July 18th, 2013
03:14 PM ET
`Six Types of Atheists' study wakes a sleeping giant
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - They were trying to prove a simple point: That nonbelievers are a bigger and more diverse group than previously imagined.
"We sort of woke a sleeping giant," says Christopher F. Silver, a researcher at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. "We're a bit overwhelmed actually."
Silver and his project manager, Thomas Coleman, recently released a study proposing six different types of nonbelievers - from strident atheists to people who observe religious rituals while doubting the divine.
The study clearly struck a chord, particularly among triumphal atheists and uneasy believers. Articles appeared in in Polish, German, Russian and Portuguese, Silver said.
Here on CNN.com, our story "Behold, the Six Types of Atheists" garnered about 3.14 gazillion hits and thousands of comments.
Half the fun seemed to lie in atheists applying the categories to themselves, kind of like a personality test.
"I guess I'm a 1-2-4 atheist," ran a typical comment.
Other commenters questioned the study's categories, methods, and even the religious beliefs of its authors.
Silver and Coleman agreed to answer our readers' questions via email from Tennessee. Some of their answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Q: Several readers asked how you came up with your six categories of atheists?
A: In a sense we let the participants inform our theory.
The categories were devised from a series of 59 interviews conducted with people nationwide who don’t believe in God. Participants were asked to define various terms of nonbelief as well as their own religious views.
We also asked participants to tell us their stories and how their religious views have changed over time. We found the most commonly repeated stories and descriptions and formed them into types.
We then used those types in the survey portion of the project. Each of the six categories proved to be statistically unique in a wide array of psychological measures.
Q: @PaulTK asks: Are atheists limited to the six categories your study proposes?
A: We suspect that further research exploring people who don't believe in God will certainly expand the number of categories and fill in more details about the six we've named.
For example, we found that the Intellectual Academic Atheist type may produce a 7th type reflecting those who are more "philosophically orientated" versus those who are more "scientifically orientated."
Our study also gives some evidence that individuals may not believe in God but still identify with religion or spirituality in some way.
Q: @JessBertapelle asks: Can people fit into more than one category?
A: The typology of nonbelief is fluid. Based on our interviews, we suspect people transverse the various types over the course of their lives. Since we did not conduct a longitudinal design (a study conducted over time tracking the same people) we are unable to validate this assumption.
For those of you who found yourselves agreeing with multiple positions, you may find characteristics that you identify with in all types but there is likely one type which is your preference.
Q: @Melissa asks: Why isn't there a category for "closet atheists"?
A: This is an excellent question. Many of our interviews were done in strict confidence where the participant’s own parents, spouses, or children had no idea they were participating in the study. One participant hid in the back of her closet because she did not want her parents to discover she is an atheist.
But while there were plenty of “closeted” participants, they didn't agree in how they describe their religious views. That is, they ranged across a variety of our six types.
Q: stew4248 asks: How is this any different than religious divisiveness?
A: There is vast diversity among religious believers, but it's unclear if such diversity exists within nonbelief.
We do know that the Antitheist category has much in common with religious fundamentalism. Likewise the Intellectual atheism/Agnosticism type has a lot in common with intellectual theology, although they are clearly not the same.
Q: How did you find the participants for the study?
Participants were recruited through nonbelief communities across the country. They were recruited face-to-face, through snowball sampling (participants sharing the study with friends), and through the Internet.
Project manager Thomas J. Coleman III is well known in the atheist community because he is suing the Hamilton County (Tennessee) Commission for their involvement in divisive sectarian prayer at meetings. His reputation helped locate “closeted” atheists to participate.
The regional breakdown of participants is presented on the project website.
Q: A number of readers have also asked about your own religious affiliations, if you don't mind.
Christopher F. Silver answers:
I was born and raised in the rural South to a deeply religious Methodist family. In my hometown everyone was Christian. As was the case for many in our study, during college I was introduced to people from different cultures and ideologies. I was interested in studying different faith traditions and why people believe.
In many respects, research for this was a selfish enterprise for me. There is nothing more transformative than sitting with someone as they share their life story with you. Today I consider myself an agnostic in the real philosophical sense. The more I learn, the more I recognize the extensiveness of my ignorance.
Thomas J Coleman III answers:
My mother has been active in the Methodist church as a choir member and pianist for most of her life. My grandparents were very active in the church and went every Sunday. Growing up, I would often go as well.
But for me, “religion” was always something that other people did. I prefer to identify as a secular humanist.
Silver and Coleman would like to point out that their study was supported and conducted in collaboration with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Department of Psychology and the Doctorate in Learning and Leadership.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
So... this guy interviewed 59 whole people and has decided to classify us based upon that! There are millions upon millions of Atheists in America and many more around the world. 59 people?!?
They interviewed 59 people and used what they learned from that to create a survey they sent out to a much larger group of people.
It was really only intended to be an exploratory first effort. They need some real money, more survey expertise and some hard core cluster analysis to come up with a better set of categories. They also relied on self identification which is really weak. I still appreciate the idea, though, and think it can be built upon.
The 7th, and most common type of atheist....The troll
Another obnoxious Christian. Shocker.
@mzh: Consider this question: What causes disease?
The answer you'd get to this question would largely depend on the point in history when you asked it and the level of scientific achievement in the culture where you asked it. Today we would say bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and prions.
Prions were first observed in the 1960s. Viruses were first observed in the 1890s. Bacteria were first observed by in 1676. Before we knew about these agents men attributed disease to evil spirits or punishments from God.
This is very important example from history. It demonstrates that people who believe in a god will wrongly attribute phenomenon in the world around us to the supernatural when they have no evidence for believing any supernatural force was responsible.
Although science cannot explain everything, over the course of human history there have been many examples of scientific explanations eventually displacing religious explanations once the relevant science had progressed far enough. There are no cases of the reverse happening. That is, there has never been a case where science offered an explanation later found to be wrong because God did it.
Clearly history has shown that just because current science can't explain something the "God did it" explanation need not be valid. Given this, and that the pattern has been for science to debunk religious explanations and never the other way around, why should I give religious explanations for anything any credence at all?
yo wordpress, 3 mill for placing cookies where you were forbidden? kiddin me? wait to you see this thing.
what did u find?
Consider this question. How did John Wilkes Booth kill Abraham Lincoln when it was clearly a piece of lead projected out of a small metal tube which went right into Lincoln's head destroying brain tissue that really killed him? Ahh, the clarity science brings.
The fact that you people completely ignore pretty much every question I pose to you is evidence to me I'm making valid points you don't want to deal with. When your god gives you the courage to deal with these unpleasant realities and enough integrity to not consistently dodge my questions then I'll consider answering yours. I've already addressed countless comments and questions from you people but you won't answer mine. That game is getting old.
PS: I won't waste my time answering stupid questions like that no matter what you do. You're clearly desperate and flailing. Is that what your god has done for you, made you a pathetic loser who can't face reality?
All comments on this subject do not come from happy people and are posted from people who despise, are upset, have nothing, are not thankful, and most important have nothing to live for... You are here to work then die... I have someone to forgive me of my sins and somewhere to go when I die and that is all you need to believe. It is easier to believe then to deny.
Your statement that "all the comments on this subject (concerning atheists) do not come from happy people.....who despise, are upset, have nothing, are not thankful and....have nothing to live for" goes against the very way that both Jesus and the apostles taught when speaking with individuals who do not share their view.
The apostle Paul said that "to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law.....that I might gain those under law. To those without law (as atheists are) I became as without law.....that I might gain those without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to to people of all sorts, that I might by all means save some. But I do all things for the sake of the good news, that I might become a sharer of it with others."(1 Cor 9:20-23)
Paul was willing to "bend down" to others level (such as the Athenians) in order to help them understand that there is a "God that made the world and all things and all the things in it, being as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth.", even quoting from one of their poets: "For by him (God) we have life and move and exist, even as certain ones of the poets among you have said, ' For we are all his progeny.' Seeing, therefore, that we are the progeny of God, we ought not to imagine that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by the art and contrivance of man."(Acts 17:24, 28, 29)
And of our Creator, Jehovah God, the Psalmist wrote that "he is condescending to look of heaven and earth, raising up the lowly one from the dust pit; He exalts the poor one from the ashpit itself, to make him sit with nobles."(Ps 113:6-8) Hence, to be effective in reaching others, is it not necessary to be on the same level with whom we are talking with rather than voicing a condemnation ?
@LBHE: "I have someone to forgive me of my sins and somewhere to go when I die and that is all you need to believe."
You have some fairytales you embrace because they allow you to avoid dealing with some of the harsh realities of life.
"It is easier to believe then to deny."
More proof religion makes people stupid. Believing is a lot of work. You have to all that reading and praying and singing and regurgitating of religious sound bites all the time until the brainwashing kicks in, and then you have to keep doing all that stuff to keep reality at bay. You spend copious amounts of time rationalizing why there is no evidence for anything you believe and why the real world isn't consistent with what you believe. I know, because I was a Christian for four decades. It takes a lot of work to maintain a delusion for years.
Now, instead of having to rationalize one thing after another I have one answer that answers every single question: There is no god. I never waste any time praying, rationalizing, or making any excuses. It's actually a lot less work than maintaining a delusion. I swear, you people believe the silliest stuff.
Kev, was that supposed to prove something? The fact that you can break down the components of one's cause of death - the shooter, the bullet, the pathology, doesn't indicate a lack of clarity in science. It indicates the opposite.
What exactly were you trying to say?
That breaking down diseases doesn't prove there is no God behind the trigger.
@Kev: "That breaking down diseases doesn't prove there is no God behind the trigger."
A believer who has a computer and access to the Internet and still believes disease is caused by evil spirits. That's just sad.
Well Skytag, It looks like once again you decided to take the easy out by ridiculing instead of proving anything.
Aaaah, Sky, your logic is compelling!
We do tend to resort to "Gods" or "Demons" when we got no clue, panic I think.
Few Christians would admit it, but at some level they feel threatened by atheists. There are two reasons for this.
First, atheists directly challenge their beliefs by pointing out the flaws in their reasoning and answers, and relentlessly pointing out there is no evidence to support any of their beliefs.
Second, Christians believe that God blesses them for their faith and devotion, and withholds blessings from those who refuse to follow God. Atheists are evidence there is no truth to this. Atheists can be moral, happy, financially successful, kind, have good families, be charitable, and so on, all without having to profess faith in god no one can show exists.
What this says is that there are no demonstrable benefits to being a Christian. There no advantages available to Christians in this life that atheists can't enjoy, and there is no evidence of an afterlife where Christians believe they'll reap rewards atheists won't.
The need to deny this is so strong with many Christians they delude themselves into believing atheists are inherently incapable of enjoying the good things Christians tell themselves are in their lives because they believe in God. To them we're all inherently immoral, miserable, selfish creatures who must struggle through this life devoid of hope, and so on. None of it's true, but many Christians need to believe it so they can believe God is blessing them with good things reserved only for those who believe in him.
So an atheist who doesn't fit their stereotype poses a threat to their world view in this arena.
There is another reason you forgot, one that I encounter often while working with xtians;
They want you to believe to validate their belief.
See, if everyone believes something to be true, then it is. Regardless if is isn't.
So the xtian wants you to believe too, so he/she can validate their belief and feel better that they have made the right choice.
Just thank your lucky stars we are not in a religious theocracy (at least not yet), like Saudi Arabia where they would make us believe or stone us to death.
Most xtians are very jealous that they can't do that, and would love to have blasphemy laws like they have over in the Middle East so they could stone us to death for being non believers.
Misery loves company I guess.....
Actually I did mention that reason in a couple of other comments. They would never admit they're seeking validation, but it's pretty clear that's part of it. Of course they also tell themselves that being rejected is proof they're right, so they feel validated either way. 😉
Wow, I swung here by chance today. Obviously, you are missing the true picture here!
I as a Christian admit that I seek validation; however, I don't seek it from humans but from God Himself. The Lord Jesus Christ works in us and gives us that validation through the Holy Spirit that indwells us.
Those who are Christians should "seek validation" that there is a God, and surrounding all of us is overwhelming evidence. Without empirical confirmation, those who doubt the authenticity of Supreme Designer will not necessarily be convinced. For many, the contingent proof of a Grand Maker is by what they can see. Otherwise, Christians will not be able to persuade many to accept that a Creator exists.
The apostle Paul wrote that "to the Jew I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law.....that I might gain those under law. To those without law, I became as without law....that I might gain those without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to people of all sorts, that I might by all means save some."(1 Cor 9:20-22)
Christians should be trying to convince others, not themselves, of a Supreme Maker, as Paul did at Thessalonica as well at Athens.(Acts 17:2, 3, 22-31) What does this require ? That you get "on his level" and provide real substance that a Grand Creator exists, meaningful information that is very persuasive. Paul was very successful in reaching honest-hearted individuals, yes, "to those without law, I became as without law....that I might gain those without law."
