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#12890 - 01/21/06 12:32 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
1. Name the major religion (older than 100 years) that that is not a tax exempt organization collecting money from its adherents

- I belong to a church that is not tax exempt, even though the vast majority of its money goes to projects that would be considered charitable.
Talking in terms of 'major religions' allows for massive generalisations.

2. Name the major religion (older than 100 years) that does not indoctrinate children.

- Again talking of 'major religions'. I have a two year old daughter and if she is interested I will expose her to as many philosophies and religions as possible and very much encourage her to make her own mind up - that's if she want anything to do with it all - she may choose to follow nothing, and that is her absolute right.

It would be disgraceful to have her thinking something that she has not rationally and freely accepted.

3. Name the major western religion (older than 100 years) that acknowledges the Epic of Gilgamesh.

- The issue here is the dual accounts of floods amongst other things.

'The timings of the flood accounts are vastly different. The Gilgamesh flood took only 3 weeks, whereas the Genesis flood lasted nearly a year. The Gilgamesh flood included several 7 day long events. This "perfect" number is found throughout the Bible, so would be expected to be retained if copied from the epic of Gilgamesh. However, the Bible uses numbers like 40 and 150 - much longer timeframes.'

'The boats in the two accounts are quite different. The Gilgamesh boat was an unseaworthy cube with a slate roof. Obviously, such a design would immediately flip over or roll around in the water. In contrast, the ark had dimensions that were ideal for a seaworthy ship. This might be surprising, since both cultures were not noted for their nautical skills. It is obvious that the gods of the Sumerians had no expertise in shipbuilding.'

It is possible that the flood was a real event in the history of mankind that was passed down through the generations of different cultures. If so, the Gilgamesh account seems to have undergone some rather radical transformations.

4. Name the major religion (older than 100 years) that doesn't threaten those that ignore its teachings with eternal damnation/rebirth.

- I don't want to start a debate with Philege here, but the nature of Hell is a subject under debate by serious theologians. The middle ages and Dante's fire and eternal torture do not serve us well and are sucked up by Christians who prefer to accept what they are told rather than actually studying what the Bible says in its original language. Hell may in fact simply be a place where God has withdrawn from and humanity is left to its own devices without any restraints. I obviously won't go into the scriptural detail here but the church as a whole has believed different things at different times on this matter, and it may be that we have the 'Church' at the heights of its societal power to thank for using the threat of fire and brimstone to hold to power.


Blacknad.

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#12891 - 01/21/06 12:33 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
1. Name the major religion (older than 100 years) that that is not a tax exempt organization collecting money from its adherents

- I belong to a church that is not tax exempt, even though the vast majority of its money goes to projects that would be considered charitable.
Talking in terms of 'major religions' allows for massive generalisations.

2. Name the major religion (older than 100 years) that does not indoctrinate children.

- Again talking of 'major religions'. I have a two year old daughter and if she is interested I will expose her to as many philosophies and religions as possible and very much encourage her to make her own mind up - that's if she want anything to do with it all - she may choose to follow nothing, and that is her absolute right.

It would be disgraceful to have her thinking something that she has not rationally and freely accepted.

3. Name the major western religion (older than 100 years) that acknowledges the Epic of Gilgamesh.

- The issue here is the dual accounts of floods amongst other things.

'The timings of the flood accounts are vastly different. The Gilgamesh flood took only 3 weeks, whereas the Genesis flood lasted nearly a year. The Gilgamesh flood included several 7 day long events. This "perfect" number is found throughout the Bible, so would be expected to be retained if copied from the epic of Gilgamesh. However, the Bible uses numbers like 40 and 150 - much longer timeframes.'

'The boats in the two accounts are quite different. The Gilgamesh boat was an unseaworthy cube with a slate roof. Obviously, such a design would immediately flip over or roll around in the water. In contrast, the ark had dimensions that were ideal for a seaworthy ship. This might be surprising, since both cultures were not noted for their nautical skills. It is obvious that the gods of the Sumerians had no expertise in shipbuilding.'

It is possible that the flood was a real event in the history of mankind that was passed down through the generations of different cultures. If so, the Gilgamesh account seems to have undergone some rather radical transformations.

4. Name the major religion (older than 100 years) that doesn't threaten those that ignore its teachings with eternal damnation/rebirth.

- I don't want to start a debate with Philege here, but the nature of Hell is a subject under debate by serious theologians. The middle ages and Dante's fire and eternal torture do not serve us well and are sucked up by Christians who prefer to accept what they are told rather than actually studying what the Bible says in its original language. Hell may in fact simply be a place where God has withdrawn from and humanity is left to its own devices without any restraints. I obviously won't go into the scriptural detail here but the church as a whole has believed different things at different times on this matter, and it may be that we have the 'Church' at the heights of its societal power to thank for using the threat of fire and brimstone to hold to power.


