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My Religious Conversation with Joey
From: Chris Stuart <Chris.Stuart@valpo.edu>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 01:37:42 -0500 (Central Daylight Time)

Hmmm...a lot to respond to this time...sorry I took so long; I've been busy writing a paper about dostoevsky.  To start off:
     -Yes, actually, you did say same orbit...I checked it out in your first message...check your sent message folder, and you'll see.
    -The big bang is a theory, a theory is not something tested...it's "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena, or a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural."  The big bang theory is an explanation for the creation of the universe...it's not proven yet, but it's one of the best explanations to fit the evidence.
     -The reason that all matter is not going in the same direction or orbit (or whatever the hell you want to say) is that the matter was flung out as an explosion...so there was a lot of matter coming out from a central point...this was loose matter until it started to clump (since matter has mass, and mass has gravity, the tendency is to clump), and it was only after the matter started to accumulate that the forces acting on it created orbits or directions.  The beginning of the universe had matter on all sides of it, and pulling in all different directions, and in each case the stronger forces would decide the direction, some going one way, some going another.
    -"If the Universe is eternal why can't God be?"  He could very well be, but he doesn't have to be...I was using that example the other way around. At some point, you have to claim that something came first, or that something is eternal.  Claiming the universe is eternal or came first clears up a lot of unnecessary metaphysical explanation that muddies up the theories and creates more problems than it solved.
    -"What is the purpose of the universe being eternal?"  Well, my explanation is that there is none.  There need be no explanation to life.  Explanations come when you try to understand something, and there's nothing that guarantees that the universe needs to be understood.  The universe just is.  The reason I understand it to be eternal is because that's what makes sense to me.  I can't understand a world without time, which would have to exist before the universe came into existence.  What seems to explain it the best to me is that the universe goes through an eternal expansion and contraction...it doesn't give meaning to the world; I have to do that.
    -"What created the Big Bang theory?"  Well, a man created it as the best explanation he could think up, and others agreed, which is why it contines to be one of our best explanations on how the universe [was] mechanically created...  It doesn't necessarily rule out the existence of God; some scientists believe that it just explains how God did it.  That seems immaterial to me.  But if you were asking what created the Big Bang (not the theory, the answer is "nothing".  It happened according to the very precise, but not intelligently created laws of nature.  Gravity, thermodynamics, newtonian and einsteinian physics, etc.  Those are the forces that interacted to create the big bang, and the universe that followed it.
    -Nietzsche had a disease that caused insanity, and he indeed did go insane, but that does not rule out anything he said before he went insane. If Albert Einstein had come down with Alzheimers, would that have invalidated the theory of relativity?  Hell no!  If someone is sick or drunk, it does not invalidate anything they do while sober or healthy.
    -I'm not saying that God is more complex than the big bang theory. The big bang theory is infinitely complex when you get down to it, because it's dealing with a near infinite amount of matter and energy.  But it requires very little leaps of faith, and requires no new questions to be asked afterwards.  It says the universe came into being this way.  With God, you say God did this, and it has the extra questions of "why?" "What did he intend us to do?" "How do I live my life with this divine creator of everything."  In that sense, the divine creation is more complex than the big bang because it opens up extra doors and requires extra leaps.  Occam's Razor doesn't deal with the "complexity" of an answer so much as it deals with leaps of logic, or, as another person who responded to the AICN conversation said to me, "Occam's Razor states that when you are presented with two possibleexplanations for a phenomenon, choose the option the requires you to acceptfewer or less outrageous implausibilities."
     -I am definitely an atheist.  I am an agnostic when it comes to creation, in that I'm smart enough to realize that I can't possibly comprehend the creation of the universe or the "purpose" of creation, but I am an atheist in that I do NOT believe in God.  Agnostisicm is saying "I don't know", but as an atheist I have no belief in God...I am fairly knowledgable about Christianity, because my dad is a pastor, and I was a Lutheran until I was 15.  I went to a lutheran high school, and I am now going to a lutheran university.
     -I personally have no idea what's going on when we die.  But a hallucination caused by lack of oxygen to the brain seems most likely.  I don't think it's anything conscious...I think the situation has the same effect on people, no matter who they are or where they're from...just like drinking alcohol or having sex effects people in pretty much the same way wherever they are from.  I don't believe in clarivoyance or telepathy; but even if I did, they still do not prove the existence of God or anything like that.  The only thing the existence of clarivoyance would prove is the existence of clarivoyance.
     -You need help in your use of Occam's Razor still.  Occam's razor does not say that "snce 90% of the people in this country are Christians (or claim to be) that 90% of the people discussing the argument on the board are Christians".  The way Occam's Razor would deal with that is to state your data.  "90% of the people in this country are Christian" (a fact which is blatanly wrong...90% of people believe in a god, perhaps)."  "But 90% on this website are not Christian."  Some likely explanations would be that people more likely to post are youths, who are in a period of rejecting God, or that atheists and agnostics are more likely to post in a topic about religion, because while Christians may be lazy and inactive when it comes to their faith, most atheists have consciously rejected God."  The easiest explanation is that this website is not an accurate representation of the entire United States.  Occam's Razor is a tool, saying that the explanations that are supported with the easiest information, that requires the fewest leaps, is probably true.  Taking your statement again, Occam's razor states that the most plausible explanation is most likely to be true but that is not always the case it is plausible that snce 90% of the people in this country are Christians( or claim to be) that 90% of the people discussing the argument on the board are Christians", Occam's Razor would quite simply say, "Your data is incorrect."  That's the easiest explanation that requires the least amount of implausibilities.
