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Priests and their obsession with Status and Wealth

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    So would I need a lock for my bike. Years ago when Ireland was religious you could leave a bike anywhere.

    Meanwhile priests were raping kids with impunity and women and "illegitimate" (or just poor) children were imprisoned and physically, emotionally and sexually abused.

    But it was grand because some boardsie maintains you didn't need a lock for your bike :rolleyes:

    And they say the godless have no morals or values...

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Genetics can't prove there wasn't one man and woman created from the beginning. No proof to say 7 day creation didn't happen. There is evidence flooding in Iraq and other Sumerian cities. The old cities of Sodam and Gomorrah exist today covered in white sulphur which cannot be found anywhere else and shows old temples that melted inwards. Bible also says earth hangs on nothing. Book of genesis can't be disproven and there is some evidence that verify it is correct.

    All complete and utter nonsense and demonstrated to be false.
    There will always be people that choose evil over good, but to abandon God and for everyone to live ungodly lives means the temptations of sining become far too easier.

    I don't subscribe to your primitive notions of what is "good" and "evil".

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Ann G


    The church as an institution is not something I will defend for the same reasons that most people here would instantly agree with.


    But, speaking as the brother in law of a priest, the notion they are obsessed with status and wealth is quite frankly ridiculous. Most diocess have little money and very few priests. Their average age is climbing constantly due to falling vocations. Their funding is poor due to falling mass attendances. Their priests workload is astronomical: there's still the same number of weddings, baptisms, communions and confirmations, and individual priests are running multiple parishes on their own. Funerals are through the roof as present thanks to COVID. Mental health issues and stress are BIG issues. My brother in law leads a very frugal existence. He doesn't earn enough to.have anything remotely resembling a trapping of wealth. And nor do his peers. In fact, if you work out an hourly rate of pay from his hours worked against his earning, he's paid below the minimum wage and is working way in excess of the working time directives.

    So to cut to the chase, he doesn't earn enough to be preoccupied with wealth, and is too busy to be concerned with either wealth or status. Especially at a time when there is just so much grief about.
    Yes I agree there are some frugal priests who live by the word they preach - I can think of two (past and present). I can think of nine (past and present) who drive/drove the big cars, many built the big houses, etc. That statistic in itself reveals a lot and is far from "frankly ridiculous".

    Yes I agree there are mental health issues - both of the frugal priests I mention had mental health issues. Not so as I remember or presently note, any of the other wealth/status obsessed priests.

    Back to my first point - their basic salary may not be huge but all priests gets cash in hand for funerals, and all these "weddings, baptisms, communions and confirmations". The "hourly rate of pay from his hours worked against his earnings" may be small but is based on salary and does not consider these cash in hand, non taxed payments.

    I presume this is encouraged by the church so they only need to pay small wages - a bit like US restaurateurs who pay small wages and expect waiter/waitress to make up with cash tips. Same concept.

    Falling mass attendances is largely because of these priests - with people like me utterly disgusted by their hypocrisy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Ann G


    As the previous poster pointed out this is being sorted by attrition.

    Some priests do appear interested in wealth. Maybe that's in the past.

    In my home town the retiring Canon (seemed a nice man, was a friend of my dad) took a site the local scouts used to use and built a huge house. Its size made no sense, and seemed out if character from what I knew of him.
    Definitely not in the past - I am thinking of our current parish priest and his behaviour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,209 ✭✭✭ Chinese whospers


    So would I need a lock for my bike. Years ago when Ireland was religious you could leave a bike anywhere. Drugs, crime, awful music, multiple sexual partners, STDs, depression, anxiety, performance based workplaces, lack of purpose, the list is endless are far worse now.

    And there were comely maidens dancing at the cross roads. Stop looking back to John Charles McQuaid's time with rose tinted glasses, the Irish were dirt poor as a whole and looked up to the clergy as they were the local power.

    Thank the gods that's no longer the case.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,760 ✭✭✭ Mark Hamill


    It's why the world is so messed up. Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve were deceived by the devil and creation has fallen ever since.

    How is it a sin to be deceived by someone? Especially the devil, him being way more powerful than humans. And especially two humans who did not understand the difference between good and evil (the fruit Adam and Eve ate was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil).
    The alternative is not to adhere to God, people decide their own morality and society becomes more broken as people choose more sinful lives rather than humbly living godly lives.

    Everyone decides their own morality, even you. Unless you are saying you follow all biblical prescriptions on things like executing people for homosexual acts or adultery, executing children for rebelling against their parents (Jesus himself said to do that) etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,230 ✭✭✭ jaxxx


    Genetics can't prove there wasn't one man and woman created from the beginning. No proof to say 7 day creation didn't happen. There is evidence flooding in Iraq and other Sumerian cities. The old cities of Sodam and Gomorrah exist today covered in white sulphur which cannot be found anywhere else and shows old temples that melted inwards. Bible also says earth hangs on nothing. Book of genesis can't be disproven and there is some evidence that verify it is correct.


    Genetics eh. Tell me, since humans share over 70% of their DNA with dogs, over 95% with chimpanzees, then how is that not proof of shared ancestry and thus evolution? Where was your precious religion when nuns were taking babies away from their mothers and priests abusing kids WORLDWIDE? Just continue to defend the indefensible, you flippin'.. .. ..

    No Jaxxx, play nice now.. .. ..


    DONKEY! (channeling my inner Gordon Ramsey)

    PLEASE tell me you're a flat earther btw?? And that dinosaurs never existed and entirely made up ????


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,760 ✭✭✭ Mark Hamill


    Slavery and child labour was never encouraged. Another false lie created.

    The Bible is totally ok with slavery and was used by American slave holders to justify slavery.
    I am not aware of anything in it against child labour?


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ one world order


    jaxxx wrote: »
    Genetics eh. Tell me, since humans share over 70% of their DNA with dogs, over 95% with chimpanzees, then how is that not proof of shared ancestry and thus evolution? Where was your precious religion when nuns were taking babies away from their mothers and priests abusing kids WORLDWIDE? Just continue to defend the indefensible, you flippin'.. .. ..

    No Jaxxx, play nice now.. .. ..


    DONKEY! (channeling my inner Gordon Ramsey)

    PLEASE tell me you're a flat earther btw?? And that dinosaurs never existed and entirely made up ????

    Sounds like you think humans and animals evolved from nothing. DNA shows high intelligence creator used detailed instructions in a module determining the development, functioning and reproduction of all organisms.

    Bible mentions dragons. After the flood alot of these would not exist. The word dinosaur was created when the first one was found and they have the same description as that of dragons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ one world order


    The Bible is totally ok with slavery and was used by American slave holders to justify slavery.
    I am not aware of anything in it against child labour?

