Monday, May 07, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Sects and Cults Podcast
Unlike many xian podcasts on these issues, this is much more objective and presents a more balanced argument on what each of the "sects" or "cults" are about.
You can find this feed listed in iTunes - search for sects and cults. Their website is http://www.liberty.edu/
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Humphrys in Search of God
"John Humphrys as you've never heard him before - talking with religious leaders about his unfulfilled desire to believe in God.
How is faith possible in a world of suffering, much of it arguably caused by religion or religious extremism and to which God seems to turn a blind eye? Is there a place for religion in an age dominated by science?
His guests are the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams; Professor Tariq Ramadan, Muslim academic and author; and Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi."
Friday, November 10, 2006
Richard Dawkins "God almost certainly does not exist"
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Homer proves there is no God
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The Incredible Design of the Earth and Our Solar System
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
How do we know if God exists - some of the arguments for and against
- Intelligent design
- The apparent design and order of the universe suggests that there must have been a "creator"
- Why do people start of ask these big questions when they take the time to look at the night sky...the stars...nature etc. etc.
- Psalm 8
- Why does bad stuff happen? This can be used to argue for the existence of God - the concept of "good" and "evil" assumes that there is a universal set of moral values. Christians would argue that these come from God.
- It is commonly accepted that humans have a highly developed sense of "right and wrong". We have to ask where has this come from? Theists argue that this is something that God has put within us. If God has not put it there, then where did this sense come from? How is this compatible with evolutionary theory? Surely there is no morality in the "survival of the fittest".
- Archaeology backs up much of the old testament
- New testament history
- New_Testament Authorship
- Christian manuscripts - this summaries a lot of the "standard" evidence that people give to support the Bible
- Pascal's wager - "it is always a better "bet" to believe in God"
- The Watch maker analogy - "an argument in support of the view that the universe are the product of a conscious designer or designers"
- Transcendental argument for the existence of God
- Cosmological_argument - if everything has a cause, then who causes the first cause...God?Ontological arguments - using logic to argue for the existence of God
- Incompetent design - some people argue against "intelligent" design by saying that some things show a poor design
- If there is a God, who created him?
- The Problem of Evil / Epicurean paradox - "the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent god". My research on this is here
- Creationism is not consistent with the fossil record
- Some critics have maintained that Christianity isn't even founded on an historical figure whatsoever, but rather on a mythical creation
- Note that some of the arguments "against" are part of the "arguments for"!!
- Primarily a theist will base there answers on the supernatural answers, where as a scientist will base their beliefs on what can be "observed". That, of course, does not mean that the two are entirely mutually exclusive, or that either can prove that the other is right or wrong.
- "Science covers the mental field of knowledge and religion the mental field of belief. Belief starts where knowledge ends."
- See God of the Gaps - the idea that we attribute the bits we don't understand to God. The more we understand, the less need we have for God.
- Evolution: fact or fiction? The main points in this book are:
- not every scientist believes evolution to be true
- there are two types of evolution - "micro-evolution" which evolution within a specific species and "macro-evolution" which says that one species can create other new species over time
- there is no dispute that "micro evolution" occurs - this can be proved. Those who breed animals do this via cross breeding etc. to introduce small changes.
- there is no direct empirical evidence to support "macro-evolution", be that in the laboratory, or fossils, palaeontology etc. Anybody who says otherwise is basically theorising or taking an educated guess.
- "Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and palaeontology does not prove them", i.e., there is not evidence that shows the gradual changes of one species to another. There are some attempts to explain this, but it's just theory. I heard some argue that can't prove it because it not enough time has elapsed - i.e., if evolution takes millions of years, it might take us millions of years (or a long time) to prove it.
- The fossil records also indicate "explosions" of life in very short periods of time, which does not wholly fit in with evolutionary theory. There is some argument that this points more towards a creationist view point
- The book suggests that homo sapiens are separated from all other species that can not be explained by evolution. There are several listed, including "We [humans] have a spiritual dimension, a sense that these is a world beyond the material". Why is this? Why do we have a spiritual dimension?
