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Terminated employee claims bias against intelligent design
NASA's Cassini space probe snapped this photo of jets spewing from Saturn's moons.
March 13th, 2012
10:08 PM ET

Terminated employee claims bias against intelligent design

By Stan Wilson, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - A former veteran systems administrator for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory claimed during opening arguments in a civil lawsuit Tuesday that he was wrongfully terminated for expressing his views on intelligent design.

David Coppedge, who spent 15 years on the Cassini Mission, one of NASA and JPL's most ambitious planetary space explorations, asserts that he was unlawfully fired under his employer's anti-harassment and ethics policies. JPL contends Coppedge created a hostile workplace while expressing his religious views with co-workers.

His suit also claims that supervisors wrongly admonished him for distributing DVD documentary films titled "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" and "The Privileged Planet," which present biological and cosmological explanations for intelligent design, according to the complaint.

Coppedge claims he never forcibly compelled colleagues to accept his idea of intelligent design in the workplace. Intelligent design is a conviction that life is too complex to have developed solely through evolution and that the universe was designed by an intelligent entity.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

JPL, based in Pasadena, California, is one of the world's most prestigious institutions for scientific research and development institutions. In Coppedge's civil lawsuit, he describes JPL's space missions as designed, in part, to explore the origin of the universe, uncover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe - or is improbably confined to earth - and whether conditions necessary for life to exist reside elsewhere in the universe.

Launched in October 1997, the Cassini mission to Saturn included a sophisticated robotic spacecraft that orbited the ringed planet and provided streams of data about its rings, magnetosphere, moon Titan and icy satellites. Cassini was the largest interplanetary mission ever launched, with the largest technical staff and participation of 18 countries.

In his role, Coppedge was responsible for making technical and scientific recommendations to management and developing presentations about various technical capabilities of new systems and upgrades, his attorney William Becker Jr. said during opening arguments. During his tenure, Coppedge developed a "sincere interest in the scientific evidence behind life's origin," which led to his conviction about "intelligent design."

Coppedge shared the view that life and the existence of the universe derived not from "undirected material processes," but from "intelligent cause," said attorney Becker.

In March 2009, Coppedge claims that his supervisor advised him that co-workers had complained that he was harassing them over debates about his religious views and coercing them in the workplace into watching DVD programs about intelligent design. During his opening statements Tuesday, attorney Becker Jr. told a judge hearing the case that Coppedge's supervisor threatened him with termination if he "pushed his religion" and ordered Coppedge to refrain from discussing politics or religion with anyone in the office.

During that 2009 meeting, Coppedge alleges, his supervisor became angry and belligerent asserting that "intelligent design is religion" and ordered him to stop. "The tone of the meeting and conduct were abusive and constituted harassment," his attorney said in court.

JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor said the lawsuit "is completely without merit, and we intend to vigorously fight the allegations raised by Mr. Coppedge."

In their response to the civil suit, attorneys for JPL stated in court documents that one of Coppedge's co-workers complained to his supervisor that Coppedge made her feel so uncomfortable in discussing "non work related topics" that it bordered on harassment. The supervisor encouraged Coppedge to limit his discussions about topics like religion and politics to periods like lunch breaks, according to the response.

The documents state that other co-workers complained they also felt harassed when Coppedge expressed views in favor of California Proposition 8, the ballot initiative in 2010 that defined marriage between and man and woman.

"David Coppedge alienated his co-workers by the way he acted with them, and blamed anyone who complained about those interactions," according to JPL in their response. "He accuses his former project supervisor and line manager of making discriminatory and retaliatory employment decision, when they had in fact protected him for years."

JPL alleged that Coppedge "was seen as stubborn, unwilling to listen and always having to do things his way, which frustrated project members and resulted in errors."

Coppedge was demoted after eight years as lead systems administrator and terminated last year. He cited those actions as a factor in basis for his suit claiming religious discrimination, retaliation, harassment and wrongful demotion.

JPL has denied Coppedge's termination complaint, contending he was among 246 employees laid off as part of a downsizing plan that affected 300 staffers.

"JPL complies with all applicable state and federal employment laws including laws governing freedom of expression," said JPL spokeswoman McGregor.

California Institute of Technology operates JPL, which is federally funded under a contract with NASA. Scientists are employed by the Caltech.

The case has generated interest among advocates of intelligent design. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are supporting Coppedge's lawsuit. The National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution in public education, is closely monitoring the case.

Coppedge is seeking damages for wrongful termination, including attorney fees. The nonjury trial is expected to last four weeks.

*An earlier headline for this article identified David Coppedge as a scientist. His attorney later said that despite his technical work with computers, he is not a scientist.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Culture & Science • Science

soundoff (2,244 Responses)
  1. md2205

    To Oh Yeah:
    The definition of G-d is: "a Being without definition." G-d cannot be defined, because if I define Him then I limit Him. And something limited is not G-d. By defining something, I give it borders. If I define an apple as a red or green sweet, round fruit, then when I find a long purple fruit, I know it is not an apple. An apple is limited to being round and red or green. That is its definition. G-d can't be defined, because by defining Him you are saying that there's something He can't be; but this could not be true, because G-d is unlimited.

    That's why there can be only one G-d. Because if you don't have a definition, then there is nothing outside of you. There can be no "other".

    March 14, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • GodPot

      "That's why there can be only one G-d. Because if you don't have a definition, then there is nothing outside of you." So you give it a name but claim you are not defining it? By the very claim most religious persons make of giving their God the power of creation you are defining it. What you seem to be attempting to say is that no definition could ever encompass your version of God so that no logic or reason can be used against you. It's like children who continue to escalate their supposed superiority until one of them reaches "Well I'm infinity times faster than you!!" Which is often followed by "Well I'm infinity plus one faster!!" I just wonder what it is in mankind that makes them desire so strongly to be "right" or "special" that they create such powerful lies to hide behind. Will we ever grow up?

      March 14, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • md2205

      To Godpot: Using the word define as in to create borders, to limit. Nothing can limit Him. That is what He is. Limitless. That is what Infinite means.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah:
      I would like to respond to your question of how can we sense G-d, but the website is not letting me and I don't know what the problem is. I hope I can try again tomorrow.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • GodPot

      I'm very aware of what the word infinite means. So far in my meditation and self examination of my mind I am unable to find any limit or boundary, my mind just seem's to go on forever, so I guess by your non-definition, I am God and you must just be a figment of my imagination. You define your God by giving it powers and wants and plans and desires, which seem to always match whatever the religious person doing the defining happens to want or need at the time. He is Christians wild card, their universal tool, it's just too bad that whenever they proclaim their Gods wishes it seems to turn them all into universal tools...

      March 14, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      md2205, Are you aware of the automatic word filter's forbidden word fragments?

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-oon
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      March 14, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Sure there can be another. By defining my proposed god "Z" as being more infinite than God I've imagined a god greater that God and there is nothing you can do to change that definition to put God back on top. That's the beauty of stringing words together without having to actually "prove" anything, which is what's happening when you define God as the omni-everything. God is limited to our use of words to describe him, like any other fictional character.

      March 14, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • reason

      You realize by saying "G-d cannot be defined", you have unintentionally defined it has undefinable, right?

      And how does one know that something undefinable can even exist?

      Faith you say? Like faith in the tooth fairy?

      March 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • fred

      Reason
      The Tooth Fairy and Santa etc. are well defined with significant limits and boundries. Please bring me some adults that have faith in the Tooth Fairy.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • kristy175

      and who is stay that he did not find the proof he needed to strengthen his belief? we will never know what they find in space they will never tell us.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      fred
      The Tooth Fairy and Santa are redefined with every new book, poster, movie an other thing about them, just as God is redefined with every new book that goes on sale in the Christian bookstores. Read one of the many histories of God to see just how many times God has been re-imagined to fit current sensibilities.

      Without the intervention of Tooth Fairy atheists, usually their own parents, a child would happily go on believing, wouldn't they? If you kept giving gifts from Santa, and were careful to keep your part in it secret, it wouldn't be surprising to keep the belief alive even in your adult children.

      March 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • fred

      YeahOK
      You make my point because the Tooth Fairy and Santa were found out as was Zeus. The Fairy and Santa were exposed because they are fictional creations of man and you could never carry off the ruse. That is a far cry from a grown man suddenly becoming born again and ready to die for Christ.
      You have one thing going for you because 75% of Christian kids stop going to church after 4 or more years of college.
      I don't think they are growing out of an illusion just caught up in the demands and fun of life.

      March 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • md2205

      To Helpful Hints: Thank you. I knew something was wrong but I couldn't figure it out. What you wrote will help me greatly.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      fred
      "The Tooth Fairy and Santa were found out as was Zeus" and now, God.

      If the cult of Zeus was reactivated today people would soon believe as strongly as Muslims believe in Allah, and Christians in Christ. You're right in that Santa and the Tooth Fairy need a ruse but, then again, so does Christianity with it's promises of heaven, a second coming, and a prayer-answering God. You can only fool people into believing that these things are actually real for only so long, which is why college kids stop being fooled. It's not that they prefer fun: It's because they mature mentally and intellectually.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • md2205

      To Godpot:
      G-d can be defined if He chooses to give himself limits. Or, at least He describes himself to humanity in terms of limits we can understand.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • GodPot

      "He chooses to give himself limits. Or, at least He describes himself to humanity in terms of limits we can understand." So far all we have are compiled letters from ancient herdsmen claiming God inspired them and then some other self proclaimed prophets like Joseph Smith claiming more modern divine inspiration to go on as "God describing himself". Which is rather interesting in itself, that most of these ancient religious dogma claims God as male, why is that? Does he have a penis? The definition of male is: male/māl/Adjective: Of or denoting the s e x that produces small, typically motile gametes, esp. s p ermatozoa, with which a female may be fertilized or...: "male children" Noun: A male person, plant, or animal. Doesn't seem to have any room for non-gender deities, so maybe you should all just pray to "It" from now on.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • fred

      God Pot
      The problem with "it" is atheists express God as it not to be gender neutral but to be a bit back handed to provoke or perhaps mock God. There are many words that one can only use if you are in right group but are offensive outside that group. The writers of the Bible cannot escape the world view of their culture any more than you can. God has always worked through people where they are in life intellectually and culturally. The Bible is no different and the early chosen ones were nomads thus water, sheep, exterminating hostile tribes, etc was their world and is reflected in the writings. Of course God would more likely be referred to as male over female yet when given specific attributes "it" is not one of them. When Moses asked whom shall I say send me God said tell them "I AM" sent you. There is no gender limit, no time limit, no space limit, no point of reference limit, no limit to power, no limit to thought etc.. When you stop and consider Gods reference to whom shall I say sent me one cannot help but observe the Divine nature in the selection of one descriptor "I AM".
      Can you think of any other better and more expressive descriptor of a being that is more Divine. Jesus said "I AM the way the truth and the life". That was important enough for Jesus to repeat in a civilized well governed society under Roman rule. Now, we are not a bunch of nomad Neanderthal like heathens and have "evolved" intellectually enough to understand the deeper things of God which Christ revealed. Consider how our comprehension of the world has changed over time so has our comprehension of God from a physical (tossing virgins in the volcano) external to a spiritual (atti-tude of the mind/heart/soul) internal worship.
      Tossing sheep herder mocks at believers and prophets demonstrates a lack of comprehension of non temporal realities. The truth is not changed because we use sheep united under the watchful hand of a shepherd as examples to an agrarian culture or the unity of eternal spirits as light forms under the tree of life in the movie Avatar. Truth is that man can only be united under one source when they are part of the source. The entire Bible is about returning to that perfect unity and expressed so that every generation and tribe since the beginning can understand.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  2. md2205

    To Oh Yeah:
    "By your argument, we lowly humans may not be able to sense God, so even claiming that he is the ultimate being is really meaningless."

