What if we're all wrong!

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David Killens's picture
@Old Man

@Old Man

Behold the carrot, and marvel on how god has shaped it to fit in your hand, to be inserted .. OK, I get it now Old Man. Well not physically, just the concept.

Jo's picture
@ David Killens

@ David Killens

Faith is one component of anything that has not been proven. That includes the belief that God does/does not exist.

Your definition of faith (belief without evidence) is a common one used often by those trying to prove God does not exist.
It is a straw man argument because that is not how theists, or at least how I would define faith.

Faith is what is needed after determining where the evidence leads, in things that cannot be proven or disproved.
Confidence is the best synonym I know of for faith in this context.

I could say I have faith in evolution even though I don't understand it completely. There are skeptics who poke holes in it and sometimes make me wonder, Ultimately it seems to be correct, or at least the best answer to the question. So I have faith (confidence) that evolution explains the changes we see over time.

I do not believe in your bunny because it is an obvious creation of an atheist who does not beleive in it, and is just trying to ridicule those who beleive in God.

I'll say what I beleive in and why if you will. I think that is only fair.

I have not yet had time to sufficiently go into the many reasons I beleive in God. But here are some highlights.
Because it answers the difficult questions in life in a way that makes sense out of life. It is the best match for what I have observed, what I have learned, and what I have experienced. It is my objective conclusion when considering everything. It is where the evidence and reasoning has led me.

The universe and life evidences to me a purpose. Its existence, laws, beauty, grandeur, immeasurable size, its logic, and the ability to comprehended it, all cause me to conclude a creator, and something about this creator. Life and the universe existing by some massively improbable happenstance, seems like a denial of the obvious to me.

The human condition of desiring to create, and for such things like mercy, love, justice, compassion, heaven, purpose, meaning, and truth, point me to something that embodies and fulfills those qualities. When I see an new born baby, a sunset, a supernova or a spec of sand, I see evidence of God.

Is faith 33% of my belief (confidence), 51%, I don't know. It probably varies some. I don't see any choice but to come down on one side or the other. I see that confidence in whatever one concludes as a mandatory part of the equation. Because as you said, neither can be disproved.. The God side is the obvious and easiest explanation to me.

David Killens's picture
@Jo

@Jo

"I do not believe in your bunny because it is an obvious creation of an atheist who does not beleive in it, and is just trying to ridicule those who beleive in God."

I do not wish to put words in your mouth, but the difference between the sky dude and the ginormous invisible BLUE bunny is that one was invented by an atheist and the sky dude was not? And in your response we shall ignore the fact that Romans called the early christians "atheists". I am not attempting to trap you with such silly word games.

I both examples, the actual data and proof of their existence is equally zero.

I hope you comprehend that faith is not a pathway to the truth.

"The human condition of desiring to create, and for such things like mercy, love, justice, compassion, heaven, purpose, meaning, and truth, point me to something that embodies and fulfills those qualities. When I see an new born baby, a sunset, a supernova or a spec of sand, I see evidence of God."

This is where we differ. In all examples (with the exception of "heaven") there is a naturalistic explanation, and a god is not required. Additionally, I give much more credit to humans, because it is us who perceive and practice such positive concepts. I point you towards the nobility and intelligence of people. I doubt you will accept that because you have been conditioned, and accept the dogma that humans are failed and flawed creatures.

Sand is cool, but please be aware that it probably came out of the ass of a parrot fish.

Jo's picture
@ David Killens

@ David Killens

"I hope you comprehend that faith is not a pathway to the truth."
I agree that it is not the starting point or what is chiefly relied upon. But it is where we end up with our opinions on things that cannot be proved or disproved.
Is there not a spec of faith in your claim that "proof of Gods existence is zero"?

"In all examples (with the exception of "heaven") there is a naturalistic explanation, and a god is not required."
By justice I mean in life. That Hitler did not get away with his evil deeds.
I agree that there are naturalistic explanations, but most of them seem contrived, ineffective and empty. They are more like a denial than an answer.

"I give much more credit to humans, because it is us who perceive and practice such positive concepts."
Does that not reflect them being made in the image of God?

"I point you towards the nobility and intelligence of people. I doubt you will accept that because you have been conditioned, and accept the dogma that humans are failed and flawed creatures."
I agree more with your first statement than with the latter.

I will never look at the sand on a beach the same again. :-)

Get off my lawn's picture
@Jo

@Jo

"Could it be that you are misunderstanding the Bible, God, and what evidence there should be. Maybe God already went first and is continuing to "make his move"?"

