Poll

Does God exist?  (Magical creator of the universe either hands on or hands off God)

God or gods do not exist
19 (37.3%)
God or gods are not likely
16 (31.4%)
I don't know but I see no evidence of a god
11 (21.6%)
God or gods are likely
1 (2%)
God or gods do exist
4 (7.8%)

Total Members Voted: 51

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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #87 on: July 07, 2013, 12:47:49 PM »
You can't reduce crime or violent behavior to one simple cause. It is true that there have been a lot of negative consequences of poverty and social policies like the "war of drugs" (to paraphrase Borat). And more crime can be "invented" by making more of human behavior illegal. That's why there are so many more people in jail in China and the US than in Sweden or Japan, per capita.

But some bad behavior is due to quirks in people's brains--genetics or chemical imbalances. They aren't normal. There are sociopaths and psychopaths that show up in families with no pathology at all. Very few mass murderers and serial rapists come from impoverished backgrounds. It takes way more than a bad family to create a person who actually likes killing and torturing others. It is rare to find more than one kid in a family, even a really bad family, who enjoys hurting animals, likes scaring the neighbor kids, is excited by setting dangerous fires,  and turns out to be the bad seed. Still one of the creepiest movies ever made....

Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #88 on: July 07, 2013, 01:44:07 PM »
You can't reduce crime or violent behavior to one simple cause. It is true that there have been a lot of negative consequences of poverty and social policies like the "war of drugs" (to paraphrase Borat). And more crime can be "invented" by making more of human behavior illegal. That's why there are so many more people in jail in China and the US than in Sweden or Japan, per capita.

But some bad behavior is due to quirks in people's brains--genetics or chemical imbalances. They aren't normal. There are sociopaths and psychopaths that show up in families with no pathology at all. Very few mass murderers and serial rapists come from impoverished backgrounds. It takes way more than a bad family to create a person who actually likes killing and torturing others. It is rare to find more than one kid in a family, even a really bad family, who enjoys hurting animals, likes scaring the neighbor kids, is excited by setting dangerous fires,  and turns out to be the bad seed. Still one of the creepiest movies ever made....



I'm not sure if you're talking to me or junebug.  I definately agree people can do terrible things because of mental illness or similar things.  But these are the exception.  It also seems that just having loving parents is not enough if the hands of your loving parents are tied so they cannot do anything.

Why do ghetto's exist?  Are all those people mentally ill bad seeds that are genetically programmed to be drug dealers and gang bangers?  Are they all very low on IQ?  Do they lack loving parents?  Becoming a drug dealer living in a ghetto seems to me to be a very rational decision.  Necessity is the mother of invention.

As was said in the documentary, "what is not destroyed by drugs is destroyed by the war against them".  These people in inner cities need help not punishment.  Sure some will always be bad, but I'm not talking about them.  I'm talking about a lot of good, loving, intelligent people that are merely victims of circumstance caused by politics, greed, racism, and class division.

Quote from: nogodsforme
That's why there are so many more people in jail in China and the US than in Sweden or Japan, per capita.

Most of the people imprisoned in the US are there because of drug charges.  So now the problem becomes compounded.  Now we have economies and industries that are built around imprisoning people that will be disrupted if the system is changed. 
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #89 on: July 07, 2013, 02:11:32 PM »
^^^I agree with much of what you say here. I believe that is the point I was trying to make when I said there are larger percentages of the Chinese and US populations in jail than in many other countries where fewer non-violent human behaviors have been criminalized. And, yes, in certain situations, it is very rational to do illegal things, whether it is a mildly mentally ill woman selling sex to help support her kids, a homeless teen shoplifting food or a "ghetto" kid joining a gang for protection against other gangs.

What I object to is saying that all criminal behavior, even violent behavior, is due to greed or up to individual choice.  The really violent scary criminals, serial killers and such, are not motivated by normal human need for money to buy things. Therefore, the kind of social policies that would reduce most crime (decriminalizing most drugs, universal health care including mental health, etc) will not affect these folks. They are as god made them.... :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #90 on: July 07, 2013, 02:38:26 PM »
What I object to is saying that all criminal behavior, even violent behavior, is due to greed or up to individual choice.  The really violent scary criminals, serial killers and such, are not motivated by normal human need for money to buy things. Therefore, the kind of social policies that would reduce most crime (decriminalizing most drugs, universal health care including mental health, etc) will not affect these folks.

Oh no, I don't think that.  People can definately be off in the head.  But I don't think all serial killers are born that way.  I watched one documentary of a serial killer and while I wouldn't say he wasn't off a little, he became bitter at the depravity he was forced to live in and snapped.  The brain can also only take so much before it snaps.  But I do know some are just born that way with a predisposition toward terrible things.

