PDA

View Full Version : THE BIBLE CODE -- Fact or Fiction?


Pages : [1] 2

marc tressard
01-14-2005, 11:20 AM
Jerusalem Post: Prof. Uri Gamedi at the Jerusalem University Theology Department has found one prediction of no small interest to tennis fans the world over. The item was decoded simply as: "sharapova wins grand slam." No, it doesn't say when, but those who believe are getting excited already. Prof Gamedi noted that The Bible Code cites past events and few, if any, have found future predictions, though this one looks plausible to experts.

@wright
01-14-2005, 11:43 AM
They should check the Bible code to see how many slams Fed will win...Bible code can't be truth, but it can be fascinating.

pound cat
01-14-2005, 11:52 AM
Bible Code my foot. Chrissy Evert has already touted Sharapova to win AO.

ty slothrop
01-14-2005, 12:40 PM
what the hell is the bible code?

The tennis guy
01-14-2005, 12:52 PM
Bible means Sharapova, code means slam.

Craig Sheppard
01-14-2005, 12:55 PM
what the hell is the bible code?
It's doomsday/alarmist mumbo jumbo that says future events were intentionally encoded in the Bible...

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

In more practical terms--if you take any sufficiently large set of letters, you'll find almost any pattern of letters given the subset is small enough. Obviously the larger the pattern, the lower the probability and the more peculiar. But believing small subsets were intentionally put there is just delusional.

Craig

PrestigeClassic
01-14-2005, 01:04 PM
It's a supposed code within the Bible, numbnuts.

One future prediction I've heard about was a nuclear war breaking out in a certain year in this decade, I think. Of course, even that prediction was "found" as nuclear weapons were more and more talked about, not so much in the far future. The people that found that code could always say "Yeah, a couple small nuclear weapons detonated in an ocean--The code was right!" As you can tell, I'm pretty sceptical about the Bible codes; though I think it's cool that God would know the future to such a minute detail. For this Sharapova "code," God would have to forsee people playing tennis and establishing a professional tennis tour, notwithstanding having a Sharapova around and playing tennis.

In essence, Bible codes don't support free will, do they?

PrestigeClassic
01-14-2005, 01:06 PM
It's doomsday/alarmist mumbo jumbo that says future events were intentionally encoded in the Bible...

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

In more practical terms--if you take any sufficiently large set of letters, you'll find almost any pattern of letters given the subset is small enough. Obviously the larger the pattern, the lower the probability and the more peculiar. But believing small subsets were intentionally put there is just delusional.

Craig

Right on. You can see anything you want in the clouds.

Datacipher
01-14-2005, 01:57 PM
The bible is a great book. The bible code is BS. The mathematics "proving" it have been found to be flawed. Do I think God could encode something in a sophisticated manner in writing...sure...did he? No evidence of it yet.

pound cat
01-14-2005, 03:07 PM
God??? I like Nostradamus but he probably didn't have much to say about tennis.

pound cat
01-14-2005, 03:31 PM
Here's another code to ponder, but probably doesn't say much about tennis either. http://hp.msn.com/4~/F!TJ2}!N~M2B2IFO2O55N6.jpg

PrestigeClassic
01-14-2005, 03:37 PM
The bible is a great book. The bible code is BS. The mathematics "proving" it have been found to be flawed. Do I think God could encode something in a sophisticated manner in writing...sure...did he? No evidence of it yet.

Evidence and God don't exactly go hand in hand, do they? :)

Rickson
01-14-2005, 03:40 PM
Total garbage.

Mark55
01-14-2005, 03:59 PM
The Bible Code isnt authentic mainly because what you do with the Bible (putting the words from a certain page into a scrambler and pulling out letters and phrases using a specific pattern) can be done with any book that has relatively large pages with a large ammount of words. They proved this using Moby Dick on the history channel and found the words "Trade Center September 2001 Planes." They also proved this with other books.

Rickson
01-14-2005, 04:56 PM
Evidence and God don't exactly go hand in hand, do they? :)
You can keep that opinion to yourself.

Peter K.
01-14-2005, 05:09 PM
Evidence and God don't exactly go hand in hand, do they? :)

Talking about God and the Bible on Tennis Warehouse? Very cool. Good to see we have a well-rounded bunch out there, although, at times it is very tempting to believe that the world revolves around tennis.
I'm in graduate school right now, and the professors here convincingly demonstrate that we don't need to throw out our minds to believe in God, that though God seems hidden at times, He is there, and He is not silent. He has left His finger prints all over the place, and that there are many evidences that point to His existence, as well as evidences demonstrating the Bible to be trustworthy. This is the kind of stuff i'm studying in grad school, so i spend a lot of time thinking about these kinds of things. What do you all think about this? It would be interesting to hear what you think. If you want, you can even e-mail me to talk about it. Til next time, Peter.
peterkanetis@hotmail.com

katarddx
01-14-2005, 08:00 PM
You can keep that opinion to yourself.
you can keep that opinion to yourself.

Superior_Forehand
01-14-2005, 08:35 PM
Evidence and God don't exactly go hand in hand, do they? :)

Yeah, if you believe in some invisible lord in the sky than you can believe most anything.

dParis
01-14-2005, 10:40 PM
The nCode predicts that Roger the Fed will win a grand slam "some time this decade" and that Sammy Sosa has finished hitting grand slams.

Datacipher
01-15-2005, 11:51 PM
Evidence and God don't exactly go hand in hand, do they? :)

That's usually true Prestige...and they aren't meant to be! That's what faith is all about! 2 things that often bug me about existence of God debates:

1.Christians tend to think they have evidence(usually bad science) that God exists.

2.Non Christians tend to look condescendingly on the Christians and think that believing there is no God is somehow more intelligent and/or rational.

In reality, I don't think either of these are true. I think philisophically and theologically there is no reasoning that shows either believing or disbelieving in God is logically a stronger position. The key is that you must make a number of assumptions about your basic existence, these assumption could involve a God or not, it's up to you, no proof either way.

Deuce
01-16-2005, 12:58 AM
"The key is that you must make a number of assumptions about your basic existence..."


Not necessarily.

I believe the main obstacle when it comes to debates such as these is the human ego. Humans have a tendency to NEED to KNOW. This results in many people CLAIMING to know - as if they would feel less of a human being if they didn't at least BELIEVE they know, and tell others the same.

I, for one, have long wondered why it is so imperative that people know why we exist; why we're here; what is our purpose. At this point in time, I believe that it is essentially the ego that demands answers to such questions. The ego cannot admit that it DOESN'T KNOW something. Not knowing is considered a lack of intelligence – and God (or whomever) knows, humans will never admit to lacking intelligence. And so the hypotheses begin. And seemingly never end. Scientists and theologians compete with each other for newspaper space in the great debate on How we got here, Why we’re here, and Where we are going. The Pope tells us that we are all God’s children, and throws in that h0m0sexuality, sex outside of marriage, and abortion are all sins against our creator, God. Yet he offers no valid evidence. Many religions warn that non-believers will suffer in an eternal Hell. Yet they offer no valid evidence. Stephen Hawking tells us all How and Why Black Holes are a key ingredient in solving the mystery of the Earth’s creation. For some 20 years, he tells us How and Why. And then he tells us that he was wrong all along.

As for God, Creation, Heaven, Hell, Death, Life... perhaps we’re simply not meant to know. It certainly appears that way. Perhaps there is an entire realm of possibilities and ‘knowledge’ that we, as mere humans, are not privy to – perhaps several realms, even, that we do not have even the most remote capacity to ‘understand’. But humans are not able to admit that our not being able to understand is even a possibility.

Rather than grasp at straws, making desperate attempts to claim knowledge where no knowledge truly exists, why don’t we just 'come clean' and admit that we don’t know? Is the ego really that powerful? That needy? That fragile? That insecure? We’ve existed as a species for long enough to be able to simply admit that we don’t know, haven’t we? And to admit that we’re no closer to knowing now than were the Ancient Romans, or even Neanderthal Man?

I don’t need to know why I exist. I am here, therefore I am. Or perhaps I’m not. Perhaps we are all but figments of each other’s overactive imaginations. Or not. Whatever.

Datacipher
01-16-2005, 03:18 AM
I think you make some good points Deuce, but when I was talking about those basic assumptions I meant even more basic than is there a God or isn't there. All I meant were assumptions like, do I even exist? What is the general nature of my existence? How do I define the world around me? Do I trust my senses and do I believe they give me a complete picture of the world around me? Such questions are unanswerable by evidence, they by definition tend to exist beyond the scope of what is measurable and testable by our limited perceptions, but they form the foundation for whatever observations and beliefs we build on top of it. From there you can start to build the framework of your view of the universe.

I do think to address such very fundamental assumptions you do have to put your ego aside and that was my very point, that already people tend to make certain basic assumptions about existence and I think one has to admit that do simply lack the perception to answer such questions....after we make these basic assumption and take the answers for granted then we can build a logical framework based on our senses and the reasoning that seems orderly to us based on our (probably) limited perception of the universe and part of that framework may be, is there a God?

I do think that most people now, Christian or not would acknowledge that their are likely a great many things happening behind the scenes in our universe and existence that we are not aware of. Things that science cannot yet detect and may possibly never detect as the purview of science is the natural world. One thing that personally I find exciting is that some new areas like quantum physics are opening up new ideas and new perceptions of reality that are starting to hint that there is much more going on than our traditional limited view of reality. Do this "unnatural" world include something we could call God? I can't provide evidence either way....


I hope some of this makes sense to somebody, I freely admit I'm a better tennis coach than philosopher.

Also Deuce I do agree that Ego certainly might play a large part in our desire to assert we know the answers. I think though that there are other reasons why people might be motivated to think on such topics. I think one good reason to ask yourself this question(though I don't think most people stop and think this!) is because you want to know if you should embezzle money from the company you work for today ;-)

I mean let's say you know you can get away with it....well why not then? Legality? Well, what makes one think that it's important to follow the law, if I can get away with it? Morality? Well where do my moral values come from? My parents? Church? Karma? Biological imperative? Morality tends to imply there is a "right' and "wrong" thing to do....so by whose measure do I determine that? Is there an objective measure inherant in the universe? If you break it down far enough, you end up at those increasingly simple and superficially silly basic assumptions. So, if you truly want to be a person who has fully thought out their actions, priorities and beliefs....well then it all comes down to deciding your answer to some fundamental questions. Now, I completely agree that you don't have to do this...and I don't think most people do. You don't even have to anywhere near as far as you have by even actually acknowledging the question and saying "I don't know if there is a God" It's a heck of a lot easier to simply flow through your life and maybe have a few unsubstantiated catchphrases "live and let live!", "what goes around comes around", "turn the other cheek", "do unto others...", "I believe in destiny", "I just want to be the best person possible", "you can't live forever so have fun".

I don't even think the vast majority of Christians (or members of other religions) or atheists or agnostics have probably given this appropriately full thought to it's deepest fundamental level. Heck, I haven't given it the time it deserves...after all, they should be the most important questions on my mind....I will...but 1st I'm going to finish watching this episode of the Simpsons....

Rickson
01-16-2005, 07:18 AM
You can keep that opinion to yourself.


you can keep that opinion to yourself.

Whatever you say, parrot.

katarddx
01-16-2005, 07:22 AM
Whatever you say, parrot.

My point exactly - IGNORANCE...

Peter K.
01-16-2005, 09:32 AM
It's good to see people responding to this topic. After reading the posts a few thoughts come to mind:

It is impossible to prove a universal negative such as, "There is no God." Reason being is that we would have to have complete knowledge of the universe, of everything that is true and exists. In short, we would have to have as much knowledge as God does to know for certain that there is no God.

No matter what religion or philosophy we choose to believe in we still have answer the same questions, such as: How did we (and the universe) get here? What is the purpose of life? What is morality? What happens after we die? Every religion has to provide answers to these questions. The heart of the matter, I believe is which religion offers the best explanation to what we do know about the world--the universe, human existence, etc.

I'm a Christian, and one of the main reasons that I am is that it fits the world as I discover it. For example, science shows that the universe has a beginning, that it is not infinite, was not always here. And the more science learns about the universe, the more this is confirmed. Well, when I look in the Bible, I see that it describes the universe in the same way--that it did not always exist, but that God brought it into existence at a particular point in time.

Science has also discovered that there are about 50 what they call "Cosmological Constants" that have allowed life to flourish here on this planet. In other words, there are fifty factors finely tuned in the universe, where if one of them were atered to the tiniest degree, life on this planet would perish. For example, if the gravity on earth were stronger or weaker, life would not be possible here. If we were any farther or closer from the sun, life would not be possible here. If were any farther or closer from the sun, life would not be possible here. If the speed of the rotation of the earth changed in any significant degree, or if the tilt of the earth were different, or if sun were closer to any other star than it is, life would not be possible here. On and on it goes, and the more factors discovered, the more scientists observe that for life to be possible anywhere in the universe, the odds are astronimically rare. Crazy rare. More and more scientists admit that the universe seems as if it was designed with us in mind. And I see that, this too, matches up with what the Bible teaches--that God is a God of order, purpose, and design.

I really believe it takes much more faith to be an atheist than a believer in God. If I am an atheist, I've got to hold on to some ideas that are very difficult to hold onto. If I believe that there is no God than I have to believe that something came out of nothing--that the universe sprang into existence, fully charged, with energy--with no cause behind it--out of nothing with no cause. If I am an atheist I have to hold onto the idea that life came from non-life. Early on in the earth's history there was no life here, not even one living cell. Then life appeared. The Bible describes it this way. God created the earth and then He created living things later on. If I am an atheist, i've got to believe that the order in the universe came by accident--that order came from disorder, but that's not what we observe in our world, but rather the opposite.

If I am an atheist I have to believe that morality came by accident or doesn't exist. And if morality is just created by people, then why should I follow it? Why should I just not behave in a way that pleases me? But we know better than that. In other words, if people are the ones to determine what is right and wrong, then morality becomes nothing more than a matter opinion--like choosing an ice cream flavor. And if that is the case, then there is ultimately no moral difference between Adolph Hitler and Mother Teresa. If there is no objective morality, then the worst thing I could say about Hitler is "I don't like what he did," but I could never say he was wrong--in the ultimate sense. If there is no objective morality in the universe, then certain things follow, such as: 1.)I could never call anything ultimately "wrong" or "evil." 2.)I could not claim that anything is unjust or unfair. 3.) I could not place blame or accept praise. 4.) I could not complain about the problem of evil. 5.) I could not accuse others of wrong doing. 5.) I could not promote the obligation of tolerance. 6.) I could not improve my morality or claim that one morality is better than another, and 7.) I would not be able to hold a meaningful moral discussion. None of these 7 things would be possible, because they all presuppose an objective morality. Morality is built into us. It's intrinisic to our being. It's a straight jacket we can't get out of no matter how hard we try. The question then becomes, where does it come from? As stated above, it cannot come from people because then we're just back to opinions. It makes more sense that there is a Lawgiver who is above us and offers us the law. The Bible claims that we are creatures with a sense of right and wrong because we are made in His image, and morality, as well as justice, love, mercy, etc. flow out of His very nature.

There is much more to say on all of this, but I've already typed up a novella here, so I take a break for now. I really enjoy discussing this stuff. I have several close friends who disagree with me, and the debates that come out of this are great. I make them think. They make me think. So I'd like to hear what you all think? Afterwards, we could then go back to debating who has the best forehand, backhand, second serve, etc...

Max G.
01-16-2005, 12:32 PM
Point 1: This should be moved to odds and ends... or maybe even rants and raves... really. This is no longer pro player talk...

Point 2: hehe. I can't pass up a post like that without responding to it...


It's good to see people responding to this topic. After reading the posts a few thoughts come to mind:

It is impossible to prove a universal negative such as, "There is no God." Reason being is that we would have to have complete knowledge of the universe, of everything that is true and exists. In short, we would have to have as much knowledge as God does to know for certain that there is no God.

No matter what religion or philosophy we choose to believe in we still have answer the same questions, such as: How did we (and the universe) get here? What is the purpose of life? What is morality? What happens after we die? Every religion has to provide answers to these questions. The heart of the matter, I believe is which religion offers the best explanation to what we do know about the world--the universe, human existence, etc.

I'm a Christian, and one of the main reasons that I am is that it fits the world as I discover it. For example, science shows that the universe has a beginning, that it is not infinite, was not always here. And the more science learns about the universe, the more this is confirmed. Well, when I look in the Bible, I see that it describes the universe in the same way--that it did not always exist, but that God brought it into existence at a particular point in time.

No argument so far. I don't really see a definite "list of questions that a philosophy must answer," but that's a minor detail, no point in going in to it.


Science has also discovered that there are about 50 what they call "Cosmological Constants" that have allowed life to flourish here on this planet. In other words, there are fifty factors finely tuned in the universe, where if one of them were atered to the tiniest degree, life on this planet would perish. For example, if the gravity on earth were stronger or weaker, life would not be possible here. If we were any farther or closer from the sun, life would not be possible here. If were any farther or closer from the sun, life would not be possible here. If the speed of the rotation of the earth changed in any significant degree, or if the tilt of the earth were different, or if sun were closer to any other star than it is, life would not be possible here. On and on it goes, and the more factors discovered, the more scientists observe that for life to be possible anywhere in the universe, the odds are astronimically rare. Crazy rare. More and more scientists admit that the universe seems as if it was designed with us in mind. And I see that, this too, matches up with what the Bible teaches--that God is a God of order, purpose, and design.

Yes, if one of the many factors were different on Earth, then we wouldn't have life here. But we have no particular way for even estimating the odds of life existing "anywhere in the universe." We do not know what the probability of a rocky earthlike planet forming is. It might be a common occurence among sunlike stars to have planets, it might be rare. We do not know the probability of planets having liquid water. Heck, we don't even have any reason to suppose that OUR form of life is the only possible form. Basically - life on Earth is improbable, but we don't know anything about the odds of life appearing *somewhere.* An analogy is a lottery - you know that the odds of one specific person winning the lottery are miniscule, but you're not surprised when you hear that "someone won the lottery." The odds of flipping a hundred heads in a row is small - but not if you have a million people each flipping a million coins. The universe is frickin big - and we have no knowledge of whether earthlike conditions are unique or not.

And anyway, we don't even know whether earthlike life is the only possible form of life. Sure, it's the only type WE can think of - because it's the only type we've seen. If the laws of physics were different, different life might arise. Or it might not. We've got no clue.

I'll use an analogy I've seen on a different discussion board - imagine a puddle in the ground. The puddle looks around and decides that the hole in the ground was made specifically for it! After all, it follows its every contour, if it was shallower then the puddle wouldn't fit, if it was shaped differently then the puddle wouldn't fit, and so on. But is it designed? ...well, no, it formed during the last rain.

(I can't wait until we get sensitive enough equipment to test string theory though. If it's shown to be true, then that would mean that there's only one or two fundamental constants, and even they can vary through different values. ...though you seem to be referring to things like the radius of earth's orbit as a fundamental constant.)


I really believe it takes much more faith to be an atheist than a believer in God.

And I believe that it doesn't, I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree. I don't see any more reason for God to exist than for invisible pink monkeys inside each atom to exist, and it seems just as silly to claim that disbelief in a God takes lots of faith as to claim that disbelief in invisible pink monkeys inside each atom takes lots of faith. I believe one way, you believe another - in a discussion about something so completely unprovable, it seems kind of unreasonable to claim that one side takes "more faith" than another.


If I am an atheist, I've got to hold on to some ideas that are very difficult to hold onto. If I believe that there is no God than I have to believe that something came out of nothing--that the universe sprang into existence, fully charged, with energy--with no cause behind it--out of nothing with no cause.

And if I'm a theist, I have to believe that God exists with no cause. We know the universe exists because we can see it - we're not sure how or why it came into existence, but saying "God did it" is just pushing the problem back one step, because that leaves the question of why does God exist.

If I am an atheist I have to hold onto the idea that life came from non-life.

And if you're a theist you have to hold that same belief, except you conjure up an invisible being in the sky and claim He did it. No thanks, I'll stick with saying "we're not sure how it happened" rather than saying "We don't have an explanation yet, therefore God did it."

Early on in the earth's history there was no life here, not even one living cell. Then life appeared. The Bible describes it this way. God created the earth and then He created living things later on.

And that still doesn't say how it happened.

If I am an atheist, i've got to believe that the order in the universe came by accident--

No, as a consequence of the laws of physics. Not at all accident, even though nature is on a fundamental level random. Randomness averaged over large numbers gives very predictable patterns.

that order came from disorder, but that's not what we observe in our world, but rather the opposite.

And as a theist, you have to believe the exact same thing, except you push the question one step back and say "God did it" and claim that as an explanation.

We see order coming from disorder all the time - look around you at all of the living things. Or look at snowflakes, or rock formations in caves, or ice crystals, or cracks in the mud.

Max G.
01-16-2005, 12:32 PM
If I am an atheist I have to believe that morality came by accident or doesn't exist.

No you don't. I'm an atheist and I believe morality come from the organization of society.

And if morality is just created by people, then why should I follow it? Why should I just not behave in a way that pleases me?

For me, because that would be detrimental to society. I can't speak for all atheists because, not being an organized religion, we don't have any set of "universal atheist beliefs," besides the belief that God does not exist.

But we know better than that. In other words, if people are the ones to determine what is right and wrong, then morality becomes nothing more than a matter opinion--like choosing an ice cream flavor.

And a societal opinion. There are some universal morals that exist in virtually all societies, such as the moral that murder is wrong. These are the morals that are necessary for the survival of a society - if a society does not condemn murder, it seems reasonable that such a society would collapse because of rampant crime.

And if that is the case, then there is ultimately no moral difference between Adolph Hitler and Mother Teresa.

Of course there is. Hitler killed lots of people and caused lots of suffering.

If there is no objective morality, then the worst thing I could say about Hitler is "I don't like what he did,"

No, you could also say that he committed uncountable murders, ruined the lives of millions of people, and caused immeasurable suffering.

but I could never say he was wrong--in the ultimate sense.

Sure you can. He caused human suffering, and that is wrong because it goes against societal morals.

If there is no objective morality in the universe, then certain things follow, such as: 1.)I could never call anything ultimately "wrong" or "evil."

Sure you can. Things that cause harm to others are morally wrong and evil.

2.)I could not claim that anything is unjust or unfair.

Of course you can. Equal treatment is just and fair whether or not there is a God or not; discrimination and unequal treatment without a valid reason is unjust and unfair whether or not there is a God.

3.) I could not place blame or accept praise.

I completely don't see where you're coming from here.


4.) I could not complain about the problem of evil. 5.) I could not accuse others of wrong doing.

Again, I don't see why not. Actions that cause undue harm to others are "evil" or "wrong" whether or not there is a God.



5.) I could not promote the obligation of tolerance.

On the contrary. If you believe that your morals are absolute, objective, and right, then you could not promote the obligation of tolerance, because you "know" that you're right and they're not. If you believe that morals are not objective and not set in stone, then you have to accept the possibility that other people may be right as well, and therefore tolerance should be promoted.


6.) I could not improve my morality or claim that one morality is better than another,

You got that right. You can change your morality and you'll think that the new one is better than the old one. But is it objectively so? Not necessarily.

and 7.) I would not be able to hold a meaningful moral discussion.

Maybe you wouldn't, but I can.

None of these 7 things would be possible, because they all presuppose an objective morality.

No, they presuppose A morality, not necessarily an objective one.

Morality is built into us. It's intrinisic to our being. It's a straight jacket we can't get out of no matter how hard we try. The question then becomes, where does it come from?

Societies, the evolution thereof. A society without morals would collapse, and so only societies with morals exist. Simple enough, to me at least.

As stated above, it cannot come from people because then we're just back to opinions.

It comes from groups of people, or so it seems to me. In part from evolution as well - we've lived in societies for a while now, and it seems to me that it would be impossible to have a functioning society without some sort of moral code. So people invent one which is convenient, and pass it on.

It makes more sense that there is a Lawgiver who is above us and offers us the law. The Bible claims that we are creatures with a sense of right and wrong because we are made in His image, and morality, as well as justice, love, mercy, etc. flow out of His very nature.

I'd like it to be that way - life would be much simpler and easier. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to me to be a valid reason - just because we want a God to exist to justify our morals doesn't mean He does.


Also, a sidenote - the views on morality are my own views, thus they are opinions and not objective truth, and certainly don't represent the views of all atheists.

There is much more to say on all of this, but I've already typed up a novella here, so I take a break for now. I really enjoy discussing this stuff. I have several close friends who disagree with me, and the debates that come out of this are great. I make them think. They make me think. So I'd like to hear what you all think? Afterwards, we could then go back to debating who has the best forehand, backhand, second serve, etc...

Sure, we can talk. I have no interest in persuading you that God does not exist, that would be stupid and intolerant... but I definitely do want to justify why I believe my position is valid.

PLEASE Admin move this to a different section, I really don't like spamming pro player discussion with what is completely NOT pro player discussion.

Ibben
01-16-2005, 12:45 PM
okay this is off-topic but once i saw a real castle shaped by clouds. an actual castle that's very apparent. coincidence? not sure but i would like to assume that it has some ties with god of some sort. i believe in god and don't at times. is that even possible? i'm an aetheist so there are some things that don't convince me but i always find this religion stuff to be very interesting.

Mark55
01-16-2005, 02:07 PM
Omg...delete this thread its making my eyes hurt.

Peter K.
01-20-2005, 09:48 PM
Hey Max!
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. It's great to see other people out there thinking about this stuff. You gave some responses that made me think, and I appreciate that. For the sake of time and space, I'm going to respond to one point for now.
First, in regards to the universe being created by God: an argument that i found persuasive in this area is "The Cosmological Argument" (a.k.a. "The Kalam Argument"). It has 3 basic steps:

1.) Everything that has a beginning has a cause.
2.) The universe had a beginning
3.) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

The first step is something we observe in everday life. Anything that has come into existence has a cause. For example, you and I were caused by our parents. They were caused by their parents, etc. Things that have a beginning don't just pop into existence with no cause. To give a humorous (hopefully) example, I'm not worried right now that a tiger is going to appear out of thin air and attack me as i type on my computer. If i heard a loud crash in my living room and I ran out there and my roommate was standing there and when I asked him what happened he replied, "Nothing. That noise just happened by itself. Obviously we would not accept that. Enough for now on this step. Onto the next..

As you know, the more and more science discovers about the universe, the more they observe that it had a starting point, a beginning, that it's not infinite. Einstein even discovered this when he applied his theory of relativity to the universe. Scientists across the board--theists to atheists--know this to be true.

The last step, "therefore the universe has a cause" is the step that involves the most intrigue. From what I understand, there are only two types of causes that exist: event cause and an agent cause. Event causes are scientific explainations. For example, the apartment building i live in shakes. What caused it to shake? Here in Southern Cal it would be an earthquake. And we know how earthquakes happen--the plate tectonics shift, due to the gravity and molten activity in the earth, etc. etc. etc. In other words, an event (or scientific) cause can be explained in terms of initial conditions and natural laws, which explain how those initial conditions evolved to produce the phenomenon under consideration.

On the other hand, an agent cause is best explained by a person--something happened because someone wanted it to happen. For example, a mother walks into her ten year old sons room. It looks like an earthquake has hit his room. Mom knows that an earthquake has not hit his room, so she asks the questions "Who did this?" In other words, it was an agent, a person, who caused this. It was a who, not a what that was the cause of the messy room.

What we also oberve in life is when a "what" is not an adequate explanation for a cause, we always defer to a "who", as in the case of the messy ten year old. Another example would be Mt. Rushmore. We would never look at that and think, "Wow, that was caused by natural laws or by time and chance or by accident!" None of us would buy that. Instead we ask, "Wow, this is amazing. Who did this?"

All this to say is that a scientific cause cannot explain the beginning of the universe. Since it's the beginning, it simply cannot be explained in terms of earlier conditions and natural laws leading up to it--those things were not in existence. So if there is an explanation to the beginning of the universe, it makes more sense if it was an agent--a who--who has the volition to create it.

In regards to the question, "Who caused God?", this argument's first premise is that WHATEVER BEGINS TO EXIST HAS A CAUSE. The argument does not make the claim that nothing can be eternal or infinite. The Kalam argument makes the point that only things that come into being have a cause. God is not the type of thing or being that came into being, therefore not being subject to a cause.

Much more can be said on all this by people who know this a lot better than I do. A good book on this topic is "The Case For A Creator" by Lee Strobel (Barnes and Nobles would have it). What Strobel does in this book is he shows how the scientific evidence points towards God and not away from Him. It's not too long, and it's written on a popular level--which is more of my speed. He interviews professionals in each area of science, including physics, astronomy, biochemistry, biology, cosmology, evolution, and consciousness. Interesting stuff. I notice that you listed physics as one of your interests, so if you want something a little more challenging, let me know.

As far as the moral argument for God, I'd love to discuss that further, but it's late and i've got to get some shut-eye so i won't be a zombie at work tomorrow.

Let me know what you think, Max. You can always e-mail instead of posting here. my e-mail address is included in my bio. Thanks. Til next time...Peter

Type40
01-20-2005, 10:40 PM
This is the stupidest thread yet.
How about keeping this board tennis related.

katarddx
01-21-2005, 09:29 AM
PLEASE delete this tread!!!!!!!!!!

Dedans Penthouse
01-21-2005, 10:04 AM
Dear God:

Hi. Could you please move this thread over to "Odds and Ends?"
Thanks.
Your pal,
dedan penthouse

p.s. I read posts #25, 26 and 27 and while I found them all to be earnest in tone and very well thought out, I nevertheless thought that "tomes" of that length (according to TW-law) had to involve a discussion on Sergi Bruguera.

Brettolius
01-21-2005, 11:00 AM
dear dedans,
i would move the thread, but i am not an administrator, not even a moderator. you may have more luck writing my good friends the easter bunny or jolly ol' st. nick. i know they screw around more on internet message boards than i, and may have weasled their way into a position to help. remember to honor and kiss my boots everyday, especially when you've done something wrong, because as you know, i love you all and created you, but i have a certain...propensity for petulance and wrath. so watch your step, i know if you've been naughty or nice...
Sincerely,
Gawd

Deuce
01-21-2005, 11:26 PM
Thank you, Peter, for reminding us how narrow and limited the human perspective is - especially as concerns matters like creation...

GGForehander
01-21-2005, 11:30 PM
HAHAHA BIBLE CODE!!!!!!!

I think God would Bible Code some MORE IMPORTANT than tennis all you malakas who believe this bible coding OF TENNIS. hhahahaha!!!

GGForehander
01-21-2005, 11:30 PM
sorry i mean "BIBLE CODE SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT"

Morpheus
01-22-2005, 12:48 AM
If God exists, he's either angry or has a poor sense of humor.

Peter K.
01-22-2005, 12:17 PM
Hey Morpheus!

I've been a Christian for over 30 years (i'm 34), and I, for many reasons, believe that Christianity is the truth. But be that as it may, i must admit there are times when i still struggle with doubts, and wonder the same kinds of things as you have stated: "...he's either angry or has a poor sense of humor." But through all of that, i find it more reasonable, on many levels, to believe than not to believe.

i was wondering, if i may pry, what your whole take on the "God-thing" is, as well as who's your horse for the AO.

Peter K.
01-22-2005, 12:19 PM
by the way, i'm going with Agassi to win the AO (we're both 34!)

Datacipher
01-22-2005, 12:31 PM
HAHAHA BIBLE CODE!!!!!!!

I think God would Bible Code some MORE IMPORTANT than tennis all you malakas who believe this bible coding OF TENNIS. hhahahaha!!!

You do have a point GG. LOL. Sharapova may be one of God's more impressive creations but still what's next? "Aniston and Pitt shall forsake each other"?

Dedans Penthouse
01-24-2005, 06:21 AM
If God exists, he's either angry or has a poor sense of humor.

