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Proof of God?
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Franklin, TN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's put religion aside for a second...

With all that goes on in the world.
With everything we have access to...

Has anyone been able to prove the existence of a supreme being yet?

Not by faith. But by something more tangible?
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
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Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(First -- I split this away from the earlier topic. I'll be doing a lot of that kind of moderating in this section of the forum. This kind of subject needs moderator management IMNSHO.)

The short answer to your question is "no".

Short answers are boring. Long answers can be even more boring. Instead, let me ask a question in return. What sort of thing could constitute such a proof? If we wanted to conduct an experiment to test the existence of God, we'd first need to know what the outcomes of the test would imply. What sort of fact could unambiguously imply that there is a God? Or, it it can be decided by a purely reasoned approach, what sort of argument would suffice?

If you can't answer this question, then you wouldn't even recognise a proof of God if it bit you.
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Franklin, TN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well...coming from the church...I've seen/known many people who have "met God".

The problem is...ANY loonie can say they've met Him.

When you ask for proof. All you get is the same reply....
"You just have to trust me. You have to have FAITH"

Now faith is the foundation of the Bible.

But...
Pretty much EVERYONE in the bible MET God...or had some sort of interaction with Him.

From Adam to Paul...there was miracles. There was interaction.


So my proof would be along those lines.

God is the creator of the universe. He's everywhere.
If he's not asleep. If he's not away on vacation. If he's really real.
Why not take part in the world He created?

I guess I just don't see the logic in the image of the virgin mary showing up in a potato chip.
Or someone who said they couldn't hear...hearing again.

How is that a miracle that helps anyone?
Do we need miracles?

Or just some interaction?

Again...growing up in a church where EVERYONE claims to hear from God...
I don't trust man. I don't trust people to tell me who God is.

They tend to....exhaggerate.

There should be Some way of seeing God, hearing him, or confirming his existence in some sort of scientific way.
An all powerful being who exists and created this universe shouldn't be too difficult to find. Right?
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Wes Molebash
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Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I don't struggle with this aspect of Christianity basically because ALL religions are faith-based. Each religion has it's own history, archaeology, and science, but this information will only take its religion so far. Eventually, faith has to fill the gaps regardless if you're Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, or atheist.

Regarding Christianity, there is a ton of compelling evidence that shows that the Bible has been translated accurately and truthfully. I allow my faith to fill the gaps that the evidence can't prove, and I trust that God IS active in our world today.

- Wes
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the manner in which he interacts with the world is going to be closely tied to his reasons for creating it in the first place, but let's not speculate on that prematurely. It's still not entirely clear how you expect to determine whether a particular interaction is divine.

You say you want interaction, but not necessarily miracles. What sort of interaction? Can you be a little more specific? I think that we're going to uncover a problem here in that any kind of interaction will be questionable.

Quote:
There should be Some way of seeing God, hearing him, or confirming his existence in some sort of scientific way.
An all powerful being who exists and created this universe shouldn't be too difficult to find. Right?


I don't think so. For one thing, I would expect the creator of the universe to exist outside the universe, and independently of it. If I'd managed to program a computer simulation of a mini-universe, I would expect to be quite invisible to the occupants of that mini-universe, since I'm not a part of the simulation myself. In order for them to detect me, they'd have to "break out" some how -- and how could a non-physical simulation break into a physical world?

I could communicate with the denizens of that mini-universe, should I care to do so, but what proof could I offer that I am their creator?
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Franklin, TN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off...Welcome Wes!
And thanks for joining in.

To continue on your path of reasoning...I will introduce some thoughts that I've been going over.

When it comes to faith. Anyone can have it.
Jewish, Muslim, Jehovah's Witness, Christian, Hindu, Athiest.

While faith can fill the gaps. It usually turns people to stone in their beliefs. They won't listen to anything else for fear of breaking their faith.

I believe. or I want to believe is very Fox Mulder...ha ha.

