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  1.    #1461  
    At this point I've presented the majority of my "arguments" regarding my understanding of "God's inspired Word" and I'd like to take a bit more of a back seat and let others "drive" the continuation of the discussion. I realize that many questions remain open regarding even topics such as "whether religion is good or bad" as well as whether a "God" exists, and if so, why people "fight" and do not understand "Him".

    I want to specifically acknowledge Dic Doc's points that my argument is "a bit circular" (my paraphrasing of him). I'd say this is true of most hypotheses (at least at their beginnings) and I agree that better arguments are not "dependent on themselves". Revealed word (if it exists) has to be different as it specifically contains information we would otherwise not know without such revelation. When I (or any human) is presented with such "possibilities", it's reasonable for us to attempt to apply whatever analysis we can in order to evaluate the claims. I'll acknowledge that "faith" cannot be 100% deterministically "proven". (That's why it's called "faith".) I do believe that religions can be evaluated (using logic). I've presented "one example" of this. I'm interested in hearing additional arguments from other faiths.

    Each person posting here has helped my tremendously in my understanding of viewpoints which differ from mine. I see this as "hope" that intelligent discussions can be respectfully accomplished. My hope is if there is a God, that we as a people might collectively converge on an understanding of Him. We may never converge on a common understanding and that's fine as long as we learn how to respect each other in the process. We began to have conversations about Islam. I welcome those to start back up (if desired). Other faiths need "champions" within this tread if we want to discuss them.

    EDIT: I realize I didn't specifically suggest topics (in spite of a title suggesting I would). My preference is to let others drive topics which interest each of you. (If this does not happen, then I might "seed" some prior, unfinished, discussions.)
    --
    Bob (hoping to go more into "listen mode" now!)
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  2. Micael's Avatar
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    #1462  
    Thanks for delivering and contributing to a great thread, sudoer.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  3. #1463  
    You have done a Great Job w/ the thread Sudoer and have contributed a Great Deal!
    Since you created this thread in search for some understanding of different viewpoints... Can I make a reccomendation...
    You have always given answers...

    Why dont you throw out a couple of questions to help your understanding of others viewpoints?

    Just a thought!

    Thanks for everything you have contributed and your infinite kind words!
  4. #1464  
    One of my co workers coincedently emailed me a link to a website that talked the commonality between Jesus and Mithra. We spoke a bit about the uncanny similiarities between Mithra and others that came before Jesus that shares the same story. Today he came in and said he couldnt get it off of his mind. He spent 9 years in a Lutheran school, and went to a Catholic High School, he is now 40 and this is the first time he has heard of Mithra.
    He feels very confused about his prior teachings and feels like the Church is now hiding things, he feels deceived!
    There is a list of people and situations that have happened hundreds if not thousands of years that had its own story that the Bible has "mimicked".

    If any would like to share as to what the Church has said about all the nearly identical stories told before the Bible and why these things are not spoken about in Christian teachings?

    I know that is the "Churches job" to preach Christianity but why conceal and not confront stories of old?
    Does the Church stand behind the Bibles stories as completely their own?
    Is there ANYWAY possible that the stories in the bible have been influenced by stories older then itself?

    Those that need to see hte similiarities I'm sure it would be more then easy to find links online that I can post if of any interest...
  5. Micael's Avatar
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    #1465  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    One of my co workers coincedently emailed me a link to a website that talked the commonality between Jesus and Mithra. We spoke a bit about the uncanny similiarities between Mithra and others that came before Jesus that shares the same story. Today he came in and said he couldnt get it off of his mind. He spent 9 years in a Lutheran school, and went to a Catholic High School, he is now 40 and this is the first time he has heard of Mithra.
    He feels very confused about his prior teachings and feels like the Church is now hiding things, he feels deceived!
    There is a list of people and situations that have happened hundreds if not thousands of years that had its own story that the Bible has "mimicked".

    If any would like to share as to what the Church has said about all the nearly identical stories told before the Bible and why these things are not spoken about in Christian teachings?

    I know that is the "Churches job" to preach Christianity but why conceal and not confront stories of old?
    Does the Church stand behind the Bibles stories as completely their own?
    Is there ANYWAY possible that the stories in the bible have been influenced by stories older then itself?