    I use the word sense to mean see and feel. If we could see or feel Him, He would be physical, and thus not an ultimate being.

    "Even if you take that as a personal claim by God that he knows and sees everything the question remains: "How can God know for certain that nothing escapes his knowledge, or is outside of his power?" If there were things, how would he even know? He may "think" that he's omni-everything, or people may simply be the ones thinking this, but if they are, then God's power is limited to human imagination, and it was you who pointed out how limited our perceptions are, right?"

    G-d is infinite in all aspects. He is all-knowing. That means He knows everything. He is one with HIs knowledge. There is nothing outside of Him. G-d's power is limitless. His knowledge is limitless. We cannot understand Him because we cannot understand infinity.

    You can say that "God is Infinite", but someone else can say that god Z is even more infinite than God.

    That is illogical. If something is larger than infinite, then infinite isn't infinite.

    Our brains do not understand infinite.

    "People had a national experience with him. He left them the Torah and we have it to this day."
    Other ancient peoples have had national experiences with their gods and their mythologies are still with us today as well.

    The Greek gods are outgrowths of a species of man that was so large in the early days that us regular-sized humans could have imagined they were like gods. The people either passed down or created stories about those large people and the stories became the stories of the Greek gods.

    "He does make His presence known here on earth in many ways."
    Then it ought to be detectable.

    It is detectable, but not as detectable as seeing Him, or feeling Him with your hands.

    March 14, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      The question still remains: How do you KNOW God is an infinite being unless you can actually measure his infinite-ness? You can't really, right? It's either just pure speculation, or his own description of himself at play here, and I've already demonstrated that God himself could never know for certain that he sees and knows all. He may think that he does, but how could he be certain?

      Gotta motor for now. Answer you some more later, OK?

      March 14, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • godisnotreal

      md2205- God isn't real and your arguements absolutely make no sense. Every civilzation in history has referred to their deities as Gods in the plural. Even the bible refers to its deity as Gods in the plural- "The gods made man in their own image" is the correct translation of that passage. Research it if you do not believe me. It is the church that preaches that it is singular God because making it plural contradicts their belief. I just do not understand how any educated mind could believe in such ludicracy. I guess, though, you don't have to take responsibility for your own life as long as you have a God to praise or blame everything on.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • deano

      No matter how much or little faith you have and wether you like it or not, you are now and will always be agnostic. God's existence or lack thereof is not provable and will never be. END OF ARGUMENT.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      deano
      If you're talking about absolute knowledge then you have to remember that there are millions of proposed beings, places, events, objects, creatures, and other things that MIGHT possibly be as real as God. Put in that context God really isn't the only focus of this argument, and there comes a point where you have to file away the possibility of his actually existing along the same terms as you do these other things. That's why I no more think about God existing as I would think of possibly running into a real, live leprechaun.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • fred

      Oh Yeah
      Would you conclude that atheism is without foundation since you cannot deny what cannot be excluded. Worse yet is it intellectually dishonest for an atheist to demand scientific proof of God on one hand to accept that possibility while at the same time accepting the notion of nothingness in the afterlife without any scientific proof whatsoever?

      March 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • reason

      You state these things like "God is..." but how do you know that, if he is... beyond our finite human brains can imagine?

      You just assert these things without any evidence. How do you know "God is infinite"?

      March 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • reason

      Fred.

      why do you assume there is an "afterlife" in the first place? Afterlife doesn't even make sense if you think about it. Death is by definition the end of life. If you are still living on after death, then you never died... and are still living!

      March 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • fred

      Reason
      That is the point the Bible makes “death is the end of life”. Life is that which was created in the image of God. That image existed before we were born and continues. Every person observes the physical death of organic matter that has functionality because of chemical and electrical interactions. Not so much of a problem to measure that physical component as when “life” has left that is all there is. Making the atheist jump to nothing before and nothing after as well as the deist jump of something before and something after is in itself proof that “life” instinctively is aware that there is in fact more than meets the eye. I suppose one could say it is just human curiosity but, why think anything at all?
      Why since the beginning of hominid history must we all answer the question do I believe in something or reject God. The Bible keeps it simple and says man rejected God and God because of His attributes continues to restore man to life.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      fred
      Why would you assume that there was an afterlife anyway? Wouldn't you need some proof that there was something after death? Life we can witness, after all, but afterlife...?

      March 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • fred

      YeahOK
      Ok, when people die after the gurgle you sense the life has left the body yet, lips and eyes are moist with external visuals about the same. The life itself you can sense is separate from the body and not there from that instant on. You may speculate that perhaps like a hammerhead shark we can sense the lack of electrical field but, I have no idea what it is scientifically we no longer sense.
      On a weird note when my dog died you could still “hear” his paws on the hard wood floor for weeks running as always. Yet, when my Mom passed nothing but silence from that moment on. As to others who have died only my memories remain.
      In college we experimented with hypnotism and some under hypnosis some became people that were long dead when playing with regression to past lives. We checked out the histories and never could figure out how that could be. One guy never snapped out of it and was insti-tutionalized. We stopped playing with hypnosis and I decided to go into finance instead of psychology.
      Bottom line all I have is a dead dog and unscientific experimentation. Even the dead dog stopped running after a while.

      March 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah:
      Your questions are interesting and thought-provoking. Of course, these questions are some of the topics that are written on extensively in Torah. No matter what I respond to you, it is not anywhere near the comprehensive answer your questions deserve. And I don't think the blog could accommodate a whole course. Please check out a website called chabad.org. There are articles devoted to these topics and others.

      I would like to respond your questions but I am finding it difficult to express ideas that need a lot of explanation to answer such deep questions within the parameters of a blog such as this. There is an article, one of many that would be relevant to your questions, on that website I mentioned, and this is its link: chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/294299/jewish/The-Nature-of-G-d.htm

      March 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      fred
      Life may be separate from the body, but there is nothing to suggest that it can continue after the body is dead. Damage the brain and a person's personality (soul, if you wish) may change, or be utterly lost. That suggests that it's all in the brain. Kill the brain and the "person" is lost.

      What do you think is happening when a severely brain-damaged person is kept alive via machine? Is their soul in heaven watching its body age on Earth, or is it trapped in that body until the plug is pulled? If they were born brain-damaged do they stay that way in heaven? They were never "saved", so what then? Do they go to hell?

      Face it, the whole line of questioning is just plain silly.

      The mind is very unreliable, which accounts for your "hearing" your dead dog's paws, and also your "sensing" God's presence.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Thank you for the links, and it was a pleasure talking to you.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • md2205

      The name of G-d in the Torah which is E-lokim is the singular name for G-d referring to His aspect of being within the world and judging us. It is similar to the name which other peoples used to refer to many gods, but they were mistaken in their belief because there cannot be many gods. Many means finite automatically, and G-d cannot be finite.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah: It was a pleasure talking to you too. I didn't mean to say that I am finished, because if I think I can respond, I would like to retain the privilege. But the link to the chabad.org website is relevant. Plus, there is a book called "The Bible Unauthorized", which describes the first few chapters of the creation in words that make sense, finally.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah: "How do you KNOW God is an infinite being unless you can actually measure his infinite-ness?"

      You can't measure infinity by its definition. G-d knows everything because that is part of being infinite: infinitely knowledgeable.

      You can't demonstrate that God could never know for certain that he sees and knows all. He is the knowledge and the knower at the same time. He created everything, so He knows it.

      Like I said, there is much more to be said on this very interesting topic and if you type in the word infinity in the search bar on the chabad.org website, you will get a more comprehensive approach to the topic, and in fact, to all or most of the topics you brought up.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • md2205

      To godisreal: There are unfortunately too many instances of mistranslations and misinterpretations of the Bible, which also unfortunately causes it to be totally not understandable. One of the misinterpretations is that the word E-lokim is plural. It can be used to refer to plural gods, but one of G-d's names is the singular E-lokim. It is like insisting that the word "deer" is only singular when in fact we use it also in the plural. E-lokim has been used in the plural, but also means singular. Christianity did not invent that G-d as one alone created the world. They got that information from the Torah. The Torah cannot be read by only looking at the words. There is tremendous meaning in other markings surrounding the words written in the Torah which those who do not know how to decipher, will miss. When G-d gave the Torah to Moses as the entire nation of Jews experienced, and saw, and heard, He also taught Moses the entire comprehensive explanation of it. It is not written in expansive form. For example, it mentions that Jews should put on tefillin, but nowhere is it written what tefillin are or how they look, or how to make them. Those details and every other detail and body of knowledge was taught to Moses while he was on the mountain, and Moses taught all of it meticulously to the Jews. They passed all the knowledge down throughout the generations to our time. Throughout the generations, the people were afraid they would forget or misunderstand some of the knowledge, and so they wrote it down in the Mishna, and eventually in the Gemara (Talmud). But it was all given previously, from G-d to Moses in front of the entire nation at Mount Sinai.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • md2205

      To Godisreal:
      "You don't have to take responsibility for your own life as long as you have a God to praise or blame everything on."

      To the contrary: A person who recognizes G-d also realizes that He created the world for a purpose. It is our job to figure out what our job in the world is. When we do what G-d wants, we are His partners in the fulfillment of the creation.

      Toward the fulfillment of His purpose, He gave seven basic commandments. It is our responsibility to learn what they are and how to fulfill them. They are: To believe in One G-d, not to blaspheme Him (that means not to blame Him), not to murder, not to steal and kidnap, not to do adultery, etc., not to eat the limb of a living animal, and to set up effective courts of justice.

      Please take a look at the website chabad.org. It has lots of articles that discuss these and all types of topics that you might find interesting.

      March 15, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      You are right, you can't measure infinity, which is my point. You can SAY that God is infinite, but how do you KNOW that this is the case? You cannot, right? It's something you have to take on faith, or accept that the definition "infinite God" is a man-made idea that comes from actually having the word "infinite" in our language. God is imagined to to infinite, but that's not the same thing as actually being infinite. God, if he exists, may even think that he's infinite, but how could he know? He supposedly created everything THAT HE KNOWS OF, but how could he be certain that nothing else exists outside of his perception?