When I have talks of faith with my family and friends...I often ask...

If there are so many religions around the world. What makes us right (as Christians)?

The answer...
Our Faith.

My rebuttal...
If it's a matter of who's got the most faith. I think we lose.
I don't plan on blowing myself up for what I believe in as the Muslims do.

I don't think Faith determines who God is. I don't think it can.
I've seen people REALLY believe that if they committed mass suicide they would go to another planet.

These people are willing to go WAAAY further in their faith (meaning they have STRONGER faith) than me. Than most people I know.

So I don't think FAITH can determine things.
It's too intagible.

Faith CAN make you feel better if there are no answers.

My problem is...after 15+ years of faith. I want to know if my faith isn't misplaced.

I don't think that's a bad thing to do. For ANYONE. To run a self diagnostic and make sure you're on the right path.

So at this point. I have to put FAITH aside. And look at the facts.

The question is...are there any?
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Wes Molebash
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TFBW - I agree with you, and I'm glad you brought it up before I did. You said it more eloquently than I would have. If the Earth and humanity are marvels of design, how much greater then is the One who designed them? Furthermore, how can the Designed ever hope to rise to the level of the Designer? To me it seems impossible.

Scott - There is a lot of compelling evidence that supports the claims of the Bible. Briefly, here are the things that I think about when I struggle with my faith:

- We have over 5000 manuscripts of the New Testament dating back within a hundred years of the original writings that show the book has been translated with authority. The writings of classical writers such as Aristotle and Plato have far less manuscripts - the best cases numbering in the twenties - and the validity of these writings aren't questioned.

- The universe and everything in it bears the mark of intentional design. It's preposterous to me to think that the universe was created through a series of random events. This argument may not point us to the Christian God, but it points us to something that is greater than us.

- Something can't come from nothing. In order for the universe to come into existence, something had to spin it into existence. Two particles randomly bumping together doesn't cut it. Something had to have created those particles and then set them in motion.

Scott, you've probably heard these arguments and I apologize if I'm beating a dead horse with this post. There are a bunch of great books that do a better job of arguing for God and Christianity than I could do. A few of my faves are "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis, "Defending Your Faith" by R.C. Sproul, and "Without a Doubt" by Kenneth Richard Samples.

- Wes
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Franklin, TN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Wes...
Yeah. I have those. The real good one to get is...
Evidence that DEmands a verdict.
It's a big honkin' book with lots of arguments.

But in the end...I've just met too many "christians" who are so evil. So greedy. So without morals.
I just can't trust people to tell me there's a god.

I find myself more and more looking for something outside of "because it says so in this book" or "because this guy said he spoke to God"

ANd with the world getting smaller and smaller. We're able to see so many similar situations with other religions from around the world.

Where does a creator step in and say "Here I am"?
Or where does science come in and say..."there's a big void out here in this galaxy and it's apparently sentient" or something crazy that gives us that "window" into something bigger?

Just thoughts to contemplate.

I respect your faith. I would never want to do anything to shake you from it.

But I feel I have to push past the faith and make sure it's being applied in the right direction.

Maybe we won't know until we die. I hope not.
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Location: Franklin, TN

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Brett....
I agree with what you're saying. But I think if your computer program became sentient and needed you. You'd make yourself known.

I don't know. But biblically. God's never been in another dimension. He's always around. Always guiding things, judging, interacting.

Where is he now?
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tuxedobob
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of conclusive proof could God offer a person? Wouldn't such in-your-face proof rob someone of the free will to believe in God, or not?
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who cares?
Adam and most people in the bible had the option...and most still decided to turn away.

It always amazes me when I know of or meet people who claim to "speak to God" and say they "know him" yet do the most horrific things.

Then their response is...
"I'm only human"

COME ON!

If I met/spoke to the creator of the universe. I'd be a changed man. PERIOD.

Think of how life changing it would be to meet the president, Tiger Woods, your favorite actor/actress, or musician.

