Author Topic: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?  (Read 10008 times)

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Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2013, 02:27:41 AM »
Hello Patrick Henry
Can I ask you to imagine you had never read the bible (or any other religious book).
Now do you see anything in the world that would point you to the fact that-
A- there is a god, and if so
B- something to make you think the bible is the "correct" religious book to read ?
As you can see here-
http://www.godchecker.com/
there are plenty of gods out there so what sign(s) points you to the bible and jesus/biblegod?
Do you think you would still have followed the bible if you had been born and raised in an Islamic country?
If I hadn't read the bible, then for sure creation speaks to me first.  The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator.
The bible, is a much longer answer.  I don't know of any other religious book that says the creator is Judge and also becomes the sacrifice for sin.  It is unique and I think goes against human nature.  In most religious books I read it sounds like a guy wrote it.  Eternal rewards are worldly, self serving. Mormons become gods, their wives get to heaven through the husband. Islam you get 72 virgins in heaven. The heros don't make mistakes.  Hey..... only a guy comes up with this stuff. 
In the bible, the patriarchs make sinful mistakes.  David, Abraham, Solomon, Peter, Paul.......the bible doesn't hide the humanity side of people, then offers a way of salvation that has nothing to do with something a guy can earn. 
There is much much more to write on this subject. 
Would I be a Christian in an Islamic country?  That's up to God.  I will say that in recent years there are men in Islamic countries who don't know the gospel, who are claiming that Jesus is visiting them in their dreams and they are being coverted.
I haven't seen this debunked.  I will say that I don't know anyone personally, so I can't say for sure that it's true, but there are many stories recently about it.     

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2013, 02:44:03 AM »
In most religious books I read it sounds like a guy wrote it.  Eternal rewards are worldly, self serving.

Not in the Hindu strains of religions. They are every bit as tight-arsed and self-flagellating Christianity. Buddhism is about as pure academic as you will get, and was started by a legendary guy who did what Jesus tells everyone to do, yet no Christian does.

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In the bible, the patriarchs make sinful mistakes.  David, Abraham, Solomon,


These guys all lived in pre-afterlife times, so it didn't matter how much they cocked up.

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.......the bible doesn't hide the humanity side of people,

You will recall this perfect guy/God called Jesus, who could do no wrong, and was born of a virgin.

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then offers a way of salvation that has nothing to do with something a guy can earn. 

So, start robbing banks and screwing around to prove it.

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There is much much more to write on this subject. 

Please do.

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I haven't seen this debunked.   

Who would bother?
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2013, 02:46:59 AM »
Thankyou for the reply.
If I hadn't read the bible, then for sure creation speaks to me first.  The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator.
Fair enough but this still does not point to any one religion.
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The bible, is a much longer answer.  I don't know of any other religious book that says the creator is Judge and also becomes the sacrifice for sin.  It is unique and I think goes against human nature.  In most religious books I read it sounds like a guy wrote it.  Eternal rewards are worldly, self serving. Mormons become gods, their wives get to heaven through the husband. Islam you get 72 virgins in heaven. The heros don't make mistakes.  Hey..... only a guy comes up with this stuff. 
In the bible, the patriarchs make sinful mistakes.  David, Abraham, Solomon, Peter, Paul.......the bible doesn't hide the humanity side of people, then offers a way of salvation that has nothing to do with something a guy can earn. 
There is much much more to write on this subject.
But, anything outside of the book(s)? Any signs in the world apart from words in a book.
 
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Would I be a Christian in an Islamic country?  That's up to God.  I will say that in recent years there are men in Islamic countries who don't know the gospel, who are claiming that Jesus is visiting them in their dreams and they are being coverted.
I haven't seen this debunked.  I will say that I don't know anyone personally, so I can't say for sure that it's true, but there are many stories recently about it.
There are many stories about alien abductions but this in no way makes it true.
I very much doubt you would find the bible if you were in an islamic country. The point I am making is that religion is probably more related to location than to any truth coming out of a particular religion.
Followers of other religions are as convinced they are correct as you are.
I just cannot see how something so powerful that he/she can create everything has not got the ability to point everyone in the right direction.   
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline Fiji

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2013, 04:07:34 AM »
Would I be a Christian in an Islamic country?  That's up to God.  I will say that in recent years there are men in Islamic countries who don't know the gospel, who are claiming that Jesus is visiting them in their dreams and they are being coverted.
I haven't seen this debunked.  I will say that I don't know anyone personally, so I can't say for sure that it's true, but there are many stories recently about it.   

