[“Before Christianity, there were people who believed in spirits other than Jesus – in fact there are tribes today that live in nature as nature intended who will never have heard of Jesus or the Holy Ghost, if God as in Jesus really existed then everyone would know about him including these people – there would be no need to spread the word, because Jesus would have revealed himself (as he did to St Paul) to them to ensure that they could live by the word of god (why did god just pick Paul – God must have known that such tribes existed why not create a prophet there to guarantee the word spread in such regions) – so that these people and didn’t have promiscuous sex etc. Please bear in mind that in some tribes it is perfectly and socially acceptable to have many wives baring many children – promiscuity is seen as normal, a sign of social status.
It seems awfully risky and unfair for god not to reveal himself to such tribes of people – but the truth is they have their own faiths, gods and ghosts that command and guide their society through life – they may celebrate the rain god, or the god of the trees for bringing them fresh food. In fact Christianity bares no relevance to these types of people because their ‘natural world’ (probably in the Amazon) is unimaginably different to ours.”]
Let me first start by saying that much of what you say is leading the reader to a conclusion without leaving enough room for any other options. This, as you can imagine, is not the way to consider all the options but simply a way to point out that things that one personally believes to be true. However, you bring good points that are not spelt out in your question as directly as some Atheistic blogs will do and this is mostly to do with the “conflicting scripture” of which we see two sides to God’s nature, being the God of Love and the God of Judgement or Justice.
So let me rephrase this for you: “How can a loving God allow many to die in judgement if he is a God of love?”
First of all, let me start by saying that the spread of Christianity is usually much more successful amongst those “primitive” tribes. This is an ongoing process and according to the great commission which you will find at the end of Chapter 28 of Matthew’s Gospel was in place precisely because God could see the need for all to hear about the good news.
Secondly, we look at this from our perspective and do not have his viewpoint. Let me illustrate this without referring too much to the Bible. You and I, as Apostle Paul said, see things like in the mirror. In the first century they were not as clear as they are today in other words the picture is somewhat distorted. Think of it like this, you and I are like ants; we have a detailed picture that is up close and personal. However, from where God is he has an eagle eye perspective; he can both see the details but at the same time has complete perspective. This is a common Christian belief. Therefore, Christians do not claim to have all the answers which is why we say we have faith. But saying that, let me just clarify that there are even Biblical scripture that seem to suggest that those who did not know God in the way Christians know could still be saved. Think of people like Noah or Job who are not Christian people and yet they are listed as good godly people who are in heaven today.
Thirdly, this can only be seen as an excuse. Why? Well, there are Christians who actually believe that all will be saved. Now I do have serious reservations about this as I think all that hear the good news but who have rejected it, have had their chance, but what you should note from this is that there is a significant group of Christians who think that everyone will be all OK. Therefore, this is not a legitimate question as there are multiple answers that do not place God in the corner as non-Christians would like him to be.
[“While we are on the subject of promiscuity – have you ever stopped to wonder why promiscuous sex is considered a sin? To understand this you need to apply some medical logic – during the times of the Roman’s the world average life expectancy of an individual was about 20-30 years (I would more than likely be dead). In addition, during these times no one had heard of bacteria or viruses – in fact if you had said that there were little creatures, so small you could not see them living all over almost everything – people would have laughed at you (such was our ignorance – bear in mind that during such ignorant times many of the worlds largest religions were created and propagated).
During the times of Romans, people had sex as they do today – sometimes for pleasure. They didn’t know that to do so could transfer disease because they didn’t know what caused disease. However, it is likely that people understood that prostitutes would more often than not catch diseases some pretty horrific (syphilis is famous because it is horrendous, it rots the flesh of its victims effectively eating them alive, at the same time it fools the brain into making it feeling more promiscuous, so that it’s host goes around having lots of sex and ensuring that the bacterium spreads and reproduces as much as possible). Now the religious people who could not explain anything at all at the time, assumed that prostitutes were immoral and having sex for profit is a sin, which god punishes with an early and painful death – this is excusable and understandable when being in the unfortunate position of not having any other knowledge. “]
Firstly, let me point out that Christians are not anti sex. This is completely incorrect. Secondly, even in the New Testament there are people who have more than one wife. However, they are prevented from being leaders of the church as they are going to have their hands full (figuratively speaking!) and not be able to give their full attention to the church. So what is it that that Bible calls promiscuity? It is sex outside marriage, and especially when this is done without having any intention of marrying the person with whom you have sex.
If you allow for the fact that in the first century there were many temples which practised sex as part of their ritual, then you can see how different that is from what the Bible is teaching. In fact, the Bible is quite clear that what is done in your bedroom should stay there, behind closed doors. This does not mean don’t enjoy it or don’t do it, just that there is a right place and a right time for that kind of activity. If you talk to your partner I would guess the majority of people would say that they prefer to be in a monogamous relationship which is why we even call it a “contract”. You wouldn’t like it if your partner cheated on you and neither would she or most people in any case.
