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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:08 AM
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Default To our more religious members...a few questions

Help me understand, do you REALLY believe a man rode around in a fish for 3 days?

Do you really believe in a talking snake?

Do you really believe we're all going to an eternal party in the sky?

Or that those, like myself, are going to suffer for all of eternity unimaginable torture because I don't believe?

But that big guy in the cloud loves me! And he can destroy the devil anytime now...but he just doesn't feel like it. All those people down there suffering, I guess he loves them, too, but darn it, they just didn't believe! A good eternity of suffering should fix their wagon!

I mean, come on, grow up. Just accept when you die, you die. You won't know you're dead, so don't even bother worrying about it. I'm sorry if this comes off offensive but the logic behind Christianity and all religions offended my intelligence first!
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:42 AM
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I fail to understand your post. You make feigned attempt at trying to be open to dialogue with those who have a different point of view than you. You're clearly hankering for an argument. We get it, you're an atheist, good for you. Opinions are like a** holes, everyone has one.

If you wanted to actually have a intelligent debate or discussion about religion etc, there are much better ways to broach the subject. Personally I love the subject and could talk about it from all sides of the debate including different religious views with equal comfort.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:38 AM
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Just answer the questions...
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:41 AM
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I fail to understand your post. You make feigned attempt at trying to be open to dialogue with those who have a different point of view than you. You're clearly hankering for an argument. We get it, you're an atheist, good for you. Opinions are like a** holes, everyone has one.

If you wanted to actually have a intelligent debate or discussion about religion etc, there are much better ways to broach the subject. Personally I love the subject and could talk about it from all sides of the debate including different religious views with equal comfort.
valid questions.. i know a few christians who think all that stuff is silly or absurd exaggeration.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:41 AM
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Green G,

The real question that you are asking is, "do you believe that God's Word (the Bible) is really God's Word."

I would encourage you to read the whole Bible. It was written by over 50 authors and 100 years - yet it dove tails perfectly together and has zero contradictions. It is the most printed book in human history.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:29 PM
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It is pretty clear to anyone with intelligence, as you claim to have in abundance, that the Bible is a bunch of parables and not meant to be taken word for word.

Is it any crazier to ask why you'd believe in evolution with no definitive link from ape to human?

Or how the entire universe would develop out of nothing?

Or to question the statistical odds of every element being in the perfect amount throughout time to allow the development of the universe?

Or how random chemicals would come together in the primordial soup to create life?

None of these questions have been answered either with 100% definitiveness. Why don't those bother you as much?
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:40 PM
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It is pretty clear to anyone with intelligence, as you claim to have in abundance, that the Bible is a bunch of parables and not meant to be taken word for word.

Is it any crazier to ask why you'd believe in evolution with no definitive link from ape to human?

Or how the entire universe would develop out of nothing?

Or to question the statistical odds of every element being in the perfect amount throughout time to allow the development of the universe?

Or how random chemicals would come together in the primordial soup to create life?

None of these questions have been answered either with 100% definitiveness. Why don't those bother you as much?
so if you can question those theories as you do, why not question an invisible man that created the universe? from a book that was written when the world was flat? as of right now evolution is more likely theory than man being created by a god. what about scientology how can you disprove their set of theories? maybe tom cruise is right!
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:17 PM
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so if you can question those theories as you do, why not question an invisible man that created the universe? from a book that was written when the world was flat? as of right now evolution is more likely theory than man being created by a god. what about scientology how can you disprove their set of theories? maybe tom cruise is right!
I agree. I think anyone who has "blind" faith should look deeper.

But the fact is, there is no definitive answer one way or the other on any of life's mysteries. As such, we should all do our own introspection and believe what we choose too.

If someone chooses not to believe what I do, that's fine, I won't force it on anyone. I just see no reason to come on here and bash it, when at this point, what I believe I'd just as plausible as what you believe.

I was raised in an atheist household and chose Catholicism, so I know and understand both sides of the argument.

