Last Monday at New York's Pierre Hotel, outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens and physicist/theologian Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete met to tackle the question of whether or not science makes belief in God obsolete.
According to the forum's hosts, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham and Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn, religion riles its vilifiers when it makes truth claims without evidence -- at least evidence that would hold up in a court of science. The conflict seems to stem from a difference in understanding as to what evidence and truth truly are.
This discrepancy of perspective was clear in a statement made by Monsignor Albacete: "Religion is a different form of knowledge that has its own evidence."
"The credibility of the gospels is crucial," he said. "Faith without evidence: I don't know what that is."
When rattling off his gripes with religion during the question-and-answer session, Hitchens argued that believers seem to love God out of a requirement, not out of freedom. "The compulsory love of someone you must fear is something of a celestial North Korea," said Hitchens.
But Monsignor Albacete discovers truth in religion's ability to connect with his daily life. "If I can't relate doctrine to why I care about what I care, then it is all just theoretical matter and you can substitute the Great Lizard for Christ for all I care."
Humans have always tried to find patterns and explanations for why things are the way they are. And religion can provide a relevant avenue for doing so, just as science does.
I don't think it makes it obsolete unless you believe in the big bang, or at least part of it, if you believe god caused the big bang then both science and religeon can coexist at least if your christian.
Then how can you prove that evolution happened? How can you prove that a big bang happened? That is faith WITHOUT evidence; at least evidence that would hold in a court of science! Now I do understand that you may have what SEEMS like evidence (such as similarity between animals), but how is that valid evidence? If you would be an automobile designer, then OBVIOUSLY your cars would be quite similar, only getting better each model! In the same way, God created creatures that have similarities! Imagine 1000 years into the future, not knowing that humans created cars, and saying that they evolved from some scrap metal! That would be a stupid assumption to make.
As to believers loving God out of requirement, that is NOT true. You obviously have NEVER loved Him at all. But I can almost guarantee that if someone rescued you from dying a certain death, you would at least FEEL GRATEFULL to the person. In the same way, we love God because He saved us from eternal damnation and separation from Him. God didn't force me to love Him....I love Him because He loved me first! I am not AFRAID or SCARED of God at all!
Something like the Big Bang must have happened because something created the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). The CMB is proof of some inflationary point after the Big Bang where the Universe became cool enough to form electrons and protons. Thus it must have began small and hot.
Well I have never lost an argument under estimating the intelligence of an Atheist. I say now that all should test the nature of debates between Science and Religion. What fuels them is the fact that Atheists are so frustrated. While Christians, for example, are content. Atheists try to argue using science. which, in my opinion, almost obviously proves God exists.
You can pose many examples. I like to use Thermodynamics. Therein, our first law, everything moves to a state of disorder. Under this Law, our fuel, Hydrogen is abundant. The universal energy source. So if time were cyclic? We would have no Sun and we would have run out.
The red shift, Doppler effect, proves the singularity or origin, If you will. The Bible states that the stars will fall from the sky. In one of it's most confrontational verses. Which explains the reversion to this singularity. Research the literal translations of the bible from Hebrew. As John Clayton stated. The Beginning of Genesis actually reads in English, That for which there were none before created the heaved up things. Heaved... and, when written, they had no ideas about a theory as complex as the Big Bang. Not until 1934 or so. That's always a fun debate. Can of worms, anyone.
"Hitchens argued that believers seem to love God out of a requirement, not out of freedom. "The compulsory love of someone you must fear is something of a celestial North Korea," said Hitchens."
4. reverential awe, esp. toward God.
I guess his definition leans more towards this:
1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
I taught in South Korea, and met North Korean Christians who escaped to South Korea. They revere God, and not man.
It seems to me that Atheists want to believe that religion is useless and archaic, but with what shall they replace it?
I certainly am not going to bow down or revere a test tube or a Pyrex (c) beaker, nor will I bow to another human being just because he knows so much more about the world than I do.
No one can prove or disprove the existence of god, thats the nature of it. Although no one can prove that I am not god, or that there isn't a purple scorpion god that lives in my freezer.
