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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 08:01 PM

at this point, i mean no disrespect but i am quite curious, how can you believe in a god how can you believe in creationism, how can you so blatantly ignore science and all the bad stuff on earth how can you justify saying you are under attack when you are the majority, how can you justify telling people they are going to hell for being themselves?


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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 08:23 PM

Thank you for asking nicely and having serious questions instead of attacking before you know.

How can I believe in God? Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for. I have assurance through faith. If you feel like you lack faith, ask God for help (and honestly believe that He will help you). Also, just looking around at the Earth, I see God in all of His creations. There are so many beautiful things that just couldn't be an accident.

How can I believe in creation? The bible flat out says that there was a curse put on the Earth that made it age rapidly and appear much older than it is. That's why creationism says that the Earth is only about 6,000 years old while scientists claim that it is millions (billions?) of years old. And the bible scrolls said this way before scientists ever said that the Earth was that old...so we know the authors of the bible aren't just trying to cover for themselves. As far as evolution, that's a huge explanation that is probably going to cause a huge debate if I try to explain it. If you want to know the general Christian belief on evolution, send me a private message or read The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. It's a book that explains how Christians can believe something as "crazy" as creationism.

How can I ignore science? ^^^see above

How can I ignore the bad stuff on Earth? I don't see Christians doing this at all. In fact, a true Christian is well aware of the bad stuff on Earth- that's why we know that we need Jesus to save us. I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking here?

How can I say I'm under attack when I'm the majority? Christians are not at all in the majority. Sure, most people call themselves "Christian" because they were raised going to church and believe in God. But, when you narrow it down to who really believes that Jesus died to take their punishment and save them from sin and have accept that gift, we are in te minority. Plus, when you narrow it down even more to how many Christians are actually living out their faith and believe the whole bible, we are even more in the minority. Not only that, but when someone attacks you, it doesn't matter if you are in the majority or not- an attack is an attack.

How can I tell people they're going to hell? To warn them, because I was in their place just 2.5 years ago. If somene wouldn't have told me I was going to hell, I wouldn't have known that I needed to be saved and wouldn't have accepted Jesus to save me. Christians are no better than anyone else. There are only 2 kinds of people in this world: sinners who have been saved (Christians) and sinners who have not been saved (everyone else). If you haven't been saved from sin, you will go to hell because sin has to be punished. Either you have to take that punishment yourself, or believe that Jesus died for your sins to take it for you and accept that gift (hence what being a Christian is).

I hope that helps. Also, for everyone else reading, please don't try to debate with me and please don't respond unless you have a serious question because you truly want to know about God. I am posting to answer this person's serious questions, not to debate. Thanks.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 08:25 PM

while some answers i accept i would like to know why YOU personally believe, not because of the bible, when i was a christian i was taught to believe because i felt it, not because the bible tells me to


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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 08:42 PM

Let's take this from the top...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadkeLover View Post
how can you believe in a god


A combination of studying the philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God, dabbling with agnosticism and atheism and finding neither fulfilling, and through coming to my own conclusion on the subject. Same way people decide not to believe in a god, really - only difference being I landed on the other side of the fence. Weighing up all of the arguments, any position other than agnosticism is arguably a subjective decision more than an objective one.

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Originally Posted by RadkeLover View Post
how can you believe in creationism


I don't. Most Christians don't. Be careful not to mix topics and lump them all in together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadkeLover View Post
how can you so blatantly ignore science and all the bad stuff on earth


I don't - I'm quite the advocate of science and the scientific method, in fact - and I don't. Compared with most of my age group, I'm acutely aware of all the "bad stuff". My belief in the existence of a God is not based on some idea of life being a Wonderland of happiness and rainbows if I believe in God. Instead, the "bad stuff" is a reminder of the need for me to make the most of my life to redress the balance and leave this life with the world slightly better than when I joined it.

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Originally Posted by RadkeLover View Post
how can you justify saying you are under attack when you are the majority


The most recent estimate is that there are 2.5bn Christians worldwide, out of a population of 7bn. That's a funny definition of "majority". Christians may be a majority in certain countries such as the USA but certainly not overall. In any event, being a majority group does not preclude being attacked - for example, most feudal European societies had a large population under the thumb of a comparative minority group who wielded absolute power. Similarly, the East India Company controlled large areas of India in the 18th and 19th centuries despite being vastly outnumbered, and China was occupied by Japanese forces in the Second World War despite having a significant manpower advantage. Majority status is no protection whatsoever.

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how can you justify telling people they are going to hell for being themselves?
As a matter of course, I don't tell people they are going to Hell. As a sinner myself, I feel I have no right to do so whatsoever. I can advise people on what I believe is the right course of action, but otherwise I leave it to God to judge.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

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If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 08:42 PM

1. How can I believe in God? How can you not believe in God? It's personal belief based on nothing. We cannot prove or disprove the theory of God. Therefore it's open to personal interpretation.

2. God, or the God Atom. Does it matter? Weather a God made it, or a single God atom spontaneously erupted into the universe doesn't really matter. I find it more logical to assume the universe was created by a God, rather than "it happened just because", but that is simply a personal opinion.

3. I personally don't. Science almost borderlines a religion in some ways. The fact that it's a group of people who are so dead set on being right. The idea of God is a silly fairy tale, the idea of the random explosion of a God Atom is the only way to think about this. There's no way that we go to heaven after death, don't be silly. The mind simply reaches a higher plane of existence beyond life. However scientific experiments and theories based on factual information, on the other hand... those are completely true. Evolution, the earth's age, gravity... these all have solid evidence to prove them as real.

