I don't believe I criticized atheists. I merely made a personal comment about my inability to believe all the things that atheists must believe in order to be atheists.
Is the creation account reasonable? I submit that it is far more reasonable than what atheists believe. If one does not believe God created the heavens and the earth, what is the alternative? Which takes more faith: to believe God made everything in the universe, or to believe He didn’t? Consider the vast intricacy, order, and complexity of the universe, and the lavishly diverse beauty of life around us. Which is more reasonable? To say ,“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” or “In the beginning nothing became everything all by itself?” Either God is the Creator of all things, or they came about by happenstance. Either God created life, or dead things somehow sprang to life all by themselves. Suppose you had an old, fancy pocket-watch all taken apart, with all of its intricate parts strewn out on the kitchen table. Does it take more faith to believe that the watch pieces could somehow spring to life on their own to assemble themselves into a functioning watch, or to believe that a Master Watchmaker put it together to make it tick? How much more is there reason to believe in the Creator of the universe, instead of all things randomly springing into existence from nothingness? That's why I don't have enough faith to believe what atheists believe.
Hello S.M.S. Atheism is not a belief.
How the universe came about is a question without an answer. To say you know the answer without any evidence is foolhardy. If your answer is God with no facts to demonstrate this and I say I don't know how the universe began, which answer appears the most logical?
If I found the innards of a watch spread around, I would instantly know there was a designer, because I could eventually trace that designer; you cannot do this with a God.
The unity of things, including life are based on the laws of physics; these laws also control the energy that produces them. This energy has to obey the same laws and that is the answer to the conformity that has you puzzled. ( There is a design in nature, but it doesn't come from a God.)
@windar12q Like I said before, I don't have enough faith to believe all the assumptions you just asserted. And, yes, atheism is most definitely a belief system. You believe there is no god. That is a statement of faith. I believe there is a God. That is a statement of faith. I believe this God took on our human flesh and blood to rescue us from our sin and our death. That is Christianity.
@S.M.S. Your faith is blurring your judgement - how can I have faith in something that I don't think exists? Faith is a consuming emotion that works the other way. Think of it like this - I have faith in fairies because I don't think they exist. I don't have to provide a burden of proof, it is you that has to do that. My answer to your assumption that atheism is a faith, is, I don't know if God exists, because I cannot prove it either way, how is that a belief? The difference in your stance and mine, is mine is based on facts and yours is not. It is you that is assuming. At this point I must apologise for being blunt, but my aim is at religion and is not personal; it is religious assuming that has caused most of our historical bloodshed and still is. It will go on destroying for as long as we go on assuming.
The laws of physics is not an assumption, this is another way your religion is making you fantasize.
S.M.S You have a belief that cannot be justified, I have facts that tell me to keep going, to keep discovering, and I have found the peace that religion can never give. Religion will always have that doubt and that is why you are trying to defend that which cannot be defended without proof to sustain it. Words from a book are not sufficient.
I do not share the same burden, because atheism is not a belief based on faith alone, in fact it is not belief at all.
Think about your everyday living, could you guide your day with faith alone and ignore the facts? By that I mean could you just by saying a prayer remain safe when eating or walking, or climbing, do you really believe a prayer will keep you from danger, regardless. How long do you think you would last? If you were in a plane over the Atlantic and the pilot said he was going to leave the landing to a supernatural God, would you just say a prayer and know everything would be alright? You don't have to answer that one because we know that this has already happened. When planes have been taken over by terrorists the prayers were not answered. The peace of mind that facts give me is unequalled in religion and the reason for this is - one is based on reality and the other on shifting sands. I and the rest of the human race are on a journey so unbelievable it is almost impossible to imagine and I get my inspiration from being part of it. Try it before you criticize atheists.
You write, "If hate is a positive emotion than Satan cannot exist." You have not proven that hate is a positive emotion. I don't know of anyone who would describe hate as a positive emotion. I have not read any author who posits that hate is a positive emotion. There is no historical example of hate ever bringing about a positive outcome. Your assertion that hate is a positive emotion has no foundation in reality. And finally, you cannot empirically prove that Satan does not exist any more than I can empirically prove that God DOES exist. Your position is based on faith and trust just as much as mine. I would submit that your faith and trust are misplaced. With regards.