    Those that need to see hte similiarities I'm sure it would be more then easy to find links online that I can post if of any interest...
    I'm sorry. I'm coming up to this just now. Where do you find these two stories as being similar, or that the bible mimics this story? What's your source?
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  6. #1466  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    I'm sorry. I'm coming up to this just now. Where do you find these two stories as being similar, or that the bible mimics this story? What's your source?
    Here is the link he sent me
    Jesus and Mithra

    As far as the Bible "mimics" that word was for lack of a better word.. Better put, how the stories in the bible are similar to older stories told before the bible?
    One story is the The Epic Of Gilgamesh's flood
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/no... Flood Stories
    Here are a number of elements that both Gilgamesh and the flood story in Genesis share:

    1.God decided to send a worldwide flood. This would drown men, women, children, babies and infants, as well as eliminate all of the land animals and birds.
    2.God knew of one righteous man, Ut-Napishtim or Noah.
    3.God ordered the hero to build a multi-story wooden ark (called a chest or box in the original Hebrew), and the hero initially complained about the assignment to build the boat.
    4.The ark would have many compartments, a single door, be sealed with pitch and would house one of every animal species.
    5.A great rain covered the land with water.
    6.The ark landed on a mountain in the Middle East.
    7.The first two birds returned to the ark. The third bird apparently found dry land because it did not return.
    8.The hero and his family left the ark, ritually killed an animal, offered it as a sacrifice.
    9.The Babylonian gods seemed genuinely sorry for the genocide that they had created. The God of Noah appears to have regretted his actions as well, because he promised never to do it again.

    The Epic og Gilgamesh was written 2-3,000 BC
    Now there are these similiarities, but certainly differences it i spretty amazing how things these stories share!
    PS I just read Noah was 500 years old when he built the Ark!?!?!?!
    I never knew that!!! Man whats his secret?
    Last edited by gsonspre; 03/25/2010 at 05:47 PM.
  7. #1467  
    To those interested found this website
    ReligiousTolerance.org by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
    I like it so far bc it is a completely unbiased website that points out the facts and the interpretation on various religions and religious stances... pretty cool..
  8. #1468  
    gsonspre,
    thx for the link!!! (Jesus and Mithra - FreeThoughtPedia)
    It's been a while since I've read a whole page of a website like wikipedia or freethoughtmedia! It's really really interesting and very well written!
    From the historical comments to the cultural and religious aspects of the roman empire, persia and etc, it's a jewel.
    thx!
  9. groovy's Avatar
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    #1469  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Here is the link he sent me
    Jesus and Mithra

    As far as the Bible "mimics" that word was for lack of a better word.. Better put, how the stories in the bible are similar to older stories told before the bible?
    One story is the The Epic Of Gilgamesh's flood
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/no... Flood Stories
    Here are a number of elements that both Gilgamesh and the flood story in Genesis share:

    1.God decided to send a worldwide flood. This would drown men, women, children, babies and infants, as well as eliminate all of the land animals and birds.
    2.God knew of one righteous man, Ut-Napishtim or Noah.
    3.God ordered the hero to build a multi-story wooden ark (called a chest or box in the original Hebrew), and the hero initially complained about the assignment to build the boat.
    4.The ark would have many compartments, a single door, be sealed with pitch and would house one of every animal species.
    5.A great rain covered the land with water.
    6.The ark landed on a mountain in the Middle East.
    7.The first two birds returned to the ark. The third bird apparently found dry land because it did not return.
    8.The hero and his family left the ark, ritually killed an animal, offered it as a sacrifice.
    9.The Babylonian gods seemed genuinely sorry for the genocide that they had created. The God of Noah appears to have regretted his actions as well, because he promised never to do it again.

    The Epic og Gilgamesh was written 2-3,000 BC
    Now there are these similiarities, but certainly differences it i spretty amazing how things these stories share!
    PS I just read Noah was 500 years old when he built the Ark!?!?!?!
    I never knew that!!! Man whats his secret?
    There are several versions of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The earliest Sumerian texts dated to 2100-2000 B.C. and only had a passing mention of a flood and no mention of Utnapishtim. In the later Akkadian versions, 2000-1800 B.C., the flood story was somewhat expanded but it's not clear whether these additions were copied from the Epic of Atra-Hasis written roughly the same time, or vice versa. The expanded flood story, including most of the similarities with the Biblical Flood narrative, was likely written between 1300-1000 B.C. by a Babylonian priest named Sin-leqi-unninni.

    Coincidentally, tradition holds Genesis as being originally written around 1400 B.C. If true, it's unlikely that the Genesis account was a copy of the Gilgamesh account because, while similar, the accounts are too different to be considered as being derived from the same contemporaneous written source. It's more likely that the Gilgamesh accounts derived from different lines of oral tradition about the same event.

