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Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?
Camels, shown here in the Liwa desert outside Abu Dhabi, are the subject of a surprising new discovery.
February 11th, 2014
01:56 PM ET

Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - It’s been a rough 2014 for the book of Genesis.

First a Noah’s Ark discovery raised a flood of questions, then there was the much-hyped debate over life’s origins between Bill Nye the Science Guy and creationist Ken Ham.

And now this: a scientific report establishing that camels, the basic mode of transportation for the biblical patriarchs, weren’t domesticated in Israel until hundreds of years after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are said to have wandered the earth.

Using radiocarbon dating of camel bones that showed signs of having carried heavy loads, Israeli archaeologists have dated the earliest domesticated camels to the end of the 10th century BCE.

But according to the traditional biblical chronology, the patriarchs were schlepping around Canaan on camels over a millennium earlier, all the way back in 2100 BCE

Taken on its own, this may seem a rather minor problem.

After all, this is Genesis, in which some people live to be 900 years old (hello, Methuselah), all of humanity emerges from Babylon, and the Dead Sea is created from the backward glance of Lot’s wife. (Not to mention the six-day creation story and the stuffing of all land animals on a single boat.)

How important could camels really be?

For those who believe the Bible to be fundamentally true, this is hardly going to change any minds. For those who believe it to be entirely false, this is surely not the most damning piece of evidence.

What the camels in Genesis reveal, in fact, has nothing to do with the “truth” of the biblical story at all.

Instead, the presence of these camels in the story highlights, in a very clear way, the essential humanity of the biblical writers: like the best authors, they simply wrote about what they knew.

The patriarchs are depicted as nomadic, never settling for long in one place, but moving constantly from location to location throughout Israel (and beyond).

An ancient Israelite, wanting to tell the story of the wandering of his ethnic and national ancestors, would have naturally looked to the nomadic peoples around him as models. And indeed, throughout the Bible camels are commonly associated with those tribes who lived in the desert: Midianites, Ishmaelites, Amalekites, Kedemites.

The biblical authors simply transplanted the nomadic standards of their time into the distant past.

There is nothing deceptive about this. They weren’t trying to trick anyone. They imagined, quite reasonably, that the past was, fundamentally, like their present.

They had no real alternative. In ancient Israel, in the period when the Bible was written (which ranges, conservatively, from the 10th to the third century BCE), no one had any way of knowing that camels had not always been domesticated pack animals. After all, we didn’t know that for sure until this past week.

Without any evidence to the contrary, it is perfectly natural to assume that things have always been the way that they are now. Today we have more information about the past than any other moment in history. In ancient Israel, they had virtually none.

And yet we still fall victim to this basic, very human, historical fallacy.

It has been suggested that this anachronism in the biblical text is akin to importing semitrailers into the medieval period. But this is a level of ridiculousness too far.

I would suggest that it is more similar to describing a medieval Italian as enjoying pasta with tomato sauce. How many people, even today, know that tomatoes only came to Italy from South America in the 16th century?

The camels in Genesis may be “wrong,” but they are not a “mistake.” We all imagine the past to the best of our knowledge, the biblical authors included.

The lasting lesson of the camel controversy, such as it is, is a simple one: no writing, not even the Bible, is timeless or without context. Views of the past are contingent on both what we know and how we know it.

The Bible is a historical record, but it tells us just as much, if not more, about the people who wrote it as it does about the people they wrote about.

Since the stories of the Bible remain so central to who we are as a culture, even today (and even for those who dismiss it), it seems entirely fitting that we should be equally interested in the ancient people who composed them.

Despite their lack of historical knowledge — and, equally, because of it — they, more than the characters in the Bible, are our true cultural ancestors.

Joel S. Baden is the author of "The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero" and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Evolution • Judaism • Middle East • Opinion

soundoff (3,276 Responses)
  1. Heaven Sent

    Test

    February 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
    • Heaven Sent

      Test 2

      February 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
      • originalcentralscrutinizer

        Test

        February 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
  2. Heaven Sent

    Dried up old bones. The atheists on this article won't believe the Word of God, but will listen to this drivel spewed by satan. I almost made it to the bathroom today. It is time for you to start your walk with Jesus.

    Amen.

    February 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
    • realityyyyyyy

      No it isn't. As his own family noted, he was out of his mind. Added details previously given.

      February 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
      • Heaven Sent

        Typical atheist pride clouding your ability to see the Truth of Jesus. You are standing on a liquid foundation. The kittens were found under the couch cushions. Read Jesus' gift to us from Heaven, the Holy Bible.

        Amen.

        February 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Reality

          Added details as requested:

          JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

          Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

          Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

          Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

          Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentina white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

          So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

          February 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
  3. Vic

    I wrote this down to post it yesterday, then I looked for for references, and I found the following article, astonishing:

    Carbon-14 is created when neutrons from cosmic rays collide with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere, typically. They can also be created by manmade nuclear reactions.

    Earthquakes, air pressure, temperature, etc.—the elements, all affect the radiocarbon levels, one way or another.

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/sun-082310.html

    Previous Post:
    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/11/is-camel-discovery-the-straw-that-broke-the-bibles-back/comment-page-6/#comment-2943663

    February 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • redeemedtobeme

      This is a great link. It is important to remember that there are flaws in the carbon dating hypothesis. Mt. St. Helen's was a good example. Rocks created there were carbon dated as very old, when they were not. Before we get all worked up about dating things within a few thousand years, lets verify the scientific method used to judge. Commonly accepted and taught does not mean true and accurate. Bad science assumes. Good science continues to ask questions and admits error when new data is found.

      March 8, 2014 at 8:48 am |
      • igaftr

        " Rocks created there were carbon dated as very old, when they were not. "

        What are you talking about. First, you don't use carbon dating on rocks...it is used for organic material...and what do you mean by "rocks created there are not very old?...You realize that the material is ancient, right?...Just because of a volcanic eruption, the new rocks are not having a birth...the material making them up is ancient right?

        Please explain your puzzling post.

        March 8, 2014 at 8:59 am |
  4. Apple Bush

    Every living and non-living thing on this or any planet or heavenly body is of equal value. Humans hold no special status. This is clear to me based on the facts surrounding world history. Humans, if anything, have a low status due to their propensity for destruction. The Earth would almost certainly be a cleaner, more balanced habitat without people and in time, that will be the case. Gods or no gods, humans seem to be out of control and might very well qualify as an evolutionary accident gone wrong.

    This is all true because a god told me and it is written down.

    February 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • theophileo

      "Every living and non-living thing on this or any planet or heavenly body is of equal value"
      -----
      If that's true, how come it's perfectly legal for me to kill and eat 4-legged animals as a means of population control, but that would be absurd for certain 2-legged animals?

      February 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        You seem to have missed the point of my post.

        February 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • derado8

          Every living thing lives in relative harmony with its environment, except us. Very little in nature is friendly to us, and we are friendly only to small controllable sections of the natural world.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
  5. anonymousone1

    I believe in God, but we have to be honest with ourselves and admit the Bible, as we have it now, cannot be taken literally. You can say it’s a good book that provides general guidance on how to lead a virtuous life. However, if we were to take it literally, it’ll quickly fall apart in the face of historical and scientific facts.

    Arguments like carbon dating isn’t accurate are just laughable. Of course carbon dating has a margin of error, but it gives you a good estimate. And even if it didn’t, other methods have been used to verify the age of the universe, age of fossils…. if you continue to stick to the idea of the literal infallibility of the bible, then you’re hurting your cause

    February 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Does the god you believe in get involved in your daily life?

      February 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • Anthony Crispino

      You never know. My wife's groin doctor knows a guy who saw the devil walking around in broad daylight over in Elizabeth. This guy says he turned himself into a dumpster just like that. If he can do that I'm sure he can be hiding bones all over the place to confuse people.

      February 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Thanks for commenting.
      People on both sides need to be reminded that the majority of Christians are reasonable people like you.
      It is unfortunate that the nut-bar literalist minority are so disproportionately loud.

      February 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • anonymousone1

      Apple Bush: What does your question have to do with my post?

      Doc Vestibule: I am not a Christian, but I agree with you that a lot of Christians aren't crazy literalists and there are many reasonable ones

      February 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        You say you believe in a god. How and in what way to you "interact" with this god?

        February 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • anonymousone1

          I pray to God every day and I believe he does impact my daily life

          February 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Heaven Sent

          Why do you pray?

          February 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • anonymousone1

          I pray for many reasons, but I'd say the main two are for guidance and help in this life

          February 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          So you hear voices in your head responding to your prayers?

          February 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
      • anonymousone1

        No I don't hear voices. I just have FAITH that God is listening to my prayers

        February 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          That is goofy.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • anonymousone1

          Actually I changed my mind. I just heard a voice in my head saying The Central Scrutinizer is going straight to hell 😉

          February 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          Now you are being honest lol

          February 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
  6. Apple Bush

    I got sick and fell asleep

    I left the heater on

    I dreamed of a lake filled with prehistoric fish

    I lifted the corner of the lake and slid into the water

    I drifted to the bottom and found my life

    I woke up sweating and feeling in love

    February 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      salvia trip?

      February 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Never tried it. Can you trip like that on that stuff? I had no idea.

        February 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          It's legal and yes, it can give you a total trip. It only lasts about 5 minutes and you'll be sweating like mad, but wow, it can be pretty crazy.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          When I was in college we used to do "poppers". That was a strange trip.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • Akira

          Was that amyl nitrate, AB?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Not sure Akira. It was some gas in a small bottle and when you inhaled it your brain went on a wild ride....

          February 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Nitrous oxide, perhaps. It was a popular enhancer with other drugs – LSD, mushrooms, MDA, cannabis. It could be the wildest thing on this planet.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          That sounds right....

          February 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I also remember I did not really care for it. I made me nauseous.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Where I come from, nitrous canisters were called "whippits" becuase you could buy boxes of them at the department store for making whipped cream, or you could huff the gas directly from grocery store whipped cream cans.
          They pretty much gave a minute long trip into la-la land.
          Salvia felt like a 5 minute mushroom trip, followed by an unpleasant headache and severe fatigue.
          LSD was tons of fun as a teenager, though I don't think my adult brain could handle an 8-12 hour reality disconnect.
          Never tried amyl nitrate "poppers", though they're readily available in my city – especially in sm/ut shops.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Ahhh....LSD. Those were the days.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          LSD was fun. I don't know that I, as an old man, could take it anymore. Shrooms would be more like it

          February 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • derado8

          Stay away from shrooms and LSD, I blame them both for the fact that my religion (what's left of it) has an uncanny resemblance to the 80's TV show Greatest American Hero.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mary was raped and her parents needed a cover up so that she would not be stoned to death by the other primitives. The rest is history. This is all true because a god told me and I wrote it down.

      February 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • derado8

        You'd walk away from a perfectly good alien abduction conspiracy?

        February 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      My daily dose of poetic prose. 🙂

      February 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    My thorns, now flies; buzzing around my gruesome head and face

    My wasted body finally brought down; breathe still in me just a whisper

    Nurtured and cleansed; bandaged and cared for

    Now I am risen to say my final farewell

    Do not worship me; do not mourn for me

    Do not build churches for me or profit from me

    I am a man, born of a woman from the seed of my father

    I am as you are; a man and a human being

    Learn from the sacrifices I have made; learn from the hypocrisy

    Remember me as a friend

    February 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • realityyyyyyy

      "The Two Universal Sects

      They all err—Moslems, Jews,
      Christians, and Zoroastrians:

      Humanity follows two world-wide sects:

      One, man intelligent without religion,

      The second, religious without intellect. "

      Al-Ma'arri
      , born AD 973 /, died AD 1058 / .

      Al-Ma’arri was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer.[1][2] He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and rejecting the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth."

      Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/resalat-al-ghufran#ixzz1lI6DuZmZ and http://www.humanistictexts.org/al_ma'arri.htm

      "Death's Debt is Paid in Full

      Death's debt is then and there

      Paid down by dying men;

      But it is a promise bare

      That they shall rise again. "

      Al-Ma'arri

      February 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Interesting! :mrgreen:

        February 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    If God is powerful enough to create the universe, don't you think he'd have a more foolproof way of getting his exact message across to future generations than this endlessly translated, edited, confused, modified, twisted, corrupted book of stories that is changed by religious power brokers to suit each generation?

    Wouldn't god's word be carved on the moon, unchangeable and for all to see? Wouldn't it be spoken unchanged by a species of animal? Wouldn't it be written microscopically on every stone or every tree? Wouldn't there be some space age material that had god's voice recorded, uncorrupted over the centuries and there for everyone to hear.

    Wouldn't there be parts of God's word that reflect computers or artificial intelligence or DNA or modern medicine or future medicine or electricity or space travel to other parts of this amazing universe he created? Wouldn't there be talk of gender and race equality? Wouldn't there be talk of Asia and Australia and the Americas and Europe and Africa?

    Instead the bible is limited to horses and carts and herbs and grain and swords and shields and misogyny and racism and slavery all set in the deserts of the middle east. The Bible is so obviously a product of bronze age man, you must be in denial to even argue that it is the word of god. There may or may not be a god or gods, but this book of bronze age voodoo and oppression has nothing to do with him, her or them.

    And stop it with this "not the word of god but words inspired by god" cop out. That just means it was written by greedy, evil men who got their way by claiming that god told them to do something. That's a self serving scam that should be scorned, especially by anyone claiming to love an omnipotent god. That scam is an abomination and an insult to your god ... as is the bible!

    February 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • averagejoe7six

      I am in total agreement. Leaving the 'ultimate truth' to herdsmen in the desert to spread isn't the very best plan. Why isn't there more cohesiveness amongst humans about God? Why aren't humans more connected to one version of God?

      I am an atheist. But I do not know if a God exsists. But the reason why I'm claiming atheist, is because humans do not have a claim that fits a 'god' yet. Nor do I have reason to fall in line with any of the claims presented. They fall short.

      February 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
      • jpherling

        You're an agnostic, not an atheist. Do you know whether or not unicorns and little green men from Mars exist?

        February 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • averagejoe7six

          Actually, it's called Agnostic-Atheist. And 'no', I don't believe in unicorns or green men. And although I see where your going, the 'God' concept goes beyond your measily offering of unicorns/ green men. 'God' will always represent THAT which is beyond humans, always. So it goes in a different category for me. Although I believe it very UNLIKELY that 'god' exsits, I am totally honest in the limits of my understanding, and the possibility of one exsiting.

          All I'm saying is no claim so far cements 'god' for me. And any details surrounding 'god' are greatly unfounded. What's that? Unreasonable?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • theophileo

          Well, I know for a fact that unicorns exist.

          The Hebrew word re'em is mentioned eight times in the Bible, and signifies some kind of horned animal that could possibly be the now extinct aurochs – a wild ox related to a cow. In the Latin Vulgate however, the translators used the words “unicornis, unicornium, rinocerota, rinocerotis, and rinoceros” whose English rendering in the KJV is “unicorn” for the name of this horned animal each time it occurred: Job 39:9-10, Numbers 23:22, 24:8, Psalm 22:22, 29:6, 92:10, Deuteronomy 33:17, and Isaiah 34:7. Depending upon the context of the passage however, the authors either use the word “rhinoceros” if the intent was to speak of two horns, or “unicornis” if the intent was to mean a singular horn. In Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word “unicorn” has this as its entry: “An animal with one horn: the monoceros. This name is often applied to the rhinoceros.” It goes on to say under the entry for “rhinoceros” that: “a genus of quadrupeds of two species, one of which, the unicorn, has a single horn growing almost erect from the nose. This animal when full grown, is said to be 12 feet in length. There is another species with two horns, the bicornis. They are natives of Asia and Africa.” Even today, the scientific name for the Asian one-horned rhinoceros is “Rhinoceros unicornis,” (the same word as mentioned in the Latin Vulgate) while the two-horned black rhinoceros is the “Diceros bicornis.”

          February 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      If it was inspired by a god, the god apparently didn't even care to preserve the original manuscripts containing his words of wisdom to mankind. Today's Bibles are based on copies of copies, e.g., the Codex Bezae, Codex Vaticanus, Sinaitic Codex, the Alexandrian Manuscript, Textus Receptus etc. The extant early versions don't match in their content.

      Many of the passages in today's Bibles are believed to be interpolations by early scribes, e.g., the Comma Johanneum, i.e., 1 John 5:7, the Pericope Adulterae, i.e., John 7:53-8:11, etc. And, not only is there disagreement among various Bible translations regarding which biblical verses are authentic and which are interpolations, there isn't even one standard canon for all Christian denominations. The number of books in Protestant Bibles does not match those in Catholic Bibles. And neither Protestant nor Catholic Bibles contain exactly the same books as Eastern Orthodox, e.g., Greek Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox, e.g., Syriac and Coptic, Bibles.