All our emotions have a negative and positive side; we experience them therefore the evidence is within ourselves. The universe and all that is within, obeys our negative and positive make-up. When a star reaches a volume that cannot sustain it, it will then give way to the forces of nature and implode creating a Black Hole. The Black Hole will eventually settle and fit into the cycle that is its place, it will no longer rely on a singularity, but become a part of the bigger picture. This same universal energy is displayed in our evolving; if all life reached the same level of intelligence, life itself would implode. (Become extinct.) Like the star, if life is one energy and obeying the same laws of nature, then that explains the variety of life and why all life has not reached the same level of intelligence. Life isn't guided by a God, it is guided by the laws of nature. (Energy) I don't have to read a book to work this out; the opposite is the case - the reason I don't need to read a book is because my open mind leads me. I can also explain a lot of the supernatural using the laws of nature, that's along with the reason for all creatures great and small. Hate is the guiding light, showing us the right way to go, without it there would be no love, no empathy, no altruism and no us. Satan + hate = 0. You don't need any more proof than this.
These are facts based on our knowledge of energy, can you reply using the same - facts only? If you can only answer by quoting from a book, a book that cannot be demonstrated to be true, then it is you who is making assertions.
Once again you submit your opinions and assertions as fact. "I've already proved that Satan doesn't exist." When did you prove that? Simply saying that something is a fact doesn't make it a fact. Also, you say that "we have to know bad or we wouldn't know good." Could it be that we have to know good first or we wouldn't know bad? God created a perfect world, so Adam and Eve only experienced perfect good. Thus, they first knew good before they knew the bad that evil brought into the world. We know what bad is because there is an objective standard outside of ourselves that declares to us what is good and what is bad. It's called God's Law -- the Ten Commandments. This perfect standard from God doesn't change, no matter how hard human "morality" tries to change it. Human "morality" may change (and often does for the worse), but God's standards do not change, nor does His justice and judgment when that standard is violated. God demands perfection, and when we "break the law" there is a penalty to pay. "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23)
Thankfully, we have a Savior who is our Substitute. Jesus took upon Himself the wrath of God's judgment in our place. He then credits His perfect human life to us, making us holy and blameless in the sight of God. The Almighty God demands payment for your sinful rebellion. Either you're going to pay the penalty for your sins, or Jesus took that punishment for you. There are no other options. Trusting in Jesus means eternal life. Trusting in something else (whatever that something else is) means eternal death. Which will it be for you? Jesus says, "Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends" (John 15:13) Jesus did that for us when He died on the cross, and He did that for you, too.
John 3:36 (Jesus said), "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."
Romans 3:10-25 "None is righteous, no, not one; (11) no one understands; no one seeks for God. (12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
(18) "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (19) Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. (20) For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (21) But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- (22) the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (25) whom God put forward as the atoning sacrifice by his blood, to be received by faith.
This whole conversation is not just a matter of academic discussion and debate. It's a serious matter of eternal life vs. eternal death.
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives, so let not your hearts be troubled, and don't be afraid" (John 14:27)
Hello S.M.S. I do not make up that which is obvious to anyone who can for one moment shred the vanities of a book. You still fail to pass on the 'assertions ' that you accuse me of; just to say that a thing is true or false is not valid in this debate, or any other debate; I need it to be demonstrated. You accuse, but you are not prescriptive. How can I reply if I don't know what to reply to?
Again you make the same mistake - good didn't come before bad; they are both the same emotion, they are the two sides of the same coin and could only have arrived at the same time; this is because we cannot know one without the other. Why is it that you cannot see this? You experience the same emotions as me and must know this to be true and yet you allow yourself to deny it.(Remember, you couldn't answer the question about love and hate for the same reason?) If HATE is a positive emotion, then SATAN cannot exist. What more proof do you need, than that which is part of you and is much a part of me; this includes everyone else too? Your book doesn't make sense and if you think about it, you will come to realize this.
