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The worst places in the world to be religious
Rohingya Muslim children at a refugee camp in Burma, where authorities have incited violence against them, according to the State Department.
May 15th, 2014
10:56 AM ET

The worst places in the world to be religious

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has tracked the world's worst abusers of religious rights. 

As the most recent report notes, it has never lacked for material. Persecutions of people of faith are rising across the globe.

Among the most worrying trends, according to the State Department, are "authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens’ ability to practice their religion."

In typically bland bureaucratic language, the State Department calls these "countries of particular concern." But the designation can come with some teeth.

Sudan, for example, where a Christian woman was sentenced to death this week for leaving Islam, is ineligible for some types of foreign aid.

In addition to Sudan, here are the State Department's "countries of particular concern." You might call them "The Worst Places in the World to Be Religious."

Burma: The Burmese government puts a stranglehold on every religion except Theravada Buddhism, says the State Department.

Some government officials even enticed non-Buddhists to convert, and Muslims in the state of Rakhine, particularly Rohingya Muslims, are subject to discrimination and lethal violence, according to the State Department.

China: "The government harassed, detained, arrested, or sentenced to prison a number of religious adherents for activities reportedly related to their religious beliefs and practice," the State Department says.

That includes jailing Uyghur Muslims, one of whom was sentenced to 10 years for "selling illegal religious material," and Catholic clergy who were arrested for not belonging to the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association.

That pales compared with the persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, according to the State Department, who suffered through "an intense official crackdown at monasteries and nunneries, resulting in the loss of life, arbitrary detentions, and torture." 

Eritrea: Just four religious groups are officially allowed to openly practice their faith in this African nation; the rest are subject to jailing or worse.

So if you're not an Eritrean Orthodox Christian, a Sunni Muslim, a Roman Catholic or an Evangelical Lutheran, life could be tough for you here. Harsh detentions for religious dissenters are the norm, according to the State Department.

Iran:  This Muslim-majority country's respect for religious rights has declined in recent years, according to the State Department.

"There were increased reports that the government charged religious and ethnic minorities with moharebeh (enmity against God), 'anti-Islamic propaganda,' or vague national security crimes for their religious activities," says the department's report.

The government has imprisoned numerous members of the Baha'i faith and Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor who has been physically and psychologically abused, according to the State Department.

Iran begins trial for U.S. pastor 

North Korea: Human rights groups provided numerous reports that members of underground churches were arrested, beaten, tortured or killed because of their religious beliefs, the State Department says.

The authoritarian nation has jailed as many as 200,000 political prisoners, according to the State Department, many on religious grounds. The country discourages any religious activity not sanctioned by officially recognized groups.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American reportedly accused of spreading Christianity in North Korea, was sentenced in 2013 to 15 years of hard labor.

Kenneth Bae worried about his health in North Korean camp

Saudi Arabia: The oil-rich monarchy doesn't even pretend to respect religious rights for any faith other than Islam.

Sunni Islam is the official religion, and the country's constitution is based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

The public practice of any other religion is prohibited, according to the State Department, and Arabian authorities beheaded a man in 2012 for engaging in "sorcery."

Sudan: This country has been on the State Department's naughty list since its inception in 1999.

Sudan penalizes blasphemy and conversion from Islam, sentencing a Christian woman whom judges say converted from Islam to death this week.

The country has also arrested and deported Western Christians suspected of spreading their faith, according to the State Department.

Christian woman in Sudan sentenced to death for her faith

The country's "morality police" require strict obedience to its interpretation of Islamic law, beating and stoning women accused of acting "indecently."

Uzbekistan: Technically, this country's laws respect religious rights.

But in practice, the Central Asian nation maintains strict control of its majority-Muslim population, according to the State Department.

"The government continued to imprison individuals based on charges of extremism; raid religious and social gatherings of unregistered and registered religious communities; confiscate and destroy religious literature, including holy books; and discourage minors from practicing their faith," the department said in its 2012 report. 

People jailed on charges of "religious extremism" have been beaten, tortured and even killed, according to the State Department.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Africa • Baha'i • China • Christianity • Church and state • Discrimination • Foreign policy • Interfaith issues • Iran • Islam • Islamic law • Middle East • Muslim • North Korea • Persecution • Prejudice • Religious violence • Saudi Arabia • Tibet • Tibet • Violence

soundoff (2,628 Responses)
  1. truthfollower01

    Do skeptics believe that something can come from nothing?

    May 21, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
    • observer

      truthfollower01,

      Do you mean like God coming from NOTHING and then creating EVERYTHING from NOTHING?

      May 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        As I have explained to you multiple times, God didn't "come" from anything. He has always existed.

        May 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Yep. You keep claiming that there was NOTHING but God and then he took NOTHING and made EVERYTHING.

          So you do believe that EVERYTHING could come from NOTHING.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          You can't "take" nothing for there isn't anything to take. "Nothing" has no properties. God has the power to speak the universe into existence.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          All that existed was God and NOTHING else and then you claim that God created EVERYTHING in the NOTHING with NOTHING to work with.

          You are arguing with yourself.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          If God has the power to speak the universe into existence, what's the problem? Also, remember that God is spirit.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          If you want to believe that things can be "poofed" into existence by speaking, that's your opinion. However, the irrationality of that position makes you look foolish when you try to claim that material could NOT have existed "forever" like God.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        If God is eternal, that means he always existed. He didn't come from nothing. There is no beginning and no end, unlike our realm we live in.

        May 21, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
        • hotairace

          If? Showing some doubt about your alleged but never proven god, are you? Perhaps you are capable of shedding your childish beliefs.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have plenty of doubts. And that is ok.

          I read in the Gospels Jesus' followers were filled with doubts, too.

          One was even nicknamed 'Doubting Thomas'.

          There is nothing childish about believing in God. I've seen men that have done great things. And they testified about their dependance and trust in God.

          I haven't witnessed anything great from you. In fact you just seem to enjoy seeking out Christians and posting snide comments at them.

          I'm going to believe the people I have witnessed do great things – who have shown me their beliefs are not childish.

          Anyway, doubt is ok. It is not like I haven't considered I could be wrong or what other options are available for me to believe in.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Ace,

          Do you believe that something can come from nothing?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • hotairace

          I don't know how the universe started or what happened before the Big Bang.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          The universe began at the Big Bang. As to before the Big Bang, "In the beginning God..." – Genesis 1:1

          May 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Ace,

          You didn't answer the question.

          Do you believe that something can come from nothing?

          It's a general question.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
        • hotairace

          Allegedly as claimed in genesis. . .

          May 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • hotairace

          If by nothing, you mean absolutely nothing, not some other form of energy or matter, then no, I do not believe something can come from nothing.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Okay, so it's good you adhere to this. If the universe and space-time itself came into existence at the Big Bang, where do you postulate the singularity came from? What would be on the other side of the Big Bang with the power to initiate such an act?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • hotairace

          We're back to don't know.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        If eternal is possible then why can't a multi-verse or pre-singularity energy be eternal?

        May 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Ken,

          Let's take the multiverse scenario (of which there is no evidence for at all. We've entered into metaphysics at this point). Are you postulating an infinite number of universes? Where did the pre-singularity energy come from? If it's eternal, what was it doing 'forever' in the past until it decided to create our universe?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
        • transframer

          Do you have a mathematical formula for this?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @transframer,

          Do I need one? I thought we were throwing out unsubstantiated conjectures.

          @truthfollower01

          Why is it metaphysics?
          Potentially infinite, sure.
          The energy has always been there, why? (since we are making stuff up)
          What was your supposed God doing before He decided to ‘speak the universe into existence’?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Ken,

          Why is it metaphysics?

          "Abstract theory or talk with no basis in reality"

          "Potentially infinite, sure."

          So if there is an infinite number if universes, then ours is just one of the infinite. That also means that there are an infinite number of universes just like ours and infinite number of alter egos to you in this infinite number of similar universes. Let's say hypothetically that you had toast for breakfast today in this universe. In one of the similar universes, your altar ego had eggs instead. In another, your altar ego had bacon. I hope you're starting to see a problem with the concept of an actual material infinite.

          "The energy has always been there, why? (since we are making stuff up)"

          You mean since you are making stuff up. However, this also has it's problems. What was the energy doing "forever" in the past before it created our universe? If it's eternal in the past, why didn't our universe come in and out of existence "forever" ago?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
        • transframer

          MidwestKen
          So if God is the same "unsubstantiated conjecture", why not God?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @truthfollower01,
          String theory and M theory are abstract, but aren’t considered metaphysics. Isn’t any theoretical physics hypothesis abstract at some point?

          “I hope you're starting to see a problem with the concept of an actual material infinite.”

          No, I don’t. Are you saying that there isn’t enough material for an infinite number of universes? Even with infinite material?

          “What was the energy doing "forever" in the past before it created our universe? If it's eternal in the past, why didn't our universe come in and out of existence "forever" ago?”

          1) the same issue applies to your God.
          2) the response I get about an alleged God is usually that time has no meaning, so “forever” is meaningless.
          3) Perhaps the energy has just been spitting out universes forever and finally got to us.
          take your pick.

          “You mean since you are making stuff up. “

          … and you’re basing your stuff on some solid evidence?

          May 21, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @transframer
          "So if God is the same "unsubstantiated conjecture", why not God?"

          One possibility for 'why not' is that an eternal energy or multiverse doesn't involve a highly complex eternal being for which there is no explanation, but simple energy and rules. Parsimony, mine's simpler.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
  2. Bootyfunk

    this article should be called the worst places in the world to be non-religious or a differing religion than is practice in those places. as long as you practice that particular country's religion, religion is acceptable and encouraged. even in north korea, practice Juche and you're fine.

    May 21, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
  3. kermit4jc

    @igaf ditto what Dala said.....you may say there is no evidence of spirit or soul....but then youre going back upon the wrong tools of science.....if there is no spirit or soul...we are just a product of evolution..then we liev in a pathetic reality where we "attempt" to place value on ourselves (usually by what others tell us we should be...look at high school life..people trying to prove their vbalue and worth to others who have such a high standard no one can attain it) and thus we kill ourselves in suicide

    May 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • Akira

      As a psychologist, how can you equate having a soul with peer pressure of high schoolers and suicide?

      May 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        people looking on the outside to gain approval for value and worth...all the while your value is cause yuo are a human..not your deeds....We have value cause god created us..and sent jesus to die for us...if we didnt have value..god would have given us up and thered be no one in heaven and all...God did not wait for us to make ourselves better.....He takes us as we are

        May 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • Akira

          That is a human trait, not a teenage one.

          Some people find their worth through Christianity, for instance.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I didnt say it wasnt....i was only using the teens as an exmaple..inm fact i pretty much implied it if not straightfoward in my post......I was after all talking of humans..as i said..teens in high school are a perfect example

          May 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..some do....my point is.....without a soul and all.....one can only look to the outside..and get it from other human sources.....we as Christians however get ours from within,..our soul..which was created by god....we have value because God created us...not cause of what he expects of us like humans do

          May 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • hotairace

          Bullsh!t!! We have value because we exist, no alleged but never proven god required. I know no atheist who has committed suicide. None of the atheists I know believe they have no value. They all live rich lives, again, with no gods required.

          You are making this crap up because *you* have phycological issues, that you are projecting on to atheists. Seek professional help, someone besides and more qualified than yourself.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          im not making it up..and its not bS....you seem to bne out of touch with reality..and let me ask you this..you know ever atheist in the world? I didnt think so...just cause none of YOUR atheists associates (friends relatives, etc) didnt do it..does not mean NO atheists does....and second..we are human...they all dont do it like you do..in placing value......sorry..but your value is placed on an EVOLVED human....and thus YOU have to place the value upon yourself..or let others do it for you....I seen it..i experienced it.....so maybe you should seek help and get in touch with the real world with whats happening out there

          May 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • Akira

          Well, I think comparing a soul to teen suicide and peer pressure isn't the best analogy; you didn't experience them yourself.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I didnot experience WHAT myself? and I wasnt making an anology..I was poionting out an EXAmpLE..not anaoogy

          May 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • Akira

          If we all possess a soul, by mere virtue of being human, I am unsure of the point you are trying to make.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I was connecting the soul and God..not merely being human with a soul..but one created by god

          May 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • hotairace

          What's happening out there is religion is in decline. Younger persons are figuring it out, that religion is a crock and that most likely, high probability, there are no gods. It's only a netter of time before believers are put in the same bucket as astrologists. There is no difference between astrology and your god delusions.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          wishful thinking on your part..andf this is NOT a popularity contest....young people are being lied to by folks like you..you never give them both sides..you give them one side and they really don't get to make a choice..we can give them both sides...and they can make a choice.....again so what if religion is on decline..not a popularity contest

          May 22, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • Akira

          Peer pressure and suicide. I'm I didn't make that clearer. Very similar to the Nigerian example that you thought was terrible.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          HUH??????

          May 22, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • Akira

          So nobody is actually born with a soul, it is given by God to certain people?

          May 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          where did I say it only is given to certain people?? its given to all..and they are born with it

          May 22, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • Akira

          And comparing things is an analogy.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          damn youre dense..I was nOT comparing..but giving EXAMPLE.....

          May 22, 2014 at 2:19 am |
        • Doris

          My soul has gone through a natural metamorphosis completely without the assistance of any deity.

          Franklin, Labelle, Redding and all the greats: vinyl –> tape–> mp3

          May 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • Doris

          Although I guess most of it was CD –> mp3.

          May 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • believerfred

          hotairace
          "Bullsh!t!! We have value because we exist"
          =>Kermit4jc is right on this one. In the absence of an eternal record or account there will be a point where all evidence of your existence is non existent thus any value you think you may have will approach zero as a function of time and space which limits our boundaries.
          Given your belief is naturalism then by your own belief your value is not a function of who you are what you have accomplished but simply a change in states of matter and energy over time. Everything else you may think as to value is made up justification for a belief that conflicts with your evolved awareness that retains thousands of years of understanding that purpose is greater than the physical self.

          May 21, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • Doris

          What a bunch of unnecessary mental rubbish, fred. With all of those gymnastics you are simply defining "value" according to your belief, whereas others have different definition according to theirs (or according to their lack of beliefs). In either case there are presuppositions.

          May 21, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • Akira

          We all have value because we exist; there is just disagreement as to who created us.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doris
          I did not mention anything relative to the value of existence in terms of a purpose onto God.
          You are wrong as HotAirAce and anyone that believes naturalism encompasses existence is limited to states of change in matter and energy as totality of purpose for existence. There is no alternative but to walk away from that belief and adopt another belief that allows possible alternative purposes (that includes purposelessness or value).
          One cannot for example believe in God and claim naturalism at the same time. One cannot claim natural selection and other evolutionary processes from origin to now to be void of agency with intent then suddenly assign value contrary to existence without purpose. Put another way the value of modern man and primates limited by the closed system of processes must be the same. This can be extended beyond primates to include all organic matter that responds to chemical stimuli.
          The robots we build today do not have any more value than that assigned to them by the intelligence and world in which they were created. Absent agency with intent or purpose there would be no robots or value in them. Naturalism claims there is no agency thus there can be no value. In order to justify this position naturalism must claim a form of causation without agency exists but simply has not been found yet.
          You guys are looking for God you just cannot admit it.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • believerfred

          Akira
          "We all have value because we exist; there is just disagreement as to who created us."
          =>who implies agency as does the notion of created. Who do you believe was involved?

          May 21, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • Doris

          You just did it again, fred.

          "No value". What do you mean by no value? Maybe if you explain that openly, you'll see that people don't see that term the way you do.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:25 am |
        • believerfred

          Doris
          Value is the worth of something. Typically it is good that people value one another and help increase the value of all others never marginalizing but bringing about the worth in others. To meat eaters cows have a different kind of value. Value is assigned to the known natural things in our universe.
          If one believes existence is limited to the known natural things in our universe then value is limited to the known natural things of our universe. Natural process dictate change in the states of the matter and energy thus any and all value is dependent on the process and confined within the natural. Catastrophic events will happen and when mankind is wiped out all associated value goes with it. Eventually in the natural you have no value past, present or future.
          This cannot be so the atheist makes up value of existence because their belief cannot allow for it.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doris
          The story of the serpent in the garden explains this as the current world we live in. Man turned away from what God created and fell for the deception of the serpent. Desire for anything other than God was symbolized in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The natural is all we know or can know when we turn away from God. That existence leads to death and is death because it has no value outside of its own desire. This is the reality of value which is the deception of the godless.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred...if god was supposedly omnipotent and omniscient, did he not know his initially creation would fail? No contingency plan built into the creation? This is where the absolute fail of belief in your god comes from. Or....it could be just part of the fairy tale written by men to help explain our existence to the rest of the goat herders. I'm going with option 2.

          May 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          It could be a fairy tail, but it is unlikely that 90+% of mankind since existence going back tens of thousands of years would worship deity as expression of awareness of something greater than self. I can be misdirected as shown in North Korea and some even worshiped fairies. I am one of those that can sense there is something more than and greater than I can get my brain around. Non existence is not possible philosophically or scientifically. 90+% today stick something in as a place card holder for non existence which cannot be. Atheists sometimes claim "I don't know" is a valid card holder but that is a lie. If you are an atheist tell me what happens to your presence when your current matter changes state.

          May 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred.... "I don't know" certainly is an acceptable answer. It is much more preferable than making something up. When people just 600 years ago were asked what would happen if they sailed to the edge of the earth, wouldn't "I don't know" have been a much better answer than "you'll fall off"?

          And....please tell me how non-existence is not possible scientifically? Don't tell me only you have discovered every scientific possibility for everything on this planet.

          May 22, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "if god was supposedly omnipotent and omniscient, did he not know his initially creation would fail?"
          =>Your error is based on your view of God. Without going into great detail if God created time and space as we know it then technically God would preexist without the constraints of our known time and space. Past, present and future is a sequencing of periods that are part of who we are but not part of what God is. As C.S. Lewis said our entire universe existence is a small pencil line on an eternal landscape extending infinitely. God is eternal and is not limited to seeing us fail down the road or knowing we would fail or have failed as these are linear timelines of our existence.

          God is revealed through creation itself and creation is not a contingency plan for our failure it is the plan itself. "In the beginning God created" is how it begins and in the end of days we see God creates a new heaven and earth. God is creator and creation is existence as we know it. "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. Now, the earth was formless and the spirit of God hovered over the dark waters. God said let there be light and there was light which separated the darkness". Take note God created then again God brings about a regeneration of what was created beginning with separation of light and dark (symbolic good and evil). Mankind (Adam and Eve) reject the separate perfect garden created and desire knowledge of good and evil (tree)......bang they are separated from the Garden of Eden. Jesus the light of man is the way back into that perfect goodness, that Garden, that creation where there is no darkness. It was a done deal before man ever was since the tree of life (eternal life) was in the Garden alongside the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Read the first 3 chapters of Genesis its all there and done as after creation God rested.

          May 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred...,no offense, but that was a lot of words to tap dance over my question. It's really a yes or no answer as to the question of didn't god know his creation would fail.

          The second question was to the effect of: since your god knows everything, why would he create man with such obvious flaws?

          And....while I'm at it, Jesus supposedly saving mankind was a miserable failure. Only about 30% of the world believes in your god. If I got below 70% in school, I would have gotten an 'F'.

          May 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • Doris

          fred: "Value is the worth of something."

          Worth to whom?

          May 22, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The best thing about gods is that believers can make up whatever they want and not provide any evidence, because apparently belief in gods is exempt from the logic, reason and the requirement of proof that we demand for everything else in our lives.

          May 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • believerfred

          gulliblenomore
          "I don't know" certainly is an acceptable answer.
          =>are you saying you don't know what happens when your organic matter changes state? Seriously, you have not reached a conclusion. Even Neanderthal made provisions for the unknown.
          =>They may have had doubt as we all do, but they believed they would find a passage before they set sail and had a plan. Certainly you are more knowledgeable then they were.

          "And....please tell me how non-existence is not possible scientifically?"
          =>Science has never discovered anything that did not already exist. What ever could possibly exist exists even though it is undiscovered or not previously created. There is only existence there is no such thing as nothing.

