Does the Bible Contain True Prophecies?

When I was a Christian, one of the biggest reasons I had for believing the Bible was that it contained actual prophecy — or so I thought. I mean, if a book gave specific, detailed prophecies that no one could have guessed, and then they came true, wouldn’t that be good reason for believing that God may have had something to do with that book? How could a mere human accomplish such a thing? And it’s not just that the Bible sometimes got it right, it always got it right — or so I believed.

According to the Bible, a good test of whether or not someone is a true prophet is the accuracy of their prophecy. Makes sense, I suppose. Just as chefs are judged on the quality of their cooking, so prophets should be judged by the quality of their predictions. In the case of chefs, no one claims that God is required to make them great. But if you could show that someone was a true prophet, that would be fantastic evidence that God might be speaking through them. An unreliable prophet, on the other hand…:

when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.
— Deut 18:22

An inaccurate prophet is no prophet at all, in other words. He does not speak for God. This is a great litmus test for anyone claiming to have divine revelation. It was my belief that the Bible passed this test with flying colors… but does it?

When the Bible Gets It Right
When I was a Christian, one of prophecies that always stood out to me was that of King Josiah:

And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make offerings. And the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.'”
— 1 Kings 13:1-2

This is a very specific prophecy. While there’s no timeline given, the prophet says that someone in David’s line would be born who would use that altar to sacrifice false priests and that the man’s name would be Josiah. In 2 Kings 23, this prophecy comes true about 300 years later! This was a prophecy that always stuck in my mind as being too marvelous for any mere mortal to accurately predict — surely God had inspired that prophet!

But as it turns out, the 300 year time difference is misleading. 1 and 2 Kings are just two halves of the same book. The same authors that wrote or compiled 1 Kings 13 also wrote or compiled 2 Kings 23. Therefore, there’s no way to know if that prophet ever existed, much less that he actually gave a prophecy concerning a king who would come 300 years later. In other words, this doesn’t really count as evidence of a true prophecy. Maybe the event really happened, but since both the event and the fulfillment were recorded in the same book, there’s no good reason to take it at face value.

There are other examples we could look at as well, but I think the point comes across. Just because something at first blush appears to be an actual prophecy, it may not be upon closer examination. Still, while this might indicate that the case for the Bible’s inspiration isn’t as strong we first suspected, this would not have caused me to question its inspiration when I was a believer. I would have needed something bigger.

When the Bible Gets It Wrong
Jeremiah 33:17 says this:

“For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel”

When I was growing up, this prophecy was sometimes referred to as a prediction of Christ. Hebrews 1:8 says that the throne was preserved for Jesus, and Acts 2:29-31 says this:

“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.”

So the literal kingdom of Judah is not what Jeremiah is talking about, according to these passages. Jeremiah was foretelling a time in which Jesus would sit on the throne of an eternal, spiritual kingdom as David’s descendant. But is that really what Jeremiah intended?

If you look at the following verse, Jeremiah 33:18, you see this:

“…and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices forever.”

Can verse 17 still be taken figuratively in light of verse 18? According to books like Hebrews, Jesus became the new high priest forever when he was crucified and rose from the dead. So could that be the application of this particular prophecy? No. Jeremiah specifies that the priests would be Levitical — in other words, they would be of the tribe of Levi, which is the only tribe that was allowed to offer sacrifices. Jesus was not of that tribe. Hebrews gets around this problem by linking Jesus’ priesthood to the way God allowed priests before Moses was given the law — they were granted priesthood based on their caliber, not on their lineage. Hebrews refers to this as the “order of Melchizedek,” since Melchizedek was the most prominent person mentioned in the OT to have this honor. Refer to Hebrews 7 if you’d like more info on this.

It’s very difficult to take verse 18 figuratively, and when taken at face value it’s false. Levitical priests do not offer sacrifices today, and haven’t for a very long time. And since it’s hard to take verse 18 figuratively, it’s hard to take 17 figuratively as well. Once again, it fails as a prophecy because Israel is not a monarchy and there hasn’t been a Davidic king in over 2500 years.

When you’re an inerrantist, as I was, it’s hard to know what to do with this information. Do problems like this mean the entire Bible is wrong, or just that particular book? It turns out there are many more problems littered throughout the Bible. We’ll talk about one more in this post, but for more information, feel free to check out the links listed on the home page.

A very clear example is found in Matthew 2:14-15 where we’re told that when Joseph and Mary fled with the infant Jesus to Egypt, it was to fulfill a prophecy from Hosea 11:1, “out of Egypt I called my son.” However, when you read the passage in Hosea, it says this:

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

And from there, Hosea talks about Israel’s unfaithfulness to the Lord in serving after Baal, etc. Obviously, Hosea is talking about the nation of Israel, and there’s no reference at all to any future event, much less the Messiah. Matthew appropriated this text when he (apparently) created the story of Jesus’ family fleeing to Egypt. Matthew calls this a prophecy, but the original text is anything but. So many of the Bible’s prophecies fall apart in this way when researched.

While actual prophecy fulfillment would go a long way in supporting the notion that the Bible is inspired, in practice, it just doesn’t work out that way. Not only do the apparent prophecies get weaker upon inspection, but some of them are simply false. So if accurate prophecies should make us think the Bible is inspired, what should inaccurate prophecies make us think?

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469 thoughts on “Does the Bible Contain True Prophecies?”

  1. Good anti-Bible School here today. This is a good post to send literalists too.
    Prophecy was part of my package when I was a Christian too. Thanks for the analysis.

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  2. This is one of the first things I ran to when my faith began to crumble. I still contend that genuine prophecy offers the strongest hope for demonstrating that there actually is something divine about the Bible. It turned out, however, when I began to dig into the prophecies that the resulting findings only served to reinforce the conclusion that the Bible is a purely human book. My research on Daniel 9 was enlightening in revealing the lengths apologists will go to for the sake of upholding their thesis. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ya know, Nate, I would guess that some folks are more susceptible-to-prophecy (STP) than others. I think I was one of them. I like it in all realms. I think it feeds those of us who can also buy into conspiracy thinking easily too. My guess is that there may be a temperament issue too which is revealed in situations of insecurity when you want to feel the world is more predictable than it seems.

    So …. the solutions:
    (1) Argue with people to show the the foolery in the prophecy/conspiracy
    (2) Help them be feel more secure in their world, then their clamoring for prophecy will also fall.

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  4. Yep–prophecy was the anvil that broke the camel’s back of my faith in the Bible.

    And the author of Matthew…holy crap. But, it kind of seems like he’s easy-pickins. Are there “prophecies” in the other gospels that fall apart in the same way?

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  5. “Good anti-Bible School here today. This is a good post to send literalists too.”

    You could but it wouldn’t do you any good. They might even laugh (and I mean that literally not rhetorically). This is probably nate’s worse post. its just awful. No literalist who studied his Bible would be taken by it especially not the first part.

    Why?

    Jeremiah 33 is very literal .

    However its future and obviously future. It foresees when messiah actually rules in Israel not gets crucified on a cross. From that point on Israel will never fail to have a king. The only way I can make any sense of Nate’s post is to think he believes the end of the seventy years captivity marked the end of the diaspora for the house of Israel and Judah and that they were then saved and living safely under persian and the roman rule (under foreign rule safe?). However thats just false and obviously false and the OT itself rebuts it because Zechariah is written after the return and it still has future wars and punishments still going on.

    Sorry nate its just bad. really bad. Firs time I ever told you this but you should consider a rewrite especially if your readers are considering sending it to Bible believers who know anything at all

    Out of Israel in Matthew? Meh common objection. Nate would probably argue it back and forth but Laws are said to be fulfilled not just prophecies and I see Matthew here using a common Midrash technique of Jews seeing Jesus as the leader of Israel represents he was called out of egypt too

    But for the Jeremiah part. Wow! so awful and obviously awful I will just leave it at that. this one just doesn’t even need any time on my part. I will just leave you to pat each other on the back but take it out to a blog of any christian who known his stuff and you will get eaten alive.

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  6. Take a step back. If the Middle Eastern god detailed in the Pentateuch was real, why would prophecy even be required? Surely, if prophecy is presented as a “proof” which this god participated in, then wouldn’t a simple message written in permanent, seven-kilometer-tall, self-translating, gold and diamond dust letters do a slightly better job?

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  7. “Out of Israel in Matthew? Meh common objection. Nate would probably argue it back and forth but Laws are said to be fulfilled not just prophecies and I see Matthew here using a common Midrash technique of Jews seeing Jesus as the leader of Israel represents he was called out of egypt too”

    Hi mike. dont you think this highlights one of the problems we keep having? Although you’d disagree, it appears as though we’d have to implant certain things into the scripture in order to have it “work out.” We can add any made up thing to any problem and resolve it, dont you think?

    so while you’re satisfied with Mathew saying Hosea was talking about Jesus, surely it doesnt take much imagination why some of us dont see it that way.

    For Jeremiah 33? You could be right, but i grew up hearing it time and again, although typically from similar passages that avoid mentioning the levitical priests – although some maintain that the levitical priests will be restored during the 1000 reign, or whatever…

    But the denomination I was part of pointed to passages like this as prophecies of christ, yet as nate pointed out, didnt believe that levi had anything to do with the NT church or christ. So to them, at least, this should mean something.

    But i am not sure i even responded appropriately, as i was not sure what you were even getting at in your reply – other than you disagreed and nate should think about rewriting his post.

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  8. zande, right. There are a number of ways to have done this better. Have the originals preserved for ever and written in stone.

    easily dated.

    could last forever, so the original is always around and no one could ever claim “forgery.”

    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

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  9. Mike, you make a good point about the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy being a future event, so I suppose you see the Levitical priests offering sacrifices as something that will happen in the future? How / why do you suppose this would occur? Do you disagree with the Hebrew author that Jesus has become the “high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”? Because his argument is that the Levitical priesthood is no longer necessary.

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  10. “We can add any made up thing to any problem and resolve it, dont you think?”

    William the problem with your approach is that you never look at the culture, history or language so you claim things are made up that are right there in the Bible.

    Consider the absurdity of reading say a piece of literature from Brazil and not wanting to look at the spanish/portuguese it was written in, the culture and habits in Brazil. No scholar does this it would be INEVITABLE that you would come with misunderstandigs even if it were written today. However if you get presented with something that is not apparent to YOU a few thousand years after the document was written and what ? your US/european culture understanding you claim its “made up”

    Fact fulfilled is not always used just in regard to prophecy in the Bible no more than “gar” to begin a parenthetical clause is not made up in the greek NT . Look it up.

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  11. “Mike, you make a good point about the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy being a future event, so I suppose you see the Levitical priests offering sacrifices as something that will happen in the future?”

    Don’t know. Right now we break bread to remember the cross. just as sacrifices look forward to the cross we may use sacrifices to look back. If you mean in this passage then it doesn’t strictly require it but says that there will not be a levitical priest needed/wanted probably because Christ assumes the head of that qualifying under the order of Melchisdek

    ” Do you disagree with the Hebrew author that Jesus has become the “high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”? Because his argument is that the Levitical priesthood is no longer necessary.”

    I’d agree completely except I see only the high priest position being talked about not that there will never be uses for the house of Levi as priests but again your passage in Jeremiah says they will never want for a man for the position not that the priest will be from the house of Levi.

    In fact based on other passages beyond but including Hebrews some would say the two positions in Jeremiah 33 are held by one person “the Lord our righteousness’ that makes those two positions never to see a want again

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  12. Incidentally before anyone comes bursting in making claims I am answering questions put to me. I meant it when Is said I really don’t feel I even have to debate this one.

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  13. Hey Nate,

    The thing is for me, you can frame a prophecy a certain way and then assert that its false. Even a true prophecy.

    For example. I know some people here might have different views on say Micah 5:2 where

    “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
        though you are small among the clans of Judah,
    out of you will come for me
        one who will be ruler over Israel,
    whose origins are from of old,
        from ancient times.”

    In Matthew 2:1-6

    After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
     When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

     “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
        are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
    for out of you will come a ruler
        who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

    I mean how specific can you get?

    Here are some other specifics, but I’m fairly sure you have seen them before 🙂

    http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm

    and here

    http://www.biblestudy.org/prophecy/old-testament-prophecies-jesus-fulfilled.html

    I just don’t think its as clear as you do that its wrong

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  14. I mean I guess if people assume that the writers were not sincere and made the NT to fit the OT, then really were can we go from here based on that assumption? Apart from that though, there are some fairly clear Prophecies.

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  15. @Portal001

    The thing is for me, you can frame a prophecy a certain way and then assert that its false. Even a true prophecy.

    Ryan, It is important to always bear in mind that the writer of Matthew ripped off 600 verses from gMark.

    Matthew also includes the farcical Zombie Apocalypse during the Crucifixion.
    Please tell me you don’t give this rubbish any credence whatsoever?
    That ludicrous drivel alone should have every normal person scouring every available history book for evidence. No. Let me restate that. Normal people would consider it the nonsense that it plainly is and not even bother going further.
    So without getting all juvenile and yelling ”chucking the baby out with the bathwater” how can Matthew be regarded as anything but spurious nonsense?

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  16. “No. Let me restate that. Normal people would consider it the nonsense that it plainly is and not even bother going further.”

    Circular reasoning actually. Essentially “I don’t believe in resurrections being possible so that counts as evidence against them happening and that Matthew is lying”. Whats new? Normal people recognize when they are employing circular reasoning.

    There is no “apocalypse” in Matthew either. There are some saints which could be a reference to old testament saints or Some NT saints that had died in the three years of Christ ministry – either way many of a very small group – being raised from the dead and then only a few of those appearing to some people in Jerusalem and then only a few who would even recognize them to know they had been dead (which argues for the few believers who had died in the three years of Christ ministry – history does not record a pandemic either 🙂 )

    “scouring every available history book for evidence. ”

    and umm how many available sources do we have for Jerusalem events in the time period? One or two? as um “every available”? Plus why would they report on some people seeing what they would think were ghosts?

    I suppose every time people have claimed today they have seen a ghost historians record it for posterity? Do tell. I know of one or two people who claim it and have never been contacted by the Men in Black. The tracking beacon must be on the fritz.

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  17. “The thing is for me, you can frame a prophecy a certain way and then assert that its false. Even a true prophecy.

    For example. I know some people here might have different views on say Micah 5:2 where ”

    Actually Portal I might surprise a few here but I never consider prophecies where the fulfillment is strictly dependent on the Bible as good evidential material. For example The king Josiah thing I would never use. I actually hate how so many Christians use that circular reasoning. It muddies the waters for good examples. Now if you could verify that Jesus was born in Bethlehem outside of the NT then yes. However just because a prophecy is legit doesn’t mean its good for evidence of divine inspiration.

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  18. Hey Ryan,

    The Bethlehem prophecy is an interesting one, but I think it ties in to why we have two different accounts of Jesus’ birth. You may have read the post I’ve done on it (https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/contradictions-part-5-out-of-egypt/) — I believe that Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts can’t be reconciled satisfactorily. I think they represent a true contradiction. It seems as though each of them believed that Jesus had to be tied to Bethlehem in some way, and they either invented two separate traditions, or simply recorded two separate traditions that were already in circulation. Why would they think Jesus should come from Bethlehem? Because of Micah 5:2.

    So I don’t lightly come to the conclusion that the prophecy wasn’t really fulfilled. I come to that conclusion based on the two conflicting stories that we’re given.

    Your question points to a bigger issue, however. Any time we see what appears to be an actual prophecy, wouldn’t it be easy to just say that the later writer based his version off the “prophecy” that was given long before? Yes, it would. But is that an unfair assessment? I don’t believe so.

    If all the Bible’s prophecies appeared to be legit, then we could still claim that it’s only because later writers copied from the previous writers, but it would be a much harder sell. We don’t have that situation, though, because the Bible does contain prophecies that have failed, or simply been misused. Matthew borrows many OT passages out of context just to claim prophecy fulfillment, and the issues with the way he uses scripture are pretty evident when you start looking. There are other examples as well, and from these it seems to me that heightened skepticism for the prophecies that initially seem legit is warranted. Does that position make sense? I’m not asking that in a sarcastic way — I’m genuinely interested if my line of thinking seems reasonable.

    Thanks for the great questions, as always!

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  19. @Mike

    I suppose every time people have claimed today they have seen a ghost historians record it for posterity? Do tell. I know of one or two people who claim it and have never been contacted by the Men in Black. The tracking beacon must be on the fritz.

    The thing is, Hotshot, these ‘Saints’ were not raised as ghosts, but bodily resurrected and they went Walkabout in Jerusalem; and were seen by many, apparently.
    If Dean Man Walking,your god, the narrative construct, Jesus of Nazareth, a single individual, was seen by 500 witlessess then only a rank idiot would consider a group of Dead (resurrected) Saints on a lightening Tour of Jerusalem would go unnoticed and unrecorded.

    Now, if even a rank apologist such as Mike Licona can dismiss this event then I am inclined to believe it is a crock.
    But if you consider it truth and believe yourself to be a ‘normal person’ then god help those who you instruct with this diatribe.

    Furthermore, if this is the case, then what little credibility you brought to this post just got flushed down the crapper.

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  20. “The thing is, Hotshot, these ‘Saints’ were not raised as ghosts, but bodily resurrected ”

    next post try telling me what I don’t know. I was talking about the alleged historians who would have heard the story. they would have concluded it was a ghost story.

    “only a rank idiot would consider a group of Dead (resurrected) Saints on a lightening Tour of Jerusalem would go unnoticed and unrecorded.”

    or a rank idiot would persist in circular reasoning even after its been pointed out to him. its quite clear you have not thought the issue through. If a dead person came to your door fully alive how would you know he had been dead um…hotshot? 🙂 Photographs? Video recollection? oops not available.

    So the identification of a risen person would ONLY be made by someone who knew him/her and would not look the least bit conspicuous to anyone else. there would be no dragging one feet behind them moaning or craving for blood. they’ve be just like anyone else walking down the street.

    “If Dean Man Walking,”

    Ahhhh LOL I see why you used Zombie in your claim because in your TV land induced thinking you think this was like the walking dead where they looked half dead and would terrify Jersualem. LOL too funny.

    “Now, if even a rank apologist such as Mike Licona ”

    You’ve tried that before and it flopped. try something else. He is not in the Biblical text and neither are Walking dead looking Zombies. the rest of your foaming at the mouth and spittle matters not. Your circular reasoning gives you zero credibility in any adult conversation.

    The event would cause no terror to the city. the only people who would recognize the few people raised from the dead would be loved ones or people close to them that knew what they looked like – no historic moment for the city. Sorry your point fails due to watching too much TV. I like Falling Skies myself ;0

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  21. @ Mike

    Your circular reasoning gives you zero credibility in any adult conversation.

    And this from a person who believes in Scripture, an invisible sky daddy, and a man-god who he claims is the Creator of the Universe.

    Really, Hotshot, you are a laugh a minute.

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  22. “And this from a person who believes in Scripture, an invisible sky daddy, and a man-god who he claims is the Creator of the Universe. ”

    and this fro a guy who if he even thought through his own ideas believes that everything came out of nothing OR has no beginning. I’ll give you a tip Ark don’;t even try to debate me on who believes more in the supernatural. I’ll eat your lunch.

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  23. According to the Bible, a good test of whether or not someone is a true prophet is the accuracy of their prophecy.

    In Matthew 24:29, Jesus says:

    “Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

    The absurdity of this claim is apparent to anyone who’s passed grade school science. Take a look at these images.

    The third one down on the left shows the Earth’s size in relation to our closest start—the Sun. If the Sun were a hollow sphere, it could contain approximately 1.3 million Earths.

    The remaining images show the Sun’s size in relation to other stars. VY Canis Majoris is estimated to be large enough to contain 6 billion stars the size of our sun.

    It’s clear that the passage in Matthew betrays the scientific ignorance of whoever penned it. And if that passage does actually record the words spoken by someone named Jesus, then it’s equally clear that he was no true prophet.

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  24. I’ll give you a tip Ark don’;t even try to debate me on who believes more in the supernatural. I’ll eat your lunch.

    Lol…well, considering I didn’t get much further than the Leclanche cell in physics at school maybe I should refer you to de Grasse Tyson then? Or Hawking? Just to be on the safe side.
    I mean, I wouldn’t want a Sunbeam for Jesus to steal my lunch.

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  25. @ Mike Anthony,
    Since Nate hasn’t jumped in to speak to the dialogue etiquette on this thread, I just want to say (as an atheist/former-believer) that you have my sympathy for the poor conversation skills of some here. I have unfortunately been following the thread and had to read the ugly comments. I will now unsubscribe. I wish you well.

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  26. “The third one down on the left shows the Earth’s size in relation to our closest start—the Sun. If the Sun were a hollow sphere, it could contain approximately 1.3 million Earths. ”

    Your reasoning is totally incoherent. Apparently its that the suns and the stars are too big for God to turn off ? lol….Who said God was Maximus Prime?

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  27. “maybe I should refer you to de Grasse Tyson then? Or Hawking? Just to be on the safe side.”

    Well that reply has one thing going for it – An admission that you are not up to the task to debate it yourself is a refreshing change toward honesty.

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  28. “Since Nate hasn’t jumped in to speak to the dialogue etiquette on this thread,”

    Nate has given lip service every now and again but If he’s honest he is only really irked enough by my replies to talk about banning and its only me he has in mind for that. He’s done it once and I am sure if I hang around he will do it again. In fact he in another thread has expressed his great respect for the worst offenders because they told him they would scale it back which lasted no time at all and I suspect he knew wouldn’t be because its their style of conversation.

    this outrage over my posting style is about one thing – ideology. It started from my first post here where I said atheist tend to think certain ways. Poor William was greatly offended even though this blog routinely talks about what theists do and how they think. How dare I say atheists have certain tendencies.

    Good of you to say though. Ruth, Ron you could say are Ok and meet certain standards but its just testament to the VAST hypocrisy of this blog owner and his readers that they can look and skip over the posts from Ark and Arch and claim I am the one to claim has nothing but vitriol and rudeness.

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  29. Ark,

    I think the Bible should be taken at face value, in that if you start with the assertion that its all made up then how can a person consider whether it is true or not, since their premise can only bring them to one conclusion.

    Its like if I started with the idea that someone writing me a letter is being deceptive, how could I then take any of it seriously? Since I’ve already come to a conclusion. No matter what they write.

    Nate,

    I think what your saying does make sense. I just don’t feel the same way about it as you 🙂

    Mike,

    Okay, if you don’t feel the same way about prophecy very well. I don’t think it muddies the water though.

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  30. .”……skip over the posts from Ark and Arch and claim I am the one to claim has nothing but vitriol and rudeness………”

    Mark, who was claiming that? whether its a theist, atheist, deist, a person being harsh to another person…. is a person being harsh to another person.

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  31. “Okay, if you don’t feel the same way about prophecy very well. I don’t think it muddies the water though.”

    It does in the sense that people get the impression that all fulfilled prophecies are of the type to find fulfillment only in other bible verses

    “whether its a theist, atheist, deist, a person being harsh to another person…. is a person being harsh to another person.”

    This isn’r prep school Port. if you constantly harp on one person without showing the same follow up on other worse offenders your bias shows. You are a classic example of this. You reply waay more to my posts critiquing style than you have ark and Arch. You are fooling no one.

    I mean I am sure you will continue regardless but just saying – not fooling anyone.

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  32. I find your comments belittle people, and when people ask you questions its seems like its an inconvenience to answer them, like your taking great pains to kneel next to the delinquent child and spell things out to them. at least some of them come off that way to me.

    I suppose I haven’t commented so much on Ark and Arch because they have been around for a while, and I’m pretty sure they know my thoughts on how belittling people is not cool.

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  33. Mark, I’ll give it a break now. your right, I have been harping on I think. And I’m by no means perfect. I should take the log out of my eye 🙂

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  34. @ Portal & (Nate & Ben & Mike),
    Good points on belittling. The quality and value of a thread drops very quickly when people revert to delinquency. Certain sites invite it. On my site, I try to monitor and enforce dialogue etiquette — just like I do in my house. I spell them out in my “Policy” tab. Lots of atheists hate those restrictions — and thankfully stop visiting my site. In my home, I much more enjoy polite conversation, even with those with whom I strongly disagree.

    You ought to consider setting up a simple blog — if nothing else, to tell us something about yourself. See here.

    BTW,
    I loved Ron’s example about stars falling from the sky. That is clearly an example of gMatt showing that Jesus bought into the inaccuracy of that period’s world view.

    Of course, it might not have been Jesus but just gMatt. And some Christians may argue that Jesus was just using a metaphor. Or apparently Mike Anthony thinks, if I am not mistaken, that indeed, somehow Yahweh will do that. If he said it, he’ll do it. Don’t underestimate god! [But I am not sure]

    Maybe Nate could do an “anti-Bible study” on that one. But I must agree with an initial indirect objection of Mike’s (and I am guilty of it on my blog often), if an atheist is going to criticize some Bible passage, it would be really helpful if they told readers what the popular commentaries’ apologists use as counter arguments and address them. Instead of pretending that they just discovered the issue and that the Christian tradition hasn’t tried to counter them over the last 2000 years.

    It is sort of like when ID folks do anti-evolution writing and not even addressing the obvious objections by evolutionists that are easily available with the smallest amount of searching.

    Otherwise, we are all really only doing propaganda or trying to get our own choirs to sing. Not that those aren’t OK motives, but we should be honest about them. But then, I guess that does take the punch out of propaganda. And we all do it.

    Anyway, Nate always puts lots of work into his posts so maybe his next “anti-Bible study” will treat us to replies to some standard apologetics.

    I’d love to hear the star issue addressed. I promise to wear my Sunday bests to the class.

    Like

  35. Sabio

    “You ought to consider setting up a simple blog”

    I have thought about it, I think one day I will. At the moment I just enjoy reading and having conversations. I started to set on up, then changed my mind, I’m not the most decisive person, but I have a habit of writing my thoughts down anyway, so I might might organise them one day, they are not brilliant I don’t think, but for what its worth.

    Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

    Like

  36. ” like your taking great pains to kneel next to the delinquent child and spell things out to them. at least some of them come off that way to me.”

    You know what?

    Good. I like that, No apologies.

    I think you (not you personally but collectively) should feel that way and if my exasperation about your (again collectively) ignorance sometimes makes you feel foolish I mean seriously thats a very good thing . It may instruct your arrogance. Do you not think that no matter how you try to claim otherwise and couch your words on this blog that you are not in fact trying to convey that people who maintain their faith are not delinquent children who just have not seen the light? Maybe you should take off your blinders and read from another perspective because its pretty clear as day. A rose by any other name.

    Think about it before you answer. Doesn’t every other if not every single Post Nate puts up convey that particular message about Bible believers and does not every single comment section fill up with comments about the ignorance and delusion of believers.

    So in essence you find it belittling for me to express the same confidence in your (all you s and yours are collective ) ignorance as you but find it only insulting when it is done to you and not by you. Touche!

    “I suppose I haven’t commented so much on Ark and Arch because they have been around for a while”

    So in essence your familiarity regulates your expression of outrage at seeing someone new mistreated. Thats pretty weak.

    Like

  37. @Mike,

    Do you think personality attacks are helpful to fruitful dialogue?

    “ignorance”
    “arrogance”

    I see that you don’t have a blog either. But if you did, what would you put in your comment policy to try and maintain commenting productive civility?

    Like

  38. “I loved Ron’s example about stars falling from the sky. That is clearly an example of gMatt showing that Jesus bought into the inaccuracy of that period’s world view.

    Of course, it might not have been Jesus but just gMatt. And some Christians may argue that Jesus was just using a metaphor. Or apparently Mike Anthony thinks, if I am not mistaken, that indeed, somehow Yahweh will do that. If he said it, he’ll do it. Don’t underestimate god! [But I am not sure”

    I’d be curious to know what in the world you are talking about. Matthew is taking about a time when God reveals himself to the world in full glory as God. The natural meets the supernatural. You and Ron might be suffering from a bit of circular reasoning. God as a concept is the supreme being. No theist believes God is subject to the laws of nature but controls them so snuffing out light of the sun is no more than a command to do so.

    It says nothing about the “innacuracy of the world view”. NO Christian believes that this of all events is natural and subject to normal laws. Claiming that if God reveals himself he must show himself to be subject to the laws presently employed to run the universe is asking God to not be God.

    If your hangup is the word star – star relates to any light in the sky including whats known as falling stars. No distinct word in the greek between the two. Revelations has both stars falling to the earth (which Matthew does NOT state) and it has the heavens which are the collection of stars scrolling away from the earth. So you have a meteor shower and a rapid expansion of the universe with the stars speeding away. big whoop.

    Like

  39. I have faith, and I don’t think most people treat me as a child, or maybe I am just oblivious to it 🙂

    “So in essence your familiarity regulates your expression of outrage at seeing someone new mistreated. Thats pretty weak.”

    its more that they already know where I’m coming from I think, and what they do with that is up to them, just likes its up to you, you can continue to communicate in the way you think is right. No one in the internetland can control that.

    Like

  40. Nah, Mike, I think I represented you right. If Yahweh says stars will fall from the sky and oceans turn to blood, then that is exactly what HE will do.

    Or, maybe you choose some words to use metaphorically or to point out the subtle Hebrew or Greek meaning — that is fine. But I see your tendency. If God said he stopped the sun in the sky, then he did.

    I think I get you. No problem.

    Like

  41. “Do you think personality attacks are helpful to fruitful dialogue?

    “ignorance”
    “arrogance” ”

    and why would that be a personal attack? Do tell. because we ought to use nomenclature consistently. Are you claiming if an atheist says that theists are ignorant of facts that that is a personal attack or if I perceive an atheist as assuming an ignorance and properly classify it as arrogance that that is a personal attack?

    Why not answer the question. how does one not take this blog and particularly the comments on it in precisely the belittling way you claim is not acceptable. Do you have an answer?

    Like

  42. “Doesn’t every other if not every single Post Nate puts up convey that particular message about Bible believers and does not every single comment section fill up with comments about the ignorance and delusion of believers.”

    Depends on the topic of the post,

    the thing is though, I feel its ok to disagree with points in a post and still respect, have a chat with people who don’t agree or believe what I believe.

