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Edwin M. Cotto: "It would really be a most miserable end if after all of this there is just nothing." This is likely the reality but you'll be dead before you even realize.

I fear none of your arguments: Bring it! lol!'"

Well... if in the end it turns out you were wrong, I guess it wont matter for you either way since in both cases (if whether he exists or not) you'll end up eternally separated from God anyway.

Nicole: If the Biblical God is anything to go by, then that wouldn't be such a bad fate :).

Edwin M, Cotto: What does that mean ??

Nicole: I thought that was clear. Based on all the characteristics of God presented in the Bible there is no way I could be fulfilled worshiping and loving him when he seems like, pardon my expression, a tyrant.

I still cannot fathom how a decidedly perfect being can be warlike, jealous angry and vengeful. He sounds more like a dictator than the alleged loving creator of the universe. I am not sure how Christians bypass all these obvious flaws and then come to the conclusion that he is a kind, just and merciful God.


Edwin M. Cotto: I think your not distinguishing between God's mercy and his justice. What you call "vengeful, angry, jealous" stems both from his desire to be just and loving. My love for my child could cause me to sometimes be "jealous" if he won't love m...e back and will love someone else over me. I could get "angry" if he won't take out the garbage when I tell him to do so. None of this means I'm evil, of course. ;)

and vengeful? how so?

Nicole: there are various sets of believers.

1) Those who believe because they fear possible damnation.

2) Those who believe because they need a defined purpose. (Though ironically this purpose is even less rewarding than a life without "purpose...", a supposed eternity doing....).

3) Those who believe because they grew up under Christian influence.

4) Those who believe because they cannot face a probable reality that there is no such thing as human immortality.

There are other types I am sure but the one thing they all have in common is that they really don't question anything related to the Bible because they are fine believing for the sake of believing. They want to believe thus ignore leaps of logic.

At this point another person named Robert makes a comment I thought was important enough to share here as well:

Robert: Edwin...that is the point. Critics are not able to distinguish between God's administration of justice, and what they perceive to be petty vengeance.

I return to my convers
ation with Nicole. She replies to my earlier comment by saying:

Nicole: "My love for my child could cause me to sometimes be "jealous" if he won't love me back and will love someone else over me. I could get "angry" if he won't take out the garbage when I tell him to do so. None of this means I'm evil, of course. ;)" - Yes, that's understandable you are human, God is not, yet from all accounts he appears just as imperfect as your average human being.

"Do you believe there is a Creator God?"

I can't prove or disprove his existence. However I am inclined to believe there isn't a god.

Even if there is a creator, you do realize of course that all religions cannot be right about who or what he/it is. Hence the majority excluding one or in fact all are wrong about the creator's depiction.

"Does it mean that because you have a difficulty with certain accounts in the bible, that that makes out God to be untrustworthy?" - Yes

In a court of law any argument that seems fallacious, or if the evidences are inconsistent then the court must rule based on what has been brought forward not on what it wishes to be just. In other words I refuse to ignore all the absurdities and inconsistencies presented in the Bible, especially those related to His character.

But Bible aside there is still nothing that assures me of a God's existence. If he does exist he is likely indifferent by virtue of his absence. Or possibly sadistic by virtue of the human condition.


Edwin M. Cotto: Nicole, one of the other types is as follows:

5) Those who believe because both facts and logic leave them with no other choice.

An example of logic supporting God's existence (not fully, but at least adding a bit more evidence to our pile) ...is Ryan's reasoning above. I'll quote it now:

"Common Sense tells me that there is such a thing called Good versus evil and that it is not far fetched that there is an ultimate source for both."

The logic that the unbeliever ends up "dead" or "lost" in both cases, whether God exists or not, also lends some more support to our conclusion. In a court of law, absolute solid proof is not always necessary. The side with the most evidence wins the case.

Personally, I think its more illogical and that it takes a greater amount of faith to both deny God's existence and believe in Darwin's Theory of Evolution (not that I believe you hold to this theory in case you don't). To me it makes more "sense" to accept that he exists. and the crowning point for my decision to believe as such was when I examined closely the evidence for the resurrection of Christ. If this event did occur, then he is who he claimed to be, and God does indeed exist. I invite you to explore what scholars, archeologists and historians have say in support of this event.

Nicole: ‎"My love for my child could cause me to sometimes be "jealous" if he won't love me back and will love someone else over me. I could get "angry" if he won't take out the garbage when I tell him to do so. None of this means I'm evil, of cour......se. ;)" - Yes, that's understandable you are human, God is not, yet from all accounts he appears just as imperfect as your average human being.


Nicole, my point was that's its not necessarily wrong or evil to be jealous or angry. accusing God of being evil or sadistic based on these just won't work, because you or I can do these and not be sadistic or evil ourselves. How much more "not evil" will then God be if he does these, who is far greater then I?

Nicole: Jealousy is a flaw that is considered a human flaw. Being warlike is also a flaw that is considered a human flaw. So are anger and vengeance.

Yet God has all these flaws. I was not even referring to his perceivable acts of evil here, merely... his deviation from perfection.


Edwin M. Cotto:
These are considered "human flaws" to you, Nicole, but that does not necessarily have to be true. There is such things as justifiable... say, jealousy. For example, its not a flaw for a man to be jealous for for his wife, because she "belongs to him." That's justifiable. Now if he, having a wife or no, gets jealous of another mans wife, this is wrong and is considered a flaw. Or, if I'm angry for no good reason, this is a flaw. But if I get angry because my child disobeyed my rules, this is not wrong. I'm justified in doing so. There my rules and those rules exists to protect him. Your argument is one sided, but lets consider both sides here and get bigger picture. Yes God gets jealous for his children, but that's because he made us and we "belong to him." Yes he does get angry, but that's because we disobey him. as a mother to her child, he does it for all the right reasons. He is motivated by "love."

Robert m
akes another important point:

Robert: Let us say for argument sake that Iran decides to send missiles to destroy Israel, would it be justified for any nation with the power to stop Iran to not do something to prevent such an attack?

If the US makes a pre-emptive attack, would i...t be seen as justifiable by peace-loving people across the globe?

But when God does it its an issue. When God destroys a wicked and deviant nation its because He is evil...right? LOL

The bottom line is that critics of God are naive to God's justice system, and that is because they have not fully grasped the sin concept. People like these would have no qualms with a doctor removing a piece of cancerous tissue to prevent it from spreading, but they are quick to judge God for preventing any evil nation from spreading their evil influence upon others.

Its a pity that they can't see God's actions in destroying such a nation as being just, and that in so doing God is putting them out of their miserable existence, because in truth and in fact, living under such circumstances is no life at all.

Finally every person or nation has a probationary time period assigned to them. God has given every man ample reason to believe in Him, and as I have alluded to before, everyman believes in Him...Even those who say otherwise.

I return by replying to Nicole's comments on "free-will":

Edwin M. Cotto:
"Free-will as far as I can tell is a fallacy if an all-knowing being had his hand in the creation of all things. He knew what the world would be, what the world would become before he even created it. Yet he did, despite all the atrocities... that would prevail."

Yes, he did, because he also saw you in that future, and wanted you to have the opportunity to live. He also saw the innocent children, the believing families, and the opportunity to have a real relationship with them. again, his entire motivation behind it all, was love for us. Would you have preferred he not take that risk and not create us all? Now that would seem unjust, to not give these other a chance at life.

Nicole: ‎"Would you have preferred he not take that risk and not create us all." If it would spare so many the horrifying events that have occurred throughout human history, yes.

His paradise was destroyed because of one man's mistake. Our beloved c...reator could not bring himself to forgive one man his mistake, one man who was essentially childlike and innocent, until the invention of woman. The good book endorses sexism. Sad. But I digress. My simple point is this, he was certainly capable of giving humans a taste of heaven from the get go. But chose not to. One man's sin is everyone else's, how absurd. It follows that God must be a sadist.


Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"If I allow my child to stab himself with a knife by simply watching him do it, I would be chastised for my negligence. Even though I did not do it myself what has happened would still essentially be my doing because I could have prevented... it yet didn't."

You can make this argument, Nicole, because you seem to not understand the depth of God's holiness and awesomeness. For God to appear in front of us, and tell us "hey, don't stab yourself!" would mean to have his brightness and glory destroy us in an instant! Imagine, even at Mount Sinai the people trembled at his voice. So this too, is an act of mercy towards us, besides giving us "free will."

But... God solved this issue. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who as God covered himself with the veil of human flesh to prevent any harm, and instructed us through him not to do such things. His Son then returned to God after his resurrection. Then, he continued his instructions through his Son by his Word, the Bible, available to us today. Your logic fails Nicole because God is not human. Not appearing in front of you, to stop u from stabbing yourself, while becoming a man and literally coming to earth to tell you not too, is in it of itself an act of love. I rather you hurt yourself, then I hurt you, and in the end have something to blame and accuse me of. However, again, I tried everything I could without removing from myself my own deity (I'm speaking for God of course) to tell you not to do this.

He can prevent such a thing by various means, by the way, not just by the written word or by his historical appearance 2000 years ago. He can send his messenger, or use any one or more person, to prevent this. He can even use you, the child's mother, to stop it. all this without risking hurting you with his brightness.

Nicole:
‎"Your logic fails Nicole because God is not human. Not appearing in front of you, to stop u from stabbing yourself, while becoming a man and literally coming to earth to tell you not too"

He doesn't have to appear in front of anyone to stop... an atrocity. My example is used as a comparison. He is omnipotent may I remind you that that type of unlimited power can do fantastical and magical things. If he wants to cure us all of diseases he could, if he wanted us all to look the same he could. If he wanted donkeys to fly and birds to swim in the ocean he could: he can do all things.

So essentially you're okay with a God that applies a roundabout method to saving a few. Even Jesus says "The knowledge of the secrets of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. This is why I speak to them in parables, ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand". His word is shrouded in mystery to ensure that all people will not attain heaven. Only the "smart" people will understand. This type of elitist logic works well for many Christian, after all what would be the point of heaven if every man, woman and child could get automatic admission.

Edwin M. Cotto:
"Would you have preferred he not take that risk and not create us all." If it would spare so many the horrifying events that have occurred throughout human history, yes."

and yet you wouldn't be alive at this moment to be able to answer yes.... How grateful u must be he chose otherwise.

Yes sin did destroy everything, and your wrong that God did not forgive him. He did, but nevertheless the consequences of his actions still follow. I can forgive my wife for cheating me, but the consequences of having to live with that will follow either way. Note how great was his forgiveness, that God said "I'll die on his behalf." See, you don't yet know the story of redemption, and you should consider it before making this claim. God solved the problem by dieing the death Adam deserved. Adam now has a resurrection to look forward too, that's how forgiven he is. and you can have the same. God proved it all through the resurrection of Christ, and I think for you to successfully cast any doubt in any one of us as to the existence of God, you'd have to prove that this historical event did not take place. But this is a task I haven't seen you take on although I mentioned it before. Your answer is in the resurrection.

Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"I would say so are Christians. No Christian can properly explain the mass killing of innocent children and women..."

and I'm sure if God would have killed baby Hitler before Hitler grew and killed 50,000 innocent people, including believer...s in him, you'd still call him sadistic for killing a child.

God knows the future, and knew full well that due to the teachings and sinful lifestyles of the parents, the children would grow to be just as bad, or worst even. So he is merciful enough to put a stop to it before it happens and prevent these children from growing up and cause the death of, say, your family (if you were alive during that time). and yet for this act of mercy you accuse him is being sadistic.


Nicole: "God proved it all through the resurrection of Christ, and I think for you to successfully cast any doubt in any one of us as to the existence of God, you'd have to prove that this historical event did not take place." Have you proved this? How exactly do you prove that a resurrection took place?

Nicole: "and I'm sure if God would have killed baby Hitler before Hitler grew and killed 50,000 innocent people, including believers in him, you'd still call him sadistic for killing a child." Actually with his foreknowledge God could have spared ...us by either re-creating a perfect world, or forgetting about human existence altogether.

"and yet you wouldn't be alive at this moment to be able to answer yes. How grateful u must be he chose otherwise." But that's just it, I wouldn't be alive to know that I was missing out on anything. Hence it would not matter. If something does not exist it cannot experience any emotion, it cannot regret not being born, it cannot yearn to be, because it is not.


