***[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]]
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Reply by Suzanne Olson-Hyde
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:
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.
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].
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?
Stop copy pasting your ridiculous links and text that you have already copy pasted three dozen times here. Do even have a single thought of your own in your head?
Just to ensure you are clear: intelligent, educated people here who have previously been as profoundly brainwashed as you and know just as much as you - and we reject 100% your analysis. the world is much worse as a result of Christianity. We have thought about it carefully and dispassionately considered the evidence - and we found that actually it showed the opposite of the conclusions as pushed by you and the RCC.
Atheism has been responsible for honesty, integrity and exposing the lies of liars. You can re-present your short list when the genocides, the centuries of misogyny, the child rape, the imaginary god, the homophobia, the - where do we start? - lies have all been apologised for.
To pick just one of your lies above (and I could have picked any of them - why are Christians so dishonest?): while some the people who ended slavery were Christian, many were remarkably secular and the people who set Western slavery up were universally Christian (go and read some history). And slavery's staunch defenders when secularists pointed out how disgusting the trade was, were Christians.
You are truly deluded. Buit it's not new to us here. So many of us used to be there too.
When scientists examine the facts, they also are beginning to admit there has to be an intelligent designer.
There it is, the famous creationist lie about evolution being "a theory in crisis".
Only in the Creationist community. So lying for Jesus is not a sin in your world?
I've got to come back in here: you do know that the liberation of women has been universally opposed by Christians while supported by and pushed by secularists? You do know that don't you? If you don't know that the fact that women now have the vote and some reasonable levels offreedom in Western societies has been in the face of strong opposition from the Church, then you really shouldn't write on the subject. Your lies are horrible. Be ashamed.
For me, one of the main things about any religion, but especially the catholic church, is the hypocrisy. I won't talk about Islam here, it really does my head in. Islam would be the most appalling, violent, misogynistic religion on the planet, but Christianity is on my doorstep.
I have a coffin, and it is religion inside - and every time I come across someone like you, another nail goes in, and my thinking about religion is even clearer. I am not trying to convince you, simply because nothing will. And that is fine.
Nah, It's not getting out of hand - this is good fun - you just keep on re-inforcing my thinking. To the Theresa 'thing'. If she didn't know, why would she write a letter to the Superior Court stating 'she knew nothing about his criminal activity. Just for a minute - think logically, that's all that Atheists do - " think" and then come to a conclusion. She had to know him, to write such a letter, asking for clemency, to the court that is charging him with fraud and conspiracy - don't you think, in the meantime, before writing the letter she would have found about, at least ask the question, as I would, a normal human being, where did he get his money from. We are talking millions here. She was asked to write the letter. By whom, her minders. Somebody knew he was a thief and charlatan, and the letter was to just cover her butt. They still can't find where the money has gone. I would take a guess at Swiss banks, or maybe american banks, nobody knows. Ah yes, she deceived, she was a first class charlatan.
This is the woman against contraception, in a country of extreme poverty, where children don't get to their first birthday, because they have STARVED to death.
And good for you, your example of Dorothy Day, just one person out of millions.
My heart bleeds for the millions of children starving to death And I am pretty sure, their mothers are not happy seeing their child turn into a skeleton, and are not happy with their lot. Would you?
Theresa never lived in filth, she had her little plebs and luddites do all the work, she had food, she didn't need anything, it was all paid for, pretty good heh. How many people do you think, are doing exactly the same thing, without the public kudos and money, who don't get or need the publicity. Who do it, not because they are xian or non xian, just because they see the need and get in and do it, because they are good people.
Heres just a few -
American Civil Liberties Union, United Nations Children's Fund, Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, Oxfam International, Population Connection, Planned Parenthood Federation -
American Ethical Union - now that's an organization that every christian could do with.
About the Red Cross, 97 million volunteers. Their neutrality and secularism allows them to offer unconditional help to people in need.
Therese might have started out all noble, but she didn't finish up noble. Dammed oath, I want to find out where the millions went. The majority of people weren't crims who gave her money, but they trusted her, the operative word being TRUST, because they assumed she was a good person. WRONG. Again, duping people, in the name of Christianity.
Mother Theresa - just another in the long list of cover ups, deceitful, hypercritical charlatans, but big on platitudes. It ended up she had millions, and accepted it all, because of notoriety and kudos. Very powerful things.