I've seen a number of these youtube testimonials and they always reek. The 'Muslim' that is being paraded in front of the camera always makes numerous mistakes against the quran or Islam in general. Most notably, the bolded part. Muslims are told in the second sura to go read the Torah and the gospels. This is not a "when you feel like it" sort of thing. Allah specifically tells them "Go read the Torah and the gospels!!!" The second Sura is refered to as 'the cow' partially because it's the sura that just keeps on giving. The second sura is more important to Muslims than the ten commandsments are to Christians. Vastly more important. If a Muslim knows anything about the Quran, 9 times out of 10, it's the second sura.
I sometimes work a 3 minutes walk from a nearly 100% Islamic neighbourhood. In the bookstores there, there are books aimed at all ages, from toddlers to adults, in Arabic, Turkish, French and English on the subject of Jesus. Jesus is an important character in both the Quran and the gospels. A Muslim not knowing Jesus is akin to a Christian going "Wait, Jesus had ... disciples?!"
So whenever a Muslim goes "I didn't know Jesus." He was either never interrested in religion AT ALL until he was preached to by christians (so he was never actually ANY sort of Muslim) or he's just plain lying.
I have actually followed the trail on a few of these videos and sure enough, every time, the same 'Muslim' appears as a Christian in videos, years older than the conversion video (which supposedly was of the 'breaking news' sort).
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2013, 06:45:26 AM »
Patrick,

I'm interested that you think that science can't explain various parts of human behaviour in meaningful way. Brain science is still quite young and there is a long way to go so I'd say it was far too soon to be something that can be dismissed and used as an explanation for anything else. After all, Lord Kelvin at the end of the 19th century, a leading physicist of his day still have no idea how the sun could go on burning for so long and, who knows, probably someone was saying that because science can't explain it, god must be keeping the sun burning! I think it is important to realise that just because a properly thought out and researched explanation of something is not forthcoming now, is not an excuse to say that this lack indicates that god-did-it!

Actually I suspect there is some explanation of the various traits of human behaviour available. After all, the ones you mention are all to do with forming societies and making them run smoothly. Members who had some of these traits would be more likely to breed and pass on their genes than ones who did not. I'll look up some proper science on this but I don't think we can dismiss evolution so easily and, of course, claims that people were  created by an unknown god would need some evidence too so just because we haven't got a full explanation does let a creation event in for free.

Now the thing with prayer is that there are, in essense, two sorts -

1. Prayers that are directed to a deity by and individual and a response asked for to that person.In effect this all takes place in a the person's head and even if he claims to get an answer to his prayer, there is no way to investigate if claims are true.

2. Prayers in which something is asked of a deity in which some external action is asked. These could be healing prayers but might include a whole lot of other things. With this prayer type we can look to see if the prayer is answered by monitoring the recipient.

Now I have no doubt that you hold the type 1 prayers to be very important to you. After all, they are about a relationship which is personal to you so of source you value them.  the thing is, though, that even you cannot distinguish between a deity speaking to you in your thoughts and your subconscious coming up with answers to problems you pray about and these answers popping into your conscious mind after you have prayed your prayer.   For obvious reasons, you prefer the first possibility but, I suggest, you cannot rule out the second one.

Prayers of type 2 offer us a chance to glimpse into the possibility of the efficacy of prayer. now we know form experience that prayer doesn't work every time. If that were the case, there would be no need for children's hospitals since surely parents pray for their ill children. So what we see in practice is that the only way to examine this is by a large study and to compile the results and see if a control group does as well as a prayed for group.

The best study in this line was the Mayo Study In this study, patients who were prayed for did less well that those who were not prayed for. The thing is, though, that according ot the gospels, Jesus told his disciples that they could ask for what they needed and god would grant their requests. Jesus didn't edge around this with 'if it's god's will' or anything like that - it was a simple 'ask and you will receive'. So we have to ask, why was it that all the prayed for group got better quicker and without any complications? Did god have trouble with the volume of work for example?  The fact is that although religious people say prayer works, the evidence of it is hard to come by. After all, people tend to forget the times when it didn't work and just mention the times when it did. Yet if Jesus was right, pray should work all the time and, ideally, amputee would recover their limbs like amphibians can.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Jonny-UK

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2013, 07:25:22 AM »
Many people believe that God answers prayer.  You can say that it's coincidence but you would be in the clear minority of people who agree with you (outside of this website). I know, being in the minority doesn't make it less true if others are deluded, but I've heard many stories from people whom I know that experienced answers to prayer.  Physical healing included.
Well here is your chance to show the world proof of the correct god to pray too.
I assume there must be medical records for this and doctors that would testify that it could only have been the result of prayer that cured the person?
Just think how much the world could benefit from finally knowing the real "working" religion to follow.
Imagine how many deaths you could help avoid by stopping  people fighting in the name of wrong religions.
You have a duty here, the world needs to know.
Or did you just hear the stories and believe them?
"Do I look like someone who cares what god thinks" - pinhead

Offline The Gawd

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2013, 08:04:05 AM »
What interests me is your argument that the existence of slavery itself in the bible creates a non plus for the existence of God. The addressing of laws in the Old Testament as Christians call it is a matter of debate between pretty much every church I have had contact with. What is even more interesting is that the pick and choose attitude towards a legalistic approach to religion is much older than Christianity. Looking within the history of the movement itself, it seems to have gotten some momentum by pointing out the logical inconstancy of trying to follow "God" by living by rules from a book.