4. How can you? If you're here on the internet, I can assume you have a house, food and a computer. Sell it all and go hungry along with the other people who are starving. Give away all your possessions to help feed others, and survive on the absolute minimum. Oh shit, you can't do that. Why should Christians be forced to? We cannot blame God for not helping everyone in the world if we aren't all willing to do the same. There's enough food and water in the world for everyone, but until we all give up our decadent life styles, people will still be hungry. Instead of simply blaming God, we should blame ourselves.

5. Christianity is a shrinking population. They are still among the widest spread religion, but not necessarily the largest population for much longer. Many Christians feel their beliefs are under attack my Atheists who feel the need to assert how "enlightened" they are by being "free of the fear of God." Just because Christians are the majority doesn't mean it's okay to attack their beliefs if you wouldn't feel comfortable with the same done upon you and your religion.

6. I personally don't, and I don't believe it's a humans place to tell others such a thing. You're generalizing Christianity, one of the widest spread religions in the world, with hundreds of different branches and spin-offs.

I think the most important thing to remember is that if a Christian is kind to other people based on a compassion caused by the idea of God, isn't the Holy Spirits alive? If kindness, compassion and caring are spread by God then the idea of God is alive, and therefore God is real as long as people make him real, as God is an all powerful force rather than a human being. By realizing that if people are helping others based on the ideal that a God holds, does it matter if they are right or not?

Megan1:

Regarding #2: What to say earth wasn't developed over the course of many years. Because the Bible theoretically states that it was developed in seven days, you must realize a few things; What's to say it wasn't seven days to God, but millions in our understanding of time?, What's to say the Bible originally said much longer but was lost in translation, what's to say it wasn't changed to a more repeatable unit of time?

The original Hebrew version of the Old Testament never outright states it was seven mortal days, but rather it was a period of time God perceived as seven days. Arguing that the whole earth and universe is a conspiracy is quite silly considering the fact there are thousands of other explanations and conclusions that are more logical.

Anyhow, explain dinosaurs and early human evolutionary fossils. I'd be curious to how those got there, if not by God's creation.

- Justin



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August 15th 2012, 08:46 PM

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Originally Posted by RadkeLover View Post
while some answers i accept i would like to know why YOU personally believe, not because of the bible, when i was a christian i was taught to believe because i felt it, not because the bible tells me to
Well, Christianity is definitely not about feelings. I mean, yes, it does feel good to know that I have God and eternal life...but feelings often lie to us. They aren't a stable thing to base our eternal decisions on. I know I personally, being an 18 year old female, have a different emotion every hour. I'll be laughing and then a minute later be crying. Imagine if I based my beliefs on what I felt! I would be all over the place. I would be Christian today, maybe Buddhist tomorrow, and maybe Agnostic the next day. lol What we "feel" is right isn't always right, and isn't going to last.


It's hard to put into words why I believe in God. He's given me the faith to do so, and my faith has given me the assurance of things I can't see. I look around at God's creations and think there's no way it could be an accident. I have seen Him work in my life- showing me about being saved and giving me a WHOLE new life at the perfect time, always answering my questions and giving me wisdom when I was confused (He doesn't audibly speak to me, but He always does stuff like having 5 different people randomly tell me a bible verse that applies to my situation and stuff like that), etc. I believe in Him because of the changes He's made in me. I'm te exact oposite of how I ever thought I would be before. People will try to tell you that it's coincidence, but I know that too much has happened to me for that to be true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKmadu619 View Post
Megan1:

Regarding #2: What to say earth wasn't developed over the course of many years. Because the Bible theoretically states that it was developed in seven days, you must realize a few things; What's to say it wasn't seven days to God, but millions in our understanding of time?, What's to say the Bible originally said much longer but was lost in translation, what's to say it wasn't changed to a more repeatable unit of time?

The original Hebrew version of the Old Testament never outright states it was seven mortal days, but rather it was a period of time God perceived as seven days. Arguing that the whole earth and universe is a conspiracy is quite silly considering the fact there are thousands of other explanations and conclusions that are more logical. - Justin
I always looked at verses such as Genesis 1:19. It says "There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day." It seems to indicate that the third day of creation went directly into the fourth-not with days in between. As far as how long the days were...doesn't the Hebrews word for "day" in verses like Genesis 1:19 have the definition of meaning a literal 24 hour day? I can't remembr off the top of my head what the word is.

Last edited by LlamaLlamaDuck; August 16th 2012 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Merging posts.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 08:59 PM

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How can I believe in God? Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for.
This is only one translation of it. Others translate it "substance," etc. So, your following explanation is only true if the above translation is correct. It gives this idea of a foundation. So, the only thing this verse is saying is that your foundation is hope. The NASB, in this case, translates that verse poorly.

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I have assurance through faith.
Well, I guess I'll agree with you on this. People who believe god told them to kill someone have assurance it was the right thing to do. It doesn't mean it is the right thing to do, or that it was honest.

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
If you feel like you lack faith, ask God for help (and honestly believe that He will help you).
This statement is contradicting. "If you don't have faith, just have faith and ask for faith."