    Slavary existed back then. Bible doesn't say it is okay but mentions how they should be treated. In the seventh year they shall be set free.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross.

    Human sacrifice, and moral scapegoating. Two barbaric human practices that I am glad to see are mostly dying off. And people like yourself who harken wistfully to those old days an increasingly rare breed.
    This is why we have so many people attacking Christianity because they love their sin.

    "Sin" is just a word YOU put on things YOU morally disagree with. Things that, on previous attempts, you are seemingly unable to actually construct a moral argument against. So rather than say "X is morally wrong because Y" you simply shout the label "sin" at it and run away.

    Run Forest, run!
    they choose to attack Christianity instead and will have to meet God's wrath on their time of judgement.

    That would be this "god" I keep asking you for ANY evidence actually exists, and you have repeatedly been able to offer nothing but long winded assertions that it exists?
    When we die the soul leaves this world

    Define "soul" exactly. What is it meant to be?

    Have you any argument, evidence, data or reasoning on offer to lend even a modicum of credence that human awareness, experience and subjectivity survives the death of the brain? Or is it just to be more assertion that it is so from you?
    The alternative is not to adhere to God, people decide their own morality and society becomes more broken

    How is it become "more broken" exactly? We are living in the best times in human history it would seem. We have challenges for sure, but in terms of personal well being, safety and more I can think of no time in human history I would prefer to live than right now.

    I do not see our species or our society as "broken". I see them as struggling in a difficult world, in a universe where life and surviving is the exception not the rule. And we are doing pretty good at it, and getting ever so slowly better at it as time goes on.

    And riding ourselves of baseless superstition and unsubstantiated nonsense about the supernatural, is one step in that process of improving. People and society SHOULD be deciding it's own "morality" because at the end of the day "morality" is just a fancy term for the rules we want in our relationship with one another.
    Drugs, crime, awful music, multiple sexual partners, STDs, depression, anxiety, performance based workplaces, lack of purpose, the list is endless are far worse now.

    Many of those things are not bad. YOU just personally do not like them. If there are types of drugs, sexual activity, or music that YOU do not like that is fine. Stay away from them. No one is asking you to partake. But that OTHER people like things YOU do not like.... is something you need to go to the drawing board.... design a bridge.... build it.... and get over it.

    Other things on your list are actually in many ways DOWN not UP like crime. Just like your nonsense fantasy above that society is getting "More" broken, you would do well to read a book like Pinkers "Better Angels of our Nature" to see the reality on such statistics. The problem here is the media and news outlets which click bait crime so much it FEELS like there is more of it, while there is actually less.

    Finally one issue with things like depression, anxiety and some medical conditions is not that there is more of it. It is that we have become better at diagnosing it, facing it, recognising it, and talking about it. The statistics on these things are absolutely up, but not simply because cases of it are. Your agenda of pessimism is quite transparent here.... because when you can make people hopeless, you can sell them concepts like gods.
    I'll soon be kicked out for not adhering to the atheist worldview the MSM push.

    Bull. The only people ever kicked out of here are done so not because they do not adhere to our views here, but because they conducted themselves poorly, agressively, or rudely.

    While you have so far be espousing abject and unsubstantiated nonsense, you have been doing so in a cordial and coherent fashion. It would be a shock to me if you even get a mod WARNING for this, let alone actively removed.

    Sorry you will likely not get to be the martyr you want to be today.
    Genetics can't prove there wasn't one man and woman created from the beginning. No proof to say 7 day creation didn't happen.

    "Proof" is the wrong word. There is ample evidence on both of these subjects which SUBSTANTIATE the conclusions people reach off the back of that evidence.

    What there is NOT is any evidence at all of a 7 day creation (I thought it was 6?). Forget proof. You have no evidence of it at all.

    What you certainly have not got seemingly, as I have asked you multiple times in the past, is a SHRED of argument, evidence, data or reasoning that whatever the explanation for our existence is..... that it has anything to do with the machinations of a non-human intelligent and intentional agent.
    Book of genesis can't be disproven and there is some evidence that verify it is correct.

    Evidence that is..... forthcoming? Or are you yet ANOTHER one of these "I am going to keep saying there is evidence, while contriving to present none of it ever" artists we get so many of around here?
    There will always be people that choose evil over good, but to abandon God and for everyone to live ungodly lives means the temptations of sining become far too easier.

    Speak for yourself. If you suffer from temptation so much that you need an imaginary god to prevent yourself acting on them.... then I can honestly say I hope you never lose your faith.

    I always love the theists who say with no shred of irony things like "If you do not think there is a god, then what stops you from murdering or raping babies?".

    THATS what is stoping THEM? Good grief.

    I do not murder, rape, steal, or use violence not because I think there is a god but because I operate on the simple axiom that if morality is "for" anything, then it is for maximising the well being of sentient agents. Simple as that.

    I want to live in a society where crimes do not happen, so I do n ot commit any crimes. I want to live in a society where my elderly mother is given a seat on a bus if none are free, so I myself move to always give my seat on a bus to anyone at all who requires one.

    It is called, I believe, "Enlightened self interest". Though in the past I called it a "socio-economic working of the golden rule". And there is simply no god required.

    If you think you are good but are only good because you think someone is watching and judging, then I question whether you are "good" at all. So you do not appear to have the platform you believe you have to lord your high horse morals over the rest of us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,959 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    In fact, if you work out an hourly rate of pay from his hours worked against his earning, he's paid below the minimum wage and is working way in excess of the working time directives.

    He could always pack it in and get a proper job (and maybe even a ride :) )

    Make our National Maternity Hospital Public and Secular

    #MakeNMHOurs

    Annoy your TDs now!!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,760 ✭✭✭ Mark Hamill


    Slavary existed back then. Bible doesn't say it is okay but mentions how they should be treated. In the seventh year they shall be set free.

    Bible doesn't say it is not ok and has a lot of regulations supporting it (including stuff like if you give your slave a wife and later free the slave, the wife and any children remain yours). It's for this reason, and others, that American slave owners used the bible to justify their ownership of slaves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,760 ✭✭✭ Mark Hamill


    DNA shows high intelligence creator used detailed instructions in a module determining the development, functioning and reproduction of all organisms.

    DNA, with it's massive amounts of junk and redundant material and its reliance on largely random mutations (the outcome of the vast majority of which is nothing), shows itself to be a simple natural chemical function, albeit on a large scale.
    Bible mentions dragons. After the flood alot of these would not exist. The word dinosaur was created when the first one was found and they have the same description as that of dragons.

    Dinosaurs breath fire now, do they?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,594 oldrnwisr


    Das Reich wrote: »
    If they consider then they should read the bible a bit more. Islam is way closer to Christianism than Catholicism is.


