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What's wrong with 'Black Jesus'?
A Christian group's anger over the trailer for an upcoming TV show, "Black Jesus," seems out of place, says Jay Parini.
July 30th, 2014
09:26 AM ET

What's wrong with 'Black Jesus'?

Opinion by Jay Parini, special to CNN

(CNN) - I've just been watching the trailer for "Black Jesus," a show that will premiere on August 7 on the Cartoon Network during its child-unfriendly late-night spot, which they call Adult Swim.

Already at least one Christian group has begun to lobby the network to cancel the show, regarding its contents as blasphemous. (Cartoon Network is owned by Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN.)

From what I can tell, the series is a bit of a spoof, with some foul language. The general notion seems clever: A guy who thinks he is Jesus, who might even be Jesus, lives in a poor neighborhood of Compton, California. He's got a ragged band of followers - they look like winos and potheads - who follow him around with lots of bantering.

The scenes shown in the trailer seem relatively funny, and it appears that nobody is quite sure whether this is a madman who thinks he is Jesus or maybe the Lord himself come back in a strange outfit and, indeed, black skin.

Is this offensive? The jury will have to be out until we see whole episodes, but in concept—particularly if the rest of the show is like the trailer—it does not seem so.

Let me explain.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Media • Opinion • Prejudice • Race • TV

soundoff (1,017 Responses)
  1. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Nothing good will come from a hurricane called Bertha...

    August 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Latest projection has Bertha not reaching USA landfall.

      August 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  2. Reality

    And once again, an attempt to give Theo et al the proper education in their pursuit of the real Jesus: (in the meantime, their words fall on deaf ears as they have not done the research needed for commenting on anything Jesus said or did)

    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– with a review of each

    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
    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
    wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
    12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
    faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
    mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
    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:
    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

    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.
    n-tgat-eway.com/
    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:
    http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
    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?
    in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
    22. NT and beyond time line:
    pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
    23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
    harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
    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

    August 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  3. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Black Jesus!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ORIICgi-0GI

    August 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    So now John 3:16 and all the rest is actually WRONG ... oh say it aint so!!!

    A 1500-year-old bible has been discovered in Turkey. Discovered in 2000, the book that contains purportedly the Gospel of Barnabas has been transferred by the Turkish government to the Ethnography Museum of Ankara with a police escort. Barnabas was a disciple of Christ, and in the work, claims that Jesus was not crucified, instead it says he ascended to heaven alive and Judas Iscariot was crucified in his place. Furthermore, the 1500-year-old bible states that Jesus Christ was not the son of God, but simply a prophet who passed on the word of God.

    August 1, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • awanderingscot

      It could not have been the apostle Barnabas since we know that Barnabas was an apostle and peer of Paul's. He was highly regarded as an elder in the early Christian church and therefore would not have preached a different gospel. Barnabas was a common name at the time and therefore not likely to be the same Barnabas. There were heretics attacking the early church as evidenced by the epistles to the churches, much as there are heretics attacking the church today.

      – As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. – Galatians 1:9, NKJV

      August 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
      • Doris

        "if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than"

        That reminds me, I need to look at some car prices. Some of the ads say "can't be beat". Most of us know what kind of game they are playing...

        August 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "As I have said before, so now I say again, if anyone claims you can get a better deal anywhere esle than what you have received from me, let him be accursed, cause he's a liar I tell you, he's a god d a m n liar!" – Gary from Gary's Import Auto

          August 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        Way to go, Scot. It also would not pass the age test.

        August 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • ausphor

          Topher
          Make up your silly mind; you don't believe in age tests remember?

          August 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        The manuscript tradition was how God chose to preserve His word. The multi-tude of copies and copies of copies remained in the hands of Christians and not in the hands of a central authority. Detractors always point to the many errors that exist but the errors are all very insignificant and don't change the meaning of the text. we know this from a comparison of scripts from the 2nd and 3rd centuries back to 1rst and 2nd generation scripts. The Holy Canon is perhaps the best preserved of any writings to have survived down thru the ages.

        August 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      Duh... See: Gnosticism

      August 1, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Gnosticism is a group of ancient heresies that attempted to combine Greek philosophies and Christianity by stressing that escape from this material world comes through the acquisition of esoteric knowledge known as “Gnosis.” (The English translation of “Gnosis” is knowledge, but is more closely represented by the word “enlightenment.”) Thereby the spiritual element in man could be released from its bondage within matter – they felt that all matter was evil, and only the spirit is good. And because of that, they denied the deity of Jesus, because Jesus was a man, made of matter, and to them, all matter was evil, and God couldn't be evil.

        August 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      These "gospels" pop up every couple of years. Just like the gospels of Judas, Thomas, Mary, Peter ... they don't pass the tests and are thrown out. They are not a Gospel of Jesus Christ. The only ones these ever get attention from are atheists.

      August 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • ausphor

        Topherism (also known as Phileoism), the ability of a person to reject all knowledge that does not agree with that persons a priori beliefs.

        August 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Yeah, and I've said this on here before, but The Old Testament was pulled together into the Canon that we have now by the scribe Ezra in the 400’s BC. (Nehemiah 8, Luke 1:70, Romans 1:2, Acts 3:21)

        By the time John completed the book of the Revelation in 94-96AD, the New Testament books were completed and had already been widely circulated as scripture. The New Testament was not compiled by any church council or by any decree of a ruler, rather, the apostles themselves dictated what the Scripture was (Ephesians 3:3-5, 2 Peter 3:1-2, 15-16, Jude 17-18, Galatians 1:1-2, 12, Hebrews 2:3-4, Acts 2:42). No book is in the Bible that the Apostles themselves didn’t approve, and all of the authors approved by them are in the Bible – no more, no less.

        August 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Doris

          "No book is in the Bible that the Apostles themselves didn’t approve"

          Not likely, given that most NT scholars don't think that Peter authored Peter 2.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Exactly. Which books were Scripture was already known before they were compiled into one volume.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You think they, the Apostles, would have managed to get their stories/scriptures straight. 2000 years of apologetics and even the Christians are unable to get the BS agreed upon, 40,000 different cults, hilarious.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Not likely, given that most NT scholars don't think that Peter authored Peter 2
          ------------–
          And by "most" you mean a few liberal theologians on the fringe of what is called "theology" whose only method of determining truth in the Bible is whether or not it is politically correct.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          You think they, the Apostles, would have managed to get their stories/scriptures straight.
          -----------------–
          Have you ever seen a synoptic parallel? That is – a book that parallels the synoptic gospels side by side in columns in order to compare and contrast. The synoptics may give different details, as would be expected from different writers, but those different details mesh perfectly together to paint a perfect picture of Christ.

          May I suggest you get the book "One Perfect Life" by John MacArthur. It will forever change your perspective and shed new light on the gospels for you.

          2000 years of apologetics and even the Christians are unable to get the *stuff* agreed upon, 40,000 different cults, hilarious.
          ---------------------
          Hilarious that men are fallible? Why? Are you perfect?

          August 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Theo! Excellent work. You've been studying!

          August 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          A synoptic parallel is simply an attempt by apologists to explain away the contradictions in the NT, especially the death and resurrection BS stories. The Chairman of the Board when he died, Frankie's last words were "I am losing it." JC was babbling away about all sorts of crap on the cross, different stories all around, where were the boys writing down his every utterance in their notes. LOL.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Theo! Excellent work. You've been studying!
          -------------
          Hey, Eternal Life is not a statement on a length of time, but rather is a statement on the condition of our intimacy with Christ, and that starts at the moment of our conversion.

          Oh, by the way, if you haven't read yet "The Sovereignty of God" by A.W. Pink, let me suggest that one to you. That one and "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul... These are two books I've read in the last couple months that have REALLY grown me as a Christian.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "And by "most" you mean a few liberal theologians on the fringe of what is called "theology" whose only method of determining truth in the Bible is whether or not it is politically correct."

          Hmm – no – I would say most. Certainly many that have nothing to do with the Jesus Project that you complain about so much. Just to illustrate:

          Raymond E Brown and Bart Ehrman, among others, state that most biblical scholars have concluded Peter is not the author, and consider the epistle pseudepigraphical.[3] [4] Reasons for this include its linguistic differences from 1 Peter, its apparent use of Jude, possible allusions to 2nd-century gnosticism, encouragement in the wake of a delayed parousia, and weak external support.[5]

          3. Brown, Raymond E., Introduction to the New Testament, Anchor Bible, 1997, ISBN 0-385-24767-2. p. 767 "the pseudonymity of II Pet is more certain than that of any other NT work."
          4. Erhman, Bart (2005). Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Harper Collins. p. 31 "Evidence comes in the final book of the New Testament to be written, 2 Peter, a book that most critical scholars believe was not actually written by Peter but by one of his followers, pseudonymously.". ISBN 978-0-06-182514-9.
          5. Grant, Robert M. A Historical Introduction To The New Testament, chap. 14.

          =====

          from Bible.org:

          "Most conservative evangelicals hold to the traditional view that Peter was the author, but historical and literary critics have almost unanimously concluded that to be impossible.

          The rejection of Peter as the writer of 2 Peter is by far the most common opinion today. In fact, the view of the pseudonymity of the epistle is almost universal.

          The history of the acceptance of 2 Peter into the New Testament canon has all the grace of a college hazing event. This epistle was examined, prayed over, considered, and debated more than any other New Testament book—including Revelation."

          =====

          Michael J. Kruger, “The Authenticity of 2 Peter, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 42.4 (1999):

          "J. N. D. Kelly in his commentary on 2 Peter confesses that 'scarcely anyone nowadays
          doubts that 2 Peter is pseudonymous.' [1] Indeed, from the very start this epistle has had a difficult journey. It was received into the New Testament canon with hesitation, considered second-class Scripture by Luther, reluctantly accepted by Calvin, rejected by Erasmus, and now is repudiated as pseudonymous by modern scholarship. Joseph B. Mayor agrees with the current consensus when he declares that 2 Peter “was not written by the author of 1 Peter, whom we have every reason to believe to have been the Apostle St. Peter himself .... We conclude, therefore, that the second Epistle is not authentic.” [2]

          "The argument against the authenticity of 2 Peter turns on three main problems: (1) problem of external attestation in the early church; (2) stylistic and literary problems with 1 Peter and Jude; and (3) historical and doctrinal problems that seem to indicate internal inconsistency and a late date. Undoubtedly, 2 Peter has a plethora of problems. Most scholars believe its path towards canonical status was littered with pitfalls and detours for good reason."

          1. J. N. D. Kelly,
          A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and of Jude
          (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1969) 235.
          2. Joseph B. Mayor,
          The Epistles of Jude and II Peter
          (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979) cxxiv.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          A synoptic parallel is simply an attempt by apologists to explain away the contradictions in the NT
          -----------------–
          No, one of the reasons that a synoptic parallel exists is to prove to atheists who claim there are contradictions that they don't have a leg to stand on.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Theo Phileo

          I'll have to look into them. Thanks. I do have that MacArthur book you mentioned earlier, though.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doris

          Ehrman is an agnostic historian (and not theologian) who at least admits we KNOW Jesus existed.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "No, one of the reasons that a synoptic parallel exists is to prove to atheists who claim there are contradictions that they don't have a leg to stand on."

          Theo, I think you mean "..parallel exists is to try to prove to ...."

          After all, we're talking about texts of highly-questionable authorship/source.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • Reality

          Please peruse the review of 2 Peter at http://earlychristianwritings.com/2peter.html.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Doris

          Yes, Topher, and I wasn't claiming that someone named Jesus that Paul, Luke, etc. writes about did not exist.

          I believe the point I was discussing of Theo's was this:

          "No book is in the Bible that the Apostles themselves didn’t approve"

          August 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Deny all you want but synoptic parallels were created by apologists because when people actually got to read the scriptures, denied to them for 1500 years by the scam artists, they began to realize that the accounts did not make sense, contradicted each other. So to the rescue come in the apologist to make the BS palatable/believable to the sheep. You and Topher are prime examples of BS baffles brains.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Theo. check out The Attributes of God if you liked Pink, it's very well written.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Theo. check out The Attributes of God if you liked Pink, it's very well written.
          ---------
          I love that book! I took so many notes from that book that I almost re-wrote the thing in my notebook!

          August 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Doris

          Also several of the early apologists (Justing Martyr and several others) must have not had much confidence in the gospel stories to come out with this claim that the devil had plagiarized a part of history in reverse time order to make other similar stories appear to be before the gospels. It seems the devil has always been that go-to tool when no other reasonable defense is available. It reminds me of some of the older video games that had some kind of panic device that if you pressed it you would be immediately transported to some safe haven. Of course in those games you were limited on how often and how many of those you could use.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      • G to the T

        Have you ever noticed that almost all of the books we're finding are non-canonical? It's almost as if there was a wide variety of beliefs in the early centuries of Christianity. Good job the "right one" (i.e. Orthodox) won out in the end eh?

        August 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
  5. awanderingscot

    "The very essence of instinct is that it's followed independently of reason." – Charles Darwin

    – which is why humans are not animals, we don't always follow our instincts and will invariably resort to the higher cognitive of reason. Left alone, animals always follow their instincts.

