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July 8th, 2014
01:01 PM ET

Eye for an eye: The Bible's role in revenge attacks

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - This past Sunday, six Israelis were arrested for the murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy. Israeli officials admitted the likelihood—already acknowledged by many—that this killing was carried out in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Both sides have stepped up their aggression in the past few days, with rocket launches from Gaza into Israel and Israeli airstrikes against Gaza.

It’s a familiar cycle: attack for attack, murder for murder. Such patterns are familiar from conflicts across the world, but they have a special resonance in the Holy Land.

After all, it was from Israel, nearly 3,000 years ago, that this famous concept spread.

The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible says, “The penalty shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

The Book of Deuteronomy uses even stronger language: “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

And the Book of Leviticus says again, “Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The injury he inflicted on another shall be inflicted on him.”

Few biblical laws are repeated three times; this is one of those few. It is known as the lex talionis, or “law of retaliation,” and it would seem to be central to the biblical worldview.

Flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence: Why now?

This law is often brought as evidence that the Bible cannot be a reliable guide for modern morality: Who today would truly advocate for this kind of retributive justice?

It seems barbaric that the penalty for arson, for example, would be burning the arsonist to death—this sounds like something out of the Middle Ages, not out of the 21st century.

Though famously biblical, lex talionis isn’t a biblical creation at all.

It was already present in the famous Code of Hammurabi, from the 18th century BCE: “If an upper-class man should blind the eye of another upper-class man, they shall blind his eye,” and so on through breaking bones, knocking out teeth, etc.

Earlier Mesopotamian law codes, two generations before Hammurabi, take what we would consider a more civilized approach to the matter:

“If a man bites the nose of another man and thus cuts it off” —don’t ask— “he shall weigh and deliver sixty shekels of silver; an eye, sixty shekels; a tooth, thirty shekels …”

It turns out that the oldest codes in the Near Eastern legal tradition, Sumerian laws from the 21st century BCE, also have payment in place of retaliation.

The concept of “eye for an eye” isn’t really representative of some primitive state of humanity—it’s actually a development from an earlier system of monetary compensation.

Yet it was not a permanent shift; some of the earliest interpreters of the Bible read the lex talionis as advocating for monetary compensation: the value of an eye for an eye.

This remains a very common interpretation even today—quite likely as an attempt to make the biblical custom seem less harsh in comparison to contemporary cultural and legal norms.

Has the Middle East crisis reached a tipping point?

In the Talmud, the fundamental Jewish legal text, there is an extended discussion about the phrase “eye for an eye,” with multiple rabbis arguing, and the text concluding, that the phrase means nothing other than financial compensation.

Eventually, in Judaism the literal reading of lex talionis came to be associated with heresy.

There is another important aspect of “eye for an eye” that is often overlooked: in the Bible, the law prescribes that the punishment be leveled against the offending individual by the state.

It is not permitted for the victim himself to turn around and inflict the same injury on the aggressor. On this the Bible and modern law agree.

But another biblical legal tradition provides the exception to this rule, and it too has enjoyed a long life down to the present: the idea that in the case of premeditated murder, someone from the family of the victim is appointed the “blood-avenger.”

The notion of putting a murderer to death is common enough even today (see: death penalty). But not so the idea that it is the obligation of the victim’s family, rather than of a central government.

This biblical passage enshrines in law the retaliatory instinct of anyone whose close relative has been injured. And it is this instinct that we see playing itself out in the Middle East today.

The problem, both between the two nations and for the rest of the world, is defining which side is playing which role. Both Israel and Gaza believe themselves to be the blood-avenger, and the other to be the murderer.

Yet even in the case of blood vengeance, biblical law at least keeps the system under the watchful eye of the elders, who arbitrate the claims of the respective parties, just as in the more direct cases of lex talionis.

Nowhere in the world is the Bible more alive and its traditions more present than in Israel and Palestine, the lands from which the holy book emerged.

Was teen's death a revenge killing?

As the conflict between the two parties worsens, yet again, comparisons with the kinds of retaliation and blood vengeance found in the Bible grow more and more apt.

And so, therefore, does the need for a third party to play the part of arbitrator: to settle the price of monetary compensation, to declare the terms of retaliation, and to put a stop to the cycle of blood vengeance.

That's a role the Bible calls for someone to fill - and we're all still waiting.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” and professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Ethics • Foreign policy • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Opinion • Palestinians • Religious violence • Violence

soundoff (3,582 Responses)
  1. Robert Brown

    Sir William Ramsay traveled to Asia Minor to prove Luke wrong as a historian. He found that Luke was perfectly accurate. As a result of his discoveries, he became a believer.

    July 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Mitchell_Ramsay

      July 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • Reality

        Ramsey's conclusions are outdated. See for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_reliability_of_the_Acts_of_the_Apostles

        And most contemporary NT scholars have concluded that Paul was not the author of the Epistles to T-itus, Timothy, the Ephesians or the Colossians.

        July 10, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Reality

          "And most contemporary NT scholars have concluded that Paul was not the author of the Epistles to T-itus, Timothy, the Ephesians or the Colossians."

          Ridiculous to say "most." I'm sure there's a couple. But show me an actual "scholar" who believes what you said and I'll show you someone with an agenda.

          July 10, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • Doris

          Oh come on now, Topher. Let's just look at Ephesians for example.

          There are four main theories in biblical scholarship that address the question of Pauline authorship:

          –The traditional view that the epistle is written by Paul is supported by scholars that include Frank Thielman, Ezra Abbot, Asting, Gaugler, Grant, Harnack, Haupt, Fenton John Anthony Hort, Klijn, Johann David Michaelis, A. Robert, and André Feuillet, Sanders, Schille, Brooke Foss Westcott, and Theodor Zahn.

          –A second position suggests that Ephesians was dictated by Paul with interpolations from another author. Some of the scholars that espouse this view include Albertz, Benoit, Cerfaux, Goguel, Harrison, H. J. Holtzmann, Murphy-O'Connor, and Wagenfuhrer.

          –Currently, most critical scholars think it improbable that Paul authored Ephesians. Among this group are Allan, Beare, Brandon, Bultmann, Conzelmann, Dibelius, Goodspeed, Kilsemann, J. Knox, W.L. Knox, Kümmel, K and S Lake, Marxsen, Masson, Mitton, Moffatt, Nineham, Pokorny, Schweizer, and J. Weiss.

          –Still other scholars suggest there is a lack of conclusive evidence. Some of this group are Cadbury, Julicher, McNeile, and Williams.

          Of course everyone knows the best way to deal with Ephesians is to do a good dusting and take a good antihistamine.

          July 10, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You don't have a problem with religious "scientists" that have agendas topher...

          July 10, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doris

          The very first line of Ephesians tells us who the author is. In fact, the very first word.

          July 10, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Reality

          Against Pauline authorship of the Ti-tus and Timothy epistles:

          "On the basis of their language, content, and other factors, the pastoral epistles are today widely regarded as not having been written by Paul, but after his death.[8] (Although the Second Epistle to Timothy is sometimes thought to be more likely than the other two to have been written by Paul.) Beginning with Friedrich Schleiermacher in a letter published in 1807, biblical textual critics and scholars examining the texts fail to find their vocabulary and literary style similar to Paul's unquestionably authentic letters, fail to fit the life situation of Paul in the epistles into Paul's reconstructed biography, and identify principles of the emerged Christian church rather than those of the apostolic generation.[9]

          As an example of qualitative style arguments, in the First Epistle to Timothy the task of preserving the tradition is entrusted to ordained presbyters; the clear sense of presbuteros as an indication of an office, is a sense that to these scholars seems alien to Paul and the apostolic generation. Examples of other offices include the twelve apostles in Acts and the appointment of seven deacons, thus establishing the office of the diaconate. Presbuteros is sometimes translated as elder; by a longer route it is also the Greek root for the English word priest. (The office of presbyter is also mentioned in James chapter 5.)[9]

          A second example would be gender roles depicted in the letters, which proscribe roles for women that appear to deviate from Paul's more egalitarian teaching that in Christ there is neither male nor female. [9] Separate male and female roles, however, were not foreign to the authentic Pauline epistles; the First Letter to the Corinthians (14:34–35) commands silence from women during church services, stating that "it is a shame for women to speak in the church." Father Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P., in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary,agrees with many other commentators on this passage over the last hundred years in recognising it to be an interpolation by a later editor of 1 Corinthians of a passage from 1 Timothy 2:11–15 that states a similar "women should be silent in churches". This made 1 Corinthians more widely acceptable to church leaders in later times. If verses before or after 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 are read, it is fairly clear that verses 34 and 35 were inserted later.[10]"

          Similarly, biblical scholars since Schleiermacher in 1807 have noted that the pastoral epistles seem to argue against a more developed Gnosticism than would be compatible with Paul's time.[9]

          July 10, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • Reality

          But the authorship of "Paul's" epistles are not really important in the grand scheme of the flawed theology of Christianity. As noted previously from my scrapbook of theology essentials:

          Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

          From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

          Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

          To wit;

          From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

          "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
          Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

          Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

          Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

          The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

          Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

          The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

          "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
          http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

          The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

          With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

          An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

          p.4

          "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."

          p.168. by Ted Peters:

          Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

          So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • Reality

          Oops, make that "authorships"

          July 10, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The very first line of Ephesians tells us who the author is. In fact, the very first word."

          Doh, he got you there Doris...who could argue with that!!!???

          July 10, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Doris

          Topher: "The very first line of Ephesians tells us who the author is. In fact, the very first word."

          So? -I think you need to look at the reasons why the authorship is questioned. I could like things that Joe wrote, and I could represent Joe if Joe just died and write and label my writing to be in the spirit of Joe. Of course I wouldn't write "by Joe", but if this writing was to first be heard by a group instead of read (as some scholars have suggested), I might try to bring my audience to attention right off the bat with a mention of the one who just passed who was an important founder of the organization I'm addressing: "Joe, blah blah blah..."

          July 10, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • Doris

          And I'm not quite sure why people should get their skirts up in a bunch over what things Paul might or might not have said. My goodness, isn't the problem that he just wouldn't shut up? Of course, most NT scholars show good reasons why it's likely that Peter did not author Peter 2. That, of course, brings into question the alleged blessing by Peter of Paul's works as divine scripture.....

          July 10, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          yes, I've always wondered how writings by someone in the Christian cult somehow prove anything other than a cult member wrote down his cult's deluded beliefs ...

          July 10, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • igaftr

          Dog
          It reminds me of the M*A*S*H episode where Col Blake and Corp. O' Reilly were being asked if they had security clearance, and they had checked each other out to grant clearance.

          It is like these guys being called "dcotors" of theology...only someone else in their cult would think these guys are doctors...all they can do is one book report.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Reality
          "most contemporary NT scholars have concluded"
          – this has never been qualified
          – those NT "scholars" who have disputed authenticity are not believers anyway, so why do you think Christians care?

          July 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course some Christians care, Snotty. Do you think Bart Ehrman's audience is made up of all non-believers? Better guess again.

          July 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • joey3467

        And you should just believe that because someone wrote it?

        July 10, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Dalahäst

          He doesn't appear to believe all the things those people write, just the things that agree with his preconceived notions. It seems he cherry picks what he wants to hear and ignores the rest.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • joey3467

          Who, I was talking to Topher?

          July 10, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I thought you were talking about Reality.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • Reality

          Ignores the rest? Au contraire as noted by the recommended references concerning the historic Jesus which included names like Father Raymond Brown, Bishop NT Wright and Professor Luke Timothy Johnson, three of the top contemporary, conservative historic Jesus scholars. Might want to read their studies as part of your continuing search for the real Jesus.

          July 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      When I started college I firmly did not believe in evolution. After Geology 102 I found evolution to be accurate. Therefore evolution is true, right?

      July 10, 2014 at 10:30 am |
      • Reality

        I highly recommend a course on human evolution for your continuing education pursuits. An excellent addition: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

        July 10, 2014 at 11:09 am |
  2. Robert Brown

    The better covenant.

    Matthew 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    July 9, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
    • observer

      Robert Brown,

      So is Jesus OVER-RULING God's commands for "an eye for an eye"?

      July 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        No, Jesus didn't overrule God, he established a new and better covenant by the will and plan of God.

        July 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • observer

          Robert Brown,

          So Jesus got God to CHANGE his mind.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • evolveddna

          Robert brown..how can you better an idea of god..was the original idea imperfect then?

