Bill Nye: Bible doesn't tell Earth's true history

Posted by jrberts5 7 years, 2 months ago to Science
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© AP / Bill Nye
Bill Nye: Bible doesn't tell Earth's true history
Feb. 5, 2014, 8:34 AM EST
By DYLAN LOVAN , Associated Press
PETERSBURG, Ky. (AP) — True to his passionate and animated TV persona, "Science Guy" Bill Nye tapped on the podium, threw up his hands and noted that science shows the Earth is "billions and billions" of years old in a debate at a Kentucky museum known for teaching that the planet's age is only 6,000.
Nye was debating Creation Museum founder Ken Ham and promoting science in the snappy way that made him a pop culture staple as host of "Bill Nye The Science Guy" in the 1990s.
The event was meant to explore the age old question, "How did we get here?" from the perspectives of faith and science.
Ham, an Australian native who has built a thriving ministry in Kentucky, said he trusts the story of creation presented by the Bible.
"The Bible is the word of God," Ham said. "I admit that's where I start from."
Nye delivered a passionate speech on science and challenged the museum's teachings on the age of the earth and the Bible's flood story. Like most scientists, Nye believes there is no credible evidence that the world is only 6,000 years old.
"If we accept Mr. Ham's point of view ... that the Bible serves as a science text and he and his followers will interpret that for you, I want you to consider what that means," Nye said. "It means that Mr. Ham's word is to be more respected than what you can observe in nature, what you can find in your backyard in Kentucky."
The event drew dozens of national media outlets and about 800 tickets sold out in minutes. Ham said ahead of the debate that the Creation Museum was having a peak day on its social media sites.
"I think it shows you that the majority of people out there, they're interested in this topic, they want to know about this, they don't want debate shut down," Ham said before the debate.
At times, the debate had the feel of a university lecture, with slides and long-form presentations.
Responding to an audience question about where atoms and matter come from, Nye said scientists are continuing to find out.
Ham said he already knows the answer.
"Bill, I want to tell you, there is a book that tells where atoms come from, and its starts out, 'In the beginning ...,'" Ham said.
Nye said there are plenty of religious people around the world who don't question evolution science.
"I just want to remind us all there are billions of people in the world who are deeply religious, who get enriched by the wonderful sense of community by their religion," said Nye, who wore his trademark bow tie. "But these same people do not embrace the extraordinary view that the Earth is somehow only 6,000 years old."
The debate drew a few Nye disciples in the audience, including Aaron Swomley, who wore a red bowtie and white lab coat. Swomley said he was impressed by Ham's presentation and the debate's respectful tone.
"I think they did a good job outlining their own arguments without getting too heated, as these debates tend to get," he said.
Some scientists had been critical of Nye for agreeing to debate the head of a Christian ministry that is dismissive of evolution.
Jerry Coyne, an evolution professor at the University of Chicago, wrote on his blog that "Nye's appearance will be giving money to organizations who try to subvert the mission Nye has had all his life: science education, particularly of kids." Coyne pointed out that the Creation Museum will be selling DVDs of the event.
The debate was hatched after Nye appeared in an online video in 2012 that urged parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children. Ham rebutted Nye's statements with his own online video and the two later agreed to share a stage.
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  • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
    Responding to an audience question about where atoms and matter come from, Nye said scientists are continuing to find out.
    Ham said he already knows the answer.
    "Bill, I want to tell you, there is a book that tells where atoms come from, and its starts out, 'In the beginning ...,'" Ham said.
    ----------
    And that, my friends, is how religious nutjobs shut themselves off from gaining new knowledge. They tell themselves they already have the answer, and therefore no more research is needed. They become closed to new information, killing off any hope of a new idea. That mentality is the antithesis of scientific reasoning, and the death-knell of logic.

    And no, the belief that God created atoms does not, in fact, tell us WHERE they came from, nor does it tell us HOW they were created. The religious approach only tells WHO the creator was. This inability to distinguish between "who," "where," and "how" is just one example of the sort of irrationality that such religious fundamentalists exhibit. This Ham guy is an idiot.
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    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
      It doesn't even tell us who. If you pay attention and you're honest, it only tells us who it is not. That's a huge and significant difference. We don't know things by what they are not (sorry for the double negative); we know things by what they are.
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      • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
        I'm confused about what you're saying. Are you saying that the Bible doesn't say who created the universe?
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        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
          Sure it does... god. But that's not what I'm saying. What I am saying is that when theists (granted maybe not all theists) define god as beyond our understanding, then we really don't know who it is, do we?

          Or observe the adjectives they use to "describe" him: omnipotent (his power has no limits), omniscient (his knowledge has no limits), omni benevolent (his goodness has no limits). We know what it doesn't have -- i.e., limits -- however, what does it have? I don't know, I've never been told. How about you?
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          • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
            Not to quibble, but those are more attributes than characteristics or even a "physical" description. The problem with answering any of those questions is that this is the prime separator of all the Christian denominations, so I could give you several answers depending on the denomination! Very confusing indeed!

            Most Christians derived their view of God from a text called the Nicean Creed about 400 AD. Basically, hundreds of clergy got together and tried to make sense of the scriptural texts they had - arguing for days - until they came to a consensus. But what they wrote is the quintessential contradiction in terms - probably one of the most logically absurd pieces of literature ever to come from human mind. Try reading it some time and you'll see that the Christian sects that adhere to this logically absurd document's theories are also the same ones who promote the idea that the earth was created in six thousand literal years. One absurdity begets another.

            I do not accept the Nicean Creed, so I'll give you my view of God - you can take it or leave it. (And no, I don't believe the Earth was created in 6000 years.)

            The scriptures say God is our Father, so why not then in appearance like us? Why not a real man - with arms, legs, face, eyes, etc.? A little different because He's immortal, but not some blob of infinite or infinitesimal size. Human-size. Moses said that he talked with God face-to-face, so this to me makes sense. The Bible also mentions that Christ is the Son of God and when the Apostles ask Christ to see God (the Father), he tells them that the Father looks like Christ. If humans are God's children, this also makes sense - as we were created "in His image".

            I think Christians tend to overlook these things because they focus more on the actions that denote one as a follower of Christ rather than dwell on the minutiae of physical characteristics (especially when one defines a formless, shapeless essence as "god").

            To me, everything in religion should make sense if I am to adhere to it. While I believe faith still plays an integral part, doctrines must be scientifically sound. What I like to do is remind myself, however, that just like science, religion too is an exploratory discipline. Both should be taken with the realization that not only does humankind NOT know everything, but it is impossible for us to do so!

            Can we know truth through exploration? Only if we keep an open mind and do not rules out possibilities until they are completely disproven. To me, that means that Bill Nye is shorting himself by denying the possibility of God and Ken Ham is shorting Christianity by asserting that the creation took place in 6000 years.
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            • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
              >To me, everything in religion should make sense if I am to adhere to it. While I believe faith still plays an integral part, doctrines must be scientifically sound.

              yes, but allowing for possibilities starts from the premise of plausibility. Just because humans have always been more tribal/mystical in explaining phenomena until they gain more knowledge, does not mean individuals can't stop at some point to acknowledge a change needs to occur. Most of us are raised with some religious doctrine and traditions ingrained in us since we are very small. As we gain more knowledge, most of us question very early on the God concept. It is such a liklihood, organized religions have built into their very rituals confrontations of faith and belief. Rituals to practice often as a test of faith. My opinion is that's because of the enormous evidence (tests) in the face of that belief. In Christianity the concept God is Love is untestable. after all we know love is an emotion which may or may not be backed by reason. One can test the power of love but cannot test that God is it. We must believe a book. That is the source of much religion. A sacred book. Can you at least agree this is a tough sell to atheists? You are not required to take a single book's perspective for any other knowledge, scientific or otherwise. There is no source material that cannot be tested and vetted by experts in any field and over time. Religious scholars can and do argue over say Deuteronomy, historical evidence of people living in a certain time, etc. and that is testable to a point. But there is no testing of miracles-these are just to be accepted by the Christian-the holy trinity (for example) which is the most obtuse and illogical concept I can think of in almost any religion-purposely designed to confuse and force the mystic into a state of faith in trying to unravel the illogical.
              ..
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              • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                I agree with you. That is why before there can be any substantive discussion regarding religion, one must begin with faith. One MUST - without reservation - be willing to confront one's own limitations in understanding before one will be willing to accept outside knowledge from any source - be it earthly or divine in nature.

                "In Christianity the concept [that] God is Love is untestable. after all we know love is an emotion which may or may not be backed by reason. One can test the power of love but cannot test that God is it. We must believe a book."

                How do we obtain knowledge except through the test of faith? Similarly, how can one understand "love" (properly rendered as charity or the "pure love of Christ") without participating in it? And is not the participation the test of the precept? Are not the increased feelings of satisfaction and brotherly concern for others not the "proof"? I would argue that every tenet set forth in Christianity is not an invitation to watch others or merely to proclaim "belief" but to actually DO.

                We gain knowledge by trusting in parents, teachers, friends, etc. that they can instruct us in matters wherein we are ignorant. We place our faith in their abilities to bring us knowledge.

                As to miracles, the scriptures clearly say that miracles are not to beget faith, but to confirm it. They are the proof that faith was not exercised in vain, but they can not provide the foundation of faith for the unbelieving. Before one can be taught, they must be willing to exercise the smallest particle of faith that perhaps there is something more than what they presently recognize. Conceit and arrogance in one's own prowess must be overruled with the premise or possibility of something outside one's present sphere. One must risk to gain the reward, or one will get what one has always got. ;)
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                • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                  even faith is untestable. One person may say they are very faithful and they are not, and so what would the "proof" be? lots of slippery slopes here to build a foundation that can constantly be changing.
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                    I disagree. One who is "faithful" is one who acts according to his beliefs. Hypocrites are those who profess to believe in a particular creed, yet do little or nothing to act according to their profession. To use the vernacular, one must "walk the walk" and not just "talk the talk".

                    If one acts according to his beliefs, is this not the verifiable test of his faith? It doesn't take the "leap from the lion's head" a la Indiana Jones to illustrate a test of one's faith - that is merely a more spectacular example. Much more common are the everyday things: honesty, integrity, kindness, self-control. These are every bit the evidence of faith as the scientific confirmation of the Higgs' Boson. The only thing that has changed is the type of hypothesis being tested - one of philosophy rather than sub-atomic particle physics. ;)

                    What I think is the better question is this: in what principles should we place our faith? That to me is a MUCH more accurate question and one where we can reasonably expect to form hypotheses which can either be confirmed or refuted.
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                    • Posted by Lucky 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Living in accordance with " honesty, integrity, kindness, self-control" due to being watched, or being rewarded, or fear of punishment may be, but probably is not, a good thing. So yes, it may be evidence of belief. However, such people are likely not to be honest, or have integrity, or kind, tho' they do have self control.
                      That complete set of characteristics is best seen in those who do not have that kind of belief.
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                    • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                      there are scores of atheists with those characteristics...
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                        I agree, which is why my focus revolves around the principles and not necessarily the categorization. There are hundreds - perhaps even thousands - of "religions" in the world (I include atheism as a religion or way of life). All espouse different variations of values and principles. The real questions start with which values and principles are going to lead us to the greatest freedom and advancement and work from there.
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                        • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                          wow. atheism as a way of life? How so? I do not act with any volition- first, I do not believe in God. I do not think of the concept of God unless I engage in a discussion or am reading something or studying History. Many people politicize their atheism. I guess you could say it's part of their politics. I do not avoid candidates who are religious. I simply look at their platform. so I disagree atheism is a religion or way of life.
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                • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                  "I agree with you. That is why before there can be any substantive discussion regarding religion, one must begin with faith. One MUST - without reservation - be willing to confront one's own limitations in understanding before one will be willing to accept outside knowledge from any source - be it earthly or divine in nature."

                  One of the limitations of man is that he cannot gain knowledge through faith (how you seem to mean it sometimes anyway). Do you see your understanding of faith as foggy and shifty when you use the term? Or is it always a clear and precise meaning?

                  "How do we obtain knowledge except through the test of faith?"

                  By a process of reason. Reason is man's only valid method of cognition and this can be demonstrated -- I wouldn't want you to take my word on faith.

