10 Reasons Why I’m Not a Christian


*Since it appears a lot of people can’t read, the title says 10 Reasons Why I’m Not A Christian, not 10 Reasons Why Christianity Is Wrong. Please take this into consideration before responding.*

1) A creator is not required for the universe to exist as it is.
We have decades of scientific research that shows how the universe could have come about, and we have evidence that shows that it likely came about in that manner. Scientists go through years of schooling in order to learn both what has been learned in the past and how to perform studies in order to advance our understanding. Science has given us the computers we use to blog, the medicine that has extended our lives greatly, and any number of other things we take for granted. But they have also advanced our understanding of the world we live in. Religion, however, my offer hypothesizes about the origins of the universe and of humans, but it offers no evidence. Science shows that a god is not needed for our universe to exist, nor is it needed for us to exist.
2) The Bible is not convincing.
There are many reasons why it is unconvincing. First there are the contradictions. The Bible was clearly written by a number of authors who disagreed on various things. As such, it is impossible to accept the Bible in it’s entirety, at least if you wish to believe it to be literal. Then there are the stories that are either provably false (like the exodus out of Egypt) or the ones that cannot be verified one way or the other (like the Jesus story), which is usually a good indication that it never happened. There is also the fact that miracles and personal interactions with God don’t really happen any more. If they happened for 2000 years, why would they just suddenly stop? There is no reason to accept the Bible as any sort of authority, especially since there is a lack of corroborating sources.
3) I have never seen any miracles.
This goes with what I said above. I have never personally witnessed a miracle. And every miracle that I have heard about has a very natural explanation. I once heard about a statue of the Virgin Mary outside of a church that was said to cry. Upon further examination, it turned out that there was a leaky pipe that caused the effect. That famous “Jesus on toast” thing was the result of a malfunctioning toaster and the fact that humans are good at seeing faces where there are none. Again, if miracles did happen at one point, why would they just stop? Or is there maybe a more reasonable explanation for past “miracles” too?
4) Christians disagree with each other over almost all aspects of their religion.
Why should I believe your claims that your religion is true when that guy over there told me that you’re not a real Christian? How do I know that you’re right and he’s wrong when you’re both giving me the same lack of evidence to support your version of the story? And if there is one God who came to Earth as his own son, and the story is so obviously true, oh, and people get revelations from God today, then why isn’t there one cohesive story told by everybody and accepted by everybody?
5) I don’t need God to be good.
Like I’ve said before, Christianity is not the basis of morality and Christians are not the only ones with morals. I do in fact have morals. I get them from my parents, my teachers, my friends, etc. But I also get them from philosophy. I have taken a lot of philosophy courses related to ethics, which has forced me to think critically before I accept an idea as moral or immoral. It is philosophy that convinced me that abortion and euthanasia are not immoral and can, in fact, be moral. Philosophy also convinced me that morality is subjective. But my point is that I know the difference between right and wrong. Most people do. And I believe that most people do more moral or amoral (not related to morality) than immoral actions.
6) Even if the Bible was convincing, the Christian God isn’t worth worshiping.
This is a God responsible for genocides. This is a God who ordered a man to kill his son to prove his loyalty, a God who killed their own son because they couldn’t figure out any other way to forgive humanity. This God even threatens to torture people for eternity simply because they can’t believe in him. Why would I worship this God?
7) Of all the religions that exist, I see no reason why the Christian religion is more likely to be true than the rest of them.
There are thousands of religions and millions of gods. Every believer says their religion is the true religion, and they all say their god is, at least, stronger than the others. What’s more, all religions seem to be supported by the same lack of evidence. So why would I accept Christianity over all of the rest?
8) Too many churches teach hate and encourage their congregants to view themselves as superior to all other humans.
If a church could prove that there was evidence to support their religion over all others, then I would understand a church viewing themselves as separate from all other religions, but teaching people to believe that they are better than others only leads to problems. No one is better than any other, and nobody should view hate as acceptable. The number of churches that support one or both of those ideas make it difficult for me to accept the organized religion associated with Christianity. Why would I want to hang out with people who believe I’m less than them simply because I disagree with them?
9) I don’t believe anyone deserves an infinite punishment for a finite crime.
Do you believe in a literal hell? What makes someone deserving of such a place? Disbelief? How is torture an acceptable response for disbelief in anything? Blasphemy? If I don’t believe, does my blasphemy count? If so, am I deserving of hell for saying something about something I don’t believe in? Murder? How many murders can one person commit? Is infinite punishment acceptable for a finite number of murders? Why isn’t imprisonment enough of a punishment?
10) I see nothing wrong with not knowing the answer.
It seems like a lot of people accept God’s existence because they believe it’s better to have any answer, even a wrong one, than having no answer. Personally, I think it’s better to accept that you don’t know until you’re reasonably sure that your answer is the right one. I’m not going to say I know until I have evidence to say I know. This isn’t to say that Christians all say that they know God exists (theism is still a belief and not a knowledge claim), but in every other circumstance the disbelief would be the default position. As such, I will continue to disbelieve in the existence of Gods until evidence of their existence is found.

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109 responses to “10 Reasons Why I’m Not a Christian

  • Red and White: The Two Kinds of People – More Drafts

    […] religious (which will be my next essay after this). In response to the blog post entitled ‘10 Reasons Why I’m Not a Christian‘, I would like to post an opposite version of the aforesaid blog […]

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  • James

    I’ve read your article and though I believe in my Gods I’m not as pompous as some of these others. This was and continues to be what pushes me away from the traditional religions. Its either you believe as they do or you are doomed, submit to their god or that’s it. I get tired of these same people complaining about religious oppression and yet at the same time oppressing those who don’t side with their own twisted story. I can’t count the times I’ve been blasted by these same people for my beliefs and moments later listening to these same people blast others of the same faith for not swallowing their brand of faith. Your god must be proud to have such judgmental people spouting hate in his name.

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  • Imjustfinethanks

    Here in a small, Bible-thumping rural community, I find your comments refreshing. I am comfortable not knowing everything about how and why the universe exists. I made my peace with that in my teens. I live a “good” life. I am a “good” person. I don’t believe in any kind of god. I am also comfortable that there may well be other sentient life in existence somewhere. In the end we live and die and what we believe makes no difference but to those left alive and then only until they too are gone.

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  • Kathi

    Hello, dear fellow traveler! The only thing I would like to add is a comment about your seventh point. Christianity is unique in that it says that God loves us so much that he gave himself for us to reconcile us to himself. Christianity is based on infinite love that allows us true freedom but then reaches down to heal and help when we fail. God offers us eternal life, not death. He is the God of love. He is Good. He is light and truth. This is the God of the Bible. Every other religion teaches us to be good, but Christianity shows us what “good” looks like while providing for failure. No other religion offers to forgive and transform those who fail. Blessings, Kathi

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  • theliberalgeekgirl

    Isn’t it great seeing all the Christians comment – thinking they are going to convert someone they don’t know, over a message board on a blog… Seriously? Lol
    On a separate note #6 is what started my path away from Christianity and I appreciate your article

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Well one hopes that we are not just talking into the wind. So when you think your are correct it makes sense that you’d think you would be able to convince others of it as well.

      It is in the pursuit of knowledge and sharing knowledge that we learn, and we often learn that it is we who are in fact wrong. This why I love these sorts of conversations as much as they can be aggravating. I always learn something, and one everyone else does too.

      I’m glad you enjoyed Hessian’s article I hope you stick around and read some more :).

      Withteeth

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    • equippedcat

      I don’t doubt that some Christians think that could happen. Perhaps some are interested in an exchange of information with those of differing viewpoints.

      Like

  • Gretiana

    II wish you a happy search for the truth and happy finding, for some day you will. But I have this to say. search with an open heart. do not search from a categorical stand point.
    You can’t experience any miracle when you close your heart to them. In christianity, you believe first and then you receive, not the
    opposite.(Matthew 16:4; Mark 6 5-6).
    Christians are not perfect people, they are people who are being perfected each day as they move towards perfection.
    don’t need God to be good, you need Him to live… I’m happy to be part of a system where people are free to disagree with each other for any system that does not self-criticize will soon become obsolete and and useless.
    Christianity gives you an opportunity to search for the truth. It does not force one down your throat. God has never forced anyone to belong to Him; He gives you a free will and if you choose to use it to make wars, that’s your choice.
    Christianity is not a religion. it’s a relationship and until you get into it, you can’t know what it is? Any married person will tell you that.
    our God does not suffer from inferiority complex and low self-esteem, that is why He never tries to force Himself on anyone. Let God be true but every man a liar ( Romans 3:4).
    In your search, make sure you get to know the difference between Christianity and religion; also know that some out of ignorance practice religion calling it Christianity.
    Christianity, Jesus changed my life. I am a living testimony of a life changed by Christianity…and that is the evidence of Jesus in a man’s life…lives transformed.

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  • jillatjlah

    After reading your post and the responses, I began to reply and even typed up several paragraphs. In the end, I decided instead to shake the dust from my feet. The hard truth is that God does not require that you believe in Him.

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  • Mikel W. Dawson

    Interesting views. I fully respect you for your beliefs and looking at life. One little thing I would like you to think about. I agree there are lots of science that explains things, but they still can’t explain where the “spark of life” comes from and they can’t duplicate it. I propose to you, What if it was God who provided the spark of life and everything else followed suit?

    Thanks for following my post.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I Do know what you mean by “spark of life” like to fully replicate a cell is not a simple task and there is very little funding for such expenditures in pure exploratory science, so it’s of little wonder that we haven’t seen a full cell replicated, but a whole genome has been constructed and inserted in to a base bacterium cell and gone on to live a long happy bacterium length life, though I don’t know if it can replicate.

      But that isn’t want you said, your talking about some spark of life, and well that’s far to vague for me to response effectively. Perhaps your talking about the initial formation of life, and that’s the study of abiogenesis which has several strong hypothesis’ for how life might have arisen. So I’d point out that we can offer plausible explanations for how life formed even if we are not yet certain of which one is the case.

      Though you might mean something very different, and if so. I’d love to know what it is that you mean by the “spark of life.”

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  • Greg Graham

    Thank you for following my blog. I certainly agree with your last point. Don’t believe something you’re not convinced about just have something to believe in. I was an atheist, but over the course of many years the evidence led me to the Catholic Church. I have answers to your other nine reasons for not believing, and would be happy to discuss them with you, but I will warn you that faith requires a surrender of yourself over to God. It means being willing to go wherever the Truth is, even if it means a radical change in your life.

    My prayer for you is that you will continue to seek for the truth. Do not get caught up in what is trendy or cool. It may be that the real truth is counter-cultural and completely unexpected.

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  • invertmouse

    Good article, Hessian. I’m with you on pretty much all of the points. One thing I would say as someone who shares your beliefs (or lack thereof), you should re-title the article to “10 reasons I’m not religious”, otherwise you’re just baiting the Christians. And as you can see from many of the comments here, they really don’t need any more baiting.

    Or is it, like me, that you’ve been raised in a Christian society, and so that’s the most obvious one to show opposition to?

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  • Steve

    Thanks for thoughtful blog.

    The one thing I would want to be known as is not moral or good or in any way superior. Rather I would like to be known as someone who needed to be forgiven and who found forgiveness in Jesus Christ. This the heart of the message if Jesus. For those who have no need for forgiveness there is really not much else to say.

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  • Colorstorm

    Oh what the heck, I’ll be the proverbial guinea pig 😉

    There are innate weaknesses in the examples, I would only point out 42,000 denominations (embellishment maybe) only prove there are 42,ooo groups seeking answers..