    I don't see how you could reasonably make that argument. Whatever characteristic you use to compare Islam with Christianity vs. Catholicism with Christianity, its difficult to see how Islam could be more closely aligned with Christianity than Catholicism. The conception of God, soteriology, the Islamic concept of Sunnah, just to name a few all make Islam markedly different from any Christian sect.

    Yes, there are differences between Catholicism and other Christian denominations but since there are over 33000 different denominations of Christianity, pointing out that any one of them is not like the others seems a bit redundant.


    It's why the world is so messed up. Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve were deceived by the devil and creation has fallen ever since. It's important because we exist in this world in the physical and spiritual. When we die the soul leaves this world and the sin we've committed can only be washed away by a saviour. The alternative is not to adhere to God, people decide their own morality and society becomes more broken as people choose more sinful lives rather than humbly living godly lives.


    Well, no. I know that this is something that Christians believe but the original story makes no mention of the devil. Its just a talking snake. Talking animals were a thing in the OT, just look at Balaam's talking donkey in Numbers 22.

    At the time when Genesis was being compiled/edited/redacted there wasn't really a conception of Satan being the singular malevolent force that Christians believe in. The character of Satan had darkened somewhat from his earlier appearances in places like Job and Numbers but the real development of this malevolent angel wouldn't take place until long after Genesis was written, so the idea that the writers of Genesis are referring to Satan is ridiculous.


    Plus, its worth pointing out that since you've already acknowledged that you're in the Atheist forum, most of the readers here are unlikely to be convinced by stories from the bible that are borrowed from older myths.




    Absolutely, let's bring back slavery and child labour. After all, it was Christians who campaigned for their abolition.


    Indeed, it was Christians who campaigned for the abolition of slavery, however equally it was other Christians who vigorously defended slavery on Biblical grounds.



    For example, in 1823 Frederick Dalcho an Episcopal pastor from South Carolina wrote a long treatise titled: "Practical Considerations Founded on the Scriptures, Relative to the Slave Population of South Carolina by a South-Carolinian"


    where he explained that slavery was not only condoned by the Bible (in passages like Exodus) but also mandated by Biblical prophecy:


    "The prophecy of Noah, was to be fulfilled, not in the individuals named, but nationally in their descendants. Canaan's whole race was under the malediction."



    Thus Dalcho explained that while Jews and Christians descended from Noah's sons Shem and Japheth, Africans (the descendants of Canaan) were descended from Ham and thus destined for "servitude and subjection".



    Similarly, in 1820 during the debates over the statehood of Missouri, a long treatise with many biblical citations appeared in the Richmond Enquirer (15 Feb 1820) regarding the morality of slavery. It concluded with 5 take away points:

    • That the volume of sacred writings commonly called the bible, comprehend-ing the old and new Testaments, contains the unerring decisions of the word of God.
    • That these decisions are of equal authority in both testaments, and that this authority is the essential veracity of God, who is truth itself.
    • That since there can be no prescription against the authority of God, what ever is declared in any part of the holy bible to be lawful or illicit, must be essentially so in its own nature, however repugnant such declaration may be to the current opinions of men during any period of time.
    • That as the supreme lawgiver and judge of man, God is infinitely just and wise in all decisions, and is essentially irresponsible for the reasons of his conduct in the moral government of the world—so it is culpably audacious in us to question the rectitude of any of those decisions—merely because we do not apprehend the inscrutable principles of such wisdom and justice.
    • That if one, or more decisions of the written word of God, sanction the rectitude of any human acquisitions, for instance, the acquisition of a servant by inheritance or purchase, whoever believes that the written word of God is verity itself, must consequently believe in the absolute rectitude of slave-holding.
    From the middle of the 15th century (when this Noah "prophecy" first seems to have appeared) until at least the time of abolitionism, slavery was justified by mainstream Christians and other groups* through Biblical citations.


    *By other groups here I'm referring to Mormons. Early Mormons like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young justified slavery by reference to the curse of Ham but while references to the curse of Ham largely waned in mainstream Christianity after abolitionism, it remained an important idea in Mormonism into the 20th century. The ban on African-Americans serving as priests only ended in 1978.



    And as for murder, theft, adultery, lying. Sure they were Judeo/Christian concepts and were deemed to be wrong by followers of a fable.


    If you really think that prohibitions on murder, adultery, theft, lying etc. were Judeo-Christian concepts, then you really weren't paying attention in history class.


    Take this, for example:

    440px-Code-de-Hammurabi-1.jpg

    This is the stele of Hammurabi, an extant copy of the code of Hammurabi a Babylonian law code dating to 1754 BCE. For reference that's 804 years before Genesis was completed. The code includes laws governing trade, slander, divorce etc. We didn't need Christianity or Judaism to come along to teach us that murder was wrong. People already knew that.


    Even from the Bible it is apparent that laws and commandments concerning moral behaviour didn't originate with the commandments. In Exodus 2:11-15 Moses kills an Egyptian and hides the body, knowing what would happen if he didn't. When the crime is discovered he flees to Midian in fear. If you really needed God to spell out that murder is wrong then how did Moses know to hide the body?




    Slavery and child labour was never encouraged. Another false lie created.


    No, as I've pointed out above, slavery was defended loudly, vociferously and in great detail by southern Christians in the United States in the period before abolitionism. There is an excellent summary of these defenses in the Journal of Religious Thought:


    The religious defense of American slavery before 1830



    Genetics can't prove there wasn't one man and woman created from the beginning.


    Actually, it can. And does. First of all humans weren't created. We evolved from pre-existing species. Second, the problem of minimum viable population is a well studied concept in biology. There is a certain minimum population, below which a species will die out. This is because there needs to be sufficient members of a species such that harmful mutations have an escape valve and won't build up within a species. Although there is still some debate over the precise number that would be required for humans, the average minimum population for vertebrate species is roughly 4000.



    Minimum viable population size: A meta-analysis of 30 years of published estimates


    With specific regard to humans, its likely that the original population of humans was no bigger than about 26000. The genetic evidence for the human population 1.2 million years ago was somewhere between 18500 and 26000. So, not 2 people.


    And just to recap on a point I made above, its not just our observation of population data that tells us there never was an Adam an Eve (or single breeding pair), its that there are fundamental genetic reasons why a population that small could not be sustained.




    No proof to say 7 day creation didn't happen.


    Before we get into talking about the formation of the earth (and the Universe for that matter), its worth talking about the burden of proof.



