SockPuppet Strangler

Religion

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Religion n.

1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.

3. A particular system of faith and worship

4. A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance

 

This is a topic for sharing your religious beliefs (or lack of), learning about others religious beliefs, asking for clarification on religious texts or passages, or anything else similar.

 

Attacking others' religion or attacking them (for their religion) will not be tolerated here and will earn you a warning.

 

If someone doesn't want to answer questions about their religion, they do not have to, so do not try and force them to.

 

This is also not a place to tear apart someone's religion. We have people of a great variety of religions here, so please be respectful of everyone's' beliefs.

 

You may bring up good or bad experiences with other religions, but you may not bash all people of that religion because of your experience. People have been surprised here in meeting good people of a religion they had previously lost hope in and that's the kind of sharing and learning that we all really enjoy here. <3

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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They do. I do believe in all religion. But christianity is a narrow term that expresses believing in one god. I believe in their god, but that does not make me a christian, because I do not necessarily believe all of their practices. Just like if someone likes a sci-fi movie, that doesn't necessarily make them a sci-fi fanatic.

 

Also, I don't share it or spread it around. Actually, science is not as developed as we like to think it is. I'm guessing 50 years from now people will be laughing at what we taught our kids in school, so that's all relative actually.

I see what you mean...I think. So you believe in all gods, but not necessarily in all religions/religious traditions? That's interesting. How come?

 

Yeah, the conclusions of science will change over time, but the process of science generally will not. 50 years ago we had less information than we have now, and 50 years into the future we will have more information. So obviously, scientific conclusions will grow and change. That doesn't mean that science is not to be trusted, or that we might as well believe that the earth is a few thousand years old, because science doesn't know for sure either. That's just silly.

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My point of view, aimed in particular at anyone who affirms one particular religion;

 

How do you know it's true?

 

How do you know that there is a deity? 

How do you know that the deity which you have faith in is the one and only one?

How do you know that this deity has provided scriptures for you to learn about him/er?

How do you know that your scriptures are the right ones?

How do you know that your interpretation of your scriptures is the right interpretation?

Answering as a Wiccan...

 

How do I know it's true? I don't, in an objective sense. However, in a subjective sense it makes a great deal of sense to me intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and aesthetically. (Because I make that objective/subjective distinction I would never presume to try to convince anyone else that Wicca is equally "true" for them as it is for me, because such a thing would be impossible: if Wicca is "right" for that person, they'll find the religion eventually on their own.)

 

How do I know that there is a deity? I've had numerous personal encounters with Them; I "believe" in the Gods of my faith in the same way I "believe" in my parents or my friends. If They had not manifested Themselves to me, I would see no reason to believe in them. (This is another reason why Wiccans don't prosyletize: unless and until the Gods touch a person Themselves there is no concrete reason for belief -- and the Gods are perfectly capable of doing so for Themselves, no human assistance required.) I should also point out that I'm fully aware that my perception of the Deities may be a measurable brain function, or a sustained self-induced illusion, or some other such thing, but if so I am capable of making it function as a perceptually seamless whole and operating within it; nevertheless I remain an agnostic theist in that respect.

 

How do I know that the deity which I have faith is in the one and only? I don't, nor does Wicca require any such belief. Most Wiccans are henotheists (believing that there are many Gods, but that as Wiccans we choose/are called upon to follow the Gods of Wicca rather than the God(s) of any other religion.)

 

How do I know that this deity has provided scriptures...? Short answer: They haven't. Wicca is an experiential religion, not a revealed religion. Longer answer: We have no holy texts except those created by Wiccans themselves out of personal or Divine inspiration, but none of those texts are the "holy word" of our Deities Themselves. Nature itself comes closest to being the "scripture" of Wicca, since it is the living body of our Gods and we encounter Them through the natural world.

 

How do I know that my scriptures are the right ones? See above.

 

How do I know that my interpretation of your scriptures is the right interpretation? ... okay, let's assume for the moment that nature itself is the "scripture" of Wicca. smile.gif Each trained Wiccan is considered a priest or priestess of the religion, and thus capable of making their own interpretations of the sacred within a Wiccan context. Because Wicca, like many Pagan religions, places a high value on Unverifiable Personal Gnosis (UPG), different Wiccans can subscribe to different interpretations and this is seen not as a drawback but as a glorious multiplicity. And again, I don't know of any Wiccan who would claim that the "Wiccan way" is the only way.

Edited by prairiecrow

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I see what you mean...I think. So you believe in all gods, but not necessarily in all religions/religious traditions? That's interesting. How come?

