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Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Gman
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Re: YouTube...

#16

Post by Gman » Fri May 25, 2012 7:21 am

Katabole wrote:
Pierson5 wrote:Gman wrote:
Well we are not too happy about the atheists religion either. Their religion is based on faith and has destroyed many peoples lives.


Could you elaborate on this?
You don't need a belief in God to be religious. We are religious animals that cannot help but think that something is divine. If you deny the authority of God, that He created all things, you haven’t denied the concept of authority, you simply transfer it to something else like nature or mother nature, evolution, etc. What people are doing with nature is applying personal attributes to it. It’s a personification of nature. We hear in our culture today about nature doing this or nature doing that, acting in some way like mother nature caused a storm today, or an earthquake, etc.. Nature by itself doesn’t do anything.. Nature is impersonal, but humans try to apply their personal attributes to it. It doesn’t mean that that person is not religious, it just means they have a different set of religious presumptions.

Everything becomes self generated. History becomes our invention, morality becomes our invention, knowledge becomes our invention. You just transfer your authority to your own knowledge, your own experiences, etc..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: YouTube...

#17

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri May 25, 2012 7:31 am

Religion has only its zelots to blame for the "militant atheists" we have to deal with today.

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Re: YouTube...

#18

Post by Short1 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:29 am

As a Christian I always never ever let myself really look at arguments atheists make. I would shy away and be afraid and never really did break the surface of the other side.

Recently, I chose to break through the glass. Right now I consider myself an atheist. I don't know if I will stick with this, but let me say it is not an empty pit.. when I finally FULLY let myself enter the 'opponent's' worldview, I realized there were a lot of things I was hiding and denying as a Christian. Once I let all my doubts and things I didn't favor come fully into light, I realized I was blind as a Christian.

This experience has been far different than any other 'deconversion' I've had because of doubts. It's not empty. It's not lacking in moral fiber. It doesn't change who I am.

I find it hard to reconcile faith with the fact that there are apparently no miracles, nothing supernatural of any kind, and the Bible is messed up. It is really messed up and as a Christian I could barely stand reading it because it was so hard to figure out what Jesus even meant. I never experienced any sort of relationship with Jesus. Prayer apparently has no effect or is incredibly inconsistent despite the Bible's clear statements about it. How is the Bible so unclear? It has essentially undone my faith, along with the numerous charlatans and fakes and sects of religion which all claim to have had supernatural experiences.

Everything I used to think about atheism has been shown untrue by my current experience. It isn't what I thought it would be. I would love to live my one life and disappear and appreciate every day I have like I do as an atheist.

But apparently I'm going to burn in Hell for not understanding God's terrible handiwork with delivering His message and making the world look like it isn't full of wackos.

/rant

My point is, atheism is not bad. It is not a terrible lifestyle. It has proven to be just as fulfilling as Christianity ever was with all of the confusion it put in my life.

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Re: YouTube...

#19

Post by Byblos » Wed May 30, 2012 1:35 pm

In other words you went from incidental to willful ignorance. :crying:
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: YouTube...

#20

Post by Reactionary » Wed May 30, 2012 2:26 pm

Odd testimony indeed.
Short1 wrote:Everything I used to think about atheism has been shown untrue by my current experience.
For instance?
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

--Reactionary

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Re: YouTube...

#21

Post by BavarianWheels » Wed May 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Reactionary wrote:Odd testimony indeed.
Short1 wrote:Everything I used to think about atheism has been shown untrue by my current experience.
For instance?
Maybe the thinking that all atheists worship the devil... ( absurd really by definition )
...all atheists are like Hitler, Stalin...

Most atheists, unless they are like Dawkins, really don't care too much about religion, but that religion not be forced upon them.
.
.

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Re: YouTube...

#22

Post by narnia4 » Wed May 30, 2012 5:41 pm

Short1, atheism is an empty worldview, I'm afraid. I guess no answers can be more comforting than questions that don't have answers that come easy to you. Atheists don't have to "lack" moral fiber, but where does their morality come from? Many of them will admit that there's no such thing as objective morality.

Apologize if I sound blunt, but ask about any subject related to Christianity and people here would try to help you. It doesn't sound to me like you've really had a firm grasp of the issues when you were a Christian, but it doesn't exactly sound like you've reasoned through things either.
Young, Restless, Reformed

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Re: YouTube...

#23

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu May 31, 2012 7:16 am

This experience has been far different than any other 'deconversion' I've had because of doubts. It's not empty. It's not lacking in moral fiber. It doesn't change who I am.
Because you seem to have kept that "strong moral" part that religion had given you, something you share with most atheists.
I find it hard to reconcile faith with the fact that there are apparently no miracles, nothing supernatural of any kind, and the Bible is messed up. It is really messed up and as a Christian I could barely stand reading it because it was so hard to figure out what Jesus even meant. I never experienced any sort of relationship with Jesus. Prayer apparently has no effect or is incredibly inconsistent despite the Bible's clear statements about it. How is the Bible so unclear? It has essentially undone my faith, along with the numerous charlatans and fakes and sects of religion which all claim to have had supernatural experiences.
We are the sum of our experiences and if all you have ever had in regards to religion is bad experiences then yes, I can see where you are coming from.
However, I submit that perhaps your experiences have left you wanting because you expected something to happen the WAY YOU wanted it to and it didn't?
Everything I used to think about atheism has been shown untrue by my current experience. It isn't what I thought it would be. I would love to live my one life and disappear and appreciate every day I have like I do as an atheist.
The only thing atheisim is, is the belief that there is NO god or Gods. It isn't anything else beyond that.
But apparently I'm going to burn in Hell for not understanding God's terrible handiwork with delivering His message and making the world look like it isn't full of wackos.

