What's your opinion?

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X is omnipotent. X appears not omnipotent when seen from within the limits of human "perception".

Sun is huge. Sun is not very big when seen by the naked human eye from earth.

Its all as simple as that.

If Rock, and Heaviness are taken as "absolutes" then X doesnt seem to be omnipotent. But that can never deny the absolute omnipotence that might be possible outside of the limited perception of existence and causality that humans attribute to what they see.

So is velocity. Velocity is nothing but a measure of our perception of a change in the objects position over a given time. The velocity of the same object appears to different people differently, based on whether one is drunk or not. That is, it is based on the workings of his brain, and ultimately, his perception of it.
That is the reason we have measuring tools that doesn't depend on the level of alcohol in one's body.
Unfortunately, the measuring tools themselves are perceptions and are subject to the perceptional differences based on the alcohol levels in the measurers body.. :p

Sir James Jeans says "We can know nothing of the universe beyond the effects that its happenings produce on our senses, either directly or through the intervention of instruments - telescopes, spectroscopes, etc. All that science of any period can legitimately set out to do then, is to devise a scheme or model that shall account for, much of the effects as are known to the period in question".

More Red Herrings. Perception and consciousness is natural phenomena that can be studied and is being studied by science and has nothing to do with mysticism. Experimental psychologists agree on no such thing. It isn't even their fields to study metaphysics. Nice try.
I never said anything about perception being metaphysical. When I said "experimental psychologists" i meang guys like Peter Russel who said this :
"We never experience the physical world directly; all we ever know is the image of the world generated in our awareness. And that image is no more “out there” than are the images of our dreams." I remember Carl Jung saying something similar, but cant quote.
Not really. For example, a tree has no consciousness.
How do we know that? Doesnt it have a "self awareness"? Otherwise, how can it bring about a goal oriented change in itself? If its cannot bring about a change within itself, then its not self aware and conscious.
Here is a need to define consciousness. I was using the word "consciousness" as used by Peter Russel in his book "From Science to God". He started as a physicist and he studied experimental psychology. Look up on google if you dont know him.

More later on! gotta go!
DJ
 
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X is omnipotent. X appears not omnipotent when seen from within the limits of human "perception".
Not in this case. We can just define X as omnipotent as ultimate reality.

If Rock, and Heaviness are taken as "absolutes" then X doesnt seem to be omnipotent. But that can never deny the absolute omnipotence that might be possible outside of the limited perception of existence and causality that humans attribute to what they see.
Burden of proof is on the one making that assertion.

How do we know that? Doesnt it have a "self awareness"? Otherwise, how can it bring about a goal oriented change in itself? If its cannot bring about a change within itself, then its not self aware and conscious.
Yes, it can. A tree can drop their leaves, but that doesn't make it conscious. A table is not conscious just because a ball bounces of it when thrown at it.
 
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d_jnaneswar, if the group cannot agree on a definition of God or a god or many gods, or the definition of anything else for that matter, the argument is moot... wouldn't you say? Everyone has a personal opinion of what a god is which is closer to proving that a god is an opinion or a personal artifact rather than a universal power.
 
Not in this case. We can just define X as omnipotent as ultimate reality.
True. X as omnipotent as ultimate reality. My studies tell me that God is omnipotent, but within our perceptional limits, he is omnipotent to the extents of possiblity. That is, he can make even something that is extremely improbable as possible.

Burden of proof is on the one making that assertion.
Hmm.. True that burdain of proof is on the one making that assertion. I dont have any beyond the anecdotal. I am trying to find the proof that fits within the main stream scientific acceptablity. As far as now is concerned, all I have is a proof based on reason and tentative deductions. Not to mention, a lot of anecdotal.

Yes, it can. A tree can drop their leaves, but that doesn't make it conscious. A table is not conscious just because a ball bounces of it when thrown at it.
A table is not causing a goal oriented change within itself. So, its obviously not "self aware". But one cant rule out the possiblity that the energy within the atoms of the table has a sense of "awareness". It remains to be proved. I agree. But its a possiblity. Also, the whole universe could be argued to be possible only when the entire universe itself is trying to self-adjust, that is - bring about a change within itself. It can be argued to be "goal oriented" and only conscious ( As in living things, being self aware, self adjusting and goal oriented.. not conscious just as the "awake" state. I know i might be crossing vocabulary boundaries. I shall find accurate ways of explaining myself. The term "conscious" I am using is in the sense that Peter Russel used in his book ).

