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Old 09-24-2008, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,621 posts, read 6,581,610 times
Reputation: 3624
I love it. Thanks for the civility and spelling advice; as the professed "newbie" with, for now, a lot of free time on my hands, I started out last week being truly insulted by many of the posts I found. Talk about needing to jack-slap a few people (JS? a new one in the text messaging world? Thx!). The thoughtful follow-up commentaries by mams1559 and aquila are appreciated, though you'll agree no doubt that many of the posters are over the top in some of their pronouncements and insults. Particularly about us Aetheists, which is a new sub-set of atheism, to wit: over-educated (that's where the extra "e" comes from), arrogant spouters who, sadly, need the intellectual assistance of their cats to get through an on-line session. Right Dottie? Her 19 years of experience (what is that in man years?) supercedes mine and I concede. (Shes' just upset that she can't go to heaven where the kitty litter would always be fresh...)

I'm backing off, fellows, even though, dammit, I'm RIGHT about evolution, and that of course has the inevitable consequences that mams1559 outlined above. Some day, my proof will come, and we can get back into it. Only if you promise to listen! And buy Dr. Dawkin's books! Golly they're interesting and thought-provoking!

 
Old 09-24-2008, 02:28 PM
 
1,597 posts, read 594,118 times
Reputation: 487
Hey Rifleman, since I speak gooder English than you, one of these days I'll have to learn you how to talk it right.

Thanks for the chuckles. I'm sure you're a nice guy. We'll get you believing in Jesus again, don't you worry!
 
Old 09-24-2008, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,621 posts, read 6,581,610 times
Reputation: 3624
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post
some evolutionary biologists do jump to conclusions which are well beyond their reach.

As you say, science moves on and on and while that does create some issues for fundamentalists, it also creates problems for atheists I assume that same honesty makes you an agnostic, correct?

I see nothing in present science which adequately explains (or even comes close to explaining) the origin of life from lifelessness or the origin of the big bang for that matter. All the scientific discovery of the last 100 years has not put a dent in humanities overwhelming belief in God.

I hope you will keep an open mind (as you exhort others to do) and yes, I do believe that theists and scientists can compliment each other.

I do see that many evolutionists are just as closed to accepting flaws in their theory and in that regard can be just as illogical and irrational as many Christian fundamentalists.

Good points, but here's the fundamental difference in our collective approaches. As we all grow older (and more crotchety...) we lean on our accumulated store of knowledge and life experiences. We use this info to reach conclusions that younger folks simply can't fathom or rationailze because, well, they're just a bunch o' kids, for heavens sake! But us oldsters (I'm >60 but less than 61....) start to form opinions. On the one hand those opinions are based primarily on a continuing presentation of the same story, poorly backed up other than in and of itself (i.e: the bible which claims to be The word of God because it's the bible, which was written by the Hand of God, and is therefore the Word of God, which is right because it's in the bible. See the pointless circular argument?). As science has presented new evidence I find it somewhat hypocritical that the story has been then modified to accomodate what is obvious (i.e.: evolution exists but was designed by God, or DNA is there because it was put there by God. No mention of course in the bible of DNA or dinos or evolution. Their explanation by Christians is a very recent construct of convenience).

On the other hand, we have a growing body of evidence that was simply acquired by inquisitive minds, mostly not looking to refute the bible. The same simple one-question-at-a-time approach to scientific inquiry that brought us the "proof" of the operation of transistors, VHF radio communications, satellites, men on the moon, and countless other discoveries, also brings us information that over time melds beautifully with other scientific discoveries. And from time to time these pretty much lead us to some conclusions about the logical and obvious origins of species. Many Christians also assume that evolution explains the origins of life and many other questions. Not so; we scientists agree fully that no-one knows what happened prior to, during, or immediately after, the Big Bang. So maybe that's not how it happened. It's still just an hypothesis, but whenever you have one of those, a whole big bunch of scientists start in on proving it or alternately proving the infamous "Null Hypothesis" which is, simplistically, the opposite hypothesis. As in, the Big Bang couldn't have happened because .... X... Y... or Z. And then we posit another hypothesis and try to prove or disprove it. And so science moves inexoribly (sp?) onwards.

Through all of this, we've ended up with, literally, thousands of books full of perhaps just coincidentally dovetailing, coinciding or supportive evidence, most of it repeated through countless hundreds of experiments that come to a similar or exactly identical conclusions. At that point many of us start to believe what's been put under our noses. How can you not in the light of such supportive information? Do you believe that your cellphone will owrk tomorrow morning? Why? Because the "evidence" from past experience pretty much supports it. what if someone came along and said, "No it won't work, and what's more, it never did!". If on the other hand experiments refute the findings, as happens thousands of times in scientific research, we scientists don't take to bravely defending the discredited findings, but instead say, "Well I wonder, then, what is really happening here to explain these new conflicting results?" It's called intellectual honesty and I know, not all scientists are honest, but then neither are all Christians, right?