I don't see how according to the terms of this field the argument could be won either way, at least from my limited study it appears that modern Christianity on the large relies on a relationship with  "God" to achieve any kind of "evidence". Some of the people in their very approach are desiring to refute and disprove any proof that comes their way towards either conclusion. This is a documented psychological impediment to objectivity, and therefor to finding truth.

If you are predisposed to think the world is flat, you'll find a way to keep it that way. If I show you photos, you'd say they are a hoax. If I travel east and come around the other side of the world, if you are truly committed to the idea of a flat earth you will find a way that I faked it.

However I will share one logical thought that keeps my mind open to both sides. If one thousand people are bad at explaining something, it doesn't make that something untrue. If you meet 200 bad doctors, it does not make all doctors bad (though I suppose in a quantum sense to you they are). If you meet 1000 Atheists, Agnostics, or Humanists who use poorly constructed arguments to support their beliefs, it does not make those beliefs wrong. If you meet 1000 Christians and none of them can explain to you to your satisfaction why God exists, that doesn't make them wrong. Just because you don't get a good salesman for a product doesn't make it a bad product. On the same logical token just because you meet a very good salesman for a product it doesn't make it a good product.

Belief is easy, the truth is hard.
Welcome.

You didnt provide a reason that a god may exist though. And without any evidence there is no reason to hold such a belief. Even if youre open minded.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2013, 09:01:40 AM »
Just a thought to add the, The Gawd.

The analogy of the bad doctors / salesmen / christians got me wondering. If I meet 1,000 Christians who re unable to give me any logical reason why I should believe in their invisible god, I can easily agree that 1,000 isn't a good sample and there may well be, out there, plenty of Christians who can do this. If I get to 2,000 and none still cannot manage to explain why I should join them in any logical way, I suppose I tend to agree with Cynicalviking that I might juts not have found the right Christian. Where I part company is that, having been a member of atheist forums for a long time, and talked to a lot of Christians as well as real, live Christians, I have not come across any who can do this so I am starting to think that it cannot be done. Indeed, I am starting to think that the reasons Christians believe is quite illogical.

I mention in my post above to Patrick that prayer can be the result of the sub-conscious and the conscious brains talking to each other and if it was the case the person praying would not be able to tell the difference. In that case, people might become and stay Christians (or any religion maybe) on the basis of hearing god tell them things when, in fact, it is things bubbling into consciousness from the sub-conscious part of the brain. in which case, my thought that there are no logical ways to believe in the Christian god may well be right.

Until the day comes when a Christian comes of with a logical reason to accept that there is a god, though, I will remain a non-believer. Come to think, I'd also like to know why this so-called god stays so quiet that he is completely untraceable.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2013, 10:14:24 AM »
The Bible allows slavery PH where do you think the Americans in the south got the idea FROM? It (being slave masters) was their God given right. Slavery is not WRONG the way they read their Bible.
Yes, "the way they read their bible".  If they read it at all.   
38000 different denominations can't be wrong(in the way THEY read their Bible)
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2013, 10:49:16 AM »

Awww, what a poor little lamb he was!  "I don't WANT to own slaves, but it would be SO inconvenient for me to get rid of them all.  Why, I might have to pay wages for people to do the things they did for me, or even do it myself!!  But I will continue to feel sorry for them - and when I transfer ownership to my offspring, I will hope they continue to feel sorry for them rather than actually do anything."

Sorry, but I can't see anything especially praiseworthy in that quote.

Actually, if you review the laws at the time, it was often illegal to free slaves, or the slaves were attached to the land/estate(as in the case of George Washington)

If you want to see a person who was completely schizo about Slavery, it is Jefferson. Your "but it would be so inconvenient" comment seems to apply fully to him. He was a first class intellect, but had a financial will of jelly.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Quesi

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2013, 12:14:03 PM »
"Would any one believe that I am master of slaves by my own purchase? I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them. I will not -- I cannot justify it, however culpable my conduct. I will so far pay my devoir to Virtue, as to own the excellence and rectitude of her precepts, and to lament my want of conformity to them. I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be afforded to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we can do, is to improve it, if It happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot, and an abhorrence of Slavery. If we cannot reduce this wished-for reformation to practice, let us treat the unhappy victims with lenity. It is the furthest advancement we can make toward justice. It is a debt we owe to the purity of our religion, to show that it is at variance with that law which warrants Slavery". 

What a fascinating quote.  Thank you for sharing.  It clearly creates a portrait of a conflicted man. 




Of course slavery was eventually abolished with the help of Christians who claimed the right of freedom came from God and not men.

You know, I am always baffled when Christians speak about Christians as if you were a monolithic bunch, who all share the same values and belief systems. 

