home
RSS
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. sinatrajohnny

    Looks like people have forgotten this passage scripture that Jesus preached it goes. (Mathew 5:45) you have heard that it was said an eye for an eye, But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?… Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
    Luke 6:35 But love you your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing …
    John 13:35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have …
    Ephesians 5:1 Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children;
    1 John 3:9 Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains …. "If someone strikes you on the right cheek turn the other also to him". Our generation is falling from the word of God but be ye not shocked because all these are to happen , the kingdom of God is at hand and Jesus is coming back soon God bless u all

    July 12, 2014 at 12:07 am |
    • Reality

      Nice "th-umptations" but most are historically nil as they are creations of the authors and not the words of Jesus. Added details available upon written request.

      July 12, 2014 at 12:34 am |
  2. observer

    truthfollower01,

    Why do you HIDE from answering questions? Why are you SO AFRAID?

    According to the rules set up by God himself, there should be no PUNISHMENT by man if a slave-owner took a rod and broke the bones of an ELDERLY FEMALE SLAVE and she didn't die from it.

    Do you agree with God's morals here? YES or NO?

    July 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      Let's look at the verse(s). Which are you referring to?

      July 11, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
    • observer

      truthfollower01,

      (Ex. 21:20-21) “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property” [God]

      For someone supporting the Bible, shouldn't you have a much better idea of what it says?

      July 11, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Observer,

        "(Ex. 21:20-21) “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property” [God]"

        This seems to be very similar to the scenario we discussed concerning Exodus 21:7-11 in that it seems to be a case of case law (casuistic law). As Paul Copan comments concerning the scenario in Exodus 21:7-11, "Such regulations don't assume that the described states of affairs are ideal. Case law begins with specific examples that don't necessarily present best-case scenarios: "if two men quarrel" or "if someone strikes a man" are examples of case law. So the law here instructs Israelites about what should be done under certain inferior conditions ("If a man sells his daughter...")"

        July 12, 2014 at 1:09 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          NO ONE said it was ideal. Your quote had NOTHING to do with my original question as always, but it was a really PATHETIC attempt at an irrelevant EXCUSE. You need a far more intelligent excuse than that.

          So here AGAIN is the question:

          According to the rules set up by God himself, there should be no PUNISHMENT by man if a slave-owner took a rod and broke the bones of an ELDERLY FEMALE SLAVE and she didn't die from it.

          Do you agree with God's morals here? YES or NO?

          July 12, 2014 at 1:15 am |
        • truthfollower01

          "if a slave-owner took a rod and broke the bones of an ELDERLY FEMALE SLAVE and she didn’t die from it."

          Please provide this verse so it can be examined.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:17 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Your FEEBLE tap-dancing isn't fooling anyone.

          I gave you the verse.

          Do you have ANY INTEGRITY or HONESTY in you? You sure haven't shown it. Are you a TYPICAL CHRISTIAN?

          July 12, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • truthfollower01

          I didn't see the verse saying what you quoted about breaking the bones of an elderly lady. Please provide. Also, why do you feel the leniency to add your own spin on verses and yet you attack people who do not try to go beyond what the scripture says?

          July 12, 2014 at 1:29 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          God talked about punishments for HITTING women slaves that could do damage up to and INCLUDING KILLING them.

          So broken bones were not possible?

          Get real. You are either STALLING or not too bright.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:31 am |
        • truthfollower01

          The NIV for verse 21 says: "21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property."

          In the context of this translation, it would seem to be not talking about broken bones.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:39 am |
        • observer

          (Ex. 21:20-21) “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, HE SURVIVES a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property”

          So this is just another ERROR in the Bible?

          Since the Bibles DISAGREE, which one is the CORRECT Bible?

          July 12, 2014 at 1:49 am |
        • austin929

          from another perspective, there were angels that caused confusion against the armies that Israel was fighting, and the enemy army then proceeded to devour itself , killing each other. is that moral? Is the issue of slavery any different than the fact that many of you take pleasure and entertainment from people like Junior Seau who dazzled you on the field?

          There is no difference in fighting a war or as.similation. How about ww1? or ww2? were those wars o.k?

          The question is..................are you an enemy of God, the God of Israel?

          God intervened, and brought salvation to EVERYONE, today. The Savior of the Word.! Your Redeemer.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Alias

          I don't know why you waste your time tryint to get an honest answer from deluded bible thumper. Clearly god did accept slavery. It was a case of god telling us how to do it instead of telling us not to. He didn't like stealing, he commanded his people not to steal. He didn't like mixing fabrics, he said not to do it. Slavery was different, he gave guidelines as to who you could buy and who you could sell your children to.

          July 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • austin929

          Alias, if you look at the world at that time, slavery was going on across the world.

          if you jump to the new testament, there were Jews who were slaves in Rome (I think), and they were Christians.

          Abraham received a promise from God, before AND he was also promised 400 years of being slaves to Egypt.

          what speculation against God can change the course of humanity and the dynasty, empire systems that ran their course?

          The bible is not advocating slavery, rather submission. God Him self cause His priestly nation to be carried off to Assyria, first and Babylon second. Was God advocating slavery or a punishment for disobedience? and why? how could it be?

          it does not matter if you accept the necessity of WW2, or if you consider yourself an american rather than a subject of the king of Briton.

          Humanity has always been a bit barbaric. This is not a condemnation or mockery of God.

          Do you cry every time a bird eats a worm? what about road kill? do you bury the dead animals or keep on driving down the road?

          July 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Wow Austin, that's quite the delusional spin on such a horrific act. If the bible is the word of your imaginary friend, then it is easy to see that your imaginary friend must therefore support slavery. Your issue is that you refuse to see it this way, to do so would force you to take a step back, open your crazed mind and see your god for what it truly has been portrayed as. The quickest way to disbelief is an open-minded read of that book.

          July 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • LaBella

          Christians were slave owners in the 1st Century:

          http://www.religioustolerance.org/sla_bibl2.htm

          July 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • observer

          austin929

          "The bible is not advocating slavery, rather submission."

          NONSENSE. God even told people WHERE to buy their slaves.

          Read a Bible so you have a clue what your are talking about.

          July 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        You should read a copy of Paul Copan's book, "Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God". That is, if you are really looking for answers to some of the moral topics you bring up.

        July 12, 2014 at 1:16 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01

          Copans seems to be an idiot. His explanation for God's HORRENDOUS command was to PRETEND that God didn't like the BEATING but wanted it not to be published.

          You need to read an author with a much greater IQ.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:21 am |
        • Alias

          If I found some books that justified all the things that happened in WW II, Would read that and accept it as truth?

          July 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          That's quite the biased view. The man is a Christian apologist, we expect him to write books like that...they support his interpretation of the bible.

          July 13, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          What boggles my mind is that people debate/discuss something (god) that has never been proven to exist except in the one that believes mind....once that person is dead their god ceases to exist since it has nowhere else to exist regardless of what they would like to wish....they will soon be worm food.....

          July 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • idiotusmaximus

          You need to read an author with a much greater IQ...

          This is funny...if they had an IQ to begin with they would not be writing about something that has never existed...so their IQ has to be 00 or lower.

          July 13, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
  3. SeaVik

    I'm sorry, but I just have to make this clear for anyone who may have missed it:

    Topher thinks there were dinosaurs on the arc.

    Now I've heard everything!

    July 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      I don't know why you think you need to repeat it. Anyone that's been on this blog more than once in the last couple years knows that's my stance.

      July 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
      • observer

        noahsdadtopher,

        Embarrassing for you. No wonder you commented on his factual statement. If he had stated that you believe in God, I'd bet you wouldn't have said a word.

        July 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Huh? How is that embarrassing for me? I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

          July 12, 2014 at 12:50 am |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Why then did you comment about his statement?

          Maybe you don't have any embarrassment about claiming that Noah fed and cleaned up for many kinds of dinosaurs on his voyage.

          Could you tell us where Noah got FRESH MEAT for the tyrannosaurus rex pair and the other CARNIVORES for a YEAR?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:58 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "Why then did you comment about his statement?"

          I don't get it. Why SHOULDN'T I comment? It's a message board.

          "Maybe you don't have any embarrassment about claiming that Noah fed and cleaned up for many kinds of dinosaurs on his voyage."

          Why should I be embarrassed about that?

          "Could you tell us where Noah got FRESH MEAT for the tyrannosaurus rex pair and the other CARNIVORES for a YEAR?"

          Genesis 6:21 — "Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them."

          July 12, 2014 at 1:06 am |
        • observer

          observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Why then did you comment about his statement?

          Here was the question:

          Could you tell us where Noah got FRESH MEAT for the tyrannosaurus rex pair and the other CARNIVORES for a YEAR?

          So did Noah take along LOADS and LOADS of animals to be sacrificed as food for the other animals?. T-Rex dinosaurs ate a LOT of fresh meat. Funny that the Bible NEVER mentioned such a LOGISTICAL nightmare.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:09 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          It also doesn't say what type of toothpaste Noah's daughter-in-laws preferred, but that is hardly my concern. You're really grasping at straws now, dude.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:14 am |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Your PITIFUL attempt to avoid the answer FAILED MISERABLY. Trying to switch the subject by talking about tooth paste was a very humorous FAILURE.

          Here was the question:

          Could you tell us where Noah got FRESH MEAT for the tyrannosaurus rex pair and the other CARNIVORES for a YEAR?

          So did Noah take along LOADS and LOADS of animals to be sacrificed as food for the other animals?. T-Rex dinosaurs ate a LOT of fresh meat. Funny that the Bible NEVER mentioned such a LOGISTICAL nightmare.

          Please try again and don't be so funny next time. Thanks.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:18 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Topher,

          The toothpaste line had me laughing out loud.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:21 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          I already answered your question with a direct quote from the Bible. God said to take EVERY sort of food. That verse is then followed by this — "Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him."

          That's a pretty thorough answer. I'm sure you'll reject it, so since I'd rather spend the rest of my evening learning something from God's Word instead of shaking my fist at Him, I'll bid you a good night.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:24 am |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          So Noah actually took FAR MORE than just 2 of each animal. Another GOOF in the Bible.

          I don't blame you for running off now.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:26 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Thanks, Truth. I try.

          And if you're hanging around you might advice our friend here to go read the Bible before he complains about it and show him where it does say there were more than 2 of some of the creatures. He's showing his hand in that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

          And we should both pray for him. I'm concerned.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:30 am |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Those (up to 7 animals) were for SACRIFICE. Where did it say they were for FOOD for other animals?

          OOOOOOPS! Please read a Bible someday.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:33 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Some will deny at all cost. I've even been told by a skeptic that it's possible things can just pop into being uncaused out of nothing.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:44 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Topher,

          I have prayed for many on the belief blog. Only God can save them. We plant the seed and leave it in God's hands.

          Good night all.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:48 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Try to read a Bible tomorrow so you can FIGURE out how much of it you SUPPORT and BELIEVE in.

          Maybe then you can actually ANSWER questions.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • ssq41

          OYG! Truthfollower01...YOU ARE ACTUALLY HUMAN! And all this time I could have sworn you were a loop program coming to us from W. L. Craig's basement.

          See, dala? He is a human being!

          July 12, 2014 at 2:23 am |
        • ssq41

          TF01 says he prays for the members of the blog and then claims a seed is planted.

          Typical lazy Evangelicals applauding themselves for their self-important "success" at witnessing. American Evangelicalism is so easy...and the Topher's, believerfred's, vic's, TF01's, Robert Brown's, austin's example presented here is classic...throwing down a chic tract or posting verses on a blog "is planting a seed." LOL!

          All the while, no cost to them to develop a relationship with the ones they "witness" to...no need to care, no need to invest your heart and soul in "laying your life down for a friend."

          Funny thing about your shallow American Christianity, whether here on this blog or out on the streets of the US...you look nothing like Jesus or the 1st C apostles (who all claimed that you should be like them and that you would do "greater things" than they did).

          I applaud you all for surpassing their expectations! LOL!

          Easy to "pray" and plant "seeds" eh, TF01. No courage required.

          What you're really doing is planting the seeds of confirmation that the atheists are, in fact, right. I'll say "thank you" for them!

          LOL.

          July 12, 2014 at 2:38 am |
        • igaftr

          belief follower
          "I have prayed for many on the belief blog"

          How do you know that you are not doing harm when you do that?

          What if there is a god, but not the one you think, and it holds prayers and blessings to another god against us?....in that scenario, you are doing harm. That is just as likely as your belief.

          Keep you belief and your mumbo jumbo to yourself.

          July 12, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • Alias

          Topher has a unique interpretation of the bible. Either he is wrong, or everyone else is.
          I'll decide for myself.

          July 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • fkahodor

          truthfollower01 said:
          "Some will deny at all cost. I've even been told by a skeptic that it's possible things can just pop into being uncaused out of nothing."

          if it's possible that god has existed eternally without being caused, is it possible that the same is true of, let's say, a universe instead? keep in mind also that it seems fairly obvious that at least one universe exists but it is not clear if any divine beings exist. why attribute eternality to a divine being rather than a class of things that can be shown to exist?

