Speak Out [religion] October 1 to December 31, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

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  • News, I agree with you on almost all points. However, there is a fine line between agnostic and atheist. I believe there are many quotes that Einstein made that puts him firmly in the atheist camp, and for that matter, the vast majority of "top" scientists I believe would admit to being atheist over agnostic. First, we must remember that there is a very large negative connotation associated with being "atheist". It wasn't that long ago that being "atheist" was thought of as being no better than a communist. Today, it still garners very negative feedback from the religious right, a large segment of our population. To put it bluntly, it took big kahoonas to say outright you were an atheist back then. Most people really don't like to be categorized by a single word, as the complexity of every individual deserves more. Even admitting to the category of agnostic back then had it's own negative connotation, at least much worse than it does now. Atheist was over the top compared to agnostic.

    It could easily be said that we should all be "agnostic" about there being intelligent life living at the core of our earth. The reason is because "we just don't know" and we have not been able to disprove it. However, it is also reasonable to believe that based on everything we know about the laws of physics and known science, that the probability of such a preposterous position (or belief by someone) is so low that we can make that leap from being "agnostic" on that belief to one of total skepticism. It goes back to the inability to prove a negative. I believe a true skeptic about any issue goes beyond raising doubt about that issue (agnostic), and would be more accurate to admit that "they just don't believe it to be true" (atheist).

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Oct 6, 2011, at 5:55 AM
  • Can you find something that you are not looking for and want to avoid?

    John 20:24-25, "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

    Did Jesus have to provide this evidence? No

    John 20:26-28, "And after eight days again His disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, "Peace be with you." 27 Then He *said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing." 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

    Would Thomas have suffered hell if Jesus had not provided the evidence? Would we?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 6, 2011, at 12:38 PM
  • What would an atheist have done?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 6, 2011, at 12:39 PM
  • News I think you miss the point. Does it matter whether you believe it or not? How do you know its not true?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 6, 2011, at 11:22 PM
  • How do you know Dr. Hawking is right? If there is an almighty God why would he have to conform to your standards?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 6, 2011, at 11:25 PM
  • Aren't you making a serious assumption of what Einstein believed because it agrees with your assumption? Do you know Einstein's mind?

    News you seem to be assuming that we have all the evidence possible to deny the existence of God. But do we know all of the laws of the universe? At one time in our history they claimed that the sun was the center of our solar system and the planets revolved around it--it was considered false. But today we know that it is true. There are indicators of the existence of God but do you think your presupposition that God doesn't exist won't let you see it?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 6, 2011, at 11:41 PM
  • News that is a typical atheist question and is not logical and I think you know that but refuse to give it up. I know you are far more intelligent then that and have probably studied logic.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 5:52 AM
  • ALWAYS BEWARE of any religion that starts with an M, whether Muslim, or Mormon.

    By the way, just where was that Romney born?

    (Sometimes I get confused somewhere between sarcasm, and satire. Maybe there is a little overlap between the two as if Sarcasm is Satire's mentally challenged brother.)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 9:51 PM
  • It is the Ad Ignorantiam Fallacy, News.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 8:36 AM
  • You just need to do you homework news I've done mine and I did answer your question sometimes we don't like the answer. I have no problem moving on you and some of the others seem to get hung up on the trivial stuff to justify your argument. I can't control that.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 6:38 PM
  • Deadly dreams: Man slaughters his children in their sleep

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/270087/deadly-dreams-man-slaughters-his-children-in-...

    Allah told him to do it!!!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 8:15 PM
  • I don't have to news it speaks for itself but you don't like it because of your worship of man and science. I did answer your question, you either don't know what it is or refuse to acknowledge it. Like I said I can't help that.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 9:21 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    I seem to remember a christian mother who drowned her 4 children in the tub because god told her to.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 10:09 AM
  • Funny what some people remember!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 12:46 PM
  • No, it's not funny at all.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 1:07 PM
  • Am I "black balled"? I keep geting my posts deleted.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 9:12 PM
    Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
    It was the same basic comment posted twice. I received complaints about it.
  • Good post Cheetah. Anything that stretches the mind a bit is a welcome relief on this far too repetitive blog.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 10:51 AM
  • I smell "Slip Mahoney" in the room :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 8:56 PM
  • Very good phylisophical points were made by both. However, after some thought on them, I come away with a headache and very little interest in the abstraction of the english language. It really all boils down to whether you believe there is an entity that does suspend the laws of physics and intervene in our lives or not. If you do not require evidence or believe the laws of science then debate is futile. Actually, debate itself is based on logic and rational thought, so to try and present a logical argument for something as irrational as the existence of a god is illogical. Now I'm giving myself a headache :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 9:06 PM
  • Slip Mahoney RT? rotflmao! I gotta ask, do you also sense the presence of "Sach" Jones?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Oct 14, 2011, at 12:46 AM
  • News.... loved the Youtube videos. It is all clear now. And, Slip Mahoney was part of the Bowry Boys. This was also around the time of other oldies like "Ma & Pa Kettle". OK Reader must be about my age.. we both walked with the dinosaurs :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 8:31 AM
  • I agree news that your god of scientific evidence points to nature. But what caused nature? Would that be personal or non-personal?

    On another note you always cite scientific evidence as your proof. Now I don't think that you nor I can read or see all the evidence available. Could there actually be evidence to counter you're claim?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 9:14 AM
  • The answer we all should be able to agree with is that you go with whatever evidence there is available and if insufficient to trust a conclusion, then try to gather more evidence both to support or deny whatever the claim. As in one of the videos News provided the link to, lack of evidence in the negative does not constitute proof of the opposite. I can't prove god does not exist, therefore god must exist. If you believe in ghosts because of some unknown feeling is free for you to do, and lack of one scrap of evidence means you should accept ridicule if you try and promote that idea. The bible is held up as evidence for xtians, as is the Koran for muslims. I suppose that is better evidence than none at all, but really doesn't hold up to any real scrutiny. However, those writings appear to be sufficient for a large number of people to claim unwavering belief. I maintain that that small and very inconclusive body of evidence (if indeed stories handed down by word of mouth for many years before being written could be considered any type of evidence) is believed because the individuals really want badly to believe there is an afterlife. Scientific evidence is open to scrutiny while religion apparently is not

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 12:17 PM
  • Wow ND.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 1:32 PM
  • To claim that 100% of all evidence points to the big bang is absurd and illogical to even make such a statement. The big bang cannot be proven or tested and any evidence found can be made to fit the hypothesis. We individually cannot know about all evidence that is available. Something like the big bang could have happened but I am believing it has a personal cause. News don't commit the Ad Populum fallacy because they could be wrong.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 10:54 PM
  • i believe in the big bang theory ...

    i believe the Omnipotent Creator said "Let there be ..." and "BANG" there was ...

    zeke

    -- Posted by zeke on Mon, Oct 17, 2011, at 8:07 AM
  • Nana just for clarification what are the moral issues here:

    is it

    money for children, education, healthcare, public spaces, roads, or even for a national day for ELECTIONS...

    or

    what is just, what is fair, what is compassionate and what is right...

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Oct 17, 2011, at 11:34 AM
  • Good one Zeke!!!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Oct 17, 2011, at 11:35 AM
  • rr3yvo,

    If the big bang theory is "absurd and illogical" then what does that make talking snakes and parting seas?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Oct 17, 2011, at 1:14 PM
  • I'll have to trust the scientists on the Big Bang theories, and in what I have been reading, the Large Hadron Collider should be able to test and verify or disprove aspects of the BB theory in the very near future. However, just like relativity, I have to trust the top thinkers. And yes, it requires "faith", but in the scientific methodology, of which I am able to comprehend the validity of in many or most scientific discoveries. It is extremely hard to imagine there being a Big Bang and that there was nothing before that. It is not unlike the claim of god creating the universe and the question that must follow, "then who made god". The fact that science can put a time line of billions of years between now and the creation of our universe makes it harder to believe that there are people who believe the literal interpretation of the bible that humans are only 6,000 years old. And if that sounds more like ridicule than scrutiny, perhaps it is. Should faith healers that withhold medical treatment for dying children be subject to ridicule or scrutiny?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Oct 17, 2011, at 8:28 PM
  • What I don't get RT is when theories are taught as fact when they can never be. Such as the big bang, no one can know what or how or the exact conditions that it happened at that particular time. It will always be a theory. Now the bible tells us how the earth was created but of course we don't have to believe it. Have you read about Alexander the Great and what he accomplished at I think 33 years of age and do you believe it? Have you read about Jesus and what he accomplished at 33 years of age and do you believe it?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 6:25 AM
  • Wtf I didn't say the big bang theory is "absurd and illogical". Read carefully!!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 12:44 PM
  • RT

    Where in the bible does it say humans have only been around 6000 years?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 3:00 PM
  • SC just curious do you believe the bible? If you take the bible literally is there room for interpretation? Myself I believe what the bible says is true, all of it. God did tell us to keep the Sabbath and the creation account fits our 7 day week. Are the days of creation 24 hour days? I don't know. The biblical description lends itself to that but there are also gaps where we don't know what happened.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 7:56 PM
  • SC Jesus the man was 33 years old when he died. Jesus the son we can't put a number on. He was there at the beginning. If something is eternal does it have an age?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 8:37 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    How can you possibly say that you believe that everything in the bible is true without following everything the bible commands?

    Where would you be now if you really and truly believed in everything the bible said?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 8:55 PM
  • Well SC let's hear the two stories.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 9:08 PM
  • As for "smarter than US" I can't speak for you.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 9:10 PM
  • Just to lighten things a bit here are a few paraprosdokians (attributed to Canadian linguist William Gordon Casselman).

    Going to church doesn't make you religious any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    Light travels faster than sound. This why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Some cause happiness whereever they go. Others whenever they go.

    You're never too old to learn something stupid.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 11:23 PM
  • mind if i chime in here? ... i didn't think so ...

    good points sc ... maybe you all addressed the "a day for man is like 1,000 years for the lord" ... scenario and i missed it ... anyway ... it might behoove some to do a little study on "pre-adamic creation" or "pre-adamic man" and see if it makes any sense to them ... it kind of goes along with the whole "in the beginning the earth was without form and void" and what follows .... i agree with the words of the late keith green ... "i don't know if it was a literal six days or not, but if this place took six days to make and he's been working on heaven for 2,000 years, this is like living in a garbage can compared to what we'll find up there" ... biblical principles are not the same as ink on paper ... or engravings in stone for that matter ... thank god for that ... jesus himself took the whole of the ten commandments and all of the 600 or 700 man made interpretations of those 10 and rolled them all into two very compact and easy to remember rules ... love the lord your god with all of your being ... and love your neighbor as you do yourself ...

    just sayin

    -- Posted by zeke on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 2:10 PM
  • Genesis 1:1-2:3 is a general account of creation.

    Genesis 2:4-4:26 focus is on the beginning of human history. This isn't an order of creation but a detailed description of how it happened.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 2:55 PM
  • It is fact SC one God, one creation. Are you a believer?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 3:36 PM
  • Maybe this will help explain it SC.

    Doesn't Genesis One Contradict Genesis Two?

    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/genesis2.html

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Oct 19, 2011, at 6:17 PM
  • there are some on both "sides" of the issue who always get to the question ... "are you a believer?" ... which begs the question ... "are all beleivers to think the same thing and have the same opinions?" ... if we all think the same then some of us are unnecessary, wouldn't you think? ... the apostle paul said he wanted us to be "of the same mind" ... meaning be heavenly minded - focused on the savior and the prize, etc ... not "think exactly the same or one of you is wrong and damned" ... the question "are you a believer" just seems to throw up another un-needed wall ... and it may even be a smoke screen or a veiled attempt to stop the conversation altogether ... i.e. "if you are a believer and i am a believer then why are YOU disagreeing with ME?"

    just sayin

    zeke

    -- Posted by zeke on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 8:26 AM
  • I never said that you couldn't read SC. I was just trying to help you understand my belief on the subject. You are welcome to believe what you want. You asked me how I came to that conclusion and sometimes I think a link is better then posting a long drawn out explanation. I'm sorry if I offended you but you did ask a question and I did answer it. The only reason I asked if you are a believer is so I could try to explain to you what the bible says. The bible says that the unbeliever does not understand the things of God so it does make a difference.

    God Bless and Have a Great Day

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 11:35 AM
  • Zeke I agree but as believers i.e. Christians we are going to disagree and that's ok. But as Christians there are some essentials that if we don't agree with well maybe we are not Christian. A couple of things we should agree on are: we are sinners saved by grace and the bible is the true inspired word of God. There are a lot of debateable issues in the bible and it doesn't necessarily mean either one is wrong.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 20, 2011, at 12:06 PM
  • I find it fascinating that so much effort is spent trying to interpret the meaning of a book that is so small in volume yet is used by its followers to try and derive meaning from mostly vague stories, many of which are absolutely ridiculous. The bible may not be a hoax, but at best it is a string of writings by various men who with the earlies writings coming after 50 years of jesus's death. Even Jim the Wonder Dog stories has more believeability that the bible.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 5:28 AM
  • I think RT was referring to the new testament, and perhaps more specifically to the Jesus stories, none of which, as far as I know, were contemporaneous with Jesus.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 1:54 PM
  • Yes, I am referring to the writings of the New Testament, and that the earliest writings by Paul did not appear until somewhere around 50 AD, and the entire collection of 27 or so books were not complete until around 150 years AD. BTW, I have read the entire bible in my younger years (which means I remember very little detail today) with much effort, as I do not recall anything that I would consider artful or poetic, although I might concede that there is some. I prefer Asop's Fables myself.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 8:09 AM
  • Nana: "But neither would I denigrate those who believe"

    I am not comparing the poetry of Jim the Wonder Dog to the bible, just the believeability. I have visited JTWD's grave site as a child and read and heard stories of his feats, and even read a few critics who claim his feats were tricks. I find JTWD's feats more believeable than walking on water, parting the seas, and rising from the dead. Please....

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 8:17 AM
  • Have any of you ever played the game where a short story has been passed by word of mouth around a circle of people in a room? The comparison between the original story to the one at the end of the chain is usually comical. Now, let's allow that chain to extend over wandering trbes for 50 to 150 YEARS! What do you get.. again, the virgin birth, the magical loafs of bread and wine from water, and so on. Yes, I do understand that there are tribes today that pass along great histories by word of mouth, and often with astonishing detail and accuracy. But it is only logical that great embellisment has to be in play here, or the laws of physics were temporily interupted. Nana, do you believe jesus walked on water? How about the rest of you bloggers? Please answer this simple question with a YES or NO, and elaboration is welcome.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 8:26 AM
  • Nope.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 4:18 PM
  • SC appreciate the link and it describes the way Genesis is written much better then my attempt(that's why I use links). Your first post on the subject seems that you thought the bible was contradicting itself. I agree that the bible is the inspired word of God but I also think God had a part in the translations of it. I don't think God would let his word be translated willy nilly and be considered legitimate. Although we have translations considered more accurate then others. I also think as believers we have to take the bible literally or are we really believers? The things that the bible is not clear on are debatable issues but that doesn't take away from the literal interpretation of the word.

    Revelation 22:18-19

    For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

    And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    What does God really mean by this?

    Even back in the old testament.

    Deuteronomy 4:2 God said, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you"

    Our interpretation of the bible has no meaning and is worthless.

    2 Peter 1:20

    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    If we believe in evolution then do we throw out the first 11 chapters of Genesis and keep the rest? If we believe that sin is just a sign of weakness and is not breaking the law of God do we cut the parts about sin from the bible? I don't believe we should doubt God's word because of translation. I believe God is much greater then that.

