Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 52 (9178 total)
1 online now:
Newest Member: Anig
Upcoming Birthdays: Theodoric
Post Volume: Total: 918,102 Year: 5,359/9,624 Month: 384/323 Week: 24/204 Day: 24/21 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Creationists think Evolutionists think like Creationists.
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 79 of 485 (568814)
07-17-2010 10:15 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by GDR
07-17-2010 10:06 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
I'm not suggesting that science will necessarily help you choose between different faiths, (although it might), I'm just saying that the study of the creation might give us clues about the creator.
Has it yet? Has any evidence been unconvered which definatively shows that a supernatural creator exists?
I am sure there are many theistic scientists who would, in a heart beat, produce evidence for a supernatural creator. How as of yet this has not been the case.
I imagine that someone arrive here from some distant planet might be able to tell something about us by taking apart my old Buick.
Yes, but your Buick is not the subject of naturally-occuring biological evolution. Rubber, plastic, and metal do not naturally bond to each other over time to form a car.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by GDR, posted 07-17-2010 10:06 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by GDR, posted 07-17-2010 10:38 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 81 of 485 (568817)
07-17-2010 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Dr Adequate
07-17-2010 10:13 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
It just seems to me that if our science is correct then it should have something to tell us about a creator should one exist.
"He has a inordinate fondness for beetles."
And flesh-destroying bacteria.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Dr Adequate, posted 07-17-2010 10:13 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by GDR, posted 07-17-2010 11:07 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 84 of 485 (568821)
07-17-2010 10:42 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by GDR
07-17-2010 10:38 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
True but presumably you believe that lifeless atoms and molecules bonded to each other over time to form you all on their own.
Please do not presume what I do or do not believe. I don't believe or disbelieve this. I have no knowledge of abiogenesis. In this realm we are equally ignorant. Which is why I am still an agnostic.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by GDR, posted 07-17-2010 10:38 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Dr Adequate, posted 07-17-2010 10:50 PM DevilsAdvocate has not replied
 Message 88 by GDR, posted 07-17-2010 11:11 PM DevilsAdvocate has not replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 89 of 485 (568834)
07-18-2010 6:52 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by GDR
07-17-2010 11:07 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
I am not going to pretend there are easy answers. I believe that God is just as saddened by this as any of us.
That is like saying a psycopathic and deranged father is saddened after after dousing his house with gasoline and then who then gives his 4 year old a match. The father then tells his child not to light the match and that the child would be given a reward if he obeyed him. The father then steps out of the house. The inevitable happens and the house goes up in flames with the child inside. The parent then shakes his head and says "I told him not to do it", "I even offered him a reward and said that he would not die if he did not light the match". Now who is the evil bastard in this story? According to Christians, it is the child.
If one is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all powerful or unlimited/infinite power) and omniscient (all being or the ability to be everywhere at once) than he has no moral excuse to create something like flesh-eating bacteria, leporasy, polio, AIDS, small pox, malaria that literaly have killed hundreds of millions of men, women and children. All because Adam and Eve ate a fruit. Wow, talk about overkill. That would be like you punishing your unborn grandchildren to death because your 4 year old spelt a glass of milk on your new cashmere sweater.
One thought that I have though is this. If this life is all there is that poor little guy is going to live with that horrible disease his whole life. If however God is going to do what the Bible says and give us new eternal bodies in a new heaven and new earth then it isn't as tragic.
DevilsAdvocate writes:
And flesh-destroying bacteria.
I am not going to pretend there are easy answers. I believe that God is just as saddened by this as any of us.
One thought that I have though is this. If this life is all there is that poor little guy is going to live with that horrible disease his whole life. If however God is going to do what the Bible says and give us new eternal bodies in a new heaven and new earth then it isn't as tragic.
Wow, what a pretty insensitive and cruel thing to say. So basically you are saying it is ok that God in his foreknowledge and the ability to prevent this disease/ailmant from occuring in the first place, does nothing to prevent the incruciating pain and literal physical torture of innocent children because in the end they will have new bodies in heaven. The supposed promise of a new body in no way takes away the physical/emotional/and psychological pain, agony and outright torture these people and the families endure when they are stricken with these diseases/ailmants.
