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  1. #81  
    I'm not going to say much, but I will say this. If this were 500 years ago, we would not be having this discussion at all. And I'll tell you why. 500 years ago, people still believed. Whether it was forced or not there was a general consensus that man was created by God and that everything around was created by God...hence forth all glory should go to the creator. Now mind you, certain historical figures that some would consider heroes, thought way out of the box and decided that it would be better if we were able to think our own thoughts and worship (or not worship) the way we pleased.

    That's where America comes in. This whole country was started on the premise that there IS a God. However, in all fairness to society the laws were made to protect the rights of people who chose not to follow that God (or any God for that matter). Thus giving those unbelieving people a prejudicial mindset that in some way God was being forced on them because the very people who founded this country had a religious faith and wanted to intertwine it with the life that God wants us to have.

    The problem now is people are too sensitive. Way too sensitive! If you don't want to believe in God, then don't! I can't tell you how many times I come out of a Christian conference somewhere and there are people with posters judging believers and condemning the very God they don't believe in...are they stopped? NO!! Absolutely not, because it is their right to believe how they want and to freely speak that. Somewhere along the way, Christians have become a minority in that people who "do not believe" have their panties in a wad because their sensitive little pride is hurt...well if you don't believe in God, WHY DOES IT OFFEND YOU!!??

    I say...if you don't like the way this country was founded (which is clearly documented as having a God)...then you should move somewhere else where you can persecute people and be forced to believe something you don't want to because it's the law. In America you have the RIGHT to believe how you want and no one is stopping you. But if I put a cross on my house, does that mean I'm forcing you to be a Christian...no, absolutely not. However some would consider it offensive because they saw an outwardly sign of my faith. Well...get over it...look the other way...it's my right. And I'm proud to live in this country!!
    The only thing that separates the men from the boys...is the lessons they learn.
    www.planetmills.com
  2. #82  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    I got it. Thanks for sending me the link. That should help me get through the afternoon!
    I think it will help you waste many an afternoon!
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  3.    #83  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    OTOH, faith is defined by the absence of evidence, isn't it?

    If
    (A) there is some sort of god
    and
    (B) she/he wanted to give evidence for his/her existence,
    he/she could easily have done that.

    But there is no evidence, so either (A) or (B) do not apply.
    This set of options has been presented before. Up until now I don't think I've addressed the notion. But, that trend ends here

    First, the absence of "evidence" is debateable. It is possible that the evidence has been mis-applied to other explanations. For example, we have observed that living things can and do adapt to conditions present in the environment. We have then extrapulated that concept to a "logical conclusion" that that adaptive process is the means by which the living thing came into its very existence. That may not be the case.

    However, let me address the "A/B" hypothesis.

    The same scripture that provides the biblical definition of "faith" (Hebrews 11)also provides the insight that God's approach to revelation is not hide-and-seek, but seek-and-find, to which faith is the key.

    Hebrews 11:6 shows why faith is so important. Namely, without faith it's impossible to please God. Then comes the kicker. For he that comes to God must (1) believe that He is, and that (2) He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    Here is what I see in this. God does not want to merely reveal Himself but, rather, wants to be discovered. Better yet, He waits to reveal Himself in greater measure to those who will pursue Him, or at least the knowledge of Him.

    Now, admittedly this the puts the avowed atheists and agnostics at a decided disadvantage, for it seems they would rather God prove himself to them. Unfortunately, that posture fails to meet His criteria. Hence people like me attempt to provide a viewpoint that will at least allow you to see the possibility of a very personal God who actively is involved with His creation on the hopes that you might pursue Him further.

    Second thing about this logical "A/B" approach to proof for God...

    What I find most intriguing in this discussion is that the standard of "hard evidence" is applied only to God but not the the theory of evolution.

    What do I mean?

    While the theory is comprehensive, cohesive, and reasonable, ultimately it rests on speculation. Educated guesses, granted, but guesses none the less. Our own resident expert has stated that the pre-RNA type stuff that is supposed is the type of stuff that is not fossilizable. Similarly, we have no way of confirming the make-up of the "primordial" soup from which such things sprang into action. Likewise, we are told that we do not have sufficient lifespand to watch evolution take place. Instead, we rely laboratory experiments that demonstrate what is possible, perhaps even what is probable or of necessity, in a given environment. I will concede for argument's sake that the experiments are well thought out, well-executed and well documented.

