Skip to comments.Christopher Hitchens: Godlessness Is Not Great — How Atheism Poisons Everything
Posted on 12/20/2011 9:15:48 AM PST by Paladins Prayer
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I don’t know.
“Just mythoughts” suggests that it has not been made yet. I think that it has already been made.
A story from the Bible seems appropriate here: Two men are described in a parable that Jesus Christ told his followers. One of the men lived a life of luxury and the other, whose name was Lazarus, was so poor and sick that dogs licked his wounds. Both men died and Lazarus was carried to paradise and the rich man to a place of torment. The man in torment could see Lazarus in paradise and he begged that he come to comfort him with a drop of water. But he was told that he could not go to the other man and that the other man could not come to him.
So, from the story it would seem that we will all go to one of two places: a place of torment and suffering or a place of peace and comfort. The story goes on to say that the rich man begged that Lazarus go and warn his family to stay away from the place of torment. But the rich man was told that his family had Moses and the prophets (the Bible) but the rich man said, “no, my family won’t believe unless someone goes to them from the dead.” And the rich man was told if his family wouldn’t believe Moses and the prophets they wouldn’t believe someone who goes to them from the dead either.
I believe that God exists and that there is a heaven and a hell. I also believe that God loves us and that He sent His Son to become one of us. Imagine that, the CREATOR of the Universe became one of us! He lived a perfect life and then died on a cross. By doing so, He paid the debt for our sins. And like I said in the prior post; it wasn’t a debt he owed. Nor it it one we are capable of paying.
So the real question is not what will happen to you when you die, but does it matter to you that HE died?
If God exists and if Christ is His Son and if His death paid the debt for your sin then IT MATTERS.
BTW, the story of the rich man and Lazarus is the only story Christ told which includes the name which suggests to many that it may be a true story rather than a parable.
But you don’t know for sure, so you postulate the answer that seems reasonable to you. So does everyone else. That’s why there are so many different denominations and religions. People don’t know the answers, so they... just kind of “intuit” them based on whatever they can find that gives them something to go on, and their gut instinct. And I’m not picking on you: That’s what humans do. The Bible was written by humans, all intuiting and postulating and pronouncing and interpreting their little hearts out. But it’s really sound and fury, signifying nothing.
See if this helps:
"...Continuing from yesterday's post, in which we posed the question: is it possible to use Whitehead's process philosophy to illuminate traditional theology, but without doing violence to the latter and descending into an intellectually feeble and metaphysically incoherent moonbattery? [ Panentheism (God is in all) /// Pantheism (God is all).]
Stuff HappensBy George Murphy, on January 3rd, 2011
"...In other words, the absolute, insofar as it deploys itself in time and space (which it does "inevitably"), radiates from a cosmic center to the periphery, somewhat like a series of concentric circles with God at the center. God's energies are like radii emanating from the center outward, while the different concentric circles are the various levels of being, or the cosmic hierarchy.
"Therefore, although everything is ultimately God, not everything is equally God. The idea that everything is equally God leads to pantheism, which is an indiscriminate flatland philosophy no more sophisticated than bonehead atheism. It is logically equivalent to saying everything is not God. Or one might simply say "everything," and therefore "nothing" -- it doesn't matter, or mind, for that matter. In any event, nothing is that simple, let alone everything, let further alone the Divine Nothing-Everything at the center of it all.
"Now ultimately, everything "is God" in some sense, but God is not the sum total of everything. Things vary in their proximity to God. Furthermore, there is movement toward God. We call this "evolution," but we should probably come up with a different term -- perhaps Adam & Evolution -- so as to not confuse it with mere natural selection, which reduces the transcosmic fact of evolution to a random and mechanical process. ..." Gagdad-HERE
"The real Cosmos is not and cannot be synonymous with what materialists call "the universe." ....
"In turn, the cosmos cannot be synonymous with the Creator (pantheism), but is, however, incomprehensible in his absence. The world is none other than God, but God is not the world....."
