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Thread: To all those who say the universe is only 6000 years old.

  1. #1 To all those who say the universe is only 6000 years old. 
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    I can depict that the universe is not 6,000 years old without the use of Carbon Dating or Potassium-Argon dating which creationists tend to look at and say that both procedures are incredibly inaccurate.
    Many religious people have told me that the universe is only 6,000 years old which is why this is in the religion section.

    the speed of light = 299 792 458 m / s



    Heart of the Whirlpool (what astronomers and physicists call it) is 31 million light years away. If we were to judge the speed of light, then it would take us approximately 31 million years to reach earth. Our eyes work by reflecting light from other objects. Without light being reflection from an object, we will never be able to see that object that does not give off light. It would be a black spot and we would not notice its intricacies. Now, in order for us to even see and take pictures of this galaxy, that light would need to hit earth. Without that light hitting earth then we, of course, can't see or even take a picture of that galaxy. It would be impossible for us to take a picture of something such as a star or a planet if it did not give off light. Since it takes 31 million years to reach earth, that galaxy was formed at least 31 million years ago. Since creationists think the universe was created by god, that would mean that this galaxy and that galaxy I displayed were both created at the same time. Since it takes 31 million years for that light to get to us, we are actually seeing light that generated 31 million years ago. The galaxy in question could be destroyed at this very moment, but we will continue seeing the light from that galaxy for centuries to come.

    Most creationists do not think that random things can occur within the universe. They often state that Darwinism is wrong and it is impossible to be true since random events can not happen within the world. We can look out at the stars.

    Look at this for instance...



    As you can see, there is a conglomerate of particles toward the center of the picture. Around the Nebula, you see particles from various chemicals scattered and are not condensed. This Nebula signifies that, since there is a condensed nature to the Nebula itself in the center of the picture, then an explosion would have taken place from that central location. The light that you see scattered around that are not condensed are the left over particles of said explosion. The further you get away from the center, the more scattered it gets. This signifies an explosion. Everything that deals with that explosion is NOT random and neither is evolution.
    I had a conversation with another student about Darwinism. He said that evolution is random and thus, we cant possibly exist the way we are because of how we work. I understand their logic, but we are run by the grounds of which our universe has situated for us. We are run by our environment. The environment of this Nebula I linked shows that it is playing by the rules of it's environment. Space is filled with Dark Matter, there is nothing that is not filled with something. It's impossible to have nothing that isn't filled with something.
    This picture proves that what occured is not random. if it was random, every object would be scattered everywhere and nothing would be very close together as depicted in the picture. The universe is not random. Einsteins famous quote, "God doesn't play dice with the universe" signifies that the universe is not random.
    Just like evolution, it is not a random occurance but an orderly occurance. It follows its own rules and structures based on survivability. Whatever can happen, will happen and if we can come to be, we will come to be.

    Any opinions? Thoughts? Idea's? Comments?


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  3. #2  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Opinions?
    Its correct information.

    Thoughts?
    Whether it be correct directly or indirectly.

    Idea's?
    Could it have all been done to look like you and science has expressed it?

    Comments?
    Stop trying to get people to stop believeing in religion. Do something more creative. Go out and find some girls with your mates.


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure polygamy would not look kindly on me in society. And I doubt, if I had several mates to begin with, that they would want to look for one more.

    Besides that, I want to prove religion wrong to save lives and to help change the world for the betterment of society.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    unfortunately although religion has been disproved by science on many occasions, millions of people the world over still practice it.
    because
    1. They are scared this is not just a test and that once they die..s'over
    2. Brainwashed nutjob

    fear makes people stubborn and ignorant so you won't change anything with them

    brainwashed nutjob will probably kill you in the name of allah or something
    everything is mathematical.
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord
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    Did you know, Verzen, that Copernicus established flat Earth theory? Yes, before his time nobody argued it seriously. But Copernicus made this preemptive strawman of those who'd argue Earth the center as the "kind of people" who'd believe the Earth flat. He framed a possible debate.

    Now you are inviting "all those who say the universe is only 6000 years old". What is going on here?

    Did you know that all cultures encourage preferred expressions of insanity particular to the culture? And that insane members generally embody those particular cultural expressions? For example "going Rambo" might be a preferred expression in one culture, while in another grown men might dress up as schoolgirls. We frame the preferred expressions by defining them and labeling: "common, unfortunately".

    Do you want the belief that the universe is only 6000 years old to be "common, unfortunately"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    the speed of light = 299 792 458 m / s
    Let's think about the next step. What you have so far is this:

    Star X is 30 million light years away
    We can see star X
    Therefore, the light from Star X has been travelling for 30 million years
    Therefore, the universe is at least 30 million years old


    Now go and tell this to a creationist, and he says,

    Yes, but when God made the universe, he made the light beams from the stars with their ends only 6000 years from earth, so when we became able to measure the speed of light and calculate the distance to the stars, it only appeared to be much older than it really is.

    So you say to the creationist:

    Really, why would God go to all that trouble to convince us the world is older than it is, and also have the fossil record, and the stratigraphy data and the sea bed sediment data agree with this date, and then write in his book that the world is only 6000 years old?

    So the creationist says:

    God works in mysterious ways.

    I'll let you take the story from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Besides that, I want to prove religion wrong to save lives and to help change the world for the betterment of society.
    Saving lives and changing society for the better are admirable goals, I wish you good luck. But you will never prove religion wrong to anyone except those who already agree with you. They believe it (what they mean when they say "I believe" is however an open question) and nothing you can say will make them do otherwise. I am not suggesting you should give up, just don't hold your breath.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    ...although religion has been disproved by science on many occasions...
    Would you care to elaborate on what you mean by "disproved by science"?
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
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    Without religion there wouldn't be much difference as I see it. Faith in certain ideologies would still be prevelent.

    Have enough faith in anything, even atheism, and you'll become a possibly dangerous fanatic.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    unfortunately although religion has been disproved by science on many occasions, millions of people the world over still practice it.
    because
    1. They are scared this is not just a test and that once they die..s'over
    2. Brainwashed nutjob

    fear makes people stubborn and ignorant so you won't change anything with them

    brainwashed nutjob will probably kill you in the name of allah or something
    Because people start as children and have to grow up and mature with varying degrees of success, the world will always have plenty of this type of people so full of their own rightness that they will insist that everyone who thinks differently is a scared brainwashed nutjob. These are the people to watch out for they are like wind up robots marching on mindlessly to their own idiology, so oblivious of the difference between their ideology and reality that they will run right over anyone in their way.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    Because people start as children and have to grow up and mature with varying degrees of success, the world will always have plenty of this type of people so full of their own rightness that they will insists that everyone who thinks differently is a scared brainwashed nutjob. These are the people to watch out for they are like wind up robots
    Yes people grow up and mature with varying degrees of success, but i don't think a measure of how mature a person is, can be whether or not he will accept ideas that he doesn't believe in. I just have the confidence in my own ability to have conviction in my conclusions

    unfortunately my experience of religious people are the two examples i have already given, whether this be from meeting them or through media presentation. you yourself only further this belief where as soon as i argue against god you begin insulting me and become stubborn in your fear and ignorance. and seek to discredit me rather than presenting your own arguments, a technique worthy of a politician.

    so oblivious of the difference between their ideology and reality
    my ideology and reality seem intimately linked, if you can present the difference you are talking about i would be glad to look at it.


    Would you care to elaborate on what you mean by "disproved by science"?
    admittedly here i slipt up on my language, science will never disprove the existence of a god. however this example says it best.

    "If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."
    everything is mathematical.
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  12. #11  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    I'm pretty sure polygamy would not look kindly on me in society. And I doubt, if I had several mates to begin with, that they would want to look for one more.

    Besides that, I want to prove religion wrong to save lives and to help change the world for the betterment of society.
    OK. If you need help proving religion wrong I'll try and think of someshort falls for you, from my 'inside' perspective. . Your intentions are for the benefit of humankind. I respect that and wish to help you.

    PS. Is there any particular reason that this thread is 10,000 pixels wide?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    PS. Is there any particular reason that this thread is 10,000 pixels wide?
    A poorly posted image in the OP.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    PS. Is there any particular reason that this thread is 10,000 pixels wide?
    A poorly posted image in the OP.
    Ah now I see it!

    PS I had to scroll across the world then just now to hit the 'quote' button.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    Yes people grow up and mature with varying degrees of success, but i don't think a measure of how mature a person is, can be whether or not he will accept ideas that he doesn't believe in. I just have the confidence in my own ability to have conviction in my conclusions
    What ideas are you talking about? The narowness of the choices that one perceives is a good measure of maturity. Those who see things in such black and white and one dimensional terms are pretty obviously simple minded. The choice doesn't have to between accepting the ideas of others and concluding that they must be imbeciles.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    unfortunately my experience of religious people are the two examples i have already given, whether this be from meeting them or through media presentation. you yourself only further this belief
    Of course. Nothing can turn the mindless wind up toys from their appointed path.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    where as soon as i argue against god you begin insulting me and become stubborn in your fear and ignorance. and seek to discredit me rather than presenting your own arguments, a technique worthy of a politician.
    And what do you know of my views? I insult theist and atheist with equanimity when they behave like this, and the theists like this still far outnumber the atheists, but this is changing fast. Traditionally atheist have been far more intellegent, but now that Dawkins has made it popular, there is now a lot of these new fundamentalist atheists with the same self-righteousness in a different flavor. It is the diversity of human thought that I rejoice in and the uniformity of marching wind up toys that inspires my contempt.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    so oblivious of the difference between their ideology and reality
    my ideology and reality seem intimately linked, if you can present the difference you are talking about i would be glad to look at it.
    I have no intention of "fixing" your ideology with one of my own. Make good arguments atheist or theist and I will applaud them, but paint the world with a broad brush and a single color and I will not only be bored but I will give you my rasberries.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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    Ha! I still see this insane theme running through many of these threads, including this one, that the world would be better off without religion.

    I am trying to figure out what inspires people to come to this conclusion when the most destructive social orders in the history of mankind have been non-religious social orders or anti religious social orders.

    Nazism, communism and Maoism are, far and away, the most repressive, despotic social orders ever perpetrated on mankind. None of these three were based on religion. If any religion was involved, it was anti-religion, pointing fingers to religion as the cause of whatever problems could be identified or manufactured.

    Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to relive it.

    If there is no God, then the world is what it is because of man. And you want to place your confidence in that?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Ha! I still see this insane theme running through many of these threads, including this one, that the world would be better off without religion.
    Thats because it would. It is a system of control. We can live by the good advice Jesus taught us, and that alone is all we need. And really we can figure that out anyway, Jesus got the wheels moving on that part. Abolish religion, it will create untold freedom for billions of people, the freedom to free our minds.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    Those who see things in such black and white and one dimensional terms are pretty obviously simple minded
    So if there is only one correct answer, i should still consider several wrong answers as possibly correct, and therefore i am being intelligent? seems counter intuitive. if i know the right answer then why should i consider the wrong answer?

    The narowness of the choices that one perceives is a good measure of maturity
    i have percieved many choices, however i employ simple scientific methods to reach my conclusion. e.g.occhams razor. if i start with a wide range but come to a single correct answer, does this make me immature??

    It is the diversity of human thought that I rejoice in
    diversity is only useful if it is correct...you and mcCormick should get together some time and discuss how the mindless "wind up toys" are ruining science for everyone.

    And what do you know of my views? I insult theist and atheist with equanimity
    I know nothing of your views, perhaps you could present them at some point,
    however i don't believe it is an accident that you put off posting your own beliefs.

    If there is no God, then the world is what it is because of man. And you want to place your confidence in that?
    Or the world is what it is because of science, which i have faith in.
    everything is mathematical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Ha! I still see this insane theme running through many of these threads, including this one, that the world would be better off without religion.

    I am trying to figure out what inspires people to come to this conclusion when the most destructive social orders in the history of mankind have been non-religious social orders or anti religious social orders.

    Nazism, communism and Maoism are, far and away, the most repressive, despotic social orders ever perpetrated on mankind. None of these three were based on religion. If any religion was involved, it was anti-religion, pointing fingers to religion as the cause of whatever problems could be identified or manufactured.
    "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognised these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognise more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice...and if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. "
    -Adolph Hitler
    Of course, I will certainly grant you that communism was overtly anti-religious.
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  20. #19  
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    Chaotic wrote:

    Abolish religion, it will create untold freedom for billions of people, the freedom to free our minds.
    You just don't see it do you? The places where this was done -- religion abolished -- have been the social orders where the most heinous crimes against mankind have occurred. (Islamic fundamentalist nations notwithstanding.) The people in power in such countries do not seem to have even a rudimentary concept of the difference between right and wrong. I would agree that radical and dangerous religious groups should be suppressed just as any radical and dangerous group should be suppressed. However, I am not sure it is fair to blame the entirety of religion for the sins of one group. Do we condemn all Germans for what Hitler did?

    Organic wrote:

    i have perceived many choices, however i employ simple scientific methods to reach my conclusion. e.g.occhams razor. if i start with a wide range but come to a single correct answer, does this make me immature??
    Somehow I don't think Occam's razor is a basic scientific principle. It is more a philosophical approach. We often find that the complex answers are more complete and more significant that the simplest (Occam's razor) answers. Newtonian physics are more simple than Relativity, but we cannot rely solely on Newton.

    I think the moment you believe you have "the one single correct answer," it shows you to be immature. The oxymoron that the only thing for certain is that nothing is for certain, perhaps recognizes a more mature attitude. Science spends more time successfully disproving that it does in proving.

    Let us not forget that while science and done much that is beneficial in the world, it has also given us atomic weapons and bio-weapons and the means of mass destruction. It has led to cures for many diseases but also gave us thalidomide babies. Science seems to be in a race against itself as to whether it can save mankind before it destroys mankind.

    Scifor provided a quote from Hitler just above this post. I would have to wonder if Scifor agrees with that characterization of Jesus. Secondarily, I would wonder if Scifor feels that Hitler's condemnation of the Jews is an accurate reflection of what Christians actually advocate. I would hope not.

    The condemnation here of religion in general is not all that different from Hitler's condemnation of the Jews. It is, generally, based on ignorance and appeals to the ignorant who need someone to blame for their own inadequacies. It does not appeal to facts and truth, but employs rhetoric in an designed effort to arouse people emotionally rather than intellectually -- ala a number of posters in this forum. The Hitler quote just oozes with untruthful rhetoric.

    I suppose if religion were the only means of such motivation, then it would be permissible to single out religion as the evil of the world. However, we find many other such motivators employed at various times and places in history. Race, ethnicity, nationality, economics, politics are easily just as effective for use in employing rhetoric to motivate people into doing something for the wrong reason.

    Perhaps those who advocate the abolition of religion would hazard a guess as to why the people who post on these open forums are almost exclusively from the highly Christian influenced West where individual freedom of expression is one of our most cherished freedoms. Why do we not see people from the known repressive places posting here?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    To go back to the original question. There are a number of dating systems that prove the world is more than 6000 years old, which do not rely on radioisotope decay. I do not think the speed of light method would convince a fundamentalist Christian, since he can also denies the Big Bang, and allied phenomena.