But Christians, rather than objectively looking at the absurdity of some literal interpretations, which are only supported by the previously mentioned Word of God, still stubbornly (what better word?) hang on to their beliefs rather than seeing the bible as a spiritual guidebook. Given the non-existant or merely primitive nature of the powers of observation znd record-keeping of the authors of the bible, would we have expected them to wonder just how or why Moses parted the waters? Was there any other explanation? Even possibly? Not to fundamentalists. Their overwhelming feelings on even hearing about someone parting the waters was that there had to abe a God involved, and that surely it must have happened. No possible questioning, just awe and, probably, fear. always a good motivator, right? There was only ONE interpretation, and to boot, those who still believe in this sort of "objectivity" then denegrate non-believers or even those within the religion who might arguably take what is a more sensible realists perspective. And then they get abusive towards those of us who have brought home "the bad news" so to speak.

So we press on. I for one remain open to anything anyone can present to me objectively, with even one well recorded non-ambiguous test and result. For example, I'm waiting for just one Christian amputee to be healed by prayer. I'm waiting to personally see Jesus, even on TV. That's all it would take for all of us to convert. But then I'd still be asking Him "Just how did you do that one miracle, Jesus?" Of course the always creative minds of Christian defenders are quick to conveniently note that if He really proved himself to us, there would then be no more need for faith. To which I say, there wouldn't need to be any!

And there's a lot to your point that the believers have a lot vested in their beliefs, unlike me. If it turns out to all true, so much the better for me. If I'm right, I've perhaps gotten more out my limited life than those who are putting off enjoyment until they get to heaven.

Thanks for listening!
 
Old 09-24-2008, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,621 posts, read 6,581,610 times
Reputation: 3624
quote from aquila: Thanks for the chuckles. I'm sure you're a nice guy. We'll get you believing in Jesus again, don't you worry

I AM a nice guy. This bearded white dude in a robe once walked up to me off of the water and onto the beach one night and told me so. He also told me to be a questioner. There was a sorta glow around his head; I thought at the time he was prob'ly just on somethin"

Do try. I'm always open to the truth. But do also check out my recent long post. Geez, I gotta learn to condense...
 
Old 09-24-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Texas
4,345 posts, read 3,558,606 times
Reputation: 816
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
But Christians, rather than objectively looking at the absurdity of some literal interpretations, which are only supported by the previously mentioned Word of God, still stubbornly (what better word?) hang on to their beliefs rather than seeing the bible as a spiritual guidebook.
By and large I would say that's true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
So we press on. I for one remain open to anything anyone can present to me objectively, with even one well recorded non-ambiguous test and result.
But there are many things beyond the reach of any test devised by man so those things remain open to opinion, intuition and speculation. Plus we have different gifts - some people are spiritually gifted and some aren't, some are more reason oriented and material universe oriented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
For example, I'm waiting for just one Christian amputee to be healed by prayer. I'm waiting to personally see Jesus, even on TV. That's all it would take for all of us to convert. But then I'd still be asking Him "Just how did you do that one miracle, Jesus?" Of course the always creative minds of Christian defenders are quick to conveniently note that if He really proved himself to us, there would then be no more need for faith. To which I say, there wouldn't need to be any!
I've heard that argument for sure. If it were the purpose of God to show everyone He was real right now, then He could/would easily do it. That's how I know it is NOT His purpose and that's one way I know traditional hell teachings are nonsense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
And there's a lot to your point that the believers have a lot vested in their beliefs, unlike me. If it turns out to all true, so much the better for me. If I'm right, I've perhaps gotten more out my limited life than those who are putting off enjoyment until they get to heaven.

Thanks for listening!
I don't think you answered my "then you're agnostic, right?" question.
 
Old 09-24-2008, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,621 posts, read 6,581,610 times
Reputation: 3624
Default Atheist vs Agno-man

Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post

I don't think you answered my "then you're agnostic, right?" question.
No, I'm definitely an atheist, but that definition doesn't mean that I must always be so and cannot change. That refinement is reserved for Christians (sorry 'bout that; couldn't resist. Sorry. Hail Mary, full of grace...). Given a good shot of objective non-ambiguous proof, or even some pretty convincing but incomplete data, I could move into the agnostic arena, and then, given the upcoming efforts by aguila, who knows? After all, who wants to knowingly be wrong but not act on it? Who indeed....
 