Btw Brettolius--LOL

~~~ "God's Comic" ~~~ (Declan McM****)

I wish you knew me when I was alive
I was a funny fella
The crowd would hoot and hollar for more
I wore a drunk's red nose for applause
Oh yes, I was a comical priest
With a joke for the flock, and a hand up your fleece
Drooling the drink and the lipstick and greasepaint
Down the cardboard front of my dirty dog collar

Now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead
And I'm going on to meet my reward
I was scared, I was scared, I was scared, I was scared
You might have never heard but GOD'S COMIC.

So there he lay on his waterbed
Drinking a cola of a mystery brand
Reading an airport novelette
Listening to Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Requiem"
He said before it had really begun
I prefer the one about my only begotten son,
For I've been wading through all this unbelieveable junk, and
Wondering if I should've given the world to the monkeys.

Now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead
And I'm going on to meet my reward
I was scared, I was scared, I was scared, I was scared,
you might have never heard BUT GOD'S COMIC.

I'm goin' on a little trip
Down paradise's endless shores
They said that travel broadens the mind
'Till you can't get your head out a door.

I'm sitting here, on top of the world
I hang out in the longest night
Until each beast has gone to bed
And then I say "God Bless" ... and turn out the light ....
While you lie in the dark, afraid to breathe
And you beg and you promise and you bargin and you plead
Sometimes you confuse me with Santa Claus
It's the big, white beard I suppose,
I'm goin' up to the Pole, where you folks die of c-c-cold
I might be gone for a while.....but if you need me......

Now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead, now I'm dead
And I'm going up to meet my reward

I was scared, I was scared, I was scared, I was scared,
You might have never heard, BUT GOD'S COMIC.

Morpheus
01-24-2005, 08:05 AM
Hey Morpheus!

i was wondering, if i may pry, what your whole take on the "God-thing" is, as well as who's your horse for the AO.

1. Agnostic, practicing Unitarian, partial to Buddhist philosophy. In my view, the following quotation has merit: If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. (Voltaire)

2. Federer's my horse, of course, although I see AA as the only guy with the game to beat him.

adnankujundzic
01-24-2005, 08:48 AM
We are all atheists, the only difference is that you belive in one more god than I do. When you understand why you reject all the other gods, you will understand why I reject yours :).

Deuce
01-24-2005, 10:27 PM
How about...

"God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - also from Voltaire.

Phil
01-24-2005, 10:57 PM
Hey Morpheus!

I've been a Christian for over 30 years (i'm 34), and I, for many reasons, believe that Christianity is the truth. But be that as it may, i must admit there are times when i still struggle with doubts, and wonder the same kinds of things as you have stated: "...he's either angry or has a poor sense of humor." But through all of that, i find it more reasonable, on many levels, to believe than not to believe.

i was wondering, if i may pry, what your whole take on the "God-thing" is, as well as who's your horse for the AO.

GROAN!!!! So you've been a Christian since you were 4-and I suppose you made that choice on your own-at that age, no one would have ever "suggested" that you become one, right?

You can pry all you want, but it shouldn't make much difference to you, since you've already declared "YOUR" belief as the "Truth"-so, therefore, everyone else is pretty much wasting their time, right?

Whyn't chyew go and get ready for the Rapture, and let us heathens die in peace already, ya jagoff.

Oh, BTW, I don't have a "horse" for the AO, but it's not exactly a stretch to predict Federer and Davenport to win it.

Noelle
01-26-2005, 07:16 AM
Phil, Peter K said he believed his faith to be true. He never declared it as the truth. (I sincerely hope you were just being tongue-in-cheek about your post. :D)

I am also a Christian.

Phil
01-26-2005, 08:20 PM
[QUOTE=Noelle]Phil, Peter K said he believed his faith to be true. He never declared it as the truth. (I sincerely hope you were just being tongue-in-cheek about your post. :D)

[QUOTE]

No, Noelle, he said "...I, for many reasons, believe that Christianity is the truth". Not "true", but the truth. Big difference there partner; read it again without trying to distort the words. And no, I wasn't really being tongue-in-cheek, not in this instance, although I've been known to write with a nod and a wink on occasion...

Noelle
01-26-2005, 10:06 PM
Okay. :) Sorry for that, my own biases are showing. But he did say he believed it to be the truth, never that he declared it to be the truth, period.

Ah well.

Phil
01-26-2005, 10:55 PM
Okay. :) Sorry for that, my own biases are showing. But he did say he believed it to be the truth, never that he declared it to be the truth, period.

Ah well.

Now you're really grasping. He said what he said. Enough already.

chad shaver
01-27-2005, 07:38 AM
Now this, boys and girls, is why I do not discuss my faith with faceless entities....

Morpheus
01-27-2005, 12:01 PM
Now this, boys and girls, is why I do not discuss my faith with faceless entities....


Do you mean God?

chad shaver
01-29-2005, 08:41 AM
Do you mean God?

Not unless God has been posting on this message board.

Morpheus
01-29-2005, 09:17 AM
Not unless God has been posting on this message board.

Just checking...I am not prone to psychotic behavior either, but I'm not so sure about other posters.

Peter K.
02-05-2005, 01:41 PM
Wow, i haven't checked this thread for a while, and too bad, because i've missed some good stuff!

Phil, thanks for your response. I wish i would've seen it sooner to keep the ball rolling. Your reply was honest and straight forward, and that is much appreciated. In some ways, it reminds me of conversations i have with some of my close friends. You see, I have friends who are Christians and friends who aren't. In fact, some of those friends think that i am wrong in my beliefs. Yet, at the same time, we remain friends and respect each other's difference in beliefs--it's a beautiful thing. You see, as a Christian, I respect every person, though i don't need to accept every idea.

And to clear up any confusion about what i said previously, you are right Phil, i do believe that Christianity is the truth. The true truth. In other words, i think the way the Bible describes the world is true--that it is the true description of reality. Whether someone believes it or not.

But i'm not just emoting here. i've got reasons. i've got an argument why i believe this is so. And these arguments are not just a blind leap of faith or wishful thinking. They consist of philosophy, science, and theology. They are built on a foundation of logic, reason, and clear thinking.

At the same time, i could be wrong. i don't know everything there is to know. But if i am wrong, someone is going to have to give me a better explanation for the universe, the world, and our place in it, as well as give answers to all of the big questions in life, such as, how did we get here?, what's the purpose of it all?, and what happens after we die?

And I am open minded enough to the point where if someone could supply me with better reasons to believe in something else, then I would accept that, and I would leave Christianity.

Why wouldn't I? Life is too short to miss the real thing.

If you want to keep this going on this thread, that would be cool. If not, you could always e-mail me directly. my address can be found on my profile. Either way, i've enjoyed this dialogue. Thanks!

Morpheus
02-05-2005, 04:09 PM
At the same time, i could be wrong. i don't know everything there is to know. But if i am wrong, someone is going to have to give me a better explanation for the universe, the world, and our place in it, as well as give answers to all of the big questions in life, such as, how did we get here?, what's the purpose of it all?, and what happens after we die?

Thanks!

Glad to know that there is the possibility that you may be wrong. As to the rest, you'll have to wait until you check out to find out what's after, if anything. There ain't no answers on Earth.

You should give the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" a read. Douglas Adams's view is just as good as any and he does answer all of your questions.

Peter K.
02-05-2005, 05:47 PM
Thanks, Morpheus, for the recommendation. I've heard about "Hitchhiker's..." from several different people, but I have yet to get to it. I am curious, though, to see the answers Adams offers about the heavier questions of life.

Like i said in my last post, i could be wrong about Christianity being the truth, but in my 30 years of being a Christian, i have yet to come across any religion, philosophy ,etc., that is as compelling as Christianity--there is a rather generous amount of history and evidence, more so than for any other religion. In fact, the more i study other religions, the more i am convinced that Christianity is the truth. And trust me, if i could change religions, i would. Christianity is, often times, too difficult for my taste, constantly demanding that i go against my "me-first" tendencies. In other words, i don't believe in Christianity because i always like it. I believe in Christianity because it is true.

If you're interested, a few good books to check out would be:

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis
"The Case For Christ"
"The Case For Faith"
"The Case For A Creator"

All three of "The Case For..." books are written by Lee Strobel.
Both Lewis and Strobel were former atheists who became Christians after studying and contemplating the evidence. Most bookstores carry them: Barnes and Nobles, Borders, etc. Those books are a good place to start, and they are well-written. Til next time...
Peter

Morpheus
02-05-2005, 07:23 PM
...there is a rather generous amount of history and evidence, more so than for any other religion.
Peter

This I highly doubt.

Peter K.
02-05-2005, 09:34 PM
Hey Morpheus!

You said, "This I highly doubt" in response to my claim that Christianity has a lot of evidence to support it. Now, maybe you're wondering how I could make a claim like that with any kind of confidence. Morpheus, if you have the time, i really encourage you to seriously look into this stuff, because, man, i'm telling you, there are a lot of reasons, good reasons, to believe that Christianity is the truth.

But don't just take my word for it. Investigate it for yourself. Many have come to believe that Jesus' views on God, life, death, eternity, the world etc., are true because they looked into it themselves. If you have the time, check out one of the books i recommended on my last post. If you have a Bible, read the biographies of Jesus' life--which are the first four books of the New Testament (about 100 pages).

The Bible says that if we seek God with all of our heart, that if we really want to know the true God, we will find Him. I encourage you to test the truth of the Bible, using all of yourself--heart as well as mind. For any genuine person who brings an unprejudiced view, I don't see how anyone can walk away with any other thought than, "There is nothing else like this on the face of the earth."

Morpheus
02-06-2005, 06:28 AM
Peter, we are having a different discussion with each other. What I meant was that every religion has strories, artifacts, and believers, such as yourself, and it is preposterous for one to claim that Christians have the most evidence or history. Certainly the big three are all equivalent in this regard. Therefore, I am merely reacting to the veracity of your claim, but I am not arguing whether you are right or wrong in your beliefs--they are, after all, your beliefs.

Fact is, we do not see eye to eye on this. Where you see lots of "proof" I see "no proof." Its like peering over the edge of the Grand Canyon. You see a wonderous manifestation of God, as if He were some incredible contractor that dug a ravine for us so we could be in awe of His creation. (In fact, you even specify which union He belongs to.) And that makes humans significant in your mind. I, on the other hand, am in awe of nature but am reminded of our insignificance. The Grand Canyon, as majestic as it is to us, is nothing when compared to scale of the universe. It is but one mildly interesting feature on a mildly interesting planet stuck in the outpost of a mildly interesting galaxy.

Here's the ironic part...the Grand Canyon, in all its splendor has an equal but opposite effect on the two of us. Similarly, you see evidence of God in the Bible and I see a book that was written by humans decades after the main character died. Remember, the winners write the history.

I tossed out Hitchhiker because it is a very funny book that pokes fun at our (earthlings) insignificance. For a more scientific approach to the same concept, try out Carl Sagen's "Pale Blue Dot" (its what the Earth looks like from the edge of our Galaxy, in case you were wondering).

I hope I didn't wreck your Sunday with my "heretical" points of view. Peace.

Mahboob Khan
02-06-2005, 08:40 AM
Looks like I missed something. I really respect your views about God and Christianity.

I am a Muslim, Islam is my religion and I believe it is a true religion!. The beauty about Islam is that it recognizes earlier holy (original) Scriptures as given to Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (Essa bin Meryyam), and we believe in earlier Prophets including Jesus Christ. The word "Islam" means "complete surrender to the wills and commands of Allah" or God as you call Him. By the way we believe in the same God .. the Lord of Muhammad (pbuh), Jesus, Dawood (David), Sulaiman, Moses, Yacob (Jacob), Ismail, Abraham, Noah, and Adam. And our Book Al-Qura'an is in its original form and content because Allah Himself undertook to protect it. This Book has all the original/retainable parts from Bible as well. Obviously, it is not possible for me to explain everything about Islam. I can only beg you to please study it through Al-Qura'an. An authentic translation in English is done by Maulana Adullah Yusaf Ali, all other translations are inaccurate. I am somebody who understands Arabic as well as English, I can only tell you that translation does not convey the true import and spirit of Al-Qura'an. Relevant chapters about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are: No. 2, 3, 5, and 19.

I have studied Bible so you should study Qura'an!

Mahboob Khan
02-06-2005, 08:41 AM
My email is: makhan67@hotmail.com

Phil
02-07-2005, 05:11 PM
Wow, i haven't checked this thread for a while, and too bad, because i've missed some good stuff!

Phil, thanks for your response. I wish i would've seen it sooner to keep the ball rolling. Your reply was honest and straight forward, and that is much appreciated. In some ways, it reminds me of conversations i have with some of my close friends. You see, I have friends who are Christians and friends who aren't. In fact, some of those friends think that i am wrong in my beliefs. Yet, at the same time, we remain friends and respect each other's difference in beliefs--it's a beautiful thing. You see, as a Christian, I respect every person, though i don't need to accept every idea.

And to clear up any confusion about what i said previously, you are right Phil, i do believe that Christianity is the truth. The true truth. In other words, i think the way the Bible describes the world is true--that it is the true description of reality. Whether someone believes it or not.

But i'm not just emoting here. i've got reasons. i've got an argument why i believe this is so. And these arguments are not just a blind leap of faith or wishful thinking. They consist of philosophy, science, and theology. They are built on a foundation of logic, reason, and clear thinking.

At the same time, i could be wrong. i don't know everything there is to know. But if i am wrong, someone is going to have to give me a better explanation for the universe, the world, and our place in it, as well as give answers to all of the big questions in life, such as, how did we get here?, what's the purpose of it all?, and what happens after we die?

And I am open minded enough to the point where if someone could supply me with better reasons to believe in something else, then I would accept that, and I would leave Christianity.

Why wouldn't I? Life is too short to miss the real thing.

If you want to keep this going on this thread, that would be cool. If not, you could always e-mail me directly. my address can be found on my profile. Either way, i've enjoyed this dialogue. Thanks!

I think you ARE emoting. You "could be wrong", and in fact you ARE wrong in your labelling of your religion as "The Truth"-at least you admit some doubt. A crisis of faith? I thought Christians were so sure of themselves. You can believe whatever you want, and there's nothing WRONG with believing this, but to rationalize your ignorance of the universe by saying that "your" religion explains everything sufficiently, that you "just know it...because" is not good enough. To me, it's the height of arrogance and ignorance. If you don't know something, you attempt to find out about it, rationally, but religion, the crutch, the "opiate of the masses" PROVIDES people with a ready-made "explanation" without any time-consuming and messy probing or enquiry. It's the easy way out for people who NEED to have everything explained-who need for there to be no loose ends-no unknowns. Easy to tie it all into God and be done with it.

"And these arguments are not just a blind leap of faith or wishful thinking. They consist of philosophy, science, and theology. They are built on a foundation of logic, reason, and clear thinking."

No, Peter, they're just that-a blind leap of faith. I haven't seen any science to support them-not any legitimate science at least (i.e. based on the work of legitimate and trained scientists), because such "science" doesn't exist. Show me this science.

Boy, Christians sure killed a lot of people over the ages to impose their version of the Truth. Same is true of Muslims. Why is it that BUDDHISTS never went on any jihads or crusades/inquisitions and murdered thousands of people in the name of their faith?

And to top it all off, you can say-because someone told you to-that your religion is the "Truth" just like Mahboob says that HIS religion is the "truth". Yes, this is the basis of all the PEACE we have in our world-two deluded sides, each fighting for what they believe to be the Truth. Sad, pathetic, and worst of all, the rest of the world has to suffer though all of this...I KNOW what both of these sides NEED, but this is a family board.

Mahboob Khan
02-07-2005, 06:46 PM
There are certainly major issues on which we differ. And these major issues shall be returned to Allah who shall decide when we return to Him!

Yes, Jesus Christ (Essa bin Meryyam) in his second coming will break all these myths. Essa is the sign of the hour and through his efforts a universal religion originally ordained by Allah shall prevail!

Morpheus
02-07-2005, 06:48 PM
Boy, Christians sure killed a lot of people over the ages to impose their version of the Truth. Same is true of Muslims. Why is it that BUDDHISTS never went on any jihads or crusades/inquisitions and murdered thousands of people in the name of their faith?


Finally, a point of view that resonates. And they are still killing...and I don't differentiate the word "they" because from a distance "they" all look the same.

Phil
02-07-2005, 07:48 PM
There are certainly major issues on which we differ. And these major issues shall be returned to Allah who shall decide when we return to Him!

Yes, Jesus Christ (Essa bin Meryyam) in his second coming will break all these myths. Essa is the sign of the hour and through his efforts a universal religion originally ordained by Allah shall prevail!

It's okay to differ on major issues . In fact, it should be HEALTHY and constructive to differ and be able to discuss such differences, civily. What gets me slightly annoyed is when one side starts murdering people for their differing views. And declares that ALL who differ with them should be slaughtered. Now THAT'S an annoying tendency, don't you think?

Noelle
02-07-2005, 09:16 PM
Well, I think it's also an annoying tendency to generalize about a religion just because a misguided extremist subgroup within a religion is militant and murders people for their differing views. :(

Phil
02-07-2005, 10:13 PM
Well, I agree with you, Noelle, but it's human nature to generalize-especially when SO MANY people who are NOT in that misguided extremist subgroup do nothing to counter those generalizations and in many cases, SUPPORT their more extremist bretheren either though their words or their inaction. What happens, then, is the religion is co-opted by the fanatics and the so-called generalizations become, well...somewhat less generalized. Of course we all know that in reality, Islam is the "Religion of Peace" and Evangelical Christianity is a humane and tolerant faith, now, don't we?

Mahboob Khan
02-08-2005, 01:19 AM
Yes, Phil. Even Mr. Bush has stated that Islam is a religion of peace. However, like other religions Islam also empowers its followers to fight back (jihad) if attacked by others. You call it defence .. every nation, every tribe, every religion .. has an inborn right to defend and so does Islam.

Unfortunately through contrived/twisted information our great friends -- the Americans -- attacked Iraq believing Iraq possessed WMDs. They did not find any WMD but are dubbing the resistance movement as terrorists!

Israel forcibly expelled Palestinian Muslims out of their homes, out of their country, but the freedomg fighters are dubbed as terrorists. Sir, solve the core issues of Palestinian, and Kashmir, and the associated violence will cease. Lets uproot the tree of conflicts from its roots NOT from its branches! Respect my religion, my views, my land, my home, my country, and I respect yours.

And DO NOT judge my religion through some misguided terrorists, judge it through its message which is contained in Al-Qura'an. In Fact Qura'an has eulogised Jesus Christ more than the Prophet Muhammad! If you do not believe me, read chapter no. 2, 3, 5, and 19. Chapter 19 is dedicated to the mother of Jesus Christ, Meryyam (Mary).

Phil
02-08-2005, 04:32 PM
Yes, Mahboob, I agree with your view on the Iraq invasion, but what does that have to do with anything discussed here up to now? If you want to talk about the duplicity of governments, let's examine your own...Our great friend and "ally" in the "War on Terror", Gen. Musharaff and his intelligence service, ISI, actually put the Taliban in power and supported bin Laden with arms, ******** and logistics in Afghanistan, until being forced to back off. The good general still supports an individual who may, someday, be responsible for this world going up in flames. Dr. A. Q. Khan has sold nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and N. Korea, and possibly other countries-countries that have an interest in either using or re-selling such destructive power. That Pakistan has the bomb is somewhat understandable, given the strategic situation with India, but that it allowed that spread to rogue states is inexcusable. But he's a "Hero" in Pakistan and WE, my country will pay dearly for not stopping him when they had the chance. Yes, the "Religion of Peace"...

As for definitions of "freedom fighters" vs. terrorists, we can go round and round on that one and not get any closer to the truth. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, but I've never felt that blowing up buses full of women and children got anyone closer to freedom-just hell.

I respect the message of your religion-I don't agree with everything I've read, but I respect it. However, I and many others can ONLY judge the religion on what it, and its most high-profile followers have become-not what is written in the Qu'ran. Groups and governments have exploited it in the name of violence and murder. It's been co-opted, and extremist groups have become its poster boy, because no one else has the nerve to step up and say "This is our religion-you have stolen it from us-abused it in the name of your twisted agenda of murder and mayhem, and corrupted our sacred text." Those Muslims who do have the courage to speak like this are often killed off. The US or another country will never rid the world of these extremists-they'll keep coming. Only the Muslims themselves-the ones who care about a future-can end it.

Solve Kashmir and the Israel-Palestine issue, and something new will pop up. It will never end "over there", and those issues will never be solved because certain elements do not WANT them to be solved. The various sides simply hate each other, to the core, and there's not a lot anyone can do to change THAT. The discussions going on now between Israel and the Palestinians are extremely hopeful, but my guess is, at the last minute, just before a breakthrough, Hammas will ruin it with a spectacular attack.

So Islam is based, partly, on the Bible. That's common knowledge. I can go on about how Christianity has also been corrupted-and for the last 1,650 years or so, once it became the state religion in Rome. It has an even longer, and bloodier, history...but that's for another time and place.

Phil
02-08-2005, 04:33 PM
By the way, the "censored" word in my post is R-E-C-R-U-I-T-S. Yeah, that's a really, really bad word.

Mahboob Khan
02-08-2005, 11:14 PM
I may be wrong but I feel that in 9/11 Muslims were used only to defame Islam. I have condemned those who committed this heinous crime because of this crime only Muslims suffered and are still suffering.

You implied that General Musharraf supported Taleban tho harboured OBL. Sir, it was your government which supported OBL, his Al-Qaeda, and other Afghan and Pakistani fighters against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Your President, Mr. Ronald Reagan dubbed these fighters as "Mujahideen" because they were serving the cause of the USA! However, when the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan, your government left these fighters in cold without any rehabilitation program. These poor people could not do anything else except to shoot! So, your government may have played a major role in turning them into terrorists. So, please do not blame us, or our Islam, but blame yourself. Blowing a bus of civilian is Haram in Islam. Also suicide in Islam is Haram. Al-Qura'an says: "If you unjustly kill a human being, you kill the whole humanity. If you save one human being, you save the whole humanity".

Your comments, "Islam is based partly on Bible". The whole Qura'an is against this notion. According to Qura'an, all the earlier prophets preached to their people to worship ONE GOD (ascribing partners to Lord is Haram in Islam). God has no partners, he has no wife, no son. Al-Qura'an is specific that the earlier prophets did not preach anything else but Islam (complete surrender to the will of God). It is very clear to us that Jesus Christ did not start any new religion -- any religion named Christianity -- . Christianity was started after his departure from this planet by St. Paul. Similarly, Prophet Muhammad did not start any new religion because the concept of Islam existed on this earth before his birth. So, Islam is a religion of continuation .. it's like a chain which started on Adam and ended on Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam recognizes that (the original) Bible did exist. Islam recognizes that the original Torat did exist, but these holy books are not available now in their original form and content. Al-Islam is the name of the process and this process started when the universe was created. So here we differ:

Jews say that you will go to hell if you are not a jew.

Christians say that you will go to hell if you are not a christian.

Muslims say that you will go to hell if you are not a good Muslim.

Hindus say that you will go to hell if you are not a Hindu.

Budhists say that you will go to hell if you are not a follower of Budha.

Who is right? Only Allah shall decide!

bc-05
02-08-2005, 11:26 PM
well i don't know.. but the pope said that as long as you have God (Allah in muslim) in your heart and u do the 2 main commandments of love God and love your neighbour.. u will go to heaven.. so i think this is the best method.. religion is just a vehicle.. muslim christians and jewish.. they believe in 1 God.. so what? doesnt mean u have to be in that specific religion to go to heaven.. but its mostly how good u do.. and u have to fear the creator.. thats what all 5 religions are saying..

Mahboob Khan
02-08-2005, 11:34 PM
As long as it is the same Creator!

bc-05
02-08-2005, 11:40 PM
i think it should be the same.. define Allah, define God and define Buddha for me.. they all match.. they all have the same definitions of the creator and 1 only.... well just because they have different names? why do ppl have to separate and say 1 religion is different? When the teachings are love each other... y not say that the religion doesnt matter but thow u act towards other does?

Phil
02-08-2005, 11:57 PM
I may be wrong but I feel that in 9/11 Muslims were used only to defame Islam. I have condemned those who committed this heinous crime because of this crime only Muslims suffered and are still suffering.

You implied that General Musharraf supported Taleban tho harboured OBL. Sir, it was your government which supported OBL, his Al-Qaeda, and other Afghan and Pakistani fighters against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Your President, Mr. Ronald Reagan dubbed these fighters as "Mujahideen" because they were serving the cause of the USA! However,when the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan, your government left these fighters in cold without any rehabilitation program. These poor people could not do anything else except to shoot! So, your government may have played a major role in turning them into terrorists. So, please do not blame us, or our Islam, but blame yourself. Blowing a bus of civilian is Haram in Islam. Also suicide in Islam is Haram. Al-Qura'an says: "If you unjustly kill a human being, you kill the whole humanity. If you save one human being, you save the whole humanity".

Your comments, "Islam is based partly on Bible". The whole Qura'an is against this notion. According to Qura'an, all the earlier prophets preached to their people to worship ONE GOD (ascribing partners to Lord is Haram in Islam). God has no partners, he has no wife, no son. Al-Qura'an is specific that the earlier prophets did not preach anything else but Islam (complete surrender to the will of God). It is very clear to us that Jesus Christ did not start any new religion -- any religion named Christianity -- . Christianity was started after his departure from this planet by St. Paul. Similarly, Prophet Muhammad did not start any new religion because the concept of Islam existed on this earth before his birth. So, Islam is a religion of continuation .. it's like a chain which started on Adam and ended on Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam recognizes that (the original) Bible did exist. Islam recognizes that the original Torat did exist, but these holy books are not available now in their original form and content. Al-Islam is the name of the process and this process started when the universe was created. So here we differ:

Jews say that you will go to hell if you are not a jew.

Christians say that you will go to hell if you are not a christian.

Muslims say that you will go to hell if you are not a good Muslim.

Hindus say that you will go to hell if you are not a Hindu.

Budhists say that you will go to hell if you are not a follower of Budha.

Who is right? Only Allah shall decide!

I'm not going to argue theology-I only know that many of the prophets in the Qu'ran are the same prophets mentioned in the Bible, parts of which, as we know, appreared some 550 years before the Qu'ran. Now you said in an earlier post the following:

"The beauty about Islam is that it recognizes earlier holy (original) Scriptures as given to Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (Essa bin Meryyam), and we believe in earlier Prophets including Jesus Christ."

So is that not correct, that major figures from Christianity are also major ones in Islam, and hence, that Islam is "partly" based on the Bible? If you want to quibble, fine-I'll agree with whatever you say, because you are taking this discussion well beyond what it was originally. I don't care about the differences in the religions-different or similar, what does it matter-they'll just keep trying to kill each other anyway, because one claims to be better or morally superior to the other. I don't subscribe to ANY religion. But, I agree with your quote:

"Al-Qura'an says: "If you unjustly kill a human being, you kill the whole humanity. If you save one human being, you save the whole humanity". And no one who is sane can argue that. We are coming to the same conclusion from different angles, Mahboob. What I said above is that SOME extreme elements have co-opted the religion and corrupted its meaning. The Qu'ran doesn't change, but these people and their message has-it is totally anti-Islam, anti-humanity, and the problem is, no one in the Muslim community-1.5 or so BILLION of them is seriously calling this small, but deadly minority on its hatred.

Back to politics, yes the US supported the Afghan and foreign/Arab Mujahideen. They backed some very nasty people all for the purpose of rolling back the Soviet Union and defeating them in the Cold War, and created some terrorists. However, they did not provide direct support to OBL. That, my friend, is a myth. And the Taliban are not the same as the Mujahideen-they are part of a movement of Afghan "students" that began in S. Afghanistan and N. Pakistan, and came to power years after war. Some of the Taliban fought as Mujahideen-many did not, but as a group, they did not function as a significant force during the war so they could not have been supported by the US in the War.

Camilio Pascual
02-09-2005, 04:09 AM
I was on a committee that denied God tenure here.
16 Reasons Why God Never Received Tenure at Any University:
1. He had only one major publication.
2. It was in Hebrew.
3. It had no references.
4. It wasn't published in a preferred journal.
5. Some even doubt He wrote it Himself.
6. It may be true that He created the World, but what has He done since then?
7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating His reported results. (I, myself, was in charge of the doomed Locust Project)
9. He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects.
10. When one experiment went awry, He tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects.
11. When samples didn't behave as predicted, He deleted them from the sample.
12. He rarely came to class; just told students to read The Book.
13. Some say He had His son teach the class.
14. He expelled His first two students for learning.
15. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed his tests.
16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.

Morpheus
02-09-2005, 06:27 AM
Well done, Pasqual, and here are reasons why He no longer gives a damn:

1. He's the boss.
2. His only publication is still the most influential in the field, with millions of citations a year.
3. Sure He didn't write it Himself, but with 12 grad students, would you?
4. Everybody says "Amen" to His opinions.
5. Disagree with Him, and you may end up in hell.
6. Nobody can beat His 4.5 billion years of field work and 3.5 billion years of DNA expertise.
7. His research facilities are simply the best: Even well funded scientists will admit they work in conditions that are "far from Heaven" when asked.
8. He doesn't depend on NSF money

Mahboob Khan
02-09-2005, 07:44 AM
Phil. I really respect your views. You seem to be a religious person.

OK, as followers of Islam we are the worst! No doubt about that. Our only hope is when bright people like you will discover the truth.

My understanding of the Qura'an is that:

-- the true followers of Islam are also the true Christians for they follow the true/original teachings of Essa (Jesus Christ). (Read chapter 2, 3, 5, and 19). Good translations are available on the internet.

-- We, the Muslims, are also supposed to be true Jews since we follow the true/original teachings of Abraham (Ibraheem) and Moses (Moosa).

The problem is that the message of Islam got distorted along the way. The religion was supposed to be one but vested groups chose to follow different detours.

And I know for sure that this debate cannot be decided between you and me. We have to wait for the moment when Lord God (Allah) Himself will decide these things for us! (my only satisfaction is that Islam believes in the whole process).

Noelle
02-09-2005, 08:17 AM
Phil. I really respect your views. You seem to be a religious person.

Might I point you to this previous statement from Phil.

I don't subscribe to ANY religion.

Camilio Pascual
02-09-2005, 09:30 AM
Might I point you to this previous statement from Phil.

Religion can be an impediment OR an aid to religious persons.

Phil
02-09-2005, 04:00 PM
Phil. I really respect your views. You seem to be a religious person.

You're being sarcastic here, Mahboob, but I AM religious, just not in the way-and obviously the ONLY way-that you understand. I am religious in my own way, I don't preach my beliefs to other people and I don't assert that what I believe is the one TRUE faith and all others are insignificant at best, blasphamy at worst. Most people wouldn't be interested anyway. I certainly don't follow "The "Big Three".
OK, as followers of Islam we are the worst! No doubt about that. Our only hope is when bright people like you will discover the truth.
Ha ha...NOW you're talking. But seriously, your only hope is if bright MUSLIM people discover the truth-maybe you're one of them, but if you can't even understand MY posts, then I suppose the world needs to look elsewhere.
The problem is that the message of Islam got distorted along the way. The religion was supposed to be one but vested groups chose to follow different detours.
BINGO!!!! Geez, that's ALL I've been trying to say for 3 posts now. I guess you finally understand. Islam is fine-it's these "vested groups" as you call them, that have distorted the religion. Why aren't THESE people being hunted down and killed?
And I know for sure that this debate cannot be decided between you and me. We have to wait for the moment when Lord God (Allah) Himself will decide these things for us! (my only satisfaction is that Islam believes in the whole process).

Whatever.

Mahboob Khan
02-09-2005, 09:45 PM
LOL. May Allah show us all the right path, Ameen!

The problem is that you are talking about people (and I admitted as followers we are the worst), and I am talking about the Divine Message:

What I meant by the statement,

"The religion was supposed to be one but vested groups found their own detours ... Islam got distorted along the way".

What I actually meant was this:

The religion was supposed to be one: Any true religion must had been sanctioned/approved by Allah, and implemented through the Prophet/Messenger of the time. In chapter 3, Allah says:

"Indeed, the deen (religion) liked by Allah is Al-Islam".

Now Allah is Omnipresent and common sense demands that his religion must have been one .. not so many. One religion, the religion of the masses, prophets, messengers, angels, Jins, and God Himself! In another chapter (Surah Al-Shoora), Allah says:

"O Muhammad, I ordained the same religion for you which I had ordained Abraham to uphold, and which I am conveying to you through this Book; the same religion which I had ordained for Moses and Essa (Jesus) to uphold. And divide not in groups/sects".

Prior to Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him), the concept of Islam existed. Even the House of Lord, the Ka'aba in Mecca, also existed. However, the message was incomplete and in its distorted form because the earlier Prophets including Zakaria, Yahya and even Jesus Christ were unjustly killed and the true/original message given to them about ONE GOD by Lord God never reached the people. On Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) this process was completed, and the Sharia was completed. What is Sharia? If Quran is the Constitution, the Sharia is a bunch of rules and regulations. Every Prophet's Sharia was different but the core message was the same, "complete surrender to the will and commands of Allah" and Islam is the name of this 'whole' process.

Bright people like you should not form an opinion without fully reading and understanding this core message which is contained in Al-Qura'an. Those who fully understood this message and reverted to the original path as ordained by Lord God, turned out to be better Muslims .. better than us.

What is the definition of "Muslim":

"those who have submitted to the will and commands of Allah OR are follower of Islam".

Phil
02-09-2005, 10:10 PM
What I meant by the statement,

"The religion was supposed to be one but vested groups found their own detours ... Islam got distorted along the way".

What I actually meant was this:

The religion was supposed to be one: Any true religion must had been sanctioned/approved by Allah, and implemented through the Prophet/Messenger of the time.
Gee, that's a pretty big distinction-between what you originally wrote and what you say you "meant". I think I know what you meant.

Note to self..."Do not discuss, or even mention religion on a public chat board-ever again." End of note.

Morpheus
02-10-2005, 03:43 AM
Phil, maybe if you just prayed a little harder...

Mahboob Khan
02-10-2005, 08:09 AM
Note to myself: "I did not start this discussion. I just took part in it believing there is freedom of speech. At least the only Muslim writer on this forum had the guts to speak out to share his insight with his tennis friends. Maybe, if I am right, Allah will summon me to His paradise". End of note to myself.

Peter K.
02-11-2005, 11:45 AM
Phil, i'd like to address a point you made earlier this week. I would've replied sooner but i've been swamped with work and school, but now i have a second to breathe and catch up.

First of all: I know, i know, on your most recent post you made a note to yourself not to discuss religion on a public chat board ever again, so if you don't feel like replying to my reply, that is completely understandable.

So now then...

On my last post i made the point that Christianity is the best explanation for the world, the universe and us in it. I claimed that there is a wide range of evidence to support this claim, including scientific evidence. You replied that you don't see any evidence. "Where is this evidence?" you asked. Fair enough, that's a good question.

This is what i mean by scientific evidence: The Bible says many things about God, which you've probably heard before, including that He is all powerful (omnipotent), present everywhere (omnipresent), and that He has total knowledge (omniscient). The Bible also claims that God is the creator of the universe, and that He is a God of purpose and order, and that He has a plan for the universe as well as for all humanity--past, present, future.

Now, if what the Bible says about God is true, then what would we expect to observe and discover in everyday life? My main point is this : the more science discovers about the universe and our place in it, the more it points to a purpose and an intelligent design within the cosmos.