    In a world created by God, there are obviously absolutes. Kind of like the carpenters level, all tilt is judged by the level. It doesnt care about opinions as it is its own standard..

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    • hessianwithteeth

      While that may be true given the assumption the the world is created by god, and the less obvious assumption that a “world” with absolute truth is likely to be caused to exist by some sort of god. Then if you assume the god to be the Christan god or something like it then your just find your self in a position where you tacking on more and more requirements to an already feeble claim. With out giving a single shred of evidence. Like you might want to think that your assumptions count for something solid, but not really, not unless you can give good reasons for each one and show how each assumption is both well founded and more likely then other assumptions.
      To put it another way. You seem to be assuming that there is both an absolute level, and that level is something that appears/behaves like deity.

      And to the first point you made, no matter how many groups are seeking answers, you can eventually divide it down to individuals because the vast majority of humanity are looking for answers in all sorts of different ways. However, that doesn’t means there always going to be meaning or that meaning will match up in some way which is consistent with the human mind let alone consistent with any particular person’s world view.

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      • Colorstorm

        Teeth-

        Tkx for answer.

        May I just make a small observation?.You speak of a ‘christian’ God, but this is way too small a designation, and in my mind makes Him appear as a paid employee instead of the owner of everything. 😉

        He would be the God of the universe, and of everything seen and unseen. His omnipotence would go unchallenged, as He was God long before any christian came along.

        Follow the bread crumbs, keep going back in time, and you must start with a single man and woman. The bible is the only source that gives evidence of how, who, when, where, and WHY is explained later!!!

        Nature is the strongest voice for a creator, and then you have the human conscience.Your conscience tells us the stars above and the dew drop below have the same source.

        C-ya

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Well allow me to make another observation, when I speak of the “Christian god” Yahweh, is not more real to me then the fictional characters in Neil Gaiman’s sandman, and I like his depiction of gods and the 7 endless (which are portrayed far more powerful then the Christan God by a wide margin in that set of stories). I hold no particular reverence for those characters, so why would I hold extra reverence for any other human fiction?

          Besides Omnipotence breaks your God on some many levels if you wish him to be good, or benevolent, or just. IF you want him to be some kind of a comic ass then omnipotence in light of our universe make some sense.

          “Follow the bread crumbs, keep going back in time, and you must start with a single man and woman.”
          Not even remotely, if you go back a few hundred thousand years you get humans and other Hominids coexisting. So back a few million and you don’t have humans, you have our early Hominid ancestors co-existing with there related hominids. Go back a few more million years and you get to our common ancestor with Chimpanzees. Go back a few billion years and you get to the earliest bacteria which where the common ancestors to all currently living things.

          Now I’m not going to give you an introduction to biology, that takes time a resources and there is a crash course on youtube for that.

          As for the bible the only source for explanations of how, who, when, where? I don’t know what rock(church?) you’ve been living (raised?) under but there has been over a thousand year of progress in human understanding since the group of books now known as the bible was first strung together by the early Christians over the course of hundreds of years starting sometime in the 4th Century with the Nicean council.

          Your comments show you lack a basic understanding of biology and evolutionary theory. Nature has far more (hundreds of thousands or millions more) godless explanations then the unexplained. Further the unexplained does not support the view that a sentient force like the Christian god caused it. And even if we determined that some thing where cause by some sentient force, you would still have a long way to go before you could prove your god was that sentient being.

          Your making a colossal jump to your favored conclusion, that isn’t evidence for anything, nor is it convincing.

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          • Colorstorm

            Hessian-

            You usage of the ‘christian’ God is too narrow.
            He was the God of Abraham before Isaac lived; He was the God of Isaac before Jacob lived; and He was the God of Jacob before Daniel lived.

            He is the God of the living.

            This is an important distinction. Like I said, christianity is but a wee part of the truth of God.

            Thought for the day for ya:

            Where can you go on earth that you can say is distinctly yours?

            Where can you go that you can claim ownership to?

            Careful how you answer for ‘In Him we live and move, and have our being.’ 😉

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Quoting scripture and winking is not evidence ;). Neither is it convincing in the slightest :). You seem to forget I don’t believe that these fables are true.

            Though I understand now you want to discuss the Abrahamic God! The god of The Israelite and modern Jewish people, the god of the gentile and modern Christians, and the god of the Muslims. This entity is described as no more powerful, thought it is even more tied up in conflicting and contradictory reports. Besides the Christan god is just one version of the Abrihamic God.

            Though again I think what you want is me to show some level of deference to this Abrahamic God, or as you call Yahweh, the God of the living, but that isn’t an accurate title. That god as never been interested in all living things as told by his stories, but rather in diffrent groups of humanity who believe in him, and if they do what he wants then you get an eternal reward (though this is only the case for Christan’s and Muslims) and all other are damned in one way or another.

            But this attempt to get me to show deference and respect to this mythical creature for get all the other mythical creature that are claimed to exist and that people have claimed to exist over the millennia of recorded and archeological history. MAy of those god are by far easier to understand, and do not have inherent contradictions laced thought their claimed properties, but are still claimed to be active enough to be worth worshiping o some degree. However I don’t believe in and of these gods, not a one, I like some of the stories more then others, but that is all they are to me. Stories.

            Why would I take your fable any more reverently than another, beside the Germanic gods have much better stories.

            Further more I’m a biologist I do not need God to explain life, life could have easily came about on it’s own during the first billion or so years of our planet. And the diversity of life can and has in large ways been explained by evolutionary theory, phylogenetics, archeology, geology, and biochemistry.

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          • Colorstorm

            Tkx Hess-

            But can u at least try to address this easy one first.-

            —————————————————————————

            Where can you go on earth that you can say is distinctly yours?

            Where can you go that you can claim ownership to?

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Ownership is a human social construct that makes it easier to trade goods and function within a community. Objects in my house are distinctly mine because of these binding social constructs. I can go to the police or a number of other source of authority to make my claims. These however are not foolproof, because ownership is a social contract and if you can not hold others to that contract then your claim to ownership is greatly weakened.

            Now I interested in seeing how you take that, and if you’ll being proposing evidence for your claims.

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          • Colorstorm

            No Hess-

            Bring it closer to home, forget about the ‘things,’ where can WALK, what step can you take, where can u stand, that does no belong to some one else?.

            I’m trying to get you to see something beyond science or philosophy.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Lol, this is adorable. What ‘things,’ I can walk on this planet, and who owns the planet? We do, perhaps no one? Perhaps someone else claims to own it we are not aware of, but they haven’t made the claim obvious or know. You would claim your god has, but you have no evidence to back this up. You will say the bible is evidence, but by that logic I could say harry potter is evidence for wizards.

            What do you even mean we you say bring it closer to home? What is closer then my relationship to other things and people?

            I am aware of things outside, thought they are never never independent, of science and philosophy. These things are flights of fancy, walk of imagination. They may be fun, cathartic, and even useful exercises. They, however, do not provide meaningful answers, only ideas.

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          • Colorstorm

            Hess-

            ‘Closer to home’ as in your conscience, the very thing that separates you from animals.

            Your conscience as to the pondering of things made.

            Your conscience as in SIN, death, as I said.

            They all have one thing in common..

            So when I ask u ‘where can u go?’ I suggest u go no further than your next step, Begin there.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            “‘Closer to home’ as in your conscience.”
            How does this relate to ownership?

            “Your conscience as to the pondering of things made.”
            What? I’ll need you to restate that. I have a few ideas of what you mean, but I can’t be sure from what you’ve written.

            “Your conscience as in SIN, death, as I said. ”
            This is the first time you brought up sin and death. Also I don’t think sin even makes sense morally speaking, let alone exists in a meaningful sense.

            “They all have one thing in common.”
            Are you saying sin, death and conscience have one thing in common (which isn’t true, there more in common between them)

            “I suggest u go no further than your next step”
            Thanks very useful information. However, the next step is not you god, there are other explanation for all of it. You just prefer the god explanation of one that are actually useful and interesting.

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          • Colorstorm

            I’m sorry Hess-

            should have spelled it out first-
            the tilt of the level is sin versus perfection,

            and your ‘next step?’ yes, you can’t go anywhere or have anything that is distinctively yours.

            You do not own anything- Conscience….Clear? Of course, neither do I.

            Sin is the quintessential ingredient that is always avoided.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Sin is the the disease produced by your religion so that a cure can be sold. Perfects itself is a misnomer you can actually point to it, because while you’ll claim god, you can’t actually point to god, nor can you say what he is. You claim all this knowledge, and have all of this certainty, but if you start defining any of these you will quickly see that very few people will actually agree with you.

            We might not “own” anything because ownership is a social construct, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t agreed to being able to own thing among ourselves.

            Besides you seem completely unwilling to accept that I have a different world view from yourself. I bet you think I’m denying your god in some sort of rebellion, but once again you’d be giving waaaaay to much credit to your formulation of a god, of in fact any gods what so ever. Yahweh is as real to be as Anansi, or Zeus, or Mars (the god not the planet). Which are all as real to me as the big bad wolf and the three little pigs.

            I find the notion of sin as described in the bible, grossly immoral, and arbitrary. The haphazard work of tribal humans not some worthy moral work worthy of praise.

            Further more there lack much agreement about sin, and what sill constitutes sin, so if you wish to keep talking about it you’d best define your formulation of sin, otherwise we will just continue talking past each other.

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  • Eric John

    I am a person of Faith. Having said that, I don’t see anything wrong with your assessments or the viewpoint you have on Spirituality. I find it interesting that so many people of “Faith” that have commented on here are so concerned with arguing points of “proof” in regards to their Faith. It’s called Faith for a reason. If we could prove it, it would be called something else. We need to own the Faith part of our lives.

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  • The Bad Catholic

    You’ve got a lot of good points. I’d love to discuss them with you, but privately, maybe, not on your comment thread… Then again, looks like a lot of people have already tried and you’re probably sick of that.

    Anyway, thanks for following my blog; I appreciate the interest, even if you eventually decide mine’s not worth following (I noticed the top comment and your reply).

    Like

  • wally12662013

    On the surface, your words sound very self-confident, but the fact that you chose to follow my blog tells me a completely different story. You must be looking for something to fill the emptiness inside. I hope and pray that you find it.

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      No we just randomly follow blogs that look interesting, and then we make a full assessment after we read a few posts. However you comment imply that some how following someone with a radically different view point from you make you some how weak? How the heck do you figure that? Here we care about the truth about inquiry and thoughtful discussion. My opinion of you as a thoughtful person just fell a few levels from no opinion to poor one. So while first impressions are not everything. Comments like yours are an insult and nothing more.

      Besides why are you so ready to jump on another persons blog to tell people how empty they are, is that really the way you want to convey yourself and any message you might have to others?

      Like

  • Tom Kenobi

    Just wanted to say thank you. I’ve come back to this particular piece a few times now, it’s given me a few things to chew on. 🙂

    Like

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  • vernonmylife

    I liked your post and I share your opinions. I respect the debate between you and your commentators. I am always amazed at the personal investment regarding opinions, for god/religion and against. No discredit to your post. The amount of energy that is put into the comments that sometime are completely out of line, even insulting only, reinforces my own feelings regarding organized religious groups (cults). They do not walk the walk of a spiritual individual. Our society has so many important issues facing us, so many. We really cannot afford to accentuate our differences, which makes us vulnerable to those who don’t want to us to address these difficult issues. It allows them to change the focus to things that does not matter to them. I see the beliefs perverted to the use of these anti-change groups to cloud the issues and impeding our debate with issues that we can never be resolved. Not because either is wrong or right, because we do not know and may never know.
    Forgive my vent. 🙂

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  • giinganut

    I’d bet my life that you have seen miracles. Matter of fact, i’ll take it one step further, i’d bet my life that he performed miracles for your life. Whether you want to see then or admit they were a miracle is your choice.

