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Jonathan Kirsch on ‘The Woman Who Named God’

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Posted on Oct 23, 2009
bookcover

By Jonathan Kirsch

Here and there on the front lines of the clash of civilizations, we can glimpse a few pockets of compassion. One example is the revisionist reading of a neglected passage of Genesis that depicts the tragic fate of an Egyptian slave named Hagar, the mother of Abraham’s first son and, by tradition, the matriarch of the Arab nation. Modern commentators have rescued Hagar from obscurity and reinvented her as a feminist icon and a symbol of reconciliation among the three religions that claim Abraham as a founder.

According to the Bible, Abraham (still called Abram at this point in the biblical narrative) is sent into Hagar’s bed by his own wife, Sarah (still called Sarai), because she is incapable of giving him children. But when the fecund young woman gives birth to a son, Ishmael, Sarah turns suddenly jealous and vengeful. And when God later bestows a child on Sarah in advanced old age, Sarah urges Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael into the desert to die—a demand that God is shown to endorse. Yet God ultimately spares the victims of Sarah’s wrath: “Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand,” God tells Hagar in the wilderness, “for I will make him a great nation” (Genesis 21:18).

Poet and biographer Charlotte Gordon, author of “The Woman Who Named God,” insists that the story of Hagar is “a creation story as important as the Garden of Eden,” if also “one of the most frequently misinterpreted of all western stories.” She concedes that it is the starting point of the historical enmity between Jews, Christians and Muslims, but she also implores her readers to ask one of those “what-if” questions that reframe all of our conventional wisdom: “What if Abraham had chased after his mistress and firstborn son, begged Sarah to forgive his betrayal, and urged Hagar to forgive Sarah’s jealousy, so that they might raise their sons together? Would we be any better at living in peace?”

 

book cover

 

The Woman Who Named God: Abraham’s Dilemma and the Birth of Three Faiths

 

By Charlotte Gordon

 

Little, Brown and Company, 400 pages

 

Buy the book

Gordon’s provocative question hints at a more intimate aspect of the story of Hagar. She sees it as a wedge that allows us to crack open the politics of human relationships, “the problem of fidelity not only in marriage but also in relation to God.” Unlike Bruce Feiler (“Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths”), she does not ask us to assume that any of these characters are based on flesh-and-blood human beings. Rather, she declares herself to be a “literary interpreter” and confines herself to what we can learn by deconstructing the biblical text and comparing it to the facts on the ground as revealed by historical scholarship and the unfolding of history itself.

Her sources range from Joseph Campbell to Jack Miles, from Mark Twain to William James, from the erotic poetry of the ancient Canaanites to the “Vision Quest” of the Lakota, all in an earnest effort to place the biblical text in a context that includes other moral, philosophical and religious artifacts. But she mostly draws on Jewish, Christian and Islamic exegesis to point out the tendentious meanings that pious readers have extracted from the text over the last 20 centuries and to show why they have created such tensions among the Abrahamic religions.

Thus, for example, Gordon points out that Abraham is shown to dine with an obscure king named Melchizedek in the Hebrew Bible, but the Christian Bible suggests that Melchizedek was actually a mystical precursor of Jesus, thus reducing Abraham to “a primitive example of what is to come in the New Testament.” Gordon cites an Islamic hadith in which Hagar is shown to refer to the God of the Hebrew patriarchs as Allah, and the author points out that “the Muslim portrayal of Hagar is of a woman who is in many ways Abraham’s equal.”

Gordon joins other revisionist readers of the Bible in elevating Hagar to a lofty status that is denied to her in both the Scriptures and the exegetical traditions of Judaism and Christianity (if not Islam). “She began her life as a slave and ended it as a free woman who gave rise to a proud nation,” writes Gordon. “Hagar’s partnership with God took her far, but so did her initiative.”

Perhaps the single best example of how Gordon rereads and reinterprets the biblical text is the one that inspired the title of Gordon’s book. According to the Bible, after God encounters Hagar and Ishmar in the wilderness and reveals the nation-building role he has assigned to Ishmael, Hagar is shown to address God using a name that she has apparently coined at that moment: “You are El-roi,” says Hagar to Yahweh. “Thus Hagar reveals an originality, a willingness to break from convention, and an eagerness to connect this bewildering deity that sets her apart from every other Biblical figure, male or female,” writes Gordon. “Clearly, rules did not matter to this servant woman.”

The Bible, it has been said, is the least-read best-seller of all times. But there is a whole literature devoted to reconsidering the ancient text, a literature that is full of shocks and surprises, wholly unexpected cross-wirings of religious traditions, and illuminating flashes of insight and wisdom. On that shelf you will find Gordon’s book, a superb example of how to approach the Bible as a work of human authorship rather than the revealed word of God.

Jonathan Kirsch is the author of seven books on the history of religion, including, most recently, “The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual: A History of Terror in the Name of God” (HarperOne).


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By Partizannka, June 15, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

in my opinion a very nicely written book…
msr 575 2

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By DaveZx3, November 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 10 at 2:50 am

An interesting concept, indeed.  But linking, as we have seen with the internet, does not automatically produce harmony or unity. 

Like the positive and negative charges in the atmosphere, the noosphere would net out to zero energy given the current state of affairs.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

It was a mythical story but the idea of a noosphere* (de Chardain) is a good concept rather like the internet only all sentients will be automatically linked. He also speaks of the next phase of the evolution of humanity in combination of a hyper-personalized as well as a collective grouping working together en masse. I would classify that as within the range of Evolution concerning behavior.

*Noo from the Greek for mind, just as we have a lithosphere and hydrosphere and atmosphere so we will have one of collective mentation. An interesting concept that needs exploring.

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By DaveZx3, November 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 9 at 6:30 pm

Exodus shows the relationship between the homo ex machina and the deus ex machina, two terms I only use because you started it.  The key was that all the homos were on exactly the same page, which happened to be the same page as the deus.  Collective consciousness linking to collective conciousness to achieve a common goal.  And that was just the dress rehearsal.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Yes it will take a homo ex machina to get out of it no deu ex machina will come to bail us out. It didn’t happen in the past so why should it now?

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By DaveZx3, November 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 9 at 4:17 pm #

Thanks for not criticizing the spelling.  I hate it when I click submit, and at that same instant notice a spelling or editing error.  I need a retract button sometimes. 

Thanks also for the well wishes.  I appreciate it and extend the same to you. 

You are right about the power of the mind.  The collective mind, or as they say “collective consciousness”  is one of the brave new frontiers showing some amazing things.  If one mind has x power than how much power does 1000 unified minds have? or 1,000,000 minds?  The factor is not linear. 

The only difference between me and you is I have already accepted the fact of another collective consciousness which exists at a level we do not understand yet.  And this consciousness has the ability to link up with human consciousness which is in harmony with it. 

We are infants in the scheme of things, being only a few hundred years from relying on a horse to pull us around.  When people finally learn that real power comes from unity and harmony instead of diversity or division, then they will be on their way to really big things. 

Until that time, we have some really big troubles to overcome.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

As you wish on the spelling part. I don’t usually criticize such things as it is against etiquette in this matter. I am glad you are doing well no matter the reason. I am different from most other Atheists because I know there are certain things yet to be studied and classified by science. It exists just not too much in our world to be very common. I have experienced some of it myself including healing-that I did myself. The powers of our minds are yet to be tapped in any significant way. One day we might if we survive long enough.

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By DaveZx3, November 9, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

Don’t tell me about my spelling of the word dying.  I am the only one allowed to know why I spelled it like that.

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By DaveZx3, November 9, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

Already had cancer.  Lost my right lung to it.  I caved in and listened to the doctors, but they failed me and did not get it all.  It spread and because of my general deterioration, I could not tolerate aggresive treatment.  Basically, go home and die in 6 months or so. 

That was November of 2006, three years ago.  Happy to say I am doing real good at this point.  Don’t know if there is any cancer in there, or not, but there are no outward symptoms.  I gave up going to my oncologist about 2 years ago. 

I just completed a 1500 square foot addition to my home, and am now doing the landscaping.  I don’t do all the heavy work myself, have a John Deere and a couple of sons in law that help. 

Have been feeling great, really.  Don’t even need viagara at my age, and that is a sign of good health.  I am on no medications at all, but I eat extremely well and take wild oregano at the sign of any bacterial, viral or fungal outbresks.  Starting to feel some flu symptoms, so I will start on the oregano now. 

I’m not changing anything I think or anything I do no matter what a bunch of atheists try to tell me.
At this stage of life, if I died tomorrow, I would go out with a smile on my face. 

Most of the atheists I know don’t even have a smile on their face when they are living, God only knows what they will look like when they are dieing.

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By ardee, November 9, 2009 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

Not double blind studies.  Wake up please.  Do not make comments until you read the data.  Placebo is a different effect because the persons mind is involved.

Speaking of waking up!

I am certain that, should you get cancer, and I certainly hope you do not, you will forgo all modern medical procedures and simply drop to your knees and pray for remission.

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By DaveZx3, November 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 8 at 6:06 pm #

“If one believes in something, as a fanatic they will pursue it as their cause, reality has absolutely nothing to do with it. One can suppose anything could be promoted and accepted in such a way. A great starting point is the elimination of the individual”.

You have a very small comment range.  You just paraphrase the same crap time after time.  Haven’t you heard that you must say something new every now and then to be taken serious. 

Go back to the UNYUN, at least there was a drop of humor.

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By DaveZx3, November 8, 2009 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

ardee, November 8 at 5:48 pm #

“If one were to Google ( or Bing, Teoma, Vivisimo, whatever) placebo cures one might see that such are in the same vein as faith healing”.

Not double blind studies.  Wake up please.  Do not make comments until you read the data.  Placebo is a different effect because the persons mind is involved. 

Although the placebo effect in a lot of recent studies is enough to prove that the science involved with drug research is similar to that used by witch doctors. 

You do not have a clue what is being talked about here because you have read about one thousandth of the information available.  Plus you have no personal experience with it, so drop out till you get a clue.

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By Leefeller, November 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

If one believes in something, as a fanatic they will pursue it as their cause, reality has absolutely nothing to do with it. One can suppose anything could be promoted and accepted in such a way. A great starting point is the elimination of the individual.

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By ardee, November 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

xcerpt from Web MD article”
Research focusing on the power of prayer in healing has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, says David Larson, MD, MSPH, president of the National Institute for Healthcare Research, a private nonprofit agency.

If one were to Google ( or Bing, Teoma, Vivisimo, whatever) placebo cures one might see that such are in the same vein as faith healing.

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By DaveZx3, November 8, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, November 8 at 1:26 pm

“if people running tests want to believe something, they will continue to run tests until some of the tests seem to prove what they want to believe, and then stop”

I usually like to use my own words, but little time today, so I googled and CAPed the an excerpt from the first hit.  It ain’t great, but good enough to show the direction.  These are MD’s who don’t have much to gain.  Plus they are very conservative.  My own collections show amazing stuff.  I’m not making it up. 

“excerpt from Web MD article”
Research focusing on the power of prayer in healing has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, says David Larson, MD, MSPH, president of the National Institute for Healthcare Research, a private nonprofit agency.

Even the NIH—which “refused to even review a study with the word prayer in it four years ago”—is now funding one prayer study through its Frontier Medicine Initiative. Although it’s not his study, Krucoff says it’s nevertheless evidence that “things are changing.”

Krucoff has been studying prayer and spirituality since 1996—and practicing it much longer in his patient care. Earlier studies of the subject were small and often flawed, he says. Some were in the form of anecdotal reports: “descriptions of miracles ... in patients with cancer, pain syndromes, heart disease,” he says.

