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Comparative Religion
What Would Be Your Choice Next to Atheism?

Hello. I've seen some arguments here and there in these forums. Well, that's often (if not always) expected when it comes to atheism. ^_^

Anyway, I'm just here to ask the atheists , "What belief system would come closest to the truth, and why?"

Or to put it in another way, "If you'll consider atheism to be wrong, what religion would most probably be correct?"

I want to step into the minds of atheist when it comes to this topic, So I'm hoping for your answers. Thank you.

There are some strains of Buddhism that don't make supernatural claims. Something like that might not be terrible. Deism makes claims that cannot be falsified, so it's somewhat "safe." Unfortunately, its claims can't be verified, either....

Thank you for the answer sir. So far, I see that are from a line that you won't believe something until it's verified (though I don't know what method(s) you use in verifying things). And if there was another option, you'll believe in something if it can't be falsified.

Hope to have answers from more.

MJ,

First you said, "Anyway, I'm just here to ask the atheists, "What belief system would come closest to the truth, and why?"

That's one question, and the answer I would give to that question is that none of the religions are even close to the truth. Why? Religion involves Elysian fields, with or without a deity and it all rests on assumptions without verification, and any contradictory evidence is ignored.

Then you say, "Or to put it in another way, "If you'll consider atheism to be wrong, what religion would most probably be correct?"

That is an entirely different issue; it's like saying, "if you had to believe in the Easter bunny, Santa Claus or Cinderella's godmother, which one would you pick."

The difficult part would be to consider disbelief in god wrong without convincing evidence that there is a god. If there were any, then the easy part would be picking a religion. However, belief that god exists is without a plausible or logical theory. It is not based on anything that is real or observable. Beliefs are not facts because beliefs can be based on assumptions and erroneous information, for example, the bible.

There is no doubt that a search for the truth did not inspire religious beliefs. Religious beliefs come from ancient myths and superstition. Religious convictions come from persuasion, emotional appeals and assumptions; religion is all about self-righteous haughtiness taking advantage of the ignorant.

Belief in spirituality, the supernatural or transcendental concepts, like those found in Buddhism, Jainism and Taoism that represent high-minded objectives but do not change the reality of anything. All religions consist of various groups of people being told that (what ever they are doing) will eventually produce a lofty ideological utopia. Yet, (whoopity shit) there is minimal help for millions of homeless and hungry people. A crisis of that magnitude needs to be addressed by the government. The main purpose of religion is to pacify and persuade the masses to do nothing while they wait for something, but nobody knows what the hell it is. Most people will do that rather than to stand up and face the muck here and now and deal with it.

MJ, "Thank you for the answer sir. So far, I see that are from a line that you won't believe something until it's verified (though I don't know what method(s) you use in verifying things). And if there was another option, you'll believe in something if it can't be falsified. Hope to have answers from more."

The only way I would say I believed in something that can't be falsified would be at the point of a gun. However, I really think I would say, "just shoot me."

The huge difference in religion and science is that science is always changing and progressing, and religion never will. When a scientific theory is proven wrong or defective it is changed or removed; religion has never corrected anything that was clearly wrong, those things are ignored.

Scientists want to know how things happen and they look for answers to questions. Those who are looking for the truth keep digging. They don't stop asking questions because the answers are proving their theory is wrong. Supreme Beings and all the religious theologies are not based on anything that can or has been proven to be true, and science is not the place for religious politicking. Science is not trying to prove anything about god.

Sad to see that you see religion that way. I know that I have been more high-minded about my faith than anyone I know of. While those issues you mentioned (homelessness, hunger) does persist, I am not ignoring them. I even believe that they are part of the Fall.

Anyway, the truthfulness of the faith I stand in mostly came out of my experience - something that is nowhere enough to convince any skeptic.

And the evidence you're talking about is not ignored. My interpretation of the evidence is subjected to my faith. We have the same evidence, just different interpretations of it.

And I'm also sorry if i posted two questions that posed two different issues when I wanted them to mean the same thing.

The science you're talking about does change... making the previous science not that reliable as it was before... The same goes for it's current science. It may be reliable today, but it may not be in the future.

Thank you for your reply.

My interpretation of your original question was it was more of a hypothetical 'what sort of reasonable or idealized characteristics can you envison for a shared worldview?' (or, since the default premise is that religion has failed in this regard, can any portion of its former relevance possibly be salvaged?). Would that be accurate?

To that end, I personally can appreciate some of the ideals of Jainism: It's non-violence, detachment from material possessions, and (relatively) positive view on human nature. On the other hand, it tends to be incredibly obsessive on the whole self-actualization bit (and thus detrimental to activism in the real world) as well as generally lacking inquiry on objective reality.

I'm sure we could all go through a laundry list of the faults of any/every religion (and perhaps correspondingly come up with a 'wish list' for a worldview that seeks to maximize the melding of truth and meaning), but where would that take us (I'm genuinely curious)?

There's really no reason to be sad that anyone sees religion in a skeptical, apprehensive, or even angry way. 'Sad' is a world where people are inhibited by 'faith' to seek for honest answers or ways to better themselves and to make this journey through life the best it can possibly be for everyone.

I do disagree that religion doesn't change: It evolves every bit as much as the cultures which envelop it. Eventually, it may disappear entirely, but probably not.

cbr125r said, I do disagree that religion doesn't change: It evolves every bit as much as the cultures, which envelop it. Eventually, it may disappear entirely, but probably not.

I was not referring to that kind of change. That is taking something out of context. We all know that nobody could stone someone to death for adultery today etc.

I was talking about the obvious errors that have been proven wrong by science. Example: The Bible is true concerning creation and evolution is just a myth etc.

There are Christians that claim religion is compatible with science, and they do not deny evolution, but they still think we needed a creator as the first caused and to start evolution. They think that this is better than fundamentalists beliefs when it is every bit as stupid. This is not change.

cbr125r said, "My interpretation of your original question was it was more of a hypothetical 'what sort of reasonable or idealized characteristics can you envison for a shared worldview?' (or, since the default premise is that religion has failed in this regard, can any portion of its former relevance possibly be salvaged?). Would that be accurate?"

This is not the scenario MJ posed or (envisioned). In fact this is more like an answer to some other topic. MJ first said, "What belief system would come closest to the TRUTH, and why?" Then MJ said, "Or to put it in another way, "If you'll consider ATHEISM to be WRONG, what religion would most probably be correct?"

MJ's premise is based on atheist being wrong - then what "belief system" would come closest to the truth. This has nothing to do with (a shared worldview) or religion failing. It's about if atheists were wrong (what religion would most likely be true) by the way (religion has already been proven erroneous) he just doesn't know it.

cbr125r said, "To that end, I personally can appreciate some of the ideals of Jainism: It's non-violence, detachment from material possessions, and (relatively) positive view on human nature. On the other hand, it tends to be incredibly obsessive on the whole self-actualization bit (and thus detrimental to activism in the real world) as well as generally lacking inquiry on objective reality."

What's that got to do with that religion being true or correct?

cbr125r said, "I'm sure we could all go through a laundry list of the faults of any/every religion (and perhaps correspondingly come up with a 'wish list' for a worldview that seeks to maximize the melding of truth and meaning), but where would that take us (I'm genuinely curious)?"

I'm sure there is no need for any laundry list since religion is not based on facts - proving something is true does not seem to be one of the requirements for religious beliefs. Also, that actually has nothing to do with atheists finding out that they are wrong and then picking an existing religion (not coming up with a new worldview) that is true. As I stated if the existence of God was proven picking a religion would be the easy part. Why wouldn't He tell us what religion is true?

cbr125r said, "There's really no reason to be sad that anyone sees religion in a skeptical, apprehensive, or even angry way. 'Sad' is a world where people are inhibited by 'faith' to seek for honest answers or ways to better themselves and to make this journey through life the best it can possibly be for everyone."

What's sad are people who are obviously enslaved by miserable beliefs trying to force their misery on others. Misery loves company.

cbr125r said, "I do disagree that religion doesn't change: It evolves every bit as much as the cultures which envelop it. Eventually, it may disappear entirely, but probably not."

Real change has nothing to do with customs and traditions that change over time. The basic assumptions that all religions are based on do not change and has not changed in over 3000 years. No matter what science discovers every religious group tries to make these discoveries fit what they already believe.

Linda said:

(cbr125r said, "To that end, I personally can appreciate some of the ideals of Jainism: It's non-violence, detachment from material possessions, and (relatively) positive view on human nature. On the other hand, it tends to be incredibly obsessive on the whole self-actualization bit (and thus detrimental to activism in the real world) as well as generally lacking inquiry on objective reality.")

What's that got to do with that religion being true or correct?

I never suggested it was or ever could be true or correct in any empirical sense (quite the contrary - re-read the last clause). Rather, my response, as an extention of my previous question...

("My interpretation of your original question was it was more of a hypothetical 'what sort of reasonable or idealized characteristics can you envison for a shared worldview?' (or, since the default premise is that religion has failed in this regard, can any portion of its former relevance possibly be salvaged?). Would that be accurate?")

...was more about how this thought system could hypothetically contend as a runner-up to my existing beliefs (if they were somehow not an option) as far as personal or social relevance is concerned. I concede the OP probably had something else in mind with the leading question, but was hoping to provoke further details from him/her by posing possible alternatives to his/her own beliefs to better understand what underlies them. Obviously, notions of objective reality will find their way in eventually. ;-)

What I was pointing out in my commentary was clearly not understood and even less understandable when taken out of context. Here is how you started your comment.

cbr125r said, "My interpretation of your original question was it was more of a hypothetical 'what sort of reasonable or idealized characteristics can you envison for a shared worldview?' (or, since the default premise is that religion has failed in this regard, can any portion of its former relevance possibly be salvaged?). Would that be accurate?"

The answer is no - that would not be accurate - interestingly enough these are two different hypothetical things (a shared worldview) and (religion has failed what can be salvaged). Neither would be accurate, and you are clearly asking MJ if these are his 'hypothetical' questions.

MJ did not say anything about a hypothetical shared "worldview" or RELIGION failing. He is asking what existing religion do we think is the closest to the truth if ATHEISM were proven wrong. He is clearly talking about atheism failing not religion. In other words his hypothetical was that if ATHEISM were proven WRONG what RELIGION is closest to the TRUTH. Your two divergent answers are the exact opposites of his two divergent questions - not even close. Here are MJ's questions:

MJ said, "Anyway, I'm just here to ask the atheists, "What belief system would come closest to the truth, and why?"

That was his first question - that he didn't understand was different from his second question. There is nothing 'hypothetical' about that question. It was not about a hypothetical shared "worldview" or religion failing - MJ clearly wants the atheists to pick from existing religions the one that is closest to the truth. I didn't go down the rabbit hole with him. No religion is based on the truth. No belief system (religion) can be considered authentic or even close to true. There is no requirement that a religion be proven true in order for believers to have "faith" that it is true. He is not talking about finding some religion less offensive than the others; he is talking about what religion is closest to true. MJ was asking atheists what religion they think would be the closest to the truth. That's why the religion someone picks has something to do with it being true - anything else is not answering the question. Then MJ said, "Or to put it in another way, "If you'll consider ATHEISM to be WRONG, what religion would most probably be correct?"

That was an entirely different question, and that's is why I told him that it is not the same question. If atheism were WRONG what religion would most probably be CORRECT. I told him that if atheism were proven WRONG then picking a religion would be the easy part. The only way (not believing in god) or atheism could be proven wrong is to produce a God, surly He could tell us which one is true.

Mj said, "I want to step into the minds of atheist when it comes to this topic, So I'm hoping for your answers. Thank you."

At the bottom of this page MJ answered a question with this comment:

MJ said, "I would go back to being an Atheist if I consider Christianity to be wrong."

MJ why would you need to ask these questions in order to step into the mind of atheists if you once were one? If you ever were an atheist you would know the answers to these questions without asking them.

