Columns Martin Marty: Sightings Opinion

Why must ‘faith’ and ‘Enlightenment’ be seen as contradictions of each other?

Steven Pinker at the Strand Bookstore, New York City, in 2011 | Photo Credit: jmm/Flickr (cc)

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Tomorrow, Viking will publish Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, from which The Wall Street Journal ran an adapted excerpt on Saturday. To counter the profound gloom which is both fashionable and understandable these years, Pinker presents graphs and data which deserve to be reckoned with by fair-minded people. His conclusion is provocative, as anything by Pinker is likely to be. An excerpt from the WSJ excerpt:

Are the ideals of the Enlightenment too tepid to engage our animal spirits? Is the conquest of disease, famine, poverty, violence and ignorance … boring? Do people need to believe in magic, a father in the sky, a strong chief to protect the tribe, myths of heroic ancestors?

I don’t think so. Secular liberal democracies are the happiest and healthiest places on earth, and the favorite destinations of people who vote with their feet. And once you appreciate that the Enlightenment project of applying knowledge and sympathy to enhance human flourishing can succeed, it’s hard to imagine anything more heroic and glorious.

Pinker observes, quite accurately, that today “the left and the right concur on one thing: The world is getting worse.” He wouldn’t be Steven Pinker if he did not throw in a line about how those on both sides look back to a time when, among other things, “people found meaning in religion, family, community and nature.” Again, he is not inaccurate in that observation. But what about those of us who are grateful for the gifts of the Enlightenment and also for what he dismissively characterizes as belief in “magic, a father in the sky?” Where do we go from here?

Many of us who “sight” and cite the Enlightenment, as well as not “magic,” but faith, owe much to Pinker and those other Enlightened ones who, for the past two or three centuries, have merited our awe and gratitude for “applying knowledge and sympathy to enhance human flourishing.” And we give much thought to how we might relate simultaneously to both of these traditions.

Now let me go to, or over, the Sightings ethics line, which discourages advertisements for one’s causes, blurbs about his or her personal life, et cetera. I hope one can afford to be “edgy” on this front at least once every ninety years, so here goes:

This column is my way of saying thanks to the editors, publishers, fellows, alumni, and supporters of all stripes who in this column, and at a festive occasion last week, have helped me celebrate, in a very generous way, the twentieth anniversary of this Center and my ninetieth birthday. Among the kind things that numerous speakers and audience members offered during that event was one repeated line which surprised me: I was typed by them as (I must say, my own sort of) an “optimist.” Usually I run from that characterization, remembering lines from of old: “The optimist fell ten stories. / At each window bar / He shouted to his friends: / ‘All right so far.’”

Colleague and sometime co-teacher David Tracy collegially taught me to be aware of the limits to all human existence and events. He stressed that we must learn to live with “finitude, contingency, and transience.” If awareness of those three is not enough to kill “optimism,” what could? By the same token, why must “faith” and “Enlightenment” be seen only as contradictions of each other? Most sentient humans, as individuals and in groups, find sundry ways of being, thinking, and acting. In my faith tradition we speak of the human creature as being simul iustus et peccator, “at the same time righteous and a sinner.” Which of these sides of our humanity manifests in various circumstances depends upon what kinds of questions are asked, and what perspectives and intentions are in play.

This life-long member of the “simul” club will continue to see himself as an heir of both the Enlightenment and faith traditions, and, simultaneously, as a grateful critic of Steven Pinker, as he continues to nurture the Enlightenment project.

About the author

Martin E. Marty

"Marty" is one of the most prominent interpreters of religion and culture today. Author of more than 50 books, he is also a speaker, columnist, pastor, and teacher, having been a professor of religious history for 35 years at the University of Chicago.

435 Comments

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  • The immediate response to the question posed by the title of the article is that there seems to be a turf battle between many of the leaders who follow pre-modernism’s metanarrative vs modernism’s metanarrative.

  • “Why must ‘faith’ and ‘Enlightenment’ be seen as contradictions of each other?” . . . Because they obviously are.

    Why must ‘faith’ and ‘Endarkenment’ be seen as consistent with each other? . . . Because they obviously are.

  • The great thing about falling through eternity, is that you never hit the ground. Or, is that a bad thing? Well; “he’s alright so far.”

  • All the Enlightenment you will ever need:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

  • And this is what the atheist believes:

    1. Order came from disorder
    2. Uniformity came from the accidental
    3. Intelligence came from non-intelligence
    4. Design came from chaos
    5. Personality came from non-personality
    6. Love came from hard matter
    7. Something came from nothing
    8. Life has no ultimate purpose
    9. No grounding for morality. No right or wrong.
    10. Man is just a meat machine.

  • Actually all 10 of your points are WRONG. Atheists, at least thoughtful, intelligent ones, like me! don’t believe in of that. What you are spouting are lies Christians have created in their futile attempts to demean and demonize those that reject their beliefs.

    There was nothing disordered about the nature of the subatomic particles that were emitted at the Big Bang. Uniformity and Design didn’t come from accidental or chaos, it came from the intentional seeking of equilibrium, or steady states. Intelligence, personality, love, purpose all come from the evolution of human bodies and human brains. Life is its own purpose. Morality comes from human relations/interactions and the desire for survival. Man is not a machine, but a combination of mechanical processes with the non-mechanical thoughts produced by those processes.

  • Where did the laws of nature come from and why are they the way they are?

    Here is what one of the most thoughtful atheist said about purpose:
    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

  • I think they are seen as contradictions because those with faith try to impose their metanarative (see the comment of Curt Day) below on those that don’t share it. AND those who pursue a path of “enlightenment” think that their metanarative should rule the word! It really isn’t about TRUTH but about power and control of the masses.

  • What you are spouting are lies Christians have created in their futile attempts to demean and demonize those that reject their beliefs.
    How about — “What you are spouting are lies Evolutionists have created in their futile attempts to demean and demonize those that reject their beliefs.”
    Would that be fair?

  • There is no purpose to the Universe as a whole. Dawkins is right. Humans create meaning and see purpose or try to find purpose for their lives. I am not surprised that you don’t get the distinction!

  • You can’t have purpose in a purposeless universe. You don’t have purpose if when you die you cease to exist.

    Another great atheist puts it so well:
    “There is no purpose to life, and we should not want there to be a purpose to life because if there was that would cheapen life.”
    -Dan Barker (Debate vs. James White: ‘The Triune God of Scripture Lives!‘)

  • In its 4.6 billion years circling the sun, the Earth has harbored an increasing diversity of life forms:

    for the last 3.6 billion years, simple cells (prokaryotes);

    for the last 3.4 billion years, cyanobacteria performing photosynthesis;

    for the last 2 billion years, complex cells (eukaryotes);

    for the last 1 billion years, multicellular life;

    for the last 600 million years, simple animals;

    for the last 550 million years, bilaterians, animals with a front and a back;

    for the last 500 million years, fish and proto-amphibians;

    for the last 475 million years, land plants;

    for the last 400 million years, insects and seeds;

    for the last 360 million years, amphibians;

    for the last 300 million years, reptiles;

    for the last 200 million years, m-ammals;

    for the last 150 million years, birds;

    for the last 130 million years, flowers;

    for the last 60 million years, the primates,

    for the last 20 million years, the family H-ominidae (great apes);

    for the last 2.5 million years, the genus H-o-mo (human predecessors);

    for the last 200,000 years, anatomically modern humans.

    Periodic extinctions have temporarily reduced diversity, eliminating:

    2.4 billion years ago, many obligate anaerobes, in the oxygen catastrophe;

    252 million years ago, the trilobites, in the Permian–Triassic extinction event;

    66 million years ago, the pterosaurs and nonavian dinosaurs, in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.”

    Bryson’s best seller, “A Short History of Nearly Everything” will fill in the details in language that we the common man understand.

  • What else we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology,
    biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a
    time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid
    belt. (along with Musk’s Starman in his Tesla)

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of
    permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the
    Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an
    asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark.
    If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

    8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or
    Denisovan.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

    http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/

    solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Asteroids‎

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/us/wus-supervolcanoes-yellowstone

    Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

    Rabbi Paul, book by worProfessor Bruce Chilton

    https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

    http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/study-finds-star-formation-declining-throughout-the-universe/

    http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/

  • -> “Why must ‘faith’ and ‘Enlightenment’ be seen as contradictions of each other? ”

    If you don’t know the answer to that question, then you should not be writing an article about it…Enlightenment leads to free thinking, exploration and scientific wonder…

    …Faith leads to endless nature walks searching for Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster; and mindless beliefs in fraudulent prophets, saviors and wrathful God-men. Faith is the last refuge for belief — when there is no more good reasons to believe.

  • Correction: You Can’t do science without evidence, and faith in the process. Religious Faith requires no evidence, just belief. That’s why science builds airplanes, and religion flies them into buildings. That’s why science cures diseases, and religion says “it’s god’s plan.”
    Here’s the difference. A scientist can read 1000 books and realize that he understands only a portion of the universe in front of him. A religionist reads one ancient book, translated from a book from 2500 years ago, that he barely understands, and thinks that he knows all there is to know.

  • And actually, the faithful read one ancient book…then ignores the the first half (partly)…and only accepts the second half of the book

  • Exactly! That’s because they don’t share an ideology, just a lack of belief in God. Christians try to pin the rest on them so they can create an argument.

  • Is it not true that “some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.” Seems true to me.

  • Purpose is a human concept and implies a reason, intention or objective for why something is done. Susan is correct in her statements. If you are going to ascribe purpose to God you are essentially stating (besides the big assumption that there is a God) that you know God’s reason or intention. Stating that it is written in the Bible isn’t satisfactory since the Bible was written by men with a human purpose.

  • Susan,
    I agree that the pre-modernists are losing ground especially in terms of public acceptance and influence especially on younger generations.

  • And this is what the theist believes:

    1. Order came from magic
    2. Uniformity came from magic
    3. Intelligence came from magic
    4. Design came from magic
    5. Personality came from magic
    6. Love came from magic
    7. Something came from magic
    8. Life has ultimate purpose from magic
    9. Grounding for morality, right and wrong all come from magic.
    10. Man was made by a magic creator.

  • you left out that the creator is magically eternal and has always existed. And why, because a book allegedly says so, which is the most magic of all.

  • You can’t have ultimate purpose without God. Only God has power to give human beings purpose because He has power and authority to hold all men accountable for their lives.

  • To do science you must have ” just belief” that the laws of nature are the same throughout the universe at all times and places. There is no way to prove this. Thus you must have faith that this is true throughout the universe.

    It was the Christian worldview that gave birth to modern science. Atheism had nothing to do with. Atheism is a dead end for knowledge.

  • No, God and Muslims say the Islamic worldview describes all science, and the most perfect book ever written is the Quran…God told Mohammed that he was the last prophet, after all — and Christians just borrowed from Islam to get out of the dark ages…Have faith that it it is true.

    Atheists don’t believe any of that…they think both Christianity and Islam is BS….and accept enlightenment, not faith.

  • There is going to be a Judgement after you die for all human beings in which each human being will be judged for their lives and what they have done. From this Judgement, it will determine their eternal destiny. Be it heaven or hell.

  • Nope. Everything happens naturally. If we don’t know an answer we admit it. We don’t make up a cock and bull story about a magical being.

  • We’ve been down this road before and have yet to come to an agreement. An atheist disbelieves God because he/she has not found sufficient proof that would warrant belief. Is that a knowledge claim?

  • The idea of a final Judgement also is a human conception. It certainly satisfies the human need for justice. Why after all would God need justice?

  • Jesus warned about it and He rose from the dead and was God in the flesh. So I take Him as the ultimate authority on these matters.

    Part of the nature of God is justice. When His law is broken justice must be meted out or evil will thrive.

  • So your ignorance leads you nowhere. Since the laws of nature cannot create a cell from scratch all you are left with is magic.

  • “Are the ideals of the Enlightenment too tepid to engage our animal spirits? Is the conquest of disease, famine, poverty, violence and ignorance … boring? Do people need to believe in magic, a father in the sky, a strong chief to protect the tribe, myths of heroic ancestors?”

    I don’t think Pinker is anti God (he agrees too much with the Father in heaven that is described in Matthew ch7) Pinker, in my opinion, is really anti false prophets. Self interest, whether you’re a religious leader or follower, will always turn religion into a “belief in magic, a father in the shy, a strong chief to protect the tribe, and myths of heroic ancestors”. Faith, in treat others as you would want to be treated produces something as soon as you start to treat others, always.