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Also, just looking around at the Earth, I see God in all of His creations. There are so many beautiful things that just couldn't be an accident.
Just because god didn't do it, doesn't mean it was an accident. Yet, even if we say it was, it is entirely possible. We examine things evolving beautifully all the time, undirected, without god intervening. Beauty doesn't mean there's a god. It just means beauty exists. And this is to ignore all the evil. To use your logic I could say, "There is more evil in the world so there is no god."

This is also based on a presupposition that god loves beauty and wanted to create beauty. In other words, you cannot say because there is beauty god exists because you'd have to prove a relation between the two. For example, suppose I didn't exist. And I say, "Pizza exists therefore Michael must exist." You'd think that was an utterly pointless statement. And it is, because you have to prove a correlation between me existing and pizza (which there is none).

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I believe in creation? The bible flat out says that there was a curse put on the Earth that made it age rapidly
Nope.

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
That's why creationism says that the Earth is only about 6,000 years old while scientists claim that it is millions (billions?) of years old.
Billions. At least study the topic before you take a stance on it (assuming you have a stance).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
send me a private message or read The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. It's a book that explains how Christians can believe something as "crazy" as creationism.
A terrible book. And I read it while a Christian. His arguments are fundamentally flawed and ill-informed. If you want a decent person to read, look at William Lane Craig. However, the majority of his arguments are flawed, too. However, he is a lot better than Lee Strobel.

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I ignore science? ^^^see above
You don't even know the age of the Earth, so you don't really ignore science. You avoid it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I ignore the bad stuff on Earth? I don't see Christians doing this at all. In fact, a true Christian is well aware of the bad stuff on Earth- that's why we know that we need Jesus to save us. I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking here?
God is the one who subjected the Earth to this "evil." Why would anyone need to be saved by him, and who would want to be?

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
-Epicurus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
we are in te minority.
Not really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Plus, when you narrow it down even more to how many Christians are actually living out their faith and believe the whole bible, we are even more in the minority.
I agree. I've never seen anyone sell all their possessions to give to the poor. I've never seen anyone perform greater works than Christ. I've never seen anyone cure the blind, raise the dead, walk on water, or raise from the dead. I've never seen anyone ascend into Heaven. I've never seen anyone move a mountain, or throw it into the sea. In fact, I don't know one Christian who believe the whole bible. I've only met Christians who believe what they want the bible to mean.

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I tell people they're going to hell? To warn them,
Warn them of what? A place that has no evidence of existing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
here are only 2 kinds of people in this world: sinners who have been saved (Christians) and sinners who have not been saved (everyone else).
I would say the two people are:
1) Those who blindly accept things with no evidence and believe they will be rewarded for it.
2) Those who prefer to think and who Christians believe will be tormented forever for choosing to think and base decisions of evidence. Not a fairy tale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
If you haven't been saved from sin, you will go to hell because sin has to be punished.
Prove this. You told me everyone sins. If everyone sins, then clearly, no one is "saved' from sin and we don't need to trust anyone because that person is incapable from saving people from sin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Either you have to take that punishment yourself, or believe that Jesus died for your sins to take it for you and accept that gift (hence what being a Christian is).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E0Bqa97tUI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
I hope that helps. Also, for everyone else reading, please don't try to debate with me and please don't respond unless you have a serious question because you truly want to know about God. I am posting to answer this person's serious questions, not to debate. Thanks.
I'm not debating you, I'm just helping this person realize the irrationality of your post, if they don't already. No need to respond to me.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 09:06 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
No need to respond to me.
I wasn't going to. I'm not going to bother debating someone about the bible who just admitted that they don't even believe the bible. That'd be a waste of time.

If the original poster has any questions/confusion and needs to ask me anything, feel free to send me a private message.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 09:09 PM

"With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years …" (2 Peter 3:8) implying the actual creation took seven thousands years, as a minimum. That means implying everything is six thousand years old is impossible, seeing as it took the minimum of 7 thousand for creation alone to be done, meaning even if we take things literally (which we probably shouldn't...) the world is more like 13,000 years old.

However, the Hebrew word for day, Yom refers to three things, the daytime portion of a literal solar day (think, Daytime.), a 24 hour period of time (think, Daylong) and a long period of time, used as year, lifetime or time in general. You would generally apply the word to whichever it best suited, and logically conclude which phrase the speaker meant. However seeing as how this was literally thousands to billions of years ago, it's impossible to tell. However the conclusion is reach, based on scientific evidence, is that the world is indeed billions of years old.

Also, where in the Bible is it stated the earth is cursed to age "faster"?

Source: http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/sixdays.html

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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 09:22 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
No need to respond to me.
Nice to see you on this side of the argument, mate
To the OP: As a Christian I believed these things because I never truly questioned. Upon a single serious questioning, my belief fell apart. It answers your questions only by way of affirming the negative, I guess, but still.


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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 09:23 PM

It says a day is LIKE a thousand years. Like is a simile, meaning not literal. Just like when Isaiah says that we will be LIKE eagles. We're not actually eagles. It says that to God, a day seems like a thousand years. That doesn't mean that every day literally takes a thousand years to happen.

To answer your question, I'll have to go find the exact verse. I don't think it actually uses to word "faster", but it says a curse that made the Earth age/decay (can't remember the exact word). That is an explanation for how it looks old either way though.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 09:36 PM

Megan: Wait... if that verse in Peter wasn't literal, why must the verse in Genesis be literal?

