of secular citizens any of which can have as much or as little religion as they like, just don't go sticking your unwashed dirty opinions where they don't belong, the law.
God killed the fetuses of women who WANTED them. That's the difference between "MURDER" by God and abortion.
Please read a Bible and tell me EVERY occurrence of the word "abortion".
so God does NOT have the right to take the life of a baby who was wonted by the mother?
Keep arguing. Your argument is basically that God has no morals and is just a HYPOCRITE who says "do as I say, not as I do". That may impress YOU, but not everyone else.
THATS not true at all..God HAS morals..HE says WE ARE not to kill cause WE are not judge..we have nO right over life..WE are not God..sorry to burst your bubble there
So God has morals, they are just not the SAME ONES he tells us to follow. Killing children, babies, fetuses and embryos are in his own "MORALS" but FORBIDDEN if we do it. It's called HYPOCRISY.
MY God you are so dense..you cant connect the dots...It is NOT nhypocrciy! GOD is Judge..NOT us..GOD is Creator..NOt Us....its all about context..its a wonder you get along this far with communication
Speaking of DENSE, read a Bible. The SAME GOD who said NOT to kill also gave a LONG LIST of reasons to KILL PEOPLE and without one mention of not judging them.
you said READ..may I suggest you STUDY..there ARE reaons given....
God said that if people had unruly sons they should KILL THEM. Sounds like a purely JUDGEMENTAL call.
Get real. Your studying of the Bible is MISSING a lot.
OHH..just a merely unruly son?> maybe You should study the Bible again..this wa snot a case of a spoiled brat..this was a case of an adult son who is totally disrupting a new society that's being planted in a new place...
I'm not staying up any longer to read the Bible to you.
When you read it cover to cover AGAIN, keep track of how many times it mentions ABORTION and let me know.
WHY does it matter if t sayts abortions or not? and don't tellme about rwading rthe BIble..I have STUDIED the BIble over 26 years and I TEACH it to adults..i KINOW whats in My Bible...
(Deut. 21:18-21) “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death.”
(Exodus 21:15) “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death” [God]
(Exodus 21:17) "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.” [God]
Your study sessions aren't working. Try to pay closer attention next time.
UH..how did THOSE verses debunk what I said? I was referring to adult children..as does the BIble....so WHO is telling WHOM to do their studies more? again..STOP merely reading the Bible..do actual studies
BTW...Deuteronomy 21 goes on to explain more of this rebelliousness...it wasn't merley stubborn and such...maybe YOU shold read and study more? it refers to thew son getting all drunk and total lack of regard for others...cmon..do better than that
lol. Tell us where the Bible says what AGE the son is? How old do they have to be to qualify?
WOW>.Im glad I don't have YOUR mind in where you have to have everything spelled out for you! THINK of it! A young child being drunk and a glutton and all? cmon..give me a frigging break!! and study the CULTURE..see this is what I say about STUDYING the BIble..from which I see you have clearly not done..Ill bet you are even reading the Bible as if it were written originally in USA in the past 100 years!..When I say study the Bible..I say use other sources..like books on ancient Jewish cultures, rituals, customs..etc....
kermit4jc: "It's okay if I do it, but not if you do it" is pretty much textbook hypocrisy. Claiming it isn't hypocrisy because the person talking is the one who makes the rules is textbook rationalizing.
"so God does NOT have the right to take the life"
The simple answer is NO. Geez, how exactly do you condone this? No rational mined person looks at the slaughter and thinks that it's okay, a rational minded person looks at it and see's your god for the monster it is.
You have the nerve to scream foul at us while supporting a vicious monster...your hypocrisy is disgusting.
Of course god has the right to kill everybody and everything. But that is only because it is allowed by the rules of the oldest fantasy role playing game, heavy emphasis on fantasy and game. In the real world, the probability is that no gods exist and such behaviors cannot be justified. But delusionals will continue to be delusional. I just hope and wish they would keep their insanity away from children.
hotairace: kermi claims to have a Bachelors in Psychology...from the way he speaks on here, he doesn't come across as such mor like he's in need of a psychologist himself. It is a truly frightening day when he claims to know, not simply believe, his god is real and condones all the horrific acts against humanity that his beast of a god has a direct hand in. People like him probably should not be roaming the streets freely.
