been warning ya where this could lead.....
Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," Hawking writes.>

...and so there you have it folks....the end result of humanist thinking. He's got all these advanced degrees and "honors" This is what a liberal education can do for you! It doesn't get a whole lot sillier that this.

Thats why i have always scoffed at liberals parading their PHds and their "peer" review science...and speaking "truth".

Something from nothing....no wait....ANYTHING at all from absolute nothing. Intriguing concept, eh? I would venture to ask for an explanation of just what nothing consists of...and where it gets its power to bring anything into being...but that would be unfair, eh? Ok...you guys....back to sleep. (hey...at least I didn't call hawking a raghead, did I?)
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<You are too dense, embedded in a bubble, play circular games and are essentially a troll ... so it is impossible to ever achieve a meaningful conversation of significant issue with you.>

So...inuendo is all you have left?

Significant issue? What is it you want from me to make the conversation meaningful? Seems to me you are the one refusing to engage in anything meaningful. What is the 2 +2 rabbit trail for? It has nothing to do with the reality of something coming from nothing. Why dodge the topic?

One of the other posters mentioned how downhill this country has gotten and i have to say i agree with him totally. How did we ever get to the point of saying that nothing can actually cause something???.....and you folks consider that progress!!

If it is true that something can truly come (pop, no less) into being uncaused...then science is finished, as i mentioned. Do you know why? Do you even care? The reason you and hawkings are wrong in suggesting that something can come into being uncaused is because you are saying "no" "thing", that is, non being, can produce something. The last time this came up was when spontaneous generation was debunked a long time ago. If non being ...or "nothing" can cause anything (as you seem to glory in)...science is done for...because we have no confidence that any law or fact could not be affected by this "nothing". It may not be true that gravity causes hydraulic pressure and that water always runs downhill without mechanical assitance....or that energy always flow from heat to cold...or that

I asked you to explain how that could be...but all you have done is gush inuendo and names and try to pawn off the hard part (Like showing you know what you are talking about) on some estoeric website.

Webmaster...you are no dummy..but you have to do better than this if you are going to keep any credibility. Anyone can call folks names, try to divert the topic and pretend that they are so far advanced that us poor laymen have to bow to oh such complicated explanation.

How much education does it take to know that "nothing" means "no being"?? Can you understand that it at least takes "being" in order to cause anything??...for cryin out loud....
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9981) 10 years ago
Frank Cory wrote:
What is the 2 +2 rabbit trail for? It has nothing to do with the reality of something coming from nothing.

First of all, those were two different topics in an attempt to bring some reason to your brain. Second of all, what in the hell do you think supercolliders actually do?

I'll tell you, since it seems I always have to ... one thing is they smash particles together which results in new ones popping into existence which then disappear. It is proven, documented and understood. Your whole concept of that not being possible is thus moot.

What you are doing is basing your arguments upon a fundamental false understanding of nature.

Once a single part of the logic proves wrong, the rest is irrelevant.
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<I'll tell you, since it seems I always have to ... one thing is they smash particles together which results in new ones popping into existence which then disappear.>

Do you have a clue as to what you are talking about? Do you?? So you think saying they "smash particles together" CAUSES "New" ones to POP into existence...is an explanation??? Lets get real for just a second, please.


First....lets give you the basic statement that NEW particles appear. Fine....However... These particles did NOT come from nothing. These NEW particles could NOT have been brought about if the originals had not been acted upon...do you comprehend?? They did NOT come from nothing...they came about as the result of physical force APPLIED BY INTELLIGENT ENGINEERING. These particles had PRECURSERS so they could not have come from nothing.

<It is proven, documented and understood..

You haven't proven, documented, and understood ANYTHING...yet. Now i see why you tried to pawn me off on the website!!

<Your whole concept of that not being possible is thus moot.>

OH...that was easy...how could i have been so dumb??

<What you are doing is basing your arguments upon a fundamental false understanding of nature.>

Oh of course...whatever you say.

<Once a single part of the logic proves wrong, the rest is irrelevant.>

Logic..wrong?? Do you even know what the function of logic is???? Logic has no content...did you know that? All that logic does (properly applied, that is) is prevent us from making fools of ourselves like you have just done.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4455) 10 years ago
Frank gets his Holy Spirit at the liquor store.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9981) 10 years ago
Arg ... for the second time, I'm done debating with you Frank. You are too far into your bubble to understand the difference between mythology, religion, philosophy and science. I've addressed most of your questions and pointed out the fallacy of your arguments, so on to your own ...
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Posted by luvlife (+292) 10 years ago
NOTE to SELF...do not get involved in these discussions...but, here i go...i really do not want to argue with anyone, just curious to different views and opinions.

It seems to me that most people on mc.com are atheists...am i correct? Just wondering what atheists believe after we die? Is that just it for us?? Nothing to look forward to after this life?

This all seems so sad to me...to not believe we are here living for a reason and to not have faith in your everyday lives.

Call me simple minded or a fool...i've read all the posts and i know it is much easier to believe in science as to believe in the bible. It must be much easier to live as a atheist..i don't know.

These chemicals present in our brain that create love and emotion...i ask who created these chemicals or the cells that created our life forms?

How does a person try to relate to a atheist how you just know when the holy spirit lives within you? (without a big arguement) I respect all of your opinions and just want answers for my own personal self.

I guess in ending,it just seems as if a atheists life would seem meaningless at times and i must be wrong. There are so many things in life we can not explain forsure. I find strength in my daily prayers and feel overwhelming happiness, forgiveness, apathy and just deal with life better being a christian.

Can i get some of you to simply explain to me with your feelings without a arguement. I respect all of you...just curious...thanks.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9981) 10 years ago
I don't like labels, however if I had to be tagged, I would probably choose Agnostic. Doesn't mean I don't believe in God. Doesn't mean I do. I kind of lean towards a God, however, as I've mentioned many times before, I don't believe in any religion written by Man. I sometimes find the writings, scriptures and such fascinating, but still don't believe or put my faith into them.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
It seems to me that most people on mc.com are atheists...am i correct?