For example, as you know, science shows that the universe has a beginning, that it did not always exist, that it had a starting point. The question that scientists, atheists and theists alike, have been wrestling with for decades is how did the universe get here? Many theories have been offered (steady state theory, multiverse theory, oscillating model theory, etc.) but they are all fraught with problems and none of them have been empirically verified. In other words, all of these theories still have to deal with the big question: how does something come from nothing? All of these theories have to address that, and none of them can satisfy. They all come back to the point that at one time there was nothing here--no time, no space, no physical matter--and then, presto, the universe appears. How do we account for this? A naturalist will claim that the natural and scientific laws are sufficient to explain this. A theist will claim that there is a personal God who created the world for a purpose.

At the same time, the Bible describes God as immaterial and timeless and, therefore, able to create time, space and everything in it. In other words, every scientific explanation for the beginning of the universe breaks down at some point, and yet what science has discovered about the origin of the universe fits the way the Bible describes it. In other words, if the Bible's account of creation were true, we could expect the universe to be just like we've observed--that it sprang out of nothing, fully charged, with energy. What is difficult, still, for the naturalist to explain, fits perfectly with a God who has the power to create something out of nothing.

Another point to consider is that science shows that a rare and finely tuned array of factors makes Earth suitable for complex life. They've discovered that these factors are so finely tuned that if just one of them were changed even a little bit, we would perish. These factors include our distance from the sun, our distance from the moon, the force of gravity, the speed of Earth's rotation, the degree of the Earth's tilt, the age and size of our sun, our position in the solar system, etc. There are at least 30 factors like these that must be put into place for complex life to exist anywhere. The more scientists discover about these factors, the more they see that life anywhere in the universe is deeply, shockingly rare. In fact, a conservative estimate as to the odds of all these factors coming together at the same time at the same location in the universe has been calculated at one in one trillion. Now if someone wants to hold onto the notion that this happened by chance, that option is definitely available to them. But here's the question: is that the smart choice? does that make sense? We wouldn't accept this thinking in every day life.

For example, if someone flips a coin 50 times and it lands on heads fifty times in a row, is there a chance that he could've acheived that by accident or chance? Sure, that's possible. But, in all honesty, we are much more likely to say, "Hey, man, let me see that coin! That coin is rigged, that coin is DESIGNED to land on heads everytime." If we wouldn't accept coincidence and chance in a simple example as tossing a coin, why would we accept astronomical odds when it comes to the design of the universe?

If there is no God, then all of the order and design we see in the universe had to take place accidentally from disorder and chaos, and that type of phenomenon doesn't just happen.

Yet another point to consider is abiogenesis: the idea of life coming from non-life. Science has discovered that early on in the Earth's history life was not here--not even one living cell. Later on, life appears! To this day, science cannot explain how life can come from non-life. Bring together all of the scientists in the world and have them try to make one living cell from things that are not living and they couldn't come close. Scientists realize that even the simplest bacteria cell is so complex, that they wouldn't even know where to start. Again, this makes sense with the Bible--which states that God created the Earth, and then later on, He created life of all kinds.

Another point to consider is DNA Science can't explain DNA. They can't expain how all that information got into our cells. Evolution can't explain it, time and chance of any kind can't explain it. Each cell in our body is more complex than New York City, and contains our individual DNA. As you know, there is more information in DNA than in the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica. All this to say, in real life, we observe that information comes only from a mind, and not by accident.

A simple example of this would be Mt.Rushmore. No one is going to attribute that to wind, rain, sun and time. Rather we know that a mind is behind this. Why? Because we are receiving information--faces of four American Presidents. Or think of this. If, somehow, we received a computer disk from outer space that contained all of the information of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, we would have no problem attributing that to an extraterrestrial intelligence. Yet, when we find even more than that in even one of our own cells, we attribute that to blind, random chances. Yet again, what science can't explain, makes sense with what the Bible teaches--that a supremely intelligent mind, God, is the one who put that information inside of our cells. Even Bill Gates once noted that the information inside of DNA is much more complex with anything they've ever created at Microsoft. What's interesting about that is that the people who are working for him are very intelligent people.

There is so much more that could be said about this, i've only scratched the surface on these issues. If you are interested, a good place to start would be "The Case For A Creator" by Lee Strobel. Most bookstores would have it. It covers all the areas of science--biology, physics, astronomy, chemistry, cosmology, etc. This book, a fun read of about 300 pages, sets out to show how the scientific evidence points towards God and not away from Him. Also, a good website to check out is www.reasons.org This is the website of Hugh Ross--a scientist who, likewise, points out the scientific evidence pointing towards God. His credentials are also listed on the website, as well as the scientists interviewed in Strobel's book, so you'll see that these are professionals who know their stuff.

Bottom line is what have we discovered about the universe and our Earth and what is the best explanation for these things. If we want to say that there is no God, and therefore no supernatural, and that the physical universe is all that exists, we have to hold onto ideas that are counterintuitve--that the universe came out of nothing, that order came from disorder, that the information in our DNA came by accident, and that life came from non-life.

Science is just one out of many areas that have God's fingerprints all over it, that fit with the Bible. Now what it comes down to is that we are all betting our lives. We are betting our lives that our view about God is accurate. And we are betting our lives forever and ever. The consequences for our beliefs will last for eternity. With that being the case, the wise choice would be to go with the odds-on favorite.

Kobble
02-11-2005, 03:08 PM
If there is no God, then all of the order and design we see in the universe had to take place accidentally from disorder and chaos, and that type of phenomenon doesn't just happen.
Most scientists seem to believe it can happen. It may take an extremely long time, but theoretically it occurs. Read the book called- Where does the weirdness go. I am sure other more credible sources wil say the same thing. However, I don't believe it is a fair to assume that since you or I haven't been around long enough to verify such phenomenon, that it can't happen. It can take an insane amount of time to accomplish such complex tasks based on chance. Off the top of my head, you would probably have to account for every atom in the universe just get an estimation. It is all probability theory, the more outcomes possible the longer it usually takes to fulfill an outcome.


Yet another point to consider is abiogenesis: the idea of life coming from non-life. Science has discovered that early on in the Earth's history life was not here--not even one living cell. Later on, life appears! To this day, science cannot explain how life can come from non-life. Bring together all of the scientists in the world and have them try to make one living cell from things that are not living and they couldn't come close. Scientists realize that even the simplest bacteria cell is so complex, that they wouldn't even know where to start. Again, this makes sense with the Bible--which states that God created the Earth, and then later on, He created life of all kinds.

To answer this is just going back to the birth of organic chemistry. Urea was made from Ammonium cyanate. The original thought was that substances produced by living things could not be made synthetically. Well, some people were wrong about that one. You know, it seems like you are basing your opinions on humanities current limitations. Keep in mind that we have only been at this for a little over two hundreds years, we will make progress, it is just a matter of time. Just like my orginal reply, a matter of time. We already violate the 2nd Law of themodynamics. Believe me, nothing is better suited on this planet than us to take it to another level. We have already systematized living, now the race is on to synthesize life(DNA).

Morpheus
02-11-2005, 04:51 PM
Now, if what the Bible says about God is true, then what would we expect to observe and discover in everyday life? My main point is this : the more science discovers about the universe and our place in it, the more it points to a purpose and an intelligent design within the cosmos.

But, Peter, you have not been arguing whether a creator exists--a point that would be pretty darn meaningless to debate, although one I would support-- but, instead, that Christianity offers more proof of His existance than other religions--a point I find preposterous. They all offer the same amount of proof; none. That's why faith takes a leap. You can't get there through reasoning.

Mahboob Khan
02-11-2005, 05:13 PM
I can't resist saying excellent post Peter K. There is a Creator called God (Allah). Allah and God is the same thing. We call Him Allah. The reasons (or lack of reasons) which you mentioned are listed in Qura'an as well. Maybe your post will serve as a passport to heaven for you. That's was the reason I was requesting you guys to study Qura'an in detail as well. If I can keep and read Bible why can't you? The need of the hour is to highlight the common things on which the three big cousins -- Islam, Judaism, Christianity -- agree, NOT to highlight those things on which we do not agree!

Well done Peter K.

Morpheus
02-11-2005, 05:29 PM
I can't resist saying excellent post Peter K. There is a Creator called God (Allah). Allah and God is the same thing. We call Him Allah. The need of the hour is to highlight the common things on which the three big cousins -- Islam, Judaism, Christianity -- agree, NOT to highlight those things on which we do not agree!

Well done Peter K.

Mahboob, I don't think anyone has been arguing whether a creator exists, but whether a particular religion is the One. You say Allah, Peter says God. Same concept. Mankind has always explained what he doesn't understand by creating a God or gods. The universe reveals its secrets, but it takes time and understanding. In the meantime, mankind fills in the gaps by conjuring up the supernatural.

Unfortunately (and sadly), odds are you and Phil could enter a room together and you would both come out intact, because Phil is merely a skeptic, playing devil's advocate, if you will. He's not fanatically tied to any mythology. He stands for logic and reason. You and Peter, on the other hand, would probably bloody each other because you could not come to terms with the differences in your religions, despite the obvious similarities.

Peter K.
02-11-2005, 07:19 PM
Hey Guys!

Thanks tossing in your thoughts. I'm enjoying this. It's making me think and ponder and contemplate...

First of all, Mahboob, thank you for your kind words. They were much appreciated.

Second of all, Kobble, thanks for your reply, and i will respond but i only have time to respond to one tonight. I'll catch up with you over the weekend.

Morpheus, i hear what you're saying, and that is one of the frustrating aspects of posting instead of sitting around the table and talking: you can't get all of your points in. Well, i mean, i could, but then i would be writing a small novella on the TW message board. Let me briefly clarify what i meant a from my last post. Every religion proposes answers to the question "how did we (us and the universe) get here?" My point was that, in regards to the origin of the universe, the scientific evidence fits the way the Bible describes it, and that gives us confidence to accept the trustworthiness of the Bible. The other two religions that agree with Christianity on this point are, like Mahboob said, Islam and Judaism (all three are monotheistic). And this has been my argument all along: that Christianity gives the best answers to the four big questions in life: 1.) origin 2.) meaning 3.) morality 4.) destiny

1.) How did we (us and the universe) get here?
2.) What is the meaning of life? (what is the purpose of it all)
3.) What is right and wrong?
4.) What happens after we die?

Morpheus, I'm curious, when you say that there is no proof for religion, or that you can't arrive at the truth through reasoning, when in fact we use reason everyday to determine what is true. We ask ourselves questions such as: 1.) Does this idea make sense? (is it logical) 2.) Does this idea fit the real world? 3.) Can this idea be trusted? (does it come from a reliable authority).

Lt's take the first question 1.) Does this idea make sense? We use logic every day to determine truth. For example, if you asked me for directions to my house and told you something like, "Go east on Ventura Blvd. until you get to Laurel Canyon. When you get to Laurel Canyon make a left and a right."
Well you would know i was talkin nonsense. You can't go left and right at the same time. It's illogical. Or, what if told you, "Hey, Morpheus, for 20 dollars i'll let you take a look at this square circle i have in the glove compartment of my car." Of course you wouldn't take me up on that offer. A square circle doesn't exist--it's illogical. We use logic everyday to determine truth. We can apply that to religion as well. For example, the belief that all religions lead to God is a belief called "Pluralism." Another way to think of "Pluralism" is that all religions are saying the same thing. Well, Pluraism cannot be true. How can i say that? Because it breaks down logically. For example, Christians say that Jesus is the Messiah, Jews say Jesus is not the Messiah. Well, either Jesus is the Messiah or he's not the Messiah, fair enough? But one thing we know is that he cannot be the Messiah and NOT be the Messiah at the same time. Someone has got to be wrong here.

Or let's take the example of what happens after you die: Some religions say that after we die, we are reincarnated. Other religions say after we die we go to heaven or hell. Yet other religions claim that we go to astral worlds or some even say there is nothing after we die, we just lie in the grave--lights out, show is over. Well here's the point: after we die, we might be reincarnated or we might go to heaven or hell or we might visit astral worlds or we might just lie in the grave, but one thing i know for sure: WE CAN'T DO THEM ALL! We can't be reincarnated AND go to heaven or hell AND visit astral worlds AND just lie in the grave. These are competing, contradictory notions. We can't do them all. That's like going left and right at the same time. It's illogical. It can't be done. Not even by God. In other words, in everyday life, we reject ideas that don't make sense. It's amazing how we adhere to this notion in every day matters to determine truth.

The second question, "Does this idea fit the real world?" If we were passing by a circus tent and the guy was selling tickets to come check out his unicorn farm, we wouldn't waste our money. Why? Because unicorns don't exist. Or if you asked me where did i go on vacation, and i told you, "Middle Earth," you wouldn't believe me because Middle Earth doesn't exist. Middle Earth is a creation from the imagination of J.R. Tolkein (Lord of the Rings). it doesn't fit the real world.

Likewise, in Hinduism, there is a belief called Maya--which, basically, is the belief that our individual identities don't exist and that what we consider reality is really an illusion. Well does that fit the real world? What if i invited you over to my house to meet my ten year old mother? Would you have to come over to my house to know that such a person doesn't exist? Of course not! You know better. You know that by the nature of a mother-child relationship, that the notion of my ten year old mother doesn't fit the real world. You would know that i was wrong, crazy or purposely lying to you. Of what if someone told me that they truly believe all of this life is an illusion, my reply to them would be, (seriously and politely, not in a smart *** kind of way), "Could you please stand on the 405 freeway, and when that truck is coming at you at 80 miles per hour, just tell yourself it's an illusion. You'll be alright." Obviously, they wouldn't do that. Neither would I . Neither would you. I could never adhere to the Hindu religion because on it's face it doesn't fit the real world. Besides, if all of this were an illusion, how would we ever know it was an illusion? How would we ever be able to test such a thing? It takes reality to know when you are in an illusion. Just like the other day, when I was walking on the beach, hand-in-hand with Jennifer Lopez. Morpheus, i'm telling you, it was beautiful! We were whispering "i love you" into each other's ear, we were staring into each other's eyes, and then....the phone in my living room rang, and i snapped out of it, and i realized i was sitting by myself, at my kitchen table, and then i realized "Aw, man, that whole Jennifer Lopez thing was an illusion! That sucks!" How did i know that? Because now i am back in reality and i have that to compare it to. In other words, we reject ideas that don't fit the real world.

The last question, Can this idea be trusted? In other words, does this idea come from a reliable authority? Here's an example to underscore the importance of authority: Say someone asked you to describe my mother. Well, you never met my mother, nor me for that matter, so you would give it your best guess. Now let's say that same person asks Mahboob and Kobble to describe my mother (again neither Mahboob nor Kobble have met me nor my mother), they too would give it there best shot. Now, what if that same person asks me to describe my mother. Who's opinion do you think that people would trust? Mine, of course. Why? Because i have a special insight that you guys don't have. I know my mother. My idea on this matter can trusted over yours because of privileged information that i have at my disposal. Another example is a busy intersection. If i stand out in the middle of a busy intersection and raise my hand for cars to stop, one car, maybe two would stop (at the most), but they wouldn't have to, right? I mean, after all, who am i, there is no reason for cars to stop for me. But, now, replace me with a police officer, and all the cars are going to stop. Why? Because the police officer is a person in authority, and we listen to those who have authority.

So now then, one reason i believe that Christianity is the truth is because of the authority of Jesus. He lived a life like no one else. He was sinless. Jesus asked the religious leaders of His day, "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?" and no one could. Likewise, Jesus refers to Himself, among other things, as the "Light of the world," "the Good Shepherd,"the Way, the Truth and the Life," and in John chapter eight, Jesus calls Himself "I AM", which is the same name God calls Himself in the Old Testament. And Jesus backed up His words with actions--by performing miracles. He healed those who were plagued with diseases. He raised others from the dead, and then on the third day after his death, He Himself rose from the dead. Now, I would say that is someone who is worth listening to.

In fact, at one point the religious leaders were getting enraged at Jesus for the claims that He was making about Himself. Jesus not only claimed to be the Messiah, He claimed to be God, and this was more than the religious leaders could stand, so they sent guards to go arrest Jesus and bring Him back. A little while later, the guards returned empty handed, and when the religious leaders asked them "Why didn't you bring Jesus in?" the guards said, "No man has ever spoken like this man speaks." Jesus words had a weight and an authority unlike any other's. He is someone who not only speaks with ultimate authority, but who demonstrates His power over disease, death and evil, and thus proving Himself to be the Lord God Himself.

Alright, that's all for now. I have to stop, primarily because my hands are about to fall off. Hope you all have a good weekend. I look forward to keeping the conversation going!

Peter K.
02-11-2005, 07:28 PM
Morpheus, i was still cranking away at my last, long message post, so i didn't see your latest before I sent mine. Just for the record, i believe Mahoob and I could be in the same room and get along fine--even if we disagree on certain ideas about God. Mahoob seems like a cool guy, and besides i have friends of all kinds of beliefs, and even though we may debate these differences, we maintain respect for each other, and we still hang out, and even play tennis.

One more thing, Morpheus: if i have ever come off as hostile or disrespectful or anything like that, i apologize. Not my intent. Like i said, i don't need someone to agree with me to be friends with them...
Til next time,
Pete

Deuce
02-11-2005, 10:47 PM
Seeing as this is the Neverending Thread, I'll take a crack at Peter's "four big questions in life"...

1.) How did we (us and the universe) get here?
It is arrogant for any religion or human being to claim to know the 'answer' to this question. The answer is quite possibly not for us to know; beyond the very limited comprehensions and capacities of the human being. It would be nice if human beings were humble enough to answer this question with a simple and honest "I don't know", rather than guessing and claiming that "my guess is better than your guess", which is, essentially, the foundation of every religion.

2.) What is the meaning of life? (what is the purpose of it all)It is arrogant for any religion or human being to claim to know the 'answer' to this question. The answer is quite possibly not for us to know; beyond the very limited comprehensions and capacities of the human being. It would be nice if human beings were humble enough to answer this question with a simple and honest "I don't know", rather than guessing and claiming that "my guess is better than your guess", which is, essentially, the foundation of every religion.

3.) What is right and wrong?
Right is Truth and Honesty. Wrong is untruth and dishonesty.

4.) What happens after we die?
It is arrogant for any religion or human being to claim to know the 'answer' to this question. The answer is quite possibly not for us to know; beyond the very limited comprehensions and capacities of the human being. It would be nice if human beings were humble enough to answer this question with a simple and honest "I don't know", rather than guessing and claiming that "my guess is better than your guess", which is, essentially, the foundation of every religion.

aj_m2009
02-12-2005, 01:44 AM
I am also a christian so I have to agree with Peter and some with Mahboob. I obviously think there is a creator, being God. I understand that I could be wrong but ultimately I don't think(think being the key word) I am. Now I also understand that it is possible for something to come out of nothing, but it is extremely rare and in my mind impossible. But according to the Bible in I believe Philippians (sp?) 4:13 it says "All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me." So ultimately all things are possible if you have Jesus in your heart. But after I say this I would have to think that for that to happen it would have had something to do with God, don't you? And that is really the way the Bible describes the earth being made, out of nothing. It says in Genesis 1:1 " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It doesn't say He created it out of something but then again it does it say He created it out of nothing. So there is an equal chance that He did create it out of something or that He didin't. So it is very well possible that it was created out of nothing I think. So there is my legthy answer to question #1.

#2: I really don't know what the purpose of it all is. I would like to believe that there is a purpose for everything. Obviosly everything has a purpose, but everything as a whole, I don't know what that purpose would be.

#3: Different people have different opinions for what is right and what is wrong. For example: I think it is wrong for a woman to have an abortion because in my mind that is the same thing as murder. I mean, you are killing a life, or what would have been a life had it been alive long enough. So it is obvious that there are different opinions on what are right and wrong so I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this question.

#4: I believe that we either go to heaven or hell. Again, whether I am right or not I don't know but ultimately I think I am right. It very well may be that we are reincarnated(sp?) or just lie in the grave and rot or whatever the other thing mentioned by I belive it was Peter in an earlier post, I can't find it and I don't rememeber.

And in an earlier post Peter also said that he thought the Cosmological Argument was persuasive. I agree with you. I think that it is pretty true. I mean we all have a purpose. Whether it is to be a basketball player or a carpenter, we all have a purpose. And the earth definetly has a purpose, That being to house us and all other life forms on the earth. And other life forms have purposes too. An animal could possibly be someones food or a plant too for that matter. So to me everything has a purpose. And God I agree doesn't have to have a purpose because there is no beginning of God that I know of, but I believe he does have a purpose. One of his many purposes is to have created everything. Another I think would be to give us something to live for.

So there is my view. I am also with Peter on something else. I respect everyones views of life and everything else too but I have found nothing else to change my view on anything.

Morpheus
02-12-2005, 05:31 AM
Seeing as this is the Neverending Thread, I'll take a crack at Peter's "four big questions in life"...

1.) How did we (us and the universe) get here?
It is arrogant for any religion or human being to claim to know the 'answer' to this question. The answer is quite possibly not for us to know; beyond the very limited comprehensions and capacities of the human being. It would be nice if human beings were humble enough to answer this question with a simple and honest "I don't know", rather than guessing and claiming that "my guess is better than your guess", which is, essentially, the foundation of every religion.

2.) What is the meaning of life? (what is the purpose of it all)It is arrogant for any religion or human being to claim to know the 'answer' to this question. The answer is quite possibly not for us to know; beyond the very limited comprehensions and capacities of the human being. It would be nice if human beings were humble enough to answer this question with a simple and honest "I don't know", rather than guessing and claiming that "my guess is better than your guess", which is, essentially, the foundation of every religion.

3.) What is right and wrong?
Right is Truth and Honesty. Wrong is untruth and dishonesty.

4.) What happens after we die?
It is arrogant for any religion or human being to claim to know the 'answer' to this question. The answer is quite possibly not for us to know; beyond the very limited comprehensions and capacities of the human being. It would be nice if human beings were humble enough to answer this question with a simple and honest "I don't know", rather than guessing and claiming that "my guess is better than your guess", which is, essentially, the foundation of every religion.


Thanks, Deuce. You've expressed my point of view very well.

Peter, you're not hostile, just committed to an idea. Even if you believe you are absolutely correct and there is no other answer, keep in mind that there probably is another answer.

Mahboob Khan
02-12-2005, 07:14 AM
Peter K. and my Christian Brothers: Give yourself a present. Read chapters 3 (The Family of Imran), 5 (The Dining Table), 19 (Al-Meryyam), and then No. 2 (The Cow) of the Holy Al-Qura'an, and you will discover Messiah Essa bin Meryyam, and you will also know something about Al-Islam! I will anxiously await your feedback.

God bless you.

Peter K.
02-12-2005, 09:13 AM
Hey Guys, i'm on the run today but i just wanted to touch base before i go.

Mahboob, thanks for your recommendation. I am going to get a Qura'an soon and read the chapters you recommended. But as i said before, please be patient with me :-) i'm a full time graduate student and my reading assignments for school are huge right now. But i will get to it.

Kobble, i've been mulling over your reply and will respond to you today or tomorrow. Thanks!

Morpheus, Deuce, i appreciate that you guys are staying in the discussion, but i have a favor to ask of you, and i believe this will help me, as well as the discussion as a whole: i would like for you to respond to my arguments instead of saying things like "we can never know the truth about religion" or "all we can do is take our best guess" or "it's all just a matter of opinion"

Yes, i agree, i am making a truth claim about religion, and i do believe that Christianity is the truth. But i've got reasons. And the arguments i've offered are coherent and logical, and worthy of being addressed head-on. My last post, what did you guys think? Neither of you responded to it. Did you think it made sense? Did you think it was bad thinking? Did you agree? Disagree? And if you did, tell me why you think so. These are the things that will keep this conversation productive for all of us.

Could I be wrong in my views? Sure, there is a chance. After all, i don't know everything. I don't think I am wrong because i think there are many good reasons to believe that Jesus is who He says He is. But if I am wrong, give me good reasons, good arguments, something that would show me that my view is not true. I am open minded enough to change my mind if the truth points in the other direction. Because that is my goal: to know truth. And to follow it to where ever it leads.

Speaking of truth, i am not the only one making truth claims about religion on this thread. Morpheus, Deuce, the view you both have offered is also a truth claim. To claim that "we could never know the truth about religion" is making a truth claim. And the questions that come to mind when i hear statements like that is:

-How do you know we can never know the truth about religion?
-Since my view about religion is not true, how do you know that your view about religion is true?
-How do you know that what i'm saying about Christianity is just my opinion?

All this to say, like i mentioned above, is give me reasons, give me arguments, to take your view seriously. I have spent a lot of time typing out reasons for why i believe Christianity is true (and in the meantime have developed carpel tunnel--sp?).
Address those points that i've offered, keep the ball rolling. In his last reply, Kobble specifically responded to a couple of the points i made with a counter argument--and that was great.

Thanks, guys, for enduring my Saturday morning ranting. :-) I appreciate conversations like these. They make me think about what i believe in, and to consider it from a different angle.

Morpheus
02-12-2005, 10:59 AM
Morpheus, Deuce, i appreciate that you guys are staying in the discussion, but i have a favor to ask of you, and i believe this will help me, as well as the discussion as a whole: i would like for you to respond to my arguments instead of saying things like "we can never know the truth about religion" or "all we can do is take our best guess" or "it's all just a matter of opinion"

Not only do you presume to have all the answers, but you have the gall to ask those who are challenging your base assumptions to step aside.

Mahboob Khan
02-12-2005, 05:17 PM
Peter K. You had posted excellent posts and mostly you are right and I am with you on this -- Islam and Christianity side by side -- . I really admire you because passion is dripping out of you, I can see your heart pumping. I like that!

There are certain things the way Christianity perceives the existence of Jesus Christ on this earth and his departure from it. I have not directly responded to these, instead I recommended that you read chapters 2, 3, 5, and 19 of Holy Qura'an. It's only after that you have read these chapters your perception about Islamic perception about Jesus Christ will clear up. I still believe that Islamic view about Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) is correct and more logical than the Christianity one.

Audiodude
02-12-2005, 05:57 PM
Once again, Deuce speaks with the voice of reason. Several people here seem to think they know the answers to what are obviously unanswerable questions. But all it comes down to is that you think you know.

Deuce
02-12-2005, 09:58 PM
A few of the types of people who are strongly religious:

Type A: "I Believe in something (but not in myself)". Some people NEED to believe in something - largely because they do not believe in themselves. Religion comes to the 'rescue' of such people, who allow themselves to be led by religion 'X' in exchange for the opportunity to BELIEVE in something - in whatever the religion tells them to believe in.

Type B: "I'll be anyone you want me to be and do anything you want me to do". (Shares some similarities with Type A.) Some people desperately need to BELONG. The religion is to these people what a gang is to a lonely, troubled teenager. Like the poor teenager, this person knows he is of weak character - and so seeks out a character - or IDENTITY - which the religion (or gang) readily supplies. WHAT the religion - or gang - does, and WHAT they 'believe' is of lesser importance than the fact that they've accepted the individual and provided him with an identity as well as a comfortable and much needed sense of belonging. To show his appreciation for this acceptance, the individual pledges his allegiance to whatever it is that the religion - or gang - preaches and 'believes' - thus creating his 'identity'.

Type C: "Ha, ha - I know something you don't know". Some people cannot admit they simply don't know. This is the result of ego and insecurity in that such persons feel that to admit ignorance reveals them as lesser persons in a world where many CLAIM to know the answers to these riddles (without even one single individual ever, in the history of mankind, providing substantial evidence to back up their claim). And so, in order to avoid appearing 'stupid', they claim to know - but they are careful not to make this claim alone. They attach themselves to a religion for added security (strength in numbers).

Type D: "Don't look at me, I didn't do it". Some people thoroughly despise personal responsibility. Religions capitalize on this by very conveniently making decisions on how to conduct your life for you. This way, when things go wrong, one can shrug it off by saying "Hey, it's not my fault - it's the Lord's will."

Type E: 'The Lifer'. If one teaches a child from birth that 2+2=5, and, allows the child no exposure whatsoever to any answer which opposes 5 as the result of 2+2 until the child is, say, 20 years old, then that individual will insist that 2+2=5 - because that is all he has ever known. No other option exists, because he was never exposed to any other option. Thus is the narrow existence of those who were brought up in one religion or another. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to ever convince this person that 2+2 is NOT 5, because accepting this would mean that the person must essentially view those who have told him for his entire existence that 2+2=5 as now being very wrong, and possibly even as deliberately harming him. Further, accepting that the answer is NOT 5 will throw his entire existence into question, as it will dismantle the very foundation upon which he was built. And so it is much easier and safer to stay put and vehemently defend the position he has been taught all of his life, which teachings include disregarding the growing evidence that there is no evidence to prove that 2+2=5.

To knowingly limit a child's knowledge; to deliberately encourage his ignorance; to restrict a child's exposure - and thus his learning of the world - simply that he may "follow in your footsteps" as a follower, and not as a leader or a questionner, is to me a form of severe child abuse. Unfortunately, it is a very common practice.

Mahboob Khan
02-12-2005, 11:14 PM
The lifter. 2+2 = 5. I like this example. Obviously if I am born in a muslim family, I will be a Muslim by birth no matter how wrong my religion is. I had gone through this phase and that's why I studied other religions to compare them with Islam (just in case I was wrong).

That's the reason I had been recommending that you should also do some research with open mind about other religions such as Islam!

Deuce
02-13-2005, 12:09 AM
Yes, Mahboob - people who belong to a religion often tell me that they did indeed go out and "research other religions" - to see if the grass is greener, so to speak. But the problem is that, by the time people go to research other religions, they have already been 'indoctrinated' into the original religion - and they visit the other religions with a very biased perspective. The perspective on other religions is already very biased against them by the time people begin their 'research. In fact, this is so true that religious leaders, when they know that they've got a person totally 'hooked' on their religion, will actually encourage the person to 'research' other religions, knowing that doing so will only serve to strengthen that person's faith in the original religion - because they enter the 'research' with such a biased perspective, 'researching' other religions serves to strengthen their faith in their own religion by seeing the other religions as being 'false religions'.

Why must one choose an established religion at all? Why cannot one be strong and simply form one's own beliefs without adopting the existing beliefs of others? are beliefs somehow less valuable or less valid if they are not shared and defended by an organized group?

(The 'YOU' in the following paragraphs does not refer to you specifically, Mahboob, but to anyone.)
Tell me you believe in God, and I don't have a problem with that (just don't tell me that you KNOW God exists). But tell me that you belong to a religion, then I have a problem with that, because every word out of your mouth (or your keyboard) on the subject of God/Jesus/the Bible/religion will not be your words, but those of the religion which you are merely repeating. The individual is thus lost - the religion has stolen the individual away from himself.

All religious people claim that their religion is "God's religion", and that God meant for people to follow its dictates. But if God does exist, then it must have been God who gave you a brain, and thus gave you the ability to think for yourself. And so following anything or anyone else - including following a religion - must then be going against God's intention that we think for ourselves. He must have given us a brain to use it - to draw OUR OWN conclusions -, not to forfeit it. Right?

J D
02-13-2005, 02:41 PM
This is an interesting thread for a tennis board. Soooo much stuff!

Deuce and others, I am a Christian. I was not born into a Christian family. I did research different religions. Ultimately, I didn't chose, but was chosen (and, no, for those of you that understand, I'm not a Calvinist). I didn't even join a church until 2 years after becoming a Christian. I was not "indoctrinated."

I know that Christians come across as arrogant. Why? Mainly because Jesus came across as arrogant. He knew the truth and refused to deny it. This even led to Him being crucified. He could have denied that He was the King of the Jews and the Son of God and been spared, but He wouldn't.

Jesus said, "No man may come to the Father but by Me." If Christians were to condone other religions that don't preach Jesus as the only way to God, then we would be calling Jesus a liar. Jesus said, "I and the Father are One." He allowed others to worship him, although no other heavenly beings other than God or the Angel of the Lord (generally believed to be the pre incarnate Christ) allowed this. Jesus was either the sinless Son of God and the only way to God or a total lair, there is no in between.

Mahboob, I am very familiar with your beliefs and I certainly respect your commitment and dedication to truth and peace. If we were to meet in person, I am sure we would be good friends. If nothing else, I have tried to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. But, if you have read carefully the teachings of Christ, how can you believe him to be a prophet? He is either the one and only Savior, a con man, or a madman.

To those who still don't understand the Christian's confidence that they know the truth; the difference is that we have a witness within us, the Holy Spirit. He not only leads us into the truth but also confirms to our spirit when we have found it. When a man (or woman) becomes a Christian, he is born again, his spirit is regenerated, and the Spirit of God comes to live inside of him. The Spirit works in the Christian's life to help him become more like God and to lead him into truth, especially through reading the Bible. This is not something you can understand until you've experienced it or something you can deny once you have. Thus, Christians have a strong belief that they know the truth, at least in regards into how to have a relationship with God. God is not something we believe, He is something we have experienced. I know there is a God just as readily as I know that there is a game called tennis. Those that aren't sure that they have a relationship with God don't. You can't miss something like that.

BTW, if you want Biblical references for everything I said or you want to know how to become a Christian, just ask and I'll be glad to answer. Anyone who is earnestly seeking the truth should read and research the Bible with humility and an open mind.

Noelle
02-13-2005, 04:13 PM
Thank you, JD!

Phil
02-13-2005, 05:15 PM