If that were the case, then the universe running itself would not be problematic in science. And since the universe came from itself (whether you include parellel universes or not, if you do, then replace "universe" with "all that exists" including parellel universes), I can go on and argue that that itself is what is termed as God. I can go on to prove with tentative deductions that other attributes of God, like omni presence are applicable to this idea of a God.

If all the alleged properties fit, then theres no denying that theres no God.
d_jnaneswar, if the group cannot agree on a definition of God or a god or many gods, or the definition of anything else for that matter, the argument is moot... wouldn't you say? Everyone has a personal opinion of what a god is which is closer to proving that a god is an opinion or a personal artifact rather than a universal power.
I agree. It could just be an opinion. Which is one of the root causes of the whole problem of His existence. God as an opinion or a personal artifact doesnt hold water when we see all the anecdotal evidence available. Also, the fact that many people who claimed to see God and then live a life according to such an experience, describe the experience in similar ways and lead lives in similar ways, irrespective of the distance between them, in time, space and tradition. This begs to ask the question to find out the reason for such things. Anecdotally and through their teachings, one can find the argument of God coming up again and again. Pushing it aside as a "personal artifact" doesnt appeal to the scientist in me. I see a possiblity, and am on my way to finding whether it is there for sure or not. Indeed, its an insult to humanity to call "God" a delusion, without accurate testing, especially since the ancient times, it was such claims of God that shaped our traditions and lives and values.

I dont accept to the normal popular view of God being an old man in the sky. I only accept the definitions given by people who claimed to see him, not all of us who just "read" about Him. The hallmark of such people is unparellelled humanism and love for all. A sense of Mastery over existence is also shown and is available as ample anecdotal evidence. Right from Sai Baba of Shirdi (Not to confuse with Satya Sai Baba, who is so widely proclaimed as fraud) to Ramana Maharshi, to Baha-ul-la and Hazrat Tajuddin in Islam, to Saint Bernard, Saint Catherine, Eckhart in Christianity, to Suzuki and Huang Po in Zen to Buddha Padma Sambhava and others in Buddhism, all these expressed their experience of Oneness of the universe in the same way. Their words are also peculiarly similar. Only difference is that in religions where they used the word God, people described it thus, while in concepts like zen, it is expressed as "what is" and in buddhism, as "Dharma Kaya". All the psychological aspects of it that they explained are similar. Their lives later on, were also similar. They all said that such experience was "bliss that paseth understanding" although many of them werent aware of what the Bible says. They allegedly displayed control over the natural phenomenon. Add to that, the experiences of their devotees, millions of them.

In such huge amount of anecdotal evidence that barely changed even over centuries (talk of repeatablity of an experiment), it begs to ask of inquiry to my mind. Others not interested, no problem. Others want to remain atheistic, no problem!! Would I want to rush to a conclusion, not at all. Unless I find that such anecdotal evidence is complete moot, I would leave the concept of God as a possiblity, owing to my respect to the humanity and wisdom such great people displayed (which, for the record, even a single atheist is yet to display, if one says Buddha is an atheist, I would agree and say that the atheism of Buddha is exemplary and would be glad if any other atheist can display it).

Thats why, theres a need to think it out. Atleast for me. For me, its the ultimate theory of everything, if its true.

This, as far as I thought out, is of three levels of proof for myself.

1. Logical, reasonable and tentative deductions.
2. Testing (somehow, I have no idea of how to do this as it fits to the rigorous standards of modern science. Thats why I am here. To know what really science is and to apply similar investigative methods to this) and experimental proof (or just mathematical is fine for me).
3. Experiential, that such a state is indeed achievable if the prescribed methods are practiced.

I am doing the first and the third. I am unqualified to do the second, which is where I am trying to make it up to it.

And to do this accurately, one needs to define what God is. The very concept of Christian God being different to Allah being different to Buddhist God is revolting to me. I feel that if there is a God, there is only one, or none. When I read what real people (not just scriptures) said about what God is, I was surprised to know that all of them gave similar experiences, which were not contradicted by any of their own traditional scriptures. That showed me a common ground between all these ideas and I feel that if I can find out that God whose traits are acceptable to the majority, I am happy that I found God.

I am in the process of doing it. Brushing it aside is not an option for me, especially since I am in the thick of things in terms of anecdotal evidence and personal life.

I am sorry if my posts appeared to divert from the question. There is no point blank answer to such tough questions. Premise needs to be set up as a common ground. That was what I was trying.

