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The Simpsons And Evolution

On the Simpsons last night.

Lisa is arrested for defying the new law in Springfield against teaching evolution after Reverend Lovejoy is appointed by Mayor Quimby (at Ned Flanders’s request) to be the town’s new “morality czar” in charge of promoting creationism; can a comment made in the show’s first season come back to save her? Guest stars Larry Hagman and Melanie Griffith.



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Comments

Ehhhxcellent!
Played on a non-cable channel. Woo-hoo!

lol

i love the simpsons ..

That's what "The Simpsons" is like nowdays? Shouldn't it be funny? A bit... funnish? Occasionally "ha-ha"?

If you follow the 'controversy', it's very funny.

So, are people who beleive in creationism really that ignorant? For some reason my mind just can't wrap around the idea that people can be so narrow minded. Good episide, reminded me of what the simpsons are all about, sticking it to mainstream culture. of course creationists also watch the simpsons, i wonder what they thought.

Wow, there's that evil FOX network pushing their right wing agenda.

lol Still funnier and smarter than Family Guy.

"So, are people who beleive in creationism really that ignorant? For some reason my mind just can't wrap around the idea that people can be so narrow minded."

Then you've never seen a Kent Hovind seminar.

If you follow the 'controversy', it's very funny.

No, it's preachy. Preachy is not funny.

So, are people who beleive in creationism really that ignorant?

It's satire. Of course not.

Anton . .. watch the clip again and count how many times creationism was mocked .. then count how many times evolution was mocked ...

So, are people who beleive in creationism really that ignorant? For some reason my mind just can't wrap around the idea that people can be so narrow minded.

no even narrower minded then that

for more go to www.drdino.com

and see how wide open to new Ideas they are

if you look at the scene where flanders yells at homer, milhouse's mom is both in the jury and in the audience. am i right?

Creationism as a science should be mocked.

It should be taught in Church, as part of the Bible, not science.

"It should be taught in Church, as part of the Bible, not science."

No! The Bible is for snorting cocaine off of after we have our gay, sodomy orgies and Pagan worship sacrifices, not for teaching anyone about anything.

Because religion (as in personal beliefs of morality and spirituality) is incompatible with science (as in analysis of facts), our only Gods are Marx, Lenin and Darwin. Long live the Soviet Union!

But seriously, I personally believe in God (well, except when I see Celine Dion perform a song)and I personally dont see how it clashes with evolution. The religion I follow (Sufism) states that the World was created, but doesnt explain how it was done or what methods He used, so I dont see how it somehow prevents me from believing the idea that we evolved from apes. I dont put my religion in my science nor my science in my religion.

So, are people who beleive in creationism really that ignorant? For some reason my mind just can't wrap around the idea that people can be so narrow minded.

More narrow minded than that, I'm afraid.

http://www.fstdt.com/

Took a look a the sites posted by udonman and Joker Cross. It hurts to read this kind of shit. I mean it actually hurts. I could feel my body ache. How does this minority of strange strange people end up with so much power? I guess that they are really motivated.

I guess that too many of us liberals are too lazy or ineffectual or unmotivated or some combination of the three, I don't know.

I would prefer to never have to think about this, but they are invading the public sphere, the schools, and the court system, so we have no choice but to have to deal with these fundies. :(

"The religion I follow (Sufism) states that the World was created, but doesnt explain how it was done or what methods He used, so I dont see how it somehow prevents me from believing the idea that we evolved from apes." Well put! For most people of faith, the glaring reality of evolution is obvoius, and those of a scientific mind must concede that the notion that the universe was perhaps started somehow is not altogether outrightly dismissable. Problem is, the real 'missing link' is actually a missing definitive connection between Creation and Evolution... all we have now is only speculation. Meanwhile, since we don't have all the facts, perhaps the very valid 'belief' of Creation should not be mixed with the scholarly persuit of what we can prove to be true.

Someone pointed out to me onetime that it is not technically correct to say that man evolved from apes, although we share an apelike ancestor that we descended from.

See Australopithecus http://park.org/Canada/Museum/man/evnman3.html

It is actually quite complicated and there is no agreement on the various lineal branches, and different anthropologists differ as to what their theories are.

Yup Jo Ann, we evolved from ape-like creatures, that is there was a point where our evolution and the ape's evolution diverged. We share a common ancestery the ape, and, if you go back far enough, all life on the planet.

We did not evolve from current day apes, they have been evolving just as much as we have, so they would be different from the creature who is our mutual ancestor.

if you look at the scene where flanders yells at homer, milhouse's mom is both in the jury and in the audience. am i right?

Yep. You're right. Either they goofed or didn't really give a crap, lol!

"No, it's preachy. Preachy is not funny.

It's satire. Of course not."

Isn't satire supposed to be preachy.

“Kent Hovind seminar”

I was debating someone at a message board and they were telling me things that I did not think it was possible for someone to be so un-educated in this day of age to believe. He used bad science to show dinosaur was around with humans, earth 6000 year old, sun is shrinking so it impossible for the earth to be old and all this other stuff that made absolutely no sense at all. Finally he linked me to a video and a few links of Kent Hovind. I had no clue who this guy was so I figure I watch to see where he getting his ideas from. I quickly realize that Ken Hovind was a moron and had no science background which I later confirm with a little research. The scary thing was that every single thing this person has told me was directly from Ken Hovind. This guy is brainwashing our youth and it really scary. I know it tempting for scientist just to ignore such ridiculous claims but they really need to start speaking loudly and not let these morons be the only voices heard. I think there need to be a movement among scientist to try to get the message of science out there and not let people go through there whole lives with people like Ken Hovind the only ideas they hear. You got to remember there 1.2 millions kid home school that is never exposed to many of the scientific discoveries of the past 100 years.

mgoldb2, you should e-mail the guy on links to real research and facts. Did you?

"mgoldb2, you should e-mail the guy on links to real research and facts. Did you?"

I recommended books and showed him a few links. I talked very heavily about how the internet full of a lot of BS which is. Have you ever typed carbon dating into google. Logically you would think you would get an explanation and some definition. What you really get is about 20 Christian sites saying how carbon dating inaccurate. To get back on track I did not feel comfortable just posting links after I just told him how the internet mostly BS. Instead I recommended a few books and scientists that I thought he should look into. I actually think some progress was made I did not exactly change any of his beliefs but after showing him the fact that the all the man degrees was from unaccredited colleges (you know the type that for about $200 you can have a PHD in 4 weeks) and other thing about his history he did not admit it but you could tell he was starting to doubt some of the stuff he believed.

I really don’t blame the kids that believe this stuff. It not there fault if you was told something your entire life and never heard anyone else side it difficult to use common sense. I truly believe if we got education out to every one there would still be some crazies but that most people would come around. The problem is how? We could force them to go to public school instead of being home schooled but somehow I don’t think it would work out.

I have a question and curious what you people think. I think "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins is the best explanation of what evolutions explains and what it means’s ever written. Do you think this a good book to recommend to religious people or do you think Richard Dawkins style of pretty much from the very beginning saying evolution is fact would cause them to stop reading before they give it a chance and get to the parts where he really explains it?

Hi mgoldb2, thanks for the reply.

I understand your concern and I for one will champion an education system that is free of religion until a kid is 18 or 21 when he has enough knowedlge of his own to make an important decision to commit to a faith. I would advocate teaching world religion and philosophies before they hit 18 in education.

Religions like Christianity likes to catch children young as they are more impressionable. That way, they can funnel Christian beliefs early into them to block off all knowedlge that presents a comepting world view. Why do you think that Christians prefer that people don't ask questions?

But the tide is against them as the world makes increasingly less sense through the passage of time and people are asking more questions to the extent that secularism is on the rise as well as beliefs in philosophical instrospection that encourage questioning.

That's my take on education and if I enter politics, I'm going to push for this.

I do think that you can recommend "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins to the person but you should add that you have reservations about some of his comments about the religion.

But you should introduce this to him only after recommending some impartial works, such as "Finding Darwin's God" by Ken Miller:

http://www.millerandlevine.com/talks/colbert.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/

Btw, do also refer him to

http://en.wikipedia.org/

for backgound information as wikipedia does edit information to be objective.

I have actually watched both those videos of Ken Miller and have on a few occasions talked about how the 2nd chromosome in humans is a fusion of two chromosomes which I believe I heard for the first time a few years back from something I read of Ken Miller and then I did some research on it on my own.

I have not personally read the book “Finding Darwin's God” mainly because there are so many books on evolution out there and I have already read many that I tend to avoid books that focus is to explain evolution since I already believe in it and have read heavily on the topic. I tend to instead try to find academic journals talking about the newest things going on in that field.

From what I listen to of Ken Miller and read I would have to agree with you that he might be a better first step to learn about evolution then Richard Dawkins simply because Dawkins is more likely to offend a very religious person before they have a chance to learn about evolution. Even throe personally I think Dawkins is a master at explaining evolution very elegantly and factually.

Well, Kenneth Miller is a lot more diplomatic and even Christians will find it hard to fault his approach, attitude and openness to Creationists viewpoints.

I do admit that Richard Dawkins is controversial but he makes a fair point.

Darwin lost his faith in God when he loses his daughter to tragedy. He then tries to make sense of the world at it is and came up with interesting theories that became proven facts in a body of knowledge that seeks to explain, explore and define the physical world as we know it.

The most disturbing thing is that his theories do present the issue of chance in our very existence, which to me is a fair concern.

Everyone believes that there is always good luck or bad luck, which may well mean that the actions is inter-connected at a higher level when what we do or don't do impacts others in ways that we did not know.

Eg: A new species move into a plot of land with abundant food supply and adapts quickly to the new circumstances, compared to an existing species which adapts slower. Older species start to lose out and either dies out or is forced to move somewhere else.

You still see this happening in the world today.

Implicit in this observation is that Man, not God, is master of our environment and we have a real duty and responsibility to make the world a better place for all, not just pursuing our own selfish agendas all the time.

ahh joann no fucking idea of sarcasm.

you have no idea who I am and I you. Now if you would have taken the time to even google udonman or go to my blog youd find out that I am an atheist and a smartass bisexual male who doesnt give a flying shit what others think.

Its youre life youre brain dont let others control either

To above, I'll only agree to the extent that you are an ass. I'll need more proof than your blog to be able to tell you if you are smart or you're an ass-o.

I'm reading your blog and the biggest news seem to be that you got your nose broken 6 times? Did some people volunteered? Ouch.

http://www.udonman.blogspot.com/

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I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I believe that God created all things. Is evolution possible? Yes. Are we descended from apelike animals? Probablly. Where did all of it start?? GOD. Explain the evolution of the platypus.......according to Darwins theory, there would have had to be BILLIONS of years for it to have evolved to its present state.

Some animals show no signs of having evolved EVER.

You do your thing, I'll do mine.

As for the "liberals" who think they have a superior intellect, one day you will find that you were wrong about God..............and I hope it will not be too late.

Udonman, I did get your sarcasm. I wasn't referring to you, silly, I was referring to the link that you posted and agreeing with you.

1835wayne, non-believers, not all of us are liberals, like to think that they are exercising free will, which is supposed to be a gift from God, compared to belivers who have surrendered it and spurned God's gift. Shame on them, you ungrateful sheep : >

But seriously, the people do not think they are superior than believers, although we can tire of their superficial responses on issues that they feel is right but does not hold water once you probe beyond the surface or look for proof.