I'm glad he doesn't have a masters or a phd. He could make Hannibal Lecter look like an amateur.
"MY God you are so dense..you cant connect the dots...It is NOT nhypocrciy! GOD is Judge..NOT us.."
When is "Do as I say, not as I do" not HYPOCRISY. You didn't think that through at all.
ohhhhhhhh..apparently YOu don't know what hypocricy means...and you must have rebelled ahgainst your parents huh? Maybe YOUshould think...have youstudied law? are YOUable to practice as a lawyer or judge? I assume you don't...and thus YOU are not allowed to be a lawyer in a court of law....hypocricy? come on....don't tell ME to do the thinking.
So what is the age limit for when a son becomes a "son" as mentioned in the Bible? 20? 15? 12? 8?
You were INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST for NOT MENTIONING that God wants us to KILL sons for striking their parents. Again, what age is that? Also notice that your concern about judging others is thrown out the window by this inclusive statement since there is NO chance for the son to defend himself where he might have hit his father because the father was beating his wife or molesting his kids.
You also were INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST for not mentioning the absurd command from God that people can be killed JUST for words they say. If a son curses his parents, KILL him. Again, no age limit. Again, pass judgment on him without hearing his side.
NOT at all...You are cherrypickingand again have NOclue about the culture....you ripped those out of context and such..Im sorry..IM not the dishonest one here...you are the one who has CLEarly shown you done NO study whatsoever and are merely SKIMMING the pages of the bIble
also..apparently you don't know what curdes are..not just merely words....go and actually study the bIble before you try to debate..cursing in the BIble is not like saying cuss words..it is more serious than that..but youwouldnt know that cause from the evidence I gather form yourposts..you are reading the bIble as though it were originally written in English in good ole usa
Still waiting for the age limit. 20? 15? 12? 8?
Is it okay to KILL a 12-year-old for cursing his father? What about 8-year-olds?
I don't know exactly..it is OBVIOUSLY not a kid..no one under at least 12...again take some time to read the culture..and also remember..the alcoholic drinks in the ancient Hebrew times were usually watered down..thusit would take a lot to get drunk on..and the curses..youthink the children would curse..serisouly? again what is a curse in Biblical times? It isnot saying a cuss word like f you..or da** it....etc....
You haven't been around children lately or you'd know the things they say.
The absurdity of it all is that you are JUSTIFYING KILLING people for the WORDS they say. God at work.
MY God you don't get it! The children today are nOT children of Biblical times..I WORK with children! I KNO(W what children TODAY say...you are so ignorant of culture...I cant believe it..go to another country and visit for a while.maybe it will get you to open your mind up to rerality of the world out there
"I have NO problem with the God who is GIVER, CREATOR and JUDGE of all life to take that life"
And that's why I can never be a christian again. The idea that one could be so callous about their own creation in one breath and then in the next say that he sent his only son because he loved us.
Kermit – do you honestly believe any human being, ever, was truly and completely irredeemable? Think about a bit before answering please. This is a serious question.
well see..you don't HAVE to be callous about it....which is why IM still a Christian...your problem is you see only one option to the results..you become callous....that's YOU..but not me....IM NOT being callous..I ACcEPOT the fact it happens...I mean..do YOU accept the fact that NATURE simply takes out life at anytime? YOU are being callous then....so whats the difference?
IRREDEEMABLE? OF COURSE! WE can be redeemed! what about YOU with YOUR beliefs of NO afterlife? see This life on earth is not the only life! We CAN be redeemed in the afterlife (and remember..we are arguing for arguments sake that if a God exists..then there must be an afterlife as well) in FACT..that is the whole of the Bible..being redeemed..but not by YOUR own deeds lest we become arrogant and prideful...you are redeemeable because of your value as a CREATION by God! Most secularists say our worth is whatever one akes of it....that's pretty arrogant and where one can easily justify abortion since there is no human value or worth in saving the unborn
Comparing/equating natural disasters to an imaginary madman (your god) is pretty weak and infantile.
70+% of all abortions performed in the USA each year are for believers. Why isn't your god able to control its cult members?
Kermit – No, I wasn't reffering to humans being callous, I'm referring to Yahweh being callous as characterized in the noah story.
I accept that fact that people die for a variety of reasons, and yes, that is natural. Am I callous towards the suffering of others? Of course not, but I also don't believe there is suffering after death, so I dont' see your point.
