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March 15th, 2014
11:23 AM ET

Five things you didn't know about Jesus

Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, special to CNN

(CNN) - With Easter approaching, and the movie “Son of God” playing in wide release, you’re going to hear a lot about Jesus these days.

You may hear revelations from new books that purport to tell the “real story” about Jesus, opinions from friends who have discovered a “secret” on the Web about the son of God, and airtight arguments from co-workers who can prove he never existed.

Beware of most of these revelations; many are based on pure speculation and wishful thinking. Much of what we know about Jesus has been known for the last 2,000 years.

Still, even for devout Christian there are surprises to be found hidden within the Gospels, and thanks to advances in historical research and archaeological discoveries, more is known about his life and times.

With that in mind, here are five things you probably didn't know about Jesus.

1.) Jesus came from a nowhere little town.

Nearly all modern-day archaeologists agree the town of Nazareth had only 200 to 400 people. Jesus’ hometown is mentioned nowhere in either the Old Testament or the Talmud, which notes dozens of other towns in the area.

In fact, in the New Testament it is literally a joke.

In the Gospel of John, when a man named Nathanael hears the messiah is “Jesus of Nazareth,” he asks, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” He’s dissing Jesus’ crummy backwater town.

2.) Jesus probably didn’t know everything.

This is a thorny theological question. If Jesus is divine, wouldn’t he know all things? (Indeed, on several occasions Jesus predicts his death and resurrection.)

On the other hand, if he had a human consciousness, he needed to be taught something before he could know it. The Gospel of Luke says that when Jesus was a young man he “progressed” in wisdom. That means he learned things. (Otherwise how would he “progress”?)

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus initially refuses to heal the daughter of a non-Jewish woman, saying rather sharply, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

But when she replies that even the dogs get the crumbs from the table, Jesus softens, and he heals her daughter. He seems to be learning that his ministry extends beyond the Jewish people.

3.) Jesus was tough.

From age 12 to 30, Jesus worked in Nazareth as a carpenter. “Is not this the carpenter?” say the astonished crowds when he begins to preach.

The word used for Jesus’ profession in the original Greek is tekton. The traditional translation is “carpenter.” But most contemporary scholars say it’s more likely a general craftsman; some even translate it as “day laborer.”

A tekton would have made doors, tables, lamp stands and plows. But he probably also built stone walls and helped with house construction.

It was tough work that meant lugging tools, wood and stones all over Galilee. Jesus doesn’t simply stride onto the world stage after having dreamily examined a piece of wood when the mood suited him. For 18 years, he worked—and worked hard.

4.) Jesus needed “me time.”

The Gospels frequently speak of Jesus’ need to “withdraw” from the crowds, and even his disciples.

Today by the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus carried out much of his ministry, you can see how close the towns were, and how natural it would have been for the enthusiastic crowds to “press” in on him, as the Gospels describe.

There’s even a cave on the shoreline, not far from Capernaum, his base of operations, where he may have prayed.

It’s called the “Eremos Cave,” from the word for “desolate” or “solitary,” from which we get the word “hermit.” Even though Jesus was the son of God, he needed time alone in prayer with the father.

5.) Jesus didn’t want to die.

As he approaches his death, and prays hard in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus says, “Remove this cup.” It’s a blunt prayer addressed to the father, whom he affectionately calls Abba. He doesn’t want to die.

Unlike the way some Christians portray Jesus as courting death, and even desiring it, like any human being, the idea of death is terrifying. “My soul is sorrowful even unto death,” he says.

In other words, “I’m so sad that it feels like I’m going to die.” But once Jesus realizes that this is somehow the will of the father, he assents to death, even on a cross.

It’s natural to want to know as much as we can about Jesus; that’s one reason I wrote my new book. But beware of the more outlandish claims about the son of God (he fathered children, he was married to Mary Magdalene, he spent time in India and so on.)

Many of these claims tend to project our own desires on a man who will always remain somewhat elusive, hard to fully understand and impossible to pin down.

In the end, as theologians like to say, Jesus is not so much a problem to be solved as a mystery to be pondered.

The Rev. James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor of America magazine and author of the new book "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" (HarperOne). The views expressed in this column belong to Martin. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Easter • Jesus • Opinion

soundoff (3,128 Responses)
  1. islamistheanswer

    This is a followup to comment made by observer on his/her perception of what happens after death (answer was same as when he/she was conceived).The following versus are for those who reason and ponder about the examples and parables stricken in the Quran (Chapter 27). Please take the time and read this and contemplate upon the verses – surely they don't contradict your logic nor do they ask you to think out of the ordinary.

    Is He [not best] who begins creation and then repeats it and who provides for you from the heaven and earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Say, "Produce your proof, if you should be truthful." (64) Say, "None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected." (65) Rather, their knowledge is arrested concerning the Hereafter. Rather, they are in doubt about it. Rather, they are, concerning it, blind. (66) And those who disbelieve say, "When we have become dust as well as our forefathers, will we indeed be brought out [of the graves]? (67) We have been promised this, we and our forefathers, before. This is not but legends of the former peoples." (68) Say, [O Muhammad], "Travel through the land and observe how was the end of the criminals." (69) And grieve not over them or be in distress from what they conspire. (70) And they say, "When is [the fulfillment of] this promise, if you should be truthful?" (71) Say, "Perhaps it is close behind you – some of that for which you are impatient. (72) And indeed, your Lord is f-u-l-l of b-o-u-n-t-y for the people, but most of them do not s-h-o-w g-r-a-t-i-t-u-d-e. (73) And indeed, your Lord knows what their che-s-ts conceal and what they declare. (74) And there is nothing concealed within the heaven and the earth except that it is in a clear Register. (75) Indeed, this Qur'an relates to the Children of Isra-el most of that over which they disagree. (76)

    March 18, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
    • believerfred

      Did you ever stop to think why Ishmael hated Isaac and has kicked against him since birth?

      March 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
      • islamistheanswer

        Not sure where you heard that but what is known is that Ishmael was born before Isaac at the time when Abraham's (Peace and Blessings be Upon him and his lineage) wife wasn't giving birth. After he was blessed with Isaac, his wife asked that he parts ways with Hajer and Ishmael. He was ordered by God to take them to what is known as Mecca today. He dropped them off there and returned... This is the version of the story that is in our belief. There was no hatred or animosity among the brothers (there shall not be hatred and animosity among the children and the lineage as well).

        March 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          That would conflict with the account from the Hebrew Bible and Talmudic traditions which state God said Ishmael would kick against his brother Isaac and both would become great nations. The Arabs are shown to be from the line of Ishmael and the Jew from the line of Isaac. The end of days and the coming of the 13th Imam would be after the conflict between brothers is resolved.
          The revelation leading to Islam came in AD 650 after Mohamed met with Hebrew scholars. Story has it Mohamed was very angry because the Jews refused to help in military conflict. How do you know if the Quran is true or the Talmud?

          March 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          believerfred, couple of clarifications. The coming of the 13th Imam (notion of 13th Imam is adopted by a fraction of the Muslim world; a faction called the followers of the 12th imams) – As for the majority of Muslims, it is believed that the end of time (Armageddon) will take place when a Muslim leader head the efforts against the anti-Christ and will coincide the time when Jesus returns to this earth (both will defeat the Anti-Christ). The issue will be resolved after this great battle takes place in which people who are still waiting for Christ and didn't believe that Jesus was the promised Christ would follow the Anti-Christ (also a lot of Christians and some Muslims will follow him because he would possess powers beyond our comprehensible powers).Jesus will live, marry and DIE like all humans die thereafter and this would be among the biggest sign for the nearness of the end of this world and the judgement day. Second, Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be Upon him) passed away on 632AD; obviously nothing would have been done by him on 650AD. The incident you are referring to is when the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon him) had a pact with 3 Jewish tribes that lived with him in Almadina (Pact was to protect each other from any aggression by the Arabs. One of those tribes violated the covenant and pact that they had and conspired with the enemy that was attacking Almadina (so anger not because they didn't help).

          March 18, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          The Quran supports a lot of the accounts in the old testament, Talmud and the gospel. The Islamic faith is based on the monotheistic Abrahamic faith from which all the major religions come. It rectifies all the anomalies that Christianity and Judaism have with regards to the creation, the creator, conflict with logic and rules and laws that are not universal and not applicable (man made and altered to suit the needs of the Rabbis and Priests over the years). The Quran has staggering evidence that supports scientific breakthroughs and discoveries. It addresses the issues that were argued and disputed among Christianity and Judaism before. Just to name a few.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Quran chapter 2

          O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and fulfill My covenant [upon you] that I will fulfill your covenant [from Me], and be afraid of [only] Me. (40) And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is [already] with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not exchange My signs for a small price, and fear [only] Me. (41) And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it]. (42) And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]. (43) Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason? (44) And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah] (45) Who are certain that they will meet their Lord and that they will return to Him. (46) O Children of Israel, remember My favor that I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the worlds. (47) And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be taken from it, nor will they be aided. (48)

          March 18, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • believerfred

          islamistheanswer
          Thank you for your clarification. In Christianity we have some common core beliefs then different denominations have differences on detail and are classified say Catholic, Protestant, Baptist and such. What would be the classification for your faction (you mentioned you were not a faction called the followers of the 12th imams)

          March 19, 2014 at 12:38 am |
        • islamistheanswer

          You are very welcome believerfred! Muslims are divided into two branches that generally agree on the CREED and disagree on subtle details primarily in regard to who should have ruled the Muslims after the death of prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be upon him) and who should be the authority thereafter. The two branc-h-es as well known and heard are Sunni and Sh-ite. Sunni is the majority in the Muslim world and Sh-ites are the minority. Sh-ites believe that the Prophet's family is deserving of ruling the Muslim world at all times so if you are from the descendants of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him), you have a special status within the nation in terms of leadership. Sunnis on the other hand don't believe that the ruler of the Muslims should come from the Prophet's (Peace and Blessings be upon him) offspring and could be any qualified Muslim (hence the selection of the first Caliph was a legitimate one since the Prophet ((Peace and Blessings be upon him) himself delegated to him to lead the Muslims in prayers prior to his death). This by no means imply that Sunnis don't revere and respect the Prophet's (Peace and Blessings be upon him) family and offspring (in the contrary). Within Sh-ites there are many factions differing on who is considered "holy" and from those factions are the followers of the 12th Imams (12 after the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) that is). I am Sunni to answer your question and hence don't hold the belief that you need to be from within the family to be a leader in the Muslim community and/or world. Now, it is important to note that those differences are not in the CREED (believing that Allah is the God, Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be upon him) is the Prophet, the pillar-s of Islam like Prayer, Fasting, Charity and Pilgrimage, etc). Hope this helps!

          March 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          You are very welcome believerfred! Muslims are divided into two branches that generally agree on the CREED and disagree on subtle details primarily in regard to who should have ruled the Muslims after the death of prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be upon him) and who should be the authority thereafter.

          March 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          The two branc-h-es as well known and heard are Sunni and Sh-ite. Sunni is the majority in the Muslim world and Sh-ites are the minority.

          March 19, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • Doris

          I'm just in monitor mode. And I'm just taking the 3rd and 6th line from each post and putting them together to see if they make anything...

          March 19, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    • Doris

      "your Lord is f-u-l-l of b-o-u-n-t-y for the people"

      My goodness – I mean really. I don't care if it's Bounty DuraTowel, there isn't anyone except someone here on earth that going to provide it for you. And you're trying to stay cool out in the desert, I think you'd better stick with real cloth that will keep your head cool. Otherwise you're asking for trouble trying to be convenient. Besides, it's wasteful to keep throwing away stuff like that. I can just see someone with Bounty on their head on a really hot day outside Damascus and it just bursting into flames as soon as the sum ricochets just right off of a piece of glass.

      March 18, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
      • Doris

        the sun, not the "sum". goodness.

        March 18, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doris what does the sum goddess have to do anything?

          March 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • Doris

          You got me there, fred. I have no idea, lol.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
      • islamistheanswer

        Doris, really! Is this the best of speech you are able to share with everyone here? If I were you, I would revere and/or respect the spirit of the conversation/discussion!

        March 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • Doris

          "respect the spirit"

          Lol – all's fair in love and make-believe....

          March 18, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Quick starting islamtheanswer's educational process: should be interesting to see how he/she tries to refute each step.

      from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi--

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      March 19, 2014 at 7:19 am |
      • islamistheanswer

        @Reality: I forgot to mention, my responses above is what I call a "deprogramming" of your "beliefs."

        March 20, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
  2. islamistheanswer

    Once again today, posts don't make it in! After clicking on Post, the page refreshes and stops at the article headline, comment doesn't make it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I looked at the list of words that could trigger a block and I am not using any of those. I am not sure why it does this.

    March 18, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • believerfred

      Since your last post went it is a bad word hang up. Break your post in half and send two posts so you can pin point the nasty word.

      March 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
    • Akira

      Are you on mobile version?

      March 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
      • islamistheanswer

        no

        March 18, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • Akira

          Then it's a word fragment the automatic filter is hung up on.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Narrowed down to the following verse. Not sure what's in here that causes this issue? (And indeed, your Lord is f-u-l-l of b-o-u-n-t-y for the people, but most of them do not s-h-o-w g-r-a-t-i-t-u-d-e.)

          March 18, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • Akira

          It's the word gratitude because it contains the word tit.
          The people who set up the word filter apparently think like a bunch of. 12 year olds.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Thank you for the clarification. I have been struggling with this.. Given that English is not my first language, it made all but perplexing of what was in that verse that was causing the block!

          March 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          How were you able to post both words though? Is this filter a universal one?

          March 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          On another post that was blocked, the following word was found to be the aggressor. Any idea why?

          d-o-c-u-m-e-n-t-e-d

          March 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          Akria
          I giggled when you said the tit word.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • Akira

          Fred: what are you, 12? J/k.

          Islam: they make it hard for people who speak English as their native language. It's rather silly, IMHO.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • redzoa

          Regarding t.it, the plural form was one of the 7 words you can't say on the radio from Carlin's famous skit (I'll spare you the other 6). The more you know 🙂

          http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1977/1977_77_528

          March 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "How were you able to post both words though? "

          There is an html code that can be inserted that will get around the 'bad' word fragment.

          March 19, 2014 at 5:34 am |
        • islamistheanswer

          Thank you TruthPrevails1. This makes sense.

          March 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
      • islamistheanswer

        No. Desktop!

        March 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • redzoa

          @islam . . .

          Here's a list of CNN banned words. Any of the listed words or character groupings (absent some spacer like a hyphen) will result in the post being blocked. No error or warning; just a non-post. As a complete luddite, I'm not precisely sure, but some folks can bypass the filter using (I believe) HTML text formatting or something like that . . .

          ar-se.....as in ar-senic, coa.rse, etc.
          Ch-ardonnay
          co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
          co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
          crac-ker…
          cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
          ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
          ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
          ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
          ho-oters…as in sho-oters
          ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
          inf-orms us…
          hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
          jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
          ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
          koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
          ni-gra…as in deni-grate
          nip-ple
          o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
          pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
          p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
          p-orn… as in p-ornography
          pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
          que-er
          ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
          se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
          sl-ut
          sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
          sn-atch
          sp-ank
          sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
          sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
          strip-per
          ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
          tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
          va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
          who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
          wt-f....also!!!!!!!
          x-xx…
          There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

          March 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Thank you very much for sharing. I checked back on posts that were blocked before and upon cross referencing, all issues resolved. No more blocking hopefully. Thanks again

          March 19, 2014 at 12:11 am |
  3. kermit4jc

    sigh..sorry..I sometimes forget Im talking to a non christian...sir...Im not saying we do our best so we can attain salvation..we do our best to benefit ourselves and those around us HERE and now...we dont just get saved and then sit back and do nothing

    March 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      No you go out and spread the belief, imposing it upon innocent children and those not strong enough to turn away. Most of the non-christians you're talking about were indoctrinated at one point also and are not oblivious to what the bible says or the purposes for which it were written. You have stated you study the bible, yet that shows nothing special on your behalf, at least nothing more special than someone stating they've studied Harry Potter-both are stories made up by man, nothing more. A proper read of that book is the greatest path to disbelief.

