Is God benevolent?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Sirius B, May 28, 1999.

  1. Flash Registered Senior Member

    Hey, no need to apologize... really...and
    yuck..summer classes!!!! I do not envy you..not one bit!!

    You really mean when you have read the bible
    before that you have not come across contradictions? They had jumped out at me
    right and left.

    You speak of "simple" faith...and the presense of god in your life... if you do not
    mind me asking... could you elaborate more
    regarding god's presense in your life?
    I'm not trying to sound like I am putting on
    my boxing gloves..or anything of the like
    when I ask being sincere...
    when you speak of this presense of
    do you know that is what it is? I
    do you know that it is not something you have
    made yourself think is there? Is it truthfully that strong that you have no doubt
    it is him? If yes, then are you really sure?
    How do you know?? I am willing to bet he
    has not manifested himself to you as written
    in the bible to people such as Moses LOL...
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  3. dumaurier Registered Senior Member

    Flash, i would like to offer you an alternative consideration. I have read your messages here and can fully understand your frustration with those who claim to know it all and who also claim to have embraced the "Truth" while all others are excluded. Indeed, it is a great frustration!

    On the subject of God, Religion and Truth, let me start by looking at our own solar system. You'll admit that there is one sun in this system. You'll also agree with me that this sun shines down on every living thing on this beautiful planet of ours. The sun has no prejudices. Likewise, the rain falls on everything and everyone and makes no distinction whatsoever. The life-giving radiance of good ole Sol and the refreshing vernal showers under any clime have no preferences, no bias, no prejudices of any kind. Agreed?

    Thus, there is one sun and it shines on everyone.

    This is the way i view God. He has no prejudices and is there for everyone who wants to believe in Him.

    Now, religion. I view religion as an entity that has progressive manifestation. All Holy Scripture says that there is only one Creator (name Him God or whatever). So, like the singular sun that shines on everyone and on everybody, be these Chinese, blacks or whites, God also shines on everyone. Consequently, there is really one religion: the religion of God! This religion has had different names. At one time it was called Judaic, at another time Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Islamic. But they are all, each one of them, part and parcel of the same religion: the religion of God.

    Religion is progressive in the same way that school is progressive. That is to say that when you were in grade 1 you were assigned a teacher to teach that level. When you progressed to grade 2 you had a different teacher. In grade 3 there was a different teacher until you reached university where you also had different teachers for different subjects. You were helped in your learning by different teachers at each step of the progressive ladder that brought you to full maturity.

    Religion to me is the same. At one point Abraham taught humanity according to man's capacity at that stage of its human development; then mankind progressed with Abraham's Teachings and the Creator sent Moses. Moses' Teachings were a notch above those of Abraham's (the Ten Commandments) and humanity was in another grade with greater things to learn. Then humanity progressed to yet another grade with the coming of Christ; then to yet another grade with the coming of Mohammad. Thus, it is all the same religion (the religion of God) with different Teachers at every progressive level.

    Moses said that if the people (the deniers) had really believed in Abraham they would have believed in Him; Jesus said that if the people (the deniers) had really believed in Moses they would have believed in Him; Mohammad said the exact same thing. Such utterances clearly prove that religion is progressive and is only one, not two or three or four. Religion is One: the religion of the Creator!

    If there is One Creator, One Religion that belongs to this Creator, then there's really One Truth! And this Truth is that all religions are one!!!

    Now, prejudices are like the dark clouds that interpose themselves between the earth and the sun. They are the veils that obscure insight and true vision. By following in the steps of forefathers and the clergy some have put aside the virtues inherent within the personal and independent search after truth. It is these obscure teachings by forefathers and clergy that act as veils and clouds impeding the true search of truth. If one has been indoctrinated into a certain belief system concocted by the imagination of the worldly and foolish, surely it would take great pains to free one's self from such ignorant imaginings.

    Adherence to tradition and to the obscuring thoughts of forefathers and those of the clergy, as i've said, lead to differences and wars. The Truth is plain for all to see. There is one Creator who shines on all regardless of any consideration, and His religion comprises all revealed religions. Reflect and you will find many points of similarities between the great religions--because they are ONE!

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  5. generalhurrss Registered Senior Member

    Is not religion the cause of all wars.
    How many people have died discussing debates on the madness of a god.
    Thou shalt not kill.
    Then came the false religions.
    Most of you walk down this path without even realising and in a sense it is quite comical.
    If there was a god then you have only proven to me that satan reigns over your lives and that the seeds of false religion shall merely grow stronger and stronger, taking you away from the true belief that you so blindly divulge in.
    No god will save you from that.
    Satan leads the blind and the blind lead the blind and so forth.

    Odyseus, try reading the bible with an open mind instead of the mind of a mouse.
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  7. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    How do the Pagan religions fit into your picture of One God? Or the Egyptian, or the Greek, etc. etc. etc? What was the reason for God to teach his divine truth only to the peoples of the middle and far east, as opposed the peoples of Africa, Europe, or the Americas? (Now, go easy on prejudice there, we wouldn't want to offend anybody...)

    I am; therefore I think.
  8. generalhurrss Registered Senior Member

    Wasn't that a job for the missionaries.
  9. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    which missionaries would those be, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or Christian?

    I am; therefore I think.
  10. generalhurrss Registered Senior Member

    I can only imagine that all these religions have played their roles as missionaries, spreading what they believe to be the truth about their god or gods.
    It does state in the bible that there is only one god and one of the ten commandments also says that thou shall serve no other god but I, or something close to that.
    If that is the case then what the religions of say Hinduism, who believe in one god and yet contradict themselves by having other gods, or even the Greeks who have many gods.
    Do these not refer to false religions which will be dispelled in revelation.
    How difficult is it to understand the obvious? It is the same with this heaven concept that I endlessly repeat myself about, we are resurrected, we do not go to heaven, it is written in revelation and yet it is ignored, like most everything else in the bible, thats what makes religion the farce it is. Believers make it up to suit them not the god they profess to believe in. It is all twisted for the believers sake not for the sake of some true god.
  11. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Then I suppose the new-world religion that is emerging would fit the bill. Though they do claim to converse with the Higher spirits themselves, and they do claim that it is everyone else, including the Christians, who is misguided. So, if God's word was to be spread, he sure chose the wrong mechanism. Missionaries bring with them whatever boneheaded faith they choose to stick to, not the absolute divine truth (which does not, nor will ever, exist). But the challenge still stands: why does God choose to indoctrinate the truth only into the peoples of middle and far east, and totally neglects the Africans or the Americans? It took literally millennia for christianity to reach the Americas; how many souls would have been lost in the process?

    I am; therefore I think.
  12. dumaurier Registered Senior Member


    You ask,
    "How do the Pagan religions fit into your picture of One God? Or the Egyptian, or the Greek...? What was the reason for God to teach his divine truth only to the peoples of the middle and far east, as opposed the peoples of Africa, Europe, or the Americas?"