      Because I can form the sentence "Outside of God's knowledge" I open to the imagination the concept that such a place exists, just as saying "infinite God" opens to the imagination a being that encompasses all. Point is, all we are doing is creating ideas, or possibilities by stringing words together. We are not, however, discovering something that actually exists. Just saying that God is infinite doesn't make him actually so, or prove anything more than you can form a descriptive sentence. If I said "The square triangle has eleven sides and two curved surfaces" that doesn't mean that such a thing actually exists, see what I mean?

      March 15, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  3. GodPot

    "Coppedge claims he never forcibly compelled colleagues to accept his idea of intelligent design in the workplace."

    Sounds a lot like a r a p i s t attempting to defend their actions. I'm sure they were just asking for it...

    March 14, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I comprehend exactly what this scientist has to endure when dealing with irrational surfacing dwellers who reside in the dark and insist that those that live in His light do so as well. It's the SD's way or else. This man didn't have to voice, show or explain his truth of Jesus existing in his life. Darkness is always attracted to those who live in His light. When His light can't be stolen, bought or rubbed off from the believer, darkness, in frustration, reverts back to what is familiar ... that of insisting Light be destroyed.

      God Bless Mr. Coppedge, darkness doesn't know that if they seek, they shall find.

      March 14, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • bspurloc

      except for the fact he admits handing out DVD's and engaging in conversations about it....
      keep your religious beliefs out of the work place or get out of the workplace

      March 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Zeke2112

      "darkness doesn't know that if they seek, they shall find."

      You realize that as a member of the JPL, he should be focusing on observations, not chalking things up to a 2000-year-old fairy tale. I'm sure that had he been handing out pamphlets on Islam or DVDs about Scientology, Christians would have no problem with his termination.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  4. md2205

    To Oh Yeah: "The Egyptians experimented with monotheism first"
    Actually Adam and Eve knew about it first. They taught it to their children, and it was passed down through their generations, with perhaps one or two in the generation teaching it to their children. Noah experienced G-d telling him to build the ark and he taught that to his children. Of his children, only Shem taught it to his children. Abraham understood there is only one G-d and he taught it to his children, and both Isaac and Ishmael taught it to their children. Abraham had more children after Sarah passed away, and he taught it to those children also. They moved to the east and influenced the populations there. Isaac taught it to his children, but only Jacob taught it to his children. He was the first to have all of his children teach it to their children. They moved to Egypt and you know the rest of the story. The Egyptians of that time worshipped the Nile, and sheep, and a lot of other gods. The Jews came out of Egypt with the charge to continue to teach about One G-d to everyone.

    "If you study your Bible carefully it shows that it took a very long time to force the Jews into worshipping just YHWH. They were quite polytheistic for a very long time, and it was only through the efforts of the priestly class that worship of other gods was suppressed. The "winners" wrote the scriptures and this we get this "unified" history of which you speak. It's not so difficult to understand how it all came together under a simple belief in God, and nothing more."

    It is true that there were some Jews who worshipped idols. It started, again, with the Egyptians who came out of Egypt with the Jews. They influenced some Jews to worship idols, and some did. However, those who did were in the minority and even the Jews who worshipped idols worshipped G-d at the same time, because they knew what happened at Mount Sinai, because it was part of their history. Some Jews became confused, because at that time, when all the other nations around them worshipped idols, it was "catchy". The prophets did have to encourage the Jews who fell into that trap to stop. But they never invented a history for them that never happened.

    March 14, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Adam and Eve are about as historical as Prometheus and Pandora and, if you haven't already, you should read their myths and other "first man and woman" stories in order to see the similarities common to all. Basically, the exact same argument, that the stories have been handed down faithfully throughout the ages, was used by all peoples regarding their mythologies.

      The archeology suggests that polytheism was pretty commonplace out in the rural areas, and that YHWH exclusiveness came out of his being the tribal god of the kings. The kings established the standard faith based around a single deity. There is evidence to support this whereas your view only has theological excuse-making to prop it up.

      You can claim that they never invented a history for themselves, but ancient people's have done that time and again in their mythologies. Rome was supposedly founded by refugees from Troy, for example, and it can be argued that they had far better resources to record their histories than the simple shepherds of backwater Judea ever had. Are we to believe that all ancient histories are actually factual, or are you pleading a special case just for the Jews?

      March 14, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • LetsThink123

      @md2205
      You brought up Adam and eve in a debate as if they were real and existed. This shows that you are not really a rational thinker.
      Consider these issues with the adam and eve tale:
      (Issue with astronomy)
      Astronomy tells us that the sun is OLDER than the Earth. But on the 1st day god created the earth, and on the fourth day god created the sun:
      Genesis 1:16 says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
      So god made the sun after he made the earth? Have u ever thought about this 'astronomical error' in the bible? Why did god get the order wrong?
      Another one: The stars we see in the night sky are just other suns (some larger than our sun, some smaller). Many were also formed BEFORE our sun.
      Genesis 1:3 says: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. <– This means that the sun was created.
      Genesis 1:16 says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
      Why did God make the ALL the stars AFTER our sun?? Another place where god got it wrong.
      (Issues with biology [obvious one])
      If a brother and sister have a child together, there is a high probability of that child suffering from retardation.
      Based on this fact, why isn't most of the world suffering from retardation if we all came from Adam and Eve?
      Can you answer these issue with the adam and eve tale rationally? If you cant, then u should refrain from bringing up adam and eve in a debate because it shows that u haven't really thought about what u r saying.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • reason

      So you openly admit that the story of "G-d" was passed down orally through the generations. But do not think there was any error in this 'whisper-down-the-alley' method of story preservation. As you said, it was a story told to children. A children's bedtime story that to this day is still believed to be true by some people despite the fact that it is a word of mouth story with absolutely no evidence to support the claim that this character "God" even exists!

      March 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • md2205

      To reason:
      I guess I should have used the word descendants as I meant children as descendants, not as kids.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      As descendants of Adam and Eve, we are not all retarded because obviously god is a genetic engineer and he corrected many of his errors. My theory is that atheists have had successful genetic treatment. :^))

      March 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  5. md2205

    To Oh Yeah: "Don't you think that 3 million is a tad high for the Exodus population?" No, because there is an account in the Torah of how many people were there.

    "Besides, if they had all supposedly witnessed God delivering them then how do you explain their quick lapse into golden calf worship?"

    When the Jews left Egypt, there were some Egyptians who left with them and wanted to join them. Moses didn't ask G-d before he accepted them to go along. When the Jews were waiting at the bottom of the mountain for Moses to come down with the Torah after the 40 days, they miscounted and he didn't come down when they thought he would. The Egyptians then thought he died, and instigated the making of the golden calf. In all, out of the entire group, only three thousand participated in that, and and that included the Egyptians. The vast, vast majority of Jews did not participate in the making of the golden calf.

    "The archeology doesn't back it up. Nor does any of the other ancient histories. It stands by itself, with nothing else to support it."

    Many people believe in Darwin's theory of evolution, including the part about species evolving from each other, even though fossils have not been found to substantiate that. If they believe in something that hasn't been found yet, they have to believe in the historical accounts that were passed down meticulously from one generation to another, even though archeological artifacts may have not been found.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      603,550 Israelites are mentioned in Numbers 1:46, but people have often conjectured that this doesn't account for all the women, children and non-Israelites who fled with them. Still, 3 million is pure conjecture, and there is zero evidence for such a massive migration in that area.

      Aaron was the one who made the golden calf and, if anyone should have been convinced, it was him, right? If the majority had not participated then why did God want to kill them all? Remember, it was only because of Moses' pleading that most were spared. Surely God would not have killed innocents?

      The fossil record clearly shows the transition from one species to the next. Line them up properly and it's almost like watching a time-lapse film. The intelligent design argument is like saying that, because the film is ONLY 30 frames per second we have no idea what could have been going on in between those frames, which is just silly.

      Once again, if the Jews passed down their historical records meticulously then every ancient people could have as well, and there isn't any such thing as "myth." Think of the implications of that. Medusas, cyclops, the Greek gods... all then are as likely to be "true."

      March 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • reason

      Wrong. Not only has their been uncovered fossils which show the lineage of speciation, but there is additionally DNA evidence supporting evolution by way of natural selection.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • md2205

      It is erroneous to say that G-d doesn't exist because there is evolution. G-d can use the process of evolution.

      It is erroneous to assume that the conditions in the world and the rate of processes that exist in the world today were exactly the same conditions and rate of process that existed in the beginning of the world, when scientists say the elements and atoms were in a different state than they are now. Scientists conjecture a completely different set of conditions, such as temperature, amount and configuration of atoms, etc. than what we have now. It is possible that the the world looks much older than it is because the heat, pressure, interaction of atoms, etc. was different than what we experience now.

      The argument that there is no G-d because fossils show how old the earth is in millions of years is not conclusive evidence.

      Because conditions which existed in “prehistoric” times are unknown, those conditions could have caused reactions and changes of an entirely different nature and tempo from those known under the present day orderly processes of nature. One cannot exclude the possibility that dinosaurs existed over 5,000 years ago and became fossilized under terrific natural cataclysms in the course of a few years, rather than over millions of years. In fact, the Great Flood was so pressurized, and so heated, that it could have caused a great many changes to happen more quickly than would have otherwise happened, and thus everything appears older than it really is.

      My point in bringing this up is that people are so quick to deny G-d in the face of science, but if they would realize that there are alternate views that might be possible, they might be able to accommodate someone else's belief that G-d is a plausible idea.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      But evolution doesn't need God to make it work, and that's the problem, right? Every new discovery in science suggests that a god isn't needed in order to make the universe work. God use to have that function, which is why Paul could call non-believers "fools" back in the day. Without science what alternative to God did they have? But not any more. We can state that God doesn't exist and not look foolish at all.

      You say that "there are alternate views that might be possible, they might be able to accommodate someone else's belief that God is a plausible idea." Plausible, but less so as the naturalness and true expanse of the universe becomes revealed to us. Besides, why not argue that the Eskimo, or one of the Native American, or the ancient Chinese, Polynesian, Aboriginal, African, Greek, Norse, or even Egyptian creation stories is as plausible an idea? These stories, like Genesis, had their place at one time and teach more than just how we could have gotten here, and that's the point.

      March 15, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  6. MAJORITY always WINS

    Coppedge SURELY wins!

    March 14, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  7. md2205

    To Oh Yeah: "But there may be other gods as powerful, or even more powerful than God that could exist outside of our, or his knowledge, right? Whatever "senses" God supposedly has he cannot, by your logic, be sure that he is the most powerful being in existence any more than we can be sure that he exists, or does not.

