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May 1st, 2014
09:15 AM ET

Why Christians should support the death penalty

Opinion by R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN) - The death penalty has been part of human society for millennia, understood to be the ultimate punishment for the most serious crimes.

But, should Christians support the death penalty now, especially in light of the controversial execution Tuesday in Oklahoma?

This is not an easy yes or no question.

On the one hand, the Bible clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder.

In Genesis 9:6, God told Noah that the penalty for intentional murder should be death: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

The death penalty was explicitly grounded in the fact that God made every individual human being in his own image, and thus an act of intentional murder is an assault upon human dignity and the very image of God.

In the simplest form, the Bible condemns murder and calls for the death of the murderer. The one who intentionally takes life by murder forfeits the right to his own life.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians that the government “does not bear the sword in vain.” Indeed, in this case the magistrate “is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the evildoer.” [Romans 13:4]

On the other hand, the Bible raises a very high requirement for evidence in a case of capital murder.

The act of murder must be confirmed and corroborated by the eyewitness testimony of accusers, and the society is to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no one is punished unjustly.

While the death penalty is allowed and even mandated in some cases, the Bible also reveals that not all who are guilty of murder and complicity in murder are executed.

Just remember the biblical accounts concerning Moses, David and Saul, later known as Paul.

Christian thinking about the death penalty must begin with the fact that the Bible envisions a society in which capital punishment for murder is sometimes necessary, but should be exceedingly rare.

The Bible also affirms that the death penalty, rightly and justly applied, will have a powerful deterrent effect.

In a world of violence, the death penalty is understood as a necessary firewall against the spread of further deadly violence.

Seen in this light, the problem we face today is not with the death penalty, but with society at large.

American society is quickly conforming to a secular worldview, and the clear sense of right and wrong that was Christianity’s gift to Western civilization is being replaced with a much more ambiguous morality.

We have lost the cultural ability to declare murder – even mass murder – to be deserving of the death penalty.

Oklahoma's botched lethal injection marks new front in battle over executions

We have also robbed the death penalty of its deterrent power by allowing death penalty cases to languish for years in the legal system, often based on irrational and irrelevant appeals.

While most Americans claim to believe that the death penalty should be supported, there is a wide disparity in how Americans of different states and regions think about the issue.

Furthermore, Christians should be outraged at the economic and racial injustice in how the death penalty is applied. While the law itself is not prejudiced, the application of the death penalty often is.

Opinion: End secrecy in lethal injections

There is very little chance that a wealthy white murderer will ever be executed. There is a far greater likelihood that a poor African-American murderer will face execution.

Why? Because the rich can afford massively expensive legal defense teams that can exhaust the ability of the prosecution to get a death penalty sentence.

This is an outrage, and no Christian can support such a disparity. As the Bible warns, the rich must not be able to buy justice on their own terms.

There is also the larger cultural context. We must recognize that our cultural loss of confidence in human dignity and the secularizing of human identity has made murder a less heinous crime in the minds of many Americans.

Most would not admit this lower moral evaluation of murder, but our legal system is evidence that this is certainly true.

We also face a frontal assault upon the death penalty that is driven by legal activists and others determined to bring legal execution to an end in America.

Controversy over an execution this week in Oklahoma will bring even more attention to this cause, but most Americans will be completely unaware that this tragedy was caused by the inability of prison authorities to gain access to drugs for lethal injection that would have prevented those complications.

Opponents of the death penalty have, by their legal and political action, accomplished what might seem at first to be impossible – they now demand action to correct a situation that they largely created.

Their intention is to make the death penalty so horrifying in the public mind that support for executions would disappear. They have attacked every form of execution as “cruel and unusual punishment,” even though the Constitution itself authorizes the death penalty.

It is a testament to moral insanity that they have successfully diverted attention from a murderer’s heinous crimes and instead put the death penalty on trial.

Should Christians support the death penalty today?

I believe that Christians should hope, pray and strive for a society in which the death penalty, rightly and rarely applied, would make moral sense.

This would be a society in which there is every protection for the rights of the accused, and every assurance that the social status of the murderer will not determine the sentence for the crime.

Christians should work to ensure that there can be no reasonable doubt that the accused is indeed guilty of the crime. We must pray for a society in which the motive behind capital punishment is justice, and not merely revenge.

We must work for a society that will honor every single human being at every point of development and of every race and ethnicity as made in God’s image.

We must hope for a society that will support and demand the execution of justice in order to protect the very existence of that society. We must pray for a society that rightly tempers justice with mercy.

Should Christians support the death penalty today? I believe that we must, but with the considerations detailed above.

At the same time, given the secularization of our culture and the moral confusion that this has brought, this issue is not so clear-cut as some might think.

I do believe that the death penalty, though supported by the majority of Americans, may not long survive in this cultural context.

Death penalty in the United States gradually declining

It is one thing to support the death penalty. It is another thing altogether to explain it, fix it, administer it and sustain it with justice.

We are about to find out if Americans have the determination to meet that challenge. Christians should take leadership to help our fellow citizens understand what is at stake.

God affirmed the death penalty for murder as he made his affirmation of human dignity clear to Noah. Our job is to make it clear to our neighbors.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of  The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The views expressed in this column belong to Mohler.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Courts • Crime • Death • Discrimination • Ethics • Opinion • Violence

soundoff (2,706 Responses)
  1. Keith

    There is nothing "Christian" about the death penalty. The preacher is a right wing extremist masquerading as a Christian.

    May 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      He seems like a typical Christian to me, although I realize not all Christians agree.

      May 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
      • Keith

        I am anti religion so I don't attend any church, but it seemed that there were moderate Christians when I was young and not so many fundamentalists, so I just assume that they are still around too.

        Fundamentalism of any sort is destructive, its very meaning is, the intolerance of diversity of opinion as applied to these established "fundamentals" and their accepted interpretation within the group. This leads to an "us against them" mentality that keeps them in a constant state of battle.

        May 3, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I am an atheist and I think they are all nuts.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Keith

          You may be right too, they sure are destructive. I believe that religion is the single most destructive force in human history.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Keith:
          1) you said: "I am anti religion so I don't attend any church"
          are you a Christian?

          2) you said: "Fundamentalism of any sort is destructive..."
          a) are you claiming there are no fundamental things in your life?

          b) you said: "its very meaning is, the intolerance of diversity of opinion..."
          aren't you equally intolerant of them?

          c) you said: "This leads to an "us against them" mentality that keeps them in a constant state of battle."
          that nails the problem. Christianity in particular calls this out. the cross tells all Christians we are equally in need of grace. there is no room for an "us against them" mentality – if by that you mean a superiority complex.

          however, if you mean somehow that Jesus' words on such matters shouldn't apply (his comments on the world, etc.), Christians
          will obviously object. "we must obey God, not men." (Acts 5:29)

          SUM: i am very curious to hear what *belief* of yours leads you to be so un-accepting of fundamentalists while claiming to want diversity. there is no such thing as diversity for diversity's sake. the call for diversity is driven by some underlying belief. what is your motive for wanting diversity?

          May 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • Keith

          First I never called for diversity, I do not care one way or the other. Fundamentalists defined themselves at the Niagara Bible Conference (1878–1897), which defined those tenets it considered fundamental to Christian belief. Christians invented Fundamentalism.

          Fundamental Christians exist only by promoting their persecution story and their specialness. Setting themselves apart from the rest of the world. So, you argument about grace may be valid, but the Christians that I knew still conducted themselves as I described.

          No, I am not intolerant of them, they may exist as long as they do not intrude upon my life. It seems however that since they became a driving force in the Republican right wing movement that they more often than not are influencing what is happening in civil society and I am not okay with that.

          I am claiming that I do not hold any belief that is not subject to change if given new information or facts that would influence those beliefs.

          I am not a Christian, I do believe in the divinity of Christ, I do not believe that he was god incarnate. I do not believe in the physical resurrection, and I do not believe that only Christians will be in heaven. So, I don't qualify for Christianity.

          I do believe in one god, the god of Abraham and that Christ was the son of god.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I question whether the fundies are even Christian at all. They are simply wealth and power grabbers in my opinion. The primary concern is the separation of church and state which the fundies have to be monitored closely on. they spend a good deal of time trying to pass discriminatory Christian legislation. This issue is less about the definition of the word fundamental than it is about the Constitution of the United States. We live in a secular state and the fundamentalists long for a theocratic state. I for one don't want to live under those conditions so yes, there is a constant state of battle readiness on both sides.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • Keith

          me too, I would take up arms if we were subjected to the law as understood by Fundamentalists, Christian or Muslim. I find it interesting that the Baptists were the ones that insisted on the inclusion separation of church and state and they are some of the ones that lament it so today.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Fundamentalism predates Christianity. Some Christians use it, just like some non-Christians and even atheists use fundamentalism in their views and beliefs.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • Keith

          Niagara Bible Conference (1878–1897), which defined those tenets it considered fundamental to Christian belief. Christians named themselves. Fundamentalism as a way of being may have predated Christianity but as a name it did not.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          This is 2014. Have you met many, or do you just read about them on Wikipedia?

          I've met some people who identify as "Fundamentalist", yet don't agree with the Niagra Bible Conference findings. They actually believe similar to what you say you believe.

          They call themselves that because they believe in the fundamentals that Jesus taught. Not because they believe what Wikipedia says about what happened in 1878 to 1897 (it took them 19 years to define those tenets?).

          May 3, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • Keith

          Words have meanings, if others are using them incorrectly that is not my problem. If you believe that the bible is the literal word of God, you are a fundamentalist.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There are fundamentalists who don't believe the Bible is the literal word of God.

          There are people who believe the Bible is the literal word of God who don't do anything close to what you describe Fundamentalists as doing.

          Words do have meaning. You should probably add some words to your description, like Fundamentalists Who Agree with what Wikipedia Describes about the Niagara Bible Conference (1878–1897),

          May 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • Keith

          It has nothing to do with Wikipedia, I studied religion for about 20 years trying to heal from my fundamentalist raising. Wikipedia was just the easiest place to find a reference today. There was a French philosopher that did the best work on fundamentalism but I couldn't find his stuff today. How you define Fundamentalism has little to do with how the world defines it and those that practice it.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, capital F fundamentalism seems dangerous.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And Keith, you seem to have an "us against them" mentality, too. Especially toward "Fundamentalists". How'd you get that mentality without religion, fundamentalism or a church?

          May 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • Keith

          I was raised in a Fundamentalist church, I no longer have an "us against them" mentality because I have forgiven them.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Cool. Your posts kind of come off as resentful – but I could be reading them wrong.

          I wasn't raised in a Fundamentalist church. I was allowed to choose a church that doesn't support the things you describe.

          I meet people who identify as fundamentalists, but not Fundamentalists.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • Keith

          If you are a practicing Christian I can see how you would take them that way. Most of the Atheists on this blog accuse me of being an apologist for Christians. So, I think I am probably somewhere in the middle

          May 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          " it seemed that there were moderate christians when I was young and not so many fundamentalists."

          Actually, it;s quite the opposite. You are a product of your post modern culture in which the center has moved so far to the left that those who profess traditional moral absolutes are now deemed "fundamentalists" and "radicals."

          May 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • Keith

          that is the biggest bunch of bull crap I have read today.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Here's how Biblical "traditional moral absolutes" work

          Ho.mose.xuality = Always wrong

          Genocide = Depends on the situation

          May 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • Keith

          Sad but true

          May 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          " biggest bunch of bull crap"

          The customary response when one's bias is exposed.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Keith: i see i missed a lot of discussion while at dinner.

          a technical question first:
          HOW did you get your 6:18pm post to suddenly appear before my 5:55pm post in this thread?

          May 3, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          "..... atheists use fundamentalism in their views and beliefs."

          Dalahast,

          what is a 'fundamentalist atheist'?

          May 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          @Russ

          If you log in via a WordPress account, you can reply to comments mid thread (via a comment notifier in the top bar).

          @flightfromfrostmtn

          I would call an atheist that belongs to a religion and follow the fundamental tenants of that religion as a fundamentalist.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          "I would call an atheist that belongs to a religion and follow the fundamental tenants of that religion as a fundamentalist."

          what is the name of that religion?

          May 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          In theory an atheist can join a religion like Secular Humanism or Buddhism and adopt a fundamentalist mindset in following the precepts of that religion.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think something like 10% of atheists claim to belong to a religion.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • Keith

          I did not know that. That seems strange to me, but I do understand how folks could find comfort or encouragement just being with other people in their community.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          People can do amazing things within a community.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • Keith

          That is true, and find strength that they do not have alone.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          I'll be more than happy to fix it for you.

          H o m o s e x u a l i t y = Always wrong.

          G e n o c i d e = Always wrong when initiated by human beings.

          Let me save you a little time. The creator of life is enti tled to eliminate life. He is not subject to immoral behavior in that He is not subject to the same motives, intent or sinful considerations that are a product of the human condition.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • Keith

          It does not matter if your god sanctions it or not, genocide is wrong. It does not matter whose side god is on, war is wrong. If your god is not as good as he expects his people to be he is not much of a god.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • Vic

          On the technical note:

          You can reply from within a notification only if you are the owner of the root reply.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • Keith

          I did not know that, have I responded inappropriately?

          May 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Keith:
          1) you said "I never called for diversity"
          but earlier you spoke of (fundies) their "intolerance of diversity of opinion" & "they sure are destructive."

          how is that not an strong implication of a call for the opposite (namely, diversity)?

          2) while "fundamentalism" was coined in that era (meaning a particular set of fundamentals of the Christian faith), the idea that one adheres to certain fundamentals is what underlies the term. do you disagree that *everyone* has some sort of commensurate guiding principles by which one lives (whether consciously acknowledged or not)?

          obviously, that certainly calls into question the notion that fundamentalists are somehow uniquely exclusive in their thinking. and i think Dalahast has correctly pointed out that your comments certainly carry an awfully similar air, if not equally exclusive (of them) mentality.

