10. It is Absurd: This may seem like I am re-stating what this list sets out to show. However, this is misleading. When someone comes to us with an extravagant claim the most common reason we may discount the claim is because, to put it curtly, we find it absurd. The reason why the majority of people don’t believe in Scientology, reincarnation, Mormonism, Greek Gods, etc. is not because they have extensively researched the historicity and veracity of the claims, it is because they don’t believe such things happen in the world. In other words, common sense tells us that when someone claims the absurd almost anything is more likely to be the case (e.g. they are lying, they are delusional, they are relying on misinformation) than for the absurdity to be real. Men do not miraculously heal the sick, raise the dead, cure the blind, and rise from the grave. The claims of Christianity are prima facie absurd. The burden of proof is on them.
9. Jesus Has Not Returned: This, also, may seem a soft point. However, for 2000 years–80 generations–a substantial number of every single generation of Christians has whole-heartedly believed that Jesus’ return was imminent. This often included exact dates that, when they came to pass, did not cause the believers to toss their erroneous ideologies aside. And this perennial incorrectness goes back to the beginning. One can only understand the earliest Christians–the generation immediately following Jesus’ death–as a group who were expecting Jesus to return at any moment (I Thess 4:15-17). Why did they believe this? Because, on more than one occasion, Jesus unequivocally said so (Mark 9:1, Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:30). Christians have proven to be resolutely imperturbable and incorrigible to their continued failures.
8. God Doesn’t Care: Most people believe in God. And, when asked why they believe in God, the most common answer is taken from the argument from design: the universe is too ordered and beautiful to have arisen without an intelligence behind it. Whether or not this is true, this claim has little to do with Christianity. Christianity claims that God not only created the world but also takes an active part in its management, in our moral choices, and in our fates. In other words; He cares. It is this conception of God that bends credulity to the breaking point. God as essence–that is a “first cause” God or a “higher power” God–is a far less difficult concept than God as being. First of all, according to centuries old Christian dogma, God is immutable. In other words He is a static, non-changing “being” that cannot create new beliefs, make inferences, or adjust desires. Secondly the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent “being” having desires borders on the nonsensical. If all things are known–all that ever was, is, or will be–what would be the point of desiring anything? This is not just a simple word game. Christians consistently claim that God “wants” us to believe in him and follow his commandments. However, they also claim that he knows whether we will do so or not. So, what is the point of Him wanting anything? God as essence is palatable. God as a being is not only ridiculous but likely impossible. (P.S. This one is for the non-predestinarians. If you are a pre-destinarian there are other reasons you are wrong: see below. However, most Christians are not predestinarians; although, if they care about consistency [not high on the list], they should be.)
7. Other Religions: For most of Christian history the problems caused by other religions were not pressing, if they were considered at all. In the enclosed world of medieval times–when most people would never travel more than 10 miles from their place of birth–people of non-Christian faiths seemed almost phantasms. However, in the modern world the pots have been poured together and the faiths now intermingle on a daily basis. This, of course, brings religious problems to the forefront. But it also should force Christians (and other faiths) to make a few realizations: first, that faiths are conveyed primarily genealogically–from parents to children–as opposed to through dialectical, later-life conversion. We can never reasonably expect everyone to become Christian. This is not because Christianity is right or wrong, but because faiths carry their own momentum that is not derived from the truth or falsity of the beliefs. Secondly, that people of other faiths can live saintly lives of intense moral rectitude that rivals any Christian saint. And third, that people are exceptionally good at perpetuating, believing in, and dying for faiths that are manifestly false (as Christians believe). In other words, as Christians must unhesitatingly accept, people are very good at making up fantastic stories about events and figures in the past and then believing in them with fervor. If Christianity was the only belief system in the world that made extravagant claims, and if its claims resembled none others in the world, then we would have more reason to believe it to be true. However, this is obviously not so. In fact, often the claims of Christianity are hopelessly derivative. Healing and resurrecting god-men have been the objects of stories for millennia (these god-men were particularly common in the Hellenized world of post-Maccabean Palestine. i.e.Apollonius of Tyana). Also, in addition to sharing many strong features with Mithraism and Zoroastrianism, many early Christians found much distaste with the idea of the virgin birth, finding it too pagan. Plutarch writes in Convivial Disputations,”The fact of the intercourse of a male god with a mortal woman is conceded by all.”
6. There is No Soul: The inexcusable flippancy of the term “soul” abounds. And, although most people believe in it and freely use the term, they have no idea what it means. The evidence for physicalism–that the mind is the brain–has become nothing less than overwhelming. This evidence exists not only in the highest levels of research–where scientists can now point to, and manipulate, the exact location in our grey matter where essential characteristics lie–but it exists in the everyday lives of millions of people who take psychotropic drugs on a daily basis. These users will tell you drugs such as Prozac, lithium, Paxil and Ritalin don’t just give them a slight pick-me-up, they make them an entirely different person. Some of them must wonder if their “soul” is depressed or happy, anxiety filled or laid-back. Only by ignoring 200 years of medical progress can we believe that we simply inhabit our bodies–dropping by on the way to something better. It isn’t “I have a brain,” it’s “I am a brain.”
5. Evil: The tried and true returns. If you are a Christian you are probably rolling your eyes because you’ve heard it time and again. Why don’t we atheists understand that: [A] God works in mysterious ways, [B] God gave us free will which allows us to commit evil and good, [C] the world is in a fallen state, and [D] Satan represents a real presence in the world? No, we don’t understand because: [A] clearly God doesn’t work in ways that are too mysterious for you to be unhesitant in calling something “He” did “good” and asking him to do “good” things in the world on your behalf. You can either use moral qualifiers to describe God’s actions or you cannot; you can’t have it both ways. [B] Not only does this point not jibe with argument “A” (if God works in mysterious ways we couldn’t claim that free will is a “good”) it is difficult to see how, if free will is good, the using of free will to take away another’s free will (i.e. murder) is not intensely problematic in God’s eyes. Hitler used his free will to take away the free will of 10 million others. Thus, if, in 1919, God flipped the “become an artist” switch in Hitler’s mind, the result would have greatly added to the net amount of freedom in the world. [C] This is a non-starter if the Old Testament is not accurate but, even if it is, a God who holds great-great-great… grandchildren responsible for their ancester’s actions does not pass even the bare minimum test of human morality. Without a defined concept of desert, morality is a completely empty concept. It seems God is playing fast and loose on this count. [D] If this objection is forwarded seriously, then it is little more than ditheism (dual theism). Otherwise, in the Christian universe the only power Satan has is that which God lets him have. If you believe in the traditional Christian conception of God you must believe that, ultimately, everything is His fault. Everything. This in a world where rocks fall out of the sky onto innocent people and babies are eaten by dingoes.
4. The Bible is Not Consistent: Many, if not most, Christians would say that the Bible is inerrant. Well, they are wrong. Saying so doesn’t require an appeal to history, science, and/or archaeology; it only requires a demonstration that the Bible is incoherent–that is, it contains claims that cannot be true simultaneously. In such instances either one claim is false or they are both false–there is no other possibility. If you wish to throw rationality out the window and claim that a contradiction is possible, then you can just take your ball and go home; you are now playing a game that you can ask no one else to play with you. One example of many: Matthew (1:1-16) claims that there are 27 generations between David and Jesus, Luke (3:23-38) claims 41 generations. These cannot be reconciled. The Bible is not inerrant. QED
3. Christianity Cannot be the Religion that Jesus Preached: The story of Christianity is the story of the beliefs that Jesus professed developing into the religion that professes Jesus. In other words; dogma. It is pure folly to believe that Simon Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalene et.al followed Jesus because, when he died, they would be able to absolve their sins by believing in him. This later theological construction was created by believers who were searching for a meaning to the seemingly pointless execution of their leader and teacher. Those who originally followed Jesus did so because of his life–because he was an exemplary teacher who radically reinterpreted the Law in favor of inclusion rather than exclusion. Those who now follow Jesus do so because of his death. They turn a man’s poignant teachings–his life’s work–into a secondary and near meaningless preface to the panacea of his death. We primarily have Paul and John the evangelist (two people who did not know Jesus in his life) to thank for this inexcusable dumbing-down of Jesus’ life. With Paul and John’s help, what Christianity would become is embodied in the Nicene Creed. Take a look at it. Dogmatic fiat has expurgated everything the man stood for.
2. The Gospels are not Historically Reliable: We need not demonstrate Biblical errors solely through appeals to internal consistency. Doing so only tells us that something in the “word of God” is awry–but not necessarily which word is wrong. In order to perform Biblical analysis that actually broadens our view of what is true and false in the “good” book we need to bring in external sources. From these external sources we learn that the Bible makes claims that cannot stand up to even the most cursory historical examination. In the Gospel of Luke the story is told of a census enacted by the governor Quirinius (Luke 2:1-7). The census, according to Luke, required everyone to return to their ancestral homes to be counted. Thus Joseph, being in the line of David, travels from Nazareth to Bethlehem where–after unadvisedly traveling ninety miles with a woman in the final days of pregnancy–Mary gives birth. The Romans, being meticulous record keepers, did take censuses. However, because of this meticulous record keeping, we know that the only census conducted during Quirinius’ governorship took place in A.D. 6-7–a time over ten years after Herod was king of Judea (Luke claims they are contemporaries). However, aside from this fact we can use common sense to realize that the story is totally unbelievable. Luke invents an empire-wide migration for a simple tax registration: millions of people traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to go to their ancestral home of a millennium past (David predates Joseph by approx. 1000 years) in order to sign a simple form. Imagine this happening today. Imagine the cataclysmic disruption of societies resulting from the masses of people crossing boarders and oceans in order to sign a form. This, of course, supposes you could even find your ancestral home of a millennium past. No, something is wrong here and it isn’t that the Romans liked to periodically enact sadistically cumbersome legislation. No, I think our evangelist needs to go back to history class. But wait…
1. The Gospels are not History: This may seem like a paltry excuse for the number one spot on a list that makes such a grandiose claim. This reason, however, is the lynch pin. The historicity of the Gospels represents the most crucial element of Christianity–for either its truth or falsity. Christianity claims a specific historical relationship between God and man. If that relationship is historically inaccurate then Christianity is wrong. Or, as Paul memorably put it, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Cor. 15:14).
As we’ve seen the Bible is often contradictory and the Gospels are not historically accurate. However, the Christian mistake is compounded by believing that the Gospels are even history–that is that they were written or designed to accurately portray historical truths. The evangelists did not intend their writings to be taken as historical truths. If they could see modern Christianity they would be shocked at the millions of Christians interpreting their writings as historically authoritative. Please don’t misinterpret what I am saying. I am not saying the Gospels were entirely made up. I am saying that they were primarily written as myths that forego historical truths (but use many of them) in favor of conveying larger, theological truths that the evangelists believed about Jesus of Nazareth.
The evangelists poured through the Old Testament and found “prophecies” that predicted Jesus’ life. After all, there had to be grander reasons why their great teacher had been executed like a common criminal. In the pages of Jewish scripture they found those reasons. They then consciously wrote their gospels in order to retroactively fulfill prophecy. That this happens at all is beyond dispute. Sometimes, while stumbling over themselves to “fulfill” prophecy, they get it horribly wrong: Mark (1:1-3), using shoddy sources, begins his gospel with “prophecy” that mistakenly conflates two Old Testament versus; Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1. Matthew (1:20-23) uses a mistranslated Old Testament, in which the Hebrew almah, (meaning “young woman”) was changed to the Greek parthenos (meaning a physical virgin), as a justification for the immaculate conception. Matthew (21:1-7) so wants to fulfill a “prophecy” from another shoddy source that has combined Isaiah 62:11 and Zachariah 9:9, that he misinterprets the passage–which only speaks of one animal (with subsequent qualifiers)–and has Jesus ride into Jerusalem, in some bizarre act of balance, on two animals. (The other gospel writers are quick to correct this grievous error.) Thus, we begin to see that not only is it a manifest absurdity to believe the Gospels are history, it becomes tenuous to believe they are even accurate.
Each evangelist had his own interpretation. The theology of the evangelists–and specifically their Christology (the nature of Christ)–developed into more grandiose claims as Jesus’ life moved further into the past. If you wish to discover this for yourself, I advise you to successively read the Gospel of Mark (almost universally agreed to be the earliest Gospel written between A.D. 65-70) and the Gospel of John (agreed to be the latest Gospel written between A.D. 90-100) in a single sitting. Ask yourself this question; are they telling the same story? In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus largely speaks in parables and evasive third-person proclamations about someone called “the Son of Man.” In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells no parables and spends most of the time talking about himself, his godly status, and what the future will bring.
So, here is a brief lesson in the development of the concept of Jesus as God. We will only look at the beginning and the end; Jesus’ birth and death. Each historically subsequent evangelist slowly turns Jesus from a wise man contained within a life into a supernatural being who transcends the boundaries of life at both ends. First the birth narratives. In Mark there are none. Jesus is chosen at his baptism. Matthew and Luke (written c. 80-90) go back to his birth and tell incompatible stories of Jesus’ miraculous birth to a virgin. They further cement and establish the status of Jesus. John, feeling the others weren’t good enough, decides to go back to the beginning of time (John 1:1 “In the beginning was the word…”) to establish the nature of Jesus. The later gospels create theological concepts that were not present in the earliest sources.
Likewise, the death of Jesus changes dramatically throughout the gospels. There are no post-resurrection appearances in the earliest gospel, Mark. The last 12 verses of Mark are thought by many to be a later addition, added to create more congruence between the later gospels and Mark. By John’s Gospel, however, Jesus spends two and a half chapters wandering around post-crucifixion. The many significant changes in the death/resurrection narratives can be summed up in the three different accounts of the last words of Jesus: Mark 15:34 and Matthew 27:46 “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me.” Luke 23:46 “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” John 19:30 “It is finished.” The development of Christianity is encapsulated in the move from the utterance of pain, ignorance, nonacceptance, and suffering seen in Mark and Matthew to the statement of acceptance, foreknowledge, and peace that is seen in John. These are incompatible interpretations of Jesus. The character in the gospels may have the same name but it is not the same man hanging on the cross.
The Gospels are guides to belief written by believers. This is a horribly unreliable way to learn accurate information. When you already believe “The Truth,” distortions that you consciously engage in – that you see as promoting “The Truth” – are not seen as lies, but rather, as efficacious ways of getting “The Truth” to the hearts of readers. We don’t know why the evangelists believed as they did, but in the gospels they don’t give us the reasons they believe, they give us reasons to believe; an entirely different matter. But we do KNOW they invented things. We KNOW that the theological conception of Jesus changed as the believers grew more distant from his life. What Christians believe most fervently (e.g. Jesus being God, appearing after he died, dying for the sins of the world) are concepts that were developed later. They are concepts that did not exist in the earliest generations of Christian belief. They certainly did not exist when Jesus was alive.
Early Christians invented myths to overcome the “stumbling-block” (1 Cor. 1:23) of the cross. Paul knew that, for the Jews and Gentile Greeks, the execution of Jesus represented a major problem. The “king of the jews” was not supposed to be an executed lowly peasant. The “savior of mankind” was not a common criminal. Over time, theological concepts developed that explained this hang-up. Thus, an executed traitor was turned into a victorious Messiah.
Conclusion: These are some of the reasons that people like me don’t believe. Faith, or lack of it, has nothing to do with it. While none of these reasons is entirely convincing by itself, when taken together they create a strong case for the falsity of Christianity–if not an open-and-shut case. If you are a Christian and you are reading this (which I highly doubt) and if you cannot respond to each of these objections with evidence and coherent argumentation–as opposed to with faith and shouting–then you need to start shopping for a new religion.
When studying religions it may be interesting to learn more about Native American religions since many of them developed with an absence of culture influx compared to the religions that developed in Europe and elsewhere. This is one of the reasons why many Native American spiritualities seem pretty foreign to many people.
Ooh, look at me! I’m an athiest and I’m the smartest person in the world. Everyone who thinks differently than me is dumb! I know everything. I have all the answers to the universe figured out and I am not the least bit arrogant about it!
I have reasons and you have a mocking tone.
Because I have clearly stated reasons for my beliefs I am arrogant.
I think it is the other way around.
You should do this for all the major religions and then invite expert theologians in each respective religion to rebut your logic. I would put my money on you, but it would be interesting. I have always wondered how people could take the bible or any religion literally when it is so obviously an early form of governance and an explaination for the unexplainable.
Smally, I believe you just did the exact thing he predicted Christian’s might do and asked you not to do.
Adam, I’ve actually considered just that. After I put the last nail in the coffin of Christianity I’ll move on.
It’ll take awhile. I took me years to get to the point of – dare I say – expertise I have on Christianity.
Well, I’m sure its a pretty similar situation with all of them. I really hope someone who knows a lot, holds an opposite view to you (and me), and debates logically will respond. I would love to see that debate, but these invariably end in angry protests and comments on faith.
You make good points, but by saying that faith has nothing to do with it, you discount the biggest reason (or should I say, excuse) for Christianity’s existence: blind faith.
I cannot say that I was every fully Christian, nor did the fact that I went to church make me so. In fact, the entire reason I turned away from the religion was because as my curiosity got the better of me and delved deeper, I realized that blind faith was not for me.
True, faith is paramount.
However, faith gives no substance to belief. To believe something based on faith is to be unable to make a distinction between rational and irrational beliefs; between evidence-for or evidence-against. In point of fact, despite the endless appeals to faith, this stuff (the reliability of the gospels) does matter to Christians. Try and ask a Christian, “why should I believe in Christ” and have them answer without appealing to the Gosples.
I don’t have time to examine all of your points . . . but one of them I remembered reading about previously . . .
One Christian explanation for your proposed contradiction is found at http://www.christian-thinktank.com/quirinius.html
That link is the second google hit for ‘Qurinius’ – why doesn’t your point spend a bit of time refuting it? Or did you not do your research?
There are a couple other interesting links on the Qurinius problem on the first page of google results – I don’t know which (if any) of the explanations are true . . .
In short I think your using this subject of debate (not proved one way or the other) as a reason Christianity is wrong is intellectually dishonest.
To be truthful, I must say that I wish I could believe in Christianity, it would be comforting. However, I am just not able to believe something without proof (credible proof), without experiencing something that tells my brain its real, its true.
I think this is something that is misuderstood about people who argue against religions, people think we like to feel superior or bring peoples belief systems down. Thats not the case, at least with me, I would love it if Jesus came to my house showed me he was real and that heaven awaited me in the afterlife. I just can’t because he won’t ever do that, because Christianity (all religions for that matter) are based on rumor and fear of the unknown.
These pseudo-arguments have all been debunked long ago. Instead of spending so much time within your own brain, see what others have to say. The piece contains exactly zero references to reputable, specific research or any historians. I’d provide a list of books and Web sites but it appears you consider facts that oppose your stance irrelevant.
seriously…i agree with david. these arguments are pitiful. they’re either refuted/outdated, lack force, or are misleading. you must have used websites for your sources, not credentialed scholarship. you’d be well advised to read some qualified scholars — n.t. wright, ben witherington, james dunn, robin lane fox, richard bauckham, martin hengel, e.p. sanders, graham stanton, craig evans, graham twelftre, john p. meier, etc. i don’t even agree with everyone in this list, but at least they’re all real scholars.
Arguing about what God is or is not makes as much sense as arguing whether the Tooth Fairy wears a blue or a green shirt‚Ä¶
Smally reveals his small mind. Next time, offer some real commentary that is at least slightly enlightening.
Excellent article, well written.
Discussing the folly of Christianity is very appropriate, especially at this time in human history when so much of our world is suffering under the onslaught of religious fundamentalism. This is a taboo subject, which further proves it really needs to be openly addressed and discussed.
hey, i’m travis…and don’t blow your horn at me yet, but i happen to be a christian. no i’m not here to say that you’ve offneded me or to threaten to cut off your head, hehe. i’m really open minded about things, i’m different in an aspect to the “norm” of christianity. and i will be the first to admit that we’re not perfect nor will we ever be. but i have a question (maybe more later), why. i’m serious, whats your whole reason behind this, why do you feel it necessary to refute christianity? and tho i dont agree with everything, i have to commend you, its a very well written essay
also sure i’d love to debate…what do you want to know?
You should read this.
You covered the Christians. In fact, there is no need to go into 10 points. Just ask any Christian why he doesn’t believe in Zues, or Thor, or Zoroastra, or any of the other thousands of gods man has believed in at times. If they try to tell you that their god is the one true god, ask them why the people who believed in all the ancient gods thought the same? Where did all those ancient gods go? Why did we change gods?
The fact is, agonizing over whether any religion is true or not is a waste of time. Far better to spend your life doing things that will leave the world a better place after you die. Bring up your kids to be inquisitive, to not accept statements without verifying them, to avoid people who make definitive statements and expect you to believe them ‘just because they say so’.
And for a touch of perspective, view this video:
Your article is not scientifically supported. You also only one source in all of your now invalidated factual opinions. The irony is, that one source is the Bible. You also use the Nicene Creed as an example of the dumbing down of Christianity and vaugely attribute it to John and Peter. However, it was actually Emporer Constantine who called the Council of Nicea to convene (for political reasons). Also, you reference God specifically as if you know it’s intentions if it were to exist, where if it did exist there would most likely be no words in any language that would truly capture the essence of what it truly is. While I may agree with you that many of my Christian peers do walk blindly into their faith, you do a disservice to intellectuals across the world by presenting such poor unsupported arguments. You specifically indicate that if you are faith shouting, then you are wrong. However, your article is essentially the equivalent of faith shouting as your only reference, the bible, is your main source of information. Rather than cross examining with a historical texts, or actual reasearch that has been conducted you just make sweeping opinionated generalization.
Correction: You also only cite one source in all of your now invalidated factual opinions.
Correction: Rather than cross examining with a historical texts, or actual reasearch that has been conducted you just make sweeping opinionated generalizations.
Alright, it‚Äôs too much to reply to all of the arguments, so I decided to address the top three. This is first a test to see if comments support html tags.
Alright, it‚Äôs too much to reply to all of the arguments, so I decided to address the top three. (I hope this comments support html tags).
3. Christianity Cannot be the Religion that Jesus Preached: ‚Ä¶ It is pure folly to believe that Simon Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalene et.al followed Jesus because, when he died, they would be able to absolve their sins by believing in him. This later theological construction was created by believers who were searching for a meaning to the seemingly pointless execution of their leader and teacher.
This is one of the arguments I was referring to as ‚Äúlacking force.‚Äù The earliest material we have about Jesus comes in the form of creeds present in Paul’s letters, such as Rom 1:3-4, 1 Cor 11:23, Phil 2:6-11, Col 1:15-18, 1 Tim 3:16, 2 Tim 2:8, and so on. They predate Paul’s writings — most scholars date them between AD 33 and 48; they do not originate with Paul — they use language uncharacteristic of his writings; and they were passed along to him. One of the most famous creeds is 1 Cor 15:3-7:
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
This can be dated between 2-5 years after Jesus’ death and was in all likelihood passed on to Paul by the apostles Peter and James during his visit with them shortly after his conversion (Gal 1:18-19. This would also account for the fact that their names are specifically mentioned). There’s no doubt that the earliest followers of Jesus — those who walked, and talked, and ate, and slept with him — believed him to be the risen Son of God who died for the sins of the world.
Also, how did Jesus’ followers come to believe that Jesus was the Son of God if the resurrection did not occur? Jewish tradition had no concept of a dying Messiah, and as is often pointed out, a dead Messiah was a failed Messiah, one first century Jews would not be promoting. (And the argument that Jesus’ resurrection is based on the dying and rising pagan gods, by the way, has been refuted and abandoned long ago. It’s based on vague language; using Christian terms to describe non-Christian rituals, giving only the appearance of a parallel; and sources that post-date the New Testament. Only a few odd scholars here and there still hold to it [though it does claim popularity on the internet for some strange reason, but then again, the internet is a strange place]).
Even more than that, the Jews believed, in accordance to Deut 21:22-23, that anyone who died by hanging on a tree was accursed by God. First century Jews applied this to death by crucifixion as well, so Jesus was viewed as one cursed by God. How could first century Jews have continued to follow Jesus after his crucifixion in light of this, let alone believe he was the Messiah?
And even more than that, how could Jesus’ followers have believed he was the Son of God?? Equating a man with God (the Old Testament never presents the Messiah as God, by the way) — was a blasphemous claim in this strictly monotheistic culture, let alone a man who was crucified — the most offensive, humiliating, shameful and disgusting way to be executed in this honor-and-shame culture. In other words, this could not have been a ‚Äúlater theological construction‚Äù which ‚Äúwas created by believers who were searching for a meaning to the seemingly pointless execution of their leader and teacher.‚Äù
NT scholar N.T. Wright goes into more detail in his article ‚ÄúJesus‚Äô Resurrection and Christian Origins‚Äù at http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Jesus_Resurrection.htm.
2. The Gospels are not Historically Reliable: We need not demonstrate Biblical errors solely through appeals to internal consistency. Doing so only tells us that something in the ‚Äúword of God‚Äù is awry ‚Äì but not necessarily which word is wrong. In order to perform Biblical analysis that actually broadens our view of what is true and false in the ‚Äúgood‚Äù book we need to bring in external sources. From these external sources we learn that the Bible makes claims that cannot stand up to even the most cursory historical examination. In the Gospel of Luke the story is told of a census enacted by the governor Quirinius (Luke 2:1-7).
This is one of the arguments I was referring to as ‚Äúmisleading.‚Äù First, I‚Äôll grant that this is a problem with Luke‚Äôs Gospel; but I‚Äôm not arguing here that the Gospels are the Word of God, only that they‚Äôre reliable. You provide an alleged mistake that Luke made and assert that he was an extremely poor historian, ignoring the plethora of examples which demonstrate his accuracy. Colin Hemer has exhaustively examined Luke‚Äôs work, and has shown that over and over again Luke gets things right, even down to the small details. This includes references to the names and titles of government officials — procurators, proconsuls, magistrates, legates, governors, prefects, etc throughout the Roman Empire — and dates during which they were in office; detailed references to countries, cities, and islands, as well as different sites within these locations; regional customs, beliefs, practices, and so on. He also makes references to events which are corroborated by external sources, such as the revolt of Judas, the death of Agrippa I, the famine in Judea, Claudius‚Äô expulsion of the Jews from Rome, the accession of Festus and his replacement of Felix as the Judean Procurator, and the Egyptian prophet, and so on. Luke has demonstrated himself to be an extremely reliable historian, and since his Gospel corroborates large sections of the other Gospels, we have good reason to trust them as well. Feel free to read more in Craig S. Hawkins‚Äô essay ‚ÄúThe Book of Acts and Arcaheology‚Äù: http://www.apologeticsinfo.org/papers/actsarcheology.html.
1. The Gospels are not History: … However, the Christian mistake is compounded by believing that the Gospels are even history ‚Äì that is that they were written or designed to accurately portray historical truths. The evangelists did not intend their writings to be taken as historical truths.
Luke makes it clear from his prologue that his purpose was, indeed, to report history:
‚ÄúMany have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.‚Äù (Luke 1:1-4)
The Gospels are no doubt a unique literary genre, but they most resemble ancient history; and as I just pointed out, Luke has repeatedly demonstrated his reliability as a historian, leading even formerly skeptical scholars to regard him as such.
You move on to the Messianic prophecies. I‚Äôm not an expert I this field, so I‚Äôll just refer you to an excellent essay by Glenn Miller which answers the question: ‚Äúdid the Messianic Jewish Believers use the OT deceitfully or ignorantly in the New Testament?‚Äù: http://christian-thinktank.com/baduseot.html.
Each evangelist had his own interpretation. The theology of the evangelists ‚Äì and specifically their Christology (the nature of Christ) ‚Äì developed into more grandiose claims as Jesus‚Äô life moved further into the past. If you wish to discover this for yourself I advise you to successively read the Gospel of Mark (almost universally agreed to be the earliest Gospel written between A.D. 65-70) and the Gospel of John (agreed to be the latest Gospel written between A.D. 90-100) in a single sitting.
The argument that the Christology of Jesus evolved by comparing Mark to John fails when you take into account the fact that Paul‚Äôs letters portray a Christology just as high, it not more so, than John‚Äôs, and predate all of the Gospels. In fact, an exalted Christology is present from the very start, as we‚Äôve seen from the creeds, which can be dated within 10-15 years of Jesus‚Äô death. So for your argument to work, you‚Äôd have to propose that Jesus was a normal rabbi who taught upright moral living and who was crucified for no good reason. Immediately following his death his followers blasphemously believed not only that he was resurrected, but that he was God incarnate. Over the years he was demoted to a quasi-divine Messiah who only uttered short sayings, as reported in the Synoptics, then finally John re-deified him. That‚Äôs a pretty big stretch.
Ask yourself this question; are they telling the same story? In Mark‚Äôs Gospel Jesus largely speaks in parables and evasive third-person proclamations about someone called ‚Äúthe Son of Man.‚Äù In John‚Äôs Gospel Jesus tells no parables and spends most of the time talking about himself, his godly status, and what the future will bring.
This is admittedly a valid challenge that scholars must explain. To provide a very general explanation, I‚Äôll quote NT scholar Darrel Bock:
The Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) generally tell Jesus‚Äô story from ‚Äúthe earth up,‚Äù starting with a human life and then showing how his life and ministry led many to embrace him as more than human, while others rejected him. … On the other hand, John is more reflective, telling the story ‚Äúfrom heaven down,‚Äù giving a divine point of origin in his prologue. ‚Ä¶ In John‚Äôs Gospel, every now and then, the evangelist notes that certain things had meaning that the disciples did not realize until later (e.g., John 2:22; 12:16). (Studying the Historical Jesus)
NT scholar Craig Blomberg addresses this in more detail at http://www.4truth.net/site/apps/nl/content3.asp?c=hiKXLbPNLrF&b=784441&ct=981291&printmode=1.
So, here is a brief object lesson in the development of the concept of Jesus as God. We will only look at the beginning and the end: first the birth narratives. In Mark there are none. Jesus is chosen at his baptism. Matthew and Luke (written c. 80-90) go back to his birth and tell incompatible stories of Jesus‚Äô miraculous birth to a virgin. They further cement and establish the status of Jesus. John, feeling the others weren‚Äôt good enough, decides to go back to the beginning of time (John 1:1 ‚ÄúIn the beginning was the word‚Ä¶‚Äù) to establish the nature of Jesus. The later gospels create theological concepts that were not present in the earliest sources.
Again I‚Äôll point out that the earliest sources we have about Jesus are Paul‚Äôs letters and the creeds which he uses, both of which do indeed contain the concepts you claim are absent. As far as the rest of this portion of your argument, you don‚Äôt present any support; you simply assert your claims. In response, I‚Äôll simply point you to an essay which rebuts them: http://www.tektonics.org/uz/virginbirth.html.
Likewise, the death of Jesus changes dramatically throughout the Gospels. The changes (of which there are many more than these) can be summed up in the three different accounts of the last words of Jesus: Mark 15:34 and Matthew 27:46 ‚ÄúMy god, my god, why have you forsaken me.‚Äù Luke 23:46 ‚ÄúFather, into your hands I commit my spirit.‚Äù John 19:30 ‚ÄúIt is finished.‚Äù
This ignores the nature of passing on tradition and history reporting in the ancient Near East. It was perfectly acceptable for the storyteller to choose what to include or omit when retelling a story. The Gospels reflect this. None of them pretend to give a full report of every word said by Jesus. They often select what they wish to include, summarize, and paraphrase. This was common practice in the ANE, so the argument that Jesus said contradictory things does not carry much weight.
The development of Christianity is encapsulated in the move from the utterance of pain, ignorance, nonacceptance, and suffering seen in Mark and Matthew to the statement of acceptance, foreknowledge, and peace that is seen in John.
This completely ignores the fact that Jesus predicts and accepts his death in all of the Gospels before the event takes place. In other words, you select material which supports your argument, and ignore material which opposes it.
Other arguments mitigating against the claim that the evangelists invented material is (1) the lack material that would have addressed important concerns of the early church; (2) the presence of material irrelevant to the churches at the time; and (3) the inclusion of embarrassing material. The churches needed guidance with such issues as circumcision, baptism, food laws, charismatic gifts, and the like. There was a need for instruction in these matters and it would have been the perfect opportunity for the evangelists to create material to address these concerns, but they failed to do so, demonstrating that they were not open to fabricating material and ascribing it to Jesus. At the same time, they included irrelevant material ‚Äì Jesus’ controversies with the Pharisees, his favor towards Israel, his comments on Corban practices, and so on. There would have been no reason to include this material other than the fact that Jesus actually said and did these things. Likewise, the only reason to include embarrassing and counterproductive material ‚Äì Jesus baptism, the opposition by his family, his inability to perform miracles in his hometown, his interaction with “sinners,” women, the “unclean,” (which was to defile oneself in this honor and shame culture), and so on ‚Äì would be because it actually happened. J.P. Holding also asks: ‚ÄúWhy would the church have created such a difficult faith to follow? Certainly they could have made things much easier on themselves by, for example, permitting sacrifices to the Emperor of Rome as the Jews did – or perhaps making the difficult passages easier to understand!‚Äù
Further support for the supernatural elements of the Gospels, which you regard as myth:
(1) Scholars consider it strong evidence when material is present in more than one source. Historian Paul Maier writes that ‚Äútwo or three sources in agreement generally render the fact unimpeachable.‚Äù Miracle accounts are present in all of the sources behind the New Testament. This includes the material in Mark; Q, a source used by both Matthew and Luke; M, a source used only by Matthew; L, a source used only by Luke; and John, as well as Paul’s letters and the early speeches in Acts. Many of the same miracle accounts are present in more than one of these sources, as well as in more than one form.
(2) Scholars prefer early accounts, with material dating between A.D. 30 and 50 being one of the strongest evidences. Q dates back to at least A.D. 50, and M and L are just as old, if not older. It‚Äôs also possible that John used sources that date back to at least the 60s, if not earlier, and that the early speeches in Acts date back to the 30s. Creedal statements in Paul‚Äôs letters can be dated to within ten to fifteen years of Jesus‚Äô crucifixion, and the resurrection account in 1 Cor 15:3-8 dates back to only two to eight years after the crucifixion.
(3) Material from eyewitnesses is also one of the strongest evidences possible, and a strong case can be made that material in the gospels, Acts, and Paul’s letters contain eyewitness material (regardless of whether or not the traditional authorship is accepted, which a strong case can be made for).
(4) Jesus‚Äô words concerning miracles are easily translatable back into Aramaic, supporting their authenticity (e.g., Matt 11:4-5; Matt 11:21, 23 = Luke 10:13, 15).
(5) Jesus‚Äô miracles have no contemporary or earlier parallels. This means that they were not modeled after other wonder-workers and miracle accounts. The uniqueness of Jesus‚Äô miracles also supports their authenticity by meeting what critical scholars call the criterion of dissimilarity. Craig Blomberg explains: ‚ÄúThis uniqueness extends in the majority of cases to the simplicity and directness of Jesus’ style, the immediacy with which his power takes effect, and the restrained nature of the narratives which understate the sensational.‚Äù The miracles are also intertwined with Jesus‚Äô preaching in order to illustrate a point, demonstrate his divine origin, or indicate that the Messianic age has arrived. Blomberg points out that ‚Äúone ought logically to accept that any accounts which fit in so well with the undeniably authentic portion of his teaching stand a good chance of being reliable history themselves.‚Äù
(6) Some of Jesus‚Äô healings and exorcisms contain elements of embarrassment or surprise, which support their authenticity by meeting what historians call the criterion of embarrassment. Additionally, some of the reanimation miracle accounts contain a number of historical indications: the presence of circumstantial details; the brevity and simplicity of the accounts, unlike fabricated stories; the reactions of those who witnessed them, and so on.
(7) These accounts were not refuted by opponents of Christianity despite the fact that there were hostile eyewitnesses who would have liked nothing more than to do so. There were many Jews, including Jewish leaders, who converted to Christianity (Acts 6:7, 15:5, 21:20); other Jewish leaders were neutral towards the new movement (Acts 5:34-39); and still others showed signs of sympathy towards Christians (Josephus, Antiquities 20.197-203). But there were others who were outright hostile towards Jesus and his followers: those who pushed for his crucifixion in the first place, members of the Sadducean party and Sanhedrin (Acts 5:17-18, 27-33), members of the Synagogue of the Freeedmen (Acts 6:9-10), Saul (Acts 9:1-2) and others who persecuted the early church (Acts 8:1, 1 Thes 2:14-16). It is these, who wanted to stomp out the Christian movement, who would have been the first to rebut any falsehoods about Jesus preached by the early church. In fact, not only did they fail to deny that these things happened, but they confirmed their occurrence by attributing them to sorcery(!). First century historian Josephus writes that Jesus ‚Äúwrought surprising feats.‚Äù
It‚Äôs these types of evidences that lead scholars such as Marcus Borg, who was not a believer in Jesus, to assert: ‚ÄúDespite the difficulty which miracles pose for the modern mind, on historical grounds it is virtually indisputable that Jesus was a healer and exorcist.‚Äù Rudolf Bultmann, one of the most skeptical critical scholars of the 20th century (also not a Christian) states that there’s ‚Äúno doubt‚Äù that Jesus “healed the sick and expelled demons.‚Äù Historian Paul Barnett concludes that the evidence for Jesus’ miracles ‚Äúis as good as, or better than, that for most other historical events or persons of that period.‚Äù These types of conclusions are echoed by historians and scholars of every stripe, whether Christian or not.
You can read more about the historical nature and reliability of the Gospels in Blomberg‚Äôs article ‚ÄúThe Historical Reliability of the Gospels‚Äù: http://www.4truth.net/site/apps/nl/content3.asp?c=hiKXLbPNLrF&b=784441&ct=981289&printmode=1.
This is an interesting recapulation of a well-established rationalist argument. The problem is that rationalism assumes that all arguments are rational. Religion, by definition, is not rational. This doesn’t mean it is wrong; it just doesn’t fit a “can God make a boulder so heavy even He cannot lift it” kind of logic.
If you want a real argument, try connecting Godel and God, no pun intended.
This is an interesting recapulation of a well-established rationalist argument.
Were you referring to me or Trevor? If me, I’m approaching it from the angle of historical investigation: Are the Gospels reliable sources of history? Do they report factual history?
In any case, I did a search on Godel and God. He’s an advocate of the ontological argument? The ontological argument makes my brain hurt.
just realized the links i provided aren’t working. just remove the period at the end and they’ll work.
Hey, I am a Christian myself and am to only say, You do not offend me. You only offend the Lord our God. I know you wont believe me, but glory be placed to He who deserves it, the Creator. He will come one day. I have fought within my heart and have seen these words. But when I dwelt upon the Lord for so long, it was then He saved me. Serve who you like, but as for me, I desire to serve only God.
First, for those who pointed it out, it is important to note that my article is not meant to be a complete and total refutation of Christianity. It is meant to be a provocative, striking, readable, and somewhat brief account of why I don’t believe. There are numerous objections I did not address. I know of their existence and that they require more elucidation than “because I said so.” However, there are trade-offs in writing such an article. It is certainly not true that everyone who has studied this subject agrees with me – or anyone else for that matter. The study of the New Testament is highly volatile due both to the emotions involved and the unfortunate lack of truly clear evidence.
Also, as I said, no single reason I gave is damning. There are responses to everything I said. However, I believe the collection of reasons, in addition to many not listed, diminishes the probability of Christianity being true down to a negligible point. It is a small enough probability that I am willing to bet, via my actions, that it is not true.
Now, for Jason. Jason, to put it succinctly, you kick ass.
I love your post. The beliefs I have a huge problem with are those that perpetuate ignorance and lack of open discourse. Anyone who examines their beliefs and states their reasons is OK in my book. And, although I won’t respond to all your concerns I will address a few.
When I claim that Gospels are not historically reliable that claim can be interpreted as “soft” or “hard.” I do think that they get it right a lot. However, they are certainly not inerrant and they certainly suffer from historical incredulities. To some extent, I think you would agree with this.
I do not think that Luke 1:1-4 is a statement of intent to write history. My interpretation is that it states an attempt to write an apologetic. They do not resemble ancient history. A look at Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, etc. will show this. As for, “‚Äúdid the Messianic Jewish Believers use the OT deceitfully or ignorantly in the New Testament?,” the question is misleading. The evangelists do not engage in a deceitful use of the OT. If one believes it is true it is certainly not deceitful. I point out that when one believes “The Truth” conveying it takes preeminence in your account. If the reader ends up believe “The Truth” what’s the difference how they got there? Thus, the Gospels most strongly resemble propaganda.
Your dating of Paul surprises me. I know of no New Testament scholar who dates any Paul letter earlier than A.D. 49. This includes Pagels, Ehrman, L. Michael White, Helms, Crossan, Shorto, and more I cannot think of right now. You also cite some deutero-Pauline letters (Colossians) and a letter that is most likely not Paul (Timothy).
To me, the most interesting things about Paul are that he did not know Jesus and that he was in intense conflict with the Nazarenes – led by James, Jesus’ brother – over the nature of Christianity. These conflicts were quite bitter. It is clear there were vehement disputes between the newcomer Paul and the brother of the “lord.” I suspect the Nazarenes had it a little closer to the truth. This, of course, is pure personal opinion/bias.
You also state, “Q dates back to at least A.D. 50, and M and L are just as old, if not older. It‚Äôs also possible that John used sources that date back to at least the 60s, if not earlier, and that the early speeches in Acts date back to the 30s.” I am aware of many scholars who would strongly disagree. I, personally, strongly disagree with the confidence you date non-existent sources. If we are honest, we have no idea what dates to assign Q, M, and L. Also, we suppose John had a source, but that is about all we can say.
However, all this is somewhat moot. For me, the first reason I list, “It is absurd,” is important to my interpretation of the Gospels. If I am given two explanations for a miracle – one which supposes it was “invented” in some way, and one which supposes it actually happened – all things being equal, I will choose the former. I believe this is the historically justified move. Christians, however, who are already disposed towards one interpretation, take the second path. For both of us, history is colored by our personal biases.
But, don’t get me wrong, I am VERY happy you posted your response. Thank you for taking the time to enter the debate. Readers can now get a little of both sides.
Now, for Jason. Jason, to put it succinctly, you kick ass.
