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Questions For The Religious And Non Religious  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 46
Posted (10 years 13 hours ago) and read 1700 times:

What is the real reason behind the Great Divide that exists between the religious and non religious? It seems to me that they have more in common with each other than there are differences. Could it be that the only thing really separating them is the accountability and living by some rules factor?

QUESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD:

1. It is often said that Christianity has been directly or indirectly linked to more war, famine, and suffering in our planets history than anything else. It's hard to be an objective thinker and not realize that this argument has merit to it. Yet Christianity is supposed to be a faith of compassion and caring. How do you respond to these charges? At what point to you have to simply agree to disagree and walk away? You may believe yourself to be 100% right. The Bible does say to spread the word of the Lord. Why do so many people who claim to be religious feel the need to resort to name calling and belittling and firebombing those who disagree with you?

2. If God created the Universe and all its glory, where did He come from?

3. How do you explain the fossil and geological records? If those were "planted" by God to give us the impression of a past history, then how do you know that we weren't all simply created ourselves just five minutes ago, and all of the memories that exist in our head from our whole lives simply planted there by Him as well, to make us "normal"?

4. Did Adam and Eve posess navels? If so, then that is a vestige of a birth, therefore debunking the idea that they were the first. If not, then they weren't 100% like us.

5. If every person on this earth has a Divine Purpose, why do so many people-most of whom are are totally innocent-get condemmed to suffer-just like Jacqui-who never did anything more sinful than want to get educated, get married, and have a family? How could a loving God allow this to happen to ANYONE?

http://www.helpjacqui.com/



QUESTIONS FOR THE NON BELIEVERS

1. Many people who don't believe in God strongly believe in Astrology. Both are largely based on faith and suspension of disbelief. If God is wrong, how can Astrology be right?

2. If the Universe is the result of the "Big Bang", where did THAT come from?

3. Many nonbelievers happen to be scientists and astonomers. Many of them firmly believe in such things as other planets outside of our solar system. But nothing other than circumstantial evidence exists. Yet we are to take your word? Why should we accept your word with faith, but no hard evidence whilst at the same time shunning the Believers who basically do the same?

4. If Life is the result of random chemical reactions, why has not a single scientist on this planet been able to duplicate it and, basically create something out of nothing? I'm not talking about cloning or synthetic materials. Those are only made out of existing objects and substances.

5. Do you REALLY believe that the Bible is nothing more than a book of fables, or is the idea that you aren't 100% in control of your life the real reason you turn away? In other words, you don't believe in absolute rights and wrongs.

6. If you really are the "open minded" and "tolerant" person you claim to be, then why do you hate Christians so much? Why not just live and let live? Are you perhaps in denial that you really are open minded and tolerant or does your pride and ego prevent you from accepting the idea that they might be right and you might be wrong and you have to resort to name calling, belittling, and mocking those who disagree with you?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

I am an agnostic. I do not know if there is a god, but I will answer the "Non believers" questions:

1. I do not trust astrology, it is fun to read though.

2. I have no idea where the Big Bang came from.

3. I believe there is life out there. Of all the planets, stars, and galaxies out there, how can there not be one or two that can/has/will support life? Statistically speaking, there has to be, right?

4. The beginning stages of life have in fact been created in a lab. Certain chemicals that existed in our atmosphere back when the first eukaryotic were being formed, if charged electrically they form certain acids and other chemicals that are found in those cells. Given time, many feel these were the basis of the first single-celled organisms.

5. I think the Bible is a book of stories, because it is.... People remembering events as they happened to them. They might be true, they might not be. Look at the Greeks, their stories and text often paralleled stories in the bible. They are used to explain certain things that, back then, couldn't be explained.

6. I love Christians, and every other religion for that matter so as long as they respect me. I've grown up in the Bible Belt, been to dozens of churches, traveled to many places, and it's a great concept. I wish I was brought up to believe in it, what a deal!!


User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1674 times:

I have no problem with faith and belief. In fact I have my own beliefs and faith.