    G-d is Infinite, One and Only. Infinite covers a lot of territory: infinity. There is no end to Him, and no beginning. Infinite is in all attributes, not just size and time. Infinite means He is infinitely powerful. Infinite means He is infinitely knowledgeable.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      By your argument, we lowly humans may not be able to sense God, so even claiming that he is the ultimate being is really meaningless. It's like a ant describing a log as we would describe the universe. Now, examine what you are describing God to be. How can you say that about God without "sensing" it, and how CAN you sense these things? How do you know that God is all these things? Because the Bible say he is?

      Even if you take that as a personal claim by God that he knows and sees everything the question remains: "How can God know for certain that nothing escapes his knowledge, or is outside of his power?" If there were things, how would he even know? He may "think" that he's omni-everything, or people may simply be the ones thinking this, but if they are, then God's power is limited to human imagination, and it was you who pointed out how limited our perceptions are, right?

      You can say that "God is Infinite", but someone else can say that god Z is even more infinite than God. There, the words are on the screen, so they must be true, right? Well, as true as your statement by virtue of it's being a string of words arranged into a sentence. Z is more infinite than God. Try to argue that Z isn't!

      "People had a national experience with him. He left them the Torah and we have it to this day."
      Other ancient peoples have had national experiences with their gods and their mythologies are still with us today as well.

      "He does make His presence known here on earth in many ways."
      Then it ought to be detectable.

      Getting late, so Good Night. 🙂

      March 14, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  8. md2205

    To Oh Yeah: "People who claim to have had a "personal experience" with him, but leaves no lasting, objective evidence to prove his existence to the rest of the world." People had a national experience with him. He left them the Torah and we have it to this day.

    "You cannot claim that God is invisible, hidden, and undetectable when he does supposedly make his presence known here on Earth." G-d is invisible because He is infinite and that is non-physical. We experience G-d as hidden and undetectable because we can't see him visually. However, He does make His presence known here on earth in many ways.

    March 14, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Old Story

      md2205,

      "Of old time there was a great king. One day a man came before him and said, "My king, I shall weave a turban such that one born in wedlock will see it, while the ba'stard will see it not." The king marveled and ordered that that weaver should weave that turban; and the weaver received an allowance from the king and tarried a long while. One day he folded up this side and that side of a paper and brought it and laid it before the king and said, "Oh king, I have woven that turban." So the king opened the paper and saw that there was nothing; and all the viziers and nobles who stood there looked on the paper and saw nothing. Then the king said in his heart, "Do you see? I am then a ba'stard"; and he was sad. And he thought, "Now, the remedy is this, that I say it is a goodly turban and admire it, else will I be put to shame before the folk." And he said, "Blessed by God! Oh master, it is a goodly turban, I like it much."

      Then that weaver youth said, "Oh king, let them bring a cap that I may wind the turban for the king." They brought a cap, and the weaver youth laid that paper before him and moved his hands as though he wound the turban, and he put it on the king's head. All the nobles who were standing there said, "Blessed be it! Oh king, how fair, how beautiful a turban!" and they applauded it much.

      Then the king rose and went with two viziers into a private room and said, "Oh viziers, I am then a ba'stard; I see not the turban."

      The viziers said, "Oh king, we too see it not." At length they knew of a surety that the turban had not existence, and that that weaver had thus played a trick for the sake of money." Substi'tute power, pride or ethnocentrism for money, if you will, and there you have it.

      Even Mormon founder Joseph Smith told the 11 "eyewitnesses" to his golden plates that they could only see the plates if their "faith" was true and strong. Social pressure, and perhaps worse, would have easily contributed to the perpetuation of the Moses story.

      Also, there is NO evidence that 3 million Hebrews were living in the area of Mt. Sinai in those days.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • md2205

      To Old Story: There is no evidence of a lot of ancient historical accounts, and yet we believe them. The Jews do not have to prove that 3 million people lived in the Sinai. If you don't believe that the entire Jewish nation experienced G-d giving the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai, then you can't believe anything any ancient history book writes about, because you cannot prove anything that happened in ancient history. We didn't see those people, and no one we know saw them. There may not be anything left of their possessions. So if you are intellectually honest, you have to apply the same standard to all other historical occurrences and figures and believe they didn't exist. Not Julius Caesar, not Nero, not Cleopatra, not Mark Antony, none of them. And people who don't want to believe that the Jews lived in the Sinai, even if artifacts would have been found, since the Jews came out of Egypt, those artifacts would have been Egyptian, would say the Egyptians lived in the Sinai.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • md2205

      To Old Story: You don't need to create a scenario of social or worse pressure because a conspiracy of one person, or a group of people, to get an entire nation to believe that something happened in their history that they never heard of from their parents and ancestors doesn't work. It is not like Stalin and Lenin trying to get people to believe in their form of government. They didn't tell the people their history was not what they thought it was, and try to get them to believe in a different history. Stalin and Lenin tried to force upon them something new.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:22 am |
    • Bizarre

      md2005, "you have to apply the same standard to all other historical occurrences and figures and believe they didn't exist. Not Julius Caesar, not Nero, not Cleopatra, not Mark Antony, none of them."

      There is a mountain of concrete evidence that those people existed, but even so, there might very well be legends and misinformation that has been passed along about them also... and, only hero worshippers would REALLY care about them in a personal way. Any wisdom which has been attributed to them and which has been verified to be useful in our lives is enough.

      Old saying: "History was written by the victors". Learn as much as we can from it.

      March 14, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      "He does make His presence known here on earth in many ways."
      And, if he does, then he must be detectable because how would you know that he has otherwise? If you want to say that God can magically stay hidden then what's to say that elves and fairies aren't doing the same? If you want to say that science cannot detect him then who's to say what science cannot detect in 20, 50, or 100 years? Are you predicting what science will never be able to do, or are you just defining God as "That which will always be hidden from science"? Remember, however, that it was you who claimed that we mere humans are incapable of defining God. So, where does that leave you?

      March 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  9. tallulah13

    From what I read here, this guy has only himself to blame for losing his job.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Gotta admire the guys like Coppege who are doomed and go for it anyway

      Yep. Classic Christian harasses others with his ideology, then claims harassment when anyone complains. That good old persecution complex to cover up his own bad behavior.

      This guy just cannot accept that A. He was doing a lousy job, B. that he was being a nuisance C. the he was laid off with 246 others (of course they are going to let the worst employees go in a downsize).

      His case is DOA.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • GodPot

      He and Rush should get together for drinks and cry about being victims of the gay liberal anti-christian agenda where they will end up drunkenly raging on and on about Bill Clinton or Bill Maher.

      March 14, 2012 at 2:21 am |
  10. Ungodly Discipline

    You know what is good? Seasoned Cuttlefish. Now THAT is intelligent design.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  11. T.I.N.G.

    Sounds like another nut job and a nuisance as well.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  12. md2205

    To HotAirAce: No one can say that because he can't see G-d, or feel Him, or hear Him, then He doesn't exist. We can only prove something by observing it through one of these senses. Therefore, His existence cannot be proven or disproven as proofs can only be through senses. Do not think that because you cannot see G-d that He doesn't exist.

    What are your standards for believing that something happened in ancient times? That 30 people say they saw it happen? 3,000? 300,000? How about 3 million? If you were told that 3 million people saw something happen and recorded it and wrote it down and we have that information, would you believe it happened?

    3 million Jews experienced Moses receiving the Torah from G-d on Mount Sinai after they left Egypt. They also were told to start doing certain Passover observances, which were also passed down generation after generation to us, meticulously, such as eating matza.

    You can't say a person came one day to the Jews and told them G-d said they have to do these certain Passover observances because G-d took them out of Egypt a few hundred years ago and told them they have to do this. They would never believe him, obviously, because they would say it wasn't part of their history. They hadn't been doing these observances. They were never told by their forefathers they came out of Egypt. It would be an exposed lie, and no one could pull that one off.

    Many people believe in Darwin's theory of evolution, including the part about species evolving from each other, even though no fossils have been found to substantiate it. If they believe in something that hasn't been found yet, they have to apply the same standard of belief to the historical accounts that were passed down meticulously from one generation to another, even though archeological artifacts may have not been found. And there were plenty of archeological artifacts found that do substantiate a great deal of what the Torah says happened.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • md2205

      Since people have a hard time believing something that they and the people they know have never experienced, such as a great revelation of G-d that is said to have happened at Mount Sinai thousands of years ago, people insist that it never happened and instead, people just devised that story and wrote it down and passed it along. They say that millions of Jews over thousands of years could conspire to agree on a single version of a national event that never happened. History is not laboratory science - you can't test it and make observations. But with the Jewish conspiracy theory we have some blatant contradictions.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • md2205

      (a) According to this theory, the Jews are the most ingenious people ever. Out of all the peoples of the ancient world, they came up with the classic work of all time. The work that changed all of history, brought us the concepts of creation ex-nihilo, history, purpose, monotheism, providence, human rights, gave rise to both Christianity and Islam and triggered the Reformation and modernization of western civilization when those nations started reading it. A supremacy dogma if I ever heard one!

      (b) According to this theory, the Jews are by far the stupidest and most gullible people in the world. They fell for a story that restricts their diet, their domination over their slaves, their weekly work habits and their secks-life beyond what any other nation would tolerate. They bought into a lose-lose situation for everyone: The king's power is restricted and the priestly class cannot own land.

      They abandon their fields and towns three times a year to the mercy of the hostile nations surrounding them, let those fields lie fallow once in seven years, let their slaves go free after six years, don't charge interest - and just trust year after year that everything will be okay.

      Furthermore, this theory has the Jewish people making up fables about their blunders in full detail. They declare that they descend from slaves. They tell nasty stories about the forefather of their priestly class, Levi - even though the Levites were supposed to have written the book. The original high priest gets his hands dirty in the biggest scandal of their history. Why would anyone want to make up such a story? And what sort of crazy people would want to preserve it?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I saw Jesussaurus Rex blowing Ganesh under Dracula's cape. Can you deny this?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • md2205

      Second contradiction:

      (a) According to this theory, Jews are capable of agreeing on a single version of history. Obviously, to conspire together for so many years in delivering this grand hoax to the entire world, they must be highly cooperative, submissive to authority and like-minded. They must fit well into Eric Fromm's description of the True Believer.

      (b) According to this theory, Jews have purposely painted a picture of themselves as recalcitrant, argumentative, scorning of authority and complaining at the drop of a hat. Not the sort of comrades you would want involved in your classic conspiracy. A personality described by Myers-Briggs Passive-Aggressive Disorder. Of course, this purposeful self-incrimination may be part of the plot.