I cannot say for sure, but I would venture this is not the case. Of all the people who either read, post, or both, I would say that most people are Christian. Of the 5,243 registered members of milescity.com, I've only seen a handful or two express Atheist beliefs or leanings. For me, I tend to think of myself as an Agnostic, generally with theistic leanings, but some days I question that tendency. Some quotes that reflect my thought processes, but are so much more eloquent than anything I could string together:

I know that I know nothing. ~ Socrates


I think an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind. The whole subject [of God] is beyond the scope of man's intellect. ~ Charles Darwin


There is no subject -- and can be none -- concerning which any human being is under any obligation to believe without evidence...The man who, without prejudice, reads and understands the Old and New Testaments will cease to be an orthodox Christian. The intelligent man who investigates the religion of any country without fear and without prejudice will not and cannot be a believer....He who cannot harmonize the cruelties of the Bible with the goodness of Jehovah, cannot harmonize the cruelties of Nature with the goodness and wisdom of a supposed Deity. He will find it impossible to account for pestilence and famine, for earthquake and storm, for slavery, for the triumph of the strong over the weak, for the countless victories of injustice. He will find it impossible to account for martyrs -- for the burning of the good, the noble, the loving, by the ignorant, the malicious, and the infamous. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll


I'm smart enough to know what I don't know.


Now, as to some of your items of discussion:

This all seems so sad to me...to not believe we are here living for a reason and to not have faith in your everyday lives.


I would have to respectfully disagree that not being Christian means that you do not believe we are here for a reason. In philosophical debates involving the question "What is the purpose/meaning of life?", my answer is to leave the world a better place than when you first entered it. Whether that be breaking the cycle of dysfunctional families (physical/verbal abuse, neglect, alcohol abuse, etc.) by raising your children to be the best that they can be, making a difference in the world by donation of your time and/or money, or stepping outside your little circle in the world to understand other people and cultures to bring the world together, all of this is possible without the constraints of religious pigeonholing. It is very possible to have purpose and meaning in life without belief in one religion.

It must be much easier to live as a atheist..i don't know.


I would say that the opposite is true, especially around here. It would be much easier to go with the flow and believe in Christianity. I've heard it said that people who are Christian are much happier, so why not believe? To that I say, it could be argued that kids are much happier when they still believe in Santa Clause. Does being a happier person necessitate a belief in Christianity? I don't necessarily think so. Happiness may be a by-product of organized religion, but should not be the reason one believes.

For me, my leaning away from Christianity to Agnosticism came about for several reasons. First of all, I believe in Evolution. To this, many Christians agree, but say that perhaps a Creator began the process of Evolution. To this I say, that is not what the Bible says. This is a large obstacle in my belief. To believe in Evolution, and to believe that the evolutionary process was started by God, would require that one of the foundational stories of the Bible be thrown out the window.

Secondly, there are no original manuscripts back to the life of Jesus Christ. The oldest manuscripts are almost 100 years after the life of Jesus, and they differ from one another. Some of the cornerstone stories of the Bible are not even in the oldest manuscripts. Factor in the fact that there were no printing presses for over one thousand years after these original manuscripts, thus necessitating painstaking hand-copying (and in those days, very few were literate to be able to reproduce these manuscripts), and you can imagine the errors over the years in reproductions. This does not even take into account that the oldest manuscripts were written based on oral traditions after the life of Jesus Christ. Imagine telling your friend a story, and then having that story repeated verbally for 70 years until it is finally written down. Would you expect the story when it is first written 70 years later to be very accurate? I think that the old "Telephone" game comes to mind, and that shows how ideas can be changed in the course of a few minutes, let alone decades. Factor in the numerous contradictions in the Bible from gospel to gospel, and further skepticism is understandable. And finally, after understanding that a fully-formed, bound Bible did not drop from the sky, but that human beings decided what documents to include, and more importantly which documents to exclude, hundreds of years after the documents were written, questions about inerrancy abound.

Quite obviously then, if I believe in Evolution and question the foundational stories, I found it difficult to then base my religious belief around the Bible. Couple that with the use of the Bible to hate Jews, blacks, gays and women, and you start to see the background for those who do not believe in Christianity. It is probably the Christians that believe in the inerrancy of the Bible that I do not understand. If one is completely honest, I do not think that this argument can even be attempted. If you admit that the Bible is not the inerrant word of God, then I understand. However, that leads to a bigger concern, which is, "Why should I live my life by some parts of the Bible, when I don't believe in others?" This picking and choosing is fine, as long as it is acknowledged and also is not used for hate when convenient. You obviously cannot use the Bible for hate, at least I would think in good conscience, if you acknowledge that it is not inerrant. If you acknowledge that the Bible is not inerrant, then it reminds me of one of my husband's relatives who said that the Bible is really very similar to Aesop's Fables, which exist to provide stories for moral education.

For me, I think it is great that people are Christians, just as I think it is great that people are Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus. In fact, I probably most align myself with the Hindu philosophy,

As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different paths which men take through different tendencies various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God. ~ Swami Vivekananda


I wish this silly notion that "if you do not agree with me, you are wrong" would take a long walk off a short pier. It is ridiculous. I really enjoy talking about religion but that is very difficult to do. It's my belief that religion is opinion. It is not fact. I can have my opinion, just as you can have yours. It's when the conversation turns to Biblical quotes about how that's baloney and that God commands us to judge and condemn one another that I lose interest.

Sorry for the long post. You asked, so I thought I would try to provide a serious answer. Open and honest dialogue is the only way to drown out the Frank Corys of the world.
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Posted by Lorin Dixson (+591) 10 years ago
All I can say is well said Denise.
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<Arg ... for the second time, I'm done debating with you Frank.>

Did you ever really begin?

<You are too far into your bubble to understand the difference between mythology, religion, philosophy and science.>

Translation..."You are right Frank...i really do not know a whole lot about quantum physics and i can't snowball you...so i give up."

<I've addressed most of your questions and pointed out the fallacy of your arguments, so on to your own ...>

You avoided any kind of sructured answer...you haven't had time. Its mostly been complaining about the level of my intelligence.

Its ok though. At least the basic argument against the foolishness of "something from nothing" is on the board. Everyone must take their own side now.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6171) 10 years ago
Although I belong to a mainstream Christian church I feel Charles Darwin said it best: "The whole subject [of God] is beyond the scope of man's intellect." Great post, Denise.
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<It seems to me that most people on mc.com are atheists...am i correct?>

Its kind of hard to tell since most are pretty timid about to comitting to any worldview openly. I never understood that midset. Some, like you, seem to want to avoid controversy...and I guess thats ok as far as it goes. However....If Christinity just happens to be true....ther are going to be whole lot of folks wishing they had paid more attention to the reality they once inhibited. Don't know if you claim to be a Christian...but if you are...it would seem you would show a little more concern for most of the folks here..instead of a mere curiosity. If one of these good folks house was on fire and they were sleeping as sound as they are right now...don't you think they would want to know about it...or would you be too nice and polite to disturb them a little?

Just look at the silly ideas already put forward here..."Reality is not real"..."something can come from nothing"...."there is no God"....This is true slumber.