Wow…Thank you. I wasn’t expected that type of response. I’m so used to dealing with skeptics who are condescending and closed to counter-arguments (which is what I had in mind when I wrote the counter-argument) that your response surprised me. I do want to clear up a couple things, though:
Your dating of Paul surprises me. I know of no New Testament scholar who dates any Paul letter earlier than A.D. 49.
I agree; I must have given the wrong impression that I date his letters prior to this, probably when I was talking about the creeds he uses. Scholars date the creeds earlier than his letters — they were formulated by the early Jerusalem church and passed on to Paul — but I didn’t mean to imply that Paul’s letters themselves were that early.
I am aware of many scholars who would strongly disagree. I, personally, strongly disagree with the confidence you date non-existent sources. If we are honest, we have no idea what dates to assign Q, M, and L.
I’m also skeptical that these were written documents — I’m open to it, but I’m skeptical of it — but I do believe they were at least oral sources (history was largely passed along orally in the ancient world). The reason scholars date them to about 50 is because they best reflect the church before or during this period.
But anyway, thanks again for the kind words.
Paul does seem to state creeds that he had received from others. Many have observed that the section you cite in 1 Cor. 15 is written in a poetic, parallel form that seems to be creedal in nature. “That he was buried, that he rose on the third day according to scripture, that he appeared to the twelve…”
These creeds do seem to pre-date Paul. By how much, however, we don’t know. After Jesus’ death various trajectories emerged that represented different traditions about him. These trajectories were different from the start and became more different as time went on. This is, of course, what you would expect to happen. As people split up, the stories split up and they changed. Of course they did. I, like many scholars (particularly Crossan) believe Paul represents just one of those trajectories. James and the Nazarenes represented another – and the two didn’t like each other very much.
Mark seems to represent a trajectory different from Paul. John exists as a later part of the trajectory Paul started. The lack of parables and John’s inability to mention so many synoptic events, and the synoptic’s equal level of ignorance on John’s claims, strongly leads one to the conclusion that John was coming from a different source; a source that thought of Jesus in an entirely different way (For more on John see here; http://catholic-resources.org/John/Synoptic-Differences.htm). The Coptic Gospel of Thomas represents another tradition(I am aware of the disputes about this Gospel) and Q seems to represent a very different tradition that cared about sayings more than deeds. This last fact is interesting. Q is a early source and it is a sayings source that is fraught with apocalyptic predictions and devoid of miracles or a passion account.
Just a little more of my position.
You sound almost exactly like I did up until a month and a half ago.
This debate will be endless. For every argument you have against Christianity, there is another argument that disproves what you write. And so on. The debate will never end.
I do know, however, that God touched my life not long ago, and changed it completely. I was a porn producer earning a very comfortable living, and I gave up that life because of the power I experienced when God literally touched me. You’ll ridicule that claim, but the fact remains.
You’ll come around. Why? Because you care enough about this topic to spend the time writing so much about it. That’s what I used to do as well. That nagging feeling to keep disproving God is really only there because you’re running from him. He’ll keep whispering in your ear until the day you surrender to him, as I did.
When that day happens, visit my blog and drop me a note.
aka: Donovan Phillips
Why are atheists so SCARED of Christianity? Explain to me what the harm is in believing in God. If I go to bed at night believing that I will wake up the next day 35 lbs. lighter and I do not, what have I lost? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! If I believe my entire life that Jesus is God and I die and it is not true, what have I lost? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! The bigger question is what if I am right and you are wrong? You die believing as you do…WHAT HAVE YOU LOST? You atheists always so there is no way to prove God’s existence. I ask can you prove the non-existence of God? Can you prove George Washingtom ever existed? NO, YOU CANNOT. Look up the definition of FAITH. It is believing in something you cannot see. It is a belief that is not based on proof. You guys ask us to prove God…we cannot…it is all FAITH. In the same way, you cannot prove god does not exist. Therefore you have FAITH that God does not exist. It is all based on faith. I put my faith in something that has a positive end result. After all, if you are right, I LOSE NOTHING…if I am right, well…I think you know what that means. By the way, your arguments are VERY vague. I will explain the number of generations in Matt. v. Luke. Look at how far back each one goes. One of them stops at Abraham/Isaac, the other goes all the way back to Adam. It would be like you doing a family tree and a sibling doing one. Yours goes back 5 generations, but your sibling chooese to go back 10 generations. Are your family trees contradictory? NOT AT ALL. The same goes for these verses you TRIED to prevert.
Bob the Builder, you neglect to mention the time, effort, money (oh, the money!) you have invested in religion.
Telling myself something in a moment’s whim and not having it come true is one thing, but devoting a large amount of my life to believe in something, only to not have it come true is another.
The power of Christianity lies not only in faith, but also doubt. It is the same nagging fear that people have when their co-workers are all buying lottery tickets, and they join in, because maybe just this time, the group will win the jackpot and they will be excluded.
I don’t go to church, nor do I play the lottery. I invest my time and money in more worthwhile causes.
I just have two points to make.
First, to Bob the Builder: the atheists I know are not scared of Christianity at all, and would happily ignore it as another belief set to which they don‚Äôt happen to subscribe. In this case specifically, a writer was simply giving several reasons why he himself disbelieves Christianity. He wasn‚Äôt attempting a massive refutation of the religion; it was a personal statement aimed at creating discourse. It is not a battle of faith between him and you.
The problem though, and the reason some non-Christian thinkers write articles like this is because at this point in history, in America especially, Christians are active, organized, and insistent. A judge decided to put the Ten Commandments in front of a courthouse, not a copy of the Code of Hammurabi or a selection of the Buddha Dharma, and he did it to provoke a fight. We have these periodic fights because Christians proselytize. When one side constantly brings the issue to the front, the other side naturally will respond.
Second is a general contribution to the discussion. A problem I‚Äôve found is that often these debates are in fact endless, typically because the non-Christian argues rationality while the Christian argues faith. The fundamental tenets of these viewpoints are incompatible. One contextual definition of faith is ‚Äúbelief that is not based on proof.‚Äù Therefore arguing so-called proofs back and forth is pointless. The strength of true believers‚Äô convictions is precisely the fact that it cannot be shown, explained, or demonstrated to be true; it is simply believed. At its root, this is the thing I admire and detest most about true believers. I can admire someone who chooses to believe something that may not be rational for good and sincere reasons. I cannot respect someone who attempts to force a faith-based belief on others as though it were a self-evident truth.
Dan, you hit the nail on the head. Bob, religious beliefs are dangerous. Every catholic 15 year old walking around with an ulcer because his Mom told him he is going to hell because he touches himself can attest to the danger of religion. And this is just a mundane example.
There is an inverse relationship between how much evidence someone has for a belief and how fervantly they believe it. This is a very dangerous truism that produces the ridiculous mindsets religious people have that allow them to fly planes into buildings. Faith is dangerous.
Also, Bob, your continued use of Pascal’s wager (what if you’re wrong?!?) is not only unconvincing but it is an embarrassing appeal to a REALLY bad argument. Aside from the fact that such arguments don’t produce belief but rather produce belief in belief, the refutation of this argument can be patly summed up in a sentence:
Bob, what if YOU are wrong about Islam?
Wow Bob, just wow. But I’ll get back to you later.
First off Trevor, fantastic article! The discussion that you and Jason have I think is what more athiests and catholics need to have. Sensible and intelligent discussion seem to be absent when it comes to this debate far too often and it is great to see a few people actually do it rationally. After all of this discussion about creationisim/ID and evolution in my neck of the woods the validity of all religions has been at the forefront of my mind as of late. Espically after hearing about Richard Dawkins and his take on atheisim I have taken a bit more of an interest in the 2 sides (religion and non-religion). So thank you.
Now Bob, on to you.
People far more qualified than I will debate other parts of your comments but I personally want to get down to the part where I have a bit of experience in, and I quote
” You atheists always so there is no way to prove God‚Äôs existence. I ask can you prove the non-existence of God? Can you prove George Washingtom ever existed?”
I am going to start with the last comment and move backward.
Now I am assuming you mean George Washington because the N and the M are close togther, however if your referring to WashingtoM than I have no idea who that is and you can disregard the rest of this.
We, as scientist can in fact prove that George Washington (GW) did exist. To start off there are numerous historical texts and accounts of GW during is life. We can also use Geneology to trace GW back as an ancestor to various peoples through DNA testing if we wanted to go up to Mt Vernon and dig up ole GW’s bones. Now I can hear you say “That could be anyone buried up there” True, but we have tests that measure amounts isotopes that can tell us where this body has been as well as how long it has been dead. We could go over the numerous other tests and observations we could do to prove in fact GW did walk this earth at one point in time. We can see his remains, we can touch his remains and hell we could even taste his remains if we felt like it. Overall the scientific evidince that GW did in fact exist is over whelming.
Now as from proving that god doesn’t exist. I would like you to prove that I am not in fact invisibly slapping you through your computer monitor right now, so lightly that you cannot not in fact feel it. Or prove to me that an invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exisit. Yes these arguments all do venture into the realm of absurdity just as your argument to prove nonexistance. It is always the crutch of those who worship any diety. The very idea of nonexistance makes proving it impossible. You cannot test something that isn’t there.
And Pascal’s wager is just a silly pessimistic way to look at things and really has no basis in real life.
I know I’m getting into this late…but here goes…
First I decided to enter this discussion because I have begun a continuing conversation with a friend at work who is a seminary student. He is giving his first sermon this Thursday on “truth”, specifically on Jesus’ saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. We just had a long discussion on “truth”. Now to jump in…
Trevor…this article has done everything you wanted…get people talking…a tip of the hat. But a wag of the finger for stealing my thoughts on the wager. Asking Bob what if he is wrong about Islam…that’s just Andreakos’ Wager in a nutshell. Shame on you. You’re on notice pal.
As for your comment, “religious beliefs are dangerous”, that to me seems a hasty generalization in the context of my discussion with Daniel (my minister-in-training friend). To clarify, I will pose the same question I posed to him which reveals the true utility of religious belief. I can’t wait to here the responses…
I decide to fake it (belief in Christ) for the purpose of becoming a minister for my career. I finish seminary, do all my homework and have my own congregation. It is my job to preach the good news of Christ, so I do it. I do it not because I believe, but because I sincerely believe in what I am doing. And I continue to do it because it is my dream job…I love what I’m doing (help people), and I am well compensated.
I give people hope. When Timothy’s father passes away, I help him deal with the pain of his loss through “religious belief”. Whether or not I truly believe that it was part of God’s plan, Timothy believes it because of his faith which I strengthen through support and prayer (with him). I’ve done a very good thing with religious belief (without believing it myself).
The utility of religious belief (yes it does exist) is the support system it offers for those who do believe. It’s helping my dying grandmother deal with her own mortality. Do I believe it is a crutch? Yes. Will I tell her that? No. I recognize that it is beneficial for her, and accept that.
Don’t misunderstand, I know that religious belief can be dangerous. 9/11, the inquisition, etc. are perfect examples of religious belief causing great harm. Fundamentalism/extremism might as well be
be synonymous with facism…imposing your will at the expense of others is never a good idea.
I’m glad this article was written, it will spark a lot of debate that will make every free thinker here better. It is my position in this evolving discussion that: 1. Yes Christianity, and indeed the whole umbrella of theism is absurd; 2. Furthermore it is a crutch (an intellectually disingenious means of arriving at truth, through faith) 3. Theism has intrinsic good for those who choose it (which yes can in some cases like the Focus on the Family have terrible results…which I will narrow the scope to involving politics and religion as the example of dangerous religious belief).
Thank you for your time.
Sweetness… God still loves you!
And the part about history & the bible not lining up is a bit off – they have actually found remains of a boat atop Mount Arafat( Im not sure i spelled that correctly) which directly links 2 the Story of Noah. Furthermore, about the free will and whatnot – if God wanted a bunch of robots, he would’ve made so, but he didn’t because as the bible says, he made us in his image – he’s a free being & so he made us free! He spoke things into being, & so can we! Ever known someone who said over & over im gonna be this and that & then they do – they spoke it into being! Think what would’ve happened if they said i can’t or its too hard? And if the Bible is incorrect – why is everything playing out the way it said it would? The weapons of mass destruction link to the bible saying there will arise a war from the east – the antichrist might very well be Bin Ladin – & if all else fails, the weapons of mass destruction will fulfill one promise the Bible states – The world will be destroyed by fire in the end! When God made the rainbow, it was an eternal promise to Noah that he would never flood the entire globe again; so the next time you see a rainbow, you’re looking at one of Gods promises dead in the face- and he’s kept it! As far as the Devil or Satan – im sure you know Satan is a fallen angel. His first name was Lucifer- when people hear that name they quickly think evil – when Lucifer actually first meant ‘Light’ or ‘Luminant’. You probably already know Lucifer was the most beautiful angel with the most beautiful voice, but as i like to put it, Lucifer got a big head and gathered a following of other angels and decided they wanted to run heaven – and God being all powerful banished them to eternal Hell – thats why Satan is damned – damned meaning he can’t be saved! Think about it – if you’ve seen heaven and still won’t behave – you’d be damned too! Which leads to the point of why Satan hates us- not because it makes a good bedtime story but because we now have the power over him! We now can enter heaven just by believeing it exsist (& accepting Christ) We buy heaven sight unseen in away & Satan is mad cause he’s seen it and is not welcome back!!! So he trys to get as many people as possible away from God as sort of a laugh in Gods face! Kinda like ” if i can’t have Heaven, no one will!!!” And in closing sweetie, if any Christian ever says God doesn’t love you for whatever
( atheist, Gay, etc) they are wrong! God loves all! Every last one of us – killers, bombers, liars etc., because he is love!
God hates the sin we do. but not us! How you say? Ever had a good friend or family member who you loved dearly but wished they wouldn’t smoke so much? Or Drink so much? Or sleep around so much? See you love the person but you don’t love their actions. God loves us, but he hates the stealing, killing, and rapeing. So any Christian who says otherwise is not clear on the word.
This was a phenomenal read. It needs saying more than many people will admit, and as you can see from the responses any (Christian) comebacks seem to rely on faith and hearsay from a considerable time ago to back-up their points. The majority of people I know (I‚Äôm a 25 year old white male in the UK) dismiss religion (the fact that the last UK Census included 390,000 Jedi Knights shows the religious contempt shown by many). However, within the UK we still have the unerring tie between religion and state. This causes an issue for many of the greatest minds in the UK ‚Äì dismiss Christianity and you will struggle. When we get to the next election, whoever puts his or her head forward will also take the ‚ÄòChristian‚Äô line with them, they have to. It is this failure to develop a secular state which keeps Christianity pervasive in the UK. In the US religion is separated from the state and as a result they have an extreme ‚Äòevangelical‚Äô element which to be honest scares anyone who sees it.
I grew up as a Christian and found the teachings relevant for a young audience going to Sunday schools and delving into moral issues. However, at school we were being taught science, science which explained the way the world worked, how it came into existence and how we, as human beings, were the determining factor in the success or failure of this planet. This caused some confusion for me. I then realised there were many other religions which sought to explain the seemingly rational in ever more convoluting, contradictory and above all controlling ways.
I think the sooner we get people to dismiss religion for the controlling power-hungry system it has always been the better the world will become. Despite all the negative I see in religion, the conflicts it causes and the human lives it dominates to ensure its survival and the hatred and angst it breeds I also see positive. Look at what religion has created, a series of marvellous temples, churches and mosques all across the globe. The people who become indoctrinated to religions and spend their lives facilitating this power-trip do possess a work-ethic and an ability to do good. They just need to be unbound from the shackles of religion so they can concentrate on what really matters ‚Äì making a positive out of the one life you get.
Thanks for all the kind comments.
Thanks, also, to those who told me that God still loves me.
For those who aren’t Christian and liked my essay and hopefully gained some amount of insight, I invite you to stop laying down, and “letting it slide” when Christianity comes up. This war is fought in the individual debates that happen all over the country. Hopefully you now have some ammunition.
Interesting Essay. Although I am Christian, I found this to be very informative on the beliefs of atheists. I have only one question. Why are you trying so hard to debunk Christianity? Are Christians bothering you? If they are, tell them that it’s a free country, *if you live in one* and you have a right your opinion just as they have a right to theirs. Stop trying to “fix” Christians and believers of any religion. Let us have our “faith” and you can have your rationality.
Well its funny to read all your debates about God and Jesus . first I just want to say like everyone else I laugh at the crazy christian I
even went out of my way to beat them who are they to tell me about these God who does not live. I’m I right . wrong growing up in a vilont life
were all I did was anarchy and hurt innonce people like yourself. you say how could we know if there’s a God. I remember one time I was beating the crap of this skinhead who was a
nazi clan and the fear in his eyes and his face when he creid “jesus help me”it open my eyes for the frist time I felt some compassion I seen his face all bloody and busted up i felt ashame of myself of what I did I couldnt shake that feeling all nite and I couldn’t shake his words “Jesus help me oh my God I need help”. I know this skin head didn’t believe in God or Jesus but something was making him shout out to God.
yes maybe fear but if thats what made him shout then its that same fear we all have when were all about to die and that when we secreatly cry out
to God for help. It made me change the preson I am today yes i do belive in God and in Jesus and it’s that same fear that keeps me coming back to them. With out God we would have a whole lot of innonce victims getting raped,beat,killed and our lil young victims too. Maybe God doesn’t excist in your life YET but in mine he does . you got to ask yourself if God did Not excist then were would we all be remember God is Love and with out love their’s only hate and hate is not good I’m I right.
i totatally disagree. you have no proof at all that stuff your dening , i’m christian/catholic and i just came back from church. so, who do u suppose created the world? ………..reply
I am a Christian and I am proud of that. I also believe there is a God. I am a First Southern Baptist. I do not care what religion you are please be saved you will be blessed. You can be what ever religion you want to be and attend any church that you choose. Read the Bible from front to back, you will have a positive and more inspiration than you will ever get or have from any other book you will ever read in your entire life. Then you can make a rational decission from there. Hopefully you will pick the right road to take. I DID. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!
I think you are very brave person, I do not mind how people think , but good luck.
Baxtrice; you can have your “faith” after you stop outlawing stem cell research, trying to outlaw abortion, outlawing gay marraige, enacting numerous sin laws (i.e. marijuana, alcohol sales on Sunday, prostitution, etc.), trying to stop teaching evolution in schools, making millions of people feel guilty, and perpetuating interfaith warfare (i.e. Ireland).
Amanda: Proof is irrelevant. These questions are not, and cannot be, proved. They are probablistic. Also, read (or re-read; I assume you didn’t read my essay) reason number 8. Arguing that the world needs a creator is as good of argument for Islam, Hinduism, Aboriginalism, Native Americanism etc. as it is for Christianity. And by “as good of argument” I mean equally bad. I didn’t delve into that morass because it is unnecessary. Christianity is wrong for reasons that have nothing to do with whether or not the world needs a creator which, by the way, it doesn’t.
Tanya: I read the Bible every day. I have read it front to back at least 3 times and I have read parts of it (i.e. the Gospels) more times than I would care to count. I was particularly inspired by Numbers 31:13-19; there’s a touching passage that brings a tear to my eye. Or Deuteronomy 22:28-29 in which a rapist must only pay 50 shekels to the father and marry the girl. Hell, I’m single and looking and I have 50 shekels to spare, what are you doing Saturday night? Don’t worry, I’ll just show up. And remember as Jesus says in Matthew 5:17, “”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
Nice religion you have there.
For the record, Trevor was not debunking Christianity and he was not trying to “fix” Christians. He was articulating the reasons he himself doesn‚Äôt believe in Christ. Since his article was not exhaustive, he clearly wasn‚Äôt attempting a full on debunking. And since it‚Äôs his webpage, sitting here passively, not being brought door-to-door or over the television, or being shoe-horned into political campaigns, he clearly wasn‚Äôt aiming to ‚Äúfix‚Äù anyone. Again, he just posted a thought-provoking article for people to read if they happen by his little corner of the web. But that‚Äôs not why I posted, so moving on‚Ä¶
Those of us who are non-Christians are happy to let Christians have their religion (somehow in the last sentence I came to speak for all non-Christians in America, but let’s let that slide for now). The problem is that Christians in America, by and large, will not let the rest of us have the alternative. Because the early Christians were viciously persecuted, and further because our first European settlers here were Christians fleeing persecution in England, there has been this inherited attitude among American Christians that they are an embattled minority under constant pressure from the heretic masses.
I will put this as clearly as possible: you are not in the minority here, and you are not persecuted here.
28% of Americans actually believe the Bible is the actual, literal word of God. (http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=22885)
According to the 2000 census, 57% of Americans were officially affiliated with a Christian denomination (that does not include all those who consider themselves Christian but who are not affiliated with any one church). Put another way, 159 million of you belonged to a Christian denomination in 2000.
Fairfield University conducted a study that showed that of those 159 million, 46% were Born Again, and 24% Evangelical, which is to say fundamentalists.
An ABC News phone poll suggested that 83% of Americans are Christian.
A Wall Street Journal survey put that number at 85%.
So I say again: Christians are not a persecuted minority. And this is nothing new. Neoconservatives and Christians pushed through the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996. Every election cycle since, they have been pounding away at an even more restrictive Gay Marriage Ban, and every time, they pick up more votes in Congress.
I would venture to say, why don‚Äôt YOU leave US alone? Why can‚Äôt you let us have our gay marriage, our rock music, and our Harry Potter books?
i could not believe u cannot c GOD even in the tiny clues,like the rainbows .u want 2 try 2 fool us all with bible verses out of context.any first grader can get a note from the teacher and change the meaning from getting an f changed to a b.or getting what u want 2 read out of the real thing.jesus was born of a virgin birth and he can forgive sins…if u do not say u believe in JESUS, you have a future in where the devil is.u may not believe there is a devil..but i am trying 2 tell u (and what is in the bible…u are either 4 GOD or ur against Him. No neutral people will b in heavan,and no satanists will either…look up GOD’s love and dwell on that, ur devil loves noone.he will use any trick to get u on his side.Free will doesn’t always mean good will.it just shows us that God leaves us a clear path to Him, our will is painted sometimes and we get lost along the way & we cry out to GOD to get us back on track & He does,,,,,he does because he loves us.we are HIS children.we let our own
.kids grow up when we let go. when is GODS LOVE ever evil??? never!!! we let go and let GOD… amen!!!
Look, I was just trying to say that we all need to respect each others point of view. I am not condemning anyone, or insulting anyone. I just wanted to say that everyone is entitled to their beliefs whether you think they’re “cracked” or not. I like rock n roll and harry potter. I’m not against abortion, (it’s the woman’s choice), I just want people to stop fighting over nonsense. I’m not preaching Christianity, I’m preaching tolerance of other’s beliefs. You believe what you do and I believe what I do. If we don’t learn to tolerate then violence and strife will consume us and no one will ever get along. However if I offended the owner of this blog, I am sorry, I figured it was an open forum since there was a comment box. And honey, about the stem cell, gay marriage, and etc.. ..that’s the politicians-not me. Government plus Religion doesn’t mix and I am not a fan of politicians forcing ‘their’ beliefs on me.
I bookmarked this page under the heading
“Religion v Logic” which shows the reason I am an atheist.
Faith is inherently illogical and irrational by definition (belief without reason). I want my life to be based on rational thought, and simply have no use for those who don’t.
I feel strongly against proselytizing by anyone — atheists or the religious (of any organized religion, not just Christianity).
The root of the disagreement between atheists and the religious is the statement:
“Let us have our ‚Äúfaith‚Äù and you can have your rationality.” That statement is untrue. This is my logical conclusion, based on the evidence, assuming (logically) that the actions of religious people indicate their position.
Since a religious person is by definition an irrational thinker, it is pointless to argue with them in a logical manner.
However, since the actions of religious persons and organizations negatively affect my world (in innumerable ways from 9-11 to President Bush saying “God Bless America”), how should I proceed? Should I take action to defend my position that I should be left unmolested in my atheism? Or should I do nothing, thereby allowing religious persons and organizations to encroach upon my freedom?
I believe the answer is that atheists, AND ALSO religious people who espouse “live and let live” philosophy should speak up whenever the subject of religion comes up, and indicate that they are offended by anyone who tries to impose their views on another. Which, is precisely what ALL religious organizations do, even if only by indoctrinating children.
Richard Dawkins recommends that the the most important phrases to bristle at are “christian child,” “jewish child,” or hindu child” and the like. It should be “child of christian parents,” etc. It is as untrue to call a child born to christian parents a christian child as it is to call a child born to Republican or Democratic parents a Republican or Democratic child.
If it became unacceptable to discuss religion and its ideas, I hope that over time, religion would become a topic something akin to what one’s personal finances, or the graphic details of one’s sex life should be: Something that is not openly discussed in polite circles, something that only an intimate partner knows about, something that is normally omitted from discussion in the laws and politics of the nation, and something of the most private nature that we can imagine or arrange.
The only problem I can see with this approach is that religious belief is such an easy identifying mark for people whom I want to write off immediately and not waste my time with.
Another possible solution would be that atheists should immediately exclude, ignore and marginalize any person who indicates they have faith, as it shows that they are illogical and irrational thinkers and not worth wasting breath upon. Comments?
“We all need to respect each others point of view,” huh? I think the problem is that while atheists have respected the views of the religious, the reverse is not true at all. Tolerating religiosity is what has gotten us into the big mess the world is in today, just as tolerating violence propagates more violence.
Organized religion is dangerous to all of us, as is anything that discourages independent thinking. Atheism poses no dangers. Religion is not required in order to have morals (see http://www.skeptic.com).
You need to read Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion.”
This is so cool!!!
Sorry that is so… un- intellectual isn’t it?
The funny thing here is that you have so called christians saying that they are pro-abortion and the whole thing makes me want to fall out of my chair with laughter. If you had to be a scholar to know god I dare say that nobody would know God.
But because the scientist deals only in facts and has no faith in anything but facts shows the absurdity of the whole argument.
Namely…. SCIENTISTS used to think the world was flat and that’s a fact. They used to think that if you were sick it was a good idea to drain all your blood out of your body and that’s a fact too. There are alot of things that Scientists have been wrong about and it is my purely rational beleif that just about everything we now know we will someday be proven wrong.
It really is a perspective thing.
Nothing makes a SCIENTIST more happy than to prove onother SCIENTIST wrong.
But to say there is no God is not a very intellectually honest statement. More like ” I have seen no evidence that could convince me” is a better way to say it.
Atheists are really saying “God if your out there… prove it”
Christians are saying,”He is there because I have faith”
The whole geo political perspective is funny too. Like if you are a God fearing person you should not be organized and vote in unison. Like that is so much crap.
How many politician’s sole platform is they are pro-death errr choice. Jim Dobson dangerous??? Come on. What is dangerous is the idea that you need to put a stop to Christians beleiving in their God. Thats like mind control isn’t it? Like having a law that you can’t beleive something. Thats dangerous. While supposed atheists trick Christians into an argument about whether Jesus was who he said he was and whether God is real All you all are being sold out.
Fascinating in a country that was based on religious freedom and the free excersize of it we have those who want to practically make it illegal even to utter a prayer or be able to speak of a loving God.
Hey the debate stuff is fun but really now… shouldn’t we be more concerned about oh lets say … the merger of the U.S. , Canada and Mexico thats being perpetrated under our noses? Or maybe the Islamic war that is looming and isn’t it funny how we just don’t seem to be making any progress when all we really have to do to stop it is kill them like they kill us?
OOOPS got to go my soaps are coming on….
I’ve been continuing to follow this thread but haven’t been posting because I actually don’t really like debating (I actually wrote up a response to Trevor’s last reply to me, but didn’t post it because I don’t want to end up in a never ending exchange of arguments).
But I did want to clear up at least one misconception. Unfortunately many people believe that “faith” means “blind faith.” It’s too bad that not only do non-Christians believe this, but Christians do as well. The Greek word for faith in the New Testament, however — pistis — does not actually mean this. It means trusting in and/or pledging loyalty to someone who has demonstrated that s/he deserves it.
In the New Testament it’s oftentimes used in connection with people who have seen Jesus and know that he’s someone to trust, based on his actions. It’s like asking a friend to take care of an important matter for you. Someone may question this decision and you say, “Don’t worry. I have faith in him.” Your faith in your friend isn’t blind faith — you know him, you know what he’s capable of, and you trust his abilities to accomplish the task. This is how it’s used in the NT.
It’s too bad that non-Christians don’t realize this and even more so when Christians don’t realize this. You don’t have to close your eyes and blindly believe. Many people — historians, philosophers, scientists, etc — employ arguments and evidence to support their Christians beliefs.
Also, I saw a few references to Richard Dawkins. He’s a bright fellow, but I wouldn’t put too much stock in his arguments against religion. Bede (http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/) made a good point that Dawkins is good at making people feel like they know more than they actually do; but those who read his work critically don’t fall for this. He also cites the beginning of a dead on book review of The God Delusion from the London Review of Books:
Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology. Card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist we have had since Bertrand Russell, are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first-year theology student wince.
Trevor, have you ever gotten this many comments before? 😉
God, I love these arguments (in the dialectic sense). You’re all pretty erudite and well meaning. But I find many of these comments myopic. If you step back, say a hundred thousand years or so, monotheism is extremely recent. Maybe ten thousand years old, if you don’t assume Judaism was the inventing culture, just the most successful (until the Romans) at preserving the idea.
Me — I’m a Christian Agnostic (were I born Muslim, I’d be a Muslim Agnostic, etc). My faith is rooted in the concept that love is the only “god” one needs to believe in, and Jesus happens to be the embodiment of love my culture currently embraces.
I go to church because it’s an ngo that implements love in my community and my world. My sect is Presbyterian, which I was born into, but which I find in my studies is, in its inclusive iterations, one pretty good group of people for an agnostic to serve of many pretty good groups.
Being an scientifically-oriented agnostic (hypotheses when proven lead to theories, and nothing is irrefutable fact [though my existence, cogito ergo sum, is less debatable than other theories]), I find the Bible, the Koran, and other religious documents are important in their use as a basis for secular society through preservation of civil code as our forbears thought it through, instituted it, and recorded it. Let our constitutions and secular codes carry on the same fine traditions.
I bewail the fact that people use any reason (including religion) to wrest power from their neighbors. This is reprehensible, no matter which idea is invoked to justify it. Every society should exist on the foundations of basic liberties, and the rule of law should be used to punish violations.
Atheism is not without faith — just a faith without a deity. Promoting atheism is no more innocent than promoting religion. Arguably, most crimes against humanity stem from dishonestly atheistic stances (the perps cannot possibly believe in love, yet publicly religious perps would have us believe they do), in that preserving life is love, and destroying it is wholly without love. (My heart goes out to my neighbors in the armed forces (theists and otherwise) who, trained to fight for right, face death frequently and must make choices that haunt both them and us.)
So how can an agnostic have faith? It’s semantics. I love life. I have faith in the best practices of fostering civilization to thrive, and wish to teach same to my offspring and community. A faith-based community is where I choose to do so. But my fundamental belief is that you can’t prove anything other than me, you, and our preservation of life, while we’re here. Hope is that our children will be able to do the same with other children around the world when you and I are gone.
So you are certainly upholding the tried and true traditions of civil debate that have helped us evolve. The fact that you are free to hold whatever stance you choose is a testament to our process (upheld in secular democracies) that supports continued evolution of the species (processes that outlaw debate seem to delay evolution, they force evolution anyway in that those oppressed eventually — if generations later — force change).
Well there is a commercial on so I thought I would drop back in a see what you really smart people have to say and quite frankly I am impressed! The last post seems although a little tooo intellectual for me, at least a very honest attitude towards what I would hope we all share. That is the freedom to think for ourselves and not be told we can’t. Obviously some of you have made it quite an art form. I love reading your thoughts!!! Keep it up.
I’ve been a Christian for 10 years now. It was not something I was looking to do, it just hit me one days as I was talking to my wife on the phone. One moment I was an atheist, the next I gave my life over to Jesus.
I’m not going to argue with you whether Christianity is real or not. I felt the calling, accepted, and never had the urge to looked back.
To go back and forth with facts and numbers is no way to legitimize ones beliefs because they are just that, beliefs. I fully believe that God is alive. I fully believe Jesus is God in the flesh. I fully believe Jesus died for my sins, and rose again. I fully believe that I can be forgiven now that I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I don’t need proof, I have the feeling in my Heart to keep me believing.
Anyone can twist the truth to make their point seem valid. I see politicians and Microsoft do it all the time and the ones whose speak the best will usually win the minds of the gullible.
I used to strike down Christianity any chance I could when I was an atheist. Now I can see that I only attacked Christianity and not Mormons, JW’s, or Muslims. Why is Christianity so attacked by the world?
Since I have already done 29 years of atheism and no longer believe in it, are you willing to ask Jesus to become your Lord and Savior? That would be your true test. If you cannot bring yourself to ask Jesus into your heart to see if he is real, then your arguments are mute. What have you got to lose? If you are right, then you will stay an atheist and have a true belief, not one that is untested.
Jason: Dawkins is an apologist. He writes about why he is right and others are wrong. People read apologists to find out how much more right they are, and how much more wrong the other side is. Anyone who agrees with him thinks he is the bee’s knees. Anyone who doesn’t agree with him finds his arguments “lacking in coherency and proper respect for the evidence.” They will then say things like “these arguments have been debunked by persons X,Y,Z. This person is being disingenuous in his use of the evidence.” This is how non-believers always react to apologists. It is generally how I react to, say, C.S. Lewis and Dembski, and how you react to Dawkins. If you already believe that the author is wrong going into a book how could you find the book to have merit? It is possible, but VERY difficult for most.
The opening paragraph of that review is quite ridiculous. Of course Dawkins doesn’t give a crap about theology. Does Eagleton give a crap about Muslim theology, Scientology, or confucianism? Does he give a crap about the scores of writing (scientific and otherwise) on evolutionary theory (assuming he doesn’t believe in it)? No, because he thinks they are discussions of things that are not real. I view theology as similar to comic book debates; i.e. “is the Hulk stronger than Superman?” However, if we encountered comic book debaters who believed that the Hulk and Superman are real then we wouldn’t sit down and humor their delusions, we would tell them, “who gives a crap? They don’t exist.”
GL: “Arguably, most crimes against humanity stem from dishonestly atheistic stances” I’ll argue. The Catholic Church is a genocidal organization that is perpetuating a crime against humanity by denying, and working against, condom use in Africa. I won’t even mention the millions of heretics burned and tortured throughout history.
Genocides are perpetrated by bad, non-falsifiable ideologies bought into by people not willing to question the party-line. They would rather go with what makes them feel good. The same force exists behind religion and horrible totalitarianism – the lack of healthy skepticism towards what you are told to do. Totalitarian governments are utopian projects that claim to be able to reconstruct human beings and human societies to become perfect apparatuses of the new state. They become “personality cults.” People believe in it because they want it to be true. They believe in it because they are given carefully chosen information that informs their world-view. In short, they have faith in the possibility of a utopia.
What I am really against is faith. I am against unjustified, non-falsifiable belief systems that tend to harm those who don’t believe in them. Right now I just happen to be attacking Christianity.
Mel: What does it mean to “be willing to ask Jesus to become your Lord and Savior?” Does reading the bible count? How about spending innumerable hours reading Christian apologetics. If Jesus wanted to come into my heart he is welcome, but only if Christianity is true; which it isn’t. But seriously, for one second, think of how inordinately ridiculous that question is. The fact that you would ask it seriously just goes to show how delusional Christians are and how unsupportable Christianity is. If you want to know how a non-believer reacts to that question, investigate how you react to this question: “Are you willing to ask the truths of the prophet Mohammed to illuminate your life and the power of Allah to guide your fate?”
I would love Christianity to be true. I am TOTALLY willing. I would also love it if hellicopter beanies made you fly. I am TOTALLY wiling to ask hellicopter beanies to make me fly.
Truth is the only factor that matters here. Your imaginary friends are irrelevant.
The opening paragraph of that review is quite ridiculous. Of course Dawkins doesn‚Äôt give a crap about theology.
This is my whole point. Dawkins is not qualified to argue responsibly on the topic, which is why I told those who refer to him not to put too much stock in what he says.
I view theology as similar to comic book debates
This, of course, is simply absurd. Theology and philosophy are well established academic fields of study. Such a statement highlights how your presuppositions and biases retard your ability to approach this topic objectively. You admittedly start with the presupposition that religion is absurd and let it affect how you subsequently handle all of the data. This is intellectually dishonest and irresponsible. It’s Bultmannian style skepticism that died a well deserved death last century; and the few who still hold this type of skepticism, such as Crossan, are deservedly chided for it.
No one is free from presuppositions and biases, but if we’re aware of them and try to put them to the side as best as we can, we can analyze the data much more honestly and clearly. This is vital for any critical thinker. We must be continually self-critical and self-correcting. Those starting with the presupposition that Christianity is coherent and true must do the best that they can not to let it affect how they handle the data, and those who start with the presupposition that Christianity is absurd and false likewise must not let this affect how they handle the data. This is something you need to work on.
I think your condemnation of me is slightly misguided. This confusion, I believe, is rooted in your misleading use of the terms “biases” and “presuppositions.”
I do not have a presuppposition that God does not exist, or that Christianity isn’t true, I have arguments. I do not have biases, I have reasons.
I have studied theology extensively. I have read my Aquinas and Augustine, my Tillich and Rahner. In doing so I have learned about the game of theology. I use the term “game” to describe what philosophers call a formalist theory – that is a set of propositions and rules that merely work on internal constraints as opposed to the external constraints of reality. In this way such pursuits are much like a game. It makes no sense to talk about whether chess is “true” or, more precisely, whether it is “true” that a bishop can move horizontally. It is not “true,” it is simply consistent within the constraints.
Intellectuals participate in many “games” of this nature. This must be true on some level because a variety of intellectual fields are mutually exclusive (i.e. post-modernism and logic). Therefore, one of them must be playing a “game.”
Prior to studying a field one must come to terms with whether or not the field is an internalist field or an externalist field – whether it deals with truth or consistency. You could devote a life to studying the features and characteristics of comic book characters, or creating consistent rules and axioms for 12 dimensional space, deciding whether Dickens’ use of gendered pro-nouns affect the behavior of his characters, but none of these pursuits would be bound to external considerations. Mind you, I am not saying that some of these pursuits couldn’t be illuminating, but they are not going to tell you anything about how things are. What external considerations bind an intellectual field is one of the most salient facts about a given field.
In point of fact, my analogy to comic book studies is dead-on – it is anything but absurd. Because theology is a “well established academic field of study” does not make it externally relevant. I likewise feel the same way about post-modern studies and modern literary criticism; also well-established fields. The claims they make about reality – claims upon which the rest of the details rest – are not true. I can sit around and play the game, and then move onto to more important things, but you aren’t going to get me to sign up for a league.
Theology and philosopy are two completely different animals. In the former one must accept a certain bare minimum of premises in order to seriously study it. (An atheist theologian is almost an oxymoron.) In the latter you need not accept anything – including, as the case continually shows itself to be, whether or not there is “truth.” Philosophy is the only discipline in which you can get 5 professional philosophers in a room and have them debate for hours what philosophy is the study of. In every other discipline that question is defined in some way – often to the point of mind-numbing precision.
I presume you feel that evolution isn’t true (this may not be the case but it isn’t important for the sake of argument; you or someone else suffices). Knowing what I know of you I bet you have reasons for why you don’t believe in evolution. Reasons as opposed to presuppositions. Having thus decided you cannot be expected to go read this (which, if you’ll notice, is 1464 pages) and care about anything it says. There are numerous debates in evolution on various minutiae (i.e. Gould vs. Dawkins) that you couldn’t care less about. To you it is a game – internally consistent (or striving to be) but foundationally errant – ultimately not true.
To call my arguments against the truth of such fields “presuppositions” is misleading. I am not “supposing” anything. I am making a truth claim that is backed by argumentation.
You are right that critical thinking can often be emboldened by attempts to set aside biases. History is an attempt to figure out the truths of the past and then show others why your conclusions are justified. Biases can harm such a pursuit. However, critical thinking can also be hampered by the desire to rid oneself of “biases” – that is “biases” that are not in fact so, but are founded upon argumentation on contentious issues. Bringing up the issue as you did here, is usually an attempt to paint oneself as “more objective” and therefore “more justified” than your interlocuter. The study of some subjects, such as religion, are actually held back by such mandates.
Let me show you what I mean. Let me show you how your “biases” color your interpretation – and why, for the purpose of the debate, that is okay. I assume we agree that history is an attempt to get at the truths of the past. Historians do this by approaching evidence and adopting probablistic interpretations of what happened. After reading the texts, unearthing the data, and interviewing the witnesses an historian makes a claim that X “probably happened.” Your arguments here have contended that the miracles of Jesus, particularly the resurrection, are historically accurate. In other words, you claim that resurrection of Jesus, and presumably other miracles, “probably happened.” However, a miracle, by definition, is the least probable thing that could happen. Or, as I say in reason 10 of my essay, “common sense tells us that when someone claims the absurd almost anything is more likely to be the case (i.e. they are lying, they are delusional, they are relying on misinformation) then for the absurdity to be real.” Therefore, to claim that a miracle “probably happened” is to claim that “the least probable thing probably happened.” In short, it is a claim that cannot be historical in nature. It may still be true, but it is not a truth that can be derived from, or justified by, history.
This is where your “biases” and “presuppositions” enter into the equation. Because it is absurd to historically claim the truth of Christianity one must use another element – presumably faith – to make up the difference. (This is quite similar to Kierkegaard’s view and Tillich’s view of the horizontal and vertical elements of human life) However, as I said about myself, I do not think you have “biases” and “presuppositions,” I think you have reasons and argumentation.
Yes, it is important to be self-critical. However, it is also important to realize who you are, where you stand, and why you believe as you do. And, in point of fact, in some way those facts about ourselves should color our perceptions. They are the foundations upon which you build a thought structure. Granted they shouldn’t be immutable and made of stone; they should be more like the foundations of a building that occasionally need a patching and a fix-up – when, for example, you find yourself becoming the leaning tower of Pisa. However, they also shouldn’t be inert and harmless but rather they should, in some sense, guide you through the world.