As to the person who doesn't believe in evolution, viruses do it on a daily basis, we can literally watch it happen, don't lose all credibility with an ignorant statement like that. I am not going to sit here and list the volumes of rigorously debated and peer tested evidence of evolution, look it up.
If you believe in a god, thats fine, if you believe in the teachings of the bible that was written less than 2000 years ago, then you assume god did not give the benefit of his teachings to thousands of generations of humans that preceded it. You also assume that the Earth is 5000 years old and that dinosaurs are another scientific error, as is plate tectonics, geology and astronomy, for if the universe if 5000 years old then how did the light from stars 10000 light years away reach us yet? Of course you will counter with the argument that God has simply worked this into his plan, or that for some strange reason he created the Earth with all signs pointing to it being older than it is.
If you believe in a God then why was there many gods in the religions that preceded christianity? How do you know not to sacrifice lambs to Zeus? Did all those people simply go to hell? On the topic of Hell I will finish this comment (which I could go on for hours with), with a quote,"If god created man out of dust knowing that that man would be condemned to hell, then shouldn't he have left that dust alone in the first place?"
The crucial problem with evolution is that it isn't science. According to the scientific method, science is repeatable and observable. The Big Bang isn't repeatable or observeable. Evolution fits more correctly in the religion category, in that it answers the three eternal questions, "Where did we come from?, Why are we here?, and Where are we going?"
One of the things I truly dislike about this debate is that people always present the case as science vs religion. I don't believe that it has to be this way. Science does not oppose religion nor does religion science. Seeing the debate as science vs religion only shows an opposition overshadowing commonalities. In every part of the debate; cosmology, physics, biology (evolutionary debate), or the earths beginnings, there is evidence that is strongly presented on both sides using so called scientific reasoning. I'm not to fond of that term because even that definition becomes biased based on the case you are trying to debate. Someone could consider something a science while others would called it still a hypothesis or theory that cannot or has not been disproved. One example of this is faith based off personal experience. Is that true evidence. some would say yes, some no. Either way experience whether circumstantial or not cannot be taken away from someones case as evidence. Personally I believe that this is our biggest obstacle in a search for the truth about life's mysteries. Science does not combat religion, it is just that it is impossible to assess all given information on a subject in its entirety to reach any certain conclusion other than opinion. So do your research in an unbiased way and have a well backed opinion thats all our finite minds can do.
To naterz_g, evolution is repeatable, like the virus example I gave earlier, the mechanisms for evolution and natural selection are built within cells themselves, can I prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that god didn't put them there in the beginning, no, but maybe it was the purple scorpion too, so why not bow to him. The big bang is not repeatable but at least there is indirect evidence that we can observe and measure which can lead us to a clearer picture. With god you always assume.
I agree with eat_777 religion and science don't have to oppose each other, but religion does have a knack for getting in the way of science, (isn't that what the enlightenment was all about?)
What is god anyway? Basically with a lack of any evidence of god or any evidence of what occurred before the big bang the are essentially the same thing, the great unknown, so yes we are all looking for a common answer to where did we come from. My problem is personifying the great unknown into something that is familiar to us and deriving teachings and guidance from from absolutely nothing. At least science tests new hypothesis and is willing to change based on what is learnt and observed where religion assumes to know and changes based on convenience.
Ian1108 I absolutely believe in evolution. The bibles teachings don't reference time like you say. Foremost Adam could have lived for a billion years in the garden. He was aged from when he left this place. So every part of evolution works.
Don't forget that when people were more innocent. They were closer to the lord. So every part of the linguistic origins makes sense. They would not have needed as much like animals evolving from lesser... Their knowledge has led them here. Evolution and The Big Bang both follow idea's of God, and the bible. I like the facts about Space and mention of Plate Tectonics, Geology and Astronomy. Religion only has a Knack for interfering with science when you turn it into a science which it is not. It's about seeing what is good like people, idea's, lifestyles, personalities. Everything that made you grow up and choose anger or happiness. Everything that makes an animal, content seem so amazing.