"..Secularism begins and therefore ends with the material world. Being that the material world is a shifting and transitory world, one can only derive a shifting and transitory metaphysic from its study. This is by no means to devalue science, only to not confuse it with metaphysics.
"Furthermore, with this inversion, one will necessarily confuse the Principle with its manifestation. One will have to adhere, for example, to a bizarre metaphysic that permits a wholly accidental and contingent mind to know absolutely.
"Here is what we have heard from the wise. In reality, the cosmos may be thought of as a kind of message from God to Himself by Himself, so long as one doesn't take the analogy too far.
"But this should by no means be taken as an excuse for pantheism or narcissism, since the message is nonetheless real. For while God is both Alpha and Omega, sender and recipient, the message is deployed in time, and time is a mode of Eternity. We have received -- or assimilated -- the good news of the message when we have achieved our end. ..."
Yes, sure, in many ways no one knows for sure, that’s why it’s called faith. Sooner or later you have to be willing to make the leap of faith.
Are God’s own words as He claims ~ completely inerrant? A rich history of 66 books penned by over 40 authors spanning several centuries. The timeline of history his split in two just by his life, both B.C ~ Old Testament, and A.D. New Testament, a text unique among all the texts the world has ever known? The all time best seller.
Another thing regarding that leap ~ one claim God makes of his true believers is a clearer understanding and a hunger to read scriptures. Many other things he verifies with how the world first hated and rejected Jesus so also for his true followers.
I know from my readings and research the many character traits of God. To say he is primarily love is an understatement ~ since He is the creative source of the Universe we would not experience love or any other good and kind gifts if he had not been pretext to everything that brings joy... So yes He is love, he is patient, and kind, full of grace and mercy He alone embodies all that is good, right, ordered and just about the Universe...
A Universe He claims to have created ‘ex nihilo’ or out of nothing and from the current big bang research the physicists also know rewinding history brings the creation back to a singularity, a single point of everything in both space and time.
If you’ve really read the Bible [I read some of your past] then maybe you’d should go back and really study it with a reverence zeal and awe ~ recognizing that it is not the mere words of men, but Holy-Spirit inspired words from God himself, transcribed by his holy men of the Jewish tribe of Levi,
Don’t neglect the many and various research that’s been done confirming its rich history, authenticity, uniqueness, the prophecies [both fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled].
Have you checked out any of the recent research works by Lee Strobel? He was a skeptic as an investigative reporter working for the Chicago Tribune. They allowed him to do his research, but his primary goal was to get his wife out of the ‘cult’ he felt she had joined, a local Christian church [gasp] and they of course going thru a mid-life crisis of sorts. He shared the same sentiments you’ve expressed regarding the veracity of the Bible. What was it ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing.’
Basically I’ll stop here [ but please know I’m praying for you and all those reading this screed this Christmas ] if you read as much as you claim maybe you read too much denying The Bible and not enough of the Bible nor enough of those in support of all it’s claims.
All the Special Sentiments of the Season
for all to come and accept His Free Gift
~ The Blessed Sacrificing of His Life to Redeem OURS!!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL MY FELLOW FREEPERS!!!
What I do notice is that over human history, an awful lot of men say God spoke to them. It's always the same kind of man, too. Those Alpha Male types who are smart enough to see a leadership opportunity, bold enough to grab it, charismatic enough to get followers, and canny enough to claim that God is speaking through them. It neither started nor ended with Jesus. You can see the same personality type in Moses, Abraham, David, Solomon, Mohammed, Jim Jones, David Koresh, and that nut who started the Mormon church. God always talks to these kinds of guys. (He tends to tell a lot of them to take very young girls to marry, too, by strange coincidence. Or other men's pretty wives.)
It's a pattern that repeats itself again and again and again. Human nature, I guess. And most people are easily led. They see something in print and figure it must be true, so any messianic type who had literate followers would have been impressive in times when most people could not read.