And I still think you kick ass…
The problem with your argument is that it is a logical rebuttal of metanarratives. Religion, as it should be, rejects that. As one who would consider himself a “Christian,” yet also one who is considered a heretic by the majority of mainstream evangelical American Protestants, i disagree with you on the grounds that religion, as a faith–as a rhizomatic intensity–does not and should not be rational. All religious beliefs center and focus on something wholly Other (in the Lacanian-Zizekian sense), wholly different (in the Deleuzian sense). As such, it can never become rational. i’d even wager that a correct view of the Christian God is in the sense of Deleuze’s war-machine and bordering on what one may term “evil.”
A second difficulty i see with your argument is that it presumes a “view from nowhere.” In other words, it presupposed some level of “objectivity.” This is completely impossible and borders on the fundamentalism that we see in people like Jerry Falwell and Osama bin Laden. We are not–and can never–be totally removed from what we observe. Our results will always be skewed, flawed, and influenced by our contexts. Here, i am referring to Derrida’s oft-quoted “there is nothing outside the text.” The simple act of viewing is enough to taint any kind of objective approach, especially to religion.
So, while you are quite rational and reasonable, that is your very downfall. This argument is all too Kantian-Hegelian to have any impact on something that is all too anti-Hegelian.
Preaching to the choir: I like this exploration on the irrational aspects of christianity, but i’m not sure what you wish to achieve by it. If it’s to help make you feel better about your beliefs or to have people like me (non-Christian) agree with the rationale of your arguments- then you have succeeded. Yet, your arguments of logic and reason are unnecessary and useless, because species (man included) have not evolved towards logic, they have evolved towards survival. Thinking is useful for survival, but it is only useful in as much as you have the faith to believe in your assumptions. I I use the word “assumptions” because no matter how rational a belief may seem it is only rational within the confines of the limited knowledge of the believer. That is why i am agnostic- i believe in nothing and the possibility of everything. Yet, obviously i tend to lean towards some possibilities more than others (find me the person who doesn’t and i would absolutely adore to meet them and explore the universe with them). But back to survival, religions makes sense in terms of evolution for multiple reasons, but most importantly, because they (all the ones that tend to last for any substantial amount of time that i’m aware of) tell you that you can live forever and this eternal life can be “inherited” by your offspring via classical conditioning. Eternal life! Oh, joy! Rapture! This is exactly the kind of thing that would instinctively appeal to a species aware of its own mortality. Your arguments, though well thought out and set down in a logical, concise manner, are no match against faith. All of us choose to believe what we want to believe (yes, yes, based on nature and nurture) and most of us naturally desire to live eternally. Logic be damned! Logic did not spur you to write this, faith that you were right did. Faith causes us to act and action is necessary for survival. I applaud your logic. I empathize with your faith. I guess i was just wondering about your cause.
I have been attending Church with my family for three years now but have never given myself over fully to the faith. My husband, on the other hand, has fully immersed himself into church life to the detriment of our family life. His increasing involvement has made me so anxious and confused that I have spent nearly 2 weeks extremely tearful and I have now turned my back on the church. This is causing a further rift within the family as he spends less time with me and more time with them. I feel exluded from part of his life as he would rather talk to people at church than me, whilst I stand on the sidelines wondering what is becoming of us. So, if God is love, why is he ruining my marriage?
Dear confused and anxious,
you got to ask your self some question 1. what was your life before your family went to church. 2.are you respecting his dissension 3. it’s easy to blame God or even piont the finger at him but just maybe you are the problem, just like all this people here want to disbelieve in God , you are doing the same thing they did 2000 year ago and its fuuny but their doing it again today .
instead of blame your husband and pushing GOD away like all these nukleheads enjoy the goodness and the luaghter of the church you would be amased on the storys you would hear and they would sound a lil fimaler. GOD is love but its people that preach hate and confusion
open your to the truth and dont stand on the sideline nomore get in game and fight the good fight of faith. smile you are not alone.
I am really late to this post’s and I dont know if anyone would read this but anyway what do I have to lose.
The underlining issue which this posts attempt to address is the relevance of religion in today’s society or rather what should be the place of religion’s in todays society. The argument of the article’s writer is that religion should have no base in our society because religion itself is fundamentally baseless.
In the twenty first century, we but have to agree with him, even it would be a long shot for this to be generally accepted. How come over the centuries we have modified our basic knowledge but hold to archiac belief systems. I am a doctor and I would not use a medical text which is hundred years old much less one which is two thousand years old, so in the religious institution why do they base beliefs on a text thats is that old?
Our knowlegde base has radically increased and so we should view religion from this perspective. Those who refer to religion as being faith based as opposed to science being rational actually point to a modern invention to explain the dichotomy between these two paradigms. Traditionally religion rather than being faith based was factual, the cause of disease was sin, and only prayer could cure it. This fact was at a time when cause and effect were not well developed but with the large body of knowlegde today we realize that a cosmic entity may not be directly involved in our daily lives.
People would have to shed the cloak in intellectual laziness and attempt to answer the pertinent religious questions, saying religion is based on faith is a fallacy. Most parts of the bible attempt to explain the nature of God and his relationship to man – especially the new testament and even other only book. If religion was based on irrationality and blind faith, the bible would have been just one page thick and would state : “there is a God who created you, believe in him or perish”. But it is not, in the infancy of many religions, christainity, Islam and even Judaism, were unhindered questions were raised, explanations were sought. But not being well established instead of explanations being sought, the inexplicable, in the light of new knowledge is attributed to faith.
Lastly followers of religion should realize that most of the enduring religions today actually started out, and many still remain, political movements. Who better to lead a people than he or “she” who has insight into the unknown, which religion basically is, questions of intelligent design/creation, life after death all regard the unknown, in the past these issues were of war, sickness and death, which rational thinking has addressed to a large extent. As karl marx intelligently put it “religion is the opium of the masses”.
A footnote would be for those who propose that even if religion is based on fallacy it should be promoted because of the moral issues which it defines and establishes. Issues of marriage rights, abortion are currently high on that list. My opinion is that morality can exist outside religion. Morality is the glue which binds society together and successful ones have created laws to guide them in moral aspiration seperate from religion because religion in itself, is a never changing idealogy which if held tenaciously to hinders development and growth of society.
I also have joined this discussion late, but I hope I can jump in on it.
First off, I will tell you that I am a Christian, so that you have an idea of where I am coming from.
I will concede to many of the points made by Trevor. After all, the bible and all of the associated points debated here are of a material nature. Most of the world’s modern religions possess a spiritual goal of attaining a higher, non-material existence, shedding all of our earthly material concerns.
Trevor discounts faith and belief, and in his debate demands hard evidence of god. I say that everything, EVERYTHING in life, even hard science, requires a leap of faith. Whether it is a giant leap or very small one, there still is a required leap of faith. So allow me to ask a question: What is gravity?
I am not interested in its effect on mass. I want to know what causes gravity. Where does it come from? Is there a flow gravity particles such as light is caused by the flow of photons, or similar to the way electricity is caused by the flow of electrons?
I am more than willing to enter this debate. However, before I do so, I must ask you for a definition of “faith.”
Without first grounding this issue we will end up getting nowhere.
Faith = Belief in something that does’nt exist
That was a joke by the way!
Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore
I think this person put it best –
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
I find Augustine’s, and other poetically minded Christians, definition(s) of faith to be severely lacking. Still no closer to a remotely solid explanation of what it means to believe something “on faith.”
Does it mean to believe without evidence?
Does it mean to believe with evidence that only you can interpret, get at, or perceive?
Does it mean to be “sure” or claim to “know” something you do not know?
Does it mean to act as if something is true that you are not sure is true?
Does it mean to believe in the absurd?
I don’t know. Sometimes it seems to mean all or many of these.
I think Saint Augustine put it rather eloquently. Faith is to believe in something that you do not see. (see can be taken to mean real in the physical sense). & correct me if i’m wrong, but by having faith you expect to be with & “see” God at some appointed time. What else is faith? but the act or belief of being confident in the unseen that it will manifest in this lifetime, if not in the next.
Poetry does seem to describe far more convincingly, matters of faith & God than logical argument.
Faith: To have trust or confidence in a person or thing, suported by facts or observations, and that trust leads one to believe that a certain person or thing will act in certain manner, or possess a certain quality.
It doesn’t automatically imply belief in something unseen or supernatural.
I have faith, that if someone breaks into my house, my dog will cause that person great discomfort. My stems not from my dog being an unseen supernatural force, but rather from my ability to observe her behavior.
So, the question remains: What is gravity?
Correction of my last post:
I meant to say: My faith stems from…
LOL, I wish my cat would cause someone great discomfort if they broke in! it would probably nuzzle them. I am in all honestly not sure of how to define faith, I think it is generally taken to mean a strong beleif in God?, in a religious sense. I think the dictionary would give this as it’s main meaning as well, I take your point though. But are we discussing the meaning behind the word, in which case can we come to an agreement on the meaning of the words- God, Spirit, Infinite, death & Love. Maybe the meaning of the word faith & the others are indefinable, in a sense to satisfy different minds.
Gravity? even scientist don’t really know, but I will share an observation. Does gravity run out? is it a force? Is it by definition a perpetual energy!? As the argument goes the light from the sun, if it were to instantly disappear, would still carry on reaching us for a full 7 minutes odd. What about it’s gravity? If it’s effect ceased influencing the earth immmediatly, it would travel at far faster the speed of light. But go on, what is gravity?, apart from that which hold us to the earth & the planets in orbit.
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I am so delighted someone intelligent managed to bring together consistent proof of Christianity’s complete inaccuracy and falsity.
I have been in a situation in which religion (particularly Christianity) has been repeatedly forced on me., and i have reached the last metaphorical straw.
Being only 15, I myself have not been able to keep up an argumant at the weekly Christian Union club at my school, so I have found this article most useful, and I believe I will continue to find it so for years to come.
Thank you so much.
Oh, and by the way, SmallyBiggs, go fuck yourself. Really. If you must read an article which challenges your beliefs (an I believe that all religious people (nuts) should read them), you should at least read it with an unbiased attitude, and an open mind.
stop talking cr*p
its all real
i believe in god
I’m going to tell everyone reading this a few secrets not many people know…so listen up,
First: The Dead Sea Scrolls contain information about what jesus was doing at that time, this information states many things, but most importantly this; as a devout jew from the KOHEN lineage, he served in the jewish holy temple, where the KOHANIM (people from the KOHEN LINEAGE) would learn and perform holy acts. One of the secrets held within the temple was the 42 letter name of g-d, which was only known by very few people such as moses, and was to be used only by the purist of souls. However, jesus learned of this name, and how to pronounce it, and thus used it OUTSIDE OF THE TEMPLE WHICH IS FORBIDDEN. This is why he was able to walk on water, raise the dead, etc. Due to his selfish use of his new found wealth, he was sentenced to death by divine law, and subsequently crusified by the romans. The dead sea scrolls contain this in detail, however I doubt anyone reading this will be able to understand the language it is in. However if you do some reasearch you may find a simplified version. Furthermore, the professors that were brought to decifer the dead sea scrolls in israel were sworn to secrecy about what they contain. In addition to the details I have told you above, there are some that would cause a war if released to the public, because they DISPROVE CHRISTIANITY WITHOUT ANY OBJECTIONS! THERE IS NO WAY ANYONE, NOT EVEN THE POPE CAN REFUTE WHAT THESE SCRIPTS SAY!
2. I’d like to point out a fact about islam if I may, since mohammad was illiterate, he forced a RABBI, thats correct a JEW, to write the koran for him. The rabbi, being the smart guy that he is, coded 3 hebrew letters in the beginning of the koran, which when translated mean, THERE IS NOTHING TO THIS BOOK! Furthermore, he added things to the book, to try and relieve the pressure against the jews, such as the following; it states in the koran that the jews are not to be touched/harmed in any way. The rabbi snuck in things like this, to help protect jews under occupation by mohammad’s followers.
3. With that being said, I hope people will come to realize the TRUTH when a war of biblical proportion comes in the near future. If you don’t know what I am talking about, it is the war of Gog and Magog, do some research on it, i promise you it is VERY interesting!
Computers and the internet must be part of therapy where SRK is staying.
I’ve just had a read of the titles of why christianity is wron and i’m dissapinted to be frank.
I rely have not even bee bothered to read it all
if your going to discredit the biggest and one of the mose recent religions then i would of put more not just 10 points, and one of them being “God does not care”.
wich the world still being in existance is an easy way to see that he does.
This not shaking my faith to tell the truth, not even question a thing and it could be on the page i have not looked but the “dead sea scroles” will back up the integrity of the bible, and as for Jesus well the chances of him fulfilling all the old testament prophersies is like covering texas 6 inches deep with 2ps (sterling) so i think its pritty credible and so is Jesus.
dont want to seem arrogent but the chances of everything being stabe on earth and supporting life out of coinsidence are 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 123, and thats stephen hawking’s calculation i dont know of a person who could discredit him.
I like the chances of god being real alot more than what hawking calculates.
I too have heard about the first and third point in SRK’s post, and there may be truth too it, but no one will know till those scrolls are made public which as SRK stated, they probably won’t be. Furthermore, on Gog and Magog, i have read up on it and it’s pretty clear that today’s events are shaping a mold for a war of biblical proportion. If the prophecies are true, we shall see in the near future, the TRUTH of this world.
Great article in all but i have a couple of comments to add to this. You make a good arguement you are very well educated. Though u need to know that if God was rational or obvious to predict or human like or if he was he would of have been tossed aside like all the greek gods Zeus and athena and Ares (whoever u want to point out). Also science can not prove the supernatural. Because science is based on the fact that everything works out and has an answer. (mostly)
And aslo u have said that the bible is not chorent because matthew listens 27 generations between Jesus and King David and Luke listens 41 generations. I believe the reason why there is because they are talking to different groups of people. All of the authors of the gospels try to talk to different groups of people. Example one of the authors (either Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) of the books of the bible refer Jews and how Jesus is linked to them. So he lists more mostly more jewish generations. I assume.
THE ONE ABOVE IS BAD BECAUSE I DID NOT PROOF READ IT. BECAUSE THE SUBMIT BUTTON GOT PRESSED ON ACCIDENT!!!!!!!
Great article in all but i have a couple of comments to add to this. You make a good arguement you are very well educated. Though u need to know that if God was rational or obvious to predict or human like or if he was, he would of have been tossed aside like all the greek gods Zeus and athena and Ares (whoever u want to point out) who were very humansitc . Also science can not prove the supernatural. Because science is based on the fact that everything works out and has an answer. (mostly)
And aslo u have said that the bible is not chorent because matthew listens 27 generations between Jesus and King David and Luke listens 41 generations. I believe the reason why there is because they are talking to different groups of people. All of the authors of the gospels try to talk to different groups of people. Example one of the authors (either Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) of the gospels of the bible refer to Jews and how Jesus is linked to them. So he lists more mostly more jewish generations. I assume.
Aslo you read the bible but u take it from a literal piont of view. Just because people dont go around raising ppl from the dead doesnt mean that Jesus can not.
And if Jesus went around showing everyone that he exists then there would be no FAITH (key word) Jesus says u need faith. If he went around showing himself then whats the point of having a free will and having Faith? There wouldnt be. and that would condem the whole point in believing in him. I’m sorry if this is a dumbed down verison of what u guys are talking about. I’m not super educated in literature and your many wanys of confusing people because u can use big fancy words.
I am only a caring christian that satnds firm in his believes and i am only 15 yrs old thats why is not so expertly written. There are aslo many other veiws and points i can talk about but due to time i will not embark on them.
Aslo On your point one you say that Chirstianity is absurd. Then how do u think that a man can get 12 people to follow him and believe in him if he can do nothing to back it up. IF that man (Jesus) could not perform miracles then why would anyone believe him. Aslo you say that you want to put the last nail in the coffin of Christainity. Well i’ll tell u this, when christianity first started at all the Jewish pharisees and high priests all tried to prove Jesus wrong. One said that if Christianity was not of The true God then it would eventually be doomed to failure. And so far about 2000yrs later it is still one of the most widespread religons in the world.
o yeah and what is SRK smoking ?
Interesting points that you wrote. I am wondering where the word “God” is coming from. Three years ago, I found out that the word “God” is created by Odin, Allfather, the Viking founder. Wednesday is named after him “Odin’s Day”. Here, I excrepted the etymology of “god” from Old Oxford Dictionary…..
O.E. god “supreme being, deity,” from P.Gmc. *guthan (cf. Du. god, Ger. Gott, O.N. guÃ°, Goth. guÃ¾), from PIE *ghut- “that which is invoked” (cf. Skt. huta- “invoked,” an epithet of Indra), from root *gheu(e)- “to call, invoke.” But some trace it to PIE *ghu-to- “poured,” from root *gheu- “to pour, pour a libation” (source of Gk. khein “to pour,” khoane “funnel” and khymos “juice;” also in the phrase khute gaia “poured earth,” referring to a burial mound). “Given the Greek facts, the Germanic form may have referred in the first instance to the spirit immanent in a burial mound” [Watkins]. Not related to good. Originally neut. in Germanic., the gender shifted to masc. after the coming of Christianity. O.E. god was probably closer in sense to L. numen. A better word to translate deus might have been P.Gmc. *ansuz, but this was only used of the highest deities in the Germanic religion, and not of foreign gods, and it was never used of the Christian God, Jewish God, or Islamic God. It survives in Eng. mainly in the personal names beginning in Os-.
The word “god” is very enigmatic to find out where its word is coming from.. Can you find? You are right that the religion is very dangerous. Who’s fault for making the world being victimized? Viking founder, our ALLFATHER, Odin!!!!
I stumbled on this ‘conversation’ (read: rant) while researching for this Sunday’s sermon. I am one of those dangerous American believers. As we are in the Advent season your blog underscores the misinformation out there directed against Christians. Please be assured that your foundation is one of faith as well. You have your sacraments, your prophets, your worldview, and your assumptions. You may take a high-minded position that somehow you are free of these but you are only deceiving yourself. An athiest is a person of faith, it’s just not in God. May the force (gravity, strong force, magnitism, natural selection, friction, or whatever) be with you. Oh, Yes, and Merry Christmas!
Second post: What is faith – faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (book of Hebrews). It doesn’t mean, nor imply believing in things you don’t believe, but hope and faith exist in the face of doubt. For faith to be faith there must be the possibility that you could be wrong (or it wouldn’t require faith, it would be a fact. Facts require no faith). This is what makes faith so bold and so important to God. You can easily disbelieve, yet you choose to believe. You aren’t willing to do with when it comes to the existence of God, but you are willing to do it all day long when it comes to secular humanism (faith in mankind and science, or should I say psuedo-science). I hope that some day you will be able to experience faith in God. You have the capacity, God gave it to you, but it is your choice to use this power as you please. But please respect those who chose to embrace their faith in Christ. You don’t have to agree. Later.
Listen shitass: The U.S. was built on Christian ethics, and you obviously are a left-wing liberal who wants to destroy everything that symbolizes good in the world. You have reserved seating on the River Styx in Hades, along with all your comrades from the ACLU.
Unfortunatly Trevor you totally don’t get Christianity at all. Not only have you failed to do your research properly but at the same time you seem you believe whole heartedly the arguments which you have manufactured. There is no point me giving more evidence why you are wrong or trying to convince you of the relevance Christ has to your life. Instead I will pray for you. God doesn’t need you to come and have a relationship with him but that is what you were created for along with everyone else. How unfortunate that you seem to think putting faith in the word and actions of God is, instead you have chosen to put faith in your own shallow arguments. If those ten points are the best you can do to refute the facts that God created the earth, man rejected God (which you are still blind to according to your arguments) which there will be punishment for Jesus came to save us and rose again then it will be a sad day for you come judgement day.
Lets take a step back and assume just for a second that you are right (you aren’t but just for a second lets see):
In terms of your future hope and faith Christians have lost nothing since you have no hope and faith. In Christian terms we will have lost everything we believed when we lived.
Now assume the Christian faith is right and that God created everything and Jesus died for our sins
You, waow that’s a huge mistake you made and God being holy will have to punish for rebellion against him.
Christians who lived believing that a loving God made them and Jesus died undeservedly for them, party in heaven for eternity!
You see either way Trevor it is hopeless. Christianity is not based on some random myth or fact. It is based on historical evidence about the truth of this world given in the new testament by people who were willing to be slaughtered for there faith in Christ after witnessing that he rose again. Under your reasoning these people would have been happy to die for a lie. Why would they do that? Would the Romans after Christianity took off not want to crush the Christian faith by producing Jesus’ body?
I admire that you can have faith in nothing against all the evidence that Christianity has. I admire that you base your arguments on the most circumstantial and petty evidence you can find. I admire that even though you know you don’t have satisfaction in this life, you try to dissuade people away from the one true loving God which by having a relationship with him is the only way to feel satisfied. Most of all I admire and love the fact that I don’t admire you at all. Instead I pity you and will pray that God will open your eyes past that barrier of pride you have around yourself and that you will be able to see the truth in all it’s glory.
You are doing excellent work, my son. I will continue to work through you until together we have destroyed GOD! You will be rewarded properly! Remember, do not mention anything about Muslims! Thats not PC. Plus, they would blow your ass up and we don’t want the ACLU on us. keep up the good work!
*sighs* you can play a good round of Atheist vs. Christian bingo with the comments so far. Just look at the last three. Reasonableness that does NOTHING but state “you’re wrong, I’m right, nyahnyahnyah, accusations of “liberalpinkotraitorness” plus a predictable “this country was founded on christian ethics! (really? which bits?), and a Satan troll.
Do I call Bingo yet, or do i need to go for a full square?
Just a christian says “Then how do u think that a man can get 12 people to follow him and believe in him if he can do nothing to back it up. ”
*coughs into hand* Jonestown. Poison Kool-aid anyone?
He had hundreds of people following him blindly. And that’s just the first example that springs to mind.
And there’s a lot of idiots that STILL think invading Iraq was a good idea.
Jon: “It [faith] doesn’t mean, nor imply believing in things you don’t believe, but hope and faith exist in the face of doubt. ”
I call that wishful thinking. I certainly don’t see the merit in actively suppressing doubts. What if those doubts are well-founded?
And why this “science requires faith” canard, yet again? Many scientists are also religious, and I have yet to hear this from any religious scientists! Science actively rewards doubt, because it is doubt about the correctness of a current theory that leads the experimenter to attempt a better explanation and devise a test to compare it to the current consensus.
I suppose you could say that the scientific method requires “faith” in the constancy of the laws of physics in our universe, but then that “faith” has been borne out so many times in the lab that by now, it may reasonably be called a fact.
So where does “faith” come into science? This scientist would love to know!
This is just on one point: your interpretation of Jesus’s last words from the cross in Mark and Matthew’s Gospel, “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me.” You say that these words express “pain, ignorance, nonacceptance, and suffering” and contrast them with Luke’s “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” and John’s “It is finished.”
But the words “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me” are not just random words; they are the first line of Psalm 22, which Mark and Matthew are having Jesus quote. (For the text of the psalm see http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2022&version=31)
Now note two things about this psalm.
First, all the Gospels, including John’s, also include explicit reference to this psalm in the story of the soldier’s casting lots for Jesus’s cloak (Mark 15:24, Matthew 27:35, Luke 23:34, John 19:24, see Psalm 22: 18). Matthew also puts a quote from the Psalm into the mouths of those who mocked Jesus on the cross: “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him…” (Matthew 27:43 — compare Psalm 22:7-8 “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”) And although the wording is less close, something similar occurs in all the Gospels, in the repeated challenge to Jesus to save himself.
So this Psalm is closely associated with the crucifixion in all the Gospels.
Now, second, Psalm 22 begins on a note of lament and abandonment. But it is throughout a prayer to God, it does not sever the relationship between the sufferer and God, and in fact it continually returns to the theme of praise of God and trust in God. The first three verses give the pattern of the Psalm:
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.
And if you read the psalm all the way through, you will see that in the end the note of trust and hope wins out. Thus, we might interpret Mark and Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus’s last words as Jesus’s praying of this Psalm. Then, in his last groaning words on the cross, he would have intended its entire content. And indeed, if we come to the end of the psalm, we find words not so different from those uttered by Jesus in John’s gospel: ” They will proclaim his righteousness/ to a people yet unborn / /for he has done it.” (Psalm 22:31)
Indeed, Luke’s words “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” are also not so far away from the trust expressed in other places in this Psalm: “But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.” (Psalm 22: 19)
So, is it now so obvious that the portrayal of Jesus’s death in Mark is simply one of “pain, ignorance, nonacceptance, and suffering”? Or is the story more complex, even in that text?
Wow good stuff, There are some folks here who makes me feel humble and un-educated. there are others whos stupidity makes my brain sad.
Im not going to try to argue one way or the other as my religious knowledge is clearly lacking. Im an atheist and I apreciate those who are willing to stick their necks out to say what I wish I could. the only thing ill comment on is the person who asked why we would try to disprove religions, why not just let everyone live in peace. I know this has been covered but I just want to say my little bit too.
Yes religion does hurt people. Every person who is not allowed to see their loved one in their dying moments because the conservatives told them that gays dont have the same rights have been hurt by religion. Every sufferer of cureable diseases due to a lack of funding for stem-cell research is being hurt. Every person who was in the WTC was killed by religion. But those who I think suffer the most is the children who are taught that there is something you can’t question, the children that are told that proof is unnessisary, that to blindly follow is not only acceptable but a virtue, for those are the onse hurt most of all. a human lemming is not a vitrtue.
Ask Questions then question the answer till your satisfied.
“Listen shitass: The U.S. was built on Christian ethics, and you obviously are a left-wing liberal who wants to destroy everything that symbolizes good in the world. You have reserved seating on the River Styx in Hades, along with all your comrades from the ACLU.”
Spoken like a true Christian. If Marty had been born in a Muslim country, he would be flying planes into buildings (or at least getting other suckers to do so).
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, my namesake, all were skeptics. Where do fundies get the notion that this country was founded on “Christian principles”? The founders specifically wanted to avoid any established religion, and the oppression and warfare that resulted from it.
What can I say, all the christians who have posted here have merely backed up what trevor and the others were saying about you.
Faith is for dreamers and hope is for fools.
well trent thats a pretty optimistic view about life
those “top ten reasons christians are retards” is full of alot of holes my friends
more holes than i care to type about
the reason why you guys can’t understand christianity is because you don’t believe in faith at all.
you have to realize that faith is the base of our religion, without faith religion is dead.
so when you get on here and say that there is no “proof” of God, most christians dimiss the argument because you are already too far gone.
when you try to refute christianity, if you honestly don’t believe in faith you might as well stop right there.
waow [sic] that’s a huge mistake you made and God being holy will have to punish [you] for rebellion against him.
I believe in God, but not a God who considers a “mistake” to be “rebellion against him.” If God doesn’t care about fairness, or can’t tell the difference between an honest disagreement and a criminal attack, why worship him? And one of the other Christian posters here, maybe more than one, argued in favor of Pascal’s Wager … which by their own standards is terribly insulting to God, who (they claim) knows exactly what’ s in every heart, and who wants our honest love. But the taker of Pascal’s wager isn’t acting out of love for God or even for other people; he or she is acting out of sheer self-interest — so why would God reward him or her for the “belief” that’s really just a cheap insurance policy?
If you really believe that telling Trevor how much God hates his efforts to think for himself is going to convince him he’s wrong, you’re not even in the real world. If God really loves us as a parent loves his children — and I think He/She might — then God wants us to flourish, the way a loving parent does, and to use our brains and hearts. But the God you seem to believe in doesn’t want healthy, independent, free children; he wants docile suckups. And I really don’t believe that’s the God Jesus kept talking about.
Now I’m not a religious expert and don’t claim to know everything, and I should say now that I have never been to church, but there are a few points that I would like to make in general about all religions that I haven’t had explained to me.
1. What ever religion you are right now there are overwhelming odds are that your parents have the same one and depending on how religious you are probably directly reflects on them also. Right now you may be a Christian but if you where raised by different people in a different situation would you be Muslim or Jewish. To me the problem isn’t choosing a religion, its how and why. Being sent every Sunday to church for ten years isn’t as open minded as I would like for something that is so important to so many people. Are these people more influenced by the deity or there upbringing? I know this isn’t always the case and there are plenty of people who convert.
2. I agree that religion has good morals that keeps people in check from messing up their lives and that is great. Not stealing, drinking, and lying are all things that help you lead a better lifestyle. Yet, isn’t that common sense. Are some of these people, who without religion may have ruined families and personal problems more interested in being a better person or do they just fear what will happen if they don’t change? I think Faith and Fear can become blurry.
3. More people have died because of religion than any war for land and money. I don’t think God prefers for his people to fight for thousands of years creating generations and generations of children born into war and death. Also, religion does tend to follow the most powerful empires of the time. You would have a hard time selling Christianity to the Egyptians, Greeks, and Aztecs. Europeans coming to the Americas most importantly to convert the Native Americans to Christianity seems very hypocritical. Are more people influences by the ideals, or money and power that the country has?
4. To not believe in evolution is to not want to. There is huge evidence that it’s not just made up. We have transitional fossils from different stages in humanity that show larger brains and the ability to walk upright. It’s not made up to make prove anyone wrong there are fossils everywhere that show growth and adaptation. If our world was created in seven days then dinosaurs make no sense. Almost everything that has been connected to religion in the past like the formation of planets, weather, and hereditary traits can all be explained. It seems to me that religion is a general explanation of the unknown before we know it. I can’t know who or what created the universe in the first place but our grain or sand might not be as important as we want in to be. Life is a miracle, but maybe not as impossible as we think.
Please leave comments whether you agree or disagree. I am not writing this to prove anything I’m going asking questions and am open minded to any answers or returns.
Could use some corrections but you get the idea.
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I think that was a very well researched article which was believeable and had good citation.
I too have a problem with the contraversy of christianity (although i am baptised and confirmed yada yada yada.)
The problem is the whole “god made pregnancy painfull for all women because of Eves original sin,” you know what?? f**k Eve.
But having said that (and I’m not saying this article disagrees) I believe that you should be allowed to chose any religion you wish (so long as you dont knock on my damned door.)
Why can’t you just except that some people may want to live alife believing that their is something after death it may make life better for those people. We don’t know if god is reall or not so people shouldn’t say its wroung when they don’t even know for sure how the earth was made
Yes, everyone has a right to believe what they what, but where do you think the world started from? You, man, yeah right, think again. Remember this Philippians 2:10-11, That at the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
help us Lord
Right then. I hope what I have to say doesn’t offend any of you, and I know I’m an amateur writer with not much of a developed view but I want to say that the start of all this was very interesting, and, in my point of view, true. But that’s just me.
I have to agree that I wish I were Christian, but several years and I still can’t get it into my head that there’s some male spiritual holy “Lord” out there.
I want to say that I don’t nessesarily believe that’s it’s a science either,but that having a religion is good. It gives you faith, lets you hope, find love, learn values, develop conflict, etc. No one should force a religion on someone else.
WHATEVER works FOR YOU, is great.
As long as YOU’RE satisfied and happy and faithful. As long as you feel that your beliefs work for you and you alone.
Please respect my opinion, as I respect yours.
[Please reply. I’d love to hear your opinions.]
dear trevor (cool guy), Christians who think we’re trying to “debunk”their religion, and the evil money beside me,
I must say, I feel that saying “what if you atheists are wrong? What if you go to hell?, blah blah blah” is like saying, Christianity is something you MUST believe in, or else there’s a chance you could go to hell. Therefore, you must fear hell and believe in the Lord.
Also, i don’t think anyone here is trying to debunk Christianity. This is a debate on beliefs. Don’t assume that just because we don’t believe in God that we’re athiests. I (jess) for one am an agnostic, NOT an atheist.
(ruby) One other thing, some of you Christians tell us we “suck” because that essay doesn’t include any proofs. Yet if even one scientific fact stating that ancient bible scrolls or copies of the commandments from centuries ago were found, then my whole life would be different.
Don’t assume “we” are all a big evil group that are all atheists and “we” all assume “you Christians” are the same. Every person in here is different and we all have different opinions that need to be considered and respected.
(jess) People on here keep saying that this article had no proof and such, but, the bible has no proof either. I’m constantly debating this with people and every person I’ve talk to has always said that the proof for God’s existence is the bible. But, if you think about it the bible is just a book that was written in a time where people were vulnerable and had no explanation for what was happening around them. Just like the ancient Greeks had their gods. Like Apolo who would bring the sun across the sky.
I’ve been told that the bible was written by people who were visited by God and he told them to write it. If people were to make these claims today, society would delcaire them insane. So whose to say that the people who originally wrote the bible weren’t mentally unstable?
Thank you for your time. Please comment back, but please be respectful to us as we were to you.
i dont believe in islam just becauese i dont and never will i an not trying to debunk it. You guys talk about a lot of good topics i just want to mention the topic about faith.
Faith is something that is apart of everything we do ex. starting a car when u r in the car and start it you cant see the engine starting up or the spark plugs ingite but u still believe/have faith that it will work. Just liking turn on a computer or tv u dont see it happening u dont see the electricty (forgive my spelling) going from the wall to ur tv/computer but u still hope that it will turn on.
Where i am going with this u may ask ?
All I am saying that it is impossible to live without faith. And anyone, i think, would feel better if they have a hope about were their goning to go after they die.
I know that I am going to heaven becease i Believe in Jesus Christ my Lord that he forgave my sins. I truly believe that.
I Just hope you can say that you are going to where ever you believe ur going after u die as well as i can.
o yea and its three persons in one Father Son and Holy Spirit. Its one God and three. The same thing but functions as three (yeah i now hard to understand and explain).
Please Forgive My Bad format and little spelling errors for this post and ones above and below it.
i fucking love you. (in a non gay way ofcourse, cause i was gay i would go to hell,..ow wait)
cristianity should have died in the dark ages when it was at it’s prime. it’s like a crippled severly mentally challenged dog rite now.
just a christian: “i dont believe in islam just becauese i dont and never will”
That statement right there is exactly why it’s so hard for most of us atheists/agnostics to swallow religion. To have faith, you have to close your mind on a subject.
i love u but this is bollocks wrapped in confusion
About the Quran and its “scientific mircales” just because you are able to prove that a civilzation/nation/religon/group of people are wrong about a science fact or because you and your religon knew about before others did. Doesnt justify your religon as the “right one” for people or is a reason to exalt your religon above others. Yeah and he did just prove ur statement false.
Yeah I have a comment on point 9. If Jesus did not return then way did he appear to over 500 witnesses after his death. Here of an example of what you are seeming to say. Picture this, If there was a trial that had over 500 witnesses (because women and children were not count in the bible) then i would think that the case with over 500 witnesses would win. I mean come on how are you going to prove 500 witnesses wrong? I am typing assuming that you are talking about the “on the third day he rose again” Kind of Returning. Not the he is coming back to take his christian believers with him kind of return.
I didn’t have the time to read *every* response on this page, but I did see a few references to the evils of religion (crusades, inquisition, etc.). I believe it was Augustan who said (paraphrase), “Do not judge a worldview by its abusers.” Ravi Zacharias added to that quote by saying, “Judge a worldview by the character of its founder.” I am a Christian. I was not offended by any statements made here, but rather I politely disagree. Trevor, you present a compelling argument, and a polite one at that. I salute you for maintaining composure. Many atheists I have had encounters with (online and off) have felt it necessary to berate and tear down the character of Christians (and vice versa). Thank you for maintaining civility. Of course, I disagree with you whole-heartedly, but you knew that.
The truth is that atheists should not feel threatened by Christians. Sure we want you to believe what we believe. Part of the practice of Christianity is to make disciples. But if a person refuses to believe, we are not permitted to force him/her, nor is it possible. However, that cannot and should not stop us from being friends, and good neighbors. That also is Christian teaching; “Love your neighbor as yourself.” So whether you choose to believe or not believe, you should benefit from having Christian friends. Just food for thought.
As I stumbled on your wee little website here. A thought came to mind. I just have one thing to add to this dicussion , and this be it
Point 1) The reason why I believe you have not had any substantial and adequate information to refute or support your arguments , is this :
You sit on you little website pretending to be some sort of expert on this matter. If you wish to create a true debate , I urge you to publish your above article on a more credible form of media , such as a Journal or of the like. As of now I get the impression that most of the above comments have been added by small time atheists or Christians who are out there defending their faith. But I can assure you their are more scholarly opinions of the above and more. As for me , I believe I will not tell you which side I support .
I do not fear publishing my article in a more renouned forum. Give me an in and tell me where and I’ll do it.
Your comment bespeaks of an underlying idea that people who are “really smart,” who are “experts in the field,” who engage these ideas professionally, would be able to fully put these arguments down. A classic Christian conceit: “I don’t know the answers to these questions but there are smart people out there who do. Ask my pastor or this guy or this guy” (assuming you are Christian, but it doesn’t matter).
I use some age-old arguments. I use some modern historical arguments. I use some original arguments. All of these have possible counter-points, and I have counter-points to those. I am well-versed in the high levels of discouse in which these questions are discussed regularly. No, I don’t work there, but I play there.
As I’ve said time and again in these comments; this is not an open and shut case. Any opinion stated here can be backed up or refuted by scores of “experts” that can be trotted out endlessly. However, again, taken together these points form a strong case – the reason why I don’t believe. Furthermore, the points inform each other. If you concede five of the points then you’ll most likely find the truth-probability of the other points go up.
Either way, Christianity may be thought about by the experts, but it is lived by the masses.
To believe in a deity of some sort via religion whether it is Christianity, other religions or spirituality does not necessarily make one closed minded. I like to cite Einstein’s quote: “I do not think God is playing dice with the universe.” He postulated on a natural order of things as opposed to randomness.
I can’t prove that there is a God but believing in one does not make me closed-minded. On the contrary. I acknowledge that there is far more to the universe than even the most advanced scholars/scientists know. Suppose our knowledge was compared to that of the cave man on various beliefs/myths that were held by them. Wouldn’t it stand to reason then that future generations would dwarf us in terms of knowledge, some of which may answer questions of life origins and a possible source or God?
Suppose we could prove without a doubt the big bang theory? What next? Where did the big bang theory then come from? You will always be left with an unanswered question. My guess is this is perhaps because our minds have not advanced (like the cave man to us) to the point where we can acknowledge the existence of other dimensions. Looking for dimensions that would conveniently conform to our laws of physics (which includes measurements and the concept of time) is a narrow-minded approach. What if perhaps scientists discover the existence of other dimensions which are not subject to our rules and therefore one where time as we know it may not exist? Perhaps might this then answer the question of an original source?
The universe seems too vast to suppose that we have all of the answers. Modern day religion be it Christianity or whatever does not have a monopoly on spirituality. Whether you believe in Christianity or not is not my point. My point is that if you look at the teachings of Christ —– love thy neighbor, forgive, do charity and seek peace, and do unto to others and you would have them do unto you. What is wrong with these messages?
Furthermore when you talk broadly about Christianity, you really speak from an uninformed perspective. There are many different denominations of Christianity. You have Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Mormons etc. No one of these sects can speak for all of Christianity. Likewise critics should specify which sect they are criticizing as opposed to painting with a broad brush. This of course would require some knowledge of the religion which appears to be a scarcity in this forum.
The tenets I attack are those most common and fundamental to Christianity as it is practiced by 99% of believers. My point is simple. That Christianity is wrong, that it is false, that it is not factually accurate.
This point is aside from the fact that you may think it feels good, or does good things, or produces good actions, or serves a function in human thought. Fine, it can do all those and still be wrong. In fact, it often does do many of those and it is still wrong.
I care about the truth of my beliefs and, in this regard, Christianity fails.
You do not need a walking, talking, resurrecting man-God to tell you to be nice to people. If you think you do, then maybe you aren’t very nice to begin with.
The truth of the matter is that you can’t prove that God doesn’t exist. Where is the “truth” is that? I can’t prove that God exists either. Religion has never been about truth but rather faith.
What do you have faith in? Do you believe then in love? Do you believe in the potential of goodness in man despite wars (yes many of which have been fought over religion — or shall I say the perversion of religion for selfish means) ?
Does believing in God or a religion necessarily mean believing in all of the tenets of that system?
If a single source that always was and always will be did not create the matter that became the Big Bang Theory, then where did the matter come from? Doesn’t there have to be an origin?
In regard to your last question, why couldn’t the matter always have been? Must it have been created? If it was created, then there was a creator that has always been. And, if so, who created that creator?
To put it another way, you’ve posited that there is something with the characteristic of “always was and always will be.” But you’ve failed to show why that characteristic can’t be applied to the universe itself. Why must it, instead, be applied to something you’ve decided to call God?
I really like this page. It’s spot-on.
Everything that we can prove or theorize can be traced to something else. For example, suppose we proved evolution? Does that necessarily prove anything in the big picture?
Where did this planet then come from — where did this galaxy come from etc.? Suppose we prove the Big Bang Theory? Then what? Science is the one that attempts to prove where things came from. Religion or spirituality doesn’t attempt to do that. I merely point out to you scientific quandries that can not be anwered. In other words, I do not have the answers and neither do you. So that should leave room for a mutual respect. I can not prove there is a God and you can not prove where things originated. In light of these obstacles, I a merely pointing out that perhaps there is a a single source or God then. This possibility (not disproven) becomes as viable as any since both the scientific and theological approach to existence both are stumped. Yes it is possible for there to have been matter that always was and always will be. I have no problem with being open minded to that possibility. What however is wrong with postulating that it has an intelligence/creating order (our galaxy is extremely ordered & structured). What is wrong with calling that source God?
Here’s the trouble with your line of reasoning. If you want to say, “Well, there’s stuff way back at the beginning of the universe, stuff we don’t understand or don’t know about,” my answer is to say, fine, you’re right, but that’s totally uninteresting. What I mean is, when one talks about “god,” one really doesn’t just mean a prime mover. Instead, god brings up notions of religion, morality, scripture, a divine being who created things and guides them and tells us what is right and what is wrong. God is someone who ought to be worshiped, ought to be followed. Clearly, none of those characteristics flow directly from the argument you’re making.
So let me ask you outright: This thing you label “god,” which you think is evidenced by the order and structure of our universe (to which I ask, “Ordered and structured compared to what?”), should we follow its teachings? Does it have a plan for us, a path it would like us to progress along? If so, how do you — or anyone else — know what that is?
You are wanting me to define God in terms of religion. I prefer to define and discuss the issue of God from a theological standpoint as opposed to religion. There is a difference. The opposite of athesim is the belief in God. Doesn’t it stand to reason then that these opposites are what should be discussed as opposed to religion? Why then would Christianity be the only religion discussed or criticized here?
