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From the Other Side of the Fence

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July 23, 2012 5:02:00 AM

All of my life, I have been an Atheist. I was raised without a religion, believing that religion was, quite frankly, a fool's idea.

I have read genesis, and some small parts out of different passages in the New Testament, and I have developed a question revolving around these passages of Genesis:

Quote:
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning —the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”


The complexity of living organisms (flora and fauna) is so immense, how can a sky wizard "create" every single thing from nothing, give them the ability to fly, swim, and reproduce (which is a psychological and anatomical thing, A.K.A. something that cannot be "given")?

There is absolutely nothing in this passage that makes sense, there is nothing that can be explained without the brainwashed response of "God has supreme power," and certainly nothing that can be believed.

So my ultimate question is, why believe a passage written 3,000 years ago, that has no facts behind it, that is extremely vague, and that puts the authors at the centre of their known universe?

P.S. Please keep it clean, and give thought out responses.

More about : side fence

July 23, 2012 5:25:42 AM

Who knows the mind of God.
What would be interesting is, if it said, God created living creatures which moved along the ground, and then the creatures of the sea
July 23, 2012 7:53:39 AM

Somehow, the religious book which supposedly is the book of everything only record how god command the creation of macro fauna and flora, but utterly forgot about the micro-organisms. A reason for that? Maybe because human haven't discover them back then and the people who imagine the book don't have any inspiration to come up with something like that and write them down (imagine going back to those time and tell people that god creates micro-organisms that can't be seen and you will be the village's fool).

The creation idea never answer anything. The origin of the creator is never explained, or usually answers along the line of "it simply exist, its existence is eternal, there is no beginning or creation of god and it is outside the timeline as we know it". Although that idea has a meaning, it is neither tested or testable and relies on faith where you convince yourself it is true.

Saying "I don't know" is unacceptable for people who is suppose to be a "know it all", e.g. leaders of society (think of kings, tribal leaders, shaman, religious leaders). Saying "I don't know" makes them look weak and they lose authority. Also, not knowing something means curiosity not satisfied and people will ask questions, which is a big problem for rulers. Religion and government, they propagate each other. When you have a secular government, no religion is promoted by the governing body and when religion is not enforced, it is not surprising to see the number of people believing in a religion drop. However, the freedom for religion means people are allowed to practice their faith and various religious group try to recruit new members in the hope to influence the government. Also, the insecurity of not knowing make some people nervous and they voluntarily choose to believe.

IMO, religion is a governing and political tool, propaganda machine, a method of crowd control and psychotherapy.
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July 23, 2012 10:42:34 AM

If you are truly an atheist why would you care in the first place?

People have been trying to break down and disassemble the Bible through their own logic, not realizing the Bible is a mystery in itself.

To unlock the mysteries of the Bible you have to have the key, the key to understanding the Bible is acceptance of Jesus Christs sacrifice for your sins.

Without the key you will never understand any of it, no matter how hard you try.

Religion is the prostitution of Christianity!

If you're really looking for Biblical answers, ask God to forgive you of your sins and ask Him to allow Jesus Christ into your heart, then through the Power of the Holy Spirit you'll receive the understanding.

Simple as that!

By the way, if you read this post, you're now responsible for it! Ryan
July 23, 2012 3:50:32 PM

Pyree, I could not agree more. Religion is a tool in every sense of the word, and blind faith is required to believe any religion on this planet. It amazes me that people need religion as a pole to lean their brain on. They cannot understand that having no answer is fine, that science can explain it in the fullness of time, and that it is explaining things that religion says it explains every single day.

When a person is saved due to a medical treatment they had, many said, and say, that it is a "miracle," but it is in fact due to science, and not the blind prayer and faith in a sky wizard, that saved that human.

Ryan, I care because I want to promote reason and logic, and dismiss blind ignorance from the world. If the bible is a mystery, and the "key" to this mystery is the acceptance of Jesus as your savior, then I think that you are simply saying that you should believe it because you should believe it. Your version of understanding is what I call ignorance, and as Pyree said, you simply want answers to what we do not know. I admire that you want answers, but believing something with no evidence is not the way to go about it.

Asking god for forgiveness of my sins is plain stupid. A god that I would believe in would appreciate that people are trying to find alternative routes to the answers of the world that he has created, not send them into a figmental world full of brimstone and fire. And the mere idea of the "Power of the Holy Spirit" is ridiculous, and I hope that you can reread what you said and realize how brainwashed you are.
July 23, 2012 5:15:18 PM

Kizika said:
Ryan, I care because I want to promote reason and logic, and dismiss blind ignorance from the world. If the bible is a mystery, and the "key" to this mystery is the acceptance of Jesus as your savior, then I think that you are simply saying that you should believe it because you should believe it. Your version of understanding is what I call ignorance, and as Pyree said, you simply want answers to what we do not know. I admire that you want answers, but believing something with no evidence is not the way to go about it.

