Friday, 4 April 2008

Earth?



I'll make the minor assumption for this post that God created the Earth and Heavens in seven days. Strange that it took only 24hrs to create approximately 1000000000000000000000000 stars and their respective planets, whereas the humble Earth took a week - but I'll let that pass for now.

Surprisingly, though, modern Christians don't seem to have much respect for his installation. "A nuclear war would involve nothing more than the transition of many millions of people into the love of God, only a few years before they were going to find it anyway": coming from the Archbishop of Canterbury. This begs the question regarding the necessity of us being here in the first place; couldn't Jesus use his omnipotence to judge us and then place the good in Heaven (which must be better anyway).

Why are we here then. If anyone has the answer I'd love to hear from you.

34 comments:

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

Good morning,

What happened to the other post for 04/04/08?

I will ask, once again, where do you think "all this" came from?

What, if anything, do you believe/not believe about a "supreme being"?

One comment about this particular post: I get the feeling that for something to have happened (the universe, etc.), either you have to be able to fully comprehend it or it is wrong. Are you not, in effect, holding yourself (and humans in general) out to be the center of all critical thinking?

"Check"...

By the way, is it not a LOT presumptuous to rely (what seems to be entirely on your part) on the science folks?

MR. X said...

Is it presumptuous to favour the combined work of every intellectual who ever lived over one dusty bronze-age book?

GCT said...

Paul,
"I will ask, once again, where do you think "all this" came from?"

Don't know. Is "goddidit" a better answer? No, of course not, in that there's no evidence for it and it raises more questions than it answers.

"What, if anything, do you believe/not believe about a "supreme being"?"

Beyond the fact that the Xian god is self-refuting and logically impossible, I lack god believe due to the overwhelming lack of evidence for god. There is no evidence what-so-ever.

"One comment about this particular post: I get the feeling that for something to have happened (the universe, etc.), either you have to be able to fully comprehend it or it is wrong."

That's ironic considering how often Xians resort to the god of the gaps fallacy.

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

I think "all this" came from God.

The essence of "faith" in ANYTHING can be summed up as "being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you can not see".

The sun will rise in the east and set in the west. I do not have to know exactly how this transpires in order to have faith that it will.

I have faith in my God. I will not apologize to anyone for it. All I ask is that those who do not believe give me the same respect that they themselves would like and deserve.

I would have responded earlier had not the other post been removed. I did not get your original post.

As to "the combined work of every intellectual who ever lived", I respectfully ask you to check your math...how's C.S. Lewis, for one. We both know, there are countless others.

Also, I am sure you are not trying to personally degrade every person who does not think like you.

I, too, work at a large law firm and, you will agree, no attorney has ever won every case. Does that make them a lesser thinker? Does it make the opposing counsel wrong for not having believed as they do? No.

As you can see, I list my name in these posts. I would address you directly, if you would be so kind as to at least attach a name to your comments.

Incidently, YOU never answered My original question...

GCT said...

Paul,
"I think "all this" came from God."

You mean you believe it in spite of the lack of evidence.

"The essence of "faith" in ANYTHING can be summed up as "being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you can not see"."

What you hope for? Since when does what you hope for have any bearing on the actual state of the world?

"The sun will rise in the east and set in the west. I do not have to know exactly how this transpires in order to have faith that it will."

You do have empirical evidence that this happens. Where is your evidence for god?

"I have faith in my God. I will not apologize to anyone for it. All I ask is that those who do not believe give me the same respect that they themselves would like and deserve."

Is it disrespectful to ask you for evidence? If you come on an atheist blog and start trying to discussion, are we to stay hands off and not question you back? Further, I have respect for you, but I do not have respect for your hateful beliefs anymore than I respect the arguments of any other group that espouses hateful rhetoric.

MR. X said...

Paul: I'm not trying to degrade you, but come on...you'll be a bit embarassed but I'll burn in hell for all eternity.
You don't see me complaining.

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

I do not espouse even a shread of hate for anyone.

In fact, I have said many times over that I respect people that hold to their convictions (no matter what they believe or not believe).

Simply taking my thoughts and throwing them back at me is not an intellectual discussion. Please show some intestinal fortitude and TELL me what YOU actually believe.

