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Body - Ben Brown

Alright. There are a few points I would like to make in direct rebuttal to your opening statements, but first there are a few things I have say about the nature of this debate. It seems as though you base most of what you're saying on what the Bible says. Now, in order to do this, one must first show exactly why the Bible can be trusted. I mean, when I read it, I find tons of errors. Now there are three typical Christian replies to biblical contradictions. Firstly, they just deny them. I don't even feel I have to respond to this uneducated of a response. Secondly, they blame errors in translation. This seems like a cop-out to me. I mean, if God went to the trouble of inspiring a book, wouldn't he also inspire the translators? I can only assume that the errors probably did exist in the original books, but I don't have the desire or reason to learn Hebrew so I can disprove a book that I can philosophical deduce is wrong. And thirdly, they claim the Bible errors don't matter and you just need faith. Well, again, I don't feel I have to waste my time addressing this response. And this kind of leads us to our main question. Do errors exist in the Bible? Well, yes they do. Put plain and simple. Now, I could give you a bunch of examples. In fact, I actually have a webpage pointing out a few of them. It is located at . All one really has to do is look. And then there are other funny parts in it. Like entire chapters copied word for word. I don't know if God's trying to endorse plagiarism in doing this, or what. Now there are a few things in your opening that I want to specifically address. First of all, and I'm actually surprised, you said that Christianity is willing to sort-of put it's neck out. It begs to be tested. I disagree with this statement. Firstly, faith is a complete denial of testing. And faith is according to the Bible, the only way to get to heaven. Also, I distinctly remember (in the Bible) Jesus being up on top of a temple (when he was in the desert for 40 days) and Satan tempted him by trying to get him to jump off the top and have God's angles catch him. Jesus then responded by saying something to the extent that scripture says thou shall not put your God to the test. This passage seems out of place if God does want us to test him. I, along with most Christians, don't think Christianity is supposed to be tested. You also try to strengthen your position by saying that not very many scientists are atheists. Ironically, the percentage of atheists among scientists is greater than among the entire population. And scientists are smarter than most people. Now you mention that science is revealing more and more of God's existence. Now this just seems ridiculous to me. You say we are almost there with evolution. I can only hope you mean that we've just about proven evolution. I certainly don't hope you think evolution has almost been disproved. Pretty much all of modern biology is based on evolution. If you think evolution is close to being disproved, you really need to read some scientific journals or something. You also talk about the parallel between scientists and theologians not agreeing on modern issues in their respective fields. However, there is an important distinction. Science is a process. You use science to develop theories. It is often the case that two contradicting theories exist, though at the present time the process of science can not tell which one is true. Now, I really have no idea what process theologians use. In fact, I really don't even think they know a bit about what they're talking about. They can't even seem to develop an argument for why a god must exist -let along the God of Christianity. The point is that all scientists are in total agreement about the processes that need to be taken to find truth. Thus all scientists agree do agree upon science -even up to its highest levels. It's just that science is a process of eliminating what is known to be wrong. Scientists will often make a guess after that. These guesses are known as theories. And they aren't really science. Take for instance evolution, since you mentioned it. Science can tell us that the Creationist's story is utter nonsense. It can also tell us just about everything that is known as the theory of evolution is right. So it is my question, what process do theologians use? Because whatever it is, it's not getting them anywhere. I think their process is come up with a belief, then try to defend it as best as possible without considering they're wrong. I just want to reiterate one critical point. Who or what is God? The Bible seems to do a pretty good job of talking about him, but it doesn't really ever give us any extra-linguistic definition. And after all, before we can trust the Bible, we have to come to a coherent conception of God. I mean, we can't very well say a book is inspired without knowing who or what inspired it. Nor can any of what's said in the Bible be true if we can't come to a coherent conception of God. Who is God? Well, he's the creator of the heavens and the earth. That won't cut it. If we're confused about what is the referent of 'God,' we're going to be just as puzzled at 'the creator of the heavens and the earth.' How about the being of infinite love who is deserving of everything? Nope. Again, we just have no clue what this is supposed to mean. It's just a bunch of nonsensical God-talk. This type of definition really means nothing outside of language. It seems to me that we can't even come to a coherent idea of what God is supposed mean. It's just three letters in a row that people put a bunch of fancy words around so that it is supposed to make some sort of sense. And quite simply, all it does is confuse us. Now there are some concepts of God that are valid. Although these concepts are not the ones we are dealing with. Anthropomorphic conceptions of God do make sense, but it would just be superstitious to actually believe in one. You see, when we start talking about God in an anthropomorphic way (as we start off doing), we drift more and more away from this concept and closer to a concept that doesn't make any sense. For example, after we start talking about God anthropomorphically, we reflect and we realize that neither our religious or intellectual impulses will sustain the anthropomorphic conceptions of God, so we move away from these anthropomorphic conception, but in doing so, we unknowingly pass over the line that divides logical conceptions from nonsense. So, we really end up having no idea what we're saying. If you want to show the God of the Bible exists, you must first develop a rational concept of what God is. Now, don't think I've made a mistake here. Many people would reply to this by saying that God is the ultimate mystery and can not be comprehended by humans. But again, if we don't know what God means, we're going to be really confused by 'the ultimate mystery.' We don't know what that's supposed to mean. So we're stuck at the point where we don't have any idea what or who God is. And we can't just use faith, because even for faith to be possible, we have to have at least a basic knowledge of what we're putting our faith in. There is just no way this Judeo-Christian God can exist.