Your point on stopping disease just shows that the Bible tells us to do things that are always for our own good. This you will find again and again. When looking at it from today’s point of view, you can see why instructions given to Israel make sense. This includes the laws surrounding unclean animals etc.
[“On a side note: Many animals suffer from syphilis, again reaffirming my belief that humans are just another animal – at least two or three STDs (Chlamydia being another) have relationships with animals, the bacteria doesn’t show any prejudice between the hosts, all it needs is a biological environment in which to replicate and a method of transmission to ensure its genetic survival – if humans were different from animals then we wouldn’t get sick like animals do.
Without science to explain disease, god becomes vastly more relevant – I would even argue, that it becomes almost useful – as it could control people’s behaviour, and prevent the spread of some disease, albeit only a little bit, for example it might deter a man from visiting a prostitute – i.e. don’t do that god will not like it, and he may give you a disease that will rot your flesh for you sins – that I can understand 2000 years ago.”]
On your point about us being animal, I can’t help but smile. How can that prove anything? It is like saying we both have heads therefore we are animals. It just does not follow logical reasoning.
On the point of the Bible being almost useful 2000 years ago, that is precisely my point: it gives us clear instructions. By the way, if your implication is that today it’s OK to have sex as we have ways to control things, it is just not going to wash with the majority of people.
- Your wife will not approve.
- Sex exploitation is still one of the major crime supporting industries. Think about many east European girls who are tricked into coming to this country to work as sex slaves.
- Most sexual diseases are caught through the act of sexual infidelity. So if you go to the prostitute and you find that she is doing that because she is in need of money to feed her drugs habit, your participating in that act will be immoral even by the standards of those who reject Christianity.
[“Incidentally, the trend in life expectancies of 20-30 years persisted until the late 20th century, from 1960 until 1970 we saw a massive improvement in healthcare as our understanding of biology (free of religious dogma and stigma) progressed and accelerated by evolutionary theory, and as a result life expectancy has been dramatically increased – no amount of praying has done this, praying achieved nothing – hard science on the other hand achieved many things.
We don’t need to use religion as a tool to control people’s dangerous / risky behaviours – instead we can educate them instead, which has been proved to be vastly more effective, and if that fails – our unhindered modern thought has allowed us to develop tools (theories and medical advances) to combat the disease – rather than suspicious non-sense, of spirits, and breaking of the rules of the lord have brought this upon you gibberish… instead we can see the real cause and effect of such ailments – and this is why Religion is the enemy of scientific reason, because it doesn’t want people to learn any other cause and effect other than those moral codes defined within the bible – because those codes are used to control people, and science takes them away – so if you take that away, the Church looses its power over the people.”]
Firstly, life expectancy was not 20 to 30 years. In fact you will find that even Moses and His contemporaries wrote that the average age was around 60 but for those who were strong even to the age of 80. This was not to say that they lived long. On the contrary, the message is that our life is but a short period of time, like a test we have to go through before our final destiny is decided.
Second of all, there were regional differences. Someone living in the Middle Ages in the middle of town where they had very poor sanitation would not be expected to go much beyond the age of 30. However, we should also remember that lifestyle did play a major part in how long one lived. Your occupation, your location and lifestyle all play a part as we know even from today’s examples. For example, the British Medical Association has been saying recently that we are storing trouble for ourselves in the UK as our youngsters are drinking far too much, with many having liver failure even before the age of 30.
[“Galileo advanced science in his field, accept, that Church persecuted him and made him retract his claims delaying his science for decades – this again is a crime and even more of a crime considering as you say that the Church sponsored Galileo’s education and teaching – it cries hypocrisy, and makes me want to cry for humanity. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Church would do the same today given half the chance regarding such discoveries as evolution and DNA (they are trying to restrict the teachings of evolution in schools and are pushing for intelligent design instead – which is not science, because it starts off with a conclusion which science does not do science starts with a theory, tests it and concludes with the results of the test). “]
This kind of statement and blame culture reminds me of how the Nazi government started blaming the Jews. I would suggest, therefore, that you re-read my previous answers if you are going to compare and I suggest you do. Atheism is responsible for significantly more deaths than religion was ever to be blamed. Also note that these were Christian against Christian crimes, i.e. Catholic Church against Protestant and any atheist using it to justify their rejection of any faith only points to a lack of logical reasoning.
[“The work that is being undertaken by scientists such as Dr Venter – who is on the verge of creating synthetic life in a lab who has been branded as a ‘Frankenstein’ doctor by religious people quoting the scripture you defend.
No matter what reasoning, or evidence is presented by science, Religion will deny progress claiming it to be unethical, and say it is humans playing god, or using the design that god created, or the fact that Dr Venter has created life will be evidence that god did the same thing by design (twisting the facts)… even though Dr Venter the leading world expert in this area has stated publically that there is no evidence in his research that suggest that evolution is wrong or that there is anything to suggest that natural life was intelligently designed. Now I am not being pigheaded here – this guy should know, he has dedicated his life’s work to this – he’s the man, not a quack but a real well read scientist.”]