    Some other systems include :
    1. Dendrochronology.
    Each group of tree rings forms a unique pattern, like a bar code, that can be identified on any tree of the same type. Annual tree rings can be counted back some thousands of years on living and recently dead trees. Before that, we can dig up dead trees preserved on lake beds and swamps, and identify the same 'bar code' of tree rings, which is now dated by counting rings. The dead trees allow us to count back more thousands of years and find 'bar codes' perhaps 6000 years back. Even older preserved trees then carry the count back further. To date, tree rings have been counted back about 50,000 years.

    Answers in Genesis denies this method by stating that tree rings can form with 2 per year. That is true, but such doublings are not common, and only occur in one tree, and not in its neighbour. By cross checking a number of trees, dendrochonologists can compensate for this and count back 50,000 years. Incidentally, this permits 'proof' of the validity of carbon dating.

    2. Alpine lakes.
    Certain lakes freeze over each winter, making the water very calm. Over summer, fine sediment stays suspended due to turbulence from wind. Over winter, the fine sediments settle. This leaves layers of fine and coarse sediments in the lake bottom, which can be sampled by cores, and counted back. These have been counted back many tens of thousands of years.

    3. Glacial layers.
    Snow falling on glaciers leaves summer and winter layers, due to seasonal dust falling. These have been counted back 2 million years to my knowledge.

    Anyone else have any good dating methods?? Independent of radioisotope.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    Those who see things in such black and white and one dimensional terms are pretty obviously simple minded
    So if there is only one correct answer, i should still consider several wrong answers as possibly correct, and therefore i am being intelligent? seems counter intuitive. If i know the right answer then why should i consider the wrong answer?
    Nonsense. I could hear this same nonsense from the flat earth society and young earth creationists. It is a typical arguement of a blind ideologue. "I know that the earth is flat so why should I consider that it might be round?" "I know that the world is 6000 years old and so why should I consider the possibility that the scientific evidence means that it is billions of years old." etc. etc. etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    The narowness of the choices that one perceives is a good measure of maturity
    i have percieved many choices, however i employ simple scientific methods to reach my conclusion. e.g.occhams razor. if i start with a wide range but come to a single correct answer, does this make me immature??
    I am a scientist. I have a hard time believing that a scientist would say what you did above so perhaps you are one of these atheists who like to pretend that being an atheist makes them a scientist. In science all truths are provisional and subject to the discovery of exceptions so scientists do not think in such imbecilic black and white terms. A scientific training especially in physics (as I have) trains you expand your mind beyond common sense perception to higher dimensions and to embrace paradoxical truths.

    Occam's razor is often misunderstood by people who try to make science into some kind of religion. Relativity is not simpler than Newton's theory. Quantum physics is not simpler that the previous understanding of waves and particles. Occam's razor starts by saying "all things being equal" and that means that it only applies to deciding between two theories that predict exactly the same thing. Which is why these more complex theories replaced (or modified) what preceded them.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    It is the diversity of human thought that I rejoice in
    diversity is only useful if it is correct...you and mcCormick should get together some time and discuss how the mindless "wind up toys" are ruining science for everyone.
    Everything in life is not about correct or incorrect. What is the correct painting? What is the correct species of bird? These are of course nonsensical questions and so when the ideologue start saying that there is a correct way to think or a correct way to live ones life, they reduce human thought to imbecilic simple mindedness and human beings to wind up toys.

    You are a lot like William McCormick for you suffer from a similar confusion between science and philosophy. William uses the methods of rhetoric (typically used in philosophy and religion) to make what he claims are scientific assertions and you imagine that science lends authority to your rhetoric and philosophical assertions.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    And what do you know of my views? I insult theist and atheist with equanimity
    I know nothing of your views, perhaps you could present them at some point,
    however i don't believe it is an accident that you put off posting your own beliefs.
    My views are displayed all over this forum (and my signature provides an easy link to more) for I have been here for quite some time so it is pure idiocy that you would make this claim. It is no accident that you would put your foot in your mouth like this because the smallest bit of research would reveal this fact to you, which means that research is not your habit, as it would be if you had a decent educational background. This makes all your claims about right answers look extremely foolish, for what claim can you make to right answers when you do not do the research to find them?

    But anything you want to know my view on, just ask, and I would be happy to answer your question.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    If there is no God, then the world is what it is because of man. And you want to place your confidence in that?
    Or the world is what it is because of science, which i have faith in.
    Here is another bad habit, quoting someone and not attributing it to the person that said it. I found that they are the words of daytonturner.

    I respect that you recognize the role of faith in your thinking but your reply needs a great deal of work. Perhaps you are attempting to credit science with the accomplishments of modern technology, which is certainly proper. But dayton was refering to all the problems in the world and the evil things that men do, and certainly you do not want to say that these are to the credit of science, do you?

    Furthermore if you mean to say that the events and state of the world are a consequence of the laws of nature then you should be careful about using the word "science" for this because this is not the same thing. Science does indeed study the laws which govern the progression of events, but science is a work in progress. Each answer it finds usually gives rise to even more questions, and that the scientist knows is a good thing and this is one of the things that distinguishes him from the ideologue. For the ideologue will insist that his ideology has all the answers that he needs. Thus the creationist ideologues acutally think that the fact that science does not know all the answers about how abiogenesis occured, is a reason to discount it. The scientist however revels in these unanswered questions for these are the challenges that the scientist looks for in his search for the truth.
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    Back to verzen's OP. I think it would be interesting if there were some kind of survey that could show just how many people believe in a 6,000-year-old earth. I don't happen to think it is really all that many people. So, to rag on this issue is sort of like the proverbial flogging a dead horse.

    The world is full of people who believe wrong stuff in the face of far more controverting evidence. Like that The Holocaust didn't happen and that men on the moon is a hoax. Like believing that HIV does not cause AIDS. Somehow, those improper beliefs seems somewhat more dangerous to civilization than someone believing the wrong thing about the age of the earth.

    For the most part, I would not think the age of the Earth is of much importance to a young Earth believer. If it were, they would probably investigate enough to know that young Earth completely defies what we actually know about the universe and the Earth itself. And I would agree that young Earthers must come up with some really unscientific ideas to support the idea that God is in the business of fooling and confusing mankind by making things appear to be different than they really are. Sheesh, reality if confusing enough already!

    Meanwhile, I think denying that HIV causes AIDS has been a very deadly belief spread around in parts of Africa.
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    Did you know that having sex with a virgin cures aids? I heard it from someone from Africa.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Scifor provided a quote from Hitler just above this post. I would have to wonder if Scifor agrees with that characterization of Jesus. Secondarily, I would wonder if Scifor feels that Hitler's condemnation of the Jews is an accurate reflection of what Christians actually advocate. I would hope not.
    Since Hitler was a christian, it's clearly representative of what some christians actually advocate. But of course it doesn't seem to be representative of what most christians believe today.

    I was merely correcting your claim that Nazism was anti-religious. In fact, Hitler was an avowed christian his entire life, and his hatred for the Jews appears to have been in large part a religious hatred.
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    Nonsense. I could hear this same nonsense from the flat earth society and young earth creationists. It is a typical arguement of a blind ideologue. "I know that the earth is flat so why should I consider that it might be round?" "I know that the world is 6000 years old and so why should I consider the possibility that the scientific evidence means that it is billions of years old." etc. etc. etc.
    It really depends on the subject being discussed, in many branches of science there exists a correct answer, the main problem here is that i am a more practically minded scientist so i dont really bother with a lot of the stuff you wonder about.

    Occam's razor is often misunderstood by people who try to make science into some kind of religion. Relativity is not simpler than Newton's theory. Quantum physics is not simpler that the previous understanding of waves and particles. Occam's razor starts by saying "all things being equal" and that means that it only applies to deciding between two theories that predict exactly the same thing. Which is why these more complex theories replaced (or modified) what preceded them.
    this argument makes absolutely no sense, obviously relativity is not simpler than newtons theory, and wave-particle duality is not simpler than the previous understanding, but the fatal flaw is that newtons theory and classical mechanics are wrong when you apply them to certain situations
    therefore they shouldn't even be considered. Wave particle duality was a whole new paradigm that replaced an incorrect one.
    i think you are the one who misunderstands occam's razor not me.

    Everything in life is not about correct or incorrect. What is the correct painting? What is the correct species of bird? These are of course nonsensical questions and so when the ideologue start saying that there is a correct way to think or a correct way to live ones life, they reduce human thought to imbecilic simple mindedness and human beings to wind up toys.
    yes but painting and...species of bird (not sure how this helps) are not scientific arguments.
    I guess the main difference here is that i use my time doing useful science rather than wondering about paintings.

    which means that research is not your habit, as it would be if you had a decent educational background. This makes all your claims about right answers look extremely foolish, for what claim can you make to right answers when you do not do the research to find them?
    wow this made me laugh so hard. if you had done YOUR research you would know i have had an excellent educational background, i decided not to waste my time looking for your ideas as like a REAL scientist i had more important things to research.
    everything is mathematical.
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    scifor said:
    Since Hitler was a christian, it's clearly representative of what some christians actually advocate. But of course it doesn't seem to be representative of what most christians believe today.
    I was merely correcting your claim that Nazism was anti-religious. In fact, Hitler was an avowed christian his entire life, and his hatred for the Jews appears to have been in large part a religious hatred.
    Well, I understand what you are saying -- that Hitler identified himself as a Christian. But let's consider, say, Osama Ben Laden and Al Quida or the Taliban -- do they represent mainstream Islam? And is it proper to condemn all of Islam or all of religion, for that matter, because of the actions of these aberrations?

    I think when it comes to Hitler, we must ask if he was motivated by a desire to convert others to Christianity or was he masking his own desire for power and fomenting hatred toward the Jews as a means to gather support for his personal goals? I think you sort of agreed with what I said in that Hitler was not promoting Christianity, but promoting hatred of Jews. It was not religion, but anti-religion which was used by Hitler.

    I cannot deny that religion (or anti-religion) can be a highly emotional motivational mechanism. It is my contention that it is not the religion, but the misuse of the religion which can become a problem for civilization. In which case, I don't think it is proper to blame religion, but those who misuse it for their own personal agendas.

    I earlier mentioned other similar platforms for such emotional motivation and we hardly ever see them used singularly but quite often in conjunction with each other.

    When there is conflict based on racial differences, what and who do we blame? Do we blame the entirety of the white people on Earth for slavery that was practiced in the U.S. (and elsewhere) in the 1700s and 1800s? To what do we attribute tribal slaughters among some groups in Africa? The witch doctors?

    My point here is not that religion is the panacea for all civil discontent, but that even without religion, we have enough other motivational causes to bring about wars and discontent.

    And, trying to relate it to the OP, I just cannot see how the fact that some people erroneously believe that God created the Universe and Earth only 6,000 years ago is a significant factor in world affairs and provides a basis for advocating the elimination of all religious thought. If such people were out piloting airplanes into tall buildings, or martyrizing themselves by perpetrating suicide-bomb murders, or setting off bombs to bring down civilian passenger liners, then I think there would be reason for concern.

    I think, here in the West, we give people the opportunity to be as intelligent or as stupid as they choose to be. I do not know which is more stupid -- believing the world is 6,000 years old or thinking the fact that some people may believe such is a threat to civilization. I mean, talk about blowing things out of proportion!!!

    I think the idea that religion is the cause of the world's problems and should, therefore, be eliminated is as dangerous as Hitlerism or Islamic extremism. This concept being advanced by the very anti-religious community as might be exemplified by the writings of Dawkins and Dennett and their crowd is equally divisive. Basically they ultimately lobby for the hatred of people who do not agree with their position on evolution as though someone who does not believe in evolution is a threat to world peace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Well, I understand what you are saying -- that Hitler identified himself as a Christian. But let's consider, say, Osama Ben Laden and Al Quida or the Taliban -- do they represent mainstream Islam? And is it proper to condemn all of Islam or all of religion, for that matter, because of the actions of these aberrations?
    No and no. But neither would it be correct to say that Al Quida is atheistic or anti-religion.
    I cannot deny that religion (or anti-religion) can be a highly emotional motivational mechanism. It is my contention that it is not the religion, but the misuse of the religion which can become a problem for civilization. In which case, I don't think it is proper to blame religion, but those who misuse it for their own personal agendas.
    It would be absurd to blame christianity for Hitler. As I said, my point was that you were wrong when you called Nazism atheistic and anti-religious. It had heavy religious overtones, and much of the Nazi rhetoric was overtly religious.
    I think the idea that religion is the cause of the world's problems and should, therefore, be eliminated is as dangerous as Hitlerism or Islamic extremism. This concept being advanced by the very anti-religious community as might be exemplified by the writings of Dawkins and Dennett and their crowd is equally divisive. Basically they ultimately lobby for the hatred of people who do not agree with their position on evolution as though someone who does not believe in evolution is a threat to world peace.
    So far as I know, Dawkins and Dennett have never proposed rounding up and executing religious believers, bombing churches, or even outlawing religion. They simply think that a lot of people have very foolish beliefs and they aren't shy about saying so. It's interesting that tens of thousands of preachers can publicly denounce atheists as evil and destined for hell, and nobody gives it a second thought; but when some prominent atheists start bluntly saying that they think religion is stupid and causes problems for society, suddenly they're "hateful" and "dangerous" and being compared to Hitler or islamic terrorists.

    I would say that calling Dawkins and Dennett as dangerous as perpetrators of genocide or terrorism is absurd beyond belief, but given the fact that you apparently believe a 2000+ year old book with stories of talking snakes, the boundaries of your belief are clearly quite broad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    wow this made me laugh so hard.
    I might sympathize since I have had similar causes to laugh at others who have made flat denials of my educational background. Such are the delusions that atheists sometimes participate in. But no such flat denial is what you have had from me, but an indictment on your behavior alone.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    if you had done YOUR research you would know i have had an excellent educational background, i decided not to waste my time looking for your ideas as like a REAL scientist i had more important things to research.
    How? Unlike you I am an open book. Who I am is plain to see from my user name to my web page. Regardless I have made no claim about your actual supposed education. For the plain fact of the matter is that degrees are not the same as actual understanding. My comments were exclusively about what your posts implied about you and your habits and it means that if you do have a proper education then you have even less excuse for your behavior than I thought.

    Your "laughter" and response likewise leave us no wiser in regards to who you really are. Otherwise we might have a better understanding where your strengths and weaknesses actually lie. Your website suggests political science. Do you care to enlighten us on this matter?