If this bible of yours really is the word of your god, and this god is omnipotent, then how come he wrote (or "inspired") that is so damn hard to interpret correctly, and is so easy to misunderstand? Why would it be so hard for this infinitely powerful god to write or inspire a book that cannot be misunderstood? Why do all those different jewish and christian denominations interpret these god given words so differently, and accuse each other of interpreting the so-called words of god wrongly? (And who decides what the correct interpretation of the bible is? You?) And why is this god totally impotent when it comes to making sure that this holy book of his is copied correctly, and does not include outright forgeries? All the available evidence points towards either a
1) totally impotent god that cannot even make sure his/hers own words are copied and represented correctly (which, combined with his totally disgusting view on women and people that he supposedly created differently, idiotic dietary requirements and ridiculous laws (like death penalty for wearing clothes with two different fabrics? Really? Come on!))
-or-
2) totally man-made god, with the so-called word of god in fact being the words of conservative priests making ridiculous laws to gain power, influence, and wealt.

"It seems irrational to me to require God to "present you with evidence good enough to convince me", so that you then can believe. It is a common argument that atheists make. It goes something like this. I will have faith in God when enough evidence is supplied to me so that faith is not longer required. You are wanting to know (as in proven or as a fact) when it is not possible either way."

Supposing this god-dude is omnipotent and all knowing. Then he would know what it would take for each individual to believe in him. For some it's enough to, say, just attending a prayer meeting. For others it takes more effort and actual evidence of the existence of a god. Surely this powerful magical being would know this? After all, it was he who supposedly created humans and all living things, right? So, knowing this, why doesn't this god of yours supply each and everyone with the necessary requirements of actual fait? An omnipotent being should be able to do so with just the snap of a finger (or less). Why does this god rely on puny humans to spread the word when he could very well do it himself, for example through a grandiose multimedia display in the sky for all to see? And why this insistence of unproved faith before actual knowledge, and this total reliance upon prayers? One would think that this god-dude is rather egocentric and naricssistic, wacking off on his godly penis for each and every prayer read out loud for him via his godly multimedia center in his heaven.

Jo's picture
@ Get off my lawn

@ Get off my lawn

It sounds to me like your questions are really accusations, or at best, conclusions. But I'll try to give some answers.

God does meet each one of us where we are. But he does not violate our free will.

You no doubt know the story of Elijah searching for evidence of God. God was not in the wind, the rocks, the earthquake or fire. He spoke to him in a still small voice 1 Kings 19:11-12. God does not violently force us to acknowledge him. He gently tries to convince us. He doesn't force our face into the evidence. He normally works through nature and through people. He does not circumvent his creation, but wants a relationship with them. He wants us to work with him even though we are puny and flawed.

Knowledge and faith are not mutually exclusive and one can follow and support the other.

Understanding the Bible, and God are not nearly as difficult as you make it out to be.
Do you know what the best form of government is?
Do you know what love is?
Do you known what attributes a good person should have?
Do you have a sense of what morality is?
Understanding God and the Bible is about the same level of difficulty, as the above questions.

David Killens's picture
@Jo

@Jo

"God does meet each one of us where we are. But he does not violate our free will."

Tell that to the parents of a child wasting away in a hospital and suffering from terminal cancer.

Get off my lawn's picture
@Jo:

@Jo:

"It sounds to me like your questions are really accusations, or at best, conclusions. But I'll try to give some answers."

Neither of the above. I am pointing out obvious things, like how this hypothetical god is omnipotent, but still is totally impotently unable to preserve his holy book in the form he intended. And this supreme being is also unable to author (or "inspire") a book which leaves no room for interpretation. And the book that is the intellectual heritage of this all-knowing being is full of factual errors and contradictions. And those are the facts.

And you are not answering any questions. You are dodging them.

"God does meet each one of us where we are."

...except he doesn't "meet each one of us where we are". Your god has not met me with enough evidence to convince me that he exists. And neither has the god of the old testament, nor Allah, nor Zeus, nor Vishnu, nor Shiva, nor Odin, nor any other gods or deities. So, no deities have met me where I am. If they had, I would believe in one (or more) of them.

"But he does not violate our free will."

You confuse the terms here. It is not up to free will whether I want to believe something or not, but whether there is sufficient evidence to believe it or not. For some people it is enough just being told X, and they will believe it; some would call it being gullible and naive. Others need more evidence. When I choose to believe something, I do it on the basis of having enough evidence to warrant the belief. And there is just not enough evidence to warrant belief in a god. And your god (if he exists, which he most probably does not) has just not met me with the required evidence, of which he most certainly would know what qualities and quantities would be enough to meet my requirements. So in any case, it is your god's move. And he has chosen not to move. Yet.

