I love Jesus and Jesus loves me, so I've been told

Saying those words, Jesus love me, what do they mean? It means everything to some that choose to believe. But in all reality it means you're replacing a character whom you've been told is very admirable, for the love that you never received as a child by your own father. If you do not believe it, examine your past life, how many times have you been told by your biological father that he loves you or showed genuine affection towards you? Be truthful now, how many times as opposed to how many times your mother told you that she loves you and cares for you?

This lack of love and affection from the father is simply the main cause of religious fanaticism. Saying Jesus loves me or God loves me, gives one a false hope that some day the love and attention that has been missing in your life from your father will some day be replaced and fulfilled by Jesus and God the father as promised and written by men over 2000 years ago in the Bible, and in some cases, if not all cases, the lack of love and affection shown to the wife from the husband, being that the husband's role of replacing the father.

People have been told that the belief in a mythological Jesus and God figure can and will someday fulfill that role of missing love and affection. This they vehemently pray.

To say, I love Jesus and Jesus loves me, gives one in their mind a temporary placebo calming effect as to being loved by someone very important, but who better to be loved by than a figure out of the ancient book so futantly cherished by so many, called the Holy Bible.

Because we've been told and repeated the Bible stories by our parents and were told as were pure fact, and we were told the Biblical events really did happen, without a shred of proof, or evidence, we never asked for proof, we believed our parents or fully trusted whomever told the stories to us since early childhood, but surely our parents would not intentionally and willingly lie to us or mislead us, but they did! Not intentionally! But not knowing themselves that they were lied to also, by their parents.

This is the reason so many adults and Christians resent and reject being told and proven that their religion and Christian beliefs are wrong, it goes against childhood indoctrination and would also make their parents bold face liars, unfortunately this cause and effect is wide spread all across the world, why do you think there so much fighting and killing and war, especially in the middle-east and in homes and in families?

Religions and religious beliefs separate us as human beings on this planet. The Christians resent being shown that the Bible is false, so much that they put Atheists and non-believers in the same class as communists, which clearly shows how childish and how afraid they are to see their beliefs and the Great Holy Bible as being false, people would rather support a needless war and kill innocent people, than admit and see that a belief is just a placebo to comfort them from the fear that the lie they were told by their parents is just that, a flat out lie!

The Bible says "Thou Shalt Not Kill" what good is it, saying that?

Thou Shall Not Murder! But we do! As a Nation, as a Country! We support Israel, where do you think they get their weapons? We support a country that rejects the belief in Jesus and his teachings how frigging stupid is that? Apparently no one in the USA really believes in Jesus or what he supposedly taught either, just with their mouths, as he supposedly said they would.

The power of childhood indoctrination is so powerful that you can control huge masses of people, why else would so many young men and women be so willing to jump aboard a ship or plane and go to another country and fight and kill innocent people, and children, even if by accident, if they had not been indoctrinated at such an early age that they were fulfilling a great cause, The will of God and Jesus! And God will sort out the righteous and judge the aggressors, yeah right! NP!

Ben

87 comments:

Piprus said...

Ben, I think you raise some good points here, especially regarding child indoctrination. Children are prone to "magical thinking", which normally fades as we get into adolescence and are able to think in abstract terms and use plain reason. But with religions, especially christianity, the emphasis on magic never lets up. Jesus really did perform all those miracles, so they are told, a donkey really did speak in the OT, three youths really did survive the fiery furnace, etc. Grab 'em early and keep 'em in the fold. I think such indoctrination of youth is abusive.

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Ben, you're really onto something. My mother is 84 years old and never misses a sunday if she can help it. She's a nervous wreck going into church and her relief at leaving is something to see. But, she luuuuuuvs od, luuuuuvs jesus. and they luuuuuv her. God the father. She identifies her "heavenly" father with her real one, and her relationship with him was rather dodgey. Very severe, unapproachable man. Not mean or abusive, just judgemental, unapproachable, never satisfied with anything. His wrath was sudden and devastating, and she's still really afraid of him even though he's been dead for decades. And, she's got the evidence that the "heavenly" number is just like the "earthly" one. And they "love her just the same. Shudder.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I had a good relationship with my father; maybe that's why I never got sucked into the christianity crap. At any rate, I'm flummoxed by those who claim that christianity is not a religion but a "relationship" because I could no more have a relationship with a character who may not even have existed than I could with Queen Elizabeth I or Abraham Lincoln or anyone else who is long dead and not at all a part of my real life.

Anonymous said...

There's an interesting corollary to this in people's choice of political parties. I've often heard the Democrats compared to Mommy and the Republicans compared to Daddy. The need for Daddy's love and approval could lead insecure people to embrace authoritarian fundamentalism in both the religious and political spheres. Just a thought.

mq59 said...

My relationship with my Dad is great and I am a Christian.

Freudianism is sooo passe.

webmdave said...

And where are your answers to my previous comments on another string regarding the barbaric behavior of the ancient Israelites against the sovereign nations of Canaan, MQ?

No answer?


I thought not.

Anonymous said...

MG59:
My relationship with my Dad is great and I am a Christian.

Lorena:
That makes a lot of sense to me MG. Since we all imagine god to be exactly like our parents, your god is loving and wonderful.

People with abusive fathers, like the fire and brimstone preachers, think god is a monster.

In sum, god is a fabrication of our mind. The christian god is a fabrication of unusually evil minds.

Anonymous said...

Ben,

You are right. I think, however, that the biggest problem of christianity is not the imagined, perfect, idealized idea of Jesus, but the contradictions they tell you.

They say he loves you, and then they tell you that if you don't believe in him "with all your heart" you are going to hell.

God and Jesus, according to the bible, are both paranoid and schizofrenic. When you are forced to believe the B.S. you inherit the mental diseases yourself.

Sickening!

Steven Bently said...

Thanks for all your comments!

Most people will get along with their fathers as long as they walk lightly around them, I said in my post how many times have you been told by your biological father that he loves you or showed genuine affection towards you? Be truthful now, how many times as opposed to how many times your mother told you that she loves you and cares for you?

This meaning how truthful can you be around your father, can you say anything you want to, without him getting upset or commanding you to shut up or don't say such things?
Or mother, as far as that goes!

Can anyone honestly confide in your father or mother on any subject without their immediate judgment or some form of admonishment?

I want honesty here!

I suppose if you're a Christian, I would suppose the whole family, never speaks outside of religion and past Jesus loves you, it seems that some people never hear enough of Jesus loves you, but I've had my fill of the nonsense, and the worn out phrase God loves you too, which really carries absolutely no meaning, point blank.

To say Jesus loves you and God loves you, has as much meaning as Barney The Dinosaur loves you, or Teddy Ruxpin loves you, they are useless drone phrases, by someone saying these phrases, they think it makes them look like they are taking their God's Holy authority and conveying their deities Holy Authority and passing it on to you via their own glorified righteousness.

It's like you may be in a department store one day and suddenly have to sneeze and some idiot about half a mile away yells "God Bless You!"

I was in a store one day and this woman started sneezing and couldn't quit and this jerk kept yelling "God Bless You, every time and she was trying to stop sneezing and the jerk kept yelling "God Bless You! God Bless You!" and she was getting so embarrassed and upset because he kept yelling God Bless You!

Does sneezing call for a deity to appear to cast his/her Holy Blessings upon them, just by the involuntary act of sneezing???

Were do we pick up this stupid nonsense?

TV I'm sure, like Lucille Ball, I remember in the early 60's she had to tip the buss boy and the newspaper guy and the grocery boy and the waitress and the bus driver and the cabbie. We're mimicking what we are told to do and act and believe on TV.