Let me put it another way, what do YOU think will happen/not happen to YOU when YOU die?

If you objectively look at what I have written, there is no hate being spoken.

I have NOT written sophomoric jokes about atheists, nor do I have a blog entitled "Why I Hate Atheists". Why? Because I do NOT hate atheists, as they apparently hate me.

One other question, what is your empirical evidence that there is no God?

Please answer my questions using YOUR words.

GCT said...

Paul,
"I do not espouse even a shread of hate for anyone."

You may not, but your theology is built on it.

"In fact, I have said many times over that I respect people that hold to their convictions (no matter what they believe or not believe)."

Respecting people is different from respecting the beliefs they hold, I'm sure you would agree. A KKK member might hold to his/her convictions. Would you respect that?

"Simply taking my thoughts and throwing them back at me is not an intellectual discussion."

I actually answered your questions and countered with others, which you seem to be unwilling to engage.

"Let me put it another way, what do YOU think will happen/not happen to YOU when YOU die?"

I'm not sure how that is "put[ting] it another way." Either way, we cease to exist when we die. It causes us to live for this life, instead of pining for an afterlife that has no evidence in favor of it.

"If you objectively look at what I have written, there is no hate being spoken."

Again, your theology is built on hateful rhetoric, since that is the foundation of Xianity.

"Because I do NOT hate atheists, as they apparently hate me."

I don't even know you, so how could I hate you? Didn't you just say something about not being sophomoric? I'm thinking this little bit of drama is not much different. No one here is attacking you personally, nor has anyone expressed hatred towards you personally. Are you able to comprehend that there's a difference between attacking you personally and attacking your beliefs?

"One other question, what is your empirical evidence that there is no God?"

Why do I need evidence to prove a negative? Do you have similar evidence that there is no such thing as elves, Allah, invisible, pink unicorns, Santa Claus, etc? It is not up to me to disprove your unsupported assertions about the existence of god. It is up to you to support your assertions with evidence.

"Please answer my questions using YOUR words."

Are you accusing me of using someone else's words? Please note that I have used my own words in every single comment I've posted here, and if you want to make accusations, I would appreciate it if you back them up with evidence.

MR. X said...

It is almost impossible to disprove any assertion. "There is an invisible goat in my house" would be a good example.

However, almost every claim made in the bible (7 days, the virgin birth, the Easter thing) - which is the only 'evidence' for God - can be.

All I know for certain is that my body will slowly decompose and I will cease to be consious. I am not able to elaborate since I haven't died myself, neither have I communicated with someone who has.

The problem with this kind of discussion is that any attack on religion in front of a religious person is technically a personal insult, a "you believe in WHAT"; whereas I am not offended by any criticism you may have of science.

I am sorry if I appear offensive.
I hope that clarifies my stance...

PS. Do you believe in evoloution?

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

"Mr. X",

Thank you for answering my questions about your beliefs.

I mean no disrespect, but you are the first atheist to ever do so for me. For that, you have my respect.

It does bother me that these discussions do seem to degenerate into hateful rhetoric on BOTH sides. If I have come off that way, please forgive me.

As to your question, as you probably have guessed, I do not believe in evolution.

I have many different reasons, but here are a few I haven't been able to figure out. If man has "evolved", why are there not literally thousands of remains found for the many stages of evolution that would have to have taken place to bring us to this point? And...why are there so many creatures that have not "evolved" at all? Is man the only species to have truly "evolved".

GCT said...

Paul,
"I mean no disrespect, but you are the first atheist to ever do so for me."

Um, what? My comments appeared first and I'm an atheist. So, are you admitting that you didn't even bother to read the other comments?

"It does bother me that these discussions do seem to degenerate into hateful rhetoric on BOTH sides."

Examples please of hateful rhetoric coming from this side if you will?

"If man has "evolved", why are there not literally thousands of remains found for the many stages of evolution that would have to have taken place to bring us to this point?"

Um, there are. It's called the fossil record.

"And...why are there so many creatures that have not "evolved" at all?"

There aren't. All creatures evolve, some more than others. Sharks for instance are pretty stable, because they have a niche that they fit into. There is no selective pressure for them to change much, so they don't.