 

Yeah, the conclusions of science will change over time, but the process of science generally will not. 50 years ago we had less information than we have now, and 50 years into the future we will have more information. So obviously, scientific conclusions will grow and change. That doesn't mean that science is not to be trusted, or that we might as well believe that the earth is a few thousand years old, because science doesn't know for sure either. That's just silly.

I happen to believe that many traditions/rules are a human complication to religion which pushes it away from it's true purpose: which is, quite simply, to provide hope. Yes, I do believe all gods exist, because all gods have provided hope to humanity in some way or another. Whether that existence can be merely in our minds (which in and of itself is still a form of existence), or in a larger sense hardly matters to me. However, when you start adding in rules such as "You can't do this or that," religion turns from something that provides hope into a machine to force political and personal agendas on a larger audience. I'm fine with the traditions that do not hurt anyone, even if they do complicate religion more than they need to. I don't deny the human instinct for schedules and pastimes that reafffirm their faith. There's nothing wrong with that. But I won't follow traditions that serve no purpose in affirming hope in the individual.

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I happen to believe that many traditions/rules are a human complication to religion which pushes it away from it's true purpose: which is, quite simply, to provide hope. Yes, I do believe all gods exist, because all gods have provided hope to humanity in some way or another. Whether that existence can be merely in our minds (which in and of itself is still a form of existence), or in a larger sense hardly matters to me. However, when you start adding in rules such as "You can't do this or that," religion turns from something that provides hope into a machine to force political and personal agendas on a larger audience. I'm fine with the traditions that do not hurt anyone, even if they do complicate religion more than they need to. I don't deny the human instinct for schedules and pastimes that reafffirm their faith. There's nothing wrong with that. But I won't follow traditions that serve no purpose in affirming hope in the individual.

So... your beliefs are based around whether or not something gives you hope, not whether or not it's actually true? Because, if you accept hopeful beliefs and reject hopeless beliefs, then it seems like it has nothing to do with what you think is true, it's just a means of making you feel good.

 

Which is fine, but I don't really see why you would classify that as 'believing' something. It seems more like just wishing something were true, because it sounds like a nice idea.

 

I'm not sure I really get it. sad.gif

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So... your beliefs are based around whether or not something gives you hope, not whether or not it's actually true? Because, if you accept hopeful beliefs and reject hopeless beliefs, then it seems like it has nothing to do with what you think is true, it's just a means of making you feel good.

 

Which is fine, but I don't really see why you would classify that as 'believing' something. It seems more like just wishing something were true, because it sounds like a nice idea.

 

I'm not sure I really get it. sad.gif

lol That's fine. I'm not really trying to make people convert to my beliefs; they're more a personal thing. It really doesn't have to make sense to anyone but myself, in the long run.

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Noah's Ark could not have existed, nor could the Flood as portrayed in the Bible. Basic mathematics can prove this fairly easily.

And since such a key part of the Bible can be so quickly dismissed as being false beyond all belief, what else in the Bible could be false? Often the immediate counter-argument is that parts of the Bible are supposed to be metaphors, fables and tales, while other is 'historical fact' - at which point, the whole lot breaks down as every person then cherry-picks the parts that they believe are 'true' and parts which are 'stories,' which differs from person to person. Heck, even an individual will change their tune to twist away from the intellectual slaughter than ensues.

First of all, Noah's Ark is not 'such a key part of the Bible', as you put it. It is just a story. Most of the Pentateuch comes from the oral tradition of the Israelites, which was written down during the Babylonian Captivity. That's why there are so many contradictions and multiple versions of certain stories. Details tend to be exaggerated and changed every time the story is told.

However, judging from the abundance of flood stories from other cultures, it seems quite obvious that SOMETHING happened. My favorite theory comes from The Redemption of Christopher Colombus by Orson Scott Card, in which the Great Flood and the wave that swallowed the city of Atlantis are the same.

 

No I won't, so why do you bother posting quotes from the Bible?

Hey, I tried posting quotes from the Catechism. People got mad and demanded scriptural evidence.

 

If that is your only answer, then what of people who have never heard of Christianity? Who have never seen, heard nor touched a Bible in their entire life? Do they go to Hell too?

The Catechism says that if someone dies without ever knowing Jesus through no fault of their own, they will not go straight to hell. God does, however, reveal himself to those people in other ways.

 

Because that is what Faith IS. It is accepting a belief system that cannot be proven to anyone except those who choose to believe it. Going around saying that you're going to heaven when you have no proof as such is pure arrogance and nothing more.

You know what else is pure arrogance? Saying that you can prove there is no God and ridiculing people for believing in God.

 

Thing is? I never said I was right. I merely told you that you can't prove that you're right beyond a shadow of a doubt.

There's this quote from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about this. I don't remember it exactly, but what it basically said was absolute proof of God's existence equals absolute proof of God's nonexistence. Which is true.