It's religion I have issues with


User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1669 times:

The beginning stages of life have in fact been created in a lab.

Using "ingredients", if you will, that already existed around them.

Let's see them do that, using no pre-existing materials.

Anyone can take a test tube, fill it with some water, maybe a little raw protein, add some static electricity and call it the "beginning of life".

Big deal.



User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1663 times:

This is a good and very interesting thread. You raise some good points Matt D.

Regarding the big bang theory, it could also be considered religious. The big bang theory is mentioned in the Quran, although an exact reason of what caused it isn't really specified.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5613 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1658 times:

1. Many people who don't believe in God strongly believe in Astrology. Both are largely based on faith and suspension of disbelief. If God is wrong, how can Astrology be right?

No they don't.. they believe in Astronomy & Science... not astrology, that hocus pocus 'I'm a Pieces' is total bullshit'. And astrolgy is not right.. it's as wrong as wrong can get.

2. If the Universe is the result of the "Big Bang", where did THAT come from?

It's simply a theory that appears to gain ground almost daily. Just like the theory of the earth circling the sun. You don't see the earth doing it, you don't feel the earth doing it... but sciences' explained theory tells you it does..and believe it because it makes sense to you logically. The bible offers no explanation of sunrise and sunset because the bible is geo-centric (aka it's all about us and no one else).


3. Many nonbelievers happen to be scientists and astonomers. Many of them firmly believe in such things as other planets outside of our solar system. But nothing other than circumstantial evidence exists. Yet we are to take your word? Why should we accept your word with faith, but no hard evidence whilst at the same time shunning the Believers who basically do the same?

Believe in planets outside of our solar system??? How about it's a proven theory as much as the theory of the sun rising and setting. It is estimated that there are over 20 billion planetary star systems just in the Milky Way Galaxy... that equals 3.5 star systems for ever person on our planet. Of our 6 billion people.. how many twins are there??? A lot, right? So.. are the odds in favor of earths' star system having a twin out 20 billion? Or are the odds against it? and we're just taking Milky Way.. multiply those 20 billion star/planet systems by 200 billion additional galaxies... the numbers don't like.

4. If Life is the result of random chemical reactions, why has not a single scientist on this planet been able to duplicate it and, basically create something out of nothing? I'm not talking about cloning or synthetic materials. Those are only made out of existing objects and substances.

Not so.. we don't come from nothing we come from a more simple organism. So our simple human creations go from horse & cart to the Concorde... objects that can do things we only dream of.

5. Do you REALLY believe that the Bible is nothing more than a book of fables, or is the idea that you aren't 100% in control of your life the real reason you turn away? In other words, you don't believe in absolute rights and wrongs.

Because older writings of religious orders/beliefs illuminate a bright path of how the bible came about... an aggregate of many fables. Coupled with some jewish scholars saying their religion is based on fables/parables.... that pretty much kills the Old Testament. If then the Old Testament is bogus... then so must be the New Testament. Also factor in the incredibly long history of man using fear (in it's many forms)and anything that proports fear, as a 'control mechanism' .. where many of us can smell a bum rap coming a mile way while others take a lifetime before figuring it out. Some people have talent, while yet, most people need to be told what to do all the time... and prefer it that way.

Being 100% in control of your life is preposterous... for one to do that he/she would have to remain indoors and never allow the interference of outside forces. Could it be that we non-believers simply except the fact that we are winging it on our own, flying blind and when the rides up... that's it. No after-life rewards or any of that bullshit.

6. If you really are the "open minded" and "tolerant" person you claim to be, then why do you hate Christians so much? Why not just live and let live? Are you perhaps in denial that you really are open minded and tolerant or does your pride and ego prevent you from accepting the idea that they might be right and you might be wrong and you have to resort to name calling, belittling, and mocking those who disagree with you?

Because the Christians have the annoying habit of leading 'us all' down dark alleys we choose not to go down (like the current christian president). Left alone, the christian are fine people..but when the gather in groups a sudden need to 'lead' arises out of somewhere... and all hell breaks loose... it has never failed. We don't go pushing our 'non-believer-isms' on them...so they should refrain from pushing 'God' on us.. but their bible tells them they should push God.. so for the most part they bring it on themselves when 'spreading the word.'


