July 21st, 2014
08:14 AM ET

ISIS to Christians in Mosul: convert, pay or die

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) - Just days after the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria said they killed hundreds of Syrians, dozens of Iraqi Christian families are now fleeing the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul, hoping to avoid a similar fate.

On Friday, the al Qaeda splinter group issued an ultimatum to Iraqi Christians living in Mosul - by Saturday they must convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by the sword."

A total of 52 Christian families left the city of Mosul early Saturday morning, with an armed group prohibiting some of them from taking anything but the clothes on their backs.

"They told us, 'You to leave all of your money, gold, jewelry and go out with only the clothes on you,'" Wadie Salim told CNN.

Images obtained exclusively by CNN show that the phrase "property of ISIS" scrawled in black paint on a number of the homes that were abandoned.

Some of the families headed for Irbil - which is currently controlled by Kurdish forces - and others toward the Dohuk province. The majority went to Dohuk, which is 140 kilometers (87 miles) north of Mosul.

"We did not know how to act," said another Mosul resident, Um Nazik. "Are we going to get killed?"

ISIS was able to take over large swaths of land due to the lack of centralized authority in both Iraq and war-torn Syria. The Sunni militants hope to establish an Islamic state throughout the region it currently controls.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Discrimination • Foreign policy • Interfaith issues • Iraq • Islam • Middle East • Persecution • Religious violence

soundoff (1,316 Responses)
  1. 19covenant19

    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the GOSPEL (=Matthew & Mark & Luke & John);
    it will change the World forever!


    July 27, 2014 at 6:40 am |
  2. Reality

    Off topic"

    Once again to save our Christian friends significant time in perusing their dead founder's history-

    The Apostles' Creed 2014 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (References used are available upon request.)

    July 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      Thanks for your consideration and the desire to save us time. I think we'll stick with our take on our very much alive founder's history, as opposed to your own mythology.

      July 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
      • Reality

        A synopsis:

        Jesus was an illiterate, Jewish, peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Ludemann, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 5-30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

        The 5-30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

        For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

        Current RCC problems:

        Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

        Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

        Current problems:

        Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

        July 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Mo ther Teresa was a UFC fighter. It was also common knowledge that she was a life long member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was extremely proficient in the use of an A K -47, and had a large, multi colored tattoo of Josef M e ngele emblazoned across he left b r eas t. Most surprising was the fact that she was known on occasion to head down to her local S P C A and adopt small animals, at which time she would return home and subject them to all forms of hein ous, med ieval tor t ure practices. She had a special aff i ni ty for chi n chilla's.

          You see, just because you write something , doesn't mean it's true.

          July 25, 2014 at 4:16 am |
        • Reality

          Historical truth is found in the records and the studies thereof. To get you started:

          suggested readings:

          o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/
          17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/
          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          July 25, 2014 at 7:13 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          OH the IRONY of a Christian writing "You see, just because you write something , doesn't mean it's true."


          July 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
  3. Rob

    Human life > your personal religious belief.

    If your religion says that it's okay to kill people who are not of their faith, then there is a fundamental flaw in your belief system.

    God would never want human beings to murder one another.

    July 24, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • In Santa We Trust

      Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. Deuteronomy 17:12

      You should not let a sorceress live. Exodus 22:17

      If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives. Leviticus 20:13

      A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. Leviticus 20:27

      Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. Exodus 21:15

      If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. Proverbs 20:20

      All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. Leviticus 20:9

      If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. Leviticus 20:10

      July 24, 2014 at 9:58 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Rob – you obviously have a very limited knowledge of history... "God" has asked humans to kill millions in "His" name over the centuries... the Crusades are a fine example Deus Vult! look it up

      July 24, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I should have included the Arab equivalent... that they still use to this day 'insha'Allah'

        July 24, 2014 at 10:09 am |
    • igaftr

      Then why "gods people" enjoy the killing so much?

      July 24, 2014 at 10:33 am |
    • Sungrazer


      13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

      13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
      13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
      13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
      13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die;

      July 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      and before Christians disavow the old testament and say that it's all different now because jesus is love ... here's a quote from jesus (LOLOL) himself:

      Luke 14:26 If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

      Luke 19: 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me.

      July 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        And Matthew:

        5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
        5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one ti.ttle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
        5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

        July 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
  4. zhilla1980wasp

    i love seeing those "prayer changes things" people out on the corner. i truly burst out laughing as i walked by them almost not even noticing them.................well minus the fact they have a bright red vest anouncing themselves to everyone in eye shot.

    i pointed at the guys chest and told him" now that is funny".
    he apporached me and asked "what is?"
    i told him "your vest. prayer changes nothing. it doesn't save a cancer victim, or soldiers on the battlefield."
    he replied" well it use to, and it will again."
    i laughed even harder.
    i asked him "ok so let me get this right; you're god is coming back to resurrect 10 TRILLION people.......and then ki11 all those he doesn't like."
    he just stood there with this adorible dumb founded look on his face.
    i walked away with a smile. i can thank him for atleast making my day more interesting.

    now we have to remember included in that 10 trillion revival will be a lot of seriously twisted people. would you seriously want to end up beside hitler or vlad the impaler when this guy comes pack?
    not to even mention let's say you're stuck between jeffrey domer and his victims, how would that turn out?
    let's not forget thousands and thousands of ticked off native americans.

    July 24, 2014 at 9:09 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Why do you spew so much hatred?

      July 24, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        why do you accuse people of something when you have no answer to their posts?

        July 24, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Are you going to ask TruthPrevails1 that, too?

          She pointed out a post in the same manner I am down below. She is right to ask about Salero21. I'm glad she did. And I think it is ok for me to ask about this guy.

          Both people's method of contributing should be questioned. Don't you think?

          July 24, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "why do you accuse people of something when you have no answer to their posts?"

          Wait a minute. You refuse to answer my questions about your posts.

          What is with your double standards today?

          July 24, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • Science Works

          See no evil – Hear no evil – Speak no evil – says the monkey or Grandma's no monkey?

          July 24, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • Dalahäst


          July 24, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • Science Works

          5. My grandmother was no monkey!

          This is the flagship of the Christian right’s anti-science propaganda machine. Nothing upsets certain Christian fundamentalists more than knowing public school students are being told they share a common ancestor with apes.


          July 24, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • Dalahäst


          July 24, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Science Works


          July 24, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I graduated with top honors in science in one of the country's most prestigious schools, so why do you keep posting random links about science to me? I didn't want to say anything, but a couple times I was one of the co-authors of the articles you posted. Oh well, I have to go. I have an 11am mass that some of the top scientists and I like to go to before we head into the lab on Thursdays. I'll be sure to give you a nod in my next peer-reviewed study on the causes of molecular evolution – look for the words "Science works" – that is me saying hi to you little buddy!

          July 24, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • Science Works


          July 24, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "Science works, and that is not the cause of molecular evolution, but it is still an awesome phrase to use. All scientists can agree on that."

          I don't know, I'm just riffing, but something like that. I find pro-science quotes help the peer-reviewed studies get approved quicker.

          July 24, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • Science Works

          Oh well -but Jesus Christ, god created us in his image.

          July 24, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No mention of RC cars?

          July 24, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • Science Works

          Now this is barbaric !


          July 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Spot on observation. My son, you never fail to prove to the blog you have your finger on the pulse of the conversation at hand. I will put in a good word to you to the scientists at my corporation.

          July 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Science Works

          Wow dala – you are a hoot in a half.

          July 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You make no sense. What you post to me is as relevant as me sending emails to my dentist with links on the history of bowling in North Dakota.

          There was even an atheist who normally questions just the religious, stopping to ask you what your point was yesterday.

          And you didn't even answer that in a normal way.

          You are the hoot. I'm trying to act nuttier than you... and it is hard.

          July 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Science Works

          no prole4m AE ? I mean dala.

          July 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No problem PalinTwit, I mean "Science Works".

          July 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Science Works

          Who ? never seen it .

          July 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Science Works

          Oops – use your

          July 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Science Works

          Search Results

          Does the Big Bang breakthrough offer proof of God? – CNN ...
          Mar 20, 2014 – Humans fear death so they soothe themselves by believing or hoping that there is life .... AE/Dala as usual trys to pass off another unsupported (and ... atheists, or more specifically some anti-theists that post on religious blogs, ...


          July 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Science Works


          July 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Science Works

          tracking ?

          July 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Apparently Dala believes that laughing at people means you are hateful.

        A friends wife who happened to be French were at dinner one night and a few tables over there was a person with dwarfism and my friends wife excitedly said "Oh, honey! Look at the little midget!" and her husband said quietly "Honey, here in America they find it rude to point out little people" but his wife just laughed louder and said "Ohhh, you're just jealous that I saw him first!"

        It may be rude to laugh, but there wasn't a hateful bone in her body. Laughing at the Christians on the corner because they are just so cute believing their telepathic pleas work isn't hateful. Sure, it may be rude and those who are being laughed at don't like it, but it has nothing to do with hate.

        July 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Somebody below me said the same thing to someone else.

          Why does nobody have a problem with that?

          Because some atheists have double standards.

          That is why so many people are skeptical of some atheists – because of people like you.

          July 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          The point being I doubt very much that any of the atheists on these boards actually hates anyone. Are they rude sometimes? Sure. Are they blasphemous at times? Of course! But that does not mean they hate you. I think your faith is silly and that is my opinion, it even makes me laugh sometimes as well as make me angery when I see the attempts to inject that silliness into our civil government, but I certainly don't hate Christians or any religious person. I don't even hate Muslims as many Christians seem to even though some are extreme in their violent religious devotion and I believe those extremists are a danger to society. Overall I think religion has played an important role for humanity, a way to rationalize the unknown, but now as we get a better view of our universe it is time to see religion for what it is, not hate it, but put it on the shelf along with many other ancient social norms like bloodletting and trepanning.

          July 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • zhilla1980wasp

      be so kind to point out where the above is "hateful".

      i'm simply pointing out a conversation i had with a religious person that brightened my day.......maybe not so much his day as seeing he was confused by my comment on 10 trillion being brought back to life just so jesus could ki11 the ones he doesn't like.

      July 24, 2014 at 9:49 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I really can't tell the difference between what you and Salero21 post.

        Look below.

        "I was barked at by numerous dogs who are earning their food guarding ignorance and superst.ition for the benefit of those who profit from it. Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source. They are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional "opium of the people"—cannot bear the music of the spheres. The Wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims." – Albert Einstein

        You were raised Southern Baptist. And you said it was a negative experience. You seem to be holding onto that negative experience. Instead of becoming an intolerant Southern Baptist, perhaps you are now just an intolerant atheist.

        Do you ever think the source that causes some religious people to act hateful, spiteful and insulting – is the same source that causes some atheist people to act hateful, spiteful and insulting?

        July 24, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          dala: it wasn't "a bad experience" it was the samething you hear those crazies from most southern baptist churches spouting when no one is watching.
          it's the crazy belief that if you dance around hollaring with a rattle snake in your hand, that it won't bite you because god will protect you.
          hint: the main reason most "snake handlers" don't die is from what is known as a "dry bite" in other words the snake doesn't release vemon that it needs to catch food with.

          being called "hateful" is a matter of opinion. it's how something is perseved by the others around you. the kkk members don't believe those around them are hateful, they believe them to be son's of god. lol

          it's all about how you see the world. i see atoms, you see adam.

          one difference is atheist act hateful because of stimlus we recieve from the religious; the religious have a book that allows them to hate.

          July 24, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You sound hateful. Yes. That is my opinion. No kidding.

          My goal is now to avoid snake handling Southern Baptists and hateful atheists. Especially ones that think they are justified in their hatred because of religion. That is what Einstein might be alluding to when he saw the similarities between the fanatical atheists and fanatical religionists.

          July 24, 2014 at 10:16 am |
  5. bostontola

    Sudanese Christian woman in apostasy case arrives in Rome
    By Hada Messia, Nima Elbagir and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
    updated 6:36 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014



    July 24, 2014 at 7:20 am |
    • LaBella

      This is good news. I'm so glad she got to leave.

      July 24, 2014 at 10:10 am |
  6. Salero21

    Well, the Hypocrisy of atheists is Extreme and their Lying is Compulsive and Pathological. Just Evidence of the Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE of atheism/evolutionism and Idolatry. Very easy to remember.

    July 24, 2014 at 12:32 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Why do you spew so much hatred?

      (Daniel Burke: This is no different than thefinisher who you've warned, care to please give the same warning to this person please? S/he can't write a comment without belittling Atheists.)

      July 24, 2014 at 5:20 am |
  7. Reality

    It is really not complicated:

    Again from my scrapbook of essential theology and religious history:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details previously presented.............................................................

    July 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
  8. new-man

    Eternal life is knowing God. You may be disappointed with that definition. You think you know God and you still aren’t satisfied. You want there to be something more. The key lies in understanding what the Bible means by this word “know.”

    This was speaking of much more than just intellectual knowledge. It can be seen in hundreds of Bible scriptures, like, “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain” (Gen. 4:1). Adam didn’t just know Eve intellectually. That won’t produce children. He had an intimate, personal experience with her. This was speaking of a knowing between a man and a woman in the most intimate way possible.

    Likewise, when Jesus said eternal life was knowing God, He was speaking of having an intimate, close, personal relationship with God. That’s awesome!

    Many people believe Jesus died to forgive their sins, but they still don’t have a close, personal, intimate relationship with their Father God. They think that is reserved for heaven. They are content to muddle through life singing songs about how, when we all get to heaven, what a day that will be.

    That is not to take anything away from heaven, but we are supposed to have eternal life (close, intimate, personal relationship with God our Father and Jesus Christ His Son) right now. It’s not “pie in the sky by and by” but rather “steak on your plate while you wait.”

    Jesus said in John 3:16 that God loved the world so much, He gave His only begotten Son so those who believed on Him wouldn’t perish but have everlasting life. If all you have done is believe on Jesus so you won’t go to hell, then you are missing out on the everlasting life the Lord wants to have with you right now.


    July 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Religion is a solace to many people and it is even conceivable that some religion, somewhere, really is Ultimate Truth. But in many cases, being religious is merely a form of conceit. The Bible Belt faith in which I was brought up encouraged me to think that I was better than the rest of the world; I was 'saved' and they were 'dam.ned' — we were in a state of grace and the rest of the world were 'heathens' and by 'heathen' they meant such people as our brother Mahmoud. It meant that an ignorant, stupid lout who seldom bathed and planted his corn by the phase of the Moon could claim to know the final answers of the Universe. That ent.itled him to look down his nose at everybody else. Our hymn book was loaded with such arrogance — mindless, conceited, self-congratulation on how cozy we were with the Almighty and what a high opinion he had of us and us alone, and what hell everybody else was going to catch come Judgment Day."

      – Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

      July 24, 2014 at 8:05 am |
      • zhilla1980wasp

        yeah i can agree with that. i was raised southern baptist. the hate spewed by not only the preacher but the congregation
        is what made me question what i was being told.
        i was told things such as " africans were marked due to the sins of cain." huh?
        however at the same time i'm learning how pigment cells in the body contribute to protecting us from certain illness depending on the amount of melonine in our skin.

        religion hasn't ever made sense to me. it said women came after men, god made humans ignorant, anything bad was the devil but god gets a free pass when he "calls home children" by sending a crazy person with a weapon into a school.

        the articule only shows another ugly side to religion. convert, pay or die. really? how powerless are these gods to not be able to just do the job themselves instead of sending their failed experiment to mess things up even more. lol

        July 24, 2014 at 8:27 am |
        • new-man

          unfortunately, many have been deprived a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus due to wrong teaching.
          all the sins you or I will ever commit have already been forgiven – past, present and future. "Jesus forever changed the way God relates to mankind. Sure, there are scriptural examples of God’s catastrophic judgment on sin. But God’s greatest act of judgment was when He placed all of His wrath for our sins upon Jesus. This forever satisfied God’s wrath. Since that time, God hasn’t been judging our sins (2 Cor. 5:19). God’s not angry at us. He’s not even in a bad mood."

          "Some of you may not like this, but it’s true. Sin isn’t a problem with God anymore. It’s the church that has made it a major deal. Neither past, present, nor future sins can separate you from God.The only people who will go to hell are those who have spurned and rejected the greatest sacrifice that has ever been made. In heaven, you won’t answer for your sin; Jesus already has. You will answer for your acceptance or rejection of Jesus.

          You might now be thinking, You’re just giving people a license to sin. Well, it seems to me that people are doing a pretty good job of that without a license. What I’m saying will not free you to sin; it will free you from the condemnation and the guilt that comes when you do sin." (AWMI)

          July 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • new-man

        true, you or rather the author has correctly described religion and unfortunately many Christians are religious. however, what I've posted have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with relationship.

        anyone with a relationship with Jesus will not and can never boast of their good works, obedience, holiness, or righteousness because of our selves we have none. it's Christ's obedience, good works, holiness and righteousness that has made us holy and righteous before an awesome God.
        none of us can earn favor, power and right standing with God. these are free gifts given to all who will trust and rely on Jesus' holiness, goodness, righteousness, obedience etc.


        July 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • igaftr

          "those who claim righteousness never are.

          You cannot claim righteousness until you can prove you are right. Until then, your religion could just as easily be a tool of Satan for all you know.

          Arrogant people claim to be righteous.

          July 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • new-man

          prove to who?

          July 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • igaftr

          How about to yourself for starters, then any and all you claim to be righteous too.

          That question alone shows the arrogance.

          July 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • new-man

          "Righteousness is a gift that comes from the Lord to those who accept what Jesus has done for them by faith (Rom. 5:17-18). The gift of salvation produces a changed heart that, in turn, changes our actions. Actions cannot change our hearts. It's the heart of man that God looks upon (1 Sam. 16:7), and we must be righteous in our hearts to truly worship God (John 4:24).

          The mistake of thinking that doing right makes us right is the same error the Pharisees made. Religion has always preached that if we clean up our actions, our hearts will become clean too. Jesus taught just the opposite (Matt. 23:25-26). It's through a changed heart that our actions change. The heart is the issue. Actions are only an indication of what is in our hearts. Actions are the fruit the heart produces."

          July 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • new-man

          If we were weighed in the balances against God's righteousness as Belshazzar was, we too would come up short. God's righteousness is always more in quant.ity and quality than ours will ever be. Our righteousness is as fil.thy rags compared to God's righteousness (Is. 64:6).

          Someone might say, "That's not fair. No one can compete with God's righteousness." That's exactly right! However, God's righteousness is the standard by which everyone must be measured. So then, how can anyone be saved? The answer is that no one can be saved, if they are trusting in their own righteousness. We all must have a righteousness that exceeds anything we could ever produce through our own effort. That's where Jesus enters.

          Jesus was in right relationship with God as no one else can be. He is the Son of God. He is God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). He is holy and pure and without sin, yet He became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), through no wrongdoing on His part. He took our sin in His own body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Is. 53:4-5).

          In return for Jesus taking our sin, those who put their faith in Him get His righteousness instead of their own. It's not our actions that make us acceptable to the Father. It's our trust in Jesus that imparts the righteousness of Jesus into our born-again spirits that makes us in right standing with God.

          "Those who don't understand this righteousness, which comes from God as a gift, become frustrated trying to establish their own righteousness through good works (Rom. 10:3). It won't work. It's an all or nothing situation (Rom. 11:6). We must trust completely in what Jesus did for us to obtain right relationship with God. Any trust in our own goodness will void the atonement Christ made for us (Gal. 5:4).


          July 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
  9. new-man

    Someone might say, “Eternal life is living forever.” But that’s not it. No one ceases to exist when they die. Everyone lives forever in either heaven or hell. “Well then, eternal life must be living forever in heaven instead of hell.” That’s not it either.

    John 3:36 says,
    “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

    Everlasting life is a present-tense possession. It’s not something that begins when we get to heaven. There are a number of scriptures that speak of everlasting life as something we possess in this life (John 4:14; 5:24; 6:27; 6:40, 47).

    So, the question remains, “What is everlasting life?” This is very important. John 3:16 says this is the reason that Jesus came.

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    Many people have mistakenly thought that the goal of salvation is the forgiveness of sin to avoid hell. That’s not what John 3:16 is saying. Sure, not perishing in hell is an important part of what Jesus came to do. He accomplished that by paying the debt for all our sins, past, present, and even the ones we haven’t committed yet.

    If that’s all there is to salvation, that’s more than any of us deserve, and it would still be worth preaching. But salvation is much, much more than getting our sins forgiven so we can go to heaven instead of hell.

    Let me say it this way. If all you did was ask Jesus to forgive your sins so you wouldn’t perish in hell, then you are missing out on eternal life.


    July 23, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
    • new-man

      Sin was a barrier that stood between us and a holy God. It had to be removed. That’s exactly what Jesus did, and He did it well. Sin is no longer standing between God and man (2 Cor. 5:17). But to what does that enti.tle us?

      Sure, it enti.tles us to live forever with God in heaven. That’s wonderful. But there are tremendous benefits right here, right now, on earth. Eternal life is one of those benefits.

      Jesus defined eternal life for us in John 17:3. That verse says,

      “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

      July 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        pure cult-speak ...

        July 24, 2014 at 9:56 am |
  10. Salero21

    Well, well hello there my dear frenemies atheists. Have you finally been there where God is not?
    See that's why I say that atheists are extreme hypocrites and compulsive pathological LIARS They just can't stop Lying and inventing all sorts of stories, allegations and arguments. Just like evolutionists and idolaters in their feeble imaginations. They are all just very much alike. That's why I MUST remind them that atheism/evolutionism/cultism/fanaticism and idolatry are all Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE.

    July 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      So how many extra jumps on the trampoline up in heaven did that earn you?

      July 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      This is about the most fitting response to your hatred. It basically proves that you are clueless about what Atheism is, making the rest of your claims false
      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
      ― Stephen Roberts

      July 24, 2014 at 7:34 am |
  11. ausphor

    You lose, you always lose in all your posts, you just do not comprehend that. As one poster said...
    Born agains and the recently converted are blindly ignorant because of fear, sheer arrogance, or declare they are right and all others are wrong by default. You are a fraud, prove you are not. Dust to dust, star stuff to star stuff, get over your desire to eternal life, it does not exist.

    July 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Well if one poster said that, I guess that proves it right.

      I've never said anything about eternal life to you, or anyone today. I rarely talk about such things. I do wonder about it. I asked a question about eternity, not eternal life, today. So what? What are you bringing that up for?

      I've never said others were wrong by default (which is what you do). I just disagree when others tell me what I believe. Especially when they suggest things I don't actually believe. It is ok to defend my position and experiences. Right?

      July 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
      • Reality


        How goes the perusal of the historic Jesus references? We await your conversion to the atheist camp.

        July 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You go to an atheist camp?

          July 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've read some other historical Jesus references, not just the ones you cherry-picked out to prove your points. Looks like everything isn't as clear cut as you declare it to be.

          July 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • ausphor

          Yes we have the camps to deprogram the likes of you, and born agains, unless you are gay, we have special camps for the LBGT, all the deluded will not be brought into the main stream. Dala you are special a devious mind such as yours would be welcome in the matrix, a fool by any other name could be a deterrent. Mostly sarcasm, Dala, figure it out.

          July 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Hey, it is ok. We disagree. I'm confused as to why you are so upset over this. Sorry for anything I've done to offend you. I get carried away online sometimes. I am here to share. Not fight. I don't want to argue about beliefs with you anymore.

          You are right. I'm a fraud. I don't carry out what Jesus asks me to do very well. But He forgives. That is why I keep trying to follow Him.

          July 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • Reality

          Camp defined as:

          "the supporters of a particular party or doctrine regarded collectively.
          "his views were firmly rooted in the conservative camp"

          And again the references to the historic Jesus studies were not cherry-picked as noted by the complete list of the scriptural doc-uments and the studies of conservatives like Johnson, Brown and Wright.

          July 23, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There is an atheist party or atheist doctrine? Why do you want to convert me? You sound like you belong to a cult, not a camp. Is somebody making you write all those creepy, off-topic and repet.itive messages you post?

          (Do you need help? Type 1 if so.)

          July 24, 2014 at 8:47 am |
        • Dalahäst

          We await your conversion to the atheist camp.

          Who is "we"? Yikes!

          July 24, 2014 at 8:51 am |
        • colin31714

          The search for the historical Jesus is ignored by believers because it forces them to take an honest, objective look at the evidence about Jesus' life. And, of course, once it is looked at objectively, the real figure that emerges from the effort is very different to the cartoon-simple, one-size-fits-all character that so many envisage today.

          If one wanted to get an accurate picture of the life of Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard, would one look to objective evidence or base their views on the beliefs of the Mormons or Scientologists? Well, why is Jesus any different?

          July 24, 2014 at 8:56 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Do you have any objective evidence that the search for the historical Jesus is ignored by believers because it forces them to take an honest, objective look at the evidence about Jesus' life?

          Or are you speculating?

          Who said there is only 1 way, which is your limited way, to know Jesus?

          July 24, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          How can anyone tell me Santa Claus isn't real?!?!

          I know Santa Claus. Santa Claus is love. I have a personal relationship with Santa Claus. There are so many people in the world who believe in Santa Claus and they can't all be wrong. There is so much evidence in books that Santa Claus flies his sleigh and brings us presents every year – how can you argue with all those books?!

          Who said there is only 1 way, which is your limited way, to know Santa Claus?

          July 24, 2014 at 9:32 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Colin's statement is still purely subjective. There is no objective evidence to support it.

          He could clean it up a bit by adding "In my personal opinion", "some believers", "might", "possibly" or "Hey, what about?"

          – How can anyone tell me Santa Claus isn't real?!?!

          Do you follow Reality's atheist doctrine? Or belong to his atheist party?

          Question it. Research. Doubt. Don't settle. Ask questions.

          July 24, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Oh the irony of a Christian saying "Question it. Research. Doubt. Don't settle. Ask questions." LOLOL

          July 24, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I question atheists, especially non-scientist ones. Some atheists are not reasonable, sensible, logical or open-minded. Ones that laugh at ridicule me for questioning atheism? – That is not ironic. That is sad.

          July 24, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Dyslexic doG

          What do you do when you see an intelligent man or woman who happens to be a Christian who has credentials better than you in a scientific or logical field of study?

          Do you try to learn from them in regards to their expertise in that scientific or logical field of study?

          Or just say they are incredibly ironic (for doing something you can't do?) and run away?

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

          dala, I can understand how you must feel, living as you do with the water-tight logic of religion.

          July 24, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          dala, It's like Groundhog Day with you – the fact that a scientist is also a christian is not evidence of a god or your god. They did not use logic, reason, or scientific method to reach or support those beliefs. There are scientists who are Sikh, Muslim, Hindu etc. – does that mean that those gods are real? And you therefore believe in them?

          July 24, 2014 at 10:30 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I didn't say it was evidence of God, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

          doG said it was ironic for a Christian to question and reserach.

          I was addressing that point. Because I've actually seen Christians who master scientific and logical disciplines of study. They do just as well as those who happen to be atheist.

          July 24, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          I" didn't say it was evidence of God, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. ... because I've actually seen Christians who master scientific and logical disciplines of study."

          You didn't say it directly, but what other interpretation is there other the the appeal to authority of science to support your logic-free conclusion.

          July 24, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • Dalahäst


          I'm was questioning doG on his statement. Why do you ignore other people's unsound statements, and try to leap over the moon in an attempt to create my statements into being unsound by using your personal irrational and atheist interpretation?

          July 24, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          "(Atheists) that laugh at and ridicule me for questioning atheism? "

          What is there to question about atheism – it's the absence of evidence for a god. If you had any evidence for a god this discussion would have been over years ago. But, despite claiming it several times daily, you won't provide it to atheist posters on the same blog where you make your claims, or to internet atheists, or to posters whose names you don't like, or to anyone really.
          Is it a surprise that people quickly come to the conclusion that you really don't have any?

          July 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I question specific atheists. Not atheism. Notice I don't have a problem with a lot of atheists on this blog. Just ones who make statements – like it is ironic for a Christian to talk about questioning and research.

          I'm surprised at the conclusion that doG reached. And why you choose to ignore it and try to twist my questioning of him into something that it is not?

          "What is there to question about atheism – it's the absence of evidence for a god. "

          I question narrow-mindedness and bigotry.

          a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
          b : the doctrine that there is no deity

          I will question your opinion that atheism is the absence of evidence for a god. Maybe that is your atheism. But you can't say that for others. Unless you have an atheist doctrine you need to stick to to remain in good standing with the Atheist Camp?

          July 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • Alias

          I tried to explain this yeaterday, but you wouldn't open your mind to the possibility.
          You have a need to give some meaning to your life. It isn't enough to do good things while you ar eallive, you need to think that there is a larger spiritual part to yourself. To fill that need, your imagination and your philosophy have led you to a belief in god. What should open your eyes is that your concept of god is very close to unique. You actually seem to think that you are one of the very, very few people in all of the world that god has chosen to reveal himself to, and that the rest of us just don't underatand. Your arrogance is of biblical proportions.

          July 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst


          I have some serious issues with this. First off, how do you know all that? It sounds like you are speculating. How are you not?

          I can speculate about what you might believe. And speculate what that entails.

          If I try to tell you that, not ask about it, it is arrogance. How is your arrogance not of astronomical proportions if you honestly believe you know my needs and that is the sole basis of God?

          Do they teach this as atheist doctrine in the camp Reality mentions?

          Why is it only a few atheists, who in my opinion are not reasonable like most of the atheists that post here, are the ones always coming up with some theory as to what I believe and dictate I have to accept it as fact?

          July 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • Alias

          I'm speculating about nothing in that post.
          You posted it yesterday.

          Denial can be a powerful thing.

          July 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst


          No, you are speculating about what I said. And your denial is a powerful things, too. Yes.

          I never said I have a need to give some meaning to my life. You did.

          I never said it isn't enough to do good things while I'm alive, I need to think there is a larger spiritual part to myself. You did.

          To fill that need you decided how I came to believe.

