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Drake

The Religion/Philosophy Debate

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Drake

Haha, Richard Dawkins. He's the deluded one.

Chickenman: This is a debate that I'm sure is going to keep cropping up, so I'd rather keep it in one place than have it derail threads over and over in the future. Just play as nice as you can, shake hands, and buy the other guy a drink at the cantina when you're done.

Edited by Drake

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Ender

How much of Dawkins' work have you actually read, Drake, to know he's "deluded?" I'd call anyone who doesn't believe in evolution to be as such.

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Drake

Evolution is a fairy-tale for grown ups. It is unproven and based entirely on random chance. To believe that, over the course of untold billions of years, single-celled life was able to form in some pre-biotic soup and then, over another untold billions of years, evolve into multi-celled life and then, over even more billions of years, finally evolve into sentient human life takes more faith then even I have in God. There is a reason why it is still called a theory. There is no proof.

If you see a building, would you not believe that there was a builder? If you saw a painting, would you not think that there was a painter? How can you see creation and not believe that there was a Creator?

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Ender

Easily. I've read Darwin and Wallace and Dawkins and several other incredibly smart scientists who lay out the mountains of evidence for it. Ever since The Origin of Species was first published 150 years ago, evolution has been proven over and over again. Come on, you're really going to tell me that, in face of overwhelming scientific proof, that a big, bearded cosmic spaceman created everything 6,000 years ago, and is still interested in its goings-on? Thanks, I'll take the single-celled organisms and "pre-biotic soup" you so disdainfully refer to.

And you're revealing your own ignorance of scientific parlance; theory is the term given to a postulation or hypothesis that has been tested enough times to be considered true. Anything termed a theory in science is accepted as fact. Further proving your ignorance is that you refer to evolution as being based on random chance; it is anything but.

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Drake

It's clear that we could argue this until our hands fall off. We each have our own belief systems and that's fine. I won't get anywhere with you just as you won't get anywhere with me. I'm going to cut this short before it potentially gets ugly.

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Chickenman

I see how when Ender brings up the fact that you have no basic understanding of what the scientific definition of theory is, nor how the theory itself works, you're quick to cut the debate short.

Then your attempts to quiet the debate includes "We each have our own belief systems and that's fine" and "I'm going to cut this short before it potentially gets ugly." But if we scroll up only a few posts, you throw the first volley by calling Richard Dawkins and those who respect his work and ideas "deluded."* Then you go on and call evolution an adult fairy-tale. In both cases you've sidestepped any real debate and exchange of ideas to engage us in immature name-calling.

Now, I am all for whatever anyone wants to believe as long as it doesn't harm others. But I really have to question your idea there. You have just said, that the slow process, over a billion years, of mutations to adapt to the changing conditions of the Earth over those billions of years, is a fairy tale. Well it's the most boring fairy tale I've ever heard. If Disney were to adapt that, MAN would it tank, no matter how many talking kitchen appliances they crammed in.

Cause you see, most of the fairy tales I know, are about magic, and talking animals, and battles against good and evil and feel-good morals at the end of the story. Coincidentally, the Passion of the Christ made $370,782,930 domestic.

Do I honestly see religion as a fairy tale? Most fairy tales exist to entertain, to give hope, and to teach the listeners how to live a better life. Religion, when it isn't twisted by someone's political agenda, operates much the same way. Do I tell people to their face that what they believe is a fairy tale? No, because I'm not a dick.**

*Obviously, the name of his book is the God Delusion, and he does put forth the hypothesis (remember, hypothesis, not theory) that those who believe in religion are deluded. But by calling the rest of us deluded, all you've managed to do is, well, bring yourself to his level. Good turning of the cheek, bro.

**Let's face it, I am a dick, and have said things like that when provoked. But I shouldn't be held up as an example that all Atheists are dicks, just like Drake shouldn't be held up as an example that all Christians don't know how to debate and only offer hypocritical arguments. ;)

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Drake

I admit that my initial remarks were made from annoyance and perhaps some ignorance. I'm not as knowledgeable in evolution as I would like to be nor am I as knowledgeable in creationism as I would like to be. I'm still working on that. I didn't cut it short due to a lack of rebuttal but because my adminness kicked in.

