Is There A God? (What is the chance that our world is the result of chance?)

Posted on February 1, 2012 By

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being…. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all.”

Sir Isaac Newton, who is widely regarded to have been the greatest scientist the world has ever produced.

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The comedian Henny Youngman once famously quipped, “After reading about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.” And giving up reading (about cosmology and astrophysics) is the recommended approach for the person who wishes to maintain belief in a God-free universe, and the cherished freedom from moral accountability that it allows. Anyone who probes into the origins of our universe soon becomes overwhelmed by the evidence that “the universe is a put-up job” (or, the product of deliberate, conscious intent), in the words of Cambridge University physicist and mathematician Fred Hoyle.

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George Will put it best: “Soon the American Civil Liberties Union, or People for the American Way, or some similar faction of litigious secularism will file suit against NASA, charging that the Hubble Space Telescope unconstitutionally gives comfort to the religiously inclined.”

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George Will put it best: “Soon the American Civil Liberties Union, or People for the American Way, or some similar faction of litigious secularism will file suit against NASA, charging that the Hubble Space Telescope unconstitutionally gives comfort to the religiously inclined.”

So compelling, in fact, has become the case for the universe as the product of a conscious creator that astrophysicist Hugh Ross, a former post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology observes (in his book The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God) that:

“Astronomers who do not draw theistic or deistic conclusions are becoming rare, and even the few dissenters hint that the tide is against them. Geoffrey Burbidge, of the University of California at San Diego, complains that his fellow astronomers are rushing off to join ‘The First Church of Christ of the Big Bang.’”

For those not familiar with “the Big Bang,” this cosmological event, now almost unanimously regarded as fact in the scientific community, constituted the beginning of the universe about 14 or 15 billion years ago, and bears eerie similarity to the biblical account of the universe’s creation. As Arno Penzias, the 1978 Nobel Prize recipient in physics, stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978:

“The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

Similarly, the astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Robert Jastrow, writes:

“Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment of time, in a flash of light and energy.”

Arno Penzias, the 1978 Nobel Prize recipient in physics, stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978: “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

It is difficult to overstate the immensity of the problem the Big Bang poses to those wishing to hold fast to an atheistic, naturalistic view of the universe. Since the early days of the Enlightenment, atheism has relied on the assumption that the universe did not need a creator because it has existed for an infinite amount of time, and therefore did not have a beginning…no origin, therefore no Originator. Eighteenth century Scottish philosopher David Hume was among the first highly influential figures to posit this belief, and it continued to be promoted right up until the late 20th century by such key atheist figures as the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

But the fact that the universe is now known to have had a beginning is really only the beginning of the problem for atheists. Patrick Glynn, in his book God: The Evidence notes:

“Beginning in the 1960s, scientists began to notice a strange connection among a number of coincidences in physics. It turns out that many mysterious values and relationships in physics could be explained by one overriding fact: Such values had been necessary for the creation of life. The physicist Robert Dicke was the first to draw attention to this relationship. The scientist John Wheeler, one of the most prestigious practitioners of cosmology, became interested in the idea in the 1960s. Then, at Wheeler’s urging, [Cambridge University astrophysicist and cosmologist Brandon] Carter presented the observation in full-blown form at the Copernican Festivities (celebrating the 500th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus).”

Carter coined the term “anthropic principle” (also sometimes referred to as “anthropic fine tuning”) to describe this concept. Distinguished former Cambridge University quantum physicist John Polkinghorne elaborates on this subject in his book Questions of Truth: Fifty-One Responses to Questions about God, Science, and Belief:

“Anthropic fine-tuning is a big topic that has been explored extensively, but the basic idea is easy to grasp. As far as we know at present there are six apparently fundamental constraints in nature whose values have to be very close to their presently observed values if any intelligent, carbon-based life is to come into being anywhere in the universe. In some cases these values have to be astonishingly accurate:  for example, the parameter called lambda, which controls the long-range acceleration of the expansion of the universe in relativity, has to be a factor of 10 to the 120th power smaller than such an explanation would have considered natural.”

“…As [Nobel Prize winning physicist] Tony Hewish once remarked, the accuracy of just one of these parameters is comparable to getting the mix of flour and sugar right to within one grain of sugar in a cake ten times the mass of the sun.”

In his landmark work on the social psychology of scientists and the philosophy of science entitled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn lays down the process by which “paradigms” (or sets of beliefs that underlie scientific theories) undergo transformation. Scientists with a vested ideological interest in supporting a given paradigm will not surrender it easily when the foundation underlying that paradigm begins to crack. Rather, as Kuhn notes, “they will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate apparent conflict.”

Nowhere is this practice more thoroughly obvious than in the crumbling paradigm of the randomly occurring, creator-free universe. In order to “eliminate the apparent conflict” between the concept of a finely tuned universe with a beginning, on one hand, and the concept of a universe without a creator on the other, atheistic scientists have devised such “articulations and ad hoc modifications” as using the theories of multiple universes and an oscillating universe to resurrect the creator-free cosmos. So many universes exist, so the theory goes, that it is not surprising that one of these universes happened to randomly have the fine tuning necessary for the existence of life. In the case of the oscillating universe, the universe alternates between phases of expansion and contraction, and therefore (say the atheists), it is not surprising that during one of these “bounces,” the universe happened to randomly develop this fine tuning. Addressing this slant on the theory of multiple universes, Polkinghorne notes:

“Answering an argument by a suggestion is hardly conclusive.  One problem is that we don’t just need a hundred other universes, or even a billion, but an utterly immense number—some string theorists suggest that there are up to 10 to the 500th power other universes. If you are allowed to posit 10 to the 500th power other universes to explain away otherwise inconvenient observations, you can “explain away” anything, and science becomes impossible.”

Further, as Oxford University professor of philosophy Antony Flew facetiously observes in There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind:

“If the existence of one universe requires an explanation, multiple universes require a much bigger explanation: the problem is increased by the factor of whatever the total number of universes is. It seems a little like that case of a schoolboy whose teacher doesn’t believe his dog ate his homework, so he replaces the first version with the story that a pack of dogs—too many to count—ate his homework.”

None of this is to suggest that the scientific consensus may one day tilt in favor of a theory such as multiple universes or the oscillating universe, which are modifications to the Big Bang. Scientific explanations are always evolving. The core issue at hand is the philosophical implications that may be reasonably derived from such scientific theories. To suggest that multiple universes or an oscillating universe can serve as an explanation for why a physical and natural world even exists in the first place is a clear example of atheistic scientists overreaching their field of expertise into another discipline entirely…that of philosophy.

This becomes evident by dissecting the most recent (and perhaps the best) example of an attempt to do away with the notion of a created universe: Stephen Hawking’s concept of “spontaneous creation” (through the spontaneous emergence of multiple universes) presented in his book The Grand Design. Hawking states that “spontaneous creation [rather than divine creation] is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” Multiple universes, including ours, he alleges, “arise naturally from physical law.”

The Oxford Dictionary defines science as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” Statements attempting to explain “the reason there is something rather than nothing” are not scientific statements. Contrary to what Hawking seems to think, it is impossible for scientific instruments and the methods of science to analyze nothing.

Hawking’s above statement is therefore by nature philosophical, not scientific. The Oxford Dictionary defines philosophy as “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” And statements about  “why there is something rather than nothing” are philosophical statements. If multiple universes, including our universe, “emerged naturally from physical law,” one is immediately faced with the question of from where these physical laws emerged. Did they evolve through Darwinian natural selection out of utter nothingness? The question of the origin of existence has therefore not been answered by Hawking, but merely delayed.

It is more accurate, then, to say that “by dabbling in amateur philosophy, Hawking has concluded that the universe generated spontaneously.” And Einstein is noted for reminding us that “the man of science is a poor philosopher.” Here, we are touching upon a fundamental deceit perpetrated by those in the scientific community wishing to do away with the notion of God: Using pretensions of science to make bold but shoddy and unsupported philosophical claims. Just as one should not go to his or her plumber for legal advice, one should not go to a scientist for novel philosophical insights. Readers should be on constant guard for this sleight-of-hand.

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This article further discusses the topic of anthropic fine tuning.

Please also listen to this audio by physicist Hugh Ross (and read the transcript if you like).

For some hard numbers as to the probability that the universe resulted from chance, rather than deliberate, conscious action (produced by Oxford University mathematician Roger Penrose) please read the post entitled “OK…I want numbers.”

To see what standard Big Bang cosmology (and mathematicians…including one of the 20th century’s greatest) say about the possibility that the universe (or multiverse) is eternal, please read the post entitled “Isn’t the universe eternal? (Thus doing away with the need for a creator)”

Please also read the related post entitled “Why is there something rather than nothing?”

ADDITIONAL QUOTES RELEVANT TO THIS SUBJECT MATTER APPEAR BELOW:

“Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth.  And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover….  That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

–Astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies Robert Jastrow. Please also see Jastrow’s book God and the Astronomers.  Jastrow’s observations regarding the evidence for a divine act of creation are especially poignant when one considers that he is a self-described agnostic. In other words, Jastrow’s research have led him to theistic conclusions despite having an ideological bias against theism.