          3) you said: "Fundamental Christians exist only by promoting their persecution story and their specialness. Setting themselves apart from the rest of the world. So, you argument about grace may be valid, but the Christians that I knew still conducted themselves as I described."

          many do. hence the stereotype. but not all. point being: your experience alone is anecdotal. do you make those same sort of judgments about other groups in your life? imagine the scenario with race instead. wouldn't that be regarded as prejudice?

          4) you said: "no, i am not intolerant of them" – but then you list a set of criteria... a) that they not intrude upon your life AND b) that they not influence what is happening in civil society. in regard to each:

          a) if they believe their God calls them to act in such a manner (evangelism), aren't you equally intruding in their life by claiming you have a higher authority (to dictate their beliefs) that would preclude them from practicing their beliefs?

          recognize: you are functionally telling them they cannot practice their beliefs. there is an ethical collision happening here – worthy of fuller discussion – but you would claim a 'high ground' that functionally DOES the very thing you are criticizing (evangelizing *your* belief structure). it's self-refuting if pressed that way. at best, mutually respectful boundaries can be found. at worst, you become a mirror reflection (a knee jerk reaction is still controlled by the same cause) – an anti-fundamentalist fundamentalist, if you will.

          Along those lines (knee-jerk reactions), you said: "I was raised in a Fundamentalist church, I no longer have an "us against them" mentality because I have forgiven them." again, your comments here don't sound like you have 'forgiven' them – at least not in the way that would set you free from such a harsh reaction.

          b) not being able to influence society? are we talking about the end of democracy? i'm all for ending super PACs & buying votes, etc. – but what happened to the marketplace of ideas?

          5) you listed a lot of things you don't believe in & then said: "I do believe in one god, the god of Abraham and that Christ was the son of god."

          are you Jehovah's Witness, then? or something of the like? or do you simply hold your beliefs as an individualistic religion?

          6) you said: "Most of the Atheists on this blog accuse me of being an apologist for Christians."

          i'm on this blog a lot. i don't recall reading your comments before – though i might have. sorry if i've taken you out of context, but i'm reading in light of these comments alone. however, comments like "that is the biggest bunch of bull crap I have read today" certainly run contrary to what you are saying about yourself.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          So this isnt just a made up term on your part? There is an actual church out there that atheists gather to do ...what exactly?

          May 3, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • Keith

          What are you talking about?

          May 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • Russ

          @ flightfromfrostmtn:
          google "Sunday Assembly."

          May 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, in addition to some atheists joining secular and spiritual religions – some are starting atheist religions. I have met atheists that belong to a religion. But not one that has joined an atheist specific religion yet.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          Russ,

          These are the people Dalahast is worried about? For a moment there i thought his 'fundamentalist Atheists' were anyone that asked inconvenient questions about christianity.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • Russ

          @ flight:
          sorry, i jumped into a conversation that wasn't mine – and i hadn't read your whole thread.

          no, i was just giving an example of 'religious' atheists.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          Russ,

          no, you are good. I was just trying to point out how ridiculous the term 'fundamental atheist' is.

          Atheism means simply no belief in gods...nothing more, nothing less. Dalahast is targeting anti- theists....even there his term doesnt fit, the 'fundamental' position is simple atheism.

          Anti-theists go beyond demanding proof, they ask for people like Dalahast to honestly address inconsistencies in their dogmas knowing believers cannot do so without the using the tactics we commonly see from christian apologists.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • Keith

          That is a good point, Anti-theists and atheists are not the same thing although they may be the same person.

          One could be an Atheist and not have an opinion about religion at all.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • Vic

          @Keith

          Not at all. It's technically speaking.

          To put it in better terms: you only get electronic notifications of replies within your own comments and replies, and then you can reply from within a reply, where it would appear mid-thread. Otherwise, you can only reply from the Blog post comments section, where it goes sequential in the order received.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • Keith

          Okay thanks, I understand how that works

          May 3, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • Vic

          I take no pleasure in saying this but regarding atheists and anti-theists, here is what I posted before:

          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/04/05/when-god-plays-the-villain/comment-page-6/#comment-2981959

          May 3, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • Keith

          I believe you are right, I had not considered it in that way before. And like you I have observed the same actions by some folks on this blog.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Exactly devin,

          Just convice yourself that god ordered you and your group to commit gencide and it becomes A-OK. Thanks for proving my point about your "absolute morality". It is absolutely BS.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          The only BS floating around here is your inability to differentiate between human motives and those of a supernatural creator. It is your own moral relativism that disgusts.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • Keith

          The problem is that it is fallible man who is doing "gods" bidding. Wrong most of the time I suspect.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          Defining the behavior of your god as "moral" regardless of the behavior is disgusting. Changing an action from "immoral" to "moral" based soley on the enti.ty doing the action is the ultimate relativism. The only thing you base it on is on being all powerful...while if that god did exist it would demonstrate his power...not his morality.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...the center has moved so far to the left that those who profess traditional moral absolutes are now deemed "fundamentalists" and "radicals." "
          The anthem of the far right. And patently absurd.

          May 4, 2014 at 12:16 am |
        • Keith

          you have spoken the truth

          May 4, 2014 at 12:33 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          " Changing an action from moral to immoral based solely on the ent i ty doing the action is the ultimate relativism"

          A man walks up to a small child, puts a gun to the child's head and is about to kill. Another man observes the unfolding event, pulls out his own gun, shoots and kills the perpetrator. The first man was immoral in his attempt at killing, the second man was moral in his desire to protect life. Both desired to kill. The morality of the scenario is not based upon the "ent i ty " doing the killing, it is based upon the MOTIVE of the individual. Moral relativism is not in play, the morality and immorality of the motives never changed. I would hope you would be able to see this.

          The God of Christianity is the essence of morality, justice and truth. He determines and establishes moral absolutes. You have fashioned a God after your own image, one who is bound by the limited understanding of a created being. You are your God.

          May 4, 2014 at 3:51 am |
        • sam stone

          "Yea, capital F fundamentalism seems dangerous."

          So does capital G god

          May 4, 2014 at 8:27 am |
        • Keith

          It is the men that follow both that are dangerous. Anytime folks are so sure of the rightness of their actions they can commit all kinds of atrocities and be quite content that their actions are sanctioned by their god. It has been demonstrated throughout history that Religion is a destructive force.

          It is rather ironic that according to the stories in the Bible that Jesus was anti-religion and today there are over 31,000 different protestant denominations that worship him in some way or the other.

          May 4, 2014 at 8:34 am |
        • sam stone

          "The God of Christianity is the essence of morality, justice and truth"

          Only to christians

          May 4, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "He is not subject to the same motives, intent or sinful considerations that are a product of the human condition."

          "They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger." Deut 32:16

          "6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. " Gen 6:6

          Jealousy, regret, those sound a lot like products of the human condition to me...

          May 4, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • Keith

          Does to me too, it is too bad that their god is not so omnificent after all.

          I always thought that Q on the Star Trek series was a great representation of the god of the bible.

          May 4, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "your inability to differentiate between human motives and those of a supernatural creator."

          Yes, it is hard to differentiate when one of those things is real (human motives) and one has zero evidence of its existence. So yeah, pretty hard to differentiate. Can you tell the difference between when a human commits murder and when a wizard does it? And does it only count as evil if the wizard killed a muggle?

          May 4, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The God of Christianity is the essence of morality, justice and truth."

          First,

          Exactly how do you know this? Because you think he told you so? And you know his motives for his actions how? You believe that without the god of the bible you have no morality. You can;t trust your own morality without depending on your god so how would you know? You have created a paradox. If you cannot judge morality without your god how did you JUDGE you god morally superior?

          Second,

          Your analogy falls short because we have evidence that the person shooting the perpetator was justified because he was attempting to kill an innocent. In the case of your god he is the one killing innocents needlessly. And yes I can judge it needless because if your god is omnipotent he would have a myriad of option open to him.

          May 4, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • Keith

          good point Cheese maker

          May 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Cheese

          " Exactly how do you know this?"

          You already understand my position, but I will amplify it.

          There are 2 basic options as to the source and value of the Christian scriptures. Option 1 is that the bible is a collection of manuscripts revealing the musings of men over the centuries. Its merit runs the gamut from good moral teachings to mythological nonsense. Option 2 states that the bible is revealed, objective, propositional truth. Its source is that of the one true God who has chosen to provide information about Himself through a number of means, the written word being one of those. You have chosen the first option and I have chosen the second. It is the primary source of our disagreement and our inability to attain consensus.

          Absolutely no paradox. Human beings are created with a conscience, it is our moral framework. Sin has diluted this moral conscience and the bible acts as a moral clarifier, much in the same way chlorine works in a murky pool. It is why you are correct when you state that " you can not trust your morality with out God" but wrong in your estimation that I am in a position to 'judge God's moral superiority" God's moral superiority is true not because I have made that determination but because it is a priori.

          May 4, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • Keith

          Unless we do not believe in your "god"

          May 4, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You are right that is the problem. There is a lot of evidence option 1 is reasonable. There is no reason to accept option 2 unless you do so "a priori". The presuppositional argument you use can be equally applied by other competing religions. That is what makes it uncompelling and also makes your argument for morality dangerous.

          May 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • Keith

          Your statement is true

          May 4, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • joey3467

          I think if you want people to differentiate between human actions, and the action of a god you need to prove that the supernatural exists, and that it is not just a human claiming that he or she is doing the will of a god or gods, which to me seems to be much, much more likely.

          May 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Keith

          I don't believe that anyone has actually seen the "hand of god" do anything

          May 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
    • Vic

      I have been discussing this all along this Blog post that, to me, the capital punishment is a matter of "naturally revealed justice," and not necessarily a tenet of Christianity.

      Earlier:
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/01/why-christians-should-support-the-death-penalty/comment-page-1/#comment-3001323

      However, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. is presenting it, and rightly so, as a teaching of Christianity for upholding the "Sanctity of Life" and sustaining a good society, while cautioning against wrongful conviction, hence clear & unequivocal evidence requirement.

      From the article:

      [
      "The death penalty was explicitly grounded in the fact that God made every individual human being in his own image, and thus an act of intentional murder is an assault upon human dignity and the very image of God."

      "In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul instructs Christians that the government “does not bear the sword in vain.” Indeed, in this case the magistrate “is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the evildoer.” [Romans 13:4]"

      "On the other hand, the Bible raises a very high requirement for evidence in a case of capital murder.

      The act of murder must be confirmed and corroborated by the eyewitness testimony of accusers, and the society is to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no one is punished unjustly."
      ]

      May 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
      • Keith

        using the bible to defend or justify any action in modern society is as silly as using a comic book for the same thing. Those are teaching stories not the law. As mankind matures we should learn from our mistakes. It has been proven by the innocence project that we can not as men ensure that we do not put people to death unjustly. So, romans is right and we should abolish the death penalty.

        There are naturally revealed spiritual tenants, they have been revealed to every society through their Shamans and Priests ever since the world began. I do not know of any that justifies the death penalty.

        May 3, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • Vic

        Well to be fair to Dr. Mohler, he continues on with this:

        [
        "Just remember the biblical accounts concerning Moses, David and Saul, later known as Paul.

        Christian thinking about the death penalty must begin with the fact that the Bible envisions a society in which capital punishment for murder is sometimes necessary, but should be exceedingly rare.

        The Bible also affirms that the death penalty, rightly and justly applied, will have a powerful deterrent effect."
        ]

        May 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
    • Salero21

      It all depends what do you mean by "christian".

      If you mean a teaching of the church, from the church or by the church is not. And it doesn't have to be.

      Such JUST punishment precedes Christianity as we know it and understand it, by a few thousands years. However given that the Christ the Son of God was there from the Beginnings, before and when it was Established in Gen. 9:6. And that there is nothing in the narrative of the Gospels or the teachings of Christ neither of the Apostles, that suggest or even hints at it being abolished.

      That it is indeed the JUST and proper punishment, the only one that provides a measure of some JUSTICE for the Victims and their families, relatives, friends, neighbor, in short for ALL of Society.

      And because being JUST and JUSTICE then of course is also GODLY. Therefore it's correct for "christians" and non-christians to approve of it. Especially when the Evidence for the guilt of an accused is overwhelmingly beyond any reasonable doubt and it surely fits the crime.

      May 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
      • Keith

        The innocence project has proven that "beyond a reasonable doubt" happens less often than we put people to death.

        If Christians believed what they profess there would be no death penalty.

        May 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • Salero21

          "The innocence project has proven that "beyond a reasonable doubt" happens less often than we put people to death." — Keith My question to that is; When, where and how was that proved? Do the "Innocence Project" opposes DP? Are they campaigning against it? Care to provide a quote, proof eg. book page, names, web site page etc. Also; do you understand the difference between Innocent and not-guilty? Are you a lawyer or a criminal?

          "If Christians believed what they profess there would be no death penalty." Your Complete and Total ignorance of the Gospel is abundantly Clear in such Fallacious statement. I believe I answered that in my post above, even before you came out with it.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
      • Keith

        you have made it clear that you do not know what the innocence project is. They have exonerated many men that were sitting on Death Row. Why would you think I do not know what innocence is? That seems like an arrogant stance to take about something you know nothing about. You can look up the innocence project easily, there is no reason to stay ignorant.

        I do know you and you are a troll looking for someone to argue with, I am not that guy. I am neither a lawyer or a criminal.

        May 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
  2. Concert in an Egg

    Most Christians seem like normal people up close. I am working with a church on a fundraiser right now, and they are all delightful…until they start with the praying. Creeps me out.

    May 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
    • Vic

      Don't worry too much about it. Just observe, it might click somehow down the road.

      I like Methodists by the way.

      May 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        I am not worried about it exactly...it is just SO weird.

        May 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Vic

          That's very normal to feel weird and estranged by it. The same happens to me when I go to a new church, amongst many other unrelated things.

          May 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Yes....well it is interesting. They seem so normal, no different than me, then bam, they break out in a delusional fantasy for a minute and then they are back to normal again.

      May 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        You atheists are delusional because you think everyone who is not atheist is delusional. Seems like a very delusional thing to say! Hehehehe

        May 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          You may be right finisher.

          May 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • Vic

        Better yet, group prayer is just an outward gesture and a public confession and celebration of faith, but it's not what makes it or breaks it, every individual you see has his/her own world and experience of faith inside.

