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Paul7
04-18-2012, 12:33
A recurring theme from some of the skeptics here is that Christians are somehow dumb, and just not as smart. Some are, just as many non-believers are, but how to the skeptics explain the following pretty smart people who came to faith in Christ later in life?

http://newbirthportraits.com/gallery

WASR10
04-18-2012, 12:39
It's the 'Ad hominem' method of argument. Once a person can no longer argue a person's position, they resort to attacking the person. It makes them feel superior, and they don't have to have an actual valid argument to use it.

Geko45
04-18-2012, 13:05
Not dumb, just ignorant. No, I don't mean that as an insult.

Paul7
04-18-2012, 13:12
Not dumb, just ignorant. No, I don't mean that as an insult.

Ad hominem. Christians could say the same of you. They don't.

Geko45
04-18-2012, 13:17
Ad hominem. Christians could say the same of you. They don't.

No, it really isn't an ad hominem in this case. I did not mean it as an insult. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge, not the lack of intelligence. This is the context I meant it in. It can certainly be used as an ad hominem as well, but not in this instance.

Now, you could argue that I am mistaken in describing you as ignorant and you could argue that I am ignorant of the truth of the bible. I would disagree, of course, but it would be a valid argument for you to make given your position.

WASR10
04-18-2012, 13:30
Ignorant, ill informed, uneducated, "You believe this because you don't know any better."

While ignorance can be argued from either side, it's a reaching assumption to make when all you know is that the person claims faith in, or rejection of, a religion.

void *
04-18-2012, 13:32
I'd argue that some of them are quite intelligent in their argumentation, etc.

Paul, I don't see how you can seriously argue that none of the people who identify themselves as Christians here on the board have never ad-hom'd.

IndianaMatt
04-18-2012, 13:43
LOL! The title of this post is funny enough for me!

Bren
04-18-2012, 13:57
A recurring theme from some of the skeptics here is that Christians are somehow dumb, and just not as smart. Some are, just as many non-believers are, but how to the skeptics explain the following pretty smart people who came to faith in Christ later in life?

http://newbirthportraits.com/gallery

I have no way of knowing how smart any of those people are and nothing there gives me a reason to think they are particularly intelligent. I don't see how the link supports your premise.

As for what I think - I do tend to think someone is less intelligent if they believe things they are told, which are fairly important, without evidence. I don't care if it's god or zeus or bigfoot or alien visitors (from other planets, not Mexico) or George Bush conspiring to blow up the world trade center.

Bren
04-18-2012, 13:59
Ignorant, ill informed, uneducated, "You believe this because you don't know any better."

While ignorance can be argued from either side, it's a reaching assumption to make when all you know is that the person claims faith in, or rejection of, a religion.

Not "a reaching assumption" at all - when a person admits to beliefs not supported by evidence, it is a perfectly natural and obvious conclusion to make.

It's a reasonable conclusion about a person's thinking, based on their own admission about what they think.

IndianaMatt
04-18-2012, 14:03
I don't think being religious is a matter of intelligence per se.

Critical, independent thinking? That may be your issue with people who swallow religion just on faith. But not intellgence generally.

WASR10
04-18-2012, 14:06
Not "a reaching assumption" at all - when a person admits to beliefs not supported by evidence, it is a perfectly natural and obvious conclusion to make.

It's a reasonable conclusion about a person's thinking, based on their own admission about what they think.

It is not reasonable to conclude that a person has not carefully considered what they choose to believe, or that their choice is made out of ignorance, simply by the choice itself.
The label of Christianity covers so many different belief systems that the label itself is insufficient to assume what a person believes.

Smacktard
04-18-2012, 14:09
A recurring theme from some of the skeptics here is that Christians are somehow dumb, and just not as smart. Some are, just as many non-believers are, but how to the skeptics explain the following pretty smart people who came to faith in Christ later in life?

http://newbirthportraits.com/gallery


Not dumb, I see it as more of an emotional problem.


...

CitizenOfDreams
04-18-2012, 14:27
how to the skeptics explain the following pretty smart people who came to faith in Christ later in life?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senility

Tilley
04-18-2012, 14:31
Ignorance is the lack of knowledge...and you could argue that I am ignorant of the truth of the bible. I would disagree, of course, but it would be a valid argument for you to make given your position.

I do and you are.


(Ignorant)

WASR10
04-18-2012, 14:32
Not dumb, just ignorant.

I don't think being religious is a matter of intelligence per se.

Critical, independent thinking? That may be your issue with people who swallow religion just on faith. But not intellgence generally.

Not dumb, I see it as more of an emotional problem.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senility

To more clearly state the purpose in my replies: these arguments deal with some kind of deficiency in the believer, rather than the belief. To argue the tenets of a religion is one subject, to deride a person because of their beliefs is another.

This is why liberals spend so much time calling conservatives 'racist hate mongers' and so on. Liberals subscribe to a different social or economic belief system than conservatives, and rather than discuss the actual issues, many discuss the believers instead.

Too often, when someone expresses an argument against a believer, they incorrectly think they have argued against the belief.

Tilley
04-18-2012, 14:50
Not dumb, I see it as more of an emotional problem....
:steamed:Why...I...oooh...grrrrr...:steamed:

Tilley
04-18-2012, 14:53
Oh no...Dick Clark died today. :sadangel:

Animal Mother
04-18-2012, 14:58
A recurring theme from some of the skeptics here is that Christians are somehow dumb, and just not as smart. Some are, just as many non-believers are, but how to the skeptics explain the following pretty smart people who came to faith in Christ later in life?

http://newbirthportraits.com/gallery Which of those people came to their faith based on a purely intellectual basis?

Tilley
04-18-2012, 15:02
Which of those people came to their faith based on a purely intellectual basis?

And a person losing their soul to hell does so on a purely intellectual basis?

Paul7
04-18-2012, 15:28
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senility

Another atheist ad hominem. The USSR used to call Christians insane also.

Paul7
04-18-2012, 15:29
Which of those people came to their faith based on a purely intellectual basis?

I don't know, why don't you watch the videos?

Who cares if it is purely intellectual? That's very Spock-like.

Paul7
04-18-2012, 15:30
Not "a reaching assumption" at all - when a person admits to beliefs not supported by evidence, it is a perfectly natural and obvious conclusion to make.