Furthermore, atheists do not share a worldview. Atheists are not defined by what we do not believe. Atheists have very different views on a myriad of subjects. A shared worldview is a Christian or religious concept.

Linda said: "Furthermore, atheists do not share a worldview... A shared worldview is a Christian or religious concept."

I've never heard that one before. What do you call Nihilism, Humanism, etc.. if not rather comprehensive meaning systems? Is it the terminology ('worldview') that you suppose is objected to, or the concept? If the latter, please explain. I don't get at all how religion has any legitimate claim on that.

Did you mean Christianity has no claim as a worldview? Are you not kidding?

Apologists use the old argument that atheism is a worldview. Atheism is not defined as a worldview. The only thing atheist have in common is non-belief. There is no philosophy - bringing up philosophies indicates the failure to understand the point. Atheists do not have any specific theories or worldview about life period. Atheists often have different ideas about why we are here etc. All atheists (most atheists I know) don't believe that life is without objective as is the nihilism philosophy about life. Only a well define philosophy like Christianity is considered a worldview.

Nihilism is a philosophy of life and atheism is not. Nihilism is the belief that life is without objective meaning or purpose. Nihilism can include the belief that morals do not exist and knowledge is not possible. Christians often assume atheism is the same as nihilism. They also assume that nihilism has something to do with encouraging uncivilized behavior, both are totally false.

Christians believe that they should watch while the Earth is pillaged and everything declines into total disaster - and then Armageddon - only then could their savior (Jeebus) return - they are not much better off - it's Christian nihilism.

Humanism is a philosophy that values humanity over gods. However, it is not necessary to be an atheist to be a humanist, though many humanists are atheists.

I think you and I must have a very different definition of what I meant by 'Worldview'. Here's what Wikipedia is selling (and I'll buy):

"The fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics"

And that's all I was referring to in answering MJ's first question.

And yes, naturally Christianity provides it's adherents with a substantial portion of their personal worldviews. My last question to you was because I was confused by your statement which seemed to discount any secular definition of 'worldview', which I'd never heard.

Atheism is Not a "Worldview," atheists (like everyone) have a worldviews, but atheism is not a worldview. Atheism simply rejects the proposition that there is a God.

cbr125r said, "Here's what Wikipedia is selling (and I'll buy): "The fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics"

Not that Wikipedia would be the last word on any topic, but there is nothing you wrote that attest atheism is a worldview. Atheism cannot be a worldview, because different atheists have different answers to all of those things you copied.

From Wikipedia, Sam Harris Sam Harris (born 1967) is an American non-fiction author, and CEO of Project Reason. He received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, and is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University. He has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of contemplative disciplines, for twenty years. He is a proponent of scientific skepticism and is the author of The End of Faith (2004), which won the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award. His position is that "atheism" is not a worldview or a philosophy, but the "destruction of bad ideas."

I'm happy to concede that Atheism isn't a worldview (I'm not sure where you got that I was suggesting that it is). I was merely trying to understand your statement to the effect that the concept of worldview in general is a religious one. It's much larger than that. Sure, a great part of an individual's worldview may well be formed by the religion that they're brought up into, but religion isn't the only one facet contributing (or not, depending on the individual of course).

So yes, Atheism isn't a worldview, but Atheists DO have worldviews, do they not? What would you label your general perspective on life, the universe and everything (besides '42')? ;-)

From: cbr125r (Posted Mar 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm) cbr125r said, "I'm happy to concede that Atheism isn't a worldview (I'm not sure where you got that I was suggesting that it is).

Linda (current reply) Perchance this will help you recollect.

From: cbr125r (Posted Mar 1, 2011 at 10:16 am) cbr125r said, "Linda said: "Furthermore, atheists do not share a worldview... A shared worldview is a Christian or religious concept."

cbr125r (reply Posted Mar 1, 2011) "I've never heard that one before. What do you call Nihilism, Humanism, etc.. if not rather comprehensive meaning systems? Is it the terminology ('worldview') that you suppose is objected to, or the concept? If the latter, please explain. I don't get at all how religion has any legitimate claim on that."

Linda (Current Reply) Clearly you are saying you never heard that before in response to "Furthermore, atheists do not share a worldview (and the part you left out) Atheists are not defined by what we do not believe. Atheists have very different views on a myriad of subjects. A shared worldview is a Christian or religious concept."

From: Linda (Posted Mar 3, 2011 at 1:18 am) "…bringing up philosophies indicates the failure to understand the point."

Linda (current reply) Nihilism and Humanism were in response my remark "atheists do not share a worldview (and the part you left out) Atheists are not defined by what we do not believe. Atheists have very different views on a myriad of subjects. A shared worldview is a Christian or religious concept." Christianity and other religions do have shared worldviews. Atheism has nothing to do with a philosophy.

cbr125r (original reply) said, "I was merely trying to understand your statement to the effect that the concept of worldview in general is a religious one."

Linda (current reply) I never made a "statement to the effect that the concept of worldview in general is a religious one." I stated that Christianity and other religions have shared worldviews. Atheists do not have shared worldviews.

cbr125r said, "It's much larger than that. Sure, a great part of an individual's worldview may well be formed by the religion that they're brought up into, but religion isn't the only one facet contributing (or not, depending on the individual of course)."

Linda (current reply) Christians all have the same Biblical views that they claim answer the big questions (why we are here) and (where we are going ) those things are pretty big. They all believe God created everything. Even the Christians who say they believe in evolution believe that at some point there was divine intervention. However, there is no evolutionary theory of divine intervention, so none of the theists actually believe the theory of evolution. Furthermore, they all believe that Jesus was born - he died for our sins - he has risen and is in heaven - and He will return. These are big things that every Christian believes.

Atheism is not a philosophical body of beliefs. Atheists have individual worldviews. Not believing in imaginary beings does not influence one's worldview any more than it is a worldview.

cbr125r (current reply) said, "So yes, Atheism isn't a worldview, but Atheists DO have worldviews, do they not?

From: Linda (Posted Mar 5, 2011 at 12:36 am)

Linda (original reply) Atheism is Not a "Worldview," atheists (like everyone) have a worldview, but atheism is not a worldview. Atheism simply rejects the proposition that there is a God.

Linda (current reply) I said that first (and I posted it again) to prove that fact. See! I seem to know that atheist have worldviews but atheism is not a worldview (not only did I say it first ) but I actually understand what that means.

cbr125r said, "What would you label your general perspective on life, the universe and everything (besides '42')? ;-)"

"Life the universe and everything" the number is not 42. The cosmic number the (alleged) fine structure constant, it is not 42 and it is not 137 a prime number. Unfortunately, the number is 137 only (sort of). As the fraction 1/137 (in decimal terms 0.00729) this number determines the behavior of the spectral lines that are the fingerprints of atoms: it's a constant, meaning a number that's unvarying throughout the universe. The most accurate experimental calculation to date of the fine structure constant puts it not at a round 137, but at 137.035999. So it's not actually a whole number. There are those who claim that if the numbers were different we wouldn't exist. Intelligently designed numbers.

Victor Stenger did a computer model that modeled just 100 different universes with constants different than our own. He changed the constants to orders 5 magnitudes above and below ours and found that long-lived stars that could produce the elements needed for our survival would emerge in at least half of the universes that he modeled.

The multiverse theory states that there are infinite numbers of universes, with an infinite number of possibilities. When you have an infinite number of possibilities the fact that we exist is a certainty. In this theory the chance that there is a universe like ours where humans could exist is also very likely because there are infinite possibilities.

Pi is another magic number. No matter the size of a circle, Pi is a numerical constant that represents the ratio of circle's circumference to its diameter on a flat plane surface. On quantum level every particle is both a particle and a wave. Pi will appear everywhere. The universe is made of waves and particles. However, the exact value of pi is not a contingent truth; it is a necessary truth. It's not magic. There is nothing magic about Pi, or any other number or number formula. Mankind, not god, created numbers because we wanted to know how the world works. As our capacity for abstract thinking expanded we developed numbers that were eventually used to help us understand the world. At first we used numbers as a useful tools for measuring quantities and ultimately numbers became useful in theoretical models. Modern numbers now provide physicists with new insights into quantum physics and our universe. Numbers allow us to create theories and put them in terms that we can understand. We have created the tools to quantify things in our universe - the universe didn't create numbers. Numbers are a man made tool of measurement, nothing more.

I think we're off track and I'm losing interest in getting any real answer, so here's where I'm leaving off:

-------------------------------------

From: Linda (Posted Mar 1, 2011 at 1:32 am): "A shared worldview is a Christian or religious concept."

From: Linda (Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm): 'Linda (current reply) I never made a "statement to the effect that the concept of worldview in general is a religious one."'

No offense, but is English your first language?

cbr125r said, "I think we're off track and I'm losing interest in getting any real answer, so here's where I'm leaving off:"

That must be your reply to my answer to your pseudo-science that was no doubt off topic.

cbr125r said, "What would you label your general perspective on life, the universe and everything (besides '42')? ;-)"

"Life the universe and everything" the number is not 42. The cosmic number the (alleged) fine structure constant, it is not 42 and it is not 137 a prime number. Unfortunately, the number is 137 only (sort of). As the fraction 1/137 (in decimal terms 0.00729) this number determines the behavior of the spectral lines that are the fingerprints of atoms: it's a constant, meaning a number that's unvarying throughout the universe. The most accurate experimental calculation to date of the fine structure constant puts it not at a round 137, but at 137.035999. So it's not actually a whole number. There are those who claim that if the numbers were different we wouldn't exist. Intelligently designed numbers. Victor Stenger did a computer model that modeled just 100 different universes with constants different than our own. He changed the constants to orders 5 magnitudes above and below ours and found that long-lived stars that could produce the elements needed for our survival would emerge in at least half of the universes that he modeled. The multiverse theory states that there are infinite numbers of universes, with an infinite number of possibilities. When you have an infinite number of possibilities the fact that we exist is a certainty. In this theory the chance that there is a universe like ours where humans could exist is also very likely because there are infinite possibilities. Pi is another magic number. No matter the size of a circle, Pi is a numerical constant that represents the ratio of circle's circumference to its diameter on a flat plane surface. On quantum level every particle is both a particle and a wave. Pi will appear everywhere. The universe is made of waves and particles. However, the exact value of pi is not a contingent truth; it is a necessary truth. It's not magic. There is nothing magic about Pi, or any other number or number formula. Mankind, not god, created numbers because we wanted to know how the world works. As our capacity for abstract thinking expanded we developed numbers that were eventually used to help us understand the world. At first we used numbers as a useful tools for measuring quantities and ultimately numbers became useful in theoretical models. Modern numbers now provide physicists with new insights into quantum physics and our universe. Numbers allow us to create theories and put them in terms that we can understand. We have created the tools to quantify things in our universe - the universe didn't create numbers. Numbers are a man made tool of measurement, nothing more.

Yes, off topic, but I certainly did answer it!

cbr125r said, "From: Linda (Posted Mar 1, 2011 at 1:32 am): "A shared worldview is a Christian or religious concept."

cbr125r said, "From: Linda (Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm): 'Linda (current reply) I never made a "statement to the effect that the concept of worldview in general is a religious one."'

cbr125r said, "No offense, but is English your first language?

You couldn't offend anyone. The only thing you have proven is that you don't know the difference in a worldview in general and a shared worldview.

MJ said, "Sad to see that you see religion that way. I know that I have been more high-minded about my faith than anyone I know of. While those issues you mentioned (homelessness, hunger) does persist, I am not ignoring them. I even believe that they are part of the Fall."

