I'm not sure the God in the bible actually exists. I believe, of course that its possible. What's strange to me is that my little girl who is only 6 (but very smart) has lately been asking me alot of questions about god. She said that she didn't believe that God is a person (The way I had been trying to explain it to her). She asked if god had created himself. I advised her that he didn't, and then I tried to explain to her that god created the heavens, earth, sun, stars etc. Now here's the funny part. She told me that she has never seen God flip a light switch in the sky to make the sun come up. I burst into laughter. But after the laughter died down, I tried to conceal my own doubts: As a child growing up as a Jw I often wondered why God seemed to have changed from a warrior type into a more laid back loving and kind type. I grew up very afraid of God. I always thought Armageddon was right around the corner But, I also thought it was unfair for us to have to pay for something Adam and eve did. It’s been even worse since my sister died. Speaking of death I didn't understand why the ransom had to be paid twice. I say twice because Jesus (yes I believe he existed. well. sort of) died for our sins. Right? So why do we still have to die? I felt like since Jesus died we should "all" be able to just get on with our business and live forever in paradise on earth. I mean to me it sounds like an even trade. But if Jesus didn't die we are like Paul said most to be pitied, ("See 1 cor 15:19") for having put our faith in something that doesn't exist. Of course its still possible that Jesus existed as a regular "enlightened" Individual who walked about and preached and was crucified. Which of course Paul words above would still apply. But in my mind its goes deeper than that. The 4 main tenants of the bible seem to be: (correct me if I’m wrong)
1. Adam and Eve (Creation)
2. Noah (Gods saves righteous few destroys everybody else.)
3. Jesus (Resurrection hope \Redemption)
4. Revelation (Doomsday.)
If any of the above don't hold up there’s a problem somewhere. First question that comes to my mind. Why did god allow men to write the bible anyway? Since we don’t know anything about some of the men who wrote the bible can we be sure about its contents? Why didn't he just do like he did with Moses and write it out himself? In that way he could have made sure that the mssg was transferred correctly and that the divine words wouldn't get misinterpreted. The bible tells us that In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth as well as Adam and Eve (I wont get into arguments for or against creation.) Then Satan comes and tempts Eve informs her that if she ate she would then be able to discern right from wrong, the bible goes on to tell us that she does in fact eat and instead of Satan being a liar what he said comes true, this becomes apparent because all of sudden they notice that they are naked.
Here's the problem: why would it have been a sin for them to eat if they had no concept of right and wrong beforehand. To me this is akin to telling a child not to eat candy or touch a hot stove while at the same time practically dangling it right in front of them. Even Jesus would be appalled see~ Luke 11:11-13. Unfortunately it only gets worse from here on out. Why? well....................................
Since god is supposedly omnipotent, he knew Satan’s heart condition even before he was created! So why even bother to create him to start with, knowing full well he would only have to be destroyed, thereby sparing himself, the other angels and esp. US all the heartache. Imho, Adam and Eve were a far lesser threat than Satan so why not just destroy Satan and give Adam and Eve another chance and be done with it? See! Satan got the better deal out of all this and rent free I might add (more on this later.)
Lets skip the flood geology stuff. Someone else here has already discussed it in depth.
Jesus/Resurrection: Sounded like a pretty good deal when I first heard about it. Leave heaven to go on vacation for 33 years on earth. Piss off the Jewish religious Leaders; aggravate the hell out of the Romans. Volunteer to take a long nap. Get resurrected 3 days later, go back to heaven and have a party with Satan. OOPs. Did I do that? I mean the JW's teach that Satan wasn't thrown out until 1914 right? So he would have still been there when Jesus got back in town.
Revelation: Great Trib. People resurrected formed into a Great crowd. Earth is a Paradise. Satan Bound and gagged in a abyss for a thousand years giving him just enough time to think up another injurious scheme. People seem to actually start liking each other, no more wars, hunger, death or pain then for some strange reason Satan is let loose again(). Many have to be destroyed for falling for his brilliant plan. Why, even Job and most all of the prophets falls for Satan’s smooth wily ways. But believe it or not, not a single JW is harmed. Of course you could still break your arm or something tho' and it would hurt like hell, actually worse, because now you would have a perfect finely tuned nervous system. Ah, perfection at its best. Finally, Satan is thrown into the lake of fire along with his minions. But not before his finishes his six-pack with his best friends Bro Russell and Bro Rutherford.
Does this sound ridiculous? Well, yea I added in a little humor. Unfortunately, this is what I had been taught all of my life. So, Imagine how I felt when I came across this site. Now my eyes are open. I believe that all my beliefs need to be reexamined. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that God is either:
2. Unconcerned Creator
3. Doesn’t exist
I will skip the second one because it doesn’t make any sense. Think about it why go through all the trouble to create the universe, with intelligent life then have absolutely no contact with them. Some will disagree but 3 makes more sense than the second choice. Nevertheless I will omit it as well because I think it obscures the point that I am trying to make. Nothing in the observable universe exists without a cause. Some try to skate around this using math and logic. I care not to resort to such a debate because an ETI (the first choice) does not require Omnipotence.
Is God nothing more than a sufficiently advanced extra-terrestrial intelligence?
Any sufficiently advanced extra-terrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. This last observation stimulated me to think more on the relationship of science and religion, particularly the impact or the discovery of an Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (ETI) would have on both traditions. God is typically described by Western religions as omniscient and omnipotent. Since we are far from the mark on these traits, how could we possibly distinguish a God who has them absolutely, from an ETI who has them in relatively (to us) copious amounts? Thus, we would be unable to distinguish between absolute and relative omniscience and omnipotence. But if God were only relatively more knowing and powerful than us, then by definition it "would" be an ETI! Consider two observations and one deduction:
1. Biological evolution operates at a snail's pace compared to technological evolution (the former is Darwinian and requires generations of differential reproductive success, the latter is Lamarckian and can be implemented within a single generation). 2. The cosmos is very big and space is very empty ("Voyager I", our most distant spacecraft hurtling along at over 38,000 mph, will not reach the distance of even our sun's nearest neighbor, the Alpha Centauri system that it is "not" even headed toward, for over 75,000 years). Ergo, the probability of an ETI who is only slightly more advanced than us and also makes contact is virtually nil. If we ever do find ETI it will be as if a million-year-old "Homo erectus" were dropped into the middle of a large metropolitan city, given a computer and cell phone and instructed to communicate with us. ETI would be to us as we would be to this early hominid — godlike. Science and technology have changed our world more in the past century than it changed in the previous hundred centuries. It took 10,000 years to get from the cart to the airplane, but only 66 years to get from powered flight to a lunar landing. Moore's Law of computer power doubling every eighteen months continues unabated and is now down to about a year. At some point the total computational power will rise to levels that are so far beyond anything that we can imagine that they will appear near infinite and thus, relatively speaking, be indistinguishable from omniscience. When this happens the world will change more in a decade than it did in the previous thousand decades. Extrapolate that out a hundred thousand years, or a million years (an eye blink on an evolutionary time scale and thus we get a realistic estimate of how far advanced ETI will be, unless we happen to be the first space-faring species, which is unlikely), and we get a gut-wrenching, mind-warping feel for just how godlike someone who possessed this kind of technology would seem. If an alien species were advanced enough to travel across the cosmos and create new life forms a question has to be asked. Where are they now? That leaves us in the in the same but slightly different situation. Could it be that the ETI that created us are extinct? But this too seems unlikely since they would obviously possess near infinite technology or naturally be extremely long lived. Hey, maybe there busy creating other Worlds. Who knows maybe in a few thousand years we'll get a postcard.