Can Someone Please Explain What's So Wrong With This?

I teach my son:

“YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU; that YOU may prove yourselves sons of YOUR Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous. For if YOU love those loving YOU, what reward do YOU have? (Matthew 5:43-46)

How exactly is this abuse?
maxximiliann maxximiliann
36-40, M
32 Responses Jan 20, 2013

@Azsu

I. Know any ex-gays?

II. I'm curious. Were does Christ delineate the doctrine of Eternal Hellfilre Torment anywhere in the Bible? http://bit.ly/14fq4rg

III. Btw, how many demons have you killed?

@Azsu

I. Argumentum ignoratio elenchi. I sincerely hope you start to get the hang of proper debate etiquette soon ...

II. You no longer believe "the threat of Hellfire is one upon the very essence of someone"?

III. So you do more of a "catch and release" thing?

1. There are plenty of ex-gays here on EP. You should meet some.

2. http://bit.ly/11o56UW

Could it be? Yet another strawman? You're not exactly a quick study, are 'ya, lol :)

3. I'm just curious. Does this activity involve you ingesting massive amounts of hallucinogenics or just minor quantities?

@Azsu

What ad hominem?

@Fast

Only if Monopoly money is no different than genuine legal tender. Better hope your boss never finds out, lol :)

So "No True Scotsman" was indeed your point. Jehovah's Witnesses believe X. JW is the only "real" Christian religion. Therefore, all Christians believe X. You further expect that your response will be satisfactory, believing that everyone is also using the word Christian to mean Jehovah's Witnesses. (Alternatively, you're derailing the conversation to be sure you get a JW talking point out there.)

I implore you to use words to communicate, which means accepting the likely meaning intended by the person you're communicating with. Have you compared how much you write on this site with how much communication you actually accomplish? Is your JW proselytism quota based on word count or time spent writing?

Your reply is quite puzzling. What do you think "Christian" means?

I think of a Christian as someone that follows the Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus. There are many interpretations of these teachings, and from the biblical stories that pre-date Jesus, and there are many sects/denominations of Christianity. All followers of these Christian religions would consider themselves to be Christians, even though their beliefs may be substantially different, and I would consider them all Christians as well.

Did I misunderstand? You said "Christians neither believe in nor teach the evil doctrine of Hellfire". How do you reconcile that with the fact that many people claim to be Christians, and claim to believe in "Hellfire"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_Hell

So, in your opinion, sects and denominations whose dogmas oppose Christ's teachings are Christian?

By "Christ's teachings" do you mean "the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses"? If so, yes, I'm pretty confident that there are Christian religions out there that believe something different about Hell than JW.

You're just continuing to make my point: your sect's beliefs on Hell are not representative of other Christian religions. If you wish to redefine Christianity to only encompass Jehovah's Witnesses, by all means create a little lexical bubble to live in, but if you hope to have a meaningful conversation with people outside of that bubble, you need to use a shared language. Nobody outside of JW believes that Christians do not believe in hell, because they are using the word differently than you are. If you want to stand on principle and refuse to converse with people on the grounds that you don't like how everyone else defines a word, that's your prerogative, but it kind of undermines your goals here, doesn't it?

@Fast

Strawman. Try again.

Correct my misunderstanding then? I'll make it simple:

Do you believe Catholics are Christians?
Do you believe Catholics believe in hell?

I. Based on the evidence, no.

II. Yes, Catholics believe in the doctrine of Eternal Hellfire Torment.

So there you go. You are trying to make points here that implicitly rely on definitions of words that no one else here is using. Do you think that is an effective way to communicate? Or are your goals something else?

What I've done is use the term "Christianity" as originally defined by its founder, Christ Jesus:

"He that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him." - John 3:36


Don't you need to do the same every time the theory of evolution changes to explain the differences between them?

I don't care whether you believe your definition is "correct". I care that it is the same definition that *everyone else* is using.

Words are tools for communication. There *is* no objectively correct definition for a word, there are only the definitions that everyone uses. This is why dictionaries change over time and why we have a concept like etymology.

So if you fully apprehend what I communicate when I say "Christian" how exactly am I miscommunicating with you?

I do *now*, but I certainly didn't when you made the absurd statement about Christians not believing in hell. Now it makes sense, if I use the JW dictionary definition, of which I was previously unaware. This is exactly my point: you can't assume people have a JW dictionary nearby and know to use it when reading your posts, and so if your goal is to communicate with people, either define your terms up front where they likely differ from the typical usage, or use words in a manner expected by those you're communicating with.

Sure, ok. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I really appreciate it! :)

Btw, anything else you need me to perhaps clarify for you?

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Telling your child how to respect others and love everyone is not indoctrination. Christianity and all religions are not all bad, just like science and atheism is not all good.

What IS wrong is forcing a child to believe what you do and giving them no opportunities to ever see outside of your point of view, which is indoctrination. It IS wrong to give your child shame, anger, and bigotry for leaving your faith or having a different opinion than you. It IS wrong to teach that science is evil and completely unverifiable, just like it IS wrong for atheists to call people of faith fools and evil people. It IS wrong to teach your child sexism, homophobia, and racism in the name of religion. It IS wrong to not give your children a thorough sex education that will better prepare them for the real world because religion taught you that sex is bad and wrong. And finally, it IS abuse if you or anyone else makes your child feel like less of a person for not believing in God, not believing in the right God, or not being "Christian" enough for you.

I don't believe sex is bad or wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth!

It's a wonderful - and in my estimation - one of the most powerful ways to express one's profound love for their spouse: http://bit.ly/18QU1Vd

@Azsu

And on what objective moral basis do you dare condemn anyone's moral values? Who made you God?

Maxx, you're an idiot. Go away before some of your stupid rubs off on other people.

@Azsu

That's a Strawman. Try again: http://bit.ly/14quj20

@Opi

Mind your manners little girl. You are a guest here.

ohhhh, Opi, they got you good! XD what witty talent they have..

Ask all the questions you want, just don't speak for me or misrepresent my beliefs.

To answer your question, yes, based on the evidence I've carefully examined, the only logical conclusion is that the Bible is in fact the Inspired Word of God: http://bit.ly/14Ckccl

@Aszu

http://bit.ly/15FKqv6

Tell me something, do the laws in Pakistan apply in China? What about Canadian laws? Are these valid in Australia or Singapore?

@Azsu

Strawman. Try again.

@Azsu

It's a Strawman because I never made such an equivalency. Try again.

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Maxxi I think that the example you have given involves giving your son guidance and that is fine and good. But the name of this group includes the word "Indoctrinating" which is not quite the same thing. Peace.:-)

It would seem that fanatics are to be found on all sides of the playing field or both sides of the fence. Thanks for your comment.

It is all of the other pointless hyperbole and threats religious people like you make. The unsubstantiated promise of Hell is child abuse. If you truly believed, why are you recycling the same empty claims? Why won't you wait until your children are at least 14 before you start indoctrinating them with your unverified magical claims? You know if you waited, almost all of your children would not fall for your revolting superstition. You are brainwashed and now you are forcing your child to sit through the same reprogramming. You have been debunked on every other board you have posted on. You are a disingenuous fraud who constantly lies.

@Endless

I. Christians neither believe in nor teach the evil doctrine of Hellfire: http://bit.ly/148FwnL


II. Unverified you say?

Proof of God's Existence: http://bit.ly/1197U6R


III. I educate my son now so that he doesn't fall prey to immoral, hate-mongering atheists like you.

@Endless

First and last warning. Refrain from employing ad homs when addressing me or your position is forfeit and you'll be shown the exit.

I. "Christians neither believe in nor teach the evil doctrine of Hellfire". This is provably false. What I think you mean to say is that Jehovah's Witnesses do not teach or believe this. Possibly, you're trying to pull a "No True Scotsman".

In case you're wondering, here's why the notion of a self-existent singularity is puerile and incoherent.

If a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak. You can't have one without the other.

Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY)

The issue is, if we have in fact a self-existent eternal singularity why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless cause actually caused the universe, why hasn't the universe always been? Why is it just 13.70 billion years old?

How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago?

All I'm saying is that

(1)~ Effect is proof of cause.
(2)~ Effect cannot exist without a cause.


The universe is the effect. What is it's cause? A self-existent, eternal singularity? Not at all. For if the cause of the universe is eternal so must it's effect, i.e., the universe.

But we all know that the universe is not eternal, it's only 13.70 billion years old.

Even more fatal to your musings is the fact that the singularity no longer exists.

Your criticism has no purchase for the universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago according to mainstream astrophysics and cosmology. Try again.

I did. Your Argumentum Ignoratio Elenchi has no purchase for the universe is not eternal. Per mainstream astrophysics and cosmology the universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.

I've never claimed such a thing. What I have said is

(1)~ Effect is proof of cause.
(2)~ Effect cannot exist without a cause.

To borrow from an illustration by Richard Taylor, "Imagine you are walking through the woods on a hike and you come across a translucent ball lying on the forest floor. You would naturally wonder where that ball came from – what is the explanation of its existence? If your hiking buddy said to you, “Don’t worry about it – it just exists, inexplicably!,” you would think either that he was crazy or that he wanted you to keep on moving. But you wouldn’t take seriously the idea that this ball just exists without any explanation of its existence.

Now suppose that the ball, instead of being the size of a basketball, were the size of an automobile. Merely increasing the size of the ball would not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence, would it? Suppose it were the size of a house? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of a planet or a galaxy? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of the entire universe? Same problem!

Merely increasing the size of the object does not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence. And so I think it is very plausible to think that everything that exists has an explanation of why it exists." (http://bit.ly/Pm4s92)

You've mistaken my generosity with weakness.

You either apologize immediately for you latest string of ad homs and promise never to resort to them again or you forfeit the debate.

2 More Responses

Here’s why the anti-theist view of the world is hopelessly delusional:

(1)’ Everything that exists has an objective explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.

(A) If atheism is true, the universe came into being ex nihilo sine causa.
(A1) Therefore, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence.