    Regarding the Cult of Mithra, I've expanded on this quite a few pages back but the biggest problem with any comparison to Jesus is that many people mistakenly link this cult to the Mithraic religion of ancient Persia. Most of the alleged similarities are taken from the Roman cult that dates between the First and Fourth Centuries A.D.
    Last edited by groovy; 03/25/2010 at 11:27 PM.
  10. #1470  
    According to the link provided by gsonspre earlier (Jesus and Mithra - FreeThoughtPedia), there are many similarities between jesus and the persian mithra who appeard 600 years B.C. Go check it out, it's a very good reading.
  11. groovy's Avatar
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    #1471  
    Quote Originally Posted by sloopjohnb View Post
    According to the link provided by gsonspre earlier (Jesus and Mithra - FreeThoughtPedia), there are many similarities between jesus and the persian mithra who appeard 600 years B.C. Go check it out, it's a very good reading.
    I scanned through it. They make the same mistake as evident from one of the first statements that Mithra, supposedly originating 600 years before Christ, was born on December 25th. There is no evidence for this statement whatsoever. This claim likely stems from the conflation of Mithra with Sol Invictus by the Roman cult of Mithras in the Second Century. Then, in 354, the Calendar of Filocalus claims December 25th as the birthday of "the unconquerable one". This has been interpreted as Sol Invictus by some but Christ by others, including St. John Chysostom only a short while after its writing. Either way, the claim that Mithra was born on December 25 is completely without merit.
    Last edited by groovy; 03/26/2010 at 03:41 AM.
  12.    #1472  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Since you created this thread in search for some understanding of different viewpoints... Can I make a reccomendation...
    You have always given answers...

    Why dont you throw out a couple of questions to help your understanding of others viewpoints?
    1. I'm interested in hearing from our readers here what has helped them jump from one side of the "agnostic fence" to either a position where they've chosen either to believe or not believe in God. (I believe Atheism requires a similar "leap of faith" to that of actually accepting the existence of a God.) More specifically, I'd like to see a description of your "journey" (perhaps including some of the major challenges you faced and how you resolved them).
    2. A follow on (or perhaps just "another") question might be what demonstrable effects have you seen on your (or others') lives as a result?
    3. A final question (perhaps buried in your answer to the first question, but asked here again in case your first answer didn't "flesh this out") is: Was there anything (or are you considering some writing) that really effected change or helped you in any way?

    I suspect everyone can answer these in some way (and that your answers might broaden the horizons of the rest of us).

    EDIT: Let me add that "journeys in progress" are OK too (as I really doubt any of our "journeys" have really ended).

    thanks,
    --
    Bob
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  13. #1473  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    1. I'm interested in hearing from our readers here what has helped them jump from one side of the "agnostic fence" to either a position where they've chosen either to believe or not believe in God. (I believe Atheism requires a similar "leap of faith" to that of actually accepting the existence of a God.) More specifically, I'd like to see a description of your "journey" (perhaps including some of the major challenges you faced and how you resolved them).
    2. A follow on (or perhaps just "another") question might be what demonstrable effects have you seen on your (or others') lives as a result?
    3. A final question (perhaps buried in your answer to the first question, but asked here again in case your first answer didn't "flesh this out") is: Was there anything (or are you considering some writing) that really effected change or helped you in any way?

    I suspect everyone can answer these in some way (and that your answers might broaden the horizons of the rest of us).

    EDIT: Let me add that "journeys in progress" are OK too (as I really doubt any of our "journeys" have really ended).

    thanks,
    --
    Bob
    To answer question 1 - I don't think not believing in the god you believe in takes any leap of faith. If you don't believe in something there is nothing to leap into or away from as it does not exist in your mind.

    This is hard for theists to get a mental grasp on as I have been told.

    Edit: Also, I am not on a journey other than life in general. I don't feel like I am lacking in anything by not believing in a god.
  14. #1474  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    There are several versions of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The earliest Sumerian texts dated to 2100-2000 B.C. and only had a passing mention of a flood and no mention of Utnapishtim. In the later Akkadian versions, 2000-1800 B.C., the flood story was somewhat expanded but it's not clear whether these additions were copied from the Epic of Atra-Hasis written roughly the same time, or vice versa. The expanded flood story, including most of the similarities with the Biblical Flood narrative, was likely written between 1300-1000 B.C. by a Babylonian priest named Sin-leqi-unninni.