    Also, God is not responsible for the genocides… We are. Love isn’t love unless you have choice. You have to choose to love something. You do this by devoting time and effort into whatever you want to love. God loves us so much, he gave us choice. We chose against him which makes us responsible for the tragedies in the world.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I not so willing to bet my life on anything, but since we almost certainly will never have a means of testing you claims that bet is rather safe, and since neither of us want you life (slavery/murder are bad) you can be self assured you have nothing to fear. Assuming that bet is sincere (which I have little doubt).
      That said your being convicted to the pint your would bet your life, while interesting isn’t convincing. Partly because the risk to you is non-existent, but also because it’s isn’t evidence, you very certain of it, and you have some antidotal evidence I’m sure, but all you’ve done here is speak your conviction, so if that’s all you where trying for with that statement okay, but if you where trying to convince us you’ll need something more concrete to peek our interest.
      From my reading you seem to believe is some sort of original sin, and that god made us so we could go against his wishes, but that in no ways explains hell, or “evil” to the extent we see it. He made us with the capability and the predisposition to do evil. He need not have done that, at least not the way we exist we see in the world. If your god exists, and is responsible for making us and this world. It’s despicable that he would blame us for his creation, especially if his followers claim his omniscience. Though your theology could diverge widely from the common trope I encounter so you god may make sense. Though that still doesn’t mean it exists, or that any theology of original sin should have any effect on how I form judgments about anything.
      But the point here is that your conviction, no matter how strong is it, no matter how much you think it should matter, isn’t actually a valid argument for others to believe as well.

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      • giinganut

        He made us with choice. We choose to do evil. He didnt create evil.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Sure he did. Assuming he exists and made us then yes. He did he made us and instilled in us the ability to do “evil,” if he is omnipotent then he could have made us have the ability to choose among all the amoral (not all choice have a moral component) decision groups. But made us to only ever do “good” when the option a rises. Plus he instilled in us all out desires, good and ill. in this hypothetical case. we are not talknig about a normal parent child relation. We are talking about all of creation, all the suffering. Not all awful thing occur because of human, but rather because things have the capability to do ill. God allowed for that when it’s reasonable to think he need not have had too, then yes he made “evil” and he allowed it to take root. Though then again I don’t know your formulation of God, so I’ve already had to make more assumptions then I’d like.

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        • equippedcat

          Darkness is, being the absence of light. Perhaps evil also has an intrinsic existence. Few people (who believe in God) would refute that “God created good”, which then actually benefits from evil existing to compare it to.

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      • Caroline

        Read Genesis 3:1 and tell me god didn’t create evil.

        Liked by 1 person

        • equippedcat

          Ok, I read it, and I don’t see anything which claims that God made evil. “The serpent was more cunning than any animal of the field which God had made…”. Cunning is not evil (although the actions later sure seem to so qualify), and it does not say here that God created this serpent. There is even a hint that He did not. I think we might think this is a snake like we are used to. but when was the last time a snake not only talked to you, but reasoned as well? We know evil exists (otherwise we would not be told about a tree which gives “knowledge of good and evil”). I think what we are seeing here is interaction with evil which instinctively lashes out at its natural enemy, good. Just like darkness strives to overcome light.

          Liked by 1 person

          • hessianwithteeth

            Well I’m not going to keep arguing points if the god can keep changing properties as it suit the argument. Well need to make definitions and then go from there, because talking in terms of pure possibility won’t get us anywhere. But the point is if you believe god created everything, then he create evil. And if he knew evil would occur when he made the universe then if he isn’t responsible for it then no one is.

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      • equippedcat

        I didn’t say God did not create evil. Maybe it was necessary in order to create good. Maybe we needed it in order to make choosing good meaningful. Maybe it “always was”. All I did say is that Genesis 3:1 does not give any indication of it.

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      • Caroline

        Um, you *did* say god didn’t create evil, to which I said that Gen 3:1 showed that, according to the book about what I’m presuming is your religion (do say if it’s not, and we can work from which book we should be referencing for this) a created being was described as cunning/crafty/subtle, and later on when to cause the first couple of humans to do evil.

        Now, of course, I’ve never heard a snake talk, but then, we can’t just pick an choose which bits of the bible to believe, now can we? If it’s in there it must be true, regardless of evidence to the contrary? That’s how it works isn’t it? So, we have god creating everything – if god didn’t create the serpent, then I don’t know who did – after all things don’t just “pop into existence” now, do they? So god created the serpent, which talked and acted evilly. So god created evil.

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      • equippedcat

        Actually, it was someone else who said that. My view is maybe God created evil, either because He had good reason to, or because it was an unavoidable side effect of creating good. Conversely, maybe evil “always was” (if God can be eternal, why not other things).

        Yes, the Bible is the book of my religion. It is not a governor on my thinking, though.

        The verse does not say for sure the serpent was a created being, like it does say about the “animals of the field”. So one possibility is that “serpent” refers to Satan, as is the case elsewhere in the Bible. Other then this case, it would be a created being, created by god. Even then, perhaps the serpent in this case was under the control of Satan. The other main interpretation is that the serpent was created as the “top” animal and was busted down to slitherer after its behavior here.

        Did God create evil? Maybe he did, maybe not. Does Gen 3:1 prove he did or even hint that he did? I’d say no.

        Like

  • Jennrvt

    Reblogged this on Standard Of Reason and commented:
    I fully support and believe in each of these points. Thanks hessianwithteeth!

    Like

  • nandakishorevarma

    No religion is logical, and to believe in the literal truth of any “holy” book is to fly in the face of logic and reason. Myths grew out of the subconscious, were embellished by rituals, historical events got added on, and soon a group of people institutionalised it. Now the institution of organised religion is used as a tool to power.

    No need to be a believer to be ethical: no need for a God to be compassionate. Buddhism, which is built on the concept of compassion, is atheistic.

    Like

  • ♔ la dauphine ♔

    Bonsoir! Our deepest curtsey in thanks for the follow on our humble blog! We hope you’ll visit often! Merci buckets!

    Like

  • jvisi1001

    Hessian. If you don’t wish to believe in God, then you don’t have to. But the Bible is very simple to understand. This isn’t my interpretation of the Bible. This is what the Bible says about the Bible. Everything I just told you is written in the Bible. I’m not cherry picking anything. I’ve got a great idea. Why don’t you go find a Bible, read Genesis Chapter 22, and Galatians Chapter 3. And you will find exactly what i just told you. And you would either be entirely ignorant, or just an idiot to have any other interpretation. You speak of things that you don’t know; only things that you hope for. I can’t help it if you don’t want the Bible to be true. But even a child can understand what I’ve just told you about the story of Abraham.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      The Bible is proof of the Bible? Why don’t you come back after you’ve learned some basic logic skills.

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      • jvisi1001

        Why did God tell Abraham to sacrifice is son?
        4,000 years ago, God told Abraham to take his one and only son up on a mountain and sacrifice him. But as Abraham was about to stab his son, God stopped the sacrifice.
        Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide.
        2,000 years later, on that same mountain, the Lord did provide. But this time HE didn’t stop the sacrifice. He allowed us to beat and murder His Son. Why? Because we didn’t like what Jesus had to say; the same way that people don’t like what he has to say today.
        The command to Abraham had nothing to do with morals. It was a shadow of the real sacrifice to come.

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  • NS

    Science, as it is commonly understood, does not pretend to explain the world and cannot. As someone who has studied philosophy extensively, you should know that. For one thing, I don’t think there is any agreement in any broad intellectual community about whether monism or dualism (or some other structure for the world) is “correct”. The assertion that science explains everything requires monism, since science is purely materialistic.

    What’s more, science deals in abstractions. The endeavor of science is to come up with abstractions that accurately reflect the world. However, science is constrained by the language of these abstractions, and if there is anything in the world that is not included in the base axioms of science, it cannot be explained or described by science. That’s not to say “science” cannot be extended to cover new things, but if “science” contained axioms and abstractions dealing with spiritual phenomena (i.e., assuming they cannot all be explained as neurological phenomena), I don’t think it is fair to continue to call it “science”, in the way that is meant in discussions such as these. One may expect this expansion of science to occur, and yet still be “religious”.

    Whitehead is difficult to read, but he cared a lot about these issues. I think his process philosophy was an attempt to provide a new foundation for science which would enable a wider array of abstractions. Sadly nothing much came of it.

    Here are some reasons that religions seem unreasonable today.

    (1) Historically, religion was very intertwined with government and social structure, so religion needed to provide these rules and justifications for the rules. It’s really important for social and political structure to be stable, so along with this, religions also needed to guarantee stability. As far as I can tell, this is particularly bad with Judeo-Christian religions, and less bad with Eastern religions.

    (2) Historically, material and spiritual thought (what we might now call science and religion) were not considered separate, and many great intellectuals of the past were prominent in both spheres. Therefore religion was very intertwined with the material world, and drew evidence from it and made claims about it.

    Technology and knowledge have been expanding ever more rapidly throughout human history. As this pace has accelerated, secular aspects of religions have been left in the dust. Believers dogmatically persist in holding onto archaic social rules and crazy beliefs about the material world, because the religion itself is unable to unpackage the spiritual from the material, and the material stuff is stale.

    I think this alone is a good reason not to believe in “Christianity”, or basically any religion with a long history, as a package. However, nowadays we have the ability (if we so choose) to evaluate the spiritual content of a particular religion’s theology on its own. Religion tries to ask different questions – what else is there to existence beyond the material? How do you get closer to it and understand it? What is the “spiritual experience” or “religious experience” that so many people have across all cultures? It may well be the case that these questions will eventually be answered by materialistic science, but science has never really tried, and even now still does not have the tools; and these do not seem like vain pursuits. The Judeo-Christian theologians have been working on these questions for as long as Western thinkers have been working on mathematics, if not longer, and if you accept that these questions are interesting, I don’t think you can possibly reject Judeo-Christian thought on these questions, just because they’re bad at casting off stupid rules about homosexuality and stuff like that.

    You mention that you get your morality from your peers and elders, people you respect, and by thinking critically about the philosophy as a whole. But you should keep in mind that most of the moral intuitions you have, or glean from others, come from the depths of human history and were originally justified as originating from god. To the extent that the works of Socrates and Plato should be regarded as useful to understand for modern philosophical inquiry, so too should ancient religious texts be regarded. Aristotle said lots of crazy stuff, but most of this was based on erroneous observations caused by poor measurement and lack of understanding of subtle physical laws. His methods of thought were generally sound and his work is fundamental for modern Western thought. So, too, should ancient religious texts be forgiven for their material inaccuracies. They are also fundamental for modern Western thought (and Eastern thought, in the case of things like the Vedas and Upanishads).

    As for me, I was in the scientific materialism camp since I was old enough to understand these questions, which was probably high school, until this year. This year, I was challenged by my friend with many of the above ideas, and after much reading and reflection I came to believe that there is no reason to think the current axioms of materialistic science are sufficient to explain all phenomena of the actual world; in fact all evidence points to the contrary. So we should endeavor to detect those phenomena and come up with abstractions for describing and probing and understanding those phenomena – and to say that such a pursuit cannot be informed and guided in any way by study of theology would be folly, though indeed much of theology is junk. It is all well and good to try to improve existing science, but great leaps in human knowledge and understanding come from revisions of the assumptions and expansions of the abstract language with which we describe and think about the world. And there may still be some of these leaps lying in our future.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Where exactly did I say that science explains everything? I said that the knowledge it has given us makes a creator god unnecessary. I never said that we know everything.
      Dualism is largely seen as bunk outside of religious communities. Monism is accepted almost exclusively.