          May 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fred.... I have never seen anybody twist words around as much as you do while at the same time trying to make the questioner look foolish. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I am not that stupid.

          Neanderthals (and all other theists) felt the need to create a comforting father figure in order to answer some of life's more difficult unanswered questions. I have no such need. Until I have further proof. (Other than your say-so), I contend that you are worm food when you die. Your brain patterns are exactly what they were prior to your birth. There is no proof of any life after death.

          And....in1491, science believed the earth to be flat. Just because science has not discovered (to your liking) where matter came from does not mean that the answer does not exist. And, it certainly does not give you the right to proclaim 'some god did it), like the Neanderthals did. You certainly must be smarter than them, right?

          May 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...that was a lot of words to tap dance over my question"
          fred is an expert at that brand of evasion.

          May 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I have read Genesis many times so I see the allegory story of Adam and Eve for what it was. There was never a tree of knowledge and there never was a tree of life in some garden. The story only makes sense as a fictional creation myth just like the Egyptian one Moses learned before he wrote this new one in Genesis.

          "In the beginning there was only the swirling watery chaos, called Nu. Out of these chaotic waters rose Atum, the sun god of the city of Heliopolis. It is believed that he created himself, using his thoughts and will. In the watery chaos, Atum found no place on which to stand. In the place where he first appeared, he created a hill." egyptartsite.com

          Notice how Moses wove the flood myth he was taught of "Atum" in with the story of Adam and then created a lineage all the way back to "Adam" for his new people for he understood that to lead a people they would require some common cause. Moses brilliantly used the common cause of being the first humans direct decendant which set up the "chosen people" belief which enabled Moses to righteously claim that the lands to the north east were promised" to them so anyone living there was the invader and "alien resident".

          Don't get me wrong, I applaud Moses for his creativity. I just think it sucks that it had such long lasting effects.

          May 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doris
          "Value is the worth of something."Worth to whom?
          =>to the godless value is in the eye of the beholder which is limited by natural processes.
          =>to the Christian value is in the eye of the beholder who has eternal value in Christ.

          May 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          midwest rail
          sorry, lost your question what is it?

          May 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          Genesis 2:9 "In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

          May 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          The flood story is amazing if not divine in how such few words capture the entire plan of creation and purpose of God. Just as Moses challenged the pharaoh with the word of God so too he challenged all the key disciplines of science with the word of God in the flood story.

          May 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • tallulah131

          There is no archeological evidence to back up the "Exodus" story. There wasn't a significant population of Jewish slaves in Egypt, therefore no need to free them.

          http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/the-jewish-thinker/were-jews-ever-really-slaves-in-egypt-or-is-passover-a-myth-1.420844

          If Moses challenged anyone, it wasn't the Pharaoh. Indeed, the question here is did Moses exist at all beyond legend?

          May 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Dalahäst

    Colin –

    "Dalahast, perhaps the best way for you to put your rambling pontifications about atheists in context "

    "think how vacuous and boring you would find it to hear a modern Inca descendant drone on analyzing you and why you don't believe in Pachacamac."

    Why do you talk so much about why you don't believe in Jesus?

    You go on and on about it.

    You demean me for questioning you – who "drones on analyzing me and telling me why he doesn't believe in Jesus."

    Isn't that hypocrisy?

    It is. Plain and simple hypocrisy. Is being hypocritical one of the ideals you cherish, or do you see it as a defect and would you rather rise above it?

    May 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Doris

      A lot of people talk about how much they hate spam. I think if I saw people constantly looking at spam from kings of Nigeria and saying that it's legit, I would feel compelled to get short with them and tell them to stop wasting their time. But I understand it must be difficult to let go of certain kinds of spam.

      May 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Right. It would be silly of me to say I hate spammers, yet seek them out constantly, daily and routinely.

        May 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "He was really into exercise, so he religiously went to the gym.

          He really disliked talk of God, so he religiously posted on faith and belief blogs. (That one is kind of ironic. And funny!)

          He was very religious in what he believed and did."

          May 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Whoops, wrong place. Sowwy.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I think Doris hit the nail on the head. When I received Nigerian spam mail I went online to see what others were saying about the phenomenon. If what I saw was a bunch of people saying they totally support it and have sent their money already and know they will get a huge return someday, even though they haven't been paid a cent yet, I would first laugh thinking them a joke, then I would start to relay to them real world facts to discredit their belief in hope they will see it for the scam it is. The third stage is disbelief where I shake my head not sure how someone who has been given so many details of the scam and shown how the scam works but still have people saying "Well, I've invested so much, to give up on it now means I might not get the million dollars!" to which I try to calmly reply "THERE IS NO FVCKING MILLION DOLLARS!" and that is of course when I get the "stop shouting, why are you getting so worked up over something you didn't buy into? Why do you even come to this Nigerian investments website?"

          May 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, but Colin is saying to me:

          Why do you question atheists about not believing in Jesus?

          Which I don't do.

          He then provided and example that illustrated what he actually does on this blog – yet tried to say that is what I do.

          I'm seeing "spammers" say things like – belief in God is delusional, brainwashing and infantile.

          And I say, no it isn't. Look at some of the good people that believe in God. Not just the bad examples you provide.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Terrible analogy...since you did not experience it for yourself..I didn't come to believe God cause some person told me

          May 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • sam stone

          wow, kermy, no one told you about god, but you figured it up on your own?

          pretty impressive

          May 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I said no one human PROVED God to me....my pastors, my friends..NOONE proved God to me....

          May 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
  5. kermit4jc

    im not against science at all..Im all for most of it....the thing is..many, like ou, have made scince to be their god...and science only in their life...thus you put yourself in a box..and all you depend on now is science and nothing more......

    May 21, 2014 at 9:50 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      Kermit....I have no desire nor need for any god at all, especially yours (he seems way too needy for my taste). I trust science, though, as it rarely lets me down (one of my TV remotes stopped working the other day). I deal only in reality, nothing more or less. If you can show me something is real, I'm there. Otherwise, it is pure speculation.

      May 21, 2014 at 9:57 am |
      • kermit4jc

        MY God isn't needy..so please refrain from that..since you apparently do not know MY God ok? I can accept you saying that a god you heard of is needy....as for science... and all..did I say anything else is God? how about plain ole living? I mean...is scince all you live for? science gives you ALl the answers? (yes..I don't get Ll answers from God, if I did Id be omniscient as well) I just don't go living my life with one ideal..I love sciences...but its not all my life....there is more to life than that....step outside the box....

        May 21, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I always find it hilarious when a Christian tries to tell someone else to be open minded.

          You don't have to live for science, just live for reality, don't let this life pass you by while you were so busy worrying about the next one.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          NBHA....I just wrote him that same thing! Imagine, a 2000 year old book follower telling anybody to think outside the box!

          May 21, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I don't worry about the next one..and even the Bible tells us we have an abundant life here while we are here...nowhere does the Bible hint that we should worry about the next life....IM living life to the fullest here

          May 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BTW I do have an open mind...its good to have an open mind..however..one need to be careful not to be too opened minded your brains fall out....

          May 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...if your god is the god of the bible, he is extremely needy. If that is not your god, then I apologize for assuming. You keep saying that science is all I live for, and that is just not correct! I actually live for my wife's b.oobs, but even that is not all I live for. And for someone that follows a book of rules, you have a lot if nerve making the 'think outside the box' reference. No Christian I ever heard of thinks outside the box!

          May 21, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I think outside the box by believing there is a God..I love sciences..but itsnot my whole life..as for the Bible God.he is not needy..thats a misunderstanding on your part.....

          May 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit.....I have to disagree. I think outside the box by not believing there is a god....based on the fact that there is no proof if such a deity. You are just following the bible readers club and remaining hidden in your box because of the guidelines set up for you which does all your thinking for you. And sorry....your god is quite needy. He requires constant adoration and sets aside an entire day each week specifically for you to praise him. That is pretty needy if you ask me

          May 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IM sorry..butthat is NOT God NEEDiNG worship.....God deserves iut cause WHO He is..NOT cause he FEEL needy......you got it all backwards..He set aside a time for US to do so..to assist in our schedule..but anyhow..I dontworship Himon SUndays only..I worship Him in everything I do..day in and day out....that's not needy..beasides..I WANT to worship God..not cause he needs it, I cannot help BUT to worship God..when I se He is holy and all

          May 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you see him as holy, I see him as needy and useless (and non-existent, really). Difference of opinion...

          May 21, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • kudlak

          There are other things besides science that give understanding besides religion. Poetry, art, philosophy, music, sports and a host of other things all help shape our understanding of the world. One can easily appreciate the universe beyond what science can tell us without believing in supernatural forces.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Poetry, art, philosophy, music and sports can be part of a religion. They are not really something completely separate.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          That's an odd statement. Are you claiming they are inseperable?
          Because I don't think anyone said they were mutually exclusive.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, not inseparable.

          Ideas about the purpose and meanings of life – which some religions address – often use poetic, musical and literary means to express them. The messages are intended for people – imperfect, imaginative, and often illogical beings.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • fintronics

          @kerm... "....there is more to life than that....step outside the box...."

          Step outside the narrow minded bigoted box which is your BIBLE.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I do...I love sciences, I do photography, I work, I study always things pertaining to psychology etc etc. BTW my Bible isn't bigoted....

          May 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • fintronics

          Yea, your bible is certainly bigoted.... very many examples right there in your book of nasty mythology.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NO examples inside the bible..only in your wild imagination that doesn't really know the Bible

          May 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • fintronics

          " Imagine, a 2000 year old book follower telling anybody to think outside the box!"

          That's what called "irony"

          May 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Fin....in later posts, he actually claimed that believing in god was thinking outside the box, not even realizing that the bible is the box he is trapped in.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          AGAIN thinking outside the box....be different from the surrounding society

          May 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Uh Kermit....most of surrounding society thinks like you. It is I that am thinking outside the box.

          May 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          uh.I said like from the Bible..not me..IM ont the Bible..and not all who profess to be Christians do....they think abortion is ok (prophibted by the Bible) they think white lies are ok (prohibited by the Bible) they think that gay marriage is ok (prohibited by the Bible) sorry Charlie..it snot a majority...I still go by the Bible...many so called Christians dont

          May 23, 2014 at 2:01 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit.....anybody, and that includes you, is completely out of touch with reality. Oh....and, not really following the bible. Only the parts they want to. It says in the bible....plain and simple (NO CONTEXT AT ALL), that shellfish are an abomination, that men that wear blended shirts are destined for stoning, and that adulterers should be stoned to death. I'm pretty sure you have eaten shrimp, wore a cotton poly-blend shirt, and know one or two adulterers that you haven't bothered stoning to death. Those that cherry pick what they do from the bible just because they want to are classic dolts. Please don't bother me with any of that BS about context....because that is all it is....BS. You couldn't be more plain that what was said in Leviticus. You have absolutely no explanation for why you follow everything but that, so don't even try.

          May 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          u ever consider the CONTEXT of CEREMONIAL laws? it talks about "being clean" clean for what? the Tenple ceremonies...do we go to the Temple anymore???????? no....so you lose.....you don't know context..context is not always right in the same passage..if I am wrong....then show Scripture (you wont be able to cause thereis none to prove it wrong) oh yeah..you might mention Jesus saying he hasn't changed it.....yeah..He FULLFILLED it....thus we ARE to be ceremonially clean..but on the INSIDE..thats what JESUS talked about....

          May 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....of course, you did not address my point that Leviticus is absolutely clear...no context needed. And yet, you just decided you will go ahead and eat shrimp anyway. No context, just crystal clear language. And, if you are proposing that you can use context to change the meaning of the bible just because you don't like it, then I agree. That is exactly what you guys like to do. Gee, it happened 2000 years ago, so what it really means now is......I just don't understand you bible thumpers....never will, I guess.

          May 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I GAVE you context..you gave nada I told you it was a ceremonial law...read REST of the BIble...context does NOT ALWAYS show up in the very passage.....

          May 23, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...so you are saying, with context, we can make the bible mean whatever we want? Cool! I'm going to use context in John 3:16 and make it mean that there is no god, because that is what the context means to me....

          I call BS on the entire bible.....no substantial meaning because god was apparently too stupid to think that there were going to be people in future times that needed to know just what the fvck he was talking about.

          May 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          HOW do you ever survived this far..apparently you have no idea what context means....so tell me..how did you survive this long and understand anyone? JOhn 3:16 example was stupid and showed nothing..I GAVE you context...you didn't give context for John 3 at all.....silly cant argue worth a lick and you say something about the Bible....and God being too busy to think that people needed to know what he is talking about/ man again you are so ignorant of comunicatikon skills....YOU are too lazy to do any actual study as well....by the answers you gave..God EXPECTS us to STUDY to get to know what he is saying..of course cause YOU and I do NOT speak Hebrew nor Greek..YOU and I did nOT live back in the times the Bible was written..YOU and I did NOT live in the same culture...GOD expects that we USE OUR BRAINS that He gave us and lok into it..apparently you seem to forgotten how to use yours

          May 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you are an idiot, you capitalize words like a 5th grader, and your argument is always the same....context, which is of course, total BS. I really don't enjoy having discussions with you at all, because you are the least Christian person on this site with your ignorant and pompous att-itudes. I refuse to have discussions with you anymore as I suspect that not only are you an azzhole, but probably a little nuts too. Have a good life.....

          May 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..ok..I get it..you don't like context......I still wonder how you survive in your communication then without context ..seriously.....what have you got against context?

          May 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you are theone not agreeing to what the Bible is referring to..you know nothing abou the different types of laws contained in the Bible..to You alllaws arfe same...but you are pretty ignorant..there are case laws, civil laws, dietary laws ceremonial laws..etc etc...they are ALl different and have different useages...I do NOT apply building code laws on people driving in traffic do I? no! so there ARE differences...you never gave anything

          May 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....for a moron like you, that actually believes that a 600 year old guy loaded 2 of every species of animal on a wooden boat and floated around in it for a year calling anybody ignorant is a true laugh fest! Coming from you, I'm going to take it as a compliment, as personally, I think all you creationists are more full of c-rap than just about anybody on this planet.

          May 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I take it you concedenow huh? you couldn't bnack up your argument..so you had to go off topic and talk of Noah instead....I will take your conceding

          May 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Yes....I concede I am wasting my time arguing with an idiot....done now.

          May 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          That last reply should have read.....anybody, and that includes you, that follows the bible word for word, are out of touch with reality.

          May 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..to THINK outside the box..NOT be like the surrounding society

          May 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "..butt hat is NOT God "

          I agree.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Poetry, art, philosophy, music and sports can be part of a religion."

          And religion can be part of poetry, art, philosophy, music and sports. Especially sports, when you take into consideration all the superst.ition involved and football, which is pretty much a religion onto itself.

          The problem with poetic, musical and literary means as a way of expressing ideas is that they are so imprecise when it comes to determining meaning. Maybe that's why so few law books are written in rhyme? One of my bibles is written without columns, showing the correct poetic format. It's amazing just how much of it is poetry, something that you don't get to fully appreciate in the typical text.

          You'd think that a being intent upon communicating with people would choose a better means, wouldn't you? Instead, we have books written in mostly dead languages, to people living in an ancient culture that's pretty much only referenced by these books. How anyone can claim to have an exact knowledge of the context and meaning of what is written seems unlikely to me.

          May 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If the measurable / observable universe is the box in which my beliefs lie, then I can certainly imagine all kinds of things that may exist outside of that box, including gods. I'm willing to think about these possibilities, but the time to actually start believing in them is when they come to fit the box.

          Now, what you believe forms a giant, God-shaped box, correct? The question is, can you think outside of that box?

          May 22, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          Abortion is NEVER mentioned in the bible, although God does seem to give a prescription on how to cause one.

          It's unlikely that any Christian in the US supports God's wacky ideas on marriage.

          May 23, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • kermit4jc

          whwhacky ideas of marriage...a union between male and female..that is whacky? as for abortion..the Bible states clearly the unborn is life and precious....a woman who is hit in the stomach and baby dies..the person who hits her is to be executed......hmmm...abortion is the willfull murder of a baby inside the womb..so indirectly it is prohibited by the Bible...sorry charlie

          May 23, 2014 at 2:14 am |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          God's wacky ideas for marriage include FORCING it on people who might even hate each other. Some people are PROHIBITED from divorce no matter how bad they are treated. And most horribly of all, r@pe victims are required to marry their rapist and NEVER divorce. Absolutely BARBARIC and INHUMANE.

          May 23, 2014 at 2:30 am |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "Jesus saying he hasn't changed it.....yeah..He FULLFILLED it."

          That's in verse 17, but he then goes on to say:

          "18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

          You're right, context is important.

          May 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          right..itisn not relaxed as I told you....the context of Jesus referring to the inside (spirit) shows thst we stillneed to be ceremonially clean..and eating shellfish or avoiding it wont make a difference....your spirit don't eat food

          May 23, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • Doris

          gulliblenomore: "...I am wasting my time arguing with an idiot...."

          This just may be the closest thing to an objective truth that I've encountered. If truthfollower were to argue it, I'm not sure I could find a way around it.

          May 23, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
      • observer

        kermit4jc

        "a woman who is hit in the stomach and baby dies..the person who hits her is to be executed......"

        Wrong. If SHE isn't hurt badly, the penalty is a FINE. In other words, the fetus is NOT like a PERSON where it's "an eye for an eye".

        May 23, 2014 at 2:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          u..YOU need to read it all..Exodus 21 22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. there it is.....if the baby is dead or seriously injured...the person is to be killed

          May 23, 2014 at 2:44 am |
        • observer

          22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. 23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

          May 23, 2014 at 2:48 am |
        • kermit4jc

          the word for miscarriage is incorrect..since even in the CONTEXT of what YOU posted..shows that ....READ your own post...the "miscarriage" is premature birth..notice if there IS a death...then life for life notice it says if any harm comes....to the baby....look it up for yourself..in fact check out this Hebrew word yâtsâ'

          May 23, 2014 at 2:52 am |
        • kermit4jc

          this is where a good concordance and Hebrew dictionary comes in use for people like you who don't really study the Bible

          May 23, 2014 at 2:53 am |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          It's always good to hear from a blogger who thinks he knows more that the scholars who translated the Bible. Maybe you can get a job for the next translation.

          The currently best selling Bible, NIV, notes that MISCARRIAGE is the case too.

          May 23, 2014 at 2:59 am |
        • kermit4jc

          not all versions say miscarriage..again look up the Hebrew word that I gave you..it is nOT me that brought this up...but OTHER scholars.......so I don't know more than the Bible scholars.....nice try..and again the CONTEXT showed that the word miscarriage was even wrong.....read it again

          May 23, 2014 at 3:01 am |
        • kermit4jc

          OH..and I GAVE YOU the NIV version when I posted it..here is the KJV version Exo 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
          Exo 21:23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

          May 23, 2014 at 3:02 am |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          Since you claim that the world's best selling Bible contains errors, which is the ONE TRUE BIBLE? Answer please.

          The "context" for the "miscarriage" versions show that the person is to be killed if he KILLS the mother, too.

          May 23, 2014 at 3:04 am |
        • observer

          kermit4jc

          "OH..and I GAVE YOU the NIV version'

          Check the footnote on BibleGateway dot com.

          May 23, 2014 at 3:06 am |
    • kudlak

      kermit4jc
      Yet, science has dependably replaced a great many "supernatural" explanations, where no supernatural explanation has yet proven to be the correct one. In what do you place your confidence in the supernatural then?

      May 21, 2014 at 10:13 am |
      • kermit4jc

        clarify fore example what it has replaced? Give two or three..not a long list

        May 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • igaftr

          dieseases are not caused by demons, they are caused by germs ( of course germ thoery is only a scientific theory with huge amounts of data backing it up, but since it is only a theory , you probably don't believe it)

          Swamp lights, otherwise known as will-o wisps, are not disembodied spitirs, they are the product of swamp gases.

          Prayer has been found to have no greater effect than random occurances, dismissing the supernatural effect of prayer.