          July 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        topher: I gave you more credit than that. I'm sorry your parents and the education system failed you.

        July 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      You want to hear something really bizarre? There are actually human beings on this forum who honestly believe that the universe, and our own little rock that is teeming with life, came into existence through natural processes alone, absent the workings of a creator.

      July 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
      • observer

        It's bizarre that people can think that God came from nothing and then created EVERYTHING from NOTHING.

        It's also bizarre that people think there are THOUSANDS of gods who couldn't have been a creator, but ONLY ONE that could have been.

        July 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          As indicated multiple times in the past, God didn't "come" from anything. He never came into existence. He has existed eternally in the past.

          July 11, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
        • Reality

          "He has existed eternally in the past." And you know this how?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

           http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/

          solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Asteroids‎

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

          Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

          Rabbi Paul, book by Professor Bruce Chilton

          https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

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

          http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/

          July 12, 2014 at 12:39 am |
        • ssq41

          Ahhhh...dev, you're such a good painter! And you've got me pegged and I've only written a handful of paragraphs....why are you so predictably shallow?

          Hey, did you take psych classes with kermy....or are you just borrowing his PhD...LOL...or, did you just finish watching a re-run of Good Will Hunting on PPV? (Really, dev...it's in reruns on Time Warner...save yourself a buck or two).

          Thanks for violating your scripture with "...and yet without true regeneration."

          Devy....remember! Only God knows the heart...and yet you and the Body of Christ excel at determining the status of a sinner in the eyes of your God. Wonder how many crowns you're not gonna get now for trying to do the big guy's job.

          And devy? I though all had sinned and fallen short...yet your human and spiritual superiority permeates each word in each sentence you write here. When can we expect that you'll actually follow your own rules?

          Oh, and I love the "alternative lifestyle" reference. HOW DARE YOU, devy!! LOL! Going right for the evil sinner's manhood! You must be a white, conservative evangelical!

          Remember, devy, those that hate ho.mos.exuals usually have a strong propensity for that "lifestyle."

          Devy then says: "Obviously, someone has wounded you deeply." And like his brothers and sisters in Christ not an ounce of compassion can be found coming from his fingertips (and daily life).

          And now, devy, I " now...have nowhere else to go." I'm fightin the tears, DEV!

          Devy, would you be my savior? Pretty please!

          So predictable, devy....I am, however, grateful for your words. You are, indeed, a good American Christian. YOu know nothing of the Gospel, but you do live the Americanized Gospel very well.

          Again, devy poo, thanks for playing.

          July 12, 2014 at 5:39 am |
        • igaftr

          belief follower
          "As indicated multiple times in the past, God didn't "come" from anything. He never came into existence. He has existed eternally in the past."

          That is completely baseless speculation. For all you know, the universe has always existed.

          Try showing this "god" exists, and maybe you can speculate on where he came from. It appears that your god exists only in your imagination.

          July 13, 2014 at 8:16 am |
      • ssq41

        Oh, devy...you're so clever. Such an apologetical sense of humor! You should take up where Mike Warnke left off.

        July 12, 2014 at 2:19 am |
        • ssq41

          BTW, did you think that one up yourself or did you have help?

          July 12, 2014 at 2:19 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          So glad you were able to appreciate my little witticism there. But there is just one thing that really has me stymied. Given that it was in fact "clever", how is it that you were able to pick up on it? You know, it being clever and all.

          July 12, 2014 at 3:03 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Almost forgot.

          Afraid I won't be able to " take up where Mike Warnke left off " in that I have no clue as to who he is. Perhaps a relative or personal friend?

          July 12, 2014 at 3:15 am |
        • ssq41

          Hi, devy....

          (Clever) insults are a'falling like manna from Heaven.

          It is so much fun when you can't distinguish the Christian from the rest of society. Such a "higher" morality, eh dev?

          Thanks for always setting the standard for what a "witness for Christ" looks like.

          July 12, 2014 at 3:18 am |
        • ssq41

          Devy, dev, devy....there is this brand new thing called "google."

          After you mark your place in "1001 Great Ways to Be a Witty Christian," you should try it.

          July 12, 2014 at 3:22 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Hey ssquey.

          At least you gave it the old college try at " let's try the old heap the guilt on the Christian routine." Had it been a lesser intellect you were playing with , it may have worked. I simply recognized it for the silly subturfuge it was. Jesus Hinself was rather caustic with those individuals who were completely lacking in sincerity.

          July 12, 2014 at 3:33 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          No need to refernce sources of wittiness. Sarcasm and biting retort come too naturally for me. Unfortunately.

          July 12, 2014 at 3:38 am |
        • ssq41

          Manna, dev....manna!

          You should re-read the Gospels...Jesus' caustic nature was always directed toward the religious of his day...look in the mirror, devy. It would be you, dala, topher and all your friends who would crucify him if he were doing the Gospel thing today. White washed tomb looks good on you, dev.

          And, DEVY! Your worldview is the mastery, the very perfection of guilt. It is a warm, cozy sweater in the winter of this evil world for you.

          You look all cozy, dev.

          July 12, 2014 at 4:18 am |
        • ssq41

          BTW, devinator...thanks for playing. LOL

          July 12, 2014 at 4:19 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          quey

          Let me paint a picture for you: Possibly a young boy/girl raised by Chrisitan parents/parent who are perhaps a little too legalistic. Or maybe it was an overbearing SS teacher or Christian school leader who just rubbed him ( no Catholic priest inuendo here) the wrong way. It could have been that the child was rather bright and from an early age picked up on the foibles and inconsistencies of those christians who surrounded him. But then again, maybe it was an act of rebellion in response to the non acceptance of his chosen "alternative" lifestyle. Any of these work for you? Did I hit the nail on the head with one or all ? Are you this child?

          Obviously, someone has wounded you deeply. The level of vitriol, disguised in humor and parody, that flows from your fingers is both sad and unfortunate in its desperation. What I find even sadder, is that I don't know what someone in your predicament is to do. You know the lingo, you know the gospel, probably have "been in with the crowd" at some point in your life, and yet without true regeneration. And now you have nowhere else to go.

          July 12, 2014 at 5:00 am |
        • ssq41

          Ahhhh...dev, you're such a good painter! And you've got me pegged and I've only written a handful of paragraphs....why are you so predictably shallow?

          Hey, did you take psych classes with kermy....or are you just borrowing his PhD...LOL...or, did you just finish watching a re-run of Good Will Hunting on PPV? (Really, dev...it's in reruns on Time Warner...save yourself a buck or two).

          Thanks for violating your scripture with "...and yet without true regeneration."

          Devy....remember! Only God knows the heart...and yet you and the Body of Christ excel at determining the status of a sinner in the eyes of your God. Wonder how many crowns you're not gonna get now for trying to do the big guy's job.

          And devy? I though all had sinned and fallen short...yet your human and spiritual superiority permeates each word in each sentence you write here. When can we expect that you'll actually follow your own rules?

          Oh, and I love the "alternative lifestyle" reference. HOW DARE YOU, devy!! LOL! Going right for the evil sinner's manhood! You must be a white, conservative evangelical!

          Remember, devy, those that hate ho.mos.exuals usually have a strong propensity for that "lifestyle."

          Devy then says: "Obviously, someone has wounded you deeply." And like his brothers and sisters in Christ not an ounce of compassion can be found coming from his fingertips (and daily life).

          And now, devy, I " now...have nowhere else to go." I'm fightin the tears, DEV!

          Devy, would you be my savior? Pretty please!

          So predictable, devy....I am, however, grateful for your words. You are, indeed, a good American Christian. YOu know nothing of the Gospel, but you do live the Americanized Gospel very well.

          Again, devy poo, thanks for playing.

          July 12, 2014 at 5:40 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          And yet, the question remains unanswered.

          Now squey, you are more than welcome to continue spinning the martyr complex and the " big, bad, mean, hypocritical, non-loving, unlike Jesus, " mantra until the cows come home. Of course you and I both know that is is simply deflection. And the irony is, the more you employ it, the more glaring the deflection becomes.

          In all seriousness ( if seriousness is an option you would even consider in this conversation) I would be interested in knowing what life experiences have brought you to this position of militant antagonism towards christianity, specifically American christianity which seems to be a real source of angst. No chastising, judgement or criticism on my part, honest engine. Just curious about what's making you tick. Obviously you don't have to answer. Your call.

          July 12, 2014 at 8:24 am |
      • igaftr

        What is even more bizarre is people think that a "god" that they imagine in their minds did it.

        People imagine a "god", then claim god made them...quite bizarre indeed.

        July 12, 2014 at 9:23 am |
  4. truthfollower01

    "The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the first five books of Moses, the Psalms and the Bible as a whole." – Nobel Prize-winner Arno Penzias on the Big Bang (Quote from "The Case for a Creator")

    July 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
    • bostontola

      Truth,
      Only 40% of scientists are atheist. So what. Very few believe in the literal bible. None of that is objective evidence.

      July 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
  5. lordssword

    When our Lord Jesus Christ returns every eye will see Him. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. All indications are that Christ’s second coming is imminent. – Ti-tus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:44; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 14:14-20; Revelation 19:11-21;

    July 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • Doris

      Well, if you're thinking someone will be here soon to take you away, you might just be right about that.

      July 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
    • lordssword

      As sons of God and peacemakers, we urge you to make peace with God, while there is yet time. He does not want to destroy you, but you must repent.

      Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20

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

        Of course most NT scholars find good reason to think that Peter did not author Peter 2, where Peter allegedly deems Paul's works as divine scripture. Oooops!

        July 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          There's no doubt Paul knew Peter. Galatians 1:18,19

          "18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother."

          We even have a first century source for the deaths of Peter and Paul! See Clement.

          "Oooops"

          You're starting to sound like Observer.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          Also, see Galatians 2:9

          "James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me."

          July 11, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • Doris

          I didn't mention Paul's relationship with Peter. You must have missed the point of my reply. Furthermore, it seems silly that you quote more of Paul as if that validates what we know about Paul.

          July 11, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          A good case can be made for the authorship of 2 Peter being the disciple Peter. You seem to automatically assume he isn't. Do you think Paul was telling the truth when he rebuked Peter (Galatians 2:11)? Do you think Paul is lying concerning his quotes about his interacting with Peter?

          July 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • Doris

          tf: "A good case can be made for the authorship of 2 Peter being the disciple Peter. "

          That is one popular opinion – that it very well could have been a disciple of Peter. But there is also a very popular opinion that it was written after Peter's death. I suppose it could have also been someone close to Peter after his death who was more of an admirer of Paul.

          tf: "Do you think Paul was telling the truth when he rebuked Peter (Galatians 2:11)? Do you think Paul is lying concerning his quotes about his interacting with Peter?"

          Difficult to say. And that's part of the problem – outside of Paul's own words or someone echoing Paul solely using Paul, what do we have to do on?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          Sorry. My post was missing a coma. Should have read, A good case can be made for the authorship of 2 Peter being the disciple, Peter.

          Concerning Paul, why is it difficult to say? What did Paul have to gain? Remember, even first century source Clement records the deaths of both Paul and Peter! Why would Paul make up a story about rebuking Peter? Do you have any evidence to put forth that would contradict any of the known data?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Comma

          July 12, 2014 at 12:32 am |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Why do you ask questions of others who respond but REFUSE to answer their questions?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:37 am |
        • Doris

          It's difficult to say because of the lack of outside evidence. I'm not saying he was wrong in his accounting or that he wasn't sincere, I'm just saying it's difficult for us to validate.

          I have ready some arguments for Peter being the author of Peter 2. My opinion for this happens to be with the majority of NT scholars who think it unlikely that he authored it.

          July 12, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          I see no reason to not think Paul was being honest in his letters and I haven't heard any evidence from you to the contrary. What is the problem?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:48 am |
      • evolveddna

        Lordswords..total nonsense. why does "god" need ambassadors any way? He needed PR people and a good author originally.

        July 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          are you not the perfect example? aren't you at war with God? it's really for your benefit that you have an ambassador from God and it's up to you to make peace with Him. God is merciful and loving, slow to anger and patient with you, giving you a chance to repent.

          July 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • ssq41

          Oh, scotty...you ARE the perfect example of why God's "ambassadors" are, in fact, poster children for the atheist cause.

          Thanks for that.

          July 12, 2014 at 3:32 am |
        • evolveddna

          Scotty.. again total nonsense.. without fear and threats your brand of Christianity is mute.. you use that as a weapon instead of presented facts. Your god has the same power a magic wand from Harry Potter.

          July 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
  6. portlandtony

    What is Hamas's leaderships goal? I'm sure the tragic death of the three Israeli teens was a random act of violence, otherwise their bodies wouldn't have been hidden! Yet why are the Hamas minions shooting "Roman candles" at the Israelis knowing full well of the retribution that will be taken and the dire consequences to "their people"?