(B) If the universe did not come to exist ex nihilo sine causa then atheism is false.
(B1) Therefore, the universe has an objective explanation of its existence.

(2)’ The universe exists.
(3)’ The space-time universe does not exist out of the necessity of it’s own nature for it did not exist until 13.70 billion years ago.
(4)’ Therefore, the space-time universe exists because of an external cause.

(5)’ The external cause of the universe must necessarily be a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.
(6)’ A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.
(7)’ Therefore, the objective explanation of the universe's existence is God.

(8)’ Therefore atheism is false.

To borrow from an illustration by Richard Taylor, "Imagine you are walking through the woods on a hike and you come across a translucent ball lying on the forest floor. You would naturally wonder where that ball came from – what is the explanation of its existence? If your hiking buddy said to you, “Don’t worry about it – it just exists, inexplicably!,” you would think either that he was crazy or that he wanted you to keep on moving. But you wouldn’t take seriously the idea that this ball just exists without any explanation of its existence. Now suppose that the ball, instead of being the size of a basketball, were the size of an automobile. Merely increasing the size of the ball would not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence, would it? Suppose it were the size of a house? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of a planet or a galaxy? Same problem! Suppose it were the size of the entire universe? Same problem! Merely increasing the size of the object does not do anything to remove or satisfy the demand for an explanation of its existence. And so I think it is very plausible to think that everything that exists has an explanation of why it exists." (http://bit.ly/Pm4s92)

@88

You're right. The universe is **not** random for science tells us that life prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than life permitting ones. Concordantly,

1. The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or deliberate design.
2. It is not due to either physical necessity or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to deliberate design.

This is like taking a coin out of a bag filled with of coins, flipping it a hundred million times and it always being heads. What is the only plausible explanation for such a series of outcomes?

Answer for both are the same: (0.5)^10 = 9,765,625/10,000,000,000

Both are extremely unlikely events to occur on the first try.

**facepalm**

Again, false analogy.

You're completely disregarding the impossibility of a life sustaining universe being the denouement of pure chance on the first try.

Let's try another analogy:

What's the probability of you hacking a 36 digit keypad on a vault door on your first try?

It's a 36 digit code.

It's a 36 digit code that contains digits from 1 to 36 (hence the 36 digit keypad). What's the probability of entering the correct 36 digit code on the first try?

Science tells us that life prohibiting universes are extraordinarily more probable than life permitting ones. Therefore, our universe should be life prohibiting, not life permitting. It's like flipping a coin and having it always land on its edge.

That ours is a life permitting universe deserves an explanation just as everything else that occurs in the universe deserves an explanation.

To simply ascribe it to chance is lazy.

Why do you keep groveling for information I gave you three days ago? If you're truly interested in truth go back and study what I already taught you. If, however, you simply don't understand the concepts just be honest and I'll do my utmost to walk you through it.

It wouldn't be the first time you've ignored one of my rejoinders or read through them sloppily.

4 More Responses

@88

Or, if you prefer, your advancing of "poof" as a tenable explanation for the the absurdly small compound probability of independent events giving us a life sustaining universe is just naked sophism.

Where's your evidence that life would not be possible if the earth's axis was off by just one degree?

Find out the exact range.

Because you need to base your reasoning on fact, not comic book fiction.

Well, at least you can admit when you're wrong. Looks like there's hope for you yet my friend, h e he ehe :)

Now, 2 days ago I gave you multiple examples of universal constraints necessary for the existence of life and how finely tuned they are. That you're asking for them again just demonstrates how you're not even giving my rejoinders sober consideration.

If you're going to insist on ignoring my answers, why should I read anything you post?

1 More Response

@88

The premise that the universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago is not a religious statement nor a theological one. You can find this statement in any contemporary textbook on astrophysics or cosmology. And it is supported by the vast majority of cosmologists today.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, a contracting universe won't generate the proper “bounce” characteristics as it transitions from a contraction to an expansion. Baum-Frampton is a non-starter because they haven’t figured out how to have zero average growth along geodesics given the asymmetry in the expansion and contraction phase of their model. More importantly, they only considered a subset of the full reality they propose.

The Aguirre-Gratton model tries to avoid this problem entirely by reversing the arrow of time at the boundary. But if you do this, then the mirror universe on the other side of the BVG boundary in no sense represents a past out of which our current universe evolved. Thus our universe would begin-to-exist.

Withal, the Aguirre-Gratton model is not even suggested by its authors to be a model of our universe! Rather, they hope that it can serves a springboard for the birth of our universe through some other physical process.

Wheeler's theory not only succumbs to the problems generic to oscillating models, but insofar as it posits singularities at the termini of each cycle, it is not even a model of an oscillating universe at all, but of just a series of unrelated worlds.

Inflationary models not only face the problems of how to get the inflation started, how to get it to end without excess turbulence, and how to get it to allow galaxy formation, but more importantly they themselves require an extraordinary amount of fine-tuning prior to inflation, so that the appearance of design is not eluded.

Clearly, then, the absolute beginning of our universe remains inescapable.

Concordantly, the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem proves that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater one must have a ** finite beginning **. I'm not making this up. Read the paper in full or watch Vilenkin himself refute beginningless universe models like Eternal Inflation, Cyclic Evolution and Static Seed/Emergent Universe on youtube while proving that our universe had to have a finite beginning.

As such, Vilenkin had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)

As Physicist and Mathematician James Clerk Maxwell put it, “Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”

As such, your fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It's just more atheistic folderol and wishful thinking.

This creates the necessity for there to exist a first uncaused-cause for something cannot come from nothing as I've already shared. I've also explained that this first uncaused efficient cause must also, by necessity, be transcendent, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, unchanging, omnipotent, personal and good. As it turns out, such is the very definition of God.

So you do believe in "The Powerful Poof" a.k.a.,"Creatio ex nihilo sine causa!!"

It is completely incoherent because even the existence of the singularity itself is suspect. According to the Penrose-Hawking model, among others, there was no singularity in the first place!

Notwithstanding, if the entire universe could poof into existence ex nihilo sine causa, why doesn't everything or anything? Why aren't dinosaurs, for instance, popping out of thin air, devouring everyone in sight? Why aren't we afraid of elephants suddenly popping into existence in the sky and crushing us as we walked down the street? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate? In the end, such an argument is nothing more than special pleading.

Since something can't come from nothing, then the natural questions that follow are, “Where did the universe come from 13.70 billion years ago?” and “What caused it to come into existence in the first place?” Whatever this cause is, it must possess certain necessary properties in order for it to be the cause of the physical space-time universe.

Therefore:

(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
(2) The space-time universe began to exist 13.70 billion years ago.
(3) Therefore, the space-time universe has a cause.

(4) The cause of the universe is a transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being.
(5) A transcendent, beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent good personal being is the definition of God.
(6) Therefore, God caused the universe to exist 13.70 billion years ago.


So which is more plausible? "Poof! There it is!" or an act of creation by a Magnificent Creator.

I. How does (1) contradict theism?

II. Now, let’s take a closer look at this. First and foremost, this cause must itself be uncaused. Why? Because an infinite regress of causes is impossible; it can’t be turtles all the way down. (Lookup “Hilbert's Grand Hotel” if you're interested in a more in-depth analysis.)

Second, this uncaused cause must transcend space-time because it itself created space-time. It is therefore, spaceless.

Third, since this uncaused cause exists beyond space and time it is must be a non-physical or immaterial cause. Why? Because physical things exist only in space – they have dimensions.

Fourth, this uncaused cause must necessarily also be timeless for the simple fact that it itself doesn't exist in space-time.

Fifth, it must also be changeless. As I'm sure you're well aware, all matter exists in a state of constant flux. This is especially apparent at the atomic level. Since this uncaused cause is immaterial it is not subject to the same forces that affect matter, therefore, it is unchanging.

Sixth, this uncaused cause is obviously unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, for it brought matter, energy, space and time into existence completely on its own.

So, to sum up, whatever it is that caused the universe to come into existence 13.70 billion years ago it must be beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging and omnipotent.

But we're not done for there are two more properties of this uncaused cause that we can deduce from what we know of the universe. For this we have to take a closer look at cause and effect. Here's what I mean: if a cause is sufficient to produce it's effect then the effect must also be present. The two are joined at the hip, so to speak. You can't have one without the other.

Let me borrow from an illustration to make this clearer. “Suppose that the cause of water’s freezing is the temperature’s being below 0°C. If the temperature were below 0°C from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity. It would be impossible for the water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. Once the cause is given, the effect must be given as well.” (http://bit.ly/WQtgZY)

The issue is, if we have in fact a timeless, transcendent cause why isn't the effect permanent as well? In other words, if this timeless, transcendent cause actually caused the universe, why hasn't the universe always been around? How can a cause be eternal but its effect commence a finite time ago? We know the universe is about 13.70 billion years old but we've also deduced that whatever caused the universe must be transcendent and timeless.

The only way this is possible is if this timeless, transcendent, uncaused cause were also a free agent – a being with free will who can act of its own volition. As we all know, free will is the hallmark of personhood.

Last but not least, this beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent being must also be unimaginably good. Why? Suppose we concede for the sake of argument that he’s evil. Since this being is evil, that implies he fails to discharge his moral obligations. But where do those come from? How can this evil being have duties to perform which he is violating? Who forbids him to do the wrong things that he does? Immediately, we see that such an evil being cannot be supreme: there must be a being who is even higher than this evil being and is the source of the moral obligations which he chooses to shirk, a being which is absolute goodness himself. As such, there must necessarily exist a supreme being who is all powerful, all good and all loving; One who is the very paradigm of good.

So here we arrive at this uncaused cause of the universe 13.70 billion years ago that is beginningless, spaceless, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, omnipotent and personal being who is all good and all loving.

This is the very definition - of God :)

III. Why is the universe is the only thing that can poof into existence? Why can't elephants and dinosaurs and anything and everything else poof into existence? If nothing can in fact produce something why would it discriminate?

IV. Order is not the issue, it's the conformity to an independently given pattern plus high improbability. It's what makes a distinct signal unmistakable from random white noise. This is the dead giveaway of design.