                  "We gain knowledge by trusting in parents, teachers, friends, etc. that they can instruct us in matters wherein we are ignorant."

                  If others tried to instruct that contradictions are true, then I wouldn't trust them for long -- you shouldn't either. It is the individual learner who is responsible for what he judges to be true, and ignorant men have self-taught themselves before -- how else do you think we have acquired the knowledge we do share?
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Faith is the belief that action now will result in some desired result later. To have faith is to recognize that one can not dictate the future (predict with 100% certainty). One acts on faith when one engages in entrepreneurship. One acts in faith when they accept someone as a teacher in hopes of gaining more knowledge than they presently have. One acts in faith when they get married. One acts in faith when they get out of bed in the morning. Maybe ;)

                    Can that belief be in vain? Certainly. The results may not pan out to be what was originally envisioned or desired. But the original act was born of a hope that one would sacrifice something now to gain something later - that one would invest time in order to gain knowledge, wealth, etc. There is no guarantee - only a hope.

                    "Reason is man's only valid method of cognition..."

                    Reason alone did not bring us invention. It took the imagination in concert with reason. "Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." -- Thomas Edison

                    Reason is limited without imagination. Reason only tells us that one plus one equals two or that If A Therefore B. Reason, however, can not postulate A in the first place! Imagination is based on a hope or belief in something that may be, but may not be. Reason only deals in certainties. Reason is the proof of the formula, but not the formulation.
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                    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Objectivism holds that reason requires conceptual thought (i.e., imagination). I think you're confusing logic and reason; they are not the same thing.

                      Without reason, inventions are not possible. Observation and logical integration is the essence of reason and was required for every invention.

                      So is predicting ballistic trajectories of free falling bodies in a vacuum a process of faith? If so, then faith requires reason. If not, then you might as well predict that falling bodies will fall up; in which case faith is useless in making predictions.

                      You are right in one sense. A prediction may go astray if we make wrong assumptions or forget to account for important variables, but what did happen was necessary base on the causes present. We can learn and improve our predictive ability. Reason allows this process to be accurate within a certain error bracket range. What does faith do to improve this process? I don't see it doing anything.
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            • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
              Sure, you're one of the few theists who use actual descriptors to describe it. It looks human, so you say. But we still don't know what or who it is. It may look human, but we know it's not human.
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              • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                Can you do me a favor and describe what a human is to you? I can't explain to you how I see things without a common reference point.

                Suffice to say that I am not like other Christians who believe in a formless, unidentifiable God. To me, that's an absurd concept. If worship is veneration or seeking to become like something, how can I imitate what I can't identify? If that is the same quandary you face, I am in total agreement. It is neither logical nor reasonable.
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                • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                  A human is a destructible rational animal, and his power is limited within the law of identity so he cannot perform miracles (i.e., violate the law of identity).

                  Is this god you envision indestructible and is it an all powerful supernatural being? I look forward to understanding your perspective.
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                    To those of us operating within a religious sphere, the "destructible" part is what is also known as "mortal", so I follow you now. Thanks for being patient with me.

                    In order to explain, I kind of have to start at the beginning and go into the three basic questions of humanity: "where did we come from", "why are we here", and "where are we going". These are questions religion is uniquely suited to answer.

                    I believe that we existed prior to this life and that we will continue to exist afterward. We currently consist of two parts: a physical, mortal shell and a spirit or intellect. That spirit is rational, reasoning, etc. Before this earth, we lived with God as His children, but we were a little different. He still looked like us (or rather we look like him), but He possessed a perfect physical body we did not and possessed power we did not. In order for us to develop/advance, He created this sphere/planet to give us the opportunity to obtain a physical body. There was also one more purpose: to see if we would live up to higher laws that He obeys. So as not to bias the outcome (God grants us the ability to choose our destiny), when we come to inhabit a physical body here, our memories are erased.

                    Now you are probably saying: if God has an immortal body, why didn't create us with one of those? Valid question. Part of choosing our own destinies means choosing between "good" and "evil". When we choose "evil", we sin. Sin is imperfection or a failure to live up to the standards of perfection. Christians believe God is merciful and loving - beyond that of any other parent - and foresaw this, so He created this life and this earth to be temporary so we could get our lives straightened around even after we made mistakes. But this life is all we have. After this life, our spirits/essences will be given permanent, immortal bodies again in a process called resurrection. That joining will be permanent and we will continue to exist, but our choices here will determine our future there. (Also, no I don't believe in the common perception of a permanent Hell presided over by a red-skinned guy holding a trident. I could explain where this ridiculous notion comes from, but this forum isn't an appropriate place.)

                    We envision God as all-powerful because we can not comprehend the mechanisms or knowledge required to construct a world, a solar system, galaxy, etc. which we believe He did - and all for our benefit. We believe that God still speaks to men who are really interested in such, and that some of these then become His spokesmen to mankind - aka prophets. I believe that those who seek God can communicate with him personally and know He is real.

                    I know that this forum isn't a great place to talk religion and please understand that I've tried to condense down into a few short paragraphs what we could literally spend hours on, but I appreciate your attention nonetheless. I find nothing more enjoyable that a reasonable discussion where the truth is the end goal.
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                    • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Well said. I wish that folks would use the word "spiritual" instead of religion. Religion brings a lot of baggage that Christians shouldn't have to deal with such as rules, customs, rituals. No one hated religion more than Christ as evidenced by his reaction to the moneychangers at the Temple.
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                    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                      In your view, is god a living being? I'll assume yes. I'm assuming you mean an indestructible body when you say a perfect body. What would it take to make our bodies look the same but become indestructible? I don't think anyone has knowledge of this. Just like no one has any knowledge of how creating something out of nothing is possible. God has power as you say, but it's not our power. What power is it? No one knows. Does it violate the laws of identity? Yes. Is this a problem? Yes, I think so; what about you?

                      One thing is for sure, god doesn't require values to live like we do. Are we really expected to be like it, when the game is rigged beyond possibility for us? What may be good for it? Nothing can harm it. The material values that are good for us are not good for it.

                      So other than it looking human and needing nothing we don't know much. I can picture a human like being, but that's it.

                      Are you able to derive for me how you know that such a being exists?
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                        I'll try to address your questions, but please understand that each in and of itself is worthy of lengthy discussion.

                        Is God living? Life implies death or termination. What we call death to Christians is merely the separation of body and spirit. Christians hold that Christ passed through that transitional period and died. Three days later, his spirit or essence rejoined with his body in a perfect state which rendered him immune to mortal death forevermore. Christians believe that just as Christ was "resurrected", so we also will be. We do not believe birth was the beginning nor is death the end.

                        By what power can this be done? The power of God. Does the common man possess such power? No. His authorized servants do, however, but their exercise of this power is subject to His oversight. The scriptures record several instances of power over death being exercised not only by Christ, but by Peter, Paul, and others. We may not scientifically understand how it works, but ignorance is not justification for denial.

                        Does God ask us to adhere to the same principles He lives? Absolutely. They are commonly referred to as the commandments. We have the opportunity to obey them or not.

                        Are we going to screw up and violate His laws at some point? Assuredly. But God has also provided a way for us to avoid the eternal consequences of these actions. Christians believe that Christ made it possible for us to overcome our our failings.

                        Can we physically describe God? Only eyewitnesses can reliably testify of that. In Christian theology, these are called prophets, and not even all prophets visibly spoke with God. Prophets write down their experiences as scripture. Scripture is their testimony to the rest of mankind.

                        Am I able to tell you that I know God exists? Yes. But any more than that would of necessity require a personal visit because the nature of the testimony is personal and I do not share it lightly in the setting of a public forum.

                        More importantly, my knowledge doesn't help you. It is only your search and your conclusions that will matter. I can encourage you not to discount the matter, but unless you take it upon yourself to learn the truth, it will be pointless. The matter isn't so much about me and what I know as it is about what you might be willing to learn.
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                      • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                        God is a living presence in His dimensions, not ours. In 1 John 3:2, it says: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." This is when believers get the immortal body and share the same dimensionality as Christ.

                        As far as values are concerned, He doesn't live by values, He sets them and yes, they are impossible to meet as the Jews found out. That's why we need Christ's redemption; something we can't do for ourselves.
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                        • Posted by Lucky 7 years, 2 months ago
                          The maliciousness of setting values and laws that are impossible to meet has been well described in Atlas Shrugged, Orwell's 1984 and in the Rubaiyat as herewith-
                          " Oh, Thou, who didst with Pitfall and with Gin
                          Beset the Road I was to wander in,
                          Thou wilt not with Predestination round
                          Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin? "
                          Impossible rules are set. In your trial, redemption-submission to slavery is the only option to get you out of hell. Thus while some case can be made for existence of a god, an evil one intent on torture fits the data better.
                          No wonder many other religions and philosophies do not accept the first base of that stuff.
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                          • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                            The malicious rules and values you speak of are man-made. The ones God spoke of were not impossible individually but only impossible when taken as a whole (630+ laws to follow). Keep in mind that those rules (laws) applied only to the Jews since they were His chosen people.

                            The Ten Commandments were meant for mankind as a whole as a way to live an honorable live. We all have the choice to follow them or not to follow them. The choice is ours and ours alone. To simplify it further, Christ told the Apostles:

                            [Mat 22:36-40 NIV] 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

                            Not a bad way to live, wouldn't you say? You can choose to not accept the redemptive gift of Christ but then you spend eternity separated from your Creator. It's still a choice you can make. Not a smart one, but still an available choice. For those of us who want an unbelievably wondrous eternity with our Creator, we choose to accept Christ's gift, not as a slave but as a pleasant way to spend forever. One needs to look into it further while one has the chance. At a certain point in time, the decision is irreversible. This is a no-brainer for me but I can only speak for myself. The other religions and philosophies have to live with the consequences of their decisions as do the rest of us. As the Templar Knight in the cave told Indiana Jones, "Choose wisely."
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                            • Posted by Lucky 7 years, 2 months ago
                              Hi gonzo309, I support your first sentence, yes to 'are man-made', well all human expressed values and laws are man-made.
                              A commandment (not a pleasant word) to love 'the Lord your God' has no meaning unless you are already a believer, to 'Love you neighbor as yourself' does not mean much in the religious language but is sensible if expressed in humanistic terms such as all rights you claim you shall allow to others- equal rights to free speech, beliefs if any, property rights and so on. As to an eternity with the Creator, the Confucian ethic of giving respect to elders, as in the '10' as 'honor thy father and thy mother', seems a better precept for good behavior. So there is some common ground, the good things do not require a belief system but can be derived from observation of what works.
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                              • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                                I used to hear an acrostic for the Bible that it stands for: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. There is so much wisdom and knowledge there that I used to take for granted. Life with the Creator is the ultimate goal for me, not this life on the planet earth.

                                The love your neighbor as yourself really boils down to respecting those around you and treating them like you enjoy being treated. Not everyone makes it easy for you to do that. Sometimes that means going to bat for someone who is being taken advantage of by others because they don't see the manipulation. Sometimes it means taking the time to explain concepts to someone who is seeking answers. Love thy neighbor as thyself can translate to helping those around you as you would want to be helped.

                                The wording or semantics may be different but the humanity behind it is the same. I try to treat others around me with respect but I also won't be a doormat. It's a fine line we walk and always strive to do better than the last encounter. Sometimes we amaze ourselves but then sometimes we screw up big time, but we still continue to strive for the ideal.
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    • Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago
      At least Nye didn't resort to the low road by calling names to make his points, more people should try that. Maphesdus I mean you.
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      • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
        Amen.
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        • Posted by $ stargeezer 7 years, 2 months ago
          Nye said, "I don't know", Ham says "I do". One offers their opinion, the other can't give a answer. Seems to be what my college debate team called, "point". You don't like that, Malph and resort to name calling. In fencing, that's called being "Pinked". Fun was had by all.
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          • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
            They both gave an answer star. Only one of them needs to provide proof. But I think the event was a good one to have. Btw the other one hasnt provided any credible proof for his "religion " either -manmade climate change
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
      Where atoms, and sub-atomic particles "came from" is unknowable, and "In the beginning..." is the only rational explanation.