Kindly note that the world is not based on what you want to believe in. Much of the world history has ocured without any input from Christ and Christianity such as the 5000-year old Chinese and Egyptian civilisations.

But I have some questions about your points on evolution:

"According to Darwins theory, there would have had to be BILLIONS of years for it to have evolved to its present state."

Where did you get this information? It is improbable that Darwin made any references in terms of billions of years because he seldom refers to dating and chronology in his writing? Did you get this from an anti-Darwin website? Give me the source and I'll cross-reference it.

You will have to tell me what animals you re refering to in youur statement:

"Some animals show no signs of having evolved EVER."

Do you know how hard it is to prove this statement?

A species may not have evolved for the last 1-2 million years but it was still originally evolved from something else before.

I will like to see a bit of proof from you as I assume that you are not lying here.

What a piece of crap... man the simpsons really took a nose dive.... 7 years ago. Do us all a favor and give it a rest, Groening (that, or bring Conan back on a few eps)

joann yeah im sober at this moment I wasnt when I last posted.

I see what you ment now.

and kes yes people have voluteered to fucking punch my lights out do you want to go a few rounds.

That was just a fucking stupid post a couple of other bloggers wanted to see some pictures of me and they asked about my nose do I just threw it up.

Read some of my other post. and then realize yes I am an ass a fucking smartass.

Hi udonman, no offense intended but I was a little pissed off at the way you talked to Jo.

kes,joann, I did mean to offend any one Either like I said I was not sober when I posted that.

hi udonman, no problem. I understand now : >

Now if I can only type.

Hi i so love the simpsons

its was soo funny, nelson keept appering how creepy

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If u think evolution is SCIENCE watch a debate between Kent Hovind and an evolutionist.

Khari, That was hilarious. Thanks for the laugh. National pornographic... ha ha... so stupid and ridiculous and nerdy, it ends up being funny. This has to be a parody of that which is so pathetic that it is a caricature of itself.

That part about how there's no way that anyone can know whether or not anyone has seen a live dinosaur. Of course, only Adam and Eve could have known such a thing.

ROFLMA!!!!! Oh, my, that was funny.

Again, thanks for this ridiculous little tract of humor.

Quite amusing. :)

The belief in the big bang "theory" is actually a religion.They just dont have a book or actual proof of who or what created the energy for the big bang.Just alot of assumptions and guesses on how the bang came to be.

 Believing in a creator for some would mean having to live a more moral life.Having to answer for lieing and manipulating in real life.

Just take an honest look at what a creationist has to say. Look at how our polititians can make us believe that they know what is good for us. I was raised and taught evolution all my life.It wasnt until recently that I heard another version of how the oceans,rain,clouds,mountains....came to be.It isnt an exact version ,but it made alot of sense. In my mind,it would take more than billions of yrs to creat a blade of grass or weed that will grow,let alone the dirt,the rain with nutriants.And then you have to come up with the sun.Mathematically,if there is a chance for all of this to happen,it would be in the 100's of trillions of yrs.Now add a human and all those complexities into it.Look at what goes into a toe nail to grow.Now thats science.

Jon, I have to disagree with you. You are merely mouthing a religious position without taking any effort to verify your position. Incidentally, that's the hallark of a Creationists

If the big bang theory is just a religion with no proof, there would have been hundreds of interpretations of it, just like there are so many churches, sects, cults and denominations for Christianity where nobody can agree universally on anything about it.

The Big bang theory and other scientific theories are based on proof empirially gathered and verified by many disciplines such as geologists, biologists, astronomers and even normal people like us who can observe nature and the universe for what it is.

And not what religion claims its to be.

That's dogma or wishful thinking and its goes hand-in-hand with religion.

Not science.

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The big bang theory is NOT a religion.

All the arguments made by kent hovind and other creatonists are based on a misanderstanding of the big bang theory.

I hope that this misunderstanding is not intentional.

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Oh man, that was HILARIOUS! :-)

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Oh my 'God'...

first of all, Jezus (a common name back in the day) was just a preacher who didn't want to start a new religion. He wanted to preach goodness and brotherhood and to illustrate that he used a couple of stories that we now find in the Bible

None of the stories are meant to be true, just like fairytales they have a hidden message.

The believers are just like children. they believe everything that they are told. That's fine by me... just don't try to change other people's mind. they have common sense...

I would just like to bring up a few things for people to ponder. No matter what, theres no way to prove anything for a fact whether you use science or not... even if you use the scientific method, and you try to test gravity to see if when you drop something that it will be pulled to the ground it still doesn't prove that it will happen again the next second. Even if you do it a 100 times you cannot say that on the 101st time it is definetly going to fall to the ground. What if there was a God and he raptured the object into the air the second you threw it. I know that that is unlikely and even a Christian would admit that and say that God probably wouldn't do such a pointless thing. But, my point is that you cannot prove anything with science or the Bible. We simply don't know everything that there is to know. So, whether it be the Bible or Science, you do have to put some faith into what you believe. Faith is required whether you are an Atheist or a Christian (oh and for all the atheists who say that they believe there could be a God, doesn't that make you agnostic?). If you disagree with what I just said then I would like to know why...

Heavyboots, how do we define what goodness is? and if Jesus was so good then why was he telling everyone that he was the Son of God (which was considered huge blasphemy back then) And why would he keep claiming to be the Son of God all the way until he was killed for it. If you ask me, that sounds like a crazy man... and he must have done something huge to convince everyone that what he said was true, because each and every disciple preached that he was the Son of God after they saw him when he was resurrected. and they kept preaching it until they were killed for it. It seems to me that he was either crazy, in which case you can't really say that he preached truth and goodness, or maybe he was just a liar... except why would he die for his own lie?... unless of course everything that he said was true...

I previously mentioned how you can't really prove anything to be true and that you have to have faith in what you believe at some point whether it be atheism or christianity. Well, I have put my faith in God and the fact that he knows everything... i definetly dont know everything. He is all that I have my faith in, and from there, i just pray and try to interpret what he wants me to do from his Word. Because, without God, how can you have any morals? How can you say its wrong to do anything? Why shouldn't you do everything for you own gain even if it means killing people to get them out of your way? Someone has to make the rules and the ones in the Bible seem to be for our own good anyway... it's not a coincidence. Yes it takes a lot of faith, but I think it is a respectable thing to admit you don't know everything and surrender to someone elses will. It's a lot harder than you think. It's definetly not taking the whimpy way out. I know that there is times in my life that God has truly helped me out and you can believe me or not... do what you want with your faith.

Oh, and one more thing... i have a feeling that i might get some comments about Christians being preachy, but if you truly believe in something that you do, then wouldn't you also believe that it is right to spread the truth. Wouldn't you also be concerned about others salvation. We only preach it because we care and when its done for other reasons, its because there are Christians that get the wrong part of the picture, just like all people do...

Hi aryanaco, you obviously believe that every word in the Bible is literally true. That's why Christians are so preachy to non-believers as they think they know the whole truth and their path is the only path to Heaven.

That's a false claim.

Scribes may make mistakes or change things to say what they want to say. That’s why over the 5000 manuscripts we have for the Bible, no two is alike with hundreds of thousands of differences in these manuscripts. As scribes copy the text, they put their interpretations into the text. The bible is copied by human scribes and written by human authors with different views, perspectives during the 300 years between death of Jesus and Constantine.

Original Greek writings of the Gospels for the Bible were lost only left manuscripts from centuries later that have all these changes in it. We do not have the originals or even what the originals said in some places cast doubt on the present Bible as the word of Bible.

The parable of Jesus and the prostitute and the crowd brings the prostitute to Jesus to ask if they can stone her. It was a test. He said let he without sin case the first stone. This most popular story in the gospel wasn’t originally in the Gospels s oldest manuscripts for the Bible don’t have the story. It seemed to be added by scribes hundreds of years later perhaps as a margin of the manuscript to illustrate Jesus’ goodwill.

Hi aryanaco, kindly consider these questions from me…

How do Christians reconcile with their faith that Christianity promotes free will but not freedom of choice? Claims that there is only one path to Heaven via Jesus and other religions are about false gods are clearly religious bigotry and intolerance from most, if not all Christians?

How do Christians reconcile with their faith that Christianity is about love but not tolerance? Christians can’t love non-believers for what they are, regardless of their faith, which is part of these non-believers. How do you love thy neighbour if you can’t accept him for what he is?

How do Christians reconcile with the fact that despite their claims that the Bible is the literal word of God that there are so many interpretations and newly added additions to it, which created fragmentation of the Christian faith into squabbling factions?

How do Christians reconcile with the fact that Christians have killed more people than people from any other faith and that most of the people killed are also Christians? The Christian-fatigue of Europe partly arose from this realisation.

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TYPO:

Original Greek writings of the Gospels for the Bible were lost. What we have left are manuscripts from centuries later that have many changes to them or may not even have the original writings.

That's why you have to take the Bible on faith. Because it mabny not be based on facts.

Hey Kes, I'm glad someone responded. Well first off, I do believe that compared to the origonal greek translations, a lot was lost. Although I would like to disagree with the fact that we do not have any origonal manuscripts. We DO still have two full ones left and parts of others that date back to when it was origonally written. Plus, it was being taught in the churches then to people who were there... if they were teaching something that didn't actually happen, then the people there would have known instantly... besides that, even if there wasn't a Bible, there are still other historians who documented Jesus and what he did. As for the Bible being retold and retranslated many times, I believe that God had a hand in many of the people and gave them the devine inspiration to put the right words just like he did with the Old Testiment. Like I said before, when it was translated from the Greek, a lot was lost. There isn't always to exact words that mean the exact thing in different languages. The translaters just had to do the best that they could. The fact is though that the most important point that the Bible puts across doesn't ever change...that Jesus died for our sins and if we believe in Him that He did this for us, then we will be saved... all the rest of the Bible is commentary on how we can live our lives. I'd like to point out though, that Christians believe that the Bible is the living word, just like it professes to be. It means different things to us at different times. If it had not done so then it would be pointless because so much about the times have changed since thousands of years ago. When we read, we pray for God's inspiration and we end up seeing what he wants us to see in His word. God gave us free will to love him or not because love can't exist unless we have the choice not to love. If God made us a bunch of robot minded people that HAD to love him, then it wouldn't really be love because we wouldn't have a choice in the matter. To conclude though, I DO believe that the only path to heaven is through Jesus... It says theres no other way, and I do not see why God would lie to us.

Oh, and that isn't true about no two manuscripts being a like... They ALL say the same thing. And the ones that don't have huge differences that make it clear that it is not scripture. The Bible is believed by to many, because it is the single most consistantly unchanged book of all time... The changes that you are refering to effect nothing more than semantics.

