***[Moderator Note] Pahu is no longer a member of Think Atheist.  If you would like to add your thoughts to this thread, that is your prerogative; however, the original poster is not able to respond.[/Moderator Note]***

When we set out to explain why and how something happens, we must use the evidence, facts and experience available to us if we are to arrive at a logical conclusion. Using available evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation, we know that the universe had a beginning and that before that beginning there was no universe and therefore there was nothing. We know this because of the Law of Causality (for every cause there is an effect and for every effect there is a cause). Based on this law, we can use the following logic:

 

1. The universe exists.

2. The universe had a beginning.

3. Before the beginning of the universe, there was no universe.

4. Since there was no universe, there was nothing.

5. Since the universe does exist, it came from nothing.

6. Nothing comes from nothing by any natural cause.

7. Therefore the cause of the universe is supernatural.

8. Life exists.

9. Life always comes from pre-existing life of the same kind (the Law of Biogenesis).

10. Life cannot come from nonliving matter by any natural cause.

11. Since life does exist, the cause of life is supernatural.

 

Many people with a naturalistic worldview assume everything can be explained by natural causes. From the beginning, they reject the possibility of a supernatural cause. Because of this they are left with no scientifically valid answers to the question of how the universe could come from nothing, which is impossible by any natural cause of which we are aware. Many answers have been proposed that go beyond the realm of known evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation and therefore enter the realm of fiction.

 

The same logic applies to life. Using available evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation, we know that life only comes from pre-existing life of the same kind.

 

[color=blue][i]“Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from nonliving matter) has never been observed. All observations have shown that life comes only from life. This has been observed so consistently it is called the Law of Biogenesis. Evolution conflicts with this scientific law by claiming that life came from nonliving matter through natural processes”[/color][/i] [[url=http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/]From “In the Beginning” by Walt Brown[/url]]

 

Life never comes from non-living matter by any natural cause of which we are aware.

 

Now that we have seen proof that God exists, using logic based on known evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation, we need to see if He has revealed Himself to us. In the Holy Bible there are hundreds of prophecies given by God who is speaking in the first person. In both Bible and secular history we find that those prophecies have been accurately fulfilled. No other writing on earth comes close to doing this! Only God can accurately reveal the future, ergo, He is the author of the Holy Bible. Within the pages of the Holy Bible He reveals His nature, our nature, His relationship to us, our need for salvation and His plan of salvation for us.

 

The reason the universe and life cannot come from nothing by any natural cause, but can come from a supernatural cause is because God is the self-existent creator of everything and everyone. He is not subject to His creation. He created it and sustains it. It is a mistake to judge God by human standards and human perspectives. God reveals that He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

 

If you are interested in more detailed proof, read, [i]“Evidence that Demands a Verdict”[/i] by Josh McDowell.

 

[[url=http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000005147#] From “Reincarnation in the Bible?” [/url]]

 

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Replies to This Discussion

I agree, at the very least taking into account consumption habits and poor land and resource management in many areas.

This argument needs to be pushed back to those who think we can just keep increasing our population.

What would be the indicators that the population had grown too large? Or is it inconceivable that it could do so: 100 billion would be fine on planet earth say?  200 billion?  500 billion?

Heck, you'll never find a place where people are so oft to give their lives to live in filth and sacrifice everything, such as my American Catholic hero, Dorothy Day, for the sake of making lives better for others.

 

@ Carlos - Yes, I agree that many devoutly religious people sacrifice a great deal to help others in need and do many acts of goodness, but the point is when you look at it from a big picture perspective, there may not be as much need in the world if it were not for the way religion tends to hold back progress and the furthering of human rights.

Ok... I just replied to Heather... and I'm VERY sleepy.

Anyways, could you please elaborate on the latter part? I can't see your reasoning for the "religion tends to hold back progress and the furthering of human rights".

Actually, I'm even at odds with that statement, and have more than a few ways of giving evidence against the statement; but because I'm sleepy and because it's better to have your entire reasoning behind the argument, could you just finish it and I'll answer later?

Carlos: the RCC in particular, but now US evangelicals and many Muslims are really holding back scientific and moral progress.  This is how it has always been.

In the US (and increasingly the UK and elsewhere) we currenetly have the pernicious doctrine of creationism (young and old); we have the lies of the life movement (based on humans having a soul - a totally unsubstantiated and fanciful notion); we have the attempts by religious bigots to stop research into stem cells (a greater potential for reducing huiman suffering it would be hard to find).  We have the disgusting lies coming from the vatican regarding the effectiveness of condoms in the fight against AIDS.  I could go on...

This will always be the case while irrationality is allowed headroom.  Where faith is revered not despised.  While the method of knowing what is true and what isn't is given over to shamans.

The disgusting mental abuse that is committed by the religious on children and the vulnerable is now for the frirst time, widely seen for the dispicable businses it is.  Lies and exploitation.