And we should question. I've done all sorts of research on the history of the universe and find it fascinating. I think how it all came about is pretty unreal. Was it natural or created? We may never know.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:48 PM
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I always wondered how the ancient Sumerians/Egyptians charted and plotted the planets without having the capability to see them all. Pluto wasn't discovered until the early 1900's yet was depicted in ancient cuneiform. How in the world could they have had that knowledge??
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:45 PM
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Just answer the questions...
Answer the questions how? Your questions are geared towards a decidedly Christian slant, which is understandable I suppose given this entire board is dedicated to our love of a football program that happens to sprout from the most recognized Catholic University in the US.

I cannot presume to know the religious preferences of everyone on this board. So asking folks who may or may not be Christian in their beliefs whether or not they believe in the story of Jonah, the serpent in Genesis, or the possibility of everlasting life or damnation is of course going to get mixed answers. Either of which is going to be your "ah-ha" moment to spring upon someone while challenging their belief in Christian doctrine specifically.

I'm skeptical of all true believers whether they are Christian, Muslim, Buddist, Atheist, or worship at the altar of science. Those folks who are so sure that they are right without acknowledging the possibility that they may actually be wrong at the same time. The only thing I can and will admit to is that I am a humble man of limited intelligence about the vast wonders of this world and universe. I do not know whether God exists or not. I have dealt with both failings and affirmations of my faith, and have seen events occur that no rational explanation has ever been able to satisfy. I will make no claim that I know the answer to anything, but quite the contrary as I am left with more and deeper questions everyday. I find it hard to definitively answer a question about existence, divinity, or the afterlife because I don't know, and neither do you. In the end all we are left with is faith, and your faith is that there is nothing.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:47 PM
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I think the Muslims have the answers you seek. How bout you go on one of their websites and ask for the answers to life?
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:48 PM
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Answer the questions how? Your questions are geared towards a decidedly Christian slant, which is understandable I suppose given this entire board is dedicated to our love of a football program that happens to sprout from the most recognized Catholic University in the US.

I cannot presume to know the religious preferences of everyone on this board. So asking folks who may or may not be Christian in their beliefs whether or not they believe in the story of Jonah, the serpent in Genesis, or the possibility of everlasting life or damnation is of course going to get mixed answers. Either of which is going to be your "ah-ha" moment to spring upon someone while challenging their belief in Christian doctrine specifically.

I'm skeptical of all true believers whether they are Christian, Muslim, Buddist, Atheist, or worship at the altar of science. Those folks who are so sure that they are right without acknowledging the possibility that they may actually be wrong at the same time. The only thing I can and will admit to is that I am a humble man of limited intelligence about the vast wonders of this world and universe. I do not know whether God exists or not. I have dealt with both failings and affirmations of my faith, and have seen events occur that no rational explanation has ever been able to satisfy. I will make no claim that I know the answer to anything, but quite the contrary as I am left with more and deeper questions everyday. I find it hard to definitively answer a question about existence, divinity, or the afterlife because I don't know, and neither do you. In the end all we are left with is faith, and your faith is that there is nothing.
This is pretty well said. Kudos.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:50 PM
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I always wondered how the ancient Sumerians/Egyptians charted and plotted the planets without having the capability to see them all. Pluto wasn't discovered until the early 1900's yet was depicted in ancient cuneiform. How in the world could they have had that knowledge??
Ah Donjuan, one of my favorite subjects that often leaves me very short of concrete or satisfying enough answers to the question. I find ancient man to be extremely fascinating as well. I truly believe that there are very large gaps and surprising aspects of human history and development that have been lost to antiquity. Ancient man was A LOT smarter and more advanced then we will ever give them credit for.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:21 PM
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Answer the questions how? Your questions are geared towards a decidedly Christian slant, which is understandable I suppose given this entire board is dedicated to our love of a football program that happens to sprout from the most recognized Catholic University in the US.

I cannot presume to know the religious preferences of everyone on this board. So asking folks who may or may not be Christian in their beliefs whether or not they believe in the story of Jonah, the serpent in Genesis, or the possibility of everlasting life or damnation is of course going to get mixed answers. Either of which is going to be your "ah-ha" moment to spring upon someone while challenging their belief in Christian doctrine specifically.