You are also mixed up about the Ten Commandments, it's the emotion of hate that provides us with the knowledge of right and wrong. You know this, but you couldn't answer the question because it would reveal the sham that religion is. If we didn't know wrong how could we ever know right? The answers you seek are not in a book, they are in our everyday existence; they are in our future and our past, but only if we open our minds.
Your bible preaches both hate and love, but the emphasis is on love, this is because who ever wrote it was human and was trying to make excuses the same as you. The only way out of a problem is by understanding it, but a book won't do this; only an open mind will take you down the pathway to truth.
I will just add; your God is the one guilty of bringing sin into the world, if you believe your bible - if he is omnipotent, then he must have known how everything would turn out, this includes giving us free will.
Hello windar12q! There are definitely some things we don't fully understand about God. Our limited human minds cannot fathom God's infinite power, His unchanging perfection, or His existence as three (God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit) in one perfectly unified God (if you want to read a book about these attributes, try A. W. Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy). We don't understand how exactly God's plan works even when life is hard, or why a good God would allow something bad to happen. However, wondering about these questions brings me closer to God, not further from Him. God is big enough to handle your biggest questions. Even if He doesn't reveal an answer He will always remind you that He loves you so much He sent Jesus for you, and that He is in control. One saying I enjoy is this: Christianity is not a religion, it's a relationship. It's more than just a source of answers.
@ekrause1406 ekrause, it is not about who gave laws to protect slaves, my question was - is it morally correct to own another human being? Whether you protect them from certain laws is irrelevant. You can't excuse one wrong doing by introducing another. Your God should have condemned slavery and not condoned it, and the only reason I can deduct from this is, your God doesn't exist, because that kind of logic is not registering on the logical scale.
To say God has some hidden agenda, is the easy way out because you know it is wrong, but you cannot admit that this 'thought up God' can also be wrong. The evidence is there if you choose to seek it; I've mentioned many events in previous correspondence and there is so much more that I didn't mention. This 'man's inhumanity to man,' that is sanctioned in many parts of the bible is still going on. It's God's hidden agenda that forces this crime of brother against brother and because prayer doesn't work it will be so for generations to come; until we begin to learn the truth and bring some logic into the equation of life.
You still have not answered my question; it is not directed at your God, it is directed at you? Be better than your God and give me your answer?
@windar12q Hello windar12q. What I want most for you to learn from this discussion is God's heart, not my opinions. That is why I have quoted scripture so often. My morality and judgement have flaws, God's do not. When something hard or stressful comes into my life I wonder why it has to happen to me, but so often when I look back on it later, I see God's hand at work in every moment of it. We have a God who fights for us and meets us where we're at. In ancient times slave ownership was a common practice, and God chose to work within the Israelite culture to accommodate them. He met Israel where they were, and then pushed them to higher standards than the surrounding cultures.
How do you know that our inner human morality is right, since most other civilizations sanctioned slavery in harsher forms (and believed they were right)? If you asked someone from any other ancient civilization (or even as recently as colonial America) they would say "yes" to the question of whether it is "right" to own another human.
@ekrause1406 ekrause, I don't know how old you are, but please think about your answer, it is the answer that has resulted in many deaths and many bloody wars. You ask how do we know what is right, well if we don't, then that would be the end of civilization. I know your answer is wrong and would lead to that demise. Remember I wrote that if the world was ruled by one religion, it also would cause our demise. Your answer proves that I am right.
Thank you for engaging in what has been an eye opening experience and good luck for the future with your plants. If you do take up this work you will also come into the knowledge of quantum mechanics and its transitions that help plant life to survive.
Hello windar12q! As you may have guessed, I believe that God created the world to have the variety that we see today. The Bible is the first reason (see Genesis 1-2) but there is some scientific evidence as well.