    I better go to bed, its late here.

    all the best Mike

    Like

  43. “Nah, Mike, I think I represented you right. If Yahweh says stars will fall from the sky and oceans turn to blood, then that is exactly what HE will do. ”

    I don’t really care how you think you represented it right. The passage in Matthew that you are quote mining is very clear. its a future date when a supernatural God enters into the natural world. Begging that he must act in accordance with natural laws while being the supernatural God over them is just circular nonsense. Its essentially saying that IF God acts like God then it invalidates the position there is one.

    “Or, maybe you choose some words to use metaphorically or to point out the subtle Hebrew or Greek meaning — that is fine. But I see your tendency.”

    the same vaccuous nonsense of William. Yes I have the tendency to read the greek text of a work written in Greek. How bad of me. Fact. there were no two words for star and falling star in the bible. That may destroy your cute little idea that stars falling proves the NT sees the universe however you want to but sorry thats just the Greek it was written in and theres nothing you can do about it.

    Like

  44. @ mike,
    Claiming someone is ignorant of a certain fact is different from calling a person ignorant. I’d imagine you know the distinction.

    Anyway, the most interesting information would be to see a list of comment policies you’d want on your own blog. Perhaps none. Perhaps you love free-for-alls.

    If so, we have very different preferences.

    Remember from my previous comment criticized equally — all players. No need to get into religious positions.

    Like

  45. “I see that you don’t have a blog either. But if you did, what would you put in your comment policy to try and maintain commenting productive civility?’

    My blog rules shod I have one

    Easy. no cursing, no swearing, no derogatory name calling. no petty side insults about people off the point of the conversation and no what you won’t see here – pretending that people on either side of the issue do not have an agenda or bias.

    If someone doesn’t know what they are talking about then demonstrate it and you are free to say it. If you can’t take hearing you are ignorant on a subject then don’t play telling people they are ignorant on others.

    EZ peazy.

    Like

  46. “Claiming someone is ignorant of a certain fact is different from calling a person ignorant. I’d imagine you know the distinction.”

    You have no point. I expressly said all my you’s in that post were not personal but collective. Can I imagine you know the distinction?

    Like

  47. How is this intellectually honest?

    “I’d love to hear the star issue addressed. I promise to wear my Sunday bests to the class.”

    Then I address it and the reply is

    “Or, maybe you choose some words to use metaphorically or to point out the subtle Hebrew or Greek meaning — that is fine. But I see your tendency.”

    If thats your Sunday best its just another example of duplicity.

    Like

  48. There is something about Crispyuns’ who get miffed at being called out or upset when people call them names over their ridiculous attempts to continually justify their texts , doctrines and all round faith based nonsense beliefs that really makes me laugh.
    Here they are, impugning the intellectual credentials of all and sundry yet their predecessors, who laid the foundations of their nonsense beliefs at one time often put to death many who so much as questioned the supernatural crap they espoused as fact and truth.

    Anyone who cares to engage an individual such as Mike Anthony must always bear in mind that such people require a man-god to be real for their own lives to have any meaning, to the point they will construct endless labyrinths of theological and philosophical clap-trap in order to not only make sense of their own lives but to enforce such garbage on others through indoctrination of children.

    And as nonintellectual and uncivil it may be – rude in fact – if they are ‘hell bent’ on proselyting this diatribe with nothing but threats to back up their claims then they deserve every ‘uncivil’ epithet that is thrown at them.

    Like

  49. @ Mike,
    I think your policy suggestions are good. As for the rest, your style of talking is not inviting enough to motivate me to keep typing, so I will bow out. You probably feel the same towards mine. So we part ways.
    Take care.

    Like

  50. “Anyone who cares to engage an individual such as Mike Anthony must always bear in mind that such people require a man-god to be real for their own lives to have any meaning, ”

    Are you up to debating me on the issue of whose position relies more on the supernatural? The other arch has run away. I sense you will probably as well or you will start first and realize it was nowhere near as easy as you believed due to your own subliminal everything from nothing genie worship.

    as for being miffed – if that were the word it would be at others for the hypcocrisy of being miffed at me rather than you. Your are more like entertainment. like a snarling little puppy with big eyes. cute but kind of messy.

    Like

  51. Ya know, I misjudged you, Mike Anthony. You and Ark are like twins separated at birth or soul mates. I’ll bet in-person you guys would be a riot together and would never want to separate. You both seem to have very similar temperaments. I will no longer make comments that could interfere with your possibly pre-destined blooming bro love.

    Like

  52. “Ya know, I misjudged you, Mike Anthony. You and Ark are like twins separated at birth or soul mates.”

    Yes of course because ark has been kind enough to call me a cute puppy. 🙂

    Like

  53. ‘ I will no longer make comments that could interfere with your possibly pre-destined blooming bro love.”

    Why is there so much reference to homosexuality here? and why is it brought up as a joke or derogatory context so often. Liberal atheist homophobpics? lol…say it aint so

    Like

  54. “Bro Love” is not a referral to homosexual love: See Urban Dictionary

    And as for homosexual love, ’tis the same as any other sort of love to me. Love is love.
    But I understand for many religious folks it is a horrible sin. But I won’t engage that controversy here.

    “Bro Love” is a cool thing — I have it for several friends. If I understand the term properly.

    Like

  55. ““Bro Love” is not a referral to homosexual love: See Urban Dictionary”

    It can be used both ways. Sometimes people use it as a little joke to lightly imply something is going on and given your comrades were going on a few days about Jesus and his disciples I thought I would ask because the arches do seem infatuated with the subject.

    Like

  56. Interesting that you used the word “infatuated”.
    Not me, I never use sexual orientation as a joke — I could care less. Now and again I may get derogatory about height or blood type … 🙂

    Like

  57. ” Now and again I may get derogatory about height or blood type … :-)”

    lol…..Okay it took awhile but I finally found a half way cool atheist on this blog.

    Like

  58. “next post try telling me what I don’t know. I was talking about the alleged historians who would have heard the story. they would have concluded it was a ghost story.”

    I agree, that is the obvious conclusion after hearing mathew’s claim.

    Like

  59. “William the problem with your approach is that you never look at the culture, history or language so you claim things are made up that are right there in the Bible.

    Consider the absurdity of reading say a piece of literature from Brazil and not wanting to look at the spanish/portuguese it was written in, the culture and habits in Brazil. No scholar does this it would be INEVITABLE that you would come with misunderstandigs even if it were written today. However if you get presented with something that is not apparent to YOU a few thousand years after the document was written and what ? your US/european culture understanding you claim its “made up”” – Mike

    Well, since I’m not ancient but of a modern US/European/Canadian culture, you can see why i struggle.

    can you give me an example of where I did this? I dont want to be guilty of it.

    But when someone is making a defense of the passages we’re discussing, passages that were transliterated by greek & hebrew scholars, and their defense contains things or is entirely composed of things that are absent from that text, then why wouldnt it be fair to think they’re made up?

    Like

  60. I fixed your claim to add more real truth to it.

    “Well, since I’m not ancient but of a modern US/European/Canadian culture and am so lazy mentally I think that applying my canadian understanding to an ancient middle east writing is scholarly, you can see why i struggle.

    Yes thats better. I do understand that. 🙂

    “their defense contains things or is entirely composed of things that are absent from that text, then why wouldnt it be fair to think they’re made up?”

    You will Lie on a dime William. I made nothing up. You just object to looking at the language a book was written in as a bone lazy and intellectually dishonest ploy to get you to where you want to go.

    Like

  61. “Out of Israel in Matthew? Meh common objection. Nate would probably argue it back and forth but Laws are said to be fulfilled not just prophecies and I see Matthew here using a common Midrash technique of Jews seeing Jesus as the leader of Israel represents he was called out of egypt too”

    Hi mike. dont you think this highlights one of the problems we keep having? Although you’d disagree, it appears as though we’d have to implant certain things into the scripture in order to have it “work out.” We can add any made up thing to any problem and resolve it, dont you think?”
    ….

    But i am not sure i even responded appropriately, as i was not sure what you were even getting at in your reply – other than you disagreed and nate should think about rewriting his post.”

    the above is a more complete context of what we’re talking about.

    you’re claiming that mathew was using a “technique” in explanation as to why he quoted something out of context and randomly said it was a “prophecy.” That looks like making something up to me – when nothing in the text says that for itself, and then you just insert it… it looks made up.

    ““Well, since I’m not ancient but of a modern US/European/Canadian culture and am so lazy mentally I think that applying my canadian understanding to an ancient middle east writing is scholarly, you can see why i struggle.

    Yes thats better. I do understand that. :)”

    Lazy? to some degree maybe. But I dont have the time to become and expert on every subject, that suggestion that people are to do so is hypocritical and absurd. besides, how would studying ancient hebrew give me insights to the alleged and hypothetical assertion that mathew is using any type of “technique” other than that of lying? if you want to provide sources I wont be too lazy to review them.

    Like

  62. “You will Lie on a dime William. I made nothing up. You just object to looking at the language a book was written in as a bone lazy and intellectually dishonest ploy to get you to where you want to go.”

    this is interesting, because from my perspective, you’re the one who’s lying and who is guilty of the intellectual dishonesty of lazily asserting that the problems I’m having is (among other things) with the lack of intimate knowledge in ancient hebrew and greek, while relying on the scholarly translations into english, while you yourself refrain from providing sources that could correct this problem that you claim exists.

    I wonder if we’re just approaching this from two entirely different perspectives, that we’re just not comprehending what the other is saying?

    Like

  63. @Mike

    Are you up to debating me on the issue of whose position relies more on the supernatural?

    Oh..you are going to offer verifiable evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was not only a real person but also the Creator of the Universe?

    Oh, boy! Let me go make some popcorn ‘cos this is going to be super fun.

    Okay…I’m ready. Let’s see your evidence, Hotshot. We are all waiting with baited breathe.

    Like

  64. @Ark,

    Oh..you are going to offer verifiable evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was not only a real person but also the Creator of the Universe?

    He can do it.

    In three sentences.

    He cab prove these things.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😀

    Like

  65. “Lazy? to some degree maybe. But I dont have the time to become and expert on every subject,”

    So? big woop. Why should that be anyone else’s problem but your own? Okay so in your ignorance you call midrash something made up by me because you have no background in jewish literature and are too lazy to even look at your main research tool. here

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

    Fine. But how is that any point? So you read a Book steeped in Jewish culture and want it to fit your Canadian context. Thats your issue not a point.

    next you can follow up that the Jews made it up.

    Second yes I did point out that fulfilled Gk “fill up” does not always refer to a future event but a concept/value being filled up made complete. Thats because it does

    Luke 24:44 (KJV)
    44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled/pleroo, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

    Matthew 23:32 (HCSB)
    32 Fill up/Pleroo, then, the measure of your fathers’ sins!

    Matthew 3:15 (HCSB)
    15 Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill/pleroo all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him ⌊to be baptized⌋.

    Matthew 5:17-18 (HCSB)
    17 “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill/pleroo
    18 For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.

    NOTE THAT THE ABOVE RELATES THE LAW NOT JUST PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED

    Matthew 13:48 (HCSB)
    48 and when it was full/pleroo, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good ⌊fish⌋ into containers, but threw out the worthless ones.

    Above a fishing net is “fulfilled”/ filled up.

    Furthermore I should add that even the idea of prophet and prophecy is wrong in your and Nate’s understanding. Almost every prophet spent more time prophesying without telling the future than prophesying while telling the future (they did both).

    So then what if Matthew sees the the idea of the prince representative of Israel being called out of Israel as the filling up completion fulfillment of the Idea of God delivering from Egypt. It fit the meaning of the word “filled up” and it fits common Jewish midrash to the passage.

    You wanting to ignore the language and culture of the book presents no issue to me or Matthew. Its just begging to do no research.

    Like

  66. ” Are you up to debating me on the issue of whose position relies more on the supernatural?

    Oh..you are going to offer verifiable evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was not only a real person but also the Creator of the Universe?”

    Yawn……… the first part isn’t even worth debating since no serious scholar claims Jesus never existed. The second part would first require us to deal with the issue you are running away from – does the Universe require a supernatural creation?

    Shucks and you thought you had managed to wiggle and hand wave from your fear of debating me on that. 🙂

    Sorry. Lets go Ark or are you afraid that in your case your boat might sink?

    Like

  67. “He can do it.

    In three sentences.”

    Meh…….perhaps…. but not really. it takes just that to correct your ignorance on what theists even maintain or I tell you what? We could just do what you did with abiogenesis

    Evidence rain check

    and only use three words?

    What do you say?

    Like

  68. “So? big woop. Why should that be anyone else’s problem but your own? Okay so in your ignorance you call midrash something made up by me because you have no background in jewish literature and are too lazy to even look at your main research tool. here”

    your wiki article also says the midrash was a rabbi’s way of making up scenarios to fix the problems with the text. I can agree with that. i guess that is what mathew was doing. I would say that I’d defer to your source, but i think it said what I and nate had been saying.

    Mathew cited something that had nothing to do with he was talking about. zero. all the jewish culture doesnt rectify that.

    What mathew quoted in regard to israel being called out of egypt isnt a law, so I dont get you point.

    “Furthermore I should add that even the idea of prophet and prophecy is wrong in your and Nate’s understanding. Almost every prophet spent more time prophesying without telling the future than prophesying while telling the future (they did both).

    So then what if Matthew sees the the idea of the prince representative of Israel being called out of Israel as the filling up completion fulfillment of the Idea of God delivering from Egypt. It fit the meaning of the word “filled up” and it fits common Jewish midrash to the passage.”

    anything can become a “prophecy” in such a case. maybe you’re correct, but it certainly takes the pizzazz out of it.

    It’s like me claiming that i predicted the iraq war when playing risk as a young lad, and moved my army by force into the middle east but withdrew my forces to focus on asia. is that your claim?

    Like

  69. Yawn……… the first part isn’t even worth debating since no serious scholar claims Jesus never existed. The second part would first require us to deal with the issue you are running away from – does the Universe require a supernatural creation?

    1.Did I say that someone called Jesus (Yeshua) did not exist? Of course not, Hotshot, and there is every likelihood that there was a smelly little itinerant preacher called Yeshua running round Palestine sometime in the first century.

    The character Jesus of Nazareth, however, as depicted in the bible, is a narrative construct. Period.

    2. Even if the universe did require a supernatural creation you then have to show that your god, Jesus of Nazareth, is that supernatural creator. And this, you cannot do.
    This is what faith is all about. Faith you no doubt have. Evidence? Not a chance in Hades.
    Best you pack it up now,Mike, before you begin to look really silly.

    Like

  70. Sorry. Lets go Ark or are you afraid that in your case your boat might sink?

    Sink? *Smile*…..I note you are still plugging holes all over the place trying to save your myriad arguments. I believe, however, that you are plugging the wrong holes, Mike. Start with the one just below your nose.

    Any time you are in the area, we are all waiting for your Supernatural Explanation

    Like

  71. “The character Jesus of Nazareth, however, as depicted in the bible, is a narrative construct. Period.”

    oooh oooh he foamed at the mouth and said Period. What grand evidence for his materialism dun did it of the gaps fairy worship

    LOL thats the best ya got Ark?

    “Any time you are in the area, we are all waiting for your Supernatural Explanation”

    I’m still waiting for your everything out nothing fairy tale explanation Ark. I got my popcorn, some soda and a a few party hats but you won’t show long enough to really debate but just run away.

    Lets start with the origin of the universe or reality first .We can set the abiogenesis chanting and magic wand for later.

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  72. I have no idea how the universe formed and don’t presume to venture an answer.
    If you believe it was created by your man-god, Jesus of Nazareth them I will be fascinated to read what evidence you have.

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  73. “Lets start with the origin of the universe or reality first ”

    Let’s start with the origin of your bible god first and go from there.

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  74. “oooh oooh he foamed at the mouth and said Period. What grand evidence for his materialism dun did it of the gaps fairy worship”

    I agree. It’s just like someone saying, “the end” or “I blew that out of the water…” whoever it is who keeps saying things like that…

    it means nothing and only gets in the way of the real issues.

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  75. “”I have no idea how the universe formed and don’t presume to venture an answer.”

    oh-oh So you cannot say that the supernatural is precluded as an answer and yet you believe materialism is all there is. Nope. No begging out of having to give an answer. If you claim the supernatural is absurd you have to come to the plate and give your swing at answers just like you demand theists to do. Sorry

    and spare me the usual “God of the gaps” barf and hand wave. its an issue of what reality actually is and if one side has to defend their position you have to do the same

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  76. “it means nothing and only gets in the way of the real issues.”

    I tell you what what Will. You can say “the end” when you actually put something on the table not like your two walls of text filled with rhetoric and claims you just put up in another thread along with your begging that because you can’t be expert on everything it lets you off the hook for not knowing what you are talking about.

    I’ll continue to say the end when I put up facts because I see you making claims all over the place that have nada to back them up but your say so.

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  77. “Let’s start with the origin of your bible god first and go from there.’

    I already put up my challenge and you will either deal with it, run away or Have nate ban me. You won’t be dictating anything. and yes

    The end.

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  78. “oh-oh So you cannot say that the supernatural is precluded as an answer and yet you believe materialism is all there is. Nope. No begging out of having to give an answer. If you claim the supernatural is absurd you have to come to the plate and give your swing at answers just like you demand theists to do. Sorry”

    anything is possible, which is why we’re discussing probability. And if the universe needs a beginning, if everything needs a beginning, then why not god? If he “just is” then why not the universe?

    And if we’re saying that the big band means that the universe had a beginning, then why cant the singularity be composed of eternal material – similar to your god if he didnt need a beginning? we cant disprove it (I only throw this in to show how absurd it can be) I’m not saying any of it is the case, but looking at everything is usually how we figure things out – where as in religion, you have an assumed premise and never back up to evaluate that premise, which is, “god is real and he wrote the bible”… at least that’s the assumption of many.

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  79. “I’ll continue to say the end…”

    i know you will… and you’ll also continue to avoid the real issues in so doing.

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  80. “I already put up my challenge and you will either deal with it, run away or Have nate ban me. You won’t be dictating anything. and yes

    The end.”

    Using your logic Mike , it only makes sense for you to begin with your explanation first. Looks like you are the one running away.

    You believe in a god who you say created the universe. To challenge a non-believer in explaining the cause of the creation of the universe would only be logical after you first explained how your god came into being.

    I think this is only fair. Most of us don’t claim to have the answers while you do. Explain away.

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  81. I’m not dictating anything . You are the one who tells us we are ignorant (collectively). Please take us and enlighten us by explaining to us how your god came into being. After your concise explanation, perhaps then we can understand how the universe was created. You have the stage . Explain away.

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  82. @ Mike

    oh-oh So you cannot say that the supernatural is precluded as an answer

    Not a scrap of evidence has been put forward to indicate a supernatural explanation so why should it even be considered? This is the reason I am offering you the chance to explain how your god, Jesus of Nazareth is that supernatural element.

    Like

  83. “anything is possible,”

    Do tell then in an infinite universe everything would eventually happen including God

    Ooops.

    ” which is why we’re discussing probability”

    Whose the “we” . I said nothing about probability.

    .”And if the universe needs a beginning, if everything needs a beginning, then why not god? If he “just is” then why not the universe?”

    Well first off all thats not the issue. The issue is the supernatural. Invariably you must have something or someone that has no beginning which means primary reality can have no cause. Something that appears with no explanation and cause is not natural to our world and most definitely is NOT bound by Materialism. its therefore clearly supernatural

    Secondly you have ZERO evidence just like you say of theists that the universe has any property that frees itself from the cause and effect chain that is natural to materialism. In fact our universe and the science of it has pretty much proven that the universe itself cannot be what always existed. its proven to have had a beginning.

    These FACTS indicate that when atheists have this priori (and you all do though nate lies to himself he doesn’t – its in several of his articles) that extraordinary evidence (rather than just good evidence) is required when the supernatural is being discussed its all a crock because in their very own world view the cessation of natural cause and effect is called for which has no significant difference to the existence of the supernatural.

    In short when you think it through you all believe in the supernatrual. You just barf against it when Christians talk about it.

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  84. “i know you will… and you’ll also continue to avoid the real issues in so doing.’

    and since that is just a statement with no fact that you can back it up with I can dismiss it

    the end

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  85. “Using your logic Mike , it only makes sense for you to begin with your explanation first.”

    Who care about what your think my logic leads. You don’t get a vote on it. I’ve given you your choices. Begging to the cows come home will not change that I put something to you first and you will either deal with it or run away.

    Now get to dealing with how you avoid the supernatural aspects reality and the implications of it with cause and effect. babbling that you don’t have to isn’t working.

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  86. “Not a scrap of evidence has been put forward to indicate a supernatural explanation so why should it even be considered? ‘

    Not a scrap of evidence has been presented that materialism is any ultimate explanation for anything so why should it be considered?

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  87. “William the problem with your approach is that you never look at the culture, history or language so you claim things are made up that are right there in the Bible.”

    All the more reason Mike that “a god” would hardly expect an ancient book like the bible to be considered relevant to the world today.

    If god’s requirements for reading the bible are studying the culture, history, and language of the various times each manuscript was written, in order to truly understand what he is trying to convey to us, well then he is going to get what he must have wanted in the first place. A bunch of doubting people . 🙂

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  88. “All the more reason Mike that “a god” would hardly expect an ancient book like the bible to be considered relevant to the world today.”

    And yet hundreds of millions do – even more than even atheists exist.

    “If god’s requirements for reading the bible are studying the culture, history, and language of the various times each manuscript was written, in order to truly understand what he is trying to convey to us. well then he is going to get what he must have wanted in the first place.”

    You mean people who can crack the many books and resources he has made available through thousands of teachers he called to break things down rather than live in ignorance? Yes

    “A bunch of doubting people”

    Atheists that can’t crack double digits in most polls? You are so cute. You’ve convinced yourself your the majority eh? Thank God (and Al gore) for the internets

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  89. “Whose the “we” . I said nothing about probability.”

    then join the discussion, mike.

    “Do tell then in an infinite universe everything would eventually happen including God”

    would or could? there’s a difference. And besides, it’s not really true anyways. Would or could a unicorn hang a solar system from its nipples? so, not everything would or could. It’s so improbable, we can go ahead and say that one’s impossible.

    “The issue is the supernatural. Invariably you must have something or someone that has no beginning which means primary reality can have no cause.”

    assuming your premise is correct. We’re talking about whether the supernatural is plausible, and your answer is that well, it is, the god is real… that’s just not good sense.

    “Secondly you have ZERO evidence”

    for what? the random suggestions I made when making a comparison against your no evidence based notion that god of the bible is real or that the supernatural is real? if so, that was sort of my point… that and to show that your line of logic can also be applied to your position…

    “In short when you think it through you all believe in the supernatural. You just barf against it when Christians talk about it.”

    hmm.. how so?

    and are you suggesting that if someone believes in the supernatural, that they should also then believe in christianity? are you saying that all supernatural claims are the same or are on equal footing?

    do you mash all religions together to make one big harmonious religion like you do with the differing gospels?

    This could be one reason we’re having such a hard time having a discussion – because I have been misunderstanding your overal outlook.

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  90. Mike, surely your last comment was a joke. You pretend as though the people who frequent this blog have done no research, yet it’s obvious that we know far more about these issues than the average Christian. Yet you appeal to the number of Christians as though it’s any indication of the quality or truthfulness of the claims of Christianity?

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  91. “You mean people who can crack the many books and resources he has made available through thousands of teachers he called to break things down rather than live in ignorance? Yes”

    you’re a different sort of christian than I was. I thought the 66 books of the bible was the only source. what are the other books? like the book of mormon? what do you mean here?

    and before you get too critical, you clearly dont know as much as you could on buildings and foundations (as discussed in regard to tyre) – so dont be hypocrite, mike. become an expert on construction or get off your high horse regarding all the extensive research there is to be done on every aspect of ancient cultures. This is dishonest and stupid, and while i believe you could be better than that, i dont understand why you insist upon doing it time and again.

    It’s somewhat entertaining, at times annoying, but i suspect always evident to the reasonable people – whether they comment or not – so i’m fine if you wish to continue, but honestly, it does seem contrary to the teachings of the book you claim to be defending.

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  92. “I was looking to respond to something non babbling in your last post but alas WIliam I could not find it.”

    it’s alright. It’s just because you don’t know what you’re looking at. maybe I can clarify something for you though?

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  93. “Mike, surely your last comment was a joke. You pretend as though the people who frequent this blog have done no research, yet it’s obvious that we know far more about these issues than the average Christian’

    Sorry nate. Your experience with the church of Christ (the boston movement portion being considered by most to be a cult) is not representative of all of Christianity. You can speak to your own experience not mine. I have not found you more versed on issues than the average Christian I know and fellowship with. In fact i have found you to be stunningly unaware at times of basic stuff. If I take bible teacher fiends I know then it even gets worse.

    As for KK’s point that I responded to – its nonsense. If hundreds of millions of people can read and understand the Bible with the help of all the resources the church has for spanning language and cultural issue then a few doubters some who I even have to show maps to correct does not make God incompetent. it makes them less than earnest as they claimed to have been.

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  94. “you’re a different sort of christian than I was. I thought the 66 books of the bible was the only source. what are the other books? like the book of mormon? what do you mean here?”

    Good night….oh vey….Sigh….. rolled into one

    Dictionaries, lexicons. interlinears, Biblical atlases. commentaries etc etc

    I’m sorry I just can’t read you anymore. Say whatever you want.

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  95. “If hundreds of millions of people can read and understand the Bible with the help of all the resources the church has for spanning language and cultural issue”

    How silly of us !!! If we just read the bible using the “help of all the resources the church has for spanning language and cultural issue”, then we will understand everything and know it is all true because “the church” provided the resources to help us see the truth.

    Mike, everything you have ever posted here NOW makes perfect sense!!!

    We have been so ignorant (collectively) because we failed to use the resources of the church.

    Now that you have made this so clear, I guess there is no need for further discussion.

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  96. “Dictionaries, lexicons. interlinears, Biblical atlases. commentaries etc etc”

    well we all read and have read those, but you said books that “god had made available,” so I thought you meant something else.

    the difficulty is that if someone says something you dont like, you’ll arten claim that’s because the individual doesnt read or understand the ancient text and is relying solely on the english transliteration – as if they werent made by expert scholars.

    I’ve asked for “mike approved sources” so that I may avoid this pit fall, but you continually neglect to provide them. I guess I’m left to wonder through the Dictionaries, lexicons. interlinears, Biblical atlases. commentaries etc etc as I find them, and only discussions with you will let me know if i’m on the right path.

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  97. “We have been so ignorant (collectively) because we failed to use the resources of the church.

    Now that you have made this so clear, I guess there is no need for further discussion.”

    Great Stuff!!! Look me up in the New Jerusalem. I am so happy I got through hat dense fog around your head. Praise God!!

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  98. Not a scrap of evidence has been presented that materialism is any ultimate explanation for anything so why should it be considered?

    Absolutely! I concur. And therefore, it leaves the door wide open for you to show us how your man – god Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator of the Universe.
    I mean, you believe he is so therefore there must be something besides blind faith that clearly convinces you, yes?
    So, once again, let’s have your explanation of why the character, Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator God you genuflect to, Mike.

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  99. “So, once again, let’s have your explanation of why the character, Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator God you genuflect to, Mike.”

    Once again I would like your explanation of the universe and how you avoid the supernatural ramifications of it. You can try a million times avoiding answering my challenge to you but it won’t work. I placed it first and you will not skip over it and demand me answer yours. Balls in your court. I could care less what blog you are on you won’t control the discussion while running away from a challenge put to you .

    This won’t do

    “I have no idea how the universe formed and don’t presume to venture an answer.”

    thats a dodge and a weave. Come on Ark get going. Chop chop

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  100. ““I have no idea how the universe formed and don’t presume to venture an answer.”

    thats a dodge and a weave. Come on Ark get going. Chop chop”

    that’s not a dodge – it’s an honest answer.

    But look at it like at it like this, you think god created it. Okay, how did god do it – what physical laws and phenomena did he use?

    Like gravity between the planets. newton once said that god did it, implying he was at the limit of his understanding, but today physicists can explain their balance with math and gravity – physical laws and phenomena.

    So why argue this? it’s not based in scripture. “God did it” is easy to say – how did he do it? and I dont think you’d be dodging if you said you didnt know.

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  101. Once again I would like your explanation of the universe and how you avoid the supernatural ramifications of it. You can try a million times avoiding answering my challenge to you but it won’t work. I placed it first and you will not skip over it and demand me answer yours. Balls in your court. I could care less what blog you are on you won’t control the discussion while running away from a challenge put to you .

    This won’t do

    “I have no idea how the universe formed and don’t presume to venture an answer.”

    thats a dodge and a weave. Come on Ark get going. Chop chop

    What dodge? What the hell are you whining about now for your god’s sake?
    I have admitted I have no idea how the universe was created.
    I have conceded there is probably no evidence for materialism.

    Therefore, I am saying if you have the answer then damn well show it!
    You condemn non-believers to hell for not believing and as soon as you are given the opportunity to demonstrate the veracity of your claim you fold!
    And why? Because you can’t demonstrate it can you?
    And this is the ultimate ‘Fail’ of all christians.
    Your worldview absolutely reeks of hypocrisy.

    The religious spend so much time attempting to ridicule so much of scientific explanations related to evolution and other similar topics with their ”Goddidit” explanation even when scientists admit they have no scientific explanations to some of the problems, yet instead of the producing the Ace in the Hole, the definitive piece de resistancethey balk at the opportunity to show, once and for all that their Worldview has merit.

    ** edited — final line was removed **

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  102. Sorry to edit you, Ark, but the final line of your comment went a bit too far. Worse has been said on here, but I’m trying to push for a kinder, gentler tone all around.

    So guys, no more personal insults or character assassinations. It’s simply not necessary. Make your points, forcefully if it’s warranted, but let’s leave out the name-calling.

    And Mike, I don’t need you to chime in about this at Ark. I’ve taken care of it. So move on with the conversation, or leave if you don’t like things here.

