30
Nov
09

Balanced, Not Superstitous

I’m sure this post will earn some guffaws and maybe some blow-back from my loyal readers who happen to be atheists or semi-militant agnostics, but here goes…

My belief in God, and Jesus for that matter, is not a sign of any of the following:

  • Fear of death
  • Insecurity
  • Superstition
  • Desire to belong to a group
  • An aching emptiness inside that I wanted to fill
  • Delusion
  • Idiocy
  • Lack of scientific awareness
  • Immaturity

In fact, I see a lot of maturity and balance in my worldview. And that is because I deny neither the scientific nor the spiritual. I’m not saying I have all the answers in life, but what I do have is a lot of internal security and well-being.

I don’t understand when entirely secular folks insist that to be fully mature, I must deny my belief in, and search for, spiritual meaning. Just as I don’t understand religious people who insist on ignoring science and reason.

Humans have sought spiritual discernment for a long time, and for quite a number of centuries (in fact, a couple millennia at least), it hasn’t been about explaining why it rains or how the sun moves across the sky or anything like that. It’s been about a deeper kind of meaning. People who dismiss religion as an artifact of ignorant ancient goat herders is doing a disservice to goat herders (many of whom, I am sure, had deeper thoughts than screwing their herd-stock and picking at their asses) and a disservice to spiritual seekers.

Yes, there was a time when religion was all about explaining worldly things. But as people have advanced, so has the depth and maturity of spiritual seeking. Sure, there are plenty of idiots in the world who follow religion and religious leaders blindly and skim only the surface of religious precepts, but most people seem to prefer following someone than thinking for themselves.

Funny thing is, spiritual seeking, while it cannot follow the scientific method, does still follow the same general progression as science. That is, as humans have advanced, so has the study. Science was once a pretty pathetically ignorant, simplistic and sketchy affair, just like religion.

The problem is that the more we figure out about the world, the more full of ourselves and our intelligence we become, and the more we think we don’t need God. We are not slowly disproving God, but simply pushing him aside unnecessarily.

If more believers would be mature about their spiritual seeking, and more non-believers would stop ridiculing those who are trying to find spiritual meaning, maybe religion wouldn’t be the mess it has become these days. Now, both sides, secular and religious, essentially call the other side a bunch of heretics, which solves nothing.

I can already see one retort coming.

But science is rational. Science doesn’t lead to oppression or wars!

Wrong.

Maybe it doesn’t have the same track record right now, but religion had a hell of a head start. People can blindly follow a scientific theory or finding as much as a biblical principle. Science and research can be twisted, skewed and misrepresented.

Hmmmm. Just like religion.

The Nazis based their genocidal campaign in World War II based on “science” that showed Aryans were superior. Noted intellects justified slavery by “proving” that Blacks weren’t as evolved or even as human as Whites. Medical science can downplay the horrors of abortion, even as it can also be used to overplay them. Research shows us that it isn’t cost-effective or “useful” to pay for certain types of medical screening or healthcare, and so insurance companies and hospital executives can oppress us to sickness or even death. Religious groups can call homosexuals deviant because they can point to a  lack of scientific proof that same-sex desires are inherited rather than learned or chosen. Need I go on?

Science is on pace to do everything that religion did and more. It can bring us together in understanding and truth and good guidance. And it can tear us apart.

Science is not the be-all and end-all of human experience, and it never will be. Nor shall religion or any kind of spiritual pursuit. I maintain that both are entirely necessary to being mature humans.

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78 Responses to “Balanced, Not Superstitous”


  1. November 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Deacon

    Funny, I posted something about this today also. Hmm, great minds think alike. Now back to your thinking. The problem isnt that you have a belief, the problem is when you “think” you know what created you. Its apparent by much of your lingo that you take a “Christian” perspective on what G-d is. In other words, in your opinion G-d cant take any other form other than your Christian one. Because if your belief was that flexible then you wouldnt be in the “in” group. I think the biggest issue isnt whether we seek, its when we quantify that we have “found” the right way. This mentality is prevalent in both the religious and scientific communities. And in my humble opinion, this takes the mystery out of it, which at this state of our development is just not logically possible. 😉

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    November 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    You’re right in a certain sense, but not completely.

    The unwillingness to see that other people can reach God without having to know Jesus is a common failing in Christianity. And one that make no sense since the idea of the mercy of God and the notion that people who don’t get the news go to hell for having such bad luck don’t mesh up.

    I do believe that Jesus is the ultimate expression of God reaching out to humans and is the most reliable path to God. And I think that all will stand before Jesus.

    But that doesn’t mean that I think that Christian doctrine, as set down by humans, is always right. And it doesn’t mean that I eschew other belief systems. I think mine is BEST, but that doesn’t mean I think my way is the ONLY way.

    Much like scientific theories compete at times, but there seem to be certain core elements that are reliable and fairly constant.

  3. November 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Much like scientific theories compete at times, but there seem to be certain core elements that are reliable and fairly constant.(Deacon)

    So maybe the core is “belief” in creator. And the disconnect comes in when you name it. i.e. Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Krishna. The challenge with “Religious” thought is that it is mostly divisive. Even when you look at some of Jesus’s words, they divide. I know you believe it to be true, but that doesnt mean youre right. I accept the fact that I dont know or cant for that matter, so my belief is one of intuition rather than absolutism. Im curious, with all the evidence that points against religions as being accurate, how do you still maintain your belief if you are as rational and logical as you say?

  4. 4 Deacon Blue
    November 30, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    But how, exactly, are religions “proved” to be inaccurate?

    Because some of the history isn’t quite right in the Bible (and mind you, some history that was said to be bunk in there was later proved to be right)? Because there are some differences on ways to approach God (aren’t there multiple ways to get the same results sometimes in science)?

    I don’t know how you can claim that spiritual things are inaccurate? By why standard can you say that spiritual precepts are not correct? Science touches on the soul about as much as scripture touches on science. Which is to say, not much.

    And any theory can be divisive, and any teachings. But can you deny that Jesus was more inclusive than he was divisive? Not if you’re honest. Because he was overwhelmingly more about bringing people together, as a society and under God.

    And still you talk of absolutism. I said I think my way is “best,” not “absolute.” If there are several roads leading to a place, some will be wider, faster and more reliable. Others will be slower or more dangerous. You get my drift?

  5. November 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Lol. Youre assuming I think we need to get somewhere. Im just discussing your perception of what you think created us. You take a biblical view. I think it is not possible to be so “accurate”. The divisiveness comes in when people “believe” that they can be that accurate. Science shows us that you cant raise a body from the dead. So for someone to believe you, I would suggest you prove that or just acknowledge there is no rational, logical science behind your belief. 🙂

  6. 6 societyvs
    November 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I tend to agree with what your saying – about science and religion – and this battle line that seems to be drawn by both communities. I think they both need to start respecting one another more and admit their limitations in dealing with each field. Scientists are not neccesarily theologians and theologians are by no stretch scientists (although they were closer to one another in Europe in the 1800’s.).