I ran a business for 15 years and no one tipped me, why not? Yet we are suppose to tip people, not because they need the money. No! It's so that they will think we have more money than we need, we're trying make people think we are rich, we're trying to make people believe and think we are something were not and whatever it is, and it cannot be achieved.

Just like Christianity, Christians want others to think they are Holy and righteous, thats what Christianity is all about, trying to make someone else think that they are a Christian.

Look at mq59, he wrote, "My relationship with my Dad is great and I am a Christian."

Look at him spew out his credentials, he vehemently wants someone, anyone to think that he is a Christian, if he can just impress one other person on this website that he is a Christian, he has validated himself, if he can just impress one other person anywhere in the world that he is a Christian, he has validated himself as being worthy and the nonsense that he has chosen to believe makes him think that if he can convince another human being to agree with his religious philosophy, then he gets a warm and fuzzy inside straight from good ole JC himself, so he thinks and had been led to believe.

Thanks for being my guinea pig, mq!

Now go back into your box and live in your religious squirrel cage.

Anonymous said...

To say "I am a Christian" means very little actually. Some of the worst people on earth go around saying it. You can't prove it, because you are professing a belief in imaginary things.you are just saying that you believe in a lot of imaginary unprovable junk, it has no meaning other than it labels you as naive, irrational, and gullible.

What are the tools of the Christian? A belief in a mythology built around a pagan blood sacrifice story, and a horribly translated book full of bronze age writing taken from mostly oral history.

So when you say "I am a Christian," you are basically just saying "I belong to a religious cult" Big deal! There must be ten thousand religious cults.


Now if you say "I am a carpenter," you can show people your tools, and demonstrate how well you know how to use them. If you can build a house, you ARE a carpenter!

Therefore we should have a certain amount of respect for someone who says, I am a carpenter, or I am a teacher, or I am a ditch digger, because we can watch them build, teach and dig..........................

................... but a Christian can't do any of the things that he professes to be able to do, I.E.: Move mountains, heal the sick, save his soul, explain what a soul is, define what God is, show any logic in his beliefs, explain what Satan is, what angels are, explain why an omniscient, omnipotent God would need or want anything from creatures that he created, or why he would need sacrifices, that are pagan in nature, and suggest that they were invented by a bronze age uneducated, illiterate people.

The list of people who call themselves Christians includes all kinds of humans, everything from a bunch of old men in Rome wearing funny clothes and performing ridiculous silly rituals, to imbeciles in insane asylums, to dictators of nations, to serial killers, to poor little people giving their last dollar to a church that is pastored by a thief.

I would assign more dignity to people who told me that they were living "THIS" life, trying to be happy, and admitting that they "DON'T KNOW," what God is, and just living each day as honestly as they can, as smart as they can, for as long as they can.

Dan (70 year old human hoping to make it to 71)

Anonymous said...

@ Post Author

Not everyone who was/is an Xtian has a bad relationship with their father. I used to be a x-tian and now I am not.

My relationship with my father was always EXCELLENT and we were really great friends and he was a better dad than biblegod ever was, my dad said he loved me and gave me a hug and made me great dinners and looked after me when I was ill, I had to beg and cry to biblegod for relief from illness and he didn't answer, so it was easy to work out who was the best father!!! My real father was practical, caring and non-judgemental (even when I got drunk!!! when biblegod was about imaginary love that had to be earned through unquestioning total devotion OR ELSE!!!!

The imaginary relationship I used to have with Mr Jesus and biblegod had no link whatsoever with feelings towards my father. Xtianity was in my brain because of UTTER FEAR (a need for spirituality) and not because I felt to need "important" or "loved" I became an Xtian to avoid hell, no other reason.

Some people I have seen stay Xtians JUST to have a "loving" heavenly "family" but NOT everyone okay!

J. C. Samuelson said...

"Can anyone honestly confide in your father or mother on any subject without their immediate judgment or some form of admonishment?

I want honesty here!"


Yep.

Anonymous said...

It's a valid observation that Christians are taken with the creepy 'God is my perfect father / I am the bride of Jebus' obsessions. But I'm not sure it follows that the reason Christianity appeals is because of a void in the paternal relationship.

My relationship with my father was pretty nonexistent. I simply didn't register much as person on my dad's radar, worth interacting with when I was growing up. We interacted as 'a family unit,' but not on any individual personal level. I think he had/has not the slightest clue how. As a result I don't really know him and he doesn't know me. I didn't see him as someone I could or should or would even want to go to for advice, help, or anything at all. This void however didn't make me go gaga over an invisible perfect fantasy father who could do all that for me. Yes I believed it due to the brainwashing, but I rejected it fairly easily (compared to some) once some of the facts started filtering into my religion-addled brain and registering with me.

In fact my parents believe that if only I'd had a closer relationship with my dad, I'd still believe in a fantasy God-Father to this day and it's basically his failure that caused me to reject Christianity. If he'd bonded with me properly, I would have been able to emotionally bond and worship an "Invisible Heavenly Father" better.

Of course it's silly but at any rate, theirs is kind of the exact opposite 'father psychology' of what you propose. Bad father relationship = rejection of xianity.

I'm sure there's every combination of bad fathers/good fathers and christians/nonchristians out there, that such speculation is meaningless.

muttmutt1978 said...

Morpheous:the Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to the death to defend it.

I think you know that the matrix has religious symbology.
Do not believe something simply because you have heard it. Do not believe anything simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of teachers, elders, or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it, and live up to it.

~The Buddha~


that sums it up. it may not be from my mouth, but thats how i feel.

Anonymous said...

my father and i are very close, he has been a great father to me. he is a paster of a church and knows i am an atheist of 7 years. he would like to see me come back to the fold, but it hardly ever comes up...most of the time its me bashinig him, and he doesnt say much...
i look at my father like a worn down soldier, that only knows what he has devoted his life too..jesus and the bible...he is in his 70's.
my true feelings toward him is one of compassion, because he is incapable of thinking outside of the bible box! i have attacked him with my new found logic, history, science, rational thinking..i finally had to give up..let him go on with his delusion..but we talk daily and have a great realationship.
i stoped by his church this last sunday, i stayed in the lobby and listened to his sermon without going into the sanctuary. it makes me want to throw-up listening to him re-hash the old testiment(like there are deep messages hidden in the bible)for us here in 2006.
i guess to sum it up..i am the one who wins, and im going to leave him alone..i feel sory for his situation..the only thing i can do is love him the way he is.
but, i will not hesitate to take on anyone else in our fundie city in south dakota.
i hope someday religion will die, and people can start looking to each other for "real" human support, and not an ugly invisible god! i could go on for hours but!!
this is the comment section!

mq59 said...

Webmaster,

Haven't gotten to that yet. Not in the US and left the Bible at home.

mq59 said...

I posted "I am a Christian" to point out the fallacy in the claim that people look for a "father in the sky" b/c their relationship with their earthly father was bad.

mq59 said...

Webmaster,

On a lighter note, this site is run through blogger.com, right?

I'm taking a journalism class in England right now, and I'm thinking of setting up a blog of my own.

jimearl said...

