Responding to points:
You have sunk pretty low, I go through all your points and miss out perhaps one and you decide to pounce... In the meantime you have managed to avoid the majority of my points and instead responded to only one single portion of my post. Not to mention spending half your time trying to mock me in your own slightly pathetic way. Can you please acknowledge that I am at least trying to respond to you, whilst you are not affording me the same curteousy (I don't mind if you are unable or do not have the time to respond, but don't be so petty as to accuse me of something you are doing!)
In fact I meant to say that I don't know all the answers and that is ok by me. It's a resounding I don't know, I don't know how the universe started. I can probably tell you what the current scientific explanation of the data is, but I expect it is far too in depth for me to understand without a proper teacher.
What points have I avoided? Are you refering to the question about whether I want god to exist? I did respond to that by letting you know that the question is stupid. What would you answer to the question: "Do you want evolution to be the mechanism through which god created the species?" It is a non-question.
Living by natural selection:
It's a common mistake (one which I have pointed out to you before) to assume that we should act in a way which tries to conform with the laws of nature. Gravity pushes us towards the ground, this doesn't stop us from building planes or walking straight. Evolution is just a process which has occured and Darwin gave us the basis for explaining the mechanism by which it occured. This in no way means that natural selection should be actively encouraged, we shouldn't weed out the weak and exterminate them. It is only you which have made the connection that knowing the mechanism of evolution automatically implies we should mimic its processes in our lives. In fact, if the human brain behaved in a way where we weed out the weak then we probably would have become extinct through in fighting!
The human brain has emergent properties which allow it to work against natural laws. In fact, if homosexuality is a genetic trait then we should find that this trait will no longer be passed to the next generation (as homosexual men are outted more and no longer forced to live in loveless marriages bearing children). In my opinion there is nothing inherently good or bad in characteristics, just characteristics which are selected for or against.
The "meaning" or purpose of life can be interpreted on two levels. On a purely physical level the purpose of all life is to reproduce, otherwise it would cease to exist. Human brains have emergent qualities which seem to be able to suppress this urge to reproduce in some cases for various reasons. Actually I think i had said that people give their own lives meaning. On a mental level the meaning of life is determined by each person by what they choose to value and what they choose to be important and dedicate themselves to.
Your argument as to why I should be against homosexuality is completely ridiculous, but completely excuseable as you are only 16 and don't understand either the theory or what "believing" in the theory means.
QuoteThere's only one fundie-Christian in your class?
My biology teacher couldn't even teach the lesson on evolution because all the Creationists complained too much.
There's biology, then there's theology.
Dies Veneris xiv October MCMLXXXIX
Great Scott! Christopher Lloyd would have been appaled. I hope you did something to try and allow the teacher to do their work. Or perhaps you could have reacted in kind by shouting down teachers in Religious Studies!
To nat: I am starting to think that you may be having a bit of a joke at my expense. Watching me bang my head against a wall. I am starting to think that you are intentionally trying to irritate me by making ridiculous accusations and arguments. I almost hope you are because that would make you an evil/comic genius!
Incidentally, your point about my position on homosexuality is a prime example of people of belief and religion's inability to understand the mind which doesn't require some natural law. I see morality and right and wrong as something that each person can determine and I don't believe in any grand rules of the universe by which intelligent beings must live.
What in the hell happened to the omnipotent topic of Muse?
hahaha i expected it to be inconsistent. but not this much. so you would have no problem if the human mind chose to value murder and rape. thats what im hearing here.
and im not surprised that you are left speechless when you try and imagine the beginning of the universe without a creator. thats atheism for you.
and my "excusable" 16 year old views just happen to be shared by 26 year old Paul. if your going to call him ridiculous, please call me ridiculous i beg you.
i dont know where your arrogance against God went from a few pages ago, sounds like you're really under fire! please put up a fight if we're going to discuss on an intellectual level. im not trying to make a joke of you, i just personally think your views are completely hilarious if you don't mind. the thing is, you don't find mine hilarioius, you find them frightening. because if your views are true (which unlike you, im 100% sure theyre not) it means absolutely nothing! but if my beliefs are true, you are absolutely screwed and it has massive implications to your life and every single other life that has ever lived.
but you see, God is the answer to all your doubts. all your insecurities can be answered by God. all pain you suffer, anytime you feel lonely; God has an answer for it all. how bout you do yourself a favour and accept God and his answer in Jesus who is alive today. cos deep down you know its true (thats why you can't be 100% true in atheism, true?), thats why you are so offended when it is brought up that maybe all your unfounded foundation in the non-existence of God, the relativity of truth (which in fact is a logical contradiction), the superiority of mankind and the ideal of evolution and its teachers is a lie. truth is confronting, the Bible says the word of God penetrates the very soul and strips everything bare for all to see. God has given the world the control in your life, because thats what you wanted; but if you just say to God who you know exists, "do with ME whatever YOU want", his love will be yours and the Glory will be his.
hope thats much more challenging than my previous un-answerable questions. its not the first time you've admitted to have no idea, but i promise you; bring these questions that we apparently havent adressed (forgetting that i have been away on holiday for an entire month) to us and any Bible believing Christian with the Holy Spirit that you know and they will be answered! thats the power of the Gospel!
to DESARENEZETIC, the conferences were absolutely fantastic. we heard from a British chruch reformer William Taylor who's fighting the good fight for the Gospel to be preached in England although the liberal church wants him excommunicated. Sydney has started sending missionaries to England to start preaching the Bible but are under strong opposition, so pray for that. on the conferences we heard a series on Acts and the Holy Spirit and 1 Peter which were pretty much life-changing (as always) and the sense of fellowship being with ten thousand Christians under God's word at once is something that can't be repeated (until in heaven!).
and to "what happened to the omnipotent topic of Muse?", we decided to give credit to the one who created them!
Oh dear. Let me run you through this slowly. Well adapted people don't enjoy murder or rape because these types of behaviour are selected against in our evolution. Those who take from others are cast out and more often than not are prevented from passing on their genes. This is illustrated in a link I posted to you about 15 pages ago (so now we are indeed going round in circles). The video demonstarted that an attitude of tit-for-tat (repay cooperation with cooperation and cheating with cheating) is the most successful for the individual in the long run. So it is clear that the rule of "do as you would be done by" is beneficial to the survival of an individual and of a species. This is a vast over simplification, but it goes to show that non magical explanations for our behaviour can be postualted and studied formally.
Have you even watched this video:
I can't remember either you or Paul giving me your feedback on it. This is what I mean by you ignoring me. I think the fact that you are ignoring me would be obvious to an impartial observer (if anyone is reading this, am I right here or is there a pattern of my points not having responses?)
Right. I also don't know what the most efficient way of stacking oranges in a box is. Science can't tell us many things. I believe the current theory on the beginning of the Universe involves a singularity and we have a model consistent with the evidence which takes us back to the Planck Time (tiny amount of time) after the Big Bang. I personally know very little about this. Actually, many people see the fact that we can only take our model back to moments after the Big Bang and not the actually instant to be evidence for a creator sparking the universe into existence. Of course this is, like all evidence for god, based on gaps in our knowledge.
Glad to see my ignorance has left you so smug. I'm not so glad that you still haven't understoood that not knowing everything and admitting it is not a weakness. Science will never know anything because I happen to think that there are an infinite amount of things to know (finite/infinte=0 lol).
Calm down dude! I may well be screwed, but as I explained earlier I think I would rather be in hell with my family than in heaven knowing that people like Einstein or Gandhi are rotting in hell. Your god is clearly is not loving enough for me to believe in him.