Indeed, the Quakers, (who are my very favorite Christians) led the abolitionist movement by establishing and maintaining the underground railroad.  Members of the Quaker community continue to be active today in efforts to combat human trafficking, and I have had the honor of working side by side with members of the Quaker community in these efforts. 

But not all Christians were opposed to slavery in the Americas in the 19th century.  And not all Christians are opposed to human trafficking in the 21st century.  In the 19th century, Christian proponents of slavery cited the bible as a justification for their position.  They pointed to Colossians 3:22 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord” and 1 Timothy 6:1-2 “Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.” 

Even today, many who embrace Jesus do not have a problem with human trafficking.  In Uganda, the devout practice the death penalty against those who engage in homosexual behavior, while at the same time promoting the trafficking of children as forced labor to work in the mining industry.  In Guatemala, one of the nations in the world with the highest concentration of Christians, the child sx industry is booming.  And in Detroit, Ariel Castro, who imprisoned, raped and tortured three women for more than a decade, made sure to attend church every Sunday. 

So again I ask, was slavery ever wrong?  Was it ok, in the past, but not ok now?  Is human trafficking a sin?  Can someone embrace Jesus, and still be a trafficker in human flesh and labor?  Do real Christians[1] who engage in human trafficking get to spend eternity in heaven, while atheists who fight against human trafficking are damned for all of eternity?  How does this all work? 


 1. who are just imperfect human beings

Offline Shaffy

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2013, 12:56:31 PM »
Patrick Henry thank you for sharing your ideas. You seem like a really intelligent guy. we dont get a lot of theists around here like you.  :D Thanks for your post.

-Shaffy
We humans may never figure out the truth, but I prefer trying to find it over pretending we know it.

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Offline jtk73

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2013, 02:58:27 PM »
If I meet 1,000 Christians who re unable to give me any logical reason why I should believe in their invisible god

Just to add to this a little more. 1,000 , 10,000 or even 1,000,000 Christians. This is ridiculous. A majority of Christians go on and on and on about how loving Yahweh is and how he SO, SO much wants to have a relationship with every individual human that has lived, is living or will live. Where is he?

1,000 Christians can present all of the evidence that they want of all of the above. Maybe I suddenly find their evidence that he exists convincing and start believing that he exists but until he shows his ugly mug and says "Hey there pal, I really, REALLY want a relationship with you.", why would I believe the Christians' claims of such? Where is he? I've seen it asked before numerous times. Why do Christians have to do all of his PR? Why is his only 'alleged' communication, a collection of wacky, ancient stories (that can be interpreted in countless different ways)?

So you can point to the trees or a sunset or snowflakes or whatever and say "God did this! Isn't it beautiful?! Yay God!" day in and day out - I'm still going to say EVERY TIME - "Wow. Great. So...where is he?"

I have a four year old son. I have certain things about life that I want to impart to him. I want to protect him from getting physically or emotionally hurt. I want to have a close relationship with him. Should I write a bunch of letters expressing all of the above to him and then take off and never show my face again? Maybe pop by once in a while and build a sculpture in the front yard for him to marvel at and may or may not attribute to me?

OR, and I know this sounds crazy, I stay with him and impart all the life lessons that I feel important. I protect him, or try my very hardest to protect him, from being physically or emotionally hurt. I TELL him TO HIS FACE every day how much I love him and how special he is to me.

Please don't get the wrong idea. I'm not suggesting for a second that I believe in or am on the fence about the existence of the Christian god and simply think he is a butthole. I'm trying to get you to really think about your beliefs. If I as a flawed human can & will do the above for my son - why would a god (or even just super human) that allegedly loves it's creation and desperately wants to have a relationship with it's creation not be RIGHT THERE every day interacting with in a definitive and meaningful way. It just baffles my mind. Even if the bible was cohesive, straightforward, easy to understand and not open to thousands of different interpretations, WHERE IS THE AUTHOR?

Offline wheels5894

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2013, 03:14:50 PM »
Quick answer, jtk73. Apparently, he came visiting 2,000 years ago which was a handy time when know one knew anything and there were no film cameras to record the action. Then, after a few miracles and such, he went back home knowing that everyone would read about the trip and be amazed at it and believe...

Well, its one way of looking at it. The real answer is, since there is no god, god has never talked to anyone but an itinerant preacher talked a lot 2,000 years ago and the people of the time didn't have a clue how to determine if he was anything special so they said he was anyway in a book and people have just accepted it. Until now, when we have better tools for reasoning and a better idea what counts as evidence. The result is seen in the numbers of people leaving churches these days after they were packed full just after World War II.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2013, 01:39:27 AM »
In most religious books I read it sounds like a guy wrote it.  Eternal rewards are worldly, self serving.