You cannot flat out state some parts or figurative, and some are literal with no rhyme or reason to your thoughts.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 09:43 PM

It's not that the statement "a day is like a thousand years" isn't literal. It is literal. But that's the thing: it says "a day is like a thousand years", not "a day is a thousand years".

When something (not just the bible) uses the word "like", that means it is comparing something figuratively.
   
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August 15th 2012, 10:01 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
...while a Christian.
It saddens me to know that you feel SO betrayed by God that you would choose to turn your back on Him. Don't let the 'world' win Mike. Don't let MAN keep YOU from GOD. And don't lean on your OWN understanding of 'things'. Don't make your 'intellect' your 'higher power'. I am very often very pissed off with God. But I refuse to allow that anger to convince me that He doesn't exist. I can't turn God into a 'fantasy' anymore than a child can make someone disappear by covering his eyes. And neither can you! GBH -

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadkeLover View Post
at this point, i mean no disrespect but i am quite curious, how can you believe in a god how can you believe in creationism, how can you so blatantly ignore science and all the bad stuff on earth how can you justify saying you are under attack when you are the majority, how can you justify telling people they are going to hell for being themselves?
Hi Tyler!

I hope you're having a groovy day!!

"How can YOU......?" You ask.

Who is YOU?

Do you mean an elderly Salvation Army lady handing out hot cups of coffee and a sandwich to street people - night after night after night?

OR do you mean someone at the Westboro Baptist Church painting a new 'GOD HATES FAGS' sign?

Do you mean a group of Christians in some far away place building a well so people can - for the first time in their lives - have fresh, safe drinking water?

OR do you mean someone at home - right now - cutting up white bed sheets and making huge wooden crosses to burn on someone's lawn?

Be very careful who YOU accept as a Christian. The Bible tells us that, "By their fruits you shall know them." By what the Westboro Baptist Church does - would you say that they are following Christ? How about those who belong to the KKK? Are they Christians? Are they following Christ? They SAY they are. But are they - as Christ commanded us to do - loving God with all of their heart AND loving their neighbor as they love themselves? IF NOT - then they ARE NOT Christians.

IF you saw me in person - you would see a 49 year old, 6.3" tall white guy. IF - while staring straight at you - I told you that I was in fact a 5.2" tall 90 year old Asian woman - would you believe me? Or would you KNOW that I was LYING?! Anyone can SAY that they are a Christian. But that doesn't make it so.

Be very careful who YOU choose to accept as a representative of GOD.

I am convinced [Which doesn't mean that I'm right] that God would truly appreciate it if MOST 'Christians' would STOP telling everyone that they 'follow Christ'. For nothing could be further from the truth.

As for your creationism question... I believe that God created everything. I also believe that God is capable of doing anything. I often tell people that IF God wanted to - He could turn me into a Toyota. In other words God is NOT limited by our imagination. Nor is He bound by science. God could have billions of years worth of evolution squeezed into 6,000 years. Did that happen? I HAVE NO IDEA. And to be honest - to ME - it matters not. For it doesn't matter to THIS Christian person how old the earth is.

As for Christians being under attack - when I was a kid - we stood up in class every day and said the Lord's Prayer. Nativity scenes were on City Hall lawns at Christmas. A list of the Ten Commandments were on the wall of EVERY [I would assume] court house in every city in North America. All of that is gone. I think THAT is what most Christians are referring to when they say that they are being attacked. Plus NOW - in many parts of the world - reading the Bible out loud - in public - can have someone ARRESTED for a 'HATE CRIME'. Imagine that. That law does NOT apply to ANY other 'religion'. [As far as I know] So it's no wonder - is it not - that many Christians might take that personally.

So there you have it. MY OPINION!!!

GBH - Craig!!

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Re: Dear Christians - August 15th 2012, 10:52 PM



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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 12:01 AM

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It's not that the statement "a day is like a thousand years" isn't literal. It is literal. But that's the thing: it says "a day is like a thousand years", not "a day is a thousand years".

When something (not just the bible) uses the word "like", that means it is comparing something figuratively.
However it means that a day being like a thousand years for God means it is at least somewhat within the nature of a thousand years. It might not boil down to exactly one thousand years, and yet it must be somewhat near it, be it between 500 years to 1,500. However again, you cannot argue based on exact wording, as the belief the earth is young based solely on the literal translation of Bible is silly, considering the Bible also says many other things, all of which are open to interpretation based on the translation/wording of each passage.

Even so, if you believe that individual uses of a single word determine what a passage means, then why must the word "like" be anymore important than "Yom"?

Also, you never provided a source on the "earth curse". Nor have you acknowledged my question regarding fossils of Dinosaurs, ancient human skeletons and prehistoric animals, because if Dinosaurs were truly only created two days before man, why do they seem to date back thousands of years younger with no apparent pattern of decay rate? For example, if they seemed exactly 2000 years older, then we would know each "day" of the creation represented exactly two thousand years, however we're talking billions of years older than the first humans, with no rate of multiplication between, indicating that the world has been around a lot longer after the initial creation, or that creation took place over billions of years, a theory I personally subscribe to.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 12:11 AM

I didn't realize you were actually asking a question about the dinosours. i toughtyou were being sarcastic, sorry! Dinosours lived (with humans) and died (I don't know how, possibly the flood). Their bones can be found because they lived. And just like the Earth, they look older because of rapid aging. Same wit other animal/people skeletons.

