Greetings! I am just going to come out and say that I am what you might call I crazy, die hard, delusional Jesus freak, though I do not discourage any discussion about how wrong I am. That is essentially why I am here. I have somewhat become addicted to looking into religious discussion and anything and everything related to it. I want to acquire as much knowledge as I can, and I think this is an excellent place to do so. I am not here to offend anyone and I would love to be able to stay in this community for a while. I don't kow how accepting you guys are of outsiders, but judging by what I have seen on this site so far, most of you are pretty open. So, without further adieu, I would simply like to state how intrigued I am by atheism! From a theological perspective, you and I are polar opposites! I mean to the ends of the earth OPPOSITE. I as a christian believe what I have read in the book of Proverbs: that fear of God is the beginnig of wisdom. With that, my entire life is constantly in pursuit of God and this wisdom! I don't fear him because He is evil, but because He is all powerful. Surely this makes sense? If an all powerful God did exist, it would be foolish not to be afraid of Him. I read somewhere in the quote of the day section, that the beginning of wisdom is the "conquering of fear". Obviously this quote was intended to directly oppose the verse from Proverbs, but I am curious nonetheless whether all or most of the atheist community agrees with this. This would have intriguing implications! Does your life center upon eliminating fear? Fear of the imaginary God, fear of man, fear of death? Do you strive to live a fearless life in the sense that you don't allow fear to control your actions? I would too if there were no God. But instead I WANT fear to control my every thought! I am completely aware of how foolish that is, but I am completely okay with that too!
I want to get on the same page with you here. We are all human beings. We are all more or less equally able to think logically. I believe that the pivotal point from where all logic flows is whether or not God exists. Let me start by saying that if God does not exist, then I would completely agree nearly atheist based ideology-everything that has anything to do with the secular world view, I would LIVE by. Now assume for a moment that you were on the same side as I am, all evidence aside. There is a God. He is the perfect King. Everyone loves Him and everyong respects Him and admires His wisdom. Everyone also fears Him, for if they are on the wrong side of the law, He can justly punish them. Who would respect a Ruler who was a pushover and didn't care about justice? Now, if this God was perfect in the absolute sense, would it not be logical to dedicate your life to trying to be like Him? And if you weren't afraid of Him, would you be able to do that? I just want to try to clarify that if what I believe is true, then I am following the logical course of action by allowing this fear/love combination to take over my life. Do you agree with me? Yes? Then the pivotal point I established earlier must be real, and all ideology flows in two general directions starting from whether you believe God is real or not. No? Then lets continue.
If you disagree with me, then twe have arrived at a second pivotal point in our differences. First being whether you believe in God, and the second (being on the belief side) whether you want to follow this God or not. What do you guys think about these pivotal points? Which one is more important?
*actually a reply to Bill, but he had no reply button?*
May as well eliminate the idea of sin altogether. No such thing as punishment, then no need to have something that deserves punishment. No need for judgement. No need for a Judge.
But if God did not judge, then how could there be justice?
Again... Re-read what I wrote. I said that if you are a good person, that your god could just say 'your forgiven' and leave it at that. That puts the focus on being good, rather than belief. Can't we agree that being a good person really is the more important concern? With the 'good person' stipulation, you still have judgment, justice and consequences. We have everything your concerned with, all wrapped in a much more reasonable and palatable plan.
God is not the all-powerful entity of which to be afraid. It is nature. The triple-whammy Japan is going through (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown) demonstrates our need to fear and respect nature. I long ago lost the compulsion to assign the causation of disasters like that to a mythological entity.
Strangely, I am not afraid of nature. Cautious, yes. In awe, often. But actually afraid, not that I remember.
But I agree with your statement, nature trumps God.
You said: "I believe that the pivotal point from where all logic flows is whether or not God exists."
Belief in God has nothing to do with logic and therefore no logic can flow from that belief.