This is why trying to use "poof" to explain all of the extraordinarily fine-tuned life permitting universal constants, ratios and delimitations of the universe is just naked, irrational sophism.

But still "poof", right? "Poof" makes much, much more sense to you than God ever could?

Which brings us back to the extraordinary fine tuning of the universe I've already alluded to.

Sampling of Universal Constants:

Planck constant
Hubble constant
Gravitational constant
Luminal speed in a vacuum
von Kitzing constant
Fermi coupling constant
Fine-structure constant
Rydberg constant
Avogadro constant
Boltzman constant
atomic mass constant
Faraday constant
Loschmidt constant
Sackur-Tetrode constant


Pi
Fibonacci sequence
Phi - Golden Ratio

Moreover, science tells us that life prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than life permitting ones. Concordantly,

1. The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or deliberate design.
2. It is not due to either physical necessity or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to deliberate design.

How is any kind of fine-tuning evidence of randomness and chaos?

The number of seconds in the history of the universe, from the very beginning of the universe, is about 10 to the 17th power. That is a 1 followed by 17 zeroes. Just an incomprehensible number – but that is the number of seconds in the universe. The number of subatomic particles in the entire known universe is around 10 to the 80th power.

With those numbers in mind, consider the following. The atomic weak force which operates within the nucleus of the atom is so finely tuned that an alteration of even one part out of 10 to the 100 power would have rendered the universe life-prohibiting. In order to permit life, the weak force has to be fine tuned to one part out of 10 to the 100th power. Similarly, the so called cosmological constant, which drives the acceleration of the universe, has to be fine tuned to within one part out of 10 to the 120th power in order for the universe to be life- permitting. Here is a real corker: Roger Penrose of Oxford University has estimated that the initial entropy condition – the entropy level of the early universe – has to be fine tuned to one part out of 10 to the 10(123)rd power – a number which is so incomprehensible that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement.

It is not just one of these numbers that must be fine tuned but all of them. So you multiply these probabilities together until our minds are just reeling in incomprehensible numbers. Having an accuracy of even one part out of 10 to the 60th power would be like having a range the size of the entire visible universe – 20 billion light years across – and in order for life to exist, a randomly thrown dart would have to land in an area one inch square. And that is just one part in 10 to the 60th power! We are talking about numbers that are just unimaginably greater than that.

Need more? Water is one of the strangest substances known to science. Its specific heat, surface tension, and most of its other physical properties have anomalous values higher or lower than any other known material. The fact that its solid phase is less dense than its liquid phase, so that ice floats, is virtually a unique property in nature. Its melting point, boiling point, and vaporization point are all anomalously higher than those of other substances. For example, when calculated by atomic weight and number, the boiling point of water would be expected to be -100oC rather than +100oC. The disparity is due to its strong hydrogen bonds, which are difficult to break. Furthermore, because the H-O-H angle in water is so close to the ideal tetrahedral structure, water can form such a structure with very little strain on the bonds. As a result, it tends to polymerize into an open structure, so that ice is less dense than water. This property of water is essential to life, for were ice more dense than water, it would sink to the bottom of bodies of water, where it would remain in the deepest parts until eventually all lakes and oceans would be solidly frozen. Instead, ice forms a protective skin on the surface of reservoirs of water. Water also has a higher specific heat than almost any organic compound. This property allows water to be a store of heat and so stabilize the environment. The thermal conductivity of water is also higher than that of most liquids, which again permits water to act as a temperature stabilizer on the environment. Water has, moreover, a higher heat of vaporization than any known substance. This makes water the best possible coolant by evaporation, and living creatures make extensive use of it in temperature control. Water's high surface tension, exceeded by very few substances, serves to make biochemical reactions more rapid; and the way water bonds shapes organic molecules such as enzymes and nucleic acids into their biologically active forms and permits the formation of cell walls and membranes.

The elements H, O, and C are the most abundant elements in living organisms. They possess many unique properties and are vital to chemical reactions necessary to sustain life. For example, CO2 has the property, unique among gases, of having at ordinary temperatures about the same concentration of molecules per unit volume in water as in air. This enables CO2 to undergo perpetual exchange between living organisms and their environment, so that it is everywhere available for photosynthesis and thereby for molecular synthesis. The element N, on the other hand, is a rare element on Earth, but it does make up 80% of the earth's atmosphere, which is a unique stroke of fortune for Earth's living organisms.

This selective sampling of physical and cosmological quantities which are necessary conditions of the existence of intelligent life on Earth at this point in cosmic history illustrates the sort of wider teleology which F.R. Tennant emphasized, but could only dimly envision. The discoveries of contemporary science in this regard are particularly impressive for two reasons: (1) The delicate balance of conditions upon which life depends is characterized by the interweaving of conditions, such that life depends for its existence, not merely upon each individual condition's possessing a value within very narrow limits, but also upon ratios or interactions between values and forces which must likewise lie within narrow parameters. The situation is thus not comparable to a roulette wheel in Monte Carlo's yielding a certain winning number; nor even yet to all the roulette wheels (each representing a physical quantity or constant) in Monte Carlo's turning up simultaneously certain numbers within narrowly circumscribed limits (say, wheel 1 must show 72 or 73 while wheel 2 must show 27-29, etc.); rather it is like all the roulette wheels in Monte Carlo's yielding simultaneously numbers within narrowly prescribed limits and those numbers bearing certain precise relations among themselves (say, the number of wheel 3 must be one-half the square of the number of wheel 17 and twice the number of wheel 6). It seems clear that worlds not permitting intelligent life are vastly more to be expected than life-permitting worlds.

It's a false analogy because it does not take into account the necessary ratios that must exist between the numbers within the sequence. Ex: the value of the third number in the sequence must be one-half the square of the value of the seventeenth number in the sequence but twice the value of the sixth number drawn while also being equal to the value of the tenth number times the value of the eleventh number multiplied by the square root of the fifteenth number divided by the cube of the twenty second number.

That probability scheme is more apro po to what we see happening with the ratios that exist between the universal constants such that they miraculously fall within the narrow range of life permitting combinations.

That's conformity to an independently given pattern plus high improbability.

That's design.

That's unmistakable, undeniable evidence of a Designer.

They're not the same probabilities and I've already explained why - at length.

Re-read all my previous rejoinders on the subject.

Noooo, what you have are red herrings for your equations are not germane to my argument.

If my argument were to be mathematically expressed it would be something like this:

p(A) and p(A+B) and p(C=A(B+F squared)) and p(W= cosine(C)/cube root of B) and .... and ... and ... and ... and ... and ....

This multiplicity of probabilities on top of probabilities on top of probabilities on top of probabilities expressed in the mathematical example above perfectly illustrates the mind-boggling probability of our universe ending up with the perfect mix and ratios of life permitting constants by pure chance.

Your argument would make it reasonable for a person who stumbles upon a copy of “Hamlet” to assume it is the product of an infinite number of monkeys in an infinite number of universes banging away at an infinite number of typewriters instead of simply concluding “Shakespeare.”


When you hear hoofbeats, why think unicorns?

When is fine tuning ever a case for arbitrary luck?

Again, it's a false analogy. As I keep stating, the compound probability of independent events giving us a life sustaining universe is absurdly small. So small in fact that, as I've already shown, it's beyond impossible. (If you still don't get this then brush up on your Set Theory Combinatorics.)

That's conformity to an independently given pattern plus high improbability.

That's design.

That's unmistakable, undeniable evidence of a Designer.

See my latest rejoinder and try again :)

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@88

If I may ask, are you this vocal against legalized infanticide (abortion) or are you hypocritically silent on this like so many self-righteous gnostic atheists?

Then all your shrieking is a feint done purely for show. The fact that you are pro-infanticide clearly lampoons your moral criticism of God.

You just want your 3 minutes on your soapbox to show the world how big of a hypocrite you really are. Well, mission accomplished!

Feel free to move to a different topic. In fact, I insist; you're morally bankrupt.

If however, you decide to continue pressing your crippled case for your moral superiority I'll have no choice but to ban you from my forum.

I have no patience for mendacious, narcissistic casuists.

Consider yourself warned.

It does make it hard to keep up, doesn't it?

Still, I'm sure it must feel nice to get out of the gutter every once in a while, no?

If have no issue with what man deems legal or illegal for such contrivances are not exclusively synonymous with morality or immorality. More often than not, they're merely the expression of a particular human herd's preferences.

What I take issue with is your hypocrisy. One minute you're damning God for allegedly committing infanticide and, without skipping a beat, you wholeheartedly endorse the legal infanticide practiced today in literally every corner of the globe.

You've made a mockery of any claims to moral superiority you pretended to evince thus verifying the cold hard truth I long suspected - you're morally bankrupt.

As such, you have no case to make against God or anyone else for that matter.

If you truly feel "Creatio ex nihilo sine causa" is patently absurd, why do you subscribe to such a belief?

Far from it. Your hypocrisy doesn’t absolve God of anything for He’s done nothing for which He needs to be absolved of.

You have no case against Him because He can’t do anything evil anymore than a square can also be a circle.

The only thing you’ve succeeded in doing is exposed the fatal flaws in your own specious, parochial reasonings.

But, please, don’t let that stop you from chasing your tail anymore. It makes for great comic relief.

What powerful poof? What you believe is actually worst than magic. At least when a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat you've got a rabbit and a hat.

What you espouse is a universe that came from nothing, by nothing for nothing, id est, "Creatio ex nihilo sine causa."

You've already admitted that such a belief is just sheer puerility , yet, you'd rather continue clinging desperately to it rather than concede the obvious.

From a strictly noetical vantage point, nothing could be more execrable.

**facepalm**

Is Hitler a maximally great being?

Is God a maximally great being?

There's your answer.

Why? Because you say so?

Given your challenges keeping up with all the sub threads, I'll address your allusion to an eternal universe in a new story comment.

Beautiful argumentum ignoratio elenchi!! lol

The issue is not "safe affordable reproductive health care" but "the legalized infanticide of the unborn being practiced today in every corner of the globe which you hypocritically cheer."