If you really believe that then YES I can see why you became an atheist.

May I ask HOW you came to believe all that about Christianity?

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Re: YouTube...

#24

Post by Short1 » Thu May 31, 2012 3:49 pm

As far as what I thought atheism was but turned out differently.. it was mostly realizing that atheists aren't evil people. People I used to despise and reject and close my ears to. I also struggled with guilt as a Christian. I'm now free from that. Why live constantly in guilt and constantly monitoring myself to figure why I couldn't form some relationship with God?

I will concede that MY description of what God should have done may be incorrect. God definitely could have a greater knowledge, and therefore my definitions of perfect and how I think things should be going may not be very realistic.

One issue I have is the way Christianity appears to have evolved out of previous primitive ideas. I once asked about Karen Armstrong's "A History of God" and didn't get a great response. It is odd that so many ideas appear recycled in the Bible, that there are barbaric acts, sacrifices, and contradictions. The flood story seems to be bunk. And I don't get why God used billions of years of evolution and lets the world fall into disarray so that only a few people can be saved. I don't get the waste.
I also don't see anything supernatural about our world. Nothing. Prayer is inconsistent and useless.

Sorry to come on here and be so negative, but I have considered coming on here with a new account and pretending to be atheist because probably the best way to learn is to come with atheist's arguments and have them debunked.
Except now I've apparently joined the other team anyways. My entire Christian life was doubt. Doubt doubt doubt. Always trying to reconcile everything that looked wrong about my worldview and hiding from atheists.

I am happy to stay here and have a dialogue if you're all happy to discuss as well. It's definitely beneficial for all of us.

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Re: YouTube...

#25

Post by Pierson5 » Thu May 31, 2012 4:38 pm

Short1 wrote: I am happy to stay here and have a dialogue if you're all happy to discuss as well. It's definitely beneficial for all of us.
Agreed. I've learned a lot from the discussions I've had with the people here. It has forced me to look into some things I've never given much though (naturalism and free will, for example). Atheistic forums are great for information, but stepping into the lions den (so to speak) has really made me do some research into some of the deeper philosophical questions. I enjoy the challenge and talking to friendly (for the most part) people :ebiggrin:
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
-Marcus Aurelius

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Re: YouTube...

#26

Post by RickD » Thu May 31, 2012 5:22 pm

Short1 wrote:
Sorry to come on here and be so negative, but I have considered coming on here with a new account and pretending to be atheist because probably the best way to learn is to come with atheist's arguments and have them debunked.
Short1, I have a feeling that if you posted some of your ideas about what you think Christianity is, you would have them "debunked". If you're open, give it a try.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: YouTube...

#27

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:19 am

One issue I have is the way Christianity appears to have evolved out of previous primitive ideas. I once asked about Karen Armstrong's "A History of God" and didn't get a great response. It is odd that so many ideas appear recycled in the Bible, that there are barbaric acts, sacrifices, and contradictions. The flood story seems to be bunk. And I don't get why God used billions of years of evolution and lets the world fall into disarray so that only a few people can be saved. I don't get the waste.
I think that if you want answers to these questions that you need to ask them one-by-one.
I find that it is far easier to tackle ONE issue at a time and really understand it before going on to another.

I also don't see anything supernatural about our world. Nothing. Prayer is inconsistent and useless.
Our experience of the world we live in is highly relative, one man's "reality" is another mans "fantasy".
You view of supernatural may be one that truly doesn't exist, can't exist perhaps, I don't know.
To say that prayer is inconsistent and useless would depend on WHAT prayers are you talking about, no?

One can pray to be strong and WANT God to give him strength, but what God does is give the person what they NEED, not want, and what they may need is NOT strength as they THINK, but the OPPORTUNITY to be strong.
Know what I mean?

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Re: YouTube...

#28

Post by Icthus » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:20 am

Short1, I'm interested in hearing what Armstrong has to say. I'm not personally familiar with her work, but I know of her by reputation. From what I've heard she's a well respected writer, though I don't know if she ever completed her doctoral work. I've also heard that she's a bit of a mystic in her version of religion and not so good on the subject of the Trinity, which I believe she incorrectly dates to the 4th century or so. What does she have to say about the New Testament? I apologize if I'm asking a lot of questions, but it will help us discuss the matter. Armstrong is a member of the Jesus Seminar, I'm fairly certain, and though I don't want to treat the Seminar's members as a single monolithic block that all believe the same thing, they're a pretty controversial group and not indicative of the mainstream. I don't want to attack the work of someone I've never read, but if Armstrong is presenting claims such as those of the Seminar as undisputed or representative of mainstream scholarship, then I'd be cautious reading her. For a good look at the Seminar's ideas and it's methodology, you could investigate N. T. Wright, one of the world's leading New Testament scholars and his article "Five Gospels but No Gospel." I enjoyed it.