Asking god for forgiveness of my sins is plain stupid. A god that I would believe in would appreciate that people are trying to find alternative routes to the answers of the world that he has created, not send them into a figmental world full of brimstone and fire. And the mere idea of the "Power of the Holy Spirit" is ridiculous, and I hope that you can reread what you said and realize how brainwashed you are.


You started this with scripture you don't even understand, well here's some scripture for you, that you will understand.

Matthew 12: 31 & 32

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.




July 23, 2012 5:40:28 PM

MY biggest problem with Christianity (Or any old religion) is the bible you are reading is not the bible that Jesus would have preached. Or even the same bible that existed for hundreds of years after.

If you really want the religious experience read it in latin.

Its the same principle as translating something in between several languages. Go to google translate and translate a simple sentence int a few languages and then back, it makes no sense. The same with the 300 odd translations of the bible, each one is a little different ( some dramatically different), the bible really has no grey area its either the word of God or its not.

Parts of the bible have been removed over the years also, council of Nicea(I think) is where they chose what would go into the bible and what would be removed. So right there its an incomplete document.

Lastly my biggest beef with the bible in particular is the gay sex thing. Your entire religion bans gay people because of one sentence

"Thou shalt not lay with a man as a man lays with a woman" or something to that effect. This one is a doozy and sets a lot of policy in place that is discriminatory. But forget about all of the other rules.

When was the last time you worked on a Sunday? - Mortal Sin

Some scholars even think organized sports should be banned "Thou shalt worship no God other than me" is it worship if you give you TV a few hours of attention every Sunday? It probably isnt, but that isnt up to you to decide the bible is pretty clear on a few things.

No killing - We elect leaders that support war all the time.

If people lived by the standards in the Bible then the world would be a better place, no doubt about that. But they are impossible standards to live by and have no relevance in the modern world.

July 23, 2012 6:22:54 PM

Kizika said:
All of my life, I have been an Atheist. I was raised without a religion, believing that religion was, quite frankly, a fool's idea.

I have read genesis, and some small parts out of different passages in the New Testament, and I have developed a question revolving around these pass

The complexity of living organisms (flora and fauna) is so immense, how can a sky wizard "create" every single thing from nothing, give them the ability to fly, swim, and reproduce (which is a psychological and anatomical thing, A.K.A. something that cannot be "given")?

There is absolutely nothing in this passage that makes sense, there is nothing that can be explained without the brainwashed response of "God has supreme power," and certainly nothing that can be believed.

So my ultimate question is, why believe a passage written 3,000 years ago, that has no facts behind it, that is extremely vague, and that puts the authors at the centre of their known universe?

P.S. Please keep it clean, and give thought out responses.
Whether you believe in creation, evolution, ancient aliens genetically modifying Cro-Magnon, scientology, or the magic spaghetti monster, the fact is no one knows how life on this planet came to be. Fact is, aside from microbes found in meteors and Mars dust, there is just no religious or scientific proof that there is life on other planets. Given the inherent curious nature of human beings, the search for the never ending question of "How?" and "Why?" will continue to plague the brightest of philosophical and scientific minds.

Do not get caught into the fools debate about Genesis and the creation story as a literal explanation for how life came to be. Genesis is an allegory. An explanation for knowledge never known or forever lost to antiquity.

The Bible is a book of faith. Faith defies and requires no explanation. You either have faith and believe or you do not. It is a personal and spiritual choice.
July 23, 2012 6:23:23 PM

4Ryan6 said:
You started this with scripture you don't even understand, well here's some scripture for you, that you will understand.

Matthew 12: 31 & 32

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.


I was speaking of my version of a god, your god of course blasts differences of opinion. Not believing in the sky wizard will of course get you tortured for, apparently, eternity...even though the universe will end in 13.3 billion years (scientific estimates still vary a bit). And not understanding the scripture...there's very little to not be understood. I think your version of understanding, is believing.

Wanamingo, that is very true. The bible has been changed quite a lot since the time of Jesus, and even then it wasn't what he preached. And the anti-gay part of the bible REALLY ticks me off, especially since they pick and choose which rules to follow (as you pointed out), and yet they choose to follow this one.

If we were to enter a village, steal the virgins and children, and kill the remaining, it would be fine by biblical law. The relevance of the standards in the bible are, indeed, not relevant whatsoever in the 21st century.
July 23, 2012 6:39:42 PM

chunkymonster said:
Whether you believe in creation, evolution, ancient aliens genetically modifying Cro-Magnon, scientology, or the magic spaghetti monster, the fact is no one knows how life on this planet came to be. Fact is, aside from microbes found in meteors and Mars dust, there is just no religious or scientific proof that there is life on other planets. Given the inherent curious nature of human beings, the search for the never ending question of "How?" and "Why?" will continue to plague the brightest of philosophical and scientific minds.

Do not get caught into the fools debate about Genesis and the creation story as a literal explanation for how life came to be. Genesis is an allegory. An explanation for knowledge never known or forever lost to antiquity.

The Bible is a book of faith. Faith defies and requires no explanation. You either have faith and believe or you do not. It is a personal and spiritual choice.