But it's all balderdash. Above you is the blue sky. Behind that blue sky is black space. We are a one-in-a-billion accident, and around us are a billion empty planets to prove it.
That fraction sure does explain all that empty, lifeless space, doesn’t it. As for remaining in the balance, humans have only been around for a tiny fraction of the Earth’s existence. That balance has only existed for a very short time, and the time is going to come when it no longer exists. Then we will be gone. An anomaly that comes only when happenstance allows it, glories in its own self-importance, looks around and takes the vast emptiness as a mere stage for their antics... and then is gone.
Sorry, you apparently haven’t a clue what the balancing act entails ... but you did a great job trying to sound smart.
Look around. See all that empty space out there beyond our atmosphere? We occupy the exact amount of time and space that random chance says we should.
If someone were to ask me the 2 most basic of things about Biblical faith:
1. Understand - All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God [Rom 3:23], the true cost of sin is much more monumental then just discarding it all as ‘little white lies’ - namely the history of mankind as so evil and problematic.
2. And understand Gods requirement of justice, of payments for sin [ and no, not any current pain or anguish in this life ] but a payment in full of something we all are utterly incapable of paying on our own - normally our payment for a lifetime of your own sins - so yes life is unfair and some come out better than others. A requirement so strict that there is only one way to redemption [ unless of course one were to die before losing ones innocence - childlike so to speak] see Matt 5:31.
The common usage of 'hell' can and does have different meanings in the original language used. Anything from the burning garbage dump to the grave or the 'did not' over come side of the gulf after the flesh body dies. The 'hell' where the 'spirit' soul entities are destroyed has not yet been created. How we know is that the devil is still in existence and judgment day has not yet taken place. Not one entity in the spirit body will go in ignorance into the to be created fiery furnace.
So do they suffer forever or are they destroyed?
Yeah but you still have a choice of how to view the vastness of space.
Rise up and praise the Creator God for all His Glory, His Power and be filled with hope. Recognize our true insignificance in comparison to his awesome glory and wonder. Worship and Thank and Praise the only one who is worthy, the source of all our bounty [or even just slightly aware and thankful for the bounty enjoyed by most Americans], to be aware of all His promises of the joys yet to come after this present world passes away.
Or fall back on the cold black darkness of nothingness. On your own self-truths filled with hopelessness, doubt, despair and no real tangible permanent future of a world really and truly perfected - rather than this current one of frightening sin-filled evil lying cheating free-willed and willful beings.
Sorry but from my perspective after 30 years of my walk of faith I think it’s a NO BRAINER.
You live in whatever reality you want to. But I am not buying what you are selling. You aren’t going to close this deal. I’m perfectly content and have no questions about this world. It all makes sense to me just as it is.
Know this - we all have someone we love that we are unsure of the eternal destiny. Some are right here - and some have already died.
And for a minority of us we are compelled to greater acts of faith b/c we hope for God - OUR God - A God of Love and Justice to allow for some hope, some way some, kind of redemption, some more outpouring of His Mercy and Grace.
I think that this is really the only purpose for the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ before the present Earth and Heavens pass away Many true believers try to dis-avow me of this hope. But I see no reason why when I know and understand His attributes. Sure I can’t give you a specific verse and sure I know of the many verses against any type of ‘universalism’ ~ the salvation for all, but I still have hope and consider that just another gift from on high.
That’s OK b/c this conversation has only caused my faith hope and love to increase ~ it helped boost my lagging Christmas spirits. I even still have hope for you. Sure you may not accept any truths this minute, or hour, or maybe even this season.
But I’m still glad we could talk. I’m still glad that if need be He will cause all things to come back to your remembrance at the right time and in the right way.
I still like the utter optimism of writers like Max Lucado who thinks that most people just can not face the abyss of death without God whispering memories to aid in their great need before they take that fateful ‘last’ step.