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“I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

–Astronomer Allan Sandage, winner of the Crafoord Prize in astronomy (which is equivalent to the Nobel Prize). Sandage is considered to be one of the founders of modern astronomy, and was considered the greatest living cosmologist until his death in 2010. He came to belief in God as a result of his science, as he announced to a conference on the origin of the universe in 1985. He also became a Christian.

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“There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all. . . It seems as though somebody has fine tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe. . . The impression of design is overwhelming.”

“It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”

–Physicist Paul Davies, winner of the 2001 Kelvin Medal issued by the Institute of Physics and the winner of the 2002 Faraday Prize issued by the Royal Society (amongst other awards).

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“It is relatively unusual that a physical scientist is truly an atheist. Why is this true? Some point to the anthropic constraints, the remarkable fine tuning of the universe. For example, Freeman Dyson, a Princeton faculty member, has said, ‘Nature has been kinder to us that we had any right to expect.'”

–Physical scientist Henry F. Schaefer III, five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize, as quoted in his essay Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang, and God.

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“A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

–Cambridge University astrophysicist and mathematician Fred Hoyle commenting on the incredible fine-tuning necessary for life to exist (as quoted in The Creator and the Cosmos by Hugh Ross).

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“Fred Hoyle and I differ on lots of questions, but on this we agree: a common sense and satisfying interpretation of our world suggests the designing hand of a superintelligence.”

Former Harvard University Research Professor of Astronomy and the History of Science Owen Gingerich, who is also the senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Gingerich is here reflecting on Fred Hoyle’s above comment.

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“Had the original energy of the Big Bang explosion been less, the universe would have fallen back onto itself long before there had been time to build the elements required for life and to produce from them intelligent, sentient beings. Had the energy been more, it is quite possible that the density would have dropped too swiftly for stars and galaxies to form. These and many other details were so extraordinarily right that it seemed the universe had been expressly designed for humankind.”

Owen Gingerich, as above.

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“Had the resonance level in the carbon been 4 percent lower, there would be essentially no carbon. Had that level in the oxygen been only half a percent higher, virtually all of the carbon would have been converted to oxygen. Without the carbon abundance, neither you nor I would be here now.”

“I am told that Fred Hoyle, who together with Willy Fowler found this remarkable nuclear arrangement, has said that nothing has shaken his atheism as much as this discovery.”

Owen Gingerich, as above.

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“Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.”

–Nobel Prize winning physicist Arno Penzias.

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“Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one…. Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument.”

–Cosmologist and astronomer Edward Robert Harrison

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“The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.”

–MIT physicist Vera Kistiakowsky

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“As to the cause of the Universe, in context of expansion, that is left for the reader to insert, but our picture is incomplete without Him [God].”

–Astrophysicist and mathematician Edward Milne (winner of the Royal Society’s Royal Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Bruce Medal).

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“What is the ultimate solution to the origin of the Universe? The answers provided by the astronomers are disconcerting and remarkable.  Most remarkable of all is the fact that in science, as in the Bible, the world begins with an act of creation.”

Astronomer Robert Jastrow from Until the Sun Dies

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“Not only did the Big Bang model seem to give in to the Judeo-Christian idea of a beginning of the world, but it also seemed to have to call for an act of supernatural creation…”

J.M. Wersinger, Assoc. Professor of Physics, Auburn University

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“Then,  last week, American scientists announced the discovery of radiation patterns in space that may mark the beginning of time itself.  Said astrophysicist George Smoot, leader of the research team: ‘If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.  The order is so beautiful and the symmetry so beautiful that you think there is some design behind it.”

“Whatever caused the rapid expansion of the universe following the Big Bang—the same forces caused tiny ripples. Because if you try to do something too fast, you shake a little.  God might be the designer.”

–Maclean’s, May 4 1992 (the two above quotes are by astrophysicist and cosmologist George Smoot).

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“It is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life.”

–Nobel Prize winning chemist Richard Smalley

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“The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”

–The great astrophysicist Sir Arthur Eddington

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“There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the Big Bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”

–Astrophysicist and cosmologist George Smoot, as above.

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“The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural “constants” were off even slightly. You see, even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life — almost contrived — you might say a ‘put-up job”.

Physicist Paul Davies, as above.

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“The fact that the universe exhibits many features that foster organic life — such as precisely those physical constants that result in planets and long-lived stars — also has led some scientists to speculate that some divine influence may be present.”

–Science Magazine (The most respected peer reviewed scientific publication in the United States) from an Aug ’97 article entitled Science and God: A Warming Trend?

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“As we survey all the evidence, the thought instantly arises that some supernatural agency–or, rather, Agency–must be involved.  Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?  Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”

–Astronomer George Greenstein, as quoted in his book The Symbiotic Universe.

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A Creator must exist.  The Big Bang ripples and subsequent scientific findings are clearly pointing to an ex nihilo creation consistent with the first few verses of the book of Genesis.

–Quantum chemist Henry F. Schaefer III, five time nominee for the Nobel Prize, as above.

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“Perhaps the best argument…that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists.  At times this has led to scientific ideas…being advanced with a tenacity which so exceeds their intrinsic worth that one can only suspect the operation of psychological forces lying very much deeper than the usual academic desire of a theorist to support his or her theory.”

–Imperial College of London astrophysicist C.J. Isham, who is Britain’s leading quantum cosmologist.

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“There is no ground for supposing that matter and energy existed before [the Big Bang] and were suddenly galvanized into action. For what could distinguish that moment from all other moments in eternity? It is simpler to postulate creation ex nihilo—Divine will constituting nature from nothingness.”

–English mathematical physicist Edmund T. Whittaker, winner of the Copley Medal, which is the most prestigious award in British science.

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“If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.”

–Harvard educated NASA astrophysicist John A. O’Keefe.

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“I am not a religious person, but I could say this universe is designed very well for the existence of life. The basic forces in the universe are tailor-made for the production of . . . carbon-based life.”

–Austrian physicist Heinz Oberhummer, professor emeritus from the Vienna University of Technology


99 comments


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    RATIONAL DUDE says:

    I think we can easily prove that the universe is not an accident, using mathematics, and only one base assumption:
    Time and the universe began at the same incident. http://www.theism.net/article/28 gives a proof that the universe probably began to exist. The universe is the set of all contingent facts, and time only exists when events transpire. Events are contingent; therefore, time only exists when the universe exists!

    The proof elaborated:
    Probability is equal to “Number of Tries (N)” multiplied by the “Number of Acceptable Universes (A) over the Number of Possible Universes (U)”. A universe is “acceptable” when it is capable of sustaining advanced chemistry (we’re assuming, for the atheist’s sake, that Reductionism is true). We can be generous here; Assume that half of all possible universes are acceptable. Expressed mathematically, “P=(N/1)(A/U)”.
    The Proof:

    Not a Chance!
    1) P= (N)(1/2)*
    2) The maximum number of tries is in direct proportion to the amount of time available.
    3) Time began to exist coincidentally with the universe; “Before” the universe, there “was” no time.
    4) (2&3) The maximum number of tries is zero.
    5) (1&4) Therefore, P= (0)(1/2) = 0 . The probability of the universe being created by chance is ZERO!

    The universe, Quod Erat Demonstratum, cannot be an accident.


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    emma says:

    after serching and serching i finaly found a website that i can do some research on thank you :)


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    Al says:

    Trying again…

    My 12 year old daughter wrote this for a school assignment.

    To whom it may concern,

    I am not sure whether you believe in a God at all, or maybe just aren’t sure which God is the one and true God; or maybe you do believe in Jesus Christ, but just don’t care enough to serve and honour Him with your life. So I thought it best to try and address all three points. Is there a God? Which is the true God? And, if you believe in Jesus then why aren’t you honouring him with your life? I can only tell you what I know and what I believe, in the end it is your choice. Just understand, that although, you may not realize it now, choosing to serve God or not serve God is the biggest decision you will ever make.

    I believe there is a God, since it is amazing to see His creations all around us. It’s even more amazing to see Him in yourself! I am a living soul, I am self aware and have a mind that reasons. I also have an inborn conscience that is with me at all times. These things help me understand who I am. They also compel me to ask many questions. Such as; where did we come from? What’s our purpose in this life? And, where do we go after we die? If you are willing to listen, I can try and lead you to accept that there is a God, since he has left many tangible signs for us to see. For instance, did you know that in the Bible, in the very first sentence, God mentions the three things that are essential for us to experience and live this reality.

    “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

    “Beginning”, references time. The “Heavens” reference 3 dimensional space, and the “Earth” references matter. How could anyone know that ALL 3 of these must be present, perfectly and precisely, as they are in order for us to exist in this reality? The Bible has been proven to have been written thousands of years ago, way before any science had been done. Also, did you know that each of time, space and matter contains, within it, another 3 aspects. Time can’t exist without any of past, present, and future. Space can’t exist without any of length, depth and width. And finally, matter. You guessed it… it comes in three forms. Liquids, solids, and vapours. I think this is one way that God is trying to help us understand the Trinity of His Godhead.

    Okay one more. Do you know the last number? Can you count to the last number? I didn’t think so! That’s because there isn’t one. Maybe that’s God’s way of showing us eternity through math. I hope all of this convinces you to believe that there is a God and that He has a purpose for everything, including you. Creation didn’t just happen by accident, and everything couldn’t just come from nothing. If you think about it, it actually takes MORE faith to believe in that, than it does to believe that God created everything.

    Okay, I know you believe in God now, I just now it. So, who is this God, you ask?

