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#20275 - 04/11/07 07:08 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: DA Morgan]
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
There is not the slightest bit of evidence that anything before this time is other than myth. This includes stories about Adam and Eve, Noah, the tower of Babel, Abraham, Moses and even King Solomon.


Terry,

It's clear that you have been reading the Biblical Minimalists who are certainly on the fringes.

Unfortunately, what you say is just plain wrong.

Abraham and the people connected with him are almost certainly not mythical characters?

Just to swell this thread even more:

?ABRAHAM

When we continue examining those events and people which are mentioned in the Bible, we often run into the name of Abraham, the person whom the Bible tells us used to live in Ur of the Chaldeans, a metropolis of its time, and who later moved to the Promised Land.
The historicity of Abraham can?t be completely proved, but in any case there are good reasons to believe in it. Clay tablets have been found with the name "Abraham" inscribed in them. Other sources such as these following also provide evidence:

- Names in tablets in Chaldean. First of all, tablets dating to the year 2000 B.C, found from Ur of the Chaldeans (Abraham's hometown) refer to the historicity of Abraham. These tablets mention the name "Abraham" and also other biblical names such as Jacob, Terah, Sarai, Milcah and Laban - they are mentioned among the witnesses of an agreement. These names are not of course proof of Abraham?s relatives or of Abraham himself, but at least they indicate that similar names have been in common use at that time.

- In the tablets of Mari, which are dated to year 1700 B.C., such names as Peleg, Serug, Nahor, Terah and Haran have been seen. What is noticeable is that those same names also appear in the Bible.

- Also from the clay tablets of Ebla such names as Abramu (the name of Abraham was initially Abram.), Esaum, Saulum, Daudum, Mikail and Ismael-Ishmail and Israel-Ishrail have been found. These names are not necessarily people mentioned in the Bible, but at least they are an indication that similar names have been in use at that time.

- In the book "History of Israel" (John Bright, 5.p.1976. p.91p.) John Bright describes the historicity of the patriarch accounts of the Bible and so we have good reason to believe that they really had taken place:

The proofs that have been presented to us so far, give reason to believe that the patriarch accounts are firmly based on history ... We can confidently claim, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were real historical people... it is clear that the patriarch accounts, not describing later times perfectly describe the conditions that existed during the period in question. (12)

- Abraham as a forefather. The fact that the Jews and Arabs regard Abraham as their forefather is in itself proof that he was a historic person. These people firmly believe that Abraham is their forefather and we have no reason to doubt this.

- (Gen 11:27-28) This is the account of Terah.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot.
28. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth.

- (Ex. 3:5-6) "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."
6. Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

- (Joshua 24:2-4) Joshua said to all the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River [a] and worshipped other gods.
3. But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac,
4. and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.

- (Isa 51:2) look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one,
and I blessed him and made him many.

- (Ezek 33:24) "Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, 'Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.'

- (Luke 1:72-73) to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,
73. the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
- (Matt 3:9) And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

- (John 8:53) Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"

- (Acts 7:2) To this he replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.

- (2 Cor 11:22) Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I.

MOAB

One of Abraham's relations was Moab, who was the descendant of Lot, Abraham?s nephew. The Bible tells us, that he had many descendants and that there was a nation by that name - the kingdom of Moab, which was often a nuisance to Israel.
In addition to this, his name comes up in different historical sources, the stone of Moab being one of them. This stone also mentions Omri, who was the king of Israel:

"I am Mesha, the son of Chemosh ... the king of Moab, Dibonite... The king of Israel Omri... oppressed Moab for a long time, because Chemosh got angry with his country. And his son became the king in his place and said: 'I will oppress Moab... "

- (Gen 19:36-37) so both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father.
37. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today.

- (Deut 2:11) Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites.

- (Ruth 2:2) And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor." Naomi said to her, "Go ahead, my daughter."

- (Isa 16:2) Like fluttering birds pushed from the nest, so are the women of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.

- (Jer 48:13) Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed when they trusted in Bethel.

