1. Thousands of children every day suffer worse than Jesus did, in hospitals, by soldiers and rapists, priests and ministers, and their own parents.
2. Anyone who was not lying about being legitimately pre-med would not use the term "Darwinian," and would know the definition of "theory" by now. Liar, or complete failure.
3. If "we" cannot possibly comprehend God, you have no right to pretend to be the only one who does understand "him" and what "he" wants. How dare you!
4. You haven't read the basic creation stories, or you would not make those claims. Many creation stories start from non-existence. Specifically, Hindu and Chinese. How this proves the validity of Christianity (surely you meant to say Judaism, as that is the religion of the creation story you refer to) escapes me. The fact that you have completely ignored abiogenesis as the source of yout vexation leads me to suspect your screed comes directly from another website.
5. Your claim that the truth of Christianity is proven by the fact that gosh, Jesus just really wants to be liked, is an appeal to sentimentality, and stems from your own upbringing in a certain Victorian-style Christianity. East-coast catholic? Methodist? Lutheran, Episcopalian? You're not a Free-Methodist or Church of Christ--those guys would call you some kind of heretic.
You must not have considered the sincerity of anyone belonging to any other creed, which leads me to suggest you go forth and see the world: put a few years under your belt before you make such, well, interesting assumptions. Again, you're also making assumptions about God, the guy you just got through claiming we had absolutely no possibly friggin' way of figuring out. But no! He just wants to be LOVED! Is that so WRONG?
6. Nobody dies for other people. Physically impossible. If so, his sacrifice was to God. Who is himself. He sacrificed himself to himself. That's so selfish. What a freaky religion. And he didn't even have to suffer for more than three days. Refer to point 1.
7. Dear Universe: I already accept your majesty and wonder without having to add on something else that seems really super-keen like magic to appreciate you. I also noticed that you don't seem to care much that you include deformed children and elephantiasis and pretty much an entire universe that's hostile to my own kind. That's why I pretend that you're magic and that only one tiny speck exists, so I don't have to strain myself explaining why a wizard made the majority of it completely lethal to me and my kind. Oh: and I don't have to test you by making incantations and wishes and then make wild guesses that an unexpected phone call or some blackbird falling out of the sky due to toxic chemicals is a sign you exist. I know you do, and I don't have to rename you.
“If you’re right and I’m a deluded cultist who has been brainwashed by my faith, then I don’t miss out on much.”
Well if you’re right and I’m a deluded cultist who has been brainwashed by my faith, then I don’t miss out on much. On the other hand, if I’m right, you are in for a big surprise. Don’t try to pretend you’re any different than me. You “have to believe in evolution.” I’m very well aware of the definition of a theory. You, on the other hand, must not be too acquainted with the theory of evolution. All empirical evidence that scientists have compiled points to one thing: microevolution. This can be seen perfectly with your amazing example of inheriting traits from parents and even more so by merely noticing the number of dog breeds. The reason that these “traits” are passed down have to do with the genetic code (DNA) and different alleles that make up a gene. Natural selection is an amazing process that will eliminate many different traits that aren’t conducive to a particular environment. Over time, certain genotypes (combinations of alleles that show up as traits) can be completely eradicated, changing the design of an organism, and leading to speciation.
Bravo science! This is all factual and proven. This however, comes nowhere near to evidence for the precious evolution that “logical thinkers” cling to in order to eliminate the need for God as an explanation for creation. There is ABSOLUTELY NO EMPERICAL EVIDENCE that points to an evolution from one simple organism to the current day population of living organisms. Notice that the only evidence that as you say is “like saying an airplane can fly and watching it fly” points to the elimination of genes. There is no provision for new genetic material (except mutation, but we’ll get to that later). So, science has proven that existing organisms can change over time by losing genetic material because of natural selection. It is impossible from a single-celled organism containing its DNA to “evolve,” even over billions of years, to anything more than it is already coded for!