Imagine how you'd remember that forever.

Now imagine meeting the creator of EVERYTHING. And knowing he's watching you. Judging you.

Please! I'd make mother theresa look like a back stabbing hollywood producer.

Having proof doesn't strip away any of our free will. It just gives us the opportunity to know we're not being conned into a cult.
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TFBW
Deus Ex Machina


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssava wrote:
When I have talks of faith with my family and friends...I often ask... If there are so many religions around the world. What makes us right (as Christians)? The answer... Our Faith.
...
I don't think Faith determines who God is. I don't think it can.

I agree. Faith is applied belief (beliefs put into action). Belief is an attitude towards a statement of fact. A fact is a fact -- it's just the way things are. Ultimately the faith is only as valid as the facts on which it is based. I don't believe that confident actions based on false beliefs have special merit.

Follow the chain here: faith -- belief -- fact. When you drive your car across a bridge, you probably have a number of beliefs in relation to the situation. You probably believe that the bridge could fall down, and that if you were on it when it fell, you'd probably wind up injured or dead, or severely inconvenienced at the very least (e.g. car at bottom of river). On the other hand, you probably believe that engineers are pretty good at building sturdy bridges, and that the folks who build roads have standards, so even if you see a fairly rickety-looking bridge and have never seen anyone else drive across it, you'll probably apply your belief that the bridge is safe and drive across it. This expresses your faith in the road-bridge-building process, even though you probably don't know much about the details of it.

Ultimately what matters, though, is whether the bridge falls down under the weight of your car! The facts rule. Even the apostle Paul emphasised this in 1 Corinthians 15:12+, where he talks about Christ's resurrection. See particularly v14: "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." Paul emphasises here that the resurrection itself must be a fact for faith in it to be of any value.

Unfortunately, we don't have access to any truly indisputable facts, with the possible exception of "I think, therefore I am" -- and even that is subject to many quibbles. Our experiences are the facts that we have with certainty, but they aren't the facts that necessarily matter, since they are just impressions of an external reality, and it's the external reality that matters. We need to assume that our experiences, which are personal, subjective things, actually reflect the state of some external world in some way. Even if you grant this -- that we all seem to be talking about the same world out there -- there are still a great many things upon which we disagree even when we have the same experience.

It's one of the (many) great unanswered questions of philosophy as to whether we can know anything with certainty. Those of us who want to be sure that our chain of faith--belief--fact is grounded in proper fact are therefore faced with a severe problem: we don't really have access to the facts. Don't misunderstand me: the whole practice of science and its many useful outcomes gives us reason to think that experience, appropriately applied, can give us an understanding of reality. Scientists should be the first to admit that scientific knowledge so gained is tentative, however. In fact, it's likely that all of our scientific theories are wrong to some extent. "Useful" doesn't always imply "true" -- not even "nearly true", if there is such a thing. Look at Evolution theory, for example. For all we know, a hundred years from now the dominant theory may have shifted to us being the product of artificial terraforming, rather than a natural process. (Theories other than naturalistic ones aren't even given serious consideration at the moment. They might be true, nonetheless.)

Uncertainty is annoying, but it puts the whole problem in a different frame of reference. For starters, nothing else in life is certain, so we should already be quite familiar with the problem of dealing with uncertainty. It means that knowledge of the ultimate facts is equally inaccessible to everyone, no matter how smart they are. If this is a design feature of the universe, we could infer that God isn't trying to sort us out on the basis of IQ. Note that Jesus claimed that the meek would inherit the Earth -- not the geeks.

Har har.

This raises a number of questions which I won't pursue just yet. I can't write indefinitely, and I'd rather get people to think about it than provide my own preferred answers (assuming I even have them). I would like to relate this problem of uncertainty back to Scott's request for divine interaction, though. It seems that we face a serious problem here in that there's no kind of interaction a deity could offer which would overcome our own inherent disconnect from the facts of the matter. If a person were to come up to us and say, "hi, I'm God", we'd have a problem. The statement is either true or false, but how can we determine which? Miracles are the usual test (see Bruce Almighty), since that's enough to sort out God from Joe Average, but it's not enough to sort out God from Powerful Demon or Alien Impostor.