Morpheus', Deuce's and Kobble's posts pretty much reflect my own views, with few exceptions. Mahboob, you have your religion. That is a major aspect of your life-and as a devout Muslim, it IS your life and you should not act so defensivly towards people who may question your or anyone else's contention that it is the "Truth". If you are secure in your faith, and that yours is THE faith, then nothing else that another person says or thinks really matters, right? That said, I believe you are only capable of answering a question or comment with another recommendation to read another sura or passage from the Qu'ran-you are dogmatic, as is Peter, whose simplistic stabs at "scientifically" explaining the Bible only highlight an ignorance and dependence on religion for all knowledge that is not (yet) known to us, and may never be. A conversation between so-called non-believers or agnostics and believers is not really productive-minds don't usually open to countervailing views, and ours will certainly never consider your interpretation of the universe. It's an exercise though, and done without rancor (or threats of violence or fatwa or whatever) may actually get someone to think, later on up the road...

Man invented religion because he was afraid of the dark-he needed an explanation for what "may" be out there...which is not such a bad defense mechanism-but a defense mechanism, to be healthy, should be TEMPORARY-something to be put aside or disgarded once survival is assured through its use. But religion as a defense mechanism never was dropped, once man discovered what, if anything, lurked in the darkness of his imagination-in fact, religion became a means of control or a crutch. When various tribes OBVIOUSLY came up with their own views of the cosmos and their formation, and began FIGHTING other tribes over which version was more TRUE, then that is when religion took a wrong turn, and has been going "off road" ever since. To those who say I should read the Bible or Qu'ran-and I've read both, I recommend that YOU read Freud's "Future of An Illusion" and Machiavelli's "The Prince" for a counter view of your religion.

I said I wouldn't discuss religion here, but this thread has generated some good comments, and I didn't want to completely cop out.

Mahboob Khan
02-13-2005, 07:38 PM
"Man invented religion?"

If I know that a man invented Al-Islam, I will be the first to abandon it! A man or men for that matter only served as Messenger(s) of Allah -- to convey the God's message to masses --.

You said you studied Bible and Qura'an and yet your views about the religion are so off.

"Guidance is only from Allah". It appears that a sinful person like me cannot guide others. I am out of here.

Phil
02-13-2005, 08:14 PM
Yes, I said that man invented religion. Religion is merely the framework through which man is able to worship God-to access Him, if you will. If God/Allah exists, then knowledge of Him is available because of man-and Moses, the 12 disciples and Mohammed were, to my knowledge, mortals. I did not say that man created God. He may or may not have. This is MY opinion only-I am not telling you this is the "Truth" and the "Way that it is, because my Book says so", so try not to get so upset by someone's opinion-that IS what free speech is about, isn't it? After all, YOU invoked freedom of speech in one of YOUR previous posts, and no one is denying THAT to you, either).

No one said you were sinful-how did you form that idea from this discussion? My views on religion are only "off" because you cannot accept views other than your own, so of course I am "off" in your view (because you said so, and for no other reason). One can read the sacred texts and appreciate them in an academic/historical/literary sense, without instantly becoming converted to the religion. The Qu'ran is available for all to study, and it is worth doing so.

And you can certainly guide others who are looking to embrace Islam or increase their knowledge of it-who said you could not? You are starting to cry...why? If your faith is rock solid, then there's no reason for you to develop a complex about anything else said here, now is there? I am not trying to shake you from your faith-that would be foolish and pointless. Maybe it's better if you are "out of here"-you don't seem capable of handling this discussion rationally. Peter, on the other hand, is annoying friendly-like those smiling Jehovah's Witnesses s who used to knock on my door, uncannily, right when I started to eat lunch or just before taking a shower (really-their timing is amazingly bad). I feel that, misguided as he is, he is certainly confident in his beliefs. Good for him-he's found his guiding light, and as far as he's concerned, he is "right". Not real good for the rest of us, considering that the country is led, and policies that affect the world is being made by so-called True Believers.

D-man
02-13-2005, 08:43 PM
I was wondering if I may join the discussion a little?

I would like to comment on some of Deuce's statements. To say religion was "invented" by man is, perhaps, to be a little too dismissive and could be seen as circular logic (which came first, the chicken or the egg?). What if this "invention" were the product of something implanted in humanity beforehand? Perhaps humankind's "invention" of religion is an expression of spiritual hunger... maybe s/he is reaching out to something beyond him/herself because deep down is the knowledge that there must be Something s/he was made for. Why is this *not* possible? Don't you think the hunger for the supernatural in humankind might reflect an innate longing for something "divine" that s/he was separated from long ago? Religion may be a misdirected expression toward the Creator... not necessarily a meaningless "coping" invention. The perfection we long for can never be found in this world as we know it. We look around and see that we are separated from the excellence and beauty of Perfection that we long for. In this world, I believe, are two types of people... people content to live in futility and vanity without true meaning and joy... and people who will not stop searching until they find it. If you assume that meaningless futility is all that is allotted to humanity you are making just as big a claim to knowledge as someone who advocates Christ as the meaning of life.

To the those that claim that all religions are very similar... I strongly disagree. Although I think much of what today is called "Christianity" is actually contradictory to the message of the Bible, Scripture stands alone in proclaiming how the Creator bridged the gap between humanity's imperfection and the Supreme Being's perfection by the self-sacrifice and resuscitation of an incarnate God (God joined to all humanity, as it were, destroying and recreating mystically). This should be acknowledged and not confused by awful misrepresentations, regardless of how numerous they may be. It is these people that misrepresent Christianity that cause others to think it similar to co-world religions, not realizing that the people that supposedly represent Christianity are really *misrepresenting* it. In Christ's day the "religious" people who claimed to be close to God and proclaim his word were just as hypocritical and unspiritual and selfish as the majority of "Christians" are today. And just as vociferous, too, not realizing that the old maxim drowns out their sound, "actions speak louder than words." Seems like the real Christ would be about as welcome among many Christians as he was among the Jews, when he shook their confidence in their supposed rightness in knowing the facts about God.

J D
02-13-2005, 09:09 PM
Thank you, Noelle.

Mahboob, I certainly hope you aren't abandoning this discussion. My question about your views really was in earnest. Even though I've studied many other religions, I still don't understand how certain ones, such as Islam, say they believe in Christ's teachings and yet they reject or ignore some of the things Christ taught about Himself. What are your views about Christ's claims to deity and being the only way to God?

Thanks for returning to the discussion, Phil. We finally found a subject that you and Deuce agree on, lol. And who said religious discussions don't bring people together? I intentionally avoided the types of arguments that Peter was using because they are philosophical, not scientific, and I knew it would take more than philosophy to explain Christian views to the skeptics. I am surprised that you came back with a humanities argument, that man created religion. This leads us right back into another common philosophical argument for the existence of God that D-man has brought up, the pervasiveness of religion.

Every culture through the history of the world has believed in a god or gods. One could conclude that man has a need for religion. Christians contend that this phenomenon is caused because man was created for fellowship with God and he feels incomplete without it. Wouldn't it be really sad if mankind had such an acute need for something that didn't even exist?

Off the topic, please don't associate President Bush with every Christian. I do think he's a Christian and I have a lot of respect for him, but I certainly don't agree with all of his policies.

Phil, you or Deuce or Morpheus haven't given us your alternative, your reason for living. If you don't have one, why are you even bothering to fight through all the difficulties of life? This may seem personal, but I think we have already agreed that religion is a personal thing. Do you have any degree of peace, joy, or a reason for living? Or are these things even important to you?

Peter K.
02-13-2005, 09:48 PM
Hey everybody,

I've been away for about 36 hours but it's good to see that the usual suspects are still in the game--along with some new ones! ;-)

A few things:

To Noelle, aj_m2009, J D, and D-man--Psalm 34:3

To Kobble--before i respond to your last point, i need something clarified for me--to make sure i understand where you're coming from. You mentioned that we already violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. My question is: how do we violate it? In what way? Help me out here.

To Mahboob--once again thanks for your kind words. You, too, seem to be a passionate person, and that you spend much time thinking about God and spirtual matters. I'm curious about something you said (on your last post) that i would like to know more about. You mentioned that you believe that the Islamic view of Jesus is the correct and more logical one. I'm curious, how did you come to that conclusion? I'd like to hear your take on that.

To Phil--good to see that you're back into the mix! Two things i'd like to respond to from your second to last post. First one is about science. I look at what science discovers and i see that as evidence in favor of God's handiwork--that He exists, that He is the Creator of the universe. It seems that you look at what science discovers and draw a different conclusion. What is your conclusion? How did you come to that conclusion? Based on the scientific evidence, do you think it's more reasonable to believe in God or not? I'm curious to hear what you think.

Second of all, you referred to religion as "a crutch." In regards to that idea, i had a teacher at school put it this way: the main issue is not "religion is a crutch." The main issue is "Can my crutch hold me?" I mean, we all have a crutch. Everyone leans on something. As a Christian, I lean on Jesus because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so I know He's a crutch that will always hold me.

What about you? What's your crutch? What is it that makes your life work for you? A relationship? A secure job? Your bank account? Your health? Power? As we all know, none of those things last. So if whatever you're depending on for security and significance can be here today and gone tomorrow, then you're in trouble.

Phil, the truth is we are all crippled in some way, so we all need a crutch. A Christian is one who has come to the end of his rope. He admits his deep need. He knows he's crippled in many ways, and needs help. When you finally come to your senses and realize you're deeply crippled and dying, Christ isn't "just" a crutch--He's life itself.

To Morpheus--i seem to be communicating something i'm not intending to communicate. By no means do I want you to step aside. On the contrary, i want us to continue this discussion. In fact, i look forward to it! All i was asking for is that you respond to the points i make in my posts. For example, if i say that "I believe Christianity is the truth because of X,Y,Z", i am curious to see what you think of those reasons i've given. I'm curious to hear what you think: do my arguments make sense? are they logical? do you agree? if not, then explain why you disagree. If my arguments are weak or simply bad thinking, tell me why you think so. That's all i'm asking. Like i said, i don't want anyone to step aside. I'm eager to hear what you have to say!

Also, I believe J D made a good point in a previous post. The main issue here is not what i think about these matters. The main issue is Jesus. You see, Christians claim that Jesus' views on God, life, death, afterlife, etc. is the one that really matters. I mean, my opinion is not worth more than anybody else's. But let's look at Jesus' words, His life, and then decide. Jesus said that we all have all broken God's laws, that we are guilty of moral crimes against God. Jesus said that we all sin--from the best of us to the worst of us. He said that our sin breaks our relationship with God. He said that heaven and hell are both very real, and that they both last forever. He also claimed that He is the Savior of the world, and that apart from His forgiveness, no one could get to heaven.

Most of the arguments i have given up to this point have been to demonstrate that Christianity fits the world as we discover it, that it's the best explanation for the universe and us in it. And, in this limited space, i've been trying to reason from science and philosophy. Morpheus, if you don't want to go down that road, that's okay. So then let's decide on what Jesus said--which is really the heart of the matter. Because if what He said about Himself is true, then that makes all the difference.

So long for now, everybody. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts.
Ciao!

Deuce
02-13-2005, 10:20 PM
So long for now, everybody. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts.
Ciao!

This is one of my points, Peter - that you are not telling us YOUR thoughts - you are merely repeating the Christian party line. And Mahboob is repeating the Islamic party line. Etc.

It is not difficult to see which posters in this thread are actually expressing THEIR OWN thoughts, which are original creations, and which posters are simply repeating the position of the religion to which they have pledged their allegiance.

"If you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of Truth, then enquire." ~ Heinrich Heine.

Phil
02-13-2005, 10:36 PM
Phil, you or Deuce or Morpheus haven't given us your alternative, your reason for living. If you don't have one, why are you even bothering to fight through all the difficulties of life? This may seem personal, but I think we have already agreed that religion is a personal thing. Do you have any degree of peace, joy, or a reason for living? Or are these things even important to you?

My reason for living is life itself. Corny as thay may sound, I enjoy it-most of it anyway. I like being alive, and I don't need an artificial crutch to rationalize why I should remain alive for as long as possible. You don't seem to understand that because you have been conditioned to DEPEND on this "reason" for living. What would YOU do if, somehow, this crutch was yanked out from under your arm? Kill yourself? Life is good-I don't need a book to tell me that. I am human-I don't even NEED a reason for living. A species survives, and makes the best of it-no justification necessary for that.

Peter wrote:

I look at what science discovers and i see that as evidence in favor of God's handiwork--that He exists, that He is the Creator of the universe. It seems that you look at what science discovers and draw a different conclusion. What is your conclusion? How did you come to that conclusion? Based on the scientific evidence, do you think it's more reasonable to believe in God or not? I'm curious to hear what you think.
My conclusion is that the creation of the earth is a wonderful thing, and even with science, there are many things we don't know. I don't see the work of a creator in that process-if science, somehow, FOUND it to be the work of a creator, then I would think that is a wonderful thing too, but the absence of any evidence for that precludes believing it. When there's no evidence for something, I just don't make something up to fill that gap in knowledge. That's what religion does.
...you referred to religion as "a crutch." In regards to that idea, i had a teacher at school put it this way: the main issue is not "religion is a crutch." The main issue is "Can my crutch hold me?"

What about you? What's your crutch? What is it that makes your life work for you? A relationship? A secure job? Your bank account? Your health? Power? As we all know, none of those things last. So if whatever you're depending on for security and significance can be here today and gone tomorrow, then you're in trouble.

See my response to JD above. I don't need a crutch. Without any of the things you list as "crutches", other than say health, I would still be alive and would still find a way to enjoy the life I have, without creating artificial myths to bolster my reason for being here.
Phil, the truth is we are all crippled in some way, so we all need a crutch. A Christian is one who has come to the end of his rope. He admits his deep need. He knows he's crippled in many ways, and needs help. When you finally come to your senses and realize you're deeply crippled and dying, Christ isn't "just" a crutch--He's life itself.
No, that's YOUR "truth"-again, with your arrogance. YOU are crippled because you depend, so much so, on your myths. So speak for yourself. At least you realize that Christians ARE crippled in that they cannot justify their lives and the world around them without a myth to support their world. The same is true of a lot of ex-junkies, alcoholics and career criminals-it's not coincidental that they quite often "find" religion in prison or rehab. I guess THERE is where the use for religion comes in handy-resuscitating lost souls. But don't make the mistake that everyone is damaged goods-some of us get by just fine without crutches. Goals, dreams, aspirations, yes...those are guides, but they are not skeletal supports.

Morpheus
02-14-2005, 03:14 AM
This may seem personal, but I think we have already agreed that religion is a personal thing. Do you have any degree of peace, joy, or a reason for living? Or are these things even important to you?

I simply don't need the promise of an afterlife to find happiness on earth and, therefore, seek happiness while on earth (quite successfully, I might add.) JD, I find it interesting that you would believe that only religion can bring happiness.

A life worth living does not require religion. It may, but it isn't compulsory.

Morpheus
02-14-2005, 03:21 AM
Hey everybody,

As a Christian, I lean on Jesus because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so I know He's a crutch that will always hold me. What about you? What's your crutch? What is it that makes your life work for you?

To thine own self be true.

Mahboob Khan
02-14-2005, 09:40 AM
Peter K and other friends: All of your questions and Islamic view re. Christianity, Jesus Christ, Islam, and Judaism are answered in chapter 2, 3, 5, and 19. I am avoiding to give you answers because the answers provided in those chapters are better than mine. Once you read those chapters, then I will be glad to answer your questions. The best answer at the moment is not to answer any allowing you some time and space to read. I never asked you to revert to Islam, rather I warn you against it! All I am asking before you form an opinion about Islam and its followers, kindly understand it through its original source Al-Qura'an.

Kobble
02-14-2005, 06:55 PM
To Kobble--before i respond to your last point, i need something clarified for me--to make sure i understand where you're coming from. You mentioned that we already violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. My question is: how do we violate it? In what way? Help me out here.

I was just using it as a catchy description of our inner workings and how it primes our behavior in my opinion. A more literal interpretation would be the decrease in logical entropy of a particular system. Some actually consider the statement that, "life violates the second law", to have Darwinian roots. In reality, nothing in nature defies the laws of thermodynamics. I have actually read some funny paragraphs along time ago that had creationists putting a twist on the so-called Darwinian idea. Since, the statement would mean that evolution is self supportive and makes adjustments independent of its surroundings, they claimed that god was the controller of that phenomenon. It had a whatever evolution can do, god can do better theme to it. Either way, I don't see what either does for the debate over god vs. no god. Now, getting back to what I originally mean't. The enemy of life is disorder. Disorder means little to no energy availbale for synthesis. So, what I was essentially saying was that it is in our very nature to take otherwise meaningless raw materials and turn them into functional assets. Now, when we combine this with our ability to reason and understand ourselves, you get a very capable creature. Hence, the part where I said we have systematized life and our now on a quest to synthesize it. It is already known through popular media that we are currently well into practical methods of manipulation(Recombinant DNA), which requires the understanding of the chemical make-up of DNA. We take it for granted, but Dolly and engineered foods have been old news for a while now, with organ and tissue growth growing more popular. The reality of artifically created life is just around the corner. I have even found a site that covers the topic, and gives indications of ongoing experimentation concerning your question. It is a bit general, but it gets the point across well.
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/nation/8378531.htm

J D
02-14-2005, 07:19 PM
Phil and Morpheus, thanks for responding. Morpheus, I'm not sure where you got that I said, "I find it interesting that you would believe that only religion can bring happiness." In fact, I would never say such a thing. Despite what a lot of "name it-claim it' Christians would have you believe, the Christian life is one of suffering for the faith.

"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, for who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to the live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." (1 Peter 4:1,2).

Christians generally define happiness as feelings that result from good circumstances in life. Joy is used to refer to feelings that result from having a relationship with God, which means they aren't dependent on the circumstances of life. Christians do strive for joy but are usually discouraged from placing too much stock in happiness because we are not promised good circumstances. Think about it. Our main leader and all but one of his closest followers were all excruciatingly put to death. I never thought I was being promised a "rose garden," and most Christians that think that way are in for a severe disappointment.

Phil, I'm not sure where you get the idea that religion has been my "crutch." As a matter of fact, the Christian life is harder, not easier, than the unbeliever's life. Christians are basically "swimming upstream" against the ways of the world. Then why do I do it? My personal search for meaning in life led me to a place where refusing God's invitation to follow Him would have been pointless.

The Bible says, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity" (Shakespeare plagiarized it for Hamlet). As a teen, I realized that my motivation for being nice and doing good was simply to feel better about myself. As I thought about it, I realized that there had to be a larger purpose for my life in order for it to have meaning. After years of searching, I realized that the purpose of life, or specifically my life, wasn't within me. I had to look for the answers somewhere outside of myself. After searching and reading, the truth of the human condition became very clear to me. Initially, yes, I resisted. I didn't want to be one of those Bible-toting, no fun loving odd people that we used to laugh at. But, eternal life aside, I realized that the only way I would ever reach my potential as a person on earth was to commit myself to a better purpose by committing to a Higher Being. Now, even though the assurance of eternal life isn't such a bad thing, my decision to follow Christ wasn't because of what I would receive. It happened because it became obvious to me that it was what I was created for and it was the only right thing to do.

Mahboob, I have read many excerpts from the Al-Qura'an, but have not read it through entirely. I will make it a point to find the translation you recommend and read the chapters you suggest.

Phil, you are obviously a bright guy. It is hard to believe that you don't really need or even think about a reason for living. This topic has been on the minds of intelligent human beings since the beginning of recorded history. Morpheus, becoming a Christian was the only thing I could do and be true to myself. If you don't think you have any use for religion, then it's certainly your life and your choice. After all, answers are usually only useful to people that are asking questions.

Morpheus
02-14-2005, 08:02 PM
JD, I've inserted my comments into your quotations in blue...

Morpheus, I'm not sure where you got that I said, "I find it interesting that you would believe that only religion can bring happiness." In fact, I would never say such a thing. Despite what a lot of "name it-claim it' Christians would have you believe, the Christian life is one of suffering for the faith.

Valid point. When you asked what my purpose in life was, I assumed we had a similar goal; that is, to find happiness. Since you are religious and I am not, I concluded that your happiness depended on your affiliation with Chistianity.

Christians generally define happiness as feelings that result from good circumstances in life. Joy is used to refer to feelings that result from having a relationship with God, which means they aren't dependent on the circumstances of life. Christians do strive for joy but are usually discouraged from placing too much stock in happiness because we are not promised good circumstances.

Think about it. Our main leader and all but one of his closest followers were all excruciatingly put to death. I never thought I was being promised a "rose garden," and most Christians that think that way are in for a severe disappointment.

I believe happiness comes from within and I'm surprised that you do not see it that way. Isn't your God within you and is that not the source of your happiness? I must confess, I just don't get the point of all the guilt and suffering that comes with your faith.

I subscribe to a lot of what the Buddhists profess. One of those concepts is compassion. That is to say, I wish that all beings were free from their suffering. Yet you seem to embrace suffering, guilt, and hardship. It doesn't have to be so hard. I thought Jesus died for your sins. Why does his crucifixion lead you to expect a crappy life?

After years of searching, I realized that the purpose of life, or specifically my life, wasn't within me. I had to look for the answers somewhere outside of myself. After searching and reading, the truth of the human condition became very clear to me. Initially, yes, I resisted. I didn't want to be one of those Bible-toting, no fun loving odd people that we used to laugh at. But, eternal life aside, I realized that the only way I would ever reach my potential as a person on earth was to commit myself to a better purpose by committing to a Higher Being.

JD, you may find yourself on a beach someday, with the surf rolling in and the sun on your back--A place that to some would be idyllic. Yet, if your state of mind is depressed or you are full of anxiety, you will not enjoy it. Similarly, if you find inner, mental happiness, you would be able to enjoy physical hardship, (maybe even summer in Calcutta). You claim to seek "joy" through a bond with God as an external presence. I claim to seek "happiness" through internal development of my value system. I look within, you look without. You search, I seek. I am accepting, you are resolute.

Phil, you are obviously a bright guy. It is hard to believe that you don't really need or even think about a reason for living.


Yes, Phil is obviously one smart dude, on that we agree. But you have taken one minor line from Phil's text and made that his point. I read his comments to say that he is indeed happy and that he doesn't need structured religion for him to find happiness. Is not the pursuit of happiness a universal reason for living?

JD: I've inserted my comments in blue in your quotation above.

Phil
02-14-2005, 08:33 PM
Phil, you are obviously a bright guy. It is hard to believe that you don't really need or even think about a reason for living. This topic has been on the minds of intelligent human beings since the beginning of recorded history. Morpheus, becoming a Christian was the only thing I could do and be true to myself. If you don't think you have any use for religion, then it's certainly your life and your choice. After all, answers are usually only useful to people that are asking questions.

If it's easy for you to believe in an invisible being whose existance has never been proven why is it so difficult to believe that I, or anyone else need an excuse to live? I don't need a crutch, a rationale for my very existance. You do. Get over it.

Mahboob Khan
02-14-2005, 08:34 PM
"Qura'an cannot be translated". This was the view of a Christian scholar, Pickthal, who translated Qura'an. What he meant was that the translation does not convey the true intent, import, and spirit of the original Arabic language used by Allah. Ironically, after his translation which has some basic errors, he reverted to Islam. I am not using the word "convert", I am using "revert".

The best ever translation and explanation of Al-Qura'an to my mind is the one done by Maulana Abdullah Yusaf Ali and this is the one I recommend.

Deuce
02-14-2005, 09:24 PM
Most religions we know of are essentially different self-serving interpretations of the same book. Each religion views the book from a self-advantageous angle – conveniently ignoring some aspects, while embellishing others – all in an effort to create the illusion that the book was written exclusively for that particular religion. All religions constantly fight amongst themselves, not unlike immature siblings in a family, each one claiming that THEY are ‘God’s favorite’.

I find the great majority of religious persons to be not only extremely closed minded, but to be quite phony. Although they may be very nice and polite on the surface – even caring and loving – it is not really themselves that they are expressing or representing. They take on these virtues merely out of a fear of God. They have been convinced that God wishes them to behave in a certain way, and are led to believe that in this behavior lies their ticket to Heaven. And so the niceness, politeness, caring, etc. is far from genuine – it is not a product of the individual at all, and so cannot possibly be truly genuine. This behavior is the result of following and intimidation ("if you don’t behave this way, God will disapprove, and you won't get into Heaven").

If religion were taken away from these people – or if it was never there for them - would they be nice, or polite, or caring, or loving – ON THEIR OWN? I’d say that only a small percentage would be good, honest, caring people if their ‘ticket to Heaven’ didn’t depend on it. It bothers me when I see someone do something nice for someone else, and I learn that the person doing good did it because of religious influence/fear of God. When I first witness the 'good deed', I am hopeful that the person did it simply out of the genuine 'goodness of their heart'. When I learn that they're religious, I know that's not the case, and I am disappointed. God is ‘watching’ these people all the time – or so they believe – and this is why they do good things – to earn the ‘brownie points’ which, collectively, they have been told, will buy their ticket into Heaven. This is not unlike the 13 year old boy holding a door open for an elderly lady when he knows the pretty girl he has a crush on is watching him. Would he even notice the old lady if the pretty girl wasn’t watching him? Within the God/Heaven equation, however, is something additional which is not present in the boy/girl equation - that is God's Wrath. In both circumstances (where God is watching, and where the girl is watching), there are consequences of deprivation if the subject does not do what pleases God/the girl. But only in the God circumstance does the fear of God's Wrath play a role, as well. This is an additional consequence to that of being deprived of one's ticket to Heaven. (This is the very definition of intimidation - or of imaginary intimidation, at least.)

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if religion/God/Heaven were removed from the equation, the majority of religious folk wouldn’t notice the elderly lady any more than the kid would if the girl was not watching.

To be genuine and sincere, goodness must come from the individual; it must be a product of within, and not be a product of fear or intimidation, or of outside influence. Be nice, be considerate, be caring, be good because it’s the right thing to do – not because you think God will punish you if you’re not.

J D
02-14-2005, 10:06 PM
Very articulate reply, Morpheus. Like Phil, you're obviously a very bright guy. You bring up some very valid points and raise some interesting questions. I have tried to stay as general as possible about the Christian faith because long posts can get very tedious. Your response certainly deserves a more detailed explanation.

You said, "Valid point. When you asked what my purpose in life was, I assumed we had a similar goal; that is, to find happiness. Since you are religious and I am not, I concluded that your happiness depended on your affiliation with Christianity."

You partially realize the difference. You seek happiness, I seek purpose and fulfillment. Joy is a byproduct of the Christian life, not the goal. As I said, happiness is not something that is emphasized. The idea is that, as we serve God, He takes care of our needs. Christians are also clear to point out the difference between wants and needs.

You said, "I believe happiness comes from within and I'm surprised that you do not see it that way."

Happiness is within, but usually results from positive feelings about ourselves and our world, which means it is a response to our environment. Christians were singing, celebrating, and rejoicing even as they were being fed to lions. Were they happy about it? Probably not. Their joy was in serving God and knowing that they would spend eternity with Him.

You said, "Yet you seem to embrace suffering, guilt, and hardship. It doesn't have to be so hard. I thought Jesus died for your sins. Why does his crucifixion lead you to expect a crappy life?"

Christians don't sign up because we want to suffer. We become Christians because: 1) We recognize our need for God 2) We realize the unconditional love that God has for each one of us 3) We want to receive this love and share it with others 4) We believe that we can only realize our purpose by consulting the Creator and following His User's Manual (the Bible) 5) We believe it is better to serve in heaven than rule in hell. Note that being happy and having all our wants fulfilled on earth aren't on the list of reasons. Hey, from my perspective, if I was God, I would do some things differently. LOL, I guess that's why I'm not God. I do have some questions I would like to ask Him someday, though.

The whole idea of suffering does bring up two different points, though. First, if we have an all-loving, omnipotent God, why does pain and suffering even exist? (Also one of my questions for Him) Second, there are whole religions, including some Buddhists, that believe self-realization and fulfillment come through denial of self and suffering. Even some Christians believe this. I'm not one of those and most Christians aren't, but I do believe that spiritual maturity involves some degree of suffering, even if it is just saying no to something that you know will make you happy in the moment but will be destructive to you in the long term. This could involve turning down anything from a piece of cake to an extramarital affair.

You said, "JD, you may find yourself on a beach someday, with the surf rolling in and the sun on your back--A place that to some would be idyllic. Yet, if your state of mind is depressed or you are full of anxiety, you will not enjoy it."

It's interesting that you would use the beach in your illustration. I love the beach and would love nothing more than to live there again someday. My relationship with God has freed me to enjoy His creation rather than inhibiting me. Fear, anxiety, worry, these things no longer affect me.

You said, "I claim to seek "happiness" through internal development of my value system. I look within, you look without. You search, I seek. I am accepting, you are resolute."

I no longer search for I have found all that I need. I am resolute only in that I have resolved to follow God. To answer the question before it's asked, I certainly am not a robot. I just am committed to the greater good and believe that it results as we follow God as He revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures.

You said, "You have taken one minor line from Phil's text and made that his point."

It wasn't my intention to summarize Phil's points. I was just commenting on the one statement that he made that sounded rather "un-Phil-like." He is usually one to question everything (a man after my own heart, even if he can be curt sometimes).

You said, "Is not the pursuit of happiness a universal reason for living?"

Interesting observation. This statement can take us down many paths. The Constitution (based partially on the writings of the humanist philosopher John Locke) includes pursuit of happiness as an "inalienable right". But, what does the Constitution say is the source of these rights? The Creator. This is an interesting blend of humanism and religion and isn't found in the Bible. In regards to happiness, I would think it really depends on your perspective. We are probably a little spoiled. I mean, life has to be pretty good when you can make happiness a priority. Much of the world is worrying about food, shelter, avoiding persecution, getting medical care, or just survival. I think everyone would have a slightly different reason for living.

The biggest point is that making the pursuit of happiness the universal goal of life means we become servants to an emotion. Circumstances beyond our control can change and drastically affect our happiness. What makes one person happy may cause sadness to others. Christians have made a conscious commitment to try and "do good" rather than "feel good."

On a personal level, the times when the Christians I know have made happiness the first priority of their lives have generally been the times when they have made their biggest mistakes.

Phil, since when is a rational for existence a "crutch." Is knowing which type of string works better for your game a crutch or an aid? When is knowledge a crutch? As to my beliefs in an invisible being, it's not belief but proof. I wouldn't spend my whole life following something just because some middle eastern guy did some amazing parlor tricks 2,000 years ago. But, as I said earlier, until you've experienced God yourself, I don't expect you to accept or understand. Hey, everybody is entitled to their own opinions. If your belief is that you don't need or want a belief, that's your business.

Deuce, if you study the "book" carefully in its earliest forms and original languages, you would realize that there really isn't nearly as much "wiggle" room as some faiths would have you believe. BTW, my motivation has always been the love of God, not the fear of Him. If any person's main motivation for doing what they do is simply to avoid punishment, then they will be miserable. That's not a life I want.

Noelle
02-15-2005, 03:43 AM
They have been convinced that God wishes them to behave in a certain way, and are led to believe that in this behavior lies their ticket to Heaven. And so the niceness, politeness, caring, etc. is far from genuine – it is not a product of the individual at all, and so cannot possibly be truly genuine. This behavior is the result of following and intimidation ("if you don’t behave this way, God will disapprove, and you won't get into Heaven").

If religion were taken away from these people – or if it was never there for them - would they be nice, or polite, or caring, or loving – ON THEIR OWN? I’d say that only a small percentage would be good, honest, caring people if their ‘ticket to Heaven’ didn’t depend on it.
I can only speak of my own Christian beliefs, but personally I don't think I can ever do enough good deeds to go to Heaven.

That's not how salvation works, though. The "ticket to Heaven" is complete righteousness, and we humans simply don't have it (Romans 3:23). By all rights, our punishment for not being righteous is death--not simply dying, but an eternal death which is a complete separation from God.

Galatians 2:16 says "...So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." God made a way to save people from eternal death. This means that if I put my faith in Jesus, I can go to Heaven.

Works are simply a completion of having faith in God, which is the basis of salvation. Works by themselves are not the basis of salvation.

bc-05
02-15-2005, 04:36 AM
u know why they said have faith in Jesus and u shall go to heaven? its not the fact that u have to worship him then u go to heaven.. not that im making differences.. but in Islam the teachings are u have to submit urself to Allah.. so be a slave to Allah and ull go to paradise.. when in catholic Jesus actually said on his way to golgotha.. dont cry for me... cry for ur family.. this means what? when Jesus said accept me in your heart he doesn't mean ohh man u have to be my fan.. he means accept his teachings and do it.. so whats his teachings love ur neighbour and love God.. when u do these 2 things.. we have world peace.. but yet again.. some other religion doesn't believe this.. e.g. Buddha - u need war for the yin yang (balance) to work.. when theres no war that means the world will be in a mania state.. Islam - no matter how good you are if u dont become Allah's slave u will go to hell.. Christian - All they said is Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus or ull go to hell.. so which ones are actually right? well who cares? If we obey all 3 rules.. we'll go to hell anyway.. y bother?

Mahboob Khan
02-15-2005, 07:29 AM
BC 05: Yes, as a Muslim you have to submit yourself to the will and command of Allah. Will and command of Allah as communicated to people through Messengers of the time -- the last of the chain being Muhammad (peace be upon him),. In Islam you do not worship the Messenger, you worship the Creator Allah Who is your God and my God also.

Islam believes Essa (Jesus) as a Messenger of Allah not son of Allah. "Essa was nothing but a Messenger and Messengers like him had come and passed away before him". On the other hand Christians believe that he was a son of God or God himself.

