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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
Technically... Noah had his Daughters and their husbands. So cousin sex :P

However, if you're going to go that route why not just point out Adam and Eve?

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
Hmmm... Yea I stayed out of this long enough:

I'll make points in random order:

1) On the matter of Noah and following the Bible word for word etc: That's only a problem for fundamentalists, primarily found in some protestant denominations due to Luther's radical and NEW concept at his time of Sola Scriptura, which did not itself necessitate fundamentalism but restricted much to Scripture making fundamentalism possible.
The rest of us, and even some who follow Sola Scriptura in some degrees, have other ways which we find more accurate and to better appreciate what the Bible is really saying. The Historical Critical method, for instance, looks at the culture, time, area, etc. which the various stories came from (as they were not all written at one time by one person) and the literary techniques and genres used to determine both the impact on the original audience and the authors intended purpose and meanings and various other things to better understand the stories themselves. Not everything is even MEANT to be at all seen as fact, though all is Truth. The difference is that Truth has greater meaning. For instance:
That the CD I just let go of moved in relative position to the floor in a manner of they both became closer to each other until contact is a fact. That all CDs I let go of in such a manner will fall to the ground to to some external force (gravity?) may be Truth. That my cat will die if I cut him in half with an ax is not fact (it has not happened), but it is Truth (it would happen if I did it). The Story of the Boy who cried wolf is not fact, but it is truth (that lying, particularly about danger, can cause others to stop trusting you and thus do harm to you when you wish to really tell the truth and avoid danger).

Now, most Christians and Christian denominations will actually go beyond that and also incorporate Tradition to provide much more information and to assist in interpreting and understanding what is in the Bible, as there are many different ways the Bible can be interpreted. This, in fact, for a very long time, was held as a far higher revelation than the Bible itself, and includes usually at its pinnacle things like Ecumenical Councils which attempt to clarify and make explicate certain understandings and dogmas of the faith, while not overstepping the reach of possibilities from certain foundations which have not yet been determined. It also includes the teachings of various officials, apostles, saints, theologians, and so on held with high respect, and apparitions which have confirmed some dogmas.

This is not to say that some things in the Bible are not indeed held to be fact. The Crucifixion and Resurrection are held to indeed be both Fact and Truth except in the sense that they actually go beyond mere fact and truth as an entirely unique occurrence which has tremendous effects on everything else. Though this necessitates that they REALLY, PHYSICALLY happened.
On the other hand, the storieS of creation (there are, actually, at least 3 stories of creation in the bible, two of which are RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER) are not generally held as Fact, but as Truth. This is nothing new either, St. Augustine would not have converted to Christianity had these parts of the Bible not been interpreted and explained to him in a symbolic sense (granted this was also before the later movements which tried to separate things that are symbolic from things that are real in some areas). The early two stories are believed to follow the literary form of Myth, which, contrary to popular usage, does not mean false, but actually means a story which explains a greater, usually transcendent, Truth in terms we can comprehend. These may be factual, may not be, that really never mattered even to the original audience and writers. Seriously if you would ask them they would simply say "you're missing the point" most likely. Other areas follow other literary forms, such as Legend, lyric, geneology, historical and others.

2) PKB pointed out that actually several couples were on Noah's Arc. Thus not necessatating incest, but I would like to expand a bit with first a) they would not necessarily be held to the same laws as later, as they did not yet know those regulations and were under extreme circumstances. b) This is also what most of us consider another myth or legend, thus the details may not actually be factual anyway, but the story has a greater point. Now it may actually be based on some events that really happened long before the story was even written, but that's not really that important either. In general we consider the first solid historical figure in the Bible to be Abram/Abraham.

3) Interestingly enough, Evolution a few years ago was challenged by prominent Chinese Paleontologists based on some of their findings. They concluded that evolution was not a very likely theory after all and offered several alternatives. Unfortunately, one of those alternatives was along the lines of intelligent design, and was thus denounced and rejected for that soul purpose by western scientists who thought that somehow these atheist state scientists were part of a religious conspiracy.
This is not to say that evolution necessarily is wrong (I still personally think its pretty good and the most likely case, and have no problem with it), but that its still more theory than many like to make it out to be. Why? Because we are so locked in now to a two answer system under which if you don't believe in evolution, you necessarily are a religious fanatic believing in creationism or intelligent design without reason.