Blacknad.

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#12892 - 01/21/06 12:58 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Eduardo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 106
Loc: Guildford, UK
Ladies Please...
I've read them all...
Gilgamesh - Very repetative but has its moments of action.
Bible - often contradictory, tries to sort itself out later on.
Both lovely myths for their time, but that has gone now... give me 24 hours...
PS I would welcome contributions to a modern creation myth, no suggestion too rediculous!!
_________________________
Eduardo
Resistance is futile. Capacitance is efficacious.
There are 10 types of people in the world... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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#12893 - 01/21/06 05:22 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Blacknad ... you didn't even meet the test of question 1. I said name it ... not make a vague allusion to it.

Strikes 1, 2, and 3. You are out!

And your arguments around the Epic of Gilgamesh disingenuous. Lets get to some facts.

1. Both contain word-for-word identical sentences.
2. Both end with the release of a bird to find land.

I wonder whose English language translations of both you've read to not see the similarities as overwhelming.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12894 - 01/21/06 10:19 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Dan,

I don't feel the need to defend the whole of religion. I don't even feel the need to defend the whole of the church.

In response to the out and out God bashing that appears on this site I choose sometimes to respond, but am seeing the point of doing so less and less. These are never ending arguments and your objections can easily outlast your lifetime.

I am simply trying to show that I believe that some religion can in fact be rational and thought out, and more to the point can stand against the blanket claims of the levels of dishonesty and hypocrisy that you level at it.

I do not have all knowledge, and agree with St. Paul, 'We currently see through a glass darkly'.
But I have enough to be satisfied, because essentially Christ's interaction with me is relational and experiential.

So the fact is that I am forced to take on some humility and admit the fact that I am not even capable of gathering all knowledge, never mind making sense of it and drawing a complete and reliable conclusion.

This is why Christ said - 'I stand at the door and knock'. We are not forced to engage with God and have every right to let our angry objections act as the lock keeping the door closed. But he also said - 'If you open it, I will come in and eat with you and you will eat with me'. This is the experience that was promised, and down through history many have found it to be true beyond your ability to comprehend. So whilst I do not understand the universe and like you I echo Abraham's doubt when he asked, 'Will not the judge of all the earth do right?' I am willing to accept God's response to Job - 'Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth - declare if you have understanding?'

With the Epic of Gilgamesh I will examine it further - my initial response is that in the same way that St. Paul quoted philosophers of his time when he recognised the truth of their claims, Moses or whoever did write the Torah, may well have drawn upon something familiar to his audience like the Epic of Gilgamesh where it contained the truth he was trying to convey. Shakespeare drew upon other writers all the time and it is only this modern age that has such a deal with intellectual property rights. We cannot visit our present understanding of writing upon those writing thousands of years ago. They did not see things as we do.

If any of the early Biblical stories contain truth and are not just there to convey a general truth, then those large spectacles would be open for all to see and it wouldn't surprise me to find other accounts of them in the literature of the time.

Blacknad.

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#12895 - 01/21/06 05:26 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
You are correct ... some religion might be well thought out. But that religion would likely be a modern fabrication.

That is why I put in the 100 year caveat.

Lets get down to basics ... either there is a god that is older than the universe and created it or there is a fantasy used by alpha males to control the behaviour of others. Is there a third choice?

If the former than it MUST be consistent for ALL of human history since this entity didn't just reveal itself in the last 100 years.

Can some good come from religion and religious teachings? Absolutely. But far less than would come from equal effort put into facing the truth with integrity. We are a natural result of the physics and chemistry that is fundamental to this universe. We are not here by choice and we are not here by design. We can choose to do good things or we can choose to do bad things or we can choose to do absolutely nothing of note. If you want your life to have meaning you need to get off your bottom and do something meaningful.

Not warm and fuzzy but a lot more honest than ... telling people they have a choice between eternal pain and suffering and living in heaven with the angels ... if only they will give you their money and do what you tell them to do.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12896 - 01/21/06 05:57 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
"I do not have all knowledge...But I have enough to be satisfied..."

I don't want this to be misinterpreted, I am thirsty for knowledge and really wish I had the kind of lifestyle that allowed me to indulge this desire to a greater degree, but I have a daughter, wife, need to earn the spondoolies, and do all the other stuff I should be doing. A life in Academia was never going to be my blessing.

Anyway, I don't really want to spend anymore time defending religion - but like Jim Wood says - ' You know your addicted to SAGG when you can't help but get involved.' I know what he means - I try to let your comments pass, because to be fair this is not the place for it, but at times I can't resist.

For instance, I would much rather have a living debate (as opposed to a google moment) about what science is telling us of the nature of the mind's interaction with the physical universe - especially at a quantum level. I would call this 'Science informed philosophy'. And this is something you would obviously have knowledge of and a contribution to make, and I would love to hear your thoughts. But you spend time knocking religion and remonstrating with the moderators for not cleaning up SAGG.
It will never be clean except by making it an exclusive club for a select few, and that might be good for you, but for those of us who appreciate the opportunity to engage with some finely tuned minds, it would be a loss.