There's no test we could devise to determine whether someone or something is really God and not a fraud -- not without having a preconceived idea of "only God can do X", which may in itself be a false assumption.

Where does this leave us? Maybe you think you can find a loophole in my pessimistic diagnosis. Maybe you're thinking, "so the agnostics are right?" In the latter case, bear in mind that agnosticism -- the idea that there is no rational path which will lead us to either theism or atheism -- does not solve the problem. It's just a recognition that we can't solve the problem through the application of pure reason. It's only the rationalists who insist that everything must be solved that way, however, and rationalism itself is an ideology that may be grounded in a false belief.
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ssava
Creator of "The Dreamland Chronicles"


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. That was cool Brett.
I need to digest that for a bit.

Thanks
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Kargoneth
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TFBW, excellent post. I enjoyed reading it.

Sadly, Scott, most of the sites I have looked at are biased one way or the other... they don't really discuss any measurable evidence. Most articles arguing for the existence of a god say that the earth is perfect for life... yet I was watching a discovery channel movie about mars which said that billions of years ago, when mars still had a magnetosphere, it was similar to modern earth..... then it's core got cold and the magnetic field was lost... causing the solar wind to blast away the atmosphere.

This person sounded the least biased... I guess...
http://www.thekeyboard.org.uk/Evidence%20for%20God.htm


http://www.allaboutcreation.org/evidence-for-god-faq.htm
http://snapshotsofgod.com/evidence.htm
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/WhosCounting/Story?id=4357170&page=1


Kind of funny video about bananas as proof
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF3L359yKjs&feature=related
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Dragonjoust
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the initial question immediately made me think of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Babel fish.

"a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God. The argument goes something like this:'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.' 'But,' says Man, 'the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.' 'Oh, dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic." (chapter 6)

I think the question itself is interesting. I consider my self a bit of a science nerd (I did manage to get my bachelors in zoology). I'm constantly double checking fact and looking up answers if I'm the least bit unsure, yet I have no problems believing in God. I'm not a church goer, I have only ever been in one church where I felt welcome and invited.
I grew up going to church, but all i remember are the songs (stopped going around age 11). Girls scouts was more fun and excepting and by far less scary.

When it comes to solid evidence as to the existence of God it seems like that something everybody has to find for themselves. While I have never seen Him or had a conversation Him, I have at time found myself thanking Him when everything goes right in the midst of what could be a very bad/ scary situation. While coincidences do happen sometimes there are just far to many of them right in a row to think of it as dumb luck.

As far as this tread goes it has to be the only one where I've read all the long post, I find the conversation intriguing and think that this thread in particular seems to be doing exactly what the controversy corner was meant to.
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Medron Pryde
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, I can't prove that God exists.

I also can't prove that I follow the "right" religion of said "God" IF he exists. Wink

All I can say is that it has been proven TO ME that "somebody" is out there and looking out for me.

Many years ago when I went to college, I spent a LOT of time in the music department. There was always people there and most of us would leave things there, book bags and the like, because everybody knew everybody and any stranger would be watched. We were off the beaten path and only music department people went there. Anyways, I never left my stuff there when I went. No matter how much I trusted them, I just never felt comfortable about leaving my super pricey calculator and stuff alone.

One day, as I was leaving with a friend, the thought "you don't need to take this with you today" went through my head. I was already walking out with my 50 pound book bag, but the thought was so strong that I turned around and set it down before leaving. Now I ALWAYS put that book bag in the passenger seat. I didn't that day obviously.