I agree with most of this, but the very basis of Christianity is the creation of the world. If Genesis is a book of knowledge never known or lost to antiquity, then there is no basis to Christianity. So it is a choice of faith, that is true, but having faith is not reasonable in a world such as ours. If you believe that when you fall off of a cliff a cloud will catch you, you have faith that it will happen. But it won't, as facts, physics, and science rule our world. So the very creation of our world cannot be believed to be a certain way based merely on faith, as faith has no purpose.

I cannot see how you would read Genesis, knowing that it is not literal, and then believe in the religion that is built around it. Without truth and literal facts at the core of Christianity, there is no reason to believe it. Even if you had "faith," it is totally obsolete in our world, so there is no logical person that could believe in god, unless he was ignorant towards what he holds true.
July 23, 2012 6:41:04 PM

Just a quick comment on the anti-gay thing. The purpose of that passage about man laying with man, is NOT to be anti-gay. The purpose was to lay down the rules for increasing a tribes strength in numbers. Basically, if you want more warriors for your tribe then you better NOT engage in this activity.

It even says in another part of the bible that it is better to lay thy seed in the belly of a whore than to spill it on a rock. Basically saying, it's better to impregnate a woman (increasing the strength of the tribe) than to masturbate which produces no warriors at all.

That is the real purpose of those passages. It's sort of been twisted into the anti-gay thing over the centuries but tha was NOT its original intent.


/grabs some popcorn and waits for the fireworks.
July 23, 2012 6:46:16 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
Just a quick comment on the anti-gay thing. The purpose of that passage about man laying with man, is NOT to be anti-gay. The purpose was to lay down the rules for increasing a tribes strength in numbers. Basically, if you want more warriors for your tribe then you better NOT engage in this activity.


But thats the point I was making, some people use one sentence in a thousand year old book to justify discrimination, while at the same time ignoring all of the other aspects of the book.
July 23, 2012 7:03:56 PM

I agree entirely, it has been twisted into an anti-gay message. Very good point about the reproduction, didn't think about that.
July 23, 2012 7:49:30 PM

Kizika,
Take this simple scienctific approach. Everything requires a constant for something in science to work. For example, we assume light is constant and the speed can not change. This has been disproven though, but at some point it had to be held as a constant until otherwise challenged by science.

Given that many things are unable to be explained to determined, the idea being that God would be the constant. Science will wittle as much away from it as possible but may not be able to explain everything. For those who want to know, they can pry and dig. For those who do not need to know, or do not challenge it, there is God.

Answer this question first, "What is God?"
July 23, 2012 8:33:28 PM

Evolution doesn't disprove the existence of a higher power in any way whatsoever.. it merely provides a scientific defintion for the process. Who's to say God didn't create the evolutionary process?

As riser suggested above, the deeper question is "What is God?".
July 23, 2012 8:47:02 PM

I'm liking the Dinosaurs vs Aliens article and comic book series...
July 23, 2012 11:50:53 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
Just a quick comment on the anti-gay thing. The purpose of that passage about man laying with man, is NOT to be anti-gay. The purpose was to lay down the rules for increasing a tribes strength in numbers. Basically, if you want more warriors for your tribe then you better NOT engage in this activity.

It even says in another part of the bible that it is better to lay thy seed in the belly of a whore than to spill it on a rock. Basically saying, it's better to impregnate a whore (increasing the strength of the tribe) than to masturbate which produces no warriors at all.

That is the real purpose of those passages. It's sort of been twisted into the anti-gay thing over the centuries but tha was NOT its original intent.


/grabs some popcorn and waits for the fireworks.

Who needs to lay seed in the belly of a woman to increase population when a virgin can give birth. :sarcastic: 
July 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM

Pyree said:
Who needs to lay seed in the belly of a woman to increase population when a virgin can give birth. :sarcastic: 



Remember, this was written back in "tribal times". Everything was about the tribe. Like the 12 tribes of Israel? Know om sayin'?
July 24, 2012 12:07:49 AM

Know what you are saying. The "not lay seed on rock" part is from book 1 and the virgin is from book 2.

I wonder what it is like if they make these into movies:

Bible: Episode I - The Great Escape
Bible: Episode II - The Resurrection
Bible: Episode III - Rise of the Mormon
July 24, 2012 12:42:05 AM

The virgin birth was created by God, as men dont give birth.

Current scientific understanding is, life started from the oceans first
This is a considered overlooked fact if you will
July 24, 2012 12:50:00 AM

Look at it this way. Modern medicine can create a virgin birth right now. What's to say this wasn't just child's play for "the gods" way back then?
July 24, 2012 1:07:41 AM

As a believer, life coming first from the sea, the maligning of other biblical statements of land area vs water area, where we know the glaciers have been melting, and land masses are shrinking.
Fire and brimstone does work, if people are truly seeking God, but when they arent, and would rather just poke around the bibles words, then take them for what theyre worth, such as life coming from the seas first, and not say there are no facts in Genesis.