    Coincidentally, tradition holds Genesis as being originally written around 1400 B.C. If true, it's unlikely that the Genesis account was a copy of the Gilgamesh account because, while similar, the accounts are too different to be considered as being derived from the same contemporaneous written source. It's more likely that the Gilgamesh accounts derived from different lines of oral tradition about the same event.
    I think the problem with religious and anti religious text, is that there is soo much Biased of the writing on either side. So you can read an argument written by a Religious person and their style of writting appeals more to you, so you side with them. Or you can read through the words of an athiest or agnostic and that style of writing will appeal to others making it more believable to them. It is hard to fins a neutral written text.
    Me truthfully neither of the stories can possibly be true!
    Almost certainly, there was profound flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers particularly during the Jemdat Nasr period which lasted from 3200 BC to 2900 BC. Which the original Stories of Giglamesh were written closest to that time frame then any other story written, known to man. Yes the story was later rewritten but the original clay tablets (#11) is the story of the flood, where quite possibly Noahs story derived from. There has been no findings of any floods of the magnitude described in this story or the story of Noah anytime around the time frame 1400 BC. (we can talk about the facts that it never existed if we want to go that route)
    But because there are details that differentiate the 2 stories the base of the story was written hundreds of years prior. Which can be said of other stories in the Bible. As far as Mithra I will look at the points you have made but a similar undisputable (time frame) storry is that Horus.
    www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5b.htm
  15. #1475  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    1. I'm interested in hearing from our readers here what has helped them jump from one side of the "agnostic fence" to either a position where they've chosen either to believe or not believe in God. (I believe Atheism requires a similar "leap of faith" to that of actually accepting the existence of a God.) More specifically, I'd like to see a description of your "journey" (perhaps including some of the major challenges you faced and how you resolved them).
    2. A follow on (or perhaps just "another") question might be what demonstrable effects have you seen on your (or others') lives as a result?
    3. A final question (perhaps buried in your answer to the first question, but asked here again in case your first answer didn't "flesh this out") is: Was there anything (or are you considering some writing) that really effected change or helped you in any way?

    I suspect everyone can answer these in some way (and that your answers might broaden the horizons of the rest of us).

    EDIT: Let me add that "journeys in progress" are OK too (as I really doubt any of our "journeys" have really ended).

    thanks,
    --
    Bob
    My original atheist beliefs stem from (most likely) my friends when I was younger. All I heard was about how far fetched stories of the Bible were.

    How come none of the stories of the Bible have ever repeated themselves to the magnitude that he bible explained even within a couple hundreds of years of our current time?
    Why does translations/meanings of the stories of the bible change from literal to figuritive as science progresses?
    Why does God allow such huge catastrophies happens to the Beings that he loves soo much?
    How can people of the Church abuse the rights and validate their actions by the way of God?
    How can a murderer still go to heaven by accepting Jesus died for our sins but I may not bc I dont believe that?
    Why is the bible written by man who is far from perfect?
    How come the NT was written hundreds of years after Jesus death?
    Why do people use war with a religious premise?
    How come God hasnt spoken to me or millions of others?
    Why are some religious people soo pushy?
    Why are there soo many similar stories outside of the bible?
    Why are there soo many different religions? Certainly someone has it wrong!?

    There are way more questions about religion then not?
    The only reason I can conceive myself as agnostic now is the question:
    Where does the universe begin and end?
    And
    How was the first molecules created?

    And ironically those questions are scientific based and not religious based!

    I can at this point in my life believe in a God but not to the extent that most religious folk do! I can not believe the accuracy of any of these ancient books written the times are way different now then the values of the books written at the time they were. It just seems like stories that were written so long ago are no longer stories bc they are ancient and can not be disproved bc of "court logic"
  16.    #1476  
    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    If you don't believe in something there is nothing to leap into or away from as it does not exist in your mind.