How can you cope with a god that will condemn people who you know to be decent apart from a technicality and an error. I don't think I could, as I said I think it would be unbearable for me to exist in heaven whilst other good people were suffering for eternity. Does this make me more sympathetic than god? If so is this character really a god?
I hope you don't mind me editing/truncating your post. The reason I can't be sure of anything is because I know that no one is actually sure of anything no matter how convincing the arguments for it may be and no matter how much they know it to be true in their heart. There is always the slightest possibility that it is all delusion or that it is all a fabrication or illusion.
I am not offended by talking about religion. In fact I find discussing god and the possibility of his existence to be highly compelling, as evidence by my continue presence on this thread. What I do find offensive is when believers want to force their beliefs on others, like banning gay marriage, or banning anything in fact. Or forcing women to cover up, or insinsting that science not be taught in the science classroom.
Please remember I am often talking to you and Paul at the same time, so it isn't always all about you. If you look back at this thread you will see the amount of effort I have had to put in to move the debate forward. My unanswered questions basically amount to trying to get you to do the research necessary to know enough about evolution and radiometric dating. For example I have often made the point in my first paragraph but I don't think I have once seen a response from you, I don't think I have once heard either of you tell me what you think about the naturalist explanations for morality. You may well have taken in and thought about the things jomo and I have said but I don't get any feedback from you so it just seems as if my words are falling on deaf ears.
Another point I don't think has been addressed to my satisfaction is why the Gospels have to be literal. The Bible may well be the absolute truth of the word of god, but I still don't understand why this necessarily means that the creation story is literal. As far as I know it never says that the story must be taken as literal, all it says is that the OT and NT are god breathed. Is god incapable of allegory and simplifying a story in order for primitive humans to understand it? If he had done this then he surely wouldn't have told us, otherwise it would destroy the allegory...
PS: Not to be a stickler, but do you have something against capitals and apostrophes? I guess it doesn't matter really!
The conversation seems to have moved on somewhat from radiometric dating. Rather than dragging it back, I've started a new thread dedicated to science and specifically Young Earth Creationism. Enjoy.
To ask what is the meaning of the universe is like asking what is the angular momentum of Much Ado About Nothing. ~ Steven Poole
great idea jomo.
the Gospels have to be taken literally because Jesus and the Apostles say it has to, or otherwise it is meaningless and has no effect. Paul says that if Jesus didn't rise from the dead then we are still dead in our sins (he said that of course hypothetically). but just the fact that many leaders in the Christian church don't believe in the resurrection is a terrifying thought.
one thing for certain though, is that every book in the Bible has to be read differently. they have to be put in context, you have to understand what was going on at the time to see the full will of God's plan. of course you would read Psalms (hymns to God) differently to the way you read Luke (Jesus Life, Death and Resurrection), and you'd read Corinthians (Instruction to the Church) differently to Revelation (Prophecy of the End of Times). the books that are meant to be "taken" as you would say differently, specify in themselves how they should be taken differently. Jesus' parables that he spoke never took place, so to read them literally would be foolish. they are as you say allegories. for example Revelation talks of how things such as the White Horse represent Jesus and the Sea representing Seperation from God; different symbols for different things (and heavy use of anthropomorphism)but still, all things take place. it is the same with reading Genesis, arguably the hardest book to read, whether regarded as symbols or as being literal, the events definitely did happen. to deny that is stating your non-belief in God. why? because thats what the Bible says.
in response to atheism. how can you say, "I know that no one is actually sure of anything no matter how convincing the arguments for it may be and no matter how much they know it to be true in their heart" whilst holding the view that nothing can be for sure. im sure you can see the contradiction there.
on God. i knew you'd find God offensive, but tell me, why do Gandhi or Einstein deserve to go to heaven? why do you you or me deserve to go to heaven in your opinion? its not about whether God is deserving of us (we can see that he is perfect, and it his Word tells us that), its about whether we deserve God? you have a think about it.
the answer you will always come to is no. there is no other way around it. imagine if every single one of your friends and family saw a movie of every second of your life and all your thoughts. would they still love you after that? i know for me, they certainly wouldnt.
but the thing is, God still does. and hes seen all of us, all the time. and what he sees is us rejecting him. thats our nature.
but God sent Jesus so he could reveal his love to us. it was part of his plan all along to unveil his will.
know do you love God? i doubt it, since you don't believe he exists. but he loves you, why don't you except this love.
i encourage you to disect the paragraph i told you the Gospel in the previous post. i didnt see you take any notice of that one. truthfully, id be happy if thats the only thing you learnt from anything i say.
How irritating. For one I didn't ask you about all books other than Genesis and yet you see fit to insult my intelligence by explaining to me that Jesus' parables were allegorical. Thank you, I am not an idiot.
Why does creation have to be taken absolutely literally? You say "whether regarded as symbols", so why can't the whole account of creation in six days and a young earth be symbolical? This is all I asked you and don't see this being addressed at all in this lengthy paragraph.
No contradiction. The two points you see as contradiction are in fact the same thought:
I know that no one is actually sure of anything = nothing can be for sure.
Now if you are trying to say that even the fact that nothing can be for sure, is itself not for sure then you are way off the mark. The statement that nothing can be for sure is outside of every absolute statement. If you are saying this, then you are straying into philosophy and group theory which is interesting itself but in no way refutes my statement that nothing can be for certain. It's a funny little word and group theory trick.
There is undoubtedly a truth for the question of whether there is a god or not. However as humans in this world we can never be absolutely sure if there is or isn't.
We can be sure of nothing, except that we can be sure of nothing. Alright now?
I expressly said the opposite. (confused)
I think people who live good lives, caring for those around them, helping those in need, are deserving people. If a god exists who would send people to hell simply because they didn't understand that jesus was the son of god, then I don't think I would want to be close to such a god. To send any person to hell makes a god imperfect in my eyes. If I made it to heaven as a Christian I would spend every moment pleading with god to stop punishing people in hell for their mistakes. If there were no chance of him having mercy on these people, then I would kindly hand in my resignation from existence. It would be too unbearable.
How can a god be so pety as to only accept people who realise that he is the true god. That negates the idea that such a god is perfect.
That is terribly sad that your family wouldn't love you if they knew everything about you. I think you are mistaken however, love is different from approval. Your parents may disapprove of the way you lead your life but they will still love you. I can't stress this enough, you have some real problems if you worry that you could lose the love of your family. If they don't, I still will. Deal?
I know for me that I still love every human being no matter what they do. I really don't hate anybody or wish ill upon them. I abhor the death penalty, I hate to see even the most evil people suffer. There is no need to execute Saddam for example, I would have him excluded from society and would allow him to live a relatively free life, with free access to his family.
I don't believe he exists, because I see no proof for it. Just saying he loves me isn't going to convince a rational person. Allah loves everyone too, so does the Jewish God. I do however acknowledge that he may well exist and I am certain that if he is a loving god he will accept every human into heaven no matter what they have done. If he doesn't then I don't think I want to be in heaven anyway because I would see such a god as imperfect and bordering on malevolent. To condemn a person for eternity, it's the cruelest punishment in the universe. Worse even than wiping a person from existence (which he could do), so god is not only excluding people from heaven, he is actively punishing them!
1. Please consider my last paragraph deeply. Is a god who decides to punish people instead of destroying their soul really kind?
2. Please try to explain why the creation can't be symbolic and why the earth has to be young.
3. I hope you realise that your family's love is unconditional. I can't think of anything anyone could do to anyone else to make me stop loving them. I may be disappointed with the person or realise that the person is mentally ill and has problems, but you would still have to love them.
