Continue the debate in here

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Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:30 am

General rules can be:

No more than 1000 words per post.
Wait until other person replies before posting again.
Only use references where you know where they came from and are relevant to the debate (include link to larger articles).
Avoid swearing.


Last edited by on Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:00 pm; edited 2 times in total

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What I believe

Post by bennett_david on Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:47 pm

What I believe:

• I believe what the Bible says is true.
• I believe that God exists and that He created the whole world in a 6 day creation (with Him having a rest on the 7th day).
• I believe that God’s creation was perfect before the fall.
• I believe satan was thrown out of Heaven.
• I do believe that the serpent in the garden of Eden was the devil.
• I believe the devil tempted Adam and Eve and they sinned; the fall.
• I believe that all the bad things in the world are the result of the fall. If the fall had not happened then everything would still be perfect.
• I believe that no matter what happens on this earth, God is still in control.
• I believe everybody is born in sin and is a sinner.
• I believe God sent Jesus to Earth.
• I believe that Jesus was a perfect man without sin and was also the Son of God.
• I believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose again from the dead.
• I believe that anybody who repents, asks for forgiveness of their sins and puts their trust in Jesus can be saved and have eternal life. I believe this is a gift that I cannot earn by my own works. It’s not about what I do; it’s about what Jesus did for me when He died on the cross.
• I also believe God cannot ignore sin and there must be a consequence for everybody’s sin. The Bible is clear; you go to Hell if you’re not saved. And I can understand why people find this hard to accept.
• I also believe that no matter how good somebody thinks they are, the truth is: no human is good enough. We have all fallen short of the Glory of God and the way things originally where before the fall. Our only hope is Jesus.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=tB7rAE6qIZk

As for the questions, they can be on any theological question:

Validity of Jesus
Validity of the Gospels
Religious dogma
Reliability of the bible in general
We know that Jesus did indeed exist:

There are a number of non Bible sources that mention Jesus.
Our BC/AD calender system would never have been if Jesus wasn't real.
Christianity spread rapidly, even under Roman persecution. Theres no way there would have been that spread of Christianity if Jesus wasn't real or if He had have been still dead after the crucifixion. Plus if He was still dead, the Romans should have shown the world the tomb with the body in it. But they never did that.

Validity of the Gospels:

We can rely on the Gospels. If they had been made up stories, all 4 writers would have made sure that their stories where all the same. That in turn would have made it look like the 4 Gospels writers worked together to come up with the story.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/

Christianity is unique in that it is based on the teachings of a living Saviour. Jesus is not dead. The fact that Jesus is alive means that He can in fact have a real meaningful impact in a persons life if they ask for forgiveness and put their trust in Him as their Lord and Saviour. Its Jesus' exclusive claims to be the only way to get to Heaven, that set Christainity apart from all other religions.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Humans are never, on their own strength, going to be good enough. Thats why we need a Saviour in the form of Jesus, who died a sinless death on the cross to pay for humanity's sin.

Humanity's problem is sin. Sin in a person can only be dealt through Jesus. Without Jesus, a human will go to Hell. Simple as that. And if that person didn't end up in hell, God wouldn't be a fair judge, because He would have to overlook that human's sin. The Bible is clear on the consequences of sin:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Therefore the death penalty was required for sin. And God paid that death penalty through the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross. But you must accept the gift of God (Salvation) through Jesus Christ before you can have eternal life and a place in Heaven when you die.

Seriously, no body deserves to go to Heaven, because we are all born as sinners and our only hope to solve the sin problem is Jesus. Sin is:

An act that is regarded by theologians as a transgression of God's will.
Estrangement from god.

Jesus Confirms Scripture:

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=fad72c24e545c31bf8a4

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:45 pm

Before begin by saying that I already know what you believe. To me and many others you are a fundamentalist, not the 'kill abortion doctors' type but close. Your first 15 lines of text could simply be replaced with 'I believe the bible is literally infallible.' Do you agree with this statement?

Assuming that you do, let us begin. The only thing I need to do if this assumption is correct is disprove any text in the bible. I think we can both agree that neither of us can prove nor disprove Gods existence. However if you God exists through the pages of an infallible book then that book can be tested.

I would prefer to begin with Genesis, but since you brought of the 'historic' Jesus I guess I will start there. You make the claim that 'there are a number of non Biblical sources that mention Jesus.' Where are your sources for this? Bear in mind, that if I were a respected historian and mentioned Achilles, that does not mean that he did in fact exist. How many of these 'sources' were eyewitnesses to a miracle or indeed even saw Jesus in the flesh?

Even Paul did not see the flesh of Jesus, nor does he know anything about the history of Jesus' life (i.e. Birth, Preaching in the temple etc) He does not even know where he came from. He never mentions Jesus 'of Nazareth' anywhere in his writings. (He is claimed to say it in Acts - written by Luke - but never in his own writings.)

The fact that some people use BC/AD means nothing, its like saying if Jimmy Page developed the electric battery instead of Alessandro Volta the 'Volts' would be called 'Pages' or something similar.

Christianity's rapid spread offers no evidence that Jesus was an actual person, no more than the Inquisition was proof that he didn’t exist. In biblical times, there were hundreds of supposed 'messiahs' in Palestine and Israel, the Romans only ever wanted a peaceful occupation. The messiah would upset the apple cart. Once they were dead that was it. There were no riots in the immediate aftermath of Jesus 'supposed' death. This next point ties in nicely in with the 'Validity of the Gospels'.

Matthew 27:51-53 :- 'And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.'

Now, can you spot what is wrong here? Neither of the other three gospels mention this event. Now weather or not the gospel writers conspired is irrelevant. If such an event happened then more records would have been kept. We are of course talking about the Jews and Romans, who were very good at documenting historical events. It seems that everyone in the Middle East forgot to record this event, despite the fact the dead '...appeared unto many.'

How can you explain the blatant omission of an important fact? It also raises the question of what made Jesus so special. Of the people who rose from the dead in this account, some must surely have lived either several more years, and they would have made some sort of big deal. Of course in those days literacy was uncommon, but this makes the stories (Gospels) they heard difficult to critically analyze.

One of the world leading New Testament Scholars Bart Ehrman, wrote a book called Misquoting Jesus. In it he examines the textual quality and validity of the New Testament.

‘Judged by a process of weighing external and internal evidence Mark 1:41 originally said that Jesus was angry, Luke did not originally contain 22:43-44 and Hebrews 2:9 originally read χωρις θεου 'without God' rather than χαριτι θεου 'by the grace of God'. These three variants are highly significant for the picture of Jesus that emerges from these books and yet, Ehrman notes, most of our modern translations are based on the wrong text in these cases. If the wrong text is selected a quite different picture of Jesus can emerge.’ - Originals That Matter, Misquoting Jesus

‘Three further categories of changes introduced into the text are considered. First, Jesus and even Paul, though still adhering to certain aspects of patriarchy, had promoted the role of women. A number of later textual alterations seek to restrict women's roles. Secondly, some secondary alterations to the text were anti-Jewish. Thirdly, some secondary alterations to the text were apologetically motivated, to protect Christianity from certain criticisms brought forward by pagans.’ - The Social Worlds of the Text, Misquoting Jesus

And in conclusion he says:'The more I studied the manuscript tradition of the New Testament, the more I realized just how radically the text had been altered over the years at the hands of scribes, who were not only conserving scripture but also changing it'. The changes in the New Testament make it impossible to believe that God inspired the original words.

As I mentioned earlier I would have liked to examine the validity of the bible from the beginning. But as you can see, the only people who believe the Gospels are the perfect word of God are the fundamentalists like yourself. This in itself is not a problem, only for your own world view, but when fundamentalists begin to get involved in the affairs of countries, people and especially education then the problems arises. If your books had the evidence to back up the claims, then great lets follow that path, however the evidence is not there, and you’re afraid to look incase you don’t find it. (And you won’t)

I am not an atheist because I have a sin that I don’t want to let go, or I don’t want to worship a God. It is because the evidence that is presented is not evidence at all. There may well be a God in the cosmos, but it is not the God of the bible.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:19 pm

Before begin by saying that I already know what you believe. To me and many others you are a fundamentalist, not the 'kill abortion doctors' type but close. Your first 15 lines of text could simply be replaced with 'I believe the bible is literally infallible.' Do you agree with this statement?

Yep, I believe what the Bible has to say.

Assuming that you do, let us begin. The only thing I need to do if this assumption is correct is disprove any text in the bible. I think we can both agree that neither of us can prove nor disprove Gods existence.

What about creation? The Bible says God created the whole world. We can see this creation with our own eyes. Is this not proof enough of the existence of God? The Bible made a claim there and it is backed up with what we can see.

Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air;
We can today see the birds and beasts for ourselves. This therefore proves the validity of the Bible's claims to God being responsible for the creation of the universe.

Can you prove that God didn't make the world?

I would prefer to begin with Genesis, but since you brought of the 'historic' Jesus I guess I will start there.

You can begin with Genesis if you want. I don't mind.

You make the claim that 'there are a number of non Biblical sources that mention Jesus.' Where are your sources for this?

Details of the sources can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

I quote:

Flavius Josephus (c. 37–c. 100), a Jew and Roman citizen who worked under the patronage of the Flavians, wrote the Antiquities of the Jews in 93. In it, Jesus is mentioned twice. In the second very brief mentioning, Josephus calls James, "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ".[39] This is considered by the majority of scholars to be authentic,

There are two main reasons to believe Josephus did originally mention Jesus and that later the passage was later edited by a Christian into the form we have now. There is a passage from a 10th century Arab historian named Agapius of Manbij who was a Christian. He cites Josephus as having written:
At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and (he) was known to be virtuous. and many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not desert his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.[48]
The text from which Agapius quotes is more conservative and is closer to what one would expect Josephus to have written. The similarities between the two passages imply a Christian author later removed the conservative tone and added interpolations.[49]
The other reason to assume Josephus did originally mention Jesus was advanced by J. B. Lightfoot. He claimed if a later Christian editor would have added the paragraph wholesale into Josephus' work then it is likely it would have been placed next to John the Baptist's account which it is not.

So it is clear to see that the Bible isn't the only historical source to mention Jesus.

Now, can you spot what is wrong here? Neither of the other three gospels mention this event.