    First, i must say that i do not have any prejudices whatsoever for anyone on this planet of ours. To me the earth is really one country, all peoples are citizens of this great country. It's just a matter of awareness. In time, it is my firm belief, all humanity will have converged into one great big family where national borders will have disappeared forever. Does not the new born babe in India, China, Arabia, London, Haiti, the USA, need as much affection as you or i? Does not a man or woman of any race or nation on this planet weep with great weeping when their child is sent to be murdered in some nonsensical war which has nothing to do with them? Does not the African, Tibetan, Eskimo, Mexican, Persian, American, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and so on, feel the pangs of hunger and thirst as much as you or i when there is nothing to eat or drink? How could we be so coldhearted as to send such truths into the darkest oblivion of our subconscious minds? Let us be fair! All peoples on this planet are equal and deserve just appraisal.

    Now, as to the question on Paganism, and the Egyptians and Greeks, history reveals that these ancient peoples worshipped many gods. Some had hundreds of idols even. We do not have the records of all the Prophets which God sent to humanity. This is understandable since writing and books are fairly recent phenomena, as you well know.

    We know that Buddha manifested His wisdom in the Far East (China); Zoroaster was a Persian; and Krishna was a Hindu. However, none of the Writings of these Holy Manifestations can be deemed 100% authentic for Krishna, Whose Book (the Baghavad Gita) is considered to be the oldest record of the Books among the Divine Revealed Books), existed well nigh 5,000 years ago. Some have conjectured that this is as far as written record goes. (Great debates continue to flare as to the authentic dates of certain Holy Texts but no answer seems to be in sight). Note that linguists believe that most languages originated in and around the Indian continent!!

    Now, we also know that God sent His Messengers near the shores of Europe and Africa with the likes of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. In addition, there are wonderful Amer-Indian traditions (South and North American Indian tradions, including the home of the Eskimos in the great north) where the story of Great Messengers is perpetuated from generation to generation.

    God does not show favour to any one region of the earth and neglect another. How could we attribute such narrow limitations on the Creator of such a vast universe? All of humanity has its share of His bounty revealed through His Messengers in every divine cycle (by "cycle" i am refering to the inception of a Religion; thus the time between Abraham's Religion and that of Moses was approximately 650 years, and when Abraham's cycle ended, Moses revealed His Religion; approximately 650 years later Christ revealed Christianity and Mohammad revealed Islam about 650 years after Christ, and so on. This has been historically ascertained to a great degree. Such is the principle of Progressive Revelation).

    When man is left to himself, without Divine guidance, he becomes like the people in Moses' time when He left His people for awhile to go to the mountain and they forgot God and began worshipping the Golden Calf. It is not that God has deprived anyone of His wonderous bounties, but that people deprive themselves through their ignorance.

    There is One God. The Almighty, the Omnipotent, Omniscient Creator, and whatever men impute to Him has no connection with His essence and reality.


    [This message has been edited by dumaurier (edited July 10, 1999).]
  13. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    Good show with the ambivalence toward particular religious form. However, your position begs a question.

    Humans have been around for several hundred thousand years in our modern form. Are you willing to defend the position that modern religion is all we could 'incrementally' achieve over <u>that</u> much time, and that *so* much of this achievement (as far as one god, the ten commandments, etc.) has been attained only within the last few millennia?
    What makes you so sure that even if there is divine teaching going on, our 'progress' forward has not been more of a circular motion? What makes you so sure that it is *we* who are more correct about God, than the anscient Babylonians were, for example?

    But these questions even arise only because you indeed assume the existence of God, and that God's continuing intervention in our affairs. That very assumption, however, (as I have shown numerous times) has absolutely no ground under it.

    I am; therefore I think.
  14. dumaurier Registered Senior Member


    What i am assuming is that God has always existed; He has never and will never have any beginning nor end. Nor will He ever have any cause that created Him. He is that He is. He is INFINITITE, ABSOLUTE! And He is beyond our understanding and comprehension. This we have discussed at length in various posts.

    Having the title of "The Creator," He created. Fire must burn. A Creator *MUST* create! This universe is part of His creation. And He created our sun and its planets. (Yes, i understand about how suns and planets are formed. Nevertheless, it is God Who willed such marvellous Laws that work on physical forms and on forms not visible. "He doeth as He willeth.") And in the solar system that came into being, planet earth issued forth. And God's Laws worked mighty on this earth and brought forth a special kind of life with intelligence--a reflection of one of His All-Glorious attributes. And because God is love, He spoke through a human and informed us of Who He is, was and will be. And He told us what and how to love, and how to behave, and how to turn to Him, and reminded us a thousand times how to love. And through it all He knew that the human creature would take thousands of years to develop to the point where we are today....and still evolving to the end that hath no end.

    Divine Revelation is progressive, not regressive. Regression signifies death, progression birth and growth. At one time God's Messenger taught man consciousness and man became conscious that he was. Then God taught man that he was two--man and woman. From this followed the concept of the family and this was according to what God had revealed through His Messenger. Within this concept God created laws and the family grew and prospered. Then God taught man the concept of the clan, then the tribe. Eventually God's Messenger taught man the concept of the city. And when Mohammad revealed Islam, bringing to their knees the savage brutes of Arabia who were more wicked than the fiercest animal (for they buried their young baby girls alive!!!), the concept of the nation was born. Nowhere will you find the concept of "nation" before the Coran was revealed! This concept was an offspring of the previous Teaching of the concept of a city. A nation is nothing but the conglomeration of cities, tribes/clans, families, individuals. All this has come about as a result of Divine Guidance. Today comes another Manifestation who styles Himself Baha'u'llah (the Baha'i faith). Baha'u'llah claims to be the return of the Word of God amongst men and he claims that the next step in human evolution is the unity of all of mankind. Thus we have:

    Awareness of the individual
    Awareness of the couple
    Awareness of the family
    Awareness of the clan/tribe
    Awareness of the city
    Awareness of the nation
    Awareness of the unity of mankind.

    My guess is that the next step will be the unity between peoples living in far-off planets.

    Religion, the Word of God, is as old as God Himself---infinite! It has always been and will always be. It is a sinecure for the lost. It is God's great love for us that He sends His Messenger of which the ruling clergy molest, beat up, condemn, and in the end put to death. But note that religion, despite its many enemies, always prospers. (But don't get me wrong here. I am talking about *RELIGION* and not about those mis-aligned sects and cults that in and of themselves are worthless, causing greater harm than good).

    All knowledge comes from God and of this there is no doubt. It is stated in certain Middle-Eastern traditions that Sophocles and even Socrates lived for a few years among the Judaic tribes. It is here where Socrates obtained the concept of One God for, as you know, the Greeks believed in hundreds of idols. Finally these base and ignoble people condemned to death their greatest philosopher all on account that he would not deny God's Singleness. The people of the Torah believed in One God!

    God reveals His purpose to us gradually, successively with each Manifestation. Revelation is progressive. True Knowledge is progressive. It is not static.