ISRAEL

The name which is closely related to the Jews, is Israel, from whom this nation comes from. He, who was originally called Jacob, was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham.
Perhaps the most interesting finding connected to the name of Israel is the so called Israel-stone, which dates back to year 1200 B.C., and is a monument in honour of the pharaoh Merenptah. The significance of this monument lies in the fact that it is the earliest foreign source on the existence of Israel. It indicates, that the nation of Israel had already in the times of the judges established its location in the Middle-East.

- (Gen 32:27-28) The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.
28. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

EDOM

The brother of Jacob was Esau, or Edom. Esau was his elder twin brother who had his own nation. The king Sargon of Assyria has preserved a statement about him. In this statement we also see other familiar names from the Bible, such as Judah and Moab:

"I conquered Ashdod, Gath. I moved inhabitants to them from eastern countries. I collected tax from Philistia, Judah, Edom and Moab."

- (Gen 25:30) He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" That is why he was also called Edom.

- (Gen 36:1, 19) This is the account of Esau (that is, Edom).
19. These were the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these were their chiefs.

- (Num 20:23) At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

- (Jer 9:26) Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."

- (2 Chronicles 28:17) The Edomites had again come and attacked Judah and carried away prisoners,

HITTITES

The existence of the Hittites has also been confirmed. This nation, which was not known in the beginning of the 19th century other than from the Bible, and whose existence was doubted for a long time, has now become well-known. Findings of them have been made in their own capital Hattusas. In addition to this, notes on them have been found from Egyptian and Syrian sources.
What describes this well is that when the "Encyclopedia Britannica" dedicated only 8 lines to this nation in its edition in 1860, the 1947 edition had 10 full pages with two columns on them because the information about this nation had increased. What had in the beginning only been well-known from the Bible, had thus got confirmation from archaeological sources.
For instance the next Bible verses refer to this nation (The Bible has all together almost 50 references to them):

- (Gen 10:15) Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites,

- (Judges 1:26) He then went to the land of the Hittites, where he built a city and called it Luz, which is its name to this day.

- (1 Kings 10:29) They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

JACOB

Jacob is the same person as the before mentioned Israel.
In connection with him it is interesting to note that the monument of Pharaoh Thutmos lll, which is in the pylon of the temple of Karnak, includes references to such place names as Jacob-Er and Joseph-El. In addition to this, this monument mentiones other familiar places from the Bible such as Kadesh, Megiddo, Dothan, Damascus, Hazor, Carmel, Gath and Bethel.

- (Gen 25:26- 27) After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. [a] Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27. The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.

- (Isa 27:6) In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.

- (John 4:5-6, 9-12) So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
9. The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
11."Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
12. Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"

BENJAMIN

Benjamin was a "patriarch" and one of the twelve sons of Jacob, from whom one of the tribes of Israel descended from. A few references to Benjamites can be found in the clay tablets of Mari. One of these statements goes as follows:

"Inform this to my master on behalf of your servant Bannum: Yesterday I left from Mari and I spent the night in Zuruban. All Benjamites sent signs of fire. From Samamum to Ilum-Muluk, from Ilum-Muluk to Mishlam all Benjamin villages in the area of Terqua answered with signs of fire; I don't yet know, what these signs mean." (13)

- (Gen 35:17-18) And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid, for you have another son."
18. As she breathed her lastfor she was dyingshe named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.

- (Judges 19:16) That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the men of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields.

- (Romans 11:1) I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

ASHER

One of the sons of Jacob was Asher, from whom descended his own tribe. This tribe, which has his name, can be found in the pages of the Old Testament:

- (Gen 30:13) Then Leah said, "How happy I am! The women will call me happy." So she named him Asher.

- (Num 1:41) The number from the tribe of Asher was 41,500.

- (Luke 2:36) There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,

LEVI

Levi was also a son of Jacob, from which also descended a tribe bearing his name. His descendants had a responsible task according to the Bible; they took care of the temple service and other priestly tasks. The New Testament also mentions the descendants of Levi living in those days:

- (Ex. 6:16) These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.

- (John 1:19) Now this was Johns testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.