Anyways, long story short, I lost control of my car, on what is one of the busier roads in my home town. It is ALWAYS busy. That day, nobody was within a block of me. Just me and my friend's car. I ended up spinning on the blacktop while moving a good 30 to 40 miles an hour (slowing down from 60), going from the left lane, across the right lane, into the right turn lane before coming to a stop. I was going sideways, down the road, at at least 30 miles an hour, driver's side first. First off, I should have flipped. Second off, there should have been other cars there to hit me. Third off, there should have been a 50 pound book bag in the passenger's seat flying at me as the whole car slowed down while going sideways.

But something told me not to take it. I didn't. And I have no doubt that something was holding onto my car, keeping it from flipping over. And I have no doubt that something out there made certain there were only two cars on that road at that moment in time.

That's all the proof I need that somebody is out there. After that, what I or anybody else believes is nothing that can be proven.

What I CHOOSE to believe in though is in what I would like to be true. Looking at all the religions out there, at what they preach, at what their FOUNDER's preached, who would prefer to believe in? To me, reading what Jesus said, I think the world would be a far better place if people followed his example. It's the definition of being Christian after all. The word means Christ like. If we tried to be like him, if we treated people like he said we should, if we did all that I think the world would be a better place. And so I choose to believe in the God that I would WANT to follow.
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tuxedobob
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's time to link a certain Futurama episode.

http://tubearoo.com/articles/82202/Futurama_S04_Ep8_Godfellas.html

Pretty deep, for Futurama.

Kiddie warning: It's Futurama.
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Caldazar
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well as I see it science has proven time and time again that the bible is wrong (if you choose to believe in it word by word). I'm not questioning that it was indeed written soon after Christ's demise and I'm not questioning that such a person has in truth existed. I might not believe however that he in truth did all those things (turning water into wine etc.). However imho this doesn't really matter. I understand that people choose Christianity because there is a lot of truths in the teachings of Christ yust like there is alot of truths in the teachings of Mohammed and Buddha and hundreds of other people who have or have not gotten a religion founded in their name. You can make the stories in the bible fit scientific evidence (if there is such a thing). So the earth wasn't created in 6 days...well maybe one of God's days were a billion years long. After all do we expect God to use the same way as ourselves to count time?

What I'm trying to say here is that with a little bit of faith and creativity you can make alot of things fit despite "proof" of the opposite. So am I saying God exists and that Christianity is right? no I most definatly am not. Do I believe there can actually be proof of God's existance? No...not in this life anyway. I've always thought science had it right because we have facts and proof (to the extent we can have facts and proof of anything but lets not get too philosophical right now). So lets for a second assume there is a god and that he created this world and that he (or she for that matter) is actively intervening. Now we have no idea why this God chose to create the universe and earth but it is quite obvious that he is more of a puppet master than a ruler choosing to nudge things in the right direction behind the curtains. In most religious writings god (or gods in some) chose to interact indirectly. Either through a heavenly messenger or by walking the earth disguised as a mortal man or as a disembodied voice (e.g. the metatron in dogma). Personally I think Darwin's evolutional theory is correct but there's nothing there to say that god wasn't behind it. To quote einstein who was both a revolutionary scientist and a firm believer in God: "God does not play dice".

I mean yust look at the creation of the universe by some the greatest proof of God's existance to some yust a clashing of atoms. What is there to say both aren't correct? Maybe God made those atoms clash and maybe he has since steered life in the direction he wanted it to take. Maybe he decided the dinosaurs wasn't the way to go and decided to kill them off or maybe they had simply played their part. Maybe the same thing will happen to humankind. Maybe we're already heading that way with all this global warming. Maybe earth isn't evenall that important to God. I mean afterall there could be thousands of populated planets out there with life far more interesting. Maybe Earth is yust the playground for one of God's children. We really can't know can we?

As for different Religions they might as well all be the same. I mean if we look at it what is to say that the muslims have a "false god" maybe in truth our gods is but different sides of the coin maybe he is the same and we have yust chosen to interpret the word of god differently.