    July 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      I agree that it does not appear to be a winning strategy, but the Gaza economy is severely impacted by the blockade. Normal business is impossible without import/export, that adds to the high unemployment and therefore low spending. They can't even get building materials to replace the houses destroyed by bombs – those people live in rubble or move in with relatives, any rebuilding is from salvaged rubble. Not a great life. Not much optimism.

      July 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
  7. bostontola

    Given the scientific advancements in the last 20 years and the dramatic acceleration of scientific advancements we will see in the next 20 years, wouldn't it be best for religions to just declare that God created the universe, endowing it with the physical constants and laws of physics that would lead to self aware life?

    Then there would be no conflict between science and religion.

    July 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      Precisely the declaration many of us have been making for decades.

      July 11, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
      • bostontola

        devin,
        That explains why we agree many times.

        July 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
  8. Vic

    The correct hyperlink for "Flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence: Why now?" in the Blog post is:

    "http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/07/world/meast/mideast-tensions-qa/"

    Early on:
    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/08/eye-for-an-eye-the-bibles-role-in-revenge-attacks/comment-page-4/#comment-3044579

    July 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • observer

      Vic,

      If you are completely unable to summarize your thoughts in a few sentences, do you really believe anyone is going to look at your lazy links?

      July 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  9. truthfollower01

    "We have the capacity for self reflection, for representational art, for language, for creativity. Science can't account for this type of consciousness merely from the interaction of physical matter in the brain. Where did it come from? Again, I think the theism provides the best explanation." – Stephen Meyer

    July 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      The above quote is from the book, the Case for a Creator.

      July 11, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
      • bostontola

        "We have the capacity for self reflection, for representational art, for language, for creativity.
        ==> True. Other mammals have many of these beautiful capabilities.

        Science can't account for this type of consciousness merely from the interaction of physical matter in the brain.
        ==> I don't know what 'account for' means. Scientists have demonstrated what the chemical communication and some of the electrical organization and communication in the brain directly related to many of our capabilities. Much of this science is new in the last few years. In addition, artificial intelligence is making huge strides with programs that show creativity. The science of complex adaptive systems is also making great strides in understanding how those creative capabilities emerge from computational systems.

        Where did it come from? Again, I think the theism provides the best explanation."
        ==> This is an assertion, not an argument or a case. There is no evidence offered at all, just an uninformed opinion asserted.

        These assertions are disappearing as the knowledge gaps evaporate.

        July 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • midwest rail

          What I always find fascinating are the answers a poster ignores. truthfollower received three respectful, articulate replies to the O.P., all of which were ignored.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Bostontola,

          What other mammals utilize self reflection?

          July 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          truth,
          We have worked with chimpanzees and developed language with them. They are self aware. How self reflective they are has not been extensively tested yet.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
      • LaBella

        Lee Stobel wrote The Case For A Creator in 2004. Many strides in science have been made since then.

        July 11, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • LaBella

          Strobel. Sorry.

          July 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
      • Doris

        The quote truthfollower provided is from Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Insti.tute.

        On March 11, 2002 during a panel discussion on evolution Meyer publicly told the Ohio Board of Education that the "Santorum Amendment" was part of the Education Bill, and therefore that the State of Ohio was required to teach alternative theories to evolution as part of its biology curriculum. Professor of Biology, Kenneth R. Miller replied that Conference Reports do not carry the weight of law and that in implying that they do, Meyer factually misstated the nature and gravitas of the Santorum Amendment.

        On 4 August 2004, an article by Meyer appeared in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. On September 7, the publisher of the journal, the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, released a statement retracting the article as not having met its scientific standards and not peer reviewed. The same statement vowed that proper review procedures would be followed in the future and endorsed a resolution published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which observes that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting ID.

        Regarding Meyer's 2009 Signature in the Cell:DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, chemist Stephen Fletcher at Loughborough University, responded in The Times Literary Supplement that promoter Nagel was "promot[ing] the book to the rest of us using statements that are factually incorrect." Fletcher explained "Natural selection is in fact a chemical process as well as a biological process, and it was operating for about half a billion years before the earliest cellular life forms appear in the fossil record." In another publication, Fletcher wrote that "I am afraid that reality has overtaken Meyer’s book and its flawed reasoning" in pointing out scientific problems with Meyer's work by citing how RNA "survived and evolved into our own human protein-making factory, and continues to make our fingers and toes."

        Darrel Falk, former president of the BioLogos Foundation and a biology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University, reviewed the book and used it as an example of why he does not support the intelligent design movement. Falk wrote that the book contains many incorrect claims such as "Meyer correctly concluded that no RNA molecule had ever been evolved in a test tube which could do more than join two building blocks together. Falk concluded, "If the object of the book is to show that the Intelligent Design movement is a scientific movement, it has not succeeded."

        Regarding Meyer's 2013 Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design,
        paleontologist Donald Prothero asserts that Meyer, not a paleontologist nor a molecular biologist, does not understand these scientific disciplines, therefore he misinterprets, distorts and confuses the data, all for the purpose of promoting the 'God of the gaps' argument.

        Paleontologist Charles Marshall wrote in his review When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship published in Science that while trying to build the scientific case for intelligent design, Meyer lets his deep belief to steer his understanding and interpretation of the scientific data and fossil records collected for the Cambrian period. The result (this book) is selective knowledge (scholarship) that is plagued with misrepresentation, omission and dismissal of the scientific consensus; exacerbated by Meyer’s lack of scientific knowledge and superficial understanding in the relevant fields, especially molecular phylogenetics and morphogenesis. The main argument of Meyer is the mathematically impossible time scale that is needed to support emergence of new genes which drive the explosion of new species during the Cambrian period. Marshall points out that the relatively fast appearance of new animal species in this period is not driven by new genes, but rather by evolving from existing genes through 'rewiring' of the gene regulatory networks(GRNs). This basis of morphogenesis is dismissed by Meyer due to his fixation on novel genes and new protein folds as prerequisite of emergence of new species. The root of his bias is his 'God of the gaps' approach to knowledge and the sentimental quest to 'provide solace to those who feel their faith undermined by secular society and by science in particular'.

        July 11, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • djangoboy

          "the State of Ohio was required to teach alternative theories to evolution"

          It should also be pointed out that there are NO alternative THEORIES, if you go by the scientific definition of theory. Creationism/ID do not present any testable hypotheses, all they do is try to poke spurious holes in the theory of evolution (which itself has evolved and continues to evolve, as many good theories do).

          July 13, 2014 at 10:16 am |
    • observer

      truthfollower01

      Where does the "type of consciousness" come from that enables Christians to see the IMMORALITY of God's support for slavery and discriminations?

      Still totally STUMPED?

      July 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        How does this address my initial post?

        July 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          It would give you some INSIGHT and UNDERSTANDING.

          As long as you REFUSE to answer the question, you will remain lacking that insight and understanding.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          It's clear you aren't interested in trying to address the topic.

          What is your reasoning for being on this board? Can you honestly say you are openly seeking the truth?

          July 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          I am interested in TRUTH.

          If you were interested in TRUTH, you'd answer my question instead of IGNORANTLY picking on atheists.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Your post is a red herring.

        July 11, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          And a rabbit trail.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • midwest rail

          lions and tigers and bears....

          July 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          It's not surprising that you would support him/her since NEITHER of you can come up with ANY LOGICAL ANSWERS to the questions.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Says you. And that's fine. I'd just suggest you stop with the biased athiest copy-and-paste stuff and do some actually study on a subject you are rejecting. A simple Google search would answer your questions, so it's clear you aren't interested in the answer.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          The Bible says that God PROTECTED a MURDERER even though God SUPPOSEDLY wanted ALL MURDERERS killed, or did God change his "unchanging" mind?

          Oooooops!

          July 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "The Bible says that God PROTECTED a MURDERER even though God SUPPOSEDLY wanted ALL MURDERERS killed, or did God change his "unchanging" mind?"

          God protects murderers every day. He says that being angry with someone is equivalent to murder in the heart. So I'm guilty of this myself. What God said is that murderers found guilty by civil law should be dealt with by capital punishment. Not my vigilante justice on the streets. No mind change involved.

          Oooooops!

          July 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Where does God say that his commands are ONLY to be carried out if a CIVIL COURT rules the defendants were guilty?

          This should be good. Thought God's commands were more important the civil courts, but apparently not.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "Where does God say that his commands are ONLY to be carried out if a CIVIL COURT rules the defendants were guilty?"

          C'mon, dude. Did you read the passage before you decided it was an error? Or did you just assume it was a gotcha line because someone told you it was? What do you think Leviticus is?

          "This should be good. Thought God's commands were more important the civil courts, but apparently not."

          Oh, they are. If you've murdered someone, you'll still have God to answer to. But that doesn't mean He doesn't have civil laws laid out, too.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          That's enough from me for the night. You have a good one, dude. But please consider studying this stuff before you just blurt out erroneous and fallacious information.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          Let's say hypothetically that I or another Christian could answer all your questions to your satisfaction. Would you be willing to bow your knee before God and follow Him in obedience?

          July 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          "What do you think Leviticus is?"

          Leviticus contains a LONG LIST of COMMANDS from God to KILL PEOPLE. Christians love to PRETEND he never said it for ANYONE. Oooops.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Sorry you have to run whenever the going gets tough.

          Please read a Bible someday with LOGIC and COMMON SENSE if you get a chance. It will be a whole new experience.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          If you TRULY believed what you say, you WOULD answer questions. You don't.

          Bottom line: PROVE God exists. Do that and you will have a believer.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          "...He says that being angry with someone is equivalent to murder in the heart. So I'm guilty of this myself. What God said is that murderers found guilty by civil law should be dealt with by capital punishment. Not my vigilante justice on the streets. No mind change involved. "

          i disagree, it is only justice when capital punishment is hat the hands of the victim, and to many time are murders over look because of a good lawyer (want some Orange juice)

          give law back to the people..

          and when a person goes up for exaction let the victims famliy pull the switch,, if not the sate should murder no one.

          July 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          I have addressed the slavery issue in depth in the past. You and I have conversed in depth concerning the Exodus passage you like to quote.

          Once again, yes or no. Let’s say hypothetically that I or another Christian could answer all your questions to your satisfaction. Would you be willing to bow your knee before God and follow Him in obedience?

          July 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Try to throw some TRUTH in here. You have NEVER explained where the morals come from that find it IMMORAL to support the sale of 6-year-old (or 8-year-old or any age) girls to STRANGERS for their use as SLAVES like God did. You have NEVER explained where the morals come from that find it IMMORAL for some of the other things God did like calling for NO PUNISHMENT for slave-owners BEATING elderly female slaves without punishment in many cases.

          Answer just one question to make me a believer - how can you PROVE that God exists?

          I answered your questions. so why not answer mine FOR A CHANGE?

          Good night if you are running away as usual.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Observer,

          We addressed (or at least I did) in depth the Exodus passage. It appears you either don't want to understand the answer or you didn't bother reading my response in the first place. No offense but My impression of you based on our many conversations is that you aren't really looking for an answer anyway. You seem to like to throw together a list of things you deem morally wrong, without paying interest to the context of what you put forth. Never mind that there is nothing morally good or evil without God. It's just your opinion and your opinion of what is moral carries equal authority with that of Hitler and serial killers. You'll have to provide the verse(s) you have in mind concerning the elderly slave.

          For the third time. Let’s say hypothetically that I or another Christian could answer all your questions to your satisfaction. Would you be willing to bow your knee before God and follow Him in obedience? Yes or no.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01

          "For the third time. Let’s say hypothetically that I or another Christian could answer all your questions to your satisfaction. Would you be willing to bow your knee before God and follow Him in obedience? Yes or no."

          For the THIRD TIME I will answer this. I said I would if you answered my ONE question – How can you PROVE that God exists?

          Please read my answer this time. I'll try a different language if it will help you.

          So where do those MORALS come from? Still no answer from you.

          July 11, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          According to the rules set up by God himself, there should be no PUNISHMENT by man if a slave-owner took a rod and broke the bones of an ELDERLY FEMALE SLAVE and she didn't die from it.

          Do you agree with God's morals here? YES or NO?

          July 11, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          STUMPED? Running away again?

          July 11, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      The Stephen Meyer argument is an example of the argument from ignorance fallacy. i.e. just because he doesn't understand how it can happen does not mean that it did not happen.

      July 11, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
    • otoh2

      truthfollower,
      "Science can't account for this type of consciousness merely from the interaction of physical matter in the brain. Where did it come from? Again, I think the theism provides the best explanation."

      A couple of thousand years ago (and really up until a few hundred years ago, or less than that even, in some fields) there was no explanation for lightning, thunder, volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. Theism seemed to provide the 'best' explanation then too.

      We don't know what we don't know yet. It's not truthful to plug in a god into yet-to-be known things. You certainly are free to believe what you do, just don't claim that it is "truth".

      July 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Someone once asked Albert Einstein, who was a music lover as well as a great scientist:
      “Do you believe everything can be expressed scientifically?”
      He replied:
      “Yes, it would be possible, but it wouldn’t mean anything. It would be description without meaning — as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”

      July 11, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
      • bostontola

        Dalahast,
        When it comes to God, I don't agree with Einstein, but I do agree with this statement completely. While the foundation is physical, meaning is emergent. Emergent phenomena are all around us and they are natural. Some people attribute supernatural elements to them, but natural cause has been demonstrated for the ones explored scientifically.