    I leave you with this most interesting article:


    Creation is the expression of motion. Motion is life. A moving object is a living object whereas that which is motionless and inert is as dead. All created forms are progressive in their planes or kingdoms of existence under the stimulus of the power or spirit of life. The universal energy is dynamic. Nothing is stationary in the material world of outer phenomena or in the inner world of intellect and consciousness.

    Religion is the outer expression of the divine reality. Therefore it must be living, vitalized, moving and progressive. If it be without motion and non-progressive it is without the divine life; it is dead. The divine institutes are continuously active and evolutionary; therefore the revelation of them must be progressive and continuous. All things are subject to re-formation. This is a century of life and renewal. Sciences and arts, industry and invention have been reformed. Law and ethics have been reconstituted, reorganized. The world of thought has been regenerated. Sciences of former ages and philosophies of the past are useless today. Present exigencies demand new methods of solution; world problems are without precedent. Old ideas and modes of thought are fast becoming obsolete. Ancient laws and archaic ethical systems will not meet the requirements of modern conditions, for this is clearly the century of a new life, the century of the revelation of the reality and therefore the greatest of all centuries. Consider how the scientific developments of fifty years have surpassed and eclipsed the knowledge and achievements of all the former ages combined. Would the announcements and theories of ancient astronomers explain our present knowledge of the sun-worlds and planetary systems? Would the mask of obscurity which beclouded mediaeval centuries meet the demand for clear-eyed vision and understanding which characterizes the world today? In view of this, shall blind imitations of ancestral forms and theological interpretations continue to guide and control the religious life and spiritual development of humanity today? Shall man gifted with the power of reason unthinkingly follow and adhere to dogma, creeds and hereditary beliefs which will not bear the analysis of reason in this century of effulgent reality? Unquestionably this will not satisfy men of science, for when they find premise or conclusion contrary to present standards of proof and without real foundation, they reject that which has been formerly accepted as standard and correct and move forward from new foundations.

    The divine prophets have revealed and founded religion. They have laid down certain laws and heavenly principles for the guidance of mankind. They have taught and promulgated the knowledge of God, established praiseworthy ethical ideals and inculcated the highest standards of virtue in the human world. Gradually these heavenly teachings and foundations of reality have been beclouded by human interpretations and dogmatic imitations of ancestral beliefs. The essential realities which the prophets labored so hard to establish in human hearts and minds while undergoing ordeals and suffering tortures of persecution, have now well nigh vanished. Some of these heavenly messengers have been killed, some imprisoned; all of them despised and rejected while proclaiming the reality of divinity. Soon after their departure from this world, the essential truth of their teachings was lost sight of and dogmatic imitations adhered to.

    Inasmuch as human interpretations and blind imitations differ widely, religious strife and disagreement have arisen among mankind, the light of true religion has been extinguished and the unity of the world of humanity destroyed. The prophets of God voiced the spirit of unity and agreement. They have been the founders of divine reality. Therefore if the nations of the world forsake imitations and investigate the reality underlying the revealed Word of God they will agree and become reconciled. For reality is one and not multiple.

    The nations and religions are steeped in blind and bigoted imitations. A man is a Jew because his father was a Jew. The Mohammedan follows implicitly the footsteps of his ancestors in belief and observance. The Buddhist is true to his heredity as a Buddhist. That is to say they profess religious belief blindly and without investigation, making unity and agreement impossible. It is evident therefore that this condition will not be remedied without a re-formation in the world of religion. In other words the fundamental reality of the divine religions must be renewed, reformed, revoiced to mankind.

    From the seed of reality, religion has grown into a tree which has put forth leaves and branches, blossoms and fruit. After a time this tree has fallen into a condition of decay. The leaves and blossoms have withered and perished; the tree has become stricken and fruitless. It is not reasonable that man should hold to the old tree, claiming that its life forces are undiminished, its fruit unequalled, its existence eternal. The seed of reality must be sown again in human hearts in order that a new tree may grow therefrom and new divine fruits refresh the world. By this means the nations and peoples now divergent in religion will be brought into unity, imitations will be forsaken and a universal brotherhood in the reality itself will be established. Warfare and strife will cease among mankind; all will be reconciled as servants of God. For all are sheltered beneath the tree of His providence and mercy. God is kind to all; He is the giver of bounty to all alike, even as His Holiness Jesus Christ has declared that God "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust;" that is to say, the mercy of God is universal. All humanity is under the protection of His love and favor, and unto all He has pointed the way of guidance and progress.

    Progress is of two kinds, material and spiritual. The former is attained through observation of the surrounding existence and constitutes the foundation of civilization. Spiritual progress is through the breaths of the Holy Spirit and is the awakening of the conscious soul of man to perceive the reality of divinity. Material progress insures the happiness of the human world. Spiritual progress insures the happiness and eternal continuance of the soul. The prophets of God have founded the laws of divine civilization. They have been the root and fundamental source of all knowledge. They have established the principles of human brotherhood or fraternity which is of various kinds, such as the fraternity of family, of race, of nation and of ethical motives. These forms of fraternity, these bonds of brotherhood are merely temporal and transient in association. They do not insure harmony and are usually productive of disagreement. They do not prevent warfare and strife; on the contrary they are selfish, restricted and fruitful causes of enmity and hatred among mankind. The spiritual brotherhood which is enkindled and established through the breaths of the Holy Spirit unites nations and removes the cause of warfare and strife. It transforms mankind into one great family and establishes the foundations of the oneness of humanity. It promulgates the spirit of international agreement and insures universal peace. Therefore we must investigate the foundation reality of this heavenly fraternity. We must forsake all imitations and promote the reality of the divine teachings. In accordance with these principles and actions and by the assistance of the Holy Spirit, both material and spiritual happiness shall become realized. Until all nations and peoples become united by the bonds of the Holy Spirit in this real fraternity, until national and international prejudices are effaced in the reality of this spiritual brotherhood, true progress, prosperity and lasting happiness will not be attained by man. This is the century of new and universal nationhood. Sciences have advanced, industries have progressed, politics have been reformed, liberty has been proclaimed, justice is awakening. This is the century of motion, divine stimulus and accomplishment; the century of human solidarity and altruistic service; the century of universal peace and the reality of the divine Kingdom.

    (Abdu'l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity)


  15. Plato Registered Senior Member


    I have extracted some quotes out of several of you previous post an put some comments of mine with them :

    "thus the time between Abraham's Religion and that of Moses was approximately 650 years, and when Abraham's cycle ended, Moses revealed His Religion; approximately 650 years later Christ revealed Christianity and Mohammad revealed Islam about 650 years after Christ, and so on. This has been historically ascertained to a great degree. Such is the principle of Progressive Revelation)."

    This is really streching history to your needs : only the years between christ and Mohammad fit your picture, it is believed that Abraham's time (if he ever existed, the only source we have is the bible) was around 1800 BC while the exodus would have been around 1100 BC ok, 650, 700 years, what's the difference but then you have to wait 1100 years until christ unless you would want to fit the boudha in between who was around 550 BC. But could you be kind enough to tell me what great light shone around 1300 and 1950 ? Are you that last light may be

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    "He is INFINITITE, ABSOLUTE! And He is beyond our understanding and comprehension. This we have discussed at length in various posts."