      Now, is it more logical to acknowledge that there was some entity that "created" the universe, or that it emerged out of nothingness on its own from its own volition?
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      • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
        Science wants us to believe that there was nothing and then it exploded. I'll take explanation provided by the Creator every time. 8-)
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        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
          Existence always existed. Science is wrong. An existing being creating existence is a contradiction in terms. Where will you turn?
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          • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
            God always existed in His dimensions. It's our dimensionality that was created "in the beginning". Scientists are still discovering new dimensions as we speak. I don't profess to know all but my faith helps bunches.
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            >>"An existing being creating existence is a contradiction in terms."

            Only if you insist on framing existence in what you can comprehend. I postulate that there is existence beyond human comprehension. That is where you and I will part ways. You want to play word games based on your postulate that only what is directly observable exists. I suffer no such delusions.
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            • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
              I see that you don't limited yourself to the non-contradictory. It's not a game. it's the difference between rational and irrational knowledge -- i.e., between true and false knowledge.
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  • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
    We watched the debate as a family event last night. Both men did a good job of presenting their points of view, while being remaining respectful of each other. I thought it was a very good event and good for my six year old too. She went back and forth on her opinion as the evidence was presented as any six year old would.

    We discussed the event afterwards and she reached the conclusion that Mr. Ham was wrong about the age of Earth. She is of the opinion that the world is “bunches of millions of years old” but that god created it and us.

    It’s really remarkable watching a young one form their first impressions and opinions of the world.
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    • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
      Your daughter already sounds smarter than a significant portion of creationists. :)
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      • Posted by $ stargeezer 7 years, 2 months ago
        But what you fail to get malph, is that this same child will not likely be told that Christianity is a flawed science, a myth or perhaps given your opinion, a lie. She, it seems will one day be allowed to reach the decision the God is real and will not be chastised for using the mind God gave her. I suspect that in your home, were she your child making a decision for God, her decision would not be as welcomed as the contrary will be in this little girls home.

        Tell me is this child more free in the home of her father or would she, as your child, enjoy as great a intellectual freedom in your future home?


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        • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
          I don’t know about Maph’s home, but you are right in the freedom my daughter has. She has been presented with our Christian beliefs and with the science of the issue via text books and documentaries. She is and will continue to be encouraged to make up her own mind and form her own opinions.

          At this point she believes in “Divine Evolution” as defined by the acceptance of evolution as fact under the hand and according to the will of god. We are not pushing her into any particular belief, while at the same time we are answering all the questions we can. It is my opinion that if she is allowed the freedom of belief and expression now, perhaps she will not struggle with such things later when she needs to be focused on making her way in the world. All too often young adults are distracted by struggling with what their parents forced on them and what the world in general accepts and believes. This can cause mistakes in education and career choices, missed opportunities, and delayed achievement.
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      • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
        Perhaps, but I do not think that “Young Earth” creationists represent a significant portion of creationists. I think they get the most attention by those who oppose Christianity as they the most obviously irrational.
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  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago in reply to this comment.
    No. God is much more than that. However, those things are part of God.
    God is not a "being" as we conceptualize that idea. Is God more like the "midichlorians" of Star Wars or more like the concept of "thou art god" of Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land", I do not know.
    I do know that the universe did not come into being of it's own volition. It is also so highly improbable that a process of random mutation would cause humankind to develop sentience where no other creature had also developed such a mutation throughout all time and across all species. Somehow we came to consciousness. Somehow the universe originated. Whatever caused that to occur, I call God.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 7 years, 2 months ago
      So what you are saying is that you do not know what god is, but you believe in it?
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
        Sorry, but you too have progressed to the point of extreme arrogance. No, I cannot know what God is. That does not prevent me from belief. Your arrogance in believing that you can understand all prevents you from the reality that not all is knowable and understandable. Just because I cannot conceptualize the fullness of something does not prevent me from knowing that it exists. I cannot fully comprehend, nor will ever fully know with certainty, what a black hole is. That does not prevent me from knowing that it exists and is real.
        And before you respond that you have evidence that black holes exist, I challenge you to prove it. You cannot, as all "proof" is theory of what black holes are. And are no more tangible than what I have called God.
        The interchange has been stimulating, but since you refuse to accept that there are things that you cannot know, we cannot continue to have a reasonable interchange.
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        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
          I accept there are things I will never know. Will you allow yourself to continue now?

          If you do not know or understand what god is, then how can you know or understand what you believe? I understand that you place faith as the conduit. So is faith knowledge and understanding in things you cannot know or understand?
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        • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
          Robbie: >>"prevents you from the reality that not all is knowable and understandable"<<

          Damn, I guess we ought to just give up, then. What absurdity. The human race is on the very verge of separating itself from natural evolution, extending a normal lifetime beyond 100 years and more, and even creating life and lifeforms beyond those of nature,
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          • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
            So now we have become, or will become God in our capabilities? I don't think so. When Oppenheimer created the A-bomb and said, "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds", he toyed with this concept. If creating lifeforms gets out of hand, we won't be able to put the genie back in the bottle. Because we can doesn't mean we should.
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            • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
              gonzo; I agree with the intent of your last statement, but the known history of the human race demonstrates fairly accurately that if we can, then someone will. You and I share this planet with nearly 7 billion other humans, most of whom have never heard of a god or imagined that they even had to think about one, or many. You, nor I, nor any government or authority is going to stop the progress of human experimentation, gaining of knowledge, and progression of human capabilities. Nor can we control how any of the knowledge and capabilities are used or applied.

              As to the human race becoming God or a god, guess it depends on your view point. That of us or that of one of our creations. It's a quandary many scientist and ethicist have been trying to deal with for a number of years now, without a conclusion at this point.

              Congratulation for including the quote from Oppenheimer. From my reading of recorders of the event referenced, he wasn't toying with or imagining the concept of being a god. He was in deep fear that an Atomic explosion or combination of such could possibly initiate a chain reaction of some sort in the earth or atmosphere and he was quoting a line from the Lord Vishnu of the Hindu religion. There were some working in the project whom thought a remote possibility of some such chain reaction was possible. Remember how the population got the idea of 'The China Syndrome' after Three Mile Island, believing a nuclear meltdown could bore through the planet.
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              • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                "Yeah, what you said!" I should have worded it better. Oppy was fearful of his accomplishment, not joyful. When I looked it up to get it right, I found that he misquoted the original statement from the Bhagavad Gita. His statement said it all more accurately for the circumstance. You made all good points.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
    i kind of think that when you argue with a fool, you make yourself a fool.

    It's like trying to put a bell on a pig. You wind up wrestling around in the mud, the bell gets full of mud, and you soon realize the pigs having a lot more fun that you are.
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  • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
    One thing that really bothers me about Young-Earth Creationists is that they try to impose their unique belief about a young earth as supposedly being the widely accepted belief of all creationists, when in fact a vast majority of creationists do not adhere to the young-earth theory. Most creationists are actually what would be described as Old-Earth Creationists – people who believe that God created the Earth and the Universe, but that the Earth is billions of years old, and that the Universe is trillions of years old. Between the two groups, Old-Earth Creationists can be called rational and reasonable people, but Young-Earth Creationists cannot.

    There is NO verse in the Bible which says that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. It simply is not there.

    But this raises the question: If the Bible makes no mention about the age of the Earth, where does the the young-earth theory come from? The answer is that it comes from religious scholars, both ancient and modern, who refused to accept the idea that the Bible contains any metaphor, and that absolutely every single verse should be interpreted in a strictly literal sense. And how do these scholars estimate the age of the Earth? By simply adding up the ages of all the prophets listed in the Bible. Seriously, that is all they do. That is the entire basis of the young-earth theory.

    But there are three major assumptions (or problems) which that approach relies on:

    First, they're assuming that no two prophets ever lived at the same time.
    Second, they're assuming that there was never any gap of time between the death of one prophet and the birth of the next.
    Third, they're assuming that the Bible contains a complete list of every single prophet who ever lived.

    Where in the Bible does it say that there cannot be multiple prophets at once? Nowhere.
    Where in the Bible does it say that a new prophet will always be born in the same year that the previous prophet died? Nowhere.
    Where in the Bible does it say that there were no prophets that went unmentioned or unlisted, and that every single prophet was accounted for within its pages? Nowhere.

    When we realize that there is no basis or foundation for any of these assumptions, it becomes clear that simply adding up the ages of the prophets is a totally illogical and irrational method of calculating the age of the Earth. In fact, there is one particular story which totally refutes the first assumption (that no two prophets ever lived at the same time), and that is the story of Elijah and Enoch, two men who both became prophets, and yet lived simultaneously. Though they were not both prophet at the same time, they were both ALIVE at the same time. According to the Bible, Enoch was Elijah's assistant, and when Elijah ascended into Heaven on a Chariot of Fire, he passed his mantle of prophethood onto Enoch. The time they each served as prophet is linear and consecutive, but their lifespans overlap with one another. Therefore, anyone who tried to add their ages together would get a larger number than the actual span of time during which Elijah and Enoch lived. This demonstrates the foolishness of using the age of the prophets as a measurement for determining the age of the Earth.

    There are no stories to disprove the other two assumptions (at least as far as I'm aware), but there are no verses to vindicate them, either. The theory of a young-earth is based on faulty reasoning.
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    • Posted by LionelHutz 7 years, 2 months ago
      I'm not taking sides on this one, but do want to point out I've never heard anyone lay out the 6000 year case quite the way you are presenting here. You've got the gist of it correct - no 6000 year old verse in the Bible, an implication that it is so based on adding years of people listed, but the focus on "prophets" is a new one to me. In my experience, people simply open up Genesis chapter 5 and read Adam lived X years and Seth was born. Seth lived Y years and Enosh was born, etc. Being a prophet has nothing to do with it. There is no piggybacking of guy A died and exactly the same day guy B was born. So - your first two assumptions really don't factor into the argument - at least the way I've heard it. Now your third one has some merit - there is an assumption we're given a complete genealogy. And...people that hold to the 6000 years in my experience are flexible on the timing. I see often "between 6000-12000 years", as they are allowing for gaps and have set a worst-case guess that we have a 50% incomplete list. I'm only bringing this up because I feel you're attacking a strawman here - they're not exactly making their case the way you present.
      I also would take issue on your statement that the majority of creationists are Old Earth. I think it's fair to say Young Earth is the orthodox Christian position, though i don't think people get dogmatic proclaiming it happened on "Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC". If it's not the dominant position, I'd say the viewpoints are split pretty close to 50/50.
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      • Posted by Kulord 7 years, 2 months ago
        Information that is given in several versions of the bible indicate that Adam was "born" approximetly 3870 B.C. on the 6th day. I have heard It suggested that God should have waited and created man after he was rested.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
          One should take great care in using any "new-age" translation of the Bible. One should even take care in using the King James version of the Bible for this simple expedient: words are expressions of thought and unfortunately they change over time. What was given thousands of years ago may have different meaning even though the words are the same. Example: "quick". In the King James Version, "quick" meant "living", ie "the quick and dead" makes more sense now than imagining a zombie apocalypse! (Don't stone me please.)

          This is why the caution was given that unless the scriptures are read by the Holy Spirit, one may draw incorrect conclusions about meaning. It is even possible (very likely, actually) that during the translation of the KJV, mistakes were made. Anyone who speaks more than one language knows that despite all the scholarly wisdom of a dictionary, unless you have a native who understands both languages, your translation is going to be a bit off or nuanced at very best.
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      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
        I knew a guy who believes humans used to live 600 years long. I didnt know how to react to that nor do I now.
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        • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
          In all fairness, the Bible does state that ancient people lived to be hundreds of years old. For example, there's Methuselah, who supposedly lived to be 969 years old, according to some versions of the Bible.