          Volcanic eruptions are caused huge amounts of energy building up beneath the earths surface, not by gods angry with the local populace.

          a few examples of science dismissing ridiculous religious superst!tions with reality.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          first of all..nowhere does Bible say diseases are caused by dmons..second...nowhere does the bible say God didn't do it on his own without volcanoes, etc...third,,you seem to be out of ignorance on the prayer...it is never been shown to NOT be effective....those who say such are merely pointing to some studies which are not definitive either way, then you do as you accuse us...by making an excuse 9we say the beginning of the universe is not found, so it must be God)...in same fashion you accuse us of that..you do yourselves....

          May 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          Going off topic aren't you? The question is where did science dismiss supernatural belief. You defend by saying the bible doesn't say that. That was not a restricition on the question.

          Science has dismissed the myth of Noah, and Jonah for two BIBLICAL examples.

          Humans make up beliefs all the time. I have a friend who, everytime his team is kicking a field goal, he gets up and spins around three times. When they miss, he thinks he didn't do it right, when they make the point, he believes he had something to do with it. People carry lucky rabbits feet, four leaf clovers, believe some of the most ridiculous things...and many of these types of belief were written into your bible.

          You claim to have psychology training, yet you seem to not know some of the basic traits of human thought...odd.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I knowthe basic trait..but as FAR as I was concnerned..I was nOT going off topic..YOu claimed scinnce disproved some Christian (Biblical ) stuff......or so it seemed to me......science ha nOT dismissed Noah and Jonah..again science does NOT deal with supernatural..like God....science can NOT prove nor disprove God.....supernatural events are not proved or disproved by science..try again

          May 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @kermit4jc,
          " CONCLUSIONS: Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications"

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16569567/

          May 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          So now, from asking what supernatural things have been debunked by science, YOU then narrowed it to bible, I gave you bible examples that have been proven false, and then you re-narrow down to just god....

          Would you like to get back on track?

          May 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          maybe you should read again my post..I did not narrow it down to God....I addressed Jonah and Noah..miracles.....which are neither proven nor disproven by science...thus your argument fails

          May 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • igaftr

          yes kermit, I now YOU don't accept the mountains of evidence proving those myths never happened, but rational people do. They have both been destroyed by reality, and are absolutely myths. You wanted to know what has been proven wrong, I gave you the answers, it is simply unfortunate you cannot distinguish your belief from reality, but I answered your question...you just won't accept the reality of the answer.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          they have nOT been proven wrong..HOW can you prove miracles wrong? And don't imply IM not rational...I am very rational thank you....IM sorry you have the arrogance to say such things. WHAT is so wrong with me believingand experiencing in miracles..how does that affect You?

          May 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @kermit4jc,
          You take NOMA too far. The supernatural can be disproven when it claims interaction with the natural, as in my previous post.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          what is NOMA?

          May 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Sorry, Non-Overlapping MAgisteria. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overlapping_magisteria

          May 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          Yup.
          If the supernatural actually communicates with people or otherwise interacts with the natural, we really should have been able to detect it, right?

          May 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          we can..but many..like atheists will deny it..saying it is something else...cause some don't wont to believe a God exists, especially a God they assume to have existed among Christian/Jewish bleiefs

          May 23, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          We say that it could be something else because it really could be something else. People do speak to themselves on the subconscious level, don't they? people can be deluded and even indoctrinated into believing falsehoods, correct? You probably think that's why people believe in the Hindu gods, so why can't it be a reason why people believe in yours?

          If God actually is like the tyrant who's described in the Bible then, no, I really don't want him to exist and I don't think that most Christians want him to exist either. The ones who do most likely feel that way because they see him as their dictator, punishing their enemies and not likely to turn on them, right?

          Some other version of God, one that loves all the little children, and puppies, and so on wouldn't bother me because ... he wouldn't bother me. It's the nasty little Gods who want to torture people forever simply because people don't notice them that I find repugnant, and it's the people who choose to call such a being "good" that I also find repugnant. As repugnant as racists who say that black people deserve the terrible treatment that they give them.

          May 23, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • kermit4jc

          @ kudiak If God actually is like the tyrant who’s described in the Bible ....God is not like what YOU see in the Bible..you seem to miss God is a HOLY God..not cause he FEELS like it..it is His very nature..and SIN is evil to Him..and can NOT coexist within His full presence! He is ALSO a JUDGE....a JUST Judge....again not cause he FEELS it..but again His very nature....God cannot change that.
          It’s the nasty little Gods who want to torture people forever simply because people don’t notice them that I find repugnant,<- again we all are sinners..and God has to judge each and everyone of us.....sin can NOT co exist withbin His full presence!

          May 23, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Science is great for explaining the natural, physical world.

      There are some things science is not capable of answering. Like the purpose and meaning of life.

      The search for the purpose and meaning of life can include science. There is nothing in my understanding of the purpose and meaning of life that excludes science.

      Science is definitely not my god. It is what my God used and uses to create this world. My understanding of God increases with my understanding of science.

      There are some thing that transcend science. I've had non-scientist science worshipers try to explain love to me scientifically. It was just kind of sad.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • igaftr

        Science is a tool for distilling truth. In that , ALL things can be examined by scientific method. You claim it is good at examining the natural physical "world" but I think you meant universe or all existance.
        ALL that exists exists naturally, and ALL things that exist can be examined by scientific method.
        Some things are simply out of our reach so we cannot examine them yet, and possibly ever.

        For instance, the delusion you have that you KNOW god exists...that can be studied scientifically.

        May 21, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What is love?

          I don't use the scientific method to examine love.

          I've have yet to hear a sufficient definition provided by a scientific method to explain love.

          God can't be studied scientifically. He transcends science.

          You are definitely talking about a philosophy about science. Not science itself.

          Science doesn't tell us the meaning of life. If you are trying to use the scientific method to discern that truth... good luck!

          There are other means to reveal truth. The scientific method is one means.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + For instance, the delusion you have that you KNOW god exists…that can be studied scientifically.

          It can be studied. It doesn't mean you are capable of revealing the truth scientifically.

          Personally, you probably are not capable of revealing many scientific truths. You are dependent on scientists to do that for you.

          And many of those scientists do believe in God, by the way. And would probably think your fawning over the scientific method is full of misunderstandings.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          "I don't use the scientific method to examine love."

          But you can, like many are.

          Science is a tool. If it exists, that tool can be employed. SO far it has been impossible to apply scientific method on any deity, though we can , have and are studying the psychological need for some to imagine some fatherly ent!ty. If you think that science would not be able to be employed, you do not understand what science or the scientific method are.

          Just because you do not understand science does not mean your "god" transcends it. If it exists, it CANNOT transcend science, since science is highly adjustable to whatever one is studying.

          A god is only adjustable in your imagination.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          I don't just let other scientist "do the work for me" though as a community, scientist share everything ( at least as academics) Sometimes we reproduce others work to test it, to challenge it, to refine it.

          In my work, I work in a cross between chemistry and physics, examining the interactions of various energies and harmonic resonances, in essence, the music of the universe. I am quite well versed in various sciences.
          And yes, even some of my co-workers have belief in god...they just aren't arrogant enough to claim they know they are right.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          This is your philosophy about science.

          It is not science. You are not a scientists anymore than I am.

          I use science as a tool. It works. I fully embrace it.

          But there are truths that exist that science is incapable of unveiling.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          MAYBE to a point..but cannot fully be used as such...

          May 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Your co-workers who believe in God knows He exists.

          Ask them if they think God is real.

          Not if he can be proven via the scientific method. Ask "Is God real?". If they say yes, they believe God is real. If they say no, they don't believe God is real.

          I believe God is real. There is nothing inherently arrogant about that.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          I have discussed this with them, many times, and not one of them is irrational enough to claim they know...they believe, but understand they could be wrong.

          You are delusional. You do not know if any gods exist, let alone YOUR god.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          igaf..stop the delusional thing...youre not qualified to diagnose such things......leave that up to actual psychiatrists and psychologists...thanks

          May 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • igaftr

          "But there are truths that exist that science is incapable of unveiling."

          Really? Such as?

          May 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've never said I couldn't be wrong. You are the one that keeps saying that.

          Of course I could be wrong.

          "But there are truths that exist that science is incapable of unveiling."

          Love.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          I have only identified a symptom...the delusion that he KNOWS HIS god exists. He does not know, cannot know. Believers speak of faith...knowing precludes faith. He cannot know because he cannot exclude the myriad other possibilities. That should be obvious. But since you have proven countless times you do not understand simple psychology, YOU are not qualified to tell me that I am not qualified.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NO ONE~ has shown that I do not know psychology..I have addressed all concerns given about such things....as for not knowing..you are NOT my thought police...thus you are nOT qualifd to tell me I cannot know....you lok to SCIENCE to make it fact..science does nOT unveil everything as Dal has said.....again you make science your god...you kep going back to it.....that is being narrowminded.....as for themyriad of other gods...again WHY keep looking for truth if one found it? WHY look for my car keys if I already found it? its like saying How do you know its your car keys,keep looking to dismiss all the other keys inside your hhouse...that's very silly logic and its the same thing you ask of us...

          May 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Hypocrisy.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Evil.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Science can provide data.

          But human beings have to interpret it.

          We are not logical beings. We don't live in a logical environment.

          We are human beings. We are imperfect. No science can fully describe what we are.

          It takes the human being studying the science to express that.

          And often science is expressed in very unscientific manners – like entertainment, poetry and emotional writings.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • igaftr

          your analogy is quite flawed.

          A better analogy for what you have done is you walk into a room with a near infinite number of keys in it. You picked up one, and declared it to be the one you were looking for, but have not even checked the rest. The car to try it in is on the other side of the universe, so virtually impossible for you to be sure, but you proclaim to all that YOU have found the right one, because, you just know. Purely delusional. Your god exists in your imagination.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          LOL..NOT at all.....you missed a VITAL thing..I pick up a key and I try it in my car..I do NOT need to go back in and try the rest of the keys! LOLOLOLOL....the car would not be on the other side of the universe either....how would you get that part of an analogy to fit with knowing God????? sorry..but yours is flawed..mine is pretty good and solid

          May 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          How do you know I or Kermit have just 'picked up the first set of keys' and haven't looked at the rest.

          Or that God is just in our imagination.

          That is not by the scientific method or any kind of logic that drew you to that conclusion. It looks like you started with a premise and refuse you see any other way.

          You are basically doing the same thing you accuse believers of doing. That is called hypocrisy. No?

          Want to run your words and actions through the scientific method?

          "Your god exists in your imagination." – Why haven't you considered any other possibility. It is like you have 'picked up the first set of keys' and haven't looked at the rest, too!

          May 21, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ Dal...well said!

          May 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          @ kermit4jc

          That is called giving him a taste of his own medicine.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          The limits of science you reference are true today. I hope you are not trying to say you know they are fundamental limitations.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't place limits on science.

          Or God.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Actually, I do place limits on them.

          Ideally I don't think it is wise to.

          I can't always live up to my ideals.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          God is unlimited, it can be anything from nothing to everything. Human science is limited by humans of course.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast, @kermit4jc,
          For clarification, have you experienced the aleged God in an physical manner?

          Assuming you have not, how can you possibly "know God exists" ? Please, explain.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What do you mean by physical manner?

          I am a physical being, no?

          But I'm also a spiritual being. I have a soul, which is not physical.

          I experience things like love, joy, charity and compassion which are not physical.

          I have not seen God with my eyes, but I have seen evidence of Him. I've had spiritual truths about God and myself revealed to be true to me.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          How do you know that joy, happiness, sorrow, etc. are not physical?

          How do you know you have a soul?

          May 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          You may think you have a soul, but that is not "known" either. Correct?

          If you have seen evidence then you're talking about inductive reasoning, which only goes so far, like science, it doesn't deal in certainty.

          I don't know what a "spiritual truth" is or how it might be "revealed", but how can it lead to "knowing"?

          May 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + How do you know that joy, happiness, sorrow, etc. are not physical?

          I don't. Perhaps the love for your children is just a chemical reaction in your brain. You are reacting how you were programmed to react. Nothing more.

          You care for your kids because the chemicals tell you to. It is just evolution's ways of carrying on the genes. And you are just a bag of bones who doesn't actually love the way the poets describe it. Your love is just purely physical.

          When you die, your love dies.

          Or maybe love is something greater – that is eternal. And not confined to our earthly understandings.

          Something in me can't accept the scientific and physical explanations that people have given me about love.

          What is your idea of love? I've asked this about 4 times today and not one person has answered!

          I like what the Bible says about love. Eternal. Patient. Doesn't insist on its own ways. Some of those authors nailed it.

          And it wasn't a physical description at all.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I don't know what love is. It being physical doesn't mean it is part of a program though.

          I can imagine purely physical explanations of love rooted in evolution, but I don't know.

          Love being physical doesn't diminish it one bit for me. That we evolved into social beings with such strong bonds as love is testament to how important love is to our survival.

          I repeat for emphasis, just because something is physical doesn't mean it is programmed, predictable, or deterministic.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          @MidwestKen

          I believe I have a soul. I don't see any compelling evidence to doubt that.

          A spiritual truth –

          Love: you have to give it away to keep it.

          These are truths that ring true to human beings. It is not truths that occur in the physical sciences or natural world.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          bostontola

          Got it. I was afraid you were going to try to physically explain love as the only possibility, which never ends well for the one attempting to explain it.

          Here is a spiritual truth:

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

          Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.


          That is not the result of mindless evolution. There is a great intelligence behind love. And us. And it may not be physical like us. You may not be able to run it through scientific tests like we do with rocks and energy.

          But that higher intelligence – what I call God – is there.

          And wants your heart. Your spirit. Your love.

          Amen!

          May 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          The spiritual truth you wrote is beautiful and may be an ideal for some, but it is not truth in an absolute sense (sadly there are plenty of counterexamples).

          "That is not the result of mindless evolution."
          1. Since the whole idea you wrote is an ideal it doesn't apply to evolution.
          2. Actual love can be the result of mindless evolution. Many very complex behaviors emerge from mindless evolution on computers.

          Your statements of your beliefs sometimes come across as statements of fact and could be misinterpreted.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          bostontola

          + The spiritual truth you wrote is beautiful and may be an ideal for some, but it is not truth in an absolute sense (sadly there are plenty of counterexamples).

          How do you know it is not true in an absolute sense?

          What if there is an intelligence behind life? And its ideal is for us to love that way?

          Your opinions on what is true in an absolute sense is good for your personally, but we don't live by your standards or understandings. Only you do.

          + 1 . Since the whole idea you wrote is an ideal it doesn't apply to evolution.

          Why can't an ideal apply to evolution?

          + 2. Actual love can be the result of mindless evolution. Many very complex behaviors emerge from mindless evolution on computers.

          How do you know actual love can be the result of mindless evolution?

          Complex behaviors emerging from mindless evolution on computers does not prove that.

          There is an intelligence behind computers.

          + Your statements of your beliefs sometimes come across as statements of fact and could be misinterpreted.

          So do yours!!!!

          May 21, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Because in the real world there are many counterexamples to your description of love. I have personally experienced impatient love. I have had many conversations about love with numerous people and their experiences were varied and didn't conform to your description. If you want to disqualify my love or theirs then you must be God.

          May 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Regarding love and computers, I didn't say love could come from computers, only that complex behavior can emerge from mindless evolution on a computer, imagine what could evolve from the natural world which is much more rich than a computer. I already said I don't know what love is. I stated none of my points as a fact, I specifically said they were my imaginations (even less than beliefs). Yours were stated as fact rather than belief. You asking me how I "know" evolution could result in love after what I already said about not knowing is disingenuous.

          May 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm sorry if my beliefs bother you. Or that I fail to meet your standards of how to discuss beliefs verses your understandings of facts.

          It sounds like your beliefs are stated as facts to me, too. And you often sound disingenuous yourself. I'm sorry if that sounds incredibly hypocritical. That is one of my down-falls I'm working on.

          Can you see how someone would think you do the same thing you accuse me of? I can see where you are coming from.

          I'm human. Imperfect. I love God, so I talk about it a lot. It is the most important thing in the world. An fellow imperfect human being displaying his imperfections while pointing out mine happens often. And I do it to others.

          It happened in this thread above us – I can see those facts. Spiritual facts.

          Love is something we do. If your heart is in the wrong place, you may become impatient, which is not loving.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Do you follow materialism?

          I don't know that much about you, but have met many materialists, and we don't seem to see eye-to-eye. They usually react in a similar manner that you do – upset with my knowledge of God and my strong trust and confidence in God. And my skepticism of humanistic materialism – they don't appreciate that one bit.

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

          In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that all things are composed of material, and that all emergent phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material properties and interactions. In other words, the theory claims that our reality consists entirely of physical matter that is the sole cause of every possible occurrence, including human thought, feeling, and action.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Your beliefs don't bother me one bit. I know a lot of people and they all have different beliefs across a wide range. None of them bother me. It is bothersome when someone portrays a belief as a fact. Most readers of my posts above would not think I was considering them fact.

          Is the whole ' your comments are just like my comments' routine you engage in something you really want to do?

          May 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I don't spend much time with philosophy. I studied it in college and was fascinated with it for a while. As I got older, I found it to be not of much use. While many philosophies are logical, they are based on assumed premises that usually turn out wrong. Perfect logic from a false premise is useless.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + "Most readers of my posts above would not think I was considering them fact."

          Dang, that sounds like some arrogance. Is that a fact? Or extreme wishful thinking on your part?

          You sure are stating it as a fact.

          + Is the whole ' your comments are just like my comments' routine you engage in something you really want to do?

          I believe I'm pointing out your hypocrisy. I'm not sure, but it sure seems like you are being that way with me.

          -

          And you make A LOT of philosophical statements on here. It is not any mainstream philosophy I know of, more of your own philosophical outlooks. But you definitely seem to be into philosophy. Or just yourself. You do seem to have a very high opinion of yourself, too.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahäst,
          “I believe I have a soul. I don't see any compelling evidence to doubt that.”

          You set a low bar. If I believe I have an invisible friend, Pinky, and no evidence to doubt it?

          “These are truths that ring true to human beings. It is not truths that occur in the physical sciences or natural world.”

          Is the “ring of truth” the criteria you use to “know” truth? I’ve experienced many things in life that had a ring of truth at the time which didn’t end up being true.

          If this is how you “know God exists” then it hardly seems convincing. Even if I believed it myself, I’d think “know” is a bit strong.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          @MidwestKen

          + You set a low bar. If I believe I have an invisible friend, Pinky, and no evidence to doubt it?

          I don't believe you. I believe you are just making that up as an example. It is something you learned from other atheists and non-believers. It is not the first time someone tried to play that game with me.

          Do you honestly believe you have an invisible friend, Pinky?

          + Is the “ring of truth” the criteria you use to “know” truth? I’ve experienced many things in life that had a ring of truth at the time which didn’t end up being true.

          No.

          + If this is how you “know God exists” then it hardly seems convincing. Even if I believed it myself, I’d think “know” is a bit strong.

          That is not how I “know God exists”. Nor was I making that comment to try to convince you to believe in God.

          Martin Luther King, JR testified he heard the voice of Jesus speak to him. I persoanlly and in history can read about many like him.

          Do you have the testimony of anyone who heard your friend Pinky speak to them?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahäst,
          “Do you honestly believe you have an invisible friend, Pinky?”

          Of course it’s an example, but it’s not a game. It’s a valid question. How is it different than what you posit?

          “That is not how I “know God exists”. Nor was I making that comment to try to convince you to believe in God.”

          I didn’t think that you were trying to convince me, but I was asking you to explain how you “know God exists”.

          “Do you have the testimony of anyone who heard your friend Pinky speak to them?”

          No, but how does testimony of others enable you to “know”? You said that we can’t know whether or not you “know”, but without a physical experience, I’m curious, how can you “know”?

          May 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Experience. Testimonial evidence. Research. Studying. Questioning. Doubting. Testing. Asking questions. Searching. Praying. Meditation. Serving. Submitting. Accepting.

          There are lots of ways God has been proven true to me. I find when I follow what Jesus asks me to do my knowledge and understanding of God grows.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "how is it different than what you posit?"