Hey Kes, to answer your second thing you wrote about Free-will and lack of tolerance i have a list of things. First off, the free will God is refering to, is not that we are free to do whatever we want to get to heaven... It is the free-will that we are able to choose to believe in God or not. Like I said before, He had to give us that free will for our love to be real. And in a lot of cases the word free-will is taken out of context. As for tolerance. The Bible doesn't say we have to tolerate sin... it says we have to love people (our neighbor) We do not have to love what they do... And when you refer to Christians killing so many people, lets just say that many people in history tacked on the word Christian to justify what they did. You can either use the scripture to interprate it, or you can use it to make it say what you want it to say, and thats what people like Hitler and Slave owners did. Its not the word Christian that is truth... it's truth that is truth... there may come a day where the worst of people use the name Christians to identify themselves... The word Christians is not even in the origonal text, it was just a word made so that followers of Christ would have a label. I that word needs to change because so many people end up using it for bad reasons, then so be it. Again, that doesn't change what the foundation of our faith is, and that is that Jesus died for us. I'm sure I will get to heaven and God will tell me "oh well you actually had this wrong when you were preaching this... and this thing you said was a little off..." But the reason I will be in heaven wont be for the words that I preached. It will be because of me belief in God and Him sending his Son to die for us. As for the Bible claiming other religions and God's to be false... thats not a lack of tolerance... that is just God giving it to us straight that they are not true... if they were true then that would eliminate everything we believe because Jesus himself claims to be the only way. Like I said before... It's all about what we put our faith in...

Well, I have one more thing to say and then I will just wait for a response... First off, my question wasn't answered earlier about how there can be any morals, and why people shouldn't kill if it's for their own gain. But, second off... I believe that a lot that we are argueing about is the equivalant of us argueing about what shape yellow is... as a matter a fact, i believe that some of the biggest debates in life are like the question of yellow's color. I believe in an all-knowing God, and i believe when you know everything like he does, things make a lot more sense... things that we debate about will probably turn out to be pointless when you add another unknown factor to it...

Aryanaco

As Einstein said, “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” If you agree that in the absence of God you would commit murder, robbery etc then you are immoral. If you contend that you would still be moral then you don't need religion or belief in God. What a pathetic lot the believers who think as you do are.

I'm good because a higher being that knows a lot more than the lot of us tell me what it means to be good... I am not being arrogant and saying that I know certain things are moral and certain things arnt by my own definition... Just answer me this... how can you say that there is any ultimate truth? How can anyones interpretation on whats moral be any better than anothers? I simply claim mine to be right because i am taking the facts from something higher than human... Seriously though... there are many people that have murdered and said that they felt it was the right thing to do... how are they any less smart than you? I agree with you that it is wrong to kill, but i just want to know what makes you believe that it is.

It seems we are genetically pre-disposed to have empathy for other humans. We don't want people to kill us and so we don't kill others. I think it is that empathy the is the basis for our moral actions. Those that say they have murdered and felt it was right are small in number they are aberrations. Perhaps you'd like to provide some evidence that believers in a God kill fewer than those that don't believe.

Alright Norm... who says that we should listen to that empathy in us? and let me remind you that it is not in everyone... It was definetly not in the muslims that flew the plane into the twin towers... they killed over a thousand, and they felt it was the right thing to do... how can you say that what they are doing is wrong... if we did evolve from animals, then you cannot say that we have any more rights than them... we are just a bag of molecules... animals kill eachother, why arn't we putting them into jail? Why aren't we punishing the animals that kill their young? If humans did that they would be in jail in a heart-beat... why should we be treated different than animals? If you think its because we are smarter than remember that it is still wrong to kill a mentally challenged person or a baby that doesn't know anything... knowledge doesn't really make us any better... I think you are right though that we have an empathy in us (unless we drown it out of ourselves which many people do) but i believe that God put that empathy in us... things don't evolve for the good of others they evolve to improve their own survival... so where does this feeling of empathy come from if not God?

According to Darwin... things evolve to improve their own survival and its a good point... why else would they? But your talking about a trait in humans that worrys about other people. A trait that puts others before themselves. That trait didn't just evolve there... it is there for a reason just like everything in this world.

Ok Norm, you didn't come up with an answer. You just found some link. Why should that link be given any credence? Second of all, it was just some link posted by some guy. I am aware that humans have brains and they can rationalize that the good of the community is good for them. But, natural selection does not have a brain. It is not a god. It is just a crude tool to filter out the worst and keep the best. Are you suggesting that natural selection is a physical thing that is wise and chooses what stays and what goes? Thats not what Darwin said. He was in a time of mourning because his wife died and in that emotional state he decided that he wanted to disprove God. He wanted to prove that there is no one looking out for us. Also, Darwin admitted before he died that he could not deny the existance of God. He regained his faith for the last several months of his life. And let me back up all the way to that link you posted... Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 does not claim that humans are animals. That was written by Solomon in the last years of his life when he realized that all the riches that he acquired could not bring him happyness. He was going off on how everything is meaningless and in the process he said that humans are like beasts. But, like i said before, you can take the Bible and make it say whatever you want if you don't take it as a whole. It seems Norm that you feel you have a lot of questions in your head answered that really arn't. And let me bring up one more point to you. This is no reason that I believe what I do but it is a good point... If I am wrong and this life is all that there is, then I lived a happy life and so be it. BUT, if you are wrong, then after this life is over, there is an eternity of hell... but don't make that your reason for believing.

You obviously didn't follow all the links here try this http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/social.html perhaps it will answer your questions.

In addition I think you'll find this useful

http://www.mukto-mona.com/Articles/vstenger/morality_god.htm

and finally your appeal to Pascal's Wager

And let me bring up one more point to you. This is no reason that I believe what I do but it is a good point... If I am wrong and this life is all that there is, then I lived a happy life and so be it. BUT, if you are wrong, then after this life is over, there is an eternity of hell... but don't make that your reason for believing.

A poor argument and one that has been refuted any number of times here is one.

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2006/08/ahopelessbet.html

If you post another comment and it's obvious that you have not read the links I've provided and addressed the arguments offered don't expect any response.

Ok Norm, I read every one of your links and I did before too... what i'm wondering is... did you? They did not answer my questions. You're not doing your own homework, you are simply stealing someone elses. To be honest, you posted a lot of reading material and even though I refuted things in my head, I can not possibly respond to all of it. You seem to only focus on one part of my arguement in each response and the rest is a whole bunch of other issues that consume to much time for an internet debate like this... so i would ask you to not continue sending links, but simply respond to my questions and raise your own if you like. I do not have the time or desire to respond to page after page of something that was irrelevant to the topic. I would like to say though that you seem to put a lot of trust in these guys that you know very little about. I choose to not put my faith in man but in God. Oh and I told you before that I was not using Pascal's wager as a justification, but simply a thought... I know that you can use the same thing for other religions which is why it cannot be a justification. It seems to me that you assume that I am stupid and do not look into things for myself. So, listen to me just this once... I previously in life was an evolutionist... I read A LOT... I know the arguements... I was CONVINCED. I then read about the other side of the debate... I have read a lot of creationist books and I have read through the Bible 3 times... I KNOW that evolution has a good arguement... although I do see many holes in it which are possibly areas I just cannot comprehend... I also see though that Creationism has a good arguement... There are also some unanswered questions there which I also deam must be too lofty for me. I would just like you to see that someone has looked at both sides and given them both a fair chance... I was not spoon fed anything... and in the end I chose to put my faith in God. I DO see your points and I do not debate them for my own salvation or anything like that, I just want to show someone that is like myself, that there are very good arguments for both sides. I would say they are the two dominating views on our origin. I believe also that if it was obvious that there was a God, then we would have no need for faith. And sadly some Christians believe that it IS obvious when someone like me knows that whether it has good arguements or not, so does a lot of other beliefs. My faith does not have to do with evidence, and I believe that it is the right thing. I understand that you believe you are right... I just want you to know that you cannot know you are right. both sides have good arguments and it is debatable... In the end you just have to choose. And, we have chosen differently. I do not see why our debate needs to continue anymore because I got my point across. Of course, if you would like to respond, i would be happy to listen and continue but I am content that we have both heard eachothers side.

Hi aryanaco, sorry for the late reply. I do have certain points to raise about what you said because I do not think you have done enough research on it. No offence intended. Be mindful of what you listen from your pastor, many of whom are notoriously ill-read about stuff that contradicts the Christian point of view. Your following points below are of special interest to me:

“I do believe that compared to the origonal greek translations, a lot was lost.”

“Although I would like to disagree with the fact that we do not have any origonal manuscripts. We DO still have two full ones left and parts of others that date back to when it was origonally written.”

I have to disagree with you on this. The stuff I brought out concerning the authencity of the Bible and the loss of the original manuscripts are what I read from the book “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Ehrman, a born-again Christian who studied the Greek manuscripts.

“Plus, it was being taught in the churches then to people who were there... if they were teaching something that didn't actually happen, then the people there would have known instantly... “

Kindly note that the church is an institution that was created way after the time of Jesus Christ, who never sought to create such things. The Gospels and other Christian writings were written only 70-100 years after the death of Jesus and they cannot be considered eye-witness accounts as they were passed by oral tradition, thus leaving the door wide open for mistakes, subjective and biased interpretations by whoever was narrating it.

There are over 50 early Christian texts that modern Christian don’t know about, which was discovered in the 1940s. It’s clear that there were a very wide range of early Christian sources. And what we call Christianity is actually a rather microscopic view of a much richer religious narrative, which survived in the form that orthodox Christianity preferred by suppressing and forcibly eliminating a lot of other Christian writings that did not fit what the religious clergy in power wanted to believe.

“besides that, even if there wasn't a Bible, there are still other historians who documented Jesus and what he did.”

> > That’s not true. Name 1 historian who documented Jesus. Kindly note that stuff like Jesus Christ, David and the kingdom of Solomon comes with little historical and archaeological proof.

“As for the Bible being retold and retranslated many times, I believe that God had a hand in many of the people and gave them the devine inspiration to put the right words just like he did with the Old Testiment.

I agree with you although Church history disagrees with you. Your thinking is very close to the Gnostic Gospels whom the Church considers heresy, which are writings that are written at the same time and even before the New Testament writings. These Gospels does preach that God inspired people to put out his words. However, this divine inspiration seems to be a flawed one as each Gospel at that time contradicted one another and caused a lot of religious conflict, suffering and deaths by competing Christian dogma, each of which insisted it was the Truth and the rest heresy.

For example, the Gospel of Judas champions Judas by portraying him as the perceptive and obedient disciple who was instrumental in setting Jesus free from the flesh that clothed him, and not the mercenary betrayer that Christian tradition has made him out to be. In contrast to the clueless apostles, Judas was given esoteric knowledge by Jesus. The document also speaks of the Creator of the cosmos as a lesser god.

“Like I said before, when it was translated from the Greek, a lot was lost. There isn't always to exact words that mean the exact thing in different languages. The translaters just had to do the best that they could.”

I agree with you that much has been lost. Modern translators have noticed that it should not be written as Jesus walked on water but that he walked beside it. The difference is enormous though as the mistake implied a divine miracle that was not there. Realistically, no historian will ever consider the Bible a factual historical account as it contains many parables and fables i.e. moral lessons, which many fundamentalist Christians erroneously believed were completely true and factual and came direct from God. That’s a fact, I’m afraid.

“Oh, and that isn't true about no two manuscripts being a like... They ALL say the same thing. And the ones that don't have huge differences that make it clear that it is not scripture. The Bible is believed by to many, because it is the single most consistantly unchanged book of all time... The changes that you are refering to effect nothing more than semantics.”

The Bible is the most edited, rewritten text of all time without the benefit of the printing press. I have already pointed out one example out of many that the parable of Jesus and the whore i.e. let he who did not sin cast the first stone was later added to the Bible.