    Thanks for the link and God bless.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 10:22 PM
  • ...because scripture proves everything.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 6:38 AM
  • Deuteronomy 4:2 God said, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you"

    and yet the people who were given these commands set about inacting some 600 to 700 laws interpreting the original ten. does that make sense? it only makes sense if you see man for what and who he is - a finite and flawed creation - compared to a perfect and infinite creator. the ten commandments were just laid out there - and man had to ask "what do they mean?" - so they said - for example - you can't walk more than a certain distance on the sabbath because that would be work and we are not to work on the sabbath - when the original just said - simply - to remember the sabbath - to keep it holy - nothing at all about work or walking or anything of the sort. jesus said "i'll simplify it even further - if you look at the 10 you'll see they fit into two categories - how you commune with the creator and how you commune with your fellow man. ... love the lord your god with all your being, and love your neighbor as yourself. no interpretation, no commentary, no discussion. he just laid it out there. i think he was saying "take it or leave it - but don't mess with it - because it is ok in and of itself."

    -- Posted by zeke on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 9:18 AM
  • and speaking of oral tradition - and this is gonna make someone's hair stand up on the back of his or her neck - it is highly possible and plausible that the gospels - with the exception of Mark - were written by students or disciples of the apostles named - i.e. The Gospel of John may well have been written by what was known as "the Johannine school" - studnts and disciples of the oral teachings of John - and the gospel of Matthew written by those who heard the stories of Jesus passed down orally from Matthew (Levi) the Tax Collector and based on the ealier written gospel of Mark. in the same way - the gospel of Luke may have been built on the outline gleaned from the writings of Mark ... Mark (or John Mark who later traveled with Paul) may have been a contemporary of Jesus - albeit a very young one. his writings are very much just facts about what jesus said and what jesus did - with very little embelishment. ... and it really doesn't matter - because it is all inspired by the spirit of the living god - in fact - it is a God-breathed living and life-giving document - the very breath of God.

    just sayin

    zeke

    -- Posted by zeke on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 9:43 AM
  • I'm afraid you are giving the bible way to much poetic license to assume it is the "breath of god". To take it literally is to put yourself way out into right field (and I mean "right"). It means you have to go way out of your way to try and come up with some explanation why god would condone cruelty and slavery and treatment of women on a subservient level.

    You have to do some very imaginative interpretation of Exodus 21:7-11 if you want to accept these passages literally. And if you have to work hard for an acceptable literal translation, isn't that defeating the idea of accepting it literally? Those who want to interpret the bible literally, please explain these "words of god":

    Exodus 21:7-11 "When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 6:33 PM
  • You are right SC we may never know but it seems that you may be doubting God's ability to use man to pen his word. I could be interpreting that the wrong way or should I take that literally?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 10:32 PM
  • RT just wondering if these are the only verses you seem to be hung up on. Seems that I gave you an explanation of these verses a while back. Do you think that an almighty God should act the way that you think he should? Who are we to tell God what is right or wrong because without God we wouldn't know?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 10:36 PM
  • Good explanation Zeke, I like it.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 10:39 PM
  • I am seeing the point made here that no matter what God may do it is alright because God did it. Elaborating, it seems you are saying that no matter how horrendous, how sickening an act of, or instruction from God may appear to be, it is not that. Instead condemnation of it is to be eschewed because we fallible humans can not see the love, the lesson, nor the Godly justice in what He has wrought, or decreed.

    Yet we will kill, imprison, and or torture our fellow human beings for carrying out the literal word, the self same direct instruction of God. In these instances has man, or God taken the moral high ground?

    It seems to me that those who fall in the above category are dishonoring God by not fully using His gift to them of a mind, and are twisted souls who will endorse inhumanity though it goes not only against Jesus' teaching, but also against the universal sense of morality that is ingrained in the believers, and the godless.

    Beware a literal, and robotic adherence to the Old Testament, it is a repository of excuses for sociopaths.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 1:07 AM
  • rt - my point ismade by your post ... if the original ten commands of god were followed - there would be no need for ANY rules concerning salvery, etc., because we would treat our fellow man like a valuable child of god.

    news - even though you probably won't admit it - that's the way MOST of history has been passed down ... history was being made and passed on orally a long time before IBM came up with the electric typewriter - and just look how far we've come since then ... most of history - even those thing you may hold sacred - was passed down orally before it was ever recorded physically.

    just sayin

    zeke

    -- Posted by zeke on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 8:30 AM
  • History is made by the victors, whether religious, social, or otherwise.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 11:35 AM
  • There are some things about God we will never fully understand. He cannot lie, sin or conceive anything evil. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is perfect. He has perfect love. He has perfect justice. Anything we see God doing as horrendous or evil is a consequence of disobedience to him. We don't like consequences, they are not fair so we want the government to pay for it(pun intended). We tend to distance ourselves from God, saying we are a good person, I believe in God and that's good enough, I believe there could be a God or there is no God. We want to think being a good person or just believing will be good enough to get in or, we deny God because we think we can judge God as being cruel and anything like a God that does cruel things cannot exist. God chooses the one's that will believe and follow him we don't choose God. We want to think it is all up to us but no, it is all up to God.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:46 PM
  • The ten commandments are of little value as ethical and moral guideance to live a moral and ethical life. The Golden Rule has much more benefit for mankind to live by.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 7:49 PM
  • Out of curiousity, can those of you who believe that jesus walked across the surface of water, do you also believe in ghosts? I am not talking about the "holy ghost", but actual ghosts as in paranormal activity where a ghost occupy's a home for months or years. Please at least give a yes or no to this question, and if the answer is yes, do you believe that ghosts are somehow explained in the bible?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 4:37 AM
  • RT how do you compare a ghost to Jesus walking on the water? I just don't see the comparison. I think demons may want us to think there are ghost but I don't think they exist.

    Deut. 18:10-12, "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD..."

    If there are ghost I don't think God wants us to communicate with them because they are probably of the devil.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 12:02 PM
  • rr3yvo said:

    "I think demons may want us to think there are ghost but I don't think they exist"

    Lemme get this straight. Ghosts aren't plausible but demons are? How do you expect us to take you seriously?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 7:33 PM
  • Do we live our lives by what we believe or what we don't believe?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 9:59 PM
  • ...just let the cops bash thier heads in and then god can sort 'em out, right rr3yvo?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 11:02 PM
  • You didn't answer the question.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 11:16 PM
  • Oh news you do have a belief system. Everything came from nothing. Astounding belief system!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 6:58 AM
  • News we only know that they are created in an already existent universe where the properties exist to allow these paricles to exist. These are randon fluctuations in a universe that already exist. To extrapolate that random fluctuations creating a minute particle could create a four dimensional space from nothing cannot be done by a reasonable person. If might fit your belief system but it is pure speculation without any scientific experimental support.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 11:49 AM
  • ...just like the bible.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 1:12 PM
  • rr3: "RT how do you compare a ghost to Jesus walking on the water?"

    I was just wondering who many who believe in Jesus also believe in ghosts. It seems to be there are a lot of people I know that believe in both, which to me would be a conflict and I was wondering how they might justify both. However, you have stated that you don't, and that there is reason to not believe in ghosts based on passages in the bible.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:14 PM
  • I sure wish we could re-edit our posts to correct gaffs. I usually try to take the time to re-read before clicking the button, but slipped this time (previous post).

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:16 PM
  • News we all have biblical roots. It is one God in three persons not 3 Gods. Kind of like quantum mechanics we don't know how it happens but it happens.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 9:35 PM
  • Just like the bible says news the unbeliever does not understand the things of God. It's right!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 5:50 AM
  • SC I don't know if manipulate is the right word. I call it tweaking. They get tweaked very easily.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 5:54 AM
  • is an egg an egg or is it three eggs ???

    is cherry pie a pie or is it three pies ???

    egg = yolk, white and shell = one egg in three parts ...

    cherry pie = crust, gooey deliciousness, and cherries = one pie in three parts ...

    god = god the father, god the son, and god the holy spirit = one god in three parts .. known as the holy trinity ...

    take your best shot - i have huge shoulders and don't get offended very easily - and i know whom i have believed ... simple as that.

    -- Posted by zeke on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 10:05 AM
  • Something just popped into my head that I haven't thought of since it was read to me when I was at my Mother's knee. It has a Missouri origination, which perhaps makes for a dual pertinence. ;)

    The Duel

    Eugene Field

    http://user.xmission.com/~emailbox/gingham.htm

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 12:28 PM
  • Good analogy zeke but I believe it doesn't completely describe God. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit I believe each one is fully God, different characteristics but each one being fully God. We know when Jesus was on this earth that he was fully God and fully man to become the ultimate sacrifice for us. Of course anything that we can understand cannot fully describe God. Good job keep it up.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 12:44 PM
  • sorry rr - i was just trying to simplify for those who would rather argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    -- Posted by zeke on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 2:26 PM
  • This is on the verge of insanity, but one fuzzy math:

    Theory 1:

    1+1+1=42 (why, that is the answer to life you know?)

    Theory 2:

    1+1+1=0 (why, because all the 1's in this equation are only imaginary)

    If anyone is confused with either theory, please ask. :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 6:36 AM
  • Sometimes the line between rationalization, and irrationalization also gets fuzzy. I see examples of that on this blog from time, to time. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 6:58 PM
  • Be careful what you hedge your bets on news. You may lose.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 7:18 PM
  • That's ok zeke just making a comment that it is hard for us to describe God with our limited knowledge. How do you describe something that created the universe and everything in it? Science can't do it. I do know though that we have it right and we can see that many have it wrong. They want to make light of an infinite God and I can't do that. We all make mistakes but posting on here with what we are up against just makes us better and better. Practice does make perfect.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 7:24 PM
  • RR3: "How do you describe something that created the universe and everything in it? Science can't do it. I do know though that we have it right and we can see that many have it wrong."

    Describing something that created the universe and everything in it requires more than the simplistic view of "god did it". You are right, science can't do it either. However, science continually makes great headway in "understanding" how the universe works and has made magnificent headway in describing much of the universe. It even provides proof of a timeline at least back to the "Big Bang". Perhaps the BB is where you can try and come up with an excuse of when god created the universe. And science could not prove or disprove such a feeble excuse for a god to create the universe back then. On the other hand, science has certainly made the timeline represented in the bible to be totally wrong. And even if someone wanted to take the stance that the universe was created by a god at the time of the Big Bang, as absurd as that would be, we have seen no evidence of his/her intervention since that almost unimaginable time. The universe has been shown to be way more remarkable and beautiful than the bible or Koran could ever portray.

    RR3, you claim to "know that you have it right". Extraordinary claims such as this require extraordinary evidence, of which there is none.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 5:43 AM
  • RT there is no proof of a timeline for the BB. How do you prove something you can't verify in any experiment? Scientist have to make the BB fit any current evidence they want to use for it. You could use the sky being blue as evidence for it but it would not be proof. We can't prove creation but we have a book that tells us it happened and ancient documents proving it was written around 2000 years ago. We can't prove when it happened not more than we can say a BB happened millions of years ago.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 8:11 PM
  • rr3yvo said:

    "We can't prove creation but we have a book that tells us it happened and ancient documents proving it was written around 2000 years ago"

    The rest of us have learned a lot since then. Maybe it's time for you to join the party.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Oct 31, 2011, at 11:02 PM
  • Wtf I would like to know how that quote relates to "rest of us have learned a lot since then."?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 11:33 AM
  • rr3yvo,

    It means that you are living in the dark ages.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 1:19 PM
  • Well wtf what on earth do you mean? Heh...Heh...Heh

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 1:31 PM
  • Interesting news. You have to make the three assumptions to believe it. The BB is not observable, not verifiable, and not measurable. They claim that 13,000,000 years is not enough time for life as we know it to evolve. The evidence or proof that there is only works if you make the assumption that it will work. You might find this interesting news.

    http://home.bluemarble.net/~heartcom/sirisaacssolarsystem.html

    I can't put my faith in a man to tell me to believe the BB when logic and the evidence points to a designer. I will not deny that God could have caused something like the BB to happen during the creation to make it all fall in place. But just look at our earth and how precise it all has to work just to sustain life. As far as we know there is no other life but right here. If you had never seen a computer before would you believe it just happened or did someone design it? Even the simplest things in life are made by a designer but some want to believe that the whole universe just happened! I find it hard to swallow.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 7:53 PM
  • rr3yvo said:

    "I can't put my faith in a man to tell me to believe the BB" (Big Bang Theory)

    Yet you command we believe all the ancient, uniformed and ignorant hocum in the bible? If there is a god maybe the BB is indeed how he created the universe. The point is that there is not one shred of evidence the bible ever got anything thing right. At least science is willing to admit something things are in fact thoeries. You can't say the same for religion.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 8:38 PM
  • Amazing how often I am quoted. I must be famous.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 11:56 AM
  • ....more like arrogant.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 4:41 PM
  • As for being crazy I would agree news. As for being conservative that would have nothing to do with it if they are crazy. That's a stretch even for you. Sounds like Pelosi and the liberal democrats got them going maybe we should blame them. We could stretch this any direction you want of course I already know your direction.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 6:54 PM
  • Scientific Accuracies of the Bible

    http://carm.org/scientific-accuracies-in-the-bible

    "The Bible is not a book about science, but when it does speak scientifically, it is accurate. In fact, it was far ahead of any other writing of its time."

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Nov 4, 2011, at 11:37 PM
  • There is no scientific accuracy in the bible. To even insinuate such a thing is an extreme stretch as to make it laughable. I went to the site you provided and the first two I read were laughable. At the end of the day, all anyone can say is that they "believe", and I am OK with you leaving it at that. But please don't try and pass pseudo-science (even that is too much credit) off as any type of truth.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 5, 2011, at 7:26 AM
  • Hilarious News. I know that some will disagree, but to me the satire was pointing a finger at human foibles, not disrespecting Jesus.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 8, 2011, at 12:03 AM
  • By the way it got shaky AGAIN tonight.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 8, 2011, at 12:04 AM
  • "They" state that the after shocks may continue for an indefinite period. "They" do not rule ot a bigger one yet to come citing that the 4.7 quake that occurred first was thought to be the major shock, but was superceded by the 5.6 shock (greatest ever recorded in Oklahoma), thus the 4.7 became a foreshock. By that reasoning it is not outside the realm of possibility that the 5.6 shock may become a foreshock.

    By the way I called my insurance carrier, and they will not write an earthquake endorsement until sixty days after the last aftershock, so they are not assuming it is over.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 8, 2011, at 11:52 AM
  • Have rr3, and WTF gone to an isolated place, and dueled to mutual death? If so were Mr. X-Ray, and CheeseHead their seconds?

    Just wonderin? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 10, 2011, at 11:39 PM
  • I have watched Mad TV in the past and enjoyed their humor better than SNL. That video is clasic, but I don't see how you could say that it is very respectful of anyone's religious views? It is a total mockery of irrational religious belief, and rigthfully so. And, absolutely funny as hell... Thanks for the link!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Nov 11, 2011, at 4:33 AM
  • I'm still around........just watchin'

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Nov 11, 2011, at 12:09 PM
  • I have never actually made a comment before so I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly, but I just wanted to throw out a few questions for the Big Bang versus Creation people because I'm always looking for answers. First, the Big Bang theory assumes there was an original concentration of energy, but where did this energy come from? Astronomers sometimes speak of an origin from a "quantum mechanical fluctuation within a vacuum" (I quote textbooks). However, in the BB, no vacuum existed before the explosion. What ignited the big bang? I've seen things explode. It produces an outward spray that destroys things at the point of contact and in its path. The BB should have produced an outward spray of gases and destruction if this holds true, not formed planets, stars, and entire galaxies. And finally, if BB accounted for all of creation, shouldn't life have developed everywhere, not just on Earth? Why are there no radio signals or other signs of intellignet life? Respectfully,

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Fri, Nov 11, 2011, at 1:15 PM
  • Good to hear from YOU, WTF. Where did you bury the body? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 11, 2011, at 5:46 PM
  • Agree with every word of your comment RT. You mentioned our comparitive ages the other day. I just turned seventy one this week. Are you cronologically somewhere around there?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 11, 2011, at 6:32 PM
  • Just noticed my error. (chronologically)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 11, 2011, at 7:08 PM
  • Just to stir the pot:

    Religion began when the first scoundrel met the first fool.-Voltaire

    Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.-Frater Ravus

    He that will not reason is a bigot, he that can not reason is a fool, he that dare not reason is a slave,-William Drummond.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 12, 2011, at 12:18 AM
  • Note: should be a period at the end of the Drummond comment.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 12, 2011, at 12:19 AM
  • Thanks for joining in dlkes. I'll leave the science aspects of your questions to others that can most probably answer them better than I.