    Just in case you've never studied formal logic or been on a jury or however else you might have missed this, let me explain. The burden of proof for any positive claim lies with the person making the claim. So, in this case, anybody making claims to there being a seven day creation needs to prove that this really is the case, its not encumbent on the skeptic to disprove the claim. A claim isn't considered true until its disproven. In fact, the world works the other way around. We don't let drug companies market drugs until they have been proven to work. This might help to explain things further:





    Getting back to the Earth, we know that the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old and that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. So unless you stretch the meaning of "day" to the point of ridicule, then yes we can say that 7 day creation didn't happen.



    Besides which, we know that Genesis isn't a historical account. Its a syncretic retelling of earlier creation myths, in particular the Enuma Elish. We can piece together the pieces of earlier myths that are found in Genesis (the perfect garden, Adam's rib etc.) such that there's not really much room left for a real history to be behind any of it.



    There is evidence flooding in Iraq and other Sumerian cities.
    Indeed, there is evidence of flooding in southern Iraq, in what was once the city of Shuruppak. But it was, of course a local flood, not a global one. And it is yet another example of a story that Jewish writers just borrowed from an earlier civilisation. The story of this local flood had been told by all the cultures in that region for thousands of years before Genesis was written. The epic of Gilgamesh (in its present form) dates back to around the 18th century BCE (or around 1300 years before Genesis) and tells the story of Utnapishtim (or Ziusudra or Atrahasis). As you can see below, it bears remarkable similarities to the story found in Genesis:


    "Like the apsu you shall roof it" Gilgamesh XI,31
    "Make a roof for the ark" Genesis 6:16

    "pitch I poured into the inside" Gilgamesh XI,66
    "cover it inside and out with pitch" Genesis 6:14

    "into the ship all my family and relatives" Gilgamesh XI,84
    "Go into the ark, you and all your household" Genesis 7:1

    "I entered the ship and closed the door" Gilgamesh XI,93
    "And they that entered...and the Lord shut him in" Genesis 7:16

    "All mankind was turned to clay" Gilgamesh XI,133
    "And all flesh died...and every man" Genesis 7:21

    "I opened the window" Gilgamesh XI,135
    "Noah opened the window of the ark" Genesis 8:6

    "On Mount Nisir the boat grounded" Gilgamesh XI,140
    "the ark came to rest upon the mountains" Genesis 8:4

    "The dove went out and returned" Gilgamesh XI,147
    "sent forth the dove and the dove came back to him" Genesis 8:10-11

    "When a seventh day arrived" Gilgamesh XI,145
    "He waited another seven days" Genesis 8:10

    "I sent forth a raven" Gilgamesh XI,152
    "Noah... sent forth a raven" Genesis 8:7




    Yes, there was a local flood in the region. But this one fact doesn't in any way lend credence towards the story told in the Bible. Just because there's a New York doesn't mean that there's a Spiderman.





    The old cities of Sodam and Gomorrah exist today covered in white sulphur which cannot be found anywhere else and shows old temples that melted inwards.



    OK, first things first. What they found at the site where they think Sodom and Gomorrah existed (note the use of the word think here, not know) is white monoclinic sulphur, a different crystalline form of sulphur than the more typical yellow orthorhombic sulphur. If you think that white sulphur can't be found anywhere else then perhaps you should pay a visit to White Sulphur Springs in Montana. Or the one in West Virginia. Monoclinic sulphur is formed from orthorhombic sulphur when the latter is exposed to temperatures in excess of 94.5 degrees. So it shows up a lot in places like hot springs.



    The formation of the white sulphur in the Lisan formation is explained through natural geologic processes but the details are too long-winded to discuss in detail here. However, it does not provide any evidence for a fire and brimstone rain outlined in the Bible.




    Bible also says earth hangs on nothing.


    Yes, and it also speaks about the Earth being flat (e.g. Isaiah 40:22). You see if you're going to talk about all the science that the Bible gets right, then you're also going to have to deal with all the science that the bible gets wrong, like that bats are birds and whales are fish and that you can show striped patterns to pregnant cattle to get striped offspring.



    Sounds like you think humans and animals evolved from nothing. DNA shows high intelligence creator used detailed instructions in a module determining the development, functioning and reproduction of all organisms.


    No, humans evolved from earlier species just like other animals. If you're talking about life itself, then we don't really know how life got started. Its not that we're completely clueless about it, in fact we have several different hypotheses about possible origins for life, but barring the invention of time travel, we can't go back and figure out which one is the correct one.


    We have a perfectly competent naturalistic mechanism for explaining the origin of life. We don't need to suggest the existence of a god to balance the equation, as it were. But if you are going to suggest a god to get the ball rolling, then you should have a good reason for doing so, and it should be better than because we don't know or because you can't think of something better.




    Bible mentions dragons. After the flood alot of these would not exist. The word dinosaur was created when the first one was found and they have the same description as that of dragons.


    Once again, just like the serpent in the garden of Eden, Christians try to connect dots that aren't there. While Satan is described as being like a dragon throughout Revelation, the only thing that comes close to being a dragon in the Old Testament is Leviathan, first mentioned in Job. Once you set aside his obviously fictional characteristics, the creature depicted as Leviathan more closely resembles a Nile crocodile.



    Second, what about the standard depiction of dragons would mean that they died out in the flood. Shouldn't they be able to fly above the flood waters just like the birds.


    Finally, no, the first dinosaur fossil found doesn't have the same description as a a dragon. The earliest dinosaur fossil to be discovered was Megalosaurus by William Buckland in the 1820s, but it wouldn't be until Richard Owen in the 1840s that they were given the name dinosaur. And they didn't think that they were dragons but rather large monitor lizards.



    Its hard to see this:megalosaurus_bucklandi_by_atrox1-d2k1rre_6bb8.jpg


    as being remotely like a dragon (the lack of wings for a start). Besides the earliest depictions of dragons were as giant sea serpents and not land creatures.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,210 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    you are a very patient person.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    And I get a reputation around boards for writing long posts :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Ann G


    .................and all I was seeking was some opinions on priests and their cash in hand activities.


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ one world order


    Human sacrifice, and moral scapegoating. Two barbaric human practices that I am glad to see are mostly dying off. And people like yourself who harken wistfully to those old days an increasingly rare breed. [...] If you think you are good but are only good because you think someone is watching and judging, then I question whether you are "good" at all. So you do not appear to have the platform you believe you have to lord your high horse morals over the rest of us.
    The only human sacrifice was that of Jesus and that was done by those that didn't want to hear his message. He replaced the old covenant of sacrificing animals for peoples sins. This was to be an everlasting sacrifice that Jesus took the punishment for our sins and he would pour out the holy spirit for those that accepted him as their saviour.