Thanks, Ben, for opening up that can of worms. Seriously, I enjoyed the comments of all who wrote and just wanted to add my two cents worth.
I am 61 years old and was a member of the Church of the Nazarene from the earliest I can remember. The key word is "was". I am now atheist and don't apologize to anyone for that. When I was a cretin, I told my two children many times how much I loved them and we had a good relationship. That marriage ended and I remarried, lost my religion and had two more children for a total of three boys and one girl. Today, we all love each other very much and share our love without reservation. My older children are more likely to defend the church way of life, even though they don't attend church, and my younger two boys have no religion and would defend that way of life. So I have lived on both sides of the debate and regardless of what my beliefs were, I still expressed love and had good relationships with my children. I do agree with others that expressed opinions against indoctrination of children. We all know that without that, the church would never survive. Most of the time, we are what we learn as children.
How many here saw 60 minutes this past week? The bodyguard for Bin Laden was interviewed and it was interesting to say the least. What struck me was his desire to see his young son give his life for his "God." Even in my weakest moment as a cretin, I would never have considered allowing my children to give their lives for any cause. Yet he loved his son as much as I love my children. Without religion, he would have a peaceful existence. So sad to watch this unfold. People who live in the U.S. and want to return to the past should take this as a warning of what can happen when you life consists of nothing but religion. It is too scary what we are up against with this kind of enemy. The only hope we have is that logic and reason will prevail. Thanks, Jim Earl

Steven Bently said...

Thanks again for your wonderful and insightful comments!

I was raised under a religiously tyranical father, whom had the pleasure to judge every one except his own self. Self-righteous, self-glorified, my father has never told me once that he loved me, nor approved of anything that I ever did, nor has he ever hugged me or actually said one damned good thing about me, which now I do not care, nor do I need his conditional love and approval. I decided that after 50 years of life, I would decide for myself what was true and what I wanted to allow myself to believe, I decided to tell my parents that I no longer believed in the Bible God or Jesus, I mean, after 50 years of pretending that's way too much, well it never went over very well, in fact it separated us even more, meaning all along it was only conditional love, as long as I pretended and went along with their ignorant bulllshit, then I was an upstanding member of the family, but once I announce my Athiestism, whoa, shit hit the fan. So all in all I really never had a father, one I could confide in, I had to pretend and agree with religion. My wife's father and mother is the same way, and so many I've talked to here in the Bible Bucket.

So I consider anyone very lucky to have a dad that would listen and not be judgemental, I consider my dad and my mom and sister completely insane, I haven't spoken to her in over a year and have nothing to say to her either.

I lost my family to Jesus, all I have is my wife and you guys, whom I have alot of respect and admiration.

It took four years for me to convince my wife that religion was false, and now she helps me write some of the things I write, and she says she cannot believe that she fell for the bullshit in the first place.

First of all, the spouse has to trust you, that the stuff you are saying is true and show them that the stuff the preacher is saying is all bullshit, they have to have more confidence in you, than they do the preacher and that is not an easy task, especially when you're raised to believe it all as a pure fact.

So thanks ex-tians, love you all and thanks for the support. Ben

Anonymous said...

Ben, you make a lot of great points in your posts! I found the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" portion to be very thought provoking, and the subject of child indoctrination was certainly ripe for discussion. That is a huge issue when considering religion, philosophy, and worldview matters of any kind... It's always interesting to try to imagine what it would be like to grow up in a different setting than the one that you actually experienced. From family to finances to friendships, the number of variables is staggering! Any family that raises its children intentionally steering them in a certain direction philosophically plays a huge role in determining the mindset and worldview of those children, and surrounding them with "good influences" (like Christian friends or churchfolk) places yet another hand on the scale of indoctrination vs. free thought. It can take a lot of mental/spiritual wrestling to free onesself from the intellectual turniquet of paternal/maternal indoctrination and find a personal belief that is truly one's own. This is one reason that I hold a special kind of respect for anyone who chooses an idealogical path different than the one with which they were raised. Regardless of their choice of path (even Christianity or Islam), I appreciate on some level their decisions made by personal - not inherited - convictions.

Regarding you statements about the father's role in producing "religious fanaticism" or the lack thereof, I agree with btdt and nirina. I think that every individual and every situation is unique, and general statements regarding these type of issues always run into problems. Certainly your points are valid to an extent, but they cannot be all-inclusive.

Also, it can help sometimes to take an idea to a logical endpoint when determining its validity. For example, if "[The] lack of love and affection from the father is simply the main cause of religious fanaticism," then children without father figures at all (or orphans, for that matter) would be the single most religiously fanatical people group in the world. I could be wrong, but this does not seem to be the case. I think it is safest to leave each individual's life choices to be explained by that specific person's life and mind, each being unique.

Thanks again for the great discussion! Visiting this site is often one of the most mentally stimulating parts of my day. :)

Steven Bently said...

Thank you for your perspective on the subject, your statement being "Certainly your points are valid to an extent, but they cannot be all-inclusive." With so many people in the world nothing can be considered all-inclusive. My point being, that to substitute a mythical figure or an religious icon for something that is missing in one's life, I've seen so many fatherless homes, even though a person may not have ever experienced a fathers love does not necessary lead to religious fanatisism, but most all cases the children feel something missing in their lives, maybe they cannot pinpiont what it is, but something missing in a person's life always makes them seek and hunt and search for that missing object that seems to flee them, it could be missing love or attention or validation or companionship or compassion or material objects.

Maybe things missing in one's life makes them possessive toward that object. I remember a man that I knew, he never got to play with toy trains when he was little, so now after becoming a doctor, he has a room built, just for his toy trains, he's probably spent over 200K in toy trains.

When people say "I love Jesus", you hardly ever here many people going around saying "I love my father" in the same context.

My point being was, that there appears to be something missing in one's life, to extend to an invisible deity or mythical figure whom will somehow magically love you back from thin air or from one's own imagination.

I believe Paul was missing something and was desperately looking for something and pulled whatever he could out of thin air. I think he was missing validation from people and approval missing from his life and out of hatred from those missing traits, he embellished and built up a religion to make him look Saintly and Holy, funny how he never mentioned his own biologocal father, in all he wrote, I wonder if he ever knew who his biological father really was, and I do not believe Jesus ever really knew who his real biological father was either, because he really never mentioned Joseph as his real bilogical father, so if you do not know who your real bilogical father really is then you can alway revert to the heavenly father and he will always love you back, unless you do not believe in him, then he will send you to hell.

My whole point I was trying to convey was, the foolishness of religions and beliefs in an imaginary extended Heavenly Father, then Jesus comes along and says no one can come to the father, except through me, now before Jesus, people said "I love god" one has to say now "I love Jesus" so Jesus has stolen the fatherly spotlight away from the original god, what was missing in Jesus's life that would have caused him to do that? Unless it happened to be all made up by Mr. Paul himself...lol

Thanks for the discussion, it all gets so very complicated, and religions and beliefs should be the simplest things things to understand on the Earth, since God created the whole universe in just six days and it was perfect, yet he never could get everyone to follow one belief and he could not control the first two people from disobeying him, apparently he could not control Satan either.

Close examination of the Bible, it all leads to rubbish in my mind.

emptycan said...

Ben, my repect to you, as a human being.

We will disappear from the earth in a short time, but we will not cease our struggle against false inhumane religions. Because that may be an improtant way of our love for the world.

Roger O'Donnell said...

" Webmaster,

Haven't gotten to that yet. Not in the US and left the Bible at home."

Strange to say, they do sell bibles over here... We even have Amazon (one's .Com account will work on the .co.uk site and everything)

But I am shocked you travel without a bible to hand at all times! SHOCKED!

Nehemiah said...

Can Ben or someone answer me this: is it logical to believe in God? If we go to Mars one day and discover rocks apparently sculpted into symmetrical images or etchings scratched on a stone or scraps of material pieced into a simple machine, we would have evidence - pretty ironclad - that martians are real. After all, such design is a sign of designers, don't you think. The last time I saw my growing son, considered the brilliant way the earth recycles water, and even the last time I felt joy... I see evidence of a designer. Whadya think? Seem logical?

webmdave said...