        I know we disagree on this, but I find a profound beauty on natural emergence of complex phenomena. That the universe can create itself without outside agency is amazing. That a life form can emerge with feelings, look back on the universe and be moved by what it sees. That's cool. It is my opinion, even my preference, but it is also aligned with all objective evidence.

        July 12, 2014 at 8:42 am |
        • igaftr

          My sister sees it this way.

          Life is the universe trying to figure itself out.

          July 12, 2014 at 8:47 am |
        • bostontola

          igaftr,
          I know you phrased that in colloquial terms, but what my view is, the universe did this without 'trying'. It just happened in pockets of dissipated energy. Purpose spontaneously emerged. That is really cool.

          July 12, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I see no evidence that the physical is completely self-explanatory. I can see why you appreciate that theory, a lot of people do. It doesn't produce quite that wonder in me. It actually raises more questions. I'm unsatisfied with the theories and explanations I hear given for such an outlook. Often it seems there is too much self admiration for a personal conviction being described to me.

          July 12, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • igaftr

          I think of it more that the universe is trying to figure itself out, but doesn't know that is what it is doing, since the universe is not self aware, not sentient.

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

          Dalahast,
          While we don't know everything about "the physical," as you put it, I also don't see any evidence for the existence of a god, nor any evidence that a god would be self-explanatory.

          July 12, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Ken

          If I didn't see evidence for God, I wouldn't believe either. I would go right back to where I was a few years ago and argue that all we can know is that there is a single, natural world as shown by science, and that we are completely included in it.

          July 12, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          "If I didn't see evidence for God, I wouldn't believe either"

          Great, you have evidence. Present it please. Or am I supposed to take your word for it?

          July 12, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • igaftr

          midwest.
          Don't bother asking dala to show his evidence for god. He doesn't have any. He will claim that he does, and claims he "knows" but then admitted he could have been decieved. There is no way he can know for certain, yet he will claim that he can, and we cannot know what he knows.

          He has himself so convinced, but cannot grasp that he cannot be certain.
          Basically , it is one of the areas that dala is not truthful, even to himself.

          July 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          There is no 'positive' evidence that the universe is all physical, that's why it is a belief. There is evidence for the assertion that the universe is all physical though, the complete lack of objective evidence for anything other than a physical universe.

          July 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          MidwestKen

          I would never expect anyone to just take my word for it. On that same token, I don't have to let someone like Igaftr try to dictate to you and me what I believe and why. That dude has some problems of his own that he needs to take care of. I notice most of the reasonable atheists typically ignore him. I should follow their lead.

          But we are talking about personal convictions. I see no evidence to believe what Bostontola preaches, but I can respect it because it is important to him and doesn't harm me.

          You want me to prove to you that I know God exists? As if God were something produced by scientists conducting a study of the physical world?

          In what ways have you sought after God? I think how and why we approach God is very relevant in to understanding what He is.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          Bostontola doesn't seem to be "preaching" anything, at least not in my view. He(?) seems to simply be saying that while nothing is conclusive or "proven" the evidence seems to support a physical universe containing the components necessary for the emergent properties of things like consciousness and self-awareness.

          As for myself, I did not ask you to prove the existence of God. I was responding to your implication that you had evidence of the existence of God and wanted to know what that evidence was.

          You ask in what ways I have sought after God, but I fail to see why that matters. Perhaps this goes to the nature of evidence that we may disagree on. I don't see how real evidence would be affected by whether or not someone has sought after God. It is either evidence or not. Now perhaps what you consider evidence I would consider subjective experience, I don't know.

          For example, if you prayed for something that eventually came true, while you may consider that evidence, I would not as it could simply be coincidence, self-fulfilling prophecy, or even an expected outcome. Not that this is your experience, but I'm amazed at what some people find convincing. For example, it is my understanding that one of the processes of "The Secret" is to think about and concentrate on something that you expect to happen anyway and then when it does, that is confirmation of the supposed law of attraction, e.g. focus on receiving that tax refund you expect and you will get it faster or in greater amount. This is not evidence in my view.

          Although, I still haven't heard your evidence.

          July 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I generally get the feeling he preaches the naturalism viewpoint. Perhaps since you generally agree with his convictions it doesn't sound like preaching (or advocating a viewpoint) to you? People generally come to this blog to share their belief systems and why it works for them.

          I have no idea what you mean by "The Secret"; I've never heard that phrase expressed in the manner you just did. In no way is that evidence to me, either.

          My evidence that changed the skeptical me into a God believing me is not evidence I can give you like I would for natural, common things. For me the evidence of God comes from God. Not science. Not self-described logical people. Not philosophers. Not religion. Not man. I find evidence of God, for example, when I seek humility, open-mindedness and willingness to let go of everything I think I know. Pretty much the opposite of what "The Secret" asks me to do. And what "The Secret" suggests I find is not at all what God gives.

          I was asking about your approach because it can help explain why you are having difficulty seeing something others can see. For me, and I'm only speaking for me, my pride, arrogance and self-centered nature was an obstacle I had to overcome. It is something I still struggle with everyday, and I haven't found anything better than turning to God to deal with that fact about myself I want to change. And I've tried a lot of different things.

          July 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dalahast,

          I think your description of the evidence you have of God is an accurate description. God gives and maintains faith. No one can brag about how they obtained faith, because it can't be earned. Jesus said to seek, I think even the motivation to seek is directed by God. Good post. Thanks and God bless you.

          July 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Thanks, I'm glad that made sense to you! I'm still trying to make sense of this all by just sharing my experience on here. Appreciate the understanding you add.

          July 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          Sorry, “the Secret” is just a positive thinking self-help fad that made the rounds awhile back, that’s all. No comparison intended, just an example.

          What you describe as evidence to me I would call a ‘convincing experience’, not evidence per se. In my view, one of the primary properties of evidence is that it can be presented to others, or at least verified by others. Your own experience, in itself, really doesn’t mean anything to anyone else. Not to compare it with your belief, but many people are convinced that they experienced an alien abduction, but that experience is not considered evidence of aliens on earth, at least not by most people.

          As for why I’m “having difficulty seeing something others can see”, I would suggest that perhaps it’s because it is not there. Perhaps you should be looking into why other people think they “see” something that apparently has no evidence (by my definition) of its existence. Belief does not make the belief true, regardless of the number of believers.

          So, in effect you've had some personal experiences that have convinced you of the existence of “God”. I have no issue with that or your beliefs (as long as they don’t impact other negatively), but don’t expect me to be convinced by your experiences without what I would call real evidence.

          July 12, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,

          P.s.

          For example, if I was abducted by aliens but had no photos nor artifacts nor trace nor any way of reproducing any of that then I would not claim to have any evidence of the abduction. I might be convinced that aliens had actually abducted me and it might even be true, but I still would not have any evidence.

          July 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I would say you would have compelling reasons to believe in aliens. Evidence that probably shows you more than what a human being backed with a theory about the scientific method, possible misunderstandings and personal opinions can offer you.

          And what if you had other sane and reasonable minded individuals expressing the same compelling reasons to believe in aliens? You might have compassion and understanding for those that don't have that kind of evidence you do. But it doesn't mean you should abandon the evidence you know is true. I would share what I know, and not worry too much about what others don't know.

          The evidence God gives is evidence I can share with others. My belief came after God was revealed to be real. It wasn't something I just read about that seemed logical and reasonable. Like anything else, some will accept it and some will reject it. You don't find it convincing. But others do. It may mean nothing to you. But you can't decide that for others. My experience tells me that others can find meaning in it. And I can offer it in ways that I couldn't if I only accepted things that seemed to be backed by a theory of what objective evidence reveals to them.

          I don't expect you to be convinced. I understand where you are coming from. What you offer as an alternative isn't convincing to me. All I can offer is an attempt to tolerate and accept your differing views as I would want you to do with mine.

          July 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          "And what if you had other sane and reasonable minded individuals expressing the same compelling reasons to believe in aliens?"

          Perhaps, or perhaps, if any evidence remained unavailable, I might begin to wonder if none of us had had a real experience, but a very convincing dream/delusion/hallucination/etc instead.

          "The evidence God gives is evidence I can share with others. "

          Again, I have to disagree with your definition of 'evidence'. What you have is an experience that you can relate to others, whether it is a "real" experience is not really known. If God gave 'evidence' then we likely wouldn't be having this discussion since there likely wouldn't be any atheists.

          July 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God gives evidence in His way. Not my way. Not your way. Not in my atheist's way I in which I used to trust. That has been my experience, anyway. You can say it is not really known to you. I can't. For myself, I know better.

          July 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          "God gives evidence in His way."

          Apparently not. He may give experiences, but not evidence.

          July 12, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No it is evidence. It is not the kind of evidence that atheist's give me for why they don't believe. It is better than that. Your alternative explanations do not equate to “no evidence” to me. It might for you. And for people like you. And even people unlike you. But you can't say that for everyone else. You aren't in charge of what is and what isn't compelling evidence for anyone else but yourself, as far as I can tell.

          July 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          "You aren't in charge of what is and what isn't compelling evidence for anyone else but yourself, as far as I can tell."

          You don't seem to understand. I'm not saying that your evidence isn't compelling, nor am I defining the word evidence. What I'm saying is that subjective experiences are generally not considered evidence to others. Or, per the example, are you claiming that alien abductees have evidence of the aliens visiting earth?

          July 12, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If a person has actually been abducted by aliens, that is great evidence that aliens have visited the Earth. I would expect them to live their life with that knowledge, and to worry about what others who don't know think. One would probably admit they used to think that way about aliens, too.

          I won't believe in aliens it til I see it for myself. I'm extremely skeptical. I was born in Missouri – you have to show me. How to find God has been shown to me. I've seen. God exists.

          July 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          "If a person has actually been abducted by aliens, that is great evidence that aliens have visited the Earth"

          Not unless there is evidence of the abduction it's not.

          July 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm assuming they actually have been abducted, like you suggested. Just because they don't have the photos, artifacts or whatever to convince you personally doesn't mean they don't have real life experience as evidence to base their belief on.

          July 12, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          But you don't know if it actually happened, you assume based on my statement, that is the point. It would only be valid if it actually happened.

          Technically, even if it did happen then all one would have is a memory, so the question would be is that memory accurate, or say a vivid dream?
          Can the one who supposedly experienced it even know? ... and that is a judgement call on what they think is remembered. Is that evidence?

          July 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          midwest.

          Now do you see what I mean?

          July 13, 2014 at 7:58 am |
        • Dalahäst

          By that reasoning I can' t know anything. Even things backed by nice physical evidence could possibly be just a dream.

          I do not know if that hypothetical person has been abducted by aliens. That is for them to know.

          I do know God exists. Whether you believe it or not. I have in no means just blindly accepted this.

          July 13, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • MidwestKen

          Dalahast,
          I'm not trying to get into epistemology, but I do think that human perceptions are fallible and memory is one of those perceptions. When abductee stories involve missing time, va.gue hazy memories, and supposed behavioral side effects I don't know if I would put much weight in that "evidence", even if it happened to me.

          Evidence, in the way I think it is usually used, can be tested, checked, verified and does not depend on a single persons perception. That is the critical factor, not being dependent on a single person's perception. Now, you might say, but there are billions of people with these experiences. However, those are individual experiences and each experience relies on a single person's perceptions. As someone else once said, the plural of anecdote is not data. A billion subjective experiences are not evidence, otherwise we would run our lives on common dreams.

          July 13, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • bostontola

          Going back to emergent physical phenomena, I hope we can all agree that emergent phenomena exist. Air pressure is an emergent phemonon of gas molecules' kinetic motion. There are powerful non-physical emergent phenomena in mathematics. Simple equations can produce what look like very complex behavior (e.g. Mandelbrot set).

          These mathematical emergent phenomena are manifested in physical systems. DNA is a computing system that does this. Any non-linear system (e.g. most chemical systems) in an environment with a flow of energy (earth is a great example) will generate emergent phenomena both mathematically and physically. This has been demonstrated beyond any doubt, it's mathematical.

          The only remaining question is; Are all emergent phenomena mathematical/physical, or are some metaphysical? Every emergent phenomenon that has been explored scientifically has been shown to be physical. That is not a proof that all are, it is objective evidence that no emergent phenomenon has been found to be metaphysical. Life processes, metabolisms, diseases, feelings, intelligence, and even self awareness have been tested and every test revealed physical cause.

          New experiments with better and better resolution are being done every day. They always end the same way, they point to physical cause. They don't always confirm the prevailing hypotheses, they sometimes point to new hypotheses, but they always demonstrate physical cause.

          Hypothesized supernatural causes have also been extensively tested (ghosts, etc.). No objective evidence has ever been found for that. Again, that is not proof that supernatural doesn't exist.

