# Thread: Pi, e and Alpha Encoded Within Scripture

1. Hello everyone.

The mathematical absolutes pi and e are encoded to a high degree of accuracy within Genesis 1:1 (Masoretic text) and John 1:1 (Greek text). By a simple concatenation of numbers deriving from these two verses, alpha (electromagnetic fine structure constant) is also encoded. The verses also encode two significant triangular numbers.

First, understand that the letters of Hebrew and Greek double as numerals, according to well-established systems of numeration (aleph to Tav = 1 to 400; alpha to omega = 1 to 800). It is therefore possible to read the letters of these verses as numbers and to calculate numerical values for words and phrases.

Pi is calculated as follows from the Hebrew Genesis 1:1

(Product letter numerical values x number letters)/(Product word numerical values x number words) = pi x 10E17, error 1 in 100000.

e is calculated as follows from the Greek John 1:1

(Product letter numerical values x number letters)/(Product word numerical values x number words) = e x 10E40, error 1 in 100000.

Alpha is calculated from both verses as follows:

Sum letter numerical values Genesis 1:1 = 2701
Sum letter numerical values John 1:1 = 3627

Concatenating these numbers we obtain 27013627. Squaring this number gives alpha x 10E17, with an error of about 1 part in a million.

Significant triangular numbers are encoded here too.

2701 is the 73rd triangular number, and its only factors are 37 and 73, which are hexagram numbers (37 is in fact, trifigurate).

2701 + 3627 is 6328, the 112th triangular number. To crown it all, 112 is the numerical value of the Hebrew title transliterated as 'Yahweh Elohim', translated as 'the Lord God'.

All this is the work of Vernon Jenkins and coworkers. However, one additional find, made by myself, is the following:

Every third triangular number is associated with a pentagonal number, this being the sum of the place values of the triangle and its internal triangles (nested inside like Russian dolls). For instance, triangle 28 (the 7th) has triangles 10 (4th) and 1 (1st) inside. 1 + 4 + 7 = 12, the third pentagonal number.

The pentagonal number associated with triangle 2701 is pentagon 925. Applying the Hebrew system of numeration to modern English (A = 1 to Z = 800), we obtain

Jesus Christ = 925

Given the importance of and similarites between the two verses heading the prologues of Genesis and John, given that e and alpha were unknown in biblical times and pi was known only crudely, given that the Masoretic Hebrew text dates back to at least the 10th Century AD and the Greek New Testament to long before that and given the sublime degree of coordination and planning required to have encoded these numbers, I submit that the facts above (I invite you all to check them) constitute almost indisputable evidence for non-human intelligent design within Scripture and language.

Bluetriangle

2.

3. *groan* - not again

the only thing you prove with this exercise is that human beings are pattern-seeking animals who will find a pattern even when there isn't one

4. Somebody please tell me why I shouldn't be an atheist.

Flying Spaghetti Monster has 22 letters, atheist has 7. Oh my God...that's 22/7 . Proof...FSM lives. And to think those non believers said I was wasting my time.

5. Do these people have a life?

lol@zinjanthropos
No...that's proof that FSM is linked to Atheism; thus, atheists believe in FSM, which is a complete paradox; thus, the FSM doesn't exist.
Don't ya love the logic of it all?

6. Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
Do these people have a life?

lol@zinjanthropos
No...that's proof that FSM is linked to Atheism; thus, atheists believe in FSM, which is a complete paradox; thus, the FSM doesn't exist.
Don't ya love the logic of it all?
Its a joke that theists will never get as they cant differentiate fact from fiction

7. im considering moving to the church of fsm as im having issues with the teachings of the church of russell's teapot

8. Originally Posted by captaincaveman
Its a joke that theists will never get as they cant differentiate fact from fiction
i find it quite easy to distinguish fact from fiction : anything Jeffrey Archer says is fiction

9. Maybe we should give bluetriangle a break. It's his/her first thread and post. Lord knows I've sounded like an idiot more than once. It's just when you thought you've heard everything about the scriptures that something like this comes along.

It reminded of the Monty Python cartoon where the dinosaurs were building Stonehenge and all the while discussing how they would line up the boulders to specific angles matching the movement of celestial bodies, something like that. Great satire.

Of course bluetriangle may have just authored one of the greatest pieces of satire ever written and we dumb fish took the bait. I sincerely hope we are dumb fish in this case. Otherwise I feel some kind of empathy towrds the poor guy. Say it's a piece of satire blue, and I'll feel stupid but happy.

10. Hi Zinjanthropos, marnixR and others,

Thanks for all of your replies. I realise that, in coming to a science forum and talking to you in your own language, I'm walking into a lion's den, therefore I expect to be looked upon as prey. But before you attempt to devour me with satirical relish, please consider the following.

First of all, this is not satire. Every fact I have laid before you is genuine and easily checkable. Pi and e really can be found by reading the letters of Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 as letters. then performing the simple calculation I have given.

Of course, this could be random action, rather than intelligent design. However, the 'null hypothesis' looks fairly unlikely. In both cases, the first five digits of pi and e are given. The chances this happening with each digit are 1 in 10. Therefore in both cases, there is a 1-in-100000 chance of success due to random action. The combined probability (which is valid because the encodings are independant of each other) is 1 in 10 billion against.

Of course, the bible is a large data set within which to search for numbers. I am absolutely sure, therefore, that similar patterns could be discerned in other places, both within the Bible and within any work of literature - and that they would mean absolutely nothing. What convinces me that these encodings are genuine is their placement within the first verse of the Hebrew Bible (and the standard version at that) and the first verse of John (once again, the original version). These are high-profile verses and sweeping statements about our origins, not obscure, unimportant passages. They are also reflective of each other. If some intelligence really has encoded significant numbers within Scripture, Genesis 1:1 and similar verses are obviously choice locations for placing such numbers.

Pi and e are not obscure numbers; they are the two most important absolutes in mathematics, undergirding the whole of science and technology. This will be fully appreciated in a forum dedicated to science. Moreover, the eternal truths of mathematics are understood and venerated by all intelligent societies everywhere. It is therefore the ideal language with which an intelligence could signal its presence.

I do not claim that the encoded information is proof that there is a God, simply that it is evidence for intelligent design, rather than random action. The fact that the numbers are found in the Judeo-Christian scriptures is obviously of great interest - but one musn't jump to conclusions. All I am saying is that the people who wrote these scriptures could not have encoded the numbers.

Finally, since this is a science forum I would expect something more elevated than mockery and satire in your postings. The scientific method is what we use for disproving false hypotheses, not ad hominem attacks, therefore I invite you all to be more scientific in your replies.

Bluetriangle

11. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Finally, since this is a science forum I would expect something more elevated than mockery and satire in your postings. The scientific method is what we use for disproving false hypotheses, not ad hominem attacks, therefore I invite you all to be more scientific in your replies.
i went through all the posts in this thread and whilst some may have been light-hearted or even silly (including one of mine), i didn't see any attacks on you as a person, which is what i've always understood an ad hominem attack to be

coming back to the science part, there have been far too many attempts to use numerology on a number of holy texts to prove whatever the person analysing the text wants to prove - 99% or more of these attempts have proven themselves to have no value whatsoever

remember : extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof
your analysis falls short of the level of proof one would expect

12. one thing you have failed to take into account is that pi is an old discovery and if it was more than a coincidence(which i doubt), then the knowledge was already there when the bible was written

I dont see how this equates to proof of ID? thats jumping to massive conclusions and very un-scientific

Finally, since this is a science forum I would expect something more elevated than mockery and satire in your postings. The scientific method is what we use for disproving false hypotheses, not ad hominem attacks, therefore I invite you all to be more scientific in your replies.

with respect the majority of the scientific world see numerology as a pseudomathematics subject and not something that warrants serious consideration

what your talking about is old news going back to Ivan Nikolayevitsh Panin's work from the late 19th to mid 20th century

careful you dont go down the route of Maximillian Cohen in the 90's film "pi"

13. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Hi Zinjanthropos, marnixR and others,

Thanks for all of your replies. I realise that, in coming to a science forum and talking to you in your own language, I'm walking into a lion's den, therefore I expect to be looked upon as prey. But before you attempt to devour me with satirical relish, please consider the following.

First of all, this is not satire. Every fact I have laid before you is genuine and easily checkable. Pi and e really can be found by reading the letters of Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 as letters. then performing the simple calculation I have given.

Of course, this could be random action, rather than intelligent design. However, the 'null hypothesis' looks fairly unlikely. In both cases, the first five digits of pi and e are given. The chances this happening with each digit are 1 in 10. Therefore in both cases, there is a 1-in-100000 chance of success due to random action. The combined probability (which is valid because the encodings are independant of each other) is 1 in 10 billion against.

Of course, the bible is a large data set within which to search for numbers. I am absolutely sure, therefore, that similar patterns could be discerned in other places, both within the Bible and within any work of literature - and that they would mean absolutely nothing. What convinces me that these encodings are genuine is their placement within the first verse of the Hebrew Bible (and the standard version at that) and the first verse of John (once again, the original version). These are high-profile verses and sweeping statements about our origins, not obscure, unimportant passages. They are also reflective of each other. If some intelligence really has encoded significant numbers within Scripture, Genesis 1:1 and similar verses are obviously choice locations for placing such numbers.

Pi and e are not obscure numbers; they are the two most important absolutes in mathematics, undergirding the whole of science and technology. This will be fully appreciated in a forum dedicated to science. Moreover, the eternal truths of mathematics are understood and venerated by all intelligent societies everywhere. It is therefore the ideal language with which an intelligence could signal its presence.

I do not claim that the encoded information is proof that there is a God, simply that it is evidence for intelligent design, rather than random action. The fact that the numbers are found in the Judeo-Christian scriptures is obviously of great interest - but one musn't jump to conclusions. All I am saying is that the people who wrote these scriptures could not have encoded the numbers.

Finally, since this is a science forum I would expect something more elevated than mockery and satire in your postings. The scientific method is what we use for disproving false hypotheses, not ad hominem attacks, therefore I invite you all to be more scientific in your replies.

Bluetriangle
My friend, God didn't purposefully encode this information; and thus, it's due solely to chance, and in no way proves intelligent design, but rather proves that things (such as emergence of life) can happen solely by chance. Tell me: why would God want to encode this information?

Edit: I'd advise you to stop trying to convince these folk that it's more than a coincidence, or this thread will continue to devolve into nothing but ridicule of your person. Have you seen this thread? http://www.thescienceforum.com/Numer...27an-6770t.php

14. Hi marnixR,

i went through all the posts in this thread and whilst some may have been light-hearted or even silly (including one of mine), i didn't see any attacks on you as a person, which is what i've always understood an ad hominem attack to be
scientistphilosophertheist wrote

Do these people have a life?
That's an ad hominem attack. I'm not particularly bothered about it. I referred to it in an attempt to forestall any further such comments.

bluetriangle[/quote]

15. Hi marnixR,

You said

coming back to the science part, there have been far too many attempts to use numerology on a number of holy texts to prove whatever the person analysing the text wants to prove - 99% or more of these attempts have proven themselves to have no value whatsoever
If only 1% of such claims had substance the case for codes would be made. William James said "If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white." I believe the white crow may have been found.

remember : extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof
your analysis falls short of the level of proof one would expect
By what criteria? Isn't what I've shown you extraordinary enough? Anyway, what I've shown you is the tip of a very large iceberg. Vernon Jenkins has carried out an exhaustive analysis of the first verse of Genesis, which has revealed layer upon layer of encoded numbers, many relating to the structural properties of triangle 2701.

Here is another piece of encoded data. The 28 Hebrew characters in Genesis 1:1 contain 6 alephs (aleph is the first character in the Hebrew alphabet). The place values of these alephs sum to 86. The place values of each aleph relative to the previous aleph sum to 26. Under the Hebrew system of numeration, Yahweh = 26 and Elohim = 86. Therefore the positions of the six alephs appears to refer to the name Yahweh Elohim, the Lord God.

Bluetriangle

16. If only 1% of such claims had substance the case for codes would be made. William James said "If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white." I believe the white crow may have been found
that makes no sense at all, if you could prove one thing to be fact with this numerology then the whole bible clicks into place and there is a god

Firstly prove it to be more than a coincidence, you cant

As i said before this goes back to the end of the 19th century with the work of Ivan Nikolayevitsh Panin's numerology work on the bible. that was just as weak an argument and never convinced more than a few

So why would a god bother to do this, either you believe the so called god's word as it is written or you doubt it enough to search for proof

I never understand the lengths some people will go to to re-assure themselves that a god exists, when for athiests, its obvious that he doesn't without any research needed, just be looking at the world around them and seeing the suffering of innocent children (if you proved to me that a god did exist then i'd still turn my back of the sick a-hole anyway)

If you have no doubt of gods existence then why are you looking for proof?

17. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
By what criteria? Isn't what I've shown you extraordinary enough?
by my own criteria of credulity - and no, i'm not convinced

18. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
scientistphilosophertheist wrote

Do these people have a life?
That's an ad hominem attack. I'm not particularly bothered about it. I referred to it in an attempt to forestall any further such comments.

bluetriangle
Sorry for what seemed to be an ad hominem attack. Note that this was also directed to the poster directly above me. While I admit that I wanted to convey such a tone, I must say that was not the sole purpose of my post: my post carried much more truth than your original post. My post was not a question, but rather a statement with deep implications.

Let us examin the 'statement':
Originally Posted by I
Do these people have a life?
Certainly at first glance this is an ad hominem statement; however, if you were to look at such threads as the one presented in my previous post, you will see the intense truth to this statement. Further deep analysis of the statement also reveals that it is not at all ad hominem, but rather a display of respect. Even further analysis reveals that the statement is simply a test of intelligence, which, sad to say, you failed, thus being the stereotypical theists that atheists have typed up.

But before I go into detail about the truth of the statement, let me first go into detail about the meaning of the statement. The statement is an expression of the awe with which I read posts such as yours. The statement carries the questions: 'how do people recognise these patterns?' And, 'how do people find the time to do such things?'

Now, insofar as the statement realises that it takes time and effort to recognise such a pattern, the statement is true, as I am certain that whoever recognized these patterns (whether it be you or someone else) used a lot of effort to recognize them. Seeing as your statement that these patterns are a proof of ID may very well be false, and my statement is more than likely true, we can conclude that my statement, "do these people have a life", contains a lot more truth than your statement.

