Over 300 PROOFS of the existence of GOD!!!!!!

I write quite a bit about religion, atheism and various related issues so it’s only natural that my site would attract more than the usual attention from overly religious folks who feel the need to try and show me the error of my ways. I don’t mind that all that much, though it does get rather boring hearing the same old arguments over and over again as to why God(s) exist from people who don’t seem to know that dictionaries exist or what “punctuation” means. Occasionally someone will come along who at least knows how to use a spell checker and makes a moderate attempt at punctuation and I get my hopes up that maybe I’ll hear a new take on the old God argument only to be let down when they fall back into the same old points all over again.

So while I was browsing FARK this afternoon I was surprised to see a link to the following website: Three Hundred Proofs of God’s Existence!

Three hundred proofs? Hot damn! Surely there has to be at least a couple of new ideas to chew on out of 300 proofs, right? Turns out this is actually a bit of humor from the folks at the Atheists of Silicon Valley website where they’ve taken a shit-load of common Theist’s arguments and boiled them down to very short summaries such as:

25. ARGUMENT FROM INTERNET AUTHORITY
(1) There is a website that successfully argues for the existence of God.
(2) Here is the URL.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

26. ARGUMENT FROM INCOMPREHENSIBILITY
(1) Flabble glurk zoom boink blubba snurgleschnortz ping!
(2) No one has ever refuted (1).
(3) Therefore, God exists.

27. ARGUMENT FROM AMERICAN EVANGELISM
(1) Telling people that God exists makes me filthy rich.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

While some of them are simply silly, there’s a lot of surprisingly accurate summaries of actual arguments used by Theists in among the mix and it makes for some hilarious reading. I’m tempted to take the list and recreate it here with check boxes so that Theists can just show up, check off whichever argument they would normally waste hours trying to type in without spelling a single word correctly and when they hit submit it would email me their argument and I can laugh at it and go back to playing video games. It’d save us both a lot of time.

70 thoughts on “Over 300 PROOFS of the existence of GOD!!!!!!

  1. I never argue about the existence of God. If you’ve read the Bible you have been sent the message.  It’s an individual choice to respond to that message.  If the person has not read the message then he has nothing to debate. As we know, ignorant people debate things they know nothing of all the time.  It’s the American way.

  2. Fair enough.

    I’ve read the Bible front to back over 4 times now. I was a Christian prior to doing that and now I’m an Atheist. Does this mean I got the message?

    I agree with you about ignorant people debating things they know nothing about. Just look at some of the comments I’ve gotten from people on Evolution, Cosmology and other theories that it’s clear they know little to nothing about.

  3. To Dawn

    What message should I get from the bible?

    In Genesis when Lot’s daughters get him drunk and have sex with him, what message do you get from that?  If I read it correctly the girls had sons who became the “fathers” of tribes of people.  So the moral of that story is:  If you want to make sure your kid is successful, sleep with your father—your kid will rule a tribe?

    What message do you get when a drunken Noah, who was considered a righteous man by God, curses his grandson because his son saw him naked?!?!?!

    What message should I get in Leviticus where rules on dealing with slaves are chronicled?  I can’t help but laugh when I hear inane statements like, “God doesn’t condone slavery”.  The word condone means to overlook, forgive, or disregard (an offense) without protest or censure.  Show me one instance where slavery is cesured and I’ll retract my statement.  I am willing to bet that if God said, “You will not own slaves”, quite probably thousands of years of human misery could have been avoided.

    What message do you get when the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have differing versions of the same story?  Imagine if you came home and found a broken window in your house.  You ask your four kids how it happened and they all give you different accounts.  Would you just say, ‘Well, you are all correct”??

    Most of you do not even follow “God’s” commandment of keeping the Sabbath holy!  You go to church on the first day of the week, not the last.  Jesus, who was a Jew, went to church on the last day of the week.  Where in the bible does it say you should go to church on the first day of the week?  I believe if you research it, you’ll find that Christians started going to church on Sunday because they wanted to make it very apparent they were not Jews!

    That is another curious thing to me…that Christians want to distance themselves from Jews, because Jews killed Jesus.  Well if they hadn’t killed him, wouldn’t we all be in a world of hurt?  Man, I would be buying the Jews dinner for life if I was you!  Didn’t he come to die for our sins?  Why then did he ask, “Father why have you forsaken me?”  Apparently Jesus’ death was a revelation to him!

    It appears to me that Christianity is based more on what some preachers (John, Mark, Matthew, Luke) say than what God says.  So, pardon me because I am nothing short of baffled and astounded by all the double talk in the bible.

  4. After reading your exegesis on other peoples dialectic regarding the existence of God, I cannot help but wonder as to why you devote so much space to criticism instead of expressing some thoughts of your own? Could it be that you have none? In which case you are truly an ass speaking in a man’s voice!
    Consider this: Nothing evolves from nothing! The intricacy of creation dictates that there is a creator. Even evolution requires logical progression which cannot exist without a presence. Could modal “T” Ford have evolve into present-day automobile without conscious thought? Just look at yourself, you are nothing but a machine with kidneys and liver as filters, a stomach for a fuel-tank, a heart for a pump,and a brain for a computer. Just think: A combustion enging requires air to function, and so do we! And all this, you infer, evolved from nothing without conscious planning? The only thing unique about a human being is his intellect! And just as a car, our body cannot function without conscious presence behind the wheel. To that end, we were given a unique gift called “Logic.”
    Regardless by what name he is called, the Almighty Creator does exist, but stupid people tend to believe only what they can see, touch and smell. they are like fish swiming under the water, not understanding that there is another world above them.

  5. The Model ‘T’ Ford did NOT evolve; it was built by men, not god. The Model ‘T’ could not have come into being through a chemical process, did not evolve from chained amino acids, and is not alive.

    If stupid people only believe in what they can see, touch, taste, or smell then what level of moron do you have to be to believe in what you can’t see, touch, taste, or smell? Do you believe in the invisible chocolate cake I have right here on my desk? If not why not? You can neither prove nor disprove its existence, and did I mention that it is not only delicious but can multiply two 63 digit numbers in its head? Can you not see the truth of my sentient chocolate cake? Can you not see the sugary sweet world above you?

    Why are you so threatened that there are people who don’t want to waste time believing in the unprovable bedtime stories of their youth? Just because you can not “create” a tree does not mean that there must be a god that did. Your inability to explain the unexplainable does not equate to intelligent design. If you ever find some proof, real proof, by all means show everyone until then keep your stupid opinions regarding the intelligence of others to yourself.

  6. Geez Eric, remind me to stay on your good side!

    Alex, I don’t believe the respondents on this page speak with one voice.  It is simply a discussion forum and there are various opinions presented here.  I for one do not only believe what I can see, touch, or feel.

    I believe in electricity; I’ve never seen it, though I have felt it smile  People infinitely smarter than me described how they believe it works.  They design things as varied as washing machines to the telecommunications systems we are now communicating on,  based on the Theory of Electron Flow.  Because it appears to me to that most electrical appliances act consistently, I tend to believe the basic theory, though I could never prove it.

    I believe that the sun is approximately 92 million miles away from Earth, though I have never personally measured it.  I believe in pain killing drugs, though most of them relieve pain through “an unknown mechanism”.  That last one is interesting—even the people who discovered and developed these drugs do not know why they work.  Come to think of it, the things I don’t know can (and do) fill the shelves of thousands of libraries.

    In my last post, I addressed specific questions about the Christian bible that cause me dissonance and confusion.  If you can explain why the Gospels describe different accounts of the same occurrence, I would appreciate that.  I don’t see how I can be expected to blindly believe several versions of the same story.  For instance:

    1.  George Washington was the 1st President of the US
    2.  George Washington was the 27th President of the US
    3.  George Washington was never the President of the US
    4.  George Washington’s horse was the first President of the US

    With the options I gave, I believe only one or none of the accounts can be true.  I don’t see how all the statements can be true.

    “After reading your exegesis on other peoples dialectic regarding the existence of God, I cannot help but wonder as to why you devote so much space to criticism instead of expressing some thoughts of your own?”

    Were you addressing me with that rather haughty introductory statement?  I have no idea if there is a God.  There very well may be.  I asked some specific questions and got no reply to those questions.  In none of my questions did I ask anyone to prove the existence of God.  What a ridiculous exercise that would be.