    Then, those series' of experiements and their results are linked together to form a reasonable theory.

    But, for all that, at the foundation they still qualify as speculation, as in there is no hard evidence that confirms undeniably that what is supposed is what is in fact what occured.

    What can be said of the theory of evolution then?

    • Reasonable? Yes.

    • Educated? Yes.

    • Plausible? Yes.

    • Feasible? Yes.

    • Fact? Possibly.

    • Consisting of "hard evidence"? No.

    • True? Remains to be seen. There's hope though. The radiation levels of black holes was predicted years before it could be measured, right? So Hard evidence may become attainable.


    But for now, the theory still rests on speculation. And any builder will confirm that the structure is only as sound as its foundation.
  4. #84  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim

    The same scripture that provides the biblical definition of "faith" (Hebrews 11)also provides the insight that God's approach to revelation is not hide-and-seek, but seek-and-find, to which faith is the key.

    Hebrews 11:6 shows why faith is so important. Namely, without faith it's impossible to please God. Then comes the kicker. For he that comes to God must (1) believe that He is, and that (2) He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    Here is what I see in this. God does not want to merely reveal Himself but, rather, wants to be discovered. Better yet, He waits to reveal Himself in greater measure to those who will pursue Him, or at least the knowledge of Him.
    Why does every discussion on this revolve around the Bible? I wish we'd use the Gita or Chinese Tao or whatever sometimes too. Just for variety.

    Anyway, the above is very much the foundation of circular arguments around the existance of god ...

    To attain god, you must believe in him/her/it. If you believe and pray hard, you'll experience it. If you don't experience it, you didn't pray hard enough.

    I guess that's why we don't experience miracles in this day and age .. we don't believe enough. Except for those who see holy faces on toast or on buildings, or experience statues drinking milk (like in India a few years back..).
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
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    Firmware:01.51 Hardware:A
  5. #85  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    This set of options has been presented before. Up until now I don't think I've addressed the notion. But, that trend ends here

    First, the absence of "evidence" is debateable. It is possible that the evidence has been mis-applied to other explanations. For example, we have observed that living things can and do adapt to conditions present in the environment. We have then extrapulated that concept to a "logical conclusion" that that adaptive process is the means by which the living thing came into its very existence. That may not be the case.

    However, let me address the "A/B" hypothesis.

    The same scripture that provides the biblical definition of "faith" (Hebrews 11)also provides the insight that God's approach to revelation is not hide-and-seek, but seek-and-find, to which faith is the key.

    Hebrews 11:6 shows why faith is so important. Namely, without faith it's impossible to please God. Then comes the kicker. For he that comes to God must (1) believe that He is, and that (2) He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    Here is what I see in this. God does not want to merely reveal Himself but, rather, wants to be discovered. Better yet, He waits to reveal Himself in greater measure to those who will pursue Him, or at least the knowledge of Him.

    Now, admittedly this the puts the avowed atheists and agnostics at a decided disadvantage, for it seems they would rather God prove himself to them. Unfortunately, that posture fails to meet His criteria. Hence people like me attempt to provide a viewpoint that will at least allow you to see the possibility of a very personal God who actively is involved with His creation on the hopes that you might pursue Him further.

    Second thing about this logical "A/B" approach to proof for God...

    What I find most intriguing in this discussion is that the standard of "hard evidence" is applied only to God but not the the theory of evolution.

    What do I mean?

    While the theory is comprehensive, cohesive, and reasonable, ultimately it rests on speculation. Educated guesses, granted, but guesses none the less. Our own resident expert has stated that the pre-RNA type stuff that is supposed is the type of stuff that is not fossilizable. Similarly, we have no way of confirming the make-up of the "primordial" soup from which such things sprang into action. Likewise, we are told that we do not have sufficient lifespand to watch evolution take place. Instead, we rely laboratory experiments that demonstrate what is possible, perhaps even what is probable or of necessity, in a given environment. I will concede for argument's sake that the experiments are well thought out, well-executed and well documented.

    Then, those series' of experiements and their results are linked together to form a reasonable theory.

    But, for all that, at the foundation they still qualify as speculation, as in there is no hard evidence that confirms undeniably that what is supposed is what is in fact what occured.

    What can be said of the theory of evolution then?
    • Reasonable? Yes.