Insofar as the statement respects your time and effort so as to display awe at your work, the statement is one of respect, rather than ad hominem. At this point, I must point out that it is you, not I, that have insulted people in this thread. First and foremost, you falsely accused everyone of attacking your person, without apologising when marnixR pointed out that you were indeed wrong. Secondly, you try to make everyone seem like idiots by saying your ideas are correct and theirs is not. Note that I only said your idea is probably not correct, and even tried to dissuade you from making a fool of yourself by trying to impose them on these people. I even went so far as to call you my friend. You have also insulted science by posting patterns on a science forum, and taking them to be some way of determining truths. Thus, I reiterate that it is you, not I, that have done the insulting.

The statement is a test. I wanted to see whether you would see it as it is: an ad hominem attack, or see it as it really is: a statement that expresses awe and respect, as well as tests your analysis skills. You saw it as it is; and thus, I must say that your intelligence is lower than I initially thought it to be (and I initially thought it to be high, as only high intelligence people can recognize such patterns).
------------------------------------------------------------

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19. Hi captaincaveman

one thing you have failed to take into account is that pi is an old discovery and if it was more than a coincidence(which i doubt), then the knowledge was already there when the bible was written
True, but pi was not known to the degree of accuracy displayed in Genesis 1:1. Furthermore, this argument ignores the encodings of e and alpha. How would you explain them, other than fantastic coincidence?

I dont see how this equates to proof of ID? thats jumping to massive conclusions and very un-scientific
It's not proof, it's evidence, the first page of a whole raft of similar finds. Based on that evidence I am postulating the existence of an intelligence that can influence the evolution of language and the writing of at least a few texts text - the scriptures that became the Bible - to a remarkable degree. Indeed, this intelligence obviously wishes to communicate something to us, about itself and about the Bible.

with respect the majority of the scientific world see numerology as a pseudomathematics subject and not something that warrants serious consideration
I would define numerology differently from you, but even if you call it numerology, that hardly invalidates it. It matters not a whit what the scientific world thinks of numerology: what matters is whether it has any validity.

what your talking about is old news going back to Ivan Nikolayevitsh Panin's work from the late 19th to mid 20th century
I have seen a little of Panin's work and I think some (but not all) of it may be genuine findings.

Bluetriangle

20. Hi scientistphilosophertheist,

My friend, God didn't purposefully encode this information; and thus, it's due solely to chance, and in no way proves intelligent design, but rather proves that things (such as emergence of life) can happen solely by chance.
You are simply stating an opinion here. You are assuming to be true something that you only believe (that God didn't purposefully encode the information), and reaching a conclusion based on that (its due to chance). Of course, it could be that chance is stranger than we currently imagine, but, as we (or at least I and some others) currently understand chance, the numbers should not be there.

Tell me: why would God want to encode this information?
I have never stated that God encoded the information, simply that an unknown intelligence did. And I cannot tell you why it was done; only the intelligence itself could tell you why. I would speculate that this intelligence wishes to reveal something of itself to us. It may also be validating, or at least honouring, Scripture.

Edit: I'd advise you to stop trying to convince these folk that it's more than a coincidence, or this thread will continue to devolve into nothing but ridicule of your person. Have you seen this thread?
Thanks for the advice, but I am perfectly aware of what may come my way and prepared for it. I have seen some of that thread and I think it perfectly reasonable that the Quran would be encoded in the same way as the Bible.

Bluetriangle

21. sorry i'll re-phrase

I don't see how it equates to evidence of ID, its just jumping to massive conclusions and very un-scientific, its the old pulling legs off spiders conclusion

a scientist in a lab with a spider, he shouts "boo" the spider jumps, he repeats again "boo", the spider jumps again. He then pulls the legs off the spider and again "boo", the spider doesn't jump, Therefore the scientist says, "pulling the legs off spiders makes them deaf"
Hoipefully you see what im saying, even if the numerology you have done does give pi to 4decimal points, it doesn't show anything that points to ID, thats just the conclusion youve made based on your faith, to others its just a weak coincidence based on the massive amount of text you have to play with, the two points you claim to be the upmost important could be anyother points based on some other theological conclusion

I would define numerology differently from you, but even if you call it numerology, that hardly invalidates it. It matters not a whit what the scientific world thinks of numerology: what matters is whether it has any validity.

correct me if im wrong but this is the dictionary definition of numerology not the scientific worlds

The study of the occult meanings of numbers and their supposed influence on human life

22. Hi captaincaveman,

Quote:
If only 1% of such claims had substance the case for codes would be made. William James said "If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white." I believe the white crow may have been found

that makes no sense at all, if you could prove one thing to be fact with this numerology then the whole bible clicks into place and there is a god
Oh but it does make sense. William James' dictum applies very precisely here. If there is just one piece of encoded information in the Bible then there has to be an encoder. The question is: who?

Despite what you say, proof of a code does not prove that the Bible 'clicks into place and there is a God'. It only proves there is an encoder. Because e and alpha were unknown until the 17th and 20th centuries respectively, the encoder could not have been the writers, who lived long before then. Neither would it prove that the Bible is entirely true, although it might suggest that the Bible is an important document.

Firstly prove it to be more than a coincidence, you cant
You're right, I can't prove that. But then, neither can any scientific discovery be proven. The scientific method can disprove but never prove. Even in mathematics, some conjectures are undecidable.

As i said before this goes back to the end of the 19th century with the work of Ivan Nikolayevitsh Panin's numerology work on the bible. that was just as weak an argument and never convinced more than a few
The evidence and his presentation of it are two different things. Convincing a few was quite an achievement, given people's resistance to new ideas.

So why would a god bother to do this, either you believe the so called god's word as it is written or you doubt it enough to search for proof
For the first part, see my earlier answer. Why do I have to believe God's word as it is written? There are parts of the Bible that are obviously not literally true (and were never meant to be taken literally). I do believe that it may not all be the work of man, however.

I never understand the lengths some people will go to to re-assure themselves that a god exists, when for athiests, its obvious that he doesn't without any research needed, just be looking at the world around them and seeing the suffering of innocent children (if you proved to me that a god did exist then i'd still turn my back of the sick a-hole anyway)
Why does the existence of suffering negate the possibility of a God? If there is a God, how do you know he is responsible for suffering?

If you have no doubt of gods existence then why are you looking for proof?
I'm not looking for proof. I and others have made discoveries which we think are extremely interesting in themselves and which may have a substantial impact on the debate about our origins, the nature of reality, the importance of the Bible and, yes, the question of whether there is a God.

Bluetriangle

23. Interesting...
Originally Posted by bluetriangle
My friend, God didn't purposefully encode this information; and thus, it's due solely to chance, and in no way proves intelligent design, but rather proves that things (such as emergence of life) can happen solely by chance.
You are simply stating an opinion here. You are assuming to be true something that you only believe (that God didn't purposefully encode the information), and reaching a conclusion based on that (its due to chance). Of course, it could be that chance is stranger than we currently imagine, but, as we (or at least I and some others) currently understand chance, the numbers should not be there.
In the words of geezer, Ok...lol.

Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Tell me: why would God want to encode this information?
I have never stated that God encoded the information, simply that an unknown intelligence did. And I cannot tell you why it was done; only the intelligence itself could tell you why. I would speculate that this intelligence wishes to reveal something of itself to us. It may also be validating, or at least honouring, Scripture.
Wait...so you're telling me that this unknown intelligence encoded this information for some unknow reason? Ok... Along those lines, the reason FSM is 22 letters and atheist is 7 letters would also be because of this being, correct? (no ridicule, just simple discussion)

Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Edit: I'd advise you to stop trying to convince these folk that it's more than a coincidence, or this thread will continue to devolve into nothing but ridicule of your person. Have you seen this thread?
Thanks for the advice, but I am perfectly aware of what may come my way and prepared for it. I have seen some of that thread and I think it perfectly reasonable that the Quran would be encoded in the same way as the Bible.

Bluetriangle
Glad to know you're prepared for the ridicule. Look out especially for captaincaveman...he loves using smilie faces to provoke people. :wink:

24. Glad to know you're prepared for the ridicule. Look out especially for captaincaveman...he loves using smilie faces to provoke people.
now weve gone over the reason for smilies dude , they are used to convey emotions in text . if you feel provoked by them its not from my intentions

see i only used 3 and no provoking intended

oops make that 4

25. marnixR,

bluetriangle wrote:
By what criteria? Isn't what I've shown you extraordinary enough?

by my own criteria of credulity - and no, i'm not convinced
Well, we all have our own criteria for what is credible, but we should be careful to apply it consistently, otherwise we are simply using it to reinforce our belief systems. It has already been shown that researchers who investigate paranormal phenomena are subject to much more rigorous review by their (scientifically orthodox) peers than those publishing research within orthodox areas of scientific investigation. Why? Because they threaten the worldview of scientific materialism. There is nothing so painful as paradigms lost.

You may not be convinced marnixR, but don't you at least find it worthy of investigation? (There is far more to digest than the morsels I've already thrown you). Anyone of normal curiosity - and science is the playground of the curious - would surely be intrigued by the possibility of a mathematical substructure encoded beneath the plaintext words of Scripture. Doesn't it pique your interest? If it has then you're hiding it well. If not, one has to ask why?

If you and your fellow posters really are dedicated to truth, as your presence on this forum suggests, then can you, with integrity, turn your back on this phenomenon without at least looking into it?

Bluetriangle

26. captaincaveman,

I don't see how it equates to evidence of ID, its just jumping to massive conclusions and very un-scientific, its the old pulling legs off spiders conclusion

Quote:
a scientist in a lab with a spider, he shouts "boo" the spider jumps, he repeats again "boo", the spider jumps again. He then pulls the legs off the spider and again "boo", the spider doesn't jump, Therefore the scientist says, "pulling the legs off spiders makes them deaf"

Hoipefully you see what im saying, even if the numerology you have done does give pi to 4decimal points, it doesn't show anything that points to ID, thats just the conclusion youve made based on your faith, to others its just a weak coincidence based on the massive amount of text you have to play with, the two points you claim to be the upmost important could be anyother points based on some other theological conclusion
I get your spider analogy. But I am not jumping (no pun intented) to any conclusions. It's like this: either the numbers are there by chance or by intelligent design. If chance can be shown to be unlikely, then intelligent design (human or otherwise) is the only other explanation available.

Let me tell you why I think it's not chance.

1. The probability of the numbers appearing in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 are 1 in 100000 each. Because each is independent of the other the odds of both occuring are 1 in 10 billion. Of course there are 31000 verses in the Bible, which would reduce the odds considerably. However, the odds against any two verses in the Bible encoding these numbers would, I am sure, still be low.

2. The numbers do not appear in obscure places. They are found in the very first verse of the Bible and in the first verse of John, which reflects it. These are sweeping metaphysical statements about our origins and about the nature of reality and as such are two of the bible's most significant verses. In their intended meaning for us and in their high-profile locations, they tower over almost every other other verse. Why is it the numbers just happen to be there? As soon as you factor meaning into the equation the answer is obvious: because only an intelligent being would recognise meaning. Chance does not. therefore this is evidence for the work of an intelligent designer.

3. The Bible itself is the single most important written document in existence, and still the world's best selling book, having massive influence over our values, worldview, art, music, architecture, literature, as well as providing spiritual sustenance for billions of people of faith over the last 2000 years.

I'm not making any theological conclusions here. I'm simply stating that if some intelligence were to want to make itself known through the encoding of the written word, where better to place its calling card than the bible?

Quote:
I would define numerology differently from you, but even if you call it numerology, that hardly invalidates it. It matters not a whit what the scientific world thinks of numerology: what matters is whether it has any validity.

correct me if im wrong but this is the dictionary definition of numerology not the scientific worlds

Quote:
The study of the occult meanings of numbers and their supposed influence on human life[/quote]

This says that numbers have occult (hidden) meanings in themselves and that this can influence us in some way. For instance, numerologists say that one's birth numbers influence one's life, etc. I don't agree. For me, numbers mean nothing more than the value they represent. However, numbers can be woven into our life through synchronicity (meaningful coincidence). The phenomana I've shown you are simply an extraordinary example of synchronicity.

Bluetriangle

27. Numerology is in the same field as astrology and the like, i dont understand why you cant understand that people dont see the amazing phenomenon that you see, to me its nothing more than a weak coincidence and doesn't warrant any further inverstigation.

My observation/opinion of it is just that, humans looking for hidden messages in the ordinary and adjusting their findings to fit their own belief system, that doesn't make me closed minded to the idea just happy with my explanation of whats there.

think about what you have done, youve used numerology with the hebrew from english text. that gives you the oppertunity to use both english and hebrew to search for coincidences before publishing your findings, if that failed there are other ways to use numerology, different methods like digit summing, then the human mind(with the right motivation), can search for these coincidences

28. scientistphilosophertheist,

Wait...so you're telling me that this unknown intelligence encoded this information for some unknow reason? Ok... Along those lines, the reason FSM is 22 letters and atheist is 7 letters would also be because of this being, correct? (no ridicule, just simple discussion)
This is illogical. There is no connection between these two ideas (FSM and atheist), therefore no meaning in the numbers extracted from them, giving a meaningless 22/7. That is why the example was chosen in the first place.

The difference with the phenomenon I am showing you is that there is a meaningful relationship between the Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. On top of that they are very important, very high profile verses.

And yes, I'm telling you that an unknown intellignece placed the numbers there for an unknown reason. To arrive at any more far-reaching conclusion would be unscientific. One could, however, speculate...

Bluetriangle

29. captaincaveman,

Numerology is in the same field as astrology and the like, i dont understand why you cant understand that people dont see the amazing phenomenon that you see, to me its nothing more than a weak coincidence and doesn't warrant any further inverstigation.
By calling it 'numerology' then comparing it with astrology you're simply trying to pigeonhole it along with New Age practices. This is not the same as classic numerology. Numerologists don't find pi, e, alpha and figurate numbers in their investigations. This is much closer to gematria, which is practiced by kabbalists, although it isn't even that. I shouldn't be surprised; my own camp call anything pagan, such as wicca, 'satanism', which is a gross misrepresentation of their beliefs.