- (Acts 4:36) Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement),

RACHEL, LEAH AND PEREZ

Rachel and Leah, who appear in the next verses of the Bible, were the wives of Jacob. He went to get them from the eastern countries. Perez was the son of Leah's son Judah, from Tamar:

- (Gen 31:14) Then Rachel and Leah replied, "Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father's estate?

- (Gen 38:29) But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, "So this is how you have broken out!" And he was named Perez.

- (Ruth 4:11-12) Then the elders and all those at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.
12. Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."

RACHELS TOMB

When Rachel, the favourite wife of Jacob died, we are told that she was buried by the road to Ephrath. However, what is interesting is that we can find a reference to the same tomb from the book of Samuel; it was obviously still commonly known at that time:

- (Gen 35:19) So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).

- (Gen 48:7) As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath" (that is, Bethlehem).

- (1 Sam 10:1-2) Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the LORD anointed you leader over his inheritance?
2. When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel's tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, 'The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, "What shall I do about my son?" '

JOSEPHS BONES

When we look at the references to Joseph, he was named "the prince among his brothers" (Gen 49:26), and he also served as the closest man to the pharaoh. However, he asked that his bones would be taken back to where he had lived before after his death:

- (Gen 50:25-26) And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place."
26. So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

- (Joshua 24:32) And Joseph's bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph's descendants.?

Blacknad.

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#20276 - 04/11/07 07:13 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
There's no way all the tribes descend from someone called Abraham who lived 2000 BC.


http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/Abrahams_Chromosomes$.asp

"Can recent genetic research give some indication of the existence of the historical Abraham?


Recent genetic studies of the Jewish people clearly indicate that the roots of the Jewish nation can be traced to the Middle East. This research confirms the geographical origin of the core of every major Jewish Diaspora community. (See: "Jewish Genes.")
Furthermore, the discovery of the "Cohen Gene" -- the genetic signature shared by the majority of Kohanim -- the Jewish priestly family worldwide, is an indication that this signature is that of the ancient Hebrews. (See:"The Cohanim - DNA Connection")
Based on the DNA of today's Kohanim, the geneticists have dated their "Most Common Recent Ancestor" to 106 generations ago, approximately 3,300 years before the present. This is in agreement with the Torah's written and oral tradition of the lifetime of Aaron, the original High Priest and founder of the Kohen lineage. Further genetic studies have found that the CMH-the Cohen Modal Haplotype-a haplotype of the MED (J) haplogroup-is not exclusive to Kohanim, and not unique to Jews. It is also found in significant percentages among other Middle Eastern populations, and to a lesser extent, among southern Mediterranean groups. A haplotype is a group of distinct DNA markers -- neutral nucleotide mutations, which when found together indicate a lineage. These particular markers were discovered on the Y-Chromosome, which is passed from father to son, without change, thus establishing a paternal lineage pattern.
All of the above is scientific fact, which has only become known in recent years. Using these findings as a basis, perhaps we can speculate and consider some implications of the findings.
If the CMH is the genetic signature of Aaron, the father of the Kohanim, it must also have been the genetic signature of Aaron's father, Amram, and that of his father, Kehat, and of his father, Levi. Levi's father was Jacob who also must have had the CMH as his Y-Chromosome genetic signature, as did his father, Isaac.
Thus we arrive at Abraham. Abraham was only seven generations removed from Aaron, a matter of a few hundred years. Genetic signatures change slightly only over many generations. Thus, it is very reasonable to assume that the CMH, the most common haplotype among Jewish males, is therefore also the genetic signature of the Patriarch Abraham."

Blacknad.

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#20278 - 04/11/07 07:40 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
The last post is probably rubbish - sorry.

Blacknad.

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#20283 - 04/11/07 08:59 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: DA Morgan]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
redewenur wrote:
"As for 'clicks', though, that's hardly an indicator of quality"...Now can we all just let this thread die?
How many have noticed that even before I began to post here DA--anyone remember what he has contributed?--has called for the killing of this thread?

I wonder why.