          I honestly believe in God.

          I honestly don't believe in your imaginary friend, nor do I think it proves anything about God.

          That is the difference I see.

          It is not like you can just make up some fictional being and convince me to believe in it. I need the real thing.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          “Experience, testimonial….”

          All that might be convincing to you, I understand, but does is it sufficient to truly “know”? Basically, it seems to me that the most one can claim, without personal physical experience, is “I’m convinced” or “I think” or “I believe”, but to “know” seems a stretch.

          “I honestly believe in God.”

          Is honest belief the criteria? How do you discount other’s “honest belief” in other gods?

          “It is not like you can just make up some fictional being and convince me to believe in it. I need the real thing.”

          I’m not trying to convince you. I’m simply providing an example, an analogy, to explore what is really meant. I’ve always suspected that believers use phrases like ‘I know God exists’ in order to appear more confident of their beliefs.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          "Dang, that sounds like some arrogance. Is that a fact? Or extreme wishful thinking on your part?"

          Since I specifically stated my ideas were my imaginations, I would expect most to realize that isn't a fact. But you're right, since you couldn't connect those dots, other people could also conclude that a person stating his imagined possibilities were intended as facts. I'm not used to conversing with people like that, but you prove they exist.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:09 am |
  6. ddeevviinn

    " because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made."

    Hanging on the wall above my desk is a little article I placed there about 10 years ago. It was just one of those things that for some reason resonated with me on a visceral level. I find in the midst of the daily drama that is life, it gives me perspective. The following is a brief excerpt:

    " Ever wanted to wish upon a star? Well, you have 70 million million million to choose from. That's the total number of stars in the known universe, according to a study by astronomers. It's also about 10 times as many stars as grains of sand on all the world's beaches and deserts."

    When I take into account that our own special little star, the one that allows for the continuation of life on this planet, has a volume that could contain a million earth's, I can only shake my head. This inability to grasp these numbers is only amplified with the realization that recent research has upped the figure to 300 million million million stars.

    It is this kind of "stuff" to which the apostle Paul was referring. Granted, there are some who choose to reject the connection to a Creator, those who have self imposed the scientific method as the only means for determining truth, but for many of us it is a call to worship. The Creator's handiwork is tangible.

    May 21, 2014 at 8:25 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'ddeevviinn' presents an instance of the Secret Decoder Ring fallacy and concludes with an Argument from Ignorance.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      May 21, 2014 at 9:24 am |
  7. kermit4jc

    science neither proves nor disproves God..using wrong tool jack.....science is for natural world...God is not of the natural world..he is not the created...He is the creator...you create a computer, yet you are not that computer...

    May 21, 2014 at 1:47 am |
    • sam stone

      wrong, kermy.

      man creates gods

      May 21, 2014 at 3:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So, what tools can be used to prove the supernatural?

      May 21, 2014 at 8:18 am |
      • kudlak

        Wouldn't that be the same tool that people have used to know that all the other gods were equally real, as well as reincarnation, voodoo, magic, ghosts, chakra energy and all the rest?

        May 21, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • igaftr

      Kermit
      There are NO tools that can be used to find any "gods" Jack.
      What tool can be used to verify the animal I just made up in my imagination?...the same one that can find "god"

      May 21, 2014 at 10:36 am |
      • kermit4jc

        What tool can be used to verify the animal I just made up in my imagination?<-comparing apples to oranges....doesn't work in this argument..i didn't make God up in my imagination

        May 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          There is a great deal of evidence showing men create gods. You have an idea of what YOU think god is, so you are IMAGINING what that god is, what that god wants.. As far as any can show, imagination is the only place that gods exist, and they are always unique to the individual. SO your god IS in your imagination,, and you cannot show it exists anywhere else.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          just cause that may be the case with many people..does not mean ALL have imagined......sorry..thats just a terrible logic...

          May 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not created by the god that man created.

          I'm created by God. Like all of us.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal...,.that is only your opinion that all were created by your particular god....not a fact.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I believe it is a fact. If I didn't think it was a fact, I would be an atheist.

          But I honestly can not do that.

          God is real.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....once again, only your opinion. If something can not be supported with facts, it is just an opinion. Just because you believe something to be true does not make it true. That is actually a very simple concept to handle.

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

          Right. And you are sharing your opinion.

          In my opinion God is real.

          In my opinion guys who spend all day talking about how God is not real is funny. And it actually serves as evidence that points to God's reality.

          I do what is best for me and others. Trusting in God, not internet atheists who rail against Christians all day long online, helps me do that.

          I hope you have something like that in your life, too.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal.,..I do....it's called reality. I actually revel in it. I worship only my wife's b-oobs and have absolutely no use whatsoever for an imaginary deity that consistently lets down my religious friends and family.

          And yes, it is my opinion there is no god, and I'm glad to see you admit it is only your opinion there is one. That was all I was objecting to. Anybody that proclaims for a fact there either is or is not a god is a fool. And that is what you were doing.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have absolutely no use whatsoever for an imaginary deity that consistently lets down my religious friends and family, either.

          That is why I follow Jesus.

          I know for a fact that God is real. You can worship boobs and imagine you have exclusive access to reality.

          I'll seek Him.

          God > gulliblenomore's opinions

          May 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....once again...it is only your opinion that god is greater than my opinions. You really need to word your responses better.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Dude, we are on a message board – on the faith and belief blog – in the opinion section.

          Yes, we share our opinions.

          If you want to only talk about verifiable and demonstrable phenomenons – go to a physical science blog. But if you are not a scientists, you probably won't have any clue what they are talking about.

          God is real. He transcends your opinions on facts.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....god is not real in any sense if the word.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God is real.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....in your opinion.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          In your opinion, He is not.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal...,I would never be so arrogant to make a claim that god is not real unless I could provide the proof. It is only my opinion, based on a ton of evidence, that god is not real

          May 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is my opinion based on a ton of evidence that God is real

          And that people who spend all day long talking about how much they don't believe in God is evidence of something, too.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....oh wise one....pray tell, what could that reason possibly be? For me, it just confirms to me that I am correct in my thinking. The moronic things that come out of the mouths of most of the Christian bloggers on here is astounding. It reaffirms me. Thanks!

          May 21, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No problem. Keep coming back.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • igaftr

          The logic is sound...unless you can show YOUR god to exist outside of YOUR mind.
          There may be some ent!ty or thing that may be something that may loosely fit into a definition of "god", but to date, none has been shown to exist.
          If such a thing exists, it is higly unlikely, given the infinite number of other possibilities, that it is EXACTLY what you imagine.

          The precise definition of "god" YOU have in YOUR head, is different than EVERYONE elses, so it makes perfectly logical sense that the god YOU imagine in your head, likely ONLY exists in that form in YOUR imagination.

          The other possibility is that YOU among ALL the other humans that have ever, or will ever live, have it right and EVERYONE else is wrong. And you would have to be a fool if you think that.

          By all means, show YOUR gods existance outside of your imagination.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God has revealed himself to exist outside my imagination.

          I have no qualms proclaiming that.

          I know some atheists won't like hearing that. Tough t.itties.

          God is real. Trust Him. He can help you.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....and again, only your opinion unsupported by any facts.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have facts to support my belief in God.

          Seriously. I'm not some brainwashed idiot suffering from delusions.

          Yea. And thanks for sharing your opinions. I don't agree that God is only my opinion unsupported by any facts.

          But that is your opinion. I'm glad you have one.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....you must be unaware of what a fact is. Facts are only facts once they have been acknowledged, tested, and approved by peer review. I can claim for a fact that I was abducted by aliens, but if I have no presentable proof, it is not a fact. You don't seem stupid..,,,you should know this.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I can be abducted by aliens. Say it actually happened.

          But there is no way for me to prove it to you.

          But the fact still remains, I was abducted by aliens.

          Your approval is not needed on the matter.

          God is real whether you know it is a fact or not.

          We don't live in your imagination.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....I'm not asking for your approval on anything, because pesonally, I don't give a c.rap what you think about me. I'm just trying to get you to understand what a fact is and what an opinion is....and I still think you are having difficulty distinguishing between the two.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is a fact that God is real.

          There are atheists on the internet that do not believe in God. And they talk about it all day long.

          That doesn't mean that God is not real.

          Unless you can prove that God does not exist? But that is like proving that love or time does not exist.

          Are you talking about scientific facts? I can't scientifically prove God to you.

          It is the matter of your heart. Your spirit. Your soul.

          If you are soulless, heartless or have no spirit – what can I say?

          What is love to you?

          May 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....look...you can claim god is real all day long, but your opinion is not a fact. I thought we covered that already. And since I can't prove an imaginary being is not real (just like I can't prove the Tooth Fairy is not real), it is only my opinion that god is not real.

          Why are you having such a difficult time understanding this? It really is not a hard concept.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Because God is real.

          You can claim God is not real all day long, all week long (do it for the rest of your life!)... go scream it on the mountain.

          God is not a fact. He is the Creator of facts.

          Without God there is no life.

          Fact.

          You are a product of God's imagination. God is not a product of our imagination. He is real.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....prove it!

          You talk all high and mighty, but to me, you are just another Christian blowhard that wants people to accept your opinion as fact just because you say so.

          So....prove it!

          May 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If I was a robot or tried to live my life as if the purpose of life was to live it as if the only things that were important were those things proved by man's science, than I wouldn't believe in God.

          But I am a human being. An illogical creature. A contradiction of nature. I live as a caregiver, lover, artist, scientist, employee, servant, teacher, counselor and friend. These experiences have led me to believe in God.

          I see God in other people. I see God in nature. God is everywhere. Science studies His Creation. Philosophy studies His purpose for us. Religion studies how to carry that out.

          This Christian blowhard honestly believes in God. If you want to find God, seek humility. Ask Him to reveal Himself in a way you would understand.

          He is not limited by your understanding of scientific facts or your opinions of reality.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....I know that is a long winded way of saying you believe but can't prove it. And, that's fine, for you. I do not desire or need any god. My life is perfectly fine for me. I will not seek anything I have no need for.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If you are fine and don't need God, then don't worry about it.

          I seek after God. He is real. If you need Him you will seek Him yourself.

          My life is not always perfectly fine. I'm imperfect. Other people are imperfect and that effects me. I need Him. And He helps me.

          My crutch.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal...some people need alcohol to get through life. Some need drugs, and some need religion. However, the first two groups of people are not trying to enact legislation based on their belief system and trying to force me to conform. I would be fine if religion was confined to churches only.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm not trying to enact legislation on my belief system nor trying to force you to conform.

          I just believe in God. And I'm free to take that belief to the voting polls with me. I'm free to openly discuss it.

          I don't need religion, alcohol or drugs to get through life, either.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....'my crutch'....your words. And I didn't say you personally were trying to enact legislation. The members of your cult are.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't agree with all the legislation that "members of my cult" are trying to pass.

          I'm often in the minority of the status quo of America – both in regards to religion and legislation others try to pass.

          My cult embraces giving a voice to those who are oppressed. And fight for their right to believe differently than me.

          My cult takes their beliefs out of church and feeds the poor and helps the homeless find places to stay. We fight for legislation against those who prey against the poor – like pay day lenders in my community who can charge up to 900% interest on loans.

          I doubt you would oppose that. Or have a problem with the laws my cult wants passed.

          It would probably benefit you.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....does your cult oppose legislation for equal rights for gays? How about providing birth control for the underprivileged? Are you fighting to teach creationism in schools? And, is your cult trying to get a state religion passed in South Carolina?

          May 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          +does your cult oppose legislation for equal rights for gays?

          No. My cult fights for equal rights for all. One of my pastors is an openly lesbian married to another lesbian.

          + How about providing birth control for the underprivileged?

          We don't provide birth control for the underprivileged. We do provide them food, shelter and clothing.

          + Are you fighting to teach creationism in schools?

          No. We fully embrace science, like most religious people.

          If you were to take a science course, you might be taught by a member of my cult. We've got some smart scientists that also love Jesus with us.

          + And, is your cult trying to get a state religion passed in South Carolina?

          No.

          The average member of my cult may actually do more to help others than you.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal.... I'm sure they do. I'm not much of a volunteer. I have to help a lot of mine and my wife's family, financially. I figure, that is good enough.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I run into a lot of people online who talk a lot online, but don't do much offline.

          I'm impressed with the people in my cult that sacrifice their time and resources for people they don't know.

          It is amazing.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          "It is a fact that God is real."

          No you most certainly do not, for I knkow you have not been able to exclude all other possibilities.

          Here is the correct statement.
          I have convinced myself that god is real.

          You claim FACT, show proof or acknowledge it is not a fact. Otherwise, please seek some professional psychological support ( which would exclude kermit)...your delusion is running rampant.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Great guesses! But you are wrong.

          Actually, God has convinced me He is real.

          igaftr has convinced me he imagines I have simply convinced myself that god is real.

          igaftr also have convinced me he likes to talk about God... a lot!

          May 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala has not only deluded himself into believing a "god" is real, but also has convinced any rational person that reads his post he is delusional as well.
          Only a deluded fool would claim that he knows god is real, since he CANNOT exclude any other possibility.

          Seek help...real non-religious professional help.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Actually, God has convinced me He is real."

          And all this communication happens completely in your mind, right? If nobody else hears God talk to you, how do you know it isn't actually a delusion?

          May 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There are plenty of people who displayed mental soundness and also believed in God.

          Martin Luther King, JR, for example, said Jesus spoke to Him and told Him to fight on. He was ready to give up. The racists were threatening to kill his children. The government was plotting against him. The powers to be wanted him dead.

          God has convinced me he is real – not by a voice in my mind. But by the revelations in my life with other people. It is amazing how God works.

          Amazing.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal.,..most coincidences are amazing....

          May 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, most coincidences are not amazing, actually.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal.....yes they are. That is my opinion, of course, as is yours

          May 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. That is why we are on an opinion board.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....doesn't matter where we are. Too many people post their opinions as fact. I've seen you do it

          May 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I see you do it, too!

          May 21, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          It is amazing how self-delusion works.

          Amazing

          May 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right, your theory is that anyone that believes in God is delusional.

          And you are somehow the voice of reasoning and sound judgement.

          And you spend all day/week/month arguing about a God you say doesn't exist.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • fintronics

          Someone that claims "fact" without evidence is deluded...... saying "I have it" without presenting it? must be a secret!

          May 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I have shown evidence before..but you all dismiss it cause you don't seem to want it....and you thus do the same thing you accuse us of doing.....(if such and such happens and no other answer, it must be God) You do thee way with us...so your enot qualified to say we are deluded with that type of logic and double talk

          May 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Are you seeking God?

          What evidence would satisfy you?

          May 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Some consider Gandhi to be just as inspirational a man as MLK, but does that lend any credence to whatever Hindu beliefs that he personally held?

          People are just as convinced as you are that astrology is real and working in their lives in amazing ways. You can basically fill in that blank with every other religious or New Age belief out there and find oodles of people just as adamant that it must be true because it "works" for them. How good is that argument then for judging which might actually be true?

          To "seek out God" requires some knowledge of what to look for, correct? Isn't that just training people to interpret as signs of God what may just be natural? There are some who say that the feeling of deja vu is actually evidence of reincarnation. We both may disagree upon that assumption, as I disagree upon the assumptions about your "evidence" for God.

          May 22, 2014 at 10:30 am |
        • fintronics

          "I have shown evidence before..but you all dismiss it cause you don't seem to want it."

          No, you have only presented your IMAGINATION. That is not evidence.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • fintronics

          @dala.... "What evidence would satisfy you?"

          Where is the scientific evidence for god you claimed to have earlier? You presented a long list of what you considered to be evidence for god and in that list you mentioned "science" To answer your question, scientific evidence would satisfy me.

          So where is this scientific evidence for god?

          May 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  8. colin31714

    Dalahast, perhaps the best way for you to put your rambling pontifications about atheists in context is to ask yourself if you believe in the Incan god Pachacamac. When you (presumably) answer "no," think how vacuous and boring you would find it to hear a modern Inca descendant drone on analyzing you and why you don't believe in Pachacamac.

    Maybe then you will understand how and why we who do not believe in the magic/divine powers you ascribe to Jesus Christ don't give the slightest care as to how or why you think we got to this point, or whether you think we are too atheist, not deferential enough to believers etc.

    It is a very simple thing. We do not believe in Pachacamac or God or Jesus. It really is that simple.

    May 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Uh hu:

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” – Stephen Roberts

      Great quote. It looks like you enjoy it, too. But...

      ...you and Sheik Yerbouti post and talk about Christians constantly. You seek them out. You are inviting others to discuss it with you. And when people disagree with your beliefs, you try to shut them down.

      Most atheists do not do such things. But there are some types that do.

      I think you completely missed the point. I don't preach to atheists or think they need to believe what I believe. But when someone posts something that suggests as a Christian I must believe in a way, I will stand up to that person. Especially if what they are saying is bigoted.

      Whether you are a religious person that is bigoted to atheists. Or an atheist that is bigoted to Christians. Bigots suck. Equally. That simple.

      May 20, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
      • fintronics

        Jesus was a bigot.

        May 21, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • Dalahäst

          He lived in a pretty bigoted culture. The community he was raised in and belonged to despised Samaritans. Yet he often used them as an example of those who better did God's will than the religious and pious Jewish leaders.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • fintronics

          "the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says."

          "If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. (1 Cor. 14:34-35)"

          May 21, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • kermit4jc

          you ever been to a church service?????? Ill continue the argument after your answer

          May 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • fintronics

          "As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands." (Eph. 5:22-24)

          "permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent."

          Bible bigotry plain and simple..

          May 21, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • kermit4jc

          “As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.” (Eph. 5:22-24)<-plain ignorance on your part......ALL people were to be submissive....you only read the parts you want to read so as to pathetically discount the Bible...ELSEWHERE in Ephesians we are told that we ALL submit to one another.....sorry Charlie....that's not bigotry

          May 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think they were talking about specific issues that were going on in that church. Some women were teaching the wrong things, and he was addressing that.

          Galatians 3:28
          There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

          Women were the first to be given the ministry of evangelism, they were the first ones told to go and tell the news that Jesus had risen. And they still are free to do that today. All are one in Christ Jesus.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • fintronics

          No surprise since the bible is loaded with outright contradictions.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          How was Jesus a bigot finitronics?

          May 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Life is full of contradictions, too. Some of the contradictions reveal a truth.

          What is a paradox?

          May 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....a paradox is 2 dox.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • fintronics

          Is jesus god? god in human form? is the bible word of god? then re-read what I posted above. Those are direct and simple statements. No need for your pathetic translations or apologetic interpretations.

          God is a bigot.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • fintronics

          "permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.""

          Out of context I suppose. Of course, it always is when it displays a negative..

          May 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • fintronics

          "...ELSEWHERE in Ephesians we are told that we ALL submit to one another.....sorry Charlie....that's not bigotry"

          So you're saying one verse contradicts another? I certainly agree.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          HOW the heck does THAT contradict? If ALl are to submit to ne another..how does telling women to sbmit to the husbands contradict? That's pretty io say it contadicts

          May 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • fintronics

          The more you read, the more It becomes more and more obvious that the bible was written by man. No imaginary gods involved. Pure mythology.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • fintronics

          @dalah " Some of the contradictions reveal a truth."

          I couldn't agree more!... contradictions in the bible reveal the obvious truth that the bible was written by man, not a "god"

          May 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The Bible was definitely written by man. That is made very clear. But it is inspired by God.

          What contradictions in the Bible are troubling you?

          May 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....I can't speak for fin, but.....talking snakes, the story of Noah, rising from the dead, the story of Job....and about 1000 other contradictions.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Talking serpent was in an origin story.

          Rising from the dead – impossible for man. Only something a deity could do.

          It is not a contradiction.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal...you don't know what contradiction means. It is a contradiction to scientific principles. Same with Noah, Lots wife, etc, etc

          May 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh, no. We weren't talking about scientific contradictions.

          I think the original topic was literary contradictions.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....sorry, I see you were. And there are quite a few of those as well. Of course I am much more interested I the contradictions to scientific principles that are all over the bible.