It is because they are christians, that I have doubts about them.
List of Christians involved in scandals: I know you wont look them up, so here is a very short summary of the cretins of the christian world - these are but a few, the list is too long. If you want to believe any of these people, that's fine. Just keep on lining their pockets -
Benny Hinn - he just laughs at the people who believe he is a miracle maker. I just feel sorry for them. Do have a look at the following, it's a video of the lovely Benny drunk, it's a real hoot - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOPQ9Cxz5So&NR=1
David Miscavige - Scientology - 1920s-1940's
Lonnie Frisbee - 1970's 1980's, Gay and married to hide his gayness. Died of aids.
Aimee Semple McPherson 1920'21940's - birth name Beth Kennedy, disappeared, then reappeared, saying she had been kidnapped, LIE, just to get publicty for her evangelical stuff.
Peter Popoff - faith healer - went bankrupt when James Randi told the lovely Peter, he wasn't quite the supernatural force he vowed he was. He got information through an ear-piece.
Morris Cerullo 1990's - faith healer, said he cured a child of cancer, WRONG
child died two months later, proven to be a charletan and taken of the TV air, only after he had collected millions from people who believed in him. Criminal
Roy Clements, 1999 - another gay hater, who happens to be gay - LIAR
John Paulk, 2000 - yet another evangelical hating gay, who turns out to be gay - whadoyaknow!!!!
Douglas Goodman, 2004 - three and a half years for the sexual assault of four members of his congregation in 2004, and now back in business - CRIMINAL
Ted Haggard - how boring is this. Yet another evangelical hating gay, throwing hate and hellfire to gays, and it turns out he is gay. A four year affair, hardly an oops moment. His wife stood by her 'man', but I certainly wouldn't trust him. LIAR.
Kent Hovind, 2006 - convicted of 58 federal tax offenses and related charges, for which he is currently serving a ten-year sentence. CRIMINAL
Paul Barnes, 2006 - Yet ANOTHER gay hating evangelical, who turned out to be gay.
Lonnie Latham, 2006 - Yet ANOTHER gay hating evangelical, got busted by offering sex to a male policeman. Bit of a mistake. HYPOCRITE
Earl Paulk, 2007 - A number of women from his congregation came forward during the 1990s and 2000s, claiming that Paulk had sexual relations with them; charges of child molestation were also made. This was a really convoluted one - I lost track who was sleeping with who - someone who they thought was Earl's nephew, turned out to be his son. HYPOCRITE
Coy Privette, 2007 - Charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution.
Thomas Wesley Weeks, III, 2007 - Convicted of assault on his wife.
Michael Reid, 2008 - Caught having an eight-year extra-marital sexual relationship. Ah,the sanctity of marriage.
Joe Barron, 2008 - arrested for solicitation of a minor, 13 years old, Met her online.
George Alan Rekers, 2010 - Another evangelical gay hater. Rekers employed a homosexual as a traveling companion. The lovely Ronan, his gorgous traveleing pal, said Rekers had paid him to massage him daily, which included genital touching.
Pastor Vaughn Reeves, 2010 - serving consecutive six-year terms for each of nine fraud counts.
Head of the Institute for Religious Works, the Vatican bank and his chief lieutenant, Paolo Cipriani, being questioned over money laundering. The bank had doors at the back of the building so, whoever, priest, cardinals archbishops, could go in without being seen. Everything about this bank is secret. In the 1980's headed by american church leader Archbishop Marcinkus, who had already shady dealings with fraudulent bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano, then Italy's largest private bank. The Vatican was 'forced by the law' to pay out more than $240 million to creditors, and only did that kicking and screaming.
Then there is the lovely Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister - is Catholic, how many women would do you think he has bonked, other than his two wives. Last time I heard, this is not the done thing in the catholic church, or am I wrong.
And he is head of the country - treating the rest of his fellow catholics as 'stupid'. Hypocrisy one again.
I, actually don't care how many people he has bonked, just don't go around saying I am Catholic, and I pray everyday.
This is thing with any religion, they 'forget' what they say, and follow whatever is expedient, if it about sex or money, all rules are thrown out of the window, and they don't care how many people are hurt. How do the thousands of innate, evil charlatans, who con their congregation, forget, time and time again, that god is watching 'every thought, word and deed', and with Jesus looking over their shoulder, do such criminal, sinful, and abhorrent actions, to their fellow xians?