    Thanks

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  103. “The religious spend so much time attempting to ridicule so much of scientific explanations related to evolution”

    Actually Ark that raises my entire point. People like you and the others here spend a copious amount of time critiquing and ridiculing religious people because their book mentions some miracles. You yourself practically foam at the mouth talking about their man in the sky and Nate, though not outright ridiculing, claims that that the mention of miracles in a book raises the suspicion against it as if there is a preexistent proven fact against all things supernatural.

    SO this is ENTIRELY the right place to start. it sets a foundation of what is absurd and what this vacuous term “extraordinary evidence” means going forward into any debate. Further this is a major tenet of atheism. You use it everywhere and in everything – that the supernatural ought to be laughed and scorned because after all its supernatural. its probably El Numero Uno of the technique you use to belittle theists.

    So speaking of reeking with hypocrisy how can you properly rail against their supernatural views when you yourself cannot deal with the fact that the universe requires a supernatural explanation that you yourself if you thought it through would be required to deal with and yes even maintain? Now I am not insisting as you and yours claim that you must specify what or whom that supernatural explanation is. Neither am I saying as some of you are already barfing therefore God.

    I made it clear. I asked

    “Once again I would like your explanation of the universe and how you avoid the supernatural ramifications of it.’

    You are free to say I think the universe always was but since it would have no cause to be the way it is then the the natural cause and effect chain is broken and I would like to know how you deal with that supernatural component even if you believe the universe always was.

    So this questions is about the levelling of the playing field going forward to talk about evidences and you are not going to waste my time when I do get to evidences by hand waving and laughing at anything supernatural which I know you will try. It helps to set some pre evidence rules down is all. If your position must rely on the supernatural at some point then it can’t be an automatic point against religion that at some point they do also. The fact that you do rely on it if you think it through does not make Religions true but it certain removes the claim that appeals to the supernatural automatically invalidate religion.

    Look at a recent conversation by way of illustration. someone brought up God making the sun go black as an actual point against Matthew! In other words just the fact that God would have power over the sun to cause it to stop shining is an actual point against the existence of God and Matthew. Total and utter circular reasoning.

    and why does such duplicity exist in your minds? well because you swear that the supernaturals is so absurd it should be rejected out of hand but then if so YOU have to answer how it is that YOU escape in your own world view appealing to your own version of the supernatural

    Sorry You will not be allowed to fudge out of answering that in any discussion with me when I asked you this first because you certainly will not be fooling this poster that going forward with any evidence I present that you will not be hurling the absurdity of miracles at me. I know you all too well now.

    SO answer how you deal with the inevitable end of natural cause and effect in reality or run away. This may be nate’s blog but its my time and none of you will dictate how I spend it while ducking my question.

    How do you deal with the fact that whether theistic or atheistic The natural flow of cause and effect must terminate in something that is simple because it is with no rational explanation for it being that way – a supernatural proposition that is inescapable..

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  104. Mike, I get why you want someone to throw up some supposition about what happened before the Big Bang, but I just don’t think you’re going to get any takers. My experience has been that most atheists are comfortable with “I don’t know” as an answer, and you’ve been given it several times here. If that’s not satisfactory to you, then you are not bound to continue in the conversation. I think we would all understand if you declined to go any further.

    As to the a priori stance against the supernatural, most of us are simply skeptical of supernatural claims. Just like we are skeptical that Zeus or Thor were real gods, and we’re skeptical of things like fairies and leprechauns. I don’t say that to make light of Christianity, it’s just that we’re not likely to accept miraculous claims from any source without substantial evidence. Maybe you don’t think that’s the correct outlook, but we disagree. This may be another impasse.

    Thanks

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  105. “And Mike, I don’t need you to chime in about this at Ark. I’ve taken care of it. So move on with the conversation, or leave if you don’t like things here.”

    I didn’t see it nate but two things.

    A) I know that had any of your followers read me go waay over the line (as ark must have given you let him go with all kinds of things usually) you would not be telling them they could not respond to protect me from a response from them – or they should move on.:) lol…no one would believe that. You are fooling no one. the little lecture to leave it or move on if i don’t like it is about me pressing some of your points in various posts with facts in a way you are not accustomed. thats obvious. Any party insulted by me would not be given a lecture for my protection and we both know it since its never happened and never will.

    b) so because of the above had I read it I probably would have responded. You clearly want me gone for other reasons regarding points made and I expect that any moment but don;t presume my world will be the least bit affected (as it was not when you banned me the first time for disagreeing with you) to the point that you could actually have one of your people insult me and have any power to make me feel I should not respond regardless of what you did afterwards. Just being honest. You own the blog not me. Do whats right fine I respect that show your bias and there is no candy or privilege that means anything to me to yank to control me – as a matter of fact its a return of a lot of free time to me

    So by all means if not hearing good arguments against your point is something you long for again You can go back to hearing nothing but praise anytime you want because that little jab at me after a poster went waay over the line against me is pretty obvious about ideology and we both know it.

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  106. “Mike, I get why you want someone to throw up some supposition about what happened before the Big Bang, but I just don’t think you’re going to get any takers. My experience has been that most atheists are comfortable with “I don’t know” as an answer, and you’ve been given it several times here. ”

    Thats not the point but I understand if you are not grasping it or don;t wish to. its not a matter of what happened before the big bang its that even if you go beyond it to anything you want all of science tells us that everything has cause and effect and yet it must terminate at a given point. even if you claim that the universe is infinite in cause and effect that means the chain itself has no beginning and no cause.

    its inescapable but most atheists like yourself dont want to face because it does tend to weaken your claims substantially.

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  107. “As to the a priori stance against the supernatural, most of us are simply skeptical of supernatural claims. Just like we are skeptical that Zeus or Thor were real gods, and we’re skeptical of things like fairies and leprechauns’

    Yes i know but many atheists are not very skeptical of claims that everything came out of nothing which is quite the rage among you. Its only Gods you all really have a problem with and thats why in any debate with me your duplicity on that matter would have to be dealt wit or it would be pointless. Life is to short to entertain duplicitous games

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  108. I already have made my point Nate. the fact that you can’t answer it is of no consequence to me. Telling me to move on when I was already done is you prolonging things not me.

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  109. “Your constant posts about your own greatness are wearing a little thin.”

    Don’t you think that can apply to all your posts where you incorrectly mischaracterize the Christian apologist as if you are smarter than them on the positions you cover? Perhaps you just loathe anyone as confident as you are..

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  110. I don’t know. If that’s how people perceive my posts, then I have work to do. My intent is not to sound arrogant, but just to express my opinion. I expect others to express their opinions as well, and I expect that we may not agree.

    I think the difference between my comments and yours is that I don’t continually criticize people for their positions, nor do I question their motivations or honesty. If I’m wrong in that assessment, then hopefully someone will let me know. I’ve been blogging for a long time, and I don’t usually have this much trouble having productive conversations with Christians.

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  111. “Its only Gods you all really have a problem with and thats why in any debate with me your duplicity on that matter would have to be dealt wit or it would be pointless.”

    Mike, I can only speak for myself and you are right that Gods are the problem I have with a religious explanation of the beginning of the universe.

    Which God ? Is it a personal God ? Where did God come from ? These are simple questions to answer for someone who has no problem believing in the supernatural .

    Lets take medical science as an example. Many of the examples for physical affliction in the NT were blamed on demon possession. Jesus became famous for supernaturally casting out demons in order to heal those who were afflicted.

    Today 99.9% of all physical afflictions on this planet are due to scientifically discovered causes such as viruses, cancers, birth defects, etc, etc, etc. No serious person believes that these afflictions are due to demon possession. Common sense would also dictate that those who were afflicted in the NT were most likely NOT demon possessed either.

    Does this example give you any sense of why some of the people following Nate’s Blog might be skeptical of you or anyone else using a god (of your choice) as the ” supernatural cause” for the existence of the universe ? When we don’t have the answers , it is quite normal for the religious to use supernatural answers until science finds the real answer. I do see your point Mike that you feel the non-religious use scientific explanations which also appear supernatural to a “religious person”. They appear this way mostly because science hasn’t confirmed these explanations…..yet.

    Science corrects itself constantly with the discovery of new evidence. I don’t see this happening to the same degree in religion.

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  112. “I think the difference between my comments and yours is that I don’t continually criticize people for their positions,[/quote]

    Sure you do you just call them apologists when you do or you say things like they remind you of clinton if you recall.

    “nor do I question their motivations or honesty. If I’m wrong I that assessment, then hopefully someone will let me know.”

    Good then I am letting you know, You have questioned my sincerity a number of times even today so i don’t see how you fool yourself you never do that.

    ” I’ve been blogging for a long time, and I don’t usually have this much trouble having productive conversations with Christians.”

    I ‘ve read other people who have equally strong opinions in comments and you have the same issues. Provided they call you to task on anything I’ve seen similar dialogue.Now of course if they come in and say that you have good points but they think this or that then you are fine with those but if they get down to telling you something you said is dead wrong or a mischaracterization then its similar. If I am honest me more than others sure no doubt because frankly I spot things some don’t and yes I have pushed you on the facts to the point where I see more of a side that perhaps you don’t show to others because I do.

    One thing that I really don’t and won’t buy might be particular irksome I guess and that is I just don’t buy the whole pure as the fallen rain thing – from anybody. I don’t think it honest of anyone to go around like they have no biases and just the facts move them. Its really just self deception. One of your frequent claims is of others twisting things but You do a mean game of that yourself when a point is on the line so the whole the Golly gee I am above doing that kind of thing just isn’t real to me.

    anyway these posts are now all about me or you. I don’t see any point being moved on to.

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  113. “Does this example give you any sense of why some of the people following Nate’s Blog might be skeptical of you or anyone else using a god (of your choice) as the ” supernatural cause” for the existence of the universe ? ”

    Actually sorry KK once I realized you were trying to change the subject of what I asked I just kind of scanned through and only read this closely and its all I will respond to with no apologies.

    I am not even at the point of “using a god” as the supernatural cause. I am asking how you deal with the ramifications a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect INESCAPABLY having to terminate at some point in reality whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.

    Its about establishing a baseline and yes claiming its fine and dandy if you say atheist can accept everything out of absolutely nothing is fine but if someone says a personal god – “now thats outrageous!” is just vast silliness form just irrational bias.

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  114. “Actually sorry KK once I realized you were trying to change the subject of what I asked I just kind of scanned through and only read this closely and its all I will respond to with no apologies.”

    I’m not trying to change anything , Mike. This is your standard ploy when you don’t get what you want. I am calling you on the carpet just like you did Nate. It’s very easy to detect that when you are the one being questioned, just like the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, you are standing behind the curtain , huffing and puffing until someone pulls the curtain open.

    You’re really not serious about having a meaningful discussion here and the sooner people realize this and ignore you , the better off they will be. You are everything you have accused everyone here of being.

    I have no influence on anyone here , but I will be the first to ignore you from this moment forward. I know this has you trembling in your boots (laughing) but you are not to be taken as a serious poster. You like being the blowhard and “the classroom bully” and you do it very well.

    I will join this blog again when Nate decides to do a new post. I don’t believe in banning anyone. I hope Nate doesn’t ban you. I just hope everyone decides to ignore you for being the blowhard and bully you are.

    Thanks Nate as always for allowing my comments here.

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  115. “Lets take medical science as an example. Many of the examples for physical affliction in the NT were blamed on demon possession. Jesus became famous for supernaturally casting out demons in order to heal those who were afflicted. Today 99.9% of all physical afflictions on this planet are due to scientifically discovered causes such as viruses, cancers, birth defects, etc, etc, etc. No serious person believes that these afflictions are due to demon possession’

    see now. Now that I have read this, my reply is going to be one of those posts where Nate is going to get his hackles up because when I read nonsense like this I AM going to call it what it is

    ** [it seemed like Mike wanted me to edit his post here, so I obliged him] — Nate **

    OF all the healings Jesus did most had nothing to do with demon possession. In fact connecting a disease to a demon possession was relatively rare. Fevers were cured without reference to demons, issues of blood were healed without reference to demons, the birth defects of blindess were healed without reference to Demons, leprosy without reference to Demons. There is not a single incident of cancer in the NT claimed to be caused by Demons and no teaching of the church claimed that sickness in general were caused by demons. Further to rebut your silly charge several passages clearly distinguished most diseases from being demon possessed. Heres just one listing f a whole bunch of various diseases and pains and yes even lunacy and paralysis as separate from demon possesions.

    Matthew 4:24 (Darby)
    24 And his fame went out into the whole [of] Syria, and they brought to him all that were ill, suffering under various diseases and pains, and those possessed by demons, and lunatics, and paralytics; and he healed them.

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about just as I say you guys rarely do.

    Nate begs that you are all so much more educated than the average Christian but you continually make these manifestly ignorant claims so his claims are not credible in that area either..

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  116. “I’m not trying to change anything , Mike. This is your standard ploy when you don’t get what you want. ”

    Seems like someone has had a hissy fit because they didn’t get what they want. I put a question to you. You don’t want to answer I am under no obligation to have you work your way around it. My call, of the last few post I am doing nothing but answering people posting to me. Stop and move on to whatever you want.

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  117. YOu know what? enough silliness for the week and month. I now return you to your regular rubberstamp programming. The NT suggests cancer is caused by demon possession claim from KK is just tooo much ignorance for me to process

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  118. Matthew 17:18 ESV
    And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.

    Matthew 12:22 ESV
    Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.

    Matthew 10:1 ESV
    And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.

    Matthew 8:16 ESV
    That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.

    Mark 9:17-29 ESV
    And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.

    Luke 13:11 ESV
    And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.

    Luke 11:14 ESV
    Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled.

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  119. So What? I knew you would do that nonsense. Of course there are some passages . I said there were some but its relatively rare. If I were to post every healing that had nothing to do with demons it would go for pages and pages. You are so pathetic and dishonest you posted passages that don’t even say what you are you are tying to say. Observe

    Demon oppression SEPARATE From healing the sick
    Matthew 8:16 ESV
    That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word AND ealed all who were sick.

    Demon possession SEPERATE from healing the sick
    Matthew 10:1 ESV
    And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, AND to heal every disease and every affliction.

    Get an honest bone in your body

    Meanwhile the overwhelming evidence form the NT is that sickness can and is separate from the vast majority of sicknesses with none of your pure grade A garbage that cancer and viruses were in any way connected to demons. Pure baloney. .

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  120. lol… I knew it but wanted to double check. In addition to citing verses that said nothing what he claims he also lists the same event twice because

    Mark 9:17-29 ESV
    Matthew 17:18 ESV

    Are the same story just related in more than one Gospel

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  121. @Mike.

    So, Mike, please demonstrate how the character Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator of the Universe and I will be forced to accept that the universe had a supernatural ‘hand’ in its creation.
    I mean, how could I deny it? If it did it did, all I ask is for you to demonstrate how Jesus is that supernatural element.

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  122. “** [it seemed like Mike wanted me to edit his post here, so I obliged him] — Nate **”

    🙂
    Nope Mike wanted no such thing. No need to lie (again) just to try and be cute He meant it when he said that it was total drivel by somebody who obviously did not have the honesty to read the NT without inserting his own garbage into it.

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  123. “So, Mike, please demonstrate”

    Sure Ark I can get to that

    right after you answer my question. remember?

    “I am not even at the point of “using a god” as the supernatural cause. I am asking how you deal with the ramifications of a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect INESCAPABLY having to terminate at some point in reality whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.”

    Why are you guys so scared to answer a simple basic question? Its just a simple little question about reality

    its really quite amusing though 🙂 🙂

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  124. “Mike, do demon possessions happen today?”

    That was what KC was asking when he tried to lyingly imply that medical science had invalidated the NT because it allegedly implied that the root of diseases was demon possession? Do tell! 🙂 You should step in more often and translate atheistese.

    A family member of mine who is honest, never been on drugs or drank has claimed to see a ghost as clear as day in front of him and his friend has corroborated the story so I have no reason to doubt them because of a priori. I also have a dear friend who claims to have been havings some issues that she believed was related to demons that resolved instantly after prayer toward that end (she is now as a result one of the sanest people I know). So I suppose they do

    BTW sorry no special treatment. Are you going to answer my question or continue to find excuses to run away? See my post above if you need a refresher.

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  125. “I am not even at the point of “using a god” as the supernatural cause. I am asking how you deal with the ramifications of a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect INESCAPABLY having to terminate at some point in reality whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.”

    .

    Accepting that a deity or supernatural entity may be behind it all is no big deal for me. Deism does not impact on my worldview at all.
    There is no verifiable evidence; even fine-tuning can have a naturalistic outcome.
    So youu see, deism ( for me) is nether here nor there.

    If there is something ‘out there’ then so be it.

    Sure Ark I can get to that

    right after you answer my question. remember?

    Question answered. Now your turn….
    Explain how the character Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator of the Universe.

    Away you go…

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  126. Nate, how did demons manifest themselves in the NT ? Causing someone to be deaf, mute, blind, foaming at the mouth, stiffness, physically bent over, throwing down of one’s body, are some of the descriptions used in the NT.

    I was accused of misusing these 2 scriptures.
    Matthew 10:1 ESV
    And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.

    Matthew 8:16 ESV
    That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.

    I believe the first scripture could mean they healed every disease and every affliction including the one’s caused by the demons who possessed some of the people there. This meaning could also pertain to the 2nd scripture when ALL were healed including the ones who were demon possessed.

    I was also accused of using the same story in 2 different scriptures. Guilty as charged. The bible is full of examples of stories being told multiple times. Some were the same stories with different characters. Some Christians are quite willing to cite both if it is in their favor . 🙂

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  127. “Question answered.”

    Nope you didn’t answer squat. You just did what you have done every time – fudged yourself around answering. I asked you how you deal with the ramifications of the supernatural being inescapable in any world view NOT whether you would accept a deity or your views on whether deism would be a problem for you bla bla bla . In addition this

    “There is no verifiable evidence; even fine-tuning can have a naturalistic outcome.”

    is just incoherent as any answer to my question

    Again I repeat and will even further clarify

    “I am not even at the point of “using a god” as the supernatural cause. I am not asking if you are a deist. I am not asking you what came before the big bang. I am not claiming you should be a theist I am asking how you deal with the ramifications of a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect being INESCAPABLY and having to terminate at some point whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.”

    If you can’t comprehend the question then ask and I will try to reclarify but as I said before its non negotiable you will answer the question or I will not answer any of yours. Kiddie land time is over. You will not just try and brush off giving a serious reasoned answer just so you can get your own question answered. Put on the big boy pants now and get serious.

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  128. I am asking how you deal with the ramifications of a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect being INESCAPABLY and having to terminate at some point whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.”

    I understand the question perfectly, thank you.

    As there is no verifiable evidence of a supernatural root I don’t have to deal with any ramifications.
    Yes I understand cause and effect, but to state categorically that this is the result of a supernatural root is fallacious.
    And even if it is true,it does not bother me. It has never impacted on my life.

    Question answered.

    Now, kiddie time over, Mike, best you put up or push off. Please explain how the character Jesus of Nazareth created the universe.

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  129. “I believe the first scripture could mean”

    ROFl…You studied at the Nate ‘s Bible Contradiction University too long KK. When a passage uses a conjunction to separate two things as distinct you fall back to well I err think that it could still mean they are not distinct and separate.

    Too intellectually dishonest.

    This is why you guys take such offense to my “style” I call a spade a spade when you are fibbing instead of telling you “oh I understand”. and I call you on hypocrisy when you are in fact guilty of it.

    “how did demons manifest themselves in the NT ? Causing someone to be deaf, mute, blind, foaming at the mouth, stiffness, physically bent over, throwing down of one’s body, are some of the descriptions used in the NT. ”

    Why Yes KK the NT does indicate that demons don’t play nice. They are after all are…..ummm…demons?

    but to insinuate, with all the vast amount of passages out there that the NT has with ZERO reference to diseases being caused by demon possession, that somehow it is saying that diseases are based in demon possession (even mentioning viruses and Cancer) is just you playing fast and loose and straight up lying on the text. The New testament CLEARLY and unequivocally suggests that diseases have roots in other causes than demon possession even if in a few cases demons may inflict some people with physical hardships.

    Cased closed …. the end

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  130. “Yes i know but many atheists are not very skeptical of claims that everything came out of nothing which is quite the rage among you.” – mike

    is this true? I thought that most scientifically minded people believed in the big bang, because evidence supports that, and that the epicenter of that bang was the singularity.

    Where the singularity came from, no one knows, what made it explode, no one knows for sure, although I think there are hypotheses – but i didnt think anyone claims it just popped out of nowhere. Most scientifically minded people would like to know the origin and the causes.

    is that really supernatural… finding natural causes for things?

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  131. “The New testament CLEARLY and unequivocally suggests that diseases have roots in other causes than demon possession even if in a few cases demons may inflict some people with physical hardships.

    Cased closed …. the end”

    yeah, I never thought the bible said that demons caused diseases, but i dont recall it saying where diseases came from at all. Mike, where are those passages that state the root causes of disease?

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  132. “I understand the question perfectly, thank you.

    As there is no verifiable evidence of a supernatural root I don’t have to deal with any ramifications.”

    🙂 See? So you admit to not answering because you claim that it does not need to be answered.

    Well a t least you are not lying anymore about answering…oh wait..

    “Question answered.”

    ah still lying

    Meanwhile theres all evidence. ALL of science points to it. everything in the natural world is caused by something. thats one of the core things that makes it “natural” or as we are wont to say “everything has a rational explanation”

    But since science points us to a chain of falling dominos cause and effects we have to deal with the fact that there are only one of two choices

    A) the dominos just keep on falling forever and absolutely nothing is causing the chain ( a miraculous event if ever there were one) because there can be no explanation to an infinite regress or

    B) cause and effect terminates at some point and the universe so has a supernatural reality that gets it going for which there is no cause and effect.

    elementary

    So again your last chances to ACTUALLY answer the question is dwindling

    ““I am not even at the point of “using a god” as the supernatural cause. I am not asking if you are a deist. I am not asking you what came before the big bang. I am not claiming you should be a theist I am asking how you deal with the ramifications of a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect being INESCAPABLY and having to terminate at some point whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.”

    Answer it or run away again. matters not to me but it might to you if you wish me to answer your questions because until you do…that just aint happening

    Its a pretty simple and logical question. That you all try and make up excuses not to answer it speaks volumes

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  133. “but i didnt think anyone claims it just popped out of nowhere. Most scientifically minded people would like to know the origin and the causes.”

    Can someone introduce Wiliam to the name Lawrence Krauss (just one of the foremost atheists next to Dawkins) who has a whole book begging that QM validates everything coming out of nothing which William is claiming no one claims

    because I just can’t deal with discussing with him another issue that he demonstrates he knows nothing about

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  134. I am asking how you deal with the ramifications of a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect being INESCAPABLY and having to terminate at some point whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.”

    I qualified the answer, but maybe you didn’t notice?

    And even if it is true,it does not bother me. It has never impacted on my life.

    Now, you are going to explain how the character Jesus of Nazareth created the universe?

    Like

  135. “I qualified the answer, but maybe you didn’t notice?”

    Yeah I noticed like I did all the other times – that you didn’t answer the question. Putting on your big boy pants is nowhere in sight. I’ll check back with you in a week to see if you found a pair

    Its pretty obvious you need some time to think up a real answer because right now you got nothing

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  136. “Can someone introduce Wiliam to the name Lawrence Krauss (just one of the foremost atheists next to Dawkins) who has a whole book begging that QM validates everything coming out of nothing which William is claiming no one claims”

    thanks, mike, for taking the time with a simple man like me. I didn’t really make a claim, just asked a question and gave what my understanding was. I’m just a simple man – self educated mostly, so i am sure there are holes in my understanding and education. Thankfully, people that are wise beyond comprehension, like yourself, are here to help me find my way.

    heck, it could even be that your god placed you here as a blessing to me; as a divine light, illuminating me out of the depths of dark ignorance. Thank you.

    nevertheless, and I think this is important, Krauss or Dawkins or whomever, are not my clergy nor are they of any divine authority to me. But I’ll read up on Krauss since you recommend him.

    Did something come from nothing? doesnt seem to male sense to me, as you’ve pointed out, everything in the natural world has a beginning… and if I may add, so far everything we’ve seen or proven has a natural explanation. So I guess I’d have to read Krauss thoroughly before I comment too much on what he has or has not presented. That being said, i have read the bible, which claims its root cause needs no beginning or end, although it too exists in time.

    And let’s say a god was the beginning, a being without beginning and without a cause, actually created everything. Not everyone here would be happy with this assumption, but let’s say that is the case; god created it all.

    Now how do we determine which god? or how many gods?

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  137. “Ah..as I thought. The same with every Christian. When push comes to shove you have squat.”

    Ah as I Knew. the same with every atheist /borderline atheist . When they get stumped on a big question they hand wave and go to rhetoric to squirm out of answering. What else is new?

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  138. @William, “yeah, I never thought the bible said that demons caused diseases, but i dont recall it saying where diseases came from at all. Mike, where are those passages that state the root causes of disease?”

    I never said the bible said that demons caused diseases.

    My quote refers to “physical afflictions” : I said, “Lets take medical science as an example. Many of the examples for physical affliction in the NT were blamed on demon possession. Jesus became famous for supernaturally casting out demons in order to heal those who were afflicted.”

    The NT clearly associates some of those who were demon possessed with being blind, deaf, mute, foaming of the mouth which could also include epilepsy, back being humped over, fever, etc.

    I did go on to say that medical science has discovered causes for physical afflictions “today” INCLUDING but not limited to viruses, cancer, birth defects, etc, etc, etc.

    “Today 99.9% of all physical afflictions on this planet are due to scientifically discovered causes such as viruses, cancers, birth defects, etc, etc, etc. No serious person believes that these afflictions are due to demon possession. Common sense would also dictate that those who were afflicted in the NT were most likely NOT demon possessed either.”

    Some people accuse me of not reading scripture in its “proper context” . I would suggest they (not you William) read my comments in their “proper context” as well.

    No where in my comments did I say the NT suggests demons cause cancer. I did say demons manifested themselves in a person through being blind, deaf, mute, foaming of the mouth, being humped over and fever as examples. Those to me are physical afflictions.

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  139. @kcchief1

    “I never said the bible said that demons caused diseases.”

    I know. I was replying to mike. He routinely argues with people over things they didnt really say. I assume it’s a bait or dodge tactic, and I’d rather not play it.

    The intelligent and honest people will see that without me or anyone having to point it out. So instead of arguing with him, i just ask him about things he’s said – claims he makes – and in so doing, i try to do it by honetsly and accurately questioning him on what he’s actually claiming – if you can pin him down. Is it just me, or does he seem to avoid clearly stating his case, and seem to spend most of his time gloating or just bashing others?

    know what I mean?

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  140. Ah as I Knew. the same with every atheist /borderline atheist . When they get stumped on a big question they hand wave and go to rhetoric to squirm out of answering. What else is new?

    Not in the least. I am perfectly prepared to accept your worldview; all I ask is for you to explain your claim, namely that Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator of the Universe, and provide evidence.
    You believe this and proselytizing is part of the Christian mandate and likely consider my soul is in jeopardy so why are you stubbornly refusing to demonstrate the veracity of your belief?

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  141. This is why I am no longer engaging him directly. We have seen his type before doing the Wizard of Oz routine. Standing behind the curtain, huffing and puffing until someone pulls the curtain open .

    When you have to result to insulting others to get your point across, you have no point to make.

    I initially accused him of making “silly comments” . From there I accused him of huffing and puffing and being a classroom bully.

    I hardly consider those insults. I was describing the “person” I saw. He seems to prefer honesty and I obliged him.

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  142. Here’s what I’m reading:

    Atheist to theist: “You’ve got nothing. No explanation for your presupposed supernatural cause. Explain it. Show your work .”

    Theist to atheist: “Well, you’ve got nothing. I call your nothing, now show it to me.”

    Atheist to theist: “I’ve got nothing to show. Now let me see yours.”

    Theist to atheist: “Not til I see yours first.”

    The thing is, as an agnostic/atheist, ‘I don’t know’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. I am waiting for evidence. Real, verifiable evidence.

    ‘I don’t know’ does not imply nor preclude the supernatural. So I’ll be the one to bite. Even if there is a supernatural explanation, there are no perceivable ramifications of that, to me, unless that supernatural explanation is threatening and/or promising things.

    To suppose a supernatural explanation to my finite mind does not carry with it any perceivable ramifications.

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  143. Mike,

    In virtually every one of your posts you use language like “you are lying” or you say something like this:

    Too intellectually dishonest.

    This is why you guys take such offense to my “style” I call a spade a spade when you are fibbing instead of telling you “oh I understand”. and I call you on hypocrisy when you are in fact guilty of it.

    Consider this an official warning. Stop labeling people’s motivations. Just because they don’t agree with you does not mean they are being dishonest or hypocritical. You’re not “calling a spade a spade,” you’re simply being obnoxious. Have others on this site sometimes been guilty of the same thing? Yes. And in most cases, I’ve tried to put a stop to it then as well. I asked Ark to stop this kind of thing yesterday, and he has. I’m not asking you to offer any kind of apology — I’m simply asking that you focus on actual content from here on out and not on personal character. Is this something you can agree to?

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  144. @kcchief,

    For the record, I agree with your assessment of demon possession. Even when I was a Christian, I wondered if demon possession was being used for any number of ailments, especially those concerning mental illness. Obviously, they didn’t think that every kind of sickness was from a demon, but it still seemed to be a ubiquitous problem in Jesus’ day.

    Interestingly, now that medical science has greatly improved, we never see anyone being diagnosed with demon possession. I was going to ask Mike about this, but since he believes that it still happens today, I don’t guess there’s much point.

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  145. “You believe this and proselytizing is part of the Christian mandate ”

    ah so I get it now. You think you are in some position that I want to get you out of. That I am in search of your lost soul so that means I must answer your questions but you can fudge answering mine. That somehow that puts you in the drivers seat as the arbiter of what I present. ..um…. Nope. Wrong again.