I'm skeptical of all true believers whether they are Christian, Muslim, Buddist, Atheist, or worship at the altar of science. Those folks who are so sure that they are right without acknowledging the possibility that they may actually be wrong at the same time. The only thing I can and will admit to is that I am a humble man of limited intelligence about the vast wonders of this world and universe. I do not know whether God exists or not. I have dealt with both failings and affirmations of my faith, and have seen events occur that no rational explanation has ever been able to satisfy. I will make no claim that I know the answer to anything, but quite the contrary as I am left with more and deeper questions everyday. I find it hard to definitively answer a question about existence, divinity, or the afterlife because I don't know, and neither do you. In the end all we are left with is faith, and your faith is that there is nothing.
I used to be right there with you...the answer being I don't know...but after thinking about it for a while more I realized I do know one answer.

Religion is a total farce. We all know this. We might be intelligently designed(highly doubt it), there could be some higher power but EVERYTHING else religion says is obviously 100% made-up fiction.

It's so painfully obvious we should all realize it...

Last edited by Green Goblin; 11-28-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:32 PM
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Help me understand, do you REALLY believe a man rode around in a fish for 3 days?

Do you really believe in a talking snake?

Do you really believe we're all going to an eternal party in the sky?

Or that those, like myself, are going to suffer for all of eternity unimaginable torture because I don't believe?

But that big guy in the cloud loves me! And he can destroy the devil anytime now...but he just doesn't feel like it. All those people down there suffering, I guess he loves them, too, but darn it, they just didn't believe! A good eternity of suffering should fix their wagon!

I mean, come on, grow up. Just accept when you die, you die. You won't know you're dead, so don't even bother worrying about it. I'm sorry if this comes off offensive but the logic behind Christianity and all religions offended my intelligence first!
I believe and I am not ignorant or stupid. I was a skeptic for a long time but I see the proof in every day life.

I realize that from the outside looking in, it seems difficult to believe, but that is what faith is. If it was easy and made perfect sense to everyone there would be no room for doubt and no room for faith. Being a Christian is not about having somewhere to go when you die.

Before I came to faith in Christ I too thought that it looked like a crutch for people afraid of death, but there is more to it than that. It is accepting that there is more to life than just you as an individual. Living life as a Christian is never convenient, nor easy. It is a constant battle against self in which you have to deny natural urges to be rude, calloused, jaded, arrogant, selfish, ignorant, etc... And it is struggling against your own sinful nature. It is difficult. Being a disciple of Christ requires discipline. And faith.

Sadly, you can't explain faith, you just have to have it. There will come a time in your life, just like everyone else, where you will be confronted with something larger than yourself, and you will either come to faith or you won't. I hope you see I am not talking down to you, I empathize with you because five years ago I was in the same boat. Skeptical, agitated, smh at Christians. I didn't have that kind of a-ha moment that some people have where something bad happens and I needed faith, I was lucky enough to have a real moment of clarity.

I hope this happens for you as well. You seem like a real nice person (Which is just as possible in the secular world as in the Christian world) and you are curious, which is good, even if you are skeptical and maybe a little cynical. If you are genuinely curious about any of the Christian doctrines or beliefs I would be happy to answer, and if I can't answer I can get an answer for you.

Cheers, --EA
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:52 PM
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I used to be right there with you...the answer being I don't know...but after thinking about it for a while more I realized I do know one answer.

Religion is a total farce. We all know this. We might be intelligently designed(highly doubt it), there could be some higher power but EVERYTHING else religion says is obviously 100% made-up fiction.

It's so painfully obvious we should all realize it...
What part of religion is made up fiction? The parts you don't agree with?

Being nice to your neighbor? Living to a moral code? Helping those who can't help themselves?

Now you can argue that the use of religion has caused problems, and I'd agree with you. But the root of Christianity is one of good. That isn't a "farce" or made up. Has it always been used as it should? No. Have there been those who have corrupted it? Of course. Is religion the answer to everything? Nope.

But to come on here and label how "painfully obvious" it is that it is all made up is just silly, especially with no justification other than your opinion.

Is it any more made up than scientists being unable to explain the origin of the Universe after all these years? Or that theory after theory has been dismissed as wrong? That now we are on to M-Theory, or string theory, or super-string theory, or M-Brane theory, hoping that might link up all of the other theories, because so far nothing has been able to. How is that really any different than religion in the end?