  • Actually, you don’t need to believe that. But so far, there is no contradiction, except from anti science people like you who use the products of science to tell people about their religion.
    And to do your religion, you must have faith that your book is true, and that your god is eternal and has always existed and isn’t lying to you, just like you claim, without a shred of evidence to back you up, except the claims of your book, not one of which is verifiable.
    So you are saying that once again, faith is a terrible way to think? Because it sure sounds like you are saying that.
    but of course, there is a difference, as already noted. Science is believable because it works, according to all of the evidence. Religion is simply matter of opinion.

  • Of course you can. We human beings are living proof and the Universe is proof that it has no purpose, to paraphrase a Bible passage “it is what it is, and we are what we are.”!

    So you are suggesting that my dog, my horse, all the animals in the forest have no purpose because they die? You really are a sick individual.

  • We know that no force or forces of nature can create a cell from scratch. A cell is for more complex than a cell phone and yet we know a cell phone requires intelligence to create it. If a cell phone requires intelligence then so would a living cell.

  • There is no God JP, other than what you have created in your imagination. If you want to believe that he gives your life purpose that is a problem for you. Obviously Mark and I and many others have a better understanding of reality.

  • Good point! A perfect God wouldn’t demand justice! ONLY an imperfect God, such as the one JP believes in would demand justice.

  • JP, I disagree with the notion of God needing justice. I understand it is a Biblical conception but I see the Bible as divinely inspired only in the sense that it is man’s attempt to make sense of this world. The notion of justice is based on the abstract notions of fairness, equity, etc. These are human needs. Certainly an all powerful God could have created a world in the beginning without evil.

  • Each and everyone of us is judged every day. Some honestly and “justly” others dishonestly and “unjustly”! AND this is why the only thing that matters are our day to day words and actions–how we treat other people, how we treat other living things (plants, animals and our planet) and how we treat ourselves. ALL the rest, the doctrines, the dogmas, are distractions that lead us astray!

  • I’m not anti-science. I am against those who misuse science as many evolutionists and naturalists do.

    I know the Bible is true in what it addresses because it has been shown to be true. Take the resurrection of Christ. Its one of the best attested facts of the ancient world.

    Most of what you believe is based on authority. My authority is the Scriptures because much of them has been proven to be true.
    Whats your authority?

  • What is the difference in purpose between you and your dog? What objective criteria do you have that tells you the answer to this question?

  • Jesus never rose from the dead, he was not God in the flesh. You missed the whole gist of the Biblical stories. The resurrection, death on a cross, redemption and suffering, the nature of good and evil AND even the nature of the metaphor that bears the name “God”.

  • If there is no God then you must agree with Dawkins:
    . “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    This is your reality.

  • Exactly! It is only the time we mere mortals pass on this earth that make life for us meaningful!

  • The resurrection of Christ is one of the best attested facts of the ancient world. To deny this would mean you don’t believe anything about the ancient world.

  • Of course I would continue to repeat it until the pre-modernists have lost all ground and concede defeat!

  • You can believe that but the facts shows otherwise.
    Justice is a human need and makes sense only if we have the image of God in us. It does not make sense if evolution is true.

    God did create the world without evil but an evil agent entered into it that caused the world to fall through 2 human beings.

    Atheism cannot make sense of evil. It has no way to determine what evil is nor what good is.

  • Passing of time doesn’t make life meaningful. Its just one event after another with no particular purpose for it happening. Its all atoms in motion if atheism is true.

  • If Iceland never imports a non-white person; and THEN a thousand years from now we get black and brown people running around…………..I’ll believe you!

  • I had a bunch of catfish on my front porch the other day. I thought……gee maybe they are right. But then I realized my pond just simply ran over her banks.

  • Which means you can’t assume they were created at all. Therefore one cannot assume an intelligent creator for life. Logical arguments should never be used to support religious belief. Its a bad fit and dishonest about how you believe.

  • “No grounding for morality. No right or wrong.”

    Actually that has always been a religious view. Morality doesn’t exist for the religious. Right and wrong were simply whatever they were told to do by arbitrary religious authorities without question. It is why using “relativist” as an epithet is always so ironic when coming from religious types.

    Case in point, I have never seen you make a moral argument, but I have seen you use religion as an excuse for malice and immoral actions.

  • Let me make it easy for you: if a cell phone that is less complicated than a living cell requires intelligence to create it then a living cell would require it even more.

    Don’t be duped by the atheists and evolutionists.

  • JP, justice does make sense if evolution is true. Cooperation aided survival and along with cooperation is the need for justice. I don’t see a disconnect. God would in no way need justice.

    The notion that an evil agent altered God’s world suggests that either God is not all-powerful, or God and the Devil are of equal power, or that God allowed evil to enter the world and corrupt the first two human beings. The last option begs many questions.

    Atheism doesn’t need the concept of evil or defines it differently than you probably are doing.

  • So you don’t think murder and rape are not really wrong? After all, if atheism is true then there cannot be any objective moral code by which all men are accountable to. Without this all you have is artbritary moral opinions. The Nazis were masters of this.

  • Honesty and dishonesty do matter in the world since it helps us peacefully get along. No reason beyond that is necessary.

  • If atheism and evolution is true then there is no such thing as justice. If you can get away with doing evil then no harm done to you. It does not matter what happened to other person who got hurt since nothing in life ultimately matters anyway.

    ““If there is no God, Nietzsche is right and there is no good reason to tell someone else they should live unselfishly.” Keller

  • “So you don’t think murder and rape are not really wrong? ”

    Of course I do. Because I am not a psychopath and are enough of an empathetic and sane human being.

    But if you needed someone else to tell you they are, such as a religious figure, then you are pretty far gone morally. More or less a sociopath being held in check by myth and arbitrary authority. The more you attribute morality to your faith, the less moral you come off.

    “So you think murder and rape are not really wrong if commanded by God?”

    I would assume you would, given your response.

    Nazis all came from Christian upbringings and relied on the religious idea that murder and mayhem in the name of higher authorities. “Gott Mitt Uns” (God is With Us)

    “After all, if atheism is true then there cannot be any objective moral code by which all men are accountable to”

    Not even close to true because religion has no objective moral code. You make that clear in all sorts of immoral acts you would support in the name of your faith. An objective moral code doesn’t require arbitrary authority to dictate it to you.

  • A cell phone is an object you know from experience was created by people. As you already admitted a living cell is like nothing ever created by people. So you can’t even make the leap of assuming it was created by an intelligence at all.

    You really don’t know your own arguments. Ones which were considered nonsense in the 18th century.

  • For evidence/proof of human evolution, look no further than the color of human skin. When the first humans moved from Africa some 60,000 years ago, their skin was dark. As they moved to colder regions that had less Sun exposure, human skin became lighter and lighter.
    e.g. http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/chem/…/Jablonski_skin_color_2000.pdf

  • See here is the problem here. You have no idea how a lack of religious belief works so you pretend various sources are a sort of Bible for Atheism.

  • The sense of fairness and justice certainly pre-dates Christianity and is not unique to any particular religion or culture. You have to agree with that. One does not need to have a belief in Christianity to value honesty and dishonesty.

  • Many atheists are also comfortable simple stating they don’t know how to explain the world or why it is and understand that defaulting to a supernatural explanation is a cop-out.

  • I will go down this road…An atheist would make the claim that there is not sufficient evidence to believe in God. It is not a preference because the word preference assumes an alternative to be true and valid choice.

  • What evidence do you have that “The sense of fairness and justice certainly pre-dates Christianity and is not unique to any particular religion or culture”?

    Atheism has nothing to do with these issues. There is no such thing as fairness and justice in atheism.

  • I don’t blame you because we both know that atheists are just making a preference claim about reality. They prefer God not to exist. That way they can ignore all the evidence for His existence.

  • A “supernatural explanation” is the only explanation that makes sense. To assert that the mindless-purposeless forces of nature could create a cell from scratch is absurd.

  • You think that murder and rape is wrong but you could never show that it is wrong by atheism nor evolution.

    The nazis used evolution to justify the murder of millions. The super race was a evolutionary idea that they promoted used to justify to murder of millions.

  • Are you really proposing that justice is a Christian concept? Certainly you agree that ancient cultures created laws for the social harmony of its inhabitants and these laws were based on a sense of justice prevalent during the historic context. The ancient Greeks for instance, discussed ethical reasoning at length and justice in the ancient world has been well studied by academics.

    As to your second point, fairness and justice are human concepts and whether one believes in God or not has little to do with it.

  • “That’s why science cures diseases, and religion says ‘it’s god’s plan.’”

    That explains all those hospitals various religions have built.

    Speaking, of course, of thinking you know all there is to know.

  • Yeah. Isn’t amazing. It’s god’s plan, but offer your prayers, in case god changes his mind. Build hospitals, in case god actually does believe in science.

  • Nazis relied on support by churches, were proponents of political reactionary ideas that typified mainstream Christian belief at the time. Like Nazis you have morals dictated to you. Their political descendants, neo nazis are all conservative Christians. Like you.

    So far you have been very bad at describing what anyone thinks or believes. It’s a very rude and dishonest habit here.

    You have demonstrated that you are ignorant of evolution, atheism and even morals. Making wild unsupported assumptions and arguing against what you claim others believe rather what they have said.

    The next time you feel like typing in response, “atheists believe…” or “you believe….” restrain yourself. Anything that comes after such statements is so full of crap, it is not worth addressing.

    You sir are a liar and a poor example of moral thinking.

  • Actually we don’t, since we have no idea how life can be created from our own experiences. It’s possible and likely since we know such things aren’t created by people.

  • Lark’s Law, when a Christian gets flustered they try to end s conversation by threatening an opponent with eternal damnation.

  • Have you ever read how the nazis intimidated the churches in Germany? Read the bio on Bonhoeffer who was a pastor who resisted the nazis and was killed for it.

    Did any atheists resist the nazis based on atheism or evolution?

  • Not at all. Your ideas were considered pretty lazy and dishonest back in the 18th century when philosophers were forced to get off their duff and quit pretending we had to assume religious belief.

  • Actually, got through the talking snake part…but exited after getting to where a 600 year-old guy is building a boat to escape from giants and half-human beasts. Yes, put it back on the fiction shelf.

  • No. Its not lazy but obvious that the world was created by an intelligence. Its stupid to deny this fact when its staring you in the face.

  • You should think about deeply what is going to happen to you when you die. If you persist in your atheism then this is the best life you will have because the next one will be very bad.

  • You can’t; you can only believe. Your belief however may seem as solid as a fact. I don’t know how we can definitively state how the universe began.

  • It’s the pinnacle of laziness.

    No thinking involved. Have a question, “God did it”.

    You are so lazy you can’t even take your ideas to a logical conclusion. So you felt declare something is true. You can’t even be bothered to figure out what others believe so you lazily make crap up about them and argue that.

    ” that the world was created by an intelligence”

    Yet we have inefficient and redundant biological systems, the world is actually quite hostile to long life and the earth is mostly covered by water we can’t live in or take in our bodies in large quantities. There is no sign of an intelligence there.

    You are simply just a lazy troll who can’t be bothered to think.

  • Have you read about how both the Catholic Church and German Lutheran Churches openly endorsed Hitler and collaborated with him? How about how the Catholic Church supported Chetnik atrocities in Croatia and Rexist quislings in Belgium.

    The only church in occupied Europe which did not side with Nazis was the Danish Lutheran church.

    You must also be aware that Neo Nazis are all reactionary Christians as are the KKK and other white supremacist groups.

    But you won’t acknowledge any of that because you are working with a lazy canned script.

  • Oooh, your invisible sky daddy is going to punish me for making you look stupid.

    I am quaking in my shoes /sarcasm

  • Actually the early scientists were Christians and they went on to make great discoveries via the scientific method. They were not lazy nor stupid.

    So you think that a cell phone requires intelligence but something more complex than a cell phone such as a living cell does not. You have more blind faith than anyone I know.

  • Did you know that most of these churches in Germany at the time were state churches where the state paid the salaries of the pastors? This was how the nazis were able to intimidate these pastors because their livelihoods depended on the state to pay them.

  • You are not an early scientist. They did not reject scientific ideas of predecessors nor held that belief required them to. They also asked questions about the world, not assumed answers. More importantly they didn’t have to lie about opposing views to support theirs.

