39 Years in the Wilderness; an Atheist Walk With God

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They are thus the sufficient reason, Leibniz notwithstanding. This neither begs the question nor sandbags theists but is only the demand for evidence as Einstein did when he overcame Newton. The ignostic-Ockham challenge to theism is that as His attributes are incoherent and contradict each other He is as as a married bachelor or square circle, and thus cannot exist. Furthermore the atelic [ teleonomic] argument buttresses here the Razor: the with of evidence presents no cosmic teleology-intenten- pre-prgarmmed outocmes, but teleonomy- no such outocmes. Thus teleology would contradict that very teleonomy, and thus it would definitely be that evolution cannot be His means creating!

Thus God did it is fatuous, nebulous, meaningless, otiose and vacuous. Keith Parsons notes that as an explanation, He is afig leaf for ignorance. Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth Quote.

Walking With the Nazarene in the Wilderness: The First Temptation of Christ

Suppose that the cosmos is created by God for a sufficient reason, that determines him in producing this cosmos rather than any other. But God is necessary. God exists in all possible worlds, too. And if the conditional is true in all possible worlds, then in all possible worlds God creates this cosmos. So this cosmos is a necessary object. But, as everyone agrees, the cosmos is a contingent object. So no argument from contingency is sound. It matters not that, as you say, God might exist without the universe, or that the universe could not exist without God.

For, given that some version of the principle of sufficient reason is true and that God is necessary, these kind of counterfactuals must refer to impossible worlds rather than possible worlds, and only existence in possible worlds matters for necessity. TaiChi : Suppose that the cosmos is created by God for a sufficient reason, that determines him in producing this cosmos rather than any other.

The problem with this is that God is by definition a free agent who chooses to create as an act of pure grace. Without the principle, you have no argument from contingency. My position is the God is the sufficient cause for the existence of the universe. Irrelevant how? Because you think God had no intent in creating the universe?

That creating the universe was a whimsical, or to put it less flatteringly, irrational act? Let me put it to you this way: either God had sufficient reason to create the universe or he did not. If he did, then he creates our cosmos rather than any other, and does so in all possible worlds — our cosmos is necessary. If he did not, then he is not the God of traditional theism — the God of traditional theism has a divine plan, is supremely rational, and serves as a satisfactory and full explanation of earthly goings on precisely because of this.

I think you are quite wrong about that, but would be happy to see your evidence. But on a larger point: on your argument, the universe exists necessarily, not contingently, because God is a necessary being who must necessarily create it in all possible worlds. Thus if God did not exist, the universe would not exist. But the universe does exist—thus God exists.

Is that really the conclusion you want to argue for? Is that what I said? I am a happy compatibilist after all, I should grant this possibility. Thankfully, denying the antecedent is a fallacy. Or, to parallel the way you twist your argument back, that because I know I am in France then I must be in Paris.

TaiChi : Is that what I said? As I suspected, your problem is not with the proposition that a contingent universe requires a necessary cause, but with the doctrine of God itself. There is no contradiction between the cosmological argument and the free God of classical theism—but then you are arguing against an entirely different, determined god maybe the god of process theology? If you wish to refute it, you need to concentrate your criticisms on its premises. TaiChi, ayer, Luke and everybody else: Thank you for your comments on this thread. One question to anyone who cares to answer: is there a possible world in which God does not create anything?

Bryan : We live in a complex universe, so not too surprisingly science describing it is also complex. Unfortunately, your refutations seem to be missing the point. Therefore, objecting to God as the reason or cause for the universe, on the basis of complexity or simplicity seems neither here nor there. In any case, the scientific explanations for many things in the universe are quite complex not simple or intuitively apparent. I am not sure why many atheists seem satisfied with this pretension to simplicity. It is rather the case that as we progress in science, we would settle for explanations that are increasingly more complex than what we currently have.

Bryan : 2 Implausible, by whose definition? They have different meanings and so I am not exactly sure what your objection is here. Explanations can be implausible and yet very possible; or plausible and unfortunately impossible. In attempting to provide such an explanation for the origin of the universe, one would invariably have to tender explanations that are not only non-observable, but non-testable and highly implausible as well. Bryan : Current origin cosmological models make very specific and testable predictions about our own universe, meaning that they are to some extent testable.

This is beside the point. Like I noted earlier, we can have reliable, reasonable and verifiable naturalistic explanations for some aspects of the universe. The problem lies in having a naturalistic explanation for the universe as a whole. To think there is some naturalistic explanation for the origin of the universe is not to have understood what the universe properly means. All the talk about quantum entanglement, vacuum energy, gravity, space-time curvature and fundamental forces amply illustrates my point—we are merely investigating aspects of an already existing universe.

Bryan : 4 Not testable now does not equal not testable in the future. It would appear that you have failed to understand my position. I am not in the least bit interested in examples showing that human beings have improved their knowledge with time; Or that things once thought impossible or difficult to answer or understand have been successfully resolved.

To me, that is quite obvious as not to merit some sort of argument or debate. Nevertheless, in all of these, we have concerned ourselves with learning more about the intricacies of phenomena in the universe. It leaves untouched though the very question of the origin of the whole shebang known as the universe. How can any naturalistic hypothesis to that end be testable? It is one thing to test an explanation of some aspect or phenomena inherent in this or any kind of possible universes, but it is another thing altogether to test an explanation purporting to show the origins of this or any other universes.

It is not a surprise therefore that astrophysics and cosmology is an observational science not an experimental one. If it wants to pretend an answer to the origins of the universe, testable or non-testable sub-universal phenomena will not suffice. We will need to test and experimentally verify that any such explanations lead to the actual birth of an entire universe—I suppose, with its own variegated and stunning physical laws and constants.

This is a challenge that cannot be realistically met. Be that as it may, you are free to hang your faith on some highly implausible, non-testable and non-actualizable future state of affairs—if it helps your worldview. But then you still have the problem that the principle of sufficient reason leads to the necessity of the cosmos, since the thesis that God had sufficient reason to create the cosmos is part of traditional theism. If you like, i - iii form an inconsistent set, so any larger set of premises which includes them is likewise inconsistent.

Piero : One question to anyone who cares to answer: is there a possible world in which God does not create anything? If there was nothing but God, and God had sufficient reason to create the universe we now inhabit, then in any other possible world where there is nothing God would have the same sufficient reason to create a universe like ours. TaiChi : since the thesis that God had sufficient reason to create the cosmos is part of traditional theism.

Why assume that God only one option is rational? God would be equally rational in choosing not to create, since under classical theism the triune God is self-sufficient in all ways. His decision to create is a supererogatory act of grace. The fact remains that a sufficient reason would be one which made it rational for God to create this universe rather than any other, and that is all I need to rebut you.

Because that is what the principle of sufficient reason indicates — that there is an overriding reason to choose this universe over others. Given there is such a reason, choosing to actualize any other universe but our own is contrary to reason, i. Suppose you like cake; suppose you like icecream. Suppose you are at a shop which sells both, but you only have the money for one of the two.

Though you enjoy icecream, you absolutely love cake. Assuming ceteris paribus, you have a sufficient reason in this context to buy cake instead of icecream. Would it be rational, then, for you to buy icecream instead? Well, you do have a reason to buy icecream — you like icecream.

But since you like cake more, it is irrational to plump for what you will enjoy less. If God would be equally rational in not creating the universe, then there is no reason for choosing to create this universe, and consequently no sufficient reason for its existence.

TaiChi : If God would be equally rational in not creating the universe, then there is no reason for choosing to create this universe, and consequently no sufficient reason for its existence. God is not constrained by the sort of human limitations you describe, where one state of affairs is carefully calculated in a utilitarian way against another before a decision to create is made. The Christian God is the epitome of self-sufficient goodness, and any decision to create is purely gratuitous, since his condition of maxmimal goodness obtains both with and without creation.