    Well, that’s easy, because many who have come before us have asked this same question and have done the hard work in seeking Him out. But more importantly, God Himself has sent His messengers, such as; Angels, Prophets, and Holy Men to inform man of His existence and also to tell us how we should live. If you read the Holy Bible and compare it to any other writings of other people’s gods, you will quickly realize that our Judeo-Christian God is a loving, just, and merciful God. He is the one and only God; who loves us, and who has a plan to bring us back home to Him safely. I am reading the Bible, and I can tell you that I love it. I hear truth in God’s words. Everything God says in the Bible HAS happened or will happen. The best way for you to find the one true God, is to ask God to help you in your journey. Ask Him to give you an open mind, and a heart that longs for truth. As you search, read and learn about all faiths, I know you will come to the God who is Jesus Christ, our Lord. You see, our God gave us freewill and he allows us to accept Him freely. He does not force us to serve Him. Although it hurts Him very much when we don’t obey Him. He wants to teach us how to live right. How to be thankful. How to love. He wants us to choose life. The best part about our God, is how merciful He is. He stepped out of Heaven Himself. Born of a virgin, who conceived by the power of Holy Spirit; Jesus lived His life on earth as an example of how we should live. We should live in Truth, with humility, ever grateful to God, always being fair and honest. Having Peace and Joy in our hearts and loving each other and forgiving one another. But even greater than this is that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We are all going to die one day, but because of Jesus’ perfect goodness, the grave could not hold Him and Hell could not bind Him. So, when we die, if we have repented of our sins and believe in Jesus and love Him, the grave or hell will also not hold us because of Jesus’ gracious gift of Pardon and Salvation to us. We’ll be safe in Heaven with Him, where there is always truth, justice, mercy and eternal Joy for us all. That’s the best thing about our loving God… Grace & Mercy. Grace is receiving something which you do not deserve and have not earned.

    Okay, so maybe you knew all this, but you didn’t feel the urgency to have Jesus as the Lord of your life. To repent of your sins and to give your life to Him, everyday! Well, remember that second set of three questions I posed near the beginning of this letter? Where did we come from? What’s our purpose in this life? And, where do we go after we die? Well, you know where we came from, and you know that our purpose in life is to LOVE. To love God first and foremost and above all things, and to love each other as ourselves.

    Now comes that 3rd and final question.

    Where do we go after we die? Well, where do you want to go?

    Do you want to go to a place where all your family and friends also hope to be? A place where all people who love God are. A place where there is truth and justice, peace and joy … forever! A place where there is no death or disease. A place where we can worship God in perfect goodness. You can go to this place … only because of God’s mercy. By His grace, He gave us His only son Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to. Jesus received our punishment so that we do not have to go to Hell and die a second and eternal death.

    Is this the place you want to go after you die?
    Your other option, is being punished for your sins, going to Hell, and dying the second death (eternal separation from light) which lasts forever.

    Now, I hope you understand why seeking to know God is the biggest decision you’ll ever make … EVER! I can’t imagine my life without Jesus at the centre of it, and my family at my side. You could be part of God’s family too. We are all God’s children. So, when you’re alone, just lay silently and ask Him to come into your life. He’s at the door knocking … let Him in!

    Repent of your old ways, and turn to His perfect ways. He’ll teach to you how to live. Day by day you’ll grow in faith and knowledge. Before you know it, it will be as if a miracle has happened. You’ll say to yourself, “Who was that other person?”

    It’s an awesome feeling to know what your purpose in life is. It’s even better to know where your eternal destiny lies. I thank God that I know the answer to both of these questions.

    The gift of life is life. And God want you to have that life abundantly and lived in perfect righteousness!

    End


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    dan says:

    This website is aweful, headed by “explore the evidence” it then provides me with a massive amount of bull shit quotations that do not come to any sort of conclusion and certainly do not represent any evidence of any kind


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      OK dude. You’ve got the strident rhetoric part down pat. I guess you can just label anything that conflicts with your worldview as “B.S.” and then just go about your merry way without providing any sort of counter argument.

      By the way, are you attempting a radical redefinition of the term “evidence”? If the majority of astronomers are drawing “theistic or deistic” conclusions, this is evidence for God. If most people who have NDEs report encountering a “personal God,” this is evidence for God. The list goes on…

      What is your radical new definition of “evidence”? Is is something like the following?: “The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid, unless it is a belief or proposition that conflicts with my beliefs.”


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    James says:

    Just a quick note to say I am very confused by this statement…

    “The Big Bang… bears eerie similarity to the biblical account of the universe’s creation (“And God said: ‘Let there be light’, and there was light”).”

    In what way? The bible account claims that earth (and the oceans!) existed before the creation of light (Gen 1:2). Apparently at this point the world (Earth) should already exist, despite its being relatively recent in cosmological history.

    God only creates the sky on the second day (Gen 1:6); how can a planet have no sky? He creates plants on the third day (Gen 1:11) before the creation of stars and other celestial bodies on the fourth (Gen 1:14). This is clearly out of sync with the history of the universe, where stars vastly predate any kind of life (which was originally bacterial, not plant life; but this is not created until the fifth day at Gen 1:24).

    Apart from the self-evident statement that the universe exists, in what way does the Genesis story bear any literal or metaphorical resemblance to the universe’s actual history?

    All quotes from the Good News Bible.


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      RATIONAL DUDE says:

      James, you seem to have fallen into the same pit trap I fell into –I fell into that same pit several times, trying to avoid it, so I think I know what the problem is.

      Genesis and astronomical history can be reconciled with only three simple assumptions:

      1) In the Creation Narrative, the word “day” represents a long period of time.
      2) At Genesis Chapter One, Verse Two, the reference frame of the text shifts from outer space, to the surface of the Earth, and describes the Creation from that reference frame until the Narrative ends.
      3) The word translated as “animals” is in reference to advanced mammals, not all existing animals.

      We suddenly see that what looks like the Earth existed before the sun is actually FALSE! The light that God commands to become visible upon the Earth is coming from the sun, but we cannot see the sun yet, as it is hidden by the thick atmosphere. Then the sun becomes completely visible at Day Four.
      Everything that you have said is easily avoided, just by following those four assumptions.


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    Dashan says:

    Steve
    here are some more quotes to support your argument of where the evidence is leaving us. Alex Vilenkin, Russian cosmologist “With the proof now in place, current cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe.There is no escape: we have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”
    Oxford Nobel Prize winner (&atheist) sir Peter Medawar,’That there is indeed a limit upon science is made very likely by the existence of questions that science cannot answer & that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer It is not to science, but to metaphysics, imaginative literature or religion that we must turn for answers to questions having to do with first and last things.’
    Stephen Wynberg MILITANT atheist & famous theoretical physicist: “Nature seems more beautiful than necessary. It is almost irresistible to imagine this beauty was laid out for our benefit.” (if god doesnt exist there’s no basis to expect beauty in nature)
    Ric Smalley Nobel Laureate in Chemistry: It is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned for life.
    Surely the most fundamental problem for an atheist who rejects an absolute beginning must surely be an infinite past. If something exists now then without a Creator, something has always existed. Infinity is a large number to a mathematician but an abomination to a physicist. So how can the skeptic explain away an infinite past of finite physical events? Since for him matter & energy is the only game in town then how do immaterial unchanging laws defined by abstract maths exist in a totally material world?


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      Dashan:

      Thank you for this. I especially like the Weinberg quote. In the past, I have tried to get atheists on this site to explain to me what evolutionary survival advantage things like beauty would provide. There hasn’t been much of a reply.

      Scott


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    Dashan says:

    Why do people quote Einstein on non-scientific matter? Didnt he say scientists make poor philosophers? Moreover, Oxford Nobel Prize scientist (&atheist) sir Peter Medawar,’That there is indeed a limit upon science is made very likely by the existence of questions that science cannot answer & that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer It is not to science, but to metaphysics, imaginative literature or religion that we must turn for answers to questions having to do with first and last things.’ Also
    • Medawar also said in his book “Advice to a Young Scientist” that there is no quicker way for a scientist to bring discredit on himself & his profession particularly when no declartion is called for, than to declare that science knows or will know the answers to all questions worth asking! Sir Peter added that questions that do not admit a scientific answer should not be assumed to be non-questions. Older scientists might take heed as well.
    The atheist must hold that matter & energy is the only game in town, so ideas are just molecules in grey matter & metaphysics has 2b illusory, right?


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      Yes, your points about people over-using Einstein quotes and about Medwar are valid, but I would like to qualify them. In my post entitled, God Is Real…Why modern physics has discredited atheism I discuss what science can tell us about God. The pertinent quote comes from New Proofs for the Existence of God by Robert J. Spitzer:

      When we speak of a beginning (a point prior to which there is no physical reality), we stand at the threshold of physics and metaphysics (beyond physics). Even though science cannot be validly used to prove a metaphysical [or “supernatual”] claim (such as, “a Creator or God exists”), it can be used to maintain as highly probable a limit to physical reality (such as a beginning). This scientific evidence for a beginning can be combined with a metaphysical premise (such as “from nothing, only nothing comes”) to render a metaphysical conclusion that there must be something beyond physical reality which caused physical reality to exist (i.e., a transcendent cause).