I only said ‘last’ b/c while I do believe God gives us 2nd chances I also know every sin, every turning away carries eternal consequences. I know from reading His Words that I’ll never have to face anything which I formerly feared most. The best is reserved for all who accept this faith in the here and now.
I hope for all the lost, hope for God to have the best possible solution to a very unworkable problem for mere men, hope for all who can’t save themselves from the troubles of separation from eternal love.
I’ll always love the beauty and truth found in the simplest of solutions...
Romans Chapter 10 verse 9-11 - could anything be any simpler?
“If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.
Hey, if you’re happy, that’s great. I don’t think either you or I have a choice, frankly. You couldn’t stop believing if you tried, and I realized 20 years ago that I couldn’t believe if I wanted to. Belief isn’t an action. It’s a reaction.
I’d like to refer you to my post #77 in this thread regarding the ages of life, Earth and the Universe. There is also another link - the 1st on my links page showing over 100 natural clocks that indicate something much less than millions and billions of years of existence.
There are basically 3 evolutionary long ages clocks.
1 Geologic dating which uses circular logic
2 Radio-Isotopes [from carbon dating to radioactive sources]
3 Star Light - another perspective in post #77
All 3 are neither exact nor free of many assumptions. Actually there are zero natural clocks that we can be precise and exact with due to unknown starting conditions and assumed uniformities.
“It’s the things you learn after you know it all that counts” -John Wooden
Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. I’m sure you mean well, but I’m done. I’ve listened to Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Wiccans, Catholics, people who think celebrities are sending them secret messages on Letterman... it all ends up the same. Sooner or later we hit the BS wall and I have to call it a day.
First, APL, that is not ‘empty space’. When you get that one straight, we’ll move on to the more weighty aspects of time and space.
It's the arrogance of childhood to believe that the entire world was placed there in readiness for you, and mankind is still in its childhood, apparently.
But this discussion is pointless on yet another level: why are you trying to prove to me that there is a God? If you prove it, it's not belief anymore, it's knowledge. Your God wants belief, not knowledge. That's why he didn't want Adam and Eve to eat from the tree. That's why he sabotaged the Tower of Babel. Trying to prove His existence works completely counter to his insistence that faith alone is what saves.
Now since this thread is about Mr. Hitchens who recently went to meet His Maker, I do not believe any of us here still in flesh bodies can ‘judge’ which side of the ‘gulf’ that Mr. Hitchens returned. For all any of us know Mr. Hitchens could well have repented without our knowledge.
However, just because Mr. Hitchens has gone to meet His Maker just like the rest of us still here in flesh bodies also will return, Mr. Hitchens departure in no way dictates we must ignore his nasty acid laced words against the Creator and those that love Him.
There is no purpose for the final ‘hell’ yet, and the need for that fire that destroys from within the ‘soul/spirit’ entity will not come about until judgment day. The word hell has a multitude of meanings, such as war is hell. Or this present administration has declared ‘hell’ on America, meaning a state of shame and degradation. That shame and degradation is what that rich man discovered upon his return to the Maker that sent him.
The rebel(s) since the beginning, are the cause of suffering, and they willingly and willfully decide they wish to be destroyed and are remembered no more. Eternity is not going to be spent listening to the wails and moans of rebels walking on hot coals. Unfortunately, I have met many who can't wait for the time when their perceived enemies roast forever. But to me personally that in and of itself would be 'hell'.
See even in that parable of the 'rich' man, he figured out he did not want to be where he was. And it is conceivable that after the 'Day' of the LORD is finished of direct instruction and discipline he will have a changed heart/mind. So far to date only the devil and a numbered of his followers have received that final unchangeable judgment of destruction. This is each and every individuals decision, as all are equal in the Eyes of the Creator, and He is the only perfect Judge, and only He can know the heart/mind of His children.
Just like that one that repented while hanging on the cross beside Jesus was 'given' salvation, lets the rest of us in flesh bodies know that 'salvation' is an individuals own personal act.