BN747

[Edited 2004-09-22 04:56:46]


"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1657 times:

If I read correctly, they used materials found in nature at the time, like CO2, nitrogen, and water. (Among others) Life is relatively easy to "create," but it takes time to evolve, and we are evolving at an ever faster pace.

I believe we will be able to create life in a lab in the future. However, we will NEVER answer the original question of where it originally came from. I don't think we could handle the answer, regardless of who's right.


User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1647 times:

I believe we will be able to create life in a lab in the future. However, we will NEVER answer the original question of where it originally came from. I don't think we could handle the answer, regardless of who's right.

I believe that we are, as a species, the equivalent of the goldfish in the bowl. Only when we leave the bowl do we see the universe as it truly is.

Substitute "the universe" for "God" and you start to understand how faith can have a part in the more scientific way of explaining things.


User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1646 times:

1. It would be foolish to deny that religion has been the source of much human suffering both from the time of Christ and before. The crusades, the inquisition, the persecution of Jews and Moslems have all been a sorry part of the past of the Christian Church. Yet at the same time, we have to recognize we are human and capable of doing as much harm as good. We see individuals such as Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King and Desmond Tutu and through them can see religion at its best. Yet time and again also see religion at its worst with extremists that are rigid, intolerant and ultimately distructive. I submit these people do not act in the name of God, but rather are a perversion of teachings that are about love, peace and reconciliation. Not just for those who believe as we do, but for everyone we come in contact with.

2. God has no beginning and no end. The vastness of God is far greater than what we can comprehend in our limited existence, and I could not begin to fathom an answer as to how this might be. It's on my list of things to ask if I get to heaven.

3. Not all Christians believe in creationism. I think the purpose of the bible is to explain why we were put on this earth rather than how. I'm content to leave the how to the scientists.

4. Does it matter?

5. The problem of evil is one that has plagued philosophers and theologians for centuries. I can only offer my take on this. We humans have free will. That means we have the choice to choose salvation or to reject it. Often times, however, when we reject salvation we do it because we think we know more than God or think we do not need Him. In the times we choose not to follow, we often times end up getting ourselves and others into trouble such as war, famine, etc. because our own temptations of greed, jealousy and such get in the way of our wanting to follow God. As for why God allows this, it is because to intervene would deny our capacity for free choice. One can also make the case that God does intervene in a lot of small ways when we are conscious of his presence in human experience. If we choose to see Christ in each other there might be lots less self-inflicted suffering. Another thing is that suffering is painful, but it ultimately makes us stronger. Many times personal tragedy can lead someone to transcend their limitations, allowing them to flourish in ways they may not have prior to their suffering. It sounds odd, but I know this from personal experience.

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1641 times:

Non-religious guy here.

1 - That's quite a baseless affirmation as far as I'm concerned.

2 - Nobody knows. Agnosticism does come with the acceptance that ignorance must be tolerated some times. Better accept that we don't have the answer to some questions, rather than to believe in unproven answers.

3 - The existence of planets outside our solar system is demonstrated now. It's not circumstantial anymore; they can be seen by the latest generation of telescopes. A new planet is found nearly on a monthly basis now.

4 - First, you don't reproduce 4 billion years of evolution in a lab. Second, our current ignorance about the very foundation of life cannot be used as a proof that something else exists. Absence of proof is not the proof of absence. But some organic acids can be produced in lab, out of inorganic material.

5 - The Bible offers some interesting historical data, that has been confirmed by other sources. Some were also contradicted by other sources. It also offers some interesting moral and philosophical point of view. But, for sure, THE TRUTH is not in the Bible. It cannot be seen as a beacon of absolute rights and wrongs. Only extreme religious zealots and George W. Bush would believe that.