    I would be willing to have a long solid debate of the evidences in a rational step by step process despite your vast silliness and vitriol (so bad even your comrade had to delete it). Start out with the basic ground rules, continue to prophecies that nate doesn’t even have on this site etc. You know all adult and rational like you can’t handle. All that given there are some ground rules and some reasonableness (which I know would be dubious)

    but To save your soul? Nope no one can do that for you. To show you and others you are full of nonsense? Honestly? That would be closer to the truth

    Let me give you all the 411 on how Christians view people who deny the faith and leave it because I get the sense there are some illusions you have that may give you a bit of arrogance like people are trying to win you back. Theres a good bit of NT teaching that someone who abandons the faith is not someone who sees truth very well. The words for them as I am sure Nate knows is apostate (its not a bad word its just a description). So Christians who engage you online who know their stuff are more likely posting online with you for others – not you primarily ( if some light cracks through to you then thats good as well).

    Hope that clears up this whole I am trying to proselytize you bit. Although given how much you guys like my style I would have thought it would be apparent that I had no such goal.

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  146. “Here’s what I’m reading:”

    Well as long as we are sharing how we are reading Ruth. Here is what I am reading

    Atheist: your world view in which you accept anything supernaturals is absurd on the face of it. So if you hold to miracles anywhere regardless if you present it as evidence or not makes your position suspect

    theist presents a logical argument based on the facts that the atheist position too must logically end in a supernatural and ask them how that affects the issue

    Atheists scatter and run

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  147. Sooo, mike, you’re basically just saying that you wont answer the question given to you, about providing the evidence you have that supports your origin story, because you dont like the other sides answer of “i dont know.”

    makes sense, if you’re unable to provide such evidence and have too much pride to say that you also dont have any or just dont know.

    If god created everything, which god(s)?

    if jesus created it all, do you have evidence for it?

    I hope nate doesnt block you. I can tell that;s what youre going for – that way can avoid these questions while being able to claim you would have answered them had nate not blocked you.

    I would say it’s clever – but it isnt.

    If god created everything, which god(s)?

    if jesus created it all, do you have evidence for it?

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  148. “Interestingly, now that medical science has greatly improved, we never see anyone being diagnosed with demon possession. I was going to ask Mike about this, but since he believes that it still happens today,’

    Nonsense. When was anyone ever been DIAGNOSED with Demon possession prior to these alleged medical advancements. has nothing to do with medical advancements. it was NEVER considered a medical issue.

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  149. “When was anyone ever been DIAGNOSED with Demon possession prior to these alleged medical advancements.” – mike

    I think they’re referring to the bible, when it says so and so had a demon, etc.

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  150. Right, I understand the proselytizing bit. Thank you for clarifying. Now, will you please explain how the character Jesus of Nazareth is the Creator of the Universe?

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  151. “Atheist: your world view in which you accept anything supernaturals is absurd on the face of it. So if you hold to miracles anywhere regardless if you present it as evidence or not makes your position suspect”

    I’ll admit that I am skeptical of miraculous claims. Many times they turn out to be nothing more than hoaxes or have some natural explanation. Why is it wrong to be skeptical of supernatural claims with little or no evidence that the claim is, in fact, supernatural?

    “theist presents a logical argument based on the facts that the atheist position too must logically end in a supernatural and ask them how that affects the issue theist presents a logical argument based on the facts that the atheist position too must logically end in a supernatural and ask them how that affects the issue”

    This is where ‘I don’t know’ comes in. Maybe the material isn’t all there is. But I don’t know how that affects the issue. Is this supernatural entity a deity? Is it a force with no conscience whatsoever? I don’t know. That’s not a scatter and run. That’s honesty. How does the claim of a supernatural causation affect the issue? How do we make the leap that that supernatural entity is necessarily the Christian God?

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  152. “Consider this an official warning. Stop labeling people’s motivations. Just because they don’t agree with you does not mean they are being dishonest or hypocritical. You’re not “calling a spade a spade,” you’re simply being obnoxious.”

    You just yesterday questioned my sincerity yet considered it not the least bit of obnoxious behaviour. There is no fundamental difference between stating you are not sincere and you are intellectually dishonest. Thats total nonsense borne out of your bias.On another ocassion you accused me of Obfuscation and lying like Clinton. You then followed it up and confirmed the same sentiment again in the same thread (After complaining I was ungracious to accept your previous claim you had not meant it).

    We both know this is about getting answers and points you don’t like shown to you

    You wish to ban me for purely ideological reasons. We BOTH know that. Its your blog so thats fine. I have no tears no fears. So Nate why dont you just do it? and get it over with? Seriously your threats and making up excuses makes no sense to me. Its your blog

    Is it because you won’t be able to honestly say after that you don’t ban people for disagreeing with you? Because “warning” me because I say someone is dishonest while you maintain the right to call those who disagree with you insincere/ twisters as you do often doesn’t wash logically

    Its just evident hypocrisy and your blog does not mean enough to me to warn me that I cannot speak the truth (and if yu think you can make my response to this charge just all go away – You can’t -the page has already been screen recorded).

    I do wish you the best Nat even God who is best despite are strong words but in my opinion you did and do need someone to burst through your STRONG self delusion that you are unlike those you criticize and are not filled with your own bias. Some times the sweet sugar pill is not what we need. its the bitter pill to swallow.

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  153. Thanks Nate for your comments. I concede that my assessments aren’t always 100% Bias Free. I don’t believe anyone’s are. I also make mistakes and I do misspeak from time to time. Most bloggers who frequent your posts aren’t out to play “The Gotcha Game” . This is why others might feel we are all trying to defend each other when in reality we try to give each other a little slack , believers and non-believers alike.

    What I don’t understand is when a poster starts an answer with a personal attack. To me, it shows they have NO intent of engaging in a meaningful dialogue.

    Personal attacks in the middle of a dialogue typically means they have a low tolerance for the previous example.

    You have a tough job as a moderator. I frequent your posts because I feel you try to allow everyone enough leeway to make their point or hang themselves.

    I think you have once again accomplished this here. 🙂

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  154. “You wish to ban me for purely ideological reasons. We BOTH know that. Its your blog so thats fine. I have no tears no fears. So Nate why dont you just do it? and get it over with?”

    my guess is that you wish it. you want to get kicked off so you avoid answering your claims, and act like you’ve been kept from doing so.

    And I dont mind your vitriol. I can avoid it without the aid of a deity, yet cannot avoid it despite your savior making all things possible for you.

    so again, getting back to point:

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

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  155. DOH! revise to read:

    “And I dont mind your vitriol. I can avoid it without the aid of a deity, yet you cannot avoid it despite your savior making all things possible for you.”

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  156. “I hope nate doesnt block you. I can tell that;s what youre going for – that way can avoid these questions while being able to claim you would have answered them had nate not blocked you.?’

    William you can’t read very well can you? I don’t need to feign ay tactic. Its your side that refuses to deal with a simple foundational issue and are running like mad ants from. Whether Nate bans me (and of course he will because he can’t take having some of his points dismantled upon which he made life changing decisions) its immaterial because if you don’t answer the debate will not go on anywhere anyway.

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  157. mike, still trying your best not to answer the questions.

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    if i missed your questions, you are free to ask them again. I thought your questions are betting answered. Ask, and I’ll do my best to address them.

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  158. “That’s honesty. How does the claim of a supernatural causation affect the issue? How do we make the leap that that supernatural entity is necessarily the Christian God?”

    Sigh. You don’t. I’ve said it like five times but it just goes all over your heads. its a foundational question. and no it does not mean that you must accept anything with no evidence but it does help to clarify what the vacuous never defined overwhelming extraordinary evidence that you claim must be provided actually is whenever something includes a supernatural reference

    Nah I am not going to write it all out again. Keep going with the nonsense of not reading that allows you to claim you can sidestep the issue.

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  159. Sigh. You don’t. I’ve said it like five times but it just goes all over your heads. its a foundational question. and no it does not mean that you must accept anything with no evidence but it does help to clarify what the vacuous never defined overwhelming extraordinary evidence that you claim must be provided actually is whenever something includes a supernatural reference.

    Okay. I’m with you on that.

    But how does being willing to concede that the universe may have a supernatural cause eliminate the need for extraordinary evidence of such? I think that’s where we’re getting bogged down. I would like evidence of that. Not just conjecture that because every natural thing must have a cause, that cause must be supernatural. That is why scientists keep looking, right? What am I missing?

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  160. Mike, you probably honestly believe that my asking you to tone things down is because I can’t handle your actual points. That’s not the case, but I understand this is how you see it. I’ve conversed with many people on here who have made more substantial points than the ones you’ve raised, yet we’ve usually been able to have a civil conversation despite our disagreements.

    But that’s not the main issue. I’m not perfect — I readily admit that. I have lost my patience with you a time or two, so I apologize for that. But I’m asking that we let the past go and focus on the future — will you make an effort to be more considerate to those you interact with? And I’ll expect the same from them…

    Like

  161. “mike, still trying your best not to answer the questions.”

    I can answer them all but you will answer the one I put to you first. You can type all day. its not going to work. You don’t answer my question I am under no obligation to move forward and you would have my hand on Bible I won’t.

    You need to understand something. this blog isn’t my first rodeo. I debate with ground rules and reasonable assumptions because I know how online debates can go. Theres plenty of great evidence to get to from the Bible and in prophecies Nate doesn’t even know about but as long as someone says we won’t accept good evidence but Extraordianry evidence (when there no indication of where that bar is even set) then it becomes an all purpose nonsense escapee hatch for atheists to run through when the evidence gets too hot to handle.

    Nates blog but you are not wasting my time with that standard atheist garbage technique and good night especially since people like ARk already has been foaming at the mouth with fury and spittle against anything that has the supernatural attached.

    You all can go waste your own time convincing yourself because you REFUSED to answer a question the theist can’t answer yours

    Rubber stamping each other is what this blog is about anyway. SO whats new? Anyway enough of this blog for now. IF nate doesn’t ban me (yet) then you all can think of something to address the perfectly legit foundational issue I addressed. I have things to do .

    Like

  162. Guys, I suggest we drop this conversation here. Mike has said he won’t accept “I don’t know” as an answer, so he’s not going to offer his response. I suppose that leaves us nothing left to discuss.

    However, Mike, I’d still like an answer to my last question concerning etiquette.

    Thanks

    Like

  163. “But I’m asking that we let the past go and focus on the future — will you make an effort to be more considerate to those you interact with? And I’ll expect the same from them”

    Nate You conveniently left yourself out of that almost as under the same delusion you are exempt. You calling someone insincere is the same thing as saying something is intellectually dishonest.

    all these are on your blog and even some in your own posts

    “Kidding themselves”
    “insincere”
    “twisting”
    “fudging”
    “obsfucation”
    “lying to themselves”

    You are playing a little game. with the possible exception of the last those are all comments on people being intellectually dishonest. Any rational unbiased person would concede they imply the same thing. You allow ALL OF THEM and write some yourself. and the only person you have an issue with suggesting intellectually dishonesty is me because I disagree with your points ad have shown some of them to be false.

    So straight up no. You can ban me but I will call a spade a spade just like you do if I am not banned. As long as you accuse me, my fellow believers and apologists of that then you have no rational nor moral point and are being totally hypocritical.

    Seriously just do what you are going to do and want to do. All this preamble and trying to split hairs to justify it is pointless. That you allow yourselves to call people insincere but then turn around and take issue with it from me makes things even more apparent as to exactly why wish to ban me.

    Just calling a spade a spade. Just get it over with

    Like

  164. “However, Mike, I’d still like an answer to my last question concerning etiquette.”

    Just answered it Nate. You extend it you get it. If you don’t as you haven’t then its a false etiquette being used as an excuse for another agenda.

    Like

  165. Mike,

    I for one would be very interested in reading your answers to this questions William asked.

    Like

  166. Mike, If your explanations helps me get closer to the truth, I want to read it. If your points will help me understand certain things better then id love you to take the time to answer those questions 🙂 but of course it’s up to you

    Like

  167. “I for one would be very interested in reading your answers to this questions William asked.”

    good then get working and encourage someone to actually answer the questions I posed and have a civil reasoned discussion about the plain brute fact that the supernatural MUST be invoked at some point for reality. Its about creating a more rational level playing field not saying anyone on the basis of it should accept any god or anything like that it just creates a rational base to move forward looking at real evidence

    Like

  168. “Mike, I guess your last comment is the closest I’ll get to agreement, so I’ll take it. ”

    If you call exact opposites and total disagreement close then feel free just don’t claim I am going back on anything when I call them on intellectually dishonesty because I make no pledge that I won’t if I see it. In fact I most definitely will while I see the same being done in any other words on your blog.

    Like

  169. “i’d love you to take the time to answer those questions”

    Love is more than a feeling its also an intent. So get busy to getting someone or yourself answering my question so that I can fulfill your stated desires. Fair enough? 🙂

    Like

  170. Ok I’ll try,

    I could put on my “atheist” hat and answer your questions from that perspective if you like.

    It’s 2:26am where I am though, and I have work at 8am so please be patient and I can give you an answer tomorrow/today

    Like

  171. 1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    You cant answer them… at least not with anything meaningful, and you’re too stubborn to admit it. that’s fine. I’m not judging you – I couldnt answer them either.

    and again, I thought your questions had been answered, but if i missed one, tell me what it was and I’ll give the best answer i’m able to. I’ll even answer it without making up rules about who has to answer first.

    Like

  172. “Guys, I suggest we drop this conversation here. Mike has said he won’t accept “I don’t know” as an answer”

    Its not a don’t know question. Its a matter of logic and reason. If You see a stack of dominos falling over in a domino train you have two options

    A) an initial domino was hit over by something that was not a domino to get it going or
    B) there are an infinite amount of dominos falling over before it and the force active hitting over present dominos comes from nowhere.

    saying I dunno to the only two choices is just ducking the question.Not exploring the ramifications of what that means for a debate about the supernatural isn’t serious conversation

    NO ducks. give answers

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  173. And to clarify, to save confusion. my “hat” would not be a reflection of what I think is necessarily true.

    But more following a line of thinking that presupposes there is no god…

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  174. “A) an initial domino was hit over by something that was not a domino to get it going or
    B) there are an infinite amount of dominos falling over before it and the force active hitting over present dominos comes from nowhere.”

    I’m sure I’m showing my naivety/ignorance here, but why are these the only two choices? So, everything is a domino or it’s supernatural?

    Like

  175. “Its not a don’t know question. Its a matter of logic and reason. If You see a stack of dominos falling over in a domino train you have two options

    A) an initial domino was hit over by something that was not a domino to get it going or
    B) there are an infinite amount of dominos falling over before it and the force active hitting over present dominos comes from nowhere.”

    I choose “C,” something started the dominoes in motion, whether it was another domino, or something else. beyond that answer I’d be guessing.

    But let’s say, for argument sake, that god started the dominoes in motion…

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    Like

  176. “You cant answer them… at least not with anything meaningful, and you’re too stubborn to admit it.”

    If I didn’t know better (and I don’t) I would say that you were claiming I was lying about being able to answer the question. Wheres nate to warn you about calling people intellectually dishonest?

    Careful you might even get banned

    ROFL

    Like

  177. “I choose “C,” something started the dominoes in motion, whether it was another domino, or something else. beyond that answer I’d be guessing.’

    thats just restating the A and B choice and saying I dunno to avoid answering again……..Yawn.

    I Might check in on the weekend to see if you guys get more serious.

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  178. “If I didn’t know better (and I don’t) I would say that you were claiming I was lying about being able to answer the question. Wheres nate to warn you about calling people intellectually dishonest?”

    oh, thanks for the heads up. I didnt mean to imply that you were lying, I assume that you really think you can, I jsut think you cannot – at least not in any meaningful way, that is.

    I do think your purposely dodging them – trying your best to keep from doing it, though. Have I miss read?

    Like

  179. “thats just restating the A and B choice and saying I dunno to avoid answering again……..Yawn.

    I Might check in on the weekend to see if you guys get more serious.” – mike

    I’m sorry, but youre mistaken. It’s the only answer I have – which is obvious – you’re just looking for excuses to step out and not answer the questions spurred by your comments and claims.

    If you leave, you wont be missed by many here, and it will end with you not answering questions under the pitiful guise that “we havent answered a question” when in actuality, you just dont like the answer.

    I mean, i wasnt holding my breathe anyways, I would have been extremely and utterly surprised had you answered any of the below questions with anything substantial.

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    Like

  180. “oh, thanks for the heads up. I didnt mean to imply that you were lying,”

    Sure you did. Now thats just you being obviously BLATANTLY intellectually dishonest. If someone says that they can answer and you say they cant and the reason they won’t admit it (which is saying they know they can’t) is because they are stubborn you are bare faced telling them they are lying

    Nate can have a cow or ban me. I’ll call that lying every time because its the living truth

    thats why I say the illusion on this board that you are all honest and above board is just that – your delusion

    Like

  181. so mike, you’re really still making more noise to avoid answering the questions or is it more to try and distract everyone from the fact you’re not answering them?

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    and nate, dont hold anything against mike for saying that I was lying. I forgive him and hope you will as well.

    Mike, you could show us the right answer, as you believe it to be, to your own question since we keep getting it wrong.

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    Like

  182. “I’m sorry, but youre mistaken. It’s the only answer I have”

    Nope my question was how do you handle the issue of the supernatural that those scenarios naturally lead to in dealing with the supernatural in general. You gave squat. You ducked and ran like all the rest.

    “If you leave, you wont be missed by many here”

    Really… and here I was thinking I was so greatly loved here

    “I mean, i wasnt holding my breathe anyways, ‘

    I hear you. If I waited for atheists to have a reasonable nonbias slanted debate with theists I’d be indistinguishable against a blue sky.

    Like

  183. Am I the only one for whom a supernatural cause isn’t actually an answer? A supernatural cause would be ineffable.

    I get that to some, the supernatural is the only possible explanation, but why is that every natural thing must have a cause? If the supernatural doesn’t have to have a cause, why must the natural?

    Like

  184. “and nate, dont hold anything against mike for saying that I was lying. I forgive him and hope you will as well.”

    LOl forgive me for what. You were BARE FACED lying to say you were not accusing me of lying when you said I couldn’t answer but would not admit it. Any half way intelligent person could see that

    Like

  185. “Nope my question was how do you handle the issue of the supernatural that those scenarios naturally lead to in dealing with the supernatural in general. You gave squat. You ducked and ran like all the rest.”

    ah, thanks for the clarification, and sorry you keep thinking I missed that point…

    I dont think they necessarily lead to the supernatural. I”ve stated this before and gave the example of newton and gravity between celestial bodies. he thought that it was a supernatural force that kept planets in their orbits, but much later physicists showed that it was quite natural.

    So while I dont know exactly what caused the universe, i feel confident that something did. I expect that in time it will be shown to be natural, but if it turns out to be supernatural:

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    5) and if everything needs a beginning and a cause, why doesnt god?

    6) and if god doesnt need a beginning or a cause, isnt that basically saying that NOT everything needs a beginning or a cause?

    Like

  186. “LOl forgive me for what. You were BARE FACED lying to say you were not accusing me of lying when you said I couldn’t answer but would not admit it. Any half way intelligent person could see that”

    I can only say that i wasnt. But i can apologize anyways if that makes us on friendly terms again?

    sorry. I’ll try not to imply you’re a liar again.

    it would help if you answer just a few questions though:

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    5) and if everything needs a beginning and a cause, why doesnt god?

    6) and if god doesnt need a beginning or a cause, isnt that basically saying that NOT everything needs a beginning or a cause?

    Like

  187. “So while I dont know exactly what caused the universe, i feel confident that something did. I expect that in time it will be shown to be natural,”

    So in other words you have faith without any evidence to that whatsoever 🙂 🙂 🙂

    That was worth the price of admission but ummmm no.

    You just showed you don’t even understand the point much lest answered my question.

    Same goes for Ruth. If something has no explanation or cause all of science indicates it isn’t what we call natural.

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  188. “I can only say that i wasnt. ”

    The whole idea of saying someone is lying is to say they are saying something they know not to be true. Saying I would not admit to it was saying I was lying. You can lie till the cows come home on that

    anyway Enjoy the rest of your week. things are getting busy with me right now.

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  189. “So in other words you have faith without any evidence to that whatsoever 🙂 🙂 :)” – mike

    how’s that, exactly? if you want to say that it’s faith to think some natural cause is behind natural events… then okay. i wouldnt define it that way, but if you want to.

    “Same goes for Ruth. If something has no explanation or cause all of science indicates it isn’t what we call natural.” – mike

    I think you’re confused. If they dont have an explanation, they keep looking for one – they dont jump to the supernatural. Science has never indicated “supernatural,” but if this is indeed what you’re claiming, we can make providing the evidence of such as Question #7.

    so now that you have an answer:

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    5) and if everything needs a beginning and a cause, why doesnt god?

    6) and if god doesnt need a beginning or a cause, isnt that basically saying that NOT everything needs a beginning or a cause?

    Like

  190. “The whole idea of saying someone is lying is to say they are saying something they know not to be true. Saying I would not admit to it was saying I was lying. You can lie till the cows come home on that”

    no, it’s saying you wouldnt admit to it. this almost looks like a confession to lying, though. I forgive you.

    If you said you could jump over a fence, i’d say you couldnt. that doesnt mean that you’re lying about it. You may think you can do it – i’m telling you know because I dont want to see you fall on your face.

    but if you can answer them, here’s another chance:

    1) How do you prove god(s) is the cause to everything?

    2) How do you know the bible god is that god?

    3) what evidence do you have that shows the man jesus created everything?

    4) where does the bible specify the root causes to disease?

    5) and if everything needs a beginning and a cause, why doesnt god?

    6) and if god doesnt need a beginning or a cause, isnt that basically saying that NOT everything needs a beginning or a cause?

    7) when has science ever indicated that “supernatural” was the answer to anything?

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  191. Same goes for Ruth. If something has no explanation or cause all of science indicates it isn’t what we call natural.

    No, if something has no explanation all of science indicates it has no explanation. But if we say the jury is still because we don’t have evidence of any cause yet then we are having faith in science. I’ll will go ahead and concede your point on that. I have faith in science. Because science self-corrects. Science tests, experiments, verifies.

    So, you can have faith in a ‘supernatural cause’ which has no explanation with no evidence, or I can have faith in a system which is constantly searching for evidence, and which has proved time and again that it will seek to find an actual answer.

    Supernatural is not in itself an answer or a cause. Supernatural is more questions. With ‘I don’t know answers’. Which is where we are now. Except that science will continue to seek an answer and theism (not deism) purports to know an answer such that no matter how many answers science does provide, if it can’t or doesn’t provide them all, then ‘supernatural.

    I await evidence. I’m not sure how that’s wrong. I’m not sure why it’s necessary to concede a supernatural cause simply because we have no explanation. If that is what you are after, then you have betrayed your own bias. I concede, I’m biased toward science. Conceding a supernatural cause does nothing to level a playing field. It only affirms your own bias toward the supernatural.

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  192. I don’t have time for this crap right now.

    Mike and William, stop accusing one another of things. If you can’t converse without resorting to that, then just stop commenting. I’m sick of it, and I think others are as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  193. “No, if something has no explanation all of science indicates it has no explanation. But if we say the jury is still because we don’t have evidence of any cause yet then we are having faith in science. I’ll will go ahead and concede your point on that. I have faith in science. Because science self-corrects. Science tests, experiments, verifies. ”

    Ruth real quick because at least you are beginning to grapple with the issue I put out

    The jury is in that everything in nature is dependent on a cause. Thats where the science is now. and FOREVER will be. Thats the nature of science. Science cannot research anything that is not dependent on cause and effect natural processes and repeatability. Going beyond science to say as you do that nature does not have to depend on cause is going beyond where science is now. its you putting your faith not in science but what you want or think science will one day say that it has not.

    Thats often the problem with these appeals to “science”. So often the person using the name science is acting like science speaks for them and their position when in fact science does not speak to any position. its simply them saying science does.

    Furthermore the claim that I dunno is acceptable because we just don’t know is utterly false as it relates to the conclusion of a supernatural quality of reality.. We do know enough and the evidence does point to the fact that cause and effect has to come to a point that terminates. its what science teaches us as a natural consequence of nature being based on cause and effect. Its based on the same rational conclusions we use with everything in science. facts and logic derived form the facts make the conclusion inescapable. Besides You really can’t say logically that natural processes don’t have to have a cause because processes ARE cause and effect based.

    So saying I dunno is not a way out because we don’t like where logic and the scientific facts carry us in regard to what reality is. its just an out. You would not allow it from any Christian and you are pretty much going back to the rainchek evidence basis you claimed before

    – Science does not say but I think it will so thats an answer.

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  194. As Nate has asked me not to insult Mike by calling him a D……, that word I can’t use, I won’t, But it has become patently clear that he has no sensible answer to any question,and no intention of offering one either and is simply intent on demeaning all and sundry and merely behaving like a D….. Therefore, we must presume he is either a poor indoctrinated misguided sole (sic) and treat him like we would anyone who has been subjected to religious inculcation, or assume he does know what he is talking about and was simply brought up to be be a complete D……. that word I can’t use.

    I am plumping for the latter and, far be it for me to say, as he adds nothing constructive to this thread a banning would bring on a cheer from the peanut gallery. 😉

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  195. Ark, while I appreciate the self-censorship, I’d prefer we’d not even allude to stuff like this. Let’s just please leave the personal stuff out of it.

    Mike, if the supernatural exists, why must we point all the way back before the Big Bang for an example of it? I know there are people who claim to have experienced the supernatural, so I don’t blame them for believing in it. But why do you suppose this experience with the supernatural isn’t universal? Why do we have to point back to something none of us knows about in an effort to show it’s real?

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  196. “Ark, while I appreciate the self-censorship,”

    ROFL…Where is the self censorhip? leaving off three letters after D when every adult known what he is calling me? This after you deleted me saying rightfully someone was intellectually dishonest.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA Nate your bias is a think of pure beauty in its perfection.

    Ark thanks man. Seeing Nate tell you he appreciates you for some fake censorship while calling me a Dick has me chuckling in an otherwise bland day. roll tape

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  197. The jury is in that everything in nature is dependent on a cause. Thats where the science is now. and FOREVER will be. Thats the nature of science. Science cannot research anything that is not dependent on cause and effect natural processes and repeatability. Going beyond science to say as you do that nature does not have to depend on cause is going beyond where science is now. its you putting your faith not in science but what you want or think science will one day say that it has not.

    If everything in nature is dependent on a cause and the causes of the things that scientists can research are natural why does any cause for anything necessarily need to be supernatural? Scientists have not posited a supernatural explanation for the cause of the Universe. As I understand it, you are making a “first cause” type of argument.

    I’ll have to do more reading about this. Why can’t there be infinite regress where everything has always been in various states and forms for, well, infinity?

    Like

  198. And still no answers from mike, just avoidance. It’s happened so often I suspect hes doing it intentionally.

    Like

  199. “If everything in nature is dependent on a cause and the causes of the things that scientists can research are natural why does any cause for anything necessarily need to be supernatural? ”

    You just basically said the answer – because that which doesn’t have a cause is a break in what nature tells us and yet the logcal consequence of that is that there must be a termination of cause and effect or else infinite regress is the only answer

    “Why can’t there be infinite regress where everything has always been in various states and forms for, well, infinity?”

    Fair question and I applaud you for being the ONLY one that is willing to at least begin to deal with the issues surrounding this. the answer is because infinite means never ending and never beginning in reference to the past so essentially everything you see now would be a big miracle – absolutely nothing would have an ultimate cause.

    Like

  200. Mike, wanna address the questions now?

    Your exchange with ruth points out that your “logic” is rooted in assumption after assumption.

    So, provide the evidence that supports it… and if you cannot, and have not, and have tried your best to avoid doing, I’m going to stick with: mike is just making stuff up, much like Matthew, in order to reach his preconcieved conclusion.

    Like

  201. “Fair question and I applaud you for being the ONLY one that is willing to at least begin to deal with the issues surrounding this.”

    We’ve gone wildly off-topic.

    the answer is because infinite means never ending and never beginning in reference to the past so essentially everything you see now would be a big miracle – absolutely nothing would have an ultimate cause.

    So it’s your contention that if there is no first cause – miracle?

    If there is a first cause – miracle?

    I don’t necessarily agree with your conclusions. Just because there isn’t an ultimate cause doesn’t mean that evolution doesn’t happen.

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  202. “And still no answers from mike, just avoidance. ”

    You and Ark’s narrative just flopped. Ruth has at least begun to deal with the issues I was asking about. As long as that continues along its present lines she can then ask me anything she wants. Fair game. So its Ruth from now on and I won’t be even reading you much less responding to anything you have to say in this thread.

    As much as this blog can allow it you are officially on my ignore. You can ask Ruth to ask me a question.

    Like

  203. Also, I’m definitely NOT the best person to be making cosmological arguments. So any holes you punch in whatever I say can most definitely be argued better by someone who knows what the hell they’re talking about.

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  204. “So it’s your contention that if there is no first cause – miracle? ”

    NO In fact the evidence says here has to be but it can’t be a natural process or we are back to depending on things that have causes and an infinite regress where every thing is a miracle.

    “If there is a first cause – miracle?’

    its an appropriate word to me but if you prefer Super (beyond) natural (what we see in nature now). Fine

    “I don’t necessarily agree with your conclusions. Just because there isn’t an ultimate cause doesn’t mean that evolution doesn’t happen”

    WHen did I conclude that evolution doesn’t happen? and what are you talking about when you refer to evolution – biological? – stellar?

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  205. Something I’ve always wondered about is why MUST there be a cause and effect? Just because we happen to live in a world that tends to demonstrate this doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the way it is. I feel Ruth is heading in the right direction with her question: Why can’t there be infinite regress where everything has always been in various states and forms for, well, infinity?

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  206. Flopped? My position is that youre dodging questions, which is only confirmed and reconfirmed everytime you avoid answering.

    Youre kidding yourself if you really think otherwise. But talk to ruth, she’s intrlligent and honest – but unless you answer, you’ll still be dodging

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  207. “Also, I’m definitely NOT the best person to be making cosmological arguments. So any holes you punch in whatever I say can most definitely be argued better by someone who knows what the hell they’re talking about.”

    I am sure you will not believe it Ruth but the moment I find someone wiling to engage issues rather than just pretend to be engaging them as I find EVERYONE else here has done I am not interesting in punching holes. I’ll make my point but if you find me “punching” you call me on it.

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  208. The things beyond our knowledge are just that, beyond our knowledge. It could be anything. Not all guesses are equal, but lets assume ” god.”