Other examples. Christ did not want people to obey for he is hardly a dictator. However Christians and preachers like to paint him as Lord almighty whom everyone must listen to an obey and many Christian writings ended up referring to Christ as the “Lord”. However, The word “Lord” was not in the original Bible. It is an English word from feudal times. Whereas the Greek word “kurios” had a range of meanings, from a title of respect, to a title of leadership, to a name for the sacred, the English translation “Lord” refers specifically to a male European land baron. Many people have softened that interpretation in their own minds, but in times of great stress, such nuance falls away and many Christians seek a white male king.

One more example to the ever changing yet circumscribed nature of Christian beliefs even those reflected in the Bible.

“The message of the Gospel of John is that Jesus alone is that divine presence among us. The Gospel of Thomas suggests that Jesus taught something quite different, which is that everyone, in fact all being, came from that divine source [and that we can access that divinity on our own].

As opposed to John’s view that it only resides in Jesus, Thomas’ focus on the spark of divinity in all of us are supported by passages in the totality of the accepted Christian canon. There's "The kingdom of God is within you" in Luke, as you mention in the book, or Paul's "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." Other parts of the Christian canon seem to put forward this more open view that you say is characteristic of Thomas' gospel rather than Jesus' statement in John 14:6: "No one comes to the father but by me."

=== “The fact is though that the most important point that the Bible puts across doesn't ever change...that Jesus died for our sins and if we believe in Him that He did this for us, then we will be saved... all the rest of the Bible is commentary on how we can live our lives.”

I’m sorry but you know that’s a lie. When Jesus was alive, Jesus repeatedly said that he was sent for the Jews, and not the non-Jews or Gentiles. You can even see his reluctance to help the Cannaite woman, a racist behaviour that was supported by his repeated advice to Paul and Matthew not to preach to Gentiles or even go into their homes. This is typical behaviour for a Jew, which Jesus was at that time and Christianity was still a Jewish sect, as the Jews considered Gentiles a lower class of people as they were not favoured by God.

It is unlikely that Jesus regretted spending his life, trying and dying to save the Jews by asking his disciples, after he was resurrected to preach to all mankind. As only the disciples saw him, they most likely concocted the myth of this great commandment as they hatred the Jews for killing Jesus and want nothing more to do with them. And as Jesus’ body was not guarded at the cave, it was easy to sneak his body out.

“I'd like to point out though, that Christians believe that the Bible is the living word, just like it professes to be. It means different things to us at different times. If it had not done so then it would be pointless because so much about the times have changed since thousands of years ago.”

The Bible is about words that describe a past world that is feudal in nature and which condones slavery and oppression of women. It is not a living word for it is not relevant to the modern world.

Examples of why the Bible described a world and society long dead and irrelevant to present times. When one reads the Bible (all of it, not just passages selected by preachers) it is clear that the God of Abraham condones slavery. Exodus 21: 20-21 states: “And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.”

Passages condoning slavery are abundant: (1 Peter 2: 18, Collosians 3:22-25, Titus 2:9-10, Ephesians 6:5-8) Furthermore, many characters portrayed as beacons of virtue and goodness had slaves including Abraham himself. The basic rights that women fought for (and we now take for granted) are trampled on in the Bible. 1 Timothy 2: 11 says: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Many more passages condone the subjugation of women (Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, 1 Peter 3:1)…

No offence but you seem to be telling us what you want us to believe about the Bible, which is something most of us here are as well-read as you. You have to provide more persuasive proof of your upbeat outlook on the Bible, which does not seemed to be backed by history, fact and perhaps even reality.

Just my 5 cents. Be troubled for the Bible, and the Tao-de-jing before it, preached that he who seeks knowledge is troubled. But that’s the only way can you know what you know and know what you don’t know as Confucius said.

This is related to your comments on free will, which does not seem to be free.

You just showed us why God or the people who claims that God spoke to them can lie to you, me and the rest of the world. If there is only 1 path to God and that is through Jesus as you say, where’s the choice and freedom in that? God may or may not lie to us as he does not think or feel like us. None of us can assume that we know what God is thinking. Remember Isaiah 55:89? “My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are My ways your ways, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways and thoughts higher than yours, Higher than yours.”
If someone else said this, I would have said that he’s an arrogant prick. But since he’s God, I can accept that he’s the only one who can know all. And not judgemental human beings like us.

“ First off, the free will God is refering to, is not that we are free to do whatever we want to get to heaven... It is the free-will that we are able to choose to believe in God or not.”

That came from the Gospel of John. Other Gospels paint an opposite view. For John, Jesus is a divine being who descended to earth. For Thomas, she continued, Jesus' light is shared by all humanity and that Jesus directs each disciple to discover the light within himself. Thomas writes, "Within a person of light, there is light." Thomas cleary gives more autonomy to the individual and has a better impression of humanity compared to John who was drunk with Jesus’ perceived divinity and the accolades that came with being part of his glory as an exclusive old boy’s club. So what I see here is that you are parroting mainstream Christian dogma to us. Hardly truth. And hardly yours to begin with.

How can free will and love be real if Christians say that there is no path to Heaven except through Jesus. Doing good deeds because of the fear of God or hoping to gain salvation is nothing more than an abject act of scoring brownie points to get a ticket to heaven. Doing good for goodness’ sake with no ulterior motives is what Eastern philosophies preach as the act of a moral being.

“As for tolerance. The Bible doesn't say we have to tolerate sin... it says we have to love people (our neighbor) We do not have to love what they do...

You are misquoting me. I said that to love thy neighbour, you must first be able to accept and tolerate what he is, regardless of his warts and all. That includes tolerance for his beliefs, which may not be Christian, his choices in a lifestyle that does no harm to others such as being gay. You can love someone when you accept who he is, not what he does. Until then it is clear that self-rightousness and not love drive the actions of many Christians towards others.

I’ve read your defense for Christianity’s past history and it is not a strong one. It is not your place, even as a Christian, to judge whether those Christians who lived by the Bible in their own ways are Christians or not. Only God can judge. For any other, it is hubris. For example, many early Christians practise the morally repugnant practise of slavery in ancient times. Are they not Christians? Especially when the Bible with its love for humanity condones such behaviour?

A religion needs to take responsibility for the actions of its believers as it will both directly and indirectly influence their behaviour and must thus be accountable for it. Nazism has its roots in Christianity as the religion has a long tradition of prosecuting the Jews as the killers of Christ since the time of Emperor Constantine. Even the Christians in the Crusades slaughtered Jewish towns and settlements in the Rhineland (in modern-day Germany) en route to the Middle East.

Why else was it possible for Hitler to succeed in the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics in Protestant areas in the 1930s? It was only in 1965, during the Second Vatican Council, the church officially abandoned its ancient doctrines about the collective guilt of the Jewish people and the eternal divine curse upon Jewish blood.

“As for the Bible claiming other religions and God's to be false... thats not a lack of tolerance... that is just God giving it to us straight that they are not true... if they were true then that would eliminate everything we believe because Jesus himself claims to be the only way. Like I said before... It's all about what we put our faith in...”

I’m sorry but the inability to accept the validity and good points of other religions and beliefs is intolerance. What else can it be? Blaming Christian dogma makes no sense as you just accept John’s claim that Jesus is the only way came from John while the other disciples of Jesus have different views on this.

“I know certain things are moral and certain things arnt by my own definition”

I’m really glad you say this as all of us have different ideas by our own definition.

“... Just answer me this... how can you say that there is any ultimate truth? How can anyones interpretation on whats moral be any better than anothers?”

I’ve always doubt the idea of ultimate truth while Christians believe otherwise. I do believe that morality is subjective and can only be condemned for standards that condone double standards, loss of innocent lives and flat out preaching while not doing.

“But the reason I will be in heaven wont be for the words that I preached. It will be because of me belief in God and Him sending his Son to die for us.

That’s what you want to believe. In his entire lifetime, Jesus said he was sent for the Jews and he died trying to save them, while ostracising known Jews like Gentiles. Clearly Christians buy into a religious narrative, which may not be based on the truth…

“And let me bring up one more point to you. This is no reason that I believe what I do but it is a good point... If I am wrong and this life is all that there is, then I lived a happy life and so be it. BUT, if you are wrong, then after this life is over, there is an eternity of hell... but don't make that your reason for believing.”

That’s sheer religious bigotry and intolerance. How can you judge people by saying that those who don’t believe will go to hell, irrespective of the good he has done in his life.

Many non-believers do believe that regardless of whether there is an afterlife, we do have the right to make the world a present better place with our present lives, rather than live a life of scoring brownie points to secure a ticket to Heaven. Where’s the good in that?

And there are many other interpretations of afterlife? Karma and the wheel of Life. Reincarnation. Nirvana. Each has its own attractions. Why do you think people in Europe and US are starting to believe in alternative afterlife?

Is an eternal life of being bill or having 1 identity sufficient to last one for an eon of never changing existence? To many, that’s like hell.

To me, that's boredom eternal as I will want a second chance in life to do the things I were not able to do.

FYI.

If you are interested in reading more on the debate between Creationism verses Evolution, do spend 45 minutes view this clip by Ken Miller on the topic. He is a practising Christian btw and he has always reconciled both.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

====

On biblical inconsistencies, do spend 30 minutes to listen to this clip, which brought me here to Norms blog of Julia Sweeney's view on the Bible:

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2005/06/lettinggoofg1.html

Other Bible trivial:

http://www.geocities.com/closetatheist/dminconsistencies.htm

===

On the issue of creating a Christian narrative, do check out the book, "The Evolution of Christs and Christianities by Jay Raskin (Ph.D. in Philosophy)"

"This book proposes a new view of the development of early Christianity. It gives evidence that the character of Jesus of Nazareth is a literary character, based on prior literary Christ characters, including John the Baptist, Simon Magus, and Joshua of Nun. It also suggests that an important part of the New Testament gospel texts can be traced back to a play written by a woman named Mary"

http://evocc.com/

Sorry spotted a typo that needs to be clarified:

"> That’s what you want to believe. In his entire lifetime, Jesus said he was sent for the Jews and he died trying to save them, while ostracising Gentiales and other non-Jewish people. Clearly Christians buy into a religious narrative, which may not be based on the truth…"

Several other Historians who documented Jesus - Josephus (A Jewish Historian) Tacitus (A Roman Historian) Pliny the Younger (A Roman and Governor of Bithynia)... You are one person Kes, and you cannot possibly know the reliability of what people are saying. That would take more research and time than any human has in his 60-90 years of life. MANY false translations came out and MANY false gospels were written. They do not however date back to the time of the presently credited Gospels. And there the only book that actually stayed in the New testiment that is false was the Gospel of Thomas which lasted only a few years before discredited because it was written after the death of Thomas who it was claimed to be written by. Many arguements can be raised about all of this stuff, but mind you these are thousands of years that have passed since then and you can't prove any of what you said. History is not Science, because you cannot test a historical event to see is it had happened before. The Bible warns about the false texts that would be derived, and I know you read this and laugh because you feel that someone just wrote that to prevent anyone from being led astray by other text. But YOU cannot know that Kes. YOU werent there. So many answers are assumed by people like you. You back yourselves up with some science to make it seem to have more credit, but like we both have admitted... the best scientific experiement has flaws that cannot be fixed. Put your faith in Science... go ahead... Put your faith in historians... they must be right... You have no more proof than anyone else in this world. All you have is a sense of security that what you are saying is right. You should try to have debates with some people more knowlegable than you and see where that security goes. Life is ALL about faith Kes. There is no such process that proves anything. Try answering the questions of the miracles that occur every day. You cannot. Kes, philosophy, logic, and science are all greatly flawed. They each have guided people in many opposite directions and they are also what brought you to where you are. You misquoted the Bible several times in your response and I bet you didn't even know it. There are no facts without Faith Kes... It's time to start believing that some stories are true.