There are libraries of Christian apologetic books with evidence for Christianity.

Guss
04-18-2012, 15:33
Some interesting studies on the matter...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence

void *
04-18-2012, 16:02
There are libraries of Christian apologetic books with evidence for Christianity.

There are libraries of books claiming that people are abducted by aliens, that crystals have healing powers, etc.

Lone Wolf8634
04-18-2012, 16:12
Simply because I can't understand how you can believe, does not mean that I think you're dumb.

I've been lurking here far to long to think any of the Theists here are idiots.

Gunhaver
04-18-2012, 16:25
And a person losing their soul to hell does so on a purely intellectual basis?

A person fearing that they might lose their soul to hell or even assuming they have a soul certainly does not do so on a purely intellectual basis.

muscogee
04-18-2012, 18:00
Not dumb but gullible. How would you define someone who believed that people used to walk around and talk to snakes?

Kingarthurhk
04-18-2012, 18:07
Not dumb but gullible. How would you define someone who believed that people used to walk around and talk to snakes?

So, you feel, despite the context of scripture that Lucifer could not transform himself into the image of snake, or even possess one?

A rather short sighten perspective since a fallen angel appeared in the form of Samuel.

Lone Wolf8634
04-18-2012, 18:25
So, you feel, despite the context of scripture that Lucifer could not transform himself into the image of snake, or even possess one?

A rather short sighten perspective since a fallen angel appeared in the form of Samuel.

Umm...yeah.

Did you expect that any of the Atheists to believe that?

muscogee
04-18-2012, 18:26
So, you feel, despite the context of scripture that Lucifer could not transform himself into the image of snake, or even possess one?
Yes. I see no reliable evidence that there is, or ever was, a Lucifer.

A rather short sighten perspective since a fallen angel appeared in the form of Samuel.

A rather gullible answer.

CitizenOfDreams
04-18-2012, 18:33
Another atheist ad hominem. The USSR used to call Christians insane also.

The rumors about Soviet godlessness have been grossly exaggerated. True, religion was strongly discouraged in the USSR, but you wouldn't go to jail or to psychiatrist hospital simply for believing in God or attending a church.

(And yes, there were churches, cathedrals, chapels, monasteries, sinagogues and mosques. Maybe not one on every corner like we have here in the States, but we had them nevertheless.)

void *
04-18-2012, 18:42
So, you feel, despite the context of scripture that Lucifer could not transform himself into the image of snake, or even possess one?

I'd argue that the "context of scripture" is not related to reality. In the "context of The Odyssey" it's possible for daughters of a river god to sing a song and play music that will lure sailors to wreck their ships, but that doesn't mean if I'm ever on a boat I'm going to put wax in my ears or tie myself to the mast.

Kingarthurhk
04-18-2012, 18:58
The rumors about Soviet godlessness have been grossly exaggerated. True, religion was strongly discouraged in the USSR, but you wouldn't go to jail or to psychiatrist hospital simply for believing in God or attending a church.

(And yes, there were churches, cathedrals, chapels, monasteries, sinagogues and mosques. Maybe not one on every corner like we have here in the States, but we had them nevertheless.)

Actually, people have been imprisoned in the former USSR for practicing religion.

Kingarthurhk
04-18-2012, 19:00
Yes. I see no reliable evidence that there is, or ever was, a Lucifer.



A rather gullible answer.

Even you must remember the Saul going to the witch of Endor and summoning Samuel. It wasn't Samuel.

I am certain you see no reliable evidence that there isn't a Lucifer, or a Satan. Why would he need to bother you?

Paul7
04-18-2012, 19:03
The rumors about Soviet godlessness have been grossly exaggerated. True, religion was strongly discouraged in the USSR, but you wouldn't go to jail or to psychiatrist hospital simply for believing in God or attending a church.

(And yes, there were churches, cathedrals, chapels, monasteries, sinagogues and mosques. Maybe not one on every corner like we have here in the States, but we had them nevertheless.)

Nonsense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union

"The Soviet regime was ostensibly committed to the complete annihilation of religious institutions and ideas.[7] Militant atheism was central to the ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union[8] and a high priority of all Soviet leaders.[3] Communism required the abolition of religion.[3] Convinced atheists were considered to be more virtuous individuals than those of religious belief.[3]
The state established atheism as the only scientific truth.[9][10][11][12][13][14]Criticism of atheism or the state's anti-religious policies was forbidden and could lead to forced retirement, arrest and/or imprisonment.[15][16][17]"

Read the whole link, it goes downhill from here.

Norske
04-18-2012, 19:20
It's the 'Ad hominem' method of argument. Once a person can no longer argue a person's position, they resort to attacking the person. It makes them feel superior, and they don't have to have an actual valid argument to use it.

Yeah, I get that all the time in this forum.

When it starts, I take it as just another sign that I have won the arguement.

:supergrin:

ArtificialGrape
04-18-2012, 19:32
Just to be clear... an ad hom is a personal attack in lieu of responding to your opponent's specific arguments. If somebody responds to their opponent's arguments and throws in "p.s. you're an idiot" that is not an ad hom -- merely an insult.

-ArtificialGrape

Glockworks
04-18-2012, 19:36
Not dumb, just ignorant. No, I don't mean that as an insult.
Ignorant? Trying to paint those you disagree with into a box so you can understand things, hmm? Or did I miss the boat?

Norske
04-18-2012, 19:40
Just to be clear... an ad hom is a personal attack in lieu of responding to your opponent's specific arguments. If somebody responds to their opponent's arguments and throws in "p.s. you're an idiot" that is not an ad hom -- merely an insult.

-ArtificialGrape

It usually boils down to "Norske, you are just flat wrong" with no argument to back up the assertion that my argument is wrong.

:whistling:

Their so-called "logic" is that Faith is all the proof they need that their beliefs are facts.

They do not respond well when it is pointed out that Faith is simply mindless idiocy, not "proof".

muscogee
04-18-2012, 19:46
Even you must remember the Saul going to the witch of Endor and summoning Samuel. It wasn't Samuel.

I am certain you see no reliable evidence that there isn't a Lucifer, or a Satan. Why would he need to bother you?