    I personally do not believe life on Earth evolved from single-celled organisms to its current state.  I believe that explanation requires entirely too much conjecture.  I can’t conceive of inorganic material spontaneously forming into organic material.  I can’t fathom how single-celled organisms could then decide to reproduce and form into complex organelles and organs.  And the biggest leap for me is that the multi-celled organisms spontaneously decided that one would be male and one would be female and they would knock off that inefficient asexual reproduction.  I don’t believe it, but that doesn’t make me right just as it doesn’t make the Christian explanation of creation right.

  7. So, Mild Bill, where do you think complex life forms came from? Just curious since you stated what you don’t believe in and not what you do believe in.

  8. After reading your exegesis on other peoples dialectic regarding the existence of God, I cannot help but wonder as to why you devote so much space to criticism instead of expressing some thoughts of your own? Could it be that you have none? In which case you are truly an ass speaking in a man’s voice!

    Oh my! Looks like someone has a shiny new thesaurus. Makes for a refreshing change from the barely literate responses I often get around here. You don’t mention whom you’re addressing your missive to, but if it’s me then how could you claim that I am not expressing thoughts of my own? Unless you’ve not bothered to read any of the rest of my website in which I have expressed my opinions on numerous topics both serious and silly.

    Consider this: Nothing evolves from nothing! The intricacy of creation dictates that there is a creator.

    Oh no! And he started off so well too. What with all them big words and all. Yet he succumbs to the same tired arguments that we’ve been over and over so many times before here at SEB.

    Even evolution requires logical progression which cannot exist without a presence. Could modal “T” Ford have evolve into present-day automobile without conscious thought? Just look at yourself, you are nothing but a machine with kidneys and liver as filters, a stomach for a fuel-tank, a heart for a pump,and a brain for a computer. Just think: A combustion enging requires air to function, and so do we! And all this, you infer, evolved from nothing without conscious planning? The only thing unique about a human being is his intellect! And just as a car, our body cannot function without conscious presence behind the wheel. To that end, we were given a unique gift called “Logic.”

    So, how many intelligent conversations have you had with your Model T lately? Have you managed to breed your Model T with a Model A yet? What? You say cars can’t procreate? Well, why not? According to you there’s no difference between a car and a human being. Comparing apples to engines is a poor way to win an argument.

    Yes, as humans we have a unique ability to utilize logic. However, logic can be faulty as can be seen in your car and animal comparison. You’re essentially just rehashing the same old Argument from Design, sometimes known as the Blind Watchmaker Argument, which suffers from three primary faults:

    • Firstly, a watchmaker creates watches from pre-existing materials, whereas God is claimed to have created the universe from nothing. These two sorts of creation are clearly fundamentally different, and the analogy is therefore rather weak.
    • Secondly, a watchmaker makes watches, but there are many other things in the world. If we walked further along the beach and found a nuclear reactor, we wouldn’t assume it was created by the watchmaker. The argument would therefore suggest a multitude of creators, each responsible for a different part of creation (or a different universe, if you allow the possibility that there might be more than one).
    • Finally, in the first part of the watchmaker argument we conclude that the watch is not part of nature because it is ordered, and therefore stands out from the randomness of nature. Yet in the second part of the argument, we start from the position that the universe is obviously not random, but shows elements of order. The Watchmaker argument is thus internally inconsistent. –The Atheism Web: Common Arguments

    Regardless by what name he is called, the Almighty Creator does exist, but stupid people tend to believe only what they can see, touch and smell. they are like fish swiming under the water, not understanding that there is another world above them.

    No, stupid people put forth simplistic analogies and that don’t hold up to scrutiny and then claim them as superior logic.

  9. Mild Bill,

    Yes I guess I was exceptionally harsh in my response to Alex, I usually cringe when I see the same sort of response from others and usually wish to say something to soften the blow for the intended recipient. However I am usually thick skinned when it comes to criticism and attacks from those who do not agree with me, today I suddenly had enough of being referred to as stupid (yes I do believe in things I can see, touch, taste, and smell) and the main argument is basically ‘regardless of what you say, god does exist and you lack the facility to be enlightened like me’.

    I have been called far worse than stupid (I usually refer to myself as a fucking idiot when I pull some bone-headed stunt) but in swaggers Alex, so full of his smug superiority and deficient in his cogent arguments saying that people who believe in what, in effect, is real are stupid because they take the easy road. The enlightened individual transcends reality and believes in what is not.

    The belief in the invisible is entirely his right, but to slander others when spouting his arrogant self-righteous pabulum got to me today.

    I apologize if I stepped over the line.

  10. Eric, the guy did come off a bit condescendingly (I also have a thesaurus with a spell checker) smile

    What do I believe ? (thanks Brock!) smile.  The answer is simple—I don’t know.  Let me step through this to illustrate my confusion:

    1.  Billions of years ago, inorganic material formed into the first rudimentary cell

    2.  This singled-celled organism then built complex organelles; mitochondria, Golgi Bodies, endoplastic reticulum, etc.

    3.  This single-celled organism then figured out how to sustain itself through protein synthesis

    4.  This single-celled organism then figured out replicate itself through mitosis

    5.  Single-celled organism decided to construct themselves into even more complex structures.

    —skipping forward a bit—

    6.  Multi-celled organisms become animals

    7.  Animals decide it would be more productive and efficient to use meiosis (sexual reproduction) to reproduce

    8.  Not only did all these things occur, they had to occur in such a way as to create reproductively successful males and females—millions of times for each species.

    I’m basically talking about eukaryotic mammal cells here.  I understand some animals still reproduce asexually and some animals use chemosynthesis,  but hopefully you get the gist of it.  I didn’t even talk about enzymes, without which life could not exist.  I understand there have been experiments where inorganic material was formed into what appeared to be a rudimentary cell structure.  That is still quite a stretch from a simple cell to me!

    It annoys me when Christians say things like, “The truth is in the Bible, you just don’t want to see it”.  Hell, I would love it if they were right!  I use to go to church with my wife, just to listen to a different perspective.  Most of what I heard was conjecture passed off as fact.  I had no idea how pessimistic Christians were until I went to church with her.  It seems they have to believe we are all terribly wicked and are getting worse.  They concoct statistics showing how bad our society has become, statistics that have no basis in fact.

    The final straw for me was when the preacher stated that 9-11 was punishment from God for our wickedness!  I just can’t deal with that kind of ignorance.  If they want to believe the past was some merry little place with no strife, more power to them.  Anyone who makes such ridiculous statements clearly does not comprehend history.

    Some pretty shitty things went on in this country in the past.  Two of the worst were slavery of Africans and the slaughter of American Indians.  The treatment of slaves and antebellum treatment of “freed slaves” has to go down as one of the greatest crimes in human history!  Even Dubya said so last month during his Africa visit.  Who were the main supporters of that institution—the mainstream Christian churches!

    Do they recognize and accept their complicity???  Hell no, they blame Darwin!  They blame gays. They blame everyone but themselves.  Man I love asking Southern Baptists this question:

    “If slavery is a sin and crime in the eyes of God, do you think your ancestors are going to roast in Hell for it?”

    I have never gotten a coherent response—I’m usually derided for dwelling on such unpleasantness instead of listening to the “true message” of the bible.  I listen to them talk about their ability to “spiritually discern” God’s will and am amazed.  I guess their ancestors lacked the ability to discern God’s will and it’s a relatively new innovation.

    I just can’t believe that a series of books written by I don’t know who and I don’t know when, contain the truth.  There are just two many contradictions.  One of the most baffling to me is when Jesus supposedly told a group of people that some of them standing before him would live to see his second coming.  The apostles and people during the first century taught that Christ’s return was imminent.  From what I’ve read, that did not happen.

    So that’s what I don’t believe—what do I believe???  Beats the hell out of me.

  11. Eric, don’t be so hard on yourself. In my mind you didn’t give Alex a hard enough time. He made a ridiculous analogy and vented his anger at people daring to go against his belief system. I doubt he thought twice about how he might be making others feel. He is just one more of the type that cling desperately to fairy tales while illustrating how hate-filled they really are. Why is it that I keep meeting nicer people that don’t have “God in their life” than people who supposedly do?

  12. Good answers Mild Bill and don’t feel too bad. I have a theory of my own on the origin of life but cannot prove it even to myself. Guess that means I can’t legally post her anymore.
    Consider though that life has had millions and millions of years to get it right and history is littered with failed attempts. If you look at it that way one might wonder why it’s taking so long to make a decent human being.

  13. Brock

    You sound as pessimistic as them thar Christian folk smile  I try to be optimistic.  I tend to see the mistakes humans make as normal, not as exceptions.  When you think like that (and expect people to act like idiots) it’s just that much more pleasant when you see someone do something decent.