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

          Interestingly, that wiki page provides an additional flaw in using the age of Biblical characters to calculate the age of the Earth: different traditions provide different ages for the same characters.
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          • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
            That's why I don't trust wikipedia. It can be changed by people to advance their own agenda. I went to a page that had a listing of location sites for Atlas Shrugged and the page was removed by someone.
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            Best theory is that somewhere along the line moon cycles and yearly cycles were mixed up. If that were the case, then Methuselah would have been merely 80 yrs old. Not unbelievable at all.
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          • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
            and we know with certainty that calendars are different and a year has different measurements by different cltures including middle eastern cultures at the time of the earliest formalization of religion.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
      Actually, there is evidence that not all prophets have been included - there are intentionally missing books from the "bible." These were excluded for various reasons, but mostly due to human failings. Unfortunately, arrogance prevents modern religious leaders from correcting the mistakes of their predecessors.
      Not only is the current Christian faith "incomplete" from missing knowledge that exists, but is excluded, but it is intentionally skewed by a church seeking to maintain a status quo power structure that is completely man-made.
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    • Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago
      All of the this person begat that person stuff may have something to do with the timeline.Enoch and Elijah living at the same time is well documented and taught at every church I have been to.There is no dispute about it.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
        Then you have a different Bible than I do. Genesis clearly records that Enoch and his entire city were taken into Heaven. He wasn't living - at least not on this Earth - after the flood, and Elijah didn't live until after the escape from Egypt.
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        • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
          I agree about Enoch being translated (raptured) before the flood but not about his city, only him. Elijah came later as you stated. Look at Genesis 5:18 through 5:24. Then look at Hebrews 11:5 about the translation of Enoch. References are from the KJV but you can look it up yourself online at the blue letter bible site. There you have access to all major versions of the Bible for free and can compare them. Also the original Hebrew and Greek is available there via Strong's Concordance reference numbers.
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  • Posted by cp256 7 years, 2 months ago
    I didn't know anything about this, but I'll open my virtual yap anyways. I'm a science guy, not a religion guy. I yack with all the bible belters who ring the doorbell as I like to learn about religion, but I'm pretty solidly an atheist. That said, I'm 100% okay if some people want to believe in God and the Bible and I think it is entirely reasonable to for them extend that belief to include that the Earth is only 6,000 years old despite evidence to the contrary. If God is all-powerful, then why couldn't he/she/it create the Earth 6,000 years ago, complete with evidence that it was formed 4,000,000,000 or so years ago? Likewise, why couldn't God put in place all the bits for evolution to proceed where creation left off?

    I believe in evolution and the mostly random assemblage of the solar system, but I can't prove that's what happened. I also can't prove there isn't a God who put it all together and included all the extra little bits just to keep the scientists busy. Maybe the creationists are right, but I really don't think so.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 years, 2 months ago
      " why couldn't he/she/it create the Earth 6,000 years ago, complete with evidence that it was formed 4,000,000,000 or so years ago"
      This is special pleading. It's the fallacy where people argue no matter what test or observation someone does, they say that is just an exception. It's completely different from making a prediction before the experiment/observation.

      I don't want to give creationists personally a hard time, but I reject any notion that creationism is a scientific claim.
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
        So the universe came into being from nothingness by its own volition?
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 years, 2 months ago
          We don't know the answer to that question. The question may not be answerable through experimentation and observation, making it a non-scientific question.

          The question about when Earth was created is a scientific claim.
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          • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
            The question on the age of the Earth being formed is pretty well measured and known within a few million years of some 4 to 4.5 billion years ago. But it is a calculation, based on a lot of observable and measurable realities. But I guess one could still make an argument that it's a claim.
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    • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
      That's called respecting the opinions of others. Opinions are like elbows; everyone has a couple. There is a physicist in Israel that mathematically proves that 6000 years and 15 billion years aren't exclusive of each other. It has to do with the expansion factor of the universe. I think his name is Gerald Schroeder and has a video on youtube explaining it, not the best quality visually due to glare.
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    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
      I can provide a source that proves it. I can prove it, but less eloquently than the source. By it I mean that god is fiction. Are you interested in discovering the truth?
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      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
        That's the only thing I'm interested in.
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        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
          Assuming you've read introduction to objectivist epitemology (ITOE) and understand how our conceptual faculty functions, then I suggest the book "Atheism: the case against god" which is the application of ITOE to the question of whether or not god exists. It proves it quite well.
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            No it does not. It only explains that we humans cannot explain God. But then, we cannot explain that which is incomprehensible to humans. That is the fundamental failing of atheism.
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            • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
              robbie, how convenient that the concept is "incomprehensible" to humans. I see it as a failing of religion.
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                Not "convenient" at all. In fact, excrutiatingly frustrating.

                And why would that be a "failing" of religion? In fact, my religion fills in the "incomprehensible" part quite nicely.

                There may be a day when all knowledge is known, though I have grave doubts. But I think that you would agree that that time is nowhere near, and certainly not within our life times. So, given that, what is the alternative? My answer is more logical to me than yours. That's not to say that I seek to impose my answer on you, just as I don't expect you to impose yours on me.

                As I've said before, soon enough we will all have the answer. I'm personally rooting for the ending from "Stranger in a Strange Land."
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            • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
              How do you know something is incomprehensible to humans?
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                Do you understand it?
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                • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                  Yes
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Lies aren't very becoming.
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                    • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                      ahem. not good arguing technique. you must be fatigued. ;)
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                      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                        Just calling it as I sees it. Do you truly believe that Rozar has full and complete knowledge of the universe? Otherwise the response is a falsehood.
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                        • Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago
                          Don't bother they will never consider understanding it or just reject everything that they can't see unless it fits their mantras. They think they know everything and have all the answers, leave them to it.
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                          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                            Oh, I enjoy the debate with khalling and some others. At least they are honest atheists. Most, however, insist that they must be able to comprehend otherwise it cannot be. They are arrogant fools.
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                            • Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago
                              Robbie, I was actually trying to bring you back from the edge of the debate. Your point about inconceivable was true, but they are right if it is inconceivable to humans how do we understand? We understand because we considered the possibility. There are many things in science where someone had to imagine something never seen, ( a theory.) Do they always have proof of the theory? no. Does it come later ? Some do some don't. Does someone know all the answers? Just God. There is something called string theory where the physicists calculated everything back to the point when time began and energy was there before mass was created. They theorize that there are many dimensions there. Did they ever go there and see them? No. Do they exist, possibly. Could they believe it without seeing it yes? They ran the numbers on a calculator. What if that energy was God or put there by God? Would they consider that a possibility? Not according to Ayn Rand. So then could Ayn be wrong or a little narrow on this? Possibly., but I am not an expert on Ayn Rand. I have read about how she arrives at logic. I have read her theories about knowledge. What a world we would live in if all we did was what felt good to us? Do we even touch other people's lives? You betcha. Politically she is very right. There is a limit where everything becomes so extreme it no longer places any value on humans. Do I think the libs are right? Nope, way off as a matter of fact. There is no logic in putting all that power in the hands of a very few, because they will wheel and deal to serve themselves,. Corporations bankers and Wall Street are doing that with globalism it is great for the rich but making everyone else so poor you become a slave to the few. . We are both here because she raised some interesting points. I would like to learn more but would we just say she is right on everything? No, she was merely mortal capable of mistakes, and corruptible by her own self serving interests. Oh yes they would say that about religion. Ok well I rather follow the word of God, he had excellent advise on being good to one another. Did he say it was ok to free load? Nope.The only way I see out of this mess is to make sock and trade them for some potatoes or a bag of rice. Either way we will be ok, too bad if they don't want to come along. We tried to invite them.
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                              • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                                String theory gives us the idea that mathematically there are 10 dimensions or more. There is more in the Bible than many people realize. Nachmonides in the 13th century (1263) said that there are 10 dimensions, 4 knowable and 6 not knowable, all by studying the Bible. I don't know the intricacies of it but I find it fascinating that the Bible can give scholars this level of insight if they care to research it. I've been totally blown away by what is actually there that I never noticed before.

                                By the way, my background is similar to yours. I majored in Chemistry/Ecology in college. I also believe in creation.
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                            • Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago
                              Ok cool
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                              • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                                You're ok with him name calling?
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                                • Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago
                                  I don't think he called you an arrogant fool. It was directed at people that won't have a rational discussion. I don't know if that is you or not. I do think there are closed systems in Chemistry you can cook in a reactor and use entropy to calculate reaction rates and percent products etc. In biology entropy is used to calculate reactions in a cell. There are modifications of course.

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                                  • m082844 replied 7 years, 2 months ago
                          • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                            You can lead a cow to water, just don't step in the cow pie they leave. Most reasonable folks will agree that they don't know much more than half of what there is to know. I have to ask if it's possible that my assertions are in the half they don't know.

                            In 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 NIV it says: But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.
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            • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
              Robbie: Why would you assume that anything is incomprehensible to humans? It may not be known at this instant in time. That in no way implies incomprehension.
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                God is incomprehensible in fullness, otherwise we would be god.
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                • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
                  I fully understand what god is described as by the faithful.

                  I think that it's the imagination of the not educated to rationalize what they don't know yet, of those that lack sufficient self esteem to ask the scary questions and look for the answers, and of those that can't come to terms with infinite. In fact, I've often heard believers refer to god as The Infinite.

                  It was actually a Catholic Priest as an amateur astrologist who originally conceived of the Primordial Egg in 1927, then quickly jumped on Hubble's measurement of alleged red shifts of stars and super novae in order to sustain his faith and fear of infinity. Hubble later in the 30's or 40's disavowed the Big Bang idea as well as the interpretations of his measurements.
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    And I believe that it is extreme arrogance for those who cannot accept that there are things that they cannot understand, thus must not exist.
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                    • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
                      No, I'm simply saying that I don't know enough at this point in time to understand. But the history of the human race strongly implies that we will continue looking and finding and understanding.
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                      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                        Clearly. Yet we are still left with the questions as to how humankind came to be sentient, and how the universe came into being.

                        Some want to say that human sentience is a mere mutation that occurred randomly. I counter that over the eons of earth's existence, with uncountable species, some of which are more than 99% genetically similar to humans, only once has sentience occurred. Statistical probability stacks up strongly against such a one off occurrence (although I will grant you that it is possible, however slight the chance).

                        There are also those who say either that the universe has always existed, in which case I point to entropy and that if the universe has always existed why hasn't it devolved into constituent atomic particles. And others that will insist that to overcome that issue it clearly had a starting point - then if so, how did that occur and from what did it emanate. There are no theories that provide a better answer than "God."
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                        • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
                          Robbie; I'm left with an enormous amount of questions, many questions that can't even be conceived of at this time. For me, that's the joy of existence, of life.

                          As to sentience, there's a great deal of evidence, knowledge, and experiments that show self-awareness, identity, self directed learning, societal teaching, communication both inter and intra species, knowledge of death, etc. in many other species including ocean mammals, bonobos, great apes, orangoutangs, ravens, African grey parrots, and others. It's evident that sentience as you term it, is not a strictly human trait, but is shared, although to a lesser degree, by many others. We may not be as special as Genesis states.

                          As to your continued argument about entropy in the Universe, you simply don't understand what you're talking about; Taking knowledge obtained from the development of boiler steam systems and the study of gases in a closed system and trying to apply that to an infinite system such as the Universe is the height of hubris. As is accepting a theoretical hypothesis developed by a catholic priest, Georges Lemeitre in 1927, before Hubble's alleged observations in 1929, that Hubble himself later in the 30' or 40's disavowed, it as well as climate warming/cooling is consensus science, which is no science at all. It's nonsense and simply fear of infinity (limitlessness).

                          Your beliefs strike me as a philosophy and acceptance of slavery, a way of thinking that is totally abhorrent to me. To believers, this existence is belittled in the hope of an utopian, idyllic afterlife determined by some form of super magical being, with a set of rules and a map that if you follow, you win the lottery. I mean, imagine the billions of humans that have lived on this earth that your god has left in limbo, somewhere because they believed in a different god or had no knowledge of gods or are babies that died before they were baptized, or consigned to some fire and brimstone existence, even though they were totally moral and good men.

                          Most of the discussion for me still boils down to two simple questions; Who/what created god and where does he hang out?
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            • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
              What only explains that we humans cannot explain god, the book?