You're making a circular non-falsifiable argument. That's the same type of argument that John Birch Society used to make. The fact that there was no reliable evidence that the Communists were taking over the U.S was evidence of how good they were.

muscogee
04-18-2012, 19:50
Ignorant? Trying to paint those you disagree with into a box so you can understand things, hmm? Or did I miss the boat?

You missed the boat. You were ignorant of the boat.

ArtificialGrape
04-18-2012, 19:52
It usually boils down to "Norske, you are just flat wrong" with no argument to back up the assertion that my argument is wrong.

:whistling:

Their so-called "logic" is that Faith is all the proof they need that their beliefs are facts.

They do not respond well when it is pointed out that Faith is simply mindless idiocy, not "proof".

You're only saying that because you're mad at God and have a problem with sin :rofl:

CitizenOfDreams
04-18-2012, 19:56
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union

"The Soviet regime was ostensibly committed to the complete annihilation of religious institutions and ideas.[7] Militant atheism was central to the ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union[8] and a high priority of all Soviet leaders.[3] Communism required the abolition of religion.[3] Convinced atheists were considered to be more virtuous individuals than those of religious belief.[3]
The state established atheism as the only scientific truth.[9][10][11][12][13][14]Criticism of atheism or the state's anti-religious policies was forbidden and could lead to forced retirement, arrest and/or imprisonment.[15][16][17]"

Read the whole link, it goes downhill from here.

If Soviet Union was really commited to "completely annihilating religious institutions", there would not be a single church left standing or a single priest alive.

As an individual, you were perfectly allowed to confess any religion you like. It's when you start opposing the State politically you would get in trouble.

I'm not saying that the statements in the Wikipedia article are false. But they are biased and show only one side of the story (and we all know that every story has three sides - our side, their side, and the truth).

Glockworks
04-18-2012, 20:51
You missed the boat. You were ignorant of the boat.
Well, it won't be the first time.

Tilley
04-18-2012, 21:56
You're only saying that because you're mad at God and have a problem with sin :rofl:

Snnnaaaaaaaappp! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Gunhaver
04-18-2012, 22:00
It's the 'Ad hominem' method of argument. Once a person can no longer argue a person's position, they resort to attacking the person. It makes them feel superior, and they don't have to have an actual valid argument to use it.

Not always. When someone has been explained the same thing over and over again and they still don't get it, what other conclusion is to be drawn?

Some examples are, that abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution, the difference between atheist and agnostic, the fact that the theory of evolution does not state that humans evolved from modern day apes or especially monkeys, what 'theory' means, the concept of 'burden of proof', how odds are calculated, and the fact that the big bang theory does not state that everything came from nothing.

More often it's not a matter of "dumb" but intellectual dishonesty. They know that they've been set straight on those points before and they trot them out anyway because that's all they have and they go to great lengths to avoid all attempts to call them out on it.

Syclone538
04-18-2012, 23:04
Not dumb, I see it as more of an emotional problem.


...:steamed:Why...I...oooh...grrrrr...:steamed:

:rofl:

TKM
04-18-2012, 23:15
Do crazy people know that they are crazy?

Do dumb people know that they are dumb?

It doesn't really bother me until "they" try to enact fairy tales as legislation or swear upon their "invisible friend" in a court of law.

Can't we just have a special room for people who wear "Jesus Saves" rainbow suspenders over their WWE t-shirts and move on with reality over here?:dunno:

CitizenOfDreams
04-18-2012, 23:33
Actually, people have been imprisoned in the former USSR for practicing religion.

Practicing a religion was one of the constitutional rights (Article 124 in the 1936 Constitution and Article 52 in the 1977 Constitution). You would have to do a bit more than simply "practicing religion" to get yourself in trouble.

ksg0245
04-19-2012, 00:25
A recurring theme from some of the skeptics here is that Christians are somehow dumb, and just not as smart. Some are, just as many non-believers are, but how to the skeptics explain the following pretty smart people who came to faith in Christ later in life?

http://newbirthportraits.com/gallery

I don't think the theme is "dumb theists" as much as "theists are irrational about their religious beliefs, and frequently dishonest about atheist beliefs." People can be simultaneously smart and irrational.

There are any number of explanations for becoming religious later in life; emotional distress, peer pressure, physical events, for example. Are all of those invariably "another atheist ad hom"?

As Bren says, I don't see the point of your link.

As Gunhaver points out, many of the theists here (and elsewhere) repeatedly mischaracterize what atheists say and believe, berate them for that platoon of strawmen, ignore any correction or clarification, and then repeat the incorrect claims. How should that behavior be characterized?

WASR10
04-19-2012, 00:28
Not always. When someone has been explained the same thing over and over again and they still don't get it, what other conclusion is to be drawn?

Some examples are, that abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution, the difference between atheist and agnostic, the fact that the theory of evolution does not state that humans evolved from modern day apes or especially monkeys, what 'theory' means, the concept of 'burden of proof', how odds are calculated, and the fact that the big bang theory does not state that everything came from nothing.

More often it's not a matter of "dumb" but intellectual dishonesty. They know that they've been set straight on those points before and they trot them out anyway because that's all they have and they go to great lengths to avoid all attempts to call them out on it.

If you can't effectively argue with a person, they may very well be stupid, but that isn't necessarily indicitive by the fact they have a religious belief.

But I understand what you mean. I don't know how many times I've tried to explain the difference between Intelligent Design and Creationism, the Trinity, the difference between fact and theory, or even that fact that the basic biological function of evolution is actually demonstrated in scripture. There are people who choose not to recognize, or cannot recognize, the doctrines as they are.

Again, that is different from claiming someone is stupid because they have a religion, or lack of one. When there is a difference of opinion, the argument should go to the issues, not the person.

EDIT: I just realized I didn't tie this back together to ad hom like I meant to. The difference is, in one instance the other person can have an intelligent argument on a subject, but you can't so you attack him personally. In the other instance you can have an intelligent argument on the subject, but they can't so you have to conclude they aren't capable by some reason, including ignorance or lack of intelligence.

My point since my original ad hom post, was in regards to those variables being independent of religion itself.

ksg0245
04-19-2012, 00:28
There are libraries of Christian apologetic books with evidence for Christianity.

There are libraries of Christian apologetic books with ASSERTIONS for Christianity.

