Catholicism is a Miracle

How current catholic bloggers defend forced conversion as part of gods miracles

Scoop tells me that 1.3 billion Catholics growing from a group of 12 men is a miracle. (see comment) Yes, it’s a miracle in the same way that all of North Korea worships Kim Jung Il.

Adopted as a state religion then, about 400 CE the heralded St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo authorized the use of force as a missionary tool using this scripture; “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”—Luke 14:23

God works in mysterious ways. The next 1400 years (well into the 20th century) it was believe or suffer their wrath wherever they planted their flag. Here locally, the Colville Native American children were rounded up throughout the territory and compelled to Catholic education. Those that escaped Fort Spokane were captured by the Calvary and incarcerated in solitary confinement, had their shoes confiscated, and endured physical torture. It’s a friggin miracle!

How is it catholics can claim any benevolence at all at this point is beyond reason. The most corrupt organization on earth, is god working his miracles through torture.

Scoop also tells me on one hand, Gods judgment is overdue because of the wickedness and sodomites, then tells me it’s the safest time in history to be alive. Coincidentally, it is also the most secular time in history to be alive. Coincidence? I think not.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

326 thoughts on “Catholicism is a Miracle”

  1. Looks like another “objective morality” back and forth. Where would one find this purported “objective morality”? If it is objective, it should be obvious and observable.

    To me, it is not apparent that “everyone agrees on certain moral laws”. That is far from the truth. What Christians(and occasionally others) do when they assert something like that is abstract modern, secular, Western mores and apply them as if they were universal. There was a Christian here before using slavery as an example to batter down the opposition, like the one here now used the Holocaust. Slavery is something objectively wrong, therefore objective morality exists, was the basic form of the argument. This trick works by trying to force the opponent into an uncomfortable position based on Western mores. Few Westerners want to seem like they are arguing on the side of slavery(or whatever else), so they end up avoiding the core issue and running off into a tangent.

    One could just as easily turn this against a Christian. It is objectively wrong to kill babies. The Christian god(or Yahweh) killed babies and ordered such many times. According to some Christians, he even sends babies to be tortured in hell. On multiple occasions he caused infants to suffer or threatened such(in the diatribes and lists of curses). Therefore, the Christian god is evil. Therefore, the Christians are evil for worshiping him. To argue against this, one would have to argue on the side of killing or torturing babies, not a popular position. Try to argue for some special moral exception for Yahweh, and they destroy objective morality as they usually want to define it. Does any of that make a good point for objective morality? Not really. I just made an assertion. Not even a universal assertion. Biblical morality has no problem with killing babies or just about anyone else. David killed entire towns off in his raids while lying to his Philistine overlord about them, all to cover up his treachery. There is absolutely no problem with that in the Bible, and the Bible itself makes it impossible that there could be one. David’s only misstep with Yahweh was over Bathsheba, this is stated clearly.

    A set of scriptures I know really well are those of Buddhism. One could easily take the assumptions of Buddhist teaching as a given and dismiss Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. How do Yahweh’s rules and actions measure up to the Eightfold Path? They are not at all compatible. Also, the Buddha did miracles, some in front of large crowds of people. I have heard many times from Christians that writing about witnesses in a narrative or parable is as good as actually having witnesses, even if the writer only numbered the witnesses. The entire Sakya court(even though some were hostile) saw Gautama’s miracle and respected him after that, many even became followers(monks or laymen). No special rule about prophets in their hometown there. Would all of that have any Christian interlocutor ready to take up the Buddhist precepts? Would threatening a Christian with rebirth in Naraka convince them? I suspect not, but they expect that similar methods should convince others about their religion.

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    1. Thanks K. It would be a real awakening if people could scrutinize their own religion as easily as they do others. As a non believer, I feel (could be wrong) that I can scrutinize them all equally without bias. Through unbelief.
      Have you ever seen James Rachel on moral autonomy? ”To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy.
Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it (or submitting to it)
Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral.

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      1. I have heard that argument about moral autonomy before. It raises a fair point. It requires a definition of “good” though. We have to have our own idea of good before we can continuously judge the actions of the deity as good or not. How do we measure that? The god could easily benefit and harm at different times, for various reasons. Maybe the god doesn’t care about human mores at all. Maybe it would have other concerns besides humans, like cosmic balance or fate. Maybe the god embodies a concept or force that is amoral or ambivalent, like the Egyptian Set. Storms destroy and cause floods, but they also bring the rain that we need. And why do we need to consider the god to be all-good in order to worship them? Must we always agree with or pretend to like the actions of the god? That is an Abrahamic conceit, for the most part. Some might have a problem with admitting that their god(s) are not always comprehensible or good. I ponder this occasionally too. I see things more along the lines of “balance” or “order vs. chaos” than in moralistic terms, at least on this level.

        Some early Christian writers like Clement of Alexandria liked to pick through Greek myths and find examples of the gods being naughty(like the affairs of Zeus) and use those to bash the Greeks, while trying to bolster their brand of Judaism. One could just as easily say that humans are too lowly to question Zeus and that we are in no position to judge anything he might have done. That was the go-to response back then(and today) for any criticism of Yahweh’s actions in Jewish myths. Why it doesn’t apply to anyone else’s god and religion is just special pleading. Christianity was part of a wider social shift toward philosophical abstraction, social withdrawal, and asceticism. This might seem messed up, but a lot of the late antiquity writers(Christian and even pagan ones like Porphyry) seem a lot more troubled by stories of the gods having sex or playing tricks on each other than they do about anything else. To someone like Clement or Augustine, Zeus’ dalliances with women were a lot more disturbing than Yahweh ordering infants to be killed. They addressed the minor issue of infant slaughter and brushed it off like it was nothing. Yahweh can kill whoever he wants after all. At least he isn’t having sex, that was the worst thing in the world to many of these guys. Many early Christian sects banned marriage and sex for all members, and Jesus himself endorsed self-castration according to the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Luke also has an anti-marriage stance, and notably lacks the prohibition on divorce.

        The bill finally came due for the Christians, and the moralists have now torn the Bible apart as well.

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  2. I see morality as an evolutionary thing. If a warrior of the tribe X sneaks around in the night and kills some of the strong warriors of his tribe, as he wants their women and their grass huts are better, and they have more baby boys, well he might think he’s gained a lot. Then another tribe attacks and due to a lack of warriors, tribe X is all dead.
    Also, little children learn much better than adults. The morals they learn tend to stay with them.

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    1. It really is a learned behavior. All species find that equilibrium, and even today people watch their behavior because of consequences, natural or legal. Objective morality is still subjective and changing. Not even god (the writers) could lay down a law that they couldn’t justify breaking.

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    1. Let’s get it on!
      The moral argument begins with the fact that all people recognize some moral code (that some things are right, and some things are wrong). Every time we argue over right and wrong, we appeal to a higher law that we assume everyone is aware of, holds to, and is not free to arbitrarily change. Right and wrong imply a higher standard or law, and law requires a lawgiver. Because the Moral Law transcends humanity, this universal law requires a universal lawgiver. This, it is argued, is God.

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        1. So, the DNA/origins argument – Strike 1
          The Morel argument – Strike 2

          The philosophical argument is meaningless as it offers no evidence. Strike 3.
          What’s left? …
          Oh yeah, ”Hard Atheism” whatever the Hades that is. I thought atheism was atheism, the lack of belief in gods, period!
          Have I missed anything?
          What does this leave?
          How about: ”I am a Christian because I believe I am a sinner and need the saving blood of Christ to avoid spending eternity in Hell.”
          Read: ”I was indoctrinated as a child and/or had emotional issues and converted/ was born again as an adult.”

          How we doing so far?

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        1. First it presupposes an authority, then by belief, it dismisses hard evidence. To quote a friend who summed it better than I, “I’ve found the morality argument for a god to be the absolute weakest for the simple reason that we have hard evidence that this thing we call “morality,” which is really nothing but a formative sense of good (positive) and bad (negative) behaviour, is a product of neurological processing power. The more neurons, the more accute an organisms understanding of it. Countless studies, across numerous species, prove this beyond any rational doubt. It is not a human phenomena, and its anything but complicated”
          To add further, the real innate desire of all species is for fairness, something religion has skirted through “gods will” as an excuse to demonize certain sorts.
          We all know when Christians talk morality, the crux of it is sexual purity which is to control bloodlines. Something that has to be taught, then guilt (which is also taught) shapes humanity into hiding their true selves while they carry on in private.
          Really the morality argument for god proves nobody really believes it anyway. It is shaped by what others will think of you, for men will do privately with their god watching, what they would never do even in front of the most vile human. Proof nobody really believes in god the way they say they do.

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          1. Ok, so a couple of things. The moral argument makes the observation that objective moral rules and duties exist. And so concludes that there was a morale law giving, since discoverable morale rules and duties cannot exist without one.
            So it doesn’t assume a creator first. But concludes that there is one.
            Heres the classic illustration of a discoverable morale reality. The holocaust was wrong no matter what. There is no scenario where someone could say that it was good. It Would be an objectively evil activity for anyone to partispate in, no matter what they think, believe, or feel about it.
            In contrast, If there was no objective moral law then what is evil or good is dependent on personal preference. Or has to be rejected entirely. So if there is no objective moral law then holocaust was ether a morally neutral event. Or good or bad depending on personal preference.

            I would say that morality is a human phenomenon. Were the only creatures that would consider the things like murder happening to someone of a different tribe to be an evil thing. Also fairness is not the desire of all species. Not by a longshot. Like just watch animal planet if you don’t believe me it’s a harsh world out there.

            I also don’t think that hypocrisy always proves that someone doesn’t believe.

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            1. Ok, Immanuel Kant was a Lutheran, he later changed his name to Immanuel after learning Hebrew. Was born and raised in the Lutheran/Protestant faith. Why do you think he would philosophize god into the moral argument? Hmm? Just by mere chance?
              The holocaust is a great example and a political taboo. How about the priests of Baal and the slaughter of women and children through divine command? Is that a convenient exemption? Was that ok then? Many high profile clergy of the time endorsed Hitler as doing gods work. It’s quite a list if you’d like it.
              Even in your own religion there is no “evil no matter what” clause.
              As far as morality being a human phenomenon, that is pure rubbish and countless studies among multiple species bear this out.

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            2. Again I don’t think that hypocrisy destroys the argument. If anything, by saying that they were wrong to do what they did and that there are bad people who are religious your kinda supporting the moral argument.

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            3. Ok. One thing at a time. If you need to philosophize god into existence, it is more evidence against, than for. I simply philosophize him out of existence. Poof, back and forth. Pointless as the other arguments for god. The real presence of god would be universal and indisputable.
              I have to pick this up more tomorrow, but if God’s morality was universal among “his children”, how do you explain feral children. Multiple studies show that without morality being taught at a young age, it can never be learned. It is not naturally occurring at all. All of the cases of feral children adopted the morality of the host species, and none of them unlearned it. Even after baptisms and forced Christianity on them. So much for morality planted in the hearts of man by god.

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            4. Burtom Russell actually thought that the moral argument was one of the theist hardest arguments.
              The moral argument doesn’t suggest that morality is programmed into us. But that there are objective and discoverable morale realities in our world.
              I really like this one and could talk about forever but I’m with you out for the night.

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            5. A lot of collaborative sharing and progress has been made in animal and neurological studies since Bertrand’s time. To continue philosophy about god after 5000 years to no avail, while now handwaving hard evidence is the way of faith. Which objective moral realities have been taught exclusively by the Bible? Where is the objective morality of Christianity?