      Like

      • NS

        You didn’t say science explains everything, but you imply that it eventually will.

        I think it is not true that dualism is largely seen as bunk outside of religious communities. It is seen as bunk within the community of analytical philosophers. I also think it’s silly to dismiss religious communities as having no intellectual merit, considering that they constitute the vast majority of the world. I am suggesting that you shake off the belief that analytical philosophy is the only possible correct way of thinking about things, and look outside of it to see what the majority of the world has been thinking about. One thing I found very helpful when reading works coming out of analytical philosophy has been thinking about why other people might disagree with it – what assumptions they would question, etc. – rather than just accepting the assumptions of the author.

        I think your rejection of the creator god reflects a willful ignorance of the subtlety of the idea of god. I think your criticism of the commonly depicted Christian god is quite accurate. However, even within Christian churches, serious intellectual theologians do not hold that idea of God. Did you know that the Catholic Church has long rejected any ideas like creationism or intelligent design as part of its official doctrine, and holds with the scientific community on the cosmological theory of the origin of the universe and the theory of evolution of life on earth? Their only official religious addition to the theory is that there is something special about man, which gives him a soul, and which came from God. (This, still, I disagree with, but not for materialistic reasons.) So, you’re rejecting Christianity as you observed it practiced in your family and community, and you are well justified in doing so, but saying this means you’re not a Christian means you are assuming there is nothing else there. And I think the Christianity the Pope would teach is quite different from the Christianity you hear on the streets in the States, and most of your arguments (though not all!) would not apply to that version of Christianity.

        In Whitehead’s justification for his organic theory of the universe, he suggests the possibility of other laws of nature beyond the ones that we have discovered, and other basic entities. How did it come about that we have these electrons and quarks and stuff, and the four fundamental forces that govern their interaction? Whitehead argues that in a universe that has a wide variety of organisms with different ways of interacting with each others, ones that affect their environment in a way to foster stability are the ones that will persist. In the end, the resulting system will be extremely stable in the way we observe. This is already a better account than what the modern scientific community gives for their laws and elementary particles and the order of nature: namely none. But Whitehead points out that no matter how well you explain and abstract, the system itself still has no explanation. It’s just there. You can choose not to explain it, saying there is no need to explain it because it’s irrelevant to any question you care about, but I think this deserves argument. It is part of the question of why we are here, what is the purpose and meaning of existence. I don’t think analytical philosophy has any satisfactory answer to this question. The general attitude is “it has whatever meaning you give it”, and then everyone tries to come up with a logically satisfactory moral structure that corresponds with moral intuitions that come from religion and originally have religious justification.

        I want to get back to your last point about not needing to know the answer. I think the people who say God explains things that they can’t otherwise answer or handle are lazy. That is not what most religions actually teach, even though it is widely believed by adherents to those religions. But I think saying “I am okay with not knowing the answer to this” is also wrong if you use it as a screen to hide your unwillingness to make any effort to answer it. That is just as lazy and just as much blind faith. And I think most scientists (and atheists) accept that science can’t possibly ever explain everything, and is very far away from answering some things, but they just don’t care and say those questions don’t matter and they are okay with not knowing, or that they’ll eventually get there using their existing methods and have no interest in what other methods have to say.

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      • D.T. Nova

        Dualism is bunk. Qualia Soup can debunk it better than I can, so I posted his videos on my blog:
        https://novasaber.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/deconstructing-dualism/

        Liked by 1 person

    • D.T. Nova

      ” However, science is constrained by the language of these abstractions, and if there is anything in the world that is not included in the base axioms of science, it cannot be explained or described by science. That’s not to say “science” cannot be extended to cover new things, but if “science” contained axioms and abstractions dealing with spiritual phenomena (i.e., assuming they cannot all be explained as neurological phenomena), I don’t think it is fair to continue to call it “science”, in the way that is meant in discussions such as these. ”
      If there was evidence that “spiritual phenomena” existed and followed any consistent rules of any kind, science wouldn’t NEED any new axioms to apply to them.

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      • NS

        This is simply wrong. Science is changing all the time. For example, most physicists now agree the principle of locality is wrong, which was considered a fundamental aspect of the nature of the world for most of modern history. Science was unable to explain quantum entanglement without getting rid of that principle.

        In your disdain you are mixing up supernatural with spiritual. There’s no evidence of supernatural phenomena and science has many tools to explain it. Spiritual phenomena are phenomena of the mind. The “science” of the mind is psychology, and that is a nascent field which has achieved virtually nothing when compared with basically any other field. Lots of stuff happens in the mind that has patterns, both within a single mind and between minds, but we still don’t have any theoretical structure for it. Eventually this theory will be developed. It will probably require new abstractions and possibly changes to our assumptions about how things work.

        Believers in Science tend to think that things like neural activity and blood flow in the brain will be sufficient to explain the mind. Maybe this is true, but it’s a stultifying attitude, because we’re really far away from being able to use such tools to figure out what’s happening in the mind, and there are other potential approaches to understanding the mind. But these approaches are associated with religion and therefore Rationalists and Scientists consider them tainted.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          I this is all I can post for now. I’m interested to know your expertise on the subject comes from. I’m a bit fuzzy on it, since my back ground in this subject comes from philosophy of the mind, and my biology back ground.

          There are three distinct fields currently working on the “mind” problem that I’m aware of. Psychology, Neuroscience, and philosophy of the mind. These there all have something to say, though right now the most informative information is coming out of neuroscience.

          “Believers in Science tend to think that things like neural activity and blood flow in the brain will be sufficient to explain the mind.”

          No that a gross over generalization. Those in the field have no idea how the mysteries of the brain will be ultimately solved. Yes blood flow and measurable neural activity will pay a big role, but there is a lot more going on. Including proteins which may in part be responsible for storing memories or information about said memories. Some people in all three fields are ready to jump the gun, but thankfully most are not.

          Withteeth

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      • NS

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

        (1) I don’t have any qualifications to speak of. I studied mathematics, so I am very good at abstract thinking. Most of what I know comes from classes I took outside of my major when I was in university, discussions with friends who remain in academia, and continued reading of academic books and papers since I graduated.

        (2) Neuroscience right now is mostly about studying the microscopic structures involved in the brain and how they relate in a very broad sense to the basic functions of the brain. I don’t doubt that people in the field understand the limitations of their own field, in the same way that most computer scientists who work on AI are way less optimistic about AI than the popular imagination would suggest. So when I refer to “believers in Science”, I mean the sort of people who assume without question that science as it is today already has all the answers, and we just need to do the right experiments to figure out all the relationships. I don’t mean people who are on the front lines developing the theories, because those people are well aware of how our understanding has evolved over time and realize that science will continue to change as we have new ideas and discover new things. But I think even most active researchers in science do not appreciate the level of abstraction at which it is possible to generalize. It is possible to generalize at any level of abstraction – Whitehead makes this clear with his proposal for an organic theory of nature, which did away with the principle of locality even before quantum entanglement troubled the minds of the greatest physicists of the 20th century.

        I am not well versed in philosophy of mind. It’s on my list to read Wittgenstein as a starting point. But without being very familiar with modern work on these questions, I can still say that the fact that humans (and higher animals) communicate using mental states is strong evidence that mental states are a useful abstraction for what’s happening in the brain. So having a good theory of mental states, regardless of whether it turns out that mental states are entirely determined by the physical state of the brain, would be a valuable contribution to the scientific study of the mind. But as science only accepts material evidence, right now it’s very hard for scientists to engage in study of mental states. I think that’s why psychology has been relatively unsuccessful as a field of science while most of the rest of scientific knowledge advanced enormously in the 20th century.

        (3) I just want to mention Whitehead again – although as I mentioned, his work has not been influential in the way he might have hoped, because it’s not practical (or else we are not smart enough to figure out what he wanted people to do), it is worth noting that he proposed a way of accounting for the world that entirely avoids the question of monism vs dualism. Whitehead just rejects the material theory entirely and provides a different basis for accounting for reality. So for Whitehead, there would be no mind-body problem. This doesn’t get us anywhere, because as far as I know Whitehead did not really give us sufficient tools to study the world (“scientifically”) based on his way of viewing things, but it is in any case a reminder that we are not forced to choose between only the options (a) material and (b) material + something else. There is a (c) other. (I think idealism is not interesting to include in this list, because either (1) it functions more as a background (like a religion) and the idealist doesn’t actually reject materialistic science, so you still face the same question; or (2) it actually rejects materialistic science and says the whole world is arbitrary and illusory, but I don’t think any serious intellectuals believe this, it’s probably mostly serial killers and angsty teenagers.)

        PS. I think Derrida also rejected the mind/body question as a false dichotomy, but I’m not aware of any constructive contribution from him on the subject. I still suspect that Derrida’s entire intellectual life was the greatest troll of modern times, the intellectual equivalent of Andy Kaufman.

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      • D.T. Nova

        “This is simply wrong. Science is changing all the time. For example, most physicists now agree the principle of locality is wrong, which was considered a fundamental aspect of the nature of the world for most of modern history.”
        I think your definition of what counts as a “base axiom” is broader than mine.

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  • equippedcat

    I accept the possibility that there is some natural reason for “everything” to be in one point, which just happens to explode. I also accept the possibility that God caused it. Yes, dedicated their lives to studying how the universe began; that is a nano-second after the Big Bang. I’m sure they would LIKE to have a theory about right before the Big Bang, but if anyone has come up with one, I’m not aware of it.

    I understand the softness of history and archeology. Do you understand the “softness” of their findings? They are the “best knowledge” we have at the moment and are subject to modification based on new findings or new interpretations or sadly, on occasion, deliberate alteration or .

    I say again, belief is a subset of knowledge. Knowledge which is universally provable is “fact”; you don’t have to rely of belief (although Plato claims so) and for that matter, it would be very silly to believe it is NOT so. All other knowledge requires some degree of belief. Or, if you insist on separating them, everything else is not knowledge, but mere belief.

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  • Dahakha

    I highly recommend that you read through Karen Armstrong’s The Case For God. Don’t mind the title, it isn’t some “proof of God” or anything. It does, however, give a very compelling case for how religion has lost it’s way over the centuries, and how modern rationalist thinking has no place in religion.

    Basically, Christians who try to argue their faith with rationalist language and modes of thought are wrong to do so. Likewise, non-theists who try to argue against religion, as you have done in this post, are also wrong to do so.

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      I’ve read her work. I found it highly problematic.
      And how exactly “Why I’m Not A Christian” an argument against religion? If I wanted to disprove Christianity I would have titled it “10 Reasons Why Christianity Is Wrong.”

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      • Dahakha

        I mean you are arguing against religious thought and language, and you are using modern rationalist thought and language to do so. The two systems of thought and language cannot be used to refute or explain each other. You cannot disprove Christianity any more than a Christian can disprove, well, anything that science produces.

        The only reason you need, the only reason that matters, is that you do not wish to partake in Christianity. Why waste your time coming up with trivial arguments that are fundamentally incomprehensible to religious thought anyway?

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        • equippedcat

          When there is something which has multiple views, it is perfectly fine for a person to share their views. No matter how much it might annoy those holding a different view, it is valuable to encourage sharing, which might actually provide value to those open minded enough to accept information they do not have or reasoning they had not thought of.