Looking around the world, you could make a good argument that God has nothing to do with religion.
Many reject God’s existence from an empirical viewpoint with regard to religion. I agree that there are some clear- cut contradictions to religion and life on this little dot in space called planet earth. We have had more wars over religion than just about any other topic. Let’s look at all of the conflicts around the world: Northern Ireland between the Protestants and Catholics, India and Pakistan between the Hindus and Muslims, Israel and Palestine between the Jews and Muslims, Iraq (also Iraq and Iran) between Sunnis and Shias. The Crusades between Christians and Muslims. I am sure I missed a few but let’s suffice to say that you get the gist.
On the surface, one would assume that religion is behind these conflicts. I say it is not. I think there are 2 reasons for things: the good reason and the real reason. The “good reason” is to get people to fight for almighty God. “You are fighting for the forces of good and they are evil.” The real reason is control/domination and economic issues. Wars are fought over economics but are often disguised as something else. What better way to convince the masses to fight than to say that the fighting is endorsed by almighty God himself? What greater endorsement do you need? You might even get people to blow themselves up if you can convince them of this. Just because a desperate people resort to desperate measures, what does that have to do with the possibility of a God existing?
I would even take it a step further and suggest that the practice by religious institutions has very little to do with the intended message/dogma of the religion itself. History is filled with such examples of hypocrisy. The Holy Roman Empire was run by what is today the Catholic Church. Many atheists point this out and I would agree. However, if you were to get Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Muhammad and Buddha together, somehow I would have a hard time believing that they would not live in peace. It is the people who attempt to control things that have conveniently used religion to achieve certain ends.
We also assume that God takes on characteristics assigned to him by religion. Why does this have to be?
Just a Christian:
I guess when people can not discuss facts and ideas they resort to name calling i.e pagan religion. That may explain the rudeness. Maybe the best we can do is pray for him.
Honestly, I wonder can a good Muslim make such a rude and be so disrespectful to another faith. You must show every respect despite you believe it or not. I hate say, I strongly believe a good muslim should not make such derogatory comment about another religion.
May Allah bless us and direct us towards the straight path.
Wow, I wish I had the time to spend reading this entire post but that would take forever! This debate will most definitely never end! Id much rather speak my thoughts than type them as it just allows me throw out my ideas rather that actually
I am currently 17 yrs old and as I’ve been growing older, I’ve desired to some extent to do things on my own and step out of the norm which has really been a great learning experience as far as what I believe and who id like to be. I live in a Christian family and have to go to church all the time but the whole religion vs. Logic or whatever you want to call it has really been sparking an interest in me
As I decided to do a few things a little differently then what seemed to be required of me in my church and of my family (sometimes as little as having a different hair style or bigger like what my interests were, it really doesn’t matter, I didn’t think it should have been a problem) I noticed that I had stepped out (perhaps out of luck, or from my desire to be different, free will) of the whole sort of routine or lifestyle that is Christianity.
It somewhat gave me the ability to sort of look on as to what I had just been a part of and think what the HELL?!? When I was younger and a part of the whole scheme, it really doesn’t seem like you know what’s going on because you become so infatuated with the whole faith and whatnot garbage that you deny common sense and basic logic for it to all make sense. Everyone gets so high on spiritual revivals and other garbage that all seem to combine to make some sort of boundary or addiction that is hard to get away from. Just out of luck, perhaps I escaped and can look out and wonder what I was doing for all those years.
It seems like the whole free will concept played an important role in letting me escape the realm. So perhaps deep within the core of Christian beliefs, free will is only meant to be used for bad? Because when I did choose to make my own decisions just out of curiosity, I am not really a part of the church anymore, perhaps I wasn’t brainwashed enough by the beliefs? Is there a flaw in the religion? Maybe we should now create a new one with updates? Blegh
I do have one more point id like to make about why Christianity just seems like sort of scheme. In Ecclesiastes 18, it says, “With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” Could also be translated to say, the more you know, the less you trust. Or the less you know, the more you trust. The only example I can think of that relates to this is perhaps a government of any country for instance. Honestly the less I know about that government, the more I trust it. The less I know about secret plans and documents and other agencies and such, the more I trust the government. However if I knew everything that the government had ever done, everything top secret, everything about it, I probably wouldn’t trust it as much.
In other words, the more I know about religion and whatnot, then the less I will trust it and believe it. Or the less I know about religion and whatnot, then the more I will trust it and believe it. But if that’s true, that means the Christianity religion doesn’t want you to know much so you will trust it, because it has something to hide, similar to the government analogy. So to believe Christianity is similar to believing a religion of lies and secrets? The more you learn about it, you find out that it just is more and more incorrect, and you of course, lose trust once again similar to the government analogy.
But why in the world would anyone want to believe that? That they should just not worry about when it’s right in front of them, the fact the Christianity has something to hide? Why would that verse be in the bible? To prevent others from pursuing the actual truth that Christianity has lies and secrets like a government would?
Hey Kenny, Check a Bible. Their is no Chapter 18 in Ecclesiastics. Make sure no check your facts before you make an accusation
correction-make sure YOU check your facts
The proper reference is Ecclesiastes 1:18. A minor detail…
I am a devout Christian…
…yet I am backing Trevor on this argument. Though I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything, he is RIGHT to point out the CLEAR inconsistencies in the Bible. Has modern Christianity has become so legal and so viciously arrogant that honest atheists are seen as a threat to faith? There are massive amounts of evidence for evolution, there are many scriptural inconsistencies that CAN’T be merely brushed off with the ‘God’s ways are mysterious’ cop out. How can the New Testament Jesus Christ arise from the OT Jewish God, who could easily be tried and “convicted” for crimes against humanity as brutal as the Nazis? I must admit I am sorely afraid for those who are wreaking so much havoc in the name of Christianity. It is they, not the atheists, who will be held accountable for the state of this world, for I doubt “doubt” will be a greater crime than a false war in Iraq(GWB stated that ‘God told him to do it’, and he is a Christian), the quick spread of AIDS in Africa with the help of the Catholic doctrine on birth control, and other such “Christian” activities. Christ himself stated that there will be great evil in the world and that VERY FEW would truly LOVE those around them no matter what their beliefs/color/gender/sexual preferences are.
Also: when did “defending” Christianity become necessary? If we Christians had done our part, there wouldn’t be even half as much suffering in the world as there is now. Since when are we offended by free speech? Since when is God so weak and small that we can’t tolerate other views? Jesus Christ himself stated that we, Christians, would not be spared from trials and misery, and many would despise us. Technically, if Trevor is against Christianity, he is merely fulfilling his right to speak freely (on his own site which we visit, therefore he isn’t forcing ANYONE to believe what he believes), and is not persecuting anyone. And even if you disagree with him, he is also merely fulfilling the prophecies of God and should NOT be treated with disrespect. If Trevor’s arguments agianst Christinaity are offensive, believe me…that is a pretty easy bit of persecution to deal with. It sure beats being burnt to death at the stake, having lead poured into our ears, being stretched on a rack, being raped and murdered, etc, etc…like many Christians in the past have done to those who didn’t believe. Now is NOT the time to dismiss people like Trevor…
…now is the time for us Christians to cease our arrogance, show humility and respect to those who disagree with us, and take a long listen to what they say before making up our minds about what is being said. We owe God and we owe those who don’t believe at least that much….
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I was raised in a Christian family and just about swallowed every concept of god and belief my family told me.At the age of 50 I finally set down and read/studied the bible for myself.
The kicker was reading about Christ return.The ENTIRE point of the new testament centered around his return.I have read Matthew 24 upside down,backwards and sideways.Christ was to return in the first century……period. This is a major embarrassment to most Christian bible scholars because they know that this is a true statement.
Christians have made every excuse possible to say that the word “generation” used by Christ meant a generation thousands of years in the future.
Go ahead and believe that Christ is going to return real soon.All you have to do is suspend all logic and common sense.It’s easy.
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I must say that I have never encountered a site that deals with the christian (religious) issue with such knowledge and respect.
Me, I’m not religious in any way but I do have some understanding why some people are. The problem as I see it is that the majority of christians, muslims or whatever – are constantly trying to fulfill their own lives by trying (forcing) to converte us ‘infidels’ to become believers. If someone in my vicinity is a ‘believer’ I’m fine with that without trying to make him or her a nonbeliever.
Keep up the good work Trevor.
This is a long rambling excuse for not liking Christinaity.
Religion is social action and at the heart of the message of Jesus is exactly that, a social action that demonstrates a nicer and more intelligent way to live in the world with your fellow man.
Every major religion that has ever been came about because one person at it’s root acted out in conscience. This is not exclusive to Jesus any more than it is to Buddah or Abraham.
It also proves that nothing you’ve said here really effects the basic message of Jesus or his work, something which you’ve very plainly ignored. The basic values there in are irrefutable. It’s just a nice way to live, that’s all.
The religion remains valid, and will remain so, because no matter how much tradition or dogma others would inject into it, they can’t deny the essentials of the doctrine of Jesus, or any other pious man that exhibits social action and responsible behavior towards their communities.
In all do respects,I read where you mentioned that Christ teachings is just a nice way to live.Please take the time to read what he said,you might find that some of his teachings were harsh.
Great article! Too bad you’re wrong. 😦
“Please take time to read what he said?”
That’s laughable on so many levels that I won’t even entertain it, but thanks for the tip, and for ignoring my point.
It’s amazing how people could stake their faith on some ancient writings, which often do not stand up to scrutiny at all. Nevertheless, religion does serve a purpose in community bonding and is ‘just a nice way to live’ to quote Joey.
What is scary is how religious kingpins could slap their own ideals on countless of their followers… it may be something as benign as the Pope’s stand on abortion, or it could (thankfully not so frequently) be as disastrous as jihadists waging holy war on the world!
Wonder when humans will move beyond this mindless devotion to religious faiths.
Although I disagree with some of the points you have made, I must tell you that I highly enjoyed reading this. Im not going to make rebuttals on your points that i dont agree with, lack of time, but I would like to just make one point that i think most atheists often forget about, and it ultimately weakens your argument.
Unfortunately like most orthodox and conservative Christians, atheists always seem to approach this subject with a mentality that somehow comes across as very narrow minded and unwilling to just accept that people are allowed to believe what ever they believe.
By arguing like you have and including phrases like “If you wish to throw rationality out the window and claim that a contradiction is possible, then you can just take your ball and go home; you are now playing a game that you can ask no one else to play with you.” makes you sound like you are proclaiming that you know everything about this game and no one can argue with you.
This attitude that atheists seem to have, one that usually comes across to others as arrogant intelligence, destroys your arguments. No one wants to listen to someone who is unwilling to accept another persons point of view and let them be even if you dont agree with that particular view point yourself. You end up preaching to the converted…just like conservative Christians who are unwilling to accept say your point of view for example and also end up preaching to the converted.
Although your points may seem valid to you (and some of them are) it does not mean that they will be valid for others and your writing just comes across as another person trying to push their view of religion on others…which is probably one of the things that irritates you about most Christians, right?
All im saying is that every religion, or view point on religion that incessantly pushes its views on other does its self a disservice. No one is forcing you to believe in Christianity so if you choose not to then why should you try and force others to believe what you believe. No one is asking you to justify your view points either so you can use that as an excuse for trying to discredit any religion.
ultimately all im saying is you have your ideas and make your choices and i have mine. These choices have nothing to do with anyone else except you. So all im saying is everybody, atheists, Christians…everybody…believe what you want to believe..you dont have to force it upon anyone else.
I think religion is like an action figure(a doll for girls, I guess.), you play with it when you’re young. (This kind of religion is represented as the early “paganistic” religions with multiple gods for everything you can’t understand).
As you grow older, you dump it for a better action figure (A more evolved religion like islam or christianity). But you slowly begin to have a hankering for something more satisfying. (The beginning of science)
Bam, before you know it, you’re 18 and you’ve completely dumped those silly action figures for a brand new car.
See the relation? A religion is like a dolly or an action figure. You need to use a little imagination and make-believe to have fun, or to give yourself a reason why you’re waving around a little plastic man or woman. Plus, little plastic toys cannot harm you, unless you swallow them. (symbolic meaning with that last sentence)
Science is like a car, it’s useful, it’ll get you places and it ISN’T a waste of time. But cars can hurt you or the environment around you if used recklessly. Sounds just like science.
Point being this: We are at the age where we still play with action figures and dolls, but there are those around us which say they are having alot more fun with their remote controlled cars (requiring no imagination, just batteries).
Some of us drop the action figures and pick up a remote control. Some of us rebel and say there’s no REAL fun with a remote controlled car. But there is a point where it all ends.
Yes, this is the truth. No matter how much we enjoyed playing with our plastic hero men or plastic Barbie girls, we will eventually find it silly and put it on display somewhere else. That is how I see the future. Religion will be in museums. Nobody would want to play around with that anymore, maybe because it’s embarrassing, or maybe it’s not socially accepting anymore. (Imagine a 30 year old guy playing with action figures. We laugh at them, don’t we. Admit it.)
We will move on to things that really matter. As children, we believed that a kissy on the booboo will heal it. As young adults, we realize that it’s completely ridiculous. As adults, we’d know what the booboo is really called, what caused it, and what’s the most efficient way to heal it.
(Switch to Religion Vs Science mode)
As a primitive race, we believed that rainbows were a sign from god. As a modern race, we know as plain as day that rainbows have something to do with water droplets and light. As a future race, we’ll know that rainbows can be observed whenever there are water drops in the air and sunlight shining from behind a person at a low altitude or angle (on the ground). And also that the most spectacular rainbow displays happens when half of the sky is still dark with draining clouds and the observer is at a spot with clear sky in the direction of the Sun. The result is a luminous rainbow that contrasts with the darkened background.
I’m not against religion, or siding with science. I’m just saying that everyone should feel free to play with their imaginary friends while it’s still socially accepted. Because soon in the not-too-distant future, nobody will consider religion anymore. We’re still a young race, it’s okay to play with our dollies.
A couple interesting points in relation to person’s comment above me;
Faith in religion, faith in science, faith in the law, isn’t it all tantamount?
Also, you’re speaking in parables to make your point. You’re illustrating you’re point, but to make it clear, you relate it to human development in a prose. Reminds of how Jesus used to speak, just sayin’…
Also, Person, what’s funny about your comment is that you reflect this really vague version of religious history, but ignore that science and history, anthropologically speaking, evolved together.
Were as at one point, astrology was the science that supposedly refuted all early forms of knowledge, early religion was developing at jus the same time, and oddly enough, each big step in one, is usually mirrored by the other.
It’s just something I noticed. It could be bullshit, but isn’t that what faith’s all about?
“…science and history, anthropologically speaking, evolved together.”
science and history here should read;
“…science and religion, anthropologically speaking, evolved together.”
Where is this god? where is this heaven? where is this hell? show me damn it, show me! where is this god hiding? does he ever prove his existence? what kind of arrogance is it that could possibly make a human think they are created in an image of a god? what a joke.
Science and religion indeed began at about the same time. While cavemen were inventing the wheel and other simple machines (science), they were inventing it to move heavy rocks to build a temple (for religion). Both were very primitive forms of each.
An analogy; children played with rag-dolls, while others played with ancient board games, or even a dreidle (No imagination required with these games, just smarts or luck).
But as “science” began to really show up (about a hundred years ago or more) with the invention of electricity, medicine, light bulbs etc., Religion has started to fade around the world. People didn’t rely on god to cure diseases anymore, they just used medicine. Aztecs didn’t pray to their sun god for the sun to rise the next day, the conquistadors just shot them all, destroyed their religion and told them their’s was better (two children arguing in the park that their nintendo DS is funner than a stinkin’ action figure).
But if you look at it more recently, the more technology we develop, the less reason for “religion” to squeeze its way in. Religion is beginning to become obsolete. It’s not a big surprise that video games are replacing dolls and toy cars.
In today’s world, people still play with those (barbie, hot wheels and play dough) just like how there are still alot of religions existing today. But we’re all too aware of the rising number of agnostics and atheists, and the overrunning of video games, cell phones and other “technology toys” in modern times.
Science and religion may be evolving together, but science is winning the race, and religion is eating it’s dust.
Faith is beginning to look silly (it always did look silly). Just like playing make believe; it looks silly, and its starting to look even sillier with all the other things (sports to improve your physical and mental health, or video games which provide more entertainment) you could be doing.
Mike, if any of us can answer your question (with enough evidence and truth), every atheist in the world would look like a jackass. But as it stands, not one of us has an answer.
We could only speculate what happens in the future. A method that would help is to relate something complicated (science vs religion) to something we can all understand (traditional toys vs tech toys).
Surprisingly enough, they are very related. That’s why I chose that topic to compare to science vs religion.
“(two children arguing in the park that their nintendo DS is funner than a stinkin’ action figure).”
Should read as:
“(two children arguing in the park that their hot wheels play set is funner than a stinkin’ action figure).”
Wow, Person really took my comment… ummmm… personally. Go figure.
Anyhow, back to reality, where religions like Christianity are responsible for movements like Liberation Theology, and it’s main proponents, Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. An entire generation of people fighting in solidarity against tyranny.
Their accomplishments go without question. Their faith is very obviously rooted in a non-violent, Christian doctrine. The efforts of those men helped people. It’s helped others understand how to manifest profound changes in their commmunities and abroad, for both good and bad.
I think that’s a cool story, faith in the face of oppression. It’s real afternoon special, inspiration, arm band stuff. And what great material.
You know what, faith is silly, you’re right. It’s like a truism. It’s so funny because it’s true.
Unfortunately, I think it’s valuable. Maybe that makes me a people person, Person.
On the other hand, there are assholes all over the planet. Christian assholes, Atheist assholes, everyone has met one, so I can empathize with your situation.
It’s doesn’t mean I’m going to go freak out, or hide my identity behind anonymity, and then lose my composure. It’s just a thread.
Looks like you just did though.
This is just a comment on Judaism in response to your last comment:
“Richard Dawkins recommends that the the most important phrases to bristle at are ‘christian child,’ ‘jewish child,’ or ‘hindu child’ and the like. It should be ‘child of christian parents,’ etc.”
Unlike with Christianity or other religions, the Jewish people are a nation. If your mother is Jewish, you are Jewish.
Entire books have been written on either side of this debate; Archer comes to mind as an apologist for Christianity. Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project is a more recent example. On your side Dawkins seems to be getting some attention. To your point on Mark and John, John states that he wrote his book to fill in some bits omitted by the earlier evangelists. Of course, I use John because you used it; the Fourth Gospel is a better title as the book itself makes no note of its authorship.
Trevor, I can only assume you were looking for a fight when you wrote this article. A logical debate with the religious is by definition unattainable. Therefore you must have been looking for an argument in which case you chose the best topic available. Just don’t expect to win. 🙂
“Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.”
— Sigmund Freud
“I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other gods you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
— Stephen F. Roberts
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”
— Mahatma Gandhi
“There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the dark ages.”
— Ruth Hermence Green
And if your looking for a really good laugh…
Somethings are true whether you believe them or not.
The fact that someone spends time trying to disprove a belief only further shows the strength of that belief. Things that are false no one really tries to fight against because they don’t fear those things. What if it is all true and christ does return and the gospel was restored as the mormons profess? then what are you going to do? Everyone should just ask God themselves and stop wasting time reading articles by men far more fallable then Mark, Luke, John or Paul.
I think this is well written and interesting… I also hope (and generally pressume) that it was written for the sake of getting your thoughts out in tangible form… because I tend to think such “reasoned” arguments fall of deaf ears when it comes to “Christians”. Much as I suspected while reading through the essay, the comments that followed were amusing, to say the least. I particularly enjoy that most of the “Christians” that replied were just as nasty, viscious, and rude as I anticipated. THAT is another of the PRIMARY reasons why I can’t stand to be in the same room with most “Christians”. Rather than try to logically explain their position, their faith, their beliefs… they revert to name calling and childish, immature behaviors. Granted, some Christians are just fine… Nice even. And I don’t even mind the “You have to have faith” argument, as long as it is given as politely as my “I just can’t believe…” argument.
All that being said, I think a religious education, in general, is important. I think that it is so fundamentally a part of modern society that ignorance on the matter is irresponsible.
if jesus was during his lifetime what he’s cracked up to be, the most realistic claim is he was most likely schizophrenic. that speaks volumes.
umm this article i read is not up to par everything thing that you say is true but some of the thing are making the christain relgion look bad evn though that cant prove jesus was white but the say he is.. im muslim and im 15 years old and im black i was a christian before but ost of the thing i read from the bible was wrong, becasue i went on websites to find the truth..umm i will be posting evetyday so if you have and quetions just e-mail me at email@example.com
Seemed interesting until you wrote something about Hitler in 1919… Straighten up your facts, would you?
these are not the top reasons against christianity; proof and fact are. You have touched upon it but slightly, you are losing yourself in the maze of christian teaching ratehr than questioning it as a whole. Scientists have the universe figuered, and biologists have the descent of man figuered, man is made of atoms and not dust, a big bang created the universe which took millions of years, not a divine entity 6 days. simple stuff which when we try to go deeper we forget.
Well, I read the majority of this debate and only would like to say one thing. It concerns the debate between Jason and Trevor. Look at the difference between Jason and Trevors arguements. Basically, Jason refutes alot of what Trevor says with well supported evidence. Look at the number of sources Jason uses (many of which seem unbiased to me). Trevor, until you come up with some better evidence, I would say Jason blew you out of the water.
10. It is Absurd: It is absurb, but no more absurb then to believe that the universe was created in a vacuum by no one. What’s makes you so righteous to call something absurb? Helping the poor and sick is absurd? How so?
Volunteering for charity is absrud too? Explain?
9. Jesus Has Not Returned. The failure in this arguyment is that it relies precisely on what it attempts to refute. If you didn’t believe in Satan, would you quote from the Satanic Bible as a credible reference? Of course not, yet I’m bafled none-the-less.
8. God Doesn’t Care – You write storiers, books, whatever. The creation and evolution of these universes you create are very much in your control. Whenther or not you care about your stories, you still feel. In other words, you, in that sense are logos, unmoving, all knowing, in comparison to the entities that you create that have taken on life, and you feel things.
So it’s possible for you to have feelings, but not for God? That makes a lot of sense. It’s not like we’re made in his image or anything like that.
7. Other Religions – All major religions started at one concentrated point, by one individual who stepped off the beaten path. In each instance, of each major religion, whether peppered with allegory or not, started with a person who decided not to live an animalistic, uncivilized existence, and started down his or her own path alone.
Years, later you have buddism, xtianity, judaism, and every other religion that started from a form of social action. If Christinaity is wrong, then these others are guilty by association, just simply from being derived in a similar fashion.
What you’re basically saying is pseudo-intellectual bigotry. Fascism…
“Well, you’re black, so you’re a criminal, period.” Broad generalizations like that only serve to divide people. It’s obvious to me that there will be no compromise here because you’re not interested in discourse, you just waiting for you’re chance to talk.
I could say all atheists are insane to believe the universe was created in a vacuum out of complete nothingness, but I wouldn’t put that on anyone. Atheists are as versatile and dynamic as any other demographic. I can see beyond broad generalizations and gross distortions.
6. There is No Soul – There is no sun. Only a ball of light in the sky consisting of four parts of hydrogen on a molecular level.
What’s my point? Science and Math is the language of God. That, like anything else, is open to, and the victim of, poor interpretations like this one. Define soul next time before you try to tear apart something you dont fully comprehend.
Wow. Look at that, logic. And as a Christian, my head hasn’t exploded. If an idea is illogical, it goes against God, this is universal, no one is exempt from rationtality. The bible is words written by men, and is open to interpretation. You’ve chosen to apply an egregious interpretation to Christianity, that’s you’re beef, work it out or don’t.
On the upside, if you don’t work it out, you’ll probably get more hits at this website for slandering Christians. Congrats.
5. Evil – most of it is caused by men, and/or, yes, free will applies, thanks for proving my point. I could end this here and digress, but…
Bacteria – how could there be a God in a world with bacteria, and on the flip side, how can we live with out bacteria? Go further, how we can live in a world where spinach is making people sick? How can we live in a world where Satan is killing all the bees? How can you have a conversation with an atheist that is unable to make sense?
4. The Bible is Not Consistent – the bible isn’t some book that was published last year. J.K.Rowling has nothing to do with it, okay?
It’s not a love letter from boy to a girl, although it does have some of those, it’s a series of documents that was reconciled, it’s not meant to be consistent. That’s your personal assumtion, and we all remember what happens when people ass-u-me, right? Each book comes from a different place, a different time, a different person. This one is easy. That bible is over 100 hundreds books, they’re not supposed to be consistent.
3. Christianity Cannot be the Religion that Jesus Preached – With men like Ghandi and Dr Martin Luther King, following a precise Chrstian doctrine, just like what Jesus did, I’m shocked that you would believe that such a simple form of Liberastion theology, one that has endured thousands of years, would baffle you.
Let me, and wikipedia help you with one as well:
In Christianity, ***liberation theology*** a school of theology that focuses on Jesus Christ as not only the Redeemer but also the Liberator of the oppressed. It emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed, particularly through political activism.
Yeshua, or Jesus as he is commonly known, the work he did has endured through liberation theology. Pointless tradition and dogma are worthless next to that, you are right about that, that’s why the reasonable Christian will go straight for the meat.
2. The Gospels are not Historically Reliable – REALLY? You mean there was no Adam and Eve? Wow. That’s really enlightening.
1. The Gospels are not History: “Christianity claims a specific historical relationship between God and man. If that relationship is historically inaccurate then Christianity is wrong. Or, as Paul memorably put it, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Cor. 15:14).
This statement sums up the problem with your thought process and evalution. The goal of Christianity is not to be historically accurate, or scientifically prove that we can make a better potato. Christanity is important because it helped illustrate to people a better way to live. To help the poor, strict non-violence, accepting of other cultures and to fight against oppression.
If you take with someone who doesn’t follow that set of guidelines, yet calls themselves Chrsitian, then, guess what?
That person is not a Christian. It’s as simple as calling yourself a Christian. Few people are chosen to walk this very, strict and severe path. Few of those in churches today can make the claim that they’ve dedicated themselves completely.
You’re issue with this religion has nothing to do with this religion. It has to do with people you dont agree with, so you construct a long diatribe as an excuse, but it’s obvious that you have no frame of reference and use most of these examples out of context to build what appears to be an irrational, illogical situation – Christianity.
According to you, people like Jesus, Ghandi and Dr. King shouldn’t be out there fighting against tyranny. They shoud give up their personal beliefs because you THINK them to be irrational.
Also, I mentioned those people, who are my main influences, and no one here has even attepted to touch them. What’s the matter? No one wants to insult Ghandi? No one wants to call Dr Martin Luther King a fanatic?
So let me get this straight… over here, Christians are irrational because they believe what they believe… and now I know, that at this website… atheists are irrational because they don’t have the balls to debate about real warriors for truth, who took a Christian doctrine and changed the world.
This same doctrine, when applied correctly, galvanizes entire protions of the globe, helps the sick, brings people together and enables them to live more profound, positive and productive existences, and I’m supposed to believe what?
That all that’s wrong becuase you refuse to talk about it? You refuse to even broach that subject. Stay away from true believers that fight for truth, because you know you can’t touch them without tarnishing you image here, and that’s this is all about. It’s all an illusion for an argument that is supposed to make sense, but has the missed the very thing that makes it’s target profound in the 1st place.
By ignoring my main points, you’re really just replacing one form of tyranny with another, and proving that you dont have the know how to navigate this discussion without using the same tired rhetoric and hyperbole. At least I’ve something original to say.
I’ll repeat myself:
Ghandi and Dr. King. You dont have sack enough to try and refute them, so go after these obviously weak points, and laugh with each other, but it’s obvious… your lack of conviction. That’s why the stupid Christians always win, and THAT’S what has you so livid, because as ignorant as they are, at least they have conviction and faith, something you lack.
Typically I would not dignify your comment with a response. I have been bowing out of this debate due to lack of interest in the general level of discourse that is offered. Your comments are paradigmatic of such wanting.
On the other hand perhaps one should not let error rest undisturbed. Perhaps there is an intellectual imperative to point out obvious fallacies, straw-men, and ad hominems. Although I know you will not take these to heart and that you will only respond with poorly worded indignation, I will offer a few observations on your nearly incoherent piffle.
The fallacy which dominates your entire “opus” on this thread is that of equating the effects of a belief with the truth of the belief itself. You seem to be claiming that if the actions created by a belief are good then the belief must be true. I hope you understand, somewhere in that mind of yours, that this is obviously incorrect. Good actions can obviously be motivated by mistaken beliefs. Take, for example, the man who gives everything to the poor because he is incorrectly informed he only has a month to live. Likewise, bad actions can be motivated by true beliefs.
Your unqualified mistake, your transparent misapprehension, your simple failure to comprehend that I am not discussing Christian actions but Christian beliefs inheres in your entire ranting twaddle. My article is called “10 Reasons Why Christianity is Wrong.” “Wrong” as in false, not factually accurate. It is not called “10 Reasons Why Christianity Makes The World a Worse Place.”
The only way that “helping the poor and sick” could be an argument for the truth of Christianity would be if such charity enjoyed an exclusive relationship with Christianity. In other words, if Jesus’ resurrection and ministry are the only possible explanations for people having good will and charity then you would have a point. But, as is obvious, you do not.
This all culminates in the fact that you so idiotically (there really is no more fitting word) attempt to employ Gandhi in you argument. It is left to me to inform you that Gandhi was not a Christian but rather born and raised a Hindu. Thus, through your own mishandling of basic history, you prove my point: if both Gandhi’s and King’s ethics prove their respective beliefs to be true then both Hinduism and Christianity are true. However, Hinduism and Christianity contradict and cannot both be true simultaneously.
Perhaps you didn’t mean to imply that Gandhi was a Christian. Your barely intelligible prose covers up even more unintelligible “reasoning.” Perhaps you just want to say that the only thing that matters is how good you are. I may grant you this vagary. However, I will not grant you that Christianity produces better people than other belief systems and has historically produced better effects. This notion is historically ignorant and simply ridiculous.
But anyway, I am not going to exert any more time and effort in trying to decipher your points and to understand that which is not worth understanding. I have already wasted too much time on someone who will not listen to my points anyway.
Nice, I got Trevor to crawl out of “The Hole”. Get it? The Hole?
Oh well, anyways…
Ghandi, and Dr King(whom you fail to mention) followed a very literal and formal Christian doctrine, Ghandi credited and made mention fo this fact. He himself said he would’ve been a Christian if it wasnt for all the Christians, and I agree with him, a lot of ‘Christians’ are asssholes and bigots.
Most people involved in this type of debate are prone to prideful behavior liken to nationalistic pride, like how people from various nations will fight over which soccer (or futbol) team is better. Seems trivial from the outside looking in, but there’s some merit here, on both sides of the debate.
Unfortunately for you, I’m right.
My point is that Christianity revolves around a socially consious, non-violent, and civil doctrine. Ghandi and Dr Martin Luther King understood and rediscovered this fact repeatedly. It’s the heart of what has made true Christianity endure 2,000 years. That truly original, Christian perspective is what made these men stand out, and subsequently made them so damned dangerous.
Like most other religions, it’s major initial and lasting impact is revolved around that which includes charity and some type of moral compass.
Anyone reading my many comments here can see the relation, it’s not rocket science, Trevor. I make it pretty easy to understand. It’s simple, good living. It’s a strong solid point that you choose not to acknowledge.
“The only way that “helping the poor and sick” could be an argument for the truth of Christianity would be if such charity enjoyed an exclusive relationship with Christianity. In other words, if Jesus’ resurrection and ministry are the only possible explanations for people having good will and charity then you would have a point. But, as is obvious, you do not.”
You magically assert this connection between the life and death of this man, with his actions. Christianity is not the resurrection or the crucifiction, those are things that happened to him. If you’re debating fanatics, then keep on going there, because that’ll reel them right in, the ole’ bait and switch, right?
He spoke to people, he taught, he helped to guide people, he fed people, he helped the sick and the poor. How is that difficult to corrolate with my point?
If the only reason you’re a Christian is because you believe that Jesus performed miracles or was resurrected and sent to heaven, then you’re not really a Christian. There’s a little bit more to it than that daft explanation. You have to live a certain strict set of guidelines, or else you’re just a Christian in name, if that is what you attempt to refute, them I agree.
Fake Christianity sucks.
Real Christianity has changed the world repeatedly.
My understanding of what makes Christianity Christianity is very clear, your’s on the other hand follows a very simple and mundane rhetoric that is has a mocking and authoratative stance.
You think you’re the first sperson to rant some thoughtless diatribe on Christianity? This article is hardly a beacon of journalistic integrity on any level, both in research and grammar, and while I enjoy your writing regardless of the subject, please, spare me your skeptic heir of entitlement.
Just a few questions for Christians so convinced Christianity possesses all the answers, as I want to possess the same self assurance you proclaim and put my mind/soul to rest.
First a warning, I am a high school science teacher who emphasizes critical thinking throughout the curriculum. There are pitfalls you must avoid when answering these questions or you will find yourself embroiled in a malaise of inconsistencies, contradictions, absurdities, and having to fabricate the character of God. When this happens and I realize it, I will tend to distrust you and question your critical thinking skills. If you flub up while your God leads you in your replies, then it may result in my going to hell and you would at least share the blame as I am currently ripe for the picking and may never be again. I prefer not to roast for all eternity because of human error on your part or because you presumed I was beyond help because I place heavy emphasis on reasoning. Thank you.
Please explain the answers to these questions in simple terminology as I am a simple person with a simple mind. Then explain how you know these answers came from God which they must if he is leading you. Feel free to pick and choose.
Is God Perfect?
Is God all knowing?
Does God have a perfect plan?
Is God all powerful?
Did Eve choose to be Eve?
Did you choose to be born into the family, race, political system, sex, social hierarchy, economic system, and religion you find yourself in, and what affect have these factors played in your profession of faith in Jesus Christ as your lord and savior?
What must I do to be saved?
I’m a sorta-Christian, and while I was offended at the title of your article, I read it and wow: Very well put together. Even if I don’t particularly agree on every point, at least you did your research. Impressive.
I choose to cling to the belief in something other than what my logical mind tells me, that we’re just specks and have no souls and whatnot…Thing is, even though I know that could VERY well be the truth, I choose to try to believe. We’re discovering new science every day. We don’t know everything, and though we think we can justify the “soul” as a simple piece of brain, how do we know there isnt’ something we haven’t discovered yet?
Well, that and, it’s very depressing to think you’re just a speck whose only purpose is to reproduce and die. Religion, if a little…illogical, provides people with something very important. It calms them and gives them peace of mind. That’s why, in a world where we finally understand the things that had been mystery and religion for thousands of years, people still choose to believe.
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To Duane and everyone else that wishes to read this…
When Paul and Silas were released from prison by an earthquake, the trembling Philipian jailor asked them the same question you asked. “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas’ answer was very simple: “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31 It’s very simple. Even the simplest mind can accept Christ and His sacrifice. I think a lot of people get hung up on the simplicity of Christianity. It is not what we do that gets us saved, it is what Christ did. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” Titus 3:5 My intention is not to preach a sermon but to answer a question. I also want to mention that I think every honest Christian will admit they don’t know everything and we can’t prove everything. That is one of the things that is intriguing about God…His infinititeness. We will never know everything about God because our finite minds cannot fathom or even start to imagine His ways. We will never be able to reason our way to God. Jesus said, “…blessed are they that have not seen, yet have believed.” John 20:29 This is hard for the intellectuals out there because they want to have PROOF of everything. I can agree with all you intellectuals out there because I like to have answers to my questions and doubts and fears. I have found in Jesus a positively satisfactory answer and until you allow Him to be Lord of your life, you will not know. I pray that everyone on this forum, in their quest for the truth will find Christ to be the ultimate answer. Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
P.S. I hope they never find a bone of Jesus because that would shred all foundations of Christianity and prove He never rose from the dead…BUT I believe with all I am that will never happen.
Thank you Rachel for your reply.
What I really would like to know is what Jesus had to say about what one must do to be saved as I have found that Paul and Jesus do not always agree.
I will do some digging on this and get back to you in a couple of days with what I find out.
Religion is like a Black Hole, Everyone is sucked in. I don’t have a problem with Religion, its my opinion and you don’t have to listen to it, but if you are religious and have given money to you church then you are insane. Religion in my opinion (as I siad its my opinion, and if you take offence to it then Don’t read it!) is a money making scheme. If I made a religion I would be a very rich man. Imagine how much money I would get from donations. What a fantastic scam.
Well Thats my Opinion and for Religious people who take offence to this don’t because its my opinion and millions of people have tried to change my opinion but have failed to succed, yours won’t!
If you are a true atheist which, I don’t believe exists, either, I don’t understand why would care enough about Christianity to go to such lengths to write about it.
If God, Jesus Christ, Heaven and Hell doesn’t exist, why is it used so much in our daily language?
I guess we will know the true answers in the end.
Your doubt shows a closed mind and your statement regarding why atheists care so much about christianity shows a severely restricted and narrow perspective. And this is coming from an agnostic (look it up.) christianity effects all of us unfortunately. Just like every religion. The fact you raise christiantiy above the other myriad religions proves the point of your bias. I think that most people would object to a percentage of the population forcing the rest into some psychological delusion. A delusion is how I, (and most atheists/agnostics,) view religion. Not just christianity. The whole dam MAD lot of you! I wish you’d off and be damned to the hell’s you profess to know so much about. I’m sure all your martyrs, (and there are legions,) will welcome you, just so long as you leave me here to live my life in the real world. In the here and now. In the company of my loved ones and the peace of my neighbors.
Now you must excuse me, I must run, the tooth fairies messing up my herb garden, the easter bunnies just dropped an egg on my kitchen floor and saint nick dropped down the chimney for a cupper! Must rush. Toodle Oo!
I hit a nerve, did I?
From you nonsensical rambling, I’m not sure you are in the real world.
I said nothing that raised Christianity above any religion.
Like so many so called journalists, you just want to hear yourself talk with your wordy blather.
You have no clue about my beliefs.
If you want to belive in the tooth fairy, that is your business.
Like I said before, “I guess we will know the true answers in the end.”.
The only nerve you hit Don was the one that grates every time I come across stupidity. To say that we shouldn’t care about christianity when it effects our very existence is plain nonsense and the pronunciation of such tripe warranted a swift rebuttal. It’s like saying “don’t mind that voracious plague, chances are you’ll never catch it.”
I must say I have to smile when I’m told, “I’m not in the real world,” and I’m in a religious argument for the denunciation of a make believe friend\s.
“I said nothing that raised Christianity above any religion.”
On re reading your post and those previous I have to concede this point. However the general tone of the previous comments from the religious dock most definitely do.
“Like so many so called journalists,”
I’m no journalist, or though the fact you consider my babble of journalistic quality is quite flattering. I’m just a minimum wage technician pissing my life away and looking for a flame war with a religious jerk in the early hours of the morning. This is the internetz! I’m expressing man and there’s nothing you can do about it. (yet.)
If you believe I’m to ‘wordy’ in my commentary then perhaps you need to re evaluate the finer points of eloquent language in any good debate. Then again you may prefer to take your bat and ball and go home. After all I know how much it hurts your brain when you seriously start to question someone else’s beliefs, after all, isn’t that what religion really is? Some one else’s beliefs?
“If you want to believe in the tooth fairy, that is your business.”
LOL… I truly hope your just pretending to miss the irony.
“I guess we will know the true answers in the end.”
Pure speculation based on the assumptions of the programing of your environment. My assumption is we’ll know nothing in the end with the possible exception of “oh f@rk, I’m a stupid twit!” Both of our assumptions have just as much worth.
Wana make a bet? 😉
Someone tell me this. If god is so perfect and wonderful and the world is so great that only GOD could have made it, and it couldnt have just appeared. then where did GOD come from???
Yeah and how many reasons can we come up with to show that atheism or sucular humanism is also wrong and flawed…a godless society reaps godless results…just look around. Non belief in God gives us the freedom to do whatever we want
And the claim that belief in Christianity is absurd?? Yeah like evolution is any less absurd…i evolved from a monkey, ok sure!
I was linked to this site from another forum and I’ve enjoyed reading it yesterday and today. I see statements of value on both sides of the debate and I see some disturbing responses on both sides as well.
First, Confused and Anxious, faith entering a marriage on one side can definitely cause a strain. I assume that your husband is trying to do the right thing, but is having trouble balancing it. I don’t know the church he’s attending or what they believe, and I also don’t know how your marriage was before, but he still has a strong, God-given responsibility to protect, provide for, and lead your family. The issue is more likely his difficulty in finding a balance than it is God tearing your family apart. My best wishes for your family.
Next, I think that we are confusing religion and faith. They seem to be interchanged so often in this debate. Religion is an organized institution with a set of creeds, ordinances (or sacraments), and even laws. The Church, by biblical definition, is made up of those who are in personal relationship with God through Christ, whether they are a part of a religious institution or a local church body or not. Faith is an individual’s personal reliance on God because of what he/she has already seen Him do or what he/she is expecting Him to do in his/her life. Jesus at times debunked the laws of religion (those created by man to be a burden to the people), but lauded the faith of the individual. The faith of the individual caused them to receive healing and caused them to receive forgiveness of sin. Paul tells us in Romans 3 that the law (religion) was never intended to save us, but was intended to make us aware of our sin, that from which we need to be saved. There is a place for religion in the life of those who have faith, but that is just it: it is to be a display of an individual faith that is already there (and often it increases faith), but religion is never to take the place of faith.
Concerning “imposing beliefs on others”, I believe Christians are more often than not, disrespectful, angry, bitter, and resentful of those who would not believe as they do. There is no sense of compassion or grace for those outside of their belief system. They are all wicked, vile sinners who God should strike down for believing and behaving as they do. Unfortunately, they have never caught on to the fact that everyone, according to the Bible, are wicked, vile sinners whom God should strike down for believing and behaving as we do. That is exactly the point of the very life, death and resurrection of Jesus. God doesn’t. The only reason a Christian is a Christian is because they received the grace and forgiveness that God offers to everyone. They are no more deserving than those who don’t receive it. They were just willing to receive it. We would do well to remember that the only thing that separates one who follows Christ from one who doesn’t is Christ. The arrogance to think otherwise is an offense and makes me question if Christians even get it. When Jesus entered Jerusalem shortly before his death, we are told “He had compassion on the people because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” He had compassion! That’s the missing element above so much other.