      March 19, 2014 at 5:41 am |
      • kermit4jc

        AGAIN the point of what I was saying was the person that I responded to said I do NOT know my Bible..second.I do NOT impose anything on anyone..why must you lie about people? you assume too much...second....I don't talk much to children as I work mostly with adults..and they are not gullible....you are kinda sick in your nmind to think such things....and also..I don't tell people to take my word for it..i encourage them to study it for themselves....shame on you for lying about people..just cause some Christians do as you claim..doesn't mean we all do it...youre sounding almost bigoted that way...take people as individuals

        March 19, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          There are no lies being told here. You claim to teach the bible-that is imposing your beliefs on others!! Shame on you for having imaginary friends.

          March 19, 2014 at 9:47 am |
  4. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    Did you know about the Power of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ?

    There is Power of Authority and Blessing in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Here are some Biblical passages on that:

    Psalm 72:17
    "17 May his name endure forever;
    May his name increase as long as the sun shines;
    And let men bless themselves by him;
    Let all nations call him blessed."

    Matthew 18:20
    "20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”"

    John 14:13,14
    "13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."

    Acts 4:12
    "12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”"

    Ephesians 1:21
    "21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come."

    Philippians 2:9,10
    "9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,"

    Hebrews 1:3,4
    "3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they."

    1 John 5:13
    "13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."

    All Scripture Is From:

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

    http://www.biblegateway.com/

    March 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • guidedans

      God Bless.

      March 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
    • doobzz

      Did you know about the Power of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

      Leonardo (Leo) – The tactician, courageous leader and devoted student of martial arts, Leonardo wears a blue mask and wields two long and razor-sharp ninjakens that slice through nearly anything solid. As the oldest of the four, he bears the burden of responsibility for his brothers and sensei, which often leads to conflict with Raphael. Leonardo was named after the Italian polymath, painter, engineer, inventor, writer, anatomist, and sculptor, Leonardo da Vinci.

      Michelangelo (Mike or Mikey) – Easy-going, fun-loving jokester, and free-spirited being, Michelangelo wears an orange mask and wields a pair of nunchakus. He is the youngest of the four Turtles, and often provides the comic relief. While he loves to relax and eat pizza, this Turtle also has an adventurous and creative side. He is something of the "surfer" boy, speaking usually in a Southern California accent.

      Donatello (Don or Donnie) – The scientist, inventor, engineer, and technological genius, Donatello wears a purple mask and wields a bo staff. Donatello is perhaps the least violent turtle, preferring to use his knowledge to solve conflicts, but never hesitates to defend his brothers.

      Raphael (Raph) – The team's bad boy, Raphael wears a dark red mask and wields a pair of sai. He is physically strong, has an aggressive nature, and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch. He is often depicted with a Brooklyn accent. His personality can be alternately fierce and sarcastic, and oftentimes delivers deadpan humor. Still, he is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei.

      All information is from:

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

      March 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
    • doobzz

      Did you know about the Power of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

      Leonardo (Leo) – The tactician, courageous leader and devoted student of martial arts, Leonardo wears a blue mask and wields two long and razor-sharp ninjakens that slice through nearly anything solid. As the oldest of the four, he bears the burden of responsibility for his brothers and sensei, which often leads to conflict with Raphael.

      Michelangelo (Mike or Mikey) – Easy-going, fun-loving jokester, and free-spirited being, Michelangelo wears an orange mask and wields a pair of nunchakus. He is the youngest of the four Turtles, and often provides the comic relief. While he loves to relax and eat pizza, this Turtle also has an adventurous and creative side. He is something of the "surfer" boy, speaking usually in a Southern California accent.

      Donatello (Don or Donnie) – The scientist, inventor, engineer, and technological genius, Donatello wears a purple mask and wields a bo staff. Donatello is perhaps the least violent turtle, preferring to use his knowledge to solve conflicts, but never hesitates to defend his brothers.

      Raphael (Raph) – The team's bad boy, Raphael wears a dark red mask and wields a pair of sai. He is physically strong, has an aggressive nature, and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch. He is often depicted with a Brooklyn accent. His personality can be alternately fierce and sarcastic, and oftentimes delivers deadpan humor. Still, he is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei.

      All information is from:

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

      March 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • doobzz

        Oops, double post.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • Madtown

      All Scripture Is From:
      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      ----
      Why do you use this particular version of God's word? Why not any other? Additionally, if it's God's word, why on earth are there so many versions? You'd think God could get it right.

      March 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
      • Vic

        The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is known for being one of the most straight forward and clear translations from the Greek texts, and without interpretations.

        March 18, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • Vic

          I posted a correction note right after, apparently it didn't go through.

          "Hebrew & /Greek texts"

          March 19, 2014 at 7:53 am |
  5. Salero21

    Absolutely nothing to learn here about Jesus and about atheism there's only one thing to know that it is Total stupidity!! 😉

    March 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
    • observer

      If anyone REALLY knows about stupidity, it is you.

      March 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      Hey, if you keep saying it enough you might be able to convince at least one other moron out there, but probably not, even morons have half a brain.

      March 18, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      When you least expect it, greAt ideas are made because of stupidity of others. Its all good 🙂

      March 18, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
    • doobzz

      You are absolutely right. All that Jesus perfect human sacrifice, fish and bread catered picnics, water walking and zombification IS total stupidity.

      March 18, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
    • bvaudt

      And yet.....here you are!

      March 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        And. We are here because we care. Remove the extremes and we all be ok.

        March 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
        • Akira

          Wish Sal would take your advice.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
  6. observer

    God's not perfect either. He so badly misjudged things that the first human baby murdered the second and mankind turned out so bad that God was sorry he created them and basically had to start all over. There's no reason to expect perfection from us.

    March 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      So God saw Cain hit Able on the head and was so horrified he decided to just drown all the other humans he had made except for a handful that really really liked him...

      And then he felt a little guilty so invented light refraction thus creating rainbows to remind US that he won't murder us all again with a flood...

      March 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
      • kudlak

        There were 8 people left alive after the flood, right? The next event recorded in Genesis is the Tower of Babel, where the Earth's population supposedly grew to the extent that they had a civilization capable of building a tower up towards Heaven, probably a ziggurat. Yet, if you count up the ages of folks that only around 200 years between the two stories, which would mean a human reproduction rate rivalling that of rabbits.

        Call me skeptical, but I just can't buy that.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • believerfred

          You do not find the Bible credible yet you want to use facts from the Bible to present a case. Hummmmm
          The Bible does not mention a time certain for this event. You are making assumptions that are not supported; Genealogy is complete (it was typical to only show important male lines) in Genesis, the whole world in terms of flood and Babble means global rather than known world whereas there this issue is not settled between theologians.

          As to your point beginning with 8 people it only takes favorable conditions to end up with hundreds of thousands in that 130 year period.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
  7. kermit4jc

    BY HE way...yes..it IS impossible..does that mean It isn't worth anything? no..we cn still attain to DO OUR BEST...that's all we are asked to do

    March 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • Doris

      Does anyone have a kermitBS translator? I think my version is out of date.....

      March 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
      • igaftr

        That option is going to be on the kermit4.5jc version. Sorry for the inconvenience.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • sam stone

          the problem with the kermy BS meter is that it cannot handle the enormous workload

          March 18, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • bostontola

      kermit, can you re-transmit, you're breaking up, over.

      March 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      So is Satan a sinner? If so, why does he get to run heII instead of being tormented like the rest of us? Isn't that a reward for him?

      March 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        you serious? if so..you dont know the Bible..satan doesnt run hell..and he will be tormented there

        March 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Simply your interpretation and it doesn't necessarily meld with the numerous other interpretations. How are you so certain that you're right and others are wrong? 41000 sects of your crazy belief system and not one sect seems to agree with the other...how about you ask your imaginary friend god to give the right one? The fact that you claim to teach and study Gullibles Travels (the bible) doesn't make you an expert, it simply means you prefer fantasy over reality.

          March 19, 2014 at 8:50 am |
      • observer

        Christians assure us that Satan doesn't spend much time in hell because he is busy plotting, seducing and tempting people all the time.

        March 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Satan in Islam corroborating the account aforementioned (called Iblees in Arabic).
          [Allah] said, O Iblees, what is [the matter] with you that you are not with those who prostrate?" (32) He said, "Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud." (33) [Allah] said, "Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. (34) And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense." (35) He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." (36) [Allah] said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved (37) Until the Day of the time well-known." (38) [Iblees] said, "My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all (39) Except, among them, Your chosen servants." (40) [Allah] said, "This is a path [of return] to Me [that is] straight. (41) Indeed, My servants – no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators. (42) And indeed, Hell is the promised place for them all. (43) It has seven gates; for every gate is of them a portion designated." (44) Indeed, the righteous will be within gardens and springs. (45) [Having been told], "Enter it in peace, safe [and secure]." (46) And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other. (47) No fatigue will touch them therein, nor from it will they [ever] be removed. (48) [O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful. (49) And that it is My punishment which is the painful punishment. (50) And inform them about the guests of Abraham, (51) (Quran chapter 15)

          March 18, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          In another chapter (38), a confirmation that Satan (Iblees) will be in the hellfire

          So the angels prostrated – all of them entirely. (73) Except Iblees; he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers. (74) [Allah] said, "O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?" (75) He said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay." (76) [Allah] said, "Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled. (77) And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense." (78) He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." (79) [Allah] said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved (80) Until the Day of the time well-known." (81) [Iblees] said, "By your might, I will surely mislead them all (82) Except, among them, Your chosen servants." (83) [Allah] said, "The truth [is My oath], and the truth I say – (84) [That] I will surely fill Hell with you and those of them that follow you all together." (85) Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not ask you for the Qur'an any payment, and I am not of the pretentious (86) It is but a reminder to the worlds. (87) And you will surely know [the truth of] its information after a time." (88)

          March 18, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      But according to you a Hindu can do his/her best and still not qualify for an afterlife in the good place. They can do no more if your god is not powerful enough to be known in all of the world that it supposedly created.

      March 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        A hindu owld not enter cause he didnt know Jesus..remember..Heaven is GIODS home...He invites us...and second...stopplaying the blame game and b;ame others (God) He has made himself known..but people will go by tradition (A muslim becomes Muslim cause his parents were Muslim) rather than going to find truth....im sick and tired of hearing people blaming God instead of themselves

        March 18, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Blaming others is convinient. Our weakness.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        It seems kermi doesn't believe we're good enough or that 5 billion other people on this planet are. Wonder what his major plan is to up his ilks numbers before they dwindle further and that 2 billion of them is less than 1 billion. He demands respect in his blathering on this blog but fails to see anyone as deserving of his imaginary heaven unless they accept his imaginary god.

        March 19, 2014 at 5:50 am |
    • Akira

      If no person can get into Heaven, there is no promise of an eternal reward, is there?

      March 18, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        Try to follow along ok? WE ourselves cannot attain heaven on our own......we cannot make it to heaven with our own deeds.....it is thru Faith in Jesus..HIS payment made for us..that we can get there..anmd as I said in a previous post...that does not mean we can sit back and wait for Jesus to come..doing nothing..we do good things for benefit of others

        March 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • Akira

          I'm not the one that posted this:
          "BY HE way…yes..it IS impossible..does that mean It isn’t worth anything? no..we cn still attain to DO OUR BEST…that’s all we are asked to do"

          Try to post coherently, ok? If you can't, at least learn the function of the reply button.

          It is not my fault that you proselytize poorly.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
    • kudlak

      kermit4jc
      If we were just expected to do our best there wouldn't be any theology that suggests we need some redeemer specifically because our best isn't good enough.

      March 18, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
  8. bostontola

    I get why humans wanted religions. I'm not talking about why they are successful, all the pragmatic aspects of how they impress discipline and order, I'm referring to why people wanted/needed them.

    Some people have an abundance of curiosity. They can't help but try to figure out why things are the way they are, some at small everyday levels, some at the grand universe level. People are very good at pulling patterns out, so many answers came and tools improved etc. Thousands of years ago, humans had little grand ways of explaining things, so just about any story worked. If it fit the local patterns (or could be made to fit with selection bias) it provided an advantage of confidence. Most of the big religions were formed during this time and their sacred texts reflect that. If I was alive back then, I would have embraced these stories to satisfy my curiosity.

    Then came the Greeks. They started thinking grandly. The problem was, the state of the art in scientific knowledge was still primitive. They pioneered the idea of thinking about thinking. They developed rules of thinking which we (and they) call logic. It was a huge leap for mankind. The problem remained though, they didn't have science so the inputs to their logical process was all made up stuff. Logic is a black box, inputs and outputs. The logic can be perfect, but if the input is nonsense, the output follows.

    About 500 years ago humans accelerated the development of the scientific method. It has resulted in an unbroken span of the most successful human advancement in history. Combined with logic, we now have a reliable way of discovering the secrets of the universe.

    I don't look down on religions at all. I would have been at the forefront of them if I lived back then. But we have better ways of perceiving the universe now. We have the scientific method and logic. They work. Don't shun them, embrace them. While they invalidate the literal meaning of the big religions, they don't conflict with more modern concepts of God if you are inclined to that way of thinking.

    March 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • believerfred

      "we have better ways of perceiving the universe now."
      =>oh really? Tell me is your understanding of existence limited to the physical (i.e. matter and energy) or have you limited the physical by your understanding?

      March 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
      • bostontola

        fred,
        Do you actually think we don't have better ways of perceiving the universe now?

        Telescopes, microscopes, NMRs, etc., etc., etc.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          Made in the image of God there is no limit on our creativity which would include telescopes etc. Science has confined that limitation to the exploration of that which was created. As such science is limited by the created things and instruments made from created things looking exhaustively into created things with no limit in scope as to expanse or smaller than particulate matter.
          Perspective on why we exist has not changed by reason of scientific advancement.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And how does one objectively explore things that science can't explore fred?

          March 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          How is any of that relevant to your comment? you said:
          "we have better ways of perceiving the universe now."
          =>oh really?

          The simple answer is, yes, we have much better ways of perceiving the universe now than we did 500 years ago. I never said we have perfect or complete perception. I don't get your point.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed is the Cheesmaker
          We would need a new app for that.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred,

          I will take your response as admitting we (you) can't objectively explore things that science cant explore. Then it becomes a question of epistomology. As I stated yesterday I have no reason to believe the claims you and your religion make.

          Also I reponded to you back on page 11 where you dishonestly stated that the gospel of John, according to scholars, was written by the Apostle John...

          March 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • believerfred

          You implied "no god needed" or at a minimum that scientific advances reduce the need for religion. This is not the case as even with all our new scientific knowledge we are no closer to understanding why we exist than Neanderthal did.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • nojinx

          That is ridiculous. We have a whole field of study now called Abiogenesis that seeks to answer that very question. We certainly have a much greater understanding of the world than Neanderthal man did, a exponentially larger body of knowledge.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • believerfred

          above "no god needed" was in reply to bostontola

          March 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, You still seem to think that if we don't know then a god must have done it. Ancient people did not understand eclipses, earthquakes, etc. and attributed them to capricious superbeings; we know better, so there is an example of more knowledge requiring less religion. The fact that we don't know what if anything was pre-Big Bang or the exact mechanism that created life does not mean that we need to persist with ancient superstitions.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          Who wrote the Gospel of John? I did not mean to imply I knew something most scholars didn't know. I understand the lack of evidence regarding authorship of much of the Bible. Within the first two centuries after Jesus the vast majority of the accounts were recorded. The Gospels and letters were known at the time as to who wrote what. Those not written by or having style or content not consistent with the apostle were quickly attacked (aka Gnostic text and forgeries) When the council determined what should and should not be included in the Bible the main factor was authentication that it was written by an apostle (or amanuensis of that apostle). Some leeway was also given for collaborations with consistent content.
          I believe apostolic authorship by tradition when I say John wrote the Gospel of John not because we have proof. Many letters or gospels were not included because they were not written by the apostle in question.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • believerfred

          In Santa We Trust
          You are assuming that when Neanderthal buried important items for the afterlife with their dead it was because they did not understand thunder and lightning. Given all our advances you do not know any more about the after life than Neanderthal did.
          Tell me how a religion that believes an afterlife based on tradition is more or less valid than your belief concerning afterlife based on scientism.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred,

          I find it interesting that yesterday I made a post pointing out the dishonsety of Christians teaching the "word of God" when we don't know who wrote the gospels. In response to me you said...