"IRREDEEMABLE? OF COURSE! WE can be redeemed! what about YOU with YOUR beliefs of NO afterlife? "
We're not talking about my redemption, we're talking about the thousands/millions of people that were drowned in the flood with NO chance at redemption.
You seem to assume I was never a believer, you are incorrect. I did believe and now I don't, take that as you will.
I'm not sure where the side rant about abortion came from, as it doesn't pertain to what I'm speaking of.
They DID had a chance at redemption!! Noah took over 100 years to build the ark..during that WHOLE time people had chances to make a decision....and they rejected it
"which is why IM still a Christian"
Why don't you act like one? You're rude, snide, insulting, condescending and generally obnoxious, a far cry from the patient, long-suffering person followers of Christ are supposed to be.
I di dnot say God did not kill every man and womanand child..my point was that the person using the woman, children bit is using emotional ploy and dishonesty...purposefully leaving out men who were killed as well
No dishonesty at all. PURE FACT. Read a Bible. Killing most men and women has NO EFFECT on the fact that he KILLED EVERY pregnant woman, child, baby, fetus and embryo on the face of the earth.
SUPPOSEDLY the men and women were guilty of sins.
There were NONE for the children, babies, fetuses and embryos. THAT is the point.
that was YOUR point? then why mention the babies and why not mention men.again I see thru this façade...
The ONLY façade here is your PRETENSION that I haven't used FACTS.
My statements were 100% correct. Ooops.
again you dance around the subject of using emotional appeal...not mentioning men...just playing on peoples emotions...how sad you had to be desperate to play on their emotionss like that
Yes your Honor, I know my client shot down that woman and her children in cold blood. "my point was that the" defense was "using the woman, children bit is using emotional ploy"...
@kermit4jc: "that was YOUR point? then why mention the babies and why not mention men.again I see thru this façade..."
Can you really be this dense? The answer to your question is obvious: Babies are incapable of having sinned. God killed them. They were what we would today call collateral damage in God's effort to eradicate the dismal failure that was the human race he created.
It IS dishonest because you purposefully leave out men..period..yorue playing on the emotiosn..don't try to dance around it..it does not work on me..imnot an idiot
You are an idiot, and intellectually dishonest to boot. His comments have not attempted to play on emotions, but to point out that your supposedly loving god destroyed people too young to have sinned, as well as all of the unborn in the world. Your attempts at straw man arguments, such as asking if God has the right to kill the innocent are just further proof of your desperation.
Why does it matter if God kills a fetus or a doctor at an abortion clinic kills it? It's dead either way, isn't it? Whatever is so tragic about its death at the hands of an abortion doctor is equally tragic when God kills a fetus. Claiming God has a "right" to kill fetuses doesn't make a fetus any less dead, does it?
Your God is a myth. The simplest answer by far to any question about the ark story is that it's a fairytale that never happened. End of story.
Forst of all..that may be YOUR perspective..but are we nmot going abou tfor arguments sake that such a God exists..then also there is an afterlife..and you think the after life is worse than here on earth?
@kermit4jc: "Forst of all..that may be YOUR perspective.."
My perspective is consistent with all objective evidence. It requires no rationalizations, no excuses, no explanations.
"but are we nmot going abou tfor arguments sake that such a God exists..then also there is an afterlife..and you think the after life is worse than here on earth?"
You make frequent use of straw man arguments, which are intellectually dishonest. Nothing I said could be reasonably construed to mean what you suggest here.
In any case, your question is kind of stupid. I don't think anything about the "afterlife" other than that it's another fairytale. My comments are based on what Christianity teaches about it, which is that it's a much better place than this earth, so much so that we mere mortals can't even comprehend how wonderful it is.
If Christians really believe that's where aborted fetuses go, why work so hard to prevent them from going to such a wonderful place by trying to make it harder for women to get abortions? More of the unborn are lost to miscarriages and spontaneous abortions than to abortions performed by people. If it's so important to God for all the unborn to survive to be born why does he let so many die in miscarriages? I'm not saying he kills them, only pointing out he doesn't care enough about them to keep them from dying.
You're pathetic. All you're doing is trying to rationalize believing in child's fairytale. The simple fact is that the real moral of the ark story is that your perfect God decided the pinnacle of his creation, the human race, was such a dismal failure he wanted to wipe out every one of them.