Where free will enters the equation here is whether I choose to submit to and worship the deity. It is perfectly possible to believe a deity exists without submitting to and worshipping him/her/it. Also, one can believe (or have faith) a deity exists, and still mock it and be blasphemous. But I do not belive in any gods, for the reasons I have explained in quite some detail. You can still claim that it is up to my free will whether I want to worship god X or not. But what would be the point of that? If X is all-knowing and omnipotent, don't you think he/she/it will see through that bit of hypocrisy?

So you see, having faith and having free will are two uncoupled concepts.

"Understanding the Bible, and God are not nearly as difficult as you make it out to be."

Who decides how to understand the bible and how to interpret it? The catholics? The protestants? The anglican church? The russian orthodox church? Mormons? Jehovas witnesses? Westboro Baptist Church? Branch Davidians? You?

...and then you immediately contradict yourself with this little gem:

"Do you know what the best form of government is?
Do you know what love is?
Do you known what attributes a good person should have?
Do you have a sense of what morality is?
Understanding God and the Bible is about the same level of difficulty, as the above questions."

What is the best form of government is highly subjective. Just ask conservatives, liberals, communists, fascists, nazis, royalists, republicans (not adherents to the U.S. political party, but those opposed to royalism), anarchists, etc., and you will get wildly different answers. The rest of your questions have no answers that are universally agreed upon, which again make you contradict yourself.

Tin-Man's picture
@GOML Re: The Spanking of Jo

@GOML Re: The Spanking of Jo

By golly, man! Well said! Might I buy you a beer?

NewSkeptic's picture
"It is easy to say how others

"It is easy to say how others are wrong."

In your case, VERY easy.

Jo's picture
@ NewSkeptic

@ NewSkeptic

Yes, it is VERY easy for me, and VERY easy for everyone. The difficult part is to say how others are right. The most difficult of all is to say how I am wrong.

Calilasseia's picture
@Jo

@Jo

I seem to be unable to resist your challenges.

I rather enjoy being a sort of epistemological Sarlacc ...

What if the theists are wrong, is what I think you are asking.

Only in part. The part in question being centred upon their insistence that the only candidate for any 'god role' that is actually being filled, somehow must necessarily be whichever one is asserted to exist in their favourite mythologies. None of them ever contemplate the idea that rival supernaturalists adhering to a different mythology might have a better candidate, or that someone could produce a far better candidate for the role not arising from mythology. Strange how supernaturalists have a habit of never traversing that path. Which is one of the reasons I launched into that particular piece of speculation and posted it, though I honestly stated right from the start that the ideas in question were speculative. However, the fact that said speculation is grounded in peer reviewed cosmological physics, alone bestows upon said speculation a better chance of being realised than any mythological assertion.

Indeed, one of the reasons I launched into that exposition, was to demonstrate once and for all, that my being an atheist categorically does NOT involve summary "rejection" of the concept of a god-type entity. I merely regard mythologies, and mythological assertions, as incompetent to inform us on the matter. I am on public record elsewhere as adopting the view, that the moment any genuine evidence for a god-type entity arrives, said evidence will falsify all of our mythologies at a stroke, and as a corollary, that supernaturalists will be the ones with the biggest embarrassment facing them at that moment. Because that view I have just stated, implies that I am happy in advance for said evidence to arrive. I merely regard it as safe to discard the existence assertion in the absence of that evidence, a position that will of course be instantly revised the moment said evidence arrives. That, in a nutshell, is my position - in the absence of data, we may safely operate as though such an entity does not exist.

One other aspect of my view, that I have stated elsewhere, but have yet to bring here (and I now remedy that deficit), is that I regard it as highly likely for the requisite data to exhibit certain key attributes, once it arrives. Namely, that said data will point to the requisite entity being so totally and radically different from all previous human experience, that not only will that data falsify all of our mythologies at a stroke, but that the people best placed to understand the data and its ramifications will be particle physicists. This is because they deal with highly counter-intuitive phenomena on a daily basis in their research work, and have to resort to intimidating branches of mathematics to make sense of those phenomena. Any genuine data informing us of the existence of a god-type entity will almost certainly turn the counter-intuitive dial to Spinal Tap 11, and even particle physicists will be struggling to understand the data fully at the beginning, let alone anyone else. The idea that the authors of pre-scientific mythologies anticipated any of this is, quite simply, untenable, particularly in the light of their manifest failure to anticipate human discovery of far more easily verifiable entities and phenomena.