Major fact there, and before anyone had a clue also, but many things are written off as coincidence if that isnt the true point.
I also believe, wanting to believe something often drives like minded people together, its just that accusing to sustain ones belief is a hollow subject for all sides.
Now, instead of criticizing Christianity, prepetuate and explore atheism, and expand that diatribe
July 24, 2012 10:43:42 AM

chunkymonster said:
Do not get caught into the fools debate about Genesis and the creation story as a literal explanation for how life came to be. Genesis is an allegory. An explanation for knowledge never known or forever lost to antiquity.

The Bible is a book of faith. Faith defies and requires no explanation. You either have faith and believe or you do not. It is a personal and spiritual choice.


I will gladly claim the crown of the fool for Christ, I cannot speak for every Christian because all roads that brought them to Christ are different, but what I can say for myself is Gods Word is true, but you'll never discover that it is true until you believe and accept Jesus Christ into your heart.

That is the missing piece of the puzzle that Christians have, they have the understanding and the veil of the written Word is removed.

Those that took that step know!

Quote:
John 8:32

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.


Quote:
Matthew 13: 10~17

10 And the disciples came and said unto Him, “Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?”

11 He answered and said unto them, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables, because seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, ‘By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.

15 For this people’s heart has waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them, and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.


When someone picks verses out of the Bible to dissect thinking in their own earthly understanding that God must fit within their small box of understanding, they're under the false assumption that God must fit their own understanding or to hell with Him.

How could anyone even attempt to justify that in their own understanding that's all there is to it, the Bible is an entire library of books, picking out pieces to attempt to discredit is extremely lame, but many have done it, this is nothing new, and nothing new to THGF.

Quote:
John 3: 1~21

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 The same came to Jesus by night and said unto Him, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, unless God be with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said unto Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, unless a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.’

8 The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered and said unto him, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

11 Verily, verily I say unto thee, we speak what we know and testify what we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man who is in Heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He that believeth in Him is not condemned; but He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation: that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”


Father in Heaven, I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the conviction of the Holy Ghost to come upon all eyes reading this prayer, I pray for no peace upon your enemies Lord, I pray for Joy and grace to all your children, I pray for discontent and burning in the hearts of all here that have written to despise and reject you. I Thank You Lord for all the Blessings You have given me and my family and continue to give, I pray for Blessings on all those believers that see this prayer. But those unbelievers that would mock and discredit you Lord I pray they get their just rewards! Lord if there is anyone reading this that is seeking You, I pray in Jesus Name they repent of their sins and surrender themselves to You!
I pray this prayer in the Name of the Father, the Son, and The Holy Ghost, Amen!



July 24, 2012 5:40:19 PM

To level set, while I believe in the Bible and take to heart the teachings of Jesus Christ, I also believe that the Bible is fallible. The Bible was written by man and man is fallible. But, just because man is fallible it does not automatically mean that what man recorded in the Bible is incorrect.

Kizika said:
I agree with most of this, but the very basis of Christianity is the creation of the world. If Genesis is a book of knowledge never known or lost to antiquity, then there is no basis to Christianity.
No, the basis for Christianity is the birth, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, your assumption about Genesis and there being no basis for Christianity is false. I think what you mean to say is that Genesis is scientifically invalid therefore Christianity is also invalid. But given that Christianity, the Bible, and belief in God are all based on faith, there is no reason to scientifically validate the book of Genesis; unless you just want to continue a fools debate.

Kizika said:
So it is a choice of faith, that is true, but having faith is not reasonable in a world such as ours. If you believe that when you fall off of a cliff a cloud will catch you, you have faith that it will happen. But it won't, as facts, physics, and science rule our world. So the very creation of our world cannot be believed to be a certain way based merely on faith, as faith has no purpose.
First off, saying faith has no purpose is an ignorant statement used to bolster your own beliefs, it is the intellectual equivalent of a Shaman saying that facts have no purpose in science. And, c'mon, falling of a cliff and "having faith" that a cloud will catch you is an intellectually dishonest argument for the very reasons you cite. Of course facts, physics, and science rule our world. But facts, physics, and science are tools created to define, give meaning, and explain the PHYSICAL world. Facts, physics, and science do nothing and can not explain the SPIRITUAL world. So, it stands to reason that if facts, physics, and science are tools to define and explain the physical world, then religion is a tool to explain and define the spiritual world. Do you find it unreasonable or illogical that religion is just as valid to define and explain the spiritual world as facts, physics, and science are valid to define and explain the physical world?

Kizika said:
I cannot see how you would read Genesis, knowing that it is not literal, and then believe in the religion that is built around it. Without truth and literal facts at the core of Christianity, there is no reason to believe it. Even if you had "faith," it is totally obsolete in our world, so there is no logical person that could believe in god, unless he was ignorant towards what he holds true.
You say there is no God. You say that religion is obsolete. You say that faith has no purpose. Facts, physics, and science provide all the proof and literal facts you need. But yet, here you are creating a thread looking for some explanation, seeking answers to questions that you do not understand. If you only wanted to cement your own beliefs due to the failure of forum replies to convince you on a matter of faith, then you have succeeded. But at the very least, do not be ignorant to the idea that facts, physics, and science may have become a form of religion for you, that you have faith in facts, physics, and science to provide the answers to all your questions.