Now onto a response to you, Chicken.

It would seem that I was wrong in called evolution a fairy-tale. As you said, a fairy-tale is meant to give hope. The thought of having no existence after death would leave me with a profound sense of hopelessness.

On the other hand, I would go so far as to call evolution a religion. By definition (from dictionary.com), religion is:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

All that aside, I'd like to share some facts from the Bible that have been scientifically and historically proven.

"He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing." Job 26:7 (written 3500 years ago):

The Bible claimed that the earth freely floated in space. Science then thought that the earth sat on a large animal.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood." Leviticus 17:11 (written 3000 years ago):

The Bible declares that blood is the source of life. Until 120 years ago, sick people were "bled" and many died because of it.

"And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean." Leviticus 15:13 (3000 years ago):

The Bible said that when dealing with disease, hands should be washed under running water. Up until 100 years ago doctors washed their hands in a basin of still water, resulting in many deaths.

"It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth." Isaiah 40:22 (2800 years ago):

The Bible informs us here that the earth is round. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Columbus to sail around the world (noted in his diary, in reference to his discovery of "the New World").

"And the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas." Psalm 8:8:

Matthew Maury, considered to be the father of oceanography, took this Scripture at face value and went searching for these paths. He discovered the existence of ocean currents in the 1850's while the Bible declared the science of oceanography 2800 years ago.

"And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations..." Genesis 17:12:

Medical science has discovered that the eighth day is the only day in the entire life of the newborn that the blood clotting element prothrombin is above 100%.

I know some more but I'm out of time. There are a bunch of prophesies that have come/are coming to pass too. I may go into some later.

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Andy

On the other hand, I would go so far as to call evolution a religion. By definition (from dictionary.com), religion is:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

I wasn't going to get involved, but here's my thoughts on that...

1. Evolution doesn't include a superhuman, rituals or even a moral code.

2. Evolution isn't even entirely agreed upon by those who believe in it.

3. Evolution doesn't really involve an organised group of followers.

That said, my personal opinion on evolution vs creationism is:

Why does it even matter how we got here? The fact is that we are here and the least we could do is learn to be civil to one another, despite all our differences in opinion. :)

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Drake

I wasn't going to get involved, but here's my thoughts on that...

1. Evolution doesn't include a superhuman, rituals or even a moral code.

2. Evolution isn't even entirely agreed upon by those who believe in it.

3. Evolution doesn't really involve an organised group of followers.

1. The definition stated those as "especially", meaning most of the time. I was focusing primarily on, "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe."

2. Neither is Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, etc.

3. There are a number of organisations whose sole purpose is to promote evolution and disprove creationism. One being the National Center for Science Education. The simple fact that the theory of evolution is taught in schools implies that there is some sort of organisation to it.

Edited by Drake

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Uncle Du

Oh no. Getting...sucked...in.....

Dammit.

Here's my take: evolution exists. We can see evolution in our species and numerous others that are adapting to the changes of the planet. It happens. It's genetics. Plain and simple.

The thing that gets me is the assumption and postulation that the changes we are seeing now, are exactly how all the beings on this planet came about. Slow mutation, all starting from the same point, evolving into all the different species on this planet. Yes, the DNA that makes up all life on Earth is composed of all the same nucleotides, but to think that completely on it's own, everything on this planet evolved, BY CHANCE, into the ecosystem that we have today. I'm not a strict follower of the Bible, I don't go to church every week, but I have to agree with D, to think that we, and everything else here, is here by CHANCE, takes a much greater leap of faith than believe in a higher being.

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Drake

What you're referring to, Uncle Du, is microevolution versus macroevolution. Microevolution is proven and quite real. Species adapting slightly to suit their environments is agreed upon, even among the creationists. Some species of dogs have evolved from small to large and from large to small but they are still dogs. They have not evolved into another species. That's where macroevolution comes in. That one presumes that major leaps in evolution occurred. For example, single-celled life evolving into multi-celled life, humans evolving from apes or birds evolving from reptiles.