If I am wrong, I am unaware that I am. The overwhelming evidence indicates to me that there is a God. Although the word evidence is misleading and inaccurate. It implies it is like a science puzzle or determining some fact. It is more like wisdom or seeing the forest for the trees. More like believing in true love. How can I provide evidence of true love that would convince a skeptic?

And at this juncture, I smell yet another bad analogy in need of dismantling.

First of all, anyone who is seeing trees in every direction, will be doing so after having ventured into a forest in the first place, and said forest will have well-defined boundaries. From outside of which the requisite observers will have ventured.

As for evidence of true love, that one is simple. Observational data indicating a motivated willingness to place the interests of another ahead of one's own, will usually suffice.

The cruel irony is that if the theist are wrong they will never know. They just die and it is over with.

And here we see an elementary error in the making. Namely, assuming that the only options are [1] the theist's particular choice of god, or [2] no god. A god other than the theist's particular choice might be waiting in the wings, to make the afterlife extremely unpleasant for those who chose a different god. But I've noticed the manner in which supernaturalists have a habit of engaging in such erroneous binary thinking, not to mention the summary dismissal of candidates other than their own choice. Not that I think any choice derived from a mythology is going to be realised, of course, but I've already covered at length above why this doesn't equal "denial" or "summary dismissal".

They are never confronted with their misjudgement.

Oh how naive an assertion that was. See above.

If the atheist are wrong, they will know.

Not necessarily. This presumes in advance that a whole raft of supernaturalist assertions hold, each of which is at the moment wholly unsupported by anything resembling data.

First, we have the assertion that there exists a part of us that persists after death, preserving our cognition. This assertion has never been supported by data.

Second, we have the assertion that this purportedly post-death part of us, is purportedly brought before any existing god-type entity for an inquisition. Another assertion unsupported by data.

Third, we have the assertion that any existing god-type entity operates in a penal manner toward those making certain choices. Another assertion unsupported by data.

For example, there could exist a god-type entity that operates entirely by means of natural laws, with no supernatural component of any sort involved or existing, and as a corollary, our deaths could be the "final shutdown" even if this entity exists. As a corollary, no inquisition and no penal sentence. We all just go "peeeeooooo ..." for all the world like a laptop with the power down button pressed, even if there is a god out there, and as a corollary, none of us ever knows about this.

Alternatively, the view taken in certain Eastern religions, that we're reincarnated as something else, might actually hold true (though I have yet to see a mechanism postulated for this). Instead of being punished for eternity for making the wrong decisions, we could simply be told, for example, "next time, you're spending a spell on Earth as an onion plant". The point I'm making here, is quite simply, that the limited and parochial view supernaturalists have a habit of holding, does not by any means constrain the available options. For that matter, it might even be possible that this reincarnation scenario happens without a god in place, and that instead, the next body you or I occupy at some point in the future is determined by an impersonal force of some sort.

Even more hilariously, that speculative scenario I expounded a little while ago, could turn out not only to be true, but to point to our universe having been launched in the laboratory of some alien scientists, who would be, along with their lab and its apparatus, our de facto "god". And whose interest in our universe would be an arcane one centring upon the nature of physical laws operating therein, without a care in the world for what we do with our genitalia. For that matter, they might not even know that we exist, because they simply haven't bothered collecting the requisite data. Or, even more hilariously, the alien scientists and their laboratory might have ceased to be themselves, which means that we were launched into existence by temporary gods that themselves no longer exist.

Oh, and if you think I've come even close to exhausting the possibilities, I'm going to disappoint you here, and tell you that even my most left-field mental excursions have only covered a tiny fraction of the available option space. In order to perform a decently thorough exploration of that space, I would probably need to stay alive and fully compos mentis for the next 20 million years or so, devoting my entire cognitive processes to the task for the duration.

That, incidentally, is a feature you'll find becomes a part of everyone who has had a decent science education. Namely, the realisation that even the great strides forward that some of those individuals have made, are merely the first steps into a vast landscape that none of us have the time to explore to completion. We are doomed to be stuck with whatever bits we can survey in 70 years, and to try and persuade those coming after us to survey the bits we weren't able to.

Jo's picture
@ Calilasseia

@ Calilasseia

I have read up on other religions and took a college course in comparative religions. A few years ago I read a book by a Muslim explaining Islam, and I subsequently read large portions of the Koran. I have read a number books by atheists, agnostics, and skeptics. Just some highlights, to show that I have explored other mythologies.