Edwin M. Cotto: ‎"If he wants to cure us all of diseases he could"

and how would that fix our character? He could spoon feed us all he wants, but my mind will still want to rebel against him. He desires to mold us to be more like him, so he allows us to rea...p our own consequences so we realize that our ways are wrong; our bad habits, our sinful ways, all wrong, and his way is better.

"if he wanted us all to look the same he could."

If he would have done this, creationists wouldn't have a case when they argue for "design." But since this is not the case, I appeal to Design as an argument for his existence.

"If he wanted donkeys to fly and birds to swim in the ocean he could"

He simply chose not to have donkeys fly. But this argument is irrelevant because we're debating the sin issue.

"he can do all things."

I disagree. He can't "sin" because he has chosen in eternity past to not do so, so it is his own character not to. Thank God for that!

"So essentially you're okay with a God that applies a roundabout method to saving a few. Even Jesus says "The knowledge of the secrets of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. This is why I speak to them in parables, ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand". His word is shrouded in mystery to ensure that all people will not attain heaven. Only the "smart" people will understand."

Context, Nicole. The people were willfully unbelieving, even accusing Jesus is working for the Devil himself (see Matt. 12:24). He spoke to them in parables simply because he knew they were not going to believe otherwise. and in fact he did them a favor, because straight up telling them things like "Hey, I'm God" would have caused more doubt and possibly a revolt. He spoke straight to his disciples, because they were open minded enough, and believed.

Nicole:
Where the statement Jesus is God is concerned. My understanding is he's the son of God. That's also what I gather from scripture. But that's another argument for another time.

You are arguing points that are merely used to exemplify the abs...olute power that omnipotence allows.

The question I have asked that you have not yet answered is "How do you prove the resurrection occurred?"

Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"and I'm sure if God would have killed baby Hitler before Hitler grew and killed 50,000 innocent people, including believers in him, you'd still call him sadistic for killing a child." Actually with his foreknowledge God could have spared ......us by either re-creating a perfect world, or forgetting about human existence altogether.

Both of these require God also turn his back on the innocent people he also saw far into the future. I made this point already above.

"and yet you wouldn't be alive at this moment to be able to answer yes. How grateful u must be he chose otherwise." But that's just it, I wouldn't be alive to know that I was missing out on anything. Hence it would not matter. If something does not exist it cannot experience any emotion, it cannot regret not being born, it cannot yearn to be, because it is not.

But God would remain alive, so it would matter to him. Therefore he made you anyway.

Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"they would have worshiped God out of fear and not love."- "Thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God." What's the problem then?"

the problem is that fear-motivated love is forced love, and if God did this, you'd accuse him of being unfair and tyrannical anyway. But the fact that he did not make us robots, proves how much more merciful he is, and how sadistic he is not.

aDD COMMENT HERE ON TWO KINDS OF fear

‎Edwin M. Cotto: "The question I have asked that you have not yet answered is "How do you prove the resurrection occurred?"

I must have missed where you asked me this question, if it was me you asked.

Through many means. First, it can't be proven that it DID...N'T happen. Second, the eyewitness accounts. History records many many people giving up their very lives for the truth that they saw him alive after his death. Logically, these people would not willingly give up their lives, and the lives of their families, for a lie. I'm not speaking of someone who honestly believes in something, but that that something is actually untrue. I'm speaking of people who actually "saw" him alive. Third, the biblical record. Until you prove otherwise, it stands as true to history. Fourth, the corroborative evidence. There is plenty of this outside of scripture, backing up the story that the resurrection took place. Then there's the easily refuted arguments against it, that show it can't be shown as false causing it to remain vindicated. For example, some people say everyone who died for claiming they saw the risen Christ were all hallucinating. But, hallucinations do not happen in groups. The medical proofs. Some say Jesus faked his death, but this is impossible considering what history tells us on how the Romans executed torture and death on their victims. Theres so much more that won't fit in this small forum.

Nicole: ‎"Both of these require God also turn his back on the innocent people he also saw far into the future. I made this point already above." But he turns his back on the innocent when he has them slaughtered. So clearly he's not above turning h...is back on anyone.

"But the fact that he did not make us robots, proves how much more merciful he is, and how sadistic he is not." - That proves his mercy? Mercy is accepting that your creations are flawed and allowing them to thrive despite this. In the event that you realize that your creations will ultimately fail, well a majority of them anyway, it would be more merciful to put them out of their misery without the evils of torture and mass killings.

"But God would remain alive, so it would matter to him. Therefore he made you anyway." Exactly, he is perfectly okay with human suffering. And in this case the ends do not justify the means.

Nicole:
"Second, the eyewitness accounts. History records many many people giving up their very lives for the truth that they saw him alive after his death. Logically, these people would not willingly give up their lives, and the lives of their fa...milies, for a lie. I'm not speaking of someone who honestly believes in something, but that that something is actually untrue. I'm speaking of people who actually "saw" him alive. Third, the biblical record. Until you prove otherwise, it stands as true to history." None of these are adequate proofs for a sceptic. Accounts from various sources can be wrong. There is no solid evidence for the resurrection nothing you have mentioned is unquestionable proof of its occurrence.

"But, hallucinations do not happen in groups." But belief in something and claiming it is true does happen. Belief can allow people to "fudge" the truth to buy into that particular belief system. Furthermore, groups of people have the capacity to lie, that is not at all far-fetched.

Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"Both of these require God also turn his back on the innocent people he also saw far into the future. I made this point already above." But he turns his back on the innocent when he has them slaughtered. So clearly he's not above turning h......is back on anyone."

This was also already responded too. When God ordered the slayings of peoples, it was first of all on conditions they were given enough time to learn of God and repent. Second, if it happened it was only because God saw in the future that they'd grow up to be worst then their parents and possibly cause the death of millions of the ones who truly are innocent. how many baby Hitlers could this world take before we end up eliminating ourselves??? But on the other hand if God would have allowed those babies to survive, and they grew up to kill millions of innocent people, you'd still accuse God of being tyrannical for allowing it, and you'd use your "allowing my child to stab himself" analogy again. Your reasoning does circles and circles Nicole. Can't you see that ??

"But the fact that he did not make us robots, proves how much more merciful he is, and how sadistic he is not." - That proves his mercy?"

Yes it does.

Mercy is accepting that your creations are flawed and allowing them to thrive despite this.

He does this already Nicole but you use this very thing to accuse him of being sadistic (remember your "allowing my child to get stabbed analogy"?). Your arguing in circles again. Gosh this is eeeasy !!!

"In the event that you realize that your creations will ultimately fail, well a majority of them anyway, it would be more merciful to put them out of their misery without the evils of torture and mass killings."

According to you Nicole, but God thought of me when he saw the future and I'm happy he gave me a chance to live despite the risk. He loves me, and his enemies (since he allowed them to live as well) THAT much.

"But God would remain alive, so it would matter to him. Therefore he made you anyway." Exactly, he is perfectly okay with human suffering. And in this case the ends do not justify the means."

What? My point was that it would matter to him if you were not born because you were predestined in his mind already. But he loved you that made to allow you to become born despite the suffering that WE caused. He is not ok with human suffering, but he is also not ok with intruding on our freedom to chose.

Edwin M. Cotto:
"None of these are adequate proofs for a sceptic. Accounts from various sources can be wrong. There is no solid evidence for the resurrection nothing you have mentioned is unquestionable proof of its occurrence."

Nicole, these and more that... I didn't mention are a collection of circumstantial and corroborative evidences that together "may more strongly support one particular inference over another." -Evidence, wikipedia. In support of the Resurrection, also, we may add archeological evidence as well. You on the other hand only have your doubts and skepticism. Which will a judge rule in favor for? The guy saying "there's no proof what you believe happened!" or the guy saying "well we have plenty and all sorts of evidence to prove" ?? Now you said accounts from various sources can be wrong. Well since your making this claim then the burden of proof is on you to prove this. Scholars have ways to show how the accounts of the authors of the New Testament can be dated to up to only a few years of the cross, even 7 to 9 years, especially with the writings of Paul. This makes it nearly impossible for legend to corrupt the story of the cross. It also makes it impossible for someone to lie about the story, because this means that eyewitnesses to the events would have contradicted those writings. This would apply even if the writings were dated up to 60 years from the cross! But you will never find an ancient writing of something like that. In fact Christs enemies, instead of denying the empty tomb, just said his body was stolen, an impossible tack considering the death penalty for Roman soldiers who didn't guard their tombs!

"But, hallucinations do not happen in groups." But belief in something and claiming it is true does happen. Belief can allow people to "fudge" the truth to buy into that particular belief system. Furthermore, groups of people have the capacity to lie, that is not at all far-fetched."

This will still not work because for reasons already mentioned. Because massive people died for their claim that they literally "saw" the risen Christ, and its not logical to believe they die and willing give up their families to death for something they didn't really see! This was more then just a "belief" to these people, they 'saw' him. We have up to 500 eyewitnesses who were willing to die for this claim, and in a court of law you hardly need two to convict someone to the rest of their lives in jail. This is hard evidence critics won't really confront head on.

Nicole:
"But on the other hand if God would have allowed those babies to survive, and they grew up to kill millions of innocent people, you'd still accuse God of being tyrannical." Thus to avoid this altogether, only allow humans with a good heart... to be born into the world, or wipe out your creation completely because it has failed.

"What? My point was that it would matter to him if you were not born because you were predestined in his mind already. But he loved you that made to allow you to become born despite the suffering that WE caused. He is not ok with human suffering, but he is also not ok with intruding on our freedom to chose."

Many of us were pre-destined to suffer and what's worse will still, according to scripture, not attain the "wonderment" of eternity. Essentially you're saying he'd rather see a world where misery is rampant simply because he has already foreseen it in his mind. It is therefore clear that he is okay with human suffering. What he's not okay with is not fulfilling what he has foreseen. Remember the choice lies with him. He is not being held against his will to see these things come to pass. His reasons for letting us live (to love, fear and serve him) seem far too superficial for such an all-powerful being.

Nicole:
‎"Christs enemies, instead of denying the empty tomb, just said his body was stolen, an impossible tack considering the death penalty for Roman soldiers who didn't guard their tombs." It's impossible for his body to be stolen from a tomb th...at was allegedly guarded? The last time I checked heavily guarded vaults with up-to-date security systems have failed at one point or another, even now.

"Because massive people died for their claim that they literally "saw" the risen Christ, and its not logical to believe they die and willing give up their families to death for something they didn't really see!" According to which text, the Bible, right. Who wrote the Bible? Men. Were these men entirely truthful in their writings? Probably not based on some startling contradictions and inconsistencies. Would they claim witnesses even if there were none? Quite possibly.

Archaeologists cannot prove the resurrection because an empty tomb now proves nothing.

Hard evidence would include but would not be limited to videotape footage of the entire event from crucifixion to resurrection plus DNA evidence to confirm that indeed the person who rose was the same person who was buried. Unfortunately we do not have such evidences.

Edwin M. Cotto:
"But on the other hand if God would have allowed those babies to survive, and they grew up to kill millions of innocent people, you'd still accuse God of being tyrannical."

"Thus to avoid this altogether, only allow humans with a good hear...t... to be born into the world,"

Then God could be accused of the angels of a bunch of things, including uncertainty, unfairness, mystery and/or not giving "everyone" a chance to decide for themselves. also, allowing an evil person to be born who God knew would later repent and change would show the world how God has the power to change an individual. It will show how merciful and forgiving he is. Without this we wouldn't not truly understand forgiveness because there wouldn't be an example of it. and God wants us to fully understand his merciful and loving character that he could be better loved and appreciated.

"or wipe out your creation completely because it has failed."

This will also raised too many questions against God's character by the angels who God also loves. They could accuse him of injustice. This would also cause them to worship him out of fear and not out of a willful loving heart which is what he desires. He dealt with the entire situation in the best way possible. The cross justifies him. It vindicates his character.