      The actual authors of the New Testament Gospels, such as the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John, are unknown and they were written long after the main character in them, Jesus, supposedly lived. Much of the material allegedly written by the Apostle Paul, whose knowledge of Jesus supposedly came to him in visions is widely believed by biblical scholars to be pseudepigraphic, i.e., written by others posing as the Apostle Paul. I.e., First Timothy, Second Timothy, and Ti tus. Biblical scholars disagree on the authenticity of others, such as Colossians and Second Thessalonians with some believing they were written by Paul and others believing they were not. And the material attributed to Paul portrays a different Jesus than portrayed by other Gospel writers. Paul knows nothing of the miracle stories attributed to Jesus by the other writers and is unaware of Jesus' important speeches and sayings, such as the Sermon on the Mount, etc., yet Christians believe he was tasked with taking Jesus words and life story to the Gentiles.

      And the Gospel writers often contradict one another. E.g., how did one of the main characters, Judas, in the story of Jesus death die, by hanging according to the unknown author of the Gospel of Matthew as written in Matthew 27:3–10 or by falling headlong in a field with his guts spilling out as by the author of Acts, who may have also written the Gospel of Luke writes in Acts 1:18?

      If the material was inspired by a god, the god's standards appear to be far lower than those we would expect for a human copy editor and he doesn't seem to care much about making it clear to his followers what material he supposedly inspired is genuine and what is inauthentic.

      February 13, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
      • theophileo

        "god apparently didn't even care to preserve the original manuscripts containing his words of wisdom to mankind"
        -----–
        And thank God He didn't! We already have too many people making idols of supposed religious "relics." Can you imagine the kind of idolatry that would be present if we had the actual manuscripts?

        February 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • otoh2

          OMZ, theo!

          Do you have seatbelts on your computer chair there... to keep you from sliding right off of it like a greased weasel?!

          February 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • theophileo

          I have no idea what you meant by that remark...

          February 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
  9. mopizzle11

    It's tough for me to accept that there is nothing other than the physical universe. Our consciousness is so far from any rational explanation. From what I see, science will not have a chance to address the mystery in my lifetime as they are so much more concerned with learning about the physical world and religion no longer has the support of thinking people to work through the issue.
    Atheists may have some very valid points for why the idea of a god or a primal source of existence is not necessary, but I enjoy the discussions that take place with the assumption that there is something a lot more.
    We can both agree that religion stinks though.

    February 13, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Dalahäst

      There definitely is a spiritual aspect to this world. We have 2 sides to our brains: a logical and imaginative side. Both are tools that help us survive and understand this world better.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • Akira

        Dalahast, this is totally unrelated, but before you registered with WP, were you AE?

        February 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Akira

          Noticed your nod to Elvis Costello in your blog. Well done.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Dalahast, this is totally unrelated, but before you registered with WP, were you AE?"

          "Yes."

          Okay, got it.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks. It is a great song.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Ralph

          Test

          February 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
      • JakeSeaVik

        "There definitely is a spiritual aspect to this world."

        How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you start with such a preposterous statement? There's nothing remotely "definite" about your belief.

        February 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm really not worried if a few non-believers on the internet don't take me seriously. Especially ones that imagine I've been brainwashed.

          There is real life evidence that people do take me seriously and have no qualms with my spirituality. I'm comfortable with that fact.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I don't know if you were brain-washed, I just assume you were since that's how most people become religious. If you weren't brain-washed, then you really have no excuse. You have yet to answer whether you were or not.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I was not brainwashed into Christianity.

          "brain·wash·ing
          [breyn-wosh-ing, -waw-shing] Show IPA
          noun
          1.a method for systematically changing att.itudes or altering beliefs, originated in totalitarian countries, especially through the use of torture, drugs, or psychological-stress techniques.
          2.any method of controlled systematic indoctrination, especially one based on repeti.tion or confusion: brainwashing by TV commercials.
          3.an instance of subjecting or being subjected to such techniques: efforts to halt the brainwashing of captive audiences."

          The evidence does not suggest most religious people are the victims of brainwashing.

          I know a lot of formerly religious people that became atheists, and didn't need to be deprogrammed or un-brainwashed. They just changed their belief in God.

          Just like some people begin to believe in God, without brainwashing techniques.

          Jesus did not encourage anything like brainwashing. Such tactics are highly discouraged and shun by all religious people I'm community with.

          Has brainwashing happened to some. Yes. Does that mean logically all or most are the religious people are brainwashed.

          No. That would be a logical fallacy to exclaim that.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • new-man

          I agree with Dalahast.

          There is the Physical/Material world and there is the Spirit world.
          All knowledge is either physical or spiritual.

          Physical knowledge deals with the matter and other material things and is acquired through the 5 senses. Physical things are temporal.

          Spiritual knowledge deals with the things of God, our relationship with God and even our fellow brethren. Spiritual things are eternal.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Um, what on earth are you talking about? The first definition pretty word for word describes the process of childhood indoctrination. If I am correct in my belief that the vast majority of religious people were indoctrinated as children, then it is accurate to say that most religious people were brain-washed. I know you don't like the term, but it is absolutely accurate here.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Also, consider this: As strongly as you may believe in your Christian views, do you really think you would have the same views had you not been indoctrinated as a child (assuming you were, since you won't answer this)? Do you not agree that had you been indoctrinated as a child by Hindus in India, you would be a Hindu? That alone shows how effective childhood indoctrination / brain-washing is in creating a pre-determined belief, regardless of whether or not that belief is true. That's brain-washing as you just defined it!

          February 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          "Spiritual knowledge deals with the things of God, our relationship with God and even our fellow brethren. Spiritual things are eternal."

          Pure speculation. There is no reason to believe that there is such a thing a spirits or spiritual real, or any such thing.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          JakeSeaVik

          Your argument commits a logical fallacy called the genetic fallacy.

          Most religion people are aware of brainwashing, and take steps to avoid victimizing their children to it.

          People in my church are free. It is not a captive audience. And most of the children go to very secular and public schools where they interact with different religions and non-religious. And they form relationships with other faiths, agnostics and atheists.

          It really isn't brainwashing. Nice theory, but it doesn't float.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • new-man

          igaftr:
          based on YOUR reality, this is "speculation" in your view.

          For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

          Clearly you do not understand because you do not possess the Spirit of God. I DO.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "a method for systematically changing att.itudes or altering beliefs, originated in totalitarian countries, especially through the use of torture, drugs, or psychological-stress techniques."

          No torture.

          Uh, drugs, yes, before Christianity. But not after.

          No psychological-stress techniques.

          I, like most Christians I know, are not brainwashing victims.

          This nation, which has a large Christian population, is not a totalitarian country. The mostly Christians forefathers intended it to be that way.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • new-man

          Just in case you think it's a boast. It's not.

          Anyone can possess the Spirit of God. You do so by becoming born-again.. being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
          Jesus Himself said, that which is born of the flesh (us..in this earthly realm) is flesh... and that which is born of the Spirit (of God) is Spirit.

          How does one become born-again?
          You consent to Jesus' love and sacrifice.
          The greatest blessings from God, Salvation and the Holy Spirit is obtained through faith.
          Receive by believing and speaking.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          LOL
          Now you have added belief to your speculation.
          There is nothing showing you are any different than I am, or anyone else on the planet. Now you claim you are special. Hilarious.
          Please show how someone can verify this "god spirit" you claim you have...I bet when you REALLY look, you will find it is nothing but belief you wish is true.
          You probably think that "holy" water somehow has different attributes that water just because someone spoke words and gestured over it.
          The mental gymnastics of belief never ceases to amaze me.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          You're not much for definitions. This has nothing to do with genetic fallacies. You should try using the definition for brain-washing that you just provided.

          a method for systematically changing att.itudes or altering beliefs....
          (As in systematically converting babies to Christianity before they are old enough to seriously ponder the questions of the universe through things like church, Sunday school, parents' teachings' etc)

          ...originated in totalitarian countries...
          (ORIGINATED, not required to meet the definition.)

          ...especially through the use of torture...
          (Sometimes – see nuns with yardsticks, etc.)

          ...drugs...
          (Not to my knowledge.)

          ...or...
          (The word "or" means not all of these have to be met to fulfill the definition.)

          ...psychological-stress techniques...
          (Such as teaching children they could burn for eternity, lose their social network, etc.)

          Pretty hard to find a more accurate term to describe religious indoctrination than brain-washing!

          February 13, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, saying someone is only a Christian because they were indoctrinated is a logical fallacy.

          Most Christians are free, not captive or forced to only consider a certain idea. They are allowed to dwell in the real world, and are not encouraged to shun it or shelter themselves from it.

          Brainwashing does exist. But it is a logical fallacy to say all or even most Christians are the victim of dangerous brainwashing.

          The fact that very few websites, except fringe, atheistc agenda ones, support your brainwashing theory is troubling to me.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • new-man

          igaftr: "The mental gymnastics of belief never ceases to amaze me."

          Yes, you believe you descended from an ape.
          In that regard for one, I am different from you.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          "No, saying someone is only a Christian because they were indoctrinated is a logical fallacy."

          Well then you shouldn't say that. I know I didn't say that. I said most believers are believers as a result of brain-washing. I've clearly laid out the bullet-proof logic behind that statement and you've not been able to offer anything to refute it. If you want to keep talking yourself in circles, that's your choice. It really is just this simple:

          1) Most religious people were indoctrinated as children (you haven't disagreed with this)
          2) Childhood indoctrination is a form of brain-washing (you disagree, but I have clearly shown that you are wrong based on the definition of the term)

          Conclusion: Most religious people were brain-washed. This isn't complicated.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          One other indisputable point if you still want to deny reality: If religious views were not a result of brain-washing, we would expect to see a similar split of religious believers throughout the world, regardless of geographic location. We don't see this because religious views are almost always a result of childhood brain-washing. How anyone could not realize this is hard to believe.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is circular reasoning.

          What about the great number of people that leave their faith? Was it a bad job of brainwashing?

          I know many atheists that were raised in religious homes that say they were not brainwashed. Taught about Jesus and religion, yes?

          But systematically forced to believe something with the threat of torture or abuse if they don't? No.

          You actually sound like somebody who has been indoctrinated into being a religion-hating atheist. Most atheists are not like you. It is like you have learned to act and think differently than they do.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          1) Most religious people were indoctrinated as children (you haven't disagreed with this)

          I have not agreed with that.

          Just like the former Christians turned atheists that I know that say they were not brainwashed by their parents or a church disagree with that.

          2) Childhood indoctrination is a form of brain-washing (you disagree, but I have clearly shown that you are wrong based on the definition of the term)

          Teaching children is not brainwashing. Especially if you allow them to make their own decisions. Which is encouraged in Christianity.

          Circular reasoning on your part.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          1) Most atheist people were indoctrinated as children
          2) Childhood indoctrination is a form of brain-washing

          Conclusion: Most atheist people were brain-washed.

          This follows your logic. So you agree with that?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I agree with Dalahast.

          There is the Physical/Material world and there is the Imaginary world.
          All knowledge is either physical or imaginary.

          Physical knowledge deals with the matter and other material things and is acquired through the 5 senses. Physical things are temporal.

          Imaginary knowledge deals with the things of imaginary beings and inventions, our relationship with those inventions and even our fellow brethren. Imaginary things by definition are eternal.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          1) Most atheist people were indoctrinated as children

          Yes, this is true. I was indoctrinated in a a hardline Christian denomination and was groomed into a pastor.

          2) Childhood indoctrination is a form of brain-washing

          Yes.

          Conclusion: Most atheist people were brain-washed.

          True, but we got better. I believe it was the rinse of truth that cleaned away the obfuscation of religion.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Brainwashed people just don't cure themselves. You need more than a "truth rinse" to overcome systematic abuse designed to make you conform to a dangerous mindset.

          I know people that have been brainwashed by religion. They still believe in God, but they belong to a healthier community now that doesn't resort to such inhumane and disgusting tactics.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          We are descendants of apes...we are all apes. The genetics on this is irrefutable. You can of course choose to ignore REALITY, that is your choice, but it is fact, with NO doubt at all.
          h0m0 sapiens literally means wise ape.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Dala, you're obviously going to continue to jump through illogical hoops to deny the point I made. I get that.

          But you continue to conveniently ignore the tangible evidence that without childhood indoctrination (whether you call it brain-washing or not), religions don't get a significiant following. If childhood indoctrination wasn't required, we would see an equal distribution of religions in every part of the world. If childhood indoctrination isn't a big part of it, then why don't we have as many Christians in India as the US? Uh oh...

          February 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sorry, I'm not purposely ignoring your theory, which was popularized by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion." about we are what we are from where we are born. It has been generally debunked as a logical fallacy.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • new-man

          igaftr:

          I believe you that you know you descended from apes and that you are in fact an ape.

          I on the other hand was created by Almighty God and my spirit placed in this vessel of clay, to be restored back into the image of Elohim (my creator).

          February 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          A quick DNA test would prove you wrong.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Dala, you're drowning.

          You're not ignoring it? Sure seems like you are. Is that all you can do is claim things are logical fallacies any time you're wrong?

          This is not a "theory" popularized by Dawkins. It is an observable fact that the distribution of religions varies dramatically by location. This debunks your theory that people are likely to end up Christians without childhood indoctrination. If that theory were correct, we would see a similar proportion of Christians throughout the world.

          Let me guess...logical fallacy logical fallacy logical fallacy!!! I can assure you, I know a lot more about logical thinking than you as you often illustrate on this board.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dalahäst
          I understand (I think) your resistance to the term brain-washing. You believe certain things and good parents try to pass on what worked for them. In my opinion religion is different to anything else, say politics, in that it is something that is reinforced at least weely at services with other members of the community; many believers pray before each meal, before bed, and at other times. Religion is so much more pervasive and the children are not exposed to objective comparative religions or atheism. At my (christian) school we had religious classes and the extent of our comparative religious studies was limited to the Abrahamic religions and then only to say that they were inferior.
          Most people retain the religion they were originally introduced to.
          I know you do not reject science but many do, and that is another major issue.
          The com

          February 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          JakeSeaVik

          No, I'm not drowning in anything.

          I'm disagreeing with your opinion.

          And I take great solace in the fact that your opinion is not shared by most atheists I know.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I'm not expressing any opinion.

          Do you disagree with my "opinion" that those who are not indoctrinated as children are highly unlikely to become Christians? We can observe that the vast majority of humans who are not indoctrinated as Christians do not grow up to be Christians. This is a fact, not an opinion.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • new-man

          igaftr:

          My DNA is in Christ.

          Yours – since you're the one looking to show proof, go ahead and do your DNA test to prove you are an ape.

          It's really sad that man who was given dominion over all things in the earth now thinks he is no better than an animal and that he actually descended from one. This is what happens when you choose to believe the lies of the devil. How disappointing!

          February 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Indoctrinate, as in teach (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically. No.

          I'm allowed and encouraged to ask questions and think critically in Christianity.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          JakeSeaVik

          What you are describing is fundamentalism. Which is not represented in most of Christianity.

          Fundamentalism, indoctrination and brainwashing can occur in non-religious, and even aethistic settings.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Focusing on semantics is a sure sign that you need a life line! Try addressing the point.

          If you want to soften the wording, that's fine. The facts don't change. Children who are not raised as Christians are highly unlikely to become Christians as adults. I would say children who are not brain-washed are highly unlikely to become Christians as adults. Whichever words you choose to use, the fact remains: Christianity (and all religions) need to get at children when they're impressionable to have a significant rate of success producing Christian adults. That is what the observable evidence proves.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          But to say most Christians dangerously indoctrinate, like force people accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs and use other tactics like brainwashing and systematic mind control is not true.

          Christian nations are generally the freest nations in the world. We are free to consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs thanks to our mostly Christian forefathers, who many saw the dangers of not allowing that first hand.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I didn't say that and that was never my point. My point is that if humans are raised without being...let's say, coerced...into believe in a particular religion, the vast majority of them will not become religious as adults. Considering that a Christian believe usually only results from altering a child's beliefs before they're old enough to think for themselves suggests pretty clearly to me that it's a bad thing. If you can only get someone to believe something by planting a seed in their head and fertilizing it from birth, it's probably not a very reasonable belief! In fact, many of us who were not put through that process and can view religion objectively consider it to be a wildly far-fetched belief. The only way an intelligent person could believe those things in my objective opinion is via some form of brain-washing.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          "new-man

          igaftr: "The mental gymnastics of belief never ceases to amaze me."

          Yes, you believe you descended from an ape.
          In that regard for one, I am different from you."