- Young-Earth Creationism
- Old-Earth Creationism
- Theistic evolutionism, also known as "evolutionary creationism"
- Even Richard Dawkins doesn't completely rule out the existence of God "We cannot prove that there is no God, but we can safely conclude the He is very, very improbable indeed"
- The Bible was not written from a scientific point of view
- Atheists - a common mistake that Christians make is assume that Atheists are those who do not believe in God. An Atheist can also be someone who makes no claim either way. I've heard several atheist argue from the point of view that have not yet been convinced that God exists, which from their point of view is different to not believing in God. In several arguments I've heard, the atheist will use this card...i.e., argue I'm not anti-god, it's up to you to prove god's existence to me...
- In debates between Evolutionists and Creationists, some Evolutionists seem to use the term to refer to the whole process of creation where others refer to different sciences:
- Check out the articles here
- Special revelation - "knowledge of God or spiritual matters that would not be available to mankind without God's intervention to make that knowledge available"
- General revelation - "the knowledge of God and spiritual matters which can be discovered through natural means, such as observation of nature, philosophy and reasoning, or conscience"
- All of nature points to God (is there some verse about nature cries out glory of god etc? Psalm 91:1?)
- Some Christians argue that their "Faith gives us hope", i.e., that there is something better than this life, this world etc. To an Atheist, this life is all that there is - if there is no hope here, then tough luck!
- Read this for laugh http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm
- The Six Blind men of Indostan - the idea that we all see God from a different point of view...all Gods are the same etc.
- Video for Fatboy Slim: Right Here, Right Now - http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2434562?htv=12&htv=12. Basically this is a music video that show the theory of evolution.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Why does bad stuff happen?
- A God of love will not force you to do something...he will allow you to make your own choices
- God teaches us through suffering
- Bill Hybels in Finding God in the Storms of Life talks about "rouge winds", suggesting that when they strike it causes us to focus on what is really important. It also results in some people coming to faith.
- God tests us though trials
- God may allow certain things to happen for the greater good - we are not in possession of all the facts.
- Look at the story of Joseph in
- See Matthew 7:7-12
- Rob Bell Nooma "Kick ball" DVD uses this analogy
- James Sire "A transcendent God, as a First Cause, created the universe but then left it to run on its own? ...To the deist, then, God is distant, foreign, alien."
- Bill Hybels in Finding God in the Storms of Life..."God took a risk of unimaginable proportions by giving human beings free will...it's like giving a fifteen-year-old kid the keys to a Ferrari...". He also quotes Jeremiah 17:9 and suggests that sometimes we deceive ourselves. There's an example of some guy who smokes 3 packs of cigarettes every day...he gets lung cancer. Who's fault is this? I guess the same principle would apply to things like drink, stress, work or the way we deal with anger, problems etc.
- Genesis 2:15 - 17 "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
- Romans 3:10 - 18
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
"Wars and murders come from yourselves because you are greedy and lust for power"
- "1) Evil and suffering exist in the world 2) If God were all-powerful, he could prevent evil and suffering 3) If he were all-loving, he would want to prevent these 4) If there were an all-powerful, all-loving God, there would be no evil and suffering in the world 5) God is therefore powerless, loveless or non-existent"
- "If all living things on the earth were created by God, and he was a loving God who made man in his image, how do you explain the fact that he must have created the tapeworm, the malaria parasite, the tetanus germ, polio, ticks, mosquitoes, cockroaches and fleas?"
- "When people respond to tragedy by asking, 'how can there be a just God?' their question is logically flawed, as without him words like 'just' and 'unjust' are purely matters of personal opinion"
- "Far from moral problems ruling out the existence of God, our sense of things being right and wrong, fair or unfair, just or unjust is a strong clue that there is some transcendent standard that affects us all"
- "...suffering reminds us of our physical frailty and of our dependence upon God"
- There is an interesting challenge on page 18. Some guy who wants to know why there was "so much evil in the world" is challenged to say "what you have done about the evil you see within you"
Friday, February 17, 2006
Humanist Manifesto III
Friday, February 03, 2006
The Da vinci code - separating fact from fiction
Monday, December 26, 2005
What is the meaning of life?
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]