" Secular humanism predates religion by thousands of years." Given secular humanism is a religion, your statement is logically impossible. Now, if you want to say early ancestors were not aware of their religion, that may make sense.
"Your own religion does not require morals or virtue. As long as you believe and repent you get a free pass to heaven, along with thousands of pedophile priests." The Bible is replete with rather specific morality and you know that. You have a problem with the doctrine of forgiveness, and, frankly, most of us do when it suits us, or rather, our sensibilities.
If, in your mind, all of Christianity is liable for pedophile priests, I want you to answer for the abortions secular humanism has rendered. Have we topped 60 million, yet? How do square that in your mind? What is the moral standard that says its permissible to kill unborn humans with the same (general) genetic code and requirements of life that you have?
Secular humanism is not a religion. There is no God involved.
I'm not a secular humanist.
Secular humanism is not responsible for all abortions and there are thousands of Christians that have had abortions. I suppose if they ask for forgiveness that's not a problem in your book.
Morality exists with or without religion and many aspects of morality predates religion.
"Secular humanism is not responsible for all abortions and there are thousands of Christians that have had abortions. I suppose if they ask for forgiveness that's not a problem in your book." 'Twern't the sermons of Billy Graham that led us down the path to mass extermination. We can lay that at the feet of human expediency. And while that is definitively un-Biblical, you are correct there are Christians who participate.
"Morality exists with or without religion and many aspects of morality predates religion." - And gravity existed before Newton. God exists beyond our understanding of Him.
What is your moral code and what is its basis, Pig Doc?
Harvey mocks the idea of evolution as ridiculous, but instead believes people were magically 'poofed' from a rib?? The theory of evolution may not be perfect, but rarely do its critics subject the old talking snake theory to the same standard of proof.
I think the truth is probably somewhere in between the many religious extremes, and the so-called idiots are those who willfully confuse faith with fact.
Oh, except for anyone who thinks that planet earth is literally only a few thousand years old. THEY are offically idiots. Lol
Agreed that evolution does not preclude a god theory, nor should the god theory serve as reasonable proof to explain itself. i.e. - If God HAD to create the Universe become something cannot come from nothing, then where did God come from?
Whether bible aged or by any other means.... my point remains that any grown man who thinks the earth as a planet was created only several thousand years ago (modern 365 day sun revloving Human years) is an idiot.
-There isn't a world view (religious or scientific) that can avoid answering for the pre-existent. And make no mistake, science has to answer for a pre-existent being/force.
I'll take a page from Frank Turek. If one believes in the Theory of Relativity, this person understands that space, time and matter all came into being simultaneously. It also expanded in a very finitely tuned manner. So, given something logically cannot come from nothing, a force outside of space, time and matter had to generate our universe. This force had to be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, creative and intelligent. These are the attributes we give GOD. Not necessarily the God of Steve Harvey, Owl, spade, Bowsniper or PigDoc but "a God" nonetheless. That is the minimal rational starting point, imo.
Maybe there is no beginning and the Universe always was.... and if we are just making up stories to answer the unknown, then let's not kid ourselves. A starting point of the material universe always existing is just one step less silly (to me) than adding the additional step of an all powerful supernatural entity "poofing" the entire universe into existence.
If by definition you create a supernatural answer to 'solve' the unsolvable.... an explanation so incredibly magical as to be proof of its own incredible magic.... you must realize how that might sound to the unindoctrinated. And depending on how much a person allows word games to affect their reality, it goes back to my point that some people willingly choose to confuse faith with fact.
And that the planet earth is simply not several thousand years old in any rational explanation of its origin.
Once you start inventing magical and supernatural solutions to answer real world questions, it becomes a never ending descent into irrational thought IMHO. Not conjuring anything. Were I, I'd give myself more latitude to misbehave.:)
Maybe there is no beginning and the Universe always was.... and if we are just making up stories to answer the unknown, then let's not kid ourselves. A starting point of the material universe always existing is just one step less silly (to me) than adding the additional step of an all powerful supernatural entity "poofing" the entire universe into existence. The expansion rate of the universe proves it has a finite beginning according to scientists, including Stephen Hawking. Something with a finite beginning cannot be infinite.
If by definition you create a supernatural answer to 'solve' the unsolvable.... an explanation so incredibly magical as to be proof of its own incredible magic.... you must realize how that might sound to the unindoctrinated. And depending on how much a person allows word games to affect their reality, it goes back to my point that some people willingly choose to confuse faith with fact. This is not a "God of the gaps argument." Anything that exists outside of time, space and matter is supernatural. Particularly if it functions with creative intelligence - I'll offer examples when I have time.
And that the planet earth is simply not several thousand years old in any rational explanation of its origin. As an Old Earth Creationist, I agree. Again, nothing in the Bible ages the Earth.
See how silly it gets when you make up terms to create the unexplainable? Its easier to say the universe appears to be expanding, and we don't know the beginning. It could be expanding and contracting, and then bursting back out again, forever. But I don't think Stephen Hawking ever seriously proposed that the original big bang mass was 'poofed' into existence by an invisible sky fairy.
Similar to your billions of pairs of DNA argument. Its one thing to say this is incredibly complex, sure.... but that does not mean there has ever existed something infinitely more complex to create such complex DNA. Because once again, you have only created a more impossible riddle as a supposed explanation. And given it a name, and humanized its characteristics... which is the most utterly ordinary and human process to deal with the unknown.
When Moses meets God in the book of Exodus, he asks God, "Who shall I say sent me?" And God replies, " I Am. Tell them 'I Am' sent you." (paraphrasing)
As a young man struggling with my faith, that really ticked me off. I thought it was weak. Where was the Biblical equivalent to Zeus, Horus or Marduk? "I Am?" Really? But the more I learn, the more sublime and perfect that name becomes. Too well constructed not to be true - especially in ancient cultures. BTW, it is in our nature to fail to perceive God so when you call God a "sky fairy," it is in keeping.
You can say 'real' stuff like mass and matter just have 'always been' for all of time ... or you can choose to add the extra step of inventing a magical overload who poofed everything it existence first. And then say that 'it' just had always been for all of time.
I don't see how adding one even MORE complicated and impossible step advances the understanding of an already complicated and impossible problem. Call it what you want, but the truth is that it only becomes another term or place-holder for the phrase "I just don't know". Making an agnostic position on all this the most sensible of all.
According to a new study, people who claim that modern-day animals have evolved over millions of years have some rethinking to do. The study examined mitochondrial DNA from thousands of different animal species and humans only to find that virtually all current animal species only date back 100,000 to 200,000 years.
Mark Young Stoeckle of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University and David S. Thaler of the University of Basel authored the study, titled, "Why should mitochondria define species?" Stoeckle told The Christian Post:
Our findings challenge the idea that present-day animal species are millions of years old. A short summary of our view is “life keeps evolving.” What we show is that most (90 percent) of animal species have similarly low mitochondrial DNA variation. This is surprising because theory predicts that older species and species with large populations should have more genetic variation. We propose that most present-day animal species, including humans, arose in the past 100,000 to 200,000 years.
Furthermore, everyone believes in evolution. By definition evolution is the change of a species over time. The Theory of Evolution states that all things came from a single source (paraphrased of course). Unfortunately, both sides misuse the phrases and so fail to listen to each other. Finally, contrary to what much literature would have you to believe, not all scientists believe in the Theory of Evolution.
The universe is too finely tuned to be a product of chance but, because people can't comprehend such power, they refuse the existence of a creative force. To that I say entities,truth and/or concepts do not require comprehension to exist.
The prime example, for me, is still DNA. It's code - literally information. Since when did information ever derive from an unintelligent source?
The gospels are full of examples of Jesus interacting with non-believers. He didn't "walk away" or call them "idiots". He healed them while giving God credit. He praised and encouraged them. And most of all, he loved them, despite their religious beliefs.
Harvey needs a refresher course.
* Jesus did NOT praise and encourage the Pharisees and priests. He was rather harsh to them. But my take is He was really speaking to the crowds in those moments.
I assume that most who will research a passage will also research the context. I could be wrong.
Nevertheless, my point remans. Harvey needs a refresher course.
Harvey has lost sight of a fundamental concept of Christianity. Christians love all, despite their differing beliefs. We lead by example, believing our way will lead others to the same path.
Harvey is promoting a very anti-Christian attitude. I think he's smarter than that.
You need to read the context in which that passage was written. Jesus was instructing his 12 disciples to go and drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. He said, “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel."
So it's clear Jesus was sending his disciples to interact with non-believers, not "walk away" from them.
It’s easy to say what a brother needs to do. It’s much harder to assess his condition in 1:21 second answer of a pointed question by an obviously non Christian.
Unfortunately you are wrong. Most folks, including good church goin' peoples, are too lazy to bother to look past the one passage they are told to read. Most of them will just take what someone tells them at face value, especially if that person is well known "religiously" or has several fancy letters after his name. That's why so many buy into some of the philosophies today. Not a new thing either. Paul warns Timothy of this in II Tim 4:3-4 and the writer of Acts commends the people of Berea because they didn't do this in Acts 17:11.
And yes, I have been too lazy to double check what I was told a few (well, more than a few), times, and have also failed to look at the context of a passage.
Dad used to say you can make the Bible say anything if you want to if you don't take things in context. His example was the last part of Matt 27:5 - "...departed and went and hanged himself." And then the last part of Luke 10:37 - "Go and do thou likewise." ;)
I too am guilty of reading the Bible like "fortune cookies" at times, but I generally try to understand the context of any passage, especially if I'm discussing the passage with someone else.
