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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 13 September 2023 at 1:04am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

1. Some say he had a kid and mellowed…

2. We get three score year and ten to get it right and burn FOREVER if we don’t. Equitable?

3. I usually direct believers to a children’s burn ward, such as I have myself visited.

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Evan S. Kurtz
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Joined: 04 July 2022
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Posted: 13 September 2023 at 1:06am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

For most Christians and atheists alike, it seems that God is whatever people put into something that is clearly beyond the capabilities of human definition. After all, tens of billions of us have been kicking around on this rock since the Abrahamic religions came into existence, and still nobody can agree on what God is supposed to be. 
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Michael Murphy
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Posted: 13 September 2023 at 2:55am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Until you can prove to me the existence or NON-existence of ANY kind of deity, I can only acknowledge the inconclusive evidence of either. 
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That's not how evidence works but the stance you are taking is an agnostic one. If you take a positive position on something, i.e. God exists, then the burden of proof falls on you. It is impossible to prove a negative so no one can disprove God, they can only tell you that they don't believe and maybe why so the burden of proof for the non-existence of god doesn't fall on anyone (particularly the non-believer). If you've read the Bible all of the contradictions and problems are obvious. That the book has issues proves nothing other than its a collection of stories that has many issues. Using the Bible to disprove god doesn't work, at best it can be used to show it's not coherent and explain why someone doesn't believe the Bible to be the word of god and maybe why someone may choose not to believe in the god of Abraham.


Can you elaborate on how quantum physics theory says and proves something comes from nothing?
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JB had it right, quantum physics does explain this. I'm not one so I am going to make an quick statement and a book recommendation and move on. When a lay person says "nothing" we tend to mean the absence of anything and modern science doesn't use the word that way. Physicists will likely use the word "vacuum" instead which has a different meaning. The current understanding of the universe, and this can be and has been measured, is that "nothing" as the lay person defines it doesn't really exist. If you want a fairly short and not-to-hard to understand book about this read A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss.

Lastly, when we talk about free will we enter into the realms of religion, neuroscience and psychology, and philosophy. With religion we could go in circles but from my point of view, if god is omniscient (knows all) then he knew I was going to perform every action in my life before I was brought into existence and if he knew about it before it happened then I had no choice and free will doesn't exist. The science of free will is something I have the barest grasp of, but from my understanding our behavior is based, in part, on genetics and environment so those things limit the amount of free will we might have since they are beyond our control. Further, our actions are determined by unconscious processes in our brain before a conscious decision is made. If that is the case then free will doesn't exist in the way we usually think about it because we don't really "think" through our actions. As far as a philosophical discussion I am woefully underprepared to even enter into a discussion on the topic.


Edited by Michael Murphy on 13 September 2023 at 3:02am
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Rich Johnston
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Posted: 13 September 2023 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

‘I refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’ ‘But,’ says Man, ‘the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.’ ‘Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. - Douglas Adams

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 13 September 2023 at 4:53pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

There have been 2 peer reviewed books by historians about the historicity of Jesus. It's strange, but historians have not tested their skills on this subject much, accepting it as a given that Jesus existed. It turns out that once historians actually look at the question, "Did an actual man named Jesus exist and begin the Christian religion?" - the answer they come to is "not so much."

One of the books is by a Dr. Richard Carrier. He has a number of lectures on YouTube. This one on "Testing Religious Claims with Science and History" obliterates every possible argument for any God or Gods existing.

I'd be surprised if anyone can hear this lecture and come away with their "faith in God" intact.

Testing Relgious Claims with Science & History on YouTube
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 13 September 2023 at 5:28pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Jesus having existed doesn't say anything about his miraculous conception or resurrection, nor God existing, but I tend to think there was someone who said things others later felt worth writing down from what they could remember. The son of God seemed to have many super powers but writing appears not to have been one of them. I wonder if that sort of impacts on his being addressed as Rabbi (translated as teacher in English)... would a Rabbi tend to have been unable to write? Not that lack of direct writings by him would prove he couldn't write, but it would've seemed a more direct route to spreading the gospel if that was the intent from when he was alive/in this world. A Rabbi was a married man and with all the Sadducees and Pharisees etc. looking for stuff to knock him off a pedestal tradition-wise that ought to have been a major bone of contention. This celibacy thing being a much later invention of the Catholic church I can't see why anybody is against the idea he would be married to Mary from Magdala, she hung around quite a lot, was fine with everyone to minister last rites after death like a close family member only was permitted, and Jesus and his Mom were obviously in charge of the water into wine wedding... most likely to have been his own.