      So, to summarize, Einstein’s expertise in physics did qualify him to make statements about the “probable limit to physical reality” and therefore the probability of a transcendent cause of physical reality (read: God). Since this is merely an example of a scientist pointing to the limit of physical reality (the boundary of physics and metaphysics), this does not fall under the category of a scientist embarking in philosophy…which Einstein criticized.

      When it comes to specific attributes of God (personal or non-personal God, etc.), Einstein’s opinions should be taken much more lightly because a physicist (or any other scientist) does not have any particular qualification to speak authoritatively about such subject matter.

      Yes, I do have a quote in my “quotes to consider” section where Einstein says he “accepts the historical Jesus.” This, admittedly, is one such quote that must be taken more lightly.

      Spitzer goes on to say that:

      There are other indications of supernatural causation arising out of contemporary cosmology besides the implications of a beginning–namely, the occurrence of several cosmological conditions essential for the development and sustenance of any life form that seem at least prima facie to be highly improbable. These seemingly highly improbable conditions (which are sometimes called “cosmic coincidences” or “anthropic coincidences”) can imply an element of supernatural fine tuning if no satisfactory naturalistic explanation can be found for them.

      I discuss why the existence of naturalistic explanations for these “anthropic coincidences” are very highly improbable in my “Isn’t the universe eternal?” post.

      Perhaps the quote from Arno Penzias (a Noble Prize winner in physics) that I furnished says it best:

      Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.

      These “absurdly improbable” anthropic coincidences, then, are another example of how science can allow scientists to make a reasonable initial metaphysical premise (“supernatural plan”), without delving into philosophy.


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    Brandon says:

    This article paints a very intelligent description of the dillemma God would find himself in were He to reveal Himself to us. This may take away our ability to willfully choose to love or reject Him. I understand this theory and it does make sense, however, didn’t Jesus Christ make it very evident that He was God and from a different realm. Many people saw him time and again do the miraculous. So I am asking why was ok for God to be very straight forward in revealing Himself during that time and not so much today? Your thoughts? Please offer intelligent insight.


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      Because when he revealed himself in the form of Jesus, he did it in a very very unassuming way. Jesus came in the form of a normal looking man from a very humble family. He did not come as a king who could levitate and shoot lightning bolts out his hands. The manner in which he appeared was modest so that people still had the choice to accept or reject him. And most still rejected him.

      Yes many people saw him do the miraculous. But most chose to rationalize it away just as people today rationalize away such miricles as the miricle of life and the miricle of love. God clearly gave people the option to accept or reject the miralces that Jesus displayed.


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    Marvin Jones says:

    Scott
    If you are not able to answer tangenital questions can I ask you a couple of others.
    Firstly,what is your discription of god?
    And what evidence you have that god gave us a free will? How would you know this.


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      What were the tangenital questions? This forum is getting a little out of my control (which is fine by me).

      My description of God? God is the counscious inifinite intelligence which created all things.

      What evidence do I have that God gave us free will? To answer this question, I would highly recommend that you read The Spiritual Brain by neuroscientist Mario Beauregard. In this book, Beauregard demonstrates that brain activity is governed by quantum physics. Determinism (lack of free will) is not possible at the quantum level.


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    Bob Coleman says:

    Scott, I am incredibly impressed with your website, your arguments, and your powerful rebuttals. Your work has only helped substantiate my beliefs.


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    Blue Sam3 says:

    Correct, for any given planet, the odds of life existing are many billions to one. Unfortunately, there are considerably more planets than that, so that argument goes down the toilet.


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      No, it does not go down the toilet. I will rehash the quote relating to Oxford University mathemetician Roger Penrose’s analysis:

      T. Lee Baumann reveals in his book God at the Speed of Light:

      Oxford mathematician Roger Penrose has calculated some intriguing statistics relating to the formation of the universe. From one series of computations, he figured an odds ratio of (1010)30 to one against the likelihood that the universe formed by chance. In another instance, he amassed all the odds against the possible generation of life, dating back to the time of the Big Bang’s inception. His arithmetic revealed staggering odds of (1010)123 to one. As Gerald Schroeder summarized, “That is one out of a billion billion billion, etc., repeated more than a billion times.”

      When he “amassed all the odds against the possible generation of life, dating back to the time of the Big Bang’s inception,” he was not restricting his analysis to earth. If he were restricting it to just the earth, it would have read “he amassed all the odds against the possible generation of life, dating back to the time of the earth’s inception,” but he didn’t.

      Scott


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        danno says:

        T. Lee Baumann’s book “God at the Speed of Light”

        The title is flawed…

        It has been proven that the speed of light cannot be exceeded. Our galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years in diameter. How far are we from the big bang epicenter then? Six days–impossible.


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          Bob Coleman says:

          Have you never heard of Dark Matter, Danno? It is the greater portion of the universe. We cannot study that which is devoid of light. I do not have the time Youngren may have to explain this to you, but you can look it up most anywhere. You may be quite surprised with what you find.


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            danno says:

            Direct evidence of its existence and a concrete understanding of its nature have remained elusive (wp).

            Is dark matter then answer for six days? I’m interested in how it applies. Or are we just talking about the unknown? I’m totally with you on that one. Not trying to prove there is no god. Just challenging the evidence there is, for argument sake. My arguments may end up strenghtening Scott’s.


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          syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          You are forgetting that time is relative to the position of the observer. That is the point made in the videos I provided in the “evolution” piece. Please review them.

          The big bang epicenter is not six days from us…more like 15 billion years as viewed from an observer on earth. But because time is relative, we are six days from it in terms of time as experienced from an observer at the big bang epicenter.


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            danno says:

            So pick and choose. Six days real, Noah not real, Adam real. Walking on water? Michael and Lucifer beating each other up on the way down from heaven? Healing diseased people with a single touch?


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            danno says:

            I said animals. Plants need sun and CO2, so they are included in the 1.7B. The giant redwood tree was on the boat, right? Wait, let’s remove the ocean-going animals (they didn’t need to be on the boat), but include the freshwater animals (they can’t survive in saltwater).


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            danno says:

            Kinda like Noah saved all the animals in the big flood? Let’s go with the low number (1.7B), times 2 (for reproductive purposes, leaving al lot of deformed offspring), totaling 3.4B individuals on a boat for 40 days.

            Or are some passages metaphorical, others to be interpreted as literal?

            Have you seen the big bang from the epicenter? Do you have record of god seeing it from the epicenter?

            Spin doctor?


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              syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

              Not all biblical stories were meant to be taken literally…some were intended as metaphors.


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        danno says:

        Are you arguing that god directed “the mass” to fall orbit within key distance from the sun, ice-laden meteors to collide with the mass that was becoming the planet earth 5 billion years ago, the moon at such a precise angle (temporary), the right core iron properties to form a magnetic field, the rate of its rotation, its axial tilt, orbital eccentricity, floating continents, the Oxygen Holocaust, etc.?

        Or are you arguing that god created the basic properties and all just fell into place as programmed?

        Or did god create the universe and these factors (by chance) made life possible?


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    Shaune says:

    I would like to jump back a little to the assertion that state-sponsored atheism has killed more than any other state-sponsored belief system. Understand that state-sponsored atheism has emerged only recently, and many countries have far more people now, so to compare this to the amount of people murdered in the past you have to scale it down (or up, depending which set of statistics you’re manipulating) ending up with the majority dying from religion.

    God does not exist, in my opinion. There are however, many things about the universe that defy explanation. (If a scientist creates life in a jar – it’s been done before – does that technically make him God?) I’m amazed all the time by the fact that the simplest things (i.e. favourite colour, food) can be translated into chemicals and electrical pulses. But if you think that the complexity of Life proves the existence of God, then you have no idea how big and random the univere really is. (And the fact that there may be other universes we know nothing about!)


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      Please cite for me a scholarly reference which brings the number of people killed by religious wars anywhere near the number of people killed by state-sponsored atheism (communists) and atheist inspired ideology (nazis). You can even adjust for population growth.

      The idea that doing away with any idea of God will reduce killing has been proven worse than just false. It has proven to be the opposite of the case. This article demonstrates my point. Here is a pertinent excerpt:

      “A popular urban legend that I’ve often heard is that religion has killed more people than anything else, so the world would be a lot more peaceful place were it not for religion. The top three largest examples are thought to be the Crusades of the Middle Ages, the Spanish Inquisition, and the burning of witches. Scholars estimate that the Crusades of the middle ages cost from 58,000 to 133,000 lives. The most realistic figure for the Spanish Inquisition puts the total killed from AD1480 to AD1808 at up to 31,912. Finally, records indicate that the number of witches killed may be over 30,000. Some argue that records don’t tell everything and suggest that maybe even 100,000 were killed. These three events, totaling over 264,000 killed, are thought to be the largest atrocities perpetrated by one or another form of Christendom. As we shall shortly see, however, they pale into insignificance in comparison to the consequences of atheism.”

      “…yes, people who claim to love God do kill, but nowhere near to the extent that the lack of religion does. According to University of Hawaii political scientist Rudolph J. Rummel, the total number killed in all of human history is estimated to be about 284,638,000. Of that number, 151,491,000 were killed during the past 100 years. The single largest killer in all of human history is, by far, atheistic Communism with a total of 110,000,000 … over 1/3 of all people ever killed! If we add to that number just two other regimes where religion of any sort was strongly discouraged, Nazi Germany and Nationalist China, the number rises to 141,160,000. Almost 50% of all the killings in human history were committed in the past 100 years by regimes that either actively promoted atheism or strongly discouraged religion.”

