We literally cannot observe or deduce what might have come before.
You are right, we cannot observe it, but why can we not deduce what makes most sense based on what we DO know ?
You are simply assuming that you know what the cause was, and that it was God.
I do not simply assume it, i have reasons to believe the way i believe. And they were already presented here. Do you want me them to present again ?
Except you cannot possibly know, and you cannot rely on the Bible, for it only came into existence well after the beginning of the universe, either way. Furthermore, the Bible concerns itself only with the creation of Earth, not the creation of the universe;
I don't think so. When the bible says : In the beginning, God made the heavens
and the earth, i assume that with heavens was meant the universe.
Probability, the thing people who support God love to screw up in order to 'prove' that God must have done it after all.
If not God, what else do you suggest as better explanation, and why ?
First, do you realize just how bizarre it sounds to quote the odds from a physicist on a matter that either falls under chemistry or biology?
It falls under physics, principally, since it treats about the probability of the Big Bang, cosmological constant, and other things as well......
Second, where did you get this 10^220 prediction you attribute to him?
Lee Smolin (a world-class physicist and a leader in quantum gravity) estimates that if the physical constants of the universe were chosen randomly, the epistemic-probability of ending up with a world with carbon chemistry is less than one part in 10^220.
This epistemic-probability is one part in: 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 0.
Epistemic Probability: 0.0000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 1
Lee Smolin Wrote (Three Roads, p202)
It may seem fantastic to think of the universe as analogous to a biological or ecological system, but these are the best examples of the power of the processes of self organization to form a world of tremendous beauty and complexity. If this view is to be taken seriously, we should ask if there is any evidence of it. Are there any aspects of the universe and the laws that govern it that require explanation in terms of mechanisms of self organisation? We have allready discussed one piece of evidence for this, which is the anthropic observation: The apparently improbable values of the masses of the elementary particles and the strengths of the fundamental forces. One can estimate the probablilty that the constants in our standard theories of the elementary particles and cosmology would, were they chosen randomly, lead to a world with carbon chemistry. That probability is less than one part in 10^220. but without carbon chemistry the universe would be much less likely to form large numbers of stars massive enough to become black holes, and life would be very unlikely to exist. This is evidence for some mechanism of self organisation, because what we mean by self organisation is a system that moves from a more probable to a less probable configuration. So the best argument we can give that such a mechanism operated in the past must have two parts: first, that the system be structured in some way that is enormously improbable; and second, that nothing acting from the outside could have imposed that organization on the system. In the case of our universe we are taking this second part as a principle. We can satisfy both parts of the argument, and are justified in seeking mechanisms of self organisation to explain why the constants in the laws of nature have been chosen so improbably.
By all means, if you have a legitimate source for him saying it or writing it in one of his books, then present it here. But if you don't have such a source, you are parroting a hearsay 'quote'. One that sounds impressive enough, but that doesn't stand up to cross-examination.
well...it does, as shown above.
No, it is nonsense to arbitrarily exclude asking for proof merely because you declare by fiat that asking for proof will lead to nihilism. That sounds more like someone who knows that there is no actual convincing proof and is thus trying to change the terms of the debate to avoid a blatant, obvious weakness in their argument, in other words, to cop out of facing facts. There is no 'right' philosophical question, when the subject is something we cannot possibly know to begin with.
You don't know anything either through proofs, and if we don't know through proofs , our debate can end here. Human inquiry can end here. But fortuntately , there is enough people, reasonable enough, also atheists, which do not share your standpoint. If we cannot know with conclusive proofs, we can at least figure out, what standpoint makes most sense, given the knowledge we have on religious, philosophical, and scientifical ground.
Aka, "God will smite you for daring to question him, and you'll be sorry!"
I believe God asks us to believe him based on the scripture he gave us. these, and creation, are evidence enough to believe in his existence, and give him the honor he deserves, because he is God.
Come on, seriously, get around that bias in your head and actually think about this. You believe that God is all-powerful and all-knowing
The term all-powerful must be defined, to make sense. Otherwise, contradictory claims can be made, which make no sense.
, yet according to you, asking reasonable questions and looking for reasonable proof will come to naught, even though such a being would have absolutely no trouble with answering those questions and providing that proof.
Jesus has given proof of his divine nature, doing miracles, which no other human being was able to do. Why is that not enough for you ?
Oh, and because someone spent their time asking for proof instead of asking for forgiveness, they get an express ticket to hell.
We are all on the highway to hell, since we all sinned, and do not reach the perfection , a perfect God demands from us. The ones however, which do repent from their sins, and aknowledge and believe in God's son, Jesus Christ, and what he did on the cross for each of us, and his love, can receive forgiveness and forever life. Its upon you to WANT to live with God. He does not obligate anyone of us to believe in him. Believes, who wants to. But if you do reject him upon you silly demand for proofs, why do you expect him to ask you to live with him in heaven after death ? Your chance is right now, today, and during all your life time. That is more than enough.