Here is my take on who the atheists really are. Atheists are composed of people who refuse to look at reality directly. They can't afford to. Its not that they are simply ignorant, that is...lacking specific information. Its that they refuse to admit what they know is real....because they (all of us) know God exists...and knowing this they see that they ought to be grateful and give honor and worship to the One who made it all possible. This they will never do...because that would mean they OWE and are in debt to their Creator. It would mean we really are not our own. It would mean that this Creator ought to be the One to set the rules, not us. Atheists will have none of that.

On the other hand...since it is true that all men know God exists....that would mean there are no atheists at all, ultimately. There are only men who lie about what they know to be real and true.

In the final analysis...it is not that men do not know God exists....its that they do not like Him and do not WANT Him in their minds...so they pretend that ..."no one knows for sure"...."its sooo complicated"...."all religions have the same validity" (saying any one of them is THE only way automatically makes you a bigot, of course) etc...Lots of ways to fool oursleves...eh?



<Just wondering what atheists believe after we die?>

Atheists (I was once one so i know a little about the subject) like to say.."nothing" happens at death. "When yer dead yer dead". ...and I do think there are some who actually try to live that out...and I admire them for it.(I tried my best to be one, but failed. ) They like to have you think of them as "authentic" human beings, men who mean what they say, pillars of strength all that jazz. (Some here really think they are pulling it off!)

However most who call themsleves atheists live a double life. They want you to think they are their own person not needing anything from their Creator..at least as a front. On the inside, they are thinking..."I'm not going to admit that I think there simply HAS to be at least a power in charge of this whole show...but...even if there is a God...and even if this Chrisianity stuff does happen to be true.... i know i'll do alright because i've never been all that bad a person anyway...and if there is a God ,He'll see that I'm no murderer or rapist and He'll never condemn me for my little shortcomings...will He? There lots of folks worse than me and no good God would send then all to hell.....would He?

Ring a bell? It ought to...but then again this message board is filled with folks who deny what they know to true...so it is what it is.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
If Christinity just happens to be true....ther are going to be whole lot of folks wishing they had paid more attention to the reality they once inhibited.


Quite honestly Frank, if "Christianity just happens to be true", I'm not too sure I still won't be better off not having "paid more attention" when weighed against the prospect of spending Eternity with you and your brethren.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11533) 10 years ago
This always leads back to the matter of Faith. I have been trying to articulate this and I know Frank won't understand because his mind is nailed shut but maybe other people can comment.

To me, belief in a Deity or mystical structure is defined by Faith. You believe it because it is inherent in you. Proof doesn't enter into it because if there is definitive proof, there is no need for Faith. No one has to believe in gravity or light. They exist. But a Deity cannot be proved and can only be found through Faith.

So, why is it, that those who proclaim that loudest that they have Faith are also the ones who claim to have some sort of proof, since proof denies Faith. If they claim they can "prove" the existence of their Deity and belief system, then there is no need of Faith. And Faith is what defines religion for me.

I don't have it. I never can remember a time when I sincerely did. It just isn't part of my make-up. I know many, many, wonderful people who believe with every fiber of their being, who truly have Faith, but I am not one of them. I can't explain it but I have no belief in that which cannot be proved, therefore; I have no Faith.

And why do those who claim to have such intense Faith feel it is necessary to try to prove it? If they have it, no one else need know. And, again, proof is the opposite of Faith.

People "know" that their Deity exists, not through actual fact but through Faith. So, if they have Faith, they neither need nor want proof, nor do they need or want the approval of those of us without Faith.

And yet, here are the Franks of the world, insulting people and making a fool of himself because he needs people like me to "believe" in his "proof." Why? If you have Faith, what else do you need?

Oh, and dead, as far as I am concerned, is dead. Which doesn't bother me in the least. I live for this world and do the best that I can with a compass which is not based on Faith but on my own moral standards. I don't have to worry about the next life and focus my attention on it so I can devote my efforts to the life I KNOW exists.

I respect those who truly have Faith. At times, I wish I could fall back on that comfort. I don't respect people who try to "prove" their religion to me because, to me, that means denying Faith, and I have no respect for them.

So, Denise, anyone besides you-know-who, how do you define Faith?
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
This whole topic reminds me of something that I have been pondering for a while. I'm hoping one or more of our local pastors who keeps tabs on this board will see this and respond. I started wondering about this concept after having been involved in the weddings of two relatives who are both members of the LDS church (of course, only involved after the fact, outside of the Temple, where the sealing ceremony was performed, or as part of the exchange of rings, but this is beside the point).

The vows during the ring exchanges consisted of pledges for all Eternity. If you know much of anything about the Mormon religion, you understand the significance of these pledges. However, thinking about that concept led me to analyze my own vows (which were taken as part of a Christian service), and the vows of every marriage ceremony I have witnessed. Why do we say "until death do us part" when Christians believe that there is life after death with loved ones? At least all of the Christians I know believe that they will spend the afterlife with their loved ones. If this is the case, why aren't our vows for Eternity as well?

I'm thinking I may need to renew our vows with pledges for Eternity. That may be a hard sell now that my husband knows what he is getting into.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14818) 10 years ago
It seems to me that most people on mc.com are atheists...am i correct? Just wondering what atheists believe after we die? Is that just it for us?? Nothing to look forward to after this life?


Its kind of hard to tell since most are pretty timid about to comitting to any worldview openly. I never understood that midset. Some, like you, seem to want to avoid controversy...and I guess thats ok as far as it goes. However....If Christinity just happens to be true....ther are going to be whole lot of folks wishing they had paid more attention to the reality they once inhibited. Don't know if you claim to be a Christian...but if you are...it would seem you would show a little more concern for most of the folks here..instead of a mere curiosity. If one of these good folks house was on fire and they were sleeping as sound as they are right now...don't you think they would want to know about it...or would you be too nice and polite to disturb them a little?


The judgement as to whether most here are atheist is best left to individual comment. It is certainly not my place to make such assessments. At this point, I consider myself to be a confused Christian. I have a lot more questions than I have answers. When I have asked my questions of those who should be "in the know" I have received a lot of circular reasoning, therapeutic decisionism and semi-peligian pietism as responses.

I have concluded that public forums like this are not the place to attempt to hold others of a differing belief to my world view. Some might call that being timid about your worldview. I respectfully disagree. Perhaps Romans 12:9-18 best communicates my thought here:


Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.h Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave iti to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20 To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Where spiritual matters are concerned, attempting to persuade or "prove", that your way is "right", when others in the discussion don't have the same starting point, is futile. IMO trying to prove your way is right by being argumentative does more harm than good to your point of view. How the message is communicated is often as important as the message itself.