Do you also accept testimony Elvis was seen at a fast food joint as evidence he's alive?

ksg0245
04-19-2012, 00:29
And a person losing their soul to hell does so on a purely intellectual basis?

Has someone conclusive demonstrated the existence of a soul?

ksg0245
04-19-2012, 00:29
I don't know, why don't you watch the videos?

The first video I clicked on is over nine minutes. I see 36 videos there.

Who cares if it is purely intellectual?

Everybody should.

That's very Spock-like.

It's rational.

WASR10
04-19-2012, 00:45
As Gunhaver points out, many of the theists here (and elsewhere) repeatedly mischaracterize what atheists say and believe, berate them for that platoon of strawmen, ignore any correction or clarification, and then repeat the incorrect claims. How should that behavior be characterized?


There are two sides to that coin. Well, actually three sides lol.

You also have theists who mischaracterize the beliefs of the religions they claim to believe in, and you have non-believers who mischaracterize the beliefs and content of the religions and their followers. And they also ignore correction, clarification,and repeat incorrect claims.

Maybe its a human thing.

Gunhaver
04-19-2012, 01:23
There are two sides to that coin. Well, actually three sides lol.

You also have theists who mischaracterize the beliefs of the religions they claim to believe in, and you have non-believers who mischaracterize the beliefs and content of the religions and their followers. And they also ignore correction, clarification,and repeat incorrect claims.

Maybe its a human thing.

Theists can mischaracterize their own beliefs all they like. That's between them and other theists. They've been hashing out those details for thousands of years and are actually much further from coming to an agreement than when they started. Thus is the nature of intense emotional investment in the imaginary.

As for the second point, no. Not even close. I think what you're seeing in those instances is yet more of the same, someone needing to set someone else straight on the proper way to believe. It's no different than when they do it to other theists. Since the vast majority of atheists were once theists that studied their theism to the point that it didn't make sense anymore we are nearly all well versed in, well, let's just go ahead and call it Christianity since that's what I'll bet every atheist here left behind. I know the bible front to back and had it force fed to me for 2 decades. Almost every atheist here has a similar past and studies show that atheists are much more well versed in religious studies than theists. The reason for that is that when your faith falters you go looking for a replacement. I didn't get it from Buddhism or Tao either. I eventually figured out that it's something to be shed, not replaced.

Edit: My mistake, I just realized that I did in fact replace it... with natural science.

WASR10
04-19-2012, 02:26
Theists can mischaracterize their own beliefs all they like. That's between them and other theists. They've been hashing out those details for thousands of years and are actually much further from coming to an agreement than when they started. Thus is the nature of intense emotional investment in the imaginary.

As for the second point, no. Not even close. I think what you're seeing in those instances is yet more of the same, someone needing to set someone else straight on the proper way to believe. It's no different than when they do it to other theists. Since the vast majority of atheists were once theists that studied their theism to the point that it didn't make sense anymore we are nearly all well versed in, well, let's just go ahead and call it Christianity since that's what I'll bet every atheist here left behind. I know the bible front to back and had it force fed to me for 2 decades. Almost every atheist here has a similar past and studies show that atheists are much more well versed in religious studies than theists. The reason for that is that when your faith falters you go looking for a replacement. I didn't get it from Buddhism or Tao either. I eventually figured out that it's something to be shed, not replaced.

Edit: My mistake, I just realized that I did in fact replace it... with natural science.

The subject is not as simple as that "us versus them" mentality.

You may claim that no Atheist does as stated if you like, but I encounter it on a regular basis. From Atheists with severe religious backgrounds to those who are scorned by encounters with religious people, I am met with mischaracterizations and misrepresentations regarding different facets of Christianity all the time. These type of issues come also from people who have faith in that religion, which makes it appropriate to include them in that group.


One last word: science and religion don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Bren
04-19-2012, 04:14
It is not reasonable to conclude that a person has not carefully considered what they choose to believe, or that their choice is made out of ignorance, simply by the choice itself.
The label of Christianity covers so many different belief systems that the label itself is insufficient to assume what a person believes.

I didn't say they haven't "carefully considered" it, that's the whiole point (and why I mentioend the belief being important) - if someone carefully considers something and comes to an irrational conclusion, that is exactly what make me think the person isn't very intelligent. After all, the thread is about why I think they are dumb, not hasty.

Bren
04-19-2012, 04:15
:steamed:Why...I...oooh...grrrrr...:steamed:

Are you being ironic intentionally? maybe as a joke?

Bren
04-19-2012, 04:18
There are libraries of Christian apologetic books with evidence for Christianity.

No, not really. In a trial, if someone comes forward with evidence, and we prove that person didn't actually have first-hand knowledge of what they claim, at the very least we know they are lying and at most it casts doubt on their entire side. The best evidence of christianity is like that, the worst is more like the books on alien abduction and bigfoot void* mentioned.

BlayGlock
04-19-2012, 07:04
Geko45 sharing his personal "testimony" of his departure from religion as seen in this link (http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=18860699&postcount=30) inspired me to share mine.

Personally, I would be dumb not to have faith in Christ. First a clarification of definitions before I explain my reasoning. From reading this forum it seems to me that the (atheist/agnostic/whatever other label you prefer) has the following definition of faith: "Belief in a god without evidence". If I am wrong in my assertion please correct me.
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While I cannot speak for the entirety of Christendom, at least in the community of faith I belong to (CMA (http://www.cmalliance.org/)) that is not the definition of “faith”. When I talk to a friend of mine about Christ and he says something along the lines of “Hey man, just have faith….” his implied meaning is not “muscle up and keep on believing sissy even though we do not have evidence”. He means “Have trust in and reliance upon Christ who you know personally and have experience with, and trust Him with the things you do not yet understand knowing He will set you straight.”

When we speak of having a “personal” relationship with Christ, we mean it. We talk with Him, trust in, walk with him daily, and likewise, He talks with us, walks with us, corrects us, guides us, encourages us, disciplines and rebukes us. He is not a dead man from a book, but is the Living and Risen God who is intimately involved in the affairs of those who have invited Him into their lives.