I'm sure you do! The cardinal doctrines of the Christian religion are the Fall of Man and the Atonement. The Fall of Man God blames everyone for the "original sin" of Adam and Eve. The mythological story in Genesis says God cursed the ground, and there is not one word about "sin" or "original sin" in the story. This story is not in the Hebrew Scriptures, because this story started with Christianity, and those promoting Christianity. It's a way to get people to believe that they are damned to hell and need to accept Christianity as a way out of damnation. There is no concept of hell in the Hebrew Scripture. Disobedience is not the reason for the "curse" it was their desire to be wise, or to gain knowledge. That was the only reason they should not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The story of the tree of knowledge is certainly about gaining a higher knowledge. The ignorant Eve was surely no contest for the talking snake that persuaded her to eat the fruit. God should have warned her against talking to snakes. Christianity thrived because it was preached to the illiterate, ignorant peasants; scholars rejected Christianity. The scholars who rejected Christianity were accused of being (smart alecks) heretics and they were murdered. Christianity hangs on ignorance, superstition and fear.

MJ said, "Anyway, the truthfulness of the faith I stand in mostly came out of my experience - something that is nowhere enough to convince any skeptic."

Nobody's experiences would impress someone to believe something that has been proven deceitful and contradictory.

MJ said, "And the evidence you're talking about is not ignored. My interpretation of the evidence is subjected to my faith. We have the same evidence, just different interpretations of it."

Christian is based on belief in the Bible. The Bible is not evidence of anything and it has more holes in it than a sieve.

MJ said, "And I'm also sorry if i posted two questions that posed two different issues when I wanted them to mean the same thing."

That's not a problem as long as you know that they don't mean the same thing. MJ said, "The science you're talking about does change... making the previous science not that reliable as it was before... The same goes for it's current science. It may be reliable today, but it may not be in the future.

No! Newton's theory of gravity was replaced by Einstein's theory. Newton was not wrong. Apples still don't float. Newton was right but Einstein was more right. Einstein had more information. That is how science works. It is also known as progress. When we learn new things we develop more theories. DNA came from the theory of evolution, because we know so much more today that we can call evolution a fact and a theory.

If a scientific theory had as many flaws as the story of creation in the book of Genesis it would be thrown out immediately. On the third day, God created vegetation (Genesis 1:12). Plants contain a chemical known as chlorophyll that turns sunlight into energy. However, the Sun was created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:16), after the creation of plants. Plants could not exist without the creation of the Sun. The creator didn't first provide the resource required by plants (the Sun) and then the plants that would have used the Sun. That's because who ever wrote this didn't know anything about the biology of plant life. There are just as many glaring errors concerning how the universe evolved. These are the kinds of errors that cannot be ignored or fixed they have to be discarded, and if it was science it would be.

Thank you for yours!

Linda said, "This story is not in the Hebrew Scriptures.."

Interesting. It's the first time I've encountered someone say this. Please elaborate. I don't want to ignore this one.

Linda said, "There is no concept of hell in the Hebrew Scripture..."

If this Hebrew Scripture you're saying is about the Old Testament or something, then I have to admit that it indeed doesn't explicitly mention something about Hell. But it does have the word Sheol - it's where the body goes after death.

Linda said, "God should have warned her against talking to snakes. "The commandment was enough. The desire to make one wise was only the fruit of the desire for disobedience. And thus, Eve missed the point of obedience."

Linda said, "Christianity thrived because it was preached to the illiterate, ignorant peasants; scholars rejected Christianity."

Well, I could say that not all intelligent people rejected Christianity.

Linda said, "The Bible is not evidence of anything and it has more holes in it than a sieve."

The Bible is not evidence for you since to it's not reliable to you. And saying that it has holes in it makes me wonder where they are.

Thank you for sharing something about how operational science adjusts. Now how about historical science?

About the order of creation. I hold fast to that. You know how extraordinary every event of creation anyway: everything were created very fast and by command, death wasn't a part of nature, etc. Thus, the story of God creating plants before creating the sun hurts your head while it blows my mind.

I rely on Genesis as my history book of how the world began because I presuppose that the Bible is reliable, and that there was a Being who was there to tell of how the world began.

Thank you.

The Garden of Eden story in the Bible has no original document (none exist) but the story in Genesis about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they acquire the "knowledge" of good and evil is an example of mistranslation, changing the meaning of the story, and changing the story.

The books in the Old Testament were translated from Hebrew to Greek to Latin. There are so many translations and errors that many stories have been changed to fit the translation error. The text is likely based on an originally oral tale, but what was originally written nobody knows. There were many Gospels that existed and Jewish books that Constantine ordered burned or destroyed if they contradicted Christianity. In fact the Christian interpretation is "sexual knowledge". This concept originated with Christianity and is about sin and evil not knowledge. Christian traditions after Augustine interpret the tree to hold knowledge of sin. Christians usually interpret the nature of this sin as sexual. Original sin "the fall" was fabricated to promote Christianity.

Jewish interprets the tree to hold all knowledge, suggesting Adam and Eve would become intelligent and immortal, and be like Gods themselves. The Jews had no concept of "original sin" and were not waiting on a savior god. There is no concept of a savior god in the Jewish faith.

The Jerusalem Church lead by James the Just had nothing to do with Christianity. They were not early Christians they were Jews. Hundreds of Christian gospels and sects existed, but Christianity had nothing to do with Judaism.

The Gospels, written in Greek, with a messiah (savior god) had nothing to do with the Jewish term "mashiach", which means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The Jewish term mashiach refers to the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days. It never meant a savior god that would die for sins. The word "mashiach" does not mean savior. The idea of a divine savior who sacrificed himself to save us from the consequences of our sins is utterly a Christian belief. It has no basis in Jewish thought. The Christian "messiah" comes from misinterpreting the word "mashiach". The Christian messiah is totally unrelated to the Jewish mashiach, a human king that would free the nation from Roman rule.

Lilith is a nocturnal female demon originating in Babylonian tradition, said to harm male children. Lilith is mentioned in the Bible in Isaiah 34:14, where her name is translated as "screech-owl" in the King James Version. According to medieval Jewish lore, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, who left Eden of her own choice because she considered Adam inferior.

Lilith appears in the ancient Jewish texts of the Talmud, Midrash, and Kabbala, in all of which she is equated with demons. She left the Garden of Eden before Eve was created. This fable is related but not the same story.

Emperor Constantine blended the Christian Church with the institutionalized pagan practices of Rome and eliminated any semblance of either the Jewish religion or the Pagans.

Constantine, who Christianized pagan rites and called it Christianity, institutionalized Christianity as a state religion (in all its pagan glory) in the fourth century AD. The laws and policies of the Empire and the doctrine of the Church became one with Constantine as the interpreter of both law and policy. This was accomplished by eliminating hundreds of books thought to be against Church doctrine and watering down what remained by blending Christian beliefs and practice with long established Roman sanctioned pagan worship. The first Christmas tree was about Nimrod/Osiris and his mother/wife Semiramis/Ishtar/Isis it wasn't about Jesus. After Nimrod the ruler of Babylon died Semiramis circulated the rumor that he was a god. Semiramis claimed that she saw an evergreen tree spring out of the roots of a dead tree stump. Semiramis told everyone that this meant that Nimrod was living again, and he would leave gifts under the evergreen tree on his birthday, which was on the winter solstice at the end of December. Several years after Nimrod was dead Semiramis gave birth to a son Horus. Semiramis said the spirit of Nimrod impregnated her, and that her son Horus was the reincarnation of Nimrod. The mother - child - holy spirit. These myths were passed down to other generations, and they were spread to other cultures. The pagans believed that as winter approached the days grew shorter, because the sun god was leaving them, and as the days grew longer he was coming back. As the days started getting longer again they had a celebration known as Saturnalia. Jeremiah 10: 2 Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.

Everything that we know about Jesus and Christianity depends on the Gospels. The Gospels are the sole source of information, and they were written long after the facts by unknown authors. Confucius 6th century BC Chinese sage and founder of Confucianism from the Analects "love thy neighbor as thyself. Do nothing to thy neighbor, which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter". These verses were not original to the gospels. Nobody knows when they were written or who wrote them. The Bible-based religions we now have are nothing like the Hebrew religion of the church established at Jerusalem.

The practices of this first Jewish church are not practiced by any major religion and they are almost unknown. In its place are doctrines of Christianity, which was begun by Constantine. In Matthew and Mark the Romans crucify Jesus, but in Luke and John it is the Jews who crucify him.

Numbers 23:19 states that God is not a man. God was not born, and God certainly did not die.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were being written in 150 BCE and continued until 70 CE, a period of 220 years. During those years 872 scrolls were written in Hebrew and Aramaic by the peoples of Qumran. The supposed life of Jesus was between 2 BCE and 36 CE (38 years) and the Great Temple of the Jews in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. These dates are important for understanding the importance of what the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed. After scholars completed the translation work on the Dead Sea Scrolls a very important fact was obvious. Nowhere in the Dead Sea Scrolls was the name of Jesus mentioned, and Christianity had no support in the translations. The Dead Sea Scrolls challenged the two most fundamental beliefs of Christianity: the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and Christianity as the embodiment of the message of Christ. The scrolls make no mention of Jesus or that the 'Jesus message' originated with him. The Dead Sea Scrolls only mentions "teachers of righteousness" that were part of an ultra conservative messianic Jewish movement based in Qumran going back at least 100 years BCE. The Dead Scrolls disclosed that many of the practices that people now regard as Christian innovations are not. The Lord's Prayer and the Lord's Supper can be traced to the Qumrans, also going back at least one century before the alleged Jesus' virgin birth. The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke about fifty years after Jesus allegedly gave the sermon. The Gospels of Mark and John say nothing about The Sermon on the Mount and neither do Paul, Peter or John because the Sermon on the Mount was recorded in the Book of Enoch at least 100 years before Jesus, as the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal.

The Dead Sea Scrolls tell of a movement that was a Jewish 'Apocalyptic cult' waiting to do battle with the forces of evil in which righteousness would prevail. The Qumrans were making themselves ready for the great battle in which they firmly believed that the forces of evil would die upon the blazing spears held by the hands of the 'Sons of Light.' They were not waiting on a savior god man.

In the year 70 CE the Romans utterly destroyed the people of Qumran and the Temple in Jerusalem. Until 70 CE the Qumrans were waiting with great faith for the messiah to appear and deliver them. The messiah, according to Jewish belief, was not a God that would deliver his people by clearing their way to heaven. The messiah was to be an empowered King who would destroy the enemies of the Jews and regain their Holy Land.

Everything Christians know about Christianity is false. Their beliefs are based on Old World Jewish superstitions in a messiah who never came, and colorful layers of various pagan beliefs of the Roman culture.

We know (even the Church) admits that there are vital records missing from the Council of Nicaea and that the documentation recording the true nature of the creation of the savior god Jesus was later suppressed or destroyed.

It was Constantine's goal to unite all of the religions into a new religion at the council of Nicaea. That is why they needed to create a new god for the Empire that would unite all religious factions under one deity. The names of numerous gods entered for discussion and they balloted in order to determine the matter. The balloting lasted for over a year.

When Constantine returned he discover that they had not picked a new deity, but they had a list of five prospects, namely, Caesar, Krishna, Mithra, Horus, and Zeus. Constantine was the decider at Nicaea and ultimately decided the new god for them. He determined that the names of Jesu Cunobeline and Judas Khrestus be joined as one, Jesu Khrestus, and that would be the official name of the new Roman god. It was voted on (those two men) became one God. Constantine used the Council of Nicaea to legally deify the new god for the masses through popular consent. Without a doubt it was this political act of deifying Yesu Cunobeline and Judas Khrestus into one Roman god that lead to the earthly Jesus Christ. Christian religion had not yet developed and the few church documents that refer to an established Christian god previous to the Council of Nicaea are later forgeries written in light of the decision at Nicaea.

All of the books deemed heretical were ordered burned so that other doctrine would be suppressed. The name Jesus Christ was not found in literature prior to the creation of the myth of Jesus Christ in the Council of Nicaea. His name was created by combining two prior legends - the Druidic King of England Yesu Cunobleine, and his barbaric brother, Judas Khrestus. Yesu Khrestus, which subsequently became Jesus Christ. The stories that accompany the new god were all taken from existing myths.