Mutations! Ah, science’s saving grace that makes evolution work! We now have a way to create a new allele type and genotype! Glory to reason and logic and the scientific method! Oh wait, the scientific method is based on experiments that test a hypothesis that is written up based on observations of the natural world. Wait a minute, all observed mutations in the natural world lead to sickly, quickly killed off organisms that can’t function in their environment. Hold up, these mutations that provide for all these great features of life only serve to weaken a population? But what if… maybe over billions of years, by chance, a few mutations caught on that happened to form the complex human eye and our nervous system. We can just speculate that that is what happened and call it evidence! Yay! One more point for Darwin! Take that you God-fearing lunatics!
Some more things that you obviously have not read up on, Bob, are fossil records. You may have heard of the Cambrian explosion… or maybe not? That is the rock layer in which countless organisms are found, all at once! Wow…. How did they get there? Oh, I know, there are some organisms in earlier rock layers. That’s cool. We could have evolved from them! The problem is that there are no continuous “steps” in any evolutionary chains. There are a lot of organisms that are simpler than us (but there are also a lot of them today as well!). We found many fossils of many different types of organisms of various levels of complexity, BUT each organism is abruptly in a rock layer and then found no more! We have found no slowly changing fossils that are evidence for an evolving world. But we can imagine that are some missing links that we just haven’t found yet! Yay, we’ll teach children from an early age that we have proof that we all came from bacteria to fish to land animals to monkeys to people! This will be great! Oh yea, and we found a group of bones that were only separated by a few miles… they look like little people bones, and we found a skull over here that looks like a chimpanzee! We can put them together, name it Lucy, and call her a missing link! Oh and we found human child-sized footprints, so we can say that these “Lucies” were tinier than people. Call that evidence? I call it little girl footprints and a poor excuse for a skeletal reconstruction. (Even some prominent evolutionists throw that crappy piece of evidence out the equation.)
So now, Bob, you know why I believe that evolution requires a good deal of faith. In order to say that all of creation evolved from single-cells, you must assume that unobserved mutations account for all the new genetic material required to go from a single cell to millions of organisms, even though every observed mutation has been proven to have negative effects. You must just have faith that somewhere in the earth there are some fossils that can possibly link different organisms, although we can only observe abrupt beginnings and endings of organisms in the found fossil records.
My faith in God is founded in scripture that is unique to the Judaio-Christian belief system. You are most certainly dead wrong about the similarities between Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity.
Buddhism—man trying to figure out how to live morally and figuring out the world…. Man created this
Hinduism—much like Buddhism, but a little less organized. They focus on physical health and peace….. man created this
Islam—rooted in the Pentatuech of the Old Testament. Mohammed (the prophet) was kicked out of Mecca for becoming too powerful. He claimed to have dreams that the God of the Hebrews (Yahweh) came to him and said their doing it all wrong. He changed God’s name to Allah and then went out and told people and eventually got enough to take over Mecca. He gave people two options: join and kill all who disagree or die. He ended up expanding his territory and eventually died and later on when that didn’t look too appealing, the pillars of Islam were set in place to help people live morally….. man began this
Judaism—God revealed Himself to His people who He created and loves, but who couldn’t keep from sinning. God didn’t like the idea of all His creation being punished, so He figured a way to send a Messiah.
Christianity—believes the Messiah came and He is Jesus Christ. This man Jesus is God. He preached a message unlike any other any heard, and willingly died a horrible death on a cross even though He was an innocent man. He rose again in 3 days, having conquered the grave and taken punishment for my sin. ….God came and did His thing, not mans….
Overall, when you look back on the beginnings of everything, you notice a point where you wonder what happened first. Even if we started from a single-celled organism, where did it come from? Even if the universe was started by the big bang theory, what made it happen? Something had to create what is, or how can anything even be? Where is the evidence for this? It doesn’t exist. Now you look into your logic. Did chance make it happen? Did everything just magically poof into existence? Or did someone who is a lot mightier than we, beyond our comprehension, and separate from creation start it all?
One more thing: I love you because Christ loves you. If I love my friends then how hard is that? I can love my enemies because of the strength of Jesus’ love for me when I don’t deserve it. I would love for you to know what His love is like! Just so we’re clear, though. My God does not have to do anything to prove Himself to you. How seriously you choose to take Him makes no difference in the end. My God is, and was, and is to come. And I have seen no evidence to the contrary.