I could never believe that [men invented God out of their own vain imaginations] b/c none of the complexity of creation can be shown to happen by mere chance. Intelligence is required by information theory and by the beauty and orderliness we observe everyday in every facet of life around us. Your 3 billion lines of DNA code can not be shown to determine anything of your character or your essence - whatever makes you you is beyond any physical explanation this world can offer.
Nor can the orderliness for our solar system, galaxy and [eventually I expect to be exclaimed] orderliness of the whole Universe ~ be demonstrated to supposedly self-determine out of the explosion of the big bang. All explosions are shown to create chaos and random useless fragments of stuff.
Heck, even the theory of accretion forming stars and planets was recently in the news ~ roundly criticized for lack of any observations iirc.
You say over and over you’re done but then you continue to post own ridiculous, nay preposterous, [AND you call yourself a teacher] conclusions that constantly mingle truth with error.
Conclusions on FR that you know will get an instant debate. Teacher heal thyself! Seems to me you need to quit teaching and go do some reading and learning over what it is the opposition is truly saying. but I doubt you will since posting FR screeds and diatribes show no new potentials.
All I see is “if you don’t believe as I believe, you... you’d better!!”
Whatever - your position has no explanation for the accuracy of the Bible, a 100% correlation with any related archaeology.
Or how about the prophecies? The 100 or so that foretold of Jesus Christ life and death astound the mathematicians due to the probability calculations alone, when simply assigning them a 1 in 10 or 1 in 50 chance of being fulfilled individually.
Obviously you’re worldview allows for all the knowledge and science mankind can discover but no allowance for pondering how all of it came to be - just poof - all chance. As I said whatever. I had good teachers that truly inspired me and then I had teachers who were obviously just going through the motions [ I got out of their realm asap too so I’m happy to stop posing questions anytime you want to just let it be ].
Kind of tired of any constant accusations assigning my motives for any of this too.
Any prophecies Jesus' life seems to fulfill is because his disciples changed the details of his life to fit the descriptions as best they could after his death. "He shall be called Emmanuel" Yeah, they called him that all the time! Sure! It's a nickname for Jesus. "He shall be born of a virgin." Well, his parents were actually married but we are certain they didn't consummate the marriage. "He shall be born in Bethlehem." Well, they lived somewhere else but... uhm... yes, they traveled there! Sure! She was 9 months pregnant and her husband (who hasn't touched her) just tossed her on a donkey and off they went. "He shall be the King of Israel." Yes, well... that isn't exactly what the prophecy really, really meant. Really, what it meant was something else. "He shall rise again." He did! Of course, we didn't recognize him even though it was only a couple days later, but you know, we'd been drinking kind of heavily. "Some of you will not taste death until the Kingdom of God comes" Well, he didn't exactly mean THAT... it goes on and on.
Look if you want to believe in all this nonsense, you go right ahead. I know people who believe aliens are trying to warn us about the Mayan prophecy next year. But you are not selling it to me. You can keep trying, but I am not buying.
You could not be more wrong - the Dead Sea scrolls confirmed that the Biblical record has not been changed regarding the Old Testament which is where the prophecies appear. Psalm 22 contains several regarding Jesus Christ on the cross.
You can choose to be a skeptic about everything but you certainly have not done any factual analysis to back up your ridiculous claims.
You didn’t address anything I said.
Emmanuel means God with us - he lived it and was referred to even indirectly as such on His death by the Roman guards.
Analysis on the 4 gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John indicates that each one must have been written last - so yes an impossible conclusion that can only indicate the hand of God.
There is enough commonality and yet uniqueness in each of these eyewitness accounts to be held up as factual evidence in a modern day court of law - and they usually only require 2 or 3 credible witnesses. See the small paperback book “More Than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell - I DARE YOU!!!
But it’s not easy to tell a know-it-all teacher where they are wrong...
Would not matter if I had - it is you who needs to go back and read and research - FR is only a discussion forum. I don’t think you want me to assume the role of your teacher...