4) Ok, lets get back the real meat of this discussion.

a) I would say there are arrogant idiots on both sides. I find the more vehement and insulting ones tend to be from the atheist camp, and they also tend to be, in my eyes, the most popularity hunting bunch rather than truth seeking. Quieter atheists tend to be the real intellectuals seeking truth. Many of which will admit in the end "what do I care if you believe in something else? Doesn't effect me, and I know you're being honest enough about it." But, there are in fact people on the religious side who are also rather arrogant and vehement in a bad light who are rather idiotic, though some of them (on both sides) are actually that way in REACTION to the opposition and their abuses. Interestingly, this is part of the logic behind Christian ideas like "love your enemy" and "be good to those who curse you" and the like, since you're more likely to stop the cycle and really get something done that way.

b) The experience argument is something of a very personal nature. Such situations are even in the religious community (except some) often met with skepticism as well. In the Catholic community, for instance, we say even if they are real they are typically to be considered matters of personal revelation in that they effect primarily the one person, and cannot be used to convince anyone else of anything and the like. Now this is understandable. You can argue some things all you want, but some events in a persons personal life convince them beyond anything else of something, which would not have the same effect on others. That's how that is.
I happen to actually be partially of a camp of theology which denounces other greater experience theology. Experience can be tainted, misinterpreted, any number of things. And its personal nature isolates it from the greater truth often. Now some types of experience are necessary and good, but they should be held in certain lights, and should be sources of ways to communicate and explain, rather than sources of revelation themselves in most cases. Theology should ultimately be grounded in the Universal Revelation from God, in the many ways that is done. Sometimes this is experienced, but by a large group that can work out the common occurrences and such.
Now, do I think people are cured of cancer and such by God? Yes, but I believe everything is done by God. This is reading back into occurrences things which have been revealed elsewhere, thus cancer being cured is not usually a good argument. Does the fact that there is a scientific explanation for these things change anything? Not usually, do to what I said above partially, but also because I appreciate Signs as well as Miracles.
Signs are actually the more common idea from the Old Testament, and they do not necessitate that something impossible happened through intervention of forces like Miracles do. You see, if God created and controls nature anyway, why shouldn't he use nature in its normal processes to help people? The 10 plagues of Exodus, for instance are considered signs because they actually can and do naturally occur from time to time, just not usually in a row like that, or to the same degree, and because they coincided with an actual purpose and timing to free the Hebrew's as the prophet predicted.

5) One thing that often annoys me is this silly idea that there is a difference between God in the Old Testament and God in the New Testament. What changes is our understanding, not God, and the things we've been reading back into the stories.
The thing is, I would say, along with many, including the Jewish people that follow ONLY the "God of the old testament" that in the Old Testament God is, actually, the most loving Being ever to be. EVERYTHING is done for the good of His people, and they are CONSTANTLY being abundantly forgiven for their MANY transgressions against God. The problem is people don't read enough of the stories and don't understand the context when they like to spew out to others excerpts which are dramatically changed if only people understood what was going on before and after and even during. Many would call the entire Old Testament a Love Story between God and His People. The story follows a basic pattern: God gives good things to the people. The people rejoice for a while, but after a time begin to turn against God or ignore God or many other things to betray Him, often doing things which are ultimately harmful to themselves. The people get themselves in a very bad situation, sometimes God tells them bad things will happen to them if they continue. The people continue, and God either removes his protection (common) or sends something to caste them down into despair (in general, being without God would mean this), but only so that they will realize what they've been doing, realize they are destroying themselves and their relationship with God, and turn back to him. In their despair, the people cry out to God, and he saves them and actually restores them to even greater glory and in greater love than before. (This is a general cycle, there can be other stories doing other things).
People often misinterpret the Old Testament though as they do not understand what is going on. For instance, the rule "an eye for an eye, a life for a life" is not a mandate but actually a limitation. You can ONLY take one eye for one eye, ONLY one life for one life. Which, even today, is difficult for many people to limit themselves to. Eventually Christ reveals and even greater limitation or mandate which says, not only can you not take more, but you must GIVE more in response.

As for what PKB said about things changing when God became man and thus understood man better. I would have to greatly disagree. God understood before, it is we who did not understand. The incarnation is completely for our benefit, not for God, who is utterly complete to begin with. We are able to become better because of it, and able to understand God and all His works better because of it.
Also, the thing about having a Son, the Son is eternal, has always been. The Three Persons in One God have always been. The Son becoming Incarnate is the only change.
Simply put, this was the time when the fullness of Revelation came to th world in a way we could so well understand, see, feel, touch. God came to us and spoke with us and even befriended and died for us. God, in this way, completed the same revelation he had always been giving, because He is the only one that can.
What alot of people often don't realize is that much of what Jesus Christ said (not all) was very much in line with the previous Tradition and actually just helped clarify and interpret and emphasize certain things. The greatest commandments were, in fact, quotes from Scripture which themselves proclaim their priority, which is why the scribes said "you have spoken wisely", they understood these were the commandments, already given, which should have priority and which cover the rest. Some things were indeed new, this is true, but they did not contradict the perfect understanding of what came before. They built upon, revealed, and went beyond, but did not usually destroy.