My observation/opinion of it is just that, humans looking for hidden messages in the ordinary and adjusting their findings to fit their own belief system, that doesn't make me closed minded to the idea just happy with my explanation of whats there.
Exactly how have the finding been 'adjusted'? And as for belief systems, has it ever occurred to you that atheism itself is a nothing more than a belief system?

think about what you have done, youve used numerology with the hebrew from english text. that gives you the oppertunity to use both english and hebrew to search for coincidences before publishing your findings, if that failed there are other ways to use numerology, different methods like digit summing, then the human mind(with the right motivation), can search for these coincidences
I have applied the Hebrew system of numeration to the English language, just as the Greek system was originally adapted to the Hebrew language. The point is, it seems to work.

Bluetriangle

30. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
scientistphilosophertheist,

Wait...so you're telling me that this unknown intelligence encoded this information for some unknow reason? Ok... Along those lines, the reason FSM is 22 letters and atheist is 7 letters would also be because of this being, correct? (no ridicule, just simple discussion)
This is illogical. There is no connection between these two ideas (FSM and atheist), therefore no meaning in the numbers extracted from them, giving a meaningless 22/7. That is why the example was chosen in the first place.

The difference with the phenomenon I am showing you is that there is a meaningful relationship between the Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. On top of that they are very important, very high profile verses.

And yes, I'm telling you that an unknown intellignece placed the numbers there for an unknown reason. To arrive at any more far-reaching conclusion would be unscientific. One could, however, speculate...

Bluetriangle
yes there is a link between FSM and athiesm, the fsm is a athiest idea to ridicule the teaching of ID over conventional evolution teachings

31. By calling it 'numerology' then comparing it with astrology you're simply trying to pigeonhole it along with New Age practices. This is not the same as classic numerology. Numerologists don't find pi, e, alpha and figurate numbers in their investigations. This is much closer to gematria, which is practiced by kabbalists, although it isn't even that. I shouldn't be surprised; my own camp call anything pagan, such as wicca, 'satanism', which is a gross misrepresentation of their beliefs.

With respect, nemerology is numerology, i can help it if you dont agree with the wording because it links it to new age practices. the fact is thats exactly what it is

Exactly how have the finding been 'adjusted'? And as for belief systems, has it ever occurred to you that atheism itself is a nothing more than a belief system?
try a different method for you calculations, there are many ways to convert letters to numbers and interpret them, youve only used one, try another and you will find a different answer, one that wont be so "amazing"

Also how is athiesm a belief system??? this ones been covered numerous times too. would you prefer the terminology "Nontheism"?

32. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
You may not be convinced marnixR, but don't you at least find it worthy of investigation?
life's too short to examine everything that crosses your path
so in cases like this i make a quick back-of-a-fag-packet estimate of the probability that on further examination anything of value will turn up

when i perceive this probability to be low, i save my efforts for more worthwhile causes

sorry, but yours failed the test

33. Captaincaveman,

yes there is a link between FSM and athiesm, the fsm is a athiest idea to ridicule the teaching of ID over conventional evolution teachings
This is silliness. Don't demean yourself in this way.

With respect, nemerology is numerology, i can help it if you dont agree with the wording because it links it to new age practices. the fact is thats exactly what it is
The point is, you are using the term in a derogatory way, linking these discoveries to practices of ill-repute in scientific circles, so as to undermine their credibility. I'm not really much interested in what it's called, only whether it has substance.

Quote:
Exactly how have the finding been 'adjusted'? And as for belief systems, has it ever occurred to you that atheism itself is a nothing more than a belief system?

try a different method for you calculations, there are many ways to convert letters to numbers and interpret them, youve only used one, try another and you will find a different answer, one that wont be so "amazing"
But that's the point! The numeration method used is the very one the Greeks and Hebrews used to convey numbers (just like Roman numerals). We didn't go through every possible system until we found one that works. The first one tried - the obvious first choice because it is a long-established system (although the Greek and Hebrew variants are adjusted for these respective languages) - was the one that worked.

Also how is athiesm a belief system??? this ones been covered numerous times too. would you prefer the terminology "Nontheism"?
Of course atheism is a belief system. It is, in general, the belief that there is no God. However, there are two types of atheist. Type 1 believes there is no God because that's what they want to believe (although the reasons for this view are many). Type 2 believes there is no God because they think the evidence is against this being so. Either way, it is a belief. Those who wish to avoid the pitfalls of falling into any belief system usually call themselves agnostics. Without enough evidence either way (or internal knowledge - gnosis) this is the most sensible position to take. I was once very close to being an atheist myself (I called myself 'an agnostic who tends towards atheism') , having rejected the teachings of my Baptist church, so I understand how type-2 atheists in a Christian culture think. They believe (rightly) that the stories passed onto them at church as 'Christianity' cannot be literally true, because they eventually become perceptive enough to see through them. Therefore they make the often courageous decision to reject them and embrace a larger worldview. They become doubters and may spend the rest of their lives as agnostics or atheists. They are often good people and are usually more spiritually developed (if they but knew it) than the average churchgoing Christian.

I have great respect for them, but I now know that there is a step beyond doubt to knowledge of God - the real God, not the God of church teaching. This can only come through personal growth and it comes in the same way as the rejection of literalist teachings: through a growing awareness of the falsity of one's current worldview. Eventually a point is reached where the old worldview - previously comforting and secure - becomes a stifling wall. The individual pushes against this restriction until the wall crumbles like an egg and new vistas are revealed.

The information I have shown here is probably not enough to convince any of you of the reality of a Creator (or at least some kind of higher intelligence) but, in some cases, where the individual is ready for it, it may produce another crack in the wall of whatever worldview is currently restricting them.

Bluetriangle

34. The point is, you are using the term in a derogatory way, linking these discoveries to practices of ill-repute in scientific circles, so as to undermine their credibility. I'm not really much interested in what it's called, only whether it has substance.
im not using it in anyway more than it is, its a term used to describe exactly what your doing. nothing more, nothing less

And with the subject of athiesm, im using the term in the sense of not believing in a diety, god or any other fictional characters(then were back to the flying spagheti monster again), your using the age old method of saying "i believe there is not god, therefore that is a belief system" , yes in those terms it is, but its a totally different belief

to brake it down

Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities

the "a" denotes lack of.....

therefore

atheism=lack of belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities

athiesm doesn't mean lack of belief in anything, ideas, principles etc but it does denote the lack of belief in any theism. I know what your getting at though, and no im not agnostic. im not type on or type two, im more type 3(eg both lol), i strongly believe there is no god, in any size shape or form, i believe there is no ID, i have no interest in god(s) in any more than an interest in the social side and the psychology involved. I believe its an old system that was needed to explain the world around us to a less understanding population and to some this is a comfort blanket thats too hard to give up

It may be a contraversial statement, but i believe athiests have evolved past the need for religion, others will catch up

I have great respect for them, but I now know that there is a step beyond doubt to knowledge of God - the real God, not the God of church teaching. This can only come through personal growth and it comes in the same way as the rejection of literalist teachings: through a growing awareness of the falsity of one's current worldview. Eventually a point is reached where the old worldview - previously comforting and secure - becomes a stifling wall. The individual pushes against this restriction until the wall crumbles like an egg and new vistas are revealed.

The information I have shown here is probably not enough to convince any of you of the reality of a Creator (or at least some kind of higher intelligence) but, in some cases, where the individual is ready for it, it may produce another crack in the wall of whatever worldview is currently restricting them.
Now this is where you fall down to the level of every other preacher i come into contact with, this whole "restricting wall stopping us from seeing the reality" bs, Religion is the biggest wall ever created by man to restrict the real views of the world, i think its religion that should look at the cotton wool protection that stops it from seeing reality, it was(and is in some countrys), a control system that was at the heart of society, in many western cultures its just a fringe

as karl marx once said:-

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people

35. captaincaveman,

Quote:
The point is, you are using the term in a derogatory way, linking these discoveries to practices of ill-repute in scientific circles, so as to undermine their credibility. I'm not really much interested in what it's called, only whether it has substance.

im not using it in anyway more than it is, its a term used to describe exactly what your doing. nothing more, nothing less
Yes, but you wouldn't have mentioned the word 'numerology' unless you thought it would help your argument in some way. I once tried to show a minister what I found and he dismissed it all with the put-down 'it's numerology'. You are doing the same.

And with the subject of athiesm, im using the term in the sense of not believing in a diety, god or any other fictional characters(then were back to the flying spagheti monster again), your using the age old method of saying "i believe there is not god, therefore that is a belief system" , yes in those terms it is, but its a totally different belief...

athiesm doesn't mean lack of belief in anything, ideas, principles etc but it does denote the lack of belief in any theism.
Atheism is a position: there is no God. Since one cannot prove there is no God (because, for instance, God may have decided not to show up in your life for the present), one has to hold to this position without knowing it to be true. This is inductive reasoning, which can be overturned at any moment if God decided to reveal himself to you. Therefore there is no justification at all for holding to it. It is a dogmatic assertion, nothing less. Atheists are, in their own way, fundamentalists and need to be treated as such.

Oh, and by the way, atheism is unscientific. Science is also built on inductive reasoning and scientists (real ones anyway) are careful not to dogmatically assert any hypothesis, theory or even law. This is why science has triumphed over dogmatic religion. As Robert Pirsig says "The pencil is mightier than the pen."

It may be a contraversial statement, but i believe athiests have evolved past the need for religion, others will catch up
Partially correct. Atheists (or the best of you) have evolved past the need for literalistic religious belief. You have flung away the psychological crutches of religious dogma and begun to think for yourselves. Since we live in a materialistic, atomised society, cut off from each other and nature by the shutters of technology, you have adopted an astringent but despairing philosophy that reflects your psychological condition. But there are cracks in the false reality we have created, through which glimpses of a larger world can be seen. It's a little like the film The Matrix.

Quote:
I have great respect for them, but I now know that there is a step beyond doubt to knowledge of God - the real God, not the God of church teaching. This can only come through personal growth and it comes in the same way as the rejection of literalist teachings: through a growing awareness of the falsity of one's current worldview. Eventually a point is reached where the old worldview - previously comforting and secure - becomes a stifling wall. The individual pushes against this restriction until the wall crumbles like an egg and new vistas are revealed.

The information I have shown here is probably not enough to convince any of you of the reality of a Creator (or at least some kind of higher intelligence) but, in some cases, where the individual is ready for it, it may produce another crack in the wall of whatever worldview is currently restricting them.

Now this is where you fall down to the level of every other preacher i come into contact with, this whole "restricting wall stopping us from seeing the reality" bs, Religion is the biggest wall ever created by man to restrict the real views of the world, i think its religion that should look at the cotton wool protection that stops it from seeing reality, it was(and is in some countrys), a control system that was at the heart of society, in many western cultures its just a fringe
I agree with you to a large extent. I don't have much time for religion either. Although I understand why many people currently need it.

as karl marx once said:-

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people
Karl Marx created a monstrous, inhuman ideology that, when translated into systems of government, matched the worst religious regimes for oppression, thought control and brutality. He is totally discredited.

Bluetriangle

36. I think I'm going to step away from this discussion now.

37. Oh, and by the way, atheism is unscientific. Science is also built on inductive reasoning and scientists (real ones anyway) are careful not to dogmatically assert any hypothesis, theory or even law. This is why science has triumphed over dogmatic religion. As Robert Pirsig says "The pencil is mightier than the pen."

explain to me how atheism is unscientific? my world is based on the reaction and actions of forces, equations and laws that are repeatable and measurable(to some extent)

religion is the one thing thats un-scientific, its like a hypothesis without a single fact to back it up

Evolution has scattered many fragments throughout time that can be touched and with little understanding or imagination can make sense with the world around us. evolution doesn't have all the pieces but the many pieces that are known fit and make sense

Religion has the end product and no hard evidence to back up the hypothesis except for a couple of mouldy old books that has no author, date or validation to it

i know what my moneys on

But there are cracks in the false reality we have created, through which glimpses of a larger world can be seen
what cracks?, like this numerology?

Karl Marx created a monstrous, inhuman ideology that, when translated into systems of government, matched the worst religious regimes for oppression, thought control and brutality. He is totally discredited.
don't get me wrong, im no marxist be any strech of the imagination(i grew up in the 80's, capatalist paradise), but his quote on religion makes alot of sense, Even mad men can sometimes make sense, credit where credit is due, especially this quote

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again

38. another one walks away

39. marnixR and scientistphilosophertheist,

Goodbye - and remember, God loves you!

BT

40. captaincaveman,

Quote:
Oh, and by the way, atheism is unscientific.

explain to me how atheism is unscientific? my world is based on the reaction and actions of forces, equations and laws that are repeatable and measurable(to some extent)
It is unscientific because scientists are empiricists, who see sense data (whether or not augmented by scientific instruments) as the primary route to knowledge. Hypotheses are built upon this data which are conditional upon no conflicting data being received. If so, then the hypothesis is either scrapped or modified. Consequently, no theory can ever be absolute and final. Despite this, many scientists (being human) are disposed towards fundamentalism, Richard Dawkins being an excellent example. But even he does not go so far as to call himself an atheist. He simply states that 'there is very probably no God'. That is about as far as one can reasonably go.

To take an atheistic position (there is no God), therefore, is contrary to the scientific method. All one can say, like Dawkins, is that God 'probably doesn't exist', leaving the door open a crack for new data to be received - such as, say, pi, e, alpha found encoded within Scripture long before two of these constants had been discovered by humans.

religion is the one thing thats un-scientific, its like a hypothesis without a single fact to back it up
Yes, it is unscientific. Nevertheless, that doesn't make it untrue. Religion is, in sociobiological terms, a symbiotic association of intellectual, social and biological patterns, a complex social organism with great survival value. For Dawkins, it is a parasitic collection of memes, hitching a free ride in our minds.

Religion does have 'facts' to back it up, however, although those facts would seldom convince a scientist, because they are seldom repeatable - a necessity for any theory.

1. There are the visionary experiences of mystics the world over. In Christianity these include stigmatics, those who have experienced Marian visions, those who have experienced other miracles, those who claim that God speaks to them, those who have been miraculously healed, those who have experienced other visionary experiences. There are excellent examples of all of the above in the literature.

