Texas - Creationists defeated again

Does God exist? Is Allah God? Creation vs. evolution.
Is Religion needed? Logic vs. faith. Morality and ethics.
sword_of_truth
Posts: 884
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:36 am

Re: Texas - Creationists defeated again

Post by sword_of_truth »

@ SOT

First off, you sound more like an agnostic.

Now, if you are going to apply natural laws to supernatural events (e.g. miracles) then of course you are bound to discredit religion.

When I study religion (Abrahamic religions to be specific), I never concern myself whether they make sense in terms of natural laws! I compare them in terms of their 'religious' ideas only.
Well, if you mean that the stories are fictional, then, you may solve the problem. That's the only place where I have tiny doubts that maybe some religion could be true. If you ask me if young earth creationism is true, I'd say, it's false, with the same level of certainty that say, Australia exists because we can completely disregard its absurd claims in light of the evidence.

If you mean that the laws of nature can be broken, though, then you depart from the path which leads to truth, as we know it. It's still possible that God would ask us to do that, but I consider it an unreasonable demand on his part.

I'm agnostic atheist. I say atheist because I believe that there is no God. It's just a belief--a strong suspicion. Doubt in that belief makes me no less an atheist than doubt in Islam makes someone a non-muslim. Everyone has doubt. Of course, because I'm more honest than theists, I express stronger doubt because I know I have no proof that there is no God.

Religion could theoretically be true. But any random story I make up could be true. We do not have the luxury of believing arbitrary things. It could be true that if you don't sacrifice an animal every day to the God of the aliens that live in near Alpha Centauri, you go to hell and suffer eternal torment. It could be true. We just don't have the luxury of believing in it because we have no proof and no way to investigate it.

EDIT:

I just saw that video. It seems to claim that "miracles" is the reason why people can believe! How about all the theists in the world? They don't witness any miracles and yet they believe. And since you were a Muslim and I assume you read the Quran, then you should know this is exactly the Quran's argument as to why Muhammed didn't perform any miracles. Whoever wants to believe does NOT need a miracle and besides many of the people who witnessed miracles in the ancient times dismissed them as magic because they didn't want to believe, all these arguments for Muhammed's lack of miracles are in the Quran. Didn't you read it?
Yes, but that wasn't my point in giving the link, and some people do base their faith in Christianity on the supposed historical facts surrounding the resurrection of Jesus. My point is that under any normal circumstances, if someone told you something that violates the laws of physics, it would be reasonable to conjecture that they are either lying or mistaken. You might say it follows from belief in God that God can do miracles, but I don't see that that's necessary. There's nothing wrong with a God who cannot work miracles. Depends on what God.
"...if you want my personal preference say I found out that my wife was cheating with me flogging would be too good a punishment."

--fudgy

crazymonkie_
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:01 am

Re: Texas - Creationists defeated again

Post by crazymonkie_ »

debunker wrote:First off, please note that now we have entered the realm of religon. So, I'll post this one and then I'll stop talking about it.
No, we haven't. We've entered the realm of doctrine. Religion requires at least doctrine AND practices, on top of belief. And no practices have been specified.
You misunderstood my definition of a tyrant god. When someone who's not all powerful, all knowing, all everything, etc asks me to call him god, then he's a tyrant. e.g. just imagine a great king asking you to call him god -- no worship needed, just call him that, wouldn't you consider him a tyrant? Same thing with polytheistic gods, they're powerful "creatures" but with limited powers and not a single one of them has any power over the area of another god. They're all helpless in other departments. "Helpless" doesn't go with "god".
There you go again: You're projecting the idea of a transcendent, all-powerful, all-knowing deity, looking at the polytheistic gods, and saying "That's not what god is to me." Well, yeah. If you're working forward from your assumptions, not from the assumptions of the polytheists, of course you're going to reject those gods somehow.

That it was the idea of tyranny is rather odd, though, considering how tyrannical even the god of the Gospels/Epistles is. Oh sure, he makes a lot of noise about love and forgiveness, but when it comes down to it, the choices are: Accept Jesus, get into heaven and eternal bliss OR reject Jesus, go to a horrible place of suffering for all eternity. Yes, I know *some* Christians don't believe in that sort of afterlife, but their beliefs are not based on Scripture, which is where the ultimate authority for Christian belief should be. The point is this: The god of the Bible is still offering a binary choice based not on forgiveness and grace, but on bribery and fear. If that's not tyrannical, I don't know what is.
The truth is polytheism is born of monotheism and vice versa. This explains the similarities either faint or strong. But the question is who came first?
.... You serious?