And yes - it is holding us back.

So let's just check: was it religious or secular movements which have brought about the social advances we now hold dear?  The Scottish Enlightenment (which defines who we are as Westerners): clearly an anti-religious movement; emancipation for slaves and women: anti-religious movements; rights for gay people: anti-religious movements.  Etc.  Check them - you'll see (I don';t want to hear your examples of individual Christians involved in these movements: that would be an attempt to hide the truth with diversion.  If you must then talk about the nature of the movements themselves).

Who on the other hand have always been there to oppress women, minorities, black people, gay people, children - until shamed out of it by secularists?  Was it the RCC which investigated itself and decided that its routine abuse of children in every country they had a presence around the world, w as a bad thing and they should really stop?

And then please tell me that famous scientists from the 18th Century were Christians..then we can have that tiresome debate too where you make that fatuous point, and I point out that they had no choice, because anything else got them ostracised as a minimum and often murdered (by those lovely religious people).

Why do we bother?

Carlos - OOOh, yes, I run, See a christian and run - is a common statement from atheists all around the world - it is a common experience of lies and evil, hatred, vitriol and violence - so,  run....

About Mother Therese - 

"Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?" She replied: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.

Third-world dictator, large donations accepted from President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier, nicknamed "Bébé Doc" or "Baby Doc - gave millions to Mother Therese just before thousands of Haitians were killed or tortured, and hundreds of thousands fled the country.

Charles Humphrey Keating Jr, Gave millions to Mother Therese just before Keating was convicted in both federal and state courts of many counts of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. During the course of the trial, Mother Teresa wrote to the court seeking clemency for Mr Keating.

She quoted the oft used phrase by apologists 'I know nothing.'

So, where did the millions go, given to the charity from all over the world - For example, Samity, a man of around 30 with no teeth, who lives in the slums. He is one of the "poorest of the poor" to whom Mother Teresa was supposed to have dedicated her life. With a plastic bag in hand, he stands in a kilometer long queue in Calcutta's Park Street. The poor wait patiently, until the helpers shovel some rice and lentils into their bags. But Samity does not get his grub from Mother Teresa's institution, but instead from the Assembly of God, an American charity, that serves 18000 meals here daily.

"Mother Teresa?, We have not received anything from her here. Ask in the slums -who has received anything from the sisters here - you will find hardly anybody."

Quote from the fabulous Mother Therese - "Tell them we are not here for work, we are here for Jesus. We are religious above all else. We are not social workers, not teachers, not doctors. We are nuns. So where did the millions go?????

So, yes I would run from this charlatan, and milking peoples empathy for her kudos.

BUT - sometimes christians run - but mainly me...

When evangelics come to my door, I invite them in, and show them pictures of Somalia skeletons, also called children. I show them the hundreds of photos of jehovah witness pedophiles, I show them all the contradictions in the bible, and ask them to explain this. Where is your omnipotent god, why is he hiding. 

Question: Are you saying we should remove children from the custody of their parents? Absolutely, and they are removed!!!!!!!!  but the numbers would NEVER EVER catch up christians. Christians and their hiding behind the cloth, including Ratzinger, who “issued an order ensuring the church’s investigations into sex abuse claims be carried out in secret.

Ratzinger said that the church had the right to bury these cases for 10 years after the minor has “completed the 18th year of age - breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10 year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication. Hypocritical cretin, evil man, hiding behind religion, but typical. The pedophiles are forgiven, then moved around. Fact - do your homework.

 

I don't speak empirically, I speak logically and with facts

People in prison in America -  - christian 76.6%  Atheist 0.4%.

 

Oh, by the by, why did your god give the male of the species the need to rape, even children - if it is free will, that is one sicko god. christians never talk of the victims, the women and the children, why is that?

 

I am lashing out, and I am not apologizing - I am sick of being nice, I am sick of people in the hierarchy of their religion perpetrating crimes against humanity, I am sick of people following a book written by men, for their own  ends.

 

This is in your bible - Am I misinterpreting - Judges 21:10-24 NLT

 

  So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children.  "This is what you are to do," they said. "Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin."  Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

 

The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives.  But there were not enough women for all of them.  The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel.  So the Israelite leaders asked, "How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead?  There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever.  But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God's curse.

 

Gee, I can't think why I wouldn't follow this lovely, gentle, full of compassion man.

 

This is the thing Carlos - I don't care what you believe, spirits in the sky, why should you care what I believe, the problem with religion starts when religion impinges on my ethics and morality - which is of a very high standard, the book you follow is full of hatred, your fellow christians and the hierarchy of those religions are evil and contemptuous, and cowardly.

 

I am now going to talk to my friend, Umali, the White Unicorn - she is really nice - she doesn't order people to rape pillage and cut off foreskin. She doesn't make millions out of gullible people. I talk to her, she follows me around. You have to believe in my White Uncorn - she is in the bible!!!!!!