Not in the Hindu strains of religions. They are every bit as tight-arsed and self-flagellating Christianity. Buddhism is about as pure academic as you will get, and was started by a legendary guy who did what Jesus tells everyone to do, yet no Christian does.

Quote
In the bible, the patriarchs make sinful mistakes.  David, Abraham, Solomon,


These guys all lived in pre-afterlife times, so it didn't matter how much they cocked up.

Quote
.......the bible doesn't hide the humanity side of people,

You will recall this perfect guy/God called Jesus, who could do no wrong, and was born of a virgin.

Quote
then offers a way of salvation that has nothing to do with something a guy can earn. 

So, start robbing banks and screwing around to prove it.

Quote
There is much much more to write on this subject. 

Please do.

Quote
I haven't seen this debunked.   

Who would bother?

If I spend the time to qualify every statement that I make on this board, then I'd end up writing a book.  It's easy to grab a line someone says and shoot back a one liner opposing it, as if to score points.   
"start robbing banks and screwing around......."  What are you talking about?  Is it that you really don't understand the bible at all?  I'm ok with trying to explain it, but cynacism doesn't help. 

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2013, 02:13:09 AM »
"Would any one believe that I am master of slaves by my own purchase? I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them. I will not -- I cannot justify it, however culpable my conduct. I will so far pay my devoir to Virtue, as to own the excellence and rectitude of her precepts, and to lament my want of conformity to them. I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be afforded to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we can do, is to improve it, if It happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot, and an abhorrence of Slavery. If we cannot reduce this wished-for reformation to practice, let us treat the unhappy victims with lenity. It is the furthest advancement we can make toward justice. It is a debt we owe to the purity of our religion, to show that it is at variance with that law which warrants Slavery". 

What a fascinating quote.  Thank you for sharing.  It clearly creates a portrait of a conflicted man. 




Of course slavery was eventually abolished with the help of Christians who claimed the right of freedom came from God and not men.

You know, I am always baffled when Christians speak about Christians as if you were a monolithic bunch, who all share the same values and belief systems. 

Indeed, the Quakers, (who are my very favorite Christians) led the abolitionist movement by establishing and maintaining the underground railroad.  Members of the Quaker community continue to be active today in efforts to combat human trafficking, and I have had the honor of working side by side with members of the Quaker community in these efforts. 

But not all Christians were opposed to slavery in the Americas in the 19th century.  And not all Christians are opposed to human trafficking in the 21st century.  In the 19th century, Christian proponents of slavery cited the bible as a justification for their position.  They pointed to Colossians 3:22 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord” and 1 Timothy 6:1-2 “Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.” 

Even today, many who embrace Jesus do not have a problem with human trafficking.  In Uganda, the devout practice the death penalty against those who engage in homosexual behavior, while at the same time promoting the trafficking of children as forced labor to work in the mining industry.  In Guatemala, one of the nations in the world with the highest concentration of Christians, the child sx industry is booming.  And in Detroit, Ariel Castro, who imprisoned, raped and tortured three women for more than a decade, made sure to attend church every Sunday. 

So again I ask, was slavery ever wrong?  Was it ok, in the past, but not ok now?  Is human trafficking a sin?  Can someone embrace Jesus, and still be a trafficker in human flesh and labor?  Do real Christians[1] who engage in human trafficking get to spend eternity in heaven, while atheists who fight against human trafficking are damned for all of eternity?  How does this all work?
 1. who are just imperfect human beings
I think it was wrong.  But much of the slavery in the bible was not the black slavery of the 1700 - 1800's that we tend to think of.  Many slaves in the bible were servants.  Many people sold themselves into slavery.  Slaves in the Hebrew culture could own property, accumulate wealth, and eventually buy their way out of slavery.  This is what I've read.  I don't claim to be an expert.  So if you know something different than that, I would like to hear it. 
Of course modern day human trafficking is a sin.  Is a person "loving their neighbor" if they exploit others?  Of course not. 
I can't imagine that a real Christian would be engaging in human trafficking as we know it today.  So I can't accept your assertion that we believe that human traffickers would go to heaven. 

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2013, 02:14:57 AM »
Patrick Henry thank you for sharing your ideas. You seem like a really intelligent guy. we dont get a lot of theists around here like you.  :D Thanks for your post.

-Shaffy

Thank you!

Offline Bojan

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2013, 02:48:15 AM »
Quote
If I hadn't read the bible, then for sure creation speaks to me first.  The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator.