Personally I couldn't care less. my belief is that there could very well be a god out there I've seen proofs both for and against that theory but I've decided yust not to give a damn. I believe in myself that I'm capable of making good decisions about my life. I'm in no way a selfish person I'm also a firm believer in compassion and love I yust don't believe you have to join a church or believe in God to hold those believes. If there really is a God I think he'll be able to accept this. Afterall according to almost all religions the important thing is the way you live your life and how you treat the people around you and that I can do without a God or a set of religious believes to guide my way.
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Bezman
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tuxedobob wrote:
I think it's time to link a certain Futurama episode.

http://tubearoo.com/articles/82202/Futurama_S04_Ep8_Godfellas.html

Pretty deep, for Futurama.

Kiddie warning: It's Futurama.

Heh, nice clip. Couldn't help to notice that Katey Sagal from "Married with children" was in the credits... Smile

OT: This posting would fit equally well under "Religion" as it can here.
Let me quote the bible, Matthew/Matteus 7:16 and 17:
"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit."

This is a very close resemblance to "The golden rule" (treat others like ya wanna be treated - my redneck version of it); Judge people not by what they say, but by WHAT THEY DO.
Priests (or other "religious" leaders) that promote war? H*** no!
People that go to church and steal or commit adultery? Same thing.

Proof for God: well, if we stick to the Christian version, God often spoke directly to people. If he did that - spoke aloud so that a large number of people could hear it, and it could be recorded and broadcasted, and the voice could be proven to not come from any kind of speaker system or other fraud, I would take it as evidence of a higher existence. Preferably, he could do something "impossible", like turn a small lake into wine, or take away sunlight for a few minutes, or let it rain frogs, or even tip 100 cows at the same time, or one thing that would be really non-offensive and quite amazing and undoubtedly almighty: SPLIT AN OCEAN. Just a small crack, say 2 kilometers long, maybe just 5-50 meters wide (so it won't cause a tsunami somewhere else), and all the way to the bottom. So that everyone can see.

Or defy the laws of physics any other obvious way. THAT would do it for me. Like, make trees or buildings levitate, move the moon to half its current distance from earth (temporarily or permanently) - pretty impossible things to fake.
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tuxedobob
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bezman wrote:

Heh, nice clip. Couldn't help to notice that Katey Sagal from "Married with children" was in the credits... Smile


Yeah, there's an episode where they really play it up.
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TFBW
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God in Futurama wrote:
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

An interesting angle on the matter. The question it raises in my mind is, "what's God's agenda?" Assume he does what he does with aims and goals in mind. How does this impact his latitude for offering proof of anything? The Futurama god seemed like a benign kind of helpful being who wasn't particularly interested in whether people believed anything in particular about him: he just wanted to tread the fine line between being damagingly helpful and damagingly unhelpful. It seems contrary to his agenda to offer conspicuous proof of his own existence.

Along similar lines, consider the challenge that was issued to Jesus while he was on the cross: "Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." [Mark 15:32] There was a problem with this ultimatum: Christ's death on the cross was his ultimate reason for being here in the first place. Proving his authenticity by coming down from the cross conflicted with his primary aim: to be the perfect sacrifice which took away the sin of the world. To come down from the cross would prove his authenticity to a few scoffers, but leave everyone doomed to die in their sins.

I've previously thrown up a roadblock here, suggesting that there is no single proof that could satisfy everyone that God exists. This may be further complicated by the fact that not all possible proofs (acceptable to a subset of people) are consistent with God's overall agenda. Thus, if you set your own standards for proof in this area, you may well be demanding a proof that conflicts with God's goals and aims, like the scoffers who called on Jesus to save himself. Such a proof can not be forthcoming.

