The Hubble, Yahweh, the Bible, and faith.

by Nickolas 269 Replies latest jw friends

  • Paulapollos


    what do you mean about "creationism"? I found your reply very interesting, but I was abit confused by that remark. You mentioned the importance of evidence, then creationism? What evidence is there for creationism, or intervention by God?


  • sabastious

    I believe that God works through us to stimulate growth. When we grow God, through us, becomes stronger and we see his nature clearer. The time the OT was written humans were much different and God was much less clear to them as he is to us now. Violence was considered the go to problem solver back then whether they were right to use it or not. God watches and guides us grow. He bursts our bubble when we need it burst, but makes sure that we are always on the path to eternity.


  • Awen

    @ Paulapollos

    My use of the term Creationism is related to the failure of modern science to explain how life originated. Scientists can explain evolution within a species or mutation within a species but thus far no one has been able to explain or duplicate how life began in the first place. It's all conjecture. Occam's Razor states "eliminate all other possibilities and whatever remains, however unlikely must be the truth." I don't come to this conclusion lightly as I have done years of personal research and had to admit (to myself) the lack of evidence for a perfect creation. There are many genetic flaws and certain things do mutate. The Influenza Virus being a great example. However evolution only seems to occur within a species. That is to say monkeys don't evolve into birds or horses etc. Nor to my knowledge has any evidence ever come forth to prove otherwise (I could be wrong as I don't have a college education nor am particularly learned in biology, chemistry, or any other of the higher disciplines of science).

    To address what you asked of Shelby (AGuest) I will quote a particular scripture.

    John 14:26 "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

    Now we can only speculate what it was exactly what the Holy Spirit reminded the Apostles of. However the promise is given to all persons (if they ask for it) the gift of knowledge to understand the deeper things of God. One can reasonably surmise this might include the nature of the universe. Yes an outlandish claim but also limited and for good reason. If someone who had the Holy Spirit knew everything about...well everything they would become a subject of idolatry to others and stop following God. This isn't the purpose of the Holy Spirit. It's to teach the basic things about God and Christ but in a way that does not draw attention away from either of them. I myself, nor Shelby nor anyone else claim to know it all. We only know what we have been told (in strictly limited terms).

    If that invites criticism, then so be it. If we're labeled "nutters" then that's okay too. Many of the prophets of the OT and NT (which I nor others equate ourselves to) were labeled as such too, Jesus included. So we're in good company I guess. I think I also speak for us all when I say none of us say these things in an effort to draw attention to ourselves or to make "followers" like the Governing Body does. We're simply mailmen (and women) who deliver the message. We don't write the letters, we just deliver them. But at the same time we're responsible for what is said to a degree since the messages can be influenced by our own state of mind, social outlook and the imperfect vessel that is the human mind. We make mistakes sometimes and God will hold us accountable for those mistakes or if we willfully try to draw worship away from God and onto ourselves (like the GB has done). It's a precarious position.

    Above all I encourage you to pray, ask from a sincere heart for the Holy Spirit to come into your life and teach you about God and Christ. If you read something I or someone else writes that you do not agree with or you think goes against what God teaches, then by all means ignore what we say. The Apostles didn't always agree on everything even though they all had the same Holy Spirit. It simply speaks to different people in different ways. They didn't at first accept Paul even though they later did. Obviously they allowed their own humanity (and the imperfections that come along with it) to influence their state of mind rather than listening to the Spirit (which they eventually did).

    Paul said at 1 Corinthians 13:12 "Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely."

    This is where I find myself when trying to relate what I have been taught.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Awen aka One Cashew among many Nuts.