      You say that a scientist has created life in a jar? This is one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever heard in my life. Please provide a scholarly reference supporting this assertion.

      Your last statement was, “if you think that the complexity of Life proves the existence of God, then you have no idea how big and random the universe really is.” Well, the issue of how probable it is that life emerged from random chance has been addressed by mathemeticians, physicists and information theorists. One such mathemetician is Roger Penrose from Oxford University. You can read this excerpt to see what he has to say. The odds are one in a billion, billion, billion, billion (repeated a billion times) that life emerged through random processes.

      Furthermore, physicist Paul Davies writes in The Fifth Miracle:

      “The laws of physics, which determine what atoms react with what, and how, are algorithmically very simple; they themselves contain relatively little information. Consequently they cannot on their own be responsible for creating informational macromolecules. Contrary to the oft-repeated claim, then, life cannot be “written into” the laws of physics…Once this essential point is grasped, the real problem of biogenesis is clear. Since the heady success of molecular biology, most investigators have sought the secret of life in the physics and chemistry of molecules. But they will look in vain for conventional physics and chemistry to explain life, for that is the classic case of confusing the medium with the message.”

      Randomness cannot create life! Dr. Hubert Yockey is the leading author of the text in the field of applying algorithmic information theory to the origin of life. He is a physicist and information theorist who states in Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life that “the origin of life is unsolvable as a scientific problem.” Not just “as yet not solved”…unsolvable. So if you are waiting for science to explain how life may have occurred randomly, you will be waiting in vain.

      Scott


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        Shaune says:

        The ‘life in a jar’ reference was that US scientists have created a living cell powered by entirely synthetic DNA. (Report: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/328/5981/958.full) Also, you are concentrating on people killed by Christianity. I was talking about all the people in the world killed by religion, no matter which religion, which extends the timeline back about 10,000 years, maybe more. When this is adjusted for population growth the amount killed is skewed towards religion.
        Our universe only persists upon certain rules and lines. It is entirely feasible that there were many Big Bangs, until such a time when the universe reached the set of conditions which resuted in what we see today.
        ‘Nationalist China’ is communist. Also, Hitler was born, raised and was until his death a Christian. His Nazi beliefs were that God had made the Germans to rule over the entire world. Get your facts right.


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          syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          The excerpt from your link about “life in a jar” is the following: “We clearly transformed one cell into another,” says Venter.

          In other words, they did not do anything approaching the transformation of lifeless chemicals into a living organism. Rather, they cut and pasted pieces of already existing DNA to make their own “synthetic” DNA.

          Yes, it is entirely feasible that there were many Big Bangs. How does this change anything?

          Your assertion that, “when this is adjusted for population growth the amount killed is skewed towards religion” is an assertion backed up by nothing but empty speculation with no supporting facts. Please provide a scholarly reference supporting your assertion. While you are at it, please respond to my previous scholarly reference (professor of modern European history R.J. Rummel) which says that half of all the people ever killed were killed by communism (atheist) and nazism (anti-religious).

          Your assertion that Hitler was born, raised and was until his death a Christian is utterly ridiculous. Here is an excerpt from the wikipedia post for Adolf Hitler’s religious views:

          According to historian Bradley F. Smith, Hitler’s father Alois, though nominally a Catholic, was somewhat religiously skeptical,[1] while his mother was a practicing Catholic.[2] According to historian Michael Rissmann, young Hitler was influenced in school by Pan-Germanism and began to reject the Catholic Church, receiving Confirmation only unwillingly. A boyhood friend reports that after Hitler had left home, he never again attended a Catholic Mass or received the Church’s Sacraments.[3

          Scott


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    Anonymous says:

    Would you mind my asking what your religious orientation is?


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    CD says:

    Kayleigh,

    I would urge you not to blame God for the actions of those claiming to be His operatives.

    I believe the commandment “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” to be a warning against claiming your actions are the will of God’s when they run counter to his message.

    The price of being able to make the right decisions is that sometimes the wrong will also be made.

    Thanks,

    CD


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    Ken says:

    an atheist cannot complain about the problem of evil in the world or even make a judgment on the creation as a “flawed project”. this would imply that there really is an objective standard that exists to which we can compare good and evil, flawed and perfect. he would in essense be making the very point he is trying to defeat. no, if the universe really is as the atheist contends then these arguments are not within his philosophical jurisdiction.
    as Dawkins puts it “Theologians worry away at the `problem of evil’ and a related ‘problem of suffering.’ … On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies… are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice…”
    if this adequately describes reality to you, then you really are an atheist and i shouldn’t expect you to “worry away” at these problems. but if you really are bothered by “injustice”, even as you see it played out in nature (a tsunami for instance), then we are both wrestling with the same idea… namely, who is this God that we both know exists.


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      Bob Coleman says:

      Excellent line of thought, Ken. This is James, and I find your response, and definition of atheism, to be what should be expected from atheists. Simply put, they should have no worries over that which has no intrinsic value. That they seek to argue other peoples beliefs shows that atheism is only a title, not a true belief. Or as Bob always says, If I told you that I had a red balloon in my hand and you could see that no such thing was present, would you still argue against the existence of the red balloon, or simply walk away? I know some of you are angry at his statements, but I assure you, when he gets back he will have a sound explanation to offer. In the meantime, celebrate life, rather than live it in defeat. Oh, and Scott, great site. I am glad I was introduced to it, and I shall do the same for others in the fellowship.


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      Very well articulated…I couldn’t have said it better myself.


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    Marvin Jones says:

    Scott,
    I shall not apoligise for my radical and passionate views that are so opposite to yours.
    But my final statement is, thanks for letting me vent my personal and very extreme feelings
    on a site that I came across by sheer chance.It stimulated my mind and allowed me to state my total opposition to believers of the Almighty, and for the first time, not accepted defeat but
    the acceptance of the power of the mind right or wrong can make one go to the ends of the world to justify our beliefs.


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      Dashan says:

      Dear Marvin,
      Have u ever considered why the God question dominates not only your life but all of human history & culture? Finally, accept that your reading this because of “an instrinsic need (that sets humanity apart from all other creation) to connect to ultimate meaning and to the transcendent which is not merely the result of socio-biological conditioning, but is instead, an intrinsic aspect of the human experience.”
      Let me make the observation that many atheists like Hitchens use the same circular fallacies that God doesnt exist so all religion is delusional. He then sites belief in miracles, celestial dictators & the resurrection as proof that religion IS delusional. Then his conclusion is “therefore God almost certainly doesnt exist.” The answer for failed or bad religion is not anti-religion but good religion. “as Hitchens would say, “I rest my case.”


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      CD says:

      Marvin.

      I noticed you capitalize references to God in your posts and feel your venom should more appropriately be directed toward men claiming to be representatives of God here on earth rather than God himself.

      Thanks,

      CD


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        Marvin Jones says:

        CD
        The moment the belief in the existence god is questioned,believers accuse the
        questioner of being venomous,aggressive,rude etc etc etc.
        Are you believers content with yourselves in brushing under the carpet the
        sexual abuses on children,and the attempt to hide these abuses by moving these
        evil pigs to other locations to carry out more of these evil acts while hiding behind their godly duties.
        Can you accept that the god that you have been taught to believe in Created
        these monsters?
        It is not easy to question things that have been ingrained in your mind is it?
        All I am stating is,
        If a god allows these atrocities to be done under his name and is not capable of doing anything about it,can only exist in one’s MIND.


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          danno says:

          Marvin,

          Read the following (good stuff):

          “Misquoting Jesus” – Bart Ehrman

          “The Greatest Show on Earth” and “The God Delusion”) – Richard Dawkins

          “Guns, Germs, and Steel” and “Collapse” – Jared Diamond

          “The Future of Life” – E.O. Wilson

          …and so that you know your opposition’s views as well as you own:

          “Darwin’s Black Box” – Michael Behe

          “The Privileged Planet” – Guillermo Gonzales and Jay Richards

          I have yet to read “Letter from a Skeptic” Boyd and Boyd >>> I hear this one is the most convincing.


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            danno says:

            Come again, Marvin? Are you barking up the wrong tree? I suggested some books for you and others to read (shocking and enlightening). Thought you’d be interested. I offered some other books that were passed to me as alternate views.

            My comment is not directed toward you, it’s for all. It’s something my professors taught me…

            You practically know nothing unless you know your opposition’s views as well as your own.

            I have read “Darwin’s Black Box,” understand where intellegent design is coming from, and am not convinced. I feel they reason by way of deduction…if “this and that” there must be a god.

            Read my other comments. They are similar to yours, just not as harsh. (I suspect you meant CD)


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            Marvin Jones says:

            Danno
            What about the bad things. Nothing to do with god then?
            Grow up and THINK for yourself, be a shepherd not a sheep


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            danno says:

            CD, you too.


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    Marvin Jones says:

    So if He is not physical He must be imaginary.Because spiritual is a trickery of the wonderful brain.


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      CD says:

      Marvin,

      You used the word “imaginary” when I think you meant to use the word “metaphysical” which God would have to be in order to trigger the “Big Bang”.