You ever here the term "The end does not justify the means"? I think that is pretty apropos here.
So it is ok these kids are stricken with the below ailmants since they will get new bodies.
There are worse pictures of diseases and ailmants I could post of children and adults, however for the sake of preserving their dignity I won't. These are some pretty horrible and gruesome diseases designed and created by your "loving" god.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by GDR, posted 07-17-2010 11:07 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by GDR, posted 07-18-2010 11:06 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 90 of 485 (568835)
07-18-2010 7:04 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by GDR
07-17-2010 11:10 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
Not really. Just like science. Scientists nowadays hypotheisize that gravitons exist and then go out and see what they can learn about them. Let's just hypothesize that a creator exists and see what can be learned.
You really don't think anyone is doing this? There are a lot of scientists out there who are religious and believe in God. In fact, many famous scientists used this very rationale to learn about the world around them in the last several thousand years of scientific investiigation. However, the existence of God cannot be assumed scientifically, when one does not provide emperical evidence that supports this hypothesis. Wishful thinking does not make good scientific evidence, though it may make a good reason for conducting science. Even gravitons lie in the realm of hypothsesis, not grounded theory, until solid evidence is provided of their existence.
Furthermore, the very definition of God existing outside of our dimension of spacetime, aka his supernatural existance vs our existence in a natural universe, presupposes that he can remove any evidence of his existance at will from our physical universe and thus mask himself from our scientific query thus making this point moot.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by GDR, posted 07-17-2010 11:10 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by GDR, posted 07-18-2010 11:11 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 96 of 485 (568864)
07-18-2010 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by GDR
07-18-2010 11:06 AM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
You ask a question and I provided an answer. You then make a personal attack against me saying that I am cruel and insensitive.
Because your answer to why God creating this disease in the first place is that God could possibly give him a new body (only to those who believe in him) in no way alleviates the pain and agony this child (and billions of other human beings) felt. To me that is a cop out and constitutes as cruel and insensitive. This would equivalent to saying to the family of a child badly burned in a car accident cause by a druck driver: "It isn't too tragic that your son has been horribly scared in the fire caused by the drunk driver because the doctors can perhaps patch him up." Go tell that to the family and tell my what their reaction to you is. That is the equivalent of what you said.
Of course my heart breaks for that kid as does yours. Why does God allow it? I don't know. I do know that as humans we are called to do all that we can as humans to alleviate that suffering.
Yet God doesn't alleviate any of this suffering. Hypocritical much?
At the same time as I see all the suffering and hatred in the world I also see a lot of love and joy. Maybe the love and joy can't exist without pain and suffering.
Poppycock. That is like saying your child can't love or appreciate you until you burn their hand on the stove first. My daughter love's me even though I do not beat or abuse her.
It seems to me that the love and joy in the world exceeds the pain and the suffering.
That is a purely subjective statement with no tether in reality.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by GDR, posted 07-18-2010 11:06 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by GDR, posted 07-18-2010 11:45 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 97 of 485 (568865)
07-18-2010 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by GDR
07-18-2010 11:11 AM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
I suggest that the fact that we exist at all, that we are sentient, that we have emotions, that we perceive beauty is all evidence. I agree that it isn't scientific but it in my view it is all evidence of his existence.
No, this is just evidence that we are sentient, have emotions and percieve beauty (however subjective that may be). Your entirely right that it is not scientific. In fact it isn't even logical. Evidence of A (sentient humans who have emotions about the world they live in aka perception of beauty) does not equate to evidence of B (existence of God) unless you can in someway equate A to B.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by GDR, posted 07-18-2010 11:11 AM GDR has not replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 99 of 485 (568949)
07-19-2010 5:28 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by GDR
07-18-2010 11:45 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
agree that this is a troubling issue and that if there would be anything that would cause me to turn my back on Christianity this would be it.
Thanks for the honest and sincere reply GDR.