Not as long as you continue playing fast and loose with the truth.
APL: “No, there is not much correlation between the archaeological record and the Bible. They both agree that there was a flood, but the Bible isn’t the only place that information was recorded.”
-The other flood accounts [see http://shipsonstamps.org/Topics/html/arche.htm ] have a lot more in common that different so how would you know if they did not all originate from the same account?
APL: “Any prophecies Jesus’ life seems to fulfill is because his disciples changed the details of his life to fit the descriptions as best they could after his death.”
-If they tried to change details to fit their story all the other critics and budding believers would have utterly destroyed the credibility needed.
“He shall be called Emmanuel”
-See Crosswalk.com and search, it will give you hundreds of [both old and new] direct references to this name.
APL: “Yeah, they called him that all the time! Sure!”
-Both God and Jesus are given lots of different names titles and references [apparently just to confuse you - sarc]
APL: “He shall be born of a virgin.”
-The account is factual imho b/c this is an article of faith that neither of us can truly resolve. An omnipotent God can do anything he pleases - even suspend the motion of the solar system for any length of time.
APL: “He shall be born in Bethlehem.”
-How is that not a given? We have evidence and also why they fled Israel due to Herod and why they returned to a different town - as he was known as a Nazarene! Grew up there from 7 years on iirc. See Micah 5:2 written centuries before - the town name appears over 40 times in the old testament and 8 in the new - you can check all these scriptures using crosswalk.com to search the Bible - heck I even entered a partially remembered phrase into other search engines and find the actual wording or in some cases the error - God has never said “this too shall pass” not ‘the Lord helps those who help themselves” they are just trite little sayings the culture repeats until people begin to think it so.
APL: ‘She was 9 months pregnant and ...’
Yes, when she delivered the baby - does not say specifically how long the journey of approx 70 miles took due to the decree of an evil King Herod - this is fulfilled prophecy again showing God knowing all these events from beginning to end before any had transpired. In Moses day the Egyptian Pharoah was used by God to fulfill prophecies.
+You do know of course that there were several different Kings in and around Jesus time named Herod - proven again by the archaeological records.
APL: “He shall rise again.”
YES He did! Of course, they didn’t ‘immediately’ recognize him -
Luke 24:15 Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him...
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself...
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?
APL: “Some of you will not taste death until the Kingdom of God comes”
-Au contraire I say still true and neither of us can prove that one either. No mere mortal could ever prove a future prophecy.
APL - [your words rephrased from my perspective]:
Look if you want to believe in all this ‘by mere chance all things’ nonsense, you go right ahead. I know people who believe as I do and we are commanded to defend our faith. But I am not selling it to you. You have free will and I am happy to try to please my Lord by following his decrees - to give a defense for why we believe.
You can keep all your money - the research is easy enough to do most of it right there at your computer.
Because some of the things you say are future prophecies to be fulfilled at His second coming. The 1st set of prophecies are call lamb prophecies - as in Christ the sacrificial lamb - the others are called lion prophecies when He returns to overthrow sin, and to establish his millenial kingdom.
I’ve posted no threats - you are just plain wrong.
The logic of this statement is irrefutable, dear Notary Sojac!
But if any State were so foolhardy as to conceive that it really had the "power" to command individual conscience, that state would be "illegitimate" by definition, even insane. For such a State has transgressed a firm bound of reality, which stipulates that States are creatures of men, not of Nature; thus men, being "natural-born," so to speak, cannot be "creatures of the State." (For "Nature" comes first. :^) )
Men are (to use Christian terminology comfortably familiar to the Framers), creatures of God, and such creatures! for alone of all beings in the natural (created) world, they were "made" in His Image. Which is why the Framers held as "self-evident" the proposition that such creatures are "naturally" possessed of divinely endowed, thus inalienable, sovereign, "equal" rights as unique individual persons. As to the constitutional hierarchy of power, We the People come first: Under the constitutional system the Framers gave us, We the People are the Principals; the government (i.e., the state) is our Agent.