    I don’t know a lot about science – but I do know data (stats) can be manipulated. The whole global warming thing – which seems to be true to me – is still in debate with some people over it’s legitimacy. This shows that not all the facts are in – and what science seems to be pointing at is in contention by some parties involved in the concern.

    I do know a lot about religion – namely Christianity and it is being manipulated on many levels to many ends – and we know this has to stop. I think as an honest Christian with an honest look at these scriptures we use – I admit we have many problems in our religion with proving stuff. We seem to be handicapped by orthdoxy – in that what orthodox beliefs were handed upwards to us cannot be changed. It keeps us kind of closed minded.

    There is problems in both science and faith – but science isn’t faith and faith isn’t science – and neither proports to be the other. This is what we need to remember when we approach people from either backgrounds. I am likely not bound to find great science as to the creation of the world in Genesis…it wasn’t written for that reason (it’s not a hypothesis that is tried and tested). The same way I am not going to go to a scientist when I am deciding what John means by ‘and the world became flesh’. Scriptural interpretation doesn’t seem to be a core concern of science per se.

    But I mainly deal with concerns in our faith because I am a person of faith and freely admit it. I admire scientists and their studies – I just don’t think science is overly concerned with ethics – and I find this core concern addressed in faith (so I value it). Because in the end of it all, I live on a street surrounded by a sea of humanity that needs to co-exist in a ‘good way’…and my core concern is how I can be a ‘good societal neighbor’ in this reality.

  7. 7 Thordaddy
    December 1, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Faith begins where science knows it cannot tread. Science is and will always be the child of a belief in God. An atheistic scientist is a self-refuting entity unable to exist as constituted unless rationalized via radical autonomy. Therefore, the real battle is between believers. Those believers break down into believers of the One True God and believers of an autonomous god. Naturally, the former requires further and more in depth exploration while the latter requires the believer define his own truths.

  8. December 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Thordaddy

    This one is for you.

  9. 9 robyn
    December 2, 2009 at 1:34 am

    just tonight, someone asked me why i wasn’t an atheist. i replied, because i’m not. i can’t be. am i a scientist? yes. am i a rationalist? yes. am i also a poet, artist, parent? yes. and i believe.

  10. 10 Thordaddy
    December 2, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Robyn,

    If one is an atheist then they can’t rationally be anything else. They can claim to be an atheist scientist, but they are really just a radical autonomist. They simply use atheism and scientism to further their ends. It does not matter that the atheist is certain about the nonexistence of God while the scientist can only say that no empirical evidence for God has been measured. To be both certain and uncertain about the same entity is a sign of radical autonomy whether subconcious or conscious.

  11. 11 Thordaddy
    December 2, 2009 at 3:13 am

    If one is a true atheist then he must answer the following:

    When the atheist makes the assertion, “God does not exist,” how is he able to invoke God BEFORE claiming His nonexistence if, as the scientist says, “There is no empirical evidence for the existence of God.?” How
    was the inconceivable conceived if not from the empirical evidence?

    The other problem with the atheist outlook is that life MUST become a series of quasi-mechaconscious preferences and choices. And if those preferences and choices become redundant and routine then they will be redundant and routine preferences and choices. What they can’t ever be are truths, morals, poetry, art, teacher, parent, etc. True atheists can derive
    no real meaning in life. Meaning, most atheists are just showcasers… Radical autonomists… Parasites…

  12. December 2, 2009 at 5:43 am

    SocietyVs,

    Thanks, as always, for the insights. It is interesting to note the sharp distinctions between science and faith. Faith/religion can touch on areas of “rationality” and there are times that rational tools can be used to bolster and support it…but it’s not the core of faith. Likewise, morals and ethics play a part in science and can inform actions in it, but, as you note, it isn’t a core concern of science.

    I wonder sometimes…if humans hadn’t started with religion being such a strong guiding element as they formed societies, would morality and ethics have been as big a concern? There is no way to answer that, or to know if humans, absent a long-standing traditional concern with the godly, would be self-motivated to have made such things a priority. When atheists and agnostics say that people don’t need religion to be moral or kind, they are correct of course, but how much of the human ability to get to that point rested on religion to begin with?

    —————————–

    Tit for Tat,

    Love the blast from the past there. So, am I a “Mounds” or an “Almond Joy”? 😉

    —————————-

    Robyn,

    A funny question to be asked. I mean, I don’t really feel a need to ask atheists why they don’t believe, though I know some people would. But I like you answer to the person.

  13. December 2, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Deacon

    Well seeing as I havnt read any of your erotica, Im not sure if your a “mounds” or “nuts” kind of guy. 😉

  14. December 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Touche, sir. Major touche!

    FYI, I’m not exactly nuts about nuts, myself. Fond of my own, but beyond that…

  15. December 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    What’s so bad about being divisive? When did the goal become for all of us to think and feel alike? Sounds crazy to me.

  16. December 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Big Man

    As a whitey, youre my favourite black man to spar with. 😉

  17. December 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Big Man,

    It depends on how the person is using “divisive.” If we’re talking differences and disagreements, you are totally right…there’s nothing wrong with that.

    If the person is using it to mean a deliberate and hurtful/mischievous attempt to keep people from coming together, that isn’t so good.

    Jesus preached that his gospel would be divisive because it would put people in conflict with traditional establishments and ingrained teachings and preconceptions, but he wasn’t trying to keep people apart or hurt relationships…he was simply laying out to folks that they might find their relationships strained by following him.

    I tend to think of the word “divisive” in the more negative sense, so if someone suggests that Jesus’ teachings are divisive, I would argue otherwise. But I suppose if the person means something less sinister with the word, then Jesus could be considered a divisive chap.

  18. 18 Thordaddy
    December 2, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Jesus never taught to come together in sin. Understanding this, one can see the need for
    separation.

  19. 19 Deacon Blue
    December 2, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    He never taught people to come together in sin, but he sat with sinners regularly and treated them as people worthy of love and compassion, something I can’t say of many of my more vocal and judgmental Christian brethren nowadays, who simply want to exclude, avoid, condemn and persecute them.

  20. 20 Thordaddy
    December 2, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Deacon, please! Never have sinners had more free reign AND the backing of “Christianity.” Hate the sin and not the sinner has become if we can’t hate the sinner then how can we hate his sin?

  21. December 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Breaking my rule for the second time tonight to respond to you, and hoping I don’t regret it…

    It isn’t the job of a Christian to hate the sin or the sinner or both. Sin is against God, and God will deal with that in each of us: you, me, whomever.

    The Christian’s job is to spread the gospel.