    This is always very useful : god is beyond our understanding ! When ever there is some problem with a certain dogma we say : it is beyond our understanding. How is it possible to make any statements at all about something that is beyond our understanding ? How can we even claim he exists ?

    "(But don't get me wrong here. I am talking about *RELIGION* and not about those mis-aligned sects and cults that in and of themselves are worthless, causing greater harm than good)."

    Ok, and who is going to be the judge of what is *RELIGION* and what is misaligned sect or cult ? The enlightend spirit of 1950 perhaps ?

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    "Creation is the expression of motion...Nothing is stationary in the material world of outer phenomena or in the inner world of intellect and consciousness"
    This is entirely inverting the meaning of creation. Once created, the creature remains in his form, it stays the same till it becomes extinct. Sounds pretty static to me.

    "This is the century of new and universal nationhood. Sciences have advanced, industries have progressed, politics have been reformed, liberty has been proclaimed, justice is awakening. This is the century of motion, divine stimulus and accomplishment; the century of human solidarity and altruistic service; the century of universal peace and the reality of the divine Kingdom."

    This sounds so optimistic it is almost naive. "Progress" is a one-dimensional word, one can only speak of progress in terms of advance in a certain direction, no deviation from this path is allowed and these notions lead to a dictatorial state of mind. One thing that the evolutionists have learned since Darwin is that man is not the ultimate goal of life, it is just an other experiment an other twig on the tree of life.
    Progress is a very dangerous word, it makes the goal more worthwhile then coming there. First of all someone is setting a goal, this person has already to much power to begin with and then someone has to make sure this goal is uptained. It doesn't matter if they claim their directives come from god because that is also a claim just like their goal. Sounds all very suspicious and dictatorial to me.

    we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
  16. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    I think you missed the point mightily here. No messenger of God ever 'taught' man anything about consciousness, self, sexes or societies. These things arise quite naturally with no need for messengers. But the very claim you make that these things were taught (in refusal to consider the rather natural alternative) betrays your blind conviction in the Christian teachings. This is a dangerous state of mind, because it will either leave you forever within the trap of your faith, or it could lead to an abrupt crashing down of your house of cards, with very unpleasant psychological consequences to yourself. You are a perfect illustration for my arguments against religion.

    The claim you make of a timeless, all-powerful and unfathomable creator is no different from a claim of a timeless, unfathomable universe without a creator. There is no fundamental difference between the two. However, the assumption of creator immediately casts a fog of oversimplification and dismissal of scientific explanation -- which is why I so heartily argue against the said assumption.

    Claiming that the concept of a nation came from God is probably one of the highest insults to your God you could possibly make. It is indeed nationalism that has spawned all the great wars of history, from the conquests of Alexander the Great, all the way to Hitler's reign of terror. Nations existed long before any Jewish religion arose. Egypt, for example, has been around for at least 5,000 years. In fact, nationalism arises easily out of tribalism coupled to territorialism -- traits exhibited even by cognitively far simpler animals, such as wolves for example. The only reason we have evolved from small territories and city-states to large-territory conglomerations of cities, is because of the wide spread of improved technology which tied together people and land, and made common defense and common function both feasible and profitable. Nationalism killed off American Indians, who by the way had no concept of a 'nation', and did not believe that earth could be owned. In my opinion, the American Indians were far more socially advanced in that respect than any modern society. Which brings me back to the notion of retrograde motion. Plato is right: progress is a very relative and loaded term. This includes your highly questionable (to be mild) claim of religious progress.

    It is an old and useless trick to assign something one cannot understand to an entity that is by definition unexplainable. By explaining the phenomena of the world through an unexplainable will of a sentient controller, you demonstrate ignorance of the underlying mechanisms that have been already successfully used to describe said phenomena with no need for the supernatural. This is only in parallel to the same lines of thought used by other 'philosophers' of religion for millennia -- the same methodology that has been used to construct travesties of explanation for everything from the starry sky to the function and causes of disease. I only hope you can perceive the obvious paralleles and realize the dead end in which the almighty God has left you (as had happened to countless others through the ages).

    I am; therefore I think.
  17. dumaurier Registered Senior Member

    Boris writes,

    No messenger of God ever 'taught' man anything about consciousness, self, sexes or societies."

    Boris, you had better read the Torah, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the several Buddhist Scriptures, the Baghavad Gita, the Coran. All great civilizations were founded on the Teachings of a Manifestation of God. It is as plain as day that "consciousness" of the self, the family, tribe, city, nation, were gifts of the Messenger of God to humanity. These Holy Books teach man what to eat, what not to eat, when, how, where. They teach him about sex relations. Before Mohammad revealed His Book, a son had the right to order his mother to marry him and make love to him!!! Mohammad abrogated such evil practises. At one time man had sex with whomsoever he pleased, be this sister, daughter, cousin, aunt, mother. The Prophets created laws to do away with such practises. Moses taught his people hygiene and what to eat and what not to eat. He made it lawful to marry four women due to the situation of the Jews at that time. But Christ abrogated this law by saying that it is better to marry one woman since no man can be fair and just to four wives. Mohammad made laws with regards an animal that was killed for food and said that after the animal had been killed people should eat it within a certain number of specified days. People didn't have refrigerators back then and they kept a dead animal for days, eating it even when maggots had infested its carcass. Muhammad made these laws for the purpose of educating humanity, and to keep them from disease. Muhammad made laws concerning washing the body. "Islamic scientists in Cordoba, with their seventeen great librairies, one alone of which included more than 400,000 volumes, enjoyed luxurious baths at a time when washing the body was considered a dangerous custom at the University of Oxford," quotes Balyuzi in his book, Muhammad and the Course of Islam (George Ronald, Oxford). The concept of "marriage" is not old at all and its institution comes directly from a Prophet's instruction. In the past such a concept as that of the nation was impossible due to the impossibility of its realization. But with the advent of Muhammad the nation came into being. This is no empty assertion. It can be proven. "Over a vast area of the world, extending from the heart of Asia and the boundaries of the Pacific to the shores of the Atlantic, the power of Islam raised men to a high level of achievements and ennobled their lives. Only prejudice can ignore these facts." (Ibid).

    As to Boris' assertion that "these things arise quite naturally with no need for Messengers," this statement lacks verification in the above mentioned books. If i were to quote from the Holy Books to prove the contrary, i would have to write long and this would lead to prolixity of which i wish to avoid. However, Boris, you have my email. We could explore this issue in private if you wish, and here i could drown you in the thousands of proofs that exist to support the claim.

    Boris writes,
    "But the very claim you make that these things were taught (in refusal to consider the rather natural alternative) betrays your blind conviction in the Christian teachings."