Do please try and stay on point.

When did I bring up "safe affordable health care"?!

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@88

You present a false analogy. God can no more do evil than a diamond can be gelatinous, a star can be frozen, a square can be circular or an electric car can guzzle gas. What you suggest is just incoherent.

In other words, your conceptualization of god is parochial, inept.

Axiomatically it's just naked sophistry.

@Ray

I'm happy to see you don't subscribe to Scientism's parochial and pigeonholed view of the world.

With that out of the way, consider the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ:

Historical fact (1): After being impaled on a stake, Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea.

Historical fact (2): On the third day following his death, Jesus’ tomb was found empty by a group of his female disciples.

Historical fact (3): Different individuals and groups, on multiple occasions and under various circumstances, personally witnessed the resurrected Christ. This testimony even includes that of enemies and detractors of Christ.

Historical fact (4): His first disciples beleived Christ had been resurrected from the dead despite having every predisposition to the contrary.

As I've shared before, no naturalistic hypothesis explains these four historical facts better than the obvious: That God did in fact resurrect Christ.

Prominently, in his book, “Justifying Historical Descriptions”, historian C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” passes all these tests:

1. It has great explanatory scope: it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.

2. It has great explanatory power: it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.

3. It is plausible: given the historical context of Jesus’ own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.

4. It is not ad hoc or contrived: it requires only one additional hypothesis: that God exists. And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that God exists.

5. It is in accord with accepted beliefs. The hypothesis: “God raised Jesus from the dead” doesn’t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don’t rise naturally from the dead. The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.

6. It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5). Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as the resurrection solution.

If by "zombie" you mean God brought Christ back to life as a living, breathing sentient being leaving behind him an empty tomb then, ok, Christ was a "zombie."

Christ was dead for the better part of three days. Nowhere did he exist in the universe for all that time. Jehovah God's loss was real.

That Christ died and was resurrected by God.

Multiple, independent ancient historical writings corroborating the same four facts are "tales"? You sure do have a weird take on history ...

Remember what Thomas said, "“Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will certainly not believe"?

"Eight days later [Christ's] disciples were again indoors, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: “May YOU have peace.” Next he said to Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop being unbelieving but become believing.”" (John 20: 25-27)

Question: Was Jesus impaled when he was tortuously murdered?

@ray

When referring to the instrument used to tortuously murder Christ the Bible writers used the Greek noun stau·ros′ 27 times and the verbs stau·ro′o 46 times, syn·stau·ro′o (the prefix syn, meaning “with”) 5 times, and a·na·stau·ro′o (a·na′, meaning “again”) once. They also used the Greek word xy′lon, meaning “wood,” 5 times to refer to the torture instrument upon which Jesus was nailed.

Stau·ros′ in both the classical Greek and Koine carries no thought of a “cross” made of two timbers. It means only an upright stake, pale, pile, or pole, as might be used for a fence, stockade, or palisade. Says Douglas’ New Bible Dictionary of 1985 under “Cross,” page 253: “The Gk. word for ‘cross’ (stauros; verb stauroo . . . ) means primarily an upright stake or beam, and secondarily a stake used as an instrument for punishment and execution.”

The fact that Luke, Peter, and Paul also used xy′lon as a synonym for stau·ros′ gives added evidence that Jesus was impaled on an upright stake without a crossbeam, for that is what xy′lon in this special sense means. (Ac 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24) Xy′lon also occurs in the Greek Septuagint at Ezra 6:11, where it speaks of a single beam or timber on which a lawbreaker was to be impaled.

Question: Was Jesus impaled on a torture stake or a cross?

What a pity ray ...

Having eyes, yet, you still do not see ...

Not at all. You're benighted because you seek the answers to questions you've already been given the answer to.

You're also benighted because you, for whatever reason, seem to believe people didn't read/write Koine or Hebrew in the first century until Gutenberg.

Btw, the Guggenheims were an American family of Swiss Jewish ancestry who made their fortune in global mining and smelting about three centuries ago. Later on they became best known for their philanthropy especially in art and aviation. The world famous Guggenheim Museum in NYC is but one of their gifts to the art world.

I don't mind elevating your historical knowledge in this way but, if this keeps going, I'm gonna have to start charging you, lol :)

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Maxximiliann"

"....There's nothing arbitrary about it. The fact of the matter is that there's more historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ than there is for evolution...."

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/12/18/evolution-watching-speciation-occur-observations/
http://phylointelligence.com/observed.html#speciation
...And what do you think MRSA is? Staph bacteria that have evolved resistance to all current types of antibiotics.

Except for the fact that the gradualism of a class of organisms into another distinct class has never been directly observed. The argument here is that this takes millions of years - which no one has ever witnessed because, well, it takes millions of years - but the fossil record, which is supposed to show a series of infinitesimally gradual changes from one being to another over the course of millions of years, shows the opposite but it is hoped that the “missing” fossils of these intermediate species will one day be found. In summary, the sole evidence for evolution is the assumption of evolution. If that's not circular reasoning, what is?

So you put up all that just to say that there are different types of bacteria just like there are different kinds of cats or dogs but these bacteria remain bacteria the way dogs and cats have always been dogs and cats?

I must admit, I do take a guilty pleasure in watching atheists and evolutionists chase their tales the way they do.

It's rather adorable really, lol :)

@hylierandom

Might I suggest you keep reading. Jehovah God is “abundant in loving-kindness,” states the Bible. (Ex. 34:6) “Give thanks to Jehovah, you people, for he is good; for his loving-kindness is to time indefinite.” (Psalm 118:1, 29) “[God] is kind toward the unthankful and wicked,” states Luke 6:35. “He makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45) “Your loving-kindness, O Jehovah,” sang the psalmist, “has filled the earth.” (Ps. 119:64) The Scriptures contain numerous accounts of how Jehovah showed loving-kindness to his worshippers.

Jehovah protected and fed the Israelites while they spent 40 years in the wilderness. In the Promised Land, God provided judges to rescue them from their enemies and to bring them back to true worship. Because Jehovah stuck with them through good times and bad during all those centuries, he could tell the nation: “With a love to time indefinite I have loved you. That is why I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”—Jer. 31:3.

Jehovah goes beyond speaking about forgiveness. He acts accordingly. Jehovah used Jeremiah to exhort: “Do return, O renegade Israel . . . I shall not have my face drop angrily upon you people . . . I shall not stay resentful to time indefinite.” (Jer. 3:12) God does not feel lingering anger or bitterness toward any of his people whom he has forgiven. Rather, though a wrong has been committed, Jehovah wants to repair the damaged relationship. Despite the sins a person may have committed, if that sinner truly repents and seeks God’s forgiveness, Jehovah will ‘bring him back’ to His favor and blessing. (Jer. 15:19)

Consider the example of King David of ancient Israel, who sang: “[Jehovah] is forgiving all your error, [he] is healing all your maladies.” How David must have appreciated being shown forgiveness for his sin with Bath-sheba and for murdering her husband. He extolled Jehovah, saying: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, his loving-kindness is superior toward those fearing him.” (Ps. 103:3, 11)

Nope, sorry. Buddhism and Paganism both make more sense to me.

May I ask at Max, what religion do you derive this information from? :)

Also, you quoting the NWT bible?

@hylierandom

Just so long as you recognize that your characterization of Jehovah God is wholly inaccurate.

@Prettyeyes

From Christianity which is why I've quoted the Bible throughout.

Good for you. Your information seems to be pretty accurate. I am glad someone knows their Bible.

Awwww, that's sweet of you to say. Thanks! :)

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@ray

Prove the veracity of all of the following beyond a reasonable doubt and I'll happily become an atheist:

- A priori causality
- Creatio ex nihilo sine causa
- Being arises from nonbeing
- Information springs from chaos
- Fine-tuning emanates from randomness

But, if you fail you have to abjure atheism and become a theist.

Deal?

If Atheism is true all of these other principles must also be true. If Atheism is not true all of these principles are false.

As it turns out, from the whole of human experience, knowledge, wisdom and discovery all of those statements have been shown to be false.

Hence atheism is false.

Therefore theism is true.

Therefore God exists.

Therefore atheism is a delusion.

Sure, I'll break it down for you. Per atheism, does the universe have an objective purpose?

On what evidence did you conclude nothing has an objective purpose?

Again, you misapprehend. Perhaps it would help if we simplify things:

What's the objective purpose of gills?

Gills don't perform the specific and necessary function of allowing aquatic animals to breathe underwater?

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@Ray,

How do you know God listens to athlete’s prayers? How do you know God didn’t listen to your friend’s prayers and simply replied, “Not yet.”

After all, only Bruce Almighty answers all prayers with “Yes.”

Maybe one day you will understand what the rest of us do maybe you won't but there's so much more at stake than the death of that child, nay, the death of all the innocents who have died since man first turned his back on his Creator ... so much more ...

Life is a very cruel place. I find it hard to believe in an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful deity given that life is such a cruel place. Furthermore, having read the OT, the deity described there seems whimsically vicious, not loving.
...I was really fascinated one night when I read about the conquering of Israel...I forget which books. But chills went up my spine when I realized that this was an account of genocide.

That's a strawman. What I very clearly stated was that there is much more at stake than whether we live or die. Since you benightedly believe this is all there is to life I'm not at all surprised that your worldview is so very parochial.

@hylierandom

You raise some important issues. I've started a response in my latest story comment. Feel free to continue there.

@ray

Again, more strawmen. As much as you enjoy debating yourself, if you hope to have any sway eventually you're going to have to address what I've specifically and clearly stated instead of your fatuous strawmen.

@ray

If I were speaking with your friend I'd show him the historical facts regarding God's resurrection of Christ and use that as a basis to assure him that he will see his little girl again when she is resurrected on Paradise Earth alongside millions of others who also died tragically. (John 5:28,29)

As millions of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, parents, sons and daughters the world over who have also lost loved ones under tragic circumstances can attest to, God's promise of the resurrection can be as real and soothing a comfort to your friend as it is for all these.

You're right ... I haven't ...