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  • jvisi1001

    Ok Hessi; I do appreciate your attempt here, but it is pretty weak. First, allow me to give you feedback from a Secular Jew; who is agnostic, bordering heavily on atheism. But who is one who I much admire for his seeking the truth in all things.
    In his book, “The Devil’s Delusion” (which is an answer to Dawkins’ “The God Delusion,”) David Berlinski (and you can check out his credentials), writes on the inside cover flap:
    1. Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistance? NOT EVEN CLOSE.
    2. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? NOT EVEN CLOSE.
    3. Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? NOT EVEN CLOSE.
    4. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? CLOSE ENOUGH.
    5. Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? NOT CLOSE ENOUGH.
    6. Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good? NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING CLOSE.
    7. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences? CLOSE ENOUGH.
    8. Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? NOT EVEN BALLPARK.
    9. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? DEAD ON!

    Now this is coming from a skeptic. But he is a skeptic who knows all of the scientific facts, and all of the religious beliefs, and is seeking the truth.
    He would never make the statement that religion has offered no evidence. Why? Because he has done his homework.
    He would never make the statement: “Christians disagree with each other over almost all aspects of their religion.” There is nothing that could be further from the truth. Are there disagreements on baptism, once saved always saved, and certain aspects of God’s nature and character? Of course there is. But the Bible is completely clear about it’s message: That all men are sinners; that no man is better than another; that we are all in need of a Savior.
    And if we’re going to philosophize, then please allow me to do so by asking: “Do you believe that the Bible is just a fictional book?” If so, then are you trying to make truth claims about a fictional book? And if it is fictional, then the god that you are patronizing in reason #6 (though I believe you have taken everything out of its true context) happens to be a fictional god that was made up by a few different authors. So why are you so disgusted with that god who was the offspring of a few “non-enlightened” men of old?
    And as to your thought on hell, God gives everyone a choice. You can either choose to be with God or choose to not be with Him. It’s your choice. He doesn’t send you anywhere. You get to choose.
    I’m completely fine with your skepticism about Christianity Hessian. And I agree with you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been prostituted in many ways. But please, don’t let something that I say, or that anyone else has said, deter you from seeking the truth. I love science, and am thankful for it. But Berlinski is absolutely dead on with his analysis that scientific atheism has become a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt.
    And lastly, with your statements about subjective moralism. Can I ask: “Do you lock your doors at night?” If so, Why? Could it be that you already know that after Man’s amazing enlightenment; after His phenomenal advancement into the Postmodern era, that He managed to kill more people in the 20th Century than in the previous 19 centuries combined?
    Keep up the writing! We’ll talk to ya soon Hessianwithteeth. God bless. And I truly mean that. I appreciate that you have the guts to at least say what’s on your mind. Maybe through this, we can finally learn from one another what is truly going on in the minds of those on the other side of the fence.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Do you really believe that a guy who supports an institution as problematic as the Discovery Institute is going to convince me of anything?

      Liked by 1 person

      • jvisi1001

        LOL! I don’t believe anyone is going to convince you of anything. And that’s why I love you hessian. But it was worth a shot. And for the record, please allow me another quick moment. And please, just do me the honor and courtesy of at least reading this for what it really means.

        God had made Abraham many promises, one of which was: “Through your son Isaac, you will become a father of many nations.” Meaning (that your son, Isaac, WILL HAVE DESCENDANTS). Therefore, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, go all the way over in the New Testament where the Book of Hebrews 11:18-19 says, “Even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. ‘ Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.”
        So Abraham “believed” that Isaac was going to give him Grandchildren. Why? because God had already made him that promise. Therefore, Abraham could only reason that God must be able to raise the dead (that is, if Abraham were to sacrifice Isaac, then God would bring him back to life. God would have to bring him back to life because if HE didn’t, then that would make God out to be a liar). And that’s what Faith is—believing that God is absolutely capable of doing what HE has promised.
        You have a great day!

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        • hessianwithteeth

          So…killing is okay so long as you believe the person you kill will be brought back?
          Also, the Bible shows Abraham acting very distressed and questioning how he will get grandchildren without Isaac, so your interpretation doesn’t seem to match what the Bible actually says.

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          • jvisi1001

            Now hessi, there you go taking words out of their context again.
            You said, “This is a God who ordered a man to kill his son to prove his loyalty.” Then I shared with you the real reason that God ordered the sacrifice. And what I spoke about comes from the reading of Genesis Chapter 22; about the sacrifice.
            Nowhere in Chapter 22 do you find Abraham acting very “distressed” and questioning how he will get grandchildren without Isaac. So my interpretation matches perfectly with what the Bible is actually saying when it comes to Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            You still haven’t said why that suddenly makes it moral. My issue is not with what is said but with the fact that people tote the story as showing how loving and good God is. You can interpret it however you want: it’s not like everybody else who reads it isn’t doing the same.

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          • jvisi1001

            ‘What makes it moral?”
            Let me ask you: “Is it right for a man to take a rifle that is equipped with a telescope, and begin shooting men as they fall into the cross-hairs of the scope?” Yes or no?
            Well, first, I need to place my question within a context. If the man with the rifle is on the side of a hill in Virginia, shooting innocent people as they walk into and out of a grocery store, then no! That isn’t right. But if the man with the rifle is a soldier who is shooting men who are cutting the heads off of innocent women and children, then yes! It is right!
            So……….would it be right for me to kill someone just because I believed God would bring them back to life? Absolutely not! If that were the case, then I would be walking around killing Christians day-in and day-out; knowing that God does raise them to LIFE—to spend eternity with HIM. But what you’re doing is taking the story of Abraham out of its context, and trying to place it into a different context. That would be like trying to prove the law of gravity in outer space.
            And as far as a “loving and good God?” Ironic that you should ask. According to the Bible, at the end of Genesis chapter 22, God would make the greatest promise to all of mankind that He would ever make: “and through your OFFSPRING all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:18). In Galatians 3:16, the Apostle Paul tells us that the Offspring, was spoken of as a single Seed, meaning Christ. Therefore, through Abraham’s Seed, some 2,000 years later, Christ was born, and all nations on earth will be blessed. So what God was actually doing when HE said this to Abraham, as the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:8, “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” And that’s what God was doing. He was telling Abraham about how He was going to send His Savior into the world, to save the world.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            And all that required God to tell Abraham to kill his son because…? You keep avoiding my question. Though it’s funny: if I disagree with your interpretation then I’m taking the Bible out of context. If you cherry pick passages that best fit your interpretation, well then you just know what God actually meant.

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  • Tim

    I have severe problems with your first point. Abiogenesis and the Big Bang concepts of the start of our universe and life are extremely poor in dismissing a creator. They both break so many scientific laws it’s not even funny. I honestly can’t really believe you really think that science has shown that a creator is not needed. I stopped reading after that because point one is a big joke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hessianwithteeth

      I never said anything about the beginning of life, I spoke about the beginning of humanity. Abiogenesis has not yet gotten to the point of a theory. The Big Bang, however, has. There is a lot of evidence supporting it. Enough so that we can say that the universe could have come about without need of a god. Stephen Hawking, who once believed that a god was necessary, has come out and said that the universe doesn’t require a god. He’s one of the best known researchers on the origin of the universe. I think I’ll take the word of someone who actually studies this stuff over the word of a layman who thinks he knows more about science than the scientists.

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      • Tim

        Stephen Hawkings is doing his best job to eloquently restate in big words: nothing makes something. If you see that as a good explanation, then I don’t know what to tell you.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          The words he uses are irrelevant. What matters is the evidence that he has to support his claim. Whether the universe came from nothing or something is only important in the sense that it lets us know what truly happened. I don’t agree or disagree with him because I like or dislike his argument, I agree or disagree with him because his evidence either supports or contradicts his argument. In Hawkings case, the evidence supports his argument.

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          • Tim

            But I am often told in my evolution debates that all new evidence must align with currently established evidence… like say the laws of entropy and conservation. No matter how he spins it he has to admit that this “new” theory violates established science.

            Apparently that is ok with the Big Bang, but not okay when someone finds soft tissue in dinosaur remains.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Well tht not enteirly true, a more accurate way of describing how new evidence is inducted in to the scientific literature is by make sure it fits in with the many other extreamely well founded theories. Otherwise the that evidence is earmarked for verification and reverification. On the off cance you do have something incrediable and which goes against our expectations then further reaserch is need to see how and in what ways this new problem interacts with and perhaps negates of perior conclusions.

            As for the big bang, well the first big problem I think your having is that when the big band occured, space AND time began. Allowing for things like causality and entropy to occur. Before that we have no reason to think any of thse things would even make sense. Basically anything that has temporal or spacial implication don’t make sense prior to the big bang, because the bg bag is the moment when space and time became a thing.

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      • Caroline

        The best recent example of this that I can think of was an experiment conducted sending particles between the LHC and Italy (if memory serves) seemed to show that they were moving faster than the speed of light. The scientific community’s response *wasn’t* just to dismiss it out of hand saying “what rubbish, nothing can move faster than light”. It was to investigate and try to re-produce it. As it turned out it was a measuring error, but that discovered on the basis of evidence, not pre-conceptions.

        P.S. if something can’t come from nothing, perhaps you need to give a little more thought into where your god came from? Or is it turtles, all the way down?

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      • Caroline

        “In the natural world, something can’t come from nothing.” next you’ll be telling me there are no black swans.

        OK, so, the universe, as we know it is what you might call the “natural world”, and yes, we don’t commonly see things popping into existence. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, and in fact, for some definitions at the level of quantum particles things do pop into existence, at least, they change from energy to matter and then back again.

        However the question of how the universe came into existence is a question of outside the universe, so all bets are off. We know so little about that that it is mostly conjecture. Sometimes well informed conjecture, sometimes less so. However, we don’t know whether things can appear from nothing or not, based on what we know. And while our universe appears to have a beginning (which actually hasn’t been shown to be definitely true), whatever process outside of it which caused it to start may not have a beginning.

        Basically, any argument you come up with for why a god or some gods exists outside the universe can equally be applied to some other unknown process which is producing universes. So you need to come up with some way of differentiating your god(s) from that, which I suspect you’ll find tricky.

        C

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  • samcroarkin

    Good post, but as equippedcat pointed out, there are holes. I am not an apologist for any religion, and nor am I a “believer”, but I wrote a defense and response and would love your input. I think it is good to generate discussion and never leave anything one-sided (I would title my post “10 Reasons Why I am a Christian”, but that simply wouldn’t be true 🙂 )

    http://thoughtconstruction.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/response-to-10-reason-why-im-not-a-christian/

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    • Caroline

      To try to keep the discussion here:

      1) If God is required for the universe to come into being, then please provide evidence that that is how it happened. Simply not knowing is not a good reason to plug a god into the gap. In fact it stifles the investigation.

      2) Why is god such a bad communicator? Really, we appear to be *way* better at it now than he ever was. Presumably he knew about the internet before we did? There’s plenty of places in the world where he could still get himself crucified (if that was necessary). Why not do it now rather than then?

      3) If you have evidence that the miraculous has happened, gather up your evidence and present it to James Randi, and collect your $1Million. Specific. Examples. Please.

      4) Please stop conflating Science with the belief of religions. Scientists disagree because they have evidence which they present to refute the other’s theory. The theory then adjusts in the light of the new evidence. The theories then generally converge on what generally gets know as truth (though it’s always subject to revision in light of new evidence). Religions diverge on disagreement. They split and generally never re-combine. That’s why there’s around 40,000 different Christian denominations. And a multitude of other religions. How exactly are we meant to know which is the right one? Exactly? There is no reality underpinning religion. Just belief, opinion and disagreement.

      5) I don’t think anyone said that variance of morality among believers is a “fault” though it does rather show a lack of an absolute morality. It’s just that believers don’t have a monopoly on being good, therefore one doesn’t need god to be good.