I really have hard time understanding how life on earth can be proof for a creator, especially a benevolent one. I mean, if we look at animal kingdom, we see a predator - prey relationship, or parasite - host. Every second countless animals die by horrible and agonizing deaths when a predator eats them. While we can dismiss many species as insignificant critters, there still many intelligent mammals with feelings, like antilopes, zebras, young elephants, who die horrible deaths when hyenas or lions tear them appart.
So, if a creation speaks about the creator, if we accept that animal kingdom has a creator, he must be sadistic torturer.
Animals are NOT just butterflies and bees buzzing around flowers. It's a horrible, neverending struggle for not beeing eaten alive on one side, and finding food on the otherside. Worms in your guts, parasites sucking your blood, and so on. Whoever owns a dog or a cat knows that Animals can feel love, fear, pain, and for sure

And what about the environment? Why volcanoes, floods, hurricanes? Why would a benevolent god create a home for us with such horrible properties? Would you build a house for your kid with death traps? You can argue that climate change and severe weather is our fault, but volcanoes, tsunamis and asteroid hits are definitely not our fault, and there was no need for a god to create planet like this for us. As he could've created animals which only eat plants.

My conclusion is that "creation" actually speaks against a benevolent god.

 

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2013, 03:22:59 AM »
If I hadn't read the bible, then for sure creation speaks to me first.  The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

Regarding complexity, are you talking about DNA's propensity to self replicate? I only ask because I wonder whether you would still be drawn to believe there is a designer and creator even if you thought life wasn't complex.

Then there's the question of what you regard as "life". Is something only living when it is animate, either by a simple sensory mechanism, a primitive nervous system, or a brain and its emergent properties? You see, you simultaneuously believe that life can exist without a body that requires animating, yet the physical complexity of the object being animated leads you to a designer.
Based on Christianity, somewhere there is a cut off point in evolution where life (human life at least) is not able to exist independently of a disembodied mind that animates the body. Basically, due to Christianity's dualism, the human mind and all its properties isn't down to evolution, but an implantation from another dimension/world/existence - a Matrix stylee plug in from heaven.
Therefore, "life", in the instance of humans, isn't complex at all if you're talking DNA, because it isn't based on physicality, but spirituality (whatever that is).
If you keep on living your life as though your purpose is to be saved and go to heaven, you are missing the heaven that you are living in right now.

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2013, 03:45:35 AM »

Awww, what a poor little lamb he was!  "I don't WANT to own slaves, but it would be SO inconvenient for me to get rid of them all.  Why, I might have to pay wages for people to do the things they did for me, or even do it myself!!  But I will continue to feel sorry for them - and when I transfer ownership to my offspring, I will hope they continue to feel sorry for them rather than actually do anything."

Sorry, but I can't see anything especially praiseworthy in that quote.

Actually, if you review the laws at the time, it was often illegal to free slaves, or the slaves were attached to the land/estate(as in the case of George Washington)

Interesting, I didn't know that.

Doesn't really alter my opinion of him though, because it then just turns one inconvenience to another, in this case of a fine or prison time to "do the right thing".  I can think of any number of ways of freeing his slaves without getting caught.  Take a trip to a Northern state with his slave, free them there, then return home and say the slave died on the trip.  He could even technically keep the person as a slave, but pay them a standard wage and treat them the same as any on-slave worker.

It is of course hard to envisage oneself into the culture and thinking of a time, but I struggle to think of a parallel today where I am strongly morally opposed to a particular law, yet still follow along with that law in every respect.  And I can point to activists like the Greenpeace Arctic protesters who have spent weeks in a Siberian jail on charges of piracy - imprisoned for doing what they believe in.  So I still find (historical) Patrick Henry's sad bleatings to be without weight.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Ivellios

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2013, 07:09:18 AM »
I think it was wrong.  But much of the slavery in the bible was not the black slavery of the 1700 - 1800's that we tend to think of.  Many slaves in the bible were servants.  Many people sold themselves into slavery.  Slaves in the Hebrew culture could own property, accumulate wealth, and eventually buy their way out of slavery.  This is what I've read.  I don't claim to be an expert.  So if you know something different than that, I would like to hear it. 
Of course modern day human trafficking is a sin.  Is a person "loving their neighbor" if they exploit others?  Of course not. 
I can't imagine that a real Christian would be engaging in human trafficking as we know it today.  So I can't accept your assertion that we believe that human traffickers would go to heaven.

If biblical slavery was just serventuide, why did God bother freeing them from the Egyptians instead of letting them buy thier freedom? After all, it's been proven that Egypt never has mass slaves, but paid laborers... not owned, but paid by the state/nation. God frees them from something that isn't that bad, but doesn't lift a finger to help those imported to the US like property whom suffered incredibly worse conditions than the jews ever experienced.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 07:15:05 AM by Ivellios »

Offline wheels5894

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #50 on: December 19, 2013, 07:18:55 AM »
I think it was wrong.  But much of the slavery in the bible was not the black slavery of the 1700 - 1800's that we tend to think of.  Many slaves in the bible were servants.  Many people sold themselves into slavery.  Slaves in the Hebrew culture could own property, accumulate wealth, and eventually buy their way out of slavery.  This is what I've read.  I don't claim to be an expert.  So if you know something different than that, I would like to hear it. 
Of course modern day human trafficking is a sin.  Is a person "loving their neighbor" if they exploit others?  Of course not. 
I can't imagine that a real Christian would be engaging in human trafficking as we know it today.  So I can't accept your assertion that we believe that human traffickers would go to heaven.
If biblical slavery was just serventuide, why did God bother freeing them from the Egyptians instead of letting them buy thier freedom? After all, it's been proven that Egypt never has mass slaves, but paid laborers... not owned, but paid by the state/nation. God frees them from something that isn't that bad, but doesn't lift a finger to help those imported to the US like property whom suffered incredibly worse conditions than the jews ever experienced.