This continues, in some degrees, to occur, in what John Henry Newman called the Development of Doctrine, but in a different light since what is developed now is just how to understand and apply the fullness of what has been revealed in Jesus Christ, thus does not have the added parts of new revelation to it.

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
science and religion is fine
people are broken
people will do what they want all of them is based off faith
we wont know until the end. . .
L2P

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
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What I don't understand is how someone can become a Christian or w/e just because they've experienced a "miracle"



I'm going to give thanks to you for writing this, this is what i don't understand about religion... I stongly believe in the paranormal, I did some research, i've asked several doctors, nurses about whether they have ever witnessed an excorsism take place, and it actually does happen (for all you non religion believers)..Also excorsisms have been documented in history, and also talked about on the "discovery" channel. I don't get the whole idea about religion for that certain point... with dealing with an excorsism, they recite things out of the bible, and there are alot of inhuman cries coming out of the victim, and then eventually, it pushes itself out... If the bible isn't real, how can it be so powerful?? just search demonic possession, and on youtube search: analiese michel

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
I'll reply to Noth1ng on some of the subjects:

well, it can be summed up to this.

1. Why do you believe the bible is truth, exactly? Do you go by proof or faith? If by proof, what proof is their? What proof is there that Jesus is the son of God and the God really is a personal God? Why would God perform miracles if we are supposed to help ourselves? Is there point in prayer? Does God ignore those in need because they do not pray?

2. Isn't it more fair to say that the Bible is just a book of stories to help guide people and nothing more?

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
I forgot I actually posted here! I've been avoiding looking at the new posts because I thought I hadn't posted yet and had alot of work ahead of me. Looking at my last post though: HOLY SHIT! I wrote a lot. Trust me everyone, thats as much work for me to write as it is for you guys to read usually. Did you actually read it though Carsito? If so, Kudos. Anyway:

1) Well, there are many reasons to believe it is so, but I'll try and limit things this time: Long, long, long and frequent hours of contemplation and hard questions, along with growing understandings of the world in general, have convinced me that what the Bible proclaims is Truth. Yet, not the Bible alone, far from it. For anyone can get anything out of the Bible on its own. The Bible held with the Tradition and the life in the Community of Faith all amount to what could be called "a Truth which we cannot deny". This has not been taken lightly, neither by myself nor by those before and with me (though there have been some who have walked through with glazed eyes). In the end, I've had moments where I was able to grasp at least to a slight amount, and a slight amount that lets you know its only slight even though it seems profound, that all this added up to THE vision of complete perfection and beauty which nothing else could compare with, and which is indeed possible if only we were willing to really take it, though we are not. Honestly, this is hard to explain shortly, at least for me, I'm sure there are others better at such things. But, to be accurate, I would say the Bible contains Truth, gives witness to the Truth, but is not necessarily interchangeable with Truth. Jesus Christ Himself is Truth, His very Person. Everything else is an inspiration of Truth, a witness to Truth, an explanation or relation of the Truth, etc.

2) What do you mean by fair? How would it be more "fair"? And to say it is nothing more than a book of stories to help guide people and nothing more would simply be false on many accounts. The first because it is not a book, but a collection of books (Bible, from Biblio, meaning Library, etc). On other accounts, it is more than "just a guide". It serves a role as a guide, but goes beyond that. There are very specific commands, for one. But more importantly it contains Revelation, the display of the Truth which human minds and acts could not have obtained on their own. A view into the very life of God and His relationship with us, His people, and all people throughout time. This is important for many reasons, including as a step along each of our individual AND communal (for to neglect the community is to neglect God in a form) relationship with God. I'm not even a Biblical Theologian but I must acknowledge the great importance of study of the Bible, though it is not all that must be done. Other important aspects of the Bible that come to mind are more relevant to those in my field of study, theology, than would seem important to others, but this includes an importance for our field which directly effects what we teach to others outside the field.

edit:
I noticed the numbers were likely in reference to my numbers earlier. In which case here is another, hopefully shorter, response:
1) Truth in this sense has to do with something with meaning beyond its own details, something which teaches about the reality which can be applied, or contemplated or really mean something universally. That the CD previously changed position doesn't have much meaning on its own. That there is a force of gravity that causes every particle in the universe to attract every other particle in the universe, and that thus the CD fell rapidly toward the Earth as a mass of particles pulling on it, has profound meaning and relevance to our lives and to the material universe.