It proves that the 4 Gospels writers didn't conspire together. If they had conspired together then they would have made sure that story was included in all 4 of their Gospels. The lack of the story in 3 Gospels means that 3 of the Gospel writers didn't know about that story, not that the story didn't occur. What about the feeding of the 5 thousand? It was mentioned in all 4 Gospels.

And in conclusion he says:'The more I studied the manuscript tradition of the New Testament, the more I realized just how radically the text had been altered over the years at the hands of scribes, who were not only conserving scripture but also changing it'. The changes in the New Testament make it impossible to believe that God inspired the original words.

Thats why I recommend you to look at the original Greek and Hebrew Bible texts before you write off what the Bible has to say. To be honest, I do believe that some newer Bible translations are less reliable because of years of re translating. Thats why if you want a more accurate Bible I would recommend the King James over Eugene Peterson's Message Bible, for example. But please never write off anything the Bible has to say until you have checked the original texts.

If your books had the evidence to back up the claims, then great lets follow that path, however the evidence is not there, and you’re afraid to look incase you don’t find it. (And you won’t)

The evidence for creation is all around us.

I am not an atheist because I have a sin that I don’t want to let go, or I don’t want to worship a God. It is because the evidence that is presented is not evidence at all. There may well be a God in the cosmos, but it is not the God of the bible.

Well answer this question:

When you look at the Earth, the world and the whole universe, which would you be more likely to believe in; a God centered creation or the (man made) theory of evolution?

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=dc2a557d3193855f3773

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:07 pm

‘What about creation? The Bible says God created the whole world. We can see this creation with our own eyes. Is this not proof enough of the existence of God? The Bible made a claim there and it s backed up with what we can see.’

First of all, I thought we were discussing the New Testament. Indeed we d see the world around us. Your statement makes no sense. If something is stated after the fact then it is certainly not a prophecy. For example, the bible was written after ‘Creation’, so to use is as proof that it is true is moronic. If however the bible was written before creation, then I would be impressed. If I said to you, ‘The tectonic plates are moving!’ it would not make it true. It is true, but not based on a statement, but on fact.

As for Genesis, it was written by Moses (supposedly), it is man made. He was not there when ‘Creation’ occurred.

‘Can you prove that God didn't make the world?’

Depends what you mean. Did God create the universe in 6 24 hour days? The yes I can prove God didn’t do it. How? Observable science. The Earth is still cooling after 4.6 billion years, hence the continents moving causing earthquakes etc. Radio metric dating also contradicts the young Earth opinion. You cannot prove God created the cosmos. And saying ‘The bible says so!’ is not evidence or proof.

Now on to the non biblical sources. You claimed there were many, yet you mentioned one. We have discussed this before. It is not authentic. The original text is:

‘Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when
Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.’

I am beginning to wonder if you even read what you post. You posted:

‘The text from which Agapius quotes is more conservative and is closer to what one would expect Josephus to have written. The similarities between the two passages imply a Christian author later removed the conservative tone and added interpolations’

Now, if you are using wikipedia as an acceptable source, then I win. Simply because your source backs up my statement, that Josephus’ Testimonium Flavianum was in fact altered, by Christians. This not only shows the Testimonium Flavianum to not count as a historical source, but also that Christians have a habit of lying or if you like, bearing false witness.

Another problem that is clear to a critical thinker is, why would Josephus – A Devout Jew - call anyone a Christ/Messiah, and not follow him? The fact that Josephus was a devout Jew and not a Christian tends to suggest that he didn’t write the passage.

It proves that the 4 Gospels writers didn't conspire together. If they had conspired together then they would have made sure that story was included in all 4 of their Gospels. The lack of the story in 3 Gospels means that 3 of the Gospel writers didn't know about that story, not that the story didn't occur. What about the feeding of the 5 thousand? It was mentioned in all 4 Gospels.

I think your missing the point. The fact that the dead of Jerusalem got out of their graves and walked the streets, is (I don’t know about you) more impressive than feeding 5 thousand people. In both accounts (Feeding the 5,000 and the rising dead) none of the people directly involved felt the need to record any of it. It is only Jesus’ followers who claim he feed 5,000 people. None of the 5,000 recorded it.

The fact that the gospels contradict each other on the important points shows the bible is not perfect. Granted something as trivial as what Jesus was wearing can be forgiven, but to leave out possibly one of the greatest miracles and freaks of nature imaginable, well, that is just careless.

Thats why I recommend you to look at the original Greek and Hebrew Bible texts before you write off what the Bible has to say.

I could ask you the same question. Have your read the originals? I bet not. For if you did you would spot the following errors in the ‘Perfect Book’:

Moses crossed the ‘sea of Reeds’ not the Red sea (Yam Suph)

The messiah was to be born of a ‘Young Woman’ not Virgin. (Almah)

Lucifer is not satan but Jesus. (Shocking I know but read on!)

Isaiah 14:12

KJV :- ‘How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!’

NIV :- ‘How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

The King
James Version is the only bible that contains the word ‘Lucifer’

The original Hebrew word is ‘Heylel’. In 405 C.E Jerome translated it into latin ‘Lucifer’. The lasting for Lucifer is actually two words, ‘Lux’ (Light) ‘Ferous’ (To Carry). Therefore the name means Light Bearer/Bringer.

Unfortunately for fundamentalists like you this is not what the word Heylel means. This translation was used for 1000 odd years and resulted in Lucifer becoming the devil. When the bible was being translated into English the translators didn’t bother translating the original Heylel, but keep the well-known Lucifer. Not a good translation!

Now we come to Peter. 2 Peter 1:19 :- ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:’

I’m sure you know that the New Testament is written in Greek. The two words ‘day’ and ‘star’ are translated form the original Greek ‘Phosphoros’ Phos (light) and Phero (To Bear or carry). Therefore the Greeks word Phosphoros means ‘Light bearer/bringer’

We both know that Peter was referring to Jesus. But the translators spotted the cock-up and changed the meaning (again) to day star, which comes from Rev 2:28 and 22:16

When you look at the Earth, the world and the whole universe, which would you be more likely to believe in; a God centered creation or the (man made) theory of evolution?

Neither!
Evolution (That so called 'man made' theory is exactly the same as the man made theory of Gravity and Germ Disease that cures your illnesses) does not explain the origins of life nor the origins of the cosmos, so your question is moot. Somone who knew what evolution was would not ask such a question (your ignorance is showing). However, I do not look at the cosmos and think ‘God did it’ (brain dead morons who cannot think say that), because that asks more questions, namely what made God?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:09 pm

First of all, I thought we were discussing the New Testament.

The whole Bible, religion in general and Christianity. Thats what we are discussing.

First of all, I thought we were discussing the New Testament. Indeed we d see the world around us. Your statement makes no sense. If something is stated after the fact then it is certainly not a prophecy. For example, the bible was written after ‘Creation’, so to use is as proof that it is true is moronic. If however the bible was written before creation, then I would be impressed. If I said to you, ‘The tectonic plates are moving!’ it would not make it true. It is true, but not based on a statement, but on fact.

God existed before creation. The whole of creation displays an order, as if it was designed and created to be the way it is. And who is the creator? God is.

As for Genesis, it was written by Moses (supposedly), it is man made. He was not there when ‘Creation’ occurred.

Moses had one on one conversations with God. Therefore if anybody was qualified enough to write about how God created the universe, Moses is. Its likely that Moses asked God how the world came into being and God probably told him. Anyhow, in those days stories where told from one generation to the next. The creation story was probably well known and Moses wrote it as part of Genesis. Moses met God in person. God was around before creation. Therefore we shouldn't be surprised that Moses knew the creation story and knew it in detail.

Depends what you mean. Did God create the universe in 6 24 hour days? The yes I can prove God didn’t do it. How? Observable science. The Earth is still cooling after 4.6 billion years, hence the continents moving causing earthquakes etc. Radio metric dating also contradicts the young Earth opinion. You cannot prove God created the cosmos. And saying ‘The bible says so!’ is not evidence or proof.

What about the fact that the Universe displays design like it was designed? If God didn't create the world, it just wouldn't look designed. Anyhow, how reliable is radio metric dating to the estimated ages mentioned (4.6 billion years)?

I think your missing the point. The fact that the dead of Jerusalem got out of their graves and walked the streets, is (I don’t know about you) more impressive than feeding 5 thousand people. In both accounts (Feeding the 5,000 and the rising dead) none of the people directly involved felt the need to record any of it. It is only Jesus’ followers who claim he feed 5,000 people. None of the 5,000 recorded it.

The fact that the gospels contradict each other on the important points shows the bible is not perfect. Granted something as trivial as what Jesus was wearing can be forgiven, but to leave out possibly one of the greatest miracles and freaks of nature imaginable, well, that is just careless.

Leave out? The miracle of the those people rising from the dead was mentioned. Anyhow we don't know how long those people where alive and who they appeared to. If they only lived a couple of weeks and appeared to mainly disciples, then how much non Biblical mentions of those events would there be?

Take any modern day event (say September 11th attacks). We both know that event occurred and could write about it, but we would both write about it in different ways, from different perspectives. Its the same with the Gospel writers. They are writing on their own perspectives and experiences of Jesus and His ministry.

Anyhow all 4 Gospel writers clearly agree on the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead; the center focus of Christianity. If Jesus was still dead, Christianity would be dead.

The messiah was to be born of a ‘Young Woman’ not Virgin. (Almah)

Most young women are virgins.

Lucifer is not satan but Jesus. (Shocking I know but read on!)

Actually the passage in Isaiah 14:12 is referring to when satan was an angel in Heaven and got thrown out. Its not referring to Jesus. You need to read the verse in context;

http://www.searchgodsword.org/desk/?query=isa+14:12&t=kjv&st=1&new=1&sr=1&sc=1&l=en

The chapter goes on to talk about how satan wanted to rise and become better than God:
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
, but how he was thrown out of Heaven into hell:
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

The question is: why is lucifer only mentioned in the King James Bible? To me it looks like satan doesn't want that word used in other (more modern translations) so that people think Isaiah 14:12 refers to Jesus and not to satan.

made God?

God has always been. He existed before creation. That's whats really amazing about God.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:10 pm

God existed before creation. The whole of creation displays an order, as if it was designed and created to be the way it is. And who is the creator? God is.