“[Today,] we’re seeing systematic investigations—clinical research—as well as position statements from professional societies supporting this research, federal subsidies from the NIH, funding from Congress,” he tells WebMD. “All of these studies, all the reports, are remarkably consistent in suggesting the potential measurable health benefit associated with prayer or spiritual interventions.”

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By Anarcissie, November 8, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3, November 2 at 3:39 pm:
‘Anarcissie, November 2 at 12:19 pm

“For example, the healing power of prayer has been scientifically tested with several hundred patients, as I recall, and found not to affect medical outcomes”.

Your sources may be slightly outdated.  The number tested is probably up into the several thousand, or more and growing very fast.  Without any results, theories like this die fast, because they are against the grain.  ...’

On the contrary, if people running tests want to believe something, they will continue to run tests until some of the tests seem to prove what they want to believe, and then stop.  The history of science is full of that sort of thing.  A good example is the excitement about ESP in the 1950s.

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By DaveZx3, November 8, 2009 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 7 at 6:02 pm

“nature which does not need intelligence to function”.

I don’t see it that way, as you may well know.  But sorry about the automobile analogy.  Just trying to show a model where intelligent design and a type of evolution (from simple to complex) of an intelligent design is evidenced in the natural world.  You are absolutely correct that an auto is not a good analogy for nature. 

“faith isn’t science and never should be such”.
 
If we agree to define science with a very limited natural scope, then your statement is not untrue.  I see a continuum (natural to the so-called super-natural) where many physical effects cannot be rationally explained without examining metaphysical causes.  It is not a radical thought.

Actually your statement is true in all cases.  Faith is not science.  Faith, however, can be measured and studied using scientific methods.  It is merely hearsay evidence believed, and can be weak or strong, and as such measured and evaluated.

I’m really not uncomfortable with anything I say or things that others say.  It is really not that threatening to me.  Though I do apologize continually for using the wrong words at times and belittling the ideas of others.  It is not my intent.

I have been avoiding your more pointed questions, and not for reasons of fear or discomfort.  You are basically asking me what is the source of my belief system?  I cannot explain it, really. 

If it were a matter of reading I would tell you the books that I have read.  Of if I have been abducted by a UFO and had an indoctrinational download, I would be happy to say it.  I don’t remember any dreams.  I have not read a book in a few years. I don’t have visions.  I am not extremely well educated.  I do not belong to a religion or go to a church.  I belong to no groups.  I do not even vote, nor ever have (having the attitude that voting encourages politicians).  I don’t read newspapers, I watch the news on tv, but consider it more entertainment than enlightenment.  I read my news on the internet mostly.  There is nothing special or chosen about me. 

In 1983, I was confronted with the fact of a spontaneous remission of leukemia in a young girl in our community.  The parents were friends and let us look at the before and after medical tests.  All traces of the disease disappeared within an extremely short, but exactly undertermined amount of time.  She went from beyond treatment to completely healed and still lives to this day. 

As an atheist, the details amazed me, and I undertook an effort to find out if this was an isolated occurence.  I searched out similar incidents and found an abundance.  I tried to be investigative and scientific about it but it overwhelmed me and I gave it up, but acknowledge there was a so-called super-natural power involved. 

Since that time, I have attempted to become “religious” with no success.  I tried to read the Bible and found it initially very hard to grasp.
But over time, an internal vision has materialized in my mind through a process which I have not intentionally guided or manipulated.  But it is there, fully formed now and lacking nothing more than some pesky details. I don’t get anxious or fight it.  It is my reality, and I accept it as true. Also, I am encouraged that it is at least not second hand, taken from the belief system of some other individual or group.  I have not found many yet who agree with me on many of the major points.

I don’t feel the need to convert anyone to anything. I don’t mind spouting off, or irritating the intolerant attitudes of others.  I also accept that I am often seen as intolerant myself, though I don’t intend to be.

And that is all there is to me.  Who else has laid himself bare in such a public way?  I have no fears, nor make no excuses.

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By ardee, November 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

It has been proven by not the narrow science but the much more profound science,  scientifically, man and dinosaurs roamed the earth together, some feel man may even riden the dinosaurs to work.

I know it to be true because I saw Fred Flintstone riding one on TV….The hell with such as carbon dating, how can science possibly over match faith?

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By Night-Gaunt, November 7, 2009 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

You had better work on your analogies a bit more. A car is manufactured it only has a niche that we put it in not nature which does not need intelligence to function. Occam’s Razor again cuts it down to size. It doesn’t reproduce, it exists at the whim of humans not nature. Refined metal just doens’t happen in nature. In fact it is against nature in its construction, use and general existence. Not surprising your mode of thought is old and familiar but it just doesn’t add up. The two magisters just do not meet. the Greeks figured it out some 2,000-1,500 years ago. Some of us do just recently.

I see no meeting of the minds in this area—-faith isn’t science and never should be such. You just know and that is that. Again fine. Glad we had this discussion at least in some areas. You still failed to fill in some blanks for me.

“I do not mean to denigrate, but there has been nothing that you have said that points conclusively to a force called evolution to be responsible for the diversity of the creation.  You give me the same trivia that I have heard so many times before.

You point out facts, possibly, but facts that are not necessarily proof of a theory of evolution, at least to the point that no intelligence was involved.”-DavidZx3

You simply discard facts that are uncomfortable to you and then make suspicion of the rest adding words like “trivia” & “possibly” to hedge your bets. But then science is never and will never be 100% which is the fallacy of the average person who thinks such. It enables those who wish to keep people from accepting certain information by casting doubts and asking for that 100% that they know will never be attained. Like climate change and running out of easily found oil. You still avoid some of my more pointed questions about your belief system. Why?

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By DaveZx3, November 6, 2009 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 5 at 4:21 pm

“I am aware of your techniques involved in careful denigrating me while you still refuse to answer my questions about your faith. Afraid are we? I showed you mine but you still won’t show me yours. Is there fear in you that I might cut you down if you really came clean? I don’t fear you why do you fear me? Have I only used facts and data not insults?”

Your words above certainly show you have no concept of the power of God.  When you witness the power you no longer are a person of faith.  People allow the word faith to be used, but it is a misnomer.  Faith is for those who have not experienced God or witnessed the power of God.  There are plenty in that category, but there are also millions who have experienced the power. 

I do not mean to denigrate, but there has been nothing that you have said that points conclusively to a force called evolution to be responsible for the diversity of the creation.  You give me the same trivia that I have heard so many times before. 

You point out facts, possibly, but facts that are not necessarily proof of a theory of evolution, at least to the point that no intelligence was involved.

Has the automobile gone from a simple machine to a more complex machine?  YES.  Does it still have many of the features that it used to have?  YES. Did some of the mistakes fall by the wayside? YES.  Do some of them have three wheels and some four wheels?  YES.
Are they all interconnected by a historical thread and timeline?  YES.  Did they evolve without the aid of a designer?  NO.

That all these things happened in the development of automobiles does not remove the fact that intelligent design had to be the instigator.

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By Leefeller, November 5, 2009 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

It has been proven by not the narrow science but the much more profound science,  scientifically, man and dinosaurs roamed the earth together, some feel man may even riden the dinosaurs to work.

Dave, I am working on filling in the blank.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Well DaveZx3 I am aware of your techniques involved in careful denigrating me while you still refuse to answer my questions about your faith. Afraid are we? I showed you mine but you still won’t show me yours. Is there fear in you that I might cut you down if you really came clean? I don’t fear you why do you fear me? Have I only used facts and data not insults?

Actually the arthropods take up a considerable number of the life on this planet after the bacteria that have no eyes at all. Now as for number of limbs for fish, amphibian, reptiles, dinosaurs and mammals well that was decided by the environment some time ago in our universe. [Both the Edicara and the Burgess show explosions of different experiments in form that just didn’t make it here.]  If it could happen at all it would have to be in other A-lines billions of parameters away with a common history date (CHD) going back some time ago.

Your first fallacious idea is that Evolution is random it isn’t. It is the environment that governs what will survive and for how long. Some come and go but others are able to adapt, and are fortunate like the roaches still exist today with very little change. The only mistakes walking around are those monogenetic animals in our agra-business complexes. Also most of their crops are deliberately bred for low variability and even suicide seeds along with generating poisons and being resistant to the most dangerous toxins known to Man.

The “misses” didn’t survive and very few made it into the fossil record. Unless you want to count all the fossils as such—they aren’t.

Eyes started out as simple photo receptors and like with everything else in nature it is built upon to create complexity just as DNA started with just 4 amino acids. Your lack of knowledge is showing.

Good news for you only a mere 14% accept the evidence for scientific secular Evolution. The rest either don’t at all, are ambivalent or think God did it. Still not happy? It is a gross exaggeration to say it is “forced” on you unless you decry the scientific method and all it entails. It explains your ignorance despite your claim you have studied this for “40 years.”

As for coelosaur to bird there are many fossils found some in very good shape even to the imprint of the feathers! Why don’t mammals have feathers? They do they are called birds. The larger dinos had hollow bones which lowered their overall weight and worked very well in smaller ones that lead to flight. Evolution is a building upon and adjusting of established development. You sound like a Creationist and I have studied them and how they work. They couldn’t even prove their case in court with a sympathetic judge!

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By DaveZx3, November 5, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 5 at 10:40 am #

“If one watches the Flintstones, believes this is the way it was and in ones mind proven hysterical scientific fact, does this mean it is not fiction or religion”?

IF one reads Darwin, believes this is the way it was and in ones mind proven hysterical scientific fact, does this mean it is not fiction or anti-religion? 

Your Flintstones put down is evidence that you have nothing real to say. 

Constantly putting something down which you do not understand and cannot understand is evidence of
a——-.  Fill in the blank.

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By DaveZx3, November 5, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 5 at 1:28 am

“as for fossils “suddenly” appearing in the strata that is because of how fossils are made in the first place. Don’t you get that all life are the “missing links” to each other? Because they survive in order to have fossils in the first place but all things die out because the environment changes and evolution alters life to survive it. Not with any kind of sentience, just how things work. It isn’t the optimum but the best at the time”

You are struggling a little now.  One of the main problems of the evolutionist is mathematics.  For evolution to change one thing into another requires billions upon billions of hit or miss experiments, and it would not stop.  It would still be with us and evident. 

Did evolution decide that two eyes were the best for survival, so virtually all of creation has two eyes?  (I know there are some exceptions, don’t bother mentioning them, as they are incidental)  Why did evolution stop at two?  Three would be much better, with a third at the back of the head to see who was sneaking up on you.  Eyes on the back of the hand would have been great because you could look around a corner without showing yourself. 

If evolution is the story of experiments to advance the species, I want to see some results of the spectacular misses over the past number of years.  Some pretty definitive misses should be evident.  Why were not some mammals experimented with 6 or 8 legs? 

As a matter of fact, many, if not millions of the misses would still be walking around now, because evolution being random, would attempt the same experiment over and over, not realizing it was tried already.  Where are the men who grew wings, or four arms (that would be handy)

Evolution insists on trial and error, yet everything seems stable, all creatures in their respective categories, nice and neat little finalized DNA packages. 

From a mathematics and probability point of view, if evolution were true, you would not be able to categorize species, they would be all over the map, every type of creature imagineable, constant experimenting to find the best result.  It would definitely be like the Star Wars bar scene. 

If nature just has a good idea and implements it, then that is intelligent and shows a design element.  If someone decided to change dinos into birds, the change could have been instanteneous with no messy trials and errors littering the landscape.

But if evolution turns a dino to a bird, the transition time would be extremely long, as all the body parts slowly took shape into the new version.  The evidence of the change would be equal to the evidence of the original state and the resultant state, from a mathematical and probability standpoint. 