    Mike, do we just also have to assume then, the bible?

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  209. I dont mind discussing theoretical physics – I even enjoy it – but this is a religious blog, with a biblical context.

    We could get back to that or we could let mike get lost in 1+1=miracle in space, in an ongoing attempt at dodging the obvious question that directly result from his own comments.

    Always be ready to avoid giving an answer for the hope that is within you

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  210. I’ve been a way for a little bit and haven’t had time to respond till now. William, I’m gonna ask you to take a break for a while. I think some of your recent comments have been too personal — it’s the kind of thing that I’m trying very hard to move this blog away from.

    Thanks

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  211. I’m not entirely sure why I’m still here on this thread. Perhaps I’ll take a stab at this.

    @Mike:
    Much has been said here, so please remind me: what were the question(s) that you insisted any non-beliver answer before you will answer any of his/hers?

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  212. “So it’s your contention that if there is no first cause – miracle? ”

    NO In fact the evidence says here has to be but it can’t be a natural process or we are back to depending on things that have causes and an infinite regress where every thing is a miracle.

    I’m a little confused by this answer. When I said ‘no first cause’ I meant infinite regress. Is it your contention the with either infinite regress or ‘first cause’ something supernatural/miraculous happened?

    As I said, I’ll have to do more reading about this. Cosmology and theoretical physics are not exactly areas I’ve spent a lot of time pursuing. There are only so many hours in a day.

    WHen did I conclude that evolution doesn’t happen? and what are you talking about when you refer to evolution – biological? – stellar?

    I must have misunderstood something you said. But if matter has always existed, even prior to the Big Bang, why would “everything” that exists be a miracle? Why wouldn’t there be stellar evolution, or biological evolution?

    Is it possible that scientists lack a full understanding of cause and effect? How are we using cause? Are we using it as a verb or a noun? I’d tend to think that we’re talking about a noun when we think about a ‘First Cause’. What about the possibility of Initial Singularity being the first cause?

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  213. Mike Anthony
    June 15, 2014 at 11:44 am
    “I loved Ron’s example about stars falling from the sky. That is clearly an example of gMatt showing that Jesus bought into the inaccuracy of that period’s world view.”

    Matthew 24:29 “”Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

    “I’d be curious to know what in the world you are talking about. Matthew is taking about a time when God reveals himself to the world in full glory as God. The natural meets the supernatural. You and Ron might be suffering from a bit of circular reasoning. God as a concept is the supreme being. No theist believes God is subject to the laws of nature but controls them so snuffing out light of the sun is no more than a command to do so.”

    Mike, the Oxford Bible Commentary says the supernatural darkness of the consummation in Mt 24:29 is richly symbolic.

    Because you believe this passage to be literal does not make it so.

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  214. Mike,

    You really do raise some very interesting questions that I have given some thought about quite a bit. I can’t really say I have definitive answers for your “big” question (regarding the “domino” thing), but I have some thoughts.

    First, your 2 options are the only 2 that I’ve been able to think of and I haven’t heard of any others – namely: (A) there is some thing or things that are “necessary” – in that they have no cause and are not in need of explanation, OR (B) there is an infinite regress. -> So I’m down with that.

    First, both options have seemed strange to me since I was in Junior high school, but let’s go with them. Option (B) is weird for my finite brain to think about, so I can talk a little more about (A) instead. My understanding from philosophers is that the “necessary” stuff is either natural or supernatural. Now I know this is different from your definition for supernatural and I’m not trying to trip you up – I think you can probably still make your point without it, but I want to make sure we’re talking about the right stuff.

    I’ll quote William Dembski, because I think he has summarized it best when talking about the cosmological argument: “explanations always run out at some point. There’s a final resting place of explanation, and it seems we can end it in nature or we can end it in God. I’m not sure you can adjudicate that on any sort of logical grounds that stand outside and can say ok well it’s really God and not nature.”

    Now he is choosing option (A) here (which may not be the correct option, but again it fits in my brain a little better). But he is saying one option within (A) is that we can end the explanations in “nature”.

    My understanding of this is that the definition of supernatural is different than yours. For example, perhaps the “necessary” things are just physical laws of nature (including logic) along with some very simple necessary non-thinking particles and everything we see is a result of those necessary natural laws acting on those necessary natural particles. I really don’t know if this is the case, but it seems a logical option at least. It may very well be that the same ramifications that you are suggesting still arise in this situation, although I’m still not totally sure what ramifications you mean. So just tell me what your thoughts are on this if you’d like.

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  215. “No theist believes God is subject to the laws of nature but controls them so snuffing out light of the sun is no more than a command to do so.”

    Mike again you and millions of people might “believe” this but it does not make it so.

    I am not ignoring you at the moment since you appear to trying to be civil. 🙂

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  216. “I am not ignoring you at the moment since you appear to trying to be civil.”

    I caught the end of this because its the last post. You are so cute. You think I am not ignoring you at the moment? Your name Ruth? Last thing I read of you was nonsense

    How does it appear to you now?

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  217. “Mike, the Oxford Bible Commentary says the supernatural darkness of the consummation in Mt 24:29 is richly symbolic. ”

    Thought I’d check to see if you had improved

    not a drop

    HInt: Protestants don’t have one source that speaks for the Bible and the OBC wouldn’t be the pope. try harder until then

    back on my ignore

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  218. “I’m a little confused by this answer. When I said ‘no first cause’ I meant infinite regress. Is it your contention the with either infinite regress or ‘first cause’ something supernatural/miraculous happened?I’m a little confused by this answer. When I said ‘no first cause’ I meant infinite regress. Is it your contention the with either infinite regress or ‘first cause’ something supernatural/miraculous happened?”

    sorry if I misunderstood Ruth. With an infinite regress everything is a miracle because nothing has any cause or explanation. Lets say a ball is bouncing in an imaginary universe that has infinite regress. Why is it bouncing? Well normally you would say a force caused it to but in an infinite universe that force comes from nowhere it has no beginning or the force generates from something that has no explanation, no reason and no cause.

    How is this any substantial different from the supernatural? NO natural cause, no rational explanation dependent on a non process. Again Not claiming that supernatural equals God or theism.

    “I must have misunderstood something you said. But if matter has always existed, even prior to the Big Bang, why would “everything” that exists be a miracle? Why wouldn’t there be stellar evolution, or biological evolution? ”

    sure you can have evolution but all you are talking about is processes that cause the evolution . these processes themselves have no explanation no rational cause. Second you have another problem. All the best science says the universe ends in heat death at which point things are spread out so much the universe is done with but if this universe was infinite in the past that would have already happened long ago. This raises a a conundrum and absurdity because anything that could destroy or render the universe in a heat death would have already happened in an infinity an infinite time ago. In fact an infinite universe would have to be fine tuned that nothing would ever destroy it or render it useless or non functional in a span of infinite time because if so it would have forever have been in that state for forever long ago.

    If all this sounds absurd it probably is – because an infinity is a human concept not one that we have actually confirmed is even possible.

    “What about the possibility of Initial Singularity being the first cause?”

    it doesn’t matter what we call it. The issues are the same. it still represents a reality with no cause, no explanation no process that gets it there (without going into infinite regress again). I’d argue that it therefore shares everything with theism except (and I admit its a big exception) intelligence

    “Is it possible that scientists lack a full understanding of cause and effect?”

    IF they do then we are in bad shape because rationality is based on it and so is science itself.

    ” How are we using cause? Are we using it as a verb or a noun? ‘

    Not sure what you are asking here. Please feel free to clarify it to me.

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  219. Not sure what you are asking here. Please feel free to clarify it to me.

    It seems to me that a cause is an action. So when we talk about cause that’s what we mean. When we say that everything has a cause, the cause is a physical action on physical matters that already exist. That is all we can observe and all we can research, which you’ve already mentioned. But if we say that the beginning of the universe had to have a first cause, are we talking about physical action on physical matter or properties that physically exist? Or are we talking about a Cause? A non-physical entity? Which would then be a noun?

    As far as I can tell, and there again I’m no theoretical physicist (clearly :D), if we cannot test, observe, research anything that is non-physical I don’t know how we’d make a leap to a supernatural conclusion. Unless we are claiming the supernatural for anything that we cannot currently explain.

    …because an infinity is a human concept not one that we have actually confirmed is even possible.

    Is an infinity being claimed for this supernatural cause? Or did it come from nothing?

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  220. @Ratamacue,

    I’m not entirely sure why I’m still here on this thread. Perhaps I’ll take a stab at this.

    @Mike:
    Much has been said here, so please remind me: what were the question(s) that you insisted any non-beliver answer before you will answer any of his/hers?

    I’m completely out of my element here.

    Mike, can you re-state your questions for Ratamacue and perhaps others who may be lurking? I tried to find them but this comment section has gotten really long.

    As I remember them and I’m paraphrasing:

    Since everything we see in the natural world must have a cause, the Universe must have a cause, therefore necessarily that cause must be supernatural (outside of the laws of nature we currently observe).

    Can we agree that the Universe had a supernatural cause?

    What are the ramifications of a supernatural cause?

    I may not have that right, so Mike: feel free to correct any portion of that which is incorrect.

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  221. “HInt: Protestants don’t have one source that speaks for the Bible and the OBC wouldn’t be the pope. try harder until then”

    Mike, I’m glad you’re not showing any bias in this comment. Now I realize why you talk down to so many of the people here. Not only were many of us “former Christians”, we were the really stupid kind, “Protestants”.

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  222. Mike,

    If I’m understanding your argumentation:

    No matter what explanation might be given for the cause of the Big Bang, it can’t be the ‘First Cause’ because anything that can be explained would need further explanation? Therefore the ‘First Cause’ is necessarily supernatural?

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  223. okay, let’s just say we agree – it’s all supernatural. God did it? now what?

    which god?

    how do you know it’s the bible god?

    are those supernatural leaps as well that just cant be explained by reason?

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  224. He’s trying to get anyone to agree with “supernatural” so he can jump out of the closet with a pointed finger and shout “AH HA!” so he can then reassure himself that since everyone believes in the supernatural, then his book of supernatural claims shouldnt be or couldnt debunked.

    the unprovable origins is really moot, because it’s unknowable. It’s up in the air and he knows that, so as long as he keep an argument going, he can avoid having to deal with the fact the bible, his perfect and divine book, is quite imperfect and is entirely based on the claims of man.

    it’s a kindergartner’s ploy. No one knows what was before the big band or what caused it. there are guesses, and they’re not all equal. “god” is a guess. But we’ve seen that guess fail throughout time (as with planetary gravity for one). We’ve seem science make mistakes and correct itself and we’ve seen science work and then move forward – we have plenty of evidence for that.

    but’s go ahead and just assume god did it. Okay, mike, what now? how does that prove jesus?

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  225. @ William,

    He’s trying to get anyone to agree with “supernatural” so he can jump out of the closet with a pointed finger and shout “AH HA!” so he can then reassure himself that since everyone believes in the supernatural, then his book of supernatural claims shouldnt be or couldnt debunked.

    I just don’t think it’s particularly helpful to declare the motivations of others. I think they reveal those all on their own. It may be completely fruitless for me to discuss the origins of the universe with Mike but the discussion we’ve been having up to this point hasn’t exactly filled the basket either.

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  226. @Ruth

    Mike’s motivations are crystal clear. He’s here to troll and get under your skin. And short of banishment, the only way to deprive him of the oxygen he desires is to stop responding to him directly—pretend like he’s not even part of the conversation. Refute his points without so much as quoting his comments or mentioning his name. (If you feel inclined to be sarcastic, type out a long condescending reply, read it over, have a chuckle, and then promptly delete it before posting.)

    “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

    ~Epictetus

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  227. @Ron,

    I’ve been reading the comments since this thread started. Mike has explicitly stated his motivations. I don’t think he’s hiding them.

    “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

    ~Epictetus

    I love this quote!

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  228. Ruth I read WIlliams accusation because you quoted it. In my last post to you I conceded that even if an atheist were to agree that the universe necessarily calls for a supernatural cause that does not mean the Issue of God is settled when I wrote even if that were conceded

    “I’d argue that it therefore shares everything with theism except (and I admit its a big exception) intelligence)

    So the argument does NOT equal God did it. I realize that quite a few Christians do make that leap but not all of us do. There would still be the large question of Intelligence and I openly admitted is a BIG issue

    I’ll get to your last post to me by the weekend. tied up with some work and a new client.

    I would add though that we have had some stern disagreements and you are DEFINITELY not my fan. the idea that you would be some push over to debate. for me to do a gotcha, is nonsense especially since this is an atheist’s site with mostly atheists. Its simply that I sensed you were the ONLY one genuinely not being dismissive and I can respect that on its own basis. I have no illusions that at the end of this Ruth will fall to her knee and say nearer my God to thee. In my experience online debates never have such turn around buts in the one out of one thousand of them perhaps people walk away understanding the others points and their own better.

    NO attempt to change stances either. I still think Ark, arch, kk, Ron william and yeah even Nate to a degree are full or nonsense. However if you show some REAL genuine respect as you did towards looking at an issue (not toward me even), whether you agree with it or not then you’ve earned some for yours back.

    the rest of the crew aren’t fooling anyone that they are genuinely willing to do that SO I’ll continue to ignore everyone but You and Nate (and nate ONLY because its his blog)
    .
    Simple. Who doesn’t like it can have a cow or ban me.

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  229. @ Mike,

    Just very quickly: did I summarize your questions for Ratamcue accurately? I do think he(I think he’s a he), and portal, and Howie would like to genuinely address these, or at least determine if they’d like to take a stab at them.

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  230. @Mike,

    the rest of the crew aren’t fooling anyone that they are genuinely willing to [show some REAL genuine respect…towards looking at an issue] SO I’ll continue to ignore everyone but You and Nate (and nate ONLY because its his blog)

    Speaking only for myself: if you meant to include me in this judgement, you are mistaken.

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  231. Hi,

    I’ve been a casual reader just for the last two days – an acquaintance recommended this site.

    I was raised in a Christian home and have been a disciple of Christ for 24 years now. I agree with mike’s conclusion, that the Word is indeed God’s, and that logic sees us to that. However, I only comment now, not to interject in any discussion, but only to remind a brother Christ that we should be better than those outside the faith.

    Whether they left the Savior for some profane reason or due to a lack of understanding in good conscience, what is that to us? God will judge them just as he will judge us. Man judges the outward man, but God judges the inward man.

    There have been some name calling toward the believers here, but there has also been a good share of name calling from the believer as well, brother, this shouldn’t be so.

    I implore you to let your light shine from here on out, that you may glorify our Savior, and may put to shame any accusers, and perhaps win them over with chaste behavior… unfortunately, it seems much of the shame is aptly placed.

    If we are persecuted for the Lord’s sake, then happy are we; but let us not be persecuted for our bad examples.

    Godspeed.

    Seek and ye shall find. May we all find the truth.

    John

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  232. ” This is probably nate’s worse post. its just awful. No literalist who studied his Bible would be taken by it especially not the first part.”

    “Sorry nate its just bad. really bad. Firs time I ever told you this but you should consider a rewrite especially if your readers are considering sending it to Bible believers who know anything at all”

    “Wow! so awful and obviously awful I will just leave it at that. this one just doesn’t even need any time on my part. I will just leave you to pat each other on the back but take it out to a blog of any christian who known his stuff and you will get eaten alive.”

    Mike, these were words from your opening comment to this post.

    And yet you just told Ruth, “However if you show some REAL genuine respect as you did towards looking at an issue (not toward me even), whether you agree with it or not then you’ve earned some for yours back.”

    Where is the respect you showed Nate in your opening comments ?????

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  233. “Wow! so awful and obviously awful I will just leave it at that. this one just doesn’t even need any time on my part.”

    “Incidentally before anyone comes bursting in making claims I am answering questions put to me. I meant it when Is said I really don’t feel I even have to debate this one.”

    If this was the case, why did you spend time posting 95 of the 254 comments to this post ?

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  234. Mike writes, “Jeremiah 33 is very literal .

    However its future and obviously future. It foresees when messiah actually rules in Israel not gets crucified on a cross. From that point on Israel will never fail to have a king. The only way I can make any sense of Nate’s post is to think he believes the end of the seventy years captivity marked the end of the diaspora for the house of Israel and Judah and that they were then saved and living safely under persian and the roman rule (under foreign rule safe?). However thats just false and obviously false and the OT itself rebuts it because Zechariah is written after the return and it still has future wars and punishments still going on.

    Sorry nate its just bad. really bad. Firs time I ever told you this but you should consider a rewrite especially if your readers are considering sending it to Bible believers who know anything at all”

    I know you think Protestant sources are not to be considered when referencing the Bible so I pulled out my New Jerome Biblical Commentary edited by the late Catholic Scholar, Raymond Brown.

    Here is what the New Jerome Biblical Commentary has to say about Jeremiah 33:14-26

    “This NEW section, missing in the LXX, is a small collection of Jeremiah’s messianic oracles, mostly transformed . It is NOW accepted as being a work of a later redactor.”

    Concerning Jer 33:23-26 it says, ” The atmosphere of these closing verses is one of disillusionment. The restoration was NOT realized exactly as foretold, and a kind of pessimism was trying the people’s faith; the messianic hope had to be stirred up, which is what we find in Isa 56-66.

    I suppose a “Redactor” could also write about a future event. But wait a minute, Catholic Scholar Raymond Brown goes on to say the restoration was NOT realized exactly as foretold.

    I am not an expert here Mike. Why should I take Jer 33 to be literal ? And why should I believe it? I have shown you the same respect in my comments here that Ruth did earlier. I look forward to a respectful answer .

    .

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  235. @Nate, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

    And from there, Hosea talks about Israel’s unfaithfulness to the Lord in serving after Baal, etc. Obviously, Hosea is talking about the nation of Israel, and there’s no reference at all to any future event, much less the Messiah. Matthew appropriated this text when he (apparently) created the story of Jesus’ family fleeing to Egypt. Matthew calls this a prophecy, but the original text is anything but. So many of the Bible’s prophecies fall apart in this way when researched.”

    I looked this passage up in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary and it says, “The Son in the prophecy is Israel, the people of God” Matthew here applies the exodus typology to an individual, Jesus.”

    I’m no expert Nate, but it looks like the New Jerome Biblical Commentary tends to agree with you.

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  236. Yeah, I’ve only ever seen people defend this by claiming that some prophecies can have multiple fulfillments. I find this to be special pleading, especially since the original text gives no indication that it’s pointing to multiple events. It’s basically a case of having the conclusion worked out before the investigation. Seems that way to me, at least…

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  237. The exchange between Mike and Ruth is very interesting (the most interesting since Mike has been on Nate’s blog). Mike can correct this obviously, but my take on this is that he is not asking a science question but a philosophical question. It relates to science because science is actually based on philosophical ideas (mainly epistemology but some metaphysics as well).

    He actually responded to my question when he replied to Ruth. The distinction that most philosophers tend to make between “supernaturalism” and “naturalism” is typically the question of whether or not “intelligence” exists outside of what we understand as matter and energy. But definitions really don’t matter. What I think Mike is trying to say is that the idea of “stuff existing without explanation” is present in either worldview (super or non-super), and I agree – I call that a mystery that I’ve always been curious about. And yes that mystery doesn’t imply that theism is correct and I think Mike is conceding that – maybe the bigger idea he wants to get across is that either way we’ve got some strange stuff to deal with in any worldview we hold. I’m down with that.

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  238. @Howie,

    He actually responded to my question when he replied to Ruth. The distinction that most philosophers tend to make between “supernaturalism” and “naturalism” is typically the question of whether or not “intelligence” exists outside of what we understand as matter and energy. But definitions really don’t matter.

    I agree. Trying to shoehorn whatever happened pre-expansion into a “supernaturalism” or whatever doesn’t seem particularly helpful on any level except a religious one. It is more of a philosophical question. One that I can’t rightfully say I can answer.

    This is what we know: At a particular point in time the Universe began to expand. We don’t know how or what caused that expansion. But to say that because we don’t understand this it necessarily must be supernatural is to say that we fully understand all the laws of the universe. Do we?

    What are we calling supernatural? Is it anything that doesn’t fit into our current understanding of the physical laws of nature? Are we saying by plugging in “supernatural” that there is nothing more we can learn?

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  239. And then there was Nate’s (what I thought) excellent question. Why do we have to go back to pre-expansion to find a basis for “supernatural”.

    At any rate we don’t know. It is a mystery. A profound mystery. And I think we’re all grappling with the implications of that in the best way we know how.

    I still have questions about this “supernatural”. I’m intrigued, I’ll admit. I’m not even sure I’m ready to concede the supernatural explanation. That is, in my mind, the equivalent to “I don’t know.” Because even if supernatural is conceded we don’t know anything about this supernatural and, moreover, unless we choose one of the entities that has been proposed for whatever reason, don’t seem to be able to know anything about this supernatural.

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  240. Yes, and any time “supernatural” was accepted in the past, from lightning to planetary orbits, it was later shown to be wrong.

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  241. It’s a fascinating subject and one that I often think on. I’m sure that as time goes on we’ll make more discoveries and our understanding will improve. The atheists will claim this as more evidence for less evidence of god, and the religious will claim that it’s just more evidence of intelligent design – and then we’re back to square one.

    This IS a philosophical discussion.

    The thing is, is that this discussion took this philosophical turn at the expense of the original topic.

    I’m fine with someone thinking it is supernatural. My personal opinion is that we just don’t have it figured out yet, and since that is the case, i wont say for certain that “supernatural” causes are impossible, although I find them very improbable.

    So again, IF it had a supernatural cause, what does that prove?

    How do we know that supernatural cause was a god(s)?

    Then how do we know it was a god(s) that is eternal?

    or god(s) that is perfect, omniscient, etc, etc?

    and after all of that, how do we derive that the bible is god’s message to man and that jesus is lord and savior, and that atheism, Buddhism, Islam, and all the other “isms” aren’t the way to go?

    I think it all comes down to faith – but I dont think all faith is equal. I have faith in my friends, but that’s because I know them and have spent a lot of real time and experience with them. I have faith in my dog for the same reasons. Sure, i have faith in science because i see and experience the tangible benefits it provides. My friend’s son has faith that santa is real, but this faith is built on something different that the others I just mentioned.

    So again, IF we just assume that “Supernatural” is at least a possibility, what then?

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  242. supernatural “Not of the usual; not natural; altered by forces that are not understood fully if at all.”

    Since the beginning of man, I think this has always been the starting point. From lightning to planetary orbits as Nate just mentioned.

    Think of the explanations science has provided and is continuing to provide for things we once called supernatural.

    I think Star Wars got it right. “May the force go with you ” 🙂

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  243. @ William,

    You are right that we’ve gone waaaay off topic here. I was hoping that there was a point to this that somehow brought it back to the original post. I guess we’ll see. Though, we were taking it off topic with some of the questions we wanted Mike to answer. So, by going this direction and at least being able to have a civil conversation perhaps we’ll get to all that.

    He’s conceded that supernatural doesn’t necessarily equal intelligence so I’m interested in seeing how he gets there. I was expecting some kind of William Lane Craig, “everything has a cause; the Universe has a cause; therefore God” thing from Mike, but that doesn’t seem to be where he’s going (though he gets there somehow).

    Like I said, I still have an immense amount of trepidation, and questions, concerning anything we’re calling supernatural. Even if we said that because supernatural, and because we’re all here, supernatural equal intelligence, I’d still have a buttload of questions.

    The same logic that says cause and effect operate within the physical laws of nature and infinite regress would be a miracle because “where matter come from”, then still applies to ‘supernatural’. If there is a un-embodied mind out there that is intelligent, that could design, where in the Universe did it get physical matter? How did it produce a physical force? Why is that scenario any more likely than a natural explanation?

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  244. Then how do we know it was a god(s) that is eternal?

    How do we even know what eternal is? If infinity is a human concept that we can’t even prove exists then surely eternal is as well.

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  245. “How do we even know what eternal is? If infinity is a human concept that we can’t even prove exists then surely eternal is as well.” – Ruth

    this is sort of my point. It’s extremely fascinating, but we cant know it, at least we dont have the means to do so now. we all agree with this point.

    i do disagree that the questions to mike were off topic. conversations evolve and it led us down a path. We were asked some questions and we gave answers. Mike was asked some questions based on the things he said, and he refused to answer – at least so far,

    The questions asked to him were directly related to the bible and biblical concepts, which is the overlying topic and every one of nate’s posts seem to hinge on this. I would accept, “i dont know” or “I just think it is” but if you’re going to say that the logical conclusion is “x” then show us the logic. let’s talk about that.

    BuT i feel like we’ve jumped out of that and have gotten lost in the unknowable and for what? I dont have a particularly strong opinion about what kicked things off. If there is a god, then i want to know about it.

    It isnt a case of atheism vs Christianity. There are literally thousands of choices, from agnostic to which christian, to which religion, to how many gods and which ones or one…

    Most of us came from a christian background. Mike is a christian and evidently pretty fired up about it, so how do we arrive at jesus?

    the spark of the singularity is cool, but let’s get down to it. I’d settle for a brief thesis statement, outlining the points in general, before we get into all of the specifics of how any of this should lead us to jesus.

    and if that’s out of the question, then at the very least, what’s the ultimate point behind contemplating the original origin if there even is such a thing?

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  246. BuT i feel like we’ve jumped out of that and have gotten lost in the unknowable and for what? I dont have a particularly strong opinion about what kicked things off. If there is a god, then i want to know about it.

    I see your point – to a point. But I think that, for many, the starting point of that would be ‘in the beginning’, or at least what we perceive to be the beginning.

    I was trying to let the conversation evolve into the answers about how we get from supernatural to God to Jesus.

    I don’t have a particularly strong opinion about what kicked the Universe off either. In fact, there’s part of me that thinks that it is because we’ve evolved into intelligent beings that we can contemplate these questions that cause existential angst for people but that there may not even be a “why”. Just because we wonder about it and want to know does not imply there is an answer.

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  247. what’s the ultimate point behind contemplating the original origin if there even is such a thing?

    A more important question would be to ask what is the point of being a Christian?

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  248. “A more important question would be to ask what is the point of being a Christian?”

    Ark, when I was a child attending a pentecostal church, we sang a song that typifies what Christians are taught to expect if they go to heaven.

    I’m satisfied with just a cottage below
    A little silver and a little gold
    But in that city, where the ransomed will shine
    I want a gold one, that’s silver lined

    I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
    And someday yonder, we’ll never more wander
    But walk on streets that are purest gold

    Though often tempted, tormented and tested
    And like the prophet my pillow is stone
    And though I find here no permanent dwelling
    I know he’ll give me a mansion my own

    I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
    And someday yonder, we’ll never more wander
    But walk on streets that are purest gold

    Don’t think me poor or, deserted or lonely
    I’m not discouraged, I’m heaven bound
    I’m just a pilgrim in search of that city
    I’ll have a mansion, a harp, and a crown

    I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
    And someday yonder, we will never more wander
    But walk on streets that are purest gold

    Read more: Daniel O’Donnell – Mansion Over The Hilltop Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    Like

  249. Ruth

    reading your last few responses just indicates that you are begging out of having to deal with the issue by using a smorgasboard of excuses. You did better than your comrades for awhile but its really just the same ducking and running they were doing. As time permits I will respond to the others but lets take one of the main tactics you employed and I will debunk it.

    The claim: Its a philosophical argument.

    this is code word for “If I label it philosophical I don’t have to deal with it”. The implication and psychology of it is if its philosophical then its not science so its of secondary value. You are not alone with this bluff and I am sure you believe it as well

    In this case it is easier to debunk because I see from your blog you have been watching Lawrence Krauss. May I ask one simple question

    Why is Lawrence Krauss’s everything out of nothing NEVER labeled as a philosophical argument by atheists such as yourself?

    Krauss takes QM and extrapolates from it that the universe sans space and time can be created by a law that can only be shown to be real inside time and space. Dos he have direct evidence of this? No…nada. Theists takes what we have learned from cause and effect and come to the very certain conclusion that materialism based in cause and effect must terminate.

    Atheist’s don’t label that philosophical and its obviously self serving and fallacious. Now some people try and come back with the flimsy defense that Krauss’ is a scientist. However he is also an avowed atheist and whenever a theistic scientists comes to a conclusion that is not atheistic he/she is brushed off by claiming he/she is in inputting their theism so the same can be said of Krauss’s and his atheism.

    Fact is my argument IS a scientific argument. its based on the findings of EVERY scientific test ever done in every field – that nature has causes and effects. You may not realize it and may need to think about it more but when you claim an infinity universe in respect to past as you have you ARE implying that something exempts itself form the science we know.

    Arte YOU being philosophical?

    That’s one way to debunk your claims and in another post over the weekend I will give another way to debunk that as well

    Like

  250. “And then there was Nate’s (what I thought) excellent question. Why do we have to go back to pre-expansion to find a basis for “supernatural”.

    I actually read Nate’s question there and didn’t answer because rather than excellent I thought the whole premise was just vastly silly and transparent coming from someone claiming to be after finding the truth. Lets say that we did come up with a truth for something and it was rooted in something a trillion years ago. truth is truth. where the truth arose to our understanding is just nonsensical to make an issue pro or con. Its really nothing but a duck and dodge really.

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  251. Look, Mike, I’m trying to answer the questions you asked to the best of my ability. It seems that if I do anything short of concede “supernatural” that you write me off as not taking the question seriously. I actually take the question very seriously and if you read all my posts you know that I’m not settled on any one view. I don’t see how anyone can settle on a particular view even if they concede supernatural caused because I’m not at all certain how one would know anything about the supernatural cause.

    I said in one of my responses that to concede “supernatural”, unless one settles on one of the proposed creationist deities, that supernatural in my mind was the equivalent of “I don’t know”. Now from that vantage point of “I don’t know” one might offer up hypothesis, but that is what they are – hypothesis. I’m interested in hearing yours.

    The fact that I’m pondering out loud here, so to speak, should tell you that I’m at least considering this. If you don’t want to engage if I don’t say the things you want to hear that’s fine. It’s your option. I’m not the one with all the burning answers.

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  252. So much for looking like it was going to be interesting. For what it’s worth (and I realize lately it’s been worth very little), I personally think Krauss is actually delving into philosophy in many of his talks.