    August 1, 2014 at 9:07 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Dear Member of the Paste Eating Crew: What does Evolution have to do with this article?

      August 1, 2014 at 9:27 am |
      • awanderingscot

        – this is another specious and divisive opinion piece here on this blog; what would it matter if Christ were revealed to be black? nodda.

        – this was part of my original post on this piece; however, the atheists on this blog didn't want to converse in a civil manner on this topic so i offered another subject near and dear to their hearts.

        August 1, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The Atheists on this blog are amazed at intellectually dishonest you are in regards to Evolution. It is your favorite topic and every time you post, it makes you look even more uneducated than we initially thought. No matter how many times you attempt to disprove Evolution, you won't do it. There is a VALID reason Evolution is taught in public schools and that Creation/ID is not...one is backed with vast amounts of evidence that has been peer-reviewed, the other circles back to the bible regardless of who speaks about it. We can be thankful that voices like yours are being overlooked.
          Check out the Scopes Monkey Trial...it truly is eye-opening.

          August 1, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • LaBella

          "– this is another specious and divisive opinion piece here on this blog; what would it matter if Christ were revealed to be black? nodda."

          The author isn't saying that a black Jesus is bad; in fact, he is positing the opposite.
          So, what is divisive about it? Nada.
          The efforts of the ignorant group trying to bully CN and AS into pulling the show is what is specious.

          August 1, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Half-truths and conjecture cry out for dissent and invite criticism. so instead of intelligently providing a rebuttal, you resort to ad hominen arguments. the fact of the matter is you and your crowd want to shut down reasonable debate on evolution because you know deep down that it's complete and utter nonsense..

          August 1, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • halero 9001

          "you and your crowd want to shut down reasonable debate on evolution"

          I'm sorry, awanderingscot, but your continued use of outdated data and your misrepresentation of current data do not warrant anything close to a "reasonable debate". To explain this in terms that you might understand, I will invoke my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency Module (IEEM):

          Your reliance on manufactured creationism "science" and your lack of understanding of real science is TOTAL and ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.

          August 1, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Your reliance on manufactured creationism "science" and your lack of understanding of real science is TOTAL and ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.

          – try presenting some real science for a change instead of the usual garbage like "IF" and "MAYBE" and "PERHAPS" which are the norm for your pseudo-science.

          August 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • G to the T

          Certainty is the end of knowledge, not the beginning.

          August 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • LaBella

          "– this is another specious and divisive opinion piece here on this blog"

          How so? You've yet to answer this. Why?

          August 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "– this is another specious and divisive opinion piece here on this blog"
          How so? You've yet to answer this. Why?

          – Isn't it obvious? For years Christ has been portrayed as a white man by white Christians. Why should it matter now if Christ has been portrayed as a black man? And why is it news that a few bigoted people don't like it? It can only lead to false arguments since most reasonable people would agree that racism is wrong.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "Check out the Scopes Monkey Trial...it truly is eye-opening"

          – it certainly was but not for the reasons you imagine.
          – the trial was deliberately staged, an outright mockery of American justice
          – John Scopes never actually taught evolution
          – evolution was then and still is an unproven hypotheses

          August 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering,
          Do you have any evidence for creationism

          August 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "– evolution was then and still is an unproven hypotheses"

          Wrong. It is an incomplete hypothesis but there are many stages of evolutionary development that are proven which is a far cry from the God theory of which all the evidence that exists could fit on the head of a pin...

          August 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • LaBella

          "– Isn't it obvious? For years Christ has been portrayed as a white man by white Christians. Why should it matter now if Christ has been portrayed as a black man? And why is it news that a few bigoted people don't like it? It can only lead to false arguments since most reasonable people would agree that racism is wrong."

          Except the author AGREES with you, Scot. So, you writing that his opinion is "specious and divisive" is directed at the wrong person.
          It should be directed at the morons who are trying to get this pulled from the lineup. And why they are trying to do so.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey Scot use your DuckDuckGo or your Google deal and look up catholic evolution ?

          You might find your lost soul ?

          August 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • bostontola

      The following statements are equally reasonable:

      Unicorns exist.
      Slavery should be regulated.
      Children of transgressors should be punished.
      Talking snakes exist.
      The earth is the center of the universe that revolves around us.
      The earth is flat and unmoving.
      Many more like this right from the bible.

      The following statements are less reasonable than those above, they are human conclusions derived by some people from the bible:

      Humans are not animals.
      Evolution is a cult, idiocy, or just false.
      The universe is thousands of years old.
      These are less reasonable than the absurdity above. If you believe this, you have a serious split from reality. Get help, please.

      August 1, 2014 at 9:41 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        Just as an aside... Unicorns DO actually exist. See: Rhinoceros Unicornis – the 1828 Webster's dictionary describes this real animal under the word "unicorn."

        August 1, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          That's not the point. Some believed the bible meant Unicorns as from mythology. I'm glad you don't believe that. Can you imagine a person who insists that humans are not in the animal family in 2014? When our biology, proteins, metabolism, structure and function is almost indistinguishable from other mammals. It's beyond absurd. It's as ridiculous as saying that the earth is flat and unmoving because that's what it looks like to me.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          That's not the point.
          ------------–
          Of course, I know that. That's why I said "as an aside."

          Some believed the bible meant Unicorns as from mythology.
          ----------------–
          Yeah, unfortunately, there are many within Christendom whose knowledge of the holy stops with the simplicity of "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." There's nothing wrong with that if they're 5 years old, but many need to mature.

          Can you imagine a person who insists that humans are not in the animal family in 2014? When our biology, proteins, metabolism, structure and function is almost indistinguishable from other mammals. It's beyond absurd. It's as ridiculous as saying that the earth is flat and unmoving because that's what it looks like to me.
          --------------------
          If someone says something like that, try to see what they MEAN rather than what they SAY. Sometimes people can say things that just plain don't come out right. If they are saying that we "not animals," what they MIGHT mean is merely that we're not in the same category as other animals... That there is a certain nobility in men that just doesn't exist among other animals.

          I still say that it is our capacity to deny ourselves and submit ourselves to worship that separates us from other animals. This may be what was meant, I dunno.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • Doris

          Goodness, I would not give my one grandchild a rhinoceros toy and tell him it's a unicorn. I'm sure he wouldn't even suggest we put it on a diet. He would just ask if we can take it back and get a real unicorn toy. (He also knows to be polite to his grandma.)

          August 1, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • Bob

          Nonsense, Theo. Dogs essentially worship their masters. However, think about this: why does your omnipotent sky fairy, your "god", need and demand so much "worship" from us, as your nasty holy book has your vengeant jerk in the sky demanding, repeatedly, and stating in "commandments"? Why does a creature who has it all require such kowtowing? The reason is that your god is entirely man-made.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • bostontola

          Theo,
          I'm with you on that, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the statement wasn't formed as well as they wanted. Some people prove that is not the case. That's why I used the word insist. They make increasingly illogical claims and arguments to insist that humans are not animals. They leave no doubt. It may just be trolls, or it may be very disturbed people, I hope it's just a troll, as I hate to think someone is that psychotic. That would be horrible for them.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "I still say that it is our capacity to deny ourselves and submit ourselves to worship that separates us from other animals."

          Possibly – or maybe not. I've seen many pets act like suddenly they are chasing after an imaginary playmate. For some people it seems to help for them to imagine "a big brother" if you will. I don't see any evidence that it's anything else, just that humans with their larger brains, can just put more umph into their imaginations.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Bob,
          It seems to me a bit too early in the morning to be spouting such hatred as you have. If you have an honest question, then I will do my best to answer, but I have learned not to address with seriousness those who only wish to mock.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doris, do you see no nobility in man? "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy," (Ingrid Newkirk) kind of thing?

          August 1, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • bostontola

          Humans have unique characteristics among animals, that is directly apparent. Humans have extreme intellectual abilities in abstract thought, theory of mind, etc. we have taken over the earth. No other species occupies all ecosystems and modifies them for their own purpose like humans. Cetaceans also have unique characteristics as do all animals, that's why they are different species.

          Having unique characteristics among animals is not the same as not being an animal. That is silly.

          August 1, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          No other species occupies all ecosystems and modifies them for their own purpose like humans
          ------------
          How about a virus? (smirk) Sorry, Matrix reference...

          August 1, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • Doris

          I agree with Boston, to answer your question, Theo.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/01/bear-saves-drowning-crow_n_5640384.html

          August 1, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Doris

          But to more answer your question more directly regarding nobility, Theo, I think humans, given their brain capacity, shouldn't need to distinguish themselves apart from other species in a prideful manner. The advantages that we have should be obvious. Yes, we would like to think we are much more moral and that only we have that capability. But science lately shows us we may not be alone in that regard here on earth. (Plus, I think I've seen too many people fire off fireworks into the woods with no regard for the things that live there–to illustrate of moral ignorance side of pride.)

          August 1, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Doris

          Oh that last reply was messy. Let's try that again:

          But to answer your question more directly regarding nobility, Theo, I think humans, given their brain capacity, shouldn't need to distinguish themselves apart from other species in a prideful manner. The advantages that we have should be obvious. Yes, we would like to think we are much more moral and that only we have that capability. But science lately shows us we are probably not be alone in that regard here on earth. (Plus, I think I've seen too many people fire off fireworks into the woods with no regard for the things that live there–to illustrate the morally ignorant side of pride.)

          August 1, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doris,
          All I'm saying is that although our biology makes us animals, there is just something "more" (call it what you will), but there is just something there that says to us that killing a cow for food is not murder, but killing your child for any reason is. And growing up in eastern NC, I've seen dolphins eat their young, so apparently, if morals exist among the animal kingdom, they certainly don't base them on the same things that we do.

          August 1, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "there is just something there that says to us that killing a cow for food is not murder"

          Us being you and sometimes me, but it doesn't say much about your "something" when for many, killing a cow is murder.

          August 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • bostontola

          Killing animals to eat them is called predation. Is it murder when a lion kills an antelope?

          August 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          The comparison was with animals eating their offspring. To them, it's no big deal, they can always make more. With humans, when a mother kills and eats her child there's just something wrong there... There is a difference.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "Killing animals to eat them is called predation. Is it murder when a lion kills an antelope?"

          – is it murder when a lion kills it's own young? or a bear?
          – could anyone be so deluded to think that these animals feel remorse or regret for these acts?
          – apparently there are some so steeped in their delusional myth that they've lost touch with reality.
          – evolution is total and utter nonsense.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • halero 9001

          "evolution is total and utter nonsense"

          I'm sorry, awanderingscot, but your continued use of outdated data and your misrepresentation of current data do not warrant anything close to a "reasonable debate". To explain this in terms that you might understand, I will invoke my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency Module (IEEM):

          Your reliance on manufactured creationism "science" and your lack of understanding of real science is TOTAL and ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          "The comparison was with animals eating their offspring. To them, it's no big deal, they can always make more. With humans, when a mother kills and eats her child there's just something wrong there... There is a difference."

          not to me

          murder is killing with out survival or sustenance.

          to me its not murder if you kill in self defense or to sustain your life.

          two quote the devil(via o brother where art thou)
          Law, law is a human institution

          it is illusionary, it not real.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      but reason is a human instinct,...

      Humans are animals

      August 1, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
  6. awanderingscot

    I love fools' experiments. I am always making them. – Charles Darwin

    – i would also credit him with creating an enduring fool's experiment, the complete and utter myth of evolution.

    August 1, 2014 at 8:56 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Dear Member of the Paste Eating Crew: What does Evolution have to do with this article?

      August 1, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • MidwestKen

      Please don't feed the (quote mining) trolls!

      August 1, 2014 at 9:46 am |
  7. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    You see, the religious people — most of them — really think this planet is an experiment. That’s what their beliefs come down to. Some god or other is always fixing and poking, messing around with tradesmen’s wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding you to mutilate your children, telling people what words they can say and what words they can’t say, making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves, and like that. Why can’t the gods leave well enough alone? All this intervention speaks of incompetence. If God didn’t want Lot’s wife to look back, why didn’t he make her obedient, so she’d do what her husband told her? Or if he hadn’t made Lot such a shithead, maybe she would’ve listened to him more. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why’s he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business if there was any competition. ~Carl Sagan

    August 1, 2014 at 8:28 am |
  8. monica7c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU9MbXueRFg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU9MbXueRFg

    August 1, 2014 at 7:22 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Wow, for someone posting Christian crap, you're not acting very Christian...breaking your own commandments!

      August 1, 2014 at 7:27 am |
  9. Reality

    Keep in mind the Arab Spring revolutions. Soon it will be Christian/Muslim Spring revolutions in a sudden burst of social media rational thinking. This blog and many like it have started the ball rolling and it will continue as the ball keeps adding more and more layers into a huge, raging, fast-moving snowball as the citizens of Earth finally realize they are wasting their time and money on religion.

    The stars are there and you are made from their dust. Your god is a figment of your imagination and typically said imagination is fueled by the Christian and Islamic con artists aka popes, priests, ayatollahs and imams.

    July 31, 2014 at 11:44 pm |
  10. Løki

    You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.

    George Carlin

    July 31, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
    • LaBella

      Ew.

