Monday, 15 October 2007

A better Armstrong


It won't go down well with Southern Baptist or Missouri Synod leaders, and even less so will Karen Armstrong's brilliant new book, The Bible: A Biography (British/Australian editions: On The Bible), be received with shouts of "hosanna" and glowing reviews in The Good News. At least I suspect not, but that's to be expected.

As by one Armstrong delusion descended on the world, so by another Armstrong light breaks forth. But who enjoys a beam of light being focused down on their dark, damp hiding hole? No, it's unlikely the lads at the next LCG ministerial pow-wow will be passing this book around.

Karen Armstrong's book is (despite a poorly selected cover on the American edition) the most straight-forward, lucid explanation of how the Bible originated that I've seen. In only eight chapters the reader is taken on a tour of what we actually now know about the Bible's beginnings and development, not what the Sunday morning popularizers and church functionaries would like you to think. Those wedded to an evangelical or orthodox understanding of scripture will meet here between two covers all the fearsome monsters they'd rather ignore - and if knowledge is power, I guess they'll be empowered to know the worst. For those who recoil from the literalism of the proof-texting preachers, here will be found a measure of liberation and exhilaration. The truth shall make you free.

Of course, other readers may be less entranced than I was, and immediately want to circle the wagons. Some will be repelled and offended, but maybe it's better to live in the demanding freedom of the real world than the comforting security of a self-imposed prison cell.

The Bible: A Biography is a key to the door, and an invitation to leave the dungeon. Will it cause anyone to abandon faith? Not any faith that's worth having. This is not an attack on faith, but it poses a real threat to idolatry: the idolatry that makes the scriptures into something they were never intended to be.

I can't recommend it highly enough.

140 comments:

Lussenheide said...

Armstrong!???

Is she also descended from the line of Kings of the Royal House Of England thru Tea Tephi, and the House of David??

Does her name also mean "Strong Arm"..??

Where is the middle initial!??

I dunno, the name makes me kinda nervous !! :-)

Lussenheide

Anonymous said...

All irrelevant connections aside, Karen Armstrong is one of the finest and most well researched reads one will ever find on uncomfortable topics for fundamentalists.

"The History of God" is excellent and would blow the current discussions between WCG ministers on their "The Surprising God." Blog out of the water. God is a lot more surprising than they could possibly imagine or handle.

Add to this Elaine Pagels, "The Origin of Satan," and the big "aha" is just around the corner for you.

Both Pagels and Armstrong have given honest seekers good reason to feel they have finally heard the rest of the story.

Eusebius:

"We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."
(Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2).

John Chrysostom, 5th century theologian and erstwhile bishop of Constantinople

"Do you see the advantage of deceit? ...
For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind ...

And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived."
(Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1).

The lie is coming due and how appropriate that those most oppressed by the scriptures...women, are at the fore in exposing them.

Add Merlin Stone for "When God was a Woman," "Ranke-Heinemann for "Putting Away Childish Things," and Lillian Freudmann with "AntiSemitism in the New Testament." and one will see how truly nothing being as one was told has to be faced by those concerned with such things.

You will either go into denial over what these women bring to the table, or begin your crisis of faith and search for a deeper meaning than the political tripe brought to us all by the organized church. (Oxymoron I know.)

Corky said...

Certainly the Bible is an idol, and especially so if it is the work of men's hands - and it is.

If an illiterate charlatan can invent a book that has millions of followers like Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon, that just shows how possible it is.

Surely since nine eleven we can see that belief in myths is dangerous. Surely belief that the earth is only six thousand years old and belief in a talking snake in a garden and a tree with fruit that gives man knowledge and this same man lives 930 years is belief in myths.

Atheists are condemned and marginalized and discriminated against because of the inability to believe that stupid crap but worshipping this book full of fables is praised. Yes, it's an idol.

It is said that the Bible is the only way to know "the truth" about the God inside it's pages and of his "will" but there are 34,800 sects of Christendom . . . huh?

Seems as if "the holy spirit" is very much divided but there's the excuse that we are not to know everything about God so he allows different interpretations.

Baloney! The OT shows what the God in it thinks of different interpretations and false prophets.

To pretend to be religious and say the holy spirit allows other men to be misguided by God's word while they are not would have to be caused by the sin of idol worship.

If the Bible is inspired by the holy spirit, then only the holy spirit can interpret it but I've seen no evidence of anyone possessed by the holy spirit. There are those who make that claim and Ted Haggard and HWA are only two of them.

Anonymous said...

I was reading Karen Armstrong's "History of God" when an evangelical woman approached me and asked what I was reading. I told her. She asked who wrote it? I told her. She said, "Oh...a woman! Well I'd never read a book like that from a woman."

I'd say the Church had done a very good job keeping her in her place and unable to think or act on her own accord as a woman, without some male permission.

Question: "I know we are supposed to remain silent in the church and if we have any questions , we are to ask our husbands at home. But, what if my husband is an idiot?"

I loved that question.

Tom said...

>>Question: "I know we are supposed to remain silent in the church and if we have any questions , we are to ask our husbands at home. But, what if my husband is an idiot?"<<

You get his permission to pose your questions to someone who is not an idiot.

Neotherm said...

I saw an interview of Karen Armstrong on the book channel. She is hardly a world shaker. This is the same "the Bible is not true" argument that has been made by the non-believing academic community for decades.

The audit trail through history concerning the Bible cannot be easily teased out of the great body of material that exists. This gives academics so inclined the opportunity to go wild with theory and speculation. We could just as easily speculate that the Bible is true.

The validity of the Bible lies outside the historical probing that these academics are confined to.

-- Neo

Corky said...

Question: "I know we are supposed to remain silent in the church and if we have any questions , we are to ask our husbands at home. But, what if my husband is an idiot?"

What if she is single? What if her husband is not a Christian? What if she is an orphan slave and not married? What if she is the only member of the congregation with any brains?

Anonymous said...

Tom, You are scary. For the sake of those around you, please go talk to a mental health professional.

Do you really think that a woman who made the unfortunate decision to marry an idiot, should ask the idiot for permission to get an answer from someone who is not?

I really do not intend this as mean spirited, but if you are married and have children, I feel very sorry for them.

Anonymous said...

"The validity of the Bible lies outside the historical probing that these academics are confined to."

The Bible is true because it says it's true.

In validity of the Bible lies inside the tiny box apologists reside in because to look over the edge is tooooooooo scary...

Minimalist said...

Spanky may not have a copy but no doubt Dr Tkach is familiar with it. The gulf between what the leaders know and the ignorance of their members grows ever wider.

Just look at the cynicism of Church Leader Tkach: Doesn't care if they keep Saturday or Sunday; he takes the money just the same and is off on serial Boat Cruises. He should buy his own ship like L.Ron Hubbard - he's got the money.

Neotherm said...

The mistake that we can easily make is that Tom is somehow representative of the average Armstrongite. In my experience he is not.

But he is a part of the large fringe element that seems to be attracted to Armstrongism.

I recall that I would frequently meet people with very unusual viewpoints at the FOT. Armstrongism seems to have collected more than its share of these people.

-- Neo

Neotherm said...

"In validity of the Bible lies inside the tiny box apologists reside in because to look over the edge is tooooooooo scary..."

I think I know what this means but I would apply this to people like K. Armstrong. She and her ilk wish to consider a large number of sources but all of the same type. So they have defined for themselves really a very narrow purview.

K. Armstrong was once a Nun and rebelled against the rigor of that life. In many ways, she is like many people who exited Armstrongism. They are angry at Herbert and somehow end up being angry at God. Taking that magical step to make a distinction between the two is just too hard.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

"The validity of the Bible lies outside the historical probing that these academics are confined to."

Translation: It's unfalsifiable. Like God. Like Creation.

How very convenient.


Paul

Tom said...

Charlie>>Do you really think that a woman who made the unfortunate decision to marry an idiot, should ask the idiot for permission to get an answer from someone who is not?<<

Yes, he is her husband, and despite being an idiot, she should still respect and obey him.

>>I really do not intend this as mean spirited, but if you are married and have children, I feel very sorry for them.<<

I think you will find that you will very shortly have more need for pity than any of my children.

Tom said...

Like so many who post here, Karen is without credibility, period! She spent may years behind the walls of a convent, where she made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Later she broke those vows, leapt over wall, and has spent much of her time trying to prove that the bible is a work of fiction.

She reminds me of those men and women who, when getting married, promised to be faithful to their spouses, and then proceed to be unfaithful. A breaker of sacred vows can never be trusted!

Gavin is very excited about her book, and he free to be drawn by his pleasures. But why pejoratively described those who don't share his excitement, as "circling the wagon?" Can't he recognise that some of us understand that the bible is the inspired word of God, and that by his divine providence it was preserved, in spite of many attempts to burn it out of existence?

He then goes on to selectively say that the book would not be welcomed by the leaders of UCG, LCG, etc. Well for his information, it would neither be welcomed by the Catholics nor the protestants, just name two established churches. So why pick on UCG and LCG?

This type of tendentious writing betrays any credibility that Gavin and his angry band of supporters may still have. In vulgar circles, it is call scraping the bottom of barrel.

Anonymous said...

"I think you will find that you will very shortly have more need for pity than any of my children."

Would anyone like to place a bet on that? 1975 anyone??

Tom, after all these years and repeated admonitions by COG leaders that Christ will return in 10-15 years, still doesn't understand that the end is not just around the corner.


Paul

Anonymous said...

"She and her ilk wish to consider a large number of sources but all of the same type. So they have defined for themselves really a very narrow purview.

So what type of sources do you tend to gather to yourself to keep you in your faith? This is a bit like saying "they are using 'human reasoning' as if there was some other kind available.

K. Armstrong was once a Nun and rebelled against the rigor of that life. In many ways, she is like many people who exited Armstrongism. They are angry at Herbert and somehow end up being angry at God. Taking that magical step to make a distinction between the two is just too hard"

Dumbest way to explain someone who does her homework I have ever heard. Sincere people who find out they have beed fooled are the BEST researchers when they wish to keep looking.