          The bottom line is, objective exploration always reveals physical cause of complex emergent phenomena, and has never found supernatural cause. This is after hundreds of years and trillions of dollars of exploration.

          If you want to call that preaching, that's your prerogative.

          July 13, 2014 at 11:46 am |
    • igaftr

      belief follower...once again posting opinion and belief as if it were true.
      Mr. Meyer is wrong when he says. " Science can't account for this "...simply wrong. There are things that science may not have as yet accounted for, but there is nothing that science cannot address.

      His is opinion, and considering the error in his statement, it is below a weak argument.

      July 12, 2014 at 9:32 am |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    I can't believe that in the 21st century, with all that is scientifically proven, that we are still discussing this bronze age voodoo as if it is real. *facepalm*

    July 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/misconceptions.php

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

      July 11, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  11. bostontola

    Not on topic (but how much is anymore), from Nature Communications:

    On July 9, 2014, Dr. Yuuri Yasuoka in the Okinawa Inst.itute of Science and Technology Graduate University's Marine Genomics Unit, published a research paper explaining a key mechanism in formation of the head in frogs.

    In this study, Dr. Yasuoka prepared the so-called "head organizer co.cktail" comprised of several proteins required for head formation during early development of a fertilized egg and introduced it into a frog embryo. As a result, an additional head was formed on the ventral side, or the stomach side, of the embryo, indicating that those proteins induce tissues to form a head. Dr. Yasuoka also demonstrated that an embryo that lacked those genes could not form a head properly. He then tried to discover where those proteins are located in the genome and how they affect other genes for head formation. By using Next-Generation sequencers, Dr. Yasuoka decoded frog DNA sequences bound by those proteins and successfully created a genetic map of protein-binding regions in the genome in a process called mapping. These proteins, generally referred to as "transcription factors," are known for their role in enhancing or inhibiting the activity of other genes. This study made it possible to evaluate how these proteins enhance and inhibit genes for head formation by delving into transcription factor binding regions in the genome, known as cis-regulatory modules. This study provided detailed insight into the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression.
    ---------–

    A fertilized egg is a tiny bag of chemicals. From that bag of chemicals, an entire life form with scores of different types of cells forms, all by chemistry. It won't be long before the majority or even all steps are understood. Every life form on this planet is a bag of chemistry, starting from a simple egg, developing in some cases to extraordinarily complex life forms.

    That physical, chemical development, from a simple egg to a complex animal, in many ways is a bigger leap than the first leap from a chemical soup to the first cell. Do we know the exact steps taken in that first leap? No. The point is, life takes bigger leaps every day by purely chemical means. Abiogenesis has not been proven. But the chemistry demonstrated every day should show that abiogenesis is far from unlikely, it is the most likely.

    July 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    When you die you actually do become closer to god. Because you won’t exist!

    – Dusty Smith

    July 11, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
  13. Mike

    What is needed for peace in the ME?

    1) God's divine intervention
    2) Human intellect
    3) Dalai Lama
    3)

    July 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      There will be a peace deal. It'll be for 7 years but will only last 3.5.

      July 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • Drew

      Dalai Lama has his own problems, he will not have a solution. Human intellect has failed time and time again, that won't work either. The only option left is for the people of the Middle East to go on their knees in prayer and seek help from Almighty God. Beg God to help restore peace in the region and around the world.

      July 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
      • Mike

        Haven't they been praying for centuries now?

        I give up!

        July 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • Drew

          That's silly. Read the Bible, the Bible clearly says, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Read 2 Chronicles 7:14

          July 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Prayer is a waste of time.

          Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
          Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise. Prayer makes you fat.
          Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
          Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
          Prayer messes up your knees and your neck and your back.
          Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
          Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
          Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
          Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
          Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
          Prayer makes you hoard cats.
          Prayer dulls your senses.
          Prayer makes you post really stupid stuff.
          Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
          Prayer wastes time.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • observer

        Drew,

        So people HAVEN'T been praying for peace in the world for THOUSANDS of years?

        Are you even remotely serious?

        July 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      The answer is 4. Compassion

      They need to get all the leaders together at a conference in Colorado so they can all smoke weed and "hash" it out so to speak. The families of the palenstinians must offer unwed sons and daughters for marriage to intermarry the muslims and jews and make them one big happy family where they can all put their religous hubris behind them.

      July 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • Reality

        Or simply come to the realization that Abraham did not exist nor did Moses and that Jesus was insane and so was Mohammed as both talked to mythical gods, angels and devils and did all kinds of things insane people do. Details have been given previously presented.

        July 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • bostontola

      Mike,
      You just don't get it, both 2 and 3 come from 1.

      July 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7t2Ztb92mE&w=640&h=360]

      July 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • Vic

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/08/eye-for-an-eye-the-bibles-role-in-revenge-attacks/comment-page-4/#comment-3044579

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/26/pope-come-to-the-vatican-for-peace-talks/comment-page-1/#comment-3019521

      July 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • Doris

        The first of these links goes to a comment with yet another link. Does Vic fancy himself the master of recursive blogging?

        July 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • LaBella

          I find this a curious way to comment. A wild goose chase to comments isn't productive. Just either restate it, or don't bother.

          July 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
  14. SeaVik

    Topher – Question: What do you think will happen to the billions of people on the planet who have never heard of Christianity when they die? Why would your god deprive so many people of even a chance to believe in him since they've never heard of him?

    July 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • Løki

      Because 'He' is a capricious prick?

      July 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      Without repentance and trust in Jesus Christ, people who die will be punished for the laws they broke.

      That being said, I have no idea why God has chosen those few people groups to have never heard. I could very well be that they wouldn't be receptive anyway. There's no way for me to know that.

      July 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Prior to Christ, did everybody except for the 12 Tribes of Israel go straight to Hell?
        Imagine if Constantine hadn't forcibly spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire – how many people would never have heard of Jesus and thus wound up in Hell for their ignorance?

        July 11, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doc Vestibule

          "Prior to Christ, did everybody except for the 12 Tribes of Israel go straight to Hell?"

          Not sure if you're meaning to imply this or not, but just thought I should clarify ... Just because you were a Jew, that's not a go to Heaven free card. Each person must still have met the standard set out in the Bible.

          Now, prior to Christ, the people still went to Heaven the same way they do today — by God's grace through repentance and faith.

          "Imagine if Constantine hadn't forcibly spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire – how many people would never have heard of Jesus and thus wound up in Hell for their ignorance?"

          That's not quite how it happened. Constantine didn't force Christianity on Rome. He basically just made it legal ... ending persecution.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          God's grace, prior to Christ, was heavily dependent on performing rites and rituals as laid out in the Levite and Deuteronomic codes. And think – during the time of Exodus, the number of people who had even the va.guest conception of who Abraham's God is was extremely limited. How could they have known the proper way to burn entrails or how to properly sacrifice a goat in order to please God?

          July 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doc Vestibule

          "God's grace, prior to Christ, was heavily dependent on performing rites and rituals as laid out in the Levite and Deuteronomic codes."

          Yes, they were to do those things, but those sacrifices were only a covering of the sins until the Messiah would take them away.

          "And think – during the time of Exodus, the number of people who had even the va.guest conception of who Abraham's God is was extremely limited."

          That's why Moses and Aaron (prophets of God) were there. And not only that, during the Exodus God was appearing to all the people as pillars of fire (at night) and smoke (during the day) to lead them through the wilderness. Those people were very away of God and who He was.

          "How could they have known the proper way to burn entrails or how to properly sacrifice a goat in order to please God?"

          God told them through His prophets.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Yes, Topher – God appeared to Moses and his people.
          I'm talking about the rest of humanity.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          But jesus had not had a bad weekend yet, the whole resurrection shtick, so who was there to take on the sins of the guilty and offer salvation? Are all the people before jesus sinful in nature as you claim everyone is today, such nonsense? What name did you object being called a masochist? Oh dear anyone who manages to think he has broken all ten commandments, not in reality, but only in his mind is a masochist, take a bow.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doc Vestibule

          "I'm talking about the rest of humanity."

          The Old Testament is filled with examples of gentiles coming to faith in the God of Israel through the works demonstrated by Him.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          ausphor

          "But jesus had not had a bad weekend yet, the whole resurrection shtick, so who was there to take on the sins of the guilty and offer salvation?"

          Old Testament saints were saved by their faith just as we are today. The had faith in God and the coming Messiah.

          "Are all the people before jesus sinful in nature as you claim everyone is today, such nonsense?"

          Yes.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Without repentance and trust in Jesus Christ, people who die will be punished for the laws they broke."

          How can they be punished when they were completely unaware of the "laws"?

          "That being said, I have no idea why God has chosen those few people groups to have never heard. I could very well be that they wouldn't be receptive anyway. There's no way for me to know that."

          Few? The vast majority of the human population is not Christian. Many of them have never heard of Christianity, many of them know very little about Christianity and many of them were indoctrinated into another religion as children, thereby having very little choice in the matter. Those of us who know about Christianity and actively don't believe it are a small minority of the world's population. But, according to you, the vast majority of the world's population will go to he!! through no fault of their own.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          BTW you creationist believer you. If man and dinosaurs co-existed, what happened to them between genesis and Noah's ark? Did Noah have to squeeze in a few spinosaurus and argentinosaurus? Never been to any of the creation museums, must be a hoot.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "How can they be punished when they were completely unaware of the "laws"?"

          God's laws are written on our hearts. We know it's wrong to lie, steal, murder, disobey our parents, commit adultery ... yet we do it anyway.

          "Those of us who know about Christianity and actively don't believe it are a small minority of the world's population. But, according to you, the vast majority of the world's population will go to he!! through no fault of their own."

          The vast majority will be people who call themselves Christians but aren't saved — which might be an even more sorrowful fact.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          ausphor

          Dinosaurs were on the ark. There's lots of books, videos and articles on this if you were interested in anything more than mocking.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          How many dinosaurs do you think could fit on a 450ft floating zoo?

          And where did Noah find enough trees for 216,525 square feet of wood fort the frame, plus load-bearing walls, interior rooms, stalls, pens, and staircases. Enough pitch (tar) to seal more than 114,750 square feet of exterior (thousands of gallons) out in the middle of the desert?

          As for people who converted to Judaism – do you believe there were people in China and Ja/pan a few thousand years ago? They certainly had no interactions with the wandering Israelites or any representatives of Abraham's God....

          July 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doc Vestibule

          "How many dinosaurs do you think could fit on a 450ft floating zoo?"

          No idea. Depends on how many different kinds there were. But as far as the space issue, do you realize how much space you'd save by taking a baby brachiosaur compared to an adult? And did you know that the average size of land animals is just larger than a sheep? There was more than enough room on the ark.

          "And where did Noah find enough trees for 216,525 square feet of wood fort the frame, plus load-bearing walls, interior rooms, stalls, pens, and staircases. Enough pitch (tar) to seal more than 114,750 square feet of exterior (thousands of gallons) out in the middle of the desert?"

          Read the Bible. For instance, I believe is was Syria at the time (though I could be mis-remembering the country) was full of trees.

          "As for people who converted to Judaism – do you believe there were people in China and Ja/pan a few thousand years ago? They certainly had no interactions with the wandering Israelites or any representatives of Abraham's God...."

          A few thousand years ago I'm sure there probably were Christian missionaries. But if you mean pre-Christianity, I have no idea. The Jews were greatly spread in the dispersion. So they could have gone there. But even if not a single one went there, it really has no bearing on whether God exists.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          Thomas Jefferson has advised me in his quotes to ridicule you. Any idea of how large a pair of argentinosaurs would be? Look it up, your fantasy needs a bigger ark.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          ausphor

          "Any idea of how large a pair of argentinosaurs would be? Look it up, your fantasy needs a bigger ark."

          How big was a baby argentinosaurus? The ark was more than big enough.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Topher, or perhaps the ark had a cryogenics labbratory where they kept frozen fertilized dinasour embryos that could be later implanted into ostrich eggs.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Anthony Crispino

          "perhaps the ark had a cryogenics lab"

          Of course – why didn't I think of that. They must have – plus they could have fed a lot of other animals a nice egg breakfast on the Sabbath.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          lunchbreaker

          Well, yeah. Just add a little frog DNA so that they only see movement ... oh, wait. That's been proven wrong. D'oh!

          July 11, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Topher, that was just a movie, in Noah's time they actually had live dinosuars, no genetic engineering necessary.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          lunchbreaker

          Agree 100 percent.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Imagine the look on Noah's face when the grandkids want to go to the zoo.

          July 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "The vast majority will be people who call themselves Christians but aren't saved — which might be an even more sorrowful fact."

          Interesting. So, according to you, I will go to Heaven because I following what you just listed as "God's laws"?

          July 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "Interesting. So, according to you, I will go to Heaven because I following what you just listed as "God's laws"?"

          Just make a guestimate ... how many lies have you told in your whole life?

          July 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • SeaVik

          The arc story is laughably preposterous, but thank you Topher for entertaining our questions. It is fun to see how you'd reconciled this in your mind. Here's another one:

          How did they get penguins that only live in Antarctica to a boat in Syria? Maybe I've got the story wrong, but I thought it was supposed to be all land animals.