    You are nothing like those knowledge seekers. You are lazy and want to glom off the efforts of intellectual superiors. But you can’t even do that right. Your take on the watchmaker argument was just silly. David Hume ripped it apart a century before Evolution for being lazy crap and nothing but assumptions with no logical suppory. You are not even stealing from the best out there.

    Since you feel the need to lie in support of your belief numerous times you are demonstrating how lazy and stupid you and your take on belief really is.

    Your lazy take on Creationism is for insecure liars who have no trust in the faith which guides their belief. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence. It is why you have religious belief. You lie to us all by denying that.

  • Your ignorance is astounding. The founders of modern science were Christian men who believed God created the world and it was their job to explore it for His glory.

    Atheism is lazy. It never leads to more knowledge for those base their lives on it. Its stupid-think.

  • LOL! You think they were intimidated? They were loyal supporters

    Here, read this and shut your piehole
    http://www.historytoday.com/robert-carr/nazism-and-christian-heritage

    “Hitler’s regime was legitimised by various Christian churches from the start. The Vatican state was the very first to recognise Nazi Germany diplomatically. In 1933 the Deutsche Christen (the German Church) declared its support for the unity of cross and swastika. More ominously, 1941’s joint declaration of German Protestant Evangelical leaders urged that the ‘severest measures against the Jews be adopted and that they be banished from German lands’.”

    They weren’t coerced, they were marching alongside them.

  • I am not the one who is so lazy as to use religious belief as an excuse to avoid understanding scientific ideas and evidence.

    The founders of modern science had nothing to do with the cretinous, dishonest, version of religious belief you hold. None of them ever claimed their religious belief compelled them to ignore evidence or scientific ideas like you do.

    You dishonor their memory by pretending an association with them. You are simply being lazy and hoping to glom off their efforts with an appeal to authority. All without realizing that such authority would not support your ideas.

    You are so lazy that you can’t even bother to figure out what others believe, so you make crap up about their beliefs and argue them. Not just stupidity, but an emphatic stupidity which refuses to even bother to learn anything on a subject beyond a really overworn canned script.

  • “To be fair, the claim that Christianity led to modern science captures something true and important. Generations of historians and sociologists have discovered many ways in which Christians, Christian beliefs, and Christian institutions played crucial roles in fashioning the tenets, methods and institutions of what in time became modern science…today almost all historians agree that Christianity (Catholicism as well as Protestantism) moved early-modern intellectuals to study nature systematically.”

    Noah J Efron “Myth 9: That Christianity Gave Birth to Modern Science” in Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion (R Numbers ed.) Harvard University Press 2009 p 80

  • Still making appeals to authority, but completely and utterly missing the messages of that authority. Those religious believers encouraged inquiry and knowledge. You are a lazy lying cretin who simply uses a pat superficial empty answers to issues without thinking. You do religious belief a disservice with your laziness.

  • You haven’t read him. He was hardly a popular figure among European Christian writers. An outlier when considering the catholic church had supported fascism to the point of having their own dictator bought and paid for in Spain. You fail to understand that mainstream Christian belief was far more openly bigoted, reactionary and anti democratic back then, than it is today.

  • The objective criteria that shows the difference between my dog and me is DNA. All other criteria are subjective. My dog for example is very smart, he can find a way around or through any barrier I put up. His smarts however like many teenagers seem to get him into more trouble than they get him out of! My smarts, I hope, help me stay out of trouble!

  • If I stay in the water the rest of my adult life and then my son stays in the water the rest of his adult life and on and on and on and on…………….Will the Hobs family eventually grow Gills?!!! You guys are pure comedy.

  • Bad things happen JP get used to it. There are some reasons why bad things happen, for example some people chose to drive drunk and as a consequence get into accidents that harm others. Tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, happen, get used to it and be prepared. There are many things in life we have no control over (and for you I must add God also doesn’t control) the one thing we can control is how we choose to deal with whatever life sends our way.

  • Wrong JP. Honesty and dishonesty matter to sentient beings. Primarily humans but dogs especially can distinguish between honest/fair treatment and unfair treatment. There is no God other than what you create for yourself in your imagination. A sentient being by the way are living organisms with awareness of self and awareness of others.

  • If atheism is true, then nothing matters. Its all atoms in motion.

    Here is your sole reason for living: “The universe is nothing but a collection of atoms in motion, human beings are simply machines for propagating DNA, and the propagation of DNA is a self-sustaining process. It is every living object’s sole reason for living. ” dawkins

  • Your dog has dna and you have dna. So what. There is no quantitative difference between you and your dog if atheism is true.

  • The resurrection story is a mythical story about awakening, eyes and heart opening, to Truth. AND what is that truth. Mary sees the gardener near the tomb, and he heart and mind are opened (enlightened) when she realizes that in the lowly gardener she sees the essence of goodness embodied in the idea of Jesus and of God in the gardener. The fishermen had their hearts and minds opened when they saw the same embodiment of goodness in the kindness of a stranger that told them where to cast their nets. The disciples had their hearts and minds opened when strangers shared a meal with them. THE BASIC gist of Jesus message was to find the essence of goodness that he called God, in the neighbor, in the prostitute, in the poor and down trodden, in the common man. THAT is what the resurrection story is about.

  • People get away with doing bad things all the time, that is a fact of life. Because of this Christians who sought revenge (justice) created a God that would punish their enemies and reward them for good behavior.

    Keller is wrong. Mark pointed you in the right direction above when he mentioned how cooperation, produces an evolutionary advantage. Packs of wolves working together survive and pass on their genes. Lone wolves have a more difficult time and often die before passing on their genes.

  • You are right time its self doesn’t provide the meaning, it is what we are able to do during that time period that gives us meaning!

  • He is your cousin too, whether you like the idea or not. Perhaps you should be the one passing out kisses.

  • Your purpose is just to pass on your genes:
    “The universe is nothing but a collection of atoms in motion, human beings are simply machines for propagating DNA, and the propagation of DNA is a self-sustaining process. It is every living object’s sole reason for living. ” dawkins

  • The God you believe in doesn’t exist. AND there is justice in the courts all the time. So your comment is nonsense.

  • Hey! I counter it too!! !

    Though I have to admit it is like sticking my finger in the center of a sewage pipe to stop the flow.

  • The nazis also had “justice” in their courts that resulted in the deaths of many. Without God, what you call justice is arbitrary opinions.

  • JP, how do you explain the imperfections in the design (e.g. cancer, mental and physical disabilities)? How could a perfect creator create an imperfect design?

  • I’m not sure why we are missing each other on this point. It can’t be preference (although you prefer to believe so) since one of the options (God exists) is not a believable option for an atheist. If there is only one believable option then there can’t be a preference.

  • Are you sure you mean quantitative? Because yes, there is a quantitative difference between a person and a dog regardless of whether one is an atheist (e.g. dogs have four legs and humans have two).

  • Ummmm……………yours. The Amazon Aboriginals have been living for millions of years. I don’t see White children emerging from their loins.

  • I read Pinker’s article and he says advancements have been made, paraphrasing him, by treating others the way you would want to be treated. I think it would be fair to claim that he has “faith” that a trend will continue if we continue to do this. I share his “faith” I’m glad to hear him talk about it, it sounds exactly like what you would think good news sounds like.

  • Martin E. Marty, I assume you know that the French Enlightenment was also anti-Semitic. The founders of the Enlightenment that thought whatever it took to be an Enlightened person, Jews lacked. It was a different kind of anti-Semitism than the traditional Church anti-Semitism, but it was very real.

  • I have found that my faith conjoins Enlightenment in the journey into free thinking, exploration (without fear) and wonders of the unseen as well as the seen.

  • As a person of faith, what I got from Pinker in his book on how the mind works is that evolution seeks life. As a Christian I cannot join in the hubris of concluding what the nature of God is, since scripture uses so many metaphors while affirming the Divine is nothing like creation. Seeing how the engineer creates the engine does not presume that I know what the engineer is fully like.

  • For me faith (or more properly, trust) requires an input from the Source so that I may respond in order to further my trust. “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” has been a reality for me. I have tried forward and have received a response which encourages my trying forward again. The first trying forward was a result of something that awakened me beyond myself.

    I get your cynicism about “religion.” I recognize that religion can be a block to understanding, freedom, and internal growth of the person. But each time I hear the term religion this scripture resounds in me, “True religion that is pure before God is caring for widows and orphans and keeping oneself from the selfish pursuits of the world system.” James 1:27 (my interpretation).

    Just as pure science is always good in that its discoveries help us to leverage our surroundings for a prescribed effect, when it gets into the world system it can also be used as a toxic tool to control, oppress and destroy.

    It’s not the tool that destroys or builds. It’s the user.

  • When a person doesn’t have facts and sound reasons for their position then its a preference. That is why atheism is just a preference and not a knowledge claim about reality.

  • Either God exist or He doesn’t. The evidence points to His existence on multiple levels. No one has shown belief in God to be unreasonable nor illogical by any reasons or facts.

  • The cells that cause these “imperfections” are the result of design. Just because something doesn’t work the way we don’t like it to doesn’t mean its not designed.

    When God created the world it was perfect but Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God which caused the world to fallen i.e. less than what God intended. That is why have sicknesses and death in the world.

  • I have no disagreement with you on that. I have often said on these very pages that it is not what people believe, but what they do with those beliefs.

    My own case as a gay man is a case in point. I don’t really object to what people believe about homosexuality in the curse of their religious beliefs, though I am pretty sure that it is usually an abuse and issue of scripture. I’ve made that point many times. It’s when they take it out into the public square and insist that because they think it’s some sort of sin, my participation in society must be restricted, when they don’t apply the same logic to all of the other things they think are sins, that I object.

    Thanks for your statement.

  • As I define “faith” as “trust,” yes, there is always an element of trust in everything I pursue, else, one is frozen in step.

  • What objective standard? The Bible where an “eye for an eye works” at one period of time and “forgive seventy times seven” in another?

  • What definition of animal are you using? One would include: “A living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and a nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli.” (From oxforddictionaries.com). I

  • I see where there is probably a distinction between what I believe and what Pinker believes is a source. The faith we would share is how to live concerning some problems we agree upon.

  • That’s a judgement call. How do you know when an atheist doesn’t have facts and sound reasons for their decision. Even if what you said was correct, if the atheist believed their facts/reasons to be true then it still leaves them with one option, which in this case would not to believe in God. Your meaning assumes that the atheist knows there are facts and reasons for believing in God but willfully disregards those reasons. I have never met such a person.

  • That is where Dawkins is wrong. He doesn’t understand the meaning of life. Life with all its ups and downs, goods and bads, highs and lows is what life is all about. Propagation of genes is one tiny part of it!

  • Your first statement is true but your second isn’t. If God’s existence was an undisputed fact that did not rely on belief/faith/tradition then there would be no argument. Just because you find belief in God reasonable doesn’t mean others have the opposite opinion.

  • OK fine, so we have a difference in definition of the word “faith”. Words convey only the meanings that we give to them.

    I am talking epistemological, not ontological (for philosophy buffs), and see nothing that you can’t have “faith” in — if faith is defined as a belief.

  • There is plenty of evidence for the existence of God in the world and in you. Just because there is an argument or disagreement over something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
    One of the many problems with those who deny the existence of God is that it creates all kinds of problems in other areas. It means there is no way to explain why there is a universe or why its the way it is. Or there is no way to account for meaning in life in a coherent way. It means that morality is just arbitrary and not binding on anyone.

  • I have yet to meet an atheist who can give me any facts that proves atheism is true. I have not met an atheist that has given one fact that proves that God does not exist nor could exist. Nor that its illogical to believe that God exist. That’s why I have good reason to believe their non-belief is a preference and not a knowledge claim about reality.

  • Eve’s eating the apple caused cancer, mental illness, and the like? If that is true, you are ok with following a God who is willing to punish the offspring for the sins of the parents? That makes God diabolical.

  • JP, there is widespread disagreement over God’s existence or which religion to believe in. If disagreement is that widespread it begs the questions as to how much evidence there is.

    All of what you pose as problems for atheist are viewed as such by them so who is it a problem for?

  • But an atheist does not need to prove anything to you, only themselves. Just because you don’t believe their evidence doesn’t mean it isn’t convincing for them. By the way, you have to admit that your faith does prejudice you against atheist at the start.

  • So God gives you the gift of believing in him? And those that don’t receive this gift? They are damned through no fault of their own?

  • The Vatican State had good reason to deal with Germany diplomatically – without troops its only opening to mitigate Nazi ideology was talk, both with and about the German government.