          =>The author of John was the disciple who was his friend. Do you have evidence of another author, I am sure scholars would love to hear from you.

          I then pointed out how according to scholars you are wrong...now today you say

          =>Who wrote the Gospel of John? I did not mean to imply I knew something most scholars didn't know.

          That is exactly what you were implying...considering you accused me of claiming something scholars didn't agree with. You implied scholars agreed with you and they don't. I think you knew this...and now you state.

          =>I believe apostolic authorship by tradition when I say John wrote the Gospel of John not because we have proof.

          So you have backbeddled pretty hard off that claim. Of course "tradition" holds that the author of "John" was the apostle...the early christians were trying to give the gospel "authority" by connecting it directly to Jesus...just like you did. It is that type of dishonesty that drives me and others away. You seem to think lying is OK as long as it is done for your god.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred, you said "You implied "no god needed" or at a minimum that scientific advances reduce the need for religion."
          That shows your bias. I not only didn't imply that, I explicitly stated the opposite in my last sentence of the OP:

          "While they invalidate the literal meaning of the big religions, they don't conflict with more modern concepts of God if you are inclined to that way of thinking."

          March 18, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, I don't believe in an afterlife – not because of scientism (whatever that is) but because there is no evidence for an afterlife and no evidence for the personal gods of religions. It is that lack of evidence that leads me to the conclusion that personal gods do not exist – our ideas about gods have evolved since the Neanderthals but the foundations have pretty much eroded.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "we don't know who wrote the gospels. In response to me you said...=>The author of John was the disciple who was his friend. Do you have evidence of another author, I am sure scholars would love to hear from you."

          =>I stand CORRECT: I never said who the author was I said the author was the disciple who was his friend. Although I believe it was John and those who knew the church letters knew it to be John I doubt the need to lie about it is valid. Further, I need go no further than Irenaeus in 180 CE who stated it was John when at Ephesus. Tatian, ClaudiusApollinaris and Athenagoras quoted John as an authoritative source. Clement of Alexandria said John was moved by the Spirit when composing the Gospel. Papias and Polycarp knew John and reported on conversations with John.

          "You seem to think lying is OK as long as it is done for your god."
          =>Far from a lie it is reasonable to conclude the Gospel of John by tradition accepted by those who rejected works not deemed from the Apostles for inclusion in the Bible were closer to the source than we are today. It is reasonable to assume by the manner in which non authentic works were attacked by the local churches that this Gospel received tacit approval at a minimum. It is reasonable to assume the contents of the Gospel of John represent the account of his oral testimonies as those in the church of his time and place were not called believers for nothing.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>The author of John was the disciple who was his friend. Do you have evidence of another author, I am sure scholars would love to hear from you.

          The implication is very obvious that you were saying John was the auther and disciple you were refering to. Your arguments are so dishonest. There is no evidence John or any other disciple wrote the gospel of John and you implied scholars agree with you, they don't. I don't trust the word of those church fathers you list anymore than I trust you. They often forged and misrepresented information....they lied too.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          What is it with atheists on this web site that attempt to discredit reason and logic by calling ones belief a lie and a dishonest lie as you just did.
          A lie would be an intentional misstatement of fact. The fact I believe in the tradition of assigning authorship of The Gospel of John to John a very special friend of Jesus is not a lie by any stretch of the imagination. The fact the majority of Christians believe in that tradition does not make the authorship factually to be John but continues the tradition.
          It is also not a lie to find it reasonable that John could well have been the author. It is also not a lie to find it reasonable that statements from those who actually spoke with John, church "fathers" that assigned authorship to John and the Bishop of Hierapolis quoted John as authoritative source are valid.
          Taken as a whole you have some serious bias or a personal agenda that somehow allows you to justify striking down every known piece of information and persons present at or about the time of the Gospel. I certainly hope you were not a victim of abuse and hope you can get some clarity on the cause for you unreasonable responses.
          The debate concerning authorship with modern scholars is often heated yet neither camp is comprised of liars

          March 19, 2014 at 1:18 am |
        • believerfred

          In Santa We Trust
          You do have belief in the afterlife. Tell me what happens to you and everything that was you (thoughts, awareness and essence of In Santa) after death. Then give me your evidence for that.

          March 19, 2014 at 1:49 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>"What is it with atheists on this web site that attempt to discredit reason and logic by calling ones belief a lie and a dishonest lie as you just did."

          I didn't discredit reason and logic, I didn't call your belief a lie. I called YOU a liar for implying that the gospel of John was written by "John" and also implying scholars agree with you. I don't question your belief. I question you ability to be truthfull in regard to defending the claims of your belief. I didn't read any further than that line because I am sure after that you just continued to play "victim".

          "Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
          - Ralph Waldo Emerson

          March 19, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • believerfred

          Cheeemaker
          " I didn't read any further than that line"
          =>that is a clear sign of denial and why you cannot understand the difference between a lie and a reasonable conclusion. Amazing how much like the Sanhedrin you are when they covered their ears and ran after Stephen when they did not want to hear truth. Much like them you also prefer to throw stones.

          March 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>that is a clear sign of denial and why you cannot understand the difference between a lie and a reasonable conclusion.

          No fred, I didn't read any further than that because you were AGAIN being dishonest. I never called your belief a lie. I fully trust that you believe. I confronted you as lying about what you said. You are trying to throw out a red herring in an effort to get away from my point. My point is that no one knows who wrote the gospels and Christians often distort, misrepresent and lie that they do know...you claimed scholars know who wrote the gospel of John...I provided evidence that that isn't true. You then changed your claim to "tradition" points to the disiple of John instead of actual scholars as you originally asserted. You are doing exactly what I originally accused other Christians of doing. I didn't read any farther because everything after the first line was off point. Just admit you were wrong...

          March 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • Alias

        there is the physical, and there is the imaginary.
        We know both exist.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          Imaginary is not the best choice of words as it leans towards the tooth fairy. Spontaneous existence out of a quantum flux is not imaginary but rather the extension of a tensor between quantum fields. It is real and bridges abstract mathematical application with the amplitudes of weak and strong gravitational forces. It has mass although we do not understand why.

          The tooth fairy on the other hand does not have mass and we understand why.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • nojinx

          We know the imaginary, by definition, are things that do not exist.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • ausphor

          Well fredie, what a surprise. So did you read the article on gravitational waves as part of the big bang early history, available access from the home page. Getting far closer to being able to say the universe was created without the need of a God.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Imaginary is not the best choice of words as it leans towards the tooth fairy"

          "Imaginary" is the best choice of word and that is no lean...

          March 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          I really like all the pre big bang speculation (my favorite is the "White hole A Holographic Origin") . On the one hand it shots down the apologetics that rely on the big bang being the singularity which supports God as causation yet on the other it exposes how little we really know.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          nojinx
          I was addressing subatomic particles which by inference must exist even though they do not give off signatures typical when mass is present (often referred to as dark matter). There is a real difference and an important distinction between imaginary and apparent non existent matter. One never existed (imaginary tooth fairy) the other must exist in quantized fields.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
      • ausphor

        Freddie
        Another paper being written on the earliest moments of the universe, yet to be peer reviewed, so no need to jump to conclusions. Funny nothing from the bible is peer reviewed except by apologists can't let facts get in the way of a good myth. Your inquiring mind will probably what to know all about early gravitational waves or maybe not. God did it, that's all, carry on.

        March 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • ausphor

          want to know, not what...What happened to Dippy, correcting my own mistakes, I feel less than perfect, have I "sinned", fredie do I need salvation, it is all so confusing.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
      • guidedans

        Thanks for the positive messages about Jesus, Fred.

        There is a lot of darkness in the world and I am so happy to see your light.

        God Bless.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Did Mommy play subliminal messages at night with the words to Jesus Loves Me imbedded within? Your jesus buddy didn't die, just had a very long hangover.

          March 19, 2014 at 8:30 am |
      • kudlak

        believerfred
        Our knowledge is not limited to the physical, but we do understand that the supernatural, like fantasy, is not something that manifests itself in real existence in any measurable way. So, we are forced to regard it as not real until it does because there is no limit to the number of things we can imagine being real without evidence. As imagination is a work of creation on our part, isn't it just logical that imagined things are not actually real until proven so?

        March 18, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          The Word of God has transformed lives since the moment it was given. Today over 50% of the world believes the Word of God even though they argue over some of the details. Our World View continues to be driven by this monotheistic foundation. This is evidence that there is power in the Word of God. You may wish to argue it is power of belief not power of the word but that is meaningless as the evidence corroborates the source of effect as the word. You can argue it is not supernatural but natural human response. The problem remains that the agent is the Word of God
          Perhaps you want to argue that God, Jesus and heaven are fantasy. The majority believe and lives are transformed not by the fantasy but by the Word. We believe in the promises of past and the promise of present and the promise of future as given in the Word of God. The physical evidence is the word and the observed effect (power) of that word.

          March 19, 2014 at 1:44 am |
  9. MidwestKen

    @guidedans,
    If heaven is perfect, then why can't it handle impefect humans?

    March 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      Mid,

      Not abouts heavens perfection nor power but what we humans are going to do. I hope we do the right thing. What is moral.

      March 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
      • observer

        Peaceadvocate2014,

        We do what is moral by NOT FOLLOWING much of the immorality in the Bible. Slavery is gone. Discriminations are diminishing. Child beating is less acceptable, etc.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Mid,

          Not the teaching of God but acts of humans because of their imperfection.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Observe,

          Sorry, your interpretation of the teachings of God is inaccurate. I know we improved our moral applications, we have achieved a lot. Is it because of Jesus? May or may not.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • observer

          Peaceadvocate2014,

          Read a Bible SOMEDAY so you'll know better. Then tell me it's fine to sell, say, 8-year-old daughters into slavery and BEAT helpless children with rods for discipline.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          I read, study, analyze and form my own conclusion. Think for ourselves what is the meaning of Jesus suffering, Gods teachings.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • observer

          Peaceadvocate2014,,

          Yep. You still don't claim the "morals" of the Bible that I mentioned are GOOD.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
      • kudlak

        Peaceadvocate2014
        Yet, my sense of what is moral doesn't correspond with what many Christians believe is God's sense of moral. Since he is the one supposedly judging our morality this forces me (if I were ever to believe that he exists) to either force myself to accept someone else's morality as a standard, which makes me follower of orders rather than a moral person, or face the wrath of some being who assumes to be my judge.

        If I was only interested in protecting my own skin I suppose I could go with following orders, but since I'm not ...

        March 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • guidedans

      We would mess it up.

      We mess up everything we have ever been given.

      Look around the world, you will see what happens when you give men power.

      March 18, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • Akira

        If Heaven is for perfect humans, and no human can ever be perfect and therefore shall never get into Heaven, is the promise of eternal reward a lie?

        March 18, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @guidedans,
        How perfect can it be if puny little being like us can "mess it up"?

        March 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        There's a special place for people like you...it's not heaven or hell but a nicely padded room that can be located at the nearest asylum...please run along to it and gather up your buddy kermi to go with you.

        March 19, 2014 at 8:28 am |
  10. bostontola

    Christianity is VHS, they just don't know it yet.

    Remember VHS vs. Beta. Beta was actually better quality, but the tapes weren't long enough for most movies, so VHS dominated. Of course eventually, new things came along that knocked VHS out, laser discs, netflix...

    March 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • Akira

      I still have a Beta player. Have no idea why the hubs is holding on to it.

      Remember when buying movies on Beta/VHS was 90 bucks a tape? In the very early days, of course, which led to the proliferation of video rental stores.

      March 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • bostontola

        I had a frrrriend that made a lot of money bootlegging those tapes.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Akira

          The industry was ripe for it.
          When our library charged for lost tapes, they always wanted to charge something like $49.95. People would just go to Walmart and get it for $9.95.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        The fact is Sony owned the Betamax format and would not license it for use by p0rn production companies which were just starting up in the late 70's with the new medium of personal home video. VHS was developed by Victor Company and welcomed the new p0rn industry wanting to use their format for home p0rn. Because of this more VHS players were being sold and Beta was prematurely eject-u-lated from the market.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Judaism = Super 8
      Christianity = VHS
      Islam = Laserdisc
      Mormonism = HD-DVD

      March 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • bostontola

        Right on.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Hopefully that doesn't make Scientology = Blu-ray in your metaphor?

        March 18, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Atheist i suppose dont use any, there is no need 🙂

        March 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • nojinx

          Exactly. Atheists get up and go outside.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Make sure to take a shower first 🙂

          March 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
      • LinCA

        I think it's more like:
        Judaism = Drawing of a stick in the ground
        Christianity = Drawing of a sundial
        Islam = Drawing of a bell tower
        Mormonism = Photo of a mechanical wristwatch
        Scientology = Photo of a digital wristwatch

        Religion is static and representative of the time it was invented. Like an image of a clock, they will all occasionally be correct, but only by accident.

        Science, on the other hand, went from a stick in the ground to a sundial, to a bell tower, to a mechanical clock, to a digital clock to ever more precise atomic clocks. They all tell the correct time within known tolerances.

        March 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • sam stone

          tradition = cultural stagnation

          March 19, 2014 at 6:08 am |
  11. topinfoguy

    #6 Jesus Christ's signature was encoded within the Bible.

    See http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2a.htm and click on "Watch/Listen" at beginning of page.

    This proof of his existence, via the encoded signature, is always ignored by both Atheists and the Religious folk due to Religious believers only accepting beliefs, and Atheists only accepting disbeliefs. Truths of such measure are always immediately rejected.

    March 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • Doris

      Oh, just had a terrible charley horse. Let just see what Nutsadamus had to say about that. OK, oh there it is. God's blessing to cure the charley horse is only revealed after eating a banana. Well Ok, praise the Lord!

      March 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      The proof of Jesus's existence is in an encoded signature???????

      Wow.

      Are you frikken serious? If Jesus was real, and was so important to humanity, why doesn't he just show up everywhere, to everyone – sort of like Dr. Nick on the Simpsons
      Jesus: "Hi, Everybody!"
      Everyone in the world: "Hi, Jesus!"

      I know – it's a test of faith. Right.

      March 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I have Dr. Greg Graffin's signature encoded on the front page of his book "Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God".
      My 7 year old sometime has difficulty deciphering it, so cursive script is a kind of code, right?

      March 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • igaftr

      It never ceases to amaze me the depths of delusion people will go to to try to justify their beliefs.

      March 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
    • doobzz

      Playing Find-A-Word in the bible is not proof of anything.

      March 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
    • ausphor

      Oh Dear just when you think it can't get any nuttier, along comes topinfoguy.
      Is that you Austin?

      March 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      Didja get your secret decoder ring inside a box of Rice Crispies?

      March 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
      • Akira

        No, you have to get the official Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring from Ovaltine, otherwise the message you decode comes directly from Satan.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Alias

          Now I'm truely lost.
          Satan delivers my Ovaltine.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Isn't there a goof in the movie? Like, the number don't actally decode to what he writes down? Perhaps Ralphie got his from the great deceiver Satan.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Akira

          Sungrazer:
          The joke was after waiting all that time for his ring, and then writing down the numbers and decoding it, it turned out to say "drink your Ovaltine" which made Ralphie uber ticked off.

          My father used to know Flick. Used to drink at Flick's Tavern all the time. Exists to this day, although not in its original location and with different owners.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Yes, but there was a goof, too. Just looked it up:

          "Although the announcer instructed the listeners to set their decoder rings to "B-2", thus indicating that the letter "B" (the first letter in the supposedly decoded message) was represented by the number "2", the first code number in the message was not "2"."