 

The interesting thing about this quote? It came from an atheist.

 

Yet Christians all over the world seem to think they can, which has been the cause of wars, family breakups and corruption in general.

I could say the same thing about atheists. Where's your proof, eh?

 

What I believe skinst is asking, is what kind of merciful, loving God would send someone who tried to live a kind, helpful life, even if they had some slip ups, to hell just because they either didn't agree with, or never even heard of, the bible; but accept a murderer who recanted in his cell at the last minute into heaven? You didn't say a SINGLE thing relating to that, just that 'all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God'.

The nice person will not go to hell. They may go to purgatory, but they will NOT go straight to hell. However, their motives play an important part towards their final destination. Why are they being kind and helpful? Is it to get praise and rewards? If that is the case, then they are not truly a good person but rather a hypocrite and are probably destined for hell. If they are doing it out of love and duty to mankind, then they are probably bound for heaven. As for the murderer, it also depends on their motives for repenting. They have to be sincere.

 

Speaking from the perspective of a "god" (as an author, I could be said to be to my characters as God is to this world)... I actually really enjoy when my creations question my decisions concerning them. When I allow my creativity to wander, they come to life of their own accord, in a sense, and write the stories themselves. (It's... Hard to explain to somebody who doesn't know what I mean when I say that they have minds of their own, and that I'm not so much creating them as listening to them explain who they are.) When they're dissatisfied with the path I have chosen for them, they Take a Third Option and make their own way.

Ooh, I like that!

 

Of course not. I do what I feel is right because I do believe it is right. And that's all it is, beliefs. You do what you believe is right because you think you will be rewarded after life. I do what I believe is right because hopefully it benefits everybody in this life.

Nothing you can do will ever benefit everybody. Somebody is either going to be snubbed or unaffected. All you can do is try to do what seems to do the most good for the most people.

 

lol That's fine. I'm not really trying to make people convert to my beliefs; they're more a personal thing. It really doesn't have to make sense to anyone but myself, in the long run.

Amen.

 

You deserve something for that. Here, have a Nyan Cat. poptartFINALTINY.gif

Edited by Sonic Screwdriver

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lol That's fine. I'm not really trying to make people convert to my beliefs; they're more a personal thing. It really doesn't have to make sense to anyone but myself, in the long run.

I see. That's cool. biggrin.gif As long as you're happy with it.

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Hey, I tried posting quotes from the Catechism. People got mad and demanded scriptural evidence.

Phil knows that I do not accept scripture as answers to questions that I did not ask scripture for. If someone asks for scripture evidence, different matter entirely.

 

The Catechism says that if someone dies without ever knowing Jesus through no fault of their own, they will not go straight to hell. God does, however, reveal himself to those people in other ways.

 

Prove it. My guess is you can't, which brings me to my original point below.

 

You know what else is pure arrogance? Saying that you can prove there is no God and ridiculing people for believing in God.

There's this quote from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about this. I don't remember it exactly, but what it basically said was absolute proof of God's existence equals absolute proof of God's nonexistence. Which is true.

 

The interesting thing about this quote? It came from an atheist.

NEITHER CAN YOU!

 

Hilarious, since I never denied an existance of God in the first place. More hilarious still is your assumption that I'm an athiest, which is false.

 

I merely pointed out that Christians who go around saying so and so is going to hell for this and that reason is a fallacy. They can't prove it, yet they think their beliefs are absolute, which is arrogance.

 

I could say the same thing about atheists. Where's your proof, eh?

 

World War 2

The Crusades

The Muslim Conquests

French Wars of Religion

Reconquista

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_war

 

Where's your proof that atheists caused wars?

Edited by skinst

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*Randomly popping in*

 

I'm a Christian (nondenominational) and I believe in God. Now, a lot of the stories in the Bible are probably exaggerated, because they were passed down orally and everyone adds to their stories to make them more interesting. (Like Sonic Screwdriver said)

 

I also think the Bible is open to interpretation, and not just OMG BIBLE SAYS BLINDLY FOLLOW. I mean, a lot of the rules in the Bible were based off of things that were unacceptable when the Bible was written but are accepted in society today. For example, even though I follow the teachings of Jesus and the Bible, I am perfectly fine with gay marriages and whatnot.

 

Most importantly, we should all at least read a few of the Bible's teachings. I'm not telling all of you Atheists out there to suddenly convert, but there are some seriously good rules to live by in there that don't require faith or religion to follow. The Golden Rule, or 'treat others as you want to be treated', would improve society if everyone followed it. That doesn't require going to church, either. And some of the Ten Commandments can be applied to everyone, too, like respect your elders, and don't commit adultery, etc.