          But, you won't be able to contradict your literary dealings against facts, so you and fin continue with your discussion

          May 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Cool. Keep checking out those facts.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is kind of funny, now that I think about it.

          You weren't paying attention to the facts. LOL.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....no....I'm on an IPhone, and it only shows the latest message, not the entire string. I had to pull up a few messages back. Nice try though.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Eh, I have that problem, too.

          Sorry, it was pretty clear we were talking about teachings on spirituality, not science lessons.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • fintronics

          "But it is inspired by God. "

          so please share with the world how you know this to be a fact...

          May 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • igaftr

          dala
          "Rising from the dead – impossible for man. Only something a deity could do."

          Ok, lets fix that.

          Only something I IMAGINE a deity can do, or what men may IMAGINE could happen and then WROTE it into an UNVERIFIABLE story.
          Since you have no idea if any deities exist, or what their capabilities might be, what you say is only what you imagine.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • fintronics

          @IGA..... exactly, that's what it all boils down to. This is purely imagination. Once again, a confusion of mythology with reality.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          By definition, God doesn't have to follow your rules or your understanding of scientific limitations that face human beings.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • fintronics

          Yes, how convenient for the god scam.... "god works in mysterious ways" "no one can understand the mind of god"

          May 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          well why not? f He IS the creator of all things..HOW can w know all His mind and His ways???? LOGIC says this even.....so maybe youre being illogical?

          May 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • fintronics

          ""permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent."

          Really??? How is that not a bigoted statement???..... ... in what "context" would that not be a bigoted statement?

          deluded to the max!

          May 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • fintronics

          Again, where's your evidence that god is real, and that he is "the creator of all things'?..... How many times do you have to be reminded? You make a claim, YOU provide the evidence.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I have address that numerous times....figured you seen it by now......Creation (things did not magically appear out of nowhere..science canot prove the universe things that make up the universe are eternal (science even says it starts to wear down eventually "law of thermodynamics" thus this implies a beginning...and a cause...that's one thing..

          May 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • fintronics

          and you have failed numerous times. None of what you posted is evidence for the Christian god, or any other god for that matter....

          May 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
    • believerfred

      Tens of thousands of years worth of flood stories, creation stories and existence greater than the physical. Your entire foundation is based upon repeated patterns that eventually are called natural laws. Yet, when it comes to patterns of reality expressing self-awareness greater than naturalism could allow your brain goes into denial.
      Most of those I have helped out of their denial were in denial out of shame. Given your belief in philosophical naturalism it is possible you lack capacity for emotionally based abstract association between that which has presence relative to that which is present. I short I bet you think you have seen an atom because it has known properties yet you think one cannot see God because the substance of God is not of known properties. In reality you have never seen an atom yet you think that vision has substance while God who has been seen by billions over thousands of years you deny has substance simply because you cannot see what others see.

      May 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • Doris

        "Tens of thousands of years worth of flood stories"

        Fred – I think it's just "Tens of thousands of years worth of stories" I think it probably started off as Noad and his son Gonad's puddle and then was embellished again and again for thousands of years. Eventually the names had to be changed to protect the innocent of course....

        May 20, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doris
          You got one thing right, they were the family jewels of the 12 tribes of Israel.

          May 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey believerfred

          Would love to see your link for your photo shop work on the Walmart clothes -you have some of the strangest thoughts on the forum.

          But are good for a laugh !

          May 21, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • MidwestKen

        @believerfred,
        "self-awareness greater than naturalism could allow "

        What's your basis for this conclusion?

        While the existence of atoms can be confirmed by experiment, an alleged god cannot, or at least has not.

        May 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • believerfred

          MidwestKen
          The best we can do is map waves with an electrostatic lens after ionizing the electron which produces a graphic we like, yet it is not really the full quantum state. In short we really have never seen an atom only a mathematical image as to relationship in space and time. We believe it has an appearance it does not have. Man attempts to give God an appearance God does not have. Self awareness includes the physical scientifically verifiable and something else when assessing presence (existence), Naturalism is a false belief that something else does not exist because everyone assigns appearance with or without evidence.
          Rejecting what mankind has done over all recorded history (recognize something else i.e. god, gods and God) as evidence for something else is denial of a natural pattern.

          May 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @believerfred,
          “The best we can do is map waves with an electrostatic lens after ionizing the electron which produces a graphic…”

          That is called evidence.

          “Man attempts to give God an appearance ...”

          That is not.

          “Rejecting what mankind has done over all recorded history (recognize something else i.e. god, gods and God) as evidence for something else is denial of a natural pattern.”

          I agree that it is a pattern. We just disagree about a pattern of what.

          People have a natural affinity for finding patterns. This is very useful for many things, but can also be very misleading. People have been assigning agency (i.e. intelligent intent) to many natural phenomena for most of our history. But we now know that nature doesn’t need any supernatural agent as a cause for everyday events; the weather is heat, air, water, etc.; volcanoes are magma from below the crust; etc.
          What you see as “recognition” of “something else”, I see as a by-product of a, normally very useful, but overactive pattern seeking organ, our brain.
          In addition, if we are to accept the “recognition” pattern, then we ought to also accept others, like alien abductions, el chupacabra, big foot, leprechauns, the great spirit, Odin, etc. Science, while not perfect by any means, is the best tool we have for separating the true patterns from what we think are patterns.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred loves to make statements of fact concerning things he can never substaniate, and then blames others for not believing him.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          so fred, what allows us to see the atom? Why its measurable effect on the real world. Same way we detect planets orbiting far off stars, we don't see the planet, we see its effect on the universe. And yet there has not been a single confirmed supernatural effect in the whole of human history. If there was we could map its real world effects just like we do far off planets and atoms.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          so fred, what allows us to see the atom?
          =>No one has seen an atom. An electrostatic lens is nothing like a microscope. With a microscope we can can see the object with electrostatic plates we manipulate electron trajectories to measure wave-like and particle-like properties. Big difference between an optics dependent view and view generated via tensors (mathematical position in space and time). I would not be at surprised if we have not forced the wave patterns to look like a nano scaled solar system because that is the classical erroneous image.

          "we don't see the planet, we see its effect on the universe."
          =>yes, it is inferred based on gravitational effect on wave length or in some cases gravitational microlensing.

          "And yet there has not been a single confirmed supernatural effect in the whole of human history"
          =>Yes there has. The confusion is with application of particle physics (matter and energy) to non particle physics. God is not matter or energy and most likely not the anthropomorphic image that comes to mind. The effect can be inferred in the whole of creation just as a planet can be inferred. Look at Spinoza's proof of God (not the theological God of the Bible).

          May 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          "fred loves to make statements of fact concerning things he can never substaniate,"
          =>nonsense. I have made the case several times that the supernatural always becomes part of the natural as our understanding of the unknown increases because both physical and spiritual are part of existence. That is self evident to all but the cult of non belief. That has been the pattern over generations where say the god of the volcano is eventually seen as the result of known forces between rigid tectonic plates. Read your Bible as it says "In the Beginning God". Scientific knowledge cannot go past the beginning and some day you will see man cannot, as evidenced, pull back all the layers of the onion.
          The foundation of the cult of non belief is that someday science will pull back all the layers. Evidence has proven that the layers and the onion itself expands proportionately as one seeks truth. As Jesus said seek and you shall find. This works both for those seeking to find God as well as those who seek to find no God needed.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • believerfred

          MidwestKen
          The agency assigned by mankind is God. The Bible is the only holy book that gets it right. In the beginning God. This is reality logically, reasonably and scientifically. Science may prefer the use of words such as causation or universal constant but the reality is that the beginning is the endpoint of mankind simply because past, present and future is constrained by existence itself, thus In the beginning God is the Alpha and Omega of mankind. Not that complicated.
          Until such a time as God is present in our existence (individually and collectively) we will make god and gods in our image and likeness which is the pattern you observe and I agree with. The pattern of seeking is evidence that there is something sought by all of mankind over all of history. We do not seek big foot, alien abductions, leprechauns with the same purpose as one seeks origin, causation or God. The difference is seeking unity or completeness in purpose not sport or personal desire.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          @fred. For all the verbal gymnastics you went through you didn't say much. As any average thinker could see by my post I was not saying we could "see" an atom with out eyes but that we have discovered methods to detect them by observing their effect on things we can see. If your God was real we would be able to detect his presence by any effect he would have on our visible universe. I don't believe in any gods/God because there has never been any verifiable supernatural intervention in human lives, ever. Islamic prayers have the exact same results as Christian or Hindu prayers and it's the same result as not praying. I believe that if there is a God or ancient aliens or anything supernatural that is aware of us and playing some part in our universe we would be able to detect it.

          To sell religion you basically have to say "Hey, there's this thing that we can't test, can't see, can't feel and have no way to even confirm its existence but I want you to change your life and follow our religion because we know it's real."

          May 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          " If your God was real we would be able to detect his presence by any effect he would have on our visible universe."
          =>Drive through Salt Lake heading North on 15 and look at landscape of temples. That is a visible effect.
          =>Bibles and holy books all over the place that is a visible effect.
          =>Universities and Hospitals that is visible effect (even though most have turned secular in the past 80 years
          =>bring about a calamity and hear the cry where was God
          =>Go to a funeral, a graveyard or feeding center for the poor.
          =>try to elect a non believer to the office of President.
          =>what year is it...........It is AD 2014.....The year of our Lord 2014
          =>Time is split in half Before Christ (BC)

          "there has never been any verifiable supernatural intervention in human lives, ever."
          =>There was my conversion and millions like it.
          =>God typically works through creation (man included) to reveal the supernatural. No magic shows given

          " Islamic prayers have the exact same results as Christian or Hindu prayers and it's the same result as not praying"
          =>that has not been my experience

          "I believe that if there is a God or ancient aliens or anything supernatural that is aware of us and playing some part in our universe we would be able to detect it."
          =>There are many scientific reasons why we have not seen extraterrestrial life. Once we can detect the supernatural by using natural tools and ways it can no longer be supernatural it becomes part of the known natural.

          May 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @believerfred,
          “... the reality is that the beginning is the endpoint of mankind simply because past, present and future is constrained by existence itself, thus In the beginning God is the Alpha and Omega of mankind. Not that complicated.”

          Nonsense is not that complicated, true.

          “The pattern of seeking is evidence that there is something sought by all of mankind over all of history”

          One cannot claim that the mere seeking of something is evidence of that something’s existence, else Eldorado, the Fountain of Youth, and Atlantis, all should exist, right?
          We seek answers, because we are curious.

          Also...
          Temples, Bibles, etc., are evidence of human activity.
          You apparently don’t understand the word verifiable.
          “Supernatural” does not necessitate unknown. That’s just the way your, apparently, deceptive God plays it.

          May 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • believerfred

          MidwestKen
          No, you have never seen the future and do not know anything about it except what you have embedded as a result of existence . You cannot be in the present due to passage of time during processing of stimuli, thus you assume the present based of past (or passing if wish) stimuli. The past is all you know for certain and individual awareness of beginning is instantaneous with the passing of the assumed present. The beginning is the end and the concept of linear existence is an illusion as time (as a construct) simply expands to fill the void as there is no such thing as nothingness or non existence.
          This is the point the godless cannot comprehend as naturalism demands awareness is tied physically with our organic presence (body). There is no evidence that awareness or thought is physically anchored or attached to any organ other than as a reference point much the same as tensors can be used as reference points for position and momentum operators in a quantum field.
          The Bible likes to call this field the soul or totality of our being which is being tested (refined) by our physical existence. In short we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. The Bible gets it right as made in the image of God refers to soul and the entire plan of creation is the refinement of soul brought into unity with God. The stories tell it in a such a way that we can pass through this physical experience without being drawn away from the plan of creation.

          May 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @believerfred,
          Wow what a bunch of nonsense. I agree that we don’t “experience” the present, or much of anything really, directly, but how does that relate at all to an alleged god?

          “There is no evidence that awareness or thought is physically anchored or attached to any organ other than as a reference point …”

          Untrue, although “anchored or attached” are weak words. I’d say there is an enormous amount of evidence that the brain and its functioning IS awareness and thought, because when the brain isn’t functioning then the person isn’t functioning, even to the point of partial brain function, or limited artificial stimulation, impacts a person's abilities in somewhat predictable ways. A classic example being Phineas Gage. Another being frontal lobotomies.

          “The Bible likes to call this field the soul or totality of our being which is being tested (refined) by our physical existence.”

          Oh please, you mean you think the Bible “call[s] this field the soul”. The Bible doesn’t say anything about any fields (other than the farming kind). In addition, there is no evidence, at all, that there is some field analogous to something like a soul. Admittedly, that does not disprove its existence, but it definitely doesn’t “prove” it either.

          p.s. Where’d this soul tangent come from anyway?

          May 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • believerfred

          MidwestKen
          "we don’t “experience” the present, or much of anything really, directly, but how does that relate at all to an alleged god?"
          =>One typical argument against God is the veracity of the flood story in light of current scientific understanding. We assume the landscape of reality to be populated with hard scientific understanding of the physical, yet reality is assembled through the awareness of the apparent physical collectively and individually. Just as you do not sense the speed of the earths rotation or motion through the universe you cannot and do not sense that time is only segmented to differentiate reference points. How relative is a nano second or a billion years outside of our existence or on say an eternal landscape?
          This address all the godless attacks of eternal condemnation for evil based upon an evil physical experience for only a few years from the likes of Stalin. Not to mention a host of other false attacks by the godless.

          “There is no evidence that awareness or thought is physically anchored or attached to any organ other than as a reference point …”

          "A classic example being Phineas Gage. Another being frontal lobotomies."
          =>There is absolutely zero evidence as to any form of physical attachment between the brain and any point of awareness or thought. The only evidence is observable and measurable change in external response to stimuli. If I cut a worm in thirds please tell me what is the observable difference between the two end pieces?

          "Oh please, you mean you think the Bible “call[s] this field the soul”. "
          =>The soul is the most important concern in the plan of creation. Fear not he who kills the body but fear the one who takes the body and soul. Certainly Moses would not have understood classical fields or quantum field theory and in 200 years we will have moved well beyond today's understandings. The kingdom of God is not of this world (i.e.stop trying to fit God into what man can understand but understand how man fits into God. God never was substance we can put our finger on.

          "In addition, there is no evidence, at all, that there is some field analogous to something like a soul. Admittedly, that does not disprove its existence, but it definitely doesn’t “prove” it either."
          =>That is because you do not understand DNA is only the observable chemical structure while the information necessary for future (which we cannot know) survival already exists.

          p.s. Where’d this soul tangent come from anyway?
          =>two glasses of wine

          May 23, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @believerfred,
          sounds like more than wine. You answers are all over the place. Get back to me when the amphetamines wear off.

          May 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          @fred "Once we can detect the supernatural by using natural tools and ways it can no longer be supernatural it becomes part of the known natural."

          Either "supernatural" means it has NO effect on our universe or else we could detect it. Even if the supernatural ability was to influence a coin toss only 1% we could detect the change in outcome.

          Your God has no effect on anything which is why we can't detect him/her/it. It's as plain as that.

          May 23, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          NBHA....that's why there are no rich psychics that have won the lottery....why are people too dumb not to be able to see that?

          May 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
      • kudlak

        believerfred
        Most places on the globe would have experienced floods from time to time, correct? The Balkans are experiencing them now like Alberta, Canada experienced them last year. Tsunamis have struck lots of coastlines as well. Why wouldn't people have as many stories about such destructive events as they do volcanos, terribly long winters, or other natural disasters?

        Also, wouldn't the many, many different creation stories just support the idea that inventing such explanations was standard practice for ancient peoples, including the Hebrews? Of course, every people starred their own gods or supernatural forces as the cause of the universe coming into being, correct? All of the creation stories appear to also be teaching some moral, which may be their true purpose. As with the myth of Pandora, the Hebrew tale teaches why women should be blamed for all the world's problems and really should never be trusted with their council as a result. It also establishes why the Sabbath is observed, why people die, why God prefers animal to plant sacrifice and probably a bunch of other things. That's the purpose of myth: to teach about human behavior.

        Like others, I also have the capacity of emotionally-based abstract association. I have loved things and people who were not the best choices logically, and I've suffered because of those poor choices. Once you commit to loving something it's far more difficult to see its faults, and a great many Christians openly admit that they love God more than anything. More than their spouses, their children, their parents and even sometimes themselves. With a love that strong, what are the chances that someone would recognize a fault in God even if they saw it?

        May 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • believerfred

          kudlak
          I agree with you. Note my response to Midwest Ken directly above. There is no evidence regarding this need of mankind to seek an answer to the question why am I here. The need to resolve this question by all of mankind is evidence of agency. I see it as instinctive as salmon swimming up a certain river yet oblivious as to purpose. God (for lack of better word if nothing else) is that agency the salmon cannot comprehend.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • kudlak

          believerfred
          Or, it could be only evidence that our brains have become so big that we can spare mental power on imaging weird possibilities.

          May 22, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • believerfred

          kudlak
          Life was great when the Easter Bunny simply brought you stuff and you made up stories about where he lived and colored eggs. College was great with so much going on and so little time. Chasing riches allowed little time for reflection. A conversion experience out of loss and actually walking through the valley of the shadow of death opened up a window to a reality that ran parallel with that expressed in the Bible. I would not have chosen this path but have been afforded the privilege of an experience with God (to the extent reveled to me).
          The salmon run is not biblical but it does remind me not to make up too much filler where the Word of God is silent.

          May 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • kudlak

          believerfred
          Haven't you ever heard of the expression "Driven mad with grief"?

          How can you trust a feeling you got while driven so low by your emotions?

          May 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • believerfred

          It was more like a complete reboot. I began to read a Bible that had Jesus words in red. Immediately convicted as a sinner I could not put it down.
          You are correct about the emotional stability element. I still hold onto that first event when I have doubt. The path was; call on Jesus for help => repent of sin (my big sin was rejecting any notion of God and mocking what I saw as Bible Thumpers) =>ask for forgiveness=> the Holy Spirit will bring you to all truth.............yep in a flash everything I read and made fun of was put into perspective. Since that time I have seen many prayers answered (yes there is no proof that it was God answering and not just some other remote possibility) and I remain thankful.
          Parts of my belief were not rational in that I never considered the scientific problems with say the flood story until confronted some time later. It certainly could have happened as stated but not in this time and space as we understand it. That which pertains to Gods plan of creation as stated in the Bible is not effected by the scientific discoveries of man (so far).

          There are long periods where God seems distant or non existent. I suspect if there were not continued revelations and promptings from God I could well drift into some form of agnosticism.

          May 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • kudlak

          kudlak
          Oh, we all do bad things, but rejecting any notion of God isn't bad if the notions aren't supported by good evidence, and many Bible Thumpers bring ridicule down upon themselves with their stupid arguments against science and things like gay marriage. Your flash of new insight actually put everything not a new perspective, the one in which believers view the world, but it's not necessarily an accurate perspective.

          When they teach you what to expect as an "answered prayer" then how can you say that it really was answered? The old "yes, no, or later" bit is also exactly what you would expect to happen if you wish upon a star instead. If they told you that "your gut feeling" or "that still, soft voice" was God talking to you then how do you know it isn't some natural, instinctual or subconscious voice speaking to you instead? We already know that we have those things, and that the mind is easily deluded and even tricked. We also know that humans are highly suggestive beings. We fall for effective advertising and messaging. Well, who has had thousands of years to perfect it's messaging if not religion? It has survived because it tells people exactly what they want to hear, and caters to their deepest desires. First, they teach you that you need something new, and then they sell it to you. Sound familiar?

          I find it very telling that you recognize that things like the flood story aren't rational to believe in, but you go ahead and believe it anyway. What you're basically saying is that you believe in something like magic, which can make ANYTHING true. Well, it can also make any other god real, or reincarnation, or magical pixies living in your belly button real too, correct? With magical thinking all of the Greek myths could have really happened, Aquaman could really be ruler of Atlantis, every lottery ticket is a jackpot winner and Harry Potter could really have gone to Hogworth's school. The only limit to magical thinking isn't reality, like rational people deal with, but imagination. Sorry, but I don't see that as any way to live my life.