          March 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • Akira

          Sungrazer: no kidding? I'll have to look for that specifically when I watch the movie next CE.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          I never noticed this, just somehow stumbled onto it since the last time I watched the movie. I too will be watching carefully next holiday season.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        That explains why no-one can decipher Kermi's posts, this one is being greedy and keeping it to itself.

        March 19, 2014 at 8:26 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      "This proof of his existence, via the encoded signature, is always ignored by both Atheists and the Religious folk due to Religious believers only accepting beliefs, and Atheists only accepting disbeliefs. Truths of such measure are always immediately rejected."

      Notice the code?

      Th "i" s proof of his existence, vi "a" the encoded signature, is always ignored by both Atheists and the Religious folk due to Religious believe"r" s "o" nly accepting beliefs, and Atheists "on" ly accepting disbeliefs. Truths of such "m" easure "a" re always i "m" mediately rejected.

      Yes, that is right, hidden within topinfoguys text is the hidden message "i am a moron"...

      Okay, so he wasn't hiding it that well but still...

      March 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      Actually, this code has been shown by signal analysts to have at least two levels. The first level was a signature of Jesus. The next level was a message from an alien race saying they left the bibles and other sacred texts and were responsible for all the religions up to that time and that the whole God thing was a bet.

      March 18, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
      • Akira

        Every story is better with aliens in it.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          Agreed, but I should have woven Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis in.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Akira

          Ooh! Yes! Excellent!

          March 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          maybe they were JW Aliens and only show up to knock on our planet once a week on their Saturday which happens to be every 2000 of our years...

          March 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        Did I hear correctly that you have to kill the boss alien in order to get to the third level of code?

        March 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          Yes, but it has to be with the Crystal Sabre.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Of course! I should have known that.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Up up, down down, left right, left right, B A, B A, Select.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    • Alias

      What version of the bible, and what translation?
      BTW –
      If you were to translate in to a language with fewer letters, like native Hawaiian, you would find a lot more hidden messages.

      March 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
      • Akira

        Easter eggs hidden in the Bible? Cool!

        March 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
  12. whippstippler7

    Could a Christian believer help me with something here: where, exactly, as this supposed sacrifice by Jesus? It's described as the "ultimate" sacrifice. But I honestly do not get it.
    Here is my understanding: the Christian God is all-knowing, all-powerful, created the universe. This God sends part of itself to Earth in human form – Jesus. Jesus is described as God's only begotten son. According to Christian belief as I understand it, Jesus lived, was crucified, died, rose from the dead three days later, then after a period of time ascended to Heaven, to rejoin God, or his Father, or himself. To be honest, I'm not clear on that part as well.

    So, God knew in dance what would happen: this pice of himself in human form would die for a negligible period of time, come back to life, and rejoin itself. Where's the sacrifice? And what's the deal with the "only son" characterization. If God can do anything, God can make as many human Jesuses as he wants.

    I'm being serious – where is the sacrifice?

    March 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      correction – God Knew in advance, NOT God knew in dance. Bad keyboard!

      March 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      Not only that, but where is the sacrifice if he was resurrected? He may have had a bad day, but he wasn't sacrificed.

      March 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Jesus had a really bad long weekend for your sins, but look at poor Prometheus!
      Talk about a god sacrificing himself for mankind – that guy has his liver eaten by birds every single day for all eternity as punishment for helping us out!

      March 18, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        Well, he shouldn't have signed that liver doner card then, should he have?

        March 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So... uhm.... can we have your liver then?

          March 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Oh. No, I'd be... scared.

          March 18, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • Akira

          Although Hannibal Lecter is interested...

          March 18, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • observer

      Did everyone hear all the Christian crickets?

      March 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • guidedans

      whippstippler7,

      I truly hope you are asking this question with a real desire to learn about God. This is in the Bible, but you need to really study it prayerfully to understand the Word.

      God came down in human form and was entirely God and entirely human. He had to take on the body of a human and experience a life of toil, all the while seeing His children behaving abhorrently. He then lived a sinless life and was punished for it. The death on the cross was extremely brutal and extremely painful and, as a man, he experienced every little bit of it. Furthermore, while it may seem like a short amount of pain to endure compared to eternity, The Bible says that Jesus took on all of the pains and sorrow in the world up on the cross and to Him, it may have felt like an eternity. Isiah 53:4 says, "Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted."

      It wasn't just physical pain Jesus was feeling, it was the pain of all sin and all human suffering for all time. He took that on on the cross so we would not have to be held responsible for our sins.

      That is the answer as I understand it. I really don't want to debate this. If you want to ask real questions and are truly looking for a Christian perspective, I would be happy to help.

      March 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
      • igaftr

        guide
        You clearly missed the point of the question.
        Waht was the sacrifice? He allegedly died, but knew he would be "resurrected". He knew the suffering he was enduring for others ( though it makes no sense that the suffering in hell is for eterity, but his suffering was finite), would have an end, a light at the end of the tunnel.

        He knew he would not really die ( or come back) so what exactly did he sacrifice...it doesn't look like he lost anything...no loss, no sacrifice.

        What was the sacrifice?

        March 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • guidedans

          igaftr,

          I meant for the following to be in reference to the sacrifice that Jesus made:

          "It wasn't just physical pain Jesus was feeling, it was the pain of all sin and all human suffering for all time. He took that on on the cross so we would not have to be held responsible for our sins."

          It is not something that God had to do, it is something that He chose to do: take on all of our sins through His son Jesus so that we would not be held accountable for them.

          While He was up on that cross, He experienced the sins of all humanity and, as a sinless man, that must have caused immense psychological torment. It was an immense sacrifice. An immense amount of pain to endure that He could have chosen not to go through. But He loved us so much and knew that if He did not do what He did, we would not have a way to reach God's perfection.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • observer

          guidedans,

          So your answer is that he endured psychological pain knowing full well that this very temporary condition would soon be alleviated by his guaranteed trip to heaven.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • igaftr

          guide
          Psychological torture? For all of man kind through eternity? That makes no sense. People suffer here on earth. There is no sign that there is any "afterlife". After life is death.

          Also, eternity is not finite. How could you suffer for all sins to eternity, and yet pack it into a fintie time. That also makes no sense.
          I still do not see any sacrifice.
          The sacrifce is YOURS. You sacrifice your morality to allow another to stand in your place, accept YOUR punishment.

          March 19, 2014 at 8:14 am |
    • believerfred

      The sacrifice was in God creating what was very good. In perfect holiness and love we have man created in the image of God knowing full well what man will do with and to that image. In Christ on the cross we have a picture worth a thousand words of what mankind does to the image of God. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" was the cry from the only begotten son of God.
      In answer to your second question Jesus was the only begotten son of God because only Jesus was the perfect lamb. That innocence and pure love was evident as well as obedience and dedication to God. Not another man would do what Jesus did as Jesus was the only. This is my son whom I love were the words when the Spirit came upon Jesus in the waters by John the Baptist. Jesus had just come through the temptation in the desert where his commitment to the Father resolved the ability to handle the knowledge of good and evil. Yes he was fully man and now fully God in all respects.

      March 18, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
      • guidedans

        Thanks Fred. That was very well put.

        God bless.

        March 18, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • doobzz

        If Jesus was "fully man" then he had original sin, and was not a perfect sacrifice. If he didn't have original sin, then he wasn't a true human being, and could not represent humans.

        March 19, 2014 at 1:12 am |
        • believerfred

          Sin is considered passed down from the father (Adam being the first). It is a function of headship by tradition. Jesus was born of Mary (thus human) but the biological father was not Joseph it was the Sprit of God. Thus no original sin.
          Now, Catholics also believe Mary to be free from sin by the grace of God prior to birth.

          March 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • doobzz

          If he didn't have original sin, he wasn't really a human being and could not represent humans for the necessary human sacrifice. He was god wrapped in borrowed flesh.

          March 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
  13. guidedans

    If Heaven is perfect, then you cannot allow imperfection in.
    Humans are imperfect.
    Humans cannot be allowed into Heaven.

    Every human ever has made mistakes. There is no perfect human. If God did nothing, then the above argument would hold true and no one would be allowed into Heaven. But God did do something, He came down as a man and took on all of our sins to supernaturally cleanse us and transform us so that, when we die, we can enter into an eternal Heaven. The gift is out there for anyone to accept. You just need to accept the gift.

    If you don't believe in God or Heaven and you are not open to the idea, then stop trying to convince other people that there is no God.

    Think about this, if you convert someone to Atheism, the best case scenario is that they die and stop existing. The worst case scenario is that you led them away from God and you led them straight into Hell. What's the point when all you can do is reduce their chances of eternal bliss?

    March 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
    • doobzz

      "If you don't believe in God or Heaven and you are not open to the idea, then stop trying to convince other people that there is no God."

      Practice what you preach, hypocrite.

      "Think about this, if you convert someone to Atheism, the best case scenario is that they die and stop existing. The worst case scenario is that you led them away from God and you led them straight into Hell. What's the point when all you can do is reduce their chances of eternal bliss?"

      Pascal's Wager? You must be kidding.

      March 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • guidedans

        Pascal's Wager does not prove that Christianity is right, but it proves that Atheism is an inferior position when looking at expected values.

        And what Jesus is offering is a chance at salvation. What Atheism is offering is a chance at eternal torment. There is no hypocrisy in preaching the former and not wanting others to preach the latter.

        March 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • nojinx

          Pascal's Wager (which Pascal himself later dismissed as insufficient) fails to show the infinite number of potential harm scenarios if one believes in the wrong god. Any theist takes a risk that the gods that are real (if any) are one of the infinite number that will punish the theist for the wrong belief.

          The atheist at least remains neutral. It shows that position is superior mathematically.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • doobzz

          The inferior choice is the one that has zero evidence to back up its claims.

          You don't see the hypocrisy of telling me that I can't talk about non belief but you can push your deity on others? Of course you don't.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • guidedans

          nojinx,

          Please show that math because I cannot imagine that Atheism, which has all of the downsides of Christianity (e.g., just as high a chance of being wrong), but none of the upsides is the "mathematical" choice.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • nojinx

          There are a huge number of downsides that atheism lacks. Here are a few::
          1. spend time praying with no result
          2. spend time worshiping with no result
          3. free of any theistic impediment that would allow seeking of truth.
          4. free from punishment for worshiping the wrong god or an opposing god.

          There is a huge amount of material out there on the failings and problems of Pascal's Wager if you want to look. You can get a better understanding of it if you really want to understand.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • igaftr

          "expected values"...elaborate. What do you mean by expected values?
          Is it similar to Bush's "traditional family values" where that is an undefined term, yet sounds nice in a sound bite?

          March 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • Alias

          So you think we all need to worship something, and hope we guessed the right one?
          Well, since there is no proof of any religion – Go FSM!

          Ramen.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • colin31714

          gidedons, you said, "Please show that math because I cannot imagine that Atheism, which has all of the downsides of Christianity (e.g., just as high a chance of being wrong)"

          Are you serious? What about Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Taoism? Are they just as likely as Christianity, or does your religion get a special place in this equation?

          What about the other 100 or so religions on the planet with a significant number of believers?

          March 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Let's let x represent the number of afterlife beliefs, of which there are many. Your chances of 1/x aren't much better than 0/x. In fact, even that is not good math, because you're confusing probability and possibility. 1/x is possibility. The probability that any one of x is true is vanishingly small. Meanwhile, you aren't considering the cost of your beliefs in that 1 out of x. It's not just the afterlife that goes into the equation. There are the personal costs of time and money spent engaged in your beliefs. Religious beliefs have caused much bloodshed. Religious beliefs have resulted in oppression, persecution, and discrimination. All in all, the costs of most beliefs are very high, while the afterlife benefit is just a dart throw with no reason to think there is even a dartboard.

          Meanwhile, you aren't considering the cost of

          One problem is that you are only considering the afterlife in your equation.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • guidedans

          Expected values is a term in statistics that refers to the expected value of a decision where the outcome in unpredictable.

          For instance, if the price to flip a coin was a dollar and you had a chance to win two dollars if you guessed the right choice, you would add up the cost of both options (win +$2 and lose -$1) and you would multiply each by its probability of occurrence ($2 x 50% +(-$1 x 50%) = $.50). That would be a good bet because you would expect to make 50 cents each flip.

          Atheism has no "Winning" scenario, just death. So it is an inferior position when looking at expected values.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • nojinx

          The problem is that the wager does not have a two-sided coin. There are an infinite number of sides, and the Christian chooses only one, taking a one in the infinite chance they are right.

          The real problem is not the odds, though, but the risk a theist takes in making his belief a wager. Might decrease the odds to zero in the infinite, if the god is omniscient. Can't con a con man, as they say.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • doobzz

          Pretending that you know there's life after death is not the superior position. There is no evidence of an afterlife, nor is there evidence of any of the thousands of deities that humans have made up.

          You may as well say that believing in the tooth fairy is the superior position, because she might leave a dollar under your pillow.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          @ guide dans: here's a scenario: there is some "god", and this god is really values the use of logic and reason and evidence-based decisions in humans, whereas nothing ticks this god off more than people who refuse too use their brains, and specifically those who rely on "faith". In this scenario, this god will reward the atheists with eternal life in a heaven of some form, but will punish the religious – because they didn't use their brains – with fire and hell and all that fun stuff.

          Now, you have absolutely zero basis to claim that this scenario is less likely than that scenario where, for example, Zeus is the one true god, and he is mad at Christians for worshiping a false god.

          In fact, when you look at it, the number of potential scenarios where being a Christian is a very negative thing is essentially infinite, whereas the scenario where begin a Christian is a good thing is, well, one.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Atheism has no "Winning" scenario, just death. So it is an inferior position when looking at expected values."

          Belief is not something to "bet" on...if your god expects people to "bet" on him with their belief he is an ass. One is either convinced or they are not convinced.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Atheism has no "Winning" scenario"

          It isn't about "winning" although to you it sounds like your religion is more about gambling than anything.
          It is about trying to determine the truth, and from all of the information available, no one can how the slightest sign tof any gods, or supernatural or spirits.

          You are not seeking truth, you are just trying to gamble.
          That has to be one of the most pathetic reasons for belief I have ever heard.
          Maybe you should set up a shrine in your local casino, and switch gods until you find one that helps you win.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "For instance, if the price to flip a coin was a dollar and you had a chance to win two dollars if you guessed the right choice, you would add up the cost of both options (win +$2 and lose -$1) and you would multiply each by its probability of occurrence ($2 x 50% +(-$1 x 50%) = $.50). That would be a good bet because you would expect to make 50 cents each flip."

          Agreed, but those are not the numbers for religious belief. The probability of occurrence is vanishingly low for the afterlife option and 100% for the costs involved. It is even worse when you consider that at most there is one coin that is not double sided; all other coins are double sided and have no winning option; it's probable that all are.

          So you have to manage to flip the right coin, get it to land on the right side against improbable odds, be right about what the winning option is, be right that the winning option outweighs all the costs, and hope that the god of this particular religion doesn't see you as someone undertaking a pure mathematical exercise in place of genuine faith instead of kicking you out immediately.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Ignoring your ridiculous comparison between christianity and atheism, Pascal's wager only considers two alternatives – christian god or no god, but there are other possibilities: there is a god but it's not yours so it sends you to hell; there is a god and it's yours but it knows you were insincere so it sends you to hell; there is a god and it's not yours but if you've lived a good life it sends you to heaven; probably more that I can't think of.

          March 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • guidedans

        Whippstippler,

        And the chance that Atheism is a negative thing is just as good as Christianity's chances. The difference is that Atheism has no upside.

        To all those arguing that Atheism's upside comes in this world, that is HIGHLY subjective. You have no way of knowing that Atheists live any better lives than Christians do. To make that claim, you would have to measure the fulfillment of all atheists and compare that to the fulfillment of all Christians and then account for all of the societal, sociological, cultural, demographic, etc. variables.

        You guys are supposed to be the scientists. Where is the research to back up that claim?

        March 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Again, guidedans – you are misguided. And, you clearly have never taken any course in logic. You have no way of KNOWING whether or not there is an upside or downside of atheism. You have your beliefs – fine, believe all you want. But have the honesty to admit that they are simply your beliefs. Please stop stating them as factual.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • nojinx

          There is also another key difference: Atheism requires no risk. Nothing has to be put into the pot to be an atheist.

