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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: wheels5894 on December 15, 2013, 03:48:34 PM

Title: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on December 15, 2013, 03:48:34 PM
So, Patrick Henry, here's a new thread so you can show us what there is that could lead us to believe that there is not only a really existing god but also that we should all believe in him.

As atheists, obviously we are not believers and we can't see any evidence that is changing our views. one of the problems we have with this topic is the nature of evidence that counts. Some examples.

1. Even if a few hundred people said that posting a £($) 10  note through a particular letter box would result in me getting £($) 1,000 back next day, would I do it? Certainly not. I'd be asking for information about what was going on, how it worked etc. I certainly wouldn't take the word of someone I didn't know.

2. Supposing a person came up to me and said that she was sure, because she saw it in here head, that if I buy a lottery ticket with this list of numbers I will win a huge prize. I wouldn't do it - can you see why Patrick Henry?

So, I am not looking here for proofs like we get in mathematics nor even supported theories like the theory of evolution. I am looking for the equivalent of an argument that would get me investing £($) 1,000 in a business that was just starting up say.

Have a go...
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 16, 2013, 12:39:12 AM
So, Patrick Henry, here's a new thread so you can show us what there is that could lead us to believe that there is not only a really existing god but also that we should all believe in him.

As atheists, obviously we are not believers and we can't see any evidence that is changing our views. one of the problems we have with this topic is the nature of evidence that counts. Some examples.

1. Even if a few hundred people said that posting a £($) 10  note through a particular letter box would result in me getting £($) 1,000 back next day, would I do it? Certainly not. I'd be asking for information about what was going on, how it worked etc. I certainly wouldn't take the word of someone I didn't know.

2. Supposing a person came up to me and said that she was sure, because she saw it in here head, that if I buy a lottery ticket with this list of numbers I will win a huge prize. I wouldn't do it - can you see why Patrick Henry?

So, I am not looking here for proofs like we get in mathematics nor even supported theories like the theory of evolution. I am looking for the equivalent of an argument that would get me investing £($) 1,000 in a business that was just starting up say.

Have a go...

Well I have to say first of all that I agree with you in your example.  I would not fall for a claim like that because it seems like it is self serving in such a way that it could be unethical.  In other words, if the business model didn't serve a good overall purpose, then by it's nature it could be motivated by purely selfish desire, and thus, something to distrust.  It could be either a scam on me or someone else. 
That is one of the things actually that has drawn me to Christianity.  The faith if practiced correctly, is not self serving at all.  It is self giving.

I see the evidence for God vs no God as scales with weights stacking on on one side or the other.  And the scales tip to the side of God in a big way.  It is a multi-dimensional stacking of weight, as God meets not only the physical criteria, but the emotional, spiritual, psychological, and relational needs that human beings have.  It's not that I ignore science or the physical realm for proof. But I believe if we rely only on science and the physical world, I think we miss Him completely.

So in order to understand my points for belief in God, you would first have to accept something that I believe is true.  That mankind is made up of more than just the physical.  We have other dimensions to us.  Love, music, art, self sacrifice, laughter, sadness, and all of these expressions (and more) tell me that we are more than just tangible.  We have qualities like higher level thinking and a consciousness that causes us to ask why am I here?  Where did I come from?  Where am I going? 
Observations like this leads me to believe that we are more than just evolved beasts.  That we are not random chance beings whose ancestors crawled out of a primordial soup and eventually become man.  I don't see the evolutionary reason or even the possibility of evolution "needing to" create those intangible qualities (as if evolution itself had a brain and a motive).  But I won't dwell on evolution because in my mind evolution isn't really the main contest to the agrument against belief in God.  But it is a good talking point since it is thrown around so much. 

So that is the backdrop to my faith and I am drawn to faith in God also for these particular reasons.  Sorry that some of these are not "evidence" that you would probably like to read about.  But they are my reasons for belief:
1. I see evidence of good and evil
2. I have reason to believe in the authenticity of the bible
3. The bible also admits the problem of good and evil
4. The bible states that the ability for good and evil exists in people.  Which I see evidence of. 
5. The bible states that mankind needs to be taught what good and evil are.  Otherwise, if left to their own devices, man will deviate into a place where he hurts and destroys himself and others around him. I see evidence of this throughout history and in today's world. But ultimately a society without God's rules for living written in their hearts, will decay.  Therefore God in the bible shows us that we are lost without Him. 
6. Other religions are self serving in that they try to control their followers.  If practiced correctly, Christianity allows people to choose.  As Joshua said "choose for yourself this day whom you will serve".
Jesus said "behold I stand at the door and knock, if any one opens the door I will come into Him and dwell".
7. There is a law of nature that says all sin must be paid for with a price.  Similar to the first law of thermodynamics in physics, there is a spiritual law in a sense that we can see manifest itself here in the natural realm.  If people steal, lie, covet, murder, there is a price to be paid, by someone.  Either the victim or the perpetrator pays the price of the activity. 
8. Christ came to pay the price for the sins of the world.  There is a price to be paid for the sin of the world that leads to decay of society and death.  Jesus came to pay that price.  This is not self serving or controlling.  It is a free gift for all who will believe.
9.  The offer of salvation being a free gift through faith, is not something that I see men who wrote books in the bible at different points in time, could have come up with on their own, without collaboration.  It is not self serving especially when considering the time and culture in which they lived. 
10.  Christ had a huge impact on the world.  The world's calendar for example is based on His birth. Major holidays around His birth and resurrection. 
11.  Men who knew Him where martyred and persecuted because of their faith in Him.   It makes no sense to go to your grave in an ugly painful way for something you weren't sure was true.  I could maybe understand if these guys never knew Him and fell for a lie passed down through the generations.  This was not the case for Peter, Steven, Paul, James, and many others. They knew Christ.     
12.  I have had sin in my own life and Christ has changed me.  My belief in Him has caused me to love God for the free gift of salvation that He has given me. This in turn gives me a desire to avoid sin and things that lead to sin.  Because of a love for God. 
13.  Christianity, if practiced correctly, works for human flourishing.  It works for individuals and society.  A correct form of Christianity that I have seen in action, has been proven to work well. 
14. I have reconciled within myself that a good God can allow suffering
15. I have reconciled within myself that a loving God can send people to hell

I have more reasons to give and could get into the details of each point and more if you'd like. 
I hope it made sense.  If not, I'll try to explain in better detail.
 
 Thanks.
- Patrick Henry
 
   
 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 16, 2013, 01:11:43 AM
Hooray! A theist who knows how to type and who doesn't assume that it only takes thirty words to say it all. Very refreshing.

Wheels, do you mind if I get in on this or would you prefer this be just between the two of you? I don't want to step on your toes.

And by the way, if you'll send me $10, I can turn it into $1000 overnight  ;D
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Astreja on December 16, 2013, 01:34:21 AM
I have a question that has bothered Me for many years, Patrick, and would like to hear your views on it.

In Christianity, why is salvation so closely linked to belief?  I find it strange that a conscientious individual who cannot muster faith could be in danger of hell, while someone who professes faith but does not act upon it essentially gets a free pass.  (I understand that there are denominational differences here, losing salvation versus "once saved, always saved," so this may not apply to your specific beliefs.)
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 16, 2013, 04:12:19 AM
I have a question that has bothered Me for many years, Patrick, and would like to hear your views on it.

In Christianity, why is salvation so closely linked to belief?  I find it strange that a conscientious individual who cannot muster faith could be in danger of hell, while someone who professes faith but does not act upon it essentially gets a free pass.  (I understand that there are denominational differences here, losing salvation versus "once saved, always saved," so this may not apply to your specific beliefs.)

]That is a great question.  I think salvation is linked with faith or belief, because it takes away our ability to earn it. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 says:
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.


It is important that Christ be understood as the only way to salvation.  His finished work on the cross atones for your sins if you believe in Him.  Belief implies something though.  Passive belief isn't really belief is it?  I can say that I believe in something but if I don't act on it, then it shows what I really believe.  So it is with belief in Christ.  If you really don't believe then you will not live according to God's word. The confusion comes in when people falsely think that they have to live a perfect sinless life in order to gain God's favor.  What God really wants is your heart.  If you have even a faint belief then you will seek God through prayer and and even stronger belief will earnestly ask Him to grow your faith.  I think that a sincere prayer like that generally comes from the heart of someone who is saved.  They may not have a lot of faith, but Jesus said you only need faith the size of a mustard seed.  I have observed this.  That God calls people, they respond then He responds and grows their faith in Him.   In your example.......what does a conscientious individual act like?  I mean does this person care about the story of Christ and salvation through Him?  Does this person generally believe but isn't sure because there isn't enough evidence?  Just wondering.  I think it depends upon what you mean.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Anfauglir on December 16, 2013, 04:55:44 AM
Bookmark.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on December 16, 2013, 06:08:19 AM
Thanks for an interesting post, Patrick.

I'd have to start by saying that I can't really accept you original proposition that mankind is made up of more that the physical. It might be true, but we have no way of knowing it. The things you list to support your view seem to be abstract concepts but we can't imply from such concepts the separate existence of that concept. Take love - we all understand it to some extent but we we can observe and experience are all physical things, from hormones rushing round the body to the kind and helpful actions of people. In fact, love only exists where there are people doing 'loving'. There is no an object out there, separate from people, that we could call love.

Really, we ought not to get bogged down in evolution, but the evidence that we are part of the long chain of evolved creatures is amazingly strong and I think we have to accept that it describes our own evolution too. Our brain have just evolved over the long time-scales and, interestingly, our brains seem to have grown in the period after man discovered cooking - the way of making more energy available from the food. At any rate, explaining how man got here without having evolved is going to be a tough job but one that has to be left for another thread.

To your numbered points I would say -

1. Yes, but these are abstract qualities, like love, which only exist within people These are descriptions of how we see another person's actions and nothing more.
2. Please, start a thread to discuss this. Of course, authenticity is not equal to being true. It is the authentic work of the writers and redactors and contains the things they thought but that doesn't mean it is true.
3. So - we don't need to the bible to see good and evil.
4. Again, we hardly need the bible to tell us that!
5. Really - we need bible morals to run a decent society? the morals that permit slaves and the death penalty for crimes such as homosexuality, and even arguing with a priest? You might like to live in a hierarchy (rule of priests) because that's the sort of rule the bible ends up with as part of its morals.
6. Oh, so practiced 'correctly' the religion doesn't try and control its followers. Who defines 'correctly'?
7. I wouldn't compare the Law of Thermodynamics with a suppose law of nature about sin. The former is tried and tested but where is the evidence that nature has such a law at all?
8. Well that's what the gospels say but it hardly adds the evidence for the existence of any god as such.
9.  No? Paul, who never met Jesus cam up with the idea of the new Adam and Paul wasn't interested at all in  the physical Jesus and his actions at all. Maybe, using the OT, working this sort of stuff out is that hard.
10. ....and... care to comment on the days of the week we use in the English speaking world. They are theistic but hardly Christian. Meanwhile what sort of impact do you suppose would happen if the most powerful emperors enforce Christianity on there subjects. The pope sis this in his lands and, certainly in the Uk there were laws at various times prescribing punishment for not attending church. Now that all these law have gone, which way are people voting with their feet? Not for churches anyway.
11. I would love to think that but look at the cults in recent years who have committed suicide on the basis of the cult leader. Even look at the Muslims who carry suicide bombs. All these people are sure they are dying for the right cause but it is probably not true.
12. I'm pleased you have had such a good result for your belief. Yet the absence of belief can have the same effect. Many atheists will tell you that knowing that this life is all there is concentrates the mind on making the best we can in the time we have.

Really, none of the above argues for the existence of a god though they might bolster the evidence if there were some strong evidence for god.

So far as suffering and evil is concerned, even if you have reconciled yourself to accepting them, don't forget Epicurius
Quote
Epicurus [341–270 B.C.] Greek philosopher:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Quesi on December 16, 2013, 08:19:08 AM
Thank you Patrick Henry, for bringing up such a coherent and comprehensive set of issues.

I am also very interested in the issues of "good" and "evil" and ethnics and morality. 

I pulled out some of the bullet points that posted, relating to the topic. 

........

3. The bible also admits the problem of good and evil
4. The bible states that the ability for good and evil exists in people.  Which I see evidence of. 
5. The bible states that mankind needs to be taught what good and evil are.  Otherwise, if left to their own devices, man will deviate into a place where he hurts and destroys himself and others around him. I see evidence of this throughout history and in today's world. But ultimately a society without God's rules for living written in their hearts, will decay.  Therefore God in the bible shows us that we are lost without Him. 
6. Other religions are self serving in that they try to control their followers.  If practiced correctly, Christianity allows people to choose.  As Joshua said "choose for yourself this day whom you will serve".
Jesus said "behold I stand at the door and knock, if any one opens the door I will come into Him and dwell".
7. There is a law of nature that says all sin must be paid for with a price.  Similar to the first law of thermodynamics in physics, there is a spiritual law in a sense that we can see manifest itself here in the natural realm.  If people steal, lie, covet, murder, there is a price to be paid, by someone.  Either the victim or the perpetrator pays the price of the activity. 
....................

 Thanks.
- Patrick Henry
 
 

Now please forgive me if this question strays too far from the OP, but I'm really feeling compelled to ask.  You have chosen the screen name of a famous leader and orator, who helped shape a revolution. 

He was also a slave owner.

There are few acts that I find more morally reprehensible than slavery.  This is a man, who made cash profits to buy material goods with the labor of human beings who were kidnapped from their homes, separated from their families, beaten, raped, and forced into servitude. 

There is slavery in the bible, of course. 

Is there a specific time-frame, during which slavery was morally acceptable? And if so, is there something in the bible to indicate when slavery ceases to be ok?  Or is it still morally acceptable? 

Was it ever a sin?  And if so, is it just one of those random sins that god forgives easily, like using the lord's name in vain or working on a Sunday or wearing clothes made out of a variety of fabrics? 

I have heard Christians claim that once they really accept Jesus into their lives, they just don't sin anymore.  Or don't sin as much.  Or maybe they just really feel genuinely bad when they sin.  I'm not absolutely sure. 

Patrick Henry was clearly a real Christian, who embraced Jesus.  He let Jesus into his heart.  How did Jesus let him lead a life in which he valued his own accumulation of material possessions so much that he was willing to destroy the lives of so many other human beings? 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: jdawg70 on December 16, 2013, 02:38:44 PM
That is a great question.  I think salvation is linked with faith or belief, because it takes away our ability to earn it. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 says:
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

I confess that I find the idea of earning a gift to be rather strange.  Perhaps we don't agree with what the term 'gift' means.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Astreja on December 17, 2013, 01:38:47 AM
In your example.......what does a conscientious individual act like?  I mean does this person care about the story of Christ and salvation through Him?  Does this person generally believe but isn't sure because there isn't enough evidence?  Just wondering.  I think it depends upon what you mean.

By 'conscientious' I mean 'tries to live a good life and be an asset to the community.'

I've always liked Matthew 25:35-40 and tried to put it into practice, but I've never believed in salvation, substitutionary atonement or Original Sin and am highly skeptical that there ever was a historical Jesus.  If belief is the touchstone, I'm out of luck because I seem to be congenitally incapable of suspending disbelief for more than a couple of seconds -- And that only in a tentative, even tongue-in-cheek way.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on December 17, 2013, 01:54:59 AM
Good on you, Patrick Henry, for taking your responses seriously. Hang in there, and please don't go all "we have to ignore all of biology and geology but there are these abstract concepts in theoretical physics that show god" on us..... like our friend skeptic.

And you have given us some ways to tell that there is a god, but how do we know that love and so forth come from your particular god? People love one another in every culture known, no matter what religion they believe. And as long as we are on the subject, US atheists stay married as long as (and sometimes longer than) US Christians. How could that be if god-belief influences love and commitment?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 17, 2013, 02:12:01 AM

Now please forgive me if this question strays too far from the OP, but I'm really feeling compelled to ask.  You have chosen the screen name of a famous leader and orator, who helped shape a revolution. 

He was also a slave owner.

There are few acts that I find more morally reprehensible than slavery.  This is a man, who made cash profits to buy material goods with the labor of human beings who were kidnapped from their homes, separated from their families, beaten, raped, and forced into servitude.   


Patrick Henry was clearly a real Christian, who embraced Jesus.  He let Jesus into his heart.  How did Jesus let him lead a life in which he valued his own accumulation of material possessions so much that he was willing to destroy the lives of so many other human beings?

I like Patrick Henry for his patriotism and oratory skills and that he was a Christian.  A perfect man, he was not.  But his imperfections do not disqualify every good thing about him (from a human standpoint).  A man can be wise, brave, skilled in many ways and still make mistakes.  Having said that, you might like to know that he was a man in conflict.  He didn't like slavery and admitted that it wasn't conducive to the practice of Christianity or freedom.   
Here is a quote from him:
"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". 
Of course slavery was eventually abolished with the help of Christians who claimed the right of freedom came from God and not men. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Anfauglir on December 17, 2013, 07:33:35 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". 

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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on December 17, 2013, 07:35:42 AM
he probably prayed for his slaves - which was the least he could do!
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on December 17, 2013, 07:48:01 AM
He could be worse - he could've sworn...
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on December 17, 2013, 08:23:06 AM
  I don't see the evolutionary reason or even the possibility of evolution "needing to" create those intangible qualities

I do.

Once you get consciousness, it forms a sense of self, which you might notice is the cause of selfishness, which is what the more advanced religions attempt to combat as a virtue. However, "self" is used as an important motivator to stay alive, along with its other abilities, to experience pain, excitement, color, smell, and form a cohesive outlook for the animal to make sense of what it is doing. Since self is a motivator to stay alive, natural selection will favour it, if it has this tool. We really don't have any other models within the animal kingdom to judge whether you can make a complex animal, without a sense of self and consciousness. The most likely candidates are solitary insects and spiders. They most likely have no sense of self, but survive, instead, by complex ancient programming. To make a more intelligent animal, it probably becomes increasingly more difficult to keep programming "instincts" into the animal. I'm somewhat in awe of the way a spider can create a web, but more curious is the way a bird knows how to make a nest, without being taught, and then fly off to Indonesia, for no apparent reason.

Spiders have been doing their thing for 400 million years, so there has been time for this complex behaviour to evolve. With the power of intelligence, a human could learn to make a web in a few days. If you try to program absolutely every action into an animal, using brute force, it takes a very long time. Consequently, insects and spiders have a range of behaviours that you might think are anthropomorphic, or indicative of consciousness. You can see a Wolf Spider carrying spiderlings on its back. This action looks like an affectionate mother. Obviously this evolved habit could have taken 20 million years to evolve, so it's not affection at all.

After consciousness evolves as a representation of external inputs, I could (experimentally) say that an animal acts in more intelligent ways, but I don't think that's correct, because some larger mammals seem to behave dumber than bees. What consciousness could do, is speed up evolution in 2 ways: (1) a more intelligent brain can adapt FASTER to a faster changing body, and (2) the animal can start to design itself, by aesthetic. This speeds up the process even more, which requires a better brain to cope with the change.

Because mammals (and other large animals) have a slow reproductive rate, they need to compensate for a slowed-down evolution, by using their brains. Most mammals and birds select mates based on aesthetic. The female sits around, waiting for perfect-looking males to have sex with her. She rejects the weak-looking males. This isn't natural selection any more. It's intelligent design, by art appreciation. This explains birds of paradise very well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Sj-UdjqlFw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7QZnwKqopo

Notice how to evolve themselves, they had to have an appreciation for art and drama.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Quesi on December 17, 2013, 08:36:26 AM
I have written a response, but for some reason, I get an error message when I try to post it. And it is not as long as other stuff I've posted.   Contacting the mods, and hope to respond later. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Graybeard on December 17, 2013, 09:26:06 AM


So that is the backdrop to my faith and I am drawn to faith in God also for these particular reasons.  Sorry that some of these are not "evidence" that you would probably like to read about.  But they are my reasons for belief:
1. I see evidence of good and evil[...]

15. I have reconciled within myself that a loving God can send people to hell
I don't think anyone is surprised by what you say, although it is likely that they will not agree with you that any of the above, in any way, points to a supernatural solution.

The essence of a, for want of a better word, delusion, is observing something correctly, but drawing the wrong conclusion.

In all you points, you have assumed a god (and face it, it could be any god at all) and attributed to him everything that you have seen.

You will know that the weather system of the world is random and driven by the Sun - you would not think of attributing this to a god - the addition of any god would be superfluous.

The same is for the universe: we know its history from less than 0.000000000000000001 secs to the present and there is no need for a god to explain any of it.

We also know why people commit crime and why some behaviours are disapproved of - there is no need for a god to explain anything.

We have more than enough evidence to show the age of the earth - there is no need for a god to explain anything.

We have no evidence of heaven, or hell or any other invention of the human mind. Souls are imaginary - there is no need for a god to explain anything.

There are some things we do not know. However, not knowing something cannot be used as proof there is a god of some sort.

Your god was the god of a Bronze Age Mediterranean tribe. He was no more important that the god of the tribes that lived around. It was just that stories about him lasted longer than most but are no more accurate than those of other gods.

As is often said, there are gods that you do not believe in. Why not? When you understand that you will understand your own god.



Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on December 17, 2013, 09:57:24 AM
I have some sympathy with Patrick here. I think the think is that those who choose a religion, or those who are brought up in one, continue with the religion for a variety of reasons of which sound logic and hard evidence are not a part. For starters, being part of a group is always a good thing so if one is a member of a church that affords one a warm welcome at each meeting there's incentive already to continue to believe.

Then there's the  fact that people maybe think about a god as they think about love. These things are intangible yet we feel they are right. If our brain is working in the right way it will encourage us to feel disposed to either, or both, Then, in church and at meetings, people will be discussing the religion in a very emotional way - Jesus' suffering, god suffering, hell - all things that get the emotions going and encourage belief.

So when one comes to defend the religion in a place like this, where, instead of feelings and emotions, we seek hard evidence for everything it must come really hard. At church people hear the gospel read and of course it sounds real. We nasty types try to knock holes in it which is quite unlike that which happens in church so it comes hard to people.

Now, Patrick, let's put it to you like this. Here we look for the sort of evidence that you would accept in any other matter of your life except religion. You wouldn't buy a washing machine from anyone without checking to make sure the place is reputable and it is likely that the seller is really sell the right thing and not passing on stolen property. If you get an email from the bank wanting to check your security details, I hope you check carefully before typing your security codes into a fake site. The point is that you don't just accept someone's word for something you check it out for yourself.

So here's the point - why do you apply one set of standards of proof to most areas of your life (or did you send that nice man in Nigeria the money to get the $6 million transferred to you?) whereas you have a completely different standard of evidence for religion. The principle source of information about Christianity is the bible yet this has no first hand accounts of anything and we don't even know the names of the authors.We have passages where Jesus claims the asking god in prayer for something will yield and answer but even you must know that doesn't work. If prayer doesn't work, how can you even think that there might be an afterlife.

I'd love to know or even be part of your religion if it has answers to this sort of problem - the fact the prayer has no effect - but things like, 'it's a mystery' or 'well god's will is not the same as man's' won't cut it.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 17, 2013, 09:46:09 PM

Now please forgive me if this question strays too far from the OP, but I'm really feeling compelled to ask.  You have chosen the screen name of a famous leader and orator, who helped shape a revolution. 

He was also a slave owner.

There are few acts that I find more morally reprehensible than slavery.  This is a man, who made cash profits to buy material goods with the labor of human beings who were kidnapped from their homes, separated from their families, beaten, raped, and forced into servitude.   


Patrick Henry was clearly a real Christian, who embraced Jesus.  He let Jesus into his heart.  How did Jesus let him lead a life in which he valued his own accumulation of material possessions so much that he was willing to destroy the lives of so many other human beings?

I like Patrick Henry for his patriotism and oratory skills and that he was a Christian.  A perfect man, he was not.  But his imperfections do not disqualify every good thing about him (from a human standpoint).  A man can be wise, brave, skilled in many ways and still make mistakes.  Having said that, you might like to know that he was a man in conflict.  He didn't like slavery and admitted that it wasn't conducive to the practice of Christianity or freedom.   
Here is a quote from him:
"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". 
Of course slavery was eventually abolished with the help of Christians who claimed the right of freedom came from God and not men.
The Bible loving south hardly thought giving up slavery was a good option,they fought a war over what they thought was a GOD given right of slave ownership. care to explain?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on December 17, 2013, 10:16:43 PM
Give me liberty or give me.... some other people's liberty!
--Patrick Henry 

Doesn't quite have the patriotic bumper slogan ring to it.

Muslims also used the Patrick Henry excuse: "Yeah we admit our religion never condemned slavery, but we think it is bad and maybe other people should not do it, but we are keeping our own slaves because......mumble mumble".

We have also gotten folks here on this discussion board who try to argue that slavery is not really that bad, especially if done according to bible principles.[1] Strangely,  none of these people has yet to take me up on my kind offer to enslave them and their children. I will treat them according to bible principles, of course.

Now that I think about it, I think I will start my atheist book with a chapter on how no ancient religious text condemned slavery. It took modern secular laws to do that. God approves of enslavement of human beings, because he never corrected anyone on the subject. People of every major religion have found ways to justify and even promote slavery. Every mom or dad sold away from their children, every whipping, every rape, every broken spirit was applauded by god.  Right?

Or people don't really give a sh!t about god when it comes to doing what they really want to do. Because, maybe deep down they realize that god does not exist....
 1. Like, you can beat them all you want as long as they can get up after two days....
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 17, 2013, 10:56:10 PM
I have some sympathy with Patrick here.

Then there's the  fact that people maybe think about a god as they think about love. These things are intangible yet we feel they are right.  -

 We nasty types try to knock holes in it which is quite unlike that which happens in church so it comes hard to people.

Now, Patrick, let's put it to you like this. Here we look for the sort of evidence that you would accept in any other matter of your life except religion. 

So here's the point - why do you apply one set of standards of proof to most areas of your life.......whereas you have a completely different standard of evidence for religion. The principle source of information about Christianity is the bible yet this has no first hand accounts of anything and we don't even know the names of the authors.We have passages where Jesus claims the asking god in prayer for something will yield and answer but even you must know that doesn't work. If prayer doesn't work, how can you even think that there might be an afterlife.

I'd love to know or even be part of your religion if it has answers to this sort of problem - the fact the prayer has no effect - but things like, 'it's a mystery' or 'well god's will is not the same as man's' won't cut it.
You don't need to feel sorry for me.  Believe it or not, I think about these things that you are saying all the time.  None of these are new challenges to me.
You touched on it when you said these things are intangible...........I agree that they are and that we have a very real side to us that is intangible and therefore cannot be explained merely by science.  Not knocking science, its great.  But it doesn't explain everything that I feel or see evidence of.  There, I used the word "feel", if you knew me you would know that I don't use that word often.  But the reality that thinkers need to contend with is that we:  have emotions, we feel insulted, we love, we care, we give even to those whom we don't personally know, out of compassion.  I don't see how that behavior is evolved.  You can surmise that it is, but evolution doesn't explain it.  I'm aware of the arguments for it.  But evolution doesn't explain it, imho.  Being created in the image of a loving God does explain it however.  So that is just one basis I see "evidence" for belief in special creation in the image of God. 
Prayer.  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.  And I'm not at all into televangelistic faith healing.  That stuff is disgusting.  Really, my focus on prayer is really more a connection with God than it is asking Him to do things for me, like a genie in a bottle.  People get it wrong when they do that.  None of this is the evidence that you are looking for........but, again my original belief is that you and I are more than just "stuff".  There are other dimensions to us and that physical "proof" in the way you are asking for it won't solve the problem.  But if you believe that we are more than just complex physical creatures, then the idea of God, makes sense.  Or becomes a plausible option, anyway.  If that door is opened, then we can talk about which god, why Jesus, etc.  If you reject that premise, then we stall out.  As for me, I accept it, it makes sense, it has opened the door to many more things that I never knew about, deeper understanding about human nature, love, relationships, pride, all kinds of stuff.  My life is better for it.  I see good results.  That is one thing that I think you and I can both agree on, is results.  Speaking of that I will add one thing because you brought it up.  You used the word "nasty" in terms of people giving believers a hard time on this website.  If you like proof, I say the results of authentic Christianity are that Christians don't treat people in a nasty way, even on a forum like this.  Compare that to atheism.  My experience is that atheists often get nasty and no one thinks twice about it.  I'm not complaing, I'm just pointing it out.  But I've seen it over and over for decades.  Civil discourse is an old, I'll dare say Christian practice.  Compare the two, and you get a "result" in favor of Christianity.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 17, 2013, 11:20:49 PM

Now please forgive me if this question strays too far from the OP, but I'm really feeling compelled to ask.  You have chosen the screen name of a famous leader and orator, who helped shape a revolution. 

He was also a slave owner.

There are few acts that I find more morally reprehensible than slavery.  This is a man, who made cash profits to buy material goods with the labor of human beings who were kidnapped from their homes, separated from their families, beaten, raped, and forced into servitude.   


Patrick Henry was clearly a real Christian, who embraced Jesus.  He let Jesus into his heart.  How did Jesus let him lead a life in which he valued his own accumulation of material possessions so much that he was willing to destroy the lives of so many other human beings?

I like Patrick Henry for his patriotism and oratory skills and that he was a Christian.  A perfect man, he was not.  But his imperfections do not disqualify every good thing about him (from a human standpoint).  A man can be wise, brave, skilled in many ways and still make mistakes.  Having said that, you might like to know that he was a man in conflict.  He didn't like slavery and admitted that it wasn't conducive to the practice of Christianity or freedom.   
Here is a quote from him:
"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". 
Of course slavery was eventually abolished with the help of Christians who claimed the right of freedom came from God and not men.
The Bible loving south hardly thought giving up slavery was a good option,they fought a war over what they thought was a GOD given right of slave ownership. care to explain?
I think they were wrong.  Many people have done things in the name of God and were wrong.  Because they weren't living in the Spirit and only picking and choosing the things in the bible that they liked.  Paul introduced a radical idea in the new testament.  That slaves were equal in God's eyes with the slave owner.  Ephesians 6.  This certainly had a huge impact and led to changed hearts on this issue.  Authentic Christians get this and live accordingly.  Patrick Henry got it, but I suppose that he was conflicted by his own selfish desires.  But his expressed beliefs in his writings were used as agruments to free the slaves later on.  So that was a good thing.  So Christian principles when put into practice, ultimately led to freedom for the slaves.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on December 18, 2013, 12:08:04 AM
The first country in the western hemisphere to end slavery was not the US in 1865. It was Haiti in 1804. Yes, those devil-worshipping animal-sacrificing heathen Africans were more moral on the slavery issue than the white Christians who held them in bondage for hundreds of years.

Those same white Christians fled Haiti and came to the US where they could keep on owning slaves for 60 more years. Protestant England and Catholic Canada also outlawed slavery before the US did, and it did not take a horrible war in either country.

It is pretty clear that economics plays a bigger role in who ends slavery and when than what religion people are following. Places dependent on plantation agriculture try to hang on to slavery longer than places where people work in stores and factories.

The struggle for human rights has often used religious ideas to rally and motivate people. But the oppressors never stop until the oppressed people stand up and fight.[1]

No country in history has ever sat down and peacefully decided, based on their religious beliefs, to stop doing something wrong if it was economically profitable or politically popular.

Please correct me if I am wrong.
 1. Fighting does not have to be violent. As Gandhi, MLK and many others have showed, as long as you are relentless and not afraid of consequences, you can eventually win.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 18, 2013, 12:50:41 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 18, 2013, 01:21:45 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.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 18, 2013, 01:56:31 AM
The first country in the western hemisphere to end slavery was not the US in 1865. It was Haiti in 1804. Yes, those devil-worshipping animal-sacrificing heathen Africans were more moral on the slavery issue than the white Christians who held them in bondage for hundreds of years.

Those same white Christians fled Haiti and came to the US where they could keep on owning slaves for 60 more years. Protestant England and Catholic Canada also outlawed slavery before the US did, and it did not take a horrible war in either country.

It is pretty clear that economics plays a bigger role in who ends slavery and when than what religion people are following. Places dependent on plantation agriculture try to hang on to slavery longer than places where people work in stores and factories.

The struggle for human rights has often used religious ideas to rally and motivate people. But the oppressors never stop until the oppressed people stand up and fight.[1]

No country in history has ever sat down and peacefully decided, based on their religious beliefs, to stop doing something wrong if it was economically profitable or politically popular.

Please correct me if I am wrong.
 1. Fighting does not have to be violent. As Gandhi, MLK and many others have showed, as long as you are relentless and not afraid of consequences, you can eventually win.

Well, not quite:

SLAVERY in VERMONT
The newly formed state, which broke away from New York, abolished slavery outright in its constitution, dated July 8, 1777.

The relevant section is Chapter I, subtitled "A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE STATE OF VERMONT"

I. THAT all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. Therefore, no male person, born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person, as a servant, slave or apprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-one Years, nor female, in like manner, after she arrives to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own consent, after they arrive to such age, or bound by law, for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.

http://www.flowofhistory.org/themes/american_republic/abolition_timeline.php

As Haiti goes:  The Haitian slave rebellion began, and resultant revolution ovecame the French occupation, and freedom for the slaves came sometime between 1791 - 1804.  It wasn't a "moral" decision as you depicted it.  It was a bloody revolution. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Jonny-UK on December 18, 2013, 02:01:03 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?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: cynicalviking on December 18, 2013, 02:15:42 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry 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.     
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym 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.

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?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Jonny-UK 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.
Quote
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.
 
Quote
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.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Fiji 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).
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 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 (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Jonny-UK 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?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: The Gawd 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys 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)
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Quesi 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
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Shaffy 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
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: jtk73 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?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry 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. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry 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. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry 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!
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Bojan 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.

 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia 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).
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Anfauglir 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 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
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 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.)



Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry 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. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry 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. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym 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.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios 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'
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym 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.

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on December 20, 2013, 03:03:00 AM
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.

No, when I refer to a (disembodied) "mind" I'm equating it to what you would call a soul/spirit. The brain is just the physical vehicle that houses it. I'm trying to gauge what you consider to be living regarding the physical body of a human, if it has no "soul" to animate it, because as far as I am conserned all that is left is a corpse. Also, The soul isn't subject to the physical, and therefore isn't subject to DNA....., and therefore isn't subject to this complexity you see which draws you to believe there is a designer. Were early humans and their ancestors not living because they didn't have a soul, or were they physically living without a soul?

You see, I see this as a very confusing issue. Dualism adds in this new dimension, yet it does't fit in anywhere in evolution. Suddenly, physical beings with a soul are alive due to the soul, which can exist independently of the physical body, but is the physical body still classed as alive without the soul? Evolution would tell us that, yes, physical bodies are classed as alive because the science behind it doesn't make this jump into the unevidenced assertion of dualism. You do, and I want to know where you fit this in, why you think it is needed, and why you think a consiousness, such as that possessed by humans, can't arise due to the "complex" natural process of evolution which you believe your god set up in the first place anyway?

Also, I haven't gone from "life isn't complex....based on the physical". That would be your quote mine. What I actually said was:

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).

I'm saying that if you consider humans to only be alive because they are animated by the non-physical soul, then human life isn't down to the complexity of DNA, only the physical inanimate body is. So, to paraphrase the question again, is a human body by itself living without a soul to animate it?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 20, 2013, 06:10:19 PM

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.

If you are claiming that you know the only method in which "truth" is discovered and proved, then you appear to have the same problem that you imply I have.  That you somehow have been endowed with the "truth", or at least the only method of its discovery.  Honestly now, couldn't you also have a predisposition toward atheism?  Wouldn't that in fact shape the very questions that you ask and what answers you will allow as evidence?  Might this also be a "psychological impediment to objectivity"? 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 20, 2013, 07:10:17 PM
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.

No, when I refer to a (disembodied) "mind" I'm equating it to what you would call a soul/spirit. The brain is just the physical vehicle that houses it. I'm trying to gauge what you consider to be living regarding the physical body of a human, if it has no "soul" to animate it, because as far as I am conserned all that is left is a corpse. Also, The soul isn't subject to the physical, and therefore isn't subject to DNA....., and therefore isn't subject to this complexity you see which draws you to believe there is a designer. Were early humans and their ancestors not living because they didn't have a soul, or were they physically living without a soul?

You see, I see this as a very confusing issue. Dualism adds in this new dimension, yet it does't fit in anywhere in evolution. Suddenly, physical beings with a soul are alive due to the soul, which can exist independently of the physical body, but is the physical body still classed as alive without the soul? Evolution would tell us that, yes, physical bodies are classed as alive because the science behind it doesn't make this jump into the unevidenced assertion of dualism. You do, and I want to know where you fit this in, why you think it is needed, and why you think a consiousness, such as that possessed by humans, can't arise due to the "complex" natural process of evolution which you believe your god set up in the first place anyway?

Also, I haven't gone from "life isn't complex....based on the physical". That would be your quote mine. What I actually said was:

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).

I'm saying that if you consider humans to only be alive because they are animated by the non-physical soul, then human life isn't down to the complexity of DNA, only the physical inanimate body is. So, to paraphrase the question again, is a human body by itself living without a soul to animate it?
Ok, thanks.  I'll clarify my belief for you and we can go from there.  Some of this (especially regarding animals) is my own personal belief, based on the bible and observation of life.
Life on earth with a soul and living body = Humans
Life on earth without a soul = Plants and some lower animals, reptiles, insects, etc.
Life on earth with soulish aspects = Animals that can relate to humans. Dogs, primates, dolphins, etc
Eternal life, with a soul and eventual resurrected body = Those humans accepting of Christ's attonement for sin
Eternal death, consciousness without a body, soul only = Those human souls separated from God for all eternity. 

My statement about the complexity of life was in regard to the observable life on earth, including plants, animals, humans.  Also the complexity revealed to us through science and the microscopic organisms that can be observed with modern technology. It was not a statement about the immaterial soul. 

I believe that the soul and body are joined together as long as the body is alive.  But the soul never dies. The body dies.
I do not believe that humans evolved from lower life forms
I believe in special creation as stated in the Genesis account.  That God made the body, and breathed life (soul) into Adam.
I believe that while God could have made the earth and all life in 6 literal days, I don't see the evidence that He did it that way. I consider my beliefs to be old earth, old universe, special creation by God.
 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on December 20, 2013, 08:03:46 PM
I am sitting here reading this with my two doggies. Boy are they relieved to find out that they have personality and consciousness and, if not exactly a soul, kind of a soul-lite: a "soulish quality."[1] Since dogs can't accept Jesus and therefore won't go to heaven, why did god bother to give them a "soulish quality"?

Seems like a waste of good soul material. Unless dogs, dolphins and apes got the defective or moldy souls; souls still lying around after the "sell by" dates get stuck into select non-humans. Reduce, reuse, recycle, god style.

We still are not clear on what exactly the soul is-- and how anyone knows what it is. If the soul is part of the brain, then it is physical. But if the soul is not physical, then it should not be affected by something like brain damage, aging, drug use etc. If the soul is the consciousness, then the soul gets damaged when the brain is damaged. When a person is in a coma, their soul is also in a coma, right?  The soul should stay the same all the time. So what part of the person is their soul?

Anyone read about Koko the Gorilla's conversations in sign language and tell me that only humans have a soul, ie personality and consciousness. That gorilla has more on the ball than a lot of humans I have met.  ;D
 1. Kinda like Vanilla Ice or Miley Cyrus. They don't have soul but they act sort of the way they think black people act. So they have a "soulish quality."
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on December 20, 2013, 10:26:14 PM

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.

If you are claiming that you know the only method in which "truth" is discovered and proved, then you appear to have the same problem that you imply I have.  That you somehow have been endowed with the "truth", or at least the only method of its discovery.  Honestly now, couldn't you also have a predisposition toward atheism?  Wouldn't that in fact shape the very questions that you ask and what answers you will allow as evidence?  Might this also be a "psychological impediment to objectivity"?

It MAY be an impediment, but Christ tells you to get the beam out of your own eye, prior to telling others about their splinters.  Trying to turn the argument around, does not fix the problem that the situation is not necessarily binary : atheist vs Brand X Christianity. You imply that you eliminated other religions, therefore what's left must be the true one. If all are false, the logic doesn't work.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on December 20, 2013, 10:48:31 PM

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.

If you are claiming that you know the only method in which "truth" is discovered and proved, then you appear to have the same problem that you imply I have.  That you somehow have been endowed with the "truth",

Not the same. Why? Because scientific method actually produces results. That basic.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on December 20, 2013, 10:54:26 PM
Eternal life, with a soul and eventual resurrected body = Those humans accepting of Christ's attonement for sin

There is no requirement for a soul, if a person is bodily resurrected, since the brain contains the person. Christianity seems to have those who believed in resurrection, and those who thought we would be as angels.

Quote
Eternal death, consciousness without a body, soul only = Those human souls separated from God for all eternity. 

Since you have now revealed that you are a creationist, I take it that you revere Revelation, which says people experience the "second death". This is also consistent with the book of Enoch, where souls are slain, and Matthew, which states body and soul can be destroyed in hell.

The state that you describe - a disembodied soul - is most likely a description of Ego Death, which occurs during trips on hallucinogenic drugs, like LSD, DMT, Ketamine. This is not something which is consistent with Christianity, because (a) you are supposed to burn (b) supposed to have a second death, anyway (c) Christianity never mentions eternity, because the concept was unknown to them.

Where do you get your revised version of religion from, whilst at the same time holding onto special creation?

Quote
I believe that the soul and body are joined together as long as the body is alive.  But the soul never dies. The body dies.

Soul is a Greek idea. You've just expressed that animals have sub-souls. This idea came from Aristotle. The Hebrews had Nefesh; they believed that animals (and just about everything) were animated by a life force. Greek Christians then incorporated their soul, possibly against the will of Jews, who believed in whole body resurrection. They needed whole body resurrection, for their theory to work.

Quote
I do not believe that humans evolved from lower life forms

Well, you've got a credibility problem. Jesus referred to Adam as the beginning. Christianity is incompatible with an old Earth perspective. Hindus and Buddhists can cope with it, because they believe in continual rebirth and development.

Quote
I believe in special creation as stated in the Genesis account.  That God made the body, and breathed life (soul) into Adam.

God breathed Nephesh into Adam. He had to, because he was mud. Nephesh made Adam's dust alive. Soul is something that Greeks came up with, because they didn't know about the brain. It was a long time before people knew that the heart was not the centre of thought.

Quote
I believe that while God could have made the earth and all life in 6 literal days, I don't see the evidence that He did it that way.

Correct. Therefore Jesus, a God, was incorrect to endorse a model which put Adam at the beginning of it.


EDIT: Whoops, it was Plato that came up with soul heirachy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism_%28philosophy_of_mind%29
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: magicmiles on December 21, 2013, 01:10:43 AM
wrong thread - post removed
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 21, 2013, 02:42:59 AM

There is no requirement for a soul, if a person is bodily resurrected, since the brain contains the person. Christianity seems to have those who believed in resurrection, and those who thought we would be as angels.

Since you have now revealed that you are a creationist, I take it that you revere Revelation, which says people experience the "second death". This is also consistent with the book of Enoch, where souls are slain, and Matthew, which states body and soul can be destroyed in hell.

The state that you describe - a disembodied soul - is most likely a description of Ego Death, which occurs during trips on hallucinogenic drugs, like LSD, DMT, Ketamine. This is not something which is consistent with Christianity, because (a) you are supposed to burn (b) supposed to have a second death, anyway (c) Christianity never mentions eternity, because the concept was unknown to them.

Where do you get your revised version of religion from, whilst at the same time holding onto special creation?

Soul is a Greek idea. You've just expressed that animals have sub-souls. This idea came from Aristotle. The Hebrews had Nefesh; they believed that animals (and just about everything) were animated by a life force. Greek Christians then incorporated their soul, possibly against the will of Jews, who believed in whole body resurrection. They needed whole body resurrection, for their theory to work.

Well, you've got a credibility problem. Jesus referred to Adam as the beginning. Christianity is incompatible with an old Earth perspective. Hindus and Buddhists can cope with it, because they believe in continual rebirth and development.

God breathed Nephesh into Adam. He had to, because he was mud. Nephesh made Adam's dust alive. Soul is something that Greeks came up with, because they didn't know about the brain. It was a long time before people knew that the heart was not the centre of thought.

Correct. Therefore Jesus, a God, was incorrect to endorse a model which put Adam at the beginning of it.


EDIT: Whoops, it was Plato that came up with soul heirachy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism_%28philosophy_of_mind%29
1 Corinthians 15
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
20:15  Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Daniel 12:2  Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
3. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

Job chapters 14 and 19  Though poetic, seem to indicate that Job believes in an afterlife.  Written well before Plato. 

2 Samuel 12: 22-23  King David indicated that he believed in the afterlife.  Written well before Plato.

BTW.....How is Christianity incompatible with an old earth perspective?  I realize that there are many young earth christians, but there are also old earth christians like me who believe that death was occurring prior to the garden of eden.  So old earth, but special creation of man in the garden, starting with Adam.  I don't (think) that perspective gives me a credibility problem.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on December 21, 2013, 02:58:43 AM

It MAY be an impediment, but Christ tells you to get the beam out of your own eye, prior to telling others about their splinters.  Trying to turn the argument around, does not fix the problem that the situation is not necessarily binary : atheist vs Brand X Christianity. You imply that you eliminated other religions, therefore what's left must be the true one. If all are false, the logic doesn't work.
The "beam out of your eye" lesson goes both ways though.  Who is turning the argument around?  You or me?  Even saying that "there can't be just one true religion" is a truth claim equal to "all religions are false" claim.  Everyone is making truth claims, no matter what perspective you come from.  It really does go both ways......... do you agree? 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on December 21, 2013, 09:57:34 AM
BTW.....How is Christianity incompatible with an old earth perspective?  I realize that there are many young earth christians, but there are also old earth christians like me who believe that death was occurring prior to the garden of eden.  So old earth, but special creation of man in the garden, starting with Adam.  I don't (think) that perspective gives me a credibility problem.

One Christian believes that sin, death, decay came after A&E ate the fruit.

How is Christianity incompatible with old Earth perspective? Maybe this will put it in perspective. The Flat Earth Society[1] put in thier mission statement (paraphrased) : If you believe something that contradicts the Bible, you're saying you know better than God. So you're going to spend eternity, not with God, but with the first one whom decided they knew better than Him. ie. Lucifer

There are chrisitans that believe:

old Earth, Intelligent design
old Earth, Special A&E creation
Young Flat Earth, Special Creation[2]
Young Spherical Earth, Special Creation.

To know the 'truth' we have to compare what the bible says to the evidence. The evidence points to a spherical old Earth. Comming from an All-Knowing God, this is a major blunder. Either God is a willful liar, or it was just written by ignorant people that didn't know what they were talking about. If something is 99% truth and 1% lie, it is still a lie. Someone that lies once and gets away with it, is more likely to lie again. With Genesis one riddled with so many lies, and this being the foundation of the Bible, to read any further, to put belief in anything that follows is like trying to build a house on a ruined foundation.

Do I know better than YHWH? I know he's either a liar, or made up. Who knows, maybe he lied about Heaven and Hell as well? I don't need to prove he doesn't exist, just know that it is foolish to follow someone that pushes known lies as 'truth.'
 1. uses the Bible to prove that the Earth is flat
 2. the one the Bible supports
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on December 21, 2013, 10:58:00 AM
Ivellios

You have some good point here which ought to be taken on board by Patrick. Yes, it is essential that we deal in evidence and I am certain that for everything else other than religion, Patrick sticks with proper evidence, whether buying insurance or any of the million or so things we do each day. So I think he needs to answer -

1. Why do you, Patrick, ignore the evidence that science brings from vast man hours of research and chose a timescale taken from biblical texts - texts which were never intended to give a timescale.

2. Why do you think - that's on what evidence - the bible describes the generation of the earth and its inhabitants better that science does?

3. Since you are now quoting your bible as evidence, could you start a new thread to show us the evidence that the bible is a reliable source of facts.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on December 23, 2013, 03:55:05 AM
Ok, thanks.  I'll clarify my belief for you and we can go from there.  Some of this (especially regarding animals) is my own personal belief, based on the bible and observation of life.

Why would you do that? The bible doesn't demonstrate anything regarding animals and life, it merely asserts stuff - stuff that has been shown to be wrong. Just stick with what's been observed instead of adding in this unwarranted claim to authority and you'll avoid all of this contradiction and compartmentalising.

Quote
Life on earth with a soul and living body = Humans

So the human body is living without a soul?

Quote
Life on earth without a soul = Plants and some lower animals, reptiles, insects, etc.

OK, so these animals all manage to be have a living body without a soul.
 
Quote
Life on earth with soulish aspects = Animals that can relate to humans. Dogs, primates, dolphins, etc

"Soulish"?! WTF is that? Can you not see what you're doing here - did it not spring out to you as you typed it? It's as if you are grading the notion of having a soul. You've turned something, which is a digital position, into an analogue position. Surely you either have a soul or not. If you're saying that these animals manage to exude "soulish" qualities, then it points to the idea that nature alone has the ability to evolve these qualities. Why then, do you put a halt to that and claim that for it to be a full, blown out soul, god has to stick his oar in and intervene?
You believe nature was created by god anyway, so finding it difficult to harmonise the qualities of a full soul with nature is just saying that you believe god couldn't (or wouldn't) create nature in the first place to allow for a full soul to be a product of nature. It's a very strange idea - an idea, that to me, is there to fit with what you believe, but only because you haven't thought about it properly.

Think about it:
God creates nature;
Nature includes evolution;
Evolution has the ability to create "soulish" qualities;
Evolution doesn't have the ability to create a soul;
God has to intervene in the nature he created for bodies to harbour a soul.

And he couldn't have created nature in the first place to be able to create a soul because
.....because it fits your belief system for him not to. It really is convoluted nonsense.

Quote
Eternal life, with a soul and eventual resurrected body = Those humans accepting of Christ's attonement for sin

What is the resurrected body made of? Is it physical or non-physical? If the former, how does it differ from our current body - and is it classed as alive without a soul, and if it is the latter, how does it differ from a soul?

Quote
Eternal death, consciousness without a body, soul only = Those human souls separated from God for all eternity.

Right, so it is clear from this that a soul by itself is alive. This means that humans alive now in this world are alive twice if the human body is classed as alive even without a soul, which you do as you have stated above with "living body". Why is this necessary for humans, and why don't all these other animals that don't have a soul not get the chance to have an eternal life, just because they haven't evolved enough for god to interject and stick a soul in their bodies? It's almost as if the ability to have "soul" qualities follows evolution via natural selection....

Quote
My statement about the complexity of life was in regard to the observable life on earth, including plants, animals, humans.  Also the complexity revealed to us through science and the microscopic organisms that can be observed with modern technology. It was not a statement about the immaterial soul.

This brings us back to your original statement, where you stated that the complexity of life draws you to believe there is a designer, and I pondered whether you would still be drawn to believe there was a designer even if you didn't consider life complex. From what you have said, the answer is clearly yes, because you believe that life also exists as an immaterial soul. Your only get out is to say that an immaterial soul is also complex life, but if you were to do that then you pop off into infinite regress by being drawn to believe there is a god designer and creator.

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I believe that the soul and body are joined together as long as the body is alive.  But the soul never dies. The body dies.

Then the body is, and always has been, redundant. Souls don't need bodies to be alive - bodies need souls to be alive, but then you simultaneously believe that bodies are also alive without a soul. This is all very confusing. You must really have to do some Olympic gold style mental gymnastics to square all these circles you have created for yourself.
 
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I do not believe that humans evolved from lower life forms

Why wouldn't you? You look at observable life and don't think humans evolved from "lower" (whatever that means) life forms? You must be looking at a different reality to me. Oh no, wait, I see what you're doing. You're looking at observable life and it doesn't square with what the bible says, and since you think the bible supersedes anything you observe, you go with that and chuck out anything that contradicts it, even glaringly so. Seriously, just chuck the bible out. It is wrong, plain and simple. If not, and you're going to stick with it, please don't come on here pretending that you are using observable life in order to gain an understanding of life and evolution.

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I believe in special creation as stated in the Genesis account.  That God made the body, and breathed life (soul) into Adam.

*Ad hom aware*

Then you're an idiot. Sorry, but you are. Like I've said already, you believe that god has to intervene in his own creation in order for a soul to exist in this world, and you base this all on words written in a book - a book for which you believe is divinely inspired. It's circular, unevidenced, faith based tosh.

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I believe that while God could have made the earth and all life in 6 literal days, I don't see the evidence that He did it that way. I consider my beliefs to be old earth, old universe, special creation by God.

This is more evidence that goes to show that all you are doing is believing what you believe because you want to believe it. Yes, god could have done anything any way he wanted. You are taking bits from what we have discovered (old earth, old universe) and ignoring what the bible states about that, even though you acknowledge that god could have made the earth in a literal 6 days. However, then on the other hand, you are ignoring what we have discovered (human evolution) and take a punt on what the bible says about how humans have come about.

This belief system of yours is all of your own making. You really are just believing what you want to believe, no matter how contradictory it is and no matter how much it goes against what can be observed and measured. This is the big problem that all theists face, all because they believe in an all powerful, omnipotent being that can do anything. You see, at some point you all go, "well, he could've done that, but he didn't, and I know this because my special ancient text tells me so". Then you get the cherry pickers like yourself, who are pinning everything on this text, but only on occasion. I despair, really I do.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2013, 06:18:57 PM
So PH will we see Jesus return before your death? Like the millions of Christians dead before and long after YOU,I doubt it
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: lotanddaughters on December 25, 2013, 11:12:42 PM
Life on earth with a soul and living body = Humans
Life on earth without a soul = Plants and some lower animals, reptiles, insects, etc.
Life on earth with soulish aspects = Animals that can relate to humans. Dogs, primates, dolphins, etc

Sooo . . . the dumber the human, the less "soulish" they are?

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 04, 2014, 03:10:49 PM
The "soulish quality" is reeeeeealy problematic. Do severely mentally handicapped people--who are clearly human beings by DNA and any other scientific measure-- have only "soulish qualities", but not real souls? Are "soulish qualities" enough to get you into heaven? Does that mean there is hope for dogs after all?[1]
 
What about people who used to function normally but have sustained brain damage or dementia? What about people in permanent comas--they used to have a soul, but where is their soul now?  Where does the soul go when the brain is messed up, if the soul is not part of the brain? If their soul goes to heaven, what exactly about them goes to heaven--the pre-dementia part or the one that only sits and stares?

Either-- as many religious folks would have us believe-- all humans (and only humans, no other beings) have non-physical souls and these souls exist in some non-earth realm undetectable by science, or there are no such things as souls and humans are just a different type of animal.  Smarter than most of the others, very social, great at communicating, but pretty limited in general: not as fast as cheetahs, middling eyesight, poor hearing, limited sense of smell, can't fly at all, not as long-lived as tortoises, can't live underwater, sees things that don't exist, often dies in producing young. A specialized, adaptable animal with advanced capacities and high intelligence, but still an animal.

Because if the soul is non-physical, maybe magically inserted into the human at conception by god or something like that, it cannot be related to anything physical about the person; it has to be separate from their DNA, their intelligence or their personality. What kind of soul we get is entirely up to god. It is god who decides to give one person the soul of a serial killer and another person the soul of a saint.

If the souls are not different, each customized and based on what god wants to insert, then the souls are all the same. The soul of a wonderful, kind, and caring person who devotes their life to helping others is the same as the soul of a horrible sociopathic serial rapist and murderer. That suggests the nature of the person has nothing to do with their soul. Unless someone is going to try to argue that we inherit our souls in our DNA somehow.

But we know that we inherit our physical brains from our ancestors, and much of our personalities are encoded in our DNA. After that, our physical environment (also "inherited" in a way, because we are born into a particular time and place, and don't create the environment ourselves) determines what we are able to do in our lives with what we have inherited.

It is hard to see where a god-given magical soul has any part in the human experience. :-\

 1. If dogs are going to be there, maybe I'd better start going to church so I have a shot at heaven, too!  :o
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 04, 2014, 03:41:55 PM
OK, the wheels theory of souls is as follows;

1. DNA and normal development is what makes a human - just like we know already

2. LIfe after death requires the person to survive which in effect requires the patterns of neurons and so on

3. The soul is a spiritual pen drive ready to written to as needed and provided at fertilization to back-up the person at any time needed.

4. Shortly before death, all the patterns of neurons (in effect all the memories and personality) are copied to the soul which can then take flight with the data at death and be ready to hand the personality on to either a new body or a spirit body.

5. Once copying is done, the soul returns to the next newly fertilized human to perform the same fuction again.

OK, anyone got any problems with my theory?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 04, 2014, 05:41:18 PM


"Soulish"?! WTF is that? Can you not see what you're doing here - did it not spring out to you as you typed it? It's as if you are grading the notion of having a soul. You've turned something, which is a digital position, into an analogue position. Surely you either have a soul or not. If you're saying that these animals manage to exude "soulish" qualities, then it points to the idea that nature alone has the ability to evolve these qualities. Why then, do you put a halt to that and claim that for it to be a full, blown out soul, god has to stick his oar in and intervene?
You believe nature was created by god anyway, so finding it difficult to harmonise the qualities of a full soul with nature is just saying that you believe god couldn't (or wouldn't) create nature in the first place to allow for a full soul to be a product of nature. It's a very strange idea - an idea, that to me, is there to fit with what you believe, but only because you haven't thought about it properly.

Think about it:
God creates nature;
Nature includes evolution;
Evolution has the ability to create "soulish" qualities;
Evolution doesn't have the ability to create a soul;
God has to intervene in the nature he created for bodies to harbour a soul.

And he couldn't have created nature in the first place to be able to create a soul because
.....because it fits your belief system for him not to. It really is convoluted nonsense.



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I believe in special creation as stated in the Genesis account.  That God made the body, and breathed life (soul) into Adam.

*Ad hom aware*

Then you're an idiot. Sorry, but you are. Like I've said already, you believe that god has to intervene in his own creation in order for a soul to exist in this world, and you base this all on words written in a book - a book for which you believe is divinely inspired. It's circular, unevidenced, faith based tosh.
   
So that doesn't make me an idiot.  I'm not alone in my belief that human evolution may not be the case.  There are plenty of very smart people who don't believe in human evolution.   Your statement makes you sound rude, arrogant, and unwilling to have civil discourse. 
I was polite to you and never resorted to calling you names even though I disagree with you.   If you are able to present your views without name calling then we can continue.  If not, then tell me now and we can be done. 

It sounds like a lot of your objections are based on a misunderstanding of what I was saying.
I never said that there is human life without a soul.  You were suggesting that human life cannot exist without a soul to animate it.  I don't believe that is ever the case for human beings.  I base my belief on what the bible says, that God breathed life into Adam in the garden.  I take that to mean more than just a breath of O2 followed by a heartbeat.  I say that because the bible also speaks over and over about life after death. 
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

As far as animals go.  What I meant by "Soulish" qualities is that some animals can relate to human beings better than others.  It doesn't mean soul in the context that animals have eternal life.  So don't read more into that statement.  I don't know that the bible teaches anything about animals having souls like humans or an "analog" version of a soul.  Regardless, "nature alone" doesn't do anything without the Creator.  So I don't buy into the nature idea as if nature has a mind or a will to create something.  That is ridiculous to me, and in a negative way points me away from atheism to begin with.  It just goes against my common sense that a mindless, faceless, invisible quality that many people dub as "nature", can create things and produce the physical complexity that we can observe in our world, without an intelligent force behind it.   Sounds an awful lot like belief of something greater than ourselves like we find in religion.  If I choose religion, then I will call it that.  Since I do, then I choose Christianity for the reasons stated it the beginning of this thread. 


Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 04, 2014, 05:59:44 PM

One Christian believes that sin, death, decay came after A&E ate the fruit.

How is Christianity incompatible with old Earth perspective? Maybe this will put it in perspective. The Flat Earth Society[1] put in thier mission statement (paraphrased) : If you believe something that contradicts the Bible, you're saying you know better than God. So you're going to spend eternity, not with God, but with the first one whom decided they knew better than Him. ie. Lucifer

There are chrisitans that believe:

old Earth, Intelligent design
old Earth, Special A&E creation
Young Flat Earth, Special Creation[2]
Young Spherical Earth, Special Creation.

To know the 'truth' we have to compare what the bible says to the evidence. The evidence points to a spherical old Earth. Comming from an All-Knowing God, this is a major blunder. Either God is a willful liar, or it was just written by ignorant people that didn't know what they were talking about. If something is 99% truth and 1% lie, it is still a lie. Someone that lies once and gets away with it, is more likely to lie again. With Genesis one riddled with so many lies, and this being the foundation of the Bible, to read any further, to put belief in anything that follows is like trying to build a house on a ruined foundation.

Do I know better than YHWH? I know he's either a liar, or made up. Who knows, maybe he lied about Heaven and Hell as well? I don't need to prove he doesn't exist, just know that it is foolish to follow someone that pushes known lies as 'truth.'
 1. uses the Bible to prove that the Earth is flat
 2. the one the Bible supports
I've always taken references to "flat earth" in the bible as figurative expressions to make a larger point.  We do that in our language today.  You read it differently I take it.
There are also expressions that seem to indicate a spherical earth.  So again.....usually in the context of a larger point.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 04, 2014, 06:19:52 PM
The "soulish quality" is reeeeeealy problematic. Do severely mentally handicapped people--who are clearly human beings by DNA and any other scientific measure-- have only "soulish qualities", but not real souls? Are "soulish qualities" enough to get you into heaven? Does that mean there is hope for dogs after all?[1]
 
What about people who used to function normally but have sustained brain damage or dementia? What about people in permanent comas--they used to have a soul, but where is their soul now?  Where does the soul go when the brain is messed up, if the soul is not part of the brain? If their soul goes to heaven, what exactly about them goes to heaven--the pre-dementia part or the one that only sits and stares?

Either-- as many religious folks would have us believe-- all humans (and only humans, no other beings) have non-physical souls and these souls exist in some non-earth realm undetectable by science, or there are no such things as souls and humans are just a different type of animal.  Smarter than most of the others, very social, great at communicating, but pretty limited in general: not as fast as cheetahs, middling eyesight, poor hearing, limited sense of smell, can't fly at all, not as long-lived as tortoises, can't live underwater, sees things that don't exist, often dies in producing young. A specialized, adaptable animal with advanced capacities and high intelligence, but still an animal.

Because if the soul is non-physical, maybe magically inserted into the human at conception by god or something like that, it cannot be related to anything physical about the person; it has to be separate from their DNA, their intelligence or their personality. What kind of soul we get is entirely up to god. It is god who decides to give one person the soul of a serial killer and another person the soul of a saint.

If the souls are not different, each customized and based on what god wants to insert, then the souls are all the same. The soul of a wonderful, kind, and caring person who devotes their life to helping others is the same as the soul of a horrible sociopathic serial rapist and murderer. That suggests the nature of the person has nothing to do with their soul. Unless someone is going to try to argue that we inherit our souls in our DNA somehow.

But we know that we inherit our physical brains from our ancestors, and much of our personalities are encoded in our DNA. After that, our physical environment (also "inherited" in a way, because we are born into a particular time and place, and don't create the environment ourselves) determines what we are able to do in our lives with what we have inherited.

It is hard to see where a god-given magical soul has any part in the human experience. :-\
 1. If dogs are going to be there, maybe I'd better start going to church so I have a shot at heaven, too!  :o
It's not problematic if God is the creator of all souls.  I'm not saying that it's based on human evolution or intelligence. I know that I can't prove there is a soul to you.  It's really an existential idea.  But that is my argument from the beginning.  That I believe there is more to us than just the physical, so to prove that in purely physical scientific methods, IS problematic.  So if you don't accept that, then it ends there.  If you are willing to entertain the idea that your self awareness is more than physical, then we can talk at the same level.  So for the record, I think that a soul comes from God and exists eternally with people, and as far as I can tell, it is a biblical concept.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 04, 2014, 06:57:38 PM
I've always taken references to "flat earth" in the bible as figurative expressions to make a larger point.  We do that in our language today.  You read it differently I take it.
There are also expressions that seem to indicate a spherical earth.  So again.....usually in the context of a larger point.

What? "He looks upon the circle of the Earth?" You think a plate[1] is the same thing as a ball[2]? Foxy Freedom posted how the earth looks as described in Hebrew mythology... err the Perfect Infallible Bible. And by some sheer coincidence all thier contempories had similar cosmologies. When people use the Bible to prove that the Earth is flat for over 2,000 years, yet somehow after two millenia you're the only one who figured it out?  That while Chaldeans used the same descriptions, even the Book of Enoch written by the very person that walked with God. Yet, for all them, it was literal as they believed in a flat Earth, but the Jews had it right despite the similarities? 

"He streaches the sky above the Earth like a tent."  I know you'll try to twist it to fit into our current understanding, but back then people really thought the sky aka Firmament was a solid object holding up an ocean of water[3] and when holes appeared in it, it rained. They couldn't understand that if you got 13 inches of rain, it would cause a wall of water rushing down a river like a dam had burst. They thought floods were caused by celestial "flood gates" placed near the horizon.

There are no expressions that indicate a spherical Earth in the Bible. Each and every single author thought the Earth was flat and it seeped into thier Myths. As I said, you'll take modern understanding and try to make the verses fit, but if it were true then Christians would have already known that the Earth is a spheroid. Instead what we got were people who dared suggest that the Earth was spherical and/or orbited the sun were arrested and some put to death for heresey by the Church. The reason they said something to begin with even though it went against everything they were taught to believe in? Evidence, and spreading the truth is more important that believeing a lie.
 1. circle
 2. sphere
 3. that's why the sky is blue!
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 01:26:08 AM
I've always taken references to "flat earth" in the bible as figurative expressions to make a larger point.  We do that in our language today.  You read it differently I take it.
There are also expressions that seem to indicate a spherical earth.  So again.....usually in the context of a larger point.

What? "He looks upon the circle of the Earth?" You think a plate[1] is the same thing as a ball[2]? Foxy Freedom posted how the earth looks as described in Hebrew mythology... err the Perfect Infallible Bible. And by some sheer coincidence all thier contempories had similar cosmologies. When people use the Bible to prove that the Earth is flat for over 2,000 years, yet somehow after two millenia you're the only one who figured it out?  That while Chaldeans used the same descriptions, even the Book of Enoch written by the very person that walked with God. Yet, for all them, it was literal as they believed in a flat Earth, but the Jews had it right despite the similarities? 

"He streaches the sky above the Earth like a tent."  I know you'll try to twist it to fit into our current understanding, but back then people really thought the sky aka Firmament was a solid object holding up an ocean of water[3] and when holes appeared in it, it rained. They couldn't understand that if you got 13 inches of rain, it would cause a wall of water rushing down a river like a dam had burst. They thought floods were caused by celestial "flood gates" placed near the horizon.

There are no expressions that indicate a spherical Earth in the Bible. Each and every single author thought the Earth was flat and it seeped into thier Myths. As I said, you'll take modern understanding and try to make the verses fit, but if it were true then Christians would have already known that the Earth is a spheroid. Instead what we got were people who dared suggest that the Earth was spherical and/or orbited the sun were arrested and some put to death for heresey by the Church. The reason they said something to begin with even though it went against everything they were taught to believe in? Evidence, and spreading the truth is more important that believeing a lie.
 1. circle
 2. sphere
 3. that's why the sky is blue!
Without "trying twist the verses to make them fit"...........This verse like most in Isaiah is poetic and uses figurative language to make a point.  The intent of the verse when read in context, is talking about how great God is from Isaiah's point of view.  It wasn't a science lesson on the shape of the earth.
God obviously hasn't revealed everything there is to know, so His intent must be for us to grow in knowledge as we live in this physical world.  None of this makes the book of Isaiah or this verse a lie. 