 

Finally, I do believe in the afterlife, or heaven. I'm not sure if we all fly around strumming lyres or whatever, but I'd like to think that there is something there after we die, some place where we all go in the end.

 

That's just me, though. I'm not trying to change anybody, I'm just putting my ideas out there.

 

Sorry if I interrupted a discussion! tongue.gif

 

*Pops back out of conversation*

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Most importantly, we should all at least read a few of the Bible's teachings. I'm not telling all of you Atheists out there to suddenly convert, but there are some seriously good rules to live by in there that don't require faith or religion to follow. The Golden Rule, or 'treat others as you want to be treated', would improve society if everyone followed it. That doesn't require going to church, either. And some of the Ten Commandments can be applied to everyone, too, like respect your elders, and don't commit adultery, etc.

Okay, I'm going to disagree about this. I don't htink the Golden Rule is that great a policy. I think a better rule than "treat others as you would want to be treated" is "treat others as they want to be treated", because that's what's really important. You can't assume that everyone wants the same things that you do. It's better to treat people the way that they want to be treated, for the most part.

 

Secondly, "respect your elders" isn't a commandment. And, I don't think old people should be respected anymore than peers or young people. Up to a point, yes, young children should defer to the instruction and direction of their parents and teachers, but once you're capable of making your own decisions and stuff, there's no reason to "respect your elders" more than you'd respect anybody else. If a young person is wrong, they're wrong, and the same goes for old people.

 

But I do agree that adultery is a scummy thing to do, but I think everybody realizes that, whether or not they read the Bible. They might act wrongly anyway, but most adulterers don't actually think they're doing the right thing, do they? They know they're cheating, but they choose to do it anyway. The Bible has nothing to do with it.

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Okay, I'm going to disagree about this. I don't htink the Golden Rule is that great a policy. I think a better rule than "treat others as you would want to be treated" is "treat others as they want to be treated", because that's what's really important. You can't assume that everyone wants the same things that you do. It's better to treat people the way that they want to be treated, for the most part.

 

I just used that as a generalization, like don't kick somebody since you don't want to be kicked, or don't insult a person if you don't want to be insulted, etc. There are probably some (odd) people out there who do want to be kicked or insulted or whatever, but that is probably a small percentage of the population. Although you are right, not all of us know how the other person wants to be treated unless you ask them. I guess this statement can be interpreted in many ways.

 

Secondly, "respect your elders" isn't a commandment. And, I don't think old people should be respected anymore than peers or young people. Up to a point, yes, young children should defer to the instruction and direction of their parents and teachers, but once you're capable of making your own decisions and stuff, there's no reason to "respect your elders" more than you'd respect anybody else. If a young person is wrong, they're wrong, and the same goes for old people.

 

The actual Commandment is "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." I shortened it to 'honor your elders', because I consider 'elders' to mean people that teach you or impart knowledge to the next generation, not necessarily just old people. (Although we should still be nice to old people, xd.png)

 

But I do agree that adultery is a scummy thing to do, but I think everybody realizes that, whether or not they read the Bible. They might act wrongly anyway, but most adulterers don't actually think they're doing the right thing, do they? They know they're cheating, but they choose to do it anyway. The Bible has nothing to do with it.

 

Exactly. I was just pointing out that not all of the teachings of the Bible are directly related to God or Christianity in general, and that even Atheists can learn from its teachings, without having to read all of the religious stuff. The Bible has some good lessons in there, and you don't have to be religious to understand/follow them. I mean, if everyone made an effort to live by at least some of those rules/guidelines, the world would be a better place, and people would live better lives, not necessarily religious ones.

 

However, that's just me being an idealist, because not everyone will read the Bible. I'm not asking them to, either. I'm just recommending it. biggrin.gif

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DragonRider13, I see what you're trying to say, but I still disagree. I don't think reading the Bible is going to cause people to act any better than they already do. The Bible might occasionally give good advice, but it usually isn't new advice. "Thou shalt not kill, lie, steal, commit adultery" are not principles that come from the Bible. Those are just commonly recognized ideas among people. We know that it's generally a bad idea to kill, lie, steal, and cheat. We recognize that. It's called a conscience. We don't need the Bible to tell us things like that. We've been able to figure them out for ourselves, thank you very much.

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I don't do any of that stuff and I've never read the Bible before. ._. I don't really plan on it, either...

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One thing that's always bothered me about the people who condemn others to Hell...

 

While we may know what the Bible says now, there is no telling how much was added, subtracted, or changed over the years--especially anything written down years after it was first conceived/happened. For this reason, it strikes me as incredibly silly to claim that you know for certain where a person is destined to go after death.

