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Old 01-27-2002, 12:01 AM   #21
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I think it's intersting that we talk about the "limitations" of God. People who believe in God, including myself, will acknowledge that God is all-powerful, yet referto God as "Him", perhaps for convenience, but I think that we try to make God more like us, so that we are able to feel less insecure about our own limitations.

Tying this all back to the topic at hand, when we talk about "creation" versus "evolution", there is always some sort of attempt to separate the two. When God wants to create something He has his own ways of doing this sort of thing (I'm using a pronoun here for simplicity, and to avoid annoying redundancy). Whether it happens over 7 days or over 20 billion years is literally insignificant to God, because all of time is the same. It is irrelevant to us to consider that, though we do because we want to figure out the inconsistencies between scientific research and what is stated in the Bible, that the world was created in 7 days, though "days" might just be a misinterpretation that occured at some point, and certainly is not the only one that may have occured.

I think it's difficult to promote that being made from God's image means that we are created perfectly. Quite to the contrary, we seem to have many imperfections and the only thing allowing us to attempt to improve on those is that we have God within, which is what ties us to Him, and in fact ties all living creatures together.

I personally think the creation example seems to be part of the reason that most people in the world eat meat, especially in the west. Because most non-Christians did not have a "hierarchy of creation", they never felt that it was the purpose of animals to be our sustinence. As a result, most either did not eat meat, or were very methodical when it came to killing the animals properly.

It seems very black and white to believe that God created the species out of nothingness in some way that we will never know. We're striving to learn more, and as we do, maybe there are some who won't like the new ideas and questions that are posed. But I think that physical evolution and God's creation of the soul are compatible, and always will be. That's something we will probably never be able to disprove.

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Old 01-27-2002, 10:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Foxxern:
I think it's intersting that we talk about the "limitations" of God. People who believe in God, including myself, will acknowledge that God is all-powerful, yet referto God as "Him", perhaps for convenience, but I think that we try to make God more like us, so that we are able to feel less insecure about our own limitations.

Tying this all back to the topic at hand, when we talk about "creation" versus "evolution", there is always some sort of attempt to separate the two. When God wants to create something He has his own ways of doing this sort of thing (I'm using a pronoun here for simplicity, and to avoid annoying redundancy). Whether it happens over 7 days or over 20 billion years is literally insignificant to God, because all of time is the same. It is irrelevant to us to consider that, though we do because we want to figure out the inconsistencies between scientific research and what is stated in the Bible, that the world was created in 7 days, though "days" might just be a misinterpretation that occured at some point, and certainly is not the only one that may have occured.

I think it's difficult to promote that being made from God's image means that we are created perfectly. Quite to the contrary, we seem to have many imperfections and the only thing allowing us to attempt to improve on those is that we have God within, which is what ties us to Him, and in fact ties all living creatures together.

I personally think the creation example seems to be part of the reason that most people in the world eat meat, especially in the west. Because most non-Christians did not have a "hierarchy of creation", they never felt that it was the purpose of animals to be our sustinence. As a result, most either did not eat meat, or were very methodical when it came to killing the animals properly.

It seems very black and white to believe that God created the species out of nothingness in some way that we will never know. We're striving to learn more, and as we do, maybe there are some who won't like the new ideas and questions that are posed. But I think that physical evolution and God's creation of the soul are compatible, and always will be. That's something we will probably never be able to disprove.

I don't refute any of your arguments, except the one surrounding the reasons why other religions are perhaps more 'methodical' in the eating of animals, I know this to be untrue.

What do you call 'methodical'? In most countries in the Middle East they slaughter lambs by the millions and let them bleed to death on the street, with the blood being splashed onto pedestrians like puddle water. I don't think Islam supports your argument. Nor do I think Hinduism, the slaughter of many different animals (except of course the cow), and, had it not been for a few vegetarian mogul emperors, the same diet would have been followed as in the West, or Christianity.

The only exception you may find is with Buddhism, and other minor sects - but you can't cross out the other main religions of the world using your argument. Whether acknowledged or not, there IS a hierarchy of creation.