      6) So, God’s stopped killing people has he? That makes all the previous genocides etc. OK? “I used to be a genocidal manic, but now I’m much nicer – please worship me” Hang on a moment, isn’t He meant the be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow? That means that Jesus is a genocidal murderer? What charitable acts has God done exactly? (hint – dying to somehow save us from the punishment for breaking the rules which he set up in the first place doesn’t count – that’s kinda like the mafia’s version of charity)

      7) Science and religion diverged because Science kept finding evidence for stuff that contradicted what religion was saying. And still does. Not different evidence. Evidence. Religion doesn’t have evidence. Supernatural is essentially all the stuff that’s believed without evidence. Why should we believe stuff without evidence?

      8) This is contemptible. Are these people actually christian? How come this religion doesn’t actually appear to be working? Isn’t one of religion’s attractive is that it improves people? “Saves” them? The point isn’t that churches are equally as bad as everyone else. The point is that churches and religions should be improving people. The statistics don’t appear to be bearing out that.

      9) Um… huh? Are you for infinite punishment or against it? I’m not clear

      10) Existence has not been shown to have anything *beyond* the natural. If you propose that there is some supernatural element, please at least attempt to justify that claim. Please.

      BTW – equippedcat – I pick C) Not enough evidence to convince me that any god exists. Plenty of good reasons, not excuses, to believe there aren’t any gods.

      C

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      • samcroarkin

        Thanks for the thoughtful post! I am happy to keep it here if it is okay with Hessianwithteeth (I just didn’t want to wreck the comment section too badly 🙂 )

        Before continuing, I want to point out that I mostly agree with what you and Hessianwithteeth said. I just think that the counterarguments need a good champion.

        1. I agree that there is no evidence either way, but we must not confound explaining a closed system and explaining how the closed system came into existence. Again, no theory has explained the creation of matter.

        2. I agree, but as advocate I would say that one can lead a horse to water but not make them drink. Essentially, convincing depends on what one is looking for. Someone who believes only in empirical reality will be satisfied only by empirical reality.

        3. The idea of a miracle is something that cannot be explained by what we “know” to be the case in a natural, empirical world. My point was that there are plenty of things we do not understand empirically as of yet, and the idea of a miracle is a matter of perspective. Or, in other words, “how do we know what we don’t know?”

        4. While I would agree mostly, there is a lot of pseudoscience and misinterpretation and misunderstanding that sometimes never convenes. Or take the Higgs boson: it was thought to exist, but was not proven to until recently. Or the conflicting beliefs on black holes. Or string theory. Or quantum physics. And don’t even mention nutrition and health. However, you are correct: most things tend to come together, but it is not automatic or assumed they will. Belief fills the gaps where knowledge does not convene.

        5. Exactly. We are in accordance. My point in saying that variance is a fault is in relation to point four and the idea that variance (in any aspect, including exact beliefs) among a group is a fault. I am not speaking of morality only when I speak of variance as being evidence of a fault.

        6. You are right: it is hard to say that God changes (as perfection would indicate that God would never change and that all manifestations were preordained). But my point was more that people attribute to God (whether you believe it or not) many good and kind things. It may not be in the Bible, but I have heard God thanked many times for acts of good (and evil).

        7. I think the mistake you are making is taking empirical evidence being the only feasible evidence for everyone. It may be hard to believe, but not everyone needs to see/feel/quantify/record something for it to be evidence of a belief. For example, many people I have spoken to who believe in God say they felt His presence or heard His voice or some other event. They did not quantify, record, or try to explain it empirically, but it was evidence enough for them, Speaking from an empirical research view (being able to quantify, record, and replicate results, or other words put it through the scientific process) this is not evidence. But again, not everyone sees “evidence” as being derived only in that method. But you are right: supernatural does mean that no empirical evidence can exist for it. Many would find that as a fault with empirical reasoning, and not their beliefs, though.

        8. I cannot comment on statistics, but painting any one group with one brush is dangerous. And almost always incorrect. Being that I have seen people come out better after becoming a member of a church, I refute the notion that all churches are bad.

        9. I do not think the fault in clarity is with you, but me 🙂 I was simply pointing out that it is a neat philosophical idea to debate the merit of infinite punishment for finite crime. I have no opinion on its correctness. And when I said there is no reason, I am pointing out that no further philosophical arguments were made to justify the viewpoint (Hessianwithteeth’s view is merely an unjustified opinion, right or wrong).

        10. Again, if empirical reasoning of the natural and material world is the only evidence one will consider, it is a priori impossible to justify a supernatural claim. There is literally no way to prove the supernatural. But that is why Science is a closed system that renders belief irrational, but not permanently (as Higgs bosons are found and quantum mechanics is charted).

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      • Caroline

        Just a quickie comment (’tis late here) on the subject of evidence – I don’t dismiss everything which isn’t empirical. I think all evidence should be considered, but it’s reliability needs to be judged. One person’s subjective experience is generally not good evidence, direct observation (preferably with photographs) is a lot better. It should be noted that, for example, the evidence for the Higgs Boson is in fact (in simplest terms) a statistical probability (given that it’s tricky to directly observe something that exists for a mere fraction of a fraction of a second). I don’t dismiss the supernatural on a philosophical basis. I dismiss it because whenever things are claimed for it, either they are impossible to verify, and thus merely someone’s subjective experience, or where they *should* intersect with the physical, and thus leave evidence, they don’t.

        The divergence of religious belief is a prime example. If a supernatural being did exist and was guiding her followers, then belief in her should converge as she guided them, not diverge as it has done.

        Science generally does converge, as it’s investigating reality, which tends to be fixed – of course if people go off into pseudoscience and ignore the evidence, then of course it will diverge. And where there’s not enough evidence, conclusions will be jumped to. Doesn’t make them right.

        One also adjusts the degree of evidence required for a claim depending on the seriousness of the claim. I’d probably take your word for it if you told me where you had dinner last night. But if you told me that a supernatural being created the whole universe and demands my worship and obedience, I’m unlikely to take your word for it, and would require more evidence to show that it’s true.

        C

        Like

  • Response to “10 Reason Why I’m Not a Christian” | Thought Construction

    […] are not Christian and do not believe in many of the things a more typical Christian may believe (https://hessianwithteeth.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/10-reasons-why-im-not-a-christian/). I like, Hessianwithteeth, am not Christian, but am rather agnostic in regards to the question of […]

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  • cliffrad

    The title of this blog is revelatory. Why, not ten reasons I’m not a pumpkin? Why Christianity? There are lots of other philosophies and religions to assail. The question isn’t what you aren’t or don’t want to be ,but what you are and a defense for that position. Definition requires terms outline what you believe. Maybe this is a document, a manifesto stating “I believe in Science” like Esceleto (Estaphan) in Nacho Libre.

    It requires no reason to be prejudiced against Christianity…just say “I desire something else. “That is better than a series of poorly thought out excuses.

    1) ID isn’t a closed case. Yes, many would like to close the issue but science can’t and does answer the question did God create or does he exist. It explains how things work through discovery. When they reach the end of what can be tested they make approximations of what things might be. Science quickly devolves to philosophy.

    But they can not answer why things are as they are as they are. This isn’t a condemnation of science but recognition of its limitation. Read David Berlinski, “The Devil Delusion,” which demonstrates that science and it’s voices over state their case on the existence of God and are using science as a bully pulpit to promote a cause “atheism” which is out of their realm of expertise.

    2) Contradiction? You are parroting. You haven’t studied and it shows. By the way, science is full of contradictions: string theory, relativity, quantum theory, Big Bang….cha cha cha. It isn’t a problem for me that there are. It is a journey of discovery, we expect this. But acting like they have proved something there isn’t a Creator is stretching it past the breaking point.

    3) You have never seen an electron or a photon of light or a black hole or photosynthesis… So “if you haven’t seen it, it doesn’t exist “is a poor argument.

    You prefer the idea of there not being God, Christianity and the like and choose to hide behind science but the problem is that, I can see you naked Mother Science’s translucent skirt.

    4) Science is always in disagreement…this is a funny article. In the church most agree on most things, especially on the main things…and yes there are differences in other areas which shows there is diversity and not some monolithic overlord in the temporal church; there is freedom of inquiry and thought.

    5) Oh yes you do need God to be God good! If “you” define “good”, you will always be good even if you change your mind. Defining “good” is the problem. You aren’t good to a Muslim or potentially a conservative or liberal or pick any other culture or subgroup. It depends on who is defining good and judging. Now to be “God good” you need himfor the message, the forgiveness and power (I know I’m speaking outside your revelatio, but I’ll give this to you anyway)…yeah, you need God…Go try to live out Matthew chapter 5 through 7 and Mathew 25…good luck! It is easy to say you could do it and never try. I call bullshit! If you think you can without God, then “put up or shut up!”

    6) This one is funny…I can tell that you are plagiarizing ideas. Are you a “Dawkins Man”? That is “ok” we are all plagiarizing to some degree. But it is still good to think. The idea of worthiness is irrelevant. If he exists you will worship.Here is a parable: A guy walks do a dark alley, 5 thugs come up with guns and knives kick the guy to the curb and beat him within an inch of his life. There will be reverence next time he walks their turf. It is about authority and power. You are no different, when faced by a real power, you know what to do, you aquience, your tail between your legs , roll to your side exposing your neck, trying not to pee and beg for mercy.

    Or maybe you are some Rambo or a Navy Seal type character….I just think you haven’t thought much about this, but it is hard when basking in the glory of Dawkins chanting “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy…

    7) Again, you apparently have not thought deeply about this or studied much. Did you have a Comparative Religions course in college? It sounds like it. Here is a start to your studies. If we take each religion at face value, I mean we accept what they say about their origins we have the following: Three saw angels while alone with no corroborating evidence. One is from animism (they tried to figure it all out and came up with their ideas until they were generally accepted.)

    One had a personal revelation. Christianity is a sect of Judaism, an extension of, verified by the resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem, executed by the mandate of Rome, in public. He was a well know figure. Those who followed him spread the message at great cost, even unto death proclaiming they had witnessed his resurrection as had been prophesied for thousands of years. Huh, not different.?..study, study, study…think, think, think…

    8) The pride you condemn is ever present in your writing. People are people and when they think they are right they can get a little snarky. But this isn’t a proof. Your line of reasoning wouldn’t work in court. If you were a lawyer your client would be in trouble. “Your honor, the witness is cocky so what he says can not be believed as true!” oops…you would probably get a comedic laugh from the judge and jury.

    9) It doesn’t matter what you think when dealing with the truth. It is what it is. It is like says “Ebola can’t be true because I do not like it!” That is simply ludicrous!

    10) But have drawn a conclusion without much thought, great bias, it is emotional, illogical and inconclusive yet you stand where you are making a judgement about truth and have made your mind to repose in your position as if there are more consequences for believing than not.

    This applies to science also. Scientists, or many, contrive a conclusion when they haven’ enough information to reject all possible solutions ID and a Creator. Actually much points toward this conclusion but much like yourself they do not like where it leads: submission to the Creator.

    Again, this is not a good argument.

    This is the schematic is simple 1) We all die 2) No one knows what will happen, if anything after death.3) Some say they know 4) Since we do not know we are stuck trusting someone. It seems you have rested your trust on a poorly thought out reasons and are resting on men/women without knowledge about this called scientists. They may be smart and they may possess knowledge of all sorts but the existence of God and they afterlife they know no more than you.

    The bottom line is you like doing your thing without restrictions and if you can build a weak argument that will suffice to support you like a crutch till we see each other on the other side. Read The Venerators. Good luck!