    Christians separating themselves from sinners doesn’t accomplish that.

  22. 22 thewordofme
    December 3, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Hi Deacon, how the heck are you? 🙂

    You write:
    “The problem is that the more we figure out about the world, the more full of ourselves and our intelligence we become, and the more we think we don’t need God. We are not slowly disproving God, but simply pushing him aside unnecessarily.

    I beg to disagree with you. We are slowly disproving god in my humble estimation. How many parts of the bible have been disproven? Quite a few now. How long can the book hold on to its authority when so much is doubted or no longer believed?

    The people who shout Bible infallibility are just ignoring the evidence and trying to shout down the unbelievers, but they don’t have truth on their side so the unbelievers believe they are nuts.

    The knowledge we have gained as a culture or society is hard won from the religious zealots of the past who constantly battered the intellectuals and scientists. People were burned at the stake for bringing truth to light. Finally we have a mostly secular governed and guided society, but science still has to fight for recognition and respect and to keep the fundagelicals off its ass.(think stem cells and abortion).

    Yes religion has its place in our world, I won’t try to deny that, but religion of any kind, orthodox or esoteric, is really losing its credibility because of insisting that things happened that are patently impossible or mythical or just plain ol’ lies. World-wide flood, virgin birth, one couple starting the whole human race 6000 years, ago, etc., etc. come to mind. there is just too much quality evidence speaking against the book…if the book is wrong where does that leave the believers of this uncaused cause?

  23. 23 Thordaddy
    December 3, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Thewordofme,

    Disproving the Bible isn’t disproving God. In fact, the arrogant atheist must reconcile the fact that he invokes God before he denies God and all with the scientific understanding that no empirical evidence for God exists.

    How do you do this? Invoke God’s existence and then deny His existence all without aid of empirical evidence?

  24. 24 thewordofme
    December 3, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Hi again Deacon,

    After I posted my first reply, I was rereading your one of your replies and something else popped into my mind.

    You write:
    “I tend to think of the word “divisive” in the more negative sense, so if someone suggests that Jesus’ teachings are divisive, I would argue otherwise. But I suppose if the person means something less sinister with the word, then Jesus could be considered a divisive chap.

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

    ” 49 I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism* to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father* against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. (Luke 12:49-53 NASB)

    “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
    “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.” (Luke 22:36 NASB)

    Jesus is quoted as saying (KJV), “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”

    It kind of sounds to me like Jesus was a divisive element in early times and his teachings eventually led to millions of deaths as Catholics and protestants killed each other…of course Jesus did not teach this, but the book supposedly “inspired by God” or the “word of God” has been used by men to conquer and destroy. “If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?” I might add, why do Christians not live up to their own expectations?”

    Was reading some scripture earlier and came across this little bit below and wondered if it was followed out. Do you happen to know?
    Jesus commanded his disciples to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Did his disciples actually have this power? There is no mention whatsoever in any secular writing(that I know of)…of 12 disciples of the man Jesus raising the dead or actually healing anybody.

    Hope you and the misses had a good holiday. 🙂
    twom

  25. 25 Thordaddy
    December 3, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Deacon,

    Christians are not one dimensional. Many still partake in the business of organizing society. The liberal and liberal “Christian” are absolutists when it comes to inclusiveness and diversity. So much so, that its opposites, exclusiveness and homogeneity, are considered evil and wicked. Yet, this is the essence of Truth… Exclusive and undiluted. And so we seek Truth while you imply that separating from falseness and evil is forbidden by God? Doesn’t both the search for Truth and Goodness and the rejection of falseness and evil necessitate both connection and separation? Why do liberals and liberal “Christians” deny this separationist aspect of living even as they promote it to various minority demographics?

  26. 26 Ettore Grillo
    December 3, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    The fear of death is not always negative. Often it starts one’s own journey into the metaphysical world, for trying to understand whether there is something of immaterial which slips away at the moment of the death. In my case the fear of death led me to many spiritual experiences that I have described in my book recently published. The title of the book is “Travels of the mind”. I want to draw it to your attention. It is available at http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/TravelsOfTheMind.html
    If you heve any question I am most willing to discuss about this topic.
    Ettore Grillo

  27. December 3, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    TWOM,

    Still, what does Jesus teach overwhelmingly more than choosing him first? Being obedient to God and helping each other. I acknowledge that Jesus talked about divisions and about the need to choose sides. And doing so can put people in jeopardy and can cause family and societal divisions. But his mission was to bring people together. That doesn’t mean that people will come together as they should. People are notoriously stubborn about bending to God’s will and notoriously good at just going with the flow and with simply following “authorities” without question.

    Thordaddy,

    While I could respond to many of your comments, including that way you put Christian in quote marks when adding the liberal moniker, telling me that you think you have a right to judge me and whether I am a follower of Christ, I will not.

    Because I already see your old circular arguments starting, and all of this will go nowhere but to feed your own need for attention, your compulsion to be right about everything, and your single-minded goal to demean anything that smacks of tolerance or inclusiveness.

    You’re back on “ignore” mode in my mind.

  28. 28 LightWorker
    December 4, 2009 at 12:28 am

    “Science is not the be-all and end-all of human experience, and it never will be. Nor shall religion or any kind of spiritual pursuit. I maintain that both are entirely necessary to being mature humans.” Deacon Blue

    Not entirely, Deacon. If we accept Jesus’ miracles, and his insistence that we, too, can do the works of God, then “real” spiritual pursuits would have had us way out ahead of science by hundreds of years. Further, spirituality has chartered territory still unknown to science. It has:

    Healed the sick without the intervention of medicine, or physical manipulation.
    Raised the dead, after they’re dead, and not just clinically dead.
    Turned water into wine; still a pretty awesome feat.
    Multiplied fish and loaves to feed five thousand with baskets of food left over to be “leftovers.”
    Discerned the thoughts of others before they voice them verbally.
    Reduced a raging storm to a whimper.
    Talked to the dead, Moses and Elias.

    Since the death of Jesus, science has advanced faster than spirituality. If spiritual progress had kept pace with scientific progress, our world would not now have the physical means to effect its own annihilation.

    Science is our Tower of Babel, believing that we may supplant God by our efforts to unravel, and uncover the secrets of God.

    “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven….”

    Science has its limits. Spirituality does not. Science recognizes only a physical, material, universe. Spirituality realizes that the physical universe is merely an “arm of flesh,” composed of blood, flesh, and bone, and “profieth nothing.”

    The challenge to Christian, and to the students of the Christ, is this: We cannot rest on our laurels, and allow science all the glory, but give glory to God by doing the works of God. If we’re not striving toward that end, then we have only ourselves to blame when science is seen as God, and is worshiped in the place of him.

  29. 29 thewordofme
    December 4, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Hi Thordaddy,thanks for writing.