"Many of us were pre-destined to suffer and what's worse will still, according to scripture, not attain the "wonderment" of eternity. Essentially you're saying he'd rather see a world where misery is rampant simply because he has already foreseen it in his mind. It is therefore clear that he is okay with human suffering. What he's not okay with is not fulfilling what he has foreseen. Remember the choice lies with him. He is not being held against his will to see these things come to pass. His reasons for letting us live (to love, fear and serve him) seem far too superficial for such an all-powerful being."

Not simply because he has already foreseen it in his mind, but most importantly because he also saw, in the midst of the chaos, true love, peace and innocence. He saw many who would truly dedicate themselves to him. He saw you, and the possible conversion and love you might soon give him in the future.

"Christs enemies, instead of denying the empty tomb, just said his body was stolen, an impossible tack considering the death penalty for Roman soldiers who didn't guard their tombs." It's impossible for his body to be stolen from a tomb th...at was allegedly guarded? The last time I checked heavily guarded vaults with up-to-date security systems have failed at one point or another, even now."

Yes because technology is not perfect and has the tendency to fail, but back then they did not use technology. They used real human guards. Those guards were threatened in a way that guards are not threatened today, so this is hardly comparable. Today a guard will not have his property stripped from him and his life along with the life of his family taken from him if he failed.

"Because massive people died for their claim that they literally "saw" the risen Christ, and its not logical to believe they die and willing give up their families to death for something they didn't really see!" According to which text, the Bible, right. Who wrote the Bible? Men. Were these men entirely truthful in their writings? Probably not based on some startling contradictions and inconsistencies. Would they claim witnesses even if there were none? Quite possibly."

Nicole, two things. First history records their willingness to die for what they saw as well. Second, the testimony of scripture is reliable. Archaeology and the dating of the ancient writings of the New Testament has been able has been able to prove this. The writings of Paul have been dated to have been written only a few years from the cross. When he mentioned the 500 witnesses and what they saw, these witnesseses were alive to testify to this fact, or to contradict it. They never contradicted it.

"Archaeologists cannot prove the resurrection because an empty tomb now proves nothing."

What archaeology proves is a few things. One is that the writings can be dated too close to the events they describe to have been both verified by the witnesseses still living and to prevent legendary corruption of the stories. It also helps validate the honesty of the witnesses. For example, many of the tittles and places Luke described have been supported to have actually existed through archeological findings. This is very significant. Luke is a Historian, so his testimony provides what a court of law describes as "expert witness." an expert witness, in court, is often questioned first on his knowledge of his field of study before anything else to very if he is qualified to be an expert witness (see Wikipedia). This has been done to the writings of Luke through archeological findings. These have put him to the test, and he has been found 100% faithful even to the smallest details of history. This lends a lot of support. If he can be faithful to the small details, its likely he was truthful about his account of the resurrection story, despite the mockery and so forth that would probably follow.

"Hard evidence would include but would not be limited to videotape footage of the entire event from crucifixion to resurrection plus DNA evidence to confirm that indeed the person who rose was the same person who was buried. Unfortunately we do not have such."

This is unrealistic and you wouldn't be taken seriously if you used this argument in a court of law today, because we have to judge and test a historical event in its own historical context. Videotapes didn't exist then, but regardless of that we have other evidences we can point too sufficient to make a case for Christ. I don't think you've taken a look at all the evidence yet."

‎Nicole: "Videotapes didn't exist then, but regardless of that we have other evidences we can point too sufficient to make a case for Christ." Sufficient here being subjective because I gather from all that you have said that you are still relying ...on the words of a few.

"They used real human guards." Real human guards are often unreliable. No matter the consequences of their failures, they are still likely to fail at some point.

"He saw many who would truly dedicate themselves to him." So essentially his selfishness is what prompted him to continue the horrors of existence. From the multitude he would find a few to love him, how noble.

"Then God could be accused of the angels of a bunch of things, including uncertainty, unfairness, mystery and/or not giving "everyone" a chance to decide for themselves." Ultimately this wouldn't matter because the angels are aware that God already knows the fate of his creatures. He would indeed be merciful for not perpetuating his flawed creation.

"This will also raised too many questions against God's character by the angels who God also loves. They could accuse him of injustice." Many humans accuse him of that now.

"God wants us to fully understand his merciful and loving character." He has a strange way of showing this.

Though I have no faith in any religion I can understand why some people believe in religions that profess the laws of Karma and reincarnation. At least their logic makes the deity seem more merciful. People are given many different life times to work off their Karma, essentially no one is sent to hell they merely go through different stages of enlightenment through different life experiences. Some Christians say they are insane for believing such a ludicrous idea. I think both are fairly absurd however at least I can say the Karma/reincarnation belief system exemplifies a kinder/more loving deity.

Yet in the end most people believe what brings comfort. I can imagine how scary it would be for a Christian to accept as I have the probability that this is inevitably it. Death ends absolutely.


Robert: ‎(((I question the evidences that Christians use to valida...te the Bible because in most cases they still seem fairly flawed and do not stand up to thorough investigation.)))

This happens to be a flawed statement because the research is con...ducted by independent scientists in most instances, most of whom are not religiously inclined. In fact some of these archeological findings were purely coincidental findings. Besides, Christians have no reason to scew their research since they are also looking for the truth.

There is a long list of evolutionist scientists who are jumping ship and are leaning towards Intelligent Design.

(((From what I have read, from what devout Christians have said, from what others who write on the topic have said. The Bible is open to interpretation mainly because people wish to believe it is infallible without assessing the many factors that may and possibly did affect its credibility.)))

And why is it you are not able to list those factors? In my previous discourse I have alluded to the fact that science if anything is catching up with the bible. Science is confirming its usefulness, purpose, and the fact that God had indeed inspired holy men to write it. How would a person without scientific knowledge as we have it now, would have known that the earth was round. Yet long before science confirmed that the earth was indeed round, Isaiah the prophet declared it so. The bible declared that air has weight long before science discovered it.

Nicole you are allowing the graphics of children having to die by God's righteous judgment to blur your understanding. When God decides to completely destroy a nation, His judgments don't come without prior warnings. In the case of God commanding king Saul to completely destroy the children on the breast, including adults, goes to show how extensive evil had prevailed in that region. Even the children had to be killed lest they would have continued the evil to an even greater extent than their fore parents.

That is the very same reason why God had to completely destroy Sodom. Christ had confirmed with Abraham that if there were 5 righteous persons there, he would have spared the city, but alas only Lot's blood family barely survived. They had to be pulled to safety by God's angels.

Besides, peradventure there be any righteous children who were destroyed, rest assured God will raise them up in the resurrection.

Edwin M. Cotto:
"Videotapes didn't exist then, but regardless of that we have other evidences we can point too sufficient to make a case for Christ." Sufficient here being subjective because I gather from all that you have said that you are still relying ......on the words of a few.

I realize everything is subjective to you, and that's fine, but theres too much evidence for this to be so easily dismissed by a court of law. "on the words of few" No on the words of many many people. Written testimony is also sufficient in a court of law is is also considered eyewitness report (see Wikipedia).

"They used real human guards." Real human guards are often unreliable. No matter the consequences of their failures, they are still likely to fail at some point.

Maybe so, but this is rather unlikely considering one very important fact. Everyone knew, the Jews and the Romans, that Jesus claimed he would raise from the dead, so extra care was taken at the tomb of Christ to ensure this did not happen.

"He saw many who would truly dedicate themselves to him." So essentially his selfishness is what prompted him to continue the horrors of existence. From the multitude he would find a few to love him, how noble."

But then if God would have dismissed as irrelevant those innocent ones he also saw, he'd be accused, at least by the angels, of unfairness and of being heartless.

"Then God could be accused of the angels of a bunch of things, including uncertainty, unfairness, mystery and/or not giving "everyone" a chance to decide for themselves." Ultimately this wouldn't matter because the angels are aware that God already knows the fate of his creatures. He would indeed be merciful for not perpetuating his flawed creation"

It mattered to them who understand this as much as it matters to us who also understand this. Yes God knows their fate, but allows people to live to at least give them a chance at life. He loves his enemies that much. They will also serve his purpose of justifying his character which was tainted by Satan's accusations. No one will turn around and say "you didn't even give him a chance." Because of free will, the rise of evil was inevitable, but God dealt with it in the best possible way, through his Son Jesus. any other way would have raised too many questions.

"This will also raised too many questions against God's character by the angels who God also loves. They could accuse him of injustice." Many humans accuse him of that now.

yes.

"God wants us to fully understand his merciful and loving character." He has a strange way of showing this.

You shouldn't expect to fully understand his ways. If we could fully understand his ways, he wouldn't be God anymore.

"Though I have no faith in any religion I can understand why some people believe in religions that profess the laws of Karma and reincarnation. At least their logic makes the deity seem more merciful."

Have you studied what these people actually believe? I have. To them we can be reincarnated into anything. Imagine becoming a fly who can be slowly and painfully digested alive by the toxic and digestive chemicals of a spider saliva for days while entangled and enslaved in his web? Or into a goat that can be eaten alive by a lion or giant lizard? Then have this happen over and over again, possible for millions of years until finally becoming part of the "eternal one/essence," if that EVER happens. When they reach their final stage in the process of reincarnation, they merge into this eternal "essence" which is impersonal, unknowing and distant. They just become "it." No emotion, no experience, no personality. I'm not sure what ur definition of mercy is, but I think most would agree that this is not it. By contrast, the Christian God offers a personal eternal relationship with him throughout eternity by the gift of his Son Jesus Christ without tampering with our characters and abilities to love and experience.

"Yet in the end most people believe what brings comfort. I can imagine how scary it would be for a Christian to accept as I have the probability that this is inevitably it. Death ends absolutely."

I can imagine it scarier for the unbeliever, who in the ends up dead regardless of God's existence or not. at least the believer has a 50% chance of being right in his belief in the existence of God.

although you politely ignored my comments about Luke as an expert witness, his accuracy to the smallest of details, archeology, the dating of manuscripts with its ability to be tested by the living witnesses and to prevent legendary corruption, I was hoping to read a response.

I honestly see in you the ability to come to faith in God. Oh If only you would consider all the facts.

Nicole (replies to Robert):
The Bible suggests that the universe is thousands of years old not billions as scientists have deduced. The age of the earth also surpasses thousands of years. It also doesn't account for dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago.

There is... mention of a circle (not a sphere) hanging in space. However there is also mention of an earth with corners.

"He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in." Yet we have travelled to outer space and surpassed the clouds and not encountered the heaven above.

However the shape of the earth being spherical would have been known by a few astronomers during and before the time of Isaiah, the first being the Egyptians who are said to have known from about 2550 BC. Pythagoras who lived around the period of 532 B.C. also knew and defended the fact that the earth was spherical. Hence why the knowledge of the earth's shape did not require divine intervention of any kind.

"...the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again." The Earth is believed to be stationary according to Biblical accounts. The sun moves, but not the earth.

The great flood that encompassed all the earth with 8 people and a few animals surviving has also gone unproven. Even if a flood can be accounted for these people cannot.

The creation story has pretty much been proven fallacious. Some try to use the Out of Africa theory to prove that we originated from one man and one woman. However they distort the theory by not including the primary fact that Y chromosome Adam (male ancestor) lived 100,000 years after Mitochondrial Eve (female ancestor).

There are many more, of course but these are the only ones I could think of now.

Nicole:
‎"Yes God knows their fate, but allows people to live to at least give them a chance at life. He loves his enemies that much. They will also serve his purpose of justifying his character which was tainted by Satan's accusations." - He loves... his enemies so much that he would prefer they endure the torment of a miserable life. What a good god:).

"50% chance of being right" Not exactly. You would have a 50% chance of being right about there being a deity. However your odds of being right about your religion are much less considering the abundance of "divinely" inspired religions. I'd say 1 in 40 at least (there are 40 organized religions worldwide). Maybe even less because we cannot account for those unknown.

An atheist has a 50% chance of being right because he or she does not subscribe to any other theory other than the non-existence of a deity.

"You should expect to fully understand his ways. If we could fully understand his ways, he wouldn't be God anymore." Again we come back to the Christian slogan: "God works in mysterious ways":).

Robert:
Nicole

Most of what you are debating I have been through over and over on different forums, and frankly speaking have grown a bit weary of such. I am not prepared to facilitate copy and paste discussions anymore. Most critics are famous ...for ferreting so-called facts from websites, be they historical, or otherwise to render support to their views.