Unfortunately, the churches have no real resources to lean on, to give empirical evidence that we are the product of a Master Designer, just "believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." This does not convince anyone that is "without law" that a Grand Designer exists.
@Vic: "I as a Christian admit that I seek validation; however, I don't seek it from humans but from God Himself."
Sorry, Vic, but it's part of human nature to see it as a validation of our choices when others make the same choices.
You seem like a good person, and seem to do a much better job of conducting yourself as a Christian should than many Christians who post online, but I see no signs in your comment of independent thought. You use all the standard Christian-speak, but seem incapable of logical, rational discussion. You can quote scripture like a bot, but that isn't the same as discussing something.
Get back to me when you have a real counter argument for the issues I raise. HInt: Quoting the Bible doesn't count.
If you don't let a religie quote the bible, what does he have left?
Indeed, most who are religious are unable to provide any explanation of substance of there being a God, without using the Bible. The religious leaders have done next to nothing in this regard, except at times to be teach their members to be intolerant of others, especially those who have no regard for the Bible, such as atheists or agnostics.
Can it be known that a God exist apart from the Bible ? The answer is yes. By examining what is around all of us. For example, on a molecular level, life is made up of proteins. And proteins are made up of amino acids called proteinogenic amino acids, there being some 23 different ones.
However, there are both left-handed and right-handed amino acids (how they are "twisted"), but only left-handed ones are the ones used for proteins and are placed in a very specific arrangement. The average functional protein in a "simple" cell contains 200 amino acids. What though are the odds of a protein containing just 100 amino acids forming accidentally ? It has been calculated as one chance in a million billion.
And this is only for a protein. What about some 2,000 proteins that are used by a human cell as enzymes ? What have the odds been estimated for all these to form at random ? English astronomer Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) once calculated this as 10 followed by 40, 000 zeroes and further said that this is "the same as the chance of throwing an uninterrupted sequence of 50,000 sixes with unbiased dice!” (The Intelligent Universe, F. Hoyle, 1983, pages 11-12, 17, 23)
Yet, there is more, for before proteins could exist, according to researcher Hubert P. Yockey (who believes in evolution) said that "it is impossible that the origin of life was ' proteins first'. RNA (ribonucleic acid) is required to make proteins, yet proteins are involved in the production of RNA. So how could both have come about at the same time and survived outside a cell (that didn't exist yet and also requires, in addition, DNA to survive) ?
What conclusion can be drawn from just this brief information ? That life could of not have come about by accident, but is the intentional act of a Supreme Designer, with the Bible providing his name as Jehovah.
@Athy: "If you don't let a religie quote the bible, what does he have left?"
They know a lot of arguments and sound bites. It's when you insist they stick to facts, logic, and evidence that they're at a complete loss.
Agreed. The evidence clearly does not support their arguments. So they have nothing to resort to but the bible.
Yes, those who attend the churches of Christendom often provide little if any evidence of a Creator, but just perhaps say to "believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" to validate their belief. But there is very weighty confirmation of a Supreme Designer.
For example, how is that a sea lion, once they enter the water, that it's heart rate drops, blood vessels constrict, and lungs begins to collapse, whereby blood flows as usual to the heart and brain, but less reaches non-vital organs for swimming, and are now able to draw on oxygen in the muscles and blood ? Was this accidental ? Or was this an intentional design by a Supreme Designer ?
When a person pushes a button for AC in their car, things begin to happen, the blower motor comes on, as well as the AC compressor, as well HVAC doors within the dash go to a certain position, such as shutting off outside air. Did these "events" come into existence accidentally ? No, but rather it may have taken an engineer quite a while to blend all these as "one" for the comfort of the driver. Could not this also be said of the sea lion ?
Or what about the humpback whale, that although it weighs about 30 tons, as much as a loaded truck, and has a relatively stiff body with large wing-like flippers, that this 40 foot mammal is remarkably agile under water ? It can make turns under water that seems impossible, while releasing bubbles to make a bubble net of only about five feet across to corral its favorite food, krill, coming up through the middle of the bubble net. How is it able to do this ?
Researchers discovered that the secret is in the shape of the whale's flippers, with the leading edge of its flippers being not smooth, like an aircraft wing, but serrated, with a row of protruding bumps called tubercules. These tubercules increase lift and reduce drag. Was this just an accident or the product a Supreme Designer ?
Aircraft designers are keenly interested in the whale's flippers, for they realize that aircraft would evidently need fewer wing flaps or other mechanical devices to alter airflow. Biomechanics expert John Long believes that someday soon "we may well see every single jetliner with the bumps of humpback whale flippers." So was the humpback whale's flippers just an accident or the result of intentional design ?
if atheists practiced what they preach, we'd never know you existed...
That makes no sense at all.
I"m gonna have to go ahead and agree with skytag, and point out that your comment made absolutely no sense whatsoever. I'm sure you had a point to make, but your comment failed to make it.
If you could reason with believers, there wouldn't be any.
But you are stereotyping Christians. Not all Christians are the same.... my belief in God is not determined or challenged by whether you believe or not. I also am very 'open minded' and don't try to force anybody to believe what I believe.
@HZ: "But you are stereotyping Christians."
I'm applying what I know about human nature to Christians. What I said may not apply to all of them, but it does to a significant majority of them at some level. It may even be at a subconscious level.
"Not all Christians are the same...."
No kidding. Fact is, there is almost nothing they all have in common. What do fundamentalist Christians who handle snakes and speak in tongues have in common with Episcopalians?
"my belief in God is not determined or challenged by whether you believe or not."
Perhaps, but I can't help but believe that when people in a position to defend a belief system for this they have no evidence after a while there must be some shred of doubt that sneaks in. Maybe you avoid being in the position of having to defend your believe in the unprovable.
"I also am very 'open minded' and don't try to force anybody to believe what I believe."
Are you open-minded enough to consider the possibility that there is no God and that you've just been convincing yourself of something that isn't true because it's more comforting than the alternative?
What are those who profess to be "Christian" supposed to do ? It is true that they are not to "try to force anybody to believe what I believe", but in pursuing Jesus example or following in his "footsteps" (1 Pet 2:21), what pattern did he set ?
At Matthew 10, in giving detailed instructions to his newly appointed twelve apostles, he said: "As you go preach, saying, ' The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near......Into whatever city or village you enter, search out in it is deserving, and stay there till you leave. When you are entering into the house, greet the household; and if the house is deserving, let the peace you wish it come upon it; but if it is not deserving, let the peace from you return upon you."(Matt 10:7, 11-13)
Hence, Jesus instructed his disciples to go to people's homes with the message about God's kingdom, a heavenly government. In our time period, called "the last days" (2 Tim 3:1), Jesus said that "this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come."(Matt 24:14)
Christians do not then force others to believe anything, but rather go to their homes as Jesus commanded his genuine disciples to do, seeking to discuss, reason and hopefully teach them about our Creator, Jehovah God and his kingdom, for Jesus said just before he ascended to heaven: "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations....teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you."(Matt 28:19, 20)
Personally, I find it to be a waste of time discussing most things with a nonbeliever...it is inevitably futile for me, because they only seem to care about their own agendas, never their fellow man or woman. I prefer to not waste my time on such high-ranking, slow-to-evolve persons.
you say you don't want to waste time with non believers...but here's your post....worded to get a response from precisely that group:)
Wow you make some very silly and immature assumptions.
Funny, I say the same thing about believers.
Ken, are you really as immature as Dana? Do you really feel all believers are the same? None care about their fellow man? I don't think so based on the post I have read from you.
In all fairness believers do have an agenda, which is to justify their devotion to a belief system that has no basis in anything that is objectively verifiable.
Man............Somebody needs to play the guitar. Relax, I'm not extreme. I'm just pointing out the irony than you can say the same about believers.
Ken, I know you're not extreme which is why I posted: I don't think so based on the post I have read from you.
But simple minded folks like Dana are easy to confuse. You're initial reply just reinforces her immaturity. That is the only reason I made a comment.
@Jazz.......................Trust me. Once I read her post, I saw she's easy to confuse. Just havin' some fun.
In all fairness believers do have an agenda, which is to justify their devotion to a belief system that has no basis in anything that is objectively verifiable.
as usual, he has no proof
when is cnn going to prevent further hacking?
Sounds like you're confusing believer with nonbeliever.
Non-believers are "slow to evolve"? Given that religious / magical thinking has been around since pre-historic times, it seems to me that believers are among the slowest of all to evolve.
Religion or "form of worship" (Greek threskeia) has impacted mankind since Adam's creation in the Garden of Eden over 6,000 years ago. Jesus refered to it as "the truth" at John 8:44 when speaking concerning Satan who seduced Eve into believing that she could be "like God, knowing good and bad."(Gen 3:5)
We were created to worship a "higher being", having spirituality, with Jesus saying: "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need."(Matt 5:3) The universe and all life is evidence that someone who is surpassingly greater than us exists and we as humans are an essential part of his "eternal purpose".
However, the churches have systematically failed in teaching their members "the truth" about who God is, what is "the truth" about where we came from, why we are here amd where we are going. In addition, such teachings as "hellfire" brings reproach on our Creator, Jehovah God, for it places him as a feind instead of a "God of love".(1 John 4:8) Moreover, the churches have not taught what the Bible really teaches, but have promoted their own ideology, incorporating Greek philosophy as well as distorting it.
So, if your assumption of religion is based on what you have seen in the churches, then you have a foundation for disbelieving the Bible. But if you really want to know "the truth" about life and how it started, where it is going and having a meaningful life, then a person should give time to seriously examine the Bible, setting aside bias or prejudice.
A very thorough examination of the bible with honestly, courage, and intelligence, turns the bible student into an atheist. The bible is patently false. Examining it closely and without bias proves it to be exactly what it is: a bunch of mashed up together fairy tales borrowed from various cultures and adapted as leaders at the time saw fit.
I am proud of you observer
You were created to worship a high being if your blood type tested POSITIVE for the RHesus Monkey Gene for that is the ONLY reason anyone's blood type would be either O+, A+, B+ or AB+. The (+) means your blood tested POSITIVE for the RH'esus Monkey Gene (RH+).The same breed Chimp sent up into Space by USA & Russia and is tested on by Scientist for Big Pharmaceuticals. This Life or Death FACT when it comes to Organ Donor, Blood Transfusion and Childbirth.
15% of us test(-) NEGATIVE for the antigen making us either O-, A-, B- or AB- (RH-) Basque make up the largest % of people that are RH-NEGATIVE.
Karl Landsteiner (Nobel Prize Winner)
So Dana, why do you believe that for which there is not a shred of evidence?
That's it hot air.
So much for not bearing false witness. What a load of hogwash.
I find it a waste of time to speak to believers. They can't prove or justify any of their beliefs and usually just start quoting scripture. I don't read the bible so how is quoting scripture going to help?
Yes, quoting Scripture has little merit if a person has no appreciation for the Bible. But upon a closer examination, the Bible has shown itself as reliable, accurate, both scientifically and prophetically as well as providing a high moral standard.
For example, how does the Bible harmonize with the scientific fact that the earth is suspended in space without seemingly nothing to hold it up ? Some 3, 600 years ago, long before Isaac Newton (1642-1727 C.E.) was able to determine that gravity kept planets and stars without any visible means of support, the Oriental man Job was able to say that God is "hanging the earth upon nothing".(Job 26:7)
How could it be known that all heavenly bodies have nothing that can be seen to support them ? Some 1,100 years after Job, Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) postulated that the earth was held up (or fixed to) by crystalline spheres, composed of a substance called ether.
And this concept was adhered to till Newton proposed his theory of gravity (in about 1680), which initially was met with a great deal of opposition (until Edmond Halley persuaded Newton to publish it in 1687). It was hard for scientifically minded men to envision that the earth as well as stars were not held in place by something substantial.
Also, though Pythagoras had suggested that the earth was round from his observation of the moon in about 500 B.C.E., some 200 years earlier a man named Isaiah wrote down that "there is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth." (Isa 40:22)
How was Isaiah able to know that the earth is like a "circle" long in advance of actual observation, such as when the Apollo astronauts confirmed that the earth was indeed round in July 1969 from their vantage point on the moon ? Does not this strongly suggest that the Bible has merit, and this is just two points in the scientific arena that the Bible is accurate. What else can be found ?
@TG (thank God??): I have one question: Are you absolutely nuts?? The Bible is accurate both scientifically and prophetically? Do you live on another planet?
The old adage "The proof is in the pudding" is always applicable. If you doubt the accuracy of the Bible, then how was a man named Job able to say with precision that "the earth hung upon nothing" (Job 26:7) some 3,600 years ago, since the most learned men even a thousand years later held to the belief that the earth was held up by elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle ?