      July 31, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
      • Løki

        Yeah, I know... but it is one of his funniest non-sequiturs

        August 1, 2014 at 8:13 am |
        • Bob

          The late, great Carlin. A genius. You likely have seen his clip about religion.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo

          August 1, 2014 at 10:29 am |
  11. truth1914

    Racism has no place in true Christianity and renders your form of worship worthless in the eyes of Gob; racism is a form of hatred and unacceptable for those desiring to please God.

    Beloved ones, let us continue loving one another,+ because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.+ 8 Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.+ 1 John 4:7-8

    July 31, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      "Beloved ones, let us continue loving one another,+ because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.+ 8 Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love"

      now that's pure cult-speak

      July 31, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      "Racism has no place in true Christianity "

      Tell that to the slaves who were owned by people who firmly believed in your book and took the scripture about slavery to heart.

      July 31, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
      • truth1914

        They weren't Christians.

        July 31, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • G to the T

          Says you. They would most emphatically disagree.

          July 31, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • truth1914

          Let God's word judge them.

          July 31, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          truth1914,
          why do you think that you are? (assuming that's what you think.)

          July 31, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • truth1914

          if you are sincere please see my blog on this subject

          How To Find The One True Religion

          August 1, 2014 at 6:24 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Another Scotsman joins the boards.

          July 31, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No true Scotsman Fallacy and given that you have failed to follow the Golden Rule perhaps it is you who isn't the Christian.

          August 1, 2014 at 3:19 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "How To Find The One True Religion"

          Coming from you that would be extremely biased and thus not worthy of the read! The Christian god is the leas likely to exist and you are too gullible and weak to realize this. Pease stop spreading lies and stop harming innocent children via brainwashing them. You are a blemish on humanity and our planet, so while you may not truly care, some of us do and some of us realize that the sooner Christianity is ignored the better chance we stand at survival.

          August 1, 2014 at 7:00 am |
        • truth1914

          Mankind apart from God will never have lasting success.

          (Revelation 21:3, 4) . . .With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

          August 1, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          truth: So you say...you're yet to provide sufficient evidence to this though (oops as always, the bible doesn't count).
          Your delusion-have at it but please don't teach it to innocent children, that's brainwashing at its greatest and that equates to a form of abuse.

          August 1, 2014 at 8:59 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LET's Religiosity Law #14 – If you use words and phrases like: "Insert whatever whack-job, derived from a bible verse, comment they just made.” Then be aware that you have declared yourself a dumbass … and your opinion is categorized accordingly.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • MidwestKen

          truth1914
          "if you are sincere please see my blog on this subject"

          So you think that you know exactly who are "real" Christians and who aren't? At a minimum you are claiming to know the Bible and all its meaning better than others.

          Isn't pride a sin in your belief system?

          August 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • truth1914

          a fact is simply a fact not pride. Remember what Jesus said about the Pharisees.
          (John 8:44) . . .You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie. . .

          Was Jesus showing pride here? No. He was stating the facts.

          John 8:32 says that: "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free"

          This means that there are lies about him and His father (the trinity for instance) and that some would find the truth and be set free from those 'weed like teaching' and find the true wheat.

          August 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          truth1914,
          Comparing yourself to Jesus now, are you?
          Claiming to have "found the truth", are you?

          Wow. the arrogance and pride in you is amazing.

          Does not the Bible say that the ways of the supposed God are beyond us me.re mortals, we sinful beings? Who are you to place yourself above that?

          August 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • truth1914

          you miss understand the scriptures. God just like a loving father he lets his servants know when he is about to do anything just like in the days of Noah. That is what he has done in Matthew the 24th chapter. Those He and his son Jesus Christ deem fit for delivering that message are the only ones acceptable to him. If everyone practice the religion that Jesus established in the first century there would only be one religion on the earth. If you really look at his life and how he treated people of all walks of life, even establishing a door to door ministry to reach people before the end of this system of things you can find the one true religion in the earth. He even told us that weed like teaching would over take the good wheat until the time of the end and then he would separate them and do away with the weeds.

          Matthew 5:5 "the meek will inherit the earth"

          (Matthew 7:21-23) 21 “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’

          August 2, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’"

          Sounds like someone needs to get over himself

          August 2, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • truth1914

          He is speaking about false Christians

          August 2, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • truth1914

          Those who say they do gods will but really don't

          August 2, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • truth1914

          (Ephesians 4:1-6) 4 Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, appeal to you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all humility and mildness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, 3 earnestly endeavoring to maintain the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace. 4 One body there is, and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

          (John 4:24) . . .God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.”

          I know what one faith this is from searching God's word and researching many different religions.

          One way to disqualify many of the so-called faiths is do they teach and believe in the God dishonoring false doctrine of the trinity. (not a part of the "truth")

          Do they look to man's governments as the solution to the earths problems.
          (Ephesians 6:12) . . .we have a struggle, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness. . .

          and these are only two of many points

          August 2, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I know who he was talking about...he still needs to get over himself.

          August 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          truth1914
          "Those who say they do gods will but really don't"

          Do you think that all who think they are doing your God's will actually are, or are some mistaken? How do you know that you are not simply mistaken?

          August 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • truth1914

          Ken the bible holds out what specifically that true Christianity would be set up to do. And that is mainly the preaching of The Kingdom Of God.

          (Luke 4:43) . . .But he said to them: “I must also declare the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities, because for this I was sent. . .

          (Matthew 6:10, 11) . . .Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth. 11 Give us today our bread for this day;

          (Mark 13:10) Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first.

          (Revelation 14:6) And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.

          (Matthew 24:13, 14) . . .. 14 And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. . .

          (Acts 5:42) . . .And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus. . .

          (Acts 20:20) . . .while I did not hold back from telling you any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house. . .

          August 2, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • truth1914

          That is why Jesus told them that what they did was lawlessness at the end of Matthew 7:21-23 and rejected their form of worship that is why the road to life is so "narrow and few are the ones finding it".

          There were good people in Noah's day but because they worshiped God the way they wanted to which was, not helping Noah build the ark, not preach the coming flood or to get on the ark, "the path or road to destruction was wide and MANY were the ones finding it"

          (Matthew 24:37-39) 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.

          August 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "One way to disqualify many of the so-called faiths"

          Another way to disqualify many of the so called faiths is make them demonstrate the veracity of their claims and not allow them to just think that saying words make them true.

          Also if such a faith made claims...say about the end of the world in 1914 1925 and 1975....such a faith should be considered bunk.

          August 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • LaBella

          "They weren't Christians."
          "One way to disqualify many of the so-called faiths is do they teach and believe in the God dishonoring false doctrine of the trinity. (not a part of the "truth")"

          This. Right here. This is divisive.

          August 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • truth1914

          Jesus has A God his father.

          Jesus said to her: “Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Fatherand your Father and to my God John 20:17

          August 3, 2014 at 12:44 am |
        • Doris

          truth1914: "Jesus has A God his father.

          Jesus said to her: “Stop clinging to me.."

          Jesus' father who is God is a woman? And why was his father clinging to him anyway?

          August 3, 2014 at 1:32 am |
        • truth1914

          It was one of Jesus followers that was clinging to him.

          August 3, 2014 at 1:38 am |
    • tallulah131

      It's sad that some christians seem to think that they are the only ones capable of love. How utterly selfish and utterly wrong. But it's not at all surprising. A lot of christians use their religion as a license to hate.

      July 31, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
      • truth1914

        Which is against true Christianity.

        July 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You hate and you lie, so you're not a Christian either by your own statement.

          August 1, 2014 at 3:20 am |
        • truth1914

          No, we as an organization don't hate as a matter of fact we spend much of our free time teaching other about God and his promises to fix the problems of the earth. We do not participate in war or politics. We don't lash out at people who do not agree with us.

          August 1, 2014 at 5:59 am |
        • tallulah131

          I was actually talking about you and your original post, "truth1914". You are one of those arrogant christians. You seem to have a very short attention span.

          August 1, 2014 at 3:24 am |
        • truth1914

          I don't consider myself as being arrogant but very direct in stating my beliefs. I can't respond to every question or challenge because of time so I try and cover many questions with a wider response and may not specifically answer a particular question. I apologize for that.

          August 1, 2014 at 6:05 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "we as an organization don't hate as a matter of fact we spend much of our free time teaching other about God and his promises to fix the problems of the earth. We do not participate in war or politics. We don't lash out at people who do not agree with us. "

          First off, you are a liar!! Hate is exactly what it equates to. Your belief is used in an attempt to deny rights all the time without consideration for others or what they believe.
          Second, If you don't involve yourselves in war or politics, then stay out of them. Christians are constantly in there attempting to dictate laws....ie; LGBT rights; women's rights; Education; Religion has been at the helm of many a war.
          Third, the threat of hell is lashing out at others, so stop twisting it to fit your delusions.
          Lastly. It is not your place to preach to others. Minding your own business and letting people live in peace would be the best thing you can do for your ilk and our species (not that you care about humanity or peace).

          August 1, 2014 at 6:18 am |
        • awanderingscot

          TP
          – why do you feel the need to lash out at everyone you disagree with in your hateful venom?

          August 1, 2014 at 8:26 am |
        • truth1914

          I personally don't lash out. I present God's word and not my own. I could answer every attack with just scripture and many times have.
          Is it venom to tell people that God will stop all wars?
          Is it venom to tell people that God will stop all types of suffering?
          is it venom to tell people that God loves them and wants them to live in perfect health with the prospect of never dying?

          Yet this is what His word says He will do

          August 1, 2014 at 8:46 am |
        • awanderingscot

          I was addressing Truth Prevails, the resident troll here on this blog.

          August 1, 2014 at 8:50 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          1914:

          1)Is it venom to tell people that God will stop all wars?
          more wars have been fought in the name of your god then he has ever stopped.
          want proof? just look at "god's chosen" in isreal. they have always been fighting, if it wasn't the eygptians, then the romans, the germans, the palestines, etc etc etc.
          you know for a "chosen" people of god they sure love war don't they?

          2)Is it venom to tell people that God will stop all types of suffering?
          your god placed a poison apple tree in a garden for his children; exiled them to a harsh enviroment for eating from it; wiped whole towns out of existance; flooded the entire planet exterminating trillions of life forms;
          yeah that guy has stopped a lot of suffering. lmao

          3)is it venom to tell people that God loves them and wants them to live in perfect health with the prospect of never dying?
          this one i basically a lie. so not even worth wasting time on.

          August 1, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • truth1914

          Friend, not everyone is rightly disposed.

          August 1, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • awanderingscot

          WASP

          "you know for a "chosen" people of god they sure love war don't they?"
          – why do you feel the need to pillory people of faith? are you suggesting that every war in history was fought over religion? can you objectively provide evidence that people of faith love war?

          "your god placed a poison apple tree in a garden for his children"
          – please show where this is written in scripture. sin is not harmful because it is forbidden, it is forbidden because it is harmful. this is actually what a loving father would counsel His children.

          this one i basically a lie. so not even worth wasting time on.
          – no one is twisting your arm to believe, why do you wish to close the door for others? it's none of your business if someone else choses to believe.

          August 1, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          awanderingscot: You and truth both seem to spew the same old rhetoric post after post after post and then you wonder why people speak to you so harshly at times? Neither of you care about the truth, you simply refuse to look outside of your ONE book. Extraordinary claims like the absurd ones you two put out deserve severe scrutiny. A recent study done shows that children raised with belief have a harder time distinguishing fact from fiction-that in itself is damaging.
          Now calling me a troll is slightly hypocritical of you when all you do is post tripe about evolution, even when the article has nothing to do with it.

          August 1, 2014 at 9:33 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "it's none of your business if someone else choses to believe"

          You're right but what is our business is when you try to use that belief in law making that pertains to everyone or when you use it to try to dictate equal rights. Keep it in your homes and churches and learn to give the respect you demand and you'll find people back off but as long as you are using it as a weapon of some form, you'll have people stand against you and as has been seen, you'll lose.

          August 1, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "You're right but what is our business is when you try to use that belief in law making that pertains to everyone or when you use it to try to dictate equal rights."

          – this is not a courtroom and no one is dictating anything. mind your own business.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          awanderingscot: When you proselytize on a public blog, you should expect your opinion (claims) to be scrutinized.
          These are your words: "no one is twisting your arm to believe, why do you wish to close the door for others? it's none of your business if someone else choses to believe."
          Your little attack of "mind your own business" is rather infantile. When I made the comment it was in regards to Christians using their belief to try to dictate equal rights and laws, not directly to you...so nom I'm sorry, I won't mind my own business. I happen to care about humanity and if your belief is being used to cause undue harm, then it Is the duty of every Humanist to stand against you.

          August 1, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • truth1914

          TruthPervails1 how and when do you think mankind will solve the problems that plague the earth?

          August 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • Russ

        @ talullah: you said "It's sad that some christians seem to think that they are the only ones capable of love."

        1) your entire argument here is contingent on one's definition of love.
        a) on what basis do you define love (as opposed to what you labeled 'hate' above)?
        b) and how is such exclusivity so far removed from what biblical Christians are claiming?