Quote from: nogodsforme
They are as god made them....

This is a curious statement from you.  Which religion told you that? 
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #91 on: July 07, 2013, 04:51:40 PM »
I am in much agreement. I don't think it's black and white enough to be generalised. There's certainly a number of things that lead people to crime. It can come out of need, out of poverty, out of peer pressure, out of mental instability, it comes out of culture, it can come out of upbringing, it could come out of social injustice or social rebellion, it can come out of greed, it can come out of ignorance, it can come out of religion, it can come out of ideologies, it can come out of a whole range of human emotion, it can come out of desire and weak super-ego to hold it back. The list probably goes on.

But I am glad you have said those things Jst (without trying to sound patronising), when it comes to morality, with Christians I tend to find myself encountering on the web they try to bring it down to the simplest generalisation or try to make it as black and white as possible or try to religiousify it. For example, it could be related to lack of faith or be down to good vs evil and pass off people as 'good' or 'bad', 'faithful' or 'sinful' and seem to look more to the bible on how to judge people for the way they are rather than use their own observations. Some are more down to earth than that. And generally I find Jehovah's Witnesses to be out of touch from reality, but this shows otherwise. ;) I am glad I try not to generalise. :P

Quote
Which religion told you that? 

Depends on how you look at it. God made us, therefore he programmed our brains, defined how they work and how everything connects together, like a programmer writing an AI, which would open up for an interesting discussion - if an AI kills somebody who is responsible? The AI or the person who programmed its intelligence?

Some argue that we were granted free will and it was Adam and Eve who condemned us through the temptation in the garden of Eden, but then again I would still argue than God programmed human nature.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 04:53:59 PM by Seppuku »
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #92 on: July 07, 2013, 08:04:03 PM »
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline junebug72

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #93 on: July 08, 2013, 06:48:22 AM »
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?

That's 3 examples of my POV.  Charles Manson was abandoned by his parents and was in and out of juvenile detention.  He was raised by the prison system.  Jeffery Dahlmer was ignored.  Osama Bin Laden was raised to be a hater. 

We actually do not know if a loving environment helps people with brain malfunctions because it's after they have committed a violent act that we are aware of their condition.   I am still convinced it takes the perfect storm,  to create a human monster and brain malfunctioning need not but can be part of the scenario.

You're right NoGods, flesh wasn't created perfect.  It has it's flaws.  It's what's inside the flesh that's important to me.  I lean towards some birth defects being a consequence of the human kind, like pollution or the mother suffering some kind of trauma during pregnancy.  There are a lot more healthy babies born than not.  Perfectly healthy babies that can be turned into violent people by people.   Unless tested at birth you can not say with 100% certainty that it was God not humans that made their brains malfunction; I am talking about psychopaths.

So no I think mankind creates psychopaths not God.  Like you said, a scientific explanation.  I don't think there is 1 form of evil that you can say doesn't come from immoral human decision making. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_paine.html#XXwlhVIMq06zWg2d.99

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #94 on: July 08, 2013, 07:03:35 AM »
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?

He did.  And none of us are any less guilty of sin that those three.  We are on the same level as them, guilty of not accepting God into our heart where He belongs. Myself included.

MAN has his own set of rules about how to control the Hell we live in.   In some cultures people  are put to death for speaking against the government.   In our culture, those three would stay alive in jail for the rest of their lives.   All mans laws are variable.   God's are not. You either Trust Him or you don't.

Offline William

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #95 on: July 08, 2013, 08:22:35 AM »
As far as down syndrome, we were not discussing DS.  They are not violent people just because they have a learning disability. 

Bugger!  &) So you've jumped to exactly the wrong conclusion that I warned about in the post directly after.

The obvious point, which you missed, is that in Downs Syndrome we can see physical abnormalities associated with mental abnormalities.  Both are clearly caused by genetic abnormalities.  The lesson is that mental abnormalities (including criminal tendencies) can be genetic - in which case not the fault of the person afflicted.  More and more science is telling us this.  With this knowledge we are obliged to step back and assess our responses to criminal behaviour. 

I hope you get the point now that I've spelt it out a second time.


Your article above specifically states the abusive/neglectful environment is required for this child to become violent.

And this response of yours specifically ignores the information about genetic predisposition, and that we should not automatically condemn a person for what their environment did to them.  One doesn't condone criminality, but empathy should kick in as well as an open mind willing to search for other approaches and answers.  But I hope you've grasped this by now  :) 
Git mit uns

Offline William

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #96 on: July 08, 2013, 08:32:36 AM »
There are a lot more healthy babies born than not. 