Why would God create something that was banned and, specifically, why would it be a tree whose fruit offered knowledge of good and evil? Isn't knowledge good?
I want knowledge, and have NO fear of dying.
By the bible accounts God had created previous hominid species on earth, and they had died. Did they also eat of the tree of Knowledge?
Isn't God, at this stage omnipotent or not. Why would he test people, if he knew the outcome? Aren't we puppets now. The desire to have children is innate for women, and a female has to be very bright and insightful to choose not to have children. More power to her.
Then ask a man never to have sex, and you have the religious pedophile rings in most christian churches. God made these men, and gave them the sex drive that they have.
So, if he is "ALL KNOWING, he knows what is going to happen. So, why do this - ah, yes the free will thing, so why did God make the male of the human species polygamous. And if he doesn't get the amount of females he wishes, then he will rape. Are you polygamous. Do you have multiple wives, do you have concubines, do you have slaves. If not, why not, because it seems to be all the go in the bible.
A woman must be a virgin, but a bloke can bonk as many women as he likes before marriage. Is that your interpretation - or am I wrong, the man must also be a virgin.
Marriage was formed in those times, so men could control women - that's it.
Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.
Rehoboam took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines.
But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives.
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
About women - we don't just want respect. Talk to me again when a female is head of the Catholic Church. EVERY religion treats women with contempt. I just don't understand why any female wants to belong to an institution that treats them with such disdain, sex object, or someone to clean the church.
So, you believe what ever you like to believe. You just maybe one of the few good xians out there. I have known only two really good people who happen to be xian. One, a catholic priest. He was good because he was a good man, not because he was xian. The second was a Seventh Day of Adventist - same applies. Simply a good man. The rest - if they make the statement I am a Christian - RUUUN - Christopher Hitchens and I think the same.
So, good luck to you, I hope you stay happy.
I'm going to "think" in here, then...
"If she didn't know, why would she write a letter to the Superior Court stating 'she knew nothing about his criminal activity.".
You're asking why she would say she didn't know anything... if she didn't know anything?
This is like the story of the madman who lost everything but his reason, who says that everyone is plotting to kill him. He says that everyone wants to kill him, but they (society) deny such a thing because they're "sneaky"... but then again, if what he said IS true, denying they want to kill him would also be the most prudent way.
You're basically saying that she must have known something... BECAUSE she said she didn't knew anything? If that is atheism and the height of reason, count me out.
Pope John Paul II asked for clemency when an under age child committed murder. Hers was so fully meditated, that they wanted to treat her as an adult. He asked for clemency -- "Don't kill her. Mercy. You could just give her life in prison".
What is so wrong about asking for clemency? St. Mother Theresa did not receive help JUST from that organization. Who among here stops to make a through investigation on where a certain amount of money comes from? Even if you're in the higher ups, you cannot go into special investigations to decipher whether a man, who I'll assume didn't show any signs of corruption at the time, and who apparently had position of power - making money of such magnitude available - obtained such money in a "clean" way.
Theresa was a Catholic! If she asked people to not use condoms, she was always saying to use abstinence. She isn't saying... "Have sex and children so that they may starve to death!". She's saying, "My conviction is that abstinence and NFP be used, always, instead of condoms". Abstinence = no children.
"How many people do you think, are doing exactly the same thing, without the public kudos and money, who don't get or need the publicity"
Is there any ways of buying food without money? Is there anything wrong with, for so long one has a right intention, having publicity for the sake of an act of charity? Do you have ANY evidence she had ANY piece of property that was not strictly necessary and that constitutes a matter worthy of anything?
For all you've given me, still, is a fancy story that crudely and not so seamlessly falls into gaps.
Do you actually think, that for a moment, I do not know or do not accept that there are scum that are found in the Church? I'll even add more, you mentioned quite a few less than what I know.
But as I've said before and I'll repeat again, but in fanciful words of Paul: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God and not of us.". In other words, men are weak.. and they fall short of the statutes they are supposed to follow -- whether it be by weakness or through a particularly evil will.
To be a Christian does not mean you are a Saint, it means you accept the Christian ideal. To have the actions of a Christian involves a lifelong struggle in overcoming one's sinful self.