And, I fully admit I don't spend enough time reading the Bible. I do know, however, that Jesus loved and often reached out to non-beleivers. Isn't that what evangelism is all about, after all?
Harvey certainly has the right to "walk away" from atheists, or call them "idiots", if he wishes. But that's not what Jesus did, nor what he instructed others to do.
Harvey didn't distinguish between receptive or non-receptive atheists. He said he "walks away" from all of them, and called them "idiots". Jesus wouldn't do that. Shame on Harvey.
He needs a refresher course.
I disagree, and the Bible is full of examples of Jesus doing exactly the opposite.
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Each Christain, of any faith, must find and march to the beat of the Spiritual Gift bestowed upon them by the Holy Ghost. ( Holy Spirit for you Milineals ) :^)
Maybe Harvey knows his gift IS NOT converting atheiests.
I cannot discern what is in the heart of a man I have never met, so on the issue of walking away from athiests, he gets a pass from me.
That is not a gift. It's a decisively anti-Christian attitude.
Harvey needs a refresher course.
Even through both sides think the other is friggin' nuts. :-)
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My Mother could not sing very well, so she was never in the church choir. She did make a joyful noise.
She could not develop a lesson plan, or an outline of a sermon, and was unable to speak to a large audience.
However, she did find her spiritual gift, and she taught childrens Sunday School for 45 years. At that she excelled greatly.
So are you trying to tell me, that because my Mother was unable to preach to and convert atheists, that she had an anti-Christian attitude?
Harvey needs a refresher course.
Just look at the effect Imposter has, driving people away from his liberal ideas, just by trying too hard to convert and convince at the expense of any credibility.
The typical christian here and, in everyday life fails miserably at influencing non believers. My guess is most don't have the Holy Spirit guiding them to do so is why.
The point I was making earlier is, As believers we are supposed to set examples for others in our life and, those who are watching us. However, we are not to waste time with those that mock our relationship with the Lord. With that task known by all, people love to point out where a man of faith falls short when he doesn't run around turning the other cheek meekly. As Matt proves repeatedly with his posts.
I have never read in the Bible where Jesus calls for his followers to be weak minded push overs. I do agree, idiots might not be the best word to describe Atheists. However, for the some people, it may be the exact right word to get them thinking. And, just like Jesus was very much to the point in his teachings, I'm pretty sure some of us are given the gift to be the exact same way at times.
That's my thoughts. The rest is between him and the Lord.
I've read this 3 times, WV, and I'm still not sure what it means. Should I feel offended or complimented?
I have had various christian groups going door to door in the neighborhood on many occasions. It's a bizarre peddling of personal religious beliefs, that they just can't seem to leave as "personal". Never have I seen atheists going door to door trying to convince people NOT to believe.
I look at the push for prayer in public school the same way. I don't want bible prayer in public shool, or chanting the Koran, or kneeling on rugs facing mecca, or spinning dradels. Teach your kids their rigious beliefs as a family, at home, and in church. Let's only have more math and English and science in school, as we are falling behind.
Did you lose your binky?
Religion is great. For some people. I send my kids to a catholic school in part because I like that there is a discussion of morals and ethics from a young age. I also like the values of the average family attending. Part of me struggles with that statement, there certainly are plenty of families attending public school with the same values, but who can not afford to pay for a different option.
It does make me glad that here in MA, public schools (at least in middle school) teach about religions and spiritual belief systems fairly extensively. It's not locked on Christianity, it's discussing that, and many other systems of belief, comparing and contrasting, and working to help the kids see both the differences and similarities.
That's great in my mind.
Modern humans were first found in the fossil record around 200,000 years ago. I have not read the actual scientific paper quoted above, I'm ok suggesting it's a one off or has had components morphed to fit an agenda. Especially since many modern animals have had minimal change in a lot longer than that 100-200K years angle. That said, that's way better than the Christian school in SC I believe that actually gave kids the correct answer for suggesting people and dinosaurs were walking the earth at the same time... Google around and you will find the articles about it. That's so far from reality it's preposterous! It's like teaching a kid a knife is called a hair dryer and wondering why they keep stabbing their head after taking a shower.
There were early forms of micro-organisms living here in the 3.5-4 BILLION years ago range.
Science, NOR faith can claim to know and fully understand how "this" happened... Science appears to keep getting closer though, and hasn't stopped looking. At least from the outside, it often seems the faith end is looking to come up with answers to science and not to accept it's own simple reality (to me at least)... It's faith. You just have to believe.
That's the common thread in basically every known culture ever. People believe in something bigger. Some guiding force. It helps them when things are hard. It helps them make (hopefully) good choices. Even scientists tend to believe in something... Mother nature, God, etc...
Science is trying to prove things. It's not about faith at all. It's about asking a question and seeking an answer, then repeating that. Over and over. At some point, due to the strength of outcomes and number of reps it's considered as close to certain as we can figure. I can not see atoms individually, but they are there. That's not faith. That's as close to fact as we can know.
Many people would say that's the case with "God". Great. The difference is that the former (the atom) is known fact, while "God" is known via faith. We can't see either, they are just known via different routes.
Apologies ahead of time if that last paragraph comes off rough. Not the intent at all.
I was asked in a different bowsite conversation by a devout Christian, who, is a great guy, something to the effect of: "When you are dying, wont it feel horrible if you discover you are wrong (for trending towards Shamanism)?" "No" was my answer. "If I've lived a positive life and helped people and tried to bring good into the world, and God is as amazing as Christians say he is, he will open the gates and bring me in with open arms."
And that's the crux of it. You don't have to have a specific brand of religiosity to be a good person and to do good things for the world. Religion does not have a monopoly on goodness. You just have to be a good person. Whether that's based on family and community lessons or hard wired, hard to say. Likely all of the above.
WV, fair enough. As a very public figure, and one who doesn't shy away from speaking about his religious beleifs, I think it's important to point out Harvey's failures. So, I stand by my comments, but I do appreciate your critique of my behavior.
You just have to be a good person. Whether that's based on family and community lessons or hard wired, hard to say. Likely all of the above. What definition of "good" are we using? What's 'good' for one is not always 'good' for another. I believe what you are describing is merely social harmony. Whatever that is.
For me, this is about truth. If truth exists, it does so SINGULARLY. There are no versions of the law of gravity, the laws of physics are not merely a matter of opinion. Similarly, a singular objective morality must also be.
I'd suggest, the basic moral / ethical code is just that as well, the "golden rule".
Say for some insane reason slavery was deemed ok again in America. If someone decided to own slaves they are not a good person. Golden rule explains why, but that should be obvious without needing it.
Can we work to create exceptions? Sure. It would be like a college philosophy class "experiment". In the end, it's hard to see where treating others as you would like to be treated is negative.
The only difference is that you claim YOUR god is the only real god. And they claim that THEIR God is the only real God. And that kind of shows how silly this really is. Because the concept of the ONE creator for the entire Universe only works if its the same singular source (who magically doesn't have to comply with the 'everything has to come from something' rule you invented)....
Meanwhile this little world is stuck in an endless game my god is better than your god, I am right and you are wrong, because what I believe about the invisible all-powerful sky lords makes perfect sense and what you believe about the same basic story is ridiculous and makes no sense at all.
Personally, I think we are going to find some other life in the Universe long before this age old argument makes any progress. And I will be VERY interested to see how that discovery then begins to play into this same old story line. Anyone else???
And while we sit on our golden laurels, remember, this is a society that, largely, idly abides an ongoing genocide that makes the Nazis look like saints. No, morality is as objective as any other truth and second to none in the importance of its recognition.
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May I kindly suggest you research the big island that contains Haiti and the Dominion Republic. One chose Christ, the other Satan.
Its fine that you do. I hope it makes you a better person. But it doesn't sound very Christ-like to immediately determine that someone who doesn't happen to believe YOUR fairy tale somehow hates the moral of the story.
I think these are lovely stories meant to teach lessons of life. But just not something a grown man should take literally. Same as I think the Santa Claus story is charming and teaches kids the spirit of giving. Its just that when you get older you realize its simply impossible for one fat dude to scamper house to house delivering presents. As a child we created a reason to explain away the impossible and have sweet dreams at night.... flying reindeer, magic to go down chimneys, elves to make toys, etc. The lesson remains the same, even if we grow older and wiser and no longer believe it all so literally.
You are free to believe what you want. As I am free not to believe at all. But when you get mouthy confusing faith with fact, you become Steve Harvey. Which to me was always the point of THIS particular story.
Do yourself a favor. Instead of taking task with what i just typed, It's imperative you do this. Don't let my frankness turn you off. Don't keep making excuses. Leave your pride at the door. Just try it. God Bless men
Kinda like...if you don't agree with illegal immigration, than you must be a racist and hate all immigrants? Why is it if someone chooses to believe something different, it's because they're a hater?
As far as comprehending what is written...ask 100 people and they'll all give you a different interpretation of "whats written".
As far as comprehending what is written...ask 100 people and they'll all give you a different interpretation of "whats written". So? That does not invalidate the content. You and I could read a biography of Robert E Lee and come away with different opinions about what was written, the intent, etc. but that does not mean the man did not exist or do what he did.