          May 23, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • kudlak

          believerfred
          Sorry, that post was for you believerfred

          May 23, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • believerfred

          kudlak
          "When they teach you what to expect as an "answered prayer" then how can you say that it really was answered?
          =>Much teaching is well intended but not always right. I had a friend who lost her legs and she asked my why I never prayed for new ones. I said because my faith is weak. I also said that when I pray there is vast difference between when I am asking relative to when I am actually praying in Christ (i.e. in the name of the Jesus as if it was Jesus asking). A request for new legs never entered my thought or heart as there was far greater threat to her position is Christ than there was her position in the wheelchair. In reality I may simply have faith in the later prayers because of a history of Gods presence during such times so that is where I am led. I believe it is the Holy Spirit directing me but if I am deluded I would be clueless that I am off target.
          My misdirected prayers (those with roots in the things of this world) fall into the category you mention as they were never in the way or will of God to begin with. That is not a cop out as I know immediately when my prayer in Christ and it has always been answered.
          "It has survived because it tells people exactly what they want to hear, and caters to their deepest desires."
          =>No doubt this is true as it is a weakness of man (desire) since the beginning. It took me a while to recognize when my prayers were simply misguided self desire and when I was in Christ in prayer.

          May 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          fred....there are tons of people that have prayed for new limbs....and never in the history of the world has it actually happened. Know why I think that is? Because nothing in this world can happen supernaturally that can't happen normally, making miracles impossible, which indeed, they are.

          May 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • believerfred

          kudlak
          "I find it very telling that you recognize that things like the flood story aren't rational to believe in, but you go ahead and believe it anyway."
          =>I don't think I said that. The flood story is the most divine narrative of the plan and purpose of creation onto God condensed into a few pages. The flood story traps the reader into revealing the big question Jesus asked Peter "who do you say I AM". I see believers attempt to justify the flood story to fit their view and the godless reveal how the flood story convicts God of being a mass murderer of women, children and cute little puppies.
          " What you're basically saying is that you believe in something like magic, which can make ANYTHING true."
          =>no, I said based on our scientific understand today the physical aspects of the flood story are not possible. There are a minority of competent scientists who are run out of town as were the round earthers of not that long ago I am not competent to judge between two opposing experts so I lean to the side of scientific consensus (even though wrong in the past).
          There is the unlikely possibility yet still a possibility of scientific error or it was a story to present the plan of salvation and or beginning/end of days.
          The story was certainly based on supernatural events because God was speaking to Noah. God bringing about events that oppose natural law is not a big leap if you believe the first part. Jesus walked on water and raised the dead are a few more supernatural accounts. Belief in God is belief in the supernatural. At some point I must accept the supernatural element or adopt the God of Spinoza. I am happy with simply belief in God and Jesus because of what they did for me. Can I be agnostic about some of the accounts recorded. I don't know you have me scratching my head so I am going to stew on this for a while.

          May 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
  9. Sheik Yerbouti

    Atheism is acceptance and curiosity. We accept that we will not and cannot know all of the mysteries of the universe. We understand that we will die not knowing and that is ok. We also have a thirst for knowledge in our waking days and enjoy science and the arts. We live for today rather than for a pretend paradise after we die. From nothing to nothing. That is reality.

    May 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Atheism just means you don't believe in God.

      Everything else you posted has nothing to do with atheism. It sounds like you are talking about your personal religion.

      People who are not atheist accept that we will not and cannot know all of the mysteries of the universe. They also understand that we will die not knowing and that is ok. They also have a thirst for knowledge in our waking days and enjoy science and the arts. They also live for today rather than for a pretend paradise after we die.

      May 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Why don't we let some other atheists chime in and see if the agree or disagree with my statement.

        May 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Atheism just means you don't believe in God.

          Once you start adding all your wonderful reasons and great ideas – you are talking about a brand of atheism. Not all of atheism. Just a part of it.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Sheik,
          I don't disagree with any of what you said, but technicaly it's not atheism per se, but additional philosophy.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • samsstones

          Booty Shaker
          Can you track Dalahurst on wordpress and see if it is the same as Salero21 and or thefinisher1, they have the same message?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          samsstones
          They do not appear to be the same.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • samsstones

          Booty Shaker
          Thanks. I am wrong again but it is still nice to know.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I love atheists. I even made a point to put an image on my "blog" that suggested so.

          Love our neighbors – our atheist neighbors. Our neighbors of different se.xual orientation. Our neighbors of different races and nationalities. That's our motto.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "That's our motto."

          You mean "That's my motto." because the vast majority of Christians I know do not follow those rules.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          You have to admit that you may be in the minority of Christians who even acknowledge that there are different natural se.xual orientations, correct? A whole lot of Christians out there still argue that it's a choice, probably so that it can still be indi.ctable under their understanding of God's Law.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Dalahäst

          If you follow what Jesus asks us to do, you will probably always be in the minority and will not be a part of the status quo.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Yet, they believe in what they think Jesus taught just as strongly as you do, and even if it were perfectly possible to determine exactly what Jesus meant, to whom, and why, would that understanding be at all useful to people living today? Not without generous amounts of "interpretation" to force Jesus' judgment upon such things as gay marriage, environmental protection and toleration of other faiths, correct?

          May 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • hotairace

          What alleged jesus allegedly asks . . .

          May 21, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is pretty simple. Love your enemies. Pray and help those who harm you. If struck, turn your cheek. If someone steals from you, offer them more. Love others.

          Love your neighbor. Love the person who drives you crazy.

          These are hard things to do. But with God it is possible.

          You'll be like something different than what this world has created you to be.

          May 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          You make it sound like those were the only things Jesus taught. I seem to recall his specifically telling people that the Kingdom would come during their lifetime, to sell everything that they have, to hate their family, and so on. Do these things also figure in your rules for daily living?

          May 21, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          > the Kingdom would come during their lifetime,

          "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."

          > to sell everything that they have,

          A rich man told Jesus how religious he was and wanted to know how to get into heaven.

          Jesus told that man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor.

          That made that man very sad.

          He then went on to say for a rich man, it is near impossible to get into heaven.

          But with God, all things are possible. Quite the jokester, eh?

          > to hate their family, and so on.

          He doesn't say I have to hate my family. He asks me to love others.

          But if I follow Jesus, my family might hate me for it. I'm not living for worldly things or to impress man. I'm following Jesus to God.

          > Do these things also figure in your rules for daily living?

          Of course.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • hotairace

          Jesus allegedly told . . .

          May 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          hotairace

          "He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cu.mbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."

          May 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
        • hotairace

          I know of not a single reason to believe that the desert dweller called jesus was divine in any way or that I need to repent for anything to an alleged but never proven god, regardless of his name or which book of religious bullshit he appears in. In other words, fuck off with your 1st century unsubstaniated mumbo jumbo.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          LOL!

          Your 21st century unsubstaniated mumbo jumbo is so much more interesting!

          You are the one seeking out Christians and practically begging for them to pay attention to you. Day after day.

          Actually.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • hotairace

          As usual, you are pretending to know things you do not.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Allegedly.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • hotairace

          You are starting to get it. I made an allegation, gave my opinion, just like all the allegations, opinions, you spew out about some god and a desert dweller called jesus. The difference is, I am not presenting my opinion as fact, as you do when chatting about your imaginary friends.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God has revealed himself as real and loving to me.

          You have revealed yourself as hostile and bitter to me.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • hotairace

          There you go again, pretending to know things you do not. Allegedly.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know God is real. Or else I would be an atheist. I have knowledge of God. All human beings are capable of knowing and learning about God.

          Your words and actions reveal you to be angry, resentful and not very kind.

          What is being alleged? Are you really happy, joyful and kind? Why not toward me? Because of my religion? Are you a bigot?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • hotairace

          Quite happy thank you very much.

          I can only judge you by what you write here. You repeatedly make claims you cannot subsequently backup. What do you think of a person that behaves that way?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You allege I do that.

          And yet you do the same type of thing.

          I don't have to prove everything to you to validate my beliefs. If you don't need God or don't want God – then be happy with that.

          I have no qualms admitting I believe in God and know he is real. You can post whatever opinion you personally have on the matter.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          The promise was "Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Matt. 16:28. Should I take it then that you believe that the Kingdom actually came back then, and that people are mistaken about a future Second Coming?

          Didn't his apostles give up everything to follow him? Some of them had wives, and none of them seem to be working as they travelled with Jesus. Isn't it reasonable to assume that Jesus was simply referring to the actual example of his closest followers with this rich man, as many modern people do when they drop all their ambitions and go into missionary work, correct?

          Actually, what I hear most from Christians is that you have to love God so much that whatever you feel for even your closest family will feel like hate in comparison. However, that also implies that love of God should trump every other relationship you have. If it comes to keeping your family, or abandoning them to fulfill some mission you feel God is calling you to do, Jesus is advising the later. His closest followers did this, as he himself did.

          All of which seems strange when discussing Jesus as a Family Values sort of guy, wouldn't you say?

          May 22, 2014 at 10:15 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You're right Dala, Atheism only defines my disbelief in any god, it doesn't define anything more than that and it certainly doesn't tell you what my other beliefs may be.
        Jerry Dewitt summed it up perfectly:
        "Skepticism is my nature.
        Free Thought is my methodology.
        Agnosticism is my conclusion.
        Atheism is my opinion.
        Humanitarianism is my motivation."

        May 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nice. for me:

          Skepticism is my nature.
          Free Thought is my methodology.
          Agnosticism is my conclusion.
          Humanitarianism is my opinion.
          Christ's love is my motivation.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @TruthPrevails,
          I like that.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          I fail to see how the former can lead to the last in any way.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          @MidwestKen

          I can't do it Jerry Dewitt's way. Jesus way works better for me. If it didn't, I'd be an atheist or Jerry Dewitt follower.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          How can skepticism and agnosticism lead to "Christ's love..." exactly?

          May 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I am a highly skeptical person. I'm also agnostic on a lot of matters. And I follow Christ.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          Oh please.
          A skeptic is unlikely to believe Jesus was a meesiah even if seen with their own eyes.
          And you are just equivocating on "agnostic" since it was clearly intended as the primary meaning, I.e. god is unknown, which directly contradicts your last statement.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Agnostic literally means "without knowledge".

          I can be agnostic about train engineering.

          I am very skeptical. A lot of Jesus' followers are, too. Look at his original disciples.

          May 20, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dala, Agnostic means a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of god.

          May 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something

          May 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          3. a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.

          May 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          1) as I said, it was clearly intended as the primary meaning, where is your 1st definition. Using multiple meanings of a word is nearly the definition of equivocation.
          2) are you agnostic on the current existence of Jesus? Hence my question about the former leading to the latter.

          May 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, I have knowledge about the current existence of Jesus.

          May 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • fintronics

          Dalaha, you IMAGINE you have knowledge.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You imagine I only imagine I have knowledge.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • fintronics

          Ah! ok, I get it..... it's a secret.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Agnosticism can't be your conclusion if you actually believe in Christ, in the context of the OP. You're using "agnosticism" as a noun, which only refers to matters concerning gods.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm agnostic about that statement.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Are you also skeptical, or agnostic about the existence of other gods?

          May 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm skeptical of them. None have revealed themselves to be true to me. I remain open-minded about the possibility.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          So, you're open-minded about the possibility that your God isn't the only one and that he may share power with some other being(s)? Are you also open-minded to the possibility that you may be judged by one of these other gods some day?

          May 22, 2014 at 9:59 am |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        There is bound to be some disagreement, but I stand by my statement.

        May 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You just need to change the "we statements" to "I statements".

          Or clarify what type of atheists you are talking about. It sounds like a secular humanist atheist statement.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Fair enough

          May 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Dalahast,
        Atheism is to him what he says it means to him. You are not the "definer" of anything for anyone, other than yourself.
        Igtheism (until there is a coherent definition of the word "god" ... which there is not now), makes more sense to me.
        I lack belief in the gods. I also lack belief in teapots orbiting the sun. Does one need to list all the idiotic notions one rejects ?

        May 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, I was going by the dictionary definition of atheism.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
      • kudlak

        Dalahäst
        I'm OK with not knowing everything too, but you have to admit that believing you are communicating with the omniscient creator of the universe, and reading "his" book, tends to give many believers licence to think they know the actual answers to mysteries not yet solved, right?

        May 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The arrogant ones do think they have a license to be that way. The humble ones not so much.

          May 20, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • kudlak

          Too bad the humble ones don't seem to stand up to the other ones very much, or at least express their difference. It really does give the impression that most Christians are the other kind.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:03 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm powerless over what most Christians do.

          I have to focus on what I can change: myself.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • kudlak

          kudlak
          That's all any one of us can do.

          May 22, 2014 at 9:22 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "Atheism just means you don't believe in God."
        ---------------–
        Agreed. And it does not mean, or imply anything further.

        Trying to define a set of shared values for atheists is superfluous. The only thing we have in common for the label to apply is disbelief in God(s).

        May 21, 2014 at 2:06 am |
    • Dalahäst

      There are atheists that do not accept that we will not and cannot know all of the mysteries of the universe. These atheists don't understand that we will die not knowing. Some atheists say that is not ok. Some atheists do not have a thirst for knowledge in our waking days. Some atheists dislike science. Some atheists want nothing to do with the arts. Some atheists do not live for today. They long for a paradise.

      May 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Name one. Now you are grasping.

        May 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          My friend Mark hates the arts. He happens to be an atheist.

          My friend Mary doesn't care for science. She happens to be an atheist.

          They are atheists for different reasons than you are. Your reasons are great... for you. But you don't speak for all atheists.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          I am referring to the Liberal Arts.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, not all atheists are interested in liberal arts. For sure. That's great that you do. I guess.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • samsstones

        Dala...
        What a laugh. You sound exactly like Salero21 or thefiniser1 when they take their medications. Playing your games, you are as much a troll as they are. When are you ever going to state what you believe, all you can do is say, no that is not the kind of Christian I am, pathetic. So what makes you a Christian, can't be just sheer arrogance?

        May 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't rail against all atheists.

          Just ones that say "We atheists..." and then post something that not all atheists do or believe.

          Atheism – no God.

          It doesn't mean you know science. Doesn't mean you appreciate the arts. Doesn't mean you are courageous. It is not that simple.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • samsstones

          Dala...
          So what made you/makes you remain a Christian, enquiring minds want to know? Is it possible you have no clue are just cannot articulate your beliefs?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • samsstones

          or instead or are, I wish kermi.. could correct his errors, oh well.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          dala
          In my circles atheism means courage, intelligence, curiosity, love of science, love of life, love of the arts and acceptance of death.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That is great. But all atheism means is you don't believe in God or gods.

          In my circles Christianity means courage, intelligence, curiosity, love of science, love of life, love of the arts and acceptance of death, too.

          We've got a lot in common.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          @ So what made you/makes you remain a Christian, enquiring minds want to know? Is it possible you have no clue are just cannot articulate your beliefs?

          Love.

          It is possible. It is possible for the same to be true about you. I don't think that it is true for me.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
      • kudlak

        There are atheists who dream about downloading their consciousness into huge computers as a way of achieving immortality a la Transcendence.

        The way computer power is doubling at ever-increasing speeds they're probably more justified in believing that this will actually happen for them, within their lifetimes, than those who believe in a Heavenly paradise.

        May 22, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • MidwestKen

      I would partially agree with Dalahast in that it is not atheism. Alhough I don't think it rates as religion either, at least not according to oxforddictionaries.com.

      May 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Yea, it is more of a philosophy or a personal opinion than a religion.

        But there are atheist religions that hold those same kind of ideas.

        May 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Atheistic religions perhaps, I.e. non-god religions, but "atheist religion" seems a contridiction.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is a bizarre phenomenon.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          My point was that I'm not sure it is a phenomena. Even an Atheist Church may not entail "religion" per se.

          May 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've witnessed some atheist people acting just like the religious people they criticize. Often they are incapable of seeing it in themselves. They slip into denial. And usually the ones lashing out the hardest against religion, are the ones that hold those same qualities they profess to hate.

          Cognitive dissonance is a mother f'er.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          There are some very militant atheists, I agree. What's your point?

          I doubt you've seen Atheists causing other people harm while claiming that God wants/told them to. e.g. the latest Belief Blog article.
          Atheists are responsible for their own actions. If they are "preaching" then they have no excuse of the "great commandment",

          May 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have seen atheists causing other people harm. But they didn't believe God wants/told them to. But they still caused other people harm.

          May 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalahast,
          I don't doubt it for a second. Atheists are people, just like everyone else, some are good and some are not. The difference is that Atheist don't use divine will/revelation to justify their actions, good or bad.

          In addition, they also don't use Atheism the justify their actions, because Atheism is just an rejection, either of god(s), or in most cases, the belief in god(s), but not a philosophy. For that, atheists must turn to other things, like Humanism, Buddhism, etc.

          May 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Atheism just means you don't believe in God. Everything else you said is philosophy.

          And not all Christians or non-atheists use divine will/revelation to justify their actions.

          As a Christian I am responsible for my own actions.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:09 am |
        • MidwestKen

          I said nothing to the contrary.

          As for Christians, while they may not always abdicate resposibility, they can claim divine justification for those actions. This happens quite frequently and most recently in the bans on gay marriage.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The church I go to probably does more to support equal rights for marriage and other areas than probably all of the anti-theists combined on this blog have ever done.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Good for you, but how is that relevant?

          Do you deny that many Christians justify their stance on gay marriage almost entirely based on the bible, I.e. suposed divine revelation?

          May 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some people on here use the Bible to proclaim that God is evil.

          Some people on here use the Bible to proclaim that God is good.

          Some people on here use the Bible to deny rights to other people.

          Some people on here use the Bible to fight for equal rights for all.

          The same Bible. But different people.

          I'm not leading my life by what some Christian do. Or what some atheists do not do.

          I don't think you theory is quite that simple. I've known a lot of ho.mophobes, and not all their reasons were religious. Some used science (it is not natural) or personal taste (it is disgusting) to justify their beliefs.

          Some Christians do use the Bible to do that.

          Some Christians are g.ay are and are being persecuted by those other Christians.

          What the people do reveals more than what they imagine the Bible says.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          I'm not certain what "theory" you are reeferring to, but all I'm saying is that atheists cannot logically justify their actions with divine (from god(s)) will/revelation.
          I'm not claiming that as better or worse, necessarily, just a distinction.

          However, one could argue that externalizing the source of justification allows, but not mandates, the justification of things the person wouldn't normaly consider.

          To be fair this is not limited to religion, but does include rligion.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right.

          I'm sorry, I deal with a lot of 'internet atheists' that try to compare the best of their 'atheism' to the worst of human religion.

          They'll toot their own horns about their atheism – and somehow link it to science and logic and humanitarianism. But point out a flaw of atheists – and they start saying atheist just means you don't believe in God. People don't do horrible things because they are atheist. But they do do great things because they are atheists.

          I know, we aren't dealing with rocket scientists here. But that is usually the mindset I see on here. I'm glad for the few that aren't that way on this blog. And the majority in my life that aren't that way either!

          May 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • Reality

      Sheik Yerbouti (or whatever your name is),

      This might help:

      The Apostles'/Atheists’ 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 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • transframer

        What you describe looks like a common story of those days. How come it developed in the greatest story of all times? Make it shorter please, I know your posts are very large.

        May 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • Reality

          The "greatest con of all times is based on the promise of a heavenly afterlife and the resurrection con previously detailed.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:07 am |
        • transframer

          Ok, but why was this one so successful and not others? There are many cons around, promising all kind of things. What was so special about Jesus?

          May 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Reality

          Being at the right place at the right time and having great PR people who saw significant profit in the messages mostly invented to make Jesus into some kind of god.

          Only for those who are not reading challenged:

          Christian Economics and Greed 101:

          The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the "dunking". The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added "healing" as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.

          Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and "Gentilized" the good word to the "big buck" world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?

          Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them "free". Major greed on his part!!