Please god tell me you are taking the piss out of me and intending to publish our discussions as comedy. You must be stringing me along. Surely, can anyone else let me know if this guy is just taking the piss out of me now? there was a website which was impersonating a baptist church and it was hard to tell if it was real or not, I feel the same way about you. It's the spelling mistakes, the repetition, the unrelenting way you misunderstand my points and repeat the same old hackneyed and unconvincing drivel. I apologise profusely if you are for real, but I just thought I would put this in as a disclaimer in case you are actually pulling my leg.
QuoteWe don't have religious studies at my school. This area of the world is already imbued with Christianity anyway. I can imagine the Fundies here getting in an uproar about their kids being taught about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. My father certainly would.
Oh, and the teacher didn't want to do her work. She was a Christian, and she too didn't like the subject of evolution. For once I'd like to learn about the world around me in a science class, instead of the world people insist on creating in their minds.
Dies Veneris xiv October MCMLXXXIX
WOW I have missed out on quite a bit there!
If there are any specific points you would like me to address then let me know but I'm just going to make a couple of points here.
I told you before Kashmir to read the Creation account and tell me what you think?
If you read it any other way then it makes no sense, God made this part of the Bible real easy to understand you read it as it happened it's really amazing.
But God also put in loads of other stuff for us like no remission of sin without blood - God killed an animal to make clothes for Adam and Eve to hide their nakedness and therefore take away their shame.
In the flood story Noah was telling everyone God was going to judge the world with water and that they should come on his ark to be saved but they all scoffed at him (maybe thought him delusional?) and they all perished.
Jump forward about 4,500 years and what is happening? We are telling people that God is going to judge the world (this time with fire) and that they should get on board the ark of salvation (Jesus) but hey we are getting scoffed at and called delusional.
God’s Word is so amazing and we should all take heed of what it says. In regards to “good” people going to hell then God does not enjoy this but He is incapable of looking at sin so He sent His son to die for us so that there was a way of getting out of what we wanted (eternal separation from God) and all we have to do is accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour – amazing.
Being forced to listen to evolutionary teaching in school as the ONLY way of us coming into existence is forcing one set of beliefs onto people just because it is the most popular belief doesn’t make it any more right.
I know what your response will be Kashmir, there is “overwhelming, mountainous evidence to support evolution” great but I don’t believe it. There is also evidence that a lot of people in this country don’t believe we evolved as well.
Just one further point you didn’t give me evidence of where you got your 95% figure from that dates agree, I would be interested to know if this is an actual fact or a number you just put down.
Nats Isabelle Jessica
I think Kashmir meant 95% figuratively, like we might use 99.9% as a euphemism for "a very large percentage". In any case, I've covered this point over in the new "Age of the Earth" thread.
In paragraph one, you say that popularity doesn't necessarily equate to correctness, which is spot on.
Then in paragraph two, you mention that many people disbelieve evolution. If the first statement is true, then surely the second one is utterly irrelevant to the matter at hand! Or am I missing something?
To ask what is the meaning of the universe is like asking what is the angular momentum of Much Ado About Nothing. ~ Steven Poole
I know it is utterly impossible for you to see how absolutely hilarious your "reasoning" is. This steraming pile of incoherent and irrational rhetoric will get this discussion nowhere.
Imagine I was trying to convert you to Islam and my arguments consisted of warnings about what would happen if you didn't. Imagine if I expected you to be impressed at how amazing Allah was in the miracles he performs, and how amazing Muhammed was in leading a perfect life (as close to perfection as is humanly possible). Of course you would laugh at me, none of this is convincing or even interesting in the slightest to the skeptic. You however are blind to the fact that you are doing exactly this, and in the process ignoring much more interesting avenues of discussion. Avenues which have boulevards of debate instead of roundabouts of rhetoric.
I will go get my Bible and have a look at Genesis to refresh my memory. I have a strong suspicion that I will come out realising that the stories told there could indeed be allegorical.
Not amazing, it's incredible, contrived and retarded. Please explain why such a roundabout way of doing things is amazing. He makes the rules then he decides that he can't change the rules so he has to use a loophole. It's completely ridiculous.
Well this is the problem, evolution and science are all about data and evidence. Your refusal to accept them is pure belief. This is why the intelligentia of this world will always side with science and abhor dogma.
If a lot of people didn't believe in Quantum Mechanics, would we then have to stop teaching it at schools. I mean come on a cat can be alive and dead at the same time?!? The foundation of the problem is that you think the scientists practicing the scientific method are systematically making the same mistaken and independently coming to the same conclusion from many different fields and angles. It's amazing how one field of science turns out results which actually reinforce the findings of another field. I imagine you think this is because the scientists contrive the results to fit it, I haven't actually heard you explain how a scientist might be able to do such a thing.
I was just saying that the number of anomalous readings is insignificant compared to the number of readings which agree. This means we can safely attribute the anomalies to known possible sources of error (such as contamination). Szee jomo87's thread about the Age of the Earth.
I have yet again been ignored:
1. Points about the naturalist view on the development of morality.
2. The video link I posted received no acknowledgment that you even contemplated watching it, let alone letting me know what you thought.
answer to Kashmir question:
1. Maybe you don't understand what being perfect means? it means doing NOTHING WRONG! i don't think you actually grasped that when thinking about an immeasurable, eternal God. i would have thought the creator of the universe has every right to judge his creation, and the created being (you) has no clue what they're talking about. EITHER WAY, God is giving people what they want; SEPERATION FROM HIM. he is being so loving, he gives them what they want, although it pains him.
Also, Allah doesn't even love all muslims (there is no assurance of his love). i was in an open conference debate between a Muslim Imam and a Christian, and the Muslim HAD to admit that Allah did not love Christians. the Christian could clearly say that the one true God love all of his creation. why? because he says so. the modern day Jewish God apparently only loves "Israel". a shame seeing theres only 12 million Jews in the world (pretty narrow minded God don't you think). so once again, you were wrong!
2. creation has to be literal because, without the fundamental basics of Genesis, the whole Bible is flawed. there must be one Adam (to fulfill Adam's seed - which is Sin), it must have happened in that order etc.
we've told you all this before, but remember Paul is the hardcore Creationist. i just think denying it all happened, is denying God's word.
oh and interestingly enough, apparently there has been a scientific discovery linking every woman back to a single person. i doubt youll take me seriously, but i heard that from non-Christian scientists. surely this is supportive of the Genesis account?
3. come on you must be joking with me here. you think humans are so vast and boundless in their love? is that why they kill each other, and divorce each other because of how unconditional there love is? wow your more naive than i thought. OF COURSE if everyone in the world saw every thought you ever had they would all deem you are a bad person, they certainly would for me, and part of being a Christian is admitting this. now if you saw your best friends life 100% with every thought or deed, i highly doubt you could find it in yourself to reconcile with them. i doubt you are that perfect. tell me why there is hate and anger between humans again? what is it some sort of radiometric evolution big bang or something?
like you, im surprised you are not joking. but i know you're for real, because so many people think like this. and why? because they listen to the world, and not to God. it is an endless circle of self contradiction. like that whole being sure that no one is sure...YOU MUST BE KIDDING!! that is an absolute joke, i burst out laughing when i read that. im 100% sure, what gives you the right to say "err um no your not". you have no clue what your talking about mate. surely you can't see the error in this stupid generalization, come on someone who knows so much about radiometric dating and philosophy can realize that saying is an absolute laugh!
of course im not pulling your leg, its not like anything me or Paul is saying contradicts the Bible. if we said anything other than what we're saying we'd be liars. and of course we've described to you a hundred times how youll never understand until you realize you need to be saved. obviously you are so proud with yourself at this time that it might take a great tragedy in your life to realize that you are helpless and small, and you are in need of a saviour. once you realize that man cannot save, because they are temporary, flawed, fuelled by greed and incapable of doing good; youll find the eternal, perfect, all compassionate God, incapable of doing wrong who will recieve you with open arms. can't you see it is the logical conclusion of evil man? a perfect God.