The time, life, and teachings of Jesus on this earth were shrouded in mystery because he was chased from place to place by the Jews. He never had the peace of mind to establish his State/governance. There were very few who believed in his original message during his time on this earth. Those who were his enemies during his time on this globe, became his deciples after his departure from this earth. Jesus did not start Christianity, it was started by St. Paul who had opposed Jesus Christ when he was "alive". Jesus was given the Bible by Lord God but it could not be preserved in its original language Aramic (a sister language of Arabic), in its original form, and content. The present day Bible is quite difference from the Bible given to Jesus Christ by Allah. The original Bible was from God not from the people. Let's review the New Testament; its chapters are written by men not by God. Many versions of Bible -- Good News Bible, King James Version -- suggest that Bible is in many versions! That means much has been changed about Jesus Christ and his teachings. Qura'an on the other hand is saved in its original form and content since its protection has been guaranteed by Allah Himself. The Islamic view about Jesus Christ to me is correct:

-- Christians imply that since Jesus did not have a father he is a son of God or God Himself.

Well, Adam was created without father and mother. First lady Eve was created without mother.

According to Bible (Old Testament), Abraham was given a second son, Isaac in spite of the fact that both Abraham and Sara confessed that they were unable to produce any baby .. any more.

Zakaria was given a son (Yahya) from a women who was barren (unable to produce baby).

-- Christians believe that in order to take away their sins Jesus was crucifixed and on the third day he resurrected himself to heavens.

"Essa (Jesus) was neither crucifixed nor killed" (Al-Qura'an) but taken up alive by Allah. If you read the Qura'an carefully it will be clear that he was not killed nor crucifixed but it appeared to them so. OK, if he was a son of the God or God himself and he wanted to cleanse his followers of sins, he could have done it anyway without all that bloodshed!. Did Jesus die that day? If he did die that day then a dead man cannot resurrect himself on the third day! According to Islam, Nabi (Prophet) can be killed (Prophets Zakaria and Yahya were unjustly killed by Jews), but a Messenger cannot be killed. Jesus was a Messenger and a messenger cannot be killed by his own people. We believe that Essa bin Meryyam (Jesus son of Mary) has not tasted death yet, he will return to this earth, clear up the mess which his followers has created, establish one universal religion, and then close to the hour i.e. the day of Judgment he will taste death as well -- a natural death from Allah.

Christians also believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, but alas when Jesus Christ will return, the present day Christians will not follow him because his teachings will be alien to them. His teachings will be regarding one universal religion, Al-Islam.

Noelle
02-15-2005, 08:21 AM
-- Christians believe that in order to take away their sins Jesus was crucifixed and on the third day he resurrected himself to heavens.

"Essa (Jesus) was neither crucifixed nor killed" (Al-Qura'an) but taken up alive by Allah. If you read the Qura'an carefully it will be clear that he was not killed nor crucifixed but it appeared to them so.

This is where we must agree to disagree because we're using different texts, and we believe different things. :) We all could go back and forth saying "according to Islam" or "according to the Bible" but we'd never find agreement because Christ's death and resurrection is the basis of the Christian faith. "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." (1 Corinthians 15:14)

deluxe
02-15-2005, 09:02 AM
This is where we must agree to disagree because we're using different texts, and we believe different things. :) We all could go back and forth saying "according to Islam" or "according to the Bible" but we'd never find agreement because Christ's death and resurrection is the basis of the Christian faith. "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." (1 Corinthians 15:14)

It seems likely that the witnesses at the time would have had more information about the subject than a man trying to start an alternative religion hundreds of years later. ;)

J D
02-15-2005, 10:34 AM
Christian - All they said is Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus or ull go to hell.. so which ones are actually right? well who cares? If we obey all 3 rules.. we'll go to hell anyway.. y bother?

bc-05, this is a great question and gets to the heart of the matter. The Bible (and life itself, if you're observing) teaches that man is an imperfect creature. Our imperfect, sinful nature cannot be compensated for by any amount of good deeds, because our ultimate motivation for them would still be selfish (acceptance from God). What we need is a new, uncorrupted spirit. If you read my first post, I talk about our spirit being reborn, or regenerated. This is what happens when a person is born again. Like Noelle says, none of us can do enough good deeds to earn a right standing with God or "work" our way into heaven. The good news is that God has given each of us the opportunity for regeneration and eternal life as a gift. All it will cost you is your life, because you have to turn control of it over to God.

Mahboob, please don't take what I have to say as trying to show you up, but several of your facts are wrong aside from the issue of the deity of Christ.

The time, life, and teachings of Jesus on this earth were shrouded in mystery because he was chased from place to place by the Jews.
This would be propaganda, not historical fact. The life and teachings of Jesus have more historical documentation than that of any other person that lived in ancient times that wasn't the ruler of a large empire.

He (Jesus) never had the peace of mind to establish his State/governance.
Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world. Judas Iscariot thought Jesus came to establish His kingdom on earth, never understanding what Jesus was all about.

There were very few who believed in his original message during his time on this earth.
In fact, there were thousands that believed. Look at all the thousands that came to hear Jesus speak and constantly followed Him around. They just didn't understand all that He was teaching until after He died.

Jesus did not start Christianity, it was started by St. Paul who had opposed Jesus Christ when he was "alive".
Paul never saw Jesus while He was alive and only joined the opposition to Christianity after the death of Jesus. It was Jesus who started the faith and Peter that kept it going initially. Paul only aided in spreading the message throughout eastern Europe and clarifying certain practices of the Christian life.

The original Bible was from God not from the people. Let's review the New Testament; its chapters are written by men not by God.
And who wrote the Old Testament? Do you believe it wasn't actually penned by the hand of men guided by God? Some books even name their author!

Many versions of Bible -- Good News Bible, King James Version -- suggest that Bible is in many versions!. That means much has been changed about Jesus Christ and his teachings.
Yes, there are many different versions of the Bible because it has been put into so many different languages and dialects within a language. The essential teachings remain unchanged, although occasionally a translator with an ax to grind will create an errant version to support their unBiblical interpretation.

Christians imply that since Jesus did not have a father he is a son of God or God Himself. Well, Adam was created without father and mother.
Yes, and Adam was created without a sin nature for fellowship with God. His sin caused him to fall from grace. The Bible calls Jesus the second Adam, with the only difference being that all men are free to partake in His sinless standing before God through faith. In order to affect this substitutionary atonement, Jesus had to be more than just a man.

"Essa (Jesus) was neither crucifixed nor killed" (Al-Qura'an) but taken up alive by Allah. If you read the Qura'an carefully it will be clear that he was not killed nor crucifixed but it appeared to them so.
And this will always be the difference between Christianity and other religions. The Romans and Hebrews tried unsuccessfully for years to prove that Jesus really hadn't died or that His body had been stolen. If they couldn't prove it then, why should we accept as fact writings on the subject several hundred years later?

OK, if he was a son of the God or God himself and he wanted to cleanse his followers of sins, he could have done it anyway without all that bloodshed!
This is one of the mysteries of God in that he always requires blood to be shed for the atonement of sin. This has been a theme throughout the Old and New Testaments, however gruesome it may seem.

Christians also believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, but alas when Jesus Christ will return, the present day Christians will not follow him because his teachings will be alien to them. His teachings will be regarding one universal religion, Al-Islam.
I still don't understand why we should accept teachings ABOUT Jesus written several hundred years after His death when we have the direct source of the teachings in the Bible? How can Islam embrace Him as a Messenger and yet reject much of His recorded message? Once again, "No man may come to the father but by Me,' and "I and the Father are One" doesn't leave much wiggle room. In fact, Jesus said he would resurrect Himself. The Bible also states that Jesus was resurrected by God and by the Holy Spirit. I understand the Trinity is a difficult teaching, it's the main reason that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches split the Roman Empire down the middle. Still, the teaching is Biblical and undeniable from a scriptural analysis.

Kobble
02-15-2005, 03:03 PM
One clear message that is unfolding, as expected, is that all others are wrong in the eyes of a particular religion. First, it was the non-religous vs. the religous, now it is religion vs. religion. I get the idea of arguing with someone who says they have enough evidence to rule out a god. The counter argument is usually to exploit any unknown at some point in the chain of evidence, and chalk it up to the universal filler known as god. However, I find it funny to watch two parties battle each other with the same strategy. What is awesome about it is they both have the option to continually deny the others argument with no end in sight, leading to infinite frustration. It wouldn't be so frustrating if the other person's argument didn't insult the other's mother of all mothers, or father, if you prefer. Unfortunately, the real problem is that people can only have the capacity for so much frustration, especially, infinite frustration. With that said, I get the feeling of a Yosemite Sam demeanor growing in the frustrated parties. Their inner Sam, cannot accept the loose ends created by any doubt placed upon their salvation. So, Sam figures that all loose ends are best tied around the opponent's neck, and then hell rapidly spawns from the original desire of heaven. Actually, I know this isn't going to turn to a bloody war, but it is hard not poke fun at such a predictable cycle.

Phil
02-15-2005, 04:14 PM
BC 05: Yes, as a Muslim you have to submit yourself to the will and command of Allah. Will and command of Allah as communicated to people through Messengers of the time -- the last of the chain being Muhammad (peace be upon him),. In Islam you do not worship the Messenger, you worship the Creator Allah Who is your God and my God also.

Islam believes Essa (Jesus) as a Messenger of Allah not son of Allah. "Essa was nothing but a Messenger and Messengers like him had come and passed away before him". On the other hand Christians believe that he was a son of God or God himself.

The time, life, and teachings of Jesus on this earth were shrouded in mystery because he was chased from place to place by the Jews. He never had the peace of mind to establish his State/governance. There were very few who believed in his original message during his time on this earth. Those who were his enemies during his time on this globe, became his deciples after his departure from this earth. Jesus did not start Christianity, it was started by St. Paul who had opposed Jesus Christ when he was "alive". Jesus was given the Bible by Lord God but it could not be preserved in its original language Aramic (a sister language of Arabic), in its original form, and content. The present day Bible is quite difference from the Bible given to Jesus Christ by Allah. The original Bible was from God not from the people. Let's review the New Testament; its chapters are written by men not by God. Many versions of Bible -- Good News Bible, King James Version -- suggest that Bible is in many versions! That means much has been changed about Jesus Christ and his teachings. Qura'an on the other hand is saved in its original form and content since its protection has been guaranteed by Allah Himself. The Islamic view about Jesus Christ to me is correct:

-- Christians imply that since Jesus did not have a father he is a son of God or God Himself.

Well, Adam was created without father and mother. First lady Eve was created without mother.

According to Bible (Old Testament), Abraham was given a second son, Isaac in spite of the fact that both Abraham and Sara confessed that they were unable to produce any baby .. any more.

Zakaria was given a son (Yahya) from a women who was barren (unable to produce baby).

-- Christians believe that in order to take away their sins Jesus was crucifixed and on the third day he resurrected himself to heavens.

"Essa (Jesus) was neither crucifixed nor killed" (Al-Qura'an) but taken up alive by Allah. If you read the Qura'an carefully it will be clear that he was not killed nor crucifixed but it appeared to them so. OK, if he was a son of the God or God himself and he wanted to cleanse his followers of sins, he could have done it anyway without all that bloodshed!. Did Jesus die that day? If he did die that day then a dead man cannot resurrect himself on the third day! According to Islam, Nabi (Prophet) can be killed (Prophets Zakaria and Yahya were unjustly killed by Jews), but a Messenger cannot be killed. Jesus was a Messenger and a messenger cannot be killed by his own people. We believe that Essa bin Meryyam (Jesus son of Mary) has not tasted death yet, he will return to this earth, clear up the mess which his followers has created, establish one universal religion, and then close to the hour i.e. the day of Judgment he will taste death as well -- a natural death from Allah.

Christians also believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, but alas when Jesus Christ will return, the present day Christians will not follow him because his teachings will be alien to them. His teachings will be regarding one universal religion, Al-Islam.

Where did you DIG UP this crap? Talk about not having any knowledge of a holy text. Stick to something you know-the Qu'ran...Hey, I know, let's have our own little religious war-right here...on TW. I'll be the non-partisan, heretic of a referee, along with Kobble.

J D
02-15-2005, 04:38 PM
Kobble, your generalizations about a "predictable cycle" are incorrect. No one claiming to be religious has used anything other than a civil tone and I don't think they will. Your use of words such as argument and battle are way off base. I have not been offended by anything said and, although I don't want to speak for him, I don't believe Mahboob has been offended by anything a Christian has said. Sure, I could attack other points of view, but this is just a discussion, an exchange of ideas, not a war or even debate. Why are people such as you and Phil so threatened by an honest, open talk about God that you want to turn it into a battle? BTW, I don't believe there are any loose ends to Christianity. It only seems that way to non-Christians trying to comprehend an infinite being with a finite mind. I think most Christians understand that, as the Bible states, man is incapable of completely comprehending the mind of God.

Morpheus
02-15-2005, 04:42 PM
Mahboob to JD: "I'm so infinitely close to winning this argument."

JD to Mahboob: "Yes, but I'm so infinity + 1 close to winning!"

J D
02-15-2005, 04:54 PM
Morpheus, see above comments to Kibble and Phil.

Morpheus
02-15-2005, 04:59 PM
Morpheus, see above comments to Kibble and Phil.

JD, don't lose your sense of humor on me.

Phil
02-15-2005, 05:23 PM
BTW, I don't believe there are any loose ends to Christianity. It only seems that way to non-Christians trying to comprehend an infinite being with a finite mind.

Don't kid yourself-we "non-Christians" aren't losing any sleep over this, and I don't think all that many of us are struggling to comprehend this "infinite being" of yours. We have lives, generally know where we're going and what we're doing, and hence, don't NEED the artificial CRUTCH of a myth-based ideology. You can't seem to get that into your head-one thing religion does is destroy any rational degree of EMPATHY.

J D
02-15-2005, 05:47 PM
LOL, Phil, where is YOUR empathy for all of us poor, misguided myth-believing religious people? BTW, the last study I saw showed that about 95% of charitable giving in the US was done by people claiming to be born again Christians. Seems like we're doing OK in the empathy department.

Phil
02-15-2005, 06:00 PM
LOL, Phil, where is YOUR empathy for all of us poor, misguided myth-believing religious people? BTW, the last study I saw showed that about 95% of charitable giving in the US was done by people claiming to be born again Christians. Seems like we're doing OK in the empathy department.

Again, you haven't a clue. First of all, I would dispute the 95% statistic, and secondly, they're not giving out of empathy-it's for their own selfish reasons-to have a better chance of making it into the big leagues-heaven. Not that I have any objection to giving-whatever their motivations, at least they do give. And thirdly, empathy and sympathy are two different things-empathy describes an ability to understand another point of view or perspective, and that's one thing you and your "bretheren" lack. I understand YOUR point of view, even if I don't agree with it. You missed the point.

Audiodude
02-15-2005, 06:03 PM
I think most Christians understand that, as the Bible states, man is incapable of completely comprehending the mind of God.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This has always struck me as a very convenient argument used to explain away things that have no sensible explanation. Kind of like "Because I'm the dad". But you're right that I could never understand why a kind and omnipotent God would allow 250,000 people, many of them children, to perish. Then again, if God is omnipotent, then God should be held accountable for every abortion that takes place. You can't have it both ways.

deluxe
02-15-2005, 06:19 PM
Again, you haven't a clue. First of all, I would dispute the 95% statistic, and secondly, they're not giving out of empathy-it's for their own selfish reasons-to have a better chance of making it into the big leagues-heaven.

Charitable giving doesn't give you a better chance of making it into heaven.

"for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;" Ephesians 2v8

Christians give *because* they have bee saved. Not in order to be saved.

Morpheus
02-15-2005, 06:30 PM
LOL, Phil, where is YOUR empathy for all of us poor, misguided myth-believing religious people? BTW, the last study I saw showed that about 95% of charitable giving in the US was done by people claiming to be born again Christians. Seems like we're doing OK in the empathy department.

JD, the veracity of your claim aside...who are the born again Christians giving to? Let me guess, the Church? Why? Because of guilt and the need to punch a ticket to avoid the heat. Seems quite twisted to me.

Kobble
02-15-2005, 06:34 PM
Kobble, your generalizations about a "predictable cycle" are incorrect.

Actually, they seem to have held up pretty well. Most religious sites that argue science exploit the unknown, and Peter K's reasoning was characteristic of that. It is not a completely bad way to reason, but my problem lies in the fact that it leaves no room for error. It doesn't say that a god could explain this, it claims a god does explain it, and I disagree with it entirely.

As far as the battle and war stuff goes, no, it doesn't always turn into a war. I admitted that in my last sentence. What is predictable is the denial of the other person's faith as the truth. This was indirectly stated in the following qoute.

BTW, I don't believe there are any loose ends to Christianity. It only seems that way to non-Christians trying to comprehend an infinite being with a finite mind. I think most Christians understand that, as the Bible states, man is incapable of completely comprehending the mind of God.

If you admitted that the other person's faith is truer than your own it would mean that you have been misguided, and that is just not possible in your opinion. This is where the big difference between discussing something with me rather than religous person comes into play, and that difference is absolute certainty. When you tell me your god explains my uncertainty, I can accept it as a possibility, even if a small one. The religous person accepts no part of your story, so it becomes a direct insult. When you write something such as the above qoute, you and your establishment are essentially calling the person and their establishment misguided, or a liar. You are incinuating that a non-Christian's faith possesses loose ends, and that is as unacceptable to that person as it is to you. In the end, the results of this has proven to only divide people further, not bring people together.

J D
02-15-2005, 07:09 PM
No, Phil, I didn't miss the point. Deluxe just said it for me. Actually, we covered this works salvation thing earlier so it's you that missed the point. That's OK, I know this is a long thread and most people haven't been reading every word.

People, don't get mad at me, though, I didn't do the study. I would guess it's partially so skewed because such a high percentage of people in the US claim to be born again (over 60%) and also it did most likely included church giving as charitable contributions. Either way, Christian motivation for giving is love, not self-justification. And, Phil, what good is empathy without love to act upon it?

Kobble, as much as religion seems to divide the world, it has brought infinitely more people together than it has ever divided. It's just the divisions that get all the bad pub in a sensationalist world. The fact is, in my life, I have never had problems with any religious man of any faith, including Muslim. It is only the fanatical, lunatic fringe that feel like hate and religion belong together. Unfortunately, these guys get most of the press. I'm sorry you thought my comments on the mind of God were condescending. If you read carefully, I was pointing out that all people would, by definition, be incapable of approaching the mind and knowledge of an omniscient being, including Christians. This seems to put us all in the same boat, not divide us, doesn't it?

Audiodude, how are things in NOVA? It's a great place to live. I'm not going to dismiss your thoughts as you might think I would. There are things that everyone would like to know, including Christians, that we just don't have answers for. My philosophy of religion prof used to say that there really was only one philosophical problem with God, but it was a big one, the paradox of the coexistence of an all-loving, all powerful God and pain and suffering. There is no satisfactory answer that any religion can supply.

This is one of the two questions that kept me from becoming a Christian for a long time. As simple as it may seem, I felt, as I got closer to God, that He revealed to me that everything was alright because He was in control. I can say, though, that as I have encountered various problems in life, I didn't feel like being a Christian made the problems any easier. It just increased my ability to cope with them exponentially.

If we could understand God, we would be God. I know this isn't an answer, but, once again, there isn't one. It's not like science offers a logical alternative. If the universe really is random, doesn't have a creator, purpose, or underlying moral theme, then what happened in Asia wasn't a tragedy at all, just a random occurrence. In fact, we all may as well lie, steal, and cheat to our heart's content. You also can't have it both ways. You can't have a moral universe without some type of design, a higher moral power.

Kobble
02-15-2005, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by JD:
In fact, we all may as well lie, steal, and cheat to our heart's content. You also can't have it both ways. You can't have a moral universe without some type of design, a higher moral power.

I believe people did assume that position many years ago. Political scientists call it the law of the jungle. I think it was done away with for many reasons. One could be that people realized nature is tough, and we need to group together so we can ensure our existence in the face of its random destruction. However, I don't think god is necessary for that level of organization, because it is not as much morals as it is interdependence. I actually believe morals evolved from interdependence so that people could feel like it was something they like to do, rather than something they need to do for efficient survival. The idea gives people a choice, and we know people love choices

J D
02-15-2005, 07:57 PM
Kobble, reality disproves your assertions. As time passes and the world becomes more populous, crime rates are rising. It would seem that we are seeing a devolution of morality. It's your theory in reverse.

Peter K.
02-15-2005, 09:21 PM
I've been absent here for a couple of days and, man, you guys have been busy! That's good, though. I've caught up on some of the most recent posts, not all yet, but i want to address a few points from replies made to my last post.

Kobble--i understand what you're saying in terms of scientists cloning life (Dolly the sheep!) and tinkering with DNA. As you remember, the point i was making was still, to this day, scientists have not come close to creating life from non-life. I checked out the article that you referenced and it was a very interesting read. I'm eager to see what transpires in years to come. And i would expect scientists to keep trying to create life from non-life.

Philosopher Norman Geisler makes some interesting points in regards to this. He observes that, if there is no God, then the first living organism on this planet had to spontaneously generate from nonliving chemicals without intelligent intervention. Spontaneous generation of life has never been observed. Scientists have been unable to combine chemicals in a test tube and arrive at a DNA molecule, much less life. Scientists have designed experiments to spontaneously generate life(like the Urey-Miller experiment), but they have been unsuccesful. It's interesting to note that scientists intelligently contrive experiments and they still cannot do what we are told mindless natural laws have done. Why should we believe that mindless processes can do what brilliant scientists cannot do?

And even if scientists eventually did create life in the laboratory, it would prove creation. Why? Because their efforts would show that it takes a lot of intelligence to create life.

I agree with you that there is so much to the universe that we do not know. My point is that i think it's very interesting that what scientists have discovered so far does not run counterintuitive to the notion of God as the Creator of the universe, but rather it fits the idea of a God of purpose, order and design.

Other aspects to consider in regards to this: when we consider all of the factors that must be finely tuned in the universe in order for complex life to be possible anywhere in the universe, the odds are mind-boggling(a conservative estimate being 1/1000 of a trillion). If one of these constants in the universe was off by any significant degree, life on this planet would perish. Pages and pages have been written about this stuff. Even atheistic and agnostic scientists have noted that "man, a whole of things had to be just right just for complex life to get here!"

Or consider DNA: each one of our cells contains more information than the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Information is one of the earmarks of intelligence. For example, if the full text of the Encylopedia Brittanica were to arrive in computer code from outer space, most people would regard this as proof of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Why is it, then, when we see this in nature (like the DNA in our cells), it is explained as the working of random forces?

Now these are only 3 examples (and there are many more) from science, but they are indeed worth considering. Like i said before, yes, there is more yet to be discovered in the universe. In the meantime, it's not very productive to play the game of "science hasn't discovered that yet, but don't worry, they will." All we can do is go with what we've discovered and infer the best explanation. It is by no means a stretch of credulity to infer a Creator from the scientific evidence. Rather, it's a quite reasonable explanation.

And if new information comes to light, then we will consider it, and see how it fits in with the model of what we already have. As years go by, it'll be interesting to see where the new scientific discoveries will point--towards God or away from God. Obviously, you know where i'm placing my money.

One more point to ponder (again, i got this from Geisler. We read a lot of his stuff here in school): if there is no God, then all that exists is the material universe, only physical things--no God, no spiritual, no supernatural. And if materialism is true, then everyone in all of human history who has ever had any kind of spiritual experience has been completely mistaken. While this is possible, given the vast number of spiritual experience, it does not seem likely. It is difficult to believe that every great spiritual leader and thinker in the history of humanity--including some of the most rational, scientific, and critical minds ever--have all been completely wrong about their spiritual experience. This includes Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Kepler, Newton, Pascal, and Jesus Christ himself. If just one spiritual experience in the entire history of the world is true, then materialsim is false.

Deuce--you mentioned on your last post to me that i am not telling you my own thoughts but rather the thoughts of Christianity. I agree with you, you are right, i did not make this stuff up from my own imagination. At the same time, though, i think that misses the point. The point is not whether or not these are my thoughts. The main point is "Is it true?" I mean, is Jesus right about the claims He made or is He wrong? I mean, Jesus is the issue. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks of my thoughts. This whole time i've been saying that we should consider Jesus' thoughts on these matters, because they are worth a lot more than any of ours.

One more thing, it's true that these are not my thoughts, but we have to realize that everyone's thoughts on these matters are not their own, they are not original. Whether you believe in one God, no God, or one million gods, it's all been said before, it's all been written down before. There is nothing new under the sun.

Mahboob Khan
02-15-2005, 10:00 PM
Sorry, I may not be able to spell your good names, but I love you all -- Phil, Kobble, JD, Deuce, Noelle.

I am a Muslim but I have attended prayers in your churches. We do not believe in birthdays, but I have been with my christians friends celebrating the birthday of Essa Jesus Christ.

By the way, yes, Qura'an was ascended on Muhammad five hundres years after Jesus Christ. But Qura'an is word by word from Allah. No man ever authored it or altered it. The original Arabic version is still intact. Yes, it was assembled by Muhammad (which chapter to go where).

You said, "And if Christ has not been raised" ....We do believe he was raised to Allah .. alive.

The Jews Claim they Killed Jesus:

No doubt, everyone is familiar with the allegation that the Romans crucified Jesus. As the allegation goes, the Romans and the Jewish rabbis arrested Jesus and crucified him. Indeed, the whole embraces the belief that Jesus died but then came to life again and ascended to heaven. However, when we refer to the Qur'an, we see that what really happened is not as generally believed (Surat an-Nisa; chapter 4, 157-158). Enjoy this:

"And (on account of) their saying, "We killed the Messiah, 'Isa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah." They did not kill him and did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him. Allah raised him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise".

The fact the Quran reveals to us is obvious. The attempts of the Romans, provoked by the Jews to murder Jesus, proved unsuccessful. How can you kill a Messenger who would make the dead alive? The expression quoted from the above verse "....but it was made to seem so to them" explains the real nature of this event. Jesus was not murdered but he was raised up to Allah's presence. Furthermore, Allah draws our attention to the fact that those making this claim know nothing about the truth. Again in another verse, Allah said He, Himself, would take Jesus back and He would raise him up to Him:

"When Allah said, "Isa, I will take you back and raise you up to Me and purify you of those who are disbelievers. And I will place the people who follow you above those who are disbelievers until the Day of Rising. Then you will all return to Me, and I will judge between you regarding the things about which you differed." (Surah Al Imran 3:55).

May Allah show us the right path. Ameen.

Deuce
02-15-2005, 10:16 PM
Peter K wrote:
"One more thing, it's true that these are not my thoughts, but we have to realize that everyone's thoughts on these matters are not their own, they are not original. Whether you believe in one God, no God, or one million gods, it's all been said before, it's all been written down before. There is nothing new under the sun."

This is blatantly untrue, and seems to be an attempt at manipulation. While you - and the great majority of religious people - merely 'copy and paste' the perspectives of your religion and use them as 'your own' - which you admit to -, my perspective on the issue is an original product of both my unique observations of and experience within life, in combination with my unique intellect (all of which we all possess, but too few actually use).

Yes, others before me have expressed similar views to mine on the subject of God/religion, but this hardly means that I have merely borrowed the perspective from them. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact.

Noelle
02-15-2005, 10:21 PM
Jesus Himself said that He would die and would rise again in three days. If you say that His death was only an illusion, then that would make Jesus a liar.

Jesus called God Father, and at His baptism the voice from Heaven (God) said, "This is My Son whom I love." If you say that Jesus was a messenger, and was not God's son, then that would make Jesus a liar.

:( Jesus cannot be a messenger from God if He lied about Himself. What kind of a God sends a liar as a messenger? But if Jesus did not lie, then He cannot be a mere messenger.

BTW Deuce, these are my own thoughts. I didn't copy-and-paste them.

Deuce
02-15-2005, 10:40 PM
Jesus Himself said that He would die and would rise again in three days. If you say that His death was only an illusion, then that would make Jesus a liar.

Jesus called God Father, and at His baptism the voice from Heaven (God) said, "This is My Son whom I love." If you say that Jesus was a messenger, and was not God's son, then that would make Jesus a liar.

:( Jesus cannot be a messenger from God if He lied about Himself. But if He did not lie, then He cannot be a mere messenger.

Translation: "MY religion's interpretation - NOT YOUR RELIGION'S - is the TRUTH. OK? And don't forget it."

Here we go again, huh?

...and again, and again...

Perhaps it is that non religious persons are so simply because they are immune to brainwashing.

Noelle
02-15-2005, 10:43 PM
Translation: "MY religion's interpretation - NOT YOUR RELIGION'S - is the TRUTH. OK? And don't forget it."
You're putting words in my mouth. I was simply pointing out an inconsistency.

Deuce
02-15-2005, 11:01 PM
Yeah, Noelle - just like he pointed out the Christian 'inconsistency'.

As Kobble said, it's all so very predictable. But you religious people can't see this obvious fact because you are blinded by what you call your 'faith'.

Part of what religion does is deliberately blind the followers to many things - this helps keep the herd under control, and entirely stifles independent, objective thought - because independent thought is a huge threat to any and all religions.

Again, this is sometimes referred to as brainwashing. You don't see it, of course, because THAT'S part of the brainwashing, as well...

Peter K.
02-15-2005, 11:01 PM
Deuce, what i am merely saying is that we are all influenced by what we read, what we see, and what we hear. There is no new religion out there. Look into this, and you will see that this is true. It's a very interesting phenomenon. Even if i believed Oprah Winfrey is god, that would still be a repackaging of other religions that have been around for a long time.

Also, you said that your perspective on the issue is a product of your own obervations of and your unique experiences within life, in combination with your unique intellect. On that point, we agree. One of the reasons i am a Christian is because of what i observe in the world, in human nature, and the like.

In several of my previous posts, i've offered up some arguments based on logic, reason, philosophy and science. If reality went one way, and the Bible went the other, then i wouldn't be a Christian. But the longer i live and the more i learn about Christianity, the more i see it meets our deepest intuitions.

For example, everyone i know wants to live in a place where there is no death, no disease, no sickness, no suffering, no crying, where there is perfect peace and happiness. Everyone i know--from the atheist to the theist--wants to be in a place like that. Everyone i know has that desire to live in a place like that forever. But no one knows how to get there, and we certainly can't find it here on earth.

What's interesting to contemplate is that every other desire we have on this earth can be met on this earth. For example, if i am hungry there is food, if i am thirsty there is drink, if i have sexual desires there is sex, etc. Yet we find within ourselves this one desire that cannot be filled on this earth--this desire for that perfect place. The Bible speaks to this desire. Jesus says that heaven is real, and that it is a place where there is no more crying, pain, suffering, or death. Jesus says that His death and resurrection defeated death. In Revelation 1:18, Jesus says, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and Hades." Elsewhere, in the New Testament (Hebrews 2:14-15), it says that Jesus became a man to share in our humanity, "so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil--and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."

What is our worst enemy? Death is our worst enemy. Think about it: no matter who we are or what we do, we are going to die. So whether you're the President of the United States or a homeless guy or anywhere in between, you will both arrive at the same place: the grave. But the fact that Jesus took the blame for our sins against God, on the cross, and that He died, and then rose from the dead, because of this...everything has changed. Because Jesus rose from the dead, death does not have to have the final word. Because of Jesus, the grave became a place of hope.

This may sound too good to be true, but it's more real than the air we breathe, and, in the end, when everything falls away, it will be the only thing that matters.

Deuce
02-16-2005, 12:13 AM
I have read Thoreau and Emerson rather extensively. Not once in all my reading did I ever desire to follow either one's path. In reading them, I have found many similarities with my own philosophies and perspectives, which are my original creations. But there are also several philosophies of theirs with which I disagree. This is because my independence allows me to agree or disagree - I need not swallow the whole of the pill, nor cover myself with the entire blanket. I can decide for myself what I agree with, and what I disagree with. Religion, tragically, robs the person of this freedom; it insists that the person must swallow it whole, or not at all. There is therefore no freedom in religion.

What is occurring in this thread is what always occurs in discussions with religious people: they quote the bible (or qura'an) ad infinitum, as if the bible's words somehow justify the message they're trying to get across, and they stick rigidly to the party line. Some even claim to be speaking for themselves - whilst quoting incessantly from the bible!

All in all, it amounts to preaching the word of god. They are using this thread as a forum to preach the word of god - as it is interpreted by their religion, of course - in the hope of convincing us 'non-believers' that there is Truth in them thar words. Simply put, they are trying to sell their religion - which is precisely what they've been conditioned to do at every opportunity. (Because they've been told that if they don't, it's no Heaven for them.) All the while, us 'non-believers' - perhaps I should speak only for myself here - are not trying to sell them anything but themselves. I am not trying to sell them my religion, or even my perspective on religion. I do not wish them to adopt my perspectives. I am merely encouraging them to locate themselves - to find their true identity, and to stop hiding behind the safe disguise of religion. I would like them to give themselves the gift of themselves - of independent and original thought; of their true identity. BE YOURSELF is my 'message', simply. Unlike them, I have nothing to gain from this - no ticket to Heaven, or even to the Bahamas - riding on this. I simply do not enjoy seeing people give their entire lives - indeed, their entire selves - up just in order to follow someone else's ideas. Following anyone or anything but yourself is a cop-out. I much prefer to see people question things - based on THEIR OWN assessments - rather than to blindly follow.

Don't believe any religion. Don't believe me. Just believe yourself. Be a 'religion' unto yourself.

Noelle
02-16-2005, 05:58 AM
All in all, it amounts to preaching the word of god. They are using this thread as a forum to preach the word of god - as it is interpreted by their religion, of course - in the hope of convincing us 'non-believers' that there is Truth in them thar words. Simply put, they are trying to sell their religion - which is precisely what they've been conditioned to do at every opportunity. (Because they've been told that if they don't, it's no Heaven for them.)