    First, i have never said i was a Christian. Where have i said this? Second, you are drawing infererences and thus jumping to hasty conclusions. My religion has nothing to do with the Christian teachings. But my religion does encourage me to study ALL religions with an open mind. It teaches me to eliminate religious prejudice completely from my mind. And it also encourages me to seek for Truth everywhere it may be found, for the Truth is one and indivisible; it does not belong to anyone party or faction or religion. The Truth does not belong to science nor to religion. The Truth must be sought with open mind wherever it is. In your posts you have clearly demonstrated a close-minded approach to religion and, therefore, can hardly say that you are open-minded. This fact speaks for itself with regards your assertions.

    Boris also writes,
    "You are a perfect illustration for my arguments against religion."

    Boris, you remind me of the man who has been blindfolded and, with the sun shining full in the sky, asks, "where is the sun"? Please take off the blindfolds and do some historical investigation into the enormous beneficial social consequences of each and everyone of the great revealed religions of the world. Practise looking at the good. Thus far you see bad in everything and, as i have told you before, this could only bring more harm to you.

    Boris writes,
    "The claim you make of a timeless, all-powerful and unfathomable creator is no different from a claim of a timeless, unfathomable universe without a creator. There is no fundamental difference between the two. However, the assumption of creator immediately casts a fog of oversimplification and dismissal of scientific explanation -- which is why I so heartily argue against the said assumption."

    The difference, dear Boris, is flagrantly evident to all who use their intelligence. It is impossible to have "a timeless, unfathomable universe without a creator" for unto all effects there must be a cause. You are personally struggling with a dichotomous conflict: on the one hand you cannot deny causality because scientific study demands it, and on the other, you wish you could!

    Boris writes,
    "Claiming that the concept of a nation came from God is probably one of the highest insults to your God you could possibly make."

    I invite you to email me personally whereby we may explore this topic together. You will be astounded at what historians say about the fact that the concept of the nation originated with the advent of Islam. It never existed before Muhammad's Revelation.

    By the way, "Egypt" was not a "nation" 5000 years ago.

    Boris concludes,
    "By explaining the phenomena of the world through an unexplainable will of a sentient controller, you demonstrate ignorance of the underlying mechanisms that have been already successfully used to describe said phenomena with no need for the supernatural."

    On the contrary, dear Boris: you show ignorance by not acknowledging that the very faculty scientists use to discover the attributes of the Creator and His Universal Laws, of which scientists use liberally, is due to His bountious bestowals towards such fools as would disbelieve in Him!

    Throughout the ages, the greatest minds, the greatest philosophers and scientists, have believed in the All-Powerful and Compassionate God who created the universe. Einstein was one of these, as i have already pointed out. Socrates was another. It is disbelief in the Creator which has caused minds to wander and to invent such sciences as are useless for the promotion of the unity of the human race.

    God is Eternal and will forever be, whereas you, Boris, are naught but a fleeting fancy who has been given one chance in a lifetime to recognize your Creator. You will never have any other chance, my friend.

    Peace be upon those of open mind

  18. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    For your knowledge of the world and evolution of human civilizations, you seem to rely exclusively on anscient writings and legends. Let me ask you: whatever happened to the actual world we inhabit, and our own psychological and physical nature? How come these things do not enter into your consideration when it comes to deciphering of history -- especially the very remote history of which not even written record exists?

    These are literary works. They were created by people. And, like all literature, they merely reflect the wisdom and world outlook of their time. To suggest that family was a gift from God is absurd -- even elephants have families!

    Consciousness of the self is not taught; it is inherent in our brain architecture! Nobody is teaching 2-year-old babies about awareness of self; they come already 'premanufactured' with it! Family has always been around, and was taught by no messenger. Every single human society on earth, no matter how remote or anscient, sports family, marriage, and tribalism. But these things are not even restricted to humans; there are monogomous animals out there, and animals which hang together in families and tribes! Your assertion that such basic things as these, including even sex relations, were taught to humanity -- is *frighteningly* absurd! Even mosquitoes can figure out how to reproduce -- give humans <u>some</u> credit! (ever seen the movie 'Blue Lagoon'?)

    And do you suppose that before writing was invented, humans ate anything they came across? What about all the 'primitive' tribes, some of which exist even now, which not only haven't heard of a book, but have no concept of a messenger from God to begin with? It's quite simple Dumaurier. You will not eat a piece of rotten meat because the noxious smell and taste will make you vomit! Our preferences for 'healthy' food are dictated by instinct -- i.e. what tastes and smells good vs. bad, as dictated by our physiology. What an utter absurdity to suggest that people would eat a rotten piece of meat infested with maggots! This is just astonishing! You want to try and feed this rotting, magot-covered piece of meat to an uneducated infant? You think the infant, in his/her ignorance of Mohammad's teachings, would actually even put that thing near his/her mouth??!!!

    It may amuse you to realize that frequent bathing was practiced by the Greeks thousands of years before Mohammad.

    Oh, and I thought love and attachment to children and parents had something to do with that. Silly me. Please recall that in the old days people lived together in small communities, so you couldn't go around switching girlfriends every week. Women were always highly prized among the dominating males for their child-rearing and house-keeping functions. A desire to reserve at least one woman for yourself and keep her from the others would only be natural (even if there is no love involved). But to see the natural quality and universality of marriage, just turn on the Discovery channel when they are showing a documentary about some rainforest tribe. You'll be amazed, but every single primitive society has always had marriage in some form.

    Remember the Roman Empire? Remember the Chinese Kingdom? Remember the Aztec empire? Or what about Egypt? Enough said, I'd hope. At least, enough said about the social concept of a nation.

    However, you may be referring to the Nation of Islam. This has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of a nation; it is simply a euphemism aimed at giving the religion the same unifying chords that ring with territorial unity.

    Dumaurier, you truly and absolutely amaze me!!! In this one paragraph, you managed to sound more naive than a reasonably bright pre-schooler! Come on man, must you really proclaim such obvious falsities about such unequivocal facts? Is it for the sake of pure confrontation? Or are you refusing to use your brain, and letting anscient writings do all your thinking?

    You are very correct with respect to my stance toward religion. Thank you for recognizing at least one obvious fact!

    But what I fail to see is why you claim that religion can be a source of truth. How are the anscient religious writings any different from modern religious writings? How are modern religious writings any different from modern non-religious writings? Where does the truth you seek arise from in the context of religion?

    To put science and religion side by side as sources of truth is astoundingly inappropriate. There are absolutely no valid foundations to any claim that does not stem from natural observation. Period.

    Enormous beneficial consequences? Please, do elaborate, as this is what I am particularly keen to discuss in this forum. I see none.

    Religion has always been around. Human condition varied from civilization to civilization; it had its highs (Greeks, Egyptians) and its lows (certain tropical tribes.) I see no conclusive proof that any religion has ever resulted in social benefits. What I do observe is that religion has always been preeminent within large and prosperous empires -- little wonder, since it was used to hold those very empires together and keep the poor majorities subservient to the dominant tiny ruler castes. These days, we don't need religion to hold countries together -- social contract fulfills that function rather well, wouldn't you agree.

    But there is a very interesting point to all this: no major, long-lasting civilization on record has ever tried to exist in a total absense of religion. One could point a finger at the Soviet Union and its failure, but I'd argue the failure resulted from unworkable economic policy and near-military dictatorship, not absense of religion. The real question is: would we actually not be better off *without* religion? Affirmative to that question is my personal position.

