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?

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You are the one who offered a literal interpretation, Bill.  I recognize it for what it is - ancient mythology.  It's really quite beautiful and offers us incredible insight into the minds of antiquity, but it's no reason to limit ourselves to bronze age thinking in a modern world.

On Extra-Biblical accounts of Jesus:

 

Josephus made a passing reference to the cult of Jesus and perhaps to some of its doctrines, thus establishing early origins for this mythology.  Unfortunately it seems that only the Christians preserved this text, and their copyists are widely suspected of embellishing the reference.  Tacitus is not without controversy either.

 

In any event, these texts do strongly suggest an establishment of a cult of Jesus within the decades following the historical date that the cult mythology attributes to the crucifixion of Jesus.  This, however, holds no merit as evidence supporting the existence of a god.  In point of fact, even if I were to be so liberal as to accept the historicity of the Jesus icon without question, there would still be no reason to subscribe to the superstition of the god delusion.

 

On the contrary, only after one can establish the validity of even postulating that a god exists can one begin to regard the bible as anything more than a wonderful collection of stories that were popular to some ancient peoples.

On Nebuchadnezzar’s dream: (exclamation point removed)

 

Yes, it's a nice tale that uses some abstract symbols and language in just the fashion that modern astrologers do in the novelty predictions in your favorite newspaper.  One might just as well throw Nostradamus in there was well.  Let me take you up on that challenge to make a prediction: "And a great nation will rise up, and it will be lead by the deceitful who hear not the cries of the people, and though this nation will spread to the ends of the earth like the stars amongst the heavens, it will choke on its own arrogance!"

 

I declare that my one single prediction will, in fact, apply to the next 3 great civilizations of man, and if it seems not to apply to a great civilization then that civilization is simply not yet great enough, so keep waiting.  Get back to me in 2000 years and tell me how I scored.

 

The more I look at all of this, the more I realize that Atheists are not skeptics at all.  Failing to accept an incredulous story as fact is not skepticism - it's just reasonable deduction.  On the other hand, refuting a century of well documented scientific findings that have evolved models of the cosmos that accurately predict the orbits of distant planets, well, that's skepticism.  It seems to me that the theists are the skeptics of the modern world.

We really need a like button.

I was too humble to end the last reply with [PWND], but I'm not too humble to mention it now.
Once again, you fail to understand. Science and the Bible go hand in hand. Miracles ARE physical occurances that were caused by God in that He created the physical realm!
How do you define "miracle"? If that is it above, then you could say that every raindrop is a miracle. Every bird song. Every earthquake. Anything and everything that God caused is a miracle. It sort of loses meaning and becomes irrelevant. It becomes practically useless.
I don't get what is so hard about that concept. I'm not skeptical of science. Science was used to prove the star! And don't consider this an argument, but i just think its ironic that the second coming of Jesus, if it happens before then, would discredit your otherwise would-be self-fulfilling prophecy.
I am not sure if your reply is to me.  It doesn't really follow.  If you are using God to describe science, then why keep the God label around?  If a miracle can be anything that happens in the physical realm, then why call it a miracle?

So throw science out the window in other words.

i.e. "Magnets how do they work?"

God done it!

 

Why anyone would find that to be a satisfactory answer is beyond my ability to grasp.  It answers nothing.  It is a pacifier.

The whole point, Bill, is that you have chosen to attribute natural occurrences to a arbitrary mythological deity.  I can only assume that the selection of your mythology is nothing more than the result of childhood indoctrination.  That you can't see through it is testament to the damage such indoctrination can do.  That makes me sad.

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