And I said I needed to find where the bible talks about the curse. I can't remember if it was before or after the flood.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 02:11 AM

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Dinosours lived (with humans) and died (I don't know how, possibly the flood). Their bones can be found because they lived. And just like the Earth, they look older because of rapid aging. Same wit other animal/people skeletons.
When was the last time you read a reputable science book/article that wasn't from Answers in Genesis?

Everything you just said is horribly wrong.


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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 03:08 PM

90% of what I said involves God's power working...so obviously if you don't believe in God, you're not going to agree. I wasn't trying to prove it scientifically, I was just answering the person's question who asked how I thought dinosour bones got here. I believe that they lived (proven true), and while they were alive the Earth became cursed for a while (which is in the bible and hasn't been scientifically disproven)....therefore, when they died (I don't know how, though I do know what some scientists believe about something hitting the Earth), they decayed quicker and appeared older than just a few thousand years.

As far as the science book, I'm not sure. I mean, I take science in school every day, but not usually on these subjects. Right now, I'm taking things like Sports Medicine. What I know about creation/evolution/dinosours/whatever have come mostly from other people, this site, and a little bit of my own research. You'll tell me that's not enough and I'm not educated, so I'll just save you the trouble.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 03:52 PM

Megan1: Where does it say the earth was cursed? I'd like to see that passage from the Bible.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 06:25 PM

I'm looking and I've found a few verses, but these aren't the ones I was thinking of. Right now, I've found:

Genesis 3:17. This says that a curse was put on the ground. It doesn't say that the Earth aged here, but it says that the whole ground was cursed to the point that food grew weird things like thorns. The whole ground being cursed to that extent would logically make it appear older.

Genesis 5:29 also confirms that the ground had been cursed

Isaiah 24 talks about the curse of sin devouring the physical Earth (verse 6). It also talks about the physical Earth being spoiled (verse 3) and withering (verse 4). I am aware that some of Isaiah is prophecy, and I think this was prophecy looking ahead to now, when the judgement of the Earth is approaching.

Not to mention that the bible says there was a flood that covered the whole Earth. That generally would cause some damage too. Most people who don't believe the bible would even say that a flood that flooded the whole Earth would be impossible because it would do THAT much damage. Now, obviously I believe it's possible and did happen...but I believe that it was very damaging.

I could have sworn there was also a curse after the flood though. Hold on....

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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 06:42 PM

Megan1: Water ages things, but only superficially. It might make them appear faded, or darker, but they wouldn't make a million year old change. I believe that the significance of the flood matters, but the event does not. I personally don't believe there truly was a flood, as there is no evidence to prove such, however that doesn't matter seeing as the lesson is the same irregardless.

The two parts of Genesis don't apply to the entire world though.

Isaiah is a valid line that somewhat backs up your point. However the fact that earth will wither away due to sin doesn't apply to aging. It's going to be sin that kills us, or acts of evil, depending on what you believe. Eventually someone is going to commit a crime against humanity/major sin that's going to kill us all. I don't have any doubt about that. The fact that human greed is destroying the earth also makes this line valid. However I don't feel it actually means that the earth is aging at an accelerated rate.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 07:10 PM

Come on guys, I thought it was established a long time ago that if you're going to try and disprove a conclusion drawn from the scientific method, your refutation has to be falsifiable as well if you want your arguments to have any validity. Right now all I'm seeing is "the Bible says so." The age of the Earth (and the Universe itself) has been determined by empirical scientific evidence. Attempting to "refute" a scientifically established fact with the concept of a transcendental deity doesn't work. You know what the difference between "God created everything because the Bible says so" and "The Celestials created everything because the Star Wars Expanded Universe says so" is? Correct answer: There is no difference. I could sit here all day and come up with 100 million more "theories" centered around the creation of the Universe by a God, multiple gods, the Easter Bunny, Elton John, or Gary Oak, and it would be just as irrefutable and therefore just as pointless.


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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 07:27 PM

It must have been the whole ground that was cursed in Genesis, because it was originally cursed in the garden in chapter 3, yet Noah (who did not live in the garden) was also feeling the effects of it in chapter 5- and he didn't live in (or even near, as far as I know) the garden.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 16th 2012, 09:45 PM

strange_quark: The funny little thing is, I'm Christian. However, I was trying to help show Megan that arguing that evolution isn't real, and that the Earth is only 6,000 years old is silly, especially by claiming "the Bible says so" when indeed, the Bible never outright states it.

That's truthfully my reason for being religious, and the way I argue for the fundamentals of Christianity. Regardless of if it were God or the God Atom, the universe was created from nothing, and the idea of intelligent design simply seems more plausible than "it happened just because.", however this is my personal opinion, and shouldn't be held as the truth by anyone.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 17th 2012, 12:13 AM

You are presupposing that the Universe was "created from nothing." The truth is, we do not know. So Megan, like countless religious people before her, is attributing the unknown to supernatural causes.

Also, why is it more plausible for an intelligent designer, then for something like natural selection and gradual change over time to cause the changes we see in the world around us? In other words, tell me, why do we NEED an intelligent agent of change for the world around us to make sense?


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Re: Dear Christians - August 17th 2012, 11:53 PM

With the universe the size it is it's just a matter of time before a planet like ours was formed anyway...