Dave, you are not debating you are merly making assumptions. You claim that God existed before creation. On what evidence do you base this claim? Your provid none. You saying it does not make it so. The whole of creation does not display a perfect ord, order yes, but perfect it is not.

You again assume that the bible is correct and what Moses was saying was true, fair enough. However you need to be consistant.

Its likely that Moses asked God how the world came into being and God probably told him.

Again you make a baseless assumption. You assume that Moses asked God, but we have no record of him doing so, so this point should be disregarded. Not only do you make a baseless assumption, but you then go on to make another:

Anyhow, in those days stories where told from one generation to the next. The creation story was probably well known and Moses wrote it as part of Genesis.

Your language suggests that even you don't believe that Moses asked God about creation. Indeed stories were told from gneration to generation. However inevitably the stories change with time, until the original was lost. The Mesoptamians had a creation story and indeed flood stories very similar to the Judeao Christian one. It also predates it.

What about the fact that the Universe displays design like it was designed? If God didn't create the world, it just wouldn't look designed.

Dave, planes are designed to fly. However they were not designed to destroy skyscrapers, but they do a bloody good job. Beacuse something 'Looks' designed does not mean it is. Take the Creationist favourite, the eye. The eye is extermely complex. You would say it is God's creation, and it is perfectly designed. However, if you asked an optical engineer to design the eye, he would do a far better job. The human eye IS back to front and upside down. The nerves run from the font of the eye to the brain, a better design would be that they run from the back. Another problem the eye has is that it has a blindspot. This although complex is not designed. If it was it would be a terrible design.

Anyhow we don't know how long those people where alive and who they appeared to. If they only lived a couple of weeks and appeared to mainly disciples, then how much non Biblical mentions of those events would there be?

Granted we do not know how long these corpses were alive for, if we assume the account is true, then we know they appeared to many. Since only one person in the history of the cosmos wrote about it, it makes the account impossible.

...but we would both write about it in different ways, from different perspectives. Its the same with the Gospel writers. They are writing on their own perspectives and experiences of Jesus and His ministry.

If they are writing their own experiences then it becomes less and less historical. For example, a 9/11 survivour writes about being trapped in one of the buildings during the attack, yet another authour researches the hijackers, the architecture of the building and the geo-political status of the time, which one would you consider to be more historically reliable? The victim would be sociably relevant, but the 2nd authour would be a better historical account.

If Jesus was still dead, Christianity would be dead.

Dave you know yourself how deluded people can be. I bet you don't believe that Joeseph Smith recieved golden tablets from an angel, or that Muhammad flew on a winged horse. You and I know that both these experiences are false, yet millions/billions of people still believe. So to say that if Jesus were not real, or is dead then Christanity would follow is being intelluctually dishonest.

Most young women are virgins.

Indeed! Then if you want to go along that line you MUST assume that Joseph and Mary did have sex before Jesus was concieved. Because a virgin birth is biologically impossible.

Actually the passage in Isaiah 14:12 is referring to when satan was an angel in Heaven and got thrown out. Its not referring to Jesus. You need to read the verse in context;

The Jesus is Lucifer statement was not literal (as I don't believe in eaither). My point is - which you seem to have missed - is that if the biblical translators were consistant then in 2 Peter the same word is used to describe Jesus as Isaiah uses to describe 'Satan'.

Now that you know that the bible was not translated correctly, you should disregard it as perfect.

The question is: why is lucifer only mentioned the King James Bible? To me it looks like satan doesn't want that word used in other (more modern translations) so that people think Isaiah 14:12 refers to Jesus and not to satan.

We are looking for facts Dave, not what you think satan wants. And if satan can infiltrate the word of God then he must be more if not as equally powerful as God. But since neither exist, that is impossible.

I have proved to you that the bible YOU use is incorrectly translated, yet you still close your eyes and jam your fingers in your ears. I know you know what I said about the translatons are true, simply because you did not offer a rebuke, instead you offer your own half baked opinion. Which is not what we are looking for.

I'm not trying to convert you, I know it won't happen. You live in a Christian bubble, and as long as you are in that buble you will always believe what you are told, not what you learn.

God has always been. He existed before creation. That's whats really amazing about God.

May I refer you to the First Law of Thermodynamics.

In any process, the total energy of the universe remains constant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics#First_law

What that means is that no matter what destruction occours in the universe the same amount of energy remains. Energy is eternal!

To be honest Dave, this is not a debate. You are spouting out default Chritian doctrine and I am simply hitting them out of the park. If you want to claim that God created everything, then please provide evidence to back up your claim. But bear in mind, that the 'debate' may spin off into areas where you simply cannot compete, Evolution! You have a bible, stick to it!

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:57 am

Dave, you are not debating you are merly making assumptions. You claim that God existed before creation. On what evidence do you base this claim?

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

1Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Ephesians 1:4 clearly shows that God was around before the creation of the world.

1 Peter 1:20 tells us that God had plans in place before the creation. So we can clearly see that God was around before creation.

The whole of creation does not display a perfect ord, order yes, but perfect it is not.

Its not perfect because of the fall. Before the fall it was perfect, after the fall, perfect it is not. It is tainted by sin, which leads to evil, decay death and everything else that prevents the order being perfect.

Again you make a baseless assumption. You assume that Moses asked God, but we have no record of him doing so, so this point should be disregarded. Not only do you make a baseless assumption,

Yeh that was an assumption; not based on the Bible. Fair enough.

Your language suggests that even you don't believe that Moses asked God about creation.

I'm saying that Moses may have asked God personally about the creation, but if not then Moses would still have known about it because as a story it was pasted on to his generation and he would have known about it. And if the pasting on of the story failed, Moses could still have known about the creation through divine inspiration, like John who wrote Revelation when he saw the things he saw. Don't worry, God obviously wanted the creation story in the Bible, so He made sure Moses knew about it and wrote it into Genesis.

However inevitably the stories change with time, until the original was lost.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

That statement clearly tells us that God created the heaven and the earth. How much change in that statement could there have been with time? Very little.

The eye is extermely complex. You would say it is God's creation, and it is perfectly designed. However, if you asked an optical engineer to design the eye, he would do a far better job. The human eye IS back to front and upside down. The nerves run from the font of the eye to the brain, a better design would be that they run from the back. Another problem the eye has is that it has a blindspot. This although complex is not designed. If it was it would be a terrible design.

A better job? Hardly. Show me a man made object that is as effective as a natural human eye to the point that it can be used instead of human eyes and provide the same level of eyesight and functionality of a natural human eye? There isn't an object man made that is that good. And yes recently scientists have attached wires to the back of a person's eye to the brain and given a blind person some sight. But that eyesight is rubbish in comparison to a real human eye.

Indeed! Then if you want to go along that line you MUST assume that Joseph and Mary did have sex before Jesus was concieved. Because a virgin birth is biologically impossible.

The virgin birth is possible when its conceived by the Holy Ghost. Jesus had to be conceived by the Holy Ghost to be a perfect human.

Now that you know that the bible was not translated correctly, you should disregard it as perfect.

The fact that it may not have been translated correctly, doesn't prevent the original texts being perfect.

What that means is that no matter what destruction occours in the universe the same amount of energy remains. Energy is eternal!

It still had to have a beginning.

To be honest Dave, this is not a debate. You are spouting out default Chritian doctrine and I am simply hitting them out of the park. If you want to claim that God created everything, then please provide evidence to back up your claim. But bear in mind, that the 'debate' may spin off into areas where you simply cannot compete, Evolution! You have a bible, stick to it!

Let me remind you that you requested the debate to be continued. Also I'm the one who did all the donkey work setting up this forum.

To be honest, I like debating. Its interesting.

If you want to claim that God created everything, then please provide evidence to back up your claim.

Yeh I'll have to do that in subsequent posts as I investigate and learn even more about the wonders of God and His amazing creation.

Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has
no meaning. Without meaning, life has no signficance or hope.
.. The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.

-- Rick Warren

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:13 pm

Let me start by saying that if you want to use the bible for evidence, then you must prove that it is the perfect word of God. You have yet to do so. I on the other hand, have shown you that the bible you use for inspiration is incorrectly translated, even the originals do not tell the same story.

Its not perfect because of the fall. Before the fall it was perfect, after the fall, perfect it is not. It is tainted by sin, which leads to evil, decay death and everything else that prevents the order being perfect.

Again, here you are making a statement of fact without any evidence. You cannot prove there is death in the world because of the ‘fall’ without referring to the bible, which we have seen to be fallible and man made. Whereas we know that death occurs in the world naturally. Because of various influences, namely the Germ Theory of Disease.

Yeh that was an assumption; not based on the Bible. Fair enough.

Here you agree that you made a baseless assumption. Yet here:

I'm saying that Moses may have asked God personally about the creation, but if not then Moses would still have known about it because as a story it was pasted on to his generation and he would have known about it.

You make another. You do not know that it was passed down form generation to generation.

And if the pasting on of the story failed, Moses could still have known about the creation through divine inspiration, like John who wrote Revelation when he saw the things he saw. Don't worry, God obviously wanted the creation story in the Bible, so He made sure Moses knew about it and wrote it into Genesis.

Again, another assumption.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

That statement clearly tells us that God created the heaven and the earth. How much change in that statement could there have been with time? Very little.

Indeed that is what it tells us. But then again so does the Qur’an:

"the heavens and the earth were joined together
as one unit, before We clove them asunder" (21:30)

"turned to the sky, and it had been (as) smoke. He said
to it and to the earth: 'Come together, willingly or unwillingly.' They said:
'We come (together) in willing obedience'" (41:11)

Why should we believe that it was the Judeo-Christian god who created the world and not the Islamic one?

Or the Greeks: http://www.painsley.org.uk/re/signposts/y8/1-1creationandenvironment/c-greece.htm

Hindus: http://www.painsley.org.uk/re/signposts/y8/1-1creationandenvironment/c-hindu.htm

Chineese: http://www.painsley.org.uk/re/signposts/y8/1-1creationandenvironment/c-china.htm

Or even the Babylonians: http://mythicjourneys.org/bigmyth/myths/english/2_babylonian_full.htm

The human eye is incredibly complex, as you know. No, man has yet to make a better eye, but what man has done is overcome nature to make blind people see (even if just a little). My point was not that man could build a better eye than nature (they will soon) but it was that an eye designed by an human engineer would be better designed and more efficient than that produced by natural selection. Now, if you claim that man is better than all of the animals in the world, then explain how the eye of an octopus is better than the human eye? Keep in mind that it contains no blind spot, unlike the human eye.