Nehemiah,

The example you've cited — discovery of sculpted symmetrical images, etc., on Mars — would give evidence of Martians, i.e., designers.

I'm guessing that your logic here is that such evidence would stand against the apparent undesigned features of the face of Mars.

You seem to want to have it both ways: Mars is undesigned and Mars is designed.

We know that sculpted objects show evidence of a designer, because we sculpt things. We know that a watch is evidence of a watchmaker because we make watches. We can go to the factory, meet the workers, see the machines, even learn how to make the watches ourselves.

However, we cannot make matter, make stars, make planets, etc. When it comes to nature and the natural universe we cannot visit the factory, meet the workers, replicate making planets, stars and so on.

What you are doing is comparing apples to oranges. In this case the apples are things we make. The oranges are naturally occuring things.

A rusting beer can on the beach stands in stark contrast to the sand. We know someone made the can, but we don't know that someone made the sand.

Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Can Ben or someone answer me this: is it logical to believe in God? If we go to Mars one day and discover rocks apparently sculpted into symmetrical images or etchings scratched on a stone or scraps of material pieced into a simple machine, we would have evidence - pretty ironclad - that martians are real. After all, such design is a sign of designers, don't you think."

Who designed God? Super-God? And who designed Super-God?... Super-DUPER-God? It's circular.

Quote: "The last time I saw my growing son, considered the brilliant way the earth recycles water, and even the last time I felt joy... I see evidence of a designer. Whadya think? Seem logical?"

No, it doesn't seem logical...it seems extremely lookist.

What about the Dad whose son was born with no limbs? Sure, he accepts his flesh and blood unconditionally, but do ya think he wants to run out and shake the hand of the "designer"? And what do you think about the "brilliant" way that the Earth cracks open and swallows entire towns and villages?

And joy?...Nehemiah, there are many non-believers here and around the world who lead joyful lives without the belief in a "designer"----so that kinda shoots that little theory in the water.

So in summary, while I think there are many emotional reasons to believe in a "designer"(per your post), I don't feel that there are any "logical" reasons.

Best regards.

Nehemiah said...

Webmaster,
actually the logic I was aiming for was that order tends to imply design. The natural occuring things appear to function orderly, as do the things man or martian create. I'm thinking one may be apples, one may be oranges, both are about order (i guess we'll just call that "fruit".

Boomslang

Joy,ecosystems,and children were just some examples of where I see order. I see lots of chaotic things, too. How about this: can we say that the presence of chaos does not negate the presence of order? (in a 12 car pile-up, there are 12 "designed" cars.)

Nehemiah said...

oh yeah,

the super-duper god thing -- the logic of a creator is only circular if there is no beginning. can it be reasonable to suggest the universe had a beginning?

Anonymous said...

Quote : "How about this: can we say that the presence of chaos does not negate the presence of order?"

Sure, as long as we can say that since the presence of chaos does not negate order, that the subsequent presence of order---* "random order"---does not necessitate a personal god....i.e..a "designer"...also refered to as the Christian Bible God, the Islamic Bible God, the Mormon Bible God, Ra, etc.

* When I say "random order", I mean over billions of years, not a few dozen generations.

BTW, in a "12 car pile up", there is no hypothosizing in the equation...the "designers" have physical addresses. We could test every variable in the equation.

Nehemiah said...

I'm just saying that to me the world seems designed. Can you concede that some things can "look" designed? Logical then to suggest that if looks designed there might be a designer?

Anonymous said...

"I'm just saying that to me the world seems designed."

I know exactly what you're saying, because I used to think EXACTLY like you.

"Can you concede that some things can "look" designed? Logical then to suggest that if looks designed there might be a designer?"

I could be walking along in the forest and find a swiss-army knife. Then I could walk 20 more feet, and find a flat stone that's as sharp as a knife. So yes, I could concede that some things "look" designed--specifically for me, no less. However, if I made that leap, it would be out of emotion, since there's sharp rocks all over the damn place. Right?

Nehemiah said...

Well, I tell you what. I never really saw a sharp rock as something that shouted "designed", but you seem like a sharp fellow (sorry, that sounded like a pun, not intended). I'm guessing you can probably think of some natural things that seem a little more designed. Something that a person probably could not have done. By the way, I'm not saying it looks like something else man designed, but something that a really, really, really talented being may have designed.

webmdave said...

Nehemiah said: "I'm just saying that to me the world seems designed. Can you concede that some things can 'look' designed?"

For the sake of this discussion, I will concede your point.

However, questions are generated by that concession. For instance, if the mere appearance of design mandates the necessity of a designer, then logic would dictate that designers exhibiting order would require their own designer. This process of order mandating a designer could continue forever, like mirrors looking into mirrors.

If you at any time acknowledge that there could be a designer exhibiting order that does not require its own designer, then you are admitting that there may exist things that appear orderly, yet need no designer.

You can't have it both ways. If you allow exceptions to your "the appearance of order mandates a designer" rule, then you've lost the argument.

Further, your "logic" requires the presupposition that there exists such a thing as a supernatural designer in the first place. You are presupposing the existence of this so-called designer, and then using your interpretation of nature to prove your presupposition. You must first prove the existence of a designer before you can conclude that this designer created the universe. The existence of the universe proves one thing, and one thing only: the existence of the universe. Its existence does not "prove" anything else.

Your approach in this matter is steeped in Christian apologetic philosophy, but is far from logical.

webmdave said...

Again, Nehemiah, since you seem to have missed the point: The reason it is easy to conclude that the beer can on the beach is designed, is because it stands out in stark contrast to the randomness of nature's beach.

We have nothing with which to compare nature. How can we decide whether nature appears designed or random? With what do we compare it? Frankly, exploding stars, black holes, colliding galaxies, disease, birth defects, hurricanes, floods, etc., all seem pretty chaotic to me. I don't see much order to any of that.

Nehemiah said...

I'm trying to approach the issue as someone with a question. If I go to an art museum and see more than squares surrounding patches of random colors, but see art, I assume an artist. No, I didn't prove the existence of the artist. It may really be a random display of frames on a wall with a bad paint job. But my question was "is it logical to assume that an artist exists". I'm not arguing there is one, but seeing if it makes sense to assume there is one because of the design and (dare I say) beauty I see.

Furthermore, if I were to suppose that the universe were created by something in the universe, the argument would be ridiculous. But, see if this makes sense. When I watch a movie I see the characters, scenery, story ... elements of a whole 'nother world. I know the movie had to be created by something outside of that reality. The director, not governed by the same rules as the elements of the movie,can create. I know, not the best example, but I imagine if there is a great director in the sky, he would have to exist in the directors chair and not on the screen.

And, yes, I agree with you, if you are going to believe in a designer, you have to fall back on this huge unprovable assumption. But where else can you go when the idea of "random" just doesn't make sense any more?

Nehemiah said...

webmaster

just read your last comment. Check out a biology book, check out the eye. check out human reproduction. In a world governed by chaos, the pattern of: your born, you have sex, and reproduce should not keep happening. looks like order. I don't need to compare to see order. If things work, they usually work for a reason, even if that reason is it's just how nature works.(this too would imply design, by the way)

webmdave said...

No Nehemiah, you are making wild assumptions.

It may be an adequate explanation that the appearance of order presupposes a supernatural creator, but consider some observations from history for a moment. For thousands of years people could not understand how the forces of nature could be anything other than the direct actions of various gods or goddesses. Thunder, lightning, tornadoes, floods, pestilence, fertility, infertility, rain, drought, disease, insanity, and a host of other things we now dismiss as natural occurrences were believed to be the "Hand of God," or perhaps more accurately, the hand of some god. In the absence of any other way to explain these forces of nature, the idea that a god was doing these things was as adequate an explanation as any.