As I have said before I will pray for those who take a different position.

Nicole:
"Most of what you are debating I have been through over and over on different forums, and frankly speaking have grown a bit weary of such." That's sad. It should re-affirm your beliefs to repeat what you are so sure of whenever the need ar...ises. "so-called facts from websites" Facts are unusable if there are derived from websites? Linda and Ryan have shared links from different websites to prove what they are trying to get across. Unfortunately none of those links have been effective on me.

We both do the same thing, you use findings that back your claims to support your arguments so do I. It's wrong for me to do this, but not for you. Okay then:).

Robert:
Nicole...as I have said this is where I take my leave. Wish you all the best in your quest. God bless.

Edwin M. Cotto: ‎"Yes God knows their fate, but allows people to live to at least give them a chance at life. He loves his enemies that much. They will also serve his purpose of justifying his character which was tainted by Satan's accusations." - He loves...... his enemies so much that he would prefer they endure the torment of a miserable life. What a good god:)."

This does not refute the reasons I just gave, but I guess I can try to appreciate your "emotional" response (a logical fallacy in any debate).

"50% chance of being right" Not exactly. You would have a 50% chance of being right about there being a deity. However your odds of being right about your religion are much less considering the abundance of "divinely" inspired religions. I'd say 1 in 40 at least (there are 40 organized religions worldwide). Maybe even less because we cannot account for those unknown."

I'm happy you freely admit we believers have a greater chance of being right, 50%, in believing in God's existence. Now this very facts helps lesson the number of other religions. It eliminates New age, Buddhism and Hinduism, which don't have a personal God in the first place. This weakens your "other religions" response. But then again, those other religions don';t have what we Christian claim is the ultimate proof of our God's existence, a resurrected leader. What Jesus claimed was confirmed by his death and his rising from the dead. This historical event has not yet been successfully shown as something that didn't happen by you or any critic.

"An atheist has a 50% chance of being right because he or she does not subscribe to any other theory other than the non-existence of a deity."

again your arguing from the "many religions" point. You can do that, but it wont work unless you refute the resurrection which shows every other religion is false but that of Christ's religion. I'm arguing your 100% hopeless in your belief that God does not exist while I'm at least 50% of being right that he does. This very simple fact is deteriorating for atheists. It's hopeless and actually fearful considering you'll have to answer to this some day if it turns out he does exist. But hey, if you can live with that, more power to you. I hope you have a change of heart.

"You should expect to fully understand his ways. If we could fully understand his ways, he wouldn't be God anymore." Again we come back to the Christian slogan: "God works in mysterious ways":)."

I have no problem with that, but apparently you do. However if it were rather true that he doesn't, and that we knew his every way, then this debate would be pointless as he would no longer be truly God.

I pray you consider the facts soon and taste the wonderful experience of what its like to know God personally soon, but if not, I'm happy at least those reading this debate can see the strength in the pro-God arguments (especially when the hard facts presented are ignored) and that there are answers to your accusations. I'm also happy to learn and have fun in the process :))

Edwin M. Cotto:
Nicole, I'm interested in your claims about the earth, its corners, and so on in your response to Robert. I'd like to respond on his behalf, maybe tomorrow (its very late over here in the east US) before ending our conversation. For now I have to get some rest. Good night (or good day I think, lol). :)

Nicole: ‎"I'm arguing your 100% hopeless in your belief that God does not exist while I'm at least 50% of being right that he does." That doesn't compute. Then what accounts for the other 50%? A god may or may not exist hence there is a 50/50 chanc...e of either position being correct. The argument is never Christianity or one other religion must be right. Therefore I indeed have the higher probability of being right overall:).

"pro-God arguments (especially when the hard facts presented are ignored) and that there are answers to your accusations. I'm also happy to learn and have fun in the process :))" - Hard facts? We must have been indulging in two very different conversations:). Yes I find these discussions to be intellectually stimulating and fun too:).

Nicole:
"Luke as an expert witness." I wasn't ignoring it I just don't put that much trust in any one person expert or not (especially if what's being presented seems unbelievable). I addressed it by saying one had to believe the words of a few or something to that effect.

Nicole:
Yeah it's night here, same place tomorrow lol!

Edwin M. Cotto: I'm obliged to consider them hard-facts on the basis of your casually ignoring them, among other reasons. :)) But I understand you probably don't have the time to respond to everything I present I suppose. I'll be back tomorrow.

Edwin M. Cotto: "I'm arguing your 100% hopeless in your belief that God does not exist while I'm at least 50% of being right that he does." That doesn't compute. Then what accounts for the other 50%? A god may or may not exist hence there is a 50/50 chanc......e of either position being correct. The argument is never Christianity or one other religion must be right. Therefore I indeed have the higher probability of being right overall:).

Maybe your not understanding me. Yes God may or may not exist, but if he does, and you never believed in him, the unbeliever will die eternally, because God requires believing in him to be saved. The believer believes in him, therefore he will live forever. If he does not exist, we both die and stay dead. But look, whether he exists or does not exist, the UNbeliever STILL dies in both cases. On the other hand, if he does not exist, yes the believer will stay dead, but if he does (here's that 50% chance) he will live forever with him. On your end, you stay dead regardless. So simply logic points towards the possible existence of a god.

"Luke as an expert witness." I wasn't ignoring it I just don't put that much trust in any one person expert or not (especially if what's being presented seems unbelievable). I addressed it by saying one had to believe the words of a few or something to that effect.

No you never addressed and I think the points I made prove quite well that the writings of the scriptures can be trusted as true to history. The points I made, therefore, with regards to Luke above, his attention to details, the accuracy of his account on history, etc, merit consideration in this debate, because if its true that the writings of the manuscript can be dated to only a few years of the event, they reliably record the things that actually happened, like the resurrection.

Edwin M. Cotto:
Here are my thoughts on your response to Robert:

"The Bible suggests that the universe is thousands of years old not billions as scientists have deduced. The age of the earth also surpasses thousands of years. It also doesn't account for din...osaurs that lived millions of years ago."

Scientists are contesting this long held belief are are suggesting it is younger then previously thought. The idea in science is not prevailing that the earth is very young. One of the reasons for this conclusion is due to the laws of Thermodynamics, especially the 2nd law, which says everything is dieing, or decreasing (like a hot cup of tea getting cooler).

Dinosaurs are mentioned in the bible. I'll site them from the books of Job and Isaiah if you must have them.

"There is... mention of a circle (not a sphere) hanging in space."

When in doubt, I once question a Christian on this same thing. I argued that a circles is different from a sphere. He pointed me towards the full moon that night and said "look at that circle, is it a sphere or not?"

"However there is also mention of an earth with corners."

When the bible speaks of the four corners, is means north, south, east and west. Not literal corners.

"He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in." Yet we have travelled to outer space and surpassed the clouds and not encountered the heaven above."

The bible mentions more then one kind of heavens:

2 Cor. 12:2 "...such an one caught up to the third heaven."

First heaven: the sky we can see, our atmosphere
Second: out space
Third: Heaven God's dwelling place

I things your confusing them. Isaiah says "to live in" so he is speaking about the First heavens, our atmosphere, which we live in.

"However the shape of the earth being spherical would have been known by a few astronomers during and before the time of Isaiah, the first being the Egyptians who are said to have known from about 2550 BC. Pythagoras who lived around the period of 532 B.C. also knew and defended the fact that the earth was spherical. Hence why the knowledge of the earth's shape did not require divine intervention of any kind."

Thats fine, but the point is that the bibles statement is in accord with scientific knowledge, and can today be proven WITH science. In the meanwhile, you should provide proof of your statements about the Egyptians and Pythagores knowing through science that the earth was a sphere.

"...the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again." The Earth is believed to be stationary according to Biblical accounts. The sun moves, but not the earth."

The author is simply describing what he is seeing from his literal point of view from earth. He is not making a scientific statement. Indeed if you look at the sun yourself you'll see it rising and setting in the same place, although you know the earth is not stationary.

"The great flood that encompassed all the earth with 8 people and a few animals surviving has also gone unproven. Even if a flood can be accounted for these people cannot."

actually much has been discovered through archeology proving the earth was once flooded. Some scientists call this an Ice age (they made it cold). Man made steps and torn down buildings have been discovered under water, and pieces of a man made ship has been unearthed at the exact same spot where the bible claims the ark landed. If whether the 8 people can be accounted for or not is not debilitating to my belief in the bibles flood story at all.

"The creation story has pretty much been proven fallacious. Some try to use the Out of Africa theory to prove that we originated from one man and one woman. However they distort the theory by not including the primary fact that Y chromosome Adam (male ancestor) lived 100,000 years after Mitochondrial Eve (female ancestor)."

But if male lived 100,000 years after female, how did he survive without her to help him reproduce? How did "she" come into existence 100,000 years later if man had no female to reproduce with those 100,000 years before?

"There are many more, of course but these are the only ones I could think of now."

Bring it.

Nicole:
"UNbeliever STILL dies in both cases."- If you recall I did say death ends absolutely and for me that's not such a terrifying thought. Think about what an eternity would feel like, I could not fathom it. There is the possibility that an et...ernity would be even more cyclical/repetitive than this life.

"that the writings of the scriptures can be trusted as true to history." What about the disparities in the accounts from different sources? Also what about the debates that still ensue? No one has been able to definitively (and likely cannot) state that these writings whether form Paul, Luke or the like are indeed historically accurate (I doubt they are). We already now that the apostles had a bias: "If Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless.", thus it would make sense for them to claim visions and confirmation from eyewitnesses of his resurrection. These are not from independent objective sources. Hence I wouldn't be quick to believe their accounts.

"the manuscript can be dated to only a few years of the event." I am not sure I see how the dating of the manuscripts affect authenticity. We assume that whatever is written would be written close enough to the time of the alleged event. Unless it was passed down through an oral tradition and written later on. But regardless of when it was written, the possibility for it being flawed still exists.

Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"UNbeliever STILL dies in both cases."- If you recall I did say death ends absolutely and for me that's not such a terrifying thought."

Well its fine that you can live with that, but there are two points this was meant to show. First that t...he unbeliever dies regardless, second that the believer has a greater chance at being right in his belief in God then you do. Therefore simply logic suggests the existence of God.

"Think about what an eternity would feel like, I could not fathom it."

Neither can I, but Christians, whose possibility of being right in Gods existence is greater, look forward to finding out soon.

"There is the possibility that an et...ernity would be even more cyclical/repetitive than this life."

I'm sorry but I don't understand what this means.

"that the writings of the scriptures can be trusted as true to history." What about the disparities in the accounts from different sources? Also what about the debates that still ensue?"

I invite you to share some of those with me. Scholars have responded to these long ago. Example, sometimes one accounts mentions something happened in one place, when another account mentions that same event happened, but in a different place. Two answers have proven enough to the honest critic. One that the event happened twice in both place, two, that the place had two names for the same place, similar in pronunciation but a bit different in spelling.

"No one has been able to definitively (and likely cannot) state that these writings whether form Paul, Luke or the like are indeed historically accurate (I doubt they are). We already now that the apostles had a bias: "If Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless.", thus it would make sense for them to claim visions and confirmation from eyewitnesses of his resurrection. These are not from independent objective sources. Hence I wouldn't be quick to believe their accounts.

In concur that this is indeed possible as with any other writings, but if you consider a few points you'll see that this was not likely in the case of the apostles. One important point is that this claim that Jesus rose from the dead put them at risk for torture and death by the Jewish and Roman authorities. another point is their honesty in their accounts of the events that took place. For example, they mentioned that "women" were the first to find the tomb empty. This gave much honor to the women during a time when they were looked upon as useless and inferior to males. If they wanted to impress people with their stories, it would have been best not to include details like this. But the fact that they including these sorts of details, despite the risks that people would not take them seriously, shows how faithful they were. If they could be faithful in things like they, they can be trusted with the major parts of the story.

"the manuscript can be dated to only a few years of the event." I am not sure I see how the dating of the manuscripts affect authenticity."