The point is agents do not give instructions to their principals; they execute instructions received from their principals, a "higher source" which can readily be apprehended by viewing the Preamble to the U. S. Constitution.
Under the (arguably Christian) understandings that underlay the purpose and design of the U.S. Constitution, for the agent to start telling the principal what to do to "command his conscience," as it were, or at least bring it into conformity with State plans through coercive methods if need be would be living, de facto, direct evidence of profound illegitimacy in the order of the State. The nightmare of a stalking, all-powerful, wholly unprincipled Leviathan then comes to mind.... So far at least, only in my nightmares....
Thomas Hobbes, philosopher and amazingly fecund political thinker envisioned this "beast," which he named Leviathan. It is civil government at the lowest common denominator: in which human persons willingly, routinely, sacrifice their "liberty" for "safety" understood as something the State can provide them with in the first place. Little do they suspect that the State itself is a main source of disorder which leads to conditions of "un-safety" in our communities. Which dangers, of course, the State promises to remediate. :^)
Talk about a "zero-sum game" for human beings! Don't blame the Lord for making your life miserable, or even for condemning you blame your fellow man instead!
But enuf of that for now. Turning to another point you raised, the absolute dependency of the United States of America on the "separation of Church and State."
Given the above discussion, I don't think such a thing is necessary or even do-able. I don't see how it can be a "problem," since the unity of order and spirit seems so universal to the way men practically think and act. It's like a demand for the "separation" of body and psyche in man....
A problem for another time perhaps.
At this point, on this question I'd like us to remember two of the most powerful promulgators and defenders of the American "doctrine" of separation of Church and State: Thomas Jefferson (1743 1826) and Roger Williams (c. 1603 1683).
Since Roger came first, let's do him first.
Roger Williams was a Puritan minister who was banished from my home state Massachusetts, on pain of execution, should he ever return to the Commonwealth. And all this because he was absolutely, unabashedly, uncompromisingly "on political record" as opposing any consolidation of Church and State. Above all, he was concerned about the primacy and dignity of individual conscience in discerning man's relations to God, man (self and other), world, and society....
Of course, the folks of Massachusetts at that time were engaged in doing precisely that: Winthrop's "shining city on a hill" would be instantiated in an established State Church in Massachusetts.
Probably Williams would have died on the Cross before his conscience would have approved/permitted such a thing as a "consolidation" of Church and State. And his reasoning on this topic is most instructive: He as much as said (paraphrasing), we know that states, being human constructions, are bound to "err," to "fall off the tracks" of the Good as if they were subject to some law of "inverted moral gravity."
AND SO there should never, ever be any consolidation of Church and State, on grounds that the State could only "corrupt" the Church!!!
In short, Roger Williams envisioned the separation of Church and State as a profound moral problem, which recognizes that one can't get to Truth if one is following an immoral path....
Thomas Jefferson probably the truest exemplar of Enlightenment thinking of all the Framers was (I think) trying to get around the "moral problem" by "reducing" its resolution to more comprehensive, abstract principles that did not depend on direct human experience for their verification. Which is to say, the "separation of Church and State" was, for Jefferson, a matter of political policy, on "technical" and mass "social" grounds.
Well, whatever you think about these problems, dear Notary Sojac and I'd love to hear more I've got to stop for now, and simply wish you and all your dear ones:
A very merry and blessed Christmas, and a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!!!
You're trying to shove it down my throat like medicine. You need to stop. If I don't want it, I don't want it.
If anyone could know for sure why would anyone need faith? There are many denominations and religions but you will not be held accountable for them. You will be held accountable for you.
There is something very different and very special about the Bible. It is not a collection of stories; it contains historical information that is verifiable. It contains prophesies that have come true. And it includes prophesies that are coming true right before our eyes. Additionally, it has impacted the world in deep and lasting ways more than any other written text. And yet you call it sound and fury which signifies nothing.