and can't you understand that God is compassionate in his judgement? come on tell me do you really want to be in a relationship with God? your answer "err um judging by Dawkins and radiometric dating i find no evidence to believe in God". of course you wouldnt! the world DOESNT WANT YOU TO BELIEVE IN GOD. that is plain to see even for the simplest child; so what do you think then? will you choose to be blind, or give in to the truth.
and maybe just the fact that im making such a laugh of you, is a testament to the undeniable truth that your beliefs are so temporary and futile not even you can hold true to them. can i encourage to grasp hold of the way, the truth and the life. you know deep down what it is.
oh and i don't really use capitals and make a few mistakes because im using to microsoft word correcting my spelling. surely not speaking like an english proffesor doesn't somehow take away credit from what im saying? im 16 mate! the Apostle Paul said that he came from God not with any flashy words, not with any skill in speaking, and not with any power from himself; but just as God spoke out of a donkey in the Old Testament, God can speak out of the least to save the great. Jesus had nothing attractive to bring people to him, he was marred and disfigured on the cross that people would turn away; but this was God's plan, so that all could see the great cost of his love.
and its still good to see you havent replied to the paragraph you ignored a few posts back. well i guess i know what "it" feels like now.
You are absolutely wrong. Saying your god is all loving and others' aren't doesn't make it so. I believe Muslims believe Allah loves all his creation and wants them to revert to Islam. They believe everyone has Islam in their hearts but they must only open themselves to it and submit to Allah.
As a jew I can definitely tell you that the Jewish belief is not that God only loves Israel. That is pure crap, utterly steaming turdulescent, offensive, anti-semetic bullshit. I don't know who told you this, but they are a malicious liar. I can't put this any more forcefully. The jews believe that all people are eligible for the kingdom of heaven regardless of their beliefs, in fact I think everyone will get ressurected according to Jewish thoughts on the subject. So the Jewish god loves all people regardless of religion, it is only the jews who have the task of foolowing the religion of judaism as given to them by god. Others don't follow it, but that doesn't condemn them. Actually, judaism is more about this life and there is much less emphasis on the afterlife and "getting into heaven". You are absolutely and totally misinformed on the issue and should be thoroughly ashamed.
You like to think Christianity is so different from every other religion but it ain't mate. You say Muslims and Jews have no assurance? What assurance do you have? Muslims are 100% certain that Allah loves them and as muslims they will enter his kingdom. They know this in their hearts just as you know it in your heart. They know it through the joy he brings to their lives and the absolute certainty they have that they are right. What assurance do you have that a muslim would not have by his own admission?
You still have not shown me anything from the Bible which says that the creation story is literal. You have basically said that you think it is literal because you think it is literal. No hard evidence to support your claim. I will read it myself again at some point. God may have chosen to write in an allegorical manner or chose to leave out trivialities and technicalities, and I see no arguments to refute this possibility.
Here we have a prime example of picking and choosing what you want out of science. A mitochondrial Eve has been traced back and it is approximated that most humans are decended from a single woman's genetic code around 40 000 years ago. Incidentally similar research into the male equivalent shows that the "Adam" lived much later than this mitochondrial eve.
If I saw every thought my friend had ever had it would bring me closer to them. I would understand them better and love them even more. They are only human like myself and if I must revile others on the basis of all their thoughts and deeds, then I must surely revile myself.
I am most certainly not joking, it is the perceived flaws in humans which make us interesting. These flaws are no reason to stop loving and caring for one another.
ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY and the IMPOSSIBILTY of this CONCEPT:
No, nothing can be assertained with absolute certainty. You are contradicting yourself because you think humans are imperfect, and yet you think that as imperfect beings we are still capable of being absolutely certain. I think you have confused th concept of landing on the truth, and being absolutely certain that this truth is correct. Only an idiot thinks he knows all or that he is absolutely certain.
What if there was a malevolent god who invented the concept of a kind god simply to trick humans. Such a god would be able to fool you into worshipping him, he would implant ideas in your mind and make you believe you were absolutely certain that you god was real and good. Surely you have to admit this possibility. If not you are a supreme idiot.
A poor man's philosophical aside: Even god can't be absolutely certain that he is the supreme creator, in the back of his mammoth mind there must be the possibility that he has been created to believe that he is omnipotent and perfect. Can god destroy himself? Surely he must be able to, but once he has how can he be sure that existence will vanish with him... When a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Please don't pick on this point it was meant to be subordinate to my ten or so other points in this large and exhaustiuve post.
Most definitely not. Imperfect man doesn't imply there must be an existence of a perfect god, fallacy alert! It shows that people like the idea of perfection and certainity because it settles their worries. Their concepts of the perfect being may be true or they may not. No one knows.
I don't believe in an immortal soul, simply that we die and that is it. So why would there have to be a perfect god? Surely you can see that your arguments have no basis in thought and are all purely emotive (wouldn't it be great if there was a god and an afterlife, sure, but that won't make it so).
I do want to believe in god if he exists. Of course I would like to know the truth. I see no evidence for a god, that is all. You have clearly not understood a single part of my line of reasoning.
Let me rephrase your argument: "the religious fundamentalists of this world clearly don't want to believe in science and rationalism, they can't bring themselves to believe there is no god. that is plain to see for the simplest child; so what do you think then? will you choose to be blind, or give in to the truth that there is matter and nothing else."
I hope that you can now see how this argument is completely void of convincing points. It can be applied to anything!
I was just wondering, I didn't say that it took away from your empty arguments. It is however strange and it would perhaps be easier to talk to you if you organised your thoughts more clearly and edited your post to cut out all the stuff which you know just to be preachy, unconvincing rhetoric.
Oh my, I failed to respond to one point. I am soooo sorry! What was it again? Stone me... In case YOU have forgotten I asked you what you thought about the naturalistic view of morality and what you thought about that video I posted a link to. You completely ignored me, and yet you have the gall to accuse me of this. Perhaps you should start with one simple sentence in reference to my whole argument about morality without god!?!? Just one sentence, maybe even: "I read your argument about morality as an evolutionary product, and I can't be bothered to respond to it because I think it's stupid." Fail to respond to this again and I shall not bother talking to you anymore despite the fact that I kind of enjoy it!
Also please tell me your are joking about me not responding to you! Look at my posts. They are a blow by blow response to almost everything you say on which I feel I have something interesting to add. Please tell me this is some kind of practical joke at my expense. If it is, it is extremely cruel.
I will rephrase the argument here:
1) the Bible says that you are either for god or against god, there is no middle ground
2) being an atheist is not for god
Ergo, you are against god.
However, in not believing in god, I am not against him. I cannot be against something in which I do not believe, just as I am not against the tooth-fairy beause I do not believe in him. So no, atheists are not against god.
Your book, and god, it seems, are playing word tricks on you. Similarly, you can't accept love from someone you don't believe exists. You're totally blind to this. I doubt you'll even get this now.
Oh, and on the subject of your god: you should really learn how to do this evangelising thing. You start first by not insulting the other person, and the second one is to not argue for someone joining christianity because they're screwed without it. (Actually, that second point was a joke: it's a tradition for religions to get members that way.)
On sending preachers to England: at least by posting here I'm aware of the threat that you fundamentalist politicians will pose to rationality, common sense and science in England when you start to be a force here. God willing, you'll never manage it, because what you preach is intolerance and blind ignorance. Or maybe we'll just have all the fundamentalist Muslims blowing up the fundamentalist Christians, they can all go to hell, and I'll have tea with Dawkins.