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Old 01-27-2002, 12:04 PM   #23
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I think that everyones mind is made up on this subject. This site however has some compelling arguments against creationism, particularily with regards to fossils and Noah's ark:

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/
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Old 01-27-2002, 02:09 PM   #24
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Once again, I must state that I am enjoying the level of discussion on this topic. Before I reply again, I will wait to see if others have comment. I don't want to end up with the possibility of me dominating this thread and no one commenting.

Melon

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Old 01-27-2002, 08:11 PM   #25
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Does anybody recall St. Thomas Aquinas, and his wisdom? To the venerable saint, science was merely the PROOF of God's existence, and that should be the best approach. The causation behind 'the big bang', to Aquinas, was ofcourse God, and God was behind such scientific phenomenom. Bear in mind that Aquinas not only was a holy man in life, but his views were evidently supported by the Catholic Church, who, for a change are receptive to common sense. The Aquinas approach is essential to our modern world, as science is constantly proving and disproving our views on everything, including our faith.
Aha! I knew someone else here would know Aquinas on the proof of the existence of God...see my earlier post in this thread.



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Old 01-27-2002, 09:52 PM   #26
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ok, melon, I am following your logic, but this statement:

He was their creator and their protector.

is leaving out the idea that made Judaism an entirely new pattern of living. God is not only the tribal protector and creator but the Creator of the Universe. From His contact with Abraham, God of the Heavens is beginning a relationship with human beings. There is an end to the reliance on seasonal cycles and appeasing gods which is replaced by a historical chain of events. (You can read about this in Gift of the Jews by Thomas Cahill).

Heres how a psalmist records God (Psalm 93:1-2):

The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
thy throne is established from of old;
thou art from everlasting.


[This message has been edited by DebbieSG (edited 01-27-2002).]
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Old 01-27-2002, 10:59 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by the olive:
I think that everyones mind is made up on this subject. This site however has some compelling arguments against creationism, particularily with regards to fossils and Noah's ark:
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/
I had a quick look at the website. I have to take issue with the statement that evolution, as a scientific theory, has the same standing as relativity, atomic theory and quantum theory.

I tested the last three in my junior-level physics lab. (If you're really bored, check out http://web.mit.edu/8.13/WWW/ .) To my knowledge, no one has ever tested the natural evolution of species in the lab. One million years from now, when Jane Goodall's chimps have or have not evolved into humans, we'll have some observational evidence.

The only evidence for the natural evolution of species is circumstantial (the fossil record), and to demonstrate the difficulty of relying on circumstantial evidence, I will compare evolution with another (completely ridiculous) theory of the origin of man.

THEORY: (Darwin) Through genetic recombination, random mutations and differential selection (survival of the fittest), old species evolve into new species over long periods of time.

QUESTION: According to your theory, there should be scores of distinct species embedded within the fossil record. But most species in the fossil record exhibit no change during their tenure on earth, and in any local area new species appear fully formed; they don't arise from the gradual transformation of ancestors. It's as if these new species magically appeared out of nowhere.

THEORY: (Gould) Species generally don't evolve, except during specific periods of time when the climate of the earth might have been extreme and have allowed only members of species with certain extreme features to survive.

QUESTION: Species in the fossil record generally remain constant for one million years or so; what are these climate patterns that would cause such accelerated evolution only every one million years? Also, why don't intermediate species show up in the fossil record?

(and so on.)

Compare this with

THEORY: (speedracer) Since species tend to appear in the fossil record rather abruptly, I posit that all the different species on Earth were created in the lab and then exported here by biological engineers from the planet Zog.

QUESTION: One, are you on crack? Two, why didn't these Zogians leave any tracks, or a "Welcome to Earth" travel guide, or something?

THEORY: One, it's LSD. Two, the Zogians flew here on their own without the use of spacecraft, and they were rather antisocial creatures.

QUESTION: How the hell did the Zogians know how to engineer us so that we'd be able to survive on Earth?

(and so on.)

Now I'm not going to demand equal time for Zog theory of species in biology classrooms in high school, since evolution is a theory about physically regular processes and the Zog theory isn't. I merely wish to point out some of the difficulties when a scientific theory relies on circumstantial evidence.