      Thanks,

      CD


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    syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

    Marvin:

    I responded to the question of “where is He?” in my essay entitled, “If God Is There, Why Doesn’t He Just Show Himself?” Do you have a reply to this essay?

    Rather than replying to each of your copious emails individually (for which I do not have time), I will call attention to what I feel are the fundamental flaws in your logic.

    1) You need to pay attention to the distinction between a characterization of an argument and a rebuttal to an argument. For example, declaring an argument to be “hocus pocus” or “full of excuses” or “full of fakery, delusion, and fantasy” are mere characterizations of those arguments. This accomplishes nothing other than a forceful restatement of your beliefs. It is like pedaling a bicycle that has the chain connecting the gears removed:

    Marvin: “Your views are full of fakery, delusion, and fantasy.”

    Scott: “No Marvin, your’s are, not mine.”

    Marvin: “Your arguments are nothing but excuses.”

    Scott: “No, your arguments are nothing but excuses.”

    This accomplishes nothing and can go on endlessly. Therefore, try responding to my arguments with rationally constructed, fact based replies. An example of such a reply would be, “I will counter your figures about the number of people that the communists killed by refering you to [such-and-such] a book which clearly states [such-and-such].”

    2) You evade the answers that I provide to your questions by merely restating the question instead of responding to the anwer that I gave you. For example, you ask “how does a Creator who is revered as infallible (PERFECT) make a total hash out of our species?” I had already replied to this question by stating that it was through our own free will that we chose to be evil. You characterized the free will argument as an “excuse” rather than furnishing a rebuttal and then restated the question in a later post. Try constructing a counter-argument, perhaps, that we do not really have free will…and then I will respond to that argument in kind.

    3) You divert attention from the core issues by asking tangenital questions such as “what does He [God] look like?” or “Where is he?,” (as if he had a physical body).


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    Marvin Jones says:

    That is my point,infallibility means that one can do no wrong or be wrong,so if this Creator was not capable of creating any A students then He is fallible and thus not anything like what one is
    brain washed about in their most vulnerable time of life.


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      CD says:

      Marvin,

      God, by definition, is omnipotent; meaning it is well within His ability to create “A students” by design, He did not (unless of course you believe the bible which states that Mary, the mother of God, was without sin).

      Thanks,

      CD


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        Marvin Jones says:

        CD

        Can you please explain how you know that god is omnipotent?
        Where did you get this info from?Who told you?Where did you read this?
        How do you know what god is?
        Difficult questions if one is brave enough to question one’s beliefs in a FACTUAL
        way.


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    Marvin Jones says:

    Victor
    You are the typical believer who picks out the good bits and discards everything else,because the truth and facts terrify you to even question beliefs.For example:
    The Popes recent visit to London saw thousands of Catholics feeling blessed at the sight of God’s
    representative on Earth.This same representative og GOD ignored and covered up the sexual
    abuse of hundreds of children by paedifile priests who hid behind the sacrements of your GOD.
    THAT IS OK THEN! I suppose you don’t care a damn about this, or is it so easy to ignore.


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      Bien Manalac says:

      Marvin,
      I would also say that it is only typical for a non-believer such as yourself to only look at the facts, and base your beliefs on those facts…
      Christianity is not based on actual facts but on faith that things will happen. It is God’s will for things to happen. Also, the devil has his contributions in the things that go around the world, such as how you argument about child abuse by priests. Priests may believe in God but doesn’t mean that they are scared of him thus doing things on their own will. True Christians are those who believe in God’s word and follows his commands.
      Catholics are not considered True Christians because some of their beliefs contradict God’s nature. For example, Catholics praise idols/statues of Mary, Paul, Peter, and other saints. But, it is God’s command to never praise any idols, but only praise him, the Almighty One…
      Well, in the end, it is the person’s decision what to believe in…


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        nick says:

        Catholics are Christians. That is one of the strangest accusations I have ever heard.


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          syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          Yes, Nick is right, Catholics are definitely Christians.

          Bein, this website is not for discussing sectarian disputes.


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      Dashan says:

      Marvin,
      u are the typical disbeliever who picks out the passages u think makes your point, interpret it your way without any understanding of its cultural or historical context. You use the same fundament’s’ approach that u abhor to make your point. But u obvious have no idea of literary forms and genres. The Bible is not A book it’s a library of book with many genres, narrative, polemic, didactic, pedagogical, mythological.
      Given what Jesus says about non-violence what did he mean by “if your eye cause u to sin, pluck it out!” is he demanding self-mutilation or a call to conversion? Face it, human nature is flawed but the message remains unchanged. By the way, an atheist cant borrow from a set of absolute moral principles to make judgment on human behaviour when “there is no good no evil just blind pitiless indifference. Isnt morality illusory, the product of socio-biological evolution?
      Hitler’s version of social-darwinism was obvious, “The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing for the survival of the fittest.””Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.”
      Without objective morality, who can say ridding the world of the old, the weak &
      genetically impure is wrong, let alone evil? Isnt that how nature supposed to work?


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      There is no question about it, human nature is full of evil. All humans have evil in their nature, priests are no exception, even Mother Theresa had a degree of evil in her nature. You seem to think that Christians believe that adopting the faith will magically and instantly remove that evil. Such is not the case. Ultimately, a religion or philosophical system must be judged by the precepts established by its founder…not by the failures of its least successful followers. All religions and philosophical systems have members with varying degrees of success in adhering to the tenents of that religion or philosophical system. Would joining your local football club automatically make you an excellent player? Certainly not.

      A pedophile priest is certainly not a good follower of a religion that teaches that children are precious and must be cherished. The psychologist M. Scott Peck suggests, in his book People of the Lie, that people who are exceptionally evil often join religious groups in order to conceal that evil from others and from themselves. This is what I would suggest is at play in the case of pedophile priests. Another example would be the BTK serial killer in the U.S. (Denis Rader), who was a deacon at his church. Does the evil of such individuals like Rader (or pedophile priests) invalidate the precepts that Christianity teaches…such as “do unto others as you would have done to yourself?” Certainly not. I merely means that a highly evil individual has taken on the trappings of Christianity in order to conceal his true nature from others and from himself.

      So, in an interesting sort of way, I am agreeing with you. Religious people, such as people who profess to be Christians, can often be quite evil…sometimes even the most evil. It has been said that a church is a hospital full of sinners, not a museum full of saints. There should be no suprise that many who show up at such a “hospital” not only fail to get better, but actually get worse.

      Because of human evil, it should be no surprise whatsoever that we often pervert religious concepts and the teaching of religious scripture. The bible makes it clear that, as a species, we are a bunch of C, D, and F students when it comes to doing God’s will and obeying his scripture. There are no A students among us.


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    Marvin Jones says:

    Your mathmetics maybe incorrect.
    Looking back in time to the conflicts of Arab/Jew,Chritians/Moslems,Catholics/Protestants,Sunni/Shites,Hindu/Moslem etc etc etc as far back as we can go seem to me to add up to numbers one cannot even begin to count.


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      No…sorry. This figure would not even begin to approach the totals racked up by the nazis and communists. Please provide a scholarly citation that shows otherwise. I quoted R.J. Rummel from Death by Government that the communists alone killed 100 million.


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        Mike D says:

        Scott, it’s a ridiculous argument.

        Are you denying that millions of people have been killed over the last 2,000 years in the name of religion?

        Please note: pointing the finger at other regimes and saying “but they killed even more people than we did” does not add weight to your argument that there is a god, or that god and religion are a force for good.


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          syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          Yes, I am very definitely denying it….and until you provide citations from some reputable scholarly sources demonstrating otherwise, we should continue to assume that this view is nothing but an urban legend with no factual basis whatsoever.

          I have provided some numbers as to how many people have been killed in the name of Christianity in my “Doesn’t Religion Cause Killing?” post, and they fall far short of “millions.”

          Please pay attention to the difference between merely characterizing an argument (“ridiculous”), and actually producing a rationally constructed, fact based rebuttal to an argument.

          Here is what adds weight to my argument that Christianity is a force for good: The advent of Christianity completely changed the concepts of human dignity recognized by western civilization. In the days of the Roman Empire before Christianity, for example, one’s value as a human being was not assumed. Rather, high social status individuals were viewed to have “face” and low status individuals such as slaves were viewed to be little more than human cattle that could be killed by their master at will. In our court system, we at least try to administer equal justice (“justice for all”)—though we clearly often fall far short of this ideal—but in pre-Christian societies such as pre-Christian ancient Rome, people without “face” were not assumed to be worthy of justice.

          Such events as the civil rights movement, and the movement to abolish slavery (spearheaded almost exclusively by Christians) would not have been possible without Judeo-Christian concepts of human dignity and the sacredness of human life. What modern civilization takes for granted as the inborn rights of the individual and the sacredness of human life are concepts that originated with Christianity.

          The historically unprecedented killing spree that the Communists and Nazis carried out would not have been possible without first renouncing these Judeo-Christian concepts. This rejection of these Judeo-Christian concepts is what the Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin was referring to when he said, ““We repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas that are outside class conceptions.”


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        danno says:

        Via a cursory review of your exemplary article (i.e., control F), I could not find a reference to “atheists,” just “communists.” Are we going back to the first half of the 20th century when being liberal or an atheist was interpreted (by conservatives) as having full support of communism?


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          syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          No, communism involved official, state-sponsored atheism.