Don’t blame it on the ‘fall’, because if animals were immune from the ‘fall’ then they would not be susceptible to the Germ theory, which as we see in England, is far from the case.

The virgin birth is possible when its conceived by the Holy Ghost. Jesus had to be conceived by the Holy Ghost to be a perfect human.

Ok so you admit that you perfect book says ‘young woman’ and not virgin. However, if Jesus had to be conceived by a virgin then, he was not real, because nowhere does it state that Mary was a virgin. Now that we know Mary was not a virgin, then we have to conclude (as virgin births are impossible) that she was not a virgin. You believe that Jesus was perfect and he only achieved this through parthenogenesis, but nowhere is a virgin mention in the bible. No virgin, no Jesus!

The fact that it may not have been translated correctly, doesn't prevent the original texts being perfect.

It may be perfect but the story is completely changed. Moses crossed the sea of Reeds (not much of a miracle walking through a swamp), even then there is no record of the Jews fleeing Egypt.

The Jewish messiah was to be born of a young woman. Not a virgin in sight. If Jesus was born of a virgin then he was not the messiah as it did not fulfill the prophecy.

And Jesus and Satan are referred to by the same name (light-bearer).

So these three FACTS alone show that the bible is imperfect. And if the bible is imperfect, as you know, then the creation story is exposed as a myth, along with the rest of the bible (not entirely).

It still had to have a beginning.

No it didn’t. If something had a beginning, then it would not be eternal, but more infinite (without end but with beginning) whereas eternal, has neither a beginning nor an end.

Now a challenge, I have shown the bible to be lased with errors, and yet you blindly disregard them, despite the fact that you acknowledge that it is badly translated and that the gospel writers along with non-biblical scholars do not mention amazing events. You claimed that there are many non-biblical scholars that mention Jesus, yet you only presented one, Josephus, which I have exposed as a hoax, and you obviously agree or else you would have refuted my claims. But where are the other non-biblical scholars that mentions Jesus (and lived at the same time, no second hand accounts). A historian who mentions followers of Christ is not proof of a Christ, only proof that there are people who followed someone called Christ.

If you are going to use the bible as evidence, it must be proven to be reliable. The Qur’an is ‘proof’ of the existence of Allah. Why? Because it says it is. But you don’t see that as true. Yet you use the same excuse for the bible.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:48 pm

Things that reinforce the Bible and make it more reliable:

• The Bible isn't the best selling book of all time for no reason.
• If the Bible wasn't able to transform people's lives, then there wouldn't have been the the level of persecution of Bible translators throughout History that there was. People who wanted an English Bible for common people to read. If the Bible was made up and totally false, then there is no way that it could have had the life transforming impact it was having, and translators would have faced considerably less persecution.
• There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus and Jesus fulfilled them in the New Testament. The Old Testament manuscripts where definitely written well before the New Testament manuscripts. So how could the writers of the Old Testament have known about events of Jesus' life if the Old Testament wasn't divinely inspired? If the Bible was false, the Old Testament writers couldn't have written prophecies about Jesus that later came true.

Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible:

http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/prophecy.shtml

• There are more manuscripts for the Bible than for any other historical book.

I quote (from here: http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/bib-docu.html ):

In his book, Can I Trust My Bible, R. Laird Harris concluded, "We can now be sure that copyists worked with great care and accuracy on the Old Testament, even back to 225 B.C. . . . indeed, it would be rash skepticism that would now deny that we have our Old Testament in a form very close to that used by Ezra when he taught the word of the Lord to those who had returned from the Babylonian captivity."

In his book, The Bible and Archaeology, Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, former director and principal librarian of the British Museum, stated about the New Testament, "The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established."
• Archeology backs up what the Bible has to say:

I quote (from here: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a008.html ):

Here are some examples:
The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word tehom (“the deep”) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. “Tehom” was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.
The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.
Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon's wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon's prosperity was entirely feasible.
It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.
Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” (Dan. 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position. Here we see the “eye-witness” nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology.

Why should we believe that it was the Judeo-Christian god who created the world and not the Islamic one?

Because the Bible claims there is in only one true and living God:

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

1Corinthians 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

So it had to be the God of the Bible who created the world.

Now, if you claim that man is better than all of the animals in the world, then explain how the eye of an octopus is better than the human eye? Keep in mind that it contains no blind spot, unlike the human eye.

If humans weren't better than all other animals then they wouldn't be able to control other animals. The fact that we are made in God's image and have a soul sets us apart from all other creatures on this Earth, including an octopus.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:09 pm

The Bible isn't the best selling book of all time for no reason.

The Da Vinci Code is one of the world’s bestselling books, as is Harry Potter. Does that make them historically reliable? No!

If the Bible wasn't able to transform people's lives, then there wouldn't have been the the level of persecution of Bible translators throughout History that there was. People who wanted an English Bible for common people to read. If the Bible was made up and totally false, then there is no way that it could have had the life transforming impact it was having, and translators would have faced considerably less persecution.

Again, this does not make the bible historically accurate. The Qur’an has transformed countless lives. That does not mean the Qur’an is a historic book either. History is not the pages of a book but what is written on them.

There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus and Jesus fulfilled them in the New Testament.

The messiah was supposed to be born of a ‘young woman’ however your Jesus was supposedly born of a virgin. This prophecy was not fulfilled. Nostradamus is claimed to have prophesied countless of historic events, yet you do not see him as inspired by God.

There are more manuscripts for the Bible than for any other historical book.

And this means what exactly? Nothing! Writing something down 12 billion times does not make it historic.

Archeology backs up what the Bible has to say:

Stop being a moron. The names of places may be real but that does not mean the stories are. Paris exists, but that doesn’t mean that Da Vincis Mona Lisa contains hidden codes about Jesus. Imagine in 10,000 years time, archeologists discover the remains of New York. The also discover the remains of the Empire State building, does that mean the story of King Kong is true? Yes there was a kingdom of David, but it was a very small kingdom. Nothing like what the bible mentions.

Because the Bible claims there is in only one true and living God:

So does the Qur’an!

If humans weren't better than all other animals then they wouldn't be able to control other animals. The fact that we are made in God's image and have a soul sets us apart from all other creatures on this Earth, including an octopus.

You are wrong on several points here. First, my point was that you cannot blame the blindness in the human eye on the ‘fall’ of man. Secondly, humans do not have control over all of the animals in the world. We cannot control what happens in the depths of the oceans, nor can me make near extinct pandas mate, and we certainly cannot stop disease and germs. If anything bacteria has control over us!

And finally your remark towards souls, prove it? Again you make a statement with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

Yet again you fail to address any of my points in the previous posts. This shows your lack of research. You have yet to produce any non-biblical scholars, nor contradict my translation of originals scripture argument and certainly not addressed the validity of the bible (not just as a book, but as a historical document)!

Better luck next time!

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Questions about God and origins

Post by nathan_purdy on Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:32 pm

Hi guys!

William, I have just started reading your posts. You have studied this a lot more than me, so I find your posts v. interesting.

You may have already said this in some later post; however, until I get there, do you mind me asking...


  1. What term best describes your beliefs about the existence or non existence of God? Atheist, agnostic etc.
  2. Which theory do you think best explains the origins of the world and man?

I guess it is easy enough to figure it out, but I just want to know for sure instead of assuming.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:20 pm

The Da Vinci Code is one of the world’s bestselling books, as is Harry Potter. Does that make them historically reliable? No!

Ah, but the Bible is the overall all time best selling book. Thats what makes it significant. If the Bible was false, then it may have been popular when it came out, but shouldn't have stayed popular for hundreds of years.

The messiah was supposed to be born of a ‘young woman’ however your Jesus was supposedly born of a virgin. This prophecy was not fulfilled. Nostradamus is claimed to have prophesied countless of historic events, yet you do not see him as inspired by God.

And how accurate was Nostradamus' prophecies? Not very.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus

In contrast, most of the academic sources listed below maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus' quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power. Moreover, none of the sources listed offers any evidence that anyone has ever interpreted any of Nostradamus'

Since his death only the Prophecies have continued to be popular, but in this case they have been quite extraordinarily so. Over two hundred editions of them have appeared in that time, together with over 2000 commentaries. Their popularity seems to be partly due to the fact that their vagueness and lack of dating make it easy to quote them selectively after every major dramatic event and retrospectively claim them as "hits"

And this means what exactly? Nothing! Writing something down 12 billion times does not make it historic.

This is very important. If a manuscript of part of the Bible was found somewhere and it agreed with another manuscript found somewhere else then that would add wait to the credibility of the Bible, more so than if there was only one original manuscript for that part of the Bible. The more manuscripts there are that agree with each other, the more that document can be relied upon.

Stop being a moron. The names of places may be real but that does not mean the stories are. Paris exists, but that doesn’t mean that Da Vincis Mona Lisa contains hidden codes about Jesus. Imagine in 10,000 years time, archeologists discover the remains of New York. The also discover the remains of the Empire State building, does that mean the story of King Kong is true? Yes there was a kingdom of David, but it was a very small kingdom. Nothing like what the bible mentions.

The kingdom of David may have been small, but it was the Bible's core focus on the Kingdom of David that may have led it to seem bigger and more important than it was. The Jews where God's chosen people, that's why the Bible is primarily about them. But seriously, if the Kingdom of David wasn't important historically, would nations still be fighting over Israel nowadays?

So does the Qur’an!

Ah, but the Bible claims that Jesus is still alive. And because Jesus is still alive that in turn sets Christianity apart from all other religions.

And finally your remark towards souls, prove it? Again you make a statement with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

The fact you are searching for the truth proves that you have a soul. You have a deep longing within yourself to find out what your purpose on this Earth is really all about. You don't see any other animal on earth, apart from humans, engaged in a search for truth and meaning. And why not? Because only humans have a soul. If you didn't have a soul, then your primary concern would be to survive, not to search for truth. Thats why all animals (apart from humans) are ultimately striving to survive and mate(multiply).