2) Again, there is more too it. Some of these "stories" are more important than others, and some have extreme importance and even command our lives in such a way beyond being a guide. And, although some are in fact in story form, many, even of the stories, go beyond being mere stories, even beyond guiding stories. Partially for reasons I mentioned in my no. 2 above.

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
1. All that really explains absolutely nothing. It does not tell me why you have decided to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and why you believe that God is a personal God. And, all of the other questions were never answered.
This can only conclude to me that there is no proof and no logical reason for being a Christian (and probably no other religion as well).

2. How do you know that it's truth. Once again, proof or evidence is necessary to make a claim... especially as Universal as religion.

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
CarsitoPyg wrote:
1. All that really explains absolutely nothing. It does not tell me why you have decided to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and why you believe that God is a personal God. And, all of the other questions were never answered.
This can only conclude to me that there is no proof and no logical reason for being a Christian (and probably no other religion as well).

2. How do you know that it's truth. Once again, proof or evidence is necessary to make a claim... especially as Universal as religion.


1) I got lost in addressing the first part of your questions. I think this is fair as you did not address all of what I previously posted either. You didn't honestly address much at all, you just asked some more questions mostly. This is not a bad thing necessarily, always good to probe and ask more questions about any area especially anything you wish to confront.
However, that I did not personally explain everything in my last post isn't really grounds for any conclusion of the sort, or at least not solid grounds. It would be grounds for further inquiry into the matter, for pressing the matter a bit more maybe, to see what more I may or may not have to offer. Then, you could only logically conclude that I personally have no proof, or a weak argument, or little logic, or whatever may come from such a further investigation, but not that there is none all together. I could press a number of people who know and use the quadratic fomula as to why it works, what the mathematics are behind it, what the proof is, and such who couldn't actually say anything about it at all other than that it seems to work somehow. You could easily press others that would know, of course. Besides, I believe I mentioned a few times I wasn't actually going to be exhaustive, but just the opposite.
TO address some of what you say, I will address it in a different order: I believe God is a personal God for several reasons. A clearest and easiest one is this, and I'll explain it in specifically a "logic speak" formula: Jesus Christ is God. Jesus Christ is a person/personal figure. Thus God is personal.
Why is Jesus Christ the Messiah? Because He is the Son of God, the Holy One, sent by the Father for the purpose of being the Messiah and was anointed as such in various ways (dedication at the temple, baptism by John, various others). Messiah, as you may know, means anointed one, there were in fact many Messiah's for the Jewish people at various times. You and I of course I primarily referring however to Jesus Christ being a unique Messiah, a unique Christ, of some superior, final, and complete caliber. Why is He that one? Because the Father sent Him into human flesh to be such.

Of course, what you really want to know at this point is not why, but how I know this is all the case: well, Jesus Himself told those sent by John to find out if he was the Messiah: "Tell him what you have seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear and the dead are raised" (I may or may not be paraphrasing at this point). More importantly though: Jesus Christ died and Resurrected. How do I know he really resurrected? Over 500 witnesses are recorded to testifying to such within 40 days of the occurrence, and others since then in various other circumstances. I find these men trustworthy. How can I trust them? I choose to. Do you not choose to trust a thousand things you hear from others every day? Do you doubt absolutely every event of history you have not seen? Do you doubt even everything you have seen, for, of course, there could have been an error on your part? When a man tells you the Earth has a generally spherical shape, and that in the world there is a Russia and a China and an Australia far distant from you on the other end of the sphere, even shows you pictures of it, do you not trust that until you have encircled the world, calculated every foot and curve, and visited every site for yourself? Or, better yet, do you buy food from a restaurant, or even a store, and not trust it to not be poison?

But, of course, I have seen my God, many times in fact, even touched, and heard what He has spoken and proclaimed and even seen some of its fruition. I have seen His promises fulfilled. Contrary to what some fools like to say, Christianity is very, very, very precisely not a religion of an "invisible god". No, the whole point is our God is very visible and concrete indeed, though not by necessity nor outside force.

However, much of this is primarily relevant on my terms, on the terms of a theist. Lets shift things a bit, for in another light this is actually easier, though it will mostly only answer the problem of the existence of a God, but steps must be made where they must be made before others can be taken.