If you claim that is inconsistent with traditional Christian theism, I would be interested to see your evidence. A dogmatist would be closer to God. It is certainly true that theists take the creation event to be gratuitous in the sense that God did not create for his own sake, but this is not the same as saying that God did not have sufficient reason for doing so. Really, I owe you no such explanation of the consistency of theism. I quote…. Adler denies any form of the principle of sufficient reason that would amount to assuming God does not exist. If you like, i - iii form an inconsistent set….

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Could you be a little more explicit? Thomas Reid Quote. Here we see the confusion about the doctrine of God that results in your confused argument. Yes, God would be equally morally perfect, and would have remained morally perfect, had he not created the universe. The triune God is completely self-sufficient and morally perfect with or without creation. It is Muslims who hold that Jesus was a prophet of God; Christians hold that Jesus was the incarnated second person of the trinity. It is only your confused notion of the doctrine of God that deems it not sufficient. God created the universe as a pure act of grace, even though he would have remained necessarily morally perfect without creating—meaning that the universe need never have existed at all.

Its existence is thus contingent. I can only presume that you repeat it because you confuse a reason to perform an action with an obligation to perform that action, which are not the same things. Not that this has anything to do with the actual argument. I said that you could just assert that God had a sufficient reason for all I care.

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The point is that a sufficient reason would be one which made it rational for God to create this universe rather than any other. And so, as long as he is rational, he then creates this universe rather than any other. My argument follows from consideration of what a sufficient reason would minimally have to be. Good stuff. I need no more, but would be glad to see more. On that note, I hear that plastic surgeons have new techniques for getting brick wall scars and other deformations out of foreheads.

Hermes : I need no more, but would be glad to see more. Thanks Hermes. Then: 3 comes from 1 and 2. As such, what I believe you are actually claiming is the inconsistency of the set comprised of these 5 premises plus your earlier: iii The universe is contingent. Laying your entire argument out is actually quite helpful. However, in the Leibnizian argument, everything has an explanation for its existence, either in a cause, or in the necessity of its own nature as God does by definition. Under your argument, the conclusion is not that the universe exists by the necessity of its own nature, but by a cause which DOES exist by the necessity of its own nature God —correct?

Hermes : Ayer, read it again. Ayer, I must be psychic. I think you decided to reply as you did as a form of debate tactic, to deflect and infect the conversation, not as a part of a conversation that could lead to a better mutual understanding. For example, the last dozen or more words in your reply to TaiChi sound disingenuous. They sound as if you are attempting to shore up or defend a position, not to reach an understanding. Personally, I like being shown conclusively that I was mistaken. It makes it possible for me to instantly correct an error and then to address reality more fully.

Note, though, how TaiChi has replied to you by stating crisply and cleanly what the issues are and offering you an opportunity to clarify your own position formally so as to allow the conversation to come to a satisfying conclusion where all are in mutual agreement — or are more in agreement than they were at the outset.

So, no, I will not insult you by telling you what you probably already know. I will not enter as a contestant in that game. Please consider that in your future reply to TaiChi who has shown great care and patience in his? If the argument from contingency is fatally flawed I would certainly like to understand why that is.

Maybe I was wrong? Ok, feel free to chip in. Under the argument TaiChi laid out, does the universe exist by the necessity of it own nature, or by a cause? Feel free to challenge me in a debate in a place that is designed for such a thing. Just click the link. Thomas Reid : Have I got that right? If you want to make it into an argument proper, and assign it a conclusion, the inconsistency of the three would be the conclusion. The first is that the universe is only hypothetically necessary.

This does not follow from the premises for, although the set derives the necessity of the universe via God, that does not entail a relation of existential dependency. Hermes : Feel free to challenge me in a debate in a place that is designed for such a thing. TaiChi : If you do, can I get an invite? No problem.

The moderated debate rooms are here …. TaiChi, This is an interesting argument. From your comment, I understand that under your argument God would exist not by the necessity of his own nature—but neither would he exist by a cause. I find that quite implausible, but then I am continuing to read in the area of philosophical necessity, so maybe this will become clear later. In the meantime, I would look forward to any interaction you have with Thomas Reid at his blog.

Thomas Reid : This is an interesting argument. Ayer, my argument is neutral on the question of whether God exists by the necessity of his own nature or not. If God exists as the Bible describes, God is eternally efficient. If matter exists as science describes, matter is not eternally efficient. It seems to be entirely efficient. I allude to the fact that MEST is dying and cannot sustain itself. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Hermes : 2. If you have proof that the 1st law should be discarded or amended because it does not describe reality, feel free to show me. You might also want to drop a note to the Norwegian Nobel Committee with the details as well. Luke, mea culpa. I made a mistake when quoting cl two posts up. Do you have any posts about our Lord L. Condescension rarely helps, but answering the following question might clarify: would you agree or disagree that the universe cannot sustain itself eternally?

If you want to go beyond that, it would be nice if you were actually willing and able to actually address my comments. The universe — our universe — is either a subset of everything that exists or is equal to everything that exists. There may be other universes and the current iteration of our universe may not be the first instance. In any case, we are limited in our direct observations to the available evidence, though we can deduce more based on that evidence.

You probably want to insert your deity into the above in some fashion. With that in mind and realizing that there are a multitude of possible contingencies …. Ron at all. Help me out with a clear yes or no, i. I think von Helmholtz may have been among the first to refer to the universe as dying , in the mid-nineteenth century. Cl, you act as if my opinion on reality somehow impacts reality itself at a fundamental — some subatomic or otherwise elemental or foundational — level. Reality is a toolkit, not a wishing well. Well, show me and stop dodging. None of that is in line with the first law, and you have not specified how such things that were never alive can somehow be dying.

An exception being made for what we know of specific things on a certain watery and volcanic planet, of course. Neither does it apply fully to the definition of the universe I gave in my previous post. If you grow bored with this, then I suggest you give up.

I go by the same name here and there. Maybe you can show me that the universe is dying if you think it is and how your deity is the best possible description for the universe if not everything? Last try here at least :. Are you assuming I meant they were alive in a literal sense or something? Extrapolating the second law of thermodynamics leads to the conclusion that the universe MEST cannot sustain itself eternally. I hope not. In the real world, there are no psychics. If you want me to give you my full attention, you know where to find me.

After all, I did offer the proposal first. I hope that you are being paid for other skills, and not your grasp of logic. I think the debate would go better if you stuck to the issue at hand rather than use personal attacks. While it may not be obvious, I usually do have a clear awareness of what I intend to write as I write it, and how it will be understood by the reader. When I fail to deliver, and write what I did not intend or do so sloppily, it is a technical embarrassment. Few listen, but some do. I do hand out the ambrosia hospitably, on a platinum tray, mainly to those who are interested in a conversation and are willing to change their minds, as I am.

They offer sophistication, clear thoughts, and a strong dose of intelectual blindness along these lines;. Which did you disagree with? I pre-emptively apologize if you find the following comment inappropriate. On the one hand I want to be real, on the other I do not want to contribute to the dumbing-down of this resource of yours note: resource , not blog.

That being said, I think a tactful skewering is in order here. I applaud you for being able to concede your bad attitude but I encourage you to take the extra step by considering how that bad attitude and your bad faith presumptions in general might be impeding clear resolution in your discussions with theists. With that I empathize, but I wrote the words I meant in my very first comment and explained that I was referring to entropy in subsequent comments. You ask me to catch up with you at Amputees but that assumes I want more discourse with you. Certainly; it would make a difference to your interlocutor.

Your tribalist use of them is the same sort of ideological fodder that fuels genocide when what we need is a new outlook for new times. Take care, cheer up a bit and try the benefit of the doubt once in a while. By definition, the most parsimonious explanation would involve the smallest amount or complexity of additional mechansims required.

It therefore falls to you to show that this additional mechanism external to the universe is indeed necessary. I further disagree that the biblical God, of all possible entities, is the most parsimonious explanation.