But was it the correct explanation?

Today, all of those things listed above, and more, things people were incapable of comprehending in any other way than a god doing his thing, we now view as simply mindless nature doing her thing.

What you are attempting with your "logic" is to retreat into: "I don't understand this, therefore a deity must be behind it." You are using the same argument the primitives used in explaining nature: "I can't understand it, therefore god."

When people don't understand nature, then saying "God did it" is as reasonable an explanation for why things happen as any, I suppose. But, the clear example of history indicates that ignorance of the whys and hows of the universe does not generally lead to a correct answer when that answer is a "God did it" answer.

Besides, if there is such an extra-dimensional being as you suggest, how does saying "God did it" answer how he/she/it actually did it? The old "God did it" answer is not an answer, it is the abrogation of seeking answers. If a being from outside of reality created everything, then we can never know how the universe really works, and may as well not waste our time seeking any answers. The Roman Catholic Church, Martin Luther, and John Calvin used this exact same logic in condemning opponents to geocentricism.

Obviously there are a great many aspects of nature that presently escape our understanding. I find it ironic that scientific ignorance is latched upon by the Christian as somehow proof that there is a god and that everything that can't be immediately explained proves "God did it."

Finally, if something outside the universe created it, fine. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Christian understanding is that this creator God is actively involved in the universe, and has even become an active member of the universe, on our planet. This would appear to make said creator a part of the universe, even if temporarily. Of course we are only speaking of appearances here, so perhaps you cling to a Gnostic understanding of Christianity where Jesus only "appeared" to be flesh and blood. Once deity enters and interacts with this universe, then those actions are no longer "super-natural" because, well, because they are in the universe.

Of course we are only talking about appearances here, but that fits with your original appearance of design concept.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "If I go to an art museum and see more than squares surrounding patches of random colors, but see art, I assume an artist. No, I didn't prove the existence of the artist. It may really be a random display of frames on a wall with a bad paint job. But my question was "is it logical to assume that an artist exists". I'm not arguing there is one, but seeing if it makes sense to assume there is one because of the design and (dare I say) beauty I see."

No offense, but this analogy immediately shows subjective bias because you ALREADY KNOW that "artists" exist BEFORE you ever even set foot in a museum. And the second you say the word "beauty", then you enter more subjectivity into the equation. I could walk into a cave and see rows of stalagmite and see "beauty", but it could've reached the point to where I think it's "beautiful", purely by accident.

The conflict is----we DO NOT "know" that a Divine creator exists. Like W/M said, such an assertion is presuppositional.

Quote: "Check out a biology book, check out the eye."

Check this out, too--- because of my increasingly bad low vision, I need to sit 2 frickin' feet from my monitor in order to read the text.

How come a mere mortal can "design" a lense(as in a camera) that will FAR out-last the human eye's lense? Think about it.

Steven Bently said...

Perhaps order can develop from chaos!

When a planet positions itself in a stable orbit around a Sun at a desirable distance to sustain life, a planet with amino acids and enzymes and h2o and is surrounded by a magnetic field, and the Sun's rays along with time, perhaps life can form on it's own, we know that life forms do exist that we cannot see with our unaided eye.

This order does not necessarily revert to a emotional god as the Bible writers tied to impress upon their peers as having a divine revelation and being inspired by this invisible creator god.

This Bible god whom supposedly created the entire universe in just six days could not even control the very first two people that he suppossedly created in the first place.

This Bible god supposedly created an angel called Satan, whom he lost control of in Heaven and let this angel corrupt the Earth from the very beginning?

The Bible god has the very same attributes as a man, he is emotional, gets angry and avenges anyone that does not believe in him.

Yet this same god leaves it up to the very wicked people that he regretted making in the first place, to explain and spread his plan of salvation, without a single doubt in anyones mind.

Is it illogical to believe in a Bible god? Yes! Especially when no human has ever seen this invisible god, how can a person accurately describe something that has never been seen by a human?

From our perspective the Earth "appears" to have been designed, because we associate things that we make ourselves to have been designed. by other humans.

What we have on Earth is order, it was formed by repetition and over vass amounts of time.

This order does not require worship or prayer, nor is it vengeful, this order plainly exists also in other parts of the universe, is there life in other parts of the universe? Yes most definately, in other galaxies.

Hopefully they do not look to an invisible god to worship and to be subserviant and delve in cultic behavior based from fear of the unknown.

What we have on Earth is order, not design, a designer requires worship and praise. Order exists on it's own, by trial and error and stability over time!

Shannon said...

Nehemiah,

Oh, for crap’s sakes. For all the ‘design’ we see working, it is just a small percentage compared to all the ‘designs’ that have failed. Sure our eye serves well but it also did so in the early stages (and each stage in between) of its evolution. You also imply that the eye is perfectly complete by nature’s standards. Not so. Evolution/Natural-Sexual selection will not be done until the sun in the throes of its death swallows up the earth and turns it into a ceramic ball of carbon. So, we are not at the end of evolution nor are we the greatest that it has to offer. We are merely a in between stage.

Nehemiah said...

I'm not trying to disuade your logic. My question was and is can a person, look at the universe, determine that there is order by observation, and hypothesize that there may be a creator? Prove it? Not sure if I can, but if I look at the evidence for macro-evolution and assume it is true without all the evidence,then...
Put it this way. 90% of the US or something like that believes in some kind of universe-created God. Are you bold enough to say that of those 90%, none are logical in their assessment?

Nehemiah said...

Ben

Are you saying that a planet in a random universe without conscious or purpose, decided on its own to develop just right to support life? hello, logic.

Nehemiah said...

Shannon
Dare I say you have some faith.

David said...

To Nehemia,

Logic is only for unbelievers. Christians aren't allowed to use it. You must have not gotten that memo.

Dave Poole

Nehemiah said...

Webmaster

No, I'm not the Gnostic type. I think our fundamental difference is the idea of purpose. Design supposes purpose, chaos supposes random exchanges. I've seen your picture and you look better than that. All your features are in their normal spots and everything.

Nehemiah said...

Be nice David, remember WWJT --what would Jesus type

Steven Bently said...

Are you saying that a planet in a random universe without conscious or purpose, decided on its own to develop just right to support life? hello, logic.

No!

Read what I said please!

When a planet positions itself in a stable orbit around a Sun at a desirable distance to sustain life. No one knows how the Earth got positioned where it is, encluding you, nor the Bible writers!


But you convinently dismissed my other points, how convient!

This Bible god whom supposedly created the entire universe in just six days could not even control the very first two people that he suppossedly created in the first place.

This Bible god supposedly created an angel called Satan, whom he lost control of in Heaven and let this angel corrupt the Earth from the very beginning?

The Bible god has the very same attributes as a man, he is emotional, gets angry and avenges anyone that does not believe in him.

Yet this same god leaves it up to the very wicked people that he regretted making in the first place, to explain and spread his plan of salvation, without a single doubt in anyones mind.

Yes we know that you want to believe in a creator god, but we do not believe in a Bible god.

And no one knows how or why we got here, encluding you and the Bible writers never knew either, they just presumed a god did it!

David said...

To Nehemiah,

Just remember where you are. And remember that being a Christian does not mean that you are a door mat. Jesus was not cruel but he also put the Pharisees in their place when necessary. He didn’t pull punches (metaphorically).

Dave Poole

Nehemiah said...

Well, Ben if no one knows, even you, would you say it is illogical to think that some kind of life created the universe. Possible?