The more I know about science the more I am convinced of God. At first pass sometimes new scientific information seems to discredit God. Upon further consideration it appears to be more close to neutral and could be used as evidence for or against. The big bang is a good example. At first it seems to explain how the universe got here on its own. But it also sounds a lot like creation. Is it evidence that it all just happened or are we getting a hint that God created the universe.

It is obvious that you are miles ahead of me in the area of science. When I speak with someone who is more advanced than me in scientific study and they do not believe in God, I often wonder why they do not believe. Since scientific knowledge is supportive to my belief in God. I speculate that they have some sort of blinders on. They can brilliantly see details and understanding that I could only hope to. Yet the seem not to see the bigger picture. They don't connect the dots. See the forest for the trees. They get the details right but not the overall picture. They see the details as an end unto themselves and not as pointing towards a larger truth.

Another explanation I have found is that they confuse causality with agency. They know something about how it happened, and some of the history of the event. They extrapolate the parts into the whole. They erroneously assume that its cause explains it agency. Knowing how something was built does not always let you know who built it and why. No more than knowing the components and techniques in a painting indicate who or what purpose the art holds. Knowing the details of the painting does not directly and comprehensively show you the beauty of the painting, the intent of the artist, or any message it may convey.

I agree on your definition of true love. I suspect, like me, you know people who have been jaded by past relationships or are just cynical when it comes to love. No argument or evidence can convince them that it is real or that it can be experienced by them. I am obviously comparing skeptics of love with skeptics of God.

Calilasseia's picture
And it's time for another

And it's time for another 2editorial outing", so to speak ...

The more I know about science the more I am convinced of God.

What, despite the fact that science has refuted numerous mythological assertions wholesale? This admission of yours strikes me as bizarre in the extreme.

At first pass sometimes new scientific information seems to discredit God. Upon further consideration it appears to be more close to neutral and could be used as evidence for or against. The big bang is a good example. At first it seems to explain how the universe got here on its own. But it also sounds a lot like creation. Is it evidence that it all just happened or are we getting a hint that God created the universe.

And at this point, it's time to re-state that I've already covered enough cosmological physics on these forums, to ram home the point that no cosmological physicist thinks magic was involved. Indeed, if you had been paying attention to my output, you would have learned an important concept at work here, namely, that the moment testable natural processes are deemed to be sufficient to explain a given class of entities and interactions, then supernatural entities are superfluous to requirements and irrelevant. The bad news for supernaturalists, is that this has already happened for vast classes of entities and interactions, including classes thereof that the authors of mythologies were incapable of even fantasising about. The gaps are getting smaller with each passing day.

Which brings me neatly back to another point I've been making here - namely, if your fantastically gifted magic entity actually exists, and exists in accordance with the assertions about said entitiy contained in the relevant mythology, why did this entity allow demonstrable elementary errors of physics and biology to be associated therewith? I'll point you once again at Genesis 30: 37-39 as perhaps the canonical example of biological absurdity contained therein.

I know for a fact that if I possessed the sort of gifts that are attributed to this fantastic magic entity, I'd make sure any words attributed to me were subject to far more rigorous proofreading than the mythology in question clearly received. I would also make sure that NO demonstrable scientific errors were ever associated with me. That your fantastic magic entity apparently did not do this, speaks volumes about the provenance thereof.

It is obvious that you are miles ahead of me in the area of science. When I speak with someone who is more advanced than me in scientific study and they do not believe in God, I often wonder why they do not believe.

I think I have already established enough robust reasons for this in my case. Did you pay attention to any of them?

Since scientific knowledge is supportive to my belief in God. I speculate that they have some sort of blinders on.

To see someone accusing scientists of being "blinkered" for not accepting uncritically unsupported mythological assertions, really does take one's breath away.

Scientists have alighted upon entities and phenomena that the authors of your mythology were incapable of even fantasising about. They've wrestled with counter-intuitive concepts of such a nature, that the authors of your mythology would have blown their arteries trying to understand them.

Science does NOT in any way, shape or form, support mythological assertions. It has destroyed many of those assertions wholesale, and rendered the rest irrelevant.

They can brilliantly see details and understanding that I could only hope to. Yet the seem not to see the bigger picture. They don't connect the dots. See the forest for the trees.

This assertion really does fall into the realm of the crass.