              If god is incomprehensible and unexplainable, as you say, then what is it that you believe in? It sounds like you don't and can't know. If so, and you are honest with yourself, then that should place you in the agnostic's camp -- which is a branch of atheism.
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                Explain human sentience.
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                • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                  What about it would you like me to explain?
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    1) How did it occur?
                    2) How did the universe come into being?
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                    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                      1) somehow.
                      2) it always existed.
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                      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                        1) So you agree that God exists?
                        2) If true, and entropy is valid, then this cannot be true, thus A does not equal A.
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                        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                          1) no, why?
                          2) entropy applies to a closed system only not to the universe as a whole. Also it's a statistical probability applied to a closed system, so entropy could decrease without contradicting the law. You've misapplied the 2nd law of thermo dynamics to an inappropriate context.
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                          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                            1) If you agree that humans attained consciousness "somehow", then my postulate that it was bestowed upon us by God is as good an explanation as any that you have provided.
                            2) There is no such thing as a "closed system." All systems exist in the universe. And physicists apply entropy to the universe in general. If all systems proceed towards disorder, and the universe is infinite in time, then the universe must have proceeded to ultimate disorder - but since it hasn't, then the universe cannot be infinite in time and must have had a beginning. Since the universe must have had a beginning, there must have been a creator. A equals A.
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                            • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                              1) I don't believe that I said humans attained consciousness somehow. I thought you were asking about how the first conscious being came into existence. But since we're on the topic of human consciousness, their conscious faculty is created during fetal development. The parts that make the brain are assembled with the DNA functioning as the blueprints.

                              There is a major difference between the term somehow that I use and the one theists use when describing what god does -- the former is within the laws of nature and the other is (generally) outside the laws of nature. Neither is an explanation, but at least mine leaves the possibility of an explanation.

                              2. You may look again if you'd like; it's on wiki. They use the term isolated systems instead of closed (which means something else there). I've never said there was such a thing that exists as a closed system; I said entropy only applies to a closed system. And to add some of my own assessment to the issue of a cooling universe. This assumes that the universe continues to spread out, but not if the universe contracts again. A contracting universe would eventually reenergize and possibly spread out again.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
        So what you're saying is that you can prove the non-existence of a being you've never met?

        Uhhhh....

        I don't even need to read the book to disprove this one by logical fallacy.

        One can make the case that one does not "believe" in god for sure, but without being omniscient one's self, how can one possibly claim to rule out every possibility that God exists?

        I would also point out that one would also have to positively describe and identify the god that one is disproving. That would mean that in order to disprove the existence of a god, one would first have to understand and know that god.

        I'm not going to tell you which way to believe, but trying to "prove" that God doesn't exist seems to me to quite the reach. Seems much more plausible just to admit that you don't believe and leave it at that.
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        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
          I am glad that you asked. You can disprove a proclaimed belief if it is in contradiction to what is known and necessarily true. How most, if not all men claim to know god contradicts our method of cognition -- i.e., faith. Most descriptions of god are self contradictory -- e.g., a supernatural being is a contradiction in terms; an omnipotent being is a contradiction in terms. The books does a very good job explaining this.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
            "You can disprove a proclaimed belief if it is in contradiction to what is known and necessarily true."

            I would agree, but how does that prove God does not exist? As I mentioned before, man is horribly ignorant. To proclaim that we can without doubt rule out the possibility of intelligent life that supercedes our own seems to me to be a rather arrogant posture, don't you agree?

            "Most descriptions of god are self contradictory -- e.g., a supernatural being is a contradiction in terms; an omnipotent being is a contradiction in terms."

            No idea how one logically reaches either of those conclusions. Our limited cognition may not be able to comprehend HOW such a thing could happen, but I fail to see this as justification that it is impossible. More accurate to say that as of yet is not explained. Major difference.

            I'll give you an example. Dark matter applies to most of the terms you just cited. We know it exists, not because we can measure or study it but because of its influence on other astrophysical objects. We don't have a clue how dark matter works, how it is derived, what purpose it serves, or even how to really define it. Even the term relates not to the substance itself, but to our inability to interact with or study it in any meaningful way.

            I do not mean to make a parallel of dark matter to God. I merely use this as an illustration of a source of complete bewilderment on the part of mankind. It is a legitimate phenomena, but one which is completely indecipherable at the present time. To say that other such forces, beings, entities, substances do not exist just because we do not have the proper tools with which to interact or measure them is to deny science itself in spite of the evidence in front of our own noses.
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            • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
              Does it really make sense that one acquires knowledge through ignorance?

              I never said there can't be a more intelligent beings than myself. I know of many. My wife is one.

              As far as my examples go, let's suppose an omnipotent being that can do anything. Can it create an object that is so heavy that it can't lift. If yes, then its power is limited since there is something it cannot do -- it can't lift the object. If not, then its power is limited since there is something it can not do -- it can't create the object. In either case it's limited; therefore, it cannot be omnipotent or it would be a contradiction in terms.

              A supernatural being is a contradiction in terms, because it is a being that doesn't exist as anything in particular because otherwise it would have limits; and yet at the same time to be is to be something, and to be something is to be something specific.

              The book does a better job walking you through each of these (and more) logically.

              Everything is incomprehensible at first due to our nature -- tabula rasa. Dark matter isn't claimed, however, to be supernatural. (If the scientists aren't wrong about the existence of dark matter) We may come to learn more about it, and yet the stuff we already know about it is comprehensible. God by definition will never be comprehensible.
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              • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                "God by definition will never be comprehensible."

                What I understand by your comment is that you are defining comprehensible to be a complete understanding of a being superior to humankind in power, in understanding, and in knowledge. In that respect, I agree, but because our limited functions aren't capable of such. However, can we identify attributes of God? Absolutely. Just, merciful, loving, and fatherly to name a few. The attempt to know God is the heart of religion in the first place, but not because we irrationally believe we can comprehend all God did or does, but in order to find our place. By understanding our relationship to Him, we DO grow to know Him. I never recognized the wisdom of my father until I had children of my own. Now I can identify with and understand my own father in ways I never could before and I have grown to love him in ways I never did before.

                In my belief, life here is no different. We are learning through experience so that we can better understand God.

                Further, I would question your definition or use of omnipotence. Omnipotence doesn't mean capricious exercise of power (such as creating an object one can not lift). I cite Socrates' criticism of such a concept:

                The Greek Pantheon (Zeus, Athena, Apollo, Hades, etc.) were attributed to be all-powerful to the Greeks. Socrates contended that because of the capricious nature exhibited by the Greek gods (according to their traditions and legends) that this was inherently a contradiction: that for beings of such power that did not govern their actions strictly (which the Greek gods were not known for), their own power would be their undoing. I would agree with this line of reasoning to posit not that an all-powerful being can not exist, only that such a being would have to elicit extraordinary self-control in order to wield such power! Socrates goes on to argue for a limited, monotheistic view. This was what ultimately condemned Socrates to death - his reasoned heresy for the self-governed use of power.

                Similarly, as a fan of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", I found the episodes with Q to be particularly entertaining and insightful. Q regularly posed moral quandaries to the intrepid explorers on the Enterprise, but did so out of antipathy and caprice. Q was ultra-powerful. He could alter the gravitational constant of the universe, but also got kicked out of the Continuum for bad behavior that fell outside of the rules - capriciousness!

                Did the Enterprise crew comprehend Q? No. Did he exist? Yes.

                One more thought. If your reasoning falls along the lines that the incomprehensible can not exist, I would also invite you to reason on the origin of invention. Is it also unreasonable to imagine something which could be, but which I can not at this point define the machinations of? If such were the case, would not all human advancement have ceased long ago?
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                • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                  I don't think that I said incomprehensible things cannot exist; as you point out some clearly do. Certain types of things that are incomprehensible, however, cannot exist -- like contradictions.

                  The law of identity requires that everything that exists has limits due to its correlates -- law of excluded middle and law of non-contradiction. It is or it isn't; it cannot be both. So a limitless being is and isn't, which is the root of the problem regarding comprehension. Reason dictates a contradiction cannot exist. Faith says it can. We need to resolve which is valid before I think we can make progress.
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                    I posit a God with power far beyond our comprehension - such that the only words we have to describe that power ("limitless", "omnipotence") are at their base a recognition of our own limited cognition. As you point out, we can not define something that we can not comprehend. If we, ourselves, could comprehend all things, we could reasonably expect to be able to describe all things. If we at first do not recognize our own limitations, how then can we place limitations on others?

                    I highly recommend a very short book that explores this concept called "Flatland". It's more of a short story, really, but presents the same question from the perspective of a two-dimensional being who suddenly encounters a three-dimensional being and is suddenly forced to attempt to conceptualize his world now that he has suddenly been shown a truly radical view of such.

                    To move on, I would propose to examine the assertion that faith provides for contradictions. I agree that such a presentation is nonsensical and should be discarded. I would rather say that faith is what motivates us to act now so that we may see a future benefit - nothing more, nothing less. Faith is ironically an implicit acknowledgement of a human limitation - our inability to predict with absolute certainty!

                    Faith motivates us to take the test in the hopes of a desired outcome, but it in no way dictates the outcome. If the outcome is what we expect, then our faith is proven and becomes knowledge. If the outcome differs, we must re-evaluate the premise for our faith in order to maintain reason. To me, faith promotes the exploration of reason and provides the mechanism for reason to become knowledge. They work together - not at odds.

                    Does that mean that some - both religious and not - unreasonably cite "faith" when contending about religious matters? Indelibly so, and they do so out of ignorance and a failure to recognize or use both their faith and reasoning capacities in concert. This is the dogmatic approach that is just as bigoted as the scientist because it precludes the addition of knowledge except through approved sources! I cringe at the thought.

                    I must thank you profusely for your careful and reasonable approach. I am enjoying this discussion immensely!
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                    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                      I'm glad you've been enjoying this conversation.

                      I'm going to have to disagree about your assertion that faith and reason work together. I'm having a hard time understanding what exactly you mean when you use the terms. But from the context I think I can extract some meaning. Just correct me if I'm wrong.

                      Since you're on this site, I suspect that you use Mrs. Rand's definition of reason: "Reason integrates man’s perceptions by means of forming abstractions or conceptions, thus raising man’s knowledge from the perceptual level, which he shares with animals, to the conceptual level, which he alone can reach. The method which reason employs in this process is logic—and logic is the art of non-contradictory identification." -- faith and force: destroyers of the modern world

                      From what I see you write, you essentially say knowledge from faith is not derived from our rational faculty. For example, when you say god is incomprehensible yet you know it exists, you are essentially saying we cannot rationally know and yet you know anyway.

                      Also we have a disagreement on what the meaning of words and concepts are. Contradictions aren't something to be considered as possible just because we don't understand or because we lack the words or the meaning of words to express something. Contradictions don't exist physically in reality. Reality is objective. We must form out minds to be consistent with reality -- i.e., our ideas and thoughts are to be free of contradictions from beginning to end if they are to be true. A contradiction in our mind is essentially admitting an error in our thoughts, since it cannot be consistent with reality.

                      Knowledge (if define as true understanding about facts of reality) is only possible if we logically integrate the data we perceive from our senses. Knowledge isn't limited to past events, as you suggest. We are able to predict many things to great degrees of accuracy into the future using reason (but not faith).
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                        I prefer a more refined and specific definition than that used by Rand. Whether she knows it or not, she is combining invention with reason, and in my mind these are separate and distinct aspects of process. Invention involves coming up with a vision - a future possibility - while reason is the process of engineering the reality (or not) of that possibility. An inventor has vision, an engineer brings the vision to life, and those who are both are called entrepreneurs.

                        I agree that contradictions should be avoided. I would caution, however, against unwittingly labeling something a contradiction just because one does not understand how it could be at the present time. In order for something truly to be a contradiction, it must openly defy something else which we know to be true. Therefore in order to declare something a contradiction, we must of necessity understand all the conditions of such and be able to verify that there is no possibility under which something may be true. That's a tall order for our limited human minds (or at least mine) and I would strongly encourage this classification to be used extremely sparingly, as it presumes complete subject knowledge.

                        I agree that reality is objective. I would also posit this idea: is it possible that there are other methods by which to perceive reality? Is there such a thing as intuition or the so-called "sixth sense"? If so, then to limit our understanding of reality to just the first five senses is to inherently bias any rational decisions we make based on this data, wouldn't you agree?