Look, I don't question your ability to come up with a rationalization in response to any question or issue someone might have with the ark story. Rationalizing is, after all, what Christians do best. Without countless rationalizations Christians would have no way to deal with the inconsistencies in what they believe and what we see in the real world both throughout history and today.
In fact, a major reason I became an atheist after four decades of being a Christian is that I just couldn't keep rationalizing all the time.
The authors of Christianity wisely made up a god so infinite in every respect, at least according to modern day Christians, that you are free to respond to any question or challenge by simply making up a story to explain away the problem. Such stories don't have to be supported by any evidence, be consistent with any science of fact, or even be supported by anything in the Bible. Quite literally the only limitations to your excuse-making are the limits of your imagination.
That make work for those of you who will go to any lengths to perserve your belief in these fairytales, but understand that to people who are not invested in those fairytales see what you're doing as the actions of someone desperate to keep reality at bay.
and You are being pathetic to think ALl I do is rationalize...as if there is NO other options..sorry..but I prefer to live in a world wihere there are options..and not limit myself like you do
You apparently feel you have options and free will. Too bad all the children and babies killed by God never were given that chance. Apparently free will is not for everyone.
never given chance of what..lif on earth? so then eternity isnothing then? come on..youre purposefully leaving stuff out
They NEVER had free will here on earth which is where it supposedly exists (unless there is free will in heaven).
If all dead babies, fetuses and embryos go to heaven, you have just come up with the BEST reason for abortion ever. Well done.
NOT at all! again WE are not the judges..you are so pathetic you cant connect the dots in the conversation..just because eternal after life is better does NOT give US the right to take the life..only GOD resevres that..so IM not making a good case for abortion at all..youmake a good case for going back to school and learning how to communicate again, seeing as you cant sem to follow a simple line of arguments I been making
It's not my fault you can't handle reality. In point of fact all you have are rationalizations. You have no objective evidence to support anything you believe, no proof of anything. Any explanation you offer in response to questions about the ark story is pure speculation. It isn't based on any fact, evidence, or even scripture.
The biblical account of the ark story is silent on how Noah gathered animals from all over the world, on how the ark could hold 20,000 pairs of animals and birds, along with enough food to feed them for 40 days, on how only eight people could care for 40,000 animals for 40 days, on how it could possibly rain enough to flood the entire earth or where all that water went after the 40 days was up, and on and on.
Answers to these and many other questions are invariably pure speculation, claims that God could have done this or could have done that, but always without any reason whatsoever to believe what's being proposed.
It's always like this with Christians. The believe God answers prayer, but when it's pointed out there is no evidence any prayer has ever been answered they make excuses. They come up with something rationalize the fact that there is no evidence any prayer has been answered or that their God has ever affected the outcome of any event in all of recorded history.
FIRST of all..YOU are speculating JUST as much..WHERE does the Biblemention 20,000 pairs of animals????? lol it does not..Youspeculated...pot calling kettle eh? Second..youthink I go by ONLY the bIble/ I have kNOWeGDE of Gods existence..i KNOW what God can do.and I KNOW that since even if we are going by the Bible for arguments sake that it happened..the same Bible mentions GOD causing the Flood..and thus GOD obvisouly having control of all events during that time...you seem to flake in and out of the argument...chossing when it suits you...either continuye to use for arguments sake thatsuch a God exists..and such a story exists..or don't...make up your mind
"you are so pathetic"
Calling people pathetic doesn't seem very Christian. Could it be that even you don't believe all that stuff the Bible says?
"you cant connect the dots in the conversation..just because eternal after life is better does NOT give US the right to take the life..only GOD resevres that.."
You aren't nearly as smart as you fancy yourself to be. The question has nothing to do with rights. observer's point is that if aborted fetuses get a fast track to Heaven, why do you care if they're aborted as long as you aren't the one who aborts them? If I'm a doctor who performs an abortion, and that's a sin, that's my problem, not yours, and the fetus is going to Heaven, so why do you care?
"so IM not making a good case for abortion at all."
You're making a case for not trying to prevent abortions. If abortion is a sin then just let that be between those who commit the sin and God, same as with most other sins. Nothing in the Bible teaches you to go around trying force people to not sin.