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I stipulate that this is a ludicrous proposition, considering: - The vast amount of variance in the scripture describing said god: The apocryphal, the contradictory, and that which changed over time, in Christianity alone; the Muslim and Jewish scriptures referencing the same god; etc. The assumption that something prefers to exist over nothing, that unlimited creation power is required for a limited amount of existence, is unfounded and I contest it as unsupported.

I agree, and I acknowledge your opinion that my belief is a ludicrous proposition. I acknowledge your claims of Biblical contradiction and inconsistency but object that such has no import to the question of the most parsimonious explanation for the universe. I grant atheists and skeptics that the universe can be eternal, but counter that it cannot be eternally efficient.

Instead of an infinite regress, we get an immanent discontinuity. I simply accept the argument that transitions from potency to act require a mover, and go from there. I apologize if I have misinterpreted the assumptions at the base of your argument, but that is because you have not, in fact, laid out your argument yet.

Cl, metaphor personal desires vs. I find it convenient how often those are swapped. Why not just deal with reality and say what you mean first protestations otherwise, you did not? As for boredom, that was your complaint. I suggest giving into it and letting this one die. Maybe a later draft will make things gel for you? You know where to find me if you want a better attitude and my full attention. That is all. The rest is up to you. I am sure you are prepared for the tedium of dragging out each and every assumption.

Blindness or an intentional attempt at dragging you down? It could be either. Apology accepted, but note that I was never really making an argument here. I came to the thread, saluted Luke for debunking a bunk atheist objection to a common theist argument, then Hermes took some shots to which I responded, which may have lent the perception of an argument. If your statement is a casual observation, then it can go uncontested and without further comment.

We can likewise agree that the universe can be eternal but not orange, or eternal but not smell like lilacs — possibly correct observations that nonetheless have no bearing on the discussion. If, however, the point about the free-energy efficiency of the universe is relevant to the debate in any way, it falls to you to explain how. Some posit matter, energy, space and time as an eternal series of iterations, but it would seem to me that a dead universe lacks potency.

Would you care to explain? Within the scope of the universe definition agreed on before. In response to his long fictional conversation, you cut lopped off the end and made this comment;. Polymeron, to cl. Do you have any reason to think that the matter contained within this incredibly dense and hot point singularity has not existed eternally? Hermes : Why do you need it to? Exactly, a keen reader will indeed note things like the actual order of the quotes cited in each of our examples.

If not, why bring it up later on? Why not ignore it like a bad dream? I will leave it to those keen readers to judge for themselves. All 5 3? My question to you cl is this: Are you coming here with your A game? Order and attribution, though, seem like big errors unlike redundant extra words.

No hand waving required. White on a constant basis. Consistently so. Hermes : As such, I refer back to the first law of thermodynamics. Infinite regress of explanations is irrational indeed. But I still fail to see how that makes God the best explanation as the first cause. John Quote. Godists can neither by definition nor by postulation instantiate that married bachelor called God. As His incoherent attributes contradict each other, He is as a married bachelor or square circle, so we ignostics find then that He cannot exist.

Google the ignostic-Ockham to see why in full. Michael Martin, Nicholas Everitt and Theodore Drange are making the incompatible properties argument. One can understand the term God but as His properties so conflict, they make Him meaningless. No, as stated. We need to get theists to understand that from the very term, there is no there there! Indeed, as we show that He cannot be the First Cause,etc. Again, this is my contribution.

Furthermore, theists ever beg questions in discussing that square circle: logic is the bane of theists. Google also skeptic griggsy to see that I mean business! God is not a new question or a new puzzle to the question of complexity in the world. A great post, Luke. I have a bone to pick, but first agreement. In some cases, these may be considered stop signs, in others, merely a yield. But, it cannot be elephants all the way down. Or, as Lewis pointed out, seeing through every veil is equivalent to seeing nothing at all.

So, it is right, in principle, to allow ultimate explanations, though we should not be too hasty in conferring that status. The unseen postulate in such an argument is ascribed only the property or properties implicated by e, say a charge of Likewise, as far as the argument goes, the careful theist will be content with stipulating only the properties that follow. But at least in academic philosophy of religion, I find that as a rule, care is taken to proscribe the entailments of a given argument.

Of course, if it needs to be said, if x is taken to be the God of Abraham, additional legwork will be required. By the way, if the slaughterhouse is still open, it may be time to give your tagline from Roberts another look bit. Luke, you are a much appreciated voice in the conversation about ultimate reality from both sides of the aisle. No small feat. Thanks, and keep up the good work. Nathan Jacobson Quote. The fine-tuning of the universe to support life is either due to law, chance or design.

It is not due to law or chance. Therefore, the fine-tuning is due to design. In the Kalam argument, this question comes into play on premise 4, which seeks to establish that God is the cause of the universe. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. Objective moral values do exist. Therefore, God exists. Also, re: the quote at the top of my page, see here. This seems to mean that there is for the First Cause no distinction between potentiality and actuality. The First Cause has no accidents: every property it has, it has essentially.

This entails that the First Cause is immutable, since it lacks exactly that feature that explains the changeability of other substances. You can find more details here , if interested. For many others, including myself who concedes the force of Euthyphro , it will be a struggle. Nonetheless, I think the arguments of natural theology more often conform to the outline I suggested above. Your principled objection to epistemic double standards is a bracing and worthy challenge. And, I might add as you do , that no view is immune, as when belief in God is psychologized or located in the brain without noting the self-referential implications for not believing.

Beyond empiricism. This is the time to illustrate that their argument is a form of special pleading. That it is logically inconsistent, and fails immediately by way of reason, with no need for physical evaluation. Steve P Quote. I believe this argument is only effective in a taste-of-your-own-medicine sort of way. If a theist claims that the big bang is an insufficient explanation because it does not give causal explanation, then you can demonstrate that, by the same faulty logic, their own God fails to pass the same test.

I would only use this argument to show the failure of the principle objection when made by the theist. Data Quote. In some sense you are correct, there are counter examples. And I think you would agree with such a claim But, what if we woke up tomorrow and witnessed this happening on a regular basis? But once again, this is true for any idea we have of how the world works. All our ideas are based off the information currently available to us.

And you are being hypocritical in criticizing Luke for not making this clarifaction while not abiding by this standard yourself. Your counter example starts off with the idea of tomorrow, but what if there is no tomorrow? What if the world ends today, 5 minutes from now. This puts in on equal footing with any other explanation that could possibly be proposed for how the universe began. Sure, it could be right, but so could any arbitrary explanation I could propose.

But I could propose a similar event for any other idea that currently has no real evidence to support it. The point of testability is that it should ultimately let us determine if an explanation is true or false. What term would you use to refer to it? We have certain information available to us, we want an explanation based on this information that is suggested by our data and does a good job of explaining it. This can be extended to other house hold items and beyond allowing for the creation of a theory on how humans interact with objects. We want be able to use our theories to construct nice mathematical models of how certain events transpired.

A1 Quote. For something to exist there must exist that thing that takes for it to exist. What takes for the universe to exist cannot exist within the universe itself or be bounded by time and space. Well Im about to explain to you… Either the universe was created from nothing or something immaterial, omnipresent, and timeless created the universe… in our space and time dimension you cannot have an infinite amount of finite things.. If I was to tell u that I will give u dollars if you blink your eyes an infinite amount of times, that will never happen because we will never reach that moment in time.

Time is the definition of the measure of change within matter. Now if you existed without matter that means you are immaterial, you cant be seen, tasted, touched, or smelled. Now space is the measure of distances between matter. If you look at the universe you noticed that its order within. Therefore the cause of everything created must be an agent operating in a dimension completely independent of and preexistent to the time dimension and the cosmos which is ETERNITY.

Who can dispute that when he has made his presence known through his creation? Clarence Quote. Luke, both what made and what designed Him are actually to the point! What is the evidence that He has any attributes and referents? The teleonomic argument alone eviscerates all arguments with intent-cosmological, teleological, miracles, actor in history and so forth that He has no referents.