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    So if there is only one correct answer, i should still consider several wrong answers as possibly correct, and therefore i am being intelligent? seems counter intuitive. If i know the right answer then why should i consider the wrong answer?
    Nonsense. I could hear this same nonsense from the flat earth society and young earth creationists. It is a typical arguement of a blind ideologue. "I know that the earth is flat so why should I consider that it might be round?" "I know that the world is 6000 years old and so why should I consider the possibility that the scientific evidence means that it is billions of years old." etc. etc. etc.
    It really depends on the subject being discussed, in many branches of science there exists a correct answer, the main problem here is that i am a more practically minded scientist so i dont really bother with a lot of the stuff you wonder about.
    ...
    I guess the main difference here is that i use my time doing useful science rather than wondering about paintings.
    LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Occam's razor is often misunderstood by people who try to make science into some kind of religion. Relativity is not simpler than Newton's theory. Quantum physics is not simpler that the previous understanding of waves and particles. Occam's razor starts by saying "all things being equal" and that means that it only applies to deciding between two theories that predict exactly the same thing. Which is why these more complex theories replaced (or modified) what preceded them.
    this argument makes absolutely no sense, obviously relativity is not simpler than newtons theory, and wave-particle duality is not simpler than the previous understanding, but the fatal flaw is that newtons theory and classical mechanics are wrong when you apply them to certain situations
    therefore they shouldn't even be considered. Wave particle duality was a whole new paradigm that replaced an incorrect one.
    i think you are the one who misunderstands occam's razor not me.
    Newton's theory and classical mechanics shouldn't even be considered??? Have you ever put a foot inside a physics class? So you are denying that my explanation of Occam's razor is correct? LOL In what regard? You obviously understand that relativity and quantum physics is not simpler. So are you claiming that Occam's razor appies to deciding between theories that don't predict the same thing? Kuhn has given you a very poor understanding of science. His scientific revolutions may actually apply to the soft sciences which you study but in the hard sciences based on real and substantial evidence, Kuhn analysis is pure nonsense.

    I made no argument that Occam's razor is wrong. Do you have issues with functional literacy as well as research habits? I explained a common misunderstanding of Occam's razor. If you are going to make a claim by my misunderstanding you should explain what that misunderstanding is instead of just using empty words. But I think you are clearly out of your depth here.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Everything in life is not about correct or incorrect. What is the correct painting? What is the correct species of bird? These are of course nonsensical questions and so when the ideologue start saying that there is a correct way to think or a correct way to live ones life, they reduce human thought to imbecilic simple mindedness and human beings to wind up toys.
    yes but painting and...species of bird (not sure how this helps) are not scientific arguments.
    Don't choke. Breathe normally.

    Everything is not about science. There is much more to the world and human life than science. Likewise the world of human thought has a great more to it that merely correct and incorrect. Somethings are very much about correct and incorrect - an excellent example is medical diagnoses, where there is very little room for error as well. But there is to more to human life and thought than this, and this is one of the problems with an ideological approach to these.



    Look I know you don't want to admit anything because I haven't been particularly nice to you. But my purpose was not to denounce and ridicule you but to challenge you. It was not to provoke your anger but to provoke thought. My point is that you have no reason to defend yourself or admit a thing and you are free to share no more or less about yourself than you choose. Our next encounter will be based purely on what you post then. OK?
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    scifor said:
    Well, I understand what you are saying -- that Hitler identified himself as a Christian. But let's consider, say, Osama Ben Laden and Al Quida or the Taliban -- do they represent mainstream Islam? And is it proper to condemn all of Islam or all of religion, for that matter, because of the actions of these aberrations?

    I think when it comes to Hitler, we must ask if he was motivated by a desire to convert others to Christianity or was he masking his own desire for power and fomenting hatred toward the Jews as a means to gather support for his personal goals? I think you sort of agreed with what I said in that Hitler was not promoting Christianity, but promoting hatred of Jews. It was not religion, but anti-religion which was used by Hitler.
    Not only that but while Hitler wore the disguise of Christianty for political purposes, he very clearly despised Christianity in private comments. This just makes the rather obvious point that even IF being Christian were some guarantee of good character, WHICH IT IS NOT, we can hardly accept at face value the claims of a politician with regards to being Christian in a predominantly Christian nation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hitler's Secret Conversations 1941-1944 published by Farrar, Straus and Young
    Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

    National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)


    10th October, 1941, midday:

    Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)


    14th October, 1941, midday:

    The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.... Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse.... ...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.... Christianity the liar.... We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)


    19th October, 1941, night:

    The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.


    21st October, 1941, midday:

    Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer.... The decisive falsification of Jesus' doctrine was the work of St.Paul. He gave himself to this work... for the purposes of personal exploitation.... Didn't the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it's in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St.Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. (p 63-65)


    13th December, 1941, midnight:

    Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)


    14th December, 1941, midday:

    Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.... Pure Christianity-- the Christianity of the catacombs-- is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)


    9th April, 1942, dinner:

    There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)


    27th February, 1942, midday:

    It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-- but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch Uin the next 200 yearse will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.... My regret will have been that I couldn't... behold ." (p 278)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Not only that but while Hitler wore the disguise of Christianty for political purposes, he very clearly despised Christianity in private comments. This just makes the rather obvious point that even IF being Christian were some guarantee of good character, WHICH IT IS NOT, we can hardly accept at face value the claims of a politician with regards to being Christian in a predominantly Christian nation.
    I suspect that these ALL came from "Hitler's Table Talk," a book of very dubious historical reliability. It's certainly a gold mine of anti-christian quotes by Hitler, but many of the things in it are contradicted by other historical sources - including surviving copies of Hitler's own private correspondence. Additionally, even in Table Talk it's clear that Hitler was still religious. He has numerous quotes in it about how atheism is a barbaric animal state, and other things to that effect. I'm certainly not an expert on this subject, but I would strongly encourage you to look into this matter more closely if you really care to know Hitler's religious convictions.
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    Newton's theory and classical mechanics shouldn't even be considered??? Have you ever put a foot inside a physics class?
    Yes i have. you? what i am saying is that when you approach certain situations in physics, that newtonian mechanics becomes unreliable and therefore if you had to decide between quantum mechanics and newtonian mechanics , then newtonian shouldnt be considered as it is just wrong so occham's razor doesnt apply. I think we actually agree on this point but i am saying that this point is irrelevant.

    The debate ultimately comes down to the creation of the universe, science states one idea, creationist theory states another. when i consider both theories i used the simplest explanation.

    His scientific revolutions may actually apply to the soft sciences which you study but in the hard sciences based on real and substantial evidence, Kuhn analysis is pure nonsense
    I don't study soft sciences but gg anway. i fail to see how a kuhn analysis does not apply to harder sciences, clearly wave-particle duality was a new paradigm, are you saying that this is pure nonsense, or have i misunderstood what you are saying here?

    Everything is not about science. There is much more to the world and human life than science. Likewise the world of human thought has a great more to it that merely correct and incorrect. Somethings are very much about correct and incorrect - an excellent example is medical diagnoses, where there is very little room for error as well. But there is to more to human life and thought than this, and this is one of the problems with an ideological approach to these.
    We just have different ways of viewing the world. It was obviously a mistake to bring my scientific mind into a softer subject such as this

    My point is that you have no reason to defend yourself or admit a thing and you are free to share no more or less about yourself than you choose
    unfortunately your first post was to call me a "wind up robot" just because my mind is used to the study of hard science's that have a purpose. so please don't pretend that you were trying to provoke thought rather than anger.
    everything is mathematical.
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    scifor said:

    So far as I know, Dawkins and Dennett have never proposed rounding up and executing religious believers, bombing churches, or even outlawing religion. They simply think that a lot of people have very foolish beliefs and they aren't shy about saying so. It's interesting that tens of thousands of preachers can publicly denounce atheists as evil and destined for hell, and nobody gives it a second thought; but when some prominent atheists start bluntly saying that they think religion is stupid and causes problems for society, suddenly they're "hateful" and "dangerous" and being compared to Hitler or islamic terrorists.
    I agree that the leaders of current anti-religious sentiment do not personally or overtly advocate the means by which religious people should be exterminated. However, they systematically paint a picture of religious people as being the pariahs of social order and I have, in other times and other places, cited passages from The God Delusion where Dawkins does exactly that. Dawkins continuously blames a God he doesn't believe in as one of the main causes of world disorder. Other reading such drivel take up the chant and enlarge and enhance it as we can often see in posts on this forum.

    I find that the 90 or so percent of us who believe in God must tippy-toe around when mentioning Him for fear of stepping on the oversensitive egos of the seven or eight percent who do not believe. We have to be careful where we put manger scenes or crosses lest we offend the few. We have been cowed into being expected to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. And you wonder why believers react?

    It is very frustrating to Christians that they seem to be the focus of this anti-religious sentiment rather than the religion which is actually causing the problems in the world today. Atheists seem unable to recognize the real threat to their freedom of expression. How many atheists in Islamic nations could say about Allah and Mohammad that people say here about God and Jesus?

    Christianity does have some weird stuff going on even in recent history such as Jonestown and the Branch Davidians. However, I don't think even those groups were serious threats to the world. We also have Survivalists, Skin Heads and the Ku Klux Klan who somehow (falsely) justify their existence through some connection to Christianity. I find their Christianity no more valid than I would the Christianity of Hitler. If Christianity did not exist, they would still find some justification for their prejudiced philosophical bent. I suspect their racist tendencies are founded in something other than religion. One of the first conversions recorded in the Bible following the crucifixion of Jesus was that of a black man.

    I think unfounded and misplaced prejudice is always hateful and dangerous. And I have no compunction about placing Dawkins, Dennet and their anti-religious movement in that category.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    It is only in more backward nations that 90% are Christian. In more progressive nations, like my New Zealand, such belief is rarer. We have only 40% believers. I am very proud of that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I agree that the leaders of current anti-religious sentiment do not personally or overtly advocate the means by which religious people should be exterminated. However, they systematically paint a picture of religious people as being the pariahs of social order and I have, in other times and other places, cited passages from The God Delusion where Dawkins does exactly that. Dawkins continuously blames a God he doesn't believe in as one of the main causes of world disorder. Other reading such drivel take up the chant and enlarge and enhance it as we can often see in posts on this forum.
    It's been a few years since I read The God Delusion, so I might not be remembering it correctly. But I don't recall Dawkins expressing any sort of sentiment that religious people are bad or responsible for all of societies ills. He certainly does think that religion is bad for society on the whole, and he isn't shy about expressing it - but he doesn't preach the sort of hatred that you seem to be ascribing to him. If you are proposing that people should keep their opinions to themselves when they believe that certain groups or ideologies are bad for society so as to avoid inciting intolerance, you might want to have a word with your fellow christians first.
    I find that the 90 or so percent of us who believe in God must tippy-toe around when mentioning Him for fear of stepping on the oversensitive egos of the seven or eight percent who do not believe. We have to be careful where we put manger scenes or crosses lest we offend the few. We have been cowed into being expected to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. And you wonder why believers react?
    Oh, yes, you poor christians are soooooooooo persecuted by us mean old atheists. To quote John Stewart, I hope that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely, in broad daylight, openly wearing symbols of their religion, perhaps around their necks. And maybe - dare I dream it - maybe one day there could even be an openly Christian president. Or, perhaps, 44 of them. Consecutively.

    Seriously, this is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. It's fine for former President Bush to state that he doesn't think atheists should be considered citizens. It's fine for thousands of christain preachers to say every day that atheists are evil and going to hell. But as soon as an atheists complains about government land or tax dollars being used to support a religion that they don't believe in or approve of, suddenly those atheists are being hateful and oppressing christians

    The "hatred" and "intolerance" coming from the prominent atheists in this country is lightyears behind the hated and intolerance that routinely comes out of mainstream christianity. Even Dawkins, so far as I know, has never said that christians are bad people - he merely says that he disagrees with them. Christians, on the other hand, can say that atheists are evil and it wont even raise any eyebrows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    Newton's theory and classical mechanics shouldn't even be considered??? Have you ever put a foot inside a physics class?
    Yes i have. you?
    Yes, quite a bit. Now it is in the role of instructor.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    what i am saying is that when you approach certain situations in physics, that newtonian mechanics becomes unreliable and therefore if you had to decide between quantum mechanics and newtonian mechanics , then newtonian shouldnt be considered as it is just wrong so occham's razor doesnt apply. I think we actually agree on this point but i am saying that this point is irrelevant.
    The reason I asked you if you had set foot in a physics class, is because all that is taught in the first three years of undergraduate and first two years of graduate school is Newtonian physics and classical mechanics. So this claim that they are "just wrong" is completely absurd and this is why Kuhn's analysis is a joke when it comes to the hard sciences, that are based on solid evidence rather than suppositions. The hard sciences do not operate according to revolutions because the evidence accumulates and never goes away. New theory which covers special situations where the old physics does not work therefore DOES NOT overthrow the "old" physics which continues to explain and calculate exactly what it always explained and calculated.

    Ocaam's razor does not apply for exactly the reason I first gave which is that they do not predict exactly the same thing. And that is why Ocaam's razor is incorrectly applied by non-physicist, claiming that the simpler theory is better when the theories do not predict exactly the same things at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    The debate ultimately comes down to the creation of the universe, science states one idea, creationist theory states another. when i consider both theories i used the simplest explanation.
    Oh really? LOL LOL LOL What can be simpler than "Goddidit", even a child can understand that. LOL Yeah I like the movie Contact too. But as a reason for choosing science over relgion, Occam's razor is just about the suckiest.

    The idea that modern scientific ideas about the origins of things are the simplest is ludicrous in the extreme. Try explaining General Relatvity and Modern Cosmology to a five year old. No you can really do a lot better than that. The reason is NOT that "Goddidit" is a more complex LOL explanation LOL LOL LOL. It is that explanations that a child can understand are quite often only of use to a child. It is kind of like these massive computer programs made with an interface that any idiot can use, -- the problem is that only an idiot would use something so impotent. Science is better NOT because it is simpler BUT because it is more USEFUL and more powerful. The "Goddidit" explanation is useless for any other purpose than providing a reason to praise and worship God. That was great for the middle ages when there was little else that people could do.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    We just have different ways of viewing the world. It was obviously a mistake to bring my scientific mind into a softer subject such as this
    I have yet to see any evidence of a scientific mind at work, but yeah it was a mistake to enter into a discussion with me when you are confused about the difference between science and philosophy as you seem to be.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    My point is that you have no reason to defend yourself or admit a thing and you are free to share no more or less about yourself than you choose
    unfortunately your first post was to call me a "wind up robot" just because my mind is used to the study of hard science's that have a purpose. so please don't pretend that you were trying to provoke thought rather than anger.
    We use hammers rather than delicacy and tact in this forum. We call it like we see it. Get used to it.
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    skeptic said:

    It is only in more backward nations that 90% are Christian. In more progressive nations, like my New Zealand, such belief is rarer. We have only 40% believers. I am very proud of that!
    According to this web site ( http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/8244121 ), only 20 percent of the people in New Zealand are non-believers.

    We may be backward here in the U.S. be at least we do know that 100 percent minus 20 per cent leaves 80 percent believers.

    A 2006 study cited in Wikipedia listed 55.6 percent of the New Zealand population as Christians which also seems to disagree with your numbers. While percentages are not listed, New Zealand also has people who follow several other religions such as Buddhism, Hindu, Islam and the native Maori religion. Where, by the way, did you come up with your numbers anyhow? Did you pull them straight out of a place where the sun don't shine?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    scifor said:

    It's fine for thousands of christain preachers to say every day that atheists are evil and going to hell. But as soon as an atheists complains about government land or tax dollars being used to support a religion that they don't believe in or approve of, suddenly those atheists are being hateful and oppressing christians
    I'm not sure I have ever heard a preacher say that atheists are evil based on their atheism. It might be that the actions of some known atheist have been labeled evil, but one need not be an atheist to accomplish evil deeds. It would not be an accurate statement that atheists are going to hell. We all start out as atheists. Perhaps a Christian would consider that an unrepentant atheist will spend eternity outside the presence of God. But we can never know what atheists are going to repent, so it is impossible for us to know at any particular moment whether a specific person will or will not repent and receive the free gift of eternal life. Nor are we able to read hearts to the extent that we can know for sure that a professing Christian has actually yielded himself/herself to God. Sometimes we may even wonder about our own salvation.