To all the atheists here: these people are totally unreasonable. They're very good at missing, intentionally or otherwise, others' points that do not fit with their beliefs, and also at reconciling things which are at odds with each other so that they seem to fit (doublethink). They're fantastic at twisting facts around their beliefs without being able to see that they are and they have an inability to see things from another point of view -- or, more accurately, to suspend their belief for even a moment. They misuse science and logic to their own ends and cannot see the problem in doing so. They make unwarranted assumptions about others' morality, thoughts, and behaviour (i.e. "i would still love you if i saw every thought you have had", "no you wouldn't"). They even ignore the historical considerations which come into the translation, and selection of the texts and books which make up their own canonical bible. I implore you all, just stop this here. There's no point in it, and all you're doing is making their faith stronger. To the fundamentalists: I'm sorry I ever came on this thread. I didn't realise arging with you would make you more delusional, but there's a better use of your time, and that's going out and helping people, giving up your posessions, and spending all your time helping others without judgement. Jesus rated helping those in poverty far above helping the Pharisees.
Oh, and I think I might start a new religion around a group of heat resistant leprechauns having conspired to create the universe, but ended up in the centres of stars, just with the intent of seeing where it ends up in two thousand years' time, if we haven't wiped ourselves out by then...
there he goes. one of god’s own prototypes: some kind of high-powered mutant never even considered for mass production. too weird to live and too rare to die.
My goodness, what a breathtaking slur against my entire heritage!
Judaism does not have doctrinal beliefs about the afterlife in the same way as Christianity and Islam. However, the Torah and Talmud clearly state that the righteous among all nations have a place in the afterlife. The position of the Jewish people as a chosen nation actually refers to obligations and practices exclusive to Jews, while non-Jews receive from God other covenants and other responsibilities. It does not entail exclusive rewards for Jews.
We've gone over this, but I'll repeat the pages-old argument for your benefit. Only in the abstract fields of pure mathematics and logic can statements be determined for certain. This time, Kashmir went for the example of a malevolent God, but do you remember the example of the government which has developed a mind controlling device, and is making you think you’re certain there is a God?
So long as you accept that this scenario or any similar one, however unlikely, is a remote possibility, then you cannot be 100% certain of your belief. There must always be the nagging doubt in your mind that everything you think you believe is actually manufactured by an evil government/alien/god.
Of course the quality of your English doesn't take away from the validity of your arguments. To say otherwise would be an ad hominem. Unfortunately, the quality of your English can have a bearing on our ability to understand your point, which is a disadvantage to you. Kashmir wasn’t trying to cast aspersions on your arguments by attacking your spelling; he was only trying to make it easier for himself to understand your points, OK?
To ask what is the meaning of the universe is like asking what is the angular momentum of Much Ado About Nothing. ~ Steven Poole
Thanks takkaria, I am starting to come to my senses. I have warned nat that a failure to respond to some of my particular points will effectively end our discussion and it will be of his doing because the warning is very clear.
I am inclined to agree with your hear no evil, see no evil attitude to these enemies of science and rational thought. However, how can be defend our freedoms and education systems if we don't at least try to reason with them. It's futile, they are just consistently and willfully ignoring me.
NAT, please explain yourself or apologise over your terrible ignorance over Judaism.
Forgive them, for they know not what they do. I truthfully believe them to be totally unaware that they sweep problems under the carpet, and I believe there is nothing or little we can do about it. Dawkins has shown that taking a vocal stance against fundamentalism (which is, I feel, one of the things he is trying to combat more than anything) makes you into someone who is unreasonable and arrogant, at least in most people's eyes. Taking no stance against it also does not help. As far as I can see, we're screwed either way. I long ago gave up faith in the human race as a whole to deal with problems, so maybe that's the only solution.
Also, I find it interesting that alcoholics who take part in AA and take up belief in a higher power have the highest chance of remaining sober. They do not just take up belief in the Christian god, or necessarily any traditional formulation of god, but the effect is the same. Furthermore, different alcoholics take up different stances, but recieve the same benefits. Given that all higher powers cannot exist, this suggests strongly that increased confidence can indeed come from a higher power, regardless of whether it exists or not.
there he goes. one of god’s own prototypes: some kind of high-powered mutant never even considered for mass production. too weird to live and too rare to die.
dont you see what we've been saying all along though, when we know the truth, everything else is counted worthless. and takkaria, im glad you think you know what Christianity is about, but seeing you're not a Christian i doubt you can really have incredible insight to the scriptures. you wouldnt want me telling you that atheism is really about believing in God would you?
and i did watch that Dawkins video if you were wondering; it was bizzare. here was a man, who was talking like he knew everything; more than the "extreme" right and "extreme" left, more than Christians, more than any other religion, more than you or me...can't you see the irony of this? he is an incarnation of the antichrist. of course you'll scoff at this, but the Bible said that anyone who puts themselves in the place of God is the man of lawlessness; Dawkins is a contender, as well as the Pope, so don't get too offended; we're all antichrists when we put ourselves above God. id like to see how Dawkins holds on to his beliefs when he suffers tragedy, when his family dies or i wonder how he responds to starvation and disease in africa, will he remain emotionally detached or will he cry out why, like we all do?
REGARDING HUMAN LOVE:
so Kashmir you are telling me, that every time your friend had a thought that he wanted to kill you, or that he hated you which rationally happens to all at some state (if you deny this you are very impressive) or everytime he had a thought that is too grotesque to imagine; YOUR love would be so boundless to cover the multitude of sins? serioiusly, this can't be solved in an argument, but for you to actually experience it. im sure you've had a relationship that didn't last, was that because your love wasn't boundless and as vast as you thought? or do you claim you were in the right and the other was the unloving one. come on - how does sin and hate and thoughts of greed and anger make the human more intriguing? how!
i have no idea where you got that Islam information from, so im not counting it as any form of argument unless you derive it from the Koran. Mohamed says the only way to be sure of Allah's love is by dying for him. that is why there are so many terrorists; because it is the only to be certain of going to heaven. now it must be hard to be loved by Allah and a) not be a muslim, b) not die for Allah, hence because your not actually a muslim c) not actually regarding that he exists. this is from the Koran, this is what true Muslims believe; not this moderate crap that the west is trying to brainwash them with. it is the counterpart of Christian liberalism and the height of western pluralist intolerance; i am offended when my country threatens to deport a Muslim Imam for sharing his views which are true Islam to the core and derived from the Koran. for example when the Sheik in Australia condoned rape, proffesed his hate for his country, i did not mind; it is what the Koran inspires. you atheists and agnostics are so intolerant as to say "oh thats unacceptable" and "you should be banned from saying that kind of thing", wheres the democracy! matt was right when he said "our freedom is eating itself".
oh and the Jewish God? Jacob i loved, Esau i hated? because Jews don't believe in Gods full redemption plan, and how he revealed his love to all mankind through Jesus they have no reason to believe he loves all. this is modern Judaism for you. in Ancient Judaism, God showed his love for the nations through one nation, Israel; surely you know this being a "Jew" and all. im sure Jewish people wouldnt want someone claiming to be a Jew whilst denying God's existence representing their religion.
all this information you have got is from "moderate" Muslims, or "moderate" Jews. in other words, religous peoples who want to change their religion. it is the same with liberal Christians. they dont like what the Bible says, so they ignore it. of course sinners don't like what the Bible says!
LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC?
heres an english lesson. in the symbolism of revelation, it is obvious (not just because the writer says so) that certain things are representative of other things; for example the representation of Babylon and the prostitute. it is easy to see the comparisons. however in Genesis, what comparison can you have to, "on the ... day God created ..."?
its pretty plain to get what happened. and if you are wondering about the days, which seems to be you're only real problem. it seems that God although he created the world in what is 24 hour days (the days of course Judged by him, not say, the revolving sun) he created it with such skill that it appears to be the result of millions of years of work. and if we were there, would the 24 hour day feel like a 24 hour day? but i know you're not going to get this, so if you still feel like this is the only thing stopping you from judging the Bible as Gods word, let Paul explain on my part.
ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, and the HILARITY of TRYING TO SUGGEST THAT YOU're ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY
the title explains itself.
on GODS FLAWLESSNESS
the Bible says that the Lord is incapable of doing wrong. now i trust the Bible. why do i trust the Bible? two reasons. a) the Holy Spirit gives me faith in it. b) through this faith and logically i can see that God fulfills every single one of his promises and reveals to the eye a completely truthful and flawless God who holds to his word and makes promises in advance so in fulfillment all will see his greatness. i assume that if you understood the magnitude of how God fulfills all his promises that he made thousands of years in advanced you would be impressed. he fulfills ALL, 100% percent. the old Religions died out because the claims their prophets made were never fulfilled, and their gods never revealed themselves. the one true belief in God lasted because he spoke truth through his prophets = they were always fulfilled. he revealed himself in signs and wonders to his people, and he fulfilled his great promise to the world through Jesus. he did this all to show his love to the world.
so just by reading History (inside and outside of the Bible) you can see that God's promises are revealed and fulfilled and indeed, he and he alone is in control of the world. how can you disagree with history?
takkaria, the Bible says evangelism is offensive to non-believers because they dont want the message of Love. let alone, they don't even think it IS a message of Love. i would be lying if i said you weren't screwed without it. the Apostle Paul talks about how we are God's ambassadors sent to "persuade" men to change their ways. the liberal and emerging Church can't "persuade" anyone (this is the Church which you'd like Christians to be like) to become a Christian because they do it like this; they take out anything that offends the hearer so that all they say is "theres no Hell, all that really matter is following the example that Jesus led". thats no reason to believe in God! but of course the non-believer loves this, so then the church becomes a pluralistic convention in way and they threaten to ban Christians who want to preach and heed to the Bible. beware the "moderates".
no one likes to be told that if they keep doing what they're doing they're screwed, we're selfish people. but the person who says that is always speaking out of love and care; so in love and care Christians say to you atheists "why be this way! call upon the Lord and be saved otherwise you'll get the judgement that YOU wanted"
and finally, MORALITY WITHOUT GOD
i think that statement in and of itself is a grand contradiction. because morality without God therefore implies it is infact relative and subjective, which therefore implies it does not exist because ethics held by one individual mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. tell me how ethics can be linked to evolution? your trying to suggesting something as ludicrous as the sky suggesting the way we walk. are you trying to suggest that the soul evolves to decide what was right for itself? if so im not surprised, but a little bit shocked at the selfishness of you ethics. in regards to the Video, where Dawkins talked about how ethics are linked with evolution as in "Nice Guys Finishing First". so is he trying to say that if there were two conflicting tribes, one tribe barbaric and cannibalistic and the other loving little Christian zealots the tribe that would win would be the Christians? is he really that stupid? natural selection cant be based on morality, it defies the whole definition of "natural" and "selection" and why it happens.
either way what gives us the belief that killing our own race is wrong? because it doesnt "benefit" the human race? rubbish, i can think of killing many people which would benefit the human race on a completely selfish level. population problems are one of the biggest threats to the human race. or is it because man was created in the image of God, and we can't bare facing up to that. i can find fault in the benefit of the human race (especially when you put this rubbish in about homosexuality being compatible with it - another considerable contradiction) but i can find no fault with us being made in God's image and that answer the question of where does morality come from. can't you see that if we followed God's law in the Old Testament, there would be no sin in the world? but the thing is, its impossible! man is not that good, its like asking a horse to be a mouse. not possible! and God knew this, so he could show how good he is, through Jesus who is God. now through Jesus, and only through him can we have morality, and only because he gives it to us. because true morality is working for Gods good not for our own. because working for our own good creates problems; severes relationship, creates feuds, takes away love and replaces it with greed etc. but when working solely for Gods approval man would live in harmony (even though it in and of itself is impossible, for we are naturally sinners). and it is this way that we are naturally sinners, that God shows his love to us by dying for us when we didn't deserve it.
to sum up, Morality without God is to take the definition of ethics out of being ethical. do you think humans know what is good for other humans and what is not? why would there be war in the world and why would it always be sad and painful if morality is determined by the individual. you are left with your finger on nothing, and nothing to refer to. you can't link it with evolution, because i can see looking over history; man has always been the same, and always will be. observation! you obviously live in some kind of alternate universe.
good to see although you may have read it, you have not responded to the paragraph where i told you the gospel (not that i havent said it here). likewise, if you don't respond to that paragraph and tell me if there is any fault there, i see no reason why this conversation should continue.
but still i pray, that God will open your eyes. because only in him is there salvation, and only in him can your questions be answered.
EDIT: Judaism without Jesus = unloving God. because he doesn't fulfill his promises of loving the whole world. you're not even a Jew (you don't even believe in God therefore making it impossible), don't get offended and stop being so nominal.
regarding Jomo. the talmud was made up by Jews in reaction to the inclusion of Gods plan of gentiles recieving his Grace through Jesus. it was an obvious effort to make Judaism "popular" again. But in truth, without Jesus, God is a liar and therefore does not exist. maybe thats why you dont believe in him. cos you ignore Jesus.
On Richard Dawkins ad hominems:
I find it strange that you think it is a strong argument for religion that people only turn to god when they are weak, emotionally unstable and desperate to believe their loved ones aren't gone for ever. I would say that people turning to religion at these junctures is pretty stong evidence that belief is some kind of defence mechanism!
Dawkins wasn't talking like he knew everything. Quite the reverse, he is a scientist and therefore a man who admits he doesn't know everything. In fact I seem to remember that in that video he says that lots of the evidences he presents are not strong yet, but do hint that morality and cooperation can easily be explained by evolution.
On morality sans dieu:
On morality without god, you are either actively trying not to understand, too young to understand, or of too low an intelligence to understand.
I can try, but for this to be a productive exercise you are going to have to imagine my worldview is true. In this way you can at least come to understand how scientists try to explain those things which you claim are simply god given (you know like lightning and rain used to be). Let me start by ennumerating your errors and in doing so you will perhaps be able to contmeplate yourself more on the issue:
1. You are looking at how morality would have developed in man as he is today. When I speak of the evolution of morality, I am talking about a time when man's brain was far smaller and our behaviour more animalistic.
2. You have looked at how one tribe which acts by killing another tribe would be favoured on evolutionary terms. The important point is that within a single tribe the members must act in a way where they don't simply kill each other, or they will soon find themselves wiped out. So tribes which are fair to those who are within their own tribe would prosper and pass on their genes. In such a manner groups of individuals who have traits which increase cooperation would prosper. Morality is born. In fact a tribe which is completely pacifist and lets others take advantage of them will obviously die out, and one which is too aggressive will destroy itself, so this only goes to prove that a tit-for-tat is selected for (you will know what this means - having watched the video).
3. You fail to see the morality of animals. Morality is simply the rules which we feel we should act according to in order to benefit ourselves in the long run. These are deeply programmed inside us. We see this in the animal kingdom too.
On slandering Jews and comparative religion:
I urge you to do more research on Islam and Judaism. You are clearly misinformed. My roomate first year in college was a Muslim, I used to post very regularly on an Islamic website, and I can assure you that you are off the mark in your condescending views of other religions.