Going a step further let me give you a few examples out of many. On October 16, 2005 I got up to do morning devotions and entered into my time of prayer. During that Jesus spoke with me and told me specifically, “In one year you will meet the person you are going to marry.” I thought to myself, “How do I know I am not just making this up?”. So I asked Him to confirm it for me. Christ spoke to me again and said “Open your bible”. So I did just that. Picked it up and just flipped it open. The verse that I opened to was Mathew 8:13, which is where Christ says “Go and it will be done just as you believed it would.” So I wrote all this down in my journal and went on about my business. On October 16, 2006 I met and started dating the lady who is now my wife. A year to the day I wrote that experience down in my journal. I still have that journal packed away in a box somewhere.

5 months later we got engaged. I took her to visit my folks back home and she wanted to go to the mall. While there we came across a jewelry store and she makes a beeline for the engagement rings. She found one she absolutely loved, so after we split up to do some more shopping I went back in to see about the ring which turned out to cost more money that I thought I would even be able to come up with still being a poor college kid at the time. The store owner told me I could have it if I put down 20% down and payed the balance off interest free within 6 months. Christ spoke to me and said “buy it”. So I went to the ATM and cleaned out my meager savings account with no idea how I was going to come up with the $2K I still owed on it. I just made the choice to trust that He would work it out. A month later the university I was attending (majored in Chemistry btw) figured out that they had some extra scholarship money and decided to give it to some students. To this day I do not know the selection criteria and I never entered my name into anything. The awarded me the scholarship which was just over $2000 and since I had already paid my tuition for the semester they just cut me a check. I payed off the ring.

These are just 2 examples out of many and I choose to share them because they were significant events in my life. I could sit here all day and tell y’all stories like this. The point is, for me personally, if I did not put my trust Christ after years of experience like this I would be stupid and foolish and would have to deny the evidence presented to me. Additionally, the stories I shared are not unique to me, and if you bothered to talk with some people who belong to mainline evangelical churches for the right reasons they would be able to recount many of the same things. At least in my experience.

nmk
04-19-2012, 09:17
Ad hominem. Christians could say the same of you. They don't.

As has already been pointed out, such dishonesty.

I have always noticed GTRI is a place where Christians debate rationally like adults and those dirty atheists just sling insults.

:faint:

:rofl:

English
04-19-2012, 09:26
I am sure that it is not a lack of intelligence but a personality characteristic that allows people to believe what they "want" to believe without evidence. From my viewpoint that is a defect but within an evolutionary context it just might have been, and might even still be, a benefit. Since it seems to be common to a considerable majority it is something that the rest of us have to live with since it is not going to go away as a result of any amount of argument.

There are many Christians with high IQs but their intelligence is insufficient to let them apply rationality to their belief. With other things they can be rational, but when it comes to their religion there is almost no hope.

English

WASR10
04-19-2012, 11:23
deleted

(changed my mind on addressing the post)

WASR10
04-19-2012, 11:36
I have always noticed GTRI is a place where Christians debate rationally like adults and those dirty atheists just sling insults.


This is my first participation in a GTRI thread, so I don't know about what Christians claim happen in these forums, but I have certainly noticed a frequency of insults.

Believers of religion in this thread have been referred to as ignorant, unintelligent, lacking in critical independent thinking, gullible, and irrational; suffering from emotional problems, senility or dementia, simple mindless idiocy, emotional distress, and peer pressure; needing a special room to separate them from people who live in reality.

Paul7
04-19-2012, 11:48
No, not really. In a trial, if someone comes forward with evidence, and we prove that person didn't actually have first-hand knowledge of what they claim, at the very least we know they are lying and at most it casts doubt on their entire side. The best evidence of christianity is like that, the worst is more like the books on alien abduction and bigfoot void* mentioned.

If the Gospel events really happened, what evidence would you expect other than the testimony of those who were there (or who interviewed those people) and the evidence of their changed lives?

Paul7
04-19-2012, 11:50
There are libraries of Christian apologetic books with ASSERTIONS for Christianity.

Do you also accept testimony Elvis was seen at a fast food joint as evidence he's alive?

All we would have to do to refute that is go to Elvis' grave. Funny nobody ever could do that with Jesus.

You would think if there were a conspiracy to hide Jesus' grave, ONE person would have revealed it.

muscogee
04-19-2012, 12:25
All we would have to do to refute that is go to Elvis' grave. Funny nobody ever could do that with Jesus.

You would think if there were a conspiracy to hide Jesus' grave, ONE person would have revealed it.

No one can find the grave of Quatzequatel, Chac Mool, Attila the Hun, or King Arther. By you're reasoning they're all Gods.

Paul7
04-19-2012, 13:46
No one can find the grave of Quatzequatel, Chac Mool, Attila the Hun, or King Arther. By you're reasoning they're all Gods.

Did you list fulfill prophecy, perform miracles and rise from the dead?

IndianaMatt
04-19-2012, 14:01
Did you list fulfill prophecy, perform miracles and rise from the dead?

Lol! Who says stuff like that? What is this, the twelfth century?

Bren
04-19-2012, 14:07
If the Gospel events really happened, what evidence would you expect other than the testimony of those who were there (or who interviewed those people) and the evidence of their changed lives?

We don't have the testimony of those who were there and, even assuming a couple of gospels may have been brought out second hand from writings of some who were, we have no secondary confirmation from disinterested parties. The only gospels claimed to be with a few decades after Jesus' death are by those who would benefit from them, much like Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard.

427
04-19-2012, 14:45
We don't have the testimony of those who were there and, even assuming a couple of gospels may have been brought out second hand from writings of some who were, we have no secondary confirmation from disinterested parties. The only gospels claimed to be with a few decades after Jesus' death are by those who would benefit from them, much like Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard.

Paul7 has repeatedly stated that in a court of law that resurrection can be proven through evidence. The only evidence he offers is "the testimony of those who were there (or who interviewed those people) and the evidence of their changed lives" but no physical evidence. Does that meet the burden of proof for a resurrection or anything else?

Tilley
04-19-2012, 15:17
The only gospels claimed to be with a few decades after Jesus' death are by those who would benefit from them, much like Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard.
The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians in 48 AD. In Chapter 2, verse one, he writes writes how 14 years ago he was quizzed regarding his knowledge of Jesus and Gospel to Peter.

That would put this event a year after Christ's death.