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            6. Did you notice how I provided evidence the moral argument was formed by presupposing there is a god, and you just ignored it and went to Bertrand Russell? This is faith. The automatic rebuttal syndrome through hardwiring

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            7. This is the whack-a-mole and religious handwaving. Certainly, but it may take a village. Through faith you have demonstrated a predictable outcome to this conversation. And me without faith, will never agree on faith.
              With evidence there is no need for belief and the founders knew this. That is why they immediately appealed to faith, even with the supposed risen lord standing right in their midst.
              Let’s work through this. Do you think a person that has no religious training would have formed a moral argument for god? It is only possible in an age where explanation was short on observation. In a time where devils, gods and monsters lived in the forbidden mountains. Mountains which are now fields of study. But I digress.
              Do you think Kant’s religious indoctrinations as a child have anything to do with penning the moral argument for god, or why he changed his name to Immanuel?

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            8. I’m sure it had something to do with it. But that doesn’t kill its validity. Your kant thing is an ad hominem argument.
              I also don’t think that you’ve thought through the moral ramifications of your world view.

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            9. Here is a more accurate version of the moral law. Will you dismiss it based on the source?
              The moral argument begins with the fact that no two people recognize same moral code (that the same things are right, and the same things are wrong). Every time we argue over right and wrong, we dismiss their law that they assume everyone is aware of, holds to, and is not free to arbitrarily change. Various rights and wrongs imply an individual standard or law, and law requires no lawgiver. Because the Moral Law is not unique in any way, varies from region to species, this non-universal morality clearly shows no lawgiver. This, it is argued, is merely evolution at work to maintain equilibrium.

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            10. I disagree, the moral law is not personal. They are objective and discoverable morals. The variations in personal opinion are do to people attributing moral status to non moral law things.
              I Also think that the fact that most religious have come to similar core conclusions about morals indicates that there are real objective discoverable moral realities.
              But for me the the biggest issue is the idea of moral relativism. Which is what, I think, your suggesting as a moral system based on nature. don’t think that it is logical or an acute description of reality.

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            11. So give me an example of an objective, discoverable moral law. Or is this another hypothetical religious claim that has no examples?

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            12. I did, the holocaust would an example of a moral evil. It was wrong to participate in no matter a persons thought, or feelings about it.

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            13. That wasn’t true at the time. It was heavily endorsed by Christian clergy during the killing. If what you say is true, is the same true for the priests of Baal? See, the event may have moral implications now, but the act can only be justified by belief.

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            14. Actually it was true at the time. Intensity enough, it was an argument at the trials. Again, hypocrisy doesn’t negate the argument. That’s an ad hominem argument.

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            15. Again ad hominem. But I’ll bite, could you be more specific, as to which priests of Baal incident your referencing to.
              But before I answer the problem of hypocrisy seems to be a big issues for you and I just want to say that I do respect that position. I disagree with it but I think its respectable.

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            16. “and after the alter was consumed they rounded up the 450 priests and murdered them (leave no witnesses) And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” More deceit and double speak, as they all bowed down to worship THE LORD, they were rounded up and slaughtered (1Kings 18:39) All this after a peace treaty had been negotiated.

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            17. Right, captainal punishment is not against the moral law. According to the Jewish law of the time, being Jew, the priests had publicly committed a capital offense.

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            18. Your dodging your own argument, and It was not a case of capital punishment—It was murder post treaty. They had agreed to worship Jehovah. This type of hair splitting is the reason for the holocaust. Moral argument for god is completely irrelevant.

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            19. No, biblical studies is my field. Not saying you should listen to me. Just saying i know the story well.

              Read through the whole story, there was no treaty. No war even. The priests of Baal and the queen had been leading the people astray. A criminal offense under the existing rules of the time. Which is why the queen and priest were killed and not the king. He had allowed it to happen, but was one of the deceived and not one of the deceivers.

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            20. Was there not an agreement at the alter? The best god would be worshipped by the loser of the competition? Surely you see this agreement fully broken by Israel at the “command of the prophet of god” as the priests had bowed down to worship the lord.

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            21. Not exactly. This was not like a fight winner takes all contest. It was a test to see which god was false.

              “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

              When Baal didn’t light the sacrifice and yhwh did. that proved which one was really god and which was a deception. And so they killed the deceivers in accordance with the laws of the time.

              It was a contest to discover who was really God, Baal or yhwh, which is made clear in Elijah’s terms. The one who couldn’t answer was the fake.

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            22. And the loser would worship the others god. I see your inability to call out “god” through fear is the root of fascism. This is the test—will mankind stand up to tyranny and immorality regardless the source. You’re also proving the James Rachel quote. Not that you can’t, but you won’t and proving the James Rachel quote to a tee.

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            23. I confused. There was no agreement that the winners god would be worshipped. The people could have chosen either one.
              The point was to determine if baal was a false god. Under the laws of the time the priest should have already have been killed. But they hadn’t because they had deceived the people into believing that baal was a true god who was great the yhwh. So they had not been killed. The test revealed the deception and the people followed the law of the land.
              I don’t get the problem. It’s a case of ancient capital punishment. I don’t get why you see murder.

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            24. This also flies in the face of your morality argument. You yourself cannot bring yourself to say murder is always wrong.

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            25. That’s bullshit. Where’s the hypothetical objective morality of the moral argument? It fails when applied. It’s merely words that appease the faithful that don’t mean anything.

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            26. Lol the holocaust was eternal and always morally evil. Without a moral law giver that would be an incorrect statement.
              And there are no moral system that excludes a god which can remain logically consistent.

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            27. Sorry I take all this very little heartedly. No, lol, was ment to imply smugness. I’m sorry if it did and will refrain from now on.

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            28. Then why did such a vast number of clergy support it? The hindsight is great, isn’t it. But mixed messages from god again. Wow, anything goes. So you support slaughter of opposing priest because god commanded it?

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            29. That’s a lame excuse, especially when your entire religion is founded in contradiction. Hypocrisy is simply enough to see that your religion is truly worthless. The outcome of belief has never produced the promised outcome. If it did, believers would not lead the world in stated hypocrisy.

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            30. I mean, I’m down to talk about the topic. But I’m not going to chase everything.
              An like I said before I resect the hypocrisy point. I used to be on that train. I disagree with it now but I think its respectable.

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            31. The futility here is in belief. The moral argument may be a fine argument, but it must incorporate a thousand tentacles to demonstrate any value. One of the reasons I gave up Philosophy for the most part in the 80’s. It was the most cleverly worded arguments that won the day. Like at the ecumenical councils, the truth was overshadowed by ambiguous wordplay, and still, the king has no clothes.

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            32. Ye I’m the opposite I love philosophy. The history of ideas is fascinating. I don’t know if you like podcasts. But I would recommend, philosophize this, the guy doing it is currently going through and braking down the history of thought, thinker by thinker. It’s a great crash course in the history of thought. And the guys an atheist.

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            33. Oh I enjoy it, but like I said, just look at the clever wording of the moral argument and how it has taken hold, but has zero utility.

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            34. Hey Jim sorry im contacting u so late i have a quick question. I’m writing a paper about the different ways that people use the word faith.
              And was wandering if you ever use the word in reference to yourself.
              As in “I have faith he will show up”.
              Or “I have faith in this”.
              Not trying to start a debate. Just looking for some research insight. Thanks.

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            35. Interesting, part of my research is about how the word “faith” became a substitute for the word “religion”. Which makes me think that non religious people wouldn’t prefer not to use the word faith when referencing themselves. I was just wondering if that was your experience.

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            36. Certainly. It’s also like the word “god”. It has been hijacked to mean the god of Abraham, and that really is the crux of most atheism. They don’t believe in god, but many don’t believe there is nothing either. Abrahamic religions leave such a sour taste of failure in your mouth when you’ve field tested the words and wasted a big portion of your life for something that adds up to nothing.

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            37. “Sour taste of failure” do you mind if I quote you, when explaining the atheist feelings towards the word faith. Thanks for the insight, I’m going to talk to more of my atheist friends about this.

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            38. Toxic?
              You are a fundamentalist christian endlessly commenting on an atheist blog.
              What on earth for? Not to learn anything that much is obvious.
              So, are you trying to point score, or convert or merely to demonstrate how much of a super duper apologist you are and how you hope to get a Gold Star from the Sunday school teacher for your homework?

              And let’s be honest here, Dave, based on evidence (look up the word in your dictionary) your entire religion is toxic.

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            39. Ok mu man, you do you.
              No it turned out to be a bigger deal. It should be fixed by the end of the week. O… and by the way. I DID GET A GOLD STAR FROM MY SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER! But it was doing the homework…. so ye….

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            40. I like that. I’m going to use that latter. I have a calvinist friend whose in his, “I’m predestined to convince every Christian that calvinism is true”. (Just in case fyi calvinism is all about predestination). I don’t buy it, so he always wants to talk to me about it. I think I’m going to slide that in next time!

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            41. (Just in case fyi calvinism is all about predestination).

              How interesting, and there was I thinking it was a branch of proctology.
              Goodness me, we live and learn.

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            42. I’m running in to so many south Africans lately. The other day I ran into a guy from Joburg in a coffee shop. Between him and you I’m starting to want to go back. I’m planning, on my next trip, to check out capetown. Do you know of anything I should see while I’m there?

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            43. Lol! I guess that’s true. One of my friends went to a big medical school there. I’m sure they have a psychotherapist wing. I’ll be sure to check it out.

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            44. Lol. Ok Dave. So I suppose you support the Chinese and there efforts on Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism to uphold their laws?

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            45. I’m confused. It’s not illegal to be religious in China. Most of what happens to them is illegal. I don’t get your point. And it’s a bit of a strawman argument your presenting.

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            46. You don’t seem to understand that the reason Christianity is even tolerable today is because of secular law. This is not a unique incident, but everywhere it planted its flag they have used your reasoning.

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            47. ”Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”
              Religious faith even has you abandoning your own natural goodness and reason to handwave this crap.

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            48. Doesn’t seem as though you have any evidence for any of your points, Dave.

              Are you about ready to acknowledge that all you have is faith via some form of indoctrination?

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            49. Unlike you I try to be polite and express that I understand that I don’t know everything with my language. And I did present evidence, I think you missed it.

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            50. Unlike you I try to be polite

              You believe all non Christians are going to Hell for eternity.
              Most Christians indoctrinate Children – You are a perfect example of such indoctrination.
              Your religion and many of its adherents are responsible for some of the most heinous crimes in history

              And I did present evidence,I think you missed it

              I missed nothing of the sort. You presented claims., not evidence . I suggest you step outside you indoctrinated faith based apologetic mindset and learn what evidence is.

              Have another go.

              Please present evidence.

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            51. Ah … spill words.
              What you are really saying is:
              ‘I really know that I have no evidence, only faith, but because I am a sinner and have been washed in the saving blood of Jesus Christ I shall go and pray for this atheist and if he doesn’t respond I’ll tell him we agree to disagree.
              And if he still doesn’t accept that my claims are evidence I shall quote the bible, which is of course, the inspired Word of God.”

              May I suggest Matt 7:6
              or
              Psalm 14:1
              or perhaps
              Matt 10:14

              How we doing so far, Dave?

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            52. You don’t seem to understand what I’m saying. Since you never rebutted it my points. You only said stuff like, you have no evidence.
              There’s nothing I can say to that. So agree to disagree.