Hi aryanaco, thanks for the reply. I expected the defensiveness in your reply, so I won’t take offence by your comments, which does have some good points. I notice that you did not respond to my comments on religious tolerance and free will, so I’ll leave it as that.

One thing I find odd is that you claim that I don’t know Christianity. Are you implying that you and other Christians do? Do you have proof or facts to back up your claims?

No one knows what happens BECAUSE no Christians were there when Christ died. “Christians” came about 100-200 years after he died. Before that Christ led a Jewish sect, remember?

The Gospels were written 60-70 years after Christ death, so they were not eye witness account. And none of them claim to be. So what applies to me applies to you and every other Christians. Christians don’t know what happened. And they don’t know whether Jesus resurrected or regretted his decision to just focus on saving the Jews. There is no way you can say that you know and I don’t know, when nothing has been written at the time of Jesus’ deaths.

On the historians whom you named that mentioned Christ, they do seem to provide absolute proof that Jesus lived. Can any Christian say that there was only one person named Jesus in the past? Note that Jesus as the brother of James may not necessarily mean Jesus Christ as well.

“The work of four major non-Christian historians contain passages possibly relating to Jesus: Pliny the Younger, Josephus, Suetonius, and Tacitus. But these are generally references to early Christians rather than a historical Jesus. Pliny the Younger condemned Christians as easily led fools, as did the rhetorician Lucian some years later. There is an obscure reference to a Jewish leader called "Chrestus" in Suetonius. Surviving manuscripts of Tacitus (in a passage in the Annals written c. 115) summarize popular opinion about "Christus", but do not demonstrate access to any independent source of information. Of the four, Josephus' writings are the most interesting to scholars dealing with the historicity of Jesus. However, there was no mention of these passages by early Christian writers, and in the case of Tacitus nothing was noted about Christianity until the translation by Sulpicius Severus. The most substantial non-Christian source is Josephus. Both John the Baptist and James the Just are also documented in Josephus, although some dispute whether the reference to James as Jesus Christ's brother is original or a later interpolation by a Christian scribe. The only record that unambiguously mentions Jesus himself is that of Josephus in a passage known as the Testimonium Flavianum. However, its authenticity is still greatly debated as well, since it seems incredible that Josephus (who was a life-long Jew) would have called Jesus a deity.”

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

That’s is bad schiolarship to assert as fact what has yet to be proven.

1] Josephus'reference to Jesus in the Testimonium Flavianum was highly disputed among scholarly circles. Read for yourself this background reference:

“The Christian author Origen wrote around the year 240. His writings predate the earliest quotations of the Testimonium. In his surviving works Origen fails to mention the Testimonium Flavianum, even though he does mention the less significant reference by Josephus to Jesus as brother of James, which occurs later in Antiquities of the Jews (xx.9), and also other passages from Antiquities such as the passage about John the Baptist. Furthermore, Origen states that Josephus was "not believing in Jesus as the Christ" (Cels, i 47) "he did not accept Jesus as Christ" (Comm. Matt., x 17), but the Testimonium declares Jesus to be Christ..”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JosephusonJesus#Testimonium_Flavianum

2] Tactitus was born 56-57 yeas after Jesus died and he was thus NOT an eye witness as well. His reference to Jesus was also problematic as well. “... The more serious criticism is that the records would have identified Jesus by his given name rather than "Christus."

In addition, Christian accounts were readily available while centuries of inquiry have turned up no authentic contemporaneous Roman documents related to a historical Jesus.

The word Christ is a Greek-derived title meaning
"Anointed One". At his time, Jesus was known as Jesus of Nazareth.

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

The fact remains that historians do not accept as fact every facet of the life and even resurrection of Jesus Christ and there are no secular references to Jesus Christ as the messiah.

Historians do not necessarily regard Christ as a historical figure as there is no proof of him as a historical figure that can form a factual basis for the Bible. The New Testament epistles and most of the non-canonical literature until the mid-2nd century has no mention of the life of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the disciples on earth or even holy places, such as Bethlehem, Nazareth and Calvary.

Clearly the writers don't know anything about the life of Jesus Christ as he started out as a character started out as an entirely divine being, just like all gods in other religions at that time.

But don’t believe me. Just read more on stuff on both sides of the fence on any issue before coming to a conclusion.

First read “The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Then read the rebuttal in the book, “The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus” by Earl Doherty.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/earl_doherty/

Don’t form a position like those pro-Israeli people without proof and then look for proof to support it. For example, I read both Arab and Israeli newspapers online for quite some time now and I am familiar with all the tactics to justify their positions.

TYPO: On the historians whom you named that mentioned Christ, they DO NOT SEEM to provide absolute proof that Jesus lived. Can any Christian say that there was only one person named Jesus in the past? Note that Jesus as the brother of James may not necessarily mean Jesus Christ as well.

Fake Gospels? Thomas is a fake? That's not true. The Gospel of Thomas was probably written before the Gospel of John although some placed it later. The problem of dating applies to all the Gospels by the way.

Why are you so stuck up on John? Because ancient Christians say he is right and Thomas was wrong? Did Jesus ask you to exalt John at Thomas expense? No he didn’t.

How can you pass judgement on the Gospel of Thomas if you have not read it? There were people who read the Gospel of John and Thomas' gospel as entirely compatible. There are texts and poems that show such as the Round Dance of the Cross or the Gospel of Truth that uses passages from both Thomas and John. Both Gospel of Thomas and John can be read as complementary as each other if you didn't have a system of interpretation that says they can be read in only one way.

You seem to be very resistant to reading outside the Bible and you seem to be willing to ignore the vast portion of Christian writings that existed at the same time as the NT Gospels. Why? Because past Christians say so? You mean those guys that killed thousands of pagans and Jews as well as killing tens of thousands of women because they practise pagan rituals or that they were free thinkers? You trust the views of these mass murderers who I seem to recall that you don’t regard as true Christians?

These mass murderers include the clergy and the Church, who drove Christianity in this direction. They were willing to suppress and ban most of Christian writings to cement their hold on the uneducated masses and to foster unity among the squabbling Christian factions which have a plethora of diverse Christian views. Does that make non-canonical Gospels heresy then? Or was it a political decision.

The fake Gospels that you mentioned included Gospels written by Jesus, who wrote them as a man, which is why the Church suppressed it as it wanted to exalt his divinity. What’s your reason then for not wanting to learn more about Jesus?

aryanaco, there's more than 1 view and 1 message about Jesus, contrary to what you say.

Or else there won't be so many sects and denominations about Christianity that competes and conflicts with each other.

Hey Kes, I'm working a lot of hours this week, so it may be awhile before I am able to respond. However, I would really like to continue the debate. Just curious though... how old are you and what are your qualifications in this subject? Just wanted to know to see what I have been up against all along... You have raised some questions that I have seen brought up and disputed before, except I will probably have to go back to get those answers again, because they are not in my memory.

No worries, aryanaco. Take your time as I prefer to discuss issues with people who take the time and trouble to substantiate their points, like I do.

I often take about 45 - 60 minutes to write a comment or a rebuttal here, and that's only when I have research materials at hand.

Btw, I'm in my 30s and I studied history for over 10 years all the way to my Honours year and I may be starting my Masters' soon as a sabbatical from work.

I have also studied 6 years in a Buddhist Mission School and later 4 years in an Anglican Secondary mission school.

I am quite aware of the counter-points to what I have raised and have prepared my case to welcome them.

But do me a favour. Read the 2 books I mentioned i.e. Strodel's "The case for Christ" and Doherty's "The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus"

That's no point fighting this if you don't have the facts ready.

Well, I have read "The Case for Christ," but I have not read the other book. One thing I would like to encourage you to do is to let go of some certain points you may have learned. I am very good friends with an someone with their masters in History. Because I am not very keen on the subject, I have refered to him to give me some unbiased opinions on the matter. One of the things that he noticed most about you is that you are very into everything you do and you strive to do the best you can. He noted though that you have a tendency that some historians have, to be over-confident and not realize that assumptions are being made. For example, your (along with all historians) answers might be right considering their formula they used to come to the conclusions is legit. I personally noticed how you refered to certain historical documents as credable and others not. In a way, there is no history document that is credible because when you are refering to 2000 years back, it is not a puzzle like "Sudoku" where if you play your cards right, you do not have to make any assumptions. It is actually very possible that so many mistakes were made along the way that pivitol points in history become extremely twisted. It is a common blunder, for historians to put too much into what they were taught. In the end they forget how many assumptions were actually made. I would challange you to create a fool-proof formula for figuring that George Washington existed. I know it is rather a silly thing to doubt, and frankly I don't doubt his existance, but for me to believe he was real, I also have to assume that many people did not lie, and that there was no conspiracy formed to hide the truth. When we actually go back 2000 years, things become very shady and proving any historical occurance becomes even harder. I do believe that we screwed up several times in historical documenting just like so many times historians have realized before and changed what they previously said. There have been two credible historians, - one claiming a historical document ect. existed, and another claiming it doesn't. Was the one refering to a fake document or was the other lieing? You cannot know this. Things change so much, and I believe that there is a lot more in this world that will change, and as a result, it will cancel out our previous conclusions. Instead of raising more questions, I would like you to answer specifically to this post. In the mean time, I will try to find a copy of “The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ?" I will read it as quickly as I can and then we can go back to that discussion. I also may have some books to refer to you, but let me think about what will be most productive first. P.S.- I really enjoy a good debate.

Hey Kes, I have a free second, so I will comment a little more for you to respond to. Here's something to ponder... The worlds greatest mathmatician can find mathematical formulas in everything, and seem to always be able to find answers using math. The worlds greatest Scientist can do the same thing except he uses Science to find his answers. Again, the worlds greatest Historian can find all his answers using history. These people all may be considered wise men... But imagine that there is a man who uses all of these things and more in a balance together to come up with his answers. Does this make him ultimately wise? Frankly - No, The truly wise man realizes that even if he uses all of the resources and techniques available to him, it is still possible (even probable) that there is one or more other factors that are unseen and unknown to him that ultimatly could change all the formulas others have come up with completely. I will give you this Kes... assuming that no one has lied to you, or the world... and you are factoring everything that exists into your conclusion... assuming that every single part of your formula was flawless... then I would admit that you were right. Until then, all thoughts and beliefs are equal in the way that they have been concluded. My beliefs are my faith. And, the way I act, think, and live will (to the best of my ability) coincide with my beliefs. Any Science or History that is given more credence than another is a joke. It is simply a "feeling" of security you have in Science, History, Math (and whatever else the world has to offer)... The truth is, that the security is not really there. It is no more there than anywhere else.

"Any Science or History that is given more credence than another is a joke."