The difference in your mind's idea of what I said and what is real, has to do with people's contempt for Jesus Christ. I'm not saying this as opinion. Jesus himself said that as fact. That's why it is true. I'll say it again: Read and comprehend. If you had, you'd know Christians are charged with telling people that. We under serve our purpose by sparring the uncomfortable confrontations to those that approach their salvation apathetically.
If that offends you, I'm sorry. That isn't the intent. The intent is to make people aware.
God Bless men
So, are you saying that ANYONE who does not accept Christ is guilty of contempt? If so, it seems like a broad brush scenario.
" So? That does not invalidate the content."
No it does not. But it makes it more difficult to embrace when it seems as though there is so much ambiguity in the content.
Are you confused about Christianity? Or, are you just trying to make issue with me personally? I'm not being a wise guy. I am just confused by your lack of understanding the simple concept of free will, your disregard of the teaching's of Jesus talking about the responsibility of the Church, and your continual questioning of the fundamentals of a believer. That or, you are taking issue with the messenger. I can't derive anything else from it but these two possibilities.
Once again, this isn't about me. This is about cutting through the fat to get to the meat. It's not personal. It is just the truth. Not my words either.
Please excuse me for the interuption.
That said, we make decisions based on information available, and possibilities we can imagine, individually and as a cultural group. It's not a high horse to look at say, places in the world where serious injustice occur - be it stoning a woman for not wearing a head cover or enslaving people of a different region, religion, race; or other challenges facing the world, and see that golden rule thinking could help.
If we are taught that slavery is good, as a horrible example, you are right. It would be harder to stop or change. And good lessons are very often learned in challenging ways. That doesnt make it correct, or just when it occurred, just that we shouldn't pretend things never were - history is a great teacher.
The religion aspect with this, to me, is similar. If we step aside from God or Jesus etc and just look at the general concepts, at their most basic... I bet they are pretty darn similar or summed as a group (say the 10 commandments) by something close to the "golden rule".
We just dont need a version of religion to live with that mindset in play, or to live a positive and productive life for our and the greater good of the human race. It (religion) may, or may not help folks. Our families and perhaps communities can develop those positive approaches to living as well.
I really enjoyed your last (I think, it was about 15-20 up) post Bowsniper, it hit home for me.
That is why I often use the rough age of the earth as an intellectual barometer, because if you are closed to even the most basic science, you are holding mankind back in a very primative way, not much different than the Taliban who oppose education and science as a means of control, IMHO.
To be fair, science does make assumptions and is not infallible. But I do see where science and religion can coexist until something more definitive is know. In that wonderful middle there is a whole lot of grey area to ponder.
The Hubble (and soon the James Webb) telescopes are expanding our view far beyond what was ever dreamed when man first looked into the night sky. I saw Neil Armstrong step onto the moon and dream that I live long enough to see man walk also on Mars! Wouldn't that be incredible!! Discoveries of modern man are fascinating and keep me very much entertained, along with debunking the occasional Bigfoot story. Ha!
That is why I often use the rough age of the earth as an intellectual barometer, because if you are closed to even the most basic science, you are holding mankind back in a very primative way, not much different than the Taliban who oppose education and science as a means of control, IMHO. Which brings us full circle to Harvey who, basically, makes the exact same case relative to one's theology as a moral "barometer." I will add, if you think there is little distinction between a young earth creationist Christian and the Taliban, you are either willfully ignorant or patently dishonest.
A person that would truly believe the earth is only a few thousand years old in this day and age is so intellectually damaged as to be incapable of reading, reasoning, or referencing a sarcastic comment about the Taliban or anything else.
While that comment was more specific to their comparable scientific prowess, you can run with it as far as you feel necessary to obfuscate the point...
Hmmmmm........ Guess I'll tell my former coworker with the masters in mechanical engineering how patently stupid he is.
If we entertain foolishness for feelings, we do our society a great disservice. The earth is simply NOT thousands of years old, and anyone who believes that nonsense is an idiot (to quote Stave Harvey).
Or does that feint mean you agree that both of those positions are so ridiculous as to not waste time in defense, and are moving on to greater more debatable mysteries of the universe??
Now, for the sake of an honest debate, I am an old Earth creationist. I've stated before the Bible does not age the Earth. One cannot read past Genesis 1:2 without putting a crater in that notion. The Bible ages the Bible and the events contained therein. That stated, one's salvation is not based on what one believes relative to the Genesis account so I don't waste time debating the YECs. The Great Commission is not to make literal believers of Genesis.
I've made my position clear enough for debate. What do you believe, Bowsniper?
That said, I don't think the fake YEC drivel bears much weight on any real discussion of a greater power and the unknown origins of the universe.
I believe we live in a universe of almost unimaginable scale and dimension. It's very real with actual planets and stars and matter that appears to all be moving outward.... so I believe this points to an original "big bang". From that point it's all pretty much wild conjecture.
It could be that the original 'beginning' was a giant ball of matter that exploded outward billions of years ago. Or that this outward explosion at some point contracts again and repeats the process forever. I often wonder what would be beyond the farthest object (several entire galaxies already confirmed to be farther than a quasar, some 13 giga-lightyears away). The farther we look the more we continue to see. At some point is there an edge of nothingness?
You keep returning to the idea that something incredibly powerful and complex had to 'create' this first mass/action. And I keep saying that would be even LESS logical/likely because now you have to invent an even more complex and impossible creator for the creator.
My best guess is that the original mass for the 'big bang' was just always there. If there had to be a creator, then where did the creator come from. Oh, he was just always there. Do you see how silly that sounds? The argument against an existing universe can't be something that fails the exact same argument!
It only moves further from logic and reason to say the entire known universe had to be magically 'poofed' into existence by an invisible sky fairy. Or that because evolution has gaps in the known science and timeline.... it somehow makes more sense to believe a magical overlord 'poofed' a human from a rib (which is even LESS likely and supported by no fact or science or proof of anything at all).
Surely there are limits to what we humans know at any given time. But to just invent a magical solution to explain the unknown, give it a name, assign human feelings, and kneel in prayer to the 'All Powerful Oz' just seems silly to me. No need to fear the unknown, it is what it is. And eventually we may learn more about the origins of mankind, the same way we solved the horror of an angry god blocking the sun (a simple eclipse) or sailing off the edge of the flat earth (with a sphere), etc.
Much of what you say about the universe I agree with but unfortunately for your argument, those points (like expansion and entropy) solidly support a finite beginning. And a finite beginning requires extra- material causation. That's just science, or,rather, the laws of logic.
The only thing I’ll say in return is you can mock my intelligence and faith all you want. But, if you think that your faith puts you above that, think again. I truly believe that any person who can convince themselves all of this originated from a blob of ooze, a Big Bang, or any other of the numerous theories of creation, based on hypothesis, you exhibit the commitment of faith all Christians could benefit from duplicating.
God Bless men.
But it is not silly that the "original mass" was just there? I've always said that is where the belief in a creator has an advantage. From a scientific standpoint, how the "original mass" got there has to be explained and they are unable to do that. From a creationist standpoint, we don't have to explain how the creator came to be. Maybe that seems like a simplistic way out and so be it. I am fine with not knowing . I Cor 1:23, 25. Rom 11:33
As I said earlier, the more I study science, the more God becomes apparent. The Bible is full of scientific "facts" that we humans only figured out thousands of years later. There is a lot more agreement between science and the Bible than most folks realize. Ps 19:1-3
I went through this with the cult of bigfoot. No matter what rational argument was presented as fact, the Bigfoot religion could invent a magical answer. No clear trail cam pics? Only shows his amazing intelligence to avoid them. No bigfoot home discovered? Shows his amazing woodsman skills to remain hidden. No bigfoot hit by a train or a truck? He is smarter and more careful than man. No baby Bigfoot captured? Only shows his amazing parenting skill. No bigfoot bones? Shows their healthy lifestyle allows them to live hundreds of years or some other such nonsense. The lack of proof becomes the proof itself, for the unprovable.
Every religion thinks they are right and the others are wrong... the most self-serving and ordinary human concept of all, and one that belies any greater singular truth. If God wanted the truth to be universally known, it would be done. And to create a stpry where the lack of definitive proof becomes the proof itself (or test, or devotion, etc).... well, let me sell you some giant shoes for those Bigfeet.
I don't see anything in the bible that would demonstrate a supernatural knowledge or understanding beyond what ordinary man would have imagined at the time. No dinosaurs, no age of earth, no galaxies or creation of the universe except for a magical poof to explain away any unknown. Striped animals from peeling a stick thrown in water? The son of God needing to move a boulder to get out of a cave? C'mon now. You know who moves boulders? Ordinary people. I'm just not buying it.
If the unknown is scary and you need an invisible friend... then recognize that for what it is. A belief, a faith, a choice. I only argue for the difference between faith and fact, and highlight those creations of the human mind that are devoid of any basis in reality. At least until something more definitive is discovered. Until then...
If the cellular level can be so beyond our grasp and the universe ever expanding in complexity, it stands to reason there is an external force equally beyond our understanding.
BTW, I am not "inventing" anything. Were I, I would give myself license to indulge myself on a much larger scale than my faith permits - a characteristic common among non-theists.
The Bible is not a science text (though there are sublime mentions of scientific facts as Salagi points out). It is the story of the bloodline of Christ and it is THE story of love. If one cannot read the Bible as an exposition of eternal love, one cannot grasp its meaning. At all.
You are the one that left the “debate”. I simply stated the truth. I’m having s hard time understanding where you are coming from. I asked you simple question. You retired, then come back with the anger remark? Someone appears angry alright But, that isn’t me.