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@88

When I speak of objective moral values I am speaking to moral values that hold regardless of whether anybody believes in them or not. For instance, if the KKK were to (finally) attain world domination and killed everyone who thought racism was wrong, would that suddenly make racism moral behavior?

Hardly. Even if everyone on the face of the Earth thought it was perfectly moral to brutalize and discriminate against another for no other reason than their skin color, it would still be wrong.

That's an objective wrong.

Now, I maintain that the existence of such transcendent moral truths attests to the existence of God, to wit:

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
(2) Evil exists.
(3) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
(5) Therefore, God is the locus of all objective moral values and duties.


In other words, as Dostoevsky once mused, "If there is no God, everything is permitted."

I guess I'm not as advanced.
I think racism is wrong because I wouldn't like being assumed to be less-than due to some arbitrarily selected trait I was born with.
...Same reason I'm a feminist.
Apparently needing an external yardstick to know right from wrong is better?

@88

Seriously? That's like asking how I know water is wet, sand is dry or ice is cold.

"1. If what you're going to do is going to hurt someone, don't do it.
2 If what you're going to do helps someone, do it.
3. Everyone is equal.

Gospel of Ray 3218."

>:)

@ray

Isn't that just a pirated copy of "“All things, therefore, that YOU want men to do to YOU, YOU also must likewise do to them"? - Christ Jesus - Matthew 7:12

*holds out hand*

It is in that all actions are intrinsically good or evil. I should have prefaced my explication by clarifying that this can only be apparent to individuals who have a conscience.

Those who have discarded their conscience and/or psychopaths cannot apprehend this fundamental, basic, human truth.

Thing is, mankind doesn't treat acts like ped0philia, the gunning down of innocent children, racial bigotry, sadism, genocide, gang rape and serial murder as just socially unacceptable behavior, like, say, picking your nose at the dinner table. Rather, these acts are perceived as a moral abominations - acts of evil.

On the flip side, love, equality and self-sacrifice are not just treated as socially advantageous, like, say, bringing a girl flowers on a first date, but, instead are treated as things that are truly good.

Now, animals don't have **objective** morals. When a lion savagely kills another it doesn't think it's committing murder. When a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle snatches prey away from another it doesn't feel it's stealing. When primates violently force themselves onto females they’re not tried and convicted of rape. Obviously, then, we certainly didn't “inherit” our **objective** moral sense from them.

**Objective** morals do not come from science either because science, by it's very nature, is morally nihilistic. Where, then, do we get our **universal objective morals** from?

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I'm just answering here as a kind of bookmark I can find in my activities. Too much to read now but I wanna come back and see later

First off God does not require any works. There is only 1 requirement. God loved us First, pursued us First, not the other way around.

Correct birdie, there are no work requirements.
Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
John 6:28-29


John 6:28–29 Doing the works represents the same word that is translated “labor” in v. 27 (Gk. ergazomai). Jesus tells them to work “for the food that endures to eternal life” (v. 27), but the people misunderstand Jesus’ statement and ask about the works required by God. Jesus replies that the work God requires is that people believe in the Messiah.

We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:19

It appears you're all arguing a false dichotomy for James 2:19-26 explicates, "You believe there is one God, do you? You are doing quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder. But do you care to know, O empty man, that faith apart from works is inactive?

Was not Abraham our father declared righteous by works after he had offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? You behold that [his] faith worked along with his works and by [his] works [his] faith was perfected, and the scripture was fulfilled which says: “Abraham put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness,” and he came to be called “Jehovah’s friend.”

YOU see that a man is to be declared righteous by works, and not by faith alone. In the same manner was not also Ra′hab the harlot declared righteous by works, after she had received the messengers hospitably and sent them out by another way? Indeed, as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

As can be seen then, there is no place amongst God's true worshipers for those who only want to offer lip-service.

One's faith must be clearly evinced by one's outstanding conduct. (Galatians 5:16-24)

But it doesn't say works is a requirement. Works are about serving God and others, not serving ourselves.

@Hebrews

So you're saying God accepts lip service?

No God does not accept lip service, He also does not require works.

Those who abide in (who have faith in Jesus Christ) will bear fruit, and any work that takes place outside of this context (works of the law) are of no redemptive value.

What exactly do you mean by the euphemism "bear fruit"?

John 15:5
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Spiritual fruit....
Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

So you're saying a person's faith can be visibly seen through their outstanding conduct?

Yes.

Maybe should be, but not always, as one can do works, but have no faith, and one can have faith, but not works. The point is works are not a requirement. God is much more concerned about our obedience and trust in Him, than He is concerned about works.

Faith is the root; works are the fruit.

What James is talking about is what good is faith if you don't really trust in what God says. If Abraham didn't trust God enough to believe that God would make Abraham a great nation, Abraham would have never put his son on the alter.

Abraham could have just said God I trust what you say, but I'm not sacrificing my son, as no way I can be a great nation if my son is dead. So then what good was Abraham's faith in that scenario?

Take peter walking on the water, was it his faith in Jesus that he could walk on the water, or the act of stepping out of the boat? Faith was the root, the fruit was stepping out of the boat.

No I can still have faith, but still be disobedient. We obey and trust God because we love Him, not because it is a task to be done.


We can do no inward works, any inward changes come from the transformation that only comes through Jesus.

@Hebrews,

You're using the same term, "works", to describe two different types of activities which has got you chasing your own tail, lol.

You're disagreeing with yourself and everyone else who is agreeing with you, h eh eheh eh e

No, the Pharesees were hung up in the works of the law which resulted in all their rituals legalism,and had no eternal value. Look at Jesus what was His works?

But the Mosaic Law couldn't be the source of their problem for the Law came from God! Their problem was that they were biased and parochial in their misapplication of the Law. This is why Jesus said to them, "“Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but YOU have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things **it was binding to do, yet not to disregard the other things.**" - Matthew 23:23

Worst still, they added frivolous and onerous traditions onto the Law which only served to obfuscate its orignial purpose. Jesus asked them, ““Why is it YOU also overstep the commandment of God because of YOUR tradition? For example, God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Let him that reviles father or mother end up in death.’ But YOU say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever I have by which you might get benefit from me is a gift dedicated to God,” he must not honor his father at all.’

And so YOU have made the word of God invalid because of YOUR tradition. YOU hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about YOU, when he said, ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me.It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’”” - Matthew 15:3-9

So you see, Jesus had no issue with them obeying God’s Law and carrying out the various activities it mandated. His contention with them, however, was that they were misapplying God’s law which, in the process, warped God’s purpose for the Law in the first place.

Yes the misapplying was in all the legalism and rituals they emposed.Which is the whole point of the of healing woman with blood issues on the Sabbath.

Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her? Luke 13:15-16

It was not a life-or-death need that she be healed that day, but she had “bound” by her affliction for 18 years. If an animal can be untied to be led to water to prevent its suffering, shouldn’t she be “unbound” too?
So we see that Jesus was working within the rules, not negating them, and showing how God longs to take every opportunity to show compassion for the suffering of his people.

Jesus came to serve, He was a servant to others, just as we should be.

Why would you think the disobedience is continually? One can be disobedient in just one thing God is telling them at any one given point in their life, yet still have faith. Or the disobedience could be in different areas for different lengths of time.

Repentence is not a WORK one can do, the reason the natural man cannot enter the kingdom of God is because he cannot repent. It takes the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit to enable him to feel any true sorrow for his past sins; and by "sorrow" is meant remorse at having offended a holy God.
This is ongoing repentance believers undergo on a regular basis and is their response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit who convicts them of particular sins which they commit from day today.

Forgiveness is 2 way of your sins, forgiveness that comes from Godor the forgiveness of others, you didn't specify which one you were referring to.

If you look backI said the natural man(in the flesh).

@Hebrews

What do you mean we can’t repent? King David speaks of ‘teaching transgressors God’s ways so that they may turn back to him.’ (Ps 51:13) Timothy was instructed not to fight when dealing with Christians in the congregations he served, but to ‘instruct with mildness those not favorably disposed’ as God might give them “repentance leading to an accurate knowledge of truth, and they may come back to their proper senses out from the snare of the Devil.” (2Ti 2:23-26)

Go back and look, it's says THE NATURAL MAN(in the flesh) Repentance is comes from the Holy Spirit. One can not just repent unless they are being promoted by the Holy Spirit.

We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.

John 6:44
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—
This implies that no human being in the world, on his own, has the moral and spiritual ability to come to Christ unless God the Father draws him, that is, gives him the desire and inclination to come and the ability to place trust in Christ

Where does the Bible teach "Repentance is comes from the Holy Spirit"?

Where does conviction come from?, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Does repentance come from Satan? Of course not, as Satan doesn't want anyone to repent.

One can not just decide to repent on their own, the Holy Spirit has to bring conviction and draw us to Jesus for the redemption of our sins.

Again, where does the Bible teach "Repentance is comes from the Holy Spirit"?

I'm not asking for your opinion this time, just what the Bible teaches. Can you show me chapter and verse?

John 16 4-9 The work of the Holy Spirit
But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes, he will CONVICT the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;

Thank you for that passage but I did not read the phrase "Repentance is comes from the Holy Spirit" anywhere. Did I miss it or is it perhaps in another Bible passage?

Repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit In the above scripture it says he will CONVICT the world of sin,

Repentance is from,(typo) the word is was not intended. The point being the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, leading us to repentance, thus it is the work of the Holy Spirit and not of ourselves.

@Hebrews

So if a person recognizes their wrong but refuses to repent the holy spirit forces them to repent anyway?

@777

We're both on the same line of thought here it seems (sans your apparent allusions to the specious Trinity doctrine).

From reading Hebrews' replies it seems she believes God forces evildoers against their will to repent but that's certainly not a biblical teaching for whom did Christ obligate to repent and follow him?

Hopefully she'll take the opportunity to clarify her position further.

No of course the Holy Spirit doesn't force you to repent or force you to do anything else. Just as Jesus or El Shaddai force you to do anything. If you are feeling conviction(remember he was sent to convict)you can ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit to repent. if you have Godly sorrow for your sin you will follow the propmtings of the Holy Spirit and repent and ask for forgiveness. The Holy Spirit convicts and draws you to Jesus,Jesus forgives of our sins. But praying the rosary or any other acts will not gain you repentance.