          As for the dinosaurs...that's quite amazing that Moses was able to find baby dinosaurs of every dinosaur species that just happened to be around at the same time.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "How did they get penguins that only live in Antarctica to a boat in Syria? Maybe I've got the story wrong, but I thought it was supposed to be all land animals."

          No, not all land animals. All KINDS.

          "As for the dinosaurs...that's quite amazing that Moses was able to find baby dinosaurs of every dinosaur species that just happened to be around at the same time."

          Noah.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Just make a guestimate ... how many lies have you told in your whole life?"

          I honestly can't think of any off the top of my head, but I'd say less than 5 of any importance.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • joey3467

          For Topher, the number of species is irrelevant. He just uses some made up classification he calls kinds. Thus for him. All it took was perhaps a lion on the arc to make all of the different cats that exist today. Of course this is absolutely, mind numbingly insane, but it is what he believes.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          How about seals and walruses, wait, walrussi, or is it just walrus? I was going to ask if those would go on the ark, but the more important question is how to pluralize walrus. Off to google.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "No, not all land animals. All KINDS."

          Right, all kinds of land animals. So how did he get a pair of penguins from Antarctica?

          Right, Noah not Moses (even I knew that one!). So, about the baby dinosaurs?

          July 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "All it took was perhaps a lion on the arc to make all of the different cats that exist today."

          Oh...so Topher believes in...evolution (GASP!)?

          July 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "I honestly can't think of any off the top of my head, but I'd say less than 5 of any importance."

          Then, no, you won't go to Heaven. You've broken His laws. "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the se.xually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and ALL LIARS, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Emphasis mine.)

          Does that concern you?

          July 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • G to the T

          "No, not all land animals. All KINDS"

          As a consitent definition of "kinds" has yet to be presented, I don't see how you can make such an assertion.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • djangoboy

          noahsdadtopher:
          Constantine didn't force Christianity on Rome. He basically just made it legal ... ending persecution.

          True, however Theodosius I made Christianity the state religion in 380.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Then, no, you won't go to Heaven. You've broken His laws."

          I don't think anyone has ever lived who has never told a lie. So I guess no one ever goes to Heaven? With all due respect, you are lying to yourself when you actually pretend that putting all kinds of animals on a boat is remotely realistic, so I guess you're out too.

          "Does that concern you?"

          Why would it concern me? I don't believe there is such a thing as Heaven, so it doesn't concern me whether or not you think I'll go to a non-existent place. I am just curious as to how you reconcile the endless contradictions of your faith.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "Right, all kinds of land animals. So how did he get a pair of penguins from Antarctica?"

          Assuming that penguins are the representative in their kind ... the answer is that all the animals showed up at the ark. Noah nor anyone from his family went out and got the animals.

          "So, about the baby dinosaurs?"

          What about them?

          July 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "Oh...so Topher believes in...evolution (GASP!)?"

          I believe in micro-evolution, yes. Not macro. One we see in action and is testable and repeatable. The other is not.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          Second death? So after sinning God kills us twice? Kinda the definition of overkill.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          G to the T

          "As a consitent definition of "kinds" has yet to be presented, I don't see how you can make such an assertion."

          The best modern definition is "family," though that isn't perfect. I can make the assertion because that's what God calls it.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • redzoa

          "Dinosaurs were on the ark. There's lots of books, videos and articles on this if you were interested in anything more than mocking."

          Mockery is all this silliness warrants. Dinosaurs went extinct long before humans ever existed. Even if you reject absolute dating methods, your left with the relative order of the geologic strata and the fact that dinosaurs are found exclusively and far, far below strata containing humans. The progressive order of the fossil record cannot be explained by a single flood event. "Hydrodynamic sorting," "differential escape," "eco-zonation," and "floating biomes" all fail to account for the observation of forms with similar density, ecology, and biogeography, separated by many, many layers of geologic strata. Under these theories, we should expect to see plesiosaurs alongside dolphins, pteradons alongside golden eagles, but of course, we do not. Creationists require that every last dinosaur, even those specifically adapted for aquatic life, drowned, died, and were buried, long, long before the very first old, sick, crippled, or young human. There is no rationalization that is too irrational for a creationist.

          The most disingenuous aspect of creationism is that is alleges evidentiary problems with evolution (generally, nothing more than arguments of incredulity based in arguments of ignorance), but then invariably requires invocation of magic to patch up their "legitimate alternative." That is, creationists have neither any actual use for, nor deference to empirical evidence. All that matters is keeping up appearances and parroting the well-refuted talking points in the transparently self-serving hope of currying favor with their alleged deity and thereby escaping mortality.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          SeaVik

          "I don't think anyone has ever lived who has never told a lie."

          I completely agree.

          "So I guess no one ever goes to Heaven?"

          Certainly no one deserves to. We're all guilty of something. Some of us more than others.

          "With all due respect, you are lying to yourself when you actually pretend that putting all kinds of animals on a boat is remotely realistic, so I guess you're out too."

          I certainly don't deserve to go, that's true. But I've got something that you don't. Are you interested to know what that is?

          "Why would it concern me? I don't believe there is such a thing as Heaven, so it doesn't concern me whether or not you think I'll go to a non-existent place. I am just curious as to how you reconcile the endless contradictions of your faith."

          There are no contradictions, and really, at this point in the conversation, is a rabbit trail. It doesn't matter what you believe — what matters is whether it is true or not.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Assuming that penguins are the representative in their kind ... the answer is that all the animals showed up at the ark. Noah nor anyone from his family went out and got the animals."

          They just showed up? Ok, that's even less believable, not more.

          "What about them?"

          I mean how did thousands of dinosaur babies to cover all the dinosaur kinds just happen to be born and show up at the Arc all at once?

          July 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "But I've got something that you don't. Are you interested to know what that is?"

          I know exactly what it is. It is a case of delusion. Not trying to be rude, but that is truly what you've got. Heaven won't exist no matter how badly you want it to.

          I have no idea how you can claim there are no contradictions in your faith. I don't think even you can be that delusional – I think that's just a case of denial.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • redzoa

          "The best modern definition is "family," though that isn't perfect. I can make the assertion because that's what God calls it."

          Below is a link to a wiki article on genetic drift. The relevant figure is the second figure under the subheading "Drift and Fixation." What the figure shows is that in small populations, genetic diversity is rapidly lost, that is, gene variants (i.e. alleles) become "fixed." Once an allele becomes fixed, there is no diversity at that locus, unless and until a mutation generates a new gene variant (and of course, we know that creationists reject, contrary to available evidence, that mutations must be invariably destructive). A founding population of 2 would rapidly see its genomic diversity reduced as fixation acted to eliminate gene variants. Yet, how did these "kinds" produce observable biodiversity in only ~ 4000 yrs, well, they won't state it as such, but creationists require "hyper-evolution," that is a rate of evolution far faster than evolutionists themselves believe is possible.

          Fascinating the mind of a creationist . . .

          July 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • redzoa

          Oops forgot the link:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_drift

          Here's the relevant image:

          July 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • redzoa

          Oops... should have read, "(and of course, we know that creationists require, contrary to available evidence, that mutations must be invariably destructive)." One single-malt is not enough, but two is still not enough . . .

          July 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • joey3467

          It sure seems like Topher believes in evolution. Of course he will deny that.

          July 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          joey3467

          "It sure seems like Topher believes in evolution. Of course he will deny that."

          Already answered this question.

          July 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          If you can't find any contradictions in the Bible, you haven't been applying any thought or logic when you read it.

          July 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "If you can't find any contradictions in the Bible, you haven't been applying any thought or logic when you read it."

          And if you find them you're clearly not doing any studying. I've yet to hear one that there isn't a reasonable explanation for.

          July 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          (Gen. 4:16) “And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him SEVENFOLD. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”

          (Lev. 24:17) “And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.”

          One example of MANY. Please read a Bible.

          July 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Do you think that repeating "contradictions" that have been answer before somehow makes it more relevant?

          July 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          I'm still waiting for a good LOGICAL rebuttal to the first posting.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          God – KILL ALL MURDERERS

          God – Don't you dare do ANYTHING to this MURDERER.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In the Genesis account, Cain is worried that as a wanderer he'd be easy prey for an individual to kill him. Also, God showed Cain mercy by placing some sort of mark on him so that he wouldn't be killed.

          In the Leviticus account, we talking about civil law. So we aren't even talking about the same issues here.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          "Cain is worried that as a wanderer he'd be easy prey for an individual to kill him."

          So he's afraid that people would know and FOLLOW God's word, so God felt sorry for him?

          Beautiful. As I said, NO LOGICAL answer yet.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          Boy, you REALLY want there to be a contradiction, don't you?

          "So he's afraid that people would know and FOLLOW God's word, so God felt sorry for him?"

          You do realize the civil law given in Leviticus happens a LONG time after Genesis, right? Besides that, every single time we sin and break God's law we deserve to be smushed by Him. But He doesn't do that. He gives us grace by allowing us time to repent and trust in Him to wipe away that sin.

          And it never says anything about him being killed because of what he did. Cain's punishment was to be cursed "from the ground." Cain was a farmer. And it says that the ground "shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." As a wanderer and scavenger, he'd be easy prey to anyone who wanted his life.

          No contradiction here, but I can see why you'd want it to be.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          So murder is a CIVIL case to God? Get serious. "Thou shall not kill" was just referring to civil punishments, right?

          "You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." lol. Cain went to some other unknown civilization, apparently married his SISTER, had a family and built a city.

          Some "WANDERER". lol. Get serious. PLEASE read a Bible.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "So murder is a CIVIL case to God? Get serious."

          God gives many civil laws in that book.

          ""Thou shall not kill" was just referring to civil punishments, right?"

          No, but that's not the verse you were complaining about. You need to seriously look into Hermeneutics.

          It appears that you aren't the one taking the topic seriously. You just want to take things and use them out of context to complain.

          July 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Observer
          God dealt with Cain mercifully because the Law HAD YET TO BE GIVEN. get it?

          July 11, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Yep. God believed that this MURDERER should be free of punishment on earth so that he could be blessed in marriage by God and set up a city in complete disregard of God's PUNISHMENT to be a wanderer. You are saying that God later CHANGED his mind, get it?

          July 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Observer
          "God believed that this MURDERER should be free of punishment on earth so that he could be blessed in marriage by God and set up a city in complete disregard of God's PUNISHMENT to be a wanderer."

          – perhaps you should reread the narra-tive again. nowhere in scripture does it say Cain was blessed by God. In fact scripture states emphatic.cally that Cain 'went out from the presence of the Lord', and thus he became a fugi-tive and wanderer.

          July 12, 2014 at 12:06 am |
        • awanderingscot

          we also know God relented and showed him mercy because He placed a sign upon Cain as a protection. when you understand that the lifespan of man at the time was up to a thousand years, there is no difficulty here when the narrative states he took a wife and built a city. he very obviously didn't wander all of his life. the Lord is merciful.

          You are saying that God later CHANGED his mind, get it?

          – no. God did not give the LAW until later and thus man did not fully appreciate his sinful nature until then. the purpose of the LAW was to convict man of his sinful nature. read your Bible but this time meditate on what God telling you. start off by trusting Him, humble yourself before Him.

          July 12, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          You might want to read the Bible. It states that Cain GOT MARRIED so apparently God blessed that.

          God's handling of a MURDERER: protect him; do not allow any humans to hurt him: set him free; allow him to marry and build a city.

          God's handling of other MURDERERS: KILL THEM. Do not allow them any freedom to walk around, get married, or build cities.

          Yep. NO CHANGE in God's mind there.

          lol.

          July 12, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • G to the T

          "The best modern definition is "family," though that isn't perfect. I can make the assertion because that's what God calls it."

          You may want to reconsider that. If "kind" = "family" then you are allowing for evolution at the genus and species level. And even if the ark was confined to only "kinds", we would have to account for the "kinds" of most if not all of the extinct species as well. So even in this scenario you are talking thousands of pairs of animals who then managed to re-populate the entire world and evolve into their current species in at a pace far in excess of anything ever dreamed on current evolutionary theory...

          July 14, 2014 at 10:54 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        "There's no way for me to know that." Exactly, just like there is no way for you to "know" there is a God. You can have faith in your opinion that there is a God who will punish law breakers, but that is all it is, your opinion. On the other side of the planet (or even right next door) another man has the opinion that you will likely be punished for not serving his God.

        July 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • Løki

        "Without repentance and trust in Jesus Christ" Nonsense cult speak.

        July 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
      • joey3467

        I can think of plenty of instances where lying is better than telling the truth. For example, I always tell people that their babies are super cute, even if I think they are ugly as sin.

        July 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
      • observer

        noahsdadtopher,

        Is MURDER a CIVIL crime according to God? Yes or no?

        Did God protect a MURDERER? Yes or no?

        Did Cain have to follow God's command to stay a wanderer? Yes or no?