                        I would also posit that if such a "sixth sense" existed (the one that could loosely be inferred from Christian dogma to be the Holy Spirit), then without this sixth sense, matters perceivable to this extra sense would be and would remain wholly insensible and therefore wholly irrational to those relying upon only the basic five senses in the same way that someone relying on three dimensions would be at a complete loss to describe quantum physics.
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                        • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                          They will never accept that there may be dimensions or levels of existence that they cannot fully describe. Just look at the continuing assertions by m - there is an unwillingness to accept that there may be a level of existence that they cannot comprehend. That is a level of arrogance that unless put aside, will never provide a fruitful discussion of the issue.
                          The other point that I've tried to make a few times is this - if the atheists are right what negative impact is there for those of us who do believe? They will point to specific aspects of a religion (their favorite is "you are your brother's keeper" and then extrapolate that to their own extreme. I do not accept that that statement makes me a slave to my "brother," rather that I treat them with dignity and respect and as I would have them treat me) and make gross exaggerations as to what a specific tenet leads to. I often point to the same problem with their doctrine of "selfishness" but they refuse to accept it because it does not fit their view (the issue is that if there is no accounting for oneself, what prevents the person from taking on the ultimate level of selfishness and taking whatever they want and killing whomever they want? They never want to answer that issue with logic, merely with some mystical - it's not in the other person's self interest to do so because it will lead to their own demise - but that then brings up the "baddest ass on the block").
                          On the other hand, what if we are right? There is a final reckoning for one's existence. Doesn't necessitate that you adhere to one specific flavor of religion or another (in fact, even though I am Catholic, I doubt that any faction has the absolute truth). Then that does call for one person to respect another person, and leads to reduction in force used against others.
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                          • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                            Though I agree that the pursuit of knowledge presupposes the suspension of disbelief in favor of the possibility, I will disagree with your assertion that those who are participating in this discussion will ever change. I have faith and act on the belief that if one stays true to reason, one can find the truth. All I ask is that one accepts the premise of ignorance and uses that as the basis for seeking knowledge. If one first starts from the position of "I don't know", then envisions the possibilities, one can rationally conclude - as did Sherlock Holmes - that "whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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                            • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                              Well, I haven't given up, as witnessed in my continuing discussion. However, it is extremely frustrating when your debating counterpart(s) use different rules to suit their specific purpose. Makes them seem like progressives instead of rational beings.
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                              • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                                Often, the disagreements I have with people on this forum aren't about logical conclusions, but about terminology and frame of reference. When one realizes that logic and reason are predicated upon one's existing knowledge and frame of reason, it is pretty easy to see how differing viewpoints can result in what may seem to be illogical or irrational conclusions to someone else.

                                The first trick to any real debate is to always focus on the assumptions and get those nailed down first. Once both agree on the facts and frame of reference, truth is usually separated from error easily. The only question then becomes whether or not someone is willing to accept it. That can be a really tough thing for people to do - and their religious or political affiliation matter not.
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                  • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Something or someone can be in another dimension but not be in our dimensionality. It all depends on your point of reference. We all make the mistake of seeing our existence as the be-all end-all.

                    Quantum Physics is so scary, the guy that proved it to be fact couldn't deal with it and committed suicide.
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                    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Which dimension is it if not ours?

                      Proved QM huh? One contradiction should have caused them to through it away, but they simply trudged on and collected more of them. Did you one one contradiction arrested scientific development for a millennia in the area of astronomy?
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                      • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                        String Theory gives you at least 10. There are 6 that we can't know other than mathematically. Take your pick. Look into how a photon can act as a wave or or a particle depending on how it's observed and that a photon knows about another particle's state even though the information was passed on at greater than the speed of light. I know, it makes my head hurt too.
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                        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                          It made scientists's heads hurt to think that the planets and the sun orbited the earth in perfect circles, and to think that planets made circular motions around nothing while they did it. They didn't understand why, but it fit their assumptions (or it was made to fit their assumptions). It hurt their heads and made no sense, and it destroyed scientific progress for 1000 years until Kepler came along.

                          Sure the current understanding of QM and string theory may be arrived at by some observations and mathematical deductions, but so could circular orbits. Both are wrong, however, and for the same reason -- they contain contradictions. QM and string theory will stop progress until their faulty assumptions are challenged -- one particle can and yet cannot be at one location in the same time and in the same respect (probability cloud). Sure probability is a great tool for getting a percentage of some outcome, but probability is making a guess without enough information -- it's not a state of nature as current QM scientists would have us believe.
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                          • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                            I think a clarification is in order, here. There are various aspects of quantum mechanics which have been proven to be correct. I remember reading a story about some Chinese physicists that were able to induce a quantum shift in a particle to make it disappear and reappear meters away. They were unable to replicate the process on anything larger than a single particle, however.

                            What remains to be resolved is referred to as Grand Unified Theory, of which string theory is a part and quantum mechanics is a part. There are at least three major versions of string theory that are all incompatible in some form or another, but which all offer explanations of certain observed phenomena. Grand Unified Theory is the attempt to resolve the differences between interactions at the sub-atomic level and interactions at the astronomical level - or to put it another way, to resolve the force differences between electrical charge and gravity. The Higgs Boson was to be a key part because until one could identify the transmission unit and method for gravity, no attempt at unification was possible using the existing theories.
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                            • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                              I'm familiar with the GUT. It a patchwork attempt at integrating something that can't yet be integrated so they are satisfied with the resulting juxtaposition.

                              There is a phrase "one in the many." Meaning the identification of one unifying principle from the many seemingly unconnected things. Newton, for example, needed the concept mass to generalize his principle of gravity, which is the unifying principle governing the force between to bodies. I believe we are missing some essential conceptual understandings to unify QM and relativity. It doesn't help that QM contains contradictions when relativity does not.
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            Again, you're trying to use a human perspective to explain something not human.
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            • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
              What other perspective should I use? May I also ask, how is it that you've come to know something that is by definition unknowable to you?
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
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                • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                  So you don't know?
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Yes, I do know. It is called faith. It is a concept that you atheists are seemingly incapable of understanding.
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                    • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Help me understand. Could you define faith for me? How does this new (to me) method of knowledge work? Can you give me an example of how you know something from faith but not from reason?
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                      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                        No. This is my last communique with you. You believe that you are capable of knowing everything. That is the pinnacle of arrogance. Since you will never accept that you cannot know everything, and that you will only accept what you do comprehend, it is a meaningless exercise to have any discussion of faith with you.
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                        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
                          Suit yourself, but you cannot claim to hold a rational position.

                          I will only accept things as knowledge that I comprehend, otherwise I will say (by necessity of being honest) that I don't know. I don't know where you're getting your information. There are many things I don't know. On top of that I know that I will never know everything.

                          I'm being fairly open minded here. I am asking you to help me understand faith. could you at least define it?
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                        Try this: faith is a belief in the future - something we "hope" will come to pass.

                        Some will extend this to say that faith underlies the drive of the entrepreneur to take risks in the hope of a profit, or the drive of the inventor to create something. There is no guarantee they will be successful, but they persevere in the hopes that it could happen.

                        In religious circles, faith is used to identify the reason for actions taken that to someone else may appear irrational.

                        Hope that helps.
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                        • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                          I've heard it said this way. Faith is the belief through hope of something we can't see. That's why Christ told Timothy that "blessed are those that believe but don't see."
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        • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
          blarman: Who created God and where does he hang out?
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          • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
            Why don't you ask Him? ;)

            Seriously, though, I don't have an answer for the first one. Man has a limited knowledge of such. We'll probably find out at some point after this life. I'm more worried about making it to that point. ;)

            As to where He "hangs out", I would say that it is less important than whether or not He can be reached by us. Just as doctors can now operate remotely on patients using the Internet, I would imagine that proximity probably has very little to do with exercise of God's power. To me, it's far more important to know that my questions have answers and that I can seek those answers from authoritative sources.
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      • -1
        Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
        A source that proves God is fiction? That should be interesting. Most scientists, as far as I'm aware, tend to adhere to the belief that God's existence can be neither proved nor disproved.
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        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
          No one has tried within the framework of Objectivist Epistemology before. I'll suggest to you the same as I told Rozar:

          "Assuming you've read introduction to objectivist epitemology (ITOE) and understand how our conceptual faculty functions, then I suggest the book "Atheism: the case against god" which is the application of ITOE to the question of whether or not god exists. It proves it quite well."
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  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
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    • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
      I'm with you blarman. Scientists, who are also Christians, have their faith strengthened by what they see in their research on a daily basis. Biologists can only wonder in amazement when they see how intricate and complex DNA, cells, amoebae and other living organisms are.

      More and more scripture is proving to be accurate when compared with scientific discoveries. Recent findings in quantum physics related to the slowing of the speed of light and the expansion of the universe are just a few of the discoveries that the Bible reinforces, not contradicts.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Totally agree. Fear-based motivation as a rationale for morality is wholly less effective than conviction-based motivation. The fear of getting caught for a crime is always going to be less effective than understanding why a crime is wrong in the first place!
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  • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
    Here is one of the most damning thought experiments about religion as a means to knowledge. If you were to start over today; take many infants and raise several different isolated colonies starting from complete ignorance. After several hundred generations in isolation and growth you'll have a unique religion per colony -- not one will be the same -- yet all the science and math they discover must be the same.
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    • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
      I have to question this one in its entirety.

      The first thing I would point out is the impossibility of starting with infants in ignorance. Infants are incapable of providing for their own needs, and even most children are until they reach at least eight or more. Even if you substitute automatons in place of human parents, those automatons are going to have to be programmed to provide care based on rules (values), biasing the outcome! Discipline is based on values and can not be avoided in the raising of children! There is no way to start from a blank slate as you propose!

      The other problem is that you are assuming either A) that people are logical/rational by nature and that somehow that would result in irrational beliefs/behavior or B) that you assume people are illogical/irrational, in which case you couldn't really expect them to suddenly grow rationality. In either case, neither assumption supports your conclusion!

      I don't really find this a "damning" experiment at all (ironic that you would use a religious word) except in its very proposition! Further, it seems to be based on the false premise that all religion is irrational in the first place. To make that leap is to claim that all value systems are irrational (for that is what a religion is) - which is unfounded and frankly a prejudiced/bigoted view.

      Further, the sheer existence of difference in the plethora of existing value systems also means that not all value systems will have the same benefits or costs - to lump them all together and declare them either irrational or without merit (your thinly veiled implication) is to ignore this fundamental reality.

      A better thought experiment is this: what knowledge is the most important? That to me is a question that drives many others and for which one can reasonably entertain suggestions.
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  • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago in reply to this comment.
    A closed system (or isolated system) is one of those concepts you can approach but never reach, like absolute zero. In chemistry they can't stop heat from entering or leaving, for example. But you're right entropy is still a concept that's useful in those cases.
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    • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
      Ahah; the old engineer - mathematician comparison: Eng and Math in the same room, against one wall - across the room, a nude model. Restricted to only advancing 1/2 the distance between per move; how many steps to reach the model. Math answers that he could never get there, because there are an infinite number of halves. Eng answers I'll get close enough in a few.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 7 years, 2 months ago
    "The Bible is the word of God," Ham said. "I admit that's where I start from."
    I love that his entire basis for argument is something that can't be proven true, and that numerous times some of the writings of the Bible have been arguably proven untrue.
    I just don't have the faith required to believe that chapters of a book written down by more than 40 human authors, and declared by other humans to be the Word Of God at various other times over the course of 1500 years are without any doubt the word of the one all powerful being that created everything.
    I would have to believe that all the humans involved in the book had no agenda, and no vested interest in getting everyone to agree and to act accordingly.
    To me that is not reasonable.

    I don't have a problem with the possibility that a highly evolved being (or perhaps beings) might have planned and created much of the universe we can observe today.
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    • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
      Logically speaking, Ham is being very open about his assumptions, actually. One may disagree with the assumptions (as that is the basis of a logical debate), but the logic itself is sound. If A therefore B - unless A itself is fallacious.

      The trick in a logical debate is that you have to look at both the logical train of thought AND the assumptions in order to arrive at a logically valid statement. Disprove either and you have disproved the logical argument.
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    • Posted by $ stargeezer 7 years, 2 months ago
      Aliens are OK, but God is not????? While I fully believe that God did NOT create his universe void of intelligent life except here on Earth, I doubt that these same would be so wise, experienced and intelligent to be able to "build everything" and just go away.