God Bless men
If we don't yet understand our DNA coding, it doesn't mean we fail to exist. It also doesn't mean we need an invisible friend to hold our hand and ease any concern until we find out. Man will study and learn by fact based testing and research. At no point does supernatural magic fit into an equation on the blackboard without being laughed out of MIT.
For that matter, I find the biblical boulder/cave story absurd from a factual standpoint. A guy disappeared from a cave and the security boulder WAS moved. Who needs to move a boulder to get someone out of a cave? Regular people. If the son of God were going to vanish, the boulder could stay in place and the story would be of a true godly scale. You know who screws up a story with ordinary human actions? Regular people. Why would Mary even be coming back with ointments if the door was blocked with an immovable boulder?
I am all for the bible being a store of love, sharing meaningful lessons in life. Jesus sounds like a deeply caring fellow and wonderful teacher. But should every story book be taken literally??? Of course not. Look what happened when Orson Wells had people thinking "War of the Worlds" was real. Otherwise reasonable people went nuts!
Just look at how upset this gets WV. :-)
70, you asked why i was so angry. I explained that there is no anger in me over this. only once have I been angry on this site. This wasn't it.
Everything you seem to be implying abut my emotional state seems to me to be the exact description that fits your actions. Not mine.
The only people on the uncomfortable side of those confrontations, aren't the believers. And, despite how popular it is to take task with the messenger for delivering the message, we all know the problem causing the uncomfortable feeling isn't that. It is the Message being delivered.
There is no anger, aggravation, or hate in that.
Bowsniper, you haven't nor will you make me angry. I feel for you. But, it isn't anger. God Bless men
Fair enough. Problem is, not everyone that delivers the message is qualified to do so. Common sense goes a long way. To the skeptic, there is nothing common, or sensible about it...especially if it's being delivered by a couple of snot nosed kids going door to door. This is why I ask, "Are they trying to convince others, or themselves?"
For that matter, I find the biblical boulder/cave story absurd from a factual standpoint. A guy disappeared from a cave and the security boulder WAS moved. Who needs to move a boulder to get someone out of a cave? Regular people. If the son of God were going to vanish, the boulder could stay in place and the story would be of a true godly scale. Actually, no, people would just claim the body was never placed in the tomb at all. You know who screws up a story with ordinary human actions? Regular people. Why would Mary even be coming back with ointments if the door was blocked with an immovable boulder? You REALLY know neither the story nor point of the Resurrection. The Resurrection HAD to be bodily in nature, ergo, no wisping away. The boulder was not "immovable" (Obviously, it was moved to close the tomb). The Marys even ask aloud in the text, "Who will roll away the stone?" Further, the Marys, as was the custom, returned to anoint the body. Not much of a stretch. Though, I imagine they had an abiding curiosity and ulterior hope...
I am all for the bible being a store of love, sharing meaningful lessons in life. Jesus sounds like a deeply caring fellow and wonderful teacher. Respectfully, you cannot even get this correct logically. Look at the things Jesus said. He was either the Son of God or a stark raving lunatic. Even the Apostle Paul addressed that point. If someone is "lukewarm" about Jesus of Nazareth, he is not really not putting much thought to the subject.But should every story book be taken literally??? Again, such a cursory understanding...there are prescriptive and descriptive passages. There are metaphors, similes, etc - all the normal literary devices. When Jesus claims to be the light of world, does that mean he has a wick emanating from His head? Come on, man.
I gave it a chance like most children/teens - I've read the books, attended the services, and sang the hymns. The songs are terrible by the way! Poorly scored with weak rhymes pleading in fear, so as not be smited by the all powerful overlord. I wish you could step back and really look at this from the outside.... its like a primative tribe in the jungle dressing up and worshiping a totem pole, singing songs pleading for rain from the rain god. Sorry, but that's just how it appears to a non-believer...
Owl - the laws of physics ARE the example of intelligent laws that come from nothing. The properties of gravity were always there. Man at some point identified, described, and named them. You can choose to believe that someone put gravity there for us to find (like an easter egg hunt) but understand you are just imagining that part. It's simply a "belief". That is where the train jumps the track from fact to fiction, and you should know which stops are real and which ones you are just "hoping" are up ahead.
I use the biblical cave story as an example of one that should not be taken literally. If Jesus was placed in the cave, with a boulder at the door and guards who never left their post.... and the next day Mary comes back and they open the cave and find Jesus miraculously gone, you might have something there. But instead, she comes back and the door is already wide open and the body gone??? The most ordinary non-magical disappearance ever! David Copperfield must really make your head spin if that's the case. Wow.
Could there possibly be a greater power that created the entire universe in a poof from nothing? I suppose. It just seems to be the least likely possibility of all to an unindoctrinated free thinker. And even if there was somehow a singular entity that created billions of entire galaxies, the "belief" that we are the only intelligent life with some personal continuing relationship and dialogue among the vast universe is just ludicrous to me. A very ordinary human invention dreamt up by ancient man. Though I do find the whole spirit/ghost thing pretty fascinating as to how it might fit into the world as we know it. There are some truly amazing things in the universe... I just don't look to answer from 2000 years ago as to what it might all mean.
I do believe in spirituality. I think it's useful for people. I just dont believe in any one specific version of it being superior, or more real. The general concepts of good living make sense, and often those carry over from religion to religion in different forms or languages. In other words, it's a mindset and a doctrine for people to live by vs actual facts.
I wouldnt say I'm an atheist. I find many concepts from Shamanism and Buddhism really positive. And when things are really hard, I may think: "if there is a god, now would be a good time to help out".
But it is very hard to believe there is some form of "master" who created it all. Very hard, as in, I dont believe it. Unless that "master" is something which will ultimately be described via physics or chemistry as starting the chain of events which we experience today. Not a being, but some action.
For me, that's a big player in the wonder of our natural world. How incredibly fortunate are we to be here. What a MASSIVE stroke of luck, that we exist at all. That there is this amazing planet to live on, and so many different things to experience on it.
4.5B years, at least, the earth has been spinning around the sun, spiraling through space. Mind blowing what has evolved. Mind blowing. Humbling as heck too!
Just stop with the door to door sales pitch through the neighborhood. Ding-dong....here is my crutch, would you like to give it a try??? Ummm, no thanks. - The door-to-door evangelism does not do much for me, either. But imagine how bad it would be if their "crutch(es)" were piped in non-stop in every waking moment. That's what it is like being a Christian in the world.
I gave it a chance like most children/teens -Doubtful judging by your responses. -
I've read the books, attended the services, and sang the hymns. The songs are terrible by the way! Poorly scored with weak rhymes pleading in fear, so as not be smited by the all powerful overlord. I wish you could step back and really look at this from the outside.... its like a primative tribe in the jungle dressing up and worshiping a totem pole, singing songs pleading for rain from the rain god. Sorry, but that's just how it appears to a non-believer... - Some of the songs are tedious, especially when the organist falls in and out of time like her hands are watching a tennis match. But, hey, no one's perfect. Many hymns, however, are profound and beautiful. You really cannot speak to my perspective unless you knew how many years I spent as a "non-believer."
Owl - the laws of physics ARE the example of intelligent laws that come from nothing. - Bowsniper, ponder "nothingness." I don't think you really appreciate it. Aristotle said, "Nothing is what rocks dream about." Simple but clear. If you're saying physical laws come from the equivalent of rock dreams, by all means, it's your position to defend. I cannot pretend to believe in the categorically impossible.
The most ordinary non-magical disappearance ever! - Now you're beginning to get it!
One excerpt I will tackle: The general concepts of good living make sense, and often those carry over from religion to religion in different forms or languages. In other words, it's a mindset and a doctrine for people to live by vs actual facts. - I agree. I believe people can so closely approximate each other's morality to, essentially, construct a social contract for peaceful coexistence. But when you introduce the notion of "good," you also import morality and that's where subjectivity starts to erode.
I especially liked your reference to the Golden Rule. Virtually every religion teaches a similar concept, even Islam. I've maintained for years that it's not so much about the flavor of religion that you believe in, but rather that you use the teachings of your religion as a guide to life and being a better person.
IMO, if there truly is just one divine creator, then he also created the traits in humans that cause them to have differing religious beliefs. And if so, in the end, I think everyone will be judged equally, regardless of what religion they've practiced, or not.
My take-away on the Koran was two fold.... (1) that if you believe the bible literally you might be annoying, but if you believe the Koran literally you could be a danger to the rest of the world. Very strict, often violent. (2) It struck me as being written by a pretty ordinary guy - with one section about not sleeping with any woman Mohammad slept with first ... and another verse about not bothering Mohammad while he is eating. Ordinary human weakness stuff ruined it for me.
Important to note that the Koran talks of three books delivering the word of a singular god. The Torah, the bible, and the Koran. Many similarities throughout, calling it the third book of the same story. BIG difference is that neither the Torah or Koran have Jesus as the literal Son of god. Makes more sense really as prophet, or messenger of god. Much more believable than thinking the all powerful creator of the universe impregnated a lady to send a messenger, when entire galaxies are being poofed instantly into existence. And what would Son of God DNA look like? Mary's X chromosomes along with some godly sparkles for the missing Y's? Not believable to me at all.
I haven't read the Torah, so perhaps someone else can speak to that here....