Having said all that, it's clear that ordinary experience is enough to persuade most people that some sort of God (or gods) exists. Some reasons are philosophical (like "first cause"), some are emotionally grounded (a sensation of the numinous), some see a pattern of intervention in their own circumstances, some see a pattern of intervention in history, some see a pattern of intervention in nature. Atheism is the exception in human behaviour, not the rule. Ultimate proofs may not be possible, and certain specific demands for proof may be simply unacceptable, but it seems that there must be a fair amount of "sufficient evidence" out there. (An atheist might object that we are simply predisposed to believe in God because it conveys survival advantage, or such like, but a predisposition to believe in God could just as well be part of God's design.)

I think this leaves the proof-seeker with a challenge. First, it's not a good idea to demand a particular kind of proof without first considering its possible interaction with God's agenda. This is a very big problem, because there are so many possible agendas and attitudes that God could have, and we're particularly ill-equipped to understand how things fit into a God-scale plan. Some of those who mocked Jesus on the cross should have understood from their own scriptures that their demand for proof was a slap in the face of God. How much harder is it when you're completely in the dark? But even if you already believe in some kind of God, there remains the question of his agenda. Did he create us? Why? What's his game? How do we even go about answering this question?

I'm not going to attempt an answer to this question at this time, but I would like to point out one particular Bible verse which is somewhat appropriate. "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." [Hebrews 11:6] The requirement for belief in God's existence is somewhat basic, but look at the second requirement: it's a statement about God's agenda. Now, just because it's written here doesn't make it true -- there's a fact of the matter, and this statement is either true or false based on that fact alone -- but it's interesting that the scripture offers a prescription with regards to an agenda. The God of the Bible (if such exists) rewards those who earnestly (i.e. sincerely, honestly, in seriousness) seek him. That's actually quite helpful to know, given the nature of the problems we face. If the God of the Bible is real, then we know something useful about his agenda.
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Inu
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I'm not in this, but hot damn TFBW you gotta stop making such huge posts.
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ntoonz
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bezman wrote:
Heh, nice clip. Couldn't help to notice that Katey Sagal from "Married with children" was in the credits... Smile


Well, since she voices one of the main characters, sure.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inu wrote:
I know I'm not in this, but hot damn TFBW you gotta stop making such huge posts.

It's a complex subject. I try to keep each post to a manageable length, and only post one short essay per week (on weekends, when I figure that people will be receptive to the extra reading material). Hopefully a few readers find it worthwhile, or I'm wasting my time.
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erikjust
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay I’ll join in.

First of I like to correct a mistake that was mentioned in the first couple of posts where you mention faith and put Atheist in.
Well the way you use the word faith led me to think that you mean faith in a higher being in which mentioning Atheism would be wrong because we donīt believe in any god or higher being.

As for humans being perfect we are FAR from it.

Our eye has a blind spot in it, our teeth are actually far too big for our jaw, our walk isnīt a walk but a series of controlled falls, the tube from which we take in food is close to the tube where we use to breath and its only thanks to instinct that we doesnīt choke on our food every time we eat or drink, the list goes on and on.

Most designers/ engines and so forth who make a living in designing a building something would say that if anyone builds an object whit the amount of flaws that the human biology has, would be fired almost INSTANTLY.

If we really were designed the designer would be a douche bag of dimensions.

As for the universe it’s far from perfect either, let’s take the solar eclipse some would say well the moon fits perfectly over the sun, well it doesnīt not in a long shoot.
If it did we would have a full solar eclipse every time the moon was in the position, however as we all know, we donīt and even when we do solar light slips through the valleys and cracks on the moon’s surface.

So the moon is far from perfect either.

As for the bible being accurately translated through and through, WRONG again, there are several mistranslations in the bible.

A good example could be the story of Moses, The bible says that they crossed the red sea however this is a mistranslation of the original text, which says that they cross the sea of pipes.