    I am unaware of anytime any government action has actually supported a specific religion. If you have an example of such an action and which religion was being supported, then I would agree that not only atheists, but members of any other religion would have legitimate complaint.

    If government permits a Nativity scene to be placed on government property, what religion is being supported? Catholicism? Methodism? Mormonism? And why should an atheist be offended or intimidated by a symbolism that they consider a myth? Would they be equally offended by a marijuana advocate's scene depicting the mythical Puff the Magic Dragon? Perhaps you can explain why the one perceived myth is offensive while the other one isn't.

    If protesting to the point of not allowing Nativity scenes on public property is not hateful and oppressive, what is? Especially in view of the fact that two-thirds of the people in the U.S. believe in the Nativity while probably nobody believes in Puff the Magic Dragon.

    What about government providing space and money for the advocacy of abortion, a practice that is offensive to a far larger portion of the public than are offended by religious symbols.

    We seem, all of a sudden, to live in a society where the majority rules unless it somehow offends some minority group.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    I think what he is referring to is prop 8. Religious thought played a big role in determining that homosexuals should never get married.
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    I don't think prop 8 makes it illegal for homosexuals to get married; it just bars people of the same sex from getting married. A homosexual man has the exact same rights I have -- neither of us can marry another man, either of us can marry a woman. Well, in my case it would be bigamy, but maybe they could make that legal along with same sex marriage. It should be noted that this issue has been brought to a vote in several states and in all instances, people have determined that marriage should refer to the joining of one man and one woman. I am not sure how many states have voted on this issue, but California was one of three this year. The only states where same sex marriage is permitted are states which do not afford the people the right of initiative or referendum to bring the issue to a vote.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is very frustrating to Christians that they seem to be the focus of this anti-religious sentiment rather than the religion which is actually causing the problems in the world today.
    The religion which is causing the problems in the world? Which religion might you be referring to?

    Joseph Kony is the leader of the “Lord’s Resistance Army”, a guerrilla group dedicated to converting Uganda to a theocracy. He recruits his soldiers by kidnapping children, initiating them by forcing them to commit murder and whipping them up to 300 times. The misery inflicted by these child-wretches turned zombies is almost beyond imagining. They raze villages creating a vast refugee poulation, commit hideous crimes such as mutilation and disembowelling and continue to kidnap children (one guess on the Wikipedia page says up to 60,000 abductees so far) to prevent the local tribes from taking countermeasures lest they harm one of their own.

    In 2006 the International Criminal Court indicted Kony on 33 charges including 12 crimes against humanity including murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement and rape. There are an additional 21 counts of war crimes including murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlistment of children into the rebel ranks. Kony’s response to this is to say that he is not willing to be tried by the ICC “because he has not done anything wrong”. According to Kony, all he is doing is bringing the ten commandments to the people of Uganda, and everything he does is done in the name of the lord. Hallelujah.

    Is that the religion you were referring to?

    It is disingenuous in the extreme of anyone to claim that any one particular religion is the one that is causing the problems.

    The problem is that all religions are unable, by definition, to tolerate any other mode of thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Christianity does have some weird stuff going on even in recent history such as Jonestown and the Branch Davidians. However, I don't think even those groups were serious threats to the world.
    So genocide and mass murder are fine as long as you don't perceive it as a threat to the world? That really is a curious kind of christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I find that the 90 or so percent of us who believe in God must tippy-toe around when mentioning Him for fear of stepping on the oversensitive egos of the seven or eight percent who do not believe. We have to be careful where we put manger scenes or crosses lest we offend the few. We have been cowed into being expected to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. And you wonder why believers react?
    If you were being fair you would have acknowledged that these changes have been brought about by the PC brigade who would prefer everything to be inclusive rather than exclusive. "Happy Holidays" is meant to apply to everyone, including Christians, whereas "Happy Christmas" excludes those who do not celebrate Jesus birthday. So it is motivated not by any anti-christian motive but by the misguided dream of offending no one. Personally, I join you in decrying this; I think we should acknowledge our differences and celebrate our diversity rather than aim to make everyone a clone of everyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I'm not sure I have ever heard a preacher say that atheists are evil based on their atheism.
    If you are going to insist that they use the word "evil" then I cannot argue with you. But the general claim by the religious that atheism is not an appropriate way to live one's life is so common it has even been said on national television.

    In his book, “God is Not Great” Christopher Hitchens tells us of a television debate chaired by the philosopher Bryan Magee between Bishop Butler - about whom we are told no more - and the late Professor A.J Ayer, the celebrated humanist. At one point in the debate Ayer said that he had seen no evidence for the existence of god. At which point the Bishop broke in to say that in that case he must have lived a life of unbridled immorality.

    Note that the Bishop did not say amorality, he said immorality.

    In his book, God After Darwin, the theologian John Haught said: The new atheists don't want to think out the implications of a complete absence of deity. Nietzsche, as well as Sartre and Camus, all expressed it quite correctly. The implications should be nihilism.

    I have personally been told, many times, both in person and in forums like this that because I am an atheist I must therefore be amoral.

    It might not be a view you share, but it is nevertheless common for religious folks to assume and to openly state that atheism causes amorality.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    And why should an atheist be offended or intimidated by a symbolism that they consider a myth?
    I think you are missing the point here, somewhat. It is not the mythology or symbolism that is offensive. I am not offended by anyone believing the story of King Arthur, or Robin Hood, or by films and comics featuring super-human characters who make Jesus look like a poorly trained magician. But relevantly, I have also never had anyone try to tell me that I am a moronic amoral imbecile because I prefer Star Wars to Star Trek. It is not mythology and symbolism that is offensive, it is the presumption of moral superiority and the presumption that I should "respect" you for believing a myth. Even though not prosecuted recently, it is actually illegal in my country to say anything that might offend God. That is offensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    We seem, all of a sudden, to live in a society where the majority rules unless it somehow offends some minority group.
    This is the PC effect, and I agree with you, it is wrong. But we should also not go the other way and allow the majority to stomp on the sensibilities of the minorities. Striking a balance between the democratic rule of the majority and consideration for others is hard, but no one ever said life was going to be easy. Particularly since it is universally true that the democratic majority have sunk to their lowest common denominator while the minority are capable of independent thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    The problem is that all religions are unable, by definition, to tolerate any other mode of thought.
    Yes many religions are unable to tolerate other modes of thought. And numbers has proven to me at least, that his religion is one of them -- well so far as a discussion goes any way -- he hasn't gone out executing those who disagree with him yet, as far as I know.
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    The reason I asked you if you had set foot in a physics class, is because all that is taught in the first three years of undergraduate and first two years of graduate school is Newtonian physics and classical mechanics. So this claim that they are "just wrong" is completely absurd and this is why Kuhn's analysis is a joke when it comes to the hard sciences, that are based on solid evidence rather than suppositions. The hard sciences do not operate according to revolutions because the evidence accumulates and never goes away. New theory which covers special situations where the old physics does not work therefore DOES NOT overthrow the "old" physics which continues to explain and calculate exactly what it always explained and calculated.

    Ocaam's razor does not apply for exactly the reason I first gave which is that they do not predict exactly the same thing. And that is why Ocaam's razor is incorrectly applied by non-physicist, claiming that the simpler theory is better when the theories do not predict exactly the same things at all.
    i don't see why we are arguing over a point we both agree on, newtonian mechanics can not be applied to certain situations, therefore ocams razor does not apply to these situations, we agree but you bringing this up was a complete waste of time.


    Oh really? LOL LOL LOL What can be simpler than "Goddidit", even a child can understand that. LOL Yeah I like the movie Contact too. But as a reason for choosing science over relgion, Occam's razor is just about the suckiest.
    Hmm you have not gone deep enough when thinking about this. if you say that god created the universe, you also have to say that god planted fake fossils and was trying to trick us into thinking he didnt create the universe.

    So my choices. 1.scientific explanation (admittedly not simple),
    2. A divine being with no creator, created a universe and put an intelligent species on the planet which he had edited so it looks like he didn't create it.

    it is my opinion that 1 is simpler than 2.

    1 has an internal logical consistency that i believe makes the argument simpler.
    you don't deem it simple because you have trouble with math. we have 2 different definitions here

    The theories do predict exactly the same thing. "something caused the universe as we know it to be created"


    but yeah it was a mistake to enter into a discussion with me when you are confused about the difference between science and philosophy as you seem to be.
    i believe the mistake was entering a discussion with someone below my level.
    your logical ability is woeful if you can not see how a scientific explanation is simpler than another argument.
    i won't make that mistake again

    gg no RE
    everything is mathematical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    i don't see why we are arguing over a point we both agree on, newtonian mechanics can not be applied to certain situations, therefore ocams razor does not apply to these situations, we agree but you bringing this up was a complete waste of time.
    Discussion is always a waste of time when people refuse to learn from them.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    Oh really? LOL LOL LOL What can be simpler than "Goddidit", even a child can understand that. LOL Yeah I like the movie Contact too. But as a reason for choosing science over relgion, Occam's razor is just about the suckiest.
    Hmm you have not gone deep enough when thinking about this. if you say that god created the universe, you also have to say that god planted fake fossils and was trying to trick us into thinking he didnt create the universe.
    Incorrect. I say that God created the universe but that God did not plant any fake fossils nor that He is trying to trick anyone. Just because your previous experience of religion was moronic doesn't mean that everyone's is.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    So my choices.
    1.scientific explanation (admittedly not simple),

    2. A divine being with no creator, created a universe and put an intelligent species on the planet which he had edited so it looks like he didn't create it.

    it is my opinion that 1 is simpler than 2.
    A child can still understand the second explanation not the first. Occam's razor is still pretty sucky.

    Look you can believe whatever you want, for whatever reason you want. I don't know why a theist like me would work so hard to help you improve your arguments for atheism, but well you know atheists are always doing the same favor to for the half cocked religious people who keep coming here with the dumbest arguments. The old timers here just feel it to be high calling to point out to people when their argument just don't hold a lot of water.

    I repeat, scientific explanations are better not because they are simpler but because they are more useful. Or another way you can put it is that "Goddidit" no matter how simple it is, really isn't any sort of explanation at all - it doesn't really explain a darn thing. For example, consider the question, how did the stars get there and the answer "God put them there". Well does that really explain anything about the stars? What is the reason? Why there and not somewhere else? The answer is usually "God only knows", which is really to say we cannot know and should stop asking fool questions. It is a reason to NOT look for an explanation at all. ID is EXACTLY the same thing - a rational for why we cannot explain things. ID and creationism is motivated at its heart by a desperate desire that there not be a scientific explanation for the species and life itself on this planet.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    1 has an internal logical consistency that i believe makes the argument simpler.
    you don't deem it simple because you have trouble with math. we have 2 different definitions here
    But that is a strawman approach. Anyone can do this kind of rhetoric about anything. State their opponents position with logical contradictions in it and their own without and say, "SEE mine is simpler and more logical."


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    The theories do predict exactly the same thing. "something caused the universe as we know it to be created"
    Incorrect, that is not prediction. Every theory will of course start by making sure it is consistent with what we know about the way things are. But predicting what we don't know yet is something else. Science, religion and atheism all do predict different things (I can enumerate some if you like), but science is in the unique position of being able to test its predictions because it restricts its predictions to what is measurable.


    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    i believe the mistake was entering a discussion with someone below my level.
    your logical ability is woeful if you can not see how a scientific explanation is simpler than another argument.
    i won't make that mistake again
    Ho hum... promises promises... If that is a promise to take my criticisms in silence, I think that is a wise decision considering your obvious "talents".
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    clearly you did not understand the original point of the thread.
    which was the discussion of the age of the universe.

    so rather than discredit all your statements and make you look foolish (you are doing a fine job of this yourself) i will provide the thought process i went through by applying basic logic(you should try this some time)

    Scientific evidence provides an estimate for the age of the universe and this gives us a value a lot larger than 6000 years, something like 14 billion? with a large uncertainty value.

    so now i am presented with 2 theories.
    1. The scientific data and assumptions are correct, the entire universe was a scientific "creation" therefore we have a universe that is 14 billion years old.
    2. A divine being or "god" created a universe 6000 years ago...then made it appear that the universe was older than it was for some inexplicable reason.

    It is my logical opinion that 1 is simpler than 2. If i presented these 2 options to our theoretical 10 year old he would pick option 1 which states "the apparent age of the universe is 14 billion years because...it is 14 billion years."
    everything is mathematical.
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    numbers said:

    Joseph Kony etc., etc., etc.
    And, of course, you have found a lot of Christian organizations supporting his movement as actually being a viable Christian endeavor. I hardly think you would find any legitimate Christian organization which endorses or supports Kony.

    Are you equally outraged by the genocide in the Darfur region? I think the real difference here is that the Christian community denounces the heinous acts of people like Kony (or Jim Jones or David Koresh or Skinheads or the KKK) and disavow Kony's claim to a connection with Christianity just as we would any other sociopath claiming the approval of God. Meanwhile, we do not see similar denouncement of the Muslim slaughter of Christians in Darfur from mainstream Islam, but rather, tacit approval through their silence and refusal to denounce these actions.

    numbers also wrote:

    If you were being fair you would have acknowledged that these changes have been brought about by the PC brigade who would prefer everything to be inclusive rather than exclusive. "Happy Holidays" is meant to apply to everyone, including Christians, whereas "Happy Christmas" excludes those who do not celebrate Jesus birthday. So it is motivated not by any anti-christian motive but by the misguided dream of offending no one. Personally, I join you in decrying this; I think we should acknowledge our differences and celebrate our diversity rather than aim to make everyone a clone of everyone else.
    I'm sorry. I do not see how wishing someone a Merry Christmas is excluding them. It seems to me to be an attempt to include them. If a person is offended by such a greeting, it would seem to me that the problem is with the offended person, not the alleged offender. But thank you for apparently agreeing that this PC crap has gotten sort of out of hand.

    numbers also wrote:


    I have personally been told, many times, both in person and in forums like this that because I am an atheist I must therefore be amoral.
    It might not be a view you share, but it is nevertheless common for religious folks to assume and to openly state that atheism causes amorality.
    I suspect there is a lot of misunderstanding involved in this area. I do note that you correctly seem to point out that amorality and immorality are different things. I, personally, doubt you could find a person who was actually totally amoral. Even if one's moral code were the exact opposite of someone else's, it would still be a moral code. Amorality would suggest a person who does not consider any action either proper or improper. Nothing is good or bad. Probably even insane people have some preferences as to what is done to them even if they have no ability to judge the propriety of their own actions.

    If someone is using the term "amorality" interchangeably with "immorality," it is their ignorance of the difference which is the problem. I suppose the idea of the amoral person is same kind of fiction that creates the "reasonable" person.

    As a result, while we may suggest that a sociopath is an amoral person, all we are really suggesting is that his moral code seems to be devoid of the same constraints that most of us accept. It would probably be more accurate to describe such a person as devoutly immoral.

    But I would not agree that the world of the sociopath is exclusively assigned to atheists. There are a number of such people who claim to be acting under the direction of God (Kony?), believing in their own twisted minds that such a claim provides credibility to their actions -- which they may even realize someplace in their being are wrong which is why that attempt to invoke the approval of God.