There are no definitive, compelling, missing link fossils, only a scattered bunch of bones which could just as easily been a random, minor separately created species.  Just because something shares characteristics does not make it a “link” 

Science has not produced definitive evidence for evolution in the form that they attempt to force feed it to the population.  The evidence is extremely weak and is not even bordering on theory at this state of the game, let alone fact. 

It is pure “faith” that allows evolution to continue in the minds of men.

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By Leefeller, November 5, 2009 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

If one watches the Flintstones, believes this is the way it was and in ones mind proven hysterical scientific fact, does this mean it is not fiction or religion?

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By bogi666, November 5, 2009 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

Someone said that observation is relative, I think.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

As I iterated before you have your paradigm and you are sticking to it. Fine I said. Your basic idea is that because order exists in Nature it had to be put there. Fine again. There is no proof or reason to think that unless you are predisposed to it. Again fine but it isn’t science which is fine as long as it isn’t taught as science. But if the Dominionists get their way it will be the only “science” taught in all of their religious military schools which will be the only ones. Which won’t be fine.

All of the interconnections of life do not show special creation and as for fossils “suddenly” appearing in the strata that is because of how fossils are made in the first place. Don’t you get that all life are the “missing links” to each other? Because they survive in order to have fossils in the first place but all things die out because the environment changes and evolution alters life to survive it. Not with any kind of sentience, just how things work. It isn’t the optimum but the best at the time. [See the panda’s “thumb” for an example.] Similar development occur and similar animals show up to fill similar niches. But you are firmly in your mind set and such facts wash off of your consciousness like water off an otter’s back. Fine again but it isn’t science—it is the dismissal of it. Fine as long as it isn’t taught as science in any schools that take tax payer money.

It is established from dozens of fossils found all over the world of dinosaurs with feathers and hollow bones and air sacs and even some of them have brains not very different from the birds of today. The tyrannosaur is related to the lowly chicken! Or is it to you? Tell me about how you see the panorama of life on earth from its formation as a planet to recently. In abbreviated form of course.

So for you there was no Flood? No Arc of Noah? No special creation of life each of its own by the celestial hand of god for an environment that never changes in any substantial way? Because all life is related it negates that doesn’t it? All the 3.5 billion years either did or didn’t exist. The various climates and continental drifts did or didn’t happen. the fossils found are just a small percentage of what lived. Not all of them could exist at the same time in the same places could they? For me no. For you..?

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By DaveZx3, November 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 4 at 4:27 pm

Already read it.  Did not overturn the facts as I have been taught. 

DNA is a code.  It is the code of creation.  The God who created the code, (a code does require a code maker)  uses it to create various species.  To keep the world in balance, among other things, species must come and go. 

The code is similar to my CAD program, which I bring up each time I want to create a new electrical circuit.  I bring up the basic circuit, and then use electrical code/theory to stretch it here and shrink it there to make it do what I want. 

DNA allows the Creator or breeder to amplify or attenuate characteristics based on the need at the time.  Some DNA code is inherent within almost all species as you mention, because it is a basic characteristic required by all.  In my electrical circuit, I always have to leave the power supply in, without it, nothing works. 

Attenuating a characteristic does not have to eliminate it, and you see evidence of organ parts which are not functional in any given species.  Eye sockets on mollusks as an example.  If there is a resistor already in the circit, I don’t have to take it out, I only need to use a bigger capacitor to counteract the effect.  These are the prerogatives of design. 

Species do have the code morph in reaction to their environment in a defensive way.  The human immune system is a good example, it can learn to fight a disease through inoculation.  The ability of bacteria to defend themselves against antibiotics is another, or moths to change color based on their environment.  These are mechanisms within the DNA structure of each species.  They do not change the species, they only allow it to defend itself.

All this is moot anyway.  The amount of experimentation that would have had to take place over billions of years to change, lets say, dinosaurs into birds, would have littered the fossil record with the hits and misses.  We have thousands of dinosaur fossils and thousands of bird fossils, but how many dinobird fossils do we have?  One pathetic example, I think. 

That a Tiktaalik was found and that it had characteristics similar to anything else is not news to me, nor was it surprising.  In design, characteristics are used over and over again.  Chevrolets share some of the same parts as Cadillacs, but does that mean a Chevrolet evolved into a Cadillac?  Possibly, on the drawing board of a designer.

Nothing Shubins book told me overthrew design theory.
Body parts are the same and similar for billions of years.  Species come and species go.  That is all I heard him saying.  And what I say about that is, that is what DNA is all about.  It is a code.  It requires a code maker. 

Oh, I could tell you about some other codes found in the creation which have number sequences which show intelligent design also.  Actually creation is full of codes, on purpose.  It is what God means when he says, “I am known by my creation”. 

What I would like to see is some real fossil proof of something going from one thing to the next.  The fossil record should be full of them.  Just on the basis of mathematics and probabilty, there would have to be billions of missing links. 

My study of the fossil record shows me that a species will POP into the fossil record suddenly,  There was none, then suddenly there are plenty.  If a hippopatamus evolved, where do I find the “almost hippopatamuses” in the fossil record.  They showed up at a certain time and there and before that there was no 98% hippo. 

Species come and species go, and they are definitely related through DNA, and the Master of DNA uses it to breed whatsoever He feels like breeding.  That is the real story of DNA.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 4, 2009 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

I would recommend you read Dr.Neil Shubin‘s book “Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5 billion Year History of the Human Body” to fill in the blanks you have about evolution and how it connects us all to all other life on this planet. Dr. Neil Shubin is a leading paleontologist and professor of anatomy who discovered Tiktaalik-the “missing link” that made headlines around the world in April of 2006-tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years , long before the first creatures walked the earth. By examining fossils and extant DNA, Shubin shows us what our hands actually resemble fish fins, our head is organized like that of a long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genome look and function like those of worms & bacteria. All the latest research and discoveries put into one volume. Read it if you dare too DaveZx3. Did you know we share 30% of DNA with yeast? It concerns the control of our cells i how they work. How about Hox genes (from a caterpillar to a butterfly morphology change) or the FOXP2 which is important to birds singing and our ability to speak? Get back to me on that will you?

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By DaveZx3, November 3, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

bogi666, November 3 at 10:48 am

I have no problem with Sagan’s definition.  But, to become a theory, lots of observation must go on.

But observation is fickle, and if done in a selective manner, almost any theory can be given weight. 

Science is not absolute, otherwise there would not have been so many mistakes over the years.

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By bogi666, November 3, 2009 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

FY, to whom it may concern. Carl Sagan a noted scientist defines science as “the fusion of theory and observation”.

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By DaveZx3, November 3, 2009 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 3 at 12:18 am

Yes, I agree to disagree, and I also bear no malice.
And I am actually nowhere near as firm against evolution as the position I must take in the debate.

My major problem is in the evidence, which I have looked into in depth.  I see only adaptations of organisms.  Bacteria that become resistant, moths that change color, etc.  I don’t disagree that organisms have had many adaptive mechanisms built in. But where is the real evidence that one species turned into another.  Dinosaurs into birds for instance. 

If, as is said, evolution is trial and error, for nature to just produce the eyeball would take so many trials and errors that the probability from a mathematical standpoint rounds off to zero. 

It is a problem of developing an organ which must reach a level of usefulness to be incorporated as a benefit to evolution.  But to be usefull it must meet 100 or more design parameters instantaneously to be useful. 

That is why the theory of “puntuated equilibrium” was developed.  Science had to come up with a say to explain how complex organs could evolve which had hundreds if not thousands of design parameters, any one of which missing could render the organ useless and nonbeneficial.  It would not have been perpetuated in the evolutionary scheme of things until it reached the level of usefulness. 

I once asked an evolutionist how the eye evolved, and he said it started as a wart on the head.  Well a wart is not beneficial, and it not passed on to your offspring.  How did the warts get perfectly placed to allow depth perception.  How were all the design parameters met even for the most simple of all eye organs, which are still more complex than a still camera, which has over 50 critical design parameters itself.

A perfect cube has 6 design parameters, but how many experiments of nature tumbling rocks down a mountainside would be necessary before one of them turned out perfectly square or oval or any perfect shape?  Precision requires design, all parameters met at the same moment. 

Some evolutionary experiments would produce semi-usefull results which would be perpetuated in a branch group, but not the main group.  If so, there would be thousands of variations of man, kind of like the Star Wars Bar Scene.  The results of all the experimentation would be obvious.

I have never seen the sequential fossil results of an actual progression of the evolution of an organ.
Even the adaptation of an organ, such as the neck of the giraffe.  Show me five stages of the evolution of the neck from the fossil record. 

Show me five stages of the evolution of anything at all which changed from one clear state into another.  Are there no fossil records of anything clearly evolving from one state to another.  We find fossils billions of years old, but I don’t see the evidence of the stages. 

I see random claims of missing links.  Archeoptrix for example.  Thousands of dinosaur species evolved into thousands of bird species, and that is the best the fossil record can show.  We can find thousands of dinosaurs and thousands of birds in fossils, but no transitionary forms which are compelling. 

I am not an inflexible person and willing to believe what makes sense.  But I have excellent mathematical discernment.  My brain cannot discern the mathematical chances of evolution being real.  My brain tells me that if all this complexity were to have evolved, the results of the experimentation would be overwhelmingly evident, not only in fossils, but in day to day life. 

Simply put, there would be a lot of one-eyed organisms running around, because if eyes were only evolved as a pair, that insinuates a designer must have known beforehand that two were required for depth perception.

These are the reasons I have rejected evolution.  I still can’t understand why someone cannot show me 5 distinct stages of evolution in the fossil record.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 2, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

I am sorry you are debilitated in that way. I have my own. No doubt you have prayer circles on your case. If you regrow a lung I will be happy for you. It would certainly be a prodigy of Nature but not proof. Exceptions are just that. Good for you if you do for I have no malice.

Science will be getting to that point quite a bit sooner in their ability to control the growth and histological determinations of the stem cells. Not just yet but soon if they are allowed to.

It is amazing to me that with the evidence in the thousands of volumes now from gene scans to tracing back to millions of years ago are laying down the information that cross supports evolution. Indeed if you could some how bring down Evolution then biology will be just a random collection of information, without order or meaning which is what Creationism is. Plenty of sites that deal with evolution if you just look. Far better than what I can regurgitate in small form here. Evolution is still active and some of it is faster than once was previously thought. But if you are happy without that then fine. We can agree to disagree. There is no way I can persuade you anyway and I don’t waste my time at it.

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By Leefeller, November 2, 2009 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Yes, not the normal narrow sense of science, the broader all encompassing science of observation, of course the broadest of the broad, the broader science, under the pledge of the Hypocritical oath, very clear. Thanks!

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By DaveZx3, November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 2 at 10:20 pm

I took the Hypoocritic oath as a young man.

I have learned that observation is necessary if proof is to be scientific, otherwise, observation is optional and probably discouraged if proof is only necessary when the observer does not observe what he intended to observe or when he wishes he had observed what he wanted to observe.

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By Leefeller, November 2, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Hypocrisy is considered acceptable by hypocrites, and scientific proof may not be necessary by the observer!

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By DaveZx3, November 2, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 2 at 5:20 pm

I assumed you would present evidence, and thus theory was chosen.  My mistake.

Meditation has nothing to do with prayer.  Prayer itself is misused and now includes generic wishes directed to an unnamed, undeclared entity.  A specific prayer, well-defined by the receiver is what is insinuated in my writing.  Meditation is not necessarily asking for something, but merely thought directed to no specific entity.  If the study you reference confuses prayer and meditation, it is no wonder it has no real results. 