For many years, I wondered why European Jews voluntarily marched into cattle cars to be shipped off to Nazi slaughterhouses. How could they compliantly participate in their own destruction? Why had so many lost the will to survive? Or was it that so many thought their compliance would guarantee survival? Some Jews thought not and fought to the death, like those in the Warsaw ghettos, yet far too many didn't. I always wondered why, until now.
This aging Baby-Boomer can no longer dwell on past Jewish deadly compliance because I'm faced with the deadly compliance of people who look like me. The words of George Santayana are unknown to the less informed masses of black America, but the intended lessons should have been learned long ago. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Many of us forgot, and others never knew.
Black Americans are not being herded into cattle cars. Today's eugenics is not publicly barbaric, nor is it the maturation of scientific fantasies. It requires smooth lips instead of sharp tongues, pretended promises instead of protruding barbwire, and hidden death instead of open genocide.
I've lived long enough to witness the racist pre-Civil Rights negro-controlling techniques evolving into the self-perpetuating genocidal black machine we have today. What the Klan, Jim Crow, segregation, and every other racist policy couldn't accomplish has been accomplished beyond the expectations of the American Eugenics Society because of a singular unalterable fact. The society that perverts the family structure of man, woman, and child cannot stand, because every society that abandons the truth of God will eventually collapse. Once that foundation has eroded, the society will crumble under the sheer weight of its own depravity.
But many will say, "Wait a minute, blacks make up only 13% of the U.S. population. What is happening to them isn't necessarily representative of the whole nation. Also, America is still strong, and our economy is booming. Just because black folks can't get their act together, doesn't mean the whole country is doomed!"
That is even more reason to pay closer attention to what is happening to blacks in America. Throughout our history, black Americans had a strong faith in God. We trusted God throughout the slave years. Trusted him during Reconstruction. Trusted him throughout the years of Jim Crow and segregation. The pinnacle of that trust was on full display during the fight for civil rights. Unfortunately, after victory was obtained, our parents dropped the ball, and we let the air out of it.
Our elders engraved the harshness of the struggle in our souls, but they left out God's demand for forgiveness. They made sure that we never forgot being sent to the back of the bus, back of the store and back of the restaurant. They just didn't remind us that God always had our backs. They didn't want us to ever forget about the separate drinking fountains; they just never insisted that we remember Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. They always told us to believe in God, but their actions taught us that dignity and self-worth are achievable by trusting in government.
Some may say, "The church is still here. We fill the pews every Sunday, and we love the Lord." To this I say, so did many Jews in the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam. They loved the Lord in their own way, but not his. They worshiped him in their own way, but not his, and they also worshipped golden calves, thereby rejecting the First Commandment not to have other gods beside him.
Aren't we doing the same thing? If God wouldn't settle for a syncretistic form of worship from the Jews, why would he settle for it from us?
The pre-welfare black society understood the necessity for respect and responsibility. From slavery until LBJ's War on Poverty programs, intact black American families were the norm. The church was the glue that sealed biblical bindings in the hearts and minds of the family. Fathers governed their households, and young men were less likely to become criminals. Fornicators and adulterers were unwelcomed parasites. Premarital pregnancies were a rarity, as they were a cause for shame and reproach.
In 1950, eighty-five years after slavery, the two-parent black household was 78%. By the mid-sixties, black lives started to matter much less under LBJ's Great Society. Now, just fifty-three years after the War on Poverty began, the once stable two-parent black household has disintegrated to an abysmal 27%, and the black church is all but silent! The roots of this catastrophe were sown the minute the black church started trusting in government instead of God.
While the two major political parties share joint responsibility for the state of government, the Democratic Party has placed itself in direct opposition to God. Those whose stand against God dig their own graves, and the black church by and large has decided to dig alongside the Democrats.
Contrary to the first covenant God made with man, that a man shall leave is parents and cleave to his wife, the Democratic Party accepts, defends, and promotes the blasphemy called "same-sex marriage." Contrary to the fact that man was made in the image of God, thereby having intrinsic value far above any other creature, the Democratic Party endorses, justifies, and defends euthanasia. Contrary to the Lord's commandment that we shall not murder, the Democratic Party supports and defends abortion for any reason up to birth.
The Democratic Party's promotion of same-sex "marriage," euthanasia, and abortion shows its complete distain for the God of the Bible. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, "The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority."
Those prophetic words from the late Dr. King foretold the judgment evident in large segments of the black church today. If the black church were still the conscience of America, she would soundly condemn every affront to God.
Instead, we have filled our pulpits with biblically disobedient pastoral pretenders who endorse the God-dishonoring policies of the Democratic Party. Even though judgment will begin in the house of the Lord, they have no fear of God. The human rewards they gather today will cost them a godless reward throughout eternity. To whom much is given, much is required.
When the black family trusted in God, there were difficult days, but God always saw us through them. With our present trust in government, we still have difficult days, but will God continue to be our guide? Being only 13% of the population, we have over 30% of the abortions and account for 40% of the criminal justice statistics, and at 27%, the black two-parent family is almost nonexistent.
The Jewish people survived the diaspora and Nazi genocide because of the prophetic plans of God. He even brought them back to the Promised Land. The only land for black Americans is America. The only hope for the black family is complete repentance and a return to trusting in God. If we fail to repent, ours may just be the foreshadow of the fate awaiting the rest of the nation. If that happens, we can forget about partaking in this melting pot called America, because all that will remain of us is a stain at the bottom of the pot.
But Slade lost me with those last two posts. Ya really need to add some personal text explaining what you are sharing amd how it relates to the conversation. A big cut-N-paste news story comparing blacks and jews? A country music video? In what context??
Many years ago, in Marine boot camp, I had a definite ghost encounter. Something woke me up... I saw guys scrambling to get dressed.... so I got up and quickly started getting dressed too. As I became more awake (at least one sock on by now) I saw it was only those several guys moving so I stopped and asked them what they were doing. No answer. I could see them in the dark maybe 15-20ft away, wearing the military white boxers and t-shirts of the time, standing and moving quickly to get dressed. So I turned and started waking my top bunk guy to get moving (who was annoyed and just went back to sleep). When I turned back around the original guys were gone. Nothing. So I went back to sleep thinking I imagined the whole thing. Though wearing socks now. Ha!
Morning comes, and things were crazy. Drill Instructors going more berserk, more furious than we had ever seen. At one point, a guy in the opposite row of bunks said he saw me talk to ghosts that night. He saw the whole thing... them dressing, me talking to them, then gone! And we soon found out that on that night the Marines were killed in Beirut. It was Oct 1983.
So how can I square this idea of spirit/ghosts with my idea of how the universe might exist? One thought I had is the Buddhist idea of reincarnation. Think about it!
It doesn't really make much sense to keep cranking out an endess line of souls, and then stacking them up after a very short human life span, hundreds of billions stored in a floaty sky cloud. Where would that even be located in the universe? That whole story about heaven and hell seems totally made up by ordinary man based on simple fears of life after death.
However, what if there really was reincarnation (as some people claim to have experienced)? Souls being an energy, where energy can neither be created or destroyed. For each death a soul returns with a new life to start again in an endless cycle. The Buddhists believe this includes animals, too. And as I thought about it, it seems to me that while there are more humans in the world every year, there might be less animals, thus keeping the total soul count in perfect balance.
And then ghosts are those sad few who, because of some tragic event in death, "miss" the normal cycle and are lost for some period of time? Something to ponder!!
- What's really cool is that, between the Torah and the Koran, they tell the full story of the Resurrection without putting it all together. The Torah says Christ died but did not rise and Koran states that Jesus "rose" after the crucifixion but did not die (I believe it contends another died in His place.)
Makes more sense really as prophet, or messenger of god. Much more believable than thinking the all powerful creator of the universe impregnated a lady to send a messenger, when entire galaxies are being poofed instantly into existence. And what would Son of God DNA look like? Mary's X chromosomes along with some godly sparkles for the missing Y's? Not believable to me at all. - Doctrinally, Jesus what not a messenger and the Y's were Y's. Jesus was a man as well as God. Think about this for a matter of perspective, the western world has only had widespread distribution of the electric grid, what about 75 years(?) and can already perform artificial insemination. If there is a higher power (of any description), the virgin birth is a rather pedestrian feat.
Snip, snap, snout. This tale's told out.
I used "floaty cloud" for heaven because that is generally how it is illustrated in pictures. No? And ridiculous phrases are necessary for me as a way of describing how these things really sound/appear to the non-believers. Still.... along the way we are exploring the basics of what each group believes and some of the why. Not entirely devoid of substance. Have some fun. You won't really be banished to eternal hell for cracking a smile once in a while. God has a sense of humor.... (psalm 2:4)
Speaking of which, if you think heaven and hell are real... where exactly might they be? I mean really, if you had to guess. A place somewhere in the universe? Some 4th dimensional portal? If souls are going there, there needs to be a there there. What do believers actually believe, and why?
Bowsniper, As for your descriptors of Christian concepts and viewpoints, they don't come off as funny. One of those times the inflection in your head does not translate to the words on the screen as intended.
GG cleanly summarized a key to the whole area to me: "... it's not so much about the flavor of religion that you believe in, but rather that you use the teachings of your religion as a guide to life and being a better person."
I suspect one could morph those words, in particular: "better person" into something bad. For example: that person has different religious/spiritual belief's than I do, thus they are bad or should be fixed so they are more like me... etc. I don't read his point that way, as I thought about it, I could imagine someone saying something like that about it though... "What's a better person?" for example.