Why are people those who explain theology better than those who refuse to look always called "ilk"?

"Leaaaaaaaaaaave Brit...I mean , Karen aaaalooooone. She was a nun, she climbed over the walls and is a woooooooooooman...., Leeeeeeeeeeave Britney..I mean, Leaaaaaaaave Karen alone!"

:)

Anonymous said...

"I think you will find that you will very shortly have more need for pity than any of my children."


Do tell me Tom; What year is Germany going to invade the USA and UK and butcher our children this time?

Define "Very shortly" and give me your biblical proof and back it up logically with contemporary proof.

Anonymous said...

People who are an "ilk" are those who do not think as the one who called "ilk" do. It's a snarky term used to express one's superior understanding over the ilksters.

Neotherm said...

OK. Let me say it more explicitly and in less provocative English. Many non-believing scholars have speculated on the Bible and its origin. They have collected together a large body of theory, hypothesis and speculation.

Karen Armstrong then enters the picture and treats this body of knowledge as fact. To those who do not lift the hood, it seems like she even knows what she is writing about.

But if you follow the audit trail back to the origin of some of these ideas, you find someone who theorizes that there are two Isaiahs becase he noticed a difference in phraseology.
Or someone who believes the FOT is based on Canaanite celebrations because the Canaanites seemed to have a harvest festival in the Fall (like when else would they have it?).

The idea behind all of this is very HWA-like. He wanted to be different from everyone else. So whatever was Christian he rejected and created his own alternative. Karen Armstrong belongs to the same club of contrarians. The spirit is the same, the details are just different.

Anonymous said: "Dumbest way to explain someone who does her homework I have ever heard."

The fact is, HWA's behavior patterns are common. He did not have the corner on duplicity and the misunderstanding. Even Richard Dawkins has said things that sound fundamentalist.

By the way, she gets an F on her homework.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Neo..Karen Armstrong and her ilk could chew you up and spit you out in a discussion of topics Biblical.

Bamboo_bends said...

☢Tom said...

Like so many who post here, Karen is without credibility, period! She spent may years behind the walls of a convent, where she made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Later she broke those vows, leapt over wall, and has spent much of her time trying to prove that the bible is a work of fiction.

She reminds me of those men and women who, when getting married, promised to be faithful to their spouses, and then proceed to be unfaithful. A breaker of sacred vows can never be trusted!


Anyone else see the comical problem with Tom's argument? ☺

Its defections from "one true" churches they depend on to populate their organizations! Not to mention that IF she stayed a Catholic nun, he'd also use that against her too!

Glad to hear Karen has brought out another amazing book. Bibliotratry and Biblicism has reached amazing heights in the USA.

Calling the Bible "The Word of God" and inerrant is an insult to God, and wholesale worship of men who wrote it.

The Word of God is written upon the pages of human beings in the Book of Life. Its not dead paper in a book.

All we have ever known about God has come through human beings.

People have the wrong idea about Faith, as if knowing the truth will affect it. You can have faith and never read a word of the Bible. Its of the Spirit. A friend of mine put it like this...

One of Paul’s finest expressions is called “the spirit of faith.” It is one of the vital aspects of the human spirit. The others are hope and love. They are all inspired by the human spirit, which, as I have said before, I find difficult to distinguish from what has been called “the Holy Spirit.” So listen to your human spirit and you will have “the spirit of faith.” Faith does not come by seeing. It comes by listening...."
“Faith comes by hearing....."

Anonymous said...

Of Karen Armstrong

As she explored the world's religions her one simple test of the validity of these faiths was whether or not compassion was a part of their teaching.

"If your understanding of the divine made you kinder ... and impelled you to express this sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology," she writes.

"But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, or self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God's name, it was bad theology."

There are over a million dead people that wish the Bush Family Ilk had drawn this simple conclusion about what one's religion should produce. Someone put John Haggee onto her as well before he makes a complete fat ass out of himself and Christianity.

Neotherm said...

Anonymous wrote: "Neo..Karen Armstrong and her ilk could chew you up and spit you out in a discussion of topics Biblical."

Not really. I have spent enough time with her writing and discussion to know that I have no interest in engaging her.

I have the same feeling towards New Agers, Armstrongites and a bunch of others. Why bother.

No doubt Karen Armstrong could talk circles around me about things that will never matter.

-- Neo

Neotherm said...

Anonymous wrote (again?): "As she explored the world's religions her one simple test of the validity of these faiths was whether or not compassion was a part of their teaching."

There are two problems with this. One, what right does Karen Armstrong have to construct a test of validity for a faith? She may have a right to test to she if she personally wants to follow that faith, but nothing more. Kind of gives you an insight into K. Armstrong's egocentric reasoning process.

Two, my guess is that she defines compassion in an egocentric way. She would probably tell you that legal abortion is a "compassionate" stance.

In other words, all you have written amounts to the concept that Karen Armstrong has her own ideas and follows them. Hardly a distinguishing trait.

-- Neo

Bamboo_bends said...

❝ Anonymous said...

❛The validity of the Bible lies outside the historical probing that these academics are confined to.❜

Translation: It's unfalsifiable. Like God. Like Creation.

How very convenient.
Paul❞

That my friend is the basic semantic sleight of hand of Christianity.

The other is how ❝I am God's servant❞ is quickly warped into ❝therefore obey like I am God!♔❞

And most people don't catch the distinction until much later on.

People are especially vulnerable when confronted with a staccato machinegun fire of out of context scripture quotations by fast talking preachers. The average man just is overwhelmed by such mindless nonsense.

BTW, whenever you hear someone say ❝its all just semantics❞....run like hell!♆

Semantics is all about meanings. And if preachers don't care about meanings, then look out.

Neotherm said...

I wrote: "The validity of the Bible lies outside the historical probing that these academics are confined to."

This statement has seemed to have stirred up a tempest in the teapot.

We can assess the Bible by looking at only the thing that K. Armstrong would look at -- a mountain of hypothesis and speculation, most of it slanted to discredit the Bible. If you think she is being objective, you are naive. She has as much anger about the Catholic Church (and broadly Christianity) as you have about Armstrongism. Why would any rational person believe that this is a superior form of evaluation?

Or we may examine Christianity holistically with the Bible as a part of it. For this perspective you can read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

I am not advocating that one be irrational, credulous and narrow. Our Biblical scholars like Armstrong have already captured that perspective. But there is an audience for this kind of writing and I have no real objection to that. I do believe that the people who pick up her works and find them marvelously self-affirming have essentially made up their minds already.

Also, I believe that there is a mystical factor in anybody becoming and Christian. I would never pretend to believe that theology, archaeology and higher Biblical criticism could ever get to the conclusion of the matter or account for Christian conversion.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Oh My God! A book written about the Bible by a W-O-M-A-N! What will Lord Spanky Pinky MerryDeath do???????????

Of course nothing. Women do not have the intelligence to know more about the Bible than he does. While I am not a big Armstrong fan (Karen, that is) she certainly is FAR more intelligent that Meredith, Dougie or Herbie

d said...

dublets and names of GOD!

Richard E. Friedman's "who wrote the bible?" is the undisputed masterpiece of biblical authorship.

written for the lay person,he lays out the truth,whole truth and nothing but the truth!

around 450 b.c., J,E,P and D, the four (or more) authors of the old testament were clearly and concisely edited,organized and congealed into one work, the five books of moses, by a redactor, probably ezra!

friedman's book has been a best seller through the years and even the n.y. times loved it.

anyone still entrapped by armstrongism should devour this little book and instantly all of your years of goat milk man herman hoeh's fantasy tales will vanish like snow on a hot sunny day.

Anonymous said...

"...a mountain of hypothesis and speculation, most of it slanted to discredit the Bible."

You're taking issue with hypothesis and speculation...about a book that features talking animals and people who walk through walls? Oh, the irony!

Paul

Anonymous said...

Karen Armstrong's previous book "A History of God" had very little in it that any COGer would agree with.

Yet one day I was sitting in a UCG church service and heard Doug Horchak quote her. I guess he found the one point in the book he agreed with, and called out her name as an authority on the subject to make his own sermon more believable..... despite the fact that no one sitting in that auditorium would agree with anything else in her books. Just one more reason why DH and the rest of his cronies could never be trusted.

Stingerski said...

Well, Gavin, she looks a bit better than you do, gapped tooth smile and all. :-)

Seriously, having read her History of God (and somewhat slowly and with great mental exercise) Karen Armstrong's latest book will definitely be on my buy list. I like to read books that take time to read, and not ones like some trashy FBI novel.

All that you Armstrongites need to know about Karen Armstrong is that she was found worthy to enter a Catholic Convent (from which teachers I received a superior Catholic education, and a few sore knuckles) and that she at least found her way out of such doctrine -- while you bible thumpers are still arguing over which "translation" to thump.

Quit with your thumping and go ask Karen Armstrong why you no longer need to thump.

Tom said...

Tom>>"I think you will find that you will very shortly have more need for pity than any of my children."<<


Charlie>>>Do tell me Tom; What year is Germany going to invade the USA and UK and butcher our children this time?<<<

What does this have to do with your coming need for pity?

Charlie>>Define "Very shortly" and give me your biblical proof and back it up logically with contemporary proof.<<

Would you like to rewrite this, as it doesn't make any sense to me?

Miguel de la Rodente said...

Tom,

Which one of the splinters do you attend?

Do you read widely, or restrict yourself exclusively to your group's literature?

Would your pastor allow you to read any of Karen Armstrong's books?

Are you putting us on, or do you still actually believe in British Israelism and that the Germans are the Assyrians?

Do you realize that the mind is like a parachute, and only works when it is open?

Anonymous said...

Tom>>"I think you will find that you will very shortly have more need for pity than any of my children."<<


Charlie>>>Do tell me Tom; What year is Germany going to invade the USA and UK and butcher our children this time?<<<

Tom>>>What does this have to do with your coming need for pity?

10/16 (USA)- Tom, Unless you were making a threat specifically against me, and I sincerely hope you are smarter than that, chances are you were referring to armstrong's so called "Great Tribulation", hence my follow-up question. So which is it?