"youmake a good case for going back to school and learning how to communicate again, seeing as you cant sem to follow a simple line of arguments I been making"
Such obnoxious comments make a good case for believing Christianity is a fraud. The Bible teaches you to be patient and long-suffering, not insulting and condescending. Why don't you worry about your own sins before you go around trying to prevent others from sinning?
"but I prefer to live in a world wihere there are options..and not limit myself like you do"
I limit myself to reality. You prefer a world where you can believe fairytales and imaginary friends are real. Got it.
@kermit4jc: "FIRST of all..YOU are speculating JUST as much..WHERE does the Biblemention 20,000 pairs of animals????? lol it does not.."
What a dimwit. There are well over 20,000 known species of land animals and birds, and no evidence there were significantly fewer at any time in the past several thousand years.
"Youspeculated...pot calling kettle eh?"
You're pretty obnoxious, not at all the patient and long-suffering person the Bible teaches you to be. More evidence Christianity is a fraud.
I didn't speculate, I researched. The 20K number is actually conservative. The number of known species of land animals and birds is well above that.
"Second..youthink I go by ONLY the bIble/ I have kNOWeGDE of Gods existence..i KNOW what God can do."
Sorry, but you know nothing. It's all belief, belief without any supporting objective evidence whatsoever. Just as you "know" your God exists people have "known" Odin and Zeus and hundreds of other gods exist. They've sacrificed for them, died for them. It's only arrogance on your part that allows you to believe your god is the "real" god and all the others are false.
"and I KNOW that since even if we are going by the Bible for arguments sake that it happened..the same Bible mentions GOD causing the Flood..and thus GOD obvisouly having control of all events during that time...you seem to flake in and out of the argument...chossing when it suits you...either continuye to use for arguments sake thatsuch a God exists..and such a story exists..or don't...make up your mind"
You can't bully me with this nearly incoherent rambling. I don't "flake" in and out of anything. If you had a valid position you could support it without all these baseless personal attacks.
The whole ark story is a fairytale only someone with the mind of a child would take seriously. I have never deviated from that position, but to show the illogic in it I have to discuss it in the context of what Christians believe.
Since you know so much, how did Noah get a pair of Galapagos tortoises onto the ark? Please limit your explanation to what you can support with scripture.
NO DISHONESTY at all. Your "seeing through" is just lack of knowledge of the Bible.
God DID NOT kill EVERY man and woman on the face of the earth.
" Yes it is... it's not even close."
Once again, you find yourself in the position of the minority and yet expressing your thoughts with an absolutism that pretends majority.
Sorry, meant as a reply.
You continually point out my position is a minority position as if that somehow makes your position right. I, and many others, have pointed out that this is a fallacious argument from popularity. You have stated it is not, but have offered no reason why it isn't. Are you ever going to address this? This is at least the 4th time I have asked this question...still waiting.
And as to this statement...nothing supernatural has ever been shown to have ever happened in any objective way...nothing supernatural has ever been shown to be the cause of anything...ever. So asserting that a supernatural explanation for anything is more reasonable, or even equally reasonable. than a natural explanation is simply absurd.
Perhaps it was in response to another poster, but I'm most certain I have previously addressed this with you.
For the record: I do not consider this argument from popularity to be a valid method of determining truth. This is equally applicable to theists positions as well as those of non theists. To the best of my knowledge, I have not used this argument in an attempt to "prove" my particular persuasion of Christianity. What I have done, and will continue to do, is to use the factual percentages to maintain perspective when others are making statements, whether through innuendo or inference, that portrays belief in God as some " ludicrous" or archaic practice.
As for your second paragraph, this is why you adhere to naturalism and I do not. Your criteria ," nothing has ever been shown" is not mine. As I've stated numerous times, the scientific method is not my only criteria for determining truth. This is a fundamental difference upon which we will not agree.
So, using words such as minority and majority is not an appeal to populism, just presenting perspective. And pretty much ignoring the scientific method and making up your own rules of evidence is ok. Seems like you will say anything and ignore reality to prop up your childish delusions.
I'm sorry, I can only write. It is impossible for me to get into your brain and make you comprehend. If you are satisfied with simply giving vitriolic retorts, that is entirely up to you.
"What I have done, and will continue to do, is to use the factual percentages to maintain perspective when others are making statements, whether through innuendo or inference, that portrays belief in God as some " ludicrous" or archaic practice."