Wynn Traylor Harvey II
Wynn. I don't even know where to begin with all that sugar & fluff you've thrown around here. It's piles and piles stacked so high I can bearly see over the top! "Buddhism, clearly manmade because it's man trying to figure out how to live morally. Hinduism even less organized, so it's clearly manmade, but Christianity is about a godman coming down and preaching things no man could ever dream up, then rising from the grave to nullify all our bad deeds ... Who could write that?!?"
Are you serious? Human sacrifice stories are the oldest manmade myths in the book! We're technical geniuses at dreaming up fantastical tales on how to free ourselves from guilt, fear, blame & responsibility for the flaws we scramble to burry inside.
We once thought it was possible to put our head against a cow's to transfer sins over. Then once our internal sin-box emptied, fully absorbed by the cow, it could be shunned from the village, taking all of our guilt with it. It's embarrassingly, blushingly, sometimes criminally, BRILLIANT of us. A villain's wet dream! Blood sacrifice solutions from lambs, children, virgins, innocents are probably the most classic, and pathetic excuse for justice the human race has fought tooth and nail to pretend's true.
In these actions where we should be shamed, we've invented ways of making scapegoats seem noble. Even heroic.
Let me put it this way. For all you people out there, the #1 clue to whether or not you're in a cult, or brainwashed, or deluded, is if the belief you hold includes a story that frees you of your responsibilities and allows for some other entity to take the blame. Such an obvious skidmark on moral logic could only be rectified by human delusion. Do your beliefs have a version of this, Wynn? Bingo Bango, you're in a cult. Mystery solved.
I want to compliment you however on your very first sentence - "If you’re right and I’m a deluded cultist who has been brainwashed by my faith, then I don’t miss out on much."
What a lovely and wise philosophy. It's so juicy, and fun, and exciting!! I mean, if there's one thing for certain, brainwashed cultists are living life to the fullest! In fact they're probably living happier, more colorful lives than anyone else! Oh, yummy, chocolaty brainwashing. What a glorious solution to life! The cornerstone of healthy, social living. You're right, Wynn. If you're a deluded cultist brainwashed by fake stories written by men then the world is your oyster! In fact, you've made me jealous I'm not brainwashed! Oh what a paradise North Korea, the Branch Dividian and Westboro Baptist Church must be! You know what Wynn? I can't think of one negative about being a brainwashed cult member. You've really made a valid point here today. Give yourself a gold star.
But what if your fairy tales are true, and your Super Wizard man sent his offspring as a scapegoat? Then yes. I'm taking a really big risk. One that might doom me to Suffer-forever Land! Doesn't sound like a made up boogieman story what-so-ever! Absolutely classic, Wynn. I couldn't have worded it better. Oh, unless you're wrong about one of the other gods you've dismissed. Then you could reincarnate as a toad! If they're right it's YOU who could be in for a big surprise!!
There. Now you can fully understand my fear of your afterlife threat.
Listen. I'm going to skip out on the armchair science, and your bold "ABSOLUTELY NO EMPERICAL EVIDENCE that evolution from one simple organism to the current day population of living organisms" statement. I'd say the similar DNA we all share is powerful evidence we're related. Being created separately wouldn't require this connection. And I'm definitely not going to claim to know how the universe came to be, because we do not know. No one does. What I will argue however is that scientific study, not ancient books, have proved better answers time and time again. I understand the want to believe the myths. But the raw, testable science actually shows results. It's a little more difficult to learn and understand than "pray it true" or "God made it," but that's the price you pay for right answers.
Evidence contrary to a good, healthy belief system, such as scapegoats, cult-mentality, godman worship, & blood sacrifice, are excellent clues worth laying on the examination table if you care at all about what you believe being true or not. My feeling is, if it has obvious moral flaws, it's evidence it's manmade.
Kudos again on that first sentence though! A quote for the ages.