Edited by Drake

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Sticks

Easily. I've read Darwin and Wallace and Dawkins and several other incredibly smart scientists who lay out the mountains of evidence for it. Ever since The Origin of Species was first published 150 years ago, evolution has been proven over and over again. Come on, you're really going to tell me that, in face of overwhelming scientific proof, that a big, bearded cosmic spaceman created everything 6,000 years ago, and is still interested in its goings-on? Thanks, I'll take the single-celled organisms and "pre-biotic soup" you so disdainfully refer to.

And you're revealing your own ignorance of scientific parlance; theory is the term given to a postulation or hypothesis that has been tested enough times to be considered true. Anything termed a theory in science is accepted as fact. Further proving your ignorance is that you refer to evolution as being based on random chance; it is anything but.

Okay, first, there is a clear distinction between theory and fact. Theories are used to correlate and interpret facts, but they are not facts themselves, even if they are "accepted as fact" in science.

Second, there is no doubt that evolution exists. It has been proven, and it is evident just by looking at species over the last couple hundred years. This is on a small scale, however, aka microevolution. To say that we are completely a result of evolution, or macro-evolution, is where I have to draw the line.

First of all, where are the fossil records to prove macro-evolution? There are even fewer examples now of evolutionary transition than there were in Darwin's time. Fossil record does show that, in rocks dated back some five hundred and seventy million years, there is the sudden appearance of nearly all the animal phyla, and they appear fully formed, without a trace of the evolutionary ancestors that Darwinists require.

The universe is estimated to be probably less than five billion years old, which may sound like a long time, but based on the discovery of microfossils, scientists estimate that the time gap between the earth reaching the right temperature for life and the first emergence of life was only about four hundred millions years...which isn't much time for chemical evolution to take place. And you're right, about the fact that nobody still believes that random chance accounts for the origin of life - the mathematical odds of assembling a living organism in this relatively short amount of time is astronomical.

Basically, people who believe in macro-evolution and that life emerged naturalistically need to have a great deal more faith than people who reasonably infer that there's an intelligent designer.

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Ender

"It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth." Isaiah 40:22 (2800 years ago):

The Bible informs us here that the earth is round. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Columbus to sail around the world (noted in his diary, in reference to his discovery of "the New World").

In the 3rd century B.C., the philosopher Eratosthenes proved with two sticks that the earth was round. He was also able to accurately infer the circumference of the earth from the shadows of these sticks.

I find your example of Columbus troubling. For one, he didn't sail around the world, just to America, which he thought was India. In fact, he deliberately lied in his petitions to Queen Isabella about his perceived length of journey in order to secure his materials. If the American continents didn't exit, his voyage would have ended in abject failure. And the thousands of natives that he and his men enslaved slaughtered during his governorship certainly don't speak to his favor. In fact, his was just one in an extremely long line of divinely-inspired journeys ending in the mass murder of innocents.

Just because a book accurately predicts certain things about the world does not prove its divine inspiration. The Bible contains many more falsehoods, contradictions, and barbaric life instructions than it does wondrous hypotheses. Here's a few I've noticed.

"If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city." - Deuteronomy 22:23-24

"If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. ... But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die." - Deuteronomy 22:13-21

"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers ... thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die." - Deuteronomy 13:5-10

"Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, or a man that is broken-footed, or broken-handed, or crookbacked, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; no man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God." - Leviticus 21:17-21 (Note that this is the same God who spoke so strongly for the blind and weak not two chapters earlier)

"And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her." Exodus 21:7-8 (So, it's okay to sell your daughter into slavery)

This is but the tip of the iceberg. This is not a kind, loving god we're dealing with.

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Drake

Nearly all of the Scripture you've quoted deals with sin, namely adultery and idolatry (two of the Ten Commandments). The penalty for sin is death. I want to make something absolutely clear here since this seems to be an issue thrown around by anti-God proponents far too often. God does not hate people, He hates sin and the results of it in people. God is anathema to sin and visa versa.