    My thoughts as to why we can't see the signs of intelligent life from elsewhere in the universe include that we are too ignorant to percieve, let alone understand the methods of efforts at communication that may have long been surrounding us.

    Also due to the hugeness of the universe, and gaps in the intelligence of other forms of life, especially if they are not much more developed than we, it may be just take a very long time for the signals to reach us.

    We must also keep in mind that though life on other planets may be intelligent, its intelligence likely has not developed on the same plane, or in the same manner as ours. Thus it may be that such life has no inclination to communicate with other life, considers us too inferior, or threatening to attempt to contact us, or is busily contacting other life that they find more compatible, or that such life has things that they need which we don't.

    It is perhaps a vain assumption that other intelligent life at all resembles us. We are far too limited to fathom all the possibilities that may qualify as intelligent life.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 12, 2011, at 12:54 AM
  • OKR, I'm less than a decade behind you in age, but at our ages that's close enough to be considered as old as dirt :-(

    DLKES: Welcome. The BB is mind boggling, just as the concept of Relativity. I have to rely on the real geniuses to try and explain them. However, I know that the scientific method will always require verification and certainly continue to scrutinize every aspect of the BB and they will continually try to confirm or deny. That being said, it is still just too hard for me to imagine so much density that it could expand to make our universe. But honestly, it makes no difference in terms of religion. For those who are religious, you could interpret that a god created that density and then the time line of the bible or Koran or whatever religion you believe in could be interpreted as god years if that is what they want. That is such a stretch, but I guess a way out. There is no way to disprove that a supernatural power created everything at that point. But, that is pure speculation and irrelevant because there has been no proof that a supernatural power has intervened in our universe, ever. You cannot leap from god creating the BB all the way to jesus walking on water. That is one helluva time gap. Whether there is life or intelligent life anywhere else has no significance as to whether there is a god or not. If we finally discover microbes on Uranus (bad choice of planets :-) that will not stop religious people from believing. If we some day find intelligent life anywhere else, the religulous will just expand their irrational belief that god did it.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 12, 2011, at 6:45 AM
  • OKR: "It is perhaps a vain assumption that other intelligent life at all resembles us. We are far too limited to fathom all the possibilities that may qualify as intelligent life.",br>

    And even more far too limited to think that a supernatural being resembles us. Why did god make us in his image? Because we made him in ours, of course :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 12, 2011, at 6:50 AM
  • We've been to space. We've been to the moon and we only have about 50 years experience under our belt. The universe is massive beyond our comprehension and mostly unknown to us. We are here and we have traveled in space. This is a fact. For anyone to say there can't be anything else out there is the pinnacle of arrogance.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Nov 12, 2011, at 8:45 PM
  • WTD, But we have discovered that there is no god above the clouds watching down. We've even pretty much ruled out that he's hiding on the other side of Mars or Uranus (pronounce it correctly and it doesn't sound so bad :-) In fact, we've had closeup looks at virtually every planet and moon in our solar system, and with Hubble peered light years into our universe, and so far no god. For anyone to keep on believing in the sky daddy lurking out there "somewhere" is really the pinnacle of ignorance.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 13, 2011, at 5:44 AM
  • Wish they'd allow us to edit our own posts. I meant WTF instead of WTD.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 13, 2011, at 5:46 AM
  • Well RT,

    I'm not sure if I totally agree with that. I have no doubt that the bible and all other religious doctrine are wrong about how we came to be in existence.

    I believe thier conclusions were based soley on ignorance and superstition. Now,as much as I love to question and argue about relgious dogma and opression, I have never said there is no god.

    I find those who absolutely demand there is NO god equally as arrogant and irratating as those who demand there IS a god.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Nov 13, 2011, at 9:09 AM
  • If you are still reading these blogs rr3, and just on hiatus regarding posting give us a word to let us know that you are alright. If you are in are in a rough patch I hope that things get better for you.

    Same goes for you X-ray.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Nov 13, 2011, at 12:42 PM
  • Even Hitchens does not demand there is no god. I am only 99.99999 percent sure there is no god, but there is no way anyone can prove there is no god. But I can say for those of us who do not believe there is a god that we believe proving there is not god is irrlevant. Only those who believe there is a god and that their holy book is the way we all should act must provide proof uf they expect to have influence in our government and education system. The fact is that they can't. And by all means, feel free to believe there is a god, and feel free to profess it, but if you wish to have others "believe", please try to do what nobody yet has done, and that is to provide proof. But, I know by your posts that I am pretty sure you don't subscribe to the religious dogma I am so much against. You and several others simply appear to have a strong feeling that there is some higher force, and although I very much doubt that, I do respect those who feel that way.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 13, 2011, at 4:57 PM
  • Perhaps rr3 has seen that light, and realizes after all that, it is only a light. RR3, if you have come into doubt about god, you at least now know you are not nearly alone. For some reason, I really doubt that however :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 13, 2011, at 4:59 PM
  • OK, so let me see if I understand the conversation thus far: No one can answer the "scientific aspects of my questions", but the general overview of the BB is that "religious individuals" who follow blindly without science to back them up are foolish. Also, it's a big universe so life could exist somewhere, but that life is not foolish enough to reach out to others as we have attempted to do because we might be a threat or insignificant, and they might be speaking with others whom they find to be much more "compatible" (is that another word for more important?) than us. The religious are stretching it too far to believe that a God could have done the "creating", but the BB theory with the holes in it that I continue to question, is a much more logical thing to believe in. If I'm not understanding your commentary correctly, please inform me. If I am, then I have more questions. If the BB followers do not understand all the scientific aspects of BB, how do they know it is correct? I agree that it is a big universe. However, let's make it a little smaller for argument sake. Let's just look at our own sun and planets. We've had probes, etc. traveling just in this small galaxy. Have they found any intelligent life? Why is it that only Earth appears to have the perfect concoction of air, land and water to support life in this galaxy? Respectfully, I'm still waiting for answers.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Wed, Nov 16, 2011, at 12:26 PM
  • First, the Big Bang's theory has absolutely nothing to do with the irrational belief in a supernatural power. Second, whether we find other life anywhere outside earth has nothing to do with the irrational belief in a supernatural power either. Let's just say that earth currently is the only known planet that we know of that has any form of life. And let's also say that even though the expansion of the billions of galaxies that we can measure mathematically points to a time billions of years ago where it appears it all have started, but that we know nothing other than that (no Big Bang theory, we just can't explain what set it all in motion). So, even if we never detect life anywhere in our own solar system and we cannot prove a Big Bang theory, then is your next conclusion that "god did it"? My point is that those two areas of scientific inquiry have nothing to do with the existence of a god. Ancient man could not understand tsunami's and earthquakes, so defaulted to the conclusion that a god did them because they must have done something wrong of which they are being punished. Are you saying because we cannot prove some area of scientific study that therefore you have more reason to believe in a god, and more specifically the god of the Christian bible?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 16, 2011, at 7:45 PM
  • Dlkes: ""religious individuals" who follow blindly without science to back them up are foolish."

    No, that is certainly not what anyone is saying. You have two unrelated thoughts here. A) "religious individuals who blindly follow" with or without anything is a problem/foolish, and B) "follow without science to back them up" is not the issue. Believing something "in the face" of what science tells you is also a big problem/foolish. An example of religious individuals blindly following is the Jim Jones cult just to name one obvious group. Scientific law tells us that no person can suspend the laws of physics and walk across water, yet there are thousands of individuals who still believe that ridiculous idea. There are many highly educated theologians who do not believe that really happedned and that it is only allegory. Do you believe that jesus actually did walk across water?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 16, 2011, at 8:00 PM
  • Dlkes, News Across posted a group of links that provide scientific evidence in support of Big Bang. Such evidence is copious, and if one chooses to absorb it, one will likely come away with not only an understanding of Big Bang theory, but a belief in the theory. The scientific community largely has come to that conclusion because it has built on ever increasing scientific knowlege for thousands of years.

    Christianity is built on the New Testament which contains a postulation based on a group of after the fact stories that are untestable as to reliability.

    There is clearly no either/or conclusion that can be drawn concerning Christianity, and science, (Big Bang Theory or other scientific theory).

    One has to always be based on verifiable scientific evidence, the other ultimately rests only on faith.

    That is what is most troubling about people short on logic, and vision, trying to stick religion into the science category at public schools. Keep the oranges out of the apple classes. The old ones called it right; one is science, the other theology. The separation remains valid, and necessary because even the mode of study is different. Such methods of study if exchanged would wreck each discipline.

    Glad to see you are continuing to post.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 17, 2011, at 12:18 AM
  • News: great video -- now that is funny!

    Smok'n: Even though I am a science enthusiast, I think discourse on religion has more positive impact, especially on a small county in rural Missouri. I wonder how many read this blog, but I'd guess not many, as the link is not easy to find. I know every time it was changed to a new month I had difficulty locating the new link. I'd like to see them post this link and make it much more obvious. I suspect this would become very controversial in such a largely southern Baptist and Catholic area since many on this blog give religion it's well deserved lack of respect. The more people that are exposed to the concept that the universe is more magnificent than the stories of the bible, and that many of those stories are just that, ancient human "stories", the more will come to realize what the rational side of their brain has been telling them. Ant that is, that there is an extreme probability that there is not god, and it is time to quit wasting their life on irrational belief and unjust guilt, and live the good and moral life they know is right. But then again, there will still be many who "just can't handle the truth".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 5:15 AM
  • Hi, guys, I'm back. And may I say it was good to get so much input from so many individuals. I've been given links for videos to watch, instead of simple answers to the questions I asked. So I guess that means I keep watching all these links, and reading textbooks and wondering......Have I ever once mentioned a supernatural power, other than in my effort to attempt to ensure I am understanding the conversation to date? For that matter have I ever attacked any of you personally?Why is it that someone who doesn't just fall in with the majority is automatically labeled? I will say that I do agree that radical religions and cults are a big problem. I,also, believe in separation of church and state, especially in regards to certain aspects of science. But I would also disagree with the title of this column that you all like posting to. Instead of Religion, maybe it should be renamed Anti-Religion?!? As I see it, that's what most of you appear to enjoy. If I'm wrong, please enlighten me.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 5:04 PM
  • Dlkes: "Instead of Religion, maybe it should be renamed Anti-Religion?!? As I see it, that's what most of you appear to enjoy. If I'm wrong, please enlighten me."

    If 70 percent of the posters were perceived as "super religious", then you would want to rename it "Pro-Religion"? Anyone can post any comments "pro" or "con" and try to pass along their personal views and or arguments. Dlkes, did you want to find a blog where ONLY xtians post? Do we "enjoy" being anti-religion? I enjoy the discussion, as I believe it is time to confront many of the absurd claims made by the various religions. That is like saying someone "enjoys" being anti-smoking. Enjoy is not the right word when being anti-anything.

    Nana: "I do care however how we treat the planet, each other and how we can live sustainably, and hopefully, in mostly peace..."

    AMEN! (only in the sense that I couldn't agree more)

    Nana: "I don't care whether there is a Heaven or Hell, I don't care whether there is a Divine Anything out there,"

    Interesting choice of words, and I think it is obvious by the rest of your posts that the reason "we" don't care is because "we" don't accept the proposition that a heaven or hell really exists, and more importantly, there is no way to disprove it, just as there is no way to disprove a real Fairy exists on some distant planet in another galaxy. Obviously, if someone could prove there is a Heaven or Hell, we would start caring?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 6:31 AM
  • I know I'm a "newbie" here and don't want to ruffle too many feathers but I do have a question for all the "non-believers" out there. Do you observe the CHRISTmas holiday and if so...why?

    -- Posted by J.R. on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 11:17 AM
  • Good question J.R., and welcome to this blog.

    I don't particularly like labels, but I suppose I fit in the secular humanist slot without it pinching me too much. I was raised in a household that was Christian, and believed in Christianity as a child, just as I believed in Santa Claus as a younger child.

    I still enjoy the music, and the traditions of the season that represent both my former beliefs.

    I/we (my wife, and I) give to the Salvation Army through out the year, and especially enjoy the ritual of dropping money into their kettles each winter.

    The activities give me feelings of cheer, and peace in my heart. I enjoy exchanging smiles, and a heart felt "Merry Christmas" with strangers in this city. It is an openness that occurs at no other time of the year. It is an absolutely wonderful holiday that I would be a fool to deny to myself, and those I love. Don't throw out the baby with the dirty manger hay. ;)

    May you have a very merry Christmas.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 2:49 PM
  • While we are at it why not experience a bit of seasonal song? Season's Greetings to all of you.

    The first link is to Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Thanksgiving Song". The second is to "Bells Are Ringing" from her "Come Darkness, Come Light"-"Twelve Songs of Christmas". It is currently my favorite Christmas CD. I hope you will find the time to take a few minutes to listen, bringing all the good things to mind that you can summon about the season.

    TG http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NSQLMPUK-8&feature=related

    Xmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yp9nPuGkqs&feature=artist

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 3:27 PM
  • I have always loved the christmas season, along with all the holiday spirit, special programs and yes, the christmas songs. Other than the occasional family member leading an obligatory prayer before a family dinner, there has really been no christ in chistmas, just the happy holliday spirit. It is very much like the feeling I am starting to have with Thanksgiving approaching. A time to get together with friends and family and enjoy our time to be happy together. That does not seem odd to me to be totally devoid of a CHRIST in christmas; does that seem odd to any of you true christians (I doubt there is really very many that are TRUE)?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 6:08 AM
  • Thank you all for your input...I have always seen Christmas as a religious holiday and respect each of your for your own beliefs. As for the Bible explaining the universe...I am going to throw myself to the wolves so to speak and say I can't answer that. I believe what I believe because no matter how many studies and experiments and such are done, no one can prove without a doubt that there is no God. I have faith that there is, it is up to each individual to chose whether to have faith or not.

    -- Posted by J.R. on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 7:59 AM
  • News Across, This is the answer I came upon in my personal investigation. If it doesn't answer your question, I apologize. Isaiah 40:22 "It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth" (which also shows that God knew he made a round planet, but I digress)"and the inhabitants there of are as grasshoppers, who stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain and spread them out as a tent to dwelleth." For you Bible scholars, if I didn't get that exact, it's been a long time since Bible Quiz. From this verse I find that God is stretching out heavens, i.e. making them larger which would explain the expansion of the galaxy, the planets and stars moving away from each other. Respectfully,

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 8:47 AM
  • JR: "I believe what I believe because no matter how many studies and experiments and such are done, no one can prove without a doubt that there is no God."

    I can respect that you feel there is a god, no matter how irrational I think that is. I accept someone just saying "I believe there is a higher power". I don't think you believe in a god because "no one can prove without a doubt that there is no god". Perhaps you could rethink why you believe there is a god? Using your reasoning, I could claim to believe in a starship of superior beings on the other side of Mercury because no one could prove without a doubt that it wasn't there.