“It is still easier to believe in some invisible whatsit that controls everything and is benevolent to us lab rats. Good for you but it just doesn’t hold with me and a few others. No god shaped place in me. None needed either”.

Your personal needs are not pertinent to the debate.

Gravity will never be tangible to science.  I will not make any more statements here, because you would go bullshit if I said what I wanted to say. 

“The universe maintains itself by a balance of forces it needs no tinkerer” 

That is a patently false statement.  Nothing in nature is capable of maintaining itself.  There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine.  Everything in nature needs to have some gas put in its tank every now and then, ie: what caused the BIG BANG? it was the Creator with a big gas can.

“How it started is still hypothetical but time may show us the truth of the matter. God need not apply as it is an unnecessary addition. Like a 5th wheel on a motor car.  Intelligence is an additional complexity that would come later not before. Remember Occam‘s Razor? Start cutting out the extraneous”.

I have no trouble with Occam’s Razor, just with the idea of who is the Judge who declares what should be considered extraneous?  Science?  You?  How it started may be hypothetical to science, but that is their weakness.  It is not hypothetical to my reality, which also states intelligence and mind preceded any and all BANGING that ever went on, including the big one. 

The gap between your mind and my mind is very wide.  You have your science and I have my Creator, who transcends proof and science.  I am not here to change your mind, but to encourage the believers who need encouragement, and I have all the power and persistence that is needed to do so.  But I myself am an old, sick, very weak man with only one lung.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

First you mean my hypotheses not theories. Theory is a hypothesis that has evidence to back it up. So much for your “scientific” studies if you make such an obvious & elementary mistake in nomenclature. You don’t understand what you are talking about in this area. A major flaw in your thinking.

“I will reiterate that a lot of money continues to be expended on studies because results are forthcoming.”

Meditation is also called prayer in the study. Didn’t you actually read it? And as for persistent interest just look at how persistent those are for promoting Creationism and down playing if not out right removing of any Evolution teaching from our schools. Eventually if they could they would forbid its study. They have a need to dominate everything as their god intended so they won’t stop.

No mystery to the origin of intelligence, just that it isn’t necessary to survival. It is in fact one could call one of Nature’s experiments i.e. evolution. Nature is a balance of forces and you can find as much order or chaos in it as it is dynamic—-for the time being. Though they have found the missing elements in what they have called “dark matter” & “dark energy” which fills the area of density they couldn’t find in the visible Baryonic matter and energy. If it weren’t for the gravitational lens effect we would have nothing at all to work with for it is invisible and intangible to us at this time. We know it binds the galaxies together and may one day rip them apart in 100 billion years or so. It is composed of what? Unknown at this time.

It is still easier to believe in some invisible whatsit that controls everything and is benevolent to us lab rats. Good for you but it just doesn’t hold with me and a few others. No god shaped place in me. None needed either.

Unfortunately such “bets” are geared to never be paid out since it is the bettor that is the one who decides if they lose. They never will.

The universe maintains itself by a balance of forces it needs no tinkerer to “fine tune it” at all. It is electro-magnetism, gravity, the weak and strong atomic forces which were joined in the first few seconds of the bang. Then cooling and separation of forces occurred then more stuff happened. How it started is still hypothetical but time may show us the truth of the matter. God need not apply as it is an unnecessary addition. Like a 5th wheel on a motor car.

Intelligence is an additional complexity that would come later not before. Remember Occam‘s Razor? Start cutting out the extraneous.

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By DaveZx3, November 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 2 at 4:10 pm #

“Not usually, meaning most of the time or just less than what is deemed most of the time? So as I am never a bible quoter, this has latitude to mean less less then not usually? 

In the light bulb joke on how many people it takes to screw in a light bulb, it is known that some people may ask deeper questions of the joke, such as “what light bulb”? Comprehension may deem something from this, of course mine is not worthy, nor the potential ability of intent!”“

I try not to quote the Bible for many reasons, but mostly because everyone, including a lot of so-called religious people, tune you right out immediately when you do. 

It is a very complex document with many layers of meaning.  Most never come close to comprehending it, mostly because they lack the time and energy to tackle it.  Casual readings usually result in great confusion.  What can I say?  I hear this from everyone. 

Catholicism banned the reading of the Bible for a long time because they were so scared it would show their practices to be unbiblical, which they are.  Funny thing is, they allowed the reading, but nobody ever noticed how unbiblical they were.  I wonder why that was?  Probably because everyone says they read it, but like a 1500 page healthcare bill, who has the time.  It is easier to generalize than read and comprehend.

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By DaveZx3, November 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 2 at 4:04 pm #

“The result: Everything registers as emotionally significant, perhaps responsible for the sense of awe and quiet that many feel. The body becomes more relaxed and physiological activity becomes more evenly regulated.

NG, you are reading on the effects of meditation. 

I will reiterate that a lot of money continues to be expended on studies because results are forthcoming.

Double blind studies indicate the patient themselves have no knowledge of what is happening on their behalf, so cannot benefit through the power of their mind, as meditation suggests. 

If there were no results, study would have ceased decades ago.  And yes, meditation does yield its own unrelated benefits.

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By DaveZx3, November 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 2 at 2:36 pm #

“Actually Evolution has been proven even if it is not with the science & methods you agree with”.

There is still a $250,000 reward posted for anyone who can prove the theory of evolution scientifically.  I can’t remember where it is posted, but will look it up if you want me to.  Maybe you could claim it. 

No, evolution is not proven.  If it were, it would still not be referred to as the Theory of Evolution, which it definitely is.  Don’t you think scientists are working their butts off to get the “theory” part removed from the title?  But it remains.  Why? 

“On the other hand your espoused Creator has no proof and demands no proof so it falls outside of science”

The Creator cannot fall outside of science as the creator created the laws of science.  The Anthropic Principles alone dictate there needs to be a tinkering to keep everything perfectly tuned.  The creator is the ultimate scientist and tinkerer and cannot be placed outside of science. 

“stop saying your Creator is proven.”

I, and many, many others have concluded it as fact.  It is, at the very least, as conclusive as evolution, which is considered fact as you say. 

“They are still working to understand how it all started”

They have come to a road block.  Two issues:  Cause and effect.  1.  What caused the BIG SILENT BANG? (I say silent because sound is not transferred in deep space) 2. Where did the matter come from that BANGED?

“What I want to know is more about this Creator of yours? How you can accept the idea of intelligence without being created since intelligence follows not precedes.”

All I am really saying is that a Supreme Being we call the Creator, created the universe.  He says that the proof/evidence of Him is actually in the creation.  I have found that to be true. 

Man is certainly not the origin of intelligence.  If that was true, I would have a serious question about the value of intelligence, since the way man uses it seems to be of little value. 

It is an obvious mystery as to the origin of intelligence, including the mind which supposedly posseses it.  Also a mystery is the origin of the Creator, the origin of the matter making up the universe, the origin of the energy fueling the universe and the origin of the forces (magnetism, gravity, and those little atomic force) in the universe. 

What was the sequence of arrival?  Intelligence, Creator, matter, force, energy?  Or was it Creator, intelligence, energy, force, matter? 

I would welcome your theories on that, since it is beyond me to make any definitive statements.

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By Leefeller, November 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

“I am not usually a Bible quoter, but will give this quotation to explain a little about what those factors are:”

Not usually, meaning most of the time or just less than what is deemed most of the time? So as I am never a bible quoter, this has latitude to mean less less then not usually? 

In the light bulb joke on how many people it takes to screw in a light bulb, it is known that some people may ask deeper questions of the joke, such as “what light bulb”? Comprehension may deem something from this, of course mine is not worthy, nor the potential ability of intent!

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By Night-Gaunt, November 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

“The result: Everything registers as emotionally significant, perhaps responsible for the sense of awe and quiet that many feel. The body becomes more relaxed and physiological activity becomes more evenly regulated.

Does all this mean that we are communicating with a higher being—that we are, in fact, “hard-wired” at the factory to do just that? That interpretation is purely subjective, <b>Benson,?b> tells WebMD. “If you’re religious, this is God-given. If you’re not religious, then it comes from the brain.”

Sums it up for me and the long distance interventions are spotty so far on their efficacy. I will say that some people seem to have the meta-human ability to help in healing others & themselves regardless of their belief or religion. Listed under ESP abilities which are in need of training for just like in the past. Abilities that should be regarded in the same way as human calculators and long distance runners.

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By DaveZx3, November 2, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, November 2 at 12:19 pm

“For example, the healing power of prayer has been scientifically tested with several hundred patients, as I recall, and found not to affect medical outcomes”.

Your sources may be slightly outdated.  The number tested is probably up into the several thousand, or more and growing very fast.  Without any results, theories like this die fast, because they are against the grain. 

But it is does not seem to be slowing down, but growing rapidly.  I will admit that in the conventional studies results are not earth-shattering, but still very measurable and beneficial.  Dramatic results are realized when certain other factors enter the equation. 

I am not usually a Bible quoter, but will give this quotation to explain a little about what those factors are:  “The fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much”  Can’t remember where in the Bible this is from, but will look it up if you need me to.  Two key words: fervent and righteous, increase results to a dramatic degree. 

I have experienced very tightly controlled double blind studies that have extremely dramatic results.  Also, keep in mind, Yes is not always the answer to prayer.  The answer is many times NO.  The Apostle Paul asked to have an affliction removed, and he was told, according to his own writing, No, it would not be removed.  I’ll look that up too if you like. 

Also, I will post the WebMD article pertaining to the subject.  Not a bad report coming from such a vanilla organization. 

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/can-prayer-heal

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By Night-Gaunt, November 2, 2009 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Actually Evolution has been proven even if it is not with the science & methods you agree with. On the other hand your espoused Creator has no proof and demands no proof so it falls outside of science. So I ask you in the same way you asked me, “stop saying your Creator is proven.” Though 40% of scientists, in general, believe in such a god.

They are still working to understand how it all started and the human mind is flexible enough to make a square peg fit in a round hole at anytime as you have. What I want to know is more about this Creator of yours? How you can accept the idea of intelligence without being created since intelligence follows not precedes.

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By Leefeller, November 2, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Obtaining impossibilities provide no chance of failure, as possibilities do.

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By Anarcissie, November 2, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3:
’....A broadly defined rational science proves the existence of a Creator more thoroughly than it proves the existence of a process called evolution (out of space).’

It doesn’t, but actually there is no conflict between science and the idea of a supreme being in general.  If a supreme being can be used to concoct useful, attractive scientific theories, the concept might become a part of what is usually taken to be science.  So far, it hasn’t been needed, and as William of Occam recommended, one shouldn’t multiply causes without reason.

There is a conflict between many specific ideas of this supreme being and scientific observation, however.  For example, the healing power of prayer has been scientifically tested with several hundred patients, as I recall, and found not to affect medical outcomes.  Now, the particular supreme being relevant to this test had forbidden people to test him, so the result may not be surprising, but if the prohibition is operative it puts this supreme being beyond the realm of science.  If prayer had affected medical outcomes, however, it would have been investigated further regardless of the prohibition, on the supposition that the prohibition had been incorrectly reported.

Although there is no conflict between the idea of a supreme being and the practice of science, one should note that a supreme being which constantly interfered with the natural processes of the universe, as the Christian and Muslim versions of this being are often said to do, would make a hash of natural observation and would severely limit the ability of humans to proceed anywhere with their science.  (Or, it could show up at regular intervals and explain its interventions—but this is not reliably observed.)

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By DaveZx3, November 2, 2009 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, November 1 at 5:28 pm #

First, I apologize if I have insulted anyone.  I consider you, ardee, and most of the rest of the TD’ers extremely intelligent and articulate.  But a common theme is attacking and belittling the opposite side of the debate, and we all lower ourselves to it at times.  I know that I am not superior or special. 