Yes rosary is catholic. Yes we are given free will to choose to repent or accept Christ or obey God in any way.

Conviction? You have never felt convicted about your sin?

Version, take your pick

New International Version (©1984)
When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:
New Living Translation (©2007)
And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment.

English Standard Version (©2001)
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:

International Standard Version (©2012)
When he comes, he will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment—

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
He will come to convict the world of sin, to show the world what has God's approval, and to convince the world that God judges it.

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And when he is come, he will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

American Standard Version
And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

English Revised Version
And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Weymouth New Testament
And He, when He comes, will convict the world in respect of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement; --

World English Bible
When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment;

Young's Literal Translation
and having come, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment;


Convict means to to find or prove to be guilty, and we are gulity of sin.
The act of convincing, or compelling one to admit the truth of a charge; the act of convincing of sin or sinfulness; the sate of being convinced or convicted by conscience

And I have never met a Christian who did not know what conviction was(as it relates to their sins). That is exactly what conviction is. Are we not GUILTY of sin? The Holy Spirit reveals to us that we are guilty of sinning against God.

My statement is to say, a person can be convicted of their sins, yet still not repent of those sins. Yes, you need to repent, but you may not repent at that moment or you may never repent.

I have a friend who smokes and she knows she needs to quit and she has expressed a desire to quit, but she feels no conviction to quit.

No problem, sorry if I didn't make myself clear from the start.

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@Sapphire

There's nothing arbitrary about it. The fact of the matter is that there's more historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ than there is for evolution. In fact, any denial of the historicity of Christ’s resurrection is comparable to denying the the US declared its independence in 1776 or that Columbus landed in America in 1492.

In his book "The Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus", Michael Licona provides a list of scholars Brodeur, Collins, Conzelman, Fee, Gundry, Harris, Hayes, Hèring, Hurtado, Johnson, Kistemaker, Lockwood, Martin, Segal, Snyder, Thiselton, Witherington, and Wright.

Concordantly, British scholar N. T. Wright states, "As a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.” (N. T. Wright, “The New Unimproved Jesus,” Christianity Today (September 13, 1993)), p. 26.

Even Gert L¸demann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”(Gerd L¸demann, What Really Happened to Jesus?, trans. John Bowden (Louisville, Kent.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), p. 80.)

These are just a minute sampling from the massive throng of scholars who all attest to the historicity of Christ’s resurrection - http://amzn.to/13MQiTE

Prominently, in his book, “Justifying Historical Descriptions”, historian C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” passes all these tests:

1. It has great explanatory scope: it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.

2. It has great explanatory power: it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.

3. It is plausible: given the historical context of Jesus’ own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.

4. It is not ad hoc or contrived: it requires only one additional hypothesis: that God exists. And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that God exists.

5. It is in accord with accepted beliefs. The hypothesis: “God raised Jesus from the dead” doesn’t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don’t rise naturally from the dead. The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.

6. It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5). Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as the resurrection hypothesis.

Hey at least he can give a reference to support his view, or he could just be like others and say you are a liar, but give nothing to to expose any lies.

@888

So what has your own investigation into the facts surrounding Christ's death and resurrection lead you to conclude?

@88

I'm sorry to hear about your mental illness. Are you receiving regular professional care?

Really? How did Christ's teachings of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness cause you to suffer from mental illness?

If Christ's teachings "did not cause [your] mental illness" then why do you say Christianity is an illness.

What's the connection?

Looks like you could have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble if you had simply followed what Christ taught, as recorded in the Bible, instead of the philosophy you were being indoctrinated with. Just sayin' ...

Didn't you say you used to be all about "imaginary friends, undead corpses, blood dripping propitiations [and] eternal damnation"? These are certainly not Christ's teachings.

@88

Fine. If you want me to believe our Creator is an imaginary friend prove God does not, cannot exist. Jesus proved His existence. Prove Jesus wrong.

False analogy. I've never presented evidence for the existence of the Tooth Fairy the way I have for God's existence.

Do try and pay attention :)

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It appears you misapprehend how free will works. To borrow from the brainchild of Harry Frankfurt, "so long as a person’s choice is causally undetermined, it is a free choice even if he is unable to choose the opposite of that choice.

Imagine a man with electrodes secretly implanted in his brain who is presented with the choice of doing A or B. The electrodes are inactive so long as the man chooses A; but if he were going to choose B, then the electrodes would switch on and force him to choose A. If the electrodes fire, causing him to choose A, his choice of A is clearly not a free choice. But suppose that the man really wants to do A and chooses of his own volition. In that case his choosing A is entirely free, even though the man is literally unable to choose B, since the electrodes do not function at all and so have no effect on his choice of A. What makes his choice free is the absence of any causally determining factors of his choosing A.

In other words, a limitation in the range of choices is not the same as having no choice at all. If A, B, and C are good choices, and D, E, and F are evil choices, one’s inability to choose D, E, or F does not negate the fact that he can choose A, B, or C.”

When you go to an Italian restaurant, they may only serve 12 out of 150 possible Italian dishes. The fact that you cannot choose 138 of those dishes does not negate the fact that you can choose any one of the 12 options before you. Likewise, God’s expectation that man act morally does not mean man lacks freedom of will. Hence, God is justified in punishing man when he abuses his limited free will to do evil.

it appears you have absolutely no sense of humor.

You are the only one taking yourself seriously.

And you clearly missed the message of the joke as well because your "rebuttal" is in chewbaca defense territory.

@Dente

I doubt anyone finds the kind of bigotry you espouse humorous. My making efforts to educate my son on the virtues of mercy, forgiveness and love of one's enemies is anything but abuse.

Don't be so ignorant as to label my disagreement with YOU as bigotry, it makes you look delusional and desperate.

You and all anti-theists are of the modest opinion that parents who use the Bible to teach their children to show, love, mercy and compassion are actually abusing their children.

That you can't conceive how offensive such naked bigotry is simply compounds your slur.

@Dente

As everyone else is well aware, I'm much too sophisticated to permit the use of slurs and/or profanity on my stories. Keep your comments clean and respectful and I am more than happy to let them stand.

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@Azsu,

I'm glad to hear that!

Now, mankind doesn't see acts like ped0philia, the gunning down of innocent children, racial bigotry, sadism, genocide, gang rape and serial murder as just socially unacceptable behavior, like, say, picking your nose at the dinner table. Rather, these acts are perceived as a moral abominations - acts of evil.

On the flip side, love, equality and self-sacrifice are not just perceived as socially advantageous, like, say, bringing a girl flowers on a first date, but, instead are treated as things that are truly good.

Now, animals don't have **objective** morals. When a lion savagely kills another it doesn't think it's committing murder. When a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle snatches prey away from another it doesn't feel it's stealing. When primates violently force themselves onto females they’re not tried and convicted of rape. Obviously, then, we certainly didn't “inherit” our **objective** moral sense from them.

**Objective** morals do not come from science either because science, by it's very nature, is morally nihilistic. Where, then, do we get our **universal objective morals** from?

Consider the following:

(1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
(2) Evil exists.
(3) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
(5) Therefore, God is the loci of all objective moral values and duties.

If I'm grounding all objective moral values and duties in God how can you conclude I perceive them merely as an argumentum ad populum?

88 I'm going to kill my son, blame it on the Jews and then oppose your communism by setting up a unregulated greed based government, in which everything is for sale, except sex.

@888

I'm not "thinking" God into existence if that's what you're insinuating. What I perceive is evidence of his existence, that's all.

What you "perceive" is "evidence of existence" ... do you have any other super powers?

No more than any person who draws conclusions about the world around him based on observational facts.

so this classifies as your definition of proof http://i.imgur.com/wFIER4b.jpg

I guess the founding fathers were wrong? http://i.imgur.com/AAEvWsI.jpg

God point Ray!

*good

@Dente,

Indeed the founding fathers were wrong about a lot of things. For instance, they never imagined that the 2nd Amendment would permit for psychos to gun down innocent babies.

@ray

If your conceptualization of self-sacrifice allows you to categorize as good the self-immolation of murderers who slaughter innocents with their deaths then maybe your definition of "good" needs some reworking.

Nobody tell Maxx about the crusades!!!

@Dente

The Crusades, the Inquisition and the 30 Years War are all indictments against Catholicism and Protestantism, not against Christ's teachings on love, mercy and compassion.

Happy to clear that up for you.

@Ray

Instead of drinking the anti-theist Kool Aid why not be a free thinker and actually think for yourself?

Think: How can Christ's teachings of mercy, forgiveness and love for one's enemies possibly enjoin any rational human being to commit atrocities?

@Ray

Think: How can Christ's teachings of mercy, forgiveness and love for one's enemies possibly enjoin any rational human being to commit atrocities?

Show me exactly how that works. Connect the dots for me.

@777

LOL!! :D

See my reply in my latest story comment.

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Puck,

If you could clarify for me, do you accept all types of evidence? Or just scientific?

I believe that heaven and earth exist through the voice of God. Nature tells me that. I'm a heretic, but I believe. I use to be "on fire", but the deeper I got into the bible the more I thought that it was written by men to control people through fear, and keep the women folk in line. God is perfection but there is plenty of imperfection to be found in the bible. I fully trust the red letters though. I 'do' believe in science and I don't feel that science negate the existence of a supreme being that is the source of everything there is.

Does that mean you accept all types of evidence or just that which is scientific in nature?