        May 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          And that is creepy.

          May 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Most atheists are normal people. The ones that troll belief blogs looking for Christians post derogatory and bigoted comments at are kind of creepy. Thank God most atheists don't do such things.

      May 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        That's because they aren't really atheists. Deep down they really do believe. Atheism is an invention of their own mind and that's why they are obsessed with Christianity. They know atheism is false.

        May 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          tell it finisher, tell it!

          May 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Most atheists are normal people. The ones that troll belief blogs looking for Christians to post derogatory and bigoted comments at are kind of creepy. Thank God most atheists don't do such things.

      May 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
    • Ruela

      Christians are normal people.

      Why would you think otherwise?

      Our money is just as green.

      May 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        I did not realize it was about money. Well ok then, Christians are normal people I guess.

        May 3, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Ruela

          I said that because you said you are working at a fundraiser right now. I assumed it was a paid job. If you are not, thank you for donating your time and work.

          It isn't about the money. It is about the idea you find Christians somehow being different. We are not.

          You just believe in one less God than we do.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Naturally I am donating my time. I do so most every year for this church. However, Christians are weird with the whole praying thing. Not normal.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • Ruela

          This is good of you.

          Naturally, if you are unused to people praying, it will make you feel uncomfortable.
          But you are visiting their 'house', after all. They are not going to stop praying at a church.

          Is this the first time you worked the fundraiser at this location?
          What is the fundraiser for?
          I hope I am not being too personal.
          Forgive me if I am.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          The fundraiser is for the annual church trip to the Dominican Republic to build homes and fresh water wells, etc. It is the church my dad goes to so I have volunteered many times over the years. P.S. Nothing is too personal for me, ask me anything if you wish.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Ruela

          This is a very good thing, and a very good cause.

          If you have been volunteering for year, why do you find the thought of spoken prayer so weird? If you are honoring your father by volunteering at this very worthy cause, should you not be used to it?

          May 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I will never get used to religious people. I consider it nonsense and praying is so stupid that it baffles me.

          I do it for the cause and of course I want to help out my dad.

          I wonder how the congregation would feel about me if they knew I was an atheist?

          May 3, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • Ruela

          I suppose some people find your non-belief to be as nonsensical. No matter.

          As for your father's congregation finding out you're atheist, well, I suppose there are some that would denounce you as being ________, but if most of them were like me, they wouldn't care.

          Or, perhaps they would, depending on your locale.

          In the Deep South, they would probably burn you at the stake.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          lol. I just keep my mouth shut about religion and try to keep from swinging from a tree.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You seem to like being around Christians a lot. Most people that think they are nuts or creepy: the last thing they would do is seek them out on a message board. Especially a message board of an article clearly written by a Christian author to Christians.

          Talk about nuts.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          No I actually don't care for it much. I cringe a lot and try to act casual around them. Talk about nuts.

          May 4, 2014 at 4:57 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Unfortunately people feel the same way about you.

          You are the nut that chooses to seek them out.

          May 4, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Képtelenség

          He just said he's at a fundraiser, and people don't know he's an atheist.

          May 4, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
  3. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    After all what has been virtually said and done on this Blog entry, this very issue —Capital Punishment— concerns the one and only thing that "all" humanity has in common, and therefore agree upon, that is "breathing." We "all" breathe the same.

    When I look at that commonality —breathing— among "all" creatures, I cannot help but think of a common "Origin" from which "all" have the "breath of life." From thereon, our entire existence stems from that "Origin."

    May 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Reality

      But our origin is not described in your mythical book of Genesis. Details on the real Adam previously given.

      May 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      The lady in the PSA with a hole in her throat doesn't breath the same....

      May 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Are you a smoker Vic?

      May 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • Vic

        Nope.

        May 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Excellent. SMOKERS are complete idiots. No offense to you smokers of course.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  4. thefinisher1

    Atheism is naturally evil so I don't know why atheists like throwing stones. I mean, if atheists who ruled countries, could kill in such high numbers (over 100 million people were killed as a result of atheistic rule) doesn't that prove atheism is naturally evil? Yep. Atheists are like children on the playground pretending to be "better" for childish egoistic reasons.

    May 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      I hear you.

      May 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        You admit atheists have murdered millions? Thanks!

        May 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          You are spot on finisher. Keep up the good work.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
    • Keith

      So, explain to us all those killed in the name of "god"

      May 4, 2014 at 8:56 am |
  5. Vic

    I have a suggestion to make:

    We are all humans and have human nature. We all have subconscious reflexes based on preconceived notions.

    Therefore, my suggestion is to think about what is presented after the reflex had taken its normal course and is out of the way. There is hysteretic clarity involved in that.

    May 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
    • Doris

      "Vic": "hysteretic clarity"

      Ah, be the senate and not the house.

      Well if I didn't know better, I'd say you have a phobia or some experience with "stampedes" or similar. Another poster goes on quite a bit about that.

      May 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
  6. colin31714

    Out of all the silly superst.itious beliefs of the Christians, I think the myth of hell that Dalahast has been babbling on about is my favorite. It is just SO childish. I don't have to kill, I don't have to steal, hell, I don't even have to litter. All I have to do is have a reasonable, honest and rational disbelief in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty upon me an infinite times worse than the death penalty. And he loves me.

    Let's subject this "cherished Christian doctrine" to the probing light of say.......fifth grade mathematics.

    Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by their all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

    About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell their “all-merciful” god set up and maintains.

    But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

    No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of their “infinitely benevolent” god.

    Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to the Judeo-Christian god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. Their “all-caring” god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for all eternity.

    It is also odd that their all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager who breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens. That is the problem with using the same deity to be both the carrot and the stick. It gets really silly really quickly.

    How grown adults believe this Dark Ages voodoo in the 21st century completely eludes me. The inherent contradiction in an "all hiding" God who punished nonbelievers is best epitomized by the following question:

    If you are worried that your children, who you love very much, will not believe something you tell them, such as "smoking is bad for you," would you:

    (a) have your family doctor explain to them the various ill effects of smoking;

    (b) show them a film produced by the National Insti.tute for Health on the topic;

    (c) set a good example for them by not smoking; or

    (d) refuse to give them any evidence of the ill effects of smoking, insist that they rely entirely on faith and then take them out into the backyard and burn them to death if you ever catch them smoking?

    And, as a bonus question, what would you think of an "all loving Father" who chose option (d)?

    May 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      That first paragraph is way off base. For a guy who likes to portray himself as logical and reasonable, you do a horrible job at demonstrating it to others. You pretty much take your 5th grader understanding and just run with it.

      Isn't it hell for an anti-theist like you to spend so much time seeking out believers in God to ridicule? You've posted that same rant 10 times before. Why copy and paste the same thing over and over? It seems like you are literally living in a hell. 10 times. And most people ignored it. I doubt most reasonable people can get past the first paragraph.

      Why do you use the term "childish" so often to insult others, but act like one of the most childish posters on this blog?

      How is the way you behave mature? Or adult-like? You rarely talk about yourself, just point out the flaws of others and insist you are superior to them. It seems very insecure and immature of you.

      Can't wait to see what copy-paste you pull up from your files for a reply! I love that you have retorts saved on your computer. This from a guy who ridiculed Christians for giving "packaged answers". OH THE HYPOCRISY.

      Do you have all your replies saved with keywords and Bible verses for quick reference?

      May 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • Ruela

        Please refute what he is saying instead of attacking the person.

        Are you so very weak in your faith that you have to resort to as hominem?

        May 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There seems to be a double standard at play on your part.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I refute the first paragraph. I am a Christian and that is not what I believe about hell.

          I can't refute that that is what Colin imagines I believe about hell. But we don't live in his imagination.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          So, only terribly evil people go to Hell?

          May 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't know. Hell is described as being a place that God creates to destroy evil. If a person is consumed by evil, it is possible they get destroyed with the evil.

          If the evil hasn't already destroyed them.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • Ruela

          No. No double standard.
          Colin called your belief chilish, not you.
          You are attacking him.
          Using ad hominem as your refutation.
          Your first paragraph started it off. It refuted nothing.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, "Ruela", welcome.

          I don't believe in the hell Colin imagines I believe in. That is great he doesn't actually think I'm childish or superst.itious like you suggest, because I'm not. He can imagine my beliefs are. But that is just his belief. And I think his beliefs are childish by what he demonstrates.

          Better?

          May 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • Ruela

          The post is quite clear; he called your view childish, not you. I suggested nothing. I know how to read.

          "Dalahast", (for I am unsure why you use quotes around my name, you didn't for anyone else; is this a common practice?) except for condescending "better", which rather negated the "welcome", your explanation is informative.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And I think he demonstrates childish behavior. I'm calling his behavior childish. He is calling my beliefs childish.

          Using your standards, aren't we basically doing the same thing? I mean other than you probably generally agree with his views and not mine. Which is why I think you are using a double standard in judging us.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • Ruela

          PRO 29:9
          If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
          the fool only rages and laughs,
          and there is no quiet.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is good for us all to read. Thanks.

          "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom."
          Proverbs 11:2

          May 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • Ruela

          Proverbs is perhaps my favorite book in the Old Testament.

          PRO 12:15
          The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
          but a wise man listens to advice.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I"m more a Psalms guys. The Proverbs give me anxiety – always showing me to be the fool.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
      • kudlak

        Dalahäst
        What's so off base about that paragraph? Under Justification By Faith Alone, a serial killer can end up in Heaven if he gets "Saved" before dying, while the most meek, gentle and loving non-Christian out there will end up in Hell simply because she doesn't believe in something that really does go against "the wisdom of this world".

        If that's the way the system actually works, then God is just a narcissistic tyrant, Christianity isn't really concerned with morality, Heaven isn't where the "good" people necessarily go and Hell isn't where the "evil" people necessarily go.

        May 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think that is how it works. You think there is "Justification by Faith Alone"? And that is what it means?

          I don't.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          So, a Christian has to earn their way in through good works?

          May 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • colin31714

        So, 10 times and still no sensible refutation. Why do you think that is? Could it be that Christians don't have one?

        May 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is not a sensible rant. Not all Christians believe what you stated. You are kind of an extremist in your views. You often describe Christians as "nutters": you are the nutter version of an atheist.

          You end your packaged statement with logical fallacies (loaded questions) so I can only imagine most reasonable Christians, atheists, agnostics, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Nons, etc just ignore your posts.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • colin31714

          Whenever the utter nonsense you believe is laid bare, you squirm and change position and say "that is not what I believe." Well, do you believe in hell as a place of eternal punishment or not? Because your posts sure indicate you do.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Is that what you imagine your prepackaged responses are?

          No wonder your ramblings seem to be off-topic and unrelated to what others are discussing.

          No. I don't believe in hell as a place of eternal punishment. I've made this belief known to others before. I have no clue what you are talking about.

          What do you have categorized under "hell" in your files? Quick, copy paste it and squirm away!

          What you imagine I believe I don't believe. As most Christians don't either. What you are doing is posting your stereotype of what a Christian is. You are providing another example of the atheist bigot Einstein warned us about.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
        • colin31714

          Oh garbage. What I posted is straight out of mainstream Christianity. Nonbelievers and other sinners burn for all eternity. One of the sillier parts of the magic "ever after kingdoms" you people believe in. Limbo and pergutory seem to flash in and out of existence depending on the Christian one speaks to, but heaven and hell are pretty universal beliefs. All silly, childish stuff, whether one believes in 1, 2, 3, 4 or more magic ever after lands.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some do believe in it. Yes. But that doesn't mean all day. It certainly doesn't mean I do. Even if you imagine my posts suggest it does.

          The wages of sin is death (not eternal punishment).

          May 3, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

          Death or eternal life in Christ. No literal eternal punishment in hell.

          May 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Over 10 times! And barely any response. Google it. Maybe you should file that one under "doesn't work".

      May 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • Ruela

        So you are complaining about the frequency of this particular post, and you actually researched it?

        May 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • Ruela

          Well, How is the way you behave mature? Or adult-like?

          May 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Good point. I'm just as childish and irrational as Colin at times. No wonder we both like posting on message boards of belief blogs so much. We probably have more in common than I can see.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Wait. I'm not childish or irrational. And neither is Colin. I'm just saying our words, actions and beliefs are childish and irrational. But not us personally

          Don't want to make a ad hominem!

          May 3, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Ruela

          I note your sarcasm. It is only slightly better than your patronizing me unecessarily.

          It is good to admit you're wrong.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And like your patronizing me is so necessary.

          Another double standard.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Ruela

          This is quite the non-sequitur.
          You are talking down to me.

          Why?

          May 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't know anything about you. I really can't take you seriously. It appears you probably post under a variety of names, so it leads me to believe you are trolling. Especially when you call me out for something you are guilty of.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • Ruela

          This is my first time on this website. I have been accused of speaking too formally. I have never been accused of posting under many names. I don't like my name that much, but is is the only one I posess.

          I have found this conversation to be unsatisfactory. I understand you feel the same.

          Have a blessed evening.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          My apologies, I'm often the victim of troll(s) that post under a variety of names and post at me. There was somebody posting under the names "proverbs" last night at me and I was guessing it was you because you posted a Proverbs quote in a very similar manner he/she did.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Ruela

          That is sad. It was not I.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
    • Keith

      I love the way you laid out your argument. The Christian god is a nasty one, invented quite independently by the Catholic Church and now followed by millions of Protestants. , the God of Moses is a god of war completely different than the god the Israelites went to Egypt worshiping, and the god of Abraham was probably the same god that Zarathustra followed. All to be found in one book compiled by men that never knew one another and didn't understand the religion of the other.

      May 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
  7. bostontola

    The biblical God does not lead by example. He delegates the administration of the death penalty to flawed humans, and also kills people whenever it wants. This God lays out detailed laws, but pays no attention to them himself. Of course you can say God can do as he pleases and of course we can't understand his decisions.

    What I do understand, is I like my leaders to set good examples. This God doesn't. He punishes multiple generations of transgressors, he kills millions of people (many more than Satan), he is vengeful, etc., all things he doesn't want people to do.