          The fact that theists spend time praying, going to church or generally spending more of their limited time in life in fruitless endeavors, when those efforts could be used to better their own lives of the lives of others.

          Let me know if you need some evidence that theists go to church, etc.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • observer

          guidedans

          "difference is that Atheism has no upside.'

          WRONG. For instance, It can reduce the number of Christian HYPOCRITES using the Bible as an excuse to deny others equal rights..

          March 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If god is all powerful he can do whatever he wants...change any rule...make any person perfect...ect,. ect. That nullifies your entire argument.

      March 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • guidedans

        God cannot do certain things Cheesemaker. For existence, He cannot do evil. It is not in His character.

        Anyway, God did do exactly what He wanted to do by coming down to Earth as Jesus to die for your sins and offer you a choice to go with Him or with yourself.

        God isn't going to force His will onto you. You have to choose to love Him.

        March 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          God cannot do evil?
          Is genocide not evil? Telling people to slaughter babies, take s/ex slaves, sacrifice their children, etc...

          March 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • guidedans

          Doc,

          God sees the past present and future of every possible decision anyone makes. God knows exactly what it would take to keep the world from destroying itself. All the things that God did to us throughout our history were the best possible decision that could be made. All other ones would have been inferior. If you accept that God is the master of the universe, then you understand that He is making the right decisions, even if they look bad to us.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • nojinx

          Then I am sure he will understand that we don't believe in him, given how difficult he has made it.

          If not, than I am better off not being in his favor. I will at least have the moral high ground against him.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • guidedans

          Nojinx,

          You are free to put yourself up against God, the creator of the universe, but I don't think it's a good idea.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • nojinx

          I'll go against any gods you have, creators or otherwise. Not one has ever shown, much less won. Santa Claus was a particular let down.

          I'll venture this: upon our deaths, neither of us will find ourselves disappointed.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Alias

          @guidedans
          What you are saying is that even though is seems wrong to us, it must be right because god did it. We shold just accept this instead of thinking.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You seem to know a lot about god. The problem is I don't actually think you have any idea about god. I think this is all your personal opinion derived from what other people have told you. I don't think you have any evidence to show your knowledge comes from god.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • igaftr

          guide
          "You are free to put yourself up against God, the creator of the universe"

          Ok...there are over 100 creator gods, over 400 "one true" gods, and thousands of others.
          Do you worship them all, since it sounds like you are only trying to set yourself up for an "afterlife" that you don't even know exists as well.?

          For all you know, you will be hanging upside down before Quetzlcoatl and have to explain why you worshipped the wrong god all those years.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • igaftr

          guide
          Considering your psots, you should be worshipping Macuilxochitl, or Fortuna, or Li-Nezha.

          They would be better for a gambler such as yourself.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • nojinx

          Since Islam has the best risk/reward payout, it seems anyone who actually subscribes to Pascal's Wager as a valid argument will inevitably become Muslim.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • doobzz

          "All the things that God did to us throughout our history were the best possible decision that could be made. All other ones would have been inferior."

          Laughable. So for god to sanction slavery and the subjugation of women is the best possible decision he could have made? Better than just saying, Don't own other humans and don't rape or otherwise harm women?

          Killing every living thing, including innocent animals, infants and the unborn was the best your god could do? He couldn't have just put a message in the sky for humans or have angels come down and teach humans what he wanted? Genocide was his best option?

          Your god is a weak, pathetic, and unimaginative asshat.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • doobzz

          "God isn't going to force His will onto you. You have to choose to love Him."

          This is a flat out lie. If I choose not to love god, he sends me to hell for eternity. How is that NOT forcing his will on me?

          March 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      you have not established the existence of heaven or god, guidedans

      March 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • guidedans

        Nor can I , Stone.

        I cannot even establish that this reality is real. Thus all of Science, which presumes that reality exists has no foundation either.

        I don't understand your point.

        March 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • Alias

          you are taking your highschool philosophy way too seriously.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I cannot even establish that this reality is real."

          You may not be able to establish reality is real but unless you and I (and everyone else) agrees that it is real...everything is moot.

          Arguing that there is no justification for reality and then arguing your god is real is just silly.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • nojinx

          his point is that there are things you can say, that are established and real. Remember my "Cognito ergo sum" comment from yesterday? That is something you know, regardless of how real you think this reality is.

          Look into epistemology and common knowledge acquisition. You can also look at the Scientific Method, as it is based on our standard biological methods of learning that we use all our lives.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • guidedans

          Nojinx, that cogito ergo sum thing is not accurate.

          You cannot prove that you exist because you think. You can prove that something exists. That something may have dreamed you and this world up entirely.

          Descartes' meditations then go on to posit that there is a God who is not a deceiver. That is the only way he comes to the conclusions he does. Without that "God that is not a deceiver" premise, his conclusions all fall apart.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • nojinx

          If something dreamed me up, that does not negate my existence. If I am able to perceive my own thoughts, I exist. What my source is does not matter in determining I exist. I may be a brain in a vat, in the Matrix or a simulation, but that still means I exist.

          I am somewhat baffled that you can have no basis for knowing things, yet speak as if you do.

          Cognito ergo sum stands on it's own. It requires nothing else to support it, and certainly no gods.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • sam stone

          you are professing knowledge of god and heaven when you cannot prove the existence of either

          March 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Pascal's Wager = fail.
      What if by converting people to Christianity and encouraging them to be peaceful and pacifistic, Christians are reducing other people's chances of getting into Valhalla?

      "A religion is a source of happiness and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong–and you are strong. The great trouble with religion–any religion–is that the religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge these propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak uncertainty of reason–but one cannot have both."
      – Robert Heinlein

      March 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • guidedans

        Doc, if you were preaching Nordic religions here, I would disagree with you, but I would not think you were behaving immorally.

        Atheism has no upside. Only the chance at eternal torment. There is no "Valhalla" in Atheism.

        You may argue that an Atheist lives a more fulfilling life, but really, that is just speculation. There is no proof that an Atheist or a Christian lives a better life. Really, the only difference in expected values is in the after life. Atheism has no afterlife. Christianity and Norse Mythology does. You are advocating for an inferior position.

        March 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • igaftr

          And you are claiming there is an afterlife, where no such thing has ever been shown to exist.
          Drop Pascals wager since it is a fallacy.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • doobzz

          Living in reality is the superior position. Reality shows that when a human dies, it ceases to exist. If you had even a shred of hard evidence for an afterlife, you might begin to level the playing field. Until then, reality trumps any and all versions of deities and promises of another shot at life, for which there is no evidence at all.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • nojinx

          Based on the wager, they live a less wasteful life, as they do not put effort into things they have no reason to believe to exist.

          The problem with the theist wager is that even if you choose theist, there are still an infinite number of possibilities. How to determine which gods are real, which lifestyle will get you a reward, what the reward will be, if it will be beneficial, what religious text has truth, if any currently do, or will the truth come in some future text?

          Given the infinite number possible, how many faiths do we have to examine before we find the correct one? Is the correct one even available yet? How would we know?

          March 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          @guidedans: I'm sorry, but you are full of crap. Where do you get off making proclamations about the effect of atheism? You make the claim "Atheism has no upside. Only the chance at eternal torment. There is no "Valhalla" in Atheism."

          Excuse me, Mr. Arrogant, Holier Than Thou Believer, but how in the holy hell do you KNOW that? At least I have the brains and balls to admit that I have NO idea if there is or isn't anything after death.

          You KNOW nothing. NOTHING! THIS is a prime reason why atheists get ticked off at believers – they are so staggeringly arrogant.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • mk

      You've described exactly how churches keep members: you are a weak, pathetic sinner, you will always be a weak, pathetic sinner, the only way to get rid of your nasty sin is to come to our church and repent. And bring your pocketbook when you come.

      March 18, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • guidedans

        Mk,

        We are all weak, pathetic sinners until the moment we accept Christ as our savior. At that point we are sinless in the eyes of God. You don't need to go to Church to obtain salvation, you want to go to Church to celebrate your salvation.

        I think God should have made the Bible more money-based if He were really looking for handouts.

        March 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • Alias

          if your god existed, the bible would have only one interpretation.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • igaftr

          The moment you accept Christ, you are committing the immoral act of allowing another to take YOUR punishment. Why do you hate Christ so much you would CHOOSE to let him take YOUR punishment? If you truly loved him, you would not allow him to stand in your place.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • doobzz

          "We are all weak, pathetic sinners "

          Feel free to continue your self flagellation, but don't expect everyone to adopt your poor self image just because you promise everything will be peachy after we're dead.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • guidedans

          igaftr,

          Jesus already took my place (and yours). I am just receiving it. That is what He wanted for us. It is why He did it.

          It is immoral to turn down a gift that someone died for.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • guidedans

          Doobzz,

          You are misquoting me. I said, "We are all weak, pathetic sinners until the moment we accept Christ..."

          After salvation, there is no reason to self flagellate. You are clean in the eyes of God.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • doobzz

          Human sacrifice is a gift? Most people find it abhorrent.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • igaftr

          "It is immoral to turn down a gift that someone died for."

          Seriously? You can CHOOSE to not make another suffer for you, yet you choose the immoral path of allowing another to suffer in your place, then you try to claim some moral highground? Hilarious.
          You prove you do not love Christ, simply by allowing him to suffer in your place. It is immoral to accept a gift that will cause the giver suffering, when you can CHOOSE to accept your own punishment.
          If your Christ came before me and PROVED he was what the christians claim him to be, I would still not choose to allow him to suffer for me. To me, your choice is the immoral one, which makes all of christianity immoral.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • doobzz

          And you misinterpret me. I'm not a weak, pathetic sinner because sin is a man made construct used to control people and to get their money.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Jesus already took my place (and yours). "
          FALSE.

          that is belief, and I choose to not accept that "gift" since it is far from free. I have to be immoral to allow another to stand in my place. Jesus has absolutely NOT taken my place, for I am not immoral enough to allow it.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • sam stone

          Jeebus had a bad weekend for your sins, eh guidedans?

          March 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • doobzz

      This guy is just another liar and hypocrite. He came on yesterday pretending to want to find out what motivates non believers, but after a few posts showed he's just here to push his version of Christianity.

      Either that or he's about twelve years old and trying out for junior preacher in his bible camp.

      March 18, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • guidedans

        I found out what motivates non-believers yesterday. It is the same thing that motivates believers. But non-believers don't have an upside to their belief. I realized you guys are leading people astray and I am standing up against that.

        Atheism has nothing to offer people. Quit trying to lead people away from salvation.

        March 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • doobzz

          It's amusing when someone peddles snake oil and pretends they're taking the high moral ground.

          You push fictional stories about an angry, violent deity who loves us so much that he'll hurt us forever if we don't love him back, and you think you're somehow more "moral" than everyone else. Laughable.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • nojinx

          Speaking for myself, not believing in things for which there is no evidence prevents me from wasting the precious time I have in my life. For example, I can spend time I would use to pray to do helpful acts for my community.

          Believer only believe they have an upside. They ignore the downside as if it does not exist. They ignore the infinite number of options besides atheist and theist of [insert gods here].

          March 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Atheism has nothing to offer people."

          Ahh...we agree on this..."atheism" is a response to the claims of "theism"...nothing more

          Theism, or more specifically CHristianity, on the other hand does not offer "salvation"...it offers a unsubstantiated claim of salvation. So what? Unless you can demonstrate the truth of the claims of your theism asserting them as fact is the same as lying.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Humanism has a lot to offer:

          "Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism)."

          "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity."

          If humanists are leading people astray from immoral religions, they are leading people to live ethical lives to minimize suffering and maximize happiness.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Akira

          You obviously didn't read anyone's answers, because you're back here today peddling the same misconceptions you seem to concluded, guide.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
    • mk

      What if you happen to be worshipping the wrong god all your life? What if you get to the afterlife and realize you should have been worshipping one of the hundreds of other gods available? You'd be sent to the pit same as an atheist. See what a chance you're taking by worshipping that one god of yours?

      March 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • guidedans

        You are exactly right, mk. My chance of Hell is exactly the same as the Atheist. But my chance in Heaven is higher than the atheists. That means between the two positions, Atheism is the inferior one.

        Why spend all this time on these forums trying to convince others that you are right when you are only offering them death if you are right?

        I know why I come to these forums, I want you guys to see the light of Christ. He can save you from a life of vanities. It is worth my time to invest in you guys. I don't see how it could be worth your time to invest in converting people away from their faiths.

        March 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • mk

          That makes no sense. Why in the world would your chance of getting into a so-called "heaven" be higher than an atheist when you were worshipping the wrong god??

          "He can save you from a life of vanities."

          Are you so brainwashed that you can't see how vain it is to think that your way/god/book is the only way? Ridiculous.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • nojinx

          Because we also offer them truth and escape from self-delusion. We offer them a happier life in that it is free of antiquated fears and misunderstandings, free from parental or communal indoctrination. Free from prejudices and false immorality.

          I come here primarily to bring truth to the comments that lack them. Deception occurs because the truth is avoided. I can't help those who are set on avoidance. But I can help those who genuinely seek truth.

          The best way to do that is teach critical thinking and rational, logical thought.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • nojinx

          Technically, your chance of hell is mathematically greater than the atheist, as coin can come up where the atheist is rewarded and the believer punished.

          March 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • guidedans

          mk, if you are right, you get nothing. If a Christian is right, he gets heaven.

          If the Christian is wrong then he gets the same punishment as the atheist does.

          Nojinx.

          You are correct that God may exist and only let non-believers into heaven, but you are not accounting for the opposite of that which would be that God exists and only lets believers of any religion into heaven.

          There is a very large number of possibilities but when you add up all of them together, you are left with the same result that if an Atheist is right, they get nothing (no upside). If the Christian is right, they get Heaven (huge upside).

          An Atheist is better off if they are wrong and God just rewards them when they die regardless of their belief.

          Why would you choose a position (And try to convert others to that position) where the best possible scenario is that you are wrong?

          March 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • nojinx

          I am accounting for all situations. As the possibilities are endless, anything anyone mentions is valid as a possible outcome. There is no restriction to the exercise, so I can't exclude what you think I am excluding.

          Your main mistake is that (whether via ignorance or willfully) you set up a Straw Man argument to attack: the false notion that there is no benefit to the atheist position. This is despite multiple posters providing your examples, concrete examples that do not require any suspension of critical thought.

          I don't try to convert people to anything. I do encourage teaching critical thought, though, and that often leads to dismissing previously held notions when they are scrutinized.

          You are still avoiding the fact that the "huge payoff" (subjective qualitative judgement) is mathematically impossible for a Christian in Pascal's Wager taken to its logical ends. It is the equivalent to a one in infinite chance you are correct. Why not take an option with wider appeal? Why not take the Musliim option, which has the greatest rewards and the worst risks for non-believers?

          March 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • LinCA

          @guidedans

          You said, "if you are right, you get nothing. If a Christian is right, he gets heaven."
          Considering that the odds that a christian is right are not significantly different from zero, the effort required to gain access to heaven is exorbitant.

          You said, "If the Christian is wrong then he gets the same punishment as the atheist does."
          Not if the god doing the judging is just. Since there is not a single shred of evidence even suggesting there are any gods, a just one will value critical thought over willful ignorance. Also, if a christian is wrong, which is pretty much a given, (s)he will have worshiped the wrong god, and wasted precious time and resources during his/her limited time on Earth groveling.

          How many gods do you know that look kindly on believers in different gods? Yours certainly doesn't.

          You said, "You are correct that God may exist and only let non-believers into heaven, but you are not accounting for the opposite of that which would be that God exists and only lets believers of any religion into heaven."
          You assume that atheists would want to spend time with a monster like your god or his followers. I, for one, will pass if given the chance.