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:02 pm

Ah, but the Bible is the overall all time best selling book. Thats what makes it significant. If the Bible was false, then it may have been popular when it came out, but shouldn't have stayed popular for hundreds of years.
If this is the way you think then surely you must consider Islam. The Qur’an is still popular after 1,000 odd years. It is beautiful to listen to in it’s original Arabic. However as beautiful as this is, it does not mean that it’s contents are ture.

And how accurate was Nostradamus' prophecies? Not very.
And your point is? I’m trying to get you to believe in Nostradamus. I trying to get you to see that the prophecies are irrelevant. Especially concerning the supposes greatest story ever told.

If a manuscript of part of the Bible was found somewhere and it agreed with another manuscript found somewhere else then that would add wait to the credibility of the Bible, more so than if there was only one original manuscript for that part of the Bible. The more manuscripts there are that agree with each other, the more that document can be relied upon.
Well consider this. Matthew 27, where the dead rise from the grave and walk the streets. You of course believe this happened. Where is the other manuscripts written by different authours and are not copies of the originals? How many documents referring to Zeus or Allah are there? Does an increasing number of documents relating to them mean that they become more reliable?

The kingdom of David may have been small, but it
was the Bible's core focus on the Kingdom of David that may have led it to seem bigger and more important than it was. The Jews where God's chosen people, that's why the Bible is primarily about them. But seriously, if the Kingdom of David wasn't important historically, would nations still be fighting over Israel nowadays?
Again you miss the point. You said the bible was perfect. The bible describes the Kingdom of David as being, how should I say, the dogs balls! But in actual fact it was tiny, almost irrelevant. The existence of a King David, in no way means that his great (x50) grandson was the messiah. Unfortunately for us, archeology can not tell us if Jesus walked on water, feed 5,000 people, or even walked this Earth. It will tell us that there is a Jerusalem, and a sea of Galilee and that people met in crowds of thousands to hear public speakers. But it cannot prove a supernatural event. Science does not make any venture into the supernatural. Nations are not fighting over the Kingdom of David, they are fighting over land that a book, supposedly written by the creator of the universe, said was theirs. How pathetic! People are dying because of this bullshit!! The Middle East is in turmoil because of nothing other than believing in fairies.

Ah, but the Bible claims that Jesus is still alive. And because Jesus is still alive that in turn sets Christianity apart from all other religions.
So does the Qur’an! Not only that, Islam claims that the 12th Imam, who was hidden by Allah in 868 C.E, and that he is the untimate saviour of mankind. Sound familiar?

The fact you are searching for the truth proves that you have a soul.
No it doesn’t!

You have a deep longing within yourself to find out what your purpose on this Earth is really all about.
I don’t!

You don't see any other animal on earth, apart from humans, engaged in a search for truth and meaning. And why not?
Because they are not as evolved as humans. We know we are going to die, and to be honest most humans are afraid of dying. Hense the reason for inventing God. Chimpanzees have been known to have moral tendencies to their fellow primates.

Because only humans have a soul.
Prove it!

If you didn't have a soul, then your primary concern would be to survive, not to search for truth.
My primary concern IS to survive. It is why you and billions of people do not jump in front of buses, or engage in dangerous activities. It is why when we are ill we want to get better. Not because we want to search for truth, but because we want to live. If you fall from a height, your first, NATURAL, instinct is to stop yourself, because you don’t want to die! If you don’t want to survive then why bother living, may I suggest you throw yourself in front of a train?

Thats why all animals (apart from humans) are ultimately striving to survive and mate(multiply).
Humans are striving to survive, hence medical research, doctors, hospitals. The reason why human’s lust, is not because of the ‘fall’, but because it is our natural instinct is to pass on our genes. Needless to say some genes should not be allowed to pass on to the next generation, but who am I to decide. Very Happy

To Nathan:

I assume you are a Christian (apologies if you are not and I offended you), and that Dave forwarded the link to you. May I suggest that rather than read my posts, try researching this for yourself, perhaps not starting at Christian sites, but rather scientific ones instead.

As you can see Dave needs all the help he can get. (In this Debate, his personal life is none of my concern). May I suggest that if you want top join the debate, you and Dave write one post from the both of you, as from my experience it is difficult to write replies to several people untimely asking the same questions and making the same points, not that Dave makes many
points.

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Questions

Post by nathan_purdy on Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:33 pm

William,

Yes, I am a Christian - an intellectually honest one, I hope.

At the risk of repeating myself,

1. What term best describes your beliefs about the existence or non existence of God? Atheist, agnostic etc.
2. Which theory do you think best explains the origins of the world and man?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:41 pm

If this is the way you think then surely you must consider Islam. The Qur’an is still popular after 1,000 odd years. It is beautiful to listen to in it’s original Arabic. However as beautiful as this is, it does not mean that it’s contents are ture.

We know that the contents of the Bible are true because of a number of reasons:

• The Bible says God created the heaven and the earth. We can see God's creation, so we know its true.
• Jesus lived on this earth and was a real person. The Bible mentions Jesus, therefore the Bible is true on that.

I quote from http://www.therivercrc.com/library/seekers/bible.htm


• The Bible claims it's true
• Jesus claims it's true
• The Bible is a morally and ethically superior piece of literature
• The Bible has the power to affect us
• The Bible has extraordinary unity
• The Bible is historically accurate
• Bible prophecies are fulfilled
• The Bible has been extraordinarily preserved
• The Bible writers endured great persecution for what they saw
• The Bible changes lives

Does an increasing number of documents relating to them mean that they become more reliable?

Yes if each document isn't a copy and is written by a different person.

Again you miss the point. You said the bible was perfect. The bible describes the Kingdom of David as being, how should I say, the dogs balls! But in actual fact it was tiny, almost irrelevant. The existence of a King David, in no way means that his great (x50) grandson was the messiah. Unfortunately for us, archeology can not tell us if Jesus walked on water, feed 5,000 people, or even walked this Earth. It will tell us that there is a Jerusalem, and a sea of Galilee and that people met in crowds of thousands to hear public speakers. But it cannot prove a supernatural event. Science does not make any venture into the supernatural. Nations are not fighting over the Kingdom of David, they are fighting over land that a book, supposedly written by the creator of the universe, said was theirs. How pathetic! People are dying because of this bullshit!! The Middle East is in turmoil because of nothing other than believing in fairies.

Its in turmoil because people don't want to accept what the Bible has to say.

So does the Qur’an! Not only that, Islam claims that the 12th Imam, who was hidden by Allah in 868 C.E, and that he is the untimate saviour of mankind. Sound familiar?

Seriously, if the story of Jesus was made up, would we have based our BC/AD calendar around Jesus?

Soul: The immaterial part of a person; the actuating cause of an individual life.

Seriously, if you lacked a soul, you wouldn't search for truth. Do you or do you not have a longing within yourself to find out what truth is? Where you came from, why your here, your purpose in life? Etc...

Quote: You have a deep longing within yourself to find out what your purpose on this Earth is really all about.

I don’t!

If you weren't longing to find out your purpose, you would give up this debate and declare you didn't care. The fact your searching for truth proves that your longing.
Because they are not as evolved as humans. We know we are going to die, and to be honest most humans are afraid of dying. Hense the reason for inventing God. Chimpanzees have been known to have moral tendencies to their fellow primates.

Humans are afraid of dieing because they don't know where they are going after they die. If you know for certain your future after death then you will not fear death. Don't take Christianity and God lightly. Your eternal destiny is at stake. And if you deny Heaven and Hell exist, I challenge you to come up with a decent reason for striving for success on this earth. Even if you earned 1million pounds, when you die, you can not take it with you. So whats the point?

LUKE 12
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Quote: Because only humans have a soul.

Prove it!

Apart from humans, what other animals on earth take any concern for the things of religion? Because we as humans have a soul, that sets us apart from all other animals, as a race which has within us a desire to seek out truth.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:01 am

We know that the contents of the
Bible are true because of a number of reasons:

• The Bible says God created the heaven and the earth. We can see God's creation, so we know its true.
• Jesus lived on this earth and was a real person. The Bible mentions Jesus, therefore the Bible is true on that.
This is circular reasoning Dave. Somthing you have mastered, and for which you should be ashamed.

The Qur'an says that Allah created the heaven and Earth. We can see Allahs creation, so we know its true.

Muhammad lived on this Earth and was a real person. The Qur'an mentions Muhammad, therefore the Qur'an is true on that.

Now I hope you can see how intellectually dishonest your are. You do not accept Islams claims to be true, yet when it comes to Christianity, these reasons become infallible.

The is far more historic evidence for the existance of Muhammad, than there is for Jesus. Remember several posts back when you claimed there are non-biblical accounts of Jesus, well you have yet to present them.


•The Bible claims it's true
•Jesus claims it's true
• The Bible is a morally and ethically superior piece of literature
• The Bible has the power to affect us
• The Bible has extraordinary unity
• The Bible is historically accurate
• Bible prophecies are fulfilled
• The Bible has been extraordinarily preserved
• The Bible writers endured great persecution for what they saw
• The Bible changes lives

Replace Bible with Qur'an and Jesus with Muhammad. You will see how stupid your argument is.

The Bible is a morally and ethically superior piece of literature

How is forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist moral or ethecial (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)? Are you crazy? Or how about being stoned to death for collecting wood on the sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36)? These are exactly the type of things the childhood of our species would do, but the bible enforces and condones this behaviour, and there are plenty more. Remember how you said that, in regards to your mother being raped and having to marry her rapist, you said, and I quote:

It depends on who the rapist is.

I'm sorry, but any respect I ever had for you was lost that day in the library.

Yes if each document isn't a copy and is written by a different person.

But that is not the case.

Its in turmoil because people don't want to accept what the Bible has to say.

People don't accept it because they know its bullshit. They don't 'believe' it to be bullshit, they simply read it for themselves.

Seriously, if the story of Jesus was made up, would we have based our BC/AD calendar around Jesus?