This is a very hard proposition to maintain, given the massive number of possible definitions of both history and science. It is true that we will only have a limited amount of knowledge, but it is not true that because of this we are completely defenseless when it comes to refuting others - Holocaust denial is considered by a rare few to be history, but to practically the entire establishment of historians it is a joke; phlogiston was taken very seriously, but with the modern observations of combustion we have a much better explanation and the 'essence of flammability' is a joke; the belief that two is equal to one based on a faulty ten-line proposition may be considered the death blow to the number system by some, but to anyone who knows what happens when one divides by zero it is a joke. We do not have to have absolute knowledge to proclaim falsehood - if something is self-contradictory, or implies a contradiction, we can call it false; if something is contradicted by enough established historical records we can consider it useless; if something creates more problems than it solves we can call it stupid. Be careful with blanket statements like that - you don't need to look everywhere to disprove my claim that aluminum gold exists, you can just look at the periodic table and point out the obvious differences between the two and the claim is impossible by definition.

JB

Hi aryanaco, I've read your last posting but do not know how to comment as our discussion is supposed to revolve on the historicity of Jesus.

Or why you exalt the teachings from the Gospel of John over the other Christian writings at that time?

Regardless of what you might think is my personal failings as a historian, the case for historians is that there is little historical and archeological proof for the existence of the Jesus Christ in the Bible.

This is the historical consensus from historians.

If your friends in this field shares your belief that the Bible and Jesus cannot be questioned, I will have to question the validity and objectivity of their statements regarding the Bible and Jesus.

I have already pointed out that the early historians you mentioned spoke of early Christians, and not a historical Jesus Christ. There were also born more than 50 years after the reported death of Jesus, and so do not provide eye-witness acoounts of the truth of Jesus.

Refer to my post of August 16, 2006 08:12 PM

You were supposed to rebut me on this.

P.S. Try to get hold of Elaine Pagels' books on Gnostic writings. Her books are the best so far

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ON a personal note, being well-read, or trying to in my case, is not a sin as you try to project it to be.

Acquiring more knowledge allows one to be more certain in the views he gave others. A sense of reasoned certainty is hardly arrogance.

However, arrogance is shown whenever there is absolute belief in one's views without proof or credible sources.

The mark of a history student is his ability to read and to question everything and to do so as broadly as possible.

This is humility which is based on a recognition that one does not know enough and thus seeks to know more.

Only then do many people, not just 1, feel comfortable enough to offer views or points with enough facts and reference to back them up.

If not, it may be the case that we will mislead others here and end up guilding them wrong.

How can anyone be so sure about anything when they don't read up or don't read enough about the topics that interest them?

I mean, you read "The Case for Christ" but you did not read the opposite case in "The Jesus puzzle".

For a short read, the author of the Jesus Puzzle has made it clear that the Case of Christ was based on a very selective use of facts in the first article on his website:

Challenging the Verdict: A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ (2001) (Off Site)

Doherty critiques Strobel's book, in order "to expose the fallacy, distortion of evidence, and basic misrepresentation inherent in the "case" for Christian orthodoxy as presented by this consortium of reactionary scholarly opinion."

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/earl_doherty/

I've provided this link earlier?

You have not read it too?

I think your histroy friends will agree with me that the inability to read both sides of an issue before coming to a conclusion does not help anyone come to an informed opinion.

JB, good point.

aryanaco, I did take the time to read your comments here and the “historical proof” you provided as proof and then I presented my own point of view based on your sources and mine.

And now you came back to me by telling me that I’m arrogant from reading too much on the discussed topics?

Is that what you are telling me here? Am I mistaken?

I did not mean to offend either of you. And you keep assuming that I do not read what you have provided for me. I am reading all of these links (I will admit, i have not gotten around to the Jesus Puzzle, but I am trying to find time). And Kes, I did not say that I or my historian friend can prove that Jesus existed as a fact. On the contrary, I am saying that you cannot prove anything as a fact. Its not bad to do research and come to conclusions... what is bad though is doing the research and thinking that you have done enough and that faith is no factor in settling into a conclusion. You cannot possibly consider all things. To call anything a proven fact is what I am calling ignorant. You can give me as many links as you want, and you can have me read as many books as you want... but they are still subject to the fact that each of them could be wrong in a billion ways due to a lack of scope. The best thing that you can do is tell me that you believe I am wrong. And if that is all you have to say, then all I have to say is ditto. But, do not tell me that your conclusions are more probable of being true than mine. That, my friend, is ignorance. Forgive me if that is offensive and were their a lighter word than "ignorant" i would use it. And JB, I am not saying that you can present and arguement and try to refute anothers... what I am saying is that ultimately, what it comes down to is you saying that you believe you are right. For all you know, reality could only be you and if you are not experiencing something then it does not exist. All humans look at a huge universe through a small lense. However big their lense may seem to them, it is still tiny in comparison to the universe. I do not see how you cannot except this... it is painfully clear. And by the way Kes... A Case for Christ and The Jesus Puzzle do the same thing. They give more credence to their own claims. Its what everyone does. And JB... in the same way that you cannot prove anything for fact, you also cannot prove anything to be false. The proposal still remains that there may be another factor that makes things fit together when you didn't think it was possible. You need to respect Christian beliefs as a possiblility and stop thinking that they have weak arguements. Your own arguments are no better when you consider the limitless amount of possible flaws.

Aryanaco, I have never said you were wrong. I merely asked you to read Christian writings outside the Bible, including those that were supposedly written by Jesus as a man. You seem reluctant, beyond making a lot of claims against non-believers here with no proof or elaboration.

And you are the one who has posted here warning atheists, that if proven wrong, will spend life in “an eternity of hell.” Refer to your post on August 12, 2006 09:03 AM. Tou seem to believe that people who don’t believe in Jesus as said in the Bible may go to hell, regardless of the person they are and what they do. The Christian Gnostic writings contradict the Gospel of John on this point as the theme that the spark of divinity in all of us is a theme supported by the Gospels of Luke and Mark.

“what is bad though is doing the research and thinking that you have done enough and that faith is no factor in settling into a conclusion.”

You should practise what you preach. I don’t make assumptions on your behalf. You are the one who told me that that you did not read the Jesus Puzzle. Nor does it appear that you read the Gnostic Christian writings that you claim are fake.

You have only read the Bible and writings that support it. For you, your faith in the Gospel of John and other Gospels in the Bible has more or less helped you settle into a conclusion. You are imposing your sin on me.

On the other hand I have read the Bible, the writings that support it, the Christian Gnostic writings that are not in the Bible and I’m still reading more every day because I am not satisfied with the religious and philosophical knowledge I have..

“You cannot possibly consider all things.”

You can if you are open-minded in your sincerity to find out more about the world, including knowledge that contradicts your views. That is one aspect to tolerance i.e. to read and to try to understand what you do not necessarily believe or the other view point.

“To call anything a proven fact is what I am calling ignorant.”

Science has proven many facts by creating experiments that anyone can recreate for the same results, regardless of religion, nation, faith and ethnicity.

“You can give me as many links as you want, and you can have me read as many books as you want... but they are still subject to the fact that each of them could be wrong in a billion ways due to a lack of scope.”

Your comment here applies most directly on the Bible, which comes with no historical or archaeological evidence for its claims. And the Bible is based on copies of original Greek manuscripts whose real meanings have been lost hundreds of years ago. That’s why none of these manuscript copies and the Bible in question are alike because what passes for the Bible were based on oral traditions of what people think that Jesus had said. The line where Jesus walked beside the water was originally falsely translated as Jesus was walking on water as a divine miracle is a case in point.

“You need to respect Christian beliefs as a possiblility and stop thinking that they have weak arguements. Your own arguments are no better when you consider the limitless amount of possible flaws.”

I’m sorry but I cannot respect false claims made by Christians that are neither supported by facts, Christian history and the actions of Christians to this present day. the Christian narrative has far more flaws than my arguments, which are based on statements in the Bible made by Jesus when he was alive.

Your claim that Jesus came to save us all refutes Jesus’ statements that he came for the Jews and Jesus’ clear bias to gentiles or non-Jews whom he warned Paul and Matthew to neither to preach to them nor enter their house, as well as Jesus reluctance to help a Cannaite women.

My claim that Christian beliefs form a rather microscopic view of a much richer religious narrative, which survived in the form that orthodox Christianity preferred by suppressing and forcibly eliminating a lot of other Christian writings that did not fit what the religious clergy in power wanted to believe. There are over 50 Christian texts originally suppressed by the Church that was discovered in the late 1940s i.e. Gnostic writings.

This writings or Gospels, along with the New Testament Gospels, contradicted one another and caused a lot of religious conflict, suffering and deaths by competing Christian dogma, each of which insisted it was the Truth and the rest heresy.

However, without reading these Gnostic writings and other Christian writings, you claim that they are fake.

You seem unwilling and unable to critique your own faith and thus makes it a poor one indeed. Even for those who do not agree with your faith and tell you why, you still insist that they obey or respect the claims of your religion with no compelling proof or evidence. How do any non-believer going to have a meaningful discussion with you then?

The fact remains that you are the one who came to a conclusion because of faith and not because you have read enough on this topic. And you believe that people who highlight this to you because they read more are arrogant and not truthful.

To many faithful, they find the sin of themselves in others. Perhaps that’s why Christians do not learn from the mistakes of their predecessors in the past…

I will no longer be responding to you if you are not willing to consider the other side of the issues raised here and the readings that I asked you to read. I have done my part by considering your side and reading the people you quoted.

All you did was to claim that all my points have been refuted with no proof or elaboration. I’m sorry but I cannot take you on the basis of faith or at face value.

Norm is right. You do not really read what other people post in this thread about your own claims. I’ll stop here. I’ll leave you with the choice to read and find out more about your own faith. You don’t have to do it. But I will.

In any case, have a good life.

What gives you the impression that I have not read the Gnostic gospels? I have and I have also written papers about them. I have not only read the Bible, but also the books that have claimed to be a part of the Bible, whether it be the Gnostic gospels or the Catholic books. I have read both sides Kes and Norm. Ask me a question about what something said and I will give it to you. You assume that just because these opposing arguements didn't effect me, then I must not have read them. I know what you are saying, and I am trying to show you an arguement that you seem to continue overlooking. You need to admit that your so called facts are no more probable than the opposing views. Good job with your searching and research to discover the truth. I used to think that research was capable of discovering truth also. But all of these claims are irrelevant when we forget that we are at some point assuming that they are facts. This time, read what I am saying... REALLY read it. And stop assuming that I have not read your about your claims. I have and I do not see what is so good about them. They do not stand up to my arguement. You cannot scientifically, prove that you have factored everything in. And besides science you still cannot do it. And history, math and science goes to show that if you miss a factor, your whole conclusion could be wrong.

haha... like a good ol' salem witch trial. LOL

aryanaco, if you have read the Gnostic writings, kindly let us know why you say they are fake.

Kindly elaborate your case that we are overlooking things in our views based on your readings.

Claims that our claims have been refuted ignore the case that we may have heard it all before.

Do share with us your readings of Christian dogma and tell me why it is far more believable than the view that modern Christianity is nothing more than a small selection or microscopic view of a rich oral traition of diverse Christian thoughts and philosohpies.

If you can elaborate on your views with your readings, instead of keeping saying that the people who disagree with you here are wrong or ill-informed, that would really be great.

Otherwise, there's no point for any of us here to respond as many of us really go to great lengths to support our points and introduce people to useful or interesting readings.

I just read this piece by a Jew.

How Jesus Led to Hitler and Hitler Led to Ann Coulter

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellis-weiner/how-jesus-led-to-hitler-ab27856.html

It's a satire piece with a fair bit of sarcasm but he does raise an interesting point.