It is a bunch of people trying to explain the origin of everything. Many disagree. Even among the highest level science today, their is disagreement about which theory holds the most promise, which one is right, which one is accurate.

Why is asking thus far unanswerable questions in a scientific method any better than asking them from a religious point of view? Same questions, different ways to try to answer them, thus far, no 100% correct answer.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:52 PM
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I believe and I am not ignorant or stupid. I was a skeptic for a long time but I see the proof in every day life.

I realize that from the outside looking in, it seems difficult to believe, but that is what faith is. If it was easy and made perfect sense to everyone there would be no room for doubt and no room for faith. Being a Christian is not about having somewhere to go when you die.

Before I came to faith in Christ I too thought that it looked like a crutch for people afraid of death, but there is more to it than that. It is accepting that there is more to life than just you as an individual. Living life as a Christian is never convenient, nor easy. It is a constant battle against self in which you have to deny natural urges to be rude, calloused, jaded, arrogant, selfish, ignorant, etc... And it is struggling against your own sinful nature. It is difficult. Being a disciple of Christ requires discipline. And faith.

Sadly, you can't explain faith, you just have to have it. There will come a time in your life, just like everyone else, where you will be confronted with something larger than yourself, and you will either come to faith or you won't. I hope you see I am not talking down to you, I empathize with you because five years ago I was in the same boat. Skeptical, agitated, smh at Christians. I didn't have that kind of a-ha moment that some people have where something bad happens and I needed faith, I was lucky enough to have a real moment of clarity.

I hope this happens for you as well. You seem like a real nice person (Which is just as possible in the secular world as in the Christian world) and you are curious, which is good, even if you are skeptical and maybe a little cynical. If you are genuinely curious about any of the Christian doctrines or beliefs I would be happy to answer, and if I can't answer I can get an answer for you.

Cheers, --EA
so why did god never reveal himself to half of Asia, Africa and both Americas? Does he not love them too?

Why does God only whisper to people when they are all alone? Pretty convenient right?

Why does the pope live in a palace? Is that what Jesus promoted?

How come religion has been the cause of more bloodshed then just about anything else on Earth?

Talking religion to someone like you is like playing one of those games with a little kid where they just keep making up rules to their own benefit ya know?

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:03 PM
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I saw a very interesting program last week called "Battles BC". Told the story of Moses from a perspective that he was a military general leading his people out of Egypt. Very, very interesting.

Ancient Aliens is quite entertaining also.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:04 PM
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so why did god never reveal himself to half of Asia, Africa and both Americas? Does he not love them too?

Why does God only whisper to people when they are all alone? Pretty convenient right?

Why does the pope live in a palace? Is that what Jesus promoted?

How come religion has been the cause of more bloodshed then just about anything else on Earth?

Talk religion to someone like you is like playing one of those games with a little kid where they just keep making up rules to their own benefit ya know?
1. God loves everyone and has revealed himself to everyone in his glory. The world is evidence of God. As far as the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, God chose to come to the world in human form and this, unfortunately, precludes the ability to be in all places at once. As such, those of us who are witness to his redemptive work are charged with spreading the good news. Jesus said that his followers would be known by loving each other and loving their neighbors, the great commission is to spread the word. If a father sends his children to school is it because he does not love them?

2. I can't speak for people who claim to hear the word of God. I have no idea why they are alone when it happens.

3. I am not Catholic and I have no idea why the Pope lives in the Vatican.

4. Religion is a great divider amongst people, and I have no idea why it causes wars. There is nothing in the Bible that tells me to kill anyone or to make war, rather it says to turn the other cheek and love my enemies.

As far as making up rules and such, you don't know me well enough to say people like me as I don't know you well enough to say people like you. I read your post and saw some curious questions and answered them. I offered you help finding answers, but if you are looking for a fight you are going to have to look elsewhere.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:08 PM
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so why did god never reveal himself to half of Asia, Africa and both Americas? Does he not love them too?

Why does God only whisper to people when they are all alone? Pretty convenient right?