    So succinctly, what do you believe?  Please try not to be as long-winded( and grammatically incorrect) as I was in explaining my “beliefs”!

  14. Brock – Of course you can still legally post here. You stated that you have your own thoughts on the origins of life, but you’re not claiming that your thoughts are indisputable facts.

    I don’t have a problem with people having different ideas or beliefs that contradict what current science says is true as long as people aren’t trying to claim those ideas as anything more than ideas. Tell me it’s your personal pet theory and I’ll enjoy listening and discussing it with you. Tell me you know for a fact that we’re the result of an alien experiment and I’ll ask you to back that claim up with something in the way of proof. I’m not against new ideas, I’m against wild claims presented as fact without anything to back them up. Thought I should clairify that for folks as I know I can seem a little hard-nosed about this at times. grin

    MB – I share your viewpoint on human nature. I expect people to make mistakes. Hell, I reserve it as a personal right as a human being. Making mistakes isn’t so much the problem, it’s what you do after making the mistake that counts.

    I tend to be cynical in my surface thoughts, but deep down I’m actually relatively optimistic which is why it pains me so much when I see signs that my cynicism seems more accurate than my optimism. I say that I think the average American is an idiot, but deep down I like to believe most people have at least as much common sense as I do.

    OK, I’ve rambled enough for now.

  15. Mild Bill,
    if you compare me to a christian once more in any way shape or form I’m going to start pointing out how some of your remarks could compare to how christians think. You apparently missed the meaning of my remark (that’s not rare for you) when I said one might wonder why it’s taking so long to make a decent human being. I suggested that life has had many millions of years to evolve from inert substances to single celled organisms to the complicated life forms we represent and that it surely did not accomplish all this without some mistakes and retries being present along the way. I wasn’t being negative in any way, merely joking that if you find it hard to believe that life evolved from inorganic materials it could be pointed out that in all that time life still has some imperfections to iron out. Nowhere did I state that I expect people to act like idiots. Nor do I think we are finished becoming better sentient beings. Your whole first paragraph was both optimistic and pessimistic in it’s meaning. That’s double speak; something you seem to be quite good at sometimes. And you asked “what do I believe”. What do I believe regarding what?

    Les,
    you mentioned in another post that you vote Mild Bill as your current favorite new commenter because things have picked up conversation-wise since he started showing up. Don’t insult the rest of us. Speaking for myself, I would have posted just as much if it had been someone else I was responding to. There is no shortage of controversial viewpoints being offered at this site.

    And I was joking when I said I guess I can’t legally post here anymore (because I don’t have definite answers.) I come to this site because it engenders (sometimes) deeper thought. Do I think science explains everything? No, and neither do you. The major difference, it seems, between you and I is that you think our consciousnesses cease to exist once we die. I don’t. Yet I’ve made it clear in several posts at this site that I don’t believe a God has control over my after-state.

  16. **scribbling furiously in a notebook** …would still post a lot… …was joking… …only difference… OK, got it. Thanks Brock for straightening my ass out.

    Do you have any idea how difficult it is to sit on a crooked ass?

  17. Damn Les, you’re getting as bad as Mild Bill at reading my post and then trying to twist it.

    *Suggested edits to Les’ notes on Brock’s post.*

    Brock: “I would have posted just as much…”
          -not-
    Les:  “would still post a lot”
    Solution: If I’m posting too much, just tell me.

    Brock: The major difference, it seems…
          -not-
    Les:  “only difference”
    If you keep this up you’ll be able to open a bottle of wine with that ass of yours (assuming you can’t at this point.) Heh heh!

  18. Hey now, don’t be dissin’ my anal talents! They have gotten me out of more than one tight… er… squeeze…

    :doh:

  19. Brock

    This -> smile  is a smiley face.  It is generally used to denote humor in written communications.  Humor is defined as:

    That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement

    I used it after I made the humorous comparison between you and those “C” people.  It was what is sometimes called a joke.  You know, we keep having these crazy misunderstandings.  Why don’t you just send me your current mensurated GPS coordinates and I’ll have one of my former co-workers fly by your house and “drop” you a 2,000 lb “package”.  Now see,that was humor too!
    smile See there’s the smiley face again, denoting humor (which was previously defined above).  I don’t even have access to a jet fighter, let alone a 2,000 lb bomb…that’s the funny part!

    In the words of a great American philosopher:

    Lighten up Francis!

    Warren Oates, Stripes, 1981, Directed by Ivan Reitman, Available now at Amazon.com and retail outlets everywhere

  20. Sorry Mild Bill but I don’t worship your smiley face gods or even recognize them as such. Humor is in the eye of the beholder so don’t try to convert me with your religious icons. Besides, I already have a black friend.
    PS Is this what you mean by humor? Muhaahahahahaha!

  21. Brock

    We have a lot of work to do in the humor department!  Let us know dissect your last message:

    Sorry Mild Bill but I don

  22. I believe in the concept of Christianity.  Not what it has been made out to be today.  I also believe that it has been polluted by the church during King Jame’s reign.  Seeing as how the church then was the same as the church now, after power and money.  I also belive that a lot of what happend before creation in the Bible was left out.  I’m not an atheist, but I’m not a so-called “Christian” either.  I was just raised Christian and I’ve adapted some of the beliefs.
    These are only my theory’s and I’m not making and factual statements.

  23. What message do you get when a drunken Noah, who was considered a righteous man by God, curses his grandson because his son saw him naked?!?!?!

    Just a quick note on this, although it was posted several weeks ago.  This is an excellent example of a bible criticism founded on ignorance.  Honestly, if you want to critique the bible, you should first learn something about it, right?

    What did it mean for Ham to “uncover his father’s nakedness”?  It’s a Hebreism.  It means, quite bluntly, that Ham engaged in incest with Noah’s wife, his own mother.  In fact, if you have an original King James version Bible, you will note that most of the sexual laws in Exodus 20 and 28, and Leviticus 18 are written in the same way.  The specific precept which Ham violated is written of in Leviticus 18,8: The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it [is] thy father’s nakedness.  When the Hebrews spoke of “uncovering his father’s nakedness”, it didn’t mean stumbling by while he was bathing.  They were talking about intercourse.

    Many newer translations make this clear for the benefit of people unfamiliar with Hebrew idioms.  The same verse (Lev 18,8) in the New American Bible: You shall not have intercourse with your father’s wife, for that would be a disgrace to your father.  Here they’ve made clear the meaning of the Hebrew scripture.  The problem is that many translations don’t clarify what happened in Genesis chapter 9, and so a modern reader is left wondering what Noah is so angry about.

    It should be clear, at this point, why Noah expelled Canaan from the camp and from the tribe: he was the product of Ham’s incest with his own mother.  Noah didn’t want him around as a constant reminder of his own and his wife’s disgrace.

  24. if god does exist he puts a lot of nice people through a lot of shit,and all the lieing backstabing people keep geting away with it,a god of justice my arse,have faith my little sheep and come on up for another shafting.I do know as fact non human beings exist and angles.It is I think a big play ground this life thing and those who give out kickings do so because they think no one is watching,thus they show themselves for what they are (bastards)I do believe however that something is watching, yorkshire in the uk over and out:)

  25. Sir,
    I write this not out of hate for what you say but to just let you know I’m your friend.  You say you are an atheist but some how I believe deep down inside you really wanting to believe.  I once was a angnostic prior to Oct. 21 1972.  I was a hippie strung out on drugs and playing rock music. I had had it with the world and was going to kill myself.  But I had a praying mom & dad that prayed for me but have gone on to be with the Lord.  One night in a little holiness church in Buena Vista Va. God spoke to me and told me He loved me and that He did not want me to be lost and go to hell.  I had always said if God would speak to me I would believe and I did.  I ask Jesus to heal my mind from all the flashbacks I had from LSD and I wanted to serve him for the rest of my life.  Brother I got the real thing.  No it has hot been easy!  I have been in the hospital over 17 times, almost died four times and while I was in the ER in Dec. 1996 I came out of my body for a little while.  I know you don’t have to believe me but I have medical records showing that I should not be alive.  I don’t know how I come upon you web site but it was not by accident.  If you just think about all the evil in the world and then go looking for love!  It is here you can’t see the ungodly evil in peoples hearts but it’s there.  It is manifest itself when little children get raped and killed.  When those who are rich refuse to help those that have very little or even enough food!  But then look at all the people that give to help the hungry and homeless who are they?  Most of the time they are poor people themself or those who have very little to spare!  Man can’t you see that if there wasn’t a God evil men and women would totally destroy any thing that is good!  I know I can’t make you believe but I know that God loves you and sent his son Jesus Christ that you might have everlasting life.  I don’t have a degree in theology but I have a certificate in religion but that does’t matter when it comes to be a servant of the Lord.  I am a soldier in the Army of the Lord and I just want to let you know that I really care about you. I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t live in a big fine home but all my needs are meet and I have a wonderful wife and 3 kids that are grown.  I am a musician and I love to play music for my Lord.  I hope this letter will cheer you up and maybe put a spark of God’s love in your heart

    In the Army of the Lord
    Prophet Bobby Presnell

  26. Some of Spelling was wrong but hey I never said I was a english major!  I read some of the comments you get and Melvin said that God put a lot of good people through some bad stuff.  Friend it is not God that does it.  Yes He may allow it but it’s just like basic training.  Jesus said that He suffered and that the disciple was not above the master.  You tell me why people hate me for spreading God’s love?  Why am I the stupid Christian when all I want to do is preach the Gospel of peace?  I have the answer.  Satan is the God of this world or the system it goes by and He hates anything good or that comes from God.