Furthermore, belief in the God of Christianity is even more contrary to reason than a deistic belief in God because the book that is supposed to represent the word of the Christian God has become obsolete - which would be impossible a god had actually inspired that work. I offer you my rewrite of Genesis as an example: http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/genesis-rewritten
Simply put, if a god had written the Bible then the Bible would only make more sense as we came to understand the cosmos - not less.
First, the book cannot establish nor re-establish a relationship with a non-existent entity. Secondly, even if a god did exist, there is no proof that it is the same god that is mentioned in the bible. Assuming you prove the first two points, and that would be an incredible feat, you would still be faced with the conundrum of how that god could be 'omniscient' yet declare the value of pi to be 3.
Now I will extend you the patience of considering the presentation you have to offer if you post a link - but I will remind you that this is going exactly where I predicted; that you are here to spread your dogma while evading reasonable questions of how your dogma might be supported by evidence.
http://www.bethlehemstar.net/ Unfortunately the actual video is a DVD and isn't available on youtube or anything like that, but here is the website. I'm pretty sure it explains most of what was in the video. :D
God knows how to round to whole numbers. You may as well have called Him out on not writing 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197
So you cite information that is not publicly available as your 'proof'? Why not just highlight some of the points it makes up? Do these points even exist.?
First off, the reference to pi is to a circle with diameter of 10 cubits - so if the circumference was stated as 31 cubits then rounding error would easily be acceptable. But to state it as 30 is far more than a rounding error considering fractions wouldn't even need to be used. It's a clear indication that the measurement wasn't made, it was fabricated, just like the rest of the story.
Then you've got:
Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Only problem here is that the moon is not a light source - and the lesser light could not be from the stars because they are referred to separately. Didn't 'God' understand that the moon was not a light source? This obviously indicates that the story was fabricated by humans who did not realize that the moon only reflected the sun's light.
Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
With all the poisonous plants out there, isn't this advice a little reckless? Or did 'God' not know that some plants were poisonous to us? Obviously the author, who fabricated this story, was not familiar with poisonous plants.
Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Apparently 'God' forgot about the carnivores.
Just one more for now
Genesis3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;
So it would seem that plants did not develop thorns or thistles until after humans were living on the planet - but the fossil record indicates that this is impossible. Obviously the author, lacking knowledge of the age of various species, had to fabricate this event along with the rest of the story.
So, you see, the more we learn, the more preposterous the bible becomes - indicating that it was written by people who had no clue how science would evolve. This is proof that there could not have been some sort of divine inspiration to this book, but that is already an accepted fact since that can't be divine inspiration since there is no god, let along the god of the bible.
Okay first off, because it is off by 1 literally implies NOTHING. Read this please http://www.purplemath.com/modules/bibleval.htm
Second one...are you seriously using that?
Third one- plants weren't poisonous before the fall.
Fourth one- carnivores were herbavores before the fall.
Fifth one- enlighten me. What does the fossil record have to say about it. Carbon dating? You prove to me that carbon dating is as accurate as they say it is and I'll believe it. Burden of proof is on you. I am skeptical of the accuracy of carbon dating.
So you refute the bad math with the claim that they measured the the circumference of the inside of the bowl. I would like to know anyone who measures a bowl circumference from the inside - almost as preposterous as the concept of a god in the first place.
Second one - yes I am because it is a clear indication of an incredibly limited understanding of the planet/moon/sun
Third one - suggesting that plants did not develop poison as a defense mechanism until some time AFTER human beings were on the planet contradicts reams of observations of their genealogy.
Fourth one - again, in direct conflict with reams of observation about animal genealogy, AND the fossil record. Do you really believe that Lions and Tigers walked around eating apples for a few hundred thousand years?
Fifth one - if you devoted your literacy to reading more than one book you would at least reference radiometric dating rather than carbon dating. For a rundown on radiometric and carbon dating, I offer this article.
But it seems that you basically refute all science and possibly subscribe to the conspiracy that the moon landing was a hoax. Once again, you are bypassing a reasonable discussion and simply inserting your own mythology.
You have still offered me no evidence as to why you think any god exists, let alone why the Christian god exists and is the only one that exists.