Much of my faith in a Creator comes from my interaction with nature. For example, the fact that we can classify plants into consistent groups, (Brassicaceae always has four petals) IMO serves as evidence for intelligent design and creates problems for the many chaos theories. Does such evidence PROVE anything? Other than inspiring my faith in a Creator, no. Others may not accept such information as being relevant. That is fine. The intricate beauty of creation inspires my faith in a Creator.

I believe that the best way to demonstrate the genuineness of your belief is to show concern for others through your service to them regardless of belief. Find ways to demonstrate your care through compassionate acts of kindness. Live at peace with everyone. Be willing to ask for and give forgiveness and be reconciled to those who you offend.

Christians beating atheist over the head with a book that atheist do not accept as having the same value or relevance as the Christian does neither party any good. It give the atheist a headache and makes the Christian look small, mean-spirited, and abusive. Such behavior from a Christian is not "Good New".

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (9/6/2010)]
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
Richard,

Also, Richard, since you are very well versed in the Christian faith, do you happen to know the significance of Christian marriage vows (until death do us part vs. a pledge for eternity)?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14818) 10 years ago
The Christian belief is that we are not married in heaven. Your husband is off the hook.


Matt 22:23-31
23The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24saying, "Teacher, Moses said, `If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.' 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. 26So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27After them all, the woman died. 28In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her."

29But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32`I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living."


I don't totally understand the Mormon belief, but the number of wives a children impacts what level of heaven ( I think there are 7 levels) one obtains.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
For they all had her.


Whew......sure glad I didn't marry into the Bonine clan.


Seriously though, thank you for the information. I did not realize that people do not carry their marriages forward into Heaven.
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Posted by luvlife (+292) 10 years ago
Thank you to all who replied to my post. I enjoy your feed back for my own personal growth. I never claim to know everything forsure...i am learning everyday.
Frank, my reply to you is yes, i do consider myself a Christian and that being said i respect and am tolerant of each of these people on this forum. I do have concern for folks, as you put it...this is why i am communicating with each of them in a civil matter. I am no better then anyone else just because i happen to believe in God. You see... my God is a loving man, not one to fear. It is people like you that tend to turn people away from God. If we all had respect for one another and understanding for each persons heart...it would be a beautiful world to live in.
Denise, very thought provoking post. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say. I actually loved the Hindu philosophy...much like i believe. Your reason for purpose on earth is much like i believe, also. I guess what i did not understand when you said, "God commands us to judge and condemn one another." This is not my belief at all...God wants us to love one another. He loves us all. In my christianity...i see all of us the same no matter if we are gay, jewish, black, etc....we all have hearts and a soul and have the ability to love one another but, do to the evil in our world...it separates one another. Also, i believe that in Heaven we have no marriage. We only have complete love for one another.
Webmaster, i agree...it is so wrong to label one another.
Wendy, the quote from Darwin..."the whole subject of God is beyond the scope of man's intellect." Very true...most of you on this post are highly intelligent people and most things have to be in black and white for you. There is no room for that "gray" area. I totally respect that and get that.
Amorette, i don't believe "faith" can be explained...Hebrews 11:1 reads "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
In ending, my favorite, which i believe most of us live by 1 Corinthians 13:13 "there are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love."
I recieved a wonderful msg from a beautiful woman/friend fighting for her life at this moment. Many of you know her...she said without faith she would not know how she is maintaining. Thru her whole experience she has recieved many blessings. I suppose when we are left without nothing but fear...this is when many experience faith which can not be explained...it just is. When you know it and feel it...there is nothing like it.
Again, thanks to all that shared. It is sure nice when we can agree to disagree...yet, still have respect for one another and all share something in common no matter what we believe.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 10 years ago
This article by Tim Crane can be found in today's NY Times here

http://opinionator.blogs....?th&emc=th

There is a story about Bertrand Russell giving a public lecture somewhere or other, defending his atheism. A furious woman stood up at the end of the lecture and asked: "And Lord Russell, what will you say when you stand in front of the throne of God on judgment day?" Russell replied: "I will say: `I'm terribly sorry, but you didn't give us enough evidence.' "

This is a very natural way for atheists to react to religious claims: to ask for evidence, and reject these claims in the absence of it. Many of the several hundred comments that followed two earlier Stone posts "Philosophy and Faith" and "On Dawkins's Atheism: A Response," both by Gary Gutting, took this stance. Certainly this is the way that today's "new atheists" tend to approach religion. According to their view, religions - by this they mean basically Christianity, Judaism and Islam and I will follow them in this - are largely in the business of making claims about the universe that are a bit like scientific hypotheses. In other words, they are claims - like the claim that God created the world - that are supported by evidence, that are proved by arguments and tested against our experience of the world. And against the evidence, these hypotheses do not seem to fare well.

But is this the right way to think about religion? Here I want to suggest that it is not, and to try and locate what seem to me some significant differences between science and religion.

To begin with, scientific explanation is a very specific and technical kind of knowledge. It requires patience, pedantry, a narrowing of focus and (in the case of the most profound scientific theories) considerable mathematical knowledge and ability. No-one can understand quantum theory - by any account, the most successful physical theory there has ever been - unless they grasp the underlying mathematics. Anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves.

Religious belief is a very different kind of thing. It is not restricted only to those with a certain education or knowledge, it does not require years of training, it is not specialized and it is not technical. (I'm talking here about the content of what people who regularly attend church, mosque or synagogue take themselves to be thinking; I'm not talking about how theologians interpret this content.)

What is more, while religious belief is widespread, scientific knowledge is not. I would guess that very few people in the world are actually interested in the details of contemporary scientific theories. Why? One obvious reason is that many lack access to this knowledge. Another reason is that even when they have access, these theories require sophisticated knowledge and abilities, which not everyone is capable of getting.

Yet another reason - and the one I am interested in here - is that most people aren't deeply interested in science, even when they have the opportunity and the basic intellectual capacity to learn about it. Of course, educated people who know about science know roughly what Einstein, Newton and Darwin said. Many educated people accept the modern scientific view of the world and understand its main outlines. But this is not the same as being interested in the details of science, or being immersed in scientific thinking.

This lack of interest in science contrasts sharply with the worldwide interest in religion. It's hard to say whether religion is in decline or growing, partly because it's hard to identify only one thing as religion - not a question I can address here. But it's pretty obvious that whatever it is, religion commands and absorbs the passions and intellects of hundreds of millions of people, many more people than science does. Why is this? Is it because - as the new atheists might argue - they want to explain the world in a scientific kind of way, but since they have not been properly educated they haven't quite got there yet? Or is it because so many people are incurably irrational and are incapable of scientific thinking? Or is something else going on?