Nehemiah said...

David, I was kidding, but now that you mention it, no pharisees here, just those letting out what's eating them.

Nehemiah said...

Ben
No I wasn't dismissing your other points. But to understand the actions of God, you need have a handle on the nature of God. To do that, believing he might exist seems like a prerequisite. I will tell you this. The writers of the books of the Bible wrote what they claimed God revealed to them. Don't believe them if you don't want to, just remember they are not just writing down their best guess. It may be more logical to assume they were insane instead of disingenuious.

Anonymous said...

Nehemiah asked: "I'm not trying to disuade your logic. My question was and is can a person, look at the universe, determine that there is order by observation, and hypothesize that there may be a creator?"

A "person" can look at any frickin' thing they so desire and hypothosize conclusions based on subjective bias. Hell, people see Jesus all the time in a sack of Fritos.

Nehemiah (continued): "Prove it? Not sure if I can.."

No, I'm pretty sure you can't. "God" is something that would first need to be objectively defined, before he/she/it can be "found". It's like me asking Nehemiah to go fetch me a "whachamajigg" out of that tool box.

Nehemiah said: "Put it this way. 90% of the US or something like that believes in some kind of universe-created God. Are you bold enough to say that of those 90%, none are logical in their assessment?"

Yes, I am.....because at one time an even HIGHER percentage of the world's population believed that the earth was flat. Unanimous vote doesn't determine "Truth".

Steven Bently said...

Well it's obvious that you came on here to spread your silly beliefs.

Had you, nor anyone else, never heard of the Bible, you would not have a belief in a Bible god.

Before 1492, a Bible nor a church had ever been on American soil, so where did you hear about the Bible?
From other people!!! You were not born with a belief in a Bible god, you were indoctrinated by hearing other people repeat their Bibilical nonsense.

Had you been born in Iraq, you would be bowing to Allah 5 times a day, me included. We only believe what we've been told to believe, not what we know is true.

Nehemiah said...

Boomslang

What does determine "Truth" if you don't mind me asking?

Nehemiah said...

Ben

I'm not sure how old you are, but I find it hard to believe that you believe only what you've been told to believe. You got a brain. Look around, discover some stuff, come to some conclussions. By the way, the things I believe now are no where near what I believed my first 18 years of life. Whatever they tried to teach,me, Brother, it did not take (whoever they are)

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Just remember where you are"

Yes....EX-christian dot net.

Quote: "Jesus was not cruel but he also put the Pharisees in their place when necessary. He didn’t pull punches (metaphorically)."

No, he wasn't cruel---he put women, children, and even animals "in their places" to be helpful. He put them in the ground.(not metaphorically)

Nehemiah said...

Boomslang

What Bible have you heard about? Jesus valued children more than anything and the women he encountered received only blessing and healing. Are you sure your mad at the right religion?

Steven Bently said...

Ok I just went to your blog and your theme is "God Is Real"

My mind knows God is real, that He is here.

So how does your mind know that a god is real? And why does your god need to be a he?

Which God? The one you've been told by other people, that your god is real!


We can see you're in denial of truth, so good luck with your delusion bud!

Signing off!!!!

Nehemiah said...

Ben
when you read this. Please know that I speak about what I've experienced. I'm hoping your not saying it isn't real because it aligns with the experiences of others. I really hope you aren't dismissing me because you haven't experienced God on a personal level. There is more to God than I think you've been lead to believe. Keep looking.

Nehemiah said...

muttmutt1978

thank you. I just read your comment! Very well put.

Shannon said...

Bloody hell, man, pick up any astronomy book. Try googling stellar evolution or the death of a star. Maybe order from the Science Channel the ‘100 Greatest Discoveries – Astronomy’ (2005).

Evolution from the past shows that there is evolution for the future. Dude, we're just the next ‘missing’ link.

Anonymous said...

Nehemiah: "What Bible have you heard about?"

"Heard about"?...oh, so you've only "heard about" the Old Testament? Hmmm, well, that could be the problem, then. ' Tell ya what...try to actually read it, Nehemiah, but forget for second that you've been promised an eternal life of bliss in exchange for ignoring the parts that make you sick.

Nehemiah: "Are you sure your mad at the right religion?"

I dislike ALL religion. If a "group" makes one "mad", then essentially they control you.....and I'm not in a cult anymore.

Goodnight.

Anonymous said...

PS:

Nehemiah: "Please know that I speak about what I've experienced. I'm hoping your not saying it isn't real because it aligns with the experiences of others."

Personal testimonies mean nothing except to the person having them. People will testify that they've been taken up on flying saucers and probed; people will testify that they've seen Jesus in an oil spill; people on the other side of the earth will testify that they've seen, not Jesus, but Mohammed in an oil spill. 'Funny how that works, isn't it?

Nehemiah: "I really hope you aren't dismissing me because you haven't experienced God on a personal level."

I don't think anyone's dismissing your PERSONAL experiences. We're saying that it's NOT objective UNIVERSAL evidence for anything.

webmdave said...

Nehemiah said: Well, I tell you what. I never really saw a sharp rock as something that shouted "designed",

And said: I'm just saying that to me the world seems designed.

Well then Nehemiah, which is it? Does the world seem designed or not?

Nehemiah: I'm trying to approach the issue as someone with a question.

It’s more like you’re pretending you haven’t already made up your mind. Or perhaps you think other people are too ignorant or naive to have ever considered these routine questions a hundred times before?

Nehemiah: Put it this way. 90% of the US or something like that believes in some kind of universe-created God. Are you bold enough to say that of those 90%, none are logical in their assessment?

I addressed that already, but perhaps you missed it. “Belief that God did it” is certainly an adequate explanation for things, but adequacy is by no means the measure of truth. I would guess that nearly 100% of Iraqis believe in Allah. Well over 90% of Japanese adhere to some form of Shintoism. Most of the people in Utah are Mormons. Do these percentages somehow make what they believe true?

But let’s return to our original discussion. For thousands of years nearly 100% of people on earth believed that lightning bolts were thrown by an angry, supernatural entity. In fact, even as recently as the late 1700’s, Ben Franklin came under fire from the pulpit for virtually emasculating theological meteorology with his lightning rod.

Nehemiah said: But to understand the actions of God, you need have a handle on the nature of God.

Ah, what god is that? Until you’ve demonstrated that your god is more than something in your imagination, there’s not much point in having a conversation on its supposed nature. Besides, I thought you said this god was outside of known reality? (Neh: if I were to suppose that the universe were created by something in the universe, the argument would be ridiculous.) Something outside known reality is unknowable. And if it is knowable, then it is in this universe. You can’t have it both ways. Either your god is in the universe or it is not in the universe. So which is it? And if your god is in the universe, then it is part of the universe, just like any of the other forces of nature within the universe, and can therefore be scientifically studied.

It is hard for many people to accept that life in all its complexity could exist without having some cosmic mind that mixed the ingredients, this point I’ll grant. Similarly it’s hard for me to imagine ever winning the lottery. The chances of me winning the lottery are infinitesimally small. In fact, emotionally, I would say the chances of me winning are virtually zero. In much the same way people think there is a zero chance that life could ever develop out of the random forces of nature. Both assessments of "zero chances," however, are flawed. Some people do win the lottery. The universe is a very big, and old, place. The chances of all the right circumstances coming together to allow the spontaneous generation of life are undoubtedly as slim as the chances anyone will ever win the lottery. But, with an apparently infinite number of planets, in an uncountable number of galaxies, within an impossibly large universe, over an incomprehensibly long period of time, you just never how good your chances might be.