      The conspiracy theory, in which some say people made up that G-d gave Moses the Torah, is too full of holes to be an effective answer as to who wrote the Torah. And there is no evidence that people other than Moses over the years wrote it. Anything people offer as evidence is only assumptions and speculation. For example, they say the usage of different names to refer to G-d means that different people wrote the Torah at different times. However, that is not true. The Torah uses different words as the name of G-d in different situations to reflect the essence of whichever attributes of G-d are being revealed at that time. For example, the name Y-H-W-H, means the transcendent attribute of G-d as He exists outside of nature and fills the world with infinite kindness. The name E-lohim means that aspect of G-d as it is contained within nature, and as He judges the world. Part of the ability to understand what the text in the Torah refers to is by which name of G-d is used at the time.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • md2205

      People who find it hard to believe that G-d would speak to Man, or many men, say that the Torah couldn't have been written by Moses because he refers to himself in the third person (he) rather than using the word "I". For example:

      "And then G-d spoke to Moses, saying..." as opposed to, "So then I had this chat with the Boss and He said..." They say Moses wouldn't write about himself in third person, and he couldn't have composed the last eight verses describing his passing. So Moses couldn't have composed the Torah. On this point, we agree.

      Moses did not compose the Torah. G-d composed it and Moses just wrote it down. The Torah existed before creation, before time. It is G-d's wisdom. Moses was the first who channelled the Torah down to earth, to put "the ink onto the page", so to speak. Moses was nothing more than a transparent channel for G-dly wisdom, and if he would have felt he was more than that, he wouldn't have been able to take what G-d gave and transmit it. He ultimately attained the utmost degree of self-abnegation: He writes about his own passing from this world. As the Talmud (Gemara) tells us, "G-d dictated and Moses wrote with tears."

      March 14, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Ah, either someone must have "seen" God at some time, or he's purely a product of someone's imagination, right? So, God's been "sighted" by a few individuals. people who claim to have had a "personal experience" with him, but leaves no lasting, objective evidence to prove his existence to the rest of the world. That puts God in the same category as UFO aliens, Bigfoot and, because St. Patrick's is nearing, leprechauns.

      Simply put, you cannot claim that God is invisible, hidden, and undetectable when he does supposedly make his presence known here on Earth.

      Another thing to think about is that God is actually a known thing, but there may be other gods as powerful, or even more powerful than God that could exist outside of our, or his knowledge, right? Whatever "senses" God supposedly has he cannot, by your logic, be sure that he is the most powerful being in existence any more than we can be sure that he exists, or does not.

      If you want to argue that "all things are possible" then the sky really is the limit, figuratively speaking. Other gods may exist, Santa may exist, Darth Vader may exist, Harry Potter may exist, a winning Cubs lineup may exist (but now I'm stretching 🙂 ) You cannot make God the special example of this rule if you wish to employ it.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • connect

      it always amazes me how a truth can be found outside of one's knowledge and experience. Reading your first paragraph I recognize and confirm several truths. Thank you for the truths so eloquently written.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      So, you're arguing that Moses still could have written about his own death?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • md2205

      Courts, reasonably, accept the testimony of witnesses only after cross-examination to fish out discrepancies in testimony, to see if perhaps there is more than one account of what happened, more than one person's perception. Following this paradigm, there is no more certain event in the history of humankind than the G-dly revelation at Mount Sinai. We're not talking about a couple of broken shards, or an excavated building for archaeologists to argue over. We're not talking about the account of a single individual, or of a handful of ready-made believers. We're talking a mass eyewitness account of a wide spectrum of observers, passed down in an unbroken chain through multiple paths without distortion. We have the consensus of an entire nation for over 3000 years on a single version of that event (Jewish people actually agreeing on something!).

      Contrary to popular misconception, Jews don't believe the Torah is Divine because they are gullible. Jews know the Torah is Divine because they experienced it. And ever since, they trust the testimony of their teachers and parents who all agree on the same, single version of that empirical event.

      To put it in terms of Talmudic logic: If one set of witnesses says, "We speculate that it happened like this", and the other says, "We definitely saw that it happened like that", you must believe the second set. The biblical critics speculate. Jewish tradition states with certainty - in a single version.

      Perhaps the story was exaggerated over the centuries? Also extremely unlikely. We have a single version in our hands. To conspire at making the same exaggerations over centuries is even more preposterous than making the whole thing up together at once and fooling the world.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah: Yes.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • tallulah13

      By your standards, every true believer of every one of the literally thousands of gods invented by humanity is proof of the existence of that god. Personally, I hold a higher standard. I will not believe in any god without verifiable proof of his/her existence. So far, there hasn't been any proof of the existence of any god.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      I think you need to examine other ancient writings, because the Hebrews did not invent the concepts of history, purpose, providence, and human rights. The Egyptians experimented with monotheism first and it's interesting that ex-nihilo creation is a religious idea, but creationists always accuse scientists of trying to say that the Big Bang created the universe "out of nothing" when they actually do not.

      If you study your Bible carefully it shows that it took a very long time to force the Jews into worshipping just YHWH. They were quite polytheistic for a very long time, and it was only through the efforts of the priestly class that worship of other gods was suppressed. The "winners" wrote the scriptures and this we get this "unified" history of which you speak. It's not so difficult to understand how it all came together under a simple belief in God, and nothing more.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah and Rational Libertarian: "Ah, either someone must have "seen" God at some time."

      I am not talking about "someone". I am talking about 3 million someones, all experiencing the same thing at once.

      If someone says they saw something, would you absolutely believe it? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. How many people would it take before you would actually believe that they did in fact see it? If five people come to you and say they saw a monkey driving an airplane down the road, would you believe them or would you think they were all on something, or trying to make a fool out of you? If 30 people told you they saw it, would you believe them? If 300 people say they saw it, would you believe them? If 15,000 people told you they saw it, would you believe them? At some numerical point, there is a level of "believability". The Torah says 24 times that G-d gave the Torah to Moses in front of the entire Jewish nation. This is not one person saying he experienced something with no one else watching.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Would today's courts accept a written claim that many supposed "eyewitnesses" saw something? Would it accept even a letter from a dead person claiming to have supposedly witnessed something? No, right? They would want to actually hear these witnesses give their testimony in their own words, live in court, where they could be cross-examined. What you have is a story that describes what a bunch of people supposedly saw, and any John Grisham novel has that exact same thing.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Don't you think that 3 million is a tad high for the Exodus population? Besides, if they had all supposedly witnessed God delivering them then how do you explain their quick lapse into golden calf worship? They sure couldn't have been too convinced, if you ask me. Besides, like I said before, it's all just a story in a book. The archeology doesn't back it up. Nor does any of the other ancient histories. It stands by itself, with nothing else to support it.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • md2205

      To Tallulah: "By your standards, every true believer of every one of the literally thousands of gods invented by humanity is proof of the existence of that god. Personally, I hold a higher standard. I will not believe in any god without verifiable proof of his/her existence. So far, there hasn't been any proof of the existence of any god."

      Please read the many posts again that I wrote which explain how and why when an entire nation experiences something, it is the best proof of all that that something happened, as opposed to any theory claiming that people made up the history and an entire nation subsequently agreed that happened, even though they would have had no history of that happening. Please read my posts which explain that G-d cannot be proven through senses such as sight and feel because He is Infinite, and that means He has no physicality. Once something has no physicality, you cannot "prove" it to exist, but you cannot "prove" it to not exist. There is an historical account which relates how an entire nation experienced G-d giving the Torah to Moses at Mount Sinai – not just to one person when no one else was looking. If you cannot believe that an entire nation of people saw something happen, then you cannot believe that Julius Caesar existed, or Nero, or Mark Antony, or or any ancient figure. You cannot believe any historical account of anything that happened, because you don't believe that an enormous amount of people seeing something means that something happened.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Primewonk

      " Many people believe in Darwin's theory of evolution, including the part about species evolving from each other, even though no fossils have been found to substantiate it."

      If you choose to be ignorant about science, why would you come onto here and demonstrate this ignorance for all to see?

      March 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Tomato

      Prove the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      md, you try to rationalize the lack of proof for god by saying god can't be proven. That is ridiculous circular "logic" that only shows your desperation to believe in something that exists only in tales told by bronze age men. It has no more credence than any other ancient mythology.

      Get back to me when you have evidence. That is all any atheist asks for. So far, there hasn't been a single shred of proof for the existence of any of the thousands of gods created throughout human history.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • md2205

      To Tallulah 13:

      "You try to rationalize the lack of proof for god by saying god can't be proven. That is ridiculous circular "logic."

      It is not circular logic. It is the truth. You cannot see G-d because He is infinite, and infinite doesn't have physicality because it is not finite. This is straight logic. You can't feel Him either. Therefore, you cannot prove Him the way you can prove that a rock exists. That is just the truth. I think you want to be let off the hook for belief in G-d by saying there is no physical proof of G-d. Or, tell me what manner of proof you would accept.

      "That only shows your desperation to believe in something that exists only in tales told by bronze age men. It has no more credence than any other ancient mythology."

      "Get back to me when you have evidence. That is all any atheist asks for."

      The way to ask for evidence is to go to an Orthodox rabbi who has studied these concepts and can explain them. Another way is to go to the webisite chabad.org. There are so many articles there examining all these topics from all different angles.

      "So far, there hasn't been a single shred of proof for the existence of any of the thousands of gods created throughout human history."

      On this we agree. Any god that can be created is not a god.

      You know what? I am staying up until very late at night discussing these topics with everyone here because the topic of G-d, is very important. I really could be sleeping now. But when people have questions about a topic as important as this, it is important to explore with them. I hope the ideas I put forth will at least cause some people to think and explore further.

      On a closing note, the Lubavitcher Rebbe said that it is up to us to help make the world a better place to be, and we can do that by increasing in acts of goodness and kindness. Good night!

      March 15, 2012 at 2:48 am |
  13. Bootyfunk

    Intelligent Design = Religion
    plain and simple. they try to be sneaky and get around saying it's the christian view of how life began by calling it "intelligent design". there is ZERO proof of "intelligent" design. ZERO. that's why the scientists don't want to waste time with it. show some proof, not conjecture, but proof. not, "but eyes are so complicated, it had to be a god." that's not proof in any way, shape or form. that's all scientists require: evidence. provide some of that and intelligent design will be accepted.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Areyoukiddingme?

      You do realize that the same could be said for evolution. There is no proof for it at all, there is only conjecture and speculation. Yet it is taught in schools across the country. There is no way to prove any theory concerning the origins of life and the universe. Yet scientist have clung desperately (I would go so far as to say religiously) to the idea of evolution. Then they close their minds to any explaination other than evolution. And anyone who says anything against evolution or for creationism is "excommunicated" from the scientific community and riddiculed as a religion-pushing bigot (which ruins any kind of future they have in the realm of science). This case is not the first time a person has been fired from a science based job after saying that they believe in intelligent design rather than evolution. It's maddness!

      March 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  14. Reality

    What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

    No mention of a creator in this scenario.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • md2205

      Or you could say great evidence of a Creator as He is protecting us throughout all this danger and we are still in existence.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      except that wouldn't actually be evidence in any way. look that word up. evidence. proof.

      what you say is "proof" is actually just "conjecture".