No, do the math:
Quote
In general, less than 50% of all fertilized eggs will even implant into the mother's womb causing pregnancy to continue. From there, there is a 25-50% chance of aborting before you even know you are pregnant. If, however, you make it to your first month, your odds go up to 75% chance of carrying to term.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Spontaneous_abortion_in_humans

And what we think is "healthy" is most likely not. The majority of us are born with genes that will severely compromise or kill us before pure and simple aging (e.g. somatic cell DNA reproduction errors and oxidation) would.
Git mit uns

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #97 on: July 08, 2013, 08:50:54 AM »
As far as down syndrome, we were not discussing DS.  They are not violent people just because they have a learning disability. 

Bugger!  &) So you've jumped to exactly the wrong conclusion that I warned about in the post directly after.

The obvious point, which you missed, is that in Downs Syndrome we can see physical abnormalities associated with mental abnormalities.  Both are clearly caused by genetic abnormalities.  The lesson is that mental abnormalities (including criminal tendencies) can be genetic - in which case not the fault of the person afflicted.  More and more science is telling us this.  With this knowledge we are obliged to step back and assess our responses to criminal behaviour. 

I hope you get the point now that I've spelt it out a second time.


Your article above specifically states the abusive/neglectful environment is required for this child to become violent.

And this response of yours specifically ignores the information about genetic predisposition, and that we should not automatically condemn a person for what their environment did to them.  One doesn't condone criminality, but empathy should kick in as well as an open mind willing to search for other approaches and answers.  But I hope you've grasped this by now  :)

We all have genetic flaws and have to deal with cards as dealt. Some can commit themselves, and others have less control and will hurt themselves as well as others.  We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #98 on: July 08, 2013, 09:19:19 AM »
We all have genetic flaws and have to deal with cards as dealt. Some can commit themselves, and others have less control and will hurt themselves as well as others.  We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.

We execute known mentally ill people in our state prisons. One fellow in Texas a decade or so ago asked the guards if he could keep his last meal in his cell so he could have more when he got back. Of course he wasn't mentally ill. He just had an IQ in the 60's.

But read this article about condemned prisoners who were. It is short and sour.

http://blogs.sacurrent.com/index.php/executing-the-mentally-ill/

I'm not getting into the discussion. Just wanted you to know that life isn't all kitty cats and roses.
Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline William

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #99 on: July 08, 2013, 09:46:14 AM »
We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.

Well, the real medical uses of leeches are only starting to be better understood:
Quote
... we asked Bill Lineaweaver, a surgeon at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He says leeches are often the best option for safely removing congested blood from a wound.
http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/modern-leeching/

But there was a time in history (only a couple hundred years ago) when many people would have glibly claimed: "We are already using leeches to treat hysteria."
Turns out they were wrong.  Science has a habit of showing people they were wrong.

Keep an open mind please.

How can the judicial system of any country be "already" adjusting sentences for genes that are only now being identified and understood?
This whole field of genetics in criminology is going through a revolution - as we speak.  The types of convictions/acquittals by the juries you served on will probably be affected by current or new genetic findings - when the judicial systems catch up.  It doesn't mean you didn't serve as juror with complete integrity. Only that you served with a degree of ignorance, and under imperfect incomplete instructions.  Are you able to handle that SkyWriting? 

Quote
Now that the human genome has been sequenced, and scientists are studying the genetics of areas as varied as alcoholism and party affiliation, criminologists are cautiously returning to the subject. A small cadre of experts is exploring how genes might heighten the risk of committing a crime and whether such a trait can be inherited.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/arts/genetics-and-crime-at-institute-of-justice-conference.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This area of research is going to turn our ideas of human equality on its head. 

Do you see any implications in this for the existence of God and Free Will?

Theists riled against the original ideas of Darwin because of the obvious implications for the creation story.
In much the same way, the influence of Genetics over behaviour is going to change theist's ideas about their cherished notion of free will.
Once again God will be left to retreat into ever diminishing gaps in our knowledge.

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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #100 on: July 08, 2013, 10:36:46 AM »
Very few serial murderers (who kill because they like killing) come from poor and impoverished families. For every Charles Manson who was neglected, abused etc., there are millions of people who had the same experiences and did not become serial killers.  What appears to be different about the serial killers is that they do not have the same feelings as other people. They have a genetic mistake that makes them psychopaths.

Some of this turns up in early childhood-- the kids who torture animals and set fires, as I pointed out. In the very same family, there will be siblings who do not become killers. The killers have a brain quirk. The other kids in the family do not. Someday we will be able to know who has these brain problems before they kill a bunch of people. What to do about it is the real ethical question.