 

After all, who are we mere mortals to claim we know the inner workings of God's mind as well as He Himself does? We can guess, yes, and we can infer based upon what we know. But it seems rather silly to be to claim that we know for a fact, beyond any shred of doubt, how His mind truly works. I believe that if any deity were to reveal something to us humans, that's all well and good--but it would be ridiculous to assume that whatever is revealed is the entirety of what goes on in that being's mind.

 

After all, I may reveal part of myself to people, but that doesn't mean I reveal every last bit of the inner workings of my mind, every last train of thought that led me to a certain conclusion, to people.

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Pretending the bible really was written by some higher being: If some entity really did speak to humans to create the bible, how do christians know that it wasn't some malevolent being? I mean, the bible has caused a lot of trouble between humans since its creation. How do people know a perfect God made it and not a demon just messing with them?

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First of all, Noah's Ark is not 'such a key part of the Bible', as you put it. It is just a story. Most of the Pentateuch comes from the oral tradition of the Israelites, which was written down during the Babylonian Captivity. That's why there are so many contradictions and multiple versions of certain stories. Details tend to be exaggerated and changed every time the story is told.

So what, if any, of the Bible is not exaggeration? This is the problem; you can't pick and choose which bits are exaggeration, and which bits aren't, and often a person will choose pieces that support their personal belief system or even just their current argument to be the 'real' parts, and the rest to be exaggeration.

 

So, was the feeding the five thousand an exaggeration? Was Jesus' trials in the desert just a story? Which bits are real? Why are they real?

 

This is the joy of Noah's Ark; the Bible is the Word of God according to most hard-core Christians. If Noah's Ark is an exaggeration, as you claim, then either:

 

i) God exaggerates, and therefore is fallible.

ii) The Bible is not the Word of God.

 

Take your pick.

 

A short, informal proof against the existence of the Flood as laid out in the Old Testament of the Christian faith.

 

 

We shall work under the assumption that the Flood covered all the lands of the Earth, which means that the peak of Mt Everest would have to be covered. To simplify the mathematics we will take the Earth to be a perfect sphere, which is an adequate assumption in order to keep the mathematics simple. Although the Earth is in fact an oblate spheroid, it is a good enough approximation.

 

Right then, let's see...Mt Everest is 8848m above sea level, the Earth's mean radius is 6371km. Let's take Everest's height to be 9km for rounding. So for Everest to be under water we would require an extra:

 

(4/3 x Pi x 6380^3) - (4/3 x Pi x 6371^3) km^3

 

of water. That's 4,594,737,671 km^3 of water. This is maths, so can't be argued.

 

Antarctica has a land mass of 14 million km^2 and 98% covered in ice, with a mean thickness of 1.6km. This gives 22,400,000 km^3 of ice. Water expands when it freezes, but for now we'll just assume that 22.4 million cubic kilometres of ice gives us 22.4 million cubic kilometres of. Even if that melted sea levels would only rise 65m in total.

 

The polar ice cap, on an outside estimate, currently covers about 12 million km^2 and is normally about 3-4 metres thick, with another 2.6 million km^3 in the Greenland Ice Sheet. That's another 3,000,000km^3 of ice, which we'll make into water.

 

So, that's 27,400,000km^3 of water. For the floods to have reached the tip of Everest we would require over four and a half billion cubic kilometres of water minimum.

 

All of that above is fact and hard maths. We know the size of the polar ice caps, we know the height of Everest, we know the formula for the volume of a sphere. So you cannot argue with any of that.

 

Now, for us to flood the Earth as inferred, you would need another 4.5 billion km^3 of water. Where did that all come from? Even with the 'ebb and flow' technique that is often argued there just simply isn't enough water to get over even a small mountain range, let alone up and down the Alps.

 

Massive tectonic activity? Please. The 'runaway subduction' process often argued would be apocalyptic in proportion; think about the amount of energy a small slippage of a few metres along a single fault-line causes. The Boxing Day 2004 tsunami was powerful enough to shake the entire world on its axis, the tsunami engulfed entire islands and the shockwaves were felt in recording stations the exact opposite side of the planet they were that powerful. And you think the world would survive if the entire of the earth's mantle suddenly subducted and conveniently flattened out just in time for the Flood, only to conveniently rise up again to form the world as we know it today? The planet would have torn herself to shreds just thinking about doing such a thing! Yes, tectonic activity makes massive changes to the Earth's crust, but that theory is trying to tell me that overnight the Earth created mountain ranges and the Marinas Trench?