Have you even read what I've been writing? I'm going to Heaven not because I preach Christ wherever I go, or because I do good things. I'm going to Heaven because I believe in what Christ died for. Heck, I would have had the assurance of going to Heaven even if I hadn't started posting in this thread.

All I've wanted to say was that my soul was hungering for something out there--and I've found that it's only Christ who's been able to satisfy that hunger. You may find that you can rely on yourself for this, and that's okay. They're my beliefs, not yours.

If I look like a fool to you, that's okay by me. At least I look like a fool for the right reason. Let God be the judge.

bc-05
02-16-2005, 06:18 AM
Noelle.. its alright.. i think this is where we should accept and learn.. see whats right whats wrong.. u know as i said before.. really does jesus specifically say dude u believe that im God and ull go to heaven? No, he specifically said do good to the world and love God.. so whats God? he said father, son, holy spirit.. Whether or not he is the son or not really i agreed with his teachings of forgiveness and loving.. as for the other guy who teaches and backstab other messenger saying theyre **** and he's the best and go marry 1892366123571426514236 wives plus the ocassion yeh go ahead kill urself and u shall go to heaven... as for did Jesus died on the cross? Well, 11 different people wrote the same 11 story in 11 1 huge books called the new testament.. if that's not good enough for ya.. then what can i say.. all i wanted to say is we never said u muslim will go to hell coz u dont believe in Jesus.. but yet ur telling us we'll go to hell just because we believe in Jesus's teachings? I'm sorry but my girlfriend doesn't want me to marry 1902380127371263861523 different girls.. plus i don't think my parents carry me 9 months just to see myself bombing myself.. so i'll try my best to be a good person.. but if i still will go to hell then pwoahhhh... im actually scared what shall i do? go to islam?

Noelle
02-16-2005, 06:37 AM
bc-05, Jesus said this: "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

bc-05
02-16-2005, 06:53 AM
noelle, i know.. he said believe remember.. in his teachings... but still we get told we'll go to hell.. but Jesus doesn't expect us to be his slave... remember before he got to the cross he said to the women.. don't cry about me cry about ur family? well thats wat i mean.. but muslims always say that we worship a human, yarda, yarda, yarda.. well do we actually worship the figure like they worship Allah like as in go kill ourself and go to heaven? or we worship his God-like figure? his teachigns, values? He even said we have to try and be perfect like him.. so meh..

bc-05
02-16-2005, 06:58 AM
Have you even read what I've been writing? I'm going to Heaven not because I preach Christ wherever I go, or because I do good things. I'm going to Heaven because I believe in what Christ died for. Heck, I would have had the assurance of going to Heaven even if I hadn't started posting in this thread.

not that simple in christian.. we do have to do the good things in order to go to heaven.. if u want the simple things like pwoah i believe in this such such and no matter how evil i am ill go to heaven.. better go to Islam.. really its easy all u have to do is get beaten up by ur husband.. see them cheating on u.. and ohh yeah just submit urself to Allah.. that is.. killing urself for ur religion..

Noelle
02-16-2005, 07:17 AM
not that simple in christian.. we do have to do the good things in order to go to heaven.. if u want the simple things like pwoah i believe in this such such and no matter how evil i am ill go to heaven.. better go to Islam..
I never said that even if I were evil, I'd go to Heaven regardless. (By the way please don't stereotype Islam and Muslims like that.) We do not have to do the good things in order to go to Heaven, BUT if I honestly have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, doing good demonstrates my love for Him.

I should have pointed this out earlier, as this is perhaps where Deuce's beef lies.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=315669&postcount=104
Why must one choose an established religion at all? Why cannot one be strong and simply form one's own beliefs without adopting the existing beliefs of others? are beliefs somehow less valuable or less valid if they are not shared and defended by an organized group?

Tell me you believe in God, and I don't have a problem with that (just don't tell me that you KNOW God exists). But tell me that you belong to a religion, then I have a problem with that, because every word out of your mouth (or your keyboard) on the subject of God/Jesus/the Bible/religion will not be your words, but those of the religion which you are merely repeating.
I don't belong to an organized religion. My faith in God is a personal thing based on my life experiences and my reading of the Bible. (Okay, I won't say personal revelation to me by God through prayer.) I have not dogmatically adopted others' beliefs as my own. They may have similar beliefs, but I own my own beliefs and take responsibility for them. While I may attend worship services at one particular church, in the end it is up to me to decide whether to believe or not. I have chosen to believe in what the Bible has to say, not in what other people have said about what the Bible has to say.

BTW, I don't believe in Mary-worship.

Mahboob Khan
02-16-2005, 09:04 AM
In one of the posts the poster said, "Jesus said, "I am a son of God .. I will die and then raise myself on the third day ...". The poster questioned, "Did Messenger, Jesus, lie? No, a Messenger of God will never lie, but how about certain things are implied which he never said! In chapter 5:116-117", Al-Maida, this question has been covered. This dialogue is futuristic and it is my guess that this dialogue will occur between Allah and Jesus in the second coming of Jesus Christ! My guess only.

"Make a mention in the Book when Allah will ask Isa, "did you tell these people that you and your mother should be worshiped besides me?" Isa will say, "My Lord you are pure. It was not proper for me to say a thing for which I had no right for if there is something in my mind you know it, but I do not know anything in Your mind. If I had said such a thing or even thought about it, You would have known it".

"Nothing did I tell them beyond what You did bid me to say: "Worship God, who is my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer" And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst: but since you took me back to Yourself, You alone have been their keeper for You are witness unto everything".

It all boils down to the fact as to what Jesus actually said and what he did not say.

deluxe
02-16-2005, 09:29 AM
In one of the posts the poster said, "Jesus said, "I am a son of God .. I will die and then raise myself on the third day ...". The poster questioned, "Did Messenger, Jesus, lie? No, a Messenger of God will never lie, but how about certain things are implied which he never said! In chapter 5:116-117", Al-Maida, this question has been covered. This dialogue is futuristic and it is my guess that this dialogue will occur between Allah and Jesus in the second coming of Jesus Christ! My guess only.

"Make a mention in the Book when Allah will ask Isa, "did you tell these people that you and your mother should be worshiped besides me?" Isa will say, "My Lord you are pure. It was not proper for me to say a thing for which I had no right for if there is something in my mind you know it, but I do not know anything in Your mind. If I had said such a thing or even thought about it, You would have known it".

"Nothing did I tell them beyond what You did bid me to say: "Worship God, who is my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer" And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst: but since you took me back to Yourself, You alone have been their keeper for You are witness unto everything".

It all boils down to the fact as to what Jesus actually said and what he did not say.

And one has to choose whether to believe the contemporary records of what he actually did say, or to believe a record made six centuries later by one man who never met Jesus and was fantasizing about what Jesus might say in the future.

Kobble
02-16-2005, 09:55 AM
Philosopher Norman Geisler makes some interesting points in regards to this. He observes that, if there is no God, then the first living organism on this planet had to spontaneously generate from nonliving chemicals without intelligent intervention. Spontaneous generation of life has never been observed. Scientists have been unable to combine chemicals in a test tube and arrive at a DNA molecule, much less life. Scientists have designed experiments to spontaneously generate life(like the Urey-Miller experiment), but they have been unsuccesful. It's interesting to note that scientists intelligently contrive experiments and they still cannot do what we are told mindless natural laws have done. Why should we believe that mindless processes can do what brilliant scientists cannot do?


The Urey-Miller experiment is only the starting point for creating life from inorganic material. The typical results yielded 20 amino acids found in organisms, along with several sugars, and most importantly purine and pyrimidine found in the nucleotides of RNA and DNA. All that from water, methane,H2, and NH3. From this point it would be followed by an aggregation of the abiotically produced molecules. These are referred to as protobionts. Now, these protobionts are not capable of reproduction, but they do contain a chemical structure which is different from the external environment. They also happen to show signs of metabolism. Some believe that from this point on was just natural selection of protobiont droplets, some contiued to exist, and others didn't. From this point on, all that is left is genetic material to reproduce. Since, Short RNA strands have been produced from monomers in the lab, it seems like a very good possibility that these droplets were able to form RNA under the right conditions. So, if we have chemical structure, metabolism, and genetic material, we essentially have life. From this point evolution should continue to decide the path. It is kind of like gears on a machine, you start from the gear which makes it easiest to overcome inertia and then shift accordingly. At least that is my mental picture of it.

Morpheus
02-16-2005, 10:17 AM
Kobble-- As you remember, the point i was making was still, to this day, scientists have not come close to creating life from non-life. I checked out the article that you referenced and it was a very interesting read. I'm eager to see what transpires in years to come. And i would expect scientists to keep trying to create life from non-life.

Philosopher Norman Geisler makes some interesting points in regards to this. He observes that, if there is no God, then the first living organism on this planet had to spontaneously generate from nonliving chemicals without intelligent intervention. Spontaneous generation of life has never been observed.

Peter: I encourage you to read the current issue of Discover Magazine re this topic. You may find it equally interesting....The link to the article follows (first page only, but check it out at the newstand when you get a chance):

http://www.discover.com/issues/feb-05/cover/

Kobble
02-16-2005, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by Peter K:
Other aspects to consider in regards to this: when we consider all of the factors that must be finely tuned in the universe in order for complex life to be possible anywhere in the universe, the odds are mind-boggling(a conservative estimate being 1/1000 of a trillion). If one of these constants in the universe was off by any significant degree, life on this planet would perish. Pages and pages have been written about this stuff. Even atheistic and agnostic scientists have noted that "man, a whole of things had to be just right just for complex life to get here!"

I agree, but if you have a universe with infinite possibilities, it doesn't seem so far fetched. I don't see what is so wrong with the idea that we won the lottery in this game of chance. Probability states that it will occur, and now when it does occur we can't believe it. It just seems odd to me that people cannot accept the terms of their unique fortune, I mean, it has not bee conclusively determined to be a bad thing. This brings me to an experiment I used to get a chuckle out of. I brought a person in a room on a few occasions and told them to find the most complex thing in it. I would tell them they will be the only person in the room just as I left, and anything contained in the room is fair game. As soon as the person began debating with themselves over the phone or the tv I would realize they are already in trouble. I even put a hamster in the room and it was beat by the tv both times. The truth was they were the most complex thing in the room. I have tried it six times and everyone failed. Also, no one said god was the answer either. People seem to deny their own significance, and from this conclusion, I can see why a god would be so appealing. A god is everything you wish you could be. I do agree that it would be a better test if more trials were done. Anyway, I just wanted to add that.

Kobble
02-16-2005, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by Morpheus:
Peter: I encourage you to read the current issue of Discover Magazine re this topic. You may find it equally interesting....The link to the article follows (first page only, but check it out at the newstand when you get a chance):

http://www.discover.com/issues/feb-05/cover/


That is an interesting link. Like I said before, I think we will wack this problem in no time. Although, I do not believe this will silence any voice of the religous community for long. If we indeed conquer the production of single cell organisms it won't be long before a new twist is put on the lack of proof theory. What immediately comes to mind is an argument over human life being too complex, or perhaps chosen, to recreate. You know, bacteria don't go to heaven so they don't count. Add to that some extra qoutes from the "book", and that should make it a legitimate contender to do battle against the evolutionary supporters.

Mahboob Khan
02-17-2005, 06:02 AM
And one has to choose whether to believe the contemporary records of what he actually did say, or to believe a record made six centuries later by one man who never met Jesus and was fantasizing about what Jesus might say in the future.

Your comments, "or to believe a record made six centuries later by one man who never met Jesus and was fantasizing about what Jesus might say in the future".

Sir, ask Catholic christians and you will know that even christian community is divided over what exactly happened with Jesus Christ on the last day of his life on this earth. Soon after the disappearance (or death as you say) of Jesus Christ, an enquiry was held and there were many witnesses who said that the man who died on the cross that day was not Jesus Christ rather somebody who resembled Jesus Christ.

Re. record made six centuries later. Are you implying that Holy Quran was authored by a man? No sir, this is not true. Your statement is false and baseless. The Holy Quran was descended on Muhammad from Allah through Gabriel. The Messenger of Allah just assembled it in the form of a book. Our book is in its original form without a single change so far and it will remain so till the day of judgment!

deluxe
02-17-2005, 01:08 PM
Your comments, "or to believe a record made six centuries later by one man who never met Jesus and was fantasizing about what Jesus might say in the future".

Sir, ask Catholic christians and you will know that even christian community is divided over what exactly happened with Jesus Christ on the last day of his life on this earth.

Exactly what historical event on the last day of Christ's life are you saying Catholics are divided from protestants over? Catholics believe slightly more strongly in "church tradition", but as far as the historical record of the gospels are concerned, what differences do you mean?

Soon after the disappearance (or death as you say) of Jesus Christ, an enquiry was held and there were many witnesses who said that the man who died on the cross that day was not Jesus Christ rather somebody who resembled Jesus Christ.

What is your reference for this supposed enquiry? It is not mentioned in the bible, nor the talmud. You would have thought the rabbis would have had a vested interest in mentioning such an enquiry if it really had happened.

Re. record made six centuries later. Are you implying that Holy Quran was authored by a man?

Yes. As far as I can tell, it was compiled after Muhammed's death.

No sir, this is not true. Your statement is false and baseless.

No, it is true, and has a base (which admittedly I haven't stated).

The Holy Quran was descended on Muhammad from Allah through Gabriel. The Messenger of Allah just assembled it in the form of a book. Our book is in its original form without a single change so far and it will remain so till the day of judgment!

Well that's certainly not true. At least part of one of the original Suras was authored by Satan (according to the four earliest Moslem biographies of Mohammed), telling people that they could worship their own gods since their gods were intersessors between them and Allah.

Supposedly Gabriel "corrected" it later, and supposedly Gabriel comforted Mohammed saying that all prophets were Satanically inspired at one point or another.

Mahboob Khan
02-17-2005, 06:41 PM
Deluxe: After 800 posts in this thread I will go back to my initial observations that these fundamental differences between Islam - Judaism - and Christianity shall remain and shall be returned to our Allah Who shall decide on which we differ here in this earth. Those who are followers of a false religion shall be destined to hell, and those who are on the right path shall be admitted to paradise. Let's wait and see!

See you there!

troytennisbum
02-17-2005, 07:01 PM
Clearly life had to have been created by some intelligent being. As was stated above, the odds of even the most simplest form of life evolving from an organic soup is so remote that there is probably a greater chance that you will win the lottery 10 times in a row...and that is for the SIMPLEST form of life..like some mindless bacteria.
Even Albert Einstein stated in his autobiography that there must be a God who created the universe. The day I see my fish "evolve" into a higher organism is the day I accept evolution as fact. What not scientific enough? ok ok..the day I see
an intelligent organism crawl out of some organic soup in some laboratory is the day I accept evolution as fact.

The interesting question that is worth debating, in my opinion, is whose God ??
and what religion worships the "correct" God ?? Is there a religion that worships the
real God?? And is that God still concerned with this planet ??

Morpheus
02-17-2005, 07:33 PM
In the beginning the Universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. Many races believe that it was created by some sort of god, though the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI believe that the entire Universe was in fact sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure. The Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of the time they call the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief, are small blue creatures with more than fifty arms each, who are therefore unique in being the only race in history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel. However, the Great Green Arkleseizure Theory is not widely accepted outside Viltrovodle VI and so, the Universe being the puzzling place it is, other explanations are constantly being sought.

For instance, a race of hyperintelligent pandimensional beings once built themselves a gigantic supercomputer called Deep Thought to calculate once and for all the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everthing. For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated, and in the end announced that the answer was in fact Forty-two--and so another, even bigger computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was.

And this computer, which was called the Earth, was so large that it was frequently mistaken for a planet--especially by the strange apelike beings who roamed its surface, totally unaware that they were simply part of a gigantic computer program. And this is very odd, because without that fairly simple and obvious piece of knowledge, nothing that ever happened on Earth could possibly make the slightest bit of sense...

-- Chapter 1, Restaurant at the end of the universe (D. Adams)

Deuce
02-17-2005, 09:50 PM
Troytennisbum wrote:
"Clearly life had to have been created by some intelligent being."


Umm... that is most certainly not clear to me... This comment simply exposes the vast narrowness of your thinking, as well as your ego in actually believing that the origin of life cannot possibly be beyond your comprehension.


I'm happy that I don't live with the handicap of thinking that everything can be explained by things which humans understand.

When it comes to discovering the origin and/or meaning of life/Earth/the Universe, I have as little faith in science as I do in religion - for the simple reason that I believe that this life/Earth/Universe thing is quite possibly only an infinitesimally minute element in the entire scheme of things. Human beings are perpetually making the egotistical error of measuring everything based on human knowledge and comprehension - for even the greatest human knowledge is, quite likely, unimaginably limited in the entire scheme of the Universe - and beyond.

The fact is that any discussion on 'the origin of life' is as absurd and as useless as are discussions on the merits of religion. Assuming that the best scientists in the history of what we know of mankind were all extremely and exceedingly intelligent people in the field of science, it is entirely possible that, to this point in time, they have uncovered but approximately .00000457028% of the true origin of and reason for life/Earth/the Universe.

There are some who believe that Earth is merely another planet's Hell. To me, this is just as plausible as any other theory - whether the theory is based in science, religion, or merely imagination.

Why can't anyone simply admit that WE DON'T KNOW?

Noelle
02-18-2005, 01:32 AM
Why can't anyone simply admit that WE DON'T KNOW?
My question for you is: How do we know things? I mean, where does knowledge come from?

Mahboob Khan
02-18-2005, 06:36 AM
Clearly life had to have been created by some intelligent being. As was stated above, the odds of even the most simplest form of life evolving from an organic soup is so remote that there is probably a greater chance that you will win the lottery 10 times in a row...and that is for the SIMPLEST form of life..like some mindless bacteria.
Even Albert Einstein stated in his autobiography that there must be a God who created the universe. The day I see my fish "evolve" into a higher organism is the day I accept evolution as fact. What not scientific enough? ok ok..the day I see
an intelligent organism crawl out of some organic soup in some laboratory is the day I accept evolution as fact.

The interesting question that is worth debating, in my opinion, is whose God ??
and what religion worships the "correct" God ?? Is there a religion that worships the
real God?? And is that God still concerned with this planet ??

Is there a religion that worships the real God?

Yes, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. We all worship the same God/Allah. Jews and Christians are just allergic to the word Allah which is the translation of God in Arabic. When you say "God is Great" it is ok, when we say "Allah o Akbar" it is not ok. Allah o Akbar means "God is the Greatest". When you say "praise be to the Lord" it is ok, when we say Alhamdolillah it is not ok. Alhamdolillah means "all praises are to the Lord".

The only difference is that Islam believes in One Allah whereas Jews and Christians believe that God has partners such as sons, wife, etc. Jews said Uzair is son of God, and Christians said Jesus is son of God or God himself. In the old testament Moses had said, "Do not ascribe partners onto the Lord, verity He does not like partners". In Quran, chapter 3, Al-e-Imran Allah orders his Messenger, Muhammad to invite the peoples of the Book i.e. Jews and Christians:

"O People of the Book (Jews and Christians) let's agree on one thing common among us that we will worship one Allah and that we will ascribe no partners unto Him".

Faith in One Allah is Islam the rest are procedures i.e. Sharia!

deluxe
02-18-2005, 09:13 AM
Is there a religion that worships the real God?

Yes, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. We all worship the same God/Allah. Jews and Christians are just allergic to the word Allah which is the translation of God in Arabic. When you say "God is Great" it is ok, when we say "Allah o Akbar" it is not ok. Allah o Akbar means "God is the Greatest". When you say "praise be to the Lord" it is ok, when we say Alhamdolillah it is not ok. Alhamdolillah means "all praises are to the Lord".

It's the concept that is objectionable. The god called Allah in the koran is not the same God of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament was written over thousands of years by dozens of different prophets. No prophet ever abrogated his own verses. No prophet ever abrogated previous prophets verses. No prophet ever contradicted the historical record of events. Jesus Christ was born and fulfilled dozens if not hundreds of prophecies made by all these previous prophets, did not abrogate any verse from previous prophets, and gave further revelation, none of which contradicted anything that went before. Nowhere is it recorded that any of the prophets, nor Jesus himself spake words inspired by Satan.

Mohammed comes along six hundred years later, not fulfilling any prior prophecy, contradicts dozens of historical events recorded in previous revelation, contradicts the whole message all the authors of the New Testament are giving. He performs no mircales, he makes no long term prophecies (at least none are in the koran). He makes dozens of contradictions even amongst his own suras, such that they have to be explained either by later verses abrogating earlier verses or by Satanic inspiration.

The God described in the Bible is not a god of contradiction. Not once was any of His prophets inspired by Satan. Not once did He have to cancel any previous revelation.

The only difference is that Islam believes in One Allah whereas Jews and Christians believe that God has partners such as sons, wife, etc. Jews said Uzair is son of God, and Christians said Jesus is son of God or God himself.

It's not the only difference. The whole concept of God is different, as is the method of getting to heaven. In Christianity it is by grace through faith. In Islam it is by works.

Jews do not claim God has a son. There is no evidence any Jewish sect has ever believed that.

In the old testament Moses had said, "Do not ascribe partners onto the Lord, verity He does not like partners".

I'm not aware of any such quote by anyone in the bible. Citation please?

In Quran, chapter 3, Al-e-Imran Allah orders his Messenger, Muhammad to invite the peoples of the Book i.e. Jews and Christians:

"O People of the Book (Jews and Christians) let's agree on one thing common among us that we will worship one Allah and that we will ascribe no partners unto Him".

Faith in One Allah is Islam the rest are procedures i.e. Sharia!

Which might be fine were it not for the fact that in the koran, later verses abrogate earlier verses.

--
Unbelievers are those that say:
"God is the Messiah, the son of Mary." For the Messiah himself said:
"Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord."
He that worships other gods besides God, God will deny him Paradise,
and the fire shall be his home. None shall help the evil-doers.
-- Sura 5:72

Peter K.
02-18-2005, 12:48 PM
Deuce, we had a goog discussion going a few days ago and I would like to pick up where we left off.

I can see what you're saying when you note that Christians will quote the Bible in order to justify their views. If I wasn't a Christian, and all the Christians i knew merely tossed Bible rocks at my head, i too would by annoyed. For the most part, in my previous posts, i have quoted the Bible sparingly. When it comes to discussing spiritual matters, sometimes I refer to the Bible, sometimes I don't, and when I do, i am usually doing so for a very specific reason.

Here's what I mean. My main point in quoting the Bible in my posts has been to demonstrate how Christianity fits the real world--that it corresponds with reality, and that it's worth thinking about. For example, in my last post, I mentioned that there is one thing for sure that we all have in common, no matter who we are or what we do: we are all going to die. Death is our worst enemy, an enemy that we all fear. We all mourn when the people we love die. We see death as wrong and unfair. We see death around us, and we remark, "Man, it's not supposed to be like this."

I then turned to the Bible, quoted a few verses from there, to show that the Bible matches up with our deepest intuitions, our deepest thoughts and feelings. The Bible says that death is our worst enemy, and that it was not part of God's original plan--it wasn't supposed to be like this! The Bible also speaks to our fear of death, and offers the remedy for it. Ultimately, the Bible claims to have defeated death, so that death doesn't have to have the final say.

Now, my question is, Who doesn't want that?! If someone, namely Jesus, says that He is the answer to death, wouldn't you at least want to consider what He has to say?

And, like I said previously, what does it matter if these are not my own thoughts? That's irrelevant. The main question is not "Are these my own originial thoughts?" but rather, "Are these thoughts true? Can they be trusted?" If i was going in for heart surgery or brain surgery, I would not be concerned in the least that the surgeon's thoughts on these procedures are not his own. I would just want to make sure that his thoughts are true, that what he has learned all these years are just what i need to be cured and healed. That is what really matters.

In other words, it goes back to what I said before, Jesus is the issue. Read about Him, consider His words, His thoughts, and decide for yourself whether or not He can be trusted (and to do that wouldn't take very long. The four biographies of Jesus' life in the New Testament-Matthew, Mark, Luke, John-together make up about 100 pages).

But please don't automatically dismiss Christianity just because Christians are expressing someone else's viewpoint on life. When someone disagrees with the Christian message, that person is not, ultimately, disagreeing with the Christian. They are disagreeing with Jesus Christ. And if Jesus is NOT who He claims to be, then there is no problem with that. But if Jesus IS who He claims to be, then I think we would both agree that to cast Him aside would be the most foolish thing any of us could ever do.

Kobble
02-18-2005, 02:47 PM
Many atheists not only deny a god, but also the the idea that a Jesus ever existed. If Jesus was not really a historical figure, then who's word are we analyzing when we read the teachings of Jesus?

Mahboob Khan
02-18-2005, 07:27 PM
Deuce: Islam attests previous prophets, Islam attests previous Holy Books such as Tora as given to Moses and Bible as given to Jesus. The emphasis is "as given" not on something which were added later on just to suit the people. Can you show me a Bible:

1. In its original Aramic language;

2. In its original text, content, shape, and message;

3. Do you think Bible was ascended on Jesus in English language?

4. Do you think Jesus was born in USA or in Europe? Who would have better reflection on him? People living in the area or those living in Europe and USA. USA was discovered just 200 years ago!

Sir, Islam attests/confirms/reaffirms the original/unchanged teachings of the earlier Prophets, and earlier Holy Books such as Tora and Bible.

Quran has never abrogated its own verses. Your observation is based on your own ignorance. Read the Quran from start to end and show me a single verse which contradicts itself!

Yes, it abrogates those writings in the earlier Holy Books that were added later on by people with vested interests. Sir, the Bible is not in its original form. The chapters themselves speak for themselves "that we are written by men: Mark, Mathew, John, etc".

Throughout history, Allah has sent His messengers to many peoples. The messengers of Allah summoned mankined to the true path and communicated to them His ways. However, today, it is a widespread belief that what had been revealed through various messengers to mankind were different religions. This is a misconception. The religions that Allah revealed to separate peoples in distinct periods were the same. For instance, Jesus abolished some of the prohibitions brought by the preceding religion. What has been revealed to the former prophets, to Musa (Moses), to Jesus (Isa) and to the last Prophet are essentially the same: Read this in Quran:

Say, "We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq and Ya'qub and the Tribes, and what Musa and Isa (Jesus) and all the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are muslims submitted to Him. If anyone desires anything other than Islam as a religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers." (Surah Al Imran: 84-85).

What we understand from Quran is that all the prophets summoned their peoples to a common way. Read the following verse:

"He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined on Nuh: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Ibrahim, Musa and Isa (Jesus): "Establish the religion and do not make divisions in it." What you call those who worship other things than Allah to follow is very hard for them. Allah chooses for Himself anyone He wills and guides to Himself those who turn to Him." (Sura ash-Shura: 13).

Deuce: Sir, whatever you have said the whole Quran is against it.

Maybe you are reading too much from a Book written by Salman Rushdi, "Satanic Verses". Salman is an ignorant man!

Mahboob Khan
02-18-2005, 07:31 PM
I beg your pardon Deuce. I am responding to Deluxe NOT Deuce. I am sorry.

Stuck
02-18-2005, 08:04 PM
Is this a tennis thread? take this mumbo jumbo to religious sites.

Max G.
02-18-2005, 08:12 PM
For example, in my last post, I mentioned that there is one thing for sure that we all have in common, no matter who we are or what we do: we are all going to die. Death is our worst enemy, an enemy that we all fear. We all mourn when the people we love die. We see death as wrong and unfair. We see death around us, and we remark, "Man, it's not supposed to be like this."

I then turned to the Bible, quoted a few verses from there, to show that the Bible matches up with our deepest intuitions, our deepest thoughts and feelings. The Bible says that death is our worst enemy, and that it was not part of God's original plan--it wasn't supposed to be like this! The Bible also speaks to our fear of death, and offers the remedy for it. Ultimately, the Bible claims to have defeated death, so that death doesn't have to have the final say.


Well, remember that the bible was written by people. It sounds to me like wishful thinking - oh no, nobody wants to die, but look, we won't REALLY die! Yay!

Our deepest intuitions are that we don't want to die. The bible says that we won't die.

That sounds like wishful thinking, written into the Bible by people who believed that somewhere, someone was looking after them.

Peter K.
02-18-2005, 10:26 PM
Hey Kobble and Morpheus!

Once again, school and work have kept me away for a few days, but now I have a little free time, so what better way to spend a friday night, right? ;-)

Alright, so we the last topics we had on the table was life coming from non-life and the obervation of design in the universe.

Life coming from non-life: Like I said before, I am all for scientists keeping up with such endeavors, such as creating life from non-life, because i find it all very fascinating. I have read a fair amount on this topic and it seems that every theory and experiment to create life from non-life has been a dead end (Morpheus, i tried to read the discover.com article but i had to be a subscriber to read the whole thing--i'll check it out at the news stand).

Kobble--the theory or explanation you suggested sounds great, but how would this play out? It hasn't been supported at every crucial step by any experimental evidence worth counting. The evidence just doesn't seem to be there. For example, how can natural selection explain how evolution built the first living cell? Natural selection simply does not work at the level of chemical evolution, which tries to explain the origin of the first life from simpler chemicals.

Darwinists admit that natural selection requires a self-replicating organism to work. Organisms reproduce, their offspring have variations, the ones that are better adapted to their environment survive better, and so those adaptations are preserved and passed on to the next generation.

However, to have reproduction, there has to be cell division, and that presupposes the existence of information-rich DNA and proteins. But that's the problem--those are the very things Darwinists are trying to explain! In other words, you've got to have a self-replicating organism for Darwinian evolution to take place, but you can't have a self-replicating organism until you have the information necessary in DNA, which is what you're trying to explain in the first place. So now we're back to the same problem i mentioned in my last post about this, where does this information come from? Every experience we have about information--whether it's a computer code, hieroglyphic inscription, a book, or a cave painting--points toward intelligence, toward a designer. The same is true about the information inside every cell in every living creature.

As far as the design in the universe, the November 2002 issue of Discover observed, "The universe is unlikely. Very unlikely. Deeply, shockingly unlikely." As we agreed upon before, so many constants and factors in the universe are finely tuned to allow complex life to exist here on earth. If just one of these constants is off by any significant degree, we would all perish. Now, if we're talking about probabilities, then theoretically we cannot rule out the possibility--however remote--that this could occur by chance (conservatively speaking, 1/1000 of a trillion).

However, if i bet you $1000 that i could flip a coin and get fifty heads in a row, and then I proceeded to do it, you would not accept that. You wouldn't say, "Wow, Pete, you beat the odds, here's my thousand bucks!" Instead, you would say, "Hey, man, you rigged that coin!" And you'd be right. In fact, most people would accept the rigged coin theory over the chance theory. Why? Because it strikes us as extremely improbable that my coin would land on heads fifty times in a row by chance, but not at all improbable that i rigged the coin. That's a quite reasonable assumption.

In a similar way, it's supremely improbable that the fine-tuning of the universe could have occurred at random, but it's not at all improbable if it were the work of an Intelligent Designer, that is, God.

I mean, none of us would look at a painting, a building, or even a paper clip and conclude that these came about as the result of random chance, but rather by plan, purpose, and design. Why, then, would we look at the universe and conclude otherwise? At this point, I believe philisophical payoffs come into the picture. But that's another story.

P.S. To give credit where credit is due, I owe much of the above insights to Stephen C. Meyer and Jonathan Wells--two scientists/philosophers worth reading, even if you don't agree with their conclusions (and yes, two guys i read in school).

Peter K.
02-18-2005, 10:48 PM
Hey Max!

Good to see you're back into the mix! I hope school is going well.

The Bible is a book comprised of sixty-six little books, and yes, it was written by people--people who were wrote down exactly what God wanted them to write down--not like they were in a trance, but rather that what they wrote was God-inspired.

Now, i know what you might be thinking, "Yeah, right, Pete, God used people to write a book. Sounds a little far fetched to me." But keep this in mind: if we humans can train a dog to sit, fetch, roll over, play dead, come, stay, etc., isn't it possible for an all-powerful God to get people to write down what He wanted them to write down? And, if you don't believe the Bible to be trustworthy, my question is simply, how do you know it's not trustworthy? What has lead you to that conclusion?

What i find interesting about the Bible is that it's the one book everyone has an opinion about, but not many people really read. And for anyone who has questions about the Bible's authenticity, there are stacks of books written on this subject demonstrating the Bible to be the most reliable set of ancient documents in existence. "The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel is a good place to start. It's written at a popular level (for people like me!) and can be found at most bookstores. For those who are sincere and seeking, the evidence is out there.

Also, the Bible doesn't say that we all don't die. We all die. The real issue is where are we going after we die. What "Jesus defeated death" means is that He said for those who love Him, who put their trust in Him, and follow Him, He will grant them life everlasting with Him, where there is no more sickness, suffering, pain, crying, mourning, or death. The death that awaits those who die apart from Him is eternal punishment, that is, hell, which is more of a suffocating reality than we could ever imagine.

Again, this is His view, not mine, and I find that there are many reasons to believe that His take on these issues are true.

Hope this finds you well, Max. Til next time...Pete

Peter K.
02-18-2005, 10:53 PM
Kobble--do you really believe that Jesus never existed? If so, why do you believe that?

Looking forward to continuing the conversation. And if i don't reply within the next few days, it's because i'm still working on school stuff. But i look forward to returning. I mean, this is definitely much better than watching "American Idol." ;-) Til next time...Pete

Deuce
02-18-2005, 11:00 PM
I beg your pardon Deuce. I am responding to Deluxe NOT Deuce. I am sorry.

Phew!! Thank God... er... I mean thank Heaven... um... I mean thank goodness. The mere mention of Salman Rushdie's name in a post addressed to me had me shaking in my boots.

Peter K wrote:
"If i was going in for heart surgery or brain surgery, I would not be concerned in the least that the surgeon's thoughts on these procedures are not his own. I would just want to make sure that his thoughts are true, that what he has learned all these years are just what i need to be cured and healed. That is what really matters."

Sorry, Peter - this is a very poor analogy. You see, something such as remedying physical ailments is both tangible and finite. It is concrete. It can be - and has been proven. There is a proven successful way of doing it so that it achieves the desired result. There is no debating, nor are there any other viable options. It is a fact, and not merely a belief, as your belief in god/the bible/your religion is. The doctor has historical facts to back him up - physical medicine is not merely a matter of opinion or of belief. Religion, conversely, has no facts to back it up. Yes, yes, you'll say that the bible is the factual evidence. Prove it.