          July 9, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          After its failures in the garden of Eden and the flood, plan C was Jesus. When an omnipotent, omniscient god could have dealt with the problem in a much more immediate way, does it really make sense to wait a couple of decades for the child to be born, grow up, and start a ministry? Then wait centuries for the religion to get a foothold and still problems exist.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Robert, If they really wanted to understand they would not continue to pound their point about God changing His mind. What they do not get, and will not agree to, first is that there IS a God. Second, even if they agreed to that, they would not understand that the Old Testament was about the law and not mercy. The New Testament, which you correctly state is a new covenant, is about grace and forgiveness, the law–not so much. Finally, they will not understand that God allows free will for humans and therefore takes His time in assessing the need to move on to the net part of the plan.

          In summary, they believe only in the material world. They cannot explain adequately how that world got here. But they do not believe in a spiritual world and want you to "prove" that it exists. They have eyes but will not see. And they have ears, but will not hear.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • observer

          ragansteve1

          "understand that the Old Testament was about the law and not mercy."

          So when God set up ALL the rules originally, he was not interested in any MERCY for the imperfect people he created.

          What you are blind to see is the obvious: the "perfect and unchanging God" CHANGED his mind.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • Reality

          ragansteve,

          I highly recommend a course on human evolution. An excellent starting point: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

          And then there is this:

          What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

          1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

          2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

          3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

          4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

          5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

          6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

          7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

          8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

          Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

           http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/
          solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Asteroids‎

          http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/us/wus-supervolcanoes-Yellowstone

          Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

          Rabbi Paul, book by worProfessor Bruce Chilton

          https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

          http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/study-finds-star-formation-declining-throughout-the-universe/

          July 10, 2014 at 12:14 am |
        • igaftr

          ragan
          "They have eyes but will not see. And they have ears, but will not hear."

          Funny, but no. My eyes see that your book was written by men, with no indication any gods were involved.
          My eyes see no evidence of any "god", But they do see a lot of evidence that men made up the whole thing.

          There are none so blind that think a book makes them see. It really is amazing what people will convince themselves of.

          July 10, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • ragansteve1

          See what I mean?

          July 10, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • igaftr

          You see what I mean?

          No...you don't...your book has blinded you.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • igaftr

          From the Church of the Blinding Light

          Oh blinding light...
          Oh light that blinds...
          I cannot see...
          look out for me...

          Firesign Theatre

          July 10, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • nclaw441

        Christians such as I believe that Jesus IS God. He didn't overrule Himself. The laws were and are made by God for the people. Society develops over time and changes in response to that development make sense. Jesus set forth a new paradigm because it was time to do so. Whether you believe in the Genesis story of Adam and Eve or not, it is still instructive. God started out with only one law/commandment: Don't eat of the one forbidden tree in the garden (ok, He had another commandment to be fruitful and multiply, but we've had little problem with that one.) . Adam and Eve blew it. The laws of Exodus, Deuteronomy, etc. came about at a time when God's people had been freed from slavery in Egypt. They were in the desert. No time or place for things like prisons, etc., so the laws were crude, but easily enforceable. I suspect that there was a lot of forgiveness in those days (I have no proof, but the idea of knocking out your neighbor's tooth on purpose when he accidentally knocked out yours has to have been a less than tasteful means of resolution). I bet that the guy who was offended may have accepted an offer of cash, or goats, or whatever could be traded, in lieu of breaking the other guy's nose.

        July 10, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • observer

          nclaw441

          "Jesus set forth a new paradigm because it was time to do so."

          Yes. The times changed so God had to CHANGE his mind.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          It's just another example of how contradictory the God of the bible is. He says "This is the law, follow it or die" to the Israelites then apparently shows up later to say "Hey, all that stuff about eye for an eye and the Sabbath you can forget about, just be loving from now on and turn the other cheek when people smite thee." which all fits with an all powerful all knowing God who after making humans Genesis 6:6 says "6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled."

          All these aspects of changing and socially evolving over time and regretting things and having a troubles heart, all are part of the human experience and have nothing to do with anything supernatural.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • joey3467

          Nclaw, everything you just said are reasons to not believe that the Christian god is real, in my opinion. As it makes way more sense that people changed the rules as time passed than it is that an unchanging god would void his old rules for new ones.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
  3. thesamyaza

    whos side is Israel on not our, so why are we on theirs.

    what this dude forgot to mention about the conflict.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/israelis-beat-palestinian-american-teen-mother-says/

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsSc1qMrGKQ&w=640&h=360]

    July 9, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhFa_kgB1cc&w=640&h=360]

      and you wonder why Palestinians are angry

      July 9, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
  4. SeaVik

    "It is not entirely accurate to say Christians base their whole belief on the writings of bronze age..."

    This presupposes that there is such a thing as a "Christian belief" in the first place. If there's one thing I've learned from this blog, it's that people of the same religion have wildly different views. Dala, your version of Christianity is wildly different than Theo's or Tophers (they both believe in a young earth and no evolution). I even remember that Ranier guy and Topher, both extreme fundamentalists, clashing vehemently about what the true Christian reality is. You also get ridiculous claims from Topher and Theo that Catholics, the original Christians of modern day, aren't even Christians at all.

    From what I've observed, here and in life, Christians are so divided in their views that all particular Christian views are minority views among the Christian whole (ie, there is no consistent view that makes up more than half of the Christians). Therefore, all Christians essentially disagree with the majority of Christians. If you guys can't even get it straight yourselves, isn't that a red flag that something isn't right with the whole concept?

    July 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
    • SeaVik

      Actually, sorry Topher – it was that Ranier guy and Theo who were in disagreement. Theo and Ranier are two extremists who seem to believe similar things (young earth, no evolution, Jews deserved the Halocaust, slavery was justified, etc). And even they can't agree on what the true Christian view is!

      July 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • midwest rail

        When pressed, they say that their disagreements are not relevant in the long run, because all Christians agree on the major tenets – unfortunately, it is in their minor disagreements that they attempt to devalue and demonize whole groups of people.

        July 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • joey3467

          They hope they are minor disagreements, but god might think they are very large issues.

          July 10, 2014 at 9:27 am |
    • Dalahäst

      doG was the one that was presupposing about his understanding of "Christian belief". I was disagreeing with him. What you are describing is more of a human condition. Not something exclusive to "Christian belief". You and doG are demonstrating you must be divided on this understanding of "Christian belief", too. Red flag?

      Just like no 2 Christians believe the exact same thing for the exact same thing, neither do any other group. Everyone has different talents, gifts, experiences, understandings, backgrounds, education, hopes, desires and plans. What we do is more important than what we believe, regardless of what belief or disbelief you identify with.

      July 9, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
      • SeaVik

        But I don't claim to have a prescribed belief like Christians. I will believe whatever the most convincing evidence suggests. No convincing evidence suggests that any version of the Christian god exists and in fact, the versions of that god among Christians are extremely disparate.

        Certainly, intelligent people can come to different conclusions based on the same evidence. But I don't think objective, non-religious people come to conclusions so wildly different as those among Christians. Dala, you believe (as I understand) in evolution and the accepted conclusion that the earth is over 4B years old. Other Christians believe the earth is about 6k years old. That's quite a difference of opinion.

        Personally, I think that if you don't believe the full story of Christianity, like Theo, Topher and Ranier do, then the religion ceases to have much meaning. The fact that you can't believe the crazy claims of the bible is a good thing, but I don't see why you'd still want to be affiliated with Christianity. The Christian fundamentalists are among the most delusional (and often evil) people in our country and I have no idea why anyone would want to be associated with that.

        July 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It seems that no convincing evidence suggests that for you. I believe you are only qualified to make that decision for yourself.

          I don't know what you mean by believing in evolution, but I think that it appears the life as we know it evolves. I do not believe it completely explains the origin of life. I don't know that the Earth is over 4 billion years old, but it does appear to be that old according to some experts. But that number is bound to change – I think I read an article that suggests it might be even older than what experts have been recently saying.

          I'm interested in following Jesus Christ. Not a religion. There is no perfect group that exists that I can be affiliated with. Not with scientists, not with atheists, not with Americans, not with intellectuals, not with fee thinkers, not with Humanists – all have good examples and bad examples I can see. In my community I've witnessed people who happen to be Christian doing amazing things – both in run down neighborhoods in my city and overseas. I have no qualms associating with them.

          Again, you are describing a human condition. We are all capable of doing extremely horrible and extremely beautiful things.

          I've disagreed with Theo, Topher and Ranier before. And it was ok. They didn't call me derogatory names, troll me or attempt to make me feel inferior like some groups of people on here have. I have no idea why anyone would want to be associated with those groups of people, but hey we all have defects and short comings. None of us are perfect.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Dalahäst

          Well said!

          July 9, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "I'm interested in following Jesus Christ. Not a religion."

          I don't understand what that means. Jesus Christ may or may not have existed (I'm guessing he did). It is only through the Christian religion that he is made into more than just a normal person. Without the religion of Christianity, following "Jesus Christ" is just following a historical figure. I believe you follow Jesus Christ in that you believe he was some magical human, as described in the bible. Without the religion of Christianity and the (obviously fictional in my opinion) stories of Jesus Christ, what are you following? If Jesus Christ ever lived, he would be unknown to you without the religion of Christianity, so to say you follow him without the religion makes no sense.

          July 9, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Well said!"

          And Dala, please note that you just got support from someone who believes the earth is 6,000 years old and man and dinosaurs co-existed.

          July 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • rosenj72

          SeaVik,
          Jews never bel.ieved in a literal 6k year old Earth – Check this link out, I think you might find it interesting.
          Shalom

          aish. com/ci/sam/48951136.html

          Dr. Gerald Sc.hroeder earned his B Sc, M Sc and double-Ph.D. in Nuc.lear Ph.ysics and Earth and Pla.netary Sci.ences at the Mas.sachusetts Insti.tute of Techn.ology, where he taught ph.ysics for seven years. While a consu.ltant at the U.S. Atomic Energy Com.mi.ssion he parti.cipated in the formu.lation of nuclear non-proliferation treaties with the former Soviet Union and witn.es.sed the testing of six atomic bombs. He has served as a consu.ltant to vari.ous gover.nments worl.dwide and has been pu.blished in Time, Newsweek and Scientific American. He is the author of Genesis and the Big B.ang, the discovery of harmony between modern science and the Bible, now in seven languages. He is also the author of The Science of God and The Hidden Face of God. Dr. Schroeder is currently a lecturer at Aish Jerusalem for the Discovery Seminar, Essentials program, Jerusalem Fellowships, and Executive Learning Center ― focusing on the topics of evolution, cosmology, and age of the universe.

          July 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks Topher!

          July 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I used to have trouble understanding, too. No, it is not only through religion that Jesus can be known. I don't believe he was simply as you say some magical human, as described in The Bible. Scripture points to Jesus – who is alive. And it also describes how you can know Jesus, and not just by reading about him or belonging to the right religion.

          July 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Dala – Right, so without scripture (religion), what would Jesus be? I still don't get how you think you can follow Jesus without religion.

          July 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have scripture, church, community and other things to help guide me. I can speculate what it would be like if I didn't have those things, but the fact is I do have them. Jesus has revealed Himself to be much more than something I read about. Most of my knowledge is gained from being in relation with him and others. Attempting to do what He suggests and how He suggests in all of my affairs. It is a way of life.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      actually the torah old testament was Iron age
      the new testament was written in the beginning of the dark ages

      July 9, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • vdaniel77

      "If you guys can't even get it straight yourselves, isn't that a red flag that something isn't right with the whole concept?"

      I find it quite unfair to say that because people have disagreements about a certain subject, that subject is very near to be false. People have had, have, and will have disagreements about many things. One claims to have a better understanding of the matter, while the other is arguably wrong. And the other asserts the same. But truth is, that both can be profoundly wrong in their concepts or interpretations of the subject; and even if there was a third person, truth does not fall on any automatically. They must all set aside whatever might favor them, and look at the truth of the matter. That is, they must understand what it is really affirming.

      The same goes for Christianity. The fact that there are numerous sects and interpretations, does not alert one that the thing itself must be wrong, but that the many interpretations given to it, probably are apart from what it actually teaches. We must remember that we are talking about one book. Thus, the interpretation should be one. But unfortunately, that is not what we find in reality. However, we must not turn our backs on it, and say it is false. We ought to look for those interpretations that best seem to agree with what the Bible teaches. Also, it is a 'sin' to not take in account the context of each book, the people and time to which certain things were directed, the reasons why such things which seem unreasonable and some times unfair, were in the first place commanded; and so on. For instance, suppose you are the author of a history book. And you're told to write the facts just as they were, without adding or subtracting anything, whether the things said or done were untrue, irrational, shameful, etc. You must be loyal to your calling. And whether you agree with the things you're to write is another topic. Then, suppose you have to record the words of a man who professes something, but you know that his claims are false. You don't agree with the man, but you're doing the job you were intended to do; and thus successfully completed your mission as a historian.