2. There are out-of-body and near-death experiences, many, if not most of which, describe spiritual realms. These include the many OBEs of the famous polymath Emmanuel Swedenborg.

3. There are mediums, who claim to speak to the spirits of the dead. The anecdotale evidence for this ability is impressive and has recently been put on a more scientific basis by Prof. Gary Schwartz. I recommend you look at his research. His credentials are impeccable and very impressive.

4. There are paranormal phenomena, currently unexplainable within the materialistic paradigm, which 'open the door' to a grander worldview. These include precognition, telepathy, claivoyance, remote viewing (the military funded research into it), bilocation, teleportation, telekinesis and other phenomena. Once again, there are volumes of evidence for these phenomena, although they are difficult (not impossible) to reproduce in laboratory settings. In addition, psychic research is subject to ferocious and unfair peer review, a mechanism similar to the body's production of white blood cells to mop up invading organisms. Such 'scientists' are part of the scientific establishment's 'cultural immune system', to borrow a phrase from Robert Pirsig (read his Zen And the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila, for classic, non-religious accounts of mystical experiences).

5. There is the positive effect of religion on people who had previously lived lives of disipation: alcoholics and drug addicts who are cured, etc. This suggests that religious belief promotes psychological health. There is something in the brain/mind that responds positively to belief in God. It makes us happier, healthier people. Of course, this could be because we are weaklings who need a crutch to get us through life. I used to believe that too, but now I see that this is itself a sick, elitist philosophy. Perhaps the human mind, at a subconscious level, is already in contact with God. The conflict between this inner knowledge and the conscious mind's programming by a materialistic, greedy, secular culture creates the cognitive disonance that produces or exacerbates many problems in the first place. Conscious belief in God may help people by resolving the inner turmoil. Excessively rational, left-brained types may simply be largely cut off from this 'inner knowing' and therefore experience less inner turmoil. Or they may be more selfish people.

Evolution has scattered many fragments throughout time that can be touched and with little understanding or imagination can make sense with the world around us. evolution doesn't have all the pieces but the many pieces that are known fit and make sense
Evolutionary theory is not repeatable either, so, strictly speaking, is not scientific either. By the way, I am an evolutionist, although I obviously feel that current evolutionary theory is not the whole story. There may be some interaction with a higher realm or consciousness, which manifests only in special circumstances - like the en passant rule in chess.

Religion has the end product and no hard evidence to back up the hypothesis except for a couple of mouldy old books that has no author, date or validation to it
Isn't pi, e and alpha a kind of validation?

Quote:
But there are cracks in the false reality we have created, through which glimpses of a larger world can be seen

what cracks?, like this numerology?
I've indicated where the cracks appear above: in mystical experiences, paranormal phenomena, etc. Also in encoded data within the Bible.

Quote:
Karl Marx created a monstrous, inhuman ideology that, when translated into systems of government, matched the worst religious regimes for oppression, thought control and brutality. He is totally discredited.

don't get me wrong, im no marxist be any strech of the imagination(i grew up in the 80's, capatalist paradise), but his quote on religion makes alot of sense, Even mad men can sometimes make sense, credit where credit is due, especially this quote

Quote:
Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again
Conceeded! I just wanted to write that about Marx. I myself have left-wing sympathies ( I grew up in the 60s and 70s), but Marxism was a disaster. I like your second quote. It speaks about the kind of people who have a conventional religious faith, from which they have either never escaped, or which they are using to escape from life. You can understand it though. As M. Scott Peck says in 'The Road Less travelled', Life is difficult.

Bluetriangle

41. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Goodbye - and remember, God loves you!
Remember also that he gets greatly pissed off when people fail to recognise chance occurences and ascribe them instead to His divine intervention.

Your figures for odds are badly misleading. You have chosen pi and e, why not the speed of light, or the ratio of gravitational to the nuclear strong force, or any other of thousands of important constants?

42. ophiolite,

Remember also that he gets greatly pissed off when people fail to recognise chance occurences and ascribe them instead to His divine intervention.
By this reckoning, he must be absolutely furious with atheists who do the opposite. At least some of us are advocating for him rather than consigning him to oblivion.

Your figures for odds are badly misleading. You have chosen pi and e, why not the speed of light, or the ratio of gravitational to the nuclear strong force, or any other of thousands of important constants?
I did not choose pi, e and alpha; they were the numbers that were found encoded within Scripture, as you should have realised. Nobody went out looking for these numbers. Vernon Jenkins (who is a retired mathematics lecturer) was shown the work of Ivan Panin and decided to investigate the Hebrew bible for himself. Applying the long-accepted Hebrew system of alphabetic numeration he found that the numerical value of Genesis 1:1 was 2701, which happens to be a unique triangular number. Further investigation revealed numbers that described the internal properties of this triangle, along with other significant numbers, including pi. Bevan Williams repeated the same procedure with John 1:1 and discovered e. Further work revealed alpha. These are not insignificant, obscure constants. Pi and e in particular are the brightest jewels in the crown of mathematics.

For all I know, the speed of light and other physical constants may well be there too. They just haven't been found yet.

One final point: Do I really have to explain this to you? Is it not obvious? Again and again on this thread I find myself explaining the obvious to those who should know better, or perhaps just haven't bothered to read the postings properly. Do you and the others represent scientific thinking on this forum? If so, it's in a bad way.

Bluetriangle

43. It is unscientific because scientists are empiricists, who see sense data (whether or not augmented by scientific instruments) as the primary route to knowledge. Hypotheses are built upon this data which are conditional upon no conflicting data being received. If so, then the hypothesis is either scrapped or modified. Consequently, no theory can ever be absolute and final. Despite this, many scientists (being human) are disposed towards fundamentalism, Richard Dawkins being an excellent example. But even he does not go so far as to call himself an atheist. He simply states that 'there is very probably no God'. That is about as far as one can reasonably go.

To take an atheistic position (there is no God), therefore, is contrary to the scientific method. All one can say, like Dawkins, is that God 'probably doesn't exist', leaving the door open a crack for new data to be received - such as, say, pi, e, alpha found encoded within Scripture long before two of these constants had been discovered by humans.
this is where we dont see, eye to eye. Ive seen many articles about dawkins where he does call himself an athiest, though he goes onto say hes not a fundametalist athiest. read many of the articles on his site and you will see he always leans towards athiesm and never toward agnosticism

Yes i agree with your comments about nothing measured or recorded can be absolute or final, but this is the scientific way of doing it, based on the findings and is fluid enough to move with different data, or improvements in technology. This is where religion fails as it is a strict unmovable "facts" based on the writing in one book(or books depending) and cannot be adjusted as this is the one true voice

Your coment of an athiests postition "there is no god", yes this is scientific based on the facts avaliable upto yet, if a god stamps his foot down on the white house in a monty python style, then there is something solid to change the opinions of athiests, that stands with all aspects of science anyway

your numerology example isn't credible data that is astounding enough to change the views of non-believers, exactly the same as if a grainy picture turned up of a alien would be enough evidence for aliens walking the earth

Religion does have 'facts' to back it up, however, although those facts would seldom convince a scientist, because they are seldom repeatable - a necessity for any theory.
religion doesn't have the facts, religion assumes it has the facts, but as you say if its unrepeatable or can be explained by other means it wont sway anyone

1. There are the visionary experiences of mystics the world over. In Christianity these include stigmatics, those who have experienced Marian visions, those who have experienced other miracles, those who claim that God speaks to them, those who have been miraculously healed, those who have experienced other visionary experiences. There are excellent examples of all of the above in the literature.
Nothing more than psychological or mental issues based on someones on views or beliefs and totally unprovable one way or the other

2. There are out-of-body and near-death experiences, many, if not most of which, describe spiritual realms. These include the many OBEs of the famous polymath Emmanuel Swedenborg
Again, as above, i also remember something about chemicals released at the point of death that were found to behallucinogenic (sp), but that may not be correct, so just use above

3. There are mediums, who claim to speak to the spirits of the dead. The anecdotale evidence for this ability is impressive and has recently been put on a more scientific basis by Prof. Gary Schwartz. I recommend you look at his research. His credentials are impeccable and very impressive.
Again unprovable either way and un measurable

4. There are paranormal phenomena, currently unexplainable within the materialistic paradigm, which 'open the door' to a grander worldview. These include precognition, telepathy, claivoyance, remote viewing (the military funded research into it), bilocation, teleportation, telekinesis and other phenomena. Once again, there are volumes of evidence for these phenomena, although they are difficult (not impossible) to reproduce in laboratory settings. In addition, psychic research is subject to ferocious and unfair peer review, a mechanism similar to the body's production of white blood cells to mop up invading organisms. Such 'scientists' are part of the scientific establishment's 'cultural immune system', to borrow a phrase from Robert Pirsig (read his Zen And the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila, for classic, non-religious accounts of mystical experiences).
again unprovable, even the military dropped it

5. There is the positive effect of religion on people who had previously lived lives of disipation: alcoholics and drug addicts who are cured, etc. This suggests that religious belief promotes psychological health. There is something in the brain/mind that responds positively to belief in God. It makes us happier, healthier people. Of course, this could be because we are weaklings who need a crutch to get us through life. I used to believe that too, but now I see that this is itself a sick, elitist philosophy. Perhaps the human mind, at a subconscious level, is already in contact with God. The conflict between this inner knowledge and the conscious mind's programming by a materialistic, greedy, secular culture creates the cognitive disonance that produces or exacerbates many problems in the first place. Conscious belief in God may help people by resolving the inner turmoil. Excessively rational, left-brained types may simply be largely cut off from this 'inner knowing' and therefore experience less inner turmoil. Or they may be more selfish people.
again a psychological issue, that has been proved to be false. there was a famous case of a double blind test that proved this to be false

have you ever read the great prayer experiment? russell stannard with the templeton foundation, that shows religious placebos for what they are

Im sorry, but not one of those examples are provable or testable and thats why they now reside in dusty old text books and in the realms of pseudoscience history of the past, honestly i was expecting something a little more credible than some peoples personal experiences and psychological effects based on a belief system

Evolutionary theory is not repeatable either, so, strictly speaking, is not scientific either. By the way, I am an evolutionist, although I obviously feel that current evolutionary theory is not the whole story. There may be some interaction with a higher realm or consciousness, which manifests only in special circumstances - like the en passant rule in chess.
evolution is on-going so obviously un-repeatable, but it can be clearly seen in many aspects of science, bacterial resistance being one

Isn't pi, e and alpha a kind of validation?
definetely not, no. As ive mentioned before this has no credibility at all, purely a coincidence based on numerology( and not a strong one at that). thats no way near validation

I've indicated where the cracks appear above: in mystical experiences, paranormal phenomena, etc. Also in encoded data within the Bible.
As above, i knew this is what you were trying to say when you mentioned cracks, If anything all this "crack" allows me to see is the desperation and straw clutching of religion, so yeah its help me see alot further into the mindset of a religious person. and to be honest thats all it will do to anyone who isn't religious

44. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
I did not choose pi, e and alpha; they were the numbers that were found encoded within Scripture, as you should have realised.
For all I know, the speed of light and other physical constants may well be there too. They just haven't been found yet.
One final point: Do I really have to explain this to you? Is it not obvious? Again and again on this thread I find myself explaining the obvious to those who should know better, or perhaps just haven't bothered to read the postings properly. Do you and the others represent scientific thinking on this forum? If so, it's in a bad way.
Bluetriangle
I find your italicised remarks to be gratuitously offensive. If I placed any particular value on your opinion I would be insulted. However, since you have merely proven that you are not so good at systematic, logical thought, I shall happily forgive you on this occasion.

Point 1: There an abundant number of numbers to which we could attach significance. Let me posit that there are at least five thousand such numbers.
Point 2: Now any one of these numbers might appear, randomly, encoded within Genesis.
Point 3: The odds against any individual number appearing might indeed be ten thousand to one, as you suggest. We can agree on that.
Point 4: The odds, however, that at least one of these numbers will appear is reduced to the order of two to one.
Point 5: The odds that a similar significant number appear elsewhere in the Bible as well, is then reduced not to billions to one, but to around four to one.
Point 6: Four to one odds being met seems to offer little evidence for divine intervention.
Point 7: Next time, before you adopt such a self righteous patronising attitude have the good sense and the good grace to understand what you are talking about.

Yours, in expectation of a noxious reply,
Ophiolite

45. captaincaveman,

Quote:
To take an atheistic position (there is no God), therefore, is contrary to the scientific method. All one can say, like Dawkins, is that God 'probably doesn't exist', leaving the door open a crack for new data to be received - such as, say, pi, e, alpha found encoded within Scripture long before two of these constants had been discovered by humans.

this is where we dont see, eye to eye. Ive seen many articles about dawkins where he does call himself an athiest, though he goes onto say hes not a fundametalist athiest. read many of the articles on his site and you will see he always leans towards athiesm and never toward agnosticism
I'm not saying dawkins isn't an atheist, just that he doesn't cstegorically state: "There is no God." this is because he knows it is unscientific to do so.

Yes i agree with your comments about nothing measured or recorded can be absolute or final, but this is the scientific way of doing it, based on the findings and is fluid enough to move with different data, or improvements in technology. This is where religion fails as it is a strict unmovable "facts" based on the writing in one book(or books depending) and cannot be adjusted as this is the one true voice
I agree with your comments on religion. However, many religions begin with a founder who is highly spiritually developed (Jesus, Buddha, etc). The insights gained by the founder and his high degree of spiritual development attract followers, who occasionally found a religion based on the teachings. The religion, over time, becomes a static body of dogmas, often very different from the original teachings, and often splitting into an exoteric part, pitched at the level of the average person, and an esoteric part, where the original teachings are more likely to be found and even developed.

Incidentally, many of your criticisms of religion are really criticisms of exoteric religion, which is often a travesty of the original teachings.

your numerology example isn't credible data that is astounding enough to change the views of non-believers, exactly the same as if a grainy picture turned up of a alien would be enough evidence for aliens walking the earth
But that's just it! There is much more evidence available, if only you would look! See Vernon Jenkin's website

http://homepage.virgin.net/vernon.jenkins/index.htm

Quote:
Religion does have 'facts' to back it up, however, although those facts would seldom convince a scientist, because they are seldom repeatable - a necessity for any theory.

religion doesn't have the facts, religion assumes it has the facts, but as you say if its unrepeatable or can be explained by other means it wont sway anyone
Many of the experiences/synchronicities/signs that lead people to become religious are often not repeatable because they are for that person only, part of his or her own personal journey back to God. Because they are often indicators of spiritual growth they are not for everyone.