          The Holy Roman "Empirers"/Popes/Kings/Queens/Evangelicals et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today's richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

          An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

          "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
          Some of Paul's money gathering activities some of which resulted in buying the Gentile entry into the then mostly Jewish version of Christianity:

          Paul claimed almost total independence from the "mother church" in Jerusalem.[12] and yet was eager and diligent to bring material support from the various budding Gentile churches that he planted to the mother church at Jerusalem.

          When a famine occurred in Judea, around 45–46,[24] Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem to deliver financial support from the Antioch community.[25] According to Acts, Antioch had become an alternative center for Christians following the dispersion of the believers after the death of Stephen. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians."[Ac. 11:26]. This act basically "greased" the entry of non-circu-mcised Gentiles into Christianity.

          "Paul collected the money from his four provinces, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia but, for obvious reasons, of propriety, had representatives take each province's own contribution".

          May 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • transframer

          Let's see how early adopters have seen great profit: John Baptizer was beheaded; almost all 12 Apostles have suffered horrific deaths; Paul was arrested and most likely beheaded; a long list of martyrs also suffered horrible deaths or were arrested or exiled. By the time Constantine came to power the carnage of Christians was almost a norm.
          How is this this for a great PR? Who would follow a so called con that only brings suffering and misery?

          May 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Reality

          The "martyrdoms" of the apostles are mostly single attestations and therefore historically unreliable. Dying for bad theology and flawed history also is not unique as witnessed by today's crazy, Muslim, koranic-driven, suicide bombers.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Bad comparison......people do NOT die for something they KNOW to be a lie.....these people died for something they KNEW to not be a lie...they SAW the risen jesus..and they died for it..they experienced the risen jesus...and they died for it....show me anyone who has died for something they KNEW to be a lie

          May 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • observer

          kermit4jc,

          Yep. Terrorist suicide bombers are not dying for something they know is a lie. That doesn't mean they are dying for TRUTH.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that was NOT my point..Im talking of martyrs who are killed for the beliefs (by OTHERS..not suicide)

          May 22, 2014 at 2:21 am |
        • hotairace

          Being willing to die for something does not say anything about the thing that someone thinks is worth dying for. It only says something about how that person views the thing and their state of mind. Would anyone seriously argue that the folks in Jonestown or Waco died, and caused their children to die, for valid/true/worthy causes?

          May 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "people do NOT die for something they KNOW to be a lie"

          How do you know that? By definition, they are concealing the truth, so you'd never know if they were dying for a lie or not.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Take the apostiles for instance..most of then died at the hands of romans and other people....they proclaim that Jesus is alive, that he was resurrected.....if they made that story up to make a lie..they would not have died for it...if they KNEW it to be a lie..they would not have done it..its very basic human trait...no one would die for something they KNEW to be a lie

          May 22, 2014 at 2:22 am |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "Take the apostiles for instance..most of then died at the hands of romans and other people"

          You don't know that, but you must want to believe it, otherwise you wouldn't accept legend as truth.

          And in any case, I don't find it so hard to believe that someone, especially in bygone days when it was more important, would die for a lie simply to protect their own honor or the honor of someone they loved or of a group to which they felt a strong attachment.

          May 22, 2014 at 8:43 am |
        • James XCIX

          transframer – "...almost all 12 Apostles have suffered horrific deaths"

          That's legend and tradition, with no validation.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • transframer

          Reality:
          Hmm, I'm trying to answer but all I write is censored somehow. Let's see if this is.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • transframer

          Reality:
          First of all why all that you wrote about Bible is reliable and worth mentioning

          May 21, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
        • transframer

          ...but well known facts ...

          May 21, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • transframer

          ...about thousands of martyrs deaths are not reliable?

          May 21, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • transframer

          But, most importantly, you didn't answer the question: how come Christianity was so successful when such bad things happened to early adepts? It's not only 12 Apostles, again, there are thousands of martyrs.
          Especially if you say it was not unique? Why didn't other cons perform as well?

          May 21, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • observer

          transframer,

          If being willing to die for your religion is the criterion for the TRUTH in your religion, then the radical Muslims who are so willing to die for their beliefs are ahead of Christians today.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • transframer

          observer:
          The subject of this thread was not the criterion for truth but the success of Christianity. In particular, the claim the in the beginning was just a con. How come no other con was so successful? What was so special about Christianity to spread when all that everybody seemed to get was death or suffering?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • James XCIX

          transframer = " there are thousands of martyrs"

          Every religion has its martyrs, but you seem susceptible to belief in legends.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • James XCIX

          transframer – "How come no other con was so successful?"

          How do you explain the success of Islam, then? Christianity had a 600 year head start, but Islam is catching up fast.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • transframer

          James XCIX
          I am not talking about legends, these are facts. Even the Wikipedia (not the most Christian friendly) shows some of them. How many martyrs have other religions? The important fact here is that Christianity had its martyrs in the beginning and still managed to spread, even if people saw what happens with Christians. Why?

          May 21, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
        • hotairace

          Because the early believers were as delusional as today's believers. They were in need of something that the jesus story provided, not necessarily because the story was actually true.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • transframer

          James XCIX
          There is a huge difference: Islam was imposed, forced on people. Most of them had no choice. Christianity, exactly the opposite, nobody forced anybody to become a Christian.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • transframer

          hotairace
          OK, so show us a con from today where people are willing to die for just because they believe in it. It has to be a new one, not something established, like Islam. Also, not a sect, where some charismatic leader fools people but everything crashes when he leaves or dies. Exactly like Christianity started, a new con (as you say) from that time.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • James XCIX

          transframer = "The important fact here is that Christianity had its martyrs in the beginning and still managed to spread,"

          What martyrs are you talking about, those killed by Jew or those killed by Romans? If by Jews, I don't think you can docu.ment very many of those. If by Romans, that started somewhat later and was due to the Romans believing the Christians were bring calamity to Rome by not worshiping their gods properly (hmm, sound familiar today?). But I don't see why you think that would have caused Christians to stop believing what they believed.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • hotairace

          Given your imposed limitations, I'm not sure that I can. You conveniently excluded all the usual subjects, religious cults or sects, which of course is exactly what the dead jew zombie death cult aka christianity is.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • transframer

          James:
          Take your pick. The fact was there were martyrs. Do you think it's normal to die for something instead of stop believing?

          May 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • transframer

          hotairace:
          Because sects/cults don't look/behave like Christianity: they exist only as long as sect founder exists and members only follow directly the leader, not second hand followers. But feel free to show me an example of some sect which is more like Christianity in this respect

          May 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
        • hotairace

          Mormons.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • Doris

          What – you don't think people could have been as gullible then as they can be today?

          May 21, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • otoh2

          transframer,

          Scientology. Nobody martyrs them though, see, 'cuz Xenu protects them!

          May 21, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • transframer

          Mormons are based on Christianity even if greatly distorted. But anyway, did Mormons die for their beliefs?

          May 21, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • transframer

          Doris:
          Gullible is one thing, dying for something is entirely different.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • hotairace

          I clearly do not know the complete history of every religious cult, including christianity, and who died, for what and when, nor do I think you do. You obviously think you have some significant point to make as a result of delusional people dying for their delusions. Let's cut to the chase. The number of people who die for something or the number of people who believe something does not lend credibility to whatever it is they believe. Only actual evidence builds credibility, and you have zero actual evidence for the basic foundations of christianity, nor does any other member of any god cult.

          That someone is willing to die for that which there is no actual evidence speaks to the depths of their delusions (mental illness likely) not the credibility of what they believe in.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
        • James XCIX

          transframer – I see hotairace already made the point I was going to make. Nobody, including you, knows the numbers of who died for what, and in any case the numbers are irrelevant to the truth of the claims.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        • transframer

          Yes, what I'm trying to say is that it had to be something much more important to make so many people behave in such un-natural way.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • hotairace

          Mental illness would explain such abnormal behavior.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
        • transframer

          You are wrong about only actual evidence builds credibility,...

          May 22, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • Reality

          And coming full circle:

          The "greatest con" of all times is based on the promise of a heavenly afterlife and the resurrection con previously detailed.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:01 am |
        • transframer

          ...even in the legal system exists and is used ...

          May 22, 2014 at 12:01 am |
        • James XCIX

          transframer – "it had to be something much more important to make so many people behave in such un-natural way."

          Clearly that's an important element in why you believe Christianity's claims. For others, it's unimportant and irrelevant.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:01 am |
        • Reality

          Strong circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god (or did they all die as martyrs?)

          Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

          1. 300,000,000 approx.
          Smallpox

          2. 200,000,000 ?
          Measles

          3. 100,000,000 approx.
          Black Death

          4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
          Malaria

          5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
          Spanish Flu

          6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Plague of Justinian

          7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Tuberculosis

          8. 30,000,000[13]
          AIDS pandemic

          9. 12,000,000 ?
          Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

          10. 5,000,000
          Antonine Plague

          11. 4,000,000
          Asian Flu

          12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

          May 22, 2014 at 12:02 am |
        • transframer

          "cir c umstantial" evidence.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • transframer

          I find it much more logical to think that something special happened instead of thinking all these people were ready to die for nothing. Simply no other event like this happened before and after. If anything, at least it makes you think...

          May 22, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • transframer

          Sorry, this is the whole post:
          Yes, what I'm trying to say is that it had to be something much more important to make so many people behave in such un-natural way. You are wrong about only actual evidence builds credibility, even in the legal system exists and is used "circ-umstantial" evidence. I find it much more logical to think that something special happened instead of thinking all these people were ready to die for nothing. Simply no other event like this happened before and after. If anything, at least it makes you think...

          May 22, 2014 at 12:05 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Transformer....many people have blown themselves up in suicide bombings and flown planes into buildings for their religious beliefs. Does that also make their religions special?

          May 22, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • transframer

          Mental illness, heavenly afterlife or anything else can't explain what happened there. As I said, there is no example you can compare.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • transframer

          Reality:
          You have nothing related to this subject other than the fact you consider circ-umstantial evidence is credible (unlike hotairace)

          May 22, 2014 at 12:11 am |
        • otoh2

          transframer,

          Many Tibetan monks have martyred themselves (totally selflessly) for their fellow Buddhists.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:16 am |
        • hotairace

          The justice system's rules of evidence allow for circu.mstantial evidence but you do not have any such evidence for the existence of any god. People dying for an alleged god is not evidence of any kind for the alleged god.

          May 22, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        • Reality

          Again, coming full circle:

          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.

          (references used are available upon request)

          May 22, 2014 at 8:09 am |
  10. observer

    Pennsylvania's same s3x marriage ban has been struck down. Biblical h0m0phobia is being defeated by education and equality

    May 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      Regardless of the secular stance on issues spelled out in Scripture, it will forever remain an abomination.
      -Selah

      May 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        AMEN theo

        May 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You and your friend are bigots using the guise of Christianity to be such. There is no evidence to support that LGBT is unnatural and you as a psychologist should be up to date on this. Set aside your belief for one second and tell us what it is you have against these people. Why the need to care so much about what happens in the bedrooms of other people? Does it affect you? Are you paying their way in this world? Are you paying for their children to go through life?
          If you don't want people interfering in your personal life on matters of love, then keep your nose and bible out of the personal lives of others.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
      • observer

        Theo Phileo,

        Yes. It's an abomination like eating scallops. lobster, and Alaskan king crablegs.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Observer....and don't forget how terrible it is to wear a poly-cotton blend shirt!

          May 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • samsstones

        Philioidiotism
        The Jews deserved whatever evil befalls them because they were cursed by Theo's god and gays should be denied equal rights because Theo's book of silly says so. I do not know who is the more disgusting bigot you or Ranier. Anything else you say is worthless.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • Madtown

        it will forever remain an abomination
        --–
        An abomination to who? You?

        May 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • igaftr

        theo
        Your man made ignorant book and the beliefs it spawns are the true abomination to all of humanity.
        No where in your book does it condemn h0m0$exuality. You are reading it wrong, like always.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Regardless of the theological stance on issues spelled out in Scripture, they will forever remain supersti.tion.

        -Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        May 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks." ~Marcus Aurelius

        May 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Theo
        You and your bigoted brethren can revel in posthumous schadenfreude, confident that the heathens will suffer eternal torture.
        While here on Earth, even abominations are enti.tled to equal treatment under the law.

        Religious condemnation of ho.mose.xuality will soon be viewed with the same sense of shame that the memory of racial segregation elicits.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • Reality

        o "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

        To wit:

        1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

        “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

        2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

        3. See also the From the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
        "Most scientists who study human se-xuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with h-omose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?"
        http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/evolution/Gay-gene-deconstructed.html

        Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

        May 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
      • sam stone

        then don't marry someone of the same gender, corn pone

        problem solved

        equal rights are coming, matter how much that bothers you, or gopher, or kermy, or robet brown, or new-man, etc etc et-fvcking c

        May 20, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      That is awesome.

      May 20, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. "
      – Pierre Trudeau

      May 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        R'Amen, Doc.

        May 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
  11. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    LET's Religiosity Law #2 – When someone starts a conversation by identifying themselves as a 'Christian', they are about to be an asshole.

    May 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
  12. Sheik Yerbouti

    I think being a Christian is the easy way out. That is why there are so many. They are lazy. They are too lazy to argue with something so many others reject, so they join in to be accepted. Particularly so-called “bible scholars”. What a ridiculous job to have, talk about checking out. Then there are the squeaky clean bible school teachers brainwashing children into believing in fairy tales about god and Jesus and renewing the cycle of lies. There is so much wrong with Christianity that one struggles to pin down the worst things but I will try:

    1. Brainwashing children and adults.
    2. Missionaries forcing indigenous peoples to convert to Christianity.
    3. Stealing money from otherwise honest people who don’t understand they are being fleeced in church or by evangelicals on television.

    Then there are churches themselves which are just creepy. Why not worship on the beach or by a meadow where you can be close to nature? Maybe you won’t get the tax break? Oh, #4. No taxes.

    May 20, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      What are you?

      May 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Human, male.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Me too!

          May 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Great, I am glad we cleared that up. Do you have a comment of any relevance to the discussion?

        May 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What are you that is not "easy way out" to be?

          A Christian can be a human, male, too.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          To be honest I am not sure I understand your question, but I can assure you facing life while accepting how very little we know about it is difficult and demands courage. It takes courage not to give in to fantasy and instead accept that we are but animals on a tiny planet destined to live and die in complete isolation. No gods to lean on, no angels to talk to. Just the nothing. If you can accept that truth then you understand why there is nothing to fear. We came from the nothing and we will return to the nothing. Brain dead. We are dead.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There is nothing that is courageous to believe that. In no way is that not an "easy way out".

          Anyone can believe that. It sounds like a personal philosophy.

          You mentioned earlier that you are an atheist. Anyone can be an atheist. It too is an easy way out.

          Most atheists I've met don't have the same viewpoints that you hold.

          What kind of atheist are you?

          May 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Dalahäst
          I am just your standard run of the mill atheist. What do you think makes me different?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Most atheists I know don't stereotype and make broad, sweeping generalizations about Christians (which, ironically, is a very lazy thing to do).

          The ones that do are usually not run-of-the-mill atheists, but more zealous or extreme in their views.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          I don't agree. I am just a plain old atheist.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's fair.

          Evidence suggests most atheists are not like you. But who cares about evidence?

          Do you agree that any idiot can be an atheist? Just like any idiot can be a Christian?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          dala,
          Any idiot can be anything they wish. The question is, are you an idiot? Am I an idiot? Let's say we are not. Then why do you believe in make believe while I am a realist?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I am a realist, too.

          I don't believe in make-believe.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • sealchan

          The right kind of make believe allows you to solve problems and get one with life. It does not require forming an organization, it does not require performing acts of evil against other people, but it does require courage and, well, faith. I remember in my calculus course in college how certain calculus problems required coming up with an analogous problem in order to side step an unsolvable equation. This same principle can be applied through myth and ritual (akin to fiction and fantasy) successfully to free a human soul from bondage to a reality they cannot hope to fully comprehend (in the same way that physics cannot hope to predict the trajectories of all measurable particles indefinitely into the future. Since humans don't live in a lab, we can't afford to make decisions about outcomes that way.

          May 20, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Dala, Christians have consistently been asked for evidence of their god. The bible is the only source of "evidence" and that has been proven to be incorrect in all the foundational stories. So if it is not make-believe where is the objective evidence?

          May 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + Dala, Christians have consistently been asked for evidence of their god.

          Ok.

          + The bible is the only source of "evidence" and that has been proven to be incorrect in all the foundational stories.

          No. They have other sources. The Bible is one source of many. There is nothing incorrect about an origin story. Especially when the point is not to explain the physical – but the spiritual aspects of life.

          + So if it is not make-believe where is the objective evidence?

          Some things are greater than your limited understanding of objective evidence. That is not too hard to observe.

          May 20, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • fintronics

          " They have other sources." and these other sources are??...

          I don't consider your imagination to be a "source"

          May 21, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think your imagination is a good source either.

          Other sources include – science, relationships, charity, love, spirituality, prayer, rest, theology, mathematics, arts, meditation, parenting, testimony, needs, nature, life, death, beauty, peace, joy, serenity. Oh, and Jesus Christ, who lives.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • fintronics

          "I don't think your imagination is a good source either."

          I don't claim "fact" based on my imagination like you do.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • fintronics

          Now you resort to lying claiming science provides evidence for god...

          May 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Science proves God to me.

          I'm not lying.

          There are elite scientists that claim the same thing.

          “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

          –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          There are doubtlessly many elite scientists and doctors who also smoke and don't exercise enough too, but they can no more defend their personal preferences professionally than your elite scientists can actually demonstrate that the God they believe in actually exists. They may feel that he does, but they can't show it scientifically, and the only point in identifying them as elite scientists is to highlight what they can demonstrate professionally. Otherwise, their opinion is worth only as much as everyone else who simply feels that God must be real.

          May 23, 2014 at 10:00 am |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Sheik, missionaries ,in their ignorance of disease ,transmitted germs to vulnerable peoples .They had no clue of what they were carrying . So it wasn't intentional on their part. The explorers did the same every where they went plundering the riches of the indiginess people. The problem has never been religion, its the use of said for bullying and power that causes the problem. We have a lot of people who are willing to hurt and destroy in order to get what they want by any means available and religion is one of the favored means. But these are distortions and basterdisations of the original beliefs.

      May 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I'm totally against #1, 2 & 3. And I'm a Christian. In fact, nothing that I learn in church or fellow Christians suggests that those things are in any way acceptable.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • G to the T

        "But these are distortions and basterdisations of the original beliefs."

        By whose critera? Isn't this just another version of the No True Scotsman?

        May 20, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
  13. Salero21

    Atheism/evolutionism/cultism/paganism/idolatry are Absolute, Complete and Totally Absurd NONSENSE. Atheists/evolutionists/idolaters are extreme hypocrites and compulsive pathological Liars. Anyone can see the Evidence here daily.

    May 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Please don't feed the trolls!

      May 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Here is the definition of Atheism...you'll note it has nothing to do with any of the other things you have spewed on about. I suggest you bookmark the site for future reference and to save yourself from looking more trollish and stupid than you already do:
      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism

      May 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        TP....that azzhat could hardly look more stupid than he already does.

        May 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        TP, don't feed the troll. He only posts that asinine rubbish to get a reply. Ignore him.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          I would wager that most believers on this blog find it's posts asinine.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    **A personal relationship with God is not arrogance unless one does not understand God**

    So let me get this straight....if you claim to UNDERSTAND the creator of the entire unverse...and claim he/she/it is in a personal relationship with you....that is NOT arrogant. Umm...ok. Suffice it to say fred, I could not disagree with you more. I think that is the epitomy of arrogance...wow.

    May 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      There are two sides to this arrogance issue:

      1. Christians are arrogant because they think the almighty is personally involved when they take a dump.
      2. Since there is no god, it is not arrogance but instead just a delusional obsession. The loonies are not locked up.

      May 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I don't see delusion and arrogance as being mutually exlusive...often arrogance is a side effect of delusional thinking.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
    • bostontola

      I'd call that pretty arrogant, and I consider myself a practicing expert.

      I can't say that I've seen any correlation between arrogance and belief/not belief in God. Arrogance seems like an equal opportunity characteristic of humans to me.