POLYTHEISM!!!!!

Look: Monotheism didn't even EXIST until the 8th/7th century BCE, when Hezekiah took out all the ESTABLISHED competing gods from the (very tiny) kingdom of Israel. Before that time, there were NO MONOTHEISTS. Anywhere.

Proof? There's been almost 100 years of painstaking archaeological and historical research into places all over the world, including the Near East. Beyond what the Bible claims about what the Hebrews believed, there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL for monotheism before the violent expulsion of competing god-cults of ancient Israel and the establishment of the idea of a transcendent god, divorced from place or culture.
I remember I was once watching a documentary on History channel. This documentary was trying to establish that Judiasm was fake and many stories of Genesis was stolen from polytheistic religions in the Middle East which existed long before Judiasm.
History Channel isn't the best source for this sort of stuff. Even so, the case is pretty clear that the Adam and Eve story, among others, did come from other cultures in the area.
Specifically, the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden was reported in one of these older polytheistic religions (archeologial findings). The similarities were so strong I was 99% convinced that Judiasm was fake! And this was NOT the only example of stolen stories. By the end of that program I was all but completely God-less. I tried to stop thinking about it but this actually further inflated my doubts. But in the end I decided to face my doubts and after thinking again and again. I realized that the answer was very simple! God of the Bible claimed to have existed since forever! So, he must have told these creation stories to all His people before the Israelites. So God of the Bible must have been also the God of any previous religion before it got corrupted enough to become polytheistic. This explains the similar elements between monotheistic religions and polytheistic religions including stories like that of Adam and Eve.

I know your answer already. I'm going so 'ass-backwards', right? :)
Yup. Look: If knowing for sure that 'god' did not send this story to 'his people' at the time it was said to be sent to them, and that the other stories claimed to be about *gods* AND that there is NO evidence of monotheism before the 8th/7th centuries.... There's absolutely no evidence that you can't twist to make fit the conclusion that you've already reached. You assume monotheism comes first because that's what you want to be true. You work backward from this conclusion, picking evidence or making the evidence fit based on the interpretation you want already. In logical terms that is called 'begging the question,' and it is a HUGE logical fallacy.
Anyway, let me end with a quote I stole from a post of one of the members here. "Small doubts result in small realization, only great doubts result in great realization, no doubt results in no realization".

This is especially true when it comes to religion. If you suppress your doubts you'll end up losing your religion. Face them all, one by one and ask yourself a million questions.
The quote is only true if doubts can be answered one way or another with empirical evidence. And it doesn't really make your second paragraph true. I had massive doubts, and don't doubt for a moment that I was VERY religious; yet, with all those huge doubts, I still left my faith; left the idea of a god-concept entirely, in fact. Doubts don't always work in the favor of religion or god-belief.

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THHuxley
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:55 am

Re: Texas - Creationists defeated again

Post by THHuxley »

crazymonkie_ wrote:There's been almost 100 years of painstaking archaeological and historical research into places all over the world, including the Near East. Beyond what the Bible claims about what the Hebrews believed, there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL for monotheism before the violent expulsion of competing god-cults of ancient Israel and the establishment of the idea of a transcendent god, divorced from place or culture.
This was rather firmly established with the excavation at Ugarit, and the realization that Biblical monotheism was an evolutionary descendent of Canaanite polytheism. Originally, the "head god" was EL, and with his consort Asherah begat seventy sons... the multiple national gods of the levant. Each member of the divine family was assigned a nation of their own, an event still recorded in Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (you want to look at the Dead Sea Scroll or Septuagint version rather than the edited Masoretic text). Yahweh was assigned the nation of Judah, and was originally just one god among others. Yawheh himself makes that point in the "First Commandment."

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me."

Yahweh himself seems to fully accept the existence of other gods, simply demanding that his nation (Judah/Israel) worship only him.

Other traces of Israel's original polytheism remain in the Bible to this day, from the plural "Elohim" to the Nephilim to the 82d Psalm in which the father of the gods, El presides in a divine assembly at which Yahweh stands up and stages the overthrow of his brothers, the other gods.

While other monotheisms might boast other origins, the Abrahamic faiths all descend in a straight line from that original polytheism found in Ugarit and fossilized still in the Old Testament.
The moral absolutist has no doubt concerning the righteousness of the blood on their blade.

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