    May 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • new-man

      the way you see God, it makes sense that you would hate him. Anyone who is normal would hate a god like that. I assure you though, that is NOT the God I serve, Yahweh Elohim.

      It's the goodness of God that causes a person to change their mind about God, and until you've experienced the goodness of God, you will continue to have harsh and legalistic thoughts and ideas about Him.

      May 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • bostontola

        Why do you conclude I hate your God?

        1. I know people that are poor leaders in similar ways, I don't hate them.
        2. Your God doesn't exist outside your mind, so why would I hate something that doesn't exist in the real world?

        May 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • kevinite

          And you can prove that God does not exist outside of newman's mind?

          May 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • new-man

          my conclusion is based on the words you use to describe Him.

          I assure you God exists outside my mind. I know that by the things I have seen Him done for others through me... the others were witnesses too. So He's definitely not confined to my mind.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          how can you assure him that god exists outside your mind when it is your mind that processes the supposed proof?

          May 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • bostontola

          Kevin,
          No proof, just no objective evidence of its existence, plus a lot of evidence it doesn't exist (errors in the bible, conflicts in the bible, immorality in the biblical definition of God).

          new-man,
          Jumping to conclusions is a core competency of the religious approach to analyzing things.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • new-man

          "new-man, Jumping to conclusions is a core competency of the religious approach to analyzing things."

          boston, that's the conclusion you have jumped to.
          only on this board I can be accused of being religious.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          Lack of evidence isn't evidence in of itself. Also Biblical errors, whether by translation or human manipulation doesn't mean that the revelation given by God or the accounts of Jesus in the Gospels mean that they are as a whole invalid.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          You may not consider yourself religious, but your many posts demonstrate a deep belief in the Christian God and its precepts defined in the bible. Am I wrong?

          May 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          I didn't say lack of evidence is evidence, it is lack of evidence, period. When there is lack of evidence for and much against, that is an evidence based belief in that God being false, or blind faith belief in that God. Two very different kinds of belief.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • kevinite

          So, Bostonola,

          Just what percentage is certainly for proof of God's existence and what percentage is against it? Also, what makes certain evidence be deemed for or against in the first place since one can readily question the validity of just about any type of evidence, especially if that evidence really applies to whether or not there is an omnipotent being out there who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in said omnipotent being.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          I'll try this again. There is no proof of God or proof against God. We only have objective evidence. There is no objective evidence for your God, I laid out the objective evidence against your God. The score is much to nothing, much wins.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • new-man

          boston,
          you're correct. I believe in the Hebrew God.
          I have a God, who is the God of the Hebrews. I believe the Bible is the word of God, that it was narrated by the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of Wisdom. This is why it requires the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truths and to comfort you when you read the word. Yes, the word will make you uncomfortable – that's why you need the comforter.
          The word surpasses human understanding, that's the reason those without the Spirit of Wisdom (Holy Spirit) can read and never understand what's being said.

          A God is one who provides abundantly in ALL areas, to rely on anything else is elevating that thing above God. I'm not fully there yet, but you bet that's exactly where I will be- at a point where I have total, trust, confidence and belief in God where I'm not looking to self or to another human being because He is my source.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Ruela

          New-man, you concluded that bostontola hated God based on his post, which was totally devoid of it. You jumped to a conclusion, and then accused him of doing the same thing.
          That is also a common tactic among my Christian brethren.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • bostontola

          New-man,
          So are you a Christian?

          May 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          Since you such the expert on much vs. little you could at least explain how much is much, how little is little and how irrefutable that "objective" evidence actually is whether for or against, especially against the notion that there is no God out there who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in said God.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          I claim there is zero objective evidence for the Christian God. You can prove me wrong by providing some. I've never seen it in all these boards, you will make history if you do.

          Evidence against:
          Genesis has many factual errors, there are plenty more throughout (bats are not birds). Your God Yahweh says conflicting things in the bible. Jesus is immoral, he creates some people with skepticism then imposes an infinite punishment for that skepticism. There are many more examples, read through the posts to find them.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • new-man

          Ruela,
          thanks for your observation.
          while my response was made to a specific post of boston's, my conclusion was drawn from his many other posts "decrying" the immorality etc. of the God of the Bible/Hebrew etc.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          new-man,
          It is fair to draw on other posts. But when I conclude your God is immoral, I provide the biblical reference and the logic leading to that conclusion. That is not jumping to a conclusion, that is forming an evidence based, logical argument. You asserting I hate your God is prima facia jumping to conclusion.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          I claim there is zero objective evidence against a God who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in said God, especially for many that is in part what defines the Christian God in the first place. You can prove me wrong by providing some. I've never seen it in all these boards, you will make history if you do.

          Evidence against:
          "Genesis has many factual errors, there are plenty more throughout (bats are not birds)."
          Yeah, I can see how an all knowing God, who apparently wants us to find out about nature for ourselves would only explain things in regarding salvation in a limited fashion totally means that the points of discussion regarding ones salvation are totally invalid.. oh wait.. I don't see how that would make the Gospel invalid.

          "Your God Yahweh says conflicting things in the bible. Jesus is immoral, he creates some people with skepticism then imposes an infinite punishment for that skepticism."
          What makes you think that I believe that when it refers to endless punishment that it means the length of duration of the punishment as opposed to the term "endless" to mean a name for God, that God is "endless" like being Alpha and Omega, Endless" is his name and that "endless torment" or "endless punishment" means that it is punishment coming from God and that the duration of the torment itself is actually finite.

          " There are many more examples, read through the posts to find them." I may not have read all the posts but the posts that I have read so far are not by any means supportive of your claims, at least in my view anyway. What I have seen is that all of these posts really boil down to it all being a matter of belief, both for and against, and it is nothing more than belief in either camp.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          You didn't refute the evidence, you just twisted the words of the defining docu.ment (bible) and provided your opinion of what they mean. The evidence is in the words as they are written, not your poetic interpretation. The literal meaning is hard evidence, poetic interpretation is arbitrary opinion.

          Again, there is hard evidence against your God, none, zero, nada for your God.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • kevinite

          Boy Bostonola,

          Aren't you the one who is the here all and end all on what is literal and what is poetic interpretation, without explain why it is literal and that in no way it can mean something else. The way your putting it it sounds like you are very adamant in your belief. I do not doubt that you are very adamant in your belief, but that is just it, it is your belief just like what I believe is just that my belief, and my belief is that there is a God who does not want to be made known but rather have us develop our own faith in him.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • Ruela

          New-man, I see.
          Don't fall into the trap of bringing the past into the present. Treat each post as brand new, like you have no idea who you are speaking with. It's easier to formulate responses that are not combative.
          PRO 16:21
          The wise of heart is called a man of discernment,
          and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          You missed the point. I am not judging the words, I am saying the literal interpretation is the hard evidence, that is what is in writing. There are thousands of interpretations, none of them are hard evidence, they are opinions. The literal meaning is not opinion.

          Example:
          In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:

          Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.

          Many Christians say Jesus won't answer the prayer because it conflicts with free will. Ok, but the bible quotes Jesus explicitly. The free will hypothesis is opinion. The words in Matthew 7:7 are hard evidence. These words are false, unless you add new poetic interpretations about what they "really" mean (in your opinion).

          Back to square 1, lots of hard evidence that your God is false, no objective evidence he is real outside your mind.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God is definitely experienced outside of the text of the Bible.

          We strive to know God. Not just know about him. I used to believe others belief in God was strictly imaginary. I used to argue that belief on my religiously on message boards, especially ones devoted to faith and belief in God. I don't anymore.

          Use logic: people looking for God come to belief blogs. They may not even realize it. But look at the evidence. Look at what they talk about a lot: GOD.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          * I used to argue that belief (x) religiously* on message boards, especially ones devoted to faith and belief in God. I don't anymore.

          *religiously = daily/a lot of time (not for religion)

          May 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Valid logic but false premise. You assume the only belief is in God. I believe there is no God. That's why I'm here. The debates help me sharpen my ideas and refine them. I thank everyone for helping me with that.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • kevinite

          "Many Christians say Jesus won't answer the prayer because it conflicts with free will. Ok, but the bible quotes Jesus explicitly. The free will hypothesis is opinion. The words in Matthew 7:7 are hard evidence. These words are false, unless you add new poetic interpretations about what they "really" mean (in your opinion).

          Really, you go into that this is "hard evidence" without explaining why this is considered "hard evidence" that in no way whatsoever despite there being so many different Christian sects with so many different viewpoints, that this is in fact "hard evidence" and then you go into the point that if I bring in my "poetic interpretation" can put a different spin on the "hard evidence"?

          After all, it could only mean that God doesn't answer all prayers and it could not possibly in any way shape or form mean anything else such as that God did give an answer but it was not the answer you would have wanted to have or expected to have, or that God did answer but you were really not listening or not getting the clue that an answer was given. Yeah, there is no possible way that that scripture could ever possibly mean anything else and that is completely hard fact (your opinion).

          Back to square 1, no objective evidence that there is no God who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in said God outside of my mind.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          The hard evidence is the words in Matthew. The rest is the logic showing those words are false. Clearly prayer is not answered as described by Jesus in that passage. The Christian apologetic regarding free will is an example of interpretation.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • bostontola

          Age of the Earth.

          Shape of the Earth.

          Origin of the Universe.

          Origin of Humankind.

          Value of Pi.

          All wrong as described by bible. Hard evidence against. Matthew, lots of other bible passages are false. No objective evidence for.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't assume the only belief is in God. I just find that most people who talk about God have God on their hearts. Even those that spend all day/week talking about how much they don't believe in God.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          "Use logic: people looking for God come to belief blogs. They may not even realize it. But look at the evidence. Look at what they talk about a lot: GOD."

          The fallacy is that while it is true that people looking for God come to belief blogs does not imply that only people looking for God come to belief blogs. I don't talk about not believing in God, I talk about believing there is no God.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is interesting, because you seem to have beliefs that are religious in nature. Maybe instead of God at the center, you have yourself and the high opinion of your beliefs. Anyway, you spend a lot of time talking about your beliefs. What is your action? What do you do? You have expressed an interest in science, yet spend rarely anytime talking about science. I can't imagine you are contributing to or seriously studying it. It seems that religion and God (or your opinion there is no god) are on your mind a lot.

          May 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • kevinite

          Obviously Bostonola,

          You have a very limited idea as to what certain scriptures can actually mean . You didn't prove why my points-of-view could not apply in any way to what was stated in Matthew.

          May 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          My beliefs are not religious. Religious beliefs are about a creed and a body of beliefs. My belief is simple, no God. The other difference is my beliefs are fully consistent with all available objective evidence, that makes my beliefs evidence based, not faith based.

          May 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • kevinite

          Just what is so clear cut in Genesis that there is evidence to irrefutably go against the account? Just what evidence is there that proves that the origins of everything cannot possibly come from a God who does not want to be made known?

          May 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Your philosophy that your personal beliefs are fully consistent with all available objective evidence, which makes your personal beliefs evidence based, not faith based is your religion. That is what you preach. We get it. But you are a human being. Your beliefs are not fully consistent with all available objective evidence. No way. That is bordering along the lines of arrogance.

          May 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          I don't care about various interpretations. When dealing with a written docu.ment, the only hard evidence is the literal meaning unless the docu.ment itself explains that the passage is metaphorical. The literal word is hard evidence. Interpretations are opinion.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          By your definition, there can be no difference between religious belief and evidence based belief. You're enti.tled to your view. I prefer to allow differences and have different words represent different ideas.

          If you want to call my insistence on objective evidence to be consistent with belief a religion, I'm ok with that. Please don't expect me to adopt that definition.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No problem.

          Just like you shouldn't expect anyone to agree that your personal beliefs are fully consistent with all available objective evidence.

          I doubt anybody has enough faith to believe that. Well, except you.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Please tell me a piece of objective evidence that conflicts with my beliefs.

          May 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I can't. Your beliefs are perfectly supported by objective evidence. It is not based on arrogance or faith in your imagination. Well done.

          You should right a book telling everyone how great your beliefs are. I'm sure you would love to read it.

          Just kidding. All people are flawed and hold beliefs about themselves that are based in delusion. It would be cool if you could somehow demonstrate what you claim, rather than just talking about it on a message board.

          I don't have evidence to support your beliefs in your beliefs. Nor the faith.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'm not asking you to adopt my beliefs, I'm asking you to provide evidence to support your assertion that my beliefs are faith based. If not, it is an empty assertion.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sure, consider it an empty assertion.

          I know you are not asking me to adopt your beliefs. Nobody else believes what you believe about your beliefs but you. It is personal to you.

          I really don't know what your beliefs are based in. You seem to be really proud and boastful that they are based in objective evidence. I don't think anyone's beliefs are purely based in objective evidence. We are imperfect creatures that rely on faith.

          I think most people would describe your views as arrogant. You are free to self-describe as having beliefs anyway you want, though.

          I wish you could demonstrate what you talk about better.

          May 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • bostontola

          I can see where I would be perceived as arrogant. I don't take unsubstantiated assertions well. I don't see boastfulness. I don't expect anyone to adopt my beliefs (including atheists), and I have no pride in them. I believe in clear eyed evidence, I use it to guide my beliefs, and I challenge those with beliefs that conflict with objective evidence. If there is no evidence either way (e.g. Deism), I don't challenge it at all. I don't consider that boastful or prideful, just rational. Like I said, I can see it being perceived as arrogant.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          "I don't care about various interpretations. When dealing with a written docu.ment, the only hard evidence is the literal meaning unless the docu.ment itself explains that the passage is metaphorical. The literal word is hard evidence. Interpretations are opinion."

          First of all you haven't actually presented any "hard evidence" in the first place, and second of all what I presented wasn't metaphorical either. The viewpoints that I gave were just simply another viewpoint to explain what is literal. There wasn't anything metaphorical about explaining that one of the names for God is "Endless" and that the "endless punishment" meant that it was simply punishment from God. There wasn't anything metaphorical about explaining God doesn't answer prayers by fulfilling a wish list, that sometimes the answer is no, or sometimes the answer we get is not the answer we expect. And there is nothing metaphorical about showing that the creation account does not give a whole lot of detail, which literally means that there is ample room for speculation.