    May His love shine on you
    In the Masters army
    Prophet Bobby Presnell

  27. Why argue about it? Let’s just see when the end comes huh? If God doesn’t exist, when you die, you’ll just rot and decay and that’s it. If God does exist, and you follow His plan, you’ll be fine, if not, you’ll burn in hell. Like it or not smile

  28. I love how you omit yet a third possibility: God exists, but Christians got it all wrong about the whole heaven/hell thing and what the rules actually were. Oops.

  29. Just wanna give my two pennies worth to this discussion:
    Your last entry was actually my first step towards fullblown atheism.
    Because if there is a god who says the christians got it right?
    Every religion has it own holy (book of) stories,which are the word of god(s).
    If you ask the respective believers they all come forth with a list of miracles (past and present) to proof that they are right.So obviously miracles do not prove anything.This also debunks the numbers argument i.e. if the few hundred million christians are right (they have to be, so many can’t be wrong) then one billion chinese (not quite sure what they believe),850 million hindus,a few hundred million muslims,hundred-odd million shintoists (? shinto religion of Japan) and millions and millions of Sikhs,Jews and others would have to be wrong.
    And under closer scrutiny the main message is pretty similar for most religions:
    Worship regularly in the prescribed manner;
    Do not sleep with neighbours wife or relatives;
    Do not steal from others in your community;
    Be nice to weaker members of said community;etc.
    And last but not least :
    All other religions are the source of all evil and (if he exists in your believe) in league with the devil.
    So what I am saying is that, if you strip away the specific propaganda all religions are pretty much the same as each other.
    I think the purpose of religion is twofold:
    1) to allow a species of hunters and gatherers living in small family groups to settle down in large societies without it turning into murder and mayhem by giving them rules of behaviour which cannot be questioned (godgiven)
    2) neatly explaining everything which is not easily explainable by invoking divine workings.
    This might all sound pretty cynical and I could
    go on for hours but there you go.
    In the end being a christian (muslim,atheist ,jew,….) doesn’t make you a good person, only being a good person makes you one.
    Anyway after contemplating on all this (and much more,it’s an ongoing process I started over twenty years ago) I would have still considered myself agnostic.The last step came when I was in Hospital and had two near-death-experiences (the bright light type).Since then I somehow know that there isn’t anything else,no creator and no divine plan.
    This “knowledge” condems me to take full responsibility of my actions (no Devil made me do it) but also to claim all credit for myself
    (God did NOT help me).Now there’s a double edged sword but that is, I believe, what they call the human condition.
    Lastly I am a firm believer in understanding the other point of view in any argument and with that in mind would like to recommend the book “The Blind Watchmaker” by Richard Dawkins to Alex Miller.

  30. I don’t know any one who is “good”! What is “good”? I guess it depends on who you ask! “Good” is defined the same way as God…..therefore i’m not so sure about it! Being a good person makes a good person? I want to hear the argument for the existence of this thing called a “good” person! I’m not sure their is such a thing! I guess it’s based on ….faith….like many things.

  31. Can only a “good” person define what it is to be “good”? I define what is “good” by what I was taught and by my own personal experiences! I never asked for proof…..but, now I do! The day someone provides proof of that which is “good”, is the day your proof of God will be before you! Good Luck!

  32. Hey Les…I’m not sure snowman indicated he was a Christian. Maybe Christians are’nt the only ones who has it all wrong!

    The fact that you singled out Christianity….is revealing. lol

  33. Bart, is there some reason you keep coming back to this topic? The absence of any kind of a response to your two previous comments in the past 15 days wasn’t enough of a clue that they weren’t really worth responding to? Obviously you’re desperate for attention so I suppose I’ll toss you a bone.

    Hey Les

  34. Firstly, on the comment made by Alex Miller a long while back: while most of his points have already been addressed, I’d like to point out that, according to quantum physics, something can be created from nothing. By Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, you can, essentially, ‘borrow’ energy from spacetime, for an amount of time which depends upon the amount of energy borrowed. Now, potential energy has a negative sign convention, and the amount of potential and kinetic energy in the Universe appears to be equal, so, since we would be borrowing zero total energy, we can borrow it for indefinitely long. So much for the first cause argument – it’s inconsistent both logically and physically.

    Secondly, to Mild Bill about Evolution.

    1. Billions of years ago, inorganic material formed into the first rudimentary cell

    Well, the current theory is basically organic materials—-> protocell—-> heterotrophic prokaryotic cell. Now, it’s been shown that given the right conditions, you can take simple organic compounds and convert them to amino acids and other building blocks of life. While I will admit this is not a complete explanation, there are various theories that offer more complete (though still not perfect) explanations, though there is not quite enough evidence, as far as I know, to determine which is correct.

    2. This singled-celled organism then built complex organelles; mitochondria, Golgi Bodies, endoplastic reticulum, etc.

    There is, in fact, an explanation for the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts – I can’t remember it’s name at the moment, however. Basically, into an early eukaryotic cell swam a prokaryote which produced a lot of energy. Now, this relationship proved beneficial for both the eukaryote and the prokaryote, so they basically merged into one organism. While this doesn’t quite explain exactly how mitochondria originated, it does help, and it is backed up by quite a bit of evidence: for example, mitochondria carry their own genetic material, and also have two membranes (which would be explained from them having both their own prokaryotic membrane as well as a piece of membrane that enveloped them as they swam in).

    3. This single-celled organism then figured out how to sustain itself through protein synthesis
    4. This single-celled organism then figured out replicate itself through mitosis

    5. Single-celled organism decided to construct themselves into even more complex structures.

    Well, I wouldn’t exactly say “figured out” – evolution isn’t a conscious process – but I admit for these problems I have no explanation. This doesn’t mean there is no explanation yet produced, nor that there never will be one; I simply don’t know of one.

    6. Multi-celled organisms become animals

    Could you explain a bit further here? Do you mean that you can’t understand the variation of cells into animals and plants (plus all the other kingdoms)? Or do you mean something different?

    7. Animals decide it would be more productive and efficient to use meiosis (sexual reproduction) to reproduce

    I would guess that the transition from mitosis->meiosis was not a one-step process. However, I have no explanation for this, nor for your last point about male-female differentiation.

    However, I would like to say that while Science cannot provide complete explanations for everything in the Universe yet, it is a work in progress – new things are being discovered all the time, and as they are, scientists make new conjectures and test them, learning more about the world around them, and revising the current theories to explain more. Compare this to religion, which is a rather static set of beliefs; most of the time, instead of revising itself to fit the facts, it revises the facts to fit its belief system. Now, while there have been changes in religion, very rarely have they been based on outside evidence, and when they have been, it’s mostly been because of huge amounts of pressure from science (the changes due to Copernicus’ heliocentric theory, for example) and even then only with reluctance. Science, on the other hand, does change and always tries to fit itself to the data. While it is obviously not perfect, at least it acknowledges this, and strives further.

    Finally, to Bob Presnell:
    Most of your argument is an argument based on morality. This is quite obviously flawed – why does God need to exist for good to exist? Furthermore, the existence of evil does not necessitate a God to prevent it – this is called wishful thinking.

    Man can’t you see that if there wasn’t a God evil men and women would totally destroy any thing that is good!

    How so? I am an atheist, and I have a quite strong set of morals. Also, if religion is such a requirement for morality, why do you think that separation of Church and State has been instituted in quite a few of the first-world countries of the world? If non-Christians are all so immoral, why did people ever think that Church and State should be separate? I would think such people would form easily identifiable classes, too – the ‘good’ Christians and the ‘evil’ atheists living totally different lifestyles – yet this is not so, either. In fact, I’ve met just as many Christians who do immoral things as I have met atheists, agnostics, and people of other religions who are immoral.