    Sin is an act that goes against the law set down by God. The law was given to correct people and show them the way God would like to see his creation to live by. It also helps to keep people in check from living sinful lives and maintaining good standards in society.

    A soul is the spiritual part of a human that is capable of reason, character, feeling, perception, etc. When death occurs the soul leaves the body. Jesus overcame death by the resurrection. He was witnessed by 500 people and so proved life exists after death.

    As faith in God has decreased, you have to accept people have become more lost, depressed and anxious. People have turned to mediation, yoga, reki, etc. to try fill that void.

    25% of families in Ireland are one parent, and this continues to increase. A lot of men don't treat women with the same respect due to how they view them on certain sites and the type of music they consume. Again this has to do with people choosing more sinful lives rather than obeying God.

    The theories put forward by atheist's for our creation are nonsense. People did not evolve from Apes that came from fish that came from bacteria that came from atoms that came from nothing. Big bang theory again crazy, what are the chances that earth is the appropriate distance from sun to sustain life, moon exists for gravity, right atmosphere for us to breath and food provided so we can live, among multiple factors involved. This does not happen from a random bang of a big rock in the middle of nowhere. All around you is Gods creation but you choose to ignore it, instead accepting crazy theories.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    He replaced the old covenant of sacrificing animals for peoples sins.

    As I said, scapegoating is a morally disgusting practice. Replacing animal scapegoating with human scapegoating is irrelevant. It is still scapegoating.
    Sin is an act that goes against the law set down by God.

    Therefore "sin" is just the rules of your particular hobby and club houses. Which is fine with me. Similarly if you join a golf club you will be expected to wear the right pants on the green. If you do not then this is breaking THEIR rules. Each club has their own rules. You just name yours with words like "sin".

    But I am not a member of your club, so I do not need to follow or in any way concern myself with it's rules. Until you can show this "god" of yours exists, which you have utterly (but consistently) failed to do that is.
    When death occurs the soul leaves the body.

    I asked you to evidence that claim. Instead you have just REPEATED the same claim. I am attempting a conversation WITH you therefore but you insist on talking AT me and PAST me in return. Is that on your clubs list of moral actions I wonder?
    As faith in God has decreased, you have to accept people have become more lost, depressed and anxious.

    I also addressed this, but once again rather than reply to what I actually said you are just soapboxing the same thing I replied to at me again. I do not "have" to accept what you claim no. I do not accept it at all.

    As I said we have become more open and knowledgeable about mental health issues. That is why we see more of it. Because we RECOGNISE more of it.

    IF however the numbers WERE going up then that does not mean it has anything to do with people realising that there is likely no gods. That is what is called a correlation. On this forum you will hear the phrase "Correlation is not causation" a lot, because it is true. We also have a lot more mobile phones these days, for example. I could just as easily as you assert that "As mobile phone proliferation has increased, you have to accept people have become more lost, depressed and anxious".

    But I wouldn't because unlike you I do not work by mere assertion alone.
    The theories put forward by atheist's for our creation are nonsense. People did not evolve from Apes that came from fish that came from bacteria that came from atoms that came from nothing. Big bang theory again crazy

    You do know that merely screeching the word "crazy" does not a scientific refutation make right? If you want to discuss evolution and the evidence for it then I am happy to do so with you. We have a thread for just that very thing here. I trust you have more to bring to the conversation that merely shouting the word "nonsense" and "crazy" over and over however?

    However I would point out that even if you managed to 100% refute current Scientific Theory, that would not lend one shred of evidence to YOUR claims about a god. That is a false dichotomy fallacy there. Pretending that there is only two solutions so negating one would prove the other. It doesn't work like that. If you negate one yours would STILL be at square one as entirely unsubstantiated.
    what are the chances that earth is the appropriate distance from sun to sustain life, moon exists for gravity, right atmosphere for us to breath and food provided so we can live, among multiple factors involved. This does not happen from a random bang of a big rock in the middle of nowhere.

    You tell me. What ARE the chances? I can not wait, when you show the mathematical probabilities, to see how you derive your denominator. You know what the chances of pulling an ace of diamonds from a deck of cards is? You probably do, because you like most people know the denominator is 52.

    So by all means show your workings of the probabilities. WHat is your denominator and how did you calculate it? I am agog.

    Further however, low probabilities are irrelevant in large sample spaces. The LOTTO for example gives you a VERY low probability of winning if you place ONCE. If however you play 10 million times, you are nearly guaranteed to win.

    The problem for your diatribe above therefore is you are imagining only one planet. THIS one. You are missing the fact that there are countless BILLIONS of planets, and thus countless BILLIONS of rolls of dice to attain a hit. So while it might seem improbable to you.... I suggest to you that that is just a lack of imagination and numerical ability on your part.

    Further however, you also risk making the single outcome error fallacy here. You look at life as WE know it and assume this is how life has to be. We do not know this to be the case. Perhaps Earth had to be just like it is for life as WE know it to arise. That does not mean that were it slightly different, life similar to ours might not have arisen and made the very same fallacious error you just did when contemplating itself.

    So there is a lot of really baseless assumption in play in your assuming to get caught up in the probabilities here. As an aside you should look up what Douglas Adams said about the Puddle. It highlights in a really dumbed down child like wonder kind of way the point I am making for you above.
    All around you is Gods creation but you choose to ignore it, instead accepting crazy theories.

    I do not "choose" what I believe at all I am afraid. Perhaps others do, but I do not. I can not. I have tried. But I have found that I am entirely unable to CHOOSE what to believe or disbelieve. I am compelled by evidence. If there is no evidence for a claim I can not make myself believe it. IF there is evidence for a claim I can not BUT believe it.

    I am constantly fascinated by the claim that other people appear to be able to CHOOSE their beliefs. It is to me almost a super power, and it has been entirely denied to me. I do not have it, and never have.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Ann G wrote: »
    .................and all I was seeking was some opinions on priests and their cash in hand activities.

    This forum has been very silent and lacking in posts and posters of late. So when somethings happens, it kinds takes off quickly :)

    As others have said I myself also do not see too many priests with wealth or an obsession with it. In fact I remember some news paper articles from the UK a few years back lamenting the fact that priests have had to get second jobs stacking shelved in supermarkets just to make ends meet.

    Here in Germany where I live the money to pay priests have become so low that parishes like my own have let all their German priests go entirely.... then amalgamated two or three parishes into one.... and imported a cheaper black african priest who can not even speak German to minister to them all. A few years back my town, which had two churches, finally knocked one down due to lack of interest and lack of priests. The poor african is not running around 3 or 4 towns trying to be a priest to people who do not even speak English.