Arguing that a belief is more or less reasonable based on the number of people who believe it is still an argument from popularity....stating that you are not using it it to prove the truth of you position changes nothing in regards to the fallacius nature of your point.
And I do not adhere to "natualism". I adhere to an evidential based skepticism. You can claim there is another way to determine what is actually true all you want but until you can objectively demonstrate that claim...it never rises to anything other than a claim.
Either you are intentionally or unintentionally missing my point, or, you are working from a definition of "argument from popularity" that is different from mine. I define it as an argument that states a premise or proposition is TRUE based solely on the fact that the majority say it is so. As previously stated, I use the factual numbers and terms such as minority and majority in rebuttal to the frequent accusations on this site that belief in God is esoteric, minimal and only embraced by the lunatic fringe. The usage of these numbers and terms has nothing to do with an argument from popularity.
Forgot to reply to your second point.
" it never rises to anything other than a claim"
Of course it's a claim, and in the sense that there is no verifiable proof, it will remain that. I do have other criteria by which I determine truth, but that criteria is not demonstrable in the objective fashion that you wish. Much in the same way that your " evidential based skepticism" does not provide proof of non-existence
@ddeevviinn: "I do have other criteria by which I determine truth, but that criteria is not demonstrable in the objective fashion that you wish"
The problem with using such subjective criteria is that they are unreliable. They are unreliable because they are subject to your biases. You'll see what you want to see. You'll choose to interpret the outcome of some event, or some emotion or feeling as proof of what you want to believe. Any "proof" that is only proof to you isn't proof at all.
This is why people with even diametrically opposed beliefs can claim they "know" what they believe is true or that they have evidence or proof that what they believe is true.
"As I've stated numerous times, the scientific method is not my only criteria for determining truth."
What other reliable method is there? Throughout history people believed, just as you do, they had determined "truths" that today we know were nothing more than beliefs in myths and falsehoods. To believe you can rely on something that has been shown repeatedly to unreliable for others is naive at best and arrogant at worst.
A modern democracies' justice system's rules of evidence produce reasonable (not perfect) results. It would be fascinating to watch a trial of an alleged god formally charged with murder.
I don't think people that believe in god are lunatics, or are stupid, ect., ect. But arguing that if a certain number of people believe something the belief is reasonable IS fallacious. If you stick to the point that people who believe in god are not part of the lunitic fringe I will agree with you. However you don't stop there, you also point out that my position is part of the minority and seem to at least imply that I am part of the lunatic fringe. How many people believe something says absolutely nothing about the belief. If you use numbers to prop up your position it is an argument from popularity.
"I do have other criteria by which I determine truth, but that criteria is not demonstrable in the objective fashion that you wish."
If your "truth" is a personal truth it remains just that...personal. Lots of people have personal criteria to determine their personal "truth"...that doesn't make any of them true. And I can't prove non-existence, I don't even claim non-existence, my position is that the time to believe a proposition is when there is substantial verifiable reasons to believe the proposition to be true and not before....and to do otherwise is unreasonable.
Watch "God on Trial". I think you can watch it on youtube. It is about a group of Jews that put god on trial for crimes against humanity.
" However, you don't stop there"
No, that is the point, I DO stop there. That is why I indicated earlier that this argument from popularity is invalid from both theistic and non theistic perspectives. You continue to equate my use of the terms majority and minority in the context of DETERMINING truth, something I simply am not doing.
" If your truth is a personal truth it remains just that ... personal."
Of course it is, I have never claimed otherwise. It does not follow, however, that because truth is "personal" it is not true.
You do realize that in regards to this issue of God's existence, 90+ % of the worlds population concur with my view on truth? ( Nothing but humor here :))
"You continue to equate my use of the terms majority and minority in the context of DETERMINING truth, something I simply am not doing."
I get what you are saying. My point is that you can't determine ANYTHING about the belief by how many people believe it besides the statistic itself. So if your question is nothing more than "do you realize you are in the minority?" the answer is yes I do.
And if you are saying "personal truth" and "opinion" are the same I agree with you. It is actually one of the reasons I ended up rejecting Christianity and religion in general. I got tired of hearing people, especially religious "authorities", state personal opinion as if it were factual. I felt it was intellectually dishonest and I was choosing what I wanted to be true rather than what was actually true.