Final note: the reason Christians “impose” their beliefs on others is not intended to be disrespectful. It is intended to be a rescue operation. Jude tells us to “snatch others from the fire”. Jesus tells us, as his last words before he ascended that we were to “be his witnesses…to the ends of the earth” and to “make disciples of every nation.” Because those who follow Christ sincerely, follow Christ sincerely, they see their mission in life as telling everyone else about the forgiveness of God for sin if people will believe. God is not going to save the world, but he will save any individual in the world who is willing to receive his forgiveness. The message itself is often an offense in that it is necessary for an individual to see him/herself in need of forgiveness of sin before they can receive it. Unfortunately the offense of seeing our own sin is where so many walk away. The absurdity of the Christian’s claim of the God-man (Jesus) is no surprise. Paul says in I Cor. 1:18-19: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” No big surprise. In fact Jesus says, “They hated me first.”
This may be viewed as a cop-out argument. Cool. It’s not. It’s just that, as the atheists and skeptics have said repeatedly in this post, “This is absurd. The claim is ridiculous.” And it is. And there is no argument that can be stated to change your minds. It’s not an intellectual issue. It’s a heart issue. God says, “whoever seeks Me will find me.” And until an unbeliever is willing to actively seek God, as opposed to just studying religion to disprove it, there is nothing I or any other believer can say to convince you.
I post this with the utmost respect so please take it as such, for both sides.
i love you guys so much. great list. christianity is a cult. i thas some good point but the basic truth is this,
heaven is all around you,
it’s not in the sky above you,
hell is not beneath you,
all there is is now.
(by rodney powdertrousers)
i think that Christianity is good for those who cannot control their impulses and for people who like things simplified into a book and that’s it.
however life is not that simple.
i think that jesus was real. but i think if he were here now he would pretty pissed off at whats going on. people are neglecting the needs of their earthly brothers and sisters just to prove a point in a fictitious book that was designed to control people and suppress women.
Rodney, what definition do you use to determine a cult? There are cults that claim to be Christian, but their divergent theology makes them clearly not Christian. Judaism and Islam also have cults that have spun off due to divergent doctrines. No religion is immune.
What impulses do people who claim to be Christians need to control that they have difficulty controlling, and why does being a Christian solve that problem? And why is it that the Bible is seen as “simplified into a book?”
You’re right. Jesus is upset at things going on, both inside and outside of the church. Liberal theology, sexual abuse, and lack of compassion for our neighbors are all things we have been warned against. More importantly what “needs of their earthly brothers and sisters just to prove a point in a fictitious book that was designed to control people and suppress women” are you referring to?
Just curious, because those are a lot of issues to put into such a short post.
good comments Spatch. think you hit the nail on the head. Christianity is a “heartstyle” before it is a “lifestyle”.
That last post wasn’t me, although I appreciate the support. “Spatch”, please put your own name in the “name” box when posting. Again, thanks for the support. It IS a heartstyle. Good word.
Fair enough, you have your views and you’ve stated them. What I don’t like is that you’ve stated your views in an attacking manner. You have demonstrated to me not only that you don’t agree with Christian beliefs, (and that’s fine) but more importantly you don’t respect those who do believe. What is to be gained by cutting down those who have innocent faith?
Faith is never innocent. Faith has to be ‘instilled’ in a child by it’s religious parents and is thereby imposed upon the child without it being aware or able to object. It is one of the first innocence lost and therefor can never be ‘innocent faith.’
What really ticks me off about Christianity is how it’s followers claim Christian beliefs as if they have some kind of monopoly on morality, honesty and respect. Like they somehow own it or they thought of it first so no one else can lay claim to having any of those traits because they are ‘Christian traits.’ What myopic arrogance.
Every child who learns a worldview, faith, religion, or lack thereof, picks it up from someone influential. The reason Christians teach their children about Christ and what it means to follow Christ is because we are told to. “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Also in Deuteronomy 6, the Shema, the Hebrews were given the command to teach the things of God to their children all the time, at every opportunity. It is for the good of our children that we train them in the ways of Christ. Anyone who has children teaches them about how life works, even by “trying to let them find their own way.” So please don’t attribute Christians as the only ones from whom children pick up views on morality, etc.
Regarding the monopoly on morality, our view, as taught by the One we follow, the one we call Master, is that there is a narrow way that is fully acceptable to God. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). That is not something we made up in an effort to claim superiority (In fact, we have to “die to self” or neglect those things the Scripture teaches as sinful, even among our own desires, as an expression of love for God and a belief that He knows what is best.), rather we understand that we are ourselves evil and in need of rescuing. In light of that, we acknowledge the superiority and pre-eminence of Christ above ourselves.
Likewise, all moral values that fall within the same confines that the God of the Old and New Testaments, are acceptable morals. Anything that contradicts them, from a biblical viewpoint, is immoral. This includes anything that seems good, but still falls short. We are told in Romans 3:23 that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In other words, every believer is as sinful as every unbeliever, but because they have believed and received God’s gift (“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”-Romans 6:23), their lives, desires, and intents have changed, but not because we are moral. It is by the grace of God that we can even live for Christ at all. Our morals and behavior can’t draw us close to God. Our best deeds are considered dirty rags before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6) and we are called dead in our sins, objects (targets) of wrath, but made alive by Christ regardless of how hard we work (Ephesians 2:1-10). If we earned our own way to heaven, then we could take credit instead of giving God all the glory he deserves.
Do you understand now that it is not about Christians being superior or better (although, unfortunately so many act like they are superior, for which I apologize; we are commanded to speak the truth in love, however), rather it is about telling others what God has done as we have been commanded by Christ to do (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). I understand why so many despise us Christians; in fact, it’s no big surprise; Christ says, “Don’t be surprised when people treat you badly. They hated me first.” Paul states that we ought to count it joy when we are hated for following Christ, but that we are to be ashamed if we are despised because of our hypocrisy. Which do you hate us for?
Pure faith is for ignorant people. If we went by logic then anything can happen if you truely believe. I can fly if I put my mind to it, yah right. You only have two options. you can either believe in all religions, or none of them. Anything else and you are the true definition of ignorant.
When someone quotes me the bible and says it’s JC’s word I have to laugh. My immediate question then is which bible? One of them? Some of them? All of them? How do you determine which one is correct?
The bible is an interpretation of JC’s teachings by another human being, written for the most part many years after JC’s death. Then rewritten, and rewritten again, and again down through the centuries. They can’t all be correct because they virtually all contradict each other on some points. If God is infallible then the bible, by definition, can not be his word because of all the contradictions and errors it contains. Normally the bible gets customized to suit the needs of those seeking to control the masses at the particular point in time that it gets rewritten. To say the bible is Gods or JCs word is a laughable argument that denies logic. then again that’s what religion is all about I suppose.
From my perspective, to accept another’s view or beliefs on God unquestioningly is to betray God by not using your own brain to come to your own determinations and beliefs. Essentially to accept somebody else’s beliefs with out question is to discard your own mind, intellect and freedom. That is without question an evil and dangerous thing to do.
How is pure faith for ignorant people? Faith is increased by knowledge. It is not entirely without logic. If you choose to use logic and rationality as a way to ignore, deny or downplay religion or the existence of God (or any god), feel free. I can respect that. I’ll just respectfully disagree. I don’t have faith in God or believe Jesus just because I was told I should. I’ve spent years in study. Study combined with personal experience tells me that there is ample evidence for God and the God spoken about in the Bible, and it is reliable. I, like many others, do not “accept another’s view or beliefs in God unquestioningly”, thereby “betraying God by not using your own brain to come to your own determinations and beliefs.” Likewise, is it any less evil, any less of a betrayal to God, to try and determine (create) your own view of God if He has, in fact, showed you Who He is and what He requires if you refuse to believe that, dismissing it as “a laughable argument that denies logic”?
As far as the Bible being rewritten again and again over the centuries, thereby being changed, archaeological textual evidence disagrees. To date, we have over 24,000 ancient manuscripts of the New Testament dating all the way back to 25 years from the original date of authorship. That’s not under debate. With the exception of less that 1.5 percent of the text, from the oldest manuscript to the latest, there has been no change. That 1.5 percent under debate has been almost universally accepted (even by unbelieving archaeologists) as having no change in the context or meaning of the text. And the Bible was not written by one man, it was written by 40 authors in three languages over 1400-plus years.
As for which Bible, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments (not the apocrypha), which were accepted by the early church long before the the Council of Nicea. Regarding “all the contradictions,” which ones are you talking about. I assume you have your own list of contradictions which you have studied on your own because “to accept another’s view or beliefs on God unquestioningly is to betray God by not using your own brain to come to your own determinations and beliefs.” I’d hate to think you would discard your own mind, intellect and freedom. “That is without question an evil and dangerous thing to do.”
The question was never “Is there a God.” Most people, like myself, believe there is. It is the fact that you can not believe in only one religion and dismissing all the others. For example, you can not practice Christianity and think that Jews and Muslims are wrong. You’re being hypocritical if you do.
What do you mean “hypocritical”? By it’s original definition, a hypocrite is someone who is playing a part, an actor, someone who is insincere. Granted, none of us lives out our faith perfectly. The thought of every religion being right makes no logical sense (as I failed, but intended, to mention in my last post). If the God the Muslims worship is different from the God the Christians and Jews worship (and yes the Christians and Jews worship the same God; we just believe that Jesus is the Messiah while are still waiting for Him), then they cannot both be right. Again, Jesus indicates that He is the only way to God the Father. That means to those who follow Christ, we cannot accept that every religion is the same or we would be denying the supremacy, therefore the deity of Christ.
So, for you, the question may not be, “Is there a God?”, but it must be “Which God?” The statement that every religion is acceptable, is not acceptable. It can’t be. That’s not a statement of hypocrisy or intolerance. It’s a statement of belief.
The thing that really suprises me, is that no where did Christ teach, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. No where has he taught that hurting our neighbourgh in any way is acceptable. On the contrary, all he tried to do is teach people to believe in something good, and live the best lives that they can.But day in and day out, there seems to be someone who wants to discredit him. I suppose we are expected to believe in people like George Bush, Tony Blair or John Howard, the best they could do was lie.
Ha! This is his own opinion, this is how he feels, thinks, whatever….. Good for him, but why do u think he posted this long uneducated article about why christiainity is wrong, so nobody would reply???? No he wanted people to reply, obviously, he knew people would (Hey I did) I don’t know how it makes a person feel better or good or what motivates a person intrinsically to “try” and disprove god when it is a pointless endevour anyways. He’s real, he made me and u, or u and I (i don’t care much for proper grammer)
You can go to ur short witts end to try and disprove God to the world or the little world that you live in but it will not make god untrue, for every person not surcumming to ur persuasive lies unveils the spirit and soul of God in each of us. Your ranting of God, not being true turns u bitter, can’t u relize there is nothing good or anything good produced from this. Hey buddy it’s sicentifcally proven, that the weight of your body is about 22 grams lighter after death. IT’S BECAUSE OF OUR SOUL get a clue! ( oh wait jst gave u one) has left our earthly bodies. Yes even u,….. Oh non~ believer,have a soul. Tell me u don’t, it won’t make any differnce to me.Just the fire and passion u have when writing about the non existance of my god shows me of your soul. A soul who knows nothing of God and his grace.
It’s a pity, Hell will be so crowded there much more room in heaven but then again if u don’t believe there is heaven/hell then I guess it won’t be any bother to u. but then again u did go out of ur way to write this. As if to comfort ur soul for the inevitable that you dread so deeply. Tis a very shallow understanding u have but don’t limit ur self to this, or you’ll drown ur self in this very shallowness. take warning now!!!
Your body loses weight after dying because you are rotting away! Try using better evidence than that like the big bang theory for example or evolution. There’s more evidence in that then you body losing weight because your soul weighs 22 pounds! I believe this was a question on weither Christianity is right or wrong, not if God really existed. And you’re right. Hell will be crowded with Athiests, Muslims, Jews, Cathlics, and any other non-jesus follower. But I’d much rather be surrounded by them then a bunch of stuck up Christians…I know thats stereotyping, but some Christians are.
Actually, you body loses five pounds after you die. Why? Because the breath of life that God breathed into you has gone back to him. It weighs only about five pounds. Your body can’t just start rotting away as soon as you die. That’s impossible.It takes awhile for the rotting away process to start. God is real as well. Here’s a review I made on a book called God is Not Great.
Many people are strong believers of God and what Jesus did on the cross for man kind. Am I talking about the Catholics? No. I’m talking about the Christians. The ones that don’t go up to popes and treat them like they’re worthy of being worshiped. The ones who don’t create idols and say “THIS IS GOD!” We are the ones who pray to God every day. We are the ones who go to church on Saturday. We are the ones who have true understanding of God. This book supports the atheists who believe that man kind and all of existense was just a big mistake. WRONG! We can’t be created out of nothing. It’s impossible. The lottery is based on chance, right? We all know how hard it is to win the lottery jackpot, right? The creation of existence is way to huge for chance to create. What do our brain need? Oxygen. How do we get this oxygen? We breath in air and our lungs extract the oxygen from the air and then we breath out the stuff that plants breath in. How does the oxygen get to our brain? Through the blood. The blood passes through our lungs when ever our heart beats. The blood soaks up all the oxygen. The oxygen filled blood goes through our brain and our brain filters out the oxygen from the blood. With out oxygen, we could not survive. But, without our blood, we could not survive. Without our lungs, we could not survive. Etc. This all points to a DESIGN. We all know that a DESIGN must have an INTELLIGENT designer. And I’m talking about someone who can’t die and who had no beginning. Someone who cares about us because if he didn’t, we would all be gone in a matter of seconds. Face it. We are not alone people. There is a God. God created all of existence and that includes us. How can anyone believe what this book has to say after what I just pointed out to everyone? I don’t support this book or it’s claims and I’d advise that people just stay away from it. I hope that the Lord will help you see and understand what I just told you.
This should be enough proof to verify my claims. I’m not talking about the beautys of the world. I’m just talking about how our brain survives.
Weather you loose weight when you die or not, is not the question here as I see it, the question is, is Christianity right or wrong. The author says that only Christians will go to heaven and everyone else will go to hell, no matter what their religeon or belief. I would like to point out that Christ made no such distinction, and direct you to John 14:2, and Mark 9: 37-42.
i also noticed that the author did not comment on my last observations, in regard to discrediting Christ. Interesting.
I won’t claim that I will respond to every comment on this thread. I’m often not interested enough in what is said to devote any time to responding. It would be completely asinine to believe that my lack of response to a post equates to my conceding the point; as Robert Ford does here.
But I will make a quick point:
At no point in my essay do I address the quality of Jesus’ moral teachings. I don’t try to “discredit” him as a moral teacher. I do try to discredit him as the unique messiah, the Son of God, the chosen emissary between God and man through which salvation is possible. None of these claims is relevant to what Jesus said as a teacher but rather what he was/is as an item of redemption.
This is not to say that I believe Jesus was a poor moral teacher. It is likewise not to say that I believe He was exemplary. If I had to choose I would lean towards the former. Jesus gives markedly sparse and unhelpful moral advice that certainly does not exceed Buddha, Epicurious, or Socrates. The fact that many of Jesus’ preaching depends upon his metaphysical claims being true certainly detracts from his message if those claims are not true. As I show in my essay those claims being true is dubious at best.
This is a pointless discussion. It is pointless to try to convince athiest that there is God, it is pointless for Athiest to convince Christians taht their claims authentic. Creation or Evolution? God or no God? Its just pointless…fact of the matter is no man will come to Christ unless God calls him. I believe that Jesus is Lord…because there “stuck-up” Christians does not disprove that fact. Jesus did not come to preach a religion…he detested religion. Jesus came to preach a message of Love and Compassion..that is what his life personified. Now we Christians have taken his simple message of Love and “created” a man made religion out of it…which has the atheist and others who refuse to believe using that as an excuse and comparing it to “other” religions
However Christianity the way it was intended to be and the way us Christians SHOULD be living can in no way be compared to “other” religions. Any unbiased or objective comparison will yield this logical conclusion. If anyone on this board does not believe in God or the Christian faith is NOT because that there is no evidence to support the existence of God. It is not because they are rational minded individuals that only subscribe to things that make sense. It is not because “evolution” is such a concrete explanation of how life began (its a rather silly one if you ask me). Nor it is because Christianity is just like every other “religion”. They do not believe because they do not want to believe and nothing anyone says can convince them otherwise. Jesus could be writing on this board himself and they would accuse him of lying…thats exactly what happened when he came to earth the first time. So I reiterate…those that believe and are going tit for tat with the unbelievers…you are wasting your time. Nothing can convince them otherwise unless God calls them himself
“Jesus gives markedly sparse and unhelpful moral advice that certainly does not exceed Buddha, Epicurious, or Socrates”…..Jeus gave unhelpful advice???? How can one know whether it is helpful or not unless he/she puts it into practice. I hardly believe that a message of Love and Compassion is unhelpful. As a matter of fact it would do this world some good to take that “advice”. The biggest threat to mankind is mankind himself…we drop bombs on each other, we create medicine and keep it from those that need it the most, we kill one another, steal from one another…..Jesus had a rememdy for the brokenness of the human condition…but it can only work if we take him at his word and put it into practice.
Unhelpful Advice….that is definetly the most ignorent statement (not to mention unintelligent) that i have read on this most…and there have been MANY ignorent statemements made
And again I must reiterate how unbelieveable it is to see some call Christianity Absurd…when evolution is the most absurd of them all
I looked in the mirror this morning and noticed that i look like a monkey…i mean come on!
I have to agree, this debate is pointless. After all what good can be achieved by claiming Christainity wrong, or any religeous belife for that matter. Most people who have a religeuos belief, live a perfectly normal life,quite indiferant to debates of this nature, and quite happy to be who they are. Is’nt that what life is about. I am supprised that the author of this article is so decided, an inteligent person is open minded, and believes anything is possible.He sounds just like a Christian.
“I am supprised [sic] that the author of this article is so decided, an inteligent [sic] person is open minded, and believes anything is possible.”
“And again I must reiterate how unbelieveable [sic] it is to see some call Christianity Absurd–when evolution is the most absurd of them all
I looked in the mirror this morning and noticed that i look like a monkey–i mean come on!”
It is amazing that people can’t seem to understand that my article was not a “compare and contrast” essay about Christianity and evolution. I never claimed anywhere that evolution isn’t absurd or that it is absurd. This issue is totally irrelevant to my claim that Christianity is wrong.
That being said, your rhetorical question is sure a crushing blow to 150 years of evolutionary theory.
“Unhelpful Advice–.that is definetly [sic] the most ignorent [sic] statement (not to mention unintelligent) that i have read on this most–and there have been MANY ignorent [sic] statemements [sic] made”
Do you know what good moral guidance is? It is guidance that helps you get out of difficult moral situations.
Most of the time it is quite easy to be moral. This is obviously true given the fact that human societies continue to function throughout the world whether or not the people follow the teachings of Jesus. Despite the fact that they may believe so, Christians certainly have no monopoly on moral rectitude. They are no more or less moral than nearly everyone else. Most people are nice and trustworthy most of the time. If this wasn’t so it would make no sense to be moral at all; people would simply always take advantage of you. But, it is difficult to be moral when faced with truly daunting moral questions – questions of the “should I hide Jews and risk my family being endangered and imprisoned” sort – that have no easy and, I would argue, no correct solution. Where is a Jesus parable to help us out in these situations?
How much money should you give to charity? Should you impoverish yourself to the level of your donatees? Should you kill 2 people to save 20? 30? 40? Jesus is no help on those questions on which we really require help.
Furthermore (I’m going to make a bare assertion because I don’t really want to get into it), Jesus only gave a shit about Jews. It took Paul, Luke and John (in that order) to expand his message to giving a shit about gentiles.
What a moral guy.
“However Christianity the way it was intended to be and the way us Christians SHOULD be living can in no way be compared to “other” religions. Any unbiased or objective comparison will yield this logical conclusion.”
The fact that you would say something lacking so much self-awareness and then claim you are objective and unbiased gives me no call to respond to your ridiculous pablum. Listen to yourself for a second. Imagine someone saying to you what you just posted.
Busting out the “objective and unbiased” stick as you did is the first recourse of the biased and subjective. It serves two general functions: to cover up lack of evidence and sound argumentation and to tacitly insult your interlocutor.
That’s enough of you people….
“Wow just wow”, what a response.I still do not see how the claim that “CHRISTINITY IS WRONG”, as this article implies IMPROVES any persons life, in any way. Now if the author made the claim that no one needs christianity that would cast different light on the subject, the objective being, I presume, to improve ones life. By all means Christ did not give a solution to all of lifes crises, but then niether did the teachers who taught me at school, but they did provide me with a base that would help me find those solutions, and yes we have lived with the THEORY of evolution for 150 years, but we have lived with the fact of CHRISTIANITY for some 2000 odd years.
My “wow just wow” was not intended to be anything more than what it was. Those who understand the ridiculousness of the comment that elicited that response will understand my reaction. Those who do not; well, I’m not concerned with reaching the unreachable anyway.
No, my article was not “how Christianity degrades your life,” or “how atheism improves life” (I would point you to my partner’s articles on that matter “What Atheism Offers”). One day, perhaps, I will write those articles. For point of clarification, I do believe that being an atheist improves one’s life.
All of this is beside the point. I addressed many of these issues above in a post to “Joey” about the effects of a belief versus the truth of a belief. I point you there.
I also would like to point out the very odd fact that, when you back a Christian up against the wall with rational argumentation, biblical citation, historical probabilities, and philosophical considerations, they often move into a very odd form of counter-argument that is usually proffered with some sort of satisfied smirk and received with incredulous eyebrows. The argument boils down to; “well, it doesn’t matter if Christianity is TRUE it only matters if it is satisfying, self-improving and generally good.”
My only response is that I don’t think they actually believe this bizarre assertion. I am quite sure it matters intensely to Christians that Christianity is true. This should be the case with anything you believe. Otherwise, you need to stop believing it. Believing in the truth of your beliefs is simply tautological. If a belief creates the guiding framework through which you interpret your life, then the truth of that belief should be crucial.
If you honestly can tell me that you would believe in Christianity even if you knew it wasn’t true (an impossibility, but just accept the hypothetical) just because it makes you feel like a better person, then we can talk about judging it by its effects and not its truth.
Also, for the 10 billionth time – and please please please tell all your creationist friends so I and other Darwinians can stop explaining this simple dictionary distinction – a “theory” is NOT an idea that isn’t yet shown to be true. A theory is a collection of facts woven together into an explicatory framework. As dictionary.com says in its first definition of the word, “a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena.”
You and your uninformed ilk may be able to get a modicum of respect if you deigned to crack a dictionary, an encyclopedia, or a science textbook every now to get your definitions right. And you wonder why we don’t want you to teach our children.
Also, I have not lived with “the fact of Christianity” at all. I looked into it and it wasn’t there. See above.
lol… and Trevor lines up, n’rips them a new one… no contest.
Made my day. Ta.
Ok. Here’s my take. It doesn’t matter if you live a great life one way or the other. But, in the long run, if you want a really happy life because you have hope that this life isn’t just the end, then Christianity is right.
There is ‘SCIENTIFIC’ proof that says God is real. Christianity is the only religion that can fit with a god. If a god wanted to create us just to have one life and to live in a crappy world, there would be no point in him creating us in the first place. A loving and caring god is the only one that could fit as the creator of everything. Face it! Christianity in the long run has the upper hand in this situation.
@Devon. By your logic; Crazy person leads happy life because their delusion, makes them happy. Therefore their delusion is right!?
If you have “‘SCIENTIFIC'(sic) proof,” of God then you should most definitely put it in a book. The rest of the world has been waiting for such ‘proof,’ since time began. You’d be an instant world celebrity.
Somehow, considering you don’t seem to understand the logic of your first argument and your second statement is comical I find it highly unlikely that you understand exactly what scientific means. If you have a scientific test that can prove the existence of God I’d really like to hear about it?
Your statements can be used as an example of probably the major problem with the majority of the religious, ignorance and a lack of understanding leading to wild statements and assumptions. (I’ll bet you I’ll get derided now for making this statement which will prove the point of the 2nd major problem with religion, that is, attacking anyone who has an alternate view or perspective or heaven forbid, uses logic and reason in their thinking and arguments.)
first of all atheist’s are not all arrogant but to think that is a stereotype and is just more proof that u aren’t using logic but instead attempting to discredit others who have sadly beaten u in a debate so u r in fact a three year old
this is not about the article!!!, first of all man u dont use wat we in the real world like to call intelligence and second he is arrogant cause he doesnt beleive in wat u say or believe so why dont u go and be a martyr like everyone else that uses the outdated tactic of discrediting some one when they clearly won a debate, argument, or wat have u cause it doesnt matter wat u say seeing that ur ideal and ideas are based on wat either another said or or ingrained in ur mind so back cause ur stupid and u dont know wat u are talking about and wats worse u dont know wat to do if u r losing an argument
why dont the comments go on top instead of the bottom sorry anybody that were offened but that for someone else
OK… Ladies… I have no clue why you would ever want to have anything to do with a institution that says this about women.
Genesis 2:22 Woman created from Adam’s rib
3:16 Woman cursed: maternity a sin, marriage a bondage
19:1-8 Rape virgins instead of male angels
Exodus 20:17 Insulting Tenth Commandment, considering a wife to be property
21:7-11 Unfair rules for female servants, may be sex slaves
22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”
38:8 Women may not enter tabernacle they must support
Leviticus 12:1-14 Women who have sons are unclean 7 days
12:4-7 Women who have daughters are unclean 14 days
15:19-23 Menstrual periods are unclean
19:20-22 If master has sex with engaged woman, she shall be scourged
Numbers 1:2 Poll of people only includes men
5:13-31 Barbaric adulteress test
31:16-35 “Virgins” listed as war booty
Deuteronomy 21:11-14 Rape manual
22:5 Abomination for women to wear men’s garments, vice-versa
22:13-21 Barbaric virgin test
22:23-24 Woman raped in city, she & her rapist both stoned to death
22:28-29 Woman must marry her rapist
24:1 Men can divorce woman for “uncleanness,” not vice-versa
25:11-12 If woman touches foe’s penis, her hand shall be cut off
Judges 11:30-40 Jephthah’s nameless daughter sacrificed
19:22-29 Concubine sacrificed to rapist crowd to save man
I Kings 11:1-4 King Solomon had 700 wives & 300 concubines
Job 14:1-4 “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one . . .”
Proverbs 7:9-27 Evil women seduce men, send them to hell
11:22 One of numerous Proverbial putdowns
Isaiah 3:16-17 God scourges, rapes haughty women
Ezekiel 16:45 One of numerous obscene denunciations
Matthew 24:19 “[woe] to them that are with child”
Luke 2:22 Mary is unclean after birth of Jesus
I Corinthians 11:3-15 Man is head of woman; only man in God’s image
14:34-35 Women keep in silence, learn only from husbands
Ephesians 5:22-33 “Wives, submit . . .”
Colossians 3:18 More “wives submit”
I Timothy 2:9 Women adorn selves in shamefacedness
2:11-14 Women learn in silence in all subjection; Eve was sinful, Adam blameless
Excuse me Mary, but I highly doubt that such things are actually in the Holy Bible. Eve was sinful yes, but Adam was just as sinful when he ate from the same tree that Eve ate from. The tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was off limits. God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from that tree. But, they both did. Eve wasn’t more sinful than Adam and vice versa. They both sinned and therefore they both had the blame put on them.
Read http://www.egwtext.whiteestate.org/sc/sc1.html. I’m sure that it will help you.
Consider the things that makes everything work. The things that keep us alive. It is impossible for such things to happen by accident, thus proving that there is a God. But why would God create something just to destroy it? It’s a waste of time. This all points to the God in Christianity. This may help anyone who needs more information. http://www.godandscience.org/
You may ask me to leave because you think that I’m out to disprove Atheism. But, the truth is, I’m out to defend Christianity rather than disprove anything. But, to defend my religion I must disprove of yours. Why? Because I did my homework and it pointed me to a design. And A design has to have a designer. That points to a god. But, it doesn’t point to just any god, it points to God himself. The Son of God, God the father, and the Holy Spirit. Don’t just shut out anything that may disprove your claims, let them in and then look over everything carefully. Voices in your head will tell you that I’m lieing, but other voices will point you to the truth. They pointed me to the truth.
Your comment is mostly not worthy of a response. By your own admission, you have voices that tell you the truth. In modern society, we do not countenance this type of “reasoning.” We should react to such claims with disdain and pity; as I am sure you would if someone tried the same with you. And, if they keep speaking to imaginary friends and hearing voices we commit them to mental institutions. That, or turn them into vicars, cardinals, and priests.
Your other points are equally vacuous. This little pearl struggles to reach the level of piffle: “It is impossible for such things to happen by accident, thus proving that there is a God. But why would God create something just to destroy it? It’s a waste of time. This all points to the God in Christianity”
Rhetorical questions are not arguments and the limits of your imagination do not create limits on the universe.
I mainly wish to respond to the sheer idiocy of your first sentence: “Excuse me Mary, but I highly doubt that such things are actually in the Holy Bible.”
I usually do not like to resort to such base name-calling. But, there are times when it is proper to point out the moronic, otherwise, there will be those that continue to believe such drivel is acceptable in rational debate.
Devon, those things – and many that are worse – are in the “Holy” Bible. This is indisputable. The fact that you didn’t check to verify your assumption simply bespeaks of your unfounded assurance that your religion is the way you hope it to be – and the fear in the back of your mind that it may not be.
We aren’t making up the fact that your “holy” book endorses genocide, hatred, misogyny, cruelty, incest, slavery, murder, injustice and intolerance. No, unfortunately for us, this is the God you choose to worship.
Here’s a pearl, Numbers 31:13-19:
13 Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army / the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds / who returned from the battle.
15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
19 “All of you who have killed anyone or touched anyone who was killed must stay outside the camp seven days. On the third and seventh days you must purify yourselves and your captives.
And Deuteronomy 22:28-29:
28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. [a] He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
Before you attack other’s for not doing “their homework” do the simplest work of all and actually read the book you revere so much.
Alright, I didn’t check my Bible the first time, and you’re right, such things are in the Bible. Yet, the Bible does not say “GO AND RAPE ANY WOMAN YOU FIND.” It goes against actual rape. Oh, by the way, before you go and try to shove your beliefs down my throat, please consider the things that it says in the prophecy. Things that it said would happen, are already happening. Just look around you and you’ll see just how bad the world has become. People who do not have Christ in their lives are normaly the one’s doing the bad things. Now, I’m not pointing any fingers at anyone because people who have been known to be Christian have done these things too. I’ll tell you right now that I’m not one of them. But, am I considered a sinner? Yes I am. But so is every other person who has broken God’s law. Atheism provides no hope for man kind either. Christianity provides hope. I believe that soon, Jesus Christ, our Lord, will return to save his followers. You don’t have to believe it, but, please, don’t go and tell us that we’re wrong. I’m not being self-righteouss because the Bible says that righteoussness can only come from Jesus. Hearing voices in my head does not make me mental or anything like that. If I were to drop Christianity, these voices would soon fade away. But, as long as I’m a Christian, these voices are gonna stay. Please, give Christianity a try, and if it isn’t what you’re looking for, than don’t go off and tell us that we’re wrong. We’re just gonna hit you with the same blow. Please forgive me if non of this makes any sense. I’ve got a cold right now and I’m not thinking 100% straight. But, trust me, I’ve done the math before I got sick and it all points to God.
Signs of the Times article: Has science found God?
The intellectual dignitaries of the world were shocked! What they heard could not be true! On December 9, 2004, Associated Press broke the news that British philosopher Antony Flew, who had been leading the cause of atheism for half a century, had changes his mind and decided that there must be a God. Flew is famous. He’s written some two dozen books on philosophy and has been called the world’s most influential philosophical atheist. So why did such a well-known and prominent thinker reverse himself and declare that there has to be a God? The answer is simple. He did it because of the scientific data. Science, which now rejects God as an explanation for nature, is providing rather overwhelming data that God exists. The most baffling problem that evolutionary science faces is the origin of life. After a century of serching and proposing various kinds of scenarios, no plausible model has emerged. The problem is much more acute now than it was decades ago, because we are discovering more intricate systems in living things that are complex and that will not work unless several other parts are present. This is sometimes called irreducible complexity, and it represents a major stumbling block to the gradual evolutionary process, because there is no evolutionary survival value until all the necessary parts are present. It turns out that most of the systems in an living organism are of this kind, making God essential for the origin of any kind of life. The simplest form of independent life is a tiny microbe called mycoplasma, and it is incredibly coplex. It’s DNA contains more than half a million bits of information, which, through genetic code, dictate the formula for nearly five hundred protein molecules that perform a multitude of essential, specific chemical functions in the microbe. Just one protein molecule is incredibly complex. Often several hundred amino acids tied to one another are involved, and not much variation can occur if the protien is to function properly. Molecular biologist Herber Yockey, of the University of California at Berkeley, has estimated that it would have taken 10 (22) years (10 followed by 22 zeros)  to produce one specific protien, even if the oceans were already well supplied with amino acids! to put it in another way, the nearly five billion years that geologists commonly assign to the age of the earth is ten thousand billion times too short a time to produce one specific kind of protien molecule! Yet many kinds of protien molecules must be present all at the same time and place in order for life to originate. Protien molecules are delicate, so by the time a second specific protien molecule appeared, chances are the first one would have disintegrated, thus making the spontaneous origin of life essentially impossible. And proteins are just the beginning of the problems for the evolution of life all by itself. DNA is much more complex than proteins, but cellss have to have DNA to produce proteins – and proteins are needed to produce DNA! Life requires both. Thus, it would be impossible for life to evolve without the two. In addition to protiens, life requires fats and carbohydrates and many other highly specialized structures that we find in living cells. Furthermore, life requires a genetic code in order to function at all.But how can random evolutionary processes produce a complex genetic code? The code is useless until the DNA that dictates it and the special molecules the read it all adopt and “understand” the same language. Reproduction is one of the cardinal characteristics of living organisms – and it is incredibly complex. Reproduction requires duplicating all the necessary parts of a cell, or the new organism will not survive. Sometimes the process can be quite sophisticated. For instance, when DNA is copied for a new cell or organism, errors in copying the information can occur. These errors are common enough that life would not be possible if it weren’t for a proofreading and editing system. Each cell contains a set of proteins that checks the new DNA that has been produced, and if an error in copying has occurred, it is removed and replaced with a corrected version. Evolution cannot explain the origin of this necessary process. Complexity is even more abundant in advanced organisms. Organs like the eye, which has complex accommodating systems, or the brain, with its billions of connections, also need to be accounted for. Through the entire evolutionary process, many thousands of new kinds of protiens are needed, some of them very different from others. But at present, on an average, the billions of years proposed for evolution are way too short a time to produce even on specific original kind of protien molecule. In summary: All of the complexity evidence in living things indicates that a Creator God is necessary. This is what convinced Antony Flew that there must be a God. God seems essential to explain what science has found. The observations of proteins and DNA are all repeatable, and this provides high quality scientific evidence for God. It’s important to understand that this rejection of God is based on sociological and theological factors, not scientific data.
That should be all the proof you need.
All the proof I need? You must be joking? Seriously? You have NO proof at all. No counter arguments. No quotes or references. No logic, no reasoning, not even a semblance of a coherent argument. Only the lame statement of please remember the prophecy…
I find your lack of comprehension of the argument and logic in general to be disconcerting to say the least. You expect me to base my entire life on this statement that is totally lacking on all accounts? Trevor has laid out dozens of quotes from the bible pointing out the hypocrisy, cruelty and double standards of what is supposedly the ‘word of God,’ and all you can respond with is ‘please remember the prophecy.’ So you just disregard the argument entirely, over look the FACTS entirely, and ramble on about some prophecy…? Sounds like you have a Serious case of religious blindness. I suggest you take a double dose of reason with a good dash or logic and consult a shrink for readjustment of your faculties. It also might help if you read the Bible… then at least you’ll be aware of what you are partaking of and endorsing.
ps re British philosopher Antony Flew
Most of his peers considered him to have basically lost the plot in the last years of his life. A quote from wikipedia;
Flew earned his fame by arguing that one should presuppose atheism until evidence of a God surfaces. He still stands behind this evidentialist approach, though he has been persuaded in recent years that such evidence exists, and his current position appears to be deism. In a December 2004 interview he said:
I’m thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam,
because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins.
Flew’s conception of God as explained in the interview is limited to the idea of God as a first cause, and he rejects the ideas of an afterlife, of God as the source of good (he explicitly states that God has created “a lot of” evil), and of the resurrection of Jesus as an historical fact. He is particularly hostile to Islam, and says it is “best described in a Marxian way as the uniting and justifying ideology of Arab imperialism.
Essentially Flew no more believes in the Christian God then I do…
Well, I believe in the Christian God. You don’t have to, but I will. Oh, and I did more than just point out that one of the prophecys are being fulfilled. I pointed out that there was scientific data that proves the existence of a God. Just read my post instead of skipping over it and throwing out some random wikipedia balloni. Wikipedia, by the way, is the worst place to get information concerning what we’re talking about. People can go along and freely change any article in the Wikipedia database. I’m not even supposed to use it for school because of how unaccurate it can be.
Atheism is defined as a lack of belief in a supernatural being, creator, or deity. Briefly, it is a lack of belief in God.
It is one of the major opponents of the Christian Church and Christian beliefs. It has always been diretly related to materialism. Summed up, the more materialistic a society is, the less spiritual it becomes. The less spiritual it becomes, the stronger atheism affects that society.
Therefore, the more materialistic a society becomes, the more atheism strengthens over it.
Atheism relies mostly on logic, analysis, and science. They do not believe in faith, nor the miracles of the Bible.
Atheism, though has major flaws. At first glance, it seems atheism has a strong, irrefutable, non-debatable position. Like so many things in this world, it looks good only on the outside, but actually is weak on the inside – a foundation built on sand.
Atheism has three major flaws:
Atheist Statement No. 1 – “Atheism declares it does not believe in faith, that science is the way to truth because it does not rely on faith unlike religion. Science does not rely on faith and therefore cannot be biased.”
Christian answer: Even in science, we still need a certain degree of faith in scientists and researchers since we ourselves cannot possibly verify all their findings to prove that what they are saying is true.
Unless you can verify scientists’ findings one by one for yourself, you will have to accept their “word” at face value. You will have to believe that what they’re saying is true. You will have to have “faith” in their words.
Look. In the past, we’ve had “scientific errors” committed by scientists. Errors such as scientific facts that were declared as truth but were later found out to be false or in doubt.
Among numerous examples, one example is found in medical science. For many years, scientists/researchers have always declared that damage to the human spinal cord was permanent and irreversible. This was a scientific fact, established as the truth before.
However, only recently, this previous scientific fact was proven to be, well, untrue. Modern findings have proven that the human spinal cord does regenerate, albeit, in a very slow manner. A lot of people with damaged spinal cords have been able to walk, much against the declaration of their doctors that all hope was lost.
That science is not based on faith is totally false. Therefore, this refutes the first statement of atheism.
As St. Francis of Assisi wisely said “Faith is higher than reason. Reason is useless…. unless you believe.”
Atheist Statement No. 2 – “Science is based only on purely objective facts, while religion is partially subjective and therefore cannot be purely objective. ”
Christian answer: Science relies on objectivity, and needs to utilize a method called the “scientific method”. The scientific method relies on observation, experimentation, data-gathering, etc.
Once science loses its objectivity, or becomes partially subjective, it loses its credibility as a discipline.
Therein lies the problem. The scientific method does provide purely objective data, BUT scientists still have to “interpret them. Since scientists are only human, the interpretation of the data becomes mixed with personal opinions and become “partially subjective”. This cannot be avoided.
Scientists are human beings with different beliefs, religions, philosophies, and come from various countries and cultures throughout the globe.
Take for example the debate on the origin of the universe. This major debate has been going on for centuries, and has divided the scientific community into “creationist scientists” and “evolutionist scientists”.
The creationist scientists believe that the universe has order, design, and was created by an intelligent, omnpiotent being, a god. God is the creator of the universe.
The evolutionist scientists believe otherwise. They state that the universe has no design, has no order and is random. They reject the idea of a god, a creator of our universe.
And it doesn’t even matter who has more numbers on either side. The truth is never based on “majority wins”.
Say for example, my friend and I hid a silver coin inside a box. Now, we make a survey and ask all people around the world if they believe a coin exists in the box or not.
Even if all people around the world said they don’t believe a coin exists in the box, the truth is not affected by their numbers. My friend and I know the truth that a coin does exist because we hid it ourselves! So truth is not based on majority opinion.
Atheist statement number 2 is therefore false.
Atheist Statement No. 3) “Science is better than religion because it relies on an objective method – the scientific method. This method produces truth because it is based on objective data, experimentations, logic, etc. Religion does not use an objective method and is based on opinion, speculation, etc. It lacks “scientific proof”, on “miracles” in the Holy Bible.”
Christian answer: Science does rely on an objective method, but by what authority does the “scientific method” produce truth? By what authority does science possess when it says we must believe science because it utilizes the “scientific method”?
I mean you cannot state that science is an authority of truth simpy because it uses the scientific method. It’s like saying “I therefore conclude that science produces truth because it uses the scientific method.”
By what authority?
How will you prove using the scientific method does produce truth? Because it’s “scientific”? Because science said so? Again, the question “By what authority does science have by proclaiming to be the truth than religion”?
The statement “The results of the scientific method should be followed” is unscientific because it is a value statement that does not get its authority from anywhere but itself.
“We should use the scientific method.” Why should we? “It proves itself.” How does it prove itself? “It uses the scientific method.”
Atheist Statement: “The scientific method is true because it works and because it is axiomatic (self-evident).”
Christian answer: Sounds a lot like faith to me. Who decides what is axiomatic? does the scientific method decide it? That makes it circular if it does. If not, then it is not scientific itself.
I would have to do all the experiments to come to that conclusion. Other than that, I take it on faith that all of the scientists who did the experiments and reviewed them and tested them are not lying to me. That is my point.
You cannot use the “scientific method” as a reason to make science as an authority of truth, simply because the only way to prove science as the truth is to use the “scientific method”! The logic is circular.