          Yes...different as in ignoring the facts. Humans share a direct common ancestor with all the great apes.(chimps, gorillas, etc.) DNA evidence alone on this is clear and irrefutable. What's more is we are still apes. Brainy, mostly hairless apes.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Most Christians are not being brainwashed or dangerously indoctrinated. At least not in America.

          Such ideas are shunned and rebelled against firmly and described as evil.

          I'm too skeptical and rationally minded to be duped into a false religion or scam. You will have to systematically torture and brainwash me to believe in the phoney junk some religions are trying to sell people.

          Fck brainwashing, whether done by religious or non-religious people. Fvk Christian brainwashers. Fck atheist brainwashers.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Such ideas (like using dangerous indoctrination and brainwashing) are shunned and rebelled against by most Christians firmly and described as evil.

          I meant.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • joey3467

          I disagree, taking a four year old to church is at best attempted brain washing.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          So is taking them to a movie, going to school or pretty much anything where they can learn something.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I can only imagine a man who has been formerly brainwashed by a violent regime, like the now defunct Iraqi army, would laugh at the notion of taking a child to church as attempted brainwashing.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • joey3467

          Your opinion is noted.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • igaftr

          newman
          That's so incredibly hilarious. You choose to deny the actual fact, and think to set yourself above nature. Talk about self-exhalted.

          "This is what happens when you choose to believe the lies of the devil. How disappointing!"
          You mean your bible...no I don't believe the lies of satan that is the bible.
          Considering that belief in the bible has justified wars, murders, attempted genocides, slavery, mistreatment of women,bigotry, especially against blacks and gays...
          considering that there is a great deal of the bible that is flat out wrong...considering the chaos in attempting to interpret the book, resulting in over 40,000 versions of the belief., no two interpret it the same way
          all sounds like satans work

          The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to inspire the bible, then credit god with it. You have been deceived.
          And you can claim you are not an ape, your DNA proves you are, especially if you have 46 chromosomes...definitely came from apes.

          You have attempted to lift yourself above nature...you can't...you have deluded yourself with the words of satan...the bible.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've noted everyone's opinion. Even the author of this opinion piece.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          The fact that you continue to ignore the point leads me to believe that you can't dispute what I've said.

          For the most part (there are some few exceptions), the only way a person believes in a religion is if they are brain-washed from an early age.

          You have disagreed with the use of the word "brain-washing" to describe the process, but have not disagreed with the above general point. So we can conclude we're in agreement on that.

          Regarding the use of the term "brain-washing", if you could see how incredibly far-fetched religious views are to the un-indoctrinated who can see it objectively, you wouldn't consider the term to be hyperbole. It may not be brain-washing with evil intentions, but it is brain-washing nonetheless.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think Christianity is learned. But not through brainwashing.

          Have people tried to use brainwashing in a Christian setting? Yes. Are such techniques exclusively Christian, or even religious? No. Do all Christians use such tactics? No. Do most? No.

          Is brainwashing something Jesus would have supported? Probably not.

          I strongly disagree with your opinion that it is mostly or only the result of dangerous indoctrination or brainwashing.

          People learn about Christianity, like they learn other things. Such as language, history and even archaeology.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dalahast
          "So is taking them to a movie, going to school or pretty much anything where they can learn something."

          But taking them to religious services is specifically to teach them about the god that the parents believe in, other learning is not as focused and typically provides a broader knowledge base.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You can go to church and still consider outside and differing views. In most cases, you are free to ask questions. At some point you can decide for yourself whether you continue or change.

          Most Christians go to public schools that are secular, attend movies that are secular, listen to music that is secular. Yet still believe in God. And still strive to love others.

          It really doesn't fit the description of being brainwashed. Or dangerously indoctrinated. At least not in America.

          Under the control of brainwashers, you can't.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          The problem is, when an idea has been embedded in your mindset at such a young age, you have a hard time seeing how preposterous it is when you grow up if the adults around you continue to act like it's a rational idea. Consider how long many children believe in Santa Claus (or at least did before the internet). Those of us who believed in Santa Claus did so because we were brain-washed as well. As a result of an elaborate hoax involving presents, fun and magic, we wanted to believe it so badly that we ignored our intuition for longer than we otherwise would have had our loved ones not insisted it was true. You can convince a person to believe pretty much anything if you get to them young enough. Unfortunately with religion, the adults never reveal that it was a hoax because they were victims too and they still believe it!

          February 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh, when I learned that Santa wasn't really I didn't have that much trouble letting go. I was in 2nd grade. It wasn't brainwashing. In retrospect, it was actually kind of fun and I have good memories of it.

          That being said, my belief in God is not like believing in Santa.

          Christianity works best when objectivity and questioning is encouraged. It fails when dangerous indoctrination and brainwashing is forced on people forced into captivity by power-mongers.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I enjoyed the Santa Claus myth as well. It still meets the definition of brain-washing though.

          My main point was, if someone had come to you in first grade and told you the story of Santa Claus for the first time, you were old enough to realize that it was a ridiculous story and you would not have not believed it. However, since you were taught that story since before you can remember, you did believe it when you were in first grade. People who were not taught the story of religion are in a much better position to consider it objectively and most of us conclude it's wildly preposterous.

          So the question is, if people only believe in Christianity (or any other religion) if they were taught it from an extremely early age (with few exceptions), what does that say about its validity? To me, the fact that you believe in a story as a result only of what your parents happened to teach you when you were a baby and beyond, and you wouldn't believe that story if you first heard it as an adult, says that the story has no merit.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • gmscan

          Your premise is false. People come to Jesus all the time. Nothing unusual about it.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          But people don't only believe in Christianity (or any other religion) if they were taught it from an extremely early age.

          A majority? Yes. All. No. Did it originally start that way? No.

          Do rational and well-adjusted adults convert from other religions, no religion or atheism to Christianity? Yes.

          And some that have been taught Christianity (or any other religion) at an extremely early age do not all remain Christian.

          Since they were not really brainwashed or indoctrinated by their Christian parents and church, the switch to atheism or another faith wasn't quite as difficult as it would be to somebody that was legitimately brainwashed into believing something dangerous.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          We have over 7 billion people on the planet. Of course, you can find some exceptions. But the fact that there are very few Christians in India and very few Hindus in the US shows quite clearly that people generally become religious as a result of childhood indoctrination, brain-washing, coercing, whatever you want to call it. It also shows that no one religion has any particularly strong merits such that people who were not brain-washed as children are likely to pick-up that religion at a later age.

          I'm honestly tired of discussing this because you don't seem to be able to offer anything to dispute what I've said. I realize that is because what I'm saying is just an undeniable fact and you'd rather not acknowledge that because it undermines your religious views. If you have the strength, I invite you to consider what I've said objectively and free yourself from what you were taught as a child, purely as a result of where you happened to be born and who your parents happened to be.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "...childhood indoctrination, brain-washing, coercing, whatever you want to call it. "

          Problem is, most people, even outside of the faith, look at it like that.

          I believe you look at it like that. But most disagree with your preposterous claims and your circular reasoning.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          "Did it originally start that way? No."

          Keep in mind, when it originally started, people thought the earth was flat. We didn't yet have the information to know that the teachings of the bible were impossible. When it originally started, an objective adult could have heard about Christianity for the first time and concluded that it made as much sense as anything else and believed it. Now, we know that the bible is historical fiction. The percentage of un-indoctrinated adults who consider Christianity and conclude it makes sense is statistically insignificant.

          The fact that you're citing what happened long before the dark ages as a supporting point is telling.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Why does our predominately Christian nation support freedom and your right to not be a Christian?

          Why did our mostly Christian forefathers find it important to allow freedom of and freedom from religion?

          Because Christians don't support coercion, brainwashing and indoctrination? But instead support freedom, inquiry, tolerance and love?

          February 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          "I believe you look at it like that. But most disagree with your preposterous claims and your circular reasoning."

          I don't know you, but I have lived in four different countries on two continents, worked in four continents and travelled to five. Maybe you've seen more of the world than I have, but that is unlikely. In my experience, "most" people agree with me. I put a lot more credence in that than biased religious poles.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          -Keep in mind, when it originally started, people thought the earth was flat.--

          "People in Europe probably did believe that the earth was flat at one stage, but that was in the very early ancient period, possible before the 4th century BCE, the very early phases of European civilisation. It was around this date that Greek thinkers began to not only realise the earth was a globe, but calculated – sometimes very closely – the precise dimensions of our planet."

          http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/historicalmyths/a/histmyths7.htm

          February 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is great most people agree with you. Especially since most people are not atheist. That means you are finding common ground with others. Even with religious people you think are victims of brainwashing. At least most of these people weren't brainwashed to be hateful toward atheists and others.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Stop averting the subject. The point about the earth being flat was simply that we didn’t know enough to realize how blatantly untrue / impossible the story of Christianity was, so it was less ridiculous to seriously believe it then, even without the help of brain-washing (and if you have a term you’d like me to use other than brain-washing to describe what Christians do to children, let me know and I can use that instead so you stop changing the subject over semantics).

          I don’t agree that most people are not atheists. It is impossible to know for sure, but in my experience, even in the conservative USA, most people are atheists. MANY are closet atheists and many are atheists in denial. Of course, I can’t prove this, but that’s my experience and based on my experience, I’d guess maybe 25-30% of people actually believe in a god. Many of them, especially in the US, won’t admit that openly though because of the stranglehold the religious right has on our country.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I would call it teaching about Jesus. Not brainwashing.

          It is not brainwashing.

          Pew research finds:
          83% of people believe in God
          12% believe in a higher power
          4% atheist
          1% don't know/refuse

          For scientists, fyi:
          33% of people believe in God
          18% believe in a higher power
          41% atheist
          7% don't know/refuse

          http://www.pewforum.org/2009/11/05/scientists-and-belief/

          February 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I don't agree with those statistics because, like I said, a lot of people are in denial or in the closet for a number of reasons. But nevertheless, the statistics to illustrate a directional point: If you're a scientist (ie, smarter than the average Joe), you're much less likely to believe in a god.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Most atheists are not scientists. And most scientists are not atheists.

          And they way you describe the atheists you know, they sound like p*ssies. Most Christians and atheists are willing to die for their beliefs. And they will fight for the right for the other to hold their differing, but valid beliefs. Not hide them or worry what they neighbor might think. Or try to please an imaginary religious moral majority.

          Nope. Most atheists aren't scared and hiding their disbelief in God.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          A Pew Research Study is more scientific and reliable than your feelings or experiences in traveling.

          February 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          What the f are you talking about? The smarter you are, the more likely you're an atheist. That's a fact even supported by the study you just cited. The best scientists are 95% atheists (if you know about google, you can confirm this).

          Now you're accusing atheists of being "pu$$ies"?! Uh, you're the one afraid to acknowledge that what you were taught from birth is a bunch of bs and simply a result of where you were born and what myths happened to be passed down to your parents. That's a pretty weak position if you ask me.

          February 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Most atheists are not p*ssies. I'm saying I don't agree with you that they hide their atheism in fear.

          95% of no scientists are atheists. There might be a high percentage of agnostics or non-religious, but not atheists.

          The fact that you are the only way trumpeting the brainwashing theory is very telling to me. Most atheists on here don't even want to support you.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          only way = only one

          February 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • hotairace

          Well here's another one. Of course filling innocent children's heads with religious bullsh!t is indoctrination. The vast majority of believers merely believe the crap they were exposed to growing up. If there was one true god, all children would believe the same thing without any interference from their parents or the nearest religious charlatan.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Most debates I've seen are kind of 50/50 on that issue.

          http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-religious-belief-purely-a-function-of-how-people-were-brought-up

          Even some atheists disagree with that notion.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Do agnostics actually believe in God? No, they're uncertain. I'm also uncertain about there being a God. How could I ever know that there isn't one somewhere in the universe? I am totally unconvinced by all the claims that God actually does exist, however. That's why I don't believe in a God even though I don't know that he doesn't exist.

          Being agnostic is all about knowledge.

          You claim to know that God exists, and you believe that he does.

          That makes you a gnostic theist.

          I don't know whether God exists, but I don't accept your claim that he does, and therefore I don't believe.

          That makes me a agnostic atheist.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:17 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Love is more than just a chemical reaction.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:28 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Love is more than just a chemical reaction."

          Bold claim. Any evidence to back it up?

          See my rebuttal below.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I believe in love as more than a chemical reaction. Can I prove that to you? Maybe, or maybe not. Can I love you? Yes. Because of a chemical reaction? No. Because you are a brother.

          "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

          February 14, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Paul was writing poetically, wasn't he?

          February 14, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes.

          Poetry reveals truths that science is incapable of revealing. That is why Jesus taught by using parables. That is why a well-rounded education requires educations in several disciplines, including literature, arts, sociology, religion, psychology, law, ethics, business and music.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Metaphors, analogies and parables are useful in articulating difficult concepts and science uses them as well, but an educated person knows that the universe didn't really begin with a big bang so much as a sudden expansion. Much of science can best be expressed using mathematics. No wonder that there is so much room for baseless speculation. Just because we can make a statement like "God is eternal" doesn't mean that this idea actually makes any sense, or matches the reality we can test.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Cool.

          Thanks for sharing with me your speculations about what educated people believe. And your speculations about what scientists believe. And your speculations about what I believe.

          Which basically boils down to you telling me what you believe. Nothing more. Nothing less.

          I appreciate the dialogue. These threads and this page is getting too long, so I gotta move on from this page.

          Peace.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • SeaVik

          There is only one reason this thread got so long and that's because you continue to talk in circles. I long ago showed you that even using the definition YOU provided, the typical process of raising a child to be a Christian fits perfectly with the definition of brain-washing. That question was settled long ago, yet you continue to suggest it's just my opinion. I've even agreed to use less harsh terminology, yet you continue to come back to brain-washing. You will never conceed you are wrong no matter what evidence or logic is provided. That is precisely the mindset that allows you to be religious.

          Since you won't do the research yourself, here's the link showing that back in 1997, 93% of elite scientists did not believe in a god and that number was steadily trending up. So, we can conservatively say that 95% of elite scientists don't believe in a god today. Keep denying the truth and you'll continue to live in a world of delusion.

          http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

          February 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
      • kudlak

        Both brain parts are physical, however. "Spiritual" usually implies some kind of supernatural quality linked to a soul, but if you mean simple emotional responses or imagination then sure, we have a "spiritual side. If chemicals working in our brains can produce mathematics than they can also produce dreams and poetry.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:22 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Chemicals in our brain do not produce mathematics. Love is more than just a chemical reaction.

          There is more to life than just the material aspect. We call that spiritual.

          Science reveals truths. But so do other things like art, stories and relationships.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:30 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          If you alter the reactions of the chemicals in our brain with drugs, or trauma doesn't that affect how well we can produce mathematics? Can't a neurological condition like Alzheimer's make people forget that they love someone?

          I can see our having an emotional experience with the world, but I see it as completely rooted in the material between our ears. Mess with the brain and you mess with the "spirit". That's why people take certain drugs to "open up" their minds. Our bodies also produce drugs that can affect our minds. Dopamine is released into people's minds when they're taken up by moving experiences like watching a big game, concert, or religious service. Having a headache could also ruin something like that. Any way you slice it, i'll bet that God would stop "talking" to you if something serious is affecting your brain, right?

          Relationships can reveal truth, but the further one gets from having an actual face-to-face interaction with a real live person the chances of being fooled increase, wouldn't you say? Look at all the relationship fraud that occurs online these days. When it comes to your kind of relationship with God, where it all transpires in your mind (as far as even you can tell, right?), where your subconscious is also rattling around, I really can't see how you can say with any confidence that you're not just talking to yourself. Sorry, but that's how I see it.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm sorry you haven't experienced love as more than just a chemical reaction. Like it is just a drug? No, not in my experience.

          That is some small and simple-minded thinking.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:41 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Maybe we're both experiencing love the exact say way, but you were taught to believe that it's something more? I have no reason to suspect that you're experiencing anything that I haven't already, but my experience suggests that you might think that you are.

          Take the déjà vu example I used below. I think we all experience it, but some folks who believe in reincarnation say that it's an indication of our past lives. That's an interpretation that is taught, just like your "spiritual" love is. You have to be a Christian to believe in it and you believe in it because you were taught to see certain things as evidence for it.

          That's indoctrination.

          I just see everyone having the same experience. Nothing special, no indoctrinated extra layer of meaning.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • Dalahäst

          We disagree. That's fine.

          Nobody will ever create true love with chemicals, test tubes or petri dishes. They can make drugs. But not true love.

          Love is bigger than science.

          “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

          ― Martin Luther King Jr.

          “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.”

          ― Martin Luther King Jr.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          What makes you think that even true love isn't just a chemical reaction going on in your head? Alzheimer's can make a person forget who their true love is. Shouldn't some eternal, non-corporeal soul be able to override any physical problem like that?