The reason it does so, is because scientists have alighted upon "bigger pictures" that make the assertions of your mythology look positively subatomic by comparison. How much bigger of a picture do you want, than multiverse braneworld cosmology? Which is wrought on a scale that makes the parochial witterings of the authors of your mythology look pathetic by comparison.

They get the details right but not the overall picture. They see the details as an end unto themselves and not as pointing towards a larger truth.

This is, quite possibly, as egregious a misrepresentation of the scientific endeavour as I've ever seen emanating from supernatualist apologetics, and I've seen some particularly outstanding ones in my time. What part of "the search for a theory of everything is an integral part of physics" did you not understand from a decade of discourse on this subject?

Another explanation I have found is that they confuse causality with agency.

Wow, talk about projection.

This is usually an observably supernaturalist offence. Namely, thinking that there has to be a "who" whenever the answer is more properly a "what".

Oh, and if you think scientists are in any way confused about causality, then you've never paid attention in even elementary classes on the subject. Indeed, it was apparent violation of classical causality that caused Einstein to have problems with quantum mechanics as it was being developed. But, lo and behold, the empirical data came back telling scientists that quantum phenomena do NOT conform to classical causality. There's a solid mathematical reason for this, in part based upon the fact that quantum operators do not commute in the same manner as classical operators - specifically, pairs of quantum operators have non-zero commutators. Indeed, as a corollary of this discovery, our very understanding of causality itself is being rewritten as I type this.

They know something about how it happened, and some of the history of the event. They extrapolate the parts into the whole. They erroneously assume that its cause explains it agency.

Excuse me, but the whole point here, is that there IS no "agency". It's blind, impersonal forces all the way down. NO observational data has been obtained to date telling us anything different.

Knowing how something was built does not always let you know who built it and why.

And once again, we see the tiresome supernaturalist presumption of a "who". This is precisely the assertion we've been waiting for supernaturalists like you to support with genuine evidence, as opposed to apologetic fabrications and appeal to mythological assertion.

No more than knowing the components and techniques in a painting indicate who or what purpose the art holds.

Why do supernaturalists always resort to such bad analogies?

And this IS a bad analogy, because, wait for it, artists have a habit of appearing observably in public and announcing their work.

Knowing the details of the painting does not directly and comprehensively show you the beauty of the painting, the intent of the artist, or any message it may convey.

What part of "the artist invariably appears in public and announces this" do you not understand, as rendering your analogy null and void?

When an observable is the product of impersonal natural forces, there's no "who" to do this by fucking definition!.

Jo's picture
@ Calilasseia

@ Calilasseia

"Why do supernaturalists always resort to such bad analogies"?
Because there is nothing analogous to God. And because I am not that great of a writer.

"why did this entity allow demonstrable elementary errors of physics and biology to be associated therewith"?
You are creating a straw man argument. You can't take 21st century understanding of science,overlay on an ancient text that was not a scientific treatise. Then ignore the original audience, ignore the type of literature, and ignore the purpose of the text. Then try to use your straw man as evidence against the reliability of the text.

"I'll point you once again at Genesis 30: 37-39 as perhaps the canonical example of biological absurdity contained therein".
You are creating another straw man argument. The text does not say what you are implying it does. The striped branches in the water is not what God told him to do and the Bible is not saying that is how you breed multi colored animals. It may have been some superstition on Jacobs part, but not on God's. He only bred the strong animals and it is not clear what the purpose of the multi colored branches was. God told Jacob he would help him prosper through many highly valued sheep, even though his father in law was working against him. This is just what happens in the next chapter and it had nothing to do with the "biological absurdity" you imply the text is prescribing.

Using your line of reasoning I would say that the Bible is divinely inspired because it knew the universe had a beginning thousands of years before science discovered this fact. The Bible says there was light in the universe before there was the sun or stars. Until about 60 years ago science did not know this. In the past atheists could use the Bible claims of the universe having a beginning and light before the sun as evidence against its reliability. Now we know that it was right all along. What is indicated when an ancient text gets facts right thousands of years before science discovered these facts? Previously you said there was no light in the early universe, but I have it on many good sources that there was.
"This was the moment of first light in the universe, between 240,000 and 300,000 years after the Big Bang, known as the Era of Recombination". "And this is the earliest possible light that astronomers can see". https://phys.org/news/2016-11-universe.html
"When the lights first turned on in the universe." "But there was only one light present in those days: the crackle of energy from the Big Bang, already ancient but only then allowed to travel for the first time. The universe had just managed to stick together enough to form atoms, and shining stars were still eons away". http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/10/when-the-lights-first-turned-on-in...