6 - Chill man... We can be non-religious and not hating Christians. I have close friends in 4 religions (RC, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist). And we sometimes all get together in some parties and we all have fun, ending up all naked in the pool at 2 in the morning... So, relax.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (10 years 11 hours ago) and read 1638 times:

Science and religion are two, totally different subjects.

Science is tangible, you can see it work. It's factual when proven over time.

The concept of God is a mental thing. Sure, "he" might have created everything, but you can't see how "he" did it or "him" personally.

What I don't understand is how God can allow such evil things. Why makes an eternal struggle between good (god) and evil (devil) when he could have just made good and REALLY been a good God to his people? If they only had good to concentrate on, we as humans could have only been able to do good.


User currently offlineSSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 10 hours ago) and read 1622 times:

Matt, excellent questions for both sides, thanks!


1. It is often said that Christianity has been directly or indirectly linked to more war, famine, and suffering in our planets history than anything else. It's hard to be an objective thinker and not realize that this argument has merit to it. Yet Christianity is supposed to be a faith of compassion and caring. How do you respond to these charges? At what point to you have to simply agree to disagree and walk away? You may believe yourself to be 100% right. The Bible does say to spread the word of the Lord. Why do so many people who claim to be religious feel the need to resort to name calling and belittling and firebombing those who disagree with you?

There are morons in this world, always have been, always will be. Some of these morons will be in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the wrong position. Basically the A. Hitler theory at play, except those people were under the guise of "good". These days, you don't see violent conquests being carried out by Christians in quantum numbers. Yes, there's the occasional nutjob who blows up an abortion clinic, but not only does he "act in the name of good", he breaches the fifth commandment, "thou shalt not kill," the one you don't want to commit. Also, suicide is a cardinal sin in modern Christianity and equally as bad. Let me ask, would you want somebody to blow up the house of somebody you had a disagreement with and kill them and their family? That's the way I think God thinks, though obviously I can't step into his office and ask him.

2. If God created the Universe and all its glory, where did He come from?

We are tought that God is omniscient, that he is, always was, and always will be. He is infinitely almighty and therefore doesn't require a creator to exist. Take that as you wish.

3. How do you explain the fossil and geological records? If those were "planted" by God to give us the impression of a past history, then how do you know that we weren't all simply created ourselves just five minutes ago, and all of the memories that exist in our head from our whole lives simply planted there by Him as well, to make us "normal"?

The Roman Catholic church generally believes in Darwin's theory of evolution as the source of all creatures these days and chooses not to take creation literally but instead derive the moral of the story from it. That is, sin is a byproduct of our free will and will always exist since we're not perfect. For the rest of the question, common sense goes a long way, and I don't mean to be sarcastic.

4. Did Adam and Eve posess navels? If so, then that is a vestige of a birth, therefore debunking the idea that they were the first. If not, then they weren't 100% like us.

See above, if they did exist, they came from the womb of an earlier species and probably possessed umbilical chords.

5. If every person on this earth has a Divine Purpose, why do so many people-most of whom are are totally innocent-get condemmed to suffer-just like Jacqui-who never did anything more sinful than want to get educated, get married, and have a family? How could a loving God allow this to happen to ANYONE?

Suffering is a necessary part of our existence, and many of the great religious symbols suffered willingly in the name of helping others lower than themselves. If you ask then why weren't we all born into a paradise, what's the whole reason for there being an earth? Again, these are questions we can't answer, and to a point you have to believe in the chaos theory with religion as you do science. In neither case is anything guaranteed to occur 100% accurately. We can't measure the future, we can only predict it. We can't travel back or forward in time, so this is where we're stuck. Quantum physics teaches us that there's something rolling dice on the universe, but we don't know what. We don't know what's on the other side, there could be God, a god or gods, paradise with or without gods, or nothing at all, though the latter is personally hard for me to make sense of. The bottom line, you can't prove anything 100% of the time with either religion or science. You can get pretty damn close with either depending on how they're used, but you can't be 100% certain.