Using poetic symbolism to make a point that God is above all. 
"To whom then will you liken God?........................... Do you not know? Have you not heard?  Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?  Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.................To whom then will you liken Me"?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 05, 2014, 08:27:14 AM
Without "trying twist the verses to make them fit"...........This verse like most in Isaiah is poetic and uses figurative language to make a point.  The intent of the verse when read in context, is talking about how great God is from Isaiah's point of view.  It wasn't a science lesson on the shape of the earth.
God obviously hasn't revealed everything there is to know, so His intent must be for us to grow in knowledge as we live in this physical world.  None of this makes the book of Isaiah or this verse a lie. 

Using poetic symbolism to make a point that God is above all. 
"To whom then will you liken God?........................... Do you not know? Have you not heard?  Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?  Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.................To whom then will you liken Me"?

You may think that it as only poetic symbolism. But there is no evidence either in the bible or in Jewish cosmology that they had an understanding that the Earth is a spheroid. Remember 2 Tim 3:16? Every word in scripture is God breathed, to be used for study and is inerrant. Since God is All-Knowing, he knew this would come up. So, why didn't he make a footnote like this[1] and say, "xx:yy-zz is just poetic symbolism and not to be taken literally. We know the Earth is really a sphere." Surely such a thing is within the abilities of an All-Powerful God, yes?
 1. yeah, like this
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 05, 2014, 09:04:52 AM
While we are at it, there's the little problem of Genesis 1:1-2. Now, Patrick, people say that god created the whole universe - that he is the necessary being so had to have pre-existed the formation of the universe - you know, stuff, like that. So, let's look at Genesis 1:1-2. Here we see that 'the earth was void and covered in water.' It is from this watery earth that the world of the Jews was formed. Nowhere does it mention there was nothing and god created everything. Yes, I know that Deutero Isaiah has some more universal things to say as has Job but they are all based on the world view of a flat earth with a solid dome over the top and heaven sat on top of that. Are we to take this literally or is it some sort of allegory?

Original Question - what evidence is there that god really exists?

we have now managed three pages and who knows how much more but I haven't yet seen any actual evidence for the existence of any gods never mind the one Patrick believes in. Do I take it you have no real evidence for the existence of your god or having you been saving it just for now?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 05, 2014, 05:32:40 PM
PH--

Back to my question about the nature (heh) of the soul. When god creates the soul, does he also create the personality? Or is the soul just like a generic spiritual vanilla pudding to be filled in by the person's DNA and environmental experiences. This is a very important question, because nobody chooses their genetic makeup or the environment they are born into. Nobody chooses to have a genetic tendency to become addicted to drugs or to have teh brain of a sociopath.

Also, you did not address what happens to the person's soul when they become brain-damaged, or if they are severely mentally handicapped. Since we are responsible for the care and feeding of this soul in order to go to heaven, what about people who have no ability to choose to be moral? Remember, if they get a free pass to heaven, that means god makes loopholes.....
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 06:05:52 PM
Without "trying twist the verses to make them fit"...........This verse like most in Isaiah is poetic and uses figurative language to make a point.  The intent of the verse when read in context, is talking about how great God is from Isaiah's point of view.  It wasn't a science lesson on the shape of the earth.
God obviously hasn't revealed everything there is to know, so His intent must be for us to grow in knowledge as we live in this physical world.  None of this makes the book of Isaiah or this verse a lie. 

Using poetic symbolism to make a point that God is above all. 
"To whom then will you liken God?........................... Do you not know? Have you not heard?  Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?  Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.................To whom then will you liken Me"?

You may think that it as only poetic symbolism. But there is no evidence either in the bible or in Jewish cosmology that they had an understanding that the Earth is a spheroid. Remember 2 Tim 3:16? Every word in scripture is God breathed, to be used for study and is inerrant. Since God is All-Knowing, he knew this would come up. So, why didn't he make a footnote like this[1] and say, "xx:yy-zz is just poetic symbolism and not to be taken literally. We know the Earth is really a sphere." Surely such a thing is within the abilities of an All-Powerful God, yes?
 1. yeah, like this
I could ask questions like that of anything in the bible (and have), but it doesn't negate the belief that the bible is inspired by God.  Why didn't God divinely give us a cure for the bubonic plague instead of letting millions of people suffer and die?  I think there is a reason. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 05, 2014, 06:24:02 PM
I could ask questions like that of anything in the bible (and have), but it doesn't negate the belief that the bible is inspired by God.  Why didn't God divinely give us a cure for the bubonic plague instead of letting millions of people suffer and die?  I think there is a reason.

That you think there is a reason doesn't make your conclusion accurate. I think that the black plague was caused by flea bites from insects infected with the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Humans tasked with the job of finding solutions have come up with a class of antibiotics that help stave off infection. That is because we humans don't enjoy necrosis and painful death as much as your god, I guess.

I'm gonna take a wild-assed guess and say that your god is pretty pissed that we've found ways to prevent people from dying of one his favorite diseases. That's probably why he sicced Duck Dynasty on us. At least I think that's the reason.

Unless he doesn't exist. Which would mean humans actually came up with the idea for that TV series. Which disappoints me greatly. But it is the most likely explanation if he isn't real. And the Bubonic Plague is probably just something that evolved, since that is how all life got here. There was never any guarantee that different living things wouldn't conflict with each other. So yea, I'll go with that one.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 06:51:40 PM
While we are at it, there's the little problem of Genesis 1:1-2. Now, Patrick, people say that god created the whole universe - that he is the necessary being so had to have pre-existed the formation of the universe - you know, stuff, like that. So, let's look at Genesis 1:1-2. Here we see that 'the earth was void and covered in water.' It is from this watery earth that the world of the Jews was formed. Nowhere does it mention there was nothing and god created everything. Yes, I know that Deutero Isaiah has some more universal things to say as has Job but they are all based on the world view of a flat earth with a solid dome over the top and heaven sat on top of that. Are we to take this literally or is it some sort of allegory?

Original Question - what evidence is there that god really exists?

we have now managed three pages and who knows how much more but I haven't yet seen any actual evidence for the existence of any gods never mind the one Patrick believes in. Do I take it you have no real evidence for the existence of your god or having you been saving it just for now?
Genesis 1:14 is good enough for me to believe He created everything. 
I gave you my reasons for belief at the beginning of the thread.  If that isn't good enough, then there's nothing that I can do about it. 
God is not a genie in a bottle for me to call out and "prove" to everyone.  The bible unapologetically states that we come to know God through humility and faith.   
My belief boiled down, is that God does something existential in me that causes me to believe that there is something more than just the physical.  Yet, at the same time, nature points to a creator (something doesn't come from absolutely nothing). 
The story of Christ speaks to me in a real way.  I don't see how the gospel could have been manufactured with ulterior motives.  The gospel message radically went against societal norms of that day and has over time transformed people and cultures, even today. 
My life is better, I'm able to give people grace because I recognize that I'm a sinner and no better than the next person.  I have more peace and joy in my life than I ever have, despite having questions and life difficulties.  But that is part of the growth process that God seems to want us to experience.   I admit these things will not likely convince someone who against even the idea of a biblical God.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 05, 2014, 06:54:24 PM
I admit these things will not likely convince someone who against even the idea of a biblical God.

It isn't the idea that i, as an atheist am against. It is the mismatch between reality and the bible that I am concerned about. They can't both be true.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 06:55:32 PM
I could ask questions like that of anything in the bible (and have), but it doesn't negate the belief that the bible is inspired by God.  Why didn't God divinely give us a cure for the bubonic plague instead of letting millions of people suffer and die?  I think there is a reason.

That you think there is a reason doesn't make your conclusion accurate. I think that the black plague was caused by flea bites from insects infected with the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Humans tasked with the job of finding solutions have come up with a class of antibiotics that help stave off infection. That is because we humans don't enjoy necrosis and painful death as much as your god, I guess.

I'm gonna take a wild-assed guess and say that your god is pretty pissed that we've found ways to prevent people from dying of one his favorite diseases. That's probably why he sicced Duck Dynasty on us. At least I think that's the reason.

Unless he doesn't exist. Which would mean humans actually came up with the idea for that TV series. Which disappoints me greatly. But it is the most likely explanation if he isn't real. And the Bubonic Plague is probably just something that evolved, since that is how all life got here. There was never any guarantee that different living things wouldn't conflict with each other. So yea, I'll go with that one.
No offense really.  But you sound bitter.  Or just feel intellectually insulted that there are people who believe in God.  Is that accurate? 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 05, 2014, 06:58:44 PM

Genesis 1:14 is good enough for me to believe He created everything. 

So you are inclined to believe it is true because it is in on old book of monsters, magic, and deities that was popular in the place and time where you were born....just like every other believer in every other theistic school of thought. There is nothing to separate you from some islander savage talking about ancient scroll and a volcano god. Good to know.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 07:06:02 PM
I admit these things will not likely convince someone who against even the idea of a biblical God.

It isn't the idea that i, as an atheist am against. It is the mismatch between reality and the bible that I am concerned about. They can't both be true.
What if reality is somewhat different than you imagine that it should be?  What if you were able to have insight into something beyond this 3 dimensional world and it suddenly made more sense to you?  Not even in a scientifically provable way.  Can you imagine a scenario where you'd believe?
I tend to think that people's expectations of what God should be like, decide whether they will believe or not.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 05, 2014, 07:12:51 PM
I could ask questions like that of anything in the bible (and have), but it doesn't negate the belief that the bible is inspired by God.  Why didn't God divinely give us a cure for the bubonic plague instead of letting millions of people suffer and die?  I think there is a reason.

That you think there is a reason doesn't make your conclusion accurate. I think that the black plague was caused by flea bites from insects infected with the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Humans tasked with the job of finding solutions have come up with a class of antibiotics that help stave off infection. That is because we humans don't enjoy necrosis and painful death as much as your god, I guess.

I'm gonna take a wild-assed guess and say that your god is pretty pissed that we've found ways to prevent people from dying of one his favorite diseases. That's probably why he sicced Duck Dynasty on us. At least I think that's the reason.

Unless he doesn't exist. Which would mean humans actually came up with the idea for that TV series. Which disappoints me greatly. But it is the most likely explanation if he isn't real. And the Bubonic Plague is probably just something that evolved, since that is how all life got here. There was never any guarantee that different living things wouldn't conflict with each other. So yea, I'll go with that one.
No offense really.  But you sound bitter.  Or just feel intellectually insulted that there are people who believe in God.  Is that accurate?

No, not bitter. Tired. Of theists seeming to assume that we atheists take their god seriously, we just don't believe in him. Your problem is that you were the third theist today who spoke of their god as if we atheists assume he is real, despite our beliefs.

So no, not bitter. Just astonished that theists don't know where we atheists stand. Or at least don't talk as if they do.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 07:13:53 PM

Genesis 1:14 is good enough for me to believe He created everything. 

So you are inclined to believe it is true because it is in on old book of monsters, magic, and deities that was popular in the place and time where you were born....just like every other believer in every other theistic school of thought. There is nothing to separate you from some islander savage talking about ancient scroll and a volcano god. Good to know.
Yeah, I just believe in monsters and magic.  Never read anything showing the authenticity of the bible.  Too bad there's nothing out there.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 05, 2014, 07:22:16 PM

Genesis 1:14 is good enough for me to believe He created everything. 

So you are inclined to believe it is true because it is in on old book of monsters, magic, and deities that was popular in the place and time where you were born....just like every other believer in every other theistic school of thought. There is nothing to separate you from some islander savage talking about ancient scroll and a volcano god. Good to know.
Yeah, I just believe in monsters and magic.  Never read anything showing the authenticity of the bible.  Too bad there's nothing out there.

Seen stuff claiming authenticity, never anything SHOWING authenticity. Now some stories do mention real people and events, similar to the Iliad, but the magic, monsters and deities...nothing SHOWING authenticity, just like the Iliad.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 07:28:47 PM
I could ask questions like that of anything in the bible (and have), but it doesn't negate the belief that the bible is inspired by God.  Why didn't God divinely give us a cure for the bubonic plague instead of letting millions of people suffer and die?  I think there is a reason.

That you think there is a reason doesn't make your conclusion accurate. I think that the black plague was caused by flea bites from insects infected with the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Humans tasked with the job of finding solutions have come up with a class of antibiotics that help stave off infection. That is because we humans don't enjoy necrosis and painful death as much as your god, I guess.

I'm gonna take a wild-assed guess and say that your god is pretty pissed that we've found ways to prevent people from dying of one his favorite diseases. That's probably why he sicced Duck Dynasty on us. At least I think that's the reason.

Unless he doesn't exist. Which would mean humans actually came up with the idea for that TV series. Which disappoints me greatly. But it is the most likely explanation if he isn't real. And the Bubonic Plague is probably just something that evolved, since that is how all life got here. There was never any guarantee that different living things wouldn't conflict with each other. So yea, I'll go with that one.
No offense really.  But you sound bitter.  Or just feel intellectually insulted that there are people who believe in God.  Is that accurate?

No, not bitter. Tired. Of theists seeming to assume that we atheists take their god seriously, we just don't believe in him. Your problem is that you were the third theist today who spoke of their god as if we atheists assume he is real, despite our beliefs.

So no, not bitter. Just astonished that theists don't know where we atheists stand. Or at least don't talk as if they do.

I don't assume that at all.  I completely realize that you don't believe that there is a god, so it's ridiculous to even talk about it.  Yet, you are here.  Why?  Entertainment?  Proselytizing your own beliefs?  Seems conflicting to be on this board in that frame of mind, making comments, egging me on with questions about a being that you don't believe in. 
I'm being asked to give answers from my perspective, so I'm giving that out.  That's all there is to it.  You should take the belief seriously, because it affects a lot of people.  When the gospel is lived out the way Jesus taught it is life changing and transformative in a good way.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 05, 2014, 07:31:43 PM
I admit these things will not likely convince someone who against even the idea of a biblical God.

It isn't the idea that i, as an atheist am against. It is the mismatch between reality and the bible that I am concerned about. They can't both be true.
What if reality is somewhat different than you imagine that it should be?  What if you were able to have insight into something beyond this 3 dimensional world and it suddenly made more sense to you?  Not even in a scientifically provable way.  Can you imagine a scenario where you'd believe?
I tend to think that people's expectations of what God should be like, decide whether they will believe or not.

First of all, I have no illusion about my perceptions being accurate. The most we humans can hope for is perception that is good enough for us to survive. There are so many unknowns in this universe, including an almost infinite number of things that we will never know. So I sort of see a need to a) make a note of those things that seem consistent and real and b) not make everything else up.

The likelihood of ancients having a better handle on whatever the truth may be than us is unlikely. A god being involved is even more unlikely. So I am not going to have any expectations of your god, or any other, until something far more likely than a several thousand year old book is the source of such claims.

In the meantime, the mysteries of existence, both real and imagined, shall fascinate me. But I'll wait for the folks with the best track record to do the explaining, when there is explaining to do. And the unexplained? I shall calmly accept that not everything has or will have an explanation, and go on with my life, happy to know enough to survive for awhile.

But then, I ain't limping, so I don't need crutches.

Edit: egregious spelling error
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 05, 2014, 07:46:56 PM


First of all, I have no illusion about my perceptions being accurate. The most we humans can hope for is perception that is good enough got us to survive. There are so many unknowns in this universe, including an almost infinite number of things that we will never know. So I sort of see a need to a) make a note of those things that seem consistent and real and b) not make everything else up.

The likelihood of ancients having a better handle on whatever the truth may be than us is unlikely. A god being involved is even more unlikely. So I am not going to have any expectations of your god, or any other, until something far more likely than a several thousand year old book is the source of such claims.

In the meantime, the mysteries of existence, both real and imagined, shall fascinate me. But I'll wait for the folks with the best track record to do the explaining, when there is explaining to do. And the unexplained? I shall calmly accept that not everything has or will have an explanation, and go on with my life, happy to know enough to survive for awhile.

But then, I ain't limping, so I don't need crutches.

Once again he, like just like every theist if the argument goes long enough, ends up engaging in what I call "Underwear Gnomes Theism"

1)Find something the science does not have the answer to, is unclear on, or the explanation is over the heads of most people.
2) Shrug
3) Declare the god of Christendom exists.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 05, 2014, 07:48:22 PM
I don't assume that at all.  I completely realize that you don't believe that there is a god, so it's ridiculous to even talk about it.  Yet, you are here.  Why?  Entertainment?  Proselytizing your own beliefs?  Seems conflicting to be on this board in that frame of mind, making comments, egging me on with questions about a being that you don't believe in. 
I'm being asked to give answers from my perspective, so I'm giving that out.  That's all there is to it.  You should take the belief seriously, because it affects a lot of people.  When the gospel is lived out the way Jesus taught it is life changing and transformative in a good way.

Thanks for asking and answer my question within a couple of paragraphs. It makes my job much easier.

I am here because it is place for me to discuss my concerns about religion and its byproducts. The various versions of belief effect my government, my economy, the social structure I live in. Religion kills my friends (in Iraq), my friends friends (on 9/11), and on a much more trite level, litters my front porch with bullshit and pamphlets.

If the gospel, fake as it is, indeed affected everyone in a positive way, my attitude might be much different. But the many christians I know have included thieves, liars, cheats and abusive parents. At a much higher rate than my non-theists friends and acquaintances. I of course have known some wonderful and honest people who were believers, but I've little doubt that they would have been just as wonderful and just as honest without a god in their lives. And while you have every reason to be proud that your forebearers finally stopped burning people at the stake and such, that doesn't mean that they started doing everything else right too.

Ancient ideas, highly modified by more recent adherents, foisted off on an unsuspecting planet, used as an excuse to kill or damn or just plain be unfriendly, and you want me to allow for it? I would, if beliefs could stay in the background. But when they are forced on us in the form of legislation, when adherence is expected of us in otherwise innocuous social situations, and when you guys want your  morals to be our morals, I have to speak up. And this site helps me abreast of the situation.

And of course, since I've only converted on theist to atheism here so far, I'm always on the lookout for number two.

Added: If I were proselytizing, I'd go to a believers site. I'd be harmless here if you guys didn't show up every once in awhile.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 05, 2014, 09:04:30 PM
I don't assume that at all.  I completely realize that you don't believe that there is a god, so it's ridiculous to even talk about it.  Yet, you are here.  Why?  Entertainment?  Proselytizing your own beliefs?  Seems conflicting to be on this board in that frame of mind, making comments, egging me on with questions about a being that you don't believe in. 
I'm being asked to give answers from my perspective, so I'm giving that out.  That's all there is to it.  You should take the belief seriously, because it affects a lot of people.  When the gospel is lived out the way Jesus taught it is life changing and transformative in a good way.

Thanks for asking and answer my question within a couple of paragraphs. It makes my job much easier.

I am here because it is place for me to discuss my concerns about religion and its byproducts. The various versions of belief effect my government, my economy, the social structure I live in. Religion kills my friends (in Iraq), my friends friends (on 9/11), and on a much more trite level, litters my front porch with bullshit and pamphlets.

If the gospel, fake as it is, indeed affected everyone in a positive way, my attitude might be much different. But the many christians I know have included thieves, liars, cheats and abusive parents. At a much higher rate than my non-theists friends and acquaintances. I of course have known some wonderful and honest people who were believers, but I've little doubt that they would have been just as wonderful and just as honest without a god in their lives. And while you have every reason to be proud that your forebearers finally stopped burning people at the stake and such, that doesn't mean that they started doing everything else right too.

Ancient ideas, highly modified by more recent adherents, foisted off on an unsuspecting planet, used as an excuse to kill or damn or just plain be unfriendly, and you want me to allow for it? I would, if beliefs could stay in the background. But when they are forced on us in the form of legislation, when adherence is expected of us in otherwise innocuous social situations, and when you guys want your  morals to be our morals, I have to speak up. And this site helps me abreast of the situation.

And of course, since I've only converted on theist to atheism here so far, I'm always on the lookout for number two.

Added: If I were proselytizing, I'd go to a believers site. I'd be harmless here if you guys didn't show up every once in awhile.
Well I'm sorry to hear that "christians" that you know account for more bad morals than the non-christians.  Those people sound like they've adopted the name but not the lifestyle.  That is NOT my experience where I live.  Not saying that Christians are perfect, but the Christians that I know are respectable people who give to the poor, do not steal, or hurt people intentionally, and are very good and loving parents.  The Christians that I know to be (Christians), are self evaluating types, who, when made aware that they've made a mistake or wronged someone, are contrite and are good about making things right.  That is what is preached at the pulpit of my church and what is talked about in my Christian circles.
Yes, I am serious.  I know a lot of good conscientious Christian people, who are not perfect but encapsulate these characteristics.   I meet meet with over 100 men every week who's goal is to live out this type of life.  I meet individually other men on the weekend, and our goal is to build each other up as men and believers in Christ.  Living out the gospel in humility and love for others.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 05, 2014, 10:19:13 PM
I agree with PP for many reasons. And he responded to you in a similar manner that I would have myself.

The USA is supposed to be a country with Freedom of Religion and the belief in a god should not be a requirement to hold office. No one religion should be held in a higher regard of any other in this melting pot nation.

Christians demand prayer in school and those who do not participate, become harassed by students and faculty alike. Christians demand favors, and if anyone says they shouldn't be forced to participate in Christian Dogmatic Religious Rituals in a public government funded school. Christians cry out how they're being "persecuted." Christians in the US have no idea what persecution is. If christians want their forced upon school prayer instead of just a moment of silence for reflection/prayer, then what about the other religions whose voices are silenced, and not allowed representation by those very same "persecuted" Christians?

How would you feel if instead of a neutral free approach, like if you want bacon you can buy it if you want to, and no government official can demand you to buy it, but accomodate every religion[1] so what you'll get is this:
Bacon, Ham, Pork all outlawed because it violates Muslim beliefs.
Beef/Steak outlawed because it violates Hundu beliefs.
Anything with something that has been fermented in it, outlawed[2].
Everything must be Kosher.

This is just the food! This isn't about forcing religious morality on those who do not share those beliefs. Yet, Christians want to legislate thier morality upon everyone. So, should we accomadate every religion's morality? Or does religious morality and dietry issues have no busiess in legislature? Atheists aren't angry with God. They're angry when some believer tries to pass laws that make Santa and the Easter Bunny happy.

God has his reasons, eh? The, "I'm God and you're not, so just shut up and put up!" reason? His "reasons" and his "'plan"[3] mean nothing if he's not willing to share them. What good is it if only the director of a movie knows the script, when he calls out, "Action!"? Sure the director has his "reasons" but people would be more understand and willing if he shared them. In an emergency, life or death situation, reasons can be left for later or can become apparent later, but god having a "reason" to kill 1/3 of Europe in horrific deaths? Not including those in the trail from Asia. I think you're trying to rationalize why an All-Powerful, All-Loving God would pick a terrible way to do something instead of applying Occams Razor.
 1. cause if you support one, you've gotta support them all in a free nation
 2. already been tried once, we all should know how that worked out.
 3. I know you didn't say anything about "his plan" but I hear about it from Christians a lot.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 06, 2014, 03:49:01 AM
... (something doesn't come from absolutely nothing)... 
No?
http://youtu.be/EjaGktVQdNg
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 06, 2014, 04:01:29 AM
So that doesn't make me an idiot.  I'm not alone in my belief that human evolution may not be the case.  There are plenty of very smart people who don't believe in human evolution.   Your statement makes you sound rude, arrogant, and unwilling to have civil discourse. 
I was polite to you and never resorted to calling you names even though I disagree with you.   If you are able to present your views without name calling then we can continue.  If not, then tell me now and we can be done.

Oh purleease, get over yourself. When it comes down to human evolution, you and all these "very smart people" are idiots. I'm also an idiot about a plethora of things. I'm an idiot with regards to rocket science, with regards to electronics. Jeez, I'm even an idiot with regards to putting the washing machine on. If you can't handle being pulled up for being idiotic about a specific topic, and hide behind the typical, "oh you're just rude and can't have a civil discussion" tosh, then that's your beef. You should take the positives from being called stupid or idiotic, as it makes you reevaluate your current position.
I personally encourage being called out for it, and have no problem with calling others out for it either. I will not be covering you with fluffiness and lightness in order to appease your sensitivities. I would rather be honest with you.

Quote
It sounds like a lot of your objections are based on a misunderstanding of what I was saying.
I never said that there is human life without a soul.  You were suggesting that human life cannot exist without a soul to animate it.  I don't believe that is ever the case for human beings.  I base my belief on what the bible says, that God breathed life into Adam in the garden.  I take that to mean more than just a breath of O2 followed by a heartbeat.  I say that because the bible also speaks over and over about life after death.

Well I asked you a series of questions in my previous post so that you could clarify your position to aid understanding and perhaps make you think deeper about the position you hold, but you've not bothered to even attempt answering them.... and then have the gall to say I misunderstand you. I find your complete ignorant dismissal of civilly asked questions, and to cut out a vast amount of my post in your response, to be ruder than the "brutality" of being called an idiot.

Anyway, I'm still misunderstanding what you are saying here, as you appear contradictory as you've strewn what you've said with a double negative. You're now saying that you don't believe that it's ever the case that humans can't exist without a soul to animate it, which means you think that humans can exist without a soul, so therefore I was right to say that humans in this world currently have two lives? I think it would be better to just answer yes or no to the question of whether humans can be alive with just a body and no soul. So...?

Then there is again the question of why you would base your beliefs on what the bible says. It holds authority and is reliable because....... "it's god's word"? And you can come to that conclusion by doing what exactly?
 
Quote
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Kssssssssssshhhhh <white noise>

Quote
As far as animals go.  What I meant by "Soulish" qualities is that some animals can relate to human beings better than others.  It doesn't mean soul in the context that animals have eternal life.  So don't read more into that statement.  I don't know that the bible teaches anything about animals having souls like humans or an "analog" version of a soul.

Relate better in what way? I'm guessing it's to the qualities you regard as soul dependent, rather than say, for example, the ability to digest food. I only say this because, you see, I can get on fine with my life without a dog, but remove the bacteria from my gut and I'm screwed.

Perhaps you could also make a list of these soul qualities and explain, with evidence, why these qualities can't be a product of the nature you believe your god created.

Quote
Regardless, "nature alone" doesn't do anything without the Creator.

That's your assertion. Do you have any evidence that nature can't do anything (which would include existing) without a creator, or are you just basing this solely on your incredulity?

Quote
So I don't buy into the nature idea as if nature has a mind or a will to create something.  That is ridiculous to me, and in a negative way points me away from atheism to begin with.  It just goes against my common sense that a mindless, faceless, invisible quality that many people dub as "nature", can create things and produce the physical complexity that we can observe in our world, without an intelligent force behind it.  Sounds an awful lot like belief of something greater than ourselves like we find in religion.  If I choose religion, then I will call it that.  Since I do, then I choose Christianity for the reasons stated it the beginning of this thread.

Well we're back here again at your inability to envisage complexity arising without intelligence, yet you simultaneously believe that something that's simple in comparison, the soul, is also in need of an intelligence in order to exist - and the problem here is that this intelligence is also a soul. So what created god?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 07, 2014, 05:04:35 PM

Oh purleease, get over yourself. When it comes down to human evolution, you and all these "very smart people" are idiots. I'm also an idiot about a plethora of things. I'm an idiot with regards to rocket science, with regards to electronics. Jeez, I'm even an idiot with regards to putting the washing machine on. If you can't handle being pulled up for being idiotic about a specific topic, and hide behind the typical, "oh you're just rude and can't have a civil discussion" tosh, then that's your beef. You should take the positives from being called stupid or idiotic, as it makes you reevaluate your current position.
I personally encourage being called out for it, and have no problem with calling others out for it either. I will not be covering you with fluffiness and lightness in order to appease your sensitivities. I would rather be honest with you.

Well I asked you a series of questions in my previous post so that you could clarify your position to aid understanding and perhaps make you think deeper about the position you hold, but you've not bothered to even attempt answering them.... and then have the gall to say I misunderstand you. I find your complete ignorant dismissal of civilly asked questions, and to cut out a vast amount of my post in your response, to be ruder than the "brutality" of being called an idiot.

Anyway, I'm still misunderstanding what you are saying here, as you appear contradictory as you've strewn what you've said with a double negative. You're now saying that you don't believe that it's ever the case that humans can't exist without a soul to animate it, which means you think that humans can exist without a soul, so therefore I was right to say that humans in this world currently have two lives? I think it would be better to just answer yes or no to the question of whether humans can be alive with just a body and no soul. So...?

Well we're back here again at your inability to envisage complexity arising without intelligence, yet you simultaneously believe that something that's simple in comparison, the soul, is also in need of an intelligence in order to exist - and the problem here is that this intelligence is also a soul. So what created god?
Re: Your quote (in bold above)………. That’s exactly my point.  I didn’t say that.
Here’s my earlier quote: "I believe that the soul and body are joined together as long as the body is alive.  But the soul never dies. The body dies"
This statement does NOT say that the body dies without the soul.  As you misunderstood.  The soul only departs the body after the body is dead.  I don’t have any reason to think that God creates a human body without a soul or takes a soul out of a body before the body dies.   Part of what makes a human being (from a spiritual perspective) is that we always have a soul. 

Now, I answered you despite your attempt to rationalize name calling.  There’s no need for it. 
You should look up the word idiot vs. the word ignorant.  You should also look up the word “gall”, since it didn’t fit your sentence either.   

What makes you think a soul is simple in comparison to the complexity of physical life?  What basis would you arrive at that conclusion?   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 07, 2014, 05:13:34 PM
Ah, yes, Patrick but what are you calling dead. Medical science can keep people alive for years with machines but with thier brain non-functioning they are dead, completely, just with a heart beating. Like Ariel Sharon who has been 'dead' for 8 years. Does god have a soul hanging in there with an animated dead body for years on end?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 07, 2014, 05:32:08 PM
Does the soul leave the body when the breathing stops, when the heart stops or when the brain stops?

It occurs to me that this question is a less fun version of "If a dying Vulcan puts his katrya into a dolphin, will it forget how to swim?" I swear, talking to religious people reminds me of being at the Star Trek conventions back in the 70's and 80's when I was a Trekkie. Main difference being that most of us Trekkies knew that the Star Trek universe was made up, and that we were all just pretending to believe in it for the weekend.

Wait a minute... ;D

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 07, 2014, 07:49:17 PM
Ahhhh PH like the other Christians who contribute on these boards I was wondering how long it would take for you to declare other Christians as Christian in name only.

 We can look back through the ages at Christianity and see a simple pattern,as we impove our situation  through innovation the old ways become less appealing and useful. The acts of Christians also become less disturbing. Slavery murder,torture become things that disgust the modern Christian,yet were part of Christian life at a time in its history.

 You can't win with this "true Christian" argument  because you can't clearly define Christianity,it is forever changing entity. As we move forward as a species,Christianity must also move along with humanity. If Christianity still held slavery,witch burning,sexism,racism among other practices it has ABANDONED long ago,would it still be here today?

 Of course you can look at the fastest growing religion,currently Islam who have embraced sexism,racism,torture,murder and wonder if Christianity did the right thing staying current to the changes in the modern world.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 07, 2014, 07:52:45 PM
Ah, yes, Patrick but what are you calling dead. Medical science can keep people alive for years with machines but with thier brain non-functioning they are dead, completely, just with a heart beating. Like Ariel Sharon who has been 'dead' for 8 years. Does god have a soul hanging in there with an animated dead body for years on end?
there are no Jews in heaven are there? Heaven is a Christian construct. Funny how he forgot to include his original followers in the eternal bliss of heaven.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 08, 2014, 01:17:21 AM
Ah, yes, Patrick but what are you calling dead. Medical science can keep people alive for years with machines but with thier brain non-functioning they are dead, completely, just with a heart beating. Like Ariel Sharon who has been 'dead' for 8 years. Does god have a soul hanging in there with an animated dead body for years on end?
there are no Jews in heaven are there? Heaven is a Christian construct. Funny how he forgot to include his original followers in the eternal bliss of heaven.
If so, then why did Jesus tell the story of the rich man and Lazarus?  He was speaking to Jews who understood the idea of an afterlife.
Why did Paul say that Abraham (patriarch of Jewish people) was saved or "counted as righteous"?  Why was the gospel first preached to the Jews, then to everyone else?  The first Christians were Jews converted to the gospel, but not leaving their belief in God as one God.  Christ fulfilled the law, and revealed that He was eternal with God.  Therefore, the Jewish believers could understand that belief in Him as Messiah, Son of God, didn't contradict their original belief of monotheism. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 08, 2014, 03:43:39 AM

You're now saying that you don't believe that it's ever the case that humans can't exist without a soul to animate it, which means you think that humans can exist without a soul

Re: Your quote (in bold above)………. That’s exactly my point.  I didn’t say that.

You didn't need to as it can be extrapolated that this is the case from what you have said.
 
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Here’s my earlier quote: "I believe that the soul and body are joined together as long as the body is alive. But the soul never dies. The body dies"

So the human body can be alive without the soul, otherwise it's meaningless to say that the body dies when the soul doesn't. Death is the cessation of life. You've put it that the soul and body are joined as long as the body is alive, not that the body is alive as long as there is a soul joined to it. What else is there to conclude apart from that what you actually believe is that the human body can be alive without a soul.

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This statement does NOT say that the body dies without the soul.  As you misunderstood.  The soul only departs the body after the body is dead.  I don’t have any reason to think that God creates a human body without a soul or takes a soul out of a body before the body dies.   Part of what makes a human being (from a spiritual perspective) is that we always have a soul.