      Now, I am not saying that is the case for everything or anything in the Bible. I am just proposing you look at certain things that might enlighten us about any book, that may reveal things the book itself otherwise can't tell us.

      These commandments were given at a time and a certain people were the justice of the time, would now seem cruel. And there must have been a line to be drawn, in order for justice to be performed. As cruel as you think it might be, an eye for and eye (although I don't believe this is the way to truly solve things, given that I am a Christian) is a fair thing, in fact. "Why should you harm me, and get away with it? If you plucked my eye out, it is fair that I demand yours to be taken out, too; thus you might feel the injustice you have performed on me." It also served for a standard that provoked fear, following the preventing of such acts. "If you don't want your eye to be plucked out, don't pluck out anyone's."

      If you examine the New Testament, you will find that God changed the rules of the game; this time quite 'unfair' for the oppressed. Now God demanded that such way of justice be stopped, and that one must resist it. Remember, in the same Old Testament God is the same that says, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” (Dt. 32.35) And, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself." (Lv. 19.18) Also it is the same Torah that says, "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities." (Psalms 103.8-10) Now in the N.T. He says it shall not be an 'eye for an eye', and 'a tooth for a tooth'.

      There was a certain Roman law that permitted Roman soldiers to command any Jew to carry his burden for a mile. This is why Simon the Cyrene was compelled to carry Jesus' cross (Mtt. 27.32). Now Jesus tells the Jews to not only go carry a burden for one, but for two miles! And, "If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also." (see: Mount Sermon–Mtt 5)

      What I want to illustrate here, is that it is an illegal act to just clutch some verses out of the Bible, and come up with wild conclusions. This article is a very misleading one. And there are countless arguments that can refute it. If you're honestly seeking the Truth, I urge you and everyone to look at each fact fairly. And as any honest man is bound to do, "Follow the evidence wherever it leads."

      July 9, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
      • evidencenot

        "Follow the evidence wherever it leads."

        Or in the case of Christianity and other religions, the lack of evidence.

        July 10, 2014 at 9:01 am |
      • G to the T

        "As cruel as you think it might be, an eye for and eye (although I don't believe this is the way to truly solve things, given that I am a Christian) is a fair thing, in fact. "Why should you harm me, and get away with it? If you plucked my eye out, it is fair that I demand yours to be taken out, too; thus you might feel the injustice you have performed on me." It also served for a standard that provoked fear, following the preventing of such acts. "If you don't want your eye to be plucked out, don't pluck out anyone's." "

        What's funny is you got it exactly backwards. "Eye for an eye" was a limitation on the amount of retribution that was appropriate. In many early societies harming someone meant that the entire family would seek out retribution on the other family. Eye for an eye means you are only allowed to take equivalent retribution, not unending (as was often the case).

        July 15, 2014 at 10:05 am |
  5. bostontola

    I for one am very happy that the bible wasn't written in the Medieval times. If it were, there would have probably been descriptions of the universe being composed of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. It would have described the body as having Humours of Black Bile, Phlegm, Blood, and Yellow Bile.

    Bible Literalists would then not only have absurd explanations of why evolution and radiometric dating are false, the periodic table would have strange explanations why it is false, infectious diseases would not be caused by micro-organisms, etc.

    So be thankful that the bible was written long ago when we knew next to nothing about the real universe.

    July 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
    • ausphor

      bostontola
      Interesting that the likes of Topher and his ilk know next to nothing about the real universe today. 6000 years old, really!!!

      July 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  6. millsis

    These passages from he bible have nothing to do with the so-called revenge killings that the article is about. The passage from Deuteronomy is talking about the court's punishment for a witness lying under oath. The section from Exodus is talking about what the family of a pregnant women who is attacked and subsequently miscarries is allowed to do according to how injured the woman was. And the piece from Leviticus is describing the punishments for people convicted by the legal system.

    None of those relate to people killing random people back and forth across the border of a war zone.

    July 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
    • fascinatedspectator

      Keep telling yourself that!
      Good luck...

      July 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
  7. Mars

    People- Why do you read just the OT? If you read just the OT, you will come to the conclusion like you just did. After the Book of Malachi is the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John...keep reading, keep progressing till you get enlightened. Not that OT people we have some very valuable lessons to learn: from Adam and Eve we learn to say NO to temptation, from Cain we learn to say NO to anger, from Jacob we learn that we must strive to speak the Truth, from Moses we learn to lean on G_d and not on our own strength, from Ruth & Boaz we learn to share with others, from Saul we learn that obedience to G_d is a must.

    Stay tuned for the rest of the lessons and in the meanwhile don't forget to read the other books that follow the book of Malachi in the Bible!

    July 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • rosenj72

      Mars,
      Why stop at the "New Testament", don't you know there's also an addition called the Book of Mormon?

      July 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
    • Mars

      Correction: Not that OT people we have some very valuable lessons to learn, should instead read as,
      Not that we do not learn some very valuable lessons from the people of OT.

      July 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
      • fascinatedspectator

        What I learned from the story of Adam and Eve was that religion abhors knowledge! The so-called "temptation" was the fruit of "knowledge"! So, that means facts and science are BAD! That showed me right away what religion is "really" ALL about...

        July 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          The knowledge of good and evil. Without this knowledge Adam & Eve maintained their innocence. More importantly, as long as they obeyed God, they were in fellowship with him. At the moment Adam ate, sin entered the world.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • observer

          Robert Brown,

          Adam and Eve were DESIGNED to not be PERFECT.

          They were designed for FAILURE.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • Science Works

          Really Robert Adam and Eve or Se-x and a fig leaf ?

          July 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          yeah other wise they would be angels their perfect just like god

          with the exception of
          Samyaza and his quire of lovestruck angels
          Nergal and his 13 usurpers
          Mastema and his pride
          Samael and his lies

          face it your gods not perfect just like the rest of them. i mean Tay–Sachs, come on!

          July 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Observer,

          They were designed with freewill.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          thats kind of his point his definition of perfect is to obey with out question, my idea is to think for yourself.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Observe,

          Good point, we are imperfect. Design for failure , i respectfully disagree. Our imperfection is what makes every individual unique. It is designed to see what we humans do. Could we co-exist? What judgment we make? Choices? Life is a box of something.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          that's right, beauty is in the imperfection, for instants the genetic defect that make us all look individually different is a mutation, mistake of natures design.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • observer

          Peaceadvocate2014

          "Design for failure , i respectfully disagree."

          Christians constantly say that they are sinners who have FAILED to be perfect and that there was ONLY ONE perfect person. You can't EXPECT perfection from imperfection. They were DESIGNED to fail.

          July 9, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
  8. observer

    guidedans,

    "Perfect Justice" for you may mean cutting off your wife's hand if she touches the genitals of someone ATTACKING you, but God's ideas certainly don't ALL jibe with those of most INTELLIGENT people.

    July 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
  9. igaftr

    "- why? because you were here millions of years ago? or you think you have the answer because of a device built by imperfect men tell you that? how arrogant of you."
    seriously scot?
    There are many reasons we know the age.

    How about your Jesus character...you know all that garbage, you were there. Seriously?

    Is that the best you have?, an argument that works just as easily on your baseless beliefs?..at least I know the sciences that PROVE it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    Go back to your childrens story book.

    July 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
  10. neondancer

    Religion is often a terribly violent thing, no way around that. But this is more than just religion. Imagine if in a few thousand years, some people claiming they're magical show up to Scotland and demand to own the place because the Harry Potter books basically say that's where Hogwarts is. Well, the Scottish folks are gonna get a bit angry about, that, no? That's basically what Israel and Palestine is now. A bunch of people who say their magical fairy tale gives them the right to live somewhere. Never mind that it's a violent fairy tale (so is Harry Potter) the fact remains. They would fight even if there was no eye-for-eye rule.

    July 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  11. Peaceadvocate2014

    An eye for an eye. This is a great and justified act if you are God not if you are human.

    How could we be certain of our judgment?

    We are flawed, unless we think we're perfect or a God.

    Peace

    I like America's song discussion below. Very funny.

    July 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • neondancer

      Wait? How is gouging someone's eye out a great and justified act if you're god? I don't much care whether you're mortal or not, gouging someone's eye out is certainly not great and no loving god would do such a thing.
      But then again, God also loves to give babies AIDS and do other terrible things, so I suppose it's just all in a days work to him.

      July 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Neo,

        Eye for an eye means the sentence should equivalent to the crime. Sorry i missed the ridicule in your reply.

        Turn the other cheek?

        Did you see God give AIDS to the babies or any other crime or sin? Human sins.

        July 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • LaBella

          What is the sick baby's sin?

          July 9, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Labellla,

          It is not the baby's sin. Human sins, we blame God coz its convinient.

          Is the na na or la la song a journey song? When lights go down in the city.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • LaBella

          Although babies are born with HIV, they are also born sinless.

          It's just "Lights" by Journey.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • LaBella

          Peace,
          Although you may be thinking of Journey's "Lovin, Touching, Squeezing" which has a fair amount of Nyah Nyah's at the end, lol.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Labella,

          I believe babies are born sinless except for the sins of the baby's ancestors that infected the babys well being.

          I stand corrected. Lights and could be the squeezing song.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          Ancestors or other humans.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • LaBella

          Peace,
          I respectfully disagree with the ancestors passing their punishment for their own sins onto a baby. Babies are sinless at birth.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • joey3467

          Peaceadvocate, that is one of the more disgusting things I have ever heard.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
  12. ragansteve1

    Interestingly, at least to me, the writer of this passage seems to place the entire mess on religion. Muslims on one side and Jewish people on the other. Once again, we have the "religion as the cause for war" error in play. This is simply about water and land, and nothing else matters. The UN allowed the creation of a Jewish state in 1947 after World War II pursuant to the Balfour treaty. Right or wrong, the war has been going on ever since. Hamas and the majority of the Palestinians have refused to recognize Israel's right to exist. Therefore, Israel has had to defend itself through several actual shooting wars and nearly continuous terrorist rocket and bomb attacks.

    Whether one sides with the Palestinians or the Israelis, the issue is not "eye for an eye." It is the question of who will own the land and water in the area. Will Israel continue to exist as a Jewish state? That is the question.

    July 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Yes, history shows the absence of religion does not equal the absence of violence. Our own conflicting human nature seems to be the root of the problem, in my opinion.

      July 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        True. Tribal warfare went on 3-4,000+ years ago long before there were any "nations" in that area. The ME has been overrun so many times it would be difficult to count them. Almost none of the wars were based primarily in religion. They were, as are most wars, based in power seeking groups, or, concurrently perhaps, efforts to expand resources just as I noted about land and water above.

        July 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    No. I said that power hungry men would further their cause by claiming that their rules and their stories come from a god. It was a simple thing to do in ancient times because scientifically ignorant people still did not know why the sun rose and set and why the seasons changed and why lightning and why thunder and why earthquakes and why disease and why just about anything ... so they all thought that a god or gods controlled it all. Power hungry men co-opted these imaginary powerful gods and used that belief of the ignorant masses to further their power.

    So you are either not very good at reading and comprehension or you are doing a bait and switch which is your common way to change the subject when you are proven to be a fool.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      sorry all ... that was a reply to topher from the thread at the bottom of this page. mea culpa.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
  14. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
    It felt good to be out of the rain
    In the desert you can remember your name
    'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain

    July 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Played this in a piano recital in high school ....

      July 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'll take "Lyrics With Terrible Grammar" for $300, Alex.

      DAILY DOUBLE:
      This song won Paul McCartney an Award for Redundancy Award in this ever changing world in which we live in.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • LaBella

        What is "Live And Let Die"?

        July 9, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Also the theme to the best of the Roger Moore James Bond movies.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          Not a Sheena Easton fan, eh?

          July 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Which one did Easton do?

          I'm pretty partial to the GoldenEye theme, but that was a Brosnan film. (Also, that was Brosnan's best.)

          July 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • LaBella

          Sheena Easton did "For Your Eyes Only."

          July 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          GoldenEye was easily Brosnan's best. He was born to play Bond. The problem is that that was the worst run of movies in the series.