    News, I enjoy your insights in science immensely. However, I think it a bit much to expect anyone could explain how the bible cpi;d explain anything in science, let alone why the universe is expanding. But of course you know that the bible was written by little more than tribal people trying to make sense of a world where tsunamis, plagues, and earthquakes had no better explanation than some god being unhappy with their behavior.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 5:50 AM
  • News Across: Thank you for your response to my answer to your question, and for the link to the debate. I plan to watch it at my first opportunity. I enjoy reading everyone's responses here whether or not I agree with any or all of them. For me the scripture (Isaiah 40) explains that God is the one in control of the galaxy, and is doing the expanding. I assume He knows why and how fast to expand it. As to whether it will collapse in on itself, I could not tell you that. I do know that while God has stated that He will not destroy the world with a flood again, the Bible does tell about the Earth being destroyed by fire. Perhaps collapsing in on itself will accomplish this? I don't plan on being here when the destrunction occurs. I realize that to you and others will have a field day with my response, simple as it is. That is fine with me. You see, it is that simple to me. I don't believe in religion. Religion serves no purpose for me. And it is too easy to use religion as a label for cults and other fanatics that come along. Instead I believe in relationships. I have a lasting relationship with God. You can make what you want out of that. And you can use science or anything else to attempt to explain Him away. Man has been doing that for a long time. I will be happy to listen to your arguments, and think on them, but none have answered all the questions I have in regards to certain aspects of science. As I have said I'm still waiting and wondering.

    Here's a small part of why I believe what I do. Almost 21 years ago I was in an automobile accident that took the life of my first husband. I was covered in cuts, bruises, etc. Let's just say I had trauma to every part of my body. Every part that is except for my abdomen where my unborn child lay. I spent days in the hospital. Doctors waited for me to go into premature labor. They couldn't explain why I didn't. They also couldn't explain how there appeared to be something protecting that one area of my body. And yes, I delivered a perfect baby boy right on schedule. He lives and works here in Marshall. I have had others attempt to explain this away to me, but they weren't there. They didn't witness or experience it first hand. Just as I didn't witness or experience the events in the Bible. I rely on people who were there, who wrote what God dictated to them, but who also were first hand witnesses, and knew they were writing the truth. It is difficult for me to always believe things people tell me when they haven't experienced it for themselves. Like the beginning of time, or the relationship I have with God. But I also believe that everyone has a right to believe what works for them. Respectfully,

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 11:52 AM
  • Smokin' Cheetah,

    I do believe in a supernatural evil. His name is Satan. He was one of God's angels before his fall. I do not believe he is as powerful as God, but I see his handiwork in the chaos of this world everyday, and I long for the day when Christ returns, and brings peace. Until then God has given man free choice to chose whom he will serve and what he will believe. I see the results of the choices that many people have made, and I pray for people and this world daily. But I also know that until God says it is time, the chaos will continue because all men will not choose God. I'm not trying to shove anything down your throat. God gave you free choice and I accept that, just as I accept and appreciate your honest entries in this discussion, but I will continue to grieve over your soul, and pray for each person that I meet. As my former Marine son would say, I don't want to leave a man behind. Respectfully,

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 5:23 PM
  • Dlkes, I am sorry for the loss of your husband, and I am extremely happy that your child was born healthy. First, it sounds like modern science perhaps saved your life and without that, you would not have had the opportunity to deliver your healthy child. You attribute your healthy child to god saving him. I have to ask how you reconcile god in contrast deciding to take your husband? Is this the same god that everyday permits miracles of life who also allows extreme poverty and horrific suffering and death throughout the world.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 6:52 PM
  • I would maintain that we humans are in control of our own destiny, although there are some outside physical influences we have difficulty living with. Many of the things that made human existence more like that of the animals (sickness, earthquakes, animal attacks, etc.) have been reduced, although perhaps never eliminated. WE have been able to build more protective homes and learn what to stay away from to minimize those things that shorten our lives and reduce misery. Look what we have accomplished with medicine, space exploration, and many areas of science. No, we have much more to do, but it is up to us to continue to gain in all these areas. If it had been left up to the tribal medicine men we would still have very short life expectancy and tooth decay would still be the primary cause of death.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 7:01 PM
  • News: "I hope they have a video of the levitation thing. That would be really impressive."

    And obviously fake! However, that Miley possession video was funny as.... Well, as funny as Hell :-)

    News: "But when it comes to your already predisposed opinions of me--a man you've never met and had only one exchange with--proceed with caution, please".

    You've probably "nailed" yourself with that one News. Perhaps "crazy down under" would catch it as well Must be that Dundee affect :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 3:40 AM
  • Does anyone share my duel feelings regarding the eating of meat? I love a good steak, the taste of chicken, fish, and certainly plan on having some smoked turkey tomorrow as well. However, I do think killing animals is wrong and unnecessary and hope one day the human race will be enlightened and stop that practice. I am proud of the growing numbers of our younger generation who choose to be vegetarian, even though I have not been able to go down that path myself. To tie this in to religion for this blog, I find it disturbing that many religious people justify the execution of animals by their holy books. And the most disgusting religious belief is how kosher meat is certified kosher.. by a Rabi slitting the throat of the cow and letting it bleed to death. Is that not a horrific and totally unjustified holy action?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 3:55 AM
  • News, I hope everyone watches this last YouTube video you posted the link to. That is both hilarious and really cuts ID to the bone. "..creating a shortcut to scientifc legitimacy.." there is some really great stuff in that clip... thanks!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 4:07 AM
  • Smok'n, you'll not get a rise out of me. I enjoy good deer meat cooked properly. I just had some awesome filet's last night as well, and never felt one bit guilty. But, I do not like the concept of executing animals, and consider it a necessary evil, but one I don't waste time thinking of often. I have always maintained that everyone should have to execute a cow often enough to account for the amount they eat, just to have the privilege of eating that meat. Perhaps having to go to a feed lot and actually feeding the animal you will have to kill would also be educational. I can do it, but I wouldn't like it. I bet there would be a lot more people refraining from eating meat, or at least a lot less would be eaten, and then perhaps it would be more humanely done (not mass slaughter houses). Nana, I do not believe that slitting an animal's throat causes it to die nearly as quick as using the bang sticks (or whatever they use). Has anyone here witnessed the slitting of the throat and can attest to how long it takes? And then to justify it because it was a rabbi is really absurd.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 6:00 AM
  • Scientific peer review is a fantastic tool we use to make sure we do not accept hypothesis as a truth and end up adhering to something that is unfounded or blatantly false. There obviously can be truths that we have not been able to prove by the scientific method. However, such hypothesis would therefore be justifiably open to skepticism. There are so many herbal remedies that are claimed to cure anything from baldness, heart disease, gout, and even cancer that have not been proven effective by the scientific method. In fact, most have been proven ineffective to cure what they claim to cure by the scientific method. Yet many individuals cling to the belief that even those remedies proven false still work. That is ignorance. Of course, if there is a new homeopathy remedy claimed to cure some rare disease, it is understandable why someone would want to try it. "What if" it turns out after years of study that it really does help? When you take that approach, you are perhaps taking a long shot, but you should also realize there is a good chance that it just won't help. As long as you don't take that approach "instead of" using scientific proven remedies that can help, I don't have a problem with a long shot effort. I don't even care if you want to pray for a cure for yourself and refuse medical treatment that could save your life. That is your choice and in reality it will probably help cleanse the gene pool. The peer review method is the best approach to knowing that something actually works. Anything else is, again, rightly open to skeptiicm.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 6:17 AM
  • An interesting YouTube 9 minute video on vegetarianism with Jonathan Safran Foer (author). Only 9 minutes, doesn't change my mind, but provokes interesting thougth:

    http://youtu.be/fOB_-0S_SIw

    And then there is this 80 second video by Paul McCartney:

    http://youtu.be/KmmeclYa9_s

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 7:53 AM
  • Nana, if you really think kosher killing is humane, I double dog dare you to watch this short YouTube video:

    http://youtu.be/h_NDnwuvioU

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 7:59 AM
  • "Kosher" or "Halal" in regards to food preparation along with only very specific places that offer it is a brilliant marketing strategy.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Nov 26, 2011, at 7:52 AM
  • Fantastic video, News. What is astonishing is that since Darwin published his Origin of Species 150 years ago, all the pieces of the puzzle have been fitting into place, in spite of all the religious doubters' efforts to repudiate it. It has stood up to the "scientific method" over all those years, and every one of the thousands of discoveries have helped prove it is true. And now with our new knowledge of DNA, we have made it perfectly clear there is no room for doubt about evolution and our place in it; it is a FACT. Every attempt to disprove the theory of evolution has failed, and that is before molecular biology and our understanding of DNA. Yet, in the face of all this massive evidence, we still have religious individuals trying to say we do not fit in because we were made in one magic moment by a god. That is comparatively worse than the churches refusal to admit that earth revolved around the sun! There is still some room for religious people to believe in a god, but to deny evolution does not help their cause at all, because denial today simply displays ingnorance.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 27, 2011, at 10:50 AM
  • Smokin' Cheetah,

    I just had a chance to return, and begin reading current comments. As soon as I saw yours, I had to stop and post an immediate apology. You are correct I do not have the right to judge you, whether I have just met you or have known you forever. Please accept my sincere apology.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Mon, Nov 28, 2011, at 10:54 AM
  • A little levity to end the evening. I had a hard time deciding whether to put this link on the politics blog, or the religion blog. I did know that it didn't belong on the original Speak Out blog. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Nov 28, 2011, at 11:37 PM
  • That was an interesting exposition, and observation News, and for me, it is additional affirmation of my long held conclusion that one should not be too hard on folks whose beliefs seem not only illogical, but even preposterous.

    We each have the brain that we were dealt, and a unique shaping of it, that leaves us each compelled toward certain behaviors.

    We may respond to that realization in several ways, including judging, or not judging, but it is essential that whichever of those choices that we make, that we keep in mind our primary response should be restricted to only preventing tangible harm, and not punitive measures, which amounts to only selfish gratification of of our own emotional needs, at the expense of another's. That is a lofty goal, but an essential aspiration, if we are to lead a good life.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 30, 2011, at 11:30 AM
  • News Across,

    Thank you for the link to the article on the Kentucky church. I don't think anyone should be denied the opportunity to attend church. I could understand, if perhaps an individual were there simply to cause dissension, but it sounds like they were adding to the service.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Wed, Nov 30, 2011, at 3:44 PM
  • Fine. Just revoke thier tax exempt status and see how long it's takes them to change thier tune.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Nov 30, 2011, at 6:11 PM
  • Here's an ineresting question I'd enjoy hearing everyone's opinion on: How do you think humans will evolve over in the next 10,000 years? Any takers want to make a guess (not like we'll be able to hang around and find out).

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 30, 2011, at 7:28 PM
  • News, at least we are the only species that has ever come close to escaping the confines of our planet. If we can colonize another planet in our solar system, that would increase our odds of survival. We've been around for thousands of years without a planet killing asteroid, so there is a pretty good chance we might not have one come by for at least a few hundred years. Also, we may be capbable of stopping it as we are already monitoring for them as well as developing intervention approaches. Not sure we'll be around long enough to get a lot more time added to our life expectancy; perhaps our grandchildren? Also, I think that although mono-theistic religions will dwindle to very small numbers, I think it will probably take a couple of hundred years and they'll persist as underground cults.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Dec 1, 2011, at 7:23 PM
  • News,

    I went back to re-read the story again. The pastor who actually suggested the ban, did so before he left. It was the congregation who voted for the ban. It's hard to denounce something they apparently agree with. They did say everyone was welcome to attend, they just wouldn't allow them to be part of "all church activities." I agree it is a blot on faith in general because many people will simply see that it is a church, and put everyone in the same category.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 10:50 AM
  • SC if you keep this stuff up you are going to have a tongue sized callous on the inside of your cheek.

    Abraham Lincoln...lol!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 6:47 PM
  • By the way Cheetah, great version of "deep thoughts". Hilarious!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 7:31 PM
  • News, I agree there are lots of potential ways we can become extinct. I'm just saying that man has evolved into our present form some estimate 200,000 years, maybe a little less. And other life has existed for many hundreds of thousands of years before that. If we haven't been snuffed out in the last 200k years, it is reasonable to believe we have a fair chance of making it a few more thousand years. And of all the catastrophes you mentioned, we have the potential to stop or minimize the impact of most of them. Unfortunately it is possible, as you say, to cause our own extinction. So, I think it is legitimate to believe we have a fair chance of surviving (and evolving) another 10k years. My feeling is that we are on the threshold of being able to rapidly change ourselves as our understanding of DNA and being able to alter it increases exponentially. You mentioned being able to expand our life expectancy almost indefinitely within the short time span of 100 years or less. Once we are able to bring an unlimited number of Einstein's into the world, our capacity to expand throughout the universe may be unstoppable. To escape the slow change of evolution by altering our own DNA could propel us into a species that could seed the galaxies, perhaps in as little as 500 years, forget about 10k years. Why, we could attain the status of gods :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 8:42 PM
  • RT, I think humans will become much smaller in order to maintain efficient human life on a changing earth. Already there are signs of diminution in sparrows, and bees. Larger species have less chance to survive when resources dwindle.

    That change may also make help space travel more efficient, if changes in our natural environment continue to allow opportunity for such endeavor.

    On the other hand, basic survival on an increasingly more hostile earth may drive the little humans that survive underground, where all their energy is utilized just surviving. No time, nor circumstance for outward scientific advance.

    Creepy, and bleak huh? I will be interested in what others have to say on the subject. I hope others take a stab at your very good question.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 11:00 PM
  • Religion's Evolution: It will be of no great surprise that those who are theists here will believe (hope) man will evolve more toward religion, while those of us non-theists will believe (hope) that we evolve away from religion. On the other hand, there are many christians that believe in the rapture and that we are rapidly headed down the path toward the end of times. Their view is way more pessimistic about man's survival than New's list of potential planet killing scenarios. However, I believe the evolution of religion will be toward that of a deist, and xtianity and islam will will get smaller as their specific god and holy books get boxed into irrelevancy due to science exposing more and more of their irrational prophecies and stories that just couldn't have happened. There will still be many who believe in a greater power, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as at least they will not be trying to follow the misguided teachings of tribal scriptures who have claimed to know something they could not possibly know. Replacing xtians and muslims with deists will be so refreshing because it will mean that we won't have governments and our educational systems held back by irrational and misguided interpretations of the supernatural.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 4:22 AM
  • OKR, your thoughts on a shrinking human race are interesting. Certainly that might be consistent with survival in the sense that we just won't have room to expand our populations any longer. On the other hand, that would be a reversal of the evolutional path we have taken over several thousand years -- bigger, faster, stronger, smarter. But, perhaps that is more due to health and life style more than evolution? Pigmy's certainly did not evolve bigger, if indeed they are a product of evolution. As we do approach the threshold of living extremely long lives, whether that be 200, 500, or even longer years than that, it will mean that we cannot continue to grow larger in population. We will have to attain a zero population growth rate or we won't survive. That will become our biggest challenge, as both religion and personal rights will continually push against any efforts to stop our population expansion.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 4:35 AM
  • I just ran across this video by Lawrence Kraus that fits right in to our "future" thinking. Actually, it is "way beyond" the challenge of 10k years, and I think everyone will find this talk fascinating: >br>

    http://youtu.be/FjAqcV_w3mc

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 4:50 AM
  • Hypothesis E: There was a very exclusive mini-rapture that zapped them away. Sort of a trial run by Big Guy in the sky, who may be starting the celestial colony with his most loyal, and unquestioning disciples. The missing certainly fit that description. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 7:00 PM
  • Just to make what I believe is an important point, I have to say that posters on this blog, like Zeke, and SC, are not the believers any of us are talking about. Right guys?