The reason we use the Gregorian Calender is simply because the most powerful people at the time were the church. If the church believed in Mithras the we would be reffering to Mithras instead of Jesus. The fact that the church had a strangle hold over western europe does not mean that what they believed was true. Take '0' for example. It wasnt until the the middle ages when Roman Numerals were replaced with the denary system we now use. This was because the church saw it's use as heritacal. Now you image programming or performing calculations using roman numerals, and you will see the the denary system is much more beneficial, yet it was held back by the strongest power in western europe, the Church. That is exactly the type of influence they had. What was said, went!

Seriously, if you lacked a soul, you wouldn't search for truth. Do you or do you not have a longing within yourself to find out what truth is? Where you came from, why your here, your purpose in life? Etc...

What I can honestly say, it that I will never know if there is a God or not. However, all of the evidence (including scripture) leads me to the conclusion that (at least) the Abrahamic God does not exist. DO I need a purpose in my life? I think not. That does not for one second suggest that I fart about doing
nothing or feel depressed. I enjoy my life, obviously I don't want it to end, but I know I'm going to die, so why not enjoy myself, without hurting anyone else.

If you weren't longing to find out your purpose, you would give up this debate and declare you didn't care. The fact your searching for truth proves that your longing.

No Dave, I am not searching for a supernatural truth, I am defending a physical truth. Science tells us that Energy is eternal, Life ends, the dead stay dead, and virgins don't give birth. To claim otherwise is intellectual dishonesty. SO as you can see, I'm not searching, merely defending.

Humans are afraid of dieing because they don't know where they are going after they die.

True!

If you know for certain your future after death then you will not fear death.

Again, True! Just look at suicide bombers. They 'know' where they are going.

Don't take Christianity and God lightly. Your eternal destiny is at stake. And if you deny Heaven and Hell exist, I challenge you to come up with a decent reason for striving for success on this earth. Even if you earned 1million pounds, when you die, you can not take it with you. So whats the
point?

This is a question that cannot be answered, only opinionated. You challenge me to come up with a reason for living? Well I can only give you my reason. All of the evidence in this planet, solar system and cosmos does not point to anything supernatural. No book can tell me how to live. All the evidence leads to one conclusion, you only get one life, and you damn lucky if you
get it at all. This about it? How lucky are we to be alive? Think about all the countless possible people, beings that could be in my place. I am lucky, I want to make the best of it. Why waste my only life worring about the 'supposed' next? Whay waste my time fearing death? Why not enjoy every moment, every sunrise and sunset? Why not sit back and listen to the music of Beethoven and Motzart and Led Zeppelin? Why not strive to help others, not because your think you will be rewarded later but because you want the help? Why give blood? I don't give blood to buy happiness, after I am not losing a pint, but rather someone is gaining one. I regain my blood within the hour. It is an allround satisfactory transaction.

Apart from humans, what other animals on earth take any concern for the things of religion?

When we look at the Middle East, and see people killing over land that was promised on a peice of papyrus, and then look at primates playing and living together in a family you have to think for a second, which ones are the evolved ones?

Is the burial of dead bodies religous? Well...yes, but that came from primative behaviour. In his book 'The Story of God' by Professor Robert Winston, he talks about anthropologists studing chimps in Africa. They observe that when a mother of a chimp was killed, the young chimp spent every waking hour with the corpse, and then after several days, the young chimp became assimilated into a different family of chimps. Now, for an animal that you describe as basic, and indeed primative, you would expect the young chimp to stay with the parent, until it itself died. Or even the other family would shun the orphaned chimp, but they didn't! They accepted the chimp and that chimp moved on. As we do. This is not an isolated event.

The reason why we bury our dead is also a practical one. When someone dies, they body decomposes. It is only right that the body be disposed of, for the good of the tribe. Those tribes that did not bury their dead, they would be more succeptable to disease, which reduced their chances of survival.

You calim that I am seeking the truth, in a way I and everyone else is. You go for the easy way out, the 'God did it' excuse. I on the other hand do not require Faith or even a belief, but I work with evidence, something you and your arguments severaly lack.

I see you continue to disregard all my point and rather than offer a rebuttal, you simply spout default religous doctrine. That is not debating, that is sticking your fingers in your ear and closing your eyes and screaming at the top of your voice 'Jesus Love Me!!! Jesus Loves Me!!!'

Now a challenge for you and Nathan. I took this from Christopher Hitchens, and he too has not been given an answer to it. Here goes:

Name a moral action performed, or a moral statement made, by a believer that could not be performed or said by a non-believer?

To Nathan:

Sorry but I must begin by commenting on your description of yourself.

I think 'an intellectually honest' Christian is a contradiction in terms, much like 'Liberation Theology'.

But hey...

What term best describes your beliefs about the existence or non existence of God? Atheist, agnostic etc.

I think it is up to you to call me whatever you will. I don't think ther should be a word for someone who does not believe in the supernatural. For example, at the early part of the 20th century, in the southern states of America, the lynching of blacks occured almost daily. With clergymen, doctors, police, politicians and even children in attendance. Throughout the 20th century the black civil rights movement strived to overcome the segregation and racisim, not such events in the US are minimal, but indeed they do still occur. But
tell me this, do your know someone to openly claims to be an anti-racist? Or anti-astrologist, anti-Alchemist? You see, these words should not even be used. Reasonable people hold these views by default

Another problem with your question is that you assume I 'believe'. Well, what is belief? In order to believe something, you need to lack some sort of evidence. I do not 'believe' in evolution, but I accept it as fact. Why? Because all of the evidence avalible points to it's conclusion. If at some point it
is proved wrong and evidence is there to suggest it is wrong, then I will no longer accept. If I said to you 'I believe it was Shakesphere who wrote: 'Methinks it is like a weasel'' I only say believe because I am not certain he did, but put Hamlet in font of me and I will then say 'Shakesphere worte 'Methinks...'. So that explains my position on belief.

[quote]Which theory do you think best explains the origins of the world and man?[quote]

By world I assume you mean the cosmos. Well I will be honest and say, regarding the cosmos, I don't know. I am not well read enough in cosmology, astronomy and physics enough to possibly provide a sound comment. However, as much as I am unsure of the origins of the cosmos, I am – based on the evidence at hand – confident enough to say that it was not created supernaturally by and Abrahamic God. If pushed, and knowing about the laws of Thermodynamics, especially the 1st law (mentioned in a previous post), I would vere toward the Big Bang theory. (And before you or Dave say anything about the word 'Theroy' please look it's scientific definition up!).

Now on to the origins of man. I need to be careful here to make it clear that evolution does not explain the origin of life, but rather the process that life goes through. So the origins of life....I don't know.

The origins of man, well that was through a process known as natural selection. I would prefer to stay away from a debate on evolution, simply because me and Dave spent countless hours bickering over the fact that he copied and pasted the whole content of christiananswers.net rather than have a debate. Needless to say he didn't even read wht he was copying, nor did he
understand it. (Remember the Thermodynamics week?)

Dave, I have gone well over the 1,000 word limit but forgive me as I had two posts to reply to.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by nathan_purdy on Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:16 am

William,

What is your justification for saying that an intellectually honest Christian is a contradiction in terms? One can hardly assert that there are no Christians who are of the highest intellectual caliber - either in history or today. Clearly, there are. (St. Augustine, Pascal etc.) Your assertion is similar to that of some Christian apologists (Lee Strobel may be an example), who assert that most atheists are such because of the moral implications of belief in God. Such is clearly untrue.

Is your definition of 'believe' not a little pedantic? One dictionary definition is, "accept to be true; take to be true" which is the sense in which I meant it.

I tend to agree with Augustine's 'unity of truth' - that God is the author of all truth, and therefore it agrees. This in essence, you do not deny (at least the possibility of). You assert rather emphatically, "evolution is a fact." However, you then say, "If at some point it is proved wrong and evidence is there to suggest it is wrong, then I will no longer accept." This is clearly at the very heart of understanding science. What you believe now, scientists may very well prove entirely wrong within a relatively short space of time. This forces you to say, quite frequently, "I don't know." This grants that even though at the present time, the apparent 'facts' of science seem in conflict with Scripture, they could, eventually, be found in perfect unison - as Augustine claimed. So, are the 'facts-which-may-not-be-facts-tomorrow' legitimate weapons to train on someone's belief in God?

Furthermore, you speak of natural selection as one of these 'facts'. While cause and effect are sometimes difficult to prove in situations of such great complexity, it appears one can be justified in making the allegation that Darwinian thought has unleashed a bloody and devastating ideology upon our world. It is said that Mao's two favorite books were by evolutionists Darwin and Huxley. (http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i3/blood.asp) Trotsky is quoted as saying of Darwin, “I was intoxicated with his minute, precise, conscientious and at the same time powerful, thought.” (same as before)

In light of your belief in natural selection, can you tell me what was morally wrong with Hitler or Stalin slaughtering so many people? In fact, can you give me a basis for morality?



Like I said before, you have studied this much more than me, and so I expect to be pulled apart on many things.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:39 am

What I can honestly say, it that I will never know if there is a God or not. However, all of the evidence (including scripture) leads me to the conclusion that (at least) the Abrahamic God does not exist. DO I need a purpose in my life? I think not. That does not for one second suggest that I fart about doing
nothing or feel depressed. I enjoy my life, obviously I don't want it to end, but I know I'm going to die, so why not enjoy myself, without hurting anyone else.

Yeh but you forget that when you die your going to have to give an account to God for your life.

Again, True! Just look at suicide bombers. They 'know' where they are going.

They thought they knew where they where going.

This is a question that cannot be answered, only opinionated. You challenge me to come up with a reason for living? Well I can only give you my reason. All of the evidence in this planet, solar system and cosmos does not point to anything supernatural. No book can tell me how to live. All the evidence leads to one conclusion, you only get one life, and you damn lucky if you
get it at all. This about it? How lucky are we to be alive? Think about all the countless possible people, beings that could be in my place. I am lucky, I want to make the best of it. Why waste my only life worring about the 'supposed' next? Whay waste my time fearing death? Why not enjoy every moment, every sunrise and sunset? Why not sit back and listen to the music of Beethoven and Motzart and Led Zeppelin? Why not strive to help others, not because your think you will be rewarded later but because you want the help? Why give blood? I don't give blood to buy happiness, after I am not losing a pint, but rather someone is gaining one. I regain my blood within the hour. It is an allround satisfactory transaction.