    The Devil Delusion http://www.amazon.com/Devils-Delusion-Atheism-Scientific-Pretensions-ebook/dp/B005QRNZYK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414610627&sr=1-1&keywords=the+devil+delusion

    The Venerators http://www.amazon.com/Venerators-Clifford-Williams-ebook/dp/B00DJFP41S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414610688&sr=1-1&keywords=the+venerators

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    • hessianwithteeth

      “Why, not ten reasons I’m not a pumpkin? Why Christianity?”
      I’ve never had to justify to someone why I’m not a pumpkin before. The same cannot be said of why I’m not a Christian. Explaining why I’m not a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. is easy: I wasn’t raised to be one. I was raised to be Christian. Why would I write about anything else?
      “The question isn’t what you aren’t or don’t want to be, but what you are and a defence for that position.”
      I’ve already written about why I’m an atheist. Why would I keep beating that dead horse?
      “It requires no reason to be prejudiced against Christianity…just say ‘I desire something else.’ That is better than a series of poorly thought out excuses.”
      Oh right, I forgot: you poor Christians are being persecuted, aren’t you? My bad. How dare I take on the majority religion when I could pick on a smaller, less prevalent one? My “desires” are irrelevant. What matters is what’s true. Now, let me pick apart your poorly thought out arguments against my “poorly thought out excuses.”
      “1) ID isn’t a closed case. Yes, many would like to close the issue but science can’t and does answer the question did God create or does he exist. It explains how things work through discovery. When they reach the end of what can be tested they make approximations of what things might be. Science quickly devolves to philosophy.
      But they can not answer why things are as they are as they are. This isn’t a condemnation of science but recognition of its limitation. Read David Berlinski, ‘The Devil Delusion,’ which demonstrates that science and it’s voices over state their case on the existence of God and are using science as a bully pulpit to promote a cause ‘atheism’ which is out of their realm of expertise.”
      Actually, there is a reason why ID is not considered science:
      http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/what_you_can_do/why-intelligent-design-is-not.html#.VFGYORYmioI
      http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/id_checklist
      http://www.nas.edu/evolution/IntelligentDesign.html
      http://ncse.com/creationism/general/intelligent-design-not-accepted-by-most-scientists
      Does science have limitations? Of course. But that doesn’t mean you get to stick whatever you want into those spaces. ID is not the answer. And science is not atheism. Science may lead to someone becoming an atheist, but they are two very different things.
      These reviews don’t really make that book sound worth reading:
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/292844832
      http://edthemanicstreetpreacher.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/dawkins-berlinski/
      “diwanna_1
      I had really high hopes for this book. #1 it comes highly regarded. #2 I’m always interested in hearing a different opinion than my own and this was quite promising. I loved the idea of a secular point of view stating a defense for religious thought and a rebuttal to arguments by Harris, Hitchens, and others. Well this booked seemed to be full of contextual biases and out of context statements. Add in a serious dose of “you can’t prove it, so you are wrong” and you’ve got the gist of this book. Case in point… In Chapter 3 he states Aquinas’ causation idea. You know “everything is caused, so what’s the first cause? The uncausable cause;i.e. God” Well Berlinski says basically that since Richard Dawkins argues against this point and can’t prove that God didn’t create everything, he needs to shut up. I really tried to get into this book and see this guy’s point of view, but I just felt that he was using the same type of argument he’s refuting.”
      http://arizonaatheist.blogspot.ca/2011/10/david-berlinskis-delusion.html
      (Though I have to say, as soon as I read “discovery institute” I wrote that book off)
      “2) Contradiction? You are parroting. You haven’t studied and it shows. By the way, science is full of contradictions: string theory, relativity, quantum theory, Big Bang….cha cha cha. It isn’t a problem for me that there are. It is a journey of discovery, we expect this. But acting like they have proved something there isn’t a Creator is stretching it past the breaking point.”
      How exactly are string theory, relativity, quantum mechanics, and the Big Bang contradictions? String theory is one theory within quantum physics. Is there a competing theory? Yes: M Theory. But these theories are not in contradiction because we do not have enough evidence to say which one is true yet. Relativity and quantum mechanics can’t both be true, however, we know that relativity is the one that’s wrong. Why do we still use it? Because it is not completely wrong. It is a useful starting point. Throwing it out would make no sense because it would force scientists to have to start all over again. The Big Bang Theory is one such theory that benefited from Relativity, however, it is not completely dependant on Relativity and is separate from those other theories (both quantum mechanics and string theory could be disproved and the Big Bang could still be fine).
      I think it’s funny that you say I’m parroting, given that so far you’ve been parroting lies that can only be found on fundamentalist Christian websites and in fundamentalist Christian books. Pot calling kettle much?
      “3) You have never seen an electron or a photon of light or a black hole or photosynthesis… So “if you haven’t seen it, it doesn’t exist” is a poor argument.
      You prefer the idea of there not being God, Christianity and the like and choose to hide behind science but the problem is that, I can see you naked Mother Science’s translucent skirt.”
      I never said that the fact that I personal have never seen one is the only reason I disbelieve in miracles. I also mentioned the fact that miracles that others have claimed happened can be disproved. We have evidence of electrons and photons. There are pictures of black holes. Biologists have seen oxygen bubbles coming out of leaves that are actively photosynthesising. Have I personally seen it? No, but I can see the evidence that it happens. Where is the evidence for these supposed miracles? Do you actually believe that they hold water next to the evidence provided by science?
      “I can see you naked Mother Science’s translucent skirt.”
      Hold on a sec….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
      Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, WTF is that?
      “4) Science is always in disagreement…this is a funny article. In the church most agree on most things, especially on the main things…and yes there are differences in other areas which shows there is diversity and not some monolithic overlord in the temporal church; there is freedom of inquiry and thought.”
      Really? So no churches disagree on whether the Eucharist is the literal body of Jesus or just a metaphor? No churches disagree about whether Jesus was God reincarnate or just his son? No churches disagree on the significance of Mary? No churches disagree abut whether the Bible is the literal word of God or a man-made document? Meanwhile at least 96% of Biologists accept Evolution. There doesn’t seem to be much disagreement there.
      “5) Oh yes you do need God to be God good! If ‘you’ define ‘good,’ you will always be good even if you change your mind. Defining ‘good’ is the problem. You aren’t good to a Muslim or potentially a conservative or liberal or pick any other culture or subgroup. It depends on who is defining good and judging. Now to be ‘God good’ you need him for the message, the forgiveness and power (I know I’m speaking outside your revelation, but I’ll give this to you anyway)…yeah, you need God…Go try to live out Matthew chapter 5 through 7 and Matthew 25…good luck! It is easy to say you could do it and never try. I call bullshit! If you think you can without God, then ‘put up or shut up!’”
      I think it’s time for you to put up: prove to me that I’m not moral. Otherwise, this rant is meaningless. Until you can provide evidence that your god exists, that morality can only come from this god, and that I am immoral, you’re just spewing meaningless rhetoric.
      “6) This one is funny…I can tell that you are plagiarizing ideas. Are you a ‘Dawkins Man’? That is ‘ok’ we are all plagiarizing to some degree. But it is still good to think. The idea of worthiness is irrelevant. If he exists you will worship. Here is a parable: A guy walks do a dark alley, 5 thugs come up with guns and knives kick the guy to the curb and beat him within an inch of his life. There will be reverence next time he walks their turf. It is about authority and power. You are no different, when faced by a real power, you know what to do, you acquiesce, your tail between your legs, roll to your side exposing your neck, trying not to pee and beg for mercy.
      Or maybe you are some Rambo or a Navy Seal type character….I just think you haven’t thought much about this, but it is hard when basking in the glory of Dawkins chanting ‘I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy…’”
      You can’t plagiarize ideas. Only words. When it comes to ideas, we’re all standing on the shoulder of giants. I didn’t get the idea that God isn’t worthy of worship from Dawkins (who, by the way, is not a person I care to consider, let alone worship), I got it from Hitchens. What does your “parable” have to do with anything?
      “7) Again, you apparently have not thought deeply about this or studied much. Did you have a Comparative Religions course in college? It sounds like it. Here is a start to your studies. If we take each religion at face value, I mean we accept what they say about their origins we have the following: Three saw angels while alone with no corroborating evidence. One is from animism (they tried to figure it all out and came up with their ideas until they were generally accepted).
      One had a personal revelation. Christianity is a sect of Judaism, an extension of, verified by the resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem, executed by the mandate of Rome, in public. He was a well know figure. Those who followed him spread the message at great cost, even unto death proclaiming they had witnessed his resurrection as had been prophesied for thousands of years. Huh, not different.?..study, study, study…think, think, think…”
      You think Christianity is the only religion with a revelation? That’s cute. But tell me: how would that make Christianity the only true religion even if it can be said to be the only religion with a revelation? How does the story of Jesus prove anything? Can you prove that the story is true?
      “8) The pride you condemn is ever present in your writing. People are people and when they think they are right they can get a little snarky. But this isn’t a proof. Your line of reasoning wouldn’t work in court. If you were a lawyer your client would be in trouble. ‘Your honour, the witness is cocky so what he says can not be believed as true!’ oops…you would probably get a comedic laugh from the judge and jury.”
      At what point in my post was I aiming to disprove Christianity? It straight up says “Why I’m Not A Christian” not “Why Christianity Is Wrong.” Do you see the difference?
      “9) It doesn’t matter what you think when dealing with the truth. It is what it is. It is like says ‘Ebola can’t be true because I do not like it!’ That is simply ludicrous!”
      Again, not about proof. If you want me to believe that hell is real, show me the evidence. Then explain why I should worship the god who would create such a place.
      “10) But have drawn a conclusion without much thought, great bias, it is emotional, illogical and inconclusive yet you stand where you are making a judgement about truth and have made your mind to repose in your position as if there are more consequences for believing than not.
      This applies to science also. Scientists, or many, contrive a conclusion when they haven’ enough information to reject all possible solutions ID and a Creator. Actually much points toward this conclusion but much like yourself they do not like where it leads: submission to the Creator.
      Again, this is not a good argument.
      This is the schematic is simple 1) We all die 2) No one knows what will happen, if anything after death.3) Some say they know 4) Since we do not know we are stuck trusting someone. It seems you have rested your trust on a poorly thought out reasons and are resting on men/women without knowledge about this called scientists. They may be smart and they may possess knowledge of all sorts but the existence of God and they afterlife they know no more than you.
      The bottom line is you like doing your thing without restrictions and if you can build a weak argument that will suffice to support you like a crutch till we see each other on the other side. Read The Venerators. Good luck!”
      If I told you fairies existed would you believe me? Why not (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here)? Does it have something to do with the fact that you’ve never seen a fairy? That there is no evidence of fairies? Given your logic, if I say there are fairies, you should believe me. If you don’t like this logic with fairies, why do you think it should be accepted for gods?
      I have in fact thought deeply about my position. But this seems to be another case of you projecting. Perhaps it is you you hasn’t thought very deeply.

      Liked by 1 person

  • hessiafae

    Very good points. I have a spiritual belief system, but feel that many Christians, among other religions, are far too literal and rigid. I do feel that there is a great deal of common sense and structure in religious texts, but interpreting them so literally has been, and continues to be disastrous for our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  • equippedcat

    1) Nope, not required; all of this COULD have happened naturally. The odds are vanishingly small, but not zero.

    2) Yep, the Bible is easy to dismiss. It was written by many people, allegedly all inspired by the same God. And translated from an ancient culture and language into today’s languages by many people. There appear to be contradictions; I have not found any which are provably “absolute”, nor have I heard about any contradiction with external sources (archaeology, Roman historians).