Really, when I think about it, the chances of me existing at all are pretty slim. I mean, with all the billions of potential genetic combinations in my parents’ loins, it’s just amazing that I exist at all. Now, I wonder, where does the design idea end for you? Are you just thinking that the universe was designed, or that life on earth was designed, or do you extend that belief to one where your god is driving a chosen sperm into a chosen egg to make each one of us? I mean, am I designed because I have eyeballs and stuff, or was the coding of my DNA specifically engineered to make me in all my glorious complexity? Asked crassly, is your deity directing ejaculations, or is that part of life something more randomly decided? In other words, is there any randomness at all to the universe?

Nehemiah said...

webmaster

great questions. I guess my original frame of mind when I entered this fray was based on the assumption that it was considered illogical to believe in any kind of universe-creating God. When I was an atheist, that is what I thought. Approaching the issue that way, the question of whether my belief in God could be considered logical by an atheist if I used emperical evidence to support my hypothesis was the point I was trying to get to. By observation, a created universe seems plausible, at least.

By the way, the evidence in astronomy books mentioned by Shannon are not observed or proven, but logical theories of the matter the scientist observes. Nothing wrong with that. That is the logic I'm talking about -- reasonable theory based on observation. And as far as trusting in events that you haven't seen or have not yet come to pass, that's faith.

Nehemiah said...

webmaster

you seem like a sharp fellow too. I think you realize that I'm talking about items complex, high useful and naturally occurring, things that less skeptical minds might not consider so random as a rock on the ground.

John Malcovich in "Being John Malcovich" existed as himself in both the movie and the real universe, to address your question about a designer in and above the universe (I think that's called transcendence but I could be wrong).

I guess the real question I was trying to get to from the beginning is am I to be considered illogical because I believe in God even though part of the reason I believe is the emperical evidence I observe in the universe. If I understand your response correctly, my belief in the probabilty of God is as logical as believing I probably won't win the lottery. Mathematically speaking, that's a 437,200,000 to 1 chance that God probably exists. (probably not what you meant but it was fun to think about)

Nehemiah said...

boomslang

calm down, calm down. I was responding to someone's comments about Jesus putting women and children in the ground. As far as the Old Testament, those not familiar with the New Testament probably won't understand what was going on in the Old.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "calm down, calm down. I was responding to someone's comments about Jesus putting women and children in the ground. As far as the Old Testament, those not familiar with the New Testament probably won't understand what was going on in the Old."

Nehemiah! Nehemiah!...I AM calm. Lol. We were simply having a discussion about your religious conviction, and I spoke of some instances in the original Testament where your Jewish God, El, went one a killing sprea.

Anyway, so you're saying that one "needs" the New Testament to have an understanding the Old? So then, before anyone even knew anything of a "New Testament", we could say that the "Original Testament" wasn't necessarily conclusive on it's own merits?.....yet, we're to believe it was "Divinely" inspired? I'm sorry, sir.....but I just cannot buy that.

BTW, even if you COULD prove that there is a "Divine" designer(if you could prove it, we wouldn't have to sit here and answer your question as to if you're thinking "logically", or not), you'd then have the burden of proving that this "designer" is exclusively the one that YOUR holy book speaks of. I'm gonna go out on limb and say that the Muslims would disagree on which God did the "designing".

Anonymous said...

Nehemiah said: "I guess the real question I was trying to get to from the beginning is am I to be considered illogical because I believe in God even though part of the reason I believe is the emperical evidence I observe in the universe."

Um, we've already established that this "empirical evidence" you speak of is purely subjective. It's, uh.......it's like the kid who jams his or her fingers in their ears when they're told to clean their room. "I can't hear you!"

Nehemiah said...

Boomslang

I think your right. My first question was an honest attempt to discern others opinions on the logical belief in a God. I forgot why this web page exists. It's about personal "subjective" evidence in the non-existence of God. So for you, Boomslang, what is your reason, logical or not, why you don't believe? (i'm new to the sight so I don't know if you've shared your story or not) Feel free to email me if you'd rather not post.

webmdave said...

Nehemiah,

You said, “Mathematically speaking, that's a 437,200,000 to 1 chance that God probably exists.”

I’m curious, what mathematical equation did you use to come up with that number? I’d be interested in the math.

Regardless, your point is taken that in a virtually limitless universe, there is a chance that a deity exists somewhere. Conversely it is also possible that the random acts of nature could provide the opportunity for life to spontaneously evolve.

So, how to decide which of these two options are the most likely? There may be more options than these, but for the sake of discussion, let’s confine ourselves to these two. Both options may adequately explain things, but both cannot be true. All we can do at this point is decide which is most likely to be true.

Well, as I’ve stated before, people for thousands of years have assigned the works of nature to a god. Are Tsunamis caused by a Kraken? People once thought so. Are tsunamis the judgment of Yahweh against wickedness? Some still think this. Or are these horrifically destructive tidal waves merely a part of mindless natural forces? For thousands of years people believed that lightning was the finger of god, and could imagine no other explanation. It was the eventual abandonment of this primitive idea that allowed mankind to harness electricity and, as a result, change the world. You might say that as long as people held to a religious understanding of lightning, the world was in darkness. I could go on with volcanoes, earthquakes, eclipses, and so on, but perhaps the point has been made.

Although there may yet be scientific ignorance in regards to the totality of the workings of nature, time and time again it’s been shown that nature is not the manifestation of some god, but is instead… nature. Since the universe is part of nature, and at every turn there is more evidence that nature works independently of deity, then it is more likely that there is a naturalistic explanation for all of nature. Believing a “god did it” certainly fits with the majority of human thought throughout history, but human thought throughout history, especially in this area, has been shown to be replete with inaccurate assumptions.

Now, your use of the term “empirical” in relationship to the evidence supplied by the universe, in support of belief in deity, belays an unfortunate misunderstanding of the empirical method. The Oxford English Dictionary states that an empiric is “one who, either in medicine or in other branches of science, relies solely upon observation and experiment."

In other words, simply observing that the universe exists is not empirical evidence of divinity. For example, if I present a previously unknown type of butterfly and state that I materialized this new type of butterfly out of thin air, then the observable existence of said butterfly would not be empirical evidence in support of my claim. Materializing butterflies under the observation of others might help support my claim, but my statement by itself would be meaningless.

Perhaps you also lack a full understanding of the metaphysical, and paradoxical, concept of transcendence. Basically, a transcendent god, by at least one definition, is beyond the grasp of the human mind, and would logically, therefore, be unknowable. I’m wondering where you discovered the idea of a transcendent god and why you accepted it as true. Did you find this concept in the pages of the Christian Bible, or somewhere else? I would be interested in reading the Bible verse or verses you use to support this religious concept.

At last, I challenge you to be honest with yourself and ask yourself this question: Did I come to the conclusion that there is a creator from observing the universe, and from there move on to faith, or did I start from the vantage point of already having faith, and from that there search for ways to validate that position?

It makes a difference how you answer.

webmdave said...

Nehemia said: "I forgot why this web page exists. It's about personal 'subjective' evidence in the non-existence of God."

Is that really what you think this website is here for, or are you being disingenuous?

Nehemiah said...

Webmaster

No I really do believe that is what this website is for. Am I inaccurate in that assumption? I've read the comments of what appears to be people deeply hurt by a false representation of a real God. If I'm wrong in that assumption I apologize.

As far as a scripture in the Bible (christian Bible if you prefer) how about the first few verses in the Gospel of John. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and was God. Through him all things were created." (you may need to look it up to see if I quoted that right and to read the rest) Does that qualify?