Having said that, many other evidences are available for everyone. I believe the encodings Vernon jenkins and others, including myself, have found were found at this time because we are now ready for a great increase in spiritual knowledge: indeed we must now awaken as a species, because if we do not then we are probably doomed.

Quote:
1. There are the visionary experiences of mystics the world over. In Christianity these include stigmatics, those who have experienced Marian visions, those who have experienced other miracles, those who claim that God speaks to them, those who have been miraculously healed, those who have experienced other visionary experiences. There are excellent examples of all of the above in the literature.

Nothing more than psychological or mental issues based on someones on views or beliefs and totally unprovable one way or the other
Ones beliefs certainly colour the experience. Christians may see Christ (or Mary if they are Catholic), Muslims may see Mohammed, etc. I think the energy behind these experiences may be the same, but each person filters it through their own belief system.

It is in the nature of religious experience that it happens on a one-by-one basis. Those to whom it happens, however, will usually tell you that they are transformed. You may write off religious experiences as a type of mental disorder, but converts do not display the characteristics of the mentally ill. They need no medical treatment (other than what they may have needed before), typically they are happier than before, they have a new zest for life, they have a desire to help others, they adopt a more ethical set of values, a more optimistic worldview and a healthier lifestyle. Is this mental illness?

Quote:
3. There are mediums, who claim to speak to the spirits of the dead. The anecdotale evidence for this ability is impressive and has recently been put on a more scientific basis by Prof. Gary Schwartz. I recommend you look at his research. His credentials are impeccable and very impressive.

Again unprovable either way and un measurable
Look at the website of Gary Schwartz and see for yourself. Also see the incredible work of Stanislav Grof, co-founder of transpersonal psychology. I was absolutely astounded by his discoveries about the nature of consciousness.

The information mediums give is often very persuasive for the person concerned. The worst are probably little more than charlatans, but the best are astounding. I know one who is very good, if you want to try her.

Quote:
4. There are paranormal phenomena, currently unexplainable within the materialistic paradigm, which 'open the door' to a grander worldview. These include precognition, telepathy, claivoyance, remote viewing (the military funded research into it), bilocation, teleportation, telekinesis and other phenomena. Once again, there are volumes of evidence for these phenomena, although they are difficult (not impossible) to reproduce in laboratory settings. In addition, psychic research is subject to ferocious and unfair peer review, a mechanism similar to the body's production of white blood cells to mop up invading organisms. Such 'scientists' are part of the scientific establishment's 'cultural immune system', to borrow a phrase from Robert Pirsig (read his Zen And the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila, for classic, non-religious accounts of mystical experiences).

again unprovable, even the military dropped it
I don't know why they dropped it, but the fact remains that remote viewing works. See Courteny Brown's website (Dr. Brown is a professor at Emory university).

Quote:
have you ever read the great prayer experiment? russell stannard with the templeton foundation, that shows religious placebos for what they are
No I haven't. I'll look it up, though.

Im sorry, but not one of those examples are provable or testable and thats why they now reside in dusty old text books and in the realms of pseudoscience history of the past, honestly i was expecting something a little more credible than some peoples personal experiences and psychological effects based on a belief system
Okay, how about Kekule's hypnogogic vision of tail-eating snakes, which led to his discovery of benzene's ring structure?

Or the theorems of Ramanujan (arguably the most talented mathematician who ever lived), which he claimed were given to him in dreams?

Or Gordon Gould's internal vision of a symbolic structure that led to his theory of lasers, winning him a Nobel prize?

Many mathematical, scientific and technological discoveries were the result of non-rational inspiration.

Quote:
Isn't pi, e and alpha a kind of validation?

definetely not, no. As ive mentioned before this has no credibility at all, purely a coincidence based on numerology( and not a strong one at that). thats no way near validation
Do you truly believe that these numbers were simply the result of random action?

Quote:
I've indicated where the cracks appear above: in mystical experiences, paranormal phenomena, etc. Also in encoded data within the Bible.

As above, i knew this is what you were trying to say when you mentioned cracks, If anything all this "crack" allows me to see is the desperation and straw clutching of religion, so yeah its help me see alot further into the mindset of a religious person. and to be honest thats all it will do to anyone who isn't religious
I'm also seeing into your mindset - and I also have the advantage of previously having had a similar mindset. What I would say to you is keep an open mind about the spiritual matters and investigate for yourself. Don't let your thinking be coloured by the pronouncements of the little demigods like Dawkins (who I once admired), or by those in the ecclesiastical world either, for that matter. You will only find God by yourself.

Bluetriangle

46. Ophiolite,

bluetriangle wrote:

One final point: Do I really have to explain this to you? Is it not obvious? Again and again on this thread I find myself explaining the obvious to those who should know better, or perhaps just haven't bothered to read the postings properly. Do you and the others represent scientific thinking on this forum? If so, it's in a bad way.

BluetriangleI find your italicised remarks to be gratuitously offensive. If I placed any particular value on your opinion I would be insulted. However, since you have merely proven that you are not so good at systematic, logical thought, I shall happily forgive you on this occasion.
I apologise for having offended you. I did find your initial posting a little facile, so I thought you would be able to take a strongly-worded reply. Obviously I misjudged the situation.

Point 1: There an abundant number of numbers to which we could attach significance. Let me posit that there are at least five thousand such numbers.
5000 seems an awful lot of mathematical and physical constants! There are about 26 dimensionless physical constants, for instance. But let's go with your figure.

Point 2: Now any one of these numbers might appear, randomly, encoded within Genesis.
True

Point 3: The odds against any individual number appearing might indeed be ten thousand to one, as you suggest. We can agree on that.
It was one hundred thousand to one.

Point 4: The odds, however, that at least one of these numbers will appear is reduced to the order of two to one.
Twenty to one.

Point 5: The odds that a similar significant number appear elsewhere in the Bible as well, is then reduced not to billions to one, but to around four to one.
Four hundred to one

Point 6: Four to one odds being met seems to offer little evidence for divine intervention.
Four hundred to one against is quite respectable. One hundred to one against is accepted within scientific circles as significant.

Point 7: Next time, before you adopt such a self righteous patronising attitude have the good sense and the good grace to understand what you are talking about.
Hmm...

Seriously, I greatly appreciate your willingness to engage with the numbers here, rather than talk round the subject. You are almost the first to do so.

However, one very important point seems to have escaped you (along with others on this thread). Of the alledged 5000 mathematical and physical constants pi, e and alpha are among the most famous, useful and important. Pi and e are too well know to mention further. Alpha is a measure of the strength of the interaction between photons and electrons and is fundamental to Quantum Electrodynamics, the most succesful theory of matter ever conceived.

Doesn't the fact that these three numbers were found, rather than more obscure constants, skew the odds way beyond 400 to 1 against?

Bluetriangle

47. But that's just it! There is much more evidence available, if only you would look! See Vernon Jenkin's website

http://homepage.virgin.net/vernon.jenkins/index.htm
i looked on this site and nothing stood out to me as amazing, miraculous or divine

one that especially jumped out was the use of 666 as a triangular number, where it is now believed to be 616, ah but that doesn't fit, the numerology

no your not going to convince me with numerology, hell they can prove mathematically that 1=0

Many of the experiences/synchronicities/signs that lead people to become religious are often not repeatable because they are for that person only, part of his or her own personal journey back to God. Because they are often indicators of spiritual growth they are not for everyone.

Having said that, many other evidences are available for everyone. I believe the encodings Vernon jenkins and others, including myself, have found were found at this time because we are now ready for a great increase in spiritual knowledge: indeed we must now awaken as a species, because if we do not then we are probably doomed.

Its very convinient that these "wonderous" experiences always happen to a select few, and the majority of those(well more likely all) are religious or spiritual in some way

See i agree with you on the need for an awakening of our species, but hopefully thats away from religion and not towards it, and as i dont believe in god, i dont subscribe to the prophet of doom bs, sorry to say there never going to be a rapture and any end of humanity will be at the hands of some religious leader with his finger on too much power

Ones beliefs certainly colour the experience. Christians may see Christ (or Mary if they are Catholic), Muslims may see Mohammed, etc. I think the energy behind these experiences may be the same, but each person filters it through their own belief system.

It is in the nature of religious experience that it happens on a one-by-one basis. Those to whom it happens, however, will usually tell you that they are transformed. You may write off religious experiences as a type of mental disorder, but converts do not display the characteristics of the mentally ill. They need no medical treatment (other than what they may have needed before), typically they are happier than before, they have a new zest for life, they have a desire to help others, they adopt a more ethical set of values, a more optimistic worldview and a healthier lifestyle. Is this mental illness?
yes i believe it probably is, im no doctor on all the types of psychological and mental disorders, but delusions of grandeur would probably fit many cases

Noun 1. delusions of grandeur - a delusion (common in paranoia) that you are much greater and more powerful and influential than you really are
possibly even meglomania with others

The information mediums give is often very persuasive for the person concerned. The worst are probably little more than charlatans, but the best are astounding. I know one who is very good, if you want to try her.
see now you are scraping the bottom of the barrel spiritually, yeah the god ones are usually the best at reading peoples body language, very clever generlised statements and massaging information out of people. they are all charlatans, whats next astrology and healing crystals?

Many mathematical, scientific and technological discoveries were the result of non-rational inspiration.
yes, but that doesn't point to divinity, only a religious person would jump to that conclusion

Do you truly believe that these numbers were simply the result of random action?
honestly, truely, yes definetely

I'm also seeing into your mindset - and I also have the advantage of previously having had a similar mindset. What I would say to you is keep an open mind about the spiritual matters and investigate for yourself. Don't let your thinking be coloured by the pronouncements of the little demigods like Dawkins (who I once admired), or by those in the ecclesiastical world either, for that matter. You will only find God by yourself.
yes dawkins is a demigod, if you mean in terms of "In modern western usage the word "demigod" often denotes a person who is simply highly honored or revered" as opposed to someone whos every word i hang on, which he isn't. yes i respect alot of what he says, and alot of it i agree with, but i also respect the work of many other scientists

My mind is open to what i believe, feel and see. if theres a god, hes had 33 years to convince me, and its been no-show all the way

The point im trying to make is i have no use for god, i dont have a need to search for him, apart from this forum i have no need for the concept to even cross my mind on a day to day basis

Why cant religious people understand, theres alot of us in this world that are happy, content and mentally at peace in our godless world

48. The mistake in seeing the appearance of a certain numerical pattern in text as extremely improbable is that the seeker isn't looking for that one number.

They're looking for a range of numberical patterns.

They find that one numerical pattern, and then argue that the appearance of that one pattern would be extremely poor, but the appearance of a pattern on their list is less improbable, because the list has more options.

49. you'll probably find similar patterns in catcher in the rye, the hobbit, stephen king's "it" or any other best sellers, but who would go out of their way to look?

50. captaincaveman,

Quote:
But that's just it! There is much more evidence available, if only you would look! See Vernon Jenkin's website

http://homepage.virgin.net/vernon.jenkins/index.htm

i looked on this site and nothing stood out to me as amazing, miraculous or divine
Well that's your prerogative, of course, but a close study of Vernon's work may lead you to a different conclusion.

one that especially jumped out was the use of 666 as a triangular number, where it is now believed to be 616, ah but that doesn't fit, the numerology
This is wrong. 666 is the generally accepted interpretation. The letters in the original Greek are Chi (= 600), Xi (= 60) stigma (= 6). Some manuscripts have Iota (= 10) instead of Xi. Irenaeus in the 2nd Century wrote advising of this mistake in Revelation.

In addition, are you aware that the number 666 is found in three other places in the Bible?

666 is actually one of three triangular numbers found in the New testament. The others are 153 (John 21:11) and 276 (Acts 27:37). These have all been placed deliberately within the texts. For instance, 153 and 276 are the 17th and 23rd triangular numbers. 17 x 23 = 391, which is the numerical value of the Hebrew word 'Yehoshua', which means 'Jesus'! Why would this number be encoded? Because both John 21:11 (fish caught in a net) and Acts 27:37 (souls saved from a shipwreck) are stories that are allegories for salvation!

Its very convinient that these "wonderous" experiences always happen to a select few, and the majority of those(well more likely all) are religious or spiritual in some way
That's the way it is. However, not all of those who have spiritual experiences are particularly 'spiritual' people. For instance, in my experience the conventionally religious are among the least likely to have them. The person I know best was an agnostic with scientific training, working as a laboratory manager, who spontaneously began to have internal visions and a variety of other spiritual and paranormal experiences nine years ago. This amounted to a spiritual 'training course' and went on for three years, culminating in a miraculous week during November 2001, during which the reason for his awakening was revealed: he was to find encoded information in the Bible. I know all this because I am that person.

See i agree with you on the need for an awakening of our species, but hopefully thats away from religion and not towards it, and as i dont believe in god, i dont subscribe to the prophet of doom bs, sorry to say there never going to be a rapture and any end of humanity will be at the hands of some religious leader with his finger on too much power
I agree! We should be evolving away from conventional religion, which is merely a 'tabloid' version of the real thing. I repeat: many atheists and agnostics are actually more spiritually developed than conventional Christians.

This spiritual evolution is now proceeding at a rapid pace, and indeed is 'the rapture'.

Quote:
You may write off religious experiences as a type of mental disorder, but converts do not display the characteristics of the mentally ill. They need no medical treatment (other than what they may have needed before), typically they are happier than before, they have a new zest for life, they have a desire to help others, they adopt a more ethical set of values, a more optimistic worldview and a healthier lifestyle. Is this mental illness?

yes i believe it probably is, im no doctor on all the types of psychological and mental disorders, but delusions of grandeur would probably fit many cases
possibly even meglomania with others
Far from having delusions of grandeur, spiritually aware people tend towards being humble. They usually have their ego firmly in control (most of the time). They know they are part of a grand plan and are content with their small role within it. In fact, maturity is a prerequisite for spiritual growth. Megalomaniacs seldom have spiritual experiences: if they're not too extreme they usually end up running corporations.