All I'm trying to establish is whether or not you believe the human body is classed as living by itself, without a soul. With your continued use of saying that "the body dies", you are inadvertently saying that the body can be alive. So, as I have said before, humans are alive twice in this world, with a living body and a living soul which can continue to be alive even when the body is no longer living. Therefore, the human body does not need a soul to animate it in order for it to be alive.
Whether humans always have a soul or not is irrelevant to whether the body is alive with or without one.
 
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Now, I answered you despite your attempt to rationalize name calling.

Is this where I'm supposed to feel privileged?

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There’s no need for it.

This is an internet forum, not a formal debate. True, I can easily still make my point by saying that you are mistaken, but I find it that monumental that I consider you idiotic. It's personal preference, I suppose. Like I said, I have no problem with mild ad homs as I'd rather tell you straight than give you a sugar coated version.
 
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You should look up the word idiot vs. the word ignorant.

Why? Is this you admitting that you are ignorant towards the knowledge gained  regarding human evolution via natural processes?

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You should also look up the word “gall”, since it didn’t fit your sentence either.

Yes it does. Perhaps but this down to dialect, as it is common parlance for me.   

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What makes you think a soul is simple in comparison to the complexity of physical life?  What basis would you arrive at that conclusion?

Due to the idea that it's believed that because physicality is so complex that it requires an intelligence behind it - an intelligence that therefore can't be physical itself otherwise it would suffer from the same problem of complexity and also require an intelligence behind it. There would have to come a point where something is so simple that it wouldn't require an intelligence to be behind it - that would be your unmoved mover, the eternal being...., god.
If you believe differently and you don't think the soul is simple in comparison to physical life (and there you go again finding life without a soul), then fair enough, but that leads you to the complexity conclusion you have drawn where a soul would also require a designer. Perhaps you don't believe god is a soul, or if he is, then he's a different kind of soul to the ones he creates for humans, but then I'd like to see you justify that without special pleading.
However, if you do believe souls are simple, then you're complexity argument falls flat on its face, because you simultaneously believe that even simple things require an intelligent designer.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 08, 2014, 01:10:20 PM
PH ... That's all NT stuff reffering to a heaven  trying to get old followers away from  God and over to Jesus requires an incentive. Had the NT been written as the life of the messiah unfolded or shortly after  "death and resurrection " of this messiah Jews  would be Christians now.  The fact that books of the NT were written centuries after Jesus may be in fact why Jews  are still Jews
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Quesi on January 08, 2014, 01:15:22 PM
there are no Jews in heaven are there? Heaven is a Christian construct. Funny how he forgot to include his original followers in the eternal bliss of heaven.

It is all so confusing.  I mean, most of you know much more about the bible than I do.  But didn't Jesus turn water into wine at somebody's wedding, so that the guests would all have a good time?  I mean, they were all jews.  Seems kind of odd that he would give them a good, wine-filled party, and then condemn them to hell.  Doesn't it? 

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: kcrady on January 08, 2014, 11:53:23 PM
So in order to understand my points for belief in God, you would first have to accept something that I believe is true.  That mankind is made up of more than just the physical.  We have other dimensions to us.  Love, music, art, self sacrifice, laughter, sadness, and all of these expressions (and more) tell me that we are more than just tangible.  We have qualities like higher level thinking and a consciousness that causes us to ask why am I here?  Where did I come from?  Where am I going?

These are the basic questions that every philosophy and religion in the history of the world has wrestled with, and proposed answers to.  I don't see any reason to make the immediate leap from "Huh.  Fascinating questions" to "Therefore, the Bible must be true!"  It would be quite the stroke of luck if the predominant religion of the region and culture you just happened to be born in also just happened to be the one with all the correct answers to the questions of life!  Wouldn't it?  If you are uncomfortable with the "random chance" element of evolutionary theory, shouldn't you also be uncomfortable with the idea of assuming that American Protestantism is true just because you happened to be born into the milieu of American Protestantism? 

Obviously, taking the answers of the local predominant religion doesn't work as a method of discovering truth because...think of all those other poor bastards born in other places and times, with other predominant religions and philosophies!  If you had been born under the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III, I guarantee you, "Christianity!" would not have been the answer to those questions you would have found.

So, the first thing that must be done when beginning a process of inquiry into these questions, is to seek out a method or methods that work for the purpose of answering questions, discovering facts, and identifying errors in one's own thinking.  "Defend the religion I was born into" demonstrably does not work, as shown by the existence of all those people born into religions and philosophies you think are wrong, wrong, wrong.  So far, the methods that have shown themselves to work best are: observation, logic, and science practiced under a rubric of reciprocal accountability.  "Reciprocal accountability" is the process by which ideas (world views, political polices, scientific theories, products for sale, claims that a given person is guilty of a crime, etc.) are subject to the critical scrutiny of others, who are free to shoot them down. 

This is the underlying principle of how the world's most successful science (peer review, replication of observation and experiments by skeptical scientists), courts (adversarial trial-by-jury with guaranteed access to professional legal representation), government (political leaders regularly subject to democratic elections, checks-and-balances, and debate of their policy proposals), and markets (free competition by multiple enterprises with a government referee to prevent the formation of cartels, monopolies, systematic cheating by the powerful, etc.) work.  Of course these things don't work perfectly.  Nothing human does.  But...the way we find out they don't work perfectly, and try to make them work better is: science, logic, and reciprocal accountability. 

Have you noticed that religions as a rule, never use these tools?  How they always try to put something or someone (or both) above questioning and criticism?
 
Observations like this leads me to believe that we are more than just evolved beasts.  That we are not random chance beings whose ancestors crawled out of a primordial soup and eventually become man.  I don't see the evolutionary reason or even the possibility of evolution "needing to" create those intangible qualities (as if evolution itself had a brain and a motive).

I could just as easily say, "Observations like this lead me to believe that we are more than just automatons made to tend a garden (Gen. 2:15).  That we were not made to just munch fruit and obey orders, or herd goats in the desert.  I don't see the design reason or even the possibility of a deity 'needing to' create those intangible qualities [e.g. ability to perform calculus or build spaceships] in order to have people to bow down to it and sing its praises."  And the truth is, I don't.  Any deity capable of creating a hundred billion galaxies with a thought has no conceivable use for human sycophants.

1. I see evidence of good and evil

This does not provide evidence for Christianity.  The "Argument From Evil" is actually one of the main evidences against the existence of an all-powerful, all-good creator deity with omnimax attributes (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence).  Leaping straight to Christianity here also represents a fallacy of Locating the Hypothesis (http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Locate_the_hypothesis).  More on this below. 

2. I have reason to believe in the authenticity of the bible

Not sure what you mean by "authenticity of the Bible" here.  If you're arguing something along the lines of, "The Bible said that Nineveh was real; the archaeologists thought it was a myth until they found it, therefore the Bible is God's infallible Word!," that is no more to the point than assuming that because Troy and Mycenae were found, therefore the Goddess Athena must exist.  Again, you're jumping straight to the Bible for no apparent reason.  Have you tested the Upanishads for authenticity?  Locating the Hypothesis again.


3. The bible also admits the problem of good and evil
4. The bible states that the ability for good and evil exists in people.  Which I see evidence of.

Outside of, maybe, a few hand-wringing French Existentialists and postmodernist academics, you'd have a hard time finding any philosophical or religious text that doesn't admit the problem of good and evil, and state that good and evil exist in people.  If you're guessing that I'll mention "Locating the Hypothesis" again here, you'd be right.

 
5. The bible states that mankind needs to be taught what good and evil are.  Otherwise, if left to their own devices, man will deviate into a place where he hurts and destroys himself and others around him. I see evidence of this throughout history and in today's world.

See my response to #4 above.

But ultimately a society without God's rules for living written in their hearts, will decay.  Therefore God in the bible shows us that we are lost without Him.

And yet, somehow, the Japanese, the Swedes and Finns and Danes manage just fine without ordering their societies along the lines of a Biblical Sharia.  In terms of measurable criteria of social health (crime rates, teen pregnancy rates, happiness levels, social equality, infant mortality, etc.) such secular societies routinely outperform religious societies like the U.S.  Within the U.S., the more secular "blue" states outperform the more religious "red" states.  As far as we can tell from actual observation, we are better off "without Him."  For that matter, the ancient Egyptians, Minoans, etc.--not to mention hunter-gatherer cultures that measured their continuation in tens of thousands of years--seem to have managed alright without the Bible.

Furthermore, what exactly are "God's rules for living" anyway?  No eating shrimp wrapped in bacon?  No use of blended-fiber cloth?  Picking up sticks on a Saturday should be a capital offense (Numbers 15:32-36)?  No, wait, we ignore all that stuff nowadays, don't we?  You know, the places where the Bible actually lays out a code of law and jurisprudence.  Instead, we come up with a set of "rules for living" we like better (don't be gay, don't be a woman, and cut taxes on the rich) and then say those are in the Bible as "God's rules for living."  How many Christians these days actually obey the things the Jesus of the Gospels said about money?   Well, if we're going to come up with our own rules anyway, we might as well use the methods I outlined above and stop using Yahweh as a ventriloquist dummy.

Locating the Hypothesis

I mentioned the concept of "Locating the Hypothesis" a few times.  When we are trying to answer a question, and are confronted with a large possibility space of potential answers, it is fallacious to select one particular hypothesis out for focused attention without having sufficient evidence to do so.  Over and over again, you leap straight to [your interpretation of] the Bible without first providing any evidence that it, and not some other ancient holy book or none, should be privileged (http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Privileging_the_hypothesis) as the one worthy of consideration.

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To see the problem of privileging the hypothesis, suppose that the police in Largeville, a town with a million inhabitants, are investigating a murder in which there are few or no clues - the victim was stabbed to death in an alley, and there are no fingerprints and no witnesses.

Then, one of the detectives says, "Well... we have no idea who did it... no particular evidence singling out any of the million people in this city... but let's consider the possibility that this murder was committed by Mortimer Q. Snodgrass, who lives at 128 Ordinary Ln."

If the detective does not have evidence already in hand to justify singling out Mortimer for such special and individual attention, then this is, or ought to be, a violation of Mortimer's civil rights.

You have provided no reason to immediately select "the Bible" as the one hypothesis worthy of consideration, no evidence that you ever went through any process of inquiry where you considered the merits of the Vedas and the Pyramid Texts and the Pupul Vuh and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics[/url] and the writings of Confucius, etc. before finally hitting upon the Bible as the best and most rational understanding.  You've shown no evidence of having a method of inquiry that lead you to choosing "the Bible" other than "being born at a particular place and time." 

6. Other religions are self serving in that they try to control their followers.  If practiced correctly, Christianity allows people to choose.

Oh, sure.  But if you "choose" wrong, you BURN FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER IN EXQUISITE FIERY TORMENT!!!!  Nice soul ya got there.  It'd be a shame if something happened to it.  Capiche?

As Joshua said "choose for yourself this day whom you will serve".

Joshua, the Adolf Hitler of the Bible, whose sword (if the legends were true) dripped with the blood of hundreds of thousands of people, including women, children, and infants killed for the "crime" of "choosing" (well, being born into) a different religion, offering people a "choice?"  Do you really, honestly think that anyone in his audience would have felt (much less actually been) safe to say, "Actually, now that you mention it, I think I'd rather go worship Asherah in that sacred grove of trees over there.  Thanks, bye"?


Jesus said "behold I stand at the door and knock, if any one opens the door I will come into Him and dwell".

*Knock knock*
"Who's there?"
"It's Jesus.  You need to let me in so I can save you!"
"From what?"
"From what I'm gonna do to you if you don't let me in!"


7. There is a law of nature that says all sin must be paid for with a price.  Similar to the first law of thermodynamics in physics, there is a spiritual law in a sense that we can see manifest itself here in the natural realm.  If people steal, lie, covet, murder, there is a price to be paid, by someone.  Either the victim or the perpetrator pays the price of the activity. 
8. Christ came to pay the price for the sins of the world.

So, if somebody murders a loved one of yours, but then they "accept Jesus," you're OK with them serving no jail time for the murder, right?  Because Jesus "paid the price" for their "sin," obviously you can't be still "paying the price" as measured in the loss of your loved one, and we can't expect the perpetrator to "pay the price" as measured in a life sentence in jail.  Right?

Of course I expect you won't agree.  That's because what you're doing here is conflating actual things (real costs incurred as a result of crime) with religious abstractions like "sin" and "Jesus paying a price" by "dying" (but not really--there was never only two members of the Trinity, right?) in a story.  The two are not the same at all, and it doesn't work to treat them that way.  So no, the Bible doesn't get to be a new principle of thermodynamics.

9.  The offer of salvation being a free gift through faith,

Bollocks.  You earn your "salvation" the exact same way you used to earn an A in school.  If Christian "salvation" was actually a "free gift," then the blank in the following sentence: "In order to be saved, you must ___________" would stay blank.

is not something that I see men who wrote books in the bible at different points in time, could have come up with on their own, without collaboration.

Because there's no freakin' way the guys who wrote the later books could ever have read the earlier books, right?

It is not self serving especially when considering the time and culture in which they lived.

Bollocks.  Getting your "salvation" for "free" (by having the right set of beliefs, i.e., getting the right answers on the Celestial Quiz), you get the best of both worlds.  You get to be part of the extra-special in-group that's going to Heaven while all of "those people" (the pagans, gays, Jews, uppity women, Vile Heretics who believe most of the same things you do but disagree on a few doctrines, etc.) Burn In Hell.  But you don't have to actually work at it to earn the privilege.  Jews had to obey a long list of rules in order to be on the Inside Track.  If the Gospels are to be believed, Jesus came along and made Judaism even harder--it wasn't enough just to not commit fornication, you had to not even think about it!  But then along comes Saul of Tarsus, and he says nah, don't worry about any of that, just believe The Right Things, and you're golden!

Nah, that's not self-serving at all!  Guys who wanted to worship the Goddess Cybele had to chop. their. balls. off!  Talk about a religion "nobody would make up!"

10.  Christ had a huge impact on the world.

No he didn't.  During his (alleged) existence, nobody noticed he was even there except for his tiny band of followers.  No contemporary writer mentions him or any "huge impact" he had.  He doesn't even have a "huge impact" in the New Testament.  Just compare how much space is taken up with his words (a red letter Bible is helpful here) vs. how much space is taken up with the words of Paul, a guy who never even met the man.  Or for that matter, all the space taken up with painstaking descriptions of the Tabernacle, the bowls and furniture and altars to be used in it, the garments of the priests, and so on.  In his 33 years of life, Jesus never had anything else to say that might have been more deserving of "making the cut" than all that stuff?  Really?

The world's calendar for example is based on His birth. Major holidays around His birth and resurrection.

The major holidays (Saturnalia, Easter, etc.) existed prior to their assimilation into Christianity.  The dominance of the Gregorian calendar in today's world is due to Guns, Germs, and Steel, not how awesomesauce Jesus was.  Native Americans: "Hey, this Jesus fellow was really great, wasn't he?  Let's toss our calendar and adopt his!"  Sorry, but that never happened.

 
11.  Men who knew Him where martyred and persecuted because of their faith in Him.

Stories--and I might add, Roman Catholic stories that aren't in the Bible, say that Jesus' disciples were martyred because of their faith in him.  Also, lots and lots and lots of people die for their religions.  That doesn't make their religions true.

     
12.  I have had sin in my own life and Christ has changed me.  My belief in Him has caused me to love God for the free gift of salvation that He has given me. This in turn gives me a desire to avoid sin and things that lead to sin.  Because of a love for God.

This is nice, but Christianity is hardly the only belief-system that can be "life-changing."  Realizing that Jesus was not "in control," heading up to the Bridge to see that he wasn't at the wheel, and taking control and responsibility for my own life was the best thing I ever did.  I wish I had made that realization, and that decision much earlier.  Atheism has changed me and turned my life around.  Does that make atheism true?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 09, 2014, 04:45:23 PM
Aaaaaaaaand resounding silence from PH.

I think we have to declare kcrady the winner. Pass the awesomesauce. :angel:
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Fiji on January 10, 2014, 02:38:58 AM
Massively excelent post kcrady.

is not something that I see men who wrote books in the bible at different points in time, could have come up with on their own, without collaboration.

Because there's no freakin' way the guys who wrote the later books could ever have read the earlier books, right?

Man, this in particular, you just HAVE to love.
You guys remember venomfangx, right, the youtube nutcase?
There used to be this video, which got conveniently lost on one of the occasions of him leaving youtube for good, where he explains that he first was a jew, then became an Atheist[1] and then discovered all these 'fullfilled' prophecies, was astounded by the fact that the people who wrote the gospels also knew how to read[2] and turned christian.
Seriously, that's the reason one of the most notorious creationist on youtube became christian in the first place ... because people who write can also read.

The world's calendar for example is based on His birth. Major holidays around His birth and resurrection.

The major holidays (Saturnalia, Easter, etc.) existed prior to their assimilation into Christianity.  The dominance of the Gregorian calendar in today's world is due to Guns, Germs, and Steel, not how awesomesauce Jesus was.  Native Americans: "Hey, this Jesus fellow was really great, wasn't he?  Let's toss our calendar and adopt his!"  Sorry, but that never happened.
 1. Because when you're an Atheist, god can't see you sin ... his words, not mine
 2. it's a miracle!!!

Isn't it funny that PH wrote his assertion on the day of the moon? Is he a moon worshipper?
And kcrady answered him on Wodan's day.
Hey, PH, what's your birthday? Hope it's not in the third month, because people might think you worship the Roman gods.

For instance, I'm writing this on Freya's day Janus' month 1010[3] of the year 2014[4] of the Common Era[5] at 810:1410[6] before the passing of the merridian.

So, the world's calendar, or today at least, is one part Norse mythology, one part Roman mythology, half a part Islamic math, half a part Hindu math, one part Christian mythology, two parts Science convention and one part Sumerian math.
(you'll notice I didn't assign credit for the 12 hour system ... there are just too many claimants to list them all)

Edit: annotation system seems to have gone wonky ... can't seem to get it to behave
 3. base ten is of course a Hindu/Islamic construct
 4. Yes!!! finally we have a part of the calendar that IS related to christianity
 5. seriously who uses that AD shit anymore
 6. How many minutes in an hour again? Oh, right, 60 and base 60 arithmatic, we owe to the Sumerians
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 10, 2014, 01:47:23 PM

You're now saying that you don't believe that it's ever the case that humans can't exist without a soul to animate it, which means you think that humans can exist without a soul

Re: Your quote (in bold above)………. That’s exactly my point.  I didn’t say that.

You didn't need to as it can be extrapolated that this is the case from what you have said.
 
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Here’s my earlier quote: "I believe that the soul and body are joined together as long as the body is alive. But the soul never dies. The body dies"

So the human body can be alive without the soul, otherwise it's meaningless to say that the body dies when the soul doesn't. Death is the cessation of life. You've put it that the soul and body are joined as long as the body is alive, not that the body is alive as long as there is a soul joined to it. What else is there to conclude apart from that what you actually believe is that the human body can be alive without a soul.

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This statement does NOT say that the body dies without the soul.  As you misunderstood.  The soul only departs the body after the body is dead.  I don’t have any reason to think that God creates a human body without a soul or takes a soul out of a body before the body dies.   Part of what makes a human being (from a spiritual perspective) is that we always have a soul.

All I'm trying to establish is whether or not you believe the human body is classed as living by itself, without a soul. With your continued use of saying that "the body dies", you are inadvertently saying that the body can be alive. So, as I have said before, humans are alive twice in this world, with a living body and a living soul which can continue to be alive even when the body is no longer living. Therefore, the human body does not need a soul to animate it in order for it to be alive.
Whether humans always have a soul or not is irrelevant to whether the body is alive with or without one.
 
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Now, I answered you despite your attempt to rationalize name calling.

Is this where I'm supposed to feel privileged?

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There’s no need for it.

This is an internet forum, not a formal debate. True, I can easily still make my point by saying that you are mistaken, but I find it that monumental that I consider you idiotic. It's personal preference, I suppose. Like I said, I have no problem with mild ad homs as I'd rather tell you straight than give you a sugar coated version.
 
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You should look up the word idiot vs. the word ignorant.

Why? Is this you admitting that you are ignorant towards the knowledge gained  regarding human evolution via natural processes?

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You should also look up the word “gall”, since it didn’t fit your sentence either.

Yes it does. Perhaps but this down to dialect, as it is common parlance for me.   

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What makes you think a soul is simple in comparison to the complexity of physical life?  What basis would you arrive at that conclusion?

Due to the idea that it's believed that because physicality is so complex that it requires an intelligence behind it - an intelligence that therefore can't be physical itself otherwise it would suffer from the same problem of complexity and also require an intelligence behind it. There would have to come a point where something is so simple that it wouldn't require an intelligence to be behind it - that would be your unmoved mover, the eternal being...., god.
If you believe differently and you don't think the soul is simple in comparison to physical life (and there you go again finding life without a soul), then fair enough, but that leads you to the complexity conclusion you have drawn where a soul would also require a designer. Perhaps you don't believe god is a soul, or if he is, then he's a different kind of soul to the ones he creates for humans, but then I'd like to see you justify that without special pleading.
However, if you do believe souls are simple, then you're complexity argument falls flat on its face, because you simultaneously believe that even simple things require an intelligent designer.

It’s funny to me that you are telling me what I believe based on your flawed logic. 
Here’s the problem with your thinking:  You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.  If God is material like us, then I could understand your point.  But God is not made, He is the maker.  God is the beginning of all and the end of all.  While finite beings cannot completely understand this, we can conceive it and believe it.  I do by using two things that I perceieve exist…..my brain and my heart.  My brain says that physical matter cannot exist eternally.  My heart, which is that part that is made in the image of God, my soul,  says that there is something bigger than myself and Jesus revealed who that is.  There is another main issue, and that is the issue of sin.  I know that myself and all other humans are sinners.  I can see the results of sin and the damage it does to people.  So being made in the image of God, I realize that I need God but cannot get to him because I’ve sinned against Him.  I therefore need to be reconciled back to Him.  I’m not proving these things in the scientific way that you want me to because that is a box.  There is more to it than the box atheists try to confine this argument to. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Boots on January 10, 2014, 02:55:23 PM

It’s funny to me that you are telling me what I believe based on your flawed logic.

You've provided no examples of how Ataraxia's logic is flawed.  Here, let me demonstrate...
 
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Here’s the problem with your thinking:  You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not,

Logical fallacy: special pleading.  why does god get to be the only eternal being?  if you accept in infinitely complex being who created the universe as being causeless, why not accept the possibility of the universe (less complex than god) being causeless?

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are made by Him and therefore have a beginning. 

Logical fallacy: begging the question.  How do you know god created everything?  (actually, this might not be a good example of "begging the question," I'll take corrections here)

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If God is material like us, then I could understand your point.  But God is not made, He is the maker.  God is the beginning of all and the end of all.  While finite beings cannot completely understand this, we can conceive it and believe it.

Ambiguity.  If we can't understand it, wtf???

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  I do by using two things that I perceieve exist…..my brain and my heart.  My brain says that physical matter cannot exist eternally.  My heart, which is that part that is made in the image of God, my soul...

Logical fallacy: begging the question.  How do you know your heart, which contains your soul (apparently) is the part that's made in the image of god?

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  says that there is something bigger than myself

Logical fallacy: anecdotal.  What you think/feel is not evidence of anything except that you think/feel stuff.

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and Jesus revealed who that is.  There is another main issue, and that is the issue of sin.  I know that myself and all other humans are sinners.  I can see the results of sin and the damage it does to people.  So being made in the image of God, I realize that I need God but cannot get to him because I’ve sinned against Him.  I therefore need to be reconciled back to Him.

Ummm...I'm sure there's at least one fallacy in there somewhere, but I can't really understand it, so...

Quote
  I’m not proving these things in the scientific way that you want me to because that is a box.  There is more to it than the box atheists try to confine this argument to.

Logical fallacy: strawman.  We are trying to logically assess your claims of a supernatural being using the only tools at our disposal, rather than resorting to unsubstantiated and unfalsifiable claims of supernatural intervention.

Edited: stupid quoting errors
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 10, 2014, 03:22:39 PM
I slightly disagree Boots


It’s funny to me that you are telling me what I believe based on your flawed logic. 
Here’s the problem with your thinking:  You are equating God, who is an eternal being(1) to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning(2).  If God is material like us, then I could understand your point.  But God is not made, He is the maker.  God is the beginning of all and the end of all(1).  While finite beings cannot completely understand this, we can conceive it and believe it(1).  I do by using two things that I perceieve exist…..my brain and my heart(1).  My brain says that physical matter cannot exist eternally.  My heart, which is that part that is made in the image of God, my soul(1),  says that there is something bigger than myself and Jesus revealed who that is(1).  There is another main issue, and that is the issue of sin.  I know that myself and all other humans are sinners(1).  I can see the results of sin and the damage it does to people(1).  So being made in the image of God(1), I realize that I need God but cannot get to him because I’ve sinned against Him(1).  I therefore need to be reconciled back to Him(1).  I’m not proving these things in the scientific way that you want me to because that is a box.  There is more to it than the box atheists try to confine this argument to.(2)


(1)Circular reasoning/Begging the Question
(2)Special pleading
(3)Appeal to ignorance

When I started this I didn't expect almost everything he said to be Circular reason, after the third (1) I marked, it got kind of funny.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 10, 2014, 04:37:31 PM
I slightly disagree Boots


It’s funny to me that you are telling me what I believe based on your flawed logic. 
Here’s the problem with your thinking:  You are equating God, who is an eternal being(1) to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning(2).  If God is material like us, then I could understand your point.  But God is not made, He is the maker.  God is the beginning of all and the end of all(1).  While finite beings cannot completely understand this, we can conceive it and believe it(1).  I do by using two things that I perceieve exist…..my brain and my heart(1).  My brain says that physical matter cannot exist eternally.  My heart, which is that part that is made in the image of God, my soul(1),  says that there is something bigger than myself and Jesus revealed who that is(1).  There is another main issue, and that is the issue of sin.  I know that myself and all other humans are sinners(1).  I can see the results of sin and the damage it does to people(1).  So being made in the image of God(1), I realize that I need God but cannot get to him because I’ve sinned against Him(1).  I therefore need to be reconciled back to Him(1).  I’m not proving these things in the scientific way that you want me to because that is a box.  There is more to it than the box atheists try to confine this argument to.(2)


(1)Circular reasoning/Begging the Question
(2)Special pleading
(3)Appeal to ignorance

When I started this I didn't expect almost everything he said to be Circular reason, after the third (1) I marked, it got kind of funny.

Sorry, but I cannot see where you marked (3).
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 10, 2014, 06:28:48 PM
... (something doesn't come from absolutely nothing)... 
No?
http://youtu.be/EjaGktVQdNg

Finally had a chance to watch the entire video.  Krauss is a smart guy who obviously has a bone to pick with religion.  His primary goal seemed not for education, but for proselytization of his faith in nothing and to spread his conclusions, not his science.  His religion is the religion of self.  He is his own idol. 
Dark matter, the stuff between the stuff.   Is still stuff.  Krauss even gave it a name "energy".
The idea that we can identify something like dark matter and energy and call it "nothing" is absurd at the most obvious level.  To actually have Nothing is just that.  Nothing.  To even be able to name something er....I mean nothing, goes against the principle of "nothing".  Because "nothing" if there is such a thing, isn't actually there.  If there is such a thing as "nothing", then behind all of it there was "something" (like God) prior to it, that could speak something into existance, as the bible says. 

Job 38:
“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory

And that you may discern the paths to its home?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Eddie Schultz on January 10, 2014, 07:06:42 PM
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?

Patrick Henry, I was reading through this thread and noticed you didn't answer Jonny UK from his reply to you above back on December 18th. I would love to hear your reply. My christian brother claims the same things, but can never provide any real evidence to support his and others claims of healing, etc... through prayer.

Thanks
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 10, 2014, 07:33:06 PM

Job 38:
“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory

And that you may discern the paths to its home?

Do you honestly think this is talking about Dark Matter?

Do you know the dimensions of the earth?
Were you there when the foundations were laid?
Do you know in what the foundations were set into?
Do you know where Mr. Sun rests his head at the end of the day?
Do you know where the darkness goes when the sun is awake?
Do you know from where the winds come from?
Do you know where Mr. Lightning is when he isn't visible?
Do you know from whence Mr. Thunder comes and goes?
Do you go into the store houses of snow and hail and cast it down upon the Earth?
Do you open and close the flood gates?
Can you order the Sun to reach out his hands, to grab the edges of the Earth and shake all the evil people off of it?
blah, blah, blah ad nauseum.
Do you? Can you? DO YOU? CAN YOU? ???

Bolded: About dark matter? I think not.

In a previous post[1], I answered all those questions, something any 4th grader can answer[2], but when Job was written by people that thought the Earth was flat, they didn't know the anwer to any of those questions. It's part of a monologue from YHWH to Job telling him, "I know and can do all these things. No, I'm not telling. Just shut up, and put up!"

Another verse taken out of context trying to make it fit modern knowledge.
 1. a long time ago.
 2. or has the knowledge to know where to look/ask
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on January 10, 2014, 07:34:56 PM
... (something doesn't come from absolutely nothing)... 
No?
http://youtu.be/EjaGktVQdNg

Finally had a chance to watch the entire video.  Krauss is a smart guy who obviously has a bone to pick with religion.  His primary goal seemed not for education, but for proselytization of his faith in nothing and to spread his conclusions, not his science.  His religion is the religion of self.  He is his own idol. 
Dark matter, the stuff between the stuff.   Is still stuff.  Krauss even gave it a name "energy".
The idea that we can identify something like dark matter and energy and call it "nothing" is absurd at the most obvious level.  To actually have Nothing is just that.  Nothing.  To even be able to name something er....I mean nothing, goes against the principle of "nothing".  Because "nothing" if there is such a thing, isn't actually there.  If there is such a thing as "nothing", then behind all of it there was "something" (like God) prior to it, that could speak something into existance, as the bible says. 

Job 38:
“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory

And that you may discern the paths to its home?

You have not understood the video. Dark matter is not energy. It is not this which is nothing. Also the properties of nothing are what they are discovered to be, not what YOU dictate them to be.

Second the bible does not say that the Elohim created something from nothing. It says that the primal substance was water, which existed prior to any creation. Obviously the bible is the speculation of primitive people who made up these multiple gods to create everything.

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 10, 2014, 08:03:54 PM
... (something doesn't come from absolutely nothing)... 
No?
http://youtu.be/EjaGktVQdNg

Finally had a chance to watch the entire video.  Krauss is a smart guy who obviously has a bone to pick with religion.  His primary goal seemed not for education, but for proselytization of his faith in nothing and to spread his conclusions, not his science.  His religion is the religion of self.  He is his own idol. 
Dark matter, the stuff between the stuff.   Is still stuff.  Krauss even gave it a name "energy".
The idea that we can identify something like dark matter and energy and call it "nothing" is absurd at the most obvious level.  To actually have Nothing is just that.  Nothing.  To even be able to name something er....I mean nothing, goes against the principle of "nothing".  Because "nothing" if there is such a thing, isn't actually there.  If there is such a thing as "nothing", then behind all of it there was "something" (like God) prior to it, that could speak something into existance, as the bible says. 

Job 38:
“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory

And that you may discern the paths to its home?

You're right. Lawrence even said that "nothing" isn't "nothing"(as we once thought it to be) anymore. So, keep in mind that Lawrence agrees with you about that. A Universe From Nothing is a catchy title that also allows "nothing" to still be "something". Also remember, there could be a mind-boggling infinite fluctuation between "something" and "nothing" that we may never wrap our heads around. Lawrence just wants to share with you how our universe came from "nothing". He is not going to pretend that he knows where the "nothing" came from.






The idea that we can identify something like dark matter and energy and call it "nothing" is absurd at the most obvious level.

Yeah, and then you quote from the Book of Job. Talk about absurd.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 10, 2014, 09:14:34 PM
His primary goal seemed not for education, but for proselytization of his faith in nothing ....

I think you came to this conclusion because you don't understand the science.  If you understood the science you will understand that his primary goal was for education about the conclusions that science can make currently.  You don't like the conclusion but whether something is true or not doesn't care if we like it or not.

....and to spread his conclusions, not his science.  His religion is the religion of self.  He is his own idol.

More false assertions based on you not liking the current conclusions made by science.


Dark matter, the stuff between the stuff.   Is still stuff.  Krauss even gave it a name "energy".
The idea that we can identify something like dark matter and energy and call it "nothing" is absurd at the most obvious level.  To actually have Nothing is just that.  Nothing.  To even be able to name something er....I mean nothing, goes against the principle of "nothing".  Because "nothing" if there is such a thing, isn't actually there. 

That's the thing, the stuff between the stuff is nothing.  If you want to define the stuff between the stuff as stuff then the "nothing" no longer exists.  We don't know that "absolutely nothing" ever existed.

Confusing, I know.

The problem is, what we thought was "nothing" actually turned out to be "something".  So then what is actually "nothing"?  We don't know anymore in this universe.

So in a sense you are probably right when you say "Something doesn't come from absolutely nothing".  Unfortunately, your statement doesn't apply to reality as we currently understand it.