        2) the Bible not only claims that God defines love (Jn.15:13) but that He IS Love (1 Jn.4).
        a) therefore, isn't it logically consistent for Christians to think the ability to love (genuinely) is contingent on one's relationship with the Objective Reality (Love)?
        b) how could one "love" without accurately knowing who/what love is?

        August 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Being consistent has nothing to do with whether is can be demonstrated to be true.

          If you believe battery acid is good for you it would be logically consistent to drink it....

          August 2, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
        • Russ

          @ cheesemaker:
          on the contrary, don't you consider consistency in logic a necessary trait of truth? you may be able to find examples of faulty 'consistencies' (as you gave), but you would certainly object to any 'truth' i presented which you found logically inconsistent.

          in other words, logical consistency is a prerequisite for truth. it doesn't guarantee truth, but its absence disqualifies truth claims. that's certainly more than "nothing to do with..."

          August 3, 2014 at 1:30 am |
        • tallulah131

          "Beloved ones, let us continue loving one another,+ because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.+ 8 Whoever does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.+ 1 John 4:7-8"

          This was the initial post, the one I was commenting upon. This christian was claiming It's good to scroll up and what was replied to, so that you can understand the reference. (I did scroll up to make sure that original comment was still there, so you really have no excuse.)

          So my statement stands: "It's sad that some christians seem to think that they are the only ones capable of love."

          August 3, 2014 at 12:28 am |
        • Russ

          @ tallulah: your proofreading notwithstanding... you failed to respond to my questions. the original post does not negate the problem within your argument. (and for the record, it certainly seems clear that 'truth1914' is a Jehovah's Witness, which I am not.)

          I understand the original context. My objection was not in defense of truth1914's argument (far from it), but rather my objection was to your (ironically self-indicting) mocking of the notion of exclusive definitions of love, as well as your "some Christians" remark (a label which might, and – by the more immediate discussion – does describe me).

          August 3, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • tallulah131

          Please disregard the random "this christian was claiming". I was too lazy to proofread my comment and accidentally left in what normally would have been edited out.

          August 3, 2014 at 12:30 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If the premise is faulty all the logic in the world will not lead you to what is true....you are putting the cart before the horse.

          As the old saying goes....garbage in, garbage out.

          August 3, 2014 at 2:10 am |
        • Russ

          @ cheesemaker:
          1) to mix the metaphor... you've changed horses midstream. you changed your argument.

          your first objection was that the truth could not be "demonstrated." that's not a premise.

          2) for the record, i agree that a faulty premise/foundation ruins any good logic built upon it. but you have not engaged that question yet – and my push back on tallulah was exactly that (asking her for her premise).

          3) GIGO is a critique that i would equally press upon you. but again – how does one define garbage? is it love... or a "trashy" counterfeit?

          4) while Christianity has as many checkered failures and successes in the arena of love in society (the question at hand), it is the only major religion in which God both claims to define it and explicitly identifies himself as it.

          what Jesus did on the cross is either the most offensive counterfeit of love in history or the most definitive expression of love. obviously, i stand upon the latter.

          August 4, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • tallulah131

          @Russ: You are trying to complicate something that is pretty simple.

          Love is an emotion most humans (and apparently some animals) experience that ties an individual to people, places, objects and ideas. It is common to all societies and it has certainly been around longer than the judeo-christian tradition. If one can interpret careful burials with familiar grave goods as an expression of mourning, Neanderthals felt love. Elephants mourn their dead even years after the fact, rats would rather free trapped companions than eat, and bonobos solve their disputes with affection rather than aggression.

          Meanwhile, you can't even prove that your god exists, while you cling to a mistake- and contradiction-filled book of mythology that was written, edited and codified by humans,. You blindly ignore the facts that don't agree with your belief. You've apparently forgotten the many, many evils done by christians - the Inquisition, witch trials, the many wars between competing sects of your own church among other atrocities - which were verifiably committed in the the name of your god.

          So in truth, you are just another christian who seems to think that you are the only ones capable of love. How utterly selfish and utterly wrong.

          August 3, 2014 at 2:33 am |
        • Russ

          @ tallulah:
          1) you are demonstrating my point. the overall thrust of your statement here is self-refuting. you believe YOU have the correct definition of love to the exclusion of mine.

          if it's so simple, why can't you pass your own test?

          2) you want to claim love is merely an emotion. that sounds like a very naturalistic claim. do you make all the commensurate metaphysical claims that come with that? again, not simple – and a *thoroughly* faith-based claim.

          3) you ignore not only what the Bible itself says about love, but what many philosophers have said before: namely, while love is certainly not LESS than an emotion, it is more than JUST an emotion. the Bible comes right out and says it is a commitment. now, you may here that through your own grid (emotional commitment), but recognize that emotions come & go ("i fell OUT of love"). but biblical love is God's commitment to us ('hesed' if you want to pursue the Hebrew here).

          the entire thrust & uniqueness of the Christian faith is that God's commitment precedes ours. virtually every other love WAITS to be earned (most other religions claim this: follow the rules, then maybe you'll get love / acceptance / etc.).

          but – while such a notion of grace may be unique to Christianity – the notion that love is more than an emotion (a commitment) is not. plenty of non-Christians have made such an expression. are you equally dismissive of them?

          here you want to simply "declare" your position – without basis. you want to relegate 'love' to mere synapses firing, chemical reactions, etc. you call that "simple," but a) it does not actually address the debate
          b) such "love" has been heavily criticized by secular & religious thinkers alike

          4) your equally dismissive treatment of the Bible demonstrates more emotion than logic.

          a) at the very least, a good scholar has reverence for the most read book in history.

          b) you make equally unproven assertions about the Bible as well. it's a theme here for you. i think you simply are in denial about your own leaps of faith

          c) you raise the Inquisition & Crusades as though they are the summation of Christian history. would you equally claim that Mao & Stalin faithfully summed up Marxian efforts to get rid of religion? most secular folks on this blog find such logic anathema, and yet that's the same logic you're applying here. again, you fail your own tests.

          historically, you ignore a long legacy of Christianity: starting public schools for the poor, innumerable hospitals & orphanages, ending the slave trade in the UK & America, fighting for civil rights, etc. Christianity grew rapidly in the first 3 centuries of its existence because they took in plague victims & discarded children left to die. they risked their own lives (often losing them) to give life to others. why? b/c they believed that's what Love did when he went to the cross, and that's the sort of love he called them to give to others.

          SUM: you don't have to agree with Christianity to have a modic.um of respect and more balanced approach here. it's clear (ironically) that your emotions are preventing you from – at the very least – conceding the obvious. you can hate how we define love, but we have historically tried (sometimes successfully, often failing) to embody that love.

          moreover, you still have not admitted your own presuppositions about love. you simply declare your assertions as though they are objective facts. that does not make them such.

          on what basis do you define love? don't say "science says" when it makes no such assertion. (note well: naturalism does, but that's NOT science)

          August 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Russ: We can prove love is an emotion. Brain scans can "map" the process of love. Love is absolutely a natural process and all rhetoric does is allow people to explain their own expression of that emotion. Expression (such as commitment) is not the same as the actual emotion.

          As for the bible, so what? We know it was written by humans, edited by humans and given it's final form by humans. There is absolutely no evidence that any gods exist, so it is a book of human mythology and should be treated as such. It doesn't gain veracity by counting the number of people who have read it. Fifty Shades of Gray was a best-seller. Does that make it an authority on human sexuality?

          As for the wrongs of the church, I deliberately left out the ones that were done in the name of conquest, like the genocide in the Americas (which was merely approved by the church). I only mentioned the ones that were done absolutely in the "name of god" – like the witch trials, like the Inquisition. The communists killed in the name of communism, not in the name of atheism. Comparing the two is the sort of dishonest response I've come to expect from christians.

          I think you're enjoying your own words so much that you've forgotten the original argument: That some christians claim that only christians can love, and that some christians ignore the atrocities committed in the name of their church.

          Nothing you've said has disproved my argument. Indeed, it seems to have reinforced it.

          August 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • Russ

          @ tallulah:
          1) yet again, you fail your own argument. YOU are doing the very thing you're criticizing (claiming your view of love to the exclusion of others). I've said it at least 3x now, and your failure to respond to that foundational flaw in your logic is only affirming my point.

          your logic is not just self-indicting, but it's also self-refuting. you want to malign Christians for claiming a moral high ground while doing the very same thing.

          2) by your own scientific standards (not even addressing the larger metaphysical problem I've repeatedly pointed out), being able to map the brain's activity is FAR from fully comprehending – much less identifying – what love is.

          again, you want to "simplify" (your own terminology) love to make it merely chemical processes. i'm wondering if that even passes the smell test for how it operates in your own life. do you treat it accordingly? do your romantic involvements and/or familial attachments know that you regard them as merely a foil for scientific processes? "love" is merely an emotion, a chemical attachment for the sake of optimization of the gene pool?

          somehow i strongly doubt you operate practically based upon this "true" version of love you are espousing.

          3) i did not say that numbers alone were a test of veracity – i said it should warrant greater respect than you're willing to entertain. 50 shades of gray was a single year bestseller. the bible is the all-time historic leader. even your analogy betrays my point. shakespeare/plato/aristotle would have been a better analogy... but i doubt you're even willing to concede that minor of possibility... which again, supports the point i've been making:

          your response to Christianity here is (ironically) more emotional than logical.

          4) communism vs. Christianity:
          a) you want to split hairs for your own positions, as though your position is more nuanced and sophisticated, but not allow that for those with whom you disagree? that's a caricature. it's a straw man approach.

          i was NOT arguing that Stalin & Mao represent the sum of atheism. i was pointing out that is EXACTLY your reciprocal logic when addressing Christianity. you are only weighing the negative examples you, without allowing the positive. here, too, your appraisal is self-indicting: "the sort of dishonest response i've come to expect from christians" – yet i have merely pointed out your own logic! why is it acceptable for atheists to use the very faulty logic they gag upon when advocated by theists? BOTH are wrong to do so.

          again, this is emotionalism, not logic. it's anecdotal and misrepresentative.

          5) your approach to metaphysics appears to be complete denial that you have your own. you want to scoff at mine without the honesty of addressing yours.

          so, as i've often pointed out on this blog, here are the words of one of the brightest atheists in history (indicting his own group for its refusal to acknowledge their "belief" structure):

          "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

          i have great respect for that sort of honesty. that's integrity. you appear to want to continue to mock my belief structure without fully acknowledging your own (along with all its inherent problems).

          science is not a philosophy. it's an observational discipline – readily useful to various philosophical approaches. my objection is not to science, but your *assumption* that science is all there is. it's fundamentally a philosophical problem. i have no problem with science (which does NOT claim to define "love", merely to observe it). i have a problem with YOUR philosophy (the grid through which you are viewing science).

          note well: science carefully avoids making the leaps you're making (methodological naturalism: operating *as if* there is nothing else – but WITHOUT making that assertion... not philosophical naturalism, which states outright that there is nothing else). science is a discipline of human observation to gather data. naturalism makes the very leaps of faith it mocks... which was Nietzsche's point.

          SUM: your blatant refusal to even address my central arguments (self-refuting logic, openly addressing your metaphysical foundations, etc.) runs directly contrary to your final claim. at best, you are blind to the critique. at worst, you are purposefully avoiding it because you understand how devastating it is for your position.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Russ's rabbit hole... all (atheist) roads lead to Nietzsche.

          Perhaps I asked this before, but what is your basis for demanding a metaphysical foundation for all arguments?

          August 4, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen:
          1) no, all roads do not lead to Nietzsche... but, as an atheist himself, you cannot toss him aside because (as one might say about me) "he's just a theist/Christian/etc."

          his logic is clear & indicting – from WITHIN the camp. so yes, I'm bring him up a lot for atheists... in an attempt to meet you on your own 'turf.' but if that is the *complaint*, my response would be: why dodge Nietzsche's challenge just because you don't like the messenger (me or him)? how do you deal with the logical, foundational problem he is exposing?

          2) you have not asked this before, but it's kind of like asking "what proof do you have that philosophy exists?" or "why do you think there has to be a foundation to a building?" EVEN if you are a naturalist, to self-designate as such IS an admission of your metaphysical foundation (starting point, baseline presuppositions, faith-based beliefs, etc.). but EVERYONE has them.

          do you deny philosophy's existence? do you claim there is no such thing as a point of departure in your thinking (circular logic/things you simply take as givens/etc.)?

          August 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • Russ

          @ tallulah:
          saw this today and thought of our conversation here. note well: this is from "the Guardian"... not some religious publication.

          "Dawkins’ narrowmindedness, his unshakeable belief that the entire history of human intellectual achievement was just a prelude to the codification of scientific inquiry, leads him to dismiss the insights offered not only by theology, but philosophy, history and art as well.

          To him, the humanities are expendable window-dressing, and the consciousness and emotions of his fellow human beings are byproducts of natural selection that frequently hobble his pursuit and dissemination of cold, hard facts. His orientation toward the world is the product of a classic category mistake, but because he’s nestled inside it so snugly he perceives complex concepts outside of his understanding as meaningless dribble. If he can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist, and anyone trying to describe it to him is delusional and possibly dangerous."

          http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/30/richard-dawkins-what-on-earth-happened-to-you

          August 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Russ,
          1) "...if that is the *complaint*, my response would be: why dodge Nietzsche's challenge..."