I may be taking GG's point out of context, so this (below) is what I see in that mentality.
Our spiritual system of beliefs supports the desire we have to be, and do good, for the greater world.
That could be our immediate family, community, state, country, species, environment etc. The circles keep edging out and are related.
I really liked that statement from GG. It reflects an important point. If we use our spiritual belief's (from Atheism to Christianity and Pagan to Zen) to better the world, that's a positive.
I've debated this topic here on the bowsite for decades at this point.....it is not an intellectual pursuit. It is a discussion of different people's superstitions. You are debating what is by definition unknowable......something that is simply a matter of faith.
People believe in lots of things... there is a lady that is in love with London Bridge and think they have a relationship too. Some people believe the most ridiculous things to fill some empty void in their lives.
In the case of religion, I often wonder WHY people believe what they do, and how far it goes. When on the surface it seems so utterly far fetched. If they believe every single line of any religious book as fact, it is cause for concern and perhaps some mockery. If that hurts some feelings its probably because deep down that know how crazy it sounds too....or even worse, because they DON'T! But when its a healthy balance between faith and reality, then it is interesting to share viewpoints and experiences. Owl provides some good back and forth on that basis.
I certainly don't know all the answers, but I am also not afraid to ask the hard questions (even if without much tact) :-)
I ask that under the concept that those who think they are going to heaven when they die.... where you think you might actually go (where the soul would move to) if not here.
And do you think the Islamic place described in the Koran with 72 virgins and gardens, etc. is describing the same place in the big picture???
You keep using the word religion. The relationship with Christ that is needed to get you to heaven is the definition of the death of religion. Religion and, it's man made fallacies do nothing but make mankind feel better about themselves. Religion is fruitless. That much I will say we agree on.
Where we differ is the knowledge of God and, the presence of the Holy Spirit. I won't go further into that because it is obvious you aren't lost with the concept. You just choose not to accept it as reality. To that I will say if you ever meet the Lord, on his terms, there will be no doubt of his existence. No amount of mocking or denying it will change that. It is something that every believer has experienced when they met the Lord. Knowing the Lord isn't faith. It's acknowledging and accepting him on his terms. Faith is what Believers have in the teaching of Christ and the Bible. Not what saves them.
Anyways, I will pray away for you. Take care and God Bless
I ask that under the concept that those who think they are going to heaven when they die.... where you think you might actually go (where the soul would move to) if not here. Other than what's outlined in Revelation, I don't know. Even that, I wonder may very well be symbolic.
And do you think the Islamic place described in the Koran with 72 virgins and gardens, etc. is describing the same place in the big picture??? Definitely not.
-I really like that, WVM. An interpretation proven by those who sought to have Him killed.
I think, originally, we lay where we died and were returned to the earth slowly over time. Eventually, that morphed into others in our unit moving our bodies away from how living areas, eventually burying them and allowing our bodies to give something back to the earth, a minor repayment on the debt of life it gave us for however many years we survived.
As spirituality formalized more and more, rituals evolved. They changed those steps. And today for most of us, we are placed back into the earth, unable to give anything back to the earth, as we are within boxes of various shapes and sizes pending the burial approach we decided upon, or which was decided upon for us.
We most certainly live on, at least for a while. We live on in those we left behind. Not just genetically, but in the ways we may have changed the world and the memories those who knew us carry forward. Things we may have taught, or experiences we had with others, will change how they relate to the world in some way, and in that way, we live on. In that way, we are not quite immortal or living the after life... But we, the dead, are at rest... Those surrounding us carry us on.
Some what merciless, yet oddly beautiful. The fact that memories of my grandfather, dead close to 25 years now, help steer some of my choices today, even influencing how I behave as a dad is amazing. What an impact any life can bring to those around it!
Knowing that, influences my behavior. My choices. I could be a jerk. I could be the guy who blatantly cut in front of about 4 or 5 of us at the bank today. I could be the person at a Catholic Mass who leaves after taking communion, rather than sticking around for the end. I could be rude, hurtful... you get the idea. But I choose to try to be a good human being who does good things for others and hopefully, in some small way, helps improve the world.
Successful? Nah. Sometimes, but not all the time. No one could be.
In a lot of ways, that's the same sort of stuff religion motivates for those who are believers in a specific "school" of thought.
I'd be curious to see BowSnipers thoughts, and others. How about you Owl. When you die, what happens and where do you go? How about non believers or non Christians, where do they go?
Could faith not only be trust, but also hope? Because from my perspective you have no real clue what is going to happen, but you have faith/hope in what you believe will be. That you will die one day is certain, but you "believe" you will then meet Christ.
I think when we die we go into the ground and are eaten by worms. At least our bodies. It's the reality as far as anyone really knows, pious internet rambling aside. If I had to guess about spirituality, I have reason to think our 'souls' or life energy or whatever its called is reincarnated. And that energy is in a continuous circle of life. Our bodies dissolve and those molecules also recycle in the great circle of life. We are always something, somewhere here... just in various forms.
I am not Catholic, or a religious man at all for that matter, I just find it interesting that this Pope see things a bit differently.
- It's not "pretentious," it's part of the human condition. Everyone has a worldview, everyone has a bias and it is the nature of truth to be SINGULAR. That's not my fault anymore than it is yours. And Christians are just as vulnerable as anyone else in that dilemma. After all, if any of polytheism, atheism, secularism is true, than "billions of (monotheistic) people are wasting their time," right? Idling away precious life worshiping a make believe "sky fairy."
BTW, large portion of this thread is dedicated to atheist apologetics, so to lay the conceit of exclusion at the feet of Christians is a lack of awareness. BTW, you asked specifically about Islam, not Judaism.
Because from my perspective you have no real clue what is going to happen, but you have faith/hope in what you believe will be. That you will die one day is certain, but you "believe" you will then meet Christ. Empirically, that's true. But I have the words and I have trust in those words based on reasoning through the historical facts that scholarship agrees upon and claims thereof.
There are no atheistic apologists, because that entire concept (if that is what you would call a no-thing) is unapologetic. Actually, if the term atheist is meant to mean someone who "knows" there is not a god or an afterlife or reincarnation, that is equally wrong, too. As ridiculous as any of the invisible friend stuff sounds on paper, who really knows for sure??
The 'agnostic' is the only logical position because we only know that NO ONE knows, and the entire pretext is a waste of time.
The Zen mindset takes it a step further, refining that to only exist in the now. Eliminating the weakness of human want. Why would you want anything?? If you don't get it you will be unhappy. If you get it you will worry about losing it and be unhappy. If you live only in the now, there is no want or unhappiness.
Any thought of an after-life is at the expense of the present. We know what we know, we are where we are, and should not waste time inventing frivolous fairy tales in a hopeless effort to fill in the blanks. Because some might argue that heaven is the right here right now, this incredible experience of life..... and that now is being tragically wasted any time you are thinking instead about the later. Which may or may not even exist!
Agnostic only means that NO ONE really knows, which is a fact if you have the courage to face up to some hard truth. If not, there is always a security blanket, invisible friend, lucky rabbits foot, crutch, etc to help you make it through the day until you are strong enough to stand on your own two feet. :-)
No, athetists are not going door to door. However, they are using our courts to skip that. They are suing, protesting, and basically insisting that all Americans bend to the way they want to see this country. No “In God we Trust” on our money. No commandments in law buildings. Nothing but their faceless deprivaty of the way they see the future for all, is good enough for atheists. They can’t honor leave thy neighbor alone to believe what they want. Instead, they are trying to force upon everyone what they believe.
You’ve tried to position yourself in this debate as being neutral in the aspect of religion. Yet, then talk as if you can relate to a religion. I see you switching back and forth as the debate ebbs and flows. But, the one constant you express is your disregard of Christians and Christ.
You’ve spent this whole thread taking little jabs and cheap shots at Christians. Insinuating they are weak in mind. Being a wise guy with bloated ego and explanations why you are right and others are wrong. But, you commit the same offenses you so Adamently use to deplore Christians. You have expressed acceptance of religion. You are however rejecting Christianity. I’ll say it again. Your problem is with Christ and the God of the Bible. You have more then mistakenly proven that as you “mouthed” off this whole thread. Say what you want but, that much is very obvious.
You want the 10 commandments in federal buildings? How about the Jewish minorah? And a Muslim prayer rug? How about the statue of Buddha? Nope - you want freedom of religion as long as it's only YOUR religion, which makes me oppose your type most of all for the un-American viewpoint you represent (meaning true freedom of religion)
You have your church to wear robes, shake smoking cans, kneel and chant. You can do your wacky rituals at home in total freedom and peace. And if you want it to continue through school, you have dedicated Catholic schools to teach the creationist stories that real science ignores. But noooooo. None of that is good enough for you. You have to go door to door like snake oil salesmen. And then you demand to bring it into government buildings and public schools to indocrinate others. That is where a religion becomes a cult. Do you know who else brings religon to public schools and government buildings....? The Taliban.
I don't want to see ANY religion imposing on the equal rights of others to worship as they see fit (or to not worship at all). I happen to think ALL religions suffer from the same innate basic human weaknesses. It just seems that those who believe it most literally here tend to be the self-righteous Christians banging their evangelical drums out of tune. I don't know if we have many jews, or buddhists, or Muslims on bowsite; but they certainly don't prosthelytize the same way here. Or trumpet their beliefs in a way that invites similar criticism.