    I think what you might see is a school of thought which says the morality processing mechanisms of those who claim to have "their own morality" is essentially the same as that of a sociopath. And, I think, you would find that atheists are far more likely to make the claim that they have "their own moral code" which has not been affected by, say, some religious book. (To which I say haha, how far can you delude yourself.)

    How does a sociopath determine what he is going to do? Well, basically, if s/he contemplates whether to do something, s/he decides whether it is OK for him/her to do it and acts according. But this is the same process which is employed by anyone who is arriving at "their own moral code." "I decide what is right or wrong for me to do and act accordingly." It is the same process, just variations in the filtering system.

    But there is also this erroneous idea that the Bible establishes a moral code. It doesn't. People had moral codes and social practices long before the first page of the Bible was written. The Bible merely tells us which of those moral codes and social practices God approved of and which ones he disapproved of.

    If you were to look at any act which we Bible thumpers suggest God disapproves of: The believer who violated that disapproval might say to himself, "Well, this is wrong, but, sorry God, I am going to do it anyway." The non believer would probably just say to himself, "There is nothing wrong with doing this."

    This idea of morality, amorality and immorality has been discussed on numerous threads here, many times. I don't think we have reached a definitive consensus on it yet.

    All of this is far astray from the idea that people who believe in a 6,000-year-old Universe are a threat to world social order.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    organic said:

    so now i am presented with 2 theories.
    1. The scientific data and assumptions are correct, the entire universe was a scientific "creation" therefore we have a universe that is 14 billion years old.
    2. A divine being or "god" created a universe 6000 years ago...then made it appear that the universe was older than it was for some inexplicable reason.
    I hesitate to bust into this discussion, but if those are the only possibilities organic can come up with, it shows a very narrow either/or approach which is what atheists often accuse Christians of taking.

    At least two other possible explanations exists:

    3. God created the Universe some 14.5 billion years ago and has been in charge of it's development ever since.

    4. The Universe has always exited but we do not now know how and why.

    I'm sure if we set our minds to it, we could come up with an large number of speculations and theories concerning the origin of the Universe.

    Moving on, God, understanding Occam's Razor far better than even organic, realized that the human mind of 4,000 B.C. was not going to understand physics as we know it today, so merely told them, "I am and I did it." It may also be that 21st Century knowledge is still so far from being able to provide understanding, that the answer "I am and I did it," is still closer to what we know than to what we don't know.

    I have never been offended by those who attempt to figure out how all of this stuff got here. Whether they agree or not, I see them as merely trying to figure out what God did and how He did it. I am offended only by those who get to a point that they can say, "Wow, now that we understand this .00000001 percent of all the knowledge mankind will ever obtain, it proves that God does not exist."

    It has always been my position that the Bible does not address the questions of what God did or how He did it. The Bible tells us why God did it and how we can appreciate what He has done.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    3. God created the Universe some 14.5 billion years ago and has been in charge of it's development ever since.
    I also considered this theory but it has a logical inconsistency that is worse than theory 2.

    The theory would be "the universe was created by a divine being 14.5 billion years ago...then for some reason he stated the universe was created only 6000 years ago despite knowing that we would calculate is was 14.5 billion years old and therefore question his existence...for some inexplicable reason.

    4. The Universe has always exited but we do not now know how and why.
    if the universe has always existed then some "divine being" mainuplated the evidence so that it pointed to a finite age of the universe...for shits and giggles?? this argument is similair to arguments 2 and 3.

    I have no problem if you believe that god created the universe, i just prefer to base my beliefs on logic.
    everything is mathematical.
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    4. The Universe has always exited but we do not now know how and why.
    if the universe has always existed then some "divine being" mainuplated the evidence so that it pointed to a finite age of the universe...for shits and giggles??
    I don't entirely follow your logic here. I am not well read in current cosmology, but I thought the Big Bang was not seen as the start of the Universe, but rather the point beyond which our current theories cannot penetrate. Cyclical universes - bang/crunch/bang - ad infinitum have been proposed, I think.
    I thought that the age of the universe was really just the time since that notional singularity, a convenience in other words. That seems to be consitent with an eternal universe and therefore the option seems a viable one.
    Where is my thinking awry?
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    I don't entirely follow your logic here. I am not well read in current cosmology, but I thought the Big Bang was not seen as the start of the Universe, but rather the point beyond which our current theories cannot penetrate. Cyclical universes - bang/crunch/bang - ad infinitum have been proposed, I think.
    I thought that the age of the universe was really just the time since that notional singularity, a convenience in other words. That seems to be consitent with an eternal universe and therefore the option seems a viable one.
    Where is my thinking awry?
    I see your point here, i thought dayton was referring to some creator but he may not of been,
    in either case your argument uses scientific theory and it has a logical consistency that i can follow, i myself am not sure about bang/crunch theory but this is due to having other research issues and not looking into it fully.
    everything is mathematical.
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  51. #50  
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    organic god said:
    The theory would be "the universe was created by a divine being 14.5 billion years ago...then for some reason he stated the universe was created only 6000 years ago despite knowing that we would calculate is was 14.5 billion years old and therefore question his existence...for some inexplicable reason.
    Well, your problem here is caused by an abysmal lack of actual knowledge of the Bible. There is absolutely no place in the Bible where God states that the World was created some 6,000 years ago. Would we not have to add at least 2,000 years since the last writings of the Bible are about 2,000 years old? If you think this is found in Mosaic writing, we would have to add at least another 2,000 years for an age of 10,000 years. If you can find that verse, I will kiss your rosy red you know what! My observation of your posts is that you often make unfounded claims and statements which are erroneous and lack any basis in reality or truth.

    The concept of 6,000 years has been generated by people who attempt to follow the genealogy of the Bible back through generations. The problem with this is that the Bible says that some generations lived for almost 1,000 years and there are several generations within that group. The genealogies are far from complete as we can learn from different places where genealogies are written down and include different people from different generations. Such speculation goes far beyond the actual information provided.

    Secondarily, there is no concrete information in the bible as to the amount of time which passed from the creation of the Universe to the creation of man. The use of the word "day" in the creation story is similar to our idiomatic use of the word day when we say, like, "Back in Abe Lincoln's day. . ." We are using day not to point to a specific 24-hour period, but a longer period of time. If we said, say, "Back in the day of the dinosaur. . ." we would be talking about a rather extensive period of time.

    The only people who insist on the "day" in Genesis as being a 24-hour period are people at the extremes. First we have the rigid religious literalists who lack any flexibility to consider any possibility beyond an exact literal understanding. And then we have the detractors who insist on a literal interpretation because it makes the story incompatible with what we actually know about the Universe and the Earth. Reasonable creationists and non-creationist, alike, do not insist on such a literal understanding of "day" as used in Genesis. It is my opinion that my God is not a God of confusion and if He has given us the ability to determine that the Universe appears to be about 14.5 billion years old, it is likely because the Universe is about 14.5 billion years old. If future information suggests that it is 20 billion years old, it is only because we were wrong about the 14.5 billion, not because God changed the creation date.

    But there is absolutely no place in the Bible itself where anyone speculates or estimates the actual point in time on our calendar when God is credited with having created the Universe nor when, after that, He created life, nor after that, when He created mankind.

    organic in his response to John Galt's pre-Big Bang concept, says:
    in either case your argument uses scientific theory and it has a logical consistency that i can follow
    organic probably does not realize it, but this reasoning is exactly the same as the Joseph Kony line of thinking discussed earlier.

    Just as Kony seems to think that by claiming the approval of God is upon his efforts and therefore it is credible, here organic is suggesting that because the pre-Big Bang ideas claim some scientific basis, they are logical and have credibility. The only thing I can see is that this idea is one of many possibilities which could be anything from right on spot to absolute malarkey.

    Neither I nor the Bible would discount the concept that there was "something" prior to what we have come to call the Big Bang which would represent the beginning of our time-space continuum. However, we must also consider that just because something can be ascribed to science, it does not prove that it is good science nor that it is not an inaccurate conclusion drawn from good science.

    Things do not have automatic credibility merely because they claim to have a scientific basis.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    daytonturner said

    "According to this web site ( http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/8244121 ), only 20 percent of the people in New Zealand are non-believers."

    It all depends on how you get your facts. For example : I was raised Presbyterian, and I suspect that government records still show me as such, though I am now agnostic. Most NZers have some official affiliation with some religion, but interviews show that most are like me - either non believers or totally uninterested, despite any official affiliation. A recent survey published in the NZ Herald showed that only 40% still consider themselves to be true believers in God.

    It is true that the bible does not say that the universe was created 6,000 years ago. That figure was derived in the year 1654, by Archbishop Ussher, who carried out immensely detailed studies of the bible, based on the assumption that every word was literally true. He calculated that the universe was created at 9.00 am, on October 25, in the year 4004 BC. Other bible scholars wasted their time calculating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin!
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    It is impossible to argue with religous people, they argue against science and even worse they argue against logic. no worthwhile discussion can be had.

    I will let you all talk about god,jesus, gandalf and other popular fictional characters. and stick to forums that discuss real science and other useful endeavours.

    kthnxbye gg
    everything is mathematical.
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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    It is impossible to argue with religous people, they argue against science and even worse they argue against logic. no worthwhile discussion can be had.

    I will let you all talk about god,jesus, gandalf and other popular fictional characters. and stick to forums that discuss real science and other useful endeavours.

    kthnxbye gg
    What else did you expect to find in the Religion section organic god?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  55. #54  
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    organic said:

    It is impossible to argue with religous people, they argue against science and even worse they argue against logic. no worthwhile discussion can be had.
    If you are referring to me, I would like you to explain what science I argued against or what logical statement you feel you have made that I argued against. Or is this another of your unfounded, baseless statements that you are so fond of making.

    If you are referring to your exchange with Mitchell, I would have to suggest that it is you who has been arguing against science and logic. So far, at least on this thread, I have not seen anything from you which I would consider especially scientific or logical.

    I would not expect you to be any more successful in posting comments on a more scientifically oriented thread unless you happen to be discussing with others who are as misinformed and uninformed as you have seemed to be here.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  56. #55  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    organic said:

    It is impossible to argue with religous people, they argue against science and even worse they argue against logic. no worthwhile discussion can be had.
    If you are referring to me, I would like you to explain what science I argued against or what logical statement you feel you have made that I argued against. Or is this another of your unfounded, baseless statements that you are so fond of making.

    If you are referring to your exchange with Mitchell, I would have to suggest that it is you who has been arguing against science and logic. So far, at least on this thread, I have not seen anything from you which I would consider especially scientific or logical.

    I would not expect you to be any more successful in posting comments on a more scientifically oriented thread unless you happen to be discussing with others who are as misinformed and uninformed as you have seemed to be here.
    I think he generally says this sort thing to anyone who disagrees with him. It is pretty clear to me that "science" is his code word for his point of view. It is practically identical to the old trick of many religious people who use the phrases "God says" or "the Bible says" for their own point of view as well.

    I have yet to see any evidence of scientific thinking on his part and he doesn't handle critical thinking any where near as well as he imagines. So I did do some research by I examining his posts in this forum and discovered that he was taking a chemistry exam, so he is a student and if I understand what an A-level exam in England is correctly that would make him what we would call a high school student in the US. Perhaps he is a bright kid and I have been too hard on him. I can't even imagine being subjected to such shark infested waters as these when I was at that age, NOR can I say that I had a clear understanding of the difference between science and philosophy at that age.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, your problem here is caused by an abysmal lack of actual knowledge of the Bible. There is absolutely no place in the Bible where God states that the World was created some 6,000 years ago. Would we not have to add at least 2,000 years since the last writings of the Bible are about 2,000 years old? If you think this is found in Mosaic writing, we would have to add at least another 2,000 years for an age of 10,000 years. If you can find that verse, I will kiss your rosy red you know what! My observation of your posts is that you often make unfounded claims and statements which are erroneous and lack any basis in reality or truth.
    I'm not following you here. As I understood it, correct me where you see me going wrong, I thought taking the Biblical record at face value makes it 4000 years from Adam&Eve to Jesus. 1600 years to Noah, 480 from Noah to Abraham, 220 years from Abraham until the famine drives them to Egypt, then 650 years to the crowning of King Saul, 450 years to the Babylonian captivity, then 600 years to the birth of Jesus, for a total of 4000 years from Adam to Jesus. That makes Adam&Eve about 6000 years ago. So where are you getting the extra 4000 years you are adding. I mean I like 10,000 years just fine since that is first signs of human civilization, so I would be delighted if you can show me where the extra 4000 years fit into the picture.
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  57. #56  
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    Mitchell:

    Well, when I was in high school, I knew everything. When I got to college, I learned even more and became an expert in just about every area of discussion available.

    Then I got into actually being a part of the real world and discovered that I didn't really know all that much, after all. In fact, I discovered there was a lot more I did not know than there was of what I knew. But I began to figure out what I did know and found that the answer, "I don't know," was more often appropriate.

    But, if organic god is a high schoolie, he should at least get some credit for the audacity to enter into a forum like this. Hopefully, he will learn that he better have some credible source information before he makes claims and expresses opinions. Personally, I think colleges should require all students to take a class in logic or ethics or something from that area. But then, in this age of post modern thinking, I am not sure logic plays much of a role.

    It seems to me that there has been a recent spate of young people posting here who lack the skills or background to discuss in a highly competitive environment such as this. At least, they have a hard time citing credible sources for their statements. No matter what you say here, someone is going to ask, and rightfully so, where the hell did you come up with that?

    I constantly learn stuff here about any number of topics as I go into search mode to validate or challenge stuff other people say. Mostly, I continue to be amazed at what some people seem to think that Christians believe that I didn't even know anyone believed.

    Probably, once you get past the idea that Jesus is the son of God and is God and believing that his life, death and resurrection is God's plan of salvation, I'm not sure you could say much that all Christian believe. Yet, detractors of Christianity will pick out some fringe belief and ascribe it to all of Christianity.

    I suppose a goodly percentage of Christians may agree with the Young Earth concept, but I don't see how this is a threat to science or world peace or anything significant. A lot of people believe a lot of silly, erroneous ideas and we somehow manage to survive.

    Hmm, the timeline of Bible is not clear to me. I was thinking it was 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham and another 2 from Abe to David and then 2,000 from David to Jesus. It appears I put an extra thousand years on the times from Abe to David and from David to Jesus. After looking it up, I see general consensus is, as you say -- 2,000 from Adam to Abraham and 2,000 from Abraham to Jesus and 2,000 from Jesus to now. Oops! Whatever -- either time line, I think, is a gross underestimate of the time mankind has been on this planet. Nor do I think the Bible provide the necessary information to form a time line, especially in Genesis. Perhaps we could be within reason after the Exodus, although there is some thinking that many of the genealogies there skip several generations, hitting only the more notable people in the lines. Apparently, it was not unusual for them to say "a" begat "b" when "b" was a distant descendant.

    Anyway, I apologize for speaking without making sure. It is just not a topic I have ever thought was all that important. Let's face it, who wades through the first 9 chapters of I Chronicals, anyway. Well, I guess I did -- once!
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  58. #57  
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    After going back and rereading my post and organic's claim, I think we need to know where in the Bible, God claims the world is 6,000 years old as organic suggested.