Charlie>>Define "Very shortly" and give me your biblical proof and back it up logically with contemporary proof.<<

Tom>>>Would you like to rewrite this, as it doesn't make any sense to me?

10/16 (USA) - Tom, You wrote that "very shortly" I would have more need for pity than any of your children. I asked you to define what very shortly means. So again, unless you are making a threat to me personally you are referring to the garbage that herbie taught. Do you really need a map, compass, and a guide to answer what you meant by your own statement?

Neotherm said...

Paul said: "You're taking issue with hypothesis and speculation...about a book that features talking animals and people who walk through walls? Oh, the irony!"

The irony is that you as an atheist care at all. After all you believe there is no right and wrong and that life is no more or less than the sum total of a billions of chemical reactions. Why would anyone's statement at any time about anything make a difference to you? For that matter what value is it for you to even post to this blog?

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

"Why would anyone's statement at any time about anything make a difference to you? For that matter what value is it for you to even post to this blog?"

I used to hear this from people like Tom on Armstrongist forums when I would make a point that irritated them but to which there was no real response:

"Just what are you doing here?"

"What do you care?"

"Who are you and what do you want?"

Can you provide some evidence to support the foolish statement that atheists believe there is no right and wrong?

This is a public blog, and I am here and post because I choose to do so. This is sufficient.

Paul

Tom said...

Miguel>>Which one of the splinters do you attend?<<<

None

>>>Do you read widely, or restrict yourself exclusively to your group's literature?<<<

I read books and article that are of interest to me. But whether my reading would be considered wide, would depend on who I am talking to. But I wouldn't waste my time reading books written by people who I know to be peddling absurd theories, or have some irrational, preconceived agenda. I certainly won't be reading Karen's latest offering to the devil.

>>>Would your pastor allow you to read any of Karen Armstrong's books?<<<

My pastor is Jesus Christ, and recommended reading list is very narrow and exclusive, you may be surprised to learn. Books that promote absurd theories or peddle heresy, are not included.

>>Are you putting us on, or do you still actually believe in British Israelism and that the Germans are the Assyrians?<<

What do you mean "still"? Because you have cast off your first faith, it doesn't mean that I have to do the same.

I believe that the British people are the descendants of Ephraim, the American of Manasseh and the Germans of the Assyrians. The evidence that supports these facts are overwhelming.

>>Do you realize that the mind is like a parachute, and only works when it is open?<<

The analogy may be true, but it depend upon what is put into the mind after it is opened.

Anonymous said...

"My pastor is Jesus Christ, and recommended reading list is very narrow and exclusive, ~you may be surprised to learn~."

Ah! There is the Tom we all know and love. Maybe soon we can get a "Sadly,.." out of him.


"The evidence that supports these facts are overwhelming."

What evidence?

Paul

camfinch said...

"I believe that the British people are the descendants of Ephraim, the American of Manasseh and the Germans of the Assyrians. The evidence that supports these facts are overwhelming."

As Paul asks, what overwhelming evidence? And Tom: what about DNA evidence?

Tom said...

>>As Paul asks, what overwhelming evidence?<<

The evidence that is rejected by those who once said that they had proven it to be true!

>>And Tom: what about DNA evidence?<<

Whose DNA are you referring to?

Tom said...

>>10/16 (USA)- Tom, Unless you were making a threat specifically against me, and I sincerely hope you are smarter than that, chances are you were referring to armstrong's so called "Great Tribulation", hence my follow-up question. So which is it?<<<

Christians don't threaten people, they love their neighbours as themselves. But if you persist in denigrating God's children, God will not hold you guiltless, and you will run when no one chase you.

Corky said...

"I believe that the British people are the descendants of Ephraim, the American of Manasseh and the Germans of the Assyrians. The evidence that supports these facts are overwhelming."

Where have you been? You don't know about the genome project? Oh yeah, I forgot, DNA doesn't exist. How foolish of us.

Anonymous said...

Tom, It is the toxic tenets of armstrongist theology and doctrine that we have proven false and are exposing, there is no vendetta against "God's children".

It would be a more productive thread if you were to answer some of the questions that have been posed to you.

Karen Armstrong, whether you agree with her or not (I haven't read her book so I have no opinion)is at least unafraid of what she may find in her research. Doesn't God expect that you would leave no stone unturned in your effort to become closer to him? Yet it appears that you allow mankind to limit what you can and cannot use. You are holding fast, not to that which is true, but to that which is really on its face, absurd. Peel away the first layer or the B.I onion and see what you find. IOW's, look one step beyong US&BIP and Hoeh's collection of assumptions and fiction.

camfinch said...

Tom, Corky has already specified the genome project, but in answer to your question, "Whose DNA?" Why, the DNA of those whom you proclaim to be descended from Ephraim/Manasseh et. al. Does the DNA of people of Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Scandinavian and other northwestern European-derived groups demonstrate relationship to Semitic groups? Because that's what would be required for BI to be true.

And ask the same question re: the Germans. Does their DNA show a connection to Assyrians? Is a connection to the ancient Middle East shown?

These are fair questions. And obvious ones. They have been asked a number of times on this blogsite.

Neotherm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neotherm said...

Paul wrote: "Can you provide some evidence to support the foolish statement that atheists believe there is no right and wrong?"

Paul, it goes like this and of course I don't need to tell you this. This is kind of Atheism 101:

Atheists do not believe in God. They believe in materialistic explanations for everything in the Universe. They have no belief in absolute good or absolute evil.

They believe human consciousness and behavior is just an accumulation of chemical reactions. All of these conclusions are deduced from their belief that God does not exist.

My assertion is that under these circumstances, if an atheist professes to have some code of ethics, it is entirely self-generated, is egocentric and has no applicability to anyone else.

This makes it really hard to make evaluative statements about what anybody else says or does.

And everytime that you make an evaluative statement on a blog, you testify to the fact that you aren't really a good atheist. You just profess to be. Your beliefs and your actions are not compatible.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Neo, I disagree with your characterization of ethics with regards to atheists somewhat. The atheists I know understand the need for some type of morality in order to sustain civilization in general. For the life of me I'll never figure them out, but I don't find them to be cuthroat and ego-centric any more than any other types of folk, aside from college professors. ;)

Neotherm said...

Charlie:

Of course you are right. I had a buddy who was an atheist and he behaved as if there were right and wrong. In certain ways he was quite conscientious. He was criticial of the behavior of other parents who did thinks that he did not approve of.

But when you tried to nail him down on the issue of why he had any ethical sense at all, he just kind of slipped away. He never really confronted the issue.

Atheists just don't act like atheists. They act like they have an inherent belief in right and wrong, like good moralists.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

"Paul, it goes like this...
Atheists do not believe in God."

You wrote this in response to a challenge to provide evidence that atheists do not believe in right or wrong. So, what does a lack of belief in "God" have to do with right and wrong. If you are implying that without god, there is no right or wrong, I would like to see evidence for this view. How would you demonstrate this?


"They believe in materialistic explanations for everything in the Universe. They have no belief in absolute good or absolute evil."

What is absolute good as compared to good? And even if an atheist claims that he or she does not accept "absolute good" and "absolute evil," how does a acceptance of materialistic explanation hinder them from accepting right or wrong? Evidence?
Are you saying that an atheist sees nothing wrong with raping a child because they accept materialistic explanations?
As far as materialistic explanations for everything, do you have any alternative explanations that are grounded in reality?

"They believe human consciousness and behavior is just an accumulation of chemical reactions. All of these conclusions are deduced from their belief that God does not exist."

Evidence? I accept that fact due to science, not because I don't believe in your god.

"My assertion..."

I asked for evidence.

"...is that under these circumstances, if an atheist professes to have some code of ethics, it is entirely self-generated..."

Of course, where is it going to come from, the Great Pumpkin? Human beings can easily understand what is right and wrong based on a self awareness and an observation of human interaction around them.

"...egocentric and has no applicability to anyone else."

Do you have any, I mean any, evidence to back this up???? How do you explain my love for my children? My respect for my neighbor's belongings? Ect? Are you that blind???

I asked you for evidence that atheists do not believe in right and wrong. You provide none. None. Just your ideas. Here is a start: Start talking to atheists. Ask them if they think that it is wrong to murder. That is a start.


Of course, you later posted:

"I had a buddy who was an atheist and he behaved as if there were right and wrong."

I'm missing something here.


Paul

Neotherm said...

Paul:

Scanned your post. This is not a matter of evidence. This is based on what atheists actually believe, that is, the philosophy itself.
Please read the article on atheists in Wickipedia.

Bye.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

You said that atheists do not believe in right or wrong. Can you provide evidence? Can you demonstrate that atheists have no problem with stealing or murdering? Can you demonstrate that the reason that they indulge in both on a regular basis is due to the fact that they do not believe in your particular deity?

It's one thing to make such a statement due to lack of knowledge, or rashness. It's another to make it with the contrary evidence right before your eyes, and reject that evidence (reject reality) at the 'word' of a book supposedly inspired by an imaginary being. That's what they call insanity.

Paul

Anonymous said...

"...and you will run when no one chase you."

I think Tom has been taking correspondence courses on how to be an Old Testament Prophet. He has obviously reached the last section, "How to stylize your new prophecy with the poetic."


Paul

Corky said...

Neotherm said...
Paul wrote: "Can you provide some evidence to support the foolish statement that atheists believe there is no right and wrong?"

Paul, it goes like this and of course I don't need to tell you this. This is kind of Atheism 101:

Atheists do not believe in God.


And that's as far as you need to go. All the rest of what you said is what you believe or wish atheism to be.

Corky said...

What is the difference between Christians and atheists?

Atheists believe in one less god than you do - that's all, no more than that.

Christians are atheists when it comes to Zeus or any other gods but Yahweh. Atheists just give up Yahweh too.

Stingerski said...

For all here :

Ok, so Christians believe that Atheists don't believe in anything, moral rules, etc., let alone their Christian version of god.

And Atheists believe that Christians neither keep to those "rules" nor can they even define the rules among the various waring & murderous groups of Believers. (Sort of like Islam.)