    For my part at least, the reference is to those dogmatic individuals who not only believe that every Word is the literal truth, but even stretch those Words to illogical extremes.

    I am not sorry to see those individuals ride off on dinosaurs into their special darkness that is barely illuminated by burning bushes, the radiance of angels, and hell fire.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 12:26 AM
  • NanaDot, I don't know where you live, but it sounds like a very different place than Saline County (or most of the places I've lived & visited). The soil isn't dead here. We raise lots of crops. People aren't sick and undernourished (well, most of them aren't). We have problems and challenges and tragedies like any place in any time. But compared to times past, we're fairly prosperous and healthy. If you don't live here, you might want to think about joining us!

    -- Posted by taxedpayer on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 7:27 AM
  • Wow ND, I think you've certainly identified a few areas we need to focus on for our species to survive, or perhaps it may even be too late. {begin rant} Actually, we know those problems are very real, yet our individual governments around the world cannot seem to effectively act to try and correct those problems. The Brazil rainforest is being stripped away at an unbelievable rate, and that forest is one of the major suppliers of oxygen for our planet. We are literally running out of these huge and important forests. I see two major areas that are responsible for the all the problems we have raised. As much as I believe in the free enterprise system, I have to admit that pure capitalism is probably the main reason for most of this. The other is our population explosions globally. The latter, could be solved with making birth control completely available and free throughout the world, for all ages. That along with major education about birth control and human reproduction could dramatically reduce our population explosion. However, those are two areas that we have to hold religion responsible for. And capitalism is the other major problem. And no, I'm not advocating socialism. We must allow competition, but there must be very strict controls in place to promote "long term" success and success must also take into account what is good for our environment. Corporate greed has accelerated as result of (not unlike) evolution. It used to be that we had many corporations that had CEO's who also displayed some positive ethics. Decades have passed and it appears that only those that rise to the top of major corporations are those who have survived the cut throat dog eat dog corporate business model. There only seems to be an allegiance to returning a fast profit to the stockholders who reward CEO's with yearly mega bonuses. The average CEO would strafe the earth of every tree and living thing if that is what it takes to get that yearly return to the stockholders so they can get that billion dollar reward to insure their offspring and many generations of them can live the life of privilege. For all of us to survive, we have to somehow put into place controls (I know, the tea party don't want no stink'n controls) or we are all doomed sooner than most imagine. So we have the filthy rich who can live the high life for generations on the wealth they accumulate off the backs of the middle class, and we also have the libertarians who think nobody should pay taxes and whose goal is to live out in the country or mountain compounds and hide from the problems the one percenters are inflicting on 99 percent of us. {end of rant}

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 12:52 PM
  • "petri dish of climate change" he repeats, followed by a long sigh.

    Do you remember the book "On The Beach" Nana?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 12:47 AM
  • DON'T CALL ME CYNICAL

    Because I laugh when thinking, folks deserve Alfred Neuman's face,

    and laugh because his double twice won a presidential race.

    Because I laugh as I imagine, a desert full of people, heads buried in the sand,

    rumps up like lonely mushrooms in an an acrid, arid land.

    Some folks that I love...their heads are buried there,

    I'd rather laugh than cry, when it hurts so much to care.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 1:47 AM
  • News,

    I apologize that I don't keep up with the conversation better, but my daughter keeps me running with all her extra curricular activities, and my son was in with his wife and 3 month old son. So I tend to not be on here often.

    Now I can only speak for myself, so understand that I am not speaking for other Christians at this point. In 10,000 years, I plan to be in heaven. As for religion at that time, I hope that God will have given Christ the OK to bring the rest of the believers home.

    As for your "theories":

    The rapture has not taken place that I know of, as I am still here, and there are not millions of unexplained missing person alerts.

    I have 2 sons in the military, both have proudly served in Iraq, one has dealt with pirates, and spent another 2 years stationed overseas. I am very proud of what they have done. If the "kids" you speak of didn't want to be sent where needed to protect all Americans so they would have the right to share their "opinions" in forums, they shouldn't have signed up in the first place. I raised my kids to understand natural consequences. One of those natural consequences is that if you join up to pay for your college, then you stand a good chance of being sent to fight in a war whether you believe in that war or not. Don't want to be sent? Then don't sign up. Find another way to pay tuition.

    Haven't been Christmas shopping at Wal-Mart, and skipped black Friday.

    And I'm absolutely not depressed!

    Again as I said these are my personal opinions. Responses are welcome and I will not take offense. Respectfully,

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 10:51 AM
  • hey cheetah -

    here's a few more - (loved the Abe Lincoln quote, btw)

    why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?

    why do kamakazi pilots wear crash helmets?

    if you throw a cat out the window of a moving car, does it become kitty litter?

    just wonderin'

    zeke

    -- Posted by zeke on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 1:22 PM
  • thanks okr -

    what i really believe is that some folks find it easier to lump all believers together as "the religious right" or some such moniker ... than to realize that there are many believers who are not "religious" at all ... being a beliver - or a Christian - does not make someone religious ... in fact - according to the gospels - jesus spoke most of his harshest words toward religious folks ...

    being a christian is about having a relationship - not about being religious ... as you well know, you can be religious about anything ... ANYTHING ... some are religious about their faith, while some are religious about their independence from any form of belief system aside form the belief in man or in one's self ...

    some folks are religious about their need for pornography, or drugs, or alcohol, or even education and knowledge ... problem is, it's all religion ... so for someone to rant and rave about another person's "religion" is somewhat hypocritical, in my humble opinion ...

    i, for one, could be accused of being religious about fishing ... i do like to chunk and wind ...

    i suppose this will stir up some interest - but thanks again okr for not lumping all of us together ...

    just sayin'

    -- Posted by zeke on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 1:48 PM
  • You're welcome Zeke. Keep 'em coming. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 4:47 PM
  • New, you sound like you are going a little overboard there. I like most of your posts, but you seem to be on a bit of a rant. Lay off the caffeine mate :-) I get carried away myself as I read back thru the posts I noticed I've been a bit wordy lately. Back to my self-inflicted topic of evolution over the next 10k that I'm sure everybody is tired of. This is somewhat contradictory for me, as it may raise the prospect of a religious aspect to evolution -- I'm not sure. Everything seems to point to "survival of the species" with evolution. But the question that has occurred to me is "why is the push for the survival of the species so strong"? I can understand individual survival, but they say that it is the push to be able to pass our genes on to our survivors. I must be missing something?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 8:46 PM
  • News Across,

    First, Let me say I appreciate very much the sacriface your nephew and family have made and I am very proud of you all. I, also, double checked my entry to ensure that I hadn't said I believed or approved of either war. I was going to need to apologize if I had. I didn't. Instead I spoke of natural consequences, and the idea that if men and women did not want to be sent to fight any war whether they believed in it or not, they should not sign up.

    I do follow Jesus, not a gay, Jewish preacher,but the Son of God. You were correct in the scriptures you chose. I agree with Jesus there is a time for peace, but there is also a time to stand up for what you believe in. I won't even go into the Old Testament to attest to that. Instead I will look at the New Testament.

    Mark 11:15-17: "And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves." I'm sure Jesus was not gentle in his driving out and overturning of tables as I'm sure those men did not go willingly.

    Revelation 14:14-20: "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. That also does not sound really peaceful.

    As I have said, Jesus taught an eternal peace that we should choose. But he has also shown through example and scripture that there is a time for war.

    As for "loving my enemies" & "hating my brothers" the only example I can think of on the spur of the moment is again with my children. I disciplined them on a regualr basis when they were younger. Sometimes corporal punishment, "spanking." Did that mean I hated them? I realize that is almost too simple, but as I said I am thinking on the spur of the moment. Basically, what I am saying is I may hate the sin or the attack, and want to stop it, or keep it from happening again. But it does not mean I have to hate the sinner or the attacker. Respectfully,

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Tue, Dec 6, 2011, at 12:14 PM
  • someone has totally missed the point ...

    but maybe missing the point is the point ...

    i wasn't trying to define anything - just stating a couple of facts ... webster's doesn't hold the patent on truth ... you hold on to your opinons religiously ... then you intimate that anyone who believes in jesus is a warmonger and - quite possibly - a class bigot ... and that simply isn't true ... you toss about your references to the crusades and the inquisition ad nauseum ... i believe any true follower of christ would say both were not of God but were political and all about subjugation, power and money ... you speak in vague generalities and make blanket statements about believers ... and then cast stones at those who try to explain that one believer isn't necessarily the same as the next one ... and then you cover up your own bigotry and hatred by masking it in what - to some folks - may pass as intellect ... the pharisees and scribes did the same thing ... they thought their vast knowledge and wealth - even their piety - would save them ... jesus taught differently ...

    yes - there have been those christians on this forum who are very religious - but religion does not equal relationship with christ ... period.

    that is far more than i had intended to say on the matter ... so knock yourself out ... you're on your own.

    -- Posted by zeke on Tue, Dec 6, 2011, at 1:53 PM
  • Zeke they really don't want to see your point because it points to the serious flaws in their worldview and the way they want to see things. There is many things you can't answer without God. Without God how absurd would life be? We would have no way to determine right from wrong. Life itself would be worthless. We see that as the world becomes more atheistic and "politically correct". We have progressed to where we are because of God but now we want to do away with him completely so we can do what we feel like when we feel like doing it. This is not progress folks and it will get worse. We will see the day when Christians will be persecuted in this country similar to what we see in other countries. They say they want free speech but they really don't. They say they want equal rights but they really want special rights. Progress I don't think so.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Dec 6, 2011, at 10:23 PM
  • Rr3 you said, "They say they want equal rights but they really want special rights."

    Glad to see you have mellowed during your absence rr3.

    So your inference is that all people should have equal rights, but not special rights. What a turn around for you.

    I'm glad to see that you are finally on board with gay people having the right to marry. It is about time they get the same right every one else has, that is of course the right to form a legal bond with the one that they love, and the security, both emotional, and legal that it bestows.

    By the way I am with you on folks not having special rights. Going back to the example I used, I don't think that gay people should get free marriage licenses. That would be a special right.

    And, I never thought I would see the day when you would be against the special right of churches to not pay taxes. You are dead on there too. Church rights should be equal, they should pay taxes equally.

    By Jove, you've come back a new man!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 6, 2011, at 11:14 PM
  • News: "I think peace matters."

    I do to

    News: "So did Jesus."

    I am glad he is on our side, even if he was just a mere human, and even if he might not have existed at all.

    News: "Its well worth the rant."

    An occasional rant is understandable, and I'm sure we can all identify with it. However, to be able to recognize when one slips off into a rant would be of benefit in that one rant may help drive an emotional point, but back to back rants don't really help promote discussion/debate.

    News: "If you don't like my strong opinion, don't read it mate."

    A bit harsh, don't you think? Would jebus say something like that? I'm back to my caffeine theory :-)

    News: "But don't ask me to be silent when it comes to peace, and don't ask me to not point the finger at those responsible for so many pointless deaths -- for that is asking way too much."

    I would never ask you to be silent, just "suggesting" you reflecting you consider "tone" when making your case. You make fantastic arguments, but sometimes high emotions detract from getting what is often a very good message.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 3:49 AM
  • Dlkes: "Revelation 14:14-20: "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,.."

    Please tell me you understand that this is allegory and didn't really happen? Come on, "sat on the cloud"? Really?

    This discourse about peace versus war and using bible quotes for justification shows how futile it is to have a relevant discussion with people who take the bible literally and continually quote from it. Is it "turn the other check" or is it "smite those who .."?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 3:50 AM
  • Rr3: "Without God how absurd would life be? We would have no way to determine right from wrong. Life itself would be worthless."

    Life can be fantastic in it's reality, without a god, or with an imaginary sky daddy. Your xtian world view that the rest of us have no way of determining right from wrong is, frankly, insulting. That has been so debunked, yet you keep using it. You hold yourself upon a pedestal that it is your holy book that give you superior knowledge of right from wrong. In a way, you insult not only all other religions besides atheists and agnostics, but directly insult yourself because you are insinuating that if you didn't have the bible and believe in that faith you would easily succumb to raping and robbery. Also, I personally find life to be intriguing, often mysterious, and for the most part extremely enjoyable. It is even more wonderful since I can appreciate the vastness and wonder of the cosmos without believing there is this scary supernatural being who accounts for everything we say and do and yet keeps an eye on me always, even when I do those little enjoyable things he'd like to make me feel guilty about. Again, it is all a story written by many men back when they thought tsunami's and earthquakes were cause by evil spirits. It is all so silly. Does this qualify as a rant? :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 3:51 AM
  • Will extremely religious people be prevalent in 10k years from now? Perhaps evolution suggests they might very well be around for some time. We as humans have pretty well taken animals that can kill us and ignorance of disease out of the formula, due to science and not religion. That means that being fast isn't necessarily a trait that will help the vast majority of our species any longer (except for becoming rich for the really fast). Religion probably helped tribal man survive because he was scared of everything. Being fearful of illogical things even aided his survival, primarily because he spent a lot of time "on the lookout". I am suggesting this applies to the "extremely" religious or those who believed strongly in the supernatural and that their lives were routinely affected by it.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 4:08 AM
  • RT,

    Of course I don't believe that has happened. It is the Book of Revelations. It is a book of visions of the future. Things that haven't happened yet, but will after the Second Coming of Christ.

    "Is it "turn the other check" or is it "smite those who .."?" I believe the verse you are searching for is Matthew 5:39 But I say unto you that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. But I would also like to add Matthew 5:46-47 to go along with it as a way of explanantion to the meaning. 46For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? As the Bible says if we love, recognize or show kindness only to those who agree with us or believe like us, then we are no better than those who do not believe. Thank you for asking.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 9:09 AM
  • Nana: "RT - you are such an optimist!"

    Thanks, I think :-) We are doing some things to ourselves that are going to negatively change our environment in a very big way. It is possible we could destroy the planet, but it is also possible we can adapt and retain much of our science and technology, even though we could have millions die. It may be a self-cleansing, by nature's choice. But, our present human form (non-ape) has survived for over 150k years, so 10k more is not that big a number for our species. Even though lots of barbarianism still exists, the mass killings from century to century are dramatically down. Most of the world is much more civilized than 1400, 1500, etc., and the idea of human rights and equality are relatively new. Science has advanced our general health and life expectancy (in spite of all the poisons we have been ingesting and are learning about). The only question is can science provide solutions for the problems we are inflicting on ourselves and can we recover from unforeseen disasters that will happen. So, yes, I am optimistic about our chances of solving the massive problems we are creating, yet I know we must have the political will to start addressing them and not bury our head in the sand with hope that science can solve any problem.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 7, 2011, at 7:37 PM
  • News, there now, you've calmed down some :-)

    Nana, you are such a pessimist :-(

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Dec 8, 2011, at 7:07 PM
  • A few days ago I opined that in the future humans may shrink in size. I added that there is evidence suggesting that sparrows, and bee populations are becoming smaller.

    There is also evidence that polar bears have gotten smaller. They are in a natural environment that is becoming more hostile to life faster than other geographic areas. All geographic areas are in decline, and many scientists believe that the pace of the decline will speed up, faster than standard models now predict. There is one other behavior that is increasing among polar bears that may in time become human behavior. The bears just do it. We humans will rationalize it, perhaps using religion as a tool of rationalization, on a grander scale than ever before. That is my teaser, check the link to discern the behavior. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/polar-bear-eats-cub-cannibalism_n_11364... ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Dec 8, 2011, at 11:35 PM
  • RT if you read my post, and the link, you may conclude that I am more a pessimist than Nana Dot. If, so you may be correct. %( (How do you make a sign for gallows humor?)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Dec 8, 2011, at 11:53 PM
  • these wars - most wars - are about greed, not God.