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            53. You failed to answer the question. You want to define an irrelevant argument as relevant and I don’t typically bite on that. The argument for morality only can be accepted at first glance and by dismissing all other evidence. When you can no longer excuse the wickedness of “god” in the Bible, only then will you be ready to discuss anything. Not only did they slaughter, they had an agreement. God is not only mean, but a liar. And you intentionally dismiss it through faith.
              “To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy.
Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it (or submitting to it)
Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral—James Rachel on moral autonomy

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            54. I don’t need to rebut your points as other far more accomplished than me have done so . As I stated from the onset. Or did you miss that?
              ID is not regarded as science, but pseudoscience – a pathetic, somewhar disingenuous mask for Creationism.
              Even Christians such as Francis Collins reject it – and rightly so.
              Your Morality Argument is an a priori argument that you have presented no evidence whatsoever to support it.
              Philosophers such as David Hume comprehensively trashed it
              Hell, I stand under correction, but <I seem to recall that it was even rejected by Aquinas.
              And Jim has also done as good a job as any to show it carries no merit.

              So, you may agree to disagree, but your position is untenable and the honest thing you should do is admit to faith then tell us, if you were raised as a Christian (from a child) or describe what event transpired that caused you to convert to Christianity?

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            55. The reasons you have presented to date have no evidence to support them. Furthermore, you are being somewhat disingenuous for giving the impression that there was only intellectual reasons for you to become a Christian.
              You are citing apologetic reasons, omitting entirely any emotional reasons, which are always the initial basis for belief.
              So, once again, what were the primary emotional reasons for you becoming a Christian?

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            56. Yes, and you have presented the arguments and they have been shown to have no evidence to support them.
              All you are doing now is continuing an exercise in apologetics.
              This might be good for you personally but it is meaningless drivel to the average atheist.
              This is why I am asking what were the emotional reasons for your acceptance /conversion of/to Christianity.
              It will save a lot of mega bytes if you simply get to the chase.
              Thanks.

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            57. Again, it matters not what you believe and you can disagree ’til the cows come home. No evidence has ever been produced to demonstrate any claim of veracity by its proponents.
              ID is not recognised as science by the mainstream scientific community and from what I have read most mainstream Christians, including such luminaries as Francis Collins, reject it – as I have already pointed out.
              Furthermore, because of its direct association with Creationism (Meyer has now admitted as much) it has been rejected by every state educational board, and, as far as I can ascertain, in most countries across the globe.
              So these are the hurdles you and the proponents of ID have failed to surmount.
              Strike 1.

              The moral argument is an a priori argument and has no evidence to support it.
              As a reminder: Please do not say the above does have evidence as you are simply demonstrating a lack of understanding between a claim and what evidence is.
              Strike 2
              Hard Atheism?
              Once more I have no idea what nonsense this is. Atheism is atheism. A lack of belief in gods- your god and every other.
              Strike 3.

              I forget what your 4th point was and am too tired to scroll through the comments to find out.

              So yes, move on to the emotional reasons, please. And I sincerely hope I am going to read straightforward, honest reasons without any hyperbole or more apologetic bumph.
              Over to you, Dave.

              Liked by 1 person

            58. Again I disagree. I have had good and thoughtful conversations with others in this chat. But I don’t think that you can refute what I pointed to, with anything better or more detailed then other people say your wrong, or ad hominem arguments.

              ID is also not directly associated with Creationism. ID promotes an old earth, evolution, and doesn’t claim a particular deity. Pointing to one of its promoters, personal beliefs, and saying that it undercuts the whole thing is an ad hominem argument.

              And no it’s not time for my emotional reasons. Next, as you determined, is why I belive christianity true.

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            59. I don’t respond well to ignorant, disingenuous people, so I will leave you to play with yourself. But remember, Dave, Jesus watches everything and I’ve heard it makes Christians go blind.

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            60. Dave, you write: ID promotes an old earth, evolution, and doesn’t claim a particular deity. So if this is true, why is it called/considered “intelligent” design? Intelligence tends to be associated with some kind of source, does it not?

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            61. Hey! How’s it going?
              So, the term “intelligent” does refer to a source. But it goes no further then says that that source is intelligent, as in, it has some kind of mind, can reason, or is conscious. It doesn’t comment on What that intelligenc thing is. Or its motivation.
              For instance, if the computer simulation theory turns out to be true. And we were created a programmer, that would be ID. Or if we were created by god or god’s that would be ID.
              I hope that makes sense.

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            62. IMO, your suggestion related to the computer simulation theory comes closest to an actual possibility associated with the words “intelligent design.” However, once you reference creation by god or gods, then you’re getting into religious theory which has yet to be accepted as truth, fact, or proof.

              And it’s going real good. 😊 Thanks for asking.

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            63. I don’t think you got the point. Those were just examples of what an ID would look like. Not a claim.

              I don’t think I communicated very well. Let me try again. Based on our experience of the world, there two things which we know of that create things. natural process and intelligence.
              ID is simply stating, that because some parts of the world can’t be explained by a natural process. We should consider the possibility that they were created by something intelligent. The only other thing that we know of which can create.

              And remember God, in this sense, only refers a being that is beyond humanity. Which is not an out there idea.

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            64. What’s left of monotheism fits in thimble, while Deism fits those who can’t seem to let natural processes be natural. There is a better option in panpsychism if you really need to have a demonstrable belief.

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            65. Imagine a world in which every single person on earth (including yourself) thinks that genocide, slavery, rape, plunder and cannibalism are morally acceptable behaviors. How would you discover that these actions were objectively wrong? And perhaps more importantly, how would you determine that your source of information was objective?

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            66. I think one big peace of evidence that there are real objective morals. is that, unlike the animals, we do not live in that imagined world.

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            67. Hey, mu man, I’m going to step out of the conversation. But when I have more information and form an opinion about your point, I’ll send you what I find. New ideas need to be examined and if your willing. You would be one of my first choices.

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            68. No problem. It’s not my intent to be combative or throw out “gotcha” questions; it’s to present reasons for why I abandoned my religious beliefs and became a non-theist.

              I agree that my arguments pose no challenge for those who hold to purely deistic beliefs. But it definitely presents a problem for those who believe in a personal god who prescribes moral codes and takes an active interest in the affairs of mankind. So if perchance you belong to the latter camp you’ll eventually have to confront those problems and work out a logical solution. I tried but was unable to do so. Perhaps you’ll have better success and be able to come back and change my mind.

              Thanks for the polite conversation.

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  3. Hows it going Jim? your friends suggestion that gods vengeance is overdue is, for lack of a better term, generally a layman’s point of view. Christian scholars generally haven’t held it.
    But that’s not really why I’m commenting. I was wandering what you thoughts were on the origins of christianity. If you expect the story as is, or subscribe to an alternate point of view. Thank

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    1. Which version of whack-a-mole would you like to hear?
      There have been some masterfully played games on the human psyche. Jonathan Edwards stumbled upon a neat trick in the 18th century that was copied like wildfire. It uses the persons own hormones and physiology against them to merely believe in the ferver, even over out right lies by getting the crowd into this trance-like state of hormone dispensing belief with music, lighting and showmanship. He had to tone it down because people were killing themselves after his services. Funny thing, take away the hormones and it all goes away.
      I’ve not settled in one scenario (so much evidence to choose from) but belief is also a neat trick. It is much easier to fool someone than it is to get them to see that they’ve been fooled. After faith is agreed upon, any challenge to that belief dispenses norepinephrine in the brain causing a fight or flight. Basically it challenges the validity of hope, creates self doubt and people pay dearly for the right to hope. Paul likely stumbled on to something or was a lot more keen on human nature than we’ll admit. Think of the great philosophers that bookended his lifetime.
      Remember in Athens, it was the first setting where the king had no clothes. “I know this unknown god of this idol here “. Basically that is the ongoing charade. Rarely will anyone admit they really don’t see or feel anything more than hormones grossly manipulated that were meant for other things.
      If you can get someone to repetitive behavior, whether there is any fact involved or not (preferably not, works better purely on faith without evidence) the neurons become hardwired and now we are arguing reason against a persons physiology. These are all scientifically sound principles. It is imperative there is no evidence for faith to work. Any amount of evidence and the faith trap and all its implications die. It wouldn’t kill religion, but it would kill the stupor of faith that has evangelicals spouting hate (not their own) from what they “believe” from the party lines. The key to awakening is unbelief. When that happens all the divisive ideologies disappear in a day and we become human again.
      The rest of Christianity is evolved like a play. The stone rolled back, the immediate appeal to faith, even when Jesus was supposedly standing right there, it’s all very well done to present a mediocre awakening and the world settles for bondage like its a blessing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ok, I want to make sure I’m hearing you right. you do not have an opinion about how it started, but you belive that it was created by people who were using psychological philosophical tricks or methods to create belief in people.

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        1. It even works today Dave. People will believe anything. Especially children whom religion targets most aggressively.
          There are other ways of being in the world. I am an atheist, but that is not the last stop on the track. It is merely an awakening to what is really happening behind the scenes, and it isn’t what you’ve been led to believe. Most likely you cannot even tell me who you really are. Who are you, in your own words besides what you’ve been told? That takes a different approach altogether, but it is not by belief. It is by unbelief.

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            1. Ok, so when you say unbelief you mean in gods or god. I guess this is the core of where we disagree.
              From what I can tell you will not exsept an idea until it’s considered a fact. Personally I think the whole idea that thinks can be facts is a little out there. I prefer judging what I will except by how likely it is to be true. For instance, I belive that the sky’s blue, not because its considered a fact, but because I don’t have any reason to think that it’s not. So since it’s the most likely answer I except it.
              This is why I belive in god. yes it’s not a fact that he’s real, however, from what I can tell it’s more likely that he does exist then it is that he doesn’t. So I except the more likely scenario.

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            2. Sure, you can’t escape it. It’s affected everyone. Belief has become a virtue in itself, and it’s merely a set of ideas. Even ridiculous beliefs are protected by law around the world where atheism is shunned.
              I think two things are very odd. You have been promised tools as a believer. Promises that have never come true. Like “greater signs than these follow them that believe” what signs can you give me to prove you are the real deal? Nobody performs boo for miracles as promised. You don’t have the tools I’d say you’re an imposter, or the Bible is a lie.
              Since we are talking religious belief, let me share with you the trick inside the trick. Belief is a temporary tool to prove a premise or hypothesis is where we make incremental advances in culture and science. We try things and if they work we improve upon them. If not, we discard them and regroup. Christianity has taken belief (which is by design a temporary waypoint) and has made it the pinnacle of religious awakening. Simply believing is the virtue of it all. Therefore, we believe even though the leaders continue to fail us and add more layers of nothing and we sit back in a 2000 year stupor analyzing which belief if the coolest, or most likely. It isn’t what you believe that is the problem. It is that-you believe that has stalled humanity.
              I’ll quote the lost gospel of Thomas:2 It should be in the Bible but for some odd reason they don’t want you to think independently. “He that seeks will find, and when he finds he will be dismayed and become the master of the ALL.
              The reason dismayed is such a great word here, the secret is there is no secret. There is no mystery. You are a part of it that goes on forever and ever and always has. I AM, is not just for those that claimed it for themselves and appointed themselves the way, the truth and the light. It’s all of us. The process to see it has been stripped by the churches and you get but a morsel. But the process still exists if your interested.

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            3. I really like your point about tools. I imagine that by tools your referencing miracles. One of the things that I have never understood about atheists, is how they often say that they would believe if they could see a miracle. but when people talk about a miracle that they experienced, it is denied. A good book that you should check out is, craig keeners book miracles. it is a massive book documenting miracles from around the world. Many have medical documentation describing body parts growing back.
              He’s a well respected scholar also.