    The Catholic Church officially condemned the Nazi theory of racism in Germany in 1937 with the encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge”, signed by Pope Pius XI, and Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber led the Catholic opposition, preaching against racism aimed at the Jews. As a result many Catholic clergy and religious died in concentration camps.

    The German Christians (Deutsche Christen) was a Nazi-led movement within the German Evangelical Church favoring the antisemitic and Führerprinzip ideological principles of Nazism.

    Churches in Germany were local and regional, usually associated with the government, and the Protestant denominations were loosely associated in a German Evangelical Church Confederation (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund).

    The Deutsche Christen were organized as a Kirchenpartei (church party) in 1931 to help win elections of presbyteries and synods in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union, the largest of the independent regional churches. They were led by Ludwig Müller, a longtime faithful Nazi. In the Prussian church elections of November 1932, Deutsche Christen won one-third of the vote. The Prussian church had been formed in the 19th century by Bismarck in a forced union of evangelical and Lutheran Protestants and was the largest regional church.

    However, when the federation council met in May 1933 to approve the new constitution, it elected Friedrich von Bodelschwingh as Reichsbischof of the new Protestant Reich Church by a wide margin, largely on the advice and support of the church leadership, defeating Hitler’s candidate Ludwig Müller.

    Hitler was infuriated with the rejection of his candidate. By June 1933 the Deutsche Christen had gained leadership of some local and regional churches within the DEK and were supported by Nazi propaganda in their efforts to reverse the humiliating loss to Bodelschwingh. After a series of Nazi-directed political maneuvers, Bodelschwingh resigned and Müller was appointed as the new Reichsbischof in July 1933.

    Friedrich von Bodelschwingh spent the rest of the war resisting the Nazis, who were afraid to arrest him because of his overwhelming popularity.

    Their opponents founded the Confessing Church in 1934, which condemned the Deutsche Christen as heretics and claimed to be the true German Protestant Church. Most Germans rejected the Deutsche Christen platform, and its usefulness ended fairly quickly. The Nazis found the Deutsche Christen group useful during the initial consolidation of power, but it was eventually made a minor government agency.

    In short, it was a Nazi propaganda ploy, not a “German Christian Church”.

  • The Vatican was supporting fascism long before the war. They practically paid for a fascist government in Spain and supported the most sadistic Nazi collaborators in Europe through the Croatian Ustache. Leon Degrelle used Catholic belief as a recruiting tool for Belgian “Walloon” SS units. The last forced conversion to a Christian sect was done in 1944 by Nazi collaborators.

    The Catholic Church was virulently anti Semitic throughout the 1930’s and 40’s. They did not disavow such beliefs until 1965.

    Nazis were seen by mainstream churches as in line with their ideas about communism, organized labor, families, and most importantly anti semitism. Nazis were Christians before the war, those who survived were Christians after the war.

    Where was the great Christian church resistance to the Nazis? It didn’t exist. All you had were outliers and token efforts. For the most part their either stayed silent or were willing participants.

    You have more in common with their beliefs than you will be willing to admit to. The nazis even criminalized abortion and homosexuality, just like evangelicals such as Scott Lively sought to do.

  • Certainly if we relied only on reading your posts to form an opinion, there would not be much of a case for an intelligent creator for life, or even for intelligent life.

  • If atheists don’t believe it, “thoughtful, intelligent” or otherwise, that disbelief certainly does not stem from atheism per se.

  • I assume when you write “human beings are living proof …. that it has no purpose” you’re basing it on yourself and your posts.

    To that extent I would tend to agree.

  • Flinging poo in lieu of an argument. Run along Bob, adults are talking.

    Intelligent design is for liars and cretins. People too insecure to trust faith or the idea people don’t believe as they do.

  • Another declaration you are right, no proof of course.

    If intelligent design was for liars and cretins, it would be for you.

  • God owes no one salvation. To those He saves He shows mercy and to those He condemns, justice. They are not innocent but Law breakers.

  • Bob, you are lazy beyond words. This is what comprises discourse from you? Borrrrring.

    I am not the one making affirmative claims. I am just deflating JPs lazy assumptions.

  • I understand. Its because you have no facts that proves atheism true. I can’t stop you from your embracing preferences but please don’t ever claim that you have facts that proves no gods exist or have any good arguments against theism.

  • So you believe God predestines some to be saved and others to be damned and there is nothing a person can do about it?

  • How are they lawbreakers if God hasn’t given them the “gift” of faith and the ability to not be “law breakers”?

  • JP my words stand on their own merits. Wisdom needs no claim of scholarly credentials or divine revelation. If my words withstand criticism they speak for themselves.

    Many people may boast a PhD in a field that is outside of the area they are talking about. So never accept such a claim. Read what is said critically.

  • Don’t use moral language if you don’t like something. Your moral judgements are just your arbitrary opinions. In the atheist world what one considers diabolical another considers good.

  • They are lawbreakers because they break the Law of God. Having the gift of faith doesn’t mean that person doesn’t break His Law but that he has forgiveness and mercy when he does. Those who don’t have salvation are given justice which results in punishment for those sins.

  • The Vatican State had good reason to deal with Germany diplomatically – without troops its only opening to mitigate Nazi ideology was talk, both with and about the German government.

    The Catholic Church officially condemned the Nazi theory of racism in Germany in 1937 with the encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge”, signed by Pope Pius XI, and Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber led the Catholic opposition, preaching against racism aimed at the Jews. As a result many Catholic clergy and religious died in concentration camps.

    The German Christians (Deutsche Christen) was a Nazi-led movement within the German Evangelical Church favoring the antisemitic and Führerprinzip ideological principles of Nazism.

    Churches in Germany were local and regional, usually associated with the government, and the Protestant denominations were loosely associated in a German Evangelical Church Confederation (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund).

    The Deutsche Christen were organized as a Kirchenpartei (church party) in 1931 to help win elections of presbyteries and synods in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union, the largest of the independent regional churches. They were led by Ludwig Müller, a longtime faithful Nazi. In the Prussian church elections of November 1932, Deutsche Christen won one-third of the vote. The Prussian church had been formed in the 19th century by Bismarck in a forced union of evangelical and Lutheran Protestants and was the largest regional church.

    However, when the federation council met in May 1933 to approve the new constitution, it elected Friedrich von Bodelschwingh as Reichsbischof of the new Protestant Reich Church by a wide margin, largely on the advice and support of the church leadership, defeating Hitler’s candidate Ludwig Müller.

    Hitler was infuriated with the rejection of his candidate. By June 1933 the Deutsche Christen had gained leadership of some local and regional churches within the DEK and were supported by Nazi propaganda in their efforts to reverse the humiliating loss to Bodelschwingh. After a series of Nazi-directed political maneuvers, Bodelschwingh resigned and Müller was appointed as the new Reichsbischof in July 1933.

    Friedrich von Bodelschwingh spent the rest of the war resisting the Nazis, who were afraid to arrest him because of his overwhelming popularity.

    Their opponents founded the Confessing Church in 1934, which condemned the Deutsche Christen as heretics and claimed to be the true German Protestant Church. Most Germans rejected the Deutsche Christen platform, and its usefulness ended fairly quickly. The Nazis found the Deutsche Christen group useful during the initial consolidation of power, but it was eventually made a minor government agency.

    In short, it was a Nazi propaganda ploy, not a “German Christian Church”.

  • But JP, you yourself said that “we can do nothing.” How can we repent? Don’t we need faith in God in order to realize we need to repent? If that faith comes as a gift from God things get really convoluted.

  • “The Vatican was supporting fascism long before the war.”

    That’s an amalgam of thinly disguised former Soviet propaganda, some of it laundered through John Cornwell’s discredited “Hitler’s Pope”.

    You’ve already had your assessment of the “Deutsche Christen” taken apart.

    Over 7,000 Catholic clergy and members of religious orders were executed by the Republicans, whose ranks were rife with anti-clerical anti-religious fanatics, and the “Vatican” had good reasons for trying to mitigate this horrific massacre.

    The best refutations of this sort of nonsense comes from Jewish historians.

    Jewish historian of the Holocaust Martin Gilbert credits Pius XII with various actions which saved Jews, and notes that the Nazi security forces referred to him as the “mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals”.

    Pius XII maintained links to the German Resistance, including the ultimately unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Hitler.

    In his 2005 book “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope”, historian and rabbi David G. Dalin argued that Yad Vashem should honor Pope Pius XII as a “Righteous Gentile”.

    The list of Christian martyrs to the resistance to the Nazis and the sheltering of Jews is a lengthy one.

    Leaders of the Confessing Church, for instance Martin Niemöller and Heinrich Grüber, were sent to Nazi concentration camps. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was sent initially to Tegel Prison, then to Buchenwald concentration camp, and finally to Flossenbürg concentration camp, where he was hanged. This left Christians who did not agree with the Nazis without leadership.

    Several members of the Confessing Church were caught and tried for their part in creating forged papers to permit Jews to escape, including Franz Kaufmann who was shot, and Helene Jacobs, who was jailed and tortured.

    Your anti-Christian sources of information are apparently less than reliable.

  • Lets see if you have the gift of faith. Do you think you have broken God’s Law and deserve to be dammed for doing so?

  • You are not addressing the issue is raised by you stating “we can do nothing” or sandi saying that faith is a gift. Both imply that God predestines some to heaven and some to hell. Is that your belief?

    By the way, if you have the gift of faith and purposely break God’s Law how are you any better than a non-believer who breaks the Law? But forget this question, I would rather hear your response to the first.

  • Talking is different than trying to convert. Also, why would God even need to call them? They are saved, right? God knows this beforehand.

    I’m also curious how you are ok with the notion that some people are damned no matter how they lived their life.

  • “That’s an amalgam of thinly disguised former Soviet propaganda, some of
    it laundered through John Cornwell’s discredited “Hitler’s Pope”.”

    Nope. Try learning about the Spanish Civil War aka “Cardinal Spellman’s War”. Franco and his fascist allies and supporters enjoyed financial and political support of the Vatican. Even after taking power. The Catholic Church dominated Spanish laws and society under Franco as he made half a million people disappear during his decades in power.

    ” “Vatican” had good reasons for trying to mitigate this horrific massacre.”
    So now you are admitting they supported fascism in response. But wanted to bury that part deep in your response.

    You can also try to educate yourself on Cardinal Stepinac and the murderous Croatian Ustache, especially the death camp run there Jasenovac. Then follow it up with reading about Leon Degrelle and how he used Catholic belief to drum up support for Hitler.

    Then end it up with reading about the “Rat lines” through the Vatican used by Nazi war criminals to escape justice.

    The churches supported Hitler ideologically, especially on the issue of antisemitism, anti-organized labor, “traditional families”, and opposition to abortion.
    http://www.historytoday.com/robert-carr/nazism-and-christian-heritage

    Please, by all means show me articles about the widespread resistance to the Nazis by mainstream catholic and protestant church organizations during the war. What resistance existed was fairly small, token and was largely away from the rank and file of these churches.

    And for the kicker, the successors to Nazi ideology, Neo-Nazis are all Christians and even have their own Protestant sect these days.
    https://www.adl.org/education/resources/backgrounders/christian-identity

    The Nazis have more in common with your beliefs than mine. JP’s association was brain dead and dishonest. Like everything he does.

  • No one is saved until they reject their sin and ask Jesus into their heart to be their Lord and Saviour.
    I try not to dictate to God what He should do. He knows best.

  • Not to nitpick buy you said that God has predetermined who is saved. A saved person will be nature do as you say and reject their sin and ask Jesus into their hearts because God has given them that gift ahead of time. If that is so then free will doesn’t exist and true repentance has no meaning.

  • A person is not saved until they reject their sin and ask Jesus into their hearts and decide to follow Him. There are many who reject salvation.

    We all have free will whether to accept Christ’s offer of salvation
    also:
    John 6:37 English Standard Version
    All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (edited)

  • Then what did you mean when you answered “yes” to my earlier question as to whether God predetermines who is saved or not? Your most recent state seems to contradict that?

  • It’s interesting after having Robert Carr’s hilariously erroneous comment about the Deutsche Christen, a Nazi front which he mistranslated as the “the German Church”, you’d use that bit of propaganda again. It seems to indicate you’re not very interested in facts and learn nothing from your mistakes.

    It would indicate that the Nazis have more in common with your approach than mine, specifically the propaganda technique of the “Big Lie”.