"Would there have been a Christian Social Party without Jesus? Who for centuries has been lauded as The Christ? Because isn't that where the word "Christian" comes from? As pertaining to Christ and Christianity? By definition, no, there would not have been a Christian Social Party had Jesus not lived. Had there been no Christian Social Party, it is highly doubtful that Hitler would have encountered and admired the opinions and thought of Dr. Karl Lueger I. Nor would he have undergone his epic transformation. Thus, no Jesus, no Hitler. No Hitler, no Nazis, no camps, no deaths of millions. Jesus, then, is responsible for the Holocaust. QED. Okay, that much is inarguable, but still: DID Hitler lead to Ann Coulter? And if Hitler--with the swastika and the goose-stepping and the "seig heil" and the sneering--is, as he is to so many, morally objectionable, are we then forced to conclude that Coulter is similarly repellent? I think we are--but not simply because she's a Christian. We have already established that Jesus begat Hitler, but that doesn't mean that every Christian is a Nazi. Or maybe it does, if we want it to. We're an empire now. We make our own reality just as, at home, with our own blender and yogurt and fruit, we make our own smoothies. In any case, Coulter is a Nazi because she is a certain kind of Christian, viz., a country-conquering, leader-killing, ideology-enforcing Christian. "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity," she said about Muslim countries after 9-11, and (mutatis mutandis) could Hitler have put it any better? But wait, let's hear from the man himself: The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine."

The rest of the article focuses on Ann Coulter.

Kes, concerning your first post, not only do books like the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Mary etc. not coincide with the Bible. They do not coincide with themselves. Many of these Gnostic books are individual writings, where-as the Bible works as a whole. What do you have to say about all the documents that date back before Jesus, predicting His coming (aka the Old Testiment). Don't tell me we don't have older manuscripts of the OT like you said about the NT (by the way heres a little bit for you to read about the NT - http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/7547/ntmss.html or how about this... http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Manuscript.html ) But, as for the OT, I think as a Historian you wont be able to deny the accuraccy of the manuscripts. And to clear up another point from an earlier post. Jesus did not say he came only for the Jews. That claim is a joke. He says the total opposite! Seriously, what book are you reading? Jesus came for the Jews and Gentiles. And as for the more recent post... I am sorry that there have been Christians who have done horrible things. I do doubt whether many of them really were Christians, but I am aware that real Christians have done really horrible things. And if you would allow me to apolagize for them, then consider me doing that now. But, let me remind you that their horrible history is no worse than any pagan's horrible history. The Bible doesn't claim Christians to be better at all, and with few exceptions, Christians don't claim themselves to be better. I am sorry that you have gotten the wrong picture for such an amazing thing. I can tell you that once you do accept Jesus as your Savior, more evidences come into your life than History of Science could possibly give. You have no idea some of the amazing experiences that Christians (including myself) have had. It is not my job to prove anything to you, and normally I would not have spent so much time doing so. It is clear to me that you have already made a choice that I cannot change. I have made some fair points in our discusion, and as for your points... well, as strange as it may sound to you being that they seem to be the best conclusion... they do not shake my faith one bit. I have had a learning experience as I debated with you, and I hope you have too. I'm sorry that you could not have seen Christianity in a different light. I am done posting now. If for any reason, you would like to talk to me about my faith without debating then I would be happy to. Other than that though, I would encourage you to not waste your time with any more debating posts directed towards me. I have heard your point... I have read all your posts, links, the gnostic gospels, the Bible, and many atheistic books written by the best of your kind etc.... In the end, I have a faith that will not be broken. As an agnostic like you are, i can imagine that it is not detrimental to your health to prove anything to me or anyone. And, I would like to say one more time that I am very sorry for the fakes out there and all of the impressions you got from them. I wish I could undo what they did but I can't. Good day.

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all i can say is that this is the bull crappiest episode alive. it tries to make evolution sound real, but its all fake. it tries to make religion sound stupid, but religion is truth

aryanaco, you are making some false claim here.

Historians do not consider any of the Christian manuscripts factual because they are mostly copies of an oral tradition with no writer identified. And the fact that no manuscripts are ever identical brings into question their authencity.

Historians thus do not recognise the biblical account as a factual historical account due to the lack of credible sources outside religious writings.

Because little if any historical or archeaological evidence supports the Bible.

There are also numerous problems in translating the manuscripts.

You clearly have not read my posts, even though you claimed to.

I will repost what I had written in this thread on August 15, 2006 11:02 PM :

"Modern translators have noticed that it should not be written as Jesus walked on water but that he walked beside it. The difference is enormous though as the mistake implied a divine miracle that was not there. Realistically, no historian will ever consider the Bible a factual historical account as it contains many parables and fables i.e. moral lessons, which many fundamentalist Christians erroneously believed were completely true and factual and came direct from God. That’s a fact, I’m afraid."

Aryanaco, you are also misleading people by claiming the Gnostic writings are individual writings.

By the way, the Bible worked as a whole because the Church Council who shortlisted, compiled and edited it meant for it to walk that way.

There were people who read the Gospel of John and Thomas' gospel as entirely compatible. There are texts and poems that show such as the Round Dance of the Cross or the Gospel of Truth that uses passages from both Thomas and John. Both Gospel of Thomas and John can be read as complementary as each other if you didn't have a system of interpretation that says they can be read in only one way.

As opposed to John’s view that divinity only resides in Jesus, Thomas’ focus on themes such as the spark of divinity in all of us ARE SUPPORTED by passages in the totality of the accepted Christian canon. There's "The kingdom of God is within you" in Luke, as you mention in the book, or Paul's "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." Other parts of the Christian canon seem to put forward this more open view that you say is characteristic of Thomas' gospel Thus Jesus' statement in John 14:6: "No one comes to the father but by me." Is the one that is the odd one out in Christian canon

You have no reason to believe the Gospel of John more than the points and issues raised by Thomas, which are supported by the other Gospels.

=======

There is also no point for apologising for the sins and bloodshed of Christians in the past as long as Christians today do not hold their religion’s dogma and beliefs accountable.

Until they do, the same mistakes that occurred will happen over and over again such as Christian Crusaders slaughter of Jewish settlements in Germany and the Christian Nazi ethnic cleansing of the Jews.

Those who do not know or learn the lessons of their past may well be condemned to repeat them.

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I agree with you aryanaco and I commend you for being strong in your faith. Kes - you are like a robot. You think everything works systematically. Well your system obviously doesn't work, because you have come up with several false claims. Their are known authors for OT books and NT books... or at least as known as they can be (that is, they are just as good as your proof of the authors of historical documents you believe). Modern translators believe it meant that Jesus walked on the sea shore instead of on water... true... that is just a few of the modern translators that believe that. Others disagree with them. I cannot explain to you how you are wrong about all of this because you are only able to look at things in one way. Kes, YOU are the one misleading people with your false claims. And aryanaco, if you are still following this debate, I encourage you to stick to your word and reply no more. You are wasting your time with people like Kes. Don't accept those claims that you are ignorant and stubborn. Kes is the definition of what he claims you to be.

HarvardGrad, your defensive answer states very clearly that you are the robot, along with those Christians who are unable to question their religion's basic dogma as well as acknowledgeing your religius dogma's responsibility for the massive bloodshed caused by Christians.

I have no problems reading beyond the Bible to read other Christian writings that date from the same period of the Gospels and writings in the Bible.

I have an open attitude to finding out more about the Christian faith and I am not ashamed to question the parts of it that I disagree with.

Only a robot blindly and unquestioningly follows the tenets of religious dogma passed on by a fallible and imperfect Church and its clergy.

That's just not me.

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The use of the name HarvardGrad does suggest that you have a sense on insecurity and a wish for people to take you seriously by highlighting paper qualifications.

But for the people here to takeyou seriously, you have to earn that by providing a coherent case for your position, rather than resort to empty name calling and insults to attack people who disagree with you.

No Harvward graduate I know does that.

Which Harvard university did you came from by the way? Is it also in USA, HarvardGrad?

HarvardGrad, your defensive answer states very clearly that you are the robot, along with those Christians who are unable to question their religion's basic dogma as well as acknowledgeing your religius dogma's responsibility for the massive bloodshed caused by Christians.

I have no problems reading beyond the Bible to read other Christian writings that date from the same period of the Gospels and writings in the Bible.

I have an open attitude to finding out more about the Christian faith and I am not ashamed to question the parts of it that I disagree with.

Only a robot blindly and unquestioningly follows the tenets of religious dogma passed on by a fallible and imperfect Church and its clergy.

That's just not me.

===

The use of the name HarvardGrad does suggest that you have a sense on insecurity and a wish for people to take you seriously by highlighting paper qualifications.

But for the people here to takeyou seriously, you have to earn that by providing a coherent case for your position, rather than resort to empty name calling and insults to attack people who disagree with you.

No Harvward graduate I know does that.

Which Harvard university did you came from by the way? Is it also in USA, HarvardGrad?

Why religious people behave like robots:

"This way of teaching religion presents faith as a kind of fact of life which does not need to be justified or explained, merely described. You're taught what sacred texts say, but not to question their divine origins."

Source: The think tank: Teach children to challenge religion

http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/68503-print.shtml

How about teaching kids to challenge evolution?

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Do not say that you have seen the other side of the arguement, because you cannot possibly see it until you experience it. That I have done with evolution. But, you have not, and it seems you never will with Christianity. I have read this whole debate. This is no longer about you. You are obviously a hopeless cause. For those of you who have followed this debate. Understand the equal amount of wholes in all arguements and make your own descision about what you will put your faith in. Goodbye Kes, you can continue to debate with yourself if you like. Of course you have already made a descision, so I highly doubt there will be anymore mental turmoil on your part about the issue. Have a great life, and as for the afterlife... I'd help you if I could.

Hi HarvardGrad, you seem to enjoy imposing your views on what I am without knowing who I am.

I lean towards Buddhism and I do believe in karma and nirvana.

So no worries on my afterlife.

Uunlike Christians, I have no issues reading beyond the Bible and outside my beliefs and questioning what I read and what I'm told.

That's how I live my life as an introspective individual, open to different, not just 1 dogmatic form of religious interpretation.

It's a journey that I invite all to travel.

However, many Christians may not be able to travel this road

As long as these religious faithful here have already made up their minds of what is reality and what their faith is all about by literally believeing that the word of the Bible is literally true and came from God and Jesus when the Bible was edited and collated in 383 AD i.e. 383 years after Jesus died.

It's their life and their choice.

Peace.

Anyone ever notice the capacity for various religion and cults to attract and brainwash retards? That it suppresses evidence, questioning and requires you to accept superstitious nonsense based on "faith."

Anyone ever notice that evolution is studied and researched the brightest scientists in universities across the globe and has become a virtually unshakable foundation in biology in institutions for higher learning in the past 100 years. And if evolution is ever proven wrong, it will be the scientists who do it.

Religion is true, but the problem is that it's just as true Santa, the tooth fairy, Zeus, and invisble pink unicorns. Evolution rules, science proves, and religion fools.

milhouse's mum is in the audience and the jury!!!lol!weird

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Just one question, post-Einstein (Albert E.,of Spacetime fame, A. Einstein, Scientist): What about Spinning Goedel (K. Goedel, Einstein's best friend in America)Universes, with time loops, i.e., circles? How would evolution apply in such Universes? Ours, which, but for the grace of..ahhh, Nature, could have been such, what about that? Of course M.C. Escher (of Escher-Sketch fame?) sketches scenes in which fields mutate, morph in current parlance, into birds, and birds morph into fields, but we survey such scenes with a mixture of amusement and bemusement, knowing they are two-dimensional absurdities, while we exist (God-like?) in higher dimensions.