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 10, 2014, 11:49:42 PM
I slightly disagree Boots


It’s funny to me that you are telling me what I believe based on your flawed logic. 
Here’s the problem with your thinking:  You are equating God, who is an eternal being(1) to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning(2).  If God is material like us, then I could understand your point.  But God is not made, He is the maker.  God is the beginning of all and the end of all(1).  While finite beings cannot completely understand this, we can conceive it and believe it(1).  I do by using two things that I perceieve exist…..my brain and my heart(1).  My brain says that physical matter cannot exist eternally.  My heart, which is that part that is made in the image of God, my soul(1),  says that there is something bigger than myself and Jesus revealed who that is(1).  There is another main issue, and that is the issue of sin.  I know that myself and all other humans are sinners(1).  I can see the results of sin and the damage it does to people(1).  So being made in the image of God(1), I realize that I need God but cannot get to him because I’ve sinned against Him(1).  I therefore need to be reconciled back to Him(1).  I’m not proving these things in the scientific way that you want me to because that is a box.  There is more to it than the box atheists try to confine this argument to.(3)


(1)Circular reasoning/Begging the Question
(2)Special pleading
(3)Appeal to ignorance

When I started this I didn't expect almost everything he said to be Circular reason, after the third (1) I marked, it got kind of funny.

fixed
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 11, 2014, 12:26:51 AM
fixed

Thanks. Thought my eyes were failing me.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 11, 2014, 07:50:21 AM
It’s funny to me that you are telling me what I believe based on your flawed logic.

Nowhere have I told you what you believe. What I have said are consequences and conclusions drawn from what you have told us you believe. I'm even asking you what you believe but you don't give any straight answers, so I have to work with what you've already supplied and draw up potential hypothetical beliefs. If you read back, you'll see plenty of "if you believe".

As for my "flawed logic", don't just tell me it is, show me it is. It's dead easy to simply assert stuff, as you've demonstrated nicely with the rest of your post.

Quote
Here’s the problem with your thinking:  You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.

I'm not equating god to anything. I'm taking your beliefs and showing them to be contradictory. You see complexity as evidence for intelligent design, yet you also believe simple things are created by an intelligent designer. I mean, you've just said it yourself that whether something is complex or not, god made it, therefore complexity is irrelevant to whether you believe there is an intelligent designer. You are simply reversing your argument to try and show evidence of intelligent design, when in actuality, you are taking your biased a priori assumption and retro fitting things around it. It's very transparent and not at all original.

Quote
If God is material like us, then I could understand your point.  But God is not made, He is the maker.  God is the beginning of all and the end of all.

As I've explained, it isn't my point. It's a deconstruction of what you believe and highlighting that when your beliefs are broken down they're contradictory. Now you're telling us that we are material, but then you've told us that we have a soul, which isn't material. See what I mean by contradictory? You're all over the place. You need to make your mind up and stop compartmentalising.

Quote
While finite beings cannot completely understand this, we can conceive it and believe it.  I do by using two things that I perceive exist…..my brain and my heart.  My brain says that physical matter cannot exist eternally.  My heart, which is that part that is made in the image of God, my soul,  says that there is something bigger than myself and Jesus revealed who that is.

Look, see you're doing it again by saying that there is part of us that is like god. So we are like god, though god is not material like us, but we have something that is made like god, which isn't material and complex, but requires making by god.
Right, so we are like god. Sheesh, I'm finding this hard work. No wonder you ignore it and carry on regardless.

Quote
There is another main issue, and that is the issue of sin.  I know that myself and all other humans are sinners.

This thread exists for you to provide evidence that god really exists, not simply assert stuff. Don't just claim to know it, show it. I can just as easily state that I know that myself and all other humans aren't sinners. One of us is wrong, so how do we go about finding out who is most probably correct?

Quote
I can see the results of sin and the damage it does to people.  So being made in the image of God, I realize that I need God but cannot get to him because I’ve sinned against Him.  I therefore need to be reconciled back to Him.

I see words but they mean nothing to me in that order. I'm not interested in all this assertive white noise. We want your evidence.

Also, again we are like god, but not in a complex sense because that requires god to make it, though this bit that is in the image of god requires being made by god too. Of course, god doesn't require this shared likeness being made by another intelligent designer due to special pleading.

Quote
I’m not proving these things in the scientific way that you want me to because that is a box.  There is more to it than the box atheists try to confine this argument to.

Oh dear. As well as your erroneous sweeping generalisation of atheists, you couldn't be more wrong about what I want. I don't expect you to be able to prove it in the scientific way because you can't. What I expect is for you to be able to provide an alternative method to falsify all of these assertions you make. I've been asking this of theists since I can remember and not once got an answer. Change the world, PH, and be the first to do so....
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 11, 2014, 09:45:00 AM
Five Pages and no Answer

Gosh, you are doing well, Patrick, avoiding the question for this long. I'm getting tired of seeing page passing page with no straight answers. So let's try again, Patrick.

Please answer -

1. What are your reasons for believing there is an actual existing god in or outwith the universe? (This is just the reason your believe this - nothing more.)

2. What might turn up that would make you change your mind about the existence of a god?

Right, Patrick, quite simple - just two answers needed and our discussion here might end....
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 11, 2014, 01:35:40 PM
Kcrady deserves an address to his post as well
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 03:32:37 AM
... (something doesn't come from absolutely nothing)... 
No?
http://youtu.be/EjaGktVQdNg

Finally had a chance to watch the entire video.  Krauss is a smart guy who obviously has a bone to pick with religion.  His primary goal seemed not for education, but for proselytization of his faith in nothing and to spread his conclusions, not his science.  His religion is the religion of self.  He is his own idol. 
Dark matter, the stuff between the stuff.   Is still stuff.  Krauss even gave it a name "energy".
The idea that we can identify something like dark matter and energy and call it "nothing" is absurd at the most obvious level.  To actually have Nothing is just that.  Nothing.  To even be able to name something er....I mean nothing, goes against the principle of "nothing".  Because "nothing" if there is such a thing, isn't actually there.  If there is such a thing as "nothing", then behind all of it there was "something" (like God) prior to it, that could speak something into existance, as the bible says. 

Job 38:
“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory

And that you may discern the paths to its home?

You have not understood the video. Dark matter is not energy. It is not this which is nothing. Also the properties of nothing are what they are discovered to be, not what YOU dictate them to be.

Second the bible does not say that the Elohim created something from nothing. It says that the primal substance was water, which existed prior to any creation. Obviously the bible is the speculation of primitive people who made up these multiple gods to create everything.
I agree that science is saying dark matter and dark energy are different.  But look at what Krauss says in the following interview:
 http://www.onbeing.org/program/our-origins-and-the-weight-of-space-with-lawrence-krauss/transcript/5241

Dr. Krauss:
"The beauty of the night sky and everything we see is just a bit of cosmic pollution in a universe full of dark matter and dark energy. Ninety-nine percent of the universe, 30 percent of the universe roughly is this dark matter, which is made, we're reasonably convinced, of some new type of elementary particle that doesn't exist here on earth. Seventy percent is dark energy, which is the energy of nothing."

"......... empty space weighs something. It's amazing. Who would have thought that? Empty space weighs something. And most of the energy in the universe resides in empty space.

Dr. Krauss: And it's even empty. There's not stuff in there. There's nothing. You can look for it and there's nothing there, but it weighs something. And what it really means, Krista, is that it changed what we mean by nothing. But there's nothing wrong with that.



Not wanting to belabor this but, obviously whether it's dark matter or dark energy, he is talking about "something".  So there is no evidence of something coming from nothing, all on it's own.  Seems to me Krauss was implying that was true. Which is misleading.  That is my point.

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 05:46:13 AM
Five Pages and no Answer

Gosh, you are doing well, Patrick, avoiding the question for this long. I'm getting tired of seeing page passing page with no straight answers. So let's try again, Patrick.

Please answer -

1. What are your reasons for believing there is an actual existing god in or outwith the universe? (This is just the reason your believe this - nothing more.)

2. What might turn up that would make you change your mind about the existence of a god?

Right, Patrick, quite simple - just two answers needed and our discussion here might end....
If you go back to page one of the thread you'll see my first attempt.  It was not avoidance.  I'll write something new for you that should go along with it: 
I sense that there is more to life than.... that we live a certain life span then we die without any consciousness.  Based on that I've looked to answers in religion, philosophy, and even atheism.   

I see a lot of answers to common questions of the heart and the basic human condition are found in the bible.  I believe that a clue to this consciousness that I referred to is that we were made in the image of God.  Therefore we are looking for God, even though we don't know it in many cases. 

Evidence that we look for God is that we all look for meaningfulness in life.  While we may strive for stuff like money, big houses, great careers, we are never truly satisfied with stuff.  All this serves as a God replacement and indicates I think, that all people worship something.  Whether it's money, power, sex, self, physical beauty, on and on.  We put so many things in life on a pedestal and make them ultimate things in our lives, that we are rarely found to be happy or content.  The consequence is that we tend to grow old not in peace, but in frustration.  Not saying that there aren't exceptions to this.  But I think that it is evidence that people need a hope that is beyond themselves and even this life.  Again, most people seem to be wired this way.  People all over the world and every generation. 

Another thing to point out is hope.  Hope is a powerful thing.  Hope can lift up a person's spirit and literally save their life.  We've all seen or read stories of people who died needlessly without hope, and people who survived against the odds because they didn't let their hope die.  It's an interesting phenomenon.  Hope, faith, conscience, consciousness, love, beauty, laughter, art, music, all of which have substance but at the same time have ethereal qualities to them, make us more than just physical creatures like animals, in my opinion.  Not putting down animals, just saying I don't observe these same qualities. Therefore, I call these things mounting evidences of a possibility that I'm more than just a creature who is a product of random chance. 

I don't get the sense that there is no purpose to this life.  To the contrary, I get a strong sense of purpose and meaning from these mentioned human traits.  So I do link purpose and meaning with something higher than me.  I do not link purpose, meaning, these other existential traits and ideas with random chance evolution from nothing or no being.   But instead it makes greater sense to me to look for a creator in order to find the answer to why humans do what they do and have the traits that they have.  At this point I'm not saying that this leads to Christianity.  But most likely to a being or something beyond me that is a creator of all this.   

This is not confined to Western civilization, most people in the world and throughout history have felt this way and have been searching for God or had at least a general feeling of something bigger than themselves.  This is not proof that there is life beyond, but when there is mounting evidence toward something, then it becomes something significant. 
So, based on all of this, I looked for solutions and when presented with the gospel of Jesus Christ, found meaning and answers that really spoke to me.  It was something that I could not kick.  I tried to move away from it but have always been drawn back to the message of Christ and the bible.  So without fighting any more, I realized that I am a Christian. 

Now that I'm a Christian, I've tried to make sure that what I believe is true or not true.  What I've discovered so far is that the bible is a trustworthy set of books full of prophecies that have come true, archeology that has been uncovered to authenticate, eye witness testimony, and effectual change in human lives that brings about cultural and individual change for the better.  I recognize that there are other religions and beliefs that can bring about good changes as well.  So I've looked into the truth claims of many different things and found Christianity to be a much more reliable and fitting representative of what I see the truth being. 

I believe that the story of Christ trumps all other beliefs and the authenticity of the bible does as well.  I do recognize that there are biblical difficulties, but over the years science, archeological discoveries, maybe better interpretive skills, help to reveal the truth in the bible.  So those difficulties that we have today may very well be taken care of in the future. 

Some Christians put greater emphasis on other things, like miracles.  I'm not discounting those supernatural things either.  In order to believe in God, a Christian needs to accept that.  I'm aware that this website calls on people to answer that big question, "why not amputees"?  We can always ask questions like that though.  Why didn't God reveal more to us?  I really don't know.  But I don't think that it disproves God either.  By the way, this is kind of a jab, but there were eye witnesses that Jesus healed an amputee.  Remember Peter cut off a Roman soldier's ear and Jesus healed it.  I know, I know, it's in the bible and those people aren't alive and we have no video tape to prove it. Eye witness testimony is acceptable in court systems today.  It makes sense that it be considered when looking into the claims of the bible. 

There is a lot more to say, but all the details are just things that we debate over and over. 

Anyway, those were a lot of words that you won't accept. 

But in a nutshell, I believe because I agree with the bible, that belief is really a supernatural thing that God does to an otherwise cold human heart.  It takes humility and and a recognition that there is something wrong to begin with.  That I'm a sinner in need of salvation from Jesus Christ,......... the One claimed to be the Messiah and who impacted the world so much.

What would change my mind?  If Jesus were not a real person who lived.  Or if it could be proven that He wasn't who the bible said He was.   For example, if it were proven that He really didn't die on a cross under a Roman crucifixion.  That His body was really stolen to fool people into believing in the resurrection.  Or disproving the authenticity of the biblical narrative of Christ and His deity. 

(NB: Edited for clarity. There is nothing in atheism or Christianity that prohibits the use of double line spacing after paragraphs: walls of text are hard to read.
GB Mod)
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 06:24:37 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?

Patrick Henry, I was reading through this thread and noticed you didn't answer Jonny UK from his reply to you above back on December 18th. I would love to hear your reply. My christian brother claims the same things, but can never provide any real evidence to support his and others claims of healing, etc... through prayer.

Thanks
Eddie,
Right or wrong, I read Jonny's question as not being sincere but sarcastic.  So I didn't bother.
Really, Christianity is based on a heart change that God does to a person.  If a person doesn't see themselves in need of being forgiven of their sins or even having sin in their life, then that person won't believe.  Now, all people see life through a set of lenses.  Your brother probably sees that God is in charge of life and death.  Therefore when someone experiences a life and death situation and comes out of it, he most likely attributes it to God and thanks Him for it.  An atheist sees life through the set of lenses that says there is no god.  Therefore he will never be convinced.  God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe.  Even Jesus said that if a dead man came back to life it wouldn't change a person's heart necessarily.  See the story of Lazarus and the rich man.    It is an act of God that changes a person's heart and causes them to believe. 
Here's an example.  When my daughter was born, she had lung problems and was huffing so badly that our hospital doctors had her sent to Seattle by helicopter for immediate high level care at the University of Washington Hospital.  My wife and I prayed for my daughter of course.  I then drove as fast as I could to be at the UW hospital to be with her.  Leaving my wife who had undergone a C-section at the birth hospital.  Now I know that this could be explained away.  After about 2 hours of driving, when I came in to see my baby daughter, the UW doctor told me that He was surprised at how well my daughter was doing based on the symptoms he was told to expect.  She arrived in better condition than when she left.  Well she recovered quickly and after it was all behind us, we thanked God for answered prayer and that she was ok.  Could that have happened whether we prayed or not?  Whether we were Christian or not?  YES.
The bottom line is that we thanked God, not because He proved something to us.  But because we already believed. 
 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 12, 2014, 07:51:29 AM
What would change my mind?  If Jesus were not a real person who lived.  Or if it could be proven that He wasn't who the bible said He was.   For example, if it were proven that He really didn't die on a cross under a Roman crucifixion.  That His body was really stolen to fool people into believing in the resurrection.  Or disproving the authenticity of the biblical narrative of Christ and His deity.

Please read Reply #110 by kcrady on page 4.

Please.



While reading, keep in mind that his post(currently) has been given eleven +1's by our readers(whose average IQ is probably considerably higher than the world-average). We are not plus-one-ing him because he tells us all of the eloquent lies we love to be told.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 12, 2014, 08:38:26 AM
Right or wrong, I read Jonny's question as not being sincere but sarcastic.  So I didn't bother.
Really, Christianity is based on a heart change that God does to a person.  If a person doesn't see themselves in need of being forgiven of their sins or even having sin in their life, then that person won't believe.  Now, all people see life through a set of lenses.  Your brother probably sees that God is in charge of life and death.  Therefore when someone experiences a life and death situation and comes out of it, he most likely attributes it to God and thanks Him for it.  An atheist sees life through the set of lenses that says there is no god.  Therefore he will never be convinced.  God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe.  Even Jesus said that if a dead man came back to life it wouldn't change a person's heart necessarily.  See the story of Lazarus and the rich man.    It is an act of God that changes a person's heart and causes them to believe.

That's a nice bit of preaching but let me ask you something. Given the joining a church involves handing money over to the church for what ever its leaders think fit , could we compare this to a Golf Resort? Let's say you want somewhere special to play golf and I tell you about a wonderful place - a golf resort - with plenty of course of all difficulties, all the facilities you could want. Now I don't show you any pictures of this place but I ask you to pay up your initial fee for joining. Do you join? You have never met me before and now nothing about me or the gold resort. All you have is my word that it is there and that be joining you will automatically become a better golf player. How about a $500 joining fee?

Quote
Here's an example.  When my daughter was born, she had lung problems and was huffing so badly that our hospital doctors had her sent to Seattle by helicopter for immediate high level care at the University of Washington Hospital.  My wife and I prayed for my daughter of course.  I then drove as fast as I could to be at the UW hospital to be with her.  Leaving my wife who had undergone a C-section at the birth hospital.  Now I know that this could be explained away.  After about 2 hours of driving, when I came in to see my baby daughter, the UW doctor told me that He was surprised at how well my daughter was doing based on the symptoms he was told to expect.  She arrived in better condition than when she left.  Well she recovered quickly and after it was all behind us, we thanked God for answered prayer and that she was ok.  Could that have happened whether we prayed or not?  Whether we were Christian or not?  YES.
The bottom line is that we thanked God, not because He proved something to us.  But because we already believed.

Well, you know, there are always stories about people who claim to have been healed but the stories never come with enough information to confirm this and, of course, they are always about things that either medical treatment can cure of things that sometimes go into remission. Now, obviously, I am delighted that you daughter was fine but I am concerned about your final comment.

Your daughter was treated by midwife / doctors at birth, air ambulance crews and finally by the specialist unit at the hospital - no doubt getting exceptionally good care. yet you decide to thank a mysterious being for her recovery and not the those talented. hard-working staff who made her recovery possible. After all, if you really believed in the power of prayer you wouldn't have bothered with the hospital at all and let your god do the work wouldn't you? Let's be fair, your god failed to let your wife have a normal delivery - the simplest of things to do - and made her go through a C section.

So on one had you credit your god with the improvement of your daughter but don't mention that failure of him in dealing with your wife's failure to deliver normally. Maybe I'm unfair. Maybe you and your wife didn't pray for an easy delivery but I bet you did. So why doesn't your god get the blame as  well as the credit?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: xyzzy on January 12, 2014, 11:34:21 AM
The bottom line is that we thanked God, not because He proved something to us.  But because we already believed.

Patrick, so here you are admitting that you didn't get a sign, you didn't have anything unusual, you just decided that it was what you wanted to believe. It's confirmation bias through and through.

Wheels mentioned this, I'm going to too.

I was going to say you got lucky, but much of it wasn't luck at all. And that makes your thanking this mythical being all the more galling and utterly disrespectful too. You won't talk to people who don't treat you in a certain way, you said that. But, what the heck, disrespect the people who saved your child's life, so you can continue to find ways to maintain your belief in some mix-n-match tribal god - Hell yes!

Look at like this:

Only the top tier of students even get into medical school. You won't find a Dummies Guide to Being Your Own Medical Doctor on Amazon.[1] Many perish and don't see it through.

The top tier of the top tier of students get into the best medical schools. Just like any university.[2]

The best doctors-to-be get residencies and fellowships at the best hospitals.

And then, 8-10-13+ years later out pops a doctor, a surgeon, a really good one, but one that is still learning. And so on.

The best doctors consistently achieve the best results. You can look them up and find out who they are.

Do you think the most skilled medical professionals start their daily routine with a "dear god, keep me in the top rankings because my position there certainly isn't due to hard work" prayer? Perhaps a panel of believers says the "keep the top docs in the top rankings" prayer, but I seriously doubt that they do. No, I doubt that you do too?

None of this is luck. None of this happens because people pray. It happens through hard word and dedication.

In your case, you didn't sit there, pray, and get a vision: call a helicopter, tell it to go to UW which is not where they'd normally go,[3] make sure the EMT does his bit, alerts the staff, so that they can be ready and waiting.

And, had you done so, what would you have prayed? "Dear god, please do make sure that several years ago, all the people who are looking after my child had the foresight to enter a career in medicine". Again, of course you didn't. Your prayer was probably something along the lines of asking for your child to be saved, but in the medical sense.

In other words, your prayer was nothing more than wanting what was going to happen, to happen. In that case your medical team arranged for the best and most appropriate care - as they rightly should have.

Your prayer was for your own benefit: it made you feel better; there's simply no proof that prayer affects medical outcome in any significant manner.

But it doesn't end there, that's actually where it begins. Medicine is a team endeavor. There are many specialities (you know this, of course) and tons and tons of ancillary staff.

All of whom work together so that you can piss all over their hard work with a "thanks god"?

Sorry, man, but thanking the invisible man in the sky for any of this is so disrespectful, so self-serving, so out of touch with the real world,[4] I'm close to calling you names.

 1. This one is self-referential, though -- http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Homeopathy-Sollars/dp/0028640039
 2. http://youtu.be/OXRi28W-ENY?t=38s (http://youtu.be/OXRi28W-ENY?t=38s)
 3. It wasn't, that's my point
 4. Even if it's an unintentional slight
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 12, 2014, 02:43:54 PM
To actually have Nothing is just that.  Nothing.  To even be able to name something er....I mean nothing, goes against the principle of "nothing".  Because "nothing" if there is such a thing, isn't actually there.  If there is such a thing as "nothing", then behind all of it there was "something" (like God) prior to it, that could speak something into existance, as the bible says. 

Job 38:
“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory

And that you may discern the paths to its home?

So you have a problem with Krauss' definition of nothing, but you have no problem in using that definition to explain gods involvement? And your best, most logical explanation of something coming from "nothing" is from being spoken into existence? Surely this is just hyperbole, unless god now has a larynx, tongue, mouth and air to breathe etc, but of course he doesn't because they're all material properties. So god didn't speak anything into existence, it was done via some unknown means - an unknown mean indistinguishable from any other means we can currently conceive of.

You're basically talking gobbledygook and making stuff up on the spot, because we simply don't have the language to articulate the counter intuitiveness of such a concept. It's the same with Krauss' use of the word "nothing", but unlike you with "speak", he's at least tried to give us an alternative definition to its common usage.

PS - I always find it amusing when random scripture is quoted as a eureka moment when the language used in it matches a label we have attached to a new discovery. You should have a random scriptural bullshit game of snap with a Muslim. I'd be happy to provide the popcorn.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 12, 2014, 04:18:00 PM
Christianity is based on a heart change that God does to a person.  If a person doesn't see themselves in need of being forgiven of their sins or even having sin in their life, then that person won't believe.

To believe you have sin in your life you first have to believe the Christian god exists, therefore this is just circular reasoning.

Quote
An atheist sees life through the set of lenses that says there is no god.  Therefore he will never be convinced.

No they don't. That would be another of your sweeping generalisations of atheists. Lives/world views are based on what you factor in, not what you factor out.

Quote
God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe.

Then you and your god are useless to this thread and any other requests for evidence. Please stop pretending you have some.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 12, 2014, 05:19:35 PM
God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe. 

If that's the case, why is it part of your doctrine to hold that we should be punished for not believing in something that there is no evidence for?

Secondly, I am not asking for a genie and wishes, I am asking for something that distinguishes the god you believe in from some completely imaginary being.

And no, reasons that are logical fallacies don't count.

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 05:49:11 PM
Right or wrong, I read Jonny's question as not being sincere but sarcastic.  So I didn't bother.
Really, Christianity is based on a heart change that God does to a person.  If a person doesn't see themselves in need of being forgiven of their sins or even having sin in their life, then that person won't believe.  Now, all people see life through a set of lenses.  Your brother probably sees that God is in charge of life and death.  Therefore when someone experiences a life and death situation and comes out of it, he most likely attributes it to God and thanks Him for it.  An atheist sees life through the set of lenses that says there is no god.  Therefore he will never be convinced.  God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe.  Even Jesus said that if a dead man came back to life it wouldn't change a person's heart necessarily.  See the story of Lazarus and the rich man.    It is an act of God that changes a person's heart and causes them to believe.

That's a nice bit of preaching but let me ask you something. Given the joining a church involves handing money over to the church for what ever its leaders think fit , could we compare this to a Golf Resort? Let's say you want somewhere special to play golf and I tell you about a wonderful place - a golf resort - with plenty of course of all difficulties, all the facilities you could want. Now I don't show you any pictures of this place but I ask you to pay up your initial fee for joining. Do you join? You have never met me before and now nothing about me or the gold resort. All you have is my word that it is there and that be joining you will automatically become a better golf player. How about a $500 joining fee?

Quote
Here's an example.  When my daughter was born, she had lung problems and was huffing so badly that our hospital doctors had her sent to Seattle by helicopter for immediate high level care at the University of Washington Hospital.  My wife and I prayed for my daughter of course.  I then drove as fast as I could to be at the UW hospital to be with her.  Leaving my wife who had undergone a C-section at the birth hospital.  Now I know that this could be explained away.  After about 2 hours of driving, when I came in to see my baby daughter, the UW doctor told me that He was surprised at how well my daughter was doing based on the symptoms he was told to expect.  She arrived in better condition than when she left.  Well she recovered quickly and after it was all behind us, we thanked God for answered prayer and that she was ok.  Could that have happened whether we prayed or not?  Whether we were Christian or not?  YES.
The bottom line is that we thanked God, not because He proved something to us.  But because we already believed.

Well, you know, there are always stories about people who claim to have been healed but the stories never come with enough information to confirm this and, of course, they are always about things that either medical treatment can cure of things that sometimes go into remission. Now, obviously, I am delighted that you daughter was fine but I am concerned about your final comment.

Your daughter was treated by midwife / doctors at birth, air ambulance crews and finally by the specialist unit at the hospital - no doubt getting exceptionally good care. yet you decide to thank a mysterious being for her recovery and not the those talented. hard-working staff who made her recovery possible. After all, if you really believed in the power of prayer you wouldn't have bothered with the hospital at all and let your god do the work wouldn't you? Let's be fair, your god failed to let your wife have a normal delivery - the simplest of things to do - and made her go through a C section.

So on one had you credit your god with the improvement of your daughter but don't mention that failure of him in dealing with your wife's failure to deliver normally. Maybe I'm unfair. Maybe you and your wife didn't pray for an easy delivery but I bet you did. So why doesn't your god get the blame as  well as the credit?
Your golf analogy doesn't fit.  People in my church and people I know in other churches are actively involved with decisions and making things happen.  The church is us, for us, and for all who will come.  It's not about the leadership, in fact we have a say in what leadership does, and teaches.  There is communication and things to do, all the time for those who wish to be involved.  The difficulty is actually trying to get people more involved rather than just coming on Sunday.  So it's not an exclusive golf club, that offers something that we are not a part of or cannot see.  The gospel is about getting out and doing things, getting on the golf course and golfing, using your analogy, not just talking about it on Sundays.  If you're saying that the golf club is heaven and I pay money to get there even though I never have seen it, then I would say that paying money to God in order to get to heaven isn't the key to getting there at all.   
I know there is errant teaching that emphasize money as if God will bless someone with more money if they just give money to the church.  That's just not right and I think certain televangelists and the like, are money hungry deceivers using the gospel to their own personal gain.  But for a church to accept money from people in order to pay bills, salaries, while doing things like feeding and clothing the less fortunate, providing counseling, is a good practice of the gospel message of love to all, regardless of whether they believe or not.   
Now, regarding my daughter's condition and wife's pregnancy.  Your assertion is that if I really believed, I would just trust God to do it all and not rely on doctors.  I don't believe that's how God works.  The atheist ideal is for Christians to go around proving that God exists by just praying or performing miracles.  But you want to see that happen because to you, if it were all true, that's what you'd expect.  The problem is, that is NOT what the bible teaches.  God put us all here for a reason.  That means we are to learn and grow as people, using science, medicine, getting up in the morning and engaging in work, using our hands and feet to accomplish things.  You seem to want miracles more than I do.  And I'm the one who believes that they can happen.  I think that they rarely happen, and don't expect to see one in my lifetime.  But it doesn't matter because the power of the gospel message has invoked enough faith in me that I believe regardless of seeing a miracle.  Of course I'd like to see something supernatural or a healing, but they rarely causes people to believe anyway.  There will most likely always be an explanation from someone who chooses not to believe.  For all the reasons that I've given you before, I believe in Christ as Lord.  But again, I believe that God has us here on earth to live out the gospel, which means enduring hardship and struggling like everyone else.  Not skating by never doing things on my own because God should provide everything miraculously. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 12, 2014, 05:50:22 PM
God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe. 

If that's the case, why is it part of your doctrine to hold that we should be punished for not believing in something that there is no evidence for?

Secondly, I am not asking for a genie and wishes, I am asking for something that distinguishes the god you believe in from some completely imaginary being.

And no, reasons that are logical fallacies don't count.

I'll like to expound on this, if you don't mind: When the reason to believe is because of miracles that Jesus himself said, "Anyone that believes will be able to perform even greater miracles than I." The disciples asked Jesus how to tell to tell the difference between a true believe and a false one so they wouldn't be betrayed and killed by a false believer. Jesus said that the miricles prove God's power. Mohammad stated that he could not preform miracles, proved he, not Jesus was a true prophet.

It's should be ironic that the best you can give, is no different than all the other false religions, whom are certainly not believers in Jesus. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: jynnan tonnix on January 12, 2014, 06:14:02 PM
Speaking of praying and recoveries, a couple of years ago my mom had an unspecified cancer (a swollen lymph node was removed and indicated that she had cancer elsewhere, but they never could actually find evidence of it).

My parents, especially my dad, are devout Catholics. They are also both Polish, and Dad has always been almost militantly so. He had a fairly good friend, due to his high-level involvement in Polish Scouting...a priest who later became a bishop, and had known Pope John Paul II since his seminary days. JPII, having recently gained sainthood around that time, seemed to Dad the perfect person to pray to. "Family connections" and all that.

As I said, Mom's cancer was never actually identified. As far as they could tell, it had originated as some type of skin cancer, but they were never able to find it. Dad is convinced that JPII intervened, as a favor of one old-time Polish Scout to another.

I'm sure this story would have certain types of American Protestant Christians up in spades about Satan and the lies of Catholicism and any number of things. Dad probably never prayed to God "in person" for Mom's recovery at all...yet she recovered. Was it JPII's doing? Sheer luck? God listening in and deciding to grant the favor despite commandments about having no other gods before him? The Catholics' reliance on saintly intervention definitely borders on that sometimes. It's one of the biggest beefs that many other denominations have with them. Yet I suppose Catholics' prayers to saints produce exactly the same proportion of results as Baptists' pleas to God, or atheists' really hoping that things go well. And getting the right medical attention improves the chances of a positive outcome in every one of those situations as well.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 06:15:41 PM

So on one had you credit your god with the improvement of your daughter but don't mention that failure of him in dealing with your wife's failure to deliver normally. Maybe I'm unfair. Maybe you and your wife didn't pray for an easy delivery but I bet you did. So why doesn't your god get the blame as  well as the credit?
Christians will emphasize when God heals, so how about when things don't go well? 
In Job, after his sons and daughters were killed and much of his possessions were destroyed:

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

God is in a win/win situation.  If things go well, the believer praises Him.  If things don't go well, we have the example of Job to help shape our attitude. 
One of the atheist arguments is that the bible is a bunch of concocted stories that are there to convince people that they need to believe in order for the leaders of the church to control the masses. 
The problem that I have believing that idea, is that the bible tells this type of story.  Obviously this is a problem for Christianity if your ideal god is that he should always protect and provide for us everything that we want to happen.  But that isn't what the bible teaches.  It teaches us to trust in God, despite our understanding, because God has a reason for shaping us in the way that He wants for His purposes.  Our job as believers is to respond to God like Job, in humility and in trust.  I say this because I think that this is evidence that the bible is recording things that actually happened and letting the "chips fall where they fall".   If I were to try and steer people to a false religion so that I could have the power, stories like this in Job wouldn't say that God allowed Job an "upright man", and his family to go through all this suffering and tremendous loss.  I would say something much more palatable like what the televangelists say today, that if you "just believe and have enough faith", then Jesus will heal your ailments and you will get that great job, and money will come back to you ten fold.  Much of today's "christian message" is junk. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: jdawg70 on January 12, 2014, 06:33:24 PM
Much of today's "christian message" is junk.
What's the harm with god himself coming down and clearing things up?

There are people who believe that god exists, and earnestly wish to follow him.  What hope do they have if they sincerely believe the wrong message when the entity that wants them to know the message does nothing to correct them?  And what makes you think you have the message right?

I mean, there are people who go very far down the path of absolute trust in god's protection.  Like parents who pray for their child, sincerely believing that god will save them, and then the child dies.  Why didn't god himself correct their misunderstanding - especially before the child suffered and died?

I just don't understand it.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 12, 2014, 06:59:23 PM
Much of today's "christian message" is junk.
What's the harm with god himself coming down and clearing things up?

There are people who believe that god exists, and earnestly wish to follow him.  What hope do they have if they sincerely believe the wrong message when the entity that wants them to know the message does nothing to correct them?  And what makes you think you have the message right?

I mean, there are people who go very far down the path of absolute trust in god's protection.  Like parents who pray for their child, sincerely believing that god will save them, and then the child dies.  Why didn't god himself correct their misunderstanding - especially before the child suffered and died?

I just don't understand it.
I am surprised nobody has written a 3rd testament.....well that Smith guy did try,and today he has millions of Mormons believing that crap. Still can we have some jerk-off try and pass his writings off as "inspired by God"?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 07:04:23 PM
So in order to understand my points for belief in God, you would first have to accept something that I believe is true.  That mankind is made up of more than just the physical.  We have other dimensions to us.  Love, music, art, self sacrifice, laughter, sadness, and all of these expressions (and more) tell me that we are more than just tangible.  We have qualities like higher level thinking and a consciousness that causes us to ask why am I here?  Where did I come from?  Where am I going?

These are the basic questions that every philosophy and religion in the history of the world has wrestled with, and proposed answers to.  I don't see any reason to make the immediate leap from "Huh.  Fascinating questions" to "Therefore, the Bible must be true!"  It would be quite the stroke of luck if the predominant religion of the region and culture you just happened to be born in also just happened to be the one with all the correct answers to the questions of life!  Wouldn't it?  If you are uncomfortable with the "random chance" element of evolutionary theory, shouldn't you also be uncomfortable with the idea of assuming that American Protestantism is true just because you happened to be born into the milieu of American Protestantism? 