Actually when you look at this earth it just doesn't look evolved or man made. Therefore that points to an outside force involved; a supernatural God.

Correct you only get one life. Thats why you need to make it counts because your life choices on this earth have eternal significance. And about lucky to be alive? Actually we are very blessed to be alive. God designed the whole world and created humans. Very nice of God to do that. If He hadn't, then we wouldn't be here having this debate; we wouldn't exist. You should worry about where your going after death, because you don't want to go to hell. Hell is a terrible place.

Name a moral action performed, or a moral statement made, by a believer that could not be performed or said by a non-believer?

Can you forgive your enemies? Like the forgiveness that Jesus asked for when He was dieing on the cross;

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

If you don't believe in God and are living on this Earth for yourself (enjoy life, do what you like etc...) then why would you show forgiveness to your enemies? What higher purpose would you have to do that? You wouldn't. To me, without God in a person's life, enemy forgiving is very difficult. Maybe not impossible, but very difficult.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:39 pm

What is your justification for saying that an intellectually honest Christian is a contradiction in terms?

Christianity has been void of any intellectualism for centuries now. Just look at Creationism and it’s younger, but just as un-intelligent, clone ‘Intelligent Design’.

One can hardly assert that there are no Christians who are of the highest intellectual caliber - either in history or today. Clearly, there are. (St. Augustine, Pascal etc.)

Indeed, just look at Sir Isaac Newton. However, as intelligent as this man was, he believed that he could turn lead into gold. He was a alchemist, does that give credence to the study of alchemy? Today, however is a different matter. Indeed intelligent men exist who also believe in a supernatural God, again this does not lend credence to their belief. Most of these intelligent men compartmentalize their belief, especially if they work within science. Every difficult question that is raised, they by default, claim God did it. This is not intellectual, especially when everything in science has disproved any supernatural claim made. I 'believe' that with the evidence we have today, that of Isaac Newton were alive today, he would be a non-believer.

As for Pascal, well as intelligent as he was, his ‘Wager’ severely lacks the stamina to make it relevant in the 21st, even the 20th century. His wager makes the assertion that it is the Christian God who should be gambled on. Not only that he surely thinks that this God is also a fool, and would not recognize a true believer over someone who only believes, to hedge their bets? Besides, how can you make yourself believe? I cannot make myself believe anything. I need evidence. St Augustine, again intelligent, but not
reasonable. He advocated the torture of heretics, essentially – along with Aquinas – laying the foundation for the Inquisition.

Is your definition of 'believe' not a little pedantic? One dictionary definition is, "accept to be true; take to be true" which is the sense in which I meant it.

Maybe so, but you asked what I though and I answered it. The dictionary definition, ‘accept to be true’ may be fine for you, but not for me. There has to be a reason behind the acceptance, mine is evidence yours, seems to be, faith.

I tend to agree with Augustine's 'unity of truth' - that God is the author of all truth, and therefore it agrees.

Do you agree with his treatment of heretics? Thought not. But why not? You freely admit that he was more intelligent that you, and me in the area of theology. What did he see in scripture that you don’t? And what makes your interpretation, more moral than his?

You assert rather emphatically, "evolution is a fact." However, you then say, "If at some point it is proved wrong and evidence is there to suggest it is wrong, then I will no longer accept." This is clearly at the very heart of understanding science. What you believe now, scientists may very well prove entirely wrong within a relatively short space of time. This forces you to say, quite frequently, "I don't know."

Frequently? I think I said it twice, and in regards to scientific theories I do not fully understand. It is a honest statement. However, yes I would change my view on evolution of the evidence were presented. But in the past 150 years, no such evidence has been presented. In fact all evidence collected supports evolution by natural selection.

This grants that even though at the present time, the apparent 'facts' of science seem in conflict with Scripture, they could, eventually, be found in perfect unison - as Augustine claimed…

Science does not conflict with scripture. To say it does implies that scripture has a basis in science. It does not, simply because science has proven, that the dead do not rise, and that parthenogenesis is biologically impossible, seas do not part, and burning bushes do not talk. Therefore scripture is irrelevant.

So, are the 'facts-which-may-not-be-facts-tomorrow' legitimate weapons to train on someone's belief in God.

I don’t dispute your belief in God. I have no doubts you believe in God, that it not what this debate is about. It is about the real world consequences of people like Dave (I do not know if you are a fundamental as he) that this debate centers. Children should not be taught in science class that we were created by a creator who, if we don’t believe in him, he will send us to a place where they will spend eternity burning, crying, screaming, impaled and skinned and this pain will never end. But he loves you!

As a matter of fact, that is not the way the world is. People are dying in Israel and the Middle East in general because of these beliefs. Muslims and Jews fighting over a piece of real estate promised by God in his role as a omniscient real estate broker, or Sunni and Shi’ites in Iraq killing over something as trivial as who should have succeeded Muhammad.

In the real world, real world evidence can be used. So to answer your question, yes they are legitimate weapons for a debate of this nature.

While cause and effect are sometimes difficult to prove in situations of such great complexity, it appears one can be justified in making the allegation that Darwinian thought has unleashed a bloody and devastating ideology upon our world. It is said that Mao's two favorite books were by evolutionists Darwin and Huxley. (http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i3/blood.asp)

First of all, may I suggest you research this a bit more. The article that is referenced refers to his physicians claims, not his favorite books. What he is heard to be saying is ‘We have so many people we can afford to lose a few.’ This statement does not refer to evolution, if anything it refers the procreation of the Chinese people. No reference is supplied for his favorite books. So it is merely a claim, not a fact. Not that it matters if they were. I severly doubt that Origin of Species lead him to kill millions. However, do you think Aquinas (whos favorite book we may assume being the bible) advocated the murder of thousands of heretics, because of this book. It is reasonable to assume. But like Mao, he was not a reasonable man.

Trotsky is quoted as saying of Darwin, “I was intoxicated with his minute, precise, conscientious and at the same time powerful, thought.”

And your point being? Your source claims that Trotsky blindly followed Darwinism (uncritical), there is no reference for this, but let us assume it is true, is that much different than blindly accepting the universe was create with you in mind?

In light of your belief in natural selection, can you tell me what was morally wrong with Hitler or Stalin slaughtering so many people? In fact, can you give me a basis for morality?

* Pauses for a moment, as if he has never heard this question before! *

First off, I do not ‘Believe’ in natural selection, I accept it based on the evidence available.

In order for natural selection to continue, the genes must pass from generation to generation. One of the best ways to do this is to ‘make friends’, start a tribe, if you will. This provides many benefits. Namely it ensures the survival of the species. A tribe will survive longer in the wilderness than an individual.

These newly formed groups, help each other out. But if one begins to do thing that are not beneficial to the group, then problems arise. The group are less likely to help that individual, although not an out cast, but the group will become weary of helping this one individual. It is a kind of ‘I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine’ type of situation.

This type of behavior stretched to murder of other group members. The punishment may have been exile from the group, or something along those lines. As the groups got bigger they became societies. The punishments became more regulated. So it was a disadvantage for a society to ‘Do what each individual wanted’. That may be the basis of our morals.

However, when we look at the morals of religion, i.e. the 10 commandments, we see that the first four are not moral at all, but rather ideological. You will admit that, a non-belief in a deity does not constitute an immoral person. Yet, do you think that before Moses and his gang reached Mt Sinai, the Jews thought it was ok to Steal, Lie and Murder?

These morals existed long before any burning bush. No society can prosper without these precepts, if they did not exist, the human species would have died out.

Now for Stalin and Hitler.

These evil men did not commit atrocities in the ‘Name of Atheism’. It is shocking how much involvement the Church had in the Holocaust. On the eve of the 2nd World War, an anti-Nazi, pro Jew pope died, and a pro-Nazi, anti-Jew pope was elected. Not the Catholic doctrine, which no doubt you dismiss, tell us that the pope is chosen by God. If this was the case we can see that God cared little for the Jews at this time. Not only did, the papacy allow the Holocaust, but it signed a treaty with Hitler. Prayers were said in every church in Germany on Hitler’s Birthday, right up until his death. Many of the SS officers were practicing Catholics, may I ask where their morals were when gassing Jewish men women and children? Do you know how many of the Nazi party were excommunicated from the Church? 1, yes one, Himmler, and what was his crime? Marrying a protestant. Hitler often invoked Jesus and God into his speeches, this got the public onside. Weather or not he actually believed in God, is almost irrelevant. We do know that he was into Aryan Blood Myths etc, so to say he was a reasonable man, is ignorance.

Stalin on the other hand was raised in an Orthodox home. He went to a seminary and achieved top marks in all his classes. Robert Service’s book Stalin, gives an amazing insight into the mind of this evil man. Stalin from a very early age did not like to be second, in anything. He always remembered his defeats, so that he could exact his revenge. This carried on to his later life. He knew how powerful the church was, and when he didn’t need it, he persecuted it, but when, like Hitler, he needed the people onside, he used them. There is no doubt, that Stalin was a non-believer, but then again so were you at the moment of birth. But to say he was a reasonable man, is again, shockingly incorrect. Stalin, promoted himself as a God. Of course when the people of Russia are told for thousands of years that the head of state, the Tsar, was just below a god, Stalin, as all good dictators do, took advantage of this. He set up his own Inquisition, with show trials and all. And yes, even performed miracles. Lysenko’s Biology. His claim was that he could increase crop output four fold by genetically modifying the crops. This of course didn’t happen, but that didn’t stop Stalin using it to appease the hungry.

I guess you are trying to suggest that a religous society is better than an atheist one. This is and unfair comparison. A better one would be to compare a religous one with a society based on the teaching of Confucious, Spinoza or Einstein. (A before you say he believed in God, think again, he did not!)

I hope this was not to rambling! But I essentially had to condense, anthropology, history and theology into one post. And I am not surprised to see your research stretches as far a Christiananswers.net, it’s a shame, as you will not find an unbiased account of anything there.

Perhaps you can complete my challenge I set earlier?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:47 pm

Yeh but you forget that when you die your going to have to give an account to God for your life.

Prove it!

They thought they knew where they where going.

Watch their suicide videos and see what they have to say. How arrogant are you to suggest you know the minds of educated Muslims, let alone God.

Actually when you look at this earth it just doesn't look evolved or man made. Therefore that points to an outside force involved; a supernatural God.