          July 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
      • observer

        2nd DAILY DOUBLE

        This best-selling "classic" hit contains 3 minutes and 45 seconds of mindless "la-la-la-la's".

        July 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • LaBella

          What is "Hey, Jude", although to always thought it was na, not la...

          July 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You can say a lot with nothing more than "na".
          Just ask Wilson Pickett

          July 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          634-5789

          July 9, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • LaBella

          (Soulsville, USA)

          July 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I think you mean 867-5309

          July 9, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Isn't that Jenny's number?

          July 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • observer

          LaBella,

          No argument. Is it even worse with "na" instead of "la"?

          July 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "Just ask Wilson Pickett"

          Ah nothing quite like him. I saw him in concert at the Ottawa Bluesfest in 2007...the man could still keep his crowd mesmerized...he ended the night to an encore of Midnight Hour.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • LaBella

          Whether la or na, it goes on 3 minutes longer than it needs to, and I like the song...

          July 9, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • LaBella

          ^ ^
          Meant for observer...

          July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • kudlak

          observer
          What is Simon & Garfunkel's The Boxer? (smily)

          July 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kudlak: Use the html coding if you want the smiley to appear.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          test

          [img]http://www.mazeguy.net/happy/wave.gif[/img]

          July 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • kudlak

          test

          [img]http://www.mazeguy.net/happy/wave.gif[/img]

          July 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Lyrics with terrible grammar...oh the sounds of the 60's. Even that terrible grammar beats our (dis)owned Bieber (yes topher, he Is officially yours).

        July 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • LaBella

          Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

          July 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          How can you deny the spiritual profundity of such eloquent lyrics as "baby baby baby oh. baby baby baby baby baby oh" or “Swag swag swag, on you. Chillin’ by the fire while we eatin’ fondue.”
          Chaucer, Milton and Shakespeare have nothin' on the Biebs.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I can honestly say I've never heard a Bieber song.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          topher: You're not missing much. Baby Noah probably sounds more pleasant screaming at the top of his lungs.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          "see that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen"

          "I love you....maybe, and if it's quite alright , I need you....maybe"

          " Hit me with your pet shark"

          "Bingo Jed had a light on"

          "I can see clearly now, Lorraine is gone"

          Or the absolutely unintelligible lyrics of Pearl Jam ( Eddie Vedder worst singer since Yoko) "Yellow Ledbetter",( I actually sang that song, with the lyrics written on queue cards for the audience with the way he said the lyrics, so lots of non-words)

          July 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Hold me close now Tony Danza"?

          July 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • LaBella

          Best misheard lyric I've ever heard was "fly like a (old-timey word for an AA)" instead of "fly like an eagle."
          I just went, "whaaaaaa?!?"

          July 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Ah, man. I love Vedder. He's got enthusiasm.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • tallulah131

          and the classic: There's a bathroom on the right.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          If I was to say to you
          Girl, we couldn't get much higher

          July 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • igaftr

          "You've got to go through Elsie's bar to get to heaven"

          July 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I enjoy impersonating Eddie Vedder by replacing all the words in Pearl Jam songs with his name.

          "Ooooohh vedder, vedder eddie vedder eddie vedder eddie concrete. again"

          July 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • LaBella

          @Doc, is that "Evenflow"?

          July 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          A friend once made fun of the Toto song "Africa" because he thought the lyric was:

          "I guess it rains down in Africa."

          July 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
      • Doris

        The answer is: "They had a hit with "Baby I'm a Want You"...

        July 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • LaBella

          What is Bread.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
      • colin31714

        I never could work out if "We don't need no education," was intended to have a touch of irony in it.

        July 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I am quite sure it did.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • igaftr

          colin
          http://www.waldorfcritics.org/articles/TelegraphGilmour.html

          July 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • colin31714

          Interesting, thanks. I had never heard of Steiner schools until now.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
      • Doris

        "Parrish Songs for $200, Alex"

        The answer is: "The second verse of this Cat Stevens song is:

        Mary dropped her pants by the sand
        And let a parson come and take her hand
        But the soul of no body knows
        Where the parson goes, where does the parson go?"

        July 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • LaBella

          What is "Longer Boats"

          July 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Doris

          Ooops, right question, but I guess I should have written "Parish", not "Parrish".

          July 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
      • colin31714

        There was an early 80s song by the Australian band, Australian Crawl, called “Boys light up.” It was about dope use and was a bit of a criticism of upper income suburban Australian life. My mate and I fought all the way through law school over the following lyrics. The song is talking about a se.xually bored, rich housewife, and it continues….

        Silently she opens the drawer
        Mother's little helper
        Is coming out for more
        Strategically positioned
        Before the midday show

        The back is arched
        Those lips are parched
        Repeated blow by blow

        Now, I argued that the song was about her using a di.ldo, but my mate insisted it was about Valium. We never resolved it.

        July 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • kudlak

          I heard that the electric banana in Donovan's "Mellow Yellow" was a vib.rator, if that helps? (smily)

          July 9, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • rogerthat2014

        Ringo: "Hey Paul, how about I sing a song on this next album?

        Paul: (drunk) That's a good idea Ringo. I'm seeing visions of a yellow submarine."

        July 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          One of their best.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • LaBella

          Love "Hey, Bulldog" from that movie.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • evidencenot

          " Hey Ringo..... what did you do with the money?"

          Ringo = "what money?"

          "the money your mom gave you for singing lessons"

          July 10, 2014 at 9:08 am |
    • Doris

      It's a nice album. I still put on Riverside and a few others from that now and then.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
  15. SeaVik

    Theo,

    You claimed that we have evidence that Jesus exists. Yet, you have provided zero evidence. You gave this link (http://www.gotquestions.org/did-Jesus-exist.html), which I actually looked at. It is completely laughable. Literally, the second sentence on that "proof" says:

    "We do not grant this idea that the Bible cannot be considered a source of evidence for the existence of Jesus."

    Really? You are going to use a book of fiction to "prove" something? And you're just going to do it without even addressing why that's totally insane? "We realize that a thinking person would not consider a 2000 year old book of fiction to be 'evidence' of anything...but we need it to prove our point so we're going to use it anyway."

    It is one thing to be insane. It is another to not realize it.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Of course you don't accept the Bible as true and refer to it as fiction. You already have a presupposition that it's those things.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • igaftr

        Some parts have been proven to be fiction, other parts, mainly the supernatural claims, cannot be verified, and do not make any sense, so referring to it as fiction would be accurate, though there are some historically accurate things in it.

        July 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Which parts have been proven wrong?

          And to say there's some historical accuracy in it is underselling it. It's the most historically vetted text in the history of the world. So much so that even secular historians say Luke is histories greatest historian.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • joey3467

          I have a masters degree in history and not once in my entire life have I ever heard anyone say that Luke is the greatest historian of all time.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • G to the T

          Same here Joey – I can't say that Luke has stood out as a historian of any merit in the classes I've taken...

          July 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @topher, only someone in your cult would ever claim that Luke is the greatest historian of all time.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • joey3467

          Of course, I have no doubt that someone has probably said that about Luke, but that doesn't mean they are correct.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • igaftr

          The myth of Noah did not happen , at least on this planet. Genesis has the order wrong of how our universe came to be.
          Many many other places, but you won't accept reality I already know...you think the book is more than the product of men's imaginations, so trying to show you where it is false is something you are not willing to hear...you would rather believe the fake pearls men planted in your book.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          igaftr

          "Genesis has the order wrong of how our universe came to be."

          How do you know that? Were you there? Was anyone there? No? Oh, that's right, it's historical science. Not testable or repeatable.

          "Many many other places, but you won't accept reality I already know..."

          Like what?

          "you think the book is more than the product of men's imaginations, "

          I do. I think it proves itself to be more than that.

          "so trying to show you where it is false is something you are not willing to hear..."

          That's probably fair. I'm willing to "hear" it, but I'm not willing to believe man's word over God's.

          "you would rather believe the fake pearls men planted in your book."

          That's your opinion. I don't believe there's anything fake in the Bible.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • tallulah131

          There is no evidence that the exodus from Egypt occurred. There wasn't a significant population of jewish slaves in Egypt. No jews, no need for Moses.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • igaftr

          "How do you know that?"

          By forensically tracing back the Big Bang, and then understanding the physics, and the order that things happened after the Big Bang. We can see it, trace it back.
          Genesis when they talk about separating light and dark...only works in laundry, otherwise, due to physics, you cannot separate light and dark, they are terms denoting different amounts of the same thing, the moon is not a luminary, it is a reflector, and does not rule the night, ( the moon is just as likely to be in your view during the day as the night)

          Also, did you know that the rocks from the lunar landing prove that much of the moon was actually earth, and the moon was likely the result of a gigantic collision when the earth was still molten? The samples of moon rock confirm it. The moon was not put there by god.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          tallulah131

          That's not true. Can I suggest you look up and watch a docu.mentary called "Mountain of Fire"?

          July 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          igaftr

          "By forensically tracing back the Big Bang, and then understanding the physics, and the order that things happened after the Big Bang. We can see it, trace it back."

          The problem with this argument is you are making the assumption that the Big Bang was true, despite its own problems. None of this of course is testable or repeatable. So you are trusting in someone's imagination to have guessed it correctly. It always amazes me that police will tell you that after only 48 hours a case goes cold, that's it's evidence is gone and is practically unsolvable. That's just 48 hours. We still don't even know if Lee Harvey Oswald worked alone, but we're supposed to KNOW what happened 4 billion years ago.

          "Also, did you know that the rocks from the lunar landing prove that much of the moon was actually earth, and the moon was likely the result of a gigantic collision when the earth was still molten? The samples of moon rock confirm it. The moon was not put there by god."

          Likely? Then you don't know? It's all guesswork, my friend. You can believe it if you want to, but you should at least admit your faith is a religion. It's not science.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • igaftr

          No topher. I do not need to assume the Big Bnag happened. We know it did, it is fact. MANY things have come together providing irrefutable proof.

          What caused it is the mystery.

          Then physics shows the order that things happened, and we can look back in time to the Big Bnag.

          I know you reject the reality of it in place of your book, but we know your book is wrong.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Likely? Then you don't know? It's all guesswork, my friend"

          Yes...likely. There is a great deal of evidence showing that the moon was created by a collision...the fact that the moon rocks are made of the exact same materials..nearly imposiible unless it happened the way that is indicated...but in this case, there is no absolute evidence, as we have with the Big Bang, so the correct term is likely. we do not know for certain, but there is a great deal of proof.

          What there is no proof anywhere, or evidence of, is anything ever being done by any "god". No evidence of that at all.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          igaftr

          "No topher. I do not need to assume the Big Bnag happened. We know it did, it is fact. MANY things have come together providing irrefutable proof."

          No. It's not fact. Not by any scientific definition. Why do you atheists, who hold science up as a god, hold so many positions that science rejects? Not only is it not a fact, but it keeps changing. Look at what the original theory was and look at it now. There are so many problems with the Big Bang ... but don't get me wrong. I used to believe in it, too.

          "What caused it is the mystery."

          That's not the only mystery.

          "Then physics shows the order that things happened, and we can look back in time to the Big Bnag."

          You can certainly make many reasonable ascertians, but you can't "look back." That's historical science. Meaning it's not testable or repeatable. You can say, "We THINK this is how it happened." But you cannot say you know it as fact.

          "I know you reject the reality of it in place of your book, but we know your book is wrong."

          You think it's wrong. But that's the best you've got.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          igaftr

          "Yes...likely. There is a great deal of evidence showing that the moon was created by a collision..."

          If I sent you an article on this, would you read it? Or would you just complain and reject everything it says without any thought?

          "the fact that the moon rocks are made of the exact same materials..nearly imposiible unless it happened the way that is indicated..."

          So wait ... because it has the same elements, one must have come from the other? Dude, I can make that argument about every single celestrial body.

          "but in this case, there is no absolute evidence, as we have with the Big Bang, so the correct term is likely. we do not know for certain, but there is a great deal of proof."

          Do you agree that sciencists are always changing and upgrading it's stance?

          "What there is no proof anywhere, or evidence of, is anything ever being done by any "god". No evidence of that at all."

          Completely false. You can reject that evidence and say it is lacking if you want to, but to say there is no evidence is fallacious.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • ausphor

          igaftr
          No amount of reason and logic will get through to Topher. The really sad thing is that he is breeding and we will be stuck with another generation of his ridiculous beliefs.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          igaftr
          The Big Bang is not fact it is only the current accepted consensus. Topher is correct on this one.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • igaftr

          "No. It's not fact. Not by any scientific definition."