Why does the pope live in a palace? Is that what Jesus promoted?

How come religion has been the cause of more bloodshed then just about anything else on Earth?

Talk religion to someone like you is like playing one of those games with a little kid where they just keep making up rules to their own benefit ya know?
How did all the matter in the universe fit in an infinitesimally small spot?

What existed before the Big Bang?

What is the Universe expanding into?

What caused life to be created for the first time?

We can all ask questions that don't have good answers.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:14 PM
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How did all the matter in the universe fit in an infinitesimally small spot?

What existed before the Big Bang?

What is the Universe expanding into?

What caused life to be created for the first time?

We can all ask questions that don't have good answers.

Hence, the saying "God only knows".


C'mon Green Goblin, you know you chuckled. LOL.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:41 PM
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I realize that from the outside looking in, it seems difficult to believe, but that is what faith is. If it was easy and made perfect sense to everyone there would be no room for doubt and no room for faith. Being a Christian is not about having somewhere to go when you die.

Before I came to faith in Christ I too thought that it looked like a crutch for people afraid of death, but there is more to it than that. It is accepting that there is more to life than just you as an individual. Living life as a Christian is never convenient, nor easy. It is a constant battle against self in which you have to deny natural urges to be rude, calloused, jaded, arrogant, selfish, ignorant, etc... And it is struggling against your own sinful nature. It is difficult. Being a disciple of Christ requires discipline. And faith.
So, if the Christian moral code is critically important, and if it was a key part in your journey to Christianity, what made you choose it over, say, Buddhism? They are very similar when describing how one should conduct oneself, with the main difference being that Christianity encourages (almost requires) one to spread the Word. What makes the morality of Christianity better than even Hammurabi's Code (eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth)?

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What part of religion is made up fiction? The parts you don't agree with?

Being nice to your neighbor? Living to a moral code? Helping those who can't help themselves?
All of these ideals outdate Christianity.

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Is it any more made up than scientists being unable to explain the origin of the Universe after all these years? Or that theory after theory has been dismissed as wrong? That now we are on to M-Theory, or string theory, or super-string theory, or M-Brane theory, hoping that might link up all of the other theories, because so far nothing has been able to. How is that really any different than religion in the end?
The difference is that science strives to gain knowledge to get a more perfect representation of the world. It's a never-ending quest of discovery to improve the world. Most religions say "this is what's right" and followers accept it. Science starts with a question, religion starts with an answer.

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It is a bunch of people trying to explain the origin of everything. Many disagree. Even among the highest level science today, their is disagreement about which theory holds the most promise, which one is right, which one is accurate.

Why is asking thus far unanswerable questions in a scientific method any better than asking them from a religious point of view? Same questions, different ways to try to answer them, thus far, no 100% correct answer.
You're right-- nobody knows the answer to these questions. It's a question of which answer is most likely. Based on the current knowledge of astrophysics, many scientists believe in the Big Bang and are pursuing string theory. If you think the best and most logical explanation to these questions is creationism/Christianity, then I have no right to dispute you. It should be well-thought out though, which is clearly the case for you.

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How did all the matter in the universe fit in an infinitesimally small spot?
I'm no astrophysist, but I'll try-- It was almost like a black hole. The more mass you get in one spot, the stronger the gravitational force is, the more dense it becomes. Scientists speculate that gravity was stronger when the universe was young, and they defend it by pointing to the loss of entropy over time.

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What existed before the Big Bang?
Perhaps a universe? Maybe it's a long cycle- Big Bang, universe is created, expands, reaches its limit, contracts into a tiny space, Big Bang...

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What is the Universe expanding into?
Trying to wrap my head around this question and think of a reasonable answer hurts my brain.

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What caused life to be created for the first time?
If you are looking for the answer to this question based on the theory of evolution, it's a wiki search away.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=origin+of+life+wiki

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Originally Posted by corysold View Post
We can all ask questions that don't have good answers.
That's the thing that's so great about science! 100 years ago, there were no good anwers for how disease spread, how our genes were stored, how particles traveled, etc. Science asks the hard, tough questions that have no good answers, and tries to answer them. Even if we have 100 wrong hypotheses before we find the right one, we have still gained knowledge and discovered something new to build on for the next challenge.