And, on the subject of death and dying... there are many cultures/tribes on this planet who celebrate death as a wonderful thing. Indeed, some are happy because they believe that their loved ones will go to eternal peace with their 'gods'. I point this out only to highlight your error of saying that "We see death as wrong and unfair" Speak for yourself here. As I've mentioned, there are several cultures which do not "see death as wrong and unfair". I, personally, do not see death as being "wrong and unfair". I have lost loved ones, and, yes, it hurts. I have no idea what - if anything - occurs to us in death - nor will I ever be so arrogant as to pretend to know. My perspective is that death is neither a good thing, nor a bad thing - it is simply a thing. A thing which must be accepted.

Morpheus
02-19-2005, 05:36 AM
Hey Max!
The Bible is a book comprised of sixty-six little books, and yes, it was written by people--people who were wrote down exactly what God wanted them to write down--not like they were in a trance, but rather that what they wrote was God-inspired.

But keep this in mind: if we humans can train a dog to sit, fetch, roll over, play dead, come, stay, etc., isn't it possible for an all-powerful God to get people to write down what He wanted them to write down?

Peter, you can't really be serious! Maybe this explains my buddy's tendancy to move his leg really fast on occasion--God is just rubbing him the right way.



And if you believe the bible was scribed by God through "trained" humans, then perhaps you would also believe that Joseph Smith was led to find buried plates by an angel who had conveniently included magic glasses that allowed him to translate the text into English.

Mahboob Khan
02-19-2005, 06:06 AM
Try to understand the difference between "authoring a book" and "writing a book". You may author it but still not write it i.e. you dictate it to someone else, and that someone else is supposed to write it exactly as you dictated. The writer is not supposed to add anything from himself. Quran was authored by Allah and dictated to Muhammad through Gabriel the same angel who dictated Tora to Moses and Bible to Jesus. Allah himself has not written any book. And guess what Muhammad did not write any book either (he simply could not read and write, he was an illiterate person, and that's the miracle of Quran). Gabriel dictated to Muhammad and Muhammad dictated to the writers, and then it was read back to Gabriel. Even today there are millions who have rendered Quran to their heart. And by the way Allah has dubbed the Quran as miracles of all miracles .. and this miracle was given to Muhammad (peace be upon him). Apart from that Muhammad did not need miracles to project Islam because Islam in itself is a miracle!

Morpheus
02-19-2005, 06:58 AM
The Bible: A collection of writings of unknown date and authorship, rendered into english from supposed copies of supposed originals, unfortunately lost.

Many of you who are arguing for God, do so from the point of view ingrained in you by your local tradition. You all believe different things, and while they cannot all be true, neither do any of them have to be true. You have been programed to believe.

No matter how long ago a story was made up, it is still exactly as true or untrue as the original story was. If you make up a story that isn't true, handing it down over a number of centuries doesn't make it any more true.

deluxe
02-19-2005, 12:33 PM
Deuce: Islam attests previous prophets, Islam attests previous Holy Books such as Tora as given to Moses and Bible as given to Jesus. The emphasis is "as given" not on something which were added later on just to suit the people.

That's ridiculous. What Islam "attests" to is not the historical record of what they said and did, but what one man wished they said and did many hundreds of years after the actual prophets died.

Can you show me a Bible:

1. In its original Aramic language;

None of the bible was written in aramic. The first half of Daniel is in aramaic.

2. In its original text, content, shape, and message;

There are no perfect copies of the original m****cripts of the bible.

3. Do you think Bible was ascended on Jesus in English language?

Jesus did not write any of the bible. He would have spoken aramaic. The gospels were written in greek, which is why I learnt to read them in the original language. It gets one the closest you can get to what was originally spoken.

4. Do you think Jesus was born in USA or in Europe?
Who would have better reflection on him? People living in the area or those living in Europe and USA. USA was discovered just 200 years ago!

Jesus was a Jew. A native Israelite. I think the geographical location of the people who study the life of Jesus is of little relevance. The people who have the "better reflection" will be those who study the writings of the people who knew Jesus Christ. Not the people who reject the writings of the people who knew him in favour of the teachings of one man who never knew him, and lived hundreds of years after him.

Sir, Islam attests/confirms/reaffirms the original/unchanged teachings of the earlier Prophets, and earlier Holy Books such as Tora and Bible.

I think the term you are looking for is "rewrites". It cannot "attest/confirm/reaffirm" at the same time as contradicting what they said and wrote.

Quran has never abrogated its own verses. Your observation is based on your own ignorance. Read the Quran from start to end and show me a single verse which contradicts itself!

As you probably know, there are many contradictions. I'll resist the urge to post a list. Here's just one:

What did God create man out of?

1. "Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood," (96:2).
2. "We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape, (15:26).
3. "The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was," (3:59).
4. "But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?" (19:67, Yusuf Ali). Also, 52:35).
5. "He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer! (16:4).

Yes, it abrogates those writings in the earlier Holy Books that were added later on by people with vested interests.

LOL. Moses wrote in Exodus that he was adopted by pharaoh's daughter. Mohammed said that Moses was adopted by pharaoh's wife. Should we believe Moses or Mohammed. If what Moses wrote was corrupted by those with vested interests (for which there is no evidence), exactly what do you think the vested interest would have been in altering that fact?

Sir, the Bible is not in its original form. The chapters themselves speak for themselves "that we are written by men: Mark, Mathew, John, etc".

It is certainly true that we don't have perfect copies of the original m****cripts. Just like you don't have perfect copies of the original quran. But the original m****cripts of the bible were written by men, Mark, Matthew etc as God directed them.

Throughout history, Allah has sent His messengers to many peoples. The messengers of Allah summoned mankined to the true path and communicated to them His ways. However, today, it is a widespread belief that what had been revealed through various messengers to mankind were different religions. This is a misconception. The religions that Allah revealed to separate peoples in distinct periods were the same. For instance, Jesus abolished some of the prohibitions brought by the preceding religion.

Please cite an example.

What has been revealed to the former prophets, to Musa (Moses), to Jesus (Isa) and to the last Prophet are essentially the same:

No. The quran contradicts what Moses and Jesus taught.

God commanded the Jews through Moses to drink wine at the passover. Jesus obeyed this command, and instituted the drinking of wine in rememberance of him. The quran says:

"O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper," (5:90)."

Read this in Quran:

Say, "We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Ibrahim, Ismail and Ishaq and Ya'qub and the Tribes, and what Musa and Isa (Jesus) and all the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are muslims submitted to Him. If anyone desires anything other than Islam as a religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers." (Surah Al Imran: 84-85).

Indeed. A verse that contradicts/abrogates the earier verse:

Believers, Jews, Sabaeans and Christians -
whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right -
shall have nothing to fear or regret.
-- Sura 5:69

What we understand from Quran is that all the prophets summoned their peoples to a common way.

Something that obviously contradicts what the historical record of what the prophets actually said and did.

Read the following verse:

"He has laid down the same religion for you as He enjoined on Nuh: that which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined on Ibrahim, Musa and Isa (Jesus): "Establish the religion and do not make divisions in it." What you call those who worship other things than Allah to follow is very hard for them. Allah chooses for Himself anyone He wills and guides to Himself those who turn to Him." (Sura ash-Shura: 13).

What the verse says is simply not true. God is not a god of contradiction. The quran is not the word of God.

Deuce: Sir, whatever you have said the whole Quran is against it.

Maybe you are reading too much from a Book written by Salman Rushdi, "Satanic Verses". Salman is an ignorant man!

You obviously need to do more study about the life of the man you call a prophet. I haven never read Salman Rushdi's work and don't advocate it. But the incident I refer to is a real incident in the life of Mohammed, and is acknowledged as such by Islamic scholars, and is attested to by the four earliest Islamic biographies of Mohammed, and widely reported in early sirat literature. I am told Rushdie based his fictional work on this real event.

To summarize:

Mohammed was in Mecca trying to persuade people to convert to Islam, and being roundly rejected, but then he recipted the following verse:

Have you thought of al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third ... these are the exalted Gharaniq[3] whose intercession is approved. (Ibn Ishaq, pp. 165-166)

Al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat were some of the local idols worshiped in Mecca. Previously Muhammad had spoken against them in his monotheist preaching but now Muhammad accepted the idols and recited that their "intercession is approved".

Later, when Mohammed was in a more powerful position he ratracted those verses and claimed that Gabriel had told him that Satan had given him those verses, and that all the previous prophets had been satanically inspired at one time or another.

Then Gabriel came to the apostle and said , "What have you done, Muhammad? You have read to these people something I did not bring you from God and you have said what He did not say to you." (Ibn Ishaq, p. 166)

Obviously Christians don't believe God's prophets were ever inspired by Satan to say what they said.

Morpheus
02-19-2005, 01:35 PM
Troytennisbum wrote:
"Clearly life had to have been created by some intelligent being."


Umm... that is most certainly not clear to me... This comment simply exposes the vast narrowness of your thinking, as well as your ego in actually believing that the origin of life cannot possibly be beyond your comprehension.

I'm happy that I don't live with the handicap of thinking that everything can be explained by things which humans understand.

Deuce, religion is useful because it gives purpose to otherwise meaningless lives.

What we are seeing in this thread is just how defensive people become when you threaten the logic of their religion, for without it, they have no rudder.

If Mahboob, Peter et al could only appreciate the fact that in relation to the universe and their place in it, they are less than a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot. If one is not prepared to accept that notion, then one must reach for something that is makes them seem more relevant. Religion seems to fill that role. So, in the end, even if God doesn't exist, humans would likely need to create one, if only for their own comfort or sanity.

Stuck
02-19-2005, 02:23 PM
ALL WHO ARE POSTING ABOUT THIS SUBJECT ARE LOOSING FOCUS OF WHAT THESE MESSAGE BOARDS ARE FOR TENNIS TENNIS TENNIS TENNIS. Take all of these religious beliefs to other websites that encourage this type of discussion. We should be talking about the game, pros, rackets, shoes, stuff that is tennis related. No where on the tennis talk page do I see Ahlah Jesus God or the bible. Some of you are hilarious.

Frodo Baggins
02-19-2005, 03:21 PM
I just read from pg 1 -193 woeeeeee my little hobbit eyes are all buggy from reading.. anyways I have a few comments about this stuff but I'll be back when my eyes are little clearer..From Frodo with Buggy eyes..

Kobble
02-19-2005, 06:38 PM
Orginally posted by Peter K.:
However, if i bet you $1000 that i could flip a coin and get fifty heads in a row, and then I proceeded to do it, you would not accept that. You wouldn't say, "Wow, Pete, you beat the odds, here's my thousand bucks!" Instead, you would say, "Hey, man, you rigged that coin!" And you'd be right. In fact, most people would accept the rigged coin theory over the chance theory. Why? Because it strikes us as extremely improbable that my coin would land on heads fifty times in a row by chance, but not at all improbable that i rigged the coin. That's a quite reasonable assumption

If you rigged the coin it would likely show the same results over an infinite number of additional tries. Therefore, it could be tested and a better conclusion could be drawn. We cannot test the universe and all the significant conditions in its history. Also, if you rigging the coin is equal to god rigging the universe, we can test the original analogy further. If you were to truthfully deny rigging the coin, then the probability theory holds true, if not, we have another problem. If we settle on the idea that you rigged the coin, I can still prove you exist, because there you are. If I accept god rigged the universe, I still have no measurable god. That would give edge back to probability theory.

Deuce
02-19-2005, 11:34 PM
The Bible: A collection of writings of unknown date and authorship, rendered into english from supposed copies of supposed originals, unfortunately lost.

Many of you who are arguing for God, do so from the point of view ingrained in you by your local tradition. You all believe different things, and while they cannot all be true, neither do any of them have to be true. You have been programed to believe.

No matter how long ago a story was made up, it is still exactly as true or untrue as the original story was. If you make up a story that isn't true, handing it down over a number of centuries doesn't make it any more true.

Excellent summary, Morpheus - one which cannot be disputed from any sort of solid foundation.

Did anyone else catch this particular act of the 'auto-censor'?:
"There are no perfect copies of the original m****cripts of the bible."
A rather prime (and humorous) example of ridiculousness, wouldn't you say?

Noelle
02-20-2005, 12:40 AM
This discussion is hopeless, since I don't think there'll be any backing down done by anyone.

Possibly the whole issue of the discussion is, "How do you know what you believe is true?"

Morpheus
02-20-2005, 05:09 AM
This discussion is hopeless, since I don't think there'll be any backing down done by anyone.

On the contrary, this thread is full of hope and wishful thinking.

No one will back down--hmm, is that a surprise. Every war on this tiny planet has been because of religous tradition (except for the one started over a beautiful women--that one was justified).

Possibly the whole issue of the discussion is, "How do you know what you believe is true?"

No, the issue of the discussion is that these things are unknowable--that is what defines "faith." But the faithful keep arguing that they are right, despite the simple, obvious fact that their solution has no more proof than my believing that the entire universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure.


My comments are embedded in your quotation above. By the way, did you realize that we now have the longest thread on the board, even longer than Markus's silly thread about Changing the Rules of Tennis!

Mahboob Khan
02-20-2005, 06:02 AM
Deluxe: Let me appreciate you for the fact that you have a good analytical mind and you appear to have studied the Quran or part of it. I do not need to answer your questions any further because I am not an Islamic scholar. I am an ordinarly Muslim with basic knowledge about Islam. My only recommendation to you would be to find a copy of Quran with translation and explanation (tafseer) by Maulana Abdullah Yusaf Ali. Ask any good Muslim and he will tell you that Abdullah Yusaf Ali's English translation/explanation is the best. And you will find your answers there.

I must seek your pardon if I have offended you. That was not my intention.

May Allah bless you!

J D
02-20-2005, 12:10 PM
Sorry, Morpheus, I can't let you get away with this silliness.

Every war on this tiny planet has been because of religous tradition (except for the one started over a beautiful women--that one was justified). Certainly someone as bright as you is familiar enough with history to know this is a total lie. The great majority of wars have been about land, power, and money.

No, the issue of the discussion is that these things are unknowable--that is what defines "faith." How could a man that admits to having no "faith" even offer an opinion as to what faith is? 'Fess up that you really have no clue, since you have intentionally avoided any personal experience with the subject.

Morpheus
02-20-2005, 01:52 PM
How could a man that admits to having no "faith" even offer an opinion as to what faith is? 'Fess up that you really have no clue, since you have intentionally avoided any personal experience with the subject.

JD, thanks for the call-out and once again a valid point if only your underlying assumption was correct (sounds familiar, doesn't it?). I never said I did not have faith; in fact, I have said just the opposite. It is possible to have faith in something bigger without subscribing to a particular religion. I try not to confuse the two concepts.

And, yes, I stick with my last point: The issue of the discussion is that these things are unknowable--that is what defines "faith." And your religion has just as much proof as my believing that the entire universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=314784&postcount=89

J D
02-20-2005, 03:07 PM
Morpheus, I'm afraid we are going to have to get into linguistics. Nonreligious people always seem to take one of the definitions of faith, "firm belief in something for which there is no proof" (Webster's) and apply it to every use of the word. Even in English, faith has several alternate meanings including; complete trust, loyalty, fidelity, sincerity, something WITHOUT doubt or question.

The definition of faith will not only change from religion to religion but from language to language. English is very often an inadequate medium to convey the import of the Greek language, which is the original language of all but one of the New Testament books. In fact, English does a disservice to the Greek language and Christianity. The word that is usually translated as faith in the New Testament is Pistos in Koine Greek. Literally, it means to trust in that which is sure and true, or to have a conviction about truth. The Bible defines faith as awareness of the promises (literally, a promissory note) from God to believers and as the PROOF of things not seen. The Bible also states that all faith comes from God and that Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of all faith.

So, you see, when a Christian speaks of faith, he's not talking about a belief in something abstract. He's talking about something he has experienced, something he has received from God that is the proof of God's promises. This proof is reinforced by the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. While a non Christian is guessing about faith, the Christian is speaking from a real-life realization of the promises of God in their own life. This, in large part, accounts for the Christian's seemingly unflappable conviction that he does have knowledge beyond those things that are seen.

I stand by my previous post.

Morpheus
02-20-2005, 04:24 PM
Morpheus, I'm afraid we are going to have to get into linguistics. Nonreligious people always seem to take one of the definitions of faith, "firm belief in something for which there is no proof" (Webster's)


If I cannot bring out a point of view because I do not have faith as you define it, then how can I possibly have an opinion about Christianity since I am not born again. JD, my friend, we are like annointing oil and holy water on this topic and I fear there is no point in butting heads against the inevitable.

Peace.

J D
02-20-2005, 05:37 PM
Morpheus, please don't get defensive. Everyone has an opinion about Christianity and I've tried to encourage people to express them here since this is an open discussion. But, I still have to correct facts that are wrong. Your generalization about faith was so inadequate that I had to point it out.

No, the issue of the discussion is that these things are unknowable--that is what defines "faith." This isn't what defines faith, it's just one definition of faith (as I pointed out). One of the basic tenants of Christianity is that these things are "knowable."

You may bring out a point of view but, if it's about Christianity, the chances of it being correct are greatly diminished if you're not "born again." I can look at the specs of a racquet and offer an opinion on what I think it might play like, but I'll never know for sure until I hit with it. Until then, anything on my part is going to be speculative.

Morpheus
02-20-2005, 07:20 PM
You may bring out a point of view but, if it's about Christianity, the chances of it being correct are greatly diminished if you're not "born again." .

Sigh...JD, I offered you an olive branch. I think you should take it.

Kobble
02-20-2005, 07:22 PM
JD, my friend, we are like annointing oil and holy water on this topic and I fear there is no point in butting heads against the inevitable.


You have it all wrong Morpheus. You're the water and he is the holy snake oil.

Radical Shot
02-20-2005, 09:36 PM
God and evidence? I agree with the Apostle Pauls reasoning on the matter. Romans 1:20 absolutely.

Noelle
02-20-2005, 10:11 PM
Peace, everyone! :)

J D
02-21-2005, 09:35 AM
Morpheus, I certainly will agree to disagree about faith. Your comment about religion and war needs to addressed, though. People have fought wars for land, money, power, position, pride, possessions, love, and, yes, even religion. The problem is obviously with people, not religion. If you're serious about the olive branch, then you'll admit that your assertion about religion causing all wars was completely inaccurate and intended only to cast religion and religious people in an undeservedly bad light.

Kobble, I won't even dignify your weak attempt at humor with a response.

AClockWorkOrange
02-21-2005, 01:46 PM
I ****ed your god in the ***.

chad shaver
02-21-2005, 01:50 PM
Wonder who you really are, with your 3rd post.

Phil
02-21-2005, 04:29 PM
Morpheus, I certainly will agree to disagree about faith. Your comment about religion and war needs to addressed, though. People have fought wars for land, money, power, position, pride, possessions, love, and, yes, even religion. The problem is obviously with people, not religion. If you're serious about the olive branch, then you'll admit that your assertion about religion causing all wars was completely inaccurate and intended only to cast religion and religious people in an undeservedly bad light.

Kobble, I won't even dignify your weak attempt at humor with a response.

Yes, let's address religion and war. Lust for land, power and/or prestige is the premise of most wars, but in many cases, the premise or underlying reason is based on religion. Even in those wars where territory was the primary goal of an aggressor, religion has played a major role-often as the excuse for entering such conflicts. In that respect, Morpheus is absolutly correct. And not only wars, don't forget the horrendous atrocities committed in the name of your God.

Let's start with Christianity became Rome's state religion under the emporor Constantine in around 363 A.D. From then on, non-Christians ("Pagans") were brutally persecuted. Let's go forward 732 years to the First Crusade-for the next 200 years, "Christians" periodically pillaged and raped their way accross E. Europe and the Levant, until finally being turned back once and for all at the end of the 13th century.
-1192; Jews are expelled from Britain, after undergoing centuries of persecution for their religion. Jews are then persecuted by Christians for the next 800 or so years.
-15th Century; The Spanish and French Inquisitions (also spread to parts of Italy); non-Christians are mercilessly persecuted. Those who convert are later killed, anyway.
-30 Years War, 1618-48; A huge (some estimates as high as 25%) chunk of W. Europe minus England is decimated by a war between Catholics and Protestants.
-1650's; Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads control England and Puritan Tyranny reigns for a short period, as it does on the E. Coast of America until the mid 18th century (Salem? Burning of witches? Don't ever say that America never fell prey to superstitious religionists).
-Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian wars of the 90's-"My religion is better than yours..."
-Israel-Palestinnean conflict..."My religion is better than yours...my book says I should own this land." No, MY book says that I should own it." Of course it's not so simple, but again, religion plays a prominent role in this conflict.
-1980's-the rise of Islamofacism-suicide bombers, murders of Shiites by Sunnis, murders of westerners by Shiites, murders of Christians in Muslim majority countries (Egypt, Pakistan), 9/11, etc.
-Kashmir; A fight for territory, but also a battle of faiths, Hindu and Muslim.
And literally HUNDREDS more-religious conflicts that go back to pre-historic times.

Would these wars and atrocities have occured without the crutch of religion? Some of them, yes, but probably not all of them, or even many of them...religion has had a DIVISIVE and DISASTEROUS effect on societies for centuries. As Freud pointed out, throwing off the shackles of an artificial myth-based faith would have freed our minds to create and explore even earlier than we did. A lot of the HATRED in the world is directly due to religious differences-MY God is BETTER than yours-MY God is the TRUTH. Your God is FALSE! Etc., etc. ad nauseum.

JD, you and Peter can continue to write until your hands fall off trying to convince us heathens that you're "right", but in the end, I really think that you're trying to convince YOURSELVES that you chose the right path. You live in a house of cards-supported by a shakey patchwork of beliefs and superstition that is under assault EVERY DAY by the REALITY of the living world. This is why you're so insecure, and write 100's of paragraphs to justify to yourselves that there's more to life than...LIFE! This is sad, but it is necessary for a number of very weak-minded individuals. You should not revel in your weakness-you should keep it to yourselves.

J D
02-21-2005, 05:22 PM
Phil, you're really stretching the facts here to try and make a point that simply isn't true. but in many cases, the premise or underlying reason is based on religion. Even in those wars where territory was the primary goal of an aggressor, religion has played a major role-often as the excuse for entering such conflicts. Do you really want to go through all the major wars in recorded history? I'll be glad to. I think you'll find a very small percentage of them (at least out of the couple hundred I came up with off the top of my head) were "religious" wars.

And not only wars, don't forget the horrendous atrocities committed in the name of your God. Have there been atrocities committed in the name of God? Surely. Have there been atrocities committed without God? Yes, a whole lot more. Evil men will use any excuse available to control and abuse those around them. For every misguided person that has done something wrong in the name of God, there have been thousands of people that have performed selfless acts of love and kindness. Why do you not want to talk about these? Perhaps because this doesn't fit into your cynical view of the world.

A lot of the HATRED in the world is directly due to religious differences-MY God is BETTER than yours-MY God is the TRUTH. Your God is FALSE! Etc., etc. ad nauseum. Prejudice exists in all forms, including religious. It is almost always the result of human ignorance, not religion.

JD, you and Peter can continue to write until your hands fall off trying to convince us heathens that you're "right" LOL, Phil, I don't have any illusions about convincing you of anything.

I really think that you're trying to convince YOURSELVES that you chose the right path. Part of the reason I know I would never convince you of anything, Phil, is because you don't really listen. I explained my position earlier and it went right over your head. I have no doubts about my path.

Phil
02-21-2005, 06:52 PM
JD - I did not say that ALL wars and atrocities are based on religion...just many. Sure, you can come up with wars or attrocities that had no basis in religious differences, and so can I-that's not the point. RELIGION has been responsible for the deaths of a millions of people down through the ages. There are other causes and reasons, but it's not like men needed another excuse-religion-to go and kill people.

Mahboob Khan
02-22-2005, 06:01 AM
We are not here to change each other's religion. We all have faith and we think it is the best. Obviously, I believe that my faith is the best. However, as a result of this longest non-tennis thread we know are able to respect each other more. We have deeper regards for each other's religions and viewpoints. For example, people thought Mahboob Khan knows only about tennis coaching but it turned out that he is also a student of Islam!

Many people thought that Quran was against Jesus Christ, but it turned out that Quran has paid more homage to Jesus and his mother than any other Book! In Quran his name is Isa bin Meryyam (Isa son of Meryyam)!

PugArePeopleToo
02-22-2005, 12:28 PM
As you guys debating if Islam is truer than Christianity or vice versa, please keep in mind you are both worshipping the same deity of Old Testament. The argument really is which one of the two is the ultimate truth. If you start from the position that my book is the truth and cannot be faulted, then let’s face it, the other side is the infidel; you might accept or even respect the differences, and no matter how polite the discussions were, in your mind your Quran is superior to their Bible, or vice versa. Now if we throw other religions such as Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or polytheism into the mix, we can have ourselves a (verbal) war right here in TW. To me this utter non acceptance to other view points is the ultimate problem with religion.

To Mahboob and Deluxe who were arguing if account right at the time of Jesus’ death as described in Bible is more correct than Quran which is written in Aramic. If you think about it, the ultimate experts of this deity of Old Testament are Jews, after all he was their god from their religion; if they rejected Jesus, and do not follow Quran, what does that say Christianity and Islam? Now, what if Judaism was wrong in the first place? What if Hindus got it right? If there were the case, at least Pakistan and India can stop their nonsense over Kashmir. Alternatively, Mahboob, don’t Muslim nations fought and killed each other over power and national boundary? If that is the case then why only Palestine and Kashmir why not any territorial disputes among Muslim nations? If it is intolerable when infidel committed aggression against fellow believers, is it acceptable for Muslims to oppress other Muslims? If rule by just infidel is better than by unjust believer, then are you sure those were indeed freedom fighters not terrorists?

To J D and Peter K, who think everything has a purpose and everything is designed by god, as conveyed by J D in “if the universe really is random, doesn't have a creator, purpose, or underlying moral theme, then what happened in Asia wasn't a tragedy at all, just a random occurrence.”. Am I to understand, J D, you think your god wiped out 250,000 men, women, young, old, and unborn on purpose? You are sanguine about the purpose and the design of this wholesale killing by your god? And why is that a random occurrence is not a tragedy? If my dog slipped from his collar and was run over by a car, it would be a random event, but to me at least, it would be a tragedy.

To Peter K, just because science now does not have the answer to the moment prior to Big Bang it does not mean we will never have it. 500 years ago we don’t know enough about astronomy, therefore earth must be the center of the universe and Galileo must be a heretic, but now we know earth is an insignificant plant orbiting a smallish star in the outskirt of an average galaxy, in a universe with over 100 billion of galaxies. 100 years ago man-powered flight was impossible, now we are talking about landing on Mars. Everyday, little by little, the unknown became new knowledge, but everyday the creationists asked where is the ultimate answer, and concluded since science failed therefore it must be god – our god. If scientifically we can never know, then the spider women’s theory is as valid as the Jewish god theory because one way or another we cannot prove it wrong.

To me, the purpose of any religion is make its followers better human beings, not to say my god is better than your god, not to say atheist just don’t get it, and not to convert others by coersion. To this end, Deuce’s post, “To be genuine and sincere, goodness must come from the individual; it must be a product of within, and not be a product of fear or intimidation, or of outside influence. Be nice, be considerate, be caring, be good because it’s the right thing to do – not because you think God will punish you if you’re not” is the ultimate truth.

Kobble
02-22-2005, 02:45 PM
Kobble, I won't even dignify your weak attempt at humor with a response.

That is fine, because I wasn't trying to be funny. Also, I made the snakeoil comment because I feel like you are a fraud in one respect or another. I think you are either an atheist trying to drag many posters around in circles, or a typical hypocrite(The type doesn't believe in god, but hides behind the protection of religion) getting a kick out of an attempt to frustrate non-believers. Peter K. on the other hand, brought up legitimate questions along with fairly reasonable alternatives to the answer. You claim to have a "special" experience which me, Morpheus, Phil, Deuce, and others are apparently unfamiliar with, and therefore, disqualifies us to despute it. I am quite convinced that the only epiphany you have had was when you learned no one can hear your thoughts. You know, if I can't hear you think then I can't pin you to what you believe or don't believe. That tactic is old news to me, and is the crutch that has held up every religious discussion I have ever witnessed. And finally, the difference between my beliefs and your portrayed beliefs is that mine(and many others) work. Now, you may not want to believe in logic, science, quantification, or cause and effect, but you better believe it if you want to contribute something worthwhile.

Superior_Forehand
02-22-2005, 04:06 PM
Yes, let's address religion and war. Lust for land, power and/or prestige is the premise of most wars, but in many cases, the premise or underlying reason is based on religion. Even in those wars where territory was the primary goal of an aggressor, religion has played a major role-often as the excuse for entering such conflicts. In that respect, Morpheus is absolutly correct. And not only wars, don't forget the horrendous atrocities committed in the name of your God.

Let's start with Christianity became Rome's state religion under the emporor Constantine in around 363 A.D. From then on, non-Christians ("Pagans") were brutally persecuted. Let's go forward 732 years to the First Crusade-for the next 200 years, "Christians" periodically pillaged and raped their way accross E. Europe and the Levant, until finally being turned back once and for all at the end of the 13th century.
-1192; Jews are expelled from Britain, after undergoing centuries of persecution for their religion. Jews are then persecuted by Christians for the next 800 or so years.
-15th Century; The Spanish and French Inquisitions (also spread to parts of Italy); non-Christians are mercilessly persecuted. Those who convert are later killed, anyway.
-30 Years War, 1618-48; A huge (some estimates as high as 25%) chunk of W. Europe minus England is decimated by a war between Catholics and Protestants.
-1650's; Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads control England and Puritan Tyranny reigns for a short period, as it does on the E. Coast of America until the mid 18th century (Salem? Burning of witches? Don't ever say that America never fell prey to superstitious religionists).
-Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian wars of the 90's-"My religion is better than yours..."
-Israel-Palestinnean conflict..."My religion is better than yours...my book says I should own this land." No, MY book says that I should own it." Of course it's not so simple, but again, religion plays a prominent role in this conflict.
-1980's-the rise of Islamofacism-suicide bombers, murders of Shiites by Sunnis, murders of westerners by Shiites, murders of Christians in Muslim majority countries (Egypt, Pakistan), 9/11, etc.
-Kashmir; A fight for territory, but also a battle of faiths, Hindu and Muslim.
And literally HUNDREDS more-religious conflicts that go back to pre-historic times.

Would these wars and atrocities have occured without the crutch of religion? Some of them, yes, but probably not all of them, or even many of them...religion has had a DIVISIVE and DISASTEROUS effect on societies for centuries. As Freud pointed out, throwing off the shackles of an artificial myth-based faith would have freed our minds to create and explore even earlier than we did. A lot of the HATRED in the world is directly due to religious differences-MY God is BETTER than yours-MY God is the TRUTH. Your God is FALSE! Etc., etc. ad nauseum.

JD, you and Peter can continue to write until your hands fall off trying to convince us heathens that you're "right", but in the end, I really think that you're trying to convince YOURSELVES that you chose the right path. You live in a house of cards-supported by a shakey patchwork of beliefs and superstition that is under assault EVERY DAY by the REALITY of the living world. This is why you're so insecure, and write 100's of paragraphs to justify to yourselves that there's more to life than...LIFE! This is sad, but it is necessary for a number of very weak-minded individuals. You should not revel in your weakness-you should keep it to yourselves.

Phil, I have a lot more respect for you after reading that. I have not been following the thread, but I think you hit the naid right on the head with this one. Kudos for taking the time to write the historical time table.

Mahboob Khan
02-22-2005, 07:04 PM
History is written by victors (those who are left behind), NOT by defeated (those who get killed and are never present or/are in a position to tell us their side of the story).

Mahboob Khan
02-22-2005, 07:19 PM
PugArePeopleToo: Gosh, I had difficulty writing your name. Any way, I like your post. And I did say in one of my posts that we as followers are the worst. About 95% of the muslim population does not fully understand its own religion .. Islam. If we were a united coherent nation we would not have been at the mercy of a super power (I do believe that Allah is the Super Power). You read all of my posts and my only request was to understand our religion .. Islam. It is not a bad religion for it confirms the earlier prophets/messengers and their Holy Books. Incidently, the process of religion only got completed on Muhammad (peace be upon him), and since too much -- good and bad -- has been said about Jesus Christ, it is logical that he will return to this earth to clear the mess which we all have created. He is the "sign of the hour" and at a given moment the truth will prevail. Whose God is right? That will be decided but we ought to wait. This is my understanding of Al-Qura'an the magnificent!

battousai555
02-22-2005, 07:59 PM
This thread is a bit long...

Peter K.
02-22-2005, 10:18 PM
Greetings Fellow TW Posters!

We've been at this thread for a while, haven't we! Wouldn't this be better if we were sitting around a table, talking about this stuff over pizza and drinks (of your choice, of course)! At this point, though, I don't think geography would let us do that. Oh, well. Maybe someday. Who knows?
So now then, batting first and leading off, we have...

Morpheus: Hey, I didn't know that we have the largest thread on the board! Alright! Thanks for the heads-up on that. Also, your comment that your buddy has a tendency to move his leg really fast because God is rubbing him the right way was actually pretty funny!

On the serious side of that point, i was responding to a point that Max G. made about the Bible. I was merely saying that it doesn't require a stretch of the imagination to say that God could get people to write down exactly what He wants them to write down. Some people like that analogy of us humans being able to get a dog to do what we want them to do. It helps them understand how God could superintend the writing of the books in the Bible. If the analogy doesn't work for you, no big deal. Toss it out.

Also, you referred to Joseph Smith and he is actually a good example of one of the ideas i'm trying to convey in regards to the Bible. If you called up the Smithsonian Institute and asked whether they have any archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon, they would tell you that there isn't any. In fact, no one has uncovered any of the cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon. No one has uncovered any artifacts related to the Book of Mormon. No one has found any inscriptions confirming the Book of Mormon. No one has identified any person, place, nation or name mentioned in the Book of Mormon. (Quick sidenote: if there is anyone on here who is Mormon, I do not mean to be disrespectful. I have friends who are Mormon, whom I care for deeply. I'm just sharing information that is available to anyone.)

On the other hand, over time, archaeology has turned out to be the Bible's friend. Numerous digs have supported the Bible, and no discovery has ever disproved a biblical reference. For example, Luke, who wrote about one-quarter of the New Testament pages, has proved to be a most accurate historian. One prominent archaeologist, Sir William Ramsey, carefully examined Luke's reference to 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 islands, and didn't find a single mistake. Luke was a first-rate historian, and this gives us more confidence to take his writings seriously--that what Luke recorded is what acutally happened. I mean, after all, if he couldn't get the basic facts right, how can we trust his other statements about more important matters--like the resurrection of Jesus? But, instead, we see Luke meticulously paying close attention to detail, and that gives us reason to thoughtfully consider what he has to say.