    If God, Himself, made this claim in the Bible, it would not be a difficult process to add years to when He made such a claim. You are correct on the accepted 4,000 years from Adam to Jesus.

    But I was running with organic's statement that God, Himself, had made such a claim. In which case you would have to add the time which has passed since God made such a claim. And since the last of the Bible was written 2,000 years ago, you would have to add at least those 2,000 years. And if such a statement were found in the Old Testament, you would have to add considerable more time, depending on when, in history, God had made such a statement.

    If the 4,000 year time line were reasonably accurate, then God could not have stated anyplace in the Bible that the world is 6,000 years old, but would have had to say it was fewer years since the world could not have been 6,000 years old at any time when the Bible was being written.

    I think my point was to show organic that his statement was not only inaccurate but also impossible.

    I appreciated skeptic's recounting of Bishop Ussher's calculations which somehow seems to form the basis of Young Earth thinking. Since the good Bishop came up with this calculation roughly 350 years ago, it seems incongruous that no one would have noticed an age of Earth mention by God in the Bible prior to that.

    Anyway, a really good discussion (and debunking) of Bishop Ussher's calculations can be found at http://www.evidenceforchristianity.o...k=view&id=4342

    Incidentally, my looking around on this topic found estimates of homo sapien being on earth anywhere from 150,000 years to almost 500,000 years. I would especially encourage organic god to read this article and suggest that perhaps he (and me too) should have researched this topic a little more before spouting off.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  59. #58  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There is absolutely no place in the Bible where God states that the World was created some 6,000 years ago.
    Can we all agree that if we are going to argue against someone's beliefs we should at least argue against what they actually believe, rather than against some cartoon representation of what we think they believe?

    Well, it occurred to me that this figure of 6,000 years was a remarkably round number, and while it seems probable that there will be a point in history at which the world is believed by some person to be 6,000 years old, it seems highly unlikely that that time is now. It also seems that we have been hearing this figure of 6,000 years for some time now, which would imply that for some people time has stood still. So I have been doing some research on where this figure came from, if any of this seems wrong to you, please feel free to say so.

    Scientific views move on so that some science considered groundbreaking a hundred years ago would be considered quite risible today. Theological thinking moves on too - though not for the same reasons - so that something considered mainstream today might have been heresy in a previous age and something considered irrelevant today could at one time have been main line religious thinking.

    In this way, it was at one time considered theologically sound to compute the age of the world from the Bible and even Isaac Newton had a go at it. It requires a bit more than just going through each verse and adding up the ages of the prophets and their children, so it is not straightforward and many disputes arose. It requires, for example, the fixing of the rise of the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, expertise in the Biblical languages of Hebrew and Aramaic, it requires calculating the death of Alexander the Great and also of Julius Caesar, and also the dates for the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and of course it requires an intimate knowledge of the Bible itself.

    A few people had attempted it but no figure became widely accepted until in 1650, a guy called James Ussher calculated a figure that for some reason became accepted. Ussher had a whole host of impressive titles including Chancellor of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin and also Professor of Theological Controversies at Trinity College, Dublin, but my favourite was Prebend of Finglas, which sounds wonderful but I have no idea what it means.

    Ussher calculated the date of creation to be nightfall preceding 23 October 4,004 BC. Some correspondences that helped this figure become accepted were that it placed creation exactly four thousand years before 4 BC, the generally accepted date for the birth of Christ, and it also meant that Solomon’s temple was completed in the year 3,000 from creation, so that there were exactly 1,000 years from the temple to Christ, who was the fulfilment of the Temple.

    In another thread I have been looking at the significance of the Temple of Solomon to the Jewish faith so this figure of 3,000 years from creation struck me as odd. That's because in Judaism they do not count their calendar from creation, they count their calendar from the birth of Adam, meaning that the year 2,008 CE is equivalent to the year 5,768 in the Hebrew calendar. So this figure of the Temple of Solomon being built 3,000 years after creation would have been largely irrelevant to an observant Jew, which is pretty ironic when you think about it.

    So by the calculations of Bishop James Ussher the world was created 6,012 years ago. It seems reasonable to suppose that at some point someone posting to a forum somewhere was too lazy to type the number out correctly and just typed 6,000 years or about 6k or something like that and the rest of us just latched on and followed suit. But is there a real figure of 6,000 years with genuine theological roots?

    Well, it turns out there is, and it comes from Judaism.

    The Jewish nation are on a mission, a mission given to them by God in return for which he promised them their land. Most nations win their land through conquest, the Jews were promised their land by God in return for accepting their Covenant with him. Their mission is to lead all of humanity back to God, and to the Garden of Eden where man can hang out perfecting creation and continuously improving his relationship with God. This is what man was created for but we went astray when Adam and Eve ate the apple, and it's the Jewish mission to lead us back to what God created us for. And they have 6,000 years to do it.

    When the 6,000 years are up the world will enter what the Jews call, in Hebrew, Olam Haba, which means The World to Come, which represents the culmination of the process of returning to God and perfecting the world. If you read Hebrew you can find this in the Talmud, where tractate Sanhedrin 97a lays out the basic themes and periods of history:

    The world is to exist for six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era....

    So daytonturner was right, it's not in the Bible, it's in the Talmud.

    The first 2,000 years, from Adam to the Tower of Babel is called desolation. The theme of this period is that humanity is spiritually desolate and has no relationship with God.

    The second 2,000 year period, from Abraham to the completion of Mishnah c 240 CE, is called Torah. The theme of this period is Jewish national history in the Land of Israel and the flourishing of Torah (the Law).

    The final 2,000 year period, from 240 CE, until the year 6,000 (the year 2,240 CE), is called Messiah. The theme of this final phase is humanity's return to God (led by the Jewish people). At the end of this period, but before the year 6,000, comes the Messianic Era which is the final preparatory stage before humanity enters the World to Come.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
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  60. #59  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Other bible scholars wasted their time calculating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin!
    This is one of those things atheists say that quite honestly make me ashamed to say I am an atheist. If you are going to ridicule the religious at least ridicule them for things they have actually said, and if you cannot think of a way to do that then please do try to resist the temptation to endlessly trot out the dumb assertions of those too lazy to do any research for themselves.

    There never was any debate about angels dancing on the head of a pin.

    One of the great "what if's" of history is what would have happened if Thomas Aquinas (c. 1224-1274), had turned his fine mind to science rather than to theology? Unfortunately, he didn't, he spent his time pondering some deep questions in theology and wrote some very long and ponderous books on the subject. One of these books, Summa Theologica, (Summary of Theology) includes some meditations on the properties and nature of angels which he attempted to work out by pure brainpower (experiments and observations being a little difficult).

    In doing this he discussed (with his reader) whether an angel moving from A to B passes through the points in between, and whether several angels could be in the same place at once. Not how many could be in the same place, just whether it was possible, in other words, does a single angel take up any space?

    Later writers (I list a few at the bottom) have taken the mickey out of this question by burlesquing it into the old "angels dancing on pin heads" trope and now we have atheists claiming that bible scholars seriously debated what the mickey takers said they did. Do the words Straw and man make sense here?

    Some Sources
    Swester Katrei, a fourteenth-century German mystical work, in which a character observes, "doctors declare that in heaven a thousand angels can stand on the point of a needle."

    William Chillingworth in 1648 wrote of clergymen disputing, "Whether a million of angels may not sit upon a needle's point,"

    Ralph Cudworth, who in True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678) writes: "… some who are far from Atheists, may make themselves merry, with that Conceit, of Thousands of Spirits, dancing at once upon a Needles Point …"

    In 1791 Isaac D'Israeli (father of the British Prime Minister) writes, "The reader desirous of being merry with Aquinas's angels may find them in Martinus Scriblerus, in Ch. VII who inquires if angels pass from one extreme to another without going through the middle? How many angels can dance on the point of a very fine needle, without jostling one another?"

    The Martin Scriblerus referred to here is in fact five 18th-century wits Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, John Gay, Thomas Parnell, and John Arbuthnot, who collaborated on a satirical work entitled Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus, published in 1741.

    The trouble is, the question about pin heads does not actually appear in Scriblerus' book, so he is quoting a source that does not support his citation. Sound familiar?
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    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    wow...how sad that your career is so pathetic that you spend your time researching forum users.
    anyway gl hf
    everything is mathematical.
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    Well og makes his attitude quite clear by first ridiculing me for not doing any research on who he is:

    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    if you had done YOUR research you would know i have had an excellent educational background, i decided not to waste my time looking for your ideas as like a REAL scientist i had more important things to research.
    and then ridiculing me for doing the very research he suggests that I do:

    Quote Originally Posted by organic god
    wow...how sad that your career is so pathetic that you spend your time researching forum users.
    anyway gl hf
    Apparently he feels that taking his suggestions seriously is something that should be considered worthy of ridicule, since this implies what seems like sound advice, then even though it is coming from him I think I shall take that advice and pay no further attention to his suggestions.
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    Very good stuff, numbers. I enjoyed what you had to say and the matter-of-fact way in which you presented it.

    I really appreciate you speaking out against atheists who rely on those old bromides of objection which are little more than straw man arguments.

    I happen to sort of agree with a developing area of belief that feels God has revealed Himself to mankind both in nature and in the Bible and that the two are not in conflict. Believing that God cannot lie, it is incongruous to consider that He might have told us one thing in nature and something different in the Bible.

    Thus, this area of belief considers that wherein science (that is knowledge) and the Bible appear to disagree, it is because we have misunderstood one or the other of them. Such thinking suggests that if we can "know" that the Universe is 14.5 billion years old, it is highly probable that a 6,000-year-old Earth concept taken from the Bible is a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the Genesis account.

    I have found the www.evidenceforchristianity.org website to have many articles which attempt to bring the two into a semblance of compatibility. While I do not agree with EVERYTHING in every article I have read there, it does please me that several of the contributors there are both scientists and Christians and focus their attention on debunking what they consider erroneous thinking on both sides.

    There are articles there giving scientific debunking of Creative Design as well as articles supportive of evolution and even biogenesis -- written by Christians.

    It is a refreshing departure from agendized sites which have as their goal to demean the "other side" whichever side that is. There is, of course, a strong Christian bent, some of the articles I read blast Christians for clinging to ignorant positions.

    What seems apparent to me on this forum is that there are a lot of atheists/agnostics who have read (and enjoy repeating) a lot of stuff written by other atheists/agnostics but they have little background in material written by respected Christian apologists. This is sad, because when you read only what Joe says about Jim, without ever reading what Jim has to say about himself, you cannot possibly have a clear picture of Jim.

    When people read Dawkins and Dennett on Christianity, they are getting a jaded view of Christianity. Why is it that we Christians find it beneficial to read some of those kinds of materials while atheists/agnostics feel they can know all they need to know about Christianity without ever inspecting the writings of good Christian apologists? It would seem that those who tend to consider themselves more educated and superior in both knowledge and thinking would want to have information from both sides of an issue at hand.

    When you can go through materials by Josh McDowell, Greg Koukl and John Oakes and say you are still unconvinced, I can respect that. When all one reads is Dawkins or Dennett and their ilk and thinks he has a clear picture, I just cannot in any way respect that position. It is incomplete and one sided.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I really appreciate you speaking out against atheists who rely on those old bromides of objection which are little more than straw man arguments.
    I am an advocate for truth and honesty, and will speak out wherever I see them being abused. If you are a scientific kind of person who prefers evidence, and logic and scientific principles, then use all the evidence, apply your principles consistently and properly and use your logic correctly. To do otherwise is dishonest to yourself and to those you seek to convince.

    If, on the other hand, you are a more spiritual kind of person then just accept that you believe because you do and don't torture yourself trying to "prove" to those who do not want to know. To me, and this is only my opinion, it makes no more sense to use science to try to prove or disprove religion than it does to use choreography to prove history. They are different, and the rules of one do not apply to the other. Remember the story of Abraham? There's a lesson there for those who want to learn.

    Robin Lane Fox writes in the preface to his fine book, The Unauthorised Version, Truth and Fiction in the Bible, "I write as an atheist, but there are Christian and Jewish scholars whose versions would be far more radical than mine. They will find this historian's view conservative, even old-fashioned, but there are times when atheists are loyal friends of the truth."

    Amen to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    ...it is incongruous to consider that He might have told us one thing in nature and something different in the Bible.
    The way I understand it, and I got this from my reading of Jewish history so this applies to the OT only, I don't know much about the NT, but the Bible is not a diary. It is not intended to be a travelogue cataloguing the entire history of the world from Adam to Jesus. Just look at the Jews wandering in the wilderness for an example. They were there for forty years but how much of that is told in the Bible? There's manna from heaven, there's water from a rock and the death of Moses, but not much more. All it includes is the important signposts, the incidents from which lessons can be learned. The Jewish interpretation is that the Bible is the truth, but not all the truth is in the Bible. So if science has something to say that is not in the Bible, that just might be because that was not a signpost, there is not a lesson there. It doesn't have to mean that either one of them is wrong. Maybe.
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    numbers wrote:

    I am an advocate for truth and honesty, and will speak out wherever I see them being abused. If you are a scientific kind of person who prefers evidence, and logic and scientific principles, then use all the evidence, apply your principles consistently and properly and use your logic correctly. To do otherwise is dishonest to yourself and to those you seek to convince.
    Hear, hear to that! However, it does occur to me that we do not always actually agree on what is the truthful, honest approach to every issue. We do not always agree on what scientific principles apply, nor when perhaps two principles seem to apply which one applies more. We do not always see the evidence in the same light or give it the same weight. If we all saw things the same way, there would be no purpose or meaning in discussing an issue.

    numbers adds:


    If, on the other hand, you are a more spiritual kind of person then just accept that you believe because you do and don't torture yourself trying to "prove" to those who do not want to know. To me, and this is only my opinion, it makes no more sense to use science to try to prove or disprove religion than it does to use choreography to prove history. They are different, and the rules of one do not apply to the other. Remember the story of Abraham? There's a lesson there for those who want to learn.
    I do not find myself here attempting to "prove" the validity of my beliefs so much as attempting to dispel misconceptions and downright errors of non-believers who, for some reason, think they understand religion more than the religious, usually because they have read something by some other non-religious person who does not understand what believers actually believe, either.

    numbers also wrote:
    The way I understand it, and I got this from my reading of Jewish history so this applies to the OT only, I don't know much about the NT, but the Bible is not a diary. It is not intended to be a travelogue cataloguing the entire history of the world from Adam to Jesus. Just look at the Jews wandering in the wilderness for an example. They were there for forty years but how much of that is told in the Bible? There's manna from heaven, there's water from a rock and the death of Moses, but not much more. All it includes is the important signposts, the incidents from which lessons can be learned. The Jewish interpretation is that the Bible is the truth, but not all the truth is in the Bible. So if science has something to say that is not in the Bible, that just might be because that was not a signpost, there is not a lesson there. It doesn't have to mean that either one of them is wrong. Maybe.
    Were I to characterize the Old Testament in as succinctly as I could, I would would say it is Chapter 1 of the story of God's relationship with His chosen people. The New Testament is Chapter 2.

    It is in no way a text book on science. But, like many other non-science writings, it uses some scientifically relevant information at various and sundry times and places.