          You said, "There is a very large number of possibilities but when you add up all of them together, you are left with the same result that if an Atheist is right, they get nothing (no upside). If the Christian is right, they get Heaven (huge upside)."
          Again you neglect the far more likely downside for believers that awaits them should they have worshiped the wrong god (virtually guaranteed), or even the right god in the wrong way (highly likely even in the extreme unlikely scenario of having picked the right god). The upside, if there is one, is negligible, and the cost associated with it tremendous. Unfortunately the cost isn't borne solely by the believer. Society suffers too.

          You said, "Why would you choose a position (And try to convert others to that position) where the best possible scenario is that you are wrong?"
          Logic clearly isn't your strong suit, is it?

          Aside from all of this, it is highly unlikely that someone who has reasoned him or herself into a position of atheism, to be reasoned out of it by way of any existing religious rhetoric. If you doubt that, ask yourself if you could go back to believing in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. Gods, including yours, are identical to those and other fictional creatures.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "Why would you choose a position (And try to convert others to that position) where the best possible scenario is that you are wrong?"

          I don't know what the best possible scenario is. But it certainly isn't that we are wrong. A very good scenario is living ethically, valuing human life, minimizing suffering, maximizing happiness, and using science and reason as a guide in the pursuit of truth to as close as we can get to it, without incurring all the extrava.gant costs associated with religious beliefs, beliefs for which the likelihood of their containing any truth is practically nil.

          March 18, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
    • igaftr

      "You just need to accept the gift"

      No...you need to disregard all other possibilities without reason, and again, without reason accept the propoganda of some "gift" that is supposed to save you from a threat that god himself created, and you have to allow someone else to be punished for you to accept that "gift".

      It is just as possible that "god" put that in as a test. Are you immoral enough to allow another to stand in your place, or will you sacrifice yourself rather than allow another to suffer for you. Maybe you get into heaven by turning down the offer of a free gift, because it is in itself immoral, and THAT is the criteria.

      By proclaiming YOUR belief to be the correct one, you disregard ALL of the other possibilities, which makes no sense.

      March 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      Two questions:

      1) I think you would agree that god is perfect but humans are not. How can imperfection result from perfection? How can perfection lead to anything but perfection?

      2) If heaven is perfect, then I think you would agree that there is no sin in heaven. Does that mean that you don't have free will in heaven? If you say yes, there is no free will in heaven, then that is a different conversation altogether. If you say no, there IS free will in heaven, I would agree, but I would wonder why an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent god couldn't have created a heaven on earth. You can't use free will to explain away earthly evil if you acknowledge that there is free will in heaven. Then whence cometh evil?

      March 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • guidedans

        Hi Sungrazer,

        Those are two excellent questions. Both of them are going to be really hard to answer in this forum (I wrote a 10 page essay on the second one and it barely came close to addressing it). I can give it a shot though.

        1. The Bible says that God made us perfect but gave us free will, which we used to become imperfect. I don't think your premise is exactly correct, if a perfect being created something that was initially perfect and decide that free will was a part of perfection, then that created ent.ity could use that free will to do whatever he or she wanted, even imperfect things.

        2. I believe there is free will in heaven but, upon entrance into heaven you inherit a perfect body that is gifted with complete rationality and complete foresight so that you fully understand the costs of any actions you take. That being the case, you are free to make whatever choice you want, but you would never sin because you understand that to sin would be to separate yourself from God, which would result in you losing your heavenly status, which would be a less favorable outcome than not sinning would be.

        There is also a question of whether you can freely give up your freedom and if you can't freely give up your freedom, then are you really free? I don't really know the answer to that one, just something I think about.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • igaftr

          " I believe there is free will in heaven but, upon entrance into heaven you inherit a perfect body that is gifted with complete rationality and complete foresight so that you fully understand the costs of any actions you take. "

          Based on what?
          If I inherit a body, who had it before me?
          If my idea of heaven is to be near one person all the time, and their idea of heaven is to never see me again, which one wins?
          If heaven for me is to be with one who went to hell, what happens then?
          Why do I need a body in heaven?

          Obviously this is all PURE speculation, since as far as we can see, there is no "afterlife". After life is death.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          1. "...and decide that free will was a part of perfection..."

          If free will leads to imperfection, then free will can't be part of perfection.

          2. "...you would never sin because you understand that to sin would be to separate yourself from God..."

          Why did god not create this type of heaven on earth? Why do we not possess the type of free will that makes it impossible to sin? Since we don't, I must conclude that god is not one or more of the following: omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      Guide,

      Thank you for your effort to spread the existing of a One true God.

      I just want to add that even if we humans are imperfect, we could be acepted by God. Imperfection brought about by sins are forgiven provided there is sincere remorse or repentance for those sins.

      March 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • mk

        Peace, I can express a sincere remorse and repent to the person I've wronged, since they are the one who was affected. What does this have to do with a god?

        March 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Mk,

          Good for you. You may be a better person than me in abiding by the teachings of God. You dont have to believe in God, its your choice, i am still happy to know ur awareness in remorse and repentance to people you have wrong. A teaching in our courts that is guided by God. First thing you do when you sit on the stand is to swear on the bible to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Is your remorse influence by God?

          March 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • Doris

          "First thing you do when you sit on the stand is to swear on the bible to tell the truth and nothing but the truth."

          You don't have to do that. You also don't have to do that to become president of the U.S.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • Doris

          William Howard Taft, brought up as a Unitarian like Adams, is the only U.S. President to also have held the office of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:

          "I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe."

          March 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • igaftr

          advocate
          "First thing you do when you sit on the stand is to swear on the bible to tell the truth and nothing but the truth"
          False. I do not touch any bible in courtrooms or for oaths, and I affirm that I will tell the truth. Just like you, they are only taking your word for it.
          I even made the judge cover the offensive religious phrase he had on the wall...he asked if I was going to make a federal case out of it if I didn't and I told him truthfully "yes", so he covered it up. He said no one ever complained before, so I replied "How does that make it right?"

          March 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Doris/iga,

          Its a tradition in our courts and our presidency to remind the person swearing in to uphold morality. Now it is changing to be more tolerant because of other beliefs. Does not matter to me if tradition is kept or not. For me, i like to be reminded everyday, not just when in the stand or presidency.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • Doris

          PA – you might want to read Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Ow cmon doris we all try to do good deeds everyday. There is goodness in people.

          March 19, 2014 at 12:16 am |
        • observer

          Peaceadvocate2014

          Yes, there is goodness in people and it doesn't require bribes (heaven) and threats (hell).

          March 19, 2014 at 12:23 am |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          I certainly hope so.

          March 19, 2014 at 12:37 am |
        • igaftr

          advocate
          "Its a tradition in our courts and our presidency to remind the person swearing in to uphold morality"

          That is hilarious, becaue the bible and christianity represent very basic IMMORALITIES.
          I uphold morality by rejecting the myths of the bible.

          March 19, 2014 at 8:24 am |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      *existance

      March 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      *existence 🙂

      March 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
      • guidedans

        Thanks Peace,

        I am not sure there is much fertile ground on these forums to sew any seeds though. Hardened hearts and scaled eyes. I wish these folks could really know the truth and not be deceived by the world.

        Much love.

        March 18, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          The hope is there are still people like you. What i love about america.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • Doris

          "the truth". Please – the problem is that proselytizing in that manner makes is sound like it's something you pick up at Walmart.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • Doris

          makes it

          March 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          But I have hope that you believers will eventually see the light.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • igaftr

          guide
          "Hardened hearts and scaled eyes. I wish these folks could really know the truth and not be deceived by the world."
          Not a hardened heart, more an open and educated mind, not scaled eyes, eyes that are not blinded by the bible.

          Also, you have no idea what the truth is, and it is far more likely YOU have been decieved by your book of myths.

          Hopefully , you will join us in reality.

          March 19, 2014 at 8:28 am |
  14. revrickm

    Quoting Rev. Martin from the article, "Beware of most of these revelations; many are based on pure speculation and wishful thinking. Much of what we know about Jesus has been known for the last 2,000 years."

    As a Jesuit priest, known as the intellectuals among Catholic clergy, I am surprised that Rev. Martin makes such a claim. The books of the New Testament were written decades after Jesus' death, and at best were written based on oral traditions about Jesus. None of the Gospel writers were eye witnesses to any of Jesus words or miracles. And the Gospels themselves were written by unknown authors. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are names that were attributed to those books by tradition, but in truth no one actually knows who wrote them. So, in terms of "speculation", the Gospels, and in fact much of the New Testament, falls into the same category.

    March 18, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You are correct of course, so why should anyone consider the gospels to be relating what actually happened and what Jesus actually said? Why should anyone believe any of the outrageous claims of the gospels? Knowing what we know about the origins of the NT how can teaching that Jesus was god be justified?

      March 18, 2014 at 11:53 am |
  15. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    I love the posts here by believers who feel compelled to tell this Catholic priest that he is wrong.

    March 18, 2014 at 11:24 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      I think it is quite humorous that they fail to see the hypocrisy when even they can't agree across their numerous sects who has the right interpretation.

      March 18, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • mk

      I especially LOL when one cult tells another cult that they are a cult.

      March 18, 2014 at 11:56 am |
      • Alias

        "MY church is a religion. YOU belong to a cult. You pray all wrong and you are going to send yourself to hell because god has to be just."

        March 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  16. adamjread

    I don't think the church has any idea what is headed its direction right now. When you have been trained to look at life only through the optical pattern of the straight and narrow, you end up very much like a sniper looking through the scope of a rifle. While you are doing your job at concentrating on what's going on between your cross-hairs, you don't realize that there are a great many things going on around you. You need a spotter....someone to watch out for you. So, let me try and explain what's coming your way....

    Religion and clinical psychology could both easily be categorized as two parts of the Mental Health Industry. People go to them both for very similar reasons, as most of us want to feel secure and safe in our surrounding environments. Unfortunately, they don't talk to each other very much. So far, religion has not wanted input from any Third Party Inspector, and clinical psychology is too afraid of trespassing into heavily guarded territory.

    The problems Christianity and the other Abrahamic faiths are going to encounter have nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus, historical or archeological evidence, or even the stories John wrote in the book of Revelations. On the contrary, these faiths have been constructed on the single foundation of the works of Moses, and right now, there are significant structural cracks in that pedestal.

    The missing conversation is that Moses endured severe psychological trauma growing up in the house of Pharaoh. It's very evident in the type of "emergency logic" he uses to construct his stories, the absence of a much larger perspective in his narrative, and the myriad details of his own childhood story line that are embedded throughout the book of Genesis. A modern day equivalent to what he endured would come close to a Jewish boy rescued out of the Rhine River by the daughter of Adolf Hitler...then raised in the home of the Fuhrer himself during the height of Nazi Germany.

    His desperate need to escape this environment coincided perfectly with the need to get the Jews out of Egypt, and he played cards that only he could play to outsmart this "father figure" and unite the nation of Israel. But he simply could not have ever accomplished something like this in modern times because there simply would have been too many cameras around to give a behind-the-scenes view of what was going on. More than likely, many of the plagues could have easily been among the first recorded evidence of rough-hewn bio-terrorism attacks.

    What is most critical for the Abrahamic faiths to understand is that stories like the Great Flood that he wrote to show the power of this alleged deity are going to backfire strongly on them in the coming months and years. This kind of act is far too similar to what we see happening on the world news by regimes we try to bring to justice. If this happened today, it would be seen as mass murder with no show of remorse and the full backing of its followers. To make matters worse, the book of Revelations drives it further into the ground as you simply cannot align yourself with someone who says he will torture people forever in an eternal lake of fire.

    When this faith got off the ground, it missed numerous critical developmental milestones. It should have included a mother for the Children of God, whose name would have been something like Jehovah Rechem, or "God of the Womb." Her story line, and a prequel to the Bible explaining what happened to "God" when he was a child to elicit such a violent response as an "adult deity" are the only things that I can see that will keep these religions from imploding. Other critical milestones such as a love for the environment, the ability to embrace and reach out to other cultures, a focus on child development and other major public health issues such as epidemiology embedded in the sacred stories would have taken so much away from the need to "defend" one's faith. There would have been no reason whatsoever to argue with such divine advice that was nowhere to be found during the days these books were written.

    These faiths must pull away from the scope to see what's going on around them. They are drawing fire unnecessarily from those who they think are their enemies but are not.

    March 18, 2014 at 9:37 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There is no evidence the Moses story is even true.

      March 18, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • adamjread

        Certainly there are a lot of pieces missing in the puzzle. If the assumption by believers, however, is that Moses did in fact write these stories and that he was in fact raised in Pharaoh's home, then I will give that to them. But if we go there, then there must also be an allowance to open up a much wider lens on the story before assuming the remainder of the Old Testament and the entirety of the New Testament is valid. When it comes to Jesus, it is not developmentally sound for a father (eternal or human) to plan his own son's death, regardless of how much he thinks it will help humanity. It simply does not present a wholesome premise.

        March 18, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If you can't trust the word of incendiary foliage, what can you trust?

          March 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • Alias

          Smith & Wesson

          March 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
  17. Vic

    #&9840; #&9840; #&9840; Jesus Christ Is Lord #&9840; #&9840; #&9840;

    Dear beloved,

    I see a lot of discussion and confusion about the Old Testament Law—Mosaic—and conflating it with God's "Ultimate Provision" for our redemption, "Salvation" of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    The Christian believer is redeemed on the basis of Faith in Jesus Chrsit as Lord and Savior and NOT by the Law.

    Romans 3:20
    "20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin."

    Galatians 2:16
    "16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no [d]flesh will be justified."

    Galatians 3:23-29

    "23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise."

    Scripture Is From:

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

    http://www.biblegateway.com/

    March 18, 2014 at 7:33 am |
    • Vic

      ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

      March 18, 2014 at 7:37 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        No matter how many times you say it, it doesn't make it true. I, amongst many, will never agree with you but we're not so weak that we need to rely on a book to tell us how to behave.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          You think that's all the Bible is about..telling us how to behave??????

          March 18, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: No, I was simply making a point..one of many flaws within your belief.

          March 18, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • kermit4jc

          NO..you were shwoing the flaw in your twisted and IGNORANT statement of what I believe

          March 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No kermi, I know exactly what I was doing...you twisted it to make it fit your persecution complex. I know children who do that...so you must not be more than 12?? Does Mommy know you're using her computer?

          March 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          enough the baby talk...be a man..grow up and debate or shut up ok? thanks By the way...you assume to much of others...I have no persecution complex..youre not even a psychologist..who are you trying to pretend to be one..I twisted nothing and youhavent proved I did...back up your claim...put up or shut upok?

          March 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          First off dolt, not a man!
          Second; no-one tells me to shut up...telling anyone to shut up is ill mannered!
          I get how that hurts your little feelings but until you act like an adult and don't rely on imaginary friends you'll be treated as the child like minded person you are!!!

          March 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and WHO are You to tell me IM being rude and ill mannered.. hypocrite..I will no longer respond to your posts....you are theone callinf people babies and such...that is childish..and you are resorting to callinfg us babies and such and not debating..thats nOT a grown up thing.....have a good life...don't come back to me until you want to have a grown up discussion ok? thanks

          March 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You were rude!!
          If you want to get all defensive and pouty in defense of your imaginary friend then you get what is merited. Telling someone to shut up is NEVER merited. I'm not surprised that you have spun this, it's what you're best at. Don't tell me not to respond to you, you don't control me. It's hard to have an adult conversation with someone who believes in an afterlife and takes his imaginary friend so seriously.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          youre being JUST as rude by calling us babies and saying we have imaginary friends..youthink THAT is not rude? youre such a hypocrite..pipe down and discuss like a grown up..get over this ok?

          March 19, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          God can't be shown with evidence to exists therefore is imaginary. I'm not certain how you fail to comprehend that. Man has imagined numerous gods throughout the years, your god is not different. I didn't call you a baby, that is simply you twisting words.

          March 19, 2014 at 5:13 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If the Bible doesn't tell yo how to behave why are Christians complaining about the so-called "culture war"? If not from the Bible, then how do Christians manage to climb up on their high horse about abortion, h0m0s3xuality, and adultery? Where are you getting your morals the knowledge of what's right and wrong from?

          March 18, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          wow, i think maybe Kermit has something other than a hand stuffed up his backside at the moment, maybe a Pope hat?