          Religion could interpret, but the question is whether it's interpreting what science investigates correctly. Religion holds vast power as well, and you might want to ask yourself why it isn't interested in the facts.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      The human brain is a wonderful yet unreliable organ.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Anthony Crispino

      "We can both agree that religion stinks though."

      It's not just the smell. I think it can be bad for your health. I was going to mass so frequently when they said there would be a law that women should breast feed in church that I think I caught something in the confessional. Does anyone know of a good Catholic church that keep Purel in the confessional? One good thing is that I'm confessed out to like sometime in 2016.

      February 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • kudlak

      mopizzle11
      Can you prove that our consciousnesses aren't completely tied to our physical brains? By all evidence, altering the brain alters our consciousness, right? Your soul doesn't step outside your body when you're drunk. If it did, we would never get drunk, would we?

      February 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • derado8

        Alcohol will not lead to astral travel, though I heard peyote might.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • kudlak

          Tequila might be the exception to that rule. 🙂

          February 14, 2014 at 1:07 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      "It's tough for me to accept that there is nothing other than the physical universe."

      It's tough for me to accept that no one has given me a Bentley yet, doesn't mean i'm going to run around making car noises pretending i'm driving one...

      February 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
  10. Ungodly Discipline

    Mary is the mother of God. God is the father of God. Mary therefore had incest with her own son before he was born.

    February 13, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Nope. They didn't have se.xual activity. Nice try.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        There had to be sexual activity. Fact.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Think artificial insemination.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          They had that 2000 years ago? I stand corrected.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You don't have to have se.x to create life. 3 billion years ago, or whenever life formed, it was not initially the product of se.xual activity.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          Your responses just keep getting weaker. Stop while you are behind.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not really. It seems to be a logical fallacy to proclaim that God and Mary engaged in incest.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dalahast,
          For christians that believe in the trinity, how does it make sense? Also god can supposedly produce men at will from mud, so that was another alternative. All mammals have sex to reproduce and should not be compared directly to primitive life.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          How did the first mammals appear? If it took 2 mammals to reproduce, where did the first 2 come from?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Nice job Dala. You just pointed out the fact that there are questions about the origin of life that we don't yet have the answer to. That's why we're atheists!

          February 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's why you are an atheist. Some are atheists for different reasons than you.

          A lot of religious people are religious for the same reasons you are an atheist.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dalahast,
          Evolution is explained in many books and websites, here's one – http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

          February 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          In Santa We Trust

          Evolution contradicts "All mammals have s.ex to reproduce and should not be compared directly to primitive life."

          A mammal had to come from a non-mammal.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • igaftr

          dalhast.
          of course mammals came from not mammals. Mammals are the last type of animal to have evolved.
          Just like the chicken and the egg. There was a creature that was almost a chicken, that had an egg that had a mutation making it a chicken.
          The DNA of animals from around the world show this over and over and over and over....

          February 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, I have no qualms with evolution. But I'm not sure how it invalidates God supernaturally impregnating Mary, which would not be incest.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • joey3467

          Does god have chromosomes or did Jesus only have half the normal amount?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
      • Rogue Geologist

        So did God make a zygote or materialize a load inside Mary?

        February 13, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • doobzz

      Did Mary have free will? Could she have refused to provide the host body for the future zombie messiah?

      February 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • Akira

        From all accounts, she consented. She was pretty young, though...

        February 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • doobzz

          Yes, according to the bible, she consented, as much as a child can consent to being impregnated by a deity. But could she have refused? With her free will and all? I wonder what God's backup plan was if she did exercise her "free will"?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Akira

          I dunno, if I were St. Anne, I'd have had plenty to say about my 12-13 year old daughter getting pregnant. No matter who it was by.

          But that's just me.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • doobzz

          Lol, "but mom, it was the holy ghost, I swear!"

          February 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        If you lived in a culture where the whole community came together to stone unwed mothers to death, wouldn't you say anything at all to save your own neck if you found yourself in that situation?

        "Mary! It was that Ishmael from down the street that you've spending so much time with, wasn't it, you little harlot?"
        "No Dad! I swear I've never even seen a pe/nis! God made me pregnant with magic!"

        February 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • doobzz

          I was trying not to confuse the issue with facts, lol.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • Vic

      It was a "Supernatural" conception directly into the womb of Mary manifested in the "Overshadowing" of the Holy Spirit.

      Matthew 1:20
      Luke 1:35
      Luke 2:21

      February 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • Vic

      Also, God chose Mary and favored her because of her devout Faith in Him, and while she doubted the Will of God at first, she consented out of Belief (Luke 1:38.)

      Luke 1:26-38

      February 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
      • kudlak

        Was this Christian Faith, or Mary's Jewish faith that got her recognized?

        February 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Vic

          It was Jewish, of course.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • kudlak

          Tell me, would Mary's orthodox faith in the Jewish God have accepted the idea of being impregnated with a person of his trinity? Would the most devout Jewish woman today accept that notion?

          I think your theology only works if Mary is a Christian already before becoming pregnant.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • Vic

          You are leveling the playing field here. Humans are not equal to the Divine on any level.

          People of Faith understand the Supremacy of God; therefore, when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and delivered the news, it was obvious to her that it was a matter of God and NOT a human affair.

          Also, this is not a Faith comparison, rather, it is a "Dispensation of Time" by God from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant through the Lord Jesus Christ.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • theophileo

          She also was familiar with Isaiah 7:14
          "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."

          February 13, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • kudlak

          Vic
          So, you're saying that an orthodox Jewish girl with flawless faith in a God without a son would just accept the notion of being impregnated by God the way Zeus use to go around doing?

          Tell me, if a Christian girl claimed to be pregnant with God's daughter, wouldn't you suspect that her faith (or sanity) was slipping?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • kudlak

          In Isaiah 7, the alma is already pregnant, so the proper translation there is "young woman" and not "virgin". Why would a devout Jewish girl see herself as this woman from her history?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
    • Vic

      The Holy Trinity, One Godhead Three Persons—Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit—has three distinct "Persons" of One Shared Existence, hence "Hypostases." The use of the word "Person" is but a translation for the lack of a better term.

      February 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • kudlak

        Genesis 6:1-2
        1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

        2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

        How many "sons" did God have?

        February 13, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • Vic

          That's polymorphism of the expression "sons of God."

          February 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • kudlak

          Vic
          Then interpreting Jesus as the actual son of God could also be a mistake. Don't you find it a more likely possibility that all references to "son" or "sons" of God are not indicating actual genetic sons as we understand the term, and that the Greek writers of the NT simply mistook this term to mean something like the sons of gods from their culture? Judaism certainly never had that concept. Why would such a claim be interpreted as blasphemy by the Pharisees if they had?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • theophileo

          The term "sons of God" is actually a technical term that is a Hebraism for angels.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          So, Jesus was an angel then? Did he partake in this womanizing along with all the others? Sure doesn't make angels look like particularly good beings, does it?

          February 14, 2014 at 1:05 am |
  11. Ungodly Discipline

    God created the universe. Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created. These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth.

    We are a product of that primeval turbulence. Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God. The Aliens have to worship God. This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

    February 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
  12. Ungodly Discipline

    The question isn’t whether one tells the truth or lives a lie. Regardless of your point of view, relative perception will determine the truth; lie or fact. This is a huge advantage for those that would exploit gullible people in a religious setting. Still, if you proclaim the exact opposite of your view point you are not changing or damaging anything at all. Now do morals apply when one is dishonest but no foul is committed? Does the ensuing anger or complacency matter? Words about religion do not affect the universe in any way. So now one wonders why the evil is not properly applied. One wonders why gods dirty finger nails would pluck a baby up to heaven, perhaps a midnight snack. The faith makes the arguments balance on unstable ground. Free fall would be the only possible revelation and would prove nothing.

    February 13, 2014 at 11:32 am |
    • theophileo

      *sniff, sniff* smells like Post Modernism thinking to me...

      February 13, 2014 at 11:35 am |
  13. Ungodly Discipline

    God fathered himself after he already existed. This would be a clue that there are flaws in the Bible.

    February 13, 2014 at 11:30 am |
    • theophileo

      No, the Trinity always existed... Jesus became incarnate in the flesh in order that He might bear the penalty of the elect. To believe that Jesus was created is the ancient heresy known as Arianism.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        Please provide supporting evidence.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • theophileo

          What, Ariansim? Wikipedia has an "OK" article on it. But if you want to see it in a little more detail, read Calvin's "Insti.tutes of the Christian Religion."

          February 13, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          No, I would like your evidence regarding the trinity please.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • theophileo

          I could quote from Athenagoras of Athens (170AD), or I could make a long list of passages from the Bible, either one would take up quite a bit of real estate in this blog.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          I requested evidence, not fiction.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • theophileo

          In that case I submit the 38 volume library of the works of the early church fathers. These men who were direct students of the apostles investigated or observed directly their claims, putting to rest any doubts as to the veracity of their claims.

          If you're wanting something you can touch and examine for yourself, I'm not sure what you're looking for.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          Are you dense? I am looking for evidence. Something scientific.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • igaftr

          "putting to rest any doubts as to the veracity of their claims. "
          LOL
          Apparently not. I have a great deal of doubt. It is far more apparent the whole thing was made up.
          So let's see. a bunch of gutys make up a book of stories, and then the same group ( not the same guys, but those who have a vested interest in continuing the propoaganda) has a bunch verify....one lies the other swears to it.
          Your verification group is shakey at best and certainly not reliable.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • theophileo

          Ungodly Discipline,
          You mean, the same kind of tangeable evidence that exists for the consciousness? What about for emotions? We can't "see" proof of their existence, we just see the results of their existence.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • theophileo

          "Apparently not. I have a great deal of doubt. It is far more apparent the whole thing was made up."
          ------
          That falls squarely into the category of belief.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Isn't it odd that the concept of the Trinity didn't become dogma until some 300 years after Christ's death?
        Even today there are a number of non-trinitarian Christian sects like Jehovah's Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, Christadelphians, Rastafarians, Mormons etc.
        You may not like the colour of their tartans, but they're still Scotsmen.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          "You may not like the colour of their tartans, but they're still Scotsmen"
          😆

          February 13, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • doobzz

          A Scotsman clad in kilt left the bar one evening fair
          And one could tell by how he walked he'd drunk more than his share
          He staggered on until he could no longer keep his feet
          Then stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

          Ring ding diddle diddle i de o
          Ring di diddle i o
          He stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

          Later on two young and lovely girls just happened by,
          And one says to the other with a twinkle in her eye
          You see yon sleeping Scotsman who is young and handsome built
          I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath their kilt.

          Ring ding diddle diddle i de o
          Ring di diddle i o
          I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath their kilt.

          They crept up to the sleeping Scotsman quiet as could be
          Then lifted up his kilt about an inch so they could see
          And there behold for them to view beneath his Scottish skirt
          Was nothing but what God had graced him with upon his birth

          Ring ding diddle diddle i de o
          Ring di diddle i o
          There was nothing there but what God gave upon his birth

          They marveled for a moment then one said we'd best be gone
          But let's leave a present for our friend before we move along
          They took a blue silk ribbon and they tied it in a bow
          Around the bonnie spar that the Scot's lifted kilt did show

          Ring ding diddle diddle i de o
          Ring di diddle i o
          Around the bonnie spar that the Scot's lifted kilt did show

          The Scotsman woke to nature's call and stumbled toward a tree
          Behind a bush he lifts his kilt and gawks at what he sees
          Then in a startled voice he says to what's before his eyes
          He said, "Lad I don't know where you've been but I see you won first
          prize"

          Ring ding diddle diddle i de o
          Ring di diddle i o
          He said, "Lad I don't know where you've been but I see you won first prize"

          February 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • theophileo

          "Isn't it odd that the concept of the Trinity didn't become dogma until some 300 years after Christ's death?"
          ------
          You're flat out wrong.

          Athenagoras of Athens – 170AD speaking merely a few decades after Paul spoke at Mars Hill in Athens, Athenagoras spoke on the principles of monotheism and his strongly-reasoned argument for the unity of God in Christian literature is supplemented by an able exposition of the Trinity...

          February 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Akira

          What?? Lmao!!

          February 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Theo
          There was great debate amongst early Christians when it came to whether Christ was literally and magically the Son of God. The Trinity became offical dogma at the Nicene Council in 325CE. Arius' ideas were stamped as heresies and the matter remained settled for many hundreds of years (while Catholicism was effectively the sole form of Christianity).

          February 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • Akira

          A century isn't a mere decades, not in my book, anyhow. 67-68 AD is far removed from 170AD.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          doobzz, between your poem and Doc's tartan quip, i got a much needed laugh. Way to go, both of you.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @doobzz – That is an awesome ditty.... LOL

          February 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • theophileo

          "The Trinity became offical dogma at the Nicene Council in 325CE"
          ------
          Wrong again.

          The council between Constantine and the elders of the Church met to bring stability, continuity, and organization to the birth of the relatively new Christian faith... Unfortunately, they modeled the heirarchy after the Roman government, and birthed the Catholic Church. This new relationship between the government and the church gave rise to the first officially recognized departure from the original New Testament Church.

          Trinitarian doctrine was not established here however... Although many atheist's websites would have you believe it was. When church councils met to "establish doctrine," it was merely to solidify Biblical doctrines in the face of impending heresies – in this case, it was largely gnosticism and arianism – for the purpose of seperating truth from error.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          More like, there was a number of competing "Christianities" until the Roman based variety ended up with the power and position to outlaw the others as "heresy". "History is written by the victors", after all.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • joey3467

          Nonsense. If Constantine hadn't wanted the Trinity in the Bible then it wouldn't be there. A group of people met and picked the books that told the story they wanted to tell, and left out the books that didn't tell what they wanted, and that is how we got the bible.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "The formulation 'one God in three persons' was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century."
          – The New Catholic Encyclopedia

          That there was great theological divisiveness regarding the Trinity concept is evidence by the excommunication of Noetus from the Christian church in 200CE for teaching that Christ was the Father, and that the Father himself was born, and suffered, and died.
          Constantine tried to reconcile the new religion of Christianity with the older, well established pagan religions. When Greek theology met Christianity, a number of pagan ideals were carried over. Platonic ideas have had a crucial role in the development of Christian theology – Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and St. Augustine were early Christian exponents of a Platonic perspective, including the concept of a triune God.
          The majority of the bishops at the council of Nicea believed in what is called subordinationism, which is a belief that Jesus Christ is subordinate to God the Father, not coequal, not coeternal, and not God the Son.
          Constantine was insistent, however – and those who defied him were imprisoned, exiled or executed.
          Long before the founding of Christianity the idea of a triune god or a god-in-three persons was a common belief in ancient religions. Babylonians used an equilateral triangle to represent this three-in-one god, for example.
          "God the Son" is not a biblical term (the Son of God is, however) – it does not appear in the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic texts. God the Son is however a Babylonian term. The Babylonians made Nimrod a god, and when he died they deified his son Tammuz as God the Son.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • theophileo

          Doc,
          Then how do you account for the Bible teaching a Triune God? And this was LONG before any Cathohaulic church corruption was formed... I could list dozens of scriptures...

          And NO church council ever determined what books would be included in the Bible. The apostles themselved determined what scripture was. (references available upon request.) Once again, church councils merely reinforced the extant books in order to exclude others of the gnostics that merely claimed apostollic authority.

          Have you studied this for yourself or are you just looking this up as you go along, because it sounds like you're reading propoganda...

          February 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Where does the Bible teacha triune God?
          Specific scripture, please.
          Note that "God the Son" is not semantically equivalent to "The Son of God".
          And note that I've been saying it didn't become DOGMA – meaning unquestionable, innerant, divinely mandated Truth – until the Council of Nicea. The concept existed and was a matter of great debate until Constantine made it a capital crime to contradict it.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          On a more personal note, I harbour a fascination for mythology and religion of all kinds, not just Christianity. Other, older religions espoused trinitarian ideas too – not just the Babylonians (from whom the early Abrahamics borrowed much, like the flood story), but also Hindus.
          Christianity exhibits a number of pre-existing mythological archetypes.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • joey3467

          and not just some verse that you guys decided to interpret as meaning the Trinity, but the verse that explicitly says that god is a Trinity.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          For argument's sake, even if things happened as you say, when the church outlawed certain writings as heretical weren't they, in fact, also passing judgment on which books they approved of?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Still waiting those dozens of passages that specifically and unambigiously teach the Trinitarian doctrine.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • theophileo

          Doc,
          Sorry for the delay, I had work to do....