And in music we have Bach, with themes evolving forwards and backwards in Crab canon or some such intelligent design. By his own testimony, they were not so much worked out, as dictated, by the Almighty, as it were. Often played in public (First draft, Musical Offering, e.g.), in "real time". What about that?

As if that weren't enough, there is Mr. Feynman, who graphs out anti-particles, as regular particles (of whatever species), travelling backward in time. Time is the sticking point here, time loops and zigzags, pace Mr. Hawking, except for Mr. Bach, we are citing Scientists here, not Cartoons. Make no mistake, I am a devout Antichristian, a Zerotheist who by the way loves Simpsons. But at the very least the Grand Theory needs an Addendum. No?

Hi one evil axis, I appreciate the points you raise but Darwin has never applied evolution to space, planets, universe and time loops.

Evolution is the study of how living species adapt itself to its environmentsvia chance mutation and natural selection.

Thus your argument that evolution is lacking by not giving answers in the subjects you highlighted is fallacious because it is not relevant to an understanding of these subjects.

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Kes my As(trophysics are impeccable). Evolution (biological) is a fact, the case, a given. Stipulate that the Bobble is wrong about Creation on the 6th day, the algae, rotifers, Opossums, and such.

But what about the first,second and third days? When God created Time, Space, and Quarks and all?

I have found many creationists to be over-imaginative,under-educated, super-silly-ous, but they have an intuition. There has been no Michaelson-Morley experiment to focus their doubts, yet. And they are as inept as Bush with thoughts-to-words, but...

Evolution has it's Galileo-Galilei (to wit, Darwin-Mendel-Watson/Crick), but not it's Newton, much less it's Einstein. Identical twins are NOT identical, but all electrons are so indistinguishable that Mr. Feynman can assert that they are all the same one (a single unique electron) weaving forward and backward in Time, and no-one can refute him.

This puzzles me.

one evil axis, I won't pretend to have all the answers you are asking.

But I have to ask this. Why are you still using the term days.

Does the word day have the same significance to God or to something as eternal as a mountain as compared to human beings?

I've pointed out that the key holes in the Noah's Ark theory, as well as in the Geneis account of creation is the total neglect of the role of insects and an utter lack of concept of the major elements in ecology.

You don't need animals nor human to populate a planet.

Make sure you get the flora and the insects and nature takes over.

I've made a hypothesis on legal WMD to my friends in the military complex before.

Just build me a bomb that can eradicate all the insects and I can guarantee you a burnt earth strategy better than anything history has witnessed.

Many people want to seperate sicence and religon but this isn't always good. I am a christian and believe in God but most people believ einc reation far diffrently than how it is presented by many. I go to a christian university and we teach that the bible is very poetic and often is taken to literally. Creation says it happened in 7 days but a day in that time could have meant years. God created man but it is not clear how. Creation does work, and recently evolution has been proven to have major flaws. For instance their was not enough time for it to happen, the odds of it happenins are minimul. And if evolution did exist why did we stop evolving? we see animals change but we never see an animal convert into a new species nor do we see evidence of this. If evolution did exist then why do we have feelings what makes us diffrent from apes, why do we care if someone dies if we are all just mistakes. God has put in us a deeper meaning toehrwise we would just walk around not carign about anything. Evolution is jsut a simple way of not being accountable for anyone but yourself. If we admit there is a God then we have to admit that our lives should mean something, and that scares people. Miracles are seen, nay doctors see miracles everyday, if we are evolved nothingness then why is their a spiritual realm to life. God created man with thoughts and feelings if we evolved from crap then why do we feel?

First off, I’d like to thank you for your concern in submitting a comment in which you have personally taken the liberty of cautiously proof reading for grammar and punctuation errors. There is nothing more refreshing than going through a plentitude of errors—and I’m merely talking about structure for starters—while attempting to take someone seriously. For your convenience I will just say upfront that I am being sarcastic so as to not cause confusion. I am aware we all make mistakes, but the carelessness found in your writing structure—let alone the myopic and uninformed content—made me think twice in whether I should’ve even responded in the first place. This comment of yours, however, had so many flaws that I just felt I had to take out the trash since it was beginning to pile up.


Many people want to seperate sicence and religon but this isn't always good. I am a christian and believe in God but most people believ einc reation far diffrently than how it is presented by many. I go to a christian university and we teach that the bible is very poetic and often is taken to literally.

You’ve made my old point yet again in that there has never surfaced a single “true” form of Christianity. The Catholic Church apparently has decided to admit in the face of OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE that Evolution did indeed happen. Gee, they’ve come along way! I suppose since they aren’t a government any more they can’t poke out the eyes of leading scientists like they did in Galileo’s day.

Creation says it happened in 7 days but a day in that time could have meant years.

This argument has been beaten to the ground.

The Hebrew word for day used in Genesis is “yom”, which is a definite 24-hour period. Even Creationist authors like Henry Morris admit to this. You seem to be shooting your own foot here.

Moreover, if a day is to mean more than a 24-hour period, how are we to interpret the following verses, as well as scores of others: “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath. . . . in it thou shalt not work... For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth… and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:9-11).

Since we are to take things poetically and metaphorically I guess going to church once every blue moon would be more than sufficient. No wonder we see Christian denominations like Catholicism as the laziest of them all since they have adopted a looser grip on their holy texts! “Sorry mom, the Bible wasn’t meant to be taken literally. I’ll go to church in a few billion years…oh wait, I’ll be dead by then. Drat!”

God created man but it is not clear how.

That was deep.

Creation does work, and recently evolution has been proven to have major flaws.

Oh this is charming. First you make outlandish, extraordinary claims such as “God created man” without any evidence at all but your own faith and conviction. Then you go on to paint evolution as this sort of fable that was pulled out of thin air by highly inebriated and stoned frat boys having epiphanies on matters of existence. Very cute.

For instance their was not enough time for it to happen, the odds of it happenins are minimul.

You call 3.9 million years not enough time for evolutionary process to occur? Sorry Ricky Ricardo, the odds were not ‘minimul’ as you say. Some forms of evolution occur even relatively fast. There are cases in quickly reproducing life forms like bacteria and fruit flies where evolution can be seen happening in a matter of weeks for the bacteria and many months for the flies.

And if evolution did exist why did we stop evolving?

Technology and culture have protected us to a great extent from the selective pressures that drive evolution, allowing many people, especially those in developed nations who would otherwise not live to reproductive age, to pass their genes on to the next generation. In addition, human groups are no longer isolated; they travel the globe. Without genetic isolation, there is no further opportunity for speciation among humans. On the other hand, natural selection is a function of environmental change, and our physical, biological, and cultural environments have changed tremendously. Humans face, for example, new diseases like HIV/AIDS that can greatly impact survival and reproduction. Human populations may also be undergoing evolutionary changes of which we're not yet aware. (Courtesy of PBS)

we see animals change but we never see an animal convert into a new species nor do we see evidence of this.

How about aurochs to cows during the lifetime of humans (since we domesticated them)?

If evolution did exist then why do we have feelings what makes us diffrent from apes, why do we care if someone dies if we are all just mistakes. God has put in us a deeper meaning toehrwise we would just walk around not carign about anything.

Animals don’t have feelings? Altruism in animals in overwhelmingly scientifically supported. I’m sorry to inform you, but most animals don’t walk around not caring about anything. For a person who is so poorly misinformed you seem to have a lot of answers, and affirm them as absolutes no less! I can tell you right now, your questions are anything but ‘intelligently designed’.

Evolution is jsut a simple way of not being accountable for anyone but yourself.

What in Christ’s name [pun intended] are you talking about? This comment took me a while to understand where you were coming from and then I realized you were talking about Social Darwinism (at least I presume you were). Social Darwinism, like I have repeated on this board assiduously, came from Herbert Spencer and not from Charles Darwin. Darwin never expressed the idea that natural selection could extend from biological systems to social systems. Spencer on the hand tried to connect Darwin’s theory with the field of social relations. No one here is implying to take Darwinian Evolution by Natural Selection to mean that you can be callous and malicious to everyone simply because of the “survival of the fittest” mentality. Please tell me you were joking with this statement.

As Dawkin’s puts it:

We gave up submitting to our selfish genes long ago, when we took up clothes, contraceptives, sonnets, cubism, astronomy, snooker, bungee-jumping and other things that our selfish genes would at best consider a waste of time. Scientific facts about the world do not translate into moral " shoulds".

If we admit there is a God then we have to admit that our lives should mean something, and that scares people.

If by “meaning” you imply the thought that you've been created especially to worship your creator, and after you die you'll honor it throughout eternity, then let me say No Thank You! That's your purpose in existence—to be a cosmic cheering squad for a deity so vain and insecure that it needs constant reassurance that it's supreme?

What a sad and pathetic meaning.

Why do we constantly hear that without an adherence to a particular superstition that life cannot be valuable? To say that humans cannot cope with the idea of there being no God(s) is a rather denigrating insult to humanity. There’s a famous quote that goes, “Isn’t it enough to say a garden is beautiful without believing there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” I have the love of my family and friends as one of many reasons that keeps me going in life as well as the simple adoration for life itself. The experience of life itself I witness and the mysteries of life push me to want more out of life and to investigate more into these matters and not conform to 1st century mythology so as to stop personal inquiry. The fact that our life is terminated after a certain period of time also give value to life as we can recognize our own fragility and seek to protect it from harm.

Miracles are seen, nay doctors see miracles everyday, if we are evolved nothingness then why is their a spiritual realm to life. God created man with thoughts and feelings if we evolved from crap then why do we feel?

If you argue God you’ve pretty much explained nothing. The hypothesis brings no knew light and information to the table. We are supposed to accept much of your premises on faith and because science doesn’t have all the answers we have to automatically accept yours—this is preposterous.

Miracles are seen everyday. So are optical illusions thought to be actual physical occurrences. Certain experiences thought to be “mystical” are actually found to be most likely neurological in nature, like out-of-body-experiences for example. The fact that science does not have an answer for everything does not mean we should, by default, accept your beliefs because they sounds convincing (at least to you). Do us all a favor and educate yourself.

By the way, new rule: No bumping old posts. Especially with the only intent is in making embarrassingly misinformed comments. I’ll be expecting Jonathan Becker’s cork-up-my-butt ad hominems to be directed at me for answering this theist’s question. Somehow, this now passes off as a rebuke here on OGM.

Caught myself.

"Especially *when..."

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erick, sorry about the ad hominems. no cork intended. but i've been trying to figure something out and i'm glad you brought it up. what do you mean by "bumping old posts"? and at whom is this comment directed?

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yep, thats my job, protecting theists with ad hominum. well, they just seem so helpless...in the face of your devastating, killing-a-fly-with-napalm attacks:) whoops, there i go again. the boy just can't help himself.

Bumping old posts means posting a comment in a topic that is months/years old to bring it to top the top of the list or put it on a the recent posts list as in 1gm's case. It's usually seen as being unfavorable by many because the topic was already discussed when it was first posted and usually, like above, the poster doesn't have anything new to add that hasn't already been covered.

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