Some philosophers have said that religion is so unlike science that it has its own "grammar" or "logic" and should not be held accountable to the same standards as scientific or ordinary empirical belief. When Christians express their belief that "Christ has risen," for example, they should not be taken as making a factual claim, but as expressing their commitment to what Wittgenstein called a certain "form of life," a way of seeing significance in the world, a moral and practical outlook which is worlds away from scientific explanation.

This view has some merits, as we shall see, but it grossly misrepresents some central phenomena of religion. It is absolutely essential to religions that they make certain factual or historical claims. When Saint Paul says "if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain" he is saying that the point of his faith depends on a certain historical occurrence.

Theologians will debate exactly what it means to claim that Christ has risen, what exactly the meaning and significance of this occurrence is, and will give more or less sophisticated accounts of it. But all I am saying is that whatever its specific nature, Christians must hold that there was such an occurrence. Christianity does make factual, historical claims. But this is not the same as being a kind of proto-science. This will become clear if we reflect a bit on what science involves.

The essence of science involves making hypotheses about the causes and natures of things, in order to explain the phenomena we observe around us, and to predict their future behavior. Some sciences - medical science, for example - make hypotheses about the causes of diseases and test them by intervening. Others - cosmology, for example - make hypotheses that are more remote from everyday causes, and involve a high level of mathematical abstraction and idealization. Scientific reasoning involves an obligation to hold a hypothesis only to the extent that the evidence requires it. Scientists should not accept hypotheses which are "ad hoc" - that is, just tailored for one specific situation but cannot be generalized to others. Most scientific theories involve some kind of generalization: they don't just make claims about one thing, but about things of a general kind. And their hypotheses are designed, on the whole, to make predictions; and if these predictions don't come out true, then this is something for the scientists to worry about.

Religions do not construct hypotheses in this sense. I said above that Christianity rests upon certain historical claims, like the claim of the resurrection. But this is not enough to make scientific hypotheses central to Christianity, any more than it makes such hypotheses central to history. It is true, as I have just said, that Christianity does place certain historical events at the heart of their conception of the world, and to that extent, one cannot be a Christian unless one believes that these events happened. Speaking for myself, it is because I reject the factual basis of the central Christian doctrines that I consider myself an atheist. But I do not reject these claims because I think they are bad hypotheses in the scientific sense. Not all factual claims are scientific hypotheses. So I disagree with Richard Dawkins when he says "religions make existence claims, and this means scientific claims."

Taken as hypotheses, religious claims do very badly: they are ad hoc, they are arbitrary, they rarely make predictions and when they do they almost never come true. Yet the striking fact is that it does not worry Christians when this happens. In the gospels Jesus predicts the end of the world and the coming of the kingdom of God. It does not worry believers that Jesus was wrong (even if it causes theologians to reinterpret what is meant by `the kingdom of God'). If Jesus was framing something like a scientific hypothesis, then it should worry them. Critics of religion might say that this just shows the manifest irrationality of religion. But what it suggests to me is that that something else is going on, other than hypothesis formation.

Religious belief tolerates a high degree of mystery and ignorance in its understanding of the world. When the devout pray, and their prayers are not answered, they do not take this as evidence which has to be weighed alongside all the other evidence that prayer is effective. They feel no obligation whatsoever to weigh the evidence. If God does not answer their prayers, well, there must be some explanation of this, even though we may never know it. Why do people suffer if an omnipotent God loves them? Many complex answers have been offered, but in the end they come down to this: it's a mystery.

Science too has its share of mysteries (or rather: things that must simply be accepted without further explanation). But one aim of science is to minimize such things, to reduce the number of primitive concepts or primitive explanations. The religious attitude is very different. It does not seek to minimize mystery. Mysteries are accepted as a consequence of what, for the religious, makes the world meaningful.

This point gets to the heart of the difference between science and religion. Religion is an attempt to make sense of the world, but it does not try and do this in the way science does. Science makes sense of the world by showing how things conform to its hypotheses. The characteristic mode of scientific explanation is showing how events fit into a general pattern.

Religion, on the other hand, attempts to make sense of the world by seeing a kind of meaning or significance in things. This kind of significance does not need laws or generalizations, but just the sense that the everyday world we experience is not all there is, and that behind it all is the mystery of God's presence. The believer is already convinced that God is present in everything, even if they cannot explain this or support it with evidence. But it makes sense of their life by suffusing it with meaning. This is the attitude (seeing God in everything) expressed in George Herbert's poem, "The Elixir." Equipped with this attitude, even the most miserable tasks can come to have value: Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws/ Makes that and th' action fine.

None of these remarks are intended as being for or against religion. Rather, they are part of an attempt (by an atheist, from the outside) to understand what it is. Those who criticize religion should have an accurate understanding of what it is they are criticizing. But to understand a world view, or a philosophy or system of thought, it is not enough just to understand the propositions it contains. You also have to understand what is central and what is peripheral to the view. Religions do make factual and historical claims, and if these claims are false, then the religions fail. But this dependence on fact does not make religious claims anything like hypotheses in the scientific sense. Hypotheses are not central. Rather, what is central is the commitment to the meaningfulness (and therefore the mystery) of the world.

I have suggested that while religious thinking is widespread in the world, scientific thinking is not. I don't think that this can be accounted for merely in terms of the ignorance or irrationality of human beings. Rather, it is because of the kind of intellectual, emotional and practical appeal that religion has for people, which is a very different appeal from the kind of appeal that science has.

Stephen Jay Gould once argued that religion and science are "non-overlapping magisteria." If he meant by this that religion makes no factual claims which can be refuted by empirical investigations, then he was wrong. But if he meant that religion and science are very different kinds of attempt to understand the world, then he was certainly right.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+590) 10 years ago
[This message has been edited by Derf Bergman (9/6/2010)]
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<To me, belief in a Deity or mystical structure is defined by Faith.>

As i said...faith always has to play a part if we do not have all the evidence before us. However...faith is not simply wishing very very hard that such and such were so. It is NOT based upon wishful thinking. Yes I do have faith that what God has said is true. Why so? Simple answer....because what he has told us in His word makes sense (If I am honest about what i observe)...given that this reality we inhabit is real. Thats where you folks fall down.

<You believe it because it is inherent in you.>

no, faith is NOT inherant. What is inherant in us humans beings...is a longing for peace and security. Nothing wrong with that...it just has nothing to do with faith.

< Proof doesn't enter into it because if there is definitive proof, there is no need for Faith.>

It might seems so at first glance but there is more to the story than just evidence that simply knocks your socks off.



<No one has to believe in gravity or light.>

Not trying to be the sophomore here...but the only way a person born blind can know anything of light is to be told about it.