      I'm willing to admit that I don't have all the answers and until I do gain a few more, I'm willing to say, "God did it. He gave me a book that says he did. I believe it,"
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
      And don't forget that it has been "edited" over the centuries by fallible humans to meet their desires.

      No, the Bible is not the absolute "word of God." It is the word as inspired by God, conceptualized and transcribed by humans, and compiled and edited by other humans - some of which, having human failings, have not been faithful to the original word. Thus, while there are some factions of faiths (including my own Catholic) that espouse the one true version of God, it is illogical to accept that.
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    • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
      "I just don't have the faith required to believe that chapters of a book written down by more than 40 human authors, and declared by other humans to be the Word Of God at various other times over the course of 1500 years are without any doubt the word of the one all powerful being that created everything.
      I would have to believe that all the humans involved in the book had no agenda, and no vested interest in getting everyone to agree and to act accordingly.
      To me that is not reasonable."

      No, you're right. It isn't.

      Unless there is something other than selfishness motivating them. Unless they had an extraordinary view which transcended ours. Unless these were impeccably honest men whose only concerns were for higher principles or ideals. Unless their only agenda were the truth to which they were granted specific insights they then shared with others.

      Given all the dishonesty, corruption, and greed in today's society, it's pretty easy to be disillusioned that this could even be a possibility, I agree.

      The question is, then, does hope still exist? Can one hope for the ideal? Does rationality exclude the possibilities of a brighter future?
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      • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
        The recent finds at Qumran in the Dead Sea Scrolls give us documents that are 1,000 years earlier than available before. Amazingly they are identical to the later copies, fidelity that answers your question of trust in the texts. The agnostics in the first few centuries of Christianity were the folks that changed the texts and corrupted the scriptures to meet their needs.
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  • Posted by EconomicFreedom 7 years, 2 months ago
    >Nye appeared in an online video in 2012 that urged parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children

    Then it is all right to pass science-based doubts about evolution on to one's children.

    Good!

    But is it all right if the evolution True Believers, in turn, reply to those who doubt evolution for scientific reasons by claiming they obviously have a "religious agenda"? I don't think so. Yet that is what most Darwin acolytes do — that is what Jerry Coyne has always done.

    More mysterious than where atoms come from is the mystery of where "ought" statements come from, since they indicate the existence of a non-physical moral dimension that cannot be derived or deduced from atoms or indicative "is" statements about atoms, or physical things made up of atoms.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
      I don't think that most creationist religious people reject evolution. Just that it is the sole explanation for humankind.
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      • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
        I agree. Micro-evolution, adaptation of species, is a reality but macro-evolution, "we came from a rock", isn't reality but a theory which is just as religious as creationism.
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  • Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago
    I watched it too. I thought both sides left unanswered questions. Did anyone catch Nye's explanation of radio carbon dating? I didn't catch how they timed it.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
        While I disagree with Ham's evaluation of the age of the earth, he does make a valid point in noting the assumptions under which Nye reaches his conclusion have potential flaws - even if inelegantly stating such. Let's examine his counter-argument.

        Nye asserts that carbon dating is an accurate method of assessing the dates of certain objects. Ham challenges that assertion by noting that carbon dating's effectiveness is predicated on two factors: the steady half-life of carbon isotopes AND the ratio of the isotopes in the sample to ratios found in present-day carbon sources. Both of these must be true in order for carbon-dating to be regarded as reliable.

        Is it more likely than not that the half-life of the applicable carbon isotopes remains constant - even through millenia? I would argue yes. The number of variables under consideration is very limited and predicated on highly predictable scientific observations. So we will conclude that this assumption is more likely than not to be valid - and with a high degree of certainty.

        Is it more likely than not that the ratios of radioactive carbon in organisms of today are similar to those of ages past? That is the assumption where there is significant room for question, as we can only use educated guesses to evaluate the past - not direct observation. I would still argue that the level of variance can and is mathematically compensated for and thus that the assumption is more likely than not to be valid, but I would definitely place a high degree of uncertainty on this assumption relative to to the assumption regarding half-life.

        Without specific proof one way or the other regarding the ratios, it is impossible to fully confirm our hypothesis, thus while we can reasonably conclude that carbon dating is a valid practice, we must also recognize that there may be a small possibility of error.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
            Thus my assertion that taking either side in this debate is an assertion that one holds knowledge uncommon to others. Far more honest to simply acknowledge what one doesn't know, postulate potential hypotheses, then attempt to reasonably eliminate all possibilities until only the truth remains.

            If one gets a little help along the way, all the better. ;)
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              • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                I wouldn't so easily discount citations from the Bible. The Bible is written testimony from those who saw certain events - many of whom died for their claims because the establishment governments viewed them as a threat to their authority.

                Should one examine their claims? Absolutely and in all honesty. Should one casually dismiss such claims simply because they are found in a "religious" text? I would caution that one should take great care in doing so lest they similarly disqualify themselves as bigots! Is it the label or title on the book which declares its veracity or rather the content of such?

                Just as in science, one should seek independent confirmation. No scientific theory is accepted as such on the basis of only one paper, so too neither should a concept of spirituality be without confirmation.
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    If camels weren't domesticated until "thousands of years ACE" that would mean that they have only recently been domesticated (as in the past couple of years) or haven't yet been domesticated. With some of what I've seen of camels, perhaps the latter statement isn't that far off.
                    Seriously, though, camels have been used as animals of burden for thousands of years, so well within the timeframe of the birth of JC.
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                    • Posted by $ Susanne 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Thousands of years ACE? That's... now. IF they're implying more than a couple thousand, then Camels won't be domesticated until sometime after the year 3000 (CE)...

                      Can I borrow the keys to the time machine? I want to see what my stock holdings will be doing in a few weeks... ;-)
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Are you kidding? I get more fun and mental stimulation out of conversing with the people on this forum than any other online outlet I visit! I wouldn't trade this for anything! :)

                    Bigotry is arriving at predetermined conclusions regardless of any attempt to reasonably ascertain the veracity of a claim - aka prejudice (or pre-judging). Everyone is guilty of it at some point. The true test of knowledge seekers is the challenge to pull down one's own prejudicial barriers long enough to make an objective judgement on a matter. It means admitting that whatever prejudice you may have applied to a situation is less important than the real truth. Skepticism only turns to bigotry when one is not willing to examine the matter at all because one has "pre-judged" the outcome and doesn't wish to apply the true test to see if the real outcome matches the envisioned outcome.

                    Regarding religion, to me it is simply the way someone lives their life. It may coincide with a particular credo that some formally refer to as a "religion", leading to significant confusion on the matter. Spirituality to me is merely a measure of how well one conforms to their selected credo. To me, one can be a very religious or spiritual person - even if that credo is of their own design.

                    You write "If "one reference" is a poor measure of veracity in science, why isn't that possible for biblical "citations"?"

                    You may not think so, but I am in complete agreement with you. Just as in a court of law, the testimony of a single witness is usually and probably should be taken with a healthy degree of uncertainty. What should be recognized, however, is that the Bible is not a single book written by a single author. It is an aggregation of the testimonies of many men written and passed down through the ages. Even many Christians forget this fact and treat the Bible as if it were a single volume.

                    Of more import, however, is not a discussion on the veracity of the Bible, however, but on the principles of the search for truth. True principles will evince the truth regardless of their source. If one wishes for a second witness to verify the first (the Bible), one should by all means seek for such. If it can not be found, I find no reason one can not conclude that the lack of support is in and of itself telling.
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                        I must have missed something. Did I mistakenly profess a self-defining proof (those drive me crazy)? If so, can you point it out to me, as any such reference was unintentional on my part.
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                          • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                            What I was trying to point out was that the Bible is not a single witness, but rather a compilation of many. I do agree that compilation and translation errors could and almost certainly did creep into even the King James Version. And if it had errors, any future translation not coming from God, Himself, would assuredly only compound those errors as if one were playing the party game "Gossip"!

                            All that aside, I would posit for consideration this: what if there were a way to know for sure the veracity of any "religious" claim - and have that veracity originate from a non-Biblical source? Is this plausible?

                            For your consideration: the Bible is a record of what witnesses claimed to have happened up to and ending about 80 years AD. For someone living 2000 years later, it is not unreasonable to ask for something a little more modern. So what if there were modern witnesses (Biblical lingo calls them prophets) who testify now of the same things? What if on top of that, you didn't even have to take _their_ word for it, but you could go straight to the source? If you could ask God if He exists, would you do it?

                            No need to answer, just a question for thought. Cheers!
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                              • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                                It actually isn't circular at all, but rather presupposes several things: one's acceptance of the possibility that He exists, one's acceptance of the possibility that He has some interest (Christians like to refer to this as love) in one as an individual that would then motivate Him to respond to the inquiry, and the ability of the person to recognize any response. One more: the recognition that any such answer received would constitute a life-changing event.

                                I am not being flippant, either. One can not ask to fulfill a whim. One must be serious about accepting any answer received for exactly what it is, with all the consequences thereof.

                                Such a test is not for the faint of heart or for those who are merely curious, which is why such proof is a one-way street. There is no going back once you know. But that path is also 100% voluntary and 100% personal. I can neither force you down the path nor observe your answer. Just as you would not speak with your children the same way because they are distinct individuals with different personalities, learning styles, etc, so too God personalizes His communications with His children as well. I could tell you a range of things to look for, but could in no way predict which of them were employed.

                                Anyway, I'll leave you with that and my thanks for an immensely enjoyable conversation from someone using their reasoning faculties to the fullest. My compliments, and my best wishes to you.
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                                  • blarman replied 7 years, 2 months ago
                  • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Thousands of years ACE would be now, if ACE is the replacement for AD. I'm sure the Bedouins would have domesticated the first beast of burden they could get their hands on. Here's a link to a prophecy study that might answer any questions about why we have faith in the veracity of scripture.

                    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ygwecjgizwv0c...

                    Look at the sessions 1-4 with real player, plus there are notes to boot. It will surprise you. I'll be around if you have any questions. There is no costs for these. 8-)
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                    • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                      The problem was that I was too stupid to use Dropbox correctly. When the link opens up the folder, click download (blue button) in the upper right corner then click download as zip. After you download it, unzip the folder and let it save the contents. Click the session you want to see and keep going deeper until you show 3 file there. Click on the smil file to play. My file has a Realplayer icon on it. Sorry, didn't think it was that complicated.
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                      • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                        What are you referring to? Where in the study did you hear that?

                        You should know by now that I'm not selling anything, only offering you information to think about.
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                          • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                            The slide you're referring to and the ones around it deal with the date setters for Christ's coming for the Rapture (Harpazo). Because man can't set or know the date, the date setters will always be wrong. You need to listen to what is being said while the slide is up and not depend on what you think the slide says. Session 4 deals with what prophecy says about today..... and what it doesn't say. If you don't hear what is spoken a person could, and in this case would, conclude something that's not there.

                            I apologize for not giving you better instructions on downloading the file, so I'm mostly at fault., but not for the information spoken in the study. I hope this helps.
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                              • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                                The return of Christ is the only prophecy in the Bible that specifically states that no one knows the day or time but the Father. Not even Christ was told. Look at slide 206 in Session 4. If it helps you, there are mp3 files included in the download. Maybe you can listen to them while you drive or work.

                                The series will show and explain many prophecies that were given hundreds of years, sometimes thousands before they occurred. Keep in mind that there are prophecies yet to be fulfilled, so necessarily, they'll be in the future. It will look at the probability of that occurring by chance. The doubts and questions you have are addressed in the material.

                                This is a thinking man's study and, as always, the truth is in the eyes of the beholder. I'll be around if you need more clarification or help.
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                                  • gonzo309 replied 7 years, 2 months ago
          • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
            If you would like something to contemplate, try this. Studies have been done on polonium halos that show that creation is highly likely. Take a look at http://www.halos.com/
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              • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                The heat was dissipated over time but the granite was still solid. The discoloration still remains in the form of the halo in a hot rock that isn't in a liquid state. This subject will continue to be hotly debated. Enjoy your fish. Hope you won't glow in the dark for too long. 8-)
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      • Posted by $ stargeezer 7 years, 2 months ago
        Heinlein was right. I never met the man, but I know he existed. He left a book I read.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
          Only one? Get to it, they're all great!
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          • Posted by $ stargeezer 7 years, 2 months ago
            Actually, I've read all of them and own everything I've ever found in print. Unlike scripture, I don't assign reverence to the words, but as a young man I found Heinlein's writings helped to shape my views of the world and hopes for the world in the future. All too often, I'm afraid that Heinlein would be disappointed in the world today. For that I am as sorry for him as for myself. In the world created in his books, he allowed a geekish young man to explore the universe. Not as a tourist-spectator, but as the pilot/captain of an intergalactic starship or as a time traveling adventurer or even as a soldier fighting the scourge of humanity.