          Not dodging, I was merely emphasizing the *rabbit hole* that you seem to take on many occasions that, whatever the starting point, invariably leads to 'but Nietzsche said...', e.g. the current sub-thread started with lobe and who is capable of it.

          2) "do you deny philosophy's existence?"

          Not what i was asking, but since you brought it up, do you deny that science exists?

          More to the point, you (or Nietzsche, if you prefer) claim that science and its supposed self-refuting "foundational problem" is exposed by asking, what "underlies our faith in science?" I'm simply asking you a similar question, what underlies your faith in metaphysics?

          You seem to be claiming that science must be founded upon some philosophy or metaphysics, but is not the same foundation required for your own apparent system of thought, i.e. science-must-be-founded-upon-some-philosophy-or-metaphysics-ism.

          C) As I think I've said before, I think science is based on experience. Now, if you want to claim that experience itself requires a presupposition that object reality exists, or some such existential conundrum, then have at it. However, I would posit that experience doesn't require any presupposition since it appears to happen regardless of rational thought, or reasoning capabilities, e.g. babies and animals.

          Along those lines, however, I think experience does seem to indicate, though not prove, that objective reality exists. Similarly, science is based on experience, or observation, and what it appears to show as to how the world works. Hence the standard refrain that science doesn't deal in 'proofs', but evidence-based inductive reasoning. Science is not a proof, which may require a philosophical basis, but a description based on what has been observed.

          Science is a ground-up process, i.e. inductive, versus a top-down process, i.e. deductive, which does not imply limits, one being the 'natural explanation' of the world. While many may consider this an arbitrary limit placed there by atheists, or like-minded people, I consider it a simple admission of practical limitations. In other words, instead of it saying 'we can't look anywhere but the natural world for explanations', it is actually saying, in my opinion, 'we would look other places, but we haven't figured out how to reliably observe/measure/investigate any other place, so must remain looking in the natural world'.
          Present another reliable tool and that may change.

          Another way to look at it is that science has an established record of being correct, or at least more correct than any other tool or as someone else put it:

          "Science wins because it WORKS" (emphasis added) – Jerry A. Coyne

          August 6, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen:
          1) the repeated "rabbit hole" (as you put it) is necessary because people continue to evidence the same problem: namely, conflating science with religion – and NOT realizing that's what they're doing.

          speaking of which...

          2) you did it again in your response here. let me stress again: my problem is not with science, it is with the metaphysical grid through which one is reading the science.

          a) you said: "you (or Nietzsche, if you prefer) claim that science and its supposed self-refuting 'foundational problem'..."
          NO. that's NOT at all what I (or Nietzsche, for that matter) said. to say that is to continue to make the mistake I'm calling out (conflating science with philosophy). the whole point is that one's underlying philosophy is being confused with science. Nietzsche himself is calling that out. re-read his quote. he's NOT AT ALL addressing science as the problem – but FAITH in science (which is NOT science!).

          the underlying philosophy (in most cases, naturalism) is NOT science. again, i have no problem with science. I have a problem with treating science as a philosophy & not recognizing to do so is NO LONGER doing science. it is doing philosophy/metaphysics/faith/religion but *calling* it science. as the old saying goes: calling a dog's tail a leg does not make it such.

          you keep responding as though i have a problem with science. that's a refusal to hear. i've said repeatedly that i have NO PROBLEM with science. i have a problem with doing philosophy & calling it science. it's an attempt to claim the 'empirical' high ground (since that's what you value) without admitting you are doing the very thing you are criticizing. hence Nietzsche's critique... and my repeated statement of it.

          b) science ADMITS it is based on certain presuppositions. it's not a debate because it's openly admitted.

          and of course I have metaphysical presuppositions. the debate at hand was not IF i also have them (i've never denied it – my entire argument has been that *everyone* has them), but that others are making the critique that metaphysical presuppositions are the problem (as though that is solely the realm of the religious).

          3) (or "C" as you put it?) this entire section is a failure to hear what i've now said repeatedly. you are wanting to pit science against religion – as though science itself was a philosophical (or even religious?!) system. it is not.

          and Coyne's quote (insofar as applied to this debate) is merely exhibit A in that failure. yes, science works – but that's not to address the question at hand at all. it merely perpetuates the mistake (conflating science with philosophy/religion/metaphysics/etc.).

          again, this is something science readily admits. it's not just philosophy 101, it's basic science. just ask the question: why does science insist upon "methodological naturalism" as opposed to "philosophical naturalism"? because – from the outset – it admits the difference here.

          August 6, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          "object reality " should read "objective reality"
          "does not imply limits" should read "does imply limits"

          August 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Russ,
          " Nietzsche himself is calling that out. re-read his quote. he's NOT AT ALL addressing science as the problem – but FAITH in science (which is NOT science!)."

          perhaps I am confused, but sure seems to be talking about science.

          " Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as science without presuppositions…a philosophy, a ‘faith’ must always be there first, ..." – Nietzsche

          Please explain how that is not science itself.

          August 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen: really? could it really be that this is the primary impasse?

          a) "no such thing as science without presuppositions..."
          is science the presuppositions? no. unless you are equating the two (which requires ignoring the definition of presuppositions), these are two separate things. his point: science begins with presuppositions (something *distinct from* science itself... since it *begins* with it... as a *given*...)

          b) "...a philosophy, a 'faith' must be there first..."
          it's hard for me to conceive of the problem here for you. either a) you're openly admitting you think science is a faith (i.e., conflating the two, the very thing Nietzsche is calling out) or b) you don't understand what he means by "must be there first..."

          if you include the sentence which follows that, which you left out ("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..."), it becomes obvious. he is delineating science from metaphysics. they are NOT the same thing. one's metaphysical grid GIVES science a direction, etc.

          c) see, yet again, my problem is not with science qua science, but your competing metaphysical grid. and thus, when you (or Coyne) says "science wins" (as if competing with metaphysics/religion), it is necessarily conflating the two. BOTH grids employ science (giving it a "direction", as Nietzsche said). the problem arises when you want to call yours "science" (when it is not) & then say "see, science wins!" but we are BOTH using science.

          for instance, the same data gets a different application. you look at the universe & say "wow, isn't it complex?" (maybe even with wonder & enthusiasm inside you). i look at the universe (the same data) & say: "wow, isn't it complex? The Architect (God) is incredible." our divide is NOT over the data itself (which we agree is complex), but our READING of the data. the divide is not the observation, but the lens through which the data is read.

          thus, to say "science wins!" when both sides are using science is 1) a failure to hear what theists are saying and 2) a false conflation of separate categories (philosophy & science, or physics & metaphysics, if you will).

          as Nietzsche said, a "faith" must always be there first... a faith. is science a faith, Ken?

          August 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Russ,
          C) "3"
          I am not trying to pit science against religion and niether is Coyne. However when religion makes claims about the natural world in contradiction to science then science wins, hands down, at least so far.

          August 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Russ,
          Ah, the rabbit hole is deep today indeed.

          a) if there is “no such thing as science without presupposition”, then of course there is a connection. According to this statement, the two, while perhaps not identical, are invariably linked. If S then P.

          In addition, a presupposition is generally ‘a required antecedent’ to the resultant argument. Or, as one definition puts it, “to require or depend on (something) in order to be true or exist”. Or, without the presupposition the product would not be true. Therefore your contention, if I understand it, that the two are independent is in correct.

          b) Above you state that presupposition (P) and science (S) are “two separate things” and yet you use the quote “so that science can acquire from it [P] a direction, a meaning,… a method,...”. How can S acquire a method, etc., from P and remain a completely separate thing? While they may be *different* things they are not independent, according to the quote.

          You seem to be arguing for both sides, a) that S and P are independent and b) that they are dependent. It appears to me this is in order to posit that science a) requires a faith and b) does not require a specific faith, but the nature of a “presupposition” seems to make that difficult, for the presupposition gives the science its “meaning” and “method” without which it would not be science, not the same science anyway.

          However, I disagree with Nietzsche that “a ‘faith’ must always be there first,” or that it requires a presupposition.

          c) As I said previously “science wins” is in reference to when religion contradicts science in the natural world, not as a metaphysical contest. (although to be fair that appears after you recent comment, but timestamped before it. (not sure how that happens))

          As to the use of data vs grids, you may interpret the results of science as you wish, but not the science itself. Your example of "wow, isn't it complex? The Architect (God) is incredible," is not actually science at all, it is opinion based on faith. “isn’t it complex” may be science or may not depending on how “complex” is being used.

          What is also not science is using pseudo-scientific methods to support a faith-based proposition. Essentially, the concept of ‘same data different interpretation but still science’ (AIG?) is bogus, because the science does not speak to faith or metaphysics, nor is faith or metaphysics a part of science. Science, if done correctly, should always produce the same results, regardless of any presuppositions or faith.

          So, to answer your question, no, science is not a faith.

          4) So again I ask, what is your basis for demanding a metaphysical foundation for all arguments?
          Or, on what basis do you (and Nietzsche) posit that “no such thing as science without presuppositions…”?

          August 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen:
          a) the problem here is that you have confused "separate" & "distinct" with "independent." the word "foundational" should have clued you in. one is dependent/contingent on the other. that's Nietzsche's whole point – to which you openly object (though it's become clear you aren't hearing it accurately).

          the walls are contingent on the foundation. does that make them the same thing? no. they are separate, but the foundation WILL affect the walls, especially if the foundation is faulty.

          change analogies: looking at the same object, one's lens will affect what is seen/understood. the worse the lens, the more poorly understood the object is.

          separate? yes. independent? not in the way you are meaning (which is the only way that brings up a contradiction).

          b) that SHOULD (ahem) clear up your second point. yes, science acquires a direction from the lens – even if one is merely admitting the cognitive lens of one's mind... though I hope you can see the implications from the analogies above.

          your objection here also seems to conflate the categories. you assume we'd have two different 'sciences' as a result of two different metaphysical foundations. but that's YET AGAIN to conflate science & metaphysics. no, we BOTH can agree "it's a watermelon", but you assume that a merely naturalistic understanding is the full scope of objective reality. the theist comes to a very different understanding of the meaning (wonder at God's good gifts). again, the science is not the point of divide – the *interpretation* of the science is.

          your objection is only a contradiction if read through your conflation of science and metaphysics. the problem is not "differing sciences" (or even scientific conclusions!) but differing metaphysical conclusions based upon the very same (normally AGREED UPON) scientific evidence.

          again, you are doing metaphysics & calling it science. your own example requires that understanding – fulfilling my critique. and, honestly, i think it's why you're openly disagreeing with Nietzsche – yet unable as of yet to address his criticism, much less to find a flaw in his logic.

          c) 'science wins' discussion
          [timestamp/order of responses can be controlled thru wordpress bar you signed in with]

          i) because you're still conflating science with metaphysics, you're also failing to see where what you are calling 'science' is actually metaphysics. most of your examples have evidenced that.

          however, some religions *include* scientific claims. now that IS something that explicitly enters the realm of science & is worthy of discussion. for example: archeology. now, as most will admit, it's not an 'exact science' & it fluctuates – so you can see how that might pose some problems... but the Bible has a rather incredible history of proving itself archeologically sound (Hitt.ites, pool of Bethesda, Marneptah, etc.), unlike, say, the Book of Mormon's claims for an undiscovered tribe in the Americas.

          ii) "isn't it complex?"
          i am almost verbatim thinking of Hawking's opening TV show defending "the Grand Design." he ended that initial show by ogling at the expanse & complexity of the universe, and then he said: "and for that, i'm thankful." i sat up in my chair & said: "to whom?!"

          yes, it is an opinion of faith that "the Architect must be great", but it is equally an opinion of faith that "there is no architect" – especially when we agree upon the data (in this case: the universe is wondrously complex).

          YES, science should produce the same results... but again, we're not disagreeing on the SCIENCE or even the *scientific* & empirical conclusions, but rather we are disagreeing upon your *metaphysical* interpretations of science. THAT is your faith – not merely science.

          SUM: yes, of course science is not a faith. but the entire discussion & critique here is just this: you admit science is not a faith, so why are you attempting to make it into one (as naturalism does)?

          4/d) this is philosophy 101. thinking about thinking. as stated before, EVERYONE has a point of departure, a place of circular logic, a set of givens. do you think you have no presuppositions?

          scientific textbooks begin by admitting this (for instance, biology – literally "the study of life" – admits on p.1 that it cannot define life; and again, science openly asserts *methodological* naturalism). why are you so hesitant to concede this point?

          August 8, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
        • austin929

          very nice!

          August 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Russ,
          You keep claiming that I am conflating science and metaphysics. Where exactly am I doing that?
          (Note that the focus of “Science wins because it WORKS” was on the works, not the wins. see context of the statement.)

          For clarification, if I wasn’t clear, if science gets its “direction” and “method” from certain metaphysical presuppositions, the walls being contingent on the foundation and all, then it is necessarily dependent upon those certain metaphysical presuppositions, is it not?

          If science is dependent on certain metaphysical presuppositions, then how can you ‘have no problem’ with science if your metaphysical presuppositions are different?