First course: Is there a God? I say yes. Who or What is God? Jesus Christ, who very much happens to be at least a Historical Figure. What makes Him God? Irrelevant. I, along with over a billion others, proclaim Him as our God and worship Him and make Him the center of our lives. He is thus God.
How does that qualify Him?
Well, I say that is the definition of a god in general, a thing someone worships and centers their life around. We proclaim He is the One True God, higher and more proper a God than anything else.
Disagree? Think that does not define a God?
I say "how do you know?" The only way to refute this claim is to offer another definition of what qualifies as God. Theists can do this, even the Christians can, I have done so earlier in various ways, but that's because we acknowledge the existence of God, or of a God. A pagan could disagree with my definition because they believe in another kind of god, for instance.
But what shall the atheist or agnostic do? Offer a definition for what they say does not exist? Such a definition would necessarily be arbitrary from their own point of view for what are they basing it on? What objective thing is this being established to describe? If they don't think such a being exists, they obviously have never witness such a being, and thus have no authority at all in defining such a being. The best that could be done is to admit the existence of a god and define it by what they observe the others calling a god, which may or may not agree with how the worshipers themselves describe or what they believe about their God, but admits the existence of a god under some form.

I can do this same routine under another route: I claimed I have seen my God, even touched Him. This is nothing especially unique to me. Come down any day you'd like and I will take you to my God, allow you to see Him, although, due to the sanctity of our God, I will not allow you to touch Him though I will do so myself in your presence as will many others. Of course, I can do this because I am Catholic and for us Jesus Christ, the one whom I claimed earlier is my God, presents Himself to me and others in the Eucharist. Now, disagree with this or that all you like, I can objectively say though: "There is my God" and you will see my God before your own Eyes. Again, the previous series would have to way in if you are to deny this. For, again, if you disagree, you must in that very moment admit to the existence of God or a god and say "that is not Him/one", otherwise you base your disagreement on nothing.

Would this satisfy a theist? I should say many would be up in arms at such a basis. But, again, this is taking a step back, to begin, and you have taken up the side of the atheist for the time being.

2) The Holy Spirit has proclaimed such is Truth. And since the Holy Spirit so well knows the Truth, who is Jesus Christ Himself, the Holy Spirit can recognize the Truth and testify to the Truth. When did the Holy Spirit proclaim such? At various Church Councils, as the Holy Spirit guides the Church particularly under such circumstances, ever since Jesus Christ asked the Father and the Father sent forth the Advocate, who is the Holy Spirit, to be with His Church always and guide His Church. If you want particular proof of all this, you must first realize that this is the stage where the reasoning must follow from other reasoning and other proofs. The earlier steps must be established, and I'm not sure we are there yet in the discussion, and it will take a while to get there.


On a similar note: You've been asking for proof and questioning truth. Let me ask you this: What kind of proof are you seeking? What is it that qualifies as proof? What kind of evidence would you like? The world is full of proofs and evidence that does not qualify as proof to many, on every topic and field. And what are you seeking when we say Truth? I ask you, though I have presented my own answer: What is Truth?
There is likely little point in proceeding until be both understand what is being asked for.

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
1. So what you're saying is that you know God is real because you've touched him. Now, i've eaten plenty of those wafers as well. Back when I believed too. Guess what, nothing special. They're just pieces of flavorless bread. Unless, you can prove other wise.

The New Testament was written 45 AD. Much after Christ's death. It's very easy to make up events and claim that Jesus performed miracles.

But lets use your analogy. My belief in history compared to your belief in the Bible. We can agree, of course, that we differ in our beliefs because I believe in things that are physically possible while you believe in magic. That is what bringing the dead back to life and turning water to wine is, magic. But if you decide to believe in magic because names were recorded in saying "yes, it did happen", why not believe that Muhammad was the prophet? And if you do believe that he was the speaker for God, than you'll have to agree with his statement that Jesus was not the Messiah and was merely a prophet as well.

You use a strange type of logic. God exists because a bunch of people worship him. Now, if the definition of God is "something that people worship" than okay. Let's use a different term, then. How does a personal DEITY exist? How is your God a deity? Just because you believe in what a book tells you? Besides the fact that many things in that book are inaccurate (which you of course say that truth doesn't mean fact, but than what differs fact from truth in the book? opinion?) many things about your personal deity are physically impossible or completely illogical. This is actually why I brought up prayer (which you didn't answer on, but it is very important). Is prayer important at all? If no, than how is God personal? Through guidance? Is it, if you live a righteous life, you receive his grace? Alright then, so that makes prayer irrelevant, correct?
If prayer is important, than what happens to those who don't pray? Does God ignore them? Or maybe it's a point structure. Prayer gives you that bonus. Maybe it grabs his attention. Which makes the whole (save yourself) thing complete bullshit. If prayer truly makes any difference, than saving yourself isn't as important as Jesus seemed to had stressed.
If God does not intervene with nature but instead uses nature to cause miracles, than that would mean God would have had to had planned EVERYTHING that would ever happen starting from the beginning of the Universe. The occurrences in nature can not be shifted DURING time, only before time (as it's title, not the literal meaning of time). This would mean that everything that has ever been done and any thought that you had processed was part of what God wanted to happen. Which would make prayer and trying to live righteously a complete waste of time. God would have made you righteous if he wanted to because he had started nature a certain way.
So, if you believe in "miracles", you would HAVE to believe that God intervenes with the natural flow of time and the physical world in order to create them. Otherwise, they wouldn't be miracles, just planned events. And like I said, that would make all events planned.
I do not know if a deity (or something like it) exists, but the idea of a personal God is irrational for the reasons explained.