Or how was a man named Isaiah able to say with certainty that the earth was a circle or "sphere" (Isa 40:22), since many early navigators believed that the earth was flat even up to Columbus time ? Regarding the shape of the earth, The Encyclopedia Americana says: “The earliest known image that men had of the earth was that it was a flat, rigid platform at the center of the universe. . . . The concept of a spherical earth was not widely accepted until the Renaissance _14th-16th centuries C.E.).”
Or if the Bible is so lacking in accuracy, then how was a man named David able to point toward our DNA at Psalms 139, saying: "Your eyes (God's) saw me as an embryo (conception to 56 days); All its parts (of our body) were written in your book (our DNA or set of instruction that builds who we are and keeps us that way), regarding the days when they were formed, before any of them existed (as a complete organ, but seemingly just a mass of tissue)" ? (Ps 139:16)
There is so much wrong with what you posted it's hard to know where to begin.
1st. The earth isn't "suspended" in space. Early man used what was intuitively obvious. Every object falls down. What they didn't understand is that down was toward the center of the Earth. In empty space there is no down. In relation to the space around it the Earth is weightless.But early man felt that the Earth (a very huge object) must be held up by something. The fact is that if the Earth was stationary and alone in space it would just sit there. And if it was in motion it would travel in a straight line at a constant rate. Both of which would be unfelt by an observer on the surface.
2nd. The notion that the Earth was flat wasn't universal at any time in the past. To many it was considered flat becuase it seems flat. But many early mariners knew that objects on the horizon slowly dipped below the surface indicating that the ocean surface was curved, not flat.
Also viewed from a high spot the horizon appears to end in a continuous circle around the observer giving the intuitive impression that the Earth is formed like a plate or disc. Round but not spherical which is more like the description in the Bible. If the text in the Bible indicated a ball, sphere or globe it would be more compelling evidence that the authors truly understood the true nature of the shape of the Earth.
You find fault with the words that "the earth is suspended in space without seemingly nothing to hold it up ". Yet, the website How It Works has an article with the question "How does our Solar System stay suspended in space ?"(May 25, 2012)
Therefore, the earth is without any visible means of support, a momentous detail that was brought to light some 3,600 years ago. (Job 26:7) How could an Oriental have known this since the view some 1000 years later spoke of the earth being supported by an elephant standing on the back of a giant turtle by the Greeks ? The Bible establishes why Job was able to say this with accuracy: "All Scripture is inspired of God."(2 Tim 3:16)
You seem pretty ignorant, rude, and close-minded, and just contradicted yourself. Great job, genius.
Peace be upon you all,
I would like to ask you following questions and I am interested to know your comments/answers on this:
1. Where did we come from?
2. Why are we here?
3. Where are we heading to?
If possible please specify the references of your answers… please think before you say something…
1. No one knows.
2. No one knows.
3. No one knows.
If we fail with our human intellectualls then lets step on the sources that we have...
Are you saying that since we have no answers, the answer defaults to "God" rather than "we don't know"?
Our knowledge is very limited comparing the entire universe… there might be some scientific calculation which of course based on the expectations or probability but not for sure…
Now, someone who for example Atheist – of course he will look for his scientific answer and will find nothing or max will say that we came from aps and enjoy here and die eventually that’s all… but they do not have any source or references for this…
Other than Atheist – they all have a book that they follow… so I was saying everyone to go and sit down with the book that you follow which you may think that this is True (other wise you will not follow if u think its false) and see if you find anything…
I do not buy those archaeologist comes up with an approximate number and they say this piece of stone or bone is millions or zillions of years… where they have no confirmation but the guess and lots of human out there buy this thoughts…
Mankind's knowledge of the universe is very limited, with theories being "restructured" or these being scrapped completely as advances in knowledge come forth. That is why it should be of interest that some 3,000 years before Isaac Newton determined that the planetary bodies did not need mechanical, tangible objects or substances to hold them aloft (but was held in place by gravity), that in the Bible, Job was inspired to say that our Creator, Jehovah God "is hanging the earth upon nothing."(Job 26:7)
Some 1,100 years after Job, Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) postulated that the earth was held up (or fixed to) by crystalline spheres, composed of a substance called ether. And this concept was adhered to till Newton proposed his theory of gravity, which initially was met with a great deal of opposition. It was hard for scientifically minded men to envision that the earth as well as stars were not held in place by something substantial.
Yet, what Job uttered has proven to be accurate. How could Job, a wealthy business man but a follower of Jehovah God, say this so far in advance of his time ? Because he was directed by God's holy spirit to do so, providing evidence that the Bible is "inspired of God."(2 Tim 3:16)
"I do not buy those archaeologist comes up with an approximate number and they say this piece of stone or bone is millions or zillions of years… where they have no confirmation but the guess and lots of human out there buy this thoughts…"
Rather than foolishly dismiss this as a "guess", do some actual research. Carbon dating is based on the mathematically shown deterioration of carbon-14 isotopes in decaying matter. Looking at facts would help you a lot. You certainly won't find any science and math in a Bible.
The use of carbon-14 to date an object (up to 50,000 years) rests on a presumption that the decay process has not been altered in any way. The website hyperphysics.phy-astr, says that "carbon dating is a variety of radioactive dating which is applicable only to matter which was once living and presumed to be equilibrium with the atmosphere." It further says: "Presuming the rate of production of carbon-14 to be constant, the activity of a sample can be directly compared to the equilibrium activity of living matter and the age calculated."
To presume or believe that something is true without sound evidence can cause great miscalculations. If you were involved in a court case where your life was on the line, you surely would not want any presumptions if you knew that you were innocent.
Over fifty years ago, G. Ernest Wright in The Biblical Archaeology (1955, p 46) said: "It may be noted that the new Carbon 14 method of dating ancient remains has not turned out to be as free from error as had been hoped....Certain runs have produced obviously wrong results, probably for a number od reasons. At the moment, one can depend upon the results without question only when several runs have been made which give virtually identical results and when the date seems correct from other methods of computation."
And the 1976 edition of The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Macropaedia, Vol 5, pg 508) stated: "Whatever the case....it is clear that carbon-14 dates lack the accuracy that traditional historians would like them to have."
"I do not buy those archaeologist comes up with an approximate number and they say this piece of stone or bone is millions or zillions of years"
Do you trust that atomic clocks are accurate?
TG, Science has, at its disposal, hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to date most materials. Carbon 14 is only one method of the hundreds or thousands available (depending on the substance). Carbon 14 radiometric is extremely accurate when it is used properly, but regardless, because there are ways to check the dating with other tools, scientists can give a fairly good estimate of the age of the material.
You are far, far too biased to be honest with yourself and do the real research. You, like many other biased believers, believe you have found an excuse to dismiss ALL the ways that science has to date a material. And I've always found that with believers, whether they are explain some stupidity in the bible or some contradiction or something like carbon 14: Any excuse will do.
Are you such a lazy, pathetic believer as to not do the research required to find out how right or wrong you are? Are you so pitiful as to use the "any excuse will do" explanation that most of your fellow believers use? Really?
But it can be known Where did we come from ?, for the Bible book of Genesis gives insight of the origin of the universe (Gen 1:1) and where man came from, showing that our Creator, Jehovah God, formed "the man from the dust from the ground, and (blew) into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul."(Gen 2:7) Later, the woman named Eve was created, becoming Adam's wife as "one flesh".(Gen 2:20-24)
Yet, many of the churches accede to the belief of evolution, giving it some credit (such as the the Catholic church's Pontifical Academy of Sciences). But the Bible clearly establishes that nothing of the sort occurred ( for evolution is a mindless theory ). Rather, it took a Supreme Designer to conceive and bring to reality all the universe, for "every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God."(Heb 3:4)
As to Why are we here ?, again the Genesis account establishes that man was created to live on the earth forever. At Genesis 1:28, God gave Adam and Eve this mandate: "Be fruitful and become and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth." They and their descendants were to be caretakers of the earth for all eternity. Did this change when Adam sinned ? No.
At Isaiah 45, it says: "For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, He the true God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, He the One who firmly established it, who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited."(Isa 45:18)
The earth is mankind's home, in which those who are "meek" or submits to Jehovah's rulership will forever enjoy life. Jesus reaffirmed this by saying: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."(Matt 5:5, KJV)
Thus, Where are we heading to ? is seen in Jesus words to the evil-doer beside him who wanted Jesus to remember him: "Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise."(Luke 23:43) Jesus affirmed that the earth is to be transformed into a paradise, as God originally purposed when he placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
At that time, "the tent of God is with (meek) mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples.....And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain (of heart) be anymore. The former things have passed away."(Rev 21:3, 4)
"As to Why are we here ?, again the Genesis account establishes that man was created to live on the earth forever."
LMAO! That will not happen our milky-way and another milky-way will eventually collide and life on earth may not survive. At the rate we are using up the resources on this planet it's very apparent it will not sustain us all, which is why thousands of people and animals are starving to death every day.
That is exactly what he is saying.
The religious always use that whole "where did we come from" meme to justify their sky friend's existence.
It used to be lightning and earthquakes and other natural stuff as their justification for their magic man.
But science figured those out, plus a bunch of other things.
In fact, science has pushed them all the way back 13.5 billion years to the big bang as their justification for god.
Face it, they will never ever give up their addiction to their fairy tale.
Has science accurately figured where we came from ? Some scientists (and others in the scientific field, such as astrophysicists, astrobiologists, chemists, etc) have hypothesized or postulated or theorized that we are a product of evolution. What does the evidence reveal ?
Let see how much of a "fairy tale" that revolve around the building blocks of life – proteins. Proteins are made up from 50 to several thousand amino acids (of which there are both left-handed and right-handed ones, but proteins only used "left-handed" ones). What are the odds of a protein forming at random, without "outside help" ? One chance in a million billion (and that's looking at it favorably).
However, researchers (such as Hubert P. Yockey who supports evolution) goes further in saying that "it is impossible that the origin of life was ' proteins first.' " Why ? Because RNA (ribonucleic acid) is required to make proteins, yet proteins are involved in the production of RNA. So how could both come about accidentally at the same time and at the same place and not die before a cell formed, which requires some 2,000 proteins for it to function. Needing some 2,000 proteins raises the stakes for life to come about by theoretical evolution within just the cell itself. How much ? 10 followed by 40, 000 zeroes.
Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), British astrophysicist, clearly recognized this as impossible, with him once stating that this is "the same as the chance of throwing an uninterrupted sequence of 50,000 sixes with unbiased dice!” (The Intelligent Universe, F. Hoyle, 1983, pages 11-12, 17, 23)
Hence, is it a "fairy tale" to consider that there has to be a Supreme Designer of the universe and its life ? The odds points to an Almighty Creator that made the universe and with its myriads of life on the earth. The Bible identifies him as Jehovah.(Isa 42:5)
Science doesn't take worthless answers such as "big invisible sky wizard chanted magic spellzzzz to make everything!" Instead, we scientists are honest and admit that we don't know and are still looking. If you want answers with zero verifiability that are merely believed by "faith" that any religion uses, then go for it. We who use our intellect don't want you on our side. Go believe in your fairies.
1. We all come from the source of all and everything
2. We came here to see the show of life in the physical realm.
3. Wherever your actions take you. Usually endless cycles of birth and rebirth until you long to go back to the source.
So what is the "source of all and everything" ? The Bible answers that by saying: "O Jehovah, your loving-kindness is in the heavens.....For with you is the source of life."(Ps 36:5, 9) And in the Bible book of Revelation, it says: "You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created."(Rev 4:11)
There is, however, no "endless cycles of birth and rebirth" as taught by Hindus. Before we were conceived in the womb, we did not exist. But once we were conceived, we were unique among mankind. In the Bible book of Romans, it says that concerning a set of twins, Jacob and Esau, that "when they had not been born nor practiced anything good or vile".(Rom 9:10, 11)
And once we die, we again no longer exist, for Ecclesiastes 9:5 says: "For the living are conscious that they will die, but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all."
Thus, our life comes from Jehovah God, and can only be extended forever if we come to "love Jehovah your God with your whole heart, whole soul and whole mind".(Matt 22:37)
What bible version are you using? I'm familiar with Ecclesiastes and that doesn't seem like any translation I've ever read.
Just so you know, your writing skills convince me that you are too intelligent to continue to be roped in by such a stupid god belief as you now hold. Start investigating without bias: with honesty and courage, and follow the facts and the logic. It took me researching the bible for over two decades with multiple readings of the bible and thousands of other apologists and theologians, but I finally became convinced that the bible is pure myth. You can do it too.
Where did we come from?
If current cosmology is to be believed, all the particles of our bodies were created in an instant around 13.5Billion years ago.