I'm not saying that what took place seemed morally right all the time. Many times God told His people to wipe out entire nations. That was usually because those nations were steeped in idolatry and many other sins. He even told Israel that He would kick them out of the Promised Land too if they turned from Him. They eventually did so he let Assyria and Babylon take them out, for a time.

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus came to earth in order to pay the penalty for all of our sins: death. Since Jesus is God, He then returned to life and broke the power over death in order to grant everlasting life to those who turn from sin and serve Him.

This is just getting spiritual now and kind of away from the main topic (although the two often go hand-in-hand). I'd love to debate this, though, at another time perhaps. I just wanted to clarify my standing on your post.

Additionally, I'm not sure what to say about your quote concerning the blemished not being allowed to offer sacrifices. I will find out for you, though. Hopefully later this week or as early as tomorrow some time.

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Chickenman

Here are some scientific facts courtesy of the Bible.

Job 9:6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place and the pillars thereof tremble

The earth stands on pillars.

Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass.

The sky is solid and strong like a mirror. Sorry, astronaughts.

Psalm 93:1 "The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

The Earth can't be moved (although it does shake when God has a temper tantrum).

Ecclesiastes 1:5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

The sun moves, and is apparently often late to work, having to hurry in the morning, scarcely having time to peck his wife on the cheek as he's out the door. His kids never see him and grow resentful of his absence, eventually moving out of the house as soon as they can. They send a Christmas card once a year until even that correspondence stops, and the sun drowns his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle.

Mark 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth

The mustard seed is the smallest in all the earth. No it's not. Epiphytic orchids are.

It would seem that I was wrong in called evolution a fairy-tale. As you said, a fairy-tale is meant to give hope. The thought of having no existence after death would leave me with a profound sense of hopelessness.

Hence, fairy-tale.

And while it could be that I'm just weird, the idea of everlasting eternity without end filled me with a sense of dread that kept me up at night for years when I was a little kid. Maybe it's the fact that I have ADD, and I'd just get bored playing the mandolin up in Heaven after the first several billion years.

On the other hand, I would go so far as to call evolution a religion. By definition (from dictionary.com), religion is:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

Apparently you define your religion strictly by what one dictionary says. In any case, you've chosen a pretty wide definition of religion here that's designed to be all inclusive. By your logic, I also believe in the religions of gravity, relativity and Schrodinger's cat.

Long story short, I'd argue that none of these are my religion, but apparently they are and there's nothing I can do about it. Moving on.

All that aside, I'd like to share some facts from the Bible that have been scientifically and historically proven.

"He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing." Job 26:7 (written 3500 years ago):

The Bible claimed that the earth freely floated in space. Science then thought that the earth sat on a large animal.

Here Job contradicts himself from Job 9:6. Gah, proofreading. Now what scientist believed that Earth sat on a large animal? What historical scientific test said anything about a large animal? I'm assuming you're referring to the Titan Olympus, who carried the Earth on his shoulders. But, well, that's a story from an ancient religion. Science has never postulated that idea, mostly because there's not a shred of evidence to support it.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood." Leviticus 17:11 (written 3000 years ago):

The Bible declares that blood is the source of life. Until 120 years ago, sick people were "bled" and many died because of it.

Yes, the 1890s, that Dark Ages before the invention of science. In fact, William Harvey disproved bloodletting as far back as 1628, around the time of the early Enlightenment, the time where civilization rediscovered science. It may surprise you to know that bloodletting continues today, and can actually be beneficial in certain instances. Even so, the use of bloodletting did not mean that medical science didn't understand that blood was important. The history of medicine is a long process, but we've come a long way since thinking that sin was the chief cause of illness.

"And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean." Leviticus 15:13 (3000 years ago):

The Bible said that when dealing with disease, hands should be washed under running water. Up until 100 years ago doctors washed their hands in a basin of still water, resulting in many deaths.

See above.