      March 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • md2205

      To Bootyfunk: I agree with you: I did not mean to use the word "evidence" as proof. I meant to use it in the sense of if you are conjecturing that there is no G-d because of all these horrible things, then I say you could also conjecture that there is a G-d who is protecting us from all those horrible things.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @Those who "think" they "know" the "truth".
      Enjoy your time in the Sun. We mortals, only exist, because conditions are right for a split moment in an Eternity. All conditions will change. Change is the only constant. We do not know, with any degree of certainty, if our whole known Universe is not just a tiny teeny spec in an ocean of specs, inside some cosmic petri dish. So, it is possible that we don’t exist at all, because there is probably no microscope powerful enough, on that level, to verify our existence. Galaxies will collide. Our Sun will die. And like this post, all our ideologies, ideas, thoughts, opinions, believes, laws, struggles, etc., are meaningless. All will pass into oblivion. Including those “special cases” that proclaim somehow to be significant, deserving and in sole possession of “Eternal Life”, as their corpses turn into dust. To my knowledge, no human corpse has yet come back to Life. We don’t like to admit it, but actually, we (“God’s chosen”) are not much different from yeast, just before the fermentation process had reached 12% alcohol level. Be grateful and content in this moment. Enjoy your time in the Sun!

      March 14, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Zeke2112

      "Or you could say great evidence of a Creator as He is protecting us throughout all this danger and we are still in existence."

      Or you could say that an omnipotent being wouldn't have created a universe hell-bent on destroying his beloved creations.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • md2205

      To Zake2112:

      G-d created and continues to create, and never stopped being involved; the creation isn't trying to destroy itself, but G-d is directing every bit of it.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  15. Rational Libertarian

    It appears as if he was being a little overzealous in his attempts to convert his workmates to UNintelligent design. I'm all for debate in the workplace, I never really adhered to the ole' no politics and religion discussions in work. But distributing DVDs and being overtly unscientific in that work environment means his termination was probably justified.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      RL, with all due respect, I beg to differ. The work place should be religion free and politics free. Just like government and schools. Is that always possible? No of course not, but it should be a mandate and those in blatant violation should certainly be terminated.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      My colleagues are DULL DULL DULL. If we didn't have religion and politics to discuss, they'd just blather on about American Idol or the latest Twilight movie. I try to turn them on the the films of Tarkovsky and Bergmann, and the music of Captain Beefheart, but they won't listen.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      RL – lol, I hear you. But it is a slippery slope.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  16. Chad

    You can discuss how God is nonsense, and ridicule believers at work no problem.
    you can discuss gay marriage and ridicule a persons belief that marriage is between an man and a women, no problem.
    but you can't discuss God, or morality.
    why?

    It is a complete and utter myth that atheists and liberals are more accepting than conservative Christians. A complete and utter myth. Atheists are the most dogmatic, inflexible people I have ever met.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Chad, what makes athiests the most dogmatic, inflexible people you have ever met? My experience is quite the opposite.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I can only assume that you have never met many atheists. An atheists opinions on various matters change frequently, because science changes frequently. As we don't base our beliefs (and knowings) on a 1800-5000 year old set of books, we don't have to remain stubborn in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence (creationism... coughs loudly).

      Christians by their very nature are unaccepting. If the Bible condemns or approves something, Christians condemn or approve accordingly, regardless of whether science PROVES otherwise. Atheists are flexible, as is science.

      Also, why do you lump atheists in with liberals. I am definitely not a liberal, but I am most certainly an atheist. These terms are not inter-changable.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Chad

      I rest my case.. 🙂

      just scroll around and look for any post claiming that persons holding opposing views are ignorant, unscientific zealots willfully ignoring reality.

      count them up..then see how many of the people holding that viewpoint are atheists.

      now, here's the thing. as you are right now thinking "well, we only think you're an ignorant fairly tale believer because you are!!", you have proven my point, namely you find it inconceivable that someone holding an opposing viewpoint could actually be an intelligent thoughtful person who examined the data and came to a vastly different conclusion.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad, what is left to discuss about any god? After 2,000+ years of believers concocting every imaginable proof, there is not a shred of independent, factual, verifiable or objective evidence for any god. Until believers come with something – anything! – it's "case closed!", religion's rightful place is right beside astrologers in the seediest hotels in Las Vegas. I'm really am open to evidence for any god, but to date believers are all talk and no substance.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Chad,
      I find it inconceivable that someone holding an opposing viewpoint could actually be an intelligent thoughtful person who examined the data and came to a vastly different conclusion. Oh, and I am a Left Wing Liberal. The reason I think that is because it is nonsense.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Chad

      1. You prove my point again as you start from the position that no thinking person could possibly believe in God (dogmatic/inflexible).
      2. Origin of the universe, origin of life on earth, existence of objective morality, concurrence of the gaps in the fossil record with the animals created by God in Genesis (fish, birds/land animals, humans), resurrection of Jesus Christ.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      You see atheists as inflexible because they don't agree with you, most likely. Also, there's no dogmatism usually in atheists. Show us the proof and we will gladly believe; show a creationist the proof and they just ignore it, or call it something else.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I believe you Chad. I once saw the bones of a Jesussaurus Rex, but then they disappeared into Santa's magical grotto. Then Muhammed, the Jesussaurus Rex, Santa and Vishnu started getting freaky with a three year old Cherubim, at which point I left.

      Obviously, I have no evidence, but I KNOW in my SOUL that it is TRUE.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @Oh Yeah "You see atheists as inflexible because they don't agree with you, most likely"
      =>no.. as I said, scroll around, it's simple to demonstrate that atheists think it inconceivable that an intelligent, rational, thoughtful person could hold an opposing viewpoint.

      it's simply impossible for you to argue against it, with the evidence right in front of you.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Ok, I will be the one....what is the evidence Chad. Pray tell.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      P.S. Chad, this is the part where you are tired and go to bed.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm an atheist, and I'm also economically right wing. I acknowledge that intelligent, rational people have left wing economic ideals, different to my own. Also, while I acknowledge that some intelligent people believe in Holy Jeebus, I don't acknowledge that these people are in any way rational. Believing in Jeebus, or Muhammad the pederast, or Jonny Six Arms (Vishnu) is completely irrational.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      1. Thinking people can believe in God, but a person who believes in God cannot be speaking as a scientist. They may be scientists, but their conclusion that God exists is a matter of faith, not science. Not so difficult to understand how people can do this, really. A person who thinks rationally and logically at work can still fall in love with someone who isn't a wise choice for them, and people do LOVE God, don't they?

      2. "Objective morality", the morality that is codified and written down, is still originally the product of people's subjective moralities. The Bible writers "felt" what was right personally, and these personal feelings later became the rule applied to all. Even Jesus' moral code was subjective first, right?

      Genesis has the sun being created after the land and the sea. Then there's Genesis 1:6 "And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'" which details the ancient belief that there was a solid bowl up in the sky separating the atmosphere from a layer of water, as if we were living in a dome under a kind of ocean. That's what Genesis describes, and what most people even in Jesus' time believed. Is that what you're defending?

      Jesus was not the first "Dying God". Adonis, Asclepius, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Eshmun, Ishtar, Krishna, Melqart, Odin, Orpheus, Osiris, Persephone,Ra, Tammuz and Zalmoxis also died and came back to life in myth. It's a fairly common archetype.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • ...

      @ Ungodly

      Perhaps you should examine the evidence before asking for it.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      As I explained, even the most intelligent of us can make unwise decisions when we think emotionally, and believe in God is a very emotional part of someone's life, right? All I'm saying is that, when we're talking about something that people love as much as they love God, then how can you even suspect that they are examining their beliefs rationally? They're in love with God or, at least, they're in love with the idea that God is real and involved in their lives. Believing in God is an emotional decision and, as the Percy Sledge song goes,

      "If she's bad he can't see it
      She can do no wrong"

      Love makes us blind to the faults of that which we love. So, it follows that those who love God are also blind to His many faults, chief among them his being a myth.

      "it's simply impossible for you to argue against it, with the evidence right in front of you."
      What evidence?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • clgmm74

      @Oh yeah

      1st – whether or not Chad decides to go to bed or chooses not to reply does not hand you the argument.

      2nd- I completely disagree with labels and the grouping of people so many choose to utilize here because every individual is a human being capable of many things. I choose not to see those who choose not to believe in God as all hateful people and I also choose not to see those who believe in God as all good people.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • tallulah13

      Funny, Chad. I have to be very careful at work with what I say, because some of my co-workers are deeply religious. It's been that way for a very long time. Only recently have I felt safe discussing my atheism at work, and only because I have discovered that several of my co-workers share my lack of belief.

      Stop trying to play martyr. Christians have had the monopoly on conversation for several hundreds of years. This is your opportunity to experience how the other half lives.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • clgmm74

      3rd- I will stand behind Chad even though we do not agree on multiple things for the following reasons:

      No malice behind his posts

      He stands behind his beliefs regardless of who challenges them and does so honestly

      Several people have held grudges against him and he did not seek vengeance

      March 14, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • clgmm74

      4th – People define themselves

      5th – Choosing those lyrics are ridiculous as the evidence against your assertion has been present all along and I imagine he will understand my meaning but you won't.

      6th- U choosing to hold onto this grudge will keep you in a place you will quickly want out of

      March 14, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • clgmm74

      @ Oh Yeah "Love makes us blind to the faults of that which we love."

      7th- Love is not blind. Love accepts all of that person.

      In life, if a person I love chooses to believe or chooses not to believe in God I accept all of that person.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Chad..As an atheist I do not reveal that fact to most of the religious folks i talk to..if they say god bless, i accept it and move on. It appears to be a built in to them that no one disagrees with their views. Religious views appear very fragile and the shock on the faces of folks who i do discuss it with is obvious. They appear to have no defense for disbelief. I am also open to accepting a god if he/she it is proven ..like the famous leg growing back stunt.. but I get the feeling that no amount of evidence that counters your beliefs ( evolution say) or logical deliberation would change your mind,who really, is the most dogmatic? Can you look at a human and say that it is intelligently designed, you and I could do better.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • fred

      EvolvedDNA
      You can design a better human that would be inhumane
      How does evolution change anything? God did not define his creative process. The Bible says God spoke the universe into existence and evolution says we don't know but were working on it.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      clgmm74
      What I'm asking is do you accept all of God's faults? The genocides in the Bible? The lack of any evidence to support a belief in his existence? The contradictions in the Bible? The numerous, conflicting versions of God found throughout the Abrahamic field of faiths? You love God, right? So, do you accept these faults, or do you choose not to see them at all, like a person in love is apt to do of their beloved?

      Getting late, so have a Good Night! TTFN 🙂

      March 14, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • GodPot

      I just think Chad's statement "You can discuss how God is nonsense, and ridicule believers at work no problem." was hilarious. I don't know where you work Chad but I work in a fairly liberal California company and have yet to witness one single proselytizing atheist, though I have seen the occasional Christian inviting co-working to their church or meeting groups, though most are professional enough to keep it to after work or when were walking to our car's. But I have a VERY hard time believing you have ever been ridiculed at work by atheists by more than the frequent eye rolls when you want to unzip and bring your religion into the room by praying publicly or making a point to bless people or comment constantly on how much the Lord does for them. I have yet to here a "I'll be sure to not pray for you tonight Jim" from an atheist co-worker...