          Yes. It is. It became that After the work done leading up to one of the Nobel Prizes given for the subject, then building on that work through the 70's, 80's, 90' and finally with the Nobel prize being given to two American scientists in 2006 which pretty much confirmed it as fact. Trying to claim it did not happen at this point is akin to claiming 2 and 2 do not equal 4 (in a base 10 numbering system)
          Deny it all you want, the Big Bang is fact. It happened...the only thing that is truly a mystery is how.
          You can deny fact all you want, the rest of us will move on.

          One thing for certain, there continues to be absloutely no evidence of any "god"

          July 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • believerfred

          igaftr
          Read this link it is a quick summary of base assumptions that drive Big Bang which are not falsifiable:
          http://rense.com/general53/bbng.htm

          July 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          Fact or not depends on definitions. The Big Bang Cosmological Theory is not a fact, it is a theory, just like the Theory of Relativity. The details are still being worked out and tested. The phenomenon of gravity is a fact (even though the theories are not). The phenomenon of a Big Bang are considered a scientific fact. All the details of what happened after the Big Bang are still being worked out, but almost every Cosmologist thinks a Big Bang happened.

          A Theory is an explanation of some phenomena. The Theory predicts measurable things. We then measure the things we have the capability to measure. If the measurements match the predictions and are validated, the theory is retained. All measurements of Big Bang predictions (and there are a lot of them with quite disparate effects) confirm that a Big Bang happened. Some measurements do disprove certain details and new theoretical elements are hypothesized, and then tested. This has been going on for decades on the Big Bang and all tests confirm a Big Bang happened.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • igaftr

          fred
          thats' funny...but wrong...also old, from 04

          The Nobel Prize in 2006 put the last nail in the proof that the Big Bang in FACT did happen.

          July 10, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • believerfred

          bostontola
          Thank you, that was a good summary. Are you not the least bit skeptical about the unproven speculative inflation field or dark matter necessary to claim our universe is 8 billion years old not 14 billion?

          July 10, 2014 at 10:50 am |
      • SeaVik

        It's not a presupposition – I know the earth is millions of years old and I know that men can't walk on water. Therefore, I know the bible is a work of fiction. If it weren't full of factually incorrect claims, I would be neutral on it as a historical reference.

        July 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "It's not a presupposition –"

          Of course it is! Do you even know what a presupposition is?

          "I know the earth is millions of years old "

          How do you KNOW it's millions of years old?

          July 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Topher, you believe the earth is only thousands of years old. You are not in a position to question my intelligence. Yes, I know what a presupposition is:

          a thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.

          I didn't assume the bible was a work of fiction until I learned that it makes claims that are factually proven to be incorrect. Once I know that the bible was factually wrong, I was able to conclude that it is a work of fiction. Get it? No presupposition involved.

          Ok, I won't say "I know" the bible is millions of years old. I will instead say, there is overwhelming evidence that the bible is millions of years old and the extreme majority of experts on the subject believe the earth is millions of years old. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest the earth is only thousands of years old. Therefore, it would be foolish to conclude the bible is anything other than a work of fiction.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • SeaVik

          That should have been "earth is millions of years old"...

          July 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • joey3467

          Now Tohper will claim that there is lots of evidence that Earth is only 6,000 years old. His all time favorite is that the moon proves it.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "Topher, you believe the earth is only thousands of years old."

          Correct.

          "You are not in a position to question my intelligence."

          I'm not questioning your intelligence. I just asked if you knew what it meant. If I implied anything against your intelligence, I apologize.

          "Ok, I won't say "I know" the (earth) is millions of years old. I will instead say, there is overwhelming evidence that the (earth) is millions of years old and the extreme majority of experts on the subject believe the earth is millions of years old."

          This is fair ... except the "overwhelming" part.

          "There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest the earth is only thousands of years old."

          This is where we'll disagree. Ninety percent of dating mechanisms point to a young earth. So there's actually "overwhelming" evidence on my side of the argument.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          "Now (Topher) will claim that there is lots of evidence that Earth is only 6,000 years old. His all time favorite is that the moon proves it."

          I wouldn't say it's my favorite, but yes the moon test does demonstrate at the very least a much younger earth than billions of years ... a million at the most.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • joey3467

          Then please explain how, and I will show you in detail why your are wrong.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          How what?

          July 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "This is fair ... except the "overwhelming" part."

          99.9% of scientists accept evolution. How is that not overwhelming?

          "Ninety percent of dating mechanisms point to a young earth. So there's actually "overwhelming" evidence on my side of the argument."

          What are you talking about? I have never heard of any legitimate scientist claim that the earth is only thousands of years old, much less 90% of them.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • joey3467

          Explain in detao;l how the moon is evidence of a young earth. Don't forget to show your math.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "99.9% of scientists accept evolution. How is that not overwhelming?"

          Who brought up evolution? And of course you realize that the number of people who believe something has ZERO bearing on whether that thing is true.

          "What are you talking about? I have never heard of any legitimate scientist claim that the earth is only thousands of years old, much less 90% of them."

          That's not what I said. I said 90 percent of dating mechanisms. Which of course just goes to show you the old saying is true ... "Science doesn't say anything — scientists do." And to claim no "legitimate scientists" believe in a young earth is a fallacy. First, plenty of them do. And second, for you to make a generalized statement like that shows your presupposition. Which is fine, as I have mine.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Topher,
          " Ninety percent of dating mechanisms point to a young earth"

          This seems completely iincorect. What is your source for such a statement?

          July 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          "Explain in detao;l how the moon is evidence of a young earth. Don't forget to show your math."

          Don't have the numbers in front of me, so I can only generalize ... we know the moon is moving away from the earth at X-inches per year. So at this rate, if you work the math, the moon would have been touching the earth at like 1.5 million years ago. You can only imagine the catastrophic effects the moon only being a lot closer would have on the earth. And toughing ...

          Ultimately, this doesn't matter. You don't reject God because you think the world is billions of years old. Plus it would have no bearing on your salvation. You can be saved and believe in billions of years.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          MidwestKen

          "This seems completely iincorect. What is your source for such a statement?"

          It's not a matter of a source saying this. It's a matter of how many things we can look at to determine an age and how many of them point to a world much younger than billions of years. This can be things like the existence of diamonds, comets, blue stars to things like the amount of salt in the sea. Of course, many of you will reject these things because you already hold to billions of years.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @topher, it's only people in your cult that say that current dating methods are flawed or that they point to a young earth.

          you need to look outside your cult bubble.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Dyslexic doG

          "you need to look outside your cult bubble."

          I'd say the same to you, dude.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Who brought up evolution?"

          I brought up evolution because it's one of many pieces of evidence that makes it clear the earth is much older than thousands of years.

          "And of course you realize that the number of people who believe something has ZERO bearing on whether that thing is true."

          You're looking at it backwards. If something is true, there will be evidence of that truth. The more evidence there is, the more people there will be who believe in that truth. So absolutely, there is a correlation. Your statement just has the causality backwards.

          "What are you talking about? I have never heard of any legitimate scientist claim that the earth is only thousands of years old, much less 90% of them."

          "That's not what I said. I said 90 percent of dating mechanisms."

          Ok, what do you mean by that? The dating mechanisms that are considered the best by the experts suggest the earth is millions of years old.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topherism (also known as Philioism and kermitism) the ability of a person to reject all knowledge that does not agree with that persons a priori beliefs.
          Trying to discuss anything with Topher other than you believe in creationism and the ridiculous claims that entails is futile. Better just to have a good laugh at the gullibility of some people and move on. A little mockery and ridicule is also acceptable.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Topher,

          If you don't have a source or reference then you should be able to back up your own statment. First, how does the existence of diamonds, comets, etc. Point to a "young" earth? I.e. how are they even considered dating mechanisms?
          Second, how do these items amount to 90% of "dating mechanisms"?

          July 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "It's not a matter of a source saying this. It's a matter of how many things we can look at to determine an age and how many of them point to a world much younger than billions of years. This can be things like the existence of diamonds, comets, blue stars to things like the amount of salt in the sea. Of course, many of you will reject these things because you already hold to billions of years."

          OMG Topher. I didn't realize you literally just MADE UP that 90% of dating methods figure. I knew it was in some way BS, but I didn't know it was THAT BS. The existence of diamons is a dating method that suggests the earth is only thousands of years old? Uh huh....sure....the sparkliness of a diamond proves the earth is only thousands of years old........that's on par with actual dating methods.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "And to claim no "legitimate scientists" believe in a young earth is a fallacy. First, plenty of them do."

          Topher,

          I would like the name of one scientist that believes in a young earth and does so for non-religious reasons.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          MidwestKen

          Topher,

          "First, how does the existence of diamonds, comets, etc. Point to a "young" earth?"

          Let's take comets. We know that comets shrink with each pass around the sun. And, as we recently saw last year with ISON, often the comets don't survive. So if the universe were billions of years old, we wouldn't have any comets left. Often the "old-earthers" claim that the comets are still coming because of the Oort Cloud, but there is zero evidence that such a thing exists.

          Diamonds contain (if I remember this correctly) C14, which means they can't be billions of years old, either, but that's what you find in the textbooks.

          "Second, how do these items amount to 90% of "dating mechanisms"?"

          Well, these are only a few ... they don't amount to 90 percent.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I would like the name of one scientist that believes in a young earth and does so for non-religious reasons."

          I've been down this road before, though I don't remember if it was with you or not. I've provided plenty of names but you just want to complain and claim that they aren't real scientists. So ... no thanks.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          nice dodge topher

          July 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Topher,

          The names you privided were all scientists that are religious and hold to the bible being literally true. My point is that if the evidence, and only the evidence, truly points to a young earth there should be plenty of scientists that are secular (non-religious) and hold a young earth position. I asked you to name one...and you can't.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Yeah, yeah. I'm always "dodging" and "running away."

          July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "So if the universe were billions of years old, we wouldn't have any comets left."

          **facepalm**

          July 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • joey3467

          I will just say that I have never seen Topher's list but you can't be a legitimate scientist and work for AIG.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Topher,
          You appear to be presuming that all comets started their near sun orbits at the begining of th solar system. What is the basis for that presumption?

          The method used to detect c14 is called radiocarbon dating and is invalid when usedon either non-living matter or on once-living matter. Why would it be used on diamonds at all when the results will obviously be invalid?

          So, where did your 90% figure come from?

          July 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The entirety of Topher's argument is a facepalm.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • joey3467

          Topher the moon is only moving away at a few centimeters a year(I think it is around 3.7cm per year), and it is known that it is currently moving away faster than it was in the past. However, even if the moon was moving 6 inches a year that would only amount to about 95 miles every millions years, and the orbit of the moon varies by more than that all by itself. Note that 6 inches would be about 5 times the current rate that the moon is receding, and that speeding it up by a factor of five still doesn't make your case.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Correction:
          "... or once-living matter older than ~50k years.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          MidwestKen

          "You appear to be presuming that all comets started their near sun orbits at the begining of th solar system. What is the basis for that presumption?"

          Why are you presuming they didn't? Where else have they come from? If you say exploded stars then you've got a huge math problem.

          "The method used to detect c14 is called radiocarbon dating and is invalid when usedon either non-living matter or on once-living matter. Why would it be used on diamonds at all when the results will obviously be invalid?"

          I don't like radiocarbon dating at all. We know it doesn't work when we actually know the date of something, but we're expected to trust it when we don't know a date. The fact there's carbon in them (if that even is the element, I honestly don't remember) is that they then CAN'T be as old as we are usually told. They'd be much younger. That's all.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          "Topher the moon is only moving away at a few centimeters a year(I think it is around 3.7cm per year),"

          I believe it's actually 3.7 inches, but I digress ...

          "and it is known that it is currently moving away faster than it was in the past."

          How do you know this?

          July 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Topher, if you think the earth is only 6,000 years old or so, what do you make of dinosaur fossils? Do you believe that:

          a) Dinosaurs and humans lived on earth at the same time
          b) God made earth with dinosaur fossils in it and dinosaurs never actually lived on earth
          c) Something else?

          Just curious.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • joey3467

          Topher it is 3.78 cm per year which is equal to about 1.5 inches.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "Topher, if you think the earth is only 6,000 years old or so, what do you make of dinosaur fossils? Do you believe that:"

          a) Dinosaurs and humans lived on earth at the same time

          July 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Hello Topher –

          "I don't like radiocarbon dating at all. We know it doesn't work..."