      May 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Well I did paint it with a broad brush...

        I would say the belief itself is arrogant, even though the person can be humble.

        i.e. I agree with you.

        May 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • bostontola

          When I said I'd call that pretty arrogant, I was referring to:
          **A personal relationship with God is not arrogance unless one does not understand God**

          May 20, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I know boston,

          I was just clarifying my position. The belief is arrogant, but the person may or may not be.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      I think most Christians give themselves the arrogance "out" of claiming they are "slaves" to God so they feel they are humbling themselves before him. Of course when it comes out of their mouths while telling other people why their God/gods aren't real and that their God is real and is going to save them and give them wonderous rewards they of course are being extremely arrogant.

      May 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
  15. Sheik Yerbouti

    Some of my family and best friends are Christians. They just dismiss me as a lost cause but don’t seem to value me any less as a friend, son or sibling. We have some good friendly ribbing but I can’t change their opinions and they can’t change mine. Family is family and friends are often made prior to a midnight bare your soul session and Denny’s so the reveal comes after bonds are made. I love these people and I don’t care one way or another what they believe. That being said, they are a minority. Strangers regard me in horror if I mention that I am an atheist or don’t participate in their ceremonies. They seem afraid of “catching” something if they get to close or listen to what I have to say on the matter. They use words like, “shame on you” and “I will pray for you”. Why can’t everyone mind their own business when it comes to religion? Furthermore, what could be worse than missionaries and all the damage they have caused throughout the world?

    May 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Reading some of your earlier posts, the last half of this post where you get all judgmental and preachy seems kind of hypocritical on your part.

      I was an atheist in the Bible Belt for many years. It wasn't that bad.

      May 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        I was an atheist in the bible belt for 18 years. It was hell on earth with the few exceptions I mentioned. I am just sharing my experience, call it what you will.

        May 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I would call it a persecution complex.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          You are half right. Drop the complex and look at the reality of Christians knocking on my front door.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some Christians claim they are being persecuted so they come online and rail against atheists.

          Some atheists claim they are being persecuted so they come online and rail against Christians.

          Welcome!

          May 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....I don't fell I am persecuted by Christians. I just don't like living in the same country as so many illogical and delusional people.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know doctors, commercial airline pilots, police officers, soldiers, surgeons, scientists and fellow citizens that I place my life in their hands, and they happen to be Christian. I don't think they are exclusively illogical or delusional. Usually those who claim they all are... are actually illogical and delusional themselves.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....that is a stupid claim with absolutely no basis of fact behind it. But coming from a self prescribed religious hound, I am guessing you make all types if claims with no facts to support them

          May 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Really? Because I know anti-theists who say all Christians are illogical and delusional – yet they have no problem placing their lives in their hands or accepting their groundbreaking scientific and technological discoveries.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal....their scientific discoveries had nothing to do with their religion, just as you would not reject scientific principles discovered by atheists. That's what makes it a stupid point.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          guliblenomore

          I also don't make broad generalizations about atheists nor attempt to stereotype them as all illogical or delusional. Especially when evidence suggests some have demonstrated a higher understanding of logical fields like science and mathematics than me.

          Do you think all Christians are illogical and delusional?

          May 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Dal...,if they believe the bible without any proof, then yes, they are all illogical and delusional by default

          May 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          So you consider yourself persecuted.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I don't. Not by atheists, at least.

          The anti-theists like you have no power to persecute. You just spread bigoted messages that I oppose.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Science has proven humans have evolved over many millions of years and we contain the DNA of several competeing biped species from 20,000 – 40,000 years ago. Geologists have proven that there is plenty of evidence for how the earth has moved and been shaped by nature over millions of years. Interestingly they have found exactly zero evidence of anything resembling a "global flood" and have ruled out that unfounded theory.

          Would my statements be considered "atheist"? or "anti-theist"? I thought I was just re-stating accepted science that 99% of the scientific community agree on after having spent hundreds of thousands of hours in research and study. So I think what Dala is trying to say is that facts and reality are anti-theist therefore he has decided to reject them.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          A person who is not an atheist or not an anti-theist could make those statements.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      Missionaries cause damage throughout the world? Could have fooled me!
      http://www.mercyships.org

      May 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        The Role of Religion in the Destruction of Human Diversity

        May 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          The only diversity that is lost when a man turns to Christ are the tenants of his past beliefs – which you don't agree with anyway, so why do you have a problem with evangelism if your only complaint is some loss of diversity, which is indeed minute?

          May 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....I don't think loss of diversity was his only complaint.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Destroying cultures and spreading disease all over the world is minute?

          May 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Destroying cultures and spreading disease all over the world is minute?"
          --------------–
          Anyone can spread disease, THAT is not limited to Christians, so you should retract that comment, unless of course, you want to say that plague rats were somehow followers of Christ.

          And as to destroying cultures, I cannot speak to those who do wicked things in the name of Christ, for just because someone says that they are doing something in the name of Christ doesn't mean they actually are. It takes a proper reading of scripture to determine that. But on that note, in the mid 20th century, an entire Nazi culture was destroyed by a world coalition – so not all cultures being destroyed is a bad thing.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....missionaries almost wiped out the inhabitants of Hawaii. That's pretty significant.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          gulliblenomore,
          No, I'm sure that he has many complaints centered around his personal bias against Christians. But take a look at the website for the Mercy Ships. Are you willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Look at how many millions of people that just this one missionary centered service have touched, and this is just one missionary service, there are thousands of others just like this one. Would you will that they no longer exist? Who would step in to fill their shoes? How about George Soros? Nah... I don't think so.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....not a chance would I go and help people learn about an imaginary god. Seems counter-productive to me.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Of course anyone can spread disease. That was not my point. Missionaries make it a point to go where they are not wanted and hold the indigenous people hostage. If you want a fresh water well or a school house, you must worship OUR god. This destroys the culture from the inside out. Look around Africa for example, where they have been taught a good Christian must destroy the African culture. Nigeria comes to mind. Christians bring death on a number of levels.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Sheik,
          Sure there have been idiot missionaries who didn't follow the Bible's teaching. They are human and make mistakes. But the organization that I showed to you doesn't ask you who you worship, or even IF you worship, in order to receive services from them. All I mean to say is that yeah, there are some bad things that have been done in the name of God, but that is not an admonition against God, or the Bible, but rather is an admonition to those who committed wicked deeds in the name of their God.

          If you are going to throw out all of Christianity because there have been bad things done in the name of God, then you must also throw out every other philosophy on earth under which men have done wicked deeds.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Sheik,
          With the mentality of throwing away any philosophy under which men have done wicked deeds, you must naturally throw out Darwinism. Shortly after the publication of "the Origin of Species," Darwinists who were overly ambitious to find the "missing link" began robbing the graves of Aborigines in order to examine them as the possible missing link. This practice eventually culminated in the slaughter of Aborigines in order that they may be scientifically examined for this purpose.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          There is a rather large and obvious difference. God is not real. Evolution is real. Reality check point.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Sheik,
          The Law of Causality applied to the Argument from Contingency proves that God exists.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Theo....they prove no such thing, and certainly wouldn't narrow it down to only your god.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • samsstones

          Booty Shaker
          Do not incite Philioidiotism to raise its ugly head, it will go on for pages. "a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing." Do not encourage Theo to get on a rant.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Going back to Plato now? The problem with your argument Theo is that you don't take any other possible scenarios into consideration. Neither of us now how the universe was created.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WHO says he has never taken it into consideration..in the same token..we can say the same of YOU....don't do double talk here dude

          May 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Maybe he can speak for himself.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • igaftr

          theo
          "The Law of Causality applied to the Argument from Contingency proves that God exists."

          Completely false, since you cannot conclude any "god" did anything, since you still have not shown any god to exist.
          SOMETHING was the cause of the Big Bang, but since we do not know, adn we do not have enough information to each any conclusion, your conclusion is claerly not based in logic, but rather biased from your belief.

          There is no reason for you to lie.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @iagftr..right..you believe somethbign came ouit of NOTHING...many scientists say that possibly it all started with gases..well where did those ceom from...and where did the source from that come from..on and on to the end....that sounds more like magic and insane to believe in than a Creator...things coming into existence without cause..without a starting point...(btw God existed for all t8ime..he is not created...so the argument cannot be switched my way-that woud be comparing apples to oranges)

          May 20, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • samsstones

          kermi
          Really spend your free time getting an education. Start with basic English composition and when you have learned how to form a sentence and paragraph you may have something coherent to say. Displaying your ignorance is futile.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and making such stupid remarks..judging stupidly about my writing is arrogant..If CASE you have NOT noticed..I get a LOT of these here and I AM TYRYING to respond to as many as I can.....This is nOT a formal blog ok...so just let it alone..if you don't like it..don't read it....I am a published writer..i know about grammar and spelling...oh..by the way..did I mention there is a thing called TYPOS (due to ones TYPING?) yes..they exist..I ma a human who makes mistakes.....sorry ..just don't read my posts if you don't like it...thanks

          May 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • fintronics

          Kermi, so what's the scientific theory regarding the "creator"?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and if you have to use science to make out your life...then I pity you....

          May 21, 2014 at 1:47 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....why exactly do you pity anybody that uses science to make out their life? Without science, you wouldn't have that nice computer to type your insults to people all around the world. Scientific advances have moved us from an avg lifespan of 32 to 72. See...we don't need your god bogeyman anymore....science is much more dependable. Tell me you wouldn't want to have the worlds best heart doctor operating on you rather than just sitting on your couch praying the problem away.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:26 am |
        • fintronics

          Kermit "...(btw God existed for all t8ime..he is not created..."

          ....and your evidence for this claim??

          May 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • hotairace

          Kermit, why can't you understand that science saying "we don't know" does not equate to "some alleged but never proven god did it"? There is no, zero, none, nada, actual evidence for any supernatural claim. There are mounds of words (just read, or try to read, the crap from delusional believers such as fred, Topher and Theo Puffy Words) but words alone are not evidence. Why do you and your ilk continue to pretend to know things you do not? Why do you and your ilk not seek help for your mental health issues?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IM sorry you are jealous of our claims to knowledge of God..we don't pretend..it is real....just cause you cant scientifixcally prove it doesn't mean it don't exist..you make science your god.....

          May 21, 2014 at 1:49 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          "iagftr..right..you believe somethbign came ouit of NOTHING..."

          No...no one believes that... way to completely misrepresent every theory on what caused the Big Bang ever.
          Why are you lying about me? I have not stated my beliefs, since they are moot.

          Why do you guys always falsely claim that anyone thinks that everything came from nothing, yet you have no problem with your imaginary buddy always existing? Both are false claims as far as any can show. Why must you always misrepresent the facts? Is it that your position is that weak that it cannot stand up to scrutiny, or is it that YOU are the one who cannot comprehend, so must fall back on straw men?

          May 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so things are eternal....there never was a beginning?

          May 21, 2014 at 1:49 am |
        • G to the T

          "right..you believe somethbign came ouit of NOTHING"

          False – the Big Bang theory at no point states that nothing ever existed. It does reference a singularity, but far from being nothing, it is in fact, EVERYTHING.

          May 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I think you need to reread my post...you got the Big Bang...where did that come from? what are the elements and situation to cause it to happen? and where did those elements come from? where is the beginning?

          May 21, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • sam stone

          "The Law of Causality applied to the Argument from Contingency proves that God exists."

          It does no such thing, corn pone

          The argument from contingency may HYPOTHESIZE a creator exists

          but to say that being is A god is a leap of logic

          to say it is a SPECIFIC God is even more so

          May 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • fintronics

          Kermit "...(btw God existed for all t8ime..he is not created..."

          Typical.... makes a claim and provides bullshlt instead of evidence.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:12 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Mother Theresa is a fine example of missionary gone bad.
        Extreme religious belief is extremely damaging and Christians are still at it-fighting against women having abortions-even though that point was settled; fighting against LGBT having rights and yet they're gaining ground regardless of the bigots like you...when do you finally learn that unlike you people are not gullible enough to accept that your imaginary friend and your ilk really have little say? Your ilk lost on slavery and yet you would own a slave in a flash if it were legal (or perhaps you already do...the name Aerial Castro comes to mind when your name pops on the screen).
        What's the next battle Christians wish to wager and in turn lose?

        May 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          Good example.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
  16. bostontola

    An omnipotent, omniscient God would have the ability to create and design all life. Life on earth is a fact and has been studied extensively for centuries, it is not a hypothetical matter. The overwhelming conclusion of all that study, is that all life bears the inimitable signature of evolution.

    Life bears little resemblance to something that is the product of a human like intelligent design process. Things that are designed have very specific purposes and rarely perform well outside the design intended, they are fragile to purpose. Designed things are optimized for their purpose, they get the most out of it, at the expense of narrow applicability. Life is not that way, it is not optimized. There are compromises all over the place. Life has the hallmarks of resourcefulness, borrowing parts from previous life over billions of years (see below). Life has the hallmarks of adaptability, form and function that has changed as it's environment changes (usually not enough time to optimize) . There are even an extensive array of mathematically derived measurable parameters all complex adaptive systems (not just life) abide by, life conforms to them perfectly. The signature of evolution is more distinct and inimitable than a fingerprint or even a DNA match.

    Now that doesn't preclude a God from designing that way. If it was a God, that God either, 1) did an extraordinary job of mimicking evolution or, 2) that God used evolution as it's tool. A moral, loving, caring God that imposes strict punishment is not consistent with option 1. Some people are very scientific in their approach to examining the world, mimicking evolution would put them in a terrible position, not the approach of a moral being. That only leaves option 2 as a possibility.

    May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • bostontola

      Interesting recent example:

      (Phys.org) —We humans have been around for about 2.5 million years, but the beating of our hearts is controlled by something much older than Ho.mo sapiens—an ancient molecular pathway that, according to Huck Inst.itutes faculty researcher Tim Jegla, may be on the order of 700 million to a billion years old.
      "Basically," he says, "when we compare a human and a sea ane.mone, we're looking at somewhere between 700 million and a billion years' evolutionary separation. Anything that's not fundamentally critical to life as a mobile, multicellular animal is different. And the things we have in common were there in the nervous system of the animal we both evolved from; they were there in the ancestor of virtually all modern animal life other than sponges and comb jellies. Only the fundamental mechanisms are conserved. And this gives us a window into what things we have in common that are extremely important. It tells us a lot about the history of how animals evolved."

      May 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Oh my goodness, now the Christians are going to start thinking humans evolved from jello.

        May 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
  17. midwest rail

    fred claims believers are not arrogant (and qualifies it by saying "at least they shouldn't be"), yet some of the most arrogant statements/arguments seen on these boards come from, you guessed it, believers. Why is that, fred ?

    May 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • bostontola

      fred claims...I prefer fried clams.

      May 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        That is the first thing that came to mind for me to.

        May 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
      • fintronics

        I LOVE fried clams..... impossible to get good ones down here in the babble belt though...

        May 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Whether or not someone is arrogant is kind of subjective, don't you think?

      May 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        No, arrogance is easy to spot. For example you Topher. You are arrogant because you don't debate. You tell. That is arrogant. Also your fancy car and pimp hat. Arrogant.

        May 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          And what is the difference between debating and staunchly promoting my side of the argument?

          May 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          You don't promote. You tell. You recite. You have no thoughts of your own to bring to the table.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I bring the knowledge of Christ and the Grace of God that is offered to you. If your complaint is that I refuse to be soft on the issue ...

          May 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          You do not bring anything to a discussion you are so stupid you don't understand that preaching is not debate. What a deluded pile you are.

          May 20, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          My complaint is hardly that you are soft on the issue. My complaint is that you have nothing to say besides what you regurgitate from the bible. You have no discernible original thoughts in your head.

          May 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • sam stone

          "I bring the knowledge of Christ and the Grace of God"

          No, you bring belief

          You do not seek to debate nor discuss

          You seek to preach

          If you were to finally have the courage to admit this, you would be less of a liar

          But, you would remain a snivelling coward

          May 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
      • fintronics

        "Also your fancy car and pimp hat. Arrogant."....

        fell on the floor laughing....

        May 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
  18. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    How accurate is hearsay, how accurate can someone's words be recorded thirty, forty or fifty years after they were spoken?

    Everyone knows that Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death" in a speech to the Virginia Convention in 1775, but did he?

    What most people don't realize is that the first time these words were published was in 1816, seventeen years after Henry's death and 41 years after the event by someone who wasn't ever there.

    William Wirt compiled the 'quote', publishing it in his book "Life and Character of Patrick Henry" after dialog with Judge St. George Tucker who was there. How accurately can anyone remember words spoken 40 years or so after the fact, and then have someone else edit those words?

    Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson is quoted (on the wikipedia page) as having written about the speech:

    "Although it was difficult, when [Henry] had spoken, to tell what he had said, yet, while speaking, it always seemed directly to the point. When he had spoken in opposition to my opinion, had produced a great effect, and I myself had been highly delighted and moved, I have asked myself, when he ceased, 'What the devil has he said?' and could never answer the inquiry."

    Apparently the words were not memorable enough for Jefferson.

    Were "give me liberty or give me death" the words of Patrick Henry, or of William Wirt, wanting to write an interesting book that sold well and ensuring that Henry's legacy was gilded? From our juncture, a scant 200 years away, who can say?

    Now change the equation to 2000 years with people who had significantly lower rates of literacy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give_me_liberty,_or_give_me_death!

    May 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
  19. Vic

    From the article:
    [
    "Sudan, for example, where a Christian woman was sentenced to death this week for leaving Islam, is ineligible for some types of foreign aid."

    "Sudan penalizes blasphemy and conversion from Islam, sentencing a Christian woman to death this week."

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/15/world/africa/sudan-christian-woman-apostasy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
    ]

    More on that main story behind this article:

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/american-rushes-sudan-save-pregnant-wife-hanging/story?id=23778505

    May 20, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • bostontola

      Vic
      We all agree.

      "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion."

      May 20, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • Alias

      The only difference inour opinion of this is that you think it is important that a 'christian' woman is being found guilty in an 'islamic' nation.
      All I care about is someone is being killed for leaving a religion.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
  20. bostontola

    "The existence of Jesus Christ is uncontested by virtually every biblical scholar on the planet, regardless of where they fall on the liberal/conservative continuum."

    That is true, Jesus as a historical person is broadly recognized. If I tweak the statement a bit it is also true:

    The existence the process of evolution to explain all the species of life on earth is uncontested by virtually every scientific scholar on the planet, regardless of where they fall on the liberal/conservative religious/atheist continuum.

    May 20, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • igaftr

      Just one additional thing. Creationists are not scientists. A "creation scientist" is actually an anti-scientist, since they begin with what they believe and attempt to fit reality into their beliefs, the opposite of scientific method.

      May 20, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • toleranceofall

      Darwin's book the Origin of Species deliberately avoided the subject of the actual origin of life.

      Darwin's theory on evolution dealt with what happened once life already existed. He postulated that, ""All organic beings that have lived on Earth could be descended from some primordial form." A far from concrete statement. Darwin also used a quote in the same book. "To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both. – Bacon: "Advancement of Learning"

      Which god was Darwin referring to? Hard to say, however, we can theorize he was referring to the Judeo-Christian god (given the fact that he capitalized the "G", which is prominent in Christianity) and the fact he was from England, which traditionally has been some denomination of Christianity (generally Anglican, but others exist).

      Given that the most celebrated scientist of the theory of evolution was at worst, double-minded, at best, simply unsure, can the rest of us just give it a rest?

      May 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Darwin was a christian. He was referring to the origin of life which is less of a mystery today – several possibilities exist. The evidence for evolution itself has increased exponentially since Darwin's day.

        May 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • kudlak

          Darwin kept God out of the first printings of Origin, because he wanted to avoid the creationist tendency to attribute animal differences to God's whims, which isn't very scientific, but he gradually shifted with successive printings. By the sixth, the last one he personally edited, he openly talks about "the Creator" (although stopping short of saying that he specially created people) and he even included that Bacon quote, but by then he had suffered through many years of the public backlash to his findings, and his very devout wife may have had something to do with it too.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:26 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.