This is probably because you didn't read my comments on this above. This dating is important because it prevents first, legendary corruption. Second its important because this means the stories were written during the time when the eyewitnessess of those same events were still alive. If therefore what they wrote or said was false those eyewitnessess would have controdicted them. also readers could simply walk up to those witnesses and ask them if this these things really took place. In fact, Paul seems to invite people to put his story to the test by mentioning that these eyewitnesses are still alive and available:

1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain UNTO THIS PRESENT, but some are fallen asleep.

"We assume that whatever is written would be written close enough to the time of the alleged event. Unless it was passed down through an oral tradition and written later on. But regardless of when it was written, the possibility for it being flawed still exists."

That possibility is weakened if you consider the points I just made above.

Nicole:
‎"Scientists are contesting this long held belief are are suggesting it is younger then previously thought. " - Surely they can contest it, will that make their claim right? Even if we adjust the estimate for errors there is no way billions... of years can suddenly become thousands.

"Dinosaurs are mentioned in the bible. I'll site them from the books of Job and Isaiah if you must have them." I suspect I know which verses you will use but I will say this, Dinosaurs and humans didn't exist together at any point in the world's history and if we are to go by the creation story or biblical accounts then any mysterious beast described and labelled as a dinosaur would be done falsely so.

"Thats fine, but the point is that the bibles statement is in accord with scientific knowledge, and can today be proven WITH science. In the meanwhile, you should provide proof of your statements about the Egyptians and Pythagores knowing through science that the earth was a sphere."

Wikepedia which is a reliable source states this:

"The concept of a spherical Earth dates back to ancient Greek philosophy from around the 6th century BC,[1] but remained a matter of philosophical speculation until the 3rd century BC when Hellenistic astronomy established the spherical shape of the earth as a physical given."

"Early Greek philosophers alluded to a spherical Earth, though with some ambiguity.[12] Pythagoras (6th century BC) was among those said to have originated the idea, but this may reflect the ancient Greek practice of ascribing every discovery to one or another of their ancient wise men." Even if not conclusively Pythagoras, it was at the very least suspected the case at this point.

There is a claim that the possibility existed that Ancient Egyptians knew of the earth's spherical shape based on the architecture of the pyramids, although this knowledge would have been arcane because it was still widely accepted in Egypt that the earth was flat.

"actually much has been discovered through archeology proving the earth was once flooded. Some scientists call this an Ice age (they made it cold)." You're referring to the transition from an ice age to a period of relative stability and warmth now. The ice age melting cycle occurs in 40,000-100,000 year intervals. Which would mean that any great flood that occurred would have to have been no less than 40,000 years ago. Also if you are going to get scientific any people around during that period would have been hunter-gatherer nomadic groups that did not live in civilized society as the Bible would have suggested. Earliest civilisations date back to about 6,000 years ago. Also, there wouldn't have been any ships around when the last ice age period ended, thus no way to place Noah and his arc anywhere near that period of flooding.

'But if male lived 100,000 years after female, how did he survive without her to help him reproduce? How did "she" come into existence 100,000 years later if man had no female to reproduce with those 100,000 years before?" This is why Christians shouldn't try to use scientific facts. There were other Hominid species around at that point. In other words, our X and Y ancestor genes would have converged after thousands of years of reproduction. Mitochondrial Eve passed her DNA into her offspring, at some point way down the road one of her descendants would have then reproduced with our Y contributing ancestor. But remember that she was not the first woman but one of many women whose genes happened to have been passed on to human populations today. We do also have other common ancestors that pre-date Mitochondrial Eve this is the closest common ancestor they have dated thus far.

It has already been brought lol! =).

Nicole:
"First that the unbeliever dies regardless, second that the believer has a greater chance at being right in his belief in God then you do. Therefore simply logic suggests the existence of God." How does a believer have a greater chance of ...being right? It appears you forgot to explore a critical part of your logic to come to your conclusion.

"If they could be faithful in things like they, they can be trusted with the major parts of the story." Actually traditionally women were just more likely to visit tombs hence this is the only way to make it seem more plausible.

"If therefore what they wrote or said was false those eyewitnesses would have contradicted them." The eyewitnesses were those who were already convinced that this Jesus was God or the son of God. Why would they contradict it? People in the past have believed in vampires and would have readily corroborated a story about seeing actual evidence of the undead. Why would it shock me to hear eyewitness accounts from superstitious people, who were willing to admit to seeing something they probably didn't in order to appear that they too are in some way special?

"That possibility is weakened if you consider the points I just made above." No it is not:).

Edwin M. Cotto:
This would be so much more motivating if you would respond to my entire rebuttal (instead of just pieces) as I've been doing to yours. :(

"Surely they can contest it, will that make their claim right? Even if we adjust the estimate for error...s there is no way billions... of years can suddenly become thousands."

lol... I'll flip your question: Surely they can contest that 'the earth is billions of years old' will that make their claim right?

"Dinosaurs and humans didn't exist together at any point in the world's history and if we are to go by the creation story or biblical accounts then any mysterious beast described and labeled as a dinosaur would be done falsely so."

Thanks for your opinion, but I disagree, and so do many many scientists who agree there were humans alive as well. They call them cavemen. Besides, Dinosaurs aren't so big and bad as the media portrays them. The average size of a Dinosaur was that of a small horse. You should do some research on this. Check out:

http://www.carm.org/did-men-and-dinosaurs-live-together

"Wikipedia which is a reliable source states this:"

Thanks for the reference, but my point remains, that the bibles statement about the earth being round is proven scientifically. Now, where exactly in the bible does it state the earth is flat? and if it does not state this, why is this even an issue for you?

"actually much has been discovered through archeology proving the earth was once flooded. Some scientists call this an Ice age (they made it cold)." You're referring to the transition from an ice age to a period of relative stability and warmth now. The ice age melting cycle occurs in 40,000-100,000 year intervals. Which would mean that any great flood that occurred would have to have been no less than 40,000 years ago. Also if you are going to get scientific any people around during that period would have been hunter-gatherer nomadic groups that did not live in civilized society as the Bible would have suggested. Earliest civilisations date back to about 6,000 years ago. Also, there wouldn't have been any ships around when the last ice age period ended, thus no way to place Noah and his arc anywhere near that period of flooding."

I shouldn't of even mentioned "ice age" because it diverted you from the point I was really trying to make. Theres too much doubt the ice age even took place withen the scientific field so I'm not going to concern myself with it. I will continue to point out the discoveries that were made supporting the world wide flood, which I detailed above.

"But if male lived 100,000 years after female, how did he survive without her to help him reproduce? How did "she" come into existence 100,000 years later if man had no female to reproduce with those 100,000 years before?" This is why Christians shouldn't try to use scientific facts. There were other Hominid species around at that point. In other words, our X and Y ancestor genes would have converged after thousands of years of reproduction.

Mitochondrial Eve passed her DNA into her offspring, at some point way down the road one of her descendants would have then reproduced with our Y contributing ancestor. But remember that she was not the first woman but one of many women whose genes happened to have been passed on to human populations today. We do also have other common ancestors that pre-date Mitochondrial Eve this is the closest common ancestor they have dated thus far."

Ugh... now I have to get technical. Let's go a little deeper.

No, because protein, dna and rna would first have to be somehow created, then form a living cell, in order for life to come about. But amino acids, the building blocks of protein, can not be spontaneously formed neither by chance nor my some evolutionary process of some sort. Even Stanley Millers 1953 experiment proved how impossible it would be for these things to come together spontaneously and form the complex cells we need to be "alive." His experiment failed because:

1: Only about half of 20 amino acids from which proteins are formed were produced.
2: Much larger quantities of other chemicals (like useless tar) was also formed.
3: Oxygen in the atmosphere would prevent amino acids from being formed. Researchers believe there actually more oxygen and less hydrogen in the air during that time then there is our in atmosphere today.
4: after the first spark had produced the first amino acid, additional sparks would have broken them down again. We know lighting storms spark more then once. ;)

The cell is too complex to have been formed by chance,so complex it actually suggests the work of a designer. Even if amino acids were formed somehow, dna and rna would have to have somehow been formed separately, out of no where and from lifeless matter and then mixed with the protein. Impossible! You can't get living organisms from lifeless matter. You can't get something out of nothing.

"It has already been brought lol! =)."

Without responding to my every rebuttal, of course. :))


‎Edwin M. Cotto: "First that the unbeliever dies regardless, second that the believer has a greater chance at being right in his belief in God then you do. Therefore simply logic suggests the existence of God." How does a believer have a greater chance of ......being right? It appears you forgot to explore a critical part of your logic to come to your conclusion."

are you just throwing comments out there just to throw them? I believe I made my point with this already and even got to you admit it earlier. If you still don't get how the believer had a greater chance after explaining it three time and after you admit to it, then I don't know what else to do. I'll just let this issue rest.

"If they could be faithful in things like they, they can be trusted with the major parts of the story." Actually traditionally women were just more likely to visit tombs hence this is the only way to make it seem more plausible."

But this was something a person seeking to push a false story during that time would have never included in his story, because it would have made it unpopular considering how inferior and "not as important" (for lack of a better term) a women's testimony was during that time. In fact the account goes on to say Jesus told THEM (the women) to preach the good news FIRST... to the disciples. Women preaching was VERY unpopular. If I were trying to deceive people during that time into believing my story, I certainly wouldn't have included this.

"If therefore what they wrote or said was false those eyewitnessess would have controdicted them." The eyewitnesses were those who were already convinced that this Jesus was God or the son of God."

Not entirely. Eyewitnesses including unbelievers and skeptics who were converted after such appearances. This makes this an even stronger argument. Unbelievers had nothing to gain, except the inevitable results of claiming Jesus was risen, torture and death.

"Why would they contradict it? People in the past have believed in vampires and would have readily corroborated a story about seeing actual evidence of the undead. Why would it shock me to hear eyewitness accounts from superstitious people, who were willing to admit to seeing something they probably didn't in order to appear that they too are in some way special?"

Read my response just above this one.

"That possibility is weakened if you consider the points I just made above." No it is not:)."

Yes it still is :))


Nicole: I am debating you on all your points. I am selecting key sentences/paragraphs to use as the central focus of my rebuttal.

"I'll flip your question: Surely they can contest that 'the earth is billions of years old' will that make their claim... right?" That claim has actual scientific basis, the claim you mentioned sounds more like wishful thinking.

"Thanks for your opinion, but I disagree, and so do many many scientists who agree there were humans alive as well. They call them cavemen. Besides, Dinosaurs aren't so big and bad as the media portrays them. The average size of a Dinosaur was that of a small horse. You should do some research on this. Check out:"

Disagree all you want that won't change the scientific fact that Dinosaurs pre-date humans and were extinct before the first hominids appeared. This is not an opinion this is basic scientific knowledge: "Dinosaurs and people coexist only in books, movies and cartoons. The last dinosaurs - other than birds - died out dramatically about 65 million years ago, while the fossils of our earliest human ancestors are only about 6 million years old." This isn't even a debatable point. The only claims to this theory online have obvious Christian links.

"I shouldn't of even mentioned "ice age" because it diverted you from the point I was really trying to make. Theres too much doubt the ice age even took place withen the scientific field so I'm not going to concern myself with it. I will continue to point out the discoveries that were made supporting the world wide flood, which I detailed above." Yes but any worldwide flooding would be attributed to that period hence you cannot remove that piece of the information when trying to justify your point.

"Thanks for the reference, but my point remains, that the bibles statement about the earth being round is proven scientifically. Now, where exactly in the bible does it state the earth is flat? and if it does not state this, why is this even an issue for you?"

It was said that science is catching up to the Bible and I am saying that, that statement is misleading. The Bible makes both claims of a flat and circular earth not because of divine inspiration but because there were two schools of thought on the subject around the time various authors began writing scripture. Less people believed the earth was round, but there were still people around who knew this. Hence it is not far-fetched for this influence to be seen in some writings. Ultimately you cannot use the vague descriptions put forward about a flat or round earth to claim divine inspiration. That is why I mentioned the round/flat earth controversy.

"Even Stanley Millers 1953 experiment proved how impossible it would be for these things to come together spontaneously and form the complex cells we need to be "alive." His experiment failed because:" I am aware of experiments on abiogenesis. The point is they will fail because no one can recreate the conditions that were present before the first cells emerged on the earth's surface. I won't tell you that this is exactly how life began but it is no less absurd (perhaps more plausible) than a supernatural force calling things into existence.