          You are one who claims in dealing with hard facts, however, when you form a conclusion about the invalidity about the God of the Bible, despite there not being any irrefutable evidence to support such a claim, you are in fact basing your conclusion on belief and nothing more just like my conclusions about God are based on belief.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          You must not be reading my posts. The literal text from the bible is hard evidence. The sequence of Genesis is wrong with hard evidence, the two versions of creation in Genesis conflict with each other. The ratio of the circu.mfrence to the diameter of a circle is not 3 as in the bible, the earth is not flat as in the bible, the list goes on. All that is hard evidence that the bibles are false. If the bibles are false that is hard evidence that the God characters in them are false. Believe what you want, ignore evidence if you want.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I can understand wanting to live that way. Stick to the material viewpoint (which is kind of like a religion). I find God doesn't have to follow our rules about what evidence is and isn't. There is more to life than meets they eye.

          But, for arguing on a message board, especially one devoted to faith, belief and religion – your tactics will work well to prove yourself. It doesn't work so well in the real life. But online – good stuff.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          Care to actually cite the scriptures you are basing your claims on as well as how they cannot possibly mean anything different that what your own spin is on those references?

          May 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I've said many times I'm not trying to prove anything. I have no idea what you mean regarding real life, care to clarify?

          May 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          kevinite

          I think you see the spiritual message – that God is speaking to our hearts and our minds. That is why Jesus used parables, figures of speech and metaphors. It is a matter that transcends earthly evidence. We are human beings – not robots. That is why there is so much in humor and playfullness in Jesus' story – along with the seriousness. Anyway, I hear ya!

          May 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          I did better than cite it, I copied the text from Matthew above. I assume I don't have to cite Genesis for you. I'm sure you can google the others I referenced yourself.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          bostontola

          Right. I'm just questioning your beliefs. I don't have any evidence to support your belief that all your beliefs are based in objective evidence. Or that even striving to be that way (which I've never actually met a person who can accomplish that) is necessarily a good thing. And imagining you are that way could lead to a dangerous mindset.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I don't think my perspective is perfect by any means, but it think belief in transcendent evidence over objective evidence is more dangerous.

          May 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is interesting because most believers in God demonstrate they are quite capable of dealing with objective evidence, in my experience. They seem to do alright in science, logic and related fields. I think there is a lot of compelling reasons to believe in God. The objective evidence you prize is the evidence of the God I see. We take the same road, but find different beliefs at the end of the day. Thanks for discussing. I was interested in your views. I think I misunderstood some parts. But I think there is a lot that objective evidence does not answer about life. And seems to be incapable of answering. I think those questions bring us to faith, belief and religion.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          Dalahast,

          I do believe that God certainly wants us to work for our knowledge. I also believe that God wants us to develop our faith in him so that if we follow God we do so freely of our own will and not merely because we have to or that we feel obliged to. To learn through parables and allegories does help one to think and ponder more deeply than otherwise and the knowledge learned through parables along with exercising faith can help one to understand on a more personal level.

          It's like trying to explain what salt tastes like to someone who has never tasted salt before that one cannot truly know about God and of the gospel without having to try and study, live the teachings, and to exercise faith on a personal level. To do those things is like tasting the salt for yourself and at that point you really know what salt tastes like.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          kevinite

          I agree.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          You cited Matthew and you cited Genesis, but in Matthew you didn't prove that the versus you cited could only mean your own spin and could in no way shape or form be understood in any other way. Also, you just said that the evidence just contradicts Genesis without even citing where in Genesis it actually says what you claim it says let alone actually show that those particular versus cannot possibly mean anything other what your own take is on those verses.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I said nothing of Christians never mind all Christians. Many pick and choose bible interpretations to square with science. Please read my comment and easily see I wasn't referring to them.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • bostontola

          kevin,
          You should read more carefully, I did on multiple comments. Jesus explicitly promises to always give the person what they pray for. That does not happen. The Genesis points are in direct conflict with scientifically demonstrated facts on the order of creation.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          Replace Christians with believers in God.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know. I was just commenting that believers know just as much about evidence as non-believers. The point is – not all draw the same conclusions.

          For some all objective evidence points to God.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola,

          How does "ask and ye shall receive" can only mean that it can only be a wish list? What one may ask God for in prayer in faith you shall receive, but what you do receive may not necessarily be in a way you would may have wanted to receive it. God may not have given what you wanted but God may have given you what you needed.

          In the way of the order of how creation came about of course there is no way whatsoever that could explain certain things like say that God created the wales before the land animals wee created without figure any other possibility like say the earth that we know of today could have been created from a previous world that was inhabited with wales or dinosaurs or other long extinct species that was previously destroyed and then this earth was created in the order given in Genesis. That there could be a notion that of cataclysmic events destroying life on this world and new life coming about about.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • kevinite

          Also, the point of the process of the sun, moon, and stars being created after the earth cannot possibly be viewed in any other way not like saying that first of all there is no indication the position in the universe where the earth was in the first day was also in the same position when the earth was then able to specifically receive the light from the sun, moon, and stars as we know them since there is no indication that the light the earth received in the first day was light from the sun.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dala, "For some all objective evidence points to God." Explain how – if it were objective, then all could demonstrate that it is valid, repeatable, etc. That has never been shown for the "evidence" for a god – all we have are ancient myths and people who deny the evidence that disproves the creation myths.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
        • kevinite

          So Santa,

          There is absolutely no truths out there that cannot be explained in a repeatable scientific experiment? I would like to see how your explanation of what salt tastes like to someone who never tasted salt before is more accurate than having that person taste the salt first-hand.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          In Santa We Trust

          Objective evidence does not lead all people to atheism. Just because it does for you, doesn't mean it should for others. I don't know how you deal with the evidence that suggests there are people who believe in God and demonstrate a better understanding of objective evidence and what it entail. That is probably why you post under a silly name and look for Christians to rant against.

          May 4, 2014 at 12:43 am |
        • Catholic Calligrapher

          All there demands for evidence are wrong. You either believe or you are not but the bible says Jesus died for our sins and to preserve life so I try to. We must all preserve life to our utmost and not be questioning the word of God.

          May 4, 2014 at 1:26 am |
    • Vic

      It is clear to me by now that you have a conflict between two things. While you sometime entertain the possibility of the existence of [a] God, you strictly hinge that on what scripture is out there and what it says.

      There is a way out. Employ what I believe is "Natural Revelation" to detect the existence of God strictly before concerning yourself with what scripture says what.

      May 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • sam stone

        You cannot establish the existence of "natural revelation"

        May 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • Vic

        This entire existence with everything in it is the "Natural Revelation."

        May 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • sam stone

          if you capitalize god, you are not talking about a god in general, you are talking about a specific god. how does "natural revelation" lead to a SPECIFIC god?

          May 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
      • bostontola

        Vic,
        There may be some God or creator, I believe not but my certainty level is not high. As to the existence of the specific God of Christians my certainty level couldn't be more certain of its falsity.

        May 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • kevinite

      Actually, God makes it that we all will die no matter what. If there is a God who gave us life in the first place it is for sure temporary, at least physically anyway. For those who believe in continuing to exist spiritually after death will see God as having an impact on our eternal existence. Although this means the deaths of the young and the innocent, that doesn't mean that God would simply condemn them in an eternal sense.

      May 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
  8. The Beagle

    Mohler's proud trumpeting of "Christianity's gift to Western civilization" inspired me to write a blog post on the topic: Christianity's Gift to Western Civilization.

    To summarize: the guy has a lot of nerve.

    May 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • The Beagle

      I see that the link didn't come through in my comment above. Here it is:

      http://pathofthebeagle.com/2014/05/02/christianitys-gift-to-western-civilization/

      May 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
      • Vic

        I am aware of that worldview and it begs a myriad of questions, where do humans get perspective from, isn't all "Natural Revelation," and where does that "Natural Revelation" come from, let alone where does this entire existence come from?

        May 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Making up answers to questions, as religions do, gets us nowhere.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Vic

          I agree.

          Not all believing in God is making up answers. As a born again Christian myself, it was and still is evident to me that there is a God before I even ventured/venture into Scripture.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          No, Vic, believing in god is "making up answers"

          May 3, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          God is the made up answer. You can't objectively demonstrate your god is real any more than anyone of a competing religion can prove theirs is real. Answering all the questions you posed with "God" and specifically YOUR god...gets us nowhere.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          Every worldview raises questions. Some resolve them with unsubstantiated assertions (religions), others explore the world in an objective way demanding objective evidence (science).

          The interesting thing is religions defined their theories at a time when humans factual understanding was very limited. Now that we are more advanced in knowledge and societal morality, the religions are observationally clearly false.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Vic

          To all:

          I strongly suggest that you employ what I believe is "Natural Revelation" to seek answers about the existence of [a] God, strictly before concerning yourselves with any scripture.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          The existence of a God/creator is one thing, the existence of the Christian God is another. The evidence for or against some God is inconclusive. The Abrahamic God has a lot of objective evidence against and none for.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Vic

          T wit:

          This entire existence with everything in it is the "Natural Revelation."

          And, this "Natural Revelation" points to an "Origin."

          May 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Keith

      It seems that much of "Christianity's" gift to mankind has been death and destruction, just as Islam's gift to mankind is these days

      May 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  9. new-man

    Can an atheist get insurance against acts of "god"?

    (I use common "g" because in reality natural disasters are NOT acts of God)

    May 3, 2014 at 11:06 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      "acts of god" are not in any insurance policy so no, not even believers can get insurance for that.

      May 3, 2014 at 11:09 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        on a side note, the reason that "acts of god" does not appear in any insurance policy is that there is no way to factor in the statistics for them since we zero evidence for god being responsible for anything.

        May 3, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          There are exceptions to the rule though through Lloyd's of London but It does not underwrite policies itself, leaving that to individual market members known as Names.

          In 1999, a woman named Mary Murphy feared that she was going to immaculately conceive with the approach of the Millennium. Some Lloyd’s Name of little faith was happy to take her up on it. One can only imagine the wild court case that would have ensued had she become pregnant and tried to collect on her policy.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          last paragraph should have had quotes, was cut & paste from beforeitsnews.com

          May 3, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • new-man

          so we are in agreement that disasters are not acts of God, good to know.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • igaftr

          newman,
          Nice smugness, but the REASON that god does not do these things is different. You think it is because your god is as you imagine him to be, as opposed to god does not do those acts because "he" is not there. HUGE difference.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Before starting work in the insurance industry I also thought that "acts of god" were in most insurance policies because that is what I had been told by parents and peers, much like my indoctrination into religion. It was presented as simple fact so I had no reason to doubt until I grew up, did actual research and found out that while my parents and peers were really nice people, they had no idea what they were talking about and were simply parroting their "wisdom" from biased sources. Of course the preacher is going to tell you "acts of god" are in the insurance policies because they themselves are selling you an insurance product.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          new,
          Disasters are not acts of god because nothing has been proven to the act of a god. Why is it that many believers only attribute good to their god when if that god created the universe and all in it, it would be responsible for both good and bad.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • igaftr

      If you have insurance against acts of "god", they would never have to pay up, since it can never be shown any god did it.
      The new term is acts of nature.

      May 3, 2014 at 11:11 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        check your policy, not even "acts of nature" are included. Insurance policies are very specific on the perils they cover. At best you have an "All Peril" policy that has specific exclusions.

        May 3, 2014 at 11:14 am |
    • bostontola

      If you believe in an omniscient, omnipotent God, then disasters are either acts of that God (e.g. the great flood), or they are condoned by God. Slightly different but not by much.

      May 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
      • new-man

        boston,
        the heavens belongs to God but the earth He gave to man. It is for this very reason that the flood was made known to Noah and to be told to the people because God doesn't do anything in the earth without first revealing it or doing it through covenant with man.

        so I disagree that He causes and or condones disasters that take place on the earth.
        Do you know you and the rest of mankind have the power and authority (restored back to us via Yeshua) to stop disasters from happening in the earth.

        May 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          The great flood may have been warned, but it was still an act of God. Since God is omniscient and omnipotent, any disaster is condoned. These are simple results of the definitions of the words. God knows a disaster will happens, he has the power to stop it, he chooses not to stop it, that is condoning, he allowed it. There should be no disagreement here.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • new-man

          The great flood may have been warned, but it was still an act of God. Since God is omniscient and omnipotent, any disaster is condoned. These are simple results of the definitions of the words. God knows a disaster will happens, he has the power to stop it, he chooses not to stop it, that is condoning, he allowed it. There should be no disagreement here.

          Let this mind be in you, the earth was given to man. It is yours to have power, dominion, and authority over. Whatever you want stopped on earth, God is not going to do it for you, because He has ALREADY done it! You have to manifest what He's already done by speaking it into being.

          (The flood was an act of God done through a covenant – to save mankind. It was people whose DNA was corrupted that were killed in the flood. This was a plot by the devil to fully corrupt the DNA of man, so that messiah could not be born of man. Friend, you have to seriously give thought to the side you're sympathetic toward. The devil doesn't care for man, and will do everything to kill him.)

          May 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • sam stone

          new-man: if god is omniscient, there is no free will

          punishing people who lack free will is the sign of a vindictive, petty tyrant

          thanks for playing

          pick up your consolation prize on the way out

          May 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  10. Dalahäst

    "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

    Not wanting any to perish. God does not want to lose a single human soul. Hell was not created for man. They were created for the devil and his demons. (Matthew 25:41). Jesus does not want any to end up there. Listen to his lament over his own stubborn people:

    "O Jerualem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who sent you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing (Luke 13:34).

    Jesus' heart of love is not diminished by the fact that some people will actually choose hell over surrendering to God. He weeps over it. He warns, urges, pleads, performs miracles. As they nail him to the timbers (death penalty victim), he says, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34).

    May 3, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • James XCIX

      Dalahast – "Not wanting any to perish. God does not want to lose a single human soul."

      He appears fairly powerless to a accomplish his own goals, then, since according to so many of his followers the vast majority of those who have ever inhabited the earth will not have been "saved".

      May 3, 2014 at 10:25 am |
      • Dalahäst

        Truth is there are consequences to our actions. What we do matters.