        July 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        How exactly is it fair or just to punish a person for not believing in something they have never heard of? How does that make any sense? That would be like punishing someone for a murder they never knew happened.

        July 12, 2014 at 6:30 am |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      No point in debating whos invisible big brother is bigger or meaner or will or won't punch whom before actually having your big brother show up at the playground. Until then it's just a verbal fued where everyones big brother is the biggest and they try to prove it by shouting the loudest because all of them know deep down that not only is their big brother not the biggest, but they've never seen him either and were just told stories about him by their parents.

      July 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    Christians base their whole belief on the writings of bronze age and iron age man that claim to be the word of a god or at least inspired by a god. WELL OF COURSE they claimed 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?

    The claim 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 people 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. In any battle throughout history, the leaders of BOTH sides convinced all their men that god was on THEIR side and that the other side were evil. Same old con game.

    So, amazingly, that's the basis of it all! Stories written by men for their own selfish gain. And so the evidence that Christians continue to present as 'proof' of their god is either the earliest fragments of these same man-written stories (proving nothing other than that someone wrote the stories down!), or the later musings and writings of other people in their cult who spent their lives studying the original flawed 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 making magical, fanciful claims that were written down long after supposed events took place, by people in your cult who are obviously biased and have ulterior motives. And THEN, these stories have been translated over and over by more people in your cult who are similarly biased and have ulterior motives. It's all just so massively, irreparably flawed! *facepalm*

    July 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
  16. noahsdadtopher

    Good afternoon, everyone!

    July 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • ausphor

      Topher
      May I suggest you run away now, why wait until you are backed into a corner, your welcome.

      July 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        Yeah, you know me. Always running away from such strong atheist arguments as name calling. I'm shaking.

        July 11, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          We know you are a masochist and love the put downs, you get so many. Before you suggested I either believed in your god or don't so why should I claim is an evil monster and therefore should not make comments about same, is that correct?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Hey Topher!
          Yo' religion so fat, it sweats Crisco... no wait... uhm. Yo' religion so stupid, it brought a spo.on to the super-bowl!
          Oh – hang on a second. Uhm...
          You're a po.opy face. Yeah – that's it. Take that Christianity!

          July 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Sorry. You've lost me.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          Is it beyond you to direct your response to someone. Losing you is predictable on so many levels that it is hilarious.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Sorry ... I was running away from the name calling. It's such a good case for atheism ...

          July 11, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Lil P00py

          Hey doc whatcha gettin all up in Topher n me's grill fo, dude?

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

          July 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I either believed in your god or don't so why should I claim is an evil monster "

          I think what he is trying to say is that believers claim that if atheists don't believe in God then why do they call God evil?

          Think of it like this. Let us say that we all see footage of a woman at a 7-11 buying diapers with her baby in her arms. A man walks in and points a knife at her and demands her baby. When she refuses to hand the child over the man stabs the woman and her child more than a dozen times and escapes. Now as the viewer we find out that off camera there was an armed police officer standing 5 feet away, all of a sudden we have some questions. Why didn't he intervene? Was he stunned? Did he not notice what was going on? Was he complicit somehow? We would automatically start calling into question the officers ability to do the job he was hired to do.

          With atheists, we see the violence on the screen and can't believe there is an officer standing just out of view, because if there was then we'd have some serious questions of which none we can think of would justify his inaction. It is easier to believe that no officer was there than to invent excuses for why he might have been there but decided not to help.

          So the discussion goes:

          believer "The cop was there but he had a reason for not helping"
          atheist "Um, no, or else that is one sick and evil cop to stand there and allow a baby and mother to be stabbed to death!"

          July 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
  17. lunchbreaker

    Anybody ever eaten at Wich Wich?

    July 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • Doris

      that doesn't sound good. that sounds like helper helper (hamburger helper with no hamburger)

      July 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        The funniest part is there is more than location in my city, so sometimes I have to ask "which Which Wich?"

        July 11, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          I see I misspelled it above "Which Wich" is the correct name.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • ausphor

          lunch
          Never heard of Which Wich is it a deep fried frog leg joint?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • Knights Who Say...

          BEDEMIR: What makes you think she is a witch?
          VILLAGER #3: Well, she turned me into a newt.
          BEDEMIR: A newt?
          VILLAGER #3: I got better.
          VILLAGER #2: Burn her anyway!
          CROWD: Burn! Burn her!

          July 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "is it a deep fried frog leg joint?"

          Is that why we haven't heard from kermi recently?

          July 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • LaBella

          kermit4jc has bid the blogs goodbye. I hope he treats his "clients" better than he treated people on here. He was inexcusably rude to people.

          July 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Let's see how long kermit stays gone...

          It's terrible that a person like him has "clients". I wonder how many lives he's destroyed with his brand of "help"?

          July 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  18. Robert Brown

    For all that is in the world,

    the lust of the flesh,

    and the lust of the eyes,

    and the pride of life,

    is not of the Father,

    but is of the world.

    July 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Doris

      I seem to notice that the more fundamentally Christian someone seems, the more they blab on about lust. I would think there would be more to yak about in the "People are Not Perfect Club" than that. I think it more than anything says something about the minds of those doing the yakking.....

      July 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • bostontola

      Robert,
      That statement is absolutely factually correct.

      Shortened for ease of understanding:

      For all that is in the world,

      is not of the Father,

      but is of the world.

      July 11, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • kudlak

      Robert
      See, I find that anyone who denies what scientific evidence objectively reveals in favour of what they personally think must be correct without any evidence whatsoever must be operating out of the same harmful pride you're talking about. What do you think?

      July 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So basically – this world and this life mean nothing.
      It is all a test for the afterlife – and afterlife for which there is no evidence whatsoever and for which the rules of entry vary depending on who you ask.

      "The road is narrow, the horizon wide
      And to say what’s waiting on the other side
      Is so rewarding and the ultimate prize
      But what good is something if you can’t have it until you die?

      Desperate, tenacious, clinging like a grain of sand
      Watching its foundation wash away
      Drunk with the assertions they know they can’t defend
      Confident that they might…live again"
      – Dr. Greg Graffin

      I await an insulting message from awanderscot regarding "brainless punk rock"

      July 11, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • Reality

        And add this to the discussion:

        "Death's Debt is Paid in
        Full

        Death's debt is then and there
        Paid down by dying men;
        But it is a promise bare
        That they shall rise again. "

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

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

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

        July 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
    • Reality

      1 John 2:16 For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh.......

      "There is no signature upon this letter, just one page of sermon written on papyrus paper........"

      Hmmm, might as well copy and publish poetry from a wall of a "john".

      July 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
  19. kevinite

    15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24: 15 KJV)

    July 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      Interesting that you chose the King James Version. Why are there versions anyway?

      July 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        God thought he needed some Twilight sequels of his own?

        July 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Translations come from a desire to transmit the Word of God to all the people of the earth.
        "The New Testament Doc.uments" by F.F. Bruce, The Bible and Archaeology" by Frederic Kenyon, and "The Reliability of the New Testament Text" by Dr. James White (which can be youtube'd) serve as introductions to textual criticism.

        July 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          So there is only 1 version in English?

          July 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Read the books. Watch the lecture.

          July 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Only one "true" version. / pun

          July 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • bostontola

          I'll take that as a no.

          July 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Only one "true" version. / pun
          ---------------
          Only 1 true version? No... There are some that are more accurate than others, for sure, but none that are more "true" than others. You really should watch Dr. White's lecture.

          July 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Doris

          Let me correct this for you, Theo:

          Theo: "Translations come from a desire to transmit the Word of God to all the people of the earth."

          What is your evidence, Theo, that the ancient writings, many of which are of unknown authorship, that, for some, represent alleged "Word of God", represent anything other than opinion/hearsay accounting?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Doris

          [sorry – I was going to start this differently, but my question to Theo remains – scratch the following:
          Let me correct this for you, Theo: ]

          Theo: "Translations come from a desire to transmit the Word of God to all the people of the earth."

          What is your evidence, Theo, that the ancient writings, many of which are of unknown authorship, that, for some, represent alleged "Word of God", represent anything other than opinion/hearsay accounting?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • Doris

          Ah, and yet again, Theo falls back to the "watch this/read this" defense. So predictable.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doris, even you would admit that this forum is not well suited to that which would require a lengthy discussion.

          I suggest books and lectures and the like because, not only will they fully describe and prove the position that I cannot do here for the sake of brevity, but it also separates the casual insulter from the one who earnestly desires to know.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Doris

          I think the forum is well-suited to whatever you care to claim, defend and back up. I suspect your claims are too grand, too self-righteous.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doris, if I posted 2 pages of typed notes from Dr. White's lecture for instance, no one would read it.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Doris

          They may or may not. The same could be said for notes from a lecture by Bart Ehrman. But it's important to keep in mind we are discussing opinion.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • joey3467

          I would read it, just for the laughs.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Doris, even you would admit that this forum is not well suited to that which would require a lengthy discussion."

          It shouldn't require a lengthy discussion. If you were correct, it would be simple to explain. The only way you can delude yourself is to over-complicate and confuse simple issues.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
      • kevinite

        Namely it's because it's the version I'm most used to and brought up with as well as to me the language used in the KJV being not common modern day lingo gives it a little more respective feel to it, yet still makes easy reading and contemplation.

        July 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "the KJV being not common modern day lingo gives it a little more respective feel to it,"

          Might you have meant "pompous" instead of respective? Because that would fit...

          July 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • G to the T

          In my opinion the KJV is one of the worst translations. It's source files are dubious to say the least.

          July 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • kevinite

          Well, that is your opinion. To me however it is the best of the English versions of the Bible.

          July 14, 2014 at 2:06 am |
        • otoh2

          kevinite,

          1. Yeah, all of those "goests" and "haveths" and "doeths" make it sound **so** much more like an old god is really talking, eh?

          2. "Respective"? Maybe you mean "respectful"?
          (funny story... I worked at a company at one time where someone had typed up all of the frequently used form letters signed, "Respectively Yours..."!)

          July 13, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • kevinite

          To me respective was used to as a way to convey a mind set in regards to reading as opposed to respectful being a way of treating an individual or referring to the treatment of the item itself.

          July 14, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • G to the T

          Kevin – you may prefer the KJV, but's translations and source matierals have long known to be inferior to other sources now available. One example – in places where the Greek sources were missing sections/pages, the original editors took the Latin Vulgate and translated the words back into Greek – creating a version that no longer matched the original greek nor the latin versions. And then these poor translations were again translated into english for the KJV version.

          You indeed must have more faith than I if you believe this resulted in a superior version of the texts.

          July 14, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • kevinite

          So which sections arfe we talking about here in the first place? How do those particular sections make the entire entire KJV so inferior and just what other English translations are you even comparing to the KJV? You didn't even site any other English versions for comparison. You just went on and on about how inferior the KJV is.

          July 14, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • G to the T

          I would think if the bible was so important to you that you might investigate yourself, rather than assuming there's no critical differences – I did.

          July 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • kevinite

          I've done some. That being a relative term I've always figured there is room for more learning, which is why I am suprised you didn't even bother to point out anything as to how the KJV is so inferior to other English translations, since you were so eager to point out that the KJV is so inferior,

          July 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        The Mormons that visited me before need to get an updated version thier book. I Honestly tried to read the one they gave me to see what it was all about. Tough read.

        July 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • kevinite

          So it's more difficult to read than the KJV Bible?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          In my opinion, yes. A bit more theatrical, but the language is crazy old world.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • kevinite

          That may also be because the language used is considered to be more revered or respected as well.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "That may also be because the language used is considered to be more revered or respected as well."

          Yes, and i'm sure Jesus preached to the harlots and tax collectors using flowery speech to be more revered and respected...

          July 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Ah, Joshua, a perfect example of a warmonger using religion as the reason for slaughtering and conquering.

      "Serve my God or I'll slaughter you like I did the amorites."

      July 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
      • kevinite

        And yet there were many who chose to fight instead anyway. There is no twisting their arms behind their back when the choice was given. Also, to a believer God (a basically omnipotent being) is not making anyone follow him no matter what even though that being commands to follow, there is no actual obligation to follow. It's an example of why to certain believers the reason why we are placed into this world of such trials and sufferings that it is because this life on Earth is a testing period to see if we are going to follow God not because we are obligated to having full knowledge but due to our own free will through relying on faith.

        July 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • kevinite

          18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

          19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

          20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

          (1 Peter 3:18-20 KJV)

          That to me shows that if these spirits were so lost, why would Jesus preach to those spirits in the first place? That perhaps those lost souls would in the end be not so lost after all. If we didn't get a chance to choose to follow God or not in life, then perhaps we would then get that chance to choose after this life.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • kudlak

          "no actual obligation to follow."
          Yet, he'll torture you forever for not following him, right?

          How is that any different from the local mafia boss coming to your business and telling you that you don't have to pay him any protection money, but your legs will get broken if you don't? Some choice!