    I happen to agree with a growing community of believers who think wherein there are perceived conflicts between Bible information and accepted scientific information, it is because we have misunderstood one or the other. It is of no value to understanding to take rigid stand that one understanding must be right while the other understanding must be wrong. It is far more productive to attempt to reconcile the two positions without one side or the other backing down in a condescending manner or holding firmly to an untenable position.

    I think the thing that will push my buttons the most is when people who are obviously ignorant of ancient literature criticism techniques make comments which show there ignorance to be far greater than my limited knowledge on the subject. But even that is not so bad as when they attempting to use that ignorance to prove some point about how the Bible is unreliable.
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    I really dont see how you disproved religion or why religion keeps trying to disprove science. Science helps us understand more about the universe and religion explains who created the universe. Nowhere in the bible did it say the universe was created in 6000 years that was religous leaders trying to be scientist. You stating the obvious does not prove there is no god you are now a scientist trying to explain religion. In my opinion the two should never be mixed as they obviously wont agree due to the need of both to explain the other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    I really dont see how you disproved religion or why religion keeps trying to disprove science. Science helps us understand more about the universe and religion explains who created the universe. Nowhere in the bible did it say the universe was created in 6000 years that was religous leaders trying to be scientist. You stating the obvious does not prove there is no god you are now a scientist trying to explain religion. In my opinion the two should never be mixed as they obviously wont agree due to the need of both to explain the other.
    Even if the Bible does not say anything about 6000 years, there are still a lot of other stuff in it that goes directly against what science has since discovered. To be sure, that does not necessarily prove that God does not exist, only that many of the beliefs held by the religious are nonsense.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    I really dont see how you disproved religion...
    I don't think anyone in this thread claims to have disproved religion, so I'm not sure where you get this from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    ...or why religion keeps trying to disprove science.
    I don't think I have ever heard any religious person, either in this thread, in this forum or anywhere else for that matter, claim to have disproved science. I have occasionally heard some religious people use some pretty spurious science to validate their religious belief, but I don't see any of that in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    Science helps us understand more about the universe and religion explains who created the universe.
    Well, not quite. Religion claims to know who created the universe. That isn't really an explanation, but that isn't a distinction I am prepared to quibble about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    Nowhere in the bible did it say the universe was created in 6000 years...
    At least three people in this thread have already made this point, including me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    You stating the obvious does not prove there is no god...
    I repeat, no one in this thread is claiming to have disproved God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    In my opinion the two should never be mixed...
    Absolutely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elen
    ...due to the need of both to explain the other.
    I think you meant "due to the need for each to explain itself".
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I do not find myself here attempting to "prove" the validity of my beliefs so much as attempting to dispel misconceptions and downright errors of non-believers who, for some reason, think they understand religion more than the religious, usually because they have read something by some other non-religious person who does not understand what believers actually believe, either.
    The bible is available for all to read, as is The Origin of Species. And, we can read what "believers actually believe" by reading what believers write or say themselves, like you, for example.

    the Bible is not a diary. It is not intended to be a travelogue cataloguing the entire history of the world from Adam to Jesus.

    Were I to characterize the Old Testament in as succinctly as I could, I would would say it is Chapter 1 of the story of God's relationship with His chosen people. The New Testament is Chapter 2.
    Funny how the entire story changed from chapter 1 to chapter 2, considering it is supposed to be the word of your god. Did he change his mind or did he finally figure out that "and eye for eye" gets you nowhere but dead?

    It is in no way a text book on science. But, like many other non-science writings, it uses some scientifically relevant information at various and sundry times and places.
    And, that is the bible you're referring that has "scientific relevant information?"

    I happen to agree with a growing community of believers who think wherein there are perceived conflicts between Bible information and accepted scientific information, it is because we have misunderstood one or the other.
    Clearly, on your part, it is both.
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    KALSTER wrote:

    Even if the Bible does not say anything about 6000 years, there are still a lot of other stuff in it that goes directly against what science has since discovered.
    Despite the internal conflict of the syntax here, I understand what you are claiming, and I would like to know some of these things which YOU think the bible says that disagrees with science. It does not satisfy my question by showing something that you think some Christians may believe about something in the Bible.

    The problem here is that science has, in the past, made claims and taught stuff that it has subsequently proved to be not valid. Do we need to bring up the changes in the laws of thermodynamics again? I think you will find that people who are believers and involved in scientific endeavors are as adaptable and able to accept new scientific revelation right along with the scientists who do not happen to be believers

    In the same way, subsequent knowledge has often altered our understanding of things in the Bible. And not just things that might related to science. As we uncover more archeological findings and learn things about the culture and social practices and even language usages of the people in those times, we are able to understand some things better in their terms of their culture rather than trying to make them fit our world.

    It would not shock me in the least to find that there are people in the scientific community who cling to old, outdated information, ideas and ways of doing things just as there are religious people who cling to old ideas.

    I dunno, it just seems to be something of a double standard to allow science to change and adapt to new positions while religion is not afforded the same privilege or is taken to task for doing so.

    It remains my belief that if we correctly understand the Bible and correctly understand science, the two will not be in conflict.
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    (Q) wrote:

    Funny how the entire story changed from chapter 1 to chapter 2, considering it is supposed to be the word of your god. Did he change his mind or did he finally figure out that "and eye for eye" gets you nowhere but dead?
    I do not see how anyone can cram so much misunderstanding into so few words.

    Chapter 1 tells us what the problem is in the relationship between God and his chosen people. Chapter 2 tells us how to resolve that problem. If you identify a problem and then solve the problem, whatever change has been wrought should be for the better. If you have a leaking faucet, do you let it keep on leaking in an effort to resist change?

    The "eye for an eye" concept does not get me into the death zone. The idea is that if I take someone's eye, you can extract from me no more than an eye. It does not mean that if I take an eye, I am required to recompense for two eyes or that I must pay with my life for having taken less than a life.

    It only shows a complete misunderstanding of the Bible to suggest that the concept of "an eye for an eye" demands in kind recompense for wrong doings. It set the maximum limit of the amount of recompense that may be extracted. It forbids the taking of a life for the theft of a loaf of bread. The concept is further clarified by Jesus' admonition to turn the other cheek.

    It is interesting that (Q) focuses on the problem in the relationship between God and mankind which he exemplifies rather than the solution which he eschews.
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    I would like to know some of these things which YOU think the bible says that disagrees with science.
    A man surviving being swallowed by a big fish, the world wide flood, a man walking on water unaided, etc.

    The problem here is that science has, in the past, made claims and taught stuff that it has subsequently proved to be not valid.
    Sure, but it is an ongoing process and we are closer to the truth than ever, if still far off. But there are quite a few things we are pretty certain of, like if you can't breathe, you die.

    I think you will find that people who are believers and involved in scientific endeavours are as adaptable and able to accept new scientific revelation right along with the scientists who do not happen to be believers
    I have found this. I do not contend this point at all. The same is even true of many people that are not directly involved in science as well.

    In the same way, subsequent knowledge has often altered our understanding of things in the Bible. And not just things that might related to science. As we uncover more archaeological findings and learn things about the culture and social practices and even language usages of the people in those times, we are able to understand some things better in their terms of their culture rather than trying to make them fit our world.
    True

    I dunno, it just seems to be something of a double standard to allow science to change and adapt to new positions while religion is not afforded the same privilege or is taken to task for doing so.
    It is not the same. Religion is supposed to be built on the inerrant word of God and people are expected to live by this word. Yet science and modern culture are the major contributors to what is currently held as the inerrant word of God.

    It remains my belief that if we correctly understand the Bible and correctly understand science, the two will not be in conflict.
    The bible contains lots of ideas and events that are not compatible with modern science, so the interpretation of the bible is in a large part dependant on what we know today. We know the above mentioned and a large number of other miracles and happenings in the bible could not have happened, so the "elders" have to amend what they tell their constituents to believe, or they stick to their guns no matter how silly it gets. How are you supposed to know what to believe as a Christian? You can believe science is wrong and the flood could have happened, or you can believe that the bible is wrong and the flood could not have happened, or you believe that the flood story is metaphorical in some way. Which do you believe?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalster
    Religion is supposed to be built on the inerrant word of God
    The inerrancy of the Bible is a conservative evangelical doctrine that is not subscribed to by a large number of theists. It is not required for any of the four major Abrahamic religions, it is up to each theist to decide for herself, based on their individual experience of God, whether the Bible is inerrant or not. The only way to know if someone subscribes to this doctrine is to ask them.

    Whilst I do get your point about science, inerrancy is a blunt tool being aimed at potentially the wrong target.
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    KALSTER wrote:

    It is not the same. Religion is supposed to be built on the inerrant word of God and people are expected to live by this word. Yet science and modern culture are the major contributors to what is currently held as the inerrant word of God.
    The are two aspects of inerrancy. One aspect relates to the accuracy of the Bible as we have it today in comparison to what was originally written. The other aspect relates to the reliability of the information. KALSTER appears to be taking issue with the second aspect.

    OK, I sort of see what you are talking about and admit that some of these stories are equally perplexing to me. I have a hard time swallowing (haha) the Jonah story, too. I'm pretty sure you are not particularly interested in a long Bible lesson on the book of Jonah. I don't know if it is intended to be a literal account of the actual event or if we have some sort of poetic allegory/metaphor. In view of the fact that the circumstances seem far removed from what seems to be physically possible, I am more likely to consider it an allegory demonstrating the lengths to which God will go to make sure His message goes forth.

    However, I would not find this any more offensive than Carl Sandburg saying, "The fog comes on little cat feet." While this is scientifically impossible, you certainly can understand what he is talking about. So, does this mean Sandburg never expressed a true thought in his life? Or does it mean he found a picturesque way to express something.

    What I can tell you is that believers do not have much problem with these kinds of things. Some avoid any confusion by believing it literally because that is what it says. Some of us are willing to say we don't really understand exactly what happened, but something must have happened to elicit the account. And whatever happened was beyond the reporter's knowledge to explain. No matter how magnificent God might be, He cannot put non-existent words in the mouths or pens of humans.

    Let's look for the moment at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Some have said the account seems to be the picture of an atomic explosion. So, just for fun, lets pretend that God dropped an A-bomb on them. Now then, how is He going to explain nuclear energy and E=MC(2) to Moses in such a way that Moses, with all the education and knowledge of an 2,000 BC man, can explain it in all its scientific magnificence? While this is an absolute exaggeration, I am using it only to show the problem of Bible writers attempting to write in 21st Century thinking.

    At this point, I must ask why these things are troublesome to you. Do you feel that it undermines God's credibility that he could not somehow get these people to write in terms of 21st Century knowledge? Do you think the writers pulled these stories right out of their asses and that they are not associated with some real event which thy could neither understand nor explain?

    Do you like to look at these stories in literal terms because it makes them look silly and therefore gives you good justification to doubt the real message of the Bible? The real message of the Bible being that men are estranged from God, but God has provided a way to repair that estrangement. Jonah is a story about the people of Ninevah hearing and believing and being saved. It is not about Jonah and a fish. It is about how God is willing to save even the worst of sinners, not about Jonah's indignation that God would save such people.

    KALSTER also wrote:


    The bible contains lots of ideas and events that are not compatible with modern science, so the interpretation of the bible is in a large part dependant on what we know today. We know the above mentioned and a large number of other miracles and happenings in the bible could not have happened, so the "elders" have to amend what they tell their constituents to believe, or they stick to their guns no matter how silly it gets. How are you supposed to know what to believe as a Christian? You can believe science is wrong and the flood could have happened, or you can believe that the bible is wrong and the flood could not have happened, or you believe that the flood story is metaphorical in some way. Which do you believe?
    I could not go all the way to saying the miracles could not have happened. I would say that I do not understand how they could have happened. But if I believe that Jesus was a supernatural being, it does seem likely that He should have been capable of performing supernatural acts.

    As to the flood, I tend to believe that the flood in the Bible was one of many local floods which occurred at different times in different places. In so far as Noah was concerned, the flood involved his known world and to him, it was a world wide flood. It would not seem to me that there is enough water on earth to have covered the entire land mass. Having said that, I can say that the time of Pangea perhaps could have provided the possibility for such a flood. Of course, that would put humans on earth before we think they were here. But if you take that scenario and run with it, a number of possibilities emerge.

    A number of civilizations seem to have similar stories of a catastrophic flood including, I am told, Native American lore. I have seen proofs that the Ark as described in the Bible was not seaworthy. I have also seen proofs that it is the only kind of boat that could have been constructed with their technology that would have stay afloat that long.

    Perhaps it is similar to the objections evolution skeptics raise concerning some things about evolution. They do not seem to bother those who accept evolution. But doesn't that sound a little like the perceived "problems" of the Bible. The seem only to bother the detractors, not the advocates. Perhaps we don't really know all there is to know about either of these topics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    I do not see how anyone can cram so much misunderstanding into so few words.
    Every time you say such things, you usually get schooled on your own religion. How many time do people have to keep correcting you, Dayton?

    Chapter 1 tells us what the problem is in the relationship between God and his chosen people. Chapter 2 tells us how to resolve that problem.
    The would be one of many interpretations that Catholics, Lutherans, Christians and other denominations would disagree over.

    If you identify a problem and then solve the problem, whatever change has been wrought should be for the better. If you have a leaking faucet, do you let it keep on leaking in an effort to resist change?
    So, are you saying the Abrahamic god is a leaky faucet?

    The "eye for an eye" concept does not get me into the death zone. The idea is that if I take someone's eye, you can extract from me no more than an eye. It does not mean that if I take an eye, I am required to recompense for two eyes or that I must pay with my life for having taken less than a life.
    Yes, but like much of your one-dimensional thought process, you fail to think things through the means to their ultimate ends, which in this case turned to revenge.

    It only shows a complete misunderstanding of the Bible to suggest that the concept of "an eye for an eye" demands in kind recompense for wrong doings. It set the maximum limit of the amount of recompense that may be extracted. It forbids the taking of a life for the theft of a loaf of bread. The concept is further clarified by Jesus' admonition to turn the other cheek.
    No it wasn't further clarified, Dayton, it was changed entirely. The Abrahamic god evidently got it wrong.
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    Without going to the effort of commenting again on (Q)'s comments, it is obvious to me that someone must go to extraordinary lengths to misunderstand, misinterpret and misrepresent something to the degree that (Q) does religion, in general. and Christianity, specifically.

    I consistently kick myself in the ass for dignifying his comments with responses. Ouch! Oops. . . I did it again. (Excuse me, Britney.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Without going to the effort of commenting again on (Q)'s comments, it is obvious to me that someone must go to extraordinary lengths to misunderstand, misinterpret and misrepresent something to the degree that (Q) does religion, in general. and Christianity, specifically.