    You write:
    “Thewordofme,
    Disproving the Bible isn’t disproving God. In fact, the arrogant atheist must reconcile the fact that he invokes God before he denies God and all with the scientific understanding that no empirical evidence for God exists.
    How do you do this? Invoke God’s existence and then deny His existence all without aid of empirical evidence?”

    God’s existence is invoked by the religious with no empirical evidence and although I do not have empirical evidence against him, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence against the spirits existence. By disproving “His book” and the myths that are in it, one kind of eats away at the image of an omniscient infallible deity. The more stuff disproven in Christianity…the more doubt there is in its actual truth.

    Of course I know now the evidence has been out there for hundreds of years, but to me the stuff I found over the last few years was a real revelation. Most people have no idea of how much of what they think they know is true in religion…is not. I blame the clergy and leaders of the various churches all over the world for preaching a shame version and purposely keeping many contrary facts about the bible, God, and Jesus from the common folk…their own parishioners.

  30. 30 Thordaddy
    December 4, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Thewordofme,

    If, as an atheist, you INVOKE God before DENYING His existence without aid of empirical evidence, HOW do you do it?  More importantly, how did the OOG (originator of God) do it?  Either God was experienced through the empirical evidence and that is HOW you can INVOKE God before DENYING Him or He wasn’t and therefore this is evidence that God can be KNOWN without empirical evidence.

    You know all about God AND you say no empirical evidence for God exists.  How do you reconcile this? 

    Can you think of any human conceptual idea that wasn’t a product of the empirical evidence?  

    So the reality is that God is experienced both with and without the empirical evidence?

    Can you say what more is required to claim an entity’s existence than its realization both through and without the empirical evidence?

  31. December 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    It’s so hard to tell with Thordaddy’s resistance to use plain language at times, but I suspect that what he’s trying to say (at least in part) is that humans could not have conceived of God without evidence at some point in the past the He exists.

    If that is the case, it’s an argument that fails on two counts:

    1. Cultures that aren’t Judeo-Christian conceived of their own kinds of gods, so by that logic, theirs must be every bit as real as the Jewish and Christian deity.

    2. Humans can conceive of quite a lot of things that don’t exist. That’s how we get horror novels, fairy tales, science fiction, etc.

  32. 32 LightWorker
    December 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    “God’s existence is invoked by the religious with no empirical evidence….”

    Accidents do happen. And we’re the biggest recipients of that. If something existed before something existed, then that something came about accidentally. We can’t attribute intelligence to accidents.

    We have a “first mover” that moved, but did so on its own, accidentally, not by design. We are an accident, and we had better get use to it.

    The “big bang” was an accident, a kind of spontaneous combustion so to speak. The “bang” occurred on its own, with no intelligence behind it, using substance that existed, but wasn’t created by anyone, or anything, or by any cause. To our eternal delight that substance met all the right conditions, accidentally of course, and on its own, that set the whole thing in motion.

    “big bang theory
    n.
    A cosmological theory holding that the universe originated approximately 20 billion years ago from the violent explosion of a very small agglomeration of matter of extremely high density and temperature.”

    In varying degree, this unintelligence was responsible for creating intelligence, as is evidenced by the creation of man. From unintelligence, intelligence came into existence. What a wonderful feat; and just think, it all happened by accident.

    We’re lucky to be here.

  33. 33 Thordaddy
    December 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Deacon,

    Atheists and believers in autonomous gods must accept their own premises. Namely, the OOG (Originator of God) was a singular intellect at a singular point in time in the past. The information he conceived, conveyed or transmitted was a unique event with unprecendented implications. The atheist must concede that this OOG either used empirical evidence or he didn’t need to. Either way, all that we have learned is that God can be KNOWN through and without the empirical evidence.

  34. December 4, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I swear, the use of overly academic language does so much more to inhibit communications. Suggestion, Thordaddy: Stop trying to make yourself LOOK so smart and speak in ways that don’t require numerous re-readings. I have a postgrad degree and write about scientific and technical topics and your words are too dense to bother deciphering.

    And I don’t mean dense with meaning. I mean dense with unnecessary verbiage and obfuscation.

  35. 35 LightWorker
    December 4, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Those who adhere to the “Big Bang” theory of creation, and still hold to the notion that God, or a universal intelligence is nonexistent, and is not the causal factor in our creation, but that chance is the source of all that exists, they have a bigger mountain to climb, than if they posited the existence of God.

    Chance preceded substance or substance precede chance. Either way, a dilemma exists, similar to the question: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Of course, you could posit that chance and substance occurred simultaneous, excluding any causal factor, but that seems a stretch.

    It’s said, the simplest, and most obvious answer to a question is the more likely answer. When it comes to the creation of the universe, the simplest, and most obvious answer to the question of creation is that an intelligence set events in motion, and not chance.

    But if chance is still held up as our creator, then chance becomes our God, and our Source. As such, that makes God, in some form or another, a reality of a sort, whether the act of creation may be replicated again, or not.

  36. 36 LightWorker
    December 5, 2009 at 3:31 am

    “34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
    36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
    37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
    39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” [kjv]

    I prefer the King James Version to the other. TWOM, you have taken this statement literally, and that was not the intent of Jesus. Those who first heard it, understood it better than most of us today. The statement is extraordinarily accurate, when you consider that Jesus is not speaking of your human, earthly, household, but your soul and how to advance it.

    In addition, you must consider that Jesus, at times, spoke not as Jesus, but as the Christ, which he so ably manifested. Truly he came with sword in hand, and not peace. Peace maintained the status quo, what people were doing that kept them from finding the Kingdom. The “sword” decisively separated the chaff from the wheat, the real from the unreal, and spiritual sense from human sense.

    Those of a man’s household are those kinships with which he must severe his associations. He must be “at variance against his father,” for his father is false, and is of the earth earthly, and man is not of this earth, but is of God, spiritual. Further, many believed that man was fathered (had his origin) by way of the devil, that is, evil, and evil separates us from the Good that is God, and casts us into utter darkness.

    The other relationships have definite meaning, but they’re similar to the man “at variance against the father.” We have Jesus also saying, “[C]all no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

    This severance with flesh and blood, and flesh and bone, is by design, as it prepares the soul to enter its true home, it’s true nature, that of Spirit. The Father in heaven is Spirit. Jesus admonition calls for a realignment of one’s allegiance, and one’s understanding of one’s origin. We’re not physical, nor material, but spiritual.

    And truly “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household,” his own consciousness. For it’s there that the fight will be waged, and not in the world proper. Says Jesus, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Do you believe that this persecution takes place in our external world? Then you haven’t pursued a spiritual path. The old ways, the old thoughts, the old beliefs, the old attitudes, the old behaviors, the old actions, whereby you interacted with this world, must be sloughed off to make way for Spirit.