And then each of the arguments themselves reveals no referent for Him. Yes, God did it or explains why depends on intent when the scientific weight of evidence shows none: thus not only does He violate the Ockham, and thereby is worthlessly redundant, that sophist Planting notwithstanding, He contradicts the scientific finding that teleonomy- no planned outcomes — with His teleology- His planned outcomes.

Metaphysics cannot trump science, supernaturalists notwithstanding. Stebbins, Mayr, Paul B. Weisz and Simpson all attest to no teleology at work! My Facebook friend Dr. Scott notwithstanding, their finding is scientific, not just philosophical as Paul Draper e-mailed me that she has the problem of demarcation wrong. To find, nevertheless, that very teleology presents the new Omphalos argument that, like the old one, that He deceives, only this time with the appearance of teleonomy!

No, no appearance of teleonomy or ages! To find that teleology is just another argument from ignorance to which supernaturalists resort. Oh, how about taking on that redoubtable Edward Feser who claims to eviscerate Gnu Atheism in his book against their arguments? He regurgitates Aristotle- Thomism teleology that Thales and Strato eons ago scrapped in science.

Feser argues indirectly that Thomas does not argue that in the contingent argument that everything could become nothing, but old atheists ,like Kai Nielsen, maintains otherwise. What then do you maintain? Again, why not then take on Feser as trying to undermine the argumentation of the old atheists with his assertion that Aristotle and Aquinas knew better than they about God? I think that the pre-Socratics are right and Aristotle very wrong in positing intent. One supernaturalist argues that their form of science was not instrumental, but that was because of the Aristotelian influence that whilst in some measure stands up for naturalism, utterly fails in this measure,Luke.

And having faith in Aristotle as you know kept back science,albeit He helped in some respects. Any of those authors eviscerate theism! Top theologians revel in solecistic, sophisticated sophistry- ignorant, complicated nonsense- of woeful, wily, woo! Clarence, misunderstands that law. Oh,Luke, how about interviewing Stenger, with querying him about where you disagree with him? Again, thank you. Luke Muehlhauser Quote. Please comment on this post and my previous one as they are the essence of our naturalist case against that superstition.

Ignostic Morgan Quote. Luke, thank you, thank you. I hope that someone wil map that book. Yes, the late Sobel has a formidable book alright! I hope that you might sometime comment on my argumentation in that and other posts here so that I might improve it. Gnu athiesm is trying to make atheism respectable. Dawkikns is quite nice and urbane in his presentations.

Maybe you could interviiew him and ask him those theologial arguments that his critics find he overlooks. No intent. The control would not take my ignosticmorgan gmail. Because the theistic argument itself is based on the idea that everything must have an explanation. My view is that not everything must have an explanation or else we will enter and endless loop.

Somethings may need no explanation but this is to be determined scientifically. Samuel Etoou Quote. Your celestial John miracle argument has significant flaws. Which English translation of the gospel according to John would it use? Why would it quote this book rather than a passage from one of the rejected Gnostic gospels or a Buddhist text?

What would this say about the qualities of the entity or thing responsible? In other words, if such a message turned up in the sky my first thoughts would be that I was suffering from an hallucination or that some human with specific knowledge of the beliefs of late twentieth century American Mid-western Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians has constructed a huge prank. Rosita Quote. This age old argument will go on. For regardless of who we are, and for that matter where we and our universal surroundings come from,science and,or spirituality will only bring about our true answers when our own consciousness can bring us to the knowledge we so desperately seek.

There are many intriguing and stimulating arguments here, but neither atheist or theist or the chicken or the egg can begin to fully comprehend these answers or this knowledge at this point in time. JPD Quote. Even though i did not submit the above comment,i would say if you believe in god then you believe he is responsible for all creation.

If he does not then obviously none. Religions and philosophers assert there ideas on to us without real proof. Even science is also only theoretical or asserted until proven with fact. Showing us that the lack of our understanding will take time until we ourselves can answer these many age old questions. I am an atheist.

I think the original article by Luke, as well as most of the comments here, in my opinion miss the point almost entirely. The main course, or deeper point is that invoking God as the creator using the logic that highly complex organisms such as living beings must have been designed also implies that God, necessarily more complex than that which he disigned, must also have been designed by a higher GGod and that GGOD by a higher GGGOD, and so on , leading to an absurd infinite regress.

What I am demanding, is that theists see that their proposition leads to a ridiculous infinite regress of designers…. Theism works in opposite direction to evolution. Theism postulates that high order complexity comes first, in fact , that it is eternal. Evolutionary science posits that simple particles and simple natural laws come first, which then converge and evolve into more complex particles, laws, and organisms.

Its ultimately a philosophical questions of which is more likely, that complexity slowly emerges from simplicity evolution or that the highest possible complexity God comes first and all other things follow. George Quote. The point you raise has been discussed elsewhere on this blog, in great detail — but it is beyond the scope of this post. But as a more general argument against god, the theists have several answers to it:. Only physical things require a designer. The theistic position postulates an immaterial designer. Personally I see this as special pleading, but it does stop the infinite regress.

I do think however that it makes a good start on challenging the theistic position that such a cause must be presonal. The mainstream theistic position is that such a being is necessary rather than contingent; therefore probabilities do not apply. Either the theistic god is impossible, or it must exist. Dawkins does make a good case against the contingent god hypothesis; unfortunately that is not what most theistic dogmas include.

Polymeron, Thanks for the summary the list of objections. I have some comments. Yes, I agree that exempting non-physical things from the need for creation or design is special pleading. It is purely conjectural. It cannot be empirically demonstrated, proved or disproved.

The argument also implies that non-physical things can create physical things. The KCM, as used by theologians, makes a conjectural leap from assuming that there must be a cause of the universe to assuming that this cause must be more complex than anything that has evolved from the universe so far. This is inconsistent with what we know about how complexity arises in this universe and is thus another instance of special pleading without empirical evidence.

The KCM also makes the leap of assuming that this ultra-complex entity is sentient, mindful and has a human-like personality and manner of thinking. There is no reason to suppose this other than human-generated religious text and dogma. A simple mindless quantum fluctuation in potential energy will fill the bill quite nicely. If this happens to overlap to a reasonable extent with the beliefs of the apologist then the apologist has won over his victim. This is devious sophistry. It might not work so well if the argument is used by a Muslim to persuade a Christian that Allah is the creator of the universe and that the Jesus mind had nothing to do with it at all.

Fully in agreement with you guys. I am not a formal philosopher so I have to come at you with a somewhat simpler mindset. Why invoke an undefined, magical entity, that we have absolutely no evidence for, and who was given birth in the myths and superstitions of primitive tribes? The evidence that in nature complexity arises from simplicity is everywhere. Proteins, amino acids, RNA, DNA, are basically nothing more than complex arrangements of atoms, where the atom is the more simple and fundamental component, which itself is composed of simpler and more fundamental components.

Evidence abounds that matter tends to be stable in its simplest states, and unstable in complex states. Living beings are very complex arrangements of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, etc, that are very unstable…and at the slightest prompting will decompose and revert to a more stable and simpler configuration. Scientific facts have been hard won as a result of arduous , hard work, rigorous cross-checking and verification, and based on repeatable observations and evidence.

Intellectual Honesty. Theism and religion come from a different angle, purporting to be certain about things they are in fact not in the least certain of. So certain, in fact, that they are willing to kill for their beliefs at the slightest prompting. To me this equates to fundamental dishonesty, Intellectual Dishonesty. The validity of a Theory is reinforced by its ability to make predictions about reality, its ability to be a succesful model of what is real and what we can expect to occur when certain conditions are present.

An all knowing God should be able to know and tell us absolutely anything about the future,or make anything incredible happen upon command, things that no human could predict or make happen, yet all we get are vague garbled mumblings ,nothing concrete.