  35. About youre question of immorality, non-Christians as well as Christians are both people created by God.  Because of this, they are both given a “conscience” if you want to call it that.  Well just say a basic knowledge of good and evil.  Non-Christians as well as Christians both sin, both fall.  Christians are not the only people created in the image of God.  The difference is, Christians (and I hate to throw myself in this category, some awefull things have been done in the name of “Christianity”) realize why it is wrong, through the laws given in the Bible.  Why is it wrong for you to kill someone if they are just another bunch of cells, dna, and electrical impulses thrown together due to a scientific process.  So is a housefly.

    I like this discussion on “evolution” of species, first of all, not all Christians discredit evolution as we understand it.  I am one that beleives it, and also believes in Christ.  You see, one theme of the Bible, God is a God of order fits perfectly with evolution.  God used the processes he created (evolution) to design the being he wanted in communion with him (people).  People are the end result, the only being posessing a soul that is more than their physical being.  And you know, I obviously dont have all the answers, this is just how I understand it, and try as I might (and I have), I cannot dissmiss the idea of an intelligent creator.  I am an engineer, I think scientifically and mathematically, but yet I realize that that is not all there is, and following my presuppositions about science, I have to come to the conclusion of a creator and sustainer.  I dont know if anyone is still monitoring this post, but Id like to hear any comments.

  36. Hmmm. This should be interesting…

    About youre question of immorality, non-Christians as well as Christians are both people created by God. Because of this, they are both given a “conscience” if you want to call it that. Well just say a basic knowledge of good and evil. Non-Christians as well as Christians both sin, both fall. Christians are not the only people created in the image of God. The difference is, Christians (and I hate to throw myself in this category, some awefull things have been done in the name of “Christianity” realize why it is wrong, through the laws given in the Bible. Why is it wrong for you to kill someone if they are just another bunch of cells, dna, and electrical impulses thrown together due to a scientific process. So is a housefly.

    Your query here is a little confusing. You spend several sentences laying down a foundation that makes several claims, which are debatable in their own right, to ask what appears to be a simple question. You also seem to go from a very broad perspective to a very narrow one by the end of the paragraph. It seems to me your basic question is: “Without God why is killing wrong?” But the amount of effort you put into stating the reason why Christians (in particular) realize why killing is wrong along with the housefly comparison leads me to think I may be missing part of the point you’re trying to make or that you don’t realize how much you’re trying to squeeze into a single question. There are a couple of implied points in that paragraph so let’s break it down and tackle them as we go along:

    The first implied point appears to be as follows: God created everybody with a basic knowledge of good and evil in the form of a “conscience” and everyone does bad things from time to time, but Christians understand why something is wrong because of the laws written in the Bible.

    Assuming for the moment that God does exist, the point you’re raising here dismisses all of the other religious beliefs outside of Christianity on the assumption that only the Christians “got it right” about God. Most of the major world religions have rules with regards to what is right and wrong that vary from religion to religion and they’re all just as likely be the word of God as any of the rules written in the Bible. Given that, I could ask why you seem to think that all non-Christians (believers or otherwise) lack an understanding of why something is right or wrong? As a non-believer why should I assume your religion’s rules on right and wrong are any more valid than some other religion’s rules on right and wrong?

    The next implied point is a little trickier to determine as I can see a couple of possibilities such as “without a God to establish what is right and wrong there aren’t any valid reasons to declare anything right or wrong or “without a God to define the relative value of life there are no reasons to value a human life over that of a housefly. The problem with both of these points is that they’re perfect examples of lazy thinking. The assumption that there aren’t any reasonable arguments to be made outside of God just means you haven’t put enough thought into it. I’ve covered this before in other entries, but one of the first reasons I can think of to establish right and wrong or the relative worth of various forms of life is the simple issue of survival. I’m sure if you put some thought into it you’d be able to come up with all manner of reasonable and logical reasons for establishing what is right and wrong and relative worth just on that single issue alone without any help from me, though I can provide examples of such reasoning if you need them.

    Lastly there is a problem with your question that you don’t seem to have considered and that’s the rather black and white nature of it. Most versions of the Bible read “thou shalt not kill” and if you’re a literalist then that leaves no room for exceptions. Yet many Christians do believe there are exceptions to that rule (e.g. in self-defense) and Christianity throughout history has often killed in the name of God. In fact the Bible is full of killing under direct orders from God as well as rules on how people should be killed for various offenses. For such an “absolute wrong” it sure does seem kinda flexible. This is why many modern Bibles have changed the word from “kill” to “murder” as that helps smooth out that troublesome wrinkle, though not completely. Like most things in life the issue of whether it is right or wrong to kill is largely dependent on the reasons behind it and the context in which it is taking place.

    I like this discussion on “evolution” of species, first of all, not all Christians discredit evolution as we understand it. I am one that beleives it, and also believes in Christ. You see, one theme of the Bible, God is a God of order fits perfectly with evolution. God used the processes he created (evolution) to design the being he wanted in communion with him (people). People are the end result, the only being posessing a soul that is more than their physical being.

    We’re aware that there are plenty of Christians (and believers from other religions) out there who accept evolution as simply being one of the processes behind how God makes things happen and that’s not an unreasonable viewpoint to take. Plenty also think the “Big Bang” was God creating the universe and establishing the rules for how it would function and that’s not unreasonable either. There is certainly no shortage of scientists who reconcile their religious beliefs with their occupation as scientists by using that same bit of logic. At the least it makes those folks seem much more reasonable than the literalist Fundamentalists to us non-believers.

    And you know, I obviously dont have all the answers, this is just how I understand it, and try as I might (and I have), I cannot dissmiss the idea of an intelligent creator. I am an engineer, I think scientifically and mathematically, but yet I realize that that is not all there is, and following my presuppositions about science, I have to come to the conclusion of a creator and sustainer. I dont know if anyone is still monitoring this post, but Id like to hear any comments.

    As I noted above you’re not alone in that regard. Some people just seem to have a need to believe in things like God(s) and those reasons vary. It’s been my experience that people such as yourself are at least open to reasonable debate on various issues and while you may not agree in whole or part with every idea you come across you’re at least willing to consider the opposing viewpoint and you don’t tend to try and force everyone to live by the beliefs you follow. By comparison the Fundamentalist believers are generally closed-minded and unwilling to consider viewpoints that contradict their rigid beliefs and want everyone else to abide by their views on how things should be.

    You can believe the Universe and Evolution are the results of Super-Intelligent Inter-Dimensional Space Guppies for all I care if it makes you feel better about yourself and lets you sleep at night. As long as you remain open-minded to other possibilities and ideas it doesn’t really matter much what you believe to most of us non-believers.

  37. I think you took my question about the housefly and killing the wrong way.  I wasnt trying to cram all of morality into killing, I was trying to give an example (and yes, I should have stated it better, called it a hate crime or something so it would be obvious that it was wrong to do, I can see that now).  Lets see if this works:  I have the means to go and murder the man running a business in competition with mine.  A lion sees another lion trying to take some of the zebra he just caught.  He kills him without a second thought.  Why dont I?  We are under the laws of the survival of the fittest, right?  It isnt going to hurt me to kill the owner of the rival business, Ill be the only business of my kind in town, I can do it carefully and not go to prison.

    About other religions, of course they have rules on right and wrong, their creators also have a conscience.  And no, Christians arent the ones who “got it right”, God got it right in the first place, and his followers hope to carry out those laws the best they can.  Many other religions are human perversions of the true God in order to benefit their creators.  Mormanism, Islam, Jehovahs witnesses.  Muhammad was a god in his own right when he established his religion and sought his “family” of believers.  Now he has a legacy no one will forget.  Read about the early days of Islam, Muhammad’s followers split because of fighting about who would take over for him.  Everyone wanted that sort of power.

    And seriously, what was up with your last comment.  Reason be damned!  This is great stuff:

    “You can believe the Universe and Evolution are the results of Super-Intelligent Inter-Dimensional Space Guppies for all I care if it makes you feel better about yourself and lets you sleep at night. As long as you remain open-minded to other possibilities and ideas it doesn’t really matter much what you believe to most of us non-believers.”