    “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.”

    The bottle (the receptacle) must be made new, one’s heart, one’s mind, one’s thoughts, else the “new wine,” the spiritual wine will perish, fail to take hold. See the Parable of the Sower.

    If we continue to embrace our earthly existence, here symbolized as father and mother and son and daughter, and not the Christ, the image and likeness of God, our spiritual nature, and the true expression of God, then we’re not worthy of the Christ. A sacrifice is in order, and is necessary before we can take on the True Self that we are.

    The cross symbolizes this internal struggle, as stated here: “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” The “me” again is the Christ. Simultaneously, we must bear the cross, and follow the Christ, the Truth, and the Way. Only then are we “worthy,” that is, doing what is required to embrace the Christ, and become one with it.

    “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

    For those who have ears to hear, another very accurate statement. An overcoming must first be achieved, and what is that that must be overcome? The world. The world and the nature of the beast. We’re spiritual first, and to spirit we must return, if we wish to overcome. Our human nature, and all that the flesh is heir to, must be repudiated, if we expect to enter the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Spirit.

    And the last statement: “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” I could not have stated it better. Read it this way for a more accurate understanding:

    He that findeth his [worldly, human, material, physical] life shall lose it [his spiritual being (at least temporarily)]: and he that loseth his life [worldly, human, material, physical] for my sake [the Christ] shall find it [their perfect spiritual existence].

    Ҧ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
    25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
    26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

    The verses that you quoted have meanings other than are implied. This is true of many Bible verses, and stories. The “divisiveness” that you believe is there, is not there. As I’ve stated before, the Bible is a manual for the soul. It’s instructions for the advancement of the soul, and only secondarily a history book, or a book of stories.

  37. December 5, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I don’t know if you’ll agree with this or not, Deacon Blue, and would enjoy hearing your opinion. I think God, evolution, (correct) science and math are compatible and not mutually exclusive of one another. I think God likes the latter three and is part of them.

    I’m new to your blog, so if you covered this topic in a previous post, please point me to the link.

  38. December 6, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Oh, I’ve touched on this stuff several times, but even I’ll have to do some hunting to find the links, Kit.

    I, too, believe that they are entirely compatible.

    For example, I once read that if you were moving infinitely fast, you’d be everywhere in the universe at once. Now, I can’t recall where I read that (might has been one of Isaac Asimov’s non-fiction books, now that I think about it), but it made me think about God’s unlimited power and omnipresence. How can a being be everywhere and see everything? Being infinitely fast.

    Also, my father in law (a preacher) is utterly convinced that the Big Bang is from the war in Heaven. I think it’s an intriguing idea, though I don’t know if I’m entirely willing to co-sign. But the notion he has is that the universe was already built, and then the war broke out, and it tore up the cosmos. He, therefore, sees Genesis not as the original creation of Earth but the rebuilding of it to usher in the plan to create humans.

    I have made the point in the past that God isn’t “magical” because, as creator, God manipulates all matter and energy. As such, deriding God as simply some magical man in the sky is a bit wrong-headed since, if an infinite being like exists, said being would be able to manipulate anything subatomically. Therefore, everything from the burning bush to the resurrection is totally feasible w/o having to call it “magic” God doesn’t operate outside of the rules of physics, because he controls physics. Or, more broadly, he isn’t operating outside of the rule of the universe because He is the entirety of the universe.

    I’ll do some poking, Kit, and see if I can come up with some specific links, but those are just some examples of places my mind has gone on that very topic you bring up.

    I apologize if any of this is disjointed. It’s late, I didn’t sleep much last night, and I really should be getting to bed by now. Why the hell am I still up? LOL

  39. 39 Thordaddy
    December 6, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Deacon,

    Most normal people would just ask for clarification.

    The point is that the atheist can’t explain how he invokes God before denying God in an assertion of his first principle.

    An equivalent task would be to conceive of the inconceivable without aid of empirical evidence.

    An intellect did such a thing with “God” and the atheist has no material explanation of how it’s done.

  40. 40 Deacon Blue
    December 6, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Thordaddy,

    Please don’t come off like it’s as simple as that. You tend to ignore requests to clarify or even to directly answer questions, esp. difficult ones for which you don’t have a stock answer.

    Look, as much as I believe in the Almighty, I have to call BS on your points here.

    I can invoke the Easter Bunny and also deny that it exists.

    Your example of conceiving the inconceivable falls short as well. God is very conceivable. At least in an abstract sense. Just as infinity is conceivable, even though we don’t really have proof that time could truly be endless.

    I can conceive of a universe in which there is more matter than there is empty space, but that don’t make it so.

    My evidence of God is how He moves in my life and the things I feel. There is nothing truly empirical about it. That is challenge of faith and in discussing faith with people who are wholly or mostly secular. It’s why it’s so easy for some people to come to faith and then step away from it. Because if you keep looking for justifications and proof, you come to a dead end in your spiritual journey, as sure as you come to a dead end in a romantic relationship if you don’t bring emotional attachments into it and keep looking for “logical” reasons to stay in the relationship.

  41. December 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Deacon Blue, thank you. My thoughts about your comment response to me were so long that I turned them into a post, A Question About God on my blog.

    It’s a topic I’ve thought about for years but never wrote about until now. Your post was a reminder of this and intriguing to say the least. I look forward to the links you mentioned (if you can find them) and reading you related topics. Feel free to give feedback here or there on what I said.

  42. December 6, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I’ll stop on over soon, Kit. Thanks for visiting, and please come back often (even if my posts aren’t what they used to be. These days, I’m doing well if I get three up in a week.)

  43. December 6, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Science also invented the Atom Bomb. And Chlorine and Mustard Gas. And land mines.

    Not that religion wasn’t more than happy to latch onto them…

    Science and religion – neither good nor bad, except how your thinking makes them so.

  44. December 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    My point exactly, Seda.

    Well, part of my point, anyway.

    Demonizing science or disregarding spirituality/religion are both paths that accomplish nothing.

    And lifting up science or religion alone as the future of humanity’s salvation are both roads that lead right off a cliff.

  45. December 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    FYI, for the sake of ease for y’all, because Kit’s post is really good (and has some good commentary going now, too), here’s a link:

    http://keepittrill.blogspot.com/2009/12/question-to-readers-about-god.html

  46. 46 Thordaddy
    December 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Deacon,

    You can conceive of the Easter Bunny because bunnys exist. And you can conceive of infinity because God exists.

    Now, conceive of something that doesn’t exist WITHOUT aid of empirical evidence?

  47. December 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Thordaddy,

    That’s your big revelation/proof? To imagine something that never ends (like time) requires the existence of God? That doesn’t even make sense.

    The Flat Earth Society continued to spout that the Earth wasn’t a sphere into the 1990s, despite all empirical evidence to the contrary. People can believe all sorts of things that SHOULD be inconceivable.