Try as you might, you can not separate the physical man from the spiritual man. The mind and spirit are two sides to the same coin and can never be separated. What man does to satisfy his mind and curiosity about the physical world, through facts, physics, and science, he should also do to satisfy his curiosity about the spirit through religion and spirituality. Therefore, if you are truly interested in learning and understanding the Bible and religion, attend weekly Church services, look for local Bible study group meetings, go take a class on world religions at the local community college.

Ultimately, you will find that faith and religion are far more a common and binding thread throughout the history of humanity right into modern times than facts, physics, and science could ever hope to be.

Good luck!
July 24, 2012 6:31:19 PM

chunkymonster said:


Try as you might, you can not separate the physical man from the spiritual man. The mind and spirit are two sides to the same coin and can never be separated. What man does to satisfy his mind and curiosity about the physical world, through facts, physics, and science, he should also do to satisfy his curiosity about the spirit through religion and spirituality. Therefore, if you are truly interested in learning and understanding the Bible and religion, attend weekly Church services, look for local Bible study group meetings, go take a class on world religions at the local community college.



Here is an interesting thought experiment Ive proposed here before.

Where is the soul located? Or the spirit for that matter, do you have to be human to have a spirit, do all dogs go to heaven? I think we can agree everyone has a body made of cells, made up of atoms, made up of even smaller subatomic particles, etc. Your brain can hold thoughts and ideas, memories, fine motor function......morality.

What if I made a machine, like a 3D printer that would recreate you atom by atom cell by cell. It recreated every neural path in your brain. An exact copy of you in every detail, I mean every detail a perfect recreated. Would it be the same person with the same memories? The same disposition towards life? Same like dislikes etc? Are we just the sum of our parts? The paths in your brain dictate who you are or is it something? Like a soul?

Anyone who says they know what happens when you die is trying to sell you something.

Also I dont think Religion (Christianity in particular) is the magic bullet for morality, look at the constant sexual abuse scandals going on all over the world. Or the evil done in the churches name, the popes in particular have done some really crazy shite throughout history.

This thread looks more and more like the Islam threads weve been seeing lately, especially once you start with the scripture quotations.

July 24, 2012 6:37:44 PM

wanamingo said:
Here is an interesting thought experiment Ive proposed here before.

Where is the soul located? Or the spirit for that matter, do you have to be human to have a spirit, do all dogs go to heaven? I think we can agree everyone has a body made of cells, made up of atoms, made up of even smaller subatomic particles, etc. Your brain can hold thoughts and ideas, memories, fine motor function......morality.

What if I made a machine, like a 3D printer that would recreate you atom by atom cell by cell. It recreated every neural path in your brain. An exact copy of you in every detail, I mean every detail a perfect recreated. Would it be the same person with the same memories? The same disposition towards life? Same like dislikes etc? Are we just the sum of our parts? The paths in your brain dictate who you are or is it something? Like a soul?

Anyone who says they know what happens when you die is trying to sell you something.

Also I dont think Religion (Christianity in particular) is the magic bullet for morality, look at the constant sexual abuse scandals going on all over the world. Or the evil done in the churches name, the popes in particular have done some really crazy shite throughout history.

This thread looks more and more like the Islam threads weve been seeing lately, especially once you start with the scripture quotations.



Interesting to think on that mingo. I recently read this book.

http://www.thenewearth.org/Roswell.pdf

It's promoted as fiction because for obvioius reasons the "source" can not be verified. It makes you think though. Very compelling. This book is my answer to your question.
July 24, 2012 7:02:36 PM

chunkymonster said:
To level set, while I believe in the Bible and take to heart the teachings of Jesus Christ, I also believe that the Bible is fallible. The Bible was written by man and man is fallible. But, just because man is fallible it does not automatically mean that what man recorded in the Bible is incorrect.

You acknowledge that it is fallible but proceed to say that doesn't mean it is incorrect? So it's fallible but correct? If it's fallible and incorrect how does one discern between what is "true" and what is not - seems a bit subjective. If you say it is fallible but it is correct, how do you know - sounds subjective. Either way subjectivity doesn't really sit well with me for an "organized" religion because it is rare that two people agree on everything. Hence why there are so many branches of Christianity with completely different beliefs.. anything from Baptism (how to do it, when to do it, what it means) to speaking in tongues (always interesting) to whether or not a woman can be a pastor.

chunkymonster said:

No, the basis for Christianity is the birth, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, your assumption about Genesis and there being no basis for Christianity is false. I think what you mean to say is that Genesis is scientifically invalid therefore Christianity is also invalid. But given that Christianity, the Bible, and belief in God are all based on faith, there is no reason to scientifically validate the book of Genesis; unless you just want to continue a fools debate.