"It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth." Isaiah 40:22 (2800 years ago):

The Bible informs us here that the earth is round. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Columbus to sail around the world (noted in his diary, in reference to his discovery of "the New World").

Anyone with above a 4th grade level of education knows that everyone back then knew the Earth was flat. It's a white lie teachers tell children for one reason or another. At the time, everyone knew the earth was flat. Eratosthenes calculated the circumference within 5% around 200 BC. The problem was that everyone thought it was too big to sail around to get to India, and that going around Africa was the quickest way. And lo...they were right, because Columbus discovered (didn't discover) a whole new continent in the way. If someone is truly smarter than a fifth grader, then they know people back then didn't think the Earth was flat.

"And the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas." Psalm 8:8:

Matthew Maury, considered to be the father of oceanography, took this Scripture at face value and went searching for these paths. He discovered the existence of ocean currents in the 1850's while the Bible declared the science of oceanography 2800 years ago.

I'll give you this one, as it's 12:30 at night and I'm too lazy to look it up.

"And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations..." Genesis 17:12:

Medical science has discovered that the eighth day is the only day in the entire life of the newborn that the blood clotting element prothrombin is above 100%.

I'm sure some trial and error went into it before they realized that babies heal quicker on the 8th day. The alarming part here is the part where they cut baby penises.

I know some more but I'm out of time. There are a bunch of prophesies that have come/are coming to pass too. I may go into some later.

I'd love to see them, as there are quite a few that haven't come true. Also, because of the way scriptures are written, you can often get the Nostradamus effect.

Sticks- Much as I hate to use wikipedia for a discussion like this, this is the simplest timeline I could find (in under two minutes *laziness!*)

describing human evolution from 4000 million (not 400 million) years ago to now.

Timeline of human evolution

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Drake

Here are some scientific facts courtesy of the Bible.

Job 9:6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place and the pillars thereof tremble

The earth stands on pillars.

Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass.

The sky is solid and strong like a mirror. Sorry, astronaughts.

Psalm 93:1 "The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

The Earth can't be moved (although it does shake when God has a temper tantrum).

Ecclesiastes 1:5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

The sun moves, and is apparently often late to work, having to hurry in the morning, scarcely having time to peck his wife on the cheek as he's out the door. His kids never see him and grow resentful of his absence, eventually moving out of the house as soon as they can. They send a Christmas card once a year until even that correspondence stops, and the sun drowns his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle.

Mark 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth

The mustard seed is the smallest in all the earth. No it's not. Epiphytic orchids are.

It's early and I'm tired so I'll just work with this part for now...

The Bible can be split up into different types of Scripture. There are at least three, maybe more. I can only remember two because, as I mentioned, it's early. I have notes on it somewhere but I can't be arsed to look for them at the moment. Anyway, the two I remember are literal and poetic. Literal Scriptures are what they sound like. They say it how it is. Poetic Scriptures, however, use metaphors to describe things. For example, the Book of Psalms is a collection of poems and songs. The Book of Song of Songs is maddeningly filled with poetic metaphor. "He is leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a swift gazelle..." Solomon was a little strange.

I can tell you that most of those Scriptures you've quoted (and maybe a few of the ones I did, even) are poetic. The pillars of the earth? Some translations say foundations of the earth. We still use that saying today. And the sun rising and setting? Please. You're a smartass, John, but you should know better than to try that one.

Regarding Psalm 93:1 (and most of the Scripture you quote) - Try looking at the verse in context. That means, look at the verses around it. Read the entire chapter if you have to. The very next verse talks about how God's throne is firmly established. In this context, the "world" does not mean the earth as a literal planetary body. It's talking about His dominion and kingdom.

Concerning the "sky-mirror" in Job, try looking at different translations. I find that the New Living Translation does well in translating Scripture to more modern terminology. Here's verse 17-18: "When you are sweltering in your clothes and the south wind dies down and everything is still, he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror. Can you do that?" Like a mirror. The ozone layer, clouds and (nowadays) pollution serve to trap light rays which are reradiated as infrared. Oooh, more science!