Frankly, assuming that you are sincere in your expression of this issue, as I believe you are, then I think that you are closer to God than are a lot of Christians who justify suffering strictly on the basis that God is all powerful so he can do pretty much what he wants.
Yes, well put, if this were the case than why not worship Baal or Zeus. They are pretty powerful gods in their own mythology as well. If the god of the Bible were not omnibenevolent as he supposed to be, than why should we worship him? Be in awe of and fear, yes, perhaps. But to worship such a being would be to "sell your soul to the devil" so to speak.
I will throw out this thought. It seems to me that in this life we have free will. If we lived in a world that only contained love and joy then our choices wouldn't matter. We would no longer be free to make moral choices. It is how we as humans respond to the pain and suffering that makes us what we are.
Yes, I understand what you are saying with contrasting emotions. However, does one need to beat abuse their kids in order for them to love them? I think not. Death and excrutiating pain are not required for joy and love to exist.
In the end it does become an issue of faith. I believe that the God I worship is all loving and a God of perfect justice and that in the end there will be a balancing of accounts that will make up for the suffering in this life time.
That is fine on a personal level, whatever floats your boat. But to expect everyone to believe in the same god that you believe in without any evidence to back up your claims is ludicrous.
Also to quickly address one other point you made. I don't believe that it is only Christians that are part of new creation as I pointed out in another post. It isn't a matter of intellectual assent to any particular doctrine. It is about being able to take the focus off ourselves and truly love others. (I have a long way to go.)
And you don't think the non-religious do this? You don't think we teach our children not to think of themselves all the time, and to not be selfish? I say it almost on a daily basis to my daughter.
GDR writes:
CS Lewis said that there are 2 kinds of people. There will be those people who in the end say to God thy will be done and there are those people to whom God will say thy will be done.
CS Lewis was a great Christian apologist. I admire his work and have many of his books in my library upstairs.
I know that this is not going to change your mind but for the record I have a lot of respect for your views and IMHO you are probably a lot closer to the mind of God than you might realize.
It is the inconsistency and hypocracy of the Bible that I lothe (the irrational, unloving, unforgiving, unjust, arrogant, vengeful, egomaniacal control freak and murder of the Old and New Testament), not the original intent of Jesus message of love for fellow man. In some ways, I often relate alot to Thomas Jefferson in his views of the Bible (though I am not in favor of his owning slaves). I guess in the end I am a humanist and liberatarian (which is not the same as the US liberarian politcal party) above all things.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by GDR, posted 07-18-2010 11:45 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by GDR, posted 07-20-2010 12:27 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 101 of 485 (569071)
07-20-2010 6:11 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by GDR
07-20-2010 12:27 AM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
In the first case I do believe in the God of the Bible. In saying that I don't take the Bible literally and I see it in the same way that people like C S lewis and more recently N T wright see it.
Your stage of belief sounds alot like mine before I steped off the Christian bandwagon. At that time I had migrated to a C.S. Lewis than more of a Thomas Jeffersonian view of Christianity and religion in general. That is the belief that the Bible was not as litteral and contrived as it came off to be. In other words, the Bible, I believed, was as you say more of a loose narrative from a human perspective rather than a innerant God inspired work and all-encompassing ideological tome of Christian doctrine.
Here is another interesting quote from C.S. Lewis:
All Holy Scripture is in some sense though not all parts of it in the same sense the word of God
also
"The earliest stratum of the Old Testament contains many truths in a form which I take to be legendary, or even mythicalthings like Noah’s Ark or the sun standing still upon Ajalon,"
C.S. Lewis, because of his honesty, keen intelect and his ability to cut to the quick of things; I think if he lived long enough, may have become more estranged to the fundamental-conservative Christian faith seen in some churches today. JMHO.
In short I am a Christian because I believe. There is considerable evidence in the Bible, but also in the way that we experience life, that we have free will and that the future is not deterministic.
And I have no problem with this rationally or philosophically.