I am not a supporter of the “Chariots in the Sky”
philosophy.  But I bring up the idea that a supreme being is not out of the question, even from an evolutionary standpoint, because if there is evolution, then a supreme being(s) might well have evolved over billions of years.  I do not personally hold to that idea.

However, it is interesting that Genesis states, “Let US create man in OUR image,”  which seems to indicate the leader of a group is speaking.  I know the subject has been heartily debated already, so don’t bother addressing it.  Its another dead-end street explained away as a nuance of the Hebrew language which describes the singular God with the use of plural pronouns, not totally uncommon.

My definition of science is not the current narrow meaning which attempts to exclude anything not strictly material, so I admit my scientific proof might not be your scientific proof.  I acknowledge that there is much more than matter working in the realm of man.  The very existence of consciousness and mind are enough to verify that.  “I am that I am”.

To not physically observe a process or product of a process or cause of a process, but to measure and study the effects of a theoretical process and to define that process and “prove” it with evidence that is itself theoretical, including the theories of the causes of what the archaeological record produces IS SCIENCE.  It is considered science by scientists.  It is accepted as science, and it is taught as science.  It can be considered “proof”.
Otherwise, quit saying evolution has been proven.

I have accumulated all these things (evidence) in absolute abundance, including signed statements by individuals, including medical doctors and other professionals who have witnessed the evidence.  There is historical evidence in writing recounting events witnessed by hundreds, if not thousands.  There is personal evidence of thousands if not millions recorded in the histories and cultures of many civilizations documenting evidence for the Biblical history.  There is evidence in the laws of nature. 

Though much of this evidence could be dismissed as circumstantial in a court of law, even if only 1% of it stood up, it would still be an abundance of proof in favor of a process or cause of a process that man calls God, (capital G) but I prefer to call The Creator - as in founding language, “We are endowed by our Creator”. 

I have looked at all the evidence and I have collected an abundance of it.  I have had personal, intense evidence. I have come to the rational, intelligent, and scientific conclusion that the Creator is real and works in the lives of man on a daily basis.

But certainly, anyone can disagree.  Juries are hung even when evidence is sound and abundant.  Other factors come into the minds of the jurists which steer them this way or that way.  For my money, the evidence against O.J. was conclusive and abundant.  He walked anyway.  So man is capable of anything, I don’t deny it. 

I only take on these debates to encourage people who do not understand the evidence, but choose to believe in the Creator based on the faith that they have.  They are harassed incessantly and belittled for their belief and called ignorant.  This is not acceptable.  These people are not believing in superstition, they are believing in evidence which has been passed on to them, even though they may not be able to organize a debate for this evidence. 

A broadly defined rational science proves the existence of a Creator more thoroughly than it proves the existence of a process called evolution (out of space)

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By bogi666, November 2, 2009 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

ardee, you need to brush up on internet protocol. For instance if I were to be as rude and uncouth as you I would refer to you as the despicable, brain dead, spiritually dead, inbred, ingrate cretin, but following appropriate internet manners and protocol I wouldn’t call you these things. I’ll leave the rude and ill mannered bullying up to you ardee being ever the internet bully, geriatric tough guy you think you are.Eat POO.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Part II

Then by your own admission you are still an Atheist of all the recorded “gods” (which is a word which means to call a deity forth to you, not a name) and is more in line with the aliens as gods scenario isn’t it? Yes I read your words closely. It has been tackled in science fiction and starting in the 1950’s with the various UFO/alien based religious groups which exist to this day. Very familiar to me indeed. I have no comment on them just an observation. That same evolution based need for collection of society around metaphysical beliefs of superior power = superior wisdom to help us. It doesn’t automatically work that way. They may either ignore us or want to stay away from us so we won’t be destroyed accidentally by them. Or will ignore us and simply take what they want and not notice us as anything more intelligent than beavers building a dam or wasps a paper nest. [You know what humans do to them.]

In evolution behavior is as important as adaptive morphology to survival. We are at a crucial time in our existence as an intelligent free thinking species. We write our own programming.

As to archeology if you count the proof of Jerico then it is also true for the gods of Troy/Illium? Also for all the other gods of all the other cultures? There are many “anomalies” in archeology since it is in need of an epiphany itself from Viking-Cathars in N. America in the 1300’s to gold chains found locked in coal seams. Does that mean pre-human humans or time travel or something else? There are many things and they all don’t add up into a neat religion and science is going to have to widen its vision too in order to understand. The point is to move from the occult to gnosis.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Part I

“Your main problem is that you read in your traditions, your beliefs, and your prejudices to everything. “-DaveZx3 or Ardee

And you don’t? Then you are one extraordinary person to exist. It makes it so much easier to get it right in the important point of understanding without being confused by the false hoods of information out there. I admit I have them and strive to overcome them where ever they are found. As for the idea of some intelligence not created to create not just this universe but the continuing multi-verse is daunting because it is without foundation. When you add a preternatural intelligence to the mix the probabilities just go off the chart. It is one thing to have a quantum fluctuation causing a dimensional bubble and out we pop (terribly simplified)unto the scene after a mere 13.7 billion years. It is another to say that a pre-existing intelligence was there to do it. Now anyone of greater intelligence than we can claim anything and back it up to us poor ants now can’t it? How would we have the capacity to contradict a being that can martial a billion brains to do it and energies to make it happen?

As for any kind of scientific methodology in your thinking I just don’t see it. Unlike you the believer once you are locked in it gets very hard to change your mind when something comes up that contradicts it. You will dismiss it out of hand. For me if it does and supercedes what I know from what others have found then change it I will. Are you so flexible? I would remain skeptical of anyone who says they created the universe no matter how powerful they are in relation to us. You prove Dr. Clarke‘s point. It won’t be magic to me.

As for “big words” no need to insult us okay? A bit of snark and superior attitude you display as you say you don’t directly. You had better watch that, some of us read a bit better than you surmise. Even if we come to conclusions you didn’t expect. I too am just a person who happens to be a socially invisible person in a crowded room. At a gathering you wouldn’t notice me for long unless I opened my mouth. Which I wouldn’t. I in fact wouldn’t be at such a gathering because it would be highly uncomfortable to me. I would regret not being there at the same time. I don’t do well with people, it is far easier to communicate just with words here. No non-verbal mannerisms implicit in our person-to-person communication that I just can’t handle. I won’t blurt out truthful observations that could insult another and so forth. [My genotype and phenotype faults on display.]

So far in all the studies I am aware of going back to the 1840’s and there is no corollary between religious belief, praying and spontaneous healing that has been proven by them, none that could be repeated. The number of books written is less important than their quality. Also keep a notice on your word count and you won’t have a problem of rejection.

Actually DaveZx3 they could make a buck off of a series of spontaneous healings anytime. You are either being purposely cynical here or just don’t understand it.

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By ardee, November 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

bogi666, November 1 at 11:25 am #

ardee, ever the internet bully continuing its ill mannered quote of “blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah…..wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah….
********************************************
Another in a series of say nothing posts that this imbecile thinks have meaning….

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By DaveZx3, November 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 1 at 2:08 pm

My experience is that telling the truth doesn’t pay very well, if anything.  Actually all I usually get is a barrage of bullshit.  Which is ususally a good indicator that you are on to something. 

Don’t know how much that Potter guy has grossed, but I hear it is a bundle.  Kinda easy to sign on to that kind of money and popularity.  Don’t think I’ll switch though.

I hear those lobbyists don’t do too bad either.  I think it is much more profitable and easier telling lies for big bucks than it is saying anything resembling truth for free. 

We can all know what we know because we know it.  Or we can believe what we believe because we believe it.

I just made that up, don’t get nervous.

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By Leefeller, November 1, 2009 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Seems me comprehension’s need fine tuning like me
reading skills, then one can be armed with
proclamations of belief as the only truth.

Spreading ones belief as lobbyists in Congress seems
very fulfilling, and is not proselytizing at the
same time.

A close friend of mine knows the Fuzzy Potter Books
better than the author and she believes they are
real, she talks endlessly about them, describes them
as her belief, who am I to argue or disagree with
her?  If one believes in fantasy stories, which only
seems to mean I cannot comprehend such, of what I
read or read what I comprehend, so in the end you
and my Fuzzy Potter reader are absolutely
scientifically right of what they believe and I
accept that.

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By DaveZx3, November 1, 2009 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 1 at 12:50 pm #

Nope, just basic reading.  You don’t have to agree with something to read it and understand it.

Your post indicated you had no clue what was going on with the snakes and stuff, which was not surprising. 

I guess you were either making that up or you actually could not understand it.  If the former is true, what can I say?  If the latter is true, try reading it a few more times. 

I am pretty straight forward.  I can actually talk with real words.

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By Leefeller, November 1, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Acquired reading skills? Are they mandatory agreement
skills one acquires after loss of reason skills before
the pompous self-righteous skills are acquired?

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By bogi666, November 1, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Dave the post I directed to you was in response to your post of, I think, 8:01 am, date escapes me.

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By bogi666, November 1, 2009 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Dave, my 11:25 post of 11/1 was directed to ardee, not you.

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By DaveZx3, November 1, 2009 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 1 at 12:07 pm #

Read it until you get it and then call me back.  It is getting tedious debating people without reading skills.

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By DaveZx3, November 1, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

bogi666, November 1 at 11:25 am #

Are your comments directed at me or ardee.  At one point you quoted a time/date of one of my posts, but addressed you comments to ardee. 

Since I was the one who posted the Nov1, 10:00 am post, I am just not sure if you are addressing me, or not.

Not that it matters, I am not sure how I would respond to “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…..wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah” anway.

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By Leefeller, November 1, 2009 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Hey! What about the talking snake when several weeks later the snake gets on the Ark, he all of a sudden lost his forked tongue, then all those begot’s, never quite understood some of those begot’s worked with all the other, beget’s, begits babels and those darn bigit’s. Though I always preferred the flying nun,  somehow she seemed so real and I know someone who could find scientific proof that she was!

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By bogi666, November 1, 2009 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

ardee, ever the internet bully continuing its ill mannered quote of “blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah…..wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah…....to infinitey…..” Your obnoxiousness is only surpassed by your ignorance.Tough guy Vietnam vet who apparently got shot in the head.

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By DaveZx3, November 1, 2009 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

ardee, 

Your main problem is that you read in your traditions, your beliefs, and your prejudices to everything. 

You automatically assumed I was talking about the ten commandments, while I was actually talking about generic commandments, like telling Noah to build a boat. 

The ten commandments are definitely a part of some religions, but it is not that fact which makes them real or not real.  Some say Santa Claus is a part of Christianity, does that make Santa automatically real or unreal.  No Santa is separate from religion.  He can be accepted or rejected separately from religon.

God is separate from religion also, as I have been trying to say.  Noah was not a member of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or whatever.  God still spoke to him and said build a boat.  I don’t have to be a member of a religion to know that Noah built the boat.  Noah is not religion, religion is not Noah.

I am sorry you cannot understand what I am saying.  It is very straightforward using no big words. 
But your inability to understand is not surprising.

I imagine it would be just as hard to speak to a blind person about the existence of the moon.  If you do not have the ability to see it, it would sound like some outlandish story. 

But think of the blind man attempting to convince someone that the moon does not exist. 

That is the very untenable position of the atheist.
Under the best of circumstances, it is very hard to debate that something does not exist, but to try and debate it with someone who sees it and experiences it everyday is a really hard thing to do. 

If a person has nothing but religion, the atheist can have some success, but some people have quite a bit more than religion, so it becomes an extremely untenable position, at that point.