    • Educated? Yes.

    • Plausible? Yes.

    • Feasible? Yes.

    • Fact? Possibly.

    • Consisting of "hard evidence"? No.

    • True? Remains to be seen. There's hope though. The radiation levels of black holes was predicted years before it could be measured, right? So Hard evidence may become attainable.

    But for now, the theory still rests on speculation. And any builder will confirm that the structure is only as sound as its foundation.
    I tried to make a few of these points earlier in this thread, specifically that the evidence of God is there if you go looking for it, rather than wait for it to appear to you spray-painted on the side of a building, and that Evolution is not yet an agreed upon scientific fact, but you pulled it off with far more eloquence!

    From now on, I defer all my debating to shopharim. Any questions or comments for jmill72x can be directed to shopharim, care of TC. Thanks.
    I'm back!
  6. #86  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    I tried to make a few of these points earlier in this thread, specifically that the evidence of God is there if you go looking for it, rather than wait for it to appear to you spray-painted on the side of a building, and that Evolution is not yet an agreed upon scientific fact, but you pulled it off with far more eloquence!

    From now on, I defer all my debating to shopharim. Any questions or comments for jmill72x can be directed to shopharim, care of TC. Thanks.
    Now you know why I started this thread a few weeks back:

    http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...ad.php?t=91146

    Too bad it was closed (rather ridiculously if you ask me...)
    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

    Remember: "Anyone that thinks the Treo should just work right out of the box, shouldn't own a Treo..."
  7. #87  
    Quote Originally Posted by jmill72x
    Evolution is not yet an agreed upon scientific fact
    That's totally wrong. There is no doubt whatsoever in the scientific community that evolution is a fact. Or can you name one single scientific fact which contradicts the basic principles of evolution?

    Can you name one scientific publication in a "real" (not ID/Creationist), peer-reviewed journal which doubts that evolution was/is taking place? Of course there is debate about some details of evolution, speciation, etc., but there is NO doubt among scientists of the field that the principles of evolution are a scientific fact.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  8.    #88  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    Now you know why I started this thread a few weeks back:

    http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...ad.php?t=91146

    Too bad it was closed (rather ridiculously if you ask me...)
    Aw shucks

    I hadn't even seen the thread. But, it may be moot anyway. I suppose going and getting my thread crapper learner's permit ruined my chances at getting through the confirmation hearings. But it was nice to have been nominated.
  9. #89  
    Evolution is as much a fact as F=Ma or E=Mc^2

    It explains known facts and makes predictions that are proven by new discoveries. It is modified to include known observations, as needed, much like Classical Mechanics was modified when quantum effects were discovered.

    Evolution is not a simple concept that is easily explained in short-attention-span soundbites on FNC or elementary school text books. Get a good text book on palentology or talk to people who can explain the intricacies of evolution.
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
    Software:Treo650-1.17-CNG
    Firmware:01.51 Hardware:A
  10. #90  
    I always find it helpful in these discussions to clarify: evolution and the beginning of life are two separate things. Evolution, that is, the changing of the phenotype over time is a 100% accepted fact that we can see on very short time frames. Even "intelligent design" is an flavor of evolution. Evolution by natural selection (Darwin, blah blah blah) is a *method* of evolution that is accepted by the scientific community and sometimes questioned by "intelligent design" folks.

    The beginning of life, on the other hand, is still open to debate and that is where many people see the hand of God, and in my opinion, this would be the more awe inspiring element: creating life from the atoms and molecules you find on a deserted planet. Everything from that point on is pretty mundane stuff, if you ask me.
  11. #91  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    To attain god, you must believe in him/her/it. If you believe and pray hard, you'll experience it. If you don't experience it, you didn't pray hard enough.
    Close...1 Samuel 16:7 says "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

    Having said that, Matthew 11:23 (which is one of many scriptures that solidies the relationship between man and God) says "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."

    God does freely gives his devotion to all man...however, it takes an ACTIVE responsibility and absolutely genuine heart in order to discover and accept that devotion. Are you simply awarded a Nobel Peace Prize because you "prayed" for it...no. But if you actively work to achieve the success that comes from being awarded, then you will.