"Science does NOT in any way, shape or form, support mythological assertions. It has destroyed many of those assertions wholesale, and rendered the rest irrelevant."
"Excuse me, but the whole point here, is that there IS no "agency". It's blind, impersonal forces all the way down. NO observational data has been obtained to date telling us anything different."
Science has shown us that it is not Zeus in his anger causing lightning. But science has not, and cannot disprove God. All the questions about God still remain, and science has not answered them, or made them irrelevant.
You are misusing science to support your beliefs. You obviously know much more about science than me, but you missed something very important. It is wrong when fundies try to use science to prove God. It is wrong when atheists try to use science to disprove God.
"Science can neither prove nor disprove religion. Scientific advances have called some religious beliefs into question, such as the ideas that the Earth was created very recently, that the Sun goes around the Earth, and that mental illness is due to possession by spirits or demons. But many religious beliefs involve entities or ideas that currently are not within the domain of science. Thus, it would be false to assume that all religious beliefs can be challenged by scientific findings."http://www.nas.edu/evolution/FAQ.html
"Many of us live like this and feel that with time our trust in him has been affirmed. There’s no scientific argument for this way of drawing meaning from experience. But there’s no way science could disprove it either, because it is outside the scope of scientific inquiry". Mr. England is a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. https://www.wsj.com/articles/dan-brown-cant-cite-me-to-disprove-god-1507...
"Because science deals only with natural phenomena and explanations, it cannot support or contradict the existence of supernatural entities — like God". https://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/misconceptions.php#b2

David Killens's picture
@Jo

@Jo

"It is wrong when atheists try to use science to disprove God."

You have it wrong Jo. science has proven that the holy book is rife with major errors. Atheists point at those errors, and ask theists, "explain the major contradictions".

Your explanation falls far short in offering any tangible explanation, with the explanation of light before stars appeared. You are assigning "context' or just plain vague interpretations to specific passages in the holy book, passing them off as something that requires interpretation and an alteration from the specific wording in the holy book.

Genesis 30:37-39

Then Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.

That passage is very specific, it even names the type of trees used.

Jo's picture
@ David Killens

@ David Killens

Can you give me one of the best "major errors" in the Bible?

The citation I gave from scientific sources said there was light before there was stars. Here is another one.
"So where did this light — the first light in the Universe — first come from? It didn’t come from stars, because it predates the stars."
https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/06/30/science-uncovers...

The passage only shows that Jacob might have thought the sticks would make them have striped sheep. God did not tell him to do that, nor does the Bible support that notion. It may have been included to show how silly Jacob was to try and make striped sheep. He was not trusting God to bring it about, he was trying to make it happen. That is a likely reason why that details ins there. Not to give some biological information on heredity as some claim.

Tin-Man's picture
@Jo Re: "The passage only

@Jo Re: "The passage only shows that Jacob might have thought the sticks would make them have striped sheep."

Hmmm... I'm gonna take a stab in the dark here and speculate that whatever school(s) you ever attended never taught reading comprehension. Either that, or it was an elective course, and you never elected to attend it. Just an observation...

David Killens's picture
@Jo

@Jo

"Can you give me one of the best "major errors" in the Bible? "

Umm, that you can peel the bark off trees, place them around a watering hole, and the result is striped livestock offspring?

Here is more .... https://infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/contradictions.html

Tin-Man's picture
Re: "Can you give me one of

Re: "Can you give me one of the best "major errors" in the Bible?"

Here's one right out of the gate...

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Tin Man

@ Tin Man

As you know you will only get evasions, instructions on reading other passages that "explain" (but don't) this seeming contradiction. You should just accept it TM, after all Jo is "living in truth".

His acceptance and excusing of rape, pillage, misogyny, genocide and patently false information throughout his preferred book of myth and non science serve his higher purpose.

Mendacity, excuses and "interpretation" are the hallmark of such responses as we are fed by theists who care more about protecting their view of life and religion than the truth.

Get off my lawn's picture
@Old geezer

@Old geezer

"His acceptance and excusing of rape, pillage, misogyny, genocide and patently false information throughout his preferred book of myth and non science serve his higher purpose. "

It is a typical situation to be in for those who believe in flim-flam etc. They WANT to believe in it, as a matter of cultural acceptance within their in-group or just doctrine, no matter what the facts say or how strong the arguments against their position are, and they refuse to accept any evidence in opposition to their view. One example: look at those who believe homeopathy works, or even is superior to science based medicine. I have debated quite a few of them, and they are as indoctrinated and fundamentalist as religionists in defending their woo woo belief system. The acceptance of erroneous beliefs no matter what the arguments or facts against are or are presented is symptomatic for the state of mind of those going down a rabbit hole, irrespective of which rabbit hole it is.