"The cell is too complex to have been formed by chance,so complex it actually suggests the work of a designer. Even if amino acids were formed somehow, dna and rna would have to have somehow been formed separately, out of no where and from lifeless matter and then mixed with the protein. Impossible! You can't get living organisms from lifeless matter. You can't get something out of nothing."

At some point something came from nothing. If there is a God then he had to come from somewhere, but because there isn't a claim that there is another greater creator he is therefore self-created. Thus he popped out of thin air. Regardless of the theory you buy into you are still going to be stuck with the problem of something being derived from nothing. Hence belief in a creator is no more logical. It is also less logical because we have no actual physical proof of this mighty being.

I mention mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosome Adam because this is what many Christians are now using to say we came from one man and one woman (the Out of Africa theory). They then go on to say this scientific evidence proves the creation story which as I have pointed out it does not by virtue of how the events unfolded.

Nicole:
"are you just throwing comments out there just to throw them? I believe I made my point with this already and even got to you admit it earlier. If you still don't get how the believer had a greater chance after explaining it three time and... after you admit to it, then I don't know what else to do. I'll just let this issue rest."

No I am telling you, your logic is flawed. You went a round about manner to come up with unreliable probabilities.

I will state the probability of your rightness again.

1 in 2 of being right about a God.

And a 1 in 40 chance at the very least of being right about your religion.

This is a very simple and easy to understand explanation.

[But this was something a person seeking to push a false story during that time would have never included in his story, because it would have made it unpopular considering how inferior and "not as important"]

I get what you are trying to say, however women were the ones who visited the tombs hence no matter how inferior they thought they were (which they did) the first account must have been from the women who went to mourn and do whatever else first. How would it look if no mention of the female mourners were put in these "historical" writings?

"Not entirely. Eyewitnesses including unbelievers and skeptics who were converted after such appearances. This makes this an even stronger argument. Unbelievers had nothing to gain, except the inevitable results of claiming Jesus was risen, torture and death."

Again eyewitness accounts cannot always be trusted. Also let us not forget that the number of eyewitnesses could have been inflated during the recording of the events, some could also have been a part of the writer's imagination. Like I said the writers lacked objectivity.

["That possibility is weakened if you consider the points I just made above." No it is not:)."

Yes it still is :))]

No it's not x infinity lol:).

Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"I am debating you on all your points."

No, your not. But that's fine. It can only mean your time is limited, your tired, or you simply don't have an answer to a particular response. I'll let the readers decide.

"I am selecting key sentences.../paragraphs to use as the central focus of my rebuttal."

On the other hand, I'm responding to your EVERY point. Which will the readers decide is more convincing of the two?

"I'll flip your question: Surely they can contest that 'the earth is billions of years old' will that make their claim... right?" That claim has actual scientific basis, the claim you mentioned sounds more like wishful thinking."

The claim that its actually younger also has scientific basis according to recent research by scientists. I'm only sharing what scientists are now claiming.

"Thanks for your opinion, but I disagree, and so do many many scientists who agree there were humans alive as well. They call them cavemen. Besides, Dinosaurs aren't so big and bad as the media portrays them. The average size of a Dinosaur was that of a small horse. You should do some research on this. Check out:"

Disagree all you want that won't change the scientific fact that Dinosaurs pre-date humans and were extinct before the first hominids appeared. This is not an opinion this is basic scientific knowledge"

and we ignore my comment that scientists are forced to admit there were humans alive during that time which they named "cavemen." How convenient of you.

"Dinosaurs and people coexist only in books, movies and cartoons."

Ok, and also in ancient manuscripts dated hundred and thousands of years before the cross, and in archeological artifacts.

"The last dinosaurs - other than birds - died out dramatically about 65 million years ago, while the fossils of our earliest human ancestors are only about 6 million years old." This isn't even a debatable point. The only claims to this theory online have obvious Christian links."

Yes it is debatable lol. Its debated all the time. You' even find videos on open debates on this subject.

"I shouldn't of even mentioned "ice age" because it diverted you from the point I was really trying to make. Theres too much doubt the ice age even took place withen the scientific field so I'm not going to concern myself with it. I will continue to point out the discoveries that were made supporting the world wide flood, which I detailed above." Yes but any worldwide flooding would be attributed to that period hence you cannot remove that piece of the information when trying to justify your point.

It would not be attributed to that period because the period of the flood is said to have happened a few thousand years ago while the period of the ice age is said to have happened millions of years ago. Both also being to very different events. The only point I was making is that some Christians believe that what scientists think was an ice age, was actually a world wide flood.

"Thanks for the reference, but my point remains, that the bibles statement about the earth being round is proven scientifically. Now, where exactly in the bible does it state the earth is flat? and if it does not state this, why is this even an issue for you?

It was said that science is catching up to the Bible and I am saying that, that statement is misleading. The Bible makes both claims of a flat and circular earth not because of divine inspiration but because there were two schools of thought on the subject around the time various authors began writing scripture."

'the bible makes both claims of a flat and circular earth...' no it does not make the claim of a flat earth and you can not show one verse to prove this. I challenge you to find such a verse.

"Less people believed the earth was round, but there were still people around who knew this."

God did not allow these people to place such a statement in his perfect Word because he knew it was not true. You cant quote one bible author saying such a thing, in or outside of scripture.

"Hence it is not far-fetched for this influence to be seen in some writings."

Which writings, the writings of the bible which we believe are perfect? Or the writings of authors we believe are uninspired and subject to error?

Ultimately you cannot use the vague descriptions put forward about a flat or round earth to claim divine inspiration. That is why I mentioned the round/flat earth controversy.

"Even Stanley Millers 1953 experiment proved how impossible it would be for these things to come together spontaneously and form the complex cells we need to be "alive." His experiment failed because:" I am aware of experiments on abiogenesis."

Interestingly enough, the term "abiogenesis" in its greek root implies the meaning: No spontaneous generation of life. The very opposite its trying to prove.

"The point is they will fail because no one can recreate the conditions that were present before the first cells emerged on the earth's surface. I won't tell you that this is exactly how life began but it is no less absurd (perhaps more plausible) than a supernatural force calling things into existence.

Well it takes more faith to believe something came from nothing, actually. an even more absurd claim.

"The cell is too complex to have been formed by chance,so complex it actually suggests the work of a designer. Even if amino acids were formed somehow, dna and rna would have to have somehow been formed separately, out of no where and from lifeless matter and then mixed with the protein. Impossible! You can't get living organisms from lifeless matter. You can't get something out of nothing."

I think you forgot to respond to this point as well. What an interesting style of debate you have :) I must say your less convincing when you do this, but we Christians are used to this.

At some point something came from nothing. If there is a God then he had to come from somewhere, but because there isn't a claim that there is another greater creator he is therefore self-created. Thus he popped out of thin air. Regardless of the theory you buy into you are still going to be stuck with the problem of something being derived from nothing. Hence belief in a creator is no more logical. It is also less logical because we have no actual physical proof..."

This is why atheists shouldn't make doctrinal claims. :) The bible states God simply always existed "from everlasting to everlasting" -Psalm 90:2. Therefore he did not come from nothing, lol. His "eternity" is part of his divine attribute that makes him by definition "God."

Regarding material things, which is the central focus of atheism, you simply can't get life from non-life, or something from nothing. This is illogical, and somewhat laughable, actually.

Edwin M. Cotto:
"No I am telling you, your logic is flawed. You went a round about manner to come up with unreliable probabilities.

I will state the probability of your rightness again.

1 in 2 of being right about a God.
...
And a 1 in 40 chance at the very least of being right about your religion.

This is a very simple and easy to understand explanation."

Letting this issue rest. I made my point and it remains refuted.

"[But this was something a person seeking to push a false story during that time would have never included in his story, because it would have made it unpopular considering how inferior and "not as important"]

I get what you are trying to say, however women were the ones who visited the tombs hence no matter how inferior they thought they were (which they did) the first account must have been from the women who went to mourn and do whatever else first. How would it look if no mention of the female mourners were put in these "historical" writings?

Your having difficulty getting around this. My central point is that the author mentioned it when it wouldn't be convenient to do so for a so called false story. I already acknowledge that women (well, men too you know) visited tombs.

"Not entirely. Eyewitnesses including unbelievers and skeptics who were converted after such appearances. This makes this an even stronger argument. Unbelievers had nothing to gain, except the inevitable results of claiming Jesus was risen, torture and death."

"Again eyewitness accounts cannot always be trusted."

It can be when their putting their own lives at risk and when there's so many of them. an unbeliever doubting everything and usually hating the Jesus event (like Paul) would hardly put his life at risk if he really didn't actually see with his eyes the risen Christ. Its not logical to believe otherwise, and you do emphasis logic, don't you? ;)

"Also let us not forget that the number of eyewitnesses could have been inflated during the recording of the events,"

Nope, because that number, like the 500 Paul mentioned, were still alive. So people wanting to verify it all could easily approach and interrogate each one of those witnesses.

"some could also have been a part of the writer's imagination."

again, there were too many risks involved. It was wiser, if this were a lie, to not even mention Christ in those days. But because they were so convinced of what they "saw" they put their lives on the line to proclaim it. This makes for a strong case in any court of law.

"Like I said the writers lacked objectivity."

Speaking of objectivity, you claim that all belief are subjective. But you fail to see that your claim that all religious truths are subjective is based on an objective truth claim (that religious truths or beliefs are subjective). Therefore subjectivisim refutes itself.

"["That possibility is weakened if you consider the points I just made above." No it is not:)."

Yes it still is :))]

No it's not x infinity lol:)."

Yes it is infinity times 2. hahaha :))

Nicole:
"On the other hand, I'm responding to your EVERY point. Which will the readers decide is more convincing of the two?"

You may have highlighted my points by reposting them in your arguments but believe me you are no more thorough, less so in... fact:).

"The claim that its actually younger also has scientific basis according to recent research by scientists. I'm only sharing what scientists are now claiming."

Yet these claims are clearly not strong enough to alter current scientific positions on the age of the earth.

[The last dinosaurs - other than birds - died out dramatically about 65 million years ago, while the fossils of our earliest human ancestors are only about 6 million years old." This isn't even a debatable point. The only claims to this theory online have obvious Christian links."

Yes it is debatable lol. Its debated all the time. You' even find videos on open debates on this subject.]

It's debatable to a delusion set lol! This is not even a debate from where I am standing.

[It would not be attributed to that period because the period of the flood is said to have happened a few thousand years ago while the period of the ice age is said to have happened millions of years ago. Both also being to very different events. The only point I was making is that some Christians believe that what scientists think was an ice age, was actually a world wide flood.] - Science ties any period of flooding to the melting of the polar ice caps. Thus the flooding that occurred would have to be directly related to that transitional period from ice age to a warmer climate.

"God did not allow these people to place such a statement in his perfect Word because he knew it was not true. You cant quote one bible author saying such a thing, in or outside of scripture."

[Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”]
[Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”]

According to the Bible the earth is stationary, we know this is not true.

[These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.]

That the tree could be seen from all "ends" of the world suggests a flat earth.

I only use these examples to show you that the Bible does indeed make reference to a flat earth. In fact the earth wasn't just considered flat in parts but erected on pillars: "He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble." By the way I am sure you'll find a way to say this represents plate tectonics and earthquakes, (pre-emptive strike).

["The cell is too complex to have been formed by chance,so complex it actually suggests the work of a designer. Even if amino acids were formed somehow, dna and rna would have to have somehow been formed separately, out of no where and from lifeless matter and then mixed with the protein. Impossible! You can't get living organisms from lifeless matter. You can't get something out of nothing."

I think you forgot to respond to this point as well. What an interesting style of debate you have :) I must say your less convincing when you do this, but we Christians are used to this.]

No I assume you have also read on the theory and experimentations that have been done to prove the possibility of abiogenesis. However like I already said the conditions would be impossible to re-create. Darwin and others suggested that the earth would have been filled with phosphoric type compounds, light, electrical energy, heat among other elements that would have produced very simple structures that could (and perhaps did) slowly evolve over time. But I am not trying to convince you of abiogenisis. It's just one theory that seems no less plausible than super angry/loving god theories.