IndianaMatt
04-19-2012, 15:27
The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians in 48 AD. In Chapter 2, verse one, he writes writes how 14 years ago he was quizzed regarding his knowledge of Jesus and Gospel to Peter.

That would put this event a year after Christ's death.

But according to Biblical timeline, wasn't the earth only created like 4000 years ago?

Biblical timeline poses a couple of problems, when we consider things like the dinosaurs, and the current scientific estimate that the universe is around 13 billion years old (with the Earth around 5 billions years old).

The Bible: Not a reliable diary of chronological events, if you ask me (or ask science)!

Tilley
04-19-2012, 15:36
But according to Biblical timeline, wasn't the earth only created like 4000 years ago?

Biblical timeline poses a couple of problems, when we consider things like the dinosaurs, and the current scientific estimate that the universe is around 13 billion years old (with the Earth around 5 billions years old).

The Bible: Not a reliable diary of chronological events, if you ask me (or ask science)!

I'm not one to think the Earth is that young. I don't know why some Christians say that.

I don't think anyone doubts the veracity of these letters nor the dates. People who knew Jesus wrote about it. They died under horrible torture for not renouncing Jesus.

Would you die under horrible torture for claiming the Easter Bunny is real? What does common sense tell you about this?

Paul7
04-19-2012, 16:01
We don't have the testimony of those who were there and, even assuming a couple of gospels may have been brought out second hand from writings of some who were, we have no secondary confirmation from disinterested parties. The only gospels claimed to be with a few decades after Jesus' death are by those who would benefit from them, much like Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard.

This is not an answer to my question, so I'll repeat it:


If the Gospel events really happened, what evidence would you expect other than the testimony of those who were there (or who interviewed those people) and the evidence of their changed lives?

Paul7
04-19-2012, 16:30
Paul7 has repeatedly stated that in a court of law that resurrection can be proven through evidence.

Cite where I've said it could be 'proven' or retract. What I have said is that there is evidence for the resurrection, and that ours is a reasonable faith.

The only evidence he offers is "the testimony of those who were there (or who interviewed those people)

Isn't that how courts normally determine truth?

and the evidence of their changed lives" but no physical evidence. Does that meet the burden of proof for a resurrection or anything else?

So start a thread on the Shroud of Turin.

Maybe you'll answer this: If the Gospel events really happened, what evidence would you expect to see 2,000 years later?

muscogee
04-19-2012, 17:33
Did you list fulfill prophecy, perform miracles and rise from the dead?

Well, according to legend they did. Just like you god.

Paul7
04-19-2012, 17:52
Well, according to legend they did. Just like you god.

I don't know about the other characters on your list, but did Attila the Hun and King Arthur fulfill prophecy, perform miracles and rise from the dead?

muscogee
04-19-2012, 20:20
I don't know about the other characters on your list, but did Attila the Hun and King Arthur fulfill prophecy, perform miracles and rise from the dead?

You can't prove they didn't. (gotcha)

Danny Reid
04-19-2012, 20:43
Christians, as a group, aren't dumb. At least, not any more so than any other group on average.

They fall into two classifications:

1) the institutionalized

2) the brain washed ( born again crowd )

Institutionalized Christians have never known any other way. Generation after generation, these folks have gone to church. They have prayed, gone to Sunday school, attended services, etc. Some of them are true believers, some of them just go through the motions because that's just what they do. It's part of their identity. It is second nature to them. They do it without thinking about it.

The 'born again' crowd is totally different. Invariably, these people have troubled pasts. Drugs, alcohol, marital infidelity, gambling...whatever. They buy into the notion that they are somehow damaged goods, a notion which the church is only too happy to cultivate for them. The church offers forgiveness, and suddenly all is good. The irony of this is that quite often the church folk are even more screwed up than the new converts ever were at their worst point.

427
04-19-2012, 23:48
Cite where I've said it could be 'proven' or retract. What I have said is that there is evidence for the resurrection, and that ours is a reasonable faith.

Here's what you've said, in context.

Funny you should mention Court

Data is verifiable. Data is repeatable. It's used to prove FACTS. Anything else, until it's confirmed as true, using verified data, are unsubstantiated allegations.

If you were to try to make the case for the resurrection or the existence of God in court, what factual, verifiable evidence would you present? What eye witnesses would you call? What argument would you use? "He must exist, I believe he exists, I have no proof he exists - therefore, he exists."?

Historical events such as God's manifesting Himself to men as recorded in the Bible are NOT repeatable. All we are left with is the legal approach (the same way we determine any other historical event), i.e., what did the eyewitnesses say, how was their behavior changed by what they saw, etc. The testimony of the Gospels is remarkably like what we see in court testimony today, minor differences on small issues, but complete agreement on the major themes.



I suggest you start with Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict.[/QUOTE]

Isn't that implying that there's proof for the resurrection?


So start a thread on the Shroud of Turin.We already went through the shroud thing late last year, and no one, in a religious capacity is willing to call it real.

Maybe you'll answer this: If the Gospel events really happened, what evidence would you expect to see 2,000 years later?

What happened to the vail that veronica wiped jesus' face with. Thats physical evidence?

Resurrection from the dead is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Verifiable evidence.

Animal Mother
04-20-2012, 04:18
I don't know about the other characters on your list, but did Attila the Hun and King Arthur fulfill prophecy, perform miracles and rise from the dead?Not yet. But they will when they're needed.

Bren
04-20-2012, 04:31
This is not an answer to my question, so I'll repeat it:


If the Gospel events really happened, what evidence would you expect other than the testimony of those who were there (or who interviewed those people) and the evidence of their changed lives?

I'd expect what was in the post you claim not to understand - accounts actually written by people who were at these miraculous events, not accounts that first start surfacing many years later when most of the participants are dead. I'd expect a load of accounts from historians and philosophers and others in the general area who heard about these events - sources external to the religion. Then, as with any history, there'd still be questions, but at least it would be minimally credible.

Instead we get the standard story of the rise of a religious cult that is no better than the mythology of the many other religions of the world. Some day scientology may be the worlds biggest religion and we'd be arguing the same about Xenu alien ghosts in volcanoes, justr as many people argue today about Joseph Smith's ridiculous angel story.