Look - if you literally believe that Noah was 800 years old and sailed around with two of every animal in a boat for 40 days and 40 nights, I think you are mentally deficient. That is not to say that there are no good Christian beliefs or practices or virtues. But if there really is a greater power who created the entire universe, I am saying he would be embarassed by YOU.
Owl - on a separate note, you asked a very good question that I wanted to give serious thought and consideration. But the noise from the kids table has created a bit of a distraction....
First off, it rained 40 days and nights, Noah and passengers floated for about a year. But here are some ark odds and ends some might find interesting. Using an 18" cubit (most common length) the ark would have been 450' x 75' x 45' this is said to be the most stable proportions to float (think of it as a big floating box since no need to steer was needed). This is about 1.5 million cubic feet. 3 decks gives it more floor space than 21 standard college basketball courts. It is also about the same space as 569 standard railroad stock cars each of which will haul about 240 sheep sized critters. It was the 1800's before we have record of another ship of comparable size was built.
It is estimated by scholars that 16,000 - 35,000 animals would have to be taken on board to represent "kinds". The average size of animals in the world works out to be sheep sized. A 44' triple deck livestock trailer will hold 300 sheep. 40,000 sheep would take up about 29% of the available space on the ark. So from a logistic standpoint, the ark is a lot more doable than many people realize.
We Already have places where religion is allowed. The argument is we are losing places where Christianity is allowed. It may chap your butt that this country was founded on Christian beliefs by Christian people but, that’s the way it was and is. It is your religion that insinuating that change. Why? For your delicate feelings I suppose.
Atheists don’t fight against Islamic prayer in school. They Don’t fight against religious outfits, costumes, or rituals any where UNLESS it is deemed to be Christian beliefs. All the while too ignorant to know Christianity isn’t a religion. That isn’t in coincidental either. Tell me again how concerned you are that “religion” not infringe on freedom. Your very argument preaches another tune.
With every word you type, you prove that it has to be your way to be acceptable, ethical, intelligent, etc.... You are the definition of what you proclaim to oppose.
"Man in the cave"
"...You have your church to wear robes, shake smoking cans, kneel and chant. You can do your wacky rituals...."
Take that further. If an african lion was on the boat, and it needs to eat, say, a zebra a week, then we need extra space for 52 spare zebra size animals, no, 104 (52 for each lion). Go down the list though, how many meat eating animals are there that would need a bunch of other animals on board just to survive?
Or were there fewer animals until after the flood, when more were provided?
I'm not trying to be annoying. It's just interesting to consider.
You men looking to putvrational reading with Gods abilities are gifting a losing battle. That’s the faith equation part of this.
-With respects, Bowsniper, this is not the kind of question that requires any thought and the fact that you want to consider it reveals your estrangement from the concept of truth, itself.
According to science, polar bears, grizzlies, black bears etc are in the same genus although different species. The same with most of the canines. So, did Noah have to take a couple of each species or did the species we have today evolve from the pair originally? I personally think that it was the latter. Maybe God did add some more animals after the flood as well.
As to food, why would the food have to be fresh food? why not preserved in some way? Maybe they ate enough to keep them healthy but without much waste, (look at the specialty dog food manufactured today with the whole idea of reducing waste). Perhaps God miraculously reduced the required amount of food needed. I don't know, it doesn't tell us in the few verses recorded in Genesis.
On space requirements, to handle the "kinds" of animals would take less than a third of the available space on the ark leaving room for food, waste etc. There would have been ample time for feeding and caring for the animals, what else are you going to do for a year? ;)
I can answer this question for sure though, there were 8 people on board, Noah and his wife, Ham Shem and Japheth and their wives. Gen 7:7 and I Pet 3:20, (the last verse along with vs 21, says they were save BY the water, not FROM the water which brings up another interesting aspect to think about)
There are a lot of questions we could raise the account leaves unanswered for the most part, this is indeed where faith comes in.
One last thing I think is interesting, many cultures, including at least some of the American Indians, have a story of a flood that destroys the earth with only a few saved.
Cool man, I appreciate the information and ideas. To me, you hit on the key of a discussion like this... faith. Science can prove a lot, factually. There are things which are not fully investigated or are still uncertain. I have "faith" that those answers (what kicked off the big bang for example) will ultimately be answered.
I don't have "faith" that the Ark happened or that Jonah was spit to shore on the beach... But I do enjoy those stories. Even read them to my kids and they enjoy reading them in a kid's bible to us. For me they are stories which can help teach lessons, my "faith" is that they can help with that.
Salagi - partial answers and selective sourcing is often how people reach the conclusions that they do. What about the part where Noah was 800 years old? Short of the bible as support of the bible stories, where else has anyone in recorded history achieved such a feat? For the Ark - If a railroad car is your example of holding a quantity of sheep.... is it an example of holding that many sheep for a year? Of course not. There was no large wooden ship built UNTIL the 1800's because no such ship could be built prior due to limitations in engineering, wood, fasteners, and basic principles of buoyancy in ration to dimension. Here is a interesting link that compares biblical lines with scientific fact (not perfect but good). The Noah story appears to have been written without a full accounting of the number of animals that really exist, based on the limited knowledge of man at that time. And now that we know those numbers are far greater, the story is being massaged by believers to now mean only limited "kinds" of animals with God to jump in and work out the subspecies later. Which still does not work in a ship too big to sail, but shows the way these faith based defenses are concocted. If the reasoning gets down to God poofing a ribeye steak if he wants, it becomes quite lacking in respectable intelligent substance.
Bowbender - I view neutral as holding all to the same critical standard. Something quite lacking in the do-unto-others (but never to me) world of Christians. You forgot to mention where I gave examples of fault in the Koran. I simply don't know much about the Torah to give meaningful examples. But neither tribe is relentlessly wall-papering their belief system here, either. Having read the bible and participated in services (with friends who preach the same anecdotal proverbs as if fact) I simply have more familiarity to comment. But given my criticisms of atheist beliefs too, your criticism is simply self-serving.
As a Christian, the best "evidence" of Christ's story to me was when I was asked that given the horrible deaths the disciples experienced, would they have subjected themselves to that if they had not witnessed the Resurrection and Ascension?
We have some very intelligent folks here, thank you for having this discussion!
Now as to Noah's age. He was 600 years old when the flood came. He was 950 years old when he died. There have been lots of hypotheses for why men lived that long up until the flood. No pollution, better environment, the list goes on. I'm perfectly willing to go with 'cause God said so because it really doesn't matter. Lifespan after the flood was brought down to 120 years per God (Gen 6:3), and later to about 80 years (these numbers are an average, your individual mileage may vary). Why these numbers? I don't know, nor really care. I would assume it was to jumpstart the population but that is 100% a guess.
I know this does not "prove" it to you, but even in pure science we hesitate to use the word "prove", instead relying on such words as "indicate" and "the data suggests". But when you back off and look at the logistics honestly, the story of the ark, even condensed as it is with out a tremendous lot of detail, becomes possible.
-That's one of the strongest arguments for the bodily Resurrected Christ, HfW. The same 11 men that abandoned Him at his crucifixion went on to preach His salvation to their impoverishment, imprisonment and tortured deaths. Only John escaped the latter, though he was exiled to Patmos. They were decapitated, crucified, and 1 was even flayed alive for teaching the Way. That's beyond the scope of reasoning to endure unless they saw Jesus rise. They didn't believe, they knew. And that's just the recorded testimony of the disciples. Jesus appeared to many more who were lynch pins to establishing the early church.
So for example - the ark. The only actual scholarly peer reviewed study determined the amount of weight a ship of those dimensions could theoretically carry. See Smithsonian link attached. That DOES NOT conclude how many actual animals could fit in the boat, with associated food and water, for the claimed year. And DOES NOT demonstrate that a boat of that size loaded as such could actually float, as has never been duplicated in recorded history. Or that a boat that size could even be built, in those time, with that much wood, in a duration before the wood rotted, etc. (*the example in Kentucky took 1000 men and used 95 tons of steel and has never floated). And the study DOES NOT explain how the limited numbers of animals that fit into this size suddenly becomes the millions of species existing today, other than to claim God has a workaround with "type" and "kinds" which had to evolve to those known species today. Evolution when convenient. Magic when all else fails.
The earth is millions/billions of years old, not thousands... and only one answer is demonstrably "true". No humans ever lived to 800-900 years old. It has zero basis in fact, and the only explanation is that it must have happened because the bible says it. Inventing any imaginary combination of possibilities to obtain a predetermined outcome, when you will only accept the outcome as truth. And when nothing is logically possible, the explanation becomes God's invisible magic powers make all things possible. Circular nonsense presented as fact.
And that is really what I argue against, faith presented as if fact. Could there be some force that created the entire Universe? No one knows one way or the other (both Christians and Atheists) but it seems the least likely intelligent possibility. The argument always gets back to the Universe was just always there. No, because everything just HAD to come from something. Then where did the Creator come from? Oh, he was always there. Circular logic based on invisible magic. No thanks, I'll just stick with what modern man and science and technology knows until we know more. You can use a storybook from 2000 years ago. Fine. But don't present it as real fact without real ridicule.
Owl says - Why bother following something that is not true? Yet you are following something that is only true if you believe. And every other religion is following something different, that THEY believe is true. That you believe is not true. So the argument that a religion is being followed demonstrates some truth, is disproved by every other religion. And the only TRUTH is that you choose to believe your made-up story is true, and every other made-up story with its followers is false, and your invisible God is better than their invisible God. Nothing more.