    All that said though I do remember working in an Esso station in Cork when I was in University down there. And there was a regular priest of some higher than average station who came in every week in his massive Mercedes paying for a nice tank of gas with his platinum/gold credit card. From his car, his card, and his clothing he did not strike me as anyone other than someone of WELL above average means. My usually great memory fails me here however, as I used to recall his name. I suspect he was not a Catholic priest though. Is it protestants who wear the black coat over a wine/red undercoat and white shirt?


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ one world order


    oldrnwisr wrote: »
    Well, no. I know that this is something that Christians believe but the original story makes no mention of the devil. Its just a talking snake. Talking animals were a thing in the OT, just look at Balaam's talking donkey in Numbers 22. [...] Finally, no, the first dinosaur fossil found doesn't have the same description as a a dragon. The earliest dinosaur fossil to be discovered was Megalosaurus by William Buckland in the 1820s, but it wouldn't be until Richard Owen in the 1840s that they were given the name dinosaur. And they didn't think that they were dragons but rather large monitor lizards.

    The snake was the devil in the garden of Eden. It was the first mention of how the Devil tempts people into sin.

    You now are talking about slavery in the USA. What happened to the original statement that the bible encouraged slavery, when it was proven to be wrong.

    Humans were created by intelligent design and we differ to animals as we were made in Gods image. There is no proof to say we evolved from nothing.

    You agree there is evidence of flooding in that region. If dragons/dinosaurs did exist, simply flying above the flood waters wouldn't prevent their demise as first they would starve as all the earth was covered in water and second their natural prey would now not exist.

    White sulphur springs in Virginia got its name from springs of sulphur water, not burnt sulphur ash. Sulphur from volcanic activity is yellow. There is no volcanic activity where Sodom and Gormorrah is today. If you visted the place you would see the old cities covered in the white ash and old buildings and temples melted. This would support the raining down of fire by God on the cities 3,500 years ago.

    Isaiah 40.22 says "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in". Where in that does it say the earth is flat?


  • Registered Users Posts: 581 ✭✭✭ one world order


    As I said, scapegoating is a morally disgusting practice. Replacing animal scapegoating with human scapegoating is irrelevant. It is still scapegoating. [...] I am constantly fascinated by the claim that other people appear to be able to CHOOSE their beliefs. It is to me almost a super power, and it has been entirely denied to me. I do not have it, and never have.
    Its not scapegoating because it recognises the sin was incurred and like a judge, god must punish sin. By offering the animals as sacrifice under the old covenant, it was an atonement for their sins. It was meant to help the people to turn away from their sin but obviously over time it was not working and a new agreement was needed.

    God provided the 10 commandments and that was the law. Remember God created people on earth in his image for his pleasure but he didn't like how people were behaving. Its Gods rules you must obey for salvation, if I break the rules of your golf club my salvation doesn't rest on it.

    Do you subscribe to the notion we don't have a soul? Do we exist in this world in the physical only. if that's the case do you thing a dead person and alive person are the same?

    If numbers of people suffering from depression, anxiety, loss of purpose, etc were going up, it would lead to questions how peoples lack of spiritual faith is having an impact. These issues are all internal, part of the soul and not the body. We see studies time and time again that people with a connection to God are more happy and live longer. Also peoples faith acts as a barrier to the temptations the Devil throws at people in the spiritual war going on in this world.

    What you are looking for is God to come down from heaven, tap you on the shoulder and say here I am before you believe. If God was to be in this world with us then there it defeats the purpose of free will. We have the choice to follow God and try live a more Christ life or reject him and live a more sinful live. Like I said creation is all around you, you cannot create everything from nothing. He also gave you a conscience and morals which don't come from evolving from nothing.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,210 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    What you are looking for is God to come down from heaven, tap you on the shoulder and say here I am before you believe.
    of course. your stance presumes a very weird being. 'if you don't believe in me without proper evidence, i'll punish you'.

    you're taking the biggest issue with god - lack of evidence - and turning it into a virtue. a clever thing to do, but unfortunately a trick which preaches to the choir.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    Its not scapegoating

    It is the very definition of scapegoating. You do not get to redefine words to suit yourself. Bearing the crimes, and punishments for those crimes, of another person or group of people. Acting like your crimes can be forgiven by them being taken on by another. It is scapegoating 101 despite your pretence.
    Remember God created people

    You are still preaching your sermon from the soap box and ignoring what people are asking you. I asked you to evidence this god exists. All you do is keep asserting it exists and talking about thinks you believe it has done.

    Your story does not make any internal sense or coherence either however. You are meant to have an all knowing all powerful god. But you claim it made people and "didn't like how people were behaving".

    No your omnipotent all knowing god would have know how they would behave BEFORE creating them, because it is meant to be all knowing. So "Didn't like how they were behaving" can not be accurate. It would have created them to behave EXACTLY as they then behaved.
    Do you subscribe to the notion we don't have a soul?

    I subscribe to the notion that not just some, not just most, but ALL The evidence we have related to human consciousness, subjectivity and awareness..... links it to the brain. Therefore there is NO evidence at this time, least of all from you, that this survives the death of the brain at all.
    If numbers of people suffering from depression, anxiety, loss of purpose, etc were going up, it would lead to questions how peoples lack of spiritual faith is having an impact.

    Yes, absolutely. That is much less nonsense than you were spouting before. We absolutely should ask questions about what is causing such an increase IF such an increase is actually ocurring.

    As I keep saying the first problem is establishing there has been an increase. You have not done this. You have asserted it. But you have to account for the fact that our diagnoses are increasing, and our being open about the issue, and people feeling more comfortable coming forward to even be diagnoses in the first place.

    So the first question is what the ACTUAL change in numbers are. If the numbers have changed, up or down, then absolutely we need to ask why.

    What we don't need to do is have people like you merely make up reasons why and assert them as fact. That causes more harm than good. But I fear harm is low down on your list of priorities in favour of evangelism.
    We see studies time and time again that people with a connection to God are more happy and live longer.

    No. We don't. And you are playing that game of "Mentioning evidence but never actually citing any" I mentioned before.

    Actually what I have seen is many studies linking engaging with religious activities links to happiness, well being, and longer life. Regardless of whether the people believe there is a god or not. And this makes sense, because social activity, and engagement with regular activities, are good predictors of well being no matter what they are.

    Studies suggesting any belief in a god whatsoever is beneficial however I have not seen. Since you claim to have seen them "time and time again" I suppose you will be able to cite them and link to them??? For once?????
    What you are looking for

    There you go AGAIN. Telling me what I think/feel/want without ever once stopping to ask me what I think/feel/want. This is becoming an established and recurrent MO with you and says much more about you than it does me.
    If God was to be in this world with us then there it defeats the purpose of free will.