Those particles became atoms. Those atoms went through a few iterations of stars which exploded, creating larger atoms. Then those coalesced to become our sun and its surrounding planets.
Our planet, and it's sisters Mars and Venus, were in the habitable zone of our sun's energy, and so either of the 3 could have developed life. Earth did. The others took a different path–they both may have developed life, but it is now likely long extinct. The life on Earth evolved over billions of years–we are a product of that continuing evolution?
Why are we here?
Biologically, we are here to reproduce. Philosophically, we must find our own purpose. If you don't know yours, work harder at it.
Where are we going? We should continue to evolve–hopefully, evolving both biologically and technologically to a point where we can leave our tiny planet and venture out into the greater universe–there evolving in myriad ways to survive and flourish. Otherwise, we as a species will die on this world, either though some natural or man-made disaster, or in a billion or so years when our sun begins to heat up beyond the bonding capacity of our biological proteins, and we fry.
Now, this explanation does NOT preclude a Deity. God may or may not exist external to our universe. I believe that periodically there are GREAT TEACHERS who gather the finest ideas of their day and find a way to repurpose or change those teachings to evolve the society to which they are born. I also believe their Great Teachings soon after the Master's death become perverted by others to enslave rather than free the minds of humanity. If following one of these Great Teachers brings you comfort and makes you a better person, GREAT. If Religion leaves you judgmental and hidebound, then perhaps you have missed the point of the Lesson.
Where did we come from ? When one closely examines life without bias or prejudice, many will acknowledge that it could not have come about accidentally, that we are a product theoretical evolution, that atoms just assembled themselves into "working units".
Here are some "fast facts" to consider. A protein is made up from as few as 50 to several thousand amino acids, of which there are both left-handed and right-handed ones, but proteins only use "left-handed" ones. And what are the odds of a single protein forming randomly ? One chance in a million billion.
However, for proteins (remember the odds of just one protein) to exist requires that RNA (ribonucleic acid) also exist at the same time and in the same place, for RNA is needed to make proteins, yet proteins are involved in the production of RNA. So how could both have come about by accident in the same place and at the same time ?
But there is more, for researchers have learned that for a cell (not even for an organ much less the complete body ) to survive, three things must work together – DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA and proteins. What conclusion can we draw from this ? That the odds for a cell to have come accidentally is beyond the threshold of happening by itself.
There is more. Within a cell are some 2,000 proteins that are used as enzymes. What are the odds of these arriving at random ? Some 30 years ago, Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), British astrophysicist, said that it was 10 followed by 40, 000 zeroes. He also said that this is "the same as the chance of throwing an uninterrupted sequence of 50,000 sixes with unbiased dice!” (The Intelligent Universe, F. Hoyle, 1983, pages 11-12, 17, 23) Thus, many have concluded that life did not arise at random, but is the product of a Supreme Designer, which the Bible names as Jehovah.(Ps 83:18)
I come from the father from the stars from heaven
I am here to learn and teach and help if you would like.
I am going back to the stars and to the father who is the creator when I am done.
I have life and I have a purpose
I hope you find yours.
You sound like a cicada.
And you know this because...?
I just threw up from your revoltingly cheesy post. Ew!
1. We come from the crystal child republic. A distant galactic memory in time.
2. We are here to heal the crystal of togetherness with love
3. We transcend thorugh space and time to reach Zion-
1. The stars.
2. Make your own reason.
3. Improve upon our species and become an intergalactic society, traverse the stars and join the community of the universe.
"Improve upon our species and become an intergalactic society, traverse the stars and join the community of the universe."
If there is anyone on the "community of the universe" I see no reason to believe they'd want us to be part of it.
1.) Carbon atoms/star dust
2.) There may be no reason at all.
Source science journals.
As far our atomic composition, we are made up of "stardust" from exploding supernovas (as noted by Lawrence Krauss, an American theoretical physicist, and Robert Kirshner, Harvard College Professor of Astronomy). But how did these atoms coalesce into humans, so that there is a male and a female, both in humans and animals, as well the plant kingdom ?
However, for life to exist, the atoms have to combine to form amino acids first to make a protein, which is made up from as few as 50 to several thousand amino acids (which by the way are all "left-handed" ones; no "right-handed" ones allowed, that must be bound together in a highly specific order). So, starting with the basic "building block of life", the protein, what are the odds of a single protein arising accidentally ? One in a million billion.
Yet, for proteins to exist requires RNA (ribonucleic acid), while at the same time proteins are involved in the production of RNA. Both RNA and proteins can exist only within a living cell. So how could both come about at the same time and in the same place so as to work together and still survive outside a cell (that obviously does not exist yet) ? And do not forget about the need for DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, our "blueprint" or set of instructions ).
Thus, many have concluded that life could not have come about accidentally, but required a Supreme Designer, that purposely formed life in all its biodiversity as well put into place the laws that govern the universe and all life. The Bible book of Genesis provides details in chapter 1 and names who our Designer is at Genesis 2:4 as Jehovah God.
1. Where did we come from? Our parents
2. Why are we here? Our parents had s3x
3. Where are we heading to? In my case, home after work.
Man, that was easy.
"2. Why are we here? Our parents had s3x"
How do you know this? Were you watching? 😉
I was inside looking out 🙂
We all naturally have come from our parents, but who were our original parents and where did they come from ? How did humans come into existence ? And what about the entire ecological system of things, that works in harmony with us as humans for life to exist, from our atmosphere at 78 % nitrogen, 21 % oxygen down to the magnetosphere that comes from within the core of the earth and protects us from the sun's damaging electrically charged particles ? How did all these necessary "systems" come about so as to make not just human life possible, but all the biodiversity of life that is in every "nook and cranny" of the earth ?
For example, what are the odds of a protein, that is necessary for a cell to function and called the "building block of life", coming about at random ? One chance in a million billion. What are the chances of atoms collecting together to form the simplest self-reproducing cell ? In his book A Guided Tour of the Living Cell (1984), Nobel Prize-winning scientist Christian de Duve admits: “If you equate the probability of the birth of a bacterial cell to that of the chance assembly of its component atoms, even eternity will not suffice to produce one for you.”
That being the case, then how did all life come into existence, not counting the details concerning the earth required to sustain life ? For instance, if the earth were slightly larger, hydrogen, a light gas, could not escape into the atmosphere at its prescribed rate (due to an increase in the earth's gravitational field), and over time would build up and cause life to cease. Or if the earth were slightly smaller (and lower gravitational field), then surface water and oxygen would escape into outer space, eventually rendering the earth lifeless.
Only the Bible provides the answer as to where we came from, for it says that this "is the utterance of Jehovah, the One who is stretching out the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth and forming the spirit of man inside him."(Zech 12:1)
@mzh....................... Those three questions you asked are part of the problem. Probably no one can really answer them in a way that will satisfy you or anyone. If people would spend more time worrying about now, instead of where they come from, why they are here or where they might end up, we could tackle the issues that have a negative impact on society. Those issues are pure speculation. Now is reality.
The three questions of Where did we come from ?, Why we are here ?, and Where are we heading to ? are valid questions that need answers. However, without carefully examining the Bible, any conclusions drawn would generate an error.
Man-made hypothesis of where we came from, such as from evolution (saying that proteins formed in a "prebiotic soup" and then "joining hands” with DNA, so that eventually a living cell is born), is not satisfying nor does it provide logical answers as to how the quality of love came about nor a conscience, that literally means "co-knowledge" in Greek.
On the other hand, the Bible gives a satisfying and logical answer at Genesis 1:1, which says: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The rest of the chapter provides a chronological layout as to how all life arose on the earth over the course of six “creative” days (each “creative” day being several thousand years long), and in which at the end of the 6th “creative” day God now looks upon his handiwork and says that it “very good.”(Gen 1:31)
At Genesis 2:7, at the end of the sixth “creative” day, it says that our Creator, Jehovah, “proceeded to form the man out of the dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul” or a breather. Fish and other sea creatures were created on the 5th “creative” day, while land animals were made during the 6th “creative” day, with man being God’s final act of creation on the earth.(Gen 1:26)
At Genesis 1:28, it defines why God made man and woman and placed them on the earth: “Further, God blessed them and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.” Jehovah gave man the assignment of taking care of the earth forever.(Isa 45:18)
This also answers where mankind is heading, for Jesus told the evil-doer beside him on the torture stake that he would be resurrected to a paradise.(Luke 23:43) However, only “meek” ones, those who allow themselves to be taught by God will be permitted to live everlastingly on the paradise earth.(Ps 37:11, 29)
"1. Where did we come from?"
No one knows, yet. Apparently people who believe in God can't accept this reality so they fabricate an answer out of thin air to explain it. Even though there is no reason to believe any of the god narratives, billions of people throughout history have chosen to embrace any of thousands of such narratives because a comforting fairytale is preferable to a harsh true.
Though many agree with you, saying that "No one knows, yet", nonetheless, we can know where we came from. There are various theories that have been postulated, such as evolution (whereby there is no unanimity even among evolutionist and is often stated as a fact rather than a speculative theory). Ignoring looking for an answer is like trying to ignore a pebble in your shoe – you can continue walking, but your journey won't be a happy one.
Many people believe in God simply because it is the most plausible and realistic explanation as well the overwhelming evidence of his existence. And examining the Genesis account shows itself to be logical, starting with the words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
As opposed to evolution that gives guesses and hypothesis, the 1st chapter of Genesis lays out how the earth was prepared for human habitation, in a logical, coherent and chronological way, just as when a builder lays the foundation for a home and proceeds to build it in an orderly fashion.
And some 4,000 years later, a lawyer told an audience in Athens, Greece, that God "made out of one man every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed times and the set limits of the dwelling of men."(Acts 17:26)
Hence, we can know where we came from, our original forefather being the 1st man Adam.(Gen 3:20) And it will depend upon us as to where we are personally going, be it life in a paradise earth forever (Rev 21:3-5) or return to ground from which we came when we die, having been just a speck in the time line of history.(Gen 3:19)
"2. Why are we here?"
There is no grand purpose to our existence. Like every other life form on the planet our purpose is to ensure the continued existence of our specie and in particular, those like us. This is why over the course of thousands of years of recorded human history there have been less than 200 years without war as we have fought for resources, security, dominance, and so on.
Hitler justified his attempt to conquer Russia saying Germany needed "lebensraum" (German for "living space") for its people. We fight wars, commit genocide, and are quick to demonize those are not in our group to justify denying them rights, power, and resources.
We call these phenomena racism, bigotry, nationalism, religious intolerance, political partisanship and so on, but at their core they are all nothing more than attempts to maintain a position of power over those who are not like us to maximize the survival of those who are like us.
This is why the notion of genocide is so repugnant to people, unless they're the ones benefitting from it. Many would say the darkest event in human history was the Nazi's attempt to systematically bring about the extinction of the Jewish people.
If the purpose of our existence were to learn to know God, return to God, or some such thing human history would be nothing like it is.
You have a valid complaint, for throughout history, man has been at war with his fellow man, in which Solomon wrote some 3,000 years ago, "that man has dominated man to his injury."(Ecc 7:9) And the churches of Christendom have often been at the forefront of promoting such wars for the last 1,700 years. And especially since after the global deluge of Noah's day in 2370 B.C.E., religion has played a major role in nations fighting against one another.
However, God is not at fault with "man dominating man to his injury", but rather it is the result of mankind being under the manipulative control of an unseen former spirit "son of God", who is controlling the reigns of the world, along with demonic co-horts.(Rev 12:9)
Because he is not seeable, most of the masses of people discount his existence. But neither is cell phone signals able to be seen, but we can see its work just as we can see the work of air, especially during a tornado or hurricane.
If we consider "why are we here" from a human viewpoint, from the theoretical views of astro-biologists, astronomers, astro-physicists, that perhaps we arrived through an evolutionary idea, and that our fate will be eventually of the sun becoming a red giant that will consume the earth and all life, then we will always be confused or lost. This makes life purposeless, for we might as well enjoy life now "for tomorrow we are to die."(1 Cor 15:32)
On the other hand, when the Bible is brought into the picture, what do find ? That we are the intentional result of a loving Creator (Isa 42:5), who purposed for those that love him to live permanently on an earthly paradise, being at peace with the animals (Isa 11:6-9) as well never getting sick (Rev 21:4) nor will there be wars that you noted but total harmony, for Psalms 46 says that Jehovah God is "making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow (the weapon used some 3,000 years ago) he breaks apart and does cut the spear into pieces; The wagons (used in warfare) he burns in the fire."(Ps 46:9)
Hence, the question of "why are we here" is that "meek" or those teachable by God may live on a paradise earth forever (Matt 5;5), having fulfilling work everlastingly among others who are now one big family globally.(Isa 65:21-23)
"3. Where are we heading to?"