  • AGuest
    a 23rd category showed that those prayed for had a slight, but statistically significant enough edge, over the control group in "hospital stays and doctor visits." Psychiatrist, Elizabeth Targ, who had initiated the study, published that 23rd result despite the fact that it was not part of the original protocols. She never mentioned that it was not part of the goals for the study.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, Jer (and I know you will), but wouldn't it have been dishonest of her to NOT include the 23rd result, even if it wasn't part of the original goals? And did it really matter if it wasn't part of the study goals if what it SHOWED was, as you quote, a "statistically significant enough edge"? Sure, if it showed nothing... or something insignificant... leaving it out would make sense. That it showed something significant, however, seems to ME to be a reason to include it... especially if you were BANKING on it NOT doing so. Just how I (and apparently others, including Dr. Targ) think...

    Aguest -- still not quite over that Hawkins thing i see.

    No, no, well over the Hawkins "thing", dear Bohm (peace to you!)... and over you, as well. Just wanted to give a little shout out to dear Awen (peace to you, as well!) that he wasn't wrong - you were attacking his intelligence, as you have a [pretty bad] habit of doing. But I ain't mad at'cha... seems to be your "way", is all. Just wish YOU could see it so that perhaps you'd try not to do it... which might actually allow folks to consider listening to you. Might. Might not make a difference at all, though, too...

    For all the talk of forgiveness and peace, i am surpriced you are still there calling me an idiot*,

    No, I called you an "idjit." Because I DO forgive you and wish you peace. If not, I would have called something more harsh...

    in particular considering the obvious irony of doing so in a post where you are so hell-bound of painting me in a bad light

    No, dear one, you paint yourself so. I just... ummmmm... put a spotlight on your "self-portrait", is all. Sorry, if the glare was too much. I hear sunglasses help with that -

    that you attempt to present a phrase like: "Your PLOS ONE article is entirely irrelevant to the point i made and i am surpriced you mention it." as an attack of a persons intelligence!

    It was an attack, dear Bohm. You were treating another with disdain (and you know it; you like doing that) disguised as "Wow, I thought you were smarter than that!" C'mon... I know you're capable of a bit more intellectual "honesty" (pun intended) than that. I have been wrong before, though, so...

    the irony!

    Indeed! I thought it VERY ironic that you want people to buy what you're selling... but try to get them do it by smashing them in the face with it...

    * or rather, you misspelled idiot and did it in a 3rd person kind of way, my bad,

    Actually, no, I didn't misspell it - I mean idjit. That is, unless it's spelled "idgit", which could be the case, now that I think of it -

    sometimes it is just hard to tell when someone is simply calling you an idiot, or calling you an idiot in a passive-agressive way.

    How 'bout calling you "someone who's [acting like] a jerk... but in a 'but, don't take it... or him... too seriously... because he really doesn't know he's acting like one'"... kind of way? Does that make it easier?


    A slave of Christ,

    SA, who did admit that she will speak up... when she feels she needs to... and she obviously felt she needed to here...

  • tec

    Nicholas asking our believeing friends if their belief in a god/creator etc. is relevant or large enough after the wonders we have seen through the Hubble will certainly roil their waters.

    I'm not sure I saw any believer's waters roiled by the observations and questions Nickolas shared. Waters get roiled when what we hold dear is threatened - belief (in whatever) being one of those things. As far as I can see though, no one whose belief is threatened by the vastness of the universe, has attempted to respond on this thread.

    Shelby (peace also to you), I was beginning to think that a flood could have occurred, but far earlier than we commonly think... and that is why most civilizations have record of one. Smaller floods could even have insinuated themselves into the story, itself, as the 'myth' got passed through civilizations and times. Plus, in the same way that "God created plants" is such a tiny statement for all the many things involved in that one aspect of creation... the flood account could also be a simple retelling/understanding of much grander, far more deeply detailed event. Something that seems simple and silly now could well have been simple , simply to keep it understandable for the people who had no other scientific knowledge (or even terms) to fall back on. Don't mean to derail; just wanted to comment quickly on that :)

    Regardless, I hope Nickolas that you keep on with this thread. It seems to me that this is the kind of 'faith' that you don't understand. The "non-literal biblical" faith (there's a term for ya'). Faith that does not depend on a literal or inerrant bible, but rather on the one that this bible plays witness TO. I look forward to continuing this discussion.