    Of course I did not “admit…. they supported fascism in response”. There were only two factions: Franco’s, aligned with Hitler and Mussolini, and the Republican, aligned with Stalin. The Republican was butchering priests and religious – including crucifixions, rapes, and worse.

    Somehow the notion that the Vatican State would approach Stalin – he who asked “How many divisions does the Pope have?” – and appeal to his “better side” seems a bit farfetched.

    And other hand you actually managed in one short post to reveal the quality of “research” you rely on – which covers the range from complete fiction to vicious anti-Christian propaganda – and which includes not one competent objective reporter. From the semi-reliable source with a url you managed to cite an entry on a tiny group irrelevant to the discussion.

    Please, by all means show me articles about the widespread resistance to the Nazis by mainstream Jewish organizations during the war. The ONLY significant resistance was in Warsaw, and there only because the individuals in that ghetto were trapped.

    What this tells us about is the effect of a powerful authoritarian state on the ability to organize and maintain any significant resistance, and NOTHING about motivation of ordinary citizens.

  • God predestined some for mercy i.e. salvation and some for justice i.e. to hell.

    The Christian who breaks His law is forgiven because of what Christ did in the place of the Christian. He is the substitute who in His death took the punishment for the Christian’s sin. He did not do that for unbelievers.

  • You have no moral authority in atheism. Thus when you make a moral statement about any action its just your moral preference.

  • God does predetermine who will be saved. All are invited, few are saved
    .Matthew 22:14 King James Version (KJV)

    14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
    (also I edited the above comment for you)

  • So no free will? Can’t be predestined to heaven or hell and have free will. In fact, what is the meaning of original sin then and Jesus’s atonement. All are unnecessary if God give’s one faith to believe and hence, repent and accept Jesus.

  • Those two sentences contradict each other. If God predetermines who will be saved there is no need for an invite. It doesn’t make sense.

  • Still not addressing the question. The Fall of Adam and Eve caused cancer, etc.? God punishes the offspring (guilt passes on to those who are innocent)?

  • No one is innocent. The effects of the fall causes cancer and death.

    What can atheist say about these things? Nothing. Stuff happens. That’s it.

  • If God predetermines our fate and our choices are known ahead of time, we have no free will. You therefore share a belief in Fate.

  • This definition should work: “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.”

  • the new born has inherited Adam’s fallen nature. Though the baby has not committed sin, it will if the baby lives long enough.

  • Ok. Where does this “the power of acting” reside? If deny a immaterial mind-soul then you are left with the chemicals in your brain that are causing the choices. In this case there is no freewill nor can there be since the choosing depends on the configuration of the chemicals in your head.

  • The chemicals in your brain certainly do influence your thought process, as does one’s environment, DNA, etc. That our thoughts and behavior are determined seems reasonable. But I get your point…there still seems to be some “I” or “immaterial mind-soul” which gives us the ability to willfully act. Granting you that fact, don’t you think you are jumping to God by default of a better explanation? I don’t know enough about the subject to state what the current scientific explanation is. But we are getting off base because whether or not our thoughts and actions are determined matters less for the atheist than it does for the Christian. Free will seems essential if repentance and acceptance of God are to mean anything and you still haven’t demonstrated how the predestination doesn’t interfere with our free choice.

  • If you believe that all are fallen until we accept Christ then that would imply that a child who isn’t able to make that choice should be punished.

  • I don’t think we have freewill in the sense that our choices are totally neutral. Our choices are based on the desires of our hearts-mind-soul at a given moment.
    God knows the beginning and the end of everyone. He knows the choices they will make.

    If a parent knows his child will go to school today does that mean the child no longer has no free choices?

  • If God knows the choices we are to make ahead of time then we are determined and can only live out our Fate. True repentance and acceptance of Christ are meaningless since whether or not we have faith has been given to us as a gift before we are born. If that is the case, then how is God just? We are essentially puppets put on earth to act out our roles and in the end, some get put in the heavenly shoe box and others go into the fireplace.

  • How does knowing something ahead of time about someone mean they don’t have choices?

    God is just in condemning people who break His Law. They are getting what they deserve.
    Mercy is not getting what you deserve.

  • We can speculate all we want to. I suspect that infants and those who are incapacitated to understand are not condemned.

  • If God knows our actions before they happen then we are programmed to only act one way. If we can only act in one way then there is no free choice. If God knows before I am born that I am going to break his Law can I act any differently? No. If I could, then God doesn’t know our action ahead of time.

  • No……that would make us puppets, and if we were puppets, none of us would end up in Hell, Mark. And people are going to.

  • What makes you think God “programed” us if it appears that we have choices to make?

    God knows you will break His law. That is why He has sent Christ into the world to give people a way out of this dilemma.

    The problem is primarily the heart. Man makes choices based on the desires of his heart and his heart is continually oriented towards evil. Only God can change the heart. He does that through belief in the gospel.

    If you know your child goes to school today does that mean he has no freewill?

  • If God knows our actions ahead of time then we have no choice. If God knows that I will take out the garbage at 9 am tomorrow, how can I not? I may hem and haw but ultimately I will have to make the decision to throw out the garbage. It seems like a free choice but it is not because God knows it will happen. Think about what it would mean if I didn’t. It means God is wrong and doesn’t know what I am to do.

  • And again, my point is, even though He knows the decisions you are going to make does not take away from free will. Like any parent, they know what choices their children will make, most times before they do. That does not make them puppetsl

  • Bad analogy since we cannot see into the future. If we could and truly be able to predict how our child would act every time then our child has no option but to act that way. What you are suggesting is being able to guess how our children will act because of consistency, knowing there character. I’m suggesting something different and being able to know their future. If you believe God is all powerful and all knowing then he knows exactly how we will act.

  • I don’t see the connection by knowing the future that you have no free choice. Just because God knows your future doesn’t mean you are not responsible for your choices.

    If you determine that your child will do his homework tonight at 7 does that mean your child has no free choices to make? Of course not.

  • I did not say the parents predicted. I said the parents knew. The parents know how the child will react to a new bicycle or the death of someone – that isn’t making that child a puppet.
    God knows how you are going to react and what choices you are going to make.

  • You wrote:

    “You need to show the implication rather than just make the claim.”

    and now you’re telling me I did not make a claim, which seems to make “just make the claim” incoherent.

    In one clear sentence, what “implication” did I make that I need to “show”?

  • The Vatican State had good reason to deal with Germany diplomatically – – without troops its only opening to mitigate Nazi ideology was talk, both with and about the German government.

    The Catholic Church officially condemned the Nazi theory of racism in Germany in 1937 with the encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge”, signed by Pope Pius XI, and Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber led the Catholic opposition, preaching against racism aimed at the Jews. As a result many Catholic clergy and religious died in concentration camps.

    The German Christians (Deutsche Christen) was a Nazi-led movement within the German Evangelical Church favoring the antisemitic and Führerprinzip ideological principles of Nazism.

    Churches in Germany were local and regional, usually associated with the government, and the Protestant denominations were loosely associated in a German Evangelical Church Confederation (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund).

    The Deutsche Christen were organized as a Kirchenpartei (church party) in 1931 to help win elections of presbyteries and synods in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union, the largest of the independent regional churches. They were led by Ludwig Müller, a longtime faithful Nazi. In the Prussian church elections of November 1932, Deutsche Christen won one-third of the vote. The Prussian church had been formed in the 19th century by Bismarck in a forced union of evangelical and Lutheran Protestants and was the largest regional church.

    However, when the federation council met in May 1933 to approve the new constitution, it elected Friedrich von Bodelschwingh as Reichsbischof of the new Protestant Reich Church by a wide margin, largely on the advice and support of the church leadership, defeating Hitler’s candidate Ludwig Müller.

    Hitler was infuriated with the rejection of his candidate. By June 1933 the Deutsche Christen had gained leadership of some local and regional churches within the DEK and were supported by Nazi propaganda in their efforts to reverse the humiliating loss to Bodelschwingh. After a series of Nazi-directed political maneuvers, Bodelschwingh resigned and Müller was appointed as the new Reichsbischof in July 1933.

    Friedrich von Bodelschwingh spent the rest of the war resisting the Nazis, who were afraid to arrest him because of his overwhelming popularity.

    Their opponents founded the Confessing Church in 1934, which condemned the Deutsche Christen as heretics and claimed to be the true German Protestant Church. Most Germans rejected the Deutsche Christen platform, and its usefulness ended fairly quickly. The Nazis found the Deutsche Christen group useful during the initial consolidation of power, but it was eventually made a minor government agency.

    In short, it was a Nazi propaganda ploy, not a “German Christian Church”.

  • I don’t think that necessarily true. I know plenty of religious people who don’t think the Bible is all they need to know. Of course, there are some who do. Also, even the Bible has been reinterpreted over the cnturies.

  • Bob,
    Seriously, you don’t understand what I am writing to you. And, this is not an abnormal thing, you probably do not understand how I am using the word implication. I am using the mathematical or logical definition of the term.

    What is the mathematical or logical definition of the term ‘implication’? It is simply this, if the premise is true, then the consequence is true. So for your initial statement, ‘Were that true you would not be constantly repeating it. .’ What were you referring to when you said were that true? It was Susan’s statement, ‘Yes and I think the pre-modernists are losing ground, and they realize it. .’

    Thus the implication you stated is one of the following depending on what you meant by the word ‘that’:

    If the pre-modernists are losing ground, and they realize it, then you would not be constantly repeating it.

    or

    If I[Susan] think the pre-modernists are losing ground, and they realize it, then you would not be constantly repeating it.

    BTW, the premise follows the if and the consequence follows the then.

    So what I am saying is that you must show why your claim that if pre-modernists are losing ground that you would not be constantly repeating is true. Personally, I don’t see the logical connection between the premise and the consequence. I don’t see why her repeating the claim makes the statement that pre-modernists are losing ground and they know it false.

  • Seriously, I don’t understand how in a discussion on faith you would presume someone would know that you were using the mathematical or logical definition of the term.

    If the pre-modernists are losing ground, and they realize it, then she would not be constantly repeating it.

    So what I am saying is that since she hasn’t supported her claim yet, I am under no obligation to support my counterclaim.

    While you personally don’t see the logical connection between the premise and the consequence, that inability does not obligate me to mitigate for you.

    Have a great day.

  • You’re quite correct. I try to pick my words carefully. That’s why I used the word “religionist” referring to someone who wants his religion imposed on others, like JP, rather than “religious person”, who can have his or her faith, and see it as a guide or metaphor for his own life, it not imposed upon other people .

  • Seriously, I don’t understand how in a discussion on faith you would presume someone would know that you were using the mathematical or logical definition of the term.

    If the pre-modernists are losing ground, and they realize it, then she would probably not feel the need to be constantly repeating it.

    Since she hasn’t supported her claim yet, I am under no obligation to support my counterclaim.

    While you personally don’t see the logical connection between the premise and the consequence, that inability does not obligate me to mitigate it for you.

    Have a great day.

  • I of III

    The Vatican State had good reason to deal with Germany diplomatically – without troops its only opening to mitigate Nazi ideology was talk, both with and about the German government.

    The Catholic Church officially condemned the Nazi theory of racism in Germany in 1937 with the encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge”, signed by Pope Pius XI, and Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber led the Catholic opposition, preaching against racism aimed at the Jews. As a result many Catholic clergy and religious died in concentration camps.

    The German Christians (Deutsche Christen) was a Nazi-led movement within the German Evangelical Church favoring the antisemitic and Führerprinzip ideological principles of Nazism.

    Churches in Germany were local and regional, usually associated with the government, and the Protestant denominations were loosely associated in a German Evangelical Church Confederation (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund).

  • II of III

    The Deutsche Christen were organized as a Kirchenpartei (church party) in 1931 to help win elections of presbyteries and synods in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union, the largest of the independent regional churches. They were led by Ludwig Müller, a longtime faithful Nazi. In the Prussian church elections of November 1932, Deutsche Christen won one-third of the vote. The Prussian church had been formed in the 19th century by Bismarck in a forced union of evangelical and Lutheran Protestants and was the largest regional church.

    However, when the federation council met in May 1933 to approve the new constitution, it elected Friedrich von Bodelschwingh as Reichsbischof of the new Protestant Reich Church by a wide margin, largely on the advice and support of the church leadership, defeating Hitler’s candidate Ludwig Müller.