I'm in my livingroom not headed anywhere. If you want a different answer ask a more specific question.
Santa Claus left me in my parent's stocking one Christmas because he was out of coal.
Where did we come from? how far back and how sweeping do you want to go? if its the human species.....we are but a single branch of primates in the great ape family...Like gorillas and orangutans – we are the product of an evolutionary chain that included compet itors like Cro magnon, and Neanderthal – just like any other animal species. our compet itors also had sophisticated brains – ours was just a hair bit quicker, with better reasoning- match that with our long arms and you have a creature that can kill from a distance more often (tools, or more sophisticated tools). All three species each had forerunners that you can trace back to Ho mo Habilis. We will most likely end prematurely – with ourselves as the cause but the evolution of our species with continue up to that point.
why are we here? see above...we are a successful species so far..like the various types of bears, sharks....but we may prove ourselves to be a dead end branch as well.
Where are we going? That my friend is entirely up to us... the human race is in the process of blowing it....maybe if a follow on of say ,the Cro Magnon had been allowed to rise..such a creature might have had the mental wherewithal to clear supersti tion at a faster clip.
@mzh, you have successfully chosen three unanswered questions. Men have made up answers to all three, countless times, in countless ways, and have written down all their made up answers.
Do you suggest that we go to these "sources", and find our answers within? Because that will only tell us what man thinks the answers are.
If you're willing to accept people's guesses as though they are truth, then your search is complete.
I'm not, so mine isn't.
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
-There is no purpose, life is just programed to stay alive, it can and it will take advantage of any other form of life to achieve that goal, survival of the fittest, again refer to any college level biology text
Where are we heading to?
Refer to the answer to your second question.
I believe in science and as the humans evolve there are more answers to the origin of everything. Now lets look at the answer from the opposite side, the creationists explanation for the universe is "Let There Be Light" in a mere 4 words you explain everything in the universe; if you want to believe in that then be my guest but this is outright comical and absurd.
Religion and god is a by product of fear, Isn't killing people in the name of God from the beginning of man kind up to now a pretty good definition of insanity.
Religion and god is often used as a justification of prohibition and Silences Free Speech and stops humans to seek for real answers.
If one takes the premise that we are the result of an evolutionary trail, then life will be purposeless, for these ones live only from the cradle to the grave of perhaps some 70 to 80 years, and then their life has ended, as they view it. How long, though, does a person want to live ? Does anyone really want to die, perhaps coming down with some loathsome illness or disease, slowly withering away until your vital functions cease ? Are we really "just programmed to stay alive", like an animal ?
This viewpoint is far from new, for some of the ancient Greeks felt the same way, with the man named Epicurus (341-270 B.C.E.) espousing this thought. Hence, a following came from him called the Epicureans, who said: "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die", denying any hope of coming back to life.
Epicurus taught the idea that pleasure of the individual was the sole good in life, though he also believed in the existence of gods, whom they felt did not create the universe, nor inflict punishment or bestow blessings, but that they were disinterested in what man was doing.
He advocated living in such a way as to derive the greatest amount of pleasure possible during one's lifetime, yet being moderate, with more emphasis being placed on pleasures of the mind rather than physical pleasures. Hence, those who pursued Epicurean thought had no real purpose in life, just live for today, "for tomorrow we are to die."(from the Bible at 1 Cor 15:32)
However, there is evidence that there is a Creator, who makes life truly fulfilling and purposeful. For example, consider the molecular level, a protein (being called the "fundamental building block of life"), with some 20 different amino acids (called proteinogenic, meaning "protein building") folded in a specific three-dimensional arrangement that are guided by the subtle interaction of the protein with water.
There are both right-handed (non-proteinogenic) and left-handed amino acids (how they are "twisted"), but only left-handed ones (proteinogenic) are the ones used for proteins and are placed in a highly specific arrangement to form a protein. The average functional protein in a "simple" cell contains 200 amino acids (from the 20 different types). What though are the odds of a protein containing just 100 amino acids forming accidentally ? It has been calculated as one chance in a million billion.
But this is for only one protein. What about the 2,000 proteins serving as enzymes within a cell ? What now are the odds of these arising by chance ? Some years ago, it was estimated at 10 followed by 40,000 zeroes and in which British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) once stated that this is "the same as the chance of throwing an uninterrupted sequence of 50,000 sixes with unbiased dice!” (The Intelligent Universe, F. Hoyle, 1983, pages 11-12, 17, 23)
What conclusion does reason dictate ? That life came about accident or the intentional product of a Supreme Creator ?
An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?," as he smiled smugly.
"Okay," she said. "Those could be interesting topics, but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"
The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don't know sh-t?"
And then she went back to reading her book.
An Priest was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know," said the Priest. "How about God, or Heaven or Hell, or life after death?," as he smiled smugly.
"Okay," she said. "Those could be interesting topics, but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"
The priest, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don't know sh-t?"
And then she went back to reading her book.
This is the version I have heard before.
The answer is simple: Varying biological degrees of digestion, chemical secretions, and of course diet. Horses are not ruminants, rather monogastric (one stomach) animals; and deer do not generally eat grass rather leaves and fruit.
A mystery solved again by rational people wanting to find an answer instead of conjuring up an excuse for ignorance.
Yet another for you Maani:
Fame and honours brought a stream of enquiries about Darwin's religious views, leading him to comment "Half the fools throughout Europe write to ask me the stupidest questions." He sometimes retorted sharply, "I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God", and at other times was more guarded, telling a young count studying with Haeckel that "Science has nothing to do with Christ; except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself I do not believe that there ever has been any Revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting va gue probabilities." He declined a request by the Archbishop of Canterbury to join a 'Private Conference' of devout scientists to harmonise science and religion, for he saw "no prospect of any benefit arising" from it
From religious views of Charles Darwin from Wiki.
My personal View is that he was an affable man, and also a man of his time...you didn't make a point of outright denying God in the 19th century. funny how you focus on his early career, while ignoring his later life.
wow– they all caught up and these are blown replys –sorry
Replies, not replys.
thank you – I slip up every now and then.
Open up a dictionary and just cut loose –misspell every word...really get under the pretentious azzes skin.
that'd take too long ... give him a cookie, a gold star and done.
Thank you. It was a good cookie. I gave away the star.
y don't atheists condemn hitler?
I hereby condemm Hitler. There see, we do!
as much as pat robertson?
let's see some examples. go ahead
Why do trolls like you ask such stupid questions?
Skytag, go to bed befor you burn out and go supernova.
"Fame and honours brought a stream of enquiries about Darwin's religious views, leading him to comment "Half the fools throughout Europe write to ask me the stupidest questions." He sometimes retorted sharply, "I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God", and at other times was more guarded, telling a young count studying with Haeckel that "Science has nothing to do with Christ; except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself I do not believe that there ever has been any Revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting va gue probabilities." He declined a request by the Archbishop of Canterbury to join a 'Private Conference' of devout scientists to harmonise science and religion, for he saw "no prospect of any benefit arising" from it"
From Religious Views of Charles Darwin – wiki.
Having issues with the blog today...
I do NOT belong to any religion, because I DO think.
However, for all the atheists on these opinion/belief boards that troll, day and night, telling people that they are trying to make the world a better place by knocking down anything that resembles a belief...they are doing NOTHING.
If you're an atheist and you THINK you want to make a difference consider this: You have this life, and this life ONLY. Live it. get out there and get off your computer and make your ONE life all that it can be, but stop being hypocrites doing nothing but trolling and attacking people. You are making the world a worse place to live; a place that you have to eventually go out into and be greeted by people as nasty as you've made them.
Good luck with that....
NIce of you to judge and attack a lot of people you don't know. Feel better about yourself now?
we must do a better job proving what fine upstanding people we are. the two other atheists who are responsible for all the other post here, do not represent the typical upstanding non-believer.
You can't defend someone's actions by pointing to the actions of another person. Furthermore, isn't it pretty lame to justify the behavior of a Christian by telling me what atheists do? I thought Christians were supposed to be Christ-like, not atheist-like.
@Henryo what's funny is you're spamming the board with this same post over and over, so include yourself in that rant hypocrite.
Aintchoo the one who keeps trash talking people about doin their women??
Hey are you going to post this on every new page just like you did yesterday when you posted as "Colin"? I've seen you trashing people here befire, so basically you're beeing a wee bit of a hypocrite.
If only we could all be like you Henryo!
@Maani: Actually, our discussion reminds me of high end "audiophile" products. I don't know how familiar you are with high end audio products, but there's a whole class of extremely pricey products that purport to offer substantial improvements to the sound in your audio system. This is a world of power cords that can cost a grand and speaker cables that cost tens of thousands of dollars a pair.
This is a world of multi-thousand dollar devices that demagnetize CDs and vinyl albums, power strips that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and a wide variety of silly gadgets and doodads that sell for absurd amounts of money. Consider this excerpt from a review I found online:
"The Branda has a more lively sound with very deep and wide soundstaging. Bass is wetter than the Gold with extension and bloom. The human voice remains full, but with texture and detail that is obscured by the Gold. High frequencies are more prominent and have excellent extension and projection. Interestingly, cymbals sound warmer on the Branda, with a more golden metallic sheen. Microdetails and dynamics are both excellent."
The Branda is a power cord. You know, the thing you plug into the wall? Reviews like this are common when dealing with high end stuff. Lots of adjectives whose meaning is incomprehensibly subjective, such as "wetter" bass. What the hell does that even mean? How does sound have a "more golden metallic sheen?"
And these guys always swear these things make a huge difference. Just spend a grand on a power cord and you'll hear things in your music you never heard before.
Ditto if you spend $500+ on a CD demagnetizer to demagnetize something that has no ferrous material in it. Or $2700 for the Furutech DeMag, which will demagnetize vinyl albums as well as CDs and anything else that will fit on its platter.
If you're not familiar with the world of snake oil audiophile products you can't imagine the stupid stuff they sell people for ungodly amounts of money swearing it will make your audio system sound better than you ever thought possible. This has to be one of my all time favorites:
"Brilliant Pebbles is a unique and comprehensive system for tuning the room and audio system based on special physical properties of highly symmetrical crystal structures. Brilliant Pebbles has been evolving since its introduction 6 years ago at the London HI Fi Show, especially the number of applications, many of which were discovered by our customers. Brilliant Pebbles addresses specific resonance control and RFI/EMI absorption problems associated with audio electronics, speakers and cables, as well as acoustic wave problems associated with the listening room boundaries and the 3-dimensional space within the boundaries. Brilliant Pebbles comprises a number of precious and semi-precious stones (crystals) selected for their effectiveness. The original glass bottles for Brilliant Pebbles have been replaced by clear zip lock bags, which have a more linear response than glass. We employ a number of highly-specialized, proprietary techniques in the preparation/assembly of Brilliant Pebbles to enhance the crystals' inherent characteristics. The fundamental operating principle of Brilliant Pebbles involves a number of atomic mechanisms in the crystals. Brilliant Pebbles will enhance the performance of your audio system so your favorite music and even your experience playing online fantasy games will become a mind blowing auditory experience."
For the low, low price of $129 you can get a zip-lock bag containing about a dozen polished rocks that will provide these amazing benefits:
"On the floor in room corners, Large size Brilliant Pebbles reduces comb filter effects caused by very high sound pressure levels that develop in the corners when music is playing – as much as 3 or 4 times higher than the average sound pressure level in the room!! The Large size Brilliant Pebbles is also effective on tube amp Output Transformers; on top of speaker cabinets; and on armboards of turntables. Other effective locations include on top of Tube Traps; on side walls at the first reflection points; on the wall behind the listener position at points of high pressure; or anywhere in the 3 dimensional space of the room where a sharp rise in sound pressure relative to the average sound pressure in the room is measured using a test tone and sound pressure meter. Price $129 each."
I am not making this up.
There is never any objective evidence this stuff has any noticeable effect on sound reproduction. Nothing using oscilloscopes, meters, or any other kind of objective test equipment, it's all personal testimony and untestable subjective flowery accolades.
In other words, they sound just like religious believers, claiming how wonderful things will be for you if you'll just buy into their wholly unsupported claims and promises. Go ahead, spend $129 on a bag of rocks because someone swears they'll perform miracles, and then when you can't hear a difference you can rationalize your ears must not be good enough or your audio system isn't good enough or some such thing. It's no different than rationalizing your prayers aren't answered because you don't have enough faith.
The religious who fall for the fairy tale spend a whole lot more then a few thousands of dollars.
Religion is the biggest, longest running and most lucrative scam that has ever been invented.
Religion has been used for millenniums to deceive the masses, going back to the time of Nimrod, over 4, 200 years ago. Ancient Babylon became the focal point for much of false religion to originate.(Gen 10:10; Jer 50:2) However, when Adam and Eve were created, no false religion existed, only total peace and harmony. The truth about our Creator, Jehovah God, was not infiltrated with religious lies at that time.