[This message has been edited by speedracer (edited 01-27-2002).]
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Old 01-28-2002, 12:37 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony:
What do you call 'methodical'? In most countries in the Middle East they slaughter lambs by the millions and let them bleed to death on the street, with the blood being splashed onto pedestrians like puddle water. I don't think Islam supports your argument. Nor do I think Hinduism, the slaughter of many different animals (except of course the cow), and, had it not been for a few vegetarian mogul emperors, the same diet would have been followed as in the West, or Christianity.

The only exception you may find is with Buddhism, and other minor sects - but you can't cross out the other main religions of the world using your argument. Whether acknowledged or not, there IS a hierarchy of creation.

Ant.
I think you're misinformed. Perhaps in some countries they are not as concerned with the process of butchering animals. But most religions, including Islam and Judaism, use a priest who is present and who blesses the animals during a traditional ceremony. The elimination of this process is likely due in part partially to Western influence, and partially to the fact that the butchers simply do not have the time to properly sacrifice the animals as the demand for meat grows due to a lack of understanding one's own religion in many of the poorly educated countries.

As for Hinduism, as a member myself, I can safely say that respect for animals goes far beyond cows, as the stereotype may perpetuate. Yes, there is a tendency to have a preference for cows, but that is only because farmers use the cows in so many different ways and so they see the cows as extremely helpful, almost as close as a member of their own families. But Hinduism does not support violence against any animals.

This hierarchy is so ingrained into our minds that it's hard for many to even consider that animals are not our subordinates. Just remember, without us, they would survive just fine. But we wouldn't last long without them. I'm not some ultra animals' rights activist, but I think it's important to understand that animals are not just here to serve our nutritional purposes. Of course in many parts of the world, other food is difficult to find. But we definitely need to consider the consequences of our actions towards animals.

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Old 01-28-2002, 09:42 AM   #29
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Originally posted by DebbieSG:
[Judaism an entirely new pattern of living. God is not only the tribal protector and creator but the Creator of the Universe. From His contact with Abraham, God of the Heavens is beginning a relationship with human beings.
DebbieSG, I am not arguing against that this is what Judaism became. Your quote is from Psalms, but, like almost all of the Old Testament, it is written around the Exilic period (c. 580 B.C.) to the Maccabee period (c. 180 B.C.). By this time, the concept of total monotheism, as in God was the creator of everyone and everything, was already in place.

My argument all along was that, in Genesis, this was different. Monotheism, as we know it, did not exist in any form in any religion likely back when Genesis was written. In fact, as I am reading parts of the entire Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), it is written in the possessive.

"Do not make false gods for yourselves. You shall not erect an idol or a sacred pillar for yourselves, nor shall you set up a stone figure for worship in your land; for I, the LORD, am your God." -- Leviticus 26:1 "Your God" is not the same as "the God." As I look up the dating on these books, they are suspected to be from around 721 B.C., which would be before the Exile and Persian influence.

The question here is not whether they worshipped more than one God, because they didn't. The Bible is more than enough record to show that they only worshipped one God. The question here is whether the perspective of the earliest books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, is written with the perspective that other gods existed and created their enemies around them, and, thus, if they believed that Yahweh only created them. If that is the case, then the Adam and Eve story was only meant to be record of the creation of the Jewish people. However, we believe that God ("Yahweh") created everyone, yes? Hence, Adam and Eve might not have been the first people. God might have created His "chosen people" many thousands of years after He created other human societies. These societies are built up, God becomes displeased, and then decides to create Adam and Eve, the first of His "chosen people." Cain is kicked out and is forced to settle in Nod, where he marries a woman who is not part of the "chosen people." Hence, that is why she existed in the first place, because the society existed before Eden and before their creation.

The writers might not have been interested in pre-history, once again because writers don't tend to write what is obvious to its intended audience. Since 90% of us here aren't of Jewish decent, that would mean that our ancestors were likely created far before and unrelated to Adam and Eve, that is with the perspective of what is written.

Of course, we believe--and rightfully so--in one God. That doesn't mean that people didn't believe in something else beforehand.