Who is Jesus Christ? There are only three possible answers: 1) a liar, 2) a madman, 3) The Son of God.
You may not believe in Him but He believes in you.
It is certain that Mr Hitchens now knows whether he was right or wrong. He may have repented; I hope so but it seem unlikely that he would do so after becoming so well known for atheism.
You seem to be under the impression that hell does not presently exist. Have you considered Mark 9:43-48?
per wikipedia re ~ Significance to the Canon of the Bible
The significance of the [Dead Sea] scrolls relates in a large part to the field of textual criticism and how accurately the Bible has been transcribed over time. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible were Masoretic texts dating to 10th century CE such as the Aleppo Codex.
The biblical manuscripts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls push that date back a millennium to the 2nd century BCE. Before this discovery, the earliest extant manuscripts of the Old Testament were in Greek in manuscripts such as Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 and Codex Sinaiticus.
The Bible record was complete within less than 100 years after Christ. The Catholic church has been in existence since about 300 AD. BTW I feel compelled to reply and/or post when fact-checking fails.
Oh you must be the exception then too. If I just accepted all of my Christian beliefs purely on faith, with no investigation, no facts then the atheists on FR would have a field day.
With that remark you disqualify 52 states around the globe (perhaps more) both for legitimacy and sanity. On top of that, approx 30% of our own population would like to add America to that List of Infamy (and who knows how many more nations of Europe).
For such a State has transgressed a firm bound of reality, which stipulates that States are creatures of men, not of Nature; thus men, being "natural-born," so to speak, cannot be "creatures of the State." (For "Nature" comes first)
Yup. Thats the reasoning.
A very merry and blessed Christmas, and a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!!!
Yes, to all. And as a little fellow named Tim observed a long time ago (or so the story goes), God bless us . . . everyone.
I don’t need saving. I live a perfectly decent and respectable life. I do my job, I pay my bills, I obey the law, I don’t litter, and I take care of my cats. I’ll always do no less and I will never do any more. If that is not enough, screw it. And now I am really done with this conversation. I will never ask forgiveness from some figment of your imagination for my unimaginable nerve in having been born human. If there’s a God, my only thought about him is that he needs to take better care of his creatures. But likely there is not one, and that is why this world is as it is. That was my opinion 20 years ago, that was my opinion when this thread began, that is my opinion despite the writings of all the ambitious young men of Judea, that is my opinion despite the editing of the ambitious men of Rome, and nothing you ever say will change it. We atheists cannot be bullied into your dogma. Live with it.
The funny thing about this silly broad “A Perfect lady” is that she has repeatedly said that she’s “done” and that she finds people irritating and just wants to be left alone, but she’s still here. Sheesh, get lost already.
It’s amazing how powerful that female desire to get in the “last word” is.
Well at least the last time it was presented more as opinion than some more crazy ‘facts’.
Plus I think there must be some doubt otherwise why ask all the questions - at one point even getting upset that I didn’t answer them in my very next post.
I wish I had the time to respond in detail to your well researched and well written posts. However, my schedule this week as well as the holiday has my online time limited to only a few minutes.
I don't think that I ever used the words "separation of church and state". And if I did, it would certainly be in the way Jefferson thought of the concept rather than the way that, say, Richard Dawkins does.
What I was trying to get at is this: for 1300+ years, Christianity had a position of unchallenged dominance throughout Europe. Yet it was only in the aftermath of the Thirty Years War and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that we began to see individual liberty of conscience become a value which societies felt obliged to respect.
This leads me to the conclusion that even if a Judeo-Christian culture is necessary for liberty to thrive, that culture is not in itself sufficient.
Opening up the question: what is the required additive??
And a blessed Christmas to you and yours...
The trilemma is as shopworn an argument as is Pascal's wager, and likewise has been successfully disputed a score of times.
I know you can do better than that.
There are a few fundamentalists here whom I simply refuse to respond to, because we just wind up insulting each other to no avail.