It is believed that Mary also ascended. One of the things I found last year that is most interesting is that recently, science has determined that when a woman carries a child she then has cells from that baby in her body for the rest of her life, which is why Mary had to ascend, she had part of Christ in her for life and could not then be buried.
" The argument always gets back to the Universe was just always there. No, because everything just HAD to come from something. Then where did the Creator come from? Oh, he was always there. Circular logic based on invisible magic. No thanks, I'll just stick with what modern man and science and technology knows until we know more."
I have to laugh when someone posts that. "everything just HAD to come from something." I agree. So where did the something that started the everything originate? It is a dead end scientifically. Where did the Creator come from? It is the answer you can't accept, He always was. And yet, you have no trouble believing that something came from nothing. That is faith, a different kind of faith than mine. It is easier (for me at least) to accept the concept of a Creator than that something arose from nothing. The more I study science, the more I look at nature, the more I see God.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen." I love that definition, it explains faith so well. We all have faith, some in God, some in no god, but faith is there.
Well said brother. I'm sure he will have a reason why we should all choose to bridge the gap of "something that came from nothing". And, put our faith in his man made explanation versus believe what we do. As I said before, if Christians exhibited the level of faith that Atheists do, The church would be a whole lot more to Gods liking.
I've read the numerous cheap shots and, shook my head at the person so ignorant to proclaim what he has, with no mention of his own fairy tale belief's. Claiming science is infallible. But, he's educated, intelligent, and cultured for believing such things. It's the Christians with their crutch that needs help.
I'm not going to put whip cream on top. I have zero desire to spend time with Bowsniper or, people like him. Zero. He is not welcome at my campfire until he learns a few manners and, gives his fellow human some common respect. If that makes me wrong with some of you, I'm ok with that too. I'm not mad nor would I ever put myself in the position to be. Which is why I say what I said. God Bless you gentlemen. And, spare this man your efforts. He does not deserve them nor, your time at this point. He will drag you down to his level if you allow him. That is his purpose here.
My position remains that everything in the Universe was always here, at least as far as anyone really knows. All the matter and energy and particles/pieces/parts. Our own lives and matter recycling (reincarnating?) in an endless cycle. Examples of reincarnation are known and equally unexplained. In some parts of the galaxy/universe there is life. Some life more advanced, some less.
And those ahead of us appear to be able to visit. See pentagon story from 2004 where our most advanced fighters and radar tracked and chased a UFO over several days. It demonstrated flight and function advanced beyond anything on this earth. It means something out there knows more than us, and likely has more of an answer as to our origins. Perhaps even being the source of our origin. I dunno. We shall see. But I am not so quick to kneel before this or any other mystery.
If faith provides a path for goodness and relives suffering, it is a good thing. If stories teach the lessons of that faith, wonderful. The buddhists also describe a path to relieve suffering of mankind. The Muslims don't appear to have as much success in advancing progress or relieving suffering. I happen to think you can achieve the same real human personal progress without the stories and theatrics. All depends on how much direction/guidance you need to get where you want to go. Sheep by nature need a Shepherd. Maybe find your own answer.
Gutei's Finger (Zen Koan) - Whenever anyone asked him about Zen, the great master Gutei would quietly raise one finger into the air. A boy in the village began to imitate this behavior. Whenever he heard people talking about Gutei's teachings, he would interrupt the discussion and raise his finger. Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. When he saw him in the street, he seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and began to run off, but Gutei called out to him. When the boy turned to look, Gutei raised his finger into the air. At that moment the boy became enlightened.
Conversely, It wouldn't cost me to be a non-believer either, unless I was wrong.
I think it was in this thread (not going to look back and see), that someone mentioned that atheists don't go door to door and they wished Christians didn't (paraphrasing mind you). Atheists or non-Christians have no need to try to bring others "into the fold". Christians have a commandment to spread the Gospel. There is the difference.
WV - "As I said before, if Christians exhibited the level of faith that Atheists do, The church would be a whole lot more to Gods liking." Amen! I agree completely and I have said it myself. I just need to do a better job of living it. I also stated the I didn't expect Bowsniper to believe the things I posted. But, it is a little like scattering seed, you throw it out knowing some will germinate and some won't. I responded to him part of the time in the hopes that some would read it and it might make them think. I will give him this, overall he has been more civil in this discussion than some have in other discussions of this type. Most everyone has been nice in this thread and I appreciate it.
Matt - I have said if I am right and there is a God, and I have lived my life in obedience to His will, following His commands, when the end comes I will hear "Well done, enter ye in". If I am wrong and there is no God, when the end for me comes there will be no one to say "I told you so." Either way if I have lived my life as a true Christian should, then I should leave this old world a better place for having been here.
Being a believer is a no-lose proposition. Being a non-believer, not so much.
Grey Ghost's Link
You seem interested in scientific evidence that validates the Bible's less believable miracles. I am too. I ran across this a while ago and thought you'd be interested. See link. It was published in a peer reviewed journal, and promoted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
This is the short version:
"Wind setdown is the drop in water level caused by wind stress acting on the surface of a body of water for an extended period of time. As the wind blows, water recedes from the upwind shore and exposes terrain that was formerly underwater. Previous researchers have suggested wind setdown as a possible hydrodynamic explanation for Moses crossing the Red Sea, as described in Exodus 14.
Under a uniform 28 m/s easterly wind forcing in the reconstructed model basin, the ocean model produces an area of exposed mud flats where the river mouth opens into the lake. This land bridge is 3–4 km long and 5 km wide, and it remains open for 4 hours. Model results indicate that navigation in shallow-water harbors can be significantly curtailed by wind setdown when strong winds blow offshore.
If he wouldn't, despite living a good life, I question whether He's as good as portrayed.
Will, Why do you believe you will be anymore accepting of God in the next life than the one you have now?
Define "good" life. And by whose standards? Flawed man, or a perfect Holy God. How do you or we know what "good enough" is?
"I'm confident God would say "Well done, come on it."
After ignoring God during our earthly life, why would he invite us into his house once our life is over?
This is one I've always struggled with. What if a person is never exposed to God's word in his life? Surely that is the case with some people. Will those people not be invited in, or will God give them a pass?
I've struggled (among other things) with that as well. Psalm 19 states:
1.The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
God's creation declares his handiwork and thus himself. I do believe if the heart is tender and open God, thru the Holy Spirit will reveal himself.
I am an automation engineer. Design hi speed automation, previously for the medical device industry. Basically, very complex equipment assembling very complex devices. I use PLC's, PC's, machine vision, servos, robots, all integrated to assemble a device with a failure rate of less than 1 per million. It requires an in-depth knowledge of current 3D design software, machining, post machining surface treatments, FDA validations, etc...
By all intents I am neither stupid, a lunatic, nor looking for a crutch. I've been a believer since June of 1991. Have my devotions daily (most days), go to Sunday School, church and often Sunday evenings.
I do realize that even though I've read thru the Bible several times, taught Sunday school for a number of years, I am not familiar enough with Gods word as an atheist that has read the Bible once and attended a few friend led services, to be commenting.
Thanks for your response, Bowbender. but it created more questions than answers, for me.
How would the heart of a African tribesman, for example, who has no concept of Christianity, or that of a divine creator, be "tender and open to God?"
Maybe God will make exception for those who never had the opportunity to hear, I don't know. This is something that I personally do not have an answer for and unlike some of the things I've talked about where I don't need to find the complete answer, this one does concern me. It also makes me want to work a little harder to spread the Gospel in whatever way I can, whether speaking to others or supporting those who take it throughout the world.
If the "good" is only defined as "living strictly by one specific religious pathway", I'd seriously question how good that is. For example, someone who's disrespectful of others, perhaps a bully, perhaps cheats things a bit or cheats others but gets to church for mass every week sometimes twice... Does that person go "in" but a person who doesn't believe but treats other people well, helps people, puts effort into improving their families, communities and world show's up on the steps, and is denied for not executing the steps so to speak? Makes no sense to me. I'd rather treat other people well, help them, help my family and community and world while I'm certain I can - while Im alive and here.
In that example, it would be easy to say: "Will, that person who goes to church you described isnt good, they are not executing God's will and would not get in"... Ok, that makes sense... But if the other person who essentially IS EXECUTING GODS WILL, just not in his name, cant get in... Makes no sense.
people like us better get with the program and start living life a little more hypocritical or we are screwed. - Relax. You're fine if hypocrisy is your metric.
As Mark Twain used to say....."faith is nothing more than swearing to believe in something you know ain't true." Really? I have faith that when I finish typing this post and hit "SUBMIT MESSAGE," it will get added to the thread. I guess we all know that ain't true.
..........and "Religion was invented the day the first con man met the first fool." Well, that's just funny.
I constantly struggle with doubts, and wish I was as resolute and articulate as Owl in my beliefs. I mean that with all sincerity. I don't hold it against people for having doubts as well. In the end if the Bible is true each one of us will give our own account before God.
For the answer to what if they never heard I believe it is answered in the book of Romans: "for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ"
1 John 1:9 alsp says that Jesus lights every man who comes into the world. It would seem that for those who never heard God will judge them by the measure of light they have had and what they did with it. I believe this, no one will be separated from God without having made the choice. The bible says that "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should have everlasting life" I can't say 100% what God does with the Amazonian tribesman, but I do believe He is 100% just in every person's eternal situation.