    Hitler was infuriated with the rejection of his candidate. By June 1933 the Deutsche Christen had gained leadership of some local and regional churches within the DEK and were supported by Nazi propaganda in their efforts to reverse the humiliating loss to Bodelschwingh. After a series of Nazi-directed political maneuvers, Bodelschwingh resigned and Müller was appointed as the new Reichsbischof in July 1933.

  • III of III

    Friedrich von Bodelschwingh spent the rest of the war resisting the Nazis, who were afraid to arrest him because of his overwhelming popularity.

    Their opponents founded the Confessing Church in 1934, which condemned the Deutsche Christen as heretics and claimed to be the true German Protestant Church. Most Germans rejected the Deutsche Christen platform, and its usefulness ended fairly quickly. The Nazis found the Deutsche Christen group useful during the initial consolidation of power, but it was eventually made a minor government agency.

    In short, it was a Nazi propaganda ploy, not a “German Christian Church”.

  • Bob,
    I find your statement understandable except that you applied the mathematical definition of implication in your statement. And your challenge to her wasn’t based on her lack of proof, it was based on the claim you made. And the person who makes the claim, including you and her, have the burden of proof. Otherwise, there is no logical reason to consider or believe the claim.

    Now I think she was speaking from what she has observed, and it is what I have observed as well in past and current conversations.

  • To be ignored. You posted this before.

    The Vatican dealt with the Nazis as early as 1932, when there was no threat to them by Nazi troops.

    The Catholic Church did not even mitigate its inherent antisemitic dogma until 20 years after the Holocaust. Under Paul VI. Montini (Paul’s prepapal name) one of the miniscule numbers of Vatican officials who actually resisted the Nazis openly.

    Try a different canned narrative. This one is ahistorical apologia.

    The Catholic Church did not object nor resist Nazi collaborators acting in their name. The church was an active participant in the murder and forced conversion of ethnic Serbs in Croatia. Something which would reap terrible dividends in the 1990s.

    Appeals to Christian belief were a major recruiting tactic for citizens in occupied Europe to volunteer to fight for Germany on the Eastern front.

  • Unless you can “know” the future, it is a prediction. Right now, humans do not have the ability to see into the future.

    Sandi, your second statement makes my point. God knows how we are going to react, which means we can’t act contrary to his knowledge. If this idea of God is right, we have no free will.

  • Sure it does. God knowing the future means we can’t act contrary to his knowledge. He knows ahead of time who is going to sin, who isn’t, etc. We are predestined to either heaven or hell before we even start life. No justice there since we can’t change.

  • I don’t see that. You know in your own life what some people will do in the future yet they don’t lose their ability to choose.

    Does God owe anyone salvation?

  • For some reason it keeps getting deleted.

    It responded to your hilarious citation of Robert Carr’s howler about the “German Christian Church”.

    The Catholic Church does not and did not have a antisemitic dogma, so there was nothing to mitigate.

    Your anti-Catholicism, along with general anti-religiousism, is a matter of record.

  • Now I think you are speaking from the perspective of what I have observed as well in past and current conversations.

    Since I wrote my post, I am certain I did not apply the mathematical definition of implication in my statement.

  • So if Nazis were so afraid to arrest important Church and mainstream Christian officials, then you can’t say their silence and collaboration was coerced. Oh right, it’s just an excuse and using isolated anecdotes to pretend larger actions occurred.

    Some of their collaboration went above and beyond mere acquiesce and into willing and enthusiastic support.

  • You already lost this argument.

    Next time get reliable sources and think your argument all the way through.

  • We don’t know what some people will do. We can predict some actions with a degree of certainty however.

    Does God owe anyone salvation? I’m not the right one to ask since the idea of atonement and salvation make no sense. But to answer your question, why not. Why would a good and loving God damn anyone for eternity. No human father would punish their child forever.

  • Chances are your ideology will be a failed one if you use self aggrandisation words like: modern, progressive, humanist, enlightened, freethinker, liberal…

  • The point is that we do know what some people will do and they still have choices.
    Salvation has to do primarily with heaven and hell.
    God does not desire to damn anyone. Yet, His salvation depends on what people do with His gift.
    I don’t have all the answers for this but just telling you what Scripture says.

    Scripture is clear that there is a heaven and hell. Those who will be damned to hell will be because of their sins. The only way to avoid this is to repent of your sins and believe in from your heart in Christ and that He died for those sins and God raised Him from the dead.

    Do you think that there are some crimes so evil that a person should never get out of prison even after a thousand years?

  • That is why a literal interpretation of Scripture is limited.

    A thousand year prison sentence is meaningless. Keeping a person off the streets for the rest of their life is sufficient. The point of keeping them off the streets is to keep others straight as much as punishment. The problem is eternal punishment. At least the Catholics were good enough to make up purgatory so sinners can work off their debt and eventually be redeemed. Even if it takes a thousand years.

  • Must Enlightenment values necessarily be so hostile to religion? Well, Pinker doesn’t appear to be helping. The article’s title is, “Why must ‘faith’ and ‘Enlightenment’ be seen as contradictions of each other?” Then his book, excerpted in the article, uses phrases like, “Do people need to believe in magic, a father in the sky, a strong chief to protect the tribe, myths of heroic ancestors?” How, exactly, does that help bridge the divide? Answer: it doesn’t. It helps widen it. (And I say this as someone totally opposed to “magical” thinking in religion, including mythologies and tribalism, as well as meaningless creedalism.)

  • The reason the punishment is eternal is that God decrees it so and it’s a sin against an eternal perfect being.

  • Oh, you mean the links to blatant propaganda at Americans United that linked to news articles no longer on the internet?

    I took the time to take that stuff apart. That’s sufficient.

  • Nobody suggested it was.

    The Disqus spam filter is automated. Breaking it into three parts got it all under the limits.

  • Zzzzzzz. Lazy bum can’t even be bothered to give his own views or support. Don’t like my links, tough crap. Your opinion of such things is worthless.

  • A good God wouldn’t decree such a thing only a lesser, minor God such as the one you believe in would demand eternal punishment. The reason Christianity has failed (at least one of the reasons) is that it is such an immoral religion.

  • I can do many things JP. You have been arguing about moral issues this whole time so I can respond using moral language. You may not like what I say but I have the right to say it! I’ll stop when you stop!

  • Zzzzzzz. Lazy bum can’t even be bothered to see if the links he provides from propaganda website work, and if they don’t says “tough crap, where are YOUR links?”.

  • You aren’t arguing from any objective moral standard. All you can express is just your preferences. That is all you have.

  • So are we punished for our actions or for our beliefs? I think atheists can be good and caring human beings, but that isn’t enough to save them. What about people who believe in God, but don’t believe in Jesus? You obviiusly think that belief in Jesus is necessary. I don’t.

  • Susan Humphreys is right. There was no resurrection. What proof do we have that Jesus was even executed? The story of Jesus’s resurrection comes years after Jesus’s death. Palestine was a Roman backwater. No one cared what happened to one prisoner among many who were executed. The ancient world didn’t know or care about Jesus’s death.

  • The resurrection of Christ is one of the best attested historical facts of the ancient world because it has over 500 eyewitnesses and is documented during the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses. There is no event in the ancient that is better attested than the life of Christ.

  • You are punished for your sins that are manifested in your thoughts, actions and words.
    Belief in a god is not enough to save. You must believe in Christ and His death and resurrection for your sins to be saved from damnation.

  • Can’t even come up with an original remark so you copy my syntax. Because I dominate your thoughts. You are demonstrating I am your superior through cheap flattering imitation. 🙂

  • So all Jews are going to Hell? The Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust are now in Hell after enduring Hell on earth?

  • That is only in the “New Testament.” The “New Testament” is not literally true. It was written after Jesus’s death. Where is this documentation? The “New Testament” is not a valid historical document. We don’t know for sure that any of it happened. I don’t beleive that what you call the “Old Testament” is literally true either.

  • All bios of the ancient world were written after the person died. The earliest bio of Alexander the Great was written almost 400 years after he died. Not an eyewitness account which means its “not a valid historical document. We don’t know for sure that any of it happened. “

  • There sure is. Its found in the very nature of God Himself and example of this are the 10 Commandments in which God holds all peoplekind accountable for breaking them.

  • There isn’t anything objective about God. In all of human history there has never been a concensus of whether God is one or many, whether a he, she, it or none of the above, what he/she/it has done, can do, can not do, NOR about what he/she/it demands from us. Proving that the God people believe in, and this includes you is a subjective idea, a figment of human imaginations.

    You have been breaking one of those 10 Commandments frequently on this site, lying about Atheists, about morality, etc. It does make one wonder how many other of those commandments you have broken. Also did you ever bother to notice that there isn’t anything in those commandments about homosexual behavior?

    Even the10 Commandments are subjective. Have you ever noticed that they aren’t worded the same in the different parts of the Bible where they appear AND that there are different versions of the commandments among Catholics and Protestants?

    You need to educate yourself before you go about making such foolish comments.

  • Your suppression of the truth about God is astounding. There is so much overwhelming evidence that only one who refuses to believe at any cost will so even if they look like fools.

    Never lied about any atheists. I happen to know atheism better than any atheists I have met here.

    BTW- homosexuality is condemned in every place in Scripture where its mentioned. Its never affirmed in anyway. And rightly so.

  • Well at least your honest. Christ comes from the Greek Christos which is s translation of the Hebrew word Mashiach which means anointed one. The Messiah is the anointed one. The Messlah’s purpose is to bring about peace. The Messiah was never a personal savior.

  • Enlightment + faith assures us that the sun will rise every morning.

    Faith alone, unchecked by enlightenment, can too easlly assure us that a black cat crossing our path means our day will be ruined, or equally superstitious and offensive, that everyone who does not accept Jesus Christ is going to hell..

    That’s why faith alone is not enough.

    Legitimate scientists [enlightenment] exploring the mysterious [the realm of faith] discovered in the late 1800s and early 1900s that the two could co-exist and support each other, but both sides are equally tribal about their beliefs, refused to believe what was discovered, and have worked hard since then to disparage and continue to separate enlightenment from faith.

    I am referring to the work of the Society for Psychical Research, and such eminent scientists as Sir William Crookes. Don’t bother with Wikipedia about this; it’s been infested by pseudo-skeptic materialists, but if you read the original work, you will see that enlightenment plus faith is exactly what has been stolen from us and from our current lives by the battel between the two sides.

    I am absolutely sure that there will be responses to this post from people who virtually nothing about the discussions I am referencing because desperate tribalism still rules both ends of the discussion.

  • As one Catholic scientist put it: As a Christian, I believe God created the universe; as a scientist, I want to know how God did it.

  • Scripture does not address homosexuality. In fact, it’s debatable that Scripture even addresses heterosexuality!

  • I don’t suppress Truth JP I simply tell it like it is. You are perfectly free to believe whatever nonsense you want to believe in. You had best go back and reread what you have written about Atheists, you don’t know them any better than you know Christianity. Homosexuality is NOT condemned in the Bible. That is simply another one of your many lies. AND since you believe the 10 Commandments should guide our moral choices you should stop lying.

  • Of course its condemned. Mark 7:20-23, Romans 1:26-27 and I Corinthians 6:10-11.

    You suppress the truth of God by not acknowledging His existence and goodness despite all the evidence around you. You are lying to yourself and me by denying these facts.

  • I have and it has a pretty ugly attitude towards Jews. Parts of it make me sick to my stomach. As a Jew, it not part of the Jewish Bible. I don’t buy it and you will never change my mind.

  • “An eye for an eye” may be the most misunderstood verse in the Hebrew Bibe. It means the punishment should not exceed the crime. It was never carried out. The rabbis interpreted it to mean monetary compensation for an eye. The rabbis also put so many restrictions on executiion that it was virtually impossible to every execute anyone. For example, there had to be two witnesses who were there and saw the murder to condem any one to death for murder.

  • So you refuse to be convinced despite the facts. It was the Jews who were persecuting Christ. It was the Jews who wrote most of the NT.

  • Baloney. If God instructs us to initiate unlimited forgiveness, God will likewise do because God is not a hypocrite (“Do as I say, not as I do”). Jesus is our Savior (the name ‘Jesus’ means “God saves”, not “God saves if”). No human being can truly say “No” to God=Love. I’ll go so far as to assert that while you *want* to love God, *hope* to love God, and *think* you love God, in fact, you *cannot* love God if, for you, God is vengeance, punishment, retributive justice. Your comments portray a god (lower case) who is anything but genuine Love. Your belief reflects FEAR, and it is literally impossible for one controlled by FEAR to love whom one fears. It’s like trying to mix oil and water: Impossible!