So whether Genesis is true or not doesn't matter? It's quite common to hear a retort like this when something blatantly goes against Biblical teachings.. a retreat to the "unarguable" core of Christianity - "Nothing matters, let's discuss the bottom line - and that is Jesus is the savior and you can't prove otherwise."

chunkymonster said:

First off, saying faith has no purpose is an ignorant statement used to bolster your own beliefs, it is the intellectual equivalent of a Shaman saying that facts have no purpose in science. And, c'mon, falling of a cliff and "having faith" that a cloud will catch you is an intellectually dishonest argument for the very reasons you cite. Of course facts, physics, and science rule our world. But facts, physics, and science are tools created to define, give meaning, and explain the PHYSICAL world. Facts, physics, and science do nothing and can not explain the SPIRITUAL world. So, it stands to reason that if facts, physics, and science are tools to define and explain the physical world, then religion is a tool to explain and define the spiritual world. Do you find it unreasonable or illogical that religion is just as valid to define and explain the spiritual world as facts, physics, and science are valid to define and explain the physical world?

Let's pretend that religion is in fact "a tool to explain and define the spiritual world." How does one explain the unexplainable? Beyond that, if "religion" is the tool, let's acknowledge the fact that there are many, many religions. These different religions, by definition, do not "explain" the spiritual world in the same way at all, most notably in how to get there. Imagine if we had just as many theories describing how water turns to ice as different religions have describing how to get to heaven. I always find it intriguing to dig into the mind of someone that proclaims Christianity (or any religion) is the saving grace and that it is the "one true way" and that you have to take it on faith like they have. Take five devout people of great faith from five different religions that differ and put them in a room. Who has the "best argument" for their religion? It's the same story from them all - it's my faith - but they can't all be right.

chunkymonster said:

You say there is no God. You say that religion is obsolete. You say that faith has no purpose. Facts, physics, and science provide all the proof and literal facts you need. But yet, here you are creating a thread looking for some explanation, seeking answers to questions that you do not understand. If you only wanted to cement your own beliefs due to the failure of forum replies to convince you on a matter of faith, then you have succeeded. But at the very least, do not be ignorant to the idea that facts, physics, and science may have become a form of religion for you, that you have faith in facts, physics, and science to provide the answers to all your questions.

Facts, physics, and science don't have all of the answers right now, nor does it proclaim to. Being inquisitive and trying to learn as we live is a great experience. I certainly don't let religion spoil that experience for me, after all, religion proclaims to know what happened to create me, what happens when I die and even knows the ideal way that I should live. What's the fun in knowing everything! :( 


July 24, 2012 7:56:47 PM

wanamingo said:
Here is an interesting thought experiment Ive proposed here before.

Where is the soul located? Or the spirit for that matter, do you have to be human to have a spirit, do all dogs go to heaven? I think we can agree everyone has a body made of cells, made up of atoms, made up of even smaller subatomic particles, etc. Your brain can hold thoughts and ideas, memories, fine motor function......morality.
Do you love your dog? Wife? Girlfriend? Boyfriend? Mother? Father? Show me where the love is located. Show me where emotion is located in the body. I think you get my point. But if for some reason you must answer that question, please do not refer to endorphins or chemical reactions in the brain that gives a person the sensation of love because the same brain scan has also be used to show an increase in endorphins and chemical reactions when a person has a moment of faith and spirituality.

I personally do not understand how someone could live a fulfilled life, achieve self-actualization, and achieve their full potential if they are limit themselves to only what can be scientifically proven to them. Seems very two dimensional. So, if you are unable to believe in anything that can not be scientifically proven, it stands to reason that a person willingly and knowingly dismisses all things that can not be scientifically proven. Just because science hasn't proven something to be law or confirmed the theory does not automatically make it any less real or true. Science once thought the earth was flat, once though the earth center of universe, once thought that bathing washed away the protective layer of skin and opened the body to infection and disease.

wanamingo said:
What if I made a machine, like a 3D printer that would recreate you atom by atom cell by cell. It recreated every neural path in your brain. An exact copy of you in every detail, I mean every detail a perfect recreated. Would it be the same person with the same memories? The same disposition towards life? Same like dislikes etc? Are we just the sum of our parts? The paths in your brain dictate who you are or is it something? Like a soul?
If such a machine existed, I would be one of the first in line to harvest replacement organs. But until such a machine exists and we can observe the duplicate person, I will refrain from the hypothetical.

wanamingo said:
Anyone who says they know what happens when you die is trying to sell you something.
I hear that! I'll find out the truth when I kick. Until then, I will use all books and materials (religious, scientific, philosophical) available to me to live a the most honorable life my feeble brain and body can manage.

wanamingo said:
Also I dont think Religion (Christianity in particular) is the magic bullet for morality, look at the constant sexual abuse scandals going on all over the world. Or the evil done in the churches name, the popes in particular have done some really crazy shite throughout history.
I've come to the opinion that religion and the message and teaching of Jesus Christ for example, are as close to a magic bullet for morality as humanity is going to get. I've also come to the opinion that it is man's interpretation of those teachings, given that man is fallible, that skews the intentions of the message.
July 24, 2012 8:23:24 PM

Just wanted to point out, again, that the Roman Catholic church being Christian is a lie. If it were Christian, then why did it hunt down and persecute early Christians in North Africa and the Middle East seeking to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ? Because it is a pagan satanic cult? Ayup.