Quote:
The information mediums give is often very persuasive for the person concerned. The worst are probably little more than charlatans, but the best are astounding. I know one who is very good, if you want to try her.

see now you are scraping the bottom of the barrel spiritually, yeah the god ones are usually the best at reading peoples body language, very clever generlised statements and massaging information out of people. they are all charlatans, whats next astrology and healing crystals?
This particular medium did my reading over the internet. We had never communicated before the reading. She did it for nothing, incidentally.

Quote:
Many mathematical, scientific and technological discoveries were the result of non-rational inspiration.

yes, but that doesn't point to divinity, only a religious person would jump to that conclusion
It does point to a larger reality than that accepted by materialists, who have no explanation for it within their paradigm. How would you explain these experiences?

Quote:
Do you truly believe that these numbers were simply the result of random action?

honestly, truely, yes definetely
If it could be shown that these numbers were very unlikely to have arrived there by chance would you still refuse to entertain the possibility that they were the result of intelligent design?

yes, Dawkins is a demigod, if you mean in terms of "In modern western usage the word "demigod" often denotes a person who is simply highly honored or revered" as opposed to someone whos every word i hang on, which he isn't.
In 'The God Delusion' Dawkins reveals himself for what he really is: extremely arrogant, egotistical and, dare I say it, unscientific. He uses one interpretation of Darwinian natural selection - that the gene is the unit of selection - from which he derives an analogous hypothesis of memes: ideas fighting for survival within the brain. He then uses his little meme hypothesis (not theory) to try and undermine the whole of religious belief, like David toppling Goliath. Such hubris!

The hypothesis of memes is interesting, certainly. I can imagine something like it being the case, in fact. But it's just a hypothesis, with little (as yet) experimental evidence to support it. What Dawkins is really doing is taking one interpretation of the theory of natural selection, using it out of context (in the field of ideas and culture) and using this half baked concoction in an attempt to demolish a belief held by practically every culture that has ever arisen: that there is some kind of transcendent realm. Apart from everything else that's wrong with it, it is not scientific.

Simply because the idea of God might be a meme, that doesn't make it false. All ideas, true and false, will exist as memes according to the meme hypothesis. So reducing religions to collections of 'parasitic memes' hardly negates them.

For a real example of David defeating Goliath, read The Dawkins Delusion, by Alister McGrath. In 60-odd pages, he easily topples Dawkins 400-page behemoth.

My mind is open to what i believe, feel and see. if theres a god, hes had 33 years to convince me, and its been no-show all the way
The point im trying to make is i have no use for god, i dont have a need to search for him, apart from this forum i have no need for the concept to even cross my mind on a day to day basis
Why cant religious people understand, theres alot of us in this world that are happy, content and mentally at peace in our godless world
Yet here you are, arguing on a theological area of the forum! Perhaps unconsciously you're searching for something... God hadn't convinced me after 33 years. That had to wait until I was 38. Many atheists, far from being at peace, are in despair. They are civilised, humane people (having been brought up that way in a culture still strongly influenced by Christian values) but believe that life is meaningless, empty and pointless and that they are isolated islands of consciousness in an empty bubble of dead matter. Without God we turn ever more to amusements, diversions, entertainments, to material things, drink, drugs, even to criminal behaviour - all to fill the emptness within. But it's a bottomless pit.

Do you want to see what life in a godless world is like? Look at the reams of tasteless pap now dominating our TV screens: the reality TV shows, the culture of celebrity, the adverts that use sex and fear to get through our psychological defences. To see much worse look at the internet. Look at the entire Coca-Cola culture that is now America and will soon be the world. Look at the state of family life. look at the predations of multinational corporations and the greed of international banks. Look back at the atheistic communist regimes. Look now at the rising crime statistics. Look at the starving millions. Look at the state of the world. This is a world that desparately needs, but is largely rejecting, spiritual guidance. Ironically, those who wield the least power in this world - the third world - are often the most spiritually developed. But they are the ones who still retain the spiritual knowledge and values that might yet save us.

Bluetriangle

51. kojax,

The mistake in seeing the appearance of a certain numerical pattern in text as extremely improbable is that the seeker isn't looking for that one number.

They find that one numerical pattern, and then argue that the appearance of that one pattern would be extremely poor, but the appearance of a pattern on their list is less improbable, because the list has more options.
I am aware of that pitfall. For instance, finding pi encoded to 5 decimal places somewhere in the bible would not in itself be significant. But myself and others see a 'higher order' pattern here, a confluence of unlikely circumstances.

1. It's not just any verse: it is the Bible's first verse.
2. It's the standard version of the Hebrew Bible: the Masoretic text.
3. It's the standard system of numeration, rather than the many others that exist.
4. It is critically dependant upon four features of that verse: the numerical value of the letters, the numerical value of the words, the number of letters and the number of words.
5. Even this would not be enough to convince me, but all of the above is also present for the encoding of e in John 1:1! Moreover, the two verses are related through meaning and location and e was unknown in biblical time, so human action can be ruled out (never mind the difficulty of actually calculating it without an electronic calculator).

Between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 we then obtain alpha, unknown until the 20th century.

6. The constants pi and e are not obscure numbers. They are the most famous numbers in mathematics. Alpha is also well known and extremely important.

The confluence of the most important number in mathematics (pi) with the most important verse in the Bible (Genesis 1:1), and all the other confluences I've shown above is what makes this an encoding, rather than random action.

Bluetriangle

52. Well that's your prerogative, of course, but a close study of Vernon's work may lead you to a different conclusion.
sorry still cant see it lol

This is wrong. 666 is the generally accepted interpretation. The letters in the original Greek are Chi (= 600), Xi (= 60) stigma (= 6). Some manuscripts have Iota (= 10) instead of Xi. Irenaeus in the 2nd Century wrote advising of this mistake in Revelation.

In addition, are you aware that the number 666 is found in three other places in the Bible?

666 is actually one of three triangular numbers found in the New testament. The others are 153 (John 21:11) and 276 (Acts 27:37). These have all been placed deliberately within the texts. For instance, 153 and 276 are the 17th and 23rd triangular numbers. 17 x 23 = 391, which is the numerical value of the Hebrew word 'Yehoshua', which means 'Jesus'! Why would this number be encoded? Because both John 21:11 (fish caught in a net) and Acts 27:37 (souls saved from a shipwreck) are stories that are allegories for salvation

ok, i concede on this one, purely based on the fact im not really that "up" on fiction. im more of a factual book person

That's the way it is. However, not all of those who have spiritual experiences are particularly 'spiritual' people. For instance, in my experience the conventionally religious are among the least likely to have them. The person I know best was an agnostic with scientific training, working as a laboratory manager, who spontaneously began to have internal visions and a variety of other spiritual and paranormal experiences nine years ago. This amounted to a spiritual 'training course' and went on for three years, culminating in a miraculous week during November 2001, during which the reason for his awakening was revealed: he was to find encoded information in the Bible. I know all this because I am that person.
Im sorry but if that happened to me, the first place i'd be heading for is the doctors. im pretty sure there is medication to stop these delusion, and thats what i see them as, thats an honest genuine answer

I agree! We should be evolving away from conventional religion, which is merely a 'tabloid' version of the real thing. I repeat: many atheists and agnostics are actually more spiritually developed than conventional Christians.

This spiritual evolution is now proceeding at a rapid pace, and indeed is 'the rapture'.

Can you explain what you mean by spiritually developed? , i dont see myself as spiritual in any way. If you mean i am more mentally stable and happy without religion, then yes

Also can you explain what the "real" religion is like, cause in my opinion it will be very much the same thing, if you look at the uk with christianity most people are lapsed and wouldn't know one end of a bible from the other, religion is just a term thats put on concensus forms and job applications, look to the US and you'll see a good percentage that still is hardcore christians, rapture and all

Far from having delusions of grandeur, spiritually aware people tend towards being humble. They usually have their ego firmly in control (most of the time). They know they are part of a grand plan and are content with their small role within it. In fact, maturity is a prerequisite for spiritual growth. Megalomaniacs seldom have spiritual experiences: if they're not too extreme they usually end up running corporations.

delusions of grandeur does affect some of these people at best these people are suffering from being plain delusional

I dont mean this to be horrible but theres no nice way of saying it. I actually find religious people to be quiet disturbing, a bit like sitting on a train with someone who makes strange sounds(hopefuly you know what i mean), you know making you feel abit uncomfortable and embarrassed for them, I'd feel the same way if a 40year old bloke still believed in santa clause and the tooth fairy, that kind of way

That isn't meant to offend, provoke or troll, thats honestly how i feel, if someone says to me they are religious in conversation i think "fair enough, their choice), but half hearttedly assume they are just the "concensus kinda religious", but if they start talking to me about, god, jesus, mohammed or whatever i start to feel uncomfortable in the same way that i'd feel socially uncomfortable if someone showed another mental instability

like i say thats not meant to provoke, just an honest comment

This particular medium did my reading over the internet. We had never communicated before the reading. She did it for nothing, incidentally.
to be honest, that makes it less impressive by being over the net, its funny how these things only work on people willing to believe it. I went to one once, on a stag weekend for a laugh, to kinda prove a point and after seeing a documentary on the psychology and common body language involved, they did the vague commenting and trying to fish for reactions and failed, my mate actually thought it worked well, but then he has always been more gullable

It does point to a larger reality than that accepted by materialists, who have no explanation for it within their paradigm. How would you explain these experiences?
No, sorry it doesn't point to anything more than coincidence, i personally cant explain them totally, but then that still doesn't make it true, that just point to me not knowing enough of the numerology field

If it could be shown that these numbers were very unlikely to have arrived there by chance would you still refuse to entertain the possibility that they were the result of intelligent design?
It couldn't be shown for sure, hell the chance of being struck by lightning or willing the lottery are high, but it still happens

Look at the odds of you and me being here having this conversation, thats in the billions to one, when you think of every ancestor right back to the primordal ooze we came from, at each step along the way, one creature in our evolutionary path that died before procreating and we wouldn't be here. Now thats something i find impressive, not the massaging of text and numbers

In 'The God Delusion' Dawkins reveals himself for what he really is: extremely arrogant, egotistical and, dare I say it, unscientific. He uses one interpretation of Darwinian natural selection - that the gene is the unit of selection - from which he derives an analogous hypothesis of memes: ideas fighting for survival within the brain. He then uses his little meme hypothesis (not theory) to try and undermine the whole of religious belief, like David toppling Goliath. Such hubris!

The hypothesis of memes is interesting, certainly. I can imagine something like it being the case, in fact. But it's just a hypothesis, with little (as yet) experimental evidence to support it. What Dawkins is really doing is taking one interpretation of the theory of natural selection, using it out of context (in the field of ideas and culture) and using this half baked concoction in an attempt to demolish a belief held by practically every culture that has ever arisen: that there is some kind of transcendent realm. Apart from everything else that's wrong with it, it is not scientific
And religion isn't arrogant, egotistical and unscientific? How much more arrogant can you get than a religious preacher, they dont talk in hypothesis, they say "this is fact", thats pretty arrogant based on what theve got to go on

Simply because the idea of God might be a meme, that doesn't make it false. All ideas, true and false, will exist as memes according to the meme hypothesis. So reducing religions to collections of 'parasitic memes' hardly negates them
No but it may explain the delusion of a god in a particular group of people, and it could be exactly right too

For a real example of David defeating Goliath, read The Dawkins Delusion, by Alister McGrath. In 60-odd pages, he easily topples Dawkins 400-page behemoth.
I don't ever recall reading in The God Delusion where Dawkins states that if religion is eliminated than the world would be a shiny-happy utopia. Religion is a problem, but I believe Prof. Dawkins states on several occasions, that religion is not the only problem. Did Prof. McGrath actually read the book that closely? I'm guessing not. It sounds like he got offended early on (maybe not even beyond Chapter 1), closed his mind (along with the book) and felt obliged to offer an opinion.

Anyone who has read anything by McGrath will know that this is his MO. He does not represent his opponents fairly. He is not honest in the way that he deals with his subject matters. He is biased, agenda driven and inaccurate. Read "The Twilight of Atheism" if you are in any doubt.

Have you actually read "The god delusion" yourself or are you basing your argument on prof McGrath's work?

Yet here you are, arguing on a theological area of the forum! Perhaps unconsciously you're searching for something... God hadn't convinced me after 33 years. That had to wait until I was 38. Many atheists, far from being at peace, are in despair. They are civilised, humane people (having been brought up that way in a culture still strongly influenced by Christian values) but believe that life is meaningless, empty and pointless and that they are isolated islands of consciousness in an empty bubble of dead matter. Without God we turn ever more to amusements, diversions, entertainments, to material things, drink, drugs, even to criminal behaviour - all to fill the emptness within. But it's a bottomless pit.
Same old argument, if i have an interest in theology, that must mean im looking for something or un-happy, that isn't the case, im trying to understand the mind set of religious people. Which athiests are strongly influenced by christian values?, my values are the one taught to me by my athiest parents, who were taught by theirs. Christian and non christian values are exactly the same, its human nature, and healthy for evolution to work wel in a society, yes i have alot of empathy for people and not because of the fear of eternal suffering

Dont try and say without religion that we turn to crime and the world would be an awful place, thats just really closed minded and quite an embarassing thing to say.

Can you explain your reasons for this?

Do you want to see what life in a godless world is like? Look at the reams of tasteless pap now dominating our TV screens: the reality TV shows, the culture of celebrity, the adverts that use sex and fear to get through our psychological defences. To see much worse look at the internet. Look at the entire Coca-Cola culture that is now America and will soon be the world. Look at the state of family life. look at the predations of multinational corporations and the greed of international banks. Look back at the atheistic communist regimes. Look now at the rising crime statistics. Look at the starving millions. Look at the state of the world. This is a world that desparately needs, but is largely rejecting, spiritual guidance. Ironically, those who wield the least power in this world - the third world - are often the most spiritually developed. But they are the ones who still retain the spiritual knowledge and values that might yet save us.
Do you know which country has reportedly got one of the highest percentage of athiests? Your probably thinking of some hell hole somewhere in the world, well its Sweden, thats not a country drowning in crime

Can i ask whats wrong with sex on TV? thats only an issue because of your teachings, that doesn't make it a bad thing. pornography and alcohol are not bad things either, if they subscibe to the correct regulations

I honestly believe the world would be so much better without religion, look to iraq or palestine to see what happens to countrys with massive amounts of religion, with the case of palestine, a country with religion tied into the politics, and in iraq two fighting factions with different branches of the same one

No, for me i hope dawkins pulls many many people away from the corruption and control of organised religion and the human race can evolve beyond the dying fables of old

53. I honestly believe the world would be so much better without religion,
Captain,

Any reason you did not cite Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China as examples of atheist utopias?