So, so far :

Atheists : 2
Christians : 0

BTW, a third alternative exists, which is called Deism. And I am one. And I stand in good company, seeing how several of our Founding Fathers were deists.

Deism basically teaches that God, whomever God is, left the building long ago. And we are simply here to figure out this planet all on our own.

Which is, Bible or not, exactly what we've been doing for all these eons.

Tom said...

>>Tom, Corky has already specified the genome project, but in answer to your question, "Whose DNA?" Why, the DNA of those whom you proclaim to be descended from Ephraim/Manasseh et. al. Does the DNA of people of Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Scandinavian and other northwestern European-derived groups demonstrate relationship to Semitic groups? Because that's what would be required for BI to be true.<<

If this specious argument is valid, we would be driven to the inescapable conclusion that Adam and Eve were not the parents of all
human beings, as the DNA "evidence" would disprove their parentage.

You may choose to believe the pseudo scientific DNA evidence, that undermines the teaching of the bible, but I prefer to believe God's word, which is infallible.

These so-called scientific thinkers like to present their bloated assumptions as facts. They behave as though they created the world, and are the only ones qualified to explain how it works. Well, they assumptions may impress you, but in a few years they will be dead and world will still be here, guided and ordered by its true creator.

Miguel de la Rodente said...

Tom,

British Israelism is what is referred to as an "extra-biblical" teaching. The Bible does not in any way teach BI, it is a man-made theory, based on conjecture and great leaps of logic.

What do you make of Neanderthal, or the fossil remains of other human ancestors? Do you think such fossil remains are just one of Satan's tricks? Could you allow for the possibility that the creation story in the Bible is allegorical, or that there may be additional details which Genesis 1 does not reveal? The Baha'i faith teaches that Adam and Eve were the first "God conscious" man and woman.

Questeruk said...

Paul said:-
‘You said that atheists do not believe in right or wrong. Can you provide evidence?’

Surely the point is that as an atheist your particular definition of right and wrong is just that – your definition, and likewise the atheist living next door to you may well have a different idea to yours as to what is right and what is wrong, and their ideas will conflict with yours, be it just marginally, or radically.

A Christian would say that God, as He designed and created everything, should have a better view of what actually is right and wrong - a better idea than either you (Paul), or the ‘atheist living next door to Paul’.

To quote the words of Pilate who asked ‘What is truth?’, an atheist will come up with a myriad of differing answers. By what standard would you judge which is correct?

Anonymous said...

"You may choose to believe the pseudo scientific DNA evidence, that undermines the teaching of the bible, but I prefer to believe God's word, which is infallible."

I knew this would be Tom's eventual response.
This is more of the insanity that I referred to earlier. Look at what Tom is saying; he rejects reality, that is, he twists his mind to accept that A is not A, or that two plus two is not four, all in order to accept what his religious text states. Reality as he knows it is ethereal and shifting, to be circumvented if the need arises, while his religious text is solid and sure. To Tom, the Bible is much more a reality than the ground under his feet, or the sea, or the sun in the sky, or even gravity. I suppose he will admit that these things are real and that I would be a fool to say otherwise....but wait until those facts oppose the Bible in some way. Then in Tom's eyes they will cease to exist.

Perhaps I am weak, but I recoil in horror at the thought of living as Tom does. It's a world where the Bible defines reality, not your own senses and rational observation, and if what you see and hear and touch conflict with the Bible, well...you just have understand that it isn't there.



Paul

Anonymous said...

"Surely the point is that as an atheist your particular definition of right and wrong is just that – your definition..."

That may be Neotherm's point, and your point, but it in no way adresses my question.




"A Christian would say that God, as He designed and created everything, should have a better view of what actually is right and wrong..."

Yes, if he existed.



"By what standard would you judge which is correct?'

Will my action harm another? Would I want this action done to me? Will this action harm my mental state? My physical state? What about others? Their mental state? Physical state? Will this action be detrimental to my relations with others? How will this action affect the order in my society? Will my action hinder society?

Will my action help another? Would I like this action done to me? Is this action beneficial in any way whatsoever? If beneficial, will it still harm others in a mental or physical manner, however remote?

How do I help others? How do I help society?


It's all very simple. But I know that you cannot understand this, because your view on right and wrong is one of the points on which your faith hangs, ie, without God there can be no morality therefore there must be a God. And you aren't about to question that, so you find yourself atoumatically opposed to my view, whether my view has any substance or not.


Paul

Anonymous said...

I think there is a possibility that Tom is trying to put one over on us. It is difficult to believe that anyone with a mind so mired in fantasy can even function normally.

Anonymous said...

Like I have said before, If Tom is pulling a fast one, he has been doing so for years, and consistently for that matter. I remember him from yahoo forums (UCG forums?) where WCG doctrinal issues were debated.


Paul

Neotherm said...

Paul wrote: "Will my action help another? Would I like this action done to me? Is this action beneficial in any way whatsoever? If beneficial, will it still harm others in a mental or physical manner, however remote?"

You are missing the point entirely. As an atheist who believes in no God and a human consciousness that is a product of countless chemical reactions, why should you care about any of this?

Why should it be significant to you not to harm others? Why is it that you possess an inherent moralism? It certainly is not due to some errant chemical reaction.

Materialisic atheism has no foundation in any kind of spirituality or any code of ethics. So you can create a moral code for yourself or don't. It really doesn't make any difference.

It is entirely possible that you possess a strong moral sense. But it will not be founded on atheism.

My last post on this topic. Sorry I have given so much attention to something of so little value.

-- Neo

camfinch said...

Tom writes:

"If this specious argument is valid, we would be driven to the inescapable conclusion that Adam and Eve were not the parents of all
human beings, as the DNA "evidence" would disprove their parentage.

"You may choose to believe the pseudo scientific DNA evidence, that undermines the teaching of the bible, but I prefer to believe God's word, which is infallible.

"These so-called scientific thinkers like to present their bloated assumptions as facts. They behave as though they created the world, and are the only ones qualified to explain how it works. Well, they assumptions may impress you, but in a few years they will be dead and world will still be here, guided and ordered by its true creator"

Tom, how do you show that the DNA argument is specious without providing empirical evidence? Your only claim to truth is your interpretation of a set of religious books, written by many hands over different periods of time, with a panoply of different perspectives. But you cite no hard evidence for your claim that the DNA argument is untrue; your only support for YOUR argument is YOUR interpretation gathered by bits and pieces from ancient texts. You work out an explanation for your Lost Tribes identity idea by using certain scriptures gleaned from different parts of the Bible, and then combining those with a smorgasboard of would-be evidences of tribal wanderings over a period of hundreds of years. And by your interpretation (or the interpretation that was given to you by the COG in the past), those tribes of necessity must have wound up in northwestern Europe, and some of them (Ephraim and Manasseh) must have also settled in North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.

You use not only the collection of texts known as the Bible as an unquestioned authority--that is, your interpretation of it--you also consider as authoritative a carefully assembled body of ancient writings about certain ancient peoples, and you use those writings, and old legends, to cite "proof" that certain modern nationalities or ethnicities are descended from the ancients in the old texts.

For centuries, scientists have been condemned, sometimes persecuted, by those claiming to have understanding of biblical meaning. If science challenges what religious leaders consider to be biblical truth, then science cannot be right. But over and over, science is proven correct, and the biblicists have to alter their interpretations to fit what the no longer can deny.

Show us that the DNA argument is specious.

Ever heard of Galileo and Cardinal Bellarmine?

Anonymous said...

"You are missing the point entirely. As an atheist who believes in no God and a human consciousness that is a product of countless chemical reactions, why should you care about any of this?

Why should it be significant to you not to harm others?"

You still have provided no evidence to back your claim. I am beginning to think that you never will. As far as the above statement goes, are you imlying that without belief in your particular God, a human will not care about morality? If so, I hope you remain a Christian, because you frighten me. Without your belief in God, you would find nothing wrong with murdering me or raping my wife or stealing my car. I hope we never meet. I would feel quite afraid to be in the same room with a person so devoid of human morality; a person who views other human beings as sacks of meat; a person, who without threat of punishment or promise of reward from an imaginary being, would find no reason to be kind to his fellow human beings. This is true perversion. And if other Christians agree with this outlook, then I hope, for the sake of mankind, they stay Christian, for this is the only way that these amoral, perverted people can refrain from evil.

Paul

Neotherm said...

Paul:

Once again you demonstrate that you have an innate moral sense, a powerful argument for the existence of some Greater Power that would provide you with that.

And once again you are not behaving like a good materialistic, anti-nomian atheist. I do not have time to take this argument further. You can read Book I of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (entitled Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe). This contains a well developed argument that I have been making in bits and pieces.

On the contrary, if I were not a Christian, I would have the same sense of natural law that you have, imparted by God. I had this before I became a Christian. The idea that if morality depends on God it is inferior is palaver. If law depends on man, as in your case, it is inferior. When you are your own moral authority, you can disobey your law without compunction. I believe the vast weight of the history of mankind is against you on this.

You really are not a very good atheist. You need to find an atheist boot camp to go to so you can lose all that moral sense you have -- a sense that strangely conforms for generally accepted societal ethics. You could also stand to get some better arguments.
When you are cornered, you tend to quickly resort to ad hominem attacks -- not very nice for someone so concerned about self-generated morality.

What is the chance that in that soup of chemical reactions that constitutes your consciousness you would come up with a lot of ethics recognized by society? You claim that you don't do things to others that you don't want done to you. But why? You could just as easily, since you are a product of chemical reactions and are your own moral authority, have come up with the idea that it was OK to do whatever you wanted to whomever.

Evidence is not required. Atheism is a well-defined phisophy. We can read about it ad nauseum. It is well published. My statements about atheism are based on the essential and a priori nature of the philosphy. Kind of like math. Two plus two equal four. We don't need to collect evidence forever to see if one of these days two plus two will equal something other than four.

-- Neo

Corky said...

Neotherm said...
Paul:

Once again you demonstrate that you have an innate moral sense, a powerful argument for the existence of some Greater Power that would provide you with that.