    Are you under some kind of illusion that a timeless universe is acausal, but a timeless creator is causal??!!! Hello??

    What has caused the existence of your ever-present and all-encompasing creator, may I inquire? How is your answer to this question going to be any different than an answer one would give for an eternal, all-encompassing universe?

    Please do explain the 'flagrantly evident' distinction here, as I do not understand your claim (and, I wager, neither does anybody else who reads this dialogue!)

    Define the word 'nation', and don't forget to reference a dictionary while doing so. I do suspect you may be misuing the word.

    Please, Dumaurier! Do I really have to expound on the literally countless things that the greatest thinkers and philosophers of all time have gotten dead wrong so far? Besides, you are for some reason ignoring the great thinkers and scientists who actually were atheists and did argue against religious practice! Where do you think all of today's materialism came from??

    Science was never, ever, ever about "promotion of the unity of the human race"!! It has always been about knowledge and understanding. Sciences were not 'invented'. They grew out of literally playing with nature.

    My substitute for religion when it comes to promotion of unity, is education and reason. They accomplish the same thing, but without the blind fanaticism and inevitable intolerance that evolves from Faith in the Truth.

    If you include yourself in that quote, then you must have a rather warped concept of 'open mind'. To you, it seems to connote lack of critical examination, counterargument, or consideration of disagreeable alternatives. And let's not forget the unquestioned acceptance of such groundless claims as "God is Eternal and will forever be". Some open mind you have, I must say.

    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited July 16, 1999).]
  19. keith Guest

    I find it very sad to hear these christian people with their self righteous beliefs and ignorance gone mad behavior. Do you people really know how chrisitanity was started? Do you believe that the new testament is the word of G-d? That we are here on this earth solely to perish in an armageddon type ending to our great world?

    Christianity, regardless of how much you believe or how much faith you have was made by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. In about 300 BC, he, at Nicea, with his most important staff, conducted a meeting. This meeting is famous, it is called the Council of Nicea. At this meeting, Constantine, declared that it appeared that control was be lost throughout the Roman Empire. He wanted control back. A very decisive and manipulative plan was discussed and agreed upon. This plan was to create a new religion, their by binding all people, Romans, Pagans, Jews, early Jesus followers, etc. into one body, one people, their by quadrupling the numbers of loyal citizens to the Roman Empire.

    Constantine and his staff created a new religion, they called catholic or catholicism. Catholicism means universal in Latin. Constantine and his staff made up a universal religion. All citizens of the Roman Empire were converted into the new religion. This was done by force and punishable by death if not adhered to. Over night, the Roman Empire was now armed with an army of people who would give up life and limb to defend their cause and their religion. Christians today are an extension of the ancient Roman Empire, the pope is the new and continual Emperor.

    The new religion was based on the Sol Invictus Roman religion and the early principles that Jesus talked about. It also included ideas from the Greeks. As time went on the merging of these religions appeared fool proof, but the thing they didn't consider is that all the writings of their new testament were written filled with contradictions and inaccurately portrayed how the Messiah would come. Very basic ideas were and still wrong. The Jewish Messiah, whom Christians believe was Jesus, was to come from the lineage of King David. Mary, Jesus mother was from King David ancestry; but Joseph was not. Jewish law dictates that patrilineal ancestry is what matters when determining ancestry and geneology, not matrilineal. If, Jesus was indeed a seed of the holy spirit, then he most certainly could not be from a human being nor from the very real ancestry of King David.

    My point in this exercise is very simple! When a group of people such as Christians behave as they do and proselytize fervently to the point of bloodshed, as in the Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades, they are forgetting the very first Christian commandment; Love thy Neighbor as thy Self!

    Christians and Romans have shed more blood and have caused more horror than any other group/s of people ever in all of the history of this planet. During the holocaust, Christians stood by as the horror took place, Christians were the one major group of people that could have stopped it from occurring but did nothing.

    Christianity is a farce! Open your eyes! G-d
    said that the world was made perfect, everything was proper and in its place. Perfectly made! Christians are the only group of people that suggest and demand an end of the world! If, Christianity were made from Divine inspiration, then they would not want an end of the world. Maybe its just the conclusion to the last battle of the Roman Empire against the world.

    When Reagan was President, he and Casper Weinberger would sit around and talk. All talks were recorded as proper protocol. On one tape Reagan is overheard suggesting to Weinberger that the two of them were as important to biblical history as all of the ancient Jewish patriarchs. Weinberger said how could this be; Reagan replyed that he and himself controlled the destiny of the Christian religion, they were in control of the fate of the religion, they controlled armageddon, they controlled wheather or not Christianity would be proven correct. It will be one sad day when Christians the world over cry in shame for believing in a false religion when their armageddon doesn't occur. The arrogance of Reagan! Enough said, Good-bye. Keith
  20. dumaurier Registered Senior Member

    Boris writes,
    "...I never made a claim about your particular religion; however it certainly smacks of Judaism like the sweets smack of sugar..."

    It smacks of this, dear friend, because you know nothing of Holy Scripture and you fail to see the difference in the Holy Writings. I am saying here that you know not the difference between sweet and sour because you have adopted the philosophy of only sour to reign in your life. As to the first sentence in defense of your claim, here is evidence to the contrary proving your guilt:

    "...But the very claim you make...betrays your blind conviction in the Christian teachings. This is a dangerous state of mind, because it will either leave you forever within the trap of your faith...
    (posted by Boris on July 14, 1999 09:33 PM, in subject: Is God Benevolent?)

    It is evident that in your intellectual fantasizing you neglect the very fact of the reality that you don't know the first thing about religion nor of its Holy Writings (this has been borne out in several of your posts). Anyone who is the slightest bit objective with some knowledge of religion and reading your comments against religion can testify to this truth; your ignorance of this subject called "religion" is obvious, evident, and flagrant. Proof of this is the way you set forth liberal arguement against Holy Scripture without the least substantiation of your statements. No scientist in his right mind would ever set forth whatsoever opposition without facts defending his position.

    Boris writes,
    "I openly argue for ending the tyranny of 'faith' as prematurely as possible -- that humanity may emerge onto the next stage of cognitive evolution all the sooner, and with less overall suffering."

    But how could it be that a man who opposes religion allows himself to speak of "faith" when, of his own admission with regards his position against religion, his claim proves ignorance of the subject!? For, how could one oppose anything of which he understands not due to lack of study? And what can the writer possibly mean when relating "cognitive evolution" to "less overall suffering" when the very "religion" he espouses (science) has been the very cause of more deaths than the combined deaths of human beings in centuries past? For has not "science" in this contemporary age given us the gas chambers in nazi Germany, the H-bomb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, automatic guns and rifles, poisonous gasses ripping holes in the upper atmosphere of our planet, and the list is long. You see, Boris, one can play the same game as you and look at everything from a negative standpoint. If this be done, you'd lose every card you held!