          I've read the bible several times and I know what its message is. Much like a good salesman it tells man he has a need, a great need, and that need can only be fulfilled by what this book is about to sell you and that is a savior, yes, that is right, you are a sinner and you need to be saved and the only way to get that saving is to come get some from those who dispense the divine instruction revealed in scripture. You are born in sin, you cannot escape it, you are a slave to the authors God and your life is forfeit unless you bend your knee in obedience. If you do then you get a puffy cloudy wonderful reward that we won't get to specific about, you know, fine print and all...

          March 18, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • kudlak

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          Actually, the message of the Bible shifts a few times as you read it from cover to cover.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
    • observer

      Good. So we don't need to hear anything more about gays since Jesus never mentioned them and praised the Golden Rule instead.

      March 18, 2014 at 7:41 am |
      • Vic

        I am all for the "Golden Rule" on every level.

        March 18, 2014 at 8:04 am |
        • observer

          Vic,

          Great. Please pass the word to all your fellow Christians who only preach it. It should be for everyone.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:17 am |
        • kudlak

          So "Keep your nose out of the s3x lives of other consenting adults if you want others to keep their noses out of yours" and "Don't put limits on who consenting adults can marry if you don't want any limits put on your choice of adult mate", correct?

          Fantastic! That's exactly how most of us feel too.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • sam stone

          So, Vic, you are in favor of same s.ex marriage?

          March 18, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Dear Jesus,

      Thanks for being tortured so that we no longer have to put blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offerings, are free to eat pepperoni pizza, and can wear stylish, poly-cotton blended shirts.

      March 18, 2014 at 8:22 am |
      • kudlak

        We're also free to go to Red Lobster, even if it's outrageously expensive, and we don't have to kick our women out of the house during their monthlies anymore.

        March 18, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          For it is written that the children of Christ shall partake of biscuits of cheddar in unlimited quanti/ties while their Jewish cousins choke on their latkes.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:30 am |
        • kudlak

          Like perogies, latkes can be quite good, depending on whether they're done well. Although those Red Lobster biscuits are damn good! 🙂

          March 18, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
  18. cynthiaavishegnath

    Why does the painting of Mary and Jesus from China look so similar to the images of goddess Guanyin and baby?

    March 18, 2014 at 2:38 am |
    • Alias

      Maybe Mary got around more than we thought ....

      March 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  19. proud2bnamerican

    If anyone wants to see the truth for themselves and everyone has the right to if they keep an open mind they can. The best book on this subject I've seen is "The One Thing and Secret of Life." Check it out it's on Amazon. However, I suspect the lower forms of life that post on this site that profess to be open minded are not the least bit and will keep tearing down those that have seen there is more to life than rocks.

    March 18, 2014 at 1:52 am |
    • Sungrazer

      It is blasphemy to suggest that there is more to life than granite. The punishment in store for you is severe.

      March 18, 2014 at 1:55 am |
      • doobzz

        I marble at the possibilities!

        March 18, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Such outright heresy!

          (Good one.)

          March 18, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • sam stone

          never take life for granite

          March 18, 2014 at 5:27 am |
        • Reality

          "Never take life for granite." Now that is a marble for the ages !!! 🙂

          March 18, 2014 at 7:04 am |
        • doobzz

          Chalk it up to experience.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • Alias

          Rock solid advice on this page .... I'm always pleased to find a diamond in the rough.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • doobzz

          It's crystal clear to me as well.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • midwest rail

          Any concrete examples ?

          March 18, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • doobzz

          Only if you aren't too jaded.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • Sungrazer

          These witticisms are all real gems.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • midwest rail

          I don't know if they are ALL gems, but taken in aggregate...

          March 18, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Alias

          Even if we are jaded with puns, this is still one gem of a string.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • doobzz

          It's slated to go on forever.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:38 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Never take life for granite

          Gneiss!

          March 18, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I don't think you have the stones to continue this.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • doobzz

          I'm more tuff than you think.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          doobzz, you are getting boulder and boulder.

          March 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • doobzz

          I'm not trying to skam you!

          March 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Ah, you're all full of schist!

          March 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • doobzz

          You must have drunk quartz of moonshine to say that about me!

          March 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Ah silicon-based life forms, a popular theme in science fiction, after all, based on it's position in the periodic table, silicon has much in common with carbon.

        Star Trek (TOS) "The Devil in the Dark" etc.

        March 18, 2014 at 11:31 am |
    • Reality

      But if you really want to find out about human life, Bill Bryson's explains it all it his book "A Short History of Nearly Everything."

      March 18, 2014 at 7:09 am |
      • Alias

        And since it is written on paper we know it is right and true.

        March 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • Reality

        From Publishers Weekly

        "As the ti-tle suggests, bestselling author Bryson (In a Sunburned Country) sets out to put his irrepressible stamp on all things under the sun. As he states at the outset, this is a book about life, the universe and everything, from the Big Bang to the ascendancy of H-omo sapiens. "This is a book about how it happened," the author writes. "In particular how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since." What follows is a brick of a volume summarizing moments both great and curious in the history of science, covering already well-trod territory in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, paleontology, geology, chemistry, physics and so on. Bryson relies on some of the best material in the history of science to have come out in recent years. This is great for Bryson fans, who can encounter this material in its barest essence with the bonus of having it served up in Bryson's distinctive voice. But readers in the field will already have studied this information more in-depth in the originals and may find themselves questioning the point of a breakneck tour of the sciences that contributes nothing novel. Nevertheless, to read Bryson is to travel with a memoirist gifted with wry observation and keen insight that shed new light on things we mistake for commonplace. To accompany the author as he travels with the likes of Charles Darwin on the Beagle, Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton is a trip worth taking for most readers. "

        March 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
    • Doris

      "The One Thing and Secret of Life"

      Is that really the name of the book?

      Let me guess, if I want to avoid shipping and use the local option, I have to drive to Florida...

      March 18, 2014 at 8:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Forgive me if I'm a bit skeptical about the author's credentials based on his self-description:
      "About the Author
      A business man who in 1984 was caught up into the third heaven and walked with God where he was told that he could come back anytime he wanted. God showed him how which over time he was able to translate so anyone could understand."

      It is tough to understand how a man who has been given a Divine Mandate to spread the Word of how mere mortals can explore Heaven in an easily understandable way could be seriously interested in selling God's lessons for a profit.
      It causes one to suspect that the author is nothing more than a con-man.

      March 18, 2014 at 8:16 am |
      • doobzz

        He sounds a lot like Saul of Tarsus. Have an unconfirmed, unprovable "experience" with god and then write a book about it.

        March 18, 2014 at 10:33 am |
    • Akira

      Anyone who dismisses the opinions of others as "lower forms of life" is not going to get my hard earned dollars for a book that is probably self-published by some egomaniac vanity writer.

      Thanks for the invitation, though.

      March 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • proud2bnamerican

      I hope you all find the truth

      March 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
  20. fourth81

    Realistically, the Bible is what you make of it. Not a single person can follow the Bible in its entirety, either because the laws of today restrict certain behaviors that were considered socially acceptable thousands of years ago–or because following every word of the Bible makes you less human.

    Have you ever wondered why the Bible tries to make you less human when it was God that created us imperfect beings and loved us the way we were? How can a person not be wrathful/lustful/greedy/lazy to some degree? And if we were created this way, why should we feel guilty or seek forgiveness for it?

    Try to live as a good person...that is enough. If there is a God and there is a Heaven, if you're a good person, it should be enough. And if not...well when you show up, ask forgiveness and believe whatever it is you need to believe...lol.

    March 18, 2014 at 12:25 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

      ― Marcus Aurelius

      March 18, 2014 at 12:45 am |
      • Sungrazer

        This has the fatal flaw of being too reasonable. I was instructed here by truthfollower01 that god wouldn't be just if he didn't punish the sinful.

        March 18, 2014 at 1:02 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yep, justice is all about infinite punishment...if finite justice is "good" infinite justice must be "better"...duh...who can argue with that?

          March 18, 2014 at 1:41 am |
        • Sungrazer

          And the same folks who try to argue that god is infinitely just also try to argue that he is infinitely merciful. A logical impossibility, of course.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:48 am |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT at all...Justice means sins are paid for..in HIS mercy HE made a way for sins to be paid for and we can STILL get to heaven....its you who has a warped sense of what mercy and justice are anyways that makes it illogical

          March 18, 2014 at 1:53 am |
        • Sungrazer

          If god is infinitely just, then all punishment fits the crime. If god is infinitely merciful, then all punishment is lessened. God can't be both infinitely just and infinitely merciful.

          March 18, 2014 at 2:00 am |
        • kermit4jc

          again that's nOT how mercy works..mercy works WITH justice...God is Just.and sins HAVE to be paid for...in HIS mercy He made a way for sins to be paid for and we STILL get to heaven!

          March 18, 2014 at 2:05 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Mercy and justice do not work in tandem.

          But good for you if you can commit all kinds of immoral acts and be forgiven of them all. All children should be taught that there is no need to take personal responsibility – someone else has already done so for them! Yay!

          March 18, 2014 at 2:12 am |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..YOUR sense of justice and YOUR sense of mercy don't..THANK God YOU are not God 😀 as for sinning..doing all kinds of inoral acts..this does NOT give us license to sin! in FACT Paul talks of this in Romans 7 ..plus..we STILL siffer consequences..if I kill someone I am still going to jail

          March 18, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • Sungrazer

          You go to earthly jail but still get rewarded with eternal bliss. Yay! I'm starting to see the benefits of being a Christian. It's quite the racket.

          March 18, 2014 at 2:21 am |
        • kermit4jc

          But you see..its all part of having a relationship with God...youre going to Gods "house" you have special priveldges there...you don't go to a friends house and not have some type of relationship with him do you> Otherwise you may just be trespassing..its not merely about having eternal life..but eternal hope peace and joy with a friend

          March 18, 2014 at 2:30 am |
        • sam stone

          Of course, it's all about infinte punishment. That is what Gopher said before we got the new format and he slithered off under a rock somewhere

          March 18, 2014 at 5:32 am |
        • sam stone

          .".its not merely about having eternal life..but eternal hope peace and joy with a friend"

          .....who wil punish you forever for not believing in him

          March 18, 2014 at 5:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          God does not punish you forever if you reject Him..YOupunish yourself....by your rejection...God says Come in..you reject Him by saying..no Ill stay out here..where there is no peace joy or hope for eternity

          March 18, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "That is what Gopher "

          Is it possible this is him? Funny how him, Austin and Apple Bush have disappeared when they were such prolific posters.

          March 18, 2014 at 7:24 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          "God does not punish you forever if you reject Him..YOupunish yourself....by your rejection"

          Ahhh so don't blame the bully, blame yourself for not obeying the bully. Is that really how you think?
          There threat is made by god, if not for him, the threat does not exist, and you think it is MY fault for "rejecting" ( it really isn't rejection, I don't reject, simply don't believe there is anything to reject)

          The way you are thinking is part of the problems with religions. Blame the innocent for NOT believing a threat YOUR god is making...just silliness.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • bvaudt

          Exactly what I told the state trooper. If there were no limits I wouldn't have been speeding, therefor it is the fault of the legislature, certainly not me.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • kermit4jc

          First of all..you imply God is a bully..bullys are such a way cause the want to be..they feel it..God is NOT a bully..He is a JUST and HOLY and RIGHTEOUS God..not cause he WANTS to be of FEELS like it..it is His Very nature..so whyblame God for that? Plus..WHO is the innocents that go to hell? NO ONE innocent ever goes to hell

          March 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BY the way..itsnot a threat... you saying so is akin to me telling you "Hey, the bridge is out down the road, don't go there or you will fall over" as a threat..then next time I see you and there is a bridge out..Ill be sure not to threaten you with that

          March 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          It is one thing to be held to laws enacted by elected representatives and which (hopefully) have public benefits. It is another to suffer eternal punishment for hurting the pride of an all powerful god.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          You can't have perfect mercy with perfect justice as mercy is the suspension of justice, correct? Thus, when someone is found guilty of a capital offence, justice would see the sentence carried out while mercy would ask that it is not. Whatever you are arguing for bends the definition of these terms beyond our common understanding, or just is something else entirely.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • sam stone

          "God does not punish you forever if you reject Him..YOupunish yourself....by your rejection"

          Seriously, shinebox?

          How is belief a choice

          Here is a challenge for you. Try really, really hard to believe in something which you find unbelievable. Can you do it?

          Also, if god is omniscient, he knows before we are born whether we will believe. If he knows ahead of time, there is no free will. If god punishes people who lack free will, he is a vindictive petty pr1ck. Vindictive petty pr1cks find comfort in such a punk. You are a fine example of this

          March 18, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit

          I don't know what's up with all of the random capitization.....
          "NO ONE innocent ever goes to hell"

          That is NOT what your bible says.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The only "innocent" one who went to hell was Jesus...if you say there are others..prove it..show Scripture

          March 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit, The bridge analogy doesn't really hold up – your god either chose to put the bridge out or chose not to fix it.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          it does hold out....and God dint take the bridge out..we did....and thepoinjt is....just cauyse someone mentikkns consequences doesn't mean it is a threat..unless you wanna say we threaten our children day in and day out qith "threats" of consequnces..evennatural ones...like if you spill water on the floor and don't pick it up,,you might slip and fall..

          March 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit, Where do you think that innocent non-believers go? Do you have scripture to support that view?

          March 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          there is no such thing as innocent non believers..ALL people have sinned..except Jesus..thereis NO such thing as a sinles person..a perfect person who has not made a mistake

          March 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Kermit
          Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag.
          It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgoise atti/tudes and counter-revolutionary actions.
          This was not Stalin's plan at all.
          He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise and it grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him.
          But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes.
          He respects their free will.
          If you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

          Sound familiar at all?

          March 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          pathetic anaology..STalin isn't Judge..Stalin isn't God....Stalindid not create humanity and give them life..sorry..pathetic analogy

          March 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          So in your opinion the child of Hindu parents that dies young will go to hell because he/she wasn't born to christian parents? How could such a child not be innocent?

          March 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          INNOCENT means FREE of sins...a newborn does NOT sin..a newborn does NOT make a conscious decision to do wrong...your definition of innocent is lacking

          March 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • igaftr

          John 14:6 Kermit

          If you do not know or accept Jesus, you cannot get to the father who is allegedly in heaven.

          There are MANY people who never heard of Christ, who cannot get to heaven, such as ALL of the people killed in the mythical flood, or the people who lived before Jesus was written. Millions of babies and children who could not conceive of Jesus before they died.

          Is your book wrong? ( of course it is)
          or is there some other way to get to the "father"? ( which would go against your book...I'm certain you may find some piece of the bible that you can show, but it will only show how weak the bible is by contradicting itself.)

          March 18, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT at all..first of all..thats for SINNERS>.those whio make conscious decisions to do wrong..babies don't...babies do not hgrasp the concept of wrong or right...they don't go to hell

          March 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Kermit
          Many early Church father would strongly disagree with you.
          Back in the 4th century, Saint Fulgentius was quite adamant:
          "Be assured, and doubt not, that not only men who have attained the use of their reason, but also little children who have begun to live in their mothers' womb and have there died, or who, having been just born, have passed away from the world without the sacrament of holy baptism, administered in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, must be punished by the eternal torture of undying fire; for although they have committed no sin by their own will, they have nevertheless drawn with them the condemnation of original sin, by their carnal conception and nativity."

          Remember – Original Sin in the inheritance of ALL mankind and only through baptism can it be forgiven.
          If the sins of Adam didn't pass on down, we'd be immortal and there would be no concept of "original sin".

          God's forgiveness of those who haven't yet attained "the age of reason" is a relatively modern apologetic conjured up by Christian sects who are (quite rightly) appalled by God's condemnation of the unbaptized.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT at all..its not modern...again we can see CLEaRLY what sin is in the bIble..it was ALWAYS a conscious decision made by a person..babies do NOT make those decisions..and baptism does NOT save..so what an early church father says it...doesn't make it right

          March 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Infant damnation was a central tenet of Christianity for many moons.
          The Councils of Trent (c 1547), Florence (c 1442), and Cartahge (c 417) all re-affirmed the necessity of baptism for salvation, including in infants.
          Some folk, like Saint Augustine, maintained that babies get "the mildest condemnation possible" – but they still get condemned because they carry original sin.
          It was Calvin who popularized the concept of infant salvation.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • sam stone

          fair enough.....it is not a threat. it is a delusional warning

          feel better?