Possibly because the Jews were never in Egypt or were released by their own god. Possibly this was a myth added to the history of a people who came together in Babylon and were sent by Cyrus to Israel and who then invented the myth to give themselves a history mirroring the sending of them to Israel by Cyrus.

"In search of Ancient Israel" Phillip Davies - a good read and very thought provoking
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline wheels5894

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #51 on: December 19, 2013, 07:22:47 AM »
Patrick, a quick recap

Where are we now in the job of showing the existence of your god.

1. We know you have an understanding within yourself that such a god exists though this is not something we can really use as the experience is a private one.

2. The, for you, the failure of prayers for others is not evidence that there is not a god but that he may have chosen not to respond for his own reasons..

Now you said you had some other reasons for believing so how about telling us what they are before we go completely off course with other very interesting but off-topic discussion.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Hatter23

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #52 on: December 19, 2013, 01:56:37 PM »
  He could even technically keep the person as a slave, but pay them a standard wage and treat them the same as any (n)on-slave worker.

I do not know in all my years of pondering this question I never thought of that. I feel a little dumb. However, when you bring up the jail time aspect, you need to remember said illegally freed slave would be returned to servitude.


It is of course hard to envisage oneself into the culture and thinking of a time, but I struggle to think of a parallel today where I am strongly morally opposed to a particular law, yet still follow along with that law in every respect.  And I can point to activists like the Greenpeace Arctic protesters who have spent weeks in a Siberian jail on charges of piracy - imprisoned for doing what they believe in.  So I still find (historical) Patrick Henry's sad bleatings to be without weight.

Actually, I can, and have been opposed to laws yet follow them. Registering for selective service. The illegality of drugs and prostitution. Hell, I was forced as a matter of my job to enforce the consequences of DOMA for two years, until such time as the state laws changed, thank reason...literally(I cannot discuss the details, please don't ask me.)



An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #53 on: December 19, 2013, 08:37:54 PM »
If I hadn't read the bible, then for sure creation speaks to me first.  The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

Regarding complexity, are you talking about DNA's propensity to self replicate? I only ask because I wonder whether you would still be drawn to believe there is a designer and creator even if you thought life wasn't complex.

Then there's the question of what you regard as "life". Is something only living when it is animate, either by a simple sensory mechanism, a primitive nervous system, or a brain and its emergent properties? You see, you simultaneuously believe that life can exist without a body that requires animating, yet the physical complexity of the object being animated leads you to a designer.
Based on Christianity, somewhere there is a cut off point in evolution where life (human life at least) is not able to exist independently of a disembodied mind that animates the body. Basically, due to Christianity's dualism, the human mind and all its properties isn't down to evolution, but an implantation from another dimension/world/existence - a Matrix stylee plug in from heaven.
Therefore, "life", in the instance of humans, isn't complex at all if you're talking DNA, because it isn't based on physicality, but spirituality (whatever that is).
Trying to understand what you're getting at.....  Yes, I was talking about things like the DNA complexity.  Yes, I would say that something is only living in our physical world when it is animate or alive by it's normal condition beating heart, blood flow, brain function etc.   I believe that we have a soul that can exist without a body.......is that what you're referring to?  But a soul can have consciousness and not physical life in this dimension.  Are you equating the "mind" to the brain in your example?  Not sure how you get to "life isn't complex......based on the physical".   Please take another stab at helping me understand your point. 

Offline Patrick Henry

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #54 on: December 19, 2013, 08:51:12 PM »
I think it was wrong.  But much of the slavery in the bible was not the black slavery of the 1700 - 1800's that we tend to think of.  Many slaves in the bible were servants.  Many people sold themselves into slavery.  Slaves in the Hebrew culture could own property, accumulate wealth, and eventually buy their way out of slavery.  This is what I've read.  I don't claim to be an expert.  So if you know something different than that, I would like to hear it. 
Of course modern day human trafficking is a sin.  Is a person "loving their neighbor" if they exploit others?  Of course not. 
I can't imagine that a real Christian would be engaging in human trafficking as we know it today.  So I can't accept your assertion that we believe that human traffickers would go to heaven.