    It is faith in a Bountiful and Compassionate God which keeps the generality of humankind social and adroit. Without religion humans would be insensitive, lacking humanity, and missing one of the two most important thing a human possesses: heart. True wisdom lies in making a balance between the mind and the heart, between science and religion. Boris, in choosing to fly only with the wing of science your inevitable conclusion is bound to have the illusion that it has taken flight but, once off the ground, your fate is to go round and round in circles until you crash below into the muck and mire of that sort of vain imagination which leads to gross materialism and inhumanity. You will admit that a bird requires two wings to wing its flight.

    As to your comments on "open-mindedness," it is as i have said: your aim is to destroy. This in no way whatsoever could make you into an openminded person for you have shut your mind from the very outset by refusing to admit that the "other side" may hold some truth.

    I shall answer each and every one of your points as time permits. Specifically, i am now in the process of composing an elaborate paper supporting my assertion that the concept of the nation is a direct consequence of the Revelation of Muhammad and His revealed religion, Islam. If you wish, you may start investigating yourself now, for example, by looking up "A History of the Arabs," and "The Arabs: A Short History," by Philip K. Hitti. Suffice this small example for the moment:

    "The Faith of Islam," writes Shoghi Effendi, "introduced...the conception of the nation as a unit and a vital stage in the organization of human society, and embodied it in its teaching." (The Promised Day Is Come).

    "By the mid-eighteeth century, influenced by the enlightenment, particularly the ideas of Rousseau, and by growing commercial and imperial rivalries, " writes Denis MacEoin, "the first fully developed nation-states emerged in Europe. According to a widely held opinion [by most historians], the true beginnings of fully fledged nationalism are to be seen in the French Revolution of 1789 [1200 after the inception of Islam]. Certainly, with the decline in the absolute control of monarchies in France, England, and America and with the spread of the concepts of the rights of man, the ideas of liberte, egalite, fraternite, and the sovereignty of the people, the state became the domain of the people--the state of the nation, not of the king. Out of this developed the modern nation-state theory." (The Concept of the Nation in Islam).

    "The Declaration of Independence in 1581 of the 7 Dutch provinces united in the Union of Ultrcht," Writes Tannabaum, "which proclaimed their independence of Spain [ ruled by Islam], created the first state in modern history to dissociate the idea of the nation from that of loyalty to a dynastic monarch." (E.R. Tannabaum: European Civilization since the Middle Ages.)

    "...In [the year] 600 the physiognomy of the world was not different in quality from that which it had revealed in [the year] 400," writes Henri Pirenne in Mohhamed and Charlemagne. "It might appear," says MacEoin, "with the emergence of the various barbarion states in Europe at this period, that the foundations of nationalism were laid. Pirenne, however, rejects this view: 'These States, which have been described as national States, were not really of the great unity which they had replaced.' It is to the emergence of Islam that Pirenne attributes the end of the Western Empire and its tradition, the destruction of the unity of the Mediterranean world, and the gravitation of European civilization to the North. Pirenne again summarizes this development:
    'The cause of the break with the tradition of antiquity was the rapid and unexpected advance of Islam. The result of this advance was the final separation of East from West, and the end of the Mediterranean unity...The West was blockaded and forced to live upon its own resources. For the first time in history the axis of life was shifted northwards from the Mediterranean.' This is described by Pirenne elsewhere as 'the most essential event of European history which had occurred since the Punic Wars. It was the end of the classic tradition. It was the beginning of the Middle Ages...'
    Significantly, Pirenne attributes the success of the Arabs in bringing about this change where the Germanic barbarians had failed, to nothing less than the religious inspiration of Islam: 'While the Germans had nothing with which to oppose the Christianity of the Empire, the Arabs were exalted by a new faith. It was this, and this alone, that prevented their assimilation.' Pirenne goes on to say that the Arabs assimilated themselves to the civilization they had conquered without losing the identity which Islam gave them: 'The German became Romanized as soon as he entered "Romania." The Roman, on the contrary, became Arabized as soon as he was conquered by Islam...When it was converted to Christianity the Empire, so to speak, underwent a change of soul; when it was converted to Islam both its soul and its body were transformed. The change was as great in civil as in religious society.'

    "...On the whole...spread of Arab material and intellectual culture in Europe came about chiefly through the Arab presence in Spain and Sicily...The fundamental significance of the Crusading movement...was that through this movement Europe found its soul." (W. Montgomery Watt, The Influence of Islam on Medieval Europe.)

    Thus, the concept of the nation in Europe is attributed to Islamic roots by historians, and the first real "nation" began in 1581, 1,000 years after Muhhamad's Revelation!

    This is just a sampling of what you will get from now on.

    From this point on, Boris, i challenge you to supply proof and historical statements and evidence for every assertion you make against religion or on any other topic we happen to embark upon. Objections stemming from empty words originating in your own narrow imagination will no longer qualify. Short of this exposition of proofs on your part, i will not answer your posts. On my part, i accept this challenge and i will also post supporting evidence of my assertions.

    If you wish to destroy, you better do it properly and with the right tools. Your tongue alone is insufficient. You might fool many of the posters reading here, but you cannot fool everyone.


    [This message has been edited by dumaurier (edited July 16, 1999).]
  21. MaTTo Registered Senior Member

    I've read about people debatiing over what gets you into heaven or not. I was raised in the christian church and I'd like to share what I was taught.

    You can accept it or deny it. I, myself am limbo on the subject, and I'm not sure what to believe.

    I do accept reality however, and I do accept that we evolved. I accept the world was not created by the snap of a finger, and I accept that there was a big bang. So I guess that makes me aithiest because I accept reality for what it is. I can "accept" that too.


    Anyways, here is what I was taught, excluding my own skeptisism and my independent thinking on the matter.


    If you think you get into "heaven" because you've been a "good guy," you're wrong.

    - Christianity is about relationship --- the relationship that God desires to have with man.

    - The Bible is about this relationship; it is not written as the history of the universe --- in that regard, the Bible is incomplete.

    - God is the supreme creator. The complexity and beauty of nature are evidence of creation, so, as the Bible says, man is without excuse.

    - God is perfect. The world, and man - His creation are not. --- They are in a "fallen state". Man fell out of the relationship that God desires.

    - God is holy, perfect, without sin. He desires us to be holy. God can tolerate no imperfection in His presence; thus we are separated from God. - Man has the "sin nature" within; we are born prone to sin. All have sinned, falling short of the standard God requires.

    - The Ten Commandments were written to convict man; we cannot keep the standard set by the law. No person will live able to never break one of the Ten Commandments.

    - We are separated from God in our natural state. The very nature of God, perfection, causes our separation; He can tolerate no sin --- none.

    - God is our creator and he desires a restored relationship with us. But how? Man's situation, on our own, is hopeless. Our efforts, through good living or good works, are futile in that we have sinned and because of that are separated from God.

    - The answer -- God's plan for man: Jesus, came to earth, lived a perfect life and triumphed over death. Jesus, if we accept Him, is judged on our behalf --- He "stands in" for us at our time of judgement --- the judgement that determines our eternal destiny.