              Also You do know that Tomas 2 isn’t referring to atheism?

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            4. I know that scripture is not referring to atheism, and it’s also not about god or any religious “belief”. It is similar to the I AM, The ALL, I and the father are one, etc. If you read the Bible as a Hindu or zen master or other schooled in the meditative arts you’d see the experience in a completely different light, but those unschooled or unprepared for the awakening interpret it based on the culture they were raised in. I know of a surety it has nothing to do with the Abrahamic god or any other for that matter. It is us. It is how the living universe operates and has for a long long time.
              As far as miracles go, no, I’m not referencing miracles. I’m referencing a reality that is available to anyone who seeks it out. It is not a religion or religious as you’d reference a god. These are the experiences that Jesus, Muhammad, Joseph Smith, and others stumbled upon in their meditations that they could not help but be influenced by the Hebrew/ Christian culture they grew up in, then they mistakenly assigned self importance. Now they claim the I AM for themselves—you must listen to what I say and do what I tell you to do. It is not a god/miracle. phenomenon, but a reality that the universe is not at all what the Bible purports this experience to be. It requires no religious belief to access. It requires no belief at all, but if you do believe you have missed the opportunity through the bias of that belief. Only when you turn that off can you see the possibility by unbelief. Your belief has you somewhere you don’t belong and can’t see the real possibilities through that same belief.
              Miracles are just things you don’t understand.

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            5. Have you read the gosple of Thomas? Its largely influenced by Gnostic though, which does have a deity. Also, the I Am is referring to a God. And the ALL, in most cases, is referring a worshiped deity or deities who created the world. So I’m not sure I get your point

              It’s true that you can read the gospels from a Buddhist or whatever perspective and come out with all kinds of thing. But its important to remember that jesus and his followers were Jews. So to say that an eastern reading is a valid one, Is like saying a modern American reading is. People who do that are as dumb as a person, i know, who read Bertram Russell from a Christian perspective and conclude that he was trying to say God was real.

              What you said about miracles is true.They are simply things that we do not understand. However, at the same time they tell us that many of our facts about reality are not conpleatly true. And many indicate that the world consists of non-natural realities.
              Until your last reply I was under the impression that you were a naturalist. As In, you belive that the physical world is all there is. But since you pointed at Easter philosophy, which can be atheistic but is almost never naturalistic, I’m wondering if I was wrong about that??
              Also, me being nitpicky, only jesus said that he was the I AM.

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            6. Not sure what you mean by naturalist. These are simply observations I have had while meditating. I abhor the experts and commentary because 99% of everyone wants to claim some superior truth where none exists. There is however, much more to this story and happening much longer than before Yahweh, Jehovah, or Jesus can account for. You too Dave. The visions and encounters to the information of the universe, a sort of digital library of forevermore, met by guides (not gods) gives us access to all that ever happened or will happen in this never ending play of a living entity. Think of yourself as a nerve ending or a skin cell of an infinite cosmos, observing and growing in an infinite round. These are not new ideas, but the churches destroyed the common mans ability to chart his own path.

              You can never, not be. And as an infinite being, what could you possibly do to relieve the boredom of billions of eons of existence? All the information and knowledge of the universe at your disposal, enough time to visit every grain of sand in the cosmos, what do you do to occupy your time?—Enter into a realm of not knowing.
              This tiny portion of life, bookended by two voids of death (our most natural state) is simply part of the way things are. When we die, all the anxiety of not knowing it’s just a game we play with ourselves, we break through to the other side and laugh our asses off. The game gets us every time. This also solves the problem of evil. Knowing full well on arrival we’d challenge ourselves in the most horrible of experiences time and time again. Simply for the thrill.
              Have you ever been in a harrowing accident and had a near brush with death, only to survive? That’s what it’s like to die. Survive. It’s pretty cool.

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            7. What I mean by, naturalism, is a belief that only fiscal things exist. As in there is no Spiritual. No life after death, no god, no spirits, or Spiritual being. Does that describe you??
              Alos, your reply makes my think that you do believe in life after death, and in spirit guides. Which, if you were being literal, you’re in contact with.
              Please correct me if I’m wrong, it sounds like you subscribe to new age spiritualism and not modern atheism.
              On a side note, when you said “a sort of digital library of forevermore” were you referring to the akashic recorder or Akashic library. Because if you were and you’ve accessed it, we need to talk on the phone so you can describe that experience to me.

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            8. I had another conversation recently about this topic with another believer. He said “yes, this is the record god uses to judge humanity”. It is hard to escape the old bearded white god, the monarchial boss with the clipboard recording your deeds. This is evident in our dialogue Dave. Through belief you misinterpret nearly every comment I have made based on your presuppositions. You have this incessant need to label things, me in particular as atheist, naturalist, new ager (whatever that is) and if we continue dialogue I’m sure I will appear as everything else too because I am all of it. This is where belief limits our ability to see a bigger picture. I am nothing at all. I have no beliefs. I do have an ideative ability to connect the dots and observe the way things are, in spite of what we’ve been told. Through belief we see things as we have been trained to see them, not as how they really are.
              This life after death you speak of holds an incomplete view of what is life as you have been misled to believe you are something you are not and can be punished for it.
              The data stream is not a religious claim. It is accessed knowingly and unknowingly through creative minds (that often unknowingly predict future events when “in the zone”) but it is in no way the god of the Bible.

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            9. Ok I think I understand what you’re saying. I apologize if I offended you by using labels I was trying to comprehend how you view the world.
              Again I want to make sure that I’m hearing you right so correct me if I’m wrong. But you do believe that there is some form of life after death??

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            10. I’m never offended Dave. It’s all part of the discussion that helps to identify introspectively your tendency to use the label, which is indicative of the expert influence that promotes belief over substance. I have literally been labeled everything, half of I don’t even know what it means.
              There is a trick inside the trick that you must be able to identify when you ask the question about life after death. We are always presented with 2 wrong choices, but like everything else in life there is more than what we’ve been conditioned to believe, by belief. Very few take the time to view the world outside the men of words.
              Before I can answer that question (which is ultimately no, i don’t believe anything, but there are different stages of life) you have to put the puzzle pieces together from a broad perspective, and outside of belief which is the biggest barrier to human thought. When monotheism took over through the simplicity of merely believing and obedience vs utility and practice, belief became a virtue where in fact it is nothing but feel-good thought convictions with no substance. It does lock out many other possibilities of what many have known and practiced as an integral part of the cosmos, rather than separate from it.
              You are not what the preachers and the good mommy’s and daddy’s have convinced us we are. Before you can begin to understand what death is you have to recognize what life is and what role you actually play. When you think of “I” as in the sense of muscular strain, all those things that create that illusion is not who “you” really are. You breath, your blood circulates, chew, view, and think, but that does not identify who you are. Can you kill the part of you that makes you, you?

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            11. Crazy man, if your really about what you’ve been saying, then you have once again surprised me. Your answer was a little vague but I think I understand where your coming from. Thanks for the answer.

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            12. It is intentionally vague for to truly understand one must be willing to admit that everything they ever believed was wrong and came from a violent time of widespread misunderstanding of the earth and its nature. There are still indigenous peoples who don’t believe anything in the western sense, but merely live at one with the cosmos. Core shamanistic principles that were universal in the remotest regions of the world. Whereas with gods, why never the same god twice? Where was Yahweh?

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            13. “A good book that you should check out is, craig keeners book miracles. it is a massive book documenting miracles from around the world. Many have medical documentation describing body parts growing back. He’s a well respected scholar also.” ~Dave/16Av

              Yet Mr. Keener’s own words reveal a lack of due diligence in investigating the veracity of the claims presented. On pages 2-3 of his introduction, he writes the following:

              I have included most of the accounts in chapters 7-11 without asking questions of causation, since all of them illustrate the primary point that eyewitnesses can claim miracles. I do so even though I find some of the accounts more plausible and evidentially compelling for our secondary point than others, and by the end of writing the book I was more convinced of some explanations than when I began it. I thus take the accounts mostly at face value while recounting them, as is common in anthropological and other approaches, and turn to questions of possible interpretations especially in chapters 13–15.

              And further down he writes:

              I intended to cite two or three major collections of such information, which I assumed would be readily accessible and easily located, since I was aware of hundreds of eyewitness miracle claims and cognizant of circles that could supply thousands more.

              To my surprise, however, I failed to find many works academically cataloging such claims, and even fewer that offered medical documentation along with the many testimonies.

              From page 10:

              While I raise the question of supernatural causation, I am not assuming that is the best explanation for all miracle claims, and even less often the only plausible explanation for them. Some dramatic claims, however, for example, the instantaneous reversal of documented, long-term, organic blindness, do seem to me to welcome such discussion.

              And finally, this bit of special pleading from page 13:

              The abundance of testimonies demonstrates widespread belief that God does miracles today; many of these will be seen as of ambiguous value in an argument supporting a belief in supernatural causation, but some of them do, I believe, provide compelling support for that thesis, especially where multiple independent witnesses confirm extranormal experiences. Some readers may dismiss all testimony lacking medical documentation; although in some cases medical documentation is available, even medical documentation can be faked or its interpretation disputed, so ultimately any testimony can be discredited if one’s skepticism about miracles is thoroughgoing. In some cases, further investigation may weaken the reliability of a few of my sources and my sources’ sources; in a larger number of cases, the recoveries that some witnesses attribute to divine intervention also have natural parallels. If one does not, however, simply adopt the ill-formulated arguments of Hume and his successors, I believe that the weight of some of the accounts in this book should invite readers to seriously consider extranormal causation.

              Sources: personal notes and https://www.scribd.com/book/235009135/Miracles-2-Volumes-The-Credibility-of-the-New-Testament-Accounts (partial)

              So by his own admission, these are not scientifically documented and verified miracles.

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            14. I appreciate the point. The only thing that I want point out is that I never claimed that miracles were scientific.
              Miracles are definitional un scientific, they go against establish laws and are unrepeatable.
              The study of miracles is better likened to something like history. Where you use reason more the empirical evidence. It’s not a fact that miracles happen but there are many cases that a hard to deny.
              Not saying that you should believe based on that, but (i think) it does merit investigation.

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            15. The thing is this: how do you investigate supernatural occurrences if they’re not subject to empirical evaluation? For instance, suppose I told you I saw the ghost of Elvis standing at the foot of my bed last night. How would you go about verifying or disproving my claim?

              Plus, the biblical definition of miracle is more closely aligned to performing signs and wonders — i.e. deeds that lend themselves to empirical observation. The gospels report that Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead and restored sight to the blind.

              Moreover, in Mark 16:17-20 Jesus identifies the signs that will follow those who believe:
              – casting out demons,
              – speaking in tongues,
              – handling serpents,
              – drinking poison unharmed, and
              – healing the sick.

              Now if that’s true, why are those claiming to be Christians unable to demonstrate any of these supernatural abilities — especially the last one?

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            16. I think that your making a good point. And I will admit that miracles can’t be scientifically investigated. However, we don’t live in a world were an isolated minority are reporting them. It’s most of the world. which, in my opinion, merits investigation.

              I think that modern Christian’s have endorsed a false narrative about miracles. They make them sound like superpowers and I don’t think that’s accurate. The 12 could sometimes do them and other times not. Which tells me that miracles are dependent on more then just the whims of Christians.

              You were right to point out that the bible defines them as signs. That’s there purpose. There not for human pleasure but are to stand as evidence.
              Which is another reason why I think investing them is worthwhile. If you can show that they are all fake then you’ve debunked the whole thing. However, that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening in current studies.
              Personally, I would like to see a deeper study done on miracles by atheists. I think it would be interesting.