Old 09-24-2008, 11:06 PM
 
1,597 posts, read 594,118 times
Reputation: 487
*tsk tsk tsk*

I was starting to have such high hopes for you, my boy. But "ooops, you did it again". (There's a song in there somewhere, I'm quite certain. ) You spelled something wrong. This time it was my name, silly goose! It's Aquila....with a lower-case "Q".

It's late and I'm too tired to have fun with you tonight. So I'll real quick respond to this, and then I need to go watch the Golden Girls....

"Who wants to knowingly be wrong but not act on it"...??

I guess that depends on what someone is wrong about. Are you willing to stake your life on what you believe? Are you willing to die for what you think is the truth? If someone held a gun to your face and told you they'd kill you unless you renounced your belief in evolution, would you let them pull the trigger? Are you prepared for that?

Some things are simply outside human explanation. God Himself isn't bound by our scientific theories. You can't measure the validity of His existence through human instruments. As I said, I could consider the possibility that evolution is true. But I'm not willing to stake my life on it. It's simply not that important. IT isn't the truth that I'm required to accept in order to be saved. Jesus' sacrifice is.

Come on home, Rifleman. Jesus is still there waiting to welcome you back into His arms.
 
Old 09-25-2008, 08:23 AM
 
Location: PA
2,616 posts, read 2,609,008 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by mams1559 View Post
Let's see if we can get this back on topic. The topic isn't whether evolution is true or not. Both biblical creationism and evolution at their very core requires faith to accept as truth or not their version of origins. I don't and never have disputed that -- they both require faith. However, the OP was really only whether evolution can be accepted by professing Christians and reconciled with the bible.

If my answer wasn't clear before, I'll make it clear now. IMO, it is inconsistent to accept evolution as truth as a professing Christian. I'm in the minority on this, but such is life. Again, accepting evolution and the gospel does not affect anyone's salvation. Only Jesus is necessary for salvation. However, I believe it is a slippery slope to replace the truth and authority of God's word with the assumptions of fallible man parading as "science" known as evolution.

It is a slippery slope because many former Christians realize that if evolution is true, then the bible is false. If the bible is false, then there is no need for salvation and Jesus is false. Trying to reconcile the two, evolution and God's word, is futile. There can be only one truth.

Accepting both by placing evolution above God's word, requires the distortion of more than just Genesis. If one cannot see that, then they need to study the bible further. The entire foundation for the gospel is in the historical book of Genesis. If Genesis 1 and 2 are "symbolic" then God is a liar and the rest of the bible is not worth accepting.

However, if Genesis is true and evolution the lie, as I believe is correct, then why place your faith in a hopeless worldview created by fallible humans? Why try to mar the perfect word of God to fit our ideas of origins? Why not re-examine molecules-to-man evolution and truly see why it is not proven, has never been observed and takes more faith to believe in than God??

As it says in Romans -- They exchanged the truth for a lie. I'm trying to keep the light burning so others may see how dangerous this can be and hopefully help them avoid a terrible fall. Loving God and following Jesus is not "death insurance" or "fire insurance" -- it is a natural expression of our spirits, to reconnect with our creator. Fear should not be a reason. If we love God, then there is nothing to fear.
Here Here Mams! Once again your infinite wisdom puts us back on the right track.
 
Old 09-25-2008, 08:29 AM
 
Location: PA
2,616 posts, read 2,609,008 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
I love it. Thanks for the civility and spelling advice; as the professed "newbie" with, for now, a lot of free time on my hands, I started out last week being truly insulted by many of the posts I found. Talk about needing to jack-slap a few people (JS? a new one in the text messaging world? Thx!). The thoughtful follow-up commentaries by mams1559 and aquila are appreciated, though you'll agree no doubt that many of the posters are over the top in some of their pronouncements and insults. Particularly about us Aetheists, which is a new sub-set of atheism, to wit: over-educated (that's where the extra "e" comes from), arrogant spouters who, sadly, need the intellectual assistance of their cats to get through an on-line session. Right Dottie? Her 19 years of experience (what is that in man years?) supercedes mine and I concede. (Shes' just upset that she can't go to heaven where the kitty litter would always be fresh...)

I'm backing off, fellows, even though, dammit, I'm RIGHT about evolution, and that of course has the inevitable consequences that mams1559 outlined above. Some day, my proof will come, and we can get back into it. Only if you promise to listen! And buy Dr. Dawkin's books! Golly they're interesting and thought-provoking!
So that is where you got the "Aliens will come and one day provide us with the answers to the Universe" idea. I thought I smelled the ilk of Dawkins in your posts.