     -KNBC may do a show about Noah's Ark, but that doesn't mean it's true..."the liberal media" often times stretches things for ratings.  Please send me an archeoligical dig, describing the process used, and the methods for explanation, and then we can talk about whether it's true or not.  From what I've read (I read an entire book about this), the Ark is completely impossible.  How did they get the animals aboard two by two...how were all of them saved.  The boat wasn't big enough for even a decent sized zoo (all the measurements are in the Bible: Genesis 6:15).  Animals such as the Amazonian animals would never be put on the boat, since Noah would never be able to go over there and pick them up.  There's not enough water to flood the entire earth (forget what you saw in "Waterworld".)  There's no signs of the tremendous flash flooding that must have occurred from 40 nights of rain (which wouldnt' be enough to cover up the world anyway).  Flash flooding leaves very distinct marks, that differ from regular flooding (I know, I've been in a flash flood before).  Don't point to other cultures, like The Epic of Gilgamesh, which also has records of an apocoplytic flood.  The most likely explanation for that is that early civilizations started around rivers, which flooded, causing massive problems, so a common fear among most civilizations is of a massive flood that could completely wipe them out.
    -The existence of "40 of the Bible's kings" do not prove the existence of a God, and do not prove that said God helped them or punished them in any case.
    -An eclipse of the sun does not prove that a savior died on that day.  It happens all the time.  What it could mean is that a writer knew about the eclipse, and wrote that into their "gospel" as evidence.  Or it could just be a coincidence.  An eclipse of the sun happens about once every two or three years.  And if the eclipse of the sun was in 33AD, well, that screws up your calculations.  The Bible has Jesus starting his preachings in his thirtieth year, and dying 3 years later (in Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and one year later (in John).  Well, the most likely time for Christ's birth is sometime between 4-6BC, which makes your eclipse just another eclipse.
    -Please explain what the hell this means: "The book of Daniel gives a prophecy of a messiah and an exact date (69 weeks from the book of Joshua's writingor 69 year weeks in the Jewish religion which lasted 7 years give me a day and i'll give you a better explanation of it)."  It's completely incoherent.
    -The dead sea scrolls are simply the oldest found copies of the Pentateuch.  Show me something that says anything about the Gospel, then we can talk.  I can't just accept "I heard this", I need hard third party evidence before I can believe you...that's part of what atheism (and rationalism) is; looking into it isntead of just accepting what an authoritative voice tells you.
     -Give me scriptural quotes that tell about the Euro.  "ten nations shall have the same currency"...well, more than ten nations have it...prophecy has to be precise...it says what happens...anything else can just be coincidence.
     -"The tower of Babylon"?  Do you mean the Tower of Babel?  Or is this something else you're talking about?  Explain this some more.  And tell me why it proves anything.  Just because the Bible mentions the name of a city or a building does not mean that it's true.  Greek myth wrote of real places, such as Athens and Mount Olympus, but that does not prove that Zeus and Hera and everyone else truly exists.
     -Genesis does not say that life began in Africa, it says it began in the middle east, in Iraq.  This much is for the most part true...but life also started up in Africa (as you said), and the Yellow River area in China...does this prove Chinese or African religion true?  If I have a text that talks about our great god "Barney" or something, and the text mentions that the first settlement in America was at Jamestown, this does not prove that "Barney" is our God.  If one part of an argument is true, it does not prove the rest of the argument true or not.  You are only as strong as your weakest link.
     -Please send me the LA Times article about Moses...all of this is conjecture, and still does not prove that God did anything.  There is no record in Egyptian history (and the Egyptians kept records of a helluva lot) of the death of every first born, or the death of pharoah chasing jewish slaves...that would be something worth recording, and there's nothing on it.  "many Jewish bones were found in Egypt receantly"...how do they know they're Jewish, may I ask?  Did they see circumsision scars on the bones or what?
     -Tier...I need any evidence on it...any at all.  I can't find any in the encyclopedias or news archives.  And still, whether it's a real city or not does not prove God's existence.
    -Even the existence of Jesus does not prove God's existence...it just proves that there was a man named Jesus who walked around for awhile and was crucified for claiming he was God's son.
     -The British Empire fell not because they refused to help the Jews, the British Empire fell because they spread themselves too thin.  They were horribly weakened by World War two, and had already lost most of their foreign holdings before the nation of Israel came into being in 1948.  Britain had fallen apart by 1945, the end of WW2.  They lost India because they had to pull out a lot of their forces during the war, they lost Hong Kong because they only had a 99 year lease on it, and the lease expired.  They lost african holdings because the Nazis took them over.  They lost their holdings for very real reasons, not from metaphysical "oops we pissed off God" reasons.  America, on the other hand, is doing well not because they helped out Israel, but because we have lots of natural resources, and we managed to rebuild our economy in the depression, partly because of WW2.  We were back to being a booming economy by the end of the war...that's why we gave out so much money for Europe's rebuilding...this was before the foundation of Israel.  The US's economy healed for very real reasons as well, not because of "yay we helped out God" reasons.  We weren't "lifted to great heights", we pulled ourselves up there.
     -No, you're not using logic now.