[This is why atheists shouldn't make doctrinal claims. :) The bible states God simply always existed "from everlasting to everlasting" -Psalm 90:2. Therefore he did not come from nothing, lol. His "eternity" is part of his divine attribute that makes him by definition "God."]

If you are willing to accept that, good for you:). Many things in the Bible are undoubtedly fallacious, regardless of your unwillingness to accept that.

I am not making a doctrinal claim I merely stated a problem with your logic. If one says to exist one must have been created then it should follow that a creator must also be created. This is simple logic:).

"Regarding material things, which is the central focus of atheism, you simply can't get life from non-life, or something from nothing. This is illogical, and someone what laughable, actually :)"

Refer to the previous argument, this way you won't say I ignored this lol!

If you can believe God always was, why do you find it so hard to believe that quite possibly the Universe always was? At least you have evidence that there is earth and the surrounding universe, these things are tangible. Supernatural absent being not so much.

Nicole:
"Your having difficulty getting around this. My central point is that the author mentioned it when it wouldn't be convenient to do ...so for a so called false story. I already acknowledge that women (well, men too you know) visited tombs." - Traditionally women visited tombs first hence it is more plausible to account for those women discovering it.

"It can be when their putting their own lives at risk and when there's so many of them. an unbeliever doubting everything and usually hating the Jesus event (like Paul) would hardly put his life at risk if he really didn't actually see with his eyes the risen Christ. Its not logical to believe otherwise, and you do emphasis logic, don't you? ;)"

But people do not necessarily succumb to logic do they? Religions have taught me that:). Paul would put his life at risk for the devotion of delusional followers I am sure, I probably would, you probably would. Especially a man. Men like power, this in some way was a kind of power. People listened to him, he was the holder of "truth".

"Speaking of objectivity, you claim that all belief are subjective. But you fail to see that your claim that all religious truths are subjective is based on an objective truth claim (that religious truths or beliefs are subjective). Therefore subjectivisim refutes itself"

Okay still doesn't change the fact that one loses objectivity when one wants to believe something. And of course being objective I am aware that it works both ways. I too can be said to use some amount of subjectivity in my arguments, even if to a lesser degree than you:).

"Yes it is infinity times 2. hahaha :))"

No it isn't x infinity x π:). muahahaha!

Edwin M. Cotto:
Well, I look forward to responding to both these tomorrow after work, especially to the verses you "think" mean to say the earth is flat. In the meanwhile, I'll here post a part of my reply that you did not respond to (lest I have to accuse... you again, lol), and I'll read your reply to it when I return after work tomorrow:

"Also let us not forget that the number of eyewitnesses could have been inflated during the recording of the events,"

Nope, because that number, like the 500 Paul mentioned, were still alive. So people wanting to verify it all could easily approach and interrogate each one of those witnesses."

Good night for now.

Nicole:
‎[Nope, because that number, like the 500 Paul mentioned, were still alive. So people wanting to verify it all could easily approach and interrogate each one of those witnesses."] I could see them choosing not to interrogate them. But the f...act still remains we can't do that now, hence we have no real proof of this (they are all dead). We have to trust that these men who had their biases produced something reasonable. Trust is not an easy thing for a sceptic and rightly so:).

Good Night.

Edwin M. Cotto:
"Yet these claims are clearly not strong enough to alter current scientific positions on the age of the earth."

Well, I wouldn't expect Universities, Colleges, Libraries and so forth to throw out their books and recant their teachings. But ...nevertheless this is an alternate belief based on much evidence and research. Many scientists have changed their positions as a result.

"Yes it is debatable lol. Its debated all the time. You' even find videos on open debates on this subject.]

It's debatable to a delusion set lol! This is not even a debate from where I am standing."

I expect most of what we're discussing to not be debatable, so I'm not surprised.

[It would not be attributed to that period because the period of the flood is said to have happened a few thousand years ago while the period of the ice age is said to have happened millions of years ago. Both also being to very different events. The only point I was making is that some Christians believe that what scientists think was an ice age, was actually a world wide flood.] - Science ties any period of flooding to the melting of the polar ice caps. Thus the flooding that occurred would have to be directly related to that transitional period from ice age to a warmer climate."

But implied and hidden in this line of reasoning is actually a case for a young earth. Transition from a colder to a warmer climate only shows that things are decreasing (2nd law of thermodynamics), meaning the earth, along with the rest of the universe (which scientists also believe is decreasing) had a beginning,. What accounts for this? Christians believe a creator God does.

"God did not allow these people to place such a statement in his perfect Word because he knew it was not true. You cant quote one bible author saying such a thing, in or outside of scripture."

[Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”]
[Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”]

According to the Bible the earth is stationary, we know this is not true."

First, you answered out of context. I was speaking about the young earth idea, responding to the following comment you made:

'Less people believed the earth was round, but there were still people around who knew this.'

Not about if whether bible authors believed the earth was stationary. But no worries, there are answers to this as well.

Psalm 93:1: The author is implying that the earth will never be moved out of place (as in moved to another location of the universe, or perhaps destroyed completely), not that it does not move. The Hebrew word "mot" translated "moved" as the KJV has it, means "shaken, overthrown, fallen." This is why I agree with the KJV's translation.

Psalm 104:5: Same Hebrew word "mot" and rightly translated "removed" in the KJV. "Shaken" is not so bad either though. The point is that it will never be removed out of its place. Its like setting a small windmill on the roof of your house and saying it will never be removed to another location of that roof. But the windmill still rotates when the wind blows.

"[These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.]

That the tree could be seen from all "ends" of the world suggests a flat earth."

I couldn't find this verse, but it does not matter because the answer is in the first four words ..."These are the VISIONS..." Prophets in vision saw beasts and monsters (see Daniel 7), but understood they represented things and were not literal (see Daniel 7:23 for example). In other words, he is not being literal in those verses. He is describing a symbolic vision. Not to be taken literal.

I only use these examples to show you that the Bible does indeed make reference to a flat earth."

These are very poor example. Try again.

In fact the earth wasn't just considered flat in parts but erected on pillars: "He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble." By the way I am sure you'll find a way to say this represents plate tectonics and earthquakes, (pre-emptive strike)."

No, I believe Job is he being symbolic in his description of the awesomeness of God via the context. He is not making scientific statements.

["The cell is too complex to have been formed by chance,so complex it actually suggests the work of a designer. Even if amino acids were formed somehow, dna and rna would have to have somehow been formed separately, out of no where and from lifeless matter and then mixed with the protein. Impossible! You can't get living organisms from lifeless matter. You can't get something out of nothing.

No I assume you have also read on the theory and experimentations that have been done to prove the possibility of abiogenesis. However like I already said the conditions would be impossible to re-create. Darwin and others suggested that the earth would have been filled with phosphoric type compounds, light, electrical energy, heat among other elements that would have produced very simple structures that could (and perhaps did) slowly evolve over time. But I am not trying to convince you of abiogenisis. It's just one theory that seems no less plausible than super angry/loving god theories."

Fine then since you don't even subscribe to this theory I'll let it rest, but I'm happy you admit to its weakness. Lets move on.

[This is why atheists shouldn't make doctrinal claims. :) The bible states God simply always existed "from everlasting to everlasting" -Psalm 90:2. Therefore he did not come from nothing, lol. His "eternity" is part of his divine attribute that makes him by definition "God."]

If you are willing to accept that, good for you:). Many things in the Bible are undoubtedly fallacious, regardless of your unwillingness to accept that."

Thanks for your opinion, but it is no less convincing then your flawed logic of having life come from non-life. I'm interested in facts. Your argument that God must have come from none life as well is flawed because the scriptures we believe are infallible already answer this question by claiming he always existed. You'll have to prove the scriptures are not infallible to counter this, and your not doing a good job doing that when you quote verses out of context and without studying its words closely (example, the Psalms verses you quoted above).

"I am not making a doctrinal claim I merely stated a problem with your logic. If one says to exist one must have been created then it should follow that a creator must also be created. This is simple logic:). "

Well if you "believe" that God must have had a beginning from none life the same way living organisms must have a beginning from none life, your making a doctrinal claim, because a doctrine is a "belief, or teaching" -Webster's.

"Regarding material things, which is the central focus of atheism, you simply can't get life from non-life, or something from nothing. This is illogical, and someone what laughable, actually :)"

Refer to the previous argument, this way you won't say I ignored this lol!"

Referred. It remains illogical.

If you can believe God always was, why do you find it so hard to believe that quite possibly the Universe always was?" Because (and now I appeal to science) even scientists don't believe this. Scientists and astronomers have learned long ago that the universe must have had a beginning. The idea of the universe always existing directly contradicts the second law of Thermodynamics.

Edwin M. Cotto:
"Your having difficulty getting around this. My central point is that the author mentioned it when it wouldn't be ...convenient to do ...so for a so called false story. I already acknowledge that women (well, men too you know) visited tombs." - Traditionally women visited tombs first hence it is more plausible to account for those women discovering it.

When I think I'm possibly not explaining myself correctly, I think back to where you said "I get your point." So I'll let this issue rest also. Your repeating again here what you said earlier, but repeating yourself won't debunk what I said.

"It can be when their putting their own lives at risk and when there's so many of them. an unbeliever doubting everything and usually hating the Jesus event (like Paul) would hardly put his life at risk if he really didn't actually see with his eyes the risen Christ. Its not logical to believe otherwise, and you do emphasis logic, don't you? ;)"

But people do not necessarily succumb to logic do they? Religions have taught me that:). Paul would put his life at risk for the devotion of delusional followers I am sure, I probably would, you probably would. Especially a man. Men like power, this in some way was a kind of power. People listened to him, he was the holder of "truth"."

No, its not logical to believe that Paul, an enemy of Christ, would put his life at riskif he did not realy see Christ risen. Your idea that he would have power does not work either, because he already had power! lol. He was a Pharisee; a leader and teacher of a popular religion (Jewish). He is not going to logically cease his power in a popular religion to follow a religion whose followers often encountered death if he really wasn't convinced he saw the risen Christ:

Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee.

Oh if only you'd take the time to study the contexts, you wouldn't have to make these silly claims.

"Speaking of objectivity, you claim that all belief are subjective. But you fail to see that your claim that all religious truths are subjective is based on an objective truth claim (that religious truths or beliefs are subjective). Therefore subjectivisim refutes itself.

Okay still doesn't change the fact that one loses objectivity when one wants to believe something. And of course being objective I am aware that it works both ways. I too can be said to use some amount of subjectivity in my arguments, even if to a lesser degree than you:)."

Wow If I keep getting you to admit to things like this we might actually get somewhere! lol.


Nicole:
There are many things to address. However for now I want to address this one thing. God always existed according to the Bible. However as I stated before a belief in a God does not automatically mean a belief in Christianity. There are many... other religions that worship a deity. Thus I am not attacking Christian doctrine when I speak about the existence or non-existence of a deity. We are using simple logic.

All people who believe that the universe must be created believe that something cannot possibly come out of nothing. I am not limiting this to Christianity but include other religions and irreligious people who believe there is a God. Hence with that logic in mind a God himself must have been created. Simply saying he always was does not satisfy the first premise that something cannot come out of nothing.

There are many theories that have emerged over time. The omnipotent being creating the universe is one such theory that has been widely adapted by a number of religions. Again, no one can know for sure the true origins of the universe all of this is speculation.

A few men writing scriptures claiming divine inspiration means very little to anyone who knows what the human mind is capable of. You mention that Paul was already attached to the Jewish faith. It is entirely possible he had already grown fed-up with his faith and decided this Jesus thing seemed a much better thing to believe in, good for him. Nothing you have said about these men have made the evidence (which is still based on the words of a few) appear more reliable.

Also I'd like to add that the sentiment has changed over the course of the discussion. Where it was said that science proves Christianity you have now confirmed that Pseudo-Christian Science confirms Christianity. That is an entirely new direction that leaves very little to debate. It's pseudo-Christian science, thus its main purpose is to make scriptures appear more reasonable, which ironically it doesn't.

As expected all references I made would immediately be considered symbolic, this does not surprise me. It is always about context when it is not being quoted by a Christian lol!