I know that with my own kids that no matter how much I love them I can't always stop them from being hurt. I always hesitate to use the term omnipotent for God because I don't know what limitations that he had to deal with in creating this planet but I actually do believe that he is omnibenevolent. (Good word by the way. )
The difference between you and God is that you did not create the various cruel and malicious vices that plague us today. In addition you are not omnipresent and omnipowerful and thus you physically are unable to always protect your child from being hurt. Also, you do protect your child from actions that will cause permanent physical, emotional and psychological damage whenever possible I assume. God does not do this. Or why would over hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children die of malnutrion and other terrible diseases every day.
I could go through all the reasons as to why I believe but we have probably gone well off topic already.
I think this is very relavent to why Creationists think the way they do, and why there is a moral, rational/logical and philosophical disconnect between the ways people think about each other (esp Creationists and Scientists).
Interesting that you point out death which in the end is the ultimate evil. As a Christian I believe that Christ came to put an end to death. We will all experience physical death as did Jesus but there is life after this.
Pure conjecture as no one has come back to prove this is so.
I think that I have been reasonably clear that I would not for one second think that those that are non-religious are necessarily selfish. I have no doubt that many non-religious prople are less selfish than religious people.
Yet, we are supposed to side with the people who are less moral than us who believe in a supernatural entity that they have no emperical evidence exists? I don't get it.
I don't pretend to have all the answers but when I want to understand the attributes of God I look at Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, and I stumble along trying my darndest and usually failing to live by His message of love.
I don't doubt at all your passion, zeal and love for God and your faith. I question the irrational basis that underlies it. That is not intended as a personal attack on you (though you may think it is), it is a healthy skeptism of the logic underlying your belief.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by GDR, posted 07-20-2010 12:27 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by GDR, posted 07-20-2010 6:14 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 111 of 485 (569218)
07-20-2010 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by GDR
07-20-2010 6:14 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
If to be a Christian I had to believe in a 6000 year old universe I would have a problem. Fortunately this isn't the case.
You are a breath of fresh air to us non-believers. Most fundamentalists would say you are a sell-out and sacreligious for stating that the Earth and the Universe is older than 6000 years old.
In my own terms I would call John Spong, Dominique Crossan and Marcus Borg liberals and people like Timothy Keller, C S Lewis and N T Wright conservatives. I have no real concept of where I would place people like Pat Robertson as I have no idea how to relate.
I think Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggart, Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, Oral Roberts and others of their ilk merit their own category called religious raging lunatics, chronic liars and swindlers. They should not even be mentioned in the same sentance as intellectuals such as C.S. Lewis. I am not that familiar with Timothy Keller and N T Wright, though I have heard there names before.
C S Lewis had the same struggles about suffering that we have discussed, (particularly around the death of his beloved wife Joy) and he addressed these issues in "The Problem of Pain". Because of this discussion I've just started to re-read the book.
Great book. Not sure if you have seen it, but the movie Shadowlands is a biographical movie depicting his life right before meeting Joy Greshem to after their marriage and then her death. Very touching movie. It has been a while since I have seen it but your mentioning "The Problem of Pain" reminded me of it.
I have read through most of his books both non-fictional and fictional including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Peralandra, and The Hideous Planet) and of course the Chronicles of Narnia.
Frankly after having been a Christian for a number of years, (I was agnostic between my teens to mid-thirties), I actually started to seriously question what it was I believed. As a result of that questioning of my faith I found that some of things that I believed I no longer believed and also the other way around. As a result, I have never been more sure of my Christian faith.
I am happy for you. Just be patient with us who are not able to overcome our justified skeptism for all religion, including Christianity.
don't know what options God had when he created this world. Maybe the choice is to have it the way it is or not at all. At least when I look at the cross I see a God who understands human sufferings and that things are not the way he would like them to be.
Hmm, this makes no sense if God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenovelent. If he knew all this from the start why would he create humans in the first place, knowing that the vast majority of them are doomed to spending eternity being tormented in hell?
You gotta know I'm going to disagree with that. We can read the gospel accounts of the resurrection and either choose to believe them or not. In my view I would agree with Paul in that if Jesus was not bodily resurrected then we (as Christians) are wasting our time.