Obviously, taking the answers of the local predominant religion doesn't work as a method of discovering truth because...think of all those other poor bastards born in other places and times, with other predominant religions and philosophies!  If you had been born under the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III, I guarantee you, "Christianity!" would not have been the answer to those questions you would have found.

So, the first thing that must be done when beginning a process of inquiry into these questions, is to seek out a method or methods that work for the purpose of answering questions, discovering facts, and identifying errors in one's own thinking.  "Defend the religion I was born into" demonstrably does not work, as shown by the existence of all those people born into religions and philosophies you think are wrong, wrong, wrong.  So far, the methods that have shown themselves to work best are: observation, logic, and science practiced under a rubric of reciprocal accountability.  "Reciprocal accountability" is the process by which ideas (world views, political polices, scientific theories, products for sale, claims that a given person is guilty of a crime, etc.) are subject to the critical scrutiny of others, who are free to shoot them down. 

This is the underlying principle of how the world's most successful science (peer review, replication of observation and experiments by skeptical scientists), courts (adversarial trial-by-jury with guaranteed access to professional legal representation), government (political leaders regularly subject to democratic elections, checks-and-balances, and debate of their policy proposals), and markets (free competition by multiple enterprises with a government referee to prevent the formation of cartels, monopolies, systematic cheating by the powerful, etc.) work.  Of course these things don't work perfectly.  Nothing human does.  But...the way we find out they don't work perfectly, and try to make them work better is: science, logic, and reciprocal accountability. 

Have you noticed that religions as a rule, never use these tools?  How they always try to put something or someone (or both) above questioning and criticism?
 
Observations like this leads me to believe that we are more than just evolved beasts.  That we are not random chance beings whose ancestors crawled out of a primordial soup and eventually become man.  I don't see the evolutionary reason or even the possibility of evolution "needing to" create those intangible qualities (as if evolution itself had a brain and a motive).

I could just as easily say, "Observations like this lead me to believe that we are more than just automatons made to tend a garden (Gen. 2:15).  That we were not made to just munch fruit and obey orders, or herd goats in the desert.  I don't see the design reason or even the possibility of a deity 'needing to' create those intangible qualities [e.g. ability to perform calculus or build spaceships] in order to have people to bow down to it and sing its praises."  And the truth is, I don't.  Any deity capable of creating a hundred billion galaxies with a thought has no conceivable use for human sycophants.

1. I see evidence of good and evil

This does not provide evidence for Christianity.  The "Argument From Evil" is actually one of the main evidences against the existence of an all-powerful, all-good creator deity with omnimax attributes (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence).  Leaping straight to Christianity here also represents a fallacy of Locating the Hypothesis (http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Locate_the_hypothesis).  More on this below. 

2. I have reason to believe in the authenticity of the bible

Not sure what you mean by "authenticity of the Bible" here.  If you're arguing something along the lines of, "The Bible said that Nineveh was real; the archaeologists thought it was a myth until they found it, therefore the Bible is God's infallible Word!," that is no more to the point than assuming that because Troy and Mycenae were found, therefore the Goddess Athena must exist.  Again, you're jumping straight to the Bible for no apparent reason.  Have you tested the Upanishads for authenticity?  Locating the Hypothesis again.


3. The bible also admits the problem of good and evil
4. The bible states that the ability for good and evil exists in people.  Which I see evidence of.

Outside of, maybe, a few hand-wringing French Existentialists and postmodernist academics, you'd have a hard time finding any philosophical or religious text that doesn't admit the problem of good and evil, and state that good and evil exist in people.  If you're guessing that I'll mention "Locating the Hypothesis" again here, you'd be right.

 
5. The bible states that mankind needs to be taught what good and evil are.  Otherwise, if left to their own devices, man will deviate into a place where he hurts and destroys himself and others around him. I see evidence of this throughout history and in today's world.

See my response to #4 above.

But ultimately a society without God's rules for living written in their hearts, will decay.  Therefore God in the bible shows us that we are lost without Him.

And yet, somehow, the Japanese, the Swedes and Finns and Danes manage just fine without ordering their societies along the lines of a Biblical Sharia.  In terms of measurable criteria of social health (crime rates, teen pregnancy rates, happiness levels, social equality, infant mortality, etc.) such secular societies routinely outperform religious societies like the U.S.  Within the U.S., the more secular "blue" states outperform the more religious "red" states.  As far as we can tell from actual observation, we are better off "without Him."  For that matter, the ancient Egyptians, Minoans, etc.--not to mention hunter-gatherer cultures that measured their continuation in tens of thousands of years--seem to have managed alright without the Bible.

Furthermore, what exactly are "God's rules for living" anyway?  No eating shrimp wrapped in bacon?  No use of blended-fiber cloth?  Picking up sticks on a Saturday should be a capital offense (Numbers 15:32-36)?  No, wait, we ignore all that stuff nowadays, don't we?  You know, the places where the Bible actually lays out a code of law and jurisprudence.  Instead, we come up with a set of "rules for living" we like better (don't be gay, don't be a woman, and cut taxes on the rich) and then say those are in the Bible as "God's rules for living."  How many Christians these days actually obey the things the Jesus of the Gospels said about money?   Well, if we're going to come up with our own rules anyway, we might as well use the methods I outlined above and stop using Yahweh as a ventriloquist dummy.

Locating the Hypothesis

I mentioned the concept of "Locating the Hypothesis" a few times.  When we are trying to answer a question, and are confronted with a large possibility space of potential answers, it is fallacious to select one particular hypothesis out for focused attention without having sufficient evidence to do so.  Over and over again, you leap straight to [your interpretation of] the Bible without first providing any evidence that it, and not some other ancient holy book or none, should be privileged (http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Privileging_the_hypothesis) as the one worthy of consideration.

Quote
To see the problem of privileging the hypothesis, suppose that the police in Largeville, a town with a million inhabitants, are investigating a murder in which there are few or no clues - the victim was stabbed to death in an alley, and there are no fingerprints and no witnesses.

Then, one of the detectives says, "Well... we have no idea who did it... no particular evidence singling out any of the million people in this city... but let's consider the possibility that this murder was committed by Mortimer Q. Snodgrass, who lives at 128 Ordinary Ln."

If the detective does not have evidence already in hand to justify singling out Mortimer for such special and individual attention, then this is, or ought to be, a violation of Mortimer's civil rights.

You have provided no reason to immediately select "the Bible" as the one hypothesis worthy of consideration, no evidence that you ever went through any process of inquiry where you considered the merits of the Vedas and the Pyramid Texts and the Pupul Vuh and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics[/url] and the writings of Confucius, etc. before finally hitting upon the Bible as the best and most rational understanding.  You've shown no evidence of having a method of inquiry that lead you to choosing "the Bible" other than "being born at a particular place and time." 

6. Other religions are self serving in that they try to control their followers.  If practiced correctly, Christianity allows people to choose.

Oh, sure.  But if you "choose" wrong, you BURN FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER IN EXQUISITE FIERY TORMENT!!!!  Nice soul ya got there.  It'd be a shame if something happened to it.  Capiche?



Of course people from the beginning of time have wrestled with these issues.  That's exactly what one would expect from people who were created in the image of God to do.  Even if they don't know God. 
Now, I don't make a "leap".  The reasons that I gave were just a beginning.  I don't leap from the existential concept to.... American Protestantism.  First is accepting the idea that we are more than just an accident.  And more than just a physical creature destined for the dust without a soul or something else, whatever that might be.  After at least considering that possibility, a person can enter into a journey of discovering what that something else could be.

That you don't see a reason for God to create people........well the bible says that God loves His creation.  Maybe that's a good enough reason.  As parents and people with family, we should be able to relate to that.   The Bible says that God knew you from the beginning of the earth.  That He created you for a reason.  If God is who He says He is, and does love His creation, then people who know Him will WANT to bow down and sing His praises.  He doesn't force anyone to do that.

Re: the issues of good and evil:  Good and evil are definitions of standards.  We would have to get into the problem of where our standards come from.  Are they floating or fixed? 
I see that good and evil exist and it causes me to look for a good/evil standard and reason why.  The bible answers those questions.  I know other "holy books" claim answers too.  Yes, I've read many of them but not all.  That doesn't mean that landing on just the right truth was a coincidence.  I don't see this as a choice as much as I see it as God's leading me and giving me reasons to believe at the same time. 

Burning forever may be a metaphorical explaination of hell.  Forever seperation from God is probably one thing that christians can agree upon regarding this subject.  That it burns like an unquenchable fire because the person will never have satifaction in their existance, always searching and never able to experience relationship, contentment, always blaming God for even being in hell, will certainly be a part of that eternal existance.  But hey, at least God is giving the person what they wanted right?  Seperation from Himself.  A lot atheists say that even if the God of the bible were true, they wouldn't want to be with Him.  A loving God, I suppose, gives them what they want in the end. 

I will get to the rest of your long response later.  Not ignoring it. 



Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 07:12:27 PM
Christianity is based on a heart change that God does to a person.  If a person doesn't see themselves in need of being forgiven of their sins or even having sin in their life, then that person won't believe.

To believe you have sin in your life you first have to believe the Christian god exists, therefore this is just circular reasoning.

Quote
An atheist sees life through the set of lenses that says there is no god.  Therefore he will never be convinced.

No they don't. That would be another of your sweeping generalisations of atheists. Lives/world views are based on what you factor in, not what you factor out.

Quote
God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe.

Then you and your god are useless to this thread and any other requests for evidence. Please stop pretending you have some.
If you think that you don't bring personal biases into your beliefs then you are self deceived. 
If you think that I am useless to this thread, then take your nasty personality somewhere else and be done with it.  You've acted this way from the beginning.  You can move on. 

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: jdawg70 on January 12, 2014, 07:35:48 PM
Of course people from the beginning of time have wrestled with these issues.  That's exactly what one would expect from people who were created in the image of God to do.  Even if they don't know God.

I think you need to connect a few more dots.  It is unclear why I should expect a creature being 'created in the image of god' to wrestle with these issues.  Clarify please.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: jdawg70 on January 12, 2014, 07:38:20 PM
I am surprised nobody has written a 3rd testament.....well that Smith guy did try,and today he has millions of Mormons believing that crap. Still can we have some jerk-off try and pass his writings off as "inspired by God"?
Could the Quran be considered an attempt at a 3rd testament?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 12, 2014, 07:42:20 PM
Christians will emphasize when God heals, so how about when things don't go well? 
In Job, after his sons and daughters were killed and much of his possessions were destroyed:

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

Let's take a look at the Book of Job. Shall we?



Job 1:6-8


Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.


Sons of God? Jesus had brothers? And back then, Jesus wasn't yet important enough to be singled out from among them? Not until the New Testament?

The best explanation is that whoever wrote verse six had an entirely different theology than any New Testament writer. Period.






The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”


Here, we once again see evidence that many Old Testament writers didn't endow their fictional construct of a god with absolute knowledge of everything. This human-like god demonstrates his ignorance of first-hand knowledge of events over and over again throughout the Old Testament. The best apologetic that a Christian can try to wedge in is that God is just playing dumb. Still, even if I grant the Christian that, it still renders God a far cry from one supreme being who creates universes. The thing that would actually prevent me from granting even that is the fact that I have never read a verse saying that God plays dumb.







The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”


Hmmm. What's up with God addressing Satan like he's one of His chums? Actually, this verse fits perfectly with what those "evil atheists" have been screaming all along. "Satan evolved from an agent of God all the way to 'God and Man's greatest enemy', and even took over the identity of a snake in a Garden-- an identity that the original author of the Garden of Eden story never, ever saw coming."

Satan is a myth. The multi-layered god of the Bible is a myth. The sons of God are long-forgotten myths that will bite the fool who believes when I decide to resurrect and unleash them upon the believer who doesn't expect it.

We atheists are stomping out belief. One soul at a time.



Here. I'll even let you have the last word in this post.

God is in a win/win situation.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 12, 2014, 08:11:07 PM
Christianity is based on a heart change that God does to a person.  If a person doesn't see themselves in need of being forgiven of their sins or even having sin in their life, then that person won't believe.

To believe you have sin in your life you first have to believe the Christian god exists, therefore this is just circular reasoning.

Quote
An atheist sees life through the set of lenses that says there is no god.  Therefore he will never be convinced.

No they don't. That would be another of your sweeping generalisations of atheists. Lives/world views are based on what you factor in, not what you factor out.

Quote
God is not my genie in a bottle, that I can conjure up to produce evidence for you to believe.

Then you and your god are useless to this thread and any other requests for evidence. Please stop pretending you have some.
If you think that you don't bring personal biases into your beliefs then you are self deceived.

A non-sequitur and the tu quoque fallacy rolled into one. That's quite impressive.
 
Quote
If you think that I am useless to this thread, then take your nasty personality somewhere else and be done with it.  You've acted this way from the beginning.  You can move on.

We're all done with it now. This thread is explicitly geared to you providing evidence for god, but you can't conjure up evidence for god to give us the potential to believe. You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 12, 2014, 08:17:43 PM
You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).

Well said.

I sure wish he would attempt to respond to that masterpiece by kcrady[1](Reply #110, page 4).

 1. Oh yeah. I forgot that Satan has probably evolved into kcrady by now.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 12, 2014, 08:20:53 PM
You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).

Well said.

I sure wish he would attempt to respond to that masterpiece by kcrady[1](Reply #110, page 4).
 1. Oh yeah. I forgot that Satan has probably evolved into kcrady by now.

To be fair, he has in Reply #143. Whether it is extensive enough is another question, though he is getting back to it.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 12, 2014, 08:24:46 PM
You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).

Well said.

I sure wish he would attempt to respond to that masterpiece by kcrady[1](Reply #110, page 4).
 1. Oh yeah. I forgot that Satan has probably evolved into kcrady by now.

To be fair, he has in Reply #143. Whether it is extensive enough is another question, though he is getting back to it.

Thank you so much. I've been waiting to read a response since this morning. I must've missed it.

Patrick, I recant my statement concerning your response. Thank you for responding to kcrady.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Jesuis on January 12, 2014, 11:45:50 PM
The way I look at this question is - who is asking and why? Let me explain.
I have two kids one older than the other by 5 years. The older one knows a lot of stuff that the younger one does not know that he was taught in school. So whenever the younger one asks the older a difficult question Like where o babies come from - the older bamboozles him knowing fully he would not understand what he is talking about and so he responds that they come from the vegetable patch. The younger one then leaves baffled and none the wiser. When he comes to me I tell him he will learn the true answer in time - knowing fully well he will eventually. Everything is knowable but time must be applied to the learning process. The truth can be explained but of what use is it if the child is not ready?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 12, 2014, 11:54:15 PM

This does not provide evidence for Christianity.  The "Argument From Evil" is actually one of the main evidences against the existence of an all-powerful, all-good creator deity with omnimax attributes (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence).  Leaping straight to Christianity here also represents a fallacy of Locating the Hypothesis (http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Locate_the_hypothesis).  More on this below. 

2. I have reason to believe in the authenticity of the bible

Not sure what you mean by "authenticity of the Bible" here.  If you're arguing something along the lines of, "The Bible said that Nineveh was real; the archaeologists thought it was a myth until they found it, therefore the Bible is God's infallible Word!," that is no more to the point than assuming that because Troy and Mycenae were found, therefore the Goddess Athena must exist.  Again, you're jumping straight to the Bible for no apparent reason.  Have you tested the Upanishads for authenticity?  Locating the Hypothesis again.


3. The bible also admits the problem of good and evil
4. The bible states that the ability for good and evil exists in people.  Which I see evidence of.
5. The bible states that mankind needs to be taught what good and evil are.  Otherwise, if left to their own devices, man will deviate into a place where he hurts and destroys himself and others around him. I see evidence of this throughout history and in today's world.

Outside of, maybe, a few hand-wringing French Existentialists and postmodernist academics, you'd have a hard time finding any philosophical or religious text that doesn't admit the problem of good and evil, and state that good and evil exist in people.  If you're guessing that I'll mention "Locating the Hypothesis" again here, you'd be right.

Second part of this answer:  Since you continued to refer to "locate the hypothesis", which is as I understand, means that a person must have enough rational evidence already in hand to locate a truth where many possible answers may exist.  What is the evidence or rational reason for choosing to believe in a Christian God?   
I've given my reasons for exploration, but for the continuance, I'll refer you to a website that I go to from time to time.  It's called Reasons To Believe, started by Hugh Ross, a PhD in Astrophysics along with other science fellows.   http://www.reasons.org/explore/topic/age-of-the-earth
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 13, 2014, 12:41:28 AM

Let's take a look at the Book of Job. Shall we?

Job 1:6-8


Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.


Sons of God? Jesus had brothers? And back then, Jesus wasn't yet important enough to be singled out from among them? Not until the New Testament?
  See ancient Hebrew word counts.  There wasn't that many words available in the ancient Hebrew usage, so they had multiple meanings.  sons of God in this context meant created beings.  Not the same as Jesus.   
Quote

The best explanation is that whoever wrote verse six had an entirely different theology than any New Testament writer. Period.

Nope, since Paul quotes from the book of Job, I'd have to disagree.  Rom 11:35-36
Quote

The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”

Here, we once again see evidence that many Old Testament writers didn't endow their fictional construct of a god with absolute knowledge of everything. This human-like god demonstrates his ignorance of first-hand knowledge of events over and over again throughout the Old Testament. The best apologetic that a Christian can try to wedge in is that God is just playing dumb. Still, even if I grant the Christian that, it still renders God a far cry from one supreme being who creates universes. The thing that would actually prevent me from granting even that is the fact that I have never read a verse saying that God plays dumb. 

What did God say to Adam?  "Who told you that you were naked?"  What did God say to Cain?  "Where is your brother?"   
Quote

The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”


Hmmm. What's up with God addressing Satan like he's one of His chums? Actually, this verse fits perfectly with what those "evil atheists" have been screaming all along. "Satan evolved from an agent of God all the way to 'God and Man's greatest enemy', and even took over the identity of a snake in a Garden-- an identity that the original author of the Garden of Eden story never, ever saw coming."

Satan is a myth. The multi-layered god of the Bible is a myth. The sons of God are long-forgotten myths that will bite the fool who believes when I decide to resurrect and unleash them upon the believer who doesn't expect it.
  Sounds like a big conspiracy.   
Quote

We atheists are stomping out belief. One soul at a time.
Then you'll need to brush up a little.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 13, 2014, 12:59:28 AM

We're all done with it now. This thread is explicitly geared to you providing evidence for god, but you can't conjure up evidence for god to give us the potential to believe. You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).
Yes we are done.  Truth is, your arrogant insults prevented us from ever getting started. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Jesuis on January 13, 2014, 01:48:48 AM

We're all done with it now. This thread is explicitly geared to you providing evidence for god, but you can't conjure up evidence for god to give us the potential to believe. You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).
Yes we are done.  Truth is, your arrogant insults prevented us from ever getting started.
So long as the question remains they will have to seek the answer. That is what intelligence demands of the questioner -- otherwise one remains a fool to the truth of the wisdom of the Theists who bring us the word God time an time again.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 13, 2014, 04:33:05 AM

We're all done with it now. This thread is explicitly geared to you providing evidence for god, but you can't conjure up evidence for god to give us the potential to believe. You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).
Yes we are done.  Truth is, your arrogant insults prevented us from ever getting started.

Yet on the evidence front, you've not managed to get started with anyone else either. The common denominator here is not my "nasty and arrogant behaviour", but you and your now admitted failure to be able to provide evidence.

Really, all I have done is try and help you out by mainly showing you that your belief in complexity being a calling card for intelligent design is erroneous (and if I am wrong in that, then explain, otherwise concede the point). Yes, perhaps I could've approached you in a less forthright manner and if I have offended you then I apologise. However, don't get all prissy over being labelled an idiot regarding human evolution, when you obviously feel at home responding in kind by calling me nasty and arrogant.
 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 13, 2014, 06:15:49 AM
So long as the question remains they will have to seek the answer. That is what intelligence demands of the questioner -- otherwise one remains a fool to the truth of the wisdom of the Theists who bring us the word God time an time again.

That's the human condition - we have a thirst for knowledge. We crave to understand the world in which we inhabit because it has the potential for us to live healthier, easier and more prosperous lives.

What we here from some theists is that they know things and have answers to some pretty fundamental questions, so like anybody else, they have the right to take the floor and explain these answers and their conclusions.....

...except they don't. They get on stage waving their arms in the air, relaying assertion after assertion without any evidence to back them up, yet expect the rest of us to take these claims seriously even when they wouldn't approve of this standard in any other walk of life. Even when they themselves admit to not being able to produce any evidence for their assertive answers, they expect us to carry on listening and taking heed. Well we won't. Due to our quest for knowing things and with our time and resources being limited, you are simply wasting them. Why not just drop this shoe you carry around like one of Brian's followers and actually use your time up more constructively and search for answers that you can actually back up?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 13, 2014, 06:57:54 AM
So long as the question remains they will have to seek the answer. That is what intelligence demands of the questioner -- otherwise one remains a fool to the truth of the wisdom of the Theists who bring us the word God time an time again.

Not really.  When you ask the same question over and over again - "where is the evidence?" - and you are never shown any, then at some point the intelligent thing to do is to assume there isn't any and to stop asking.

When did you stop seeking evidence for Atum, may I ask?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Quesi on January 13, 2014, 08:07:09 AM
The way I look at this question is - who is asking and why? Let me explain.
I have two kids one older than the other by 5 years. The older one knows a lot of stuff that the younger one does not know that he was taught in school. So whenever the younger one asks the older a difficult question Like where o babies come from - the older bamboozles him knowing fully he would not understand what he is talking about and so he responds that they come from the vegetable patch. The younger one then leaves baffled and none the wiser. When he comes to me I tell him he will learn the true answer in time - knowing fully well he will eventually. Everything is knowable but time must be applied to the learning process. The truth can be explained but of what use is it if the child is not ready?

Yeah.  I look at things in a similar way.

Thousands of years ago, human beings had no idea that they lived on a globe, that was part of a solar system, on the arm of a galaxy, that was one of billions of galaxies in the universe.  Their whole universe did not stretch far beyond the horizon. 

And like your younger son, they asked big questions. Like "where did our universe come from?"

And they came up with all kinds of different answers.  Cosmic eggs.  Pantheons of playful or spiteful or bumbling deities.  Sky god. 

They did not understand weather patterns.  So a serious local flood, (like Katrina) certainly seemed to encompass the whole world.  It stretched as far as the eye could see.  And that is all they knew.

But today, we know so much more.  Most of us here are baffled by the folks who come to the forum, insisting that babies come from the vegetable patch.     
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Jesuis on January 15, 2014, 06:45:49 PM
So long as the question remains they will have to seek the answer. That is what intelligence demands of the questioner -- otherwise one remains a fool to the truth of the wisdom of the Theists who bring us the word God time an time again.

Not really.  When you ask the same question over and over again - "where is the evidence?" - and you are never shown any, then at some point the intelligent thing to do is to assume there isn't any and to stop asking.

When did you stop seeking evidence for Atum, may I ask?
I have to finally agree with that. Been doing it for far to long on here and had no intelligent responses. Nothing, nada Zilch.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ivellios on January 15, 2014, 08:12:42 PM
Nothing, nada Zilch.

If you're gonna copy someone, please get it right.  :P

Been doing it for far to long on here and had no intelligent responses.

There have been intelligent responses. Instead of simply disagreeing with them, you make the claim that they're stupid. If there's anyone that's made "no intelligent responses" with you, it's the person who is unable to communicate with the community, ie. look in a mirror, that's right, you.

To quesi's post you replied 'all the above,' but someone who refuses to communicate in an effective manner will accomplish exactly none of those things. In my opinion, you either need to increase your knowledge base in real world things, learn to be a better communicator, or both. If you're unwilling to do those things, it's simply because you're either a poe or troll.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 16, 2014, 12:34:23 AM
I am surprised nobody has written a 3rd testament.....well that Smith guy did try,and today he has millions of Mormons believing that crap. Still can we have some jerk-off try and pass his writings off as "inspired by God"?
Could the Quran be considered an attempt at a 3rd testament?
Considering the same God and the amount of new followers yearly,I guess you could consider it the 3rd testament..,, They have hijacked the God of the Christians,the same way the Christians hijacked the God of the Jews
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Fiji on January 16, 2014, 02:10:54 AM
^^ Not only could you consider the quran as such ... the quran expressly states that it IS a third testament.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 18, 2014, 04:34:31 PM

We're all done with it now. This thread is explicitly geared to you providing evidence for god, but you can't conjure up evidence for god to give us the potential to believe. You could've saved us all a lot of time and said that you couldn't produce evidence in your first post here, instead of leading us all down this blind alley where you only reply to posts that are convenient enough for you to give an attempt at a response (I mean, you've now bypassed and not acknowledged that it doesn't take complexity for you to believe in intelligent design).
Yes we are done.  Truth is, your arrogant insults prevented us from ever getting started.
Yet on the evidence front, you've not managed to get started with anyone else either. The common denominator here is not my "nasty and arrogant behaviour", but you and your now admitted failure to be able to provide evidence.

Really, all I have done is try and help you out by mainly showing you that your belief in complexity being a calling card for intelligent design is erroneous (and if I am wrong in that, then explain, otherwise concede the point). Yes, perhaps I could've approached you in a less forthright manner and if I have offended you then I apologise. However, don't get all prissy over being labelled an idiot regarding human evolution, when you obviously feel at home responding in kind by calling me nasty and arrogant.
Ataraxia,
I've not had a chance to get on the board much since this last conversation.  I've been thinking about it and want to respond to you.  First of all, I'm not so "offended" by your remarks, but instead, am setting up boundaries for decent dialogue so that it does not digress into name calling, like so many other debates of personal topics can do.  We see it all over the internet, especially when people are relatively anonymous, they tend to say things that aren't very helpful towards a better community.  That effort, I hope is reflective of my core belief in treating people with respect and kindness.  Calling you arrogant was something that I recognized as evident by your posts and your subsequent defense of name calling.  However, I apologize for what I said.  I admit that I was a bit tired when I typed it out and wasn't at my best.  So I apologize for it, and am willing to carry on a conversation if you are. 
I've also re-read your reply #70 and I think probably read through it too fast in the first place.  So I'm trying to see it from your point of view and will answer it to the best of my ability.  As soon as I can get time this weekend.   
Fair enough? 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 19, 2014, 05:31:21 AM
Really, there is no need to apologise. All I'd like is for you to address my points head on, and if now you're going to attempt that, then fair play. I look forward to reading it.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 21, 2014, 12:22:13 AM
Think about it:
God creates nature;
Nature includes evolution;
Evolution has the ability to create "soulish" qualities;
Evolution doesn't have the ability to create a soul;
God has to intervene in the nature he created for bodies to harbour a soul.

Right, so it is clear from this that a soul by itself is alive. This means that humans alive now in this world are alive twice if the human body is classed as alive even without a soul, which you do as you have stated above with "living body". Why is this necessary for humans, and why don't all these other animals that don't have a soul not get the chance to have an eternal life, just because they haven't evolved enough for god to interject and stick a soul in their bodies? It's almost as if the ability to have "soul" qualities follows evolution via natural selection....

This is more evidence that goes to show that all you are doing is believing what you believe because you want to believe it. Yes, god could have done anything any way he wanted. You are taking bits from what we have discovered (old earth, old universe) and ignoring what the bible states about that, even though you acknowledge that god could have made the earth in a literal 6 days. However, then on the other hand, you are ignoring what we have discovered (human evolution) and take a punt on what the bible says about how humans have come about.

This belief system of yours is all of your own making. You really are just believing what you want to believe, no matter how contradictory it is and no matter how much it goes against what can be observed and measured. This is the big problem that all theists face, all because they believe in an all powerful, omnipotent being that can do anything. You see, at some point you all go, "well, he could've done that, but he didn't, and I know this because my special ancient text tells me so". Then you get the cherry pickers like yourself, who are pinning everything on this text, but only on occasion. I despair, really I do.
In our earlier conversation about what a soul is, and who has one, you brought up evolution a few times in your response.  I've read quite a bit of evolution science and I've seen many fossils, but it still seems to me that it is a theory rather than fact.  That there is a leap from fossil finds (which is evidence) to conclusions (which is theory), about where species came from.  I've noticed that no matter how hard people try, everyone has a bias.  If you and I bring different biases into the same room, we may come out with completely different conclusions about the same evidence presented to us.  The only way that we could come out with the same conclusions is if there was conclusive evidence, and we both agree to let the evidence dissolve the bias.   Now, I admit that chimps, apes, and such look similar to humans compared to other creatures.  But I don't think that is conclusive enough evidence.  (Though I think it can set up a bias).  Since it isn't enough to draw a conclusion of evolution based on just the look of one species to another, we need evidence of transition.  Since evolutionists teach that everything is "transitional", then we will never find the "missing link", but should we should expect a series of transitions over a long period of time. 
Since you brought evolution into the discussion I perceive that it is very important to you.  I would like to know what you believe is the proof of evolution?  Is there a transitional fossil or a few that are your favorites to point to?  Or is it the whole of evolutionary biology that is so convincing? 
I would like to read about what you think are the best evidences.  I'll take some time and read it, in case there is evidence that I'm not aware of. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 21, 2014, 12:58:08 AM
  Now, I admit that chimps, apes, and such look similar to humans compared to other creatures.  But I don't think that is conclusive enough evidence.

You gotta admit more than that, deary.

Even rats have the same hormones and enzymes as humans; that's why drugs can be tested on them. The DNA evidence of how animals and plants are chemically related in a tree, is something you also have to admit.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Fiji on January 21, 2014, 03:02:25 AM
Since it isn't enough to draw a conclusion of evolution based on just the look of one species to another, we need evidence of transition.  Since evolutionists teach that everything is "transitional", then we will never find the "missing link", but should we should expect a series of transitions over a long period of time. 
Ok, which transitional form would you like? Which one would clinch the deal? The one between Homo sapiens and Homo heidelbergensis? Or maybe the one between Homo heidelbergensis and Homo antecessor. Or the one between Homo antecessor and Homo erectus?

Tell you what, I'll post a list of our ancestors all the way back to the split between great and lesser apes and you tell us at which point the ancestors were not yet humans ... or at which point the Ancient Hebrew wargod went, "hm, I like that one, I'll stuff a soul into him/her."

Homo sapiens
Homo heidelbergensis
Homo antecessor
Homo erectus
Homo habilis
Australopithecus africanus
Australopithecus afarensis
Kenyanthropus platyops
Ardipithecus ramidus
Orrorin tugenensis
Pierolapithecus catalaunicus
Hominidae

There you go, which one would clinch the deal?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 21, 2014, 03:28:38 AM
Patrick Henry,

It would be interesting to discuss Evolution with you but this isn't the thread for it. Start a new thread if you would like to discuss - I'll even take you on in a one to one debate on the issue. However, not now.

This thread is to let you present your evidence for the existence of a god. We are now on page 6 and you have still not done so. Please Present your evidence and don't get sidetracked.

Oh, and let me know if you would like to debate Evolution with me.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 21, 2014, 04:04:00 AM
First of all, before I get started, this is a thread set up for you to provide evidence for god. This is not a thread for you to turn the conversation around and ask for evidence regarding an unrelated topic. If you want to discuss this, start a thread. I will respond below with the notion that this may be split off into another thread by the mods.

Secondly, because of this I am disappointed in your response because it totally bypasses the conversation of what a soul is and why complexity isn't a valid argument for intelligent design when you simultaneously state that all is created by god whether complex or not. This is the main issue, and you are trying to brush it under the carpet without anyone noticing.

Anyway....

In our earlier conversation about what a soul is, and who has one, you brought up evolution a few times in your response.  I've read quite a bit of evolution science and I've seen many fossils, but it still seems to me that it is a theory rather than fact.

Evolution is an observable fact. The Theory of Evolution is our best explanation of how evolution works. It's the same with gravity and the same with the atom - we have observable facts that are explained by theories. If you are going to get hung up on a theory then it should be the current theory of gravity because we know it's wrong. If you can't make the distinction between fact and theory then any further conversation is pointless.

Also, I'm nor sure where you have a problem with evolution. It's not clear whether it's a full, blown out rejection of evolution or just the evolution of humans. Please clarify.

Quote
That there is a leap from fossil finds (which is evidence) to conclusions (which is theory), about where species came from.  I've noticed that no matter how hard people try, everyone has a bias.

We also find and observe a change in gene frequency[1] over time. We label that evolution. Fossil records are just one source of evidence. DNA is another. Why antibiotics are becoming less and less useful at getting rid of infections is another. The fact that you aren't a clone of your father is another.

Yes, everyone has bias. So what? I do not bring any specialised, one-off bias forward for evolution. The biases I bring forth for evolution are consistently used for a smorgasbord of things. I believe on taking what appears to happen in the observable world as a good indicator for what happens in the observable world. Evolution is one of those things like gravity is. You are the one who is using a specialised bias to conclude that gravity is a fact but evolution isn't.

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If you and I bring different biases into the same room, we may come out with completely different conclusions about the same evidence presented to us.  The only way that we could come out with the same conclusions is if there was conclusive evidence, and we both agree to let the evidence dissolve the bias.

No, the way to dissolve this is to be consistent with biases and apply them across the board to everything. We can't live without bias, so this is the next best thing, but you are not doing this.

Quote
Now, I admit that chimps, apes, and such look similar to humans compared to other creatures.  But I don't think that is conclusive enough evidence.  (Though I think it can set up a bias).

Firstly, we are apes. But you're right, just because we look similar comapared to other creatures isn't conclusive enough. for example, there are species in Madagascar that resemble hedgehogs, but they have different lineages. This is called convergent evolution.
However, we have evidence from DNA that we are related to other apes. For example, chromosome 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome_2_(human)) in humans has a near identical DNA sequence to chimps, but in a chimp they are two separate chromosomes. The same can be said for gorillas and orangutans.