Genesis: 6:6 and the "sons of God took the daughters of men for wives". I thought Jesus was the only Son of God. They found some more. There were more copies of The Book of Enoch in the Dead Sea Scrolls than any other single writing.

Genesis cannot be totally historically true because the first 11 chapters goes under what scholars call "primeval history" which cannot be taken as scientific or historical fact and it seems like the Genesis creation account was borrowed from previous Babylonian creation stories such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Enuma Elish.

The first 11 chapters cannot be taken as a history by people who believe in the the old-aged earth. Isn't it interesting that the story of the Flood is similar with other non-atheistic creation stories?

MJ said: "Isn't it interesting that the story of the Flood is similar with other non-atheistic creation stories?"

Not really. What we today call 'natural disasters' are common elements of mythology due precisely to their ubiquity: Flood's happen virtually everywhere once in a while. Earthquakes, lightening, etc.. All terrifying events to the pre-scientific mind. Lacking explanations, early humans attributed these to the supernatural. Is it really any wonder that they make their way into our folklore? Positing a 'global flood' event though goes very much against all available geological and archeological evidence (not to mention logic, since the amount of water within our atmosphere is relatively static).

Creation Science has an answer to the amount of water in the Flood, check this link:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/tools/flood-waters.asp

Oh my <!palm-meets-face>. I read your link and lost count of the number of factual errors. People who write this stuff should really at least consult a scientist before postulating such nonsense. No offense meant to you, but the assertions in your link would be rejected outright by the scientific community, and many of these theories (e.g., subterranean water sources) are actually testable (and can be debunked - e.g., by some simple math/volume calculations in combination with geo-seismic imaging of the interior of the planet).

But overall, doesn't it make you the least bit suspicious that young-earth adherents have to essentially make such grasping-at-straws assumptions in order to support their beliefs?

The people who wrote this stuff ARE scientists.

And they don't just attempt to support their beliefs, they're just using the evidence even secular science has. Interpreting it in a biblical manner.

MJ said: "The people who wrote this stuff ARE scientists. And they don't just attempt to support their beliefs, they're just using the evidence even secular science has. Interpreting it in a biblical manner."

What are their credentials? What is there actual standing in the scientific community? Have they published respected papers? Have they introduced any actual evidence in support of their theories that can verified or validated?

Science isn't biased. If credible theories are posed that can be tested, any scientist in the world in that field would be happy to examine them. If they're verifiable, no matter what they support, real scientists are obliged to defer to them, even if they disagree.

The water's theory is testable by YOU right now: Calculate the volume of water necessary to cover the entire earth to a point of 29,000 feet above sea level. Give it a try. Look up the surface area of the earth and do the math. The volume of water necessary would be enormous! Then read up on geological journals or textbooks on the seismic data on the content, temperature, density, etc.. of the interior of the earth. NONE of extensively studied material jives with these creationist's claims! NONE of the theories that the creationis website purports have been accepted by the larger scientific community. This isn't a conspiracy. If the theories worked, the community would accept them. That's the reality of the discipline. The fact that these ideas aren't accepted means they have no basis in reality. They're 'junk' science just like astrology, ESP, 'Chi' energy healings, etc... All of those 'claim' scientific support as well, but it's not true. Do you believe them too?

Let's step back a moment and define what Science IS and ISN'T.

Science IS being able to test a particular theory and then determine from the results whether the theory can be thrown out completely, is supported (but not 'proven'), or is indeterminate.

Science is NOT taking existing data out of context and interpreting it to match at particular worldview.

So, consider the young-earth idea of a global flood: We can TEST that theory! IF flood geology is true, we'd expect to see worldwide, uniform sedimentation layers at one particular point showing this cataclysmic event. There is NO such finding! There are a few global events that show up in the sedimentary layers (massive volcanic eruptions) at various points, but volcanic ash deposits leave a completely different trace than a flood does in the sediement (ask any geologist, even a pseudo-one will agree).

Second, a global flood event would have placed an enormous ice-core record (scar, really) in Antarctica: Water covering ice makes BIG impressions. Try it at home in your freezer. Any underwater time for the Antarctic ice (which, the deepest layers found so far go back 750,000 years, so that should pretty well cover the suppose flood time-frame) would result in a major, uniform differentiation layer in the ice cores. NONE exist!

Give it up! Creation 'Science' is a not at all science.

I'm not the originator of the observations below, but anyone who at least passed high-school math class can easily replicate the following observations:

Math of the flood: (1) Genesis 7:19 "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that [were] under the whole heaven, were covered."

The volume of water necessary to cover the globe up to the top of Mt. Everest is calculated at 4,520,344,006 cubic kilometres of water. That's approximately 3.32 times the current volume of water present on earth (extra).

(2) Genesis 7:12 "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights."

The heaviest rainfall ever recorded (in 1952) was 73.6 inches in one day. In order to raise sea-levels to the height of Mt. Everest, it would have to rain globally at a rate of 8710 inches per day over the 40 days/nights.

(3) Genesis 7:1 "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female."

Some translations only consider pairs, so for now we'll ignore the 'sevens' part, which would result in an even higher population on the ark. Currently, science is aware of over 1,000,000 land species (conservative estimate). Given the dimensions of the Ark, and assuming only pairs, the amount of space allocated per animal would be 3/4 of one cubic foot (notice cubic measurements here, because attributing volume is more generous of space, since we don't know how many levels the Ark had, therefore this assumes stacking all creatures vertically as well as horizontally). Naturally, this calculation doesn't include allocation of space for food (over 190 days - 40 while raining, 150 while the water receded) and animal waste.

Fact of Fiction? Can there really be any question?

MJ said, "The first 11 chapters cannot be taken as a history by people who believe in the old-aged earth. Isn't it interesting that the story of the Flood is similar with other non-atheistic creation stories?" God inspired Moses through his spirit to write Genesis."

Yes, it's interesting since the story in Genesis was reputed to be divine revelation not plagiarism. We know the flood story existed long before Moses. If someone wrote a story about "Three Little Pigs" and then said it was an original story inspired by a divine revelation given to them to tell man something about Pigs; who the hell would believe that? It wouldn't get published as an original story either like the Bible has succeeded in doing for all these years. Believers think they can call on divine revelation or miracles whenever they cannot justify something really stupid that they want everyone to believe.

The bible states in many places that Moses was the sole author of the Pentateuch (first five books of the bible) and he was inspired by God to write the text that is without error. Moses communed directly with god, and he gave him the revelation of the origin of the Universe! Exodus 17:14 "Then the Lord instructed Moses, write this down as a permanent record." However, there is a great deal of evidence that the Pentateuch was written by a group of four authors, from various locations in Palestine, over a period of centuries with the objective of promoting their religious views: The books were written by multiple authors who lived long after the events described.

I would have to believe in a religion with a whole bunch of waring gods who pick sides and generally mess about with people to their own enjoyment. To have only one god would mean that the god would have to make umteen completely unfair irational decisions on a daily basis or have schizophrenia and be a very poor designer. It is very hard to argue, as a theist, that there is any "proof" that there is only one God.

I'd go with Jainism, personally.

MJ,

What "belief system" would you follow if you realize Cristianity is wrong? What alternative religion would most probably be correct for you?

Well, since the question is thrown back at me. Then I would have to answer:

I would go back to being an Atheist if I consider Christianity to be wrong.

Interesting. I assume you were an atheist in the sense that we're all born atheist--without belief in gods.

I'm curious what you find appealing about Christianity. Is it that it gives you a path out of the fear it creates, or perhaps the hope for cheating death and eternal bliss appeals to you sense of survival and hedonism.?

In my conversion to Christianity, I myself am kind of mystified in such a way that I grew up joining Sunday Schools only to consider that stories in the Bible were no more fictional than fables and fairy tales since no Sunday School teacher was authoritative enough to claim that everything recorded in the Bible were true.

My atheistic inclinations were even amplified in my college life when teachers presented lectures about naturalistic science and logic.

My conversion began with a Bible Study I just happen to join in. For what reason? For a no real rational reason I know of. I just joined because I found that I had nothing to do at that time.

The BS Leader happened to be have a view that the Bible is 100% true, literal in its stories (except on times when the Bible itself says it's a parable or something), etc. He discussed about how the Bible answers some questions in life, history, and the future; things like how the earth began, why there is death and suffering, why there are natural calamities, why we have a view of what is good and what is evil, why there were dinosaur fossils underground, and what would happen in the future... All of those questions he answered with a Biblical world-view. And since I had not heard of such a view with very authoritative claims, I took off my secular world-view and put on a biblical world-view. How I view everything else changed.

And of course, he also confirmed that I was indeed an atheist in a sense that I didn't believe in any god, no desire to seek a god, no knowledge about a god (discussing Romans chapter 1).

The focus of my conversion was then shifted about God, men, and sin. Everything else followed.

Yes, fear and hope that were developed in me. But I considered them as mere spices. Fear of God Who is unimaginably terrible in power. And hope in God Who is now my ultimate source of joy.

Anyway, in what I just said, I believed in Christianity when someone took off my secular world-view and gave me a biblical world-view in answering questions. Secular science probably had answers too, but Christianity came in first. So my bias is to that.

MJ,

Thanks for sharing your story. All religions have answers. Atheists care about whether those answers are true. We'd rather say "I don't know" than make up a satisfying story.

As for sin, I consider the idea one of the most harmful ones from Christianity. Sin is an insult to the Christian god, but like so many things in the Bible, people project their own biases onto the desires of their invisible friend. Without concrete proof of any god, the idea of trying to make it happy is just a con game.

Here are the problems I see with sin. Feel free to comment if you disagree. BTW, I can back up my claims. Just ask, if you don't believe me.

1) Sin is an incoherent concept. Killing is supposedly wrong, but Christians have killed Jews for centuries. There is no prohibition against buggering boys in the BIble. In Genesis, one of the supposedly "righteous" men made babies with both his married daughters. The Bible itself is a genocide manual that is really a Rorschach Test for the morally challenged. 38,000 sects of Christianity claiming to worship the same god but disagreeing on most tenets (including sin and salvation) is convincing proof that there is no objective basis to their god.

2) Original sin is just a mechanism to make slaves of fools. Nobody is born with a debt. You are not a wretch who deserves to be tortured for being human. Anybody that convinces you of this has opened the door to controlling you.

3) Since there is no problem, there is no need for a cure in the form of some oozing shock-and-awe fantasy mind game, aka Jesus. Who made the "rule" that there had to be some sort of blood sacrifice for being born human? If god made it up, he's evil. If he didn't make it up, he's a slave to some bogus rule. Take your pick.

4) Substitutive sacrifice is a morally bankrupt concept. Does it make sense for you to to be thrown in jail for a murder I commit, for example? If you advocate this idea, let me know. I'm sure we can arrange a fun few years for you.

5) If Christians really believe that Jesus' death gives them a means to escape death and a trip to heaven, why did Christians go out of their way to kill millions of Jews. Practically speaking, Jesus is a free pass to kill. If you think that killing is wrong, then your religion has been systematically wrong. If it changed, when?

6) Sin is nothing more than a scam where the church steals from victims. Consider how it works. A victim gets hurt/robbed/killed. That victim is supposed to forgive the perpetrator. He gets no compensation in the real world under this scheme. The perpetrator is supposed to confess his sins or otherwise give to the church, believe in god, and supposedly get his perpetual orgasm in heaven. There is no real consequence to his action except that the church gets a more devoted slave or more tithe. The victim is harmed but the church advances.

Consider instead the secular moral concept of responsibility. This is infinitely better than the bogus concept of sin. The perpetrator is punished for the crime to the victim. There is no middle man taking a cut or promising rainbows and fairy dust.

You can look at the decades long history of the Catholic Church fucking boys. How has their concept of sin helped the situation? They were unable to recognize it as a moral wrong. They lied and covered up their problem. They and their god were unable to solve anything. This is just one of thousands of utter moral failings of Christianity. This is because "sin" is a broken concept with no value.