And the cursing of the ground to make things look older? That doesn't explain the speed of light and other galaxies we are seeing. They are several billion light years away it'd take those billion years just to see them. So did the speed of light increase for awhile just so the universe would appear older?


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Re: Dear Christians - August 18th 2012, 01:13 PM

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Originally Posted by Zen Ryochan View Post
And the cursing of the ground to make things look older? That doesn't explain the speed of light and other galaxies we are seeing. They are several billion light years away it'd take those billion years just to see them. So did the speed of light increase for awhile just so the universe would appear older?
I don't have all the answers about creation and can't answer that for 100% certain, but there are many possibilities. Personally, I'd guess that no, the speed of light didn't increase. I'd guess that they are just measuring how far away the galaxies are improperly. I mean, if we can't get to something that is billions of light years away, how can we know for sure that it is really that far away? I know that have scientific ways to measure and make an assumption, but I'd say there's a better chance of them being wrong than there is of the speed of light increasing. Or, it's possible that that cycle that would have taken billions of years was started in the middle of the cycle. Like, the cycle of the billion years started out being almost done, so we could see it.

That is, unless maybe when God said the "Earth" was contaminated by sin, He actually meant everything under Heaven- not literally just the ground. But again, those are both just guesses. There are countless theories of what it could be.

Remember that according to bible, Joshua prayed for the sun to not go up/down (meaning sun rise and sun set- I'm aware that the sun doesn't actually move up and down), and it didn't. Before that, the world (possibly the universe, I don't know) was contaminated/cursed with sin. Evil, which was never supposed to be here, entered the universe. That's a LOT of weird things to happen to one universe, so it makes sense that things changed/aged/don't line up with science. Also remember that those things were written in the bible long before scientists assumed these things, so it's not like people could have been just trying to cover for themselves.



It's not that I really care how old the bible says the Earth is. Even if other Christians were right and the bible actually did allow room for the Earth to be billions of years old, the bible would still be true and God would still be good. It's just that from my reading of the bible (I've read chronologically from Genesis-Isaiah, read random chapters here and there, and read the whole New Testament but not in order), it does seem to be only about 6,000 years old. I believe that everything in the bible is literal unless it says otherwise.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 18th 2012, 03:12 PM

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I'd guess that they are just measuring how far away the galaxies are improperly.
Based on a book written by people in a time when they thought the cosmos was just an inverted bowl over the flat Earth with pinholes in it (the stars)? Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
I mean, if we can't get to something that is billions of light years away, how can we know for sure that it is really that far away?
Wait a minute, are you suggesting that for something to be confirmed it has to be observed directly? Tell me again why you believe in God and the Bible?

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I know that have scientific ways to measure and make an assumption
Applied science is a set of methodologies that are based on testable theories. It is not an "assumption." And that's very ironic because your entire viewpoint begins with "Assume God exists (who cannot be seen or proven to exist) and assume the Bible is true."

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but I'd say there's a better chance of them being wrong than there is of the speed of light increasing.
And you are basing this higher probability on what, your own opinion?


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Re: Dear Christians - August 18th 2012, 03:40 PM

The writers of the bible didn't get into great detail about how they thought the Earth/universe looked. They just wrote what God told them, not based on their own understanding.

In order for something to be proven, it has to be observed directly. I never claimed I could prove God. I have experienced God directly, but not physically, so I can't prove Him.

As far as the light years thing, yes, I already said that was my opinion and I wasn't sure about that part.
   
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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 08:09 AM

I figured that I'd address your first post, Megan, because it provided me with some entertainment.

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Thank you for asking nicely and having serious questions instead of attacking before you know.
Doesn't seem like an attack to me. He's asking why people believe in a god. He's asking why certain scientific facts are ignored, and dismissed by Christians. He's asking why bad stuff happens with an omnibenevolent creator. I think these are legitimate questions. I've read the original post several times, and I don't see an insult.

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How can I believe in God? Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for. I have assurance through faith.
You're using the bible, as proof for god, and faith in the bible and god as a reason to back up your faith in god. Circular reasoning is circular because circular reasoning is circular.


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If you feel like you lack faith, ask God for help (and honestly believe that He will help you). Also, just looking around at the Earth, I see God in all of His creations. There are so many beautiful things that just couldn't be an accident.
Okay, I'm going to replace the word faith in this case with belief. Really, that's what faith it. It's a type of belief. So if the OP lacks belief in god, he should pray to the god he doesn't believe in for help with the lack of belief in the god he doesn't believe in. Oh, and the last point! Evolution is not an accident. Accident implies intent. Evolution has no intent, and it completely explains why there are so many "beautiful things".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I believe in creation? The bible flat out says that there was a curse put on the Earth that made it age rapidly and appear much older than it is. That's why creationism says that the Earth is only about 6,000 years old while scientists claim that it is millions (billions?) of years old. And the bible scrolls said this way before scientists ever said that the Earth was that old...so we know the authors of the bible aren't just trying to cover for themselves.
So you're going to claim that the earth looks older than it is because god made it that way? Okay! How about the radiometric dating, and the studies of the strata that prove the earth is MUCH older than 6000 years old. Did god do that too? Radiometric dating is based on the half-life of elements and cannot really be faked. Oh, I'd love to see the verses you found in the bible about god altering the laws of time and physics just to troll future scientists.