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By ardee, November 1, 2009 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

Dave, I realize the futility of religious discussion, believer vs. non, but noted one statement in your response to NG I think merits noting.

You claim that your god handed down the ten commandments

My massive collected evidence proves, to a reasonable scientific conclusion, that the supreme being who has created and owns this universe exists and is a billion times more powerful and intelligent than we are. He is willing to communicate, He has issued commandments,

Yet this is the belief of a religious group, is it not. Do Moslems believe in the reported events on that mountain top? Do any but Christian and Jew? You stated that you deny religious affiliation yet incorporate at least one such tenet of one into your belief system.

I wont comment upon your, once again, attempting to note use of scientific methodology when you apparently don’t understand what that really entails. What you have is a theory, supported by your own unique to you evidentiary interpretations, no real scientist would accept such as anything but theory….oops I guess I did comment after all.

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By DaveZx3, October 31, 2009 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, October 31 at 8:57 pm #

You must have missed the other 500 words I wrote because you comment on only a few.  You have to digest the whole thing to get my point.  It is clear.  I ran it by two disinterested parties before posting, and they got the point. 

Whether God is a super powerful alien intelligence at the Third Stage of civilization or a super-duper powerful alien mega-intelligence at the 25th State of Civilization is immaterial.  God, is the supreme being of this universe.  If there is a civilization of supreme beings who create universes, it is not within our scope at this time. 

My massive collected evidence proves, to a reasonable scientific conclusion, that the supreme being who has created and owns this universe exists and is a billion times more powerful and intelligent than we are. He is willing to communicate, He has issued commandments, His stated intent is to not lose even one of his creation, so He has a plan to redeem all except those who fight Him to the bitter end.  I think He would rather be called “The Eternal” or “Father”.  God is a generic term. 

Anyway, I will grant you evolution, for now.  But you must admit that if humanity, with an estimated evolutionary line of, (what is it now?) 5 billion years, has evolved to the point we find ourselves in, then where will we find ourselves in another 5 billion years?  What if there is a civilization that has been online for 100 billion years? (earth years that is)  Would they have any power or intelligence? 

I know that an incredibly intelligent and powerful being or beings created the universe, and they own, control, maintain and judge the whole of their creation.  They may have created more universes, or parallel universes, or separate dimensions within a universe, I am not sure about that.  But this/these being(s) are who I call “God”. 

Mankind does not know much yet.  He is still in the toddler stage.  But there are individuals who want to wrap up all that is known by man into a little scientific ball and proclaim that ball as their god and creator.  But that ball of knowledge is totally inadequate.  Call me in another 5 billion years, if you are still alive. 

Man’s basic inadequacies, primarily that he never stops fighting, lying and killing, are traits that must be overcome or they (man) will never join the intelligent beings of this universe, let alone those who exist outside of this universe. 

The intelligent being(s) who created this universe and own this universe did not invent religion, and I know that they peer in and shake their heads with regards to mans religions and the rest of man’s absurd institutions. 

So I have a question regarding your genetic make-up Night-Gaunt:  If all that is written actually plays out, and a super-intelligent, super-powerful, indestructible being descends onto the Earth right in front of you and commences to declare what has been written,  WILL YOUR GENES CHANGE?  How would you deal with that? 

I am not an elitist.  I am a loose cannon, but I do attempt to learn what is true through observation and experimentation.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 31, 2009 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Good for you DaveZx3 but some of your comments are still fuzzy. So far you happen to know someone who either went into spontaneous remission or was cured by conventional means. It happens, not too often, so I wonder if you would still be an atheist if you picked one of the many that continue to die from cancer? Sounds like you would to me. I wonder what kind of Atheist you were all those years? You obviously have the genes for belief which most humans have. I do not. Luck of the genetic Evolutionary draw. [How it works.] Even so I suspect you were still ready to convert if hit at a vulnerable time, but no matter. I am happy that you are happy.

As I said there is plenty of proof you seek for Evolution—you can always say that your god did it. Simple and no muss no fuss and no contradiction with established science. Though I must say that god or a super powerful alien intelligence at the Third Stage of civilization would look the same to our Stage Zero. As the great author and scientist said about advanced technology looking like magic to us—-Arthur C. Clarke.

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By Dudu101, October 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Science is a process of proving or refining a concept first to yourself and then to others. The concept might come by dream, divination, or rumor. The rub is proving it. Supporting experiments should be consistently repeatable by anyone. Literature should be accessible by anyone. An exceptional concept requires exceptional proof. The proof may not convince all “scientists”. Perhaps only a majority. Perhaps only a small minority. A concept may be ignored or despised for 50 years, and then seriously taken up again. DaveZx3 has proved his concept of God to his satisfaction by 1)his own experience and 2)his review of literature on the subject.

Getting back on topic, Purple Girl’s post is worth looking for near the beginning of this thread. Another source of good commentary is accessible on Amazon.com in reader reviews.

The book is on my wish list.

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By ardee, October 31, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

Another issue going on last night was that I became a grandpa for the 8th time.  My 3rd daughter gave birth to a little girl, Alyssa, 6 lbs 10 ozs. at about 2am this morning.  She was having a hard labor so we went to the hospital to give some moral support.  Everything worked out well and everyone is fine.

Mazel Tov,Dave,  heartfelt congratulations even. Grandchildren are the light of my life and the ruination of my bank account.

Just seven more and you will have tied me…....( no that isnt a curse!)

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By DaveZx3, October 31, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

PART II

I have not limited my inquiries to health.  Archaeology is turning up volumes of evidence confirming a lot of the history in the Bible account.  The parting of the Red Sea, Noah’s Ark, etc.  I don’t have the time or the inclination to post endless links for you, because it could never change your mind about anything, and that is not my intention to change your mind.  Nor am I making a definitive judgement on the Bible.  It is an extremely complex document.  But there is some extreme wisdom in there.  And a lot of proof is in there as well, mostly in the Moses writings. 

I just want to retain my credibility.  I am not blowing smoke when I say that at this point in time, God is no longer a belief to me, but I have accepted God as a reality, through the scientific study of effects.  Is there a slight jump of faith?  Yes, at this point you might say there is some other power that is responding to words and altering cancer cells.  But I am more satisfied with the evidence proving God exists than I am with the evidence proving evolution is a fact, another subject which I have given much attention.  Evolution is a great subject to study.  Everytime the evidence does not stack up the way they want, they change the rules.  I am still reeling about the theory of “punctuated equilibrium”, and that is almost as old as me.  God and evolution are not necessarily mutally exclusive.  A great source for future debate.

Anyway, if anyone was truly interested they could do some research.  And really, believe it or not, that is as far as I go on the subject.  I have not run out to join a religion.  I thought of being a Protestant, but in looking at them, I don’t think they protested enough.  They still want to have their Christmas and Easter, among other things.  Talk about a problem, take a look at those two Holidays closely.  Who established those holidays?  Read about them, and you will find out why I say God is not religion, and religion is not God. 

Everything I have posted makes perfectly good sense to me.  But I have no friends in religon, and I have no friends in atheism. Nor any friends in politics.  I am that proverbial loose cannon.  I guess I don’t think conventionally, Thank God.   

But if you think everything I have said is a bunch of crap, and you really want me to prove to you the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then do this:  Obey him for a long time.  I mean it, seriously.  He is a God who amply rewards obedience above all else he does. 

This is where my real proof and conviction comes from. Obedience leads to more than ample manifestation of the reality of God.  But that is the main problem with God.  He does not manifest himself to every Tom, Dick and Harry that decides he needs him for something.  I am not elitist, nor is anything I say exclusionary.  Man is Man.  There is no color, no race and no religion in the eyes of the Creator.  He created all, and he intends to redeem all.  Except for some really, really evil beings, none of whom do any posting on TD. 

I could say a lot, lot more, but I have probably already antagonized enough people already.  It is not my intent to antagonize.  But I do a real good job of it.

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By DaveZx3, October 31, 2009 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

PART I

ardee and night-gaunt,,

My 4:09 post was incomplete.  I had typed too much in and TD rejected based on length.  In trying to fix it I lost it.  It was a frustrating effort.

Another issue going on last night was that I became a grandpa for the 8th time.  My 3rd daughter gave birth to a little girl, Alyssa, 6 lbs 10 ozs. at about 2am this morning.  She was having a hard labor so we went to the hospital to give some moral support.  Everything worked out well and everyone is fine.

Anyway, back to the subject.  I can understand your dichotomy issues.  But I am on very solid ground. 

I use the term science as such:  “Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena”.

Your problem is probably with the last two words.  You are probably saying that I am using science in the study of supernatural phenomena.  That is not true.  I do not hold to the idea that something is supernatural as I attempt to acquire knowledge of it through observation and experimentation.  The effect is as natural and material as anything.  If the cause happens to be supernatural, that is unavoidable.

But then, what is supernatural?  Is a photon supernatural.  Light theory says that when an electron in an excited state occupying an high valence level loses the external stimulus to continue the excited state and drops down a valence level or two, it emits a photon, (light) This is theory.  No one has ever seen a photon.  They can only study, measure and describe the effect, which is light.  There are some differences of opinion as to the nature of the exact cause.  Scientists named it a photon and it went into the textbooks as such.  My textbook is over 20 years old, so pardon me if it is slightly outdated. 

My years of study regarding the thousands of cases of spontaneous remission was the study of a natural phenomenon.  Cancerous cells that suddenly change into healthy cells, or most probably just die off spontaneously and are replaced by healthy cells with no physical external stimulus applied.  Cells are natural.  My study was about cells.  It was a scientific study.  You can downplay it and say remission happens, but it is and was happening on a large scale.  It happens on a very large scale.  It is not front page news, because no one can make a buck off of it. 

As of this date, there are hundreds of serious studies on the books regarding similar subjects.  Many are very good science, tightly controlled, double blind studies, where caregiver, patient and intercession element are not known to each other.  Many are quack science.  I have read a very, very lot of them. 

(CONTINUED)

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By ardee, October 31, 2009 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3, October 31 at 4:09 am #

I was an atheist for the first 40 years of my life.

Dave, as an illustration of my entire position on your “science vs. faith” issues this post shows that dichotomy best I think.

I would clarify that I do not try to dissuade you from whatever belief system you hold, you have that right of course. My issues is with your insistence that you have used scientific methodology to prove ( to yourself) the existence of a god. You have not done so, not in the true definition of scientific proof.

I am gladdened by your story of this girl’s remission and longevity and know of a family member of my own who was given a death sentence and lives on still. Remissions happen, one may attribute them to the intercession of a god or the random acts of chaos theory, whatever.

If belief in a god floats your boat then by all means sail on and be happy. But please do not take a position that theory is fact or faith is truth for all, when it is only truth for the individual who accepts faith as fact. This is the doorway to fanaticism I conjecture.

I have intended no insults whatever in my opposition to this position of yours, only seek to add clarity.

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By ardee, October 31, 2009 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

bogi666, October 31 at 9:13 am
ardee, 10/28@8:01 am, the best comments you’ve ever posted, that’s I’ve read.

bogi666, October 30 at 7:14 pm #

ardee, the internet bully and of the inferior, is at it again with the usual blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah….......wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,......blah,blah,blah….”


You seem to have a serous problem, Bogi old boy. Oddly, the post to which you direct you venom was a clean and honest as the post to which you directed your compliment…Odd little fellow.

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By bogi666, October 31, 2009 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

ardee, 10/28@8:01 am, the best comments you’ve ever posted, that’s I’ve read. Those who recite platitudes about their gods never bother to define It. God is an It, not a He. As for grace, it’s unmerited, not bestowed favoritism from an undefined god. The reason I say this being that I’ve received grace and believe me it is unmerited, in my case. It rains and the sun shines on the just and the unjust alike, unquote.