Hearsay even from a 2000 year old religious book does not constitute as emperical evidence. Why do you believe the Bible over any other religious book? Or what if a stranger came up to you and told you he died, went to heaven and then came back to life would you believe him? Why or why not?
I believe that the historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus is much stronger than for the argument against it. Certainly to be open to the concept one has to be open to the possibility of an interventionist god. It seems to me however that if we believe in a creative intelligence then it doesn't seem like much a stretch to think that the creative intelligence in question would have a continuing interest in that which he had created.
I am, of course, open to discussing this in another thread if you wish.
What interests me is the truth.
As do most other rational and open minded human beings.
We can't know the truth in the way that I can know the 2 + 2 = 4, but I can know it in the same way that I can know that my wife loves me.
Love a human contrived word describing a state of mind subject to emotion and the human intellect while interacting with other humans. So actually you can be provided many different evidences that your wife loves you i.e. she listens to you, she cares for you, she sometimes puts your needs and desires above her own, etc and vice versa.
I also contend that there is at least as much empirical evidence about Jesus, (if you call historical literature as empirical evidence), as there is for any other historical figure.
This is debatable and would require an entire other thread to discuss, which I am also open to.
Even the fact that there is something instead of nothing is evidence of a sort.
It is only evidence that Jesus existed either as the real person described in the Bible, as a real person but not deity, as a montage of religious/historical inter-and extra-biblical figures or as a totally fabricated and fictional Biblical figure with no historical basis. Again this would have to be discussed in another thread.
I know that you are agnostic, but I see the atheistic view that this world just happened to come about by chance, and that we all just happened to evolve randomly from atoms and molecules without any external intelligence being involved as irrational.
Why?
That however only gets us to the point of being theistic. As a theist I then have to ask if it is rational to believe that this external intelligence would go to all the bother of putting this whole thing together and then abandoning the project.
I think you are mixing up theism with deism. Christianity and most organized religions are a subset of theism.
just don't accept that that Christianity is irrational. IMHO it makes more sense of the world that I live than anything else does.
Again, whatever floats your boat. However, I suspect you are on this board to help convince some of us non-believers that Christianity is true and accurately depicts reality. To do so, you need to provide rational and logical reasons and emperical evidence why you think this is so. If you cannot than it is mere groundless assumptions and blind belief.
Thank you again for your honesty and your ability to rationally discuss these issues. I look forward to our future philosophical, scientific and religious discussions.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by GDR, posted 07-20-2010 6:14 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by GDR, posted 07-21-2010 1:47 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 134 of 485 (569541)
07-22-2010 7:02 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by GDR
07-21-2010 1:47 AM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
John Polkinghorne talks about God creating a world of becoming. He contends that God in the creation of a world of free will doesn't know exactly how the future is going to look but continues to work with us in time. A reading of the OT shows several instances where this is the case. I have been persuaded by his arguments for this position.
That is an interesting concept of God that I can grasp. So in essense God is not omniscient under the randomality of free will. Makes sense. Also, nowhere in the Bible are the specific words omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent ever used. These are all implied and sometimes very weakly.
However, what I do take issue with especially is the morally contradictory and hypocritical nature of God in the Bible. To me he comes off as an irrational, selfish, vengeful, ego-maniacal, cruel tyrant who commands murders, infanticide and ethnicide of entire civilizations and groups of human beings. It is as if the the concept of god evolves throughout the Bible along with the civilization that conceives him in the first place. To me the god of the Bible is too contrived and too morally and philosophically dynamic in his nature, especially after having claimed himself to never-change.
Also I don't believe that the majority of people will wind up in Hell. Those that wind up in Hell will be those who choose it. You mentioned reading "The Great Divorce". I think that is a great allegory of how that all works.
Will have to go back and read it. It has been a while.
Another good example is "The Last Battle" where the dwarfs' mantra is that "the dwarfs are for the dwarfs". As a result, there they are in this beautiful new creation and they are all huddled together and aren't able to perceive the beautiful world around them.