          Did you also see me post a disclaimer that it would be difficult to explain. I tried to quickly describe my experience, but not entirely.

          Why so quick to fill in the gaps with your speculation?

          My concept might be unique. My experience might be unique. My understanding might be unique. But why are there so many people I can make connections with in regards to belief in God. Not just in my faith (which over 66 million people share a similar concept, experience and understanding), but other faiths. In fact the concept that 2 to 4% hold that there is no God in quite unique, actually. Maybe you should open your eyes?

          July 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I just looked at that "conversation"

          "As you said, you have a need for meaning and purpose. That is why you accept a god. It fills a need for you. That is no reason for other people to share your beliefs."

          I never said I have a need for meaning and purpose. That is what you speculated. And then you declare what that means.

          I don't think you have the credentials to decide that for others. Especially based on the limited information I have given you.

          It was a good guess, though. And quite unique.

          July 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Alias

          Misquoting and attacking do not change the truth.

          July 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst


          I believe that is what you said yesterday.

          You are the one misquoting me, actually. When did I say I have a need for anything?

          July 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          ""As you said, you have a need for meaning and purpose." – You.

          I didn't say that though. Misquote.

          "Your arrogance is of biblical proportions." – You.


          How is it different when you do that?

          July 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • colin31714

          Dalahhast, sorry for the delayed response.

          I have no interest in playing an eternal shell game of dodging and weaving with you today. No interest in your games with definitions and proof and evidence.

          July 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst


          I thought you probably didn't have any evidence to support your claim. Oh, the irony.

          Do you have any objective evidence that the search for the historical Jesus is ignored by believers because it forces them to take an honest, objective look at the evidence about Jesus' life?

          Or are you speculating?

          Who said there is only 1 way, which is your limited way, to know Jesus?

          July 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • Alias


          You posted, "I have friends that believe scientific explanations are the only reliable explanations about knowing things. And every other means should be rejected on some non-scientific principle. Never mind that such explanations do not give meaning or purpose. I can't just limit myself to what science reveals. So I can fully embrace the scientific explanations. But for those things they don't address – and from what I can tell are not able to address – I turn to other means. I don't abandon the tools of logic and reason in doing so."
          If you cannot limit yourself to what science reveals because it does not give meaning or purpose, then you have a need for meaning and purpose.
          That is called 'reading comprehension', not misquoting.

          If you think you understand god better than the other 7 billion people on the planet, you are arrogant.

          July 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          – If you cannot limit yourself to what science reveals because it does not give meaning or purpose, then you have a need for meaning and purpose.

          A desire. I don't need it. I could try to rely solely on as if life has no meaning or purpose. I'm seeking meaning and purpose. And purely scientific explanations are incapable of providing that.

          + If you think you understand god better than the other 7 billion people on the planet, you are arrogant.

          I don't. I make it clear I'm seeking God – I do not completely understand God, nor have I claimed my belief is better.

          That is you saying that. Either speculation or misunderstanding.

          It is usually others like you who are telling me their beliefs are better.


          The reason I'm objecting is because I don't actually believe what you are saying I do.

          Do you have a problem with that?

          July 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Alias

          Looks like I hit a nerve.
          Too much reality for you to debate civilly?
          Or do you just not like the idea that i can explain the emotional value of believing in imaginary things?

          July 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          This is not a debate.

          And you are not acting civilly, yourself.

          Why do you keep accusing me of things you do yourself? You spot it, you got it?

          I'm trying to figure out why you try to put words in my mouth I didn't say.

          It doesn't really matter. Look around – we are in an opinion blog. You are an anonymous guy who doesn't know me offering an unflattering opinion.

          Reality says that there is an atheist party/doctrine. Does your party or doctrine tell you to visit religion blogs and share your atheism* as if it were a religion?

          *I know atheism isn't a religion. But that doesn't stop some from acting as if it is one. Most atheists I know don't do this.

          July 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Alias

          I did not misqote you. I did not put words into your mouth.
          I interpreted what you posted.
          You don't like what i'm saying because it calls your faith into question.
          I'll say it again for clarity:
          You use god to fill an emotional need in the same way other people believe in ghosts or aliens. There is no proof for any of it except personal experiences that you cannot share.
          If your beliefs are unique, then you must believe that you have figured out god better than anyone else, and that is very arrogant.
          Or you're mentally ill, but as you said this is just an opinion on a blog, right?

          July 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          As you said, you really can't know that. So, as you said, you are just speculating.

          That is basically what I'm interpreting what you said. So that means it is a fact.

          July 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • ausphor

        You have always slithered and slided, about your beliefs, not just my observation but many others. You do not know what you believe from day to day, you are a troll or a poe. Get a grip on what the hell you do believe and express it concisely, you do not follow the teachings and life of jesus, you are a fraud if you say you do.

        July 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh hu.

          July 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • ausphor

          Not UH UH
          But BS BS

          July 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Ausphor, what specifically has Dala said that offends you? Why is his belief in the Lord any of your concern?

          July 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          awanderingscot: The belief in the Christian god is detrimental when it starts to impose itself on reality and denies evidence (you know kind of like your devout belief in incest-not realistic but based off of your bible).

          July 24, 2014 at 5:23 am |
  12. bostontola

    science as opposed to nonsense.

    There is a confusion in some people's assessment of science and it's lack of understanding everything. It is true that science has only chipped the tip of the iceberg of all things that are knowable. We could discover entire new dimensions, phenomena, etc. in the future. But that doesn't mean that what we currently know is wrong (some small fraction may be, but most isn't). It means what we know is incomplete. The stuff that has been tested and validated is real and will stand the test of time (and has).

    As science discovers more, it increases accuracy and completeness. Newton's laws aren't wrong, they are limited to a range of applicability where they work just fine. As new evolutionary modes get discovered, they have never undermined the basic theory of evolution, just elaborated on it.

    That has an important consequence for nonsense. Just because much new science is in front of us, doesn't mean that should give hope to the literal meaning of Adam and Eve, or the biblical creation story, or the Hopi creation story, or the Mt. Olympus creation story. They conflict with what is scientifically known. That science won't be proven false, just incomplete.

    July 23, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      Let us pray:

      Our scientists, which art in lab, hallowed be thy research. Thy theories come ( and go), thy will be done (of course only after significant peer review) on earth as it is in, well, earth. Give us this day our daily transitional fossils and lead us not into entropy ( I like me the way I am), but deliver us from those stupid, id iot, bronze age believing, mythology loving Xtians. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever, or at least until our own little star goes super nova and annihilates us all. Amen

      Yep, made that up all by myself, right here on the spot. Feel free to copy.

      boston – Forgive the little parody. Science and the scientific method is the best thing since sliced bread. I can think of no greater human accomplishment. It's just not the end all for me.

      July 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
      • new-man

        nicely done! you should copyright it.

        I have come to like boston a great deal, which is why I keep my responses to myself. on that note, well said in your response to boston, who has placed a great deal of trust and faith in science – a created thing- than in the creator.


        July 23, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • ddeevviinn



          Yep, boston is a good egg. I have no doubt he will take it in the way it was intended, good natured parody.

          A day does not pass when I do not thank God for the new man.


          July 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • new-man

          my brother, if only we could get the folks on this board to understand the transforming power of the Holy Spirit within the natural man, indeed rebirthing the new man/ new creation. I know, they think it's all flowery words, but there is power, there is spirit, there is life in the new man.

          you get it, praise God.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • Science Works

          Yeah Dev and remember Grandma was no monkey.

          The Christian right’s 5 worst scientific claims
          Creationist Ken Ham's insistence that aliens are going to hell is just the tip of the iceberg


          July 24, 2014 at 7:43 am |
      • bostontola

        Very clever. I hope you got the actual point (science is far from everything, but what it knows, it knows).

        July 23, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Yes, and we are in complete agreement.

          July 24, 2014 at 1:26 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Truth does not ask to be believed. It asks to be tested. Scientists do not join hands every Saturday and Sunday and sing, “Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down! Amen!” If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.

        July 23, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Gravity is a physical law. God is the creator of the universe. Why would you even try to compare the two in terms of worship? i love my wife and she loves me. It is a "truth" and yet we have never once subjected it to the scientific method.

          Not sure where you're are going on this one cheese.

          July 24, 2014 at 1:44 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I thought it was a nice compliment to your post...; )

          And I heard this the other day that addresses the proof of love between 2 people.

          "Love without evidence is stalking"

          July 24, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          That's a little scary. I must have had a major brain freeze ( let it go, that setup was too easy). I knew full well that you were replying to my post, but in the moment I was typing I failed to connect your own little flip sided parody with that of my own.. Sorry about that. Alzheimer's here I come.

          I like the quote. I love my wife of 27 years dearly. She is the epitome of " a good woman". And yet, human nature being what it is, there are days when we are both "stalkers".

          " Marriage is a hard gig."

          – Kevin Costner

          July 24, 2014 at 2:24 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Marriage is a hard gig, my wife and I are one our 20th year, she is a good egg as well....after all she puts up with me.

          I will say I required a lot of evidence that we were right for each other...

          July 24, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • awanderingscot

        very good parody. or how about this one, (too good to be my own really). 'Faith' is the substance of fossils hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.

        July 23, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      You make sense, once again:

      I wanted to share this with you, just a writing I appreciate from a pastor I know:

      "I have long thought that scientists who deserve our highest admiration are individuals blessed with sophisticated minds, brilliant intellects, meticulous scientific methods and notable achievements. But they also possess another special quality. They have a capacity to be awed. They meet mysteries they can’t solve. They ask questions that reveal beauty. They are stunned by the intricate majesty of the universe.

      Listen closely to outstanding scientists. They share how little they know in the midst of how much they know. Listen closely to deep believers. They testify to how much they trust in the midst of how little they can verify.

      The rift between religion and science often gets painted with larger brushstrokes than seems necessary. Public debates on science vs. religion, and creationism vs. evolution, attract broad attention. Were these debates capable of generating heat and light from all the energy they expended, we might end our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. Strident arguments get aired. Camps develop. To even use the word “debate” implies a fundamental incompatibility between two realms. It should come as no surprise that strong passions get stirred in communities where compartmentalized thinking reigns.

      Certain public school districts in pockets of the country have moved to prohibit the use of various science textbooks. Proponents fear that the textbook content might conflict with matters of faith. Specifically, they worry about the Genesis creation account getting undermined.

      It’s hard to believe that any ancient writer would have penned the Genesis story for the sake of recording good science. If that was the author’s intent, he (or they) failed miserably. The early chapters of Genesis make for lousy empirical science. Not that this has kept numbers of Christians from trying to cram every dinosaur jawbone, distant galaxy and Grand Canyon formation into the span of the last 6,000 years.

      The Genesis story was never meant to tell us how the world was created. It is rather a masterful treatise for informing us who created this floating orb in its magnificent universe. From the story, we learn that God appreciates beauty, design and order over ugliness, nonsense and chaos. One doesn’t have to tread far into Scripture before discovering that humans were created for relationship with God and one another. These convictions of faith are hardly at the heart of scientific inquiry."

      Peter Marty

      July 23, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
      • bostontola

        Mr. Marty sounds like a smart man.

        July 24, 2014 at 7:14 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        So if Genesis is a fairy story made up by man, how can anyone say what other parts of the bible are also just fairy stories made up by man. It ceases to become "the word of god" at this point. It's a book, selectively cobbled together from ancient musings.

        July 24, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • Dalahäst

          The origin stories describe things, occurring over a long, long, long period of time before man was here. And it condenses it.

          What if God wants us to know about our relationship as creatures to our Creator? And chooses that story to best describe it? What if under the surface their is a deeper and better meaning than a purely factual story would reveal?

          July 24, 2014 at 9:48 am |
  13. Alias

    I will always be fascinated with beliefs other people have that cannot be proven.
    I have friends who believe in ghosts. They have seen them, or felt them, or heard their voices, or somehow experienced them for themselves. Even though they cannot offer proof to anyone else, they KNOW ghosts exist.
    I have spoken to people who think they have photographic evidence of UFOs. These are not just reflection, or images distorted by clouds or windshields – they are alien space ships. They have enough proof to satisfy them and no one will ever change their minds.
    I also have christian friends. They have a bible and personal experiences. They know god exists, even though they cannot prove it to me.

    I think each group has something to teach us about how people think, but none of them beieve in anything real.

    July 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • igaftr

      Bingo!. ( that is if you believe bingo exists)

      It is that very phenomena that I find so intriguing. Man's ability to convince himself of anything he wants to.

      July 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • Salero21

        And of course you're a very good example, actually a PRIME example why atheism/evolutionism/cultism/fanaticism and idolatry are all Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE.

        July 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Maybe you and awanderingscot should form your own blog where you can share your hatred for people who are obviously playing with higher IQ's than the two of you. You could call it "Liars for Jeebus".

          July 24, 2014 at 8:24 am |
    • bostontola

      My wife 100% believes in ghosts. After her father dies, she is convinced that he visited their home, moving things, flickering lights, and she felt his presence.

      My hypothesis is that humans devote a significant amount of brain resources to loved ones. They are almost alive in their brains. When the loved one dies, it's like when a limb is removed. There is phantom pain, itchiness, etc. The brain networks representing the limbs don't disappear, and neither do the networks associated with our loved ones. They get triggered, and we feel them.

      July 23, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Your aura seems a bit out of alignment today, Alias.
      A little time spent with some Blue Calcite crystals placed at your 5th chakra will help you receive the divine guidance you so desperately need.

      July 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • ausphor

      Someone like Dala would find that a profound statement. I believe in whatever because I had this particular experience when I believed I may die, be toast, t!ts up and all of a sudden "I BELIEVE" quite a pathetic epiphany.

      July 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
    • new-man

      why is it necessary for your friends to prove God to you.
      you all have the same evidence of God. You have concluded that there is no God; so explain why it's incu.mbent upon your friends to prove something to you that you have chosen to reject?

      July 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • Alias

        I don't "need my friends' to prove anything.
        We all have the same proof of ghosts and aliens too. Why not believe in all of them?
        I see how people can develop strong faith in things I find unlikely to exist. This helps me understand how some poeple believe in each of the different religions around the world, just like it helps me understand why some people believe in Bigfoot.
        I have not made a decision to reject any god, I just don't see any rational reason to conclude any of them exist.

        July 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
      • ausphor

        Ponder, if you will, why mankind created gods in so many different civilizations around the earth. Not one supreme God guy, but different ones over the face of the earth. So why do you think you are hooked/addicted to just one god. Think for a change, why is one mans god better than the next guys or someone elses that believes that all gods are well BS?

        July 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • new-man

          unfortunately, it's you who haven't given much thought to what you've written.
          the reason there are so many creation stories in every culture is simple – when the language was confused at Babel and people scattered each taking with them what they were taught of the creator and creation. From the most primitive of cultures to the most modern, all have a creation story.

          If you have no idea why one man's God is superior to and more powerful and different than the next guys god, then it's you who need to do some thinking, reading and get educated on who or what a God is.
          I don't just speak from knowledge, I speak from experience.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • Doris

          new-man: "when the language was confused at Babel ....."