All that I mean is this: That one does not leave Jesus for sake of Judas - or Peter, for that matter. It is a senseless thing to determine the veracity of the teachings of Jesus by the actions of Judas (who was a Bishop, actually). Just as so, one doesn't go on and around judging the veracity of the teachings of the Church through the actions of all the Judases that can be walking around in it.
Why would God create something that was banned and, specifically, why would it be a tree whose fruit offered knowledge of good and evil? Isn't knowledge good?"
Theologically speaking, human beings were perfect. They never suffered through any temptation to sin, yet they were still in perfect joy and happiness.
Eating of the fruit, through an act of disobedience, caused the fall of their perfect nature. It doesn't "offer" knowledge of good and evil.
I'd argue the tree has such a name because, although the effect of the fruit is to fall from natural perfection and to finally receive temptation to sin, it causes a man, after the fall, to have knowledge of good and evil.
Because he has lost his innocence and, after the transgression, finally sees sin as how it truly is and the consequences it has, he has, now, knowledge of good and evil.
Similar to how a man will have true knowledge of what is addiction only after trying something like cocaine. Cocaine doesn't provide knowledge of addiction, it causes in us an experience that allows us to understand addiction.
"...so why did God make the male of the human species polygamous."
God didn't "make" males polygamous. Polygamy is one form of marriage, not an intrinsic description of a man's biology.
If what you are referring to is why men were allowed polygamy during the Old Testament, it was for the sake of preserving the Jewish religion from having pagan influence.
A good example is Solomon and the ruin brought forth to the Jewish people due to his love for many [pagan] women.
Taken into context, that was a means of preserving the numbers of the Jews while also keeping their religion.
I do have to research more on that, though, since I don't have all the information and the examples.
Talk to me again when a female is head of the Catholic Church. EVERY religion treats women with contempt.
Catholics are not proponents of utilitarianism or extreme secularism. They don't, for so long as their hearts reflects the teachings of the Church, believe that political position has anything to do, at all, with their intrinsic value.
Look into almost every saint, man or woman, and you'll see that they always ran from any position of power. They only accepted such positions in a sense of obedience or because it was a manner of necessity.
Your actions determine you, not your position. Everyone must run from any needless pursuit of a high political position insofar it is made out of vainglory and the pursuit of some vain sense of self-esteem.
Priests may have special functions, but their title is merely a description of the functions he has to commit himself to in the service of the people. Any bad or rotten examples to the side, they are expected to live simply, without any unnecessary luxury, and most be continuously praying, reading the Bible, theology and apology books, the current events, and all of the constantly new forms of heresies; as well as celebrating Mass, and providing access to the Sacraments.
This can be seen in Mark 10: 42-44, where Jesus says that the greatest in Heaven are not those that are served, but those that serve.
Another thing to take into consideration is that the separation of roles of a men and women are also oftentimes the result of intrinsic theology.
A priest, for example, cannot be a woman since, when he is celebrating Mass, he is reenacting the events of the last supper in the place of Jesus. Jesus, a man, cannot be played out by a woman. That would just be a distorted way of replaying what really took place.
If anything, though this is more of an example than a counter-argument, one should consider the Catholic Church's position of Mary.
One may join all the merits of all the Saints from the beginning until the end of time - St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, St. Catherine Anne Emmerich, St. Padre Pio -- all of them! ... and they will not ever, together, come close to the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.
I suppose there are many more arguments that could be done in defense, but I both need to research some of them and most re-educate myself more extensively in others.
And lastly, you may come to find this as a surprise, but being a Christian has made me a better person. It isn't just something that is a haphazard occurrence in my life with no relation to my morality.
It has led me to teach myself, though it has been challenging, to sacrifice myself for others - even if it be at my own expense. It has taught me patience, gratitude, and meekness. To not judge so easily others according as how they look, to not judge others according to their political position or power or amount of money. To not measure a man according to the sum of his or her actions. To love my enemies, because loving just friends is all too easy.
Secularism doesn't teach these things. It teaches a man must make himself first priority, even at the expense of others. To seek for power in the form of coercion for the satisfaction of an egocentric perception of oneself; to seek money, not so much as a way to meet your needs, but a way of gaining vain status; to live rampantly and without constraint.
I am merely stating that that, where it not for Christianity, I would be much more imbued with secular vices.
I am not arguing that Christianity should be accepted because it can have these effects. I believe in Christianity because I find it to be true. I am, however, arguing against your seeming proposition that good people only "happen" to be Christians and that Christianity cannot make people better.