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As far as evolution, that's a huge explanation that is probably going to cause a huge debate if I try to explain it. If you want to know the general Christian belief on evolution, send me a private message or read The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. It's a book that explains how Christians can believe something as "crazy" as creationism.
This is part of the denial of evidence that the OP was discussing. Evolution has been observed, not only on a level of microevolution, but also macroevolution. It has been reproduced, by breeding wolves to create different SPECIES of dogs. Also, evolutions is STILL being observed in humans. By the way, I've read "The Case for a Creator". It's definitely not scientific, and it relies heavily on the denial of evidence, circular reasoning, and logical fallacies. I'm actually not even convinced that Lee Strobel was an atheist to begin with. His deconversion story is unconvincing at best. Just because I don't want to rage TOO much, I'll post a site that provides a rebuttal for this entire book. http://www.daylightatheism.org/serie...-for-a-creator

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I ignore science? ^^^see above
You do ignore science! See above for details. I can provide more proof of denial if you like! If I see a response to this post, I'll post plenty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I ignore the bad stuff on Earth? I don't see Christians doing this at all. In fact, a true Christian is well aware of the bad stuff on Earth- that's why we know that we need Jesus to save us. I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking here?
Bad stuff that Christians do:
-abstinence-only education
-use the bible to justify horrible actions
-use the bible to promote hatred to certain groups
-use the bible as a reason to take away the rights of women, gays, other culters, non-christians
-take a religious stance in politics, when the church and state are separate
-The list goes on and on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I say I'm under attack when I'm the majority? Christians are not at all in the majority. Sure, most people call themselves "Christian" because they were raised going to church and believe in God. But, when you narrow it down to who really believes that Jesus died to take their punishment and save them from sin and have accept that gift, we are in te minority. Plus, when you narrow it down even more to how many Christians are actually living out their faith and believe the whole bible, we are even more in the minority. Not only that, but when someone attacks you, it doesn't matter if you are in the majority or not- an attack is an attack.
You're NOT being attacked. Your views are being discussed critically. There's a big difference. If you don't know the difference, learn it. What "attacks" have Christians had recently? I really don't see it. Also, you ARE a majority.
inb4 No True Scotsman fallacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
How can I tell people they're going to hell? To warn them, because I was in their place just 2.5 years ago. If somene wouldn't have told me I was going to hell, I wouldn't have known that I needed to be saved and wouldn't have accepted Jesus to save me. Christians are no better than anyone else. There are only 2 kinds of people in this world: sinners who have been saved (Christians) and sinners who have not been saved (everyone else). If you haven't been saved from sin, you will go to hell because sin has to be punished. Either you have to take that punishment yourself, or believe that Jesus died for your sins to take it for you and accept that gift (hence what being a Christian is).
So you're telling people they're going to hell, even though it's not you that gets to choose, according to your beliefs? There is so much wrong with this paragraph, that I don't even know where to begin. If what you're describing is true, then you've got a god that's providing infinite punishment for finite sins. Even if the sins are accidental, and even if somebody was born into the wrong culture, they will go to hell. This god doesn't sound very moral to me. I'd love to post much more about this. Maybe I'll debate you another time about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
I hope that helps. Also, for everyone else reading, please don't try to debate with me and please don't respond unless you have a serious question because you truly want to know about God. I am posting to answer this person's serious questions, not to debate. Thanks.
Well, you don't have to debate me, but I'd sure like if you could address the obvious fallacies, and the morally repulsive things that your god seems to do, according to you... Maybe that will be for another time.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 09:19 AM

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Right now all I'm seeing is "the Bible says so." The age of the Earth (and the Universe itself) has been determined by empirical scientific evidence.
I had to smile just a little bit when I read that sentence. [Quoted above]

When you [Or someone else] refers to 'empirical scientific evidence' - where's that coming from? A BOOK?! So isn't all of this 'back and forth' really about what someone read a BOOK vs what someone read in a BOOK?! And isn't this about where someone chooses to put their faith? Unless 'YOU' did the scientific research YOURSELF - it's still 'YOU' putting FAITH in what someone else SAYS is the 'truth'. Oh I know.... someone COULD argue that 'numbers' of 'scientists' have come to the SAME 'truth'. Sure. But no doubt 'you' READ that somewhere.....

IN A BOOK!!

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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 11:37 AM

No, Craig. No. Not at all. There is no "faith" involved in scientific enquiry. The very definition of faith is the adoption of a stance that isn't backed by hard fact, which is quite the opposite of scientific thought.

Things like the theory of natural selection, these weren't pulled out of some prophet's sleeve. They are the result of careful observation and experimentation of the world around us. No bias involved.

It's also foolish to assume that your particular brand of mythology is the right one. "Because the bible says so," isn't a good enough reason.


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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 12:29 PM

Do YOU, Toz, KNOW that the world is round? [Or close to round - lest anyone get 'technical'] OR are you taking that on FAITH? And it IS faith. IF you don't know for sure - but choose to believe [Which is the definition of FAITH] what someone has written down on paper and had published in a book about the world being round - then you are no different than someone who chooses to believe what was written down in some other book. Neither one of you can prove - based on the book alone - that YOUR book is 'more true'! I don't KNOW if the world is round. Based on MY experience - the world could be flat. [Or just ever so slightly curved - keeping me from seeing New York from where I live] The Bible tells us that what you are reading [for the most part] are stories written by men who were inspired by God. If one believes that God IS who the Bible says He IS - then what those men are saying has tremendous credibility. Just as credible as the words being shared in a 'science' book are to someone who has FAITH in those who have contributed to its contents.