    -- Posted by zeke on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 8:37 AM
  • Zeke you say "these wars - most wars - are about greed, not God."

    I think the word avarice is specifically on point, more so than "greed". If you will concede that, I agree it is the root cause of many wars. However, the avaricious, as they stretch their tentacles, make the wars become about God.

    "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war", " Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on."

    I believe that they do so because in their nefarious wisdom they know that war can not be waged successfully unless it becomes an emotional issue, thus they must enlist those who tend to ultimately make decisions based on emotion. As belief in God at its foundation is an emotional decision, those folks are the largest pool of pawns for their dirty work. That by the way, I believe is true whether one is considering a Muslim concept of God, or a Christian concept. The more fanatical in belief, Christian, Muslim, or whatever, are the best pawns, willing to carry out the most egrigious actions for "The Cause". Rationally driven minds tend to baulk at certain ethically repulsive commands, and have a mind set that is prone to say "wait a minute" instead of proceeding even into the mouth of hell because it is believed a righteous act. They are not good pawns.

    Suppose instead of invading Iraq, at the cost of a million lives, and trillions of dollars, we had rationally considered the real problems the Iraqi government posed to us, what their real problems were, and gone to it with the following offer. We will help to protect you from invasion by Iran, We will give you five hundred billion dollars to restore you infrastructure, and assuage your other needs. In turn you must not continue the friction with the Kurds in your country, instead let them share equally. You must give up any desire for nuclear weapons, and nuclear power, using our largesse to instead build environmentally friendly sources of power etc. I believe that had we done that we would not be in our current dilemma.

    Instead we did what we did at monumental cost to us, and Iraq, destroying the balance in the middle east as we were at it. Instead we engaged in what George W. Bush so unconsciously succinctly called it, a crusade.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 11:35 AM
  • Amen Nana. May we ever be joined in peaceing. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 1:18 PM
  • :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 3:15 PM
  • News: "I will calm down when the wars are stopped, all our troops are brought home, and that which all major religions claim as one of their goals takes hold and peace reigns king."

    I guess that is a "never" then?

    News: "And mate, maybe its time you accept the fact theist war using our children as the fodder is a big deal and not some small, insignificant side-effect."

    I agree that it is a big deal, and I never once said anything about it being an "insignificant side-effect", nor did I imply that in any of my posts. Yelling something doesn't make a person more compassionate than the person who quietly proclaims the same thing, although I've been known to occasionally blow my top before as well. But I usually recognize I've gone overboard a bit and then back off some. I think we are on the same team, it is just that you don't like to be told you sound (come across, since I can't really hear you) like you are on more of an emotional high than usual. Probably a poor choice of words, but I think that is close to the impression I've got lately. Maybe it is just my interpretation, so perhaps someone else can answer if they feel News has been (on average) more terse over the last few weeks? And, again, no big deal, just an observation.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 4:59 AM
  • Smok'n: "Those damned Europeans!!!!!"

    Hey, you trying to out-rant News? :-) Yes, history does look bad for the Europeans, at least centuries ago. However, I have to point out that today they have a much smaller percent of religious nut cases than we do in the US, and the majority are secular. Also, perhaps because of the two world wars on their soil, many Euro's appear to have adopted a more fatalistic attitude about life, and seem to be more laid back, aka HAPPY. They go on "holiday" every chance they get, and more of them enjoy their long social dinners into the evening and get together with friends much more often than we do. They've adopted national health insurance in an effort to make sure it is a right of each citizen (At least the English and French), and in general, I think they have a better outlook on work and play than we do. The Aussies and Kiwis, although a rough and tumble bunch, know how to enjoy life much better than we do as well. These are generalities that I believe anyone who has spent time with them as well as time with them in their countries as I have would find hard to disagree with. We still work our arses off, take a lot less vacation, and trot all over the globe kicking arse the way the Europeans used to several centuries ago. Smok'n, I believe you are wrong about the Europeans! We could learn some important things from them these days.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 5:17 AM
  • Science & God: I just ran across this lecture by Victor J. Stenger that I thought was very interesting. Here is a fairly brief excerpt:

    --It is commonly believed that science has nothing to say about God, that it can't prove or disprove the existence of God. While it's true that we can't prove or disprove the existence of every conceivable god, this not the case for a god with the attributes of the Abrahamic God--the God worshipped by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Such a God is believed to play such an important role in the operation of the universe, and in the lives of humans, that his existence should have been confirmed by now.

    Even the most pious believer has to admit that there's no scientific evidence for God. If there were, it would be in the textbooks--along with the evidence for neutrinos and DNA. But then they say, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

    However this isn't always true. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence when the evidence that's absent should be there. The absence of evidence for elephants on Victoria Island (droppings, crushed bushes) can be taken as a good sign that elephants don't exist on Victoria Island.

    Let me cite some examples of the absence of evidence for the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. If such a God existed we should see evidence that he answers prayers. Reputable scientists from reputable institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic, and Harvard and Duke universities, have done carefully controlled experiments on the efficacy of prayer and found none. With billions of prayers being said every day, you would think that by now a few would have been answered.

    Most religions teach that in addition to our physical senses we possess another "inner" sense that provides knowledge of a world beyond the natural world. If God reveals truths by such means, we should be able to verify at least some of those truths. For example, if God inspired the Bible you would think he would have provided it with correct information about the universe. In fact, the story of creation in Genesis bears no resemblance to what we have learned from cosmological science.

    The Bible is filled with errors and contradictions. Furthermore, the absence of evidence that should be there makes many of the major stories of the Bible almost certainly mythical. This includes the most important events in both the Old and New Testaments. There's no archaeological evidence, which should be there, for the Exodus, for the battle of Jericho, or for the great empire of David and Solomon. No one has found a trace of Solomon's temple.

    In the case of the New Testament, if Jesus was such an important figure, as the gospels claim, why is there no mention of him by any of the many Roman historians writing of events during his lifetime--some actually living in Jerusalem? Indeed we can rule out beyond a reasonable doubt the gospel versions of the nativity and crucifixion. Neither Bethlehem nor Nazareth appears to have been occupied at the time of Jesus. There isn't a single shred of evidence independent of Christian literature that the Jesus described in the gospels ever existed. Now, myths are often fictions based on real people, so I'm not saying that a man Jesus never existed. But the Jesus of the gospels is surely a myth."

    Here is the link to the entire script:

    http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/SciGod.htm

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 5:42 AM
  • Nana/News, I think you'll enjoy this (true) pessimistic viewpoint:

    "In America, religious groups are being manipulated by corporate interests to work against their own members' best interests, in health and economic well-being. They are being used to cast doubt upon well-established scientific findings in important issues such as overpopulation, pollution, and climate change. This would not be happening except for the opposing world-views of science and religion. In America today, corporate leaders and the politicians they have purchased with their immense wealth are using religion to stifle science. When belief in ancient myths joins with other negative forces in our society, they hinder the world from advancing scientifically, economically, and socially at a time when a rapid advancement in these areas is absolutely essential for the survival of humanity. We now may be only about a generation or two away from the catastrophic problems predicted to result from global warming, pollution, and overpopulation."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 6:00 AM
  • Nana, loved your post as it was "right on". If we could only get a majority of voters to feel like you do.... Instead, we have poor whites who think the left is after their guns, another group that think the left wants to kiill unborn babies, and another group that think the government's taxation policy is to take money from hard working Americans and give it to (mostly) lazy blacks. The latter has its roots in racism, but not all are racist, some are just ignorant. Regardless, we have large numbers of poor plus the ignorant who band with the libertarians all loosely held together by the super wealthy who work very hard at hoarding their money.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 10:48 AM
  • Outstanding ND. You always see the big picture.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 6:11 PM
  • By the way ND thanks for providing the link to the Alternet commentary regarding The New Confederacy.

    I left it thinking that perhaps it would be best if we not only let pertinent states again secede, but urged, and assisted their departure. Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, could then pursue their own version of truth, and justice. Believers from other states could flow in to them. Strangers in their own land could flow out. The rest of us in the United States could then get on with the business of forming a more perfect union.

    Yea I know, I would have to move. Maybe I could get a good deal on a house swap with rr3, MrX-ray, or someone else. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 10, 2011, at 10:31 PM
  • Nana: "Religion, as a tool of greed, can be manipulated, but so can science..."

    Please explain how science can be manipulated as a tool of greed? I don't understand that. We've seen how religion is used as a tool of greed, but not science.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 9:05 AM
  • Nana: "..that WE have turned everything around us into a commodity that has a monetary value but no intrinsic meaning. And both science and religion are responsible."

    No, it is not science. It is capitalism with the corporate ladder to the top being one of greed. We have to control the giant corporations that have no human moral values. Again, it is not science.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 9:08 AM
  • Smok'n: "If any one person wants to pigeon-hole every individual because of what they believe and where they come from, then that person is the biggest part of the problem and the furthest away from a solution."

    Now I'm the biggest part of the problem? Which one of those "pigeon-holes" did you think I was putting you in, or which ones do you think you fit in that struck such a nerve: poor whites, anti-abortion, NRA, racist, religious right, or libertarian?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 9:16 AM
  • I don't think I had mentioned NRA before, but there is a good number of NRA members who will vote Republican because they fear Obama is going to take away their guns. I am not against gun ownership or the right to bear arms, but the ignorance behind that feeling apalls me. I've had it stated by several people, some are friends, that they believe a democratic president will be coming after their guns. I've heard them recommend to others to buy guns now and keep them hidden before this happens. Now how stupid is that? And because of that ignorance, people who could benefit the most by shifting the tax burden more toward the rich (just slightly more and fair) will vote against their own well being. And so is the case for the other wedge issues the rich keep stressing to the ignorant, becaue without the support of the poor ignorant people, the super rich would get taxed their fair share.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 10:03 AM
  • Religion vs. Science:

    Science News: "Physicists are bracing themselves for news that the most sought-after fundamental particle of modern times has been glimpsed at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva.The heads of the teams spearheading the search for the Higgs boson at Cern, the European physics laboratory, have called a special seminar to announce their findings on Tuesday afternoon. They will describe progress in the hunt for the missing particle, which has been the most glittering prize in particle physics since it was predicted in 1964 from equations drawn up with pencil and paper by Peter Higgs at Edinburgh University. The Higgs boson is the last remaining piece of the Standard Model, the set of mathematical rules that describe how all the known particles in nature interact with one another."

    Religion: nothing new, the silence is deafening! 2000 year old news about an imaginary father still has no proof, yet negatively impacts our species progress.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 10:22 AM
  • Smok'n, if u look at the long post in question, you start it off specifically addressing me in the salutaion.... nobody else was mentioned, so it appeard to be addressing me.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 11:31 AM
  • RT,

    Science can most definately be used as a tool of greed. In terms of technological advancement, new technologies can be bought and shelved so as not to compete with existing techologies or simply sat upon until the owner decides it's time to make a buck. Research requires funding and those who fund generally decide how or if and when a technology see's the light of day.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 11:33 AM
  • WTF: "new technologies can be bought and shelved so as not to compete with existing technologies or simply sat upon until the owner decides it's time to make a buck."

    That is capitalism, not science. It also smells of conspiracy theory. If it happens at all, it is very miniscule compared to all the top notch science that takes place. Also, the scientific method is so rigorous that it often takes years before invention can make it to the market. If someone has something that is very marketable, it will be pushed to market as fast as possible. Whereas, religion gets to flout miracle cures and other bogus schemes without proof because they get a "bye". Look where science has brought civilization over the last few hundred years and compare that to the effort of religion to keep us in the stone age and meddle in our education and personal lives. Go ahead, try and justify the benefits of religion compared to science -- you can't.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 2:48 PM
  • My point is that anything can be used as a tool of greed.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 3:04 PM
  • Both science, and religion are practices activated, and interpreted by a flawed human kind. Therefore, each mimics every flaw in human nature. Greed is but one.

    The upside is that both also mimic every virtue of human nature.

    A hodge podge results, and many choose sides, some more deftly than others. Others just think, it is, and proceed.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 12:11 AM
  • ND, no quarrel with your comment. If my post seemed to indicate otherwise it was poorly formulated.

    I see the continuing human existence as one that will always be infused with literal sturm und drang, in a large part due to the hubristic actions of humans. Agreed, Religion, and science are each vehicles often driven by hubris.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 11:11 AM
  • Just wondered if anyone had been following on the news about the Iranian minister who is scheduled to die because he is a Christian? And if so, what are your thoughts?

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 4:13 PM
  • dlkes: "Just wondered if anyone had been following on the news about the Iranian minister who is scheduled to die because he is a Christian? And if so, what are your thoughts?"

    Obviously, nobody should ever be punished for what they believe (or don't believe). It is what you do (and in some cases what you don't do) that counts, and in general, the Golden Rule is a great starting point to determine rules and all the variations and severities.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 7:07 PM
  • Nana: "to delude ourselves that 'science is pure' is as delusional as 'religion is pure'."

    Oh my, you have certainly taken this point in a crazy direction. I could say math is pure and you'd say "yes, but it could be used to harm" and certainly that would be correct (math was a key tool in developing the atom bomb, used for trajectories of missiles and on and on). That does not put math (or science) in a comparable position with religion at all. Your association is way out of bounds and irrelevant. Relgion can be used for evil; math can be used for evil; science can be used for evil. I agree, so what?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 7:14 PM
  • dlkes, what do you think about this recent event: "RIYADH: A Saudi woman was beheaded Monday after being convicted of practising sorcery, which is banned in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the Interior Ministry said."

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2011/Dec-12/156638-saudi-woman-behe...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 7:35 PM
  • I beg to differ RT. For instance, The documents expounding any particular religion, are a mixed bag, extrapolated by fallible humans for purposes good, and bad. Same with science. Breakthroughs based upon the body of a particular scientific discipline may be nefarious, or nurturing, depending upon the desire, and design of the originator.

    Jim Jones, or Josef Mengele, take your pick.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 10:17 PM
  • The bottom line it that both religion and science can suffer from then injection of human imperfection.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 1:04 PM
  • You are all being quite silly regarding the comparison. There really is no comparison. Science continues to strive for absolute truths while religion continues to shroud itself in superstitious beliefs. Religion would have you still sitting around a fire in the woods with a tribal medicine man while science has brought us into the world of modern medicine as well as fantastice technologies such as space travel. You are just being phylisophical about your comparisons. I guess you might even propose that the world might be better off if we continued to live like tribal man did?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:16 PM
  • Science discovery can be exciting and improve out lives. Even though some discoveries may not lead to anything big immediately, each truth that is proven often is an important step towards other truths that can improve our lives. Religion, not so much....

    Today!!!!!

    The most coveted prize in particle physics - the Higgs boson - may have been glimpsed, say researchers reporting at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva.

    The particle is purported to be the means by which everything in the Universe obtains its mass.

    Scientists say that two experiments at the LHC see hints of the Higgs at the same mass, fuelling huge excitement.

    But the LHC does not yet have enough data to claim a discovery.

    Finding the Higgs would be one of the biggest scientific advances of the last 60 years. It is crucial for allowing us to make sense of the Universe, but has never been observed by experiments.

    This basic building block of the Universe is a significant missing component of the Standard Model - the "instruction booklet" that describes how particles and forces interact.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 8:23 PM
  • RT you said "I guess you might even propose that the world might be better off if we continued to live like tribal man did?"