Therefore, the universe needs a cause. Therefore, God did it. Lukas Quote. However I have just show that with your logick a omnipotent being can not exist. So there are three solutions. The infinite line of creators can not be. There is an omnipotent creator, but the complexity of the world is NOT proof of his her existence. However this creator is not omnipotent since if it were it would again have another creator. In my above statement I asume that a being that can oversee the whole world at once omnipotent has to be as complex as the the world.

Luage Quote. Leibniz versions suggest that all contingent propositions have explanations , which leaves open the possibility of necessary propositions not requiring explanations. Kalam versions say that whatever begins to exist has a cause, and leaves open the possibility of beginningless entities like numbers not requiring a cause. William Rowe, an atheist philosopher who formulated the most popular version of the argument from evil, is simultaneously a defender of cosmological arguments and wrote a whole book about them.

Martin Quote. How do we know that a god created the universes?? What is the methodology used to verify or deduce the characteristics of a god?? If the answer is by definition then its going to take the discussion nowhere as for eg yahwehfucker will be by definition a being which fucks yahweh. You might argue that yahweh is immaterial so he cannot be fucked but yahwehfucker by definition makes yaweh into the physical being and fucks him. Given this context, asking who caused God also seems appropriate, since the question was never answered, only postponed. Esteban R.

Formerly Steven R. Generally, it is agreed that the existence of something needs explanation, not the non-existence. However, if there were an elephant in my room, this would require an explanation. I think most people would agree with this. The question is an attempt to provide the theist with insight into her own confused reasoning. Rob Quote.

Interesting because Dawkins makes a strawman himself lol. MauricXe Quote. I think this got stuck in my brain because of Dawkins but when you really think about it both Ts and ATs get stuck in the infinite regress. ATs have more explanatory power in science and that is what attracts me. There is a tendency by some Ts to recognize normal events as miracles and to interpret everything in that way.

So in normal conversation if a T sees many miracles credited to the supernatural what is to be done? I usally ignore such things or only address the most damaging ones. With a design argument, the theist does not start off with or should not anyway some preconceived notion of God defined the way you have. So, my criticism stands. Of course you see degenerate apologists try to sneak this kind of crap in the back door, as you have. The problem with this is that when we extend it to the principle of anything existing at all, the question makes no sense. The explanation would be something and thus the question left unanswered.

As I understand it, such a fact is something that cannot be untrue and no situation we can think of would make it untrue, or, as Wittgenstein put it, something true in all possible worlds. Classical Theism is infamous for spouting nonsense. Well, you have to prove that God is a necessary being. The objection is valid until you prove God is necessary, and it seems to me that this definition of necessary is much more different than the one about numbers.

But then which premise is untrue in my admittedly quick and sloppy argument? So that leaves 2 and 4. This seems to be where your objection lies. Knows everything, can do anything. Gaunilo provided the objection that he can conceive of a greatest conceivable island, and so the greatest conceivable being is nonsensical. There are no inherent maximums in the qualities of an island: there can always be more beaches, more palm trees, etc. But omniscience and omnipotence have inherent maximums.

Unicorns are defined as horses with one horn, without me having to prove they exist. If someone railed against unicorns for having three horns, I would also respond that this is an attack upon something that is not a unicorn. Similarly, whether God exists or not, he is classically defined as omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and necessarily existent.

I work in law. So they hire a bunch of lawyers to come up with some roundabout way they can get the practical effect of the illegal or tortious or contractually prohibited action, but without technically violating these rules. By putting all of these together you end up where you want to go. In order to understand some particular piece of circuitous legal engineering, you first need to understand what it is that they are engineering around. There is also philosophical engineering.

Its called theology. Its a process by which people take the ancient documents of a bunch of raiders who worshiped a blood drenched war god called Yahweh, and adjust it little by little over the centuries to keep this intellectual tradition alive and in keeping with the moral beliefs and scientific knowledge of their generation. When his strength returned, Howard began to devour the Bible.

Sensing a deeper call into ministry, he attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and later pastored a church in Covington, Ohio. Howard and his second wife, Marcia, a strong Christian, are both involved in missionary work in Belize. He maintains a passion for painting, with much of his art devoted to spiritual themes. If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here.

To refuse submission to the Pope is to refuse submission to the Triune God. Of course, we Catholics pray for those who are outside the Catholic Church, as well as for those who are inside her. No Catholic who actually understood his or her faith would write this feeble attempt to malign Catholic theology. Now, on what is the Kingdom of God built? Is it Peter, as the RCC claims and also use as their claim to proclaim salvation for catholics only? They told him that people say Jesus is Moses or Elijah reincarnated. The truth is, Peter was not the only one who heard from God on this.

They knew instantly, too. And, the Bible tells us that Jesus is the Messiah and the Redeemer. When we heard the gospel, we instantly received faith by the hearing of it, and were sealed unto the day of salvation. Is it Peter? THAT is the Kingdom. We hear things men say. All outsiders go to Hell. Jesus said he is the way, the truth, and the light. Nobody else co-opted that. There is no additional requirement.

It is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus for one and all. Nothing additional is required, except obedience. So, are you in the Kingdom or not? Do you believe God and trust in Jesus, or do you believe men instead? Yet, a majority of the comments here would lead any atheist to never believe in what we proclaim. My only addition is that out of all these religions, Jesus is the only one who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead three days later.

He was witnessed ascending into heaven after resurrection by over people. Maybe I am uninformed but I have never heard of any religion that can speak any more power over life or death. Therefore, I trust in him only to forgive my sins. Not any human, pastor or pope! Hubbard or Joseph Smith die on the cross for us and come back to life 3 days later? I think not! Jesus never sat on a gold throne like the Pope, or surrounded himself with luxuries, although he deserves it all! That just shows you how arrogant we as humans can be. It is not to be that way with you.

Not until, though…. To refuse submission to the pope is to refuse submission to God? That is not in the bible I read, and only the bible is the Word of God. Christ is the only one you submit, anything else is false. Please look and see for yourself, the pope is no mediator between man and God, … I pray that you see for yourself.. God Bless you. No one comes to the Father except through me. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.

Acts Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Jesus also said he was the Truth, the Way and the Life. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Once again she refuses. So I go to the Catholic Church and the Church tells her the same thing. Such churches do exist by the way, and they claim to be led by the Holy Spirit — an infallible being that can do no wrong. Who is right? Who is the authority? Hi Brandon If a church condones abortion it is not led by the Holy Spirit. And no man, woman, church or religion on Earth is the authority. His Son.. Study His Holy Word to know what to believe and how to live life! Each of us has our own free will.. And it is never too late to turn to Jesus..

Maybe you will approach me in Heaven.. I offer you the invitation.. Jesus Christ came to this earth to die for our sins so we may live our lives for Him. We are born sinners but are healed by His grace through Jesus Christ. Through asking for forgiveness and trying our hardest to live our lives for Jesus Christ, we are given forgiveness that we truly seek in our lives.

My God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ knows my heart and loves me no matter what and I will always find peace when I go to Him in prayer and confession of my sins. Never forget, every person on this earth falls short of the glory of God but through Jesus Christ all is not lost and if you believe in Him and show God your repentance and ask for forgiveness, every part of me believes He will have mercy on our souls and we will be with Him in heaven one day. A good example is the man on the cross with Jesus.

God saw his heart and told him he would be in heaven with Him when he died. He was a murderer. So that tells me we all can be forgiven for our sins too, as small or great as they are. All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your savior and ask for forgiveness and show Him we mean it by how we live our lives afterwards. God have mercy on our souls and the souls of people who try to judge others. Not one person will not fall short of the glory of God and woe to the people who want to judge others because it says in the bible, judge not, lest you be judged in how you judge others.