"Is man the only species to have truly "evolved"."

No, and no offense, but this question displays an alarming lack of knowledge about evolution. All creatures evolve and are still evolving. Also, all creatures are "truly evolved" to fit into their environments. Elephants are just as evolved as humans, as are chipmunks, birds, bacteria, viruses, etc. Your comment betrays a certain idea that man is the pinnacle of evolution, but that is not the case, nor is it what evolutionary theory says.

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

I have read your comments.

If you go back and reread all that has been written, "Mr. X" IS the first and only one to answer my questions.

I was asked about evolution and I responded.

I am as informed as anyone on evolution, fossil records, etc..

Please take another look. There are NOT thousands of remains indicating the many levels of evolution that would have had to take place for man to have evolved to this point.

Please pardon the interruption, but I have some things I need to do.

Believe it or not, I enjoy having these discussions with you.

Check in later...

GCT said...

Paul,
"If you go back and reread all that has been written, "Mr. X" IS the first and only one to answer my questions."

That's a load and you know it. In the third comment on this thread I answered your questions about where all this came from and why I disbelieve in a supreme being. And, in the ninth comment I answered your question about what happens to us after we die. But, please continue to insist that this is not the case, because it goes against your personal credibility.

"I am as informed as anyone on evolution, fossil records, etc.."

No, obviously you are not, considering that your questions displayed a distinct lack of knowledge about evolution. I suggest that you check out the talkorigins.org website to get a better feel for the evidence for evolution.

"Please take another look. There are NOT thousands of remains indicating the many levels of evolution that would have had to take place for man to have evolved to this point."

Your denial of the facts does not constitute an actual argument, considering that you are arguing against reality. Again, check the talkorigins.org site.

I'd also like to go back to something you asked about: you asked if I have proof that god doesn't exist. To expand on what I said, I have no proof that some deity doesn't exist, but there is a rich vein of logical disproofs of most notions of the Xian god. I suggest you read, "The Impossibility of God" in order to see some of the best disproofs available.

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

gct, or whoever you are...

"Mr. X" supplied the following answer..."All I know for certain is that my body will slowly decompose and I will cease to be conscious."

I respect him AND his belief, even though I feel it to be the opposite of mine.

I assure you, I hold advanced degrees and am blessed with an extremely high tested IQ.

I will continue to use all the resources of the universities I have attended and at which I have taught.

Frankly, I feel sorry for the scientists holding to beliefs involving evolution, the "big bang", etc. I will always ask, is that the best they can come up with?

Additionally, let's not forget about the scientists that do not hold to the above.

The big hurdle for the former is this: Create for me even a simple handful of dirt and we can talk. By the way, please create your own ingredients in doing so.

And, as a wise man once said, show the courage of your convictions by letting everyone know who is doing the talking.

Paul is my real name...what's yours?

GCT said...

Paul,
"gct, or whoever you are..."

I am GCT. I go by this moniker at various websites. They are my initials.

"I assure you, I hold advanced degrees and am blessed with an extremely high tested IQ."

That doesn't mean that your ideas are correct. Even the smartest person in the world is wrong sooner or later.

"I will continue to use all the resources of the universities I have attended and at which I have taught."

To do what? Find evidence for god? Haven't you found any yet that you could present to me?

"Frankly, I feel sorry for the scientists holding to beliefs involving evolution, the "big bang", etc. I will always ask, is that the best they can come up with?"

Using the available empirical evidence is the best way to come up with what happened, yes. Why feel sorry for them? Science submits itself to the limitations of needing empirical evidence for a reason, it works. Don't feel sorry for scientists, because they've gleaned more about the world in their studies than all the theologians of the world ever have put together.

"Additionally, let's not forget about the scientists that do not hold to the above."

What about them? Should I be impressed because they are scientists and hold unscientific beliefs?

"The big hurdle for the former is this: Create for me even a simple handful of dirt and we can talk."

So now you are moving the goal posts? You set out your concerns, and now you want scientists to create dirt so that you'll "believe" in evolution? Got news for ya, evolution isn't about the formation of dirt. It isn't even about the start of life. It's about what happened after the first replicating cell appeared on the scene. Surely you should know that since you boast such advanced knowledge of evolution?