    Let go, let God.

    EDIT (3 days later): Please don’t consider my earlier reply to be a personal attack. It was not meant to be. What I wrote largely reflects my own experience as a Catholic (soon to turn age 70) who grew up in the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church. I learned then that if I died “in the state of grace”, I’d at least go to Purgatory and eventually to Heaven. If I were to die “in the state of mortal [deadly] sin”, I’d be risking my soul being sent to Hell for all eternity (for all intents and purposes, in other words, I’d be going to Hell). It’s taken time and reading to slowly cultivate a healthier picture of God, and yet……………..toxic beliefs are hard to jettison. Perhaps it’s just the idea of mortal death itself that I find unsettling. Anyway, to clarify.

  • That pretty much wraps up Judaism and Christianity.

    Let’s make it a trifecta and take the Koran apart next.

  • Sorry, Damien, I just saw this response. I would like to continue the discussion.
    ” . . . if faith is defined as a belief.” For me, if I understand what you are proposing, “a belief” is a transient settlement on knowledge of something as defined by the extent of one’s knowledge of that something. To refuse to move beyond that formalized belief is to have confidence (trust) that one’s concept of something is definitive and has reached a point of absolute understanding. However, trust in something dynamic, say evolution, continues to probe for updated knowledge, and upon discovery of such will change a settled belief.

    I hope that goes to your point. For me, faith entails belief, trust, and sustained openness to a possibility of change of perception and definition brought about the dynamic of interaction with the “believed entity.” So in response to your original question “do you need faith for that journey?” Yes, because faith is at least part of the fabric of that journey.

  • No, it doesn’t wrap up Judaism. The “New Testament” is not part of the Jewish Bible. Jews don’t believe tht Jesus was the Messiah or the son of God. If any of us did, we would have converted and become Christian. Jews are not literalists or fundamentalist when it comes to the what you call the “Old Testament.” My rabbi would agree with me.

  • What wrapped up Judaism was your:

    “I don’t beleive that what you call the ‘Old Testament’ is literally true either.”

    I don’t know your rabbi. Reformed, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Humanistic, Karaite, Renewal, or something else?

    That will provide some basis for deciphering your assessment of the Bible.

  • I don’t follow my rabbi blindly. I was using him as an example. I do know that the world was not created in 7 days, but I take that story in Genesis seriously.. I think it can teach me a lot. There is a very old tradition of interpreting the Hebrew Bible. The old rabbis beleived there were at least 4 levels of way of interpreting the Bible. The first one was p’shat, which means on it’s face, or the literal meaning of the passage. They believed every word of the Bible was true, but one had to dig verv very deep to find the true meaning. In the process they came up with some very radical interpretations.

    My synagouge is independent and we use the new Conservative prayerbook. My rabbi went to Reconstuctionist Rabbinical College and has also been involved the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. My rabbi started out as a lawyer, but was very unhappy and went back to the RRC to become a rabbi.

  • I would be hesitant in a debate with a “literally true” Christian to make statements about Jesus of any kind unless you have a good background in the Christian scriptures and various interpretations of them.

    I would also avoid statements like “I don’t beleive that what you call the ‘Old Testament’ is literally true either.” without explaining what you believe it communicates and its authority.

    My point was that if you kick the pins out under both your opponent and your own sources of belief, you might as well kick the pins out from under the remaining large Abrahamic religion leaving nothing but a desolate plain.

    For those trying to follow this, Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern Jewish movement that views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization based on the conceptions developed by Mordecai Kaplan. The movement originated within Conservative Judaism, seceded in 1955, and established a rabbinical college just outside Philadelphia in 1967.

    Reconstructionist Judaism holds that contemporary Western secular morality has precedence over Jewish law and theology. It does not ask that its adherents hold to any particular beliefs, nor does it ask that halakha be accepted as normative.

  • I’m not a Reconstructionist. They have some Ideas I agree with and some I don’t. I don’t need you to explain what a Reconstructionsit is. I live in Philadelphia. There are a lot of Reconstructionists and Reconstructionist rabbis in my area. One of the ancient rabbis once said, “These and those are the words of God. They felt that different intjerpretations of the passages in the Hebrew Bible were equally valid, even if they disagreed with each other.

    I just don’t buy your point. I don’t think I am kicking the pins out of anything. I am not leaving a desolate plain. It’s jsut the opposite. Torah means teaching or instruction. It doesn not mean law as some incorrectly think. That’s what I think the Hebrew Bible is. It’s purpose is to teach us how to live and how not to live. That is why our patriarchs and martiarchs are such flawed characters. I believe there are many varied and wondrous ways of interpreting the Hebrew Bible. My ancestors have left many ways of looking at each passage. There is midrash, biblical commentaries and Talmud. They are all ways of learning the Hebrew Bible. I could go on, but I have to go to work.

  • Your rabbi was trained as a Reconstructionist, as you pointed out. There are a limited number of slots in which to place your position, and formal or not, and 100% agreement or not, Reconstructionist looks like the best fit. It’s certainly not Reform, and it’s left of Conservative. I understand your congregation is not associated with the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation.

    I also understand you don’t “buy” my point.

    On the other hand you’ve pretty much cut the ground out from under the Christian religion and you’ve left the Hebrew Bible as a culturally imbued consideration of how to live which doesn’t to offer much for somebody who was not born and raised Jewish.

    That’s pretty much wraps two of the three out as divinely inspired.

    So, what are your feelings on the Koran?

  • That’s just what I meant about the “New Testament” have an ugly attitude about Jews. It’s not even accurate in it’s depiction of Jews of the time periodl. Jews did not write the “New Testament.”

  • As I’ve said, if I believed the “New Testament” was true, I would be a Christian. If it works for you, good for you, but leave me out of it. I find many passages in the “New Testament” offensive to Jews and inacurate. Do I think God dictated the Koran to Muhammed? No I don’t. I don’t think Moses brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai either. There is a vast difference between “divinely inspired” and literally from the mouth or hand of God. I don’t think that knocks the pins out of Judaism or any other religion. Actually, I’m Resonstructionist with some Conservative and Renewal Judaism plus meditation.

    Another Talmudic tale paraphrased. The rabbis have a disagreement. One rabbi says God agrees with him and calls God to respond if God agrees. God does. The other rabbis respond. You gave it to us and it’s ours to decide now. It is not in the heavens now.

  • He did not write that the New Testament works for him.

    Basically he appears to be trying to pin you down on whether you believe:

    – everyone is a winner, all must have prizes

    – everyone is a loser, but to his each his own

    – you’re a winner, but the Christians and Muslims are full of beans

  • You misapprehend me.

    You’ve rejected the Christians’ scriptures, now the Muslims, and debunked what is commonly called the Old Testament.

    Doesn’t that more or less leave us with nothing?

    As to the Talmud, isn’t G-d the Author of the Law, of Nature, and therefore of morality?

    Or is it up to the rabbis? Who will be the Judge, G-d or the rabbis?

  • Huh??? “the “New Testament” have an ugly attitude about Jews.” It was the Jewish leadership that was evil.
    What facts do you have that proves these leaders that Jesus engaged with were not evil? The trial of Christ was illegal.
    Matthew, Mark ,John, Paul, James and Peter were Jews.

  • I don’t misapprehend you. I disagree with you. Because I don’t believe the Hebrew Bible is literally true does not mean that I have debunked it. I just understand and interpret it in a different way. No, it doesn’t leave me with nothing. The rabbis believed God gave the law to humans to interpret.

  • I don’t think in terms of winners and losers. It’s the Christians who think I’m going to Hell because I don’t accept Jesus as my savior who think in terms of winners and losers. Yes, I know that not all Christians think that way. I think that whatever works for you to help you lead a good life is a positive thing, just don’t push it one me.

    I know the “New Testament” isn’t true, because it’s depictions of Jews and in particular of Pharisees is completely wrong and inaccurate.

  • As to going to Hell because you do not accept Jesus as savior, it rather depends on which Christians you’re dealing with.

    Catholics and Anglicans, for example, don’t hold that position.

    If you say the New Testament isn’t true because of its depictions of Jews, the Old Testament can’t be true because of its depictions of Canaanites, Egyptians, and others.

  • Here is the position you’ve taken:

    – the Hebrew Bible is not literally true

    – I understand and interpret it

    You couldn’t give us a clue as to how you figure it which parts are from G-d, would you?

  • Now we’re cooking.

    I would point out that unlike the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the Quaran/Koran is believed by Muslims to be literally the word of Allah, who dictated it in Arabic to Mohammad.

  • Jews read the story of Adam of Eve differently and we don’t believe in original sin. That’s another reason why we don’t need Jesus as our savior.

  • It is possible to believe in God and evolution. The Catholic Church does. They are not murtually exclusive. Nor is evolution just abut the suvival of the fittest. Sometimes it’s the survival of those most able to care for each ohter and cooperate.

  • Why do you feel the need to tell me things I already know? Yes, I know Muslims believe the Koran/Qu’an to be literally the world of God. I don’t. Judaism allows room for argument and questioning God. The rabbis talked about an “argument for the sake of God.”

  • FORMER Jews with the zeal of the newly converted and a knowledge of the Roman hatred and contempt fo Jews.

  • The Pharisees represented ordinary Jews and were the leaders of ordinary Jews.. The Sadducees. the priestly class, were seen as colloborators. The New Testament wrongly depicts the Pharisees as pettyfogging hypocrites, but that is far from the truth. Matthew, Mark, John, Paul, James were not Jews. Peter was a FORMER Jew who had a conversion after falling off his horse and getting hit on the head.

  • If by evolution you mean that this mindless-purposeless process created life then its not possible to believe in God and evolution at the same time.

  • If you believe Jesus is the son of God and your personal savior you are not Jewish.. That. Is not what. the Jewish Messiah was supposed to do.

  • RE: “Why must ‘faith’ and ‘Enlightenment’ be seen as contradictions of each other?“!?

    My short answer is Not necessarily; but only the 20th-century neo-Darwinists would perceive it that way, as I recently analyzed therein: “Another masterpiece of neo-Darwinist scientism!?” —
    https://harvardmagazine.com/2018/03/steven-pinker-enlightenment-now#comment-3770541588 ; and RE: Darwinism vs neo-Darwinism: Who killed the laborious study of Natural History in Biology and Ecology!?https://www.americanscientist.org/article/why-ecology-needs-natural-history#comment-3776552676 .

    Best, Mong 2/25/18usct10:29; practical public science-philosophy critic (since 2006).

  • https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/how-jewish-christians-became-christians/

    Starting with “From the Jewish point of view ….” to “Hereafter, it is possible …. some form by now.”

    The current Christians writings date to a period from the death of Yeshua to roughly the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 C.E.).

    The contempt was mutual. The Christians had begun accepting gentiles as full members, tannaitic Judaism was beginning to form after the destruction of the Temple, and the rabbis clearly denounced the notzerim as a completely separate and alien religious group.

    In a non-expurgated copy of the Talmud (in the Middles Ages in particular these passages were removed either by Christians or in self-censorhip), there are multiple references to Yeshu as a sorcerer stoned and hanged on the Eve of Passover, as paying too much attention to an inn-keeper’s wife, as a spirit who sought to harm Israel, and so on.

    Some scholars claim that the name “Yeshu” is not a short form of the name Yeshua, but rather an acrostic for the Hebrew phrase “may his name and memory be blotted out” created by taking the first letter of the Hebrew words.

    In any case, relations certainly began badly.

  • Or “argument for the sake of heaven” as opposed to “argument for the sake of victory”, which is argument for power.

    https://torah.org/learning/pirkei-avos-chapter5-20/

    I inquired as to the Muslims and was greeted with silence. No one knows what you already know unless you write it.

    Because this is a discussion, sometimes it is worth posting the information so that others know it.

  • How does believing in Christ make one a non-Jew? How does that follow given that the early church was primarily Jewish?