We keep on going in circles with these. I will have to start moderating some of your comments if they are just rephrasing what has already been discussed. If my answer was given then I think it only fair that we stop at that. No amount of repeating your question is going to change the facts that have been stated previously. So unless new elements that raise new issues are related to the same question I will have to delete such sections. However, on the points that you raised here, let me quickly reply.
- These are issues for medical ethics and there are many in that committee who are not religious people so it is unjustly critical of you to blame Christians for what is not their fault.
- On the issue of Dr Venter, let me just tell you a Christian joke that will hopefully make you laugh and demonstrate amply why your assertions are wrong. A scientist came to God and said I have evolved so much I can do today what you did some millions of years ago, I can create life. So God was amused and said OK I would love to see you do it. The scientist took God to his laboratory and started adding a little bit of earth and a little bit of other building blocks of life. At that point God stopped him and said hang on, hang on, get your own material. In other words we can only manipulate what is already there, we can not create anything that is a massive overstatement.
[“Denying scientific finding is as immoral today as it was in Galileo’s time – because it causes unnecessary delay, and motivates people who are not experts to attack those who are either physically or politically on moral grounds that are founded on belief systems that were designed by society hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Equally defending the scriptures supports these lunatics and underpins their actions and statements.”]
This is your statement and view to which you are entitled but I think it is founded on false premises and misunderstandings rather than facts. Also note how polarised your views are and there is very little room for manoeuvre to include any logical reasoning. Being prejudicial as in your above statement is not helpful for any discussion.
[“So for me the issue isn’t so much of who is wrong or right with regard to the existence of God, because know one really knows – the issue and the real answer to you original question of why young people are favouring Atheism is that they see the hypocrisy and the injustices of the historic and modern Church – they see moral issues; such as denying evolution, even though it explains a lot, denying people in Africa condoms even though they will save lives of thousands of innocent children born to HIV infected mothers and the abuse of scientific methodology and actors. For me the biggest fear, is the immoral acts of violence that are frequently reported – abortion doctors that are shot, embryologists that are spat at and verbally abused, and terrorist bombers that kill and injury hundreds of innocent people while just trying to do their business, in the name of Allah, Jesus or whatever.”]
Do I have to go over this again? Many more crimes are committed by “non believers” and as I keep on saying nobody is saying that Christians are perfect. You trying to push me to justify this is not going to work. This is simply dodging the issue of God’s existence. When you say I don’t like God because of those who follow him is the same as someone on the sinking Titanic saying I don’t want to go into that lifeboat as I don’t like Fred and his beliefs. One doctor gets shot by a deluded person who thinks he is a Christian and suddenly it is OK to reject Christianity. Note that many Christians have whole-heartedly condemned that to be an act of barbarianism.
[“Now I take your point about not being responsible for these people’s actions because not all Christians / Religious people are bad – but this is flawed, by your own word you defend the word, you propagate these beliefs and support them in the face of overwhelming reason and logic,m by utilising and adopting philosophical and scientific debate.
It is a kin to a drug user using heroin, he doesn’t harm anyone either except for himself he thinks, yet if he knew how those drugs were delivered to him he may see a different side to his addiction, he may see the farmer in the third world country who is paid nothing for producing the poppies, he may see the child labour and associated brutality of this drug producing world, he may see the female mule, who swallows packets of pure heroin in order to smuggle them into the country, he may see the criminal who sells drugs but also mugs old ladies for their hand bags and stabs people that do not pay up on time… and then he may see that his money pays for this immoral chain of events lining the pockets of key process owners – i.e. the barons, the contract killers and such like.”]
This is so twisted that you could plait someone’s hair by using this kind of logic. First of all, this is no better than me asking you a perverse question like “when did you stop beating your wife?” You could not possibly answer that question and escape any criticism.
Christianity is nothing like drug dealers, or users. On the contrary, most of the charities around the world have been founded by people of faith. People should choose their words way more carefully if they want to have any credentials behind what they say.
[“That my friend, is exactly how I see religion, I see the people suffering from AIDS, I see homosexuals who are beaten up by thugs who think they are right because the bible says that it should be done. I see the scientists that are beaten and abused by fundamentalists who think they are right above anything else, and I also see the naive religious people who think that are doing good, and do not actually realise that they are doing great harm to the world because they are tampering with people’s beliefs and installing right from wrong based on a outdated text into people who act out their own style of justice with a conscience that is cleaned by their faith in god.”]
I don’t understand how you can see this when you live in England. These are more common traits elsewhere and besides, these are often executed by far right groups, some of whom may have links with Para church organisations that are considered by the general church as cultic and wrong. So I would say that your comments go a long way to prove my point that Atheists only look for excuses and do not have any intention of logically examining all the relevant evidence.
Defend the word