User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 hours ago) and read 1616 times:

1. It is often said that Christianity has been directly or indirectly linked to more war, famine, and suffering in our planets history than anything else. It's hard to be an objective thinker and not realize that this argument has merit to it. Yet Christianity is supposed to be a faith of compassion and caring. How do you respond to these charges? At what point to you have to simply agree to disagree and walk away? You may believe yourself to be 100% right. The Bible does say to spread the word of the Lord. Why do so many people who claim to be religious feel the need to resort to name calling and belittling and firebombing those who disagree with you?

Those who resort to name calling, belittling, and humiliating someone who is not a Christian or does not want to listen, are not practicing what Jesus preached. He never forced himself upon anyone. When a town rejected him, he walked away and left. He didn't call down fire and brimstone but simply said that since they rejected him they would suffer for that on Judgement Day. Just like the "God hates fags" idiots. Real Christians reject what those morons say. We know that God loves everyone and instructs us to do the same. However, there is a difference in loving a person and condoning their actions. As the phrase goes, "love the sinner, hate the sin".

2. If God created the Universe and all its glory, where did He come from?

Can really confuse one trying to figure that out, can't it? Truly no one has an answer to that question. It is an issue we have to accept on faith but I'll be sure to ask God that question one day.

3. How do you explain the fossil and geological records? If those were "planted" by God to give us the impression of a past history, then how do you know that we weren't all simply created ourselves just five minutes ago, and all of the memories that exist in our head from our whole lives simply planted there by Him as well, to make us "normal"?

No one can prove how long this planet has existed. It could be thousands of years or it could be millions. God doesn't live by our timeline. Everything here, regardless of how old it may be, He put here. We might not be able to figure it all out but that doesn't mean it is contradictory to our belief in God.

4. Did Adam and Eve posess navels? If so, then that is a vestige of a birth, therefore debunking the idea that they were the first. If not, then they weren't 100% like us.

Does it really matter if they did or not? If they did then God created them that way. If they didn't, it was because God did not see a reason for them having navels.

5. If every person on this earth has a Divine Purpose, why do so many people-most of whom are are totally innocent-get condemmed to suffer-just like Jacqui-who never did anything more sinful than want to get educated, get married, and have a family? How could a loving God allow this to happen to ANYONE?

The Bible states that both good and bad fall on both the "just and the unjust". In other words, good and bad things happen to everyone. Is there a reason why good, decent people sometimes suffer terrible things while evil people seem to get away with it and live the life of luxury? Of course not but that doesn't mean God is punishing the righteous person. The evil person will get theirs in the end and burn in Hell for all time while the person who has accepted Jesus will receive their reward in heaven.



"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineAA777 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2544 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 hours ago) and read 1618 times:
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1. Everything comes with good and bad. You must accept it, unfortunatley. But look at how much good has been brought to the world with religion. Ghandi, Mother Theresa, John Paul II, So many people who have wonderful effects on people. It is not religion that has caused such horrible atrocities throughout history-- it is people's misuse of religion, and convolution of religious texts to justify such atrocities-- that cause such terrible events to happen. You will find that the religions themselves are very peaceful-- the bible says to "Turn the Other Cheek." And that is what all chrisitans SHOULD do.

2. This is a hard one to grasp-- if you believe in the eternities, you believe that everything has exsisted forever and ever, and will exsist in some form for ever and ever. Mormonism has some extra beliefs about God-- that there are other worlds, and other gods for those worlds.... which explains "where did our god come from, how did he get there?... etc." So, this system has existed for eternity, and will exist for eternity. Just like the law of the conservation of Energy / Matter states: Matter / Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed. Therefore, it all has exsisted forever.... its hard for the human mind to grasp, since we all think of everything with a beginning and an end.

3. I dont think they are relevant to the worship of God. They are there, they exsisted. Woop Dee- doo.... how do Dinosaurs affect your relationship with God? Its about the here and now... and I think that people over analyze everything.... leading to such questions.

4. I dont know if they had navels. I think there was a time in evolutionary history when "adam and eve" came into existence. Even if they evolved into such an image, they were still God's creations, and still in his image. I dont think that they were, "BAM BAM" created out of thin air....