    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    I guess that's why we don't experience miracles in this day and age .. we don't believe enough.
    The reason we don't experience miracles like the ones in the Bible is because A)Jesus was the son of God and had those powers and B)only true prophets proclaimed by God could expediantly make miracles and that ended with Paul, who was the last of God's appointed prophets. Now, miracles happen every day, but not because someone snapped their fingers, but by the GRACE of God and through the right heart of one or many persons the miracle came to pass.

    Any true atheists will not try to disprove God...if they did, they are not truly an atheist. Why prove something that you believe is not real? For an atheist to understand God and his love, it would take a complete 180 degree turn in their heart to absolutely seek God with a heart of believing he IS real...if you do not truly believe, by faith, that he is living all around us, then one can never truly understand it. And we all know the old saying, "We mock what we do not understand"
    The only thing that separates the men from the boys...is the lessons they learn.
    www.planetmills.com
  12.    #92  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    That's totally wrong. There is no doubt whatsoever in the scientific community that evolution is a fact. Or can you name one single scientific fact which contradicts the basic principles of evolution?
    No, but absence of contradction does not hard evidence make
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup

    Can you name one scientific publication in a "real" (not ID/Creationist)
    Fascinating that the defintion of real now has conditions
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    , peer-reviewed journal which doubts that evolution was/is taking place?
    See first comment
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Of course there is debate about some details of evolution, speciation, etc., but there is NO doubt among scientists of the field that the principles of evolution are a scientific fact.
    The principles were not called into question. They are based on keen observation in the lab. It is the precision of conditions that are being called into question
  13. #93  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    Evolution is as much a fact as F=Ma or E=Mc^2
    And unfortunately it gets a bad rap because we refer to it as "the theory of natural selection." Of course, the two you mention above are Newton's theory and the theory of relativity (special, if my memory serves).
  14. #94  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    ...short-attention-span soundbites on FNC...
    Oh, I see now.

    FNC = crazy right wing conservatives who think the only science is found in the Bible

    CNN (or is it the NYT) = free thinking moderates and liber, wait, you wouldn't refer to yourselves in those terms, politically oppressed Democrats who embrace all schools of thought and can't stand to see their liberties removed by the Bushies?

    Is that how it goes? It's so hard to keep track.
    I'm back!
  15. #95  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    While the theory is comprehensive, cohesive, and reasonable, ultimately it rests on speculation. Educated guesses, granted, but guesses none the less.
    Totally wrong. Evolution, as the rest of science, rests on the result of experiments, on the solid testing of hypotheses.
    Our own resident expert has stated that the pre-RNA type stuff that is supposed is the type of stuff that is not fossilizable. Similarly, we have no way of confirming the make-up of the "primordial" soup from which such things sprang into action.
    You are confusing evolution with abiogenesis. The abiotic origin of life is a well supported hypothesis, but slightly more speculative than evolution. Still, abiogenesis was shown to be a likely event given the conditions on early earth, about 4 billion years ago. Amino acids, nucleic acids and other key elements of life were found to form spontaneously under "primordial" conditions.
    Likewise, we are told that we do not have sufficient lifespand to watch evolution take place.
    Totally wrong, again. It does not take more than a few hours to see mutation and selection for new traits to take place, e.g. in a test tube in which bacteria grow - believe me, I have done it many times. It does not take more than a few years for plant and animal species to develop new traits and for the carriers of those traits to spread. This has been shown thousands of times. Resistance to herbicides or insecticides are just two examples.
    But, for all that, at the foundation they still qualify as speculation, as in there is no hard evidence that confirms undeniably that what is supposed is what is in fact what occured.
    You may not know those hard facts, why should you? But that doesn't mean they don't exist.
    But for now, the theory still rests on speculation.
    That's what you seem to cling to, but it is not true. If you would care to study the basics of biology, and go on to follow the experiments done, even carry out some of the experiments with your own hands, and look at the evidence with your own eyes, you would learn how wrong you are about evolution being "speculation".

    When Galileo Galilei looked at the stars with his newly developed telescope, he saw the rings of Saturn, and the moons circling some of the planets, which did not fit to the current dogma of how planets move around earth. Galilei asked the representatives of religion to look through his telescope, so that they could see with their own eyes. But they refused. It would have taken away their ability to deny his results, and call them "speculation". That's what you are doing right now. Understanding evolution and the experiments and methods used to verify it may be a bit more complex than looking through a telescope, but it is not fundamentally different. Ears to hear, eyes to see...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  16. #96  
    Quote Originally Posted by Christinac130
    What if you're an Atheist or Agnostic? Do you swear on your favorite novel?
    Atlas Shrugged (Rand)? The Human Agenda (Gorney)?