And no, SW, we are not all the same as Charles Manson. Most of us are not psychopaths. Thank Thor.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #101 on: July 08, 2013, 11:26:15 AM »
We all have genetic flaws and have to deal with cards as dealt. Some can commit themselves, and others have less control and will hurt themselves as well as others.  We already take mental capacity into account during sentencing.  I've been on such juries.

We execute known mentally ill people in our state prisons. One fellow in Texas a decade or so ago asked the guards if he could keep his last meal in his cell so he could have more when he got back. Of course he wasn't mentally ill. He just had an IQ in the 60's.

But read this article about condemned prisoners who were. It is short and sour.

http://blogs.sacurrent.com/index.php/executing-the-mentally-ill/

I'm not getting into the discussion. Just wanted you to know that life isn't all kitty cats and roses.

We are all destined for death. Perhaps my 7th grade lab partner Betsy was ready.
Maybe my 17yo brother was. Maybe my obese neighbor was.  I am. 

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #102 on: July 08, 2013, 01:07:08 PM »
^^ A great way to trivialize the deaths of others, that.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #103 on: July 08, 2013, 01:13:07 PM »
^^ A great way to trivialize the deaths of others, that.

I don't know if they went on to life or not.   It's not my place to say.
I've cried over the death of newborn babies as well as prostitutes.

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #104 on: July 08, 2013, 02:54:34 PM »
Yes, we are all destined for death. Is that a reason to hurry up and send people there who don't want to go yet? But that's what god does all the time, so it must be okay. :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #105 on: July 08, 2013, 03:08:47 PM »
Yes, we are all destined for death. Is that a reason to hurry up and send people there who don't want to go yet? But that's what god does all the time, so it must be okay. :P

You mean like grade school massacres or at sporting events? 
I don't support them.   Satan is the god of this world.
The Creator only handles the Spirit for infinity-long.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #106 on: July 08, 2013, 03:16:26 PM »
If Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahlmer or Osama bin Laden are psychopaths because of the way their brains are wired, and are not able to feel remorse or empathy, didn't god make them that way?

I don't really believe that, because I don't think there is a god. I think there are scientific reasons for the way people's brains work. But there are many religious people who say that god made everything there is. So, it stands to reason that god also made psychopathic killers..... :?

All of this sickness, specifically genetic sickness, is in exact agreement with what the Bible teaches that man is in an imperfect condition and sickness and death are heriditary.  Genetics have proven the accuracy this teaching.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #107 on: July 08, 2013, 03:26:43 PM »
All of this sickness, specifically genetic sickness, is in exact agreement with what the Bible teaches that man is in an imperfect condition and sickness and death are heriditary.  Genetics have proven the accuracy this teaching.
It is exact in the same way that saying you have told me exactly where New York City is by saying "in the Milky Way".
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #108 on: July 08, 2013, 03:33:20 PM »
Yes, we are all destined for death. Is that a reason to hurry up and send people there who don't want to go yet? But that's what god does all the time, so it must be okay. :P

You mean like grade school massacres or at sporting events? 
I don't support them.   Satan is the god of this world.
The Creator only handles the Spirit for infinity-long.

So, you are a polytheist now?

Satan (I Love Lucy) is filling in doing the god-thing temporarily while Jehovah (Mr. Mooney) is on vacation. And when god gets back, will he be pissed!

Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #109 on: July 08, 2013, 04:06:44 PM »
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #110 on: July 08, 2013, 04:15:06 PM »
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.
A more detailed definition of sin is needed.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #111 on: July 08, 2013, 04:17:26 PM »
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.

Show evidence for this and I predict you will win the next Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #112 on: July 08, 2013, 04:20:07 PM »
Here will be the next great discovery.  "The wages of sin is death".

Sin causes suffering.  Suffering causes mental illness.  Mental illness causes physical illness.  Physical illness causes death.  We pass illnesses on to our children.

There is my general hypothesis.

Show evidence for this and I predict you will win the next Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Extrinsic motivation actually reduces effort and creativity. 

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #113 on: July 08, 2013, 04:22:07 PM »
Most people won't come to work if you stop paying them. And what does that have to do with the evidence for the hypothesis anyway?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline SkyWriting

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #114 on: July 08, 2013, 04:25:45 PM »
Most people won't come to work if you stop paying them. And what does that have to do with the evidence for the hypothesis anyway?

Only because so much of work sucks.  If the job is great, you'll show up for your
own reasons. 

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Does god exist
« Reply #115 on: July 09, 2013, 12:45:22 AM »
Way to miss the main point.  &)

What about the evidence for the "sin=suffering=mental=physical=death=children inherit all this from their parents" hypothesis?  :?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.