The thing with religion is that the real meaning of the stories is hidden behind the metaphors that most religious people mistake as FACTS. By teaching a child YOU may or may not have the wisdom to actually teach them correctly and that could inhibit their understanding of religion later in life and do more harm than good. It is one thing telling a child to "do unto others as you would like to have done unto you" but it is another telling them to BELIEVE as a FACT that someone parted the sea (which they may or may not have done) when the real meaning behind such instruction lies in the metaphor that if you have true faith you can separate reality from illusions and see God at work all around you, at which point belief is not necessary because you can simply see and understand through direct perception. "The kingdom of God is spread across the earth and men do not see it."<br />
Its like telling a child stories about the stork bring a baby home. We know what the metaphor means but the child does not. Religion would have the child grow up and live their whole life thinking that babies are brought home by the stork, essentially. Well most religions at least.<br />
When spiritual men talk about God they are no different than say Newton, who saw gravity at work IN the world around him. A deity is an ob<x>ject or person that we see through, a window used to peer into a world that is transcendent of the physical world. "My kingdom is one not made by hands, eternal in the sky." The apple could be said to be Newtons deity for "gravity" because he seen through the apple and into his own mind, and there inside him he found gravity. "The kingdom is within." Many religions take the apple and enshrine it and hang a sign on it saying "HERE IS GRAVITY" and then people grow up thinking they have to go to a museum or church to see a force that is within their own being and eminent in the world around them.

Many parents with GOOD intentions actually rob their children of really understanding and/or being close to God and by the time they come of age their perception is so skewed their is little hope for correction without a lifetime of endeavor.

What is your evidence that the parting of the Red Sea is not a historical event?

I do not need evidence, I do not need to believe anything. I understand that regardless of whether or not those events happened physically they have a DUAL metaphorical significance that relates to my own souls inner workings. You do not have to believe anything in the bible as fact. The spiritual meaning is imparted just by hearing the inner (esoteric) meanings by reading it as metaphor. The stories of the bible SPEAK to you because they re-present to you the archetypal foundation of your own being. "The kingdom is within." The kind of belief or faith in history as fact is false belief, it is not true faith. It only leads to misconceptions that in turn lead to wars and murder. True faith is found in understanding the inner (esoteric) significance of the bibles stories.

"Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld."

The evident demonstration, it should go on to say "realities though not beheld by the eye of man." Realities hidden behind the visible world but that can be seen with an "inner" eye. "My kingdom is one not made by hands, eternal in the sky."

What I am trying to convey to you requires both sides of your brain to cognize. I cannot impart to another the use of hemispheric synchronization. You cannot be given eyes to see, so if you cannot make the leap to understand the difference between exoteric and esoteric mysteries then you may be in trouble. Men will only waste so much time trying to save a drowning man. You must learn to be your own light.

What you teach by the WAY you teach religion is more than just what is in the book, you teach your own ignorance and method of perceiving reality. Our children are meant to change the way we see the world, not the other way around.

By teaching your child to believe everything as FACT you rob him of the intelligence to see the hidden meanings. You lead him astray.

I guess that is the difference to me between teaching and indoctrination. Teaching is a good thing if done right but indoctrination imparts our method of perception itself and can harm people who might just turn out to be smarter than us one day.

When you meet one who knows you will know him by his works. Do you like how I avoided conflict when you asked "What is your evidence that the parting of the Red Sea is not a historical event?" Arguments about quotes like this have most likely lead to wars in the past. Mistaking metaphor for FACT is what makes religion so dangerous. See how I "parted the water" here to stop conflict? Its just one way of interpreting the hidden meaning but isn't seeing the wisdom hidden in the pages of the bible in this way a nice "added bonus" to JUST believing everything is fact?

You can still believe what you want you just do not press your beliefs onto others, when speaking to another you meet half way and keep the metaphorical meanings in order to share wisdom and not start wars.

You ducked the question by employing a fallacious Ignoratio Elenchi argument instead of simply presenting evidence for your outlandish claims.

I take it you must be a very skilled politician, h heheeh :)

This is why when asked "what is the truth?" Jesus simply kept his council. He knew if you have to ask that you will not understand the answer.

I will make my exit now gentlemen. Enjoy the evening.

@7

'Cause he's a politician using hazy if-by-whiskey arguments, lol :)

There are Way too many "what ifs" in your statements Phaethon...Your thinking is so....noncommittal. Almost like...you're trying to please everyone and you're spreading yourself too thin....

The truth should please everyone.

@88

Like the fact that the US declared its independence in 1776, Columbus landed in America in 1492 or that God resurrected Christ from his tomb, the multiplicity of independent sources attesting to this particular event involving Moses constitutes reliable evidence for it's historicity.

Do you have any proof that contradicts its historicity?

Sounds like JW quote.

JW version of Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

"Phaethon...I'm honestly trying to "get" you, but failing cosmically."

Its ok I don't try to be "gotten" haha. I shift my perspective to try to smooth whatever rough edges are left on the carving. Spiritual truth is found in "context" not content. It is the "way" we see the world and not how we see it. God is transcendent so if ever you grasp him... you have lost him.

I care nothing for re-legion. Which means simply to "bind the ages" and nothing more.

Re-legio, to bind the ages together.

Much less, Jesus was never a religious man. Why should I be?

See in each new age as the consciousness of mankind evolves the "message" must die and be reborn into the context the new state of human awareness. If it does not become reborn it dies, and the re-legion of the previous age then worships a dead god. As the Hebrews do today. So Christianity will allow room for the true message of the Christ to be reborn and flower into the direct perception of gods kingdom that is at hand in the world today around us... or they will suffer the same fate as the Hebrews. Denial.

Wise men of any religion can allow its rebirth to take place by "translation" of the message into modern understanding. So there is always hope for any religion.

Its ok, stick with what you know. I just don't have a thousand lifetimes to wait for some kingdom to come. I will eat my cake now, thank you.

Yea I know. I get this a lot from Christians. Its why I would never go into a church. ;)

Judgment stinks worse than booze when its on someones breath. I can smell it through peoples cheeks. Its very unbecoming.

@maxx what proof do you have that the red seas were parted? Or that God had any hand in helping them to part? Cite your source.

@Dente

They have answered their own question in a way. Maybe in time it will sink in. Religion is dangerous because it teaches people to see only differences and judge others rather than helping heal the world in any productive way.

I cannot forgive you, to do that I would have had to have judged you first. All that matters is that you asked anyway, having asked your task is done. Christians are very quick to judge, all humans are... but Christians are "supposed" to understand how dangerous quickly judging another can be, I mean... Its what killed the Christ after all. So in my eyes religion does very little to help the world. Why bother teaching a useless subject to our children?

Its good that you spoke up, don't doubt yourself. If you don't face yourself you cannot atone. Sin is the crack through which the light of truth enters human nature. But I am just messing with you now, this is my sense of humor. Don't take me to seriously. Your not that bad. ;)

@Dente

Multiple independent ancient documents speak to the occurrence of this event. Such historians include Saul of Tarsis (aka Paul), Nehemiah, Isaiah, Moses and many, many others.

"(throws hands up in the air) Phaethon, if I offended you, you COULD forgive me."

I told you... I cannot forgive you because you didn't do anything that bothered me. To be forgiven I would have to judge you first right? I don't judge people directly in a person to person way (if I can help it) but I do question ideals or criticize when I feel its needed. My pruning is always for peoples growth however.

"Yea I know. I get this a lot from Christians. Its why I would never go into a church. " Is this not a judgmental statement? From YOU?

As you said "Try walking into an entire high school gymnasium with your children and all eyes full of hatred, judgement and disapproval are on you."

That is what happens when I walk into churches. Its how I feel, I am very "sensitive" to emotions and I can feel it in the air when I voice my mind around people in most churches. I attended a Universalist Unitarian church once, so not all churches are bad. I will bow my head before no doctrine and no man stands in judgment over me, and I will make it known in any building even if it shakes the nails from the rafters. Churchy people tend to not like that, they like dressing up nice and being quiet while the guy on stage talks or sings. And once they start judging you they only harm themselves and I dont' like causing people harm so i don't go to church. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just leave people alone... That way you don't cause them harm by evoking there ego.

That is another lesson for maxximiliann to think about before starting a troll in the wrong forum. ;) I am just busting your balls max, no hard feelings.

@max ' Multiple independent ancient documents speak to the occurrence of this event. Such historians include Saul of Tarsis (aka Paul), Nehemiah, Isaiah, Moses and many, many others.'

Are all of these accounts soley held within the bible ?

I asked you cite your sources please do that.

@max
" Multiple independent ancient documents speak to the occurrence of this event."

Do they speak of it's sole attribution being god?

@Dente

You're committing the error of genetic fallacy. As such, your questions are irrelevant for they do not change the fact that multiple independent ancient historians mention the event at the Red Sea as a historical fact as attested to by the existence of the ancient documents they recorded these events on.

The burden is on you to prove that the event multiply attested to by independent ancient documents did not or could not take place.

Do you have such evidence?

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I don't think that's abuse - it's one teaching. Hardly a full press religious indoctrination! Maybe misconstrued because of the group it's in?

Its a brain wash for children as they can't relate to deeper meaning in Religion.

Unfortunately neither can most adults.

Trilo,

Why is it wrong to teach children to be merciful and forgiving of others?

Nothing wrong with teaching mercy and forgiveness. That is different than say... babtising a child at birth or before they can cognitively understand the hidden esoteric significance of the ritual. It is simply a waste of time. People, all human beings, have to choose to explore and progress through the hidden meanings of religious doctrine themselves when they are ready to and it does more harm than good forcing it on people before they can understand. I guess wisdom and moderation are needed for the proper application of religious meaning to be imparted to children. Wisdom that not many people in the modern world have.

That is why the word at-one-ment means to "undo" rather than to learn or add onto. To become at-one with god we must unlearn what the world has taught us.

Children are more emotional and learn more by watching adults and not so much by intellectual dry doctrine in religion .Religions are biased which is not good example if you wish to teach them to be to be merciful and forgiving.
You could use terms like merciful and forgiving with children at the level their intellect can comprehend it . Using quotations from religious texts is dangerous especially with children .

@Trilo,

Who did you use as a personification of mercy and forgiveness when you taught your kid(s) these qualities?

"He who drinks from my mouth will become as I am and I will be he." - Jesus of Nazareth

You are refering to THE biblical atonement. I am talking about just at-one-ment. There is no error in my statement I assure. There is always room for "mis-translation" however. Its nice that you can at least try to see the similarities rather than only the differences. I applaud you. I know the god that the Christ is by loving the man Jesus was. There is no such thing as a "Christian" you see. Jesus is the world.