            Yes, I knew the man, at least his mind.
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  • -1
    Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
    Here's a link to the debate on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3A...
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
        And something about atheism allows you to predict the future? If so, what's next weeks lotto ticket numbers, please?
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            I never claimed to be able to do so. You're the one that insinuated that you could predict the future (by claiming that creationists can only "predict" the past).
            As for pointing out the missed apostrophe (via the inclusion of the sic ref), that's just juvenile.
            "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
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      • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
        Ham speaks only for his own young Earth view of creationism. It is not the only view, or even the one believed by most Christians.

        I would also like to submit that atheism is just as irrational a belief as Christianity. The scientific community accepts that the existence of god cannot be totally proven or dis-proven. Therefor I submit the agnostic belief is the only belief that is Objective and rational.
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        • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
          Aetheism is not a belief. It is a stance. Beliefs are incorporated into your life. An aetheist does not work through their philosophies or science by first stating an axiom there is no God. However, this is the first concept believers must address logically in their philosophical life. And the first rule applied to the proof is rational analysis is set aside for belief. But in all other parts of my philosophy reason is the first test. The irrationality is open and admitted to by the believer. It is illogical to pose hypotheses which have no basis and then say
          well it could be you can 't disprove it.
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            The problem is, you are trying to understand something that is beyond human understanding. That is the primary failing of the atheistic viewpoint. They believe that they can understand God.
            Just as the ant has no conceptualization of a human, neither does a human have a true understanding of God. Because we are sentient, we try to explain with reason that which we are incapable of understanding - just like the ant.
            One must first be humble enough to accept that they cannot understand that which cannot be understood.
            We'll all know soon enough, one way or another.
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                Your failing is in seeking "proof." You either believe (in my case that some 2000 yrs ago a certain being was born and later killed) or you don't. That is called faith. There was a member of his following, by the name of Thomas, who also had doubts. "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
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                  • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                    There are around 300 prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament. The odds that 8 of the most likely were to be fulfilled is around 10 to the 15 power, that's 1 with 15 zeroes after it. The odds that 16 would be fulfilled is 10 to the 40+ power. This probability is considered absurd by science for likelihood. There are 280+ left that He fulfilled. If you want to watch the study that explains it all, go to http://www.kitrust.org/live-video Sign up for free and watch the Prophecy 101 video. It will blow you away.

                    There are a slew of predictions (prophecies) that have come true such as:

                    1. The day of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to the day
                    2. The day of Israel being given back the land, to the day
                    3. The 6 day war in 1967, to the day

                    All this was proclaimed to Daniel by Gabriel the Archangel in Dan 9:24-25. There are hundreds more. In reference to the end times, the timing is hidden to all but God the Father, to keep Satan from preparing. This was all in the scriptures 300 years before Christ's birth as evidenced by it being translated from Hebrew to Greek in the Septuagint around 273 b.c.
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                      • Posted by gonzo309 7 years, 2 months ago
                        Cause they just happen to be showing this series over four weeks and it also is free. It usually is a live study but a recording is being shown on Monday night New Zealand time which is 1:30 am late Sunday eastern time. I took this study back in 2008 and learned a bunch. Chuck is a a techy who used to be the CEO of Western Digital and brought them out of bankruptcy. A Russian mathematician (I think his name was Panin) did the actual calculations of it but Chuck explains it well. Part 2 on Monday morning will get into those prophecies.

                        I paid for the study but you have access for free for a limited time. Your choice whether you look or not. I can put it on my Dropbox account if that is more to your liking.
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    But when the "next step" is inevitably taken... JC was resurrected, ascended to "heaven," will "return to earth," etc... well, that one doesn't leave the hangar for me, let alone "fly."

                    That's the difference between an atheist and a believer.

                    Jesus never himself claimed to be devine, but he did what people can't do. Jesus performed miracles. He healed people...blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead. He had power over objects...created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people. He performed miracles over nature...walked on top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends.

                    You do not want to accept that these things happened, and so you will say prove it. I cannot. There are no absolutely incorruptible forms of documentation from those occurrences.

                    You also want to point to failings of human beings (false prophets/predictions) as "proof" that there is no God. I'm sure that some of those predictions were made by people who believed they had been in communication with God, some may have even been and merely got the method of His interaction with us misinterpreted. Most, I dare say, were humans with human failings - many trying to take advantage of their fellow man to their own advantage. I'm sure that you'll agree that that is a common enough occurrence in many facets of life.

                    To paraphrase: Blessed are those who believe without needing proof.

                    And again, as I've said before, we will all know soon enough. If you are right, what has it benefitted or cost you or me? But what if I am right?
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          • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
            > Aetheism is not a belief. It is a stance.

            The opposite might be said by Christians.

            > An aetheist does not work through their philosophies or science by first stating an axiom there is no God.

            Some Christians do not start by saying there is a god. Some are lead to that by their own self journey.

            > It is illogical to pose hypotheses which have no basis and then say well it could be you can't disprove it.

            I cannot answer for others, but for me the proof is in the existence of my own intelligent mind. As I am capable of intelligent design I am also intelligently designed. I find evolution sorely lacking in explanation for that which makes man as a being aware of self. My mind is too drastically over-engineered to account for evolution, which, according to science, does not over-engineer any animal. I am capable of intelligent design. I can build a building, a bridge, design a car, dream of space travel, and seek to become better and more than I am. Evolution does not explain all of these things. Some choose not to think about our being over-engineered or where consciousness came from. Some choose to explain this with the theory that we were seeded on this planet by an older version of humanity from somewhere else. Some, and I am one of these, choose the divine explanation. Some just chock it all up to evolution, and others throw up their hands and say they don’t know.
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            • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
              I don't follow. Are you saying Christians claim atheism is a belief? If so, an aetheist at the very core of their philosophical tenets would have to start with the axiom God does not exist. An atheist does not think of God in their life and nothing would follow from that axiomatic. They have looked at evidence and logic and refute the claim there is a God.
              At the very core of a Christian's philosophical understanding of the world, is the belief in God. A Deist doesn't need to have alot follow that-but it is still at the core of their philosophy. They may then say but the existence of God does not affect the rest of my philosophy. For a Christian, there is a philosophy of life if you are practicing Christianity. If I am not following you, let me know.
              I guess for some atheists they just state there is no God without examining any evidence. I guess that could be considered a belief. But not a philosophy. Please understand, there are plenty of atheists who are irrational and do not apply reason and logic in their lives to a great degree. Atheism is not the objective standard.
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              • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 years, 2 months ago
                I prefer the company of Agnostics - don't care enough to argue the existence of deity one way or the other, and so don't nag others to come over to their side. I find most avowed Atheists to be angry (maybe because they can't blame God?). After getting kicked out of the Baptist church, and deciding every so-called "organized" religion carried far too much irrelevant baggage (except the Unitarians, who can't figure out what they believe), decided there had to be some kind of purpose beyond our immediate experience, so I settled on Deism, with the idea my purpose was to try to leave the universe just a tiny bit better than when I found it. Too many mysteries yet unexplained.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
                  What is interesting to me is that the term "agnostic" is Greek in nature ("a" meaning the negative or without and "gnostos" meaning knowledge) and literally means "unknowing", i.e. they admit their own ignorance - a very valuable standpoint when evaluating the possibilities of something.
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              • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
                > I don't follow. Are you saying Christians claim atheism is a belief? If so, an aetheist at the very core of their philosophical tenets would have to start with the axiom God does not exist. An atheist does not think of God in their life and nothing would follow from that axiomatic. They have looked at evidence and logic and refute the claim there is a God.

                I guess for some atheists they just state there is no God without examining any evidence. I guess that could be considered a belief. But not a philosophy. Please understand, there are plenty of atheists who are irrational and do not apply reason and logic in their lives to a great degree. Atheism is not the objective standard.

                I think your second statement on it is the answer to the first. I have met people that hold as fact god exists. They do not see it as a belief, but fact. I have also met people that “believe” there is no god, not due to any rationality on their part. I offer most any atheist progressive as evidence of that. YOU form your stance of atheism off the examination of the evidence. That does not mean all or even most have done so.


                > At the very core of a Christian's philosophical understanding of the world, is the belief in God. A Deist doesn't need to have alot follow that-but it is still at the core of their philosophy. They may then say but the existence of God does not affect the rest of my philosophy. For a Christian, there is a philosophy of life if you are practicing Christianity. If I am not following you, let me know.

                Yes, this is what I mean. Keep in mind I speak only for myself, and I am not saying that A does not equal A. I am saying a person can examine their lives, the physical evidence, their own observations, and come up with a completely different answer to a question than someone else.

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                • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                  A equals A only if one can conceptualize A. If A were to exist in 3 or 4 (or more) dimensions, could you still conceive of it when you can only understand it as a 2 dimensional object?
                  We have "seen" what we understand of God that has intersected in our "2D" understanding of the world. But God exists in a much higher dimension than we can comprehend.
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                  • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Respectfully this sounds like a mystic copout, even though I am a religious person. It’s a default statement to say we cannot understand something because it is too far above us.

                    I am not saying we can fully understand everything, but given enough time we may understand a lot.

                    Take the Big Bang for example. It surprises me that very few people ever think that just maybe we have identified god’s method of creation. The only thing I know that the bible says I cannot understand is the idea of infinity.
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                    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                      still waiting on that explanation.
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                      • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
                        Sorry, I missed your comment, and this page has gone to the spaghetti mess that is hard to follow. Explanation of the resurrection? You mean aside from the biblical explanation? I am not getting what you are driving at.
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                        • Posted by $ WillH 7 years, 2 months ago
                          I do not find the resurrection of Jesus, or Lazarus to be lacking in explanation in “human” terms. The scripture is very clear on the events, not to mention that he also appears in Islam and Judaism, although their beliefs about him are diferent.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
              I've never heard an atheist explain human sentience, other than saying it occurred from evolution. The problem with that is that every other evolutionary mutation has occurred in multiple species - tails, claws, feathers, etc. No other species has ever exhibited sentience - not even those that share 99%+ genetic makeup. How can that be? Probabilistically this is so rare as to be impossible. If it were just some random mutation, then it should have occurred in other species as well.
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              • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                Ants and humans still obey the same laws of physics. We live in the same universe and the same laws of this universe, just as every thing that exists in this universe follows. Yet God is the exception?
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                • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                  Who said that God had to be an "exception?" I just don't think that we have a complete conceptualization of all of what you call "the laws of physics." Nor do I think that we ever will. There are some aspects of physics that we will never be able to understand - that is what I call God.
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                  • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                    So if God isn't an exception that means he is subject to the same laws as everything else in nature. Including the fact that he has to have matter to have consciousness. Again how do you know there are things we will never understand? And I'm sure you've heard of the God of the gaps theory.
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                    • Posted by dbhalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                      You refuse to answer the question. Is god just the name you use for what you don't know?

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                      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                        You seem to refuse to accept the answer provided. No, I do not call all that I do not know "God." However, God is not fully knowable. Big difference.
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                        • Posted by dbhalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                          According to your earlier statement he (it) is everything that is not knowable. Do you stand by that definition? If you refuse to define what god is, it is impossible to have a discussion with you, because we do not know what we are talking about.
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                          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                            I never said that God is everything that is not knowable. I have said that God is not fully knowable. Again, big difference.
                            And if you are going to insist that we discuss only what we can concretely define and agree to, then we can have no discussion regarding faith.
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                            • Posted by dbhalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                              True here is what you said "There are some aspects of physics that we will never be able to understand - that is what I call God." So God is everything we do not know about physics. Is that your definition?
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        • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
          the agnostic belief is technically an atheist belief. A-theism is without a belief in god. You may lack belief in a god or believe god doesn't exist to be an atheist.
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