Paul7
04-20-2012, 08:07
I'd expect what was in the post you claim not to understand - accounts actually written by people who were at these miraculous events,

We have that.

not accounts that first start surfacing many years later when most of the participants are dead.

The first books of the NT were written a few decades after the facts, when the witnesses were alive. In fact, there is no record of anyone disputing the Gospel events prior to 100 AD, while the witnesses were alive.

I'd expect a load of accounts from historians and philosophers and others in the general area who heard about these events - sources external to the religion.

Yes, but if those people then became Christians, you would not believe their testimony, being 'biased', right? There were certainly many others on the era who heard of the miraculous claims. So I would say what you want for evidence, we have.

Paul7
04-20-2012, 08:10
Here's what you've said, in context.

Where do I say Christianity could be proven?


Isn't that implying that there's proof for the resurrection?

It says evidence, not proof.

We already went through the shroud thing late last year, and no one, in a religious capacity is willing to call it real.

Huh? Lots of religious people think it probably genuine, me included. The shroud can't be proven genuine, but I believe if the evidence were presented to a jury, it would be called genuine. If true, the Shroud is essentially photographic evidence of the resurrection.

Resurrection from the dead is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Verifiable evidence.

And we have that extraordinary evidence. Were you expecting film?

muscogee
04-20-2012, 08:35
This is not an answer to my question, so I'll repeat it:


If the Gospel events really happened, what evidence would you expect other than the testimony of those who were there (or who interviewed those people) and the evidence of their changed lives?

How about a Gospel written by someone other than a bunch of unknowns skulking in the shadows? How about, the Gospel according to Pilot, or the Gospel according to Herod? A real killer would be the Gospel according to Tiberius. Of course, none of those saw Jesus after his resurrection. Wonder why? Because it didn't happen?

Paul7
04-20-2012, 14:35
How about a Gospel written by someone other than a bunch of unknowns skulking in the shadows? How about, the Gospel according to Pilot, or the Gospel according to Herod? A real killer would be the Gospel according to Tiberius. Of course, none of those saw Jesus after his resurrection. Wonder why? Because it didn't happen?

You continue to ignore those who DID see Jesus after the resurrection. It would explain the Apostles' transformation from a scared little band in hiding (with Peter denying Him three times), to a force no power could silence.

If any of those other figures wrote a Gospel, you would just dismiss them as 'biased'.

:yawn:

Animal Mother
04-20-2012, 21:14
We have that. No, we don't.
The first books of the NT were written a few decades after the facts, when the witnesses were alive. But those books weren't the Gospels.
In fact, there is no record of anyone disputing the Gospel events prior to 100 AD, while the witnesses were alive. Yes, there are. Cerinthus for example.
Yes, but if those people then became Christians, you would not believe their testimony, being 'biased', right? You've heard the accounts of Joseph Smith and angel Moroni, haven't you? Did they cause you to become a member of the LDS church?
There were certainly many others on the era who heard of the miraculous claims. Then why did so few of them leave any record? At best you have two early references to Christians and Christ.

427
04-20-2012, 22:02
Where do I say Christianity could be proven?



It says evidence, not proof.

You said that if evidence were to be presented to a jury, you're convinced the events in the gospels would be called genuine.

Huh? Lots of religious people think it probably genuine, me included. The shroud can't be proven genuine, but I believe if the evidence were presented to a jury, it would be called genuine. Evidence has been presented, and the jury of the catholic church or any christian church is unwilling to stick thier neck out and call it real.

If true, the Shroud is essentially photographic evidence of the resurrection. IF.


And we have that extraordinary evidence. Just because you make a claim doesn't make it so.

Where's veronica's cloth, with JC's image? That's proof - proof of a miracle on the day of crucifixion.

Paul7
04-21-2012, 06:53
You said that if evidence were to be presented to a jury, you're convinced the events in the gospels would be called genuine.

Yes, but that doesn't 'prove' anything, any more than other jury decisions.

Evidence has been presented, and the jury of the catholic church or any christian church is unwilling to stick thier neck out and call it real.

As with all relics of this kind, the Catholic Church doesn't make pronouncements on whether it is genuine or a forgery. Statements by recent Popes certainly reveal their personal opinions:

"Pope John Paul II stated in 1998 that:[48] "Since it is not a matter of faith, the Church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions. She entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate, so that satisfactory answers may be found to the questions connected with this Sheet".[49] Pope John Paul II showed himself to be deeply moved by the image of the Shroud and arranged for public showings in 1998 and 2000. In his address at the Turin Cathedral on Sunday May 24, 1998 (the occasion of the 100th year of Secondo Pia's May 28, 1898 photograph), he said:[50] "The Shroud is an image of God's love as well as of human sin [...] The imprint left by the tortured body of the Crucified One, which attests to the tremendous human capacity for causing pain and death to one's fellow man, stands as an icon of the suffering of the innocent in every age." In 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that the Shroud of Turin is ″a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing. In some inexplicable way, it appeared imprinted upon cloth and claimed to show the true face of Christ, the crucified and risen Lord."[51]
Pope Benedict XVI has not publicly commented on the Shroud's authenticity, but has taken steps that indirectly affect the Shroud. In June 2008 he approved the public display of the Shroud in the spring of 2010 and stated that he would like to go to Turin to see it along with other pilgrims.[52] During his visit in Turin on Sunday May 2, 2010, Benedict XVI described the Shroud of Turin as an "extraordinary Icon", the "Icon of Holy Saturday [...] corresponding in every way to what the Gospels tell us of Jesus", "an Icon written in blood, the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced".[53] The pope said also that in the Turin Shroud "we see, as in a mirror, our suffering in the suffering of Christ".[54]" Wikipedia

Just because you make a claim doesn't make it so.

The same with you.

Where's veronica's cloth, with JC's image? That's proof - proof of a miracle on the day of crucifixion.

Will this do?

http://www.frtommylane.com/homilies/pilgrimage/sudarium.htm

TKM
04-21-2012, 19:36
I have a "cloth" I've recently wiped myself with.

It doesn't resemble me any more than it resembles a certain elected official.

Okay, it's really a matter of degrees and shading there, but I wouldn't go running to the papers with it.

I can't actually point to anything that I've wiped myself with in the last 45 years that would hold up in a court of law.

Is this some kind of test of faith?