"And, as a wise man once said, show the courage of your convictions by letting everyone know who is doing the talking.

Paul is my real name...what's yours?"

Does it matter? Do my arguments merit less because you don't know my proper name? My arguments stand and fall on their own accord, regardless of what people call me. Surely you recognize this.

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

If the handful of dirt can't be created through human action, who or what created it?

And, who or what created that first replicating cell?

May I please ask your comments on the following? I mean this sincerely, with no malice whatsoever.

As an atheist, what meaning does life hold for you? If you truly believe that this is it, what carries you through life fully believing that you are but one day closer to nothing?

GCT said...

Paul,
"And, who or what created that first replicating cell?"

We don't know. We have some ideas, but none that are confirmed. Still, the only way we will find out is through scientific investigation. Saying, "goddidit," doesn't constitute an answer and is only an application of god of the gaps fallacious thinking.

"As an atheist, what meaning does life hold for you?"

Life is precious and dear, because it is the only one I have. As an atheist, I'm not pining for the afterlife. I'm not looking ahead to death thinking that it will be better for me. I'm concentrated on this life and living a happy and contented life. The meaning of my life comes from me, it's the meaning that I choose to ascribe to it. Having an afterlife doesn't give my present life meaning, far from it. An afterlife either has no effect on this life, or degrades this life.

"If you truly believe that this is it, what carries you through life fully believing that you are but one day closer to nothing?"

Living my life. Why does there have to be an afterlife for me to not be stuck in despair or something? Should I be depressed that there's no afterlife? Of course not. If there were an afterlife, it would make this life worse for me, because I would either be worried about whether I was going to hell or not, or I would be constantly pining for this life to end so that I could get started with heaven that much sooner. That more Xians don't feel this way is testament to the degree to which we can convince ourselves that things make sense, even when they don't.

Paul, in Bethel Park said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the conversation today.

We both know that neither of us believes what the other believes.

Just so you know, I don't pine away for my life after this one. It will be there for me in due time.

My God has blessed me with a good life that I, too, am living to the fullest.

The Bible is not just a "bronze-age book". It is the testimony of many real people who were persecuted and died for what they actually experienced...the love of Christ and the peace that passes all understanding.

I smile every time I see folks flustered by one Book, and the positive effect that one Book has had on so many others.

I encourage you to open it up, read it from cover to cover and think about what it really says.

Sleep well...

GCT said...

Paul,
"Just so you know, I don't pine away for my life after this one. It will be there for me in due time."

Why not? Are you not looking forward to paradise?

"My God has blessed me with a good life that I, too, am living to the fullest."

Oh really? Do children that die at birth go to heaven? If so, wouldn't you have rather had that happen to you? If not, why not?

"The Bible is not just a "bronze-age book". It is the testimony of many real people who were persecuted and died for what they actually experienced...the love of Christ and the peace that passes all understanding."

Do you have any evidence that Jesus actually existed? There are no contemporary sources that attest to his existence. Further, the "eye witness" testimony of the gospels is not eye witness. They were all written well after the fact by people that didn't witness the events. And, who was persecuted and died for what they believe? We have very little idea what happened to most of the disciples. Besides, if dying for one's beliefs makes them true, then suicide bombers prove that Islam is true (or Hindu if you count the Tamil Tigers).

"I smile every time I see folks flustered by one Book, and the positive effect that one Book has had on so many others."

What "flusters" most of us is all the negative effects this one book has on so many. I can go into great detail about all the horrors that have come from the Bible, but the list is pretty short for the positive effects. Mostly, those positive effects are actually more the result of culture rather than the book and are simply misattributed to the Bible after the fact.

"I encourage you to open it up, read it from cover to cover and think about what it really says."

First off, what makes you think I haven't? Second, I would urge you to do the same. Think about what it really says when god is committing acts of genocide. Think about what it really says when god is exhorting his "chosen people" to kill all that is alive during their wars. Think about what it really says when Jesus waxes poetic about all the people that will burn in hell for not believing. This isn't a message of love. It's a message of hate.

Stephen said...

"Do you have any evidence that Jesus actually existed? There are no contemporary sources that attest to his existence."