As far as the faith first thing, yeah you are right. I believed in God and then the world made sense. When I get my doubts which seem to come from fear, it's the looking around at the world get's me back to the beginning. "This looks too orderly for no God..." everything else comes back. So in my times of doubt, at least, evidence leads back to faith.

I guess, honestly, I came to understand a transcendant God when He proved himself to me. At the time I don't even know what transcendant was. All I knew was the part of me that was looking for all the right answers to life's questions got handed a cheat-sheet by a person I couldn't see but knew was there. My heart,soul, innerman -- whatever you want to call it -- got activated like a new credit card. The world, including me, just made sense.

As far as the math, I was guessing at what the odds of winning the lottery might be.

webmdave said...

That verse in John is usually interpreted to apply to Jesus, saying that Jesus is God. The verse says nothing about transcendence.

Where does the concept of transcendence come from? I've never noticed either the word or the concept clearly stated in the Bible, but perhaps you can enlighten me.

There is a link in the right-hand corner of every page on this site which explains the purpose of this site.

Nehemiah said...

I'm confused. If Jesus is God, existed in the beginning outside the universe and came to exist in the universe as well, doesn't that answer the question of a transcendant God?

webmdave said...

Where does it say God existed outside the universe? You have that idea in your head, but where did you get it?

Nehemiah said...

if the universe was created through him, it would have come out of him. implication is he was on the outside of what was inside. Make sense?

J. C. Samuelson said...

Sorry to intrude, but I'd like to correct one statement Nehemiah made...

"...deeply hurt by a false representation of a real God."

Those to whom this statement might be applied were deeply hurt by Christianity, simple as that. Seems as if you're edging toward the claim of having True Christianity™, as opposed to everyone else.

That's it.

Anonymous said...

Nehemiah asked:

"Boomslang, what is your reason, logical or not, why you don't believe?"

Nehemiah, it's simple-----for the SAME reason(s), and by the same method of deducing, that you, Nehehmiah, have dismissed the following:

Allah, Buddha, Mithra, Ra, Toth, the Tooth Fairy, the Boogieman, Vampires...and the list goes on, I'd imagine. Honestly, I don't "need" an explanation for the cause of the universe, but it seems that you do. IMO, it also seems like you had your "answer" first, and are doing your "investigating" second--when it should be the other way around. Remember, you were born an Atheist. I know that makes your cringe, but I'm sorry.

Best regards.

Nehemiah said...

Jeff
You hit it right on the head. The Christianity that seems a lot of the bloggers have talked about is the one about the rules, rituals, infighting, give-me-money, etc. Ever had contact with the real Christ? He who has has come to know the real Christianty, in it's original meaning. I've hated the church stuff for years. (that was a while ago, though)

Nehemiah said...

Doesn't make me cringe a bit actually. We all come into the world not believing in God because we don't come to know him until later, some of us later than others. It's when we are later that are questions lead to answers. Usually the questions that get no answers lead us to assume the wrong answers. Most of the time it is from some sort of pain. My question to you, I guess was, can you think of any painful or uncomfortable thing in your life that would make you think there is no loving God out there?

webmdave said...

Oh, so we are making implications and assumptions here.

Got it.

Well, when you demonstrate that there even is a god at all, then you can demonstrate how you know it is outside/inside the universe, yet at the same time not part of the universe. (That's what transcendence means, by the way.) Since you are in the universe, and you are reading a book that is in the universe, written by men who were in the universe, on papyrus that was in the universe, etc., etc., etc., you might have a difficult time reconciling the obvious contradictions in the concept.

If I, or anyone, says there is a god, and that it is transcendent, and then point to statements on a 2000-year-old manuscript from which the concept can be inferred, then I have offered not one piece of empirical evidence proving my claim.

What I am getting at is that these concepts of yours did not come from observing the universe. You were taught these things by religious leaders. None of this was divinly revealed to you. Some guy, or gal, or book, written by some guy or gal, fed you this tripe, and you swallowed it whole. How can anyone observe a transcendent being that is not part of the universe? How can anything be simultaneously outside/inside/not-part-of the universe? If the thing isn't part of the universe, then the discussion is pointless.

All these metaphysical concepts of yours are nothing more than ideas you've blindly accepted without carefully considering why you accept them.

Anonymous said...

Nehemiah concludes: "We all come into the world not believing in God because we don't come to know him until later, some of us later than others."

Oh, I got it....you mean, the way people who are born in India "come to know" Shiva; the way people who were born in Indonesia "come to know" Allah; the way people who were born in the Far East "come to know" Buddha; the way people who were born in Utah "come to know" Joseph Smith; the way people who were born on a secluded island in the South Pacific "come to know" some god that no one's ever even heard of before; the way people who were born into the Chipiwa tribe come to know a totem pole? You mean, like that? Yeah, I'll buy that for a dollar. lol.

Nehemiah said: "Usually the questions that get no answers lead us to assume the wrong answers."

The unknown is not always unknowable. However, when it is, I won't erroneously fill in all the gaps with a "god", because history shows that man is prone to making hasty false judgements. My decision to be Atheist hasn't been a hasty one. I merely hold a position of neutrality until when/IF it is EVER known that such a "being" as a "God" exists and is accepted UNIVERSALLY and deduced objectively.

Nehemiah asked: "My question to you, I guess was, can you think of any painful or uncomfortable thing in your life that would make you think there is no loving God out there?"

Your "question"..?..? Singular? Nehemiah, you've reformulated and re-asked this "one" question several different ways, but yet, don't seem to want to accept any answer that disagrees with your religious conviction. The meme has you by the balls, Nehemiah.

And BTW, painful things happen to living person. For me, it makes more logical sense to think that it's random, than to believe that a "personal" god is "watching out" for us.

Best Regards.

Nehemiah said...

I'm not being theoretical here. The discussion keeps leading back to the "subjective" which I assume means personal.

No, I asked two questions. 1- in theory, generally speaking can any person who believes in a God be considered logical, in your opinion. 2 - is there anything in your life "personally", Boomsslang, that has lead you to the "subjective" conclusion that there is no God? (did I use all the right words this time?)

Webmaster

If there is a God wouldn't he have to be outside the universe if he existed before it? Why is he limited to staying outside the universe, anyway. Allpowerful seems like he wouldn't be limited to remain out of what he made.
You are right about this, though: When it can be demonstrated he exists at all, then I can explain how he can exist inside/outside the universe. Thing is, he demonstrates it all the time. With open eyes, you see it.

These aren't concepts I'm talking about. I'm telling you as a man who believed and argued as you have, I've experienced life following a real God. The things I've learned and the ways I've been shaped by spending time with him have almost zero resemblance to anything I've been taught about "Christianity" as a child. But just to set this straight: if you accept evolution, the possibility of millions of planets, and other things of the like, it is you my friend who have been indoctrianted. Put this way: you write of what you have been taught and agree with. I'm trying to explain what I know by experience. Feel free to explain my experiences away by insanity or delusion, but would you dare say I've not experienced them when you don't even know me?

Nehemiah said...

Boomslang said "Your "question"..?..? Singular? Nehemiah, you've reformulated and re-asked this "one" question several different ways, but yet, don't seem to want to accept any answer that disagrees with your religious conviction."
I'm sorry if you answered this one. I was really looking for just a yes or no. If yes, I'm just curious what the situation might be.

webmdave said...

Have you even bothered to read my testimony? I too believed, as you do, that I experienced God, or what I believed was the real God.

You, and I, were both indoctrinated to see things through spiritual lenses — lenses that only exist in the imagination.

This exchange has been fun, but as it is now only circulating back on itself, this conversation is closed.

Future readers will make their own determinations on the validity of our posts.

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