Thus, the utter hypocricy that is inherent in every montheistic religion. Everyone has a slightly different interpretation, and therefore a slightly different belief. Both claim eachother to be incorrect and their way is the correct way. Care to explain John for me then? Was Jesus wrong and you know better Luisa? Peter was the first pope and the other desciples are the first bishops.

I will build my church on this rock…. I do agree though with a comment above that all that matters is that you follow Jesus. That is the true message. Your taking one verse, which your wrongly attributing to apostolic ascension, and ascribing all these so called truths. There are no verses in the bible that speak of Peter as pope or apostolic succession, none. Please open your mind and search for the truth. I know, that I know, what I know!

Bless you brother. This is one of many divine experiences I have had. He has never left me. But I have at times left him, even though I know what I know. And no one really believes us when we tell them. But we have to, because it is the truth; March Pastor: Curtis Linton. This Happened. I was a new husband and father and wanted the perfect life for my first born son.

My wife and I attended church regularly and that was good but something was missing in my life. I remembered when I was a young man of 14 and wanted to be a preacher when I grew up. I had that inner peace and feeling of comfort that comes with being close to God. My son was only in his second month and we gave him to God. I however did not feel that peace that I felt when I was a young teenager in Missouri. I wanted that again. Every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednedsday night would come and I desperately wanted that peace again. I would go to the alter every time and beg,,,, I would make a fist and pray for forgiveness of my sins and please forgive me.

I did this at every service and I was always the only one. I knew the congregation must think that I was really a busy sinner. After 6 or 8 weeks of this I became very depressed. I realized that there was no way for me to get that peaceful feeling I once had…… I believed that I must surely be going to hell and there was absolutely nothing that I could do about it.. I accepted it as a fact.

I gave up on any chance of my salvation. But let me tell you how good Jesus is! The next Sunday as I sat in the congregation I thought: Just one more time,,,,,,, But this time I am saying goodbye……. I went to the alter and it was different when you have given up all hope… I felt that peace now but it was a sad acceptance of my fate……. This is what happend: I knelt at the alter and lowered my head…….. I accepted that I was going to hell and there was no way around it……..

I searched in my deepest heart and ask only that God hear one last and final prayer from me…… I said: Dear God…….. I know that I am unworthy and must be going to hell…….. I accept it…………I am truly sorry…… I have only one last request if you willl hear this sinners prayer……………….. God I pray for those in the congregation that do not know you……..

Please Lord I pray that you will give them the strength to take that first step….. Send them an Angel Lord, to help them take that first step……… I have given up on me Lord……. I left that church…….. All conscious thought left my mind,,,,,,, I can only recall what I saw…….. I was surrounded by a white gold color light all around………. I looked in front of me and before me there were two images……… One in the distance up high and powerful to the extreme in his reverence and on a large throne……….

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The other was between me and the one on high……… As I looked upon the one closer to me he turned to me and away from the one on high……… As he truned and reached out his hand,, He said: This One Father………. Then he touched me…………Instantly I felt every darkness and weigtht being lifted from my heart and soul……………. It was literally like a flushing of darkness and being filled with lilght…………….. The scene lingered but for only a moment and then this happened. I felt myself kneeling at the alter with my eyes closed…………. I felt someone with their hands on mine,,,,,,,,,,, I opened my eyes and saw the wood graing finish of the alter me with my tears puddled in a circle………..

I felt a peace that can not be described by the language we use…………. Looking up I saw that the hands on mine belonged to one of the deacons in the church…….. I only went because of my selfish search for God and salvation…………. I came to realize something that day………. God hears the unselfish prayers of sinners,,,,,, and he answered my prayers that day……… I slowly raised myself from the alter and left them all receiving Christ………. I turned and went to sit beside my wife and child…….. I felt as though I was literally walking on air……………. I said: I just saw Jesus……………. She said: Thats Nice!

I kept smiling and when we left church that day on the way home we had the worst fight of our marriage…….. Satan was furious. For he lost the battle of more than a hundred souls that day. Holy Spirit Lead Me……. I also live in the Tulsa area. Your testimony really touched my heart. Thank God!!!! Thru one small act of selflessness many souls were led to Christ. Keep up the battle!!! Wow powerful testimony. I too have that darkness in front of me yet I yearn to feel light as cotton again. I yearn to feel that joy and happiness with peace and love.

Your testimony just gave me hope once again. This is Confirmation that Jesus is waiting for me at the alter. Thank you father!! Thank you Jesus!! Amen, amen. I have had many many questions and I feel peace of mind bout Christ, God, Holy Spirit, angels, demons, after life, life in the universe, eternal life and most important about LOVE. The creative power of the universe is love. Jesus answer: what ever one brings you the closest to God.

I reach out and i listen in hopes of finding or hearing something that will overpower my educated logic and for the most part recieve positive responses.. She started praying for him also had the other nuns praying for him for about 13 years. I know a few people who are atheist and I pray for them regularly, probably not regularly enough. It is so important to pray for those who reject God that they will come to know Him and be saved. We have a responsibility to love one another and this is one way we can do that. He states that God revealed to him that people can continue their spiritual development after death by living again on other planets, possibly in other dimensions, and some people get out of hell by repenting.

Both of these concepts are opposed to what is contained in the Bible. God is the law and God is love, all merciful, all knowing, and all powerful. Read your Bible again and read it this time with the love of God in your heart, not the fear of the vindictive, demented, destructive god small g intentional that mainstream Christianity teaches. This is the time of an awakening. We no longer have to fear God.

We now have to truly love and respect Him for the great and loving being that He is. Perfect love casts out all fear and with love God , all things are possible. I will serve my God on whatever planet and in whatever dimension He chooses for me to be. Do not fear to tell Him that you will as well. The Bible says to fear God, and also to love God. Which you should obviously do both. He knows everything, He can do anything, He can send anyone to Hell for all of eternity if he would please. However, God is loving, and forgiving.

He loves all of us and wants us to love Him back. Step on and kill them. He wants us to call to him and praise him. We should all of our lives. We owe everything to our great God. Lord of lords. Revelation He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of othe hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.

Well anon God is not a loving God. He loves us when we obey Him. Yes even Gods patience can be exhausted. If you keep hardening your hearts and walking sinfully there will come a time where you will sow what you reap. This very concept could lead people to live a life however they want, and think that after they die, they can change their mind.

I do not find anywhere in the Bible that supports this. The Bible says, that after death comes judgement. Hebrews The judgement for believers according to what they have done for Christ, as to what rewards they will receive not salvation; they have already accepted Christ before death. Then the White Throne judgement for those who have not received Jesus Christ.

There is no second chance after death. Test everything by the Word of God. I have to say that I am in agreement with Cathy Schroader…. This is the argument scientists who are researching these NDEs use too. They are studying people who were clinically pronounced dead i. One significant fact is that all these experiences are almost identical across countries, ages, religion, non-religion, even time. I also would have to agree with Cathy, it says that which ever way we go, it is eternity after we die, that means for ever and ever and ever..

I am afraid that now that Howard says that there are other chances in other ways to get spiritual after death, and that you can live on other planets etc etc, that I find what he says is now hard to believe, or it was not from the God of Abraham that his message came from…. One key fact here is that Harold never died; he had a near-death experience.

Karen Meek what do you think the bible is?

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You forgot something — he was not dead. God was allowing him to see the other side of things so that not only he could change but that he could cause others to change as well. Jesus is the Word. The Bible is the written account of the Word. Jesus is alive today and lives in the hearts of believers for those who accept Him. He gives Word for today. The Bible tells us of false prophets and teachers. I find nowhere in scripture any other teaching than what you have provided here.

As you say that is the test we must live by. The Bible is not big enough to contain everything there is to know about God and eternity. Other accounts of near death experiences are very similar to this one, and Howard is not the only one to speak about repentance in hell and life on other planets. God is loving, kind and merciful. To live with Him in that glorious place called heaven, we must live for Him while still on this planet, proving our love for Him by loving and serving others to the best of our ability. Jesus is the Way, the Life and the Truth.