  48. 48 Thordaddy
    December 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Deacon,

    Now you’re being obtuse and for some inexplicable reason implying that the atheist’s assertion that “God does not exist” is grounded in WHAT…? The empirical evidence?

    The flying spaghetti monster does not exist, BUT it is a conceptualization of the empirical evidence (flight, spaghetti, monsters). God is omnipotent and supreme. How is this God concept gleaned from the materially nonexistent notions of omnipotence and supremacy?

  49. December 6, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I’m not being obtuse. You seem to be claiming that if something can be conceived, it has to exist. Well, by that standard, the idea that God doesn’t exist can be conceived, too, so that must make it true. As for empirical evidence that God doesn’t exist, atheists have only to say that if God did exist, he should be provable. But God isn’t provable. In fact, He demands that we operate on a basis of faith over proof.

    For primitive people, they could walk for days across a flat landscape, and see that they never got closer to the edge of the world, and could hypothesize that it goes on forever. Therefore, “forever” (or infinity) is conceivable even in the absence of God.

    Belief in the infinite is not empirical proof of God, as you seem to be suggesting.

  50. 50 Deacon Blue
    December 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    To go farther with this, here are other ways that humans could conceive of infinity, God or omnipotence, without God having to actually exist:

    1. I was created by my parents, they were created by their parents, etc. Therefore, there must be a first parent or set of parents (God or a collection of gods/goddesses)

    2. I have absolute power over my child. My chief has absolute power over our tribe. The larger tribe across the river has absolute power over our tribe. By extension, someone else might have more power than that tribe, and so one, so perhaps there is someone who has power over everything.

    These are logical trains of thought, and could exist in the absence of God.

    We don’t have any empirical evidence of higher dimensions other than the four we deal with (height, depth, width, time) to the best of my knowledge, yet we conceive them. And before you say, “That’s because Heaven and Hell exist” those two places were once believed to exist in the sky and under the Earth, and I’m pretty sure that people could conceive of higher dimensions even if there were no Heaven or Hell…or if they actually HAD existed in the sky and under the Earth.

  51. 51 Thordaddy
    December 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Deacon says,

    “You seem to be claiming that if something can be conceived, it has to exist.”

    Actually, I’m saying that if God was conceived (this is self-evident) then this conception was a result of the empirical evidence or it wasn’t. The atheist worldview DISMISSES the latter explanation as impossible and so they MUST accept the former. Yet, their faith in scientism says just the opposite as “no empirical evidence for God exists.”

    In short, atheism is intellectually bankrupt AND almost certainly cover for a radical autonomist.

    As a liberal “Christian,” you seem to play devil’s advocate and imply the atheist’s “truth.” This says what, EXACTLY, about Deacon?

  52. 52 Deacon Blue
    December 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Thordaddy, no atheist (no matter how much they say they do) believes that everything can be empirically shown or that science answers all questions. Just as Christians cannot answer all questions with the Bible, scientists cannot answer all questions because there will always be more to answer.

    And how do you empirically prove that “love” exists? Yet there are atheists aplenty who know that love exists and believe it is more than just neurochemical reactions.

    You seem to want to paint all atheists as being tied to a worldview that only recognizes what science has proven. They don’t all feel that way. The only thing that all atheists believe in is that God doesn’t exist. Simple as that.

    What you are really arguing against is a SUBSET of atheists, not the entire population.

    And I’ll play devil’s advocate for anyone if it’s appropriate. My “radical liberal”/”radical autonomist” self, who believes racism exists and is a negative force most of the time has played devil’s advocate for people who don’t see racism or don’t see racism as a problem.

    What it says about me EXACTLY, Thordaddy, is that I can hold competing thoughts in my head, like any reasonably intelligent human being, and view things from multiple angles.

    To you, that makes me a radical autonomist or radical liberal or…I’m guessing more accurately, you think I am a heretic damned for Hell.

    Got news for you Thordaddy. I don’t know if you’re making it to Heaven or not, but if you make it there, you’re gonna have to see me. Get used to the idea. In the meantime, I’m reminded of why I started to ignore you in the first place. Going back to that now, and going to work on my self control not to respond to your craziness because you, sir, are an arrogant man who thinks he knows it all, and has never once budged on any point. That is not the mark of intelligence. It is a mark of radical self-assuredness with no basis in reality. Because the belief that you are right about everything is patently absurd.

    It would make you as smart as God.

    That is how you present yourself.

    So what does that hubris on your part, that you are never wrong, say about you, EXACTLY? (No, really, I don’t want an answer…just think about it and pray on it…seriously

    Done talking to you. All conversations between you and I are over. I’m not banning you at this point, because you haven’t done anything generally obnoxious to my other readers/commenters. But I’m telling you that we’re done. If you respond to this comment, I will ban you, because I do expect people in my virtual living room to be able to take simple directions. Let’s see if you can manage that. You are toxic beyond belief.

  53. December 7, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Ahh Deac, he got to you. You fought a good fight though my friend, a good fight.

    Remember what the scripture tells you about those who would quibble over doctrine. Don’t ever forget it.

  54. December 7, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Sage advice, Big Man. 🙂

  55. 55 Thordaddy
    December 7, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Problem is, we weren’t disputing Doctrine. We we trying to get to the root of Deacon’s deference for atheist’s position WHICH IS FOUNDED ON THE SCIENTIFIC CLAIM of no empirical evidence for God.

    BUT WHY DO THE INVOKE GOD BEFORE DENYING GOD?

    Is God not empirical evidence for God?

  56. December 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Thor

    Who cares why atheists don’t believe?

    That’s the real question.

    Why do you, or I, care?

    Finding the root of their disbelief isn’t going to assist me in getting them to believe. Neither is calling them stupid or misguided. Honestly, I can’t make them believe at all, that’s a personal thing, but I am charged not to be a stumbling block to their belief.

    Do you think your dealings atheists serve as a beacon light, or as stumbling block? That’s the question you should be asking, not why do atheists believe what they believe.

    That’s like atheists assuming they understand why all Christians believe what they believe. How are YOUR actions on the Internet and in life fulfilling the role you’ve been assigned by God. What does it matter if you disagree with Deacon about how he handles atheists? How is that relevant in advancing the larger mission? Do you have some proof that your approach is more successful? Do you have some proof that your approach is more acceptable in God’s eyes?

  57. 57 Thordaddy
    December 8, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Lil’ man,

    You think atheists are genuine and I don’t. I very much believe that their belief effects your DIVERSITY. That fact that you imply that an atheist has no effect on the direction of society seems highly dubious as a supposed man of God.

  58. 58 thewordofme
    December 8, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Thordaddy,

    You write:
    “Is God not empirical evidence for God?”