    My answer to you is of course the world would be better off, mankind not so much...maybe, though in the long run who knows?

    Even the way you posed the question indicates that you believe that mankind is entitled in a way that other life on our planet is not. To me that is hubris raising its ugly head in yet another direction.

    We are ruining life on this planet in a manner not seen before by other than huge natural calamities. That bears repeating; no other living entity has ever threatened to destroy all life on earth.

    Unless we some how learn to live simply, and as as close to harmony as possible with the rest of life, we as a species are goners. At the present we are a cancer on earth, and I place my bets on mighty earth's immune system, over the human contagion.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 12:08 AM
  • Rational Thinker,

    Thank you for another interesting news article. As a Christian and human being, I do not believe a person should be beheaded for practicing sorcery. Don't get me wrong I believe that sorcery is a sin, but not worthy of a death penalty in my humble opinion. I do believe in the death penalty, but not for something of this nature.

    Then I have to look at that country's laws. Did the woman know this was considered a crime? Did she know what the penalty if caught? If so, obviously, she felt it was worth the risk. Do I have the right to tell this country what their laws should and should not be? Does the U.S? Does another country have the right to tell us what our laws should be? Questions, questions......

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 7:41 PM
  • What is sorcery exactly?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 8:37 PM
  • Gotcha covered WTF. It is a practice by a brilliant mouse who changes a broom into a hyperactive servant who carries water, and has the ability to reproduce asexually. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 10:59 PM
  • But then I bet you already knew that. I recall from long ago that there was some talk about you dabbling in the occult.

    Gosh we have been posting here for a long time. This might be a good opportunity for me to add that I have always enjoyed your comments.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 14, 2011, at 11:17 PM
  • Okr in your liberal idealism you seriously misunderstood my statement about equal vs. special rights. We all currently have a right to marry whomever we want of the opposite gender. A special right is applied to a select group of people such as gays being able to marry. It only applies to you if you are gay therefore it is a special right. I don't agree with it and it is a sin whether you believe in God or not. It is a lifestyle choice just like if you want to become a bank robber. Should we give bank robbers the right to rob banks of their choosing in the name of 'equal' rights? Or in the name of 'fairness' the word you all like so well.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Dec 16, 2011, at 11:33 PM
  • Wrong again O Regressive one. It is currently a special right to marry one of the opposite gender. We are all denied the right to marry anything, or any one else. Isn't that special?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 12:09 AM
  • Nana: "The Higgs boson, however, does not tell me, or anyone else, why it's there. Or why we are here. Or what is 'good'. Or why we should be kind and share... "

    Science provides real physical value. To be able to extend ones life based on discovery for example has been taking place continuously and announcements are made on many fronts. Religion only provides false hope and promotes ignorance. The Higgs boson certainly doesn't tell you or me what is the best thing to eat for your health, or anything you can see tangible. However, contrary to you thinking it "doesn't tell why we are here", it is one very important piece of information that very well could explain one of the steps taken for all of us to be here, or may even provide critical information for the discovery of other things that may dramatically improve our lives. It is believed to be the reason all things have mass.

    Where do you think the human race would be without science?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 3:38 AM
  • OKR: "We are ruining life on this planet in a manner not seen before by other than huge natural calamities. That bears repeating; no other living entity has ever threatened to destroy all life on earth."

    Perhaps the next time your wife or daughter takes a mammogram you and Nana should condemn the science behind that as well. Or for those loved ones who have happened to contract a form of cancer that is now curable because of science you may appreciate science more. Man would have continued to over populate the earth like ants on a massive ant hill until we totally destroyed the planet. We are headed down that path with or without science. Our only hope is that science will be able to overcome any potential catastrophes whether man made or natural. We can even observe and calculate possible planet killing asteroids and because of science, possibly alter the course enough to avert the destruction of our entire planet, and we are learning more in that area very rapidly. Are you suggesting prayer for our solutions?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 3:39 AM
  • dlkes: "Then I have to look at that country's laws. Did the woman know this was considered a crime? Did she know what the penalty if caught? If so, obviously, she felt it was worth the risk. Do I have the right to tell this country what their laws should and should not be? Does the U.S? Does another country have the right to tell us what our laws should be? Questions, questions"

    Did anyone have the right to intervene into Germany's internal affairs to stop them from killing Jews? Some might argue we have an obligation. Most of us (xtians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists) can probably agree for the most part on some basic (subjective) truths concerning what is right and wrong, ethical and unethical, on many issues. Not all, and that is one reason we have laws so that the will of the majority (intent) can be known and enforced. One of the best things about our country is that our forefathers understood that it was important that the will of the majority does not override the basic human right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This does not mean that I advocate intervening in other countries internal affairs every time we disagree with their laws. However, when it comes to basic human rights, democratic countries should band together to try and pressure those countries to refrain from certain atrocities. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a basic human right that we should work toward for our entire human race. How we "work toward" that goal for all mankind raises many political issues.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 3:41 AM
  • rr3yvo,

    Being gay is a lifestyle choice just like being a christian is a lifestyle choice. It's not special rights, it's civil rights.

    Isn't this a great country where folks are free to love whom they choose? Where folks are free to worship the god of thier choice and where the ill-informed and bigoted masses can freely comment on thier biases and hatred? God bless America!

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 7:30 AM
  • You did not address the point of my comment RT, point being that we are not good for the Earth. It was not my point that science has not made human life more persistent, at least for the time being. Our further proliferation, and some of our "advances" do not bode well for life as a whole.

    Though you come to it from a different perspective your mind set is no different from those who believe that humanity was made in God's image, and has dominion over the rest of life on the planet. Else you would not ignore our outrages to earth, and its inhabitants to tout what science has done for humanity. We are but a fraction of what is life, and ultimately not so important to the planets survival as a host for life. Long live Earth, life, and humanity if we will get with the program.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 11:16 AM
  • OKR: "You did not address the point of my comment RT, point being that we are not good for the Earth. It was not my point that science has not made human life more persistent, at least for the time being. Our further proliferation, and some of our "advances" do not bode well for life as a whole.

    Oh, I do agree that we are headed down the path of destruction. I do not deny that. I just insist that our only hope is science, although the will to do what needs to be done to correct things involves both politics and collective attitudes, both of which leave me very pessimistic. First, we have got to stop this population explosion. I've been a proponent of zero population growth much of my life. I believe both ignorance and religious attitudes are the most to blame for that. Science is only a tool, it is not to blame. I agree it can be used for both good and bad, but ultimately must be used for good if we are to save our planet. Who is it that does not believe that global warming is mostly man made? It is science that is supplying the data that has made it (almost) undeniable, but who are the people who deny the data that science supplies? I hope I now "addressed your point"? I think I have: "Yes, I agree that we are not good for the Earth".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 5:33 PM
  • Thanks RT.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 18, 2011, at 12:13 AM
  • Nana, sorry, but I think your point is fairly irrelevant because religions (at least those based on some human that espouses supernatural influence and knowledge) are based on falsehoods. Science is a tool based on verifiable evidence. There just is no comparison.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 18, 2011, at 1:00 PM
  • News: great video. The excerpts in bible are classic proofs that the bible was written by Santa!

    SC, just what are you smok'n? News and I have had some differences of opinion we've aired on this blog. Next thing you know, you'll think he and I are one and the same as the unholy ghost too :-) Just because two people exhibit similar rational thought concerning the irrational holy writings of the big religions doesn't make us even close the same person. Besides, that would be flattering News a bit too much, mate :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 19, 2011, at 6:02 PM
  • I'm sorry I have not been here to respond to the discussion that ensued from my response. Hospice was called in for my Mother, and she is celebrating Christmas in heaven this year. I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And to let you know why I will not be joining your discussion for a short while as I am headed back to help lay my Mother's body to rest. God bless you all.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 6:34 AM
  • Come back to us when you can. I am sorry for your loss, and the ensuing sadness that you are experiencing.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, at 2:28 PM
  • Christopher Hitchens was certainly one of my favorite people to watch debate as well as read articales he published. He made a good buck debating and touring and made some of the best arguments on how religion has pretty much screwed up everything. He was strident where needed, which ruffled a lot of religious feathers, normally of those who deserved it. He had the audacity to say what a lot of rational people feel but are afraid to say in public, myself included. Rational secularists have lost a true hero for our cause, but his contribution will last for many decades.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 5:19 PM
  • The "Gay" issue is one that today should be fairly "cut and dried" as to what is right and what is wrong. Whether it is Nature or Nurture, or a combination, it really doesn't matter as far as rights go. Our declaration of Independence where it states everyone possesses the inalienable rights goes right along with the Golden Rule on how we should treat this issue (and everything for that matter). Only the negative impact on others versus what is right should be considered. As an example, if you don't allow gays to marry and gain benefits, you are obviously having a negative impact on those inalienable rights. Granting those rights does not impact anyone else nearly as negatively as does not granting those rights does to gays. That doesn't sound quite right, but I hope my point is understood. I do believe that not all people who choose the gay lifestyle are gay by "nature" (genetics). I think there are some gays that are obviously gay because of their genetics. On the other hand, I know at least one person who is now nearing 60 that is not gay, yet displays all the feminine attributes we normally associate with gay men. I do believe some (not many) could have just as easily lived a heterosexual lifestyle but if not for some early influence (nurture). Regardless of whether any of my opinions on that are correct or false, I also truly believe that it just doesn't matter "how" or "why", and what really matters is fairness under the law and how they are treated by all of us.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 5:42 PM
  • RT you your post really don't say or answer anything except. You believe in a Golden Rule but not God? You actually thing being 'gay' is genetic, not a choice? If it was genetic how is it passed to their offspring? Oh wait they can't have offspring. HaHaHa so funny and you call yourself rational? Sorry to come off as harsh but seriously read your post again to see if you can make sense of it. Proving my point that a person will believe lies if they don't know the truth. As Elvis would say 'Thank you, Thank you very much'.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 5:55 AM
  • Question for those that believe there is no supernatural, no God, no spirits, no miracles. Meaning if everything in the universe is matter and energy then that means your physical brain is bound by the laws of physics. How do you rationally defend the idea that you have free will and can properly use logic?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 6:06 AM
  • I'm not sure rr3yvo has the right to lecture anyone about anything, let alone rationality.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 9:19 AM
  • rr3yvo,

    Technically speaking a gay man can, and often does have offspring. Actually, it's probably even more common then it has to be since society (you) demands a man be with a woman.

    Because of this, many gay men are biological fathers and only to come out of the closet later in life. So if being gay is potentially genetic, it's your fault for forcing them into being something they are not.

    Way to go,rr3yvo. You should be proud of yourself for bringing even more gays into the world.

    However, I do suspect that Gay couples have a much lower abortion rate then heterosexual couples, so I guess it all evens out, right?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 12:39 PM
  • What confounds me more than about anything is why is it that some unfortunate people not only spew ignorance, but embrace ignorance, and actively go to great lengths to seek affirmation of their ignorance.

    However, I have nearly come to the conclusion that they are just another part of human diversity, as are gay people. There is nothing that we can do to change what they are. Any one who says they can is as much a charlatan as the duplicitous people who claim they can "fix" gays.

    The dangerous difference in their diversity is that unlike gays, they harangue us to all be like them, demand a government that embraces their ignorance, and scorn every one that does not share their particular diversity.

    Their activism has been successful regarding government, and that is troubling. However, I rest easy knowing that I could not become one even if I wanted to, anymore than I could become gay.

    I will turn the other cheek to their scorn, and will fight against their efforts to grant special rights to the ignorant. I will patiently explain to them that they are wasting their words to convert me, because it would be not only unnatural, disgustingly unnatural to me, but impossible. I hasten to add, as we all do when speaking of diverse folk, "not that there is anything wrong with that, some of my best friends are ignorant". ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 1:53 PM
  • Rr3: "Question for those that believe there is no supernatural, no God, no spirits, no miracles. Meaning if everything in the universe is matter and energy then that means your physical brain is bound by the laws of physics."

    Answer: Yes, that is true.

    Rr3: "How do you rationally defend the idea that you have free will and can properly use logic?"

    Answer: If I can't answer this, it does not mean that Jesus existed or that there is a god pulling all the strings. I do believe in free will, but I concede that in theory everything has a cause and effect, and therefore it would seem logical that all events are predetermined. That has been an interesting philosophical discussion way before jesus was a pup. And just because nobody can definitively answer that question does not mean there is a sky daddy watching over me. That would be illogical.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 8:29 PM
  • Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 7:45 AM
  • Amazing how some can illogically rationalize a certain behavior and have no explanation for it. Without God they have nothing.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 8:11 AM
  • A very Merry Christmas to all from a "rational thinker" who thoroughly enjoys this holiday time as much as anyone. I find myself continually singing songs in my car (like "..have yourself a merry little chrismas", jingle bells, and other upbeat christmas songs). It is a social time to enjoy family and friends and watch the grandchildren get spoiled with more gifts than they should be getting. It is also time to reflect on the good fortunes my family has had over the year, and to also reflect on the many who are in financial and emotional need during this time of year as well. I am happy to have given several hundred dollars this year to charities providing children's gifts who otherwise who would have nothing. Yes, the wonderful feeling of giving warms the heart of atheists just as it does those who believe there is a higher power.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 8:32 AM
  • rr3yvo said:

    "Amazing how some can illogically rationalize a certain behavior and have no explanation for it"

    ...you should know.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 9:51 AM
  • Where does the heart warming come from RT. Oh you don't know. Sorry.

    Thanks wtf, right again!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 9:57 AM
  • rr3yvo,

    That wasn't a compliment, but I shouldn't be surprised that you lack the capacity to know the difference.

    Then again it could have just been your feeble attempt at sarcasm. You might want to leave that up to those of us who know what they are doing.....Lol.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 11:37 AM
  • rr3: "Where does the heart warming come from RT."

    I'll take a stab at answering your question, though RT could probably do it better.

    As we evolved as humans, certain characteristics developed that aided human survival. Among those was altruism. Altruism was reinforced in each of us by the biologically created warm feeling.

    Please don't come back with who caused the biological creation. I don't know, neither do you. Neither of us should waste time spinning in that circle again. May your Christmas sharing leave you with many warm feelings, whatever the source.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 24, 2011, at 11:50 AM
  • Like I said you know that it is biologically created but claim to not know why and because you don't know why you claim no one else does either????????? Oooookay then!!!!! Looks like I am right again. Thank you, Thank you very much. Hope every biologically created being had a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday, it makes no difference if we don't know why or how we were created.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Dec 25, 2011, at 7:45 PM
  • Doesn't that make you dizzy?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 25, 2011, at 11:37 PM
  • Note to forum censor, the following comment is meant only to be humorous, and in no way is it meant to be mean spirited... Rr3, I had a wonderful biologically created xmas without thinking about it at all. I had all my wonderful family around me and beautiful grandchildren, and a wonderful feast, all that I am extremely thankful for. But, none of us thanked the invisible sky daddy for his generosity, because I would have also had to scold him (he is male, at least he acts that way) for all the pain and suffering he has also inflicted around the world, not to mention all the over the US who are going thru extremely hard times at His hand because he chose me, an atheist, to be so lucky as to have so much. I really don't know what all those unfortunate fellow humans and their needy children did to deserve such hard times, but it must have been extremely bad to punish so many millions of my fellow humans yet leave me and my atheist lot to prosper, do you? Perhaps your god is saving up his miracles for Tim Tebow's Broncos after finally letting him down the last two games. I sure hope they win soon so he can get back on track to helping those in need, and especially those who work hard to study his rational writings he took so much care to make sure everyone would understand their meaning, even those 90 percent who don't know anything about being saved by christianity. But then again, I am confident that YOU know why that wonderful feeling of helping others occurs, even if the rest of us don't. Yes, HE certainly does work in mysterious ways :-(

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 12:17 PM
  • A cautionary tale for you RT. Fill in the blanks with your favorite omniscient punisher, there are many to choose from, not just the two most prominent this season. ;)

    You better watch out

    You better not cry

    Better not pout

    I'm telling you why

    ________ is coming to town

    He's making a list

    And checking it twice;

    Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice

    ________ is coming to town

    He sees you when you're sleeping

    He knows when you're awake

    He knows if you've been bad or good

    So be good for goodness sake!