DA, we who post here, of our own free will, do not require that you read what we post. If this thread bores you, you could start your own thread. If I find it interesting, I will join you, if you so desire. I promise not to campaign to silence you. All I ask is that you treat us with the same courtesy.

IMHO, any attempt to silence people is characteristic of a witch hunt. Speaking of which check out the following:

http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulletin/upload/showthread.php?t=63458

I got the above link courtesy the CBC--Canada's PBS--public radio and the Toronto Sun review.
==========================
CHARACTERISTICS OF A WITCH HUNT reprinted from Toronto Sun review)
=========

How to conduct a witch hunt:

1. Assume guilt at the moment of accusation.

2. Apply any pressures necessary, including torture, to get a confession and to accuse others.

3. Accept any incriminating evidence, no matter how dubious or vague.

4. Ignore testimony or evidence inconvenient to your version of the truth.

5. Create or employ false evidence if necessary to convict.

6. Threaten anyone speaking in favour of a defendant as a suspected accessory.

7. Treat the accused as if he has no human rights because he is so dangerous.

8. Accept secret accusations, to protect the accuser.

9. Take a tip-of-the-iceberg approach, assume there is more and search and expand the hunt for others.

10. Justify and excuse all errors by appeals to national security, the good of the state or the protection of society.

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#20284 - 04/11/07 09:21 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
BTW, all of the above came into my purview as a result of hearing an interview, today, with Robert Rapely, a retired civil servant, regarding his new book: WITCH HUNTS:From Salem to Guantanamo Bay.

In his book, Rapely argues that to this day the 'witch' lives on in the 'terrorist' and that, in the wake of 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, witch hunts are a part of present-day America.

It seems we all need someone to blame, even if they happen to be innocent.


Edited by Revlgking (04/11/07 09:27 PM)
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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#20291 - 04/11/07 10:39 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Revlgking]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Blacky. I'll cover as much as I can quickly.

"Abraham, the person whom the Bible tells us used to live in Ur of the Chaldeans". Ur was not Chadean until about 700 BC.

"What is noticeable is that those same names also appear in the Bible." I don't think anyone's claimed the OT was totally made up. This merely shows the personal names were widespread throughout Mesopotamia.

"The proofs that have been presented to us so far, give reason to believe that the patriarch accounts are firmly based on history". Yes. But that history is much more recent than 2000 BC. More like 1500 to 1200 BC.

"The fact that the Jews and Arabs regard Abraham as their forefather is in itself proof that he was a historic person". No. It shows they all believe the same myths.

"One of Abraham's relations was Moab". Like the Maori of NZ they invented common ancestors to cement political alliances. Often these alliances didn't hold up for very long of course. That's why the myths say Moab was born of an incestuous relationship. The Moab kingdom is much more recent than any time proposed for Abraham. In fact both Moab and Omri are comfortably within the period we would call history.

"Perhaps the most interesting finding connected to the name of Israel is the so called Israel-stone, which dates back to year 1200 B.C." Now 1200 BC is actually before the nation of Israel existed according to most chronologies. The word in this case probably refers to cities in the Jezreel (actually Yisre'el) valley. There is no doubt this region was important for a very long time. Judah later borrowed myths from there to justify their claim over the region.

"The existence of the Hittites has also been confirmed." And Abraham is recorded as meeting them. They didn't expand from their homeland until at least 1600 BC. See above.

"the pylon of the temple of Karnak, includes references to such place names as Jacob-Er and Joseph-El." Egyptian records show Semitic-speaking people were almost always widespread in the Delta region.

"A few references to Benjamites can be found in the clay tablets of Mari." Oops. These tablets date to 2500 BC so this guy Abraham certainly lived for a very long time.

"One of the sons of Jacob was Asher, from whom descended his own tribe" See previous post regarding Asher as probably being the Sea People tribe Weshesh. Asher was a coastal tribe.

I'll leave Levi and Rachel etc.

Now genes.

"Recent genetic studies of the Jewish people clearly indicate that the roots of the Jewish nation can be traced to the Middle East." Everyone else from there also has the same collection of genes. This is hardly an earth shattering statement.