This changed with the rebellion in the Garden of Eden, for the "serpent", who was later identified as Satan the Devil (Rev 12:9), told the first lie, and began a legacy of lies.(Gen 3:1-6) Jesus called him "the father of the lie."(John 8:44) False religion became a way of dispensing lies about God, whereby the truth about God began to be adulterated.
And especially after the Noachian Flood, did false religion take a leap, with false religious doctrines and practices such as the trinity, immortality of the soul, that God torments people in a "hellfire", the establishment of a clergy class, the teaching of "personal salvation" as more important than the sanctification of God's name of Jehovah (Matt 6:9), the sitting in a church while a religious leader preaches a sermon, but the "flock" is not required to do anything more, except put money when the basket is passed.
On the other hand, the one true religion that has existed since the creation of God's Son (Rev 3:14; John 4:22), will remain forever. Soon, all false religion, going by the name of Babylon the Great (Rev 17:5), will be toppled to its destruction by the political governments.(Rev 17:16)
When "the dust settles", and everything that is in opposition to Jehovah's sovereignty (including death) has been destroyed, then the one true religion will remain standing.(1 Cor 15:24) "Meek" or teachable ones by God will then enjoy life forever in perfection on a paradise earth.(Ps 37:11, 29)
Any Christian who suggests that their prayers were not answered because they did not have enough faith is a pretty uninformed Christian. The answering of prayers is not dependent on the amount of faith one has; never has been, never will be. "Simple" prayers may be answered where "fervent" prayers are not, and vice versa. It is God's decision whether to answer any particular prayer, and it is based on His Will, not ours.
@Maani: "Any Christian who suggests that their prayers were not answered because they did not have enough faith is a pretty uninformed Christian."
I've heard Christians propose that to explain why someone's prayers weren't answered.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
"The answering of prayers is not dependent on the amount of faith one has; never has been, never will be. "Simple" prayers may be answered where "fervent" prayers are not, and vice versa. It is God's decision whether to answer any particular prayer, and it is based on His Will, not ours."
There is no objective any evidence any prayer ever uttered has been answered.
Look, we've been going at this for a while now and all you've ever been able to do is regurgitate stock Christian explanations. Trying to reason with brainwashed drones such as yourself is tiresome.
Are you always this slow of a learner? I think I explained pretty clearly that regurgitating stock Christian explanations I know as well as you is a waste of time. I already know them. You haven't told me a single thing I haven't heard a dozen times or more. Remember, I'm 58 and was a Christian for four decades. It's highly unlikely you can come up with any explanation I haven't heard and even used myself back when I was a Christian.
What will it take to get it through your head that all of your explanations are premised on the assumption that there is a God, which you have failed to demonstrate is the case, and many of them are premised on the assumption that the Christian narrative is the correct one, which you also can't demonstrate to be the case.
You have a belief system. The fact that it's a relatively comprehensive set of beliefs and the fact that you are reasonably well versed in them is not proof anything in it is true. You don't seem to be able to grasp this reality. Instead of dealing with the real challenge you just plow ahead, responding with this kind of stuff which is completely worthless until such time as you can show the premises on which it is based are true.
But then, we both know you can't do that, don't we? And of course we both know you have set of canned excuses for why that isn't a problem. Unfortunately for you, I'm not buying your excuses. I don't need them; any of them. I have one simple answer that covers all of them: There is no God.
Prayers are dependent upon faith and sincerity for them to be answered by our Creator, Jehovah God. At Isaiah 1, God told the nation of Israel: "And when you spread out your palms, I hide my eyes from you. Even you make many prayers, I am not listening; with bloodshed your very hands have become filled."(Isa 1:15)
This rules out the prayers of the churches of Christendom who have prayed in behalf of their particular nation during wartime, such as when German Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter in September 1939 at the outbreak of WWII that said: "In this decisive hour we admonish our Catholic soldiers to do their duty in obedience to the Fuehrer (Hitler) and to be ready to sacrifice their whole individuality. We appeal to the Faithful (German Catholics) to join in ardent prayers that Divine Providence may lead this war to success."(New York Times, Sept. 25, 1939)
But a British flying officer, David Walker, in a conversation with a Catholic priest during World War II asked: "You know, padre, on our aircraft one of our crew members is a Catholic, and you bless him before we go off on bombing missions over Germany. Now, the same Catholic religion in Germany is blessing a Catholic crew member of a German aircraft that comes over and destroys our cities. So the question I ask is, ‘Whose side is God on?’”
So, does God hear the prayers of the Catholic hierarchy or any religious group that is blood guilty? No. But he will listen to sincere individuals who want to know him, for the apostle Paul said to the Athenians, that ones should "seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us."(Acts 17:27)
And David asked: "O Jehovah, who will be a guest in your tent ? Who will reside in your holy mountain ? He who is walking faultlessly and practicing righteousness and speaking the truth in his heart."(Ps 15:1, 2) And James wrote concerning someone who is spirituality ill: "Is there anyone suffering evil among you ? Let him carry on prayer.....And the prayer of faith (those sincerely praying in his behalf) will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up."(James 5:13, 15)
If the god of the Bible is real and has a message for me he can make a YouTube video like everybody else.
If everyone is a part of God and we are all collectively God then your sign is every video on you tube, to some extent or another.
Categorizing sanity is crazy.
This is my experience... Thank you.
MY personal testimony.
A thought to consider without an ego response
I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
The world denounces truth....
Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.
Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.
The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.
Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.
We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .
Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
See the truth...
do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..
Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .
Trancsend the temporal world.
Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .
Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.
Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.
Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....
Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.
You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.
Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.
I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .
Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?
Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.
once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it
You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.
Kindness, I don't doubt your sincerity, but you really need understand some things.
First, your comment is pretty much all standard Christian-speak, the kind of stuff Christians learn listening to other Christians. Your ability to reproduce it on demand is not evidence any of it is true.
Second, any experience or evidence that is limited to your mind where it is not subject to external, objective verification is highly suspect. This is obvious to any thinking person, as the evidence for this is quite conclusive and comes in two forms:
– There are many, many cases of people who claim to have personal knowledge/experiences involving alien abductions, hearing God tell them to murder their own children, hearing voices, paranoia, delusions, or any number of things that simply cannot be reconciled with reality. In extreme cases we call it mental illness. If you believe everything anyone claims he has experienced in his mind is real you are out tough with reality.
– It's a simple matter to find people who are just as convince of their "personal experiences" as you are of yours, but hold incompatible beliefs. This is true even if we limit ourselves to Christians. I've never met anyone in any religion more convinced of their personal experiences and testimonies than Mormons, yet the entire Christian community outside the Mormon churches dismisses their beliefs as false and their experiences as either delusions or deceptions perpetrated by Satan.
It's actually quite arrogant to insist your personal knowledge, evidence, or experience is valid while the personal knowledge, evidence, or experience of anyone else must be false unless it is consistent with yours.
I'm going to assume you aren't Mormon as most Christians aren't and you don't really talk like one. With that in mind, if you talk to a Mormon he's extremely likely to tell you something like this:
"I know the Book of Mormon is true, that it's the word of God just like the Bible is the word of God, that God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in a grove in upstate New York. I asked God if these things were true and he answered my prayers. That's how I know these things are true."
They say this kind of stuff all the time, especially their missionaries. Basically, they sound just like you, except they believe things you and most other Christians don't believe. Why should I believe your "personal experiences" are valid but theirs aren't?
Remember, neither of you has a shred of external, verifiable evidence to back up anything you claim, so faced with conflicting beliefs supposedly backed by "personal experiences" or some such thing I haven't experienced, why should I take either of you seriously? And to make matters much worse, it's not just a matter of two sets of conflicting beliefs, it's a matter of hundreds or thousands of sets of conflicting beliefs when you consider all the world's religions, all of which have devoted adherents just like you.
Don't start regurgitating one of your well-rehearsed monologues full of standard Christian-speak to reinforce your beliefs. Instead, sit back and think about what I just said and deal with this reality for once.
Your reply is EXTREMELY well written! I hope the original poster takes the time to read it.
You may want to take reflection that the reality is that as far as empirical evidence is concerned your POV is really no more verifiable than anyone else who happens to believe in a God. That in reality we are all actually in the same boat.
"Occam's razor ... is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. In other words, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one." — Wikipedia
The hypothesis with the fewest assumptions here is that there is no god. Furthermore it's the hypothesis that doesn't cause people to try to impose their beliefs on other people.
Here's an example of Occam's Razor:
Suppose you come home from shopping and absolutely everything in an around my home appears to be exactly as you left it. Here are two hypotheses to explain this:
Hypothesis 1: Someone broke into your home while you were gone, took lots of pictures, rummaged through all your stuff, but didn't take anything and based on the pictures he took earlier took the time to carefully put everything back exactly as he found it.
Hypothesis 2: No one entered your home while you were gone.
Which hypothesis are you going to go with the next time you come home from shopping and see nothing amiss, and why? Obviously you're going to go with the hypothesis that requires the fewest assumptions, which is the second one.
There are countless questions that arise when you propose the existence of a god or gods. To answer these questions religions propose a number of explanations. For example, if I ask why there's no evidence any god exists, the most common explanation is that if there were proof then we wouldn't need to develop faith. For every question there's always some claim or theory like this.
On the other hand, "There is no god" is a much simpler hypothesis that addresses all of those questions and requires no additional assumptions or theories.
Stating the assumption that "There is no god" as a simple hypothesis fails to address where our set of instructions came from that is within our DNA. For example, robotic machines are used throughout industry. However, without being programmed with their instructions, they are useless. Hence, just as with a robotic machine, where did the instructions that runs every detail of our body originate ?
If a robot has to have someone to program it with its command functions, which means that a mind is deeply involved, then what of ourselves as well as all the animals, insects and arachnids that are lead by instinct ? If a person were on a remote island and found the words "John 1800" engraved on a boulder, would these words have arisen by accident, perhaps by wind or water erosion ?
Any logical and reasonable person would quickly recognize that someone made that inscription. In everyday life, we encounter information encoded in many forms – such as Braille or letters of the alphabet, as well as diagrams, musical notes, spoken words, hand signs, radio signals, and computer programs involving binary code, using zeroes and ones. Whatever the case, people always associate meaningful information with an intelligent mind – unless such information is contained within the cell. That information, say evolutionists, just happened or wrote itself. But is that sound reasoning ?
Our DNA is a like a recipe, or program that directs the formation, growth, maintenance, and reproduction of the trillions of cells that make up our bodies, using basic units called nucleotides, whereby these units are called A (adenine), C (cytosine), G (guanine), and T (thymine). Like sentences in an alphabet, these 4 characters combine in different ways to form to make our set of instructions, causing us to function as to who we are.
If reason tells us that "John 1800" engraved into a rock must have an intelligent mind as its source, should not also the infinitely more complex and meaningful information found in our DNA point toward a Supreme Designer that gave us life as well as creating all the universe ?
As a student of computer science, I was shown a simple computer code that "learns." The code was about five lines long and used nothing but the basic rules of logic (such as not X is the negation of X and not not X is X), which I assume was not created by God. So why is it so hard to believe that advanced intelligence is nothing but that simple intelligence after several billions of years improving and "learning"? To me, it's almost obvious that a deity didn't not create the human mind, or the animals mind, or any mind.
Even if a computer "learns" (like certain models of a car that does when the battery is disconnected and then reconnected, to "relearn" its idle settings), where did the original code come from ? Did it arise by accident or did it take a mind to bring it to reality ?
And did the operating systems of Microsoft, that started with Microsoft BASIC, then on to Microsoft Fortran then on to Windows 2.0, then 3.0, then NT, then 95, then 98, then ME, then on to Windows 2000 then to XP (that was no longer based on MS-DOS) then to Vista then to Windows 7 then to Windows 8 just keep "learning" without a mind, or did it take a very skilled person in computer programming to write these new operating systems ? In fact, what operating system has ever came about accidentally ? Show me even one.
What robotic machine ever devised its own operating system, much every nut and bolt and its computer board forming at random to create the robot ? Was it one day it was not there and then suddenly it was, fully functioning ? Reasonable people recognize that no machine nor something as simple as a toothpick (whereby one manufacturer produces over 20 million per day, source of info, How Its Made) came about by accident, but is the intentional design of a manufacturer, of the mind of a designer or engineer.
There are those who will argue against a Supreme Designer, despite the overwhelming evidence that surrounds and involves each of us. It is as a lawyer in the Bible said, that it is "inexcusable" to cast aside all the "proof " that life and all the universe just arose at random and accept a mindless speculative theory called evolution.(Rom 1:20)
And it is as a shepherd named David said of those who argue against a Creator, that "in his haughtiness, the wicked man makes no investigation; All his thoughts are: "There is no God."(Ps 10:4)
Jeebus, I was off this board for a year and you are STILL posting the exact same drivel.
The Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).
It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this; Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.
The Bible is not a science nor history book, but when it touches upon any subject, it is always accurate. For example, at Job 26:7, it said that our Creator, Jehovah God, is "hanging the earth upon nothing." This was written down some 3,000 years before Zacharias Janssen (1580-1638) invented the first optical telescope and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was able to determine that this was so through an improved telescope.
Or at Isaiah 40:22, whereby Isaiah was inspired to write that "there is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers, the One who is stretching out the heavens like a fine gauze." That the earth is a "circle" was noted over 200 years before even the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (570-495 B.C.E.) suggested that the earth was round, reasoning that since the sun and moon are spherical, so must the earth.
Only with the dawn of the space age in the 20th century has it been possible for humans to travel far enough into space to verify by direct observation that the earth is a globe. On both counts, the Bible was far ahead of its time, for the Author of the Bible is the "One who is stretching out the heavens like a fine gauze", Jehovah God, who revealed this to both Job and Isaiah.
You mentioned of the need to allow "adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth". Pontius Pilate asked Jesus sarcastically: "What is truth ?"(John 18:38) after Jesus had told him "that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is on the side of the truth listens to my voice."(John 18:37) So what do you believe is "the truth" of the Bible ?
Only for those who continue to believe in "pretty wingy thingies":
AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD
Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)
"Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."
Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;
Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).
Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)
The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.
Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
I pray that the evidence you seek in determining if, or not, God exist that it is not at your last breath, and this moment will come. Because whether you accept this fact, or not, you are going to die, if Jesus delay his return for His church. And if He comes and your not ready, you will be left too endure the wrath of the Living God, and in the world to come eternal separation from God. I pray that you would not listen to the lies of the devil, and be still and quiet, and listen the voice of the God that created you.
Everyone dies. That's the only surety in life. Pascal's Wager in an unconvincing argument that shouldn't be employed.
Pray all you want. It's your time to waste. There is no evidence that any prayer ever uttered has ever been answered. Yes, we will all die, but all the faith you place in the myths you embrace to avoid dealing with the finality of death will not change that reality, nor will all that Christian mumbo jumbo you've memorized about God.
For those who see prayer as meaningless, is it not because that they have no recognition of a Creator, a Supreme Being who made the universe with all life. These have made no determined effort to examine the unequivocal evidence that he exists through the creation or by the Bible.
For example, the seeming unlimited number of galaxies (with each containing anywhere from an estimated 10 to 500 billion stars) and the precise order that exists within the universe, and the shear distance between stars (an average about 4.2 light years or about 25 trillion miles), has caused some to stop and look in awe. These realize that the universe could not of happened by chance. The odds are too great.
Dr. William Blair (astrophysicist and research professor at John Hopkins University) said in 2004, that "the Hubble Space Telescope recently completed a particularly deep (faint) census of a tiny "pencil beam" extending far out into the Universe. This survey, called the "Hubble Ultra Deep Field," (in 1995 and 1998) was targeted on a region of the sky that was nearly devoid of known objects, so as to be (hopefully) representative of conditions in the distant Universe. The resulting images are truly amazing. "
"Strewn across this tiny piece of the sky are perhaps 1500 or more galaxies of all shapes, sizes, and colors! Because this survey pertains to such a small piece of the sky, the implications are staggering: if the region of sky demarked by the "bowl" of the Big Dipper were surveyed to the same depth, it would contain about 32 million galaxies ! " And the estimate for the visible Universe is that there are upwards of 200 to 400 billion galaxies, each containing tens to hundreds of billions of stars !
Yet, the universe is so accurate that we set our clocks by it, space flights are formulated according to it's preciseness. A car's engine must timed exactly in order to function within the manufacturer's specifications and work "flawlessly". Its engine is controlled by a computer (or sets of computers, such as the BCM, PCM and TCM). It took a human mind on the order of exact calibrations to produce this arrangement. Yet what of the far greater universe ? Just an accident ?
A businessman, when asked why he believed in an intelligent Creator, gave this thoughtful reply: "It takes a girl in our factory about two days to learn how to put the 17 parts of a meat chopper together. It may be that these millions of worlds each with its separate orbit, all balanced so wonderfully in space—it may be that they just happened. It may be that by a billion years of tumbling about they finally arranged themselves. I don’t know, I am merely a plain manufacturer of cutlery. But this I do know, that you can shake the 17 parts of a meat chopper around in a washtub for the next 17 billion years and you’ll never have a meat chopper.” What about the far more complex galactic arrangements ?
@TG: "For those who see prayer as meaningless, is it not because that they have no recognition of a Creator, a Supreme Being who made the universe with all life. These have made no determined effort to examine the unequivocal evidence that he exists"
There is no evidence. There are things you choose to believe confirm what you want to believe.
"through the creation"
The creation of the universe or even life does not prove God exists. The argument you people use to make that case is hopelessly flawed. Basically the argument is that since science can't explain these things the answer must be God. It's not a valid argument. All you can say with any certainty is that we don't know how the universe got started. Unable to deal with not knowing you choose to believe a totally unproven fairytale that an all powerful being created it, but there is no evidence or logic behind that claim.
"or by the Bible."
The Bible is a book. The suggestion that anything written in a book must be true is just idiotic. Mormons believe in the Bible, but they also believe the Book of Mormon is God's word. They have a book. Do you believe what is in their book? The Koran is a book. Do you believe everything in it?
@TG: "For example, the seeming unlimited number of galaxies (with each containing anywhere from an estimated 10 to 500 billion stars) and the precise order that exists within the universe, and the shear distance between stars (an average about 4.2 light years or about 25 trillion miles), has caused some to stop and look in awe. These realize that the universe could not of happened by chance. The odds are too great."
These are nothing but unsupported claims. There is no logic or facts behind them. The "precise order" that exists is just how things shook out after almost 14 billion years of matter coalescing, exploding, and so on.
Think of it like this: When I open a bag of chips the largest chips are at the top and the smallest chip pieces are at the bottom of the bag. Always. Is God arranging chips in bags of Tostitos or is it just natural for the small pieces to settle to the bottom in shipping? I say the latter. Sounds like you'd favor the former.
"Yet, the universe is so accurate that we set our clocks by it"
The universe is not "accurate," but the matter and energy in it obey a set of laws we've identified over the past few centuries. The official time to which all clocks in the U.S. are set either directly or indirectly is maintained by two very precise atomic clocks.
"space flights are formulated according to it's preciseness. A car's engine must timed exactly in order to function within the manufacturer's specifications and work "flawlessly". Its engine is controlled by a computer (or sets of computers, such as the BCM, PCM and TCM). It took a human mind on the order of exact calibrations to produce this arrangement. Yet what of the far greater universe ? Just an accident ?"
More or less. It is as you see it because that's how it evolved over billions of years. A bunch of stuff was created in the Big Bang and we're looking at the results of almost 15 billion years of it moving around the universe.
"A businessman, when asked why he believed in an intelligent Creator, gave this thoughtful reply: "It takes a girl in our factory about two days to learn how to put the 17 parts of a meat chopper together. It may be that these millions of worlds each with its separate orbit, all balanced so wonderfully in space—it may be that they just happened. It may be that by a billion years of tumbling about they finally arranged themselves."
This. 14.7 billion years of tumbling around and this is how it fell out.
"I don’t know, I am merely a plain manufacturer of cutlery. But this I do know, that you can shake the 17 parts of a meat chopper around in a washtub for the next 17 billion years and you’ll never have a meat chopper.” What about the far more complex galactic arrangements ?"
There are two flaws in this argument:
– In the meat chopper example there is a specific outcome that must occur to have a success. The current state of the universe is just one of an infinite number of possible outcomes, all of which could be considered successes. This is just the one that happened to shake out based on initial conditions and the laws governing matter and energy. There's no reason this precise arrangement was planned 14.7 billion years ago by some magical being.
Your underlying premise is that the current state of the universe is the only possible one and hence a plan or design was needed to get it to this point. I see no reason to buy that premise. It's nothing more than an unproven assumption.
– The universe could have developed differently in such a way that this planet didn't exist or that it wasn't conducive to creating and sustaining life. If that had been the case none of us would exist and we wouldn't be here to talk about this.
"This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!'" — Douglas Adams
Like the puddle that fits its hole so precisely because it molds itself to the shape of the hole, the world on which we live fits us so well because our evolution has been constrained by the conditions on it.
In fairness religion has been responsible for a lot of good in this world, even if it is based on myths and at times has also been responsible for evil. It inspires people to be better members of society, to bond together to achieve greater things than individuals could accomplish on their own, and to put the interest of society ahead of self interest. They've discouraged behavior that would spread disease and reduced unwanted pregnancies. They have promoted the arts and in some cases education.
Overall I'd say the good has outweighed the bad. That said, I still can't support something I believe to be based on myths and fairytales that have no basis in reality. Religion gets people to be good in the same way stories about Santa Claus gets kids to be good, with baseless promises of rewards and punishments.
Attacking religion in general because of the evil done in the name of God is a misguided strategy. Any organization is subject to misguided leaders and leaders corrupted by power. Some charities are scams, but that doesn't make charities in general bad things. Corporations can be unscrupulous, but that doesn't make all corporations unscrupulous. Individual governments can be oppressive and downright evil, but that doesn't make government evil. And so it is with religions.
Skytag: Are you sure this post is yours? Or is someone using your user name? Or are you finally taking your meds? LOL.
Re the good done by Christianity, I appreciate that you recognize some of it. Let me elaborate a bit. In the U.S., more hospitals, orphanages, schools (not just religious), universities (not just religious), community centers, etc. have been created by Christians (Catholic and Protestant) than any other group (with the possible exception of the government). Protestant Christians either initiated or were at the forefront of every major social movement from abolition to child labor, from suffrage to civil rights. And globally, the Red Cross and Salvation Army (founded by Catholics) and Medicin Sans Frontieres (originally founded by Christians, but now largely a secular group) have provided gratis disaster and emergency medical and other aid for decades, regardless of age, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. So, yes, I would say that, if a "balance" is to be created, the "good" outweighs the bad.
I do take issue with your comment that "Religion gets people to be good in the same way stories about Santa Claus gets kids to be good, with baseless promises of rewards and punishments." This is a hopelessly narrow, and arguably blatantly incorrect, view of Christianity. This is because Christian doctrine states quite clearly that we CANNOT "earn" "merit" or "deserve" salvation or redemption based on the "good" we do. Most Christians do the "good" they do because we are taught to try to live "Christ-like" lives in the temporal world – with or without any "guarantee" of reward.
Peace. (And yes, I mean that in all its connotations.)
Nope, it's the right view of Christianity. Santa Claus is actually a better tale.
"Skytag: Are you sure this post is yours? Or is someone using your user name? Or are you finally taking your meds? LOL."
I have never bashed religion. I don't believe it's evil, a scam, designed to control people, or any such thing. I believe it's the product of people who while wrong, have good intentions. People can have good intentions and be sincere, and still be wrong. History is full of examples of such people. But their intentions and sincerity aside, people who claim there is a god or gods are wrong.
Last year a bunch of Christians quit their jobs, left their lives behind and traveled around the country in motorhomes to tell people the world would be ending on May 21, 2012. You have to be pretty sure you're right to do something like that. They were sincere and never did anything to suggest they had any self-serving agenda. But obviously they were wrong. Good people can be absolutely convinced they're right about something and still be wrong.
"Re the good done by Christianity, I appreciate that you recognize some of it."
It is intellectually dishonest to deny something so obvious. However, it would be equally dishonest to suggest only religion can accomplish good things, and there is no evidence the good attributable to religious beliefs requires those beliefs to be true. Religion accomplishes its good through the placebo effect.
@Maani: "I do take issue with your comment that "Religion gets people to be good in the same way stories about Santa Claus gets kids to be good, with baseless promises of rewards and punishments." This is a hopelessly narrow, and arguably blatantly incorrect, view of Christianity. This is because Christian doctrine states quite clearly that we CANNOT "earn" "merit" or "deserve" salvation or redemption based on the "good" we do. Most Christians do the "good" they do because we are taught to try to live "Christ-like" lives in the temporal world – with or without any "guarantee" of reward."
Oh please, how naive do you think I am? I was talking about all religions, but since you brought up Christianity I will demonstrate the fallacy in your argument.
Although Christianity does teach salvation is a gift that cannot be earned, it's pretty standard Christian belief that if you truly accept Christ as your personal savior, the requirement to receive the gift of salvation, you will follow the teachings of Christ. This implies that if you aren't not living the teachings of Christ you must not really have accepted him as your personal savior, and hence you will not be saved. Thus there is a constant incentive to be good to demonstrate that your acceptance of Christ's sacrifice is sincere. In practice this means that to be saved you have to be good.