Again though you are assuming there was a garden of Eden and that people were close to the lord, where did you learn that from? Somebody wrote that down during the last 2000 years, and since there was no christianity 3000 years ago the garden of eden story was not orally passed down either. That only leaves the option of god himself telling somebody to write it down in one language only for a certain group of people, because native americans would not be able to get this message he must have left them out, I guess. That doesn't sound very reasonable, what does sound reasonable is that somebody made it up and wrote it down, probably someone in a position of power and influence, who then used it to reinforce his own influence. It may have not been sinister in motive, people were quite superstitious and uneducated but still craved an explanation as to their origins, it may have been created to make them feel better, but nonetheless by pure reason it must have been a fabrication. Why then wouldn't he give his teachings (which failure to follow could result in eternal burning in the hellfires) to all the populations of the Earth in a clear and concise manor. Even us mere mortals know the danger of writing vague laws open to interpretation, they are inevitably broken or bent on perspective. If I had a child who disobeyed me, much like eve took the apple, I would correct him, but I probably wouldn't condemn him and all his future generations to the possibility of being burnt for millions of years by a demon, that is not love or forgiveness.
And the Earth being approx 5000 years old was calculated by a bishop by counting back through the generations in the bible, so not directly stated by the bible but it is inferred, which highlights the danger of the scripture being so
open to interpretaion, anyone can read what he wants to read. That is the major strength of the god argument and why it is hard to argue against it, even the followers don't know what it means so how can you counter point on it?
Ian1108, The ignorance of some Christian and religious folks can be quite taxing and frustrating, but forgive me when I slightly, maybe alter your perspective on the subject.
Now I'm a Coptic Orthodox Christian and quite ignorant when it comes to some degree of religion and definitely science, (first year college), but I feel when you mention that Christians state the earth was only around 5000 years, you may have been told that by an uninformed christian or just was some common understanding or belief, but in fact the bible would clearly state that the earth was made in six phases, or six days and the seventh was the rest day, as said in the first word and chapter of the bible (genesis). I wont post bible quotes here not to offend anyone, but it clearly outlines the phases that is actually accepted in the scientific community as how the planet earth developed billions of years ago. Scientists say after the big bang, the earth was nothing more than rock and poisonous gases, and asteroids from space hit the planet which were full of water, then the sun developed and somehow life developed. The days it took to build the universe according to the old testament, took 6 days and those six days could be even considered one day as a billion of years, since even the bible did not state at what time frame, or the meaning of the day was to god, it could be a billion years.
I don't know if this is true but two scientists 2 years ago won the nobel peace prize for discovering the universe is actually around 300,000 years old somehow, and again I could be mistaken and completely wrong, it was in yahoo news is where I saw it.
Now some common understandings and beliefs in science really confuse me and this may be pure ignorance and I really really do ask for your pardon, but stated in the big bang theory, it clearly accepts that out of nothing came something? Doesn't that defy the law of energy, where energy can neither be created nor destroyed and same for mass? Where did the energy required even mass come from? Again PLEASE forgive my scientific ignorance, there may have been a response to this and would really love to hear it, knowledge is power!
Another thing that confuses me is how is it that the earth, placed on such a perfect degree as so are the other planets that they fail to collide together, even though nature as we know it is quite random, especially the big bang made it really random.
This may be not so astronomical but why are we the "dominant" creatures living on this planet, although we posses all the animalistic instinct and urges we tend to posses a sense of creativity and yearn to explore and experience, rather then just focus on eating and sleeping and "mating" (which can be the lifestyle of many people)? Many animals posses great intelligence such as the simple bird when building a nest or a dog who can identify if his master is in danger.
By the way, you mention something about the garden of eden, and was asking where did we know that. According to tradition, Moses was the first to write the actual book of the old testament, using past down tradition and I guess talking to god, he gained the wisdom to write down what was needed to be written, I know people in general, can greatly underestimate tradition which is passed down verbally but I can assure you some things get lost in history but some orally past down traditions were carefully passed down to the letter, and I can't prove that but I can almost guarantee it.
I know you probably think Religious people can be quite ignorant, which can definitely be true, but I remember that there was the school of alexandria which was a theological school around the second century till the arabs invaded Egypt and destroyed the Library of Alexandria (mistaking it for one big christian library) and the school of alexandria which was greatly associated with the library thus the misconception of the arab invaders, the main things they would learn in that school is math and sciences, particularly Astronomy, while also studying philosophy. They would study religion along side math, science and philosophy.