    O! You better watch out!

    You better not cry

    Better not pout

    I'm telling you why

    ________ is coming to town

    ________ is coming to town

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 2:21 PM
  • The following comment is satire, and is not intended to be disrespectful of the faith of any individual. It is a comment intended to disparage cultish religious practice that is abusive to children, including denying them participation in the Santa Claus myth, and reinforcing it by physically punishing kids, and insisting that Santa incurrs God's wrath.

    Santa Gets The Spirit

    After constant outpouring of extremist's fears,

    that had barraged for years poor Santa's ears,

    he decided it was time that he too got it right,

    things would be different on his long winter night.

    Each naughty child he yanked forthwith from its bed,

    to cast out the sugar plums that danced in each head.

    He selected a switch from his big bundle on hand,

    and laid on mightily with a wrath that was grand.

    How they did beg, and how they did plead,

    and promised to forego avarice, and greed.

    He instructed, ask not me, ask of my lord,

    just thank me for using a switch not a sword.

    He stomped on their I phones, X boxes, and all,

    and pasted a poster of Tebo on each child's wall.

    New rules adopted decreed more had been bad,

    and when he left most children were glad.

    Now Santa reflects, as through the skies he roams,

    each year he'll be welcome in more, and more homes.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 4:47 PM
  • Loved it, OKR! Did u author that? Isn't it funny how easily much of what we have made up for Santa is carried over into adult religious beliefs? Maybe sad is a better word for it than funny. Is god the adult version of santa? I think so.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 5:58 PM
  • Yup RT, came straight out of my sinful old head. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 6:10 PM
  • You know RT, I think the Santa myth is a good thing. It sets us up early, and all the better, to handle the crushing of cherished beliefs. Like the end of belief in Santa, other belief, later lost, may be lost because of what peers say, or what we observe about it. Some sort of a let down easy disenchantment the second time around?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 26, 2011, at 8:47 PM
  • After concluding my satirical bit of doggerel last night casting aspersion at those who make a sincere effort to remove Santa Claus from their children's Christmas experience, my alter ego said "wait a minute". A. E. (I call him that because of our long, fond, and close association) let me know in no uncertain terms that there are two sides to that story. Thus, I am compelled by my sense of fairness to share it. There is a plethora of evidence that Santa, and Satan is one, and the same.

    Firstly, let me remind you that Santa is an anagram of Satan, but that is just the start of the story. Saint Nicholas was allegedly born around the fourth century, and over time, around the seventeenth century, became "Saint Nick". Around 1643 "Old Nick" became an appellation for Satan. It is apparent that is when Satan began to seriously establish his dual persona, Santa, Satan; Saint Nick, Old Nick, all the same. Then there are all those other curious similarities.

    Satan in his original incarnation is cloven hoofed with horns, and a tail, Santa's closest associates are cloven hoofed, horned, and have tails. That, obviously, is more than coincidental. The Devil is red; Santa's costume is invariably red. You have to wonder just what sort of fork Santa uses to feed his reindeer.

    There are reasons why Santa resides at the icy cold North Pole. It is not just another coincidence that it is the opposite of the fires of Hell. To better do the work required of him, Satan established his alter identity, but was in need of a method to transition from one form to the other, then back again.

    The truth is that when Santa finishes his Christmas run he is chilled to the bone. It would be insane of him to immediately return to the frozen land from which he debarked. Instead he makes a bee line straight to Hell. As quick as a wink the porculent old fellow melts off a couple of hundred pounds, his beard and hair are singed, his skin turns red from first degree burns, voila, back to his original manifestation, and on to his usual devilish duties.

    After a lengthy period of time during which he never sleeps, nor eats, he becomes exhausted. At that point, just when has still not been established by the most erudite of religious scholars, who have been arguing about that question for centuries, Satan returns to the North Pole. He then charms Mrs. Claus, as only he can, and she forgives him his absence. He scares the Elves into working at a pace that is unparalleled, and is necessary to get the monumental amount of manufacture concluded in time for delivery. They are rivaled in their industry only by Chinese children, which is cause to wonder what inspires them beyond Walmart.

    Meanwhile Satan/Santa lies around, constantly plied with food by Mrs. Claus, he returns to his rotundity, his beard, and hair grow out. His skin returns to its arctic inspired pallor excepting his cheeks, and his nose, which retain redness due to their protuberance remaining too close, too long, to the fires of hell. He is ready to roll on Christmas Eve.

    According to a growing number of folks you should each heed this cautionary tale, and shut Santa out of your house come Christmas Eve.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 5:41 PM
  • Let me be clear, I reinforced my children and granchildren's belief in Santa, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and also enjoy scaring them with ghost and monster stories. I enjoy their enchantment, and want them to believe in them as long as their innocent youth will let them. Also, I do not say anything about the sky daddy, as I'd like them to choose whatever path they can by influences other than myself. When they are old enough to ask me, and if they ask me, I'll approach it from more of an agnostic view and just state "I am not a believer". My children grew up without any discussion of religion and on rare occastion visited friend's churches. I did not want to push my disbelief on them. At the same time, I recognize that many children are pushed into the religion of their parents, which I believe is wrong. I hope that by the time their minds mature enough to realize their isn't any of the children fantasies that are true, that they also will start to question the adult fantasy as well. Children were not born a christian, muslim, or buhdist,they were brainwashed into it.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 6:13 PM
  • Smok'n, I believe imagination is wonderful for everyone. I believe it is healthy and challenges the mind, especially in young minds before they mature. However, it is not healthy to continue to believe in imaginary beings once a person has attained adulthood. Let me pose the question back to you: Do you believe it is healthy for young children to be led to believe there is a Santa and tooth fairy? If so, do you believe at some point on the way to adulthood that belief in Santa would no longer be healthy?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 7:05 PM
  • I believe the whole Santa thing was designed to get little children used to a benevolent benefactor and the concept of reward and punishemnt (Toys/Coal in the Stocking) based on behavior (Naughty/Nice). Later that concept is transferred from Santa and Toys to God and Heaven and Hell. Does anyone here still believe in Santa?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 8:48 PM
  • RT and OKR it is so nice of you to expose your belief in imaginary beings. Myself I serve a living, real God not a biologically created being. Thanks for the insight but I will stick with the real thing. One thing you are right about RT is that we are not born Christian, Muslim, etc. we are born sinners all of us. You also say imagination is healthy and challenges the mind but why do we have an imagination, where did information form?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 9:27 PM
  • Do we have any purpose as human beings?

    If we do have purpose, can you please explain how that purpose is determined?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 9:43 PM
  • That's funny that someone would even respond with a non-answer. What's the point?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 10:12 PM
  • Do we look at any material thing on earth and assume it just came into existence? That would not even be rational but it is rational to believe that millions of years ago the universe just came into existence? Sounds like a stretch to me but hey I believe it was designed so what do I know?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 10:22 PM
  • I would call it an eternal question.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 10:47 PM
  • Hey Oblio, not everyone has to have a point. ;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGFlACG6qvI

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 11:07 PM
  • A shortcut to the point, or not. It may be pointless to point it out. Sometimes a point is hard to hang your hat on because it pokes holes, which at least makes it easier to talk through your hat. ;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nwBspnCkpI&feature=related

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 11:23 PM
  • rr3 did I ever tell you the one about Jesus, and Frosty the Snowman? No? Well, maybe another time.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 11:27 PM
  • So what's you're point???

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 6:04 AM
  • Where does morality come from?

    Are there moral absolutes?

    If there are moral absolutes, could you list a few of them?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 6:13 AM
  • WTF, I still believe in Santa.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 1:45 PM
  • dlkes,

    More power to ya........

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 2:22 PM
  • Dlkes I hope that my Satan/Santa bit didn't shake your faith in Santa. I promise you it was all a big joke, and as far as I know Santa resides year around in domestic bliss with Mrs.Claus. The Elves aren't ill treated, and there is no need to be wary of reindeer, beyond watching where you are walking when around them.

    Welcome back.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 5:15 PM
  • Rr3: "Do we look at any material thing on earth and assume it just came into existence?"

    NO. We search for origins for all things. However, most rational people do not conclude "magic" is the answer when we don't know.

    Rr3: " That would not even be rational but it is rational to believe that millions of years ago the universe just came into existence?"

    Repeat, because we do not know the answer does not mean the sky daddy did it. Science has provided much information regarding the time of what appears to be the Big Bang, and it is billions of years ago (not around 6,000 years ago as the bible alludes to and blindly irrational people think it therefore is true). What happened before the BB? Science is trying to gather more crucial information, but again, because we do not know..... you know!

    Rr3: "Sounds like a stretch to me but hey I believe it was designed so what do I know?"

    So, are you saying that because we don't know how something came into existence that god created it? What created your god? To use your first question, are we to "assume he just came into existence"? Or, did he always exist? If god always existed, I suppose material things could have always existed as well.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 5:36 PM
  • I know, I'm engaging RR3 in circular arguments, those we've all gone round and round over before.

    I do have one question for all those who strongly believe there is a god. It is very easy to understand why early humans believed there had to have been a supernatural power that made everything. I can even understand how that would be a first impulse for many modern humans as well. One of the reasons for early man's belief was that they just couldn't understand why floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, lightning storms, and various natural disasters took place. It appeared there was some unknown power behind those things. They looked up in the sky and saw the sun and moon, as well as the stars, which were also a total mystery as they appeared to be hung up there like a picture on a wall. Again, some unknown power must be at play they thought. However, over several hundreds of years, science has been able to explain how all those events take place as well as remove most mystery about the things they saw in the sky. Yes, we are still delving deeper into the heavenly bodies, but science has come a long way about understanding those heavenly bodies, both what they are composed of and how they came into existence. In essence, virtually all the mysteries that confronted our ancestors have been accounted far. Yes, there are still many remaining mysteries, but the major ones that caused belief in the supernatural have been solved in elaborate detail. So, my question is this... How is it that so many people today can continue to hold on to beliefs where the origin of those beliefs have been based on lack of information that is now undeerstood? Anyone want to take a stab at answering this?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 6:20 PM
  • RT, My faith is not based on something from way back in ancient history, well some might think it's ancient history given my age.:) My faith is based on a relationship that I currently have with my Lord and Savior. I think that might be where some people have trouble understanding. They think the basis of faith is on things that occurred long ago. I do believe these things occurred, but my faith is based on my relationship with a very real God. Because of my relationship with Him, I can believe that all things from the Bible really happened. Can I see my God? No. Can I touch my God? No. But I see and feel the evidence of His work in my life in a very real way, just as I see and feel the evidence of wind and electricity that I also can't see or touch. I hope this has helped you to understand my personal faith.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Fri, Dec 30, 2011, at 8:44 AM
  • OR, You did not offend me with you satire and humor. When I say that I believe in Santa, I believe in the idea that Santa and St. Nicholas embody. St. Nicholas looked around and saw people in need; people who were hungry, cold, without proper clothing etc. And he set about remedying this. He accepted donations of money, food, etc. Then he would go out at night, in secret, and leave these on people's doorsteps. When they awoke in the morning, they had the things they needed to survive without having lost their dignity or feelings of self worth because attention was not drawn to them. Sometimes St. Nicholas would carve a toy to give to the child in the home to let them know someone loved and cared about them too. He did this because he wanted to help them, not because he wanted credit or glory. Even the true Santa has wanted to remain anonymous through the years, and arrives in the dead of night. I keep an eighteen inch figurine of St. Nicholaus in my office to remind me that I need to be aware of others needs, strive to met them if I can, leave their dignity in tact, and not worry about if anyone else knows I did anything.

    -- Posted by dlkcs on Fri, Dec 30, 2011, at 8:58 AM
  • Mass Hypnosis....

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Dec 30, 2011, at 11:53 AM
  • dlkes, christianity represents roughly only 30 percent of the world population. Do you concede a) that had you been born into Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, or one of the other large religions of the world that YOU would in all probability not be christian, and b) that according to the christian bible that if you do not accept jesus as your savior that you would not be going to heaven?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Dec 30, 2011, at 6:48 PM
  • RT thanks for answering which is more then anyone else did. I believe science proves evidence for a creator because of the delicate balance of the universe for life to be possible on this planet. You believe that science is evidence to deny God. Is that the main difference? What evidence would you require to see that God exist? I think that dlkcs provided an excellent explanation of what a relationship with God is like.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Dec 31, 2011, at 4:34 AM
  • Must God be known through the scientific method?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Dec 31, 2011, at 4:37 AM
  • rr3: "You believe that science is evidence to deny God."

    No, science can prove the existence of things, not the non-existence. Science has provided so much proof of the existence of many things we cannot see with the naked eye from the massive (moons around Jupiter and on an on) to the micro level (molecules, atoms, and so forth). The evidence that science does continue to provide is that the god of the major religions as presented by the holy books has become less and less likely to the point of totally implausible. 2k years ago, those writings talked of god's wrath and how he brought flood, earthquakes, famine and other major disasters which was much easier to believe. The causes of those disasters are now easily understood by science. The fear and ignorance (lack of understanding) that were in large part for a reason to believe some supernatural force was "pulling the strings" has been disproven by science, and therefore has boxed god into a very small corner for rational people to believe, yet they persist.

    rr3: "What evidence would you require to see that God exist?"

    If he were to appear and perform miracles that I could see personally or that could be shown for all to see, only then would I believe a supernatural being existed. All religious people have to back up their claims is essentially a "feeling". There has never been one instance of a proclaimed miracle that could ever be substantiated. I'd love to see someone walk across water, rise from the dead, or turn water into wine. It is never going to happen and it has never happened in the past.

    rr3: " I think that dlkcs provided an excellent explanation of what a relationship with God is like."

    I respect anyone's belief that there is some supernatural force that somehow created our universe, although I disagree that could have happened as that is really no believable explanation at all. I do believe the followers of the major religions have been brainwashed since early childhood by succeeding generations of those religions that have been passed down thru the centuries out of both fear and ignorance initiated by the people who wrote those texts and who have claimed to have witnessed miraculous events back then. I believe you and dlkes have refused to question the religions that your parents introduced you to, and in regard to the supernatural, are essentially delusional when it comes to relgion. Perhaps delusional is too harsh a word. From my perspective the overtly religious followers of the major religions have dedicated a major portion of their life and thoughts to something that just doesn't exist. I am somewhat saddened by that, yet at the same time it would be none of my concern except that many of those followers try to influence our government and educational systems with those delusions. That is where I take major exception.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 31, 2011, at 6:47 AM
  • rr3: "Must God be known through the scientific method?"

    Hey, I was born in the "show me" state, so "show me". When my children in their early development talked about their imaginary friends, just as in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, I considered that part of a natural and healthy development process. You can continue to claim there is this adult version of an imaginary friend, but unless you have some other means to define him other than "I believe", I'm going to ask you to "show me" because "just believing" is not possible for me.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 31, 2011, at 6:58 AM
  • RT I would like to ask why you think that God has to show you that he exist? You say science cannot disprove God but in the same paragraph you say science has disproved God. That is not a logical statement. You always refer to your thinking as rational but can you explain how it is rational? When did rational thinking come into existence?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Jan 1, 2012, at 9:01 PM
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