In other words, you're 'right' because you believe you're right.
I believe i am right, because i saw Gods miracles in my life happen, and in the life of many other people. How and why should i explain these things as simple casualties ?
That's what it comes down to. Instead of actually providing examples of those miracles and fulfilled prophecies that appeared in your life, you tell people they have to go convince themselves and that you aren't going to do anything but preach at them.
I can tell you the things i experienced in my life. What will be your answer ? objections and calling it preaching. Come on, you are skeptic, not because there is a true reason to be so, but because you have already made your mind up, and whatever i present you which is not conclusive proof, you will reject. Istn't it so ?
Paul was a zealous fanatic both before and after his conversion. The only thing that 'changed' was his attitude towards Christian belief. And frankly, that's nothing special. Converts to other religions (ideologies, whatever) undergo the same attitude change as Paul did.
you reject this example, and you will reject also , if you show examples of hardcore lifetime atheists, which in the end converted , like Patrick Glynn, Anthony Flew, Alister McGrath, Dr.Mark Eastman, just to name a few.
The singularity that caused the Big Bang was not nothing.
Its funny how atheists only accept scientific evidence, when it servers their cause. When it does not, they try to distort the facts in every imaginable way.
Arno Penzias told me: "So what we find – the simplest theory – the one that the astronomers normally espouse, is a creation out of nothing, the appearance out of nothing of a universe." And in my most recent interview with Robert Jastrow, he said, "It's a curiously theological result to come out of science."
It’s "theological" because the Bible also teaches creation out of nothing (creation ex nihilo, Hebrews 11:3). I can’t stress enough, however, that it’s not the theology of any of the other world’s religions coming to us from ancient times. No other culture – Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, etc., can be said to have influenced the Hebrews in this regard. Many modern scientists have come to recognize that, in George Smoot’s words, "there is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing."
This God could not be contained by the universe. King Solomon prayed: "The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27). Obviously, the concept was very different from the picture of physical gods held by others in the ancient world: sun gods, moon gods, star gods, river gods, animal-headed gods and goddesses, etc.
What came before that singularity was not nothing. You are the only one here who is saying that the universe came from nothingness (because God willed it). So the fact that you keep saying that nothing comes from nothing is meaningless, because nobody else here buys your idea that there was nothing in the beginning except for the one thing you keep saying was there all along even though nothing was there in the first place.
So what do you suggest was there beyond our universe ? And why ?
And as for God giving permission for everything, do you not realize that this must necessarily include taking responsibility for that?
Nope. God permits you and me today, to make our own decisions. And we will be responsable for them. Not he. But the day, he thinks its your time to go, you will go. Independently if you want, or not.
That means not sending people to hell for lack of belief. Did it ever occur to you that such a being would have better things to do than to create people who he knows may (or will) not believe in him, merely so he can toss them into hell?
God's will is that all human kind might be saved, and should not go to hell. He has provided everything, and gave what was most precious to him. His son, Jesus Christ. If someone goes to hell, its because this person freely rejects Gods offer of forgiveness . Its NEVER Gods fault, when somebody ends up in hell.
Did it ever occur to you that such a being might have a real and legitimate purpose for allowing such differences in belief that doesn't involve using them as an unprovable object lesson for the dangers of not believing?
i did not understand your question.
This is just more of the same, "God loves you and wants you to find him, but you are the one who has to actually find him
what you have to do, is actually to render yourself to his love with a open heart, and let him come in to your life. But God is gentle. He does not obligate nobody to open the hearts door.
, he won't stretch out even a single finger to make it easier for you". If the only way to believe that God's existence is obvious is to be a "true seeker of the truth", then your argument is flawed; you already have to believe before you start searching,
What you need, is as the bible says, to have a open heart. If you have emotional reasons to reject God, you will not come to him, even if he proves his existence to you. The pharisees saw the miracles Jesus did, like raising people from the death. They knew that only God can do such things, which were never seen before. Despite this, they rejected him. Based on what ? On emotional, not reasonable ground. They did not like that Jesus was more successful than they were.
Oh, please. Every American should be a Christian because they have the privilege and opportunity to here, because Christians get persecuted in other countries that don't have our protections against legalized religious persecution? Do you even realize how silly an argument that is? The protections in the Constitution were put in place to protect people from being persecuted by the state for not holding to the 'right' religion, according to whoever was in charge. They were not put in place as a sop to 'allow' people to make the 'right' choice - according to you. They were put in place by wise people who understood that nobody could really have the right of it when it comes to religion, and thus it's better to allow everyone to hold their own beliefs rather than forcing anyone.