And yes, the miracles in the Bible have been verified by both atheist (for objectivity) and theist (God-believing) scientists as true historical events. Events such as the Exodus from Egypt, David slaying Goliath, parting of the Red Sea, etc. were tested and researched using modern scientific methods. Watch “Secrets of the Bible” at Cable TV’s “Discovery Channel”.
At a different cable channel, underwater cameras showed pictures of ancient relics -particularly a large “chariot wheel” deep beneath the Red Sea. When traced back, the design of the wheel was identical to the chariots used in Egypt at around the time Moses’ parting of the Red Sea occurred!
God has been so gracious as to provide solid, irrefutable evidence to believers and non-believers alike.
Atheist statement number 3 is therefore false.
Yeah that’s great Devon, except I’m not atheist. I’m agnostic. I’d much rather be stuck in a lift with a bunch of atheists then I would a bunch of the religious, no matter their denomination. I honestly don’t have the time to sift through the rems of errors and faults in your previous post. I had a hard enough time just reading through it and trying to follow the massive leaps of reason that you so frequently make literally makes my head hurt. I will however make the following observations, however much of an exercise in futility it may be.
“It is one of the major opponents of the Christian Church and Christian beliefs. It has always been directly related to materialism. Summed up, the more materialistic a society is, the less spiritual it becomes. The less spiritual it becomes, the stronger atheism affects that society.”
LOL! Seriously. LOL! If your going to make such outrageous claims as atheism equals materialism you should at least give us some source or rationale for your argument. This statement is pointedly ridiculous and really, if you can’t see that, then you’ve got some serious bias and an extremely restricted comprehension of the world.
“Look. In the past, we’ve had “scientific errors” committed by scientists. Errors such as scientific facts that were declared as truth but were later found out to be false or in doubt.”
I’m the first to admit that science makes mistakes. That’s what makes it so great. Science’s ability to make and admit error, something religion can not possibly do, after all religion is the word of god and therefore must be infallible?…!(a point I raised in a previous post which has still not been addressed by any of the religious side.) And every time a scientist discovers an error or a mistake he points it out. Admitting errors and making corrections is after all what science is all about. Unlike religion which seeks to force a pre defined world view on people irrelevant of the facts. Ie: Galileo and the flat earther’s…
There is no such thing as a scientific fact as you seek to use the term. Again you show a lack of comprehension as to what a ‘scientific fact’ actually is.
A sub note to this point is that most of the ‘scientific errors,’ as you use the term, have been ‘declared’ or forced on the population not by scientists, but by politics of which religion has been a major contributor. This spoon feeding of ‘scientific fact’ to the population has been helped and assisted no end by the populations ignorance and idiocy. Ie: believing that there is such a thing as a ‘scientific fact,’ as you have used the term.
If it was up to the leaders of your religion we’d all still believe that the world was flat, the Sun travels around the world and that we are at the center of the universe not to mention countless other examples. Religion is continually and consistently being disproved by science. Just one of the reasons the religious attack science so much, it threatens their little bubble of unreality. Hence the proliferation of ‘new’ bibles down through the ages. When the religious give up the fight on some point they have to make corrections to the ‘good book’ and release a new edition so as not to confuse their flock…
There are so many mistakes in your logic and reasoning here I don’t have the time to correct them all. Honestly I don’t know why I bother even trying to debate with the religious as the rules of good debate, much like scientific reasoning, are lost on those who ignore reason and logic.
I honestly feel sorry for the likes of Devon. Imagine being so led to believe that it is good to give up reason and logic. That it is ‘good’ to stop thinking for ones self in order for others to tell you what to think. That it is good to discard the gifts that the universe has bestowed upon you in order to be able to believe what others tell you. When it comes down to it that is essentially what organized religion tells you to do. “Don’t think for yourself, believe what we tell you! We the religion are superior to you and know God better then you even though we are just some guy in a fancy hat with a sparkly robe who’s no closer to an understanding of God then anyone else.”
As an aside to this, I’ve always wanted to know what Jesus would have thought about ‘Christians’ who wear gold crosses around their necks and churches who are some of the richest organizations on the planet when there is so much poverty and suffering in the world. Do you think the irony would be lost on him as well?
I’ll get back to more of your comments in a bit; I have a bunch of school work this week.
‘Till then here is my essay on faith which I think you should read because it addresses some of your points directly. Also, if you haven’t read my Atheism/Agnostic essay I suggest it too. All of this in the interest of not having to repeat myself endlessly to the same objections.
How is it that I refuse to look at logic? I completly let logic in. How? I’ve dug deep into how the world works. I looked at every possibility and compared it to the world. The Bible was the only thing that measured up. Look at how everything works. Look at what it is that keeps us alive. And, yes, look at the beauties of the world. Now tell me? Whas this all just coincidence? Or was it done by somone who cared enough about the world that they created things that are so beautiful. Ever look at that? Mistake? Logic doesn’t add up to that. There is not logic in coincidence when it comes down to our origins. I agree that the Bible has been altered before. But I do not believe that it was because science disproved it. I read the King James Version of the Bible. It was translated into English BEFORE we even got a chance to go up into space and find that the earth is round. It was a DIRECT conversion from one language to another. That’s all it was. Where in this bible does it say that the sun rotates around the earth? We didn’t even have proof the the earth was rotating until we went up into space. Religion? Christianity is NOT a religion. It’s a relationship with our creator. There’s nothing in the Bible that defies actual logic. Read the King James version and you’ll understand.
I read your post and I must say that I’ve enjoyed it. But, as I read this, I continued to look at possibilitys and probabilitys. What did this boil down to? It boiled down to this one question. If the Big Bang THEORY is false and if God does not exist, then how the hell did I get here? How did we even get here. Who created us? What created us? That’s where we go. I would like to ask you this one question. Where is the proof that God does not exist? And where is the proof that the Big Bang THEORY is correct? I gave you my proof. It’s time for you to give us yours.
My prediction: You’re gonna tell me that what I have given you isn’t proof whatsoever and then you’re gonna say that even if I did have proof, you wouldn’t have to show me yours. So, right there is where you would fall into the wrong. There’re plenty of people overlooking this conversation waiting for us to come to a final conclusion. Plenty of them know that I have put up “Scientific” proof. It’s you who refuses to believe that I have such proof. Look at one of my comments and you’ll see the proof I have given you. Now, where is your proof?
“How is it that I refuse to look at logic?”
OK. Here’s a logical question for you.
Please tell me, clearly and concisely, how your religion, Christianity, is determined to be the ‘one true religion?’ How do you justify any difference between your prophet and the prophets of say, Buddhism, Islam or any of the other countless religions? What justifies placing your version of religion above the religions of others?
(Hint: Answering this question by saying that it’s the word of God or the word of your Holy book or any other similar response would be illogical due to the fact that every other religion on the planet can also claim the same word of God response, making it a void point therefore not a logical answer.)
“I looked at every possibility and compared it to the world.”
This is an extremely naive comment. There are infinite possibilities. It is illogical to say you have looked at them all.
“The Bible was the only thing that measured up.”
Trevor has pointed out more than a dozen quotes from verses of the bible that far from ‘measure up.’ Unless you can justify the quotes from Trevor in some way then again this comment is illogical.
See a pattern here?
“Look at how everything works. Look at what it is that keeps us alive. And, yes, look at the beauties of the world. Now tell me? Whas this all just coincidence? Or was it done by somone who cared enough about the world that they created things that are so beautiful. Ever look at that? Mistake?”
It sounds to me like you don’t really have a very good concept of just how totally insignificant this little ball of water is in the vastness of the universe. For all we know we are one planet, one species, one spec of dust out of countless billions. Thinking we are some how special is extremely vain. A trait I believe your god despises…
I do look at how things work, intensely and all the time. Many of my peers accuse me of doing this far too much. I am amazed at the wonder of existence and far more aware of it and have done far more investigating of it then most people I know.
“Logic doesn’t add up to that. There is not logic in coincidence when it comes down to our origins.”
Sorry but logic does add up to that, most definitely so in fact. Science has proven it again and again beyond reasonable doubt. The second half of this statement I don’t quite understand. I don’t see what coincidence has to do with our origins?
“I agree that the Bible has been altered before. But I do not believe that it was because science disproved it. I read the King James Version of the Bible. ”
I’m not going to point out to you the many different versions the bible has had nor the many different reasons behind the changes made in each case. They are well documented and easily obtainable online. I suggest you look at it as the vast majority of changes have been made for a) political convenience and b) to make it possible for an undeniable scientific fact to be incorporated into the story in some semblance of believability.
“It was translated into English BEFORE we even got a chance to go up into space and find that the earth is round.”
Lol. You really do make me laugh some times. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t, I know. Just for future reference, we knew the Earth was round a very long time before we got into space. We’ve only been in space for 50 odd years.
“We didn’t even have proof the earth was rotating until we went up into space.”
LOL! You did it again. Your naivety astounds me.
“Religion? Christianity is NOT a religion.”
ROFL!!! Seriously I’m off my chair.
“There’s nothing in the Bible that defies actual logic.”
You’re hysterical and most definitely illogical.
“Read the King James version and you’ll understand.”
How do you justify the King James Version as being correct above the others? why should I believe any more then the Koran?
Remember I’d like a logical answer… 😉
I do appreciate you hanging around and reading what we “naive atheists” have to say. You’ve already gone further than most Christians are willing to go.
I will get to your comments in due time. Again, school is ragin’ this week – unfortunately, first year of law school doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing (I’m sitting in class now) – and I will try to get to your comments in due course.
With response to your discussion of the Big Bang theory and cosmology I point you again to one of my previous essays.
You will see that, essentially, I don’t care about the cosmological argument. I don’t think you or nearly any other theist believes in God because you think there needs to be a reason why there is something instead of nothing. I think, most likely, you believe in God because you were raised Christian or, if not, because you became Christian in some sort of emotionally drive conversion experience and extrapolated back to the cosmological argument.
As you will see from my 10 reasons; there is not one scientific/cosmological reason on the list. I never mention the big bang or evolution.
Ahhhh…..class is starting. More later.
Last one. How do I know that Christianity is right? The Holy Bible (KJV) tells about why human beings are able to dissobay and animals are less likely to. When a human has been punished, he or she can choose to continue to disobay although they already know the consequences of doing so. A dog on the other hand is more likely to obay. Now, some dogs won’t obay because their owners are not around most of the time (this describes my family and my dog). The dog is more liable to obay someone who is home the most (like me) over someone who isn’t home as much. But humans work differently. We always have something that tells us what we want to do. But then we get something that tells us what we were told NOT to do. But, some people will just ignore the good reasoning and disobay. At some point, after they continue to ignore and do the bad things, they no longer hear that little voice in their head that tells them what their parents or the law has told them NOT to do. The BIBLE talks about why this is. It’s called the gift of choice. We are able to CHOOSE what we want to do. In reality, every human wants to do something that they know is wrong. Dogs and other animals prefer to do what they were taught was right to keep from being punished again and to continue getting positive attention. Telling me that this isn’t true defies logic. If you don’t understand the first time, please read it over until you see what I mean.
I specifically pointed out that an answer dependent on your Holy book was illogical?!!
Point set match on the question of your logic…
Your analogy of dogs not having ‘choice’ as you put it is totally incorrect. Animals most certainly are able to choose and are also quite capable of determining the basic difference between right and wrong in context with their existence. I was recently reading about a particular species of jumping spider which can specifically choose the correct path of attack in what is an extremely complicated predator prey environment. It can do this even after a number of hours without the prey in site. It chooses a path and an attack plan, one out of many possible, and can recall and execute this plan many hours after having last seen it’s prey. Now this is a spider about the size of a small pea. It is making decisions. It makes very complicated choices and it doesn’t even have a brain as we would call it. Just a nervous system. This is a monumental achievement for such a basic creature but is nothing when compared to what a lab rat, a Labrador or a monkey can achieve. Animals make decisions and ‘choose,’ as you so basically put it, all the time. There is absolutely no debate about this. To say that choice is a trait only humans are capable of is again, most definitely incorrect. Your argument is again, uneducated, uninformed, illogical, totally devoid of fact or truth and lacking of any substance on all accounts.
Your arguments have got progressively weaker and more inconsistent as we have proceeded in this discussion. You have not once answered any of my direct questions and you have not once been able to logically counter any of the points I have raised. You have basically completely ignored the questions and facts posed to you and replied with no substance what so ever, just more errors in logic and critical thinking. We could continue like this indefinitely. When you ordain to choose to answer the questions, (pun intended,) I have proffered, then I will be happy to continue to respond. As it is, your responses so far have been basically a waste of my time. It is not my job to educate you, (something sorely needed,) nor show you how to apply critical thinking. As you refuse to answer any of the questions I have posed and respond with only more wild, incorrect and naive claims I have to withdraw myself from this discussion as it is of no value to me other then the occasional chuckle. Re read the post and address the questions posed and I’ll be happy to continue. Until that time, adieu.
Freedom from Distortions & Lies snake
The Devil has infiltrated the professed church with manmade traditions and false doctrines. The Bible prophesies of this “falling away”. Today’s Christians know the hellivision guide better than the Bible. We need to get back to the Olde Booke (KJV 1611) and the olde way of holiness–hating evil and loving the Lord. Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil… Only when you start living holy can you know what true praise is. You can say with the Psalmist, “GREAT is the LORD and GREATLY to be praised, and his GREATNESS is unsearchable!” You will know what “Thank you, Jesus!” really means because you’ve seen the power of God to transform you from a sin-plagued wretch to a RIGHTEOUS son of the living God. You will be a living miracle. Know ye not that the Bible says, “As he is, so are we in this world,” and in another place, we are to be “partakers of the divine nature”? Why is it so rare that we see a Christian manifesting forth the attributes of God?
Many people profess to know Christ, but in works they DENY Him…as a result, they will find themselves REJECTED on that Great & Terrible Day of the Lord. Jesus said that those that love Him keep His commandments. His commandments are in the Bible.
When a Christian studies and obeys his King James Bible, he is free from the millions of distortions and lies told inside and outside of churches. He will walk in power–power to live right, talk right, think right, serve right, love right. Everything right comes from knowing the Word of God and walking in the power of the Holy Ghost. To be Bible-minded is to be Christ-minded. Nothing in the Christian life should be divorced from the Lord Jesus Christ and His word–whether washing dishes, soulwinning, working, studying, fellowshipping or sitting in a church pew.
I Cor 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
You took my post out of context. I never said that dogs and other animals couldn’t choose those things. I’m talking about obiedience. Also, another point that will get my post across the room. A human being, when presented drugs, has a choice to either say no or to say yes. When they are presented with such a choice, something called a conscience kicks in telling them right from wrong. We all have a basic sense of it, but a human’s sense is less basic when compared to animals. If you present a dog with drugs, what do you think the dog is gonna do? Nothing. The dog doesn’t have anything telling them that it is wrong to do drugs. They don’t even know that it hurts them. Hell, they don’t even try to eat it. They don’t even care. They may look at it, but, they are not gonna start smoking it or sniffing it. Humans have a greater list of choices. I don’t mean to be offensive, but I feel I’m teaching a 6th grader these things. It’s pretty simple stuff.
I was born into a Christian family, but, I was NOT forced to believe anything. My father isn’t Christian, but my mother is. So, I have a taste of both sides. And I’m gonna tell you right now, I like Christianity. It gives me hope that there’s a future. That death isn’t the end. I don’t believe in anything illogical. The only reason that these things seem to illogical to most people is because most people are not capable of doing such things. We are not capable of creating light by saying “Let there be light.” It’s a HIGHER BEING. You, Trevor, are an athiest, or so you say. You don’t believe in a God. But, I’ll tell you now. Have you ever looked at a chicken? I’m not talking about those plain looking ones, I’m talking about the ones that have a distinct pattern. Such a pattern, we all know, cannot have been done by mere chance alone. It has to have been designed. Saying that we were not designed and that we were created from nothing (says the big bang theory) is like saying that if I jump from the highest cliff in this world, I’m not gonna fall. We all know that I can’t fly. Humans can’t fly. We use hang gliders and planes, but we can’t fly without those. A bird can. It has wings, it was designed to fly. How was it designed? Think about it. On the wing of a bird, there’s a feather. If you clip off this one feather, it can’t fly anymore. Without the feather, all the other feathers just become warm covering. Does that make any sense to you? Grey sits there and tells me that I’m looking at it illogically. But tell me something Grey. When I shoot my mouth off about design and throw up something as simple as a birds wing and how if you pluck off that one feather, it can’t flie, do you just deside to resort to pathetic bashing without proof, or do you try to settle it in a mature manner? The choice is yours. But, I’m not stupid. I understand much more than you think I do. Now, I’m not pointing fingures and saying that whoever I point at is stupid. You guys a pretty damn smart. But, there are somethings that you guys really need to research a little better. BTW, Grey, I would advise that you stop skipping over anything that you think may just disprove something. I look at this as logically as I possibly can. But when someone says that we’re just some big random mistake, I work out all of these possibilitys in my head. Sure there are infinint possibilitys. But, when if comes down to the random mistake and the creator, I look at what’s there on the table. And, if possible, I look for more to add onto the table. I’ve been doing this for years. I’ve had my doubts, but I remember that there’s logic behind it. I’m not interested in leaving hope for the future for my own selfish needs. As it comes down to it, I realise just how full of crap atheism can be. No offense to you Trevor. And Grey, lay off the kool-aid. All that surgur is making you insult yourself. I pray that you find the Lord. I pray that you understand and don’t let that voice saying “oh, he’s wrong you’re right” confuse you.
God had reasons behind EVERYTHING that he did. If you everything from the books that contain those verses, you’ll realize that it happened for a reason and that God had to put it to an end so that it wouldn’t consume or corrupt any longer.
If you read* everything from the books that contain those verses, you’ll realize that it happened for a reason and that God had to put it to an end so that it wouldn’t consume or corrupt any longer
* Sorry, forgot to add read.
Side note: If I said anything offensivily, then don’t assume that I hate you. I don’t. If I truely hated you, I wouldn’t be trying to help you understand Christianity. You may be my enemies, but the Lord said “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefullt use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44 King James Version.
Devon, you truly amaze me. You are still avoiding ALL of the questions posed to you. Your only retort is to resort to verse from your book. A point I’ll reiterate once more, that is totally illogical! You still haven’t explained why your particular book should be taken above the rest. You still haven’t justified the errors and contradictions in the bibles. You still have not said anything with any cohesion or logic. All your doing is preaching and it’s a total waste of my time. Then you have the utter gall to resort to calling me a child? Your the one who is completely lacking in knowledge of the world in science and basic history and yet you call me the child? Once again, illogical.
Re: Patterns on chickens. FFS look up fractals and chaos theory you dimwit.
PS “Grey, I would advise that you stop skipping over anything that you think may just disprove something.”
I’d really like to know what you think I have skipped over? I thought I addressed every one of your points but if I missed something please show me what? Not that I expect you to answer this question as you’ve totally avoided every other question posed to you.
oh look at me im smally biggs and since I cant defend my opinion with facts i guess I’ll bash people who can
My quick $0.02 that’ll focus on one of the comments:
“Why are atheists so SCARED of Christianity? Explain to me what the harm is in believing in God. If I go to bed at night believing that I will wake up the next day 35 lbs. lighter and I do not, what have I lost? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! If I believe my entire life that Jesus is God and I die and it is not true, what have I lost? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! The bigger question is what if I am right and you are wrong? You die believing as you do–WHAT HAVE YOU LOST?”
The problem isn’t whether one religion is right and another is wrong. The problem is that many if not all religions preach they are the correct one, and that other religions are wrong. In addition to this, many preach that others must either convert or die. So we have you believing in your religion which says whatever you want it to. We also have me believing in my religion saying that everyone who doesn’t believe as me should die at my hand or convert. This results in war between us.
Religion is the driving force behind the major wars in the world today. This is irrefutable and why Atheists are “scared” of religion. Religion is something that ignorant people are using and have used to wage war and kill billions if not trillions of people.
Society does not need religion – only when all of humanity can accept that can there be the possibility of “world peace”.
Needless to say I’m skeptical of anything like this ever happening though.
I have to agree with Chris… I mean. Mostly. I don’t think I’m scared of religion. I think that there are a lot of nice people who are religious. But… I think that in our country, Christianity has become almost fanatical with a lot of people.
It’s not enough to be Christian yourself. You must attempt to convert people… aggressively. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been asked about my beliefs, only to be looked at like some sort of leper when I say I don’t believe in God… as though it changes the kind of person I am drastically. It’s frustrating… to the point that I am annoyed by Christians, in general.
I also agree with Chris and his point about how people have done some pretty HORRIBLE things in the name of religion. There’s no denying that.
I guess… The point I’m trying to make… after following this thread for as long as I have… It honestly seems that for every 1 Christian who comes here and eloquently defends their position… There are 10+ that say something completely asshole ish and offensive. In my opinion, in order to open people’s minds to an idea, it helps if you’re not speaking fluent douche bag. End of.
“OK– Ladies– I have no clue why you would ever want to have anything to do with a institution that says this about women.
Genesis 2:22 Woman created from Adam’s rib”
The reason God took Adam’s rib and created the woman with it was so that the woman would have similar features to man. Understand? It doesn’t make them any lower than men.
“3:16 Woman cursed: maternity a sin, marriage a bondage”
The woman was cursed as a punishment for her sin. She took from the tree of knowledge and ate the fruit of it. God commanded her NOT to do so. But, she did it anyway and so did Adam. But, because she held a high influence over Adam, he was tricked by her into sinning.
“19:1-8 Rape virgins instead of male angels”
Sodom was a place full of evil people who would go against God. When Lot tried to give the people virgins to rape instead of angels, he was in the wrong. But, the angels didn’t let it happen and neither did God. So, the angels took Lot and his daughters out of Sodom and God destroyed Sodom along with the evil people that lived in it. So, God never let anything such as rape take place.
“Exodus 20:17 Insulting Tenth Commandment, considering a wife to be property”
The ten commandments does not consider a mans wife to be his property. Would you want someone to look at your husband (if you have one) and try to take him away from you? It’s the same thing for men, just in reverse. Men don’t want other men to try and break them up with their wives.
“21:7-11 Unfair rules for female servants, may be sex slaves”
It never said that they may be sex slaves. Read it again. It says maidservent, not sex slave.
“22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live””
I’d reccomend reading before and after the verse. In fact, read the whole dang chapter.
“38:8 Women may not enter tabernacle they must support”
And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, pf the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. [Exodus 38:8] Where did it say that the women may not enter? As far as I know, only the ones that God selected as priests were allowed to enter. No one else. That would include men.
Well you made a point…… that about all you did. you contradict yourself in your own contradiction of the christian faith. you mention that its wrogn because of toher religons, that all believe in an intangible sould but a couple points latter its wrong because it mentions soul. its wrong because there is lackign hsitorical evidence when there isnt a shred of evidence to support the big bang or other beliefs that bash chrsitianity. you keep reiterating yourself and drawing out your point to make yourself appear inteligent when so offer no credible evidence… its nothing but senseless ranting. and too top it off you actually quote the bible to disporve the bible… you sick sad little man. to put it simply christianity takes a level of faith to believe and you obviously dont have that level and never will, but you are willing to bet your life on whether you are right or wrong about this decision. The bible says that we are pre destined to be saved or not and some are chosen and some arent. some God will actively seeks after and some he will leave alone as they wish to be left. so you will be left. enjoy the 80 some average years you have of your normal human life and expect nothign when its over…
Your idiotic post is refutation enough.
lol, I second that Trev. The average level of education of most of those posting here seems to be some what lacking to say the least. Oh well, it’s good for a laugh, I suppose.
I think you were trying to say Nick,
“to put it simply Christianity takes a level of ignorance to believe…”
Faith is the bastion of those who do not know and what’s more, are afraid to admit it.
Once more the religious have come out swinging with a total lack of fact and or comprehension. There certainly is a substantial amount of evidence in the theory of the Big Bang. The expanding cosmological background radiation for one. There are numerous other indicators to support the proposition that the universe is expanding from what appears to have been a single point. Your statement, Nick, that there is nothing to support the theory of the Big Bang is factually incorrect.
You also make the extremely common mistake that the religious tend to make, by mixing up a “belief” with a “theory of science.” They are two totally different things. The big bang is NOT a belief that seeks to “bash Christianity.” It is a substantially supported scientific theory that just happens to be in conflict with your precious little religion/delusion. It’s much like a few hundred years ago when Gallileo said the Earth is round. The Christians did and said just what your doing and saying about that ‘theory’ as well. They were later to be called the Flat Earthers. Do you even realize that you are volunteering to be categorized with this same group of people?
None of those posting from the religious dock, or should I say Christian dock as the other religions seem to be absent from this post, have yet to address my question as to why their faith should be held above other faiths? To me that is one of the most important religious questions and I’m yet to meet anyone who can answer it with any logic.
“The bible says that we are pre destined to be saved or not and some are chosen and some arent. some God will actively seeks after and some he will leave alone as they wish to be left. so you will be left.”
I love how the religious retreat into nonsensical preaching babel when they feel threatened. The obvious psychological indoctrination of religion is lost on those who have come under it’s influence. Nick, just in the hope that some of this may get through to you, almost every religion that has ever existed has had this common thread of the unbelievers will be abandoned and doomed etc, while those who believe will be saved and taken to Nirvana. It’s a very basic psychological ploy by the religions to keep their flock in cohesion and away from those influences who would seek to question their beliefs. It is very basic psychological manipulation that has been used to great effect since religion first began. Screaming it at people who are aware of just what it is is futile to say the least and only helps to counter the argument you are so vainly trying to defend.
By Marilyn Adamson
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proof of God
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Just once wouldn’t you love for someone to simply show you the evidence for God’s existence? No arm-twisting. No statements of, “You just have to believe.” Well, here is an attempt to candidly offer some of the reasons which suggest that God exists.
But first consider this. If a person opposes even the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be rationalized or explained away. It is like if someone refuses to believe that people have walked on the moon, then no amount of information is going to change their thinking. Photographs of astronauts walking on the moon, interviews with the astronauts, moon rocks…all the evidence would be worthless, because the person has already concluded that people cannot go to the moon.
When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God.1 On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.”2 Before you look at the facts surrounding God’s existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, would I want to know him? Here then, are some reasons to consider…
1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God’s design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
The Earth…its size is perfect. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
existence of GodThe Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.4
Water…colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You’ll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:
It has an unusually high boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.
proof of GodWater is a universal solvent. This property of water means that thousands of chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.5
Water is also chemically neutral. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.
Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.
Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.
Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.6
2. Does God exist? The human brain’s complexity shows a higher intelligence behind it.
The human brain…simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of your keyboard. Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.
existence of GodThe human brain processes more than a million messages a second.7 Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. A brain that deals with more than a million pieces of information every second, while evaluating its importance and allowing you to act on the most pertinent information… did it come about just by chance? Was it merely biological causes, perfectly forming the right tissue, blood flow, neurons, structure? The brain functions differently than other organs. There is an intelligence to it, the ability to reason, to produce feelings, to dream and plan, to take action, and relate to other people. How does one explain the human brain?
3. Does God exist? “Chance” or “natural causes” are insufficient explanations.
The alternative to God existing is that all that exists around us came about by natural cause and random chance. If someone is rolling dice, the odds of rolling a pair of sixes is one thing. But the odds of spots appearing on blank dice is something else. What Pasteur attempted to prove centuries ago, science confirms, that life cannot arise from non-life. Where did human, animal, plant life come from?
Also, natural causes are an inadequate explanation for the amount of precise information contained in human DNA. A person who discounts God is left with the conclusion that all of this came about without cause, without design, and is merely good fortune. It is intellectually wanting to observe intricate design and attribute it to luck.
4. Does God exist? To state with certainty that there is no God, a person has to ignore the passion of an enormously vast number of people who are convinced that there is a God.
This is not to say that if enough people believe something it is therefore true. Scientists, for example, have discovered new truths about the universe which overruled previous conclusions. But as science has progressed, no scientific discovery has countered the numerical likelihood of an intelligent mind being behind it all. In fact, the more science discovers about human life and the universe, the more complex and precisely designed we realize these to be. Rather than pointing away from God, evidence mounts further toward an intelligent source. But objective evidence is not all.
There is a much larger issue. Throughout history, billions of people in the world have attested to their firm, core convictions about God’s existence–arrived at from their subjective, personal relationship with God. Millions today could give detailed account of their experience with God. They would point to answered prayer and specific, amazing ways God has met their needs, and guided them through important personal decisions. They would offer, not only a description of their beliefs, but detailed reports of God’s actions in their lives. Many are sure that a loving God exists and has shown himself to be faithful to them. If you are a skeptic, can you say with certainty: “I am absolutely right and they all are wrong about God”?
5. Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.
I was an atheist at one time. And like most atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don’t believe even exists?! What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people…to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God. If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life.
proof of GodI didn’t realize that the reason the topic of God weighed so heavily on my mind, was because God was pressing the issue. I have come to find out that God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. It was as if I couldn’t escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God’s existence, my prayer began with, “Ok, you win…” It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.
I am not the only one who has experienced this. Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, “I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued.” C.S. Lewis said he remembered, “…night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”
Lewis went on to write a book titled, “Surprised by Joy” as a result of knowing God. I too had no expectations other than rightfully admitting God’s existence. Yet over the following several months, I became amazed by his love for me.
6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God pursuing us.
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you’ll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you’re looking at him. Though he talked about his Father in heaven, it was not from the position of separation, but of very close union, unique to all humankind. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father, anyone who believed in him, believed in the Father.
He said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”8 He claimed attributes belonging only to God: to be able to forgive people of their sin, free them from habits of sin, give people a more abundant life and give them eternal life in heaven. Unlike other teachers who focused people on their words, Jesus pointed people to himself. He did not say, “follow my words and you will find truth.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”9
What proof did Jesus give for claiming to be divine? He did what people can’t do. Jesus performed miracles. He healed people…blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead. He had power over objects…created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people. He performed miracles over nature…walked on top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends. People everywhere followed Jesus, because he constantly met their needs, doing the miraculous. He said if you do not want to believe what I’m telling you, you should at least believe in me based on the miracles you’re seeing.10
Jesus Christ showed God to be gentle, loving, aware of our self-centeredness and shortcomings, yet deeply wanting a relationship with us. Jesus revealed that although God views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and God came up with a different plan. God himself took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. Sounds ludicrous? Perhaps, but many loving fathers would gladly trade places with their child in a cancer ward if they could. The Bible says that the reason we would love God is because he first loved us.
Jesus died in our place so we could be forgiven. Of all the religions known to humanity, only through Jesus will you see God reaching toward humanity, providing a way for us to have a relationship with him. Jesus proves a divine heart of love, meeting our needs, drawing us to himself. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, he offers us a new life today. We can be forgiven, fully accepted by God and genuinely loved by God. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”11 This is God, in action.
Does God exist? If you want to know, investigate Jesus Christ. We’re told that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”12
God does not force us to believe in him, though he could. Instead, he has provided sufficient proof of his existence for us to willingly respond to him. The earth’s perfect distance from the sun, the unique chemical properties of water, the human brain, DNA, the number of people who attest to knowing God, the gnawing in our hearts and minds to determine if God is there, the willingness for God to be known through Jesus Christ. If you need to know more about Jesus and reasons to believe in him, please see: Beyond Blind Faith.
If you want to begin a relationship with God now, you can.
This is your decision, no coercion here. But if you want to be forgiven by God and come into a relationship with him, you can do so right now by asking him to forgive you and come into your life. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. He who hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him [or her].”13 If you want to do this, but aren’t sure how to put it into words, this may help: “Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. You know my life and that I need to be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me right now and come into my life. I want to know you in a real way. Come into my life now. Thank you that you wanted a relationship with me. Amen.”
God views your relationship with him as permanent. Referring to all those who believe in him, Jesus Christ said of us, “I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”14
So, does God exist? Looking at all these facts, one can conclude that a loving God does exist and can be known in an intimate, personal way. If you need more information about Jesus’ claim to divinity, or about God’s existence, or if you have similar important questions, please email us.
I did not come here to discredit the Holy Bible if that is what you mean. I came here to actually support it. What I was saying in the post that you were responding to is that people need to look before and after such verses before telling us that the Bible is contradicting itself. I do not wish to be left alone by the Lord and I never will be wished to be left alone. He’s always putting enough pressure on my mind to help me remember Him. When I was a little kid, I would try to read the Holy Bible. But, out of confusion and misunderstanding, I always put it down before reading the third verse in the first chapter. I just didn’t want anything to do with the subject at the time. But the Lord didn’t give up on me. I always believed in the Lord as far back as I can remember. I have always had something pressing on my mind telling me to read the Bible. And that neve changed. Now I’m 14 years old and I am reading the Bible with a full understanding of it. The pressure was never lifted, it was only intensified. It was as if I was playing football against the Lord and after a few spectacular moves, He finnally managed to tackle me. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to read more and more about the Lord. I’ve tried to stop already, but the pressure just builds and builds and builds. It never lets go unless I want it to. The Lord will never push to hard. He will only push as needed for each individual. No more and no less. It’s up to us whether or not we want to believe in Him. Once we’ve said that we don’t want Hik in our lives enough, He’ll stop trying. The pressure will be released and you’ll have totally forgotten about it. For a person like me who never wants the pressure to be lifted, I always remember the Lord. Night and day I will continuesly think about Him and what He has done for me. I have experienced the work of Him so many times, it’s not even funny. Jesus is yet to leave my side. He never will give up on me as long as I want Him in my life. Whenever I get even the slightest bit of doubt, the Lord will take the doubt from me by helping to remember what He has done for me. He has helped me to remember that He has a purpose for me and that He will help me to find it and fullfill it. He has always been there for me whenever durring the roughest of times. He has always told me to be patient and soon something very wonderful will happen in your life. He has always held up His end of the bargin. He has always showed me what is best for my self. Not once has He ever been wrong in my life. He has always kept up to His promisses and He has always supplyed me with a way out of ever mess I’ve ever encountered. All He asks in return is that I keep my faith in Him and I do my best to live my life in accordance with His commandments and His teachings. That’s all He wants from me. Why? Because He wants me in Heaven and I want to be there. He understands my want for Heaven and he has always helped me to achieve that goal. All I need to do is listen to Him and He’ll take care of the rest. Jesus is my Lord, saviour, brother, father, and most loving friend. He’ll never lead me astray and every bad thing in my life, He’ll always pull me through it. This is just the beginning of my relationship with Him, and already I have a great amount of knowledge of Him. He’s giving me this knowledge through multiple tools. The internet, Signs of the Times magazines, a small pamphlet called NOW!, a small thriteen chapter book called Steps to Christ, and the biggest tool of all: The Holy Bible.
When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
All other gods were NOT willing to die for us and save us. All other gods were NOT willing to show any love and compasion for us. Every other god is based upon the likeness of the exact cyvilization it came from. Not Jesus. He tells us that we are imperfect and cannot possibly achieve salvation through our own merits or through our own actions. No man would ever die for all of mankind the way Jesus did. No man can show the same love that Jesus did. I dismiss all other gods because they are not willing to discipline me as an act of love. I have pledged myself to our creator and I will never part from Him. I would die defending my beliefs if I had to. I will never let you tell me that I’m wrong. Call me stubborn, but I know what it is like to look forward to nothing and to have no one there by your side. It’s an empty feeling. If I were to take up something other than Christianity, my life would become miserable. Everytime I stray from my Lord, my world becomes black and white and meaningless. No other god can ever pull me out of such misery. Only Jesus was able to do that.
Change a little, put a different name in there (Allah, Muhammad, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith etc.) and you sound no more and no less convincing than any other religious person.
Would that include you?
All religions are dumb. They all try to explain the world before people understood what was really happening. 2,000 years ago when there was a earth quake or a volcano every body thought god was mad at them and shit. but today we know that earth quakes happen when to continental plates rub against each other, and when a volcano erupts its because pressure under the earths surface causes magma to rush to the surface causing an eruption. why are we still believing in stupid stories from thousands of years ago. welcome to the 21st century, we have the ability and the technology to understand the world and the universe now. if we are so…… special and god created us in his own image and all that non since why is there billions of galaxies each having billions of stars with trillions of planets? why is our star just a little star on the outer band of the milky way galaxy? we all love to think we are special but really we are just a speck in the vast universe. i know all you religious people will be like oh….. god created all that for us to look at or for our enjoyment. come on. Just think about it people, look outiside your little lives and think bigger. the universe is so huge so vast its amazing, far more amazing then the human race and our little lives. most stories in the bible can easily be explained through science. And i know u religious people think science is evil and is a tool of the devil or some stupid shit. but science has always disproven different aspects of religion. a few hundred years ago people thought the universe revolved around earth, we all know that isnt true today and if you still think that u are retarded. the whole debate between christianity and any other religions is simple. people want to understand the world around them and before there was technolgy and science people believed there had to be a being higher then them that controlled every thing. and whenever any thing happend it was because of god. i people wake up and just think use your advanced brains and think…. do the stories make any since. If somebody told u today any of the stories in the bible would u belive them, probably not because they dont make any since. its late and im kind of rambling right now but please people open your minds and just think.
Just because the bible is old, it does not make it true.
Christianity – other is only the main religion because you did your best to wipe out the rest of them!!
Paganism would be the main if it wasn’t for your murder of them
Saying the Bible is literally true in any way is completely nonsensical. The bible is illogical, contradictory, factually inaccurate and generally self defeating. If it is the word of God then God is one seriously flawed character. Any rational analysis of the bibles verse will reach this conclusion. (No matter which version you happen to read.)
Hey Devon princess, you still haven’t told me why your bible, (The King James Edition if I remember correctly,) should be given precedence over say the Coverdale’s Bible, the Matthew’s Bible, the Taverner’s Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, The Bishops’ Bible, The Douay-Rheims Bible or any of the other dozens of different versions of Christian bibles out there? As a secondary question; if you haven’t read all the proceeding bibles, how can you determine if the bible you are following is actually the word of God? Wouldn’t you have to read all the Christian bibles to be able to decide which was the True Book? They are after all, all Christian bibles and they all claim to be the Word of God. Couldn’t the most obviously true bible you have read actually be a trick of the Devil to stop you searching for and reading the real Book of God? After all, only one book can be correct. What if the bible you’re reading is not His Word but rather a trick of the Great Deceiver? What a terrible thought! If you haven’t read all the bibles out there then how can you be sure your not being subverted by the Evil version? If you haven’t read all these bibles wouldn’t it also mean that your being a little premature when you proclaim that you;
“looked at every possibility and compared it to the world?”
My bet is that you haven’t read ANY of these bibles. Not one. Let alone “looked at every possibility.”
While I’m at it, I only want to read the answer to the particular question of why your Christian bible should be taken above any other Christian bible after I have read your answer to the question of why your religion should be held above any other religion? I’ve asked these questions a couple of times now and you are yet to respond with an answer?
I hope I needn’t reiterate to you Devon, why answering the above questions with any quotes that equate to “it’s in my Bible,” would be totally inappropriate for any further advancement of your cause. In actual fact I believe that if you use quotes or verse from your bible one more time as an answer to the questions that have been posed, then I will have to assume that you are of fairly simple mind, that you can not grasp the concepts and boundaries of the questions, and that logic in regards to these issues is totally beyond your conceptual capacity. This will most likely result in my verse becoming more verbose, cryptic, sarcastic and critical just in order so as to see what sort of nonsensical flatulence you endeavor to retort with. Just in the name of my scientific curiosity you do understand?
By the way, I am an Agnostic. It is not the concept of God that I hate. It is the concept and incarnations of the travesty and corruption that is religion that earns my disgust and loathing. The simple minded drivel I have read in these posts only helps to reinforce this feeling. Reading them however, I must admit, has been a most entertaining distraction.
@Stacey, Christianity is a long way from being, “the main religion,” in this world.
Christianity also has it’s roots in Paganisim. Christianity didn’t murder paganism as such , rather it consumed it and made it it’s own. Christianity evolved from Paganisim you could say. Worship of the Sun became worship of the Son…
(LOL, that’ll make em froth at the mouth.)
I would like to point out to you that I’m nothing like a princess. I’m a dude. That just wouldn’t fit with princess.
My name is Sean Cox
I am 15 yeas old
I believe in God.
I believe in Jesus.
~I know that many good things have happened in my life. I credit them all to God. Last year I went through a phase where I questioned God. But theology teacher saved me. She taught me how to PRAY.
~I looked at the synonyms to the word pray and this is what came up: ask, beg, plead. This is why I think many people do not believe in God. Because they do not know how to pray. People onlly ask for what they want or “need.” The world has it all wrong
~My teacher told us to try and talk to God, let him into your life, to let God become our support and friend. I did just that and i have never doubted God since. I sat on my bed meditating and listening. I told God about my day and how other people were doing, I told him about my feelings and asked fot forgivness. I must say, it feels better to pray for someone else than to pray for yourself. Has anyone ever told you that they prayet for you? It is the best feeling in the world.
~Look up the story of Stephen, the martyr. He was killed because he believed in the loving message of God.
~I feel very sorry for everyone who does not believe in God. I pitty you for not being able to feel His love and effection. I am sorry that you have never seen his presence or heard his voice. I am sorry God has never touched you like He has to me.
~As a side note:
In my school, a boy’s mother was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer. She was only told she had a few weeks to live. My school, being a catholic school, sook the family in. We raised touition money for the child, so he wouldnt have to worry. We paid their medical bills when they couldn’t. We pray for his mother every day before every class (in an eight period day). We held a mass for the woman. Our faith in God has helped her throught it. She knows she has so much support and people who lover her. It has almost been a year, and the cancer seems like it might be ending. She is going back to work and she is doing her daily activities, like she did before she was on her death bed.
the American Heart Journal released details of a new study that finds that there is no positive effect of prayer for cardiovascular patients receiving surgery. Patients who were prayed for but did not know of the prayer had no fewer negative complications after the surgery than a separate group of patients who simply were not prayed for. However, patients who were prayed for, and knew that they were being prayed for, actually experienced a statistically significant higher rate of negative complications after surgery. So, this study indicates that patients who are prayed for and know about the prayer actually suffer as a consequence. It seems that the power of prayer is really the power to royally screw things up for people.