Historians have given just as much energy to the study of the events of the Bible as they have to any other subject in the past. Probably more. You see, historians start with evidence, any kind they can get there hands on. They use physical evidence, from what's left of ancient buildings to weapons, shards of pottery, art, and gravesites. They study ancient documents of every kind, from literature to government records. They study migration and climate patterns. They examine the earth close up and from the sky to figure out where ancient people lived, why they moved, and what caused their civilizations to flourish and decline. This business of figuring out what happened in the past is not a crapshoot. It's an established, ancient discipline with high standards of study and reasoning.

And on the basis of the criteria of these tests, the Bible turns out to be the most reliable document of antiquity in existence. That may sound bold, but it's not a secret. Check it out. It's available for anyone to look into. It's fascinating stuff. And that's only the beginning. There is so much more we could talk about in this arena.

Morpheus, you have every right to challenge the credibility of the Bible. In fact, you are wise to do that! But I am curious about something: how did you arrive at your conclusions about the Bible? Where did you study? What books have you read on the subject? I ask only because your comments on the Bible are confusing at times. You make assertions about the Bible but I'm trying to understand how you arrived at those conclusions.

You, along with Deuce, say that there is no evidence or proof for the Bible. I hope what i've offered here is a piece of evidence that you will consider worth thinking about.

P.S. Deuce, Kobble, Phil, PugArePeopleToo...i'm going to reply to youz guyz tomorrow. It's too late now, and my eyes are starting to cross.

Phil
02-22-2005, 10:35 PM
Peter K. - Gee golly whiz, fellow TW poster, I sure-ly am lookey lookey forward to your response to my post tomorrow. Well heayak, I may as well say something now in response to your latest tome. BTW, Peter, there must be SOME reason why you remind me of Ned Flanders.

Because some of the PLACES in the Bible existed, based on archeological discovery, does not mean that the EVENTS in the Bible are any more real than those that in the Lord of the Rings or...Batman. The HUMAN authors of the Bible based the stories on those places that they were familiar with. Just like Raymond Chandler based his works of detective fiction in L.A., Stan Lee of Marval Comics fame based Batman in New York City (Gotham), The Cosby Show was set in Brooklyn Heights and Homer based his Illiad in Troy, where there apparently WAS a war, but there probably wasn't a guy named Achilles who was indestructible except for a spot on his heel. Getting my point yet? You're going to have to do better than that.

Noelle
02-22-2005, 11:35 PM
In the same way science cannot prove God does or does not exist, you can't prove that those events did or did not happen. Most of what you consider knowledge rests on what's written in "authoritative" works (history books, peer-reviewed journals, what-else-have-you). It's up to you to decide whether to put your trust in these so-called authoritative works. I guess, for Phil, Morpheus, Deuce, etc., the Bible is not authoritative enough.

*shrugs* Whatever. I've said my piece.

bc-05
02-23-2005, 02:42 AM
man.. im confused why is it that when it's about religion everything always gets big? i mean look at passion of the christ one of the biggest movie of all time.. this board one of the biggest of the tw history.. crazy..

Peter K.
02-23-2005, 10:10 AM
Hey Kobble,

That's true, we could test the rigged coin over and over again, and it would, everytime, land on heads. It was designed that way. And, yes, scientists indeed has much yet to discover about the universe (talk about job security!). Therefore, we can only draw conclusions based on what we have discovered so far, and as new information comes in, we'll work that into what we have already. My point is that what science has discovered so far about the universe points towards order, structure and design, and that when we observe these characteristics in everyday life, it always points to a designer.

Also, you bring up a good point that, even if the coin is designed, you could still prove that i exist, because i'm standing in front of you, but since God isn't standing in front of us, in the same way, then we have no measurable God. In regards to this, i think it comes down to this: as you know, science is about the business of mearsuring the physical world--making observations about things that take up physical space, that have a weight and a size, no matter how big or small. Since God, by nature, is immaterial, He cannot, by nature, be measured or detected with the same methods or tests that science uses to make discoveries about the material world.

There are things that exist, that are real, that science is not qualified to measure or prove. For example, things like love, courage, motives, these are all invisible, but they are very real. Even if i gave my girlfriend flowers, or wrote her a poem or gave her a kiss, etc., that is not love in and of itself, that would be an act of love, that would be the affect that love produces. But love itself is invisible. Likewise, in a courtroom, the prosecuting attorney in a murder trial cannot go over to the table of evidence and hold up "Exhibit A" proclaiming, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, here in my hand i hold up for you the motive of why Jon Doe killed his wife." No, of course not. The lawyer can't hold the motive in his hand because it's invisible. Yet it exists. It's very real.

All this to say is that not everything that is real or true can be tested by science. Not everything that exists can be observed by our five senses. God is in that category.

Where science does come in, in terms of God, is detecting or measuring His work, His creation, His fingerprints, His affect. Just like i could be standing in a museum, looking at a beautiful painting, and though the artist is not there in front of me so I could see him or her, i am able to see the work of his/her hands with my eyes, and know that there is an artist behind this. When contemplating the beauty, order, and design of the universe, the idea of a Master Artist behind all of this is a most reasonable deduction.

J D
02-23-2005, 03:46 PM
Phil, we look at the same facts but come to different conclusions because we have different views about man and the world. You seem to think that man is basically good and that evil religion has corrupted him into murdering millions. This is, of course, part of the humanist philosophy, the goodness of man and the corruptness of institutions. I, however, believe that all men are imperfect and corrupt to varying degrees by nature and by choice. Institutions are morally neutral and are merely tools for man to use. Since so many people are evil, these institutions, including religion, are often used for evil. As I said before, the problem is with people, not religion.

To J D and Peter K, who think everything has a purpose and everything is designed by god, as conveyed by J D in “if the universe really is random, doesn't have a creator, purpose, or underlying moral theme, then what happened in Asia wasn't a tragedy at all, just a random occurrence.”. Am I to understand, J D, you think your god wiped out 250,000 men, women, young, old, and unborn on purpose? You are sanguine about the purpose and the design of this wholesale killing by your god? And why is that a random occurrence is not a tragedy? If my dog slipped from his collar and was run over by a car, it would be a random event, but to me at least, it would be a tragedy.Pugs, this is a fair question and deserves an answer. If you read through all the earlier posts, though, you'll see that there isn't an answer, at least not one that makes complete sense. An omnipotent God and freewill are seemingly incompatible. An all-loving God and the existence of pain and suffering are ideological opposites. My own opinion is that God didn't cause the tsunami but He allowed it to happen. He wouldn't be God if He didn't have the ability to stop it. In the Old Testament, God wipes out entire armies, cities, and even nations. This doesn't seem very loving, does it? We can't impose our limited understanding on God and have it make sense. Still, Pugs, a good and fair question. Wish I had the answer.

That is fine, because I wasn't trying to be funny. Also, I made the snakeoil comment because I feel like you are a fraud in one respect or another. I think you are either an atheist trying to drag many posters around in circles, or a typical hypocrite(The type doesn't believe in god, but hides behind the protection of religion) getting a kick out of an attempt to frustrate non-believers. Peter K. on the other hand, brought up legitimate questions along with fairly reasonable alternatives to the answer. You claim to have a "special" experience which me, Morpheus, Phil, Deuce, and others are apparently unfamiliar with, and therefore, disqualifies us to despute it. I am quite convinced that the only epiphany you have had was when you learned no one can hear your thoughts. You know, if I can't hear you think then I can't pin you to what you believe or don't believe. That tactic is old news to me, and is the crutch that has held up every religious discussion I have ever witnessed. And finally, the difference between my beliefs and your portrayed beliefs is that mine(and many others) work. Now, you may not want to believe in logic, science, quantification, or cause and effect, but you better believe it if you want to contribute something worthwhile. Kobble, I'm sorry that it appears to you that I'm coping out. The source of spiritual understanding is a basic tenant of Christianity, though. "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)

So, I've been trying to stick to real life and not get into a philosophical, theological, or scientific debate. If it's what you want, then, I can oblige. In an early post, your asserted that the basis for science potentially having an explanation for the creation of life was that there were "infinite possibilities" in the vast universe. This isn't true. There are a (seemingly but not really) infinite number of variables, but not of possibilities. Obviously, all these variables are still governed by the laws of physics and probability. You would have us believe that, if we were to put all the parts of a watch into a bag and just shake it long enough, eventually a completely assembled, fully functional watch will result. Ain't gonna happen.

Phil
02-23-2005, 04:05 PM
Phil, we look at the same facts but come to different conclusions because we have different views about man and the world. You seem to think that man is basically good and that evil religion has corrupted him into murdering millions. This is, of course, part of the humanist philosophy, the goodness of man and the corruptness of institutions. I, however, believe that all men are imperfect and corrupt to varying degrees by nature and by choice. Institutions are morally neutral and are merely tools for man to use. Since so many people are evil, these institutions, including religion, are often used for evil. As I said before, the problem is with people, not religion.

I never said man is basically good, JD, but I certainly don't subscribe to Christianity's twisted take on the character of man. Man is a product of his enviornment-upbringing, childhood, experiences, culture, etc. Therefore, if those aspects of his life are bad, the man may turn out to be bad.

Yes, the problems in our society are, for the most part, caused by PEOPLE-and people created religion, and those people or others who came after them, found a use in it for control, domination and abuse of their fellow men. That's all there is to it.

J D
02-23-2005, 04:41 PM
I never said man is basically good, JD, but I certainly don't subscribe to Christianity's twisted take on the character of man. Man is a product of his enviornment-upbringing, childhood, experiences, culture, etc. Therefore, if those aspects of his life are bad, the man may turn out to be bad.

Yes, the problems in our society are, for the most part, caused by PEOPLE-and people created religion, and those people or others who came after them, found a use in it for control, domination and abuse of their fellow men. That's all there is to it. Sorry, Phil, I guess I incorrectly categorized you as a humanist when you're really more of a behaviorist (man is simply and only a product of his environment). Still, I believe you are painting religion with too broad a stroke. Sure, some evil men have used and abused religion. But, it has also been a source of love, comfort, friendship, support, and selfless good deeds to the world. The latter happens much more often than the former. Just because someone uses a knife to kill another person doesn't mean we should hate or condemn the knife. A surgeon can use that same knife to save a life.

Max G.
02-23-2005, 07:49 PM
Life coming from non-life: Like I said before, I am all for scientists keeping up with such endeavors, such as creating life from non-life, because i find it all very fascinating. I have read a fair amount on this topic and it seems that every theory and experiment to create life from non-life has been a dead end (Morpheus, i tried to read the discover.com article but i had to be a subscriber to read the whole thing--i'll check it out at the news stand).

Kobble--the theory or explanation you suggested sounds great, but how would this play out? It hasn't been supported at every crucial step by any experimental evidence worth counting. The evidence just doesn't seem to be there. For example, how can natural selection explain how evolution built the first living cell? Natural selection simply does not work at the level of chemical evolution, which tries to explain the origin of the first life from simpler chemicals.

Which is why it's generally considered separately from the Theory of Evolution. The theory of evolution studies how organisms change over time - it provides an explanation for the diversity of lifeforms. It provies an explanation for "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" not the origin of life. The origin of life, though a related issue, does not validate or invalidate evolution.


Darwinists admit that natural selection requires a self-replicating organism to work. Organisms reproduce, their offspring have variations, the ones that are better adapted to their environment survive better, and so those adaptations are preserved and passed on to the next generation.

However, to have reproduction, there has to be cell division, and that presupposes the existence of information-rich DNA and proteins. But that's the problem--those are the very things Darwinists are trying to explain!

No, the theory of evolution explains the diversity of life and the origin of species, not the origin of the first life-form. I should surely hope that nobody with an education in biology would ever make the claim that "the theory of evolution attempts to explain the origin of life."

In other words, you've got to have a self-replicating organism for Darwinian evolution to take place, but you can't have a self-replicating organism until you have the information necessary in DNA, which is what you're trying to explain in the first place. So now we're back to the same problem i mentioned in my last post about this, where does this information come from? Every experience we have about information--whether it's a computer code, hieroglyphic inscription, a book, or a cave painting--points toward intelligence, toward a designer.

The same is true about the information inside every cell in every living creature.



Actually, they all point towards humans, since we know that humans make such things. Does that mean that humans made

Why do we consider a computer code, a hieroglyph, a book, or a cave painting to be designed? It's because we know a designer exists, humans. To use your own Mount Rushmore example - when we find a human face on a mountain on the Earth, we're pretty sure it must've been designed because we know that humans have a tendency to make images of human faces. However, when we look through a telescope and find a human face on Mars, we realize it's probably from natural causes that coincidentally gave a face-like formation, despite the initial conclusion that it must have been made by a race of Martians. Likewise, when people examined Mars, they were quick to assume that the canals seen there were evidence of an intelligently-designed irrigation system... and were quite wrong.

The moral - we easily recognize designed things as such when we know a designer exists, i.e. us. When we try to ascribe a designer to things that humans did not design, we go astray.

Intelligence is a force that results in lots and lots of design - that's what defines it, almost. Hence, we see lots of instances of design coming from intelligence because, well, we make lots of things. The appearance of design coming from non-intelligence is clearly much rarer, but it would be wrong to ascribe ALL information to intelligence.


As far as the design in the universe, the November 2002 issue of Discover observed, "The universe is unlikely. Very unlikely. Deeply, shockingly unlikely." As we agreed upon before, so many constants and factors in the universe are finely tuned to allow complex life to exist here on earth. If just one of these constants is off by any significant degree, we would all perish. Now, if we're talking about probabilities, then theoretically we cannot rule out the possibility--however remote--that this could occur by chance (conservatively speaking, 1/1000 of a trillion).

Well, what is interesting isn't the probability of life of a particular form (human) appearing around one particular star on one particular planet, it's the probability of any form of life appearing in any galaxy on any star on any planet of any form. Because whichever life happens to occur, they'll look at themselves and say "Wow! The universe must have been perfectly designed with me in mind, since if anything was different I wouldnt' be here!" I don't really think that, at the moment, there is any particular way to assess this probability - as far as we're concerned, the probability of life having arisen is 100% because it DID.


However, if i bet you $1000 that i could flip a coin and get fifty heads in a row,

It depends on how many times you were going to flip it. If you hired one billion people to each flip a coin per second, and to keep doing this for a year, I would not at all be surprised if someone flipped fifty heads in a row. I'm sure that that one person would be shocked, and might even think he has a rigged coin - but you and I, knowing the setup of the entire thing, would not be at all surprised that someone accomplished it.


and then I proceeded to do it, you would not accept that. You wouldn't say, "Wow, Pete, you beat the odds, here's my thousand bucks!" Instead, you would say, "Hey, man, you rigged that coin!" And you'd be right. In fact, most people would accept the rigged coin theory over the chance theory. Why? Because it strikes us as extremely improbable that my coin would land on heads fifty times in a row by chance, but not at all improbable that i rigged the coin. That's a quite reasonable assumption.

In a similar way, it's supremely improbable that the fine-tuning of the universe could have occurred at random, but it's not at all improbable if it were the work of an Intelligent Designer, that is, God.

Or, lets say, that you found a coin lying in the desert. You flipped it fifty times, and it landed all heads! Would you assume that it was rigged by someone who came and weighted it? I don't know about you, but I'd probably assume that it got sanded down in a nonuniform way from lying in the desert for a while. It would be very improbable for a designer to have rigged it, but very probable for natural causes to have done it.

The point - if there's a designer who has a motive to rig the coin, then that's the most likely explanation. If there's no designer, then it's probably natural processes of some sort.


I mean, none of us would look at a painting, a building, or even a paper clip and conclude that these came about as the result of random chance, but rather by plan, purpose, and design.

Because for these, we know a designer exists. If we found an interesting pattern in siberian rocks - for example, lots of perfect circles made out of raised rocks - we'd guess a naturalistic explanation since a design one requires a designer which there isn't any evidence for. If we found a pretty pattern on the surface of, say, Mercury, we'd guess some sort of strange asteroid impact or something of the like.


Why, then, would we look at the universe and conclude otherwise?

Because the universe doesn't make a good case for design. There are plenty of other factors that generally come with design - efficiency, purpose, redundancy, and so on. The only thing that could possibly point to design is an argument from incredulity - "Wow, so complex, how could it possibly NOT be design!"

Max G.
02-23-2005, 07:49 PM
My point is that what science has discovered so far about the universe points towards order, structure and design, and that when we observe these characteristics in everyday life, it always points to a designer.

When we observe intelligent design, of course that points to a designer. However, order and structure do not point to a designer. Example - if you have a bunch of hydrogen gas floating around in space, it can (quite spontaneously, without a designer) form into almost a perfect sphere, which then releases large amounts of energy, creating more energy than any reactor or power plant that humans have ever made.

When you have a bunch of ants, all following their own instincts, each individual one can be observed to act quite chaotically - but taken all together, the anthill appears to function smoothly and with order.

If you let water cool down at high altitudes and cold temperatures, you spontaneously get wonderfully ordered, structured ice crystals.

Looking to the north, we have auroras, the northern lights - wonderful patterns of shining lights, but formed not through "design" but through the interaction of the earth's magnetic field with charged particles from space.

And so on.

In everyday life, we see lots and lots of things that are designed - because WE designed them! And, looking outside of everyday life, we see very few things that are designed, because, well, we didn't design them.


There are things that exist, that are real, that science is not qualified to measure or prove. For example, things like love, courage, motives, these are all invisible, but they are very real. Even if i gave my girlfriend flowers, or wrote her a poem or gave her a kiss, etc., that is not love in and of itself, that would be an act of love, that would be the affect that love produces. But love itself is invisible. Likewise, in a courtroom, the prosecuting attorney in a murder trial cannot go over to the table of evidence and hold up "Exhibit A" proclaiming, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, here in my hand i hold up for you the motive of why Jon Doe killed his wife." No, of course not. The lawyer can't hold the motive in his hand because it's invisible. Yet it exists. It's very real.

Of course those things exist. And we can prove it. For example, love. First, we have to define what it is - a certain feeling one individual has for another. Next, we figure out what effects this would have on observable things - we suspect that if this feeling exists, then it will have observable characteristics - it will cause people to behave a certain way. Then, we try to figure out some behaviors that would not take place if this feeling did not exist - for example, if love did not exist then people would be just as happy to give or recieve flowers to/from anyone, whereas if love does exist then recieving or giving gifts to/from the loved person would cause an extra-happy reaction. Which is what we see.

And so on to things like motives. A lawyer can, and must, prove that a motive exists; the fact that it's not a visible object does not exempt it from proof. He must show that certain actions of the accused were done for a certain reason.


All this to say is that not everything that is real or true can be tested by science. Not everything that exists can be observed by our five senses. God is in that category.

Actually, the examples you gave - love, motives, and so on - are examples of things that exist only in our minds. They're feelings and thoughts - things that exist for one person and one person only, at the same level of "reality" as dreams or drug-induced hallucinations. Is that the type of "reality" that God has? The same as a thought? That's what I would generally refer to as "not really existing."

Where science does come in, in terms of God, is detecting or measuring His work, His creation, His fingerprints, His affect. Just like i could be standing in a museum, looking at a beautiful painting, and though the artist is not there in front of me so I could see him or her, i am able to see the work of his/her hands with my eyes, and know that there is an artist behind this. When contemplating the beauty, order, and design of the universe, the idea of a Master Artist behind all of this is a most reasonable deduction.

To me, it seems like the main characteristic of a painting which makes us recognize it as having an artist is that we know that this pattern of paint is something that humans do. Hence, we identify a human as having done it. It's beauty that's tailored to our needs. A rainbow is just as beautiful and orderly as a painting, and yet it's a consequence of light being refracted by water droplets in the air. Giant natural caverns are no less complex than sculptures, but they're formed by deposition and erosion, not a designer. Same with snowflakes or auroras or martian canals or the air current patterns on jupiter or magnetic flares of the sun or all of the many, many natural wonders out there.

Things that humans have designed have a designer, clearly. In the rest of the world, there are lots of beautiful, ordered things that did not have or need a designer.

Peter K.
02-23-2005, 08:37 PM
To Phil: Ned Flanders???!!! That's who I am getting, Ned Flanders??!! Well, considering all the people (real or cartoon) you could've compared me to, I guess i didn't do so bad. Although Ned and I do have 3 major differences: He's more buff than me, i don't have a mustache, and i still cuss.

To Phil, Morpheus, and Deuce:
Flanders aside, I wanted to go back to the Bible and archaeology. Allow me to explain further. The main point I was making is that archaeology is just one way we know that the Bible can be trusted, but by no means, the ONLY way. There is much more to this than just archaeology. By itself, archaeology does not demonstrate the Bible to be true in spiritual matters. Rather, it's part of a cumulative case, an aspect of it, for the Bible's trustworthiness.

Christians, like myself, claim that the Bible accurately records what actually happened, that the Bible's authors were inspired by God, that God superintended the process, and that the authors wrote down exactly what God wanted them to write down.

But, if that were true, how would we know? How would we test such a thing? One way would be to verify the people and places recorded in the Bible. Now, if the authors of the Bible couldn't get people and places right, then why should I believe them in the more weighty matters--such as miracles? I mean, if they couldn't get the natural right, why should I trust them in regards to the supernatural?

But the more archaeologists dig, the more they discover that the Bible's history and geography are accurate. Archaeology has enchanced the credibility of the Bible, just as the credibility of any ancient document is enhanced when you excavate and find that the author was accurate in talking about a particular place or event.

Also, you compared the Bible with the Lord of the Rings, Batman, The Cosby Show, The Illiad and the like. The main difference there is that all these examples you gave were stories of fiction that everyone knows is fiction. No one accepts these stories as true, yet through out the centuries millions of people have put their trust in Christ, and many have given their lives testifying that the Bible is true. I mean, do you know of anyone out there who actually prays to Batman? Is there a religion today that worships Achilles as God Himself? Are there any archaeologists out there who are digging for Middle Earth?

Yet there are scholars, scientists, professors--people from all walks of life--who have dedicated their lives to studying the Bible, to see if this whole Christian thing is true. Why? Because Christiantiy claims to be woven through acutal historical events. Because something happened on the morning of Easter that changed the world forever. But what was it that happened? His disciples went from cowards (when Jesus was on the cross) to fearless martyrs (after His resurrection) that were willing to die gladly for the sake of Christ, proclaiming that Jesus rose from the dead.

So if the resurrection didn't happen that means the disciples were willing to die for a lie. Yes, people throughout history have died for something that was a lie, but the disciples were in a privileged position. They had eyewitness assurance, one way or the other, if Jesus actually rose from the dead or if He was rotting away in His grave. So that means that the disciples would have died for a lie KNOWING that it was a lie! While many people will die for a lie they think is truth, no sane person will die for what they KNOW is a lie. The New Testament writers and the other apostles knew for sure that Jesus had resurrected, and they demonstrated that knowledge with their own blood. What more could eyewitnesses do to prove that they are telling the truth!

And upon closer inspection, you'll see this is different from martyrs of other causes. I mean, one similarity shared by all martyrs is sincerity. Whether you're talking about Christians, Muslims, kamikaze pilots, or suicidal cult followers, everyone agrees that martyrs sincerely believe in their cause. But the critical difference is that the New Testament Christian martyrs had more than sincerity--they had evidence that the resurrection was true. They knew the resurrection was true and not a lie because they verified it with their own senses. They saw, touched, and ate with Jesus on several occasions after His resurrection. In the light of such storng imperical evidence, they neeeded very little faith to believe in the resurrection. By common sense observation standards, they had proof of it. So they willingly submitted themselves to persecution and death for what they had verified themselves.

If the resurrection never happened, Christianity would have never gotten off the ground. Why would it? The early followers of Jesus had nothing to gain and everything to lose. Christianity was built on the blood of its first followers.

Max G.
02-23-2005, 10:18 PM
But the more archaeologists dig, the more they discover that the Bible's history and geography are accurate. Archaeology has enchanced the credibility of the Bible, just as the credibility of any ancient document is enhanced when you excavate and find that the author was accurate in talking about a particular place or event.

An example of how the Bible cannot be literally true:

the claim of a global flood, caused by rain lasting 40 days and 40 nights.

Such a quantity of water would have floated the polar ice caps off and broken them up. They could not regrow in the time that they had between then and now. A global flood would leave global patterns in sediments, and yet none such is found. And so on.

The Bible may be accurate about places I wouldn't know. However, it appears to be inaccurate about such major events like a global flood.

raftermania
02-23-2005, 10:33 PM
Wow, this thread has blown up to "biblical" proportions. I haven't been keeping up with this thread, I guess I should start from the beginning, seeing as this thing is going to be an everlasting drama.

chad shaver
02-24-2005, 06:25 AM
What's the record for most posts on a thread?

deluxe
02-24-2005, 09:11 AM
An example of how the Bible cannot be literally true:

the claim of a global flood, caused by rain lasting 40 days and 40 nights.

Such a quantity of water would have floated the polar ice caps off and broken them up. They could not regrow in the time that they had between then and now. A global flood would leave global patterns in sediments, and yet none such is found. And so on.

The Bible may be accurate about places I wouldn't know. However, it appears to be inaccurate about such major events like a global flood.

I haven't looked into your specific issue before, but the claim seems to be that the ice caps formed after the flood. It's not obvious to me that they couldn't regrow in time, especially if there was a post-flood ice-age.

Frodo Baggins
02-24-2005, 09:24 AM
What Are you guy's trying to do? Write the BIBLE!!! when your done writing the new Testament...The New Bible...Didn't know the Tennis warehouse Now has a BIBLE... (This is wayyy too Funny)... hee.hee.. ((The Tennis warehouse Bible))).. Is Don or Chris gonna be doing Sundays Sermon?? Better get my Church Wear ready...

Dedans Penthouse
02-24-2005, 11:20 AM
http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Frank-Zappa/Dumb-All-Over.html


Dear God: Should I demo the Babalot Aero Drive or the Aero Control? Could you please advise me?

Thanks!

Your friend,
Dedans Penthouse

http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Frank-Zappa/Dumb-All-Over.html

Mahboob Khan
02-24-2005, 06:11 PM
Dedans Penthouse: I am a slave of God and my advice to you is this:

"Try both the rackets to determine which feels good for you".

Morpheus
02-24-2005, 06:11 PM
:D Now don't get to upset. Just a little fun...and, perhaps, a guide for those who don't appreciate the differences:

* Taoism: SH*t happens.

* Confucianism: Confucius say, "**it happens."

* Buddhism: If ***** happens, it isn't really **it.

* Zen Buddhism: **it is, and is not.

* Zen Buddhism #2: What is the sound of **it happening?

* Hinduism: This **it has happened before.

* Islam: If **it happens, it is the will of Allah.

* Islam #2: If **it happens, kill the person responsible.

* Islam #3: If **it happens, blame Israel.

* Catholicism: If **it happens, you deserve it.

* Protestantism: Let **it happen to someone else.

* Presbyterian: This **it was bound to happen.

* Episcopalian: It's not so bad if **it happens, as long as you serve the right wine with it.

* Methodist: It's not so bad if **it happens, as long as you serve grape juice with it.

* Congregationalist: **it that happens to one person is just as good as **it that happens to another.

* Unitarian: **it that happens to one person is just as bad as **it that happens to another.

* Lutheran: If **it happens, don't talk about it.

* Fundamentalism: If **it happens, you will go to hell, unless you are born again. (Amen!)

* Fundamentalism #2: If **it happens to a televangelist, it's okay.

* Fundamentalism #3: **it must be born again.

* Judaism: Why does this **it always happen to us?

* Calvinism: **it happens because you don't work.

* Seventh Day Adventism: No **it shall happen on Saturday.

* Creationism: God made all **it.

* Secular Humanism: **it evolves.

* Christian Science: When **it happens, don't call a doctor - pray!

* Christian Science #2: **it happening is all in your mind.

* Unitarianism: Come let us reason together about this **it.

* Quakers: Let us not fight over this **it

* Utopianism: This **it does not stink.

* Darwinism: This **it was once food.

* Capitalism: That's MY **it.

* Communism: It's everybody's **it.

* Feminism: Men are **it.

* Chauvinism: We may be **it, but you can't live without us...

* Commercialism: Let's package this **it.

* Impressionism: From a distance, **it looks like a garden.

* Idolism: Let's bronze this **it.

* Existentialism: **** doesn't happen; **it IS.

* Existentialism #2: What is s**it, anyway?

* Stoicism: This **it is good for me.

* Hedonism: There is nothing like a good **it happening!

* Mormonism: God sent us this **it.

* Mormonism #2: This **it is going to happen again.

* Wiccan: An it harm none, let **it happen.

* Scientology: If **it happens, see "Dianetics", p.157.

* Jehovah's Witnesses: >Knock< >Knock< **it happens.

* Jehovah's Witnesses #2: May we have a moment of your time to show you some of our **it?

* Jehovah's Witnesses #3: **it has been prophesied and is imminent; only the righteous shall survive its happening.

* Moonies: Only really happy **it happens.

* Hare Krishna: **it happens, rama rama.

* Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this **it!

* Zoroastrianism: **it happens half on the time.

* Church of SubGenius: BoB s**it.

* Practical: Deal with **it one day at a time.

* Agnostic: **it might have happened; then again, maybe not.

* Agnostic #2: Did someone **it?

* Agnostic #3: What is this **it?

* Satanism: SNEPPAH TIHS.

* Atheism: What **it?

* Atheism #2: I can't believe this **it!

* Nihilism: No **it.

* Alcoholics Anonymous: **it happens-one day at a time

* Hobbits: We don't **it, we Poop.

Mahboob Khan
02-24-2005, 06:14 PM
Don is a great man. He created (sorry Allah created) this website and the associated links for us to try our tennis as well as religious knowledge! Long live this website.

Mahboob Khan
02-24-2005, 06:18 PM
Morpheous: Very funny!

Phil
02-24-2005, 06:35 PM
Don is a great man. He created (sorry Allah created) this website and the associated links for us to try our tennis as well as religious knowledge! Long live this website.

I agree with you-this is a nice site and it allows a diversity of views on tennis and other subjects. However, there is one thing that you, Mahboob, and I have in common, even if our views on religion differ...we love tennis, and enjoy discussing it-along with other "issues".

What I find annoying is those NON-TENNIS people-people who ONLY come on this site to preach their agenda and then disappear again, probably to some non-tennis chat board. During the elections, we had "The Jerk". Now we have PeterK and J.D., two members who, to my knowledge, have not posted anything about tennis-or else VERY little. Most of their posts have come in this single thread. These "carpetbaggers" are here for one reason only-to prosyletize. To me, that's garbage. There are NUMEROUS sites on the Web for religious freaks to share their devout faith. We have the odds and ends section, for miscellaneous subjects. but when all's said and done, most of us go back to discussing TENNIS. These individuals are looking for a soap box-anywhere. This should be discouraged. I'm discouraging it.

Morpheus
02-24-2005, 07:02 PM
That's a very good observation, Phil. I wonder, though, if JD or Peter K are psuedonyms created by regulars who don't want to "tarnish" their everyday image.

PugArePeopleToo
02-24-2005, 07:45 PM
Actually both JD and Peter K posted in other sections. I don't see why being a religious person will tarnish that person's image. The U.S. is a very religious country, so why should we be surprised when a good portion of the tennis playing population believe in god? I find this thread a lot more interesting than the usual Roger worshiping and Andy bashing crapola.

J D
02-24-2005, 07:51 PM
Sorry, Phil, I can't let you slide this bull by. I had several hundred posts on the old board. I've been a member on this board since the first couple of days. I had about 60 posts, all tennis related, before this thread (I've been busy with other things this last year). Feel free to read my previous posts, you might learn something. BTW, this is something you should have done before making your baseless accusations.

As far as I can remember, I've never mentioned my faith before on these boards. I felt like I had a perspective to offer to this thread that no one else had expressed. If there's one person on these boards looking for a soapbox, someone with no tolerance for a differing point of view, that would be you, Phil. As a matter of fact, I spend most of my time in the areas dealing with actually playing tennis like racquets and tennis tips. I don't see you there very often. Seems like you spend most of your time in the "chatty" areas like here and pro player talk. That's probably why you haven't been seeing my posts. What we should discourage is people making false accusations like you did when you said, "most of their posts have come in this single thread." This is not true for me. So easy to check Phil, but then I guess you don't want to be confused by the facts.

Phil
02-24-2005, 08:10 PM
Oh, my bad, J D, "only" 20% of your posts have been in this thread. So, ALMOST the same thing-doesn't post much, but when there's a chance to grab a pulpit and prosyletize, you're there-I have now revised my statement. Not QUITE the carpetbagger that your co-religionist, Peter K. is.

Whoah, you post in Racquets and Tips-that means you play TENNIS!!! Although I read, and HAVE posted in both sections, I generally don't find such meaty issues as the balance point of the Prince POG, or whether Juan Ignacio Chella uses a paint job to be particularly scintillating fare. As relevant as those sections are to actually playing tennis, you don't think the racquets and tips sections are "chatty"? I would beg to differ, but I don't beg.

PugArePeopleToo
02-24-2005, 08:55 PM
JD, the "We can't impose our limited understanding on God and have it make sense." answer this the standard response when a preacher don't have a good and logical answer. So if people, meaning you, are not smart enough to understand god, then how do you know you are on the right path?

If you think about it, the original sin was Adam and Eve aquiring knowledge of good and evil. It is clear that God didn't want Adam and Eve to know what is right and what is wrong, god want them to be naked, dumb, and happy. I am okay with the naked and happy part, but am not to keen on the dumb part. The church on the other hand, like the dumb part, they fought, and continue to fight against scientific progress every step of the way. I guess they are indeed doing god's work.

bc-05
02-24-2005, 10:57 PM
bc05ism: i need to take a sh*t

raftermania
02-24-2005, 11:03 PM
:D Now don't get to upset. Just a little fun...and, perhaps, a guide for those who don't appreciate the differences:

* Taoism: SH*t happens.

* Confucianism: Confucius say, "**it happens."

...

* Alcoholics Anonymous: **it happens-one day at a time

* Hobbits: We don't **it, we Poop.

You forgot,

**********s: All other sports are **it.

Morpheus
02-25-2005, 02:46 AM
Actually both JD and Peter K posted in other sections. I don't see why being a religious person will tarnish that person's image. The U.S. is a very religious country, so why should we be surprised when a good portion of the tennis playing population believe in god? I find this thread a lot more interesting than the usual Roger worshiping and Andy bashing crapola.

Fair enough. I didn't intend to point those two out because they were religious. It just seems that way. But I still wonder if people run a couple of different names when addressing tennis stuff and when posting more aggressively.