If biblical slavery was just serventuide, why did God bother freeing them from the Egyptians instead of letting them buy thier freedom? After all, it's been proven that Egypt never has mass slaves, but paid laborers... not owned, but paid by the state/nation. God frees them from something that isn't that bad, but doesn't lift a finger to help those imported to the US like property whom suffered incredibly worse conditions than the jews ever experienced.
I'm not talking about Egyptian slavery.  Was referring to Hebrew customs.  I think that good people following their convictions, fought against slavery in the US.  Quakers are just one example of Christians who did that.  I believe that God wants to change people's hearts.  Allowing people to sin and causing pain to themselves and others.  In this case, suffering happens along the way to a changed heart, but hopefully a good outcome like the end of slavery, results. 

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #55 on: December 19, 2013, 09:02:27 PM »
"start robbing banks and screwing around......."  What are you talking about?  Is it that you really don't understand the bible at all?  I'm ok with trying to explain it, but cynacism doesn't help.

The "free gift" from Jesus is like someone paying your outstanding parking fines, and getting your car out of the pound. Modern Christians behave as if Jesus will continue to pay any consequent fines.

Being saved by grace means nothing to an atheist, who does not concede that we needed to be saved from a fictitious problem. We read in the NT that we are supposed to be perfect, like God, and give all our money to the poor, as a first step of faith.

[46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
[47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
[48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


Your idea of Grace means nothing.

Quote
I'm ok with trying to explain it, but cynacism doesn't help.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that we don't understand it.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Ivellios

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2013, 09:22:01 PM »
I think it was wrong.  But much of the slavery in the bible was not the black slavery of the 1700 - 1800's that we tend to think of.  Many slaves in the bible were servants.  Many people sold themselves into slavery.  Slaves in the Hebrew culture could own property, accumulate wealth, and eventually buy their way out of slavery.  This is what I've read.  I don't claim to be an expert.  So if you know something different than that, I would like to hear it. 
Of course modern day human trafficking is a sin.  Is a person "loving their neighbor" if they exploit others?  Of course not. 
I can't imagine that a real Christian would be engaging in human trafficking as we know it today.  So I can't accept your assertion that we believe that human traffickers would go to heaven.

I'm not talking about Egyptian slavery.  Was referring to Hebrew customs.  I think that good people following their convictions, fought against slavery in the US.  Quakers are just one example of Christians who did that.  I believe that God wants to change people's hearts.  Allowing people to sin and causing pain to themselves and others.  In this case, suffering happens along the way to a changed heart, but hopefully a good outcome like the end of slavery, results.

Bolded. You did not say, "Hebrew Slave laws as detailed by Moses in the Pentauch." If you make a generalized comment, you're including each and every instance of slavery mentioned in the bible because each and every instance is "slavery in the bible."

That being said, let me give you an example of Hebrew slavery as allowed according to the Pentauch:

Sentencing: You're a gentile, so you're my slave for life. If you were a male Jew, your max sentence would be six years and you would be released on the seventh. Female? Life. Because a man whom buys a woman slave intends to have sex with her. So the seller has to get a good "bride[1]" price, a virgin woman is at most worth 50 shekels. No hymen? Defective merchandise. After she is stoned to death, the seller is sued 300 shekels.

Family: If a man is given a wife by his master, he is supposed to mate with her. She and all children born are property of the master for life, regardless whether the man is jew or not, because... after he serves his six years, he has the option to be released. If he decides to remain married, or just wants to remain a slave, he is to declare it, and have a awl punched thru his earlobe forfitting his freedom, to remain a slave for life.

Crime & Punishment: If the wife is raped by the master, because she had no choice in it, she is not to be stoned for her sin/crime of comitting adultry against her husband, but whipped instead. Other discipline is to be done with the rod. If they get up after two days, "no harm done." If they do not get up, and the slave was a male jew within his first 6 years, master must pay medical. If that male slave dies, master must pay the slave's father. If the slave has forfit his freedom, and for females and children owned by the master: It's the master's choice/loss.

Edit: I don't ever recall reading anything about, "earning one's freedom" That sounds too Concentration camp/Jonestown 'ish.
 1. 'betrothed' is hebrew for 'layaway'
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 09:25:43 PM by Ivellios »

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Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2013, 09:22:43 PM »
Slaves in the Hebrew culture could own property, accumulate wealth, and eventually buy their way out of slavery.  This is what I've read.  I don't claim to be an expert.  So if you know something different than that, I would like to hear it.

It's a Christian romanticization, to justify Hebrew slavery. The Hebrews may have treated Hebrew slaves better than what is specified in the Bible, but western slave owners also let slaves have families and buy their way out of slavery, when they could well have, by law, done just about anything to them. The Bible says that you can kill a woman's husband, and then let her mourn for a month, and then force her to marry you.

Deuteronomy 21:10-14
When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

However, progressively, after killing her husband, if you change your mind about her, you can dump her out.

Another progressive verse, is that you get to keep the children of slaves.

Exodus 21:4
If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

Exodus 21:2
"If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.

I don't think there are any real laws to cover foreign slaves.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.