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  253. You’d like for us to agree that something supernatural caused the beginning, whatever that was (as best as I can tell the Big Bang may not have even been the beginning) and what the ramifications of that are.

    Here is where I am:

    Something probably happened that caused the big bang and/or the beginning of time as we know it. That means that whatever that something might have is beyond our understanding at this time. Based on that things have happened and continue to happen that are beyond our current understanding. Am I saying that these things don’t defy the laws of nature that we currently understand? No I am not.

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  254. I agree with you Howie. That is why I said it was a question of philosophy, All the possible scenarios of what have happened pre-expansion seem very philosophical to me if there isn’t any evidence for them,

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  255. Fact is my argument IS a scientific argument. its based on the findings of EVERY scientific test ever done in every field – that nature has causes and effects. You may not realize it and may need to think about it more but when you claim an infinity universe in respect to past as you have you ARE implying that something exempts itself form the science we know.

    That may well be, but anytime we claim anything that is beyond the science as we know it it becomes philosophical. So perhaps I am being philosophical (I think I even copped to that, btw). But I think you’re being more philosophical than you’d like to admit.

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  256. “Look, Mike, I’m trying to answer the questions you asked to the best of my ability. It seems that if I do anything short of concede “supernatural” that you write me off as not taking the question seriously.”

    Look Ruth you can get testy if you want. It doesn’t matter to me. If you wish to claim that something is philosophical in a CLEAR attempt to brush it off to some secondary level then you will be called on it. I don’t atheists proclaiming Krauss’ argument is “philosophical” and neither I bet do you which is probably why you are getting flustered. Its almost solely claimed against theists

    I don’t have a lot of time anymore for playing games with atheists on an atheist blog. if there was a lot of traffic to this blog or even a good bit of neutral traffic then there might be some payoff but since that is not the case I won’t be entertaining games and getting flustered when you get called on them.

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  257. Mike, Krauss argument does seem to be philosophical though,

    since when he is discussing things like the beginning of the universe, he is discussing processes that cannot be measured, directly observed, tested and placed in a control, and therefore used as a reference for prediction.

    It is therefore philosophical since the scientific method cannot be applied to it.

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  258. I’m not a big Krauss fan. I watched a few youtube videos. So whatever claim you make about him is neither here nor there to me.

    I admitted up front this isn’t an area I know a lot about. If you read my blog piece that should have been pretty evident.

    I got flustered because you took things that I said, which I admitted were philosophical in nature (I’m the last person who would claim any certain knowledge about the subject), to brush me off. You’re perfectly entitled to do that.

    For those of us who don’t pretend to have all the answers, pondering such questions isn’t secondary. If you have the answers we’d like to hear them.

    If you’ve got bigger fish to fry and that’s why you’d like to drop it you’re entitled to that, too.

    Like

  259. “That may well be, but anytime we claim anything that is beyond the science as we know it it becomes philosophical. ”

    and what does that even mean? beyond science. Right now the science does not tell us that evolution is unguided and yet all atheists claim it most definitely is not. So I take it that the atheist position is philosophical? that’s funny I never heard you claiming abiogenesis was “philosophical” when you were discussing that at another time.

    The great deception of how atheists try to use the word philosophy is that we use philosophy constantly in science as we apply logic and rationality to the facts that we find from experiments

    That philosophy applies where we don’t have science is utterly fallacious and its usually an argument as it is here where the proponents are merely trying to skirt around logic and rationality.

    Like

  260. “I’m not a big Krauss fan. I watched a few youtube videos. So whatever claim you make about him is neither here nor there to me. ”

    I wasn’t claiming you were a fan . I was asking you why atheist such as yourself seldom ever apply “philosophy” to his arguments as you do theists whether you agree with him or not. I submit that you only play that card when you wish to skirt around rational and logic based arguments of theists.

    P.S. I should add that though you read me right that I don’t think this argument equals God exists I nevertheless is a huge blow to materialism upon which most of atheism is built

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  261. It should be obvious by this point that I’m not some atheist debater. I thought we could have a discussion(not necessarily debate) about this issue.

    It’s fine that you don’t agree with me. Why is it though, that when you don’t agree with me, you tend to just tell me I’m skirting rationality and logic instead of just laying out your logic and rationality?

    It’s not helping me to see where I’m wrong for you to just tell me I’m wrong. Tell me why you are right.

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  262. “‘I got flustered because you took things that I said, which I admitted were philosophical in nature (I’m the last person who would claim any certain knowledge about the subject), to brush me off.”

    I did no such thing. I brushed aside your attempt to brush the argument to a merely “philosophical” status. Since you and maybe one other person is all I am reading in this thread and have stated so you are the last person that could rightfully claim I was brushing them off.

    Anyway I have to run again. will answer more this weekend

    Like

  263. Actually I stand corrected,

    The traces of light or energy from the Big Bang might be measured, and there have been tests done through the Large Hadron Collider.

    But it is one thing to observe and measure energy in a collider. Another thing to make a hypothesis, since hypothesis can change. What people think of as the Big Bang might look very different as more tests are done. I don’t know very much about it though.

    But ideas on the origin of the universe is more faith based or belief based it seems to me. Since any discussion on this is a discussion on processes whose origin we don’t understand scientifically. At least I don’t think dice taus do yet anyway..

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  264. Hi portal,

    Ryan, is it?

    You said:

    It is therefore philosophical since the scientific method cannot be applied to it.

    Thank you. This is what I was trying to say but didn’t state so eloquently.

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  265. “It is therefore philosophical since the scientific method cannot be applied to it.”

    Port almost every leading atheist would disagree with you including Krauss himself who like many claim philosophy is dead, Kraus theory has been heralded by Dawkins, Harris, Tyson etc and none of them consider his argument philosophical at least not in anyway that makes a big difference to its credibility (where they are concerned).

    the whole thing is just a sidewinding way off avoiding that we use logic rationality and intuition in science all the time and it is only invoked as something derogatory or of secondary importance when the person making the argument is a theist.

    Like

  266. Ryan,

    You also said:

    But ideas on the origin of the universe is more faith based or belief based it seems to me. Since any discussion on this is a discussion on processes whose origin we don’t understand scientifically. At least I don’t think dice taus do yet anyway..

    I agree with this, but that by no means renders it secondary. It just means we don’t understand it. Were it secondary why on earth would so many theoretical physicists, philosophers, and amateur philosophers(us included) bother with the question? It’s burning question for a lot of people. It’s just that different people approach the question from different perspectives.

    Let’s just follow the logic that anything that could have caused the Universe must necessarily be supernatural. By supernatural I mean outside of the laws of nature as we currently understand them.

    Can we apply any kind of scientific method to this supernatural thing?

    I’m definitely NOT a scientist, but do I understand it correctly that the further we go back toward the expansion the more our current scientific models break down? Such that the way that the laws of nature currently work may not be the way they’ve always worked? Such that the reality of early entropy isn’t necessarily the reality that is now?

    I’m in way over my head here.

    Like

  267. Ruth,

    Thanks. I’m sure you could have said it just as well, if not better 🙂

    Mike

    although my understanding of science in General is very limited, I agree with you that logic (both inductive and deductive) seems to be used in different scientific practices. For example in inferring causality, and the development of theories that are then critically reviewed in an attempt to be proven false.

    I disagree with you though that intuition is applied to science. When just intuition would be relied upon, such a thing would not be sound science.

    My understanding is that although scientists are humans, and therefore victims of intuitive impressions that can be misleading.

    the goal of science is to remove as much of this intuition from the testing as possible, so further understanding can be gained, and then the findings effectively applied to other disciplines (pharmaceutical products, engineering, logistics ect.)

    Like

  268. Ruth,

    I’m way over my head as well 🙂 I’ll leave the physics to those who know what they are talking about, because I certainly don’t. What you say I think makes sense though, although I don’t know much about it 🙂 I don’t know whether these current models would break down…

    In regards to the supernatural, if by supernatural we are defining this as…

    Definition 1:

    processes that oh beyond our current understanding or construction of what we identify to be laws of nature…

    Then under this definition the supernatural would be referring to those interactions that we have not yet identified, understood and labelled to be laws.

    If this is the case using the word supernatural might be misleading.

    Since supernatural strikes me to have attached to it another definition.

    Definition 2:

    a power (personal or impersonal) that transcends and is outside the laws on nature itself.

    The distinction to me is that such a power is outside of nature (removed as an “other”) not merely part of nature

    Within the first definition we have yet to understand and identify its processes in order to group and label certain process as a “natural law”.

    Yet within the second definition, the very power or cause is considered apart from other processes or laws, and therefore beyond or above nature (supernatural).

    Two very different ways of defining the supernatural. And these aren’t the only two… But I hope these two help illustrate what I feel is the cause of some misunderstandings.

    This might be why there is such confusion between people.

    And then we could always compare these definitions to a dictionary definition of “supernatural” which could be be used to further either definition 1 or 2

    Like

  269. Hi all,

    Sorry if that was muddled,

    I’m going to try and unpack this again

    So what I’m trying to say (in reference to what I wrote above)

    Under definition 1 of the “supernatural”

    “Processes that we have yet to understand and identify to call laws”.

    The beginning of the universe might be said to have a “supernatural beginning” but supernatural under this definition is instead referring to processes and laws that we have not try identified to be laws of nature. Like how we associate physical processes with gravity. We could likewise one day associate another currently unknown law (or laws) to the beginning (or eternal existence) of the universe.

    Yet definition 2 has a very different outcome.

    Definition 2 of the Supernatural

    “A power (personal or impersonal) that transcends and is above the natural laws themselves”.

    Under definition two the supernatural is considered to be a power (personal or impersonal) that is outside of naturL law. Since it is outside of natural processes it is above such processes or laws.

    It may also be that He/She/It is beyond our understanding, and therefore the only understanding we have of the supernatural (above natural laws) is revealed by this power. Whether this power has agency or not is then based on the beliefs and convictions of the individual.

    I am in the definition 2 group.

    But I don’t understand why Mike is insisting those who are in a definition 1 position accept his definition of supernatural before he is willing to answer their questions.

    Am I making sense?

    Like

  270. Sorry just to correct myself

    ” Whether this power has agency or not is then based on the beliefs and convictions of the individual.”

    What I meant was that the beliefs that are associated with definition 2 are based on the individual,

    but the nature, agency and power of a Creator certainly is not based on the belief of the individual,

    rather the belief of the individual is based on the agency, nature and power of the Creator.

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  271. Under definition 1 of the “supernatural”

    “Processes that we have yet to understand and identify to call laws”.

    The beginning of the universe might be said to have a “supernatural beginning” but supernatural under this definition is instead referring to processes and laws that we have not try identified to be laws of nature. Like how we associate physical processes with gravity. We could likewise one day associate another currently unknown law (or laws) to the beginning (or eternal existence) of the universe.

    I think this is the definition that Mike is calling “rain check evidence” and ducking and dodging.

    Either way I think we’ve all agreed that whatever happened prior to the Big Bang is a mystery; something we don’t understand.

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  272. I’m not insisting that it be definition 1 either. I think that may be where some of the confusion comes in. Though I lean toward definition 1 I could be wrong. If I’m wrong and it is definition number 2 and is “A power (personal or impersonal) that transcends and is above the natural laws themselves” how do we then go about assigning any attributes to this power other than the ability to make something from nothing? What if this power is impersonal? What makes one think that this power is personal?

    So that if we say, okay the supernatural exists so that makes anything possible, that doesn’t really get us a lot closer to saying that we know things about this supernatural entity. Sure, we then couldn’t say that the Christian God definitely doesn’t exist, but that isn’t what I’m saying anyway. It would be presumptuous of me to say that it definitely doesn’t exist. I don’t find the existence of that God likely. No more likely than any other God.

    But that may be putting the cart ahead of the horse, since Mike conceded that supernatural – even to his thinking – doesn’t necessarily equal God.

    Having said all that, that’s why I preferred what I thought was discussion over debate. I don’t claim to know or have all the answers. I’m not putting up an argument for debate necessarily. I was seriously thinking out loud. For me thinking about these things is a process.

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  273. Ruth,

    I just wish he’d answer the questions put to him. That was my attempt at answering his 🙂

    As I said before…

    The beginning of the universe might be said to have a “supernatural beginning” but supernatural under this definition is instead referring to processes and laws that we have not yet* identified to be laws of nature.

    Like how we associate physical processes with gravity, there may be yet unknown law(s) associated with the beginning of the universe….

    I believe God is involved, but again I don’t know why Mike has insisted that he won’t answer because he feels people haven’t answered his questions.

    If I was an athiest, that’s how I would have answered his question on the supernatural.

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  274. I mean, I have my own points why I believe as well, and I’m happy to share them, although they are huge to me. Not everyone might feel or think the same way 🙂

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  275. @Ryan,

    If I was an athiest, that’s how I would have answered his question on the supernatural.

    In my own clumsy way that’s what I thought I was doing. Though not as succinctly put as you, that was pretty much what I thought I said. But when we say we’re waiting for science it seems as if we’re ducking the implications of supernatural explanations.

    I did get off into a side conversation with William, though, which may be why he thought I was waxing philosophical in our discussion. 😉

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  276. …but the nature, agency and power of a Creator certainly is not based on the belief of the individual,

    I got what you were saying the first time. If there is a Creator, it’s attributes would not be dependent on the beliefs of individuals. Said Creator’s attributes would be whatever said Creator wanted them to be regardless of the belief of individuals.

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  277. ” I don’t know why Mike has insisted that he won’t answer because he feels people haven’t answered his questions. ”

    Port that’s pretty nonsensical. Why should Mike answer questions when his own hasn’t been answered. See? this is why I really cant take many people here seriously. You have lapses where you just make no sense whatsoever. Why would any atheist go to a theist blog and agree to answer the questions of theists while the theists refused to answer any but just turned around and shot down everything the atheist said.

    That you wonder why I wouldn’t answer without having my own questions answered makes me wonder as to whether you are even genuine or just engaging in pure rhetoric.

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  278. “…but the nature, agency and power of a Creator certainly is not based on the belief of the individual,”

    You are absolutely right ! What credible evidence is there a creator has ever revealed himself to humans?

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  279. Nate, I just read Mike’s first response to your post again and realize why we have all been wasting our time trying to engage in an honest discussion with him.

    Mike said “This is probably nate’s worse post. its just awful. No literalist who studied his Bible would be taken by it especially not the first part.”

    Of course no one like Mike who studied his bible would be taken by it especially not the first part, if they are literalists like Mike. A literalist is not likely to consider anything a non-literalist has to say. It’s that simple. You poked holes in the literal interpretation of bible prophecies and this could NEVER be considered by a literalist.

    “A literal Biblical interpretation is associated with the fundamentalist and evangelical hermeneutical approach to scripture—the historical-grammatical method—and is used extensively by fundamentalist Christians,[3] in contrast to the historical-critical method of liberal Christians.” (wiki)

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  280. Ya know, I’m not surprised the conversation has gone south again, but I am definitely surprised at why it has gone south. The hangup here seems to be the use of the word philosophical – perhaps there is some pop-atheist (and yes, I do use that term in a bit of a derogatory way) tactic out there that Mike is familiar with regarding the use of the word philosophy and so I’ll cut some slack there, but I don’t see why the conversation between Ruth and Mike can’t progress beyond that. Ruth has already said she doesn’t consider the questions unimportant and doesn’t consider them secondary – so what’s the hangup? Who cares – call it science or call it philosophy. Call it dung-beetle for goodness sakes.

    The irony here is that when I posted my comment the other night I had the intention of hoping it would move Ruth and Mike’s conversation forward because it really was of interest to me and I always love to see productive conversations. The fact that I used the word philosophical was actually something that I thought would help bring some clarity, because I wanted people to know that nobody needed to understand particle physics, or the equations of relativity or quantum mechanics to understand the points that Mike was trying to make.

    But instead we’ve gone back to unproductive. I’m not going to try again today. If I get my patience back another day maybe I’ll try again to help, but I think there is too much sensitivity here to tactics that may be a bit too difficult to overcome.

    And by the way, I’ve heard Tyson say philosophy is dead a few times now and since the first time I heard him say that I’ve thought he was off his rocker. Sure let’s get rid of the very field that built up the scientific method itself, and let’s get rid of the field that tries to take the findings of the scientific method and interpret them to understand the foundations of reality better – just doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. And I’d be pretty surprised if the majority of scientists agree with Tyson on that. But whatever, that’s just an aside.

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  281. Good morning Meestor Ark. I doubt seriously you are ever going to get this answer from Mike. As I pointed out to Nate earlier, Mike is a Literalist and doesn’t feel an explanation is needed. His goal is to get any non-believer to agree that when science can’t explain something, it is quite OK to use a “supernatural explanation”.

    If you should receive the answer to your question from Mike, this indeed would be supernatural ! 🙂

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  282. Sorry guys. I had no idea that my use of the word philosophical, nor having a philosophical conversation would derail things. I have never read Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, etc. I’ve only watched those couple of Krauss videos and honestly had no idea that anything philosophical was derogatory or negative. I really didn’t realize it was so inflammatory.

    Having said all that, postulating any ideas of what a supernatural entity might be seems philosophical to me.

    I was just having a conversation with Howie and William while I waited on the scientific explanations I thought would be presented. I thought I was going to get an answer to the following:

    If I’m understanding your argumentation:

    No matter what explanation might be given for the cause of the Big Bang, it can’t be the ‘First Cause’ because anything that can be explained would need further explanation? Therefore the ‘First Cause’ is necessarily supernatural?

    I’m quite certain that anything I said of a non-scientific, philosophical nature can be debunked because they are nothing more than mere speculation on my part.

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  283. Hi Mike 🙂

    It seems to me your position is…and please correct me if I’m wrong:

    That you have some important answers to these questions that people have continued to outline…

    but You are only willing to answer them if people first concede that a Supernatural Power (personal or impersonal) is necessary for the beginning of the universe.

    You seem to not accept that “We don’t know” to be a real answer. Nor do you seem to accept that a answer that assumes that a supernatural origin is not necessary…

    You don’t seem to recognise these as answers, so therefore On these grounds you refuse to answer the questions these people have asked you…

    So you then give the impression that Before you seriously answer the questions people have asked you, they must first concede in the belief that the supernatural is necessary for the components of the Big Bang…

    But Mike,

    let’s look at this from another perspective,

    Say if an athiest on here said to you you:

    I will not answer your questions,
    unless you first concede to my founding premise that:

    there is nothing beyond the natural laws of nature, and the Big Bang was not caused by the supernatural…ect

    Say when you did attempt to answer their question regarding the origins of the universe, this person would not only refuse to accept your answer as a real “answer”, but refuse to recongnise other responses you make to be real answers…since your response involves the belief that the supernatural is involved in the Big Bang.

    How could you possibly then answer this persons questions to meet their requirements?

    when they seem to only recognise that “genuine” answers must first concede with their world view?

    Because They neither consider “I don’t know” or “I believe the supernatural is necessary” to be answers. And they refuse to answer specific questions that you put to them,

    So therefore this atheist individual refuses to answer your questions…on the grounds that you don’t concede to agree with them…

    Mike, I for one do believe that God is necessary for the origins of the universe. I don’t know enough about the origins of the universe, but I have faith that more than unguided processes are involved..

    However, if a person who didn’t believe refused to answer questions, on the grounds that they don’t consider my responses to their questions to be “real” answers. Where can I go from here? If such requirements are implied before an answer will be given?

    Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks.

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  284. So Mike,

    Do the answers have to be conditional?

    I would really like to read what you
    have to say on these topics, because believe it or not. I do think you make decent points, and would like to read more. But of course it’s your call.

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  285. Port honestly i started reading your post and it was so….I don’t even know what to call it…. that I just stopped. it was making no point whatsoever.

    I did see you try to spin it around the other way so okay lets see how this works

    Atheist: I have this question that affects your worldview of the universe and that miracles are possible in it. Could you tell me how you rationalize…..(insert whatever question you want here)

    Theist: I don’t know. I don’t think its an important questions that I have to answer beyond I don’t know. In the great by and by I believe there will be an answer

    So the atheists says what next?

    “Oh okay thats a good answer”?

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  286. If you don’t see my point, then why won’t you answer these questions William and Ark have asked you?

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  287. Atheist: I have this question that affects your worldview of the universe and that miracles are possible in it. Could you tell me how you rationalize…..(insert whatever question you want here)

    Theist: I don’t know. I don’t think its an important questions that I have to answer beyond I don’t know. In the great by and by I believe there will be an answer

    So the atheists says what next?

    “Oh okay thats a good answer”?

    It seems beyond absurd to assert certainty to answers of which one is not certain. That is not satisfactory to you that I don’t know. The fact is I don’t. The fact is I AM okay with the fact that I don’t know all the answers for everything.

    It is because you are asserting such certainty that we are asking the questions of you. You seem quite certain, even though the majority of scientists – whose job it is to find the answers – claim uncertainty.

    If I was so very certain of my position I would have no problem asserting it, explaining it, and standing behind it. This is what you are asking me to do. Assert an answer for something for which I don’t have one and stand behind it.

    How foolish would it be for me to do that when I’m not at all certain of the answer?

    I did get your point about why you wanted us to answer your questions before you would answer ours. I can understand your wanting to know this is a give and take conversation and not a bunch of atheists just trying to debunk whatever you put forth and getting shot down at every turn. Yet that is exactly what you are employing here. You’ve asked us to answer your questions for the sole purpose of debunking them and never laying what you have on the table.

    What more can be said?

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  288. There are many, many things I don’t know and don’t understand. Were I to have to have an answer for everything I don’t understand I would never rest. I would quite likely also be an arrogant know-it-all because I’d study up on everything I didn’t know about. Which in turn would make for a lot of pseudo knowledge of subjects because one person can’t possibly know every thing.

    I’m glad there are people who try to know everything they possibly can about a given subject, but even they would acknowledge that they don’t know everything about that given subject, much less all subjects.

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  289. “If you don’t see my point, then why won’t you answer these questions William and Ark have asked you?”

    Have they answered mine? I wouldn’t know because as I announced long ago I stopped reading their posts long ago as they ducked and fumbled from answering mine. Your posts are incoherent. What is it about not seeing your point that would require me to answer their question?

    try and make some minimal sense

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  290. Mike, the real problem here is you are making a claim and then challenging everyone here to prove why it is not so. That’s not how it works.

    Here is your original question which you reposted to me, “I am not even at the point of “using a god” as the supernatural cause. I am asking how you deal with the ramifications a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect INESCAPABLY having to terminate at some point in reality whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.

    You are asking me a hypothetical question here Mike. I don’t deal with the ramifications of a “supernatural root” because no one has provided evidence that a supernatural root is the only answer of an “unexplained god, an unexplained Universe, OR an unexplained can of beef”

    Your answer above was also self-contradicting but I won’t try and make you feel stupid for writing it as you have done with so many here.

    “I am not even at the point of “using a god” as the supernatural cause.”

    “I am asking how you deal with the ramifications a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect INESCAPABLY having to terminate at some point in reality whether thats an unexplained God”

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  291. “It seems beyond absurd to assert certainty to answers of which one is not certain….. I can understand your wanting to know this is a give and take conversation and not a bunch of atheists just trying to debunk whatever you put forth and getting shot down at every turn. Yet that is exactly what you are employing here. ”

    Sorry Ruth. Utterly false. I am doing no such thing. Its just a whole lot of begging off you are doing now. There is zero uncertainty when you walk in to a room where there is a train of dominos falling that there there was either an endless amount of dominos or the first domino was hit over by something else besides a domino. You can beg all you want . I am not asking you what the first thing was in that domino train. I am asking you which option of the only two logical choices there are do you choose?

    the utter nonsense that we can’t choose one of only two logical choices and then ascertaining what the implications of that are is just stalling and hand waving intentional or unintentional. its just basically following Nate’s obfuscation that I am asking you exactly what was before the big bang which I never have. So again my question to Port who side stepped it is now put to you. Lets try it on for size.

    Atheist: I have this question that affects your worldview of the universe and that miracles are possible in it. Could you tell me how you rationalize…..(insert whatever question you want here)

    Theist: I don’t know. I don’t think its an important questions that I have to answer beyond I don’t know. In the great by and by I believe there will be an answer

    So the atheists says what next?

    “Oh okay thats a good answer”?

    You are right about this being about give and take and a level playing field but we both know if the above scenario takes place in future steps in our debate not a person on your side would say

    “Ok thats a good answer Mike” In fact we both know if Mike says “i don’t know” about any key point many on your own side will say “there ya go. thats our point”. it won;t be accepted as a rational answer I I do it and we both know it.

    and thats the entire point. I am not interested in some biased one sided dialogue and a huge part of why this will remain my requirement is because of what both you and Nate agreed to which is most definitely vacuous (but popular)

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

    by that undefined parameter ANYTHING can be classified as not “extraordinary” enough evidence and the debate is slanted from the git go. If the universe’s beginning has to rely on elements that are beyond the natural that we now know how do we even establish a baseline of what ordinary is to ascertain what is extraordinary?

    Now at this point the merry atheist band can barf – Oh Mike wants us to accept the supernatural with no evidence when thats just utterly false. Mike believes there should be good evidence for something. Sound evidence but mike knows that a empty non defined criteria such as “extraordinary evidence” is just so elastic in its non definition that it can be stretched to claim that NO amount of evidence could ever confirm something supernatural which is as I have mentioned before is an illogical unconfirmed Priori. I know that any such debate criteria just will end in an utter waste of time

    With the extraordinary evidence claim the goal post can always be moved because their locations are never defined. One party can claim something is extraordinary with no baseline conversation/criteria as to what is really ordinary to the history of the universe (rather than just temporally ordinary now) and the same party claims to be the sole arbiter of what extraordinary evidence is. Who would agree to such a condition for a discussion?

    THATS where this fits in

    In a universe where everything pops out of nothing whats so extreme or extraordinary about waters parting in the Red Sea? At least you start with water and wind while with everything out of nothing you start with nothing! If something unexplainable has happened in our universe what should be so “extraordinary” that more than one thing happens without natural explanation.

    So yes you will have to answer the issues with me because central to your whole extraordinary evidence claims will have to be some kind of objective analysis of what is ordinary to the universe and what extraordinary evidence even is as opposed to just good evidence.

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  292. More than a week ago, I asked the resident apologists to do the following:

    You claim there was a resurrected Messiah. Great. The most convincing evidence for a resurrected messiah would be the resurrected man himself. So let’s see him. Let us too examine the his hands and put our hands in his side (as Thomas is alleged to have done).

    When can you arrange the meeting?

    A simple and unambiguous request. Yet, thus far, they’ve made no attempt to do so. I wonder why? Could it be because they know they can’t?

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  293. I’m not the brightness light on the tree, but is anyone here seeing what he is doing ??? He has formulated a question where he is trying to convince everyone there are only 2 answers.

    And again as a Literalist , he is comparing HIS answer to the question as being as real as parting the Red Sea.

    Ruth , Mike is doing the very thing he is accusing you and everyone else here in doing. Begging off.

    He has admitted earlier that his bible god can do any of the things attributed to him from scripture.

    “Your reasoning is totally incoherent. Apparently its that the suns and the stars are too big for God to turn off ?”

    How do you go forward from this ?

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  294. Yes, but you seem certain that whatever happened is “supernatural”.

    I’m not convinced of that (I’m not unconvinced of that either, btw).

    BUT it seems when you insert the supernatural claim, and insist that I do as well, that there can be no natural explanation. So when I say that a possible natural explanation exists which has not been discovered yet that is hand waving to you. Begging off. I’m not.

    I’ve stated to you that I believe that science will eventually provide the answer and even agreed with your assessment that my reliance on science is in fact a form of faith. Because science tests, proves, eliminates, verifies. But it is faith of a different form in which I think of when I think of a supernatural. I have faith when I cross a bridge it will hold me because there is science and engineering behind that. Do bridges sometimes fail? Of course they do.

    It is possible that there are laws of nature that haven’t been discovered yet. I find that more likely than a supernatural explanation. If I understand it correctly the laws of nature might not have operated the same way prior to the big bang and even in early entropy as they do now. You might rebut with the fact that the laws of nature only operate within space and time, but how do we know that?

    Not only that but it has been shown that quantum particles temporarily pop in and out of existence with no seeming cause. Are we calling that supernatural?

    If we’re not saying that supernatural equals an intelligent entity what else might it be?

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  295. And, by the way, that is not me begging off and saying that I’m accepting a theory of the origins of the universe without any evidence. That is me asking for the evidence. But the reason I feel that science will most likely provide that evidence is because they have proven so many times before that science can.

    Before we knew what caused storms, and hurricanes, and earthquakes those things were thought to be supernatural. There are a great many things that before we discovered the natural laws that we currently know exist were thought to be supernatural. In a universe with that many scientific discoveries what would be so extraordinary about the discovery of yet another?

    Yes, my acceptance of any theory of the origins of the Universe would be with evidence. Not conjecture on lack thereof.

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  296. If science does prove one of the many theories of the origins of the Universe and logic dictates that it occurred through natural processes what are the ramifications of that for your supernatural?

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  297. 🙂 Every now and again scanning to get to Ruth’s posts I see the penny section mentioning my name. Sorry guys. You ducked and ran over a week ago. like I told you – too lightweight to read. I read Nate and Ruth and Port (a little bit). Whatever I thought you might have added to the conversation never materialized so you rae not worth reading much less responding to.

    I guess you could lie and say I am avoiding you because ooooh you make greater points but then you would have to imply your points are better than Nate’s who I am still reading, Catch 22 eh? 🙂

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  298. Ruth, I think you’re making good arguments UNTIL you get to the part that is so often overlooked by atheists.. where did the science come from? Natural explanations don’t disprove God in any way and never will be able to. For every discovery, THE question will STILL be left.. where did the components involved in the scientific discovery come from?

    The popular point about primitive ppl believing that God (or gods) were the cause of natural occurrences until we discovered the “truth” is extremely faulty.. because now that we know HOW they occur, it in no way disproves God. Just b/c those people were “ignorant”, not having the “superior” knowledge that we do today, that isn’t proof in any way that they were wrong about God being the ultimate cause. It would be wise to realize that thousands of years from now, WE will be looked upon as “primitive” and ignorant… so does that mean we are wrong about everything we believe?