          OK, Trinity in the Bible:

          God is:
          Father – Philippians 1:2, 4:20, Romans 1:7
          Son – John 1:1, 14, Colossians 2:9, Henrews 1:8, Ti.tus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1
          Holy Spirit – Acts 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

          The Creator is:
          Father – Isaiah 64:8, 44:24, Psalm 100:3
          Son – Colossians 1:15-17
          Holy Spirit – Job 33:4, 26:13, Psalm 104:30

          Eternal:
          Father – Psalm 90:2
          Son – Micah 5:1-2, Revelation 1:17
          Holy Spirit – Romans 8:11, Hebrews 9:14

          And I could list MUCH more if you want...

          February 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • theophileo

          kudlak,
          They were excluding heresies in much the same way that you would exclude a made-up word from the dictionary. The decisions however were not arbitrary, but systemmatic.

          OT Canonicity test...
          1)The writer, well known to be a spokesman for God, claimed to be speaking and writing the inspired word of God. “Thus says the LORD…” (examples: 1 Kings 12:22–24, 1 Chronicles 17:3–4, Jeremiah 35:13, Ezekiel 2:4, Zechariah 7:9)

          2)There were no errors of history, geography, or theology at all in the book.

          New Testament Canonicity test added the following…
          3)Was the book written by an Apostle or someone closely associated with an Apostle? In other words, was the book Divinely Inspired?

          4)Content: Did the writings square with what the Apostles taught?
          Acts 2:42 – And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine...
          When the early church first met, they met according to the doctrine taught by the apostles

          5)Was the book regularly read in the early church?

          6)Was the book recognized and used by succeeding generations after the early church?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Thanks for the reply, though I'll have to get back to you tomorrow.
          Off the top of my head though, I don't see how Colossians 1 is an argument for the Trinity.
          As I recall, it refers to The Son as the image of The Father – but every human being is said to be made in God's image.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • joey3467

          the few I have looked up don't say anything about a Trinity. I guess you could really stretch it to make it say what you want, but that isn't what we asked for. I want the verse that says God is made of three parts, the Father, son, and Holy Spirit. Not some verse that Christians decided after the fact referred to the Trinity because they needed some verses to back what they believed.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • theophileo

          Trinity taught in Scripture:

          Matthew 3:16-17 – Here, at Jesus’ baptism: all three persons of the Godhead were simultaneously active (the Son being baptized, the Spirit descending, and the Father speaking from Heaven)

          Isaiah 9:6 – For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
          > Here, the Son is referred to as "Mighty God" and "Eternal Father" so the Son is the Father, and both are God...

          John 10:30, 33 – Father and Son are one
          1 Corinthians 3:16 – Father and Spirit are one
          Acts 5:1-4 – The Holy Spirit and God are one
          Romans 8:9 – Son and the Spirit are one
          John 14:16, 18, 23, 26 – Father, Son, and Spirit are one

          Psalm 110:1 – “The LORD said to my Lord…”
          >God’s name is applied to more than one person in the same text

          Isaiah 48:16, 61:1 – All three persons of the Trinity are referred to

          Matthew 28:19 – the Baptism formula mentions all three persons of the Trinity: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

          2 Corinthians 13:14 – Paul blesses using all three persons of the Trinity
          Romans 15:16, 30 – Spells out the Triune God
          2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Spells out the Triune God
          Ephesians 2:18 – Spells out the Triune God
          Matthew 3:16-17 – At Christ’s baptism, all three Persons were simultaneously active, with the Son being baptized, the Spirit descending, and the Father speaking from Heaven.
          Matthew 6:9 – Jesus prayed to the Father
          Matthew 26:39 – Jesus taught that His will is distinct from the Father’s
          John 14:6 – Jesus said that He would pray to the Father to send the Spirit
          John 17:5 – Jesus asked the Father to glorify Him
          Romans 8:26 – the Spirit intercedes before the Father on behalf of believers
          1 John 2:1 – Jesus intercedes before the Father as the advocate of believers
          John 1:1-5 – There is only one God, yet He exists as a Trinity of persons
          Ephesians 4:4-6 – one Spirit, one Lord, one God and Father

          February 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          "Heresies" were just competing versions of Christianity. All words are "made-up". The governing body picks which words are included in it's dictionary, but that doesn't make excluded ones not words anymore. At best, your analogy can draw the difference between the Queen's English (Roman Christianity) and American slang (Other Christianities).

          OT Canonicity test...
          1)The writer, well known to be a spokesman for God, claimed to be speaking and writing the inspired word of God. “Thus says the LORD…” (examples: 1 Kings 12:22–24, 1 Chronicles 17:3–4, Jeremiah 35:13, Ezekiel 2:4, Zechariah 7:9)

          - Plenty of other gospels, for example, claimed to be speaking for God, or an apostle.

          2)There were no errors of history, geography, or theology at all in the book.

          - As judged against whose theology? When the Roman Church looked at books, weren't they judging them against their own theology at the time? How is that not biased?

          New Testament Canonicity test added the following…
          3)Was the book written by an Apostle or someone closely associated with an Apostle? In other words, was the book Divinely Inspired?

          -Again, many other gospels actually claimed to be write by apostles, whereas none of the canonical gospels are signed. Their names are merely traditional.

          4)Content: Did the writings square with what the Apostles taught?

          -As judged by what, accepted books detailing what the apostles taught? There were no outside sources, were there?

          5)Was the book regularly read in the early church?

          -Which church, the most powerful one hundreds of years later? There were many groups. Does popularity make one group more right than a smaller group? If that's the case, Roman Catholics must hold the actual correct theology.

          6)Was the book recognized and used by succeeding generations after the early church?

          -"Heretic" groups had succeeding generations too. You seem to be under the false impression that the "early church" was some single, unified thing.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:00 am |
        • theophileo

          kudlak,
          Again, these are not qualifications that I have invented, this is seminary 101, and this standard has existed since the early church. WAY before Catholicism, so don't even bring in the Catholic church on this.

          I'm beginning to get the impression that you would nay-say anything that a Christian said just because a Christian said it. Does this stuff irk you that much? Why? If you don't believe in God, then why let something that you deem imaginary bother you? Do you get upset when people bring up Santa? Or Martians? Why is it when people say that they believe that a thing is imaginary, they only draw up battle lines against God, and not all the others?

          Just asking here...

          February 14, 2014 at 7:58 am |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          No, there were invented by the winning side. Why should we trust what the early Roman church had to say about it's rivals any more than we can trust what Iran has to say about us these days? After a while the Roman church had it's own distinct theology. When it came to establishing the canon, they chose which books they saw as supporting that theology. Sure, they did that because they believed that they had the correct theology, but so did the other sects. Had the Gnostics risen to power instead the situation would have been reversed.

          Strictly speaking, protestantism is a heresy to Catholics, although the question of scripture isn't as pronounced. If you belong to a protestant church you are in the same position as the Gnostics were back then. The Catholics have the worldwide numbers and the power base, but that doesn't stop protestants from seeing themselves as correct. Those "heretic" groups saw themselves as Christians too, simple as that.

          The early church wasn't just one thing. There was variety, and a number of competing traditions. Even Paul warned about these groups with "another Gospel". He saw his as correct, even though it differed from Peter's, for example. We have Gospels and Acts written after Paul's letters saying that Peter came around to his view, but who knows? Maybe Peter was who Paul was warning people about, and his gospel was lost after Paul's became the more popular. And why wouldn't it? Paul was the guy who insisted that gentiles didn't have to convert first, which must have been very attractive.

          I'm not sure why you needed to resort to the ad hominem attack. I thought we were just having a nice discussion here. Feel free to stop talking to me any time you like, OK?

          February 14, 2014 at 10:59 am |
  14. Alias

    Mark; 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
    Are you christians SURE you believe strongly enough to test this out?
    I mean, after aal, it is the word of god so there shouldn't be any snake handlers getting bitten, right?

    February 13, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • theophileo

      Jesus was speaking TO the apostles and ABOUT the apostles... And yes, they did those things. Read the passage in its context, and you'll see that.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        You do mean within the context of the story which is clearly fiction, correct?

        February 13, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • theophileo

          Your opinion on the veracity of the passage has no bearing when considering that Alias is eisegeting the text. Your comment is a non-sequitur.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          Perhaps, but you do understand that the bible is fiction correct? I mean you are not stupid right?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • theophileo

          Stupid? Well, the degree on my wall, and my nearly 30 years of study on the subject of theology proves I'm not stupid. Assertions on the veracity of the Bible are surely your right, but are they based on your own in depth study? Or are you mearly parroting what other have said?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          That answers my question.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • joey3467

          Theology, the study of something that someone else made up. Seems like a giant waste of time to me.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Rogue Geologist

          And what of the degrees hanging on the walls of biologists, geologists and physicists who studied evolution and the big bang, which are completely disregaurded by fundamentalists?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • realityyyyyyy

        Mark 16: 17-18 has been analyzed for historic authenticity by many contemporary NT scholars. The conclusion? Historically nil !!! e.g.http://www.jesusdatabase.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=522_Later_Markan_Endings

        February 13, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • realityyyyyyy

          And Professor Gerd Ludemann studies in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years and also http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb522.html

          February 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • Alias

      Another obvious bible error-
      Exodus 12:13 The Israelites have to mark their houses with blood in order for God to see which houses they occupy and "pass over" them.
      Gennsis 18:20-21 God decides to "go down" to see what is going on.
      1Samuel 8:2-22 Samuel informs God as to what he has heard from others.
      Proverbs 15:3, JE 16:17, 23:24-25, HE 4:13 God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from his view.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • theophileo

        So... God chooses to interact with those who are His, and you think that's inconsistency?

        February 13, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • realityyyyyyy

          Of course it is !!!

          February 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Alias

          I was waiting fo ra better reply
          In some places god knows everything.
          In others, he has to be told.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • theophileo

          Alias,
          So then what would you say the purpose of prayer is? Since God is sovereign and knows everything, why do we need to speak with Him?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Alias

          I don't think prayer serves any purpose.
          There is no god to listen.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
      • joey3467

        I like that even the bible admits god can't defeat iron chariots, which is why I own 50 of them. That way if god exists he won't be taking me on Judgment Day.

        February 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • theophileo

          What are you talking about? Reference please...

          February 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • joey3467

          It is actually one of many biblical contradictions. According to Matthew 19:26 With the Lord all things are possible. However, Judges 1:19 seems to disagree as it states that: And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • theophileo

          Judges 1:19 – "They" of Judah could not. They had been promised by Joshua that they could conquer the lowland (Joshua 17:16-18) and should have remembered Joshua 11:4-9. This is a recurring failure among the tribes to rise to full trust and obedience for victory by God's power. Compromising for less than what God was able to give (Joshua 1:6-9) began even in Joshua's day (Judges 2:2-6) and earlier (Numbers 13, 14). In another sense, God permitted enemies to hold out as a test to display whether His people would obey Him (Judges 2:20-23, 3:1-4). Another factor involved keeping the wild animal count from rising too fast (Deuteronomy 7:22).

          February 14, 2014 at 9:00 am |
  15. Ungodly Discipline

    You are at a German “sparkle party”. You are wearing your party pants. You are ready to dancy dance. It is a hard-core German sparkle party and you are wearing your rubber boots. The music is pulsating and it feels good to dance. You notice a familiar face standing at the bar. You dance over to her as fancy as you please in your polished rubber boots. You bend low to smell her perfume and say hello. It is your father...

    Where is your God now?

    February 13, 2014 at 11:17 am |
  16. realityyyyyyy

    The OT is speculation at its best from the age of the Earth to the separation of the Red Sea to the changing of staffs to snakes and on and on. The Jewish scribes are what you might call the blue collar myth makers borrowing much from the white collar Greek myth makers..

    And if there has to be a creator of all things, who created the Abrahamic god???

    February 13, 2014 at 11:14 am |
    • Dalahäst

      God is eternal, with no beginning or end. We live in His created world, a separate realm, which has a beginning and an end.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:17 am |
      • realityyyyyyy

        Now for some more science:

        As per National Geographic's Genographic project:

        https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

        "
        "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

        Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

        It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

        o More details from National Geographic's Genographic project: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

        "Our spe-cies is an African one: Africa is where we first ev-olved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth. The earliest fos-sils of recognizably modern Ho-mo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago. Although earlier fossils may be found over the coming years, this is our best understanding of when and approximately where we originated.

        According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time—a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

        Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landma-ss likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe."

        February 13, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Are you a bot? That seems like off topic spam.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • realityyyyyyy

          The topic is about the validity of the OT. Said National Geographic studies add to the conclusion that said book is mostly if not all myth.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        Your husband takes you to the company Christmas party. You have long been jealous of his very attractive co-worker Genevieve, and your jealous imagination suspects there is a spark between them. You dress to the nines and look great. The moment comes to say hello to her. She is beautiful, charming and smells intoxicating. You break a heal just as you reach to shake her hand. You spill your drink on both Genevieve and your husband. They look at each other and giggle, holding the gaze a bit too long.

        Where is your God now?

        February 13, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • theophileo

          What are you talking about? Are you trying to say that if you're a Christian, you'll go through life without trouble? Jesus tells us "in this life you WILL have trouble..." So, if that IS your point, it doesn't make any sense.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth…

          Where is your God now?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • igaftr

        "God is eternal, with no beginning or end. We live in His created world, a separate realm, which has a beginning and an end."

        Pure speculation. Nothing more.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • theophileo

          "Pure speculation. Nothing more"
          -----
          Kind of like abiogenesis???

          February 13, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • truthfollower01

          The Christian stance is that everything that begins to exist has a cause. God exists necessarily, not contingently.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • kudlak

          How does anyone know that God is eternal? Were they around long enough to witness God never being created? Ironically, creationists would argue against evolution on the same grounds.

          For that matter, how would God know that he's eternal? Just because he can't remember being created doesn't mean that it didn't happen. How many of us can remember being born, after all?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          theo,
          "Kind of like abiogenesis???"
          No, we know that life formed; we just don't know exactly how. Experiments have shown several possibilities.
          There is no evidence that a god did it and society only considers that a possibility because our ancient ancestors did not have the knowledge we have acquired, mainly over the last few hundred years, and attributed what they didn't understand to the actions of supernatural beings.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:03 am |
      • Woody

        "God is eternal, with no beginning or end." – Dalahäst

        Just what was god doing before he allegedly created everything? The best evidence of the age of the universe is around 14 billion years, give or take. So being that there was absolutely nothing or nobody around before the alleged "creation", god must have been floating around in total darkness at temperatures around absolute zero for untold trillions and trillions of eons before he got bored and decided he needed some company, around 14 billion years ago. I guess it takes a god a long time to get bored. Makes perfect sense. Right!!!

        February 13, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No. There are a lot of theories about what it means to exist in eternity, outside of created time.

          It is difficult for us, mortal creatures, to comprehend eternity.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          But not everything that we can imagine is actually real, right? Just because we can sorta speculate about a being existing outside of time doesn't mean that this idea makes any practical sense upon close examination, does it?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. When you speculated things about me and my belief in God yesterday, that didn't make those speculations real. It was your imagination, not reality.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Yes, in order to get you to explain yourself, I speculated and was ultimately proven wrong. How does that help the argument for a speculative eternal God?

          I don't have to speculate that a speculation is incorrect; I just have to refuse to take it as more than just a speculation.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I believe in God.

          I don't have to prove God to you in order for Him to exist. Whether you die, win a Nobel Prize in physics, become president or convert to Buddhism, God is still God.

          His existence is not contingent on your approval. I know He is real. And so I live my life with that knowledge.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          No, but you do have to prove God for me to believe that he exists. You state that you know that he exists, apparently meaning that this is more than just your opinion. So, I would like to know how you know that he exists, which means proving it. You're making the claim here. I don't know whether God exists, or not, but I live as though God does not exist because I am not convinced by claims such as yours

          You say that you believe in evolution, right? Well, there are many Christians who deny it. The fact that evolution exists is not
          contingent on their approval, but the difference here is that evolution actually has mountains of hard evidence supporting it, whereas your God claim does not. Isn't it just possible that you have mistaken something for evidence of God?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, it is possible. It is possible you are wrong, too.

          "To thine own self be true." I believe in God. And I understand some people do not. I am at peace with this. I do what is logical and makes sense for me.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          If you admit that it is possible that you are wrong about God being real then you cannot claim to know that he is real, correct? If you acknowledge the possibility that you could be wrong, and you want to be correct with the language, the best you can say is that you believe that God is real.

          I readily admit that I could be wrong, but I defend my position because nobody has been able to present a powerful enough case for me to believe in God being real. I'm sure that you can appreciate this kind of position. One does not have to search every square inch of the Pacific Northwest to reject claims that Bigfoot actually exists, for example. He could, but the time to actually believe is after sufficient evidence has been presented, and the same goes for God.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know God exists.