 

 

I'm glad someone pointed out the dirt on Mother Teresa.  She was a rather sadistic old lady responsible for much suffering and death all because she got off on peoples' suffering and felt that it brought her closer to Christ.  Sick.

Absolutely.  And it is utterly shocking to Catholics to discover that there are people who cannot stand their dodgy idol.  I was brought up believing she was pretty much a living saint.  I remember being outraged reading Germaine Greer's put down of her (fairly gentle in fact) in a Saturday newspaper's back page - Heroes and Villains: Greer chose MT as her villain, and I reasoned: why not chose some genocidal dictator?

Well - now I understand.  It is precisely because folks are so deluded about this woman - and in her wake continue to make virtues of things which are really not virtues - that she needs the exposure she gets now.

BUT...even the lovely Mother Teresa was vocal about her doubts - 

Where is my faith? Even deep down, there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. If there be God - please forgive me.

Such deep longing for God. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal.

Her smile was a mask.

What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.

She had also given up on the praying bit.

 

By the by Dr. del Toro - love your quote - 

Try not praying.  See how much of a difference it doesn't make. Going to write that one down.

 

+1 [like]

Reply by Suzanne Olson-Hyde 7 hours ago

This is the thing Carlos - I don't care what you believe, spirits in the sky, why should you care what I believe, the problem with religion starts when religion impinges on my ethics and morality - which is of a very high standard, the book you follow is full of hatred, your fellow christians and the hierarchy of those religions are evil and contemptuous, and cowardly.

 

Pahu: I hope you won't mind if I jump in on your reply to Carlos. First, I wonder on what you base your very high standard of ethics and morality?

 

Second, your accusations against portions of the Bible have been explained for centuries, if not millennia. If you are interested in those explanations, go here:

Bible Answers

Bible Christian Answers

Bible Commentaries

Bible Contradictions Answered 1

Bible Contradictions Answered 2

Bible Contradictions Answered 3

Bible Creation Proof

Bible Explained

 

Third, Christianity has been enormously beneficial to mankind.

 

History proves repeatedly that Christians are the 'salt of the earth'... Where Christ has influenced families and societies people enjoy a better life. It reaches even those 'neighbors' and descendants who do not believe but share in the blessings.

 

Education is better

Where Christians set the pace first for valuing truth, education has come to the fore. Christians first brought education to the people in most well developed societies.

 

Business is better

Christians have been "light for the world" [Matthew 5:13-14]. Through their influence, men fulfill contracts honestly; the economy is stronger.

 

Health is better

Like the Good Samaritan, Christians have introduced into nearly all societies standards for better health care.  For example, they have built the first hospitals and universities in most developing countries.

 

Science advances

Where men believe in one God, society embraces universal, absolute truths. This makes objective science possible. Few advances in science have come from pagan cultures. In Hindu societies, one may believe just about whatever he wants. One's empty meditation and purposeless devotion makes it real in his mind. The resulting lack of absolute truths has weakened their sciences and economy.

 

Government is more just (never perfect)

Christians seeking justice become 'salt of the earth' [Matthew 5:13-14]. Through their influence, government is fairer and shows more concern for the weak and oppressed.  Christians have taken the lead to fight injustices. They set the moral standards needed for a happier, freer life. They led the struggle to end mot social abuses such as slavery, ruthless totalitarian domination, racial discrimination and many other evils. We know the misery that Communism brought to mankind, with its purely rational approach to social development. Christian leaders in Eastern Europe led the bloodless revolution. They inspired those who tore down the shameful iron curtain.

 

Women are respected

Millions of Muslim and Hindu women suffer abuse. Many are given a shamefully low place in society. This misery is due mainly to the teaching of the Koran and Hindu writings. In societies where Christians have exerted influence, women are respected.  In Christ there is neither male nor female [Galatians 3:28].

 

http://mentorandmultiply.homestead.com/files/social_benefits.htm

 

In summary:

The personal transformation of billions of human beings

The preservation of the western world against the Islamic world and paganism

Some of the greatest art in existence

Some of the greatest music in existence

Some of the best literature in existence

The foundation of the political ideas for individual life, liberty, equality, exercise of conscience, understanding of human nature in terms of the need for checks and balances, and the importance of the rule of law, applicable to all regardless of status

The moral underpinnings for charitable organizations, including two of the largest in the world - the Red Cross and the Salvation army

The foundation of thousands of hospitals

The foundation of countless schools, colleges, and universities, some of which are the most renowned schools of all time

The ending of slavery

The foundation of scientific exploration

That's a short list.

What about atheism; what has it been responsible for?

 

I just spent 5 minutes reading "Bible Answers". I've never seen so much twisted logic, mis-information, ignorance, and denial of facts. What a load of crap!

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