That all said... I personally see no need to take sides. I believe the Bible to be exactly what it says it is. I also believe much of what I read in science books.

So there you go!

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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 02:04 PM

Nope. I KNOW. Here are ten reasons why, not even mentioning the bare fact that we can look from orbit and see we live on a spherical planet.
You're caught up equivocating things being written in a book, and that's just now how science works. If 200 other people as well as myself do an experiment to see what happens if you stick a fork in an electrical socket, we will all experience the same result- an electric shock. However, if 200 of us read the Bible (whichever fanciful fictional version you pick), one need only look at the countless denominations to guess the result.

We don't have "faith" in scientific thinkers and inventors. We take the results of their work, and we refine it, learning more about the world around us. It's frankly a damn insult to human achievement and advancement to posit that some omnipresent entity is the causative agent behind everything. Lest we forget that throughout recorded human and natural history, we have seen absolutely zero examples of undeniable proof of the existence of such an entity.


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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 02:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_quark View Post
Based on a book written by people in a time when they thought the cosmos was just an inverted bowl over the flat Earth with pinholes in it (the stars)? Really?
I've lost count of how many times I've heard this fallacy...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth. The Greeks had established the Earth was spherical since Aristotle's time, and that knowledge continued to be accepted throughout the Roman period, the Dark Ages and continuously through Columbus' voyages to the present day. It's only since the 19th century that this fallacious argument of belief in a flat earth in such times came into being.


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Originally Posted by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! View Post
If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 04:09 PM

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Originally Posted by dr2005 View Post
I've lost count of how many times I've heard this fallacy...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth. The Greeks had established the Earth was spherical since Aristotle's time, and that knowledge continued to be accepted throughout the Roman period, the Dark Ages and continuously through Columbus' voyages to the present day. It's only since the 19th century that this fallacious argument of belief in a flat earth in such times came into being.
Calm down bro. Although the Greeks (or more specifically Eratosthenes) did in fact correctly deduce that the Earth is a sphere, this does not necessarily mean that the idea of a spherical Earth was universally accepted by all cultures immediately thereafter (and it most certainly wasn't.) I see a sort of parallel between then and now, where today we have scientists who have deduced the age of the Earth from geology and radiometric dating, but at the same time some people still accept the mythological 6,000-year age. It takes time for science to sink in.

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

The fallacy you are thinking of is that most people in Colombus' day (much later) believed in a flat Earth. But centuries/millennia earlier, when the majority of the people and events mentioned in the Bible supposedly lived and happened, the "inverted bowl" myth was in fact still widespread. I'm not sure what your issue with this is.


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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 07:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_quark View Post
Calm down bro. Although the Greeks (or more specifically Eratosthenes) did in fact correctly deduce that the Earth is a sphere, this does not necessarily mean that the idea of a spherical Earth was universally accepted by all cultures immediately thereafter (and it most certainly wasn't.) I see a sort of parallel between then and now, where today we have scientists who have deduced the age of the Earth from geology and radiometric dating, but at the same time some people still accept the mythological 6,000-year age. It takes time for science to sink in.

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

The fallacy you are thinking of is that most people in Colombus' day (much later) believed in a flat Earth. But centuries/millennia earlier, when the majority of the people and events mentioned in the Bible supposedly lived and happened, the "inverted bowl" myth was in fact still widespread. I'm not sure what your issue with this is.
My issue, if you wish to call it such, is that you do not appear to have paid heed either to the contents of the article you reference or my earlier post. Indeed, you appear to have overlooked this line which reinforces my point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth#Classical_world
But by the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder was in a position to claim that everyone agrees on the spherical shape of Earth
Or indeed this one, which is more relevant re. your comment on the composition of the Bible:

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth#Early_Christian_Church
From Late Antiquity, and from the beginnings of Christian theology, knowledge of the sphericity of the Earth had become widespread.
The content of the Christian Bible was only formally agreed upon in the 4th century (source), which places the final compilation and formalisation of the text after both Pliny the Elder's remarks and the period referred to in the other quotation. To claim, therefore, that the wider populace believed in a flat Earth is without much empirical foundation (and indeed appears to stem from supposition) and is therefore an extension of the fallacy. Inferring ignorance on the part of previous generations may be a convenient debating tactic, but it is not necessarily an accurate reflection on the time. You are correct in saying that the spherical Earth model was not accepted by all cultures at this time (it took until the 17th century to reach China, for example, which is surprising given their level of scientific development vis a vis Europe), but the rest of your claim is currently on shaky ground and that is why I take issue with it.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! View Post
If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 07:19 PM

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Originally Posted by Toz View Post
not even mentioning the bare fact that we can look from orbit and see we live on a spherical planet.
Craig's point (although somewhat flawed) Is that you are taking to faith those images aren't fabricated.

Craig made a very interesting point, although it was somewhat invalid.

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Re: Dear Christians - August 19th 2012, 07:32 PM

Megan, all of your explanations boil down to the essential statement of "Because the Bible says so" or "Because God did it".

The root of this thread is not the reason why things are the way they are, or even how they got to be that way. Even if the Bible was truly written by men inspired by the spirit of God, it is still a man-made object. And I hold no level of certainty in any object, artificial, natural or theoretical, that proves the existence of God or any other similar/concordant supreme being(s), supernatural forces or divinity.


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