The mustard seed now. The people of the day didn't know what an epiphytic orchid was. They were mostly farmers. They knew what a mustard seed was. You're a smart cookie, you should have figured this out. Oh sorry, you might take that literally. I didn't mean you were actually a cookie.

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Chickenman

You're absolutely right. It was late, and I was just skimming through and picking out a few things here and there. I actually disregarded a lot of them as just poetry. But it was late and I did a sithty job of research.

Though you have to admit it's a little tough to separate the poetry from the supposed fact in a religion where one denomination believes the Earth was created in six days and the next believes that that figure is poetry.

I'll do a better job next time I feel like devoting time and energy to this. ;)

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Radioactive Isotope

That said, my personal opinion on evolution vs creationism is:

Why does it even matter how we got here? The fact is that we are here and the least we could do is learn to be civil to one another, despite all our differences in opinion. :)

Depends on your religion. ;) Some will tell you you're going to Hell if you don't join their church. The LDS religion teaches that it takes some real effort to get into Hell and the Heaven is divided into three separate levels, or Kingdoms. The highest of which is reserved for those who followed the Commandments and received the proper ordinances. Hence our reason for temples, so that the living can stand as proxies for the dead and ensure the dead have an opportunity to accept those ordinances done on their behalf.

I find your example of Columbus troubling.

[/snip]

And the thousands of natives that he and his men enslaved slaughtered during his governorship certainly don't speak to his favor. In fact, his was just one in an extremely long line of divinely-inspired journeys ending in the mass murder of innocents.

Again, more LDS doctrine. The natives in North and South America are believed to be the decendants of an ancient people whose history is chronicaled in the Book of Mormon--Lamanites. When the Lamanites were faithful, there was no more faithful people on the face of the Earth. When they weren't, they were at best barbaric. Around 421AD, the Lamanites and Nephites had a final knock-down, drag out battle (real spiritual, technical terms there). The Nephites were pretty much wiped out, and with them the righteous religious traditions. The Lamanites and their decendents held on to the unrighteous traditions and the Lord humbled them as a people so that in time they would be sufficiently prepared to accept the true message when it was restored to them. Such actions on the Lord's part really are nothing new. The anciet Isrealites went through this process many times.

This is but the tip of the iceberg. This is not a kind, loving god we're dealing with.

I want to make something absolutely clear here since this seems to be an issue thrown around by anti-God proponents far too often. God does not hate people, He hates sin and the results of it in people. God is anathema to sin and visa versa.

There's a really good address by Dallen H. Oaks dealing with this issue.

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus came to earth in order to pay the penalty for all of our sins: death. Since Jesus is God, He then returned to life and broke the power over death in order to grant everlasting life to those who turn from sin and serve Him.

My admittedly limited understanding of the differences between the Old Testament God and the New Testament God hinges on this very principle. In the Old Testament, the price for sin had not yet been paid and so the repentance process could be more...gruesome. Once the price had been paid and Christ's Atonement completed, mankind had an intermediary between its imprefections and God's judgement. Mercy now has a place in justice.

Solomon was a little strange.

Tru dat.

I can tell you that most of those Scriptures you've quoted (and maybe a few of the ones I did, even) are poetic.

Not only that, but some prophets who saw our day in visions were trying to describe things they had no words for and had no idea what they were seeing. There is a passage in Isaiah (I think, can't find it at the moment) that talks about a dragon eating people, flying across the great waters and then delivering the people unharmed. Some have taken that to be a description of an airplane.

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Drake

I agree with most of what you've said, JM, except for the LDS doctrines, but that's a whole other can of worms lol. And your understanding of "the Old Testament God and the New Testament God" is accurate except for your wording. He's the same God in both, He never changes. The difference is that He came to earth in human form, as Jesus, to share His message of salvation and then die on the cross.

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Radioactive Isotope

And I disagree with the God-in-human form view. The whole Three-in-One idea of the Trinity never made sense to me. ;)

I'm also failing to see where I indicated God had changed. I think you're reading it differently than I wrote it. What I thought I wrote was that after Christ's Atonement, the conditions changed, not God. The demands of justice are still there, but now the price has been paid and Christ acts as an intermediary so that justice can be satisfied and mercy available.