How do you inject an unknown supernatural being into men having moral sensitivities. You can't prove that men's consciences come from a god. You would have to first prove that a god exists to do that and I don't think you can.

I'm interested in your proof that a god exists though. Empirical evidence only - bible quotes not helpful.

That is all atheists want, proof that your god exists, but so far no one has given us that proof. Just a lot of assertions like you just gave and mumbo jumbo but no empirical evidence at all - none!

Neotherm said...

Corky wrote: "I'm interested in your proof that a god exists though. Empirical evidence only - bible quotes not helpful."

This statement is a Red Herring with Corky as it is with most atheists. The fact is, nobody has ever been able to prove the existence of God to someone who doesn't want to believe this idea, whether atheist or whatever.

But I dont' mind flogging a dead horse once in a while.

Read the chapter entitled "Nuts and Bolts" in the book Darwin's Black Box by Michael J. Behe. This explains the concept of Irreducible Complexity. If you do not resonate with this, which I would expect that you will not, then you are essentially irremediable.

We can then expect that every topic that Gavin introduces will be punctuated with an atheistic post from you and Paul, no matter how irrelevant to the topic.

-- Neo

Corky said...

Read the chapter entitled "Nuts and Bolts" in the book Darwin's Black Box by Michael J. Behe.

Yeah, Michael Behe has ruined his standing in the scientific community - and all for money. I wonder if he regrets it yet?

He never could come up with a viable, falsifiable theory for his pseudo-scientific creation science nonsense. Therefore, he is dismissed as a scientist altogether by his peers.

VonHowitzer said...

Poor Paul the atheist declares that he doesn't want to live like Tom - well, pardon me, I'd rather not live in a world of atheists.

Corky wants proof of God's existence - but can you prove he doesn't exist? Yes, I know you'll say that you can't prove a negative, but that shouldn't stop you from making some arguements beyond usings descriptive words such as myth and fable.

In the October 8, 2007 issue of Forbes Magazine Paul Johnson wrote about the rise of militant atheism, and declares we're in a surge of it right now. He also points out that the rise in atheism hasn't resulted in an improvement in how people treat each other - no diminuation of cruelty and violence, to us his words.

Regretably, the church has been a mixed bag from which came the crusades and inquisition, but also care for the poor, hospitals, and abolition. The abuses and failings do get addressed over time, however, and the RCC has even admitted that it was wrong in the case of the favorite poster boy for atheists here, Galileo.

I wonder where the similar moral compass lies for atheists. Quoting Johnson: "I'm not sure the human race would survive a prolonged bout of atheism. I recall the words of the German theologian Karl Rahner: "If ever God is banished from the world so that even His image is eradicated from the human mind, we will cease to be human and become merely very clever animals--and our ultimate fate will be too horrible to contemplate.""

You can read the whole article at:
http://members.forbes.com/forbes/2007/1008/027.html?token=MTggT2N0IDIwMDcgMDE6NDE6NTAgKzAwMDA%253D

I too would rather not live in world run by blindly devotional Christians. I'd also rather not live in a world run by blindly devotional atheists.

Corky said...

Neotherm said...
The fact is, nobody has ever been able to prove the existence of God

Exactly!

Corky said...

VonHowitzer said...
Poor Paul the atheist declares that he doesn't want to live like Tom - well, pardon me, I'd rather not live in a world of atheists.

Corky wants proof of God's existence - but can you prove he doesn't exist? Yes, I know you'll say that you can't prove a negative, but that shouldn't stop you from making some arguements beyond usings descriptive words such as myth and fable.

We do, we point out thousands of contradictions in "god's word". We show how the bible and science disagree about a spherical earth and other "problems". We show where the world has not improved from all the holy spirit guided folks ruling it etc. etc. etc. What do you want - miracles?

Anonymous said...

Gavin, your postings get sicker and sicker. Can you do anything right?

Tom said...

Corky wrote: "I'm interested in your proof that a god exists though. Empirical evidence only - bible quotes not helpful."

Which god do you want proof of? In eastern religions, there are lots of gods; not to mention all the other cultures around the world where the native peoples have created their own gods. Also, In ancient Greece and Rome, there were many gods. Are you denying that these existed?

Tom said...

>>>As far as the above statement goes, are you imlying that without belief in your particular God, a human will not care about morality?<<

What makes humans care about morality, and where did it come from?

>>If so, I hope you remain a Christian, because you frighten me.<<

This is your vain attempt to seize the moral high ground, but this comment drops you into the abyss.

>>Without your belief in God, you would find nothing wrong with murdering me or raping my wife or stealing my car.<<

Where did the concepts of murder, rape and stealing come from? Were these principles created by you, or did you discover that they were in existence before you were born?

>>>...And if other Christians agree with this outlook, then I hope, for the sake of mankind, they stay Christian, for this is the only way that these amoral, perverted people can refrain from evil.<<<

This is another outburst of insane panic! But the more important question is, where did the knowledge of good and evil come from? Was it invented by atheists or did they discover that it was in existence before they were born?

BTW, the bible says: "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God...corrupt are they." You may disagree with this observation, but I prefer to believe the bible.

Tom said...

>>>Tom, how do you show that the DNA argument is specious without providing empirical evidence?<<<

My below comment proves that DNA evidence is only valid in some cases, for denies the parentage of Adam and Eve.

"If this specious argument is valid, we would be driven to the inescapable conclusion that Adam and Eve were not the parents of all
human beings, as the DNA "evidence" would disprove their parentage."

In addition, empiricism proves nothing. It may demonstrate that something occurs quite often, but it can't prove that it will always happen. For example, a clinical trial of a certain drug might show that it helps a number of people, but later evidence always come forward to show that it doesn't help everyone. Would like some more examples of the failure of empiricism?

Minimalist said...

Vonhowitzer wrote:
"I too would rather not live in world run by blindly devotional Christians."

You mean like on JLF where you and Mark T wield devastating powers of censorship/editing ?

Questeruk said...

Paul said:-
‘Will my action help another? Would I like this action done to me?...…It's all very simple.’

I wouldn’t disagree with that principle. Of course you are only saying what someone you apparently think did not exist said nearly two thousand years ago - summed up as ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. So there’s nothing new under the sun.

But as I said in my previous post, you may advocate such things, however your fellow atheist may equally advocate something radically different and contradictory – and who can say who is right?

The ‘high priest’ of evangelical atheism, Richard Dawkins, claims that ‘universal love and the welfare of the species as a whole are concepts that simply do not make evolutionary sense’. Having stated that, he goes on to say that he is ‘not advocating a morality based on evolution’ and ‘My own feeling is that human society based on the gene’s law of universal ruthless selfishness would be a very nasty society in which to live’. (Taken from his book ‘The Selfish Gene’).

In other words – evolution works one way, but Richard Dawkins advocates we as humans should conduct our lives in virtually the opposite way. But based on what? – On the feelings and views of one Richard Dawkins. Although he advocates evolution as a definite fact, he disagrees 100% with the ‘morality’ of evolution.

Like Paul, maybe Richard Dawkins isn’t a very good Atheist.

Corky said...

Tom said...
Corky wrote: "I'm interested in your proof that a god exists though. Empirical evidence only - bible quotes not helpful."

Which god do you want proof of? In eastern religions, there are lots of gods; not to mention all the other cultures around the world where the native peoples have created their own gods. Also, In ancient Greece and Rome, there were many gods. Are you denying that these existed?

They existed in the same way as the god of the bible and qu'ran exist; in their minds. You know that all those other gods were invented by the native peoples. What makes you think that the Jews were incapable of inventing theirs?

Corky said...

Tom said...

What makes humans care about morality, and where did it come from?


From our conscious mind, because we have a brain to think with that has the capability of abstract thought. Chimps do too, but not so well as ours.

Where did the concepts of murder, rape and stealing come from? Were these principles created by you, or did you discover that they were in existence before you were born?

The concepts come from human experience over a period of time. It was simply that humans found it better (and safer) to live in cooperation with others. These concepts were taught to their children and their children taught them to their children etc.

Remember the cities of refuge in the OT? It was morally right in the OT for kinfolk of a victim of manslaughter to hunt down and kill a manslayer, even if it was an accident. So, they had cities of refuge where the manslayer could go and be protected from vengence killing.

Very bronze age stuff but we have learned better ways since then and we teach them to our children.

camfinch said...

Tom writes:

""If this specious argument is valid, we would be driven to the inescapable conclusion that Adam and Eve were not the parents of all
human beings, as the DNA "evidence" would disprove their parentage."

"In addition, empiricism proves nothing. It may demonstrate that something occurs quite often, but it can't prove that it will always happen. For example, a clinical trial of a certain drug might show that it helps a number of people, but later evidence always come forward to show that it doesn't help everyone. Would like some more examples of the failure of empiricism?"

Once again, Tom, you are falling back to scriptures to support your argument against the reality of DNA testing. For you, it is enough that you interpret the Bible as saying that Adam and Eve are the parents of all humans. But that is not evidence. By the way, the human genome project probably does not establish that different humans derive from different ultimate ancestors. Paleoanthropologists and other scientists now tend to believe that all humans are descended from a common ancestor. Since they don't say it's Adam/Eve, and only 6,000 years ago, you wouldn't agree with them, but that's just to clear up the discussion.

Neotherm said...

Corky wrote: "Yeah, Michael Behe has ruined his standing in the scientific community - and all for money. I wonder if he regrets it yet?"

"He never could come up with a viable, falsifiable theory for his pseudo-scientific creation science nonsense. Therefore, he is dismissed as a scientist altogether by his peers."

That is a biased and nonsensical assertion worthy of the National Enquirer. Your statement's only value is that it does reveal to all of us your state of mind and the way you process logical argumentation.

You might look up the word falsifiable in the dictionary.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will help the discussion or not but here goes:

Humans are born with only the basest of instincts, in reality no more or no less than most mammals, in fact our development period from birth to adulthood is the longest of all living creatures. In other words almost all of our behavior is learned. The French (Not that I really care for anything French other than their wonderful wines) have a very accurate saying regarding human children, they call them "les sauvages" (The Savages). The meaning of this is that children have to be taught how to behave, this includes of course, any system of morals. You can see that even among the most primitve tribes around today, there is a system of morals that are in place, some very different than ours, but there nonetheless, and necessary to establish and maintain any type of order. The point of this is that it is stupid to assume that outside of God's direct influence on his 'chosen' people that humans will act like cut-throat cannibals and criminals.