As an aside: "Through the Wormhole" with Morgan Freeman is a TV show that I would recommend. It is a show that talks about these types of questions, and it does a great job of explaining the current research and theories to someone with little background in the field (like myself-- my only background is an undergrad engineering education- physics, chemistry, biology, thermodynamics classes- independent research, and friends in the field)

Last edited by ND3; 11-28-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:09 PM
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corysold corysold is offline
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Thank you for that insightful post.

There are many questions that as you pointed out don't really have defined answers.

You made some distinctions between science and religion, that while accurate, I'm not sure it is quite as cut and dry.

Like science, religion has changed over time. As new truths have been revealed, most religions change as well. While they hold true to the original tenets on which they are founded, most will allow changes to be made as they evolve over time.

You are right that many of the aspects of religion, the moral codes, etc., predate the actual founding of a religion, but I don't see why that can't be a defining characteristic of a religion. In the end, I think all religions are trying to answer the question of where we came from and what our purpose is, though they may do it in different ways. Does the fact there are multiple religions make it so any religion is wrong? I don't think so, no more than having two scientists with varying opinions.

In the end, is a Christian and Muslim slightly disagreeing over the creation of the Universe really that much different than two astrophysicists disagreeing over whether they should pursue a singular universe model vs. a multi-universe model? Not really in my opinion.

I don't have quite the background you do, but I've tried to educate myself in the sciences. The thing I find fascinating about it is, similar to religion, the more answers you get, the more questions arise. As you said, science is searching for a truth, but at this point, it appears it is a never-ending search. Will science one day be able to pinpoint the origin of everything? Who really knows, but I find it a fascinating search. Atoms were the smallest. Then electrons and protons. Then quarks. Now the Higgs is the big find. What is after that? What will come of this new multi-verse theory that M-theory is creating with branes and such. Who knows.

But I think that religion and science intersect to a degree. As you suggested, religion somewhat starts with the premise, at least Christianity, that God created everything to get where we are today.

Science is trying to go the other direction. We are where we are today, how did we get here. What if those two end up intersecting? What if science ends up proving God? What if they can end up disproving Him? What would finding life on other planets say? What if the 10-D and 11-D models being bantered about now are accurate?

So to end this rambling, to me it is almost two separate avenues to the same answer. In my faith, I am trying to discern what exactly is my point of being here. What am I called to do by He who created me. I fully understand all the problems with religion and think there should be a separation of "faith" and "religion". I believe in Catholic doctrine, but not everything Catholics have done, if that makes sense.

Science is trying to answer that same question. Who are we? Why are we here? Until one side or the other comes up with a 100% definitive answer, this debate is going to continue indefinitely.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:20 PM
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In a religious class I once took, a priest told us something to the point of

I would rather believe, have faith and act accordingly to the Lord and be wrong and there is no afterlife or God....what is the worst that can happen.?

then

not believing and have there be afterlife and God....what is the worst that can happen then?

hope i worded this good enough to understand
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Goblin View Post
I used to be right there with you...the answer being I don't know...but after thinking about it for a while more I realized I do know one answer.

Religion is a total farce. We all know this. We might be intelligently designed(highly doubt it), there could be some higher power but EVERYTHING else religion says is obviously 100% made-up fiction.

It's so painfully obvious we should all realize it...
Again I don't know the answer. You are simply referring to the stories or parables told in religious texts that speak of fantastic events and adventures that occurred to someone, somewhere in the past. I don't necessarily believe the word for word version of events as they are written currently. I do think that, however miniscule the possibility, these stories have some basis in fact.

For instance the flood story(Noah) depicted in the Bible, which often is cited as coming from the Persian story of Gilgamesh. However most ancient cultures claim a flood story who are worlds away from ancient Persia. We are now starting to see areas off our current coastlines, which thousands of years ago used to be dry habitable land and are now yielding amazing finds of human settlement. It doesn't prove the Noah version of the flood, but the fact that a massive flood or succession of them occurred all over the world leaves that possible kernel of truth to some of the stories found in religious texts. This is just one example.
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