          July 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          " is not making anyone follow him no matter what even though that being commands to follow, there is no actual obligation to follow"

          No obligation but a severe consequence if you don't or have you not read the commandments or even the bible for that matter??
          Sorry we don't all own kevin-decoder-rings to allow us to comprehend your small narrow mind....care to explain how the threat of hell is not a forced obligation? Sounds very much like the abusive spouse-Do as I say or else.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • kevinite

          So you're saying that a preacher giving you the choice with the warning of eternal afterlife consequences is as convincing as the mafia coming to you with a choice warning of bodily harm or immediate harm to your home and family? Interesting.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • kevinite

          Frankly how is that any different than us being instructed about the consequences of violating the laws of the land, that there will be consequences for willingly making the choice to violate those laws, but we are still given the choice, so how is that not just?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • kevinite

          Also, what makes you so sure that when given eternal punishment automatically means eternal in duration and not eternal as meaning that it is just simply in reference to God's punishment because one of the names for God is eternal like Alpha and Omega. That not all who get eternal punishment will get eternal punishment in duration.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Geez, spin it how you wish if It helps you feel like the bigger person (more like an arrogant ass)...what makes you so right and everyone so wrong??? Where is your evidence for this god and don't use the bible-it doesn't prove a god, it merely proves that man has a vivid imagination?

          July 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          Well, we do have evidence for the mob doing such things, but enough people believe that God will act similarly to those who stand up to him that the analogy still stands.

          July 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          The laws of the land are enforced by a Criminal Justice System that we can actually see in action. No so with ode's law. The law of the land is also democratically determined. No so with ode's law. His law is dictatorial, right? It's right to fight against dictatorial laws, isn't it?

          July 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          If hell isn't actually eternal, then heaven isn't either, right?

          How many Christians are just expecting a brief pat on their backs by God after they die?

          July 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • kevinite

          So TP1,

          What makes me so sure that I'm right and everyone else wrong is actually nothing, because I do not have any proof, which is why there is such a big deal for a believer to emphasize the concepts of belief and faith. Belief – believer go figure. This also includes the belief that there are certain truths out there that cannot be made known except through first-hand experience like knowing what salt tastes like. That to find ot about God and God's plan for us also involves first-hand experience such as following the teachings, study and asking in prayer.

          So, while your at it how about you providing that irrefutable proof that there is no such God out there who does not want to be made known but would rather have us rely on having faith and that through relying on faith to see whether we would be willing to follow God on our own accord even when there is no irrefutable proof as opposed to having that irrefutable proof and thus having to follow becuase of having really no choice because of obligation.

          Since, you really don't have any irrefutable proof. In the end all you are doing is just relying on your own belief because even though there is no proof that that there actually is no deity who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in said deity, since there is thus far no irrefutable proof that there is such a deity, that you then come to a conclusion that there is no such deity, all you are doing is just relying on belief just like I'm relying on belief and that what it really boils down to is just that it is all a matter of belief.

          July 12, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          Can you provide irrefutable proof that there are no such creatures as fairies and leprechauns out there who do not want to be made known? How about irrefutable proof that any of the other gods that humans have worshipped isn't real while you're at it? When you're talking about such magical things as gods and little folk how can anyone ever prove that they were never real? The people who still believe in these other creatures and gods all rely upon the exact same faith that you cite as proof, correct? Do you take their claims seriously?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • kevinite

          No I can't prove that there are or there are not any leprechauns, or fairies, or gremlins, or gnomes, or elves or whether or not there are any supernatural beings in the first place. That it is all a matter of belief.

          So, while we're at it what about also providing proof that there is no such God who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in said God. Since you are making the claim that there is no such God and I'm only making the claim of belief in such a being, then guess who has the burden of proof to establish their claim; that is unless you are making the claim that you only believe that there is no such God.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          If you want to believe in God no matter how illogical it is, I'm fine with that. Do you believe in all these beings? If not, I would be curious why you'd accept one being from this set of elusive characters that you just have to have faith in, and not the others.

          I never claimed that God didn't exist, did I? He could be real. However, the typical Christian Eternal All-knowing Trinity God who happens to also have a personal interest in what you do in the bedroom just seems too ridiculous to be anything but a human construct, and a jerry-built one at that. That God I don't think could exist in a logical universe. If he still exists, I cannot be blamed for not believing the claims that he did. That's why I always maintain that I'm just not convinced by claims such as yours.

          I assume that you have reasons why you believe in God? Care to discuss them?

          July 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • kevinite

          Actually you did claim that basically God the Father and of the Bible as well as Jesus Christ you did not believe in which is why I went by you not believeing in such a God. To me such a God exists because of the purpose I believe for us being her on this earth to live is to test us in following the teachings and that mastering those teachings brings about a state of happinessand greator personal development. An important aspect of that is developing any working upon a stronger happier family and that morals and guidelines given for creating and maintaining those families is a way to develop that mastery of those teachings from God that greater happiness and greater development of our well being,

          As to he whole trinity thing, what makes you think I believe in that?

          July 14, 2014 at 2:03 am |
      • kevinite

        Kudalk,

        If you really think that I believe in a God that was so dictatorial why would I then believe that you are actually free to criticize? I know you think that it is because there is no such God, but if I as a believer that believes there is such a God, that belief would only fit if I believe that God actually let us have that freedom to choose in the first place. If I believe God was so dictatorial then I would believe that there would be no use for God to go with reliance on faith.

        July 12, 2014 at 2:22 am |
        • ssq41

          kev, read more.

          Dictators are criticized all the time, at great cost to the one's criticizing. Kudlak will end up in your God's hell (if he exists). Only a dictator would give you a "choice" and then make you suffer for not choosing his "choice."

          You should read "Escape from Freedom" by Fromm and Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" to get a better idea of why you are so attracted to your dictator-god.

          July 12, 2014 at 2:45 am |
        • kevinite

          Actually anyone who administers laws including legislators give a choice and those who enforce those laws like under the executive branch would make you suffer for breaking those laws. That's what makes a law a law. If you choose to break that law poor deary the justice system does apply.

          After all, we are talking about knowingly given the warning and knowingly given the choice and despite that when one chooses to willfully defy and then says that the ones who administer those laws are nothing but mean, awful, dictators who are not nice to those who willfully defy the warnings when they were already warned and given the choice, does not necessarily mean that is truly case to those who administers those laws.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          Also, in any dictatorship, there are those who at least believe that they reap some benefit from siding with the dictator. They also believe that they are protected from the wrath that dissidents face. Am I describing you here too?

          July 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • kevinite

          That also applies to any democratic based system as well that those who obeys those laws will reap some benefit as well and that they also believe that they are protected from the wrath of those dissident criminals would face. Am I describing you here too?

          July 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          Funny! Those who choose to disobey democratic governments in principle are anarchists, not dissidents. It's a choice to live without any law rather than a choice to disobey an unjust law.

          So, no, you are not describing me at all. I choose to live according to a morality that I have some say in, not one that was originally imposed upon an ancient people, hopelessly removed from my culture. In context with government systems it's more akin to preferring our modern western democracies to something like Imperial China, not running free in the woods with my gun collection afraid of the feds.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • kevinite

          If you want to chose what your morals are that's fine but my beliefs are actually that morals are somehting that are already in place, and the choice is whether or not to choose to follow those already set morals. And the thing is you actually do get to choose whether or not to follow those morals and that I believe in a God who despites wwanting us to follow those morals still none the less let us choose for ourselves anyway. That would seem pretty free going for such an omnipotent dictator.

          July 14, 2014 at 1:37 am |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          Hitler gave fair warning what he would to the Jews once he came to power too, but does that make the Final Solution a just law? Every single Jew had the "choice" to flee, but does that make what he did excusable?

          TTFN Talk to you later. Good discussion.

          July 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • kevinite

          And yet here we are actually discussing diffences of opinion inspite of the concept of an all powerful and all knowing being who if trually dictatorial would more than likely inhibit us from having such opposing views in the first place. To put it in your Hitler analogy our choice whether to flee or not to flee is still up for grabs. That would be an unsusal rule for a all powerful dictator who is already in power.

          July 14, 2014 at 1:45 am |
  20. snuffleupagus

    By Theo: "Truth" on the other hand is an entirely different matter. People don't get to make up their own "truth," since truth is what truth is, and it is outside of us. Truth is discovered and revealed, not created. " Quote, unquote.

    Reading this, and what followed, leads mt to believe that this person suffers from a severe case of cranial/rectal inversion.

    July 11, 2014 at 11:53 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      If you claim that truth can be created, then you are nothing more than a victim of existentialism and post modern thinking.

      That is, the individual's unique position is a self-determining agent of authentication.
      When people are immersed into a culture that on a whole believes that the only ultimate truth is that there is no ultimate truth, the ability to rationalize is either severely handicapped or is destroyed altogether. This belief can only be popularized when entire populations are taught to "feel" rather than to "think," and when this happens, a desire to search the minds of intelligent forbearers fizzles out, and comprehension levels center only around what pleases them and their own unique worldview. A worldview which may or may not align with observable reality – a correlation that few in this belief system actually bother to observe.

      July 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • bostontola

        Theo,
        That entire response is an interesting opinion on your part. It is not factual though. Truth is a philosophical matter resting on a bottomless chain of definitions and assumptions. Philosophers have had fun with it for millennia. Outside of formal logic and mathematics, truth is not absolute and is only useful in approximation.

        July 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Outside of formal logic and mathematics, truth is not absolute and is only useful in approximation.
          ---------------
          Wrong. And I'll prove it to you.

          What happens if I have a "truth" that conflicts with your "truth," how do you determine which one is right?

          Bear in mind the law of non-contradiction – that something cannot be both "A" and "non-A" at the same time and in the same way. Even in India, where this idea is embraced, you look BOTH ways before crossing the street, because either it is YOU or the BUS, not both.

          For instance, if two people are on a train that is going from New York to Chicago, and one of them says that he believes that the train is actually going to Paris, they can’t BOTH be right...

          No matter how sincerely he believes that the train is going from New York to Paris, it is just plain wrong. In the end, your belief has no bearing on whether it is TRUE or not.

          July 11, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          What did you prove? That humans can define things and determine if something meets that definition to declare truth. That is logic. We can define what largest means and determine that Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system discovered to date. That is also logically true. But the kind of truth we usually discuss in the context of the religion blog is metaphysical truth. That is not absolute, it is philosophical.

          July 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "What happens if I have a "truth" that conflicts with your "truth," how do you determine which one is right?"
          ----------------------------------
          Presuming we are discussing philosophical 'truth' you can't prove ether. This was Bostonola's point.

          July 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          (either, not ether)

          July 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          Is Biblical Truth absolute? Here are some examples:

          It is OK to use children as slave labor (as long as they are not Jewish).
          2 Chron 8:7-8,16
          All the people that were left of the Hitt.ites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel,
          their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel had not destroyed, upon them did Solomon impose tribute-service until this day.
          And all the work of Solomon was prepared, to the day of the foundation of the house of Jehovah and to its completion. So the house of Jehovah was finished.

          Genocide is OK.
          Deut 20:12-16
          And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:
          And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword

          July 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Of course there are philosophical absolute truths.

          Is it absolutely true that there are no absolute truths? If that’s true, then your statement is false, if your statement is false, then it’s still false…

          July 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Is it absolutely true that there are no absolute truths?
          ---------------------–
          Is this intended as a pun? I can't tell. The statement is a conflicting tautology.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • bostontola

          Again, that is a logical paradox, there are many.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • bostontola

          Actually what is cool about logical paradoxes is that even in formal logic not all statements can be determined true or false. You just proved it. Metaphysical and philosophical statements are even further from provable true or false.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Many "truths". The Christian, there is only one god and it is a personal god, the Hindu there are many gods, the Buddhist there are only prophets, the Jew there is a god but the messiah has not yet arrived, the Deist there maybe a universal creative force but certainly zero chance of a supernatural personal god, I could go on but which of these statements is true? Hint, they all are depending on who you are talking to. Theo you do not get to tell everyone what truth is, get it yet?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          What about those Biblical Truths cited above?

          July 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          What Theo is failing to understand about truth is how truth evolves. There are many things that could be claimed as true in the past that are now false. It was once a true statement to say that humans had never been to the moon, now that is no longer true. However there are some universal truths that do not change regardless of our knowledge and understanding of them such as the speed of light. It was going the same speed a billion years ago as it is now (though young earth creationists tend to disagree). I believe that is that is the truth Theo is trying to speak of but he is also trying to tie in some spiritual truths or universal constants that we have no evidence other than religious persons word for it. They claim spiritual absolutes with zero evidence which is why the rest of us have such issue with it. To not only claim to know there is a God but to claim you know his name and how he wants all his slave humans to behave is beyond hubris, it is self deification, claiming to know the mind of God, regardless of whether you rely on some ancient book for that knowledge or not.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • kudlak

        Theo
        The way it goes is that you can't make up your own facts, but you're free to interpret the facts any way you want. Christians and atheists share the same facts, we just interpret them differently, that's all.

        You might want to claim that you Christians have some extra facts, but you have to remember that many of us atheists were once believers as well, so we know that this is false.

        July 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.