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            danno says:

            Then religion invloves sponsoring abortionist killers. “Men of god” killing other “men of god” in war are somehow exempt from “thou shall not kill.” Please explain this one to me.


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              syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

              That one is easy to explain: Abortionist killers are NOT exempt from the command “thou shalt not kill.” They are just in violation of it. Not all people who adopt a given religion are successful in adhering to its precepts. A church is better compared to a “hospital for sinners” than as a “museum for saints.” Many people who go to a hospital never get better.


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                danno says:

                “Men of god” killing other “men of god” IN WAR (e.g., American Civil War – Christians killing Christians) are somehow exempt from “thou shall not kill?” Please explain this one to me.

                Pot calling the kettle black…atheists embrace no doctirine statin thou shall kill” or “thou should not feel so bad since there is no after life”

                Abortionist killers are absolutely killing in the name of their god and bible.

                There should be more sympathy (less willing to kill) from those who think we are only alive here and now (reality) and then no more, versus those who think the faithful go to a better place, and no sympathy from those that think the unfaithful are doomed anyways.


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                  danno says:

                  “He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” – Einstein


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                    syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                    I am not sure how this relates to this website, but Einstein also categorically stated “I am not an atheist.”


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                      danno says:

                      It relates to my “men of god killing other men of god in war…” comment.

                      Einstein also categorically said, “You may call me an agnostic…”


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                      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                      Well, that is certainly not in line with your being an atheist. Further, one of the Einstein quotes from the link that you provide is as follows: “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”

                      Two things are clear: 1) Einstein believed in God, but not a personal God. 2) Whether or not God is personal and “involves himself in the orderly harmony of what exists” is not a question that can addressed by physics, which was Einstein’s field of expertise.

                      Physics (and mathematics) have demonstrated that the universe had a beginning, thus implying that it had a creator.

                      It cannot, however, address specific attributes of that creator. Einstein’s opinions about specific attributes of the creator are therefore not relevant because his expertise did not extend to such subject matter. Rather, only his opinions about whether God existed or not can be labeled relevant because this is the only question pertaining to God for which the field of physics can provide insight.

                      Other disciplines, such as the research behind NDEs (which did not emerge until after Einstein’s death) can address specific attributes of the creator. And the NDE research says that a majority of experiencers report encountering a “personal God.”

                      Here is another pertinent Einstein quote: “There are people who say there is no God, but what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.” You would have made Einstein angry.


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                      danno says:

                      I quote Einstein, “You may call me an agnostic…”

                      Claiming you are an agnostic is not saying there is no god. I would not have made Einstein angry.


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                      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

                      Einstein also said, “I believe in Spinoza’s God.” What Einstein was agnostic about was the nature of God, not the existence of God. He admits to belief in God, but says that he was not able to believe in a personal God.

                      Einstein was then asked to what extent he was influenced by Christianity, to which Einstein replied as follows, “As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.”

                      Einstein was then asked if he accepted the “historical existence of Jesus,” to which he replied, “Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

                      “The fanatical atheists,” he (Einstein) wrote in a letter, “are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who–in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium of the masses’– cannot hear the music of the spheres.”

                      The most important point here is that Einstein’s area of expertise was physics. Because physics is the branch of science which deals with the fundamental nature and underpinnings of reality, a physicist’s comments about the likelihood of a supernatural grounding to our natural world (read: God) should be weighted more heavily than that of the layperson.

                      But regarding theological topics which go beyond the supernatural grounding of the natural world (God)—such as discussing the nature or attributes of God—a physicist’s comments should not be given any particular weight. Physics is not equipped to authoritatively comment on the nature or attributes of God (i.e. personal versus impersonal God).

                      Therefore, Einstein’s belief in God should be considered significant, but not his belief that God is impersonal and doesn’t concern himself with the affairs of human beings.


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    victor james says:

    It is a sad day in the history of mankind, where we have been blessed with so much and have lost our very soul because we have chosen to walk in this life through our sinful and carnal being. To say that there is no god is to to deny who we are and where we came from, we are spirits having a human experience. to non believers i say one day in your life give god the praise and at the end of the day see what changes you would experience.


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    stacey says:

    spot on. reminds me of a story….


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    Howard Holmes says:

    The article claims that the low liklihood of our universe resulting from chance is a reason for believing in the existence of god.

    If there is evidence that the universe did not arise by chance, then the evidence shows that the universe did not arise by chance. The evidence that shows the universe did not arise by chance is not evidence for the existence of god. If one is to accept that god exists, one must have evidence for that. If I go to a crime scene and find a body with nine bullet holes and a decapitation, I have evidence that this person did not die by accident. I do not have evidence that the killer was an Bob, Jane or an alien from outer space. If we are to think god exists, we need evidence for that. I see no evidence for god on this website.


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      CD says:

      Howard,

      Sure, but aren’t you just arguing semantics? Isn’t your argument just a stall tactic?

      If not by chance, then you must at least concede it was deliberate. Now take the next step.

      If that step is “an alien from outer space”, well then where did the alien come from?

      Thanks,

      CD


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      John Beddington says:

      SPOT ON.


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      I must remind you that the article states that “astronomers who do not draw theistic or deistic conclusions are becoming rare.” So these astronomers (and physical scientists, as revealed in another quote at the bottom of the article) , many of whom have been awarded Nobel Prizes, are convinced that the fact that the universe did not arise by chance is evidence for God. Do you consider your judgement more reliable than these individuals? If the universe did not arise by chance, than what alternative is there to it being created by God? I am not familiar with the other proposed alternatives, and apparently neither are these astronomers and scientists.

      If you go to a crime scene and find a body “with nine bullet holes and a decapitation,” you can be rest assured that a conscious agent killed the person. In a similar fashion, the evidence that the universe did not occur by chance is evidence that it was created by a conscious agent. What altetnative is there to this conscious agent being God? Aliens? Geraldo Rivera?

      Max Planck, the founder of quantum physics said “both religion and science require a belief in God” (the full quote is on the “quotes to consider post”). Albert Einstein said, categorically, “I am not an atheist” (the full quote, again, is on the “quotes to consider” post).

      If you say that you see no evidence for God on this website, despite the fact that many scientists with Nobel Prizes presented on this website do see evidence for God, I recommend that you consider the possibliity that you have a perceptual filter that prevents you from seeing God. This perceptual filter ususally results from the desire to be free from burdensome moral constraints that the existence of God imply.

      Please read the post on this website entitled “If the evidence for God is so strong, why are so many smart people unconvinced?” It provides more detail.


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        Marvin Jones says:

        You appear to quote people of high distinction in various fields of acadaemia,and more importantly depend on these very people to prove your case for the existence of “Something” that your own perceptual filter binds you to.
        How can one not see that a system so flawed with a species so capable of murder,rape,genocide,greed and unimaginable atrocities———was created by something or somebody just as flawed.


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          Dashan says:

          Are u saying that all these highly credentialled academic also have a set of blinkers? Then maybe u can provide a list of similarly qualified scientists who reach a different conclusion?
          Would the existence of evil in same way falsify their conclusion or would it just be a red herring on your part?
          If the scientific experts in a criminal case come up with compelling evidence for the guilt of a heinous act, would we throw it out of court because humanity is flawed? Maybe u believe “that there is no such thing as absolute truth” is a statement that is absolutely true?


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            emptysea2000 says:

            The link you gave me says that 1/3 of people don’t believe in God. What it failed to capture is that 1/3 of people are agnostic, and another 1/3 are atheist. That means about 33% of people believe in God.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_religion_and_science#Studies_of_scientists.27_belief_in_God


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              syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

              Did you read the first line of the article that I linked you to? It says that 2/3 of scientists believe in God. It does not say that 1/3 are agnostic.

              This link discribes the issues I have with Wikipedia.

              Below is a cut and paste of the main point:

              Because anyone can add or change content, there is an inherent lack of reliability and stability to Wikipedia. Authors of articles may not necessarily be experts on the topics they write about, leaving a lot of room for errors, misinformation, and bias.

              This is why using wikipedia to counter a study performed by a credentialed sociologist is even worse than using a media conducted study to counter a credentialed sociologist.


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            emptysea2000 says:

            I work with tons of highly qualified scientists. Nearly all of them are atheists. However, just to confirm, I did some googling to fact check your stats to make sure it wasn’t just a location. It appears that theists in several scientific areas are on the decline.

            I’m not sure where you got your sources, but it looks like they are the minority. Please get your facts correct.


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              syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

              I haven’t asked Dahsan where he got his numbers, but here is where I get mine: This study was done by a sociologist from Rice University. It reveals that 2/3 of scientists believe in God.

              If you want to post some statistics that counter this, please don’t bother quoting stats furnished by the media…such as by a newspaper or TV news outlet. Statistics from the media aren’t nearly as reliable or respectable as those compiled by someone in academia. This is because academics (such as sociologists) are credentialed in the specific field of research where they compile statistics and they are subject to peer review.

              Further, here are some quotes by some highly prominent scientists that counter your view that science and belief in God are incompatible.

              It is you that needs to get your facts straight.


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    Butch says:

    You are confusing athiesm with communism. They are not the same. I would suggest that you review your history. You will find that many Christian, Jewish, and Muslim nations/empires conquered and murdered millions in the name of country, self righeousness, greed, and god. I do not confuse that with thiesm. Did you know that in the USA the government paid people for Native American scalps (in the late 1800s)? Did not matter, if they were man, women, or child (Good Christians). Fortunately, that practice stopped. You don’t find that in the history books.