The Romans built St. Peter's Basilica on top of the temple of Jupiter, renamed the statue of Jupiter St. Peter and started a many centuries long campaign of "hey look we're all Christians now! Praise the lord!"
July 25, 2012 12:33:43 AM

Christianity doesnt solve or fix things, nor explains things in itself.
God does this thru you.
Peace of mind isnt the only thing God brings.
He also asks us for things, like our pain, our failures.

Its the working relationship of Gods spirit and man that brings this, and no, I havnt been to church in years, nor do I like to preach, yet my faith stands firm, as I find comfort in it, and my walk with God
July 25, 2012 1:15:16 PM

chunkymonster said:

First off, saying faith has no purpose is an ignorant statement used to bolster your own beliefs, it is the intellectual equivalent of a Shaman saying that facts have no purpose in science. And, c'mon, falling of a cliff and "having faith" that a cloud will catch you is an intellectually dishonest argument for the very reasons you cite. Of course facts, physics, and science rule our world. But facts, physics, and science are tools created to define, give meaning, and explain the PHYSICAL world. Facts, physics, and science do nothing and can not explain the SPIRITUAL world. So, it stands to reason that if facts, physics, and science are tools to define and explain the physical world, then religion is a tool to explain and define the spiritual world. Do you find it unreasonable or illogical that religion is just as valid to define and explain the spiritual world as facts, physics, and science are valid to define and explain the physical world?

You say there is no God. You say that religion is obsolete. You say that faith has no purpose. Facts, physics, and science provide all the proof and literal facts you need. But yet, here you are creating a thread looking for some explanation, seeking answers to questions that you do not understand. If you only wanted to cement your own beliefs due to the failure of forum replies to convince you on a matter of faith, then you have succeeded. But at the very least, do not be ignorant to the idea that facts, physics, and science may have become a form of religion for you, that you have faith in facts, physics, and science to provide the answers to all your questions.

Try as you might, you can not separate the physical man from the spiritual man. The mind and spirit are two sides to the same coin and can never be separated. What man does to satisfy his mind and curiosity about the physical world, through facts, physics, and science, he should also do to satisfy his curiosity about the spirit through religion and spirituality. Therefore, if you are truly interested in learning and understanding the Bible and religion, attend weekly Church services, look for local Bible study group meetings, go take a class on world religions at the local community college.

Ultimately, you will find that faith and religion are far more a common and binding thread throughout the history of humanity right into modern times than facts, physics, and science could ever hope to be.
Good luck!

The thing is spiritual enlightenment is something that religion promotes, and the spiritual world spawn religion in an almost egg and chicken situation. The spiritual world is a self construct that needs faith to explain, explore and expand. Without the spiritual world, there needs to be scientific or at least philosophical explanation. The spiritual world and the physical world is not two separate thing, it is two different view on the same thing. Many people without religion have philosophical enlightenment on big questions that religion use the supernatural to answer. While spirituality can fulfil your curiosity for some big questions, it is not the only pathway nor satisfy everyone's curiosity. For personal purpose of satisfying one's curiosity, spiritual or scientific/philosophic works the same, it will answer the questions. For the development and making progress for the society, I will have to give my vote to the scientific/philosophic approach. Nothing against moderate religious people. You can practice all you want. But I do have a thing about extremist ideas and people who gives all the credit to the higher being and not the people like the scientist, engineer, doctors, nurses and care worker, the soldiers, teachers, farmers, adult movie actor and actress and sex workers (yes I mean it, screaming "oh my god" but what make you feel that way is really the person in front of and/or behind you is just plain rude :D . That also goes for anyone performing such activity, not just for the people in that industry. I think that's enough sidetracking to lighten up the mood). Of course there are people with other different jobs and profession that should have their credit attributed to them but instead attributed to the higher being instead, the list is just too long.
July 25, 2012 2:16:58 PM

riser said:
Answer this question first, "What is God?"

I my definition, it is a human construct, as in human created god. However, there are physical phenomenon that would be "god" because it dictates the world as we know it. But that is not something worth worshipping, although I would say not to destroy the environment is a good thing.

Crush3d said:
Evolution doesn't disprove the existence of a higher power in any way whatsoever.. it merely provides a scientific defintion for the process. Who's to say God didn't create the evolutionary process?

