Wow Terry...thanks. That actually meant alot coming from you.
I hate to ask the obvious (and tired) question to the remark that "Intelligence begets intelligence", but if this is true, then what created God? And if there need be a 'first cause' why is it more likely to be God, rather than just 'nature', or 'natural process' itself? Carl Sagan asked much the same:
"If we wish courageously to pursue the question, we must, of course ask next where God comes from? And if we decide this to be unanswerable, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always existed?" - (from Cosmos)
That's a cheap remark from Carl Sagan. It avoids the issue and just throws it back into the creationists court to be dealt with. Creationists have an argument about First Cause. Evolutionists don't. Evolutionists generally do not believe that the universe has always existed. They even try to find an argument for a "First Cause". But every theory they have depends on something existing BEFORE the first cause. The big bang is a great example.
Creationists view God as eternal. He is an eternal intelligent being. What do evolutionists have that could be considered "eternal"? Something doesn't come from nothing.
The argument is not tired. Information CANNOT come from nothing. It cannot be demonstrated in ANY sense. If you are honest with yourself, you cannot say that it can. There MUST be some sort of intelligence to cause what we see existing in the universe. From the power of the macrocosm to the fragile detail of the micrcosm, it is inexcusable to not believe in some sort of intelligent design.
Dan....you know I like you. I think it's apparent to all on the forum that I AM an atheist, and certainly NOT because of the WT. I was questioning belief in god when I was six. Having said that, I think I have made it clear many times that I will never tell anyone THEY shouldn't believe in god. I don't, but that's me. You form YOUR beliefs and I'll respect them, but I also ask that you do the same for me.
With respect to your question about whether or not atheists are content and judge them not to be so....doesn't the bible say that god is the judge of mens hearts? It's certainly not you, my friend. I don't think you realize just how insulting and it is and how condescending it sounds to tell an entire groups of people that you have judged them as unhappy despite what they believe and faulty in their beliefs.
With regard to the bible and terry...a lot of what terry posts IS accurate, particularly about the bible being redacted, re-writted and changed over the years. And you have to tell me which bible you mean, there are more versions that just the catholic version that most of christianity uses today. If I believe the bible is unerrant, then i have other christians telling me jesus or god spoke to them and to ignore the bible. others say which part of the bible to believe and which to toss. Who to believe?
Lack of evidence of God, IMO, is a copout. You have not been everywhere in the universe to see if there is a God.
It's not a copout at all. I can say "I believe there is no BrotherDan". If you in fact exist, you can create a post, send me a PM, email me, call me, have a beer with me, write a book, go on TV, etc. God does none of those things despite the fact that according to ancient texts, he used to do that all the time. Surely an all powerful god cannot be less powerful than you at revealing himself.
To go beyond this statement is to have a certain amount of faith that there CANNOT be a God.
Not at all my friend. It's more like "Until god chooses to give me proof of his existence I see no reason to believe in him.
It's this same sort of faith that causes me to see a house and have faith that someone built it. It's the same sort of faith that causes me to see the beauty and magesty of a tree and have faith that someone built that.
That's a matter of faith, not of fact, and I do not begrudge you that faith.
OTOH, don't tell me I am lacking because I don't share it.
Bro dan, I respect what you say and I think it's good for newly exiting JW's to read something like that.
Personally I am happier living without any religious construct. I contribute positively to society and live my life by a moral code that ensures that other people's rights are not iundermined by my actions.
I don't believe God (if there is one) wants to be worshipped by me any more than I want my children to worship me.
I also question why the Christian God is any more valid than the God's of the Hindu faith, Thor or the Flying Speghetti Monster, or why the Bible is more relevant than any othet Holy Book.
I wasn't trying to judge you. I was commenting on what the Bible says about God. There is nothing without Him. I respect your views and would sit down and have a beer or 10 with you any day. I know, from my experience, that I could not be content knowing that there was nothing beyond myself. And when the Bible says that there is contentment only in knowing God, I believe it. I find GREAT contentment in knowing God.
I did not mean for this topic to digress into a battle or in people feeling hurt because of feeling judged. Who am I to judge? I'm screwed up in so many ways it's not funny. But the things that I am sure about, I am SURE about. But at the same time, I don't want to make others feel stupid or judged because they hold very different beliefs than I do. I merely started this thread to let other Christians know that the atheist viewpoint is VERY strong in this forum, but there are MANY others that still have a belief in Christ. No matter what their views, they should be able to find support from someone.
I respectfully submit that I read nothing elitist in Bro Dan's posts.
IMO, he's simply making his Christian feelings known.
I have not put forward an elitist ideology. I have commented on what the Bible says about those that do not believe in God. That's all.
Eh..you kind of are, Dan. Telling a whole group of people that they can't really be content or happy because they don't beleive in the same god you do? Let's try a fun game....
Followers of Baal can't be happy because they reject the supreme god marduk.
Followers of zeus can't be happy because they reject poseidon.
Followers of Ra can't be happy because they reject Thor.
Followers of Jesus can't be happy because they reject Yahweh.
Gay men can't be happy because they will never know intimacy with a woman.
Black people can't be happy unless we white people help them direct their lives.
Buddhists can't be happy because they reject Allah.
Muslims can't be happy because they reject Shiva.
If you are going to use the Bible as an authority, though, you have to establish the Bible as authoritative first. THAT is where we all diverge because even those who respect the Bible differ a GREAT deal in what parts are literal, what parts are figurative, whether it is directly and inerrently God's WORDS, or whether it is a really good book that was written by men, or that it is a great book written by men as guided loosely by some higher power that some choose to call God, or something else entirely.
Your Bible isn't my Bible isn't his Bible isn't her Bible. So how can anything be stated with certainty using "the" Bible as its authority?
FWIW, I am not an atheist. But I don't believe anyone can learn all there is to know about God from other people or their books. Until you have had your very own personal revelation, all you have is hearsay.
Well in all honesty, I suppose by our definition of "elite", the Bible is an elitist book. It says there is ONLY ONE true God. By saying that it says that all other gods (the thousands of hindu gods, the gods of pagans, etc...) are false.