< But a Deity cannot be proved and can only be found through Faith.>

Yes and no. When I say I can prove God's existence it is only because the world we live in is logical and ordered. It sure looks like it was intended to be that way. I cannot show you God...but I can point out the obvious evidence that only a Creator could ever produce.

On the other hand... It is true that in His Word He confirms that it is impossible to please Him and really know him without faith.

< I never can remember a time when I sincerely did. It just isn't part of my make-up.>

Thats what is known as an excuse for not really caring one way or the other...and nothing more. Have you ever really searched for answers? Have you read and studied the best arguements...the ontological, teleological and epistemilogic arguements for a Creator God?...or have you simply gone with the herd and called it good enough?

<I know many, many, wonderful people who believe with every fiber of their being,>

I don't know anyone like that. I would say that even the most devout have doubts and feelings of uncertainlty on a regular basis. That is simply who we are as fallen peopole.

< I can't explain it but I have no belief in that which cannot be proved, therefore; I have no Faith.>

Thats not true. You show lots of faith every day. Let me give you an really simple example. When you go to the grocery store to buy milk you reveal lots about yourself. When you first walk up to the grocery store you assume that you and the store are two differnt things, not one, thus showing you reject having (faith but not having proof) most of eastern and New Age religion. When you walk down the same dairly isle and select the same kind of milk, you assume (but do not have proof for) that the world is not chaotic, but orderly, regular, and divided into sets of things. When you stand in line with others, expecting others to respect you as a person (but knowing there is no garantees) you show your outright rejection of realtivism and your deep faith in trusted norms. When you calculate your available change, compare the price of the milk, and make the exchange withe the clerk, you engage in a whole array of process involving faith concerning reasoning, thus showing you really do reject materialism.

In short when you do something as mudane as buying milk, you accept (have faith in) and reject all sorts of views. In fact, given the sum of what you assume (have faith in) to be true and what you reject
when just buying milk...you act like you believe (have faith in) in the world described by Christianity. The world I've just described suggests many complexities and contours of reality that we ALL take on faith...and which Christianity supplies. Now...you say you reject Christianity...but you certainly act as if its true and that your non-Chrisaintiy is false. Why such self deception? Why don't you just confess what you appear to have faith in??

Non-christian thought has no cogent answer (beyond mysticism) for such evident and world encompassing self deception...but Christianity does. The Christian Scripture explains that the world is in an abnormal state due to the destructivness of sin. We have rebelled against our holy and gracious Creator and made up a whole slug of scenarios in order to avoid Him. This isn't a simple mistake on our part. It is concerted warfare against our Creator, and it deserves divine capital punishment. However...there is a way out which you do not appear to be interested in at this time..so i wont bore you.

Anyway...since you brought up the topic of faith and attempted to say something about it I thought I'd make the effort to correct your misundertstanding of just what it is. So...if you have been that confused about faith...is it posible you could be radically mistaken about Christianity too? Yes i know...you profess non-Christiainty..but in reality assume Christianity in everyday life. You might think about this the next time you go to buy milk...

<And why do those who claim to have such intense Faith feel it is necessary to try to prove it? >

Who has ever claimed to have intense faith?? Considering how much I have learned about the scripture...my faith is actually quite limited. I am still prone to doubt many things God has said.


Two reasons for discussing it. We are commanded to do it....and second...every discussion involves searching for some objection to the Word... that makes sense. (its the atheist in me still) So far..atheism has shown to be simply a copout...a denial of what is real.



<And yet, here are the Franks of the world, insulting people and making a fool of himself because he needs people like me to "believe" in his "proof.">

If you are insulted its because you want me to agree with you and are miffed because i ask you to be honest.

<Oh, and dead, as far as I am concerned, is dead.>

Just as i portrayed you.

<Which doesn't bother me in the least.>

Why should it?...you haven't been called to account.... yet.

< I live for this world and do the best that I can with a compass which is not based on Faith but on my own moral standards.>

Pappycock... you haven't ever done the best you can. Not even close. You've only done what makes you comfortable, no more no less. We wont even discuss where those standards could possibly have come from either ...will we?


<I don't have to worry about the next life and focus my attention on it so I can devote my efforts to the life I KNOW exists.>

Thats what I am trying to change, Amorette. Glad to hear you KNOW you exist though. Many today aren't even willing to admit that...so you are still in the race as near as i can tell.
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+592) 10 years ago
Ah yes,Derf. Scientific thinking isnt for everyone....

Frank: Throw away the shovel, you've dug a deep enough hole for yourself....

[This message has been edited by Bruce Helland (9/6/2010)]
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Posted by Stone (+1591) 10 years ago
Derf, The great thing is that I never once said I was an atheist.

Even if I believe in evolution does not mean that I am an atheist. I can defend science all day and still be a believer in God. One can believe in God and still practice science and search, in the search for the truth. Just because people might be Christian does not mean that they have to abandon science and education. Many of these wing nuts on here think that, when you learn how to read you stop reading everything but the Bible.

I believe in facts. I believe in science. I might believe in evolution (still studying) but none of this makes me an atheist.

However, I do not believe in the made up religion of lies and half truths that Paul wrote about Jesus the Jew of Nazareth. Paulinian Christianity systematically and historically changed the life of Jesus to allow for Gentiles to be Christian. The followers of Jesus were Jews and you had to be Jewish fist, meaning if you were an adult male you had to be circumcised first. As you can imagine people were not flocking to become Jewish and then joining the Jewish sect of the followers of Jesus. But Paul solved this problem by rewriting the bible and changing the historic Jesus and Christianity forever.

Nonetheless, what I am is my own business and what gets me fired up is when some person who claims to be Christian comes on this site and judges people. Can I be judgmental? Ya, but I do not come on her preaching that if you do not know evolution as your Lord and Savior you are going to burn in hell and I may send you to the judgment day with my 30-06. That is Frank speak buy the way. If you guys noticed about 90 posts back Frank personally insulted me and my last name. However, I did not resort to his Christian ways instead I turned the other cheek and refused to play that game. Now philosophically that might make me a Christian.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
luvlife said

I guess what i did not understand when you said, "God commands us to judge and condemn one another.


Frank Cory said

but we are commanded to judge all things and compare them against what the book says.

and

commonality?? you mean schmuuzy cutsey lovey tolerance don't you?


Need I say more?
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
One additional thing in regard to scientific proof...

The lack of scientific evidence to prove Christianity means nothing to me. I have had faith in something that cannot be proven. As Amorette stated, that is the whole basis for "faith". However, when scientific evidence and/or thoughtful analysis can disprove something, it is then that I find it difficult to have faith and/or believe.