On a different note, you mention things being "recycled." Could you be a bit more specific? I'm getting a history of religions/pagan borrowing vibe from it, but I'm not sure. As for your Old Testament questions, I'm sure someone here has likely already suggested a work like "Is God a Moral Monster" or something similar for questions of morality. Personally, I'd advise investigating the historical context of troubling passages: it's not just rationalizing away problems. Ben Witherington III is a deeply respected scholar, and though you haven't mentioned women in the Bible, I'd recommend "Jesus and the Women." It's very good and very scholarly. For Old Testament issues, you may find the work of Kenneth Kitchen interesting. Kitchen is quite possibly the most renowned Egyptologist in the world and is a reputable Biblical scholar as well. He is also quite critical of claims of borrowing or recycling of ideas in Biblical religion. I understand it's a lot of recommended reading, but one can never be too well informed on Biblical Scholarship. In fact, one can never be informed enough, in my opinion. It's an extremely complicated field of study that integrates the work of archaeology, history, theology, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, anthropology, etc. It sounds like you've begun searching for the truth after a long period of tuning out voices that disagreed with your Christian worldview. I can understand that, myself. Don't, however, let a single look around convince you that Christianity is false. There's a lot to look into, and Christian scholarship is not weak, watered-down scholarship. The works of men like Witherington, Wright, Kitchen, and numerous others are rigorously scholarly and well-researched.

As for miracles and the supernatural, I'm sure many here will have more to say than I have. The Shroud of Turin discussion has been quite lively of late, and regardless of your opinion on its authenticity, it sure makes one think. The same can be said of Near Death Experiences, which I don't really have an opinion on. There are all sorts of people out there who claim to have experienced or witnessed miracles, and whether or not you take them at their word, it seems like a big leap to dismiss all of them and claim there are no miracles without investigating further. The miracle of the resurrection stands out as a particularly good, in fact the ultimate, example of a miracle that can be believed in on quite rational grounds.

In any case, I've said enough for now. I'm new by the way. But I'll be happy, as I'm sure others will, to hear your ideas.

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Re: YouTube...

#29

Post by Short1 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:57 am

I think the thing I'm struggling with the most is that my entire Christian experience was confusion. There was no real relationship with God. Prayer appeared useless and distracting. I would have random 'supernatural' events occur like speaking in tongues or last night I had a very odd feeling that I would attribute to the supernatural. (it was sorta positive and occured as I read a Christian's Youtube comment.)Then when I went to bed I felt like more freaky crap was happening (negative stuff) so I left my house at 1:00 in the morning.

But those experiences appear to be of no real value because I've had other situations like sleep paralysis dreams where I've been carried into the kitchen by spirits and I scream bloody murder for someone to help me. All of these 'supernatural' things appear to come from the mind because they can be suppressed. They are random.

And then on top of sitting and trying to figure out what the heck Jesus even meant in the Bible, to years of running and hiding from atheist's ideas.. I lost faith. None of it made sense. There was nothing to be gained from the confusion. I would sit down and try to grow in faith but didn't know what I was supposed to feel or accomplish. I just paged through my Bible.. Flipping back and forth trying to figure out what it meant.

Sorry for the rant and the thread hijack.

Sometimes I just dont want to go back because it was so messed up.

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Re: YouTube...

#30

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:17 am

Short1 wrote:I think the thing I'm struggling with the most is that my entire Christian experience was confusion. There was no real relationship with God. Prayer appeared useless and distracting. I would have random 'supernatural' events occur like speaking in tongues or last night I had a very odd feeling that I would attribute to the supernatural. (it was sorta positive and occured as I read a Christian's Youtube comment.)Then when I went to bed I felt like more freaky crap was happening (negative stuff) so I left my house at 1:00 in the morning.

But those experiences appear to be of no real value because I've had other situations like sleep paralysis dreams where I've been carried into the kitchen by spirits and I scream bloody murder for someone to help me. All of these 'supernatural' things appear to come from the mind because they can be suppressed. They are random.

And then on top of sitting and trying to figure out what the heck Jesus even meant in the Bible, to years of running and hiding from atheist's ideas.. I lost faith. None of it made sense. There was nothing to be gained from the confusion. I would sit down and try to grow in faith but didn't know what I was supposed to feel or accomplish. I just paged through my Bible.. Flipping back and forth trying to figure out what it meant.

Sorry for the rant and the thread hijack.

Sometimes I just dont want to go back because it was so messed up.
You keep bring up the "supernatural" but don't give us any examples or even your definition of it.
You keep saying "what the heck Jesus meant", but don't give us any example of what confused you...

Sure at times, when take out of context, certain things that Jesus said MAY be confusing, but to be honest, that is usually when they ARE taken out of their historical or cultural context or when people are trying to "play" a verse against another.

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