Consider how the secular courts have begun to make a dent in the Catholic Church's abject immorality. With a long sequence of verdicts based on the concept of responsibility, fines were imposed and punishment given. Courts are more powerful than Christendom and the Christian god. The US government still has a long way to go and Pope Ratzinger has claimed diplomatic immunity to evade a law suit and other prosecution. As far as I'm concerned, the Catholic Church is a criminal organization that should be shut down and its assets seized to pay their victims. Most 5 year-olds I know have a better sense of morals and ethics than the officials in the Catholic church.

If you disagree with me, please tell me how "sin" has "solved" the Catholic pedophilia problem.

I say, then, that most atheists are agnostics.

I'll try to answer your claims to the extent of the knowledge I'm brought with: Since I have not much knowledge about how ruined Christianity's testimony over the years because of man's corruption (even Christians), I'll just have to accept you statements about Christian history as true.

1. Sin involves lacking knowledge of God. But more directly, it involves the outward and inward insult of God and His attributes. Whatever the reason for the Christians killing the Jews, I might not agree with them for now. And I'm not really sure that the word "genocide" fits with the bible since it declares that there is only one human race. But I won't let that skip the fact that God ordered men to kill even infants. I've said here somewhere before that it is one of God's ways of executing judgment. God could've done it Himself, but using men is more of a difficult issue concerning morality. I'm not one of those Christians who claim that we worship the same God with other Christian sects (Evangelical Trinitarians are an exemption to me since I consider them as brothers although we do disagree to some extent). We try to be as objective as we can. But, of course, we are ultimately biased.

2. Original sin is something I confirmed with myself. The Bible has shown that over the years, even God's people went pagan; worshiping other gods because their sinful hearts wanted a god who has standards that they can meet. They only went back every time God sends out a prophet. But then would return to worship other gods - A cycle that kept on going until the time of Christ, even now. If God's people tend to not believe in God because of sin, then there should be no surprise if people outside won't accept Him. Being a man "from the outside", I saw myself in that. Thus, that mindset "controlled" me.

3-4. The concept of man and sin either makes you acknowledge it (making you feel down, maybe even crying out for mercy), or it makes you want to brush it off (saying that the god of the bible is not real, and then feel comfortable and guiltless). The blood sacrifice is something God commanded. In the Old Testament, unblemished animals were sacrificed in place of the filthy sinners. That was part of God's law. Since the animals could not permanently satisfy God's wrath, man needed a spotless being who could atone for an eternity something that he deserves. Being born human indeed involves being born in sin, since all men inherited the curse from Adam; "dying you shall die". I'm curious, how does blood sacrifice make God evil?

5. I see no reason for Christians to use salvation as an excuse to commit sin. If we ever had an inadequate view of His commandments, then it is because of sin. And that is agreeably something to be ashamed about.

6. This one... I'm not impressed at whoever is doing this. It's not sharing the Gospel at all. It doesn't give a proper reaction about the law the nation is under as well as it fights sin using sin. Well, it should be of no surprise that there is always corruption in churches. But I'm just hoping that the sheep won't starve to death seeing these things happen.

Your stories will be sufficient of proving how wrecked the foundation of men who profess their faith without godly standards. You may consider those arguments as evidence to eliminate Christianity, but I consider those as evidence that man has been sinful, even believers, and that sin has to be eradicated.

Thank you Don Baker, I'm beginning to understand some of the Atheist Eve cartoons

MJ,

Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Atheism is the conclusion you reach when you honestly evaluate the evidence behind god claims. Gnosticism/agnosticism concerns claims of knowledge of gods. Most atheists I know are agnostic, not having any sense of knowledge of gods or the lack thereof.

An important point about the definition of atheists is that Christians and other theists who claim that some god exists have the burden of proof for that claim. Atheists are open to evidence, but many of us have done a lot of work examining the "evidence" that theists provide. I have found that without exception, Christian apologetics are based on some combination of lies/deception, invalid reasoning, or emotional manipulation.

Now answering your points:

1) Again, until there is evidence for your god, any claim about what its preferences are is silly or worse. If you read your Bible, Jesus claims in three different gospels that he and/or the Father will answer all sincere prayers. If that were true, than you would be able to pray and get the right answer (and not hedge). Of course, we all know that has never happened and never will. Nothing fails like prayer. If you were honest with yourself, you would realize the enterprise is utter nonsense.

2) You seem to think that I, for example, deserve to be tortured for all eternity by your "loving" god. Atheists believe nothing so evil, yet we have been murdered, tortured, and vilified by followers of this evil fantasy. Please understand that I consider you part of the problem. You are a cog in the wheel of an evil enterprise.

3-4) "God's law" is a human fabrication, from what I can tell. Responsibility is a higher standard than sin. I think it is Christians who actively evade it. I take full responsibility for my actions, including any threats of hell made by ignorant thugs.

5) The "once saved, always saved" doctrine of some sects of Christianity asserts that once you're saved, ANYTHING you do is excused. You can argue that they're not True Christians, but I just see this as evidence that Christians have no clue what they're talking about. There's a great quote by Martin Luther (the creator of Protestant theology): "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world." Which of you should I believe, or are you both liars. (BTW, he thought that lying for God was a good thing, too.) Bottom line, your claims are false. You merely worship a god of your own creation, partially learned from your religious immersion.

6) The Vatican (based on their own created concept of god) believes that they'll save more souls keeping pedophile priests and moving them around. There is no evidence for souls, so they are just perpetuating their evil institution.

If you think you've arrived at the right answer, why don't you start the next church? If you don't know the right answer, why don't you pray? You are apologizing for an evil belief system that you are invested in. I consider you part of the problem. This is why I'm being harsh on you. Maybe I can get you to think a bit.

Most Christians I know are far more interested in their perpetual orgasm than their fellow man. None I've met feels any sense of responsibility for the harm done by the religion they promote and defend. They're happy to overlook the evil that has been perpetrated by belief in nonsense because they believe slightly different nonsense. From my perspective belief is nonsense is the problem. You and other believers are responsible for this harm.

I'm knowing more about atheists and atheism from you sir.

Maybe Christian apologetics have provided ways to provide evidence in such manners. Then again, lies/deception? How?

Replying: 1. The Bible, I consider, IS the evidence of the Christian God. The Bible says that God is seen in this or that, felt in this way or that, etc. But, of course, since evidences are subject to interpretation. Your interpretation of that evidence will depend on what you think is true. Prayer is done by believers to commune with their God as a sign of their passion. Whether a prayer gets answered or not, I've been taught not to focus on it. Just be glad that you're in your inner room, having a communion with your God.

2. Well, yes. I do believe that you (even me) deserve to be tortured by my loving, gracious, merciful and also sin-hating, wrathful, and holy God. But I guess you have a testimony against Christians with your story about atheist being murdered by us. I understand that I am a problem. Christians now are taught that they themselves are a problem to themselves. But at a biblically radical approach. Christians being violent to unbelievers isn't the root of the problem, but a SYMPTOM of the problem. Sin makes Christians violent to unbelievers, and many of us don't get that point, and thus "missing the mark".

3. I can't consider God's law a a human fabrication, because even the Jewish leaders themselves (if ever they did make it) are guilty of breaking them, and thus worthy of death for the standards they can't even meet. I do believe in responsibility. But of course, since I'm on this bias, I will be responsible to God for either obeying Him or disobeying Him.

4. I belong to a sect similar to that "once saved always saved". But since we also believe in Human Responsibility, I don't think that a saved man is excused for being so ungodly. Luther's "sin boldly" has been used as an argument against him as a preacher who gives Christians a license to sin. But reading a statement before that, he says "If you are a preacher of Grace, then preach a true, not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners". Luther's point was actually let your sins be opened. Open to the world your sins (not in a way that you do them but to say that you are a slave of them) Declare you sins boldly; be honest. God gives not grace to those who are deceptive in not opening their sins. Here is a link for a more detailed defense of Luther's quote: http://www.lectionarysermons.com/june_30_02.htm

We avoid creating our own gods. But try our best to subject to the God of the Bible, Who is loving and wrathful at the same time.

5. I am then shocked at what has happened to the Vatican. I would not be against pedophiles, but I'm against pedophilia. If the two cannot be separated, then they would have to be kicked out before they ruin the church's testimony. But I guess it's too late for that. Whoever keeps those priests in their activities plainly don't get it.

Hmmm... I might see some harshness on your words, but in my experience of arguing with others, I consider your careful choice of words as a way of showing sincerity to get me to think about the religion I'm in.

Yes. Most of us ARE overlooking so many things that should've been avoided, or at least taken care of. This might be a reason why you consider Christianity to be destroyed. But this is a reason why I consider Christian churches need Reformation.

Thank you Sir Don Baker.

MJ,

I'll try to make this brief.

Lies/deception: These are commonly statements that are stated as fact without evidence. "Jesus died for your sins." "God wants X.". Often, Christians repeat a claim they heard as fact. Sometimes, it's self-deception, such as confirmation bias.

Bible: Why would you consider the Bible to be true when it's full of contradictions? Usually, I hear: "The Bible is proof of God; God says the Bible is true." Circular logic. Can you name any verifiable facts about the world/universe that was stated in the Bible and not known at the time the verse was written, and later verified to be true? I can think of quite a number of claims that are simply false. The mustard seed is not the smallest seed, as Jesus claimed. Snakes don't eat dirt, etc.

You've clearly chosen to suck up to this evil fictional character and to try to please it to avoid the (unproven) threat of torture. This gets to the heart of what I think is wrong with most religions. They set up a conflict of interest in the believer between pleasing god (often at the expense of mankind) and helping out one's fellow man. In effect, such people are traitors to mankind and it explains why religions are INHERENTLY evil. No amount of "reformation" will ever fix this conflict of interest and its inevitable consequences.

God's laws are man made but intentionally set up as an impossible standard. This is how the church imposes guilt on the believers and exercises more control over those who feel guilty.

You still haven't addressed the problem of knowing exactly what is a sin. Do you eat shellfish, pork, or wear clothing made of different materials? Do you kill those who preach a false religion?

On responsibility: Once your "debt" is paid to god, what motivation do you have to repay any debt you have to your fellow man. How have Christians as a whole addressed the problem of Catholic pedophilia, for example? Have they made sure the guilty have been punished and forced the Catholic church to set up mechanisms to prevent this from happening in the future? No. Protestants, as a rule, haven't raised a finger. The Catholic laity is mostly concerned with getting magic crackers and not rocking the boat. The Catholic priesthood is as corrupt as ever. You'd be amazed at how many things they've blamed for their actions. They have no concept of responsibility. I think you're just giving lip service to the idea of responsibility. The proof in in the actions of Christians as a whole.

Thanks again for the conversation. I don't see any convincing evidence for your god, so please understand that I consider it to be nothing more than your invisible friend. You "two" don't count more than I do and you don't get to use a fantasy as an authority of any sort. If you'd like to try to demonstrate the existence of your god, feel free to try. I'd be really surprised if you could even come up with an argument that didn't involve lies/deception, logical fallacies, or emotional manipulation. Needless to say, I don't put much stock in arguments of this sort. Feel free to pray to your god for help with this simple task. You're also welcome to use a minister, friend, or any other resource you can think of. If you aren't able to comply, at least consider that you might be worshiping a fantasy.

From you statements, it's not possible for me to convince you the existence of the Christian God since you debunked it's very source of evidence.

Circular reasoning can be a valid argument concerning the Bible. Just like when I say, "I wrote this message for you because I say so.". Do you doubt that statement? If I would say, "You are not the one replying to my posts. Prove it without you yourself saying that to me. Otherwise, it's circular reasoning.", what would you do? There are more reasons defending circular logic, but that would be sufficient for now.

The Bible's "contradictions" have been defended time and again. Creation science has answers concerning the "scientifically false" claims of the Bible. But since you consider the Bible as "full of contradictions and mistakes", you have closed the door to any evidence I could give. All resources I have in here will ultimately leave the Bible as the source of my evidences.