          LOL. I know, I know, the elven king went this way, the dwarf lord went that way. Oh – and I almost forgot, the troll king – by the way, as I understand it, you can trace his descendants forward all the way to awanderingscot.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • ausphor

          From the Koch brothers "you are dumber than a bag of hammers" enough said. Did you know that the tower of babel was destroyed by flying dinosaurs? Check it out, it is about as reliable as the creationist myth. Dozens of Changyuraptor Yangi crashed into the tower of babel and of course all people walked away speaking French.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • Doris

          Yes, ausphor – I've always been skeptical of crash language courses.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
      • igaftr

        It is important, not to prove "god" exists for gods sake, but for truth's sake.

        What if there is a god, nothing like you imagine, that holds worship to other gods against you, holds prayers for you against you, holds all blessings against you...
        In that scenario, christianity is HARMING everyone that believes, everyone that has ever been blessed, everyone that someone prayed for by alienating that god.
        There is just as much evidence of that as for your god, which is none at all.
        Think about it...acting on something with pure ignorance ( as all religions are) can be harmful, even when you think you are doing good.

        Don't you think it is more important to find the truth BEFORE blindly following what you think is true?

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

      I'm also amused at the lack of bible huggers who reply to posts like this.
      They won't even try to explain why my chakra feels 5 times better.

      July 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        All you did was post opinions and your personal philosophy. You didn't even pose any questions. What do you want people to say?

        I have friends that believe in ghosts. And believe in UFOs. I wonder about them. I'm fascinated about them. I read about them. But have no reason to believe in them.

        I have friends that believe scientific explanations are the only reliable explanations about knowing things. And every other means should be rejected on some non-scientific principle. Never mind that such explanations do not give meaning or purpose. I can't just limit myself to what science reveals. So I can fully embrace the scientific explanations. But for those things they don't address – and from what I can tell are not able to address – I turn to other means. I don't abandon the tools of logic and reason in doing so.

        For me – I've had experiences that suggest God is real. It is very difficult for me to deny this. I've tried. I turn to the Bible and other spiritual material/programs to try and better understand this. I find humbly approaching this is the key. I question everything. I look at what others say about this. I strive to keep an open-mind.

        July 23, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "For me – I've had experiences that suggest God is real."

          Dala, you've alluded to this many times but I'm not sure if you've ever shared what those experiences were. I'm curious as to what convinced you, but understand if the experiences were too personal to share.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is difficult to explain. But it is my motivation in seeking more about God. I haven't made my mind up about anything – it is more of a process I'm engaged in. I have been helped – saved, you could even say, by something greater than me that knows and loves me – and loves others. I choose to call that God. I don't completely understand it. I've heard various explanations for my experience – some are understanding. Some are mean spirited. Some are helpful. Some are not. But I know what I know. And I continue to seek.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Alias

          It is a stretch to call this my 'philosophy'. It just shows that people are capable of developing strong beliefs in stupid things.
          As you said, you have a need for meaning and purpose. That is why you accept a god. It fills a need for you. That is no reason for other people to share your beliefs.
          People who don't want to let go of dead friends or relatives are more likely to believe those dead people are still here. That is also no reason for the rest of us to accept those fantasies as part of reality.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is your philosophy. It only shows you that. And others. But not everyone draws the same conclusion you do.

          It might be more about just not wanting to let go of dead friends or relatives. Your theory might be right. Or it could be wrong.

          Not all reasonable, logical and sensible people agree with your theories on the subject.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • ausphor

          Is it not enough for you to be star stuff. That the particles that you are made of will be eternal as either energy or matter? Your consciousness seems so important to you, one wonders why? You are a fraud in this existence and dimension, shame on you.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I just don't want to be a jerk like you.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • ausphor

          Again you fail in your turn the other cheek belief, suck it up Christian hypocrite, face it you can not live up to the standard that you assume you live up to the biblical Christian standard. And you continue to ask why you are a fraud, absurd.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I only have to turn my cheek once. You've struck me multiple times.

          I never asked why am I fraud. I asked you where I stated I was a fraud. Because you said I admitted I was. I told you what you think of me is none of my business.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • ausphor

          So why do you seem me as a jerk. Because I am like you, explain. I do not believe in magic, illusion or the supernatural although I can be deceived by a clever illusionist. Is that what not religion is all about, creating an illusion of eternal life?

          July 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You act a bit harsh. It is unjustified. We can disagree. Fine.

          I'm not that concerned or focused on religion. I hardly ever talk about eternal life. I focus on what I know. And am seeking more. Here is what scripture says about religion that I agree with:

          "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

          That's it. I work to help others. In my church we carry this out. I work with others of different faith and no faith, too. We mostly have the same goals. We don't avoid this world, we go out into it. But we don't let the suffering and wickedness overcome us. We fight on. God gives us strength to do this.

          My religion is about today. Not the illusion of eternal life. All I have is today.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • new-man

          do not allow these mockers and haters of your Savior to condemn you with words they themselves have put no trust nor faith in, yet they believe they can unwisely use the word of God against a child of God! God forbid!

          Jesus was a lamb; but he was also a lion.
          If they want to take you on and think you should be like a lamb led to the slaughter as our Christ was, they should be sadly mistaken. No, I'm not advocating tearing them apart like a lion, but a just measure is the Lord's delight, and we will exhibit both lamb and lion nature as the situation merits.
          Be blessed!

          July 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst


          Thanks. I believe we are all God's children. I was recently reading about Jesus being fierce like a lion confronting the religious leaders banking scam in the temple. ROAR.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • ausphor

          or Dalaa

          July 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • new-man

          while it may be nice to think we're all God's children, the reality is we aren't all His children.

          Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
          Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

          Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God also desires that none of us to perish. I didn't save myself from where my life was leading me. If Jesus is our judge – and he sat with all kinds of people he wasn't supposed to sit with, like me, who says he can't do that with all?

          What if your job is to love everyone? Especially those that you say are not God's children?

          When Jesus said those words – wasn't he speaking to people who believed in God? Religious leaders? People who were getting God's will wrong? The Pharisees? Can't we put ourselves in the The Pharisees shoes in that situation?

          July 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "I have been helped – saved, you could even say, by something greater than me that knows and loves me – and loves others. I choose to call that God."

          Well, good for you. A lot of people go through psychological transformations. I just don't understand why you call that God. Sounds to me like more of a Buddhist experience than supernatural.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It could be a Buddhist experience. Or just a psychological transformation. I've talked to people with experience in both areas.

          So far, God seems to be the best way to describe it.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • new-man

          you are indeed correct, it is God's desire that NONE should perish... that every single one of us should be saved. Christ died for each and every soul.
          my intent was to continue the post, to state the following:
          we're born children of Adam, thus separated spiritually from God, which is why in Adam all die.
          when we become born-again, we're rebirthed into the family of God, which is why in Christ all live. we've now through this new-birth become no longer separated from God, thus enabling the Holy Spirit to come and dwell inside of us – thus Christ in us, is indeed our hope for glory!

          All persons must be born-again in order to be re-born into the family of God. We must have the spirit of God in order to know the things of God. That's all I'm saying.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think scripture refers to God's children as the widowed, orphaned and poor. And not just the born-again ones.

          July 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • new-man

          scripture says the peacemakers shall be called the children of God.
          it also says whatever we've done for or to the least amongst us -widows, orphans, poor etc. we've done unto God [good or bad – see the poor man lazarus that died outside the rich man's gate)

          July 23, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • new-man

          to the point you made regarding the Pharisees – do you know that self-righteousness (believing in your own goodness instead of Jesus' goodness is the worst sin of all).
          So even though the Pharisees believed in God, they believed it was their doing that made them righteous. Not so.
          all of us are on even ground. it is the man who recognizes he's nothing without God, who doesn't trust in his good works but put his faith and trust in what Jesus has already done who is justified before God.

          have to run... will revisit this topic as time permits.

          July 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think Jesus made those comments you shared to the religious leaders. Not something to say to people that don't know God. Not meant to say only you and your ilk are God's children.

          July 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • ausphor

          Sh!t new-man what is it I have to do but grovel in the face of the lord thy god to forgive my supposed transgressions and sins (whatever that is supposed that is to be) I think I will pass on your delusion.

          July 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
  14. bostontola

    nonscience as opposed to nonsense.

    Art, literature, music, philosophy, religion, etc. are mostly nonscience. They are human endeavors to understand a slice of humanity. They are mostly subjective and opinion based. They are very valid things to explore. They are mostly nonscience because human nature and their complex social networks are only studied at the surface levels as yet. Our curiosity of ourselves can't wait for science.

    Literal belief in old stories that defy scientifically established reality is nonsense. There is nothing wrong with belief, faith, passion, bias, etc., just about all humans rely on most of those things to survive, succeed, fit in, and enjoy life. There are lots of beliefs that are not in conflict with objective reality. It is another level to have certain subjective beliefs trump objective, validated, tested reality. That's nonsense.

    July 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Yes, good points!

      July 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
    • igaftr

      I would disagree on some of that. Music for example is very mathematical, and there is a great deal to study scientifically. I have been a musician for most of my life, and I currently work in harmonic resonance in atoms and molecules, and the interaction of enrgies in chemical bonds...basically the music of the universe.

      There is an artistic side to it, a creative side to music ( and our creativity can be broken down to a series of electrochemical reactions...currently far too complex for complete breakdown, but it is possible), but there is also a great deal for science to examine.... same for the others to varying degrees.
      Most music can be defined mathematically, broken down to numbers, then re-created using those numbers with no loss of fidelity...Most of what is available to consumers loses a great deal of fidelity, but that is only for the convenience, it does not have to be that way.

      July 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
      • bostontola

        I couldn't agree more, and said so in the OP.

        July 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
  15. SeaVik

    “I will defend the freedom of religion that our country embraces.”

    And I will defend the freedom of religion that our country SHOULD embrace, not the version that currently exists. The freedom of religion we have is freedom to choose what type of Christian you want to be. If you think Muslims, Jews, non-religious, etc are treated equally, you’re living in a dream-world (Trivia: Who was are last non-Christian president?).

    “You and the likes of Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachman and your divisive mindsets can argue with each other all day long.”

    I think you’ve got it backwards. I mentioned those people because they openly try to force their religious views on the public through policy. I am for freedom of (and from) religion. We have a long way to go before we approach that.

    July 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      William Howard Taft? The freedom of religion we have is not freedom to choose what type of Christian you want to be. Our nation happens to be a predominately Christian nation. It is also a nation that allows others voices to be heard and participate.

      I'm often at the losing end of the political stick. My views are usually with the minority. I'm not always treated equally. The closed-minded people you mention hate me. Almost as much as the closed-minded people like you hate me.

      I think your plan to act just as closed-minded and the other closed-minded people is doomed to fail. And you won't reach the audience you want to change on this blog. Especially in the manner in which you attempt to do it.

      July 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • SeaVik

        "William Howard Taft?"

        He was Unitarian which, according to google, is a Christian religion. It was a rhetorical question as we haven't had a non-Christian president. Actually, I'm sure we have, but none that openly admitted it.

        "It is also a nation that allows others voices to be heard and participate."

        In theory. I imagine American Muslims felt similar to the Christians in this article after 9/11.

        I'm often at the losing end of the political stick. My views are usually with the minority. I'm not always treated equally. The closed-

        "Almost as much as the closed-minded people like you hate me."

        We disagree on religion, but I hope I never said anything to make you think I hate you. You seem like a well-informed and well-intentioned person. I just strongly disagree with your conclusions around supernatural beings and the problems that result from instilling those views in the minds of children.

        "And you won't reach the audience you want to change on this blog. Especially in the manner in which you attempt to do it."

        Maybe so, maybe not. I'm sure there are millions of people who question the supernatural beliefs of their religion and perhaps when they read these articles and look at the comments, they'll see that they're not alone. At any rate, it's a nice diversion when I'm waiting for my computer to finish chugging through some work.

        July 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some atheists seem very reasonable, approachable and open-minded.

          Some don't. At all. In fact some seem just as narrow-minded as the fundamental religious people who talk to me and try to convince me of their ways. On this blog I have more people of the atheist persuasion doing such things. Which is unfortunate, because I often misunderstand when an atheist who is actually engaging in a reasonable manner with me. I think they are acting like the ones that search me out and just argue and debate, and they really aren't doing that at all.

          July 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Some don't. At all."

          I am open-minded in the sense that I am willing to consider any explanation regarding our universe, even supernatural ones, IF there is evidence. As it is, I find it highly unlikely that any of the many conflicting religions of the world happens to have the right answer. First, none of them offer any compelling evidence (and they all conflict with what I consider to be things we know from science). Second, the fact that there are so many conflicting religions proves that at least all but one of them are made-up. As surprising as it is that the people of the world believe in these things, we know most of them are wrong and it seems most likely to me that they all are wrong.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't really know what religions teach others. I don't look to religion to answer all my questions. I don't have anyone telling me to. I'm not sure what the people of the world believe. I focus on what I can control: myself.

          July 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
  16. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    =>I don't know who your god is so I have no opinion as the specifics of your god.

    BUT you have an opinion it is a "god" using a definition of "god" that is so broad and general that it is rendered useless.

    =>No problem demonstrating that you have a god. Take an accounting of where you spend your money, thought and your time.

    Well, in that case the vast majority of my money, thought and time is spent on my wife and kids. So my wife and kids are "god"...at least according to you. While I think it absurd to label them "god" I do think they are far greater and in much more need of my attention than any nebulous god you have proposed...and definately more than your Christian "god".

    July 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    christians post comments quoting what people wrote about w.hat other people wrote about w.hat other people interpreted that other people once wrote about w.hat other people translated from what other people long ago wrote and finally, when you get back to the very root of it all, you get w.hat some primitive people wrote down based on their primitive ideas of how the world worked or what they say they witnessed. That's it. That's all. Any claim of divine di.ctation or inspiration is just that: a claim. Not backed up by anything more than more people's writing.

    Atheists post about w.hat people wrote ... about overwhelming quant.ities of proven knowledge based on exhaustive scientific an.aly.sis of tangible, observable data and tangible, observable objects. All endlessly questioned and re-proven and questioned and re-proven using the scientific method to insure accuracy. There are no claims of magic or mysticism or commands to suspend reality. It's just reality.

    July 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • kevinite

      Just what the proof there is that is factually overwhelming that shows that there is no God who requires faith and belief as opposed to to assured knowledge?

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

        The reality is that no factual data cannot irrefutably confirm nor deny the existence of any such deity. Any such conclusions made about a God who does not want to be made known in the first place that based on the evidence is subjective no matter how scientifically grounded that evidence is.

        July 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • bostontola

          Where did the OP conclude that there is proof that no God exists?

          I only read a statement contrasting the evidence behind religion and science. I would conclude that religions are founded on speculation and poetry, while science is founded on objective validated facts.

          That doesn't prove anything, just a compelling contrast.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • Woody

          "Any such conclusions made about a God who does not want to be made known......"

          If your god doesn't want to be made known, where did the idea of it's existence originate?

          July 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • kevinite

          Woody, let's see where do I believe this idea about God originate? That could have very well been since within a generation since Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

          July 24, 2014 at 7:51 am |
        • Woody

          "..........Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden."