Actually it does look evolved, because it has!

Hell is a terrible place.

Describe it, and how do you know? Have you been?

Can you forgive your enemies? Like the forgiveness that Jesus asked for when He was dieing on the cross;

That is not a moral statement or action. So try again!

If you don't believe in God and are living on this Earth for yourself (enjoy life, do what you like etc...) then why would you show forgiveness to your enemies? What higher purpose would you have to do that? You wouldn't. To me, without God in a person's life, enemy forgiving is very difficult. Maybe not impossible, but very difficult.

You make another assumption.

Now Dave, I’m going to say this once:

Re-read all my previous posts, and reply to each question and rebuttal, if you are not going to do that then stop! You are not debating, you are preaching! (And your doing a shit job of it too!)

I think you have already lost the debate, because every piece of ‘evidence’ you have given me, I have rebuked, you have yet to do the same. You give Christians a bad name!

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by nathan_purdy on Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:48 pm

William,

Thanks for your post. You are a v. quick poster.

You allege that:
Most of these intelligent men compartmentalize their belief, especially if they work within science. Every difficult question that is raised, they by default, claim God did it.
This, as you very well know, is a textbook case of the generalization fallacy. To make such a sweeping case as that, you would need to know every intelligent Christian scientist, and every difficult question. I mean, are you honestly saying that there is not one top-notch scientist in the world who believes science supports his belief in Creation? To you the term creationist is synonymous with ignorance, or somthing stronger. Both creationists and evolutionists agree there was a beginning. Evolutionists typically assert that the eternal energy acted randomly, unintelligently and without purpose. Christians genuinely believe that the ‘facts’ suggest it was intelligent and with purpose – and that rather than a big bang, God was the Creator.

Again, your treatment of Augustine is a perfect text-book case of a type of the ad hominem fallacy. Whether or not Augustine was right on other grounds is irrelevant to whether he was right on this one. What relevance has his treatment of heretics got to do with this debate? It matters not who utters truth. If Hitler taught someone that 2+2=4, are they to disbelieve it because he was wrong other grounds? Absolutely no. Are you suggesting that whatever scientist has taught theories with which you agree was perfect on everything he every said? Of course, you are not, emphatically not.

What you said about the others does not have any relevance to whether or not they were intellectually honest Christians, does it?

This is not intellectual, especially when everything in science has disproved any supernatural claim made.

Again a huge claim which one cannot reasonably make. One example – you already claim not to know the origins of life. So, has science disproved that God supernaturally created it? No. Science has not disproved this. You know this. To make this claim you would need to prove the non-existence of God (impossible) to state that He cannot intervene in the way Christians claim. Belief in a transcendent, immanent and personal God makes this possible.

This is all I have time for right now, but I do want to get back to miracles and morality.

Hey, thanks your posts, I appreciate them. btw - can we keep to the rules? thanks.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:12 pm

Re-read all my previous posts, and reply to each question and rebuttal, if you are not going to do that then stop! You are not debating, you are preaching! (And your doing a shit job of it too!)

Ok then....


Moses crossed the ‘sea of Reeds’ not the Red sea (Yam Suph)

The messiah was to be born of a ‘Young Woman’ not Virgin. (Almah)

First off, there is proof that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea;

http://bibleprobe.com/exodus.htm

I quote, in relation to the discovery of bones and chariot wheels in the Red Sea;

Aaron Sen has dived on several occasions at this site, and can
testify to the validity of the discovery. In March 1998, he photographed the remains of a four spoke chariot wheel, and has taken up human bones of which there are 'dozens' scattered on the sea bed. One specimen was taken to the Department of Osteology at Stockholm University, and tested, proving to be a human, male,
right side femur. Although it cannot be dated, it was evidently from ancient times. The man's height was estimated at 165-170cm (5.4-5.5 feet), and the bones had been replaced by minerals. Tiny amounts of coral were growing off the mineral replacement. Aaron has seen the drop off of the southern end of the underwater land bridge. He has also seen a pathway that the Israelites would have cleared in order to cross the Red Sea, leading from the shore, descending into the sea. The Israelites would have had to push the stones and rocks aside in order to allow access for their wagons.

So if the Israelites didn't cross the Red Sea, would there be chariot wheels and bones of the Egyptians who died, in the Red Sea?

About the Virgin birth;

I quote (from here: http://www.angelfire.com/mt/tabor/Christmas.2.html ):

The Hebrew word for "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14 is ALMAH. This Hebrew word is used for a virgin and a young woman. Skeptics of the Bible always refer to this word in an attempt to prove that there was no virgin birth, but that the concept of the virgin birth was invented by the Christian religion. But God never leaves His people in the dark about important issues. He always gives them the answers when they need them. In Matthew 1:22-23 it says, "Now all of this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, (Matthew now quotes Isaiah 7:14). "Behold, a VIRGIN shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
The Greek word for virgin is PARTHENOS, and means "a virgin, and nothing but a virgin." The Greek word for young woman is NEOS in the femenine gender. So even though the Hebrew can be interpreted to be a "young woman," God clarified this issue to the skeptics when He had the New Testment written in Greek. A language that is far superior than the Hebrew when it comes to clarifying issues. We should also note that when the Jewish scholars translated the Old Testament Hebrew into Greek about 200 years before the birth of Jesus (the Greek Old Testament is known as the Septuagint) they used the Greek word PARTHENOS to translate the Hebrew word ALMAH. This tells us that the ancient Jewish scholars knew and understood that the Messiah would be virgin born.

I also quote from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almah

Almah seems to be the only word in the Biblical Hebrew language which unequivocally signifies an unmarried woman[4] and children born to an almah would be illegitimate.[5] The English word that corresponds most closely to this concept is maiden or maid which means "an unmarried girl (especially a virgin)".[6] As with "maid", the word almah does not certainly mean "virgin" but, in cultural context, it would be abnormal for an almah to be anything other than a virgin.

And a quote from here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/PARTHENOS
Par·then·os an epithet of Athena, meaning “virgin.”

So in old Testament Hebrew Almah means a girl who is most likely a virgin, whilst the Greek PARTHENOS mentioned in the New Testament is definitely a virgin. So we can say, with more probability, that Jesus was born of a virgin than we can that He was born of just a young women.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:39 am

To make such a sweeping case as that, you would need to know every intelligent Christian scientist, and every difficult question. I mean, are you honestly saying that there is not one top-notch scientist in the world who believes science supports his belief in Creation?

Ok I admit that the first part of this statement is true, I do not know every intelligent Christian. However, top-notch scientist, who believes in Creation? I am confident that none exist, can you present me with one?

To you the term creationist is synonymous with ignorance, or somthing stronger. Both creationists and evolutionists agree there was a beginning.

Well when you ignore all the evidence, and still promote a fallacy, then that is ignorance. And no, evolutions do not agree there was a beginning. If you know what evolution was you would not make that mistake. Evolution stays within its boundary of biology, not interfere with physics and astronomy. So you make an ignorant assumption, which renders the rest of the paragraph void of any relevance.

Again, your treatment of Augustine is a perfect text-book case of a type of the ad hominem fallacy. Whether or not Augustine was right on other grounds is irrelevant to whether he was right on this one. What relevance has his treatment of heretics got to do with this debate?

It was relevant, to your morality question. And I was also showing that intelligence does not, by default, mean a person is reasonable.

If Hitler taught someone that 2+2=4, are they to disbelieve it because he was wrong other grounds? Absolutely no.

But if Isaac Newton discovers the laws of gravity, should we also believe him when he talks about alchemy? Absolutely not! The evidence is severely lacking.

Are you suggesting that whatever scientist has taught theories with which you agree was perfect on everything he every said? Of course, you are not, emphatically not.

Correct! But if the theories he taught are supported by evidence, then it doesn’t matter what else he believes. Again I refer to Professor Robert Winston. He was made amazing, groundbreaking research into the field of human fertility, yet he is a practicing Jew. His work stands on it own, no faith required. However, he understands that the evidence does not support a young Earth, nor biblical ‘Creation’. This is where compartmentalization happens. He still believes in God, despite his holy book being proved wrong. Granted science cannot disprove God, no more than Christians prove its existence. But the burden of proof is on the Christians. As it is impossible to prove a negative.

Again a huge claim which one cannot reasonably make. One example – you already claim not to know the origins of life. So, has science disproved that God supernaturally created it? No. Science has not disproved this. You know this. To make this claim you would need to prove the non-existence of God (impossible) to state that He cannot intervene in the way Christians claim. Belief in a transcendent, immanent and personal God makes this possible.

As I mentioned above, the burden of proof is on YOU to prove God. You cannot do that, but if your evidence for God lies within the physical realm (i.e. this world) then it can, and has, been put to the test. And, I’m sorry, but it fails. As for God answering the question, I’m sorry, but it actually begs the question, Who/What created God? If your claim was that he is eternal, then why be so hostile to the laws of thermodynamics, which stat that energy is eternal? You are simply answering an unknown with another unknown.

This is all I have time for right now, but I do want to get back to miracles and morality.

Before you do, can you beat my challenge?

can we keep to the rules? thanks.

I think you are referring to the post length? Well if you took the time to do some research, then I would not have to condense several different fields of study into a 1,000 word post. Not even God could do that ;-)

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:26 am

Ok I admit that the first part of this statement is true, I do not know every intelligent Christian. However, top-notch scientist, who believes in Creation? I am confident that none exist, can you present me with one?

I quote from here: http://www.msstate.edu/org/sacs/scientists.html :
``Men such as Johann Kepler, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, David Brewster, John Dalton, Michael Faraday, Blaise Pascal, Clerk Maxwell, Louis Pasteur, William Thompson (Lord Kelvin), and a host of others of comparable stature were men who firmly believed in special creation and the personal omnipotent God of creation, as well as believing in the Bible as the inspired Word of God and in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Their great contributions in science--indeed, in laying the very foundations of modern science--were made in implicit confidence that they were merely `thinking God's thoughts after Him,' and that they were doing His will and glorifying His name in so doing. They certainly entertained no thoughts of conflict between science and the Bible.

For further info on these Scientists:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Kepler

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Boyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brewster

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dalton

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Pascal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Pasteur

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Thompson

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