Quote
Since it isn't enough to draw a conclusion of evolution based on just the look of one species to another, we need evidence of transition.  Since evolutionists teach that everything is "transitional", then we will never find the "missing link", but should we should expect a series of transitions over a long period of time.

This is the creationist ploy, and that is there'll always be a missing link, because even when you fill in a gap between two organisms, you create two more gaps. Then you fill them in and create four more gaps etc. Thing is, there are fossils out there already where you will struggle to tell whether it is "human" or "not human".

We see transition every time I new organism is born. We are all transitional forms. That is why we are not clones. This is due to a change in gene frequency. This is evolution.

Quote
Since you brought evolution into the discussion I perceive that it is very important to you.  I would like to know what you believe is the proof of evolution?  Is there a transitional fossil or a few that are your favorites to point to?  Or is it the whole of evolutionary biology that is so convincing?

Yes, I brought up evolution and you've taken that baton and ran with it, leaving behind the actual discussion. Please don't do this again with me.

Anyway, evolution is not important to me. I don't care whether it is a fact or not. All I'm interested in is finding out what are facts, and facts can be found out by observing the world. Evolution just so happens to be one of those observations.
 
Quote
I would like to read about what you think are the best evidences.  I'll take some time and read it, in case there is evidence that I'm not aware of.

Then you haven't "read quite a lot of evolution science", have you? Really, I've explained why evolution is a fact and explained the distinction between that and the theory that explains it. I suggest you knock yourself out at talkorigins (http://www.talkorigins.org/), rather than me reel off a load of observable instances of evolution.
 1. Agh, Jesuis!
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: naemhni on January 21, 2014, 06:34:57 AM
In our earlier conversation about what a soul is, and who has one, you brought up evolution a few times in your response.  I've read quite a bit of evolution science and I've seen many fossils, but it still seems to me that it is a theory rather than fact.

Patrick, are you by any chance a fan of "Law and Order", "CSI", or any other type of police procedural television show?  If not, let me explain the idea briefly.

A typical episode goes something like this: a murder victim's body is discovered.  The police begin their investigation by figuring out who the victim is and creating a "suspect pool".  Once they've gathered a certain amount of evidence, they come up with their prime suspect -- having done so, they are said to have created a "theory of the homicide".  For example, if the victim was married and had a huge insurance policy naming the wife as the beneficiary, their prime suspect may be the wife.  The "theory of the homicide", then, is that the wife killed the husband for the money.

So they find the wife to see whether she has an alibi.  She says she does, saying that she was on a business trip in another state, and she offers the names of colleagues and coworkers who were with her on the trip.  The detectives check with those people, and they confirm her story.  This means that the detectives' "theory of the homicide" is incorrect.  It does NOT mean that the victim is still alive.

Now, do you understand where I'm going with this, or do I need to explain it to you further?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: kcrady on January 21, 2014, 11:01:37 AM
Of course people from the beginning of time have wrestled with these issues.  That's exactly what one would expect from people who were created in the image of God to do.  Even if they don't know God.

Now, I don't make a "leap".

But...you just did.  Can you see it?  You say that "wrestling with these issues" is an anticipated consequence of people being "created in the image of [your particular] God," but offer no indication of how you got from Point A to Point Bible, much less any actual chain of evidence that locates the hypothesis you chose over countless others. 

We can observe, daily, the presence of curiosity in animals (cats, dogs, etc.) that are not, in any mainstream version of Christian theology, "created in the image of God."  Most Christian theologians would tell us that Yahweh already knows everything, so it is metaphysically impossible for him to be curious or wrestle with a difficult question.  Therefore, there is no information content in the phrase "created in the image of God" that can lead to anticipating that humans would be curious and wrestle with philosophical questions.

Since curiosity is a trait we share with other animals, it's easy to assert that this is an anticipated consequence of naturalistic evolution.  Or we could say it's because our bodies and Ka's were fashioned by Khnum (http://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/khnum.html), who created us to live in accordance with the principles of Ma'at (http://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/maat.html) (truth and the proper cosmic order; also personified as a goddess).  Or...pretty much every single religion and philosophy ever invented.

The reasons that I gave were just a beginning.  I don't leap from the existential concept to.... American Protestantism.

You may not see yourself doing it because "the Bible is true" is just one of those "everybody knows that!" things to you, so that you're not able to genuinely step outside of your world-view long enough to look at it the way an outsider would.  Like a fish that never notices the presence of water.  If you'd been born in New Delhi, then the truth of Hinduism would be equally "obvious."  You would have no more expectation that the answers would be found in a Jewish book than you currently have of finding them in the Vedas.

First is accepting the idea that we are more than just an accident.  And more than just a physical creature destined for the dust without a soul or something else, whatever that might be.

This is no better a reason to believe in Yahweh than "But I don't want there to be a big boss in the sky who has rules for what I can do with my genitals!" is a good reason to disbelieve in him.

This is motivated cognition--enshrining some particular desire (whether it be for "immortality, meaning, and purpose" or "free love" or "I wanna have psychic powers and talk to aliens" or something else) as a bias, then setting out to make the facts of reality conform.  It should be obvious that this is not a good way to find out what reality is actually like. 

After at least considering that possibility, a person can enter into a journey of discovering what that something else could be.

Again, this methodology is completely bass-ackwards.  First we set out on our journey of discovery--employing methods for discovering facts and identifying errors and biases--then we find out what possibilities are worthy of consideration (i.e., probable), and which ones aren't.

That you don't see a reason for God to create people........well the bible says that God loves His creation.  Maybe that's a good enough reason.  As parents and people with family, we should be able to relate to that.

When we talk about love, in particular, parental love, the word is supposed to mean something.  It is fairly easy to specify a set of behaviors that identify an individual as a loving parent.  It is also fairly easy to specify behaviors that qualify as "abusive" or "neglectful."  In other words, we can tell, by observation, whether or not a given person is a loving parent.  We have governmental departments set up to do this in order to protect children from abuse and neglect.

So, if you're wanting to claim that Yahweh is a loving parent, then you're making a testable claim.  In a nutshell: loving parents look out for their children, and act within the extent of their knowledge and abilities to protect them.  Children with loving parents never wonder if said parents exist or not. 

We all know that Yahweh doesn't behave as a loving parent.  If he did, you wouldn't have to use motivated cognition to uphold your belief in him.  You could just say, "Remember when he stopped that Hitler guy from trying to kill all the Jews and start a war that would have killed tens of millions of people?" or "Remember when he stopped those airliners from colliding with the World Trade Center?"  Now of course you've got all kinds of theological reasons for why Yahweh never actually does anything, or so much as shows up to give any of the children he "loves" a hug or a shoulder to cry on.  But the more you apply those, the more you tear down the claim that he can be understood as being a "loving parent" in any meaningful sense of the term.  The problem you have is that Yahweh doesn't exhibit any kind of behavior pattern at all out in the real world.  Sure, he does stuff in stories in books, but then, so does Harry Potter.

The Bible says that God knew you from the beginning of the earth.  That He created you for a reason.  If God is who He says He is, and does love His creation, then people who know Him will WANT to bow down and sing His praises.  He doesn't force anyone to do that.

Are you sure?

Quote
For it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
    and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

Romans 14:11, New Revised Standard Version

Quote
And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne;

--Revelation 12:5, NRSV


Quote
From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule[a] them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

--Revelation 19:14-16

For someone who professes to "believe in" the Bible, you don't seem all that familiar with it.  I wish that all the nice, ethical, modern Christians who want to go around saying, "Oh no, God isn't mean!  He doesn't ever bully anyone into worshiping him or torture them in Hell for doing something else for their lives!  He just wants to hand out big huggy bunches of love and welcome everyone into the Democracy of Heaven!" would have the integrity to hold a new Church Council and go through the Bible with a red pen lining out all the horrible barbaric crap to produce a text as nice as they are.  While you're at it, maybe you can clear out the "begats" and some of those laborious descriptions of altars and tables and washing-bowls for animal sacrifices.  Then you'd have room to put in more relevant stuff like, oh, I dunno, Martin Luther King's Letter From a Birmingham Jail (http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html)

Re: the issues of good and evil:  Good and evil are definitions of standards.  We would have to get into the problem of where our standards come from.  Are they floating or fixed?

Let's see...

Quote
About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then he heard a voice saying, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.” The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

--Acts 10:9-16, NRSV


Floating, right?  Right?


I see that good and evil exist and it causes me to look for a good/evil standard and reason why.  The bible answers those questions.  I know other "holy books" claim answers too.  Yes, I've read many of them but not all.  That doesn't mean that landing on just the right truth was a coincidence.  I don't see this as a choice as much as I see it as God's leading me and giving me reasons to believe at the same time.

And everybody else's gods and goddesses "led them" to believe in their religions, right?  I'm sure many if not most would say that sort of thing.  As an outsider without any deities leading me around, why should I not consider their claims as valid as yours? 

Burning forever may be a metaphorical explaination of hell.

Or it may not.  There's lots of Christians who exhibit absolute certainty in the truth of "literal," "metaphorical" and "meh, that was primitive people talking, God has lead us on from there" views and various admixtures thereof.  Which ought to be a clue that the methodology of Christianity doesn't work when it comes to seeking truth and identifying error.

Forever seperation from God is probably one thing that christians can agree upon regarding this subject.  That it burns like an unquenchable fire because the person will never have satifaction in their existance, always searching and never able to experience relationship, contentment, always blaming God for even being in hell, will certainly be a part of that eternal existance.  But hey, at least God is giving the person what they wanted right?  Seperation from Himself.  A lot atheists say that even if the God of the bible were true, they wouldn't want to be with Him.  A loving God, I suppose, gives them what they want in the end. 

We are all perfectly, 100% hermetically sealed off and "separate from" Yahweh.  If it were otherwise, this Forum would not exist, you wouldn't be being asked for evidence for him (and you wouldn't be so completely unable to provide it) any more than you're asked for evidence that the Sun exists.  You live in the same godless universe we do.  Welcome to "Hell," I guess.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: kcrady on January 21, 2014, 12:27:21 PM
God is in a win/win situation.  If things go well, the believer praises Him.  If things don't go well, we have the example of Job to help shape our attitude.

This is actually a bad thing, from a truth-seeking standpoint.  Any hypothesis that can "explain" every possible result actually explains nothing. 

Let me give you an example.  Say I wanted to promote a hypothesis that Yahweh and Jesus were space aliens.  I start out by claiming that what Ezekiel describes in the first chapter of his Biblical book is a spaceship (http://www.thelivingmoon.com/43ancients/01archives/Ezekiels_Story01_files/fig1.jpg), with the "four living creatures" (Cherubim) being helicopter-attachments with robotic manipulators and specialized wheels used for maneuvering the craft when the main rocket engine was not in use.[1]

If I can craft my claim in such a way that the aliens get a "win/win," so that no matter what kind of counter-evidence you could provide only means that we should believe in the aliens even harder ("That's just lies told by power-seeking patriarchal churchmen who want to keep us from finding the truth!" or whatever), would that make the hypothesis more convincing to you, or less

The only way to validate a hypothesis is if it can "stick its neck out" and make predictions, of things we would find in reality/would not find in reality if it's accurate, and things that, if found, would show that the hypothesis is false.  Classic example: Einstein's relativity predicted that the Sun would bend light from stars (it does; tested a few years later by observing stars during a solar eclipse), and that clocks would run more slowly in a gravitational field than outside of one (they do; tested with atomic clocks, also our GPS satellite system must account for relativistic time dilation in order to work).

If the Sun did not warp spacetime, and thus did not bend light (which is massless and would not be affected by gravity that did not bend the space it travels through), if there was one, single, Newtonian standard of time (relativistic time dilation did not occur), then we would have known that relativity was false, and "Einstein" would not be synonymous with "genius" in our culture.

So, proclaiming that Yahweh gets a "win/win" is merely putting a gloss over the fact that he exhibits no behavior pattern that differs from his non-existence.
 
One of the atheist arguments is that the bible is a bunch of concocted stories that are there to convince people that they need to believe in order for the leaders of the church to control the masses.  The problem that I have believing that idea, is that the bible tells this type of story.  Obviously this is a problem for Christianity if your ideal god is that he should always protect and provide for us everything that we want to happen.  But that isn't what the bible teaches.

Except in places like Deuteronomy (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+30&version=NRSV) and all that stuff Jesus said about how Christians should be able to be as carefree as swallows or lilies of the field, because Yahweh takes care of them.  The next verse, "And Jesus said, 'Well, except for when he's hanging out with his buddy the Devil, taking bets on how much suffering Christians will endure and still believe.'" must have gotten lost in the copying-and-translation process somewhere along the way.

It teaches us to trust in God, despite our understanding,

Really?  "Yahweh has no problem with murdering your whole family and tormenting you with agonizing boils so he can win a bet with the Devil" makes you trust him more?  Say, did you know I'm a Nigerian prince?  Why, yes, yes I am.  And I'm trying to move my millions out of Nigeria so I can use them to help my people.  If you'll give me the routing numbers for your bank account, I'll deposit my $30 million in your account, then take $20 million out and move it to another account, you can keep the $10 million for helping me out.  Oh, and your penis will totally get bigger, I promise.

because God has a reason for shaping us in the way that He wants for His purposes.

Because he wasn't able to "shape" us the right way in the first place (see Romans 9)?  Why?  How did he fail?  Also: what "purposes" can he accomplish with properly-shaped humans that he can't accomplish without them? 

Our job as believers is to respond to God like Job, in humility and in trust.  I say this because I think that this is evidence that the bible is recording things that actually happened and letting the "chips fall where they fall".

I think this is evidence that ancient Hebrew writers had to find explanations for the fact that their country kept getting its ass handed to it despite being the "Chosen People" of the "One True God."  Apart from the fact that their "Promised Land" happened to be wedged between the fertile rivers (and thus, the powerful, populous civilizations) of Egypt and Mesopotamia. 

So: how can we determine who is right?  What methods can we use?

If I were to try and steer people to a false religion so that I could have the power, stories like this in Job wouldn't say that God allowed Job an "upright man", and his family to go through all this suffering and tremendous loss.  I would say something much more palatable like what the televangelists say today, that if you "just believe and have enough faith", then Jesus will heal your ailments and you will get that great job, and money will come back to you ten fold.  Much of today's "christian message" is junk.

Because televangelists never quote the Bible to support all those ridiculous claims, right?
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spaceships_of_Ezekiel
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: jaimehlers on January 21, 2014, 02:17:27 PM
^Indeed.  That's why the concept of falsification is so important in science.  If you don't provide a way for your prediction, or hypothesis, to be proven false, then you aren't really predicting anything useful.  All you're doing is giving yourself a feel-good ego trip, but you won't accomplish much other than feeling good.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: kcrady on January 21, 2014, 03:16:15 PM
 
I've given my reasons for exploration, but for the continuance, I'll refer you to a website that I go to from time to time.  It's called Reasons To Believe, started by Hugh Ross, a PhD in Astrophysics along with other science fellows.   http://www.reasons.org/explore/topic/age-of-the-earth

I'm somewhat familiar with Dr. Ross, but it's been decades since I read his book (IIRC, The Creator and the Cosmos), and I don't still have it.  As I recall, he argues for "Old-Earth" Creationism, as opposed to "Young-Earth" Creationism or theistic evolution.  On the website, he seems to accept modern cosmology and assert that "the Bible predicted this all along!"  If that's the case...



...why is Dr. Hugh Ross so prominent?  Surely we would have theological discussions of the Big Bang, the much-larger-than-Ptolemy's-Almagest Cosmos, the vast stretches of pre-human pre-history and so on penned by some of the great minds of earlier Christianity, like Clement, Origen, Eusebius, Augustine, Aquinas, and so forth, would we not?  How would YEC have even come to exist, if Christians had always known the Cosmos was incredibly ancient and large?  How is it that Christians can't point to their knowledge of things like the Big Bang and expanding space for 2,000 years prior to science's discovery thereof (more if you count their Rabbinical predecessors[1]?  If the Bible teaches what Dr. Ross says it does, Christians would have been way out in front when it comes to scientific cosmology, instead of caught clinging to thousand-year-old Greek ideas that turned out to be wrong.

Check out the following passage from an ancient text:

Quote
Consider therefore, this further evidence of bodies whose existence you must acknowledge though they cannot be seen.  First, wind, when its force is roused, whips up waves, founders tall ships, and scatters the cloud-rack. ...Without question therefore, there must be invisible particles of wind which sweep the sea and land and clouds in the sky...

...Then again, we smell the various scents of things though we never see them approaching our nostrils.  Similarly, heat and cold cannot be detected by our eyes, and we cannot see sounds.  Yet all these things must be composed of bodies, since they are able to impinge upon our senses.  For nothing can touch or be touched except by body. [Italics in original, blue emphasis added]

Just imagine how absolutely ecstatic any Christian apologist would be to find this in some forgotten corner of the book of Isaiah!  A prediction of the existence of atoms and molecules, how scent works, sound waves and infrared radiation!  Amazing!  Miraculous!  Unfortunately for them, this citation comes from On the Nature of the Universe by Lucretius,[2] written in the First Century B.C.E..  In it, he presents a naturalistic world-view without any divine creation. 

One interesting thing to note is how wonderfully explanatory Lucretius' writing is compared to the Bible.  Not for him the vague metaphors of Job or the Psalms, or allegorical tales of talking snakes and human genealogies that count back to the creation of the Cosmos!

So, given the way Lucretius' prescience decisively trumps anything the Bible has to offer (I've only barely scratched the surface in the parts I've quoted), does that prove that naturalism is correct?  Would it at least motivate you to read On the Nature of the Universe to see if Lucretius might have been on the right track, even if he was wrong about a few things?

...

One more thing about Dr. Ross and his website:  Listen to the first few minutes of this podcast (http://www.reasons.org/podcasts/i-didnt-know-that/god-molecule-musings-of-a-zen-buddhist-do-angels-reflect-the-image-of-god-what-s-the-need-for-a-universe-so-big) and notice how they resort to the same question-begging and failure to Locate the Hypothesis that you do.

The podcast is a question-and-answer session with three "scholars" favorable to Dr. Ross' views.  They are asked a question about the psychedelic DMT and what the experiences it generates mean.  The speakers assert that the experiences people have with DMT could be:

1) Could be a total illusion based on your response to the drug;
2) Could be a physiological response that people are attributing spiritual meaning to
3) Could be opening you to a realm "occupied by demonic activity"
4) Christian faith is "set apart from other religions" because "the experiences of God we have are authentic" because we don't have to go into a trance or use a drug.

Notice how they just assume Christianity is true and that Christian spiritual experiences [that they approve of] are authentic.  #1 and #2 could just as easily be brought forward as explanations for Christian spiritual experiences.  A Muslim (or adherent of some other religion) could say that Christians are opening themselves to a realm "occupied by demonic activity" (#3) by welcoming Christian mystical experiences.

#4 is riddled with question-begging.  Even if Christianity is "set apart" from other religions (so that its teachings are somehow unique), why would that necessarily mean it's more likely to be true?  If you've got ten people in a room, and one of them sees a purple unicorn prancing around , is that person correct just because their account is "set apart" from the others?

This "Christianity is set apart" argument is also very commonly used as a stealth circular reasoning tactic.  The apologist will wax eloquent about how Christianity is the only religion where the god died for its followers, was resurrected physically, etc., and since this "sets Christianity apart" from all those other religions, Christianity must be true.  Short version: Christianity is more like Christianity than any other religion!  Therefore Christianity must be true!"

Second, how do we know that spiritual experiences had without the aid of a naturally-occurring psychedelic are any more likely to be accurate than those involving the use of the psychedelic?  If the Cosmos was Intelligently Designed by one or more Creators who wanted humans to understand certain things, it would make a lot of sense for Them to design psychedelics--and human receptivity to them--into the Cosmos. 

As molecules that objectively exist with objectively replicable effects, psychedelics aren't subject to the many foibles of "holy books."  They can't be made up by charlatans or redacted at the behest of monarchs with political motivations.  They are independent of human language and culture, so that errors of translation and misunderstood cultural idioms cannot creep in.  They do not privilege certain "special people" (e.g. the allegedly "inspired" authors of holy books or clergy authorized to interpret them for illiterate masses), but offer replicable access to the revelatory experience to anyone at any time.  If a Creator or Creators wanted to pass on divine revelation without human greed, power-lust, or well-intentioned fallibility getting in the way, naturally-occurring molecules--which, by definition, bear the Creators' trademark stamp--would be an excellent way of going about it.   

Nutshell: These Christian "scholars" presented with a mysterious new anomaly[3] immediately cram it into their Christian world-view ("it's demons!") without ever considering the possibility that it could be accurate, or that if it isn't, the mystical experiences Christianity is based on could be subject to the same criticisms.  They "already know" Christianity is true, so whenever they approach a phenomenon like DMT, or wield an argument like First Cause, they never actually explore the possibility-space.  They start at the finish line and claim they've won the race.

The reason I keep hammering on this "Locating the Hypothesis" thing is that it isn't easy to actually look instead of just reinforcing one's own biases and calling it a day.  Which means: one can easily fail to locate the hypothesis that matches reality.
 1. Who, for some mysterious reason start the Jewish calendar from Creation...only a few thousand years ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar
 2. Penguin Classics, translated by R.E. Latham, Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, first published 1951, pp 35-36
 3. They are ostensibly kept from knowing what questions they'll be asked until they are presented with them live for the podcast
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 21, 2014, 05:19:21 PM
Religion has this in common with science: every question leads to more questions. However, unlike religion, at least science has some answers.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 22, 2014, 01:39:08 AM
First of all, before I get started, this is a thread set up for you to provide evidence for god. This is not a thread for you to turn the conversation around and ask for evidence regarding an unrelated topic. If you want to discuss this, start a thread. I will respond below with the notion that this may be split off into another thread by the mods.

Secondly, because of this I am disappointed in your response because it totally bypasses the conversation of what a soul is and why complexity isn't a valid argument for intelligent design when you simultaneously state that all is created by god whether complex or not. This is the main issue, and you are trying to brush it under the carpet without anyone noticing.

Anyway....

In our earlier conversation about what a soul is, and who has one, you brought up evolution a few times in your response.  I've read quite a bit of evolution science and I've seen many fossils, but it still seems to me that it is a theory rather than fact.

Evolution is an observable fact. The Theory of Evolution is our best explanation of how evolution works. It's the same with gravity and the same with the atom - we have observable facts that are explained by theories. If you are going to get hung up on a theory then it should be the current theory of gravity because we know it's wrong. If you can't make the distinction between fact and theory then any further conversation is pointless.

Also, I'm nor sure where you have a problem with evolution. It's not clear whether it's a full, blown out rejection of evolution or just the evolution of humans. Please clarify.

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That there is a leap from fossil finds (which is evidence) to conclusions (which is theory), about where species came from.  I've noticed that no matter how hard people try, everyone has a bias.

We also find and observe a change in gene frequency[1] over time. We label that evolution. Fossil records are just one source of evidence. DNA is another. Why antibiotics are becoming less and less useful at getting rid of infections is another. The fact that you aren't a clone of your father is another.

Yes, everyone has bias. So what? I do not bring any specialised, one-off bias forward for evolution. The biases I bring forth for evolution are consistently used for a smorgasbord of things. I believe on taking what appears to happen in the observable world as a good indicator for what happens in the observable world. Evolution is one of those things like gravity is. You are the one who is using a specialised bias to conclude that gravity is a fact but evolution isn't.

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If you and I bring different biases into the same room, we may come out with completely different conclusions about the same evidence presented to us.  The only way that we could come out with the same conclusions is if there was conclusive evidence, and we both agree to let the evidence dissolve the bias.

No, the way to dissolve this is to be consistent with biases and apply them across the board to everything. We can't live without bias, so this is the next best thing, but you are not doing this.

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Now, I admit that chimps, apes, and such look similar to humans compared to other creatures.  But I don't think that is conclusive enough evidence.  (Though I think it can set up a bias).

Firstly, we are apes. But you're right, just because we look similar comapared to other creatures isn't conclusive enough. for example, there are species in Madagascar that resemble hedgehogs, but they have different lineages. This is called convergent evolution.
However, we have evidence from DNA that we are related to other apes. For example, chromosome 2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome_2_(human)) in humans has a near identical DNA sequence to chimps, but in a chimp they are two separate chromosomes. The same can be said for gorillas and orangutans.

Quote
Since it isn't enough to draw a conclusion of evolution based on just the look of one species to another, we need evidence of transition.  Since evolutionists teach that everything is "transitional", then we will never find the "missing link", but should we should expect a series of transitions over a long period of time.

This is the creationist ploy, and that is there'll always be a missing link, because even when you fill in a gap between two organisms, you create two more gaps. Then you fill them in and create four more gaps etc. Thing is, there are fossils out there already where you will struggle to tell whether it is "human" or "not human".

We see transition every time I new organism is born. We are all transitional forms. That is why we are not clones. This is due to a change in gene frequency. This is evolution.

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Since you brought evolution into the discussion I perceive that it is very important to you.  I would like to know what you believe is the proof of evolution?  Is there a transitional fossil or a few that are your favorites to point to?  Or is it the whole of evolutionary biology that is so convincing?

Yes, I brought up evolution and you've taken that baton and ran with it, leaving behind the actual discussion. Please don't do this again with me.

Anyway, evolution is not important to me. I don't care whether it is a fact or not. All I'm interested in is finding out what are facts, and facts can be found out by observing the world. Evolution just so happens to be one of those observations.
 
Quote
I would like to read about what you think are the best evidences.  I'll take some time and read it, in case there is evidence that I'm not aware of.

Then you haven't "read quite a lot of evolution science", have you? Really, I've explained why evolution is a fact and explained the distinction between that and the theory that explains it. I suggest you knock yourself out at talkorigins (http://www.talkorigins.org/), rather than me reel off a load of observable instances of evolution.
 1. Agh, Jesuis!
Wow........Ok.
I thought you were trying to take the argument to evolution and so I was just trying to cut to the chase.  Sounds like I was mistaken about that. 
I'm more than happy to continue talking about complexity and definately don't want "to brush it under the carpet". 
I need to try and understand your position better in order to talk about it.  Below is a quote from you (reply #58):

"No, when I refer to a (disembodied) "mind" I'm equating it to what you would call a soul/spirit. The brain is just the physical vehicle that houses it. I'm trying to gauge what you consider to be living regarding the physical body of a human, if it has no "soul" to animate it, because as far as I am conserned all that is left is a corpse. Also, The soul isn't subject to the physical, and therefore isn't subject to DNA....., and therefore isn't subject to this complexity you see which draws you to believe there is a designer. Were early humans and their ancestors not living because they didn't have a soul, or were they physically living without a soul?
You see, I see this as a very confusing issue. Dualism adds in this new dimension, yet it does't fit in anywhere in evolution. Suddenly, physical beings with a soul are alive due to the soul, which can exist independently of the physical body, but is the physical body still classed as alive without the soul? Evolution would tell us that, yes, physical bodies are classed as alive because the science behind it doesn't make this jump into the unevidenced assertion of dualism. You do, and I want to know where you fit this in, why you think it is needed, and why you think a consiousness, such as that possessed by humans, can't arise due to the "complex" natural process of evolution which you believe your god set up in the first place anyway?"

You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.  That a soul is something perceived, but not something that I can provide evidence for other than the consciousness that drives things that aren't explainable by any other means.  I previously listed those things as love, kindness, sadness, recognition of beauty, art, music, and things like that.  Things that make life pleasureable, and even things that make life miserable, are often driven by the soul.  So the soul works in conjunction with the body and the brain to drive behaviors and actions, and things that are within our "will".   So if a person has suffered body or brain damage, they still have a soul, but are limited in carrying out their will.  So I'm saying that the brain is not the soul, the brain is part of the body that will die.

When you ask why I believe in dualism.  A few short reasons are listed already.  Why can't evolution account for this?  I can't answer that because you don't want to talk about "an unrelated topic "evolution".

Ok just taking a jab.  All in fun.... right?

I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

To be clear, I don't believe that we have early ancestors without a soul.  That's because I believe in special creation of humans with a soul. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: SevenPatch on January 22, 2014, 02:03:12 AM
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on January 22, 2014, 02:08:13 AM
Erg...these bad quoting skills...

I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

As others have already stated, yes, it is more than survival of the fittest.

Acts of love and kindness have large benefits to an organism, a population of species that all hate each other will not get very far, unless they are major predators. (Predators can be non-social and be successful, sharks for example)
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Fiji on January 22, 2014, 02:41:30 AM
A for instance to illustrate A&A's point.
In winter, when I clean out the chicken koop I let the chickens roam the yard. They always stay together, even though there's plenty of room. And even though this reduces their chance of getting to a grub, since one of the other chickens might get to it first. So, it seems that chickens have encoded in their DNA "I am a chicken, I like to be near other chickens"
We might think, how cute, the chickens stay together, they must really like eachother.
While in reality they do this to increase their survival chance when they run into a fox. In an open space, the fox can only grab one of the chickens. The time it takes him to kill that chicken allows the other to escape. The slight decrease in the chance of getting a grub is a small price to pay for a big increase in the chance of surviving an encounter with a fox.
Take humans, even with that massive brain of ours, we really only come into our own if we can cooperate with other humans. A lone human might manage to survive but a family/tribe of humans has a much better chance of survival. Enter love, a way to make us want to be around a fairly fixed set of other humans.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 22, 2014, 09:30:19 AM
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree? 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Fiji on January 22, 2014, 09:42:23 AM
Just like my chickens don't stick together because they're expecting a fox to pass by any second now, people don't marry, have kids and feel close to familiar people because of objective calculations. The feel good 'force' you mention, are certain hormones the brain has evolved to release when certain conditions are met. Individuals that have these hormones survive, those that don't end up in the belly of a fox/lion.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on January 22, 2014, 10:12:09 AM
Certainly love is more than that.

Unfortunately for you, love is most likely the way it is due to the evolution of behavior.

If life evolved differently, It is particularly possible that "love" could be seen as offensive, or a taboo.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 22, 2014, 10:14:28 AM


"No, when I refer to a (disembodied) "mind" I'm equating it to what you would call a soul/spirit. The brain is just the physical vehicle that houses it. I'm trying to gauge what you consider to be living regarding the physical body of a human, if it has no "soul" to animate it, because as far as I am conserned all that is left is a corpse. Also, The soul isn't subject to the physical, and therefore isn't subject to DNA....., and therefore isn't subject to this complexity you see which draws you to believe there is a designer. Were early humans and their ancestors not living because they didn't have a soul, or were they physically living without a soul?
You see, I see this as a very confusing issue. Dualism adds in this new dimension, yet it does't fit in anywhere in evolution. Suddenly, physical beings with a soul are alive due to the soul, which can exist independently of the physical body, but is the physical body still classed as alive without the soul? Evolution would tell us that, yes, physical bodies are classed as alive because the science behind it doesn't make this jump into the unevidenced assertion of dualism. You do, and I want to know where you fit this in, why you think it is needed, and why you think a consiousness, such as that possessed by humans, can't arise due to the "complex" natural process of evolution which you believe your god set up in the first place anyway?"

You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.  That a soul is something perceived, but not something that I can provide evidence for other than the consciousness that drives things that aren't explainable by any other means.  I previously listed those things as love, kindness, sadness, recognition of beauty, art, music, and things like that.  Things that make life pleasureable, and even things that make life miserable, are often driven by the soul.  So the soul works in conjunction with the body and the brain to drive behaviors and actions, and things that are within our "will".   So if a person has suffered body or brain damage, they still have a soul, but are limited in carrying out their will.  So I'm saying that the brain is not the soul, the brain is part of the body that will die.

When you ask why I believe in dualism.  A few short reasons are listed already.  Why can't evolution account for this?  I can't answer that because you don't want to talk about "an unrelated topic "evolution".

Ok just taking a jab.  All in fun.... right?

I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

To be clear, I don't believe that we have early ancestors without a soul.  That's because I believe in special creation of humans with a soul.

So this soul hypothesis, how do we separate this notion from complete fantasy? Since we know chemicals, brain damage, DNA, and upbringing create effects on people behaviors, why do you assume a ghost in the machine?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Boots on January 22, 2014, 11:02:48 AM
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

emphasis added.

please correct me if I'm wrong, but what you're saying is akin to "trees and other plant life are green because that color is most pleasing to the human eye"  whereas what I believe is being argued is "green is most pleasing to the human eye because trees and other plant life are green"
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Mrjason on January 22, 2014, 11:09:37 AM
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical misimpression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

emphasis added.

please correct me if I'm wrong, but what you're saying is akin to "trees and other plant life are green because that color is most pleasing to the human eye"  whereas what I believe is being argued is "green is most pleasing to the human eye because trees and other plant life are green"

Agreed, its asking the wrong question to come to a pre-formed answer.

I read this example from Richard dawkins that I think sums up the mistake in Patrick Henry's thinking

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A helpful analogy is moths flying into candle flames. It’s tempting to ask what is the survival value of suicidal behaviour in moths, but that’s the wrong question. Instead what we should ask is, “What’s the survival value of having the kind of brain which, when there are candles about, causes moths to fly into them?” Now in the wild state, when the moth’s brain was being naturally selected for, there weren’t any candles, and if you saw a bright light in the middle of the night it pretty well had to be a celestial object. It could be a firefly or something like that, but it was most likely to be the moon or a star, or, in a day-flying insect, the sun. At optical infinity, when light rays are travelling in parallel, those rays provide an excellent compass. And it’s well known that insects use light rays as a compass. They maintain a fixed angle, let’s say 30 degrees, to a source of light. Well, if you maintain a 30 degree angle to the moon’s rays, that’s fine, you go in a straight line. But if you maintain a 30 degree angle to a candle’s rays, you’ll describe a neat logarithmic spiral straight into the candle and burn. So, now we have rephrased the question. The question is not, “What is the survival value of killing yourself, if you’re a moth?” the question has become, “What’s the survival value of maintaining a fixed angle relative to light rays?” And now we’ve got a sensible answer. In the case of the candle it’s just a mistake

edit link to the rest of the article https://humanism.org.uk/about/our-people/distinguished-supporters/professor-richard-dawkins-frs/ (https://humanism.org.uk/about/our-people/distinguished-supporters/professor-richard-dawkins-frs/)
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 22, 2014, 11:22:25 AM
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical mis-impression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

Patrick, I'm still waiting for your arguments for the existence of god. Let's not get sidetracked any more. Make one post listing your evidence so we an all see it. This, is after all, what the thread if for.