This is also similar to John Bunyon's allegory "Pilgrim's Progress" when he finds the man in the iron cage. No one is keeping him physically and mentally in the cage but himself. I think the truth of this goes beyond religion and explains more of the human condition that even when acknowledging their own plight many people choose to remain in dispair and misery due to fear of the unknown and the mental inability to take themselves out of that situation.
I agree that it isn't empirical evidence in that it can't be scientifically tested, but it is evidence as much as any other historical text. I don't necessarily disbelieve all other religious texts. I read the first 1/3 or so the "Book of Buddha" in a Japanese hotel room and found it fascinating. What amazed me was how close the teachings of the first Buddha were to the teachings of Jesus. It left me with the sense that he could well have been a true prophet of God.
Ok, I am using the term 'historical evidence' as a subset of emperical evidence. Historians and other people who study the validity of various claims and historical accuracy of stories throughout our human evolution must abide by some of the same guidelines that scientists do. That is they must find various independent historical sources which corroborate each other. Sources from within the same book i.e. Mark, Luke, John, etc. cannot do that; as we have no way of knowing that who(m)ever cannonized the NT did not modify or even fabricate the original author(s) words to make it more believable. Independent verification from a convergence of corroborating and coherent sources (i.e. eyewitness testimony, writen documantion, paintings, etc, etc) is the key to historical accuracy.
That is the test of the validity of Jesus being a real human being has to stand up to. Now for the validity of Jesus being the Son of God mentioned in the Bible requires even a greater amount of evidence, none of which can be corroborated due to the supernatural nature of this claim. The only evidence that can be provided is the Bible itself and hearsay from those who already believe the Bible and thus are suseptible to self-dillusion and religious bias.
However I sincerely believe that the Bible is written with an inspiration that other holy books lack.
Key phrase: "I sincerely believe". Belief does not constitute evidence.
As I mentioned earlier Christianity makes sense of the world for me in a way that no other world view does. I agree that is a completely subjective view and in the end it does require a leap of faith. At this point in my life I don't see it as a large leap, but a leap nonetheless.
That is fine and dandy but what differentiates your beliefs from those of Budhists, Muslims, Mormans, Christian Scientists, or any other religious denomination or cult?
In other words, where is the evidence for your belief?
I agree that the idea of the resurrection is something that we don't see every day, but of course I'm only talking about it happening once so far in human history. Even sceptical scholars that I have read agree that the early disciples believed that Jesus had been resurrected, and I believe that they weren't mistaken.
What skeptical scholars? What evidence are they using to justify this claim?
All I see is conjecture and assumptions not evidence.
thing momentous, but there have been occasions in my life that things have occurred that seemed to be of God.
I am sure many crazy people can say the same thing (no, I am not saying you are crazy or anything like these other people) i.e. Islamic radical terrorists, Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, Sun Myung Moon, Pat Robertson, David Koresh, Jerry Fallwell, Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Jones, etc, etc, etc.
I love discussing these things, but I'm less keen on a debate just for the sake of the debate.
Agreed. I like two-way discussion more than one-sided debate.
My understanding is that rational means coming to a conclusion by means of reasoning. I'm just saying that when the complexity and fine tuning of our universe is considered it is more reasonable to assume that there is an external intelligence than to assume the lack of one. Once again, that is my subjective view.
This is a whole other ball of wax which would require another thread to discuss. By the way all our human views/beliefs are subjective to one degree or another. That is why me must independently verify them and not take them at face value. The real question is do we have evidence to back up what we believe or claim.
I believe that you have to be a theist in order to be a deist.
Technically by the the litteral translations of the terms, probably yes.
However, you were equating deist views of god to all theists which is not the case.
Theism just means that you believe in a creator god, which would include the god of deism which is a god that creates and then intervenes no furtherp.
Yes. If I were going to believe in God it would probably be a quasi-deist meaning that I would believe God only intervened when he felt necessary after creation and like you said above, let free-will and the unpredictable randomness of cosmic, biological and human evolution run its course. However at this time I see no substantive evidence proving this to be so.
Frankly I joined this board to learn about science in general and physics specifically.