1. All mutations that we observe result in a loss of genetic information. Even though some mutations benefit the organism, new genetic material is not created. Old DNA gets combined in a different way or some parts lose functionality, but entirely new sequences are not created by nature. Evolution (or any description of life based solely on natural processes) requires creation of new genetic material to be a frequent event.
2. Changes in organisms happen within Biblical kinds. A "kind" is a term used by creation scientists to describe organisms that are similar enough to mate with each other, and is similar to a genus. We do not observe new species forming that are wildly different from their predecessors, but we do see variations on a theme within each kind. It is believed that God created each kind with the genes needed to produce all the varieties we see.
3. DNA is information. All meaningful codes have a sender who created them and an intended recipient who can read them. If humans did not exist, would there be writing? It's a similar situation with DNA, God is the sender who created the "writing" and the organisms' bodies are the "readers".
When I look at the variety in nature, I marvel at God's creativity. It's like God is an artist and the universe is His canvass. His glory is on full display as He creates His masterpiece. Out of all the things He created, all the variety, He chooses to have a special relationship with us. His most beautiful work is His redemption through Jesus.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit. - Psalm 147:3-4
@ekrause1406 I said I didn't agree with his computer version of evolution; that is not the same as the natural progress of evolution.
I'll just add this; I can question science as easily as I can question religion, that's the beauty of free thinking. Question everything because we are all human and that means we are all capable of 'not seeing accurately.' This is where religion slips up and why it cannot answer awkward questions. Do you see, or are you 'not seeing accurately' when I try to tell you to open your eyes?
@windar12q So fallible human beings involved with religion can "slip up" but fallible human beings involved with science can't? That is rather a strange conclusion. With all due respect, maybe you are the one that needs to open your eyes.
@S.M.S. Again you try to twist what I am saying. Religion slips up, but there is no response. ( my question.) Science slips up, but it does try to resolve and that is why one is deemed to progress and the other will remain still. It is beyond me that you can criticize when you refuse to answer such a simple question about hate and love. Can't you see what religion has done to your mind-set?
You seem to put a lot of faith in the words of Donald Hoffmann and Charles Darwin. One of the most common misconceptions is so-called “scientific proof.” Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a scientific proof. Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science. Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists. The primary criterion and standard of evaluation of scientific theory is evidence, not proof. All else equal (such as internal logical consistency and parsimony), scientists prefer theories for which there is more and better evidence to theories for which there is less and worse evidence. Proofs are not the currency of science.
Proofs have two features that do not exist in science: They are final, and they are binary. Once a theorem is proven, it will forever be true and there will be nothing in the future that will threaten its status as a proven theorem (unless a flaw is discovered in the proof). Apart from a discovery of an error, a proven theorem will always be a proven theorem.
In contrast, all scientific knowledge is tentative and provisional, and nothing is final. There is no such thing as final proven knowledge in science. The currently accepted theory of a phenomenon is simply the "best" explanation for it among all available alternatives. However, I might add, other alternatives must T be considered and not summarily dismissed. In my experience, many supporters of evolutionary theory will not even consider the alternative explanations provided by creation scientists. Any "accepted status" of a theory is contingent on what other theories are available and might suddenly change tomorrow if there appears a better theory or new evidence that might challenge the accepted theory. No knowledge or theory (which embodies scientific knowledge) is final. To imply that it is would be disingenuous and misleading.
Hello SMS. You have misunderstood me; I was criticizing Darwin and I was not having faith in Donald Hoffman, I was using the jewel beetle as evidence.
You are right, science does not have the definitive answers, but neither does religion, but you will deny this. I will try to demonstrate the lack of insight your religious dogma initiates.
Galileo was the perfect example; he risked life and limb to get his ideas across due to the pressure from the religious hierarchy; today he would have received the Nobel Prize.
You say that science is based on empirical values, but you trust religion which is only based on faith - which is the most reliable pathway to the truth?
