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Prove God exists without using the bible or faith
05-29-2011, 11:00 PM (This post was last modified: 05-29-2011 11:02 PM by ThinkingChristian.)
Post: #11
RE: Prove God exists without using the bible or faith
(05-29-2011 04:32 PM)Garrett Fogerlie Wrote:  
(05-29-2011 04:12 PM)CNR Wrote:  

There's no doubt that the demographics of my birth had major influence on my religious beliefs. Because I was born into a Christian community, I became a Christian. I've learned some things about other religions but have found no compelling reason to change my belief system.

I'm intrigued by your sense of acceptance of life as completely temporal. I think that I would find life without God missing not only meaning but also wonder. For me, the meaning that God gives to my life includes much more than afterlife (I don't deal too much with heaven and hell). The meaning comes in seeing God's hand in the world around me every day. That's not in the sense that God is a puppeteer pulling the strings and controlling every event in the world. Rather, it's seeing the beauty and the order that God has created. It's seeing the miracle of birth and the sacredness of death.

Having said that, I don't believe any of it negates rational thought or our scientific understanding of the world in which we live. I am convinced that the universe probably began as described in the Big Bang Theory and that I am the product of millions (or is it billions) of years of evolution. I also believe that God created the world in which I live and me. I'm NOT talking about intelligent design here--that's terrible theology and worse science. I'm talking about living in the paradox between my understanding of science and my understanding of God.

I don't think that the Bible and science need to be reconciled. They are approaching an understanding of our existence on two different planes. Understanding the science that causes flowers to grow and trees to sprout leaves doesn't detract from the wonderful miracle of God's continuing creation. In fact, understanding the science enhances it.

Thank you for the continuing to engage with me in this conversation. It's forcing me to articulate many things that have gone unchallenged in my understanding of God and the world.
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06-08-2011, 10:36 AM
Post: #12
RE: Prove God exists without using the bible or faith
(05-29-2011 11:00 PM)ThinkingChristian Wrote:  I'm intrigued by your sense of acceptance of life as completely temporal. I think that I would find life without God missing not only meaning but also wonder. For me, the meaning that God gives to my life includes much more than afterlife (I don't deal too much with heaven and hell). The meaning comes in seeing God's hand in the world around me every day.

It's funny that we both seem to feel the same way, but we attribute it to opposite things. I look at life, the world, galaxy, etc, and how amazing it is and desire to know how it came to be. The thought that God created it, took the wonder out of it and was a depressing thought to me when I used to believe it.

I have always been interested in math and physics. I remember talking to my grandfather, a missionary/preacher and (oddly enough) a science teacher, about the possibility of life being somewhere else in the universe and the reply I got was that there is no life any where else, because in Genesis it says that God only created life on this planet. This thought stifled my curiosity and I found it fairly depressing for a while. I'm not saying there is absolutely some other life out there, but we have photographed around 60 billion galaxies, each with billions and billions if not more stars, and the majority of stars have planets. Therefore it would be a mathematical absurdity if algae or some other form of life didn't exists anywhere but here.

Intelligent design isn't bad science, science requires peer review and adapts, therefore intelligent design isn't science.

I used to not have a problem with religion and kept my lack of beliefs to myself, but over time I have noticed some of the harm it does, and not the outrageous stuff like wars, genocide, oppression of women and homosexuals; but things like some African countries not accepting genetically modified plants that will more than double their food supply, or the Pope telling Africans, the continent most ravished by aids, that using condoms is a sin, and not to pick on Africa, president Bush suspending stem cell research on already aborted fetuses.

I don't know for sure what the world would be like if it's inhabitants wouldn't believe in God, but I think we as a people, are mature enough to do good for goodness sake, and not a possible reward. Although every so often, I am asked why I'm not out killing and raping people because I don't believe in a God to dole out justice. For those people, if they truly can't understand that, then I'm ecstatic that they are religious and hope they will remain that way.