Me too.
Sometimes I look at these religious threads and I just can't resist.
Me too.
Usually I wind up regretting it as Christians are in a minority here and it seems that there are also a fairly large group that are interested at having a go at the irrational beliefs of people like me.
Do realize that many of the non-believers on this board on this board were at sometime in their lives Bible-thumping and studying, hymn-singing, church-going, praying and repenting Christians themselves (including myself). That will help in understanding where we are coming from.
There are some brilliant minds on this formum and I have learned a lot although there is also a lot that goes over my head.
Agreed. Try getting schooled in physics and cosmology by CaveDiver. That is a humbling experience.
As do I, as I enjoy a discussion more than I do a debate. Thanks for that.
Not a problem.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by GDR, posted 07-21-2010 1:47 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by jar, posted 07-22-2010 11:03 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied
 Message 138 by GDR, posted 07-23-2010 11:55 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


(1)
Message 136 of 485 (569681)
07-23-2010 7:09 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by jar
07-22-2010 11:03 AM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
Suppose though you look at the Bible as an anthology of anthologies, a collection of stories written by people of different eras, milieus and mythos.
Suppose you look at the many different gods in the stories with an understanding that what is being depicted is the vision that a given author had of God at that time?
Consider that, as you touch on in the part I quoted, the god in a story really does evolve along with the civilization of the period?
Finally, carry that idea further. The most recent story in the Bible was likely written about 1900+ years ago. Is it possible that the concept of god may have evolved since then?
Remember, in all of this we are still not talking about GOD, the real entity, but only mankind's concepts of that critter.
Than I take it you are not looking at the Bible as the all inclusive God-inspired inerrent word of God it (and fundamentalist Christians) make itself to be.
Sure I dig it. I don't have any problems looking at the Bible as just another man made religious text.
The question than become why should I believe anything in it concerning the very existence of God as a real entity, salvation, the resurrection of Christ, or any other Christian theology?
If this is the case than the Bible is good literature but not entirely credible. There are still moral axioms that are good to learn from it just like any other ancient literature i.e. the Golden Rule, self-sacrifice, etc but you have to pick and choose and sift through the crap to find the good moral stories. This is akin to Thomas Jefferson's version of the Bible, centered around 'The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth'.
I have no problem with that at all. In fact that is what I currently do.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by jar, posted 07-22-2010 11:03 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by jar, posted 07-23-2010 9:08 AM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 141 of 485 (569741)
07-23-2010 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by jar
07-23-2010 9:08 AM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
Jar writes:
Me writes:
However, what I do take issue with especially is the morally contradictory and hypocritical nature of God in the Bible. To me he comes off as an irrational, selfish, vengeful, ego-maniacal, cruel tyrant who commands murders, infanticide and ethnicide of entire civilizations and groups of human beings. It is as if the the concept of god evolves throughout the Bible along with the civilization that conceives him in the first place. To me the god of the Bible is too contrived and too morally and philosophically dynamic in his nature, especially after having claimed himself to never-change.
Would the approach I suggested above help with the issues you raised just above?
Yes, but that is just wishful thinking. There is no conclusive evidence that God exists in the first place, so why make the leap of faith that God exists but not as the Bible depicts him to be. Why believe anything in the Bible at all if this were the case? If so, than the Bible is just a loose collection of the history of the Jewish culture and early Christianity with many fictionalized stories. I think most of us non-believers already see the Bible in such light. Nothing new.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by jar, posted 07-23-2010 9:08 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by jar, posted 07-23-2010 3:52 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 144 of 485 (569744)
07-23-2010 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by GDR
07-23-2010 11:55 AM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
GDR writes:
When I conceive God I do it through the lens of Jesus. I agree that the God of the OT often doesn't reflect the model that we see in the NT. My views are that the historical aspects of the OT are written from the perspective of the writer in that they tended to justify the horrendous things they did by saying that God told then to do it. (Obviously the moral history of WW II would read very differently if the nazis had won.)
So you do not believe the Bible is the unbiased, innerant (without error), Word of God as most fundamentalists do?