    Oh look, free will, another thing you merely assert exists without once evidencing it. Quite the list now.
    Like I said creation is all around you, you cannot create everything from nothing.

    Where are you getting "Nothing" from? We do not know at this time there ever was "nothing". You merely assume it.
    He also gave you a conscience and morals which don't come from evolving from nothing.

    Absolutely nothing about morality requires magic, evolution can absolutely give it to us and in fact we observe rudimentary forms of it in the higher apes all the time. I invited you to the evolution discuss thread. I see you did not step up. Quelle Suprise huh.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,300 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Do you subscribe to the notion we don't have a soul? Do we exist in this world in the physical only. if that's the case do you thing a dead person and alive person are the same?

    In case you weren't aware, you're on a atheist forum where most folks here find your notion of a soul to be absurd, much like your notions of a god and the mythology that surrounds that god. The difference between a living and dead organism of any kind, whether a person or a fungal infection in between their toes, is that one is alive and the other isn't. So for example, if I use an anti-fungal cream to kill of the infection between my toes, do you suppose the souls all of the many fungi I've just slaughtered go to to fungus heaven? Or perhaps fungus hell, because after all they've been pretty cruel to my poor tootsies :D

    What evidence can you provide that life could exist incorporeally, i.e. without any kind of a substrate? I assume this is what you mean by soul.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,241 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    You now are talking about slavery in the USA. What happened to the original statement that the bible encouraged slavery, when it was proven to be wrong.

    I think "encouraged" is indeed the wrong word. What the Bible does is it "expects" slavery. That is to say that it never really gets into saying slavery is either a good or bad thing, but gets into how to treat your slaves well.

    In other words this document which you take to be a core moral precept is a document which takes slavery as pretty much a given, and gives no suggestions that it should be otherwise. Just like if you read a cookery book it does not spend a lot of time arguing as to why cooking food is a good thing. It takes it as a given that cooking food is the good and right thing to be doing, and it tells you how to do it well.

    These days we recognise slavery as a bad thing in our country, which puts us morally AHEAD of your supposed eternally morally god. Because morals are a constantly changing and evolving thing and the idea they are fixed, objective, and external to us is as dangerous as it is entirely and completely unsubstantiated.

    You seem to think morals somehow "exist" separate to our subjective reality. That they are some magical thing on their own. There is no evidence forthcoming, least of all from you, that this is the case.
    Humans were created by intelligent design and we differ to animals as we were made in Gods image. There is no proof to say we evolved from nothing.

    You keep using this word "proof" without seemingly knowing what it means or without seemingly noticing when people explain to you why it is the worst word to be using as I did in an earlier post.

    What we have is a preponderance of evidence. In science we do not really "prove" anything as 100% true. What we do is find Theories which are best supported by the evidence available to us, and shelve until later and Theories that are not.

    That human beings evolved from earlier life is heavily evidenced, which is likely one of the reasons you ignored my invitation to discuss evolution the thread related to evolution. I know quite a lot of that evidence and could discuss it with you at length. I would be somewhere in the top 4 posters on this forum in that regard at a guess. I can think of three who seem to know more than I.

    The evidence that a non-human intelligent and intentional agent had a hand in our creation however is at this time ZERO to my knowledge. I have asked people for that evidence. I have asked YOU for that evidence. And so far the sum total of the evidence offered is Zilich. Nichts. Nadda. Bugger all. Diddly Squat. Nothing. Nought.

    You really do seem to think assertion is evidence.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,300 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Mod note: When replying to long posts can you please avoid quoting the entire post as it makes the thread very difficult to follow for those using devices with smaller screens. Instead, selectively quote sections relevant to your response or simply mention which post you're responding to if it is not the immediately preceding post. Thanks for your attention!


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,233 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    ^^^ I've edited down the offending posts to reasonable size.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,594 oldrnwisr


    The snake was the devil in the garden of Eden. It was the first mention of how the Devil tempts people into sin.


    No, you're wrong. You've either missed the point that I was making or flatly ignored it. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was the former.



    Yes, Christians believe that the serpent in the garden of Eden was Satan in disguise. But the story doesn't actually say that. In fact, Genesis 3:1 explicitly states that the serpent is a wild animal which God had made. Also, in Hebrew the serpent is described as:


    נָחָ֣שׁ


    or nachash which is used 10 times in the OT to refer to a serpent or snake. There is no connection made in the story between this serpent and Satan. And as I've already explained this is because the people who wrote Genesis didn't believe in Satan. At least not in the way Christians do. The Satan character which appears in the OT is described as moloch yahwheh, an angel of God and when he appears in Numbers 22, Job 1-2, Zechariah 3:1-2 and 1 Chronicles 21:1, he is acting to oppose humans, not God.



    The idea of Satan as a rebellious angel or the lord of hell is a later development. The serpent in the garden is just a talking animal.




    You now are talking about slavery in the USA. What happened to the original statement that the bible encouraged slavery, when it was proven to be wrong.


    OK, let's recap for a second. The idea of slavery came into this thread when SouthWesterly said:

    "Absolutely, let's bring back slavery and child labour. After all, it was Christians who campaigned for their abolition. And as for murder, theft, adultery, lying. Sure they were Judeo/Christian concepts and were deemed to be wrong by followers of a fable."

    So the original point was that abandoning Christianity would be rather like throwing the baby out with the bathwater since it was Christians who campaigned to abolish slavery.



    Then Hotblack Desiato pointed out that other Christians fought to keep slavery on the basis of the bible. You then responded to SouthWesterly's original point by saying:


    "Slavery and child labour was never encouraged. Another false lie created"


    Now, in your point, you don't clarify, by whom the slavery was encouraged.



    Slavery was certainly encouraged and defended by people, particularly in the US, and they made regular and detailed appeals to the bible to support their claims to the moral rectitude of slavery.



    The only remaining question is whether the bible encourages slavery. It certainly doesn't actively promote slavery or say that it is a good thing. But neither does it condemn slavery. It sanctions and regulates slavery and within those commandments are some pretty barbaric instructions, like saying that its ok to beat your slave as long as they don't die within a few days, as in Exodus 21:21.



    More importantly, slavery is further condoned in the NT too, with Paul's exhortation for slaves to obey their masters in Ephesians 6:5.



    At no point is there a prohibition on slavery or a simple commandment like "don't own people" which you would expect an actual merciful God to implement.


    Further, when you say:


    "Slavary existed back then. Bible doesn't say it is okay but mentions how they should be treated. In the seventh year they shall be set free."


    you're being disingenuous to what the text actually says.



    First, it doesn't say that any slave shall be set free in the seventh year. Only Hebrew slaves were to be set free. If you had a slave from another nation, then you were free to hang on to them for life. Second, Exodus 21:4-6 provides a loophole to allow slave owners to keep Hebrew slaves forever:

    "If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free. “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life."