      March 14, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • GodPot

      hear...

      March 14, 2012 at 3:12 am |
    • LetsThink123

      @fred/chad
      You can let go of ur biblical god because he has already been shown to be wrong.
      Many branches of science has already shown that the biblical god's creation tale is a myth.
      Astronomy says: The sun is OLDER than the earth. This is an accepted fact.
      Genesis 1:16 says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
      But the god in Genesis, on the 1st day created the earth, and on the 4th day created the sun and the stars.
      THis is blatantly wrong! We also know from astromony that stars are just other suns, some smaller and some larger than our sun.
      With the hertzsprung-russell classification of stars, we also know that many stars are way older than our sun.
      Genesis 1:3 says: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. <– This means that the sun was created.
      Genesis 1:16 says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
      This further shows that the god in genesis is wrong since the earth was created before ALL the other stars!
      Why cant believers accept the fact that the biblical god is wrong? Here i have shown u these biblical issues with quotes from your beloved book.
      The bible's account of creation opposes modern astronomy also, not just evolution like u pointed out.
      Can u answer me why the bible is wrong here with regards to astronomical science?
      If u know deep down that u cant rationally answer there questions/issues with biblical creation, then why do u still cling on to the genesis fairytale? Are u afraid god will send u to hell if u admit the incorrectness of genesis?

      March 14, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Chad

      @Oh Yeah “Thinking people can believe in God, but a person who believes in God cannot be speaking as a scientist”
      @Chad “Complete nonsense, origin of the universe, creation of life, evidence for the resurrection of Jesus are all events that can be evaluated as evidence.”
      As well, your statement proves my original assertion that atheists cant conceive of a thinking person believing in God. Atheists believe that belief in God falls into the realm of “faith in something despite the complete lack of any evidence for it”. (Atheists are dogmatic, inflexible as I said)

      ==================
      @Oh Yeah “Objective morality", the morality that is codified and written down, is still originally the product of people's subjective moralities. The Bible writers "felt" what was right personally, and these personal feelings later became the rule applied to all. Even Jesus' moral code was subjective first, right?”
      @Chad “God delivered the original morality to Abraham, see 10 commandments, not subjectivity involved. You need to get more familiar with the bible..”.
      As well, your statement proves a point I make repeatedly (not in this thread) that I am continually astonished at most atheists lack of any familiarity with the bible, accompanied with an inherent belief in their ability to demonstrate it is false. It’s amazing, how can you feel something is myth, when you aren’t even familiar with it?

      ==================
      @Oh Yeah “Genesis has the sun being created after the land and the sea.”
      @Chad “Sun became visible after, was created before.. see discussions on earths early atmosphere.

      ==================
      @Oh Yeah “Then there's Genesis 1:6 "And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'" which details the ancient belief that there was a solid bowl up in the sky separating the atmosphere from a layer of water, as if we were living in a dome under a kind of ocean. That's what Genesis describes, and what most people even in Jesus' time believed. Is that what you're defending?”
      @Chad “no one has a clue what that refers to, it might mean that water at one point completely covered the earth, it might be referring to a very dense early atmosphere, no one knows. Provide an example of some ancient belief system that posits “there was a solid bowl up in the sky separating the atmosphere from a layer of water, as if we were living in a dome under a kind of ocean” lol.

      ==================
      @Oh Yeah “Jesus was not the first "Dying God". Adonis, Asclepius, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Eshmun, Ishtar, Krishna, Melqart, Odin, Orpheus, Osiris, Persephone,Ra, Tammuz and Zalmoxis also died and came back to life in myth. It's a fairly common archetype.
      @Chad “The fact that other fake gods came back from the dead has zero impact on the truth of Jesus resurrection, just as the existence of fake Elvis Presley’s doesn’t mean a real one never existed
      Do any of those “gods” have a documented historical life, death, burial, tomb and post resurrection appearances? Lol

      ==================
      @Oh Yeah “ even the most intelligent of us can make unwise decisions when we think emotionally, and believe in God is a very emotional part of someone's life, right? All I'm saying is that, when we're talking about something that people love as much as they love God, then how can you even suspect that they are examining their beliefs rationally?”

      @Chad “once again, your statement proves my original assertion that atheists cant conceive of a thinking person believing in God, belief in God falls into the realm of “faith in something despite the complete lack of any evidence for it”. (Atheists are dogmatic, inflexible as I said)”

      March 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • clgmm74

      @Oh Yeah

      Interesting twist of reality. My post was applicable "to life" to "a single person" and the indication was complete acceptance of that person in spite of faults. Shifting the focus of that post to create an argument that entails contradictions appears clever but can be applied to scientific and religious disciplines .

      Nice chuckle at the end

      March 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah: There is a book called "The Bible Unauthorized" which explains what it says in the first few chapters of the Bible so that the words are completely understandable. For once the way G-d created the world is comprehensible and doesn't sound like a bunch of words strung together.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      Belief in God does fall into the realm of “faith in something despite the complete lack of any evidence for it”, so how is this "dogmatic"? There is no objective evidence, so people require faith in order to believe in God. You may call it being "inflexible", but it still follows logically.

      "when you aren’t even familiar with it?"
      In what way? If I follow my own instincts I'm acting subjectively, but if I follow your set of guidelines then I'm putting my personal feelings aside and following an outside plan.The Bible was written by people according to their own subjective, personal feelings. Then it was accepted as an objective set of morals for all to follow.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      “Genesis has the sun being created after the land and the sea.”
      I'm not sure why you're laughing at these examples, they are in the Bible account, after all. Do your research; the ancients actually drew diagrams showing solid domes over the Earth, which the imagined as being flat. I don't even think of them as being terribly "wrong" because they were at least trying to articulate what they observed of nature.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      Many of the other gods are as docu.mented in their mythologies as God is in the Bible. Have you ever read some of the other mythologies? The Greek ones alone make the Bible stories look like the Twilight series being compared to Shakespeare.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      clgmm74
      But, do you accept God and love him despite his many faults? Indeed, because he often does not answer prayers positively you have to love him in oder to make this tolerable, right? Love him, or fear him, I suppose. Both are strong emotions, the kind of strong emotion that clouds judgment.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Does the book make it "comprehensible", or does the author simply spin Genesis in an attempt to make it fit more modern scientific understandings? I've seen those kinds of apologetics before and I'm not at all impressed.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah: "The Bible Unauthorized" translates the chapters using the oral tradition that was passed down from when G-d taught it to Moses at Mount Sinai. G-d told Moses everything at that time, from the beginning of the world, to Who He is, and what He wants of us, and the history of people from the creation. That tradition was passed down meticulously from then to now.

      March 15, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Or, Moses went up a mountain and had a psychotic episode. People have them all the time, but people who go to some remote place for 40 days to contemplate things could be seeing things for other reasons. Supposedly, both Moses and Jesus fasted during their respective (symbolic) 40 days alone. We can only imagine what hallucinations they could have seen near the end. Shamanism, pure and simple.

      How can you tell that this tradition has been passed down meticulously over time? It was oral, so there is no concrete record, no voice recordings from the first instance, by which to compare. All this is is a claim, with no evidence to back it up. Sorry.

      March 15, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Chad

      @Oh Yeah “Belief in God does fall into the realm of “faith in something despite the complete lack of any evidence for it”, so how is this "dogmatic"? There is no objective evidence, so people require faith in order to believe in God. You may call it being "inflexible", but it still follows logically.”

      @Chad “Objective evidence (restated for the 1000th time, never refuted.. and no, “that’s not evidence” is not a refutation, it’s just refusing to deal with that which you don’t have an answer for):
      -Origin of the universe
      -origin of life on earth
      -existence of objective morality
      -concurrence of the gaps in the fossil record with the animals created by God in Genesis (fish, birds/land animals, humans),
      -resurrection of Jesus Christ.

      Your refusal to a)address the objective evidence, and b)acknowledge that a reasonable person examining the evidence could come to a different conclusion is irrefutable evidence of your dogmatism.

      =============
      @Oh Yeah “The Bible was written by people according to their own subjective, personal feelings. Then it was accepted as an objective set of morals for all to follow.”
      @Chad “What are you basing that nonsense on, how can you feel that you have an ability to comment on something that you are completely unfamiliar with? Scanning infidels.org for something that can be cut and pasted does not count as "investigating".
      Virtually all atheists, and you appear to be no exception, start with "God does not exist" then they go searching for support, and ignoring any and all contrary data.

      I really admire your faith, it is vastly stronger than mine, as you have a faith in something and that faith is based on absolutely nothing but your own uninformed opinion. Amazing…

      March 15, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      Are you actually arguing that, since science hasn't found the answer to everything yet, then God must exist in the gaps? Is this what you call having "objective evidence" for God's existence? I didn't scan infidels.org, or anyplace else for my comment material, thank you very much. I have studied the data, which is exactly why I can't find any evidence to support your belief. Sorry if that upsets you, but there really isn't any cause to accuse me of being biased against your position. I don't have faith in science, comparative analysis of mythologies, literature study, or logical thinking, but I do have confidence in these disciplines because they are self-correcting and provide useable results.

      March 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Chad

      @Oh Yeah "Are you actually arguing that, since science hasn't found the answer to everything yet, then God must exist in the gaps? Is this what you call having "objective evidence"
      =>actually, what I call "objective evidence" are those 5 points under the heading "objective evidence: " above in my post 🙂
      and again, you havent answer any of them..

      your posts are pretty typical examples of the atheist answer algorithm..:
      1. Atheist “science isn't discarding any evidence of God, or an external force, there is just is no evidence of it”

      2. Creationist “well, what about the origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws, the origins of life on this earth, the fact that the largest “gaps” in the fossil record correspond exactly with the organisms identified in the bible as being created by God, namely fish, birds, land animals and humans ”

      3. Atheist “We don’t know how to explain those things. The supernatural is by definition beyond nature and therefore beyond investigation by science. As utterly improbable as it is, our only answer at this point is to say it’s possible that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules”

      4. Creationist “Well, if you don’t have an answer for these fundamental events to begin with, and your only explanation is to posit the possibility of the utterly improbable time and time again, by what basis are you discarding the possibility of a force external to our universe?”

      5. Atheist: “Please go to step #1

      March 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Chad
      We don't have the final answer to the origins of the universe, or life on this planet, but we are making steady progress. Compared to just a few hundred years ago we now know a lot, but we may never know the final answer because nothing may remain of what came "before" to tell us what actually happened. That doesn't bother me in the least. Why must we know the answer? Admitting that the answer is unknowable (if it turns out to be) is far more mature than just making up one. If you want to chose a creation story for no better reason than just to have an answer, then go ahead, but why pick the Genesis account arbitrarily when there are thousands of similar stories in the other mythologies? You can't prove that Genesis is the accurate story, can you?