Again I'm sorry Ian1108 as using you as my focus point, but I meant no insult to you or anyone else, this post is clearly to state my opinion and belief on your post and the general subject. And please forgive my ignorance. There will probably be more that I wanted to post but will forget, aww well.
It disgusts me how I can never wait to speak and barely listen to what people say, I always wait for my turn to talk. Ian1108 I didn't read your full post till now. If its alright with you, I would like to, in my best ability, to explain to you what the Bible clearly states, because to me it seems you may have skimmed through it or are not fully familiar with it.
WARNING, this post may be to religious so if you're not even interested just don't read it. no offense taken, and hopefully none caused.
Now when you mention that God only spoke on one language, and didn't focus on all people such as native Americans, It might be correct to mention how the Bible now is in nearly every language. Now the question as why Christianity didn't come to the new world as soon as it was preached is Gods wisdom, which may sound religiously cliche.
When you state someone was at great power must have written the bible, According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ was born to a simple family whose guardian was a carpenter and mother was a simple woman who used to serve the temple. How can an individual from such humble beginnings and no education become suddenly unimaginably wise and giving people a more human way of living. One thing I believe is that people in ancient days were not stupid at all, nor were they as ignorant as we think, for crying out loud, look at the societies and empires they developed, some of the math and philosophy we learn today were developed even before Greek times in such places as Egypt, and Mesopotamia, I'm pretty sure you had know "Pythagorus" Theorem to build the pyramids, which were built thousands of years before Pythagorus birth and around 5,000 years from today.
When you mention that failure to follow the laws written in the bible would result in the eternal burning, you forget to mention what those laws are. Usually they consist of no murdering, no rape,no theft, and to love God. What's scary is we think these things should be laws, and how RIDICULOUS that thought is that essential human rights should be laws, If someone raped me or killed me, shouldn't he be punished for that, and hopefully I can find the power to forgive and forget and for the one who victimized me realize that he did a mistake by violating my human rights or as some believe "these laws". Now this subject is really complicated religiously, why God treated mankind different in the old testament and treated us different in the new testament, and would be willing to explain if you are willing. So to say Jesus Christ is a cruel god or unfair, is kind of like saying a murderer should go to heaven, what's fair is fair, and hopefully you hope that person will regret and become good again then he/she is forgiven. Think of the court system but without the corruption, the ability to really know the truth, with infinite mercy.
Its hard for me to explain this but I hope it gets through. Almost everybody asks, why did God create us even if he knew we would disobey him and even curse him? Why do we humans and animals feel the urge to reproduce? We all know children are a complete alteration of a lifestyle, they cry and are extremely demanding, and its completely not based as an economic decision at all! So why are we so in love with having children, do we love the way we look so much, or do we just want that experience? Why do we just want that experience??? WHY? I feel God encoded in us simple things to help explain his wisdom using our human nature.
Im sorry for this and if you got this far, I hope I opened your spectrum of knowledge a bit on this subject, and again forgive my ignorance and anything I said to offend.
Ian1108, Love your comments bro. Especially the quote regarding ashes.
The problem with religion is that it requires the belief that a supernatural being came from nothingness and has some grand plan that he wants to obliquely put forth, instead of the universe did the same thing sans the super-natural angle/plan.
People wanted to understand how things worked and gods and religions helped us with those questions. We now understand that we can use science to do the same thing, and get more correct answers. We don't need religion. Religion is about control,and fear, and asking for what you have, and never having to deliver on their promises.
Religions make people do the right things for the wrong reasons, and the wrong things for the wrong reasons.
I used to be a "believer" once and never thought i would ever be a "non-believer". I couldn't stand the close-mindedness and intolerance that comes with religion anymore. Many things never did make sense to me and I tried to just believe.
The debate between science vs. religion will never end. Religion operates on emotion and emotion is a very strong force that can alter perception and reasoning. I find science to have much more humility than religion, that is, science is receptive to be proven wrong with evidence.