          March 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit. "your definition of innocent is lacking"

          and yet earlier you said "there is no such thing as innocent non believers"

          March 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that was in the context of older people..those who are capable of knowing right from wrong..making decisions

          March 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Why do people have to be "perfect" to have earned enough of God's respect to be with him in Heaven? Isn't that too high a standard? Not many tests require a perfect score in order to "pass", right?

          If you take the Bible literally then God himself certainly made his share of mistakes. If he didn't make mistakes there wouldn't have been the need for Jesus to bring the new deal. And yet, he supposedly feels justified to remain people's god despite not being perfect himself.

          Why the double standard?

          Shouldn't people be able to make a few mistakes and still be better than career criminals and scu.mbags? Those people "find Jesus" in the last minutes of life they can still get into Heaven after living as complete monsters without lifting a finger to try compensating their victims or society for what they've done. How can this possibly be "justice"?

          March 18, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..first of all..the Bible does not even imply God made mistakes. let alone even literally taken....second..GOD is HOLY..that means He is perfect..being holy means that Sin can NOT coexist within His full majesty! IT isnt that God FEELS like it..to be this way..it is His very nature!..sin cannot exist inside of heaven...and your sense of justice is not GODS sense..yuo look at the here and now..God is looking into the future...those who truly give their lives to Jesus..even at the last minute..are saved..again not cause of their deeds..but because of what Jesus did..and in the end..ALL things will be made right

          March 18, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          God does make mistakes. He was SORRY that he made man. He also revoked a couple of his commands.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          So the LORD said, "I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created–and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground–for I regret that I have made them."
          Gen. 6:7

          Aren't regrets mistakes? This is just one that he supposedly admitted to. There are many others.

          And I still say that the mass murderer who is "saved" just before his execution isn't an example of any kind of "justice" as we know it. It's likely that the Kims feel that everything they do is reasonable and just, and that they have the near divine right to impose their "justice" on people. In North Korea, to go against them is it sin as well. You describe your God as this exact same kind of dictator, "loved" only by his supporters who feel they won't incur his wrath. You're living a fantasy if you believe that what God is doing is real justice only because you think that your kowtowing will protect you.

          March 19, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..YOUR sense of Justice..WORLDLY sense.....thats not Gods sense of justice..justice says sins are paid for..as for killing off all life save a few..thats not a regret..thats judgment...regrets does not always imply a mistake either....

          March 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Doris

          So kermi, prove the Bible represents the intentions of any alleged deity.

          March 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • believerfred

          kudlak
          observer
          God does not make mistakes. As to the creation that became increasingly wicked it was a sorrowful regret not an error. Any mistake or error was out of the free will of the creation. This sorrow is much the same a each time we commit unloving acts towards our neighbors. We are ones who have sinned and grieve the most holy who is without sin. The sorrow and agony Jesus experienced on the cross was the sorrow sin brings to the perfect love of God. Jesus did not regret the cross he took up his cross and took upon himself the wickedness of sin and said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do".
          What is regrettable is that you cannot see God or even the perfect picture presented in Christ. This is your mistake not God's

          March 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          believerfred,

          "As to the creation that became increasingly wicked it was a sorrowful regret not an error. Any mistake or error was out of the free will of the creation."

          1) 1 Samuel, 15:11: "I regret that I have made Saul king". Not "I feel sorrow for what Saul did" but "I regret that I made Saul king". That is an admission of error.

          2) Free will is no defense. If free will leads to errors, then god made an error by giving us free will (such that we have).

          March 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I know what the Hebrew word is for "regret" in that passage...do you? see what it means..and HOW it Is used..remember..the Bible was not originally written in English by western soceity

          March 19, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          No, I don't know. Are you going to tell me?

          March 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          heres a place to explain it for you http://www.torahbytes.org/70-20.htm

          March 19, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          I think the best you can say is that it is all in how you interpret it. The same word is used in verse 11 and in verse 29. The authors interpret it one way in one context and another way in another context. Meaning requires context, this is true. Their interpretations preserve god's omniscience and perfection. There are other interpretations.

          March 19, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • wilburw7

      That is certainly not what I am going to do. I have accepted redemption through Jesus Christ and have become a new creation that is becoming less sinful each day.

      Mark 16:16
      "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."

      You do not judge yourself. God judges you with very high standards.

      "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27

      March 18, 2014 at 1:28 am |
      • doobzz

        "That is certainly not what I am going to do. I have accepted redemption through Jesus Christ and have become a new creation that is becoming less sinful each day."

        Translation: My mommy says I'm a special snowflake.

        March 18, 2014 at 1:34 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."

        Translation "You better watch out....my god is going to beat you up!"

        March 18, 2014 at 1:44 am |
        • wilburw7

          Correct. Your judge is going to judge you.

          March 18, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Not my judge, he can god f himself.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Can you blame him for believing? I mean the good book tells the tale of a talking donkey and then Wilbur here runs into a talking horse...

          "Wiiiiiiiiiilllllllbbbbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrr!!!!!"

          March 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • kudlak

          wilburw7
          We probably all come from countries where we have some democratic say in who gets to judge us, so why should we accept your notion that some dictator has that right?

          March 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        My standards vastly exceed god's.

        March 18, 2014 at 1:51 am |
      • cynthiaavishegnath

        Even though I am not Christian and believe that Jesus is a concoction, I know that fundamentalist and Catholic Christian doctrines would not say that you become "less sinful by the day". Fundamentalist and Catholic doctrine says you are sinful and continue to be sinful, and that their doctrines require you to keep watch of your continued sinfulness, except that your sinfulness are "compensated".

        March 18, 2014 at 2:31 am |
        • kudlak

          What those doctrines basically say is that you'll never be good enough because you make the occasional mistake.

          Can you imagine a parent drilling that into their kids' heads nowadays and not being called abusive?

          March 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Did Mommy tell you that you're not good enough?? Is that why you think you're flawed? She lied to you and so did your buybull. It's a weak minded position to take to think you're not good enough!

        March 18, 2014 at 5:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          did mommmy tell YOU that you were not good enough? we ARE good enough! that's why Jesus died for us! that's why God sent His only Son! It isn't about our being GOOD..its about WHO we are....too bad if you think its based on our deeds

          March 18, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: You silly boy!! What good loving parent sacrifices their own child for the 'future' errors of generations not yet born?? Your silly belief system teaches that sinning gets you eternal torture in some place called hell otherwise you get rewarded with some fairy tales place called heaven...talk about making children feel flawed-pathetic and abusive.

          March 18, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • kermit4jc

          excuse me? you still don't get it..IM sorry for your pathetic life...I find worth in WHO I am..not what I do...sorry you cant see that

          March 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No, since giving up god my life is a tremendous amount better...no worry of whether or not I am good enough; no reason to hate; nothing negative. It is a truly weak minded person who needs a book to tell them how to behave, if you can't be good without the book or the god, then you're not moral to begin with.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WHO says I worry about it? I sure don't....the BIble does not advocate of us Christians worrying about it...and you think the Book is ALL about how to be good? then you don't know the Bible well at all

          March 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: How you interpret it and how I interpret it are two different things...funny how you interpret it with such a closed mind, it is after all your guide book.
          Could you live your life if you didn't have a god or the bible? Could you still be a good person?

          March 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          SO THATS what it is all about to YOU then huh? here and now...no worries of the future,,and it isn't about being good enough..no one is "good enough" no one is perfect..I can live NOW and here without the bIble sure..but there is more to it than that....if thatisn not your gaol..then so be it..but mY goal is to get to the afterlife..and it tales more than "being good"

          March 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          That's it, your goal is to get to an afterlife that can't be shown to exist and in trying to appease that goal, you are wasting the only life you are guaranteed of.
          I worry about the future but I sure as hell don't worry about some afterlife. Worrying about some afterlife is futile. Why worry about something that no-one can verify exists?

          March 18, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and in what way am I wasting this life??????? I said I do NOT sit here and twiddle my thumbs doing nothing..THAT is wasting time..I DO things..ok??

          March 19, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You're wasting this life by preparing for one that can't be proven to exist. This life is merely a stepping stone and sadly it takes focus away from this one-the only one anyone is 100% certain of. You sit and preach the bible is what you do...a complete waste of time.
          Why the need to capitalize so much? That makes you look angry!

          March 19, 2014 at 5:17 am |
        • kermit4jc

          lol..so you think all I do is preach? I preach in everything I do ..my actions..my life dos it...and I don't see it as a waste..im sorry you feel its wasting time..no time is taken away from my life in this life here..I live my life here and now..im emjoying life..so why is it a waste..and why should you care? let me live my life...and also, all that I do is for benefit of mankind for even here and now..not just afterlife....

          March 19, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Your belief system is slowly dying off and it will be a wonderful day when it is finally no longer respected by anyone!
          You live for an afterlife that there is no evidence for. Everything you do is to get you that special place with your vindictive god, yet that special place doesn't exist outside of the stories told in Gullibles Travels (aka the bible). To live this life for that non-existent life is to waste this one. By teaching the lies of the bible you benefit no-one other than your cult.

          March 19, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermit,

          If you were good enough poor baby Jesus wouldn't have had to suffer and die for you. You aren't good enough as is, you have to be salv.aged. That is the point.

          March 18, 2014 at 9:28 am |
        • kermit4jc

          no..see..its not about my VALUE as a humanbeing....its about my DEEDS...are you telling me YOu are perfect and never made a mistake in YOUR life? no..its about value of lifeas a HUMAN.....if You wanna go that route..then go for it..I have value...yes..I make mistrakes..and I pay for them...do you pay for your deeds? do you believe that if you mess up you should go to jail?? even if you go to jail you still are HUMAN and have worth!!! THAT is what im saying

          March 18, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • kermit4jc

          And enough with the pathetic sarcasm..the use of the word baby ok? grow up and debate like a man

          March 18, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • Alias

          Jesus did not die for our sins.
          He was executed as an example so the government could keep order during a festival.
          An all-powerful god could have forgiven us without all the torture, if he existed.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • kermit4jc

          see..thisis your flaw..all you see is an "allpowerful God" that's the only attribute you ascribe to Him..He is MORE than all powerful...He is HOLY..and JUST..He cannot change his nature...power has nothing to do with that

          March 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          kermit,

          I am not saying you don't have worth, I of course think you do. My point is Christian dogma teaches we as humans are not good enough for god and need salvation. When I wrong someone else, I am responsible to them, not some god. And being wrong for s.ex is just absurd. The christian view is one of a person who is abused but holds the abuser as not responsible.

          Signs you are in an abusive relationship
          – Monitors what you're doing all the time
          – Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
          – Threatens to hurt you, or your children if you don’t love him
          – Blames you for his or her violent outbursts or shortcomings
          -Being se.xually controlling
          – You have an impending sense of consequence that will come if you don't "obey."
          -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love

          March 18, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..first of all..none of those ascribe to God..second..WHO says s ex is wrong? give me a effn break

          March 18, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Doris

          kermi: "SO THATS what it is all about to YOU[........]..but mY goal is to get to the afterlife..and it tales more than "being good"

          Evidently it's all about someone and their unrealistic goals, goals they can't even show in any reasonable way are attainable, and evidently it's all about them when it comes to others wanting to live their lives in peace away from such superstitious hogwash.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          as if I don't live in peace with this "hogwash" as you call it?

          March 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Doris

          For my post, "them" can be substituted with:

          kermit or any of the others from the over 41,000 sects of insanity.
          take your pick....

          March 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I think they all ascribe to the god of the bible.

          And you can tell me your stance on ho.mose.xuality and s.ex outside of marriage and even mas.terb.ation but in my years of being a christian the teaching was that these are "sin".

          March 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If we could be good enough all by ourselves there never would have been the supposed need for Jesus to die for our sins. No, the theology that they needed to cook up in order to give Jesus' death some kind of meaning boils down to people never being able to be good enough to reach heaven by themselves, which leaves the degree of how good someone who does supposedly reach heaven completely moot, because all the worse serial killer imaginable needs to do is just accept Jesus as his personal saviour with his last breath. God couldn't hold the fact that he doesn't have time to express that salvation through good deeds, or even an apology, right?

          So goodness, and in turn morality, have absolutely nothing to do with being a Christian. I'll take my secular morality, which sees the need to be good to others if I ever want others to be good towards me and mine, without any other reward for doing good over your set of outdated moral pronouncements that you only follow because God hasn't bothered to revise them from Iron Age times.

          March 18, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "WHO says s ex is wrong? "

          Your bible! It speaks of lust, fornication, adultery, sex outside of marriage all as being wrong! You don't know your bible too well, do you? You seem to think that your god is perfect and yet we know it isn't. If you read that book properly and you honestly believe it is the word of your god, then your god condone many horrific things and orders many horrific things to be done. Your loving god allowed for its own child to be sacrificed-how exactly is that loving and why worship something that would allow such a horrible thing to occur?

          March 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ANd don't tell me I don't know my Bible too well..youre the one showing it..and I TEACH and study the bIble..thank you

          March 19, 2014 at 2:01 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Why the anger? The bible is an easy read, Teaching it and studying it is not much different than teaching and studying Superman.

          March 19, 2014 at 5:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Im not angry..and the point was that the person said I did not know my Bible very well..I know it very well indeed

          March 19, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Every time you scream via capitalizing words, you come across as being angry. You know the bible about as well as anyone else does but yet you claim you're an expert. It's simple to read fairy tales and close your mind to reality.

          March 19, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..no more responses to your posts...you have been totally rude and demeaning...you said something about going to a padded cell and all...you cant have a discussion like a grown up....I tried reasoning with you about that..but you refuse to grow up...you want responses..you want me to explain things...ask...in a respectful way...otherwise..you get nothing more from me

          March 19, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You have not tried reasoning, you have simply kept up the implication that you're right and I am wrong. Religious belief plays a hand in psychosis, that is a fact...so padded room works well!
          Telling me to grow up when it is you with the imaginary friend is funny. You don't get to judge others-even your god says so-so stop 'sinning' and picking and choosing from the book. You have yet to answer as to how you are so certain that your interpretation of Gullibles Travels is the right one. Why should anyone accept your version over that of any other believer?
          You want respect but yet you don't give it..it does go both ways.

          March 19, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • kermit4jc

          My God you cant read well either! I sauid I tried reasonign with you in the area of trying to discuss like grown ups..ever heard of context? go back to the post and read it again , this time use the context

          March 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          My god you are rude. What you claim and what you have done are two different things. I understand you don't agree! You like to speak over people-that isn't being reasonable but that's my opinion, just as it's your opinion that your god is good.

          March 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          No, you do not appear to really know the Bible at all. You seem to know a very flawed interpretation of the Bible that relies on ignoring obvious contradictions and which twists Jewish prophecy to fit your candidate for their messiah. You're programmed not to read the Bible for what it actually says, but to see what you want to see because it makes you feel good, correct?

          March 19, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • kermit4jc

          not at all correct..I see it for what it is..I use context..I use history..culture..etc.....now you claimed I have no knowledge of the Bible..back it up

          March 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • kudlak

        wilburw7
        Most people at least try not to hurt anyone every day. The difference here is that you actually consider God to be a real person, so you count any slight to either him personally, or his outdated set of moral pronouncements for humans as "hurting" him also. That's the difference between being moral and trying to avoid sin, but since we atheists don't believe there is a God to hurt, we really don't have this sense of sin any more than you probably feel for not sacrificing to Zeus.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
    • kudlak

      There would be difficulty for most of us today to follow the social norms of even 50 years ago, when few people would even frown at you for making a racist remark, or beating your wife and kids, or laughing at a mentally challenged person, or refusing service to Jews. Most of the folks who lament the passing of biblical law would probably go into shock if they every actually had to live in a society that backward.

      March 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.