However, you have a priviledge. to express your confession of faith however you want..... that is a priviledge, that not all do have.
You do realize that most of the atheists here were originally Christians, right?
No , i did not . Why should i ?
They already tried it out. It didn't work. So what if you're the one who has it wrong?
I KNOW i don't have it wrong. Thats enough for me.
I don't believe you. You haven't bothered to actually listen to what anyone here has said to you, except to say that they're wrong and to hint at really bad things if they continue on their present course. You are so absolutely convinced that you know what's right that nothing else can possibly be valid.
You did not answer my question. Do you have a answer ? Or are you only here to critizise others beliefs , but do not have anything by yourself to offer as alternative better explanation ?
If so, what the hell is the reason you are here ? what is your goal ?
No, the scientific method is a way to progressively rule out false explanations based on the actual evidence.
Scientific evidence is neutral, and can , specially when it comes to histocial sciences, be interpreted in various forms. there are no conclusive answers, since we cannot go back in time. by nature, there will be always various explanations, depending upon someones inclination, and belief. I can interprete the blood and soft tissues found at dinossaurs escavations as evidence, these animals lived only a few thousand years back, while others believe that is no evidence for such a short timetable, and that nontheless, they must be millions of years old. So scientific evidence of historical things are alway subject of different interpretations.
It doesn't matter how close they are
I don't agree. That matters for sure.
, because they aren't the originals.
Despite this, the closer they are dated , the more it is probable they are true.
The time period which you so-conveniently skip over was also by far the most active period in Christian history, and it is then that changes in doctrine and in beliefs would have had the most effect. In other words, there is no guarantee, at all, that what came out of that period had any real resemblance to what went into it. And as far as Agrippa, Pilatus, etc, the fact that they are mentioned in the Bible does not make the Bible true.
But its one of the parts that brings the histories of the bible into a real historic scenario. The figures mentioned in the bible were not simply invented, but described people that indeed lived back then. Agrippa was one of the figures, that for a long time skeptics did not believe, he actually existed, until recent escavations proved the contrary. And so many other things, mentioned in the bible, found their confirmation only recently.
for example :http://www.biblehistory.net/Pontius_Pilate.pdf
In 1961 an Italian excavation uncovered an
inscription bearing the name Pontius Pilate. This was
first physical evidence found outside of the Bible to
confirm his existence.
The huge block of limestone which carried the
inscription was found at the city of Caesarea and is
engraved with the words:
. . . . . . S TIBERIEVM (Tiberieum)
. . [PO]NTIVS PILATVS (Pontius Pilate)
[PRA]ECTVS IVDA[EA]E (Perfect Judea)
HD video tour of the famous Herodian fortress-palace in Israel. On May 8, 2007, Prof. Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University announced that he had identified the tomb of King Herod in the fortress. In this clip: A tour of the ancient remains, including the assumed location of King Herod's tomb. More clips and photos of archaeological sites in Israel are available at www.sitesandphotos.com.http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/israel/house-of-david-inscription.html
It was a victory stele erected by an Aramaean king north of Israel. The inscription contains an Aramaic writing commemorating his victory over Israel. The author is most likely Hazael or his son, Ben Hadad II or III, who were kings of Damascus, and enemies of the kingdom of Israel. The stele was discovered at Tel Dan, previously named Tell el-Qadi, a mound where a city once stood at the northern tip of Israel.http://www.idscience.org/
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
House of David Inscription, Biblical Archaeology
1 Kings 2:11
- And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
Archaeological Confirmations of Nehemiah (Part 1 of 2)
July 8th, 2009
The Book of Nehemiah recounts the story of the return of the Jews to Jerusalem in 445-444 BC from their exile in Babylon. Nehemiah recounts in detail how Ataxerxes, the Babylonian Emperor, issued orders that allowed them to reoccupy and rebuild the city and its walls. Skeptics have long dismissed the story as later day propaganda made up by the Jewish exiles in Babylon.
In November of 2007 a team of Israeli archaeologists led by Eilat Mazar announced that they had discovered Nehemiah’s Wall. Predictably the initial reaction of critics was that, “the evidence did not support the claim.” However, as this research continues the critics have been silenced because the level of correspondence between the descriptions in the Bible and the materials uncovered by the archaeologists has been astounding.
there is much more. Archaeological evidence is overwhelming, confirming the events and places described in the bible. http://www.idscience.org/page/2/
Biblical critics often claim that the New Testament has been changed over its 2000 year history. Some argue that these changes have been dramatic. Numerous popular books allege that these modifications have been done to perpetrate a variety hoaxes on a gullible humanity, ranging from the claim that Jesus never existed to claims that he was married and had children. No one has yet claimed that this material also conceals the fact that Jesus couldn’t get a date and surfed badly; however, my study of these claims is not exhaustive.