Religions will continue to increase in sects because of differences in interpretation, i.e. many sects of christianity. How do you accept pre-marital sex is a sin (condemned to hell) and condemn those who do it, yet, when you commit the sin, you go back to the same bible that condemns it and find interpretation that say you can still go to heaven. Once again, believers will interpret whatever fit what they need in different situations. If god is all knowing, then why did he create sinners who are going to hell anyways? isn't that a waste of resources?
"Did god created man, or man created god?" unknown
I was intrigued by this phrase "when it makes truth claims without evidence".
The truth was explained clearly in the Gospel. If you cannot find the truth in the Gospel then you are not the only one, even Pontius Pilate ask "What is truth?" So,please study the gospel and hope that one day, the true meaning of the Word shall set you free and make you understand the Truth. The evidence you are looking for are all around you, as written in the Gospel.
For those who claims they know the truth, I hope you can understand the meaning of this sentence, "For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away."
If you cannot understand this sentence then you have to consider the alternative logic that you might be biased against the truth. For this reason, there is no way for you to find the truth or the evidence in the Gospel.
Im agnostic but i see the points made by both sides. Religion is what people use to make up for things they dont understand, science is providing evidence to show why things do things we didnt understand before. Although i have a strong belief that people should believe in a religion that benifits the world(exanple- the ten commandments are things everyone should follow) not have no faith in anything.
You know, I really don't care where I came from. I'm just glad someone figured out how to pour hot cheese over tortilla chips.
This is to the people who say viruses evolved yes they did, but notice it is evolved with a SMALL e which evolution of this form occurs all around us. Everything around us adjust to its surroundings, its all in the DNA. Using the virus example if it is in a colder area the next generation will be born with cold resistance if there environment heats up then the next generation will be heat resistants. The evolution you are referring to is Evolution which is the theory that all these small changes could ad up into a perminite change in the species. This we have never seen before ever. So as of yet NOTHING HAS EVOLVED but Everything has evolved.
I have way to many points to try and rebuff in one comment, but I will suggest that most of you helped prove my point about religion, you change what was written down as seven days of creation to possibly or maybe 7 epochs of creation, why because as I stated earlier, science changes on observation and religion changes on convenience. Thats the beauty of the vaguely worded bible, it can mean anything you want it to, somebody else will tell me it's 600 000 years or it was 60 years or whatever time frame and manor suits their own personal arguments. As for the bible being available in every language, sure now it is, the Mayans of Meso-America sacrificed people or "murdered" them to appease what they believed was god, without the scriptures how were they to know that was against the "real" gods way.
Remember everyone I have not said that there can be no god, I must acknowledge the fact that as I said earlier he can be neither proved or disproved. I disagree with people diluting themselves into thinking they somehow commune with god, or the people who wrote the scriptures did. Give me a break, thats the oldest trick in the book, priests and big men throughout history have always taken that approach because it elevates them above those who they mean to rule. I honestly am not going to sit here for hours endlessly debating but if you read what I already said and understand it then I really don't need me to. Antoher quote perhaps " I cannot believe that the same god that endowed us with reason and intellect intended us to forego their use."
There will never be another solution to this debate as both people think they are right and yet none can approve the other!!!!! sorry to say but this a pointless debate
there is no point in talking about viruses and evolution when experiments have still not found that connection,.
Somehow it is hard for some people to connect the dots.
How old do you guys think the religion is? (I am not just talking about Christianity. You should look at the essence of religion; believing in one God and avoidance of idolatry and sin)
According to Bible and Quran there have been prophets on earth since the beginning starting with Adam.
Especially in Quran it is mentioned that aside from the 5 prophets there had been hundreds of thousands of messengers. (Read the footnote)
So there was guidance for people all thought out history. It is just the human nature to ignore and not believe in things are contrarily to ones beliefs.
Anyways, religion is thousands of years old, and the last was about 1400 years ago.
Now what I want you guys to know is that how else god was supposed to relay a message to his creatures without making their small brains to short circuit once they know about the universe.
Do you think god 2000 years ago could have told people about the evolution, the idea that humans, for example, evolved from apes?! And expect people to start believing?
Humans were ignorant at those times, still many many are at the 21st century.