(Heh...I believe in a God-created evolution anyway. )

Melon

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Old 01-28-2002, 01:53 PM   #30
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"I think you're misinformed. Perhaps in some countries they are not as concerned with the process of butchering animals. But most religions, including Islam and Judaism, use a priest who is present and who blesses the animals during a traditional ceremony. The elimination of this process is likely due in part partially to Western influence, and partially to the fact that the butchers simply do not have the time to properly sacrifice the animals as the demand for meat grows due to a lack of understanding one's own religion in many of the poorly educated countries."

Well, thats all very well, except for the fact that I am NOT misinformed. I know what I saw, a bunch of slaughtered animals in a pool of blood can leave such an impression.

You seem to be the type that understands the difference between theory and practice, and the practice is different in a lot of muslim countries. Do you want me to name them? Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Morocco and Jordan. I know I am NOT misinformed because I actually SAW what I descibed to you, thank you kindly. It would appear that you are the one who is misinformed. Its all very well preaching about how religions say this and religions say that, the practice of it is very different, I can assure you.

"As for Hinduism, as a member myself, I can safely say that respect for animals goes far beyond cows, as the stereotype may perpetuate. Yes, there is a tendency to have a preference for cows, but that is only because farmers use the cows in so many different ways and so they see the cows as extremely helpful, almost as close as a member of their own families. But Hinduism does not support violence against any animals."

And where is it stated that Catholicism and other Christian sects support violence towards animals? It doesn't. My only argument with you is the statement that the West have their tendencies because of this 'hierarchy', its not 'just' in the West at all, its in most countries and in most cultures.

Ant.
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Old 01-29-2002, 02:02 AM   #31
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melon, again, I understand your reasoning, I've thought about similar things because there are gaps in the Old Testament...I'm continuing here only because I have Jewish (or Hebrew) blood and I have to say something here, even if my own biblical knowledge is very scant; practicing Jews could give you much more insight here...

your quote

"Do not make false gods for yourselves. You shall not erect an idol or a sacred pillar for yourselves, nor shall you set up a stone figure for worship in your land; for I, the LORD, am your God." -- Leviticus 26:1 "Your God" is not the same as "the God."

comes from the Pentatuach, yes, it's possessive, and I think here it is emphasizing God's commitment to a people who did not know him very well before...He is saying "as I helped you out of slavery in Egypt I am going to take care of you now."

I am looking in Genesis and I see "the Lord God" or simply "God" in most instances. For instance Genesis 2:4b "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,"

I think the writers here believed in a single omnipotent God. "Lord" is a specialized form of the name for God and indicates such an understanding, I believe. Abraham (or Abram at the time) knew it was the Almighty speaking to him. God tells him in Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves." In Abraham's mind, and what the writer is showing, is that there is one God. Who else would know about all of this? It is quite a revelation and it marks the beginning of monotheism.

That's off the track of creation, but I wanted to respond because it has bearing on how you perceive the Genesis stories.
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Old 01-29-2002, 03:52 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
The question here is not whether they worshipped more than one God, because they didn't. The Bible is more than enough record to show that they only worshipped one God. The question here is whether the perspective of the earliest books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, is written with the perspective that other gods existed and created their enemies around them, and, thus, if they believed that Yahweh only created them.
The thing is, yes, you can make the case that the Books of Law assumes its readers (the early Hebrews) were originally polytheistic. But that doesn't necessarily suggest that either the books or their writers subscribed to polytheism.

Think of it this way: a Christian missionary goes to a small island inhabited by polytheistic people. The way HE would convert them is to say that the God of Jesus is more powerful, more forgiving, etc., than "your gods."

That too does NOT imply the missionary himself believes those other gods exist.

More to the point, these other gods do not actually act in the Books of Law. God creates the entire universe; at least, everything that is created in Genesis is created by God, and man is not noted as an exception in the least.

In Exodus, God is a key figure - the actual foil to Pharoah, with Moses as the intermediary. Nowhere does the Egyptian "gods" actually DO ANYTHING.

I still think the argument's a bit of stretch.
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