You do realize that in regards to this issue of God's existence, 90+ % of the worlds population are not reasonably justified to concur with your view on truth? ( Nothing but humor here as well :))
We've hashed this out long enough, so I won't belabor the point after these final thoughts.
" So if your question is nothing more than do you realize you are in the minority ..."
My question is not even offensive, but rather defensive, in the sense that " do you et al realize that the marginalizing of those who accept the existence of God is disingenuous?"
Stick with me here while I go off on a tangent. A few weeks back I sent you a reply that got filtered out ( It was this same reply in which I had addressed this issue of" popularity" ). Anyway, in your post to which I was replying you made a statement to the effect of " I live in a very religious part of the country" ( not verbatim). Although born and bred a yankee, and still proud of it, I find my self now living in a very "Christianized" part of the south. All this to say, I 've often thought how fascinating it would be if somewhere along the line we were to discover that one of the complete strangers we dialogue and banter with on this forum turned out to be a relative, co-worker or perhaps a neighbor. Just a thought.
" do you et al realize that the marginalizing of those who accept the existence of God is disingenuous?"
devin I differentiate marginalizing the "person" with marginalizing the "belief". I can respect you as a person (I do) and not respect your belief in a god, not in the sense that I think you et al should not be able to believe what you want, in the sense that I would not respect a person's belief that the moon landings were faked. I certainly don't think you respect my atheistic views and I have no problem with that. Often times people, and especially ones that believe in a personal god, think that not respecting a persons belief is the same as disrespecting the person. I have the utmost repect for my mother as a person but when it comes to her religious views I do not respect them, though I do show respect for them.
I think it would be very interesting to meet someone and find out they are a poster on here. My guess is that you and I would probably get along well in person despite our differences in religious views. But that is one of the reasons why I think we (believers and non-believers alike) post on here, we enjoy having up front conversations on subjects that are more or less taboo to discuss with people in person because of the huge difference of religious views.
@ddeevviinn: "It does not follow, however, that because truth is "personal" it is not true."
Actually, it pretty much does mean that. You are clearly confused, but understandably. Christians have hijacked the word truth and give it their own custom meaning different from the meaning in a dictionary. In Christian-speak, truth is anything the Bible says, and more generally, anything you believe that's consistent with the Bible. This is why many Christians capitalize the word, Truth. Their "truth" isn't normal truth, it's Truth.
If something is true then it is true for everyone. The notion of "personal truth" only makes sense in the context of the Christian-speak definition: it's something you personally believe and feel is consistent with the Bible. It is not real truth nor is it knowledge. It is simply belief you try to convince yourself is fact.
The story of Noah was part of mythology of the Old Testament which actuality predates Christianity and the scriptures of the ancient Jews. Knowing the story is an ancient myth, how could the producers and screen writers attribute the actual content to a "God".who decides his creation of man was a mistake and decides to destroy everyone except Noah, his family including his thee sons. Some genealogical linage there? There may be a god, but the story of "Noah" certainly doesn't represent the PC God of today?
The ones who have their panties all in a bunch about this movie are the same people who believe Jesus was born in December and refuse to believe that most, if not all of their holidays are based in paganism. Oh, and they believe the world is less than 10k years old, humans and dinosaurs coexisted, and Noah and his sons and their wives were the only humans to survive "The Flood," and did not commit incest. Plain and simple, they're idiots.
This was an interesting movie weekend for me. I saw Noah and Particle Fever. I liked both, and the juxtaposition of fable and reality exposed stark differences in world views.
Particle Fever is a small docu.mentary about the Higgs boson confirmation. It was both fascinating and exciting, I highly recommend you go see it (very limited distribution, had to drive a ways to see it).
Particle Fever gets 94% at Rotten Tomatoes. That's pretty impressive. I wonder when it will be out on Blu-ray.
But wait everyone, this is all TRUE! I mean everybody knows the Transformers are real right? The rock monsters were the guys trying to repair "The Arc" before it crash landed on earth. They were thrown from their ship before it crashed and many, many, many years later Noah found them in debris. Upon being reactivated they were compelled to help Noah build his own Ark (Noah didn't like it spelled Arc). I'm amazed people don't know this. Hasn't anyone read the approved Darren Aronofsky Noah prequel comic that was "inspired by actual events". It covers all of this! :)-
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.