          If I didn't I would be agnostic or an atheist. But I'm not.

          Honest.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          How do you know?

          For the record, I'm atheist because I don't believe in any gods, but I'm also agnostic because I realize that I don't know that no gods exist anywhere.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm in relation with our creator. That is how I know Him. I'm agnostic about many things. I'm told that is ok.

          February 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "I'm in relation with our creator."
          What does that even mean? When I have a relationship with someone I can see them, speak with them, and usually even touch them if I wanted to. Are you seriously saying that you can be as sure of your "relationship" with God as you are with a real person?

          February 14, 2014 at 12:43 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No, it is different than my human relationships. You've never heard of "God in relationship"?

          February 14, 2014 at 12:55 am |
        • kudlak

          kudlak
          Different from human relationships, eh? We learn how to interact with other humans through experience but, since there is only one God, someone had to teach you what to expect from this kind of relationship then, right? Either that, or you learned from other people's telling about their "relationships" with God, which still means that you were taught how to experience it.

          Isn't that indoctrination?

          Take a different example. People who believe in reincarnation tell others that the feeling of déjà vu is an expression of one's past lives overlapping their present one. Both you and I would probably not accept that claim, right? It could easily be something else, but believers are indoctrinated into just accepting that explanation uncritically.

          Isn't it just possible that you just accepted whatever you believe indicates your relationship with God uncritically, and that it could be something else entirely? If indoctrination can happen in some cases, why not your's?

          February 14, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No. Maybe you are just imagining why I believe in God. And you don't like belief in God, so maybe you imagine it is caused by something bad.

          Relationships are not indoctrination. We are created to be in relation to others. We help each other out. Part of what I know about God is through other people. How I relate to people with different ideas with me, by using tolerance and acceptance, for example.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • gmscan

          Think of it this way - God created the universe we know. That means God is not of this universe. That means He is independent of space and time as we know it. We have no ability to imagine anything outside of our universe, so the question is unanswerable. These concepts are not alien to science. They have come to believe there are other universes and certainly that time had a specific starting point.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Then save me the trouble of imagining why you believe in God, and just tell me.

          If you don't believe in reincarnation, don't you just assume that the people who do are mistaken in some way? Seeing something that you don't think is actually there? Well, that's how I view your beliefs. I come up with a different conclusion, you can't point out where I might of erred, so what else am I to think but that you're wrong?

          If part of what you know about God is through other people, then aren't their experiences actually teaching you what to expect with God? If you grew up in a house with a father who abused your mother might you not learn that this is the proper way to treat women by example? Wouldn't it be fair to say that you were indoctrinated into being an abuser if that were the case?

          When you came to God where did you learn what to expect from prayer? If you started with your human relationships as a base you would likely have to ask someone why God doesn't always answer your prayers, right? Then, you might have been told by somebody that you really have to work hard at being in this relationship, and that sometimes God doesn't answer yes right away. Sometimes it takes years, and sometimes he just says no.

          Now, did you ever sit back and think that "yes, later, or no" is exactly what would happen if you asked your toaster for advice? An answer would either pop into your mind right away, later, or not at all. If I said that the toaster did give me advice you'd likely think it came out of my own mind instead, right?

          February 14, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          gmscan
          And, if you read Marvel comics, Galactus was the only being to survive the end of the last universe in the Big Bang. The concept is not alien to science, or science fiction, but it isn't proven either.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • joey3467

        As you would say Dalahast, opinion noted.

        February 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes! We share our opinions in opinion blogs. This is not brain surgery we are talking about.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • joey3467

          Then you shouldn't use words like definite and know then as they lead me to believe that you consider what you said to be a fact and not just an opinion.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sorry, but I definitely know there is a spiritual side to life.

          Just because you don't have that knowledge, doesn't make it go away.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
    • theophileo

      People too often misread the definition of the Law of Causality. It doesn't say that EVERYTHING has a cause, but rather, every EFFECT must have a cause. God was not an effect, therefore God had no cause.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:21 am |
      • igaftr

        the effect is gods existance...same as the effect is everything else in existance.
        If god exists, he must have been created by something.
        You can't get away with double standards in logic.

        See why that is a logical fallicy?
        It is entirely possible that everything exists without any gods at all. We don't currently know yet, but I do know, so far, so sign of any gods except for those in the imaginations of men.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • truthfollower01

          The Christian stance is that everything that begins to exist has a cause. God exists necessarily, not contingently.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • igaftr

          First, you must realize that makes no sense whatsoever, and you still have no idea if any such god exists.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • realityyyyyyy

        Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

        And no pope or cleric or blogger will be able to change this.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • theophileo

          And that's easier to believe than God?
          Trust me, all that you said falls squarely into the category of belief. There's no way to prove any of that.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • realityyyyyyy

          As noted previously:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

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

           http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/

          solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Asteroids‎

          http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/us/wus-supervolcanoes-yellowstone

          Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

          Rabbi Paul, book by Professor Bruce Chilton

          https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

          http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/study-finds-star-formation-declining-throughout-the-universe/

          http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear

          February 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • kudlak

        theophileo
        "every EFFECT must have a cause."

        What's to say that the Big Bang wasn't just an effect and the singularity and/or the natural laws it's cause? If time was just another dimension that unfolded during the expansion then any argument you can make for God being an infinite uncaused cause would also theoretically support a natural cause of that expansion, right?

        February 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • theophileo

          Only the supernatural can explain the existence of the natural. Understand the Law of Causality, and fit that into the Argument from Contingency, and you'll see that the existence of a Creator God is a logical necessity.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Only the supernatural can explain the existence of the natural. Understand the Law of Causality, and fit that into the Argument from Contingency, and you'll see that the existence of a Creator God is a logical necessity."

          False. There are an infinite number of other possibilities.
          Apply the laws of cauality to your god...he MUST have had a cause if he exists.
          Apparently the laws are not really laws are they.

          There is no logical necessity for a "creator", unless you accept the "creator" may be a non-sentient force, and not a deity.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • kudlak

          One possibility is that God was created, but he was too young to have any memory of the event. growing up in isolation he just assumed that he was the only being, all-powerful and all-knowing. He later encountered our universe and just assumed that he must have created it because he couldn't imagine how it could have come about otherwise. 🙂

          February 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • theophileo

          "he MUST have had a cause if he exists"
          ----–
          No, you're not using the correct definition of the Law of Causality.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          theophileo,
          "No, you're not using the correct definition of the Law of Causality."

          No you're defining it with an exception for your god.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • kudlak

          Yup, that's a logical fallacy called "Special Pleading". The onus now lies with you to provide evidence for God being an exception to the rule.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          The above post was for you.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • theophileo

          "The onus now lies with you to provide evidence for God being an exception to the rule."
          -----
          Sure. Since infinite causal chains do not exist, then something MUST be the "first cause." I claim it is God, what do you claim is the first cause that is itself uncaused?

          We know that infinite causal chains do not exist because the very definition of a causal chain requires a beginning.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • dandintac

          I'd like to answer this one.

          WE DON'T KNOW.

          And if you claim to know, then you have a burden of proof. Furthermore, this is truly a huge, extraordinary, sweeping claim. Probably the biggest claim ever made. Therefore your burden of proof must be extraordinary as well. Nothing less than hard, verifiable, repeatable, testable, objective evidence will do. It should directly prove the existence of this being, and prove he is the one who caused it. After thousands of years of trying, not a single theist has ever been able to provide the evidence required.

          Also, the "evidence" that theists believe to be compelling would never pass the laugh test if used for any other claim, and is never that which convinced them.

          Finally, we do not know if the universe even required a cause, and we do not know for sure if causal chains can be infinite or not, because we do not know if there is an infinity. And even if the universe does require a cause, there are many other possible explanations that are natural, and do not require any sort of a god.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          I don't know what the first cause was, but since I see no evidence for anything supernatural I'm betting that it was probably natural like all other causes.

          Logically, it also make better sense to me that intelligent superbeings cannot exist prior to time and the physical universe expanding. Doesn't intelligent thought and purposeful action require time? There's also the energy question. If energy cannot be created where did God get it to place in the universe?

          February 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • kudlak

          Why is it so hard for some people to admit that we just don't know the answers to some questions? Personally, I trust someone who admits when they don't know the answer to something, but then works on trying to find it for you.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:38 am |
    • new-man

      You accept the scientific principle – energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

      Where's your question regarding this.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      • kudlak

        Does God have any kind of "energy"?

        February 13, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • theophileo

          Not sure... Define "energy."

          February 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • kudlak

          Wouldn't God need some kind of energy in order to "do" anything? Things without energy can't do anything, can they?

          February 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • kudlak

          Second point: if energy cannot be created, then where did God get it to put into the universe?

          February 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  17. Keith

    There are so may inconsistencies in the Bible that this one is no big deal. It is a book of teaching stories, not history, science, or geology.

    February 13, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • theophileo

      the claims of this article are grounded in poor science. Their claims are based on a singular location. This is hardly a random, stratified sample, therefore it cannot produce reliable results if one wishes to apply those results to an entire population.

      February 13, 2014 at 10:47 am |
      • Keith

        It does not matter, if it does to you then you do not understand the purpose of holy books. The Bible is not a history book

        February 13, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • theophileo

          The article is an example of wrong conclusions brought about by bad science, and you comment on the Bible???

          February 13, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • Keith

          your comment is an example of ignorance multiplied by Fundamentalism

          February 14, 2014 at 2:20 am |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Exactly. The bible is a book about wrong conclusions based on no science.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • Keith

          The Bible has a lot to teach us as long as you don't think it is a science book.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:21 am |
        • theophileo

          JakeSeaVic,
          So what do you think about the poor science in the article?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • Keith

          I did not review the science in the article. Did you find some problem with their conclusions? If you did and have evidence that is not biblical I would like to know about it and I will consider it in the light of that new information. I do have faith and I do not have a problem with God.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:24 am |
        • JakeSeaVik

          I don't think it matters. We already know beyond any shadow of a doubt that the bible is factually incorrect and a work of fiction. It doesn't matter how sound the science is, believers will continue to believe because their belief is based on faith, not evidence.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Keith

          The bible is a compilation of myths and legends that were used as teaching stories. They have a lot of value if you are trying to figure out social problems or trying to understand growth and development of a person or society. They are not fiction as you are using the word, they are based on personal experiences. Just as the Grimms fairy tales are teaching stories not just entertainment for children. It is not a history book, or a geography book, nor is it science at all. Sometimes however there can be two truths.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:30 am |
      • kudlak

        There would have easily been equal shouting in support from Christians had the sample actually supported the Bible, wouldn't you say?

        February 13, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • theophileo

          I would hope not... Like I said, it's bad science... You can't take a sample from an isolated population, and then make a general claim that applies to all. That's just stoopid.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • JakeSeaVik

          Like I said, it really doesn't matter, but I'm curious how you think this is bad science? Sure, it doesn't prove anything, but if the bible were correct, you would expect to find evidence that corresponds with the story. Instead, we find the opposite.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • theophileo

          "I'm curious how you think this is bad science?"
          -------
          Because you cannot gleam information from an isolated population and expect to make any comment on all populations. In order to make claims that the authors are claiming, one first needs a random stratified sample. That's statistics 101, and they did not do this. That's sloppy science.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Dalahäst

          This article is an opinion piece.

          And what is kind of funny is that this story references an "a scientific report" that links to a NY Times opinion piece. And the NY Times opinion piece links to an archaeology report from a university. That report is another opinion piece from a university that references the scientific report, but gives no link to the "scientific report."

          February 13, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • JakeSeaVik

          It is still valid evidence. It is not proof, it is evidence. Just another example of finding evidence that does not support the bible. The fact that it is not proof does not make it invalid evidence. Get it? This isn't about statistics.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          The Tel Dan Stele is one single sample as well. Just one bit of evidence that doesn't prove anything, right?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      The father of the Big Bang Theory nods in appreciation:

      "Should a priest reject relativity because it contains no authoritative exposition on the doctrine of the Trinity? Once you realize that the Bible does not purport to be a textbook of science, the old controversy between religion and science vanishes . . . The doctrine of the Trinity is much more abstruse than anything in relativity or quantum mechanics; but, being necessary for salvation, the doctrine is stated in the Bible. If the theory of relativity had also been necessary for salvation, it would have been revealed to Saint Paul or to Moses . . . As a matter of fact neither Saint Paul nor Moses had the slightest idea of relativity."

      – George Lemaître

      February 13, 2014 at 10:50 am |
      • igaftr

        Too bad he didn't put his mind to work trying to show evidence of the wild claims of the bible.
        Odd that an otherwise intelligent man would blindly accept the words of other men, and give "god" the credit.

        February 13, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Dalahäst

          His said his theology guarantees the autonomy of science. I'm in agreement with that idea. Like so many Christians.

          "He (the Christian researcher) knows that not one thing in all creation has been done without God, but he knows also that God nowhere takes the place of his creatures. Omnipresent divine activity is everywhere essentially hidden. It never had to be a question of reducing the supreme Being to the rank of a scientific hypothesis."

          Lemaître

          February 13, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • igaftr

          ""He (the Christian researcher) knows that not one thing in all creation has been done without God"

          That is his opinion and it is wrong. They do not know if any god exists, so do not know if "god" did anything. They believe, they do not know. If they knew, there would be no reason for faith.

          His opinion is clearly wrong.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks for sharing your opinion on the matter.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • igaftr

          dalahast
          It is not my opinion. He said they know...they do not. No one knows.

          By all means show me how they possibly know.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You really don't know what he knew.

          You are speculating. Ironically, you are guilty of what you accuse him of doing.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Wrong, most people in my area are not Christians.

          Not everyone knows I am one, also.

          Sure, I can discuss my beliefs with new people. I don't have a problem. Sometimes someone arrogantly imagines they know better than me. But that is ok.

          You can't prove your beliefs using science either. So what?

          It doesn't make them false.

          February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          My beliefs are based on what science can prove. That is what I've been saying all along, isn't it? I've never claimed to know that God doesn't exist, but since science hasn't yet proven that any gods exist I'm inclined to believe that he doesn't.

          TTFN
          My weekend starts now. It's been nice. Talk to you again later, eh?

          February 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • kudlak

        Before Lemaître, the predominant idea was that the universe never had a beginning, so the discovery of it's having a starting point was exciting for creationists. That is, until the physics started pointing to natural laws governing this expansion. That's the thing about science: new discoveries are constantly making older views obsolete.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Dalahäst

          That is true about science and pretty much everything. Have you ever heard of the emerging church? Like science, it is still changing and new ideas are being formed.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • new-man

          which only goes to show that what you're believing now is more than likely temporal and apt to change later based on new discoveries.

          However the Word of God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. No need for updating.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Too bad that the Bible can't be amended like the Const.itution, eh?

          One of the properties of the emerging church is its tendency to reinvent God to match its needs, chief amongst them God's believability. Doesn't God is "love", or Oprah's "feeling of awe" really wash away all the supernatural quality of a God that can actually "do" things, like create a universe, or offer salvation?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No, Oprah or love do not really wash away all the supernatural qualities of God.

          I understand it as the world is constantly being made new again. God is still creating. Humans are changing. The world is evolving.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • kudlak

          new-man
          Like the Bible, outdated scientific theory can still be found in old texts and it's even interesting to read, but I wouldn't actually follow it anymore. To say that the Bible got it right 2000 years ago is to say that nothing new was ever learned, or that society hasn't changed since then.

          The time to give up the best-supported idea is when a better one comes along, not before, so I really don't see your criticism of science and progressive society. Surely there have been some advances since biblical times. We no longer enslave people, burn witches, or rely on mob justice to stone offenders, do we?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Humans are changing. The world is evolving."
          How can you tell that this isn't just natural?

          February 13, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is natural.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          So there's no reason to suspect that any god is involved, correct?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Not if God is the God of nature. Natural is following God's rules.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          But why do you suspect that there is a God giving rules to nature? Why can't the rules just be intrinsic to nature itself?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is not like I haven't considered that ever. Or heard that claim occasionally.

          God either is. Or He isn't. I think He is. If He is, He is the God of nature. It is part of His creation.

          It really doesn't change anything scientifically. It is not like I say "God did it" and not study science or seek to learn more about nature.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          But why do you think he is? Some people say that Vishnu "is" as well. What separates either of your claims?

          Sure it changes things scientifically. If God actually is the origin of the universe how he managed to do it would interest scientists. The processes that caused a completely natural universe to form would be vastly different from those of a created universe. Created laws governing the universe would have to be seen differently than natural ones. It would be the same basic difference between a geologist looking at a rock and an archaeologist looking at a marble sculpture.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've experienced Him to be true. What separate your claims from the Hindus? Your personal experiences.