5. God tests us. Maybe the poeople who suffer will be judged differently. Maybe they are stronger spirits than we. Maybe there is a MUCH bigger picture than we could ever imagine.... everything is a some way for a reason. Think of the butterfly effect... all the things that happen to us, God is aware of, and he knows what our reactions will be, and what will happen to us in the end. He is all knowing, wayyyy above human intelligence. Knowing things that we couldnt imagine.... its good to question, but some things we cant even understand....

-AA777


User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 hours ago) and read 1608 times:

I can live like a saint, give money, time, and effort to needy causes, help people and stop suffering, but I burn anyway because I don't believe in YOU????!!! What a hypocrite!

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 hours ago) and read 1609 times:

Non-religious here...

1. Where on earth did you get that correlation from???

2. I believe science hasn't advanced far enough to fully explain the creation of the universe...I believe in due course, perhaps not in our lifetimes or in our kids lifetimes or in their kids lifetimes, it will be explained...

3. Many nonbelievers happen to be scientists and astonomers. Many of them firmly believe in such things as other planets outside of our solar system. But nothing other than circumstantial evidence exists. Yet we are to take your word? Why should we accept your word with faith, but no hard evidence whilst at the same time shunning the Believers who basically do the same?

4. See #2

6. I don't hate Christians, nor do I hate Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Shinto, Buddhism, etc...if people want to believe in religion, fine, thats their choice and I respect that fully...however I myself have elected to not do so...what makes you think that just because we choose not to believe, we have to hate those who believe...those people are in the minority for sure...

I'd also like to answer a few questions on the "Believe" side...

2. If God created the Universe and all its glory, where did He come from?

-This is a major doubt of mine that was one of the factors that turned me away from my religion in the first place...if science can ever give a solid, unbiased answer to this with solid evidence, then I will happily consider rejoining a religion...however I strongly doubt that will ever happen...

5. 5. If every person on this earth has a Divine Purpose, why do so many people-most of whom are are totally innocent-get condemmed to suffer-just like Jacqui-who never did anything more sinful than want to get educated, get married, and have a family? How could a loving God allow this to happen to ANYONE?

- This is the catalyst that set me on the road toward the non-religion side...why would this supposed "God" take away my brother forever from me and a loving, caring son, from my parents far before he should have ever left us??

Greg




Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 hours ago) and read 1596 times:

MattD,

This is a good post and it is interesting about how 'believers' and 'non-believers' can actually be similar. Thanks for your thoughtful invitation to discuss this matter.

I believe in God and would like to reply:

1. It is often said that Christianity has been directly or indirectly linked to more war, famine, and suffering...

You're right, this is often said , but who is saying it and why?. Its just one of the many popular assertions people sometimes say without looking at the facts. The biggest modern wars (both world wars, Korea, Vietnam, US Civil War) have little to do with Christianity. "famine and suffering" ? I don't know of a lot caused by Christianity as opposed to any other group, government or ideology. The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition of the Middle Ages were of course wrong, but that was hundreds of years ago. Some relatively small problems (N. Ireland for example) have a Christian component, but overall Christianity has no link to war in modern times. Look to the motivation of people who suggest otherwise. The rest of your insights are mostly right.

2. If God created the Universe and all its glory, where did He come from?

There is always this one last question that neither science nor religion can answer. Also, your question implies that science and religion are at odds, they aren't. You're just taking the view paraded by the media that people who believe in God don't believe in science. Most of us do, and you can, for instance, believe in the Big Bang, evolution, etc... and still believe in God. Only a very literal and narrow minded reading of the Bible suggests science and Christianity disagree - most of us see science and God as complimentary and in fact see science as EVIDENCE of God.

3. How do you explain the fossil and geological records? If those were "planted" by God....

Nothing was planted. Evolution probably took place and perhaps also the Big Bang. The Bible doesn't contradict this unless you take a very simple minded reading of it. Saying 'God created the universe' and 'the Universe started with the Big Bang and we developed through evolution' are NOT contradictory. Again, you've been told by the media that they are. Read the Bible, not the media, to find out what Christians should believe.