      200 years ago there was no "fossil record" to refer to, but we have filled it steadily ever since. The old adage seems correct in that, for ever new transitional fossil discovered, creationists see one gap becoming two, despite their being much narrowed. They will not stop pointing at "gaps" until the fossil of every single individual creature that has ever lived has been unearthed, it seems. I know this sounds ridiculous, but we are talking about creationist logic, after all. I lost any baseline respect I had for their reasoning skills when I heard one of them explain that T-Rex used his giant teeth to eat pumpkins before the fall of mankind made him a meat-eater. What imaginations!

      As I have said, all "objective morality" stems originally from people's subjective moralities coming together and being accepted as the norm. Universally, such things as murder and stealing are considered wrong, but there are clear evolutionary advantages to this kind of thinking, so it appears to be completely natural. No God is necessary to make murder wrong.

      The resurrection of Christ is an archetype of the "dying god" character. At least a dozen figures from ancient myth match Jesus as having died, went into the underworld, and returned triumphant. It's a common enough story to have been simply attached to Jesus after his death without much trouble.

      You say I have greater faith than you. Well, as I said, I have confidence in science and rational thought, so what you are really saying is that my confidence in these things is greater than your faith in God. Is this what you actually mean?

      TTFN 🙂

      March 16, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • md2205

      To Oh Yeah:
      I think the only way you will be convinced that your latest post is untrue is if you actually learn what I am talking about. It is like a blind man who has never seen a color. No one can ever describe to him what a color is. The book I mentioned is a good start. Like everything else in life, better not to criticize something of which you are unfamiliar. I am not criticizing you – I am simply telling you that your complaints are invalid but you won't feel that way until you can see it for yourself.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • md2205

      I mean your latest post to me.

      March 16, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      md2205
      Your analogy is flawed in that you are proposing that God is like color, something that does actually exist. You cannot demonstrate to me that I'm actually lacking some "sense" that believers have. At most, I would suggest that believers are wearing "God colored glasses", if you will, that cast the shade of God upon reality. Take them off, as we atheists do, and the world may lose it's rosy hue, but there is something far grander in seeing things as vividly as they are naturally.

      If it will put you to ease I'll see if my local library, or book stores have that book you suggested, but I already own seven different translations of the Bible and my wife will doubtlessly roll her eyes at me for even suggesting getting another one. People always seem to think that reading a certain book, or website, or hearing their favorite preacher will "cure" atheists, but what convinces one person does not necessarily convince another. Which is why I wouldn't presume to suggest any similar material to you.

      You would have to choose to put your own faith to the test by selecting your own material, but I would suggest picking sources "from the other side", if you know what I mean? The folks who criticize evolution really never seem to actually understand it, or appreciate how large the mountain of evidence supporting it is. That's why many people who favor evolution chuckle at creationists. They use comic book, straw men misrepresentations of evolution to criticize it.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Lil

      I always found Atheists to be more like the Reagans; "Just say NO!" There is dogmatic for you.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Lil
      If religion were like the milder recreational drugs, then most people can "do a little" faith on the weekends without getting hooked, but some people do get hooked, big time. Maybe they're into stronger forms of faith, but many of these people act just like junkies. They think of their faith all the time, and they try to get their friends and family hooked on it as well. They give all that they can to their "dealer" (cleric) and, when that isn't enough, they actually work for him dealing. I can see lots of parallels between religion and drugs. Perhaps this was the one thing Marx was right about, eh?

      March 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • clgmm74

      @Oh Yeah

      clgmm74
      But, do you accept God and love him despite his many faults? Indeed, because he often does not answer prayers positively you have to love him in oder to make this tolerable, right? Love him, or fear him, I suppose. Both are strong emotions, the kind of strong emotion that clouds judgment.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |

      Understand that the structure of your questioning is a form of argument that enables you to reply with a pre-formed response. Point by point arguments are easy as I can quickly turn your response against you. Conversations that facilitate communication are difficult. Not everyone here is a shark waiting to attack. So, relax and let's try to remove some of the blinders from both sides of the topic.

      We may end up never seeing through the same lens but we may be able to share a glimpse of the other person's perspective. You asked from your perspective if I accept God and love him despite his faults. These are the attributes you included in your question, not mine. My response in my perspective is that I accept God as is with no exceptions. I love God with no expectations. I do not place God on the same level as a beloved as you alluded to previously.

      There are multiple emotions: anger, fear, love, etc. Judgment will become clouded if you let it. For example: If I love someone and that person doesn't love me in return I do not react with vengeance. I do not lie to myself or try and convince myself of the opposite. I accept what is true not what I would like to be true.

      You have asked other posters to define God and to prove the existence of God. I am curious as to why you ask for this?

      You wouldn't accept someone elses' word or experience as proof of God's existence. Wouldn't you need to understand the proof on your own terms and in your own way? Wouldn't you also need to double or triple-check the proof? You would need to know in your mind and in your heart that what you believe is true, correct?

      There have been posters present other than myself who have honestly tried to help provide a way to obtain that proof. Here is part of what they are trying to convey. The evidence of God can be found in you and through you. Someone else can not give you true faith and belief, only you can give it to yourself. Faith is often used as a universal term but can be applied specificly and often manifests in ways that are personal and multiple.

      IMHO I still believe that whether you arrive at a position of belief or a position of non-belief you can still choose to create a world that accepts another person in spite of the choice he or she makes. I also believe that it is possible to arrive at a position that suspends judgment of others based on that belief or non-belief.

      I have answered your request honestly from my perspective and request that you share your perspective on why you hold a position of non-belief.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      clgmm74
      "The evidence of God can be found in you and through you. Someone else can not give you true faith and belief, only you can give it to yourself. Faith is often used as a universal term but can be applied specificly and often manifests in ways that are personal and multiple."
      Let's see, your definition would seem to imply that faith is just belief that God exists, and that it is completely subjective, yes? I can accept that definition as it fits my idea that God does not actually exist in a way outside of people's willingness to believe that he is real. This is why I ask people to give evidence so that they are forced to step outside of the polite standard of just taking God's actual existence as a given, and start thinking of it as simply a "belief", which it is. Seeing what kinds of social and political stands many people make based on the firm "knowing" that God exists some of us see this kind of thinking needing to be challenged. Too many people take it as license to accept unfair treatment of others, and that needs to be stopped IMHO.

      My question about loving God, and thus willing to ignore God's faults, however, seems to have flown over your head. Loving an idea does not make it a good one, and any professional scientist will agree with the warning never to fall in love with an idea because the evidence may eventually prove it false. ID advocates have always been completely in love with the idea of God having created the universe and life o this planet, which is why they ignore the evidence disproving what they believe. Perhaps many love the idea that there is a God out there looking out for them too much to critically examine the reasoning behind why they believe that he is?

      March 19, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • clgmm74

      @Oh yeah

      Oh Yeah
      Let's see, your definition would seem to imply that faith is just belief that God exists, and that it is completely subjective, yes? I can accept that definition as it fits my idea that God does not actually exist in a way outside of people's willingness to believe that he is real. This is why I ask people to give evidence so that they are forced to step outside of the polite standard of just taking God's actual existence as a given, and start thinking of it as simply a "belief", which it is. Seeing what kinds of social and political stands many people make based on the firm "knowing" that God exists some of us see this kind of thinking needing to be challenged. Too many people take it as license to accept unfair treatment of others, and that needs to be stopped IMHO.

      clgmm74:
      Have you ever heard the expression you had to be there? it is more than just the willingness to step outside the belief that God is real for an individual who has had experiences with God. He or she would be setting aside a personal history that he or she has lived. Is there anything that you would refuse to deny in your life experience?

      Understand that this dialogue is meant to be a conversation. A way in which both sides of the conversation are able to see the other person's perspective. This is not about changing the other person's perspective into what you want to define it as. It makes no difference to me how you choose to define your own perspective but please remember I define mine. I am not asking you to change your lack of belief.

      I am giving you an opportunity to share your viewpoint from your perspective without a preformed judgment on my part. If we employ the tactics of an argument the result will prove nothing . It wouldn't help any of the sides. You mentioned unfair treatment of others and on this perspective I agree, it should not be employed. My perspective is that God gets blamed for a whole lot of crap that people do.

      Oh Yeah
      My question about loving God, and thus willing to ignore God's faults, however, seems to have flown over your head.

      clgmm74:
      I answered your question about loving God from my perspective. You inserted the words "ignore God's faults" from your perspective as I stated already in my previous post. Faults as an attribute to God is your attribute and not mine.

      Oh Yeah
      Loving an idea does not make it a good one, and any professional scientist will agree with the warning never to fall in love with an idea because the evidence may eventually prove it false. ID advocates have always been completely in love with the idea of God having created the universe and life o this planet, which is why they ignore the evidence disproving what they believe. Perhaps many love the idea that there is a God out there looking out for them too much to critically examine the reasoning behind why they believe that he is?

      clgmm74:
      Science allows the evidence to speak for itself and does not negate truth even when the scientist disagrees with the result. What leads you to the conclusion there wasn't a critical examination behind my belief in God? It was not an automatic process, it did not happen without repeated questioning and analysis. I am not associated with the ID group and I am not part of a religion.

      clgmm74:
      People are worth knowing and should not be automatically dismissed based on the choice to have a belief, to not have a belief, to not be sure either way. An exposure to multiple cultures and subcultures has already proven to me that individuals from any walk of life are worth the effort to understand the differences between the various viewpoints. In my experience labels given should not be taken as fact. I would rather err on the side of allowing individuals to define who they are.

      I have had experiences within those cultures I would never have believed possible. If I had limited myself to only my viewpoint the idea of who they are would have been based solely on a textbook. I prefer a true representation of the individual.

      clgmm74:

      To reiterate:
      We may end up never seeing through the same lens but we may be able to share a glimpse of the other person's perspective.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  17. J L

    Sorry, but you can't call yourself a scientist and spout un"intelligent design".

    March 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      What they tend to say that supposedly "proves" intelligent design is just hilarious sometimes.

      "How can an eye evolve? You really think we popped up randomly?"
      I lol so hard whenever I see those things.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No kidding. The extent of the stupidity is truly stunning.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Yup, it's like a medical doctor expressing her confidence in voodoo.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  18. God here..Stop praying already..I'm sick of having to keep changing my mind.

    You call THIS an intelligently designed species ?

    March 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      You do make an intelligent point there.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  19. Sean

    May Coppedge win the case!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why? Will you cry if he doesn't?

      March 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  20. HawaiiGuest

    Complaints were lodged against him during his tenure. In the meeting with his boss he says boss was mean, boss says no. He said, she said is not admissable evidence. The company let him go during a downsizing period, and with a record of complaints against him, he would not have been kept. There is no case here, and the scientist will get nothing.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Just the facts

      Coppedge wasn't and isn't a scientist. He's a computer technician.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      My mistake.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
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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.