Much like the criminal justice system in America where you are innocent until proven guilty, it is not necessary to prove one's innocence, but rather one's guilt.

No one needs to prove faith, but in the face of convincing evidence that one religion is not what it portrays, further scrutiny is warranted.

Anyway, my mind is elsewhere. As someone who "doesn't know" what lies ahead, I'm bummed I won't be married into eternity if that is where life is headed. At least if we are both in Hell, Purgatory or Limbo, or whatever else might be waiting, for questioning our faith, we'd be married in Hell. I wish I'd have given those vows more thought. This is what happens when you never question what you've been told all your life.
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Posted by Smiley (+853) 10 years ago
I am a pagan/wiccan/witch.... but I consider myself atheist also. That's kind of a complex idea, but I like the way pagan culture teaches the respect for nature, and the threefold law. I don't necessarily believe the deities are real, but I do think of them in more figurative ways. Like, for instance, the Goddess to me is Mother Nature. She is most important to my survival, and needs to be respected. (note: I understand the science of nature too, and I believe that 100%)

Science is so real to me. I couldn't accept Christianity again if I tried. I was a Christian from 6-17. I went to youth conferences (such as DCLA), retreats, mission trips, etc. I was on a christian dance team, I attended bible study and youth group every week. I was at church most of the time, and I was a self-proclaimed "Jesus Freak." I read my bible everyday, did devotions, and prayed for my family and friends who were not believers so that they could find "salvation."

I have a tattoo of Hebrews 11:6. "Without faith it is impossible to please God, and anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists, and he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
So, I must have faith, God is never going to provide solid testable evidence for his existence, yet I need to believe he exists?

The HATE and CHAOS created by man's formal religion is ridiculous. What honest reason do you have to stop homosexual individuals from getting married? The bible? You mean that book written by many different authors, in many different areas, in many different languages, over MANY YEARS? No, that is not proof, evidence, law, or otherwise to control a nation.

"What can be claimed without evidence, can be rejected without evidence."-Christopher Hitchens.


I live a fulfilling life, I make mistakes, I take accountability for my actions. It is NOT easier being an atheist. Being A Christian at a church is the EASY way. You listen to a man (most usually) talk about HIS OWN personal translation of the Bible (we already discussed that novel) and you either heed his advice, or go back to sinning on monday. Some people ACTUALLY live christian lives, but they feel the need to try and convert EVERYONE to their ideas. No, it's not going to happen. Christianity is following blindly, and not asking questions.

Finally, a picture from a group I am a part of on Facebook. It reminds me of Webmaster and Frank.

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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11533) 10 years ago
When I was younger, I really tried to understand the whole religion thing that I just didn't get. I went to different churches. I even went to revival meetings. I studied the Bible. I read it and took Bible as literature in college to increase my understanding. And while I understand the historical underpinnings of the book and appreciate the writing style of various authors, especially the ones who made God speak in puns, I never got that "spark" that made Faith.

So, I do the best I can believing that helping others to the best of my ability is important. I volunteer. I work. I try to avoid things I consider wrong. It has worked for the last half century and I imagine it will do so for the rest of my life, however long or short it is.

Maybe because I don't NEED Faith that I don't HAVE Faith. I don't know. But it's not there and I go through life content with my best efforts to lead a just life and don't worry about the judgement of others.
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Posted by luvlife (+292) 10 years ago
Derf, i just wanted to say thank you for your time in posting your reply. It only helped me to stay strong in my belief that i am a Christian.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 10 years ago
I tend to motor through life using the philosophy of one of my professors because it makes sense to me.

The notion is that there is really only one higher power or being. That the world chooses to call it by different names and worship it by different methods is the result of our different cultures. There were organized religions long before Christianity, and there were organized religions established long after the formation of Christianity.

Just as different cultures eat different foods, wear different clothing, speak different languages, use different social customs, and in general view the world very differently, people throughout the world worship differently as well. Why is this any different? It is immaterial whether you call it God or Allah, Tezcatlepoca or Bondye, Jah or Nature, Kami or Ahura Mazda, Shang-ti or the Tao, or whether you worship it in a cathedral, a church, a synagogue, a mosque, a temple, at home on a shelf, out in nature in a circle, in a meditation spot in your yard, etc.

If there is no one right food or clothing or language or social custom in the world, why would we ever think there is one right religion/method of worship?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6171) 10 years ago
Richard,

Just wanted to update you on Mormon theology. My understanding is that there are three levels of heaven, the terrestial, tellestial, and celestial. Almost everyone (including "gentiles") will get into the terrestial which is supposed to be similar to living here on Earth. The tellestial is something in between which I think good Mormons can get into if they aren't married. The highest is the Celestial where only those sealed in marriage in the temple can reach. Once there the man can become a god and he and his wife will pump out babies for eternity. Doesn't sound much like fun to me but it's a big deal to the Mormons. And it's not clear what happens to divorced men who remarry. Some believe that men can be polygamous in heaven and live with all their wives. So, hey, it's great if you have a penis. For those who don't, not so much.
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1503) 10 years ago
Muslim or Christian, Mullah or Pope,
Preacher or poet, who was it wrote,
"Give any one species too much rope
and they'll procreate it up?"

Waters for Larry, but I think the filter'll get it.
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
< I really tried to understand the whole religion thing that I just didn't get. >

I sense that you are reluctant to discuss these things because you consider me judgemental and that i claim to have all the answers. Not so on both accounts. I am just like you in more ways than not.
I can understand that no one explained these things to you so that you could understand. If you have been brought up to believe that these things do not matter...how could you ever develope an interest? So i still question what you mean by "really tried". Not trying to be a "scholar"...but I'll ask again...are you familiar with the most basic arguments for God's existence? Not trying to force you into anything. If you are adamant about your atheism...then thats all there is to say....but i thought atheism prided itself on being open minded... I'd like to see some proof of that.

<So, I do the best I can believing that helping others to the best of my ability is important.>

Can you articulate why "helping others" is important...ultimately? Why would you be concerned about doing your "best"? As an atheist...if all of our loving, caring and craving for dignity is really for "nothing" ultimately (since there is no existence after death...and less than a hundred years from now no one will ever know you even lived nor will anyone really care.) Why should any of us care? As Russel said when asked what happens when you die...."Ill rot". Where is the dignity in that?


< I volunteer. I work. I try to avoid things I consider wrong.>

How do you know what is wrong? What I am asking is what makes an act wrong for you? Why do you care if it is really wrong?


< It has worked for the last half century and I imagine it will do so for the rest of my life, however long or short it is.>

...and then what?