The OT of course isn't all like that.
Isn't all like what? Not following.
I haven't read Pilgrims Progress but I should. I agree. It is about being able to take the focus off of ourselves and being able to focus on goodness purely for the love of that goodness.
But where does goodness come from? Is what is morally 'good' commanded by God because it is inherently morally good? Or is it morally 'good' solely because it is commanded by God? This is a rather interesting dilema when supernatural entities who are the sole source of goodness are brought into play. If you want to read more on the subject of absolute morality look up the Euthyphro dilemma.
I agree, but you can also look at how something is written. The gospel accounts aren't written in the manner the way things were written at the time, they aren't what a 1st century Jew would have written based on the OT, they exhibit all sorts of failings by the main characters in the narrative etc. In the end it is nothing like anything that we would have expected if somebody were fabricating the whole account.
I am not saying someone fabricated the whole account. IMHO it sounds like a historical figure named Jesus may have actually existed, but that the story of his life, miracles, etc was greatly embilleshed.
Actually it was only after the resurrection that Son of God came to mean that Jesus was one aspect of a triune god. Prior to that it was considered as a messianic term and a messiah was never expected to be anything more than a human anointed by God. It was after the resurrection and the meaning of the resurrection through the interpretation of some of the prophetic statements in the OT that the use of the Son of God came to mean something more than messiah.
I agree with everything you have written above. You sound more like a deist than a tride and true theist. I think we have more in common than what you have with the fundamentalists.
C S Lewis said; "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. "
As much as I admire Lewis, that is still a statement of belief, nothing more.
I believe that there is a lot to that. Does it constitute evidence? Not in the sense that you are meaning but just the same we are able to sense love, beauty, longing, fear etc. and I can't bring myself to believe that all just comes from a chance combination of atoms that just happened to exist in the first place.
Love, beauty, longing, fear, etc are human derived concepts used to describe our feelings and emotions. You can't compare that to evidence for God. They are apples and oranges. Unless you are saying believing in God is soley a feeling or an emotion and has no basis in reality. In that case belief in God is like belief in Buddha or Nirvana.
I think that Christianity does the most coherent job of answering the big questions.
Yet your take on Christianity is not in line with the majority of fundamental Christians out there. In otherwords everyone has a different take on what Christianity is. So basically Christianity in its present form, with tens of thousands of beliefs and denominations, is very incoherent in answering the big questions. Some believe in the trinity, some don't. Some believe God is going to allow non-believers into heaven, many don't. Some believe you have to be baptised to be saved, some don't, etc, etc, etc.
I know that. I contend that one of the reasons for that is that so much of Christianity is a watered down, often self-serving caricature of the real thing, but again that is my subjective POV. Christianity then becomes very easy to reject. I admit that I may be all wrong.
As all of us may be. We are all human and thus have a limited understanding of the universe we live in. Maybe you are right. The real question is, where does the evidence lead us. Unfortunately, personal experience is too subjective and prone to bias or even outright fabrication and self-deception to be considered as credible evidence (otherwise why should we not believe that Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism is correct since billions of people believe that to be so).

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by GDR, posted 07-23-2010 11:55 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by GDR, posted 07-24-2010 12:49 PM DevilsAdvocate has not replied

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3209 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 145 of 485 (569746)
07-23-2010 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by jar
07-23-2010 3:52 PM


Re: Evolution is agnostic
What in there or in what I have said even implies, no, even hints that I think you should believe in GOD?
I understand what your getting at, I am not saying that you said or implied that I should believe in the God of the Bible. My questions were mainly retorical.
Basically, I already read the Bible to be like what you say, a historical evolution of the concept of the Jewish and Christian god, who may or may not exist.
My question about the inconsistent moral nature of God was mainly aimed a GDR. It was a question of why should we not only believe but worship the god of the Bible who is morally inconsistent and downright 'evil' by today's moral standards.
Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by jar, posted 07-23-2010 3:52 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by jar, posted 07-23-2010 5:33 PM DevilsAdvocate has replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024