Furthermore, although Christians teach you can repent at any time right up to the moment of your death and still be saved, there are two problems with this. First is the general feeling that such a last-minute change of heart would not be sincere and hence not constitute true repentance. Second is the fact that one cannot know the time of his death, and hence it would be risky to live life with abandon expecting to repent at the last minute. If you're whacked by a semi you'll miss out on the blessings of salvation. This means you should live your live in such a way that you'll be saved even if you should die suddenly, unexpectedly, even instantly.
So while salvation is a gift you cannot earn through good works, in practice it provides a strong incentive to live a righteous life every day.
Your argument also fails to consider other blessings supposedly available to the faithful. Salvation isn't the only one. For example, Christians believe God will answer people's prayers and bless them in many ways in this life if they are faithful.
In Malachi 3:10 we read, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
According to this, if you pay your tithing God will bless you so much you won't be able to handle it.
In Matthew 25:35-46 we read:
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
The message here is clear: If you do not care for those in need you will go away into everlasting punishment. A lot of Republicans would get burned by this one if there were any truth to it.
I could give you other examples, but I think these are enough to demonstrate that in practice Christianity encourages good behavior with promises of rewards and discourages bad behavior with threats of punishments, whether you're willing to admit it or not.
Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life (e.g. Do No Harm). No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.
Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.
Many, such as yourself, have legitimate right to criticize religion. Religious leaders of every creed and denomination preach love and unity. The reality though is that they have failed to instill in their followers a love strong enough to eliminate prejudices.
Rather than helping to cultivate love, religion has often contributed to division, bigotry, and strife among peoples and national groups. Hans Kung, a Swiss Catholic priest, in the conclusion of his book Christianity and the World Religions, wrote that "the most fanatical, the cruelest political struggles are those that have been colored, inspired, and legitimized by religion."
However, Jesus identified that in our day, there would be bad religion and good religion. In the Bible, at Matthew 7, he said that "by their fruits you will recognize them....every good tree produces fine fruit, but every worthless tree produces worthless fruit."(Matt 7:16, 17)
Jesus now establishes what is to happen to the religions that "produces worthless fruit", saying: " Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire (of everlasting destruction)."(Matt 7:19)
The Bible establishes that only one religion "produces fine fruit", one that adheres to our Creator, Jehovah God's standards, and gain unending life in a paradise earth.(Eph 4:5)
Prayer changes things .
Yes ...yes it does.......Oxygen to carbon dioxide.
Here's what the Bible says God did to children:
Ezekiel 9:3-6) “The Lord said to the man in the linen robe, "Walk through the city of Jerusalem and mark the forehead of anyone who is truly upset and sad about the disgusting things that are being done here." He turned to the other six men and said, "Follow him and put to death everyone who doesn't have a mark on their forehead. Show no mercy or pity! Kill men and women, parents and CHILDREN."
Could be they were ruined commie children??
"Eze 9:9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah [is] exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not."
How many nukes did you have pointed at the Soviets by your servants??
Justice is the province of God. Since you admit that God judges sin it begs the question what have you done about your sin?
This begs the question: do you believe all of the Bible or do you just hypocritically pick-and-choose?
I believe the Bible you do not know the Bible, but you frequently parrot untruths.
So you believe in unicorns, talking nonhumans and that the earth stood still for a day, right?
So identify any times I've "parroted untruths". lol. Get real.
Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!
The idea that God answers prayer is fundamental to modern Christianity. Without it Christianity loses much of its appeal, because if God doesn't answer prayer it basically says he ignores people and you're on your own. Getting people to be devoted followers of a God who ignores them is a much tougher sell. So even though there's no evidence any prayer ever uttered has ever been answered they still cling fervently to the idea God answers prayer.
They come very close to admitting God doesn't answer prayer when they explain that if God answered too many prayers it would be evidence of his existence and then people wouldn't need to develop faith.
Any Christian who bases his/her faith on whether prayers are answered is not simply misinformed with regard to their faith, but arrogant and prideful. Even if God did not grant one single prayer during a Christian's lifetime, that should have ZERO effect on their faith. And as a counseling minister, I have never had a single person who HAS "fallen away" suggest to me that it was because prayers were not answered.
In giving counsel on prayer, after Jesus had told his disciples: "Whenever you pray, say, Father, let your name be sanctified", he then proceeded to give an illustration of one who asked a "friend" at midnight for three loaves of bread. The "friend" replied to "quit making me trouble....my young children are with me in bed; I cannot rise up and give you anything."(Luke 11: 2-7)
Jesus now says: "I tell you, Although he will not rise up and give him anything because of being his friend, certainly because of his bold persistence (Greek anaideian, meaning "persisting in entreaties") he will get up and give him what he needs. Accordingly, I say to you, Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you."(Luke 11:8, 9)
It takes real faith to have BOLD Persistence in prayer, in order for our Creator, Jehovah God, to answer a prayer, and often in ways not seen but discerned. Those who are sincere, but are still a "part of the world"(John 15:19), and yet asks sincerely to know God, will get an answer to their prayer, for the angels in these "last days" are being directed by God to search out "honest-hearted ones"(Rev 14:6, 7), before "the end" comes after the successful completion of the preaching of "the good news of the kingdom" earthwide.(Matt 24:14)
A true Christian makes prayer a daily matter (1 Thess 5:17), in which Jesus taught them to pray first and foremost for God's name of Jehovah to be sanctified by means of his "kingdom".(Matt 6:9, 10) This prayer will be answered in the near future, when God brings on "the war of the great day of God the Almighty", called Armageddon.(Rev 16:14, 16)
@Maani: "Any Christian who bases his/her faith on whether prayers are answered is not simply misinformed with regard to their faith, but arrogant and prideful. Even if God did not grant one single prayer during a Christian's lifetime, that should have ZERO effect on their faith."
I didn't say people's faith should be based on this, but since you brought it up, if a religion teaches it's followers God answers prayer and someone never has a prayer answered any rational person would question why his religion is teaching him something that doesn't seem to be true.
I know where you're coming from. Your position is that people should just believe, without any evidence, without any reason to believe there is any truth to any of it, even if what he's taught doesn't match what he sees in the world or in his life. None of that matters, he's just supposed to believe like a programmed drone incapable of questioning his programming.
You don't need evidence, it doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be consistent with what you see and experience, you don't need answers to your questions. If it teaches God answers prayer and you never have a prayer answered that's not a problem. If you just believe hard enough you can rationalize away anything that would bother someone who can still think for himself. It's a cult. Trust me, it's all true. Be happy.
"And as a counseling minister, I have never had a single person who HAS "fallen away" suggest to me that it was because prayers were not answered."
That's because like everything else you believe that isn't consistent with reality, you have rationalizations to explain why It's not a problem. As I said, you have lots of explanations, and the explanations are internally consistent within your belief system. You just don't have any evidence any of it is true, but that's okay, because you even have a story to explain why evidence is not only needed, you don't really even want it. How convenient.
@Maani: Out of curiosity, does your religion teach anything its adherents should be able to count on? Obviously they can't expect evidence for anything or to have any of their prayers answered. What can they expect?
It is true that most religions believe they can count on their particular god, at least they hope they can, Muslims on Allah, so-called Christians on a nameless trinitarian God, Jews on G-d, the Sikhs who believes in a God, but also pray to Nanak (1469-1539), the religion's founder of Sikhism.
But, who can be counted on to rescue mankind from the perils it has reached in the 21st century ? Mankind is reaching toward a threshold where the earth is being excessively damaged, both morally and ecologically, and many scientists feel that there may be a "point of no return" in the near future.
Some have stated that unless major reforms are implemented ecologically, that by 2037, the earth may be unable to sustain life as we now have, with climate change now accepted as fact, whereby scientists (IPCC or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) are now saying that they are 95 percent sure that global warming is man-made, using the words "extemely likely".(In 2002, 66 percent agreed with this assessment, in 2007, 90 percent, saying "very likely")
So what can be expected by the religions of the world ? According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, there are some “10,000 distinct religions worldwide.” Their prayers for peace for themselves and the "world" will not become reality, for these do not pray to the one true God.
Their prayers are not in harmony with the model prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. In it, he taught them to pray for God's name to be "hallowed" or sanctified (Matt 6:9), cleansed of all the reproach heaped upon by all the religions of the "world", including the churches of Christendom, who especially have defamed God's name of Jehovah.
Their prayers do not include asking for and making known God's will for the earth, that of it being transformed into a paradise for "meek" ones as Jehovah purposed when he created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. So the religions of the "world" cannot expect a response to their prayers, but they can expect something else. What ?
They can expect their total demise in the near future, as part of the religious "harlot" called Babylon the Great that is seen at Revelation 17. God has an "appointed time" to deal with this religious "harlot", and will cause the governments on the earth to turn on her and devour her, in which she will be eradicated forever.(Rev 17:16, 17) Then, these human governments will be wiped off the face of the earth, also never to exist again.(Rev 19:19-21)
On the other hand, the one true religion will remain for all time, for these ones have ' beaten their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.' (Micah 4:3)
As a result they will be able to "actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble; for the very mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken it."(Micah 4:4) Genuine peace will then prevail throughout the earth.
skytag, you are obviously a very bright individual with intillectual prowess.You have a fire in the belly need to be heard.But you also have been up all night and you need to sleep.Go to bed.
Usually when a person dismisses prayer, is it not because they have no acceptance of a Creator ? Because prayer often produces unseeable results, many shelve the idea of a Supreme Designer. Only those who have genuine faith, faith based on loving our Creator, Jehovah God, can prayer have any response.
However, when Jesus taught his disciples to pray (at Matt 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4, followed by an illustration of the need to persist in it at verses 5-13), he was not teaching them to pray for physical healing. God has an appointed time in the near future to address this.(Rev 21:3-5)
Rather Jesus said: "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but those who are ailing do."(Luke 5:31) Now, doctors and other physicians are needed to assist us when we are ill. But the Bible has several prophecies that provide a basis for hope, of sickness and death being completely removed. At Isa 33:24, it says concerning Jehovah's promise: "And no resident will say: "I am sick." The people that are dwelling in the land will be those pardoned for their error."
"Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"
That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!
criticize atheists on this board, in a way they can't handle, and say bye bye. they have stolen this dump with cnn's cooperation.
Atheism is rather in the life than in the heart of man.
If you hadn't put your name in all caps, I might have thought you were trying to post something deep. Even so, it was a pretty shallow attempt.
I AGREE WITH YOU GIA, FONT SIZE IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN CONTENT. AFTER ALL IT IS THE FORMAT OF THE PAGE NOT QUALITY OF WHAT IS BEING WRITTEN THAT COUNTS. nO ONE WOULD POST IN ALL CAPS UNLESS THEY WERE STUPID OR SARCASTIC.
Consider for a moment the possibility that our time on earth is only scraping the surface of our existence – that there is so much more that our earthly minds are simply incapable of comprehending. Like being a goldfish in a fish bowl thinking that this is all there is, and not realizing that a vast ocean existed outside your window.
This is how I liken the atheist mindset. It is simple minded thinking that keeps them imprisoned in their "fish bowl" because its the only thing their eyes can see. It is nothing less than a tragedy because their small mindedness is preventing them from experiencing the ocean while those who venture to explore beyond themselves are rewarded for their willingness to broaden their minds beyond their limited experiences.
Consider for a moment the possibility that nothing you imagine outside the fishbowl is real.
The difference between you and an atheist isn't that the atheist can't imagine anything outside the fishbowl, it's that he doesn't delude himself into believing what he imagines is real.
To complete than analogy, it's like the religious people know there is a human out there walking around, feeding them flakes each day, and the atheists refuse to believe in such a concept. It's a matter of having the courage and open-mindedness to accept truly extraordinary and sometimes frightening things.
It's not a good analogy because the believers believe in different things. And they cannot all be right, but they could all very easily be wrong. And this human (God) does not feed the people. About 10 million starve to death each year, and that's children alone. And the human did not create the fish, nor does he invent a hell for it to suffer for all eternity.
Maybe your way can work for you. There's some speculation that the conventional understanding of hell might be wrong, that those who don't enter heaven simply cease to exist, which is what the atheist would be expecting anyway. I suppose if you enjoy a happy and fulfilling life, that might be enough, and you wouldn't necessarily want to live an eternity after that, especially if it involves a lot of holy stuff.
"I suppose if you enjoy a happy and fulfilling life, that might be enough, and you wouldn't necessarily want to live an eternity after that, especially if it involves a lot of holy stuff."
You have absolutely no proof, this is simply your imagination coming up with ideas, it's not truth.
Nice bit of cerebral flatulence
I have to admit...that was funny.