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By DaveZx3, October 31, 2009 at 1:36 am Link to this comment

LocalHero, October 31 at 3:22 am #

“Thank goodness your god has no jurisdiction over my eternal spirit. Good bye to you both”

My God, the one I write of, is a God of redemption, grace and salvation to all who ask.  There is no need for antagonism or fear.  But He has mentioned on more than a few occasions that he does destroy pure evil.  Hopefully that is not what you are concerned about. 

I have no idea what god you have given jurisdiction over your eternal spirit to, and I make no judgement regarding that.

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By DaveZx3, October 31, 2009 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

I was an atheist for the first 40 years of my life.

A little girl with leukemia, given less than a month to live, was instrumental in making me acknowledge the existence of the Power of God.  After months of chemo, she was sent home to die, as the cancer had spread throughout her internal organs.  She
was from a very small rural New England farming community, where I also was living at the time.  It was complete with the little white steepled church on the main corner.  I watched in amazement as the citizens organized prayer vigils.  They had the attitutde that they would not allow death to take this little girl and would appeal to God on her behalf. 

Long story short, the little girl did a turn around within a week and lives to this day, over 25 years later.  Boston cancer experts declared her completely healed through no action of theirs.  I acknowledged a power which I did not understand, but I could not deny that it existed.

Since that time, my extra-curricular activities have been involved, partly, in seeking out similar stories and other “evidence” of this power.

I don’t completely rule out evolution as a source of change.  But I observe evolution to operate within very definite boundaries, if it operates at all.  Also, if we, man, have evolved on Earth over a period of 5 billion years (or whatever the number is)  then why would it be so hard to believe that in another 5 billions years, an entity (entities) which could duplicate all the power attributed to God would not evolve?  What if a society has been evolving for billions of billions of years, and they create universes and the laws that govern them.  Whoever creates a universe is free to define the natural laws of that universe, to possess that universe, and to judge that universe. 

If you buy one of those little ant farms for your kids, and the ants get out of control, you get ant poison and exterminate them.  Don’t you think the ants get pissed off?  Don’t you think they ponder that force way bigger than themselves and become very wary of it?  There is always a force and power way bigger than you.  The ants can certainly convince themselves that denying that power is prudent, but who are they kidding? 

I have to ask myself, what mental state in man consistently makes him try to eradicate any notion of a Supreme Being we call God, to deny the power, deny the evidence and call those who do not agree, fools?  How can otherwise rational men look out into the almost limitless universe while sitting on a tiny rock hanging in the sky by a power they don’t even truly understand, and have the balls to say, “There is no God?” 

You don’t have to answer that.  I already know the answer.  It is obvious.

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By LocalHero, October 31, 2009 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

Geez, Dave. You’re full of (self-righteous) contradictions but this little ditty tells me all I need to know.

“Simplified yes, but deadly, and I do mean deadly, accurate.”

I want absolutely nothing to do with such an ugly creature. Thank goodness your god has no jurisdiction over my eternal spirit. Good bye to you both!

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By bogi666, October 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

ardee, the internet bully and of the inferior, is at it again with the usual “blah,blah,blah,blah,blah,blah….......wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,wah,......blah,blah,blah….” unquote

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By Anarcissie, October 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

‘Do you know of any religions without a god? Can there be any?’

Buddhism.

Most Buddhists do believe in a variety of supernatural beings, but these are as illusory as everything else, so they don’t really have eternal supreme-being status.

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By DaveZx3, October 30, 2009 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, October 29 at 11:31 pm #

I think you are asking me with a sincere and curious mind, so I will give specifics regarding what you are asking.  I’m very busy all day, so will probably have to get it out late tonight.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 29, 2009 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Well it isn’t explicit in what convinced you what you have seen is of “god” whatever that is to you. Do you understand why I ask again? Something more specific in what you claim you know about the subject and how science supports it. Remember what I said about how science can easily be used to support religion which is a set of beliefs as reality for the participants. How else are they formed? You can have a set of facts then add that an invisible capricious something is involved in it. Is that how you look at things? Need I ask again for more specifics of how you view the world? Not with analogies but something a bit more concrete as if you were talking to another to convince them you are right. No personal data is necessary about who you are.

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By ardee, October 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, October 29 at 4:19 pm #

Do you know of any religions without a god? Can there be any? I am not scared shitless by you or your beliefs. I just wish you would define your terms more clearly so that I can understand. I know of your prejudice and bigoted view of science, and me.
..............................................

I have tried to show Mr.Dave that scientific proofs require scientific methodologies. In response Dave says he uses science to prove the existence of a god but has never once demonstrated how. I sympathize as this is impossible of course.

Dave needs a refresher course in the difference between theory and fact.

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By DaveZx3, October 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, October 29 at 4:19 pm #

I have written in this thread until my hands are sore.  I had a few basic points, and ardee convinced me to conceive this long analogy because he could not understand the point of the basic statement.

I have re-read my complete writings here, and I have made the same few basic points consistently, but because it is so alien to the thinking of the socially indoctrinated, that it is impossible for them to digest. 

Here are the few basic points:;

1.  God is not religion.  Religion is conceived in the minds of men to deal with a God whom they do not understand and do not wish to be obedient to.  That is why there are so man different religions, defining God in different ways to satisfy their own beliefs.  Religions are divisive and murderous, among other things, which are antithesis to God.

2.  You can know God without being in any religion, because He is not restricted to talking only to those in a religion.  I am not in a religion.

3.  The effects of God are able to be studied, measured and quantified according to all acceptable scientific methods.  Which is happening now on many different fronts.  I read about it daily, and it is readily available.  It is true that no one observes God directly, the effects can be studied.  This is no different than light theory.  You might not be able to observe the photon/cause, but you can see the light/effect emitted by billions of them as electrons…..(I am not writing it all out, but if you want me to I will) 

4.  Ever since I had 2 real experiences, I have been interested in the scientific study of the effects of the acts of God.  I am absolutely amazed at the amount of good science there is out there regarding this.  Again, on all scientific fronts.  It is really readily available, and I am not saying it is all good science. 

I think that is about all I really intended to say, but did get drawn out into a lot more.  I am not trying to convert anyone to anything.  I am not a scientist by profession, but by hobby.  I have worked with light theory in my job as an engineering technician for a fiber-optic long haul communications company. 

I have had some unique experiences which give me some very unique insight into the subject matter.

Hopefully that helps you see where I am coming from, not that I feel I should have to give you a bio just to spit out some information that I find to be true.  (I did not say believe to be true - there is a difference)

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By Night-Gaunt, October 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Do you know of any religions without a god? Can there be any? I am not scared shitless by you or your beliefs. I just wish you would define your terms more clearly so that I can understand. I know of your prejudice and bigoted view of science, and me. There are no sacred cows in it. Because when there are it needs to be killed and dissected DaveZx3 but then fallible humans are that way but we try to correct it where ever we can. Wouldn’t you agree? You didn’t answer any of my questions which I only ask to learn more from you. I will hold nothing back from what you can ask me. It is a two way street.

I can only go by what you write and infer from what I see and don’t see. You can clarify it if you would please explicate a bit more precisely for me. Only 40% of scientists are believers like you the other 60% are not and that hasn’t changed in 40 or so years. Curious isn’t it. I did not see the break down according to discipline but am interested when I find it.

I am a friendly Atheist who bears you no malice. But don’t confuse criticism with antagonism. It isn’t at all. But you fail to tell us what it is you are talking about. You don’t threaten me but you do the existence of science as accumulation of knowledge and finding what is important and what is garbage. Otherwise science is just the chorus for the godhead and not much else. It would be a sad day indeed. It has happened before and will happen again until Humanity grows out of its childhood or dies out.

You act so put upon, how about you tell us who persecuted you which would explain you attitude that any Atheist, or anyone else questioning you, is against you in all ways? You are as anonymous as I am here. Be not afraid.

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By DaveZx3, October 29, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, October 29 at 12:56 pm #

“You speak in nonsensical ways DaveZx3 mixing the terms science and religion in ways that contradict each other. But I have seen your type—scientific theologists”.

You read in nonsensical ways Night-Gaunt mixing the terms God and religion as though they are synonymous.  But I have seen your type-believing the religion of science without question, blind obedience to it. 

I am not here to convince you of anything, nor do I feeled compelled to do so.  It is possible to know things.  Some people have experiences that others do not.  You cannot possibly know what is in the scope of my experience, but you make judgements like a bigot, denying something you personally know nothing about, only because it threatens you. 

The reason my writing is nonsensical to you is because you cannot categorize it.  You are uneasy because you can’t find the little box to put me in. And it scares the living s__t out of atheists to start hearing God mixed with science.  Get used to it, it is coming, and it is not bogus, it is very real. 

I am very sorry that you haven’t found a good category to put it in yet, except for scientific-theologists, but it certainly sounds more like your problem than my problem.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 29, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

You speak in nonsensical ways DaveZx3 mixing the terms science and religion in ways that contradict each other. But I have seen your type—scientific theologists. We know evolution happens, as the theory shows in evidence just as with gravity. We know far more now than Darwin did 150 years ago. He intuited there was more but he went by what he observed. It sent him away from theology not closer to it. We can trace lines of change in genes and lineages to prehistoric ancestors and those still alive today. [The chliclid(sp?) fishes are an example, only one type survived 10,000 years ago after the glaciers retreated, in an African lake, now their are a multitude of varieties all traced back to a single genetic type—specie. They can’t interbreed because they have changed too much and it is very recent.] It is still just the tip of it. There is much more to learn and eventually manipulate. But if you want to see a god in everything it is easy. I could do it by simply attributing everything in Nature to it. An all powerful invisible force controlling everything is very easy to prove without proof. Very easy if you aren’t a scientist or have their frame of mind or their methodology. And if you ignore Occam‘s Razor which would cut it away as superfluous.

I could tell you that everything around us points to Evolution because with out it nothing would make sense. However if you could show me where the animals and plants of the earth are products of “special creation” then I would expect in that hypothesis there would be very little if anything in common between everything alive on this planet. However that isn’t true and you hypothesis fails from lack of data to support it.

“It is all about observing cause and effect and being honest and courageous enough to admit what you observe.  But here again, if you don’t take the time and put in the effort, go back to your closet.  It is much safer in the dark.”-DaveZx3

Curious you should bring up closet, doesn’t Jesus admonish you to pray in secret? Hide in that closet why don’t, you like your prophet says if you believe it as you say you do. Who is courageous you or me? I am the minority here not you. And yes I continue to put in the effort. The two are incompatible unless one or both compromise in what they are, I am betting it will be science that is compromised. [The Bahi’s think they can also reach such an equanimity.]

In a free society we can speak out minds without fear of death and dismemberment. Can’t we get along here and still disagree or must we return to the worse times & kinds of Humanity?

DaveZx3, how about you give an example from the 6 million that contradicts science but is in keeping with your theological type of science. [Is this the new science for a new regime that will supplant our ailing nominally secular gov’t?]

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By DaveZx3, October 29, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, October 29 at 11:11 am #

“I believe ones belief should be kept to oneself”.

Then how come you didn’t keep it to yourself?

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By Leefeller, October 29, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

DaveZx3

“What do you believe in Leefeller?”

I believe ones belief should be kept to oneself.

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By DaveZx3, October 29, 2009 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, October 29 at 9:55 am

Beliefs can be true and they can be false.  They can be proven and they can be disproven. 

A belief unto itself is absolutely useless.  Men try to put great weight on beliefs because that is all too many of them have.  This site is called TruthDig for a reason, it is not called BeliefDig. 