    Also, you say that slavery existed back then so the bible regulates it. So what is wrong with your god that he couldn't have included a prohibition against slavery.




    Humans were created by intelligent design and we differ to animals as we were made in Gods image. There is no proof to say we evolved from nothing.


    No, we really weren't. Or to be clearer, there's no evidence for intelligent design try as creationists might have over the last half century or so.



    First, a minor nitpick. We're not different from animals. We are animals. An animal, in biology, is defined as any organism which must digest another organism in order to live.



    As for human evolution, we know that we evolved from earlier species. One of the observations that confirms our evolutionary history is the fact that humans have 46 chromosomes and chimps and other primates have 48. So, if there is truth to common ancestry then two chromosomes which remain distinct in chimps must have fused in humans at some point in the past. Also, since chromosomes have distinctive regions to mark their centre and end points (centromeres and telomeres), we should be easily able to identify this. And this is exactly what we found:


    hum_ape_chrom_2.gif

    We found a neocentromere on human chromosome 2 which matches the pattern of chimp chromosomes 12 and 13.



    But it's not just this one observation. We have multiple lines of concordant evidence which demonstrates common ancestry as opposed to intelligent design. Like ERVs for example.



    ERVs or endogenous retroviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that inject a portion of their genome into the host DNA through a process of reverse transcription like in the diagram below:


    Integration_of_viral_DNA_into_host_genome.png

    Unlike HIV, for example, these viruses are capable of infecting germline cells and so get passed on to the next generation. By examining these sequences in humans and comparing them with sequences found in other apes we can see a clear pattern of common descent.
    erv.png

    The reason that ERVs demonstrate evidence for common descent is simple. Since the virus is endogenous, it is retained in all descendant branches. So all offspring of an ancestral creature will retain the same ERV strain. If the descendants of a creature diverge and become disparate groups, then each group can pick up a new or mutated ERV which will then be retained in that branch only.
    Let's say that we have a crown species for all mammals (theria) which we'll call mammalia commonalis. This picks up an exogenuous virus which infects its germ cells. We'll call this virus ERV1. Now, a couple of steps down the line, we have a split between glires and euarchonta. Here, the crown species for glires which we'll call glirus originalis acquires a new virus, ERV2. Next, another few steps down the line, simiiformes diverge from tarsiiformes, with the simiiformes crown species, which we'll call simius primus acquiring a new virus, ERV3.
    So when we look at humans, what do we expect to find. We should find a copy of ERV1 which we share with all other mammals, and a copy of ERV3 which is shared only by other simiiformes, but we should not expect to find a copy of ERV2. Also if we look at another species in the same group as us, say chimpanzees, we should not expect to find a copy of ERV2 there either.
    Humans, at this point, have 30,000 such ERV sequences in our genome and the evidence we have gathered from comparative genomic analysis of these sequences demonstrates our common descent with other species.


    So, not intelligent design.




    You agree there is evidence of flooding in that region. If dragons/dinosaurs did exist, simply flying above the flood waters wouldn't prevent their demise as first they would starve as all the earth was covered in water and second their natural prey would now not exist.


    In that region, not the whole world. There was no global flood. The only physical evidence is for a local flood centred on the Sumerian city of Shuruppak. If dragons did exist then they could have just flown 100km away to where there was no flood. As for dinosaurs, there are hundreds of species of dinosaurs including several groups of aquatic dinosaur species like plesiosaurs and mosasaurs which should have been easily able to survive a flood.



    White sulphur springs in Virginia got its name from springs of sulphur water, not burnt sulphur ash. Sulphur from volcanic activity is yellow. There is no volcanic activity where Sodom and Gormorrah is today. If you visted the place you would see the old cities covered in the white ash and old buildings and temples melted. This would support the raining down of fire by God on the cities 3,500 years ago.


    Actually what you said previously was:


    "The old cities of Sodam and Gomorrah exist today covered in white sulphur which cannot be found anywhere else and shows old temples that melted inwards."


    I pointed out that this, particularly the highlighted section is false. You can in fact find white sulphur (i.e. monoclinic sulphur) in other places, particularly hot springs.


    In your quote above where you mention sulphur ash, you seem not to even understand the argument that creationists have been making. Its not about the presence of white sulphur but rather the abnormally high purity of the sulphur nodules found in the Lisan formation which creationists have taken as evidence of the rain of fire and brimstone which wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah. However, as Bishop et al. have shown in Fire and Brimstone: The Microbially Mediated Formation of Elemental Sulfur Nodules from an Isotope and Major Element Study in the Paleo Dead Sea. the sulphur nodules found in the formation are not the result of a heavenly rain of fire and brimstone but rather the activity of anerobic bacteria converting the naturally occurring gypsum into elemental sulphur.


    The creationist Steve Collins who has made the loudest claims about evidence for Sodom and Gomorrah has not only got the science wrong but also the basic location. As other bible scholars have pointed out the Tall el-Hammam location proposed by Collins doesn't match the biblical description of Sodom or the date of its destruction. Collins places the destruction towards the end of the Middle Bronze Age, somewhere between 1500 and 1600 BCE which doesn't match the chronology of the Old Testament.





    Isaiah 40.22 says "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in". Where in that does it say the earth is flat?


    In Isaiah 40:22, it says circle, as in flat disc, not sphere. The Hebrew word



    ח֝֗וּג


    is used to refer to a flat circle. It is used in this sense in Proverbs 8:27 also. Had the writer of Isaiah meant to imply a sphere then they would have used the word:


    דּ֥וּר


    or ball, in the sense it is used in Isaiah 22:18 or Ezekiel 24:5.




    Now, as for some other points you made:

    Jesus overcame death by the resurrection. He was witnessed by 500 people and so proved life exists after death.



    How do you know? Paul is a man who never met Jesus and his account of 500 witnesses, which is at best second-hand information, is flatly contradicted by Acts. Acts 10:40-41 states:

    "God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead."


    Acts states that the only people Jesus made himself visible to were those he ate and drank with like the story of Cleopas and his companion in Luke 24:13-32. Further, in Acts 1:15 we are told:

    "In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)"

    So there were 120 believers present at the ascension. This means that since the appearance to "over 500" brethren must have taken place before this point then at least 380 of them would have had to have buggered off in the meantime for the two stories to be compatible. However, Jesus makes it clear in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4 that the believers he appeared to were commanded to remain in Jerusalem until the ascension.

    " I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

    Luke 24:49

    "On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about."
    Acts 1:4


    So, how do you know there were any witnesses? Why should we trust Paul?


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