          A Christian scientist and an atheist scientist approach science in the same manner.

          God does interest some scientists. That is why they are not all atheists. In fact most are not atheist.

          February 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          You keep dodging this question: How have you experienced him to be true?

          I have no claims of my own regarding gods. I, however, do reject the claims about Hindu gods for the same general reasons why I reject yours: there is no evidence. This isn't so much an experience as knowledge that the facts don't support god claims.

          A Christian scientist and an atheist scientist can approach science in the same manner as long as the Christian doesn't start with the presupposition that God is magically pulling the strings of the universe. If he assumes to know what caused the universe to expand how can he conduct an unbiased study into answering that question?

          "In fact most are not atheist."
          There are surveys that state otherwise. Maybe if you count dentists, pharmacists, and civil engineers who give talks in advanced physics and biology, but the majority of top line scientists, the ones who get the really big research grants and the Nobel Prizes, are not believers.

          From Wiki
          In 1914, James H. Leuba found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. natural scientists expressed "disbelief or doubt in the existence of God" (defined as a personal God which interacts directly with human beings). The same study, repeated in 1996, gave a similar percentage of 60.7%. Expressions of positive disbelief rose from 52% to 72%

          February 14, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You asked: "Are there hundreds of scientific communities each claiming to have the proper interpretation of the evidence?"

          Yes, scientists (in and out of communities) claim to have the proper interpretation of the evidence.

          God is real. I learn about some things in him from scripture. Others in prayer and mediation. I learn about Him from other people's experiences and testimonies. I learn about God in nature and science.

          That statement from my religious group: that explains our ideal. We don't always live up to it, but we strive to.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:45 am |
        • Dalahäst

          The Pew Study I referenced is newer and covered a wider number of scientists. Plus the poling techniques have become more advanced in the last 20 years.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:57 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          I have friends down in Texas who tell me that it's very hard to get employed down there without an active church membership, and I assume that includes scientists. I also believe that I've heard there's an effort lately for Christian universities to crank out graduates with degrees to fill in positions in their own schools and labs. Maybe your survey shows part of this reaction?

          February 14, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I live in the Bible Belt (Kansas) and have never heard of church membership being a requirement for jobs.

          The Pew Research Studies are totally anonymous. No employers of Texas companies get to see the findings.

          The idea that science leads everyone to atheism is a myth. Many religious people fully embrace and support science.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbvDYyoAv9k&w=640&h=360]

          February 14, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          It may not come up because most people in your area are Christians and everyone knows that you're one too. If you moved even a few counties over wouldn't you expect to be asked by new people after a while what church you go to?

          I never said that religious people never embrace science, only that they can't prove their beliefs using science. Their belief in God is their personal opinion and not their professional one. If pressed by their peers why they believe they will fall back to their faith as justification. If they could prove it, the peer-reviewed papers would be out there, and I wouldn't be able to say there isn't any proof.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Wrong, most people in my area are not Christians.

          Not everyone knows I am one, also.

          Sure, I can discuss my beliefs with new people. I don't have a problem. Sometimes someone arrogantly imagines they know better than me. But that is ok.

          You can't prove your beliefs using science either. So what?

          It doesn't make them false...

          February 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          My beliefs are based on what science can prove. That is what I've been saying all along, isn't it? I've never claimed to know that God doesn't exist, but since science hasn't yet proven that any gods exist I'm inclined to believe that he doesn't.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The great majority of scientists see no conflict between religion and science not because they occupy different, noncompeting magisteria, but because they see religion as a natural product of human evolution.
        The worldview of these scientists is so different from traditional theology in that no gods exist for them, there is no such thing as the incorporeal spirit or soul, there is no life after death — all of the things that are held most passionately by traditional theology have to be abandoned.
        If that condition is met, then religion is perfectly harmonious with the tenets of science.
        The only way to find compatibility in such a worldview is by accepting a religion with no authority on the most meaningful matters of human existence.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • Dalahäst

          “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

          –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr.,

          February 13, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • kudlak

          Did Taylor ever publish any peer reviewed papers detailing where he found evidence for God?

          If not, then this is just his personal opinion, and not his professional findings, correct?

          February 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. God is bigger than peer reviewed papers.

          But, yes. That was his opinion. Like when you share your opinions that are not back by peer reviewed papers.

          This is a message board of an opinion piece. Not a science blog.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          A great many of my opinions are backed up by peer-reviewed papers, however, so I'm actually the one voicing the scientific position and not your Dr. Taylor.

          God being bigger than peer-reviewed science is also an opinion. My point is that Taylor wasn't actually expressing his professional findings in that statement about God because it didn't come from any peer-reviewed paper, the accepted way that scientists express their findings.

          Archeology is a science, and this is a piece about one particular discovery, correct?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Archaeology is not an exact science. It is a type of anthropology, that deals with non-scientific issues like history, culture, language and arts. It uses science, yes. But so does my religion.

          February 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Are you saying that we can't trust the findings of archaeology? That would cast doubt on every find that actually supports the biblical narrative, correct?

          How does your religion use science? I know that you have some scientists willing to admit that they believe, but where is the actual science?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is not an exact science. It seems to be reliable, mostly. But a lot of it is not hard science.

          Theology is a systematic, science-like study of God. Similar to archaeology.

          How does science work in my religion? There is no conflict with my belief in God and science. My church teaches and encourages science. We have adult education programs on science. My pastor uses 20th Century scientific findings in her sermons. We embrace, encourage and support science. Just like Christians before us that built hospitals and universities and contributed to science,

          February 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Theology is a systematic, science-like study of God. Similar to archaeology"
          No it is not. The presumption that there is a god, eliminates science, unless you can scientifically show the existance of god. Since you cannot get past that hurdle, any "study" is pure speculation.
          You can scientifically study the belief in god, from a psychology standpoint.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

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

          "Theology (from Greek θεός meaning "god" and -λογία, -logy, meaning "study of") is the systematic and rational study of concepts of God and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary."

          February 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • igaftr

          theology....see mythology.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • Jaymes

          Dalahäst what type of church do you belong to that a woman is allowed to preach? I thought the bible said "women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says." "If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church."

          February 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I go to a church that follows Jesus Christ. I sometimes attend one of our sister churches that has a lesbian pastor.

          Gasp!

          February 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Jaymes

          What's the name of the church?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • Jaymes

          Do you belong to a Protestant church?

          February 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I belong to an ELCA church. I also attend and serve at a non-denom church that is similar to a protestant church.

          February 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • joey3467

          Until proven otherwise Theology is nothing but the study of some stories that people made up in the past.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Good for you.

          February 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          The same can be said for interpretation of ancient languages. We have certain cases where a word means one thing, and other cases where it means something else entirely. Without having the author present it's difficult to understand what writers meant to say even nowadays. Add to that the fact that we don't even have anyone from the same culture as the Bible writers to help us understand what those authors meant to say doesn't that make interpretation of the Bible just as suspect?

          If it does, doesn't that make all theology based on scripture suspect?

          "Theology is a systematic, science-like study of God. Similar to archaeology."
          Oh, I beg to differ. There are fundamental, irreconcilable differences between Christian, Muslim and Jewish theology regarding the same God, right? Within Christianity, Catholics have one theology, protestants another, and Mormons their own. Within protestantism theologies range from your own to that of Fred Phelps. Are there hundreds of scientific communities each claiming to have the proper interpretation of the evidence?

          You've shown where you use science in your religion, but not how. How does science support your church's theology? Do you point to the utter lack of any scientific evidence for God as support for your theological positions?

          February 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          – If it does, doesn't that make all theology based on scripture suspect?

          Yes. That is why I don't blindly accept them.

          – Are there hundreds of scientific communities each claiming to have the proper interpretation of the evidence?

          Yes.

          – You've shown where you use science in your religion, but not how. How does science support your church's theology? Do you point to the utter lack of any scientific evidence for God as support for your theological positions?ce has been presented, and the same goes for God.

          My church has this statement:

          Faith, Science and Technology

          We are a church that is energized and guided by lively engagement in faith and life, and committed to encouraging conversation from a faith perspective about science and technology issues in our society and world. The ELCA teaches that science and technology are expressions of the human responsibility to learn and predict, imagine and invent for the sake of caring for creation together. The God-given gifts of science and technology should be used only as a means to respect and promote communities, life and human dignity.

          While the implications of science and technology sometimes pose new complexities and ambiguities, science and technology by definition “do not consti.tute understandings (or imply judgments) about God. There is no inherent conflict between scientific findings and the understanding of God as creator, redeemer and sanctifier.”

          February 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Yes. That is why I don't blindly accept them."
          If you don't accept scripture then what do you base your theology on? People's personal opinions?

          Where, exactly, are the hundreds of scientific communities each claiming to have the proper interpretation of the evidence? Individual small groups of scientists may disagree from time to time, but the only group claiming to have it's own truth apart from the scientific community that I can think of are the Creationists, but I wouldn't call them "scientific".

          Technology comes from human innovation, and there is no science that proves that the universe is a "creation". So, I just don't get where your church can have that mission statement without fudging the facts. Sorry.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • Dalahäst

          .You asked: "Are there hundreds of scientific communities each claiming to have the proper interpretation of the evidence?"

          Yes, scientists (in and out of communities) claim to have the proper interpretation of the evidence.

          God is real. I learn about some things in him from scripture. Others in prayer and mediation. I learn about Him from other people's experiences and testimonies. I learn about God in nature and science.

          That statement from my religious group: that explains our ideal. We don't always live up to it, but we strive to.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:47 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          It's entirely possible that two teams are approaching the same question using different methods, or testing different hypotheses. Both may look good for quite a while, but usually one (and sometimes neither) will surface as the better explanation. Sometimes this takes a lot of time, but there isn't some dogmatic struggle between opposing camps over how to interpret the evidence. That's where peer-review kicks in. It's all one big scientific community. If an American scientist submits findings some guy in Argentina, or China could take the time to try falsifying it (getting published themselves). Confirming the results is almost as good as disproving them. Everyone is working towards the same goal: finding the truth.

          "I learn about some things in him from scripture." God does some pretty terrible things in scripture, like attempted genocide, and ordering genocide. He's also said to do some nice things, but taken all together that still makes him more like our flawed, emotional selves than the perfect representation of love and goodness Christians portray his as.

          "Others in prayer and mediation." All happening in your own mind, as far as you can tell, right? How do you know that you're not just talking to yourself.

          "I learn about Him from other people's experiences and testimonies." People like you who are doing all this in their own minds as well.

          "I learn about God in nature and science." Which only works when you presuppose that God is pulling the strings, which is something that is not scientifically evident. Isn't it true that, if you presupposed that we are all living in the Matrix universe, you'd also "see" evidence for the Matrix everywhere? Same for presupposing reincarnation, or the involvement of some other set of gods. Science never presupposes anything that hasn't been proven.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • gmscan

          Yikes, you really don't understand science at all. Nothing is ever "proven." It is accepted as true until it is disproven. And, btw, the God of the Old Testament is the exact same God as the one of the New. He works through humans and has to do things that are within the bounds of human experience. War was brutal at the time, so the Hebrews had to be brutal, too. Actually was is still brutal. What we did at Hiroshima made Joshua at Jericho look like a peacenik.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Scientists are human beings. They bring their human experiences into their work. They are imperfect, flawed and illogical beings studying a nearly-perfect and logical discipline.

          A scientist who thinks God created the world and a scientist who doesn't, still observe natural occurring phenomenon in a similar way.

          Neither are at a disadvantage, even if one believes God is "pulling all the strings."

          Anyway, you probably are not a scientist. We should probably both go find some and talk to them.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • gmscan

          Since you are curious about this, you might want to read Francis Collins' "The Language of God." In case you don't know who Collins is, he is the head of the NIH and formerly ran the human genome project for the federal government - probably the world's foremost expert on DNA.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Just googled him:
          "No one knows better than Dr. Francis Collins how easy it might be for scientists to play God."

          Yes. Thanks.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • gmscan

          That is the extent of your research? Wow! no wonder you are so poorly informed.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Dude, that was one of the first things I read after googling him 1 minute after you posted. That was not the extent of my research, Einstein.

          "God is an awesome mathematician and physicist."
          Francis Collins

          Yes.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • Dalahäst

          All these questions about prayer being talking to myself and others you ask: I've asked myself already.

          I'm not a delusional or brainwashed religious freak.

          Basically it is personal. But it works for me. I've already convinced who needs to be convinced of God's reality and existence.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • kudlak

          gmscan
          "Nothing is ever "proven." It is accepted as true until it is disproven."
          Did I say anything different?

          The problem with religion is that it isn't testable in a way that can lead to it being disproven. The "supernatural" works in "mysterious" ways, so there is always room for gods to be hiding in some unobserved corner, bending the laws of nature like how leprechauns can just disappear.

          War is always brutal. The point here is that this same God of peace and love supposedly ordered these genocides and all but wiped out the entire human race once. People can have light and dark sides too, and God appears to have the same ones that all other gods had. Mythology shows us that gods generally act just like we humans, only with super powers.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          If all human beings are imperfect, flawed and illogical beings, then how can you trust the testimony of other Christians, the writer's of the Bible, or even your own interpretation of what you are experiencing?

          A scientist who thinks God created the world is operating under a bias that the secular scientist is not. If he doesn't think that there's a possibility that God isn't pulling the strings how could he objectively recognize a purely natural cause to anything? Any scientist without this bias would look at the evidence and let it show him what's actually going on. If it shows something supernatural at work, how could a good scientist not accept that if that is what it's actually showing him?

          I just can't image any good scientist finding evidence for God and not publishing it. It would be the most important scientific discovery of all time, right?

          February 14, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Dalahäst

          All human beings are imperfect, flawed and illogical.

          I am. You are. Do you think you are perfect, unflawed and logical?

          God isn't proven striclty by science. Non-scientists and imperfect human beings have access to Him.

          A scientists who doesn't think God created the world is operating under a bias, too. Even secular people and scientists hold biases.

          There is a secularism bias that exists. All people hold biases.
          You do.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • kudlak

          gmscan
          If the worlds' top statistician gave his opinion about which team was the best in professional baseball I'd still like to see his work before passing judgment.

          Can your scientist prove anything about God? If not, then would I be wrong in assuming that he's just going by his faith and expressing his personal opinion like the rest of you?

          February 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Does love exist?

          Yes. I know this as a fact.

          Can I scientifically prove it?

          No.

          Can I prove love exists?

          Yes.

          To everyone?

          No.

          Do I have to?

          No.

          Do I need a scientist to approve my love before it is a fact.

          Absolutely not.

          How do I prove love?

          Not with science. But with my actions and thoughts.

          Love is bigger than science will ever be. Even most scientists will agree with that.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          People are free to believe what they want, but since you're here we're discussing what you believe, right?

          I know that I'm not perfect, so I have no reason to suspect that anyone else in either. If I can have brain farts and be fooled by optical illusions it stands to reason for me that belief in God could be based on something similar.

          The "bias" of the unbelieving scientist is the assumption that only things that are proven to exist actually do. No good scientist full out jumped to the conclusion that the Higgs boson actually existed prior to the evidence tipping the scale, for example. God is a hypothesis. It's a notion of how the universe could be governed. There are competing supernatural and religious notions. Has anybody proven any of them?

          How do people "have access" to God? Why would I assume that any person wanting to "talk" to God strongly enough wouldn't just start imagining that they are after a while? People sometimes do talk to themselves, or to imaginary people, after all. We know that this happens, and that people's minds can be tricked, and that powerful emotions can interrupt people's better judgment, but what we don't have any hard evidence for are gods communicating with people. A Catholic may look at someone speaking in tongues as not real the same way the pentecostal might view the Catholic's peti.tion to a saint. If either one of them were being equally critical they might just lose their faith altogether.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          I know that love exists because I have felt actual love towards others, and have been teated in return in a fashion consistent with the way I treat people that I love. I have no reason to suspect that the experience is fundamentally different for others.

          However, if somebody told me that they're in love with somebody they've only every spoken to over the internet I'd be dubious about who they were speaking with. I have no doubt that you love God; but I am more than simply dubious that God is actually there loving you back. We have evidence right here that actual people do communicate over the internet, despite all the scams and lying that goes on, but we have no real evidence that any gods actually communicate with people. So, I'm more inclined to believe in your existence than God's. I could be wrong, but I can't see any fault in my logic. Can you?

          February 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm discussing what I believe.

          And you are discussing what you believe. And you also seem to be discussing what you imagine I believe.

          Live and let live, as I like to say.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, there is fault in your logic. It is not strictly logic you are using. But your personal bias and experiences are involved, too.

          It doesn't work for me. So I'm not an atheist.

          It works for you. So you are an atheist.