    - Jesus' perfection becomes ours and we are found to be without sin, received, accepted, and embraced by God. We are promised eternal life.

    - How do we accept this plan?

    1. Understand our situation --- our lost condition, our need for "the plan"

    2. Believe and accept Jesus as our savior. Faith in Jesus.

    3. Repent - Desire to live a life that pleases God, turn away from sin.

    4. Confess - Publicly state our belief and desire to accept Jesus.

    5. Baptism - In obedience to God's plan, be baptized, symbolically being buried and rising again --- a new birth in Christ Jesus.

    6. Live faithfully, strive for spiritual growth, live a disciplined life.


    So there it is. Do what you want with it.

  22. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Ok Dumaurier, you are really getting to me with that Christianity reference. If I must, I apologize -- for I did not ascribe a religion to you; rather what I meant by 'belief in Christian teachings' was your belief in one benevolent, all-powerful god that creates and controls the universe, the accompanying relationship between that god and humans, and the ultimate sources of truth being the holy scriptures. At least in my mind, all of these elements partake of the Judaic tradition -- this is what I meant by 'Christian teachings'.

    By the way, I am not completely ignorant when it comes to religion, though I have obviously not devoted years of study to the subject as you seem to have had. However, this has no relation to your complaint that my assault against religion is not backed up by 'fact'. In response to this criticism, I would like to ask you what fact supports your arguments <u>for</u> fidelity of religion -- other than the religion itself!

    You complain that I dismiss faith with no knowledge of what it actually implies. Wrong again. I confess I have never committed murder either, yet I know rather well what such an act would imply. I observe faith in others, and its effect on others -- and this is enough for me. By the way, it should also be enough for you -- since you cannot claim to know what faith means to anybody else other than yourself, even despite all your knowledge of religious scriptures.

    One man's destruction is another man's progress. I in no way regret the destruction of Monarchy as a social institution, nor the destruction of the Inquisition. Religion in my view is yet another ugly dinosaur begging to go extinct.

    As for admitting that you "may hold some truth" -- I've already done so on multiple occasions, though perhaps not explicitly. The teachings of Holy Scriptures concerning hygiene, morality, compassion and so forth definitely hold truth in them -- the truth inherent in the societies that gave birth to the particular scriptures. However, what you seem to claim is that you hold The Truth, not just 'some truth', when it comes to the existence of God and a Creator. Sorry my man, but I just don't see any fidelity in that claim.

    Please stop referring to science as religion. I do not advocate <u>replacing</u> religion with science or anything else. I am arguing for <u>eliminating</u> religion altogether, with no replacement in mind! I have already mentioned that the social functions of religion can be achieved through education and training in the art of critical argument. It is demonstrably true that education results in empowerment, and quashes violence and eliminates destitution -- things no religion has ever done. And an educated audience trained to always question, and to never take things on faith without subsequent reexamination, is not likely to be swayed by fanaticism of any sort.

    Science is not a belief system; it is a registry of empirical facts. The only reason science surfaces in religious debates is because many of the facts it has accumulated come in direct contradiction to the claims of various religions. Therefore, science is a useful tool for showing the fallacy of 'Holy Scripture'.

    When you mention all the misery brought on by the increased effectiveness of killing machines, you gloss over the underlying truth. Science did not make us build the atom bomb, nor drop it. Science did not force us to gas anybody. In fact, all of these things were done <u>despite</u> the wide spread of religion in the world. Science in itself doesn't build anything; it only forms theories. These theories can be used to create technology -- but such is the feat of engineering, not science. And as for the motives of creating some technology, or the ultimate uses of this technology -- that is entirely out of science's domain -- *entirely*.

    Science is in no way intended to instill morals or shape society in any way, though it can certainly be used as a tool for evaluating various approaches to such goals. On the other hand, religion has never succeeded, in any of its variants, in the tasks it purports to address. The predominantly Christian Germany still managed to wage the most horrific conflict in recorded history. The Catholic France went through one of the bloodiest revolutions ever. Islamic nations are famous for their jihads. The Egyptians murdered servants to be buried with their masters. The Aztecs and the Druids sacrificed children, of all else, for the sake of their beliefs! White supremacists engage in murder and attrition based on nothing but religion. Indeed, there are plenty of negatives that come packaged with any system of 'faith' -- because once you have unquestioned acceptance of certain 'holy' teachings, it is all too easy to manipulate that faith, and reinterpret those teachings, to any ends whatsoever. Want to execute dissenters? No problem. Want to pillage the arabic kingdoms? No problem. Want to extend the boundaries of the empire? No problem. Want to collect a tax without people realizing it? Easy.

    Humans have been insensitive and have certainly lost humanity with their very religion as the cause of such failures. The heart, or rather tha compassion and emotional attributes, that we take such pride in, will not suddenly disappear without religion. In fact, I wager they will remain, and about the same proportion of the populace will tend toward antisocial behavior as does now. If you have factual arguments to the contrary, I would like to hear them. In other words, what makes you think that compassion, emotion, and morality arise out of religion, and could not exist without it???


    The debate concerning nations is beginning to form a huge digression. If you go back a few posts, you will notice that the concept of the nation played a nearly insignificant role in my arguments to begin with -- and you are blowing it out of proportion while at the same time ignoring the other, far more important, points.

    But if we must, here's the definition of 'nation' (Merriam-Webster online) with which I tend to operate:

    1 a (1) : NATIONALITY 5a (2) : a politically organized nationality (3) : a non-Jewish nationality <why do the nations conspire -- Psalms 2:1 (Revised Standard Version)>
    b : a community of people composed of one or more nationalities and possessing a more or less defined territory and government
    c : a territorial division containing a body of people of one or more nationalities and usually characterized by relatively large size and independent status

    Definitions b) and c) are the ones applicable to the anscient world, as the concept of politics embodied in definition a) really didn't exist so widely until fairly recently with the rise of the first oligarchies. As an exception, you will notice that all three definitions certainly applied to the anscient Greece as a federation of city-states. The last two definitions certainly applied to the Egyptian kingdom, so I don't see the reason for your determination to claim otherwise. What is now called 'nation' used to be called 'Kingdom' or 'Empire'; the only real differences are the absense of democratic representative government in the latter, and the absense of divinely-sanctioned ruler caste in the former. The concept of a 'nation' has certainly been evolving in recent times, but linguistic hairsplitting is not appropriate in this forum.

    The writings you cite address emergence of large kingdoms and empires specifically in Europe, and only within the last few millennia. They say nothing about existence of nations elsewhere around the world, as well as in more anscient times. As to the causes of the European Renaissance, they are hotly debated amidst both historians and social sciences -- and I do not believe that the arrival of any religion has been accepted by consensus to have been the primary cause.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited July 16, 1999).]
  23. MaTTo Registered Senior Member

    Darwin Under the Microscope
    By Michael J. Behe

    I found an interesting article that states (from a scientist), that cells are too complex to have just "evolved."

    He is author of "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution"

    Boris, your thoughts?


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