“Oh, wait! I can look into other species too for morals. We are no different than other animals, right? Dad gum! Animals kill each other even within their own species sometimes just to get ahead and a little extra food and more ladies! So I guess murder isn’t really that bad after all…”
You have saved me, man. I have been wrong about everything my whole life. Gosh you are just storming me with evidence that my faith has been in a lie! The proof you give, especially that last part about how to test if my belief system is crap, really spoke to me. "My feeling is, if it has obvious moral flaws, it's evidence it's manmade." I couldn’t agree more about that statement! Man I just need to look at my moral guidelines and—oh crap… I just threw that belief system away. Ok I’m sure its fine. Science must have some way to define morals, right? After all, science has done much more good for the world than any old stinky books, right? I guess I’ll just look into the evidence, like a scientist ;D. That’ll clear everything up, Bob! Hold up… I just found out that its cool to kill people because they are an inconvenience! It’s alright because they can’t speak up to defend themselves. Oh, wait! I can look into other species too for morals. We are no different than other animals, right? Dad gum! Animals kill each other even within their own species sometimes just to get ahead and a little extra food and more ladies! So I guess murder isn’t really that bad after all………………
Bob! You tried to trick me! Before you get me to throw away my faith in God, please tell me what morals you want me to judge it with and where exactly they come from! I know that my morals come from God’s Word. If I remember correctly as well, the laws of this great country of America are based in Biblical principles. You sly devil, you! (pun definitely intended) Please let me know what’s right or wrong, my friend, and why??? Who decided? Without an absolute good, how can there even be a way to judge evil? I guess everything is relative, in which case, these morals you speak of that determine my beliefs as poppycock don’t exist. Now how do I prove myself wrong?
I’m disappointed that you didn’t have a retort for every comment I made about evolution, Bob. I really expected more from you after a whole two days of waiting for a response. I really wanted to see some observable support for an origin of species scenario. I will say, though, I would have been truly surprised if you came up with anything other than support for microevolution. You did mention DNA. I agree, bud, that many similarities exist between man and other creatures. The structure of our DNA is one similarity. The homologous structure of the limbs of different mammals is another striking similarity. These similarities definitely point to a single unifying factor. I would argue that this relationship between these different species with similar make-ups is a common Creator rather than a common ancestor. If I was creating creation and saw that something worked, I would use that same design template over and over again. DNA is a great way to control the development of an organism. It makes sense to have branching skeletal structure for limbs. Simple mechanical advantage is at play here. Besides, these bone structures follow completely different developmental pathways anyway.
I also agree that “raw, testable science actually shows results.” There is nothing raw and testable in the scientific world that can disprove the existence of a Creator. Raw and testable science provides medicine, technology, cars, environmentally friendly energy, entertainment, and security, all things which a Christian, or any other religious person, enjoys just like an atheist. Origin science cannot be tested, it can only be assumed to be true. What you see in the complexity of nature as support for an evolutionary worldview, I interpret as the work of an amazing Designer who constructed an intricate reality that we humans are slowly beginning to understand and discover. The only result that origin science provides is an alternative to God that people can believe in as the reason we exist. If I’m right, then consider this fact. This theory wouldn’t be the first time that things of God have been misinterpreted to push us from Him. In fact, the first sin recorded in the Bible results from the serpent tempting Eve by distorting what God had said. You can read it if you want to (it’s in the beginning of Genesis). If you don’t have a Bible, www.blueletterbible.com provides a free copy online. Another case involves Jesus Himself. When in the desert being tempted by Satan, the crafty devil used actual scripture to try to confuse Jesus and cause Him to sin. It’s a natural progression that God’s own creation, which was meant to be evidence for Him, would be misinterpreted as evidence against Him. It just makes sense according to Scripture and fits the observable reality of what’s going on!