  • Jewish Zionists are steeped in the Jewish supremacism found in the Jewish Talmud, taught to them by their rabbis. e.g. the views of former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, Ovadiah Yosef, were republished by the official Jewish Telegraphic Agency, see below: http://www.jta.org/2010/10/18/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/sephardi-leader-yosef-non-jews-exist-to-serve-jews
    ♦ “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel.”
    ♦ “Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat,” he said to laughter during a weekly sermon.
    ♦ “With gentiles, it will l be like any person: They need to die, but God will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. This is his servant. That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1270038.stm
    “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable. The Lord shall return the Arabs’ deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them, devastate them and vanish them from this world.” — (Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, Ovadiah Yosef.) ♦ “waste their seed” is a reference to Palestinian children.
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-closes-down-for-rabbi-ovadia-yosefs-funeral/
    800,000 Israelies, or 16 percent of the Jewish population of that country—turned up to pay their respects at the funeral Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, Ovadiah Yosef, making it the largest funeral in Israeli history. The man they chose to honour promoted wholesale genocide of the Palestinians.

  • That’s all well and good for demonstrating my point about religious fanatics. Albeit one from a faith not generally known for committing mayhem en masse in service of their faith.

    We get it, you are a neo-Nazi who is silly enough to believe people are going to take them seriously. You have posted that same thing on several threads. You got annoyed that I referenced them as examples of murderous sociopaths who used religion to justify evil acts.

  • THE NAZI ROMANCE WITH ISLAM HAS SOME LESSONS FOR THE UNITED STATES. Two new important histories look at Hitler’s fascination with Islam and Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/187128/nazi-romance-with-islam

    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk led the “young Turk” movement which was responsible for the genocide of millions of Greek and Armenian Christians in Pontus and Asia Minor. The Young Turks were a political movement based in Thessaloniki, organised by Crypto-Jews known as Dönmeh.
    http://xa-australia.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/why-is-australia-raising-tribute.html
    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5278-donmeh

    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, like most other leading Dönmeh Young Turks, has been described by Israeli authors as a Crypto-Jew. (Read the New York Sun article: “Ataturk’s Turkey Overturned”) https://www.nysun.com/opinion/ataturks-turkey-overturned/58997/

  • The [Roman Catholic] church was an active participant in the murder and forced conversion of ethnic [Orthodox Christian] Serbs in Croatia. Something which would reap terrible dividends in the 1990s.

    Croatian Ustaše war crimes are a sad example of Roman Catholic Christians committing genocide against Orthodox Christians. P.S. Bosnian Muslims [e.g. from the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS “Handschar”] participated, together with their German Nazi and Catholic Croatian Ustashe allies, in the extermination of Orthodox Christians and Jews for that matter.

    The number of Serbs murdered by the Ustaše is the subject of much debate and estimates vary widely. Yad Vashem estimates over 500,000 Orthodox Christian Serbs were murdered in horribly sadistic ways (mostly in the summer of 1941), 250,000 expelled and 200,000 forcibly converted to Catholicism. http://www.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%205930.pdf

    The Catholic fascists led a short-lived state that was essentially a puppet of the Third Reich, yet they went about the business of murdering Jews, Serbs, and Roma (Gypsies) so cruelly that they prompted objections from even the German SS. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the total number of those murdered by the regime was 377,000 to 397,000. Most were Serbs, though the figure also includes the majority of the 40,000 Jews on Croatian territory. http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/05/06/croatias-far-right-weaponizes-the-past-ustase-hasanbegovic/

  • WW2: Jews in the Croatian Ustasha leadership.
    https://youtu.be/2hkLujWLVTY
    On 12 August 1922, the leader of the Ustasha movement Ante Pavelic married Maria Lovrenčević. Maria was part Jewish through her mother’s family. Her father, Martin Lovrenčević, was a member of the Party of Rights and a well-known journalist. Ante Pavelic rose through the ranks of the Party of Right after the incorporation of Croatia into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to be renamed Yugoslavia. He led the far right-wing of what was already a right-wing party – the “Frankist” faction, so named after Josip (Joseph) Frank. Josip (Joseph) Frank was born into a Croatian Jewish family, and he attended the gymnasium in Osijek. After having finished his law studies at the Vienna University in 1872, he moved to Zagreb and worked as an attorney at law. From the beginning, Pavelic had quite naturally adopted Frank’s ideology for his own movement.

    Ante Pavelic’s wife, Mara Lovrencic, came from a family of assimilated Viennese Jews, and his chief aide in exile, Dido Kvaternik, was related to Josip Frank. Slavko Kvaternik – Dido Kvaternik’s father and the elder statesman of the Ustase movement – declared the Independent State of Croatia in the name of the poglavnik (a Croatian equivalent of duce or fuehrer) Ante Pavelic.

    Slavko Kvaternik married Olga Frank, the daughter of Josip (Joshua) Frank. Slavko Kvaternik’s son, Col. Dido (Eugen) Kvaternik, Ustasa commissioner for Public Order and Security was, according to both German and Judaic law, a Jew. Therefore, not only was the wife of Ante Pavelic, the Chief-of-State, Jewish, but the wife of the vice-president and Chief of the Armed Forces, police forces, and gendarmes was also a Jew.

    Other prominent Jews in the Ustasha leadership included the Ustasha Representative to Hungary Alexander Klein, Vlado (Vladimir) Singer of the Ustasha Police, and Pavelic’s personal physician. In addition to the families of Dr. Pavelic and Marshal Kvaternik, the wife of Minister Milovan Zanic was also a Jew.

    A Jewish lawyer, Hinko Hinkovic, was amongst the ideological and political leaders of Croatian nationalism and Vlado Singer, a Jewish intellectual, worked for Pavelic’s election to parliament in 1927.

    Some of the other Jews in the Ustasha movement were:
    Major-General Milan Miesler commanded the Croatian Gendarmerie (Hrvatsko Oruznistvo); General Milan Praunsperger (1941- 1943 Head Judge Advocate General’s Office of the Home Defence Army 1943 – 1945 Head Military Archives); General Oskar Kirchbaum; General Josip Šulc; General Ferdinand Halke; One of the Ustasha movement most renowned writers in the second emigration, an Ustasa from the first emigration, Dr. Ivo Korsky – was also a Jew.

    Even more interesting was the fact that the S.S. Intelligence service had discovered that nearly all members of the ruling clique in Croatia, from the head of government to the leader of the Ustashe, were married to Jewish women. The fifteen hundred survivors among the Jews in this area were clearly all members of this highly assimilated, and extraordinarily rich, Jewish group.

    In the initial anti-Jewish legislation, the Germans had noted a curious paragraph that transformed into ‘honorary Aryans’ all Jews who made contributions to ‘the Croat cause.’ Hundreds of other Jewish leaders and officials were made “honorary Aryans,” a practice that the Germans looked upon as quite serious.

    W. H. Allen, in his book, The Destruction of the European Jews, noted that: (German Police Attache SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer) “Helm added that the problem of honorary Aryans was admittedly unsolved; some of them were still holding office.” Helm remarked that quite a few Croat leaders had strong family ties with Jews and that “some cabinet members had Jewish wives.”

  • You have a youtube, and “oooh he may have a drop of Jewish blood”, from a source you are too spineless to cite even though you cut and pasted, I have actual facts

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasenovac_concentration_camp

    The Jasenovac concentration camp (Serbo-Croatian: Logor Jasenovac/Логор Јасеновац, pronounced [lôːgor jasěnoʋat͡s]; Yiddish: יאסענאוואץ‎) was an extermination camp established in Slavonia by the authorities of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during World War II. The camp was established by the governing Ustaše regime and not operated by Nazi Germany.[4] It was one of the largest concentration camps in Europe[5] and the camp has been referred to as “the Auschwitz of the Balkans” and “the Yugoslav Auschwitz”.[6]

    It was established in August 1941 in marshland at the confluence of the Sava and Una rivers near the village of Jasenovac, and was dismantled in April 1945. It was “notorious for its barbaric practices and the large number of victims”.[7]

    In Jasenovac the majority of victims were ethnic Serbs, others were Jews, Roma, and some political dissidents. Jasenovac was a complex of five subcamps[8] spread over 210 km2 (81 sq mi) on both banks of the Sava and Una rivers. The largest camp was the “Brickworks” camp at Jasenovac, about 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Zagreb. The overall complex included the Stara Gradiška sub-camp, the killing grounds across the Sava river at Donja Gradina, five work farms, and the Uštica Roma camp.[1]

    During and since World War II, there has been much debate and controversy regarding the number of victims killed at the Jasenovac concentration camp complex during its more than three-and-a-half years of operation. After the war, a figure of 700,000 reflected the “conventional wisdom”, although estimates have gone as high as 1.4 million.

    The authorities of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia conducted a population survey in 1964 that reportedly showed a figure of 59,188 killed, but the findings were not published until 1989.[9]

    Croatian academic Vladimir Žerjavić published books in 1989 and 1992 in which he “meticulously analysed the available data” and concluded that some 83,000 people had been killed at Jasenovac. His findings were criticized by the director of the Museum of Victims of Genocide in Belgrade, Milan Bulajić, who defended his figure of 1.1 million, although his rebuttal was later dismissed as having “no scholarly value”. Since Bulajić’s retirement from his post in 2002, the Museum has no longer defended the figure of 700,000 to 1 million victims of the camp. In 2005, Dragan Cvetković, a researcher from the Museum, and a Croatian co-author published a book on wartime losses in the NDH which gave a figure of approximately 100,000 victims of Jasenovac.[3]

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. presently estimates that the Ustaša regime murdered between 77,000 and 99,000 people in Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945, comprising; “between 45,000 and 52,000 Serbs; between 12,000 and 20,000 Jews; between 15,000 and 20,000 Roma (Gypsies); and between 5,000 and 12,000 ethnic Croats and Muslims, political and religious opponents of the regime.”[2] The Jasenovac Memorial Site quotes a similar figure of between 80,000 and 100,000 victims

  • Thank you.

    Can you please repost this the next time someone wants to deny the RCC’s involvement with Nazi (collaborators) atrocities?

  • One only needs to look at the encouragement of genocide, and the physical organizing of and participation in genocidal actions, by all levels of Roman Catholic clergy, in Croatia, e.g. Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac of Zagreb, to understand that the RCC, (all the way up to Pope Pius XII who turned a blind eye to the satanic atrocities of the Ustaše) is indeed guilty of these crimes. Yes, I will repost this information when I come across a relevant article.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_clergy_involvement_with_the_Ustaše

    It’s worth noting that the overwhelming majority of present day Roman Catholic laity and junior clergy, (at least those who are aware of these atrocities) are horrified by them, and condemn these atrocities and their perpetrators. I can’t with confidence say the same thing about Senior RCC Clergy, including archbishops, and the post WW2 Popes. P.S. I belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church, also known as the Orthodox Church.

  • TMI. You post useless garbage spam 99.99% of the time. Don’t mess up the one post you made which wasn’t. 🙂

  • You make the statement that “The [Roman Catholic] church was an active participant in the murder and forced conversion of ethnic [Orthodox Christian] Serbs in Croatia.” and then provide evidence that nominally Catholic individuals were involved in what appear to have been war crimes.

    So, if a Southern Baptist is convicted of vehicular homicide, the Southern Baptist Convention was an active participant in vehicular homicide?

    It’s also worth noting that the Ustaše was as Islamic as Christian.

  • I’m sorry that Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s racist bigotry is starting to bore you, poor dear! Luckily, this week another one of Israel’s chief rabbis, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has provided us with a new racist remarks shedding fresh insight into Jewish supremacism.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-cheif-rabbi-black-people-monkeys-yitzhak-yosef-talmud-sephardic-a8267666.html
    One of Israel’s chief rabbis, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, called black people “monkeys” during his weekly sermon. During his weekly sermon, the rabbi used a derogatory Hebrew term for a black person, before going on to call a black person a “monkey,” according to footage published by the Ynet news site.

  • Yet you come back a month later to repeat your cut and paste. Come up with new material or at least post on a newer thread.

    Troll better.

  • How could I have posted Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef’s racist commentary a month ago, when it was only published last week by the Independent. Not very bright are you Spuddie.

  • Jewish supremacist Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef’s racist commentary was first published last week by the Independent, so how could I have posted it a month ago? Not very bright are you Spuddie.

  • Get new material. You make the same 6-7 paste as a cut and paste and then act as if anyone needs to pretend it’s either a fact or worth addressing as the act of an intelligent poster. Bots ate more creative.

  • Jewish supremacist Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef’s racist commentary was first published by the Independent in March 2018, therefore it is new. On the other hand, the comments from the now deceased Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, Ovadiah Yosef, were published in 2001, and 2010. I know, I know, so many insanely racist Jewish rabbis, its hard to keep track.

  • Borrrrrring. Same lame stuff. I bet the fellow Nazis on Reddit consider you a dim bulb. Never heard of the guy. But you are rather triggered. Oh well.

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