2. What you're basically saying is that the Bible is truth because the Bible proves it. How do I know the church is guided by the holy spirit? Because the bible says so. nuff said. That's called fallacy.

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
1) 12-15 years isn't really that long, especially not when its a matter of several hundred confirming and reaffirming witnesses, during a time when oral tradition and memory was in much greater use. Does this mean every single fact was accurate? Maybe not. However, it would indicate that the one most important event, which is testified to similarly by groups of the witnesses that spread very far apart, did occur: the crucifixion and resurrection. Thats really the core of everything anyway and most of what was preached. It is what almost all of the witnesses all over the world died rather horrible deaths to testify to, something a person is unlikely to do for something they either made up or may not remember correctly (though how you could mix up someone being crucified and then rising from the dead several days later with ANYTHING else is doubtful).

This is all actually a very different matter from magic. Magic has to do with problem solving and is often much closer to science: you perform specific actions, say certain words, and if you did it right, you get a repeatable process that has a particular effect on the world around you. Its problem solving. Miracles have to do with mystery, something not to be solved but to be lived. Thats a philosophical topic not for now though, but its also part of alot of our problems with dealing with the Middle-east, as our philosophy comes largely from a problem-solve side and theirs a mystery-participate. You forget, of course, that all I believe in is actually physically possible if it did happen. Possible under normal circumstances as far as our limited knowledge of the physical universe is concerned? Maybe not. Possible under particular circumstances with a more complete understanding of the forces at work and how the universe REALLY operates? Possibly, and if they did happen, definitely. The problem for many, of course, is that they simply determine beforehand philosophically that a thing is either possible or impossible, and no amount of proof is actually going to convince them otherwise, since the impossible shall always be considered impossible, and those that find things very possible and common will always think them such as well unless a LOT of back work is done.

You're change to deity doesn't actually make a difference. What are you using to define deity? There must be a deity for such a definition to have any relevance. If you are an atheist who believes there is no deity, the definition is arbitrary. If you are someone who believes in deities, you may offer the definition of what you haver perceived a deity to be, and someone else who likewise believes may argue with it from another experience.
As I said, of course, such would not be satisfactory for a believer, but for this current stage that is not relevant.

I also never said prayer was irrelevant or any such thing. Why should we handle what prayer is useful for when we aren't on the agreed level that there is someone to be prayed to?
I've also never advocated that we in any way save ourselves. Neither did Jesus actually. He saves us, we are saved through Him. We are given the power to do many things, but it is really He who does those things through us if we allow Him to do them. We are rather insignificant, though we are not completely inactive. Still, we are not on that level to really deal with that.
You are also now confusing Signs with Miracles. Signs are actions through nature, miracles are interventions with nature. Many would say these are necessarily rare (miracles), though some would say maybe we just don't know (like in much of science, you can't be sure a thing you've only seen once or twice doesn't actually occur very frequently, elsewhere perhaps).
You are using OUR perception of time as well. If God is not limited to such a view, being an outsider of time, perhaps (as some philosophers and theologians suggest) all time is present to Him. It is not that He DID plan things, or DID change them, or DID see what was happening and changed things accordingly, its that He IS SEEING things, IS acting, IS doing everything. Changing what happens in the past from our perspective is not so difficult when the past is also present at the very moment we are present. But, in any case, as I said with miracles there may actually be intervention which breaks nature, or causes nature to willingly submit.
Much of what you say is actually believed by some groups, though, who believe God either makes you righteous or not, everything is predetermined, so on. They stick on a rather simple understanding. Unfortunately, as you may see in any science or much of life, reality is seldom simple, but often extremely complex.

2) I already told you that the explanation would not be satisfactory to you because it requires many steps before hand, it is BUILT on top of many other factors, and if you cannot accept those first, you will not accept the later claims. If you cannot accept the correlative how can you be expected to accept the theorem? And if you have not been taught nor established the former, how will the latter make sense?