Where's the camera? Did someone bring back Allen Funt?

427
04-21-2012, 20:09
Yes, but that doesn't 'prove' anything, any more than other jury decisions.

So you have no idea how a jury would rule. Why bring that point up over and over again?



As with all relics of this kind, the Catholic Church doesn't make pronouncements on whether it is genuine or a forgery. Statements by recent Popes certainly reveal their personal opinions:

"Pope John Paul II stated in 1998 that:[48] "Since it is not a matter of faith, the Church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions. She entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate, so that satisfactory answers may be found to the questions connected with this Sheet".[49] Pope John Paul II showed himself to be deeply moved by the image of the Shroud and arranged for public showings in 1998 and 2000. In his address at the Turin Cathedral on Sunday May 24, 1998 (the occasion of the 100th year of Secondo Pia's May 28, 1898 photograph), he said:[50] "The Shroud is an image of God's love as well as of human sin [...] The imprint left by the tortured body of the Crucified One, which attests to the tremendous human capacity for causing pain and death to one's fellow man, stands as an icon of the suffering of the innocent in every age." In 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that the Shroud of Turin is ″a truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing. In some inexplicable way, it appeared imprinted upon cloth and claimed to show the true face of Christ, the crucified and risen Lord."[51]
Pope Benedict XVI has not publicly commented on the Shroud's authenticity, but has taken steps that indirectly affect the Shroud. In June 2008 he approved the public display of the Shroud in the spring of 2010 and stated that he would like to go to Turin to see it along with other pilgrims.[52] During his visit in Turin on Sunday May 2, 2010, Benedict XVI described the Shroud of Turin as an "extraordinary Icon", the "Icon of Holy Saturday [...] corresponding in every way to what the Gospels tell us of Jesus", "an Icon written in blood, the blood of a man who was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose right side was pierced".[53] The pope said also that in the Turin Shroud "we see, as in a mirror, our suffering in the suffering of Christ".[54]" Wikipedia

They can't/won't take the chance of being proven wrong if they claim that the shroud is real. Until then, all they have is a personal opinion.



The same with you.Also with you.



Will this do?

http://www.frtommylane.com/homilies/pilgrimage/sudarium.htm Not really. It's curious that no one knew of the shroud, then suddenly it's JC's.

Where are the citations for the facts claimed in the link?

muscogee
04-21-2012, 20:13
If any of those other figures wrote a Gospel, you would just dismiss them as 'biased'.

:yawn:

I might. It would depend on what they said. It would give the Gospels more creditability.

If you're sleepy, go to bed and see if you come back when you have a better answer.

muscogee
04-21-2012, 20:21
As with all relics of this kind, the Catholic Church doesn't make pronouncements on whether it is genuine or a forgery.

But in the mean time they continue to milk the faithful (i.e., gullible).

Paul7
04-22-2012, 07:39
So you have no idea how a jury would rule. Why bring that point up over and over again?

How many times do I have to say it? In my opinion a jury would vote for the Shroud's genuineness, but that doesn't 'prove' anything, unless you think OJ Simpson is innocent.

They can't/won't take the chance of being proven wrong if they claim that the shroud is real. Until then, all they have is a personal opinion.

Our faith isn't dependent on any relics.

Not really. It's curious that no one knew of the shroud, then suddenly it's JC's.

Where are the citations for the facts claimed in the link?

Here is more scientific study of the Sudarium:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3953

Those 'forgers' from the Middle Ages must have pretty smart to put AB blood (common to Jews but not Gentiles) on both relics and also that pollen from Palestine.

"Juan Ignacio Moreno, a magistrate in Burgos, Spain, and a leading advocate of the Sudarium's authenticity, offers this answer to the mystery of both the Shroud and the Cloth of Oviedo: "The Sudarium is a relic rediscovered for Christians fighting a new fight. It is a love letter to our time from God: a tantalizing puzzle saved for the minds of men that have made science and knowledge their god."

TangoFoxtrot
04-22-2012, 07:43
A recurring theme from some of the skeptics here is that Christians are somehow dumb, and just not as smart. Some are, just as many non-believers are, but how to the skeptics explain the following pretty smart people who came to faith in Christ later in life?

http://newbirthportraits.com/gallery

Christains are not what I would call dumb. just nieve and should believe whats in their hearts, not the lies a priest or the Pope put out there.

Paul7
04-22-2012, 07:46
Christains are not what I would call dumb. just nieve and should believe whats in their hearts, not crap lies a priest or the Pope put out there.

What 'lies'?

TangoFoxtrot
04-22-2012, 07:56
The lies and hipocracies the vatican tells us on how to live our lives when they do the total opposite.

427
04-22-2012, 09:04
How many times do I have to say it? In my opinion a jury would vote for the Shroud's genuineness, but that doesn't 'prove' anything, unless you think OJ Simpson is innocent. Other than being a strawman, what does OJ have to do with anything?



Our faith isn't dependent on any relics. Then why bring up the shroud then claim "If true, the Shroud is essentially photographic evidence of the resurrection." BTW, Have you seen how much reverence Catholics put on/in relics/objects/locations? (I was raised Catholic). May not be dependent, but they are usefull when convenient.



Here is more scientific study of the Sudarium:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3953

Those 'forgers' from the Middle Ages must have pretty smart to put AB blood (common to Jews but not Gentiles) on both relics and also that pollen from Palestine.

"Juan Ignacio Moreno, a magistrate in Burgos, Spain, and a leading advocate of the Sudarium's authenticity, offers this answer to the mystery of both the Shroud and the Cloth of Oviedo: "The Sudarium is a relic rediscovered for Christians fighting a new fight. It is a love letter to our time from God: a tantalizing puzzle saved for the minds of men that have made science and knowledge their god." This article is hardly scientific. It has citations from the bible, one book, but none from the sources the author is trying to use to support its claims.

eracer
04-22-2012, 09:15
Before the Age of Reason, those who questioned the Church were 'dumb.'

Now, there are two types of 'Faithful.' One holds their faith because it helps them find some peace in this difficult world. The other is faithful simply because someone conned them into it.

There is no reason that an empiricist can't have faith in a higher power. And no reason that a faithful man can't appreciate the rational.

It's only ignorant if we allow ourselves to believe that we know the truth.