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            17. If you can show that they are all fake then you’ve debunked the whole thing. Even when they are debunked, believers won’t accept it. “Faith” is a hard nut to crack.

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            18. It really is imperative that there is no evidence for the game to continue. Evidence would destroy faith. It wouldn’t destroy religion, but the stupor of faith and all its divisive implications.

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            19. If I may, unbelief is described as the lack or absence of belief or absence of faith. People try and convolute this into something like “there is a god, you just don’t believe in it.” This is not the case at all. There’s nothing to believe in to begin with, it’s tantamount to believing in the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny. Just my 2 cents.

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        2. @Dave/16Av

          Having followed your dialogue with Jim, the real question is not where /how Jim considers it (Christianity?) all started, but rather why on earth do you believe it in the first place?
          And the more crucial question, what evidence can you produce to demonstrate the veracity of a single foundational claim of your faith?

          Let’s clarify these points first and I am confident it will make further dialogue more productive.

          Regards
          Ark.

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          1. Ye Jim and I have had those conversations before. And I think that it’s been establish that we won’t convince each other. So I was just interested in hearing his point of view. He is a very original thinker, his point of view makes me think about things differently so I appreciate it.
            With that said, I would love to talk about why belive! But before we get in to all that I would like to know where you stand on the whole religion thing. I wouldn’t want to waste time explaining why I belive there is a God if you were Buddhist or something.
            I’m a Christian, other then believing in an old earth my belief are more or less standard.

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            1. You are on an atheist blog. I am an atheist.

              I have also tried to leave a comment on your blog but it failed to appear so I sent you an email.
              There was some message in the comment box.
              Do you moderate?

              So, back to the questions I asked.

              1. Why do you believe?
              and
              2. What evidence can you produce for the foundational claims of your religion/faith.

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            2. No i didn’t get the email or the comments. I guess there’s a bug sorry about that. Still trying to get everything squared away. Thank you for getting in contact. I’ll send you my reply later today.

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            3. Yes, thanks for waiting. Let’s start at the place where I think our most fundamental disagreement is at. Is there a god?
              So I approach the question by answering another question. Where did the univers come from?
              Currently, most scientists agree that there was a start, and there are two main hypotheses as to what caused that start. One takes a naturalist approach and the other a theistic approach.
              Now, it’s true that we can’t prove that a god created the world, however, we also can’t prove that the world was created by a natural process.
              Which is why people like Dawkins say they are a little agnostic.

              The reason that I believe that there is a god, is because theism is the most likely answer to the, how did the world start question.
              I think that there is stronger philosophical evidence and Empirical evidence for the creator idea. The there is for the natural process idea.
              Much of my thinking is inline with people like Antony Flew, atheist turned theist.

              If you want to get more specific then that I’m more then down. Just point me in a direction. But that’s were I’m at.

              Now I know that this doesn’t explain why I’m a Christian. I don’t think that we can productively address that until we come to some kind of understanding here.

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            4. Let’s get this out of the way first.
              For the record, Flew apparently accepted a deist position. He was never a theist.
              You need to fact check before you regurgitate such nonsense.

              The reason that I believe that there is a god, is because theism is the most likely answer to the, how did the world start question

              This is an opinion.
              Support it with evidence.

              To my second question.
              Again ….
              2. What evidence can you produce for the foundational claims of your religion/faith.

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            5. If your going to be nitpicky here is a Quote from his book to clarify my point.
              ‘I now believe there is a God…I now think it [the evidence] does point to a creative Intelligence almost entirely because of the DNA investigations.”

              So DNA and origins research is number 1 for me.

              I also think that the long history and durability of the philosophical arguments for god speaks for itself. That would be 2.

              I’ll also point to the large amount scholars that are rejecting hard atheism. As 3.

              And the problem of a grounded morality would be number 4

              If your not up to date with these thing I’m happy to answer questions or clarify.

              Like I said, before we move on to you next question we need to come to an understanding here.

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            6. And the problem of a grounded morality would be number 4” What is this grounded morality you speak of Dave? I can tell you what it is in its simplest form. Men show restraint because of what other men think of them. Even believers will do in private with their God watching, that they would never do in the presence of even the most vile human.

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            7. What people do isn’t what having a grounded morality is about. Morality doesn’t make people act a certain way. It allows them to understand their actions. Hence why it needs to be grounded.

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            8. Nitpicky?

              There is a world of difference between deism and belief in the Lake Tiberius pedestrian.

              And you should really take the time to investigate the circumstances surrounding that book.
              Habermas and more so Varguese – a more notable pair of disingenuous shlenters you are unlikely to encounter in Jesus circles.
              Start here ….
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Flew

              To clarify …
              I am not interested in your objections or agreements of what others believe, I want to know why you believe include the evidence you have for that belief, and in particular evidence for the foundational tenets of your belief.

              Once you have done, we can move on with pleasure.

              So, Dave, no sideshows, no tangents. no theological two step.
              Straightforward explanation fully supported with evidence if you please.

              The floor is yours.

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            9. Lol I gave you 4 reasons why I think theism is a better explanation then naturalism. If your looking for pictures or diagrams I’m sorry I don’t have any.

              Have you habermases work, those guys took the resurrection for a joke in scholarships to a topic of debate. You might disagree with their conclusions but you can’t deny the impact they have had. Disingenuous isn’t a good word for them.
              On a side note is wikipedia your go to?

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            10. I used wiki as it the easiest for everyone to start with – as I pointed out.
              There are several top class reviews of the book which you can find if you are at all interested in honest journalism?

              Again … I want the reason for your faith (in the character Jesus of Nazareth) and the evidence to support this.

              And also the evidence for the foundational tenets for your faith/religion.

              If you are struggling to understand my word usage please specify what it is you do not understand.

              Liked by 1 person

            11. Hold on, again I’m happy to get there. but first we need to come to an understanding about why I belive in god in the first place. I can’t properly tell you why I belive if you won’t acknowledge where my belief started.
              So do you have problems with those 4 reasons, That you want addressed? Or can we agree to respectfully disagree and move on?

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            12. I can’t properly tell you why I believe if you won’t acknowledge where my belief started.
              Of course you can.
              You are a theist and most people let alone the average Christian have no idea or understanding of dna and would not even consider this a reason for their belief, so we can scratch that.

              However, as you seem to be struggling with straightforward replies I will try to make it easier for you.
              What evidence do you have for the character Jesus of Nazareth being the creator of the universe and why do you consider belief in this character essential?

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            13. What were not talk about your other Christian’s. Were talking about me. An those are where my belief started. So there very relevant thing and in fact the beginning.
              So again do you have a problem with
              1. The DNA/origins argument
              2. The morality argument
              3. The arguments from philosophy
              4. My point that many scientists are now dropping hard atheism.
              If so, please point it out.
              If not, then last agree to disagree and I will be happy to move on.

              On a side not, if you don’t mind me asking what country are u from? And Damn you have strong feelings about Turkey day.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. Is it possible you can simply answer the question?
              Once you do I will be more than happy to address your other points in more detail.

              What evidence do you have for the character Jesus of Nazareth being the creator of the universe and why do you consider belief in this character essential?

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            15. Fair enough. let’s take it one point at a time and keep the responses simple and straightforward.

              1. The DNA/origins argument.

              Please explain how the DNA argument relates to belief in Jesus of Nazareth.

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            16. Ok thanks for waiting.
              So first off, we’re not currently talking about why I belive in jesus. We are currently talking about why I belive that there is a god. We will get to why I belive that that God is jesus. But one thing at a time.

              So, The DNA/origins argument.

              I’m sure that you have heard of intelligent design. ID for a very long time was not considered good hypothesis. However, due to findings in DNA and Origins research it’s now considered a viable explanation.
              The main point is that evolution hasn’t been able to explain the creation of the information found in DNA. And so it’s reasonable to think that that information in DNA was created by an intelligence.
              Now, its important to note that this is not a god in the gaps argument.
              According to Darwin, when determining the creation of something biological you should always reference things that are known to accomplish or create the thing your observing. Currently, the only thing that we know of, which can create information, is a mind or intelligence. Making ID not only possible, but the most probable explanation for life.
              Heres a link to a video from the discovery institute which will give you a good and more in depth introduction.

              Also here is a lecture from the discovery institute with more info on origins science.

              These guys do not do apologetics and are not preachers, their real scientists doing real work.

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            17. Creationist nonsense, I’m afraid and in Meyer’s recent book he finally admits he believes (the Christian) god is responsible.
              So that renders your first point null an void – no evidence for your god.
              And,.please, I beg you, don’t come back and whine on about how ID is not Creationism. Far greater individuals have decreed that it is and I simply cannot be bothered to list all the links and name the people who have trashed this nonsense.
              So … point 2.

              2. The morality argument.
              How does this relate to your belief in the character Jesus of Nazareth?

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            18. If your going to reject what I said. Please come up with something better then a ad hominem argument.
              “Creationists nonsense”
              If you have a problem with the evidence (as in you know of a better explanation for the information in DNA) the please state that.

              Also many other “far greater individuals”, have look at the evidence presented by the ID hypothesis and concluded that there is a god. Flew being among them.
              Also this idea that Meyers personal belief renders MY point null an void.
              Is very illogical.
              I was arguing for the idea of god, not a god.
              We will get to my god, but were not there yet. Please focus.

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            19. You obviously were not paying attention,
              I specifically pointed out that, much more worthy individuals have taken this nonsense to task and this is why it is in not allowed to be taught in public schools.

              So please don’t play the whining victim and expect me to pander to your ignorance.

              We will get to my god, but were not there yet. Please focus.

              I did ask you not to patronize and I will also ask you not to be a condescending little shit.

              If you haven’t got the integrity to be straightforward and stop being disingenuous then perhaps it better you simply go put on a new bib, and fuck yourself?

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            20. Lol I like u.
              So let’s be clear. You asked me why I belive what I believe. We are on my belief in a god. I gave you a reason and you disagreed.
              But gave me no reasoning as to why I’m wrong, other then an ad hominem, and other people say so.
              It’s just not a good response.

              If the science is above your head or you have already made up you mind we can agree to disagree.

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            21. I did mention that, far more competent /worthy individuals than me have explained and dismissed ID as nonsense.
              And Meyer is a committed Christian and Tour is not a biologist and is ALSO a Committed Christian.

              You can disagree all you like.
              However, you were the one who seemed to be at pains to want to explain the veracity of your position, as if you truly expected us to be unaware of ID nonsense and we would bowled over by disingenuous dickwads like Meyer.
              What next? Why Ken Ham is simply misunderstood?
              The amazing archaeological find of chariot wheels on the floor of the Red Sea?
              How about Justin Barrett and how we are hardwired for god belief …. oops, I am so sorry, God belief. I always forget that Yahweh needs a big G.
              You see Dave … may I call you Dave? ….most non-believers you will encounter in Blogsville are been-there-done-that-got-the nail- holes-in-my-hands type of ex-Christian. Whereas you come across as quite a young(ish) fresh-faced reasonably pleasant chap, with a New Website and brimming with freshly acquired god juice … oh damn, I did it again … God juice that you can’t wait to spurt all over people in your fervent belief that all it will take are a few piss-willy pseudoscientific videos and some regurgitated apologetics and lo and behold … you’ve managed to save someone! Amen, praise to Jesus.
              Well whoopy-fucking-do.

              Thus far all you have done is make yourself look silly.

              So, you were going to present the morality argument?

              Mustn’t let the side down. I’m sure Uncle Frank and Uncle Ravi will be proud of you for at least trying.