    No, God is not empirical evidence for God. Space aliens is not empirical evidence for space aliens. There is no evidence for God…at all.

    You write”
    “You think atheists are genuine and I don’t.”

    Just what do you find fake about atheists?

  59. 59 Thordaddy
    December 9, 2009 at 3:41 am

    the word of me,

    That they INVOKE God before DENYING God ALL without benefit of empirical evidence.

    The best they can muster is that someone told them about God, but they never tell us WHO told the first guy about God?

    They also have us believe that their assertion of no God means nothing. And in a way they are correct but for the fact that this stands in as a belief in the ability to do whatever an atheist wants.

    When they claim that they will not do whatever they want then one wonders why the limitations?

    And then the conversation goes blank.

  60. 60 thewordofme
    December 9, 2009 at 4:23 am

    Hi Thordaddy, thanks for reply.

    You write:
    “The best they can muster is that someone told them about God, but they never tell us WHO told the first guy about God?

    The “gods” came about from early mans abstract thinking about where they came from, why things happened, what is the meaning of it all, etc., etc.. We have had a few million years to come up with this crud.

    In early times, just before Jesus, there were hundreds of “Gods” and Messiah’s floating around the countryside most of them sharing the same attributes as Jesus…virgin birth, resurrection, 12 disciples, etc.

    When the Hebrews invented their “God” in several steps from about 1500 BC on (mostly around 700-500 BC), there were already many, many “Gods” to choose from…they chose to make up their own and the rest is history.

    There is no mystery about the creation of “God or Gods” they are all made up, we humans are good at it and have been doing it forever it seems.

    You write:
    “They also have us believe that their assertion of no God means nothing. And in a way they are correct but for the fact that this stands in as a belief in the ability to do whatever an atheist wants.”

    I’m not sure what you are saying here. If you are saying that no belief in a “God” means that an atheist thinks he can go out and rape and kill, etc. you are quite wrong. The only people who believe this stupidity are Christian fundagelicals.

    twom

  61. December 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    The Word of Me

    You have no concrete proof that God is “made up.”

    I have no concrete proof that God “exists.”

    For you to pretend that you do have concrete proof is insulting. I at least admit that my belief system is based in faith. That’s one of the reasons why Thor is so ridiculous about atheists.

    Thor

    For a man of God, you ascribe a lot of power to human beings. My faith has taught me that nobody can prevent me from having what God wants me to have. Nobody can prevent me from doing what God wants me to do. So, I don’t spend an excessive amount of time worrying about what Atheists believe or what they do. This world is temporary, my reward is eternal.

    Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t care at all about what happens in the world. From my blog it’s obvious I do. What it means is that your fanatical zeal about forcing atheists to admit that they have to believe that God exists in order to deny his existence (which really isn’t a unique concept) is strange to me if you truly believe in an omnipotent God who has a plan for the world he created.

  62. 62 Thordaddy
    December 9, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Lil’ man,

    I’m glad you’re secure in your faith.  I am too and that’s why I never talk about it.  Instead, I seek out liberal Christians who are secure in their faith, but lack greatly in defending God as a logical necessity.  Invariably, such a stance makes one vulnerable to atheism.  This vulnerability is usually precipitated by a deference for liberalism.  So it is no surprise to see liberal Christians like you and Deacon cavorting with atheists.

    Thewordofme,

    WHO told the FIRST MAN about God?

    You are a believer in descent with modification, no?

  63. 63 thewordofme
    December 9, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Big Man, thanks for your reply.

    You write:
    “For you to pretend that you do have concrete proof is insulting. I at least admit that my belief system is based in faith. That’s one of the reasons why Thor is so ridiculous about atheists.”

    Sorry guy didn’t mean to be insulting. No I have no concrete, 🙂 what I do have is circumstantial evidence that “God” is made up by humans. Some famous writer once said that if cows had a God it would be cow-like. 3500+- years and still nothing concrete to prove that there is a God. Prayers are never answered. 2/3rds of the world doesn’t believe in Him/Her/IT. Show me something other than man-made/made up stuff.

    “If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?”

    I (or anybody else that I know of) have not been shown any real evidence at all that proves Christianities assertions…so that’s good enough for me…Your God does not exist.

    ***************************

    Hi Thordaddy, thanks for reply.

    You write:
    “WHO told the FIRST MAN about God?”
    and
    “You are a believer in descent with modification, no?”

    We humans have proved time and time again that we have minds capable of making things up. Literally millions of fiction books are out there, and some of them are very, very good and bright and inventive. I see no problem at all for people in the very distant past making up a “God” to try to explain the darkness. No one had to tell him. No one did tell him.

    I believe in evolution yes, it makes tremendously more sense than creationism. It explains very clearly what the religions of the world cannot.

    twom

  64. 64 Thordaddy
    December 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Thewordofme,

    The materialist worldview has NEVER PROVEN that man is “capable of making things up” without benefit of empirical evidence.

    So how did the OOG (Originator of God) conceive of the inconceivable
    without benefit of empirical evidence?

    He either didn’t need to (refutation of a strictly material word) or he actually experienced the empirical evidence that billions have reinforced and the scientific stand is false.

  65. 65 Deacon Blue
    December 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    In case anyone is wondering, I also “cavort” with conservative Christians, moderate Christians, liberal Christians, Jews, Wiccans, Pagans and agnostics in addition to cavorting with atheists. (Not many Muslims to choose from within my circle of contacts, though, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is…)

    …Cavorting…

    *snort*

  66. 66 thewordofme
    December 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Hi Thordaddy,

    You write:
    “The materialist worldview has NEVER PROVEN that man is “capable of making things up” without benefit of empirical evidence.”

    I doubt that “the materialistic worldview” has tried, and my gut feeling is that what you are saying is untrue. What about UFO’s?

    You write:
    “So how did the OOG (Originator of God) conceive of the inconceivable
    without benefit of empirical evidence?”

    Who says and what’s the proof that ‘God’ is or was inconceivable?

    I go about my business 365 days a year and I never run into any proofs for ‘God’. I have searched the world and the literature for over 50 years and have never seen anything that remotely resembles proofs of ‘God,’ and I live in the 90% Christian part of the world.

    I have talked to and corresponded with hundreds of Christian people and cannot find anything in literature or anyone in person that has any proofs that are remotely believable. I have noticed that many Christian books written to try to prove ‘God’ and a world created by ‘God” lie in many of their assertions.

    My feeling is that if I’m going to invest my time and money into some group belief, I want to be sure it’s true/real. I’m still waiting.

    twom

  67. 67 thewordofme
    December 9, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Deacon…for shame all that cavorting is going to come back to bite your butt. 🙂

  68. 68 Thordaddy
    December 10, 2009 at 12:45 am

    thewordofme,

    The reality is that you KNOW God and all His nonexistent characteristics, but you are at a loss to explain how.