No more procrastinating and not more dodging, the evidence please.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 22, 2014, 02:29:21 PM
Wow........Ok.
I thought you were trying to take the argument to evolution and so I was just trying to cut to the chase.  Sounds like I was mistaken about that.

I mentioned evolution to see where you fit a soul into it. The simple answer is, you don't.

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I'm more than happy to continue talking about complexity and definately don't want "to brush it under the carpet".

There really isn't anymore to be said on the issue, apart from you making a decision on whether to drop your complexity argument or ignore that you believe everything, whether complex or not, is created by god. Here, I'll quote your contradiction:

The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.

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You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.

Then, as I've said a few times, we are alive twice.

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That a soul is something perceived, but not something that I can provide evidence for other than the consciousness that drives things that aren't explainable by any other means.

Again, the main point of this thread is for you to provide evidence, yet again you are telling us you can't. Plus, how you go from a concept, admittedly evidence free, as the only explanation is quite impressive incredulity.

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I previously listed those things as love, kindness, sadness, recognition of beauty, art, music, and things like that.  Things that make life pleasureable, and even things that make life miserable, are often driven by the soul.  So the soul works in conjunction with the body and the brain to drive behaviors and actions, and things that are within our "will".   So if a person has suffered body or brain damage, they still have a soul, but are limited in carrying out their will.  So I'm saying that the brain is not the soul, the brain is part of the body that will die.

People have already responded to this adequately enough for me. All I'm seeing here is more white noise and no evidence. However, I would like to ask what happens to people with dissociative identity disorder, or what you might call multiple personality disorder. Do these people get two souls?

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When you ask why I believe in dualism.  A few short reasons are listed already.  Why can't evolution account for this?  I can't answer that because you don't want to talk about "an unrelated topic "evolution".

Ok just taking a jab.  All in fun.... right?

 ;)  You can talk about it in relation to the topic, but not turn the topic into interrogating evolution. You can create a new thread for that.

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I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

To be clear, I don't believe that we have early ancestors without a soul.  That's because I believe in special creation of humans with a soul.

Yes, we get that you believe that, but we want the evidence that backs that belief up. So far, you have failed to produce any, even admittedly so.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 22, 2014, 07:24:12 PM
People were buried in religious ceremony for the purpose of resurrection for  new life on earth upon the return of Jesus. The people writing the Bible failed to put 2+2=4 together as far as "soul" and where it goes  upon burial....then other writings contradict  with this heaven idea. Followers will come from their graves upon return of Jesus. No soul required if you are "sleeping" awaiting the "return". Jesus promised to return within the lifetimes of his original followers,a promise he has failed to keep for more than 2000 years.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 22, 2014, 07:32:33 PM
why do you assume a ghost in the machine?

The ghost in the machine is assumed, because historically, Plato invented the soul, to explain thought. Back then, people had no idea what was in the brain, so they thought that thought came from various organs in the body. Jesus thought that that the heart was a thinking organ:

[17] Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
[18] But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
[19] For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
[20] These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Our ancient way of seeing thought as coming from the spleen and heart, has so invisibled itself, that we read the above, and think that Jesus is referring to heart as a metaphor for deep emotion, rather than him saying that the heart organ thinks emotions. They (and He) were clueless.

Not knowing that the brain was anymore powerful than the heart, they could be forgiven for thinking that any organ could think. But as a consequence, since no organ really had an obvious way to think, then there must have been a ghost in every organ.

Nowadays, understanding that the brain has 100 billion neurons, we might give it the benefit of the doubt, and believe that it was actually capable of thought. So, our belief in the ghost in the machine, is rooted is history from the ignorant Greeks.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 22, 2014, 08:47:24 PM
^^^They thought the heart did the feeling and thinking, the spleen took care of anger and the brain just cooled the blood or some such. Funny how it was really kinda the opposite. :P
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 22, 2014, 10:41:46 PM
Aristotle came up with the brain cooling the blood.

Hippocrates thought that the brain was the thinker.  400BC. 

Jesus didn't keep up with the science.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain#History
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 23, 2014, 02:42:05 AM
I understand why someone might think evolution accounts for love, but only if the love were self serving in some way.  But what about acts of kindness and love with nothing to be gained?  I'm not aware of any reason why evolution is the answer here.  Is evolution more than just survival of the fittest? 

Yes, evolution is so much more than survival of the fittest.

You seem to hold the typical mis-impression that evolution works on an individual level, when the reality is that evolution works between a broad population level and the entire ecosystem.  Love for others in the population has obvious benefits to survival of anything from the individual, to the population, to the species and even to the ecosystem.
Seven Patch,  AAA, and Fiji , you all answered me in a similar way, that love is accounted for by evolution because it's beneficial for a population on a purely objective level.  So is emotion just a way that evolution has made love more of driving force?  I mean people don't just say "I need a better chance of survival so I'll have kids and marry", without any attaching force.  Certainly love is more than that.  Somehow evolution has weaved in a feel good force behind love that motivates people rather than relying on an objective reasoning from the brain.  Agree?

Patrick, I'm still waiting for your arguments for the existence of god. Let's not get sidetracked any more. Make one post listing your evidence so we an all see it. This, is after all, what the thread if for.

No more procrastinating and not more dodging, the evidence please.


Why do you say that I'm dodging?  I began my reasoning in reply #1.  There have been responses and counter responses, and some of it has been interesting.   When looking back I see that I never did respond to your earlier replies, and have been side tracked with other responses.   But I did respond to you in #129, 137, and 140.  Along with others, you can't really think that I've been dodging and procrastinating?   
 
To begin the thread, I've given you reasons why I believe.  But it has always come with a premise.  That premise is that I won't prove the existence of a spiritual being, God, with only physical evidence.  That has lead to other posts which has lead to what we've been discussing lately........ whether or not that premise is acceptable.   I thought this board was going to also include sincere discussion of observations, facts, ideas, and things that could be beneficial. 
Here's a quote from my very first response #1:
"......... God meets not only the physical criteria, but the emotional, spiritual, psychological, and relational needs that human beings have.  It's not that I ignore science or the physical realm for proof. But I believe if we rely only on science and the physical world, I think we miss Him completely."
So if you can take away the possibility that we are only physical beings and nothing more.  Then I would not be able to defend my position.  The problem is that I cannot provide physical proof of something that isn't physical.  Therefore I have to point you to observation of the intangible, yet observable, things.  But you believe that acts of love, even selfless acts of kindness or giving to someone are somehow driven by an invisible force called evolution, that causes me to give money, time, energy for zero personal gain.  Yet I care about people in distress. Why? It's because were were all created in God's image, and within that, there is something more than just survival of the fittest.  We all have a spiritual aspect to us that the physical sciences don't completely account for.  The bible speaks to this and gives us answers. 
I believe the bible, which is a subject unto itself, tells the truth about God, and about how people came into existence, and why we are here in the first place.  The bible, which is verifiable by eye witnesses with a personal relationship to Christ, says that it was God who created all the complexity that we observe here on earth.  The bible explains that while we were made physically, we also have a spiritual side to us.  Which I can observe with my consciousness.  You say that an invisible force called evolution created us, and continues to progress us forward.  While there is no intelligence behind evolution, just an invisible drive that somehow propels us to live.  That same force has somehow given us an ability to enjoy things and be sad about things, create music, art, etc?   So far, it seems like less faith is required to believe in a designer, than an undetectable force behind evolution. Since it's intelligent design that we observe with everything else in life, it only makes sense to belief in a designer of nature.  Only in the theory of evolution is a thing created without a plan and an intelligent force doing the work.   The atheist view requires the belief in eternal existence of matter, or a belief that something came from nothing, which a problem with a gigantic hurdle, that hasn't been jumped over.  Even though Krauss tries.  Another problem is the complexity of life.  Certain features of living organisms, such as the miniature machines and complex circuits within cells are somehow better explained by evolution with an invisible driving force, than by a Creator.     
No intelligence creating the flagellar motor?  Or the inner ear?  The DNA code?
If I'm going to consider that an invisible force drives the complexity that we see in nature, like some kind of built in software code, then why not consider the possibility that a higher being infused this into biological life?  That opens the door to theistic possibilities.  With that door open, then the compelling explanations of the bible and eye witness accounts to Christ, followed by the deep teaching about humanity then move me toward Christianity.   

 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 23, 2014, 02:57:32 AM

There really isn't anymore to be said on the issue, apart from you making a decision on whether to drop your complexity argument or ignore that you believe everything, whether complex or not, is created by god. Here, I'll quote your contradiction:

The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.

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You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.

Then, as I've said a few times, we are alive twice.

I must be missing something about your complexity argument.  You're saying that I have to either drop my complexity argument or ignore that I believe everything was created by God.  Sorry, to ask you to repeat, but I don't understand what the issue is. 
I think that you suggested in an earlier post that a soul was by comparison, less complex than a body.  Is that related to your point here?  You'll have to help me out. 
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 23, 2014, 03:08:57 AM

There really isn't anymore to be said on the issue, apart from you making a decision on whether to drop your complexity argument or ignore that you believe everything, whether complex or not, is created by god. Here, I'll quote your contradiction:

The complexity of life draws me to believe there is a designer and creator. 

You are equating God, who is an eternal being to all other things which whether complex or not, are made by Him and therefore have a beginning.

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You want to gauge what I think is living regarding the physical body of a human.  I believe that the physical body is a living being, and if that body didn't have a soul it would still be alive.  But I believe that people have a soul.

Then, as I've said a few times, we are alive twice.

I must be missing something about your complexity argument.  You're saying that I have to either drop my complexity argument or ignore that I believe everything was created by God.  Sorry, to ask you to repeat, but I don't understand what the issue is.

The issue is you believe everything was made by god, whether complex or not, so it doesn't matter how complex something is, because even if it isn't complex you say it was made by god. This renders the complexity argument as redundant and your use of complexity as meaningless.

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I think that you suggested in an earlier post that a soul was by comparison, less complex than a body.  Is that related to your point here?  You'll have to help me out.

I base this on the idea that god is also a soul/spirit. If god has always existed, then he can't be complex because complexity points to a deisgner. Therefore, a soul/spirit cannot be complex. However, you believe soul/spirits are created by god, so even when we point to something that isn't complex, you still see need for a desginer.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 23, 2014, 03:30:55 AM
<snip>

Evolution has evidence to support it. You, admittedly, can't even produce any for your proposal. All you have are words. There is no contest because you haven't even turned up.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on January 23, 2014, 04:08:37 AM
"......... God meets not only the physical criteria, but the emotional, spiritual, psychological, and relational needs that human beings have.  It's not that I ignore science or the physical realm for proof. But I believe if we rely only on science and the physical world, I think we miss Him completely."

Sources please.
Because last time i have checked, there is no valid physical, or psychological evidence for a god.

   
No intelligence creating the flagellar motor?  Or the inner ear?  The DNA code?

I don't see why not.
Scientists have already made proto-cells in labs by just mixing chemicals and adding energy.
Insects and bacteria all over the planet are shown to mutate, adapt and gain complex genes that make them immune to toxins.

*Other bits of post*

Gah...too much "god made people, there must be a designer, the bible says this, radda".

Simple, get valid source, give us valid source.
If source is valid, congratulations, you are likely the be the richest man in the world for proving that not only does god exist, but that god made everything.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 23, 2014, 04:09:32 AM
I don't know about anything else, but the idea of a designer seems to be an hindrance to an argument more than anything else. here's the problems -

1. We can't tell is something really has been designed - there's no marker indicating it - so it is a very subjective idea and one that a majority of scientists don't accept.

2. That something or indeed all of nature has been designed seems to be a proposition for which there is no value. How does such a proposition help us in scientific research, in medical science?

3. It certainly makes the designer look far from benign. Look at some of the microorganisms that it purportedly designed - bugs that can and do kill us. Then there are the snakes, malaria - the lists is endless. If these are designed by a designer, then it certainly doesn't relate to a loving god.

4. In order to design such as is claimed by ID, the designer is going to have to be more complex than the things it designed and, consequently, is also going to need a designer. In fact there is going to have to be a chain of designers because in each step we have to design a new designer.

5. Souls are simpler than material organisms? How can we know that? Souls are going to have to be pretty complex as they are going to have to collect all the information in our brains and store it is a way that it is still accessible. Without that information, an individual ceases to exist even if there is a soul with his name on it. So a soul has to be non-material but capable of fast and accurate copying of the patterns of neurons in the brain and recreating this pattern in a working form right at the moment of death. That is some design and some tough job. Souls are  much more complicated than one might think.

6. No one has launched a search for the designer. No matter how good our beliefs in one particular god are, if we have not real evidence that the god exists it might end up not being the real designer. Research needs to be started to try and identify the designer.

So those are some of the implications of ID that are not really mentioned. The fact is that ID cannot link the supposed designer to any particular god without some evidence. Given that we know that things are evolving it is not even clear how it might help to know that a designer was at work.

Patrick, do you have answers to these point?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on January 23, 2014, 04:23:40 AM
3. It certainly makes the designer look far from benign. Look at some of the microorganisms that it purportedly designed - bugs that can and do kill us. Then there are the snakes, malaria - the lists is endless. If these are designed by a designer, then it certainly doesn't relate to a loving god.

Hey!
Snakes are good for pest control.
And they are cute ;D.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 23, 2014, 04:33:39 AM
4. In order to design such as is claimed by ID, the designer is going to have to be more complex than the things it designed and, consequently, is also going to need a designer. In fact there is going to have to be a chain of designers because in each step we have to design a new designer.


Yes, this is one point that I, and others, haven't touched on yet. While I'm pandering to the idea that god mustn't be complex if he's always existed and complexity points to a designer, god must have to be more complex than what he has designed. So you either have infinite regress or an inert god. Whichever is the case, why call it god?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: penfold on January 23, 2014, 05:47:10 AM
 
No intelligence creating the flagellar motor?  Or the inner ear?  The DNA code?
If I'm going to consider that an invisible force drives the complexity that we see in nature, like some kind of built in software code, then why not consider the possibility that a higher being infused this into biological life?  That opens the door to theistic possibilities.  With that door open, then the compelling explanations of the bible and eye witness accounts to Christ, followed by the deep teaching about humanity then move me toward Christianity.

Hi Patrick Henry. This is a good discussion and I have been reading your posts with interest. However I have become a bit confused as to your central argument. I was hoping that you could answer a question to help clarify.

Is your argument:

(a)
: That it is possible nature has an intelligent designer - ie that there is no internal contradiction to the God hypothesis but that nature itself provides no positive evidence.

or

(b)
: That nature does provide positive evidence for the God hypothesis.


The crucial difference is that (b) implies that the God hypothesis add explanatory power to the universe. - ie the universe is better explained with reference to God than without.

To give an example; If I want to explain why I have black eye I could say that it was cause by impact with a fist. If I add that the fist belonged to my mother-in-law  I have given you some information but not added explanatory power - I have gone no further in explaining why I have a black eye. On the other hand if I add that my mother-in-law hit me because I called her a drunk that would add explanatory power - I have gone further in explaining why I have a black eye.

So If you are arguing that (b) nature does provide positive evidence for the God hypothesis. Could you then explain for me how you think the God hypothesis adds explanatory power?

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 23, 2014, 08:00:04 AM
You say that an invisible force called evolution created us, and continues to progress us forward.  While there is no intelligence behind evolution, just an invisible drive that somehow propels us to live.  That same force has somehow given us an ability to enjoy things and be sad about things, create music, art, etc?   So far, it seems like less faith is required to believe in a designer, than an undetectable force behind evolution. Since it's intelligent design that we observe with everything else in life, it only makes sense to belief in a designer of nature.

This is where I check out of your well-meaning diatribe.

Whether something requires less or more "faith" is not an indicator of truth. The answers that the Bible supposedly supplies are supplied by Eastern religions as well, but a different way. The underlying philosophical "answers" in the New Testament are from ancient Greek philosophers, not Jesus.

I don't think the Bible answers anything straight, because it's all derived from conflicting theories in philosophy.

Evolution doesn't have a forward direction. Mammals ARE intelligently designed. We have brains, and this intelligence has been driving our self selection.

The Bible gives us no answers to the origins of life, and gets it WRONG.

The Bible is all about man's need to keep law and order, by using pretend carrots and pretend sticks. The book of Job is an example of a schizophrenic philosophical meltdown. The Bible gets no better after Job.

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it only makes sense to belief in a designer of nature.

You can believe it makes sense, but science has always shown that the truth is counter-intuitive. Find me one discovery in science that was not preceded by people believing something wrong, beforehand. This is way more true in the medical sciences. Prior to discovery, we usually believe in leeches and blood letting.

The truth in Bible came from people who believed that the sun and moon came out of boxes, where the 4 winds came from. Also, they believed that the earth was on a platform, above a watery abyss.

There is an outside chance that what you say about the soul and consciousness is true, but it in no way validates the Christian faith above the Greek religions, or the Indian ones.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on January 23, 2014, 08:23:41 AM
You say that an invisible force called evolution created us, and continues to progress us forward.

Evolution is more of a visible process, rather than an invisible force.
You can observe it, and it follows a simple process of "animals that breed pass on their genes".

While there is no intelligence behind evolution, just an invisible drive that somehow propels us to live.

It does not propel us to live, instead, evolution simply explains the diversity of life.
Potentially evolution could allow a set of behaviors that make a species incredibly willing to live (well, its already happened, look at virtually every species), but that is just one part of it.

That same force has somehow given us an ability to enjoy things and be sad about things, create music, art, etc?

As species get more intelligent, emotive abilities get enhanced, and artistic skills start to arise.
So yes, it did that.

So far, it seems like less faith is required to believe in a designer, than an undetectable force behind evolution.

In terms of faith.

Natural processes that can be observed<<<<<<<Supernatural concepts that have no backing and cannot be observed.
Sorry to burst your bubble.

Since it's intelligent design that we observe with everything else in life, it only makes sense to belief in a designer of nature.

The issue with intelligent design, is that animals are not very well designed.
If mere humans can design better creatures, and humans themselves are horrendously flawed, then the designer is either more retarded than most humans (not hard to accomplish), or does not exist.

Look at most species for example.
Their eyes to be precise.

There is a rather nasty layer of nerve that blocks out some light, and a large bundle of the stuff that makes a "blind spot".
Humans, apparently gods favorite species, has such a nerve.

Cuttlefish, in their relative irrelevances to an omnipotent being, have no such layer, instead, it is behind the rods and cones, allowing superior vision, and no blind spot.

All cephalopods have said eyes, its almost as if...Jeese...as if that type of eye evolved!

I can list more stupid "designs" if you want.

Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 23, 2014, 05:42:58 PM
When we list examples of stupid "designs" from nature to show that there was no planning or intelligence involved, theists say that the designs used to be perfect, but are not anymore because of sin.

You can't win an argument with an opponent who is allowed to make up any old sh!t without evidence, and call it an answer. Wrestling with a pig in mud comes to mind.

In nature, an organism does not have to be perfect, or beautiful or even nice. It only has to live long enough to reproduce. As far as evolution is concerned, all the intangibles that theists say had to come from an intelligent designer--a beautiful form, a bright color, a pleasing scent, a lovely sounding voice, altruism, ability to do the rhumba-- nothing but bits of reproductive gravy. And lots of time to develop those traits.

That is why simple organisms don't waste energy on any of that. They reproduce just fine without the need for a sexy outfit, dinner and a movie first. ;)
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Hatter23 on January 23, 2014, 06:24:16 PM
why do you assume a ghost in the machine?

The ghost in the machine is assumed, because historically, Plato invented the soul, to explain thought. Back then, people had no idea what was in the brain, so they thought that thought came from various organs in the body. Jesus thought that that the heart was a thinking organ:

Nowadays, understanding that the brain has 100 billion neurons, we might give it the benefit of the doubt, and believe that it was actually capable of thought. So, our belief in the ghost in the machine, is rooted is history from the ignorant Greeks.

Yes, the brain was thought to be the mechanism to cool the blood.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 25, 2014, 01:52:06 AM

The issue is you believe everything was made by god, whether complex or not, so it doesn't matter how complex something is, because even if it isn't complex you say it was made by god. This renders the complexity argument as redundant and your use of complexity as meaningless.

But what the bible points to is a being that transcends the complexity that we see here.  Complexity actually becomes something entirely different in another dimension.  So to speak in terms of complexity of life on earth is not the same as saying that God is complex (which I believe He must be).  But organism complexity is relative, because even the single cell is a very complex thing.   
So life starts at complex and just gets more complex and fascinating.  I would not intuitively look at life, especially with the microbiological advances of today, and think "oh all this is happening on it's own without any instruction".  I've got to think that these life forms, from the least to the greatest of complex organisms, have been infused with a software program to drive them to do what they do.  It doesn't make sense otherwise.  If that "software" is really there, then it makes perfect sense to wonder about the intelligence who coded the organism.
So my point is that if a person believes that there is at least a possibility of intelligent design behind all this, it opens the door to the possibility of what many call God.   Atheism shuts down that possibility right from the start (so it seems).   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_zD3NxSsD8

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I base this on the idea that god is also a soul/spirit. If god has always existed, then he can't be complex because complexity points to a deisgner. Therefore, a soul/spirit cannot be complex. However, you believe soul/spirits are created by god, so even when we point to something that isn't complex, you still see need for a desginer.
The idea is that God is eternal and operates in a dimension very different than this dimension where we are defining complexity.  Therefore the idea that God cannot be complex because He wasn't created, is an invalid argument outside of this dimension.
But to keep it simple, if God is who the bible says He is, then He has always existed and was not created.  If then, He is the Author of creation, then He made the rules, and is not bound by the rules or laws of nature that we observe in this dimension.
   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Patrick Henry on January 25, 2014, 03:48:08 AM
I don't know about anything else, but the idea of a designer seems to be an hindrance to an argument more than anything else. here's the problems -

1. We can't tell is something really has been designed - there's no marker indicating it - so it is a very subjective idea and one that a majority of scientists don't accept.
The building blocks of life seem to be coded with information that tells them what to do.  I find that very interesting and it seems like a marker to me.   
I suppose from a purely scientific point of view it enters the realm of subjectivity.  But science poses many hypotheses along the way.   It seems that the God hypothesis is not taken very kindly, starting in the classroom.  So many up and coming scientists have that drilled out of them right from the beginning.   Profs who suggest ID are often not treated very well either.  All this seems very hypocritical in an educational system where open thought and diversity of opinion is supposed to be valued and respected.
Quote
 

2. That something or indeed all of nature has been designed seems to be a proposition for which there is no value. How does such a proposition help us in scientific research, in medical science?

There has been value for healthy living that is derived from the bible, but I'm not convinced that a designer needs to give us value in scientific research.  But He does if we follow His word.  In the age of focusing on preventative medicine through healthy living, the bible was ahead of its time.  Studies have shown that gratitude has been recently shown to improve a person's overall happiness and health.  Forgiveness can lower a person's stress level, which has obvious health benefits.  Jesus encouraged people not to worry.  We all know what too much worry can do to a person.  There are also health benefits from circumcision, avoiding drunkenness, pork, shellfish, to name a few. 
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3. It certainly makes the designer look far from benign. Look at some of the microorganisms that it purportedly designed - bugs that can and do kill us. Then there are the snakes, malaria - the lists is endless. If these are designed by a designer, then it certainly doesn't relate to a loving god.
No doubt this world has lots of trouble awaiting every person, eventually.
In Romans 8, the apostle Paul explains that when we put our hope in Christ “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” In other words, our troubles, including disease, are not pointless if we turn to Christ.  They will also be extremely small compared to the joy of eternity with God where all things are made right.  No more suffering and pain is what the Christian looks forward to.  In the mean time we are to rule over and subdue our planet.  Which means we have a responsibility to take care of our earth and advance ourselves and to work toward making our lives and other people's lives better.
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4. In order to design such as is claimed by ID, the designer is going to have to be more complex than the things it designed and, consequently, is also going to need a designer. In fact there is going to have to be a chain of designers because in each step we have to design a new designer.
see my reply #207
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5. Souls are simpler than material organisms? How can we know that? Souls are going to have to be pretty complex as they are going to have to collect all the information in our brains and store it is a way that it is still accessible. Without that information, an individual ceases to exist even if there is a soul with his name on it. So a soul has to be non-material but capable of fast and accurate copying of the patterns of neurons in the brain and recreating this pattern in a working form right at the moment of death. That is some design and some tough job. Souls are  much more complicated than one might think.
I don't believe they are.
see my reply #207
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6. No one has launched a search for the designer. No matter how good our beliefs in one particular god are, if we have not real evidence that the god exists it might end up not being the real designer. Research needs to be started to try and identify the designer.

So those are some of the implications of ID that are not really mentioned. The fact is that ID cannot link the supposed designer to any particular god without some evidence. Given that we know that things are evolving it is not even clear how it might help to know that a designer was at work.

Patrick, do you have answers to these point?
I suppose the research for the real designer is where religious debates begin.  But I think that the biblical God has a lot to offer those who are willing.  I've benefited greatly from God.  I mean that I recognize that my life has had many ups and downs and that to me God gives me the one answer that I am the most unwilling to accept (even though I do accept).  Which is that He is in charge no matter what.  Even if my life is terribly painful, I accept that He has all authority over me just as a carpenter has authority to burn a chair that He is done with.  Or to tear it apart and turn it into something else. 
No one believes in God without that kind of humility toward his place in life.  I suppose a few may believe, but still shake their fist at Him in contempt.   
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Ataraxia on January 25, 2014, 06:07:06 AM

The issue is you believe everything was made by god, whether complex or not, so it doesn't matter how complex something is, because even if it isn't complex you say it was made by god. This renders the complexity argument as redundant and your use of complexity as meaningless.

But what the bible points to is a being that transcends the complexity that we see here.  Complexity actually becomes something entirely different in another dimension.  So to speak in terms of complexity of life on earth is not the same as saying that God is complex (which I believe He must be).

Honestly, are you just making this up as you go along? This is a classic case of special pleading. No really, this is a fantastic example of it. You take a concept, in this instance complexity, say it is a signpost for ID, then apply this same concept to god but then remove all meaning of complexity to get god off the hook!

"Complexity is actually something entirely different in another dimension." - I genuinely laughed out loud when I read that. What is complexity in another dimension then? Is it the colour pink? Perhaps it's a jealous cloud with sparkly monkey socks attached? Or maybe it's the opposite and it's simplicity.

Really, for a thread designed for you to provide evidence, all you do is make stuff up. Why don't you do us and yourself a favour and stop this pretence that you have valid arguments for your belief that can be convincing for others, when all you actually have is faith based on personal experience? Let's face it, even when we point out a glaring contradiction, you just wipe clear the meaning of words to nullify it and therefore get your belief off the hook. I'm not sure who you're trying to convince, but by the way you bypass refutations without so much as a by your leave, I think it's yourself.

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But organism complexity is relative, because even the single cell is a very complex thing.   
So life starts at complex and just gets more complex and fascinating.  I would not intuitively look at life, especially with the microbiological advances of today, and think "oh all this is happening on it's own without any instruction".  I've got to think that these life forms, from the least to the greatest of complex organisms, have been infused with a software program to drive them to do what they do.  It doesn't make sense otherwise.  If that "software" is really there, then it makes perfect sense to wonder about the intelligence who coded the organism.
So my point is that if a person believes that there is at least a possibility of intelligent design behind all this, it opens the door to the possibility of what many call God.   Atheism shuts down that possibility right from the start (so it seems).   

Now an argument from ignorance. Atheism doesn't shut down the possibility. Atheism is just not believing gods exist. The possibility is not dismissed, the fact that god can't be shown to exist or not exist is at least my reason for shutting down any pointless maundering by theists.

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I base this on the idea that god is also a soul/spirit. If god has always existed, then he can't be complex because complexity points to a deisgner. Therefore, a soul/spirit cannot be complex. However, you believe soul/spirits are created by god, so even when we point to something that isn't complex, you still see need for a desginer.
The idea is that God is eternal and operates in a dimension very different than this dimension where we are defining complexity.  Therefore the idea that God cannot be complex because He wasn't created, is an invalid argument outside of this dimension.
But to keep it simple, if God is who the bible says He is, then He has always existed and was not created.  If then, He is the Author of creation, then He made the rules, and is not bound by the rules or laws of nature that we observe in this dimension.
 

If god made the rules then he could've designed things in any way he liked. That isn't intelligent design because that would require parameters that need adhering to. No, this is just random design where god does things however he damn well likes.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 25, 2014, 02:22:19 PM
If life is coded by a creator,there is no disease,parasite,virus or outside force that can damage that code. Since there is all that,all you have is sin to blame,pretty lame
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: Add Homonym on January 26, 2014, 09:21:17 PM
The building blocks of life seem to be coded with information that tells them what to do.  I find that very interesting and it seems like a marker to me.   
I suppose from a purely scientific point of view it enters the realm of subjectivity.  But science poses many hypotheses along the way.   It seems that the God hypothesis is not taken very kindly, starting in the classroom.  So many up and coming scientists have that drilled out of them right from the beginning.   Profs who suggest ID are often not treated very well either.  All this seems very hypocritical in an educational system where open thought and diversity of opinion is supposed to be valued and respected.
 

I decided to only read Point 1, since there are enough errors in it to write a small book.

The reason why ID cannot be entertained scientifically, is that there is no way to prove that it happens, probably even if it did. If a single scientist had written a paper showing how ID could be detected, then we might have an academic path to follow.

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It seems that the God hypothesis is not taken very kindly, starting in the classroom.

There is nothing to teach in the classroom about God doing arbitrary things.

Teacher : What holds up the moon, kiddies?
Kiddies : God?
Teacher : Correct.

Teacher: Why does Sodium Hydroxide react with Hydrogen Chloride, kiddies?
Kiddies : God?
Teacher: God what?
Kiddies: God dod it!
Teacher: That's not very good grammar, kiddies.
Kiddies: I thought God would correct my grammar.
Teacher: God wont correct everything, you know!
Kiddies: You just told us the God did everything, for the last 10 years.
Teacher: There are some things we must learn for ourselves, or God will get mad.
Kiddies: I have faith that God will do everything, and correct everything for me. It's scientific.
Teacher: No, there are some things which God does, and some things which God doesn't do.
Kiddies: How do we tell the difference?
Teacher: There are no set rules, but just believe what you are told, by the pope.
Kiddies: Has he met God?
Teacher: Back to class: What is Sodium Hydroxide, is it a mineral or a vegetable?
Kiddies: Is it a miasma?
Teacher: I gave you two options, you were supposed to pick one.
Kiddies: What is an option? I was channelling God, and he told me it were a miasma.
Teacher: You can't channel God. That is proven because you got the answer wrong.
Kiddies: How do you know?
Teacher: I'm like the pope. I just say arbitrary things, and punish people I don't like.
Kiddies: That doesn't sound fair, teacher.
Teacher: Life isn't fair. Why is this kiddies?
Kiddies: Because morons like you are in charge?

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So many up and coming scientists have that drilled out of them right from the beginning.

That's right. So they can do science, rather than blathering on about useless crap.

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Profs who suggest ID are often not treated very well either.

That's because they are not suggesting anything, and have no evidence, or framework to produce evidence.

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All this seems very hypocritical in an educational system where open thought and diversity of opinion is supposed to be valued and respected.

Try basing your education system on not finding out what causes anything, and see how hypocritical it looks after a century.





Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: wheels5894 on January 27, 2014, 05:10:08 AM
Well is there is supposed to be a designer I imagine the 'creation ID scientists' have been looking no only for that creator designer but also the method it employed to do the creating. That's so isn't it, Patrick? So an you link us to research on that, please?

If you want to define things as too complex to be accounted for by evolution can you say what is the precise definition used in determining this? I mean, some things so described are the tiny assemblies inside cells but then we have whole bodies that are, at best, a bit botched which suggests that the creator designer got bored after doing a bit of work.
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on January 27, 2014, 05:34:38 AM
If life is coded by a creator,there is no disease,parasite,virus or outside force that can damage that code. Since there is all that,all you have is sin to blame,pretty lame

Come to think of it.

Talking about "codes". (Or, what the OP thinks are codes...)

Viruses tend to "code" themselves. (Well, not really, but the OP would say they must of..)

As viruses must have the correct series of genetic instructions to affect a specific cell (for example, a virus that has instructions to attack a dog's cells is harmless to humans), and yet viruses mutate all the time to affect humans (swine flu, bird flu, HIV, etc).

Thus viruses are god?
Title: Re: for Patrick Henry - what evidence is there that god really exists?
Post by: nogodsforme on January 27, 2014, 11:00:01 AM
Back to the future-- people did "ID science" ie magic, for thousands of years with nothing to show for it. Nothing. Sometimes praying to god cured the person of the plague, and sometimes it did not. Sometimes a sacrifice stopped the volcano, and sometimes not. No way to know anything for sure with "ID science" ie magic.

Then people started doing real science, et voila! Amazing how we now know how to cure the plague and we now know what causes volcanoes. Enter the modern world, where most of us live long enough and are healthy enough to sit around and speculate about "ID science" using space age technology to communicate our ideas. 

Why would anyone think that "ID science" ie magic, would show us anything new if it gave no results for the previous 10,000 years of human existence?

Any further reason to explore magic, harbinger?