        According to some of his followers, hell is empty. Not because of what we do, but because of what Jesus does.

        May 3, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – "What we do matters."

          Then why not influence what we do by providing some unquestionable evidence of his existence and what sort of actions are required, so that we don't perish, if that's so important to him?

          May 3, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Dalahäst

          The evidence is there.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – "The evidence is there."

          I mentioned unquestionable evidence, which is obviously not there since so many question, understandable so. But what evidence did you have in mind?

          May 3, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • Dalahäst

          All evidence is questioned. Doubt is a big part of faith. Those that honesty seek God, not a materialistic idol., find God.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – How do you explain those who find a different god than yours?

          May 3, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I know only 1 God. But we all may have different experiences of God. The thing to look at is our relationship with God. That is what I believe we were created for. Where are we at in our relationship with God? I believe we are all in different places. It is not my place to decide. I share my experience and listen to others.

          How I treat others is a reflection of how I treat God, according to Jesus. I focus on that. I let God worry about his children and his relationship with them.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – "But we all may have different experiences of God."

          Are you saying those who say they are experiencing a different god are really experiencing yours but in a very different way than you experience him?

          May 3, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No, that is not what I'm saying.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • James XCIX

          They believe they are experiencing their god–what do you believe they are experiencing?

          May 3, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't know. I focus on what I am in charge of: myself. Jesus asks me to love such people. So I try to do that.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – OK. Still wondering what evidence you had in mind.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Everything.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • James XCIX

          How is that evidence for your beliefs specifically and not also for other beliefs?

          May 3, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dala et al are asked regularly for evidence of a god – although they like to post the last word they can never find any specific evidence which would be a final last word. If they had actual evidence that could be verified, few if any would question it. Alas they only have what is in their heads.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I never said it was evidence for my beliefs specifically and not also for other beliefs. Do you have evidence that proves your beliefs specifically and not others?

          I'm sharing what works for me. I honestly believe in God. The evidence in my life and everything I know (science, love, nature, life) points to God for me. If I didn't have that evidence, I would be an atheist or I would join some religion.

          Are you seeking God?

          May 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – "Are you seeking God?"

          No. If there is a supernatural being/creator(s), it seems obvious they cannot expect discovery or even acknowledgement, since they provide no real evidence of their existence, and the abundance of different religions is compelling evidence that none of them are valid.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, that is cool.

          I am seeking God. I've held opinions similar to yours before, but they didn't work out for me. I guess I'm agnostic about it today.

          "To thine own self be true."

          May 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – While I find modern belief in gods mystifying, I do find the subject interesting.

          May 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
      • new-man

        James,
        God's Power has accomplished ALL that He's set out to accomplish. The rest is up to you.
        He gave us Jesus, and as long as Jesus lives, which is always, you will be saved. But you have to make Jesus your savior.
        You play a part in this too, you don't need to do any work, but you do need to do something.
        The fact that one thing is too "difficult" for you, speaks of your powerlessness or is it pride.

        May 3, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • James XCIX

          That's fine, but it follows that his method is therefore counter to a supposed goal of saving every soul, since his followers believe most will not be saved.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • new-man

          how is it His fault "His followers" choose to believe doctrines of men over His Word (both the written word=scripture, and the living word=Jesus)?

          It's easy to believe in God, it's quite another thing to BELIEVE GOD.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • James XCIX

          new-man – Perhaps you misunderstood–by "his followers" I meant Christians. Are you saying that it's incorrect to believe that most of humanity will not end up being "saved"?

          May 3, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • new-man

          James,
          I knew what you meant by "His followers".
          My point was just that many Christians believe in God, but have trouble believing God.

          And yes, it's wrong to think many will not be saved.
          John said he saw a number which no man could number. People think salvation is hard. It's not. It's a gift. How can receiving a gift be hard.
          What is difficult is what comes after basic salvation... which is the renewing of the mind. and this is where most Christians have not even begun in the slightest to renew their minds and so, they're saved but living a life far below victory, and the reason for this is they were never that they should nor how to renew their minds to the word of God.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • James XCIX

          new-man – "...so, they're saved but living a life far below victory,"

          I would guess that is a satisfactory state for the majority of Christians, since there is so much disagreement on what else is to be done once one is saved.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • new-man

          would guess that is a satisfactory state for the majority of Christians, since there is so much disagreement on what else is to be done once one is saved
          James,
          I don't know that it is a satisfactory state for them, or they've just learned to settle because they've not been taught what comes next. It's easy to teach law-10 instead of grace and it's for this reason you find many churches keeping people under bondage and condemnation because either the preachers don't know or they're choose to take the easy way out and preach their doctrine instead of the gospel of grace.
          Above, I meant to write, many Christians were never taught how to renew their minds. As a matter of fact I've heard this statement and I agree with it wholeheartedly – many American missionaries are around the world teaching/preaching the gospel, yet many in America have never heard the true gospel.

          Many people are happy to sit under the word for 2 hrs every Sunday (one day per week). If a person ate only once a week they'd not be too pleasant to look at. To have one's mind renewed to the word of God will require reading the word of God for oneself and seeking the Living Word and the Holy Spirit for guidance.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • James XCIX

          new-man – "...yet many in America have never heard the true gospel."

          You're reinforcing my point about the many views on what one is supposed to do; your way is correct, the others aren't the "true" meaning.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • new-man

          James,
          there is only one true gospel, and that's the one that Jesus preached.
          Believers, or those who desire a relationship with God, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit should contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints Jude 1:3
          So this has nothing to do with whether or not I think I am right but whether or not I am hearing the true gospel that was once delivered to the saints, because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

          we're told that the time would come when believers would not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. they shall turn away their ears from the true gospel and shall turn to fiction.

          so the point is, there is a the true gospel and like everything else the devil counterfeits and one must know to recognize the truth from a lie. This has nothing to do with whether I or anyone else is right or wrong – we only go wrong in our discernments, and one should ask why if this were to happen.

          May 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • James XCIX

      Dalahast – "...the fact that some people will actually choose hell over surrendering to God."

      That is not a choice that anyone is making.

      May 3, 2014 at 10:26 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I can choose a life of hell. Or I can choose to follow God's will for me. In choosing to follow God, I repent against those things that lead to a life of hell: selfishness, greed, hypocrisy, dishonesty.

        May 3, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – If you don't acknowledge that heaven, hell, or your god exist, then you do not make a choice between them.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • igaftr

          Your problem dala, is that you have no idea if there are any gods, of what they want if they exist.
          You follow belief...baseless belief and nothing more. Most of what you "follow" comes right out of your own imaginations.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • Dalahäst

          iga

          How do you KNOW what I KNOW? That is just silly talk. You don't know God, yes. That doesn't mean others don't.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • Dalahäst

          James XCIX

          Heaven/hell/the consequences of our actions exist whether you acknowledge them or not.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • James XCIX

          Dalahast – Reincarnation exists whether you acknowledge it or not... see how silly that sounds?

          May 3, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • igaftr

          dala
          I do know that you do NOT know if there are any gods, and in any experiences you claim are god, you have not excluded all other possibilities.
          For all you know, the "god" is actually satan tricking you, but most likely it all comes from what you IMAGINE your god is, and then you IMAGINE the effects of that imaginary god on your life.
          Since I DO know you have not excluded all other possibilities, I know you do not know if it is a "god" or figment of your imagination.
          So to an extent, I do know...or it is more accurate to say I know what you cannot know, what no one can as yet know.
          Until you have been able to exclude all other possibilities, you are simply accepting a hypothetical god as if it were real.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Dalahäst

          igaftr

          That is silly talk. You don't know all there is to know. You have no clue what I've considered and dismissed.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Dalahäst

          James XCIX

          If reincarnations exists, it exists whether I accept it or not. Yes.

          If life is just material and there is no spirit and we are souless creatures

          May 3, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • Dalahäst

          If life is just material and there is no spirit and we are souless creatures with no Creator, that reality exists whether I accept it or not.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • igaftr

          sorry dala, but silly i sbelief in something that cannot be shown to exist.

          I know you have not yet eliminated with certainty all other possibilities, since you have not conceived all possibilities.
          Let me make it easy for you. Tell me how you conclusively excluded ANY single other possibilitiy...for insatnce...How have you eliminated the possibility that the enitre bible was actually written/inspired by satan, and that you are actaully his puppet?

          Give me an example of ONE other possibility you have conclusively been able to exclude.
          Since I know you will not be able to, I know you CANNOT know it is your god, as you IMAGINE it to be.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Dalahäst

          igaftr

          I am very skeptical and have not blindly accepted God. I wasn't brainwashed or raised to follow God. If you want to discuss how I came to my conclusions, I don't mind talking to you about that.

          If you want to insist that you are right and you know more that I know about myself, than have at it. I'm not going to argue against what you simply imagine about me. You can spend the rest of your life posting on religious, faith and belief blogs arguing against this God that doesn't exist. You can do that everyday. For hours and hours on the day. It sounds like hell to me. But you can do that. Go for it. I

          May 3, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • igaftr

          dala
          How have you conclusively excluded any other possibility? I have hit the nail precisely on the head. I do not need to know you to know what I have stated is accurate. It is accurate for all people. Unless all other possibilities are eliminated, you do not know, and since you cannot exclude ANY possibility, my statement stands.

          You are just unhappy with the fact that I have shown baseless belief to be pointless.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I consider other possibilities.

          I really have no idea why you have conclusively excluded any other possibility about what I know, except what you imagine I know.

          It is kind of ironic.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • igaftr

          By saying that, you are insinuating you have some evidence that DOES exclude all other possibilities. Do share....

          May 3, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No it doesn't. That is just silly.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • igaftr

          ahhh, back to silly, which is belief in something no one can show to exist.

          You have come full circle, and yet no closer to knowing if the god you imagine exists.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, you are still making silly comments.

          And you are still being incredibly ironic in your claims abut what I know and what you say you know.

          When i was agnostic, I used to hate when religious people acted like they knew everything and tried to preach at me. It turns out today I hate when non-religious people like you do that to me, too.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • igaftr

      " God does not want to lose a single human soul. Hell was not created for man"

      Funny, since he is allegedly omniscient, so would have known when he "made" hell, what it would be for.Face it, hell is just the stick used to get christians to comply with the other rules that men laid down in their book. Men made god, men made the idea of hell, men made up the whole thing. Once you realize that, the whole thing makes sense.

      May 3, 2014 at 10:32 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I disagree with your opinion.

        Some Christians twist hell into some place they want people they don't like to go to. Or a place you go to if you don't follow their rules.

        God can be omniscient and create a hell to destroy evil. Perhaps if people refuse to let go of the evil that has hardened their hearts, they will be destroyed with the evil that consumes them.

        May 3, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • igaftr

          That makes no sense. "good" cannot exist without "evil". If I have 5 actions that I can take on something...one is purely good, then next mostly good, then neutral, then mostly evil, then purely evil. If you eliminate the two evil ones, then the neutral, by comparrison to the pure "good" becomes "evil. One cannot eliminiate "evil" since it is relative to the humanity involved in the act. If all acts cannot measure up to purely "good", they are evil relative to a purely "good" act.

          Good and evil are words made up by men and has nothing to do with any gods, until men wrote those definitions into his made up religions.

          It is really amazing the mental gymnastics required for baseless belief systems.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • Dalahäst

          In the human mind, good can not exist without evil. That is philosophy.

          In heaven, good exists without evil. There is light and no darkness. It is difficult for us imperfect human beings to wrap our minds around such a concept.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Doris

          Interesting. So Dala, you believe that God will give our minds an upgrade once we have been authenticated at eol?

          May 3, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • igaftr

          ". It is difficult for us imperfect human beings to wrap our minds around such a concept."

          No not difficult at all, considering that the concept was from men in the first place.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "You believe that God will give our minds an upgrade once we have been authenticated at eol?"

          No. I think our eyes will be opened.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          igaftr

          As opposed to your man-made concepts? I'm sure you imagine your concepts are superior. I get it.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Doris

          "No. I think our eyes will be opened."

          So you think God will give the organs we know as eyes added capability and he has made our brains ready to work with such an upgrade?

          May 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I think our knowledge is extremely limited about the universe and how it operates. Perhaps some day we will have a better understanding.

          I'm not saying our eyes will literally be opened. It is a figure of speech – something that human beings use to explain phenomenon that we don't have the literal words to give justice to the great meaning.

          May 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
    • Doris

      Of course most NT scholars agree that Peter 2 was not authored by Peter. Similarly no one really knows who authored Matthew, Mark and John. Some early apologists attributed some of the writings back then to Satan. I like to know who's hand is in the pot when it comes to writings that allege historical events. I mean, if all you're left with is hearsay, well, that's not really history.

      May 3, 2014 at 11:14 am |
  11. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Basically God wants that the sinner repents and lives. Therefore a Christian should not call for the punishment of any sinner too fast. It may be justified, if there is extreme hardness of heart (for example Bonhoeffer said that Hitler was impenitent, and therefore Bonhoeffer had supported his execution or as-sas-sination).

    Together with Jesus two evildoers were crucified. One of them became penitent in the last moments of his earthly life, and Jesus forgave him. Even extreme crimes can get forgiven.

    St. Paul had been a Jewish extremist who persecuted the Christian Church. Saul repented, God forgave him, and he became St. Paul, the apostle of the Lord.

    David murdered the husband of his later wife Bathsheba. Even this extreme wicked crime was forgiven when David repented.

    Moses was no murderer. The Egyptian he killed was himself an evildoer. As an Egyptian prince Mose had the right to execute the evildoer. There was noting to repent, and nothing to forgive.

    The Church is slow to judge, nevertheless Genesis 9: 6 is valid. Certainly, the authority can act according to this verse.

    Yet, a Christian or the Church doesn't consider only Genesis 9: 6 but also John 8: 1-11

    Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    and Luke 23: 39-43

    And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

    There are few people on earth never having harboured thoughts of revenge, after they had been treated unfairly by somebody. Everybody has got the potential to become a murderer. Let us thank God when he preserves us from doing evil. Let us be patient with the people having stumbled.