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      Dashan says:

      “Atheists, Lenin once said that “Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism”? The razing of churches and the slaughter of the clergy were critical in establishing their godless ideology.
      Despite the reflexive denials of atheists, their rejection of God’s existence and authority has consequences. One consequence is the invalidation of any claims to human rights. Look at whats happening around the world when despots & dictators have absolute power. Once our rights lose any objective basis, the way is clear to suppress religion and exterminate opponents to a totalitarian regime a la Mao, Stalin, Poll Pot Edi Amin etc etc.

      Ending religious freedom has to be a high priority under official atheism because religion–and Judaeo-Christianity in particular–makes a continuous and highly appealing claim to human rights and freedom. According to Judaeo-Christianity, we are made in the image of God, endowed with the same freedom and inventive creativity that God enjoys. Totalitarians cannot allow such heresy to continue; it must be suppressed.

      Many atheists retain vestiges of Judaeo-Christianity in their assertions of freedom and rights, but these assertions are irrational given the suppositions of atheism. If we are simply the accidental products of blind physical forces, we have no basis for claiming unalienable rights. Hitler said ” “The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing for the
      survival of the fittest.””Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.” Without objective morality, who can say ridding the world of the old, the weak &
      genetically impure is wrong, let alone evil? Isnt that what nature does?

      Let me also agree that there has been a lot said & done in the name of religion that is radically about the male ego’s need for power & control. Religion is used as the excuse for terrorist orgnizations who coerce the gullible into committing the most heinous acts calling out “glory to Allah” as they pull the pin. In some misguided act of barbarism he/she supposedly justifies their crime & in doing so, glorifies an otherwise meaningless life. Bad, flawed or idolatrous religions have nothing to do with God’s existence. Just as we dont throw out good science because there are some who fudge results for personal gain or for glory.


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        syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

        And here is the most up-to-date example of this phenomenon: NORTH KOREA. This is an officially atheist country that would not exist were it not for the slave labor/starvation camps that keep the population in a constant state of fear. People are routinely thrown into such camps for believing in God (or for infractions as minor as sitting on a newspaper photo of their dictator, Kim Jong Il). The most repulsive and murderous regimes in history have been atheist or at least anti-religious (in the case of the Nazis).

        Dashan, I think I will add these quotes you have provided to my “Doesn’t religion cause killing?” post. Thanks.


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      CD says:

      Butch,

      I remember learning about the govt. paying for scalps in history class, but I don’t see how man exercising his God given free will, be he theist or atheist, has anything to do with whether or not God exists.

      I take that back. Animals, who don’t posses God given free will, don’t pay for scalps. Therefore, our ability to do so, proves God’s existence.

      Thanks,

      CD


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      No, there is no confusion. Atheism is a world view. Communism is a political system that officially adopts the atheist world view (thus, “state-sponsored atheism”). As I have demonstrated, political systems which adopt the atheist world view (communism and nazism) have FAR FAR more blood on their hands than political systems which adopt other world views.

      You are correct, many people have been killed in the name of God. This is a product of human evil perverting religious faiths. Human evil dictates that people will kill over virtually anything…over something as trivial as competition for a lover, or even a disagreement about who owns a pair of athletic shoes. Further, if a person kills in the name of a faith with a bible that states “thou shalt not kill,” that person is clearly perverting that faith.

      No such perversion is necessary with atheism. The sanctity of human life is stripped away by atheist philosophy because it states that humans are nothing more than souless, highly evolved beasts (or “survival machines” in the words of Richard Dawkins}. And if people are nothing more than beasts, it is much easier to send them to the slaughter like beasts (as the nazis did with their death camps and the communists did with their gulags). Richard Weikart (a professor of modern European history) drives this point home in his book From Darwin to Hitler.

      Please provide citations from reputible historical publications stating that “millions” have been killed in the name of religious faiths. Also please provide citations for your Native American reference and please describe how this is relevant to our discussion. These figures are highly suspect.


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        Dashan says:

        “You are correct, many people have been killed in the name of God.” Can I MODIFY YOUR STATEMENT TO “You are correct, many people have been killed in the name of RELIGION.”?
        In my Youtube video I review the arguments presented by the “New Atheists” cf. what science is really telling us. They bring nothing new to the debate but are now much more aggressive and cynical of religion, in the aftermath of 9/11. Atheists cite failed, flawed & bad religion as somehow compelling evidence for the non-existence of God & heap the same scorn on all believers. They fail to see that much of what is said & done in the name of religion by extremists is banal acts of hatred. Bad religion is all about the male ego & its lust for power & domination. Coercing the gullible to commit vile acts of hatred including suicide bombing in the name of religion & promising that it will glorify an otherwise meaningless life, has to be one of the most despicable, sadistic crimes imaginable.
        With respect to the Crusades, Islam was trying to enforce its religion on Europe. I would say there are many who are glad they didnt succeed.


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          david dodds says:

          Although I am not a believer your points could not be better put.


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          syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          Dashan:

          When you say that the new atheists “bring nothing new to the debate but are now much more aggressive and cynical of religion,” I would strongly agree and take it a step further. Not only do the new atheists (such as Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, etc.) bring nothing new to the table, they bring alot OLD and outdated to the table. What do I mean by this? I mean outdated science.

          Specifically, I mean a worldview that is rooted in the 19th century conception of the world known alternately as “naturalism,” “materialism” or “scientific materialism.” This worldview says that the physical, material world is the most fundamental plane of existence….all reality is physical (or material) and anything beyond the physical is a fairy tale.

          Please read my post God Is Real…Why modern physics has discredited atheism for further explanation.

          Why do mainstream biology and the new atheists accept materialism despite the fact that modern physics has discredited it? Because materialism is crucial for atheism to be true, and human ideology has immense power in shaping perception. I think Max Planck (the Nobel Prize physicist who founded quantum theory) put it best when he said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

          The “new atheist” philosopher Daniel Dennett (author of Breaking the Spell) is a case in point. He insists that people are basically robots made out of meat because physics says that the actions of the human brain do not allow for free will. What he fails to reveal is that the “physics” he relies on are classical Newtonian physics, which have been superceded by quantum physics. And quantum physics demonstrates the existence of free will. Please read The Spiritual Brain by Montreal Neurologic Institute neuroscientist Mario Beauregard for a more in-depth explanation.

          As you point out, the new atheists are more aggressive and cynical. Why is this? Because the logical basis for their ideology has severely eroded, and they need to compensate for this by making forceful assertions. A rock-solid, logically sound argument does not need to be backed up by aggressive, forceful assertions.

          Rather, it is an ideology that is full of holes which needs to be reinforced by forceful assertions.


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    Why don’t we face up to it when it actually happens? Rather then this endless speculating, prognosticating, agonising? Most of which is probably going to be proven to be redundant when, years hence, the much-presumed “new model” is in place.


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      syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

      The Big Bang is not a model. It has been verified by a wealth of observational evidence. This evidence includes the background microwave radiation emitted from the Big Bang and the fact that universe is expanding (which contradicts the previous view that the universe was “steady state”). Prior to the discovery of this observational evidence, it could be asserted the Big Bang was a theoretical model.

      We will never go back to the view that the earth is flat because the observational evidence has closed the book on this view. We will also never go back to the view that the universe did not have a beginning because the observational evidence has similarly closed the book.


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        Mike D says:

        This is really something. 20 years ago christians emphatically refuted the Big Bang theory precisely because it blew a game-ending hole through the whole creation theory. I remember the arguments well. Now you seem to be hijacking the Big Bang theory, claiming it as irrefutable proof of creation by god.

        You then go on to say that “Scientific explanations are always evolving” which renders your claim based on the Big Bang theory to be irrelevant. Atheists on the contrary, prefer using facts e.g. if there was a god there would be some evidence of that fact, and there is none. We’re happy to change our beliefs in the face of evidence, whereas you simply change your theories to suit the facts. You want to have it all ways – desperate much?


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          syoungren ( User Karma: 44 ) says:

          I can’t speak for what other Christians may have said in the past. Further, I don’t see how the Big Bang theory could be viewed as a “game-ending hole through the whole creation theory.” This is especially the case when you consider how similar the Big Bang is to the biblical account of creation. As the Nobel Prize winning physicist Arno Penzias stated to the New York Times:

          “The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

          Yes, scientific explanations are always evolving, but this does not render my claim about the Big Bang theory irrelevant. The relevance of the Big Bang theory is that it suggests that the Big Bang was the beginning of our universe and of time, space, and matter. It is this beginning which deals a fatal blow to atheism because the idea that the universe is eternal (without beginning) is crucial to atheism.

          When I say that “scientific explanations are always evolving,” I am acknowledging that like all scientific theories, the Big Bang is subject to future ammendment. The beginning of our universe (or a “multiverse” or “oscillating universe” in which our universe might be situated) may in the future be demonstrated to be at some point prior to the Big Bang.

          But even if this were the case, the fatal blow to atheism would remain because there would still be a beginning…just an earlier one. The fact that our universe had a beginning (at some point) is NOT subject to future ammendment, as I have demonstrated in my “Isn’t the Universe Eternal?” post.

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