 

And evaporating the ocean as a means of explaining where all this water magicked in from? Any tectonic release powerful enough to evaporate several billion cubic kilometres of water (and note that 1,000,000,000 km^3 of water is about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic metres, one cubic metre contains 1000litres of water, hence we have 1 x 10^9 km^3 of water = 1x 10^21 l) would be enough to also blast the planet either into some sort of self-oblivion or, by Newton's Laws of Motion, knock itself off-course and wipe out all life as we know it. The amount of power required to turn one kilogram of water instantly into steam is 2.27 Megajoules - that's 2,270,000 Joules of energy. Per kilogram. So now we're up to 2,270,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules of energy being released, or 2.27 x 10^27 Joules. In comparison, Tsar Bomba, the world's biggest nuclear weapon, released only 2.1 x 10^17 Joules, so we're talking a full ten billion times more powerful than that. Or compared to the aforementioned Boxing Day Earthquake, that was still only 4 x 10^22 joules - a hundred thousand times less powerful, and that was enough to knock the planet of its rotational axis by a second or two.

 

And that's just the raw energy required to evaporate said water. That's assuming totally pure water with 0% waste energy. That's not taking into account the amount of tectonic activity required to actually produce that much waste energy, and assuming 100% distribution of said energy after the eruption. Since Nature is never perfect there wouldn't be 100% distribution - we'd be lucky to hit 10% effective distribution. So evaporation alone requires 2.27x 10^28 J of *spare*. Now (and going slightly out of my knowledge here on the numbers-side of things) we then have the amount of energy required to split the Earth's crust open enough to actually allow that amount of energy to escape and hit that amount of water - the Boxing Day Tsunami didn't affect anywhere near that amount of water, nor did Tsar Bomba's mushroom cloud encompass that amount of air, so we can assume that the energy released from *that* tectonic explosion would far outstrip either of those. It would have to be more than the left-over energy that vaporises the water as well - now, let's be conservative and say that 0.1% of the energy released by the eruption went into waste energy to evaporate the water. That now gives our figure to be 2.27 x 10^32 Joules. That's 227,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules. Can your mind even begin to comprehend a number that big, let alone an explosion that is a hundred billion times more powerful than the world's most powerful nuclear device?

 

The sudden vacuum left by even a billion cubic kilometres of water disappearing would have sent a massive tsunami racing across the surface of this oceanic world and easily tip over a wooden boat, and this is assuming the shockwave (far more intense than any nuclear bomb ever could be) didn't pulverise the vessel into matchsticks or instantly vaporise it. Even if it was the opposite side of the world to this massive tectonic event.

 

As for a vacuum - the MEE would cause a quarter of the world's water to disappear nearly instantly. Imagine you had a bowl of water and you flash-boiled the centre of the bowl so that a huge column of water disappeared, and you stopped time the moment that water turned to steam. You now have a massive column in the middle of the water that is empty air. Nature abhors a vacuum - that is, if there is an imbalance then Nature will try to even everything out. Also water is liquid, so it changes shape to fit its container.

 

Thus we now have a massive hole in the middle of the water - let time very slowly start again. Water will lose its shape and start to flood down into this 'vacuum' left by the evaporated water, and will continue to flow into this hole until the water level across the entire bowl is level again. Because you've lost a quarter of the water the water level will drop, and because water is chaotic in nature it's not going to simply gently trickle in and fill up gently - it'll be just like water pouring down a plug hole, all messy and chaotic as it causes ripples and waves that interact with each other and slam up against the sides, with a massive whirlpool in the middle as the water rushes into the middle.

 

As for the Ark itself, logic will suffice.

 

- it would be impossible to construct an ark that would contain two of every species on the planet, as there are so many diverse species even when considering the strictly-land-bound animals.

 

- that even with fourteen of every species on the planet, inbreeding would result in a depleted gene pool that would doom every species to death within a few generations.

 

-since Noah did not know how long he would have to stock up for, he could not simply grab all he could and hope for the best. In fact, the biggest worry on his mind would have been food, then animals.

 

Anyone who has ever fended for themselves or gone on a road trip with friends will know that approach is the single quickest and easiest way to starve yourself and your companions. Even if we could somehow come up with an ark that contained only two of all known land-bound animals, now consider how much space would be required for enough food for every animal on the Ark. Think about how much food a dog eats in a day, let alone lions or elephants. Remember as well you couldn't just go to the local Tesco/Wal-Mart/etc and pick up a box of Doggy Din-Dins; you'd have to go out and grow/kill all the food yourself. So on top of the already-impossible task of having every land-bound animal on the Ark in such a manner that they won't eat or kill each other, won't tip the boat off-balance, have enough room to move so that they don't simply waste away/die of boredom or lack of exercise, and have built the Ark to be strong enough to actually withstand the stress of all of the above, you now have to add in food storage. How do you store so much food that it won't go off, won't be contaminated by other food sources, won't be accessible by the animals any time of the day, etc. If you've ever packed the car to take the family on holiday you'll know it's a damned nightmare just for five people going for a two-week camping trip, let alone carrying all the animals known to man and food aplenty. Sorry, Noah would have had to have planned that.