I just want to bring up one final concern that I have for now. You keep referring to God as a “wizard.” I know you meant it as an analogy, but that description really doesn’t fit the God I’m trying to convince you exists. You, at a loss for comprehension of God, try to box what you think you understand of Him into a stereotype that you feel comfortable with. The God that I’m arguing for is utterly incomprehensible by our human minds. If he exists outside of what we know as space and time, no amount of reasoning you do can fully understand Him. You say that people invented God. Why God? Why are we as humans so inclined to create a God-figure to explain our existence. Surely it isn’t for comfort. It would have been much more comfortable and natural to attribute our existence to something that didn’t require consequences for our actions, yet a god-figure is always involved. That doesn’t even give you a tiny bit of curiosity that the idea of God actually originated from God? Origin science is merely man’s attempt to rationalize our existence. It may not be a disprovable theory, but it is far from proven to be true. The existence of God is just as much forensic science as evolution. You can interpret the evidence provided to point to Him. (Creation, scripture, complexity, inexplicable beginning of existence, feelings, emotions, man’s dominance and uniqueness apart from other organisms, our desire to understand truth, our acceptance of a moral code, our appreciation of beauty, our desire to be loved, our commitments to family and friends; all of these things are observable phenomena that can be interpreted as evidence for a Designer God)
As truly and deeply sad as it makes me to say this, I doubt these back and forth emails will serve any purpose in your life other than to provide you a good opportunity to make fun of a Bible believer. I figure I can at least try to make you smile with one more sarcastic retort. 0=) Jesus Christ did after all say that we should love those that don’t love us, for that is true love: unearned, undeserved, just given. And I know that you’ll get a kick outta this, man!
Since we’re all trying to be rational here, I now know what the next step in my quest to bring you to salvation is. I have no choice but to travel to NYC dressed in a flowing white gown with wings sewed to my back and a halo glued to my head and duke it out with you one of these days! Whatdya say? Winner takes all? I sure wish it were that simple, bud. I look forward to hearing back from you again.
Still in Christ,
Sarcasm in the wrong hands can be a very unpretty thing. I think the problem here is, for sarcasm to work the butt of the joke can't be logical, well written statements, and the alternative can't be outrageous crazyfarm talk. Getting our morality from animals or the bible isn't obvious reality. Both of which have almost identical morals at times. Have you ever heard of Slavemaker Ants? They're ants that invade other ant colonies, and capture them to enslave them! And I know what you're thinking, "Whoa! That sounds like something God would order people to do in the bible!!" But you'd be wrong. Ants don't have Bibles. Check it out. The link you sent is God telling people exactly how to buy slaves as property from one another:blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Lev&c=25&v=44&t=KJV#44
But my favorite is when God tells you how to sell your daughter as a slave. He's very detailed about how exactly we should sell them to men: blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Exd&c=21&v=7&t=NLT#7
So wait, then how do we decide what's moral if someone isn't telling us what to do? Wynn, it's up to me, you & everyone else. It's our job to figure it out, decide what's fair & unfair, right & wrong and do the best we can to make things right. Just exactly how we've been doing it throughout history. When you see an injustice it's your job to acknowledge it, say out loud "This is wrong" and work to rectify it. It's what good people do. It's precisely what people did when we stopped slavery despite the bible's A-okay on it.
I want so badly just to quote Richard Dawkins' words here and act like they're mine, but I'll do the right thing, a moral decision made on my own without God, and let him say it himself:
Our morals have been intelligently designed by us through "secular moral philosophy and rational discussion."
Wynn, I have a question for you. If God is so utterly incomprehensible by our human minds how can you sit there and tell me what you know about him? How can you tell me the rules, morals, wisdom & creation method of a god who is utterly impossible for us to comprehend? It seems to me you invalidate everything you say about him and his book when you say there's nowhere an atheist like me can go to know who or what god is without a human mind like yourself holding my hand telling me exactly how to utterly comprehend it the way your mind sees fit. How does that NOT totally remove us from the equation and set us free to figure it all out ourselves (morality included) completely separate from this incomprehensible god-thing? See, to me it just sounds like people say it's "God of the Universe" when it's actually just their own views, ideas & idiosyncrasies served on a silver tray from his bicep.
You shouldn't be saddened by all the work and thought you're putting into these back & forths with me. You're learning a lot of important information. Stuff you were completely ignorant of before! You're thinking and using your rationale to sort though questions. You're even experimenting with humor and wit to present your arguments. And even though you fail again and again you're doing exactly what we're all supposed do to become better people. Through trial and error you're working to develop proper morals, rationale, and a sense of humor, all through these emails with me. An atheist! You should be proud, because that's precisely how things get done.