    Before the war criminals of the Third Reich were executed, they got opportunity to talk with a pastor. It is good when people who are sentenced to death get an opportunity to repent in the last moments of there life. The authoriy cannot be too patient, it isn't even her task, but the Church always seeks the salvation of the sinner.

    The beastly job of death penalty is accomplished by the authority. The supreme work of salvation is done by God himself and his Church. The Church should not talk about the issue of death penalty, but how she can save people.

    The work of the authority will mostly be done, but who leads people to salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ?

    Unique in history: Today nobody spreads the true gospel of Jesus Christ including the divine call sacramental baptism and the answer to this call discipleship. The born-gain-Christians reduce Jesus sacrifice to a mere atonement, therefore their faith is not more valuable than Catholicism or Islam. The born-again-gospel is false, and leads people to damnation because it provides a justification for their sins.

    Jesus died and rose for us. "My" special doctrine: Jesus sacrifice was more than an atonement. Jesus also died and resurrected in order to set us free. Through sacramental baptism we get connected with the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection. This was ever teached by the Christian Chuch. Sacramental baptism is the rebirth out of Water and Spirit. In Jesus we are able to overcome our selfish old nature. All religions save Christianity stuck in the sinful human flesh. That is their great fault.

    May 3, 2014 at 9:55 am |
    • bostontola

      Moses was clearly a murderer. He may have been forgiven by your God in the story, but by the bible's own definition, Moses was a murderer. At the time Moses killed that Egyptian, Moses had no special role as a judge or executioner. Of course in the story Moses was punished and not allowed to enter the promised land.

      Your flexible interpretation illustrates why biblical death penalty is immoral. Men, like you, will synthesize extenuating circu.mstances when they want to not apply the rule (which are not defined in the bible), and apply when they want. This immoral behavior is then wrapped in biblical 'interpretation' as you've done to make it feel moral. Your morality is inferior to the modern legal system, I'm thankful we don't live in a Christian theocracy.

      May 3, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • James XCIX

      Rainer – "Jesus also died and resurrected in order to set us free."

      The idea that he resurrected (he knew that he would, right?) seems to contradict the idea that his death was any sort of sacrifice. Also, it seems that he only sets free those who believe he was divine who also think about what his death and resurrection mean in the "correct" way. Pretty restrictive definition of "setting us free".

      May 3, 2014 at 10:16 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Basically he wants to set free everybody. Of course, it becomes effective only for those who believe.

        God will never violate our free will. God is the most meek and humble being which was, is and will ever be.

        Even someone who has experienced sacramental baptism, the rebirth, has to keep the faith: Day by day he or she should overcome his or her selfish ego through the releasing power of Jesus. Even a reborn man has still a free will, and only improves, if he wills it. Only if we keep the faith, we will get into heaven.

        May 3, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • James XCIX

          Doesn't seem like it was a very effective way of "setting people free" then, does it?

          May 3, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Why should he set free people who don't want to get set free? It is not his problem but theirs.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • James XCIX

          You say he wants to set everybody free. He's supposed to be all-powerful and all-knowing. Seems to me he could come up with a more effective way to accomplish what you say he wants.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          We all have a free personality. Regretably we are inclined to sin. Our deepest and truest self or core is sinful. Our will is also sinful. If God would change us by any automatical operation, that would mean the destruction of our personality. It would be a kind or murder.

          Through sacramental baptism we get set free from the compulsion to sin whereby our free will remains untouched. Only if we voluntarily grasp this blessing day by day, we will improve. We improve, if we daily submit our will to the will of Christ whom we received at baptism. Christ is our new life.

          ... fix in us thy humble dwelling.

          God has found a way to change us without violating our free will.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • James XCIX

          Rainer "that would mean the destruction of our personality. It would be a kind or murder."

          I agree that personality plays a role, and that some personalities are more inclined than others to have religious beliefs, and that some personalities latch on to particular aspects of particular religions. Your personality appears to be fairly rigid, perhaps fearful of the unknown, so there are certain aspects of the Christian religion that appeal to you and so seem "right" to you, while others find other aspects more appealing and therefore the "right" aspects on which to focus.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:04 am |
  12. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Basically God wants that the sinner repents and lives. Therefore a Christian should not call for the punishment of any sinner too fast. It may be justified, if there is extreme hardness of heart (for example Bonhoeffer said that Hitler was impenitent, and therefore Bonhoeffer had supported his execution or as-sas-sination).

    Together with Jesus two evildoers were crucified. One of them became penitent in the last moments of his earthly life, and Jesus forgave him. Even extreme crimes can get forgiven.

    St. Paul had been a Jewish extremist who persecuted the Christian Church. Saul repented, God forgave him, and he became St. Paul, the apostle of the Lord.

    David murdered the husband of his later wife Bathsheba. Even this extreme wicked crime was forgiven when David repented.

    Moses was no murderer. The Egyptian he killed was himself an evildoer. As an Egyptian prince Mose had the right to execute the evildoer. There was noting to repent, and nothing to forgive.

    The Church is slow to judge, nevertheless Genesis 9: 6 is valid. Certainly, the authority can act according to this verse.

    Yet, a Christian or the Church doesn't consider only Genesis 9: 6 but also John 8: 1-11

    Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    and Luke 23: 39-43

    And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

    There are few people on earth never having harboured thoughts of revenge, after they had been treated unfairly by somebody. Everybody has got the potential to become a murderer. Let us thank God when he preserves us from doing evil. Let us be patient with the people having stumbled.

    Before the war criminals of the Third Reich were executed, they got opportunity to talk with a pastor. It is good when people who are sentenced to death get an opportunity to repent in the last moments of there life. The authoriy cannot be too patient, it isn't even her task, but the Church always seeks the salvation of the sinner.

    The beastly job of death penalty is accomplished by the authority. The supreme work of salvation is done by God himself and his Church. The Church should not talk about the issue of death penalty, but how she can save people.

    The work of the authority will mostly be done, but who leads people to salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ?

    Unique in history: Today nobody spreads the true gospel of Jesus Christ including the divine call sacramental baptism and the answer to this call discipleship. The born-gain-Christians reduce Jesus sacrifice to a mere atonement, therefore their faith is not more valuable than Catholicism or Islam. The born-again-gospel is false, and leads people to damnation because it provides a justification for their sins.

    May 3, 2014 at 7:27 am |
    • bostontola

      Moses killed a man for beating another man, how is that not murder?

      May 3, 2014 at 8:00 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Moses was an Egyptian prince. Former times princes had got the right to judge.

        May 3, 2014 at 8:07 am |
        • bostontola

          That's nice, but by biblical law, it was murder.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:15 am |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          No, it was no murder. Moses had got a right to judge.

          May 3, 2014 at 8:26 am |
        • bostontola

          You mean Moses attained the right to murder. Your relative morality is showing...

          May 3, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • Reality

          Moses did not exist. Details previously presented.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No-one has the right to judge and in turn kill. If half of these biblical characters actually existed in the real world, they'd be sitting on death row themselves, including the god you hold so dear as being moral.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:42 am |
    • sam stone

      Rainy Fuhrersucker post long boring tripe again. How surprising

      May 3, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        And you keep on soliloquizing.

        May 3, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • Reality

          And you continue to proselytize your bigoted brand of Lutheranism.

          May 3, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • sam stone

          Rainy...you continue to preach your blather

          If you want to be with the savior, there are very fast ways to get there

          do you have a sidearm, or tall buildings where you live?

          you could have your head bobbing up and down in jeebus's lap in no time

          take the big step, rainy

          you are god's favorite, right?

          May 3, 2014 at 10:38 am |
  13. bostontola

    While I consider the bibles highly flawed (death penalty being one example), that doesn't mean I think them valueless. Much like Newton's Principia, it was state of the art when written. They contain many advances in justice and morality for the time. But also like Principia, while groundbreaking, the bibles lack the final answers and reveal human authorship via its flaws. While the bibles were a huge advancement at the time, thousands of years reveal the primitive morality, contradictions, and errors. That doesn't make me think less of the bibles any more than I would look down on Newton's achievements for its shortfalls.

    May 3, 2014 at 12:43 am |
    • Sungrazer

      The difference is that Newtonian physics was subsumed into, not discarded as a result of, Einsteinian physics. There is nothing original to the bible that we need to preserve.

      May 3, 2014 at 3:39 am |
      • bostontola

        I disagree. You take for granted many advances in the bible beyond Mesopotamian law.

        May 3, 2014 at 7:56 am |
        • James XCIX

          bostontola – "...many advances in the bible beyond Mesopotamian law."

          I'd be interested if you could elaborate on any laws that are based on Biblical ideas not also found elsewhere.

          May 3, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • bostontola

          James,
          Many of the laws are very similar. This is a pragmatic necessity. The big difference is in the philosophy behind justice.

          The Mesopotamian law was the King's law. He could apply it as he desired. The biblical law was above all man and so established the theory that the law must be applied to all people.

          The bible added a moral layer to legal application. The Mesopotamian laws were well defined but there was no theory on how to deal with human error in judgement. The bible set the standard that led to innocent until proven guilty. It established that it is better to let many guilty people free than punish 1 not guilty (found in the story of Abraham appealing to God to not kill any righteous people in a city God plans to destroy).

          The Mesopotamian law shows little respect for the value of human life. The penalties are brutal with limbs being severed, etc. biblical law establishes an advanced view of the value of an individual life.

          Biblical law also advances personal responsibility. Mesopotamian law allowed sons and daughters to be punished for the father's crimes (interesting that biblical God punished progeny, but didn't allow man to, man had to be more moral than God).

          So overall, the big difference is in how laws are administered and the value of individual people. Laws vary from society to society, but these philosophical differences can have much bigger impact on quality of life. I'm sure there are many other differences, but these are the ones I find resonant with what is important to me.

          May 3, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • James XCIX

          bostontola – Thanks for the elaboration.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
  14. Salero21

    The Lord Jesus called such as these [atheists] dogs, swine and wolves, Herod he called a Fox. Not surprising that atheist wants to save their own siblings (evolutionists/cultists/pagans/idolaters) from such JUST & Proper punishment.

    May 2, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Salero21:
      wanting to save others from the punishment they deserve sounds a lot like the Gospel to me.

      May 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Well Jesus was a bigot so I am not surprised.

      May 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2014: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      May 2, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Actually Jebus told you "Judge not, lest ye be judged". I see you think that doesn't apply to you.

      May 3, 2014 at 12:01 am |
      • saggyroy

        That sounds very judgemental.

        May 3, 2014 at 7:46 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Judge not lest ye be judged. It is your hell sally, and given how many commandments you break on a regular basis it is you who belongs there not us.

      May 3, 2014 at 7:45 am |
  15. rmk948

    Interesting that Mohler didn't address the National Academy of Sciences' report that up to 4% of those on Death Row might be innocent. Unfortunately, "beyond a reasonable doubt" doesn't really cut it when you're dealing with life and death rather than imprisonment. But then, believing in a god indicates that your critical thinking skills are not all that they might be.

    May 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "I believe that Christians should hope, pray and strive for a society in which the death penalty, rightly and rarely applied, would make moral sense."

      Dr. Mohler has to hope and pray because he knows that it isn't that way today and he doesn't want to do anything about it. It's all in God's hands, so he's just wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin' and wants he fellow judgmental evangelical Protestants to do the same thing.

      May 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'
      Plannin' and dreamin' each night if you care
      The wrong man won't go to the chair.

      So if you're lookin' to send juice to the chair
      All you gotta do is
      Blind him and hold him and strap him
      And show him you don't care

      Show him that you don't care for him
      Ignore any evidence
      Throw the switch just for him, 'cause
      You won't save him
      Thinkin' and a-prayin'
      Wishin' and hopin'

      May 2, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
  16. Doris

    Letting go of superstition

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceHh5khkXo

    Speakers in order of appearance:

    1. Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist
    2. Robert Coleman Richardson, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    3. Richard Feynman, World-Renowned Physicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    4. Simon Blackburn, Cambridge Professor of Philosophy
    5. Colin Blakemore, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Neuroscience
    6. Steven Pinker, World-Renowned Harvard Professor of Psychology
    7. Alan Guth, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Physics
    8. Noam Chomsky, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Linguistics
    9. Nicolaas Bloembergen, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    10. Peter Atkins, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Chemistry
    11. Oliver Sacks, World-Renowned Neurologist, Columbia University
    12. Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
    13. Sir John Gurdon, Pioneering Developmental Biologist, Cambridge
    14. Sir Bertrand Russell, World-Renowned Philosopher, Nobel Laureate
    15. Stephen Hawking, World-Renowned Cambridge Theoretical Physicist
    16. Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    17. Ned Block, NYU Professor of Philosophy
    18. Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    19. Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford Professor of Mathematics
    20. James Watson, Co-discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate
    21. Colin McGinn, Professor of Philosophy, Miami University
    22. Sir Patrick Bateson, Cambridge Professor of Ethology
    23. Sir David Attenborough, World-Renowned Broadcaster and Naturalist
    24. Martinus Veltman, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    25. Pascal Boyer, Professor of Anthropology
    26. Partha Dasgupta, Cambridge Professor of Economics
    27. AC Grayling, Birkbeck Professor of Philosophy
    28. Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    29. John Searle, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
    30. Brian Cox, Particle Physicist (Large Hadron Collider, CERN)
    31. Herbert Kroemer, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    32. Rebecca Goldstein, Professor of Philosophy
    33. Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, Colorado
    34. Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    35. Leonard Susskind, Stanford Professor of Theoretical Physics
    36. Quentin Skinner, Professor of History (Cambridge)
    37. Theodor W. Hänsch, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    38. Mark Balaguer, CSU Professor of Philosophy
    39. Richard Ernst, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    40. Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge Professor of Anthropology
    41. Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, Princeton Research Scientist
    42. Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate in Physics
    43. Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
    44. Lord Colin Renfrew, World-Renowned Archaeologist, Cambridge
    45. Carl Sagan, World-Renowned Astronomer
    46. Peter Singer, World-Renowned Bioethicist, Princeton
    47. Rudolph Marcus, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    48. Robert Foley, Cambridge Professor of Human Evolution
    49. Daniel Dennett, Tufts Professor of Philosophy
    50. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics

    FEATURED MUSIC:

    Mozart – Requiem Mass In D Minor K 626 – 1. Introitus 00:03
    Massive Attack – Two Rocks And A Cup Of Water 02:28, 19:14
    Max Richter – Embers 05:13
    Ludovico Einaudi – Andare 09:27, 24:30, 26:31
    Ludovico Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche 13:13
    Max Richter – Vladimir's Blues 29:21
    Ludovico Einaudi – Eni 30 Percento (The Earth Prelude) 33:16
    -.-

    May 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
    • Salero21

      Pro. 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

      May 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
      • Doris

        Maybe you can find a pull-string doll that can add some variety to your responses. On second thought, I've seen your posts long enough on here. I'm afraid there is no hope for such willful ignorance and boorishness, and parrot speech.