          Bwahahaaaaa!!! The old dust man, rib woman and talking snake story. I assume you're a reasonably intelligent, somewhat educated adult. You actually BELIEVE that this ridiculous, nonsensical children's story is historical fact? Thank god I'm an atheist. (In case you have a problem figuring it out, the preceding sentence is satire).

          July 24, 2014 at 10:29 am |
      • MidwestKen

        But most other things, e.g. communism, are testable, religion is not.

        July 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • kevinite

          Whether it is testable or not that still doesn't change the point. It also to me confirms that there are certain truths out there that cannot be made known without first-hand experience like knowing what salt tastes like.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Mispost. Meant for response below.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          The taste of salt is a subjective experience, not what I would consider "truth" in any sense.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • kevinite

          Of course it is subjective, and it is something that cannot be made known through any other means as well. Not everything can be made known objectively.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          ... and there is no true taste of salt either.

          Dreams are subjective and not known objectively, does that make them true?

          July 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • kevinite

          I think Ken that your comment needs some more salt,

          July 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • kevinite

          That you cannot prove that all dreams everywhere are not true. It is all a matter of belief.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Ok, had to chuckle on the last salt comment.

          Ah, back to the 'can't prove its not true' defense.
          I disagree that it is all a matter of belief.
          Thereis no known mechanism for dreams becoming real and no experience to base such a belief on, at least none that is outside random chance anyway, so there is no compelling reason to think any become / are real.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        kevin, did you miss the point or are you trying to change the subject?

        July 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • kevinite

          I'm not missing the point or changing the subject. I'm saying that I believe you are mistaken.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          so I am mistaken that the only evidence Christians have for their god is millennia of people re-writing about other people's writings? While atheists have endless scientific proof that the bible is a book of man made stories.

          How am I mistaken?

          July 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • kevinite

          That I'm only basing my conclusions on belief as opposed to assured knowledge and that it is you who has the burden of proof to establish that here is no such God who does not want to be made known in the first place, which so far you haven't done; that is unless you are only claiming that that you merely believe that there is no such God.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • colin31714

          Actually Kevinite, Dog is right. He who claims something exists really is the one who needs the evidence, because it is he who is making the assertion. To ask for evidence of non existence is absurd. There is no evidence God does not exist. What "evidence" could there be? Think about it. What possible evidence of non-existence can there be? By definition, there is no evidence of a negative. What evidence is there that Santa Claus does not exist? What evidence is there that the Hindu god Shiva does not exist?

          That is the fundamental difference between there being no proof of a fact and there being "no evidence of a non-fact." The latter is meaningless.

          He is also correct that Christianity is based 100% on a small series of events (the supposed virgin birth, miracles and subsequent execution and resurrection of Jesus Christ) about allegedly occurred in the Middle East 2,000 years ago. The only evidence we have of those facts are the gospels – as we have them today. They are not just highly suspect, they are totally unbelievable, given their extraordinary claims.

          but for the fact that they are considered "holy scripture" by so many, they would quickly be dismissed as ancient myth.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          and the fact that Christians parade fragments of papyrus or parchment with writing on it as any sort of proof of authenticity is a joke. All it proves is that someone in their cult once wrote the story down. It doesn't prove anything ever happened. What a scam!!

          July 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • kevinite

          Think about it colin, what evidence could there be that there is no God who does not want to be made known in the first place? What evidence could there be that there is no Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny? Well colin, there is none that's why it's all a matter of belief just like it's a matter of belief that there is no God who does not want to be made known in the first place. Admit it all you and doggie really have is just your belief.

          July 24, 2014 at 1:14 am |
        • colin31714

          Kevinite, you said "Think about it colin, what evidence could there be that there is no God who does not want to be made known in the first place?"

          Nice cop out. I guess an omnipotent being that did not want to be made known could achieve that end, but given that 1.2 billion people claim to know your Christian god, he isn't very good at it. If that is your hypothesis, you might like to reconsider. It might also make it a bit difficult for you to explain his frequent appearances in the Old Testament and his sending his son to die on the cross, hey? His son did nothing but talk about his father the whole time he was here?

          "I wish that kid would just shut up...."

          July 24, 2014 at 8:35 am |
        • kevinite

          Frankly, there not being 100% of the population 100% means that the omnipotent God is doing a perfect job of not wanting to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in order to get to know on a personal level as opposed to making it an established fact like coming to know what salt tastes like.

          To paraphrase that this is life eternal to know God and his son Jesus Christ who he has sent. That can only be done on a personal level. It can be done to develop and strengthen our faith. We may not know everything about God but we can know about God through trying to follow the teachings and the example set by his son who talked all about him but yet the father wasn't revealed to them.

          When God did appear to men is wasn't to everybody. Even God's chosen people didn't see God. Just like with the plague of poisonous serpents the Israelites had to have faith in seeing the serpent on the staff of Moses to be healed which many refused to do it thinking that would be so ludicrous they also had to rely on faith in God in general, even God's chosen people.

          So yeah, we are talking about a God who according to the Gospels when Jesus said to the Apostle Thomas when he saw the resurrected Jesus about how blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe. If God wanted to be made known, he would reveal himself to everyone throughout time. So, it's no cop out and it never has been. In fact I believe that is the reason why we were put here in this life of mortality in the first place was to be tested and see if we will follow those moral guidelines of our own free will and not because we merely have to.

          July 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Dyslexic: here's an *atheist* who directly disagrees with you... (& your scientism)

      “Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as science without presuppositions…a philosophy, a ‘faith’ must always be there first, so that science can acquire from it a direction, a meaning, a limit, a method, a right to exist…It is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science.”
      -Friedrich Nietzsche

      July 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Dyslexic: and here's another *atheist* who presses the point home...

        "In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some intangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and se.xual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on."
        -David Foster Wallace

        You have chosen to "worship" science. Think that out in Wallace's critique here.

        July 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          I would disagree that 1) a philosophy is "faith" and 2) that one is necessary first. Unless experience is a philosophy.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen:
          PRE-suppositions are givens/suppositions PRIOR to experience.
          while some might object to the notion of "taken on faith" (interesting that Nietzsche doesn't – even choosing that term purposefully), what terminology would you rather ascribe to it?

          July 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Mispost. Meant for Nietsche comment...

          However , wallace comment just sounds like equivocation on 'faith', I.e. using a system of ethics as a social contract that seems to be the best available is not the same as worship.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen: FYI – worship (etymologically speaking) functionally means "worth"-ship... what carries the weight in your life? what is the center of gravity? what is the center around which everything else orbits? priority, etc.

          sociologically speaking, considering your objection to the semantics of the term *faith,* your "equivocation" is actually more of a practical, working definition of the term in question.

          July 23, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          and just because some guy named David Foster Wallace wrote his opinion about something, doesn't make it so.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: consider your own logic...

          "and just because some guy named Dyslexic Dog wrote his opinion about something, doesn’t make it so."

          this argument is useless because it a) can be used against any argument (even your beloved science) & b) it wants to ignore authority entirely.

          note well: i went out of my way to cite atheists. i'm not one. if you can't even hear objections from those who SHARE your basic convictions, to whom will you listen?

          July 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Unless you know of suppositons made by new born infants, I don't know that "prior" to any experience is possible.

          I'm certain what your question is asking exactly.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen: 'prior' here is logical, not chronological. think Kant's "a priori", etc.

          July 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          you're being the same as the religious, taking what someone writes about what they think as fact. It's an opinion.

          science takes what it can prove and writes about it. Theories may exist based on available evidence but they are replaced quickly if they are flawed and when the evidence proves otherwise.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: this is an outright refusal to hear Nietzsche's critique. he's assaulting your foundation & you're appealing to the walls. he's talking about underlying metaphysics, and you respond by ignoring that you have underlying metaphysics.

          July 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Make up your mind. First, you say presuppositions come before experience, but experience is chronological. Then you say that the presuppositions are logical, not chronological.
          Or are you saying that we all must have metaphysical presuppositions prior to and therefore in order to have experiences?

          July 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen: it's not a matter of making up my mind. that's entirely the point. you're still attempting to force it into a chronological grid.

          presuppositions do come before – logically. even if your experience changes your views (a paradigm shift), you still reorient around a set of *PREsuppositions* (or "givens", if you prefer). these are things "taken on faith", simply assumed, NOT based on experience (even though your paradigm shift might have been precipitated along those lines).

          logically speaking, these "givens" are necessarily FAITH-based. they are unassailable b/c they are assumed. that is Nietzsche's point. that is the critique.

          to give you a classic example (which i've given many times here), it is the difference between science & Dyslexic's scientism. science purposefully employs "methodological naturalism" (operating "as if" there is nothing than the material, but carefully avoiding making such assumptions). DD wants to conflate that with his philosophical naturalism – which DOES necessarily assume there is nothing else. it makes a leap of faith – for which it has NO logical basis.

          if anything, it is actually self-refuting. naturalism takes as its litmus test for truth, something along the lines of "only what is empirically verifiable is true." however, that underlying assumption itself is NOT empirically verifiable. the foundation itself is not simply 'faith-based,' but is overtly self-refuting.

          but the overall point i'm trying to make to you is that philosophical naturalism NECESSARILY has faith-based, logically PRIOR 'givens' which are unproven & as 'givens' are unprovable.

          that's what Dyslexic here is forgetting. that's Nietzsche's critique – against his fellow *atheists* ("there is no such thing as science without any presuppositions"). you can't mock others for being faith-based just because you've forgotten you are equally susceptible to the very same critique you are espousing. it's self-refuting.

          July 24, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          as I keep saying, I'll take what science can prove over any amount of musing and supposing by humans, whoever those humans are. If musings eventually get proven by science then I'll believe them, but until then they are just musings.

          You're asking me to believe that Harry Potter can fly on a broom because someone wrote it in a book!

          July 24, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic:
          1) again, you are refusing even to HEAR the criticism. Nietzsche is exposing your failed understanding of the very science to which you CONTINUE to appeal.

          2) i didn't appeal to a book of any sort here. i pointed out a critique of *your* position based upon one of your *fellow* atheist's logic.

          worthy of note, however: your denial of historical records is incredibly (and ironically) UN-scientific.

          July 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          Yes everyone has presuppositions, I personally like the term "axioms" better.

          Presuppostional apologetics tries to make the argument that since everyone has presuppositions it is equally valid to start with the presupposition god exists...and it's not.

          July 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          First, you seem to be contradicting yourself:

          “presuppositions do come before – logically. even if your experience changes your views (a paradigm shift), you still reorient around a set of *PREsuppositions* (or "givens", if you prefer). …
          logically speaking, these "givens" are necessarily FAITH-based. they are unassailable b/c they are assumed.”

          If presuppositions can be changed due to experience, then how can they be “unassailable” “givens”? Or faith based?
          Changing views due to experience is the nature of science and therefore would seem to be not faith based, but evidence based.

          Second, Nietzsche’s argument seems self-contradictory.

          If science requires presuppoSITions, then wouldn’t Nietzsche’s own logic also require presUPPositions? Who’s to say if those are true?

          July 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen:

          1) i said "EVEN IF"... allowing for an paradigm shift. but he resulting position would still be *logically* based upon presuppositions (faith-based givens).

          2) virtually Nietzsche's entire project was to unveil what he saw as significant roadblock's in his fellow atheist philosopher's assumptions.

          for example, read "the Madman" (it'll take you 90 seconds), where he exposes them for thinking they're so much better than the religious, yet they are clueless about the logical implications of their own position. or google "eternal recurrence" or "going under" or "the versucher", etc. all of these were his vision for how philosophy moves forward in light of this very problem. in common lingo, he was aware of the self-refuting Truth statement of saying "there is no such thing as capital T truth." and he set out to deal with it.

          in short, Nietzsche was self-aware where his contemporaries were not... a problem that appears often to continue on this blog (especially in regard to science).

          July 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          1) If you allow for the possibility of changes then what is the difference if changes happen or not, the logic is the same. Essentially, if science changes as a result of new data, one of its primary rules, I think, then would that not mean that assumptions in science are NOT unassailable. In addition, such changes have occurred many times in science, enough times that I don’t even think I need to make a list.

          2) Good for him. The Madman searches for a foundation. Just because he hasn’t found it does not mean it is not there.
          Actually, back when I first read The Madman I thought it was a parody of the common “the End is Nigh” preaching of a madman. If the "end" occurs and one is still around, then it wasn't the end. In other words, once God is dead, if one can still search for the foundation of all reality, then the foundation still exists, does it not.

          I don’t know if there is such a thing as capital T truth, whatever you mean by that. I don’t see any indication that there are moral absolutes, but that is not the same, IMO.
          Science describes what we observe. If what we observe has any relationship to what is ultimately real, if such exists, then I think science is simply the best tool we have to understand it. It is the difference between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning.
          Does that mean that there is absolutely nothing beyond science, no. However, I think or speculate in this case, if there is, then that something will need something like science in order to verify those things within it which are true. Otherwise that something will be everything, possible or impossible, and therefore ultimately nothing. In the meantime science is the best tool, and I might say the only *reliable* tool, for determining what is true and what is not.

          That is not scientism, I don’t think.

          July 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen:
          1) i think you are not hearing the categories. your responses aren't addressing my critique. so let me try to be clearer...

          a) science changes all the time. that's not the discussion at hand. philosophically/logically, the *presuppositions* one brings do not. they are – as such – logically unassailable. it's the definition of a "given." you take it on faith.

          b) again, i have NO QUALM with science. i have a problem with conflating science & naturalism (in this particular form, i'm labeling it "scientism" as many others have).

          it's not changes WITHIN science that are under debate here – it's the philosophical grid/lens through which one reads the scientific data.

          a) i don't think you've understood the Madman. when he says "i've come too soon", he's not 'searching for a foundation' as you put it, but he's *testing* the commercial nihilists (atheists for convenience's sake, not following the logic to its necessary conclusion). they clearly fail the test. they mock him initially, but – by the end – Nietzsche makes it clear the Madman was actually the one mocking them. he walks away having thrown the proverbial (and anachronistic, in this case) microphone down.

          the point is: these so-called atheists aren't being intellectually honest. they don't have the integrity the Madman represents. they mock the notion of 'gods', but they have no idea what such a departure actually means practically & philosophically for them.

          b) the "capital T truth" point was simply this:
          many who claim "there are no absolutes" fail to recognize that making such a claim IS (in & of itself) an absolute. it's a self-refuting argument.

          Nietzsche recognized that problem & set out to address it. that was my point. of course you don't believe in capital T truth (as you said), but do you recognize the difficult position such a claim presents? (again, it echoes the Madman scenario.)

          c) you seem to want to recognize the necessity of metaphysics (something "beyond science", as you put it), but then you want to put caveats upon it. how can you dictate such terms?

          for example, just to use a weak analogy: should a computer (a la Tron) expect its Maker to be the same? or would the Maker be something utterly transcendent? (as with any analogy, it can be stretched to a breaking point, but i hope you're picking up on the problem with your claim).

          d) for more on scientism, here's an interesting summation of CS Lewis' "the Magician's Twin" (speaking about scientism):


          July 26, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
        • MidwestKen


          1) I think I do understand your categories, which is why I’m not arguing for “scientism”. However, you seem to think that I am obligated to defend “scientism”. Why?
          This approach seems very similar to asking atheists to prove that god does not exist even if that is not what they are claiming.