Phae,

Jesus never said those words. Where are you getting your information from? I'd check them if I were you ...

Most likely one of the many gospels deleted from the bible by the many men who edited it. Since I do not bow my head under the authority of any worldly institution I am allowed to do that. It was from the gospel of thomas I think.

He also said "If you seek me you will not find me in any book or building, break the wood and you will find me, lift the stone and I am there." But you can see why your church leaders wouldn't want you hearing gospels like that, they would lose power over people.

I am not here to preach. I would like to take my leave now. Goodnight.

@Phae

Did you really expect to teach canards as truth and have everyone simply bow to your indoctrination? How benighted can you possibly be?

I don't indoctrinate anyone. I try to free people from it. But I am no teacher. Look at the group you are posting in. Perhaps since you have no desire to actually understand anything that might lead to the answer you "allegedly" sought by asking this question... You are just here to troll? I am fine with that to. This is the part about theists that amuse me the most.

Why are you even here asking this?

A lot of nice people tried to "educate" you tonight. It is fine for you to turn them down, but at least acknowledge that they wasted their time trying and don't be rude. I do not debate. I am fine with leaving you to the ignorance I found you in when I noticed your question and took pity on you. So now I will give your ego reason to dislike me and leave you as I found you, I have wasted enough time here.

@777

For whatever reason I find most Gnostics are so lost in their mysticism they actually believe they gobbledygook they spout despite all evidence to the contrary, he he heheh :)

"they actually believe they gobbledygook they spout despite all evidence to the contrary"

Evidence to the contrary? Please provide us with some of this evidence of which you speak.

cite your sources.

@Dente,

Gnosticism is based heavily on apocryphal teachings and writings misattributed to Christ and or his disciples. This disparity is clearly evident when you take into account these apocryphal gospels were invented centuries after the Gnostic Gospels were already well in circulation.

Each human being has the ability to discern spiritual truth himself without any need of an outside source. Gnostics are just empaths with a high emotional IQ who can discern reality from illusion. All they have to do is just read scripture to ***** its validity. Jesus was a Gnostic, all spiritual men are. It doesn't matter if Jesus said it or not, it really doesn't even matter if Jesus was even real. The "idea" of Jesus is a "medium" through which a certain state of consciousness touched the world. That is all we need to know. By just being able to perceive the divinity in his actions we begin atonement to the Christ. It is our own divinity we see anyway, the kingdom is within us. There simply is not need to think of anything in the bible as fact, metaphor teaches us FAR more than fact anyway.

This is beyond the ability for most people to understand however, its for this very reason that the Buddha declined teaching the masses. They are just simply unable to understand. "The kingdom of God is spread across the earth and men DO NOT see it."

I guess the reason I think religion doesn't need to be taught to children is because it doesn't really need to be taught to adults either. That does not mean that the "myth" and "stories" do not need to be preserved or studied for there metaphorical and archetypal value however. Just not in a church, perhaps a classroom would be better suited.

Now this may sound arrogant but I mean it with no negative or egotistical connotation so if your ego resists then what resists in you is your own misunderstanding. Since a non-christian can often be closer to Christ, by reading the scriptures as metaphor and trying to "embody" that wisdom, than "many" Christians are by blind worship, it seems to me that worship is the variable that is unnecessary. "When Christianity put Jesus on the pedestal they lost the Christ." And God would prefer people to use the highest gift that he gave them to worship him anyway I assure you, that gift being our intellect. But the bible warns against that doesn't it? Proverbs 18.

"Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom."

But see this is the danger of ignorant people without the spiritual eyes to see trying to follow scripture blindly. You cannot read the bible verse by verse however, so it goes on to say..

"A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself."

What that scripture means is, that you cannot believe everything you read with your mind as being FACT. Fact is the wisdom of man. The Pharisees took everything "literally" and Jesus said quite clearly "the faith of the Pharisees will not avail" and you can see in Proverbs 18:2 where it says "A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself "the bible is telling each man to follow his own path, his OWN heart. A fool follows his heart because the heart KNOWS the truth. There is a place within where the TRUTH abides in full.

It is not my intention to start any religious debate , its simply that its human quality to be kind and compassionate. With small children its best learned by teaching them how to take care of animals , both child and animal don't have any concepts of words or religion. Later when children grows up they have to learn the difference of the opposite concept. You can't teach them what's love suppose to be if they don't know the opposite of hatred . The first teachers of children are the parents , if parents do not show good example then children will not learn either .

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According to the dictionary teach and Indoctrinate are pretty much the same.

Indoctrinate.To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles. to teach (a person or group of people) systematically to accept doctrines

Teach..
1. To impart knowledge or skill to: teaches children.
2. To provide knowledge of; instruct in: teaches French.
3. To condition to a certain action or frame of mind: teaching youngsters to be self-reliant.
4. To cause to learn by example or experience: an accident that taught me a valuable lesson.
5. To advocate or preach: teaches racial and religious tolerance.
6. To carry on instruction on a regular basis in

And they are synonyms of each other.

"Teach" is a broader term. Its meaning encompasses the meaning of "indoctrinate". To indoctrinate is to inculcate, instill, or impose doctrine. To teach may have nothing to do with doctrine. They are not synonyms.

Related to TEACH


Merriam-Webster's
Teach
Synonyms: educate, indoctrinate, instruct, lesson, school, train, tutor

Indoctinate
Related to INDOCTRINATE
Synonyms: educate, teach, instruct, lesson, school, train, tutor

And synonyms also connote different sentiments. "Teach", "impart" and "indoctrinate" are all synonymous with one another but saying, for instance, that "communist Russia imparted it's populace with Gnostic Atheism" connotes something very different than the phrase "communist Russia indoctrinated it's populace with Gnostic Atheism."

See the difference Hebrew?

I don't see how the thread follows the story. I simply hear a theist quoting Jesus on patience tolerance and forgiveness. I know the old testament is unbelievably draconian, and even the new testament seems to condone slavery, and equate magic with murder, but Jesus often would start a dissertation by saying, "You have heard it said, but I say....." and even the bible itself says you can't take every word in it to heart. In Jeremiah 8:8 it says that the 'law' is not entirely true.

‘How can you say, “We are wise,
for we have the law of the Lord,”
when actually the lying pen of the scribes
has handled it falsely?

Of course I've been reproved often for using this verse, because it is a verse Muslims often use when arguing to religious validity of the bible.
Irrational religious indoctrination happens that does equate to child abuse. I know that for sure, but teaching a child the words of Jesus, and saying bedtime prayers, in my opinion is not abuse.

@777heaven. I was going to put a disclaimer in there cause sometimes the internet can make a friendly statement sound like a not so friendly statement. Thanks for taking it in the spirit in which it was intended. : )

xNilx, fundamentalists don't really like that verse being quoted. They don't agree.

I take a softer stance, but people that actually believe the earth is really 6,000 years old scare me!

That's some pretty fancy legerdemain there Puck. But, as always, context is king:

“The wise ones have become ashamed. They have become terrified and will be caught. Look! They have ** rejected the very word of Jehovah **, and what wisdom do they have? Therefore I shall give their wives to other men, their fields to those taking possession; for, from the least one even to the greatest one, each one is making unjust gain; from the prophet even to the priest, each one is acting falsely.

And they try to heal the breakdown of the daughter of my people lightly, saying: “There is peace! There is peace!” when there is no peace. Did they feel shame because they had done even what was detestable? For one thing, they positively could not feel ashamed; for another thing, they did not know even how to feel humiliated.

“‘Therefore they will fall among those who are falling. In the time of their being given attention, they will stumble,’ Jehovah has said.“ - Jeremiah 8:9-12

Jeremiah was inspired by Jehovah God to prophesy against the ancient Israelites, not because they were faithfully adhering to God’s laws but because they weren’t. They had taken up for themselves false teachers who were teaching them contrary to what God’s laws actually stated. In this way, these mendacious teachers used their false stylus to allay their fears of divine retribution and proclaim peace when nothing of the sort was in store for them.

This prophecy found it’s fulfillment in 607 B.C.E. when the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took many of its inhabitants captive.

So you believe God commanded the scribes to write this law?

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. ... But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-21

or this one?
They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. ... And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones.... And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-56

Puck,

Who are you to condemn the moral values of another society? On what objective basis are you even qualified to make such a judgment? More importantly, who appointed you ultimate arbiter of all that is good and moral?

Azsu,

What in the world are you talking about?

Oh come on, max- You mean to tell me you defend the stoning of a man for gathering firewood on Saturday, or the stoning of a girl for not being a virgin on her wedding day, or any of the multitude of atrocities justified in the old testament?

Puck,

Who are you to condemn the moral values of another society? On what objective basis are you even qualified to make such a judgment? More importantly, who appointed you ultimate arbiter of all that is good and moral?

Azsu,

Where does the Bible teach "even if she was a rape victim, and covered it up, she must be put to death"?

and why would Jesus make corrections on laws that are written in the old testament when he says, "You have heard it said, but I say.....".......
Either way. I don't want to offend you so if you're getting angry, I'll gladly give up the thread. Actually we're both a bit abrasive since this was posted in a conflicting group, and I'm contributing to the thread.

@Puck,

I'm not getting angry, see? :) Why would I?

I just want to know what qualifies you to objectively assess and condemn any society's moral values, that's all. Can you supply me with such credentials?

@Azsu

So you're saying you have no evidentiary basis for your claim whatsoever?

777heaven. I'm so sorry. Now I'm off on a tangent. ha ha ha.

maxximiliann- Good. I thought I was aggravating you. : ) I am a human and gives me the right to address inhumanity. There is culture in today's world that mutilates the reproductive organs of little girls. I have no problem condemning that! We should all condemn inhumanity.
I know that you know how many time Jesus made corrections to the law even as He came to fulfill it. He said "not one jot or one title shall pass away from the law". but He also made the following corrections and additions to the law.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[f] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]

Eye for Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.