    This is hard for theists to get a mental grasp on as I have been told.
    I guess this is analogous to some people believing in God with unconditionally (or with "zero thought"). So your saying that it is completely impossible for there to be some single "creator" who always existed? I'm probably at a point now to hear (or at least "review" your previously stated) arguments. Was there "more" than what you just stated above, or was not believing in God really something you were born with? (thx).
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  17. #1477  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I guess this is analogous to some people believing in God with unconditionally (or with "zero thought"). So your saying that it is completely impossible for there to be some single "creator" who always existed? I'm probably at a point now to hear (or at least "review" your previously stated) arguments. Was there "more" than what you just stated above, or was not believing in God really something you were born with? (thx).
    Yes, I don't think there is a single creator who always existed and I never fully believed in god. I was taken to church growing up but it just never felt right to me. So, I decided to do a lot of reading and researching on my own and felt there were too many similarities to extinct (no longer worshiped) gods to the current incarnation of what god is supposed to be today. I was agnostic for a long time because so many other people believed in god I thought 'well there must be something to this I just need to find it' but eventually I felt that it was not possible. It was probably in my late teens that I felt I had enough lack of evidence to a god that I could not believe it. Now in my late 30's I have educated myself even further and definitely feel there is not chance I will be able to believe in a god. Furthermore, I feel that religion is a major problem in the US and the Middle East which are the last two major strongholds of religion. The rest of the world is coming on board with this thought process much better than the US (majority Christian) and the area we are at war with (majority Muslim). Probably just coincidence.
  18.    #1478  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    My original atheist beliefs stem from (most likely) my friends when I was younger. All I heard was about how far fetched stories of the Bible were.
    Were your friends "asking these questions too" (and if so, are they "still asking" or have they found some sort of resolution)?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    How come none of the stories of the Bible have ever repeated themselves to the magnitude that he bible explained even within a couple hundreds of years of our current time?
    Good question: Maybe not everything written in the Bible was meant to be "literal"?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Why does translations/meanings of the stories of the bible change from literal to figuritive as science progresses?
    Two possible things happening here:
    1. Was the given "belief" defined or was it an understanding of something we're still "guessing" (postulating) about? Belief that was taught by Jesus or the Apostles is binding and cannot be changed. Beliefs unanimously held by the early church fathers is considered to be in this same category when ratified by a church council, etc. Beliefs declared as "dogma" (which has only occurred two or three times in Church history) are unchangeable. Beliefs that haven't been "defined" remain "open for discussion" (within the guidelines of the deposit of Apostolic faith and what the Bible says). A really good exercise is to go back through church history (especially the early church) and see whether the essential practices have remained the same or not. (From what I've studied so far, basic beliefs and practices have remained strikingly similar to the practices of today.)
    2. The teaching of what the Bible means has been evaluated and defined by the Church throughout the ages. We "learn" meaning of the Bible as we reconcile to new events and/or learned things from our environment. If "the meaning has changed", you should ask if this was theological meaning or our understanding of things? Were these things "dogmatically defined" or were they just some people's opinions?

    Maybe you can provide some examples of the "translations/meanings of the stories of the bible" that have changed and we can discuss some of those.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Why does God allow such huge catastrophies happens to the Beings that he loves soo much?
    The short answer is we won't understand the full answer to this until we are in the beatific vision. I suspect that we were placed on this Earth for "development" and some people are called to the next life sooner than others. If you look at what the beatitudes say, people who are called out of their Earthly life through suffering are given special graces and I believe this suffering is part of their development for eternal life.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    How can people of the Church abuse the rights and validate their actions by the way of God?
    All people on Earth are sinners and capable of sin. All people on this Earth have free will to choose to obey God or not. These people have disobeyed God and will be judged accordingly. They will be retaliated against by God to serve justice for their victims.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    How can a murderer still go to heaven by accepting Jesus died for our sins but I may not bc I dont believe that?
    There is a "normal" path to sanctity and others are treated by God's mercy. A truly repentant person who has committed murder and entered God's covenant after doing this should be given a second chance. If the person "didn't believe" (or intend to believe what the Church teaches), God will know, and they may be one of the "many" who will be wailing and gnashing their teeth. The Church doesn't ask us to make any judgments or beliefs about who actually "goes where" (with the exception of those declared as saints). God's grace is open to a truly repentant person (but only God knows who was repentant and who was not). We are simply asked to "leave the judgments up to God.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Why is the bible written by man who is far from perfect?
    Because only man was given the ability to write. Asking otherwise would be asking like "why doesn't the ocean fly and have babies?" The Biblical works have been determined by the Church to be "inspired by God". You either believe Jesus gave the Church authority to do this or you don't. Man did not need to be "perfect" because the Holy Spirit (God) was preventing what they wrote from containing errors.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    How come the NT was written hundreds of years after Jesus death?
    and that writing things down would not be necessary
    Initially I think people felt like the end of the world might be coming within their lifetimes. Oral teaching was working well while the apostles and their chosen teachers were still alive. People of the time were mostly illiterate, so it was easier to pass the faith along orally than writing it down. As the Church grew, they saw a need to record much of their apostolic "deposit of faith" in writing. I also think that most of the NT writings are from the first century. It's just the cannon itself that was not officially determined until shortly before 400 AD.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Why do people use war with a religious premise?
    Because "God" is more powerful than they are. (Ironically, they will find this out the hard way if they were using God against his will.)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    How come God hasnt spoken to me or millions of others?
    He has spoken to you through the Bible, the Church teachings, and "well meaning" followers (who have varying degrees of understanding/communicating his message). For instance: If you have ever spoken with a priest, he is a servant of God specifically ordained to carry Christ's message to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Why are some religious people soo pushy?
    I'll just repeat what I said above:
    "well meaning" followers (who have varying degrees of understanding/communicating his message).