          2) Sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent with The Madman. Regardless of the true intent of the story, you claim to not be talking about science in general, but “scientism”, and then reference Nietzsche who is talking about science.
          So, my point about Nietzsche is, I think, also your point about science, “i have NO QUALM with science”. It is a tool.

          Now, if you want to talk about “scientism”, then I won’t defend that, just as I do not defend positive/strong atheism. I will also not defend “there are no absolutes”, because that is not what I’m claiming, nor does science.

          You said, “you seem to want to recognize the necessity of metaphysics (something "beyond science", as you put it), but then you want to put caveats upon it.”

          I don’t know where you got that idea, at all. I acknowledged that I did not know if there are “absolutes”, but that is not the same as “wanting to recognize” anything. My point there was simply that science is the best tool we have available and unless there is a better tool discovered, then putting a fair amount of trust in science, as a tool, seems reasonable to me.

          In addition, that video on CS Lewis and scientism was pretty much a complete waste of time. It reminded me of the BS put into “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        and just because someone, even as famous as Friedrich Nietzsche, writes his opinion about something, doesn't make it so. It's still just his opinion.

        July 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: see my response to your similar statement about David Foster Wallace...

          July 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          once again, I'll take what science can prove over any amount of musing and supposing by humans, whoever those humans are. If musings eventually get proven by science then I'll believe them, but until then they are just musings.

          You're asking me to believe that Harry Potter can fly on a broom because someone wrote it in a book!

          July 24, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: see my response above.

          July 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • Doris

        Russ, I understand Nietzsche's point. The problem I see though with this response and that by kevinite is that I think you've brought this to a much more fundamental philosophical level than it needs to be to discuss the reason or lack of reason for certain things of science and certain things of religion. I interpreted DDog's OP not as something making absolute claims (although it may have seemed so) as much as addressing the degree of "reasonableness" of claims made relative to one another. I can understand both your and kevinite's interest in defending against what might seem an absolute claim, but now the conversation has evolved to center on just that, as if to say that all naturalists rely on absolute claims. I don't think you can accurately bucketize all atheists or naturalists in that way. I think bostontola had the same take as I did with his response to kevinite:

        "Where did the OP conclude that there is proof that no God exists?

        I only read a statement contrasting the evidence behind religion and science."

        July 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doris: that's a failure to hear Nietzsche's critique. remember, he's calling out his *fellow* atheists for holding a FAITH commensurate to those they mock among the religious.

          in making science the ultimate test of truth or objective reality, metaphysical presuppositions abound – whether intentional or not. it makes science into a religion – which again, is something science explicitly seeks to avoid in espousing *methodological* naturalism (and NOT philosophical naturalism).

          the false dichotomy here is pitting science against metaphysics – when in reality, to do so means one is actually conflating science with metaphysics and failing to recognize the mistake.

          as i've said before, i have no objection to science.
          i have an objection to scientism.

          July 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "in making science the ultimate test of truth or objective reality"


          Science may not be the ultimate test of our shared reality, but it is the best methodology we have to date. If you have a better way of determining what is "true", from what is "false" I am all ears.

          July 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Doris

          I heard the critique, Russ, but you seem to fail to hear the obvious argument in comparing relative basis of what one relies on with whatever they have faith in. That, to me, was quite obvious from DDog's post, and yet you still want to paint over it as if Nietzsche's critique can preclude any reasonable comparison of the bases for various beliefs.

          July 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doris:
          1) DDog's depiction fo Christianity is certainly less than charitable, if not outright a purposeful straw man. To say that is an accurate portrayal to which anyone who espouses said beliefs would agree only further undermines your position.

          2) DDog's argument entirely pits religion against science. it's not a relative basis. he wants science to substi.tute directly for religious/metaphysical beliefs.

          so YES, Nietzsche's criticism directly applies. and to say "i heard the criticism" & then advocate DDog's position is necessarily self-contradictory.

          3) not only that, in the OP, DDog articulates a false dichotomy. there is certainly a scientific element to archeology & research. these discussions are not MERELY metaphysical – even though, at root, that is precisely the divide in question.

          in this last point, we are probably closest to agreeing (if we are at all). but i'd challenge you to re-read the OP: it is certainly a "science vs religion" point he's attempting to make, which is exactly what Nietzsche calls out.

          July 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
  18. bostontola

    ISIS (Muslims) to Christians in Mosul: convert, pay or die.

    Hamas (Muslims) to Israel (Jews),This mission is written into the preamble of Hamas' founding doc.ument:
    "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it."

    This is what religious certainty can produce.

    July 23, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
    • kevinite

      So can devotion to allot of things or causes whether religious based or not.

      July 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • kevinite

        To say if we only got rid of religion everything would be hunky dory seems to be a rather naive way of thinking.

        July 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • G to the T

          I'd agree to some extent. It's the certainty in a belief (whatever that belief may be) that usually causes problems. I have no issue with a person believing god(s) exist, but when they say they KNOW...

          July 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          "To say if we only got rid of religion everything would be hunky dory seems to be a rather naive way of thinking."

          Who said or even implied that?

          July 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • kevinite

          Bostonola, when you say that is what is religion capable of in the negative with out issuing the flip side POV, what does one think your implying?

          July 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          I imply exactly what was stated, that religious certainty can produce this behavior. How you get from there to a conclusion that eliminating religion solves the problem is not possible to follow. I didn't say religion caused this, I said religious certainty can result in this.

          Your comments imply that you are interpreting comments based on what you expect them to mean from the commenter, rather than what the comment says.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • kevinite

          In that case bostonola you better specify, because your statement does make make certain implications whether you intended it that way or not.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          With all due respect, I don't have to do anything you recommend. An objective reader with good reading comprehension skills wouldn't reach your conclusion. My words were not ambiguous at all. You chose to ignore the word certainty.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • kevinite

          Of course you have to do anything I recommended. Just don't be too surprised when you have to clarify what you said because not everyone holds on dearly to everything you previously commented on.

          July 24, 2014 at 7:42 am |
        • LaBella

          I understood the OP completely; no clarification is needed. I am surprised someone needed it...

          July 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • kevinite

          So LaBella, So, you understood the OP completely from the get go, even though bostonola admitted that he felt he didn't have to elaborate upon it not because the message itself was completely self exlanitory but because he previously made comments in the past giving his whole POV and because those who have recently tuned into the program didn't get caught up to speed as to what bostonola's whole POV is, well that's their fault?

          July 30, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        But most other things, e.g. communism, are testable, religion is not.

        July 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • bostontola

        No one said religious certainty is the only cause.

        Is your defense of religious certainty that it's not the only destructive force in society?

        July 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • kevinite

          Im saying that religion can also be used as a source of good and right as well, and that religion does not always and is not the all encompassing factor that is played into how is everything is wrong with the world.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • LaBella

          It's not belief in God that is wrong. It is what one does in His name that can be inferred as constructive/destructive.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          There is nothing "good" about religion that cannot be acheived through other means.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          I have said many times that good things can come from religion. That is not the topic of the OP. Are you saying I must say that every time a post a comment?

          July 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • kevinite

          Since not everybody holds on to every single post you make then if you want to clarify then yes you do need to put that into every comment regarding whether or not religion altogether is good for nothing.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          You missed the point, the OP wasn't about what religion gets right, it is about religious certainty and the potential consequences. Why would I need to add religion isn't all bad? Answer, I don't.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  19. new-man

    "Faith is not sufficient, because faith inherently allows room for doubt; "
    Really? How so?
    when you sit on a chair, do you entertain some doubt that it may not work and you'll end up on the floor?
    when you make a purchase do you entertain some doubt that your cash will not be accepted?

    July 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
    • new-man

      was meant as a response to redzoa.

      July 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Sometimes chairs do break. More than once I have tested an objects sturdiness before putting my weight on it.

      July 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • new-man

        understand. however, I'm sure you sat believing your weight would be sustained.

        July 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          unfortunately that's an ana.logy fail.

          We, by our best judgment trust that the chair will hold our weight and we, by our best judgment trust that the car will get us to our destination and so on ... all within the realms of what is scientifically observable and measurable and proven. We, by our best judgment do not trust that the chair created the universe and somehow controls all that happens and can heal the sick. We, by our best judgment do not trust that the chair is waiting for us in a happy place after we die or that the chair can hear us telepathically when we think to it.

          July 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • joey3467

          If you don't already have a chair that can read your mind it might be time to upgrade.

          July 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Didn't I hear something about a new iChair?

          July 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      In general, non-believers don't think faith (in the religious sense) is a virtue whereas religion is predicated on faith. The willing suspension of critical thinking required to accept a proposition despite a lack of evidence (or evidence to the contrary) is anathema to the skeptical mind. Faith in your fellow man (including preachers) is indeed important becuase without faith there is no reciprocity in your relationships – and relationships are important. Having faith that your preacher is legitimately trying to do good is not the same as suppressing rational analysis so as to have faith that what he says is fact.

      When I am a passenger on a plane or when I order food from a restaurant, I have a reasonable expectation of safety, not blind faith. I know, for instance, that there are professional, educational and legal requirements for becoming a pilot or a food handler. I know that there are safeguards in place to punish those who violate those requirements. I therefore know that it is in the pilot or food handler's best self-interest to execute their duties in a professional matter. This doesn't mean that I have faith that said safeguards are always effective, but I have a reasonable expectation based on personal experience that the likelihood of danger is low.

      July 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • G to the T

        Agreed – I think we have a conflation of the "faith" in the religious sense, versus "faith" in the pedantic sense. Faith in things that are unprovable vs those that are established based on a history of similar results.

        July 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • James XCIX

      new-man – "when you sit on a chair, do you entertain some doubt that it may not work and you'll end up on the floor?"

      Faith is not binary; it has vastly varying levels. Even something as simple as believing a chair will support you when you sit in it can involve some level of faith, depending on the evidence at hand that supports that belief.

      If the chair appears well constructed and you have sat in it many times before, there is plenty of evidence that it will support you again and so very little faith or no faith is required. But a rickety looking chair you have no knowledge of anyone having sat in before provides much less evidence that it will support you and so it will take much more faith to believe that it will support you.

      The idea can be summed up as "The amount of faith required to accept any assertion is inversely proportional to the amount of evidence supporting the assertion."

      July 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • new-man

        in reality there are not different levels of faith. For those who have the faith "of" God, we have "the measure" of faith. In the same manner each person has the same number of muscles, however the one who exercises his muscles (think faith) more, will of course be stronger, healthier, more toned, more efficient, etc. than the one whose muscles are left to atrophy.

        July 23, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "in reality there are not different levels of faith."

          I disagree with that, obviously. I think there are various levels of faith even among believers. Is it your contention that anyone who has any level of doubt at all cannot truly be a believer?

          July 23, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • new-man

          Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
          And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

          Notice Jesus didn't rebuke him for having unbelief.

          July 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • James XCIX

          I'm still not clear on your position, though... are people either believers or unbelievers, or are there varying levels of belief/doubt?

          July 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • new-man

          First, belief is a choice. we choose what we want to believe – yes, I know on this board it's popular to say you believe based on the evidence; that's true, but it's still a choice.
          Faith is choosing to believe even when you have evidence to the contrary – eg. Jairus went to Jesus to obtain healing for his daughter; while there he got news she had died so no need to 'bother the master'. Despite the fact that she was dead and the evidence of those who came to tell him so, Jesus said to the man "Fear not, believe only and she shall be made whole".
          "God is waiting for people who dare to believe, and when you believe, 'all things are possible'"

          Do you know even the devil believes that God exist and knows and believes the power of God, but guess what, you wont find the devil confessing Jesus as having come in the flesh nor confessing Him as Lord and Savior.

          July 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • new-man

          "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

          Jesus placed a greater blessing on those who believe without seeing than those who believe because they have seen. In other words, there is a greater anointing on believing the Word than believing signs and wonders. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in signs and wonders. Jesus used them like a bell to draw people unto Himself and so should we. But the ultimate, the more sure word of prophecy, is the written Word of God. There is a greater blessing on just believing God's Word than there is on believing because of supernatural circu.mstances. Those who are looking for circu.mstances to confirm their faith will fail when the strong battles of unbelief come. We have to get our faith so rooted in God's Word alone that we can withstand a hurricane.

          The reason Jesus didn't try to make John feel better with a few kind words, an emotional touch, was not because He didn't care. He cared for John so much that He gave John His best — the written Word of God. That's how Jesus dealt with own His temptations (Matt. 4), and that was and still is God's best way for us to deal with our temptations to not believe.

          Maybe there's a reason the Lord hasn't used an emotional touch to deliver you from unbelief. Maybe it's because He loves you so much that He's trying to help you operate in the highest form of faith — faith that takes Him at His Word. If the least of the saints today are greater than John the Baptist was then (Matt. 11:11), surely the Lord is wanting us to operate on at least the same level in which He dealt with John's unbelief.


          July 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "First, belief is a choice. we choose what we want to believe – yes, I know on this board it's popular to say you believe based on the evidence; that's true, but it's still a choice."

          Two points. I agree that we choose what to believe... sometimes, but not always. And when we do choose, it's a choice about what to believe, not about what we WANT to believe. Not trying to be difficult, but I see the two statements as different.

          "Faith is choosing to believe even when you have evidence to the contrary"

          Yes, but also if you have no evidence or weak evidence. As I already mentioned, the more supporting evidence you do have the less faith is required.

          "Do you know even the devil believes..."

          Well, those who don't believe in the god are also not going to believe in the devil, right?

          "There is a greater blessing on just believing God's Word than there is on believing because of supernatural circu.mstances."

          Then those who claim to have had supernatural experiences would seem to have been treated unfairly by the supernatural being involved. And those who would require a supernatural experience but don't receive it are also being treated unfairly. Plenty of people go to their graves not believing when a supernatural experience would have changed that. So, I guess it seems like an unfair system all around.

          July 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • new-man

          I think I get what you're saying, however I can't imagine anyone choosing to believe something just because they "WANT" to. This is precisely why scripture says 'belief is of the heart', because it's very easy to say words that we do not believe in our heart. It is for this very reason people don't die when they say things like "they're dying for that piece of pie etc." It's also for this reason a doctor can say to a perfectly healthy man, "you have only 2 weeks to live" and if those words fall into the person's heart and they truly believe those words, they will indeed die within a few weeks. That's the power of words, and that's the power of belief. So, in reality we don't believe because we want to, we believe because the words, the thoughts have fallen into our hearts and have taken root there, from there the words germinate begin to grow and produce fruit – good or bad, it all depends on what words or thoughts you have sown. [as a man thinks in his heart, so he is].

          You are correct, if you can see or have supporting evidence then you're not operating in faith, you're operating in the carnal, just trusting in what you can perceive with your 5 senses.

          Correct, those who don't believe in God are also not going to believe in the devil, however their unbelief doesn't negate the existence of either.