    Just like it would be foolish of me to try to persuade of the Truth of Jesus Christ when you don’t even believe in God, it would be foolish of me to try to persuade you of God before I’ve convinced of the illogic of atheism.

    Your “belief” is a self-refutation. You might as well said you traveled the world and saw nothing but descent with modification, quantum indeterminacy and relativity. But all you would be saying is that you were uncertain about what you saw.

  69. 69 thewordofme
    December 10, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Hi Thordaddy,

    You write:
    “The reality is that you KNOW God and all His nonexistent characteristics, but you are at a loss to explain how.”

    That paragraph makes no sense.

    You write:
    “Just like it would be foolish of me to try to persuade of the Truth of Jesus Christ when you don’t even believe in God, it would be foolish of me to try to persuade you of God before I’ve convinced of the illogic of atheism.”

    Most of that paragraph makes no sense. What is illogical about atheism? It makes much more sense than belief in a uncaused being who never shows itself, never talks to anyone, doesn’t answer the prayers of its supplicants.

    Since there was never a Adam and Eve to screw up and begin the ‘original sin’ crud…there was never a need for Jesus. He may have been a real human, but was not a ‘God’ born of a virgin.
    Original sin is a story made up by Paul, not true history…just as Adam and Eve were made up…not real history.

    You write:
    “Your “belief” is a self-refutation. You might as well said you traveled the world and saw nothing but descent with modification, quantum indeterminacy and relativity. But all you would be saying is that you were uncertain about what you saw.”

    Again you are making no sense. “Your belief is a self refutation.” makes no sense. I traveled parts of the world–not all. I saw some amazing stuff, but never anything at all that made me think the world was created 6000 years ago by a “loving” God. Never was I uncertain as to what I was seeing.

    I repeat: “If GOD has spoken, why is the world not convinced?”

    twom

  70. 70 Thordaddy
    December 10, 2009 at 7:12 am

    thewordofme,

    If I asked you to describe God, you could almost certainly do it.  You would say things like, “He’s omnipotent and represents absolute truth.” Yet, these characteristics of God are nonexistent ACCORDING to the atheist.  Meaning, no atheist has ever observed omnipotence or absolute truth.  But the atheist still knows the characteristics of God.  HOW???  If no empirical evidence exists for God then how can YOU talk about Him?  And don’t say you can make stuff up because when you do that it is FOR CERTAIN that you use empirical evidence to do it.  This is REQUIRED by the atheist worldview. And don’t you say somebody told you about God unless you are ready to answer WHO told the first person about God in order to start this false chain reaction?

    You travelled the world and saw exactly what your atheist worldview tells you that you MUST see.  Namely, you see descent with modification, quantum indeterminacy and relativity.  In short, you see uncertainty and a lack of absolute truth.  This is YOUR FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF.

    Now, if you are in a fundamental state of uncertainty then how can we be certain about anything you say concerning any and everything? 

  71. 71 Deacon Blue
    December 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    You’re welcome to continue this, TWOM, but if you haven’t noticed, you have twice (I think) brought up the UFO/extraterrestrial example, and Thordaddy ignored you both times. You have provided a perfect example of something that humans conceived in the absence of empirical evidence, and he will not even acknowledge it.

    Rational discourse isn’t his style, and he will never admit that you have made a point he cannot refute with his beliefs and theories.

    I have never once…NOT ONCE…ever seen Thordaddy admit when he’s lost a point in a debate. And so, arguing with him is pointless, because he’s always right, even when he’s clearly wrong.

  72. 72 Thordaddy
    December 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Deacon,

    Are you kidding? The US government has made “flying saucers.” Heck, some kids call them frisbees. The idea that life forms living on other planets is without empirical evidence is just plain silly. Don’t earthlings live on earth? Is that not exactly the empirical evidence one needs to speculate about life on other planets?

  73. 73 Deacon Blue
    December 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen…Thordaddy ignoring my earlier points to him that eternity and omnipotence can also be extrapolated from things in the world around us and empirical evidence of other things, thus defusing his argument that God has to exist for us to conceive of eternity and omnipotence.

    If ever there was a more stubborn human operating from a position of intellectual infexibility than Thordaddy, short of perhaps Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, I don’t know who it is.

    And Thordaddy, I’m going to address you one last time. I was speaking ABOUT you, not TO you. Learn the difference, and don’t address me again. Directly or indirectly. I reserve the right to comment about you all I want without addressing you, because you’re in MY space here.

    You, however, will limit your commentary and interaction to other people on this blog, and you will do it politely. Me, you are not to address again.

    Understood?

    It will save me high blood pressure and it will save you losing what limited venue you have here for your opinions.

    I trust we understand each other.

  74. 74 Thordaddy
    December 10, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Sausage,

    Things like omnipotence and eternity can be extrapolated from the empirical evidence because God exists. If He didn’t, from WHAT would you extrapolate to OBSERVE omnipotence and eternity?

  75. 75 Deacon Blue
    December 10, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I figured you’d pull some childish move like that. You think because you put “sausage” instead of “deacon” I’m going to count that as not addressing me?

    Hope you enjoyed your last word, you arrogant twit.

    Bye-bye. Don’t let the door hit your hindquarters on your way out.

  76. 76 Inda Pink
    December 11, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Awwwwwww. You banned him again? And there I was enjoying all the duking it out between you guys. Love me some good bareknuckle fight-club kinda action

  77. 77 Deacon Blue
    December 11, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Yeah, yeah…sweaty, bloody, bare-chested men tussling about. I know your style. But you should also be able to guess how I’d look shirtless and sweaty, and rethink your imagery.

    But yes, he’s gone, and hopefully for good, though in grand Thordaddy style, he’s still trying to post and assumes I actually read his spam-queued posts. Two so far. Before I hit the delete option, I managed to picked up “Figures that a self-righteous liberal…” before his latest message vanished into the ether.

  78. December 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Thor

    Jesus cavorted with atheists too. And whores, and tax collectors, and self-absorbed arrogant, scripture thumpers who were more concerned with the letter of the law than the spirt of it.

    You talk about your “faith” all the time. You coach in terms of your own creation, with definition of your own creation, but you talk about you.

    You are a modern day Pharisee, one of many in a brood of vipers intent on holding everyboy else accountable while at the same time skirting Christ’s guidelines for your own lives.

    You aren’t here to hold liberal Christians accountable. You’re here for the same reason you’re on my blog, and Denmark Vesey’s blog, and several other black blogs that have nothing to do with God.

    You’re there because you crave attention and couldn’t convince anyone to listen to what you had to say at your own blogs. Period. You can pretend it’s something else, but it’s not. You need an audience and you couldn’t generate one on your own.

    That should tell you something. You can pretend it’s because nobody wanted to hear the truth, but check your Bible.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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