What are some possible explanations for this effect? Well, it could be that prayer makes people tense. It could be that many patients resent having people pray for them, and wish the people praying would just mind their own business…. etc
This study is quoted on quite a few sites around the net and to the best of my knowledge was a properly conducted scientific study. There are a number of such studies around.
@Devon, lol, princess actually fits very well. You refuse to answer questions you don’t like, you ignore what you don’t want to see or hear, you get upset and petulant when somebody disagrees with what you are saying or points out that it is factually incorrect. Those are some of the fundamental behavioral traits of a princess.
Found this on the net a while back. Thought the thinkers on this page might enjoy it if any of them are still reading. 🙂
CHRISTIANITY: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree… yeah, makes perfect sense.
Also pinched from the net:
Top Ten Signs You’re a Fundie
10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your god.
9 – You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Trinity god.
7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” — including women, children, and trees!
6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loop-holes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by pre-historic tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that the Earth is a couple of generations old.
4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects — will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet you consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving”.
3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to prove Christianity.
2 – You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 – You actually know a lot less than many Atheists and Agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history — but still call yourself a Christian.
No Historical Evidence of Jesus:
Christians are really atheists as well:
I must say, the wholesale reposting of another’s hackneyed reasons why Christianity is right – culled, no less, from an ad formerly prominently placed on our front page – fails to impress.
The questions she presented are occasionally valid concerns and occasionally bullshit. The argument from design is indeed a vexing issue that requires careful consideration. Unfortunately you and your ilk don’t give it such consideration, just refutation by intuition. Unfortunately our intuitions – particularly about design – are horrible at deriving truths about the world (as the growth in science via proving intuitions wrong has shown).
Furthermore, the argument from design is equally valid for all religions.
My point here is to simply ask that you do treat those questions as vexing, interesting, worthy of consideration, worthy of discussion, and wonderfully mysterious. Believing you got your answers out of a magic book – nuff said – is the wrong process. Read Albert Schweitzer, read Richard Dawkins, read Philip E. Johnson, read Steven Weinberg, read any of the other thinkers on this topic and treat it as a gateway to knowledge.
I guarantee they are better writers and more interesting than your magic book.
And I believe that you still don’t understand Christianity in the least bit. God NEVER said that He would send the wicked to a Hell of Suffering for all of eternity. He said that they’d go to the lake of fire. There they would suffer as long as needed as punishment for their sins depending on the degree of them and then would be destroyed for all eternity. No eternal suffering. Now, why would God do this if He loves us all? Because if He doesn’t, the wicked would rebel against God again and destroy everything all over again. God cannot and will not let this happen. Oh. I don’t call the Holy Bible a magic book. It is not magical by any means. It just contains the Word of God. It was never changed to fit science, it was written by many different people in different times, often about a hundred years apart and yet it all fits together as if one person had written it. Calling it all bull crap just lowers your moral standards. You have never felt the love of Christ before. I have experienced the things that He has done for me first hand. Even today. I had really bad diarea for the last few weeks. It only occurred on school days. Last night I prayed to Jesus to take it away so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain the next day. Guess what? I went a whole day free of diarea today. No pain nothing. One whole day free of it. Man did I feel good. Funny thing is, I’ve asked Jesus for certain important things in my life and He always came through for me. Why? Because I held my faith in Him the whole time. He saved my fish, He saved me, He helped my friend in finding the path to Christ, He helped me to stop sinning as much as possible, He’s helped me and my family countless times. I can’t just call this coincidence. Believe me when I say that Jesus Christ is there. I could never turn from Him. No matter what others say. I will never turn.
lol, you are the one who is absurd…you have told us nothing about anything…but nice opinion though!!!
Devon you’ve still got really bad diarea(sic)… of the verbal kind. Perhaps you should pray for some help with that as well?
Again your post is full of factual errors. Again you avoid any of the questions posed to you. Again you make wild statements with no basis in reason or logic.
A whole day ‘free of diarea’ is your proof of the existence of God? I’m sorry but I need just a little more evidence then that to convince me of an omnipotent all powerful God. A God who has the whole Universe to traverse and yet would prefer to spend his time worrying about how your bowl movements and stool consistency may be effecting your day…? okayyyy…
ps. I should have given up on this a long time ago, it’s an exercise in futility if I’ve ever seen one. Problem is I find it entertaining in a morbid train crash sort of way.
It wasn’t just a free day of diarea. And God does care about how my day goes and what can affect it. Same with anyone else. I’m sorry, but I’ve had too much experience with God to just throw away my beliefs because a few people believe that I’m being illogical or unreasonable. I’ve got more proof than that, as I have already shown you. Start researching the prophecy. The last bits of it may be beginning to come true if you believe what Bush said on TV. World War III my friend. I’m not saying that WWIII is gonna happen soon, I’m just saying that by the looks of it, it’s a possibility. I’ve also read more on the prophecy. Parts that were already fulfilled. The half an hour of silence in heaven between WWI and WWII. Read about it.
Prophecy: A piece of the prophecy in the Bible and more has been fulfilled to this day. Here we go back to World War 1 and World War 2. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6. THE FIRST WORLD WAR (WWI) which broke out in 1914 and ended in 1918 is the fulfillment of the wars foretold (“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.”) by our Lord Jesus Christ to herald that His second coming is near. — The war in 1914 was the very first war wherein many nations were involved and for the first time many people around the world heard news of wars or rumors of wars which was rapidly spread throughout the world — made possible with the use of the newly developed Radio Communication Equipment which was capable of making two-way communications in many parts of the world by using the newly invented Wireless Telephone Technology in 1898 and the Radio Telegraph Technology in 1903. Something else that World War 1 directly fulfilled was “for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Matthew 24:7. The prediction in that verse was also fulfilled by more of our natural disasters such as earthquakes. The two world wars, as foretold, would be followed by famines and pestilences and earthquakes in various places. – – – – The world’s deadliest famine killed an estimated 30 million people in Northern China in 1959-1961. Drought was followed by crop failure, which was followed by starvation, disease, and cannibalism. News of the famine was not revealed to the rest of the world until 1981, some 20 years later; – – – – The UN AIDS/WHO reported that a total of 20 million deaths from AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) from 1981 to 2003 and 39.4 millions more are infected and dying and a lot more are getting infected up to the present time; – – – – 20 million died of influenza or flu epidemic in 1918-1919 around the world; – – – – – and many of the world deadliest earthquakes occurred also during this time as in December 16, 1920 in China, Gansu – 200,000 deaths, September 1, 1923 in Japan, Kwanto – 143,000 deaths.
You like it? That’s my solid proof right there. Where’s yours? Your arsenal is empty. I’m immune to your words. In translation: You cannot shake my faith.
Another prediction was as follows. “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Revelation 8:1 and 2 Peter 3:8. The First World War ended in 1918 and after a peace of about 21 years the Second World War erupted in 1939, this is the fulfillment of the prophecy in the above verses.
Based on the above verses we compute the number of years as follows:
1 day = 1000 years
24 Hrs = 1000 years
1 Hr = 41.66 years
1/2 Hr. = 20.83 years
Therefore about half an hour = about 21 years.
20.83 x 2 = 41.66 x 24 = 999.98
Check out the following:
note: There may be some difficulty opening that file. I have it on my youos.com account and set the privacy settings so that everyone could see it without my account password.
Christianity is Wrong?
Is it because we serve the poor?
Is it because we believe there is hope for the world?
Is it because wer promote peace through out the world?
Is it because we have people who give up their time for others?
Is it because the religion is historical? It is Real.
Is it because we are accepting to all people?
(If someone is not, then they are not a true christian.)
The problem with Trevor Burrus’ list is that he is a literal reader of the bible. He needs to reread the bible and read iit contextualy (Read what the message is, not just the words.). You are right that Jesus has not returned. But Paul even said that we do not know when He will come again. Humans have been along for a long time. Why would God send his son down to earth twice in 2000 years? In the whole scheme of things, that is fairly close together. Also, God does care, that is why he gave us free will. Humans, being stupid, screwed it up. I know i accept other religions, I just do not agree with them. I do not tell people they are wrong. I just live my life as a good Christian and set an example. Everyone knows the Gospels are not all truth. The message of Jesus Christ and His teachings are the most important part of the Gospels.
When Christianity first started iout, it was called The Way. This is because it was the way of life that was important. Even When the early followers of The Way were being persacuted, they still committed charitable acts. The Way is a more fitting name than Christianity.
I guess I dont understand how you can be against people that are loving and caring. How you can say that Christianity is wrong because you read the Bible literally.
I don’t exactly see the point you’re trying to make with your list of “good” things that Christians do… It doesn’t really seem to be the answer to this post. A few points, however…
1. You don’t need to be a Christian to do good things. You don’t need to be a Christian to be accepting of others. (Sometimes it seems like you need to NOT be a Christian in order to do so). You do not need to be a Christian to sacrifice time for others. Being loving and caring toward others is not a product of the Bible and Christianity exclusively…
2. I’m not sure how versed you are on history, but Christians certainly DO NOT promote peace around the world. In fact, religion in general seems to be the major reason why the world is constantly in a state of conflict.
I appreciate that you were semi-polite in your response, which is lacking from a lot of other “Christians”… But again, I think you might attempt to reread Trevor’s original post… May I also point you to a comment he posted on July 23rd, 2007 at 7:00 pm… In response to “Joey”. He addresses the point you seem to be trying to argue. Thank you.
I finally decided to take a look at your evolution link. Even by the middling, paltry standards of most creationist clap-trap that link is wanting. Well, actually, it is just plain idiotic.
The most disheartening – yet expected – thing about the “arguments” presented on that page is how they fail to exhibit even a moderate understanding of the subject which they are attempting to refute. They impute evolution with claims that it does not make, and they extrapolate conclusions that evolution explicitly denies and refutes.
There is no reason to spend any time on an argument that spends no time on your own.
But, for some reason I must reiterate, evolution – its truth, half-truth, or outright falsity – has nothing to do with Christianity. My reasons do not mention evolution once. Christianity is not false because evolution is true. It is false because of…well…see above.
But, *sigh* let me try this again. Evolutionary theory is a fascinatingly replete field with exciting and controversial scholarship on all sides. Just like any scientific field, it is constantly in flux. And this is good. The challenges presented amongst scientists allow for an increasingly refined body of knowledge. Perhaps one day, like Newtonian physics, it will fall by the wayside. If so, it will be the procedural elements of science that will allow it to adjust.
Some of the challenges presented in that link are discussed by scientists. They discuss these issues constantly. But, they do it constructively and they don’t do it with you. Evolutionary science is highly volatile with many vehement disputes (i.e. Dawkins v. Gould) being hashed out daily. They publish papers back and forth, attacking the theories and evidence of one while offering their own in return. Via this method, evolution, in its short existence, has undergone radical changes in the constituency of theory. By the turn of the 20th century numerous scientists, who were previously vigorous champions of Darwin, were beginning to drift away and doubt the presence of a reliable mechanism through which evolution could take place. Airing these doubts in a respectable manner produced the modern neo-darwinian synthesis that still suffers from many holes.
But, once again, science and its supporters must address a world-view that is fundamentally unable to even understand the problem at hand. The religious mind constantly attacks science for not having all the answers. Apparently, to get this through to you we must treat you like the children you are behaving as. Take your fingers out of your ears and listen up:
SCIENCE DOESN’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. It is not supposed to. The fact that it doesn’t have all the answers is what makes it valuable. Anyone who comes to you and says “I have all the answers” is not only full of shit but they are a dangerous person who should not be admitted to rational, give and take, conversation.
Scientists will not discuss these objections with those who refuse to play by the rules. They SHOULD NOT discuss these objections with those who offer refutation – real or imagined – not in order to further humankind’s collaborative search for knowledge but to try and supplant the entire endeavor for their own be-all-end-all truth.
Until the religious mind accepts the alteration of their beliefs via a competitive, peer-reviewed, testable, reproducible, predictive process that strives for mutability, science will not accept alteration of its beliefs by an immutable, static “truth” that has not substantively changed in 2000+ years.
Many of the questions posed in that link have plausible answers that pass muster. Some do not. It is worth your while – at least in the interest of your own personal growth – to see what evolution’s explanation is for, say, how the first brightly colored fish emerged. There are answers that have been proffered. There are competing theories. There is competing evidence. And it is all very interesting. But you and your ilk have removed yourselves from this discussion in the name of a be-all-end-all “truth” that precludes your ability to play the game of “refining knowledge” like adults. Your “knowledge” is congenitally closed off from the ability to adjust and refine. This is the primary sin of the religious believer.
You’re all no better than children and we should treat you as such. Listen to Paul and put away your childish things.
Step out and explore. Take the mystery as inviting and wonderful.
The water’s fine.
Sorry Holly, but I was not trying to say that only Christians do the right thing. And I know that some people who call themselves “Christians” do not act as what I believe God has called all people to do. You are right also, that some people on this website who call themselves Christians are quite rude, and it is not helping my cause. I am ashamed that people who are Christians do not just promote it by their attitude and kindness. And again, I am sorry I made it seem like all people cannot do good, but it is a requirement for a Christian to be good. If you do not see a Christian doing good, then they should not call them selves with that title.
I see your point, with religion’s link to war. My opinion is that the violence occured because politics were mixed into religion. It is wrong to have a governments finger on religion. Even the Romans feared Christianity, in about the year 100 C.E. That is when Constantine capitalized on it and made the new religion his ally. This was the start of goverenment-religion connection. Once people saw how astray fom God’s message they were, the broke free of govenments. Some of the world today still has govenments and religion mixed, and these are the most troubled countries.
Again I am sorry. My last comment was not clear. I just want to say that that is what Christians stand for. The title: “10 Reasons Why Christianity is Wrong” bashes the religion. Not only what the Church believes but what we stand for. Trevor Burrus says that Christianity is wrong. My previous list was just asking him if he thought those things were wrong because that is what is Christianty stands for.
Thank you for your time.
I hope this helps claify you on my last comment.
“My previous list was just asking him if he thought those things were wrong because that is what is Christianty stands for.”
No. Again, my article is about why Christianity is not factually accurate. This boils down to, primarily, historical reasons. As I said above:
“No, my article was not “how Christianity degrades your life,” or “how atheism improves life” (I would point you to my partner’s articles on that matter “What Atheism Offers”). One day, perhaps, I will write those articles. For point of clarification, I do believe that being an atheist improves one’s life.
All of this is beside the point. I addressed many of these issues above in a post to “Joey” about the effects of a belief versus the truth of a belief. I point you there.
I also would like to point out the very odd fact that, when you back a Christian up against the wall with rational argumentation, biblical citation, historical probabilities, and philosophical considerations, they often move into a very odd form of counter-argument that is usually proffered with some sort of satisfied smirk and received with incredulous eyebrows. The argument boils down to; “well, it doesn’t matter if Christianity is TRUE it only matters if it is satisfying, self-improving and generally good.”
My only response is that I don’t think they actually believe this bizarre assertion. I am quite sure it matters intensely to Christians that Christianity is true. This should be the case with anything you believe. Otherwise, you need to stop believing it. Believing in the truth of your beliefs is simply tautological. If a belief creates the guiding framework through which you interpret your life, then the truth of that belief should be crucial.
If you honestly can tell me that you would believe in Christianity even if you knew it wasn’t true (an impossibility, but just accept the hypothetical) just because it makes you feel like a better person, then we can talk about judging it by its effects and not its truth. “
“SCIENCE DOESN’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS.”
I never said that science had all the answers and I don’t go against it because it doesn’t have all the answers. I go against it because many scientists think that they do have all the answers.
” The fact that it doesn’t have all the answers is what makes it valuable. Anyone who comes to you and says “I have all the answers” is not only full of shit but they are a dangerous person who should not be admitted to rational, give and take, conversation.”
Look who’s talking. Evolution has everything to deal with Christianity. Why? Because non of us Christians are blinded to the truth. We don’t get off easily. We do not believe to be self righteous holy people, that’s for the Lord to decide. Our good acts to not save us and cannot save us. That is because many of our “good” acts are not all that good. Do you think that after this is all over, you’re gonna stand up and say “GOD IS NOT REAL! CHRISTIANITY IS A BIG LIE!” Your post to debunk Christianity isn’t there for just Christianity. You’re trying to take down every other religion with it. I hate to break it to you, but, you’re the one living in a fantasy world. You’re the one making up lies. You have no self control. You’re playing on Satan’s ground and he’s using you like a little puppet. So, I say to you, good day and stop lying. You have not truly read the Bible or else you would know that we are not to set dates for Christ’s return.
No, I’m just talking about Christianity right now. Of course, many of the non-historical points also instigate other religions.
And you are wrong, you (Christians) do set dates for Jesus’ return.
Just a smattering. I don’t care if you don’t set dates. I didn’t write this article against you.
Apart from whether you believe I have “truly read the Bible” (whatever that means) every single one of those people linked above (and there could be SO many more, including Jesus, who thought he would return before the apostles died. Oops on that one) have read the Bible extensively and would be prepared to engage with you in long theological debates over minutiae. They would be fully prepared to shout you down and tell you that you are not a Christian who has read the Bible truly.
Man, for so many people to be convinced that they are right about this book and ready to die for it…it must be a really shitty book at making substantially clear and unambiguous claims. Worse even, if you can imagine, than Finnegan’s Wake.
Any claim that “the Bible is not ambiguous” is not only idiotic and ignorant, but it is obviously wrong. Ambiguity is only a matter of reception – in other words, whether a majority of people, or even a plurality, receive the same idea or message, general or specific, from a piece of information. If 6 people read an essay and 5 different interpretations are culled from it, then the essay is ambiguous. This is sufficient evidence to demonstrate ambiguity. With regards to the Bible, this question likewise is easily answered.
If you deigned to do a little historical research you would realize that, prior to the emergence of “orthodoxy” and a power structure that told everyone what the Bible means, there were wildly variant interpretations of the books of the Bible. Marcion of Sinope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcion) used the Gospel of Luke as justification for his dual-theistic, gnostic interpretation of Jesus.
When imagination was unencumbered by the weight of a received orthodoxy the limits of interpretation were truly astounding.
Look at “faith versus works.” Here is an unbelievably controversial debate that has seen numerous luminaries lining up on all sides of the issues. Martin Luther was so sure he was right, that faith alone justified salvation, that he actually expurgated the Epistle of James from his German translation of the Bible and placed it in the appendix. That’s some gall. But look at James 2:14, 24, and 26:
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? –You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only–? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Compare that to Romans chapter 1-8: Paul’s clearest explanation of justification through faith alone. Compare those to the parable of the goats and the sheep in Matthew 25:31-46 where those who are saved don’t even know Jesus, haven’t heard of them, but have been saved by their works. Paul, arguably, didn’t agree with Jesus.
Now, I don’t care which interpretation is correct, but I do find the entire thing maddeningly historically fascinating. Alas, I do not think it is possible to come up with a correct interpretation of a trans-historical book written by numerous people who didn’t know each other, speak the same language, or agree about even general propositions.
This stuff is just off the top of my head. A book about the ambiguities of the Bible and the varying interpretations would be substantially longer than the Bible itself. Clearly, if you think the Bible is direct and unambiguous……I say it because it is unavoidable….you are a fool whose basic rationality is being overcome by dogma.
Just chill out.
“And you are wrong, you (Christians) do set dates for Jesus’ return.”
True Christians don’t set dates or times for Jesus’ return. We have no idea when he is gonna return. We’re not allowed to do such things.
“Compare that to Romans chapter 1-8: Paul’s clearest explanation of justification through faith alone. Compare those to the parable of the goats and the sheep in Matthew 25:31-46 where those who are saved don’t even know Jesus, haven’t heard of them, but have been saved by their works. Paul, arguably, didn’t agree with Jesus.”
These were the people who never had the chance to get to know Jesus. Jesus will not save one of these people if they were to be evil as hell. But, he will save the ones that don’t know him but who did good and have good hearts. If you have a chance to get to know him but refuse, you will not be judged by your good works. For Christians, we cannot be judged by a good works because we have a chance to know him.
Did you look at the links? I’m saying that Christians DO set dates.
“The date October 22, 1844, was the date commonly accepted throughout the Millerite movement as the exact date of the anticipated return of Jesus”
“Barbour had predicted the visible return of Christ at 1873, and when that failed to occur, he revised the prediction to 1874.   Soon after Barbour’s second disappointment, his group decided Christ had returned invisibly to Earth in 1874”
And if you want to discount these as fringe groups – although they think you are equally wrong – fine. Here is the author of one of the, if not the, biggest selling book of the 80’s; Hal Lindsay
“Although Lindsey and Carlson did not claim to know the dates of future events with any certainty, in one passage they suggested that Matthew 24:32-34 indicated that Jesus’ return would be within “one generation” of the rebirth of the state of Israel, and asserted that “in the Bible” one generation is forty years. Some readers took this as an indication that the Tribulation or the Rapture would occur no later than 1988. That date is a substitution for the earlier date of February 1972 long hinted at by Armstrong.”
The book produced a cavalcade of Christians foaming at the mouth over an imminent end.
Again, this is just a smattering. The standard Christian practice has been to expect the imminent return of Christ for over 2000 years. You people have been wrong so many times it is pathetic. Jesus was wrong (Mark 9:1). Paul was wrong (1 Thess. 4:15). Matthew and Mark were wrong. Get over it already.
As for Faith v. Works: I have no desire to engage in a theological debate with you. Realize, however, that your convenient explanation covering all the bases, and ignoring Paul’s vehement position that works do not matter under any circumstances, is controverted with vigorous Biblical citation starting with Calvin and Luther. See Sola Fide; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_fide.
This level of dispute should make you take note. This is the consequence of trying to interpret an uninterpretable work because authority and dogma have told you that these books, collected together, mean something. They only mean something, if at all, individually. At no time did any writer of any book in the Bible believe they were contributing to a unified whole. Most likely, at no time was any writer of a Biblical book aware of all, or even most, the past and contemporary books that existed at the time of writing.
Any single Gospel writer – especially the later synoptics (Matthew and Luke) – would have been appalled at the inclusion of their work side by side with the others. Matthew and Luke intended their Gospels to replace Mark not be read with it. The John authors (there were almost certainly more than one; read, for example, the first ending of the older version at John 20:30) either were not familiar with the Synoptics or they thought they were totally wrong. Either way all the Gospels – including, most likely, Mark which updated a previous, now lost account of Jesus – were meant to stand alone and be conscious, intentional theological and conceptual updates of the material in Mark and Q. In other words, Matthew and Luke wrote their Gospels because they thought Mark didn’t get it right.
These kind of historical facts make reading the Bible as a thematically unified whole impossible. Again, this is off-the-top-of-my-head stuff and the extent to which such analysis can be done on the entire Bible would blow your mind.
Of course, in your hermetically sealed belief system that is afraid of exploration, you will never learn about these things. If your interest is piqued I would advise you to do a parallel study of the Gospels and see, exactly, how, when lined up side by side, the individual Gospels do not tell the same story. Even when they do tell the same story (i.e. Jesus’ baptism by John) they tell it different ways. Those differences are VERY important and, when Matthew and Luke vary from Mark, they are doing it because they think Mark is wrong.
And then you and your Christian brethren try to go back and figure out how Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are ALL right.
Ridiculous. You may as well go piss on Matthew and Luke’s graves. You could hardly sully them more.
Here is an exercise; try making a list of all the events and persons surrounding Matthew and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ birth for a start. You may be surprised.
But I doubt it. You won’t even try.
Im seriously disappointed, you seem like an intelligent enough person but those links you posted to ‘prove’ that Christians set dates… seriously dude.. you cannot lump the Millerite movement into Christianity, they have a completely different Theological belief system that differs VERY differently from say the Anglicans, Protestants and Catholic denominations.
Im sorry but they, along with the Jehovah Witnesses, are not denominations of the Christian religion. Im not going to argue with you on any other points though, mainly because i think it sad that some one who feels that they hate the way Christians always think they are right and try push their ideas on other people is doing exactly the same thing. Leave it alone. If people want to be Christians so be it, you dont contribute to any sort of rational dialog (as is proved by some of the replys to this article)
I think you should re think your argument, and id like to suggest that you have a problem with the Christian religion, or in other words the institution of the church rather than the belief in God its self.
Read and reply to my post about the prophecy, then perhaps you’ll see why I believe it.
“Did you look at the links? I’m saying that Christians DO set dates.”
And I’m saying that true Christians DON’T set dates. Geeze! If you want to pick on us, at least get something right.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke are all different people. They wrote things down a little differently, but, they all are in harmony with one another. They all write on different parts of history, not the exact same parts of it.
Do You Believe that Evolution is True?
If so, then provide an answer to the following questions. “Evolution” in this context is the idea that
natural, undirected processes are sufficient to account for the existence of all natural things.
1.Something from nothing?
The “Big Bang”, the most widely accepted theory of the beginning of the universe, states that
everything developed from a small dense cloud of subatomic particles and radiation which
exploded, forming hydrogen (and some helium) gas. Where did this energy/matter come
from? How reasonable is it to assume it came into being from nothing? And even if it did
come into being, what would cause it to explode?
We know from common experience that explosions are destructive and lead to disorder.
How reasonable is it to assume that a “big bang” explosion produced the opposite effect –
increasing “information”, order and the formation of useful structures, such as stars and
planets, and eventually people?
2.Physical laws an accident?
We know the universe is governed by several fundamental physical laws, such as
electromagnetic forces, gravity, conservation of mass and energy, etc. The activities of our
universe depend upon these principles like a computer program depends upon the existence
of computer hardware with an instruction set. How reasonable is it to say that these great
controlling principles developed by accident?
3.Order from disorder?
The Second Law of Thermodynamics may be the most verified law of science. It states that
systems become more disordered over time, unless energy is supplied and directed to create
order. Evolutionists says that the opposite has taken place – that order increased over time,
without any directed energy. How can this be?
ASIDE: Evolutionists commonly object that the Second Law applies to closed, or isolated
systems, and that the Earth is certainly not a closed system (it gets lots of raw energy from the
Sun, for example). However, all systems, whether open or closed, tend to deteriorate. For
example, living organisms are open systems but they all decay and die. Also, the universe in
total is a closed system. To say that the chaos of the big bang has transformed itself into the
human brain with its 120 trillion connections is a clear violation of the Second Law.
We should also point out that the availability of raw energy to a system is a necessary but far
from sufficient condition for a local decrease in entropy to occur. Certainly the application of a
blow torch to bicycle parts will not result in a bicycle being assembled – only the careful
application of directed energy will, such as from the hands of a person following a plan. The
presence of energy from the Sun does NOT solve the evolutionist’s problem of how
increasing order could occur on the Earth, contrary to the Second Law.
4.Information from Randomness?
Information theory states that “information” never arises out of randomness or chance events.
Our human experience verifies this every day. How can the origin of the tremendous increase
in information from simple organisms up to man be accounted for? Information is always
introduced from the outside. It is impossible for natural processes to produce their own actual
information, or meaning, which is what evolutionists claim has happened. Random typing might
produce the string “dog”, but it only means something to an intelligent observer who has
applied a definition to this sequence of letters. The generation of information always requires
intelligence, yet evolution claims that no intelligence was involved in the ultimate formation of a
human being whose many systems contain vast amounts of information.
5.Life from dead chemicals?
Evolutionists claim that life formed from non-life (dead chemicals), so-called “abiogenesis”,
even though it is a biological law (“biogenesis”) that life only comes from life. The probability
of the simplest imaginable replicating system forming by itself from non-living chemicals has
been calculated to be so very small as to be essentially zero – much less than one chance in
the number of electron-sized particles that could fit in the entire visible universe! Given these
odds, is it reasonable to believe that life formed itself?
6.Complex DNA and RNA by chance?
The continued existence (the reproduction) of a cell requires both DNA (the “plan”) and RNA
(the “copy mechanism”), both of which are tremendously complex. How reasonable is it to
believe that these two co-dependent necessities came into existence by chance at exactly the
7.Life is complex.
We know and appreciate the tremendous amount of intelligent design and planning that went
into landing a man on the moon. Yet the complexity of this task pales in comparison to the
complexity of even the simplest life form. How reasonable is it to believe that purely natural
processes, with no designer, no intelligence, and no plan, produced a human being.
8.Where are the transitional fossils?
If evolution has taken place our museums should be overflowing with the skeletons of
countless transitional forms. Yet after over one hundred years of intense searching only a small
number of transitional candidates are touted as proof of evolution. If evolution has really taken
place, where are the transitional forms? And why does the fossil record actually show all
species first appearing fully formed, with most nearly identical to current instances of the
ASIDE: Most of the examples touted by evolutionists concentrate on just one feature of the
anatomy, like a particular bone or the skull. A true transitional fossil should be intermediate in
many if not all aspects. The next time someone shows you how this bone changed over time,
ask them about the rest of the creature too!
Many evolutionists still like to believe in the “scarcity” of the fossil record. Yet simple statistics
will show that given you have found a number of fossil instances of a creature, the chances
that you have missed every one of its imagined predecessors is very small. Consider the
trilobites for example. These fossils are so common you can buy one for under $20, yet no
fossils of a predecessor have been found!.
9.Could an intermediate even survive?
Evolution requires the transition from one kind to another to be gradual. And don’t forget that
“natural selection” is supposed to retain those individuals which have developed an advantage
of some sort. How could an animal intermediate between one kind and another even survive
(and why would it ever be selected for), when it would not be well-suited to either its old
environment or its new environment? Can you even imagine a possible sequence of small
changes which takes a creature from one kind to another, all the while keeping it not only
alive, but improved?
ASIDE: Certainly a “light-sensitive spot” is better than no vision at all. But why would such a
spot even develop? (evolutionists like to take this for granted). And even if it did develop, to
believe that mutations of such a spot eventually brought about the tremendous complexities of
the human eye strains all common sense and experience.
10.Reproduction without reproduction?
A main tenet of evolution is the idea that things develop by an (unguided) series of small
changes, caused by mutations, which are “selected” for, keeping the “better” changes” over a
very long period of time. How could the ability to reproduce evolve, without the ability to
reproduce? Can you even imagine a theoretical scenario which would allow this to happen?
And why would evolution produce two sexes, many times over? Asexual reproduction would
seem to be more likely and efficient!
ASIDE: To relegate the question of reproduction to “abiogenesis” does NOT address the
problem. To assume existing, reproducing life for the principles of evolution to work on is a
HUGE assumption which is seldom focused on in popular discussions.
11.Plants without photosynthesis?
The process of photosynthesis in plants is very complex. How could the first plant survive
unless it already possessed this remarkable capability?
12.How do you explain symbiotic relationships?
There are many examples of plants and animals which have a “symbiotic” relationship (they
need each other to survive). How can evolution explain this?
13.It’s no good unless it’s complete.
We know from everyday experience that an item is not generally useful until it is complete,
whether it be a car, a cake, or a computer program. Why would natural selection start to
make an eye, or an ear, or a wing (or anything else) when this item would not benefit the
animal until it was completed?
ASIDE: Note that even a “light-sensitive spot” or the simplest version of any feature is far
from a “one-jump” change that is trivial to produce.
How can evolution explain the metamorphosis of the butterfly? Once the caterpillar evolves
into the “mass of jelly” (out of which the butterfly comes), wouldn’t it appear to be “stuck”?
15.It should be easy to show evolution.
If evolution is the grand mechanism that has produced all natural things from a simple gas,
surely this mechanism must be easily seen. It should be possible to prove its existence in a
matter of weeks or days, if not hours. Yet scientists have been bombarding countless
generations of fruit flies with radiation for several decades in order to show evolution in action
and still have only produced … more (deformed) fruit flies. How reasonable is it to believe that
evolution is a fact when even the simplest of experiments has not been able to document it?
ASIDE: The artificial creation of a new species is far too small of a change to prove that true
“macro-evolution” is possible. A higher-order change, where the information content of the
organism has been increased should be showable and is not. Developing a new species
changes the existing information, but does not add new information, such as would be needed
for a new organ, for example.
16.Complex things require intelligent design folks!
People are intelligent. If a team of engineers were to one day design a robot which could
cross all types of terrain, could dig large holes, could carry several times its weight, found its
own energy sources, could make more robots like itself, and was only 1/8 of an inch tall, we
would marvel at this achievement. All of our life’s experiences lead us to know that such a
robot could never come about by accident, or assemble itself by chance, even if all of the
parts were available laying next to each other. And we are certain beyond doubt that a
canister of hydrogen gas, no matter how long we left it there or what type of raw energy we
might apply to it, would never result in such a robot being produced. But we already have
such a “robot” – it is called an “ant”, and we squash them because they are “nothing”
compared to people. And God made them, and he made us. Can there be any other
(The preceeding information was derived from the Creation Science Institute. )
“Get over it already.”
That’s what I should be saying to you.
I do have a fundamental problem with Christianity. I couldn’t care less whether some deistic god exists – some force responsible for the origination of the universe.
What I do care about are Christians whose belief becomes an excuse and justification for their ignorance. As I’ve said numerous times on this page in numerous ways; “This article is about Christianity; only Christianity”
You sure pulled a zinger of an attack out of the hat when you said: “id like to suggest that you have a problem with the Christian religion, or in other words the institution of the church rather than the belief in God its self.”
No shit. Really?!?
And then you had this gem: “And I’m saying that true Christians DON’T set dates. Geeze! If you want to pick on us, at least get something right.”
Get something right? The only thing I can pull out of this little kernel of fluff is that what I need to “get right” is to understand that you represent “true christianity” and when I attack it I need to only attack your, and presumably your denomination’s, beliefs.
I’m sorry for being mislead. Thank you for informing me that I should direct all questions and concerns to the “true Christian” in the room. I apologize for doubting that you, your denomination and those you parrot are the only conglomeration and prior tradition that has interpreted the Bible correctly for 2000 years.
EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN BELIEVES THIS ABOUT THEIR PARTICULAR VERSION OF CHRISTIANITY.
Evidently, though, you must be the one who is right. Forgive me if I’m incredulous. When the same bullshit continually fills my ears I’ll eventually break out the earplugs.
Because I don’t hold myself to be a paradigm of “true christianity” and because I don’t take such self-affirmations as having any weight, my eyesight extends beyond the end of my nose and I look at the entire gamut of Christian belief.
All of this is aside from the fact that you conveniently ignored my mention of Hal Lindsay, author of the biggest selling book of the 70’s, who does not represent a “faction” or a “fringe group.”
And then this drivel: “Matthew, Mark, and Luke are all different people. They wrote things down a little differently, but, they all are in harmony with one another.”
Wow you sure explained away 200 years of Biblical scholarship in a nice little bit of piffle. There is no way to even respond to this gainsaying conclusion that has no argumentation behind it. I point out glaring inconsistencies throughout this page and the best you can muster is equivalent to “UH, UH! IS NOT!”
And then you come back AGAIN with evolution. And once again you show your true parroting skills by reposting another’s shitty argument.
You consistently skirt past my concrete points about Christianity and try to bring this debate to a cosmological level. Apparently your asinine contention is “if evolution is wrong; Christianity is right.”
Okay, jeez, you win. I totally agree. I’m sorry for ever doubting you. Evolution is totally bullshit. I mean, c’mon, everything from one cell, something from nothing, life from death?!? This is as kooky as it gets.
When was the last time you threw a bunch of wood up in the air and it came down a house? When was the last time a tornado went through a junk yard and produced a 747? No one has observed even a tiny bit of the levels of evolution that they claim to have happened and they still call it science?
Science is about observation. It is about testable hypotheses that can be observed to be true. Until someone sees a lizard change into a bird evolution is no less a fantasy – a “just-so story” – than the creation myths of the Greeks or the Egyptians.
Intelligent Design, however, is not such a myth. It is the simple contention that designed things need designers. This is a contention that we have constantly scientifically verified and we are able to personally verify every single day. It may very well be the hypothesis in the world for which there is the greatest amount of scientific proof. And what do you offer in return? “Um..jeez…like, we think this probably happened in the past and this sounds like a good story about monkeys changing into men but we’ve never seen it and we don’t have any fossils except a tooth and the top of a skull.”
Are you serious?!? Game. Set. Match. You lose.
Intelligent design, rather than evolution, is the true science. What is justifiably “science” is not what “scientists” believe. They are a bunch of godless secular humanists churned out by the greatest device ever devised for the creation of godless secular humanists; the modern university. Their belief is the orthodoxy – the propaganda – of a self segregating community who are afraid of God and categorically refuse to listen to any contention that leaves any room for Him.
Check your facts and you will see this is true. However, you won’t find these facts in any “university published” tome because they refuse to publish anything that even slightly goes against the evolutionist viewpoint. And we are the close-minded religion?
Reality-check evolutionists. Open your minds a little, your eyes a smidgen, and you might just see a light.
Okay. Now that I’ve kicked evolution a new asshole. Now that I’ve said it better than either you or any of your pathetic re-posts have said it (with my luck that passage will be reposted on a Christian site). Now that I’ve totally come over to your side and bowed down to you on the creationist issue, I have only one question to ask:
Why is Christianity true?
(I’ll get to your prophecy argument. First, I want to ask you, do you believe the prophecies of Nostradamus are, or have been, accurate?)
Screw this. I’m just wasting my time on you atheists. I hope you enjoy your life without the sense that this isn’t the end. Go ahead, bash Christianity. You’re not gonna get anything out of it. Just some pissed off Christians. Good luck with life.
You are correct on number three, but wrong on everything else. The Bible is all true. Take the flood for example. It did happen. And if you belive that it’s not true, Aztecs have recorded that a giant flood happened in their time as well. Many other religions also have recorded a giant flood. If you want to test me, just E-Mail me at MageLeif@Yahoo.com. And here is a message to ALL ATHEISTS! Since you have no religion, you have no chance of life after death. Why not just take up Christianity so you would at least have a chance? Some chance is better than no chance, you know. So just try it.
First of all, I am super-glad I found this web site. It’s been enlightening reading all these posts. It’s about 3:00AM here and I may just be delirious, but I thought I might add my two cents.
I cannot but help feel remorse for all those that were brainwashed at an early age. I was fortunate enough NOT to have any type of religion shoved down my throat by my parents or anybody else. They allowed me to see the various religions for what they were once I was mature enough to make a decision for myself. It is my suggestion that future generations follow their lead. This way, people really will have free will.
And as for Christianity… it is my opinion that the universe is far too complex, beautiful, vast, and perfect in its imperfection for something as simple-minded and absurd as Christianity to be the ‘divine answer’ for human beings.
For me, the answer is and has always been the perfect balance and connection within nature. The ‘divine answer’ is, quite literally, the universe and everything in it. We are already connected (without the need for a supreme being). We are just separate parts of a whole. All religions are… too focused on humanity being some all-important element of the universe. Aren’t we all just temporary life forms that turn back into dirt after a period of time… Aren’t we just recycled energy? Isn’t that perfect enough? An endless cycle of time and experience.
It is my belief that people wish to give importance and purpose to their lives through religion. It is a sad cycle that will never end because of the stubborness of those that have been brainwashed. It seems like they should try to give importance or meaning to their own life through that of their children… I am sorry to say, but we don’t matter. Our children don’t matter. It is what we do, change, accomplish, learn, and remember that has importance.
I didnt read the last few posts and I didn’t know this discussion became so heated. Evolution schmevolution. How do Christians argue the dinosaurs? Man will be wiped out one day too… and then, something will come after us. History repeats. <–fact
dinosaurs could have been created before people the bible never says that humans were Gods first creation.
So an Atheists point of view on the world is that nothing matters? How do Atheists belive that we all got here? Do Atheists belive in Reincarnation (where when you die, you randomly become someone else)? Or when you die, you cease to exist and that’s it, no more you? Something else that I am wondering, are there ANY Chrisitans that visit this site and post replies, or am I the only one? And most Christians won’t get pissed if they read what’s on this site, they will just try to prove that evolution is wrong and Christianity is right. The Bible isn’t the only thing that proves Christianity is right, even the Muslism’s Quar’an proves somewhat that Christianity is right, even if they don’t know it.
so what do atheists have to say to that?
One other thing, people that say Christianity is wrong because it has been 2000 years (2007 years now actually) and Jesus hasn’t arrived back on Earth. Well here are two facts that counter-act that. The Bible didn’t actually say when Jesus will be back. It said he will come “Like a thief in the night.” Nobody actually knows when he will come. The other thing is that even if Jesus said that he will be back after 2000 years, he would have most likley said it right before he was nailed on the cross, which is around the year 30. If he said he would be back 2000 years later, that means he would be back sometime around the year 2030. If the current year is 2007, that means there are still 23 more years left to go.
If you read the responses you will see, what I would guess, is a majority of Christian responses.
And yes, in the sense that you desire, in the sense that something can “mean something” and that things “matter,” you are right; nothing really matters. The universe doesn’t care or make care and value “true.”
Oh, and Steven, you are correct. People were not the first things God created, they were the last. After God made the birds, trees, animals, ect., he needed something, or somebody to care for all of it. So he created humans. That was on the sixth day of creation. The seventh day was the day God did nothing, he just rested. This was where Saturday came in. He commanded Adam (the human he created) to rest on the seventh day (Saturday).
This is an awesome, textbook example of the amazing mental gymnastics, shitty reasoning, and horrible logic that Christians perform all the time.
Thanks for posting it.
That wasn’t the point though, Jesus didn’t say he would come back in 2000 years. I’m just saying that if he DID say that, he wouldn’t be back right now anyway.
Jesus also said no one would know the time or the hour so if you guess you would be wrong because then if it happend you would know and because he said no one than your guess will always be wrong
so no comment do i have you stumped well whats taking so long
First of all, it is wrong to assume that ALL aethiests share a common view about life after death. Another thing to note is that I do not consider myself an aethiest. However, I do not recognize the “Christian” view of God the same way I do not recognize Zeus as a God. It’s just silly to personify something like that.
If a “God” does exist, I would guess it is merely an impartial power (probably pure energy) that animates the universe. The difference between life and death is animation (anima, spirit). So, by this logic, I believe that once we die… we do just that. Though our energy does not disappear, it just goes into something else. As for life after death; it seems to me an pleasant, romantic, unlikely thought.
As an animal – same as all the others – our brain is the center for our memories and personality (FACT). Once the brain is gone… essentially… we are gone. Just look at people who have amnesia. They change completely, but it doesn’t matter to them because they don’t remember anyway. What do they end up like in heaven; how they were before or after the amnesia? We are shaped by the experience of life, and there is no reason to believe that once we are left as skeletons, our brain is replicated exactly in heaven (especially if is it only our soul that ends up there).