Sin, literally translated, means "missing the mark". Maybe in our words, "Missing the point of what God wants.". Adam eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil is a sign of "missing the mark". Anything that doesn't bring glory to God makes people "miss the mark"; they do not get the point of God's intentions.

May I know how you know that Christianity is evil? What standards do yo follow to know that something is good or evil? Do you impose this standards to others or something?

You said, "Have they made sure the guilty have been punished and forced the Catholic church to set up mechanisms to prevent this from happening in the future? No. Protestants, as a rule, haven't raised a finger."

Well, I guess that any Christian sect is ruined in your eyes because of the testimony of the Christians you witnessed. I sadly cast the same blame to us Christians for being irresponsible, agreeing with your statement.

Let me just point out something about the lies/deception thing: I consider it an evangelical malpractice to just say "Jesus died for your sins." when the concept of sin hasn't been established. The concept of sin can be used as a launching pad to explain to people why humanity needs a savior. In other words, there has to be a background for everything they say. People who don't know the Bible would probably be asking "What's this sin? Who's this Jesus and why did he die?" Unequipped with answers, Christians just go around proclaiming this and that without even knowing why they believe in such things. That, I can consider, self-deception.

You thrown out harsher words, sir. But interestingly, I still see the politeness and sincerity. Thank you.

MJ,

I have an open mind. I just need evidence. I have spent years looking for it and I haven't found it. Again, all I ever hear is lies/deception, invalid reasoning, and emotional manipulation.

Claiming that an all powerful being not only exists, he created the universe, is the author of all morals, created a son, who is himself somehow, and sent himself to die on the cross to appease himself for his creation breaking a rule he made up... is, to say the least, an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. When you say "I wrote this message because I said so" is not an extraordinary claim. I have no reason to doubt it, but I also have only a small reason to trust it. I certainly wouldn't become a virtual slave over your claim, or use it to justify atrocities, in contrast with Christianity. With the Christian claims, I can see they are absurd.

Creation science is a fraud. Time and time again, they twist facts and ignore disconfirming evidence. You cannot "prove" the existence of a god through lies. If you don't believe me, choose your very best creationist argument or apologetic argument and I will show you that it relies on one or more of: lies, logical fallacies, or emotional manipulation.

I'm ignoring your comments about god as they're irrelevant until you at least establish the existence of a god. If you'd like to know how you sound to me, substitute "Voices in my head" for "God" in your writings and you will know how foolish you sound.

What standards do I follow? My morality is based on reason, compassion, and responsibility. All humans' are. I have the compassion to try to be kind to others, the reason (and knowledge) necessary to understand the consequences of my actions, and the responsibility to understand that my reputation (and my expectations of how others treat me) are based on my actions. Humans have these capabilities largely as a result of our larger brains and the fact that we're social animals. Our morality comes from our evolutionary history.

Christians, by contrast, claim that morals come from god. But again, they don't seem to know what they are. If a Christian sect does X and another does the opposite (and they both claim the moral high ground) is that not evidence there is no god? Either there's a universal morality from god or there isn't. You seem to want to have it both ways: Claiming a universal morality so that you and other Christians can foist your will on others, but, at the same time, demonstrating no mechanism of consistency or any ability to clean house. If you want to give the Catholics a free pass, please admit to me that there is no such thing as a god-given morality.

You can look at the evidence of what Christianity has done to conclude it's evil. What better evidence can there be? By their fruits ye shall know them. I've beat on Catholics for the pedophilia thing, but there are literally hundreds of issues where Christians have done the immoral thing in pursuit of making their god happy.

MJ said: "But I won't let that skip the fact that God ordered men to kill even infants. I've said here somewhere before that it is one of God's ways of executing judgment."

I'm curious to what extent you attribute evil to 'God executing judgement': (1) Do you, like Westboro Baptist, believe dead soldiers returning from Iraq to be a manifestation of that judgement? (2) Was 9-11 an another example (In which case, is it Allah or the Jewish god that has it in for us)? (3) How about the extermination of native americans in the new world? They must've been really bad people then. (4) Salem 'witches'? (5) Missionary beheadings?

The point that it's impossible to consistently attribute events to this supposed divine retribution should give you a clue to it's dubious nature.

MJ said: "But I won't let that skip the fact that God ordered men to kill even infants. I've said here somewhere before that it is one of God's ways of executing judgment. God could've done it Himself, but using men is more of a difficult issue concerning morality."

Also, can you not see that the very attitude you've expressed above (i.e., basically a religiously-smug "they had it coming") is the EXACT attitude that terrorists use to rationalize their jihad??

If there really was heaven, it most definitely would NOT be for those who flippantly ignore the sufferings of others under the type of religiously-induced hypnosis that you've demonstrated for us above.

MJ, in your original post you asked, "If you'll consider atheism to be wrong, what religion would most probably be correct? I want to step into the minds of atheist when it comes to this topic, So I'm hoping for your answers. Thank you."

Now MJ says, "Well, since the question is thrown back at me. Then I would have to answer: I would go back to being an Atheist if I consider Christianity to be wrong."

Yes well, if you were an atheist why do you need to ask atheists questions to step into the minds of atheists? I would think you would know what an atheist thinks like if you were one. Unless you mean something that eludes me.

Back to the subject of your claims - that I answered - and you ignored.

MJ "The Bible is not evidence for you since to it's not reliable to you. And saying that it has holes in it makes me wonder where they are."

I showed you where they are, but it was only the tip of the iceberg of the gaping holes in Christianity and the Bible.

MJ " Thank you for sharing something about how operational science adjusts. Now how about historical science?"

What about historical science? The biblical notion that the Earth was the center of the universe and that the Sun and all the Planets revolved around the Earth. Historical records prove that the Church tried to stop every scientific discovery that clearly proved the Bible was false. That's not what people do when they have the truth on their side. The Church believed that the Sun and all the stars revolved around a stationary Earth. They had Galileo imprisoned because he realized that the Earth and the planets move around the Sun (not the other way around) as the Bible writers seems to think. The Bible says that Joshua made the Sun stand still. The Sun was standing still it's was the Earth that was moving.

MJ "About the order of creation. I hold fast to that. You know how extraordinary every event of creation anyway: everything were created very fast and by command, death wasn't a part of nature, etc."

That's the problem MJ we know everything wasn't created very fast. Furthermore, in Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth. It's not great MJ, it's simply wrong, since we know that the sun is older than the Earth. Then there are the two great lights that God made that are mentioned in Genesis 1:16 the Sun to rule the day and the Moon rule the night. Without the Sun the Moon would be totally dark, the Moon only reflects light from the sun.

According to Genesis 1:1, Earth and the Heavens are created together in the beginning, but the Earth 4.6 billion years old and Universe is about and 13.7 billion years old.

The Bible is not a valid source of truth. Science has proven it wrong repeatedly. Why use it as a moral guide? It is a fact that the earth and man are not at the center of the universe. Man is an insignificant species on a remote planet whirling through the vast reaches of space.

Christians accuse atheists all the time of being egocentric or narcissistic; it is clear Christian belief embraces the notion that Christians are the center of everything, they are special and better than anyone else on earth, and people who embrace these beliefs all have the same characteristics. They are narcissists. Pointing out how icky others are is the way Christianity has operated from the beginning. The idea being, won't notice how sleazy we are if we turn the mob on someone else.

MJ "Thus, the story of God creating plants before creating the sun hurts your head while it blows my mind."

That's silly. Why would it hurt my head - to know that some idiot wrote something that stupid - for other idiots to read - and who believe it?

MJ, "I rely on Genesis as my history book of how the world began because I presuppose that the Bible is reliable, and that there was a Being who was there to tell of how the world began."

Science can tell us a great deal about how the world began without presupposing anything. Maybe you should try reading some real science.

I'm sorry. I didn't ignore your answers. I did read them, and am trying to find some resources about what the creation scientists say about it.

As far as I know, not all of you are atheists for the same exact reason. I was an atheist because I felt good being one. And you might be an atheist for a very different reason. Meaning there are mindsets of other atheists that I haven't yet known about.

Going back, I wonder what biblical text says about the earth being the center of the universe. I don't really see that claim from the scientists I listen to.

Concerning age and time, we can't really know how old the sun is since we weren't there to see it being born, and age. We also can't really know if the earth was created very fast or very slow since we weren't there to observe them being formed. I rely on the Being who was there to observe [in my terms, made] these things happen. I rely on Him through His Word.

About Christians being narcissistic, I don't know. Although I do feel being "special" for being saved, I don't see why I should see myself no more icky than others. I'm even taught to see myself more filthy than how I see myself now.

You said, "Science can tell us a great deal about how the world began without presupposing anything. Maybe you should try reading some real science."

I doubt this. Secular science ask "Anything but God caused this to happen... But what and how?" - Declaring a no-intelligent-designer presupposition.

Creation Science, which I prefer listening to, ask "The God of the Bible caused this to happen, but how and what did He use?"

You said, "Man is an insignificant species on a remote planet whirling through the vast reaches of space."

This is one reason I will not be going back to atheism.

I would not be reasoning out with you if you're just an insignificant thing. I would not hold fast to my belief if you're just an insignificant thing. I don't see any relevance in the person who developed this website if he/she is just an insignificant thing. I don't see any good of your research if you're just an insignificant thing.

Being an insignificant thing, I consider, is the ultimate stand of atheists.

MJ said: "You said, "Science can tell us a great deal about how the world began without presupposing anything. Maybe you should try reading some real science. I doubt this. Secular science ask "Anything but God caused this to happen... But what and how?" - Declaring a no-intelligent-designer presupposition.

NO! That's the misconception! Science plays no favorites. That's the meaning of objectivity. It CANNOT postulate anything that it can't measure. It''s not that it has any particular prejudice against any 'god'. It's just that it's UNABLE to include in it's considerations things that don't seem to exist by any/all measures that it as yet has at its disposal. It's not actually conspiring against your (or anyones) religion. If someone comes up with a way to empirically measure 'god', Science will happily do so with no qualms.

Creation Science, which I prefer listening to, ask "The God of the Bible caused this to happen, but how and what did He use?""

Again, NO it doesn't! I've read 'Creation Science'. What they do is pick the few scientific findings that appear to support (however remotely) any of their presuppositions and then spend the rest of their efforts down-playing the vast majority that don't. That's NOT SCIENCE!

P.S. The moon DOES gives forth its light.

Operational science says that mirrors do give forth light, not by EMISSION but by REFLECTION. Do you accept that as a scientific fact?

MJ said, "Going back, I wonder what biblical text says about the earth being the center of the universe. I don't really see that claim from the scientists I listen to."

The scientists you listen to didn't notice that the writer of the Book of Joshua had God commanded the Sun not the Earth to stand still. "So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day." If the Sun stood still in the midst (middle) of heaven over the Earth the middle is where they thought the Earth was.

Genesis 1:6-7 "God made the firmament and called the firmament Heaven. The firmament divided the waters above (the Earth) from the waters below (the Earth); clearly giving the location of Earth. Genesis 1:14-18, God made lights and placed them in this firmament (just above the Earth) the ancient authors didn't know the enormous distances involved. Genesis also said that the two great lights (the sun and moon) were there to rule over night and day. These ancient authors didn't know that the sun and moon shine no matter which hemisphere of Earth faces. They did think that the Earth was the center of the universe.

Matthew 4:5-8 Satan took Jesus to the mountaintop and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. The text says it was a high mountain, but no matter how high it wouldn't be possible to see all the kingdoms of the world from any mountain on Earth. The reason the author thought you could see all the kingdoms of the world from a high mountain was because they thought the Earth was flat. I just added this to demonstrate how little the authors of the Bible knew. The authors of the Bible had limited understanding of astronomy or anything scientific and expressed these primitive views clearly in their writings. There is no reason to believe that the authors of the Bible had any inspired designer knowledge. "The world also is stabilized that it cannot be moved." Psalm 93:1. The biblical authors thought the Earth was fixed and immovable and at the center of all things. They thought the Sun moved around the Earth, not the other way around. That is a geocentric view of the solar system.