    No interaction with God today? No miracles? Maybe not in your experience, but in mine and several people I know. Besides, God is not required to provide miracles; He does so at His own council.

    Accept the Bible or not as you prefer; there is no reason to accept it other than God’s desire (which if you don’t believe in Him has no meaning), but I have not found any reason to reject it.

    3) Sure, the miracles I’m familiar with COULD have a natural reason or be mere coincidence, but the sequence of events are such that they are good enough for me. Is His interaction with us different than it was before? Certainly. If God came up with a new way of interacting with His people, that is His business.

    4) Christians are human, ahd humans are not perfect. People tend to think that if they believe something, it must be true. So any time you have something which is open to interpretation, then you are practically guaranteed to have people split into “sides”. This does not invalidate the “something”, though.

    5) Nope, you can be “good” in Human terms all by yourself. Or because of the laws and punishments of Man. Being “good” in God’s terms is another story.

    6) In your opinion, God is not worth of worship. Don’t then. Your opinion of God has no effect whatsoever on God’s opinion. If the view of Him is correct, you are missing key comprehension abilities that He has and substituting your views for His..

    7) There are many religions. Some have a lot to support them, some have very little. If you want to find God, investigate, and once you have a good view of the choices, ask God for insight. If you don’t want to find God, ignore them all.

    8) Churches are people. People are not perfect. People are really good at saying one thing and doing another.

    9) It is also my opinion that people do not deserve infinite punishment, particularly not for something as silly as not believing in some deity. In the natural world, that is cruel and ineffective. But we are not talking about punishment of the natural person, but rather the supernatural person. I don’t have any idea whether it is justifiable, useful or even imperative in that world.

    10) The natural world doesn’t care whether you know the answer or not. It should not matter to people, but some people (on both sides of the aisle) are convinced that just because they know something, not only MUST it be true, but everybody else must AGREE it is true;

    None of these are reasons not to be a Christian, they are excuses. There are only 3 valid reasons not be be a Christian.

    A) I can prove Christianity to be invalid (Good luck with that one).

    B) I have found a belief in God I like better or which seems more valid than Christianity (including the belief there is no God)

    C) I don’t have enough data to convince me that Christianity is the way to go for me.

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      1) Nope, not required; all of this COULD have happened naturally. The odds are vanishingly small, but not zero.
      Are you saying that the odds of the universe coming about naturally are shrinking, because that flies in the face of what science has discovered.
      Here are some sites that discuss the Big Bang Theory and the evidence for it:
      http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/
      http://space.io9.com/have-physicists-detected-gravitational-waves-yes-1545591865
      http://gizmodo.com/astronomers-discover-first-direct-proof-of-the-big-bang-1545525927
      http://www.astronomynotes.com/cosmolgy/s7.htm
      As you can see (if you read the articles) evidence for a universe with a natural cause is not only not shrinking, but science is finding more evidence all the time that suggests the universe came about through a natural process.
      2) Yep, the Bible is easy to dismiss. It was written by many people, allegedly all inspired by the same God. And translated from an ancient culture and language into today’s languages by many people. There appear to be contradictions; I have not found any which are provably “absolute”, nor have I heard about any contradiction with external sources (archaeology, Roman historians).
      No interaction with God today? No miracles? Maybe not in your experience, but in mine and several people I know. Besides, God is not required to provide miracles; He does so at His own council.
      Accept the Bible or not as you prefer; there is no reason to accept it other than God’s desire (which if you don’t believe in Him has no meaning), but I have not found any reason to reject it.
      Contradictions within the Bible:
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/08/19/an-incredible-interactive-chart-of-biblical-contradictions/
      Contradictions between the Bible and history/archaeology/etc.:
      http://www.jewishjournal.com/dennis_prager/article/did_the_exodus_happen
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/archeology-hebrew-bible.html
      http://www.yorku.ca/dcarveth/false_testament
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/24/1265119/-How-Archaeology-Disproves-Biblical-History#
      To be classified as a miracle, it would have to break physical laws. It would have to be, by all accounts, impossible. What have you witnessed that is physically impossible? And can you verify that it actually happened? Anecdotal evidence doesn’t count.
      Why does your god care if you or anyone else accepts a book? If it’s just because he wants people to believe in him, there are better ways of accomplishing that feat. Otherwise, it seems an odd desire for one supposedly so powerful that he could wipe us out without a second thought.
      3) Sure, the miracles I’m familiar with COULD have a natural reason or be mere coincidence, but the sequence of events are such that they are good enough for me. Is His interaction with us different than it was before? Certainly. If God came up with a new way of interacting with His people, that is His business.
      This is a cop out. Again, if there is a natural explanation then it is by definition not a miracle. You don’t care why this being that is supposedly all knowing and all powerful would suddenly change? Fine. But if I knew what was going to happen in, say, ten years from now and I had all the power in the world to bring about the best possible outcome, I would do so. And I would keep doing so until I was no longer around. I wouldn’t suddenly change my tactic.
      4) Christians are human, ahd humans are not perfect. People tend to think that if they believe something, it must be true. So any time you have something which is open to interpretation, then you are practically guaranteed to have people split into “sides”. This does not invalidate the “something”, though.
      Christians may not be able to stop the split, but God could. Why hasn’t he? Especially since these splits suggest that there is nothing more behind the Christian religion than human desire.
      5) Nope, you can be “good” in Human terms all by yourself. Or because of the laws and punishments of Man. Being “good” in God’s terms is another story.
      Another cop out. Prove there is another kind of “good,” then we’ll talk.
      6) In your opinion, God is not worth of worship. Don’t then. Your opinion of God has no effect whatsoever on God’s opinion. If the view of Him is correct, you are missing key comprehension abilities that He has and substituting your views for His..
      And your point is….? I should believe in God “just in case”? This is a weak argument.
      7) There are many religions. Some have a lot to support them, some have very little. If you want to find God, investigate, and once you have a good view of the choices, ask God for insight. If you don’t want to find God, ignore them all.
      Yes, if I want to find “God,” I will. Want to know why? It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you start off trying to find “evidence” to support your answer, you probably will. That’s why it’s best to try ad find out what’s true and not start out with an answer to prove.
      I have not found a religion with any more evidence supporting their claims than any other. Saying that some religions have more evidence supporting them doesn’t mean that any of them actually do. This is where evidence should come in. Where is your evidence that supports your religion?
      8) Churches are people. People are not perfect. People are really good at saying one thing and doing another.
      Again, God could put an end to this. Why hasn’t he?
      9) It is also my opinion that people do not deserve infinite punishment, particularly not for something as silly as not believing in some deity. In the natural world, that is cruel and ineffective. But we are not talking about punishment of the natural person, but rather the supernatural person. I don’t have any idea whether it is justifiable, useful or even imperative in that world.
      10) The natural world doesn’t care whether you know the answer or not. It should not matter to people, but some people (on both sides of the aisle) are convinced that just because they know something, not only MUST it be true, but everybody else must AGREE it is true;
      If the person actually does “know,” then that is reason enough to believe them. The problem is they are claiming that a belief is knowledge. Those are two different things.
      None of these are reasons not to be a Christian, they are excuses. There are only 3 valid reasons not be be a Christian.
      A) I can prove Christianity to be invalid (Good luck with that one).
      B) I have found a belief in God I like better or which seems more valid than Christianity (including the belief there is no God)
      C) I don’t have enough data to convince me that Christianity is the way to go for me.
      An excuse is by definition a reason. There are many reasons not to be a Christian. The reason I’m not a theist is because I do not believe any gods exist. But I gave up my theist before I gave up my Christianity. Confused? Christianity is a label. It’s a cultural identity. It was far easier for me, as someone who as raised Christian, to give up that label than it was for me to accept that I no longer believed in God. Your above “reasons” work better with theism than they do with Christianity. Can I disprove Christianity? Not in a way that everyone would accept due to bias, but in my mind the contradictions and the lack of evidence that there is a god is enough to refute the Christian religion in particular. “I like this better than that” is a terrible reason to choose a religion, though I’d say atheism is more valid than Christianity. Why? Because I’m refusing to believe until I have a reason to believe. I’m not choosing a belief and then looking for reasons to hang onto that belief. And both of my reasons for accepting A and B come down to C: there is no reason for accepting Christianity. I also feel the need to point out that your “reasons” assume that Christianity is the default position. In most cases a person doesn’t accept Christianity simply because it is not their default position. They were simply raised to accept another religion or none at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • equippedcat

        Sorry, “vanishing” was a poor choice of words. The intention was to say that for our existence to have happened (without any guidance) would be a 1 chance out of some huge number. Still, 1 chance is 1 chance.

        There sure does seem to be a lot of evidence for what happens AFTER the Big Bang. The concept that “everything in the universe” (which is a whole lot of stuff) was “in one point” is difficult to accept. Where did it come from? What caused it to explode?

        I’ll need to try to find that first document of contradictions in a readable format. That could be useful, although the one example given (where Moses got the 10 commandments is weak. On one side, it seems clear that Moses got them on Mt. Sinai. On the other side, he PUT THEM IN THE ARK on Mt Horab. The one possible contradiction is the Malacai verse. As for the ones on archaeology, interesting, although there is a lot of “current thinking” and “no support has been found for” in there. One would think that when/if they find evidence which actually disproves some significant area of the Bible, it would be trumpeted far and wide.

        I do not think that anyone deserves infinite punishment in this world, nor in the next. I realize that my opinion does not matter to God.

        There continues to be the attempt to separate knowledge and belief. I contend that much of all knowledge is “belief”. Think about everything you “know”. Some of it can be proven to “anyone”. Some you proved to yourself by personal experience which you cannot prove to everyone else.. Some you were “told” (verbally or hard copy or even online) by a source you trust. And most people have some they came by “without adequate verification”. The first one is not belief. The second one is not a belief to you, but may be considered to be belief by others.. All the other knowledge has some degree of belief.

        Like

        • hessianwithteeth

          The fact that we don’t know what happened prior to the big bang is no reason to say “well god did it.” At that point the response should simply be “we don’t know yet.” And the fact that you think that all energy began as one small point hard to believe is no reason to throw out all the evidence. Remember: there are scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying how the universe began. They’ve looked at the evidence, they’ve built the models, and they’ve corroborated the evidence with their peers. A layperson disagreeing with their findings means nothing because you haven’t done the research.
          You need to understand how archaeology and history work: they are soft sciences, they don’t use “proof” the same way as hard sciences do. It takes way more evidence to do so and, since we’re dealing with humans, there is a lot less evidence to be used.
          Yes, you may (heck, I’d say you must) believe something that you know. But while a bit of knowledge may also be a belief, a belief is not necessarily knowledge. That’s where they are different.

          Like

  • unculturedsisterhood

    Interesting points.
    This idea of some guy out there with “the answers” is part of the confusion.

    Like

  • Toby

    I highly recommend that you post these genuine Ten Doubts to this guy:
    https://www.facebook.com/Carm.org or via Twitter @carmorg He can adress each point better than I can. Keep doubting; keep questioning: He or she who seeks will find!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Wapojif

      Well this is on their site, verbatim: “No, Jesus would not approve of same sex marriage. He taught about marriage being between a man and a woman, never anything else. You just can’t read into his words a pro-homosexual interpretation. Homosexuality was known to him, particularly since it’s clearly condemned in the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).”

      I think contacting them would be a waste of time, they’re clearly lost in a world where the bible can be taken literally. This is not a way of thinking (to do so based on no evidence) to be encouraged, especially as it leads to hateful comments such as that.

      Like

  • trivedinupur

    Yes, you should not believe until you find the truth.😊

    Like

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