I was also thinking about evolution the other night and thought that the reason we cannot find any links is because there are simply too many variables. The pressures of earth and the passage of time do not wipe away the evidence, but it is possible that it is made discernable. The similarities between all animals are far too apparent to believe that we are not somehow related (probably through a common ancestor).
Anyway, here is some food for thought: Because we do not have an after-life, we should do good and live full lives. We only get one shot and if people are good to each other, the quality of life improves for everybody. Simple. It is obvious that the natural world in unfair, but it is also clear that human beings have some sense of morality and justice. Why not make the world a better place for everybody, rather than just those of your particular religion? That is why everything matters. That is why “it is what we do, change, accomplish, learn, and remember that has importance.” But those things are different for everybody. E=MC^2
I’m making a quick comment about one of Trevor Burrus’ posts. He cited “wikipedia.org” as a creditable website. Just to let you know. That is a completely inaccurate website. In most schools across the nation, we are not allowed to use wikipedia because it is so inaccurate. Anyone can get on the pages and change them.
Wikipedia is accurate about most things and tons of information can be found there. It is unfortunate that the schools across the nation do not yet see the potential for educational research on the internet. Someday it will be replacing libraries. It contains everything books can and then some. The trick is not finding information, it is sorting the good from the bad.
Anyway; in reference to the question, “where does life come from,” I learned somewhere during my education that life most certainly comes from the energy of the sun in conjunction with other factors. It just so happens that sometimes our planet has a hospitable environment and sometimes it does not.
Take a look at the Miller-Urey Experiment. This experiment proves that basic organic monomers (ex. amino acids) can be formed from inorganic precursors (ex. hydrogen, methane). Later, Sydney W. Fox’s experiments prove that amino acids could spontaneously form small peptides. These peptides, in turn, could then form closed spherical membranes (essentially protein spheres that could grow and reproduce). And this is just one theory, but it is an idea more plausable then the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent ‘being’ that has an incredible amount contradiction built directly into the concept.
But seriously, what seems more likely? The extremely slow (millions of years) and gradual development of an increasingly complex system of cells into a biological organism or the instantaneous conception, development (without error), and implementation of hundreds of thousands of species by a supercreator for the purpose of his/her/its amusement?
Here is one of the contradictions that I would like explained to me: God is all-knowing. God is all-powerful. God is good. Correct so far? If he/she/it is all-knowing and all-powerful, what is the point of creation? What is the point of life? What is the point of being good? Why is God “good” and not impartial? What is the point of praying? What is the point of learning? According to this hypotheses, hasn’t it ALL already been done/chosen for us? To me, it seems to give life less meaning than if God were more of an impartial, unknowing, almost unaware force of the universe.
I think a fundamental mistake of Christianity is the belief that human beings are a cut above the rest. What about dolphins? They, too, are self-aware and extremely intelligent. But they don’t count, do they? Human beings are no more special than the shoes they wear. That seems like common sense to me.
intresting but i still have yet to see my answer replied to so …. Jesus also said no one would know the time or the hour so if you guess you would be wrong because then if it happend you would know and because he said no one than your guess will always be wrong
and we do use the internet for reserch but we cant use wikkipidia because i could go in and change anything i wanted regarding any one or any thing that is why we are not alowed to use it .
Also in my mind it seems less likely that we evolved from a protein over millions of years and more likely that we were created by an all knowing perfect God instantaneously without error not to mention there is a lot of evedence that the world is not millions of years old.
Your show unbelievable temerity in insisting that I respond immediately to your posts lest I concede your points.
Let me tell you right now that many things I will not deign to dignify with a response. I am not going to encourage your continued ignorance by implying that you have worthwhile, informed ideas by pretending to respond on the merits. Your comment about the evidence against the age of the Earth tips your ignorant hand. You can take this however you wish. You can regard me as unforgivably arrogant and elitist and you can regard yourself as informed. You, of course, will do just that.
But I am here to tell you that, by any meaningful objective test, I almost assuredly know far more about these topics than you. What is more meaningful is that I know more about your side than you yourself do. Think about that for a moment. Again, presumptive, but I’ll wager high on this bet any time.
That being said; if you would like to get into a discussion of the Biblical significance of your quoted passage (Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36) I am more than willing. However, since I would guess that you know little about this topic, that you take the Bible at face value, that you believed the Bible was 100% true before you read it, I would, therefore, not find the discussion very illuminating.
Let this suffice: the passage you quote may have a significant probability of relating back to actual words spoken by the historical Jesus. The most accurate formulation, as is often the case, is probably in the Gospel of Mark. If you look two verses prior, Mk. 13:30, you will see another significant line: “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” In short, these two lines are not incompatible. Jesus thought the end times were coming very shortly. However, the exact time was unclear.
As I say in my essay, which I can only assume you glanced at or didn’t read: “One can only understand the earliest Christians / the generation immediately following Jesus’ death / as a group who were expecting Jesus to return at any moment (I Thess 4:15-17). Why did they believe this? Because, on more than one occasion, Jesus unequivocally said so (Mark 9:1, Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:30).”
This is a very common – probably the majority – scholarly opinion about early Christianity. It is one that I share. Attempts to explain away the delay of the parousia (the second coming) predominate the formation of Christian dogma.
Aside from the historical considerations look at what you are saying for just a second: “so if you guess you would be wrong because then if it happend you would know and because he said no one than your guess will always be wrong.” Pull your mind out of the quagmire created by Christian bullshit (this is a clinical example of bullshit, whatever the source) and think for a moment. Your claim amounts to, “because you’re right, you’re wrong,” and, “if you were right then you’d be wrong,” which necessarily entails, “the fact that you’re wrong is evidence for the fact that you were right.” A lot of bullshit travels in forms similar to this. You would do yourself good to learn to recognize it.
Also, your attempt to indict wikipedia is misguided and weak. Nick is right in pointing out that wikipedia is very accurate and, what it suffers in accuracy, it more than makes up in breadth. Either way, wikipedia is never been my original source for any argument in which I cite to it. The facts come from elsewhere and I simply add a link to wikipedia to allow you to see for yourself. So, in some sense, I’ve done my own study of wikipedia’s accuracy by checking to see if it aligns with knowledge I already learned elsewhere. It does.
Once again, well said. I whole heartedly agree that wikipedia is an excellent starting point for any person looking to do some research. By in large the important stuff on it is quite accurate. I must ask however, in relation to replying to these posts, do you feel like your banging your head against a brick wall? I seem to get this feeling every time I come to this page…
You go edit wikipedia and see how fast your edit is corrected and then your account banned if you should persist with inaccurate posts…
and as far as the American school system having any clue what so ever about anything at all let alone about anything on the internetz, LOL!
If you think about it, it does not seem very likley that according to evolution, there was over a 1 in 1 billion chance of humans evolving from whatever scientists say we evolved from. Also, if our Earth was just a little bit closer or farther away from the sun, we would either melt or freeze to death. How can you NOT come to a conclusion that some intelligent creator did all of this?
ok so were in a never ending battle so lets tune down the harsh persion bashing and just focus on the topic, but i will tell you that i do not belive the bible is flawless because it was in fact written by man so because man is not perfect the bible must contain some flaws but that dose not mean i value the information it has in it
and i pearsonaly use wikkipidia but that is why the school system dose not
“Anyway, here is some food for thought: Because we do not have an after-life, we should do good and live full lives. We only get one shot and if people are good to each other, the quality of life improves for everybody.” ——–Nick
What I wonder, is that why do the people that belive their is no after-life think they should do good and make everyone’s lifes better on Earth? How come they take it this way? What if they took it in the wrong way and thought the only reason they were put on Earth was to live with all the pain and suffering? If they thought that, then they would all go insane and become serial killers or rapists or something like that. Now I don’t hate people that think that. I think it’s great that they are all selfless and think of others to improve the living conditions on Earth (at least if this is true according to Nick). But I just think it’s sad that if all these people do good deeds, they deserve some kind of eternal reward. Does anyone else agree with me?
i am curious on what you think the value of Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 is.
i am curious on what you think the value of Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 is.
“If you look two verses prior, Mk. 13:30, you will see another significant line: “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” In short, these two lines are not incompatible. Jesus thought the end times were coming very shortly. However, the exact time was unclear.” ——Trevor Burrus
It was commonly believed that Jesus was going to return in just a few years.
Matthew 24:32-34  “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.  I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
This is the primary reason. At the time, Christians didn’t realize that the “this generation” here refers to the last generation before Christ’s return, not the Apostles’ generation. As Christians started dying, Paul specifically had to address this, e.g., in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, (one of the two major passages describing “The Rapture”) the earliest book of the New Testament. (James may have been earlier.)
As time passed, the generation that personally knew Jesus began to die off and Jesus still had not returned. Christians began to realize that by the end of the century there would be nobody left alive who had known Jesus, and that rumors and fabrications would gradually become the norm. Therefore, various Christians began to write the stories down, ultimately leading to today’s New Testament.
You guys are so smart but so lost.
this is true jesus did say that :
I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened
but in the other verses Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 it states:
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
wich states neather the son so jesus himself did not know so he could not known that this genaration will not pass until all of these things have happend.
“i am curious on what you think the value of Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 is.”
I don’t understand the question.
Also, I don’t want to argue about either the teleological argument or the cosmological argument. The level of discussion that those topics warrant is not a level on which I have the time or inclination to engage with you. Suffice it to say that there is an amazing amount of literature on the anthropic principle that is worth exploring.
I will concede all of these points for the sake of argument: okay, the universe needs a cause; okay, the universe was designed.
These questions are larger than Christianity. Christianity only represents a small subset of the various ways that humans have answered these questions.
My article is about why Christianity is wrong. Not about why the universe wasn’t designed or caused.
So, why is Christianity right?
Ah. Never heard of the Anthropic Principle, thanks for opening more doors for me. I am on a path of discovery myself.
Anyway, I still have not read a single argument on this thread that gives even a little more substance to Christianity. Seems like Trevor has you all stumped. You should re-read his 10 reasons again… then take some time to let it sink in.
“CHRISTIANITY: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree– yeah, makes perfect sense.”
~This is going down as one of my favorite quotes of all-time.
Hey, whether you believe in Christianity or not doesn’t make it go away.
Hey, whether you believe in Christianity or not doesn’t make it go away. Jesus is still coming back whether you like it or not.
I just hope and pray you all will be ready. I pray that you all will find your way to God because you need him. We all need him. With out God, we wouldn’t even be here. Jesus loves you and so do I. Why wouldnt you want to accept someone who has done nothing but good for you? You can’t even help you. Only God can, the creator of the world, the lover of your soul that you try to fill with other things like education or material gain. God is the very air you breath and he is so amazing. Why won’t you give God a chance? He gave you one by waking you up today. Or did you think you woke yourself up? Don’t decieve yourselves. And remember God is not mocked. Try Jesus and I promise you won’t be dissappointed. And promises are not to be broken.
Wow PollyP, brings a tear to my fucking eye.
Anyone else converted?
Damn….that’s just what I needed. Apparently I didn’t realize that “God is so amazing,” “Jesus loves me,” and “God loves my soul.” I also didn’t realize that God woke me up this morning. I thought it was my dog vomiting on my bed.
This is the type if unbelievable bullshit that approaches intolerability. This poster actually believes, after reading – or at least glancing at – the thousands of words I’ve written on the problems with Christianity’s claims, that this little “pick me up” was all I needed.
no what you need is Jesus.
I also need to reply to this one:
“At the time, Christians didn’t realize that the “this generation” here refers to the last generation before Christ’s return, not the Apostles’ generation. As Christians started dying, Paul specifically had to address this, e.g., in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, (one of the two major passages describing “The Rapture”) the earliest book of the New Testament. (James may have been earlier.)
As time passed, the generation that personally knew Jesus began to die off and Jesus still had not returned. Christians began to realize that by the end of the century there would be nobody left alive who had known Jesus, and that rumors and fabrications would gradually become the norm. Therefore, various Christians began to write the stories down, ultimately leading to today’s New Testament.”
A perfect example of the self-reinforcing and suspect view of history in which Christians excel.
Okay, this would be one interpretation. This, of course, would be the interpretation that you would choose because it puts your beliefs in the most illuminating and justifying light.
The simpler and cogent explanation is that Jesus was full of shit. Isn’t that better? Doesn’t that make everything simple and easy? No tenets of reason to be sodomized, no absurdities to be believed, no sharks to be jumped. It’s very simple; he was wrong.
In the subsequent years immediately following Jesus, first century Christians backpedaled to maintain their belief systems in the face of overwhelmingly disconfirming evidence. This is a common trait that all humans share. We will countenance any absurdity to continue believing that we are competent and good; to continue believing that we are the person we want to be and that we want others think of us as.
Guess what: you, and almost every Christian on this thread, are doing this right now. I’m quite sure that early Christians engaged in back-breaking mental gymnastics to explain away their inconsistencies because I see the same behavior in Christians all around me — not to mention the behavior of many other “true believers.” (Yes, the same criticism can certainly be levied against me – although I couldn’t be characterized as a “true believer” – and I accept that factor of my humanity. At all moments I try hard to be aware of these self-serving foibles of reason.)
Now seriously, how can you, in good conscience, interpret “this generation,” when spoken to the apostles, as meaning “the generation immediately prior to Jesus’ return?” Did you attend the P.T. Barnum School of Chicanery and Bafflegab? Will you sell me the Brooklyn Bridge? Furthermore, “the generation immediately prior to Jesus’ return” being the “this generation” that will not pass away, as intended by Jesus, is a necessary truth. If Jesus returns the generation at the time is supposed to say, “look, we haven’t passed away! Jesus was right the entire time!” Again, do you have a 6-headed cow you want to show me? Christianity has excelled at turning falsifiable, and falsified, beliefs into non-falsifiable ones.
As said previously, accepting that Jesus was wrong will save you a lot of effort in trying to explain the inexplicable. It is hard enough to explain the explicable. I suggest you choose your battles.
It is moderately accurate to say that, “rumors and fabrications would gradually become the norm. Therefore, various Christians began to write the stories down, ultimately leading to today’s New Testament.” However, the rumors and fabrications made it into the New Testament. Christians of all types — “various Christians,” although not in the sense you intended — were writing down Gospels, epistles, apocalypses, and stories that were designed to demonstrate the truth and reliability of their interpretation. Paul’s name was constantly used in forgery attempts in order to obtain justification. Tertullian tells a story of catching a student signing Paul’s name to a letter that is now third Corinthians. Third Corinthians is a known, and still existing, forgery (it is worth a read too). But, unquestionably, some of those forgeries made it into the Bible: Titus, Timothy I and II for sure; probably Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians as well.
Your words – your book – that you base your belief upon have been corrupted a hundred times over. And not just by issues of translation. That factor, problematic as it may be, is just a drop in the bucket. The corruptions due to forgery, power struggles, and willful misrepresentation (just a smattering) are more than enough to give any sane person pause.
And sanity is good.
As far as why you should believe in God and not Zeus and others, here’s why.
1. If God is not real and the world was created by chance, then there is no meaning in the world, thus we as humans are meaningless,and you may as well die.
2. What is the point of life then? not living, but life?
3. We know that religions contradict one another and although there are many other religions with things such as prophecies and promises, none of them are as correct as seen in the Bible. the old testament was written hundreds of years before the new testament. yet, there are many prophocies about Jesus in the old.
4. as a christian i believe that jesus is very god. he controls everything. just saying this isnt enough though. i can back it up with many miracles Jesus performed in the bible, such as raising the dead, turning water into wine, himself rising from the dead, healing the blind. i saw my own brother get saved and witnessed a life changed. These miracles have been found to be true and reliable. therefore we can believe him.
5. because jesus died, was crucified, in full view of all the people of his time and his executioners, AND he rose again in three days. his ENTIRE body rose again. in no other religion did this happen or can it happen, not with buddha, muhammed, or even zeus. god has all power in his hand. Why trust some one who can be brought down with death when you can trust someone who overcame death? God bigger than death. he’s bigger than anything we can ever imagine. but he’s also small enough to come into your heart.
6. We have accurate recordings of what jesus did and eyewitnesses. also, like i said, i am a witness because i tried jesus for myself and i found out he is the Almighty. the very man who claimed to be God proved it by perfoming miracles and rising from the dead. he did all that so that we can see. only in christianity is things spoken about the jesus accurate and proven accurate time and time again. he said himself, ” i am the way, the truth and the light. no man comes to the father but by me”. other religions cant be true if jesus said he was the way.
Either Jesus is true and all other religions are false or all other religions are true and Jesus is false.
It will necessitate a long answer to address your points. I have answers to proffer for all of your arguments. Some of them will probably be things that you have never ever heard before but are nevertheless true. Is that scary? However, if I take time composing an answer, will you read it? Do you care if what you believe is true?
I want to ask yourself two questions. First, do you think there is a possibility that you are wrong? Corollary to that: would you say that the statement “there is nothing that could make me not believe in Jesus and Christianity” accurately describes you?
If you answer “yes” to the first question then you are severely in error. There is absolutely a possibility that you are wrong. There is absolutely a possibility that I am wrong. Actually, it is more likely that we’re both wrong than it is that we are right. This is just part of being a limited human being who is construed of human shortcomings. If you think there isn’t a possibility that you are in error, then you are severely impaired, and you need to work on that defect.
Furthermore, if you are of the opinion that “nothing will make you not believe” then you are also tipping your hand. Follow me here: saying there is no reason you wouldn’t believe is logically equivalent to saying that there is no reason that you do believe. If you believed in something because of reasons X,Y, and Z then the absence of those reasons -X,-Y, or -Z would be reason not to believe. No evidence against = no evidence for. In other words, if someone drops that all-too-common saying on me then I know that they did not use any reasoning to reach the position and that it would be futile to try to reason them out of it.
Second question; are you curious to know more? Do you think your post represents all that needs to be said about the issues you raised – case-closed? Do you want to know the arguments against your position? Do you care what the facts around the formation of Christianity are? Do you care what I have to say at all?
My guess would be that your heart-of-hearts answer to these questions is “no.” Why should you listen to some idiot spout off the devil’s arguments? The only thing I could possibly do is to make you question your faith – question your happiness – and that would not only make you feel torn and terrible but it could only jeopardize your salvation.
If your answer to those question, as I suspect, is “no” then you have exempted yourself from reasonableness and knowledge. This is why positions held on faith are not just unreasonable; they are the exact opposite of reason. There is no knowledge if facts-of-the-world cannot affect your opinion of the world. If your beliefs cannot be affected by feedback from the facts-of-the-world then your beliefs are not based on the facts-of-the-world and rather derive from some inner wellspring. You may call that wellspring “faith,” or “God” but it is far more likely that it is called “self-delusion” and “fear.” Look around at the amount of bullshit that this world believes because of “self-delusion” and “fear.” I’ll take the role of your mother now, while stroking your hair: “don’t worry hun you’re not one of those delusional self-deceivers that predominate the human population…you, unlike them, are right…you’re just jim-dandy…and you’re also the prettiest girl in school.”
Despite the length of this post belying my position, I will not take time to answer your objections if you answered in the negative to either of these questions.
There’s would be no point. You don’t believe in knowledge, reasons, or rationality…you believe in Jesus…………………………………………..but I bet you still look both ways when crossing the street.
However, if you are open to actual consideration of your beliefs and you will read it, I will compose an answer to your questions.
There is this interesting phenomena that in a dialogue like this, the Christian walked away convinced that he has made a stronger point, and the atheist walked away with the same feeling too. I see this happening for most of the atheist-Christian encounters.
When I surfed the web for testimonies from both sides, I realised those atheists I encountered always quoted bad experiences with churches or Christians. And those Christians always quoted happy experiences with God and with the church.
How then can we know who has REALLY made a stronger case logically? Who can say definitively who is right? Could it be that we are all making judgement calls based on some conscious or unconscious bias fed by pass experiences? This thing is quite depressing…
Sorry if you believe that Trevor, but Polly is right. And I hope Jesus does come back soon, but not right now. I’m in the middle of making a computer game and I don’t really want to go anywhere until I finish it (unless God lets me finish it in Heaven).
By the way, I’m 16 years old, and I’m getting hungry: Curse my fast matabolism >:-(
So I’m going to go eat some spaghetti. And by the way, making computer games is way harder than you may think. I can’t belive people sterotype such bad things about people who make and play video/computer games!
See my previous posts re logic. There is no such thing as a logical religious belief. That is a fact. Religion is inherently illogical. The majority of the religious posting here do not even understand the concept of logic let alone have the ability to state their argument in such a way. I’m yet to see one post on this page from the religious that has any resemblance to a logical argument.
“How then do you know who made a stronger case?” Errr, you follow logic.
1. If God is not real and the world was created by chance, then there is no meaning in the world, thus we as humans are meaningless,and you may as well die.
BS. How do you equate no God = no meaning in life? What a joke. You must be a sad little person. There is meaning in everything we do and it has nothing to do with God.
2. What is the point of life then? not living, but life?
Good question, for once. Every individual will have a different answer to this question. It is inherently unanswerable as a result. It is up to every individual to decide for themselves what the point of their lives is. Being told what the point of your life is by someone else is voluntarily giving up your free will and becoming a slave.
3. We know that religions contradict one another and although there are many other religions with things such as prophecies and promises, none of them are as correct as seen in the Bible. the old testament was written hundreds of years before the new testament. yet, there are many prophocies about Jesus in the old.
LOL! As correct as the Bible hey? That is to say totally incorrect? You really make me laugh. The Bible is JUST AS FLAWED AS ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS TEXT!!! The only difference being you’ve been indoctrinated to believe other wise and your lack of critical thinking is preventing you from seeing the reality. You’d believe just as strongly in the Koran if you’d per chance been born into a Muslim community.
4. as a christian i believe that jesus is very god. he controls everything. just saying this isnt enough though. i can back it up with many miracles Jesus performed in the bible, such as raising the dead, turning water into wine, himself rising from the dead, healing the blind. i saw my own brother get saved and witnessed a life changed. These miracles have been found to be true and reliable. therefore we can believe him.
Just because someone writes something in a book does not mean it acctually occurred and should not be taken as truth without some other physical evidence. Again your references are ill defined and un provable. What particular ‘miracles,’ (lol) are you referring to?
5 and 6 are not worth wasting my time on. Wild baseless propositions with no basis in fact and no proof or evidence to substantiate them. Again you fail miserably when it comes to presenting a logical argument.
bah humbug! Why won’t you just try Jesus for yourself? is there a reason why you won’t try salvation? otherwise, don’t talk about what you don’t know, haven’t experienced. you’ll never understand unless you try Jesus for yourself. move on to something else. let’s talk about something different, like the war in iraq.
Have you tried Muhammad? Shiva? Zoroaster? If not, how can you know you’re not wrong about Jesus, that there’s something/someone out there who’s even better.
Polly, you keep asking, “why not just try Jesus?”
I think it is self-evident that everybody that posts here has given that a considerable amount of thought. I have to assume that sometime, someday, somewhere everybody here has closed their eyes, clasped their hands and “prayed.” Forgive me if I assume incorrectly, but I have tried. I have gone to church and read the bible. I have even listened (though briefly) to those insane cultists preach on the television about the word of God; ALL with an open mind. I listened.
And through all my listening, I was only shown inconsistent garble mixed with degree of religious fanatacism. I think that it is because I was not programmed to blindly believe in Santa Clause (or Jesus or the word of the bible) with permanent devotion at an early age. My mind had the time to develop and mature so that I could reason for myself.
And when I was presented with: “Jesus knows everything” (ok, I am NOT in control of my life or my destiny), and “Jesus gave man free will” (wait, I AM in control???), I immediately threw both statements out the window. Logically, these two statements contradict each other. There are a hundred thousand reasons why Christianity is wrong, 10 of which are listed here so clearly. And there is only ONE illogical reason why it is right – and that is because YOU SAY SO. Whatever.
Christians, in my opinion, need to open their minds. They are the ones that need to try agnosticism or aethiesm and explore other possibilities. Haven’t you “tried Aethiesm?” Don’t forget you may always return to your precious Jesus and just ask forgiveness. Or are you afraid that you will not want to return? I think you’ll find that there is no difference what-so-ever. Or you may find that you are so brainwashed that you make excuses for yourself, like, “Well, these bad things happened today and I am not as happy because I turned my back on Jesus.” But if Jesus controls whether or not good or bad things happen to us, we do not have free will, and our fates have been decided as well as the choices we make.
Well, I really wanted to read all the comments before placing my own, however, the comments by Devon Day back on 23 September 2007 really got me going.
How can you say that to Mary, those things are written in the Bible. If you’re going to defend your religion, perhaps you should read the text yourself that you are basing your belief system on. It’s all in there. There’s also a lot worse in there as well.
You then move onto Grey. “But why would God create something just to destroy it? It’s a waste of time.” Well, a very simple way of looking at this is that every day, somewhere in the world, children create sandcastles on the beach knowing full well that when the tide comes in, they will be destroyed. Or, they may even jump on them themselves to destroy it. Also, what is the purpose of a bomb? It is created simply to be destroyed.
As I scrolled down, I can see you have many more lengthy posts, I will get to those with time. To be fair to all, I am reading all the posts so that I can be up to date with where everyone is at. It’s going to take me some time.
But Devon, please go and read the bible so that you can comment honestly on a religion that you are trying to defend.
One of the reasons I have no faith/belief in Christianity/the bible is because of the obviously false and incorrect descriptions of human life and nature. Take this example… ‘the giants, Nephi(satan related etc) You have all heard of that.. right??! Giants! – in todays present world there are giant people at 7ft, 8ft(compared to the norm… 5ft somthing etc). Surely in the time of the bible recordings there would be very tall people who were alot taller and larger than most people. This would seem very odd. As for monsters and demons….. my mind tells me – deformity! Take ‘The Elephant Man’ for example, he looked like a monster, but was only human who was deformed. If he were in the days of the bible he’d be condemned a monster or demon etc! And there would have been so many deformities since the beginning of mankind. Conclusion: mankind thousand/hundred of years ago did not have a good deal of understanding of human nature and/or science, AND WRITERS OF THE BIBLE CLEARLY LABELLED THE UNKNOWN AS WORK OF SATAN. I don’t blame the writers of the bible for this, because if I was in those times, I would also believe that Satan was at work! The average sensible and intelligent person should clearly understand this.
Forget to mention also: illness like insanity, and madness( which is common in today’s time), i would imagine has been on-going since the beginning of time. Men, Women screaming, shouting, hissing etc … this would seem as the work of Satan, the devil all those years ago, which was never understood in primitive times. Science understands these thing however. To sum up: I believe The bible is IN FACT a primitive description of the world and mankind/human nature, and False in the belief that there exists GOD and SATAN. Why would the devil exist if God is the creator – would he create the devil for his own amusement??? Surely that would make him a bit of a devil himself! Or does the real truth lie in the understanding of mankind/human nature since the beginning? YOU DECIDE! And stay tuned for more TRUTH!
Topic: The Holy Spirit.
People say the Holy Spirit cannot be denied! I know friends who belief in it and I will not 100% deny it! . You can’t deny the power of belief! My point of view on this is as follows: Is the holy spirit merely a confidence Spirit??? Let me explain: If you totally and utterly believe in something/someone then you are convinced in YOUR mind! and your mind ONLY! Your illusion infact! An example of confidence/continued confidence and belief is as follows: A team of footballers, basketball players (any kind of team Infact!) .. will go into a match believing they are going to win! Every match they prepare for, they will go into with confidence and belief. If they didn’t then there would be no point in the team participating in each game! Back to the Holy Spirit: To believe in the Holy Spirit.. you have to believe in it and the people who do will be confident about there belief. Reassuring your life/mind/being all comes from yourself – to keep positive, assured and confident in life is the norm. For people who believe in the holy spirit can only be reassuring themselves. For example: one person reading this might have total belief in the holy spirit and another have no belief whatsoever in it, but the two of them could be just as confident, happy and assured with their lives.
time to go to bed
Why don’t I just try Jesus???
Why don’t I just try psychosis or schizophrenia? Why don’t I just try completely loosing my mind? Why don’t I just try the Spaghetti Monster or the Tooth Fairy? Why don’t I just try Mohamed or Budah or Santa F. Claus? etc… You are still to give a rational reason why Jesus should be put above any of these other choices other then “because I said so.” Not good enough I’m afraid.
The answer to all these questions; because it’s illogical, it makes no sense, it defies reason, it defies truth and has no basis in science or thought, it is contradictory, badly defined and historically inaccurate. Basically it is primitive gibberish and to believe in Jesus I would have to give up my mind, logic and reason. That’s like choosing to go insane. It can’t be done. My mind is the one thing I can truly say is me and I am by nature, a logical and reasonable person. I could sooner flap my arms and fly then give up my mind and believe in some primitive fantasy.
Please remember I’m agnostic. You should probably look up the definition. It’s not that I do or don’t believe in God, or Gods or whatever it/they may be if it/they exist. It’s that i don’t believe in religion. Religion from where I’m sitting is evil. Pure and simple evil. It is a control mechanism used by intelligent people to get stupid people to do what is desired. To conform, to voluntarily submit to what amounts to slavery, to give up their minds and wallets, to give up rational thought, to stop thinking for themselves and submit to another’s will. It’s brainwashing on the grandest scale ever conceived… or probably was, that is, until they invented TV. You Polly, appear to be exactly the sort of disciple they’re after. Good luck to you with that.
If you think about it, it does not seem very likley that according to evolution, there was over a 1 in 1 billion chance of humans evolving from whatever scientists say we evolved from. Also, if our Earth was just a little bit closer or farther away from the sun, we would either melt or freeze to death. How can you NOT come to a conclusion that some intelligent creator did all of this?
LOL, dude, you really need to look into statistics, probability and math in general. Then take a look at a few pictures from Hubble and try to grasp the enormity of our galaxy and the Universe around it. The Universe is a very very VERY BIG place. There are billions and billions of stars in our one galaxy. There are billions and billions of galaxies in the universe. A 1/billion chance in universal terms means it happens all the time. Basically you could call it a very common event. In all likelihood and according to all statistical and anthropomorphic principals there should be many many intelligent civilizations in our galaxy alone let alone in the entire Universe. Just because you think a billion is a big number does not make it so. Your off hand comment of “whatever scientists say we evolved from,” indicates you should probably do a little more research into the subject and get to understand the science before you right it off and replace it with a primitive superstitious belief.
Here you go Leif;
According to latest estimates there are between 200 and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way. That means according to your statement there should be between 200 and 400 other civilizations equivalent to mankind in our Universe alone… Then there’s the billions of other galaxies around about the place… the human mind has a very hard time accommodating these sorts of numbers. It wasn’t ‘designed’ for it shall I say? (Pun intended.)
This also might help you get an idea of just how small and relatively insignificant our little world is when you start looking at galactic scales. Makes this whole discussion kind of surreal and rather comical really.
Wow, can’t believe that I made it all the way to the end. I have read the article as well as each post on the site. As I’ve gone along, I’ve made the following comments. I’ve also laughed, cringed and (imaginary) high fived some of the comments on the site. It has certainly been an entertaining couple of days reading through all this.
Post 234 — if “the more materialistic a society is, the less spiritual it becomes” then why are all the temples, priests, popes, Vatican etc enshrined with gold and jewels etc? Why are those who consider themselves to be Christian (example — George Bush, there are many others) so concerned with wealth and power?
As an Agnostic — I do believe in faith — perhaps you should define what you mean by faith. For me, faith is belief in something that I can not physically see or tangibly touch or use any of my other senses to perceive, yet I know it’s there. Example — the love that I share with my husband. I have no physical proof, but I know that it’s there. I’m not Christian, I have no religious beliefs, but I have faith in many things.
Post 250 when talking about 3:16 Woman Cursed: maternity a sin, marriage a bondage, you talk about punishment for Eve’s sin by eating the apple. In an earlier post (I’m not going to go back and look for it — there are too many), you said they were both sinners. You have contradicted yourself here. I would like to raise the point however, if God is all loving, why must women for all eternity pay for a sin that they themselves have not committed. Why not make maternity and childbirth painful only for Eve?
Post 254 — regarding the size of the planet Earth. How do you explain that scientists/astronomers (not sure of the right terminology here) have now found other planets vastly different in size to earth that would be able to support human life? These planets have been discovered, how do you explain them? You also mention how God is all loving. In the bible, it is counted that God has killed 2,038,344 people whilst Satan has killed only 10. Other people have done this count for me. There is much more I could say about this one but I’m sure as I continue to read through the posts, I will find them already answered. But as mentioned earlier, I’m not here to dispute the existence of God, I’m agnostic after all. I’m here to argue why Christianity is wrong.
@ Sean Cox
Post 264 — Lucky for your friend. My mother was also very religious. In fact, it was her that sent all her children to Church and Sunday School each week (giving me the knowledge that I have today). She died of cancer before she was 50. She prayed to God for help. My sister and the entire Catholic nursing home she worked at did the same. My nephew in his Christian school did the same. All this didn’t help my mother. My mother was one of those people with very little sin in her life. She was a good person who didn’t deserve to die at such a young age and miss out on getting to see her own children and grand children grow up. I appreciate what you’re saying, but don’t for one second think that if you pray for something, it will make it happen. It just doesn’t work like that.
Post 275 — I have known many Christians who have not helped the poor, certainly not promoted peace (again — look at George Bush or Adolf Hitler), nor do they do not give up their time for others unless it serves their own self interest. Nice way to deal with it in Post 278 though. Just remember, it is your opinion that Christianity stands for those things. For many others, their opinion differs.
Post 265 — I’d like to add that maybe these people who were being prayed for gave up on positive thought (not sure how much it does but I believe it helps) because they expected that the prayers would be answered and therefore they didn’t need to do anything for themselves. Just a thought. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, just adding to it. BTW — your definition of Christianity — LOL — it was great. Post 266 — seen it; one of my faves.
@ Polly P
Post 330 – OMG — not sure where to start here apart from the fact that you have done nothing to address the first line in your own post. From there it just appears to be dribble — would you like a bib? Even the 14 and 15 year olds put together a far better argument than you. You appear to have the same issue as Devon who continues to provide answers based on what can be found in your own bible refuting any other evidence that may be provided to you. I’ll continue to read on and see what others have to say. I’m almost at the end now. Oops — looks like Grey has taken care of this in Post 336.
Post 332 — I’ll let you know straight up that I have no bad experiences with the church — in fact; I have a lot of happy memories. However, since growing up and learning about the world, I have decided that religion is not for me. I do believe in a higher power, however, the way religion presents its views/propaganda; I have no interest to follow their belief system. I just wanted to clear that up.
Well, dont try Jesus. Talk in ignorance if you want. That’s fine too. OK, next topic.
“Talk in ignorance if you want.”
Well that’s just about the icing on the cake. Well done Polly. You leap into the abyss of stupidity and mutilate the language at the same time. Not only are you and your Christian kin the ones who have shown an extraordinary lack of knowledge when it comes to pretty much anything scientific, not only do you avoid or refuse to answer the main question/subject of this page, you also deem it necesary to accuse others who have shown far more intelligence, thought and general knowledge of your own religion, of being ignorant.
I suggest you take a good long hard look at yourself in the mirror. It isn’t a very pretty Polly from where I’m looking.
PS. There is no next topic on this page. If you want another topic take yourself elsewhere. It’s alright if you’ve failed to answer any of the questions posed to you on this forum, it’s alright if your inane babble has failed to convert any of the unbelievers here. I’m sure with you massive ability to overlook fact and ignore truth you will soon be able to forget this whole discussion ever happened.
Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
Polly, do you realise that we have researched and studied the topic in great detail? We have then combined it with other knowledge that we have. It appears that you seem to keep missing this point.
The question posed is, Why should Christianity be held above other religions? Your previous posts have failed to recognise this question. Your post of 330 does nothing to address the question.
You’re still ignorant Grey. So it really doesnt matter what you say. Jesus still wants you, whether you want him or not. Like I said before, there’s nothing like experiencing something for yourself. You’ll never know how fun skating is unless you try it for yourself. The truth is Jesus died on the cross for you. He gave up his life so that you can live. It doesnt matter about how good you are or what evil acts you’ve done. All that he requires is that you acknowledge the fact that you were born a sinner and that you need Jesus in your heart. Why do you need Jesus? Because he connects us to God. If he hadnt come to this earth, we would have been forever seperated from god because of what Adam and Eve did. Let me tell you this. you say I dont believe in god, but it’s just like gravity. You dont feel it, you dont see it, but you better watch your step. I’m going to heaven. March 29, 1997 I purchased my train ticket. I just hope you got your ticket cause you can’t use mine. Be left all you want to, that’s fine. All aboard! Next stop, heaven!
Christianity is not like any other religion. The fact that Jesus died AND rose from the dead alone reinforces his lordship over all. He defeated death. In no other religion did the god died and rise again. we are all going to believe in something, even if it’s nothing. why not believe in the God that is ruler over all and still wants to bless YOU. You know you arent perfect. how do you think this world began? by a bang? where did the bang come from? a greater source than life itself, and that source is God, the almighty. He’s holy and one day every knee will bow. after all, it takes faith to believe in the absence of a God. put that fiath where it can help you. If you had the chance to live with the king and have all the riches in the world, you would pass up the chance? man, dont be silly. this is your life. to not accept God is to accept the Devil, and where the devil is, you dont want to be. thank god for allowing you to even see another day, let alone think. Jesus said he was the way, the great I AM, and he proved it. He came to earth so that you can have a chance to be reconcile with God. But like I said, if you wont even give yourself a chance, that’s fine too.
How can you say that babies are born with sin already. That’s sick – more to the point, I think it’s covered on the first point on the site – it’s absurd! That is only one interpretation.
“The doctrine that we are born in sin is a false doctrine, pure and simple. It contradicts plain Bible passages concerning the nature of sin and the definition of sin. We see this in the teaching of God’s prophet Ezekiel, for example. The Spirit inspired Ezekiel to teach;. “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20). The creeds of men say the son does bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, but the word of God says he does not. The choice is ours as to which to believe.”
I must say, in the interest of keeping the level of discourse up around here and not turning this place into a pulpit for idiots, I am tempted to delete PollyP’s posts.
This is not preaching time. We all know that if we wanted to hear the shit you’re spewing out then we could attend any church in the land.
Polly, discuss or leave. Your attitude demonstrates the reprehensibility of your beliefs. It is a better argument against your religion than I could muster on my best day. Throughout your posts there is a current of simple-minded know-nothingism typical of most Christians. More than anything – more than your ridiculous man-god, more than his mendacious, capricious and malevolent father, and more than that cosmic super-villain called Satan – your attitude emblazons your contemptible beliefs as supremely worthy of disregard.
You regard your knowledge as sufficient, questions as answered, and mysteries solved. What is more revolting is how you hold any honest attempt to investigate without preconceived notions – investigation in the interest of not merely confirming an already believed hypothesis – as not only useless but as a sin. You are a banner-ad for anti-cognition, a burning bush for ignorance, a sky-written shout-out to imbecility.
You cannot come in here and state bald-faced conclusions and expect anything but contempt from us. How could you think such ululations could be convincing? Would you be convinced if someone ejaculated a rant about the glory of Allah and Muhammed? Would you be convinced if a member of a UFO-centered religion blathered about the little gray men?
If you want to convince us reach down and pull out some measure of argument, some semblance – however minuscule – of rationality and reason.
Shape up or ship out.
Your an embarrassment to your species Polly. I’d be laughing if I didn’t feel so sorry for your total lack of comprehension. Your but a parrot regurgitating what you’ve been told to say by other people with a complete lack of understanding on what the words actually mean or their terms of reference. You have no proof, no evidence, no substance to your argument other then what other people have told you to say and think and believe. I dare say you’ve never had an original thought in your life. Heaven help anyone who ever has to teach you anything. If your still in school I pity your teachers.
I’m ignorant of many things Polly. I’m the first to admit that. Unlike you I am quite happy to admit my ignorance, that is on topics that I’m actually ignorant of. I actually revel in my ignorance because it gives me a chance to learn! Your ignorance however make mine pale in comparison and your stubborn refusal to even listen to what people are trying to discuss with you means you’re most likely going to remain ignorant for the rest of your days.
After all the explanations and step by step instruction on what the topic of this forum actually is you still don’t get it. Your God is no different from any other God. Your ‘proof’ is no more substantial than any other religions ‘proof.’ Your continued bleating of verse only serves to reinforce this point.Your argument in it’s current form is void.
I have never said I don’t believe in God/Gods/whatevers. I’ve stated a number of times that I’m agnostic. have you looked it up yet? Somehow I doubt it. It’s not the existence or absence of God that is being discussed here and your continual parroting implying that we somehow don’t believe in a God/Gods/whatever is getting extremely tiring. At risk of sounding like a broken record, sorry to all others still following this inane conversation;
We are debating the virtues or lack of, of Christianity. We would like to know why it should be held above any other religion? The existence or not of God is NOT PART OF THIS DISCUSSION!
Fact: A statement that is objectively true and can be verified.
Fact: When an observation is confirmed repeatedly and by many independent and competent observers, it can become a fact.
Fact: A thing that has actually happened or is really true. Facts are capable of being “proven.”
Fact: Information that has been objectively verified.
Fact: A statement or assertion of verifiable information.
Fact: A truth based on accurate information or thing known to have occurred
Fact: Jesus rising from the dead is not a fact. It never has been a fact. It never will be a fact.
Not that I expect your warped little mind to ever be able to comprehend this information.
Because this page has grown so huge with comments, I’ve created a new post for continued discussion of the article. You can post any new comments you have there.
“The 10 Reasons Christianity is Wrong” Continuing Discussion
Pingback: “The 10 Reasons Christianity is Wrong” Continuing Discussion - Symbolic Order
i am amazed by this information, i have been doing my own research, since we are discussing christianity, i would like to make a point to those who belive christianity, is the last and most genuine religion. We have islam, jewism and christianity, take for example, if islam was before christianity, then why does the Quran speak of Jesus and his miricules, yet the bible says nothing about Mohammed? I agree with almost all the points you have made Trevor. Most religions, even basic christianity back in historical times state that god is one and only, he has no partner, no son or daughter, if jesus is the son of god, then why are other prophets such as noah or Mohammed not?
ps baptisim? that is a total hoax, you cant do what you want, and then suddenly dipping yourself in water your sins are washed away