At this point if there is a God you'd think he'd have a lot more to answer for than us temporal rubes down here, what kind of absentee father doesn't at least call at Christmas? Communication via burning bushes has never worked out all the well in the past and I'm sure the casualties at Paradise California and Lahaina Hawaii would agree. Poseidon with his tsunamis doesn't seem to have been a quick learner either however.

I think Agnostics believe in Hell but aren't sure about the Heavenly Pie-In-The-Sky place... I wonder how Douglas Adams really landed later in his life on that one, and if it had any part in his decision to leave.

Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 13 September 2023 at 5:31pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 September 2023 at 6:08pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Adam and Eve

Did some pondering this morning. According to the second chapter of Genesis*, God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and with them placed a tree whose fruit carried the knowledge of Good and Evil, instructing the first humans not to eat that fruit.

Then along comes the serpent, who persuades Eve to disobey God and sample the Forbidden Fruit. And she in turn persuades Adam to do the same.

But this is what occurred to me this morning: as the Bible makes clear, Adam and Eve are totally innocent. They have no knowledge of good and evil. When the snake makes his pitch, Eve is utterly defenseless. God has placed Evil in the Garden, but neither Adam nor Eve have any way to recognize it. When the serpent tells Eve to break God’s rule, she has no way of knowing that’s a bad thing. She has no concept of “bad”.

(We might argue that common sense should be enough to guide her, but common sense depends on recognizing that one path is better than another. But is that possible without the subtle shadings provided by the knowledge of good and evil?)

So, with nothing to warn her, Eve takes a bite of the fruit.

Which is a time release capsule? She doesn’t IMMEDIATELY gain the knowledge of good and evil? Because if she did, she would know at once that the serpent was evil, and that he had tricked her. And surely, with that new awareness she would not have talked Adam into tasting the fruit.

______

* But not the first.

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Byron Graham
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Posted: 18 September 2023 at 10:05pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

My problem with the Adam and Eve story is that this all-knowing God put something he didn't want touched with his children and told them not to touch it. Any parent could tell you what happened next. God ought to have seen that coming.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 19 September 2023 at 6:09am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

My grandfather used to put it to me like it was all sort of a family secret-- a shame we all took part in when all Eden was ours if only Adam & Eve would just obey one stupid rule. They couldn't do it, and now we're all fucked. So we pray and we try to do good cause, goshdarnit, we owe it to God to make up for this inherited sin.

That made a kind of sense to me-- but I wanted it to. I still hate looking back and seeing that this man I admired so much was so burdened by a ridiculous fairy tale that, (as you lay it out, JB) even by its own terms, doesn't make a lick of fucking sense!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 19 September 2023 at 6:37am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Isn’t Jesus supposed to have wiped the slate by dying for our sins?
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 19 September 2023 at 7:21am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

JB: Isn’t Jesus supposed to have wiped the slate by dying for our sins?

**

Yes, that's true. But it didn't really work that way in our religious practice. Because he had to die to do it, it's like Jesus replaced guilt for one thing with guilt for another. I think might be just the pocket of Catholicism I was stuck in, but the way it was held meant that our "forgiveness for Original Sin" was never really earned until we'd been baptized, lived a complete life and died in good standing with the Church.

That was just to get you out of the bad spot you were born into-- not at all to mention the sins you might be guilty of during your miserable life!
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 19 September 2023 at 11:16am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

God absolutely sets Adam and Eve up to fail but then he had to of course. Their failure was necessary to bring about his plan of redemption for the human race. Apparently. Not sure why he acted all surprised when they did it though. Perhaps he's "method."
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