          If you are so convinced it doesn't work, what is your explanation for why scientists would say it does work? And I'm not just talking about verifying or refuting Biblical claims.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          "Topher it is 3.78 cm per year which is equal to about 1.5 inches."

          I stand corrected. You're right, it's cm, not inches. Just looked it up.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          James XCIX

          Presuppositions.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • joey3467

          We know because tides leave behind evidence, and we can use that evidence to determine how far the moon was from Earth, as well as how fast it was moving at the time.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Topher,
          1) we know that orbits are not perfectly stable and can be changed after long periods of semi-stability and
          2) we have the example of "new" short tern comets originating from the Kupier belt, so "new" long term comets is not much of a stretch.

          "We know it doesn't work..."

          When used properly it works fine and has been verified often with multiple other methods.

          The problem with running an invalid test is getting a false positive for the existence of substance that isn't really ther. Do you have a verifiable source for the existence of C14 in diamonds, whose test has been confirmed independently?

          July 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Topher – "Presuppositions."

          Perhaps you could elaborate a little more. And do you really suppose you know more about it that those who use it? Are you just repeating things you've been told, or do you have the background to investigate it yourself?

          July 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          Is this the same equation you're looking at? (I hope this transfers well ... I'll have to copy and paste it ...)

          k = r6dr/dt = (384,401 km)6 x (0.000038 km/year) = 1.2 x 1029 km7/year

          ∫0T dt = ∫0R (r6/k)dr

          T = R7/(7k)

          Note ... this doesn't copy exactly right ... some of the exponential numbers are written like the rest of the numbers ....

          July 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          James XCIX

          "And do you really suppose you know more about it that those who use it?"

          Not even close. I'm brain's far too simple to do these kind of stuff. But I'm not so gullible to trust everything I'm told. And I do believe that EVERY person has a presupposition. Including me.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Topher – "But I'm not so gullible to trust everything I'm told."

          And yet it seems you have an admittedly baseless trust in the idea that carbon dating doesn't work.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Dinosaurs and humans lived on earth at the same time"

          I'm not sure if you're really serious, but either way, thanks for the laugh! Imagine living at the same time as the dinosaurs?! That would be crazy!

          July 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          James XCIX

          "And yet it seems you have an admittedly baseless trust in the idea that carbon dating doesn't work."

          I admitted no such thing. The reason I don't trust it is because it's been shown to give false numbers on things we know the dates for. So why then should I trust it when we don't know the dates? And none of this has anything to do with religion. I believe it's been demonstrated to be untrustworthy.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "I'm not sure if you're really serious, but either way, thanks for the laugh! Imagine living at the same time as the dinosaurs?! That would be crazy!"

          What's crazy about it? Yes, I hold that view based on the Bible, but there's also non-Biblical reasons to believe it. You only reject those things because you have a presupposition and a worldview that it doesn't fit into.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Topher – You really never clearly answered my question about why scientists would continue to use something that supposedly doesn't work. They can read as well as you can. If there is strong evidence their method is flawed, why would they continue to use it?

          July 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          There have been examples of carbon dating being wrong, but that could be errors in sample selection.

          It's certainly FAR CLOSER in estimating the age of the earth than the Bible.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • SeaVik

          I meant it would be crazy, as in incredible, if humans and dinosaurs were on the planet at the same time. But yes, I do also think it's crazy to believe that given what we know.

          "You only reject those things because you have a presupposition and a worldview that it doesn't fit into."

          There you go again getting it backwards. I don't have a presupposition or a worldview. That's what religion is about. You have a presupposition that the bible is correct. I don't. I don't believe men and dinosaurs were on the planet because we have compelling evidence that suggests that was not the case. I didn't come to believe that because of a presupposition, I came to believe it because that's what scientists have concluded. If there were some scientific breakthrough that discredited the current evidence and suggested that in fact, men and dinosaurs co-existed, then my view would change accordingly. As it is, there's no legitimate evidence to suggest that and plenty against it.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          James XCIX

          They have a presupposition that the universe is billions of years old or that evolution is true or that there is no God. So when anything is presented that doesn't fit into that worldview, they throw it out. It wouldn't make sense for them to believe it. Same thing with us Christians. I wouldn't care if you did "prove" Darwinian evolution or whatever actually existed and I was the last person on the earth that held to my young-earth beliefs. I'd still trust God's unchanging word over a sinful, corrupt and fallen man's.

          You and I have exactly the same evidence for our positions. We just both interpret it differently.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "There have been examples of carbon dating being wrong, but that could be errors in sample selection."

          Could be. Or it could be proof it doesn't work. See how our presuppositions influence how we interpret the data?

          "It's certainly FAR CLOSER in estimating the age of the earth than the Bible."

          Let's say Carbon dating could test up to a million years. (It can't, but it's a good round number to work with.) What is 1 million closer to? 6000 years, or 4.54 billion?

          July 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          " I'd still trust God's unchanging word'

          God's word CHANGED in many cases in the Bible including THROWING OUT all the KILLINGS he ordered for a long list of reasons.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "God's word CHANGED in many cases in the Bible including THROWING OUT all the KILLINGS he ordered for a long list of reasons."

          Don't know what you are talking about. Could you please clarify?

          July 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • igaftr

          "Could be. Or it could be proof it doesn't work."

          No topher, it is not proof it does not work. The process is sound, and normally more than one method is used to determine a samples age.

          When it does not work, it is normally due to contamination of the sample or operator error.
          The process and science behind it is completely sound.
          Stop throwing red herrings.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          The earth is millions of years old and you know it

          – why? because you were here millions of years ago? or you think you have the answer because of a device built by imperfect men tell you that? how arrogant of you.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          WOW!

          [Deut. 13:6-10] “worship other gods’ . . . Stone the guilty ones to death
          [Deut. 21:18-21] “stubborn and rebellious son . . . stone him to death.”
          [Deut. 22:20] “man is found lying with a married woman, . . .then both of them shall die”
          [Deut. 22:23-24] “virgin engaged . . . another man . . .and lies with her . . stone them to death”
          [Exodus 21:15] “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death”
          [Exodus 21:16] “He who kidnaps a man . . . put to death.”
          [Exodus 21:17] "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.”
          [Exodus 21:29] “ox . . . kills a man or a woman, . . . its owner also shall be put to death.”
          [Exodus 22:18] "Do not let a woman who does evil magic stay alive. Put her to death.”
          [Exodus 31:15-17] “Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death”
          [Lev. 20:9] “If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death”
          [Lev. 20:10] “man who commits adultery with another man's wife . . they shall surely be put to death.”
          [Lev. 20:11] “man who lies with his father's wife . . both of them shall surely be put to death.”
          [Lev. 20:12] “If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death”
          [Lev. 20:14] “man who marries a woman and her mother . . . they shall be burned with fire”
          [Lev. 20:27] “man or woman who is a medium or a fortune-teller . . . You must stone them to death"
          [Lev. 21:9] “daughter of any priest . . harlotry . . she shall be burned with fire.”
          [Lev. 24:11-14] “anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord . . .entire assembly must stone him.”
          [Lev. 24:17] “If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death”

          Sorry. Thought you read a Bible.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot

          So you think the earth may only be thousands of years old?

          – why? because you were here THOUSANDS of years ago? "How arrogant of you"

          July 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Radiometric dating is so flawed to be almost worthless and it's been admitted as such. The reason they go on with it is that they've got virtually NOTHING else. more and more real scientists today are voicing skepticism concerning continued use of radiometric dating. it is an unreliable hoax.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • bostontola

          topher,
          If I understand you correctly, you are saying that only is biology false, but physics is false. Physicists use a variety of radiometric tests for age of rocks, each method is independent of the others. Uranium-lead decay, Samarium-neodymium, Potassium-argon, and Rubidium-strontium, have been used to date old rocks from earth and meteorites. They all measure the age of the earth at 4.5B years to an accuracy of a few percent. Carbon dating is not useful for these purposes.

          Do you really believe that the same physics that works perfectly in our computer chips, GPS devices, X-Ray machines, etc. sudden;y fails when it comes to isotope decay that has been verified with exquisitely fine calibration methods?

          July 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • observer

          The Bible basically claims that all the laws of science, especially physics, are optional.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          no IGAFTR you are holding onto a dead red herring and you obviously have not kept up. a very small subatomic particle called NEUTRINOS have rendered radiometric dating useless. now you've got nothing else to hold up your worthless evolution theory. you should probably stick with things we do know occur like adaptation.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • bostontola

          If the universe is only 6000 years old, how can we see any stars more than 6000 light years away?

          July 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          i'm afraid not BOSTONOLA and you don't know how it works. the only way to measure decay is thru the residue and unfortunately for you the residue don't 'stick around'. in addition to this, there is naturally occurring isotopes that cannot be distinguished from the decay. that and a troublesome little subatomic particle called a neutrino you just can't wish away. there are of course lots of other factors that throw a monkey wrench into your one last hope like solar superstorms, winter absorbtion rates, etc etc etc .. . your dreams of a evolutionary superman in the future are just that, dreams.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Yep. Makes more SENSE to you that God just POOFED the world into existence possibly JUST thousands of years ago.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Topher – "So when anything is presented that doesn't fit into that worldview, they throw it out"

          Scientists are eager to prove each other wrong, if they are able. They do not continue to support unsupportable ideas. You don't seem to have a very good understanding of the scientific community.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • bostontola

          scotty,
          Your brazen assertions would be funny if not so sad.

          1. You have no idea what I know.
          2. The 'residue' does stick around, it's the second element in the decay pair. Unless you think the amounts of the decay element are varying just the right amount to give a false positive to highly repeatable tests and calibrations from samples all over the world (and beyond with meteorites), then you are wrong.
          3. Your assertion of neutrinos messing up the measurement is a testable assertion, and in fact has been tested. Inside standard nuclear fission power generators, neutrino radiation is intense, but the uranium that is not fissioned decays at the usual rate. Some spacecraft are powered by nuclear decays. Some of them fly in very intense cosmic ray fields (like near Jupiter). If cosmic rays affected decay rates, the power generated would be different from expectations.

          You make baseless assertions that are tested and shown to be false. All the verification and calibration of radiometrics is solid.

          What about stars that are more than 6000 lightyears away, How can we see them?

          July 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          bostontola

          "Do you really believe that the same physics that works perfectly in our computer chips, GPS devices, X-Ray machines, etc. sudden;y fails when it comes to isotope decay that has been verified with exquisitely fine calibration methods?"

          Are you arguing that because we have computer chips and X-Ray machines that requires an old universe? You understand the difference between historical science and observational science, right?

          July 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "The Bible basically claims that all the laws of science, especially physics, are optional."

          No. It doesn't. Complete fallacy.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          bostontola

          "If the universe is only 6000 years old, how can we see any stars more than 6000 light years away?"

          This is known as the Distant Starlight Problem. There are several possible answers to this. Are you actually interested?

          July 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "The Bible basically claims that all the laws of science, especially physics, are optional." "No. It doesn't. Complete fallacy."

          You are COMPLETELY WRONG. The Bible is LOADED with examples that violate most of the laws of physics. It claims that all the laws are OPTIONAL because God can change them at any time for however long he wants before re-instating them for mankind.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          topher,
          Your logic escapes me, and you didn't answer the question at all you just dodged it.

          I didn't tie universe age to computer chips. I said that the same principles of physics that works in computer chips and X-Ray machines would have to be false if you think isotope measurement of time is wrong. Very straight forward statement.

          You are claiming that evolutionary biology is bad science. Are you also claiming that physics is bad science?

          If not, you better come to grips with those dating methods. I provided physical evidence that neutrinos and cosmic rays are red herrings.

          Again, how can we see stars more than 6000 lightyears away if the universe is only 6000 years old?

          July 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "You are COMPLETELY WRONG. The Bible is LOADED with examples that violate most of the laws of physics. It claims that all the laws are OPTIONAL because God can change them at any time for however long he wants before re-instating them for mankind."

          OK, fine. If you are saying the laws apply unless there's an act of God, I'll go with that.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Awanderingzcot,

          "Research shows radiometric dating still reliable (again)"

          http://www.nist.gov/mml/csd/14c_091410.cfm

          July 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          bostontola

          "Your logic escapes me, and you didn't answer the question at all you just dodged it."

          I'm sorry you think that. I'm not trying to dodge it.