54. Originally Posted by Harold14370
I honestly believe the world would be so much better without religion,
Captain,

Any reason you did not cite Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China as examples of atheist utopias?

Yes because they are not purely based on athiesm, you can have athiesm without being a communist or socialist, im a athiest capatalist

By the way, i dont believe in any form of utopia where humans are concerned and have never used that word. im not nieve to assume that athiesm will stop all the worlds problems, but removing religion is removing one major obsticle in moving the human race forward

55. removing religion is removing one major obsticle in moving the human race forward
How are you so sure of that? Where's the data? Does religion ever do any good? What about the charities? What about the Quakers who opposed slavery on religious grounds?

56. Originally Posted by Harold14370
removing religion is removing one major obsticle in moving the human race forward
How are you so sure of that? Where's the data? Does religion ever do any good? What about the charities? What about the Quakers who opposed slavery on religious grounds?
You dont need religion to do good, Are you saying the people who do good in the world, only do so because they are religious?

you mention the quakers who opposed slavery, but you forgot the flip side, which is many of the people behind slavery were also religious themselves

goodness and religion dont have to go hand in hand, you can have one without the other

57. Originally Posted by captaincaveman
By the way, i dont believe in any form of utopia where humans are concerned and have never used that word.
here's what Karl Popper has to say about utopias :

"Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell."

in fact communism has this in common with religion : the suffering of today is acceptable for a future paradise - hence not much value is attached to the quality of life in the present + something that is not valued is easily disregarded (e.g. the killing of dissidents, suicide bombers)

58. "Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell."
are you saying this in respect of religion or atheism, cause it could be read either way

59. in fact communism has this in common with religion : the suffering of today is acceptable for a future paradise - hence not much value is attached to the quality of life in the present
What was the communist future paradise? They were officially atheist.
You dont need religion to do good, Are you saying the people who do good in the world, only do so because they are religious?

you mention the quakers who opposed slavery, but you forgot the flip side, which is many of the people behind slavery were also religious themselves
No, but you are saying they only do bad because they are religious. I am not forgetting the flip side, I am pointing out the flip side to what you said.

Has it ever occurred to you that the religions we see in the world today are the end product of tens of thousands of years of societal evolution, which has mostly served the socities pretty well? The societies that remain are the ones that survived. As an evolutionist you must know that most mutations are disastrous. But yet you want to mutate society with hardly any thought of the consequences.

60. What was the communist future paradise? They were officially atheist.

im not sure what point your trying to make with that? yes, some athiests are communists, some muslims are terrorists, communism is a totally different thing all together

Has it ever occurred to you that the religions we see in the world today are the end product of tens of thousands of years of societal evolution, which has mostly served the socities pretty well? The societies that remain are the ones that survived. As an evolutionist you must know that most mutations are disastrous. But yet you want to mutate society with hardly any thought of the consequences.
Im am not wanting to mutilate society, i actually believe the opposite, i believe that athiesm is the natural progression of social evolution, many people are happy with their world view based on science and the by product of this is athiesm

61. Originally Posted by captaincaveman
"Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell."
are you saying this in respect of religion or atheism, cause it could be read either way
it goes both ways - utopias have been proposed and attempted on both sides of the divide

Originally Posted by Harold14370
What was the communist future paradise? They were officially atheist.
i'm not talking about the equivalent of religious heaven, but a so-called communist paradise on earth at some point in the future - the idea being that life may be hard now, but you're doing it so that your descendants will have the life of riley

62. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Doesn't the fact that these three numbers were found, rather than more obscure constants, skew the odds way beyond 400 to 1 against?
No, it does not. You have argued that it is significant that these numbers are to be found encoded in the specific chapters/books. I believe I can make a case for virtually any part of the Bible as having a special significance. Therefore you have to divide those odds by the number of chapters times the number of books. I think that reduces the odds to something close to certainty.

63. captaincaveman,

Quote:
Well that's your prerogative, of course, but a close study of Vernon's work may lead you to a different conclusion.

sorry still cant see it lol
I think you'd have to spend some time on it, which you can't have done. Try 'What's In A Name'. This shows how triangular numbers are encoded into the Hebrew name 'Yahweh Elohim (the Lord God).

Quote:
The person I know best was an agnostic with scientific training, working as a laboratory manager, who spontaneously began to have internal visions and a variety of other spiritual and paranormal experiences nine years ago. This amounted to a spiritual 'training course' and went on for three years, culminating in a miraculous week during November 2001, during which the reason for his awakening was revealed: he was to find encoded information in the Bible. I know all this because I am that person.

Im sorry but if that happened to me, the first place i'd be heading for is the doctors. im pretty sure there is medication to stop these delusion, and thats what i see them as, thats an honest genuine answer
It was much more than internal visions. Many things happened to people around me too. I also repeatedly interacted with people who would typically walk up to me, give me information helpful to my spiritual growth, then walk away again. I have no idea who they were but they were certainly telepathic, knowing precisely what was in my mind at the time. Incredible, but true. These experiences revolved around the books of M. Scott peck (The Road Less Travelled, etc). Later, my Alpha Course director had a very strange experience on a day when I also received a sign that something was about to happen. The experience ended in the words she had been reading in her Bible being somehow printed on the plain piece of paper she kept as a bookmark in the Bible. the words were addressed to me and, when converted into numbers constituted a numerical key that helped me unlock a code in the NIV Bible.

Can you explain what you mean by spiritually developed? , i dont see myself as spiritual in any way. If you mean i am more mentally stable and happy without religion, then yes
To live in a spiritual way is to live in such a way as to make oneself increasingly conscious. Those who do so become spiritually developed. Interestingly, Dawkins continually uses the phrase 'increase in conscousness to describe those who have absorbed evolutionary thoery. he's right, of course. but it goes way beyond that.

Also can you explain what the "real" religion is like, cause in my opinion it will be very much the same thing, if you look at the uk with christianity most people are lapsed and wouldn't know one end of a bible from the other, religion is just a term thats put on concensus forms and job applications, look to the US and you'll see a good percentage that still is hardcore christians, rapture and all
I have no time for fundamentalists. They are at best hopelessly misled, at worst ignorant and narrow minded and dangerous. For 'real religion' see above. By 'conscious' I don't simply mean more knowledgeable or rational. I also mean intuitive, loving, respectful, tolerant and other right brain functions. I think it might need something more too: a desire to improve life and to get at the truth of things. It may be different for everybody. It will also usually involve following a religion of some kind. Religions are repositories of wisdom built up over may centuries (they have evolved their own succesful memes). Don't judge Christianity (or any other religion) from the outside or from the ravings of fundamentalists. Go look inside. If you do go, make sure you avoid the fundamentalists.

I dont mean this to be horrible but theres no nice way of saying it. I actually find religious people to be quiet disturbing, a bit like sitting on a train with someone who makes strange sounds(hopefuly you know what i mean), you know making you feel abit uncomfortable and embarrassed for them, I'd feel the same way if a 40year old bloke still believed in santa clause and the tooth fairy, that kind of way

That isn't meant to offend, provoke or troll, thats honestly how i feel, if someone says to me they are religious in conversation i think "fair enough, their choice), but half hearttedly assume they are just the "concensus kinda religious", but if they start talking to me about, god, jesus, mohammed or whatever i start to feel uncomfortable in the same way that i'd feel socially uncomfortable if someone showed another mental instability
I'm not keen on evangelistic types either; some people have a way of getting Jesus into every conversation. But don't judge us all by them. There are fanatics everywhere.

Quote:
If it could be shown that these numbers were very unlikely to have arrived there by chance would you still refuse to entertain the possibility that they were the result of intelligent design?

It couldn't be shown for sure, hell the chance of being struck by lightning or willing the lottery are high, but it still happens
Getting struck by lightning isn't meaningful or a sign of intelligent design. One sign of a genuine phenomenon is predictability. If someone found an encoded constant then claimed it was design, someone else could say "You weren't looking for a mathematical constant. You found one, then claimed it was encoded simply because it is there. If you look hard enough, you will find an apparently meaningful number somewhere. It would be different, however, if you had predicted the existence of a constant before finding it, on the basis of your understanding of this code." This however, is exactly what has happened. On the basis of the encoding of pi in Genesis 1:1, someone looked for a constant in John 1:1 and found it!

I've run out of time here, so I'm going to have to cut this short.

BT

64. I think you'd have to spend some time on it, which you can't have done. Try 'What's In A Name'. This shows how triangular numbers are encoded into the Hebrew name 'Yahweh Elohim (the Lord God).

again, you will not convince me with numerology

It was much more than internal visions. Many things happened to people around me too. I also repeatedly interacted with people who would typically walk up to me, give me information helpful to my spiritual growth, then walk away again. I have no idea who they were but they were certainly telepathic, knowing precisely what was in my mind at the time. Incredible, but true. These experiences revolved around the books of M. Scott peck (The Road Less Travelled, etc). Later, my Alpha Course director had a very strange experience on a day when I also received a sign that something was about to happen. The experience ended in the words she had been reading in her Bible being somehow printed on the plain piece of paper she kept as a bookmark in the Bible. the words were addressed to me and, when converted into numbers constituted a numerical key that helped me unlock a code in the NIV Bible.

And again, i repeat myslef, its all to convienient that these things are always personal and internal, I dont know what circles your hanging around it but no-one has ever approached me in that way, obviously these people are dellusional also(sorry religious lol) and what you hear is what you want to hear, thats a similar story as the gullability of people who go to faith healers, mediums, etc etc

Do you realise how delusional and way out there you sound, "they were certainly telepathic", thats a even more worrying development of your state of mind and shows you as being very gullable and nieve and also very very unscientific

The other statement about the bookmark takes you to an even more worrying level than before, again you astound me with your fantasys and delusions to a point of you needing to take a step back and assess your mental stability, i guarantee there are many people being treated for exactly what you are describing happening to you, seriously you need to talk to someone from a mental health team, you have serious issues

I'm not keen on evangelistic types either; some people have a way of getting Jesus into every conversation. But don't judge us all by them. There are fanatics everywhere.

im not talking about serious evangelists here, im taking about the conversation coming up from someone as a general comment

But seriously dude, go see someone outside of your religion and tell them exactly what youve told me, there is help and treatment. I mean that genuenly

65. Blue....the captain nailed it. You see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear etc. When I read your first post I thought of Russell Crowe in the movie A Beautiful Mind. You might want to see it and compare it to your own state of mind. It's based on the life of Nobel laureate John Nash who like you was a mathematical genius. Along with that he saw what he determined were secret Soviet messages encrypted into newspaper articles et al which proved to be non existent.

I feel sorry now about my FSM-atheist-pi reference because I realize just how much work you put into your discovery. I only wanted to show you just how easy it is to find anything numeric in the written word. Apply whatever values you like to letters and eventually you'll find what you're looking for.

66. captaincaveman,

I've been away on holiday. This is the posting I didn't get to finish.

And religion isn't arrogant, egotistical and unscientific? How much more arrogant can you get than a religious preacher, they dont talk in hypothesis, they say "this is fact", thats pretty arrogant based on what theve got to go on
Preachers certainly can be arrogant, egotistical and unscientific. However, the nature of religious faith and revelation is such that preachers, even the best, often have to make 'unscientific' statements. That doesn't mean they are wrong, of course, simply that the scientific method is not the only way of arriving at knowledge. The congregation understand this, though. Bear in mind that the laity are often sophisticated, well-educated people, who can usually tell the difference between a good preacher and a bad one.

I don't ever recall reading in The God Delusion where Dawkins states that if religion is eliminated than the world would be a shiny-happy utopia. Religion is a problem, but I believe Prof. Dawkins states on several occasions, that religion is not the only problem.
It is obvious that Dawkins believes religion to be the BIG problem facing us today.

Anyone who has read anything by McGrath will know that this is his MO. He does not represent his opponents fairly. He is not honest in the way that he deals with his subject matters. He is biased, agenda driven and inaccurate. Read "The Twilight of Atheism" if you are in any doubt.
I haven't read The Twilight Of Atheism so I can't comment. I'll look out for it though. The words 'biased, agenda driven and inaccurate' perfectly describe Dawkins behaviour in his notorious television program The Root Of All Evil? He took the worst examples of religious behaviour (people who attack abortion clinics, ultra-orthodox Jews, watered-down liberals, Christian fundamentalists) and did a brilliant editing job to make them look foolish. But these are all straw dogs. As with his book, he avoided tackling genuine mystical experiences and those who have had them.

Have you actually read "The god delusion" yourself or are you basing your argument on prof McGrath's work?
Yes, I have read The God Delusion. Dawkins takes a hypothesis (memes), which are an analogy of one out of of several interpretations of evolutionary theory (that genes are the unit of selection) and builds his entire book on this shaky foundation. With one little push McGrath collapses the entire, shoddy structure. I have a feeling Dawkins will deeply regret having written TGD one day. Significantly, he devotes very little space to a discussion of mystical experiences, which are religion's strongest evidence. In fact, the whole area seems to trouble him (as it should).

Which athiests are strongly influenced by christian values?, my values are the one taught to me by my athiest parents, who were taught by theirs. Christian and non christian values are exactly the same, its human nature, and healthy for evolution to work wel in a society, yes i have alot of empathy for people and not because of the fear of eternal suffering
Dont try and say without religion that we turn to crime and the world would be an awful place, thats just really closed minded and quite an embarassing thing to say. Can you explain your reasons for this?
But you parent's values, I would venture, are derived from Judeo-Christian values. Empathy is natural for most if not all, people, I agree. I didn't need the fear of eternal damnation to make me empathise either. The teaching of 'original sin' has to be understood correctly to make sense. It's not that we are inherently evil and need the fear of damnation to make us behave well (although I am aware that some teach this rubbish). It is that we have lower and higher natures. Moral teaching should feed our higher natures and control our lower ones, which can best find expression through sport, etc. Original sin refers to this lower nature and its potential to take over our lives to the point that we practically cease to be human and become little more than brilliant animals, and predatory ones at that.