    First of all, you pull out the great non-believer war-cry “makes you feel better about youreself and lets you sleep at night”.  Wow, thats deep, but you know what, Id be sleeping a lot easier if I knew that I wouldnt be held accountable for every sin ive committed, in the open, or in secret.  It would be really easy for me to say; you know what, there is no god to worry about, I’m going to live my life how I want to.  I will finish my existence in a way that benefits myself, and be happy to know that when I die, thats it, I am accountable to no one but myself.  I also love how you hide behind other non believers, “most of them think like this”. Can you think for yourself?  Do you speak for the group?  Thanks, but I’ll get my opinion on how most non-believers think from them.  Im sorry Les, thats just “lazy thinking”.  I just hope you dont get it stuck so deep in your mind that there is no God, that any arguments for it you just brush away without giving thought to.  Alright, its your turn, go ahead and lay down some logical arguments laced with petty insults and small thinking.  Or just the logical arguments this time.

  38. I’m sorry you feel that I laced my reply with “petty insults” as that wasn’t my intent. Usually when I lace my replies with insults it’s done in as obvious a manner as possible as subtlety is often lost on some of the people I respond to. Let’s see what we have to work with this time.

    I think you took my question about the housefly and killing the wrong way. I wasnt trying to cram all of morality into killing, I was trying to give an example (and yes, I should have stated it better, called it a hate crime or something so it would be obvious that it was wrong to do, I can see that now). Lets see if this works: I have the means to go and murder the man running a business in competition with mine. A lion sees another lion trying to take some of the zebra he just caught. He kills him without a second thought. Why dont I? We are under the laws of the survival of the fittest, right? It isnt going to hurt me to kill the owner of the rival business, Ill be the only business of my kind in town, I can do it carefully and not go to prison.

    First off the use of lions makes for a bad analogy as they don’t commonly exhibit the behavior you’re attributing to them. Like most things in life, lion behavior is much more complex than and nowhere near as simplistic as you’re describing. They form social groups, called prides, and work together to increase the likelihood of survival, though some do strike out on their own and become nomadic. Most fights among lions are over territory or to become part of a pride and only occasionally escalate to a fight to the death. For that matter, it’s the lionesses that do most of the hunting with the dominate lions in a pride acting more like babysitters who keep an eye on and protect the cubs that follow along behind their mothers. The lions also help to ensure the cubs get some of the food as the lionesses are less than generous with their offspring. Finally, zebras are too large for a single lion or lioness to take down single handedly whereas they’re little problem for a coordinated pride. Rather than kill each other over a zebra, they tend to work together to get one and that implies they give such matters more thought than you attribute to them.

    Still, assuming for the sake of argument that lions act as simplistically as you’re suggesting, your analogy is still comparing apples to oranges. In the case of the lions it’s a fight to the death over one of the most basic needs, food, whereas your conflict with the rival business owner is not. A more appropriate analogy would be if you and your rival were stranded on a desert island with a limited food resource. It would be interesting to see how well your Biblical morals would stand up to that situation.

    Your question also suggests that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain in killing your business rival which ignores the fact that your business exists within the context of a society. Even if you could avoid prison in your undertaking there are other possible negative results you haven’t considered such as the effect of conjecture and rumor. If it’s suspected that you had some hand in the death of your rival then your business may suffer regardless of whether it’s the only one of its kind in the town. There are other towns and people who distrust your business may be inclined to travel the distance necessary to patronize a similar business elsewhere. It also ignores the possibility that someone may see this as an opportunity to launch their own similar business and thus fill the void left behind by the murdered rival. This new businessman may even be better at competing than the person he replaced. Certainly you could also murder this newcomer, but with every murder you undertake you increase the risk of being caught and tried for your crimes or just stirring up suspicion and damaging your reputation and, thusly, your income.

    Again the problem with your question is the fact that it’s too simplistic and tries to boil the issue down to a black and white situation, which real life rarely is.

    About other religions, of course they have rules on right and wrong, their creators also have a conscience. And no, Christians arent the ones who

  39. Hey les, no excuses about the last post, it was late, and I made an ass out of myself.  Id like to know why you feel responsible to all of mankind. 

    “I am instead accountable to all of mankind. At the end of my life my worth won

  40. Hey, it’s the objective morality debate!  I recognize this one! 

    Damn, I’ve been looking for the old postings re: CS Lewis, and they seem to have fallen off the forum.

    if God does not give you a moral code, who does? Everyone is endowed with a conscience, being creatures of God, this is why non-believers as well as believers care for others as well as themselves.

    Actually, there’s quite a few equally (in my opinion MORE) plausible explanations.  If I could only find the thread where we were talking about CS Lewis and objective morality. . .

    Damn, I’m way too lazy to do that again.

  41. Daedalus wrote

    Firstly, on the comment made by Alex Miller a long while back: while most of his points have already been addressed, I

  42. Hey les, no excuses about the last post, it was late, and I made an ass out of myself. Id like to know why you feel responsible to all of mankind.

    Why? I would think the answer to that question would be obvious. Because I don’t believe there are any gods watching over us. All we have is each other. That’s why.

    What is the value of a human being that you should try to impact their lives? Im just wondering where you get the idea that people have worth. I get it from the fact that they are creatures created in the image of God, and therefore have worth intrinsically. Without God, in a purely science-based system, what makes some matter more worthy than other? Is it just because of the complex social structure that has emerged from our evolution to the premier intelligent being? Just so we can maintain the

  43. Actually les, many species of animal will fight to the death with their own kind over food, a mate, or territory, mostly occuring with insects, fish and reptiles.  And oh, yeah, deer fighting will often force each other to a body of water and one will end up drowning another by pushing the other under.

    The point was that people do these sort of things, for example, slaughter thousands of Iraqis with dollar signs in their eyes, just like animals do.  But for some reason you think that is wrong.  Why?  This is an argument that is detatched from you.  President Bush does not threaten you, nor will he ever threaten you.  This action in Iraq does not, or will not ever hurt you.  So why are you against it?  Because people are being unjustly slaugtered.  Its not that they are your friends, or they benefit you now, youre pissed off because PEOPLE HAVE VALUE IN AND OF THEMSELVES.  This is a value that animals do not have.  As for leaving people alone because they will consider you a threat, and so lessen your chance of survival, many people, when threatened will do what they can to please you so you do not hurt them as well.  Think Germany in 1939.  Its just overall a grim argument you give.  Sucks to be the girl on a date with you “Well honey, I just want to say that this relationship has proven to benefit me.  I dont love you, I just care that you survive so that you can continue to make my life better.”  So pretty much anyone who is not connected with benefiting you, who cares about them.  And if this is not true, then where does their worth come from, if it is not from helping you?

    Morality.  This really came into question in Nuremburg after the war.  A few of the Nazi leaders claimed that just because the outside world thought that their extermination of the Jews was wrong, it didnt mean shit, because it was just that, their ideas.  And really, why, in your sense, would one people group care if another that wasnt their own was to be exterminated.  Why should the US have acted in Rwanda to stop the slaughter there instead of sitting on our asses, or don’t you think we should have?  It didnt hurt us in the least.  Maybe thats just their view of morality over there, it doesnt affect us, so lets not push our views on them.

    You were right, Jesus did bring in a new covonant, that is why old testament laws must be evaluated in conjunction with the new testament.  And yes, homosexuality is also spoken against in the new testament.  You should know this.  Rules like not eating pork was for the Israelites own good, if pork isnt cooked properly it can be a health risk with worms and bacteria.  Its much harder to tell if pork is cooked well than foul or beef.  Better cooking methods came along, so there was no need not to eat pork any more.  As for the stoning of the children, it is a case law.  Im assuming you are referring to Deuteronomy 21:18-21.  The son it speaks of is not a little kid, his sins are drunkeness and gluttony, as well as cursing his parents.  These sins are also refered to in the present tense as habitual, and ongoing.  It also shows that the son has the ability to take his case before the authorities. These things must be taken into context, especially of the need to keep Israel in a tight family structure at that time. This sort of thing could not be tolerated, and by the context, it appears that it had been tolerated for some time.  Law in context and relative law are two totally different ideas.  Relative means everyone has his own idea of law, in context means that law can change depending on the circumstances, but it is still over everyone.  You can most certainly take anything out of context in the Bible, and make the Bible sound awefull, or rather, make true things that the Bible doesnt say.  Youre smarter than this, Les.  I know you say you read the Bible 4 times, but really, when you go and just throw random ideas out there, it occurs to me that you really didnt try to understand it, and were more focused on saying “Yup, read the Bible 4 times.  That means I completely understand it, and have a strong basis for my reasons against it.”  I could read it a thousand times through and not understand a word.  I dont tell non-believers to go and read through the whole Bible, because they havent had the 20 some years of instruction and training I have.  They wont see the forest for the trees.