          "I didn't tie universe age to computer chips. I said that the same principles of physics that works in computer chips and X-Ray machines would have to be false if you think isotope measurement of time is wrong. Very straight forward statement."

          I don't see the relationship and you seem to be creating a false dichotomy. The two have nothing to do with each other. I never said anything against physics that I recall. What do isotope measurements of time have to do with X-Rays and chips? I can test and repeat the science that helps me create and use these things. Not so (historical science) with things that supposedly happened in the past.

          "You are claiming that evolutionary biology is bad science. Are you also claiming that physics is bad science?"

          Yes, I do say evolutionary biology is bad science. As far as physics ... as far as I know it's fine. Nothing is coming to mind otherwise.

          "If not, you better come to grips with those dating methods. I provided physical evidence that neutrinos and cosmic rays are red herrings."

          You did?

          "Again, how can we see stars more than 6000 lightyears away if the universe is only 6000 years old?"

          And I asked you if you're interested in the possible answers. I never saw a reply.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • bostontola

          topher,
          If radiometric dating is false, then physics as a science must have huge errors and holes in it. The same principles that make computer chips work (solid state physics), are fundamental to radiometrics. I don't see why that is hard to connect.

          Yes, please explain how we can see stars more than 6000 lightyears away if the universe is only 6000 years old.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          bostontola

          "If radiometric dating is false, then physics as a science must have huge errors and holes in it. The same principles that make computer chips work (solid state physics), are fundamental to radiometrics. I don't see why that is hard to connect."

          I still think it's a false dichotomy. But if what you are saying is true, then I'd certainly have a problem with anything that requires radiometric dating. Luckily for me evolution and an old earth are not requirements to make X-Rays and other modern technologies work. For instance, did you know the man who created the MRI is a Christian?

          "Yes, please explain how we can see stars more than 6000 lightyears away if the universe is only 6000 years old."

          Do a google search on "The Distant Starlight Problem." There are several possibilities ...

          July 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Yep. Read about how creationist cosmology advocates a FLAT earth.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "Yep. Read about how creationist cosmology advocates a FLAT earth."

          Ridiculous. Creationists are not flat earthers.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          topher,
          Most scientists are not atheist (only 40% are atheist). Many great scientific discoveries and technologies come from Christians. I work directly with many great scientists that are Christian. What is interesting is that over 95% of scientists regard evolution as a fact. That means that the vast majority of Christian scientists regard evolution as a fact.

          Solid state physics is not a false dichotomy. I think you mean it may be a false unification of phenomena. But it is not, the same principles that make semiconductors work as predicted make isotopes decay at a predictable rate.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          From Wikipedia entry for "Distant Starlight Problem":

          The biblical cosmology is that of the ancient Near East: a flat earth, heavens above, and the underworld below. Surrounding this were the "waters of chaos", the cosmic sea, home to mythic monsters defeated and slain by God (Exodus 20:4 warns against making an image "of anything that is in the waters under the earth").

          July 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          bostontola

          "Most scientists are not atheist (only 40% are atheist). Many great scientific discoveries and technologies come from Christians. I work directly with many great scientists that are Christian."

          Which goes against many atheist claims that no "real scientist" is Christian. Thank you. Those men should not be bismirched in that way.

          "What is interesting is that over 95% of scientists regard evolution as a fact. That means that the vast majority of Christian scientists regard evolution as a fact."

          That's fine. We just disagree. Believing in evolution does not disqualify anyone's salvation.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "From Wikipedia entry for "Distant Starlight Problem":"

          1. What does any of the following have to do with distant starlight?
          2. I'd be torched if I used Wikipedia to defend my position ...
          3. So now I'm supposed to trust Wikipedia over God?

          "The biblical cosmology is that of the ancient Near East: a flat earth, heavens above, and the underworld below. Surrounding this were the "waters of chaos", the cosmic sea, home to mythic monsters defeated and slain by God (Exodus 20:4 warns against making an image "of anything that is in the waters under the earth")."

          Ridiculous. Typical Wikipedia garbage. The Bible says nothing about "monsters" in Exodus 20:4. And if your complaint is that there's water under the earth, look into artesian wells, underground rivers, the water table and the recent discovery of a great amount of water deep in the earth's crust.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Topher,
          "2. I'd be torched if I used Wikipedia to defend my position ..."

          You just referenced a "Google search" as a reference for your position, so what is your complaint? Or at least that's where you told them to look.

          July 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Topher,
          "Do a google search on "The Distant Starlight Problem." There are several possibilities ..."

          As I understand it, YECs solutions to the "starlight problem" run into mainly one of two issues.
          Either they necessitate a deceptive "God", e.g. creating starlight "in transit" which means that for some light the star that supposedly sent said light would never have actually existed,
          or they would cause effect that should be evident but are not, e.g. temporarily fast starlight would effectively cook many things, such as life on earth, if the required light (and attendant gamma radiation) were compressed into a significantly shorter time frame (think of the radiation from the apparent 13 billion years of the universe arriving at the same time, or even over a 1000 years).

          July 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          "Ridiculous. Typical Wikipedia garbage. The Bible says nothing about "monsters" in Exodus 20:4. "

          Wikipedia NEVER said that it did. It referenced that verse in a parenthetical sentence.

          Ooooops! You owe Wikipedia an apology for your failure to read properly.

          You seem so clueless about the Bible (all the commands for death, etc.) Have you read a Bible?

          July 10, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • joey3467

          Topher, of course you can be a Christian and a scientist. However, you can't be a scientist if you take the position that any results you have that disagree with the bible should be ignored. This is what groups like AIG do, and thus, most people rightly don't consider anyone as.sociated with them to be scientists.

          July 10, 2014 at 10:30 am |
  16. Vic

    Note to the Editors:

    The underlying hyperlink for "Flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence: Why now?" in the Blog post is mistaken for
    "http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/04/politics/supreme-court-women/index.html"

    Also, I wonder if the "(see:death penalty)" is supposed to have a hyperlink.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • ausphor

      Note to Vic
      You stated that life preservation was by design, how so? That is the third time I have asked you this question, if you do not want to answer fine. Let me know or I will assume you are ducking the question.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    Christians base their whole belief on the writings of bronze age and iron age man that claim to be inspired by a god. Well OF COURSE they claim that! What better way for power hungry men to further their cause than to claim that their rules and their stories come from a god? So that's the basis of it all! And then all the rest of the 'massive' evidence that Christians say they have for their god is either the earliest fragments of these same man-written stories, or the later musings and writings of other people in their cult about the original writings.

    In the end, all you have is men saying that their book is the word of their god because it says so in their book.

    There is no physical proof of burning bushes or stone tablets or exoduses or floods or arks or miracles or resurrections. There are only (often contradictory) stories written down long after the supposed events took place by people in your cult who are obviously biased and have ulterior motives. Then these stories have been translated over and over by people in your cult who are obviously biased and have ulterior motives. It's all just so flawed!

    You are so prepared to believe all of this without any physical proof and yet you are happy to discount a physical, observable, analyzable fossil record that shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. *facepalm*

    July 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      So many fallacies here ...

      July 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • igaftr

        I did not see any...what fallacies? There are a couple of opinions, but no fallacies.

        July 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Well, for starters, the very first line ... as if the date of the writings — "bronze age and iron age man" — renders the text false.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          I didn't say that the date of the writings renders the text false.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          You put that phrase in there — as you often do — to insinuate ignorance of the people at the time thus saying that because it was so long ago, we can't trust it. So it's a fallacy.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • igaftr

          That is not a fallacy, unless you are upset about the exclusion of the copper age. Those were the times the book was written, so it is not false at all.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          igaftr

          It is a fallacy to say something is false or untrustworthy because it is old.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is not entirely accurate to say Christians base their whole belief on the writings of bronze age and iron age man that claim to be inspired by a god. Most of the Christian belief is based on a hope for the future. Not a longing of the past. An educated reading of the texts will show that the writings point to a living God – one that allows us to also base our beliefs on the present.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Dala, I'm going to start a new post in response to yours.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • evolveddna

          dalahast.. what points to a living god..why does it have to be an educated reading.. educated readers would understand that the bible has no divine inspiration. What do you think the bible told humanity that it did not already know? It does not shed any light on any thing out side of the local knowledge base at the time .Surely a god, even one as shy as yours, could have peppered it with some gems for us to prove correct..but nothing...

          July 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @topher I said that power hungry men would further their cause by claiming that their rules and their stories come from a god. It was a simple thing to do in ancient times because scientifically ignorant people still did not know why the sun rose and set and why the seasons changed and why lightning and why thunder and why earthquakes and why disease and why just about anything ... so they all thought that a god or gods controlled it all. Power hungry men co-opted these imaginary powerful gods and used that belief of the ignorant masses to further their power.

          So you are either not very good at reading and comprehension or you are doing a bait and switch which is your common way to change the subject when you are proven to be a fool.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:50 am |
        • kevinite

          @ evolvedna,

          First of all to assume that a "shy" God would surely provide some definitive proof is doing just that, assuming. When you are dealing with a God who requires us to develop faith, to believe in something which cannot be proven, why would you assume that same deity would just automatically provide definitive proof, which in turn would no longer require any faith which would then no longer give us any choice as to whether or not to believe and follow God willingly?

          July 10, 2014 at 2:35 am |
      • evolveddna

        Kevinite. How do you know you are dealing with a god who wants you to develop faith ? you have had to do that precisely because you have zero evidence of what the bible tells you. Why is faith so important anyway? you have many factions on the planet at this time who all claim have the correct faith.. You among them. It is this faith that is so dangerous and divisive.. certainly would go along way to solving issues.

        July 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
  18. Russ

    so... monetary compensation is sufficient?
    I wonder if Joel Baden would make such an over-simplified argument to a group of Holocaust survivors.

    July 9, 2014 at 11:50 am |
    • observer

      Russ

      "so... monetary compensation is sufficient?"

      It worked for God when he said to pay HUSBANDS for an injury to their wife.

      July 9, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • Russ

        "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." (Eph.5:25)

        July 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • observer

          The Bible tells wives to respect their husbands but I don't think it tells husbands the same.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          1) so telling husbands to die for their wives isn't respecting them (and from context, that's a daily thing, not a one-off romanticized event)? most would say that is a HIGHER standard than merely 'respecting' each other.

          2) Eph.5:21 says "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

          July 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          The prejudiced Bible says that non-virgin brides are to be KILLED.

          Please give a verse where it says that non-virgin grooms are to be KILLED.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          the cross simultaneously says 2 things:
          1) we ALL deserve death (it's worse than we want to admit)
          2) he was willing to die in my place (it's better than we ever dared hope)

          July 9, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          The Bible says God created ONLY ONE PERFECT person. The rest he INTENTIONALLY CREATED as imperfect. If you want to continue to beat yourself up for the way God created you (same story for gays), then go ahead, but it's sad to see you do that.

          The temporary 72-hour "death" of the partly man/partly god Jesus was nothing compared to the finality that everyone else experiences.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        • Russ

          @ observer: i see you are up to old habits. for lack of good talking points, you concoct 2 straw men arguments. from anyone else, i'd give the benefit of the doubt, but from you... we've had these conversations so many times before, and you intentionally ignore all previous discussion on it.

          1) i don't know what Bible you're reading, but at NO point does it say God "intentionally created" people as imperfect. we rendered ourselves broken. that is our work.

          2) we've had the Trinitarian conversation ad nauseam. you don't have to agree with Christianity to recognize you are creating a straw man. the cry of dereliction represents something infinite & virtually incomprehensible in our finite existence... the eternal Son of God being forsaken by his Father so that we (who deserve such treatment) would be treated like only the Son deserves (2 Cor.5:21).

          July 10, 2014 at 12:44 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          If you want to continue to beat yourself up for the way God created you (same story for gays), then go ahead, but it’s sad to see you do that.................

          Not sad to me....screw them for they know not what they do.

          July 10, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • observer

          Russ,

          If God created men as PERFECT, why were TWO of his first THREE products MISERABLE FAILURES? Again, he's lucky Donald Trump wasn't his boss.

          When you can come up with an explanation of where the Y-chromosomes came from that made Jesus a REAL MAN as you CLAIM, then you will BEGIN to have credibility. Until then, you are just dancing around a point that leaves you DEFENSELESS.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:49 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          If God created men as PERFECT, why were TWO of his first THREE products MISERABLE FAILURES?

          If gods WERE REAL and were any good they would have created humans first instead of all the life that came before....including the dinosaurs that came before and lasted for over 300,000,000 years and are still here today but now we cll them birds.