4. Did Adam and Eve posess navels? If so, then that is a vestige of a birth, therefore debunking the idea that they were the first. If not, then they weren't 100% like us.

The Adam and Eve story is just an allegory. This part of the Bible is 3000+ years old. This is the only way it could be explained to someone living in BC2000 - today we see, of course, that there is a more precise scientific explanation to how humans came to be. This changes nothing - the story of Adam and Eve, along with the other stories in the Bible have moral and ethical meanings that are timeless. Also, this part of the Bible is the Old Testament, the same as used by the Jews. What makes Christians different is the New Testament, just fyi. Try reading the original sources and don't listen to popular characterizations.

5. If every person on this earth has a Divine Purpose, why do so many people-most of whom are are totally innocent-get condemmed to suffer-just like Jacqui-who never did anything more sinful than want to get educated, get married, and have a family? How could a loving God allow this to happen to ANYONE?

Where did you get the idea of 'Divine Purpose'? You heard this where? You can't fairly take very specific Bible quotes out of context and apply them to anyone's life. Anyway, to answer the basic idea of your question - we assume that God allows us to 'suffer' in the same way parents allow children to 'suffer' through going to school, suffering punishment and dealing with unfairness in the world. We don't believe that what happens in this life is the end of the story, so it doesn't necessarily matter how 'bad' your life is here.

The problem many have is that they never

a. bother to study how the Bible came about: how it got written, who wrote it, and what other evidence there is that it was written by real and trustworthy witnesses of actual events, and

b. most never read the Bible.

Any fair minded review of how the New Testament was written can only conclude that it is as valid an historical document as any we have of the time, if not more so. It must at least be taken seriously and one should not trust others to interpret for you.

Anyone who would like to contact me offline about this subject, please do.

kind regards

RogueTrader



User currently offlineKAUST From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 95 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 hours ago) and read 1588 times:

Lately I had been feeling a call to enter into the world of the ministry within the Lutheran church.

To be perfectly honest, however, I had not grown to feel the beliefs of "Yes I do believe" or "No I don't", I went to church weekly however, mainly because it was a place where I would go because in my family it was considered almost rude to miss church.

Just recently I came to realize that I went to church to meet a certain criteria, not to worship God, even though I had heavily participated in most of the events.

So I lately am trying to figure out whether or not I have a future in religion while at the same time trying to figure out whether I believe what it says in the Bible or not.

Very confusing to say the least. Especially because I had lately also been running around in circles not really know what it was really was I wanted from life.

Cheers -
KAUST



"Houston, this is Apollo 8. We are now in Lunar orbit."
User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 18, posted (9 years 12 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1543 times:

why would this supposed "God" take away my brother forever from me and a loving, caring son, from my parents far before he should have ever left us??

Greg,

When you mentioned your brother, I wanted to make sure you know what I said about redemptive suffering was not meant to come across as patronizing or insensitive. Fact is, we don't know why these things happen. We can only speculate as to why that may be. I get your statement a lot in the form of a question, and my usual answer is "I don't know." The one thing I will deny, however, (and I'm not saying you feel this way), is that God is somehow punishing them.

What I do know is that time dulls the pain and make such tragedies easier to bear. Personally I don't believe there is such a thing as closure. You never do recover from things like this, but the tragedy, like all other life experiences, becomes a part of you and makes you what you really are: a generous caring person.

As for me, right now one of my best Jesuit friends is dying of terminal stomach cancer. He's 82, and although he has had a long, full life, (we first met when I was a freshman in high school some 30 years ago) I'm still grieving the fact he will no longer be with me, and worry about him suffering and being in pain. Perhaps that's why I chose to respond to your comment, because I'm experiencing some of that pain myself.

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6816 posts, RR: 34
Reply 19, posted (9 years 12 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1522 times:

What Whitehatter said. Brilliant post, and profoundly succinct.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy


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