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Why are there soo many similar stories outside of the bible?
    An understanding of "God's law" is written on each of our hearts. Without God specifically revealing his "word" to us, we "made things up" which "fit our understanding". There's likely to be some similarity between "our invented God" and the real one.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Why are there soo many different religions? Certainly someone has it wrong!?
    Yes. I believe part of our "development" is to learn to understand God however our "environment" lets us. Even those of us who enter Heaven as "preemies" (which I still consider myself) will be "entirely happy" to the amount we are capable of. A God who "writes straight with crooked lines" will know those who best tried to find and follow Him given what they were given (and these are the people who will be "ready for heaven" at the end of their development).

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    There are way more questions about religion then not?
    The only reason I can conceive myself as agnostic now is the question:
    Where does the universe begin and end?
    And
    How was the first molecules created?

    And ironically those questions are scientific based and not religious based!
    I consider you to be (hopefully) at the beginning of a "more fruitful" journey. Only God knows if you were intended to learn more than you have while on Earth. If it remains "hard" to gain any "more traction", other than praying to this possible God for more understanding of Him, I wouldn't worry if it doesn't come. (I suspect you will have a higher place in Heaven than God may give me.)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    I can at this point in my life believe in a God but not to the extent that most religious folk do! I can not believe the accuracy of any of these ancient books written the times are way different now then the values of the books written at the time they were. It just seems like stories that were written so long ago are no longer stories bc they are ancient and can not be disproved bc of "court logic"
    Part of the problem (as I see it) is there are groups (with agendas) who discredit the Bible and cast doubt about it's accuracy. There are people who should "know better" who discredit God's word by "claiming adherence" to it but "not showing the same" by the way they lead their lives. I know that I fall into this "trap" with those closest to me. I've learned here (in this thread) a bit more about how to understand those who think differently than me. I've also recently become much more diligent about trying to "understand God through His Word". Sometimes just "finding a good teacher" can make all the difference. I'm sure the Apologist's Line at Catholic Answers can identify someone good who is "local" to where you live. I'm sure there are books they can recommend that would be "specifically geared" to the questions you have. The last thing I have to say is that "journeys can take years" but starting such a search is better than putting it off.

    Wow! (I thought I was going to have some time off from "answering questions"!) I hope there's something in what I wrote above that might be helpful!
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  19.    #1479  
    Quote Originally Posted by donovan34 View Post
    ... Furthermore, I feel that religion is a major problem in the US and the Middle East which are the last two major strongholds of religion. The rest of the world is coming on board with this thought process much better than the US (majority Christian) and the area we are at war with (majority Muslim). Probably just coincidence.
    I'm often "afraid" of some of the things I hear "Christians" saying too.

    I'm more concerned about Israel and Islam having a holy war than Christians starting one. I'm very concerned that there are 38,000 denominations (derivatives from the original) Christianity. This creates a huge risk of "factions" from the Christian side starting or engaging in war (even with themselves, like in Ireland).
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  20. #1480  
    @sudoer... Wow!!! Thanks for answering those, I guess I shouldve clarified but I didnt need those answered those were the reasons on why I was atheist... haha Sorry but I do appreciate it, I know you mustve spent a lot of time with your response... My friends... those were kids I knew 15 years ago and no longer know so I couldnt tell you "if the found the light" so to say...
    If the conversations die down a bit I will bring up some examples from my prior post. Not sure I get you said I may find a higher place in heaven then yourself? I would feel quite the contrary??? I am a honestly good person, with few "sins" in my life and a lot less the past 10+ years... but you are active in educating about God and have accepted Jesus as your savoiur, so if Christianity is the "True" religion I'd expect to see you above me in Heaven.. (If I make it! )

    PS I know Old Hebrew references (which was also incorporated in the OT, correct?) claimed heaven above and hell below.... Well that definitely has changed... Are they now conceived as alternate universes? so they are not above or below, and wasnt Satan cast "down" to hell???

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