There are many other sourses proving Jesus existed!! Do some research

"Further, the "eye witness" testimony of the gospels is not eye witness. They were all written well after the fact by people that didn't witness the events. And, who was persecuted and died for what they believe? We have very little idea what happened to most of the disciples."

Mathew and John were witnesses of the actual events as they occurred! Eye witnesses!! Luke was also there for almost all of the recorded events also, including Pauls journeys

Ok the disciples and how they died;
Mathew - died in Ethiopia - killed by the sword
Mark - Alexandria - died by being dragged by horses
Luke - hung in Greece
John - boiled in oil but somehow survived and died after writing the book of Revelations - only one who died peacefully
Peter - crucified upside down
James - dropped more than 100m off the top of the temple
James son of Zebedee - beheded in Jerusalem
Nathaniel - flayed to death in Armenia

and so on...
I'm not wasting my time telling you them all, you don't really want to know, but you get my point, we do know, not all want to know! Mark 4:12. Evidence is there if you choose to see it.

MR. X said...

But it's not really evidence, Stephen; it's a religious book. And everything in it has been distorted by scribes and monarchs over the centuries. Further, it is the ONLY source for these facts. You may as well worship Stephen King.

Stephen said...

That's your choice if you want to worship Stephen King, I'd like to know your reasoning why though!

You are incorrect, the Bible is not the only source for these facts, there are many, try reading, check other historical documents, you'd be suprised.

stephen said...

Another thing too, the Bible wasn't distorted etc over the years, the guy's that did all the scribing were called the Massoretes, check them out, they meticulously copied all the text and had them thoroughly checked also. Just some trivia for you!

You'd be suprised how much evidence comes from the Bible, or rather, how much is being proven based on recent/modern findings, scientifically and/or historically.

GCT said...

Stephen,
"There are many other sourses proving Jesus existed!! Do some research"

For instance? You might refer to Josephus maybe? Not contemporary and he was only reporting on what people said, not that there was an actual Jesus.

"Mathew and John were witnesses of the actual events as they occurred! Eye witnesses!! Luke was also there for almost all of the recorded events also, including Pauls journeys"

Wrong again, they were not eye witnesses of Jesus. Luke may have been present with Paul at some point, but Paul never met Jesus (except for his alleged "spiritual encounter").

As to the apostles, please read this post that goes into each one in detail.

"I'm not wasting my time telling you them all, you don't really want to know, but you get my point, we do know, not all want to know!"

I asked because if there is evidence it's something I'd like to know about.

"Evidence is there if you choose to see it."

Why should I need to "choose" to see it? Shouldn't objective evidence, especially from an all-powerful deity, be unimpeachable? Yet, all you seem to have is assertions that the characters in the Bible are real, with no substance. Even if those characters are real, that doesn't prove that god is real or that the events happened as described.

One last note, it is proven that the Bible has been altered. Bart Ehrman says that there have been more alterations of the Bible than there are words in it (or something to that effect). It is simply untrue that no errors have occurred over the years. For instance, we know that the ending of Mark that appears in most Bibles is completely fabricated and added on well after the fact.

stephen said...

You only read what backs up what you want to believe, so it's usless arguing with you.

Matthew and John were eye witnesses. You are correct about Paul though, he did not ever meet Jesus apart from his 'conversion' experience.

I'm not suprised with there being quite a few alterations in the Bible in recent days with the amount of copies made and different translations, it would be supprising if there were no copying errors at all!!

Just to finish with, since my first comment above is true, I won't waste my time commenting here anymore, I'll just go hang around with people that tell me what I want to hear...

MR. X said...

"You only read what backs up what you want to believe, so it's usless arguing with you."

I've never seen a more perfect description of the religious.

GCT said...

"Matthew and John were eye witnesses."

When were they written?

"I'm not suprised with there being quite a few alterations in the Bible in recent days with the amount of copies made and different translations, it would be supprising if there were no copying errors at all!!"

The funny part is that there are probably less copying errors now with the modern printing press than when everything was copied by hand by untrained scribes that simply tried to mimic the characters they saw. We don't even know if the originals are what was really said, because it's more than likely that Paul's letters were dictated to another who might not have gotten Paul's words right.