    Peace to you,




  • tec

    Apparently, I felt the need to sign off twice on my last post

  • Awen

    Just a side note. The word "idjit" (also spelled idgit, though incorrect) is a word common used in the area of the Appalachian Mountains. It was brought to America by Scottish immigrants who settled in that area. Shelby having been born in that area (and myself being of Scottish descent) are quite familiar with the term.

    Here's a quick definition for ones such as bohm who like to "correct" us dumb people.

    IDIOT, Persons. A person who has been without understanding from his nativity, and whom the law, therefore, presumes never likely to attain any. Shelf. on Lun. 2.
    2. It is an imbecility or sterility of mind, and not a perversion of the understanding

    That is all.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

  • sizemik

    OK . . . so idjit is simply another word for idiot? . . . no forget I asked!

    As far as I can see though, no one whose belief is threatened by the vastness of the universe, has attempted to respond on this thread.

    Well Tammy . . . a lot here seemed to feel threatened by something . . . (nice post BTW)

    Yet another potentially informative and interesting thread has been totally derailed into an ego-driven pissing contest resembling a childish spat . . . and I'm not finger pointing here . . . but if the shoe fits?

    What's wrong with you people?

  • unshackled
    What's wrong with you people?

    Shall I start size? Okay break time...taking this opportunity to slip in an excerpt of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. In a way I think it touches on Nick's thoughts on the vastness of the universe and our tiny place in it.

  • AGuest
    I didn't feel this discussion had done anything of the sort prior to this comment.

    I understand that, dear Sizemik (peace to you!)... but apparently another/others did.

    No offence intended here . . . but a little less of the thin skinned defensiveness placing the focus on a persons manner

    Now, see, I don't think that statement's fair - no one was being thin-skinned. Again, sincere questions were asked... and sincere responses proffered. And then... the usual "We're snickering behind our hands, here," while not actually snickering... nor behind the hands. NO ONE on this forum wants to be attacked or ridiculed; however, it is understood that, under some circumstances, that will occur. When someone puts out a SINCERE request for comments, however, and others take the risk of responding SINCERELY... then ANY responses/comments to that should address the responses... and not take potshots at the intelligence, rationality, logic, mental status, or what have you, of the responder. Otherwise, the OP's post is disrespected. ANYONE can start another thread regarding their thoughts on how another thinks/believes.

    . . . and instead sticking to the issues, goes a long way to furthering a very interesting thread.

    I thought so, too. What were the issues here, though? I refer you back to the OPs questions...

    Faith can't be defended by evidence . . . otherwise it wouldn't be faith would it?

    Not according to the definition of faith:

    "The assured expectation of the thing hoped for, the EVIDENT DEMONSTRATION OF REALITY... though not beheld (seen)." (NWT)

    "The substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen." (KJV)

    I realize some versions use the word "conviction" or other words; however, the Greek word used in describing faith is "elegchos", which means, primarily: "a PROOF, that by which a thing is PROVED or TESTED..." It is from the root word "elegcho" which means "conviction" NOT in the sense of being certain about something, but having the PROOF needed to CONVICT someone of something. So, using the word "conviction" here is not accurate. Those scribes whose false stylus chose this definition did so because THEY have never experienced such evidence/proof. And so, like many here, assume there is none and so the word MUST mean something else.

    In the light of this discussion . . . I have a sincere question for you.

    And I am going to take you at your word that your question IS sincere... rather than reading through it and then trying to ridicule you for asking it/them... or how you asked... or what you're "really" trying to get at/say. Because I believe YOU to be sincere... and worthy of a modicum of respect from me in MY response to you, even if you and I don't agree on some things... or even if I think you're not too bright (which I don't, but you get my point). I can think you worthy in that regard, dear one... because of my OWN sincerity. You have no reason to suspect ME of anything less; therefore, there is nothing "in" ME... that suspects YOU of anything less.