              I have my coffee and a few homemade biscuits, my movie doesn’t start for a while so off you go, then.
              I’m all ears ….

              Ark.

              Liked by 1 person

            22. I’m not trying to convince you. You asked what convenience me. So I told you, and you objected.
              You obviously have a problem with the people.
              But do you have a problem with the ID argument itself?

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            23. I never suggested you were trying to convince me. I asked for evidence for your position.
              So far you have not given any, and now you have resorted to being vague almost to the point of prevarication.

              Your ID/origins examples carry no weight in any scientific field, although you have been convinced by them, but if you were truly honest you would admit that you were exposed to Christianity prior to the pseudoscience of ID.

              Thus, I am not convinced by point 1.

              So, point 2. The morality argument.
              Off you go.

              Liked by 1 person

            24. I disagree with you point that ID has no waight. There are many scientists who support it, Flew being the biggest example.
              Papers suggesting that intelligence is behind DNA have been published.
              So to be clear, you problem with ID is that some scientists disagree with it an Christians created it?

              That’s the Impression I’m getting.
              If that’s your position think that that’s reasonable. But I would suggest that you dive into the subject some
              more.
              So what’s your problem with the morale argument,

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            25. Anthony Flew was a scientist ? Really? In what field.

              So what’s your problem with the morale argument

              I’m still waiting for you to make it …

              Off you go.

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            26. Sorry that was vague.
              If you don’t know the argument I’m down to explain it. But if you do, then why do you objected to it being a reason to believe that there is a god?

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            27. Did you forget to tell me what scientific field Flew was involved in?

              Re Morality Argument.
              Christians often have their own individual take.
              I’d like to read yours. And of course, the evidence that supports it.

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            28. Yes, he was a philosopher, not a scientist. He was not qualified to pronounce on ID.
              There’s only one moral argument
              Fair enough. Let’s hear it in your words … and the supporting evidence as well, please.

              Liked by 1 person

            29. Lol
              You asked my why I belive in god. I find the moral argument convincing.
              if you have an objection to it an want to discuss it I’m down.
              If you don’t really know what it is I’m down to explain it.

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            30. To save you time and avoid the unintentional possibility of you patronizing me, ( As with the ID crap you posted) in case you were contemplating referencing more specific links or videos in an attempt to strengthen your case, I should mention that, I have listened to and /or/read/watched all the relevant apologetic/religious claims from most of the usual suspects, including, Berlinski, Lennox, Craig, Wallace Strobel., Habermas,the two ‘lightening rods for Jesus’ you’ve posted here, Francis Collins, the crowd at Biologos, Mike Licona, and Kenneth KItchen etc.
              And just on the off-chance you thought of referencing anything by Ehrman that you feel will help your case – please don’t.

              I have a very basic grasp of the arguments for and against the Fine Tuning argument – thank you Sean Carroll – am up to speed on other more silly claims – the global flood tales and the water ”trapped” in the earth’s mantle, dino blood and, worse, the Paluxy Riverbed Trail (You know, the one with the human and dinosaur footprints, yes?) and supposed drawing of dinosaurs around the world including the depiction of a supposed stegosaurus.
              There are more but you might not be familiar with all of them.
              Oh, and yes, I have read the bible –

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            31. Let’s back up a bit, so that we are all on the same page.

              In laymen’s terms, the theory of evolution addresses only one thing: genetic change over time based on observable facts. An that’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. It doesn’t concern itself with the origins of life or the the universe (those topics are covered by other theories).

              And when we speak of DNA as information we are using a metaphor. DNA presents us with information but it is not information per se. By way of analogy: if you come upon two logs in the forest lying across each other in the shape of an “X” it does not automatically mean that some intelligent being arranged them to lie that way, because it’s entirely possible for them to land in that position via natural processes.

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            32. I conpleatly agree with everything that you said. But I think that DNA stands as evidence of a designer because intelligence is the only thing that we know of which can create something like DNA.
              I’m not saying that nothing will ever turn up. But right now, I think that it’s a reasonable and possible explanation.

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            33. Science continues to give creationists fodder to claim as their god, while still rejecting whatever science doesn’t align with what they already chose to believe.
              If this was 1952, there would be no discussion of how god uses dna to create things, but would be using older arguments. As we progress, so does the religious cherry picking of ideas by creationists; not to prove whatever is true, but prove what they’ve already decided on.
              The entire dna argument will change here shortly, for it seems the coding is in every electron of every element and thing, in a universe whose ancient light loops back on itself. I can already imagine the creationist arguments, but most likely the universe is a self contained life form much older than Yahweh or Jehovah, who for 1500 years was only known in the area of Israel. It took serious persuasion and effort to make this god known at all. Where was he before this? Why had no tribe anywhere in the world ever record a single glimpse of this god, but had many other ideas and teaching of the earth and universe in common with each other?

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            34. But I think that DNA stands as evidence of a designer

              80% of all genetic mutations are harmful to an organism’s fitness.

              Does this speak to competent guidance, or randomness?

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            35. I see what your saying, but I’m talking about the origins of DNA. Your right in saying that randomness is not good for life. Because of this natural selection isn’t capable of explaining the origin of DNA.

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            36. Given your dialogue here it seems you really don’t have a very good handle on the subject. That’s OK, being surrounded by creationists doesn’t help. There are some things you should really know, and take with you, like a brief history of research into this particular field:

              In 1953, Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey set out to test Alexander Oparin’s and J. B. S. Haldane’s hypothesis that conditions on the primitive Earth favoured “chemical reactions that synthesized organic compounds from inorganic precursors,” and through their experiments successfully cooked up the first manmade Amino Acids in the lab. Since then NASA’s Stardust probe triumphantly returned to earth in 2006 with Amino Acids it’d captured after intercepting the comet 81P/Wild (Wild-2) around Jupiter, proving that these fundamental building blocks of life occur naturally on earth and are found equally naturally in space.

              In 2009, Dr. Gerald Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute and his graduate student, Tracey Lincoln, pretty much nailed primitive ‘life’ – a progenitor of life if you like – when they developed a molecule composed of nothing but RNA enzymes in a test tube that replicated and evolved, swapping genes for just as long as the conditions were right to do so. Doing what molecules do it Xeroxed itself by using its own basic structure as a scaffolding from which to build new copies from pairs of smaller molecules. Incredibly, when incorrect copies were made mutations arose and the molecule quite happily passed on those changes to the proceeding generation, and so it slowly evolved.

              Also in 2009 John Sutherland of the University of Manchester went even further when he successfully cooked up two of the four ribonucleotides found in both RNA and DNA molecules and by doing so created the first stirrings of life on earth. Remarkably, with each passing phase the molecules became more and more complex and when phosphates were added in the very last stage Sutherland found himself staring at two ribonucleotides; half a naturally built RNA molecule.

              In 2012, researchers led by Phil Holliger at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge announced they’d successfully made the first synthetic RNA and DNA molecules which they called, XNA: xeno-nucleic acids. They achieved this mind-jarringly colossal leap in constructing artificial life by building synthetic versions of RNA and DNA’s nucleobase ladder rungs. By synthesizing enzymes (what they’ve called, polymerases) they could then bind the XNA molecules to DNA or reverse the process back to a single RNA strand; passing genetic information between the natural and synthetic molecules at will, leading MRC scientist, Victor Pinheiro, to observe “Thus heredity and evolution, two hallmarks of life, are not limited to DNA and RNA.”

              In 2010, Dr Craig Venter, actually created synthetic life (a man-made single celled organism) by manufacturing a new chromosome from artificial DNA in a test tube, then transferred it into an empty cell and watched it multiply… the very definition of being alive.

              In 2014, Floyd Romesberg, at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, also created synthetic life by producing completely new (alien) bases (X and Y) which bonded to DNA and were transferred in mitosis. Over time, though, the X and Y were lost, until in 2017 when the researchers simply created a new bacterium which would always retain the new bases. Alien life created.

              Hope this helps.

              Liked by 2 people

            37. Very early days, indeed. And it’s really not complicated. Homeostasis is the driver (staying together longer), and for that the first task was the dissipation of heat, just as Jeremy England had theorised.

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            38. I have looked into these experiment before. When I did I remember concluding that they didn’t meet the requirements. However, its been a while and you sparked my curiosity so give me some time to go through it again. I’ll hit you up with what I find, weather its pro you or pro me.

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            39. This little statement carries a lot, ”weather its pro you or pro me”. This is the faith trap. If it doesn’t typically align with what you’ve already decided to believe it will be dismissed or inconclusive. All of us ex-believers partied this way for many years. This is what I meant by the key to understanding is unbelief.
              I can read these results and build upon them as the experimenters are doing. The believer simply turns the page…

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            40. It is not a matter of pro this or that. What has been demonstrated is that it’s not really complicated at all to get to the RNA World, especially considering we now know the building blocks of life (20 amino acids) are easily cooked up, and are even found naturally in space. In just a decade, humans have made artificial life, with artificial RNA/DNA.

              But this is chemistry, not evolutionary biology. Evolution is what you were talking about and claiming intelligent design. Well, evolution is a slow, messy, painful, error-rich process. The question you have to answer is, Why? Why evolution? What possible rational reason could the Creator have had to invent—LITERALLY INVENT—that slow, messy, painful, error-rich process?

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            41. Ok. But what led you to conclude that the universe (and DNA in particular) is intelligently designed? In other words what would a naturally occurring, non-intelligently-designed universe or biological organism look like, and how would you make the distinction?

              One of the reasons I reject your ID hypothesis is because the human body does not appear to be very intelligently designed. The most glaring design error is the tiny flap between our trachea and esophagus which occasionally fails leading to disastrous results (i.e., choking to death when food gets stuck in the windpipe). The second example of a design flaw is the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which takes an unnecessary detour from your skull down to your heart before looping around the aortic arch and running back up to your larynx. And the third example is the human eye. Here’s a link explaining those design flaws in detail: https://thehumanevolutionblog.com/2015/01/12/the-poor-design-of-the-human-eye

              There are many other examples of flawed designs, but I think those three alone are sufficient evidence to disprove the Intelligent Design hypothesis.

              Liked by 3 people

            42. First of I would like to thank you for the thoughtful response.
              I thinks that that’s a valid point.

              I’m currently on a roadtrip so I’ll have to get back to you.

              Liked by 1 person

            43. Hey thanks for waiting.
              So to be clear, i haven’t come to a conclusion about this yet. BE WARNED everything I’m about to say is still half baked. So any insight you have is more then welcome.

              my feelings about this point are mixed. And I want to be honest, my feelings about this a still mixed. but here’s where I’m at.

              My problem with this argument is that it makes an unfunded assumption. And that is the intention or purpose of the alleged creator. It assumes that the creator would only want to make the most effective creatures possible. I don’t think that this is an assumption that we can make.
              I mean, maybe he created the flap because he likes to see humans randomly choke to death. (Dumb example!!! I hope you get my point)
              So the objection of an assumed motivation gives me pause.

              However, personally, I think that what your saying creates a big problem for creationism. Since it supports a 6000 year old earth. I think that some of our bad parts, can be attributed to God, while other to evolution. (Sorry I do not have examples I’m still working through these ideas)
              Which is one of the reasons why I prefer ID over creationism. (Since the ID hypothesis allows for an old earth)
              But like I said I’m still working through the argument. So this a half baked opinion and not a very sturdy on at that.
              Like I said I would love to hear anything you have on this subject.