I just told you the Jewish point of view and so did jomo87 yet you seem to know better as a Christian than as a cultural jew like myself who went to Jewish Sunday school for years and who actually had a bar-mitzvah. You are wrong. That's a fact. A bit like the way some people like to say evolution is bunk because it doesn't know how life started. These people are simply wrong. Evolution is about specification not abiogenesis.
Judaism reserves a place in the afterlife for people regardless of religion. You are simply wrong to say God only loves Israel. It's crap.
On human love:
Everytime someone does something to harm me, this may mean I disapprove of their actions. This doesn't mean I then start wishing them any harm or ill in their own lives. I still love them. Just because a relationship breaks down and you are no longer in love with a person, or you think a person is a moron, doesn't mean you don't love them anymore. In my opinion love and compassion are the default attitudes for humans, even if we sometimes pretend it is not.
Let's not argue about whether nothing can ever be absolutely certain. Of course something can be certain given some conditions. Like parallel lines will not touch, but only provided they are draw on a flat surface. Otherwise they may touch, if drawn on a sphere for example.
Let us instead look at the crux of the issue which you neatly avoided. This is the slight but considerable danger that some malevolent god/or government conspiracy is messing with people's minds to make then believe with absolute certainity that their beliefs are 100% true. You must concede a slight danger of this, my point is not for you to actually think that such a danger is actually possibile within the realms of reason, but to merely accept that it is indeed possible. Therefore you are not absolutely certain, and in admitting this you become a far more reasonable person.
On your petty nature:
Apparently I have ignore one single point. I see that this one omission has clearly irritated you. Of course this is only because you saw fit to attack me with the same just attack that I levelled at you. Namely that you have consistently ignored points I have really pressed you to acknowledge.
Apparently you made some point about me not responding to "the paragraph where i told you the gospel". I am not sure what you are referring to here (this is where clear communication comes in handy). Perhaps you could clarify what you were talking about? I think it is the paragraph where you insulted my intelligence by "explaining" to me that the parables of Jesus are not meant to be taken literally but that the rest must be, for some as yet unknown reason. I don't see any points in there that require a response, it is just rhetoric. It would be like me asking you to make a response to a dictionary. It's just a bunch of definitions, what response can there be?
i said this, and you only picked up on the bit where i said you had no idea. what do you really think of the message of Love?
id rather not respond to why your views on Judaism and Islam are contradictary to the true adherants to the religion, and are in fact moderate, making them untrue. i advise you to read the Koran, instead of listening to moderate "uncovered" Islamics who try and mould their religion to suit the west; nothing is more offensive to the hard-slaving Muslim man in the Middle-East who actually reads the Koran for what it is. i sympathize with these peoples, and wish that the West was not so intolerant of them.
but please promise me, you will read this. i don't care if a) i never say anything again or b) ever respond to anything you say again; as long as you read my reply here. it is dearly important to me...
on ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY
i think you have ignored the points that me and Paul have made about the Holy Spirit. of course humans on their own can't be sure of anything (agreed). but we can believe 100% through this, God poured out his Spirit on us so that we would never doubt him and his Love ever again. the Bible says that God's Love defies human logic; Romans 5 "God shows his Love by this; while we were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly".
lets talk about MERCY
Mercy is about sparing us from the Judgement we deserve. what do we deserve? we deserve what we wanted, complete and utter seperation from God by following the way of sin.
how do we get mercy? Jesus bore OUR sins on the cross; and if we look at him on the cross (as the Israelites looked on the snake in the desert - if you remember that from jew "sunday school") we will be saved, now and forever.
but you might say, if God was really loving, he wouldn't have to punish us at all? now, who is the more loving parent? the parent who lets their children carry on misbehaving which leads them down a path of drugs and sex when theyre older / or the parent who forces discipline lovingly on the misbehaving child for the childs own good? you seem to wish that God would let the children misbehave. but the thing is God is worthy of all Honour, Glory and Praise; surely disobedient children would not give him this.
and also it was our choice to reject God, not his. but it was part of his plan, so he could show is Love and affection to us; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, his enemies.
now lets talk about GRACE
Grace is an undeserved gift. When Christ died on the cross he didn't just die for the forgiveness of sins, but he rose again for the resurrection of life and following that he gave us is Holy Spirit. So we recieve forgiveness of sins from God; not that we can earn it, or in anyway deserve, but that he could show his love to us through Jesus. the penalty of rejecting God is seperation from him (death = hell). but the gift of God is eternal life to all who call upon Jesus' name.
now to all who call on his name and recieve Faith through Jesus, God bestows his Holy Spirit on them so that they may have faith, and so they may have no doubt. hence the Spirit is called by Jesus, a "counsellor"; in the way that it gives us 100% hope in Jesus Christ so that when we are down or enduring troubles, the Spirit counsels us in the firm foundation of Christ. the Spirit also opens the eyes of the believer to read the scriptures, to know the Love of God and to proclaim the Gospel to others, through Word, Miracles or Prayer.
in a nutshell, MERCY:
so by God we are both SPARED from our guilt and shame which leads to death (hell) through sin and SAVED by his Mercy. we are not given what we deserve; the justice of our sin was taken by Christ.
in a nutshell, GRACE:
from this Mercy, we are declared Righteous (sinless) in the eyes of God and recieve the free gift of his Grace; the forgiveness of sins and the life everlasting. amen.
now JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE
I explained earlier, we cannot contribute to our salvation (God's Mercy and Grace through Jesus Christ) in anyway. because we are in very nature evil (we don't want a relationship with God). but part of God's Grace is giving us Faith, so that whoever looks on Jesus and desires to be saved will be, and recieve a solid foundation and hope in the one true God.
God demands nothing else but Faith in him, and him alone. with Faith (hand in hand) comes the counsellor, the Holy Spirit who activates our faith. the Holy Spirit changes frees us from the slavery of sin, and makes us free to do good in Christ.
because before we were incapable of doing good for God; now through the Spirit and only through the Spirit can we be privileged to glorify him! but works contribute nothing to our Salvation, they are just proof of it to non-believers; a form of evangelism if you like. this is so that when non-believers look at a Christian, the Christian will mirror Christ and the non-believer would see what Christ has done.
the ONE TRUE CHURCH
although there are many "denominations", there is only one true Church in which, outside of, God is not present and there is no salvation. this Church is the Body of Christ; where God's Spirit dwells and his Word rules. it is foolish to say, only Baptists are the true Church, or the Anglicans (especially not), or the Romans! most slanderous is the Presbtyrian belief they actually ARE the true Chuch! it is all lies, because there is no Salvation in tradition, but only Salvation in Christ. even broader terms such as Evangelicalism cannot embody the Body of Christ; the Bible says the Love of God is boundless, and if all there is to being a Christian is confessing "Jesus is Lord" and believing in your heart God raised him from the dead, then there are many Evangelicals who aren't Christians and many Catholics who are.
so although non-believers look on the Church and see disunity, God looks upon his Children and sees them all us one in Christ.
finally, GOD IS SOVEREIGN
Everything in history took place for a reason; that reason is God. Adam and Eve sinned and God was still in control. God was in control when Jesus died. He was in control when Mohamed had a vision. God was in control when the Popes brought about the Crusades. God was in control when Hitler and Stalin imprisoned and hideously slaughtered millions of Jews and more. God was in control when Terrorists bombed the World Trade Centers. He was in control when Richard Dawkins wrote "the God Delusion". It is all part of his Salvation plan.
man sinned, but through their sin God planned to show them his Love through Jesus. He did this by making promises to a people; he fulfilled it all, proving that he indeed was in control.