Yes Dawkins almost believes there is no God too (because of course science cannot disprove him). But he thinks that it is a very high posiblity that humanity owes its existance to the "seeding" of some alien race. Talk about blind-faith.
 
Old 09-25-2008, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,621 posts, read 6,581,610 times
Reputation: 3624
Quote from NIKK: So that is where you got the "Aliens will come and one day provide us with the answers to the Universe" idea. I thought I smelled the ilk of Dawkins in your posts.

Nahhh; somewhere back a few pages somebody (you, NIKK? maybe?) suggested that I turn off the TV reruns of Star Trek. I once saw some "evidence", in the form of your typical cross-the -night-skys satellite, but rather odd and real bright. Unblinking and goin' real fast in the usual straight line, but then it made an abrupt set of right-angle turns without slowing down. And then it disappeared right above us. Note: I was too young to be drinking (14 yrs old; well in those days it was considered too young anyhow...), and the phenom was mutually observed by my best friend. We looked at each other, and ran in to tell my parents, who said, I think ,"Yeah yeah yeah.. probably Sputnik." Not bloody likely! So, whatever it was, my pre-pubescent pre-scientist mind (and I was a "Churchy" then) had to at least consider the possibility that perhaps, just maybe, we'd seen pretty good evidence of an alien space ship. Or?

Actually have only dabbled in Dawkins. He's a bit snide, though he's been spuriously attacked so often, with insecure folks calling him an idiot (which by any and all measures he's certainly not) that I'm surprised he doesn't carry an Uzi to fend of the knee-jerk "fundy" types. I assume we all agree that there are wackos in all disciplines, right? Who, after all, would learn the Klingon language, or dress like Worf, or drink punch in order to be able to cach the spaceship that's hiding behind a comet? Or believe that you can move a mountain, literally, with a few well-intentioned prayers? Can't we all just get along?

But if one is looking about for alternate theories about where we here on little old Earth came from, and are not convinced in mythical origins due to the lack of scientific-type "evidence" in the bible, then perhaps we are simply made in his own image, but where "he" is a mammalian biped just fresh off the ship. Dawkins' techincal and research work, to explain it as simply as possible, is identical to that of many others. But.... his main ability has been to communicate it all in terms that the non-scientific public could supposedly understand. His infamy comes from the fact that he's been very successful, with half the room shouting loud "Ataboys" 'cause what he'd just said was incontrovertable to the rational and open mind, and the other half of the room muttering that "We gotta do sum-thin' about this kook! He's too darned eloquent and convincing". Hence the successive waves of ad hominem attacks, or burning of the midnight oils to try to refute what he says. Hey... if he'd been anything but more and more effective, we all wouldn't have heard of him, right? Ergo he's a threat. And a final note re: the good Doctor: please don't attack him for his consistent typical scientist's position that, of course, we can't truly prove anything at the 100% level. If he's leaving his mind open to some other possibilities because new evidence might come in then he's being intellectually honest. Again I ask, are you open to changing your beliefs in the light of incxontrovertable evidence?

PS: I'd happily say I believed in anything if it stopped someone from capping me or my family. No matter how life-threatening, one can't truly just change one's core beliefs. Christian churchs, hell, ALL church systems, have tried threats for eons, to no avail. It's just not that important to me. In fact, why do any of us bother with these posts? I'm happy in my near-absolute belief that there's no supreme being, that a set of perfectly logical and supportable hypotheses continue to evolve in the face of increasingly more sophisticated and reproducable tests, and I really should just let the Christian community lanquish on their ancient beliefs if it makes 'em happy and secure. By the same token, so should you. But since I believe the church constantly seeks to improve (or not lose) its position of power , wealth and political influence, they also proselytize in my face, and I also am annoyed by those gilded tele-evangelists who prey, yah gotta admit, guys, on the infirm, aged, or otherwise gullible. Heck, a guy's gotta stand up for his fellow man, eh? It's not only Christians who want to do good in the community of man.

Well today I'm going to start researching into some stuff I think you guys should see, if I can get you to actually, honestly and earnestly look at it. Will you take the time if I invest some of mine? We'll see, right.

Aquila (sorry about the spelling; when I was writing that post I couldn't go back and see previous posts without losing my text, so I tried to remember your name's spelling). Another thing: how do you guys drop in multiple quotes from, say, more than one post, and then discuss? I've pinged the little "quote mark" icon and nothing happens? So new, so much to learn.
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