I feel that life has more meaning because it is finite. Being able to help someone brings me enough joy without thinking that I will get some supernatural reward for it.

ThinkingChristian, you have reminded me that their are people out there who put effort into deciding what they believe, not just repeating the same montage that everyone else in their church says.

Here is a video on genetically modified food, from Penn and Teller's show, Bullshit




and here is a clip from Bill Maher's stand up routine, where he points out a number of problems with religion.
http://eviltheists.com/videos/171-bill-m...harm-video

My personal #1 reason that I don't like religion is because I like knowledge! And Religion suppresses knowledge; not just the knowledge unfortunately, but it suppresses the entire drive to understand.
http://www.EvilTheists.com
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06-08-2011, 04:28 PM
Post: #13
RE: Prove God exists without using the bible or faith
fxmikey, I moved your post to here because it didn't belong in this category. Now it is on the first page, and easier for people to find it.

It's under General -> What do you believe? ->
and I gave it the title, "I'm a Christadelphian"

My personal #1 reason that I don't like religion is because I like knowledge! And Religion suppresses knowledge; not just the knowledge unfortunately, but it suppresses the entire drive to understand.
http://www.EvilTheists.com
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06-13-2011, 12:35 PM (This post was last modified: 06-13-2011 12:39 PM by ThinkingChristian.)
Post: #14
RE: Prove God exists without using the bible or faith
(06-08-2011 10:36 AM)Garrett Fogerlie Wrote:  . . . there is no life any where else, because in Genesis it says that God only created life on this planet. . . it would be a mathematical absurdity if algae or some other form of life didn't exists anywhere but here.

therefore intelligent design isn't science.

wars, genocide, oppression of women and homosexuals; but things like some African countries not accepting genetically modified plants that will more than double their food supply, or the Pope telling Africans, the continent most ravished by aids, that using condoms is a sin, and not to pick on Africa, president Bush suspending stem cell research on already aborted fetuses.

I think we as a people, are mature enough to do good for goodness sake, and not a possible reward. Although every so often, I am asked why I'm not out killing and raping people because I don't believe in a God to dole out justice. For those people, if they truly can't understand that, then I'm ecstatic that they are religious and hope they will remain that way.

I feel that life has more meaning because it is finite. Being able to help someone brings me enough joy without thinking that I will get some supernatural reward for it.

Thanks for your response and for the videos. I appreciated the humor in Maher's routine as he pointed out that no religion can stand rational scrutiny--that's part of the nature of religion.

I have to do some more thinking and reading about genetic engineering. I find the fact that people are starving in the world unconscionable. From my perspective, it's an affront to God's orders of creation. There are may things that can be done to alleviate and potentially eliminate the problem. That said, I'm not ready to whole-heartedly endorse genetic engineering. My hesitancy is not a religious issue but rather an ethical issued. We have seen technological advances that have proven to have long-term unintended consequences that made them an unacceptable solution to a present problem. For example, the widespread use of DDT which eliminated the danger of malaria while digging the Panama Canal but later proved detrimental to animal populations. I need to know more about genetic engineering. Meanwhile there are other ways to redistribute wealth that can help eliminate the problem of world hunger.

My reading of Genesis does not preclude the possibility of life on other planets. I would be very surprised if there is no life elsewhere in the universe. It seems pretty arrogant to think we're the only ones.

Many terrible things have been done and continue to be done in the name of religion. I see that as human failing, not an indication that God does not exist. My understanding is that God gives us a free will; we aren't created as robots. Within that context, we frequently screw things up.

For me, I don't strive to do good and avoid evil because I anticipate some future reward. Rather, it's a response to what God has already done for me. I continue to make mistakes (sin) but God has promised to forgive. So, where I would disagree with you is in our ability to good for goodness sake on a sustained basis. Left to my own devices, my tendency is to act only in my own self interest.
(06-08-2011 10:36 AM)Garrett Fogerlie Wrote:  therefore intelligent design isn't science.

I forgot to respond to this.

I agree: not science.
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