MJ said, "Concerning age and time, we can't really know how old the sun is since we weren't there to see it being born, and age. We also can't really know if the earth was created very fast or very slow since we weren't there to observe them being formed. I rely on the Being who was there to observe [in my terms, made] these things happen. I rely on Him through His Word.

We couldn't really know anything if we used biblical nonsense to figure it all out. The age of the sun is around 5 billion years this number is determined from radioactive dating of objects in the solar system which are known to have formed around the same time as the sun. The age of the Solar System (including the Earth), is measured by the radioactive decay of certain isotopes in rocks and meteorites. These isotopes (principally Potassium and Uranium) were created with the solar system. By measuring how much has decayed, we can very accurately determine how long it's been since they (and the rest of the solar system) were formed.

Scientists study the evidence to determine the age of the Earth and the Solar System. What they have found is credible evidence that the Earth must be billions of years old. Although, some Creationists continued to vehemently deny all the scientific evidence. In Western Australia, single zircon crystals found in younger sedimentary rocks have radiometric ages of as much as 4.3 billion years, making these tiny crystals the oldest materials to be found on Earth so far. The ages measured for Earth's oldest rocks and oldest crystals show that the Earth is at least 4.3 billion years in age.

MJ said, "About Christians being narcissistic, I don't know. Although I do feel being "special" for being saved, I don't see why I should see myself no more icky than others. I'm even taught to see myself more filthy than how I see myself now."

The fact is you are ickier "right now", nevertheless you have been deluded into believing you are less icky. The fact that you were convinced to see yourself as filthy is the whole point. There is no justification for teaching anyone that they were born filthy just to get their membership and money. This is one of the most harmful things involved in religious coercion but it's not the only one.

MJ said, "You said, "Science can tell us a great deal about how the world began without presupposing anything. Maybe you should try reading some real science." I doubt this. Secular science ask "Anything but God caused this to happen... But what and how?" - Declaring a no-intelligent-designer presupposition. Creation Science, which I prefer listening to, ask "The God of the Bible caused this to happen, but how and what did He use?"

The theological "argument from design" of William Paley in 1802 (was actually was around even before him) has never changed no matter how much evidence is presented that disputes it. He obviously didn't know that a watch is a man made object and a rock is not. All life comes from natural processes. He never tells us whom or what designed the designer? Scientists would have to do that before it would be considered a theory. That is the major difference in what theology can get away with and real science. What theory (or evidence) has Creation scientists presented that explains anything? What evidence or theory is there that anything was designed or created. It is non-intelligent to believe something without evidence. The Bible teaches (non-thinking) blind faith. Science was developed because man has the ability to think.

MJ said, "You said, "Man is an insignificant species on a remote planet whirling through the vast reaches of space." This is one reason I will not be going back to atheism. I would not be reasoning out with you if you're just an insignificant thing. I would not hold fast to my belief if you're just an insignificant thing. I don't see any relevance in the person who developed this website if he/she is just an insignificant thing. I don't see any good of your research if you're just an insignificant thing.

Naturally you don't understand something that was written by Carl Sagan in the book Pale Blue Dot. It was meant to impress upon humanity just how insignificant we are in comparison to the vast Cosmos. He made those statements to impress upon intelligent people that we are not more important than the Earth that we depend on - it is our only home for now. The Earth is very venerable considering what man has already done to the Earth in the name of war (nuclear testing) and could do with nuclear war.

I think there are far more reasons than one that you would never be an atheist, but Okay MJ what ever floats your boat.

MJ said, "Being an insignificant thing, I consider, is the ultimate stand of atheists.

A willfully ignorant puffed up buffoon and pompous idiot is what xian fundie is all about. These beliefs have been used by corporate interests to promote their ideas (man is so special and important) that we have the right kill all the animals and destroy the Earth in pursuit of our own interests.

From: MJ (Posted Feb 6, 2011 at 2:41 am)

P.S. The moon DOES gives forth its light. Operational science says that mirrors do give forth light, not by EMISSION but by REFLECTION. Do you accept that as a scientific fact?

According to the Bible both the Sun and the Moon emit their own light. In Genesis, 1:16 "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. The moon does not have its own light. The moon reflects the light of the Sun. Genesis 1:16 God also made the stars "God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth". The stars could not give immediate light to the Earth - the closest star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years away. So the very first starlight would have taken 4.3 years to reach earth. The light we see from the Andromeda Galaxy takes 2.2 million years to reach earth, which also discredits the Creation argument that the Earth is only 6-10 thousand years old.

Genesis 1: 9 - 13, the earth was created on the third day, and verses 14 to 19, the Sun and the Moon were created on the fourth day. The Earth formed after the Sun. Nothing but quack non-intelligent pseudo science tells anyone that the Sun and the moon were "created" or formed after the Earth.

Stars are objects typically millions of times larger than the earth and unimaginably distant. Genesis after He made the two great lights (as an afterthought) He made the stars also.

`The scientist I listen to know the story about the Book of Joshua. And the "sun standing still" is a very acceptable phrase since we accept the statement "The sun rises in the east and sets into the west".

Genesis 1:6-7 doesn't say what part of the universe. It only says that there was waters above and waters below the Earth. It didn't say that the Earth was at the center of the universe doesn't it?

God did not command the stars to be in the firmament WITHIN the waters, but OUTSIDE of it. Let's compare the two verses:

Genesis 1:6 - "And God said, "Let there be an expanse IN THE MIDST OF THE WATERS, and let it separate the waters from the waters." Genesis 1:14 - "And God said, "Let there be lights IN THE EXPANSE OF THE HEAVENS to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,"

You said "According to the Bible both the Sun and the Moon emit their own light."

I don't think so. The Bible didn't say "Let there be two objects that EMIT their own light.", but "Let there be two great lights." Although I accept that this refers to the sun and the moon, the Bible is more concerned with their function: "To govern the day, and to govern the night."

You said, "Stars are objects typically millions of times larger than the earth and unimaginably distant. Genesis after He made the two great lights (as an afterthought) He made the stars also."

Why yes... Genesis didn't say that the sun and the moon were larger than the starts, did it? But it says, "He made the stars also."

Matthew 4:5-8 could not have been immediately interpreted as the WHOLE world. The word "world" has many different interpretations according to context. And besides, if it the Earth WAS flat seeing all of the world's kingdoms WITH THEIR GLORY could not probably be appreciated because of such a distance. And the concept that the earth was flat didn't originate from Christianity. Although I admit that some Christians DID adopt it.

The Bible even describes the roundness of the earth, "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth." (Isaiah 40:22)

Concerning radioactive dating, I'm not much into it. But I can take you to a link of what creation scientists think of it and I'll see what you think of their method of interpretation concerning it:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v22/n1/dating

You said, "There is no justification for teaching anyone that they were born filthy just to get their membership and money."

I don't think that this is the motive of the church at all. Getting membership and money out of hypocrisy is more of the issue. Sin is another.

You said, "What theory (or evidence) has Creation scientists presented that explains anything? What evidence or theory is there that anything was designed or created. It is non-intelligent to believe something without evidence. The Bible teaches (non-thinking) blind faith. Science was developed because man has the ability to think."

These are interesting points. First, let me say that I appreciate science as a means to use the reasoning God gave to humans. He gave creation to be observed. Creation science explains things using the Bible. If the Bible was silent about something, then creation science would not be too dogmatic about it. Creation science have explained how all things began, what happened to the dinosaurs, etc, all with the Bible as a starting point.

You see, historical science tends to find the starting point of every phenomena on this earth. When you see a wave of water ripping across the sea, you would say, "Something caused it. And the thing that caused it is <!you starting point>. Naturalist science uses nature as a starting point, and generally doesn't go any further. Just like you said, "All life comes from natural processes.". You believe that natural processes are the starting point of life, although the chances of cells emerging out of natural processes is impossible, unless guided by a faith.

Although they also use the Bible as a starting point, creation scientists aren't satisfied with the answer "This happens because God made it so." And it's what makes me appreciate their search for truth.

I'm sorry about the "insignificant" thing. So that's what you were trying to say. Now I'm going to agree that compared to the things around us, we can see a glimpse of how insignificant we are. But still.... hmmm.... why should humans live? Why should we go about reasoning with each other? Why should we go about doing our own thing? Seeing man like that makes me feel empty.

MJ said: "Concerning radioactive dating, I'm not much into it. But I can take you to a link of what creation scientists think of it and I'll see what you think of their method of interpretation concerning it:"

As mentioned in another thread, the creationist 'science' on this junk.

Additionally, you don't have to believe radio-carbon dating at all - Ice core samples and tree rings are both VISUAL evidences of things that just happen to corroborate with radiocarbon dating. And guess what: Neither jive with the 6000 year old earth theory either! (there are trees/shrubs older than 6000 years and ice cores samples older than 3/4 of a MILLION years).

The debate on earth-age is over. The world is either very old or your god is deceiving scientist via an illusion. Give up trying to scientifically demonstrate a young earth. That ship has sailed.

MJ said, "`The scientist I listen to know the story about the Book of Joshua. And the "sun standing still" is a very acceptable phrase since we accept the statement "The sun rises in the east and sets into the west"."

This is not a scientific detail answer (like all of mine were). Do the scientists you listen to know that the sunrise is an optical illusion? Until the time of Galileo (because they believed Sun revolved around the earth) ancient primitive man thought the sun actually rose in the east and set in the west. The biblical authors who lived in ancient times knew that the earth rotated but just didn't bother to write it down. That's absurd! If they knew how the solar system was formed and could really explain it they would. Relative to the earth the sun has no motion. Making the sun stand still in the midst (middle of heaven) would not stop night from falling. The author of Joshua thought the sun revolved around the earth and earth was obviously in the middle where it was stopped. It's the earth that is moving not the sun. This is an excuse not an answer!

MJ said, "Genesis 1:6-7 doesn't say what part of the universe. It only says that there was waters above and waters below the Earth. It didn't say that the Earth was at the center of the universe doesn't it?

"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst (middle) of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. (Genesis 1:6-7.)" This indicates the author by (divine revelation) was an observer who was centered in the midst middle. That's to say nothing of the fact that the order of the formation of the solar system is incorrect and violates even the most rudimentary rules of natural science. The earth was the center of all things and that the sun, moon, and planets revolved around it.

MJ said, God did not command the stars to be in the firmament WITHIN the waters, but OUTSIDE of it. Let's compare the two verses: Genesis 1:6 - "And God said, "Let there be an expanse IN THE MIDST OF THE WATERS, and let it separate the waters from the waters." Genesis 1:14 - "And God said, "Let there be lights IN THE EXPANSE OF THE HEAVENS to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,"

The Hebrew word translated as firmament in Genesis is "raqiya" this word translates as "extended solid surface "firmament." It separated the waters above it from the waters below, to contain windows that regulated precipitation, to serve as a surface across which the sun, moon, and stars traveled. Incidentally, the sky is not blue because a make-believe firmament partially transmits the color of "chaotic waters" confined above it. It is blue because of a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering.

MJ said, "You said "According to the Bible both the Sun and the Moon emit their own light." I don't think so. The Bible didn't say "Let there be two objects that EMIT their own light.", but "Let there be two great lights." Although I accept that this refers to the sun and the moon, the Bible is more concerned with their function: "To govern the day, and to govern the night."

Well, how do you know that? The bible is more concerned with calling something a great light that would be dark as hell without the sun. Okay MJ this is just twaddle.

MJ said, "You said, "Stars are objects typically millions of times larger than the earth and unimaginably distant. Genesis after He made the two great lights (as an afterthought) He made the stars also." MJ said, " Why yes... Genesis didn't say that the sun and the moon were larger than the starts, did it? But it says, "He made the stars also."