              Liked by 1 person

            44. I could certainly entertain the idea of a designer who is incompetent, or a prankster, or even outright malevolent. But wouldn’t that flat out contradict the theists’ argument for an all-perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-kind, all-loving, all-merciful and all-just God?

              One of the reasons I reject the argument for the existence of the biblical god is because the Christian conception of God is itself deeply flawed. Because by definition the word “perfection” implies completion and totality (i.e., without fault or flaw; as good as it gets; the highest degree of proficiency, skill or excellence; no further improvement possible). So a perfect being would be a self-sustaining entity without needs or desires. To argue for the existence of a god who creates things or desires worship, adoration and obedience is to argue for a god who lacks the quality of perfection.

              And one cannot be all-merciful and all-just at the same time. If justice demands the execution of a convicted murderer, then an all-just judge must set aside any personal feelings of mercy and render a verdict in accordance with the law, and an all-merciful judge has no choice but to issue a stay of execution and violate his/her oath to mete out justice in accordance with the law. Nor can you escape this dilemma by proposing that both requirements are satisfied if an innocent third party is punished for the crimes of the guilty, because that’s not justice at all — it’s merely scapegoating.

              Liked by 3 people

            45. Your right it would be a problem for the Christian idea of god. But not for the idea of god, Most theists or deities (which ever it is) stop at creator, they don’t add more attributes.
              So I can see your point about the biblical god. But not the ideal of god.
              And like I said I’m currently working through it. So I don’t have a cohesive answer for the biblical god yet. I haven’t learned enough about biology or theology to understand the big picture. So I’m going to have to leave it there.
              Your a very thoughtful person and I don’t want to insult you with half baked ideas.
              From were I’m standing now, I think that there is a cohesive answer but I don’t know forsure.

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            46. I am not American and furthermore the slaughter of millions of turkeys just so you can celebrate the arrival of a bunch of pilgrims on Native American soil is, quite frankly, rather gross.

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            47. Ok, so you can’t pick and choose which tenets you’re going to believe and which ones you aren’t. This has been going on since the very beginning; is Jesus divine or a man with some divine characteristics? Is he god incarnate, or god’s “son” sent to save humanity? Are “they” all of the same substance; the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost? Even the Church fathers can’t seem to reconcile the most fundamental aspects of the faith. This of course, eventually led to the Reformation, now 502 years old and still being argued between the so-called “faiths.” But isn’t that very nature of faith itself? The belief in something for which there is no concomitant proof? In this case, I prefer to use the term “blind faith” to mean the belief in something for which there is not only no concomitant proof, but for which there is actually evidence that refutes it?

              The NT does not stand up to scrutiny, period. It just doesn’t work. All indications are that Jesus was an extremely devout Jew and as such he would never have adhered to such contrarian dogma as “dying’ for the sins of others which is tantamount to human sacrifice, an idea that would be repulsive to any Jew of the era. That would be completely anathema to any form of Judaism. Additionally, there is no way Pontius Pilate takes him off the cross for any reason at all, let alone to do a favor for his friend “Joseph of Arimathea”, who conveniently pops out of nowhere from a place that has never been found on any map ancient or modern. Of course there’s much more to it than this of course, but throw in the miracles, rising from the dead, etc., and you have an absolute fairytail.

              Liked by 3 people

            48. I am still curious to see if Dave is a true believer, or if the Bible lied. Where are the tools promised to them that believe? It’s a valid question.

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            49. So your saying that christianity is not true because people have different views?
              And because it’s a fairytale. Am I right in saying that?

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            50. No, I’m suggesting its not true because it is full of inconsistencies, ludicrous assertions, and out right false claims. As I said earlier, it simply doesn’t not stand up to scrutiny. What you know as “Christianity” Jesus wouldn’t recognize at all as any genre of Judaism. In fact, “Christianity” is an invention of Paul, a man that Jesus never knew, never met, and decided he was an “apostle” on his own, without regard to anyone within the Jerusalem church. Read Hyam Maccoby’s “Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity.” Incredibly insightful and incisive expose of Paul and his corpus of lies.

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    1. We’ve spoken about that as well on a different post. Neither he nor his colleagues see the hand of god in that. Only the Holy Roman Catholic Church. They also don’t believe the spiritual experience the Muslims feel is authentic, or from god but that of the devil. It has a lot to do with your anchoring biases.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The devil(a prominent deity in their pantheon) providing spiritual experiences is a dangerous thing for them to claim. Others say it about them. I grew up mostly around people that did not like the Catholic Church. The more extreme called it the Great Whore. The only group I heard worse about was Mormons.

        What excuse did Jesus come up with in the synoptic Gospels when he was accused of working magic through the prince of the demons? He said that a house divided cannot stand, so Satan cannot drive out Satan. So this could be said about any practice meant to drive away ills and evils. Interesting enough, even non-Christians and “witches” were occasionally given credit for successful predictions and cures, even by Catholics. But the Christians attributed this to Satan, which would destroy their own argument for Jesus.

        I have seen Christians(including ones of the past) criticize Muhammad for being overtly violent for the sake of his religion(or his ambition). I wonder when they will condemn Moses, Joshua, or David? They were all far more merciless than Muhammad. Say what you want about the guy, Muhammad never ordered infants and pregnant women to be killed or entire populations to be sacrificed. He never sacrificed the children and grandchildren of his former patron.

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        1. I guess the devil works miracles through good people to deceive them into the wrong belief. Really though, and the belief, the pinnacle of religious achievement is simply a bunch if hot air.

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      2. That’s a rather weak argument coming from someone who claims to have converted from atheism to Catholicism. By what metric does he deem his experiences as more authentic than those of competing religions, or denominations? (That’s a rhetorical question, btw. No Christian I’ve ever asked has given me a straight answer. When pressed on the issue they revert to talking about their inner feelings and personal convictions.)

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  4. ah, I had forgotten about the parable of the great dinner. A good one to remember when some Christian claims free will. IF someone ever is so stupid to tell me I’ve deserved some injury because of their god and remains in my reach, they’ll find out what their god can’t do about an injury.

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    1. Augustine used this parable to justify forcing the Donatists back into the fold. From then on it became widespread horror for the heathen and apostate alike.

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  5. Jim, it’s not worth trying with people like scoop or the guy who asked me the ‘specific teaching’ of the catholic church thats deadly. They will alternately defend and deny their own history however they need to in order to keep the blinders on themselves and others.

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  6. Yeah, 12 men – and 12 JEWISH men at that! Now THAT is a miracle!

    The Catholic Church can never be forgiven for the sins they have committed. There has never been a more homicidal, deranged, and sadistic force in history as the Catholic Church. Almost the moment they came into power through a writ of Theodocius II in about 381 AD the torture began and it didn’t stop until Napoleon – who desperately despised the Church – stopped the Inquisition and relinquished their power. The numbers of people killed, murdered, tortured, etc. is unimaginable. Just the Albigensian Crusade alone killed nearly 2,000,000 men women and children, mostly Cathars, an incredibly peaceful, spiritual group spread thoughout southern France. All because they would not yield to the Church’s power. Think the wars over the Reformation, the Spanish Inquisition, the witch frenzy, their role in the slaughter of millions of indigenous Americans – literally millions – their reluctance to stand up to the Nazi’s during WWII, their silence during the holocaust and you have a collection of pogroms that can and never will be equalled. It’s a ridiculous notion that they are even considered a “religion.”

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      1. Of course I’ve heard that one a thousand times. My typical response is “I don’t hate god, there’s no such thing!” which, as you might imagine, pisses them off greatly!

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            1. Things are finally slowing down. Contractors waving town for the holidays and such. I only have two plans on desk and last week I had 20. Winnipesaukee sounds nice. Say hi to Dr Marvin for me. Dr Leo Marvin…

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  7. Is it any coincidence that the church’s power and membership has declined with its ability to enforce adherence? It isn’t like being tortured or killed for disobedience was some big secret. They used to be big public spectacles. Auto de Fe in particular. Everyone dressed up in their best clothes, attended Mass, and then watched some heretics be ritually tortured and killed, garroted or burned alive.

    And I don’t think Augustine was the ultimate source of compulsion in Christianity. That came from the Bible itself. The way the Bible was read in the past, they took the whole thing seriously, not just selected parts of the New Testament. Also, Jesus was considered to have been the one that Old Testament figures got orders from(appearances of Yahweh or the angel of Yahweh were supposed to have been Jesus.) These means that those orders to exterminate populations, for example, were the words of Jesus. As was the sacrifice of Achan and his family, as was the order to stone rape victims and adulterers. The Papal Legate during the extermination of the Cathars told the crusading army to kill everyone in a city, heretic or not, because god will know his own. I have seen some Christians condemn this sort of thing, but on what basis do they do so? Their own lord was just fine with such methods, and employed them himself very often. Deuteronomy says to kill an entire city and make it “a whole burnt offering to Yahweh” if there is any other religion or god being followed there. This is exactly what the crusaders did in that example. They are supposed to imitate their god and his son, correct?

    Know what the argument for truth based on being widespread would apply well to? Islam. It spread far and rapidly. Not only that, it drove Christianity out of its historic heartland(Egypt, Syria, Anatolia). There have been few instances where Christianity(or Catholicism specifically) has driven Islam out anywhere where it has taken hold, Spain is about the only example(which Muslims never fully controlled). Don’t let them whine about how Islam spread by force and political power, so did the Catholic Church. This argument would also apply well to Buddhism, and in its case there was a lot less outright compulsion involved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Augustine used that scripture to compel the Donatists back into the fold. From then on it became widespread as a conversion tactic. The conversion of Europe and Latin America is unimaginable without the sword.

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      1. I am aware of the context. I just don’t want to leave room for Christians to escape. Just blame Augustine, and it leaves an easy route to escape. Christians do this all the time by blaming the Catholic Church for everything. It is not some particular person or organization, it is their book that is the ultimate source. Augustine was just being an exemplary follower.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I was Catholic for a lot of years. I never did, nor would I have approved of, any of those things.
    “How is it catholics can claim any benevolence at all at this point is beyond reason. The most corrupt organization on earth, is god working his miracles through torture.”
    I agree with the problems within the upper clergy of bishops and probably the Pope’s circle. But torture? You cut the rank and file no slack.
    I’m not sure it is “the most corrupt.” A bit harsh and stereotypical.

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    1. Well Scoop was defending it and has before too. I know most people, Catholics included are good people. Apologists say whatever, even the ridiculous to defend the faith. Sorry if I wasn’t clear in that. I had another apologist a year ago on that same site defending it as well. I think most Catholics would be ashamed of that history, but not here.

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      1. Agree. I’m certain most Catholics (but pick a religion) do not know the history. but even if they did, it is not the Church today. I am ashamed of much regarding the USA (both history and current events) but I ain’t giving it up because of that. I am atheist because I lack belief in any god, not because I think the history of a religion is dark. Of course it is. We didn’t start the fire.

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    2. @ Bill

      It is certainly one of the most widespread organisations on the planet and its membership numbers over a billion.
      If we accept that each member has been corrupted (difficult to argue they have not) then they are products of a corrupt organization,surely?

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      1. Indeed it is the largest of Christian denominations. The stereotype is grossly unfair. I find the post and some of the comments insulting, and I’m atheist. I realize that this is an anti-theist blog site. That is why I read it. I write a lot of anti Catholic stuff myself (cuz I was), but I see no value in insulting the members (except for guilty priests and bishops). Each member has not been corrupted (stereotype on steroids).

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        1. I beg to differ.
          If the source is corrupt then it goes without saying that the adherents will be likewise corrupted.