People tortured the prophets just because their ideology and beliefs were different from the norm. Now imagine prophets would have told the common men about the evolution, science and universe….
If that happened my guess would be that people would either start worshipping apes or they would kill the prophets on site.
If god started talking about atoms and quantum physics do you think anyone would have understood?
Instead, god explained to men the simplified version of the law of the universe, which he created, so that anyone from a 3 year child to an illiterate 90 year old human could understand.
Adam and Eve, Heaven and Hell, good vs evil, souls, good deeds vs bad deeds….all of those are simplified versions of much more complex events.
When it comes to religious beliefs it is the interpretations that should surface. It is up to people which version to believe. If you know science well then you can interpret religion through it, to some degree. But don’t expect science to have all the answers. Our knowledge is still primitive. We still got a long time to go.
Compare the the age of earth, billion of years, to the time humans have been on earth, merely tens of thousands! Now imagine how much knowledge we can acquire if live on earth for some million of years; if we don’t exterminate our race by our own hands, that is.
So what is the real interpretation of religion beliefs?
I don’t know. We could all have our own interpretations.
What is a soul? Where does it come from? Is soul tangible? Is is matter?
What about Dark matter? Could souls be the mysterious dark matters?
It was until recently that we discovered the dark matter. What if there different types of matter.
Or maybe there is another matter called white matter which souls are made of!
That could make to normal matter/dark matter/ and white matter, white matter being the smallest and the most undetectable matter which constitute less than a billionth of all the matters in the universe.
There are still lot of unanswered question..
What is life? How do you define life?
Do sperms have life? Do seeds of the trees have life in them?
Is life the same as the will? What is soul?
Could souls evolve too?
Could souls be some type of matter?
What is heaven and hell? Maybe heaven and hell are not places… but they are different states/types/phases of matter…
Another thing is that we are still now sure what we are doing on earth. What is the faith of men and why are we here? But one thing we are sure is that god doesn’t want to spoil it for us. He doesn’t come out and share the knowledge. He tells us to seek the knowledge ourselves instead. So don’t expect god spoil it and tell us how the universe operates or tell us all about the evolution. Those are the knowledge that we have to obtain ourselves.
Footnote from Wiki:
Muslims regard Adam as the first prophet and Muhammad as the last prophet; hence Muhammad's title Seal of the Prophets. In Islam, Jesus is regarded as a nabi and a rasul because he received wahi (revelation) from God, through which God revealed the Injil (Gospel) to him. Muslims believe that God has sent over 124,000 messengers all over the world as mentioned in the Sahih Hadith. Five (sometimes known as Ulul Azmi or the Imams — i.e. leaders — of the Rasuls) are accorded the highest reverence for their perseverance and unusually strong commitment to God in the face of great suffering. These five are Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad.
124,000 messengers with different messages, great thats an easily understandable way to inform everyone. How do you know these were messengers from god, and why tell small groups of people at a time? Surely he could have laid down one precise, easily understood set of rules for all to follow from the beginning of time. He didn't have to explain everything, he doesn't now anyway. So why follow these religious texts that contradict each other, Jesus was either just a prophet or the son of god not both, you either worship him as the son of god or you don't. Did god introduce to Muhammad the idea of the Jihad? That even though god created the universe he needs mere mortals to carry out his bidding, as if he couldn't just send down a lightning bolt and smyte those who oppose him. If he didn't explain evolution to those people 2000 years ago because they were too ignorant to understand then why did he give his teachings in a cryptic fashion to those who are obviously too ignorant to understand today? If they weren't then we would all follow the same set of rules.
And these assumptions drive me nuts! God doesn't want to spoil it for us? Who told you that, YOU MADE IT UP. He tells us to seek the knowledge ourselves? He didn't tell me that, I must have been in the can when he dropped into my living room to inform me. Luckily though some other guy heard it 1500 years ago and wrote it down, he must have been more deserving of the complete truth than I. This reminds me of the telephone game that kids play where the message starts out with "red bike" and goes around a circle and comes out "purple monkey dinosaur". The problem with religion is precisely that anyone from a 3 year old child to the illiterate 90 year old man does NOT understand his teachings, that is why history is strewn with holy wars since the beginning.