          I can understand your acceptance of science if it is independent of presuppositions (which is what I think), but not if it is dependent on certain presuppositions, unless you accept those metaphysical presuppositions.

          Your two metaphors, house and lens, actually exemplify my issue with your position. Walls are contingent upon a foundation; a lens only distorts (not necessarily in a bad way) that which is seen. The difference seems obvious to me in that the walls are dependent on the foundation, but neither observation nor the objects observed are dependent upon a lens.
          To my point earlier, you appear to want to claim science is a house built on presuppositions when you want to categorize it as faith, and then turn around and claim science as seen through a lens when you want categorize it as a tool.
          Personally, I think it is a tool and don’t think that I have ever claimed otherwise.

          It seems to me to be an untenable position to, on the one hand, claim that science is based on presuppositions to which you do not agree, then on the other hand, claim that you have no problem with said science, but only the presuppositions which would seem to be integral (foundational, dependent, contingent, etc) to science itself (again, this is not my position.)

          Responses:
          a) b) Perhaps I wasn’t clear, see above for clarification.

          c) i) I won’t delve into another rabbit hole of Biblical archeology.

          ii) Why would who said it matter?

          I never claimed that “there is no architect”.

          SUM) I am not trying to make it into a faith. Why do you think I am?

          4/d) claiming it’s philosophy 101 sounds an awful lot like the “everyone knows that” fallacy.

          People may assume things such as the sun rising tomorrow, the universe actually existing, etc., (although those assumptions are not without basis, i.e. not a priori) in order to live their lives, but we weren’t talking about people we were talking about science.

          I have no problem with science “openly asserting *methodological* naturalism”. I’ve never claimed otherwise, I don’t think? And why would a textbook admitting that “life” is a very complex thing and not having a simplistic definition of it be an issue?

          August 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • Russ

          @ MidwestKen:
          round and round we go.

          1) yes, you are conflating science & metaphysics – as evidenced by your inability to delineate the two.

          go back to the house & foundation analogy. if we both agreed upon EVERY facet & aspect of said conceptual house – EXCEPT the foundation – would the house still be a house which we agreed upon? would it still have walls, doors, windows, and all the expected accoutrements in the agreed upon locations? of course it would. HOWEVER, when that same 'conceptual house' (in this case, the data) is laid upon two very different foundations, the result is radically different. two very different 'interpretations' arise... and if i can borrow a page from Jesus, the one built of the faulty foundation falls with a crash.

          now, if i'm hearing your repeated objections correctly, you simply aren't following the analogy because you assume the foundation is INTRINSIC to / included in the natural arena. therein lies the rub.

          the reason i said it's philosophy 101 is not b/c it was a fallacious appeal to what "everyone agrees", but rather it literally is basic philosophical groundwork that (in a philosophical sense) is proven. two different foundational grids WILL affect two different interpretations – EVEN if the data is the same. to borrow a page from science, think parallax: where two differing points of view result in different understandings EVEN THOUGH the data is objectively the same. (but obvious limitations in the analogy there as well.)

          the irony for me here: you are admitting the categories that should make this open & shut, but you seem unaware of the logical fallout. to agree that science admits it has *non-empirical, non-scientific* presuppositions IS to admit that it begins w/ 'faith' – though it carefully takes precautions NOT to assert that faith to the exclusion of competing grids (hence the "methodological" instead of "philosophical" naturalism).

          you do not take such a stance. you are willing to agree all the relevant factors (presuppositions, science is merely a tool, science uses methodological naturalism, etc.), but then you assert the exact opposite: namely, that science itself has a singular metaphysical foundation – even though you'd just admitted the opposite. you can't have your cake & eat it, too.

          in short, you appear to be *such* a pragmatist that you are unaware of your own philosophical underpinnings. you seem well aware of mine, but not your own. philosophy is 'thinking about thinking', especially your own. even if you say, "well, i'm only going to believe what science tells me", that's NOT science. it's putting your *faith* in science (in an ultimate sense). but science purposefully & painstakingly makes NO SUCH CLAIMS. that is conflating metaphysics & science.

          so let's try the parallax analogy. look at a diagram. the object is real, giving information, etc., and the two differing vantage points agree upon that much. but the real divide arises because the differing starting points result in a VERY different read of the information. (again, not the data, but the *interpretation*!) but PLEASE recognize, in this analogy i'm using science itself (the discipline of human observation) as the object being viewed, and your philosophy is your starting point (the basis from which you *read* the data). [the danger in this analogy is that it is scientific, maybe making it a horrible attempt to communicate with you since – in my estimation – your problem is that you are already conflating the two & are unaware of it... but i'm taking the chance in attempting an analogy from within your own preferred field.]

          do you see it? science as human observation of reality is not the problem in this discussion – our presuppositions are. we can agree on some basic things about that reality which we are perceiving, but the overarching interpretation (which is the MOST important thing: the meta-narrative, if you will) is radically different. but that is to be expected when the 'root' (literal 'radical') starting point is different.

          you want to make science BOTH the object & the vantage point *for you* in this analogy, while making my vantage point "metaphysics/religion/faith." you can't have it both ways. it's a failure to admit your own presuppositions – especially that they are DISTINCT from science, not science, and as such are a separate faith (now obviously competing with mine).

          SUM: that's why it's not "science vs. religion." we BOTH use science. my problem is not with science qua science, but that you are calling your un-admitted, unrecognized, metaphysical basis 'science' when it is NOT science (but a faith)... bringing you under the full weight of Nietzsche's original critique. the problem is not science vs religion/faith/philosophy, but faith vs. faith (your *un-admitted* faith vs. my openly admitted one).

          August 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Sorry, "metaphors" probably should have been "analogies".

          August 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Russ,
          Yes, round and round, unfortunately.

          Again, you say I am conflating the two, but still do not say exactly where.

          To clarify, again, I am NOT claiming that metaphysical presuppositions are a foundation of science. My only point in even discussing that is to show that that is what the Nietzsche quote is saying, and in order to be consistent with that quote you cannot then turn around and say that it is independent.
          To use your house analogy, no it would not be the same house with a different foundation. The supposed Jesus quote you mention shows just that, one house fails the other does not, two different houses.

          “ 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

          This is no mere slab of cement upon which one sticks some walls, but integral to the dependent product. Your own acknowledgement that science uses *methodological* naturalism, is direct evidence that, at least in “method”, a la Nietzsche, naturalism is integral to science.

          Here again, I DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THIS VIEW, but am simply pointing out that if you go by Nietzsche's view then you cannot then simply abandon the presuppositions and simply switch out foundations to suit your own needs.

          I don’t think I understand your parallax analogy at all. Different conditions result in different data, assuming you are talking about different reading taken from two different locations, how is that “grid” -based (whatever that is supposed to be)?

          “you are willing to agree all the relevant factors (presuppositions, science is merely a tool, science uses methodological naturalism, etc.), but then you assert the exact opposite: namely, that science itself has a singular metaphysical foundation – even though you'd just admitted the opposite. you can't have your cake & eat it, too.”

          Where exactly did I agree to presuppositions?

          Where exactly did I assert that science itself has a singular metaphysical foundation?

          “‘well, i'm only going to believe what science tells me’, that's NOT science. it's putting your *faith* in science (in an ultimate sense). but science purposefully & painstakingly makes NO SUCH CLAIMS. that is conflating metaphysics & science.”

          I don’t think I ever made such a statement nor claim.
          However, I do trust science, to an extent, because it WORKS. It has a track record of success and in order for something else to be accepted that contradicts science, I think, it should overcome all the scientific evidence and present a better explanation. To make a possibly bad analogy, science is the gold standard, and although I would never claim that there is no platinum out there, I haven’t seen any, yet.

          SUM) I agree that it is not a problem of science vs religion, because, and as long as, they don’t really speak to the same thing. Why you continue to try to force me into “philosophical naturalism” is beyond me.
          As I’ve said before, I think Nietzsche’s “critique” is incorrect. One basis for that is that you yourself seem perfectly willing to accept science from a *methodological* naturalism standpoint completely disregarding a Nietzschean requirement for a presupposition of philosophical naturalism. This shows that science is independent of either presupposition because it works, provided, of course, that it is NOT used to make metaphysical claims.

          So, if you think that there *must* be a metaphysical presupposition for science, but the actual presupposition itself does not matter, then perhaps we should look into some *methodological* theism to base science on.

          August 9, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      One of the reasons that Christianity has been so successful is that it is a religion aimed at the poor and maligned.
      Though Christ said to obey the law of the land (Matthew 22:25), he didn't have much nice to say about the ruling classes, be they governmental or ecclesiastical.
      In Christianity, salvation ostensibly comes through personal conviction and sacrifice. It flourishes not in spite of repression (even if only perceived repression), but because of it.
      That some sects like the Southern Baptists and Mormons have used scripture to justify insti/tutionalized bigotry is contrary to the nature of the religion and it's intended audience.
      Christ didn't have to say "blessed are the enslaved" in the Sermon on the Mount since God had already appointed an enslaved race his Chosen People.
      That being said, those who use religion to rationalize their own prejudice are not without ample ammunition, especially when their sect subscribe to a literal interpretation of scripture.
      When taken as the inerrant, yet inherently ineffable Word of God, the Bible is such a gargantuan collection of contradictions that it can be used to ratioinalize almost anything.

      August 1, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • tallulah131

        It's also successful because it requires relatively low investment for a ridiculously large (if unprovable) reward.

        August 3, 2014 at 12:31 am |
      • awanderingscot

        Once again you are wrong and know nothing pertaining to spiritual matters. The poor referred to those who were poor in spirit; those who understood that they were sinners and deserving of death. They were the ones crying out for healing. Your premise that Christianity takes advantage of poor uneducated people is evil, Christ also spoke with rich people and middle class people. Salvation is available to everyone regardless of financial status.

        August 4, 2014 at 9:56 am |
  12. SeaVik

    Theo – All of your positions seem to assume that the bible is literally true. Have you ever given serious consideration to the possibility (many would say certainty) that the bible is not true? I know the powers of childhood indoctrination are too strong for many to overcome, but I still find it incredibly amazing that there are intelligent people who thinks stories in an ancient book trump everything we've learned as a people.

    July 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      I didn't grow up in a church and thought the Bible was entirely bunk until I was almost 30.

      July 31, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • G to the T

        And by what criteria did you believe it was bunk?

        July 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Mainly it was the worldview I grew up with. But at the time, I mean, ... talking donkeys?! Giants?! Please.

          July 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • G to the T

          I can see that. I started that way and was born again in my late teens – at that time – I absolutely believed it to be the inerrant Word of God. Now, I believe it's a very human book – not necessarily a bad book – but a book by humans trying to understand their place in the world.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Remind me ... your stance on God is ...

          July 31, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Remind me ... your stance on God is ..."

          If by "God" you mean "Yahweh" – then no. If you mean "god" then the definition is so broad as to be almost meaningless. I'm a skeptic – I'll believe that which can be proven to my satisfaction, but my default stance is one of doubt (much like the Thomas of biblical fame).

          July 31, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        And by what criteria did you come to believe it was not bunk?

        July 31, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I finally heard what the Bible taught and I knew it was true because my conscience screamed at me. So I repented and put my trust in Jesus Christ and stopped putting it on man.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I guess I can still look at the facts and clearly see that the bible is a book of human-created mythology because my conscience is clear. I have always been willing to be accountable for my own actions. I was lucky enough to have parents who cared more about responsibility than they were religion.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • G to the T

          "The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I finally heard what the Bible taught and I knew it was true because my conscience screamed at me. So I repented and put my trust in Jesus Christ and stopped putting it on man."

          It's funny because it was my conscience screaming at me that made me leave the faith to begin with. The more I learned, the more I realized I couldn't be honest with myself and maintain my beliefs.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          My parents aren't religious, either.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          You seem very serious about your new-found belief; how do your parents feel about your conversion? Do they live nearby?

          July 31, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          My parents live about an hour and a half away. They are what you'd call cultural Christians ... in that they say they are Christian because they grew up in America. But they don't know anything about what Christianity teaches, never read the Bible and don't have any interest in either.

          July 31, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
    • believerfred

      Yep a couple of billion people believe the Bible
      Few are actual atheist and when penned in a corner all but the militant ones recognize there is in fact a knowledge that science does not understand.

      July 31, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • Løki

        A billion? "Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups" -George Carlin

        July 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
      • bostontola

        Most of what is knowable science does not understand. Just about any atheist would agree to that. Atheists simply don't accept assertions of truth based on docu.ments that have opinions, factual errors and some obsolete morality. Why is that hard to understand?

        July 31, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          Everyone has knowledge that is not provable according to accepted scientific method, thus one cannot claim there are no gods, god or God. You can not believe but you cannot deny.
          Further, there is no such thing as non existence in form, substance or concept. As such God exists in concept and substance which complies with that concept as evidenced by Gods presence in reality. That presence is clearly in concept and the concept as held by billions is confirmed by the effect on man thus effect in reality. Demands for proof via scientific method amounts to demands for proof of a foreign concept of God (your concept for example) that is not the concept as given by testimony and self evident in reality (regardless of individual perspective or opinion)

          July 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          fred,
          Not asking for proof. Only asking for objective evidence. Why objective evidence? Because there is objective evidence in conflict with the bibles account. That's fair isn't it?