          It is ok. We don't have to agree on everything.

          February 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Do you imagine that I'm just not seeing something that you do? Christians imagine all kinds of stuff about atheists. I saw the trailer for the new movie God's Not Dead and I saw the same old chestnut of the liberal atheist professor outlawing belief in God because he's "angry" at him. We both know that you can't be angry at someone you don't believe exists, but some Christians simply cannot imagine how some people just don't "know" that God is real like they do.

          Sure, my experiences are involved, but what bias do I hold? If evidence for God presents itself, I'll accept it and I won't have any other honest option but to believe. I have a bias, I suppose, against what you present as evidence for God because it could be just as easily used to "prove" some other god, aliens, ghosts, and hundreds of other things that science can't prove. If I accept your proof then I'll have to accept all those other claims. I wonder why you don't?

          I'm not an atheist because it "works" for me not to believe in a judging God. I just don't think that he's real like you claim.

          You're right, we don't have to agree on everything.

          February 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      • Keith

        Thanks I will read more of his stuff

        February 14, 2014 at 2:19 am |
  18. Dalahäst

    When he had 2 of his aliases conversing each other was kind of sad.

    February 13, 2014 at 10:27 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      won't the real Slim Shady please stand up ...

      February 13, 2014 at 10:28 am |
  19. Alias

    @petethepeter

    I love this new forum.
    I can fillow a link in the name of the poster and see who it is.
    You, yes YOU, have posted as Steven, Shawn, Larry, Amy, Huh?, LOL!, Terry, Levi, and you even stole Dahalast ALL ON THIS PAGE ALONE!
    You have also replied to yourself under different names 3 times.
    People like you are why I think there is too much anonymity on the internet.

    February 13, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      nice one Sherlock!

      February 13, 2014 at 10:23 am |
    • Dalahäst

      When he had 2 of his aliases conversing each other was kind of sad. 😦

      February 13, 2014 at 10:27 am |
    • Jaymes

      I agree Alias.

      Dalahäst I did notice you posted as kcdalahast.

      February 13, 2014 at 11:15 am |
      • doobzz

        Oh, but that's different. Dal had to change names to protect itself from name stealing. As if.

        February 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I changed from kcdalahast to dalahast, once I figured out how to change my name to what I wanted (dalahast was taken by another WP user).

          I was not trying to be deceptive like some other people we know.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • doobzz

          It was a joke, relax, AE.

          People steal names and post under multiple handles all the time. This is the internet.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have been the victim of name stealing and people posting derogatory, hateful and bigoted things as me and towards me.

          It sucks. Thank God most people don't do this. I was tired of the anti-religious atheists that did it to me and wish others would stand up against them.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Gee, AE, you mean stand up like all the believers did when multiple non-believers names were repeatedly stolen ?? Hint – none did.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, I was against that. I hated when a believer or non-believer pretended to be someone else. It made it tough to engage in intelligent discourse.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • midwest rail

          20/20 hindsight ? I don't recall even one time that a believer called out a name thief, unless it was to defend one of their own. When it happened to a non-believer/questioner, the silence was deafening.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If I was engaged in a conversation with someone, and I realized somebody started posting unflattering remarks and obviously hijacked the handle, I would tell them to cut-it-out.

          Generally I find it smarter to just ignore trollish behavior. But it got pretty bad around here that I just gave up. When you take a stand against a troll, usually more show up and they get more obnoxious. Last night I discovered it was just 1 guy trolling, but using multiple handles. Which probably has been the general occurrence.

          Thank God, most non-believers aren't that horrible toward me. But a few, yikes!

          February 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • doobzz

          The new format may discourage a few, but the hard core hecklers always find a way.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          How do you get your handle to post in black with no link, not blue with a link? I decided a smart thing for me to do is not engage in conversations with people who don't have a link to their blog, so I can verify who it is.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • midwest rail

          When they changed to the new system, it made me pick a name with no spaces – I didn't realize at the time I could choose what name would show publicly when I posted, ao I went back and changed it under settings. No idea why it posts in black.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          https://wordpress.com/settings/account/

          I think the settings page lets us display our blog page.

          February 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And I can change my web address to someone else's?

          doobzz.wordpress.com

          February 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Well, shvt, people can still post as others. 😦

          February 13, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          😦

          February 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          😦 😦

          February 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          @doobzz

          Yea, it really isn't that difficult to do that.

          That LOL! troll wasn't smart enough to figure out he could've changed his web address, as long as his name. Poor guy.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • doobzz

          Yeah, I never understood that. I guess some folks just don't get that using the same web addy w/multiple names is pretty easy to check.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Jaymes

          If you don't register on word press for the blog, your name doesn't become a link right? I just tested it out above as Ralph can you see it link back to me? I am asking because in order to protect your handle does that mean you have register for the blog?

          February 13, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There is nothing you can do to completely protect your handle.

          Somebody can post as Dalahäst and paste my blog page's web address. It will look exactly the same as when I post.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dalahast,
          You don't subscribe to the idea that dalahast is a model of Sleipnir then?

          February 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I do not have a subscription to that.

          February 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    Why doesn't your god appear to the world and put an end to any doubt?

    He seems to be narcissistic enough and vain enough and insecure enough to want all the adoration and all the worship of every person in the world. Your book which you keep bleating is the "word of god", certainly sees god commanding you endlessly to adore him and worship him and bow before him and idolize him and praise him. "Oh love me, love me, tell me how wonderful I am!"

    It would be effortless for him to show himself, like he seemed to do pretty regularly back in the bronze age, and he wouldn't have to send so many people either born in the wrong place or people trusting logic and science over blind faith, to eternal fire and pain and torment. Surely, if he is the loving god that you claim, he would be anxious to save all these people rather than damn them?

    I am shaking my head as I write this, in amazement at the pure infantile foolishness that enables you to believe in something so patently false.

    It's amazing. Simply amazing.

    February 13, 2014 at 10:03 am |
    • theophileo

      "Why doesn't your god appear to the world and put an end to any doubt?"
      -----–
      He already did.
      And even if He didn't, God is sovereign, and He will reveal His will in His timetable, not yours. God is not a tame animal who will perform for your pleasure.

      Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

      February 13, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        and you, a person in the 21st century, can honestly read that cult-speak that you just wrote and not shake your head and think "hang on, what the heck am I doing here?!?!"? You can't look at that fantasy, fairy tale magical voodoo paragraph you just penned and think, "wait a minute, this bears no resemblance to reality, It must be just years of indoctrination making me write this stuff"?

        February 13, 2014 at 10:22 am |
      • Alias

        He did not appear to the world or remove all doubt.

        He had a small following when he was alive. Only a few thousand people could have even heard of him.
        If he had removed all doubt everyone would have known he was god and they probably would not have killed him.

        February 13, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • theophileo

          So, because the Wright Brothers didn't fly the Wright Flyer in front of every person on earth, then they didn't fly at all? Proof for something is not found in the quanti.ty of eye witnesses.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          theo, that's a dodge.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • igaftr

          there is a great deal of verification and records for the Wright Brothers flight.
          The following is ALL of the information verfiying your claim:

          Not a lot to go on there...a story in a book...nothing more.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • Bob

          This is a supposed omnipotent being that is being discussed, not a pair of human inventors. It is quite reasonable to think that such a powerful being would be able to get a message out to a whole population, and to do so without that message being interpreted wildly differently by different people. That is clearly not the case.

          For that matter, why can't the pathetic Christian sky fairy even get with the past decade and create his own web presence (no, religious shill sites don't count), or push some tweets out? Even the pope, that creepy hider of criminal priests, could do that much, as can most children. The answer, of course, is that the "god" described in the crazy Christian storybook AKA the bible does not exist. Slowly but surely, the western world is waking up and realizing that answer..Christianity is on its way into being just a sorry part of human history, and that is good news.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          February 13, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          Bad example, as we actually have film of the Wright brothers flying that plane. With the New Testament all we have are stories of there being eyewitnesses. Even Paul is just repeating what he was told in listing off his series of eyewitnesses, right? As far as he reports he never once laid eyes on Jesus personally. He never heard him teach, and he never mentions any of the miracles. He never mentions the dramatic conversion experience detailed in Acts several times, with different details. Maybe that's a legendary tale along the lines of the stories people once told about Davy Crockett?

          February 13, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • Alias

          Actually theophileo, you made my point.
          The Wright brothers flew many times. According to the bible, jesus appeared once.
          The wright brothers showed everyone how they overcame gravity, jesus offered no proof of anything other than the words of his followers who claim to have seen it all.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • theophileo

          "It is quite reasonable to think that such a powerful being would be able to get a message out to a whole population"
          ------
          When you read the Bible, you see that although God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, He has willed it to be so in order that He might display His attribute of justice. God does not will that every man be saved. That's why He didn't appear to all men on all the earth, for if He did so, then surely all men WOULD be saved. Therefore, before time began, He has elected a people for Himself whom, in time, He would reveal Himself to for their salvation. The rest are left to the unintended consequences of their own actions and wills.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • theophileo

          "how they overcame gravity"
          -----
          You think that LIFT overcomes gravity? As if gravity has no effect on an aircraft in flight?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:00 am |
        • theophileo

          If no one in here is willing to accept eye witness testimony because it is eye witness testimony, then I hope that none of you ever serve on a jury!

          February 13, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • igaftr

          thephileo

          Phil Coulson died and was dead for more than a week, and then was brought back to life. Millions saw it.
          Harry Potter won at Quidiche...everyone at Hogwarts saw it happen.
          Darth Vader died fighting the Emporer...millions saw it.

          A bit more evidence is required.

          I hope YOU never serve on a jury, since you take hearsay and unverifiable "testimony" that the writers of the bible could have just made up out of thin air, like the rest of the stories in the bible.
          I know if I ever stand trial, I will instist that no religous people serve, since it can be shown they cannot distinguish belief from fact.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • theophileo

          igaftr,
          We all begin with presuppositions, regardless of what we say to the contrary. You very obviously begin with the supposition that the Bible is fable. But in 95AD, it was known as non-fiction. The difference between then and now is that then, the witnesses COULD be questioned... And they were. And it was found to be truthful.

          As evidence for that, you need to read the works of the early church fathers who were students of the apostles.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          "God does not will that every man be saved."
          I don't get that. If God is powerful enough to save everyone, but doesn't, you're saying that he lets some go just so that people appreciate what he's doing for them?

          If Superman stood by and let every third person that he could save die and told Lois "That's so they lear to appreciate me when I do save them", I'd bet that there would be plenty of people who wouldn't accept his help because they wouldn't hive him the satisfaction.

          "That's why He didn't appear to all men on all the earth, for if He did so, then surely all men WOULD be saved."
          Are you saying that showing himself would violate our free will? If so, didn't he violate the free will of all those who did supposedly see him? What of Satan and his minions? They would have absolute knowledge of God being real and of his power yet, supposedly, they still choose not to follow him. Why then doesn't God reveal himself to all if it has no impact on free will choices whether to follow him?

          "Therefore, before time began, He has elected a people for Himself"
          Are you saying that these people have no say in the matter of their being brought to God in heaven? Surely, that's a violation of human free will, correct?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • doobzz

          @theo

          I was on a jury in which there were several eyewitnesses to the crime. The differences in the testimonies was pretty startling, even though each person was within 20 feet of the defendant at the time. His shirt ranged from white to gray to blue. His height ranged from 5'6" to 6'0". His age ranged from 30-50. Even his weight ranged about 50 pounds. Based on the eyewitnesses alone, it would have been difficult to conclude that the defendant was guilty. (There was plenty of physical evidence though.)

          In addition, there is no way to know who wrote the gospels. We don't know if the authors actually were the men called MMLJ, nor do we know whether they are writing about what they actually saw or what others told them, or if it was just a bunch of campfire stories.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          The "eyewitnesses" listed in the New Testament are not available to us to cross-examine, are they? What you have is like trying to bring into court as evidence an unsigned, non-noterized, type-written letter, supposedly written by a deceased person.

          Again, all you have are stories of eyewitnesses. John Grisham writes stories that have eyewitnesses in them.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • sam stone

          "If no one in here is willing to accept eye witness testimony because it is eye witness testimony, then I hope that none of you ever serve on a jury!

          eye witness testimony not written down until decades after the event supposedly happened, then translated by fallible men through different languages and cultures?

          yeah, it's just like being there

          February 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • theophileo

          kudlak,
          Try switching paradigms for a moment. It's not all about us, it's all about God, and about God getting glory. Understanding that makes the sovereignty of God make a little more sense.

          February 13, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          Isn't telling people to change their paradigm, putting aside their needs, in order to glorify another the very root of authoritarianism and dictatorships?

          February 13, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          Which god are you referring to?
          Since you do not know if this god exists, why are you speculating what this alleged god wants?
          All you are going from is a book written by men.
          Why would you think that there is a god, and that it is YOUIR god, when no sign of any god has ever been found ever?

          You presume WAY too much

          February 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        and please answer my original question. According to your bronze age book, your god has plenty of reasons to show himself now. By not showing himself now, it makes a LIE out of vast sections of your book.

        is your book a lie? is your god a lie? is it all a lie?

        (i'll give you a hint ... "yes, yes and yes")

        February 13, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • theophileo

          God has plenty of reasons to show Himself? Why?
          God has revealed His invisible attributes through the things that have been made, and put His law upon the hearts of all men, so people are without excuse for thinking there is no God... (Romans 1:18-32)

          Actually, if God revealed Himself post-glorification to any man, he would be undone... (Isaiah 6)

          February 13, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If "he put His law upon the hearts of all men", why aren't the 10 commandments universally recognized as a moral code?

          February 13, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • theophileo

          "If "he put His law upon the hearts of all men", why aren't the 10 commandments universally recognized as a moral code?"
          ------
          What Jeremiah was talking about is that God has put His basic moral code in the minds of all men. Although men's consciences can be seared, men naturally know that it's wrong to murder... wrong to lie... etc...

          February 13, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • kudlak

          "men naturally know that it's wrong to murder... wrong to lie... etc..."
          If all people have the same basic sense of right and wrong, isn't that a better argument for some evolutionary root to morality? After all, the Bible makes a point of God bringing his law to one specific people and that all others are living outside of that law, and their influence would contaminate the Jewish people.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Not every culture has deemed killing a terrible sin.
          Before the missionaries came a-conquering, Easter Islanders considered the murder and cannibalizing of one's neighbour to be impolite – insulting even – but not a punishable offense.
          The 1st three commandments are certainly not considered important by other civilizations, past or present.
          Taking a day off is good advice, but again – not universally recognized as an ethical mandate.
          Morality is a covenant by and for human beings that allows us to live as a cooperative group. The rules followed are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.

          The Journal of Religion & Society published a study on religious belief and social well-being, comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand.
          #1 on the list in both atheism and good behaviour is Ja.pan. It is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation. Over eighty percent of the population accept evolution.
          Last on the list is the U.S. It has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Ja.pan.
          Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries - Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands - all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious.

          February 13, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • kudlak

          Doc
          Not to mention how Christian Europeans made sport of shooting natives in the New World. In fairness, I suppose, they didn't see them as fully human at the time, but that's not really different from how YHWH demonized the Canaanites prior to their extermination, right?

          February 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • theophileo

          "In fairness, I suppose, they didn't see them as fully human at the time"
          -----–
          In the same way that evolutionists killed aborigines?

          Following the publication of The Origin of Species, various enthusiastic Darwinists began looking for the "missing link" in the so-called human evolution. Racist evolutionists believed that the native aboriginal peoples of Australia were one of the primitive stages of human evolution. In order to prove this misconception, they began stealing corpses from Aborigines' graves and selling them to American and European museums. There is no doubt from written evidence that many of the ‘fresh’ specimens were obtained by simply going out and killing the Aboriginal people. The way in which the requests for specimens were announced was often a poorly disguised invitation to do just that. A death-bed memoir from Korah Wills, who became mayor of Bowen, Queensland in 1866, graphically describes how he killed and dismembered a local tribesman in 1865 to provide a scientific specimen.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • kudlak

          theophileo
          Come now, Europeans and settlers were wantonly killing natives long before Darwin was even born.

          February 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
      • sam stone

        "God is not a tame animal who will perform for your pleasure. "

        No, god is a mirror of the believer

        Petty, vindictive people will find comfort in a petty, vindictive god

        That being said, your proxy threats are laughable, and your god is as impotent as you are to make good on those threats

        February 13, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • theophileo

      Regardless of your position on the existence or non-existence of God, one thing you must admit is that the claims of this article are grounded in poor science. Their claims are based on a singular location. This is hardly a random, stratified sample, therefore it cannot produce reliable results if one wishes to apply those results to an entire population.

      February 13, 2014 at 10:34 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.