    In relation to your faith you explained it thus . . .
    Faith, dear one. In the One who speaks to me, my Lord, the Holy One of Israel, JAHESHUA... who tells me of/shows me wonders I can't even barely articulate and of the One who sent him and whose image he bears, the MOST Holy One of Israel, JAH... of Armies. Based on what I've heard from him... and the realities he has told and shown me, I simply cannot DENY his existence... or that of the One he represents.
    I have highlighted some phrases for this reason . . . It appears from these, that you have proof or evidence for your belief that is simply undeniable.

    Yes, that is my position...

    With the possession of such undeniable evidence . . . how does there exist a need for faith?

    The evidence is not the thing I have faith IN, dear one. It is evidence so that I HAVE faith in the thing "hoped" for: whatever it is my Lord told me occurred... or WILL occur. Faith is NOT blind, dear one. Not at all. There must be SOMETHING for one to base one's faith ON/IN.

    . . . specifically faith in the existence of God?

    I don't have faith in the existence of God, dear one. I KNOW God's exists. I have FAITH... IN God. Because I have faith in His SON, the One who is His image, His exact representation. Faith in him that, as the SON of God and His Truth what he says to me IS truth and I CAN rely on it. Faith in what he SAYS: what has occurred, what will occur, what I am do to, who I am to do it with/for, etc. I KNOW he rose from the dead... and is ALIVE... because I can hear (and sometimes see) him. That is the "evidence."

    My FAITH is in what he SAYS occurred and will occur. For example, I know he rose and lives, because I hear/see him (evidence). I have FAITH, then, that he can also raise up any who belong to him, including myself... although I have NOT seen that.

    Without this undeniable evidence you acknowledge thus . . .
    If I did not hear and see HIM... I would most probably come to conclude, as you have, that there is nothing outside of the physical universe. Praise JAH, that has not been my experience.


    I'm being sincere here . . . it simply appears that you have no need for faith, as the evidence for your belief is conclusive and undeniable.

    It was my faith that ALLOWED me to receive the evidence, dear one: first, to hear him. I had FAITH... that he was alive, not dead... although he died. So, when he spoke, I was able to receive that (although not immediately). So, now I no longer have to HOPE that he is alive, resurrected, but know it. NOW... I hope that I and my loved ones will be so resurrected, too. Since he has NEVER lied to me... and he SAYS I and they will be... I have FAITH in that promise. As well as other promises (i.e., to be a part of his Father's "house").

    My faith, then, is NOT in the Bible or what it says ABOUT him: it is in HIM. A real, live being... albeit not flesh and blood and so not "beheld" (realized by one of the five PHYSICAL senses).

    I'm interested as to where and how one might obtain this evidence.

    From that One, the same One that I have: the Holy One of Israel and Holy Spirit, JAHESHUA, the Chosen One of JAH (MischaJah). There really isn't any other, dear one.

    I for one, do not conclude that there is "nothing outside of the physical universe" . . . only that the evidence for traditionally held concepts of God and Christ based largely on faith and ancient writings . . . continues to lack conclusive evidence in the tide of increasing knowledge.

    And I absolutely AGREE with your last statement, with a slight variation: I not only believe, but KNOW that the concepts of God and Christ "based largely on faith IN ancient writings... and the teachings/doctrines/dogma of religion (christianity)... did, does, continues to... and always WILL lack conclusive evidence. It's not THERE. You won't FIND it there. NONE of these can give you what THEY don't HAVE. Which is why there is all of the confusion there IS: folks go everywhere except to the One who can give it, who CAN lead you into ALL truth. Regarding our world AND his!

    Again, I believe you to be sincere, dear Sizemik. I hope you can believe the same of me.

    Peace to you!

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


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