"Furthermore, the discovery of the "Cohen Gene" -- the genetic signature shared by the majority of Kohanim -- the Jewish priestly family worldwide, is an indication that this signature is that of the ancient Hebrews." What most commentaries on the subject neglect to say is that particular Y-chromosome is common throughout Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Again not surprising. Sorry, you later mention that.

"If the CMH is the genetic signature of Aaron, the father of the Kohanim, it must also have been the genetic signature of Aaron's father, Amram, and that of his father, Kehat, and of his father, Levi. Levi's father was Jacob who also must have had the CMH as his Y-Chromosome genetic signature, as did his father, Isaac.
Thus we arrive at Abraham." The trouble with that argument is that many Jews don't even have that Y-chromosome. Therefore they're not all descended from one male who lived 4000 years ago. Besides which the so-called Abraham Y-chromosome is widespread, even well beyond just people who claim descent from him.

Thanks for your interesting posts.

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#20293 - 04/11/07 10:45 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Oops. Forgot. I'd guess that the stories of Abraham and Moses represent the two main strands of belief that make up the OT. In other words Abraham is not Moses' ancestor but almost a contemporary. The stories were floating around the region orally long before they were finally written down though, and so a great deal of hybridizing between the stories had already occurred.

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#20303 - 04/12/07 12:45 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: Blacknad
I am not surprised...that we inflict all sorts of horrors upon one another.The stakes are relatively low here, but there is still an incredible amount of conflict.

... mature, enlightened, articulate individuals who have a concern with understanding the universe, humanity and improving this world.

But what do we find but cat-fights, squabbles over inanities and disrespectful insults.

If people here cannot get along and show respect, how can we expect anyone to.

SAGG - the human race in Microcosm.

I may be losing hope and becoming more cynical.

Blacknad.
Good points, Blacknad. When anyone of us throws disrespectful insults do not be afraid to let us know. Good refereeing can make for a better game.

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#20304 - 04/12/07 12:51 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
But Blacknad and Terry- Why do you so much need to "prove" all this? ( Very fascinating stuff though, I just spent far too long reading it!) If you have faith then it is real. Isn't that enough? Sometimes such "Blind Faith" leads to things like the discovery of Troy-which wasn't Troy but a nevertheless a good attempt!

To me it seems that there probably was a patriarchal society which had a very rich oral history, only later written down. The question surely is- were they really in touch with their divine God and did his divinity inspire their lives? For that leap you have to believe in the supernatural yourself, and we are back to faith.

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#20314 - 04/12/07 03:48 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Ellis asks:

"Why do you so much need to "prove" all this?"

Because, Ellis, the God of these stories is used to justify particular political perspectives today, just as he was used 2600 years ago.

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#20321 - 04/12/07 04:53 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
TNZ is correct Ellis. This single story is at its foundation the bedrock used to justify and rationalize everything from stoning women to war. And to that purpose it is still used to this day.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#20326 - 04/12/07 05:54 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: DA Morgan]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
But, since these stories were made up as part of an oral history in the first place why would assuming that they were god-inspired make any difference to the fact that they are the basis of our society. Surely in 2600 plus years the god bits are well and truly subsumed into the general framework of man-made laws. We are working on this area all the time. Not much of the original god bits could be left I would have thought, and as we do not have a form of Sharia law in Western societies, and indeed we try to keep church and state separate, I cannot see the relevance of needing to know god is hovering around then, or now. We are stuck with it, and mostly as modified over the millenia they seem to have served us reasonably well. Obviously we do not run a modern society on all the ancient rules of conduct, and surely no one seriously argues that we should in secular modern western governments.

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#20329 - 04/12/07 08:05 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Ellis wrote:

"surely no one seriously argues that we should in secular modern western governments."

There seems to be plenty of people in "the West" who claim we should do exactly that. We have what's been called an "anti-smacking bill" in Parliament at the moment. The main opposition to it is driven by the Christian belief "spare the rod and spoil the child". As for Sharia law. It's not really that long ago the Christian Church was burning people for disagreeing with it. I sometimes think extremists in the West believe we should still be doing it.