Who's to say evolution is not a natural selection process? Without evidence to suggest a higher being is involve, the process of evolution to happen is defaulted to the most apparent reason with supporting evidence.
July 25, 2012 2:23:53 PM

Crush3d said:
You acknowledge that it is fallible but proceed to say that doesn't mean it is incorrect? So it's fallible but correct? If it's fallible and incorrect how does one discern between what is "true" and what is not - seems a bit subjective. If you say it is fallible but it is correct, how do you know - sounds subjective. Either way subjectivity doesn't really sit well with me for an "organized" religion because it is rare that two people agree on everything. Hence why there are so many branches of Christianity with completely different beliefs.. anything from Baptism (how to do it, when to do it, what it means) to speaking in tongues (always interesting) to whether or not a woman can be a pastor.
You hit the nail on the head, the Bible is fallible because it was written by fallible men. However, it does mean that what was recorded in the Bible to be incorrect or untrue. Think of a court reporter. The court reporter is a human being that makes mistakes just like the writers of the Bible. But just because the court reporter is a fallible human being, it does not automatically make what they recorded any less true or any less correct. Fallible men can accurately record the truth just like a court reporter can accurately record court proceedings and just like the writers of the Bible accurately recorded the word of God.

Crush3d said:
So whether Genesis is true or not doesn't matter? It's quite common to hear a retort like this when something blatantly goes against Biblical teachings.. a retreat to the "unarguable" core of Christianity - "Nothing matters, let's discuss the bottom line - and that is Jesus is the savior and you can't prove otherwise."
So, let me get this straight, its okay to accept that science does not have all the answers right now and live on the faith that someday science will provide those answers but it's not acceptable for a Christian to call Genesis an allegory and live on the faith that when they meet God in heaven they will learn the answers. Kind of hypocritical, don't you think?

Whether you make excuses for science not having all the answers and have faith that science will provide them or whether you make excuses for Genesis and have faith that when you meet God in heaven the answers will be given, both rely on faith. Like it or not, it comes down to your choice of faith.

Crush3d said:
Let's pretend that religion is in fact "a tool to explain and define the spiritual world." How does one explain the unexplainable? Beyond that, if "religion" is the tool, let's acknowledge the fact that there are many, many religions. These different religions, by definition, do not "explain" the spiritual world in the same way at all, most notably in how to get there. Imagine if we had just as many theories describing how water turns to ice as different religions have describing how to get to heaven.
You are missing the simple fact that science and religion are two completely different disciplines and require different ways of thinking. A scientist would not go to the Seminary to learn physics no more than a Seminarian would attend M.I.T. to learn religion. Science can not quantify why a person has emotions any more reliably than Genesis accurately explaining the creation of the universe.

Crush3d said:
I always find it intriguing to dig into the mind of someone that proclaims Christianity (or any religion) is the saving grace and that it is the "one true way" and that you have to take it on faith like they have. Take five devout people of great faith from five different religions that differ and put them in a room. Who has the "best argument" for their religion? It's the same story from them all - it's my faith - but they can't all be right.
Calling out incompatibility between the many religions in the world misrepresents and ignores their commonality. The Sumerian Enuma Elish and Zorastrianism share a common history and origin which feeds into the Abrahamic religions which have their own common history and origin. Even Hinduism believes in a single god and has common themes in its origin story when compared to other religions. There is some divergence when you get into Eastern religions but even those differences stop at a core belief of a centralized moral code. It is in the ego and ignorance inherent in Man that asks the question of which is "right" or "best". You can engage in the fools debate about which religion is "the best" or which religion is "right" but that just blatantly ignores the teachings and intent of each religion to provide a moral and philosophical framework that feeds the spiritual nature of Man. People would much rather satisfy their ego by knowing that they are following the "right" or "best" religion than consider the idea that all religions have something to offer.

Crush3d said:
Facts, physics, and science don't have all of the answers right now, nor does it proclaim to.
I dunno, I've read and heard rhetoric from scientific zealots proclaiming that religion serves no purpose and only idiots and fools believe in any form of God; like the OP for example. Point being there are zealots on both sides, but that's exactly what they are, zealots locked into their narrow paradigm and ego of why what they believe is "right" and "best" with little ability to consider what is outside their belief.

Crush3d said:
Being inquisitive and trying to learn as we live is a great experience. I certainly don't let religion spoil that experience for me, after all, religion proclaims to know what happened to create me, what happens when I die and even knows the ideal way that I should live. What's the fun in knowing everything! :( 
There is nothing that I have ever read in any religious text that automatically precludes you from following scientific method and learning any and all things you choose to. The notion that religion and scientific method are incompatible is plain false.

The greatest gift God gave Man was free will and with it Man is free to questions, choose, and live however we darned well please, including freely choosing to believe in God or not.
July 26, 2012 11:56:36 AM

Guys as an athiest I am staying out of this discussion but I will give you fair warning that if the discussion devolves to abuse and anyone comlains to me via PM then I will close the thread ... much as I have done in the past.

Whilst I don't mind people taking pot shots I in other threads) at zealots, fundamentalists, Scientificologists, or jihaddists, I take a dim view to people abusing mainstream Christian, Buddist, Taoists and a heap of others that I can't remember because I am unworthy.

Lets keep it clean.
August 24, 2012 5:17:06 PM

One word: Mormonism. I would not be Christian if I wasn't Mormon.
!