On another note:

Ahteists, pretty much by definition believe in abiogenesis and macro evolution and fundamentalist christians (for example) believe in a six day creation...Both have one major thing in common: They believe in something that has not, to date been proven. Both sides of the debate suffer from the same fatal flaw: When the evidence goes against their theory, the evidence is disregarded because they both believe the theory to be true. Science has a leg up on the fundamentalist Christians because eventually humanity will develop the knowledge to find out exactly what did happen, when, and how and unless that eventually jives exactly with the fundamentalist ideas, they will always reject it. In the case of cults like armstrongism it goes a step further; It has to be as armstrong said and they will look no further.

Neotherm said...

Corky wrote about where morality comes from: "From our conscious mind, because we have a brain to think with that has the capability of abstract thought. Chimps do too, but not so well as ours."

I'm sorry, just consciousness does not imply that morality will be developed. There is nothing to pre-dispose a vast array of chemical reactions that form consciousness (for the atheist) to any kind of morality.

She also wrote: "It was simply that humans found it better (and safer) to live in cooperation with others. These concepts were taught to their children and their children taught them to their children etc."

Evolution would tell us that cooperation is not selected for. It is rather the survival of the fittest. But humans try to practice cooperation and community against the prescriptions of evolution.

So Corky has made a statement that is supportive of a spiritual dimension in human life.

An atheistic evolutionist would find man's desire to cooperate to be a flaw not a strength. They would say that the frail should not be protected by community because they would just reproduce and weaken the species.

-- Neo

Tom said...

CAMF>>By the way, the human genome project probably does not establish that different humans derive from different ultimate ancestors.<<

Probably? Is that evidence that we can rely on?

>>>Paleoanthropologists and other scientists now tend to believe that all humans are descended from a common ancestor. Since they don't say it's Adam/Eve, and only 6,000 years ago, you wouldn't agree with them, but that's just to clear up the discussion.<<<

"Now tend to believe?" What? You mean they don't know? Are you so foolish as to give credence to this nonsense. The gnome project is based on supposition, conjecture and a heavy dose of speculation. Whereas, I am absolutely certain that all humanity descended from Adam and Eve because God say so. And he ought to know, as he is they creator.

BTW, I note that you were very silent on the value of empiricism. Don't be ashamed to admit that you are wrong. It is humbling, but very noble.

Corky said...

Neotherm,

Irreducible complexity is generally dismissed by the scientific community;[10] it is often referred to as pseudoscience.[14]

Despite being discredited in the Dover trial where the court found in its ruling that "Professor Behe's claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large",[15] irreducible complexity has nevertheless remained a popular argument among advocates of intelligent design and other creationists.

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

Corky said...

Neotherm,

"Evolution would tell us that cooperation is not selected for. It is rather the survival of the fittest. But humans try to practice cooperation and community against the prescriptions of evolution."

It might tell you that but I would, myself, select a woman that was not a thief or some other evil type to have my children.

By the way, I'm not a "she".

camfinch said...

Tom, the reason I say things like "probably" and "tend to believe" is because I don't want to state that all these scientists necessarily agree on everything. But the majority within these fields are in agreement.

I had not commented on your comment about empiricism because I don't have time to address every little thing. But your claim on empiricism's weakness seems to imply that ultimately we can't be sure of anything (except, of course, your interpretation of the Bible). But DNA evidence, mitochondrial tracing, etc., are not simply guesses. They are based upon laws that scientists have shored up with evidence for decades at least.

When I'm wrong about something, I try to willingly admit it. I have not noticed one iota of admission of any error from you.

If you choose not to engage in these discussions with anything but your claims about the Bible's authority, and your interpretations about what it says, I'm not sure why you feel the need to engage at all. You aren't contributing anything to the discussion. If you could tell us WHY the genome project is ridiculous and in error, outside of waving your Bible, please do. If not...

Questeruk said...

There is no way DNA evidence is able to trace ancestry back to Adam and Eve, for the simple reason that we do not have a sample from either Adam or Eve to test against. Whatever stand you take, DNA testing will not help unless you can locate the physical remains of Adam or Eve to test against.

It is interesting however that those on the project do consider the DNA does go back to a common ancestor.

In the same way, it is difficult to prove or disprove BI, as you would need to test current DNA with genuine members of the tribes of Israel of 2500 to 3000 years ago, not Semitic people living in the area at this time.

This may be possible to achieve, easier than Adam and Eve, but I don’t believe that this has actually been done.

Anonymous said...

Tom wrote: "Now tend to believe?" What? You mean they don't know? Are you so foolish as to give credence to this nonsense. The gnome project is based on supposition, conjecture and a heavy dose of speculation. Whereas, I am absolutely certain that all humanity descended from Adam and Eve because God say so. And he ought to know, as he is they creator."

I would like to clarify something for you:

Science is constrained to deal with facts and facts alone. They develop theories and hypotheses and test them. The results of which are fact. It can be a fact that the hypothesis was wrong or correct, but in the end, the results are fact. It is the fundamentalist religionist (for example, you) and the evolutionist that jump to conclusions not based in fact and do actually engage in a great deal of "supposition, conjecture and a heavy dose of speculation." (Your inexplicable belief in BI, for example)

DNA exists as a provable fact and just because you don't believe it exists is not proof that it doesn't.

Neotherm said...

Corky wrote: "Irreducible complexity is generally dismissed by the scientific community;[10] it is often referred to as pseudoscience.[14]"

The question is not what an august (and close-minded) collection of non-believing scientists would come to as a conclusion. The question is what will you conclude when you examine this concept.

If you want to read some really entertaining pseudoscience, have a look at one of Richard Dawkins books. None of his imaginative anecdotes can be tested by the scientific method.

"Despite being discredited in the Dover trial where the court found in its ruling that "Professor Behe's claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large."

The Dover case says something different from what you assert. It says:

"After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, WE FIND THAT WHILE ID ARGUMENTS MAY BE TRUE, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science."

So they essentially were saying that the idea of a Creator could not be tested using scientific method. So it can't be a science. Neither can Hawking's concept of cosmology -- again because his proposition that the universe has always been cannot be tested.

So we have a collection of non-believing scientists who are willing to discredit Behe. And we have a collection of believing scientists who support Behe. (An astrophysicst where I work, a Princeton Ph.D., believes that Behe is correct.)

The question becomes how will you analyze this problem? You seem to have capitulated your reasoning powers to a scientific establishment that has always been historically biased.

-- Neo

Corky said...

Neotherm said...
"The question becomes how will you analyze this problem?"

I don't see a problem. What I said before is a quote from Wikipedia and not from me.

An astrophysicist is not an evolutionary biologist and not even a biochemist as Michael Behe is.

Behe's hypothesis was tested and falsified and that's the end of the story. That he continued to argue for it cost him his credibility.

I know about the list of "scientists" that don't accept evolution, about 200 IIRC,

But, perhaps you have heard of the list of scientists named "Steve" who support evolution, over 800 to date.

Scientists named "Steve" represent about 1% of scientists who support evolution.

Anonymous said...

"Once again you demonstrate that you have an innate moral sense,"


Were you then misinformed earlier when you stated that atheists do not believe in right or worng, or are you just being dishonest?

"...a powerful argument for the existence of some Greater Power that would provide you with that."

Greater Power? You mean Zeus? Or Allah? Are you saying that without a Greater Power implanting the notion in the mind, a human would never, ever come to the conclusions that I stated earlier? He would never want to do good on his own? You have such a low estimation of the human mind.

"You can read Book I of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (entitled Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe). This contains a well developed argument that I have been making in bits and pieces."

And that is all it is...an argument without any supporting evidence whatsoever. None. I may as well re-read your posts, for they offer no more than C.S. Lewis offers.



"What is the chance that in that soup of chemical reactions that constitutes your consciousness you would come up with a lot of ethics recognized by society?"

I demonstrated it, didn't I?? Also, the entire human race demonstrates it. Ethics do not, nor have ever, come from imaginary beings. Where do you think the Law of Moses comes from? God? No, it came from men.

"You claim that you don't do things to others that you don't want done to you. But why?"

For the same reason I don't stick my hand in a fire, or strike a police officer in order to be thrown in jail...because it is painful, uncomfortable. If I don't like pain, I certainly wouldn't want another to go through the same thing at my hand. Of course, you know and understand this completely. But you are Christian, and from your religion you gather that only through your god can mankind receive morality; therefore you pretend that this is a mystery. You deny reality. It's insanity.


"You could just as easily, since you are a product of chemical reactions and are your own moral authority, have come up with the idea that it was OK to do whatever you wanted to whomever."

Why would I want to hurt someone? As I said before, is the only reason you do not want to hurt someone is due to God? If so, you are truly amoral.

"Evidence is not required."

"Atheism is a well-defined phisophy. We can read about it ad nauseum. It is well published. My statements about atheism are based on the essential and a priori nature of the philosphy."

Where can I find, in this well-defined philosophy (by the way, is a disbelief in leprechauns also a philosophy??)that atheists do not believe in right or wrong???


Paul

Anonymous said...

"The fact is, nobody has ever been able to prove the existence of God to someone who doesn't want to believe this idea, whether atheist or whatever."

How convenient. We can't prove the existence of X to Joe and Bobby because Joe and Bobby don't want to believe. It's their fault, not ours.

Is this true? Or is it that you have no evidence to prove the existence of God? I do not believe in God for one single reason..there is absolutely no proof. If proof comes to light, then I will believe. I know you do not believe me, but for what it's worth, it's the truth.


And exactly which irreducible system are we speaking of?


Paul

Anonymous said...

"Poor Paul the atheist declares that he doesn't want to live like Tom - well, pardon me, I'd rather not live in a world of atheists."

You don't want to live in world full of rational people who don't believe in imaginary invisible beings?