"Just to finish with, since my first comment above is true, I won't waste my time commenting here anymore, I'll just go hang around with people that tell me what I want to hear..."

Wouldn't want to keep that mind open...

pilgrim said...

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

The goal of these men are obvious--Let us not waste time with foolish arguments and long defenses. This has been going on for nearly 2000 years. Let us continue to build each other up in our most holy faith, keeping our eyes upward and our minds on things above. Those who are drawn to Christ will find him, for He finds all of His lost sheep.

But these men are not open to dialogue, only ridicule and persecution. Indeed, their knowledge puffs them up, and they will only continue to try and put us to shame with their tests, their questions and their fine sounding arguments. Let us be like sheep and remain silent and dumb.

Brothers and sisters, the Son of Man is coming--let no man tell you otherwise--and when He is revealed from the heavens with power and glory, our hope and vindication will be made manifest. Keep your eyes on the shepherd of your souls.

Grace and peace...

Tommy said...

Here is what a Christian believes in a nutshell. God is the most powerful and intelligent being in the universe, and created everything in the universe. We live in one small planet in one of millions of galaxies in that universe. Our lives on this planet are just a test for this god to decide which of us spend an eternity in the afterlife either in paradise or endless suffering and agony. The primary criterion for determining where we go in the afterlife is whether or not we believe that this god impregnated a virgin jewish teenage girl in the Galilee 2000 years ago and that the superboy who resulted from the deed performed miracles, cast out demons and then rose from the dead after being crucified. Am I missing anything?

If people go to hell for not accepting Jesus Christ as their lord and savior, then what happens with children who die, or how about the mentally disabled who are incapable of even understanding the claims of Christianity? What about people who just never heard of Jesus? Do they get a pass?

Tommy said...

Brothers and sisters, the Son of Man is coming--let no man tell you otherwise--and when He is revealed from the heavens with power and glory, our hope and vindication will be made manifest. Keep your eyes on the shepherd of your souls.

Jesus IS NEVER COMING BACK! EVER! You're wasting your time. Abandon your superstitious beliefs, embrace reason, and join the 21st century dude!

Anonymous said...

"The goal of these men are obvious--Let us not waste time with foolish arguments and long defenses."

What is foolish about asking for evidence of God?

"Those who are drawn to Christ will find him, for He finds all of His lost sheep."

The people who are drawn to Christ do it because they feel it helps their lives. Which is fine. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn't make it true though.

"But these men are not open to dialogue, only ridicule and persecution."

How are they not open to dialogue? They make sound arguments. I don't disrepect or hatetred in their words. Religious people don't like to be asked questions because your just supposed to BELIEVE. Also they are questioning your beliefs. You take it as a personal attack.

"Indeed, their knowledge puffs them up, and they will only continue to try and put us to shame with their tests, their questions and their fine sounding arguments."

Once again who is putting anyone to shame by asking a question. What, your not allowed to asking a question? And yes, they do have fine sounding arguments.

"Let us be like sheep and remain silent and dumb."

That's about the best line for religion I have ever heard!

"Brothers and sisters, the Son of Man is coming--let no man tell you otherwise--and when He is revealed from the heavens with power and glory, our hope and vindication will be made manifest. Keep your eyes on the shepherd of your souls.

Grace and peace..."

Let one one tell you otherwise? Sounds pretty close-minded if you ask me. Whereas people who don't believe in God are open-minded. If you want us to believe, all you have to do is present the proof. But you can't prove it because it's all about FAITH.

I also find it funny when a religious person says PROVE HE"S NOT REAL! Um, I'm not the one making a claim, you are. Your the one making a claim which means you provide the proof.

judy said...

We are here to provide God with the only thing He cannot possess.

GCT said...

"We are here to provide God with the only thing He cannot possess."

Then god is not perfect or omni-max.

Also, this devalues human life as we become some sort of thing that is only an end to god's mean.

Festes said...

We are here because a man and a women had sex and the women got pregnant and had a baby and named it[your name] Your life is yours and you can believe or not believe what you want.You don't need the teachings of JESUS to lead a good life.What type of life you lead is up to you.