There is no other way. You will probably be a Catholic in the near future. Pontius Pilate asked Jesus why he did not know Him. You are on your way. We will be praying for you and your family. No pope, priest or saint can get you to heaven, and no amount of money can save you from hell.

Only Jesus can do that through the acceptance of His love and sacrifice for us on the cross.. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by Him. Many years ago a friend gave me 2 CDs on which Howard Storm told his story. It has inspired me so many times, because he is told that, years from then, this world will be a different place.

As a pro-lifer, that means that abortion WILL come to an end. We have to keep up the good fight! Why the comments assuming Rev.

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On what basis do you make such claims? Triumphalistic, much? As far as I know, the Bible does not clearly state that the wills of those in heaven and hell are unchangeable, although it is implied in Dan , Luke , Mat. It seems logical that hell would be empty if the fallen angels and condemned souls could get released by regretting their past mistakes. An essential characteristic of hell is that residents there are unable to love. I believe that there are 7 levels of heaven see St.

They are all mentioned in the Bible. Isaias In the year that king Ozias died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated: and his train filled the temple. Psalms And he ascended upon the cherubim, and he flew; he flew upon the wings of the winds. Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Principalities. Colossians For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him.

Virtues and Angels. Who is on the right hand of God, swallowing down death, that we might be made heirs of life everlasting: being gone into heaven, the angels and powers and virtues being made subject to him. Jude When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee. Love is the only answer and Howard found that out.

First, Paul said he was taken to the third heaven. Second, if you study jewish literature, you would realize that this third heaven is the dwelling place of God, withe first meaning simply the sky of Earth, the second being space. Secondly, ther is no purgatory, nor even a need for one. Luke When Jesus ascended to heaven, he took all the righteous dead with him. Psalm , Eph Since then, every believer who dies goes straight to the presence of Jesus. But there is nothing in the word to indicate the chance of salvation after death.

To decide what your eternal relation to God will be; either communion or separation. There is no description of levels in heaven or hell, only degrees of punishment and reward. Please, everyone, make certain your doctrine comes only from the Word. The teaching of men and other books is heresy, and will neither save nor sanctify. Walk the narrow path. Matt GOD Bless. Purgatory exists. And you interpret according to a Protestant mindset. You accept only a 66 book Bible, but you have no biblical basis upon which to do so.

Where did you get the idea that the Bible contains only 66 books? Chapter and verse, and Bible only, please. Where does the Bible tell us which parts are supposed to be taken literally and which are not? How does a Protestant go about getting married? Where did he get the idea that he has to go before a minister, with a best man and a maid of honor, and pronounce some type of vows?

Finally, is infant baptism consistent with Sola Scriptura? Millions upon millions of Protestants since the Reformation say yes, and millions upon millions of other Protestants say no. And what that means is that millions upon millions of Protestants do not understand their own doctrine of Sola Scriptura, as both sides cannot possibly be right on the issue.

It also means that the Holy Ghost does not guide millions upon millions of people who THINK they are guided by Him, as the Holy Ghost cannot guide millions of people to believe and practice something and at the same time guide millions of others to believe and practice its exact opposite. Your quote: Since then, every believer who dies goes straight to the presence of Jesus.

And, of course, there is the most blatant reference to Purgatory contained in the Book of Macchabees, which has been ruled as canonical by the Catholic Church, which is the same institution that ruled all the books of the New Testament to be canonical:. Rather duplicitous of you to demand something of the Protestant what you yourself can not produce. Shortly after that little miracles started happening in my life and one day I was standing in my living room and had this thought….

He is just waiting for opportunities to shower His love on people but they have to repent from there sin …. We must be Born Again John to enter the kingdom of God…Jesus did not come to bring religion but to bring us into a relationship with himself…. The Only way to heaven…. Repent and be baptized everyone of you…. Do you know God today…. Read the Bible and find out while your still alive….

He leads to the fullness of truth. True Man. I know the idea of conversion to the Catholic Church freaks people out. That is because of their ignorance about the teachings. I invite a challenge. Pray, fast…ask to be shown the Truth…read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Every belief is all in there with Holy Scripture cited. I am now a Bible College Graduate. Sheree- Wow! Glad for you. Men are indeed corruptable, God is not. Divide and conquer seems to have worked wonders to create over 18, different churches worshipping Christ. You bet. Sheree…where do you find any of that in the Bible…. The word of God has the final say so not man……Find out just what Jesus thinks of religion….

Saying you were a Catholic did not make it so! Who, afterall, do you think put the Bible together. Who is the only church given the Holy Spirits protection to interpret correctly? The devil can only pull those away who are Catholic only in name. You must have slept through Mass if you never heard the gospel preached. The one true Church is the body of believers that follow Christ. Jesus is more concerned with ones heart than what Church we attend. I was a Catholic for 40 years and never in that time did I hear it either.

I began to read the bible from Genesis and all the way through even the Apochrypha. I have heard that there are born again Catholics, but in my experience they are in the vast minority. How can you all the Roman Catholic Church a false church? I hear sermons from the Bible every Sun. Evidently, the priest you claim to have seen on the beach in a speedo with his lover was tempted by the flesh. No one ever said priests nor anyone else is perfect! That might have been one priest without your consideration of the thousands of faithful priests throughout the world. I pray that you will find your way back to the Roman Catholic Church, but in the meantime, I hope you are happy and feel loved by God.

Can you explain bowing before idols then? The catholic church was NOT the first church created by Jesus. Catholics pray to beings other than GOD and Jesus. Pretty sure that Jesus was against that. Catholics just say that they were formed by Jesus to make themselves seem as if they were important. Most people leaves the church for futile reasons, or are deceived to leave the house of God by the devil.

See the fallen angel is smart, not stupid as some portrayed him, he send his agents to infiltrate the institutions. They betray everybody, then he unveil them, at the right moment, in from of the right people, like the pastor on the beach with speedos or pedo bishops. They are impostors, placed to ruin the faith in the church.

Maybe they are not even aware of this, because they are also people. And people can be manipulated easely. A life time of faith can be destroyed by one single moment, a bad example a moment of weakness etc. But this also shows the shortcomings of some believers, it is explained clearly that you should have faith in God, jesus etc not in HUMANS. Humans fails, even the greates of the saints fails, and this is because humans are limited, we live for a short time, we have little knowledge and strong powers try to decieve us.

A pedo bishop or a luxurious pastor means noting, they are sinners we all are so its not a big surprise. Human fails, and we are confused thats why we have the sacred scriptures, the revelations. To help us to get close to god. No matter what you do you cannot avoid sinning. The sin in itself its not important, but our efforts to avoid sinning and to be on the right path is important. And GOD knows we fail, we are imperfect, thats why he help us.

Leaving the church because of the action of humans, is a poor excuse. Its like leaving the hospital complaining there are sick people in there. But the hospital exist exactly because of the sicks, not the healthy. THe church is the same, its exist for us sinners. So leaving the church because of one sinner or a million is stupid. I dont say this for offend or demean you, I by my self have done some very bad things in my life. I have failed and done mistakes.

Sometimes because of pride and arrogance other times because of stupidity. But its irrilevant, because whats important is our effort to get back to the right path that is important. Not our mistakes…. Howard, I read your book, My Descent into Hell, years ago. It really inspired me, and still continues to inspire me. Who can speak ill of this? Thank you for your testimony. God is good.

In this era I believe many will experience a examination of conscience. Gods mercy is so extraordinary, and He wishes that All come to the banquet table. Please continue to be of His service, and I will continue to be concerned with His Fathers affairs. My name is Tom. I now tell everyone about what happened to me. There is a great, loving, merciful almighty God. He is a God of miracles. Every day He does a miracle for me. And Yes! Quite inspiring for some of us who love and adore Jesus Christ.