    Mike is right.. it’s not fair to say that we just haven’t found the answer to that “yet” as an answer to THE question… and that is because on the most fundamental level, our existence isn’t logical. If it were, your argument would be valid. But existence argues against what is at the heart of science.. logic.. cause and affect. Atheists refuse to acknowledge this reality.

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  299. The popular point about primitive ppl believing that God (or gods) were the cause of natural occurrences until we discovered the “truth” is extremely faulty.. because now that we know HOW they occur, it in no way disproves God.

    Just because we are ignorant now of what caused the expansion of the universe in now way proves the existence of God either. In effect what you are saying is that absence of evidence is evidence for God.

    I’ll agree with you that no matter how many discoveries are made it will never definitively disprove the existence of God. Because no matter how many discoveries are made theists will continue to say, “then where did that come from”. And when that discovery is made, yet another and another.

    I have never said definitively that a god does not exist. I’m an agnostic atheist. Which means I don’t claim to know with any absolute certainty that a god or gods don’t exist. I find it highly unlikely. Even if I were to concede that the supernatural could have caused the “first cause”(whatever that is) I don’t see how one would assign attributes to this supernatural thing other than the ability to make things from nothing. There are a plethora of gods to choose from, and their attributes seem extremely man-made.

    So the point that if one supernatural event occurred then we can’t rule out that supernatural events, like the flood, stands. But what is the likelihood that it did? Other than scriptures where is the evidence of such? Saying that the Bible proves the Bible to someone who is skeptical of the veracity of the Bible is of little value.

    One would think that if the supernatural occurred there would be evidence of this other than simply because we don’t understand the origins of the universe.

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  300. “Yes, but you seem certain that whatever happened is “supernatural”.”

    I’m confident that anything that doesn’t operate by a natural cause and effect process is not what anyone unbiased would consider natural. If you wish to rebut then do so. I’ll hear you out on it.

    “BUT it seems when you insert the supernatural claim, and insist that I do as well, that there can be no natural explanation. ”

    Fine – then come up with an even half way plausible explanation for something that has no cause or something that is infinite in regard to the past having an explanation. Infinite implies no end and in the reverse it means something that has no beginning – How in the world are you going to make that natural and even if you did it meansthat “natural” is way different than what we think of now.

    “I’ve stated to you that I believe that science will eventually provide the answer and even agreed with your assessment that my reliance on science is in fact a form of faith. Because science tests, proves, eliminates, verifies. ”

    I am not concerned with rhetoric though Ruth as I am sure you are not concerend with mine. Its not a point and no your faith is not in science. Your faith is in what you think science will one day say that science hasn’t said it will even say in the future.

    “But it is faith of a different form in which I think of when I think of a supernatural.”

    Ruth I am sure you THINK it isn’t but Yours is EXACTLY the same and I’ll show it

    “I have faith when I cross a bridge it will hold me because there is science and engineering behind that. Do bridges sometimes fail? Of course they do. ”

    There You are expressing faith in something that has evidence to support it like a bridge – yes – but when you come to be claiming science will one day show that infinity can be natural and have a natural explanation you are doing so with ZERO evidence, NADA, EXACTLY what you criticize Theists for allegedly doing. If you think about that I am sure it will become obvious.

    “It is possible that there are laws of nature that haven’t been discovered yet. I find that more likely than a supernatural explanation.”

    Why? because thats your philosphical bent? Consider what you are writing? You are claiming that laws we do not have any evidence for, that presently eluded us and we cannot detect and have escaped our detection -That to this point is merely imaginary is more likely (I’d love to see how that probability is determined) than a supernatural that we cannot detect? How does that betray anything but a bias against the word “supernatural” because anyway you slice it they are indistinguishable on an evidential basis.

    rationally something else must be driving your “likely” because your evidence is zip.

    You illustrate my point PERFECTLY. when faced with certain issues atheists do the same kind of appealing as do theists and yet you claim a distinction.

    “You might rebut with the fact that the laws of nature only operate within space and time, but how do we know that?”

    YOU do realize that going out of time and space by very definition is Super (beyond) natural (that which relates to this universe)

    So you just used the supernatural to try and skirt around the inevitability of the supernatural.

    “Not only that but it has been shown that quantum particles temporarily pop in and out of existence with no seeming cause. Are we calling that supernatural?’

    So what happened to science finding an explanation for that? or does science only find explanation for things that appeal to atheists?? You are confident that science will find an explanation that make everything natural but you are now arguing for no cause/explanation to QM? Anyway no – Quantum fluctuations happen within time and space INSIDE our universe and particles are from borrowed energy and strictly speaking they do NOT happen without cause. QM laws cause them to happen and follow statistical modelling.

    Now those pesky laws really have no natural process to operate by though. The very idea of laws outside of a universe is supernatural and if you deny that please look up the meaning of the word supernatural

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  301. @Mike,

    What makes the supernatural more plausible than matter existing in some form infinitely/eternally? Why is it that just because matter exists something had to cause it? Why is that a miracle any more than the existence of the supernatural? If the supernatural can just be why couldn’t some form of the universe exist on the continuum?

    You’re asking me to assert an alternative to the supernatural? That would be it. And I think that it is as likely as the supernatural as an explanation.

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  302. Every law in this universe escaped detection until it was detected. If researchers and scientists didn’t have a fairly good reason to think they’d discover more laws there wouldn’t be much point to continuing to search, would there?

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  303. “Just because we are ignorant now of what caused the expansion of the universe in now way proves the existence of God either. In effect what you are saying is that absence of evidence is evidence for God. ”

    I’m not making that claim at all. I’m claiming a lack of LOGIC of our existence is evidence of a Supernatural Being/ explanation.

    “I’ll agree with you that no matter how many discoveries are made it will never definitively disprove the existence of God. Because no matter how many discoveries are made theists will continue to say, “then where did that come from”. And when that discovery is made, yet another and another. ”

    Why would only theists ask this? Why wouldn’t you or anyone ask this?? It’s a natural, rational, logical question.

    ” I find it highly unlikely. Even if I were to concede that the supernatural could have caused the “first cause”(whatever that is) I don’t see how one would assign attributes to this supernatural thing other than the ability to make things from nothing.”

    Why would an origination of nothing (which is illogical) be more likely than our existence being planned and having purpose? I see it as just the opposite. Everything argues for plan and purpose as opposed to freak accidence.. from .. nothing.

    ” There are a plethora of gods to choose from, and their attributes seem extremely man-made.”

    Yes, there are a plethora of gods.. but only ONE God of the Bible. Which is the most reasonable God.. all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc.

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  304. Ruth and Mike,

    Supernatural is NOT an explanation . You can’t say god did it, but I don’t know how he did it.

    “The very idea of laws outside of a universe is supernatural and if you deny that please look up the meaning of the word supernatural”

    Merriam-Webster’s definition of supernatural. “: unable to be explained by science or the laws of nature : of, relating to, or seeming to come from magic, a god, etc.”

    Again Mike says, “I am asking how you deal with the ramifications a supernatural root to reality due to cause and effect INESCAPABLY having to terminate at some point in reality whether thats an unexplained God. an unexplained Universe or an Unexplained can of beef that created the universe.”

    A God without explanation is no different than a cause for the universe without explanation.

    Stalemate ! “a position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check.”

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  305. @Kathy,

    Why would only theists ask this? Why wouldn’t you or anyone ask this?? It’s a natural, rational, logical question.

    I don’t think that only theists do ask this. It’s just that [most] scientists and atheists ask it from a different perspective. That is why scientists continue to go farther and farther back…to find explanations for this. But more so than from a perspective of “why do we exist” they want to know how. Science doesn’t purport nor attempt to give existence a purpose. So I think that’s at the essence for theists of the “why” question. They want/need to know a purpose, when there may not be one.

    Why would an origination of nothing (which is illogical) be more likely than our existence being planned and having purpose?

    Who said this originated from nothing? Why is it an less likely that matter existed on the continuum of eternity than a god?

    Yes, there are a plethora of gods.. but only ONE God of the Bible. Which is the most reasonable God.. all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc.

    Based on what? All other religions have extreme faults and yours does not? It’s not pretty far-fetched that a man was born of a virgin, died, and then raised again?

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  306. @KC,

    I’d be willing to call it a draw. I’m not about to change Mike’s position on it, and that’s fine. I’m not really trying to get him to. I understand where he’s getting his position. I just don’t share that view. I’m not insisting that he share my view.

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  307. @ KC,

    And Mike laid the groundrules for this discussion. He was only willing to answer the questions put to him if we agreed that there was definitely a supernatural cause to the Universe. This is not a discussion where we’re trying to understand one another’s position.

    Having those groundrules, since I haven’t conceded a definite supernatural cause to the Universe, he is entitled to withhold the answers to the questions put to him. *Shrug*

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  308. “So the point that if one supernatural event occurred then we can’t rule out that supernatural events, like the flood, stands. ”

    Sigh… still the strawman. Kindly point out to me where I said anything “stands” just because we can’t rule out the supernatural. You’ll run out of fingers counting me saying that is NOT the case in this thread

    “What makes the supernatural more plausible than matter existing in some form infinitely/eternally”

    Natural processes ruth. natural processes. Lets take a bouncing ball infinite universe. Thats all thats in it – a bouncing ball, Nowhere near as complex as our own universe

    Now if its infinite then the force the ball is bouncing with is uncaused. its come from nowhere. YOU can’t say the ball ever had the force to applied to it because its infinite past has ALWAYS had it bouncing . you can’t say the force began because it always was applied. Thats what infinite means

    How is the ball bouncing with a force that comes from nothing/nowhere any substantial different from a supernatural event?

    Now apply all the forces and actions in our own universe which equally would come from nothing. I suggest that for all we hear about science showing non supernatural causes we have yet to have even ONE explanation for any fundamental force. All we do is figure out how it works together with matter and other forces after we have them.

    Thats why your and Nate’s argument that science has progressed in explaining away the supernatural in the past so it will on the primary issues is bogus (its never explained away the supernatural ever). Theres a fundamental difference between explaining how things work once you have them going than it is to explain how you get them in the first place.

    Thats like claiming because we can chart the path of planets and how they revolve around the sun that we can use the same techniques to determine the origin of motion. Apples and oranges

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  309. @Mike,

    Sigh… still the strawman. Kindly point out to me where I said anything “stands” just because we can’t rule out the supernatural. You’ll run out of fingers counting me saying that is NOT the case in this thread.

    I didn’t say you said anything stands.

    You said:

    In a universe where everything pops out of nothing whats so extreme or extraordinary about waters parting in the Red Sea? At least you start with water and wind while with everything out of nothing you start with nothing! If something unexplainable has happened in our universe what should be so “extraordinary” that more than one thing happens without natural explanation.

    I said that your point in this regard stands. Sigh…everything is a nail to your hammer, isn’t it?

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  310. “And Mike laid the groundrules for this discussion. He was only willing to answer the questions put to him if we agreed that there was definitely a supernatural cause to the Universe. This is not a discussion where we’re trying to understand one another’s position.”

    Disingenious nonsense Ruth. If you can show LOGICALLY how you escape supernatural qualities to the universe’s beginning/infinity then do so. Thats ALWAYS been an option for you. However what is not an option as far as I am concerned is making the proclamations that those supernatural qualities can be side stepped simple

    A) because you say so
    B) because you allege some future discovery rain check evidence can be begged to get out of answering
    C) because you hand wave that its philosophical
    D) because your saying”I dunno” makes it so

    You have some logical answer then fine go for it but if its more of A through D then its just ducking and running.

    meanwhile I noticed that no one really got into my example scenario of a theists begging out of a logical argument by saying I dunno

    Thats very telling and since I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt should the debate reach to phase two and I do the same not one of you would take “we can’t know for sure”/ “I dunno’ as an answer to what you put to Christians you won’t be wasting my time with duplicitous standards

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  311. “I don’t think that only theists do ask this.”

    But that’s not what you implied in your comment.. you said that “theists” would continue to ask for the source. And the question had nothing to do with “why” at all.
    When I ask that question.. it purely a scientific question.

    “Who said this originated from nothing? Why is it an less likely that matter existed on the continuum of eternity than a god?”

    Because that is illogical, it goes against scientific laws as well as common sense reasoning.

    A Supreme Being, while also illogical is a more reasonable explanation because purpose is more reasonable than lack of purpose.. particularly when everything in existence is based on purpose.. (cause & affect).

    “Based on what? All other religions have extreme faults and yours does not? It’s not pretty far-fetched that a man was born of a virgin, died, and then raised again?”

    Based on the Bible. Yes, a virgin birth and rising from the dead are “far fetched”.. but you/ atheists conveniently forget.. existence itself is “far fetched”.. because it’s illogical.

    Was it you or someone else who linked a picture of the planets/ space?.. anyone who acknowledges the wonders of that,.. how can they question a talking animal or a virgin birth? Those feats are nothing by comparison.

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  312. “I said that your point in this regard stands. Sigh…everything is a nail to your hammer, isn’t it?”

    IF I misread something you wrote (and it appears I did so I apologize ) then state it not try and get into a narrative about what everything is to me which you are not qualified to assess and is just hearkening back to the same old handwaving about me to side step the points I raise..

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  313. @Kathy,

    So since existence is far-fetched everybody should just believe that God, the Christian God, is the one true God? If you can believe one far-fetched thing you might as well believe them all?

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  314. @Mike,

    I really don’t want to argue. That’s not even what I’m trying to do here. I’ve said all along that this can be argued far better by far more educated people than me on the subject.

    I know you don’t want to answer any questions unless I say “yes, the origins are supernatural”. But why is it that more theoretical physicists, quantum physicists, and scientists in general don’t openly say that a supernatural cause was responsible? Why aren’t more of them, at the very least, deists?

    That makes no sense to me.

    To me, LOGICALLY, it makes as much sense that matter has always existed in some form as it does that a supernatural entity exists.

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  315. @Ruth, and now there are 2 “Literalists” .

    ” how can they question a talking animal or a virgin birth? Those feats are nothing by comparison.”

    “A Supreme Being, while also illogical is a more reasonable explanation because purpose is more reasonable than lack of purpose”

    “Yes, there are a plethora of gods.. but only ONE God of the Bible. Which is the most reasonable God.. all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc.”

    How does one react to these statements ???

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  316. If you can show LOGICALLY how you escape supernatural qualities to the universe’s beginning/infinity then do so.

    I’ve shown what is as plausible to me and, not only to me, but many others. That is isn’t a plausible explanation to you isn’t anything I can do anything about. You have made it perfectly clear that any explanation short of supernatural isn’t plausible to you.

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  317. “I know you don’t want to answer any questions unless I say “yes, the origins are supernatural”.

    You can lie on that all you want Ruth. I just told you I would accept logical answer as to why not but lets face it -you don’t have one which is why you are insisting on a strawman

    “But why is it that more theoretical physicists, quantum physicists, and scientists in general don’t openly say that a supernatural cause was responsible? ….That makes no sense to me. ”

    Fallacious illogical appeal makes no sense to me

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

    “To me, LOGICALLY, it makes as much sense that matter has always existed in some form as it does that a supernatural entity exists.”

    The show the logic because appeals to authority in place of reasoning is the opposite of logic

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  318. I know you probably won’t believe this but if your answer to some aspect of a question I asked you was “I don’t know”, all I would be able to do is say “fair enough.” It would be far better than behaving arrogantly and presuming certainty about something that you don’t have a certain answer to.

    Certainty about something does not equate to truthfulness or reality. Many people have been certainly wrong.

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  319. “I’ve shown what is as plausible to me and, not only to me, but many others.’

    You’ve shown nothing to be plausible. You have shown only that others atheists hold your stance. If thats evidence then we can all pack up and go home since atheism is a minority position and theism is a majority position.

    Besides that all you have done is claim it comes down to a majority poll of scientists to determine what is logical which in itself is fallacious and unscientific on the face of it but much worse for you because you are attempting to cite scientist even though you claim its an area that science does not yet address but will one day,

    I’d submit that many of them do the same thing you do to come to their conclusions (although there are many theistic scientists and influential) – Project rain check evidence.

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  320. ” It would be far better than behaving arrogantly and presuming certainty about something that you don’t have a certain answer to.’

    and now into full hand waving mode to avoid giving any logical answer. yes I am certain. i am certain that you are now dodging everything put before you and its a waste of time.

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  321. ““Yes, there are a plethora of gods.. but only ONE God of the Bible. Which is the most reasonable God.. all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc.”

    Other religions have recorded supernatural occurrences too . Why are the ones recorded in the bible true and the others false ?

    Better yet, Exodus 7:10-12 “10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake.”

    What supernatural source caused Pharaoh’s men to be able to do the same thing ?

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  322. 1 Samuel 28:10-15

    10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”

    11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

    “Bring up Samuel,” he said.

    12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

    13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

    The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure[a] coming up out of the earth.”

    14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

    “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.

    Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

    15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

    What supernatural source did Endor use to bring Samuel up from sheol ?

    If there are supernatural causes for things in this universe, it doesn’t appear that the “bible god” has the exclusive rights to these.

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  323. “And I’m asking you why a supernatural explanation is required?”

    And I answered

    “Natural processes ruth. natural processes. Lets take a bouncing ball infinite universe. Thats all thats in it – a bouncing ball, Nowhere near as complex as our own universe

    Now if its infinite then the force the ball is bouncing with is uncaused. its come from nowhere. YOU can’t say the ball ever had the force to applied to it because its infinite past has ALWAYS had it bouncing . you can’t say the force began because it always was applied. Thats what infinite means

    How is the ball bouncing with a force that comes from nothing/nowhere any substantial different from a supernatural event? ”

    Which resulted in crickets.

    To be honest Ruth your whole position is just incoherent, unscientific and illogical and it doesn’t matter if you cite others that are equally incoherent and illogical regardless of profession. You appeal to the universe being infinite past when all of science says it had a beginning. you constantly appeal to future discoveries and even what they will show and you have zero evidence anywhere that infinity even exists.

    Like

  324. How does one make a differentiation between rain that occurred naturally and rain which was caused by supernatural intervention ?

    Like

  325. @Ruth, here is the reason you just have to let go. It isn’t your fault when Mike makes statements like this,

    “To be honest Ruth your whole position is just incoherent, unscientific and illogical and it doesn’t matter if you cite others that are equally incoherent and illogical regardless of profession.”

    You see Ruth, it doesn’t matter to Mike what you say….. sorry

    Like

  326. @ Mike,

    You’ve shown nothing to be plausible.

    I’ve shown nothing that is plausible to you. Others find this plausible, including scientists. While I have admitted bias toward a natural answer, you have shown a bias toward a supernatural answer. I have not insisted that any answer you give be plausible to me and even stated that I get the logic you are using. I just don’t happen to agree.

    You said if I showed something logically plausible other than a supernatural cause that would suffice. But what you also have stated over and over again is that there is nothing natural that is plausible in your mind.

    So to that degree and to that extent, yes this is a waste of your time if you were only after getting me or anyone else to explicitly say that the only origin of the universe could possibly be supernatural. You may say I’m lying when I say that but it is clear that it was your intent as you won’t even entertain anything less. So I wonder then, when you say “all you have to do is show a plausible explanation” who the one is that is lying.

    Like

  327. Ruth, you said:

    “So since existence is far-fetched everybody should just believe that God, the Christian God, is the one true God?

    No where in my comments do I say or imply this. I’m just giving reason for the most likely answer, as I assume you are. I believe that it’s much more reasonable to believe we are created beings with a Creator. Atheists demand empirical evidence WHILE our very existence isn’t logical. That seems hypocritical to me.

    “If you can believe one far-fetched thing you might as well believe them all?”

    Us being created beings isn’t “far fetched”. And the God of the Bible isn’t far fetched. The Bible gives us the most reasonable explanation for our existence.. period. There is nothing more reasonable.. if you disagree, please tell me what it is.

    Like

  328. @kcchief1

    You said: “How does one react to these statements ???”

    Um, you debate them??

    Asking a silly question is definitely not the way to react to questions regarding the
    origins of our existence.. that defies logic.

    Like

  329. “Other religions have recorded supernatural occurrences too . Why are the ones recorded in the bible true and the others false ?”

    You look at the credentials of those sources. The Bible is the most credentialed. For example, it is based on the witnessing of many different people.. for Islam, Muhammed is the only author.. one man’s word.. same with Mormonism, with Joseph Smith.

    “Better yet, Exodus 7:10-12 “10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake.”

    What supernatural source caused Pharaoh’s men to be able to do the same thing ? ”

    Either satan or it was the same way a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat today.. trickery.

    Like

  330. @Kathy, here are your statements I was asking how one would react to.

    ” how can they question a talking animal or a virgin birth? Those feats are nothing by comparison.”

    “A Supreme Being, while also illogical is a more reasonable explanation because purpose is more reasonable than lack of purpose”

    “Yes, there are a plethora of gods.. but only ONE God of the Bible. Which is the most reasonable God.. all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc.”

    I was being sincere. There is no way a reasonable person could react to these statements without appearing insulting. I would have to use some of Mike’s comments in order to react to these. Sorry, I won’t stoop that low.

    Like

  331. It’s atheists who lack true objectivity. Anyone who claims to be an atheist is taking, at minimum, a 50/50 chance of getting it wrong.. yet atheists STILL reject God claiming He doesn’t exist.
    That’s proof of bias. And it’s taking a huge risk.. 50/50 odds are not that great for you when it’s your eternal soul at stake.

    Like

  332. @kcchief1 My questions are based in the reality that existence is illogical from a scientific perspective.. what perspective are you coming from?? Don’t be afraid to debate reality..

    Like

  333. “I’ve shown nothing that is plausible to you. Others find this plausible, including scientists. ”

    Hot fudge Sunday. You have not shown any scientist in this entire thread with a drop of evidence that supports your dodging. You have not dissected a signal logic presented to you nor constructed any opposing logical construct as a response except – we will find a natural answer in the sweet by and by or begging that you can go outside of time and space outside of this universe but doing so is not super natural.

    ‘You said if I showed something logically plausible other than a supernatural cause that would suffice’

    Yes I did so why dont you at least make a feeble attempt to present some logic instead of begging because – no – begging to a point is not logical, appealing to rain check evidence is not logical and even appealing to authority is fallacious. add to that “I don’t see why” and asking why can’t it be natural? are not the beginnings of rational explanations they are just statements

    “You may say I’m lying when I say that but it is clear that it was your intent as you won’t even entertain anything ”

    actually you are a bit off. I would not say you were lying to make that claim I would say you are bared face lying and I would say you are revealing EXACTLY what I was saying – that you have one set of rules for atheists and another for theists. I said multiple times you could give me a rational logical answer to my point but instead what you have done instead of giving one s pretend that your claiming and forecasting (of evidence that will come in the sweet by and by) is rational and based on any logical construct.

    SO Lets call a spade a spade. You have no logical answer. You don’t know how to address the logic and you don’t like the implications of the fact that you have nothing even on the feeble level to answer the rationality and logic that cause and effect must terminate. So stop lying to yourself – I can do quite well this a logical answer that deconstructs my point – its just that you don’t have one

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  334. “@kcchief1 My questions are based in the reality that existence is illogical from a scientific perspective”

    Your call entirely Kathy but in my time here there are a few posters that have nothing of any substance to say Kc is one, the arch and Ark brothers, William and nan head the list.

    Like

  335. Mike,

    Here’s my take on it.

    Unless You yourself Mike have:

    1. Received specific insight from God, regarding the specifics of the processes and factors that were involved in the creation of life.

    and

    2. you can clearly and simply explain this to us folk who don’t understand astrophysics…

    Then It seems to me You have your beliefs and they have there’s.

    But it’s belief that is involved in any question of the origin if the universe…

    since no one here as far as I know was there at the beginning, to observe the formation of this universe we find ourselves in…

    None of us were there. So what we’re talking about is belief.

    I believe God asks us to trust Him. There are many accounts where people were asked to respond in faith throughout the Bible.

    So for the believer it’s faith, concerning the beginning of the universe, since we can’t prove it either way when it comes to discussing the origins of everything.

    And Mike, Please correct me though if I’ve missed so something.

    There may be clear evidence for God in other areas (evidence in nature for example) but when talking about origins, no mere human was alive today to witness life in the universe beginning.

    but christians believe that God was First Cause by faith.

    Atheists might say that they believe something else… rather than a supernatural beginning.

    So can either atheist or theist prove their beliefs regarding what caused this amazing thing we call life?

    Not without divine intervention…or primary evidence that discounts God being the First Cause.

    Both of which we do not have I don’t think.

    It seems to me that the Christian position is faith that there was a first Cause and that Cause was a Person, God. Revealed in Jesus The Christ.

    An atheists position it seems to me is that they do not have faith that there necessarily was a first cause, or that the first causes were not a god(s)

    So therefore it strikes me that an atheist saying “I don’t know” in Response to your question is still an answer…their answer is “they don’t know”…

    and because they don’t have faith that God is the Creator, then that area for them is replaced with other beliefs, but they also were not there, as none of us were.

    I think we are all laypeople here when it comes to origins of the universe. And even scientists can only speculate and develop models on how this brilliant, terrifying, beautiful gift came about for us humans.

    We are somehow self aware, yet we seem so different from other animals…

    I have faith in the mystery 🙂

    Mike, Are my points making more sense?

    All the best 🙂

    Like

  336. And Mike, you dismissing people and saying they gave said nothing of substance I don’t think encourages understanding.

    What if people took that attitude towards you, then even when you did make valid and interesting points, people would miss it… Since they have already made up their mind and not reading your posts, because you personally wrote them…

    Does this seem like an effective approach to finding what us really true?

    Truth is truth, despite who types it, or what someone has typed in the past.

    Why dismiss people on an open forum?

    Like

  337. “Your call entirely Kathy but in my time here there are a few posters that have nothing of any substance to say Kc is one, the arch and Ark brothers, William and nan head the list.”

    Silence to direct questions is always a good indicator of those people. They can’t defend their views, so they stay silence.. until, you say something they *think* is easy to argue or attack.. then they’ll surface again. Where’s their integrity? I would hate to live my life adhering to faulty views/ beliefs that I couldn’t defend and instead have to resort to insults & attacks.

    Like

  338. Port I had one of those moments again

    Started reading you and realized you had nothing to say but rambling on about belief and mystery and ….,,,,well pretty much nonsense. Forgive me I had to turn away out of respect for your pain. I have no idea what you said after that but it was obvious no point on cause and effect was ever going to be made.

    Like

  339. “Mike, Are my points making more sense?”

    Oh I saw your question just now and wanted to make sure to answer

    No…in fact they are making less and less with each post

    Like

  340. “Silence to direct questions is always a good indicator of those people.”

    I asked multiple questions towards the end of this post to Kathy and Mike and you answered NONE of them. Other than your constant rhetoric and bashing , neither of you responded with clear answers to many of the questions posed here.

    I searched Nate’s other posts and your tactics were much the same.

    @kathy, you believe in talking animals and a virgin birth. You also claim A Supreme Being, while also illogical is a more reasonable explanation, and yes there are a plethora of Gods but only ONE God of the Bible. Which is the most reasonable God. And then the “icing on the cake” is you say, “all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc”

    People who have been indoctrinated in their faith and come out with a literal point of view usually don’t visit atheist blogs seeking answers. I think the evidence of this has clearly been displayed here.

    Like

  341. Been a long time lurker on nate’s blog, and never really had the impulse to post a comment until the past 2 weeks.

    Reason?

    Or rather a failure to see reason in the comments section that I love to read.

    To be honest, this is getting ridiculous. We have 2 Christians that hold firm to their faith, while a bunch of atheists who do not believe the same thing. And instead of trying to understand each other and why they are thinking this way, we are resorting to name calling. To summarize, most of the things I have been reading has been “nuh-uh I don’t agree and that’s becuz u are stupid and lying. You suck.”

    Everyone please chill out.

    Why are the atheists still bothering to engage when some people are not here to listen? It doesn’t seem to me that there’s a discussion going here, but rather a competition of who can ridicule the other camp more.

    Now before anybody start to say I’m bias against the 2 Christians (whom I think are effectively trolling even if they don’t meant to be), let me be clear, atheists are guilty of the same charge as well. And to be frank I do agree with Mike on some of the hypocracy seen – Ark immediately comes to mind, while most of the atheists including Nate have been guilty of using less than civil words.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is not saying that we are all bad pple etc. But at least understand why people like Mike may have gotten offended in the first place. Certainly the way he has reflected himself has been less than stellar, but shouldn’t we also apologize to him, and see if he is truly magnanimous to forgive us and then continue the discussion in a civil manner? If he doesn’t do it then at least our conscience is clear, and may also be easier to see which side is acting like a child and which side isn’t. Honestly now I’m finding it hard to distinguish.

    Like

  342. “Silence to direct questions is always a good indicator of those people. They can’t defend their views, so they stay silence.. until, you say something they *think* is easy to argue or attack.. ”

    to some of them everything is easy to attack because they think through nothing. The duplicity would be stunning if I did not see it so often in atheist thought. Present them with something they cannot rebut the logic of and they go EXACTLY as they accuse theists of doing –

    Give no rational answer
    fall back to nothing but belief, feeling and I thinks
    and proclaim in the sweet by and by facts will be revealed, that although they have no idea what those facts will be it will support their ideology

    Like

  343. Powell I require no apology and I would happily get to something substantive. I can break it down into two questions and if I saw even a half way reasonable answer I would surmise there was some honesty

    A) Besides intelligence how is appealing to an infinity any less supernatural than appealing to a god? IF atheists can invoke an infinity which has absolutely no proof then how can thy calim that theists are illogical?

    B) an answer to something I now have posted three times that no one will touch

    “Natural processes ruth. natural processes. Lets take a bouncing ball infinite universe. Thats all thats in it – a bouncing ball, Nowhere near as complex as our own universe

    Now if its infinite then the force the ball is bouncing with is uncaused. The force comes from nowhere. You can’t say the ball ever had the force to applied to it because in its infinite past the ball has ALWAYS been bouncing . you can’t say the force began because it always was applied. Thats what infinite means

    How is the ball bouncing with a force that comes from nothing/nowhere any substantial different from a supernatural event? ”

    Like

  344. Some clarifications – stop using the words like duplicity, lying, deluded etc as they are offensive. I’m not saying that you cannot feel this way, but if ur intention is trying to convince, or understand what the other camp is thinking, then u’ll deft not get the result u want.