          If you are downloading a pirate movie, for example, then you are in turn party to that corruption.
          Even if were given a pirate copy and were unaware of the source you are still, in a sense, corrupted.
          There is the other part to this of course which is that, once you are made aware of the corrupt source if you continue to partake then you are now just as corrupt.
          Guilty by association.

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          1. We do not agree. Otherwise I am guilty (by birth and association) for the crimes of some people hundreds of years ago. I can accept guilt by knowledgeable association, but even there I find judging others wrong. But those ignorant of the history are not even close to guilty. My opinion is based on first-hand, inside experience. You are passing judgement for what you think people know. “Just as corrupt” — No way!

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            1. I have to agree mostly with this. Most Catholics I’ve ever spoken to know very little about the pillage. But, on the other hand, they are guilty for adhering to an organization without looking into it. This is why the founders immediately appealed to faith, even with Jesus standing right there. I messed with reason

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            2. Then you must find me guilty, Jim. I was not ignorant. I still think judging all on the actions of few is wrong. Kind of like saying all atheists are assholes cuz some are. Why would they not appeal to faith? We are talking about religion.

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            3. Because faith would not have been necessary if the risen lord was standing right there. It was a calculated deception to enslave minds and it works every time.
              I don’t find you or anybody guilty. I’m sure I have some issues of my own, but when I know better and continue to support any cause that is immoral, I have to question my own integrity. That’s why I’m here and not there. I couldn’t excuse it any longer.

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            4. You should know that people are leaving the RC Church in droves. Sadly they are not all embracing atheism.
              I still think it is wrong to attack (demonize) people for what they think or believe. I will take your word for the ‘calculated deception’ but I have no way of knowing that. In the contemporary scene, yes to virtually any TV preaching. And it works for them.

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            5. In modern times, Jonathan Edwards stumbles upon the holy roller techniques and thousands copied it immediately because it worked. It’s still highly calculated into the services today. There’s nothing new under the son, just refined technique.

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            6. No, you are not guilty by birth – although Christianity would have you believe you are. So while you may not be knowingly corrupt, if you are part of a corrupt organisation (practicing) you have, for all intent and purpose, been corrupted.

              Surely this much is obvious when one considers the reasons for deconversion?

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            7. Sorry. I can’t seem to make that conclusion work.
              It is not why I embraced atheism and I regret none of my affiliation with the Catholic Church. That was because there is no god and I did not believe what I was supposed to.

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            8. We seem to be talking at cross purposes.
              You not regretting your ”affiliation with the Catholic Church” suggests a degree of cognitive dissonance.
              Much like declaring: ”I loved being an alter boy” even after discovering the priest in charge was a serial abuser and, unbeknownst to you, your best childhood buddy was the subject of some of that abuse.

              This is a good example of you being corrupted by the system.

              That was because there is not god and I did not believe with I was supposed to.

              Yet another example of how you were corrupted and yet, you eventually saw behind the facade of lies and deceit and walked away.

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            9. If I suffer from cognitive dissonance, I’m not aware of it. Your alter boy analogy is preposterous to me. I may be influenced by my past (who is not, besides you?), but to imply that I was corrupted by it is another example of your perspective being much different than mine. My reasons for doing what I did are well-documented. I do not agree with you regarding my motivations. On the bright side, I needed a topic for Dispassionate Doubt…you’ve given me one. Thanks. 🙂

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            10. If the teacher or the subject is corrupt, then the pupil will, in all likelihood, be corrupted by the material.
              ”The world is flat.”
              This is false (corrupt), and if the pupil is indoctrinated to believe it then they have been corrupted.
              How can he /she not be, as the beliefs, and the actions that issue from such beliefs are based upon the corrupt material/teaching.
              It matters not that the pupil considers said beliefs and actions to be true/virtuous .

              At some point you rejected the material, (God claims etc) and walked away, thus your journey to undo the corruption had begun.

              I accept I am not a scholar in this regard, however, my command of the English language is reasonable so I’m finding it odd that you cannot grasp this concept?

              If I am missing something, Bill, please point it out

              Ark.

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    3. Even a cursory review of the lives of just the popes alone will inform you as to the insane level of debauchery and corruption the church promulgated over the last 16-1700 years or so. Even still, they remain steadfast in their beliefs; the sin of homosexuality (even though there are many closeted within the Vatican itself), and let’s not even bring up the egregious sexual violation of thousands and thousands of innocent children of all ages, going so far as to move known predator priests from diocese to diocese, complicit in their guilt as one can be. No, you don’t get to be a member or supporter or even an apologist for such behavior without bearing the moniker. Yes, the most corrupt religion in history, period. And you can also believe they’d go right back to those very same methods of conversion today given the power and license to do so.

      Remember, all they have to believe is they are doing god’s work and they have divine power do as they wish, even to repeat all the same horrific crimes against humanity they have already displayed thoughout their past.

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      1. Thank you for informing me of what I can believe. I understand the shortcomings of all religions, but especially RC. However, I will not be judging current members for the history. Yes, power corrupts — (and the papacy is the source of that idiom), but not all are corrupt. To demonize all Catholics and to blame them for the atrocities of the past is no different than blaming all Jews for the crucifixion of Christ. I cannot agree with you either.
        Regarding the sexual misconduct, I am well informed of those problems. Indeed, I criticize all deniers of those shameful cover-ups. But I do not blame all Catholics since every religion has such problems.

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        1. Bill, I apologize if you thought I was telling you what you should believe; I meant so such thing. However I ask, why would you want to belong to a club with such a past and such a seemingly maligned present identity? Feel free to believe what you wish, but don’t try to erase the sins of the past so easily. See all those beautiful cathedrals, churches, statuary, art and palazzos? They were paid for with the blood of many innocents and continue to be maintained at the expense of the down trodden. Why doesn’t the church sell off some of that nonsense and use the funds to help the needy around the world? Perhaps try feeding the countless starving of the world? At least they could claim to be making amends for their sins of the past but they never seem to get to that part. It’s shameful.

          Go in peace my friend.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. “You can believe…”
            I don’t know that to be true and I doubt if you do. It is not a club.
            I am a fan of all old church architecture, all art, and history. I think your emotional appeal is quite strong, but that is how it was in the world.
            Perhaps you are unaware of Catholic Charities or the St. Vincent DePaul orgs in most parishes today. There are many other charitable efforts made.
            Religions generally far surpass us in their care for the poor. There is no reasonable effort to erase “sins” of the past, just to not repeat them.
            The picture you paint of greed and corruption is very one sided.
            I love irony. “Go in peace…” is how our priest always ended the Mass. So, I will do the same…
            And also with you.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Maybe I know something about it. My objection was for the demonizing of people. I write often about the RC Church/dogma/beliefs. Street cred!
              I have no soft spot for demonizing innocent people pr making conclusion which are illogical.

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            2. Maybe there are others here who have also been exposed to Catholicism. You don’t have exclusivity in this regard.

              In this day and age, willful ignorance is not an excuse.

              I don’t consider any point (I’ve) made thus far to be illogical.
              Feel free to point out such points as you consider are illogical.

              Liked by 1 person

        2. “To demonize all Catholics and to blame them…..”

          But isn’t that what the Catholics did? Blame ALL Jews for the crucifixion? Even worse, didn’t they already KNOW that it was the Romans that actually perpetuated the execution? They intentionally edited their scripture in order to propagate this nonsense and they didn’t seem to give a hoot about it even though that accusation led to countless pogroms against Jews for centuries afterward? Furthermore, isn’t that part of the fundamental dogma of original sin? YOU are as guilty of the fall from grace as Adam was? God is more than willing – and so is the Church – to blame YOU for an atrocity of the past, namely Eve tempting Adam and getting thrown from the Garden of Eden forever! That’s your fault, Bill, and you weren’t even there! You nasty man!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Oh, good lord.
            No, I don’t recall ever blaming Jews. Yes, it was once the official position of the Church, but no longer is. I was redeemed from the original sin by baptism at 8 days of age. So, I’m off the hook. As far as fundamental dogma, do you know what it is? I do.
            If you are going to attack people for their religious beliefs, at least have the grace to get it right.
            Thanks for chat. I’m done here.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I wasn’t attacking anyone, sorry if you felt that way. I was merely stating my opinion and certain facts as I have learned them and I don’t see where you’ve corrected any of them. So you’ve been “forgiven” for the “original sin” since someone dumped some water on your head and now you’re ok with it? And you’re willing to give the Church a pass for correcting THEIR OWN LIE that the Jews ordered Jesus’ crucifixion, even though they have KNOWN THAT THE ENTIRE LAST 1500 years? How very Christian of you! (Whether you “ever recall” blaming the Jews or not is really not material, only demonstrates that you belonged to an organization about which you seem to know very little.) No, it doesn’t sound as though you know very much at all about the Church if you’re so easily able to accept them. I was raised Roman Catholic, my parents were very active in the Church and my oldest sister was a nun. We were what you would call devout Catholics and I find the entire catechism and Catholic/Christian dogma repulsive. I could only have been indoctrinated to such things as a child in order to believe them.

              Lastly, I am not condemning ALL Catholics, I am condemning Catholicism, but if the shoe fits, by all means, help yourself. It really sounds as though you’re not ready to let such things go yet but we’re all on our own journeys so, go with…….whomever!

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Okay, fine. But my post was not about you. I did not feel personally attacked by you. I do not share your vitriol, but I am sure that we can find common criticism we agree on. I am disappointed that you give me such a low grade in church history. I think I deserve better, but it really does not matter. Question: are you corrupted?

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        1. Well maybe they need to practice something else for a while. 2000 years of doing the same thing over and over and has met no objectives. Time for a change methinks.

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  9. When I ask people why there are innocent kids dying, being brainwashed and refugee crises all over the world, people have one answer for me. “It’s because of their own sins.”
    Some say “it’s written in their fate by God, there must be a reason we can never comprehend”
    What kind of genocidal maniac would orchestrate such fate?

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    1. I was in an accident a few years back and lost vision in one of my eyes. A family member told me it was because I had lost the protection of The lord. Your right Bharath, it’s crazy. When something bad happens to those minded people, god is just testing their faith. If it happens to me it’s punishment for not believing. Right here we all know the truth though. Life is unpredictable, dangerous, and people die.

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      1. Damn! What happened??
        God tests your faith by putting your life in peril. If you survive and still believe, you’re a true believer and be sent to heaven? Sadistic.
        Right. Life is unpredictable and so I life.

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        1. It was a warm, May Day and I cracked the face shield on my helmet about an inch. A car driving by the other way kicked up a small thin rock (about an inch across) it went right inside my shield and in my eye. Gods will

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            1. All he did was have the misfortune of running over an unseen rock in the road. What am I going to do to him, make him eat it? Give it back?

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            2. I still have one good eye and a great family. I’m hoping someday that bad eye falls out so I can wear a patch 🏴‍☠️

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    2. This is a real quandary for believers in my opinion. If, in fact, suffering is “because of their sins” then the implication is clear; they are being punished by god for their sinfulness. But if “innocent kids” are dying, then is god punishing the innocent for their sins (whatever they could be)? Or, as I hear more often, god is not intervening per se but allowing the suffering to persist for reasons which we mere mortals could never discern. So which is it? Does god intervene in human affairs or doesn’t he? If he does, then why does he allow the innocent to suffer and the wicked to walk free? If god does not intervene in human affairs then what is the point of prayer? Is it the Epicurean paradox? (If he has the power to intervene but not the will, then he is malevolent. If he has the will to intervene but not the power, then he is impotent. If he has neither the power nor the will, then what god is he?)

      Liked by 1 person

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