"The author is implying that the earth will never be moved out of place (as in moved to another location of the universe, or perhaps destroyed completely)"

Admit it, when you wrote this you had a hard time convincing yourself you meant it lol! I cannot see how saying something does not move automatically means it does not move too much. For example if I said Ryan didn't drive today which of the following would be correct:

a) He did not go in his car and drive at all today.

b) He went in his car and drove around the block.

c) He went in his car and drove to the nearest convenient store and back.

d) He drove for 5 hours and came home.

Remember only one of these choices can be correct:).

We know that the earth not only rotates but also orbits the sun. There is no question that it cannot be depicted as stationary. I await your response to this eagerly;).

"But implied and hidden in this line of reasoning is actually a case for a young earth. Transition from a colder to a warmer climate only shows that things are decreasing (2nd law of thermodynamics), meaning the earth, along with the rest of the universe (which scientists also believe is decreasing) had a beginning,. What accounts for this? Christians believe a creator God does."

No it means the earth goes through cycles of heating and cooling. The earth is not young. Definitely not 6000 years old. Soon I am going to have to accuse you of scientific fraud lol!

I am going to re-scan again and see what else is left to address or you could highlight anything else I may have left out.

Nicole comes b
ack with second reply:

Nicole:
‎"First, you answered out of context. I was speaking about the young earth idea, responding to the following comment you made:

'Less people believed the earth was round, but there were still people around who knew this.'"

I assume you mean th...e round earth idea. And yes like I said there are sufficient scriptures to show that there was a belief in both a flat earth and to a lesser extent round earth.

Twist the interpretation all you want, "the four corners of the earth" described in Revelation is indicative of a flat earth there are other scriptures that highlight this as well, some I have not mentioned. But this one cements my view that, yes, there are Biblical writers that thought the earth was flat.


Edwin M. Cotto:
‎"There are many things to address. However for now I want to address this one thing. God always existed according to the Bible. However as I stated before a belief in a God does not automatically mean a belief in Christianity.

I already ack...nowledged this difference before. Once a belief in God is established, the next step is finding which religion is true. I believe the historical risen Christ will convince the honest researcher that its Christianity, because if Christ really raised from the dead physically, he really was who he claimed to be. This is why we got into a discussion of proving the bible, which you still have not responded well to me reasons but politely ignore or by pass them with random, repeated comments. You dislike the idea of going by what people "wrote" (although I already pointed out how a writing can be a sufficient witness in any court of law) and I'm trying to show you through various ways why what they wrote is reliable. That you chose to ignore those reasons is your own decision all together. and your entitled to that.

"There are many... other religions that worship a deity. Thus I am not attacking Christian doctrine when I speak about the existence or non-existence of a deity. We are using simple logic."

Whether an atheist attacks Christianity directly or World religion as a whole does not concern me in the least. I'm ready to engage in any battle defending it until proven otherwise. The simple logic you claim you use includes:

1) Life comes from non-life
2) That every belief claiming to be objective is subjective, even the belief that every belief claiming to be objective is subjective.
3) That the earth/universe is increasing, despite the well established 2nd law of Thermodynamics which says everything is rather decreasing, implying everything had a beginning.

A fifth grader could look at these three things and see how illogical, irrational and (as he'd probably say) downright "silly" they are. Your world-view is inconsistent with logic as this small list shows, and is a pile of "theories" debated even within your own circle of atheists and evolutionists. By contrast, Christians have "one" idea of how everything was made and they are consistent on that belief. The confusion in your world-view, compared to the agreement in mine, would make any person honest with logic and honest with themselves lean more towards the less confusing side.

"All people who believe that the universe must be created believe that something cannot possibly come out of nothing. I am not limiting this to Christianity but include other religions and irreligious people who believe there is a God. Hence with that logic in mind a God himself must have been created. Simply saying he always was does not satisfy the first premise that something cannot come out of nothing."

But heres the issue. It all goes back to the bible and your having to prove it wrong, because its not me claiming it, its the bible claiming God always existed. Now the reason why I accept that as a fact is because the bible can not be proven false. It can not be shown as untrue in any way. It can not be shown that its accounts on the historical Jesus ans his resurrection did not take place. For you to successfully refute my response, which was that God always existed, you will have to show me that the bible is not infallible as I claim it is. One of the ways you can do this is by trying to, let's say, show how we can't trust the manuscripts of the ancient text. Or, showing contradictions. These I'm ready to debate you on to show you it really is consistent and the manuscripts were faithfully handed down and preserved for us. Otherwise, my response, that God had no beginning because he always existed, remains unrefuted.

"There are many theories that have emerged over time."

Yes, confusion in the evolutionary world is very prevalent.

"The omnipotent being creating the universe is one such theory that has been widely adapted by a number of religions. Again, no one can know for sure the true origins of the universe all of this is speculation."

I'd argue that there is more speculation and assumptions within the evolutionary world view, much of which also requires faith, more so then in Christianity. For example, evolutionists move from the observable to the theoretical in a way not warranted by the evidence, as in micro and macroevolution. They can obverse without doubt that minor changes occur within species (micro evolution), but they extrapolate from those observations the theory that such changes eventually add up to the formation of entirely new species (macro). While microevolution can be empirically verifiable, the extrapolation to macroevolution is only a theory that has never been observed. Its a matter of faith. In fact, most of the Evolutionary Theory(s) is a matter of faith. That's why is classified as just another "religion."

"A few men writing scriptures claiming divine inspiration means very little to anyone who knows what the human mind is capable of. You mention that Paul was already attached to the Jewish faith. It is entirely possible he had already grown fed-up with his faith and decided this Jesus thing seemed a much better thing to believe in, good for him."

Please, lets use some logic here Nicole. It is not logical that he would be fed up with a religion offering him as much power as he had, and even if this were possible, he would never have converted to a much lesser, less promising religion as Christianity was at that time in history. No one in their right mind would leave leadership, honor, fame, wealth, and followers to convert to a group of men and women stricken with poverty, sentenced to torture and death, and hated by the world, unless he were absolutely convinced with more then just belief or writings of others. This is even more convincing when you consider that hundreds of enemies of Christ did the same thing! Your claim is too unreasonable. THIS is simple logic.

"Nothing you have said about these men have made the evidence (which is still based on the words of a few) appear more reliable."

To you probably not, and that's fine if you choose to ignore the simple logic I'm bringing forward.

"Also I'd like to add that the sentiment has changed over the course of the discussion. Where it was said that science proves Christianity you have now confirmed that Pseudo-Christian Science confirms Christianity. That is an entirely new direction that leaves very little to debate. It's pseudo-Christian science, thus its main purpose is to make scriptures appear more reasonable, which ironically it doesn't."

We can debate either or.

"As expected all references I made would immediately be considered symbolic, this does not surprise me."

If the very word "visions" in the beginning of that text does not tell you that what will follow (the description of the vision) will be symbolic, I don't know what your definition of "visions" is then. Could be a new Evolutionary dictionary you hold that Im not aware of.

"It is always about context when it is not being quoted by a Christian lol!"

Yes, its always about context, because a text taken out of context is a pre-text, in any writing for that matter.

"The author is implying that the earth will never be moved out of place (as in moved to another location of the universe, or perhaps destroyed completely)"

Admit it, when you wrote this you had a hard time convincing yourself you meant it lol!"

Absolutely not. lol?

"I cannot see how saying something does not move automatically means it does not move too much.

That's not what I said at all, therefore what follows from here is irrelevant, because your starting your example below on a mistaken premise. I'll show you now why in my next comment reply why your example below will not work:


My comment was too long to fit in one comment box, so I finished my reply in another comment box:

Edwin M. Cotto:
"For example if I said Ryan didn't drive today which of the following would be correct:

a) He did not go in his car and drive at all today.

b) He went in his car and drove around the block.
...
c) He went in his car and drove to the nearest convenient store and back.

d) He drove for 5 hours and came home.

Remember only one of these choices can be correct:).

We know that the earth not only rotates but also orbits the sun. There is no question that it cannot be depicted as stationary. I await your response to this eagerly;)."

Your example does not work because your comparing apples with oranges. The car is able to move from one location to the next, in any which way, in different distances short or long, as many times as it wants, whenever it want, therefore it must move regardless when you use the word "move" in that context. The earth only moves in one geological location and direction... around the sun, rotating. No more, no less. You can't, also, compare your car example with my windmill example. The windmill stays put on the roof top at that one location, but still "rotates" when the wind blows. My only point was that the Kind David meant that the earth will not be shaken, thrown down or removed from its place to, say, heaven for example. I went to the original Hebrew words to show you this. That's called "exegesis."

"But implied and hidden in this line of reasoning is actually a case for a young earth. Transition from a colder to a warmer climate only shows that things are decreasing (2nd law of thermodynamics), meaning the earth, along with the rest of the universe (which scientists also believe is decreasing) had a beginning,. What accounts for this? Christians believe a creator God does."

No it means the earth goes through cycles of heating and cooling. The earth is not young. Definitely not 6000 years old. Soon I am going to have to accuse you of scientific fraud lol!

It may go through cycles of heating and cooling, but all while its decreasing. Meaning the next time it goes through cooling, it wont be "as cool" as the last time. Same with heating, because of this 2nd law. However, scientists still believe its younger then originally claimed in the 1800's by Darwin and the like, and many of them don;t even believe it's far fetched to believe its 6000 years old. You should really consider the proofs for this in the link Ryan shared above: http://evolutionfacts.com/Ev-V1/1evlch06a.htm

Nicole: "By contrast, Christians have "one" idea of how everything was made and they are consistent on that belief." An idea that still lacks proof:).

Let us not forget there are still problems concerning a God.

1) He does not have true purpose (so... that we can worship him is a little superficial for a creature far superior to ourselves)
2) We cannot account for his origins
3) That he's omniscient means he would already know the result of anything he does, thus removing any possible motivation to create anything. (this is also tied to purpose)
4) He has yet to be seen.

With science we know that all things are not explained that is why it is a process. However science does not pretend truth where it is not conclusive. It posits theories that are put to the test by experimentation. A true scientist does not tell you this is right because I believe it to be true he/she presents an argument and allows it to be put to the test.

I'll address the rest shortly I am trying to multi-task.


Edwin M. Cotto:
"I assume you mean th...e round earth idea. And yes like I said there are sufficient scriptures to show that there was a belief in both a flat earth and to a lesser extent round earth."

Well assumptions cast doubt on your reasoning's. Inste...ad, context should be considered first. Uh oh, I said that dreaded word "context" again! lol.

"Twist the interpretation all you want, "the four corners of the earth" described in Revelation is indicative of a flat earth there are other scriptures that highlight this as well, some I have not mentioned. But this one cements my view that, yes, there are Biblical writers that thought the earth was flat:)."

We return back to this scary word called "context." Read the context of that very verse which mentions "four corners:"

Rev 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the FOUR WINDS of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

Here's how we know its symbolic, it also mentions "four winds" being "held." This is symbolic, because winds can not be held literally. Winds in the bible (when we let the bible interpret itself) symbolize destruction, ruin. The symbol means to show that God commissioned his angels to all over the world (north, south, east, west -four corners) to delay destruction until God's people are sealed on their foreheads (as shown in the following verses). I'm sure you will still call this "twisting" the only accusation you have left, but nevertheless I remained within the verse, its context and within the bible itself to explain it.

The whole book of Revelation is highly symbolic, and its purpose is symbolic actually. The very word "revelation" means "revealed." You shouldn't claim something literal from a symbolic book. That's just straight up not logical, lol. ;)

I'll be back tomorrow expecting to respond more of your accusations (hoping you reply to "everything" I said in return). Good night.

Nicole:
"The whole book of Revelation is highly symbolic, and its purpose is symbolic actually." and yet you guys like to use it as a metaphor and quite literally at times.

I'll definitely have more time tomorrow to do this. Prepare yourself lol!

Edwin M. Cotto: Well, honestly there are literal events within it that it tries to portray. But the point is that the best way to know when exactly it is being symbolic and when literal is determined by the context, In the context of Revelation 7:1, where "four corners" is used, it is being symbolic. Nicole my favorite thing to debate it the bible, over evolution, history or religions in general. So I'm even more excited now actually. I'll be waiting (but please respond to my every point above as well). good night again!

Nicole: I will just wait.

I already see which point I want to tackle first:).