<Maybe because I don't NEED Faith that I don't HAVE Faith.>

None of us need faith to do what comes natural. It takes faith to understand and act upon the fact that we all count. Again...atheism says ultimately you don't count...NONE of us do...no matter how hard we work, or love, or pray, or ice skate. None of it really matters. Christianity says it ALL counts...every breath we take matters.


<I don't know. But it's not there and I go through life content with my best efforts to lead a just life and don't worry about the judgement of others.>


Thats the point...you CAN know but so far are not willing to make the effort to try to see if there really is anything beyond these few years we've been given.
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<If there is no one right food or clothing or language or social custom in the world, why would we ever think there is one right religion/method of worship?>

You have begged a serious question. What do you mean "right" religion? Its reasonable, especially from an atheist's standpoint, to assume at first glance that they ALL could be wrong.....but What tells you that they can't all be right?
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Posted by Smiley (+853) 10 years ago
Why does anything need to matter Failrank? I mean, my family matters to me, my job matters to me. I can explain why things matter to me. It is because I care for them, and they give me a fulfilling life. Why do I care for them? Because they have given me something that is great, funny, caring, etc, and because they deserve care. Why do they deserve care? Because I have decided they do. What gives me the power of decision? My frontal lobe. Who gave me my frontal lobe? My body, which formed in my mother's uterus. How was I put there? MY mom and dad HOOKED up in a Vegas hotel room and didn't think about that Trojan man while having a good time. Why do I have my features? because my mom and dad gave me genes that give me a complex physical structure that is only unique in a few ways.

So, what's the next Russian doll question Frank? Eventually, the answer will lead to Evolution, which will lead to I DON'T know, which I will also have to say you don't either, so stop telling us we are wrong for not believing in your mystical, fairy tale, magical, zombie Jesus.

What tells us they can't all be right? Perhaps the fact that alongside contradicting themselves, they sometimes contradict each other.

Example- Christians think there is only one God, and one path to heaven, Jesus.
Jews think there is only one God, and they are still waiting for there savior to save them.

[This message has been edited by Smiley (9/6/2010)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14818) 10 years ago
Wendy: Thanks for the education.
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<Why does anything need to matter Failrank?>

Its not a matter of need. Its a matter of giving a reason for why we like to think we DO matter somehow. Are those desires for worth and dignity actually accomplishing anything beyond the few years we get here?


<I mean, my family matters to me, my job matters to me.>

Why?

< I can explain why things matter to me. It is because I care for them, and they give me a fulfilling life.>

Thats not answering the question. You say its fulfilling to have a family...I agree ....but why? If we are all going to rot including your children....what good is any of it?

Bottom line....If, as atheism says, we come from nothing....live a few fleeting years and then get to return to the "nothing" from which we came.....all i ask is that you have the guts to admit that you, your family..ALL of us,.. ARE nothing. All this loving, caring, tears, joy, passion, worry, searching for happiness...is ultimately useless. If you want to pretend that it matters just because you can't stand the thought of it all being futile....welcome to the club. All I'm saying is that because we ARE created for a reason that it all matters..(and not just to get people to think we are nice folk either)
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1911) 10 years ago
I'm going to really miss "Other Frank".
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14818) 10 years ago
Frank:

Where spiritual matters are concerned, attempting to persuade or "prove", that your way is "right", when others in the discussion don't have the same starting point, is futile. IMO trying to prove your way is right by being argumentative does more harm than good to your point of view and reflects negatively on other Christians. How the message is communicated is often as important as the message itself.

[red]Christians beating atheists over the head with a book that atheists do not accept as having the same value or relevance as the Christian does, does neither party any good. It give the atheist a headache and makes you the Christian look small, mean-spirited, and abusive. Such behavior from a Christian is not "Good New".[/red]

Please stop.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9981) 10 years ago
I'm truly stupid for participating in this conversation yet again, however ...

Frank Cory wrote:
Just look at the silly ideas already put forward here..."Reality is not real"..."something can come from nothing"...."there is no God"....This is true slumber.

Did not God create "something from nothing"?
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Posted by Smiley (+853) 10 years ago
Actually, I do believe that it is futile, and it sucks. But it isn't going to stop me from enjoying the time I have, or experiencing all that I can. I do have a purpose in life, and it is something I have decided on, not some imaginary friend.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6171) 10 years ago
Good effort, Richard, but it's futile. Frank is who he is. Not much anyone can do about it except to ignore his posts, which is what I do now.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11533) 10 years ago
Yeah, even I have gotten tired of trying to have a discussion with someone who treats every statement I make with dismissive contempt from his high horse. So, I'm on to other things! Did you know Jim Parsons won the Emmy for "The Big Bang Theory?" I was SO pleased by that.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9981) 10 years ago
Frank Cory wrote:
<IBM (along with the military, universities and other corporations) have already created prototype quantum computers (and other quantum devices), based in part, upon the fact that things at the fundamental level do pop in and out of existence>

Baloney. If what you say was true...then Hawkings is perfectly justified in his "something from nothing" proclamation...and his statments would not be anything new. You have misunderstood profoundly what these investigations have proven.

http://www-03.ibm.com/pre...se/965.wss

http://domino.watson.ibm....um498.html

http://researchweb.watson...portation/

Etc...
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Posted by Frank Cory (+238) 10 years ago
<Did not God create "something from nothing"?>

no sir. He did not. He created what he created from His very Being (and He is not nothing)...that is, who and what he is.

Now before anyone strokes...listen up.
When you hear that God created EX NIHILO...all that that means is that there was NOTHING physical in existence before He commanded it to be. Without his divine fiat nothing physical can be...zero, nada, zippo.

I guess since I can't get anyone to get interested enough to even discuss these things I better go....you all need time to dry the tears, down your blood pressure meds and in general...just recoup.

Thanks again.
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Posted by stephen (+256) 10 years ago
OK Frank, you go on believing that magical unicorns exist as well. I understand that the feelings shared by those who are religious have become a defensive losing battle in the light of science, yet it demeans you as a person to argue pointlessly on something a little bit of unbiased research can teach you.
The argument will most likely keep going on long after all of us are dead. However even if your blind belief that magical unicorns, a greater power, and pixies proves right I believe that the truth will be so profound that it will make you wish that the people arguing against were indeed the correct ones.
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Posted by Mathew Schmitz (+278) 10 years ago
Best character on TV Amorette. No doubt. Bazinga!
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11533) 10 years ago
I went to college with those guys from the Big Bang Theory and I love it! How Jim Parsons makes a character as obnoxious as Sheldon Cooper lovable is amazing, plus he can remember some pretty difficult dialog. YAY! BIG BANG THEORY!
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