  44. This really is very similar to the discussion we had with Hires. 

    Tommy, I think you might want to take a gander at that.  It’s under the forums sections, and you -can- actually get to it (I had trouble finding it, initially) under “what motivates people to be unselfish.”

    You have to select “from the beginning” from the scroll box at the bottom, though, as it’s a fairly old discussion.

    I thought that old “inherent value” of humans argument had been put to bed a long time ago, but apparently it’s up, and it wants a glass of water.

  45. I can’t get over the way these guys like Hires, David and Tommy basically seem to be looking down their noses at anyone who doesn’t accept what they believe to be immutable truths. They don’t seem to be here to discuss and consider, but to bash the silly atheist.

    It’s all opinion anyway and should be couched in wordage that admits as much.
    I don’t care if you’ve had 1000 years of “instruction and training” Tommy, as what you regurgitate has the appearance of poorly chewed food for thought, to me.

    Stop the petty put downs and self-proud posturing and try to say something we haven’t heard before – Something that suggests you’ve actually thought about this stuff and have gotten somewhere with it. 

    Oh for a Christian who could actually make me think!

  46. Actually les, many species of animal will fight to the death with their own kind over food, a mate, or territory, mostly occuring with insects, fish and reptiles. And oh, yeah, deer fighting will often force each other to a body of water and one will end up drowning another by pushing the other under.

    I didn’t say it doesn’t happen I said it’s the exception and not the rule and is dependent on various factors such as the scarcity of the resource being fought over. Are there some species that will always fight to the death with members of their own species? I can’t say for certain that there aren’t, but it’s not common in general and especially uncommon among mammals. There’s not a lot of benefit for the risk involved most of the time and as such Evolution has resulted in animals that tend to settle their differences with members of their own species with as little physical combat as possible more often than not. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info on deer behavior, but I’ve yet to read any studies that indicate they “often” try to drown each other when fighting. I can go into what I have read on deer behavior if you wish to continue to argue the point or I’d be happy to take a look at any info you can provide which supports your assertion, but as I said before even if this were the case it’s still largely irrelevant as your comparison was apples to oranges.

    The point was that people do these sort of things, for example, slaughter thousands of Iraqis with dollar signs in their eyes, just like animals do. But for some reason you think that is wrong. Why? This is an argument that is detatched from you. President Bush does not threaten you, nor will he ever threaten you. This action in Iraq does not, or will not ever hurt you. So why are you against it? Because people are being unjustly slaugtered. Its not that they are your friends, or they benefit you now, youre pissed off because PEOPLE HAVE VALUE IN AND OF THEMSELVES.  This is a value that animals do not have. As for leaving people alone because they will consider you a threat, and so lessen your chance of survival, many people, when threatened will do what they can to please you so you do not hurt them as well. Think Germany in 1939.

    Yet again with the apples and oranges comparisons. There is nothing even remotely similar between animals fighting for limited resources necessary for survival and humans fighting for profit motives and it’s either disingenuous to suggest that there is or incredibly naive. A better argument to make would be that the war in Iraq was to gain access to a limited resource (oil) that could be considered as essential to our survival given modern America’s dependence on it, but even that is shaky as mankind survived without using oil for thousands of years so it’s not exactly a basic necessity like food would be. As to why I am pissed about the war my reasons have nothing to do with a belief that humans have an intrinsic worth. The irony of trying to use Iraq to prove your point is very amusing considering that the President’s main argument for going to war was that the Iraqi regime was an imminent threat to our very survival. If that were true then I would have had no problems with the war at all as it fulfills one of the justifications I listed for when I feel killing is acceptable and, frankly, I’m surprised this didn’t occur to you. I’m against the war in Iraq because I was told it was done in self-defense to some potentially major threat the regime therein supposedly held for our well-being, an assertion that didn’t have much in the way of supporting evidence before the war started nor has proven to have much of any after the regime had been deposed. Trying to tell me that I am detached from what happens in Iraq is also incorrect as the actions of my elected leaders can have a direct consequence on my well being. You even provide a handy example of how it could impact my well-being in suggesting I think of Germany in 1939 where the actions of an elected leader lead to World War II and did harm the people of his country. I’m not so gullible as to think something similar couldn’t happen here. Thank you for proving my point for me.

    It seems to me you’re trying to dictate to me how I think and feel on this issue so you can better support your argument. You assert that Bush isn’t now nor ever will be a threat to me and I don’t see how you can know that for certain. You also assert that the action in Iraq does not and will not ever harm me and that the reason I am against the action in Iraq isn’t because I have friends in Iraq (how do you know?) or that anyone in Iraq benefits me now (how do you know?), but because I feel people have an intrinsic value in and of themselves and, again, I don’t see how you could possibly know if that’s what I really think. Insisting that you know what I think and what I feel so you can attack my viewpoint is our old friend the “Straw Man” fallacy. Please do not try to tell me my reasons for being pissed or for any other emotion I might feel. I know why I feel the way I do and I know what my reasons for those feelings are.

    Your argument fails because it is circularly dependent on itself. You’re trying to establish that god exists by asserting that humans have an objective value and for humans to have an objective value god must exist. The problem is you can’t independently prove the truthfulness of either assertion on its own as they are dependent on each other. My assertion is that neither one of those claims is correct. There are no gods and humans do not have an objective value as the concepts of “value” and “worth” are subjective and contextual dependent on the observer. You then try to support your argument by pointing at the fact that there is some general consensus among most humans on some basic moral concepts such as it is wrong to kill and questioning what reasons outside of the objective value humans supposedly hold is there for such a consensus to develop. I’ve given you several valid reasons which you have dismissed as irrelevant with spurious claims about their applicability to an individual by making further assertions that ironically demonstrate just how those reasons I cited do apply to the individual. That’s pretty damned funny if you ask me, but that’s just my subjective opinion.

    In your argument you�ve tried to establish the objective value of man by asserting that animals don’t have a similar inherent value and that’s why no one feels it’s wrong when two animals of the same species fight to the death. I assert that it’s not an issue of inherent value, but an issue of necessity. Animals of the same species only fight to the death when there is little other chance for survival and most humans recognize this truth. The acceptance of this truth in no way implies that this means most humans don’t feel animals have any value of their own or that their value is somehow less than the value of humans. I concede that there are many people who do feel human life has inherent value that animal life does not (you would appear to be one of them), but I also assert that there are many people who do feel that animal life has as much, if not more, inherent value as human life. I know people who love dogs so much they would rush into a burning building to save one, but wouldn’t risk the same for a human they don’t know personally. Those people see an intrinsic value in dogs that is higher than what they see in humans. Why? Because the concepts of value and worth are subjective opinions that are relative to the person making the judgment. Lastly, I assert that the views of most humans on the relative worth of human life versus animal life falls somewhere between these two extremes.

    Its just overall a grim argument you give. Sucks to be the girl on a date with you �Well honey, I just want to say that this relationship has proven to benefit me. I dont love you, I just care that you survive so that you can continue to make my life better.� So pretty much anyone who is not connected with benefiting you, who cares about them. And if this is not true, then where does their worth come from, if it is not from helping you?

    I never claimed my viewpoint would give anyone a serious case of the warm fuzzies, but then reality is rarely as wonderful as we might wish it to be. Face it, there’s a lot about existence that flat out sucks rocks and most of us could easily envision how we’d recreate reality to be paradise if we had the power to do so. The idea of a super being who exists outside the suckiness that is reality and thinks we’re just the greatest thing he’s ever bothered to whip up despite the fact that we’re all supposedly guilty of a crime so heinous that we are totally undeserving of that being’s love and protection, let alone the marvelous paradise he has waiting for us once we shuffle off our mortal coil for no more price than having faith he actually exists without any direct evidence, is certainly a very attractive and comforting one. But wishing something were true doesn’t make it true no matter how wonderful it would be if it were true.

    I do love your over-simplification of my viewpoint, though. Have you stopped to consider the idea that one of the ways my fellow humans add value to my life and benefit me is by the fact that they allow me to experience the emotion of love and of being loved? Are you suggesting that my viewpoint makes love undesirable or unnecessary?