Paul

Questeruk said...

Can genetics prove or disprove ‘British Isrealism’?

The following quote is from the web site www.genomics.energy.gov with the note that ‘The Human Genome Program of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science funds this suite of Web sites’.

‘Will genetic anthropology establish scientific criteria for race or ethnicity?
DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans. While different genes for physical traits such as skin and hair color can be identified between individuals, no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity. People who have lived in the same geographic region for many generations may have some alleles in common, but no allele will be found in all members of one population and in no members of any other.’

Interesting…. The project by it’s own admission states it is unable to distinguish one race from another.

So what is this DNA evidence that Camfinch, Corky and Paul all claim to have about the tribes of Isreal?

Anonymous said...

" Both sides of the debate suffer from the same fatal flaw: When the evidence goes against their theory, the evidence is disregarded because they both believe the theory to be true."

What evidence? There is not a shred of evidence for a supernatural creation. The Christian has no evidence. In fact, the entire Kreationism/Intelligent Design is composed entirely of a refutation of evolution. This is not evidence for a supernatural creation. WHy don't they have any evidence?


Paul

Anonymous said...

"Whereas, I am absolutely certain that all humanity descended from Adam and Eve because God say so."

Based on what?? Even though you may disagree with the genome project, at least there is evidence to support the claim. What do you offer? Nothing but an ancient religious text.


Paul

Neotherm said...

Corky wrote: "An astrophysicist is not an evolutionary biologist and not even a biochemist as Michael Behe is."

But I would suspect he knows someting about cosmology and I am sure that all the scientists voting against Behe's idea are not molecular biologists either.

"Behe's hypothesis was tested and falsified and that's the end of the story. That he continued to argue for it cost him his credibility."

I think you blowing smoke on this one. Show me your sources. Once again, you need to look up the definition of the word falsified in the dictionary.

-- Neo

Questeruk said...

Paul, was that an answer to my posting of a few minutes ago?

I am not speaking for Tom, and I have nothing against the genome project. But if the genome project states it cannot distinguish one race from another, where is the DNA evidence against ‘British Isrealism’, which you and others have claimed exists earlier in this stream?

Anonymous said...

Nice quote-mining, Neotherm.


Here, as Paul Harvey would say, is the rest of the story concerning the Dover ruling:


"After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science.
We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are:
(1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation;
(2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and
(3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the
subject of testing and research."

http://www.deadparrots.net/archives/social_issues/0512pa_judge_id_is_not_science.html




Paul

camfinch said...

"So what is this DNA evidence that Camfinch, Corky and Paul all claim to have about the tribes of Isreal?"

Actually, I have made no claim as such about the tribes of Israel.

As to what can be shown from DNA: please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the migrations of one's ancestors can be shown through the genome. I know that one of the frequent posters to this site, who I believe has not posted to this topic yet, found that his ancestors had originated at some place, then migrated elsewhere, and the migrations were fairly closely pinpointed in time. So: genomes from those of northwestern European stock, as far as I can tell, should indicate that some of the ancestors had migrated to Palestine at some point in time, no later than the early-to-mid second millennium BCE. At least according to my reckoning. If we assume that ancient Israelites were truly in Palestine at that time, but genomes and markers for northwestern Europeans don't indicate that their ancestors were at that location at that time, it seems that this would be a contraindication for the idea that these people are descended from the Lost Tribes.

Open to correction on the details...

By the way: the frequent poster is of northern European "stock", and his ancestors' migrations did not include Palestine.

Anonymous said...

"Paul, was that an answer to my posting of a few minutes ago?"


No.

Neotherm said...

Paul wrote: "What evidence? There is not a shred of evidence for a supernatural creation. The Christian has no evidence. In fact, the entire Kreationism/Intelligent Design is composed entirely of a refutation of evolution. This is not evidence for a supernatural creation. WHy don't they have any evidence?"

The concept or irreducible complexity is positive evidence that evolution cannot explain all observable biological phenomena.

If it is hard evidence that you want, there it is. My guess is that, like Corky, you will not even examine the evidence and will rely on others to think for you.

If you want to really understand this issue, read about this concept in Michael Behe's book cited earlier and then come back to this blog and explain why it is not true and reasonable.

Of course, this is not the whole story. Atheism fails on many counts and this is just one of them.

-- Neo

Neotherm said...

Paul:

What I stated was that atheists do not believe in absolute right and absolute wrong.

The fact that you are an atheist and you believe in right and wrong based on some personal moral code you have concocted is not the same thing.

Atheists essentially believe that the designation "good" and "evil" maybe freely applied to whatever they want to apply it to. Why? Because they are themselves the moral authority. This isn't rocket science.

This is neither misinformation or dishonesty. This proceeds from the simple understanding of atheistic belief that the individual atheist is the moral authority for himself. And for the umpteenth time, because there is no God and because all phenomena in the universe are based in and explained by materialism.

This is kind of like counting crows.

I think I will opt out of this.

What I will say, finally, is that if you and Corky are atheists based on the flimsy understanding that you both have of the philsophy, my guess is that you have made the worst mistake you can possible make without much underpinning.

I am sorry I gave you the spotlight by engaging you.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

"The concept or irreducible complexity is positive evidence that evolution cannot explain all observable biological phenomena."

Like I said, no evidence, just a refution of evolution...which in no way proves Kreationism. One can refute evolution all day...and let us say that it is refuted. How then does that prove, or even lend evidence to a theory that a supernatural being created it all by divine fiat? It doesn't. Again, where is evidence for Kreation?



"If you want to really understand this issue, read about this concept in Michael Behe's book cited earlier and then come back to this blog and explain why it is not true and reasonable."

I understand Behe's concept quite well. And I intend on showing that it is not true...that is why I asked you earlier for an example of an irreducible system. Any irreducible system, from either of Behe's books.

""Atheism fails on many counts and this is just one of them."

This does not "fail" atheism. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods, nothing more. Atheism is no different than your disbelief in Zeus.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Paul asked: What evidence? There is not a shred of evidence for a supernatural creation. The Christian has no evidence. In fact, the entire Kreationism/Intelligent Design is composed entirely of a refutation of evolution. This is not evidence for a supernatural creation. WHy don't they have any evidence?


Paul,

I was not attempting to make a case or present evidence for either argument. My point is that both sides of the argument start out with a conclusion considered factual and ignore any evidence that doesn't support the theory. That is their fatal flaw. It is difficult to damn near impossible to get to facts of any matter when you work that way. Scientific method is to go where the evidence leads you.

Evolutionists and Six Day Creationists are further hamstrung by their inability to even consider that they could be wrong.

True scientific method is our only real hope of figuring it all out someday.

Personally, I don't subscribe to either camp. I get just as perplexed when a six day creationist can ignore something as simple as an impact crater as I do over an evolutionist claiming non-living matter spontaneously came into life (molecules to man theory) and evolved into what the flora and fauna today, despite the fact that at no point in history has any evolutionist observed in nature or the lab, one species evolve into another or life spontaneously occur from non-living matter.

Scientific method has proved beyond doubt that speciation and adaption do occur. So that is something that all can believe with confidence. That is Micro-evolution and is fact. Macro-evolution is what has fallen as flat on its face as six day creationism.

Like you Paul, I demand proof.

You are not stupid so you have obviously inferred that I believe in God. Where is my proof? Answered prayer. Several. Throughout my life, not just as a young boy. It is as simple as that. That may not fly with you, but it is the truth.

Corky said...

Neo says, Once again, you need to look up the definition of the word falsified in the dictionary.

"to show or prove to be false; disprove: to falsify a theory.
–verb (used without object)"

Good enough for ya?

Anonymous said...

"What I stated was that atheists do not believe in absolute right and absolute wrong."

No, you stated that afterwards after I called you on your original statement, which was that atheists do not "believe in right or wrong." You are dishonest.



"I think I will opt out of this."

So you keep saying:

#1 'Bye.'

#2 'My last post on this topic. Sorry I have given so much attention to something of so little value.'

#3 'I do not have time to take this argument further.'



"...my guess is that you have made the worst mistake you can possible make without much underpinning."

I'll take my chances. You on the other hand, since you do belive in the existence of god, need to be sure that you have the right god. Allah is not very forgiving.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

I understand what you are saying. Yes, people may reject evidence as evidence when it refutes their position...but Kreationists have no evidence for scientists to reject! They have nothing....

So it is untrue that both sides act in this manner. Once Kreationists can give some evidence, then perhaps you will be right. But until then...

Paul


Paul

Corky said...

Neo says, The concept or irreducible complexity is positive evidence that evolution cannot explain all observable biological phenomena.

Except for the fact that "irreducible complexity" has been falsified. (proven to be wrong, for those without dictionaries).

Corky said...

Charlie says, That is Micro-evolution and is fact. Macro-evolution is what has fallen as flat on its face as six day creationism.

Go to 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution
The Scientific Case for Common Descent, read that and then come back and tell us where they are wrong.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

Anonymous said...

Now, now, Corky. You aren't actually supposed to provide evidence here; it's so...well, unbecoming. It's not the way we do things here. It's too rash. Instead, just boldly assert that you believe in evolution and that no evidence is required...and that those who ask for evidence are being obtuse.

Paul

Corky said...

Paul, I don't know what to do about people who are willfully ignorant and refuse to even look at the evidence. It's a mystery.

Trying to get christians to show some evidence of a god's existence is like trying to climb an invisible ladder to the glass dome of the sky. All you get are bible verses quoted at you.

This way they can dodge your query and get you to argue the bible instead.

It's like this: The bible proves God and belief in God proves the bible.

Neotherm said...

Corky:

"Except for the fact that "irreducible complexity" has been falsified. (proven to be wrong, for those without dictionaries"

My mistake. You are correct in the use of this term. It has a difference usage in science and philosophy than in law.

-- Neo

Neotherm said...

Paul said: "No, you stated that afterwards after I called you on your original statement, which was that atheists do not "believe in right or wrong. You are dishonest."