    Watch how many proper debates uses such words? Even in politics when speakers are criticizing each other I don’t see similar name calling. Use gentler words guys, it reflects better on us and prevent the listener from getting aggressive.

    Now I’m sure some of u guys will say “I’ll call a spade a spade” or to that effect. Or perhaps to the tune of “oh I don’t care what others think of me”

    If that is the case, then u are not trying to communicate, but rather purposely trying to simply push your point across without regard and that would make you a troll. Just my 2 cents

    Like

  345. Hi Mike,

    Sorry my points are not making sense to you.

    Hope you have a productive and safe week 🙂

    Like

  346. Powell,

    I agree we should be more respectful, people can still clearly outline their views without dismissing people.

    People can even be frank and to the point, without using bullying behaviour.

    That is true for people of all beliefs. It’s just not effective in understanding one another.

    Thanks

    Like

  347. “Some clarifications – stop using the words like duplicity, lying, deluded etc as they are offensive.”

    You mean like insincere, kidding themselves, fudging, twisting and yes Lying and deluded as used all over this blog in reference to theists? Do tell….. or umm your own personal favorite – troll as unoffensive??

    BTW do you have anything to offer by way of substance to the subject of cause and effect? Like umm the last two questions you avoided?

    Because the whole giving directions thing isn’t a point that I will hear you on and definitely not while you are name calling people trolls

    Like

  348. ” then u’ll deft not get the result u want. ”

    Just a note since you are lecturing everyone on hwo they are coming across . if you want people to stake you seriously you just can’t use U so often

    Like

  349. “It’s just not effective in understanding one another”.

    And what I meant by that is that bullying behaviour is not effective in understanding one another

    Like

  350. We have two Christians here? Where? I don’t see them.

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23

    “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal… Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” 1 Cor 13:1,4-5

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Mt 7:21-23

    Liked by 1 person

  351. “Certainly the way he has reflected himself has been less than stellar, but shouldn’t we also apologize to him, and see if he is truly magnanimous to forgive us and then continue the discussion in a civil manner?” – Powers

    I agree with what you’ve said. You’re right, this is ridiculous and we’re no longer discussing the points. Sad.

    People have apologized to mike, but i have yet to see him accept one. he usually claims the apology is insincere. I’ve seen atheists try to get back on point, and mike seems to avoid doing so.

    We should be better than this. Even if some difficult person comes on here, at the very least, we could ignore him and get back to business.

    Like

  352. Put something substantive in font of them

    —————————-

    “if I saw even a half way reasonable answer I would surmise there was some honesty

    A) Besides intelligence how is appealing to an infinity any less supernatural than appealing to a god? IF atheists can invoke an infinity which has absolutely no proof then how can thy calim that theists are illogical?

    B) an answer to something I now have posted three times that no one will touch

    “Natural processes ruth. natural processes. Lets take a bouncing ball infinite universe. Thats all thats in it – a bouncing ball, Nowhere near as complex as our own universe

    Now if its infinite then the force the ball is bouncing with is uncaused. The force comes from nowhere. You can’t say the ball ever had the force to applied to it because in its infinite past the ball has ALWAYS been bouncing . you can’t say the force began because it always was applied. Thats what infinite means

    How is the ball bouncing with a force that comes from nothing/nowhere any substantial different from a supernatural event? ”
    ————————

    and Watch em scatter

    Like

  353. Ron,

    I think It’s overly harsh to imply that people aren’t Christians,

    that is between each person and God. After all, we don’t know who each person is at heart, or all their motivations….

    we might observe people behaving or expressing things we disagree with, or doing things that offend us.

    but to suggest that they are not genuine when it comes to matters of faith is not something I think can be assessed online.

    If someone says they believe, I think they and God only know what’s going on inside.

    Like

  354. And I don’t think we can really know all people’s fruits just through discussions with them on the internet.

    And personally, I know I need to concentrate on taking the log out of my own eye anyway 🙂

    Like

  355. Apologies on that, was using my iphone to type and had to rush before the battery went dead, which also explains the bad grammar and the usage of “u”.

    In any case, I was actually referring to the atheists when I was typing out my “clarification” and not pointing fingers at you Mike. Like I said previously, don’t think we handled ourselves well either so hope you do not mind. And the troll thing? Not just referring you I think all of us are culpable when we are shouting each other down, and I do frown upon what Ron has said up there. I think that’s uncalled for and once again jeopardizes the spirit of discussion. If I came across as being “holier than thou”, or seemed to be on a moral high horse, I am truly sorry.

    *wags finger at Ron*

    Yup.

    Back to your questions –

    A) Besides intelligence how is appealing to an infinity any less supernatural than appealing to a god? IF atheists can invoke an infinity which has absolutely no proof then how can thy calim that theists are illogical?

    Fully agree with you. It’s wrong that atheists are calling theists illogical. There is a reason why you believe what you do. Theists have their own worldview and so do atheists. We may not agree with the reason, but to simply disregard their entire thought process is deft wrong.

    B) an answer to something I now have posted three times that no one will touch

    “Natural processes ruth. natural processes. Lets take a bouncing ball infinite universe. Thats all thats in it – a bouncing ball, Nowhere near as complex as our own universe

    Now if its infinite then the force the ball is bouncing with is uncaused. The force comes from nowhere. You can’t say the ball ever had the force to applied to it because in its infinite past the ball has ALWAYS been bouncing . you can’t say the force began because it always was applied. Thats what infinite means

    How is the ball bouncing with a force that comes from nothing/nowhere any substantial different from a supernatural event? ”

    I think Ruth and Portal have attempted to answer but their answers have been rejected. So in my humble opinion to say that no one will touch or has touched is not being fair.

    Nonetheless, you of course are well in your right to fail their answers. And in that case I guess we have failed your test? If that is true I would really love to hear from you why your answer is the correct one as right now I can’t see why Ruth’s answer does not get a pass grade.

    Like

  356. forgot one Kathy – Ron….never EVER makes a good point

    Now since I happened to scan and see he was quoting mining scripture in defense of his accusation of non christian attitude (as if he is any judge of proper christian attitude) let me quote some passages that they will no doubt take offense at (but are put here to rebut the idea that answers must always be soft according to Christianity)

    Galatians 2:11 (YLT)
    11 And when Peter (an apostle no less) came to Antioch, to the face I stood up against him, because he was blameworthy,

    Acts 8:20-23 (ASV)
    20 But Peter said unto him, Thy silver perish with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money.
    21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right before God.
    22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee.
    23 For I see that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.

    2 Peter 2:17 (YLT)
    17 These (apostates)are wells without water, and clouds by a tempest driven, to whom the thick gloom of the darkness to the age hath been kept;

    Matthew 12:33-35 (Darby)
    33 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt. For from the fruit the tree is known.
    34 Offspring of vipers! how can ye speak good things, being wicked? For of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
    35 The good man out of the good treasure brings forth good things; and the wicked man out of the wicked treasure brings forth wicked things.

    Matthew 23:13 (ASV)
    13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter.

    Theres a long, good and righteous history of Christianity demanding a spade be called a spade and an atheist quote mining the bible doesn’t change it.

    Like

  357. “B) an answer to something I now have posted three times that no one will touch”

    People have touched it Mike, you’re the one doing the hand waving . You have framed a question claiming there are only 2 answers. You have NO evidence that those are the only 2 answers.

    It’s OK for you to have faith that 1 of those 2 answers is true. It’s not OK to berate everyone else for saying 1.) I don’t know 2.) those may not be the only 2 answers.

    Like

  358. ” think Ruth and Portal have attempted to answer but their answers have been rejected. So in my humble opinion to say that no one will touch or has touched is not being fair”

    You made that up out of thin air Power. I have yet to see any answer to that question. and you didn’t answer A either. You side stepped it as if infinity has not already been invoked. once it has then it needs an explanation.

    Like

  359. “forgot one Kathy – Ron….never EVER makes a good point”

    Mike, have you ever in your life taken the “high road” ?

    You started out this post by berating others here who have differing views and you have never stopped.

    Like

  360. Try and stop lying people. Just for a few minutes. here it is again

    ““Natural processes ruth. natural processes. Lets take a bouncing ball infinite universe. Thats all thats in it – a bouncing ball, Nowhere near as complex as our own universe

    Now if its infinite then the force the ball is bouncing with is uncaused. The force comes from nowhere. You can’t say the ball ever had the force to applied to it because in its infinite past the ball has ALWAYS been bouncing . you can’t say the force began because it always was applied. Thats what infinite means

    How is the ball bouncing with a force that comes from nothing/nowhere any substantial different from a supernatural event? ”

    Go ahead and answer it…not sidetep, not hand wave – give a logical reasoned answer

    Like

  361. Ok Mark,

    I’ll attempt to answer your question.

    your analogy of the red ball seems to suggest that it needed to be dropped in order for it to begin it’s bouncing. If you add the eternal aspect this would infer that the ball was never dropped, but that it has always, and will always bounce.

    If the ball is not eternally bouncing then eventually it will come to a stop, as since it was dropped, it’s bounces will decline as well over time. There would therefore be both a beginning and an end.

    To me a eternally bouncing ball makes not as much sense. Have I answered your question?

    Here’s my question. Say someone or something did drop the ball in this analogy. I believe someone dropped the ball.

    But the same question could be asked, who created the one who dropped the ball?

    The answer could be that the one who dropped the ball is eternal. But then are we not back to square one? That although the ball is not eternally bouncing, at some point during cause and effect someone or something in this analogy caused the ball to begin bouncing, and aren’t such a originator of the bouncing ball therefore eternal?

    For what or who precedes them or it that first caused the ball to bounce?

    So in this case, instead of having an eternally bouncing ball, we have a eternally existing cause that started the ball bouncing.

    Which I believe to be true. But we are still then dealing with the notion of eternity, just transferred from the ball to the one who dropped it.

    This analogy therefore still involves eternity, and cause and effect still involves an eternal cause.

    Like

  362. “A) Besides intelligence how is appealing to an infinity any less supernatural than appealing to a god? IF atheists can invoke an infinity which has absolutely no proof then how can thy calim that theists are illogical?” – mike

    Okay, so god then. I knew we were coming to this. If god, fine, which one now? how many?

    how do we then arrive at jesus? or do we?

    Like

  363. “your analogy of the red ball seems to suggest that it needed to be dropped in order for it to begin it’s bouncing. ”

    No it doesn’t. my analogy was NOT of a ball dropping but a ball bouncing in an infinite universe. In an infinite universe with a bouncing ball it didn’t “need” anything to be dropped it was ALWAYS bouncing. I’m getting the impression you don’t even understand the
    implications of infinite and thats EXACTLY why I am requiring a logical answer

    “If the ball is not eternally bouncing then eventually it will come to a stop, as since it was dropped, it’s bounces will decline as well over time. There would therefore be both a beginning and an end. ”

    exactly and if there were then you would not have an infinite universe and you would be forced to come back to a universe that requires a natural beginning. THATS THE POINT so the answer of an infinite universe doesn’t hold water logically unless you accept a force causing the ball to bounce that has no explanation or process.

    “To me a eternally bouncing ball makes not as much sense. Have I answered your question?”

    Nope as usual you haven’t I asked how is it different from a supernatural event? Further I don’t even get how you think you can answer for atheists since you claim to not be one or why if you really are not one you feel the need to. Conflicted?

    “This analogy therefore still involves eternity, and cause and effect still involves an eternal cause.”

    Yes of course it does and thats the entire point you miss completely. – its that either way you go theistic or atheistic you still end up spouting off what really are supernatarul concepts and therefore you (or an atheist) might as well come off the high horse you don’t deal with the supernatural in atheistic explanations

    Now since you claim to not be an atheist then perhaps you should make an atheist answer it because it IS their position that the supernatural is not a part of their construct and they have not provided an OUNCE of logic or evidence to back it up.

    Like

  364. And Ron,

    I don’t think you were being “high and mighty” at all with those scriptures you pointed out 🙂

    I just think you were pointing out some scriptures that are important for Christians to consider seriously.

    Thanks 🙂

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  365. “Okay, so god then. I’

    Since the comments don’t have a full ignore function I catch snippets of your nonsense every now and again and am reminded each time why its wise to just skip over your comments without reading.

    I never said therefore God then. and yes even more so after reading your twisting you are still being ignored in most posts as best I can – so you can babble on some more about what I didn’t say.

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  366. Mike,

    I tried. Frankly I’m tired of this, your tone rubs me the wrong way…

    My point was that your analogy of a eternally bouncing ball is similiar to an analogy that someone dropped the ball in the sense that the eternal aspect still exists, but is then transferred to the person or force that dropped the ball at the beginning.

    So both analogies carry eternal concepts. And you seem to be saying that an eternally bouncing ball makes less sense, which I agree.

    This isn’t about winning some debating game to me. It’s about exploring people’s positions.

    Seriously man, what do you want from me? 🙂

    Please don’t suggest I’m being insincere or allude to any “polite” spade is a spade thing in your next post. You have clearly stated you like calling a spade a spade. I get it.

    Thanks for the conversation.

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  367. “I never said therefore God then. and yes even more so after reading your twisting you are still being ignored in most posts as best I can – so you can babble on some more about what I didn’t say.”

    it’s hard to ignore the points, so in a way, you’re efforts are admirable.

    But when you get to it, how does all of this point to jesus? I dont think it does, but earlier, you seemed to indicate that it did.

    So, where do we get to god, then one god, then the bible and jesus?

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  368. “I just think you were pointing out some scriptures that are important for Christians to consider seriously. ”

    Portal I see no evidence you have any credentials of telling Christians anything about their faith or what they should consider seriously. Taking stands for atheists (and I have never seen you do otherwise on any subject) is hardly a biblical fruit of a Christian.

    Anyone can claim to be one or to have been one but the discerning Christian is not taken in by internet claims.

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  369. @Mike,

    The problem here is that when atheists think of the word supernatural we think of woo, and God, and applying attributes to this thing.

    If the “uncaused” part of this is what is being called supernatural, then I can concede that. In any case I think we do agree that either the Universe is uncaused or the cause of the Universe is uncaused.

    Many scientists (but not all) think that the big bang was a singularity – not the result of an ordered physical law, but was the result of an impossible situation that no laws cover. In other words, it was uncaused. If a supernatural explanation doesn’t need a cause because it is infinite, it is more likely that the natural Universe has existed forever and therefore doesn’t need a cause and is the supernatural in and of itself.

    This logic does not provide evidence as to what the first cause actually is. So while both theism and atheism both come to the conclusion that everything that exists must have a cause it takes additional assumptions to conclude any particular cause.

    We don’t know what caused the Universe to expand. That’s a fact. Any assertion as to it’s cause is presumptuous. Though I would add, that even though that is the case, and it also does not preclude additional “breaks” in the natural laws of the Universe, one would think there would be evidence of these laws being broken.

    For instance, you say that the fact that an event happened that has no apparent cause is evidence of the supernatural then there would be additional evidence, a footprint left, of the supernatural event. You can say we know that a supernatural event occurred at the “Big Bang” because there is evidence of this Bang.

    Finally, I would say that I’m intrigued about this whole cosmological problem. My brain is about to explode with information about dark energy and Boltzmann Brains and such.

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  370. “My point was that your analogy of a eternally bouncing ball is similiar to an analogy that someone dropped the ball in the sense that the eternal aspect still exists, but is then transferred to the person or force that dropped the ball at the beginning. ”

    Good for you. You can make any point you wish but it wasn’t the question.

    “Please don’t suggest I’m being insincere or allude to any “polite” spade is a spade thing in your next post. ”

    I’ve never known you to be sincere in your complaints about tone. In my experience its a major topic for you only when its a theists making a point

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  371. “Nope as usual you haven’t I asked how is it different from a supernatural event?”

    Where is the evidence for a supernatural event ?

    “I don’t even get how you think you can answer for atheists since you claim to not be one or why if you really are not one you feel the need to. Conflicted?”

    Berate , berate, berate…………………………..

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  372. Mike, are you talking about religion and the bible, or are you only interested in theoretical physics?

    I thought you were interested in the bible, but since you continue to avoid the subject, I guess I’m wrong. If you merely want to discuss supernatural vs natural, than I’ll excuse myself.

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  373. and it’s not that my comments are ignorant (they’re only questions, based on things you’ve said), and it’s not that there’s really any asinine rule about not answering until Mike’s question gets answered exactly as he’d like it, it’s that you (mike) don’t want to answer the questions.

    I think it’s because you really cant and don’t want to have to admit that. I could be wrong, and you could prove that, but so far you continue to bolster my position.

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  374. “Many scientists (but not all) think that the big bang was a singularity – not the result of an ordered physical law, but was the result of an impossible situation that no laws cover. In other words, it was uncaused. If a supernatural explanation doesn’t need a cause because it is infinite, it is more likely that the natural Universe has existed forever and therefore doesn’t need a cause and is the supernatural in and of itsel”

    Well first off most leading phycisists do NOT maintain that a singularity is the end of the question. No less than Krauss and Hawkings go beyond that. Furthermore the whole idea of a multiverse is predicated on there being more than the singularity in our own universe. No crime in not knowing but I think you will see that the more you read.

    Second you are back to stating likely again which is just code word for “I feel” with no logic really to back it up. The truth is physical reality is NOT a good candidate for an uncaused entity because physical things all around us are process – cause and effect driven – Cause and effect processes in an infinity creates absurdities even negating cause and effect like in the bouncing ball universe. IF that were not enough in an eternally operating universe we should not see properties such as entropy which most scientists now say will result in our universe ending in heat death. Something that is infinite cannot EVER die or become inoperable or it would have done so an infinite time ago. In other words the science itself is against the universe being eternal and infinite.

    Finally and more important to a baseline for going forward you have just made all of reality a miracle/supernatural so why then a priori against miracles or the supernatural? Why if as you now saw the supernatural is ordinary to the universe would it be extraordinary for there to be one, two or even two hundred? WHy would it require extraordinary evidence and not just good evidence?

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  375. “Finally and more important to a baseline for going forward you have just made all of reality a miracle/supernatural so why then a priori against miracles or the supernatural? Why if as you now saw the supernatural is ordinary to the universe would it be extraordinary for there to be one, two or even two hundred? WHy would it require extraordinary evidence and not just good evidence?” – mike

    I said this was coming as soon as this line of conversation started… we could be so far ahead right now.

    so fine, what’s your good evidence that there were miracles and that the bible is really god’s word ant that jesus is really his son who really died, and who really rose again and flew into heaven?

    but there’s no evidence… we’re just backing to to point, the big bang, and asking “where did that come from?” since no one knows, you’re saying it must be supernatural… and if supernatural, why not miracles… These are huge leaps, build off of big assumptions.

    Maybe youre right, but so far, there have been many things that were thought to be supernatural that have since been shown to be quite natural, so why cant the cause be natural,and that we just havent found a way to explain that yet? But again, let’s ignore this, because as i’ve said before, there is no answer right now.

    and again, I said this was coming as soon as this line of conversation started… we could be so far ahead right now.

    so fine, what’s your good evidence that there were miracles and that the bible is really god’s word ant that jesus is really his son who really died, and who really rose again and flew into heaven?

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  376. @Mike,

    Well first off most leading phycisists do NOT maintain that a singularity is the end of the question.

    I’m not sure why you read that “most lead physicists maintain that a singularity is the end of the question” into that. I was re-stating your case that the cause was not the result of ordered natural laws.

    In the entire thing I was conceding the supernatural which you maintained. But that the supernatural “thing”, whatever it was, left a footprint – the Big Bang.

    If supernatural events leave such tremendous footprints, where are the rest of them?

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  377. The assumption is that God is, which is the foundational statement of all presuppositional apologists/apologetics.

    They neither feel compelled to qualify this statement nor justify it.
    The simple assumption being that anyone who disagrees is either non compos mentis or in league with the ”Devil’ and obviously “Hell bent” on corrupting innocent, god-fearing folk.
    This of course is the perfect indicator of the indoctrinated mind.

    Of course, on a blog such as this, those god-fearing folk are naturally Christians.
    And of course, not any old Christian, but the right kind.
    This , naturally, excludes all Christians who are not the same as the Christian making the statement about the right Christian.

    Specifically, Catholics,I’m sure, and Young Earth Creationists, who are , quite frankly, simply mental; but also, no doubt, quite a number of the other 40,000 or so denominations.

    Of course, it goes without saying that even though they genuflect to an incarnation/ version of Yahweh, Jews and Muslims are excluded from this ”club”.

    It should, therefore, be mandatory for the Christian, to actually state which version of Yahweh they worship and offer at least some evidence of this deity before they begin to lambaste non- believers for their woefully inept un-cherrypicked biblical interpretation.

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  378. “These issues also impact notions about the existence of gods with disembodied minds. Since everything we know about minds, thinking, memories, and personalities requires the existence of a physical brain as a basis, it’s difficult to credit the idea that a disembodied mind without a brain is even possible. Religious theists have certainly not offered any explanation for how this would even be theoretically possible, much less provide evidence for it being an actual state of affairs. It is unlikely that such a disembodied mind exists and, therefore, that a god exists.

    None of this is unequivocal proof that no gods can or do exist, nor does it prove that no religions are or can be true. It does, however, provide a strong basis for doubting that some of the most fundamental claims about gods and religions are true. Although they are not logically excluded from being true, they are excluded from being very likely true. This amount of contrary evidence makes belief unreasonable.” (atheism.about.com)

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  379. “If supernatural events leave such tremendous footprints, where are the rest of them?”

    Ruth upon what are you building this strawman that supernatural events must leave tremendous footprints? an uncaused thing has no process behind it so claiming that there must be some big process that leaves this big footprint really doesn’t hold muxh water

    Is this a way of maintaining the extraordinary evidence claim?

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  380. @ Mike,

    Do you believe all claims of miracles/supernatural? How do you decide what is real supernatural from what is fake supernatural?

    No, that’s not a way of maintaining the extraordinary evidence claim? But how does one accept a supernatural claim without evidence? Who gets to decide what constitutes “good” evidence?

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  381. “Ruth upon what are you building this strawman that supernatural events must leave tremendous footprints?”

    the whole discussion is a strawman, smart guy. all built upon guesses and wishes.

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  382. @ Mike,

    Am I misunderstanding something? Are you saying that the Big Bang – or whatever began time (the uncaused cause) – is evidence of the supernatural?

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  383. @KC,

    I do think there is some misunderstanding here about what atheists actually think. I don’t think I’ve ever said that the supernatural was an completely impossible. I’ve stated all along that this would be a presumptuous position.

    It is quite obvious that the Bible is good enough evidence for people to believe in those miraculous claims. Theists proclaim them all the time. Why is offensive for atheists to question their veracity or even outright proclaim their disbelief in these.

    Why is it ridiculing or belittling to Christians for atheists to state why they don’t find it convincing? Are Christians ridiculing and belittling atheists when they state why they find the claims believable?

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  384. “Are Christians ridiculing and belittling atheists when they state why they find the claims believable?”

    Not necessarily. I’ve not found Mainstream Christians to be this way during my relatively short blogging experiences. I did find this interesting however about Fundamentalists.

    “In the context of monotheism fundamentalism is the type of religious behaviour that takes a central religious text and places in such a holy, sacred place that it becomes considered infallible and from God rather than from man Fundamentalists take the tenets of their religion so seriously that Earthly evidence will not dissuade them from their religious views, and morality itself pales in comparison to what they think God’s will is. (http://www.humanreligions.info/fundamentalism.html#Intro)

    Sound familiar ?

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  385. “No, that’s not a way of maintaining the extraordinary evidence claim? But how does one accept a supernatural claim without evidence? ”

    Sigh more straw men.Who said anything about “without evidence” ruth? how many times do I have to state that My issue is not with good evidence but with the never defined “extraordinary” evidence?

    “No, that’s not a way of maintaining the extraordinary evidence claim? But how does one accept a supernatural claim without evidence? Who gets to decide what constitutes “good” evidence?”

    Aaaaah so perhaps now you can see my issue? If you can have hesitation on an atheist blog that shares your view about who determines what is good evidence then can you imagine what hesitation I would have going into any discussion where the perfectly undefined “extraordinary evidence” is allegedly the standard.

    “Am I misunderstanding something? Are you saying that the Big Bang – or whatever began time (the uncaused cause) – is evidence of the supernatural?”

    Of course. I guess I am as confused as you are because we have been talking about just that for days and as far as I can tell you were just about conceding that

    ” I don’t think I’ve ever said that the supernatural was an completely impossible. I’ve stated all along that this would be a presumptuous position.”

    and why would it be a presumptuous position when you just were saying the universe has a supernatural cause in itself? You seem to be saying two opposite things at the same time

    “It is quite obvious that the Bible is good enough evidence for people to believe in those miraculous claims.”

    Its quite obvious you haven’t discussed things with theists in any wide way because I know no apologist who says the Bible has miracles that proves it – the end. Actually if the Bible started with the Gospel stories I would not believe it at all.

    The only thing still remaining is the very issue you just raised. Whats going to be the basis of evidence? If there is a priori about anything that mentions the supernatural even though the universe has had supernatural events then whats going to be the point?

    Even you must realize that no matter what is put up by me there will be a whole lot of foaming at the mouth, nonsense and spittle from at least half the readers here including the usual culprits Ark,Arch, William and Ron so why in the world would I bother where theres not even a defined standard but just this so elastic “extraordinary evidence” claim?

    .

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  386. BTW, when I copy and pasted this I did leave out an example for Islam as you were asking about christians. I did provide a link to the entire article so I wouldn’t be accused of hiding anything.

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  387. “Even you must realize that no matter what is put up by me there will be a whole lot of foaming at the mouth, nonsense and spittle from at least half the readers here including the usual culprits Ark,Arch, William and Ron so why in the world would I bother where theres not even a defined standard but just this so elastic “extraordinary evidence” claim?”

    Why do you care if there will be foaming at the mouth, non-sense and spittle? You’ve already spent most of your time on this post accusing people of just that. You need to “put up” or change the subject.

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  388. @Mike,

    I must not be speaking plain English.

    and why would it be a presumptuous position when you just were saying the universe has a supernatural cause in itself? You seem to be saying two opposite things at the same time

    I didn’t say two opposite things at the same time. I said it would be presumptuous to state that the supernatural is completely impossible.

    In case you missed it, I’ve stated here that I’m an agnostic atheist, and exactly what that
    means.

    Who said anything about “without evidence” ruth? how many times do I have to state that My issue is not with good evidence but with the never defined “extraordinary” evidence?

    I thought it was implied in something you said:

    an uncaused thing has no process behind it so claiming that there must be some big process that leaves this big footprint really doesn’t hold muxh water

    which kind of made it sound as if, since an uncaused thing has no process behind it it need not leave any footprint at all. If that’s a misunderstanding on my part, my apologies. But if a miracle/supernatural event has no process behind it, what makes any miracle claim more or less likely than another?

    Its quite obvious you haven’t discussed things with theists in any wide way because I know no apologist who says the Bible has miracles that proves it – the end.

    That’s not exactly what I said. But there are those, including pastors and ministers, who do spout the “The Bible says it so that settles it” diatribe. A LOT of those. I have discussed this widely with theists, though they may be uneducated and have no real foundation to their faith except the Bible. There are, believe or not, even sects of Christianity that discourage reading materials outside the canonized scripture – most especially the apocryphal works.

    I guess I am as confused as you are because we have been talking about just that for days and as far as I can tell you were just about conceding that

    I did concede that. In fact, the way you’ve explained it there can be no other explanation than a supernatural one. Which makes it pretty extraordinary evidence. 😉 So my point was that one might expect some pretty darned good evidence (some might even say extraordinary evidence) for any supernatural claim. When I say that it’s extraordinary evidence I mean it left a gigantic, humungous, tremendous footprint.

    Now, when we get to what is considered “extraordinary” or “good” evidence I’m thinking that’s pretty subjective based on the individual. So all you’re left with is either putting up whatever evidence you have, taking the chance at “foaming at the mouth, nonsense and spittle from at least half the readers here”, or not producing/putting up whatever evidence you feel you have. Clearly no one can force you to. That’s entirely up to you.

    But you’ve also implied in that that at least half the readers won’t foam at the mouth, spout nonsense and spittle. If it bothers you that some of the readers will undoubtedly attempt to shoot you down I’d suggest not engaging.

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  389. kcchief1 said: “I asked multiple questions towards the end of this post to Kathy and Mike and you answered NONE of them. Other than your constant rhetoric and bashing , neither of you responded with clear answers to many of the questions posed here.”

    The only question you asked was “How does one react to these statements ???”
    and it wasn’t even directed at me.. is this an obfuscation tactic? Seems so.

    You said: “@kathy, you believe in talking animals and a virgin birth. You also claim A Supreme Being, while also illogical is a more reasonable explanation, and yes there are a plethora of Gods but only ONE God of the Bible. Which is the most reasonable God. And then the “icing on the cake” is you say, “all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc”

    People who have been indoctrinated in their faith and come out with a literal point of view usually don’t visit atheist blogs seeking answers. I think the evidence of this has clearly been displayed here.”

    I’ve made a point regarding this that you still fail to address..

    The foundation for my comments is the FACT that existence is illogical from a scientific
    perspective.. you continue to ignore this and instead accuse me of being “indoctrinated”.. sorry but that’s not an answer to my question/ point.

    People who make personal comments instead of addressing the actual points is what Mike was referring to I believe.. this is an extremely common tactic of atheists/ liberals.

    It’s so easy to go after someone who is defending talking animals.. but when I ask deeper questions in regards to that.. you “run”.

    And please don’t get confused about why I’m here.. it most def. is not to get answers.. that makes me laugh (out loud).. I debate atheists/ liberals to point out to them how their pride and ego are controlling them and causing serious harm.

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  390. cont.. you ONLY address my points to make a claim that I’m indoctrinated.. you get a giant FAIL.

    “And then the “icing on the cake” is you say, “all other religions have extreme faults in their beliefs etc”

    WHAT do you mean by this?? I will gladly debate the extreme faults of the other religions as compared to Christianity.. and I’ll gladly debate Christianity.. it’s not me who is indoctrinated.. it’s usually the one who can’t defend their beliefs when forced to elaborate.

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