    I believe that the observable universe is miraculous enough. It is sufficiently difficult for me to comprehend that trying to imagine something outside of it that is responsible for it is mind boggling silliness.

    I believe that the universe is designing and creating itself according to rules too complex for me or us to comprehend.

    I believe that the universe is conscious of itself, self-aware. I am clearly part of the universe and I am self-aware. I believe that the universe deserves, not to say wants, to be appreciated. Appreciation on such a scale might well be called worship. Therefore, I worship.

    I do not believe that public, collective, or organized worship is in any way superior to private worship. While I consider myself to be a spiritual person, I doubt that the rest of the world would consider me to be religious. I do not subscribe, I do not proselytize, and I have even been known to engage in "private charity."

    I am devoted to truth and Truth. I am reasonably reliable as a witness. I cannot imagine that I would be any more reliable if I subscribed to the Christian or Islamic world views or faiths and swore an oath on their holy books. While I am prepared to admit that there are more reliable witnesses in the world than I and that some of them adhere to religious faiths, I do not believe that there is any relationship between that reliability and that adherence.

    I believe that the North Carolina legislature has historically been composed of those who are Christians and those who pander to them. I believe that it is the intent of that legislature to give Christians a higher standing before the courts and to diminish, not to say discredit, me and my testimony.

    Whatever the questions that the ACLU has put before the court, the larger question is how is the state to treat me as a citizen? How are the courts to treat my testimony?
  17. #97  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    The principles were not called into question.
    From this I conclude that you agree with the basic principles of evolution (since you do not call them into question)?
    They are based on keen observation in the lab. It is the precision of conditions that are being called into question
    Wrong again. It can be shown easily both in the lab AND in nature that evolution works. You cling to the hope that evolution is not a fact, but you hope in vain. The more you learn about it, the more you will see that it is an undisputed scientific fact. This would of course mean that you take the time to do it, and that you are willing and open-minded enough to do it. Who knows, maybe you would indeed find scientific evidence pointing to evolution being wrong? You would be the first, but why not give it a try?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  18. #98  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Totally wrong, again. It does not take more than a few hours to see mutation and selection for new traits to take place, e.g. in a test tube in which bacteria grow - believe me, I have done it many times. It does not take more than a few years for plant and animal species to develop new traits and for the carriers of those traits to spread. This has been shown thousands of times. Resistance to herbicides or insecticides are just two examples.
    You've just proven his point...all experiments done in a lab with albeit, significant proof that organisms can mutate, change, grow, etc, but the theory of evolution consists of a theory that it took millions of years to occur. So what you're saying is that based on an experiment that lasted a few hours or maybe a few years, you can SPECULATE that IF the trend stayed the same, we MAY have originated from a single cell organism that blew up in the middle of space. Could it have happened...sure. Is there rock solid proof...no, it's all theory and hypothesis elluding to what COULD have happened based on a trend. Could it have happened with the intervention of a creator...I absolutely believe that by faith, the entire theory of evolution could be true, but not without God MAKING it happen.
    The only thing that separates the men from the boys...is the lessons they learn.
    www.planetmills.com
  19. #99  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    The ACLU has filed a lawsuit in and against the state of North Carolina seeking


    http://www.aclu.org/Files/OpenFile.cfm?id=18819

    First of all, each and every one of the Christian Bible, the Quran, the Old Testament, and the Bhagavad-Gita in fact "holy scriptures" why would a declaratory judgment be needed?

    Second, if separation of church and state is the goal, why would the use of "holy scriptures" in such precedings be acceptable with any text?

    Third, if there is such a thing as "holy scripture" would it not be more fitting to identify the criteria for being declared such, and then only allow such qualifying texts to be used?

    The constitution guaranteed freedom of religion, not freedom from it.
    My Windoze toolz http://www.securitysoftware.cc
  20. #100  
    Quote Originally Posted by pertinax
    The constitution guaranteed freedom of religion, not freedom from it.
    The constitution guaranteed nothing. It tried to create a condition under which a majority could not use the coercive power of the state to impose its religion on the rest of us. So far it seems to have worked fairly well. However, that is not to say that the majority is not still trying or that we can stop pushing back.
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