I hasn't had mah caffeine yet.

Edited by Radioactive Isotope

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Drake

Just the way you wrote it. "The Old Testament God and the New Testament God" made it look like He changed.

And the Trinity is, again, a whole other discussion in itself. It does make sense. It's just difficult to explain. The best way I can think of explaining it, even though it doesn't really get into the detail, is that God is both three (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and one. He is not three separate gods but is one being with three distinct centers of consciousness. In a sense, He is "one" in the sense that you would say a group of people are "one nation" or "one community". God is the perfect community but He is also more than that since He is one being. It has been easily confused that He is therefore either three gods or is schizophrenic or is some weird three-headed god (a misinterpretation of the term "Godhead"). However, the three centers of consciousness all bear the exact same attributes and they all share the same will and have the same goal.

In essence, if God could be understood so easily, He wouldn't be God.

Edited by Drake

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Radioactive Isotope

In essence, if God could be understood so easily, He wouldn't be God.

Definitely agree with you there.

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Ender

Nearly all of the Scripture you've quoted deals with sin, namely adultery and idolatry (two of the Ten Commandments). The penalty for sin is death. I want to make something absolutely clear here since this seems to be an issue thrown around by anti-God proponents far too often. God does not hate people, He hates sin and the results of it in people. God is anathema to sin and visa versa.

I'm not saying that what took place seemed morally right all the time. Many times God told His people to wipe out entire nations. That was usually because those nations were steeped in idolatry and many other sins. He even told Israel that He would kick them out of the Promised Land too if they turned from Him. They eventually did so he let Assyria and Babylon take them out, for a time.

As a Christian, I believe that Jesus came to earth in order to pay the penalty for all of our sins: death. Since Jesus is God, He then returned to life and broke the power over death in order to grant everlasting life to those who turn from sin and serve Him.

See, I completely disagree with you there. You say he hates sin; well, I think he's just an intolerant, masochistic, misogynistic brute. I don't care that it was written in an older time; slavery is NEVER okay. Particularly selling your DAUGHTER into sexual slavery could never, ever be considered allowable, by any stretch of the imagination. What kind of nerfherder orders his followers to kill their children (Abraham and Isaac), which are, if they're decent and loving parents, their pride and joy? Not any kind of merciful being.

Again, more LDS doctrine. The natives in North and South America are believed to be the decendants of an ancient people whose history is chronicaled in the Book of Mormon--Lamanites. When the Lamanites were faithful, there was no more faithful people on the face of the Earth. When they weren't, they were at best barbaric. Around 421AD, the Lamanites and Nephites had a final knock-down, drag out battle (real spiritual, technical terms there). The Nephites were pretty much wiped out, and with them the righteous religious traditions. The Lamanites and their decendents held on to the unrighteous traditions and the Lord humbled them as a people so that in time they would be sufficiently prepared to accept the true message when it was restored to them. Such actions on the Lord's part really are nothing new. The anciet Isrealites went through this process many times.

This whole theory is contingent on believing that in 600 BCE, if I'm not mistaken, hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, were able to sail from present-day Israel to North America. The sailing ship was barely invented at that time, and they certainly wouldn't have had the strength to row there, much less the ability to build ships large enough to hold the population and all the supplies that such an incredibly long journey would require.

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CorSec

If you see a building, would you not believe that there was a builder? If you saw a painting, would you not think that there was a painter? How can you see creation and not believe that there was a Creator?

I have a query about Intelligent Design, if one of you could serve my curiosity for a moment:

If the innate intricacy or brilliance of something suggests it was "created", why does that rule not apply to God himself? Why does he not have a higher power?

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Radioactive Isotope

That gets into some fairly deep doctrine. And yet again, I'm basing this on my particular religion since it's what I know. ;)

This cycle of coming to a world, being tested, and then eternally rewarded is eternal and neverending. As man is, God once was, and as God is, man can become. The highest level of exaltation is Godhood.

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