3) You still have not answered my note, and as I indicated, much of this discussion is pointless without establishing the base. How can I give you what you ask for if I do not actually know what you want? How can you ask for it if you do not know what it is? How can we communicate if we use different ideas of the terms? We could be arguing very different points and thus of course not be satisfied on either side, nor be addressing each other as we ourselves wish we were addressing them.

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
I think we are getting ahead of ourselfs we need to go back to basics...

Is there any proof of the Christian God besides the Bible and people preaching and you just "knowing it"
the answer is no. Unless I see any evidence for it's creation

should I believe in something with very little questionable evidence?
No

Should I get some faith?
no never. THERE IS LESS EVIDENCE FOR SOMETHING I NEED TO BELIEVE IN IT MORE!!!!

I honestly need something physical that I can say "yup I see the evidence and it now seems like the most likely choice but I still can't be sure"

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
Haz wrote:
I think we are getting ahead of ourselfs we need to go back to basics...

Is there any proof of the Christian God besides the Bible and people preaching and you just "knowing it"
the answer is no. Unless I see any evidence for it's creation

should I believe in something with very little questionable evidence?
No

Should I get some faith?
no never. THERE IS LESS EVIDENCE FOR SOMETHING I NEED TO BELIEVE IN IT MORE!!!!

I honestly need something physical that I can say "yup I see the evidence and it now seems like the most likely choice but I still can't be sure"


evidence for its creation? I don't think thats exactly what you are going for but, ok: It exists, therefore it was at one time created. Unless you believe it has simply "always been there", making it older than time itself. Actually, thats an interesting idea, and one I would not dislike if it were true necessarily.

And sure I can give other proof, if you want some. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis doesn't really use the Bible much at all. Miracles continue to happen all the time as well, some have even been recorded on video or investigated by independent scientists and such. Die and you'll have all the proof you need really. Of course, you could deny all this, believing it impossible before you even see it, and thus no amount of evidence will convince you, everything will be seen as a trick, or a lie, or a possible coincidence.
But, then again, we could say the same about gravity. Really. Show me graviton, the hypothesized particle for the force of gravity which has still not been confirmed. Not to mention the fact that gravity doesn't actually work in quantum physics, and another physicist a few years ago figured out how to treat the world as a two-dimensional environment under which physical calculations were alot simpler and all worked out perfectly except when trying to apply our idea of gravity.
What do you mean by little questionable evidence? That the amount of questionable evidence is small, or that you question what little evidence there is? I'll have to assume you meant the latter. In which case: what makes it questionable or unquestionable? I personally think there is a large amount of evidence regardless, but honestly, you find it questionable, many do not. Yet, anyone could find anything to be questionable evidence. Descartes found everything conveyed through the senses to be questionable and even his own thoughts. Interestingly, for him, he only came to two certainties under such a method of questioning (which included being an atheist to begin): that he exists as a thinking being, and that God exists. That's it.

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Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:38 am
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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
n0th1n wrote:
Haz wrote:
I think we are getting ahead of ourselfs we need to go back to basics...

Is there any proof of the Christian God besides the Bible and people preaching and you just "knowing it"
the answer is no. Unless I see any evidence for it's creation

should I believe in something with very little questionable evidence?
No

Should I get some faith?
no never. THERE IS LESS EVIDENCE FOR SOMETHING I NEED TO BELIEVE IN IT MORE!!!!

I honestly need something physical that I can say "yup I see the evidence and it now seems like the most likely choice but I still can't be sure"


evidence for its creation? I don't think thats exactly what you are going for but, ok: It exists, therefore it was at one time created. Unless you believe it has simply "always been there", making it older than time itself. Actually, thats an interesting idea, and one I would not dislike if it were true necessarily.

And sure I can give other proof, if you want some. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis doesn't really use the Bible much at all. Miracles continue to happen all the time as well, some have even been recorded on video or investigated by independent scientists and such. Die and you'll have all the proof you need really. Of course, you could deny all this, believing it impossible before you even see it, and thus no amount of evidence will convince you, everything will be seen as a trick, or a lie, or a possible coincidence.
But, then again, we could say the same about gravity. Really. Show me graviton, the hypothesized particle for the force of gravity which has still not been confirmed. Not to mention the fact that gravity doesn't actually work in quantum physics, and another physicist a few years ago figured out how to treat the world as a two-dimensional environment under which physical calculations were alot simpler and all worked out perfectly except when trying to apply our idea of gravity.
What do you mean by little questionable evidence? That the amount of questionable evidence is small, or that you question what little evidence there is? I'll have to assume you meant the latter. In which case: what makes it questionable or unquestionable? I personally think there is a large amount of evidence regardless, but honestly, you find it questionable, many do not. Yet, anyone could find anything to be questionable evidence. Descartes found everything conveyed through the senses to be questionable and even his own thoughts. Interestingly, for him, he only came to two certainties under such a method of questioning (which included being an atheist to begin): that he exists as a thinking being, and that God exists. That's it.