Do you know which country has reportedly got one of the highest percentage of athiests? Your probably thinking of some hell hole somewhere in the world, well its Sweden, thats not a country drowning in crime
Sweden is a country of well-educated, thoughtful people. As I said before, well-educated atheists are in general more spiritually developed than the traditionally religious.

Can i ask whats wrong with sex on TV? thats only an issue because of your teachings, that doesn't make it a bad thing. pornography and alcohol are not bad things either, if they subscibe to the correct regulations
Sex is not a bad thing. However, using sex to sell products is evil, because it leads to the objectification of the body, taking sex out of a loving context and plunging it into the rapacious world of advertising and commerce - with predictable results. Pornography is the total divorce of sex from love, feeds the very lowest of human impulses and is consequently debasing both to those to perform and those who watch. Alcohol leads in the same direction. If this were not so, neither would need regulation in the first place.

No, for me i hope dawkins pulls many many people away from the corruption and control of organised religion and the human race can evolve beyond the dying fables of old
These 'fables' - actually myths - are essential for our survival: read Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and others. Some of the myths promulgated by scientific materialism tell the story of a culture in its death throes.

BT

67. captaincaveman,

And again, i repeat myslef, its all to convienient that these things are always personal and internal, I dont know what circles your hanging around it but no-one has ever approached me in that way, obviously these people are dellusional also(sorry religious lol) and what you hear is what you want to hear, thats a similar story as the gullability of people who go to faith healers, mediums, etc etc
The person who received the message for me is one of the sanest, most humane and most spiritually-aware people I know. She is a devout Christian and probably incapable of fabricating such a story. She was also quite embarrassed about the whole affair. But, good Christian that she is, she obeyed the promptings of the Spirit.

Do you realise how delusional and way out there you sound, "they were certainly telepathic", thats a even more worrying development of your state of mind and shows you as being very gullable and nieve and also very very unscientific
Two of the people to whom I referred were being served in front of me in shops. A third walked right up to me in a crowded shopping centre to deliver her message (they always chose shops for these encounters). They were not, therefore, imaginary. They were very real. I say they were telepathic because they showed me they were obviously very aware of what was going on in my mind at that moment. The encounters were related to my reading of the books of M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Travelled, etc.) and were obviously designed for my spiritual growth.

The other statement about the bookmark takes you to an even more worrying level than before, again you astound me with your fantasys and delusions to a point of you needing to take a step back and assess your mental stability, i guarantee there are many people being treated for exactly what you are describing happening to you, seriously you need to talk to someone from a mental health team, you have serious issues

But seriously dude, go see someone outside of your religion and tell them exactly what youve told me, there is help and treatment. I mean that genuenly
But the bookmark incident didn't happen to me! Now you have to argue that my Alpha Course director is also mentally ill. Other people around me also had strange experiences relating to my work. Are they to be written off too?

Thanks for the obviously well-meant advice, but I don't think I'll be telling my story to any mental-health professionals, for exactly the reasons you advocate! I am well aware of what may happen. The state of institutional mental health care is at about the same stage as institutional physical health care was a few centuries ago. The best advice for many people (not all) is to stay well away.

BT

68. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Sex is not a bad thing. However, using sex to sell products is evil, because it leads to the objectification of the body, taking sex out of a loving context and plunging it into the rapacious world of advertising and commerce - with predictable results. Pornography is the total divorce of sex from love, feeds the very lowest of human impulses and is consequently debasing both to those to perform and those who watch. Alcohol leads in the same direction. If this were not so, neither would need regulation in the first place.
objectifies the body? the body is an object... only according to religion the body is not important but the soul is, so why bother interrupting things to do with the body?
Alcohol do christians not drink wine as the blood of christ? bit hypocritical no? In pagan religions alcohol plays a big part in talking to the spirits with such drinks as mead.

69. zinjanthropos,

Blue....the captain nailed it. You see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear etc. When I read your first post I thought of Russell Crowe in the movie A Beautiful Mind. You might want to see it and compare it to your own state of mind. It's based on the life of Nobel laureate John Nash who like you was a mathematical genius. Along with that he saw what he determined were secret Soviet messages encrypted into newspaper articles et al which proved to be non existent.
Let's get one thing straight: I am not a mathematical genius. My talents in that area are very, very modest. I have been educated to about 1st/2nd year university standard in maths.

I've read the book and seen the film - which, incidentally, diverges from the book in the only area that really counts: the nature of Nash's schizophrenia. He did NOT see imaginary people, as the film asserts. He did, however, imagine that secret messages for him were encrypted into newspaper articles, etc.

I am well aware of the possibility that my experiences and Nash's are similar and have given it some thought. However, my own work, some of which was inspired by my internal experiences, also derived from encounters with strangers, the dreams and experiences of people around me (see earlier postings). I was also convinced by the internal consistency of and profound meaning within the information I found.

Nash was principally hospitalised because of his inability to function in his daily life. This is not the case with myself and many others who report mystical experiences. However, there certainly is a danger of madness, not because of inherent mental instablity, but because the world treats us as insane. My friend, it is the world that is insane. Just look in your newspaper for the (unencrypted) evidence).

Incidentally, in the book, when Nash was asked why he listened to the voices in his head he replied that he had no reason not to because they were also the source of many of his mathematical insights. Some food for thought there...

I feel sorry now about my FSM-atheist-pi reference because I realize just how much work you put into your discovery. I only wanted to show you just how easy it is to find anything numeric in the written word. Apply whatever values you like to letters and eventually you'll find what you're looking for.
But I wasn't originally looking for anything! I had no interest in, or knowledge of, gematria and Bible codes. I was gently, but firmly, led in that direction. Ultimately, judge my work (remember, what I've shown you so far is principally the work of others) by the evidence presented. Nash didn't have any evidence to back up his assertions. We do. It just needs a fair hearing. The problem is, it seldom gets one. Why? Because it challenges your own worldview, which you defend as vigorously as any paranoid schizophrenic.

BT

70. ophiolite,

bluetriangle wrote:
Doesn't the fact that these three numbers were found, rather than more obscure constants, skew the odds way beyond 400 to 1 against?
I am working with your figures. You can't change the rules to suit yourself! The true odds are, of course, unknown and probably beyond calculation.

No, it does not. You have argued that it is significant that these numbers are to be found encoded in the specific chapters/books. I believe I can make a case for virtually any part of the Bible as having a special significance. Therefore you have to divide those odds by the number of chapters times the number of books. I think that reduces the odds to something close to certainty.
Surely you can see that Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 are verses of staggering importance! Yes, many other parts of the Bible are indeed of special importance to Christians and Jews, but few, if any verses have more impact than these two. Genesis 1:1 is a sweeping statement of our origins. John 1:1 reflects the theme of Genesis 1:1 and introduces the 'word', understood to be the spirit of Christ and synonymous with God.

These verses stand out for our attention not just because of their epic themes but because they stand at the apex of the entire Bible and the book of John. There are about 31000 verses in the Bible and only 66 books. The odds against the first verse in any book being chosen at random is 1 in 470. The odds against two books being chosen at random are 1 in 220000. However, given that Genesis is the Bible's first book, the true odds against random action here much higher. The chances of the first verse in the Bible being randomly chosen, then the first verse of any book, are 1 in 14 million. If we include the fact that the verses are meaningfully related, the odds increase even more, but are difficult to accurately estimate.

BT

71. ok then BT, ignore my post :?

72. nevyn,

objectifies the body? the body is an object...
'Objectifies the body' was a poor choice of phrase. What I mean is that the use of sexual images encourages people to see others as objects, including sex objects, instead of thinking, feeling beings. It tends to reduce people to means for our own sexual gratification rather than ends in themselves. It therefore debases us all and smooths the path to further sexual exploitation and worse.

... only according to religion the body is not important but the soul is, so why bother interrupting things to do with the body?
Sexual exploitation is evil precisely because it corrupts our minds, rather than our bodies. Alcohol abuse corrupts the body and the mind, as well as wrecking the lives of those around you.

Alcohol do christians not drink wine as the blood of christ? bit hypocritical no? In pagan religions alcohol plays a big part in talking to the spirits with such drinks as mead.
There is a world of difference, as you must be aware, between taking a symbolic sip of communion wine and getting plastered.

Taking wine or even hallucinogenic drugs for sacramental purposes is totally different from recreational use.

BT

73. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
There is a world of difference, as you must be aware, between taking a symbolic sip of communion wine and getting plastered.

Taking wine or even hallucinogenic drugs for sacramental purposes is totally different from recreational use.

BT
please tell me the difference and support with EVIDENCE that there is indeed a difference

74. Nevyn,

bluetriangle wrote:

There is a world of difference, as you must be aware, between taking a symbolic sip of communion wine and getting plastered.

Taking wine or even hallucinogenic drugs for sacramental purposes is totally different from recreational use.

BT

please tell me the difference and support with EVIDENCE that there is indeed a difference
In the Christian sacrament of communion/mass, the wine symbolises or, for Catholics, actually becomes in some sense, the blood of Christ. The reason wine was chosen as the communion drink is because Jesus and his disciples drank wine during the last supper, at which he and his disciples drank wine and ate bread (see Luke Ch. 22). The amount drunk is tiny and the effect on Christians is therefore spiritual rather than due to alcohol. Nobody becomes an alcoholic because they drank communion wine.

In churches such as the Native American Church, peyote is taken as a sacrament, reportedly facilitating spiritual experiences and vision quests, including communion with the Great Spirit. For similar reasons ayahuasca is taken by South American tribesmen. Some churches in this region use ayahuasca as a sacrament. They report that alcoholics and drug addicts are often cured of their addictions by regular participation in these ceremonies.

A further example of the beneficial effect of drug use in a positive setting is shown in the work of transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof, with LSD therapy, before it was banned by the US government. His patients often showed remarkable improvements in their psychological condition, even in cases where the prognosis was poor. In addition, they usually developed a spiritual worldview as a result of the mystical experiences they often had during the LSD therapy - as did Stanislav Grof himself. If you think that the spiritual experiences were caused by the LSD, think again. After LSD had been banned for medical use, Grof continued his therapy with 'holotropic breathwork' (controlled hyperventillation), with similar results.

If you want further details of the above, there are several good websites. I particularly recommend Grof's website and his excellent books. He has been called 'The most brilliant mind in psychology' and his scientific credentials are impecable and his methods repeatable.

In all cases, the use of these drugs is controlled and they are taken in a therapeutic, or spiritual setting. On the other hand, alcohol and drugs taken for recreational use frequently do much harm because of (in the case of drugs) the presence of impurities, the often large amounts taken, leading to addiction, the types of drugs taken and because they are taken in a recreational setting, or worse, rather than a supportive one.

BT

75. but why is there a difference? why should we not drink alcohol? is it because a few raving lunatics thought it was bad?

76. Nevyn,

but why is there a difference? why should we not drink alcohol? is it because a few raving lunatics thought it was bad?
Drink alcohol if you like. I do. Some religions ban it because they (rightly) fear that it sometimes ruins lives and often stymies spiritual development.

BT

77. ok lets follow this reasonable logic:
God (supposedly) created man and all plants and animals
God (supposedly) gave man free will and the ability to manipulate his environment
God (supposedly) gave the world to man to look after as 'stewards'
=
God wants us to drink alcohol

78. Originally Posted by bluetriangle
Drink alcohol if you like. I do. Some religions ban it because they (rightly) fear that it sometimes ruins lives and often stymies spiritual development.
So it's much like organised religion then.

79. Nevyn,

ok lets follow this reasonable logic:
God (supposedly) created man and all plants and animals
God (supposedly) gave man free will and the ability to manipulate his environment
God (supposedly) gave the world to man to look after as 'stewards'
=
God wants us to drink alcohol
Many Christians would defend the taking of alcohol at communion as something Christ himself instituted. Personally, I don't believe that to be the case. But I do agree that it is a ritual worth observing.

The bread and wine Christians take are symbolic of (or by transubstantiation become, in 'substance') the body and blood of Christ. Christians are asked to regularly take communion, which is the central Christian sacrament, to symbolically (or actually) unite with Christ.

The actual consumption of alcohol in this context is secondary to the meaning behind the ritual. In fact, in many churches fruit juice is taken.

BT

80. I know WHY they do it. You don't seem to have argued against my logic

81. Ophiolite,

bluetriangle wrote:
Drink alcohol if you like. I do. Some religions ban it because they (rightly) fear that it sometimes ruins lives and often stymies spiritual development.

So it's much like organised religion then.
I have to agree with you, at least to some extent. That doesn't mean religion is wholly bad, just that some people use God to justify their sometimes very ungodly actions.

Having said that, religion has much to recommend it. It brings order and stability to wrecked lives, transmits and supports moral values, gives hope and comfort to many, creates communities of like-minded worshippers, inspires much charity work, encourages civilised behaviour, counterbalances the excesses of a materialistic culture and focuses our attention on God, at least for one hour a week.

Don't be so hard on religion. It usually acts with the best of motives.

BT

82. Nevyn,

I know WHY they do it. You don't seem to have argued against my logic
If it is true that Christ himself instituted the ritual, then you are correct. He wants us to drink a tiny amount of alcohol every time we take communion. Personally I don't read the Bible as literally as many do. I think it's a man-made ritual.

BT

83. Nevyn,

ok lets follow this reasonable logic:
God (supposedly) created man and all plants and animals
God (supposedly) gave man free will and the ability to manipulate his environment
God (supposedly) gave the world to man to look after as 'stewards'
=
God wants us to drink alcohol
Many Christians would defend the taking of alcohol at communion as something Christ himself instituted. Personally, I don't believe that to be the case. But I do agree that it is a ritual worth observing.

The bread and wine Christians take are symbolic of (or by transubstantiation become, in 'substance') the body and blood of Christ. Christians are asked to regularly take communion, which is the central Christian sacrament, to symbolically (or actually) unite with Christ.

The actual consumption of alcohol in this context is secondary to the meaning behind the ritual. In fact, in many churches fruit juice is taken.

BT

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