God is in control when false teachers come and deny the Gospel; it is his will that they are given what they wanted, indulging in their sins. God chooses us before the dawn of time out of his Grace so that we might glorify him; so when a baby dies in utero, God is in control. when a tribesman dies before hearing the Gospel; God is in control. his Grace and Mercy is so sufficient that those chosen by God, with no psychological knowledge (spiritual, yes) of Jesus can be saved.
who are we to say, "God's election denies me of the right to choose him". the fact is, it is both incapable for us to choose him because of who we chose to be; and we didn't want his election in the first place, if we did we would probably be elected!
God is in control of who chooses to glorify him, and who chooses to glorify man. why? because he is responding Lovingly to the non-believer by giving them what they want although it pains him / whilst he remains Loving to the believer by giving them something they don't deserve.
So in all ways God is both Sovereign (all powerful) and All-Loving. He reveals his Sovereignty to us all by fulfilling his promises, and he shows his Love to us by giving us Mercy and Grace through Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead.
Nice rhetoric there, but you didn't really add anything to the discussion.
On flawlessness of god: You claim a god who wanted his people to commit gencodie is flawless. You're really screwed up, or you're using the word "flawless" in a totally different way to any way I've ever heard it used.
No, I'm pretty sure Jesus was quite big on the love thing. Not sure the old testament with the lots of genocide and war and stuff was, though. You seem to be blinded to anything morally suspect that it is said that god did, presumably because in your mind, god is good, and someone who is good would not do things that are not good, so whatever god does, it must be good for him. That's also a very different idea of "good" than we usually use, so either god is good, or it's meaningless to say he is good to everyone else because you're using a word in a way which most people don't understand it.
Yup, everyone says that. Yawn.
No, I don't want to be screwed, actually. The problem is that I have Muslims on one side telling me I'll be screwed without Allah, and Christians on the other telling me I'll be screwed without God. To me, looks like I'm going to go to hell regardless. I think there's this blind-spot in believers that makes you unable to consider the world from the view of someone who's not blind; mainly that we don't want to go to hell.
Honestly, you really can't see it. You don't understand it ever when we say that it's compatible to take evolution as the fact that it is, but not condemn homosexuals. Sure, they don't advance the state of the race because they don't reproduce. Duh. You take an extremely arrogant position when it comes to others' beliefs and logic and I can see you turning into a big debater when get older. (I say "get older" rather than "grow up" because your childish views and inability to consider others' views makes you intellectually stunted.)
I can't find insight in a book unless I believe it's literal truth? Shame. I attended church for years and was lucky to have a particularly insightful priest preach sermons. I have read the four synoptic gospels. I'm quite aware of what Jesus said in them, and of the inconsistencies in their accounts. You are blind to such interesting details, however, because you are enslaved to thinking it's entirely literal truth, untouched by humans.
Also, I think you were telling me that athiesm was hating god or something before. So you don't really have an argument there. Sorry. (OMG, you missed almost every single one of my points!)
Right, so you insane fundamentalist nutters get to preach violence, hatred and intolerance all you like and because it's inspired by a book some consider as holy or divinely inspired, we can't argue with it. If I said "kill nat smythe because he's incapable of arguing or of rational thought" and I had a book I said I believed in which was Old, and justified killing such people, would you agree? No, of course you wouldn't. Come off it, you're just making yourself look stupid.
ON FUNDAMENTALISTS AND SCIENCE
I came up with this last night. Hopefully it'll provide a reason for atheists/non-fundamentalists here to bugger off and stop putting coal on the fire. Or wood. Or whatever it is. The fundies might even get something out of it, but I doubt it.
Evangelical fundementalists are characterised by taking the bible as literal truth over any science or evidence that may contradict it.
However, instead of being able to accept that what is generally recognised as science contradicts the bible, they instead attack the science as flawed in some way, or call it non-scientific. (I am not sure they can see the problem in doing so, either.) Thus, they redefine what they mean by good science "everything which scientists have shown except that which conflicts with the bible". When they say "science", they actually mean "christian science". When talking of science, the correct conclusion is the one which agrees with scripture -- that is, if you're an evangelical fundamentalist. For everyone else, the correct conclusion is the one which the evidence points to. So, we're actually talking about two different meanings of the word "science".
Additionally, an interesting point is that they often point out the falibility of man, but whenever science agrees with bible, then it is more likely to be right, and whenever it doesn't, it's not right at all. Such is the problem in comparing evidence against belief rather than just looking at the evidence. As believers, they must presuppose god and the integrity of scripture; they have no choice.
However, it also means that it's impossible to be someone of their faith and also be a scientist, in the sense that everyone else uses the word. Only if you are capable of putting aside presupposition and belief can you truly practice science. DES and nat aren't. Their beliefs naturally prevent them from ever understanding or accepting science, in its true sense. It is sad, but here they depart from any ability to have rational or free thought, forever enslaved by their dogmatic adherence to the doctrine of a fallible book.
there he goes. one of god’s own prototypes: some kind of high-powered mutant never even considered for mass production. too weird to live and too rare to die.
I'm trying to take takkaria's words to heart and not reply in this thread anymore, though I'll keep reading it and posting in the Age of the Earth one. Still, I'm making one last post, because I somehow feel this is the one point I can't let slide.
Do you realise how downright OFFENSIVE it is to outright tell someone "You are not Jewish", especially when you're WRONG?
A Jew is any person whose mother was a Jew, or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to Judaism. That is a fact. My mother was Jewish, and I presume Kashmir's was too, so we are Jewish too. End of story.
I don't personally care for Jewish theology, but belief in God is NOT a condition of Jewishness itself. It IS a prerequisite of Jewish belief, but that is a different concept entirely! Don't tell us not to get offended when you ignorantly and incorrectly tell Kashmir and me that we're not Jews, even after we have explained to you that we are.
And let me tell you something quite ironic. In many ways, we're more "Jewish" in the eyes of those nutters protesting the anti-discrimination laws outside the Commons last week (the "true adherents" as you call them), than in the eyes of more "moderate" Jews. The frummers only care about maternal descent, and while they may not think we're very good Jews, we're inexorably Jews to them nonetheless!
The Talmud stems from an oral tradition dating back to the time of Moses. While it was only written down in the 2nd century C.E, it was present in essentially complete form in Babylonian exile, in the 6th century B.C. Please do some research in future beforer slandering other religions. I recommend the aptly named Judaism 101 as a good starting point. Here are some of the pages I used to write this response, compiled for your convenience:
What is Judaism?
Who is a Jew?
Attitudes Towards Non-Jews
Feel free to respond to this post or to apologise for your slander, but I won't be posting in this thread anymore as it's taking up valuable study time, and is just making me angrier and angrier. I'll leave it to Kashmir to respond to any responses you might make to this post.
Quite true. Unfortunately he hasn't realised this. Goodbye nat, I won't be "discussing" with you anymore on these points as it is quite clear that you don't really understand what is a fruitful conversation looks like or requires. I've tried to take things slowly but my attempts to improve the discussion have been met with sarcasm and petty counter attacks. Nevermind...
I could say lots of horrible things, afterall you claim to be almost omniscient, knowing what true Judaism and Islam are. I can't smite too hard on a chap who thinks his family won't love him if they knew every act and thought he has had. I find this deeply disturbing and worrying.
I'm not too angry with you, because you are only a product of your environment. However you are almost an adult, and your bigotry concerning Islam and Judaism are extremely worrying. There are verses in the Qu'ran which can be misinterpreted and taken out of context, for example: "I come not to bring peace but to bring a sword" (oops).