There you go...now respond to everything.  Tell me whether I'm full of shit or not, and then explain to me, USING LOGIC AND BACKING IT UP, why I'm right or wrong.  If you can't respond to what I've said, then shut up!

To: "Chris Stuart" <Chris.Stuart@valpo.edu>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 03:21:12 -0700

The tower of Babel was mentioned in the Bible despite the fact that carbon dating and manuscript evidence state that the book of Genesis was written two thousand years or so after the fall of Babylon.
Yes they did find circumsicion scars and also the fact that there were no pork bones despite the fact that pork was the most aboundent food source in that aria at the time and also the size and shapes of their forheads also showed eviedence of them being Jewish I do not save newspapers but you can call the L.A times for a copy
Tiar not Tier if I am correct was a rather large middle eastern country
Genesis in the Hebrew Bible not our mistranslated English ones say's Epiopia was where Eden was located (Africa at the time of translation was refered to as Epiopia
You were a Lutherin well according to the boojk of Roman a church namesd after a person is not a Christian church.
The majority of pschologists I have met do indeed belive in telepathy as there is mutch evidence to support it. I do not myself. Telepathy is not what I was arguing resurrection was. Lack of oxygen flowing to the Brain? Bad argument my mother was declared brain dead yet she still had that experience you never tried to explain how she knew who jumped me or that I was jumped. You never explained how people have learned languages that they have never heard before.
You also contradicted yourself as you say you read a book on Noah's arc but you than say you do not accept someone told me as evidence well my friend I will tell you how Noah's arc worked Psalms stated that Gods scale is 360000 times ours so therefore since God was instructing Noah on building it it was 360000 times larger than a human Cubit which would be the size of country.Also how do you know anmails were the same size than? Genises was in God's time a thousand years is a day in the first chapters of Genises
The Bible also state in psalms that God is indead Eternal Daniels Prophecy says 70 weeks passed an order to rebuild Jerusalaum including the temples was given the M essiah should return. There were two types of weeks in the Jewish Religion one was seven days the other was Seven years the seventh being  a time of forgiveness. On the 69 week the Messiah was cruxified.  the seventyth was in Eternal times which can be a day or a billion years.The only order to rebuild in Jerusalum including the temple was in Joshua if you dictate the time of the oder and multiply the years out Subtracting the five days a year that the Jewish calendar was missing you come up with... 33AD The "13 year" was the 13th year after Christ's Baptisim.  A Christians life
is not considered to start until he publicaly says there is a God through Baptism or Church.
 The historians of 33AD wrote of Jesus being sacreficed in that year. Jesus was born in 6 AD he was not cruxified until 33AD
Pontius Pilate was in Isreal in the third Decade AD not before my father was a history major and any Encyclopedia tells you that.
As for Occam's razor I do not belive in it and until you show me evidence of it excisting I won't. What is plausible? What isn't? The majority of scientists do belive in E.T.'S but they most violate Einstein's law of relativaty to travel fast enougth to reach here. Relativaty? Don't belive in it completly either only a few principles of it.
And since you cannot prove those any true any easier than I can prove God is true they are irrelevant. I do not belive all the mass in an object is the exact eqazation Einstein stated I belive it is more. I do not Belive time has anything to do ith speed of light. I do belive space curves however but that is just as improvable.
Occam's Razor prove it to me. I don't belive in it. What seems plausible may not be so therefore there is a hole in it. You are trying to prove Philosphy wrong with Philosphy. It does not work as I do not belivei n Christianty as a philosiphy but as history.
Nothing you have said has proven anything except that you are agnostic and not an atheist. You belive a God may have created the Universe if he did could he not have guided it? All powerful is all powerful. If there is a case for one there is a case for both. I  do not belive that Christian (not religious I am not a Babtist, Lutherian, Jehovah witness or any other illogical denomination nor do I belive in pastors as being wise men or as being inrfallible but only in the Bible a person who never goes to church may know more of the Bible than one who lives a church)
 also if  there is no God how do we have a sense of right or wrong? there are certain things that are considered wrong in all countries and all ethnicities. How is that? If I lie and only lie and every man on earth knows than the ones I lie to feel I am doibg wrong. But without one to decide it how do WE decide what is right or wrong?
So now that I have proven your historical and religios argumets along with your Damned Razor wrong there is not a one of your arguments that is vallid but one: The argument of a human growth being something that groes from simple to complex. That is ludiocris as we have been trying to crack the DNA code for decades yet are only now are coming close to it a single cell being simple? LOL!
God does not throw dice-Albert Einstein when asked to explain how the universe could be able to allow the coincedences to exist to support life.

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