Over the years the assertion that the Bible has been altered over time has become increasingly difficult to maintain as researchers have located and authenticated older and older manuscripts and Biblical fragments. The oldest Biblical manuscript fragments now date to at least 125 AD and possibly as early as 65 AD. So the window of opportunity for Scriptural alteration has shrunken steadily. In reality even this truncated period of time when Scripture could have been altered is no longer tenable because copies of the Bible are not the only source of Scripture. As it turns out there are approximately 100,000 surviving letters and manuscripts from the first and second centuries which quote Scriptural passages and many of these surviving documents contain lengthy quotations.
A survey of these extra Biblical sources reveals that a staggering 98% of the passages in the New Testament can be found repeated in these documents by the second century AD. A good part of these sections of Scripture come to us from the first century. For example, Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch and Clement, the Bishop of Rome (whom Paul probably mentioned in Philippians 4:3), quoted passages in their writings. Some of these letters can be dated as early as the 70’s AD.
Given this mountain of evidence, the claim that the Scripture we have today is different from the original is not credible. Persons making such claims simply are not aware of the mountain of evidence supporting the continuity of the Bible.
“The Signature of God”, by Grant Jeffery, Frontier Research, Ontario, Canada, 2002.
And as for Christians dying for their faith, this is nothing new. Every faith that has ever existed has had people willing to die for it. Every faith that has ever existed has spread out; the only reason Christianity was more successful is because it tended to incorporate stuff from other religions into itself, thus giving people a reason to 'convert' without changing their actual beliefs that much.
did you not assert that you are are a true seeker of the truth ? have you read the link i posted ? if you read it, you would not insist with such a flawed argument.
You do realize that Christian Biblical scholars have explicitly stated that there are differences
In the case of the qumran rolls of the dead sea, the differences in the book of jesaja are exactly 3 words !!!! That is barely to non. If considering that the comparison was made between books, written at 1100 years of distance. Thats quit remarably. Your skepticism is entirely unjustified.
, and further, that some of the initial differences have been ironed out by scribes for various reasons, right? The fact that you say that there is "no difference" is patently ridiculous, because those scrolls from the Library of Congress link were not written in Greek.
Do you know the bible ? than you should have observed , that i was writing about the book of jesaja, which makes part of the old testament.
In fact, those are some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which refer to the Old Testament, not the New Testament; furthermore, they were not found until a few decades ago, yet you claim that there is no difference between them and later copies?
exactly, there is no difference between them, and copies of the 10th century AD.
And leaving that aside, we aren't talking about the Old Testament, we're talking about the New Testament.
So why should the old testament be trustworthy, and the new testament not ?
How many times do I have to say this? You can't just pull out someone else's argument like you've been doing and expect it to be convincing.
Why not ?
If you are not even willing to go to the effort to put things into your own words
I am doing it the most part of my answers. Why do you not aknowledge this ? And even if some questions i do answer with external sources, why should these be dismissed ? only because they are not my personal arguments ? I don't see your point, really.....
, showing that you've comprehended them, why should anyone else go to the effort to accept that you know what you're talking about?
i comprehend them, and they do reflect my standpoint.
And as for your quoted "Aunt Sally" argument, we aren't talking about Aunt Sally comparing the words that she herself wrote. We're talking about her great, great, great * X grandchildren, centuries and centuries later, comparing the oldest surviving copies of her writings and trying to figure out what the originals said, with the added handicap that lots of other people thought they could improve her recipes, and so there was a big fight over who actually had the right of it that was decided by a committee of her descendants; we have nothing from before the committee decided what was right. That is why you cannot simply quote other people's words, because people who do read those words will catch the flaws in them, that you might have seen if you'd bothered to go over what they were saying instead of just copying it.
The example which i brought shows how silly your objection is. Once again, you do not a favour to yourself, making objections which are not honest.
Who told you i have not done that ?
You did. Every time you pull out that "from nothing comes nothing" statement, every time you say it's Christianity or nihilism, every time you quote someone not to consider their argument, but to try to prove it wrong, you say quite clearly to everyone here that you not haven't actually looked at the argument from both sides.
Where is YOUR argument ? You have elegantly avoided to answer my question. I suspect you take out of your hat that wonderful " we don't know yet " answer. How convenient.
If that is your answer, how about first make your mind up, and then argue with who thinks that has a answer, instead only to critizise others ? In the end, if you " don't know yet", neither
you have to present anything valuable to others.