It is not that hard to transcend belief, just takes work.  What do you believe in Leefeller?

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By Leefeller, October 29, 2009 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

Proof? Belief does not need proof, nor does it need truth.

May the Force be with you!

If one persons belief is not someone eles, one knows “the proof is always in the pudding”.

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By DaveZx3, October 29, 2009 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

ardee,

OK, I agree to end the conversation. 

But I have to defend the statement “I have done the science” 

Please Google “proof of God through science”  and you come up with over 6 million hits.  Granted all are not of one persuasion, but I wil paste the opening statement of a mid-level hit:

“The purpose of this brief study is to offer a logical, practical, pragmatic proof of the existence of God from a purely scientific perspective”

ardee, the science is becoming overwhelming to an open-minded man.  And as you state, proving the nonexistence of God is impossible. 

I will change my statement to “I have read the science”  Not just a little, but a very, very lot.  As an intelligent man, I find that the proof is overwhelming. 

I find there is actually 1000 times more proof for God than there is for evolution, and everyone accepts that readily.  That is because mans real intent is to deny God because he scares the s__t out of them.  It is much safer if we all can invent our own gods, you know, little impotent gods who we can control through religions. 

I have read all the science, and as an educated, intelligent, non-biased human being, I made a perfectly logical and rational decision.  You are also free to do the same, obviously.

And contrary to what you say, I am not in the least embarassed by anything I say, because I say it with true conviction.  I am never embarassed to do that.

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By ardee, October 29, 2009 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

I understand your difficulty in defending superstition as “scientific research” but for gosh sakes Dave, get real. What the hell is:

“I have done the science” when speaking about the existence of some god in heaven?

Oh and belittling my lack of belief as illogical is quite stupid. You ask me to prove the lack of a god, as impossible as proven the existence of one. You do your ‘science’, Dave, I will turn my back on this conversation as it seems increasingly embarrassing for you.

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By DaveZx3, October 29, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

ardee,

A brief but meaningless statement from you without the logic you speak of to prove it.  You have no logic.  You have your own brand of faith, which is faith in your own gods, whatever or whomever they might be. 

But don’t patronize me by saying logic is the sole ally of the atheist.  I have done the science.  Calling me a liar because you are hoping upon hope that what I say is false, is the sign of a coward and a narrow minded, intolerant man. 

If you have proof of something, produce it, but don’t deny another because you don’t understand the science. 

This is what the “climate change” crowd keeps telling me, so I spent some time and looked at the science, and came to my own conclusions.

It is all about observing cause and effect and being honest and courageous enough to admit what you observe.  But here again, if you don’t take the time and put in the effort, go back to your closeet.  It is much safer in the dark.

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By ardee, October 29, 2009 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

Faith is impenetrable by logic.

“A man who lives in the sky, loves us all but will doom us to an eternity of torment if we fail to obey his ten laws, oh yeah and he always needs money.”

Rest in peace, George Carlin.

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By DaveZx3, October 29, 2009 at 2:43 am Link to this comment

Kant’s phenomenon and noumenon are not the real issue here, though I understand the point you are trying to make.  That the noumenon is a fabrication of someones mind. 

Science must regularly deal with the inacessability of the noumenon to explain the phenomenon, ie: light or electricity.  These are observable in their effect, but not necessarily in their cause.  Is light a particle?  Do electrons flow?  What is the mechanism of gravity? 

I, for one, am content to scientifically observe and quantify an effect, and come up with the most reasonable scientific reason for it. 

Evolution is an example.  You cannot observe it directly.  It remains a theory, with its only true phenomenon being the fossil record. 

There is a lot of science going on regarding the supernatural, unexplainable and yes religion.  It does not threaten me.  I am content to accept or reject anything based on good science. 

But for me to agree that the majestiers of science and religion must remain separate is foolish.  They are not opposite contenders for the minds of men. 

When the rebellious children finally started to admit that their letters home were not resulting in money and favors, they realized they were on their own to figure out their new environment.  They had to invent science to help explain how to deal with it.  Somebody had to figure out things like fire, and the wheel. 

But some of the children continued to write home and say they were receiving tons of money and favors.  This threatened science who wanted to be the sole source of a new type of money and favors.  They declared writing home to be unscientific and foolish.

All this is lies and deception on both sides.  So, again, for me to agree that the majestiers of science and religion must remain separate is foolish.  They are not opposite contenders for the minds of men.

If science were seriously worried about the rebellious children, they would first use every scientific means possible to measure and quantify the effect that the noumenon called God can have on society.  If there are effects (money and favors)observed which cannot be explained otherwise, then the concept that it might be o.k. to continue to write home should be accepted and encouraged. 

Maybe science could help end the multitudinous ways that man has invented to write home for money and favors.  Maybe science could find that the letters should not ask for money and favors, but something else. 

But since science is threatened by this writing home, they will continue to think they must remain separate from the biggest mystery of all times. 

God does not expect belief without proof.  There is more observable scientific evidence for God than there is for evolution.  All you need to do is TruthDig for it.  Initially there is required an element of faith to summon up the perseverance to continue the search.  But at some point, the perseverance pays off, and manifestation rules. 

It is extremely narrow minded and judgemental to deny God when you have not put in the persevering effort it takes to encounter Him.  And it is the convenience of a lazy man to judge the existence of God on the actions of noisy, rebellious children who murder, cheat, steal, lie, etc.  (though not all of them)

That is my basis for the statement, “God is not religion”  Nor was He invented by religion.  I took the time to do the science.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 28, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Where does phenomena end and nomena begin i.e. outside versus inside your head? That is the rub isn’t it DaveZx3? So it is for us all.

You must divorce yourself from belief in and look at it in an empirical way in order to assess it more clearly. Of course that would be anathema to a believer when it concerns such holy objects. Such is the conundrum. You must believe without proof or all is lost. With such a contradiction the majestiers of science and religion must remain separate. Do you agree with me DaveZx3?

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By DaveZx3, October 28, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

ardee

I have to continue briefly.

Religion is not all false.  Some of the children remember the lessons from home and they mix them in to their religions to one degree or another.  So to say that everything a religious person says is wrong is also wrong.  Some of them might be 90% right.

Regarding the Bible.  Part of the Bible was a letter to the children from God, reminding them of the rules and reestablishing the offer to come home without any blame.  Part of the Bible is written by children who have had encounters with God and lived to tell about them.  Part of the Bible is written by deluded people, but it was left in there because a group of children got together and decided what should be in the Bible and what should not.  It is up to the reader to discern.  But all is good for instruction. 

But that is a moot point.  God has a telephone.  It is much easier to just call when you have a question.
He gives answers freely to all who ask in good faith and honest heart.  It takes a while.  His number is busy most of the time, but if you persist, you will establish contact.

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By DaveZx3, October 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

ardee, 

God is not religion. 

Maybe I can explain it this way:  God as creator gets to say what the rules are.  Man, being like the rebellious child does not like to follow the rules.  God says, as any good parent would, if you don’t like the rules, then move out of the house, but don’t expect any help from me.  The children say, fine, we’re moving, and they do. 

Once out, they find it extremely rough going, and wish they had some help from God.  God says they are free to move back if they are willing to follow the rules.  The children want their cake and eat it to.

They elect to stay out so they can do whatever they want, but they continue to write letters home asking for money and favors, which are rarely, if ever answered. 

However, some, unscrupulous children lie and say their letters home have been rewarded with money and favors.  They become the “special children” and agree to help the other children get money and favors also, but for a price.  The other children want to feel “special” also, so are reluctant to admit they did not receive the money and favors.  They deceive even themselves about this process of asking for money and favors. 

Pretty soon another group decides to initiate a new system of asking for money and favors, and the process repeats.  Few, if any, actually receive any money or favors, but they all persist in the belief that the process is not at fault, and each keep their own secret that they are actually receiving no money and favors for fear of being perceived as not a “special person”  THIS IS WHAT RELIGION IS. 

Meanwhile, God has not changed.  His rules have not changed.  Anyone, anyone at all, who wants to follow the rules, is instantly received back into the house and given all the money and favors they need. 

So, to make a long story long, God is over here in the nice big, cozy house.  While the children are over there in the miserable, dog eat dog world, murdering each other, lying, cheating, stealing and pretending they are receiving money and favors from home due to the great system of “religion” that they have invented.

Simplified yes, but deadly, and I do mean deadly, accurate.  Hopefully you understand where I am coming from now.

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By ardee, October 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

I would have thought my statement, “God is not religion” would have been fairly straight forward.

No indeed, it is a complex statement indeed, especially to one who believes god an invention of religiosity.

Has there been any examples in writing where men have come to know God without fraternizing around with their like-minded neighbors?  How about Adam or Noah or Abraham, who this thread is about.

Adam is a fig newton of someones imagination, Noah (Noach in Hebrew) the same, and Abraham (Abram or Avraham) at least adopted by the Hebrew faith.

The Bible is not the product of a religious group.

What then would it be. There is the historical facts of its authorship, parts being written in various times and for various reasons. Or do you propose that it came down intact from on high? I am puzzled…

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By DaveZx3, October 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

ardee, 

I forgot to adress your comment of, don’t I believe that the Bible is the product of a specific religious group.  The answer is NO.  The Bible is not the product of a religious group.

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By DaveZx3, October 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

You spent your life looking into your version of truth, and I spent my life looking into my version of truth.  I cannot comprehend your version, and you cannot comprehend the truth that I adhere to. 

I would have thought my statement, “God is not religion” would have been fairly straight forward.

Has there been any examples in writing where men have come to know God without fraternizing around with their like-minded neighbors?  How about Adam or Noah or Abraham, who this thread is about.  There are also thousands of other much lesser men and women whom you have never heard of, and I will not bother you with their names. 

It must have dawned on you that all religion cannot possibly be true? 

Everyone has their opinion of Obama, but is he what every individual or group believes him to be?  No, he is only Obama, no more no less.  Obama defines Obama, not those groups who worship or hate him.  Maybe I know nothing of Obama, but circumstances throw us together for some reason, does that make me automatically a member of one of the groups that love him or hate him.  Do I immediately have to go out and start watching MSNBC or Fox news just because I had a run in with Obama?

When I say God, I am inferring The Supreme Diety, so it is not like all the religions can each have their own individual god.  Well they can, but they all can’t be Supreme Dieties.  There is only one Commander in Chief, Obama.  The one you call your wife is not the real commander in chief, just your personal commander in chief. 

Men who gather in religions have proven to be divisive and dangerous, in spite of this behavior not being a part of most, if not all, religions.  So what can you say about them?  They take the Word of the Supreme Diety, and then all change it to suit themselves.  Or worse yet, they take the Word and then just flat ignore it.  And you are asking me why I am not a member of one of them?  Even the Iranian Madman claims to be religious. 

In all fairness, not all men of all religions do this.  Many are legitimately seeking God, but they are confined by the limits of their religious traditions.  Jesus Christ said as much about the Jews of his time.  So where is the mystery in this? 

I might be so bold to say that Lucifer himself knows God well, but might not bother fraternizing around with religious people.  He actually started up his own religion. 

In your haste to judge and categorize, you have made the mistake of linking words incorrectly which have very complex relationships with each other.  It would be like someone saying socialism is a communist dictatorship.  Those words have been incorrectly linked in the minds of men until they have become synonymous. 

I, like many others, am not easily categorized by you or others, like leefeller.  I am sorry that I don’t fit into one of your little categories, but I am not going to lose any sleep over it.  It really comes from your lack of understanding of the subject matter. 

One more thing.  I am not claiming any level of superiority to anyone or anything.  I am as big a failure as the next guy.  For the more I try to do good, the worse I do.

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