So where are our prophets today? Surely with greater understanding of the world god could clear up a few things for us now, that would be nice. Maybe send us down an internet version of his teachings, ya know The Commandments version 2.0.
The avoidance of idolatry and sin is common, but what is considered sin has varied widely over that time. Sin is simply what is outlawed by a particular religion at a particular time. I also dislike the implied notion that if you don't follow an organized religion you are somehow morally bankrupt. There is no need to read the Quran or the Bible to know not to harm people, in fact more people have been harmed because of those books. Is it because people don't understand them? Then god should make man understand, he is all powerful remember. With the alternative to not understanding being eternal damnation then I think he owes us the chance to make an informed decision on our behavior.
How can god be all powerful if Satan exists? Just eliminate him, his original intention according to the adam and eve story was to let us live in paradise, so why not now? Why make a man with the capacity to make mistakes and then put the path to eternal damnation in front of him? If I bring a dog home, and leave meat in a bag on the floor, who is to blame when I come home to find it strewn about the living room? MYSELF!
I like the fact that it does seem through your comments that you are researching the reason for your existence. It does come off though that you are like many people researching with a bias. Are you looking at both sides of the coin in comparable depth. Your right not to want to list all the debates over evolution which is just one of many debates. It is too much material and people should "look it up". But you did state a couple problems you had with Christian beliefs.
I am being carefull to not go too much in depth on these questions/answers becuase the topics are to broad to be fully discussed. If it leaves someone to speculate or need further information, then do that. Research it.
1. no one can disprove or prove God? I half agree.
It is left up to each individual to decide for himself. I believe God wants us to chose him, and what Kind of choice would it be if He made himself blatantly obvious or completely absent. Personally though I believe there is much to prove his existence.
2.Can anyone or anything be a god? Sounds like your veering towards pantheism here and I would definitely say no. Can anyone you know create a universe?
3. Does the bible benefit preceding generations? Yes, Old and New Covenents/ Old and New Testiments. People though living pre Christ were able to be saved too.
4. Many gods before christianity. True, but look at the sources on how these religions came to be and some facts about them. It becomes clear that a lot of them are easily proven to be false ideology.
5. Man is condemned to Hell. (Your quote about mans creation from dust) No, That is just not true. Man believe it or not chooses his destination though his beliefs. What good is free will if we didn't have the right to chose. Otherwise we would be like machines or robots and they don't have free will. Our choice to choose God is worship and he honors our choice by following through with what we choose.
6. Lack of Evidence for God. I would say look around. Look how precise our environment is. How our earth works. Its placement in the Universe. We are on the perfect galaxy, on the perfectly sized placed and so on planet, with the perfect sun. Some would consider these things circumstantial but when studied the probability is astronomical.
7. Religion and religious people assume to know everything then adapt if they are wrong. I also personally hate it when someone assumes to know everything about a subject. There is just to much to know. But I think this happens in all walks of life, on all kinds of debates not just religious ones. I would also add that the opposite is true about science and religion. As time goes on science continually advocates religion. Where religious ideas seem to go astray is human error and bad human interpretation. Our minds are finite and the material is too overbearing and substantial for any one to never be wrong or vis versa always be right. More information is needed and subject by subject debates will always rage continuing in absence of perfect certainty based on opinion and interpretation.
I still would challenge anyone to keep studying though and form a solid opinion with good logic and fact, but be flexible knowing that because we are human we are subject to human error and bias.
Even though the task is overbearing and extremely critical to our lives. I have found more and more comfort in my choice by challenging myself to continually study.
lnwolf41.Regardless of your personal belief,most have some form of all powerful being. we have the laws of gravity,motion,mathmatics,energy,.... who do you think set the laws up for us to discover?
To ask "Does science obviate religion?" assumes that theistic religion holds a respectable position which is capable of being obviated. This simply isn't true.
No rational basis for theistic religion, in any sense, has ever been put forward. So I, as should scientists everywhere, find it intellectually demeaning that the above question is even being considered a valid one.
First show us that ANY god exists. Only then will it NOT be a complete waste of time to hold the discussion about what consequences exist.