          It is only your belief that makes you think a supernatural experience would cause one to believe in God; this is not true. Most people don't seek God, they may say it with their words, but in their hearts they're not seeking Him, because God's words cannot lie and cannot fail, they MUST accomplish the thing for which He has sent it. So if a man desires to know God, with 100% certainty I tell you that God will make Himself known to that man. Everyone who seeks God, finds Him! There can be no other way!

          July 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "It is only your belief that makes you think a supernatural experience would cause one to believe in God; this is not true."

          I disagree with that... strongly. Your god should easily be able to come up with a persuasive supernatural experience for anyone.

          "Everyone who seeks God, finds Him! There can be no other way!"

          Again, I disagree, as there are so many who have not found him. And to say they just haven't been seeking correctly is a cop out, in my view.

          July 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • new-man

          How then do you explain all the supernatural events that was done for the children of Israel. "You notice that all those supernatural miracles did absolutely nothing to help Israel as a whole to follow God. They were in constant rebellion nonstop throughout their history against God despite all of the supernatural "intervention". Humans have always given the lousy excuse that if we could just see some "supernatural" sign, then we would "believe". However, the Bible proves that if your belief isn't grounded on the principles, morals, and teachings of God's form of government, then all of the supernatural "wonders" are going to be completely worthless to you."

          I didn't say they weren't seeking correctly. God isn't lost, so if a man hasn't found God that man has not been seeking God in his heart [not in his mind]... with the heart man believes.
          But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
          Do you know a simple word like 'God, if you're real, please reveal yourself to me' is enough to seek God. God will meet you where you're at. He's not making Himself unknown nor unknowable to His creation. All His handiwork is around for us to appreciate, to be in awe to give Him glory. Many choose to ignore this, instead giving glory to nature than to the one who created nature. God is not mad at them. He loves them just the same. However, they'll miss out on all that He's made available to us.

          July 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "How then do you explain all the supernatural events that was done for the children of Israel."

          Well, I just don't believe it happened, that's all.

          "Do you know a simple word like 'God, if you're real, please reveal yourself to me' is enough to seek God."

          I guess you just don't believe that plenty of non-believers have done that?

          July 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • new-man

          This last post made me smile, because it brings everything back to belief. So you see how fundamental a belief is! And to me, this is one of the awesome genius of God on full display! I think He's amazing!

          I am sure most who experience supernatural events don' believe it happened, even though they experienced it – which bolsters the point I made, that asking for supernatural events will do nothing to make you believe God.

          I guess you also don't believe that for many people God is just a fleeting thought, something to ponder when their life or situations around them is going or has gone awry; and not someone whose kingdom and will should be sought.

          As I've said, if ANY man seeks God, that man is sure to find Him. Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock, and the door will be open to you.

          July 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • new-man

          The Faith of God – AWommack

          Without faith it's impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), so our relationship with the Lord is dependent on it. Faith is what brings the things God has provided for us from the spiritual realm into the physical realm (Heb. 11:1). Our faith is the victory that enables us to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Everything the Lord does for us is accessed through faith.

          Yet there is much confusion about faith today just as there has always been. It's like having a computer and knowing its potential but not having a clue how to use it. Many of us know how frustrating that is. The Bible is our manual with detailed instructions, but just like in the natural, few people take the time to really study it. They are impatient and want to do it on their own. They may reach some level of success, but to really be proficient, they have to read the book.

          July 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • new-man

          One of the areas about faith that gives people the most trouble is the co.ncept that we have to acquire more faith and that some people have much faith, while others have vi.rtually none. We spend a lot of effort, like a dog chasing its tail, trying to get something we already have. Every born-again Christian already has the same qual.ity and quanti.ty of faith that Jesus has. That's awesome!

          July 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • new-man

          In Eph 2:8, Paul says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" It's God's grace that saves us, but not His grace alone. If that were so, then everyone would be saved because God's grace has come to all men (Ti.tus. 2:11).
          We have to put faith in God's grace, but the faith that we use isn't our own human faith. This verse says that faith is the gift of God.

          There is a human faith that is inherent within every human being, and there is a supernatural faith of God that only comes to those who receive the good news.

          Human faith can only believe what it can see, taste, hear, smell, or feel; it's limited to the five senses. Using natural human faith, we can sit in a chair we've never sat in and believe it will hold us up. We fly in airplanes when we don't fully understand how they work, and we don't know the pilot, but we trust that everything will be okay. That takes human faith, which God gave to every person.

          July 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • new-man

          What if I asked you to sit in a chair you couldn't see? Or what if the chair was missing one of its legs and was falling over? You wouldn't sit in a chair like that with human faith. Would you fly in a plane if you could see that the engine was falling off or the tires were flat? Your senses would forbid it.

          Yet when it comes to God, we have to believe things that we cannot see. You haven't seen God or the devil. You haven't seen heaven or hell. You haven't seen sin; therefore, you wouldn't know what you would look like if your sins were taken away. However, you have to believe in all these things to be born again. How can you believe in things you can't see? The answer is that you can't believe in invisible things with human faith. You need God's supernatural faith.

          Romans 4:17 says, "God ... calleth those things which be not as though they were." God's faith goes beyond sight. God's faith operates supernaturally, beyond the limitations of our natural faith.

          The context of this verse from Romans speaks about how God supernaturally blessed Abram and Sarai with a child in their old age. Abram was 100 and Sarai was 91 when Isaac was born. The year before Isaac's birth, when Abram still did not have a child by his wife, God told them the child was coming, and He changed Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah. Abram meant "high father," but Abraham means, "to be populous, father of a multi.tude." God changed Abram's name and called him the father of a multi.tude before it came to pass. Romans 4:17 explains this action by saying that "God calleth those things which be not as though they were."

          That's the kind of faith we have to use to receive salvation. We have to believe in God, whom we have not seen, and believe that our sins are forgiven, which we cannot prove by natural means. It takes God's supernatural faith to receive salvation. Where do we get it from? We get it from God's Word.

          Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." We access God's faith through His Word.

          When we hear God's Word, the Holy Spirit empowers it, and if we receive the truth, God's supernatural faith enters us. We were so dest.itute that we couldn't even believe the good news on our own. God had to make His kind of faith available to us so that we could believe in Him and receive His salvation. We were saved by using God's supernatural faith to receive His grace.

          Once we receive God's supernatural faith at salvation, it doesn't leave us. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, FAITH, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (emphasis mine). Faith becomes a permanent part of our born-again spirits. We sometimes use the God kind of faith that's present in our spirits and other times we don't.The truth is, it is always present. There is no lack of faith within any true Christian. There is just a lack of knowing and using what God has already given us.

          Romans 12:3 says, "God hath dealt to every man THE measure of faith" (emphasis mine). God didn't give us different measures of faith; we all received THE measure of faith. If I were serving soup to a lot of people, and if I used the same ladle to dish it out, then that ladle would be THE measure. Everyone would get the same amount of soup because I would use the same measure. That's the way it is with God's faith. He only used one measure. All born-again Christians received the same amount of faith.

          That's what the Apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 1:1; "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." The Greek word that was translated "like precious" in this verse is "isotimos," which means "of equal value or honor." We have the same faith that Peter used when he raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-42) and when he made people whole by touching them with just his shadow (Acts 5:15).

          We also have the same faith that Paul had. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Paul did not say that he lived by faith IN the Son of God but by the faith OF the Son of God. The measure of faith that Paul had was the same measure that Jesus had. It was Jesus' faith. If there is only one measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), then we also have the faith of Jesus.

          July 25, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • new-man

          We have the same quanti.ty and quality of faith that Jesus has; therefore, we can do the same works that Jesus did, if we receive this truth and begin to use what we have (John 14:12). Because many Christians have not understood this, they have spent their time asking for faith or for more faith. How is God going to answer a prayer like that?

          If I gave you my Bible and then you turned around and asked me for my Bible, what could I do? I would probably stand there in silence while I tried to figure out what was wrong with you. That's the reason there isn't an answer when we beseech the Lord for more faith. We already have the same faith Jesus has.

          Our Lord did say that He had never seen such great faith as the centurion manifested (Matt. 8:10), and He also spoke of His disciple's little faith (Matt. 8:26), but He was speaking about how much faith He saw. None of us use all the faith we've been given.

          In that sense, some do have more faith than others, but technically, it is more faith that is being exhibited or that is functional. We all have been given THE measure of faith.

          This is a major truth that will totally change your atti.tude and the results that your faith produces. Most people don't doubt that faith works. They just doubt that they have enough faith to get the job done. If Satan can blind you to this truth, then he can keep you from using the faith you have. Understanding this truth will radically change things.

          Philemon 1:6 says, "hat the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." Notice that Paul isn't praying that Philemon will get something more from the Lord. He was praying that his faith would begin to work as he acknowledged what he already had. The word "acknowledge" means, "to admit, recognize, or report the receipt of." You can only acknowledge something that you already have. We already have the faith of God, and it will begin to work when we acknowledge this.

          The more you know about faith and how it works, the better it will work for you. If all you knew was that you have the same faith Jesus has, then that would remove hopelessness and motivate you. People would eventually see results if they just kept trying, but they give up easily because they believe they don't have what it takes. That is not true. The Lord has given us everything we need, including all the faith we need. We just need to acknowledge what we have and begin to learn the laws that govern the operation of God's faith.

          July 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          "... we have to believe things that we cannot see"

          Does that include all mythical creatures such as elves, leprechauns, yeti, unicorns, etc. and all other gods? If not how does one determine which invisible mythical creature to believe in, and what is the selection process?

          July 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • new-man

          "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

          Faith is substance. This is saying that faith is real. It is the evidence of things not seen. Notice it didn't say "things that don't exist." They do exist. They just aren't seen.

          Even in the natural world, we've come to realize that there are things that do exist that we can't see. We can't see television signals, but they do exist. In fact, wherever you are right now, there are television signals right there with you. If you say "No there aren't" just because you can't see or hear them, that doesn't mean they don't exist. It just means you aren't very smart. They do exist, they are just unseen. They are unseen realities.

          A television set can make unseen signals visible. When we see the images is not when they became real. They were already there. A television set doesn't generate images. The set just receives the signal and converts it into sights and sounds that we can perceive. But the television signals were already there, before we tuned them in.

          Probably every person reading this letter has watched television when suddenly the picture went blank. What did you do? I bet you didn't call the television station and complain about them stopping their broadcast. The first thing you did was check and see if everything was working on your television set. Was the electricity on? Was it plugged in? Did a tube go out or did some circuit melt? You checked your receiver to see what was wrong with it. You trust that the station broadcasts 24/7. You don't question that until you eliminate all the possible problems with your set.

          Likewise, God is real and does exist. He just can't be seen. He is broadcasting all His power and blessings 24/7. It's never God's transmitter that is broken. It's always our receiver that is the problem. If we ask God for something and we don't see it manifest instantly, most people question why God hasn't answered that prayer yet. They assume that because they haven't seen or heard anything, nothing has happened. That's all wrong. We need to have more faith in God than we have in a television station."

          July 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Sorry to barge in on the discussion, but just because someone says that "faith is substance" does not make it so. And your analogy to television is cute, but a false analogy.

          While we cannot see the television signals, we can detect them, hence the television itself. Your God signals, however, are not just unseen, but apparently undetectable in any way, so far.

          When you invent an God-evision, let us know.

          July 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • new-man

          Midwest Ken,
          this is a public forum so feel free to voice your opinion, as Andrew would say, but don't expect me to "agree with you otherwise we'd both be wrong."

          1. Similarly, just because you say "faith is substance" does not make it so, certainly does not make it so! For you scripture might be wrong, for me scripture is the inerrant word of God.

          2. "Your God signals, however, are not just unseen, but apparently undetectable in any way, so far." See, the reason you use words like "apparently" is because YOU don't know. You are and have been content to live a purely physical life giving no thought to your spiritual life. As said in the piece – you have more faith in your tv set than in your creator. The Holy Spirit doesn't compete against the noise from your tv set to get your attention.

          3. Not sure what that means. However, to see God, all you have to do is look at Jesus!

          July 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          new-man, The fact that we cannot see television signals is a red herring – they are detectable with a receiver and video device. Wind is not visible but is measureable, same as IR waves, etc. Mythical creatures are both invisible and undetectable in any objective way. It is only the subjective opinion of the individual – same as for alien abduction, mediums, bigfoot, etc.

          July 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • new-man

          Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
          Faith doesn't come by reading the latest scientific report or "hearing the all the scientific facts"
          So you're waiting until a scientific report will tell you "objectively", yes, this is of God! You will wait forever friend. Science is far from having all the answers – in the meantime your life on earth draws to an end without you having a revelation knowledge of who your Lord, Savior and King is because you were content to wait for the "objective evidence".... I wish you all the best in that and much Blessings!

          July 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • MidwestKen


          "... just look at Jesus"

          What a ridiculous answer. When your math teacher asked you to solve for X, did you say, just look at Y?

          July 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • James XCIX

          new-man – Sorry for the delayed response to your posts, but since they were rather lengthy I needed to wait until I had time to address them. Also had some trouble with the damnable word filter.

          “I am sure most who experience supernatural events don' believe it happened, even though they experienced it”

          I don’t know how you can be comfortable making such a baseless as.sertion.

          “I guess you also don't believe that for many people God is just a fleeting thought, something to ponder when their life or situations around them is going or has gone awry; and not someone whose kingdom and will should be sought.”

          No, I think that is correct.

          “As I've said, if ANY man seeks God, that man is sure to find Him.”

          It seems you need to believe that, despite those who say they sought but did not find him.

          “The Bible is our manual with detailed instructions, but just like in the natural, few people take the time to really study it.”

          This has always struck me as an elitist, exclusionary att.itude. Not everyone in the world has circ.umstances that allow for studying a religious text in the manner you suggest, especially if it’s not the one that’s popular where they live.

          Besides, there are plenty of people like me who are not believers, those who, when reading the Bible, find more and more reasons not to believe.

          “Yet when it comes to God, we have to believe things that we cannot see.”

          Which is exactly why so many don’t believe in your god or other gods, along with the fact that besides not being able to see them, there is also no other evidence of their existence. When the only evidence someone can present is that they had a feeling that someone or something has contacted them in a psychic manner, it's hardly persuasive.

          “You need God's supernatural faith.”

          I’d say what’s needed is a willingness to go along with the herd. The vast majority of believers follow the religion that’s predominant in their region, and those who might follow a different religion are usually following the religion of their parents.

          “We have the same quanti.ty and quality of faith that Jesus has; therefore, we can do the same works that Jesus did, if we receive this truth and begin to use what we have”

          Oh? Who can you name who performs the same works that Jesus did?

          “Our Lord did say that He had never seen such great faith as the centurion manifested”

          Those who are religious often speak of the faith of people mentioned in the Bible, but with no explanation of what exactly they have faith in. The centurion, for instance, might have had faith that Jesus could perform miracles since that’s what had been going on earlier in the story. But he was a Gentile, not Jewish, so how would he have come to some faith conclusion that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and the son of the Jewish God? After all, isn’t that the big saving faith conclusion one is supposed to reach? And the faith of Abraham is also extolled. How much faith is involved in doing what a god tells you to do directly? Is it faith or is it fear of the consequences? In my opinion, anyone who believes in a god simply because there’s a book that says he exists shows far more faith than someone who thinks the god spoke directly to them.