So why are the bible mistranslated? It can best be described as my English teacher once said by taking a well known fairy tale let’s say Cinderella.
What you do is take the original fairytale (I think it was in German, but I am not sure) and translate it into another languid let’s say English then you take the English text and translate into Danish then Russian and so forth until you finally translate it back into German.
Now take the two texts and compare them to one another, I think youīll find huge differences, as mistranslations and artistic freedom on certain parts have changed the story, so thatīs it quite different from what it used to be.

As for historic accuracy well some of the texts may be historical (to a certain degree), but others most certainly isnīt.
One example could be the story of the great flood that covered the entire world, that hasnīt happened and will not happen, it is simply not possible whiten the laws of physics at least not as it is written.

Let’s look at the facts

First of all let’s take the Ark itself if we ignore the fact, that Noah properly didnīt know the first things about boat building and how you have to change the internal construction of a boat the bigger it gets, in order for it to be stable and not fall apart.
For the sake of argument let’s say he was able to build boats even big ones, there a still lots of problems which would make it impossible for the ark to ever be constructed.
First the material: Gopher wood. It is well known that wood extends in water, so a boat build entirely out of wood whit nothing but tar and nails to keep it together would twist and bend and fall apart after a short time in the water.
Even whit our current Technology it’s impossible to build a boat that big whitout a metal frame in it to hold the wood together.
Next the size of the ark, the bible gives very clear measurement of how big it was, through archeology we know approximately the size of boat they were able to build at that time.
This however has put another dent in the story as ship of that size of the Ark had to be, was far beyond the abilities of what they were able to build at that time.
So the boat couldnīt possibly have been that big, since is simply beyond the capabilities of the people of that time to build something that big.

Next we got the gathering of animals, the latest says estiments says that there are approximately 30 million land animals on the earth, Noah given the knowledge his people had of the earth at that time wouldnīt possibly have known how to tell the different animals apart.
Next there is the time scale and the space, if we take the time he would have needed to put in the different animals inside, we end whit something in the range of 30 years.
Next space all these animals take up space in order for Noah to put two each kind of every land animal on earth, he would have had quite a difficult time fitting them all in even a fleet of arks much less one.

Next up is the Water, where would all that water come from? There is nowhere near enough water neither in the ground nor in the sky to ever supply that much amount of water needed to flood the continents.
From space then? Defiantly a possibility we know there are ice comets out there large enough to supply the water needed.
Unfortunately if such a bastard( a comet the size of Brazil) where to land on earth either complete or in pieces, the amount of energy it would release upon impact would compare to the force released if two nuclear missiles were detonated for each living person on this world.
If such a thing happened water would be the least of Noahs problems.

IF we ignore all the things before this and say that the world was flooded.
Even now we got problems.
First of all the amount of vapor in the air such a flood would result in even one breath would prove fatal for everyone aboard the ark, as the amount of water taken in through the air would literally fill the lungs with water, Noah and everyone one aboard would drown instantly.
Plus the atmosphere would have changed so that the pressure would have collapsed Noahīs lungs

Now even if we ignore all the proof against such a flood ever happening, there is one last things standing against it, evidence.

Floods leave evidence in the earth mostly, a special kind of layer to prove that a flood happened. If a worldwide flood ever happened there would be that special kind of layer at the exact same place all over the earth.
This however is not the chase.
Next up the fossil records if the fish living in the water would have access to the entire world we would expect to find a lot of fossils from creatures that lived at the time of the flood, where they just didnīt belong, like an Australian seashell in the midst of Copenhagen.
Unfortunately this is not the chase and nothing like it has ever been found.

So a LOT of the stories in the bible is just that stories moral stories nothing else.

Okay I think I am gone stop now before the post gets too long, but to wrap it up to say that the human race is perfect and the universe is too, is so far from the truth as it could ever be.
Same goes for the bible not having any mistranslations and being historical accurate again nothing could be further from the truth.
The bible is FULL of controversies, mistranslations, propaganda and direct lies.

One of the problems with a creator having created the whole thing is, if everything has a creator who created the creator and who created the creators creator and so forth into eternity?


Last edited by erikjust on Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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