          July 10, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          1) which is better: free will or automatons?

          2) so... you read the Bible, which begins with God merely speaking and *everything* is made out of *nothing* (including humanity)... but your objection is "where did Jesus' Y-chromosome come from"?

          July 10, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • observer

          Russ

          "which is better: free will or automatons?"

          It depends on the goal. Automatons do FAR BETTER than free will on an assembly line to most efficiently create a product. For mankind, I'd pick free will.

          Christ's mother was created by egg and sperm. It seems silly for you to continue to argue that the "all-human" Christ wasn't.

          July 10, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Russ,
      Didn't the supposed God used to accept goats and cows as compensation fr sin?
      Not that I think that makes any sense, but what's the difference between goats and money?

      July 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
      • Russ

        "For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. ...
        11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified."
        (Hebrews 10)

        Point being: the OT sacrifices were merely foreshadowing the cross. Animal deaths cannot "pay" for human life. As John the Baptist said upon seeing Jesus: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!"

        July 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • rosenj72

          Russ,
          Christians believe that only the shed blood of the perfect Lamb of God [Jesus] is capable of washing away sin. Besides the logical problems with this concept, such as God creating a world with sin and having everyone go to Hell until after the death of Jesus some 4,000 years after creation, the Hebrew Bible never required human sacrifices for atonement. It is incomprehensible how one can believe that a loving and merciful God would create a world containing sin, yet would not give mankind a way to atone for it until a 4,000 year waiting period was completed for the death of his son. This is tantamount to creating an office building and not putting fire exits in the structure until an actual fire broke out, by then it would be too late. The means [repentance] was built into the very fabric of creation. The fire exits were built, before the office building opened for business. In Judaism, repentance has always been a necessary and accessible means of atonement since the very moment of creation.

          Judaism has always held belief in the biblical concept of Teshuvah, which means “return to God”. When someone is penitent and feels remorse and regret for the sins they have committed, they are immediately returned to favor with God and all their sins are forgiven. To a Jew, the most important question is not “how are we saved?” which is what Christians ask, but how can I best serve my God? As such, God gave the Jewish people 613 commandments to help us improve our lives and build a stronger connection to him. The more we strive to follow the commandments, the closer we come to understanding God and his role in our lives. Let us look at how the Torah instructs both Jews and Gentiles on the proper way to get saved.

          Isaiah 1:16 – Wash, cleanse yourselves, remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes, cease to do evil. Learn to do good, seek justice, strengthen the robbed, perform justice for the orphan, and plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us debate, says the Lord. If your sins prove to be like crimson, they will become white as snow; if they prove to be as red as crimson dye, they shall become as white wool.

          God requires more than just faith; he also requires that we stop doing evil and perform acts of kindness. In fact, Isaiah 3:10 says “Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds”. As Jews, we believe that what we do in this world, directly impacts us in the next which is why God is so concerned with how we live. A Gentile who lives a life of kindness and love for his fellow man is guaranteed a place in Heaven.

          Hosea 14:2 “Take words with you and return [Teshuvah] to the Lord. Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the bulls [sacrifices] of our lips”. Here, Hosea shows us that words enable us to return to the Lord If we ask him to forgive our sins, he will; this is the concept of repentance.

          Psalms 51:16 & 17 “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”. King David shows us that sacrifices are not needed or wanted; God requires only a broken heart. If one is truly repentant, God always forgives. We do not need anyone’s shed blood to atone for us.

          Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings”. Once again, no sacrifice needed or wanted. God just wants our acknowledgement.

          Jonah 2:1 & 9 “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord”. Again we see that Jonah’s song of thanks to the Lord was considered a sacrifice. God heard his call and saved him.

          Psalms 50:14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me”. God desires the “sacrifices” of prayer and thank offerings for salvation. He does not desire the blood of goats or of men.

          Psalms 40:6 “You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I understand you do not require burnt offerings or sin offerings.” It doesn’t get clearer than this.

          1 Samuel 15:22 “But Samuel replied: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams”. Here, Samuel clearly shows that “faith” is only part of the equation. Obeying the voice of the Lord is better than sacrifice.

          The Hebrew word for sacrifice is ‘Korban’ which is a derivative of the word ‘Karov’ meaning to ‘come close’. The concept of sacrifice is not that the blood itself atones for you; the concept of a sacrifice is that you feel remorse that it should have been you that is punished to die, but instead, an innocent animal is being killed because of you. The blood provides a way to help you atone and ‘come closer’ to God. The purpose of the sacrifice was that when you participate in slaughtering an animal, you commit yourself to try and sin-less because you don't want to take another creature’s life. The sacrificial process was designed to develop compassion, remorse and sensitivity in the offender; however, since the intentional sinner is unapologetic and lacks these necessary characteristics, the sacrifice cannot absolve him of guilt. This is why the Bible specifically states that the sacrifices were only for unintentional sins [Leviticus 4:2, 4:13, 4:22, 4:27, 5:15 and 5:18]. This is extremely logical because if someone sins intentionally, knowing full well that they would need to slaughter an animal, they really don’t care that another living creature must die and therefore the sacrifice itself will not expiate the sin.

          The only way to completely atone for intentional sin is through repentance and this is the concept of the sacrifice. Now, blood was the best way for atonement because it required the sinner to play an active role in the sacrificial process by giving up and slaughtering his own animal, however not everyone owned animals which is why God arranged alternate processes to give flour and money as atonement offerings. Exodus 30:15 states “The rich shall give no more, and the poor shall give no less than half a shekel, with which to give the offering to the Lord, to atone for your souls. You shall take the silver of the atonements from the children of Israel and use it for the work of the Tent of Meeting; it shall be a remembrance for the children of Israel before the Lord, to atone for your souls." The fact that the Bible says that the money was atonement for your souls, shows that blood alone was not needed. In addition to money, when people were unable to give an animal they were permitted to use fine flour for the sin expiation process. Leviticus 5:11 “But if he cannot afford two turtle doves or two young doves, then he shall bring as his sacrifice for his sin one tenth of an ephah [measurement] of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall not put oil over it, nor shall he place frankincense upon it, for it is a sin offering. However, the flour and money also only worked when repentance was part of the process. In fact, money is still used as an offering today in conjunction with other forms of repentance. God provided Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, [Leviticus 16:30] once a year to atone for our sins. We are to afflict our souls by fasting, which is abstinence from eating or drinking for a 25 hour period. The Torah says in the passage that the day itself atones for our sins, once again, only if we are penitent.
          Using this logic, it now becomes crystal clear why all the prophets above said God doesn't need sacrifices. It was because the whole purpose of the sacrifice was only to make you repent, if someone repents than that is truly what God wants. Active participation in the sacrificial process was the means through which the person was able to ‘come close’ to God in order to feel remorse. The concept that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and that the sinner had no part in the atonement process completely contradicts the entire point of the Korban Sacrifice. If however, we actively repent and feel remorse for our transgressions we come close to God through our own actions and do not require an animal sacrifice. Human sacrifice and specifically the sacrifice of the Messiah was never part of the Jewish atonement or salvation process. This concept was born from the integration of other cultures and beliefs into the Christian faith. This has never been part of the Jewish belief system and runs contrary to its very foundation.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • Russ

          @rosenj72:
          your "response" is a bit broad considering the original topic. a few thoughts in light of the big picture:

          1) you deny the significance of blood and sacrifice. what do you do with the Passover & Exodus 12? why does Lev.17:14 say "the life is in the blood" (and doesn't that have immediately implications for "eye for an eye," etc.)?

          2) you deny Judaism has any association with human sacrifice, so what do you make of Genesis 22? why would God command Abraham to do such a thing?

          3) you speak of "God creating a world with sin" but Judaism & Christianity share a common view of creation – namely, that God made the world perfectly good but *humanity* ruined it. you misrepresent both faiths.

          4) you assume creation was 4000 BC. why? the bible gives no such date & the genealogies do not make such an assertion (especially since often these genealogies skip generations: great grandfather to great grandchild, etc.).

          NOTE: much of your argument seems contingent on the misrepresentations in questions #1-#4.

          5) while i agree with SOME of what you say about sacrifices, your other conclusions are patently wrong. simply read the OT. sacrifices are necessary for BOTH sins of commission and sins of omission, intentional & unintentional.

          a) for example, why was David on that roof? why wasn't he off at war (like a king is supposed to do when his armies are fighting), but instead not only checks Bathsheba out, but then calls for her to come over... if that's not "intentional" in your book, then what would be? and certainly you believe King David (of all the OT figures) was forgiven for his sin... especially in light of what he says in Psalm 51, right? with the way you're reading Num.15:29-30, David should have been cut off from the people.

          b) yes, repentance and restoration are the underlying goal (as seen in the exile from Eden at the outset – we are looking for a way back to life fully restored to God), but you seem to think Christians DISAGREE with that notion... which makes me think you haven't read much of the NT.

          c) another example: you highlight Korban but ignore Kippur. the word means "atone" or (literally) "cover over." cover over what? our sins... with what? the most obvious answer from both the Passover & the sacrifices is BLOOD. (think about Adam & Eve's sudden awareness that they are naked in the garden... and then God's provision of animal skins – which required the animals DIED... again, blood). and the idea is not so much simply that something else has to die as it is that my own sins warrant death (a repeated theme in the OT, as many of the atheists on this blog often point out).

          and that's why it's called a "sacrifice" – because something else takes the punishment i deserve. otherwise, it'd just be called "punishment." sacrifice, rightly understood, *should* lead to repentance & restoration. you want to draw a false dichotomy b/t the two concepts.

          6) what do you make of Isa.53, esp.vv.4-6? why is this servant suffering for *our* sins?

          you claim there was no concept of a messianic sacrifice, so what do you do with the suffering servant sections of Isaiah? are you claiming Isaiah was "never... part of the Jewish belief system & runs contrary to its very foundation"?

          7) to put your reasoning to the test, since you are a practicing Jew: if the temple in Jerusalem were rebuilt today (in place of the Dome of the Rock), would there be sacrifices there or not? I think you know the answer to that question – no matter how you want to qualify it. the physical concept goes hand in hand with the metaphoric one... with good reason.

          8) Christianity was NOT born out of other cultures. It began among Jews, by Jews, for Jews. and yet – LIKE the OT called Israel to reach out (promises to Abraham to bless all nations, messianic hope for ALL the earth, being a light even to the gentiles in Isa.49:6) – so Christianity grew.

          but you can't re-narrate the inception of Christianity. Jesus was a Jew. he never ventured further than 200 miles from his birthplace. all his initial followers were Jews. he simply called them to go to ALL of the nations.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:38 am |
        • rosenj72

          I tried responding but the CNN censor keeps erasing my responses. Read 300 times 0 on Amazon.com it will answer all your questions.

          http://www.amazon.com/300-Times-examination-prophecies-Jesus-ebook/dp/B00BDFMLAI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404995441&sr=8-1&keywords=300+times+0

          July 10, 2014 at 8:30 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          300 Times 0 – An examination of the 300 prophecies of Jesus....................

          So who cares what someone that never existed has to say about anything?

          July 10, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Russ

          @ rosenj72: your response here would be like me simply saying "hey, go check out the 'Jews for Jesus' website. it'll answer all your questions."

          July 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • kudlak

        &#9786

        July 16, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • kudlak

          July 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
  19. bostontola

    I am a pretty happy and content person. There are many factors, but a key has been the embrace of forgiveness (and sometimes forgetting). People I know that hold on to bitterness and the taste of revenge, have their happiness eroded. I know some that I would even characterize as obsessed with revenge. They are not happy, spending inordinate amounts of time dwelling on all that have harmed them.

    What is interesting, is that entire nations or even groups of nations can behave like that with similar results. The Muslims were once the pinnacle of civilization. They had the top artists, scientists, writers, mathematicians, etc., in the world. They ran their Governments as meritocracies with Jews, pagans, etc. in key posts. They are now stagnant or even regressing, in part due to obsession with revenge. The leadership of many in that world uses the impulse for revenge to focus their people on the enemy instead of their own failed policies. Until better leaders emerge that can provide a vision of forgiveness I fear they will remain mired in the obsession of revenge and continue to regress.

    July 9, 2014 at 11:16 am |
  20. idiotusmaximus

    Eye for an eye: The Bible's role in revenge attacks.................

    The bible is crap....you wanna use crap for your answers then use crap and you will create more crap.....

    July 9, 2014 at 10:04 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.