All you have still given me no actual proof (sources of supposed miracles)

"evidence for its creation? I don't think thats exactly what you are going for but, ok: It exists, therefore it was at one time created. Unless you believe it has simply "always been there", making it older than time itself. Actually, thats an interesting idea, and one I would not dislike if it were true necessarily."

but that doesn't mean it's God there could be other theories as I have said there is no evidence to back it up

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Post Re: Here's what i don't understand about religion
I guess I should start by saying that I am not an Atheist. I am also not a theist. This is because I understand that believing or disbelieving a deity is pointless because neither can be proven.

As much as I argue with Atheists about how it doesn't make sense to eliminate the idea of a deity all together, I also argue with theists who say that he does exists, and even go further as to worship it, even though there's no real reason to do besides what it says in a book.

The fact is, you still have no way of proving that your God exists. I know that the tooth fairy doesn't exist because I know that in mythology, the tooth fairy is a creature that comes and takes your tooth. In mythology, she exists, but in reality, she is merely mythology. If you want me to be SPECIFIC on what I find your God to be, I will say that he is merely a part of mythology. Close enough to "not existing". Now, your God (a personal God) is different from my theories on a deity or intelligent design. Although I don't believe in those, I still find them to be possible because in the greater scheme of things (studying physiology and philosophy) they are not that far fetched.

On the subject of magic. The magic you see on TV is not ACTUAL magic, it's illusions and tricks to make people think it's magic. We all know it isn't magic, but the illusions are so impressive that we're okay with calling it magic. But, what most people view as REAL magic would be something that bends the laws of nature and logic in order to create and destroy something. Like becoming completely invisible or sawing a woman in half and then making her disappear while she is on fire, only to find out that she is safe in sound inside a safe. That fact is, if all of that happened exactly how people saw it it would be real magic. But it didn't, it's just an illusion.

On prayer and miracles. So by your belief, a follower is controlled by Jesus and someone who does not follow does what ever he wants. Does this mean that someone who doesn't follow can not be saved? What I'm asking is if someone is good but doesn't follow Jesus, will he go to Heaven? If he does, than what would be the point in needing Jesus in your life in order to go to Heaven by just being yourself? If he doesn't, why is God such a dick?

I remember you pointing out that a miracle can be a part of nature, but since now they aren't, I guess the whole idea of free will is thrown out the window. If God intervenes in nature in time in order to perform a miracle, the natural flow has been altered creating a different outcome for everything else. But, it seems, that miracles are really just excuses used for believing in God. There is no way to determine that anything is a miracle other than that you feel that it is. And even so, there is no way to determine that the God that performed that miracle is actually the God that you worship (in this case, the Holy Trinity). This is actually where my thread started. Why do you guys believe that the "miracle" was performed by that specific God? Are Muslims and Hindus wrong for saying that THEIR God or Gods performed those miracles? Are the Jews wrong for saying that Jesus is not God and therefore did not perform those miracles? What about Wiicans and Scientologists? What makes them wrong and you right?
And why are miracles made so obvious when it saves one? Why not perform a miracle that saves a bunch of holocaust victims? Would your argument be that the eventual end of the holocaust is the actual miracle? If so, I feel bad that 6 million jews died horribly yet some old guy in America gets his cancer cured quite easily. And why should miracles be performed to save someone? Is it that God feels that that someone must be saved in order to do more good?
Is every event part of God's will? If so, is the death of millions of innocent children part of God's will? What is the real point in doing that? If God can effect time and nature, what is the point in killing millions in order to make something else happen? Just so he can fuck with our brains? If every event is not part of God's will, then how come God only interferes when it seems easiest for us to explain? Is it that nature and time do what they want and God can act when ever he wants? Is he a part of time and nature? If so, how powerful is your God? Is nature more powerful than him?

Proof is not THAT big of a deal for me. It's just enough for me. Philosophy and logic, on the other hand, helps me with dealing with parts that might not require evidence (like the subject of God). As an agnostic, God is an obscure subject that requires deep thinking (mathematics, etc.). A personal God, especially that of the major religions, defies logic which is why I started this thread in the first place.

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