David Killens's picture
I was a theist until

I was a theist until approximately 1993 I decided to read the bible in it's entirety and truly learn every word. That is when I came to the inescapable conclusion that it was one very fucked up book, rife with contradictions and the weirdest of unbelievable stories.

If you want to become an atheist, read the bible.

Tin-Man's picture
@Jo Re: " You can't take

@Jo Re: " You can't take 21st century understanding of science,overlay on an ancient text that was not a scientific treatise. Then ignore the original audience, ignore the type of literature, and ignore the purpose of the text."

Oooooooh.... Okay! I get it now! An ALL-powerful and ALL-knowing god that created THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE was absolutely CLUELESS as to how it might pass along vital knowledge to the very beings it created because it obviously made them too STUPID to understand. Therefore, it thought it would be better to totally mislead them in regards to many important scientific facts that could have helped them tremendously, and instead allowed them to discover these scientific facts for themselves over a period of thousands of years. All the while, however, having to fight and struggle the entire way (often at the threat of torturous death) against those "truly faithful" individuals/groups who determined their scientific research to be blasphemous and "demonic" because it was against that god's will. Excellent! Got it! Makes perfect sense now. Thanks.

Oh, wait... There IS one more possibility....

Maybe basic mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and cosmology were all TOTALLY DIFFERENT way back then than they are now. And your god somehow forgot to update his "perfect book", OR maybe it simply didn't think it would be very important for future generations to know such things. Yep, I can just see the ol' fart sitting way upon high looking down upon us puny creatures and thinking to itself, "Aw, crap... I KNEW I should have been a little more specific and accurate with that science stuff. Damn... I have GOT TO LEARN to trust my instincts. Honestly, though, I never imagined they would end up being smart enough to figure out all that shit."

(A couple of small edits for clarity.)

David Killens's picture
There are alternate

There are alternate possibilities. This god was a complete idiot, it could not make decent instructions. Of else it does not exist, and everything in the bible was not divine inspiration, but the ramblings of many different nomadic, brutal, and primitive sheep fuckers high on weed and hash.

Sheldon's picture
Jo "Because there is nothing

Jo "Because there is nothing analogous to God."

Of course there are, mermaids, unicorns, leprechauns, dragons, garden fairies, any unevidenced fiction basically.

Explain how the deity you believe in is any different than Zeus or Thor? Beyond still being in vogue with the superstitious obviously.

Get off my lawn's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

"Explain how the deity you believe in is any different than Zeus or Thor? Beyond still being in vogue with the superstitious obviously."

Ohh! Ooh! I know! Pick me! Pick me!

Uhhhh, you see - there is this book called the Bible, in which God's word is written. And since it contains God's inerrant word, what the Bible says must be true, so therefore God exists. Neither Zeus nor Thor wrote the Bible, so they cannot exist, and are figments of superstitious minds from millennia ago!

Dark One's picture
I'd just have aliens from the

I'd just have aliens from the far distant future bring us all back to life inside a computer emulation of a more idealised version of our universe or something like that. You would still have some of the problems you would have with a slightly boring more traditional super-natural based eternal life just minus anything particularly religious about it, unless people decide to start worshipping the aliens as a new religion.

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

I’m 38. From 33 to 36 I lived with chronic lower back pain. I worked a laborious job and was quite surprised by the end of each day that I hadn’t simply given up or offed my self.

And then - I discovered that if you relax tension in the apex of the heart, it stops inflammation of nerves; joints; ligaments; etc. - in the lower back at least.

For what it’s worth, you well endowed theist hater, I wish you and your sore back the best of luck.

Try that little trick out. From “the bottom of my heart”; It could be the difference between a life remainder of excruciating pain and a relative bounty of mobility.

Cognostic's picture
RELAXING TENSION IN THE APEX

RELAXING TENSION IN THE APEX OF YOUR HEART: (DIRECTIONS)
1. Find an ice pick with a wooden handle.
2. Heat the tip of the ice pick over an open flame until it is white hot.
3. Insert the ice pick into the anus and push up until you reach the apex of the heart.
4. By the time you get there it should be completely relaxed and your back-pain a thing of the past.
5. No one has ever been required to treat themselves more than once with this remedy.

Good Luck.

You might also try the Red Blood of Jesus Handkerchief. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx0bHOsBtPc

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