I know I don't have anywhere near the level of intelligence and knowledge that you, Uncle Al and some others here possess, but won't you engage with us plebs never-the-less?

Blacknad.

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#12897 - 01/21/06 10:28 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
You are hardly a plebe and not nearly as mindless as your last paragraph might indicate.

Not everyone can be, should be, or need be an academic and have huge amounts of spare time to do research. The point here is to challenge you to think harder. To consider more deeply. And to encourage your daughter to do the same.

Life is too precious to waste chasing fairy tales. If you are going to do something good ... do it and do it for the right reason. Because you've thought it out and made a conscious decision to do so.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12898 - 01/21/06 11:42 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Dammit, now you've made me feel guilty about my last post in 'Death and Dying' about the 'Not quite scum' board.

How could you go and say something nice about me?

But then again 'not nearly as mindless' doesn't quite equal 'not mindless' smile

Blacknad.

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#12899 - 01/22/06 06:04 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Far from hopeless? Is that better?
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12900 - 01/23/06 06:58 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
I just wanted to clarify.....way back on the other page.....I was just making an attempt to interpret DKV's statements. Next time, I'll put a clear heading on top.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#12901 - 01/23/06 09:54 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Far from hopeless? Is that better?

- DA, coming from you I take this as high praise indeed. In fact I may just stop posting on SAGG now so I don't blow it and you never have a chance to revise me downwards.

Go out on a 'quite high'.

Blacknad.

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#12902 - 01/24/06 01:08 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Please don't. Stay and learn. Unlike some around here you show an ability, when challenged, to use your mind. (Damn more praise now I've surely driven him away).

There is nothing in facing reality that requires you to stop being a good person just as there is nothing in believing in a fantasy that forces you to not run red-lights. We are all human with the same strengths and weakensses to one degree or another. What separates people is more often hypocrisy than matters of fact.

The difference between dealing with reality and fantasy is that with reality, with acceptance of personal responsibility for your acts you take out the excuses. It is easy to be bad when you can point to original sin, an appple, a snake, or some other mythical troll or demon. I'm not responsible ... I was possessed by the devil.

Look at the universe from where I sit. If I screw up ... I screwed up. Period. No one to take the blame except the guy in the mirror. And I know, with all certainty, that when my time comes there will be no explanation, no judgement, no appeal for mercy, no second chance, no weighing of the scale. The final chapter will be written and it will be precisely what it is ... good, bad, and ugly.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12903 - 01/24/06 11:00 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
Try blaming society smile

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#12904 - 01/24/06 08:05 PM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Maybe I could hire an attorney in my will and have him go to court and sue someone. That would make it all better. ;-)
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12905 - 02/05/06 08:25 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
ZORK Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 9
Very Intelligient! Stephen Wiseman
indicates that intelligience and character are positively correlated.
(Intelligence, and Ability. W. Stephen)

The Strong Minded are (Long Term Thinkers - relationship oriented)

The Weak Minded are (Short Term Thinkers- out for quick gains)

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#12906 - 02/05/06 09:00 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
ZORK Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 9
Think big, don't think about details. Some times I think that scientists spend too much time looking down a microscope and fail to see the big picture.

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#12907 - 02/06/06 02:46 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
I think you are incorrect. A scientist must look at reality at all levels ... from the entire universe down to a single quark.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#12908 - 02/06/06 04:33 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
Bee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 12
Loc: milky way
So what if God and evolution are both true? Though I do not personally believe in the Bible as anything more as a collection of ancient mythology, Genesis seems to follow evolution pretty closely. It's likely that before anything the earth was formed and so night and day began somewhere along the line, it's likely geology was active a while before life began, and it seems to be a pretty established fact that then there was pretty much an explosion of life..
Leaving personal belief about whether there is a God or not out of it, where is the big conflict in these theories so far? I think the idea of teaching the Bible in school as an alternative to evolution (as in there is no evolution) is rediculous, but that does not prove or disprove God or even the Bible account of events in Genesis really.. food for thought?

.. oh well at least you lot don't wake me up at 9 am on the week ends with serene smiles, superior morals and magazines to sell while I resist the urge to shoot somebody wink
_________________________
**newsflash! the flight of the Bumblebee doesn't defy the laws of science after all! makes me wonder what else is possible that we may think defies science now but doesn't?*... and the Bumblebee still flies..

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#12909 - 02/06/06 04:37 AM Re: Proof that God did not create life
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Bee ... dump the bumblebee tag line. It isn't true.

God and evolution can both be true. But whereas there is evidence for the existence of one ... there is no evidence for the other. So why muddy the waters?
_________________________
DA Morgan

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