I have asked you so many times when engaging on the (What is and what isn't ) debate to answer one question, which you have repeatedly ignored to answer. Why? Even after I have given you the answer. The attitude that existed in the 17th century is still prevalent today and that is why you can't reply. With your myopic religion's stance, Galileo would have been prevented from allowing an intelligent species from progressing. If it was not for free thinking men and women, religion would be taking us on a journey backwards in time, back to extinction.
We are made from the same dust as the stars and therefore we are the children of the universe and the universe must be what determines our future. The intelligence that evolved here on Earth is an intelligence that will go on growing for as long as the universe exists. Our environment when life first started has now grown into what may be an infinite environment, changing with the advance of our abilities. Looking at the universe we can ask this question; is it finite or infinite? If it is finite then it must have a boundary, but if it has a boundary, what lies beyond that boundary? We know now with the knowledge gathered from quantum mechanics that protons can appear from nothing; does this mean beyond the boundary is the beginning of forever? Looking at it from nature's point of view, omnipotence will never happen to our species - the horizon will always be just beyond our reach.
I hope this explains why empiricism is the only way to go. Religion will wake one day to recognize its misguided logic.
@windar12q, I would be very interested in seeing the original research that you say determined that protons can appear from nothing. Would you care to provide a citation or a link?
@Jonathan Schulz Hello Jonathan. Look up quantum mechanics then follow through with quantum entanglement. I also suggest you read the last book by Stephen Hawking titled,
'Brief Answers to the Big Questions.'
Nice to hear from you.
Are we not seeing accurately when assessing the universe and our place in it?
Is there anyone out there, who knows where to begin?
Dr Donald Hoffman is a cognitive scientist at The University of California; he discovered while researching the decline of Australia's jewel beetle that life cannot see accurately - this includes all life and leads to big questions about both religion and science.
The jewel beetle had been evolving for nearly two million years and only the male of the species can fly. This enables him to spot a female on the ground; the female is brown, shiny and dimpled. The Australians after drinking their beer, would throw their empties into the Outback. The empty bottles were brown, shiny and dimpled, the poor male beetle couldn't tell the difference between a female and a bottle; hence their decline. The Australians had to get rid of their bottles to save their beetles.
Taking this further; if all life cannot see accurately and this is beneficial to life, then what seems like an handicap, is anything but.
When an intelligent species 'us' comes across something that we can't explain, then in a desperate attempt at clarification we reach for the supernatural, but instead of clarifying we are doing the opposite; we are doing the same as the beetle.
Darwin can't be wrong can he? Let's take a look.
It was in the 1930s when biologist David Black went to the Galapagos Islands to confirm Darwin's theory of natural selection. When he arrived at Galapagos he found finches of all shapes and sizes and all proven to be from one ancestor. He noticed the finches with the bigger and much stronger beaks were eating the same food as the birds with a much weaker structure. He assumed that the birds had evolved in this way because there was no evidence to prove otherwise. He began to think that Darwin had been wrong.
Black was called home early because the dark clouds of war were on the horizon and he left without completing his work. It was sometime later, he discovered by chance that there had been a drought prior to his arriving on Galapagos and many of the foods had not grown, especially the food that was eaten by the the much stronger beaked. He again assumed, rightly or wrongly that he now had what he set out to do, which was to confirm Darwin's theory of natural selection.
Of course it is only a theory; what if the food the smaller birds with the much weaker beaks depended on, had not grown; how could the birds with the weaker beaks have survived? If all the birds had been capable of eating more than one type of grain or berry, then all the the birds would have had a better chance of surviving, but this would have meant evolution supplying all the birds with the same beaks and the same structure to go along with the capabilities they had acquired.
I do admit that at first glance things do appear as Darwin had predicted; the finches had evolved due to what was eaten by each individual species, but are we seeing accurately? Was Black right with his first assumption and was Darwin wrong?,
These mutations seem to occur just to give variety, which in turn gives intelligent life purpose and purpose is the occurrence that gives life its need to evolve. Imagine the benefits this ability to mutate in an organized way, would bestow on the field of medicine if it could be harnessed. Perhaps the age of miracles is yet to come, but it will only come from science.