 

Talking as someone who is not only an expert in hydrodynamics but also has spent his life teaching people how to canoe and kayak, the Ark would be carp in violent waters simply due to its immense size. The Ark would have to be many, many kilometres in length to even begin accommodate even a percent of the animals it would be required to carry - so it could only survive waters where the wave-length was also several kilometres, and even then were not very high and of a shallow gradient. A wooden-hulled vessel of that size would simply break apart the moment it went on the water - it would be too big and far, far too weak to survive, because the main frame of the hull would have be composed of thousands of components. Anyone who has ever made anything, even with Lego, can tell you that at any join there is an inherent weakness to the construction - so even if we used twenty-metre long pieces of wood to construct the Ark, there would be what, 250 weak spots along the keel of the Ark on a 5km long vessel? The first wave group with a wave length of 20 metres and an amplitude of 2m would tear through the Ark like paper mache.

 

Now, go away and do a little research on the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami once again. Notice how many of the areas affected by the flooding of the tsunami had their ecology ruined? Or perhaps the many Bangladesh floods? The ecology wouldn't recover anywhere near as quickly as you think - heck, it would still be suffering a few hundred years down the line! You're talking about all that salty water containing all the bacteria and rotten corpses from all the humans and animals that would have been wiped out in the flood spending what was it, a month or two soaking into the ground, and you think the moment the water receded it would have been almost-instantly arable? Just from the salt concentration alone you'd be unable to grow anything in that soil for years to come, even with all the advances of modern technology that we now have at our disposal. And that flood covered the whole Earth. Every bit of it. Where could we farm and grow crops after the water receeded?

 

And corpses... Even after a week or two the body becomes very soft and bloated, nothing more than a bag of bad-smelling, decaying goop that would kill even the hardiest of carnivores should they try to eat it. After a month most of those bodies would have decayed away and there would be nothing left for the carnivores.

 

Even if we assume that the Earth was a completely smooth surface beneath the water, and the water was only 2km deep, the numbers still work out such that the ensuing tectonic explosion would rip the planet to shreds - or at the very, very least turn it into a comet hurtling towards/away from the sun.

 

That's the beauty of maths; you can't argue with numbers. They're as pure and irrefutable a science as there ever could be.

Edited by Kestra15

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So what, if any, of the Bible is not exaggeration? This is the problem; you can't pick and choose which bits are exaggeration, and which bits aren't, and often a person will choose pieces that support their personal belief system or even just their current argument to be the 'real' parts, and the rest to be exaggeration.

 

So, was the feeding the five thousand an exaggeration? Was Jesus' trials in the desert just a story? Which bits are real? Why are they real?

 

This is the joy of Noah's Ark; the Bible is the Word of God according to most hard-core Christians. If Noah's Ark is an exaggeration, as you claim, then either:

 

i) God exaggerates, and therefore is fallible.

ii) The Bible is not the Word of God.

 

Take your pick.

If you take the Bible to be metaphorical in some contexts, then it doesn't mean that God is lying or fallible--God is telling tales with the intent to send a message. The Bible could be thought of as a collection not of things meant to be taken literally (though I'd imagine the laws and such were), but of cautionary tales not unlike the ones told to children that are perhaps exaggerations of true (or imagined, if possible) events to warn them of dangers which they could fall prey to.

 

Of course, as you said the picking and choosing part kind of rather rapidly make this fall apart, unless you view it as all metaphorical/exaggerated for emphasis (perhaps aside from the laws), or you take into account exaggeration as a result of human error in which case you are admitting that it is not the literal word of God, but may be inspired by Him while still being subject to the flaws of mankind... Which most people don't seem to argue for...

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Nothing you can do will ever benefit everybody. Somebody is either going to be snubbed or unaffected. All you can do is try to do what seems to do the most good for the most people.

I meant everybody involved and affected of whatever situation we're in.

 

Christians behave like that too and yet some of you keep talking about morals coming from the Bible. And yet we Atheists want to do good too.

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I just don't care about it that much. I'm agnostic, since I believe in all the sciency stuff but I see no real proof against God. Oh, and I bet I have the weirdest religion here in addition to that! I *believe* in a dragon goddess who is completely a figment of my imagination. Self-deception is key. tongue.gif You can have any religion you want. The only belief that I believe is wrong is the belief that your religion is the best. Anybody can believe in anything they want, even if it's a dragon goddess they made up.