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#20354 - 04/12/07 11:56 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Ellis Offline
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Yes, Terry, the Christian Chrch has done some really evil things but I don't think they burn people now. However it was only recently that Hindus burned some christian missonaries in India. Religion is very unforgiving. That is why there has to be separation of church and state. The smacking thing is having a brief flurry here. I think that anyone who thinks it is OK for a grown person to whack into a small child should do so in public, then we would see how much support there really is for what some people call "loving chastisement." It's silly rubbish and indicates failure on the part of the adult to adequately control themselves.

We will just have to be more watchful that we do not allow ourselves to disenfranchise people in the name of god, or "security"---but that is another topic. And I am off the topic of does god exist. I say it doesn't matter if he/she/it does!

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#20364 - 04/13/07 02:15 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Ellis wrote:

"I say it doesn't matter if he/she/it does!"

You're right but we have people who claim to be acting with God on their side (as Dan reminded us with the Dylan song) and these people deserve to have the wind completely taken out of their sails. I totally agree that many good things are done in God's name and I'm prepared to support that. And I'm well aware of a huge problem that will arise if atheists become fundamentalists. Fortuantely there's not enough of us to be a problem yet.

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#20382 - 04/13/07 04:11 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Ellis Offline
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Fundamental atheism??----Please explain!!

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#20384 - 04/13/07 08:48 AM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Ellis. Good point. The other night during a debate on TV a Christian described Dawkins as a fundamentalist and I took up the expression without thinking. Of course we can't have atheist fundamentalists because there is no set text for atheists to rely on. On the other hand I suppose we've been misled by the expression religious fundamentalism. It's not fundamentalists that are the problem, it's extremists. Perhaps we should be refering to religious extremists rather than fundamentalists. Once we make that change we can certainly see the possibility of atheist extremists. When I think about it that's really the expression I should have used. Atheist extremists could become as dangerous as Muslim, Christian or Jewish extremists. How's that?

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#20395 - 04/13/07 04:59 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: terrytnewzealand]
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
A couple of thoughts:

Ellis asks:
"why would assuming that they were god-inspired make any difference to the fact that they are the basis of our society."

By claiming god was involved they are given a foundation that makes it harder for mere mortals to challenge their irrationality. This practice can be seen in many medieval writings with names like 'The Gospel of ....' where the person named had nothing to do with the writing but whose name was used to confer authenticity and importance on the text.

Ellis wrote:
"the Christian Chrch has done some really evil things but I don't think they burn people now."

I would respectfully disagree. I will grant you they are no longer so immune to public relations that they pile up wood and gather a crowd to watch the spectacle. But I recall pictures of Buddhists in Vietnam treated with napalm. And I'm not willing to consider the dropping of cluster bombs on certain brown-skinned people to be anything other than a refinement of the practice.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#20400 - 04/13/07 05:31 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Ellis]
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Originally Posted By: Ellis
Fundamental atheism??----Please explain!!


I'll ignore Dan accusing us of being slightly more civilized witch burners.

But Fundamentalist Atheist?

Dawkins fits the category nicely.

He admits to having had an epiphany experience when he read The Origin of Species. So there was his conversion.

Origin' allowed him to frame his understanding of reality, therefore he has his scripture. (The theory of evolution for him is his Dogma).

He is zealous in his anti-Religious evangelism.

He refers to the religious as 'Child Abusers' and calls them deluded. So he resorts to the classification of those he does not agree with just as a fundamentalist does. He uses the language of Fundamentalism.

He says that no evolutionist or scientist can possibly truly be religious. His view of this and his faith in his own understanding is unflinching.

He is a Fundamentalist Extremist Atheist in every possible sense of the word.

There are many of his peers who recognise this - not just the religious.

Blacknad.

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#20403 - 04/13/07 05:39 PM Re: Evidence for God [Re: Blacknad]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
All good points, Blacknad.
_________________________
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

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