          “Most people don't doubt that faith works’

          Works for what?

          July 27, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • new-man

          the initial choppiness of my post was due to the filter as well.

          I'm not making "a baseless as.sertion" and it's for this reason, this bears repeating: "all the supernatural miracles did absolutely nothing to help Israel as a whole to follow God. They were in constant rebellion nonstop throughout their history against God despite all of the supernatural "intervention". Humans have always given the lousy excuse that if we could just see some "supernatural" sign, then we would "believe". However, the Bible proves that if your belief isn't grounded on the principles, morals, and teachings of God's form of government, then all of the supernatural "wonders" are going to be completely worthless to you."

          A person seeks God with their heart, not with their mind, and certainly not through their feelings.

          It seems you need to believe that, despite those who say they sought but did not find him. Do you know that God is bound by His own immutable Word, and it is for this very reason the Word of God cannot fail, but must achieve the purpose for which it was sent! Dare to believe God on this. Every person who seeks God with his heart WILL find Him!

          This is my challenge to you, if and when you do decide to read the Bible again, just say something simple that you mean from the heart- If you're really God and the Bible is indeed your words, let them speak to my heart in a way that I truly understand and know it's of You and from You... or whatever the desire of your heart is. Don't just keep it to yourself, speak it out! see what happens!

          There are many followers of religion, there are relatively few followers of Christ. Christianity is not a religion though sadly, many Christians are religious thus depriving them of a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ their Savior-He died to enable God's Spirit to dwell in man, sparing us from spiritual death which is eternal separation from God.

          Oh? Who can you name who performs the same works that Jesus did? = Smith Wigglesworth, John Lake, James Maloney, David Hogan, Curry Blake, Bill Johnson, Surprise Sithole, Heidi Baker, Andrew Wommack. These are just a few, I recommend you use other sources in addition to wikipedia which is an almost useless source in my view.

          I'm glad you brought up the centurion because what Jesus was complimenting was this man's understanding of how the kingdom of God operates. What the centurion understood that even today the majority of people including Christians don't know/believe, [is] that the kingdom of God is word activated, he understood the power and authority that one who is in command can wield with his words. As he said, if he said to his soldiers come or go, or to his servant do this, they all get done. So, in like manner he knew that Jesus was operating under power and authority from the kingdom of God and that whatever Jesus commanded had to get done and location/proximity didn't matter.

          But he was a Gentile, not Jewish, so how would he have come to some faith conclusion that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and the son of the Jewish God?
          This is such a great question, and you have "stumbled upon" why Messiah complimented this man. As a matter of fact there are only 2 people in Scripture that Jesus told they had great faith, and guess what? They're both Gentiles! So, my friend those who are untainted by religious doctrines, are more apt understanding and receiving from Messiah and His kingdom.

          "How much faith is involved in doing what [God] tells you to do directly? Is it faith or is it fear of the consequences?"
          Do you know that fear is the exact opposite of faith? So when we have faith in something or someone, there is no fear, and similarly, when there's fear, it's because there is no faith.
          Bill Johnson puts it this way – Faith is not the result of effort, Faith is the result of surrender. Faith is the evidence of a present tense relationship because Faith comes by hearing & hearing by the word of God. Why? Because it's the word of God that gives us the grace and the capacity for hearing. The heart of wisdom is the ability to hear- King Solomon asked God for a hearing heart. (Notice, you have to be hearing – present tense. Faith doesn't come by having heard.)

          =>In my opinion, anyone who believes in [God] simply because there’s a book that says [He] exists shows far more faith than someone who thinks [God] spoke directly to them.
          Well, I mostly agree with your point. The reality is God exists not just because His word says so, but because each and every single living human being is born with an intuitive God given knowledge on the inside of us, so no person has an excuse.

          Works for what?
          Faith works to bring kingdom presence to any situation. This means peace or calm to a volatile situation; healing to an unhealthy body, to an unhealthy economy, life to a lifeless body etc. These are the works of faith.
          All these things are just an unveiling of the nature of the kingdom of God... in His kingdom there is no lack, no sickness, no death, no pain, etc. and those who have the kingdom within are supposed to "release the reality of that kingdom into the world around us."

          In summary- Faith works to remove mountains. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

          Remember, God has bound Himself by His Word. It must come to pass! There can be no other way.
          Also remember in the kingdom – first the blade, then the ear, then the corn in the ear. Most people expect to have a harvest of corn without even planting a seed. Impossible! or expect to skip the blade and the ear, again impossible!
          The Word of God is that seed. I pray that you begin to plant it in your heart, allow it to germinate, watch it grow and go on to produce a harvest, you'll have no choice but to share the fruits with others.

          God Bless You Greatly!

          July 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Hello new-man –

          "all the supernatural miracles did absolutely nothing to help Israel as a whole to follow God….”

          I’ve already indicated I don’t believe any stories of supernatural events anyway, but even so, I don’t see why one episode of supernatural events not being persuasive should lead one to conclude that it therefore wouldn’t work for anyone.

          “Every person who seeks God with his heart WILL find Him!”

          Seems we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

          “Who can you name who performs the same works that Jesus did? = Smith Wigglesworth…”

          I did not look up every name in your list, but it appeared you included them because of their claim to faith healing. Needless to say, I don’t believe that happens. If people have that ability, they have a responsibility to set themselves up in hospitals and cure those in need. I don’t see that happening. If faith healing worked, it would be obvious and should be able to manifest itself in obvious ways, such as regrowing severed limbs.

          “…those who are untainted by religious doctrines, are more apt understanding and receiving from Messiah and His kingdom.”

          My point here was that a non-Jew could hardly be expected to reach an understanding that Jesus was the son of a god, sent to earth to redeem mankind from their sins through his death. That’s what people of faith are supposed to have faith in, right? Jesus’s own disciples had difficulty understanding it. From the story, one can conclude the centurion had faith in Jesus’s ability to heal… period. I think you’re adding a lot more to it than is to be found there. But my larger point is still that people tend to talk about faith in a va-gue manner, without defining what the faith is in.

          “…each and every single living human being is born with an intuitive God given knowledge on the inside of us, so no person has an excuse.”

          And how about those who grow up in regions with a different predominant religion? Are you saying that even they have some idea that their religion is wrong and the Christian religion is actually the correct one? In any case, speaking for myself I can say that I do not have any intuitive knowledge of the existence of your god (or of any other god), and I am not looking for an excuse.

          “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

          I don’t see people praying sincerely and always receiving what they pray for—do you?

          July 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • new-man


          It's not just one episode that proves supernatural events are not enough to persuade people to accept Jesus as Messiah/ their Lord and Savior.

          1. Jesus Himself could do no great works in His own hometown.
          -And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them. And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching.

          A person's unbelief limits what they receive; not because God isn't giving, He's always giving, but they are incapable of receiving. God is not limited, however we limit God. As Andrew would say 'believe and receive, doubt and do without.'

          2. Jesus' own disciples who witnessed all the miracles He did, and to whom He told several times of Him impending death, burial and resurrection. Yet, when He was resurrected and some were told by the others that they had seen Him they did not believe. So even though they knew the supernatural miracles He was capable of doing, those miracle did nothing to help some believe.

          I know you've said repeatedly you do not believe in supernatural events. In reality it's just the way the kingdom of God operates, and some are able to operate in it while on earth, while others are able to get glimpses of it. In any event, I agree with Paul and this is my view on the subject: For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

          “Every person who seeks God with his heart WILL find Him!”Seems we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
          I have not laid this to rest just yet because most people go by their feelings. You do not know God by your feelings. You do not become saved by your feelings. You know God by His Word, you are saved by God's grace through placing your faith and trust in ALL that Jesus has done. So if a person is waiting for a special feeling to know that they've found God, many will wait in vain because it's not through our feelings that we know God.

          I'll respond to the rest later, as time permits.

          July 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • igaftr

          "A person's unbelief limits what they receive; not because God isn't giving, He's always giving, but they are incapable of receiving"

          What exactly are you basing that on? You think that someone believes suddenly gets some sort of god receiver installed? It is more a psychological phenomena that once you let go of logic and reason, and believe with no evidence, you can then convince yourself of whatever you choose. Your mind will ultimately rationalize your belief, still no indication any "god" is involved at all.

          By all means, show the evidence for this god reciever, or whatever you claim it is.

          July 29, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • James XCIX

          new-man –

          “A person's unbelief limits what they receive…”
          “I know you've said repeatedly you do not believe in supernatural events.”

          Just to be clear, I don’t think my present unbelief would keep me from believing in supernatural events if a supernatural event happened to me or if one happened in a verifiable way to someone else, but most people describe their supernatural experiences as unverifiable psychic events.

          “And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him).”

          As an aside, just what was it he did that should have convinced them that they should have had faith in him as someone besides a possible healer and probable charlatan? Was his mere presence supposed to be enough to convince them that he was the son of their god? He hadn’t died yet so their sins wouldn’t have been forgiven, and they weren’t expecting their Messiah to be killed and remove their sins, anyway. So let’s get away from using faith va-guely and define what exactly they should have had faith in at that point?

          July 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • new-man

          James, continuing:
          "you included them because of their claim to faith healing... I don’t believe that happens...they have a responsibility to set themselves up in hospitals and cure those in need. I don’t see that happening.

          1. Faith doesn't heal anyone. Jesus does.
          Placing your faith and trust in what Jesus has already done. Scripture (The Word of God) tells us: by His stripes we were healed. Notice, healing is not something we will have in the future, but rather something that Jesus has already paid the price for us.

          2. Once again, you believing it doesn't happen doesn't change the facts. It also doesn't mean an unbeliever is unable to receive healing if God forbid, it was necessary. However, that unbeliever (and there are Christians who don't believe Jesus still heals) will have to rely on the faith of the person(s) who have chosen to make themselves available for God to work through.

          3. How many ads. for hospitals do you see on your tv daily.
          Can a person – missionary, preacher, etc. just go up to a hospital and declare they're their to heal the sick, and they'll be given full run of the entire hospital, especially access to the most critical of patients. DOESN'T HAPPEN.
          You have to seek permission, or have an invitation, and even at that you're only allowed access to relatively few patients i.e. relative to the total patients.

          In any event, that being said, yes these people do go to the hospital to minister to the sick. Two weeks ago (July 20,2014) I know Curry and his team went to Parkland hospital in Dallas to minister to people in the emergency room- (the same hospital Pr. Kennedy was taken) and I know they also visit many other hospitals worldwide to minister to people.
          Do you believe if they had full access to the whole hospital they would have confined themselves to just the emergency room.
          It's not on CNN and whatever is done for these people will NOT get media acknowledgement, so if that's what you're waiting for as verification that these things are in fact happening you will wait in vain.

          Some time ago, I made a request of D.Burke from this blog to do a piece on these people and what they were doing. I made several recommendations and figured they would be able to do an unbiased piece.
          There is a story in the Bible of two blind men who when they heard that Jesus was passing cried out to Jesus. The people rebuked them (think of all the ridicule here on this blog just for saying Jesus heals), but guess what, these men cried out the more! (See, friend, when you know that you know that you know, it doesn't matter what others say).

          And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And the mult.itude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

          This is the God I serve, He is Real, He's not a figment of my imagination and He wants to do mighty works for you and through you. All things are possible, only believe.

          again, I'll address the other points later, as time permits.

          July 29, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • James XCIX

          new-man – "...and they'll be given full run of the entire hospital, especially access to the most critical of patients. DOESN'T HAPPEN."

          It would happen if they could demonstrate that they actually can heal people. Since they cannot, it makes sense that hospitals wouldn't give them free access to the place. They are not being unfairly discriminated against.

          July 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • new-man

          This is an outright LIE.

          I never mentioned discrimination.

          July 29, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "This is an outright LIE."

          Oh? How so? Is it your contention that hospitals know these people are capable of healing patients but have some interest in not allowing them to do so? What's your explanation for why they are not inviting them into their hospitals? And no, you did not explicitly mention discrimination, but it seemed to be implied. If I was mistaken, I apologize.

          July 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • new-man

          I avoid the politics of how people conduct business.
          I know what I'm saying.
          You can call up Parkland or some other hospital and ask them why they're not invited to minister to the entire hospital.

          People can go to a church or to someone who can pray for them. Ex. Pete Cabrera Jr. runs a soup kitchen in CA. Those and many times even those who weren't looking for healing have been ministered to right there and have their healing manifested. My point being, the call is not to go plant yourself in a hospital; the call is to preach the good news of the gospel and while doing so, heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead.

          July 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "I avoid the politics of how people conduct business."
          "You can call up Parkland or some other hospital and ask them why they’re not invited to minister to the entire hospital."

          Yet you're comfortable calling me a liar for presenting the most likely explanation.

          July 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • new-man

          I'm comfortable calling you a liar because I know you don't know what you're saying but you'd rather "present [your] explanation" because it's unpalatable to you to see what really is.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • James XCIX

          And so you really have no opinion on why hospitals don't invite these people in to heal their patients? It would seem to me that their lack of invitations support my case.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • new-man

          I do have my opinions... as they have not been confirmed by any hospital personnel (I have never asked any) I will not state them.

          In any event, this like everything else goes back to what one believes, so we're at a standstill.
          That's the beauty of belief! Praise God.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "...as they have not been confirmed by any hospital personnel (I have never asked any) I will not state them."

          Well, not being confirmed is what makes them opinions, right? It's OK to express opinions.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • James XCIX

          We got a little focused on the whole faith-healing thing. Looking forward to your responses to the other topics.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • new-man

          true... on both counts.

          as said before though, faith doesn't heal. Jesus does – He's where the focus should have been.

          I won't get to the others until later-tomorrow.

          I bless your day with favor.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • new-man

          => "just what was it he did that should have convinced them that they should have had faith in him as someone besides a possible healer and probable charlatan?

          1. All the miracles that He did. Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, walk on water, etc.
          Before Jesus, no one has ever been healed of blindness. It was prophesied that the Messiah would do this.
          2. Just like Apolos convinced the Jews using Scripture that Jesus was Messiah by taking them through the Torah because the Torah contains all the pictures of what the Messiah must accomplish; likewise the disciples would have known from Torah the things Messiah must accomplish.
          3. Even the religious leaders were convinced – The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
          4. Jesus taught and spoke with authority and absolute certainty; there was never room for doubt when He spoke- "verily verily, [most] as.suredly, certainly, etc. there was no equivocation!

          will continue...

          July 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
  20. redzoa

    "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
    But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
    For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."

    And so, the fundamentalist attempts to demonstrate the absence of doubt by their outwardly stalwart defense of particular and preferable interpretations of an ambiguous text. Faith is not sufficient, because faith inherently allows room for doubt; there must be certainty. But how does one claim certainty in a matter of faith? Simple. They adopt for themselves the infallible discernment they claim for their alleged deity. It's not just that "God's word is inerrant"; now it extends to "my understanding of God's word is also inerrant" and anything less than this obviously subjective standard is deemed apostasy.

    July 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.