Edited by tigerra79

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If you take the Bible to be metaphorical in some contexts, then it doesn't mean that God is lying or fallible--God is telling tales with the intent to send a message.

 

-snip-

Which brings to mind that any human caught exaggerating to make a point will likely never be taken seriously again, so...why does God get to do it? =/

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If you take the Bible to be metaphorical in some contexts, then it doesn't mean that God is lying or fallible--God is telling tales with the intent to send a message. The Bible could be thought of as a collection not of things meant to be taken literally (though I'd imagine the laws and such were), but of cautionary tales not unlike the ones told to children that are perhaps exaggerations of true (or imagined, if possible) events to warn them of dangers which they could fall prey to.

 

Of course, as you said the picking and choosing part kind of rather rapidly make this fall apart, unless you view it as all metaphorical/exaggerated for emphasis (perhaps aside from the laws), or you take into account exaggeration as a result of human error in which case you are admitting that it is not the literal word of God, but may be inspired by Him while still being subject to the flaws of mankind... Which most people don't seem to argue for...

So how can you tell which bits are the metaphorical stories? What, if any, is true? And how can you tell that it is true?

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If you take the Bible to be metaphorical in some contexts, then it doesn't mean that God is lying or fallible--God is telling tales with the intent to send a message. The Bible could be thought of as a collection not of things meant to be taken literally (though I'd imagine the laws and such were), but of cautionary tales not unlike the ones told to children that are perhaps exaggerations of true (or imagined, if possible) events to warn them of dangers which they could fall prey to.

 

Of course, as you said the picking and choosing part kind of rather rapidly make this fall apart, unless you view it as all metaphorical/exaggerated for emphasis (perhaps aside from the laws), or you take into account exaggeration as a result of human error in which case you are admitting that it is not the literal word of God, but may be inspired by Him while still being subject to the flaws of mankind... Which most people don't seem to argue for...

The Bible is a collection of stories passed down orally through generations. Somebody finally just wrote them down in the old testament. I don't know if they're real or not, but they all have a bit of truth behind them.

 

For example, has anyone watched the Ten Commandments? (Or actually read it in the Bible) You know when Moses parts the Red Sea? It sounds really fake or made up, but there may be an element of truth to it. I read somewhere that Moses didn't LITERALLY part the sea, but he may have just navigated across a shallower part during a low tide, and when the Egyptians came across, *boom* tide comes in and washes them away, or at least blocks their path. I'm not sure how the tides work in the Red Sea, but this may have worked. Also, the pillar of fire that blocked their path? Large parties used to carry huge torches that could be seen from a ways off. This way, stragglers could find the group again. The Israelites could have done this too, and the Egyptians could track them this way. Then, one night, they left the torch standing in one place as they crept away in the dark. The Egyptians waited for the group to make their next move, and the next morning, they rode down there to see why they weren't moving. The Israelites were gone, and the Egyptians had been delayed. Not by a literal pillar of fire, but by a torch left burning above the camp.

 

That's just a theory, but it's a lot more plausible than the sea actually parting or a pillar of fire. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the stories could have been true, just distorted over time. Have you ever played 'telephone'? It would be like that except there's no way to check with the original person to see if you got it right. Also, people tend to embellish their stories to make them more interesting for others to hear. 'Oh yeah, he walked across at low tide' vs. 'Oh yeah, he called on God and parted the Red Sea.'

 

Also, God himself didn't write the Bible/Old Testament. Men did, as a way to remember the stories. God may have written the Ten Commandments, but again, I don't know.

 

Therefore, I agree with the above quote. Sorry for the essay...

 

@Potterwolf- I see your point too... xd.png Oh, well.

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DragonRider13: I agree with you that natural explanations for the stories in the Bible are a lot more plausible than supernatural ones, but that doesn't mean we should bend over backwards to create crazy situations to fit the stories. Maybe the sea really could have 'parted' in a natural way to let the Israelites through. But that doesn't mean that it did. I don't see any reason to believe that it happened at all, regardless of the causes. Same witht he pillar of fire, and all of the other Biblical stories.

 

I just think it's a bit of a stretch to say that the Bible has bits of truth in it, just because there are some people/places/events that show a similarity to reality. For example, I've heard it expressed using Spiderman. Spiderman lives in New York City, climbs up the Empire State Building, and works at the Daily News. New York is a real place. The Empire State Building is a real building. The New York Daily News is a real newspaper. That doesn't mean that we should believe in Spiderman or that there are really supervillains flying around the city.

 

I don't know, I just don't see where you're getting this "they all have a bit of truth behind them" thing.

 

I'm not trying to bug you, DragonRider, I just like to pick fights I guess. Also, is your username an Eragon reference? The new book's coming out! *squee*

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