The fact is they had no idea how far away and large the stars were, and they didn't understand that the stars could not provide light immediately. Genesis 1:16 God also made the stars "God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth". The stars could not give immediate light to the Earth - the closest star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years away. So the very first starlight would have taken 4.3 years to reach earth. The light we see from the Andromeda Galaxy takes 2.2 million years to reach earth, which also discredits the Creation argument that the Earth is only 6-10 thousand years old. Our Sun is one star in the Milky Way galaxy. There are many, many others. The Sun is far from the center of the Galaxy. The Sun is old but not compared to the Galaxy. Our Sun is itself a fairly young star at only 5 billion years old. The Milky Way galaxy is at least 5 billion years older than that.

MJ said, "Matthew 4:5-8 could not have been immediately interpreted as the WHOLE world. The word "world" has many different interpretations according to context. And besides, if it the Earth WAS flat seeing all of the world's kingdoms WITH THEIR GLORY could not probably be appreciated because of such a distance. And the concept that the earth was flat didn't originate from Christianity. Although I admit that some Christians DID adopt it."

They thought the Earth was a flat disc.

MJ said, "The Bible even describes the roundness of the earth, "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth." (Isaiah 40:22)" The phrase of Isaiah 40:22, "the circle of the earth" the interpretation of the word "circle" does not mean "sphere" by any standards. It doesn't indicate that they knew the earth was a sphere. The Hebrew word gh means "circle" it does not mean "sphere", and there is a better Hebrew word for "sphere," rwd. In Isaiah 22:18 the word rwd is translated "ball." If the translators understood gh as "sphere," they would have used the Greek word sfairoeides. The ancient world thought the earth was round and flat. A circle is of course a flat round object. Some would say that the ancient Hebrews had no word for sphere so they used circle, but that is not true. There is a Hebrew word for ball used in the bible. A flat round earth was intuitive to these primitive people. They imagine the earth as being round and flat as you turn around to trace the outline of the horizon where the sky seems to meet the earth. Again a circle is a flat two-dimensional object and there was a Hebrew word for ball, which would have been more accurate if the author had been aware that the earth shape was spherical in nature.

MJ said, "Concerning radioactive dating, I'm not much into it. But I can take you to a link of what creation scientists think of it and I'll see what you think of their method of interpretation concerning it: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v22/n1/dating"

There are no answers in genesis chum. There are many methods of dating the age of the universe. Scientists do not depend on one method as evidences they crosscheck their findings with other methods. I gave you other methods throughout this discussion. A measurement of the expansion of the universe is another one. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. These extremely old, dim "clockwork stars" provides a completely independent reading on the age of the universe without relying on measurements of the expansion of the universe. Hubble research sets the age of the universe at 13 to 14 billion years based on the rate of expansion of space. In 2002 the Hubble telescope studied a small region of clusters of ancient white dwarf stars, that turned out to be 12 to 13 billion years old. The globular cluster located in M4 (white dwarfs) is giving astronomers a new way to answer the biggest questions in astronomy; how old is the universe? The ancient white dwarfs in M4 are about 12 to 13 billion years old. After accounting for the time it took the cluster to form after the big bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates for the universe's age. A ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. Astronomers estimate how long ago the white dwarf stars were burning by measuring the temperature of the burned out remnants of white dwarf stars, the burned out remnants of the earliest stars that formed in our galaxy. Hot, dense spheres of carbon "ash" left behind by the long-dead star's nuclear furnace, white dwarfs cool down at a predictable rate, the older the dwarf the cooler it is, making it a perfect "clock" that has been ticking for almost as long as the universe has existed.

MJ said, "You said, "There is no justification for teaching anyone that they were born filthy just to get their membership and money." I don't think that this is the motive of the church at all. Getting membership and money out of hypocrisy is more of the issue. Sin is another."

You don't! Well I do! Nobody is born "filthy". That is an ignorant primitive idea based on nothing. People become what they are by example. People learn by example from birth. Some people do have mental illness, but the bad from birth idea not only exonerates bad parents from their failure of their responsibilities but it makes it possible to coerce people into becoming followers.

MJ said, "You said, "What theory (or evidence) has Creation scientists presented that explains anything? What evidence or theory is there that anything was designed or created. It is non-intelligent to believe something without evidence. The Bible teaches (non-thinking) blind faith. Science was developed because man has the ability to think." MJ said, "These are interesting points. First, let me say that I appreciate science as a means to use the reasoning God gave to humans. He gave creation to be observed.

The only thing that someone using the bible to answer questions about the origin of the universe or life in the universe could possibly do is to invoke supernatural causation. Scientists find the cause and the effect. The supernatural or god cannot be used in a scientific theory that would be explanatory for the origin of the universe or life in the universe. We would never have discovered DNA if they did. There is no theory that explains anything or makes any predictions based on a god (supernatural) intervention theory. It is utterly unscientific.

MJ said, "Creation science explains things using the Bible. If the Bible was silent about something, then creation science would not be too dogmatic about it. Creation science have explained how all things began, what happened to the dinosaurs, etc, all with the Bible as a starting point."

Really! Some creationists claim dinosaurs are an invention of scientists, in "the age of dinosaurs" dinosaurs had a long period of dominance, but it is never mentioned in the Bible. Don't bother with qualifying statements about dragons and other large animals. There is nothing in the Bible about "the age of dinosaurs" when they utterly inhabited the earth without any human presence.

MJ said, "You see, historical science tends to find the starting point of every phenomena on this earth. When you see a wave of water ripping across the sea, you would say, "Something caused it. And the thing that caused it is . Naturalist science uses nature as a starting point, and generally doesn't go any further. Just like you said, "All life comes from natural processes.". You believe that natural processes are the starting point of life, although the chances of cells emerging out of natural processes is impossible, unless guided by a faith."

The atoms that make up our bodies came from somewhere, and so did the nano-technological machinery of the cells. Atoms actually originate in stars. All the elements heavier than hydrogen were made by fusion in a star. Hydrogen and helium are the most abundant elements in the cosmos, followed by oxygen. In the nuclear furnaces of stars, hydrogen and helium atoms are fused into heavier elements. Eventually, there comes a time when the star tries to fuse iron. Unable to do this, the star collapses, shedding off its outer layers in a tremendous burst of energy called a supernova, while its core is reduced to a super-dense neutron star, or, if the star is massive enough, into a black hole. The outer layers are cast off into the cosmos with the ingredients for complex chemistry. These ingredients are mixed in with the ingredients for making planets. Eventually, life may arise, using the atoms that were made inside of the stars. "We are star stuff, which has taken its destiny into its own hands. The loom of time and space works the most astonishing transformations of matter." Carl Sagan

The universe evolved and continues to evolve. The universe is expanding. The majority of the objects in the universe are moving away from the Earth. The farther an object is from the Earth, the faster it is moving away from the Earth. If we keep looking back in time, consequently further collapsing the universe, we eventually reach a time in which the universe has been so thoroughly collapsed that it no longer exists. At this point in (time and space) will be the singularity.

MJ said, "Although they also use the Bible as a starting point, creation scientists aren't satisfied with the answer "This happens because God made it so." And it's what makes me appreciate their search for truth."

If they use the bible as a starting point why look for answers at all. "God did it" is the answer. That's the only answer from creation science up to this point. They have never presented an actual answer they just find things that real scientists are tying to answer and then say that they never will answer it cause God did it. The bible makes general statements about what God supposedly did; it provides no information regarding how He did it. Scientific explanations include information not only about what happened, but also about how (using only naturalistic mechanisms) it happened. Not only does Genesis get virtually everything wrong, it also leaves out far too many details to qualify as a source of useful scientific information on the origin of the universe or life in the universe.

MJ said, "I'm sorry about the "insignificant" thing. So that's what you were trying to say. Now I'm going to agree that compared to the things around us, we can see a glimpse of how insignificant we are. But still.... hmmm.... why should humans live? Why should we go about reasoning with each other? Why should we go about doing our own thing? Seeing man like that makes me feel empty."

People should behave with honor and decency because they want to and not because they are being threatened with torture. That doesn't really produce good people. It only produces scared crazy people who are not all that good. Atheists don't need "church" to provide them with a purpose.

A college student asked Carl Sagan after a lecture: "If there is no God, then how do we find a meaning for life?" Carl looked at the student and simply said, "Do something meaningful."

Dear MJ,

After having read most of the posts, some of which would benefit from being broken up into multiple and individual ones, I have come to the conclusion that the title of your original seed should be " What religion has the truth". And from what I have read of your answers to recent posts, you believe that it is Christianity.

To be brief, and set the example, NO religion has the Truth or any truth for that matter when it comes to knowing a god, any god. I can prove it to you (later if you wish).

That does not mean that we cannot get to know a supreme being (if it exists) one day, but for now no one knows (agnosticism). In which case one might adopt the position that 'absence of proof = proof of absence' (atheism), that is just as acceptable.

However, quoting the Bible as a reference for science, without first establishing its value, authority and authenticity, is like quoting the Wizard of as as a reference for tornadoes and weather prediction.

James and Linda have it right-MJ, you are a Bible believing Christian trying to get atheists to say that some "religion" out there has validity. You guys (christians who troll message boards) should really be more honest about what you are doing-but honesty and religion do not go together, so nevermind. What would be my choice next to atheism? Atheism II.

'"What belief system would come closest to the truth, and why?"

'Or to put it in another way, "If you'll consider atheism to be wrong, what religion would most probably be correct?"'

Hmm. I would have to say that a certain strand of later, philosophically-inflected gnosticism, Valentinianism, would probably be what I'd plump for.

It's been a long time since I've read up on this matter, so I'm working on old, fallible memory. I've written a pretty full description of 'gnosticism' on Quora so I'll just provide a link to that as a grounder for anyone who wants to know the generals: http://www.quora.com/Gnosticism/Who-exactly-is-a-gnostic

A potted summary of the Valentinian myth (emphasis on that word) would to my mind have to start with the fact that, though embedded in the deeply dualistic gnostic tradition, the Valentinian innovation was to make use of the older dualistic terms in describing a monistic worldview. (I am an anti-dualist far before I am an anti-theist or atheist, to be clear. But I have a deep affection for the gnostics, dualistic and otherwise, in no small part for their dynamism, their constant employment of textual subversion and appropriation, which seems to be a common feature of the 'movement'; though whether anything so disparate and variegated could be called a movement is something I doubt, hence the smear quotes.)

So the Valentinians appropriated a dualistic system in order to describe a monistic worldview. So what? Well, in doing so the Valentinians - who were thoroughly Hellenised, and knew their philosophy well - /psychologised/ the pre-existing myths. In other words the gnostic myth was altered - again through a process of appropriation that seems in this case to have been employed consciously by its users - from describing the creation of the world to describing the individual's /psychological relationship with reality/. This is by which an act of perception is at the same time an act of structural imposition: a metaxy, (I believe) in the sense of Simone Weil's development of that term; a division that simultaneously connects, both a 'revealing to' and a 'distancing from'.

To my mind it's with a self- awareness of their innovation that the Valentinians required all initiates to their ranks to /create their own version of the myth/ (again I'm operating from memory here, so I may be exaggerating the importance of this facet). In essence, there were as many versions of their central belief system as there were believers. In others word, the Valentinians went about the task of myth-making with a through-going awareness that what they were fabricating was precisely that - a descriptive fabrication. This approach puts paid to notions of dogma, of refinement, or exploration and dialogue. It de-centralises things and entirely undermines all possible appeal to hierarchy from the get-go. (Ideally that this - in actuality what actually happened was a process of increasing complexity and accrual, like barnacles on a hull.) However, such an approach tacitly acknowledges that they were engaging in a conscious act of myth-making; that what they were doing was precisely true because it was basically false, a descriptive mythos.

So, to answer your question. If I considered atheism to be 'wrong' (I'm not even going to touch upon why that technically cannot be so, since atheism makes no positions but is merely negative with respect to the positions of theism) I would happily plump for Valentinianism, precisely because they were most correct in acknowledging that they were engaged in acts of deliberate fabrication. They were right because they knew they were wrong.

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