          August 1, 2014 at 1:36 am |
        • believerfred

          bostontola
          Objective evidence: The form and substance of God is not of matter and energy known to man. All scientific evidence concludes that the form and substance of God is not of known matter and energy.
          Objective evidence: Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. All believers in Christ are sure of what is hoped for and certain of what cannot be seen.
          Objective evidence : By faith believers understand the universe was formed at God's command. All believers in Christ understand the universe was formed by God's command.
          Objective evidence: God is present among his people. Beginning with the Patriarchs the presence of God is evident in his people to this very day
          Objective evidence: Man made in the image of God is corrupted by sin. Jesus, a man, reflected the perfect image of God that on the cross took on the sins of the world. The objective evidence was the mocked, beaten, defaced man hanging until death......this is the effect and appearance of sin on a man once the image of God. If you doubt this then look no further than humanity with capacity for perfect love contrast with the reality of that perfect love covered in sin all around us.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          fred: you were doing there for a second, you lost me when you got the term faith incorrect.

          however nice swing and a miss........oh and nothing you just posted is OBJECTIVE: it's all biased from the religious field.

          but thanks for playing

          August 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • believerfred

          zhilla1980wasp
          If an atheist claims there is no God is that subjective?

          August 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        First off, your number is way of base...it is 2.1 billion (with 7 billion on the planet, you are hardly a majority). Second, ma/b>ss belief doesn't make the belief true.

        August 1, 2014 at 3:24 am |
        • believerfred

          You need to fine tune your thought process. There is no doubt the belief is real. You question the object of belief. Your belief is real as well but your object of belief is of this world which is physical and which no one doubts will pass away just as the Bible says. I understand your need to cling onto Atheist Steve even to the extent that you would tether your soul to death even though any other possible alternative offers hope. I question subjecting your own children to the certainty of hopelessness.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          So fred, what age were you when you became convinced of your supernatural ability to live on somehow after death? What was it that made you so sure you have some invisible superpower where you can leave your physical self behind but still be you after your physical body is damaged beyond repair?

          August 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • LaBella

          I take it you have no significant other, Fred? Or, if you do, you must think oppositely of one another?
          Otherwise, very cheap shot.

          August 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenahappieratheist
          Actually, it was two years ago when I noticed tensors were a necessity in any quantum field regardless of boundary. Emotive response acts in the exact same fashion. The emotive response is coordinate-free while the object of our love, for example a baby, is physical with fixed position in a 4 dimensional space. I can remove the physical object yet the emotive response tethered to the object yet remains coordinate-free. Given typical causality assumptions the emotive response acts as a dependent variable with the only constant being the object not the observer.
          In short love is attached to the baby independent of say the mother when the moment passes. Conclusion is that one must be careful where one chooses to tether emotive response. If you only have relationships with objects that are physical themselves you are tethered to that which is subject to death. If you also have relationship with an object that is not bound by natural laws (the eternal, God, hope not in the physical i.e. "promised land") it is not subject to death. Well, this reminded me of what the Hebrew, Jesus and other faiths were grappling with. For example if you die in Christ you are one with the Father as was Jesus...........your soul (collective of emotive responses) continues in the object of your love.
          Now, as to my Christian faith I was born again with a miraculous conversion experience about 13 years ago. Jesus as with Moses were not concerned with tensors but painted a clear way to keep us from loosing our souls and experiencing what is called the second death.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          Not a cheap shot in any way shape or form. I shutter to think of the consequence of anyone in the shadow of death void of hope. If I could do anything to reach out I would. The verse in the Bible which frightens me most;
          "23"In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24"And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.' 25"But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.…

          August 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          fred: "it was two years ago when I noticed tensors were a necessity in any quantum field regardless of boundary. "

          i would enjoy reading your thesis on this.
          did you publish your findings? which scienctific journal are you published?

          August 1, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "There is no doubt the belief is real"
          >>Obviously there is otherwise you would not have people questioning your belief system!

          " I understand your need to cling onto Atheist Steve even to the extent that you would tether your soul to death even though any other possible alternative offers hope. I question subjecting your own children to the certainty of hopelessness."
          >>My husband doesn't think for me! When it comes to my relationship being attacked, I'm going to get defensive. This man has given more to this world than you could ever imagine; he is a brilliant person. If anything he makes the world make more sense. We don't require a book to tell us to be good people...we do no harm; we love and offer empathy in this world; we do not judge until given reason to; we do not base our opinions of people on who they love. So as long as we continue to live this life to the best of our ability, that is what matters to us...that is what will be remembered.
          As for children, my daughter is 20 and quite capable of thinking for herself. Much like my parents don't control what I believe, I don't control what she believes.
          You can view it as you wish but don't you dare judge me and my husband...I judge your belief, not your personal life.

          August 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • believerfred

          zhilla1980wasp
          "it was two years ago when I noticed tensors were a necessity in any quantum field regardless of boundary. "
          =>the necessity of tensors relates to the vectors in a 3 or 4 dimensional field and is not unique. Tensors: Geometry and Applications (Graduate Studies in Mathematics) December 14, 2011 by J. M. Landsberg. Save yourself $60 it is free at the library.

          "did you publish your findings? which scienctific journal are you published?"
          =>No, when you jump from accepted quantum states and apply those observations to consciousness (of human brain) any correlations lack objective basis. Publication would be limited to the Huffington Post.
          =>if you are interested in how observer independence applies (which I correlated to emotive response) you can see the effect of observer orientation in different cosmology approaches from the following:
          http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0602091v2

          August 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • LaBella

          Fred,
          Nah, you chose to start attacking TP's husband and child; I shudder to think that you feel Jesus Christ would condone suck a cheap shot. Because I don't think He would.

          August 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • believerfred

          TruthPrevails1
          You were talking about belief and I addressed that. I said nothing negative about your relationship. There is nothing negative or derogatory with me clinging onto Jesus, it is a common expression for me. Please accept my apologies if I offended either of you.
          As to the affect of atheism in your life I could not help but warn you about the potential loss associated with tethering your soul to anything that is bound by the physical.
          As to belief one cannot argue that belief is not real (yours or mine) but we can argue about veracity of that belief.

          August 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          The words Jesus used regarding those who reject God and persecute Christians do not play well today because people cannot separate his love for man and hate of sin.

          August 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "The emotive response is coordinate-free while the object of our love, for example a baby, is physical with fixed position in a 4 dimensional space. I can remove the physical object yet the emotive response tethered to the object yet remains coordinate-free."

          Yes, fred, I believe I will also live on in the memory of my friends and family after I die. That does not mean in any way that I believe in life after death. The concept itself is contradictory. The idea of a soul goes against what we know about our universe. Until we have some actual evidence of a soul I see no reason to believe in one let alone 7 billion or more. Now don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a soul, i'd love to be super soul man who doesn't every really die, just this mortal shell fades away to my true self, the invisible spirit-man to roam the universe or maybe be arrested for my apparent conduct on a tiny blue ball in some backwater solar system and confined to a fiery punishment. That would, I admit, be pretty cool. But, alas, it is pure fantasy and conjecture without a shred of evidence. I might as well imagine that I get to come back as some planet eating demi-god like Galactus or get to own my own planet like Mormons believe or become part of the force, being one with all things. I mean, I love imagination, just don't try to legislate with it.

          August 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • LaBella

          "The words Jesus used regarding those who reject God and persecute Christians do not play well today because people cannot separate his love for man and hate of sin."

          So that gives you permission/justification to attack a person's family when they don't believe as you do?
          You're not persecuted, either. Knock off the hyperbole.

          August 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist

          " I believe I will also live on in the memory of my friends and family after I die.
          =>No, the existence of a memory is not the same as disposition of your emotive cognitive expressions. The assumption they exist only within the mind or "human brain" has not been proven. Are you saying you sense that your thoughts are physically located in your head or are they without boundary?

          "That does not mean in any way that I believe in life after death. The concept itself is contradictory."
          =>that is not necessarily as contradiction as concept does not require physicality

          "The idea of a soul goes against what we know about our universe."
          =>In terms of physical matter and energy yes, but, as to existence itself that is not possible. Soul exists in concept and concepts are a part of our existence. Einstein observed the miraculous wonder and awe of the universe as we all do. Are you suggesting we separate what is observed of our universe that is not physical from what is physical. If we do that then we must separate the soul from the universe......................if it must be separated from it must have been a part of

          August 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          No, I was correcting your statement to represent a better image of what Jesus did say.

          August 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • LaBella

          Fred,
          Except you didn't quote Jesus, so there is no "correcting" involved.
          I still posit that Jesus would not condone you attacking TP's family members because you disagree with TP.

          August 1, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          I did not attack, read the thread again.

          August 1, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • LaBella

          Fred,
          I read it. Call it as you will; you inappropriately brought up TP's family into something you and TP were discussing.

          August 1, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "You were talking about belief and I addressed that. I said nothing negative about your relationship."

          YOU brought my husband and my child in to this, so your claim here is a lie. You stated that I 'cling' to Atheist Steve-another lie.
          Have you never heard of the saying "Attack the argument, not the person"??
          Think what you will but you're wrong and honestly, if there is a heaven filled with the likes of you I'll be thrilled not to be there, as would many others.
          Now I'm going to offer a bit of a personal attack...the very fact that you did attack my family (bringing them in to this is attacking) makes you an ASS and not worthy of further communication. Unlike you, I will not bring up your wife or children-they don't think for you. I (not Atheist Steve...she's not his daughter) have done nothing wrong by raising a child to think for herself and in turn decide for herself. It is only your small-minded worldview that prevents you from seeing how that might be right. Outside of your belief system, a soul can't be proven to exist, so nothing to worry about. I know you think you have it all figured but as is obvious from the comments here, many disagree with you. You're a wretched liar and I feel sorry for you. Don't expect respect from people if you're incapable of providing it!

          August 2, 2014 at 1:23 am |
      • tallulah131

        Reality is not a popularity contest, fred, nor is it decided by voting. You can make a thousand claims, but if those claims are not supported by evidence then they are not true. Sorry. I guess I'd rather be honest than popular.

        August 1, 2014 at 3:28 am |
        • believerfred

          It is not popular to follow Christ and even Jesus said the road is narrow and few find it. Sorry you cannot see the sin at the root of darkness in our world

          August 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "It is not popular to follow Christ"

          It is pretty popular where I live.

          August 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers
          Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and told the Greeks God determined where they live because He is a living God (i.e. Zeus was dead).
          So, God put you in the middle of Christian town, sent you to a Christian school has you blogging on a Belief site full of Christians.............Is there a message in this for you? Do you hear church bells?

          August 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The only message I have heard from believers like you fred is.... opinion framed as truth, lies and personal statements of delusion.

          August 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "sent you to a Christian school"

          Seems like only last week you claimed I was indoctrinated by a secular school system....oh wait that was last week.

          Are you ready to admit it is the flaws of your religion and its mythology that drives people away?

          August 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed
          I admit it is the flaws and failure of man to follow the example set by Jesus. Mythology requires myth which we have Zeus and the like but not for God or Jesus.

          August 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          fred,

          There is absolutely no reaso to think the Jesus story is anything more than a legend. There may have been a historical Jesus...but buying in to the idea he walked on water, rose from the dead, changed water to wine is just ridiculous. Notice that every miracle attributed to Jesus was claimed to have been accomplished by some other supposed god before him. The early church leaders were very aware of this. You may think that is just a coincidence but I don't.

          Jesus was not original in either his claimed "miracles" nor his general philosophy. I would think that the creator of the universe could have come up with an original thought or an original trick.

          August 2, 2014 at 12:44 am |
  13. joey3467

    True science should not operate on a presupposition

    At least Topher is willing to admit that the people at AIG aren't practicing real science.

    July 31, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Scientists have questions, and look for answers.
      Christians have an answer, and apply it to every question.
      I'll take science. It's self-correcting.

      July 31, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • joey3467

        Yeah, I don't really understand while so many Christians seem to think that admitting when you are wrong is a bad thing.

        July 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
    • ausphor

      joey
      Now if you can only convince Topher and his ilk to move the bible into the fiction section, we would be getting somewhere.

      July 31, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
  14. joey3467

    Sorry, I forgot to address this part. Microchips are developed using observational science. They do not require the universe to be billions of years old for use to figure them out.

    While this is true, the fact that they work proves that the dating methods are accurate since they are based on the same principals. If the dating methods were all wrong then GPS wouldn't work.

    July 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
    • ausphor

      joey
      I will need more than a nanosecond or two to formulate a response.

      July 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
  15. joey3467

    True science should not operate on a presupposition,

    unless of course the presupposition is that the bible is always right.

    July 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    A 1500-year-old bible has been discovered in Turkey. Discovered in 2000, the book that contains purportedly the Gospel of Barnabas has been transferred by the Turkish government to the Ethnography Museum of Ankara with a police escort. Barnabas was a disciple of Christ, and in the work, claims that Jesus was not crucified, instead it says he ascended to heaven alive and Judas Iscariot was crucified in his place. Furthermore, the 1500-year-old bible states that Jesus Christ was not the son of God, but simply a prophet who passed on the word of God.