        May 2, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
  17. Salero21

    JAJAJA.... oops... Pardon ME... I meant to say HAHAHA. Atheists/evolutionists have a lot of problems with matters about Life & Death, they resemble roaches in dark room where the light has just been turned on.

    May 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Please don't feed the trolls!

      May 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
      • Salero21

        Speaking about yourself again huh!

        May 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
  18. bostontola

    Why Christians Should Support Slavery

    Leviticus 25:44-46:
    As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.

    Matthew 18:25:
    But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

    May 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
    • Salero21

      Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE [stupidity]. Christians ARE NOT under that Law, but under the Grace of God apart from the Law. Besides that this a NO NO completely unrelated to the subject matter.

      You can't be an atheist refuse and reject God and his Word one minute, then turn around and in another minute pretend to quote from that Word that you previously rejected and refused to believe. That only proves what I've been saying all along; that atheists are extreme hypocrites and compulsive Liars.

      May 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
      • bostontola

        Sucks when your own book hoists you by your petard, huh.

        May 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • Salero21

          In hoisted you by yours. Like I said, I'm NOT under that Law, though I'm not lawless. That Law however will Judge the Nations and the unbelievers [atheists] who refused to believe. Christians, the church is saved from that Judgment at the end because the believer has taken cover under the Grace. You are still under the Judgment of the Law, and the proof is that it is YOU who appeals to that Law.

          The Commandment of Gen. 9:6 however was given to all nations before the Law and the Covenant with Israel.

          So speak for yourself.

          May 2, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I see you have no clue when the Genesis was actually written.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:03 am |
      • rmk948

        Matt. 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." You Christians hate it when atheists know something about your own holy book.

        May 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • Salero21

          HAHAHA.. NO, NO you can't either come with that charlatans stuff of refusing, rejecting one minute what the Book says, then turn around the next minute pretending to quote from the Book.

          It's just unacceptable for the purpose of the discussion to Flip Flop like that. You either believe or you don't. If you don't then the God said your attempt to quote the Law is hypocritical an unacceptable. This is what the Book says on that respect: Ps. 50:16 But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes and to take My covenant in your mouth?

          May 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • Doris

          Blablero "You either believe or you don't. If you don't then the God said..."

          I would think if you don't believe, there is no God to say anything.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
        • Salero21

          @ Dorislera,

          Pro. 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • Doris

          @Blablero

          A boring troll should have grabbed more proverbs the last time they shopped at the Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • Akira

          Sal,
          Pro 15:12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
          He will not go to the wise.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • Akira

          Sal,
          Pro 15:21
          Folly is a joy to him who has no sense,
          but a man of understanding walks aright.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • new-man

          Yes, Jesus fulfilled the Law and He was the only person who was able to do so (i.e. keep all the Laws of Moses Perfectly). He did it because no one else could.

          The NT shows the 2 Ministries of Jesus.
          1. Prophecies about the New Covenant that's on its way.
          2. Burying people under the condemnation of the Law OR to put it another way to bury people under the hopelessness of self-righteousness: You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

          OR
          1.Jesus lived under the Law of Moses – "The Lord with a Sword" so to speak
          2. But He also came to establish the New Covenant – "Friendly neighborhood Jesus"

          As I've said elsewhere many people still don't know they're incapable of keeping the Law-10 and so they keep trying and falling into condemnation.
          The Law was not meant for you a gentile. The only covenant you have with God is the New Covenant. Wake Up!

          May 2, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          So Salero, only religionists can do Babble quotes ? You really are a troll of the first order.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • realbuckyball

          All made up nonsense new-but-very-older-man. Jebus said NOTHING about a "New covenant". How many times did the OT say THAT covenant would last *forever* ? Embarrassing isn't it that your god kept lying ?

          May 3, 2014 at 12:07 am |
      • Keith

        It seems that most Christians love pulling out the bible to condemn folks. He was only pointing out that your book is flawed. Perhaps if you were not a fundamentalist you could understand that the bible is not the infallible word of god but a collection of teaching stories that really do not belong together at all.

        May 4, 2014 at 9:16 am |
    • new-man

      Christians have only 1 covenant with God. This New Covenant is not a promise we made to God, but rather a promise between God and God – and this is what ensures the New Covenant will never be broken.

      For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

      And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

      For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

      When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.

      "This is not the 613 Laws. It is also not the law of Moses that's written in our hearts. Rather, it is the Law of Love that God has written in our hearts. Love others, even as I have loved you."
      The commands of God are not burdensome.

      For the Christian, it's Jesus or Nothing.... sorry all those laws that you and others keep going back to DOES NOT apply.

      May 2, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
      • Doris

        "new covenant"

        Translation: certain people were tired of waiting around for unanswered prophecy to be fulfilled and decided their god needed a makeover.

        May 2, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I'll tip my hat to the new const.itution
          Take a bow for the new revolution
          Smile and grin at the change all around
          Pick up my guitar and play
          Just like yesterday
          Then I'll get on my knees and pray
          We don't get fooled again
          Don't get fooled again
          No, no!

          Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

          Meet the new covenant
          Same as the old covenant

          May 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • Akira

          "And that, my friend," (puts on sunglasses) "...is why it's called interpretation."

          May 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
      • bostontola

        Jesus Fulfills the Law
        17"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.…

        May 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • Salero21

          That's why you and the nations are under the Judgment of that Law, NOT US but you. The believer has escaped that Judgment and Condemnation, that's what Salvation in the Gospel of Christ means.

          Psalm 50:16 But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes and to take My covenant in your mouth? You're HIGHLY DISQUALIFIED to take God's Word and his Law.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • new-man

          Yes, bostontola, Jesus fulfilled the Law and He was the only person who was able to do so (i.e. keep all the Laws of Moses Perfectly).
          This is the reason when you read the NT you see the 2 Ministries of Jesus.
          1. Prophecies about the New Covenant that's on its way.
          2. Burying people under the condemnation of the Law OR to put it another way to bury people under the hopelessness of self-righteousness: You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

          Jesus lived under the Law of Moses – "The Lord with a Sword" so to speak
          But He also came to establish the New Covenant – "Friendly neighborhood Jesus"

          As I've said elsewhere many people still don't know they're incapable of keeping the Law-10 and so they keep trying and falling into condemnation.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • new-man

          For those who like to argue against the Law and the need of the New Covenant, the Bible makes it clear that there was nothing wrong with the Old Covenant. The fault was with the people under the covenant, because they could not keep their end of the deal.
          Do you remember at Sinai, the people told God, "ALL that you command, we will do"
          Before Sinai, they were operating under grace. check for yourself. The things they did before Sinai and did not fall into punishment, they now fell into punishment because they choose to change their covenant with God. They wanted God to Bless them not because of God's grace and mercy but rather because of their good deeds. So they boasted in what they could do, even before they were given the 10 commandments.
          Does anyone see pride here?

          May 2, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • Doris

          newman: "The fault was with the people under the covenant, because they could not keep their end of the deal."

          Well of course you're not going to get people to join the new club without making them feel inferior and offering a very tempting prize.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • new-man

          Anyway, back to my point.
          The Law-10 is holy, perfect and good. There was nothing wrong with the Law, God found fault with the people under the law.
          and this was the rollercoaster of OT relationship with God under the law... sin then punishment, repentance then grace and mercy, and the cycle continued.

          Now, we get to celebrate something new, different, that the Book of Hebrew says is better. It's better because God could swear by no greater power, so he swore by Himself.
          And it is the unchangeableness of God Himself that secures for us this great and blessed and wonderful and awesome covenant.
          The covenant is about God and God, you are not even in the equation. You're a sleeping partner. you wake up as a beneficiary of a covenant you did not start, you did not maintain, nor did you sustain.

          As a gentile this is the only covenant you were called to. It's the New Covenant = Jesus or NOTHING AT ALL.

          credit:Andrew Farley.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • bostontola

          No matter how you twist it, your God, Yahweh, condones slavery. Your other God, Jesus, did not change that. The NT also regulated slavery.

          Your immoral God(s).

          May 3, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • realbuckyball

          But Salero, who never took a Bible course in his life think HE is "qualified". Hahahaha

          May 3, 2014 at 12:08 am |
    • Salero21

      All of that happened in Israel under the LAW. We Christians, the Church, we ARE NOT under the Law, we don't live by those law, those Laws were NOT given to us gentile believers of a NEW COVENANT of Grace apart from the Law. That OLD Pact was NOT for the church. And again this proves that atheists are extremely hypocritical and compulsive Liars. Slavery was rampant in the world for Millennia, seldom regulated as it was in Israel. Neither it was the same in any form, manner, shape or way like it was in the US or during the colonization period of new world after the discovery in 1492. Your Ignorance on the subject matter is Evident, and so is your extreme hypocrisy. In Israel slaves could purchase their freedom, they could be redeem by a relative and were to be set free after 7 years and every 50 years. Slavery in Israel, the one HEAVILY regulated by the Law was for reasons of Economics.

      May 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
      • Doris

        NEW COVENANT

        Translation: certain people were tired of waiting around for unanswered prophecy to be fulfilled and decided their god needed a makeover to go with the new club, open for business.

        May 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • Salero21

          Pro 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

          May 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        the Lord Jesus Christ never took a "bible course" either did he Sal? that's because His words ARE spirit and for you and i Sal a "bible course" is only administered by the Holy Spirit. However, for the spiritually dead, like this particular unregenerate, it's all foolishness just as the Lord decreed. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14

        May 3, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • awanderingscot

          It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT BY GOD.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. -John 6:45 (and they will not go to Him because they cannot hear His voice.)

          May 3, 2014 at 12:40 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Christians today who are actually fighting to end slavery > guys posting on blogs who troll Christians and do nothing to help those suffering from slavery today

      May 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
      • midwest rail

        "...and do nothing to help those suffering from slavery today"
        You cant possibly know that.

        May 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think most of those who spend incredible amounts of time during they day and night on belief blogs suggesting things like 'Christians should support slavery', probably don't do much to actually help those being harmed by slavery today.

          But, yea, I don't know that. But I do know Christians and others that actually do things to help those that are victimized. And none of them troll on message boards all day long.

          May 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Isn't it possible that any of their charitable giving winds up in the hands of those you mention actively aiding those in need ? In such a case, they would be helping those who are victimized.

          May 2, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sure, it is possible one can donate to a charity that helps others gain freedom from slavery.

          I know people that are Christian and are doing more than donating money and imagining it is helping those victimized by slavery. They are providing a way out and personally know the victims. They see the horrors that are happening in our own country first hand. To suggest they should be enslaving people is silly talk for people who probably aren't doing much on their own end.

          May 2, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "... people who probably aren't doing much on their own end."
          Back to your original assumption.

          May 2, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The guy seems to be always on here. I can't imagine he puts in the time and effort I've seen some Christians put in. But, yea, I might be wrong. I'm sure his suggestion that Christians should support slavery is based on sound reasoning. I'm the one out of line for noticing that there are probably Christians actually doing more than the guy who made that silly comment.

          May 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " I'm the one out of line for noticing that there are probably Christians actually doing more than the guy who made that silly comment."
          That was never said. But your passive-aggressive complaint is duly noted.

          May 2, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh, nice passive-aggressive comment on your part!It wasn't said, but implied. Yes I know it is possible he does as much as the Christians I know to fight slavery. But I have reasons to doubt that he actually does much.

          (We are all guilty of supporting slavery if we live like the typical American, we just don't see it.)

          http://slaveryfootprint.org/survey/#where_do_you_live

          May 2, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Honestly, I said it that way because I know from seeing you here often that you insist on having the last word. Have at it.

          May 2, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • Proverbs

          Should you be chastising someone when you yourself have been know to post from dawn til dawn? Or is it that this person seems to be an atheist that drives your gossiping tongue?

          May 3, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't believe he is an atheist. Atheists in general really don't bother me. I have been known to post too much, yes. There are better things I could be doing.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:50 am |
      • Proverbs

        Nice Aunt Sally you have built there, Dalahast.

        11:12
        He who belittles his neighbors lack sense,
        but a man of understanding remains silent.

        With one click of a mouse, a person can give more aid and comfort to those victims of slavery than all of your prideful condemnations of a fellow poster.

        29:11
        A fool gives full vent to his anger,
        but a wise man quietly holds it back.

        May 2, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          i didn't see anything prideful in what he said, but i do see pride in your dishonestly and inappropriately using scripture.

          May 3, 2014 at 12:17 am |
    • kermit4jc

      @Bostonian...terrible argument! You ripped Matthew 18 out of context...it was part of a PARABLE you fool! try to read what you post before you post it

      May 3, 2014 at 1:59 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Grow up froggy! You take things out of context all the time and never admit to your dishonesty. We read the bible at face value, you spin it to fit your crazy delusions to ensure in your own small mind that nothing breaks down the possibility of your imaginary friend being 'real' to you. Different interpretations from everywhere making the bible (book of fairy tales) seem even less plausible than it already comes across. Please actually read it at face value and join our side...it is the quickest way to disbelief. You're just an ignorant bigot who can't stand having his Holier Than Thou self proven wrong time and time and time again. Your dishonesty (pretending to know god exists) makes everything else you claim questionable!

        May 3, 2014 at 7:56 am |
  19. Lucretia

    Test

    May 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
  20. Lucretia

    Testing...

    May 2, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.