    It is certainly true that I have had relationships with members of the opposite sex that were more a matter of benefit than love. I believe the popular term for that sort of arrangement is that she was my “fuck buddy.” We were friends who did things together, but neither one of us was in love. Sex was something we enjoyed, however, and the benefits of having sex with a friend you trusted were higher than going out and finding someone at a bar to have sex with. Whenever we were in a relationship with someone else then sex between us was off-limits, but when we were both single and the hormones got to be too much we’d ring each other up. It was a mutual agreement and we both benefited from it, which is the only reason it worked. That’s also a key point you seem to be missing. Even if I were so callous as to only extend my concern for others as far as how much they directly benefit me the reality is I’d best make sure they benefit as well or they’ll have no reason to stick around and continue to be of benefit to me. One of those ways I can ensure they benefit is to open myself up to the possibility of falling in love with them.

    It is also true that I value people I love more than people I only like and I value people I like more than people I hardly know and I value people I hardly know more than people I don’t know and I value people I don’t know more than people I actively dislike. I would, for example, take a bullet for my wife without hesitation. I can’t say for certain that I�d do the same for you and I think most people wouldn’t feel that’s unreasonable. For that matter, your death in a horrible traffic accident tomorrow would not affect me beyond freeing up the time I’m spending typing out these responses whereas the death of my wife in such a manner would devastate me for years to come. It’s that whole “value” and “worth” being subjective and relative again.

    Morality. This really came into question in Nuremburg after the war. A few of the Nazi leaders claimed that just because the outside world thought that their extermination of the Jews was wrong, it didnt mean shit, because it was just that, their ideas. And really, why, in your sense, would one people group care if another that wasnt their own was to be exterminated. Why should the US have acted in Rwanda to stop the slaughter there instead of sitting on our asses, or don�t you think we should have? It didnt hurt us in the least. Maybe thats just their view of morality over there, it doesnt affect us, so lets not push our views on them.

    There are all manner of situations where we did sit on our ass and do nothing if we didn�t feel it directly affected our survival. Many people in this country felt we should be doing something about Nazi Germany at the time, including the President, but the will of the majority was to stay the hell out of Europe�s problems. In fact, it took a direct attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese to get us into World War II. In other words, we as a nation didn�t give a rats-ass what was going on in Europe until our very survival was directly threatened.

    Rwanda was a situation that our government largely ignored for quite some time as it started as a civil war, often considered an internal problem much as our own was, and the Clinton administration was still smarting from the debacle that happened in Somalia when they tried to get involved there. As a result the war escalated into an attempt at genocide by the Hutu majority in power, who realized the U.S. largely didn�t give a shit what happened in Rwanda, which eventually caused the deaths of between 800,000 and 1 million people. As it was becoming more and more evident that a policy of genocide against the Tutsi minority was well underway in the country, the Clinton administration attempted to downplay the seriousness of the situation and pressured the U.N. to slash the number of peacekeeping troops they had in the country by 90% leaving a mere 300 or so peacekeepers who had no mandate from the U.N. to intervene to stop the bloodshed. Ultimately once the situation got so bad that only the most unreasonable of people could avoid calling it genocide did the U.S. finally get involved and that was because the United States was a signatory to the Genocide Convention of 1948, not because of any altruistic belief in the value of human life. Most Americans are still largely ignorant of what happened in Rwanda, why it happened and why we got involved in part because it didn�t directly threaten our survival.

    Seems to me that for all the talk of objective morality and the inherent worth in a human life that so many people like to do, we tend to act more like you�d expect us to if there actually isn�t any god and our morality is relative. You have a bad habit of picking the wrong topics to support your argument, but thanks again for unintentionally supporting my stance.

    You cover a lot of ground in this last paragraph so I�m going to break it apart.

    You were right, Jesus did bring in a new covonant, that is why old testament laws must be evaluated in conjunction with the new testament.

    Thank you for confirming my assertion that the �morals� of the Old Testament are relative to the New Testament and, thusly, not absolute. If the morals used to apply and they don�t anymore then the morality presented in the Bible has changed and is relative to whether you�re speaking of before Christ�s first stint on Earth or after it.

    And yes, homosexuality is also spoken against in the new testament. You should know this.

    Yes, I do know this. It occurs in Romans 1:26-27 and was written by Paul, arguably one of the more difficult authors to follow in the Bible. I have no idea what this has to do with the rest of our conversation to date, but I concede that the New Testament does mention homosexuality.  Though there is much debate on just what the verse is actually saying.

    Rules like not eating pork was for the Israelites own good, if pork isnt cooked properly it can be a health risk with worms and bacteria. Its much harder to tell if pork is cooked well than foul or beef. Better cooking methods came along, so there was no need not to eat pork any more.

    I have no qualms with your explanation on why this particular moral changed, but that doesn�t counter my argument that �morality� between the OT and NT is relative as a result.

    As for the stoning of the children, it is a case law. Im assuming you are referring to Deuteronomy 21:18-21. The son it speaks of is not a little kid, his sins are drunkeness and gluttony, as well as cursing his parents. These sins are also refered to in the present tense as habitual, and ongoing. It also shows that the son has the ability to take his case before the authorities. These things must be taken into context, especially of the need to keep Israel in a tight family structure at that time. This sort of thing could not be tolerated, and by the context, it appears that it had been tolerated for some time.

    I fail to see how the age of the offspring or the sins he�s accused of justify the punishment meted out for him. Nor do I see how if it was just then it shouldn�t be just now if there is such as thing as a moral absolute. We don�t stone adult children to death today for engaging in drinking, gluttony and cursing of their parents and I find it difficult to believe there aren�t people out there guilty of said sins. I thought a tight family structure was still important to Christians today? Or are you saying it�s not so important anymore than it�s worth stoning our adult children over? So much for traditional family values.

    But that wasn�t the passage I was thinking of when I made my comment, rather I was thinking of Exodus 21:17. You know, the chapters immediately after god spells out the Ten Commandments which most Christians argue are moral absolutes? The passages that lay out the laws with regard to things like dealing with personal injuries and the proper rules for buying a Hebrew slave? Yeah, you know the ones I�m talking about.

    Exodus 21:17 reads: �Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death� or if you prefer the KJV it reads �And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.� That seems pretty straightforward to me with nothing in regards to the age of the child or requiring the child to have committed a multitude of sins or what have you to qualify for this punishment. Considering that the common method for handing down death sentences is by stoning I just naturally assumed that would be the method employed here. If the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) are still considered moral absolutes today and Exodus 21 is just a continuation of god laying down the law then why aren�t Christians stoning the shit out of their kids left and right?

    That�s like saying that only the first ten amendments to the Constitution are the law of the land today as the rest of the laws written after the first ten don�t really apply anymore. Whoops, there went the rules on how to elect the President, Slavery is once again legal, and the right of women to vote is gone, and so on. On a positive note taking this approach would eliminate income tax.

    Law in context and relative law are two totally different ideas. Relative means everyone has his own idea of law, in context means that law can change depending on the circumstances, but it is still over everyone.

    OK. Not sure how this applies, but OK.

    You can most certainly take anything out of context in the Bible, and make the Bible sound awefull, or rather, make true things that the Bible doesnt say.

    Indeed this is possible, but it�s not usually necessary to take things out of context to make the Bible sound awful. There�s much that the Bible does say that is awful without taking it out of context to twist the meaning. After all, god used to be quite the bloodthirsty fellow before Jesus came along and introduced �New God Lite! All the Salvation, None of the Plagues!�

    Youre smarter than this, Les. I know you say you read the Bible 4 times, but really, when you go and just throw random ideas out there, it occurs to me that you really didnt try to understand it, and were more focused on saying �Yup, read the Bible 4 times. That means I completely understand it, and have a strong basis for my reasons against it.�

    Your ignorance of my past is showing again. Yes, I�ve read the Bible four times over, but the first reading was done at the height of my faith as a happy Baptist and as such I didn�t set out to read it to confirm any kind of a basis against it. Sitting down and studying the Bible is what started me on my journey away from belief in gods of any kind, but I never suspected that would be the case when I first sat down to really study it. The truth is, I still study it on occasion, though with a much more critical eye these days, as I feel that having an informed opinion is better than just having an opinion.

    I could read it a thousand times through and not understand a word. I dont tell non-believers to go and read through the whole Bible, because they havent had the 20 some years of instruction and training I have. They wont see the forest for the trees.

    This begs the question of why god would write a manual that�s supposed to tell people the how�s, why�s and what-for�s of living a good life and reaching salvation that would take 20 or more years of instruction and training to have any kind of an understanding of. No wonder it�s so hard to get two Christians to agree completely on most of the major aspects of the Bible, let alone the details. According to the Christian World Encyclopedia there are over 34,000 different denominations of Christianity in the world today. Given what you said above, this fact should come as a surprise to no one.

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