    July 31, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • Løki

      Christian denial in 1... 2... 3... GO!

      July 31, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • ausphor

        Theo Phileo is already predicting it was a plant by Dan Brown and/or Lucifer himself, 1, 2, 3, go....

        July 31, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      nope ... looks like the Christians are not answering this one ... la, la, la, la, la, can't hear you, la, la, la, la, la

      July 31, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      See "Gnosticism."

      August 1, 2014 at 10:03 am |
  17. Løki

    Jesus promised the end of all wicked people.
    Odin promised the end of all Ice Giants.
    I don't see any Ice Giants walking around.

    July 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • bostontola

      Odin 1, Jesus 0

      July 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • ausphor

        Loki
        Not to be ornery, but isn't there a hockey team up in Alaska or the Yukon with the Ice Giants name, probably approved by Jesus in advance. Best to check first, what with all the wrath of God and such.

        July 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • Løki

          Unless they are called the 'Jötunn' then I would say the hockey team doesn't count.

          July 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • ausphor

          Loki
          Have to admit I had to look that one up. Didn't he play with Bobby Orr, not the Bruins, but the Blackhawks in Chicago? Of course Jotunn looks more like a broomball player.

          July 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    You mean to tell me,
    that a Jewish zombie can make me live forever,
    if I telepathically accept him as my master…
    all because a talking snake convinced a woman created by one rib
    to eat from a magical tree?
    Really???

    July 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      Reading Cliff Notes again?

      July 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        More reliable than the bible.

        July 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          So you haven't read the Bible then. Got it.

          July 31, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Unlike you, I actually have read the bible. I simply don't ignore all the nasty stuff (cherry pick) and I've read it with an open-mind!

          July 31, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          Truth...you mention something that most of the atheists mention on this cite...that you've read the Bible. Good for you. Have you, however, studied it? Have you considered how the language of the original texts–Hebrew for instance–place limitations on an English translation? Have you considered the cultures that existed at the time the various books were written and how they would have interpreted the text? Have you studied the nuances of oral history and how that would have been interpreted in a subsequent written account? I can read a text book and tell you what it says, but if I haven't studied the underlying topic, I'm really not in position to explain or put the information into context. So, tell us, besides the Bible, what other sources have you studied? Can you refer me to the study guides or references you relied upon?

          July 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          WC: Can you provide evidence that the bible is true?

          July 31, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • Løki

          Oh look... an apologist...

          “The Bible: proof that gullible people will believe any dumbass thing that you tell them” ~LET

          July 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • observer

          workingcopy12,

          The biblical scholars who translated most of the current versions of the Bible supposedly did all of the above.

          So what is your point?

          July 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          WC12 ... here's an interesting read from the fair Doris:

          Analogia Scriptura – using scripture to explain scripture, courtesy of the first person to translate the Bible into English from Hebrew and Greek (William Tyndale). One of the first notions of Analogia Scripura is that the Bible is God's Word and free from contradiction. From that then comes, why I would call the art of making it all seem to be non-contradictory – the scripture is the scripture's interpreter. No wonder these people are thinking in circles. I guess that if one starts with the premise that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, then not only does this notion of AS help explain the Bible, it also validates it as well (huge eyeroll).

          July 31, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          So basically the responses I have received = "No we haven't studied it." And Dog, to be clear, I'm not talking about using scripture to explain scripture (although in context, that is permissible–such as when Jesus is referring to Moses–the fact that Moses exists in scripture that predates Jesus can explain who Moses is–context), I'm talking about outside sources–unbiased, generic texts about culture and language.

          July 31, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          "Can you provide evidence that the bible is true?" Which parts–commandments or poetry? That certain cities existed (they still do!). That certain people are real people? Even the great cut and paste master Reality would argue that Jesus existed (although not the diety that the Bible describes). Timing of events? What evidence would satisfy you? (The last question is really the one I'm after.)

          July 31, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          there is some evidence that a man named jesus lived and was crucified around 2,000 years ago. Anything else ever written about your storybook character jesus was written by people in the same deluded cult as you are. Hence, it cannot be called evidence and is not the truth! As the endless dodging and lying and twisting of Christians in this forum plainly show, people in your cult will say anything, no matter how far fetched, to support this cult's belief.

          It's a FRAUD and only your gullibility makes it real.

          July 31, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          WC: So in your small world, you need to study it to fully comprehend it...right??? Then could you please explain to us why there are over 40000 different sects of Christianity and on average they can't even agree with the interpretation of the book??
          Any thing written about the book that says the book is true is usually written by people who believe the book is true and thus are extremely biased.
          The men who wrote the bible weren't complete morons...they knew a fool when they saw one and they knew that a fool and his money are soon parted...it's the greatest game of manipulation and Fear Factor ever and sadly one too many have fallen prey to it.
          The most enlightening thing I ever did was to take an open minded look at the bible...it didn't take much from there to make me start questioning and opening my eyes. The world becomes bigger and more beautiful when religion is dropped.

          July 31, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • G to the T

          @workingcopy12 – There are a wealth of great resources out there done by historical textual critics, historians, philosophers and laymen. That being said, I believe you have a better feel for "context" then many do when they say "you're taking it out of context!". Are you honestly looking for sources or just questioning if others have done their due diligence?

          July 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          G to the T–admittedly, I wanted to scope out the posers. But I'm always on the look out for a good resource–even it I don't agree with the conclusions.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          Dog and Truth–thanks for proving my point.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          WC: What point? I gave my opinion and you shoved a bunch of apologetic crap at us. You've proven nothing more than your ignorance.

          July 31, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
      • bostontola

        Theo,
        The biblical stories have the same order of credibility as the ancient Egyptian God stories, the Greek myths, the Norse myths, or the Hopi myths. If there is a God, it's not likely to be any of them. It's not even likely that if there's a God, it wants a personal relationship with any human.

        July 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • ausphor

          Not to mention that any make believe god would even like Theo let alone want to spend eternity with Phileo in their midst.

          July 31, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          I laugh when Christians say that atheists are conceited because they don't believe in a god. Oh the irony!

          Christians believe that their imaginary sky daddy created this entire universe just for them and wants a personal relationship with them. It's the ultimate conceited, narcissistic, self absorbed view!

          July 31, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Funny how the member's of the Paste Eating Crew can't see the absurdity in that.

      July 31, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
  19. truth1914

    Matthew 13: For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.’

    July 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      “It's going to be all right, sir," Harry said over and over again, more worried by Dumbledore's silence than he had been by his weakened voice. "We're nearly there ... I can Apparate us both back ... don't worry ..."
      "I am not worried, Harry," said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. "I am with you.”
      – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

      July 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • jhg45

        harry potter or Jesus Christ, now who are you reading about? the panel seems divided here but that is the way of this world and it will soon become evident what happens when you mock God. Do not be misled, (Gal.6:7) please read more about Jesus and learn what the Bible really teaches. harry can't help

        July 31, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          mock mock mock... nope nothing happened

          July 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Dear Member of the Paste Eating Crew: Using the book proves nothing more than the fact that you have closed your mind and belong in an asylum!

          July 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • kudlak

          That threat sounds pretty empty after almost 2000 years.

          July 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • jhg45

          twin, brilliant! about what I expected.

          July 31, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • ausphor

          jhg45
          Strange that god's chosen people have gotten the short end of the stick throughout history. Oy vey, we would have done better with Tao or Vishnu!!!

          July 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • Løki

          "twin, brilliant! about what I expected" That's the best that you can do? Don't you have some neighborhood to annoy with your asinine JW outfits and bicycles?

          July 31, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • jhg45

          loki, you have JWs mixed up with Mormons and it would do you good to talk with the JWs. they know more about the Bible than you or I or all others here. I see much disagreement here but those people are the only religion that is united worldwide. just go to jw.org and learn what the Bible really teaches. I have been checking it out and they will answer any questions free of charge, unlike any other religion that has their hand out for everything. get to know them and then maybe you can talk about them accurately.

          July 31, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          jhg: so if i show up at your door step with a weapon pointed at your face, can your god stop me?
          can your god help you if you pray to him while i pull back the hammer?
          will your god stop the projectile from ripping through your flesh?

          the answer is no, because it is part of your god's plan that you die by my hands................prove me wrong.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • jhg45

          wasp; #1 yes, #2 yes, #3, possibly, maybe not, up to Him, #4 why did you ask the first 3? and why do you feel the need to confront with questions that you do not know anything about but are just trying to think of profound statements to start dumb arguments with. this belief blog used to be an enjoyable place to exchange thoughts and teachings but has become somewhat of a place for those who have nothing to do but to try to build themselves up with nonsense like your question. why not come up with questions or suggestions that may produce positive results ? to learn what the Bible really teaches go to jw.org, those people will help and it's a nice place to read something positive at.

          August 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          jhg:

          1) no he wouldn't because your god is non-corporeal

          2) no again because your god is non-corporeal

          3) no again, however because metal is denser than flesh; thus the force of the projectile would ripe you open.

          4) why i asked such an obvious set of questions? because it happens every few seconds and your god never does anything; yet he is all loving.

          you seeing the irony there?

          he loves all his children; yet he sits back and watches you die.....and the best part knowing everything before it happens, he not only watches it being everywhere, he allows it to happen.

          would you allow your brother to harm your children that you love so much, or would you display your love by stopping him?

          August 5, 2014 at 7:55 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      Romans 1:24-25 – Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

      July 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Dear Member of the Paste Eating Crew: Using the book proves nothing more than the fact that you have closed your mind and belong in an asylum!

        July 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #4 – If you habitually spout off verses from your "holy" book to make whatever inane point you're trying to make, with total disregard to the recipients' beliefs or disbeliefs, and not once does it occur to you to question whether your book is accurate in the first place, then you are intellectually destitute.

        July 31, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • kudlak

        Verse 20 goes For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. which would have possibly been seen as true back then, before science started to reveal how things are really "made". Paul was a product of his time, ignorant of many of the things we now take as common knowledge.

        July 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Really? Scientists know things now? So, tell me, where did the universe come from?

          July 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Løki

          @Theo – your use of the "god of the gaps" argument is boring.

          July 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @Theo

          there may or may not be some force that created the universe ... we haven't figured that out yet ... but it is not this god of bronze age foolishness that is so concerned with what people do while na.ked and so concerned that we praise him all day long and tell him how wonderful he is and so concerned with suppressing science and so concerned with meting out punishment and so concerned with inanities like what you can eat and what days you can work on and what cloth you wear and who you can marry.

          And yet YOU just used that creation thing as an escape hatch. You preach all this bronze age foolishness and judge, judge, judge people based on their story book but as soon as it is shown to be scientifically and historically flawed foolishness they panic and dodge and throw out "then who created the universe?" as if that has anything to do with 99% of their infantile fairy story book.

          July 31, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          theo: best guess; which is pretty damn good, mind you.
          first law of thermal dynamics: "energy can not be created nor destroyed"

          my guess would be the thing that science understands to be eternal......energy. well that and the fact we are all; and i mean everything you see and don't see; are made from energy.

          remarkible, yes? and i didn't even need any magic tricks to explain it.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "When a Christian reaches for their book to reference a quote... you know they are about to lie their ass off..." ~LET

      July 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Dear Member of the Paste Eating Crew: Using the book proves nothing more than the fact that you have closed your mind and belong in an asylum!

      July 31, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

        John 3:19-21 – This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

        July 31, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Dear Member of the Paste Eating Crew: You're not helping yourself. The bible has been proven wrong and you have been proven to be intellectually dishonest!! You might as well be quoting Cinderella...both are fairy tales, except that Cinderella doesn't involve the worship of a hateful, vengeful god

          July 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Løki

          Götterdämmerung / Ragnarok ist nah! Es wird von Fimbulvetr, der Winter Winter vorangestellt werden. Drei solcher Winter werden einander ohne Sommer dazwischen folgen. Konflikte und Fehden ausbrechen wird, auch zwischen Familien und alle Moral verschwindet. Dies ist der Beginn des Endes.

          July 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Yeah truth born in 1914,
      It does make sense that they KNEW how ridiculous their nonsense was, so in order to pad it's bad impact they would preface it with that stuff, "You're not gonna believe thus but ...."

      July 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
  20. Chris

    There is not one man on planet earth that is worthy of playing Jesus on the big or small screen. No white or black or brown or purple can fill the "larger than life" role. Stop having characters portray Jesus, instead have narratives when depicting His life on screen. No one race has the right to claim Jesus, Jesus is universal, He came to this world to share the important message that God loves all people equally. No one is more special than the others on this planet earth because of their skin color.

    July 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Robin Williams would be a good Jesus... or maybe Daffy Duck

      July 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Ru Paul would be a great jesus ... he would like traveling around with his 12 men friends just like jesus did ...

      July 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
    • Alias

      Queen Latifah,
      For those days when gods had attitude.

      July 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
    • ausphor

      Big Bird, warm and fuzzy yet bigger than life.

      July 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Dear Member of the Paste Eating Crew: An education will help cure you of the virus you've been inflicted with. Please register for grade school while you still have a chance to save what is left of your brain.

      July 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Except he doesn't apparently love those who don't buy into his cult

      July 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.