This is a difference in customary usage. I am a Christian so I think of right and wrong as absolute right and absolute wrong. As an atheist you think of right and wrong as whatever you want it to be. (Which is really, really close to not believing in right and wrong - the non-absolute variety.)

So to be precise, I believe that atheists may believe in a self-determined right and a self-determined wrong. (Although my fundamental observation is why would they even do this since they are, mind and body, just a bunch of chemical reactions anyway.) In fact, one might inquire into why it is atheists would ever be motivated to define right and wrong, no matter how idiosyncratic.

This self-determined right and wrong is a world different from belief in absolute right and absolute wrong.

With this adjustment in semantics, all the arguments that I have made still I still stand by.

Right. I have exited the stage a number of times only to come back.

So I will exit again and probably will come back again, unless Gavin finally thinks of something else more productive.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

"Although my fundamental observation is why would they even do this since they are, mind and body, just a bunch of chemical reactions anyway."

As opposed to??


Paul

Corky said...

Neo says, This self-determined right and wrong is a world different from belief in absolute right and absolute wrong.

All "right and wrong" that exists in the world is self-detemined or determined by the society in which a person lives. There is no such thing as "absolute right and wrong". All is shades of gray and not black and white.

Even in the bible, whereas it was a death sentence to break the sabbath, it was allowed under certain circumstances. For example, it is not wrong to save a life on the sabbath.

For this reason, and many others, the Jews have the Talmud.

Anonymous said...

But Corky, the Sabbath example concerns Godly shades of gray, which is also known as absolute shades of gray. The shades of gray of which you speak are worldly shades of gray, which further evidence the lack of morality without Zeus. Er, I mean God.

Paul

Stingerski said...

Latest score :

Atheists - 3
Christians - 0

The Christian Crusaders still have not produced anything in the way of runs batted in (evidence), while the All-star Atheists have hit a few doubles and triples.

From the Deist Peanut Gallery:

If I were pitching for the All-stars, I would keep firing fast balls at the Crusaders, asking them to define their basis of moral behavior. And the Bible certainly cannot be that basis. Because when you lay all Christians end to end on this topic, they all point in different directions!

I say po-tay-to
And you say po-TA-to

You say pork evil
And I say pork yummy.

Corky said...

But Corky, the Sabbath example concerns Godly shades of gray, which is also known as absolute shades of gray. The shades of gray of which you speak are worldly shades of gray, which further evidence the lack of morality without Zeus. Er, I mean God.

Yeah I know, but I wonder how the Chinese got along without all those absolute shades of gray for all these thousands of years. I guess they must have had Yahweh's law written on their hearts instead of in a book.

Stingerski said...

Corky bats, and hits the Jewish- Chinese Law pitch into deep right field!

Runner (anon) on 3rd scores!

Atheists : 4
Christians : 0

From the Deist Peanut Gallery:

If you Christians really want to get into this game you need to define your moral code. And that means, you simply cannot quote the Bible. Because 1.5 billion Christians on this planet quote the Bible -- and they ALL have a different morality.

You say po-TAY-to
And I say po-TA-to.
Eating Shrimp is evil
Eating Shrimp is heaven . . .

Anonymous said...

"Yeah I know, but I wonder how the Chinese got along without all those absolute shades of gray for all these thousands of years."

The answer I always received was along these lines:

God gave Adam the Law, in some shape or form, and it got passed down to all men, mainly through Noah. A neat and tidy answer, though so fantastical to put JRR Tolkien to shame. Such imagination!

Paul

Stingerski said...

Atheists : 4
Christians : 1

=== From the Deist Peanut Gallery:

Paul, you struck out there with Noah. Apparently he was some "god" of a sort.

I will leave Zecharia Sitchin and his 12th Planet to take you to task here.

We all know the "gods" came here from somewhere out there, and deposited life here. There's just no other way that we could come to be here.

That's my deistic opine anyway.

As for the rest of you Christians, your Bible is just a mere collection of stories about what the gods did here -- and the Jews have been trying to rewrite its history ever since.

Anonymous said...

Corky, You are mistaking me for some people on this thread that claim to have all the answers. I do not claim to have them.

I do not think a leatherbound book is proof of God (I've mentioned why I believe in God in an earlier post) any more than I believe two teeth and part of a leg bone found in Boxgrove, England, a lower jaw found near Heidelberg, Germany and a skull from Bodo, Ethiopia are proof of evolution (Heidelberg Man)

I took a quick look at the link you posted and will definitely read through it. Although I am far from a scholar, trying to find out as much as I can on the subject of our origins and history of earth has become a hobby.

From what I have looked at so far the 29+ evidences are a collection of fossils and as they freely admit on the site, hypotheses. If evolution is true, we should see evidences of it in contemporary times. After several billions of years and hundreds of millions of years of the existence of life, we should be seeing species evolve from one to a new one with regularity...but we don't see it at---all.

Demand proof - Abiogenesis and species evolving from one to another are theories, nothing more. Each attempt, and I am glad they try (It is more than most creationists do), has come up, well, dead.

Why can't we agree to limit what we teach that to what we know and what we have to work with and go forward from there instead of jamming the absurdity of a six day creation and spontaneous generation of life from non-life and evolution down our throats. Neither theory holds water.

I invite you to take a look here: www.scienceagainstevolution.org

They look at it from a scientific perspective, not biblical, and invite the reader to follow the evidence. It is worth a look.

They also answer mail.

Talk origins as you mention also has much interesting material and I will spend a good deal of time there as well.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Corky said...

Charlie said,
If evolution is true, we should see evidences of it in contemporary times. After several billions of years and hundreds of millions of years of the existence of life, we should be seeing species evolve from one to a new one with regularity...but we don't see it at---all.

No, you should not see it. If you did, it wouldn't be evolution but miracles. The change is in the allele and invisible for a long time. It is an hereditary variation that either survives or does not.

If the variation survives then it will become part of the genetic code that controls what comes after - until there is another variation.

What makes it survive is the fact that the variation is beneficial and therefore gets to live long enough to breed more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Corky,

Sorry, but that argument doesn't hold water. I believe what you are referring to is yet another theory on evolution called punctuated equilibrium. (No changes for millennia, then massive changes all at once) No proof of that one either.

I have confidence that science will figure it all out someday.

Corky said...

Charlie said, I invite you to take a look here: www.scienceagainstevolution.org

I looked and they left off a word. It should read:

"creation science against evolution"

Anonymous said...

Corky,

Actually that isn't entirely accurate. They are creationists to be sure, but their research and essays are very compelling...and they aren't trying to sell anything else other than that the scientific evidence is against the theories. Browse through the topical index you might find something out that you haven't previously considered.

The only feature they have that I don't like is their monthly "Web Site of the Month" I have stopped even checking out the links. Too may of them go to six day creation websites with the same old tired and weak theories of their own.

Like Sgt Joe Friday - Just give me the facts.

Have a nice weekend everyone! I am off to have some fun for a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Stingerski said...

'That's my deistic opine anyway."

I too am a deist. There of course no common doctrines nor any common Holy books for deists.

So, Stringerski, what do you as a deist believe? You obviously keep score well and you are certainly quick to pass judgment.

But do you have any substantive beliefs? And what proof do you have?

jdschroeder said...

Books like this are a terrible waste of time for anyone who already knows everything.

Lussenheide said...

At now 134 posts on this thread , ( I believe this is now the official Guinness Book of Worlds Records amount for the Ambassador Watch),.. we now have more vebage on the Karen Armstrong book "The Bible- A Biography" than are actually contained in her book!

Lussenheide

Anonymous said...

This whole topic is about as mystical as
The Secret
.

Anonymous said...

It should be useful for those here to review the attributes of
the bully guru,
applicable to multiple people relating to this discussion.

Byker Bob said...

What amazes me is the philosophical variety of the posters. It seems we have an Armstrongist, several New Covenant Christians, some adherents to the basic Adventist package of beliefs, two atheists, and a couple of deists commenting.

BB

Stingerski said...

Anon. said :

So, Stringerski, what do you as a deist believe? You obviously keep score well and you are certainly quick to pass judgment.

But do you have any substantive beliefs? And what proof do you have?


Quick to pass judgment? That's only a liability if you are a Christian, as they usually get it wrong. :-)

I'm not sure what proof you are referring to. About backing up my beliefs? If so, all I can do is quote ye old scripture here (slightly paraphrased): Everybody does that which is right in his own eyes -- and ALL the time. And if anybody declares otherwise then they are either a true believer, insane, or perhaps both (as is often the case with true believers).

My beliefs, religious or otherwise, but esp. religious, are just that -- my beliefs. I go with what I think is the best evidence. And right now that evidence points to deism for me.

I believe in "God." But the God I believe in is far more majestic, far more logical and far more divine than the God most Christians say they believe in. And the evidence for this God is the universe itself, and not some ancient set of books, written in a dead language, and spread over many long dead cultures. Such a set of books is not the way my God would ever limit themselves to for communicating to their creation.

At this point in time, however, it seems that God has left the building. We are here for now to figure out this universe on our own. Why? I dunno. Like that Bruce Hornsby song says, "That's just the way it is." And I've always found when I accept reality, e.g. the way things really are, and not substitute some religious fantasy in its place, I get along much better in this world.

And you? Why are you a deist? And who might I have the pleasure of speaking to here, even if just your stage name?

Anonymous said...

Stingerski said...

"That's just the way it is." And I've always found when I accept reality, e.g. the way things really are, and not substitute some religious fantasy in its place, I get along much better in this world.

That is my experience as well !

As long as I stay away from the myths in Judaism and in Christianity and stay away from their corrupt all male priesthood, I am at peace.

Life does work much better.

There does seem to be a dark spiritual force that entangles one when one allows oneself to become part of that system.

My beliefs are similar; I do believe God is very great and kind and not very much like He is described in the OT or NT.

The Old and New Testaments are mostly the creations of men who have made themselves priests.

I guess I should add that I do believe Jesus existed and was a very great man and a very great prophet. I also believe there is an afterlife and that Jesus, and so many others, are there and they can reach down and help.

That is one of the reasons one can discern a spiritual element to this world; there is a spirit presence here.

Corky said...
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