    I consistently kick myself in the ass for dignifying his comments with responses. Ouch! Oops. . . I did it again. (Excuse me, Britney.)
    well, i'm glad you're not a complete fundamentalist bible-thumping nutjob who take the bible as the literal word of god to the detriment of science.
    its a million times better to be a liberal christian like you, than the aforementioned,
    you're what i like to call a fairly liberal christian.
    whats been particularly interesting for me lately, is the flood. 14.000 years ago before the glacier ice melted, water levels were much lower than what they are today, and i just wonder what cities could've been drowned by the rising water levels.
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    I presume dejawolf you are wondering if the flood legend in the Bible and other ancient tests/cultures may have been a dim memory of the flooding that followed the retreat of the ice. I recall a documentary about the Black Sea and the hypothesis that it flooded around 6,000 (?) years ago.
    I believe, also, that the Persian Gulf may have been dry land at the end of the ice age. It suggests that there may be a glimmer of truth behind the Bible story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    It suggests that there may be a glimmer of truth behind the Bible story.
    yes, i suspect a lot of the bible stories have glimmers of truth in them,
    but should definitely not be taken at face value.
    i'm also pondering whether atlantis could've been real, and actually located in the area where platon said it was, in the atlantic, as there's some raised underwater areas that would actually be above sea level during the ice age.
    and here's another thing: both the bible, and greeks talk about giants, known as titans to the greeks.
    the name atlantis means "daughter of atlas" which could possibly have relations to atlas the titan. and following an even thinner thread, it could be that atlantis was a land inhabited with "giants" by the standards of the day.
    could possibly just mean they were a very succesful society with well-nourished people, which simply made them taller than the contemporary people.
    a 1.90 meter tall person looks pretty much like a giant for someone who is only 1.5m tall. well, this is pretty much wild speculations though.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  80. #79  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Without going to the effort of commenting again on (Q)'s comments, it is obvious to me that someone must go to extraordinary lengths to misunderstand, misinterpret and misrepresent something to the degree that (Q) does religion, in general. and Christianity, specifically.
    You should take that up with the hundreds of different Christian sects who also misunderstand, misinterpret and misrepresent YOUR personal version of Christianity, Dayton.
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    deja wrote:

    well, i'm glad you're not a complete fundamentalist bible-thumping nutjob who take the bible as the literal word of god to the detriment of science.
    its a million times better to be a liberal christian like you, than the aforementioned,
    you're what i like to call a fairly liberal christian.
    Haha. I accept this as a compliment, but I do not consider myself a fairly "liberal" Christian. I think I consider myself a "fair" Christian. I do take the Bible literally, but not in the classic meaning of literal. I take it literally in consideration of the literary style of writing which is being used.

    There are two types of people who insist on reading (especially) the Genesis stories as though they can only be viewed in their literal reading. That is, the rain before the flood had to be exactly 40 days -- not 39, not 41, but exactly 40 days. Maybe they expect it to be exactly 960 hours.

    These two types of people are both closed minded. One group insists on a literal understanding because anything else attacks their narrow view of God. The other group insists on literal understanding because it is easier to argue against and they find it easier to justify their rejection of God on that basis.

    To me, when the Bible uses the terms such as 40 days, it actually means an indefinite period of time which was perhaps more than a month, but less than two months. As to the Noah story in general, I think it does represent some actual event in human history that God has, in turn, used as an object lesson. Personally, I find it difficult to accept that the entire population of the earth was reduced to eight humans of whom only three couples were of child bearing age and from which the entirety of humanity (including at least four racial groups) has descended.

    However, I think it does tell us that there is degree of wickedness and sin which God will not tolerate and which will motivate Him to take drastic measures. I think Noah represents the idea that there are people who will be protected from God's drastic measures.

    There is the somewhat similar story of Sodom and Gomorrah, where God destroys those cities because of their wickedness while saving His chosen people from the destruction.

    So there is an extent to which I am an absolute Bible thumper in that I insist the message of the Bible is consistently about the wickedness of men, God's reprisals against that wickedness and about his willingness and eagerness to protect those who will trust in Him. That story is told over and over again in the Bible. So, in that matter, I am as conservative and adamant concerning the necessity of personal salvation as is the most obnoxious fundamentalist you may have ever encountered.

    I am not convinced that trusting God for salvation necessitates believing that God created the Universe in 168 hours as calculated by our present Earthly time measurements.

    I also saw the documentary John Galt mentioned and include it as among the possible events that precipitated (pun for those of you who missed it) the Noahic story. I have also seen a documentary which suggests that Noah was a livestock shipper who got caught in a massive flood in the Tigris or Euphrates river which washed him out to sea and which accounts for the numerous animals on board. In either case, I am sure the victims thought the entire world was inundated.

    The Bible does mention a race of large humans who were (supposedly) 9 feet tall or so. Certainly, some genetic anomaly could have produced such people. There are a couple of people who approach that size today -- at least over 8 feet tall. Goliath was, apparently, one of these such people. Archeology has not turned up the remains of a human of that size which would be a pretty good confirmation of such people and lend some credence to the story of David and Goliath.

    The story of David and Goliath is among the highly contested stories in the Bible and is sorely lacking in much archaeological support. A google of "goliath found" turns up a number of articles concerning controversial archaeological finds including this one: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/12785/goliath-found
    Often, it appears the bias of a particular site may have a direct influence on the credibility and interpretation given to such finds.

    Goliath, however, is not the only mention of giants. During the Exodus when Moses sent out spies to scope out the Holy Land, they came back with stories of huge Giant men which scared the Israelites into wandering the desert for 40 years before entering the land.

    OK. Is this a story that is meant to be taken literally, that there were actual 9-10 foot tall people? Or is it a story of the natural tendency of humans to fail to challenge what they perceive to be insurmountable obstacles? And is David and Goliath the conclusion of that story indicating the Israelites, through trusting in God, have finally defeated and moved beyond their perceived obstacles?

    I think the people who see these stories in the cold isolation of literalism (Christian and atheist alike) can only accept or reject a mean, vindictive God who rules with an iron fist and who delights in punishing wrongdoers. Meanwhile, I think the people who actually believe in God and are truly trusting Jesus Christ for salvation can look beyond that to see a loving, merciful God who sees His most important project, even more important than creation, is to save His people from themselves.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    deja wrote:

    well, i'm glad you're not a complete fundamentalist bible-thumping nutjob who take the bible as the literal word of god to the detriment of science.
    its a million times better to be a liberal christian like you, than the aforementioned,
    you're what i like to call a fairly liberal christian.
    There are two types of people who insist on reading (especially) the Genesis stories as though they can only be viewed in their literal reading. That is, the rain before the flood had to be exactly 40 days -- not 39, not 41, but exactly 40 days. Maybe they expect it to be exactly 960 hours.

    These two types of people are both closed minded. One group insists on a literal understanding because anything else attacks their narrow view of God. The other group insists on literal understanding because it is easier to argue against and they find it easier to justify their rejection of God on that basis.

    To me, when the Bible uses the terms such as 40 days, it actually means an indefinite period of time which was perhaps more than a month, but less than two months. As to the Noah story in general, I think it does represent some actual event in human history that God has, in turn, used as an object lesson. Personally, I find it difficult to accept that the entire population of the earth was reduced to eight humans of whom only three couples were of child bearing age and from which the entirety of humanity (including at least four racial groups) has descended.
    well, looking at this account myself, what i see is that it did rain for around 40 days, maybe because parts of the northern ice caps melted at a very rapid rate,
    and simultaneously the sea levels were rising from the melting as well.
    it could be that a guy named noah wanted to save his livestock, and built a boat large enough to house all his animals, and over the generations as the story propagated, kids listening in on the older people jokingly referring to it as "he must have saved every last animal on earth on that boat of his, lol" actually took them seriously, and over the generations made a bigger and bigger deal of it.
    and then the story was twisted into a moral account of how god punishes the disbelievers.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  83. #82  
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    deja wrote:

    well, looking at this account myself, what i see is that it did rain for around 40 days, maybe because parts of the northern ice caps melted at a very rapid rate,
    and simultaneously the sea levels were rising from the melting as well.
    Another scientific speculation that has been offered is that the Earth was shrouded in a mist prior to the big rain and a temperature shift cooled the atmosphere such that it was no longer able to retain that much moisture. The shrouding of mist supposedly also explains the long life times as people were protected from the damaging rays of the sun.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    deja wrote:

    well, looking at this account myself, what i see is that it did rain for around 40 days, maybe because parts of the northern ice caps melted at a very rapid rate,
    and simultaneously the sea levels were rising from the melting as well.
    Another scientific speculation that has been offered is that the Earth was shrouded in a mist prior to the big rain and a temperature shift cooled the atmosphere such that it was no longer able to retain that much moisture. The shrouding of mist supposedly also explains the long life times as people were protected from the damaging rays of the sun.
    I am not sure about the "scientific" part of the speculation. A mist shrouding the earth = thick clouds? Kent Hovind has even claimed that the earth was surrounded by a see-through sheet of ice, the idiot.

    From page 5:
    Some of us are willing to say we don't really understand exactly what happened, but something must have happened to elicit the account. And whatever happened was beyond the reporter's knowledge to explain. No matter how magnificent God might be, He cannot put non-existent words in the mouths or pens of humans.
    I am not sure if this follows. Many of the stories certainly take on Greek mythological qualities, which we all agree are basically made up for the most part. From your words it seems as though you believe that every word in the bible was directly inspired by God? That would create a problem.

    Let's look for the moment at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Some have said the account seems to be the picture of an atomic explosion. So, just for fun, lets pretend that God dropped an A-bomb on them. Now then, how is He going to explain nuclear energy and E=MC(2) to Moses in such a way that Moses, with all the education and knowledge of an 2,000 BC man, can explain it in all its scientific magnificence? While this is an absolute exaggeration, I am using it only to show the problem of Bible writers attempting to write in 21st Century thinking.
    Well it could have been destroyed by a meteor shower, or it didn't happen at all, i.e. mythology. Did Laban really change into a pillar of salt? No, I think is another simple case of good old mythology. It makes perfect sense to me in that way. This is where believing that God directly inspired the bible comes at odds with what to me makes much more sense, i.e. the presence of mythology in the bible. Some were borrowed, while some were made up from scratch.

    At this point, I must ask why these things are troublesome to you. Do you feel that it undermines God's credibility that he could not somehow get these people to write in terms of 21st Century knowledge? Do you think the writers pulled these stories right out of their asses and that they are not associated with some real event which they could neither understand nor explain?
    It undermines the bible's credibility and in doing so undermines our ability to have any kind of steadfast idea of what it is that the god you believe in really wants from you. It is easy for me to see that things like surviving being swallowed by a fish and surviving is impossible, but then what about the rest? There is some archaeological evidence that lends some measure of credibility to some events in the bible, but when you know that some of the obvious things were either made up or misinterpreted from natural events, what is to stop people from making up slightly more feasible situations as well? Jesus sent demons into a bunch of pigs and sent them over a cliff. What could just as easily have happened (assuming that a real Jesus figure existed) that a commotion scared a bunch of pigs into a stampede and they ran over the cliff's edge in a panic. People embellish things, often in a well meaning way, but still. Those people dreamt stuff and took it as a message from god. That still happens.

    In many cases the source of even repeated stories in the bible is one guy. That, to me, does not instil a lot of confidence. Look at how many Mormons there are for example. A large part of what they believe comes from the made up say-so of one guy. Now just imagine what can be possible when the religious and political authority proclaims the truth of certain things. Constantine had reign over a huge domain for example.

    Do you like to look at these stories in literal terms because it makes them look silly and therefore gives you good justification to doubt the real message of the Bible?
    I do not dispute the fact that the bible contains a lot of great philosophical truths and can really teach a lot, if you know where to read. My doubts are not rationalisations, they are honest attempts at trying to figure out what really happened. I in fact was a Christian for quite few years with these same concerns. I know that just because we don’t really know about the absolute truth of the bible, or even if Jesus was really God’s son or if he even really existed, that it does not have to impact a belief in a true God.

    Perhaps it is similar to the objections evolution skeptics raise concerning some things about evolution. They do not seem to bother those who accept evolution. But doesn't that sound a little like the perceived "problems" of the Bible. The seem only to bother the detractors, not the advocates. Perhaps we don't really know all there is to know about either of these topics.
    Again, it is not the same thing. Evolution is built on evidence and the investigation of it, where religion is not. When it comes to the bible it is easy to explain all the miraculous things that happened. Saying “God did it” or “God could have done it” is a perfectly acceptable alternative when an almighty God is considered to be in the picture. Science, though, does not recognise God as a viable alternative, since no objective evidence of this being exists. From a scientific standpoint then, short of modern or alien technology, some of the miracles could not have happened literally as they are found in the bible, while others are more easily explained and misinterpretations of natural events.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    In many cases the source of even repeated stories in the bible is one guy. That, to me, does not instil a lot of confidence. Look at how many Mormons there are for example. A large part of what they believe comes from the made up say-so of one guy. Now just imagine what can be possible when the religious and political authority proclaims the truth of certain things. Constantine had reign over a huge domain for example.
    I just wanted to point out that the bible is comprised of the writings of many different people. Even if its the same name, many times people contributing to the books which later became the official cannon (sp?) would use the names of the disciples the same way modern authors use pen names. The Old testament, the part where the beginning of the world is does not have direct word from God. The old testament is comprised of passages inspired by god, so yes it is possible that people dreamed that stuff up in their culture however sleep and dreams were more than just rest. I think you just kinda over-trivialized a very inportant part of these people's culture that still exist in the Islamic faith today. You really dont get direct words from god until the new testament when Jesus is actually talking to people. I could provide links for you but all you have to do is punch "authors of the bible" in google to see that there are a multitude of people that contributed to what we precieve as the bible. I also want o point out that the official cannon is not the entire bible the bible consist of thousands of books that didnt make the catholic church's cut to be in the official cannon, this is where I believe corruption came into play it makes sense to me that the catholic church would only include books that coincide (sp?) with what theyve been teaching people thereby retaining control.
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    Elen: I did not write that; those are words of KALSTER with which I disagree.

    The Bible is a collection or writing from many authors over a long period of time, which basically tells the story of God's relationship with His chosen people from Adam to Abraham to modern day people.

    I know of no "one guy" who tells all this story. Probably Moses and Paul are major contributors, but far from standing alone. Mainstream Christianity does not accept the Book of Mormon as inspired scripture and, in fact, considers the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints as a cult. Although, I suppose we accept them not so much as a socially threatening cult as a theologically heretic cult.

    But Elen is somewhat mistaken. The Catholic Bible contains writings that are not included in Protestant Bibles. Plus there are writings from that period which are not included in either canon. The canon is the official Bible, writings which were rejected (which probably number fewer than 100, not in the thousands) are not part of the Bible. The Protestant Bible contains 66 books and that is the entirety of their Bible. Other writings which may exist from that time period are not a part of the Bible.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Sorry about that
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Elen: I did not write that; those are words of KALSTER with which I disagree.

    The Bible is a collection or writing from many authors over a long period of time, which basically tells the story of God's relationship with His chosen people from Adam to Abraham to modern day people.

    I know of no "one guy" who tells all this story. Probably Moses and Paul are major contributors, but far from standing alone. Mainstream Christianity does not accept the Book of Mormon as inspired scripture and, in fact, considers the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints as a cult. Although, I suppose we accept them not so much as a socially threatening cult as a theologically heretic cult.

    But Elen is somewhat mistaken. The Catholic Bible contains writings that are not included in Protestant Bibles. Plus there are writings from that period which are not included in either canon. The canon is the official Bible, writings which were rejected (which probably number fewer than 100, not in the thousands) are not part of the Bible. The Protestant Bible contains 66 books and that is the entirety of their Bible. Other writings which may exist from that time period are not a part of the Bible.
    well its interesting to note that jews consider christianity a cult of their own religion.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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    and many christians I know consider mormonism a cult of christianity.

    The romans also thought that christianity was a cult until Constantine though...
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