Praise God. He said nothing about reincarnation or anything about being released from hell. Also Storm indicated that he believed that people could continue to develop their spiritual lives after death but did not say that Jesus told him so. As for living on other planets, again that was an opinion, not a fact.

I was and still am deeply impressed by his experience and I believe God is using him in a powerful way. There are no accounts of these things in the bible as someone mentioned above, because it is NOT biblical, it is not an omision by God! The bible tells us not to add to or take away from it.

The fact that it may be his opinion or belief is entirely his choice, not founded on the. That does not discredit his testimony regarding Jesus, etc. But he is misguided in the other areas. Satan walks about like a roaring lion ready to devour. I will pray for him…blessings!

Responding to the individual that says that the Catholic Church is a false church. Check out Chick. Hi Dolores, Please allow me to answer some of your questions. Search, pray, read and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free. May God bless you and your loved ones.

Because Protestant Christians have given their lives to keep the Bible in circulation and to translate it!!! I love his painting of Jesus…. Jesus the same yesterday, today and forever. What a loving Lord and Saviour! He is the only one that can save dieheard atheist like Howard. Glory be to His holy name. So, how you missed those and the homilies given on the Scriptures after, is beyond me.

Are you aware of the history of how the Holy Bible came about? Are you sure you want to embrace a Catholic book? Jesus came for sinners and you will find us in the Catholic Church, sure enough. But, just as you identified yourself as once Catholic, can you see how easy it is for people to claim Catholicism yet know absolutely zip about it? I invite you to learn in the link I provided above.

Everything believed by the Church is biblical. For ever four weak Catholics who leave the church there is one really good, sound and strong Catholic coming in the front end. The church will get smaller but stronger. Mairin, i try very hard not get into debates with people about what the Catholic church believes, because i know that what is taught at mass, and what is proclaimed by the church are two different things. Anyone who goes to a mass would have to agree that the word is preached.

However, there are huge portions of official catholic doctrine that are unbiblical. The whole concept of the papacy and the priesthood is obviously unscriptural if catholics would just read their bibles for themselves. I went to catholic school and catholic church, and have studied the teachings for years, as my passion is for the lost sheep. While i know there are many saved people in the catholic church, the truth is, i can say with certainty, and back it up with scripture, that anyone who knows and believes the full teaching of the catholic church will find themselves unsaved when judgement comes.

Just the stuff about Mary is enough to separate a person from God forever. True catholism is NOT true christianity. I have not read any of Mr. GOD Bless. Its not about the details. Religions all have it wrong. Its about love. You are loved. You are here to share and express your love. Hi everyone. I am Catholic and I do believe the Catholic scripture teachings are the closest to the truth, or even the truth of Jesus. I had an unpleasant experience with the Catholic institution. I was married for 7 years and had 2 children with my husband.

My husband had an affair in our marriage and then left with the woman he had an affair with. Anyhow, this woman worked as a school teacher in the Catholic system, so she knew people in the Church. The irony is that I worked as a school teacher in the public system. She persuaded him to go to the church and get our marriage annulled so that she could marry him in the Catholic Church and maybe to secure her job in the catholic teaching system. The priest that was in charge of annulments was known to her and they started attending mass at his church.

I fought the annulment for 2 years, but to no avail and he was granted the annulment. No consideration was ever given to my young children, and what eventuated was even worse. He stopped seeing the kids altogether and they have had no contact with him throughout their life. What I found devastating was the churches response to this whole thing.

I let it go, spoke to Jesus myself, as I have a wonderful relationship with him, Mary, an of course the angels. I brought my kids up, sent them to Catholic schools, and took them to church during Easter and Christmas. What I have learnt is that the teachings of the scriptures are correct in the Catholic Church, but evil has infiltrated it, just as it infiltrates all institutions. God bless you all. I searched and read the Bible and now I thank God for He has enlightened me.

I do not have to confess my sins to anyone but to Him only thru Jesus. John is enough for me and I do not need any other mediator for Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man. I do not have to memorize my prayers but only things that are from my heart. I am saved because of His grace and not by my good works. To Him alone be the glory forever and ever; and not even my religion. If only everyone would choose to live in the freedom from religion you clearly do.

So do I! To all three of you, take a look at John 20;23….. Thank God for this testimony. I am so encouraged. John Probst. I loved this because it shows the mercy of God, Christ Jesus. Jesus went into hell and rescued the people who had died in Noahs day at the flood. And He took the keys of hell and death from our enemy satan. I hope this will draw others to Jesus and make them realise there is a way that does lead to Heaven through Christ Jesus. This man has been used by God to bring Hope to those who maybe had no hope, haliluyah. He died for all of us so we could live eternally with Him and it is just a case of accepting his precious offer and recognising we are all sinners and we need His grace.

Ohh… my sweet Jes, I thank you for your deep love for us all. What amazing story, instead of fighting over doctrine, let us celebrate the glory and mercy of the Lord. And remember their are millions of people like Howard who are going to hell unless they have a revelation of who Jesus is. His not angry with you, He loves you! Therefore, His Name is exalted above every other names in heaven, on earth and below the earth[Read Phillipians ch. How I know it, is a long story, but we lost a daughter in Christ from our Youth group via self-harm suicide in the Pastors house in She was a loving Babe in Christ, singer, guitarist etc etc..

Important for family to LOve each other and NOT to take for granted their relationship here on earth.. Please read Luke There are only 2 places mentioned in the bible the word heaven and the word Hell. Revelation and all liars and those who worship idols are to be thrown into hell. Jesus said except a man be born of water and the spirit you will by no means enter the kingdom of God. John There are many accounts of this.

The punishments are similar to Hell but the difference is, they have the chance to go to Heaven. Their torments are temporary. Why all the running each other down? This is not what God tells us to do. What will matter is what is in your heart. God searches our hearts, He knows what is in there. Ask and you shall receive, ask God to show you the truth-He will.

The bible nor God says anywhere that Ye must be members of any specific church. He says Ye must be born again. Seek and you will find. Our God is mighty, loving, forgiving, truthful, and full of grace and mercy. He will forgive anything if you just ask. Belong to God. That is all that matters-love God, love your fellow man, forgive others and seek after good.

OD is not the G. OD did 2 covenants and guess what, HE did it only with the Jewish people, twice!!! Please ask G. OD that leaves has given to the world, for the Jews first and then to the rest of the nations. Read the Bible but the real one, not the catholic one and you will understand what Paul the Apostle not Saint Paul said again and again. Read the book of Romains and stop being blind. Thank you for pointing us again to the Jewish Messiah who was before Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul and all those later called Popes, evangelists, etc.

That Messiah calls us to love one another, as GOD loves us all. Science and Medicine do not understand what life or death or consciousness are so fighting over whether people can be saved after dealth is perhaps meaningless. God uses whatever GOd wills to bring people to learn how to love God, themselves and others.

Tell your atheist family and friends that Jesus already loves them and saved them. Now can we pray for enough love to love each other inspite our differences of belief? Dear colleague, I am a Tunisian University professor. In this context, I have recently written a new paper available at this link :. Some of them tell about their significantly intense experience when they seem to live and function outside their body. First, we shall present the various stages of a near death experience NDE.

We shall particularly explain why the observed phenomena during an NDE are troubling and destabilizing for the adepts of certain religions. Second, we shall analyze and interpret these phenomena according to different points of view. Further, we shall discuss life in the hereafter and present some of its aspects.

In this paper we shall also raise the issue of premonitory dreams which constitute a mystery for scientists. Since the topic would interest many readers, I am sending you a copy of the paper which will allow you to briefly access the universe of the hereafter. Would you please be so kind as to send me your comments and opinion on the matter. Each one has some good aspect remaining, but not one is the end all, or be all.

How many of you would enter into a marriage without any personal relationship? Where would the fruit children of such a relationship be? Zilch, right? He created each and everyone of us with a purpose. Peter had that revealed to his inner man, and to his soul.