I dont know for sure whether a tree is said to have consciousness or not. (Conscious in the sense that peter russel uses, which includes being aware.. not just used in the sense of the human waking state mind) I wonder if trees were ever supported to "percieve" their world, within the realms of science. I have not much idea about the research that went on it. As far as I know, trees are alive. Trees grow. Trees react to climate changes and environment changes. I dont know what modern scientists think of this. I am willing to educate myself here. Do trees percieve? Are they "aware" of their surroundings?

Dogs, cats and other animals, that display goal oriented behaviour, short term memory, basic abilities of analysis, etc are "conscious". Again, I am just clearing up the sense in which I am using the term. I know I might be wrong, if so, please correct me. Dogs and others do seem to be aware of their surroundings and react accordingly, and bring about changes within themselves, such as locomotion, without an external agent acting upon them actively. I am not sure how much of this applies to trees.

DJ
 
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What we must first analyze is not the answer but the question. If we tie this with mathematics and logic, then we have an answer, or at least an answer that conforms to the methodologies of reasoning today.

The existence of a higher being cannot be formally proved or disproved (as mentioned above, we have no technology to do either). Furthermore the only way to formally disprove the existence of a god is to define everything in existence, which is inherently difficult, and then realize that a god does not exist in the realm which we have defined. We must also accept that only our defined realm of existence could possibly exist. There lies the problem. The final task is too great for modern science. We have no means to that show the "universe" finite (and even there lies the possibly of multiuniverses and unexoplored dimensions). So even if we could miraculously show that a god doesn't exist say in the known galaxies, we can't prove that one doesn't exist because existence doesn't span in a finite realm.

But a more personal insight is that we cannot have our own preferences and say that because no evidence disproves the extraordinary that the extraordinary does not exist. Thus it is equally fallacious that because no evidence proves the extraordinary, it cannot exist. Let's leave this to modern politics and law but heaven forbid this kind of bias in the realm of philosophy. In conclusion, the existence of god is simply a CONJECTURE. Treating it like it the same way mathematics does, it cannot be true unless evidence shows it AND a contradiction must lie in this conjecture for it to be proved WRONG.


So, anyone any opinions on my theory?
 
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Treating it like it the same way mathematics does, it cannot be true unless evidence shows it AND a contradiction must lie in this conjecture for it to be proved WRONG.
?
It might be true, but we might not have all the evidence. Unless we have all the evidence, we cannot make a meaningfull analysis. Until we understand the mysterious force of gravity we cannot rule out a higher power that uses this force to affect the universe. After all, it is gravity that controls most of the formation of the galaxies, stars and planets.
 
hey guys,
I just read about Higgs field. The article is bout the new particle accelerator that they built and its abilities to test higgs field and higgs bosons.

Curiously it states that understanding higgs bosons will clear up "The ancient question of what mass actually is". The article boldly makes it clear that the mass of subatomic particles, why some have it and why some (like photons) dont have it, is still not completely understood.

So much for Mass being a well defined thing if this is true.
I would like to hear about what you guys think.


DJ
 
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hey guys,
I just read about Higgs field. The article is bout the new particle accelerator that they built and its abilities to test higgs field and higgs bosons.

Curiously it states that understanding higgs bosons will clear up "The ancient question of what mass actually is". The article boldly makes it clear that the mass of subatomic particles, why some have it and why some (like photons) dont have it, is still not completely understood.

So much for Mass being a well defined thing if this is true.
I would like to hear about what you guys think.


DJ
Mass if a well-defined concept in classical physics. What Higgs is describing is the origin of mass or why things have mass, which is not at all relevant to classical physics or indeed this context.
 
So, Higgs belongs to the "quantum" or "atomic" department. In the classical sense, mass is well defined. Right.
Doesnt this mean that Mass is a "taken" for simplicity sake? Mass at a more fundamental level still being not fully understood, but taken for granted for reasons of observational validity on a "bigger" level? Observation still being a function of and limited to the workings of a person's sense organs and brains that is.

DJ
 
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Remember that classical physics provides a well-defined definition of mass, independent of your own subjectivity. Furthermore, one does not need to resort to a more fundamental level, when a less fundamental level works just fine. After all, there is no reason to invoke Einsteinian relativity at low velocities where Newtonian mechanics works just fine.
 
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Excellent discussion over here.

Classical Physics is limited in its purview. And not only that many of our common day observations cant be explained by it.

For ex, all motion that we see is relative to the observer. However, by Special Theory of Relativity we know now that the speed of the light is the same for all obsevers irrespective of their motion ( counterintuitive ! )

From another view point, How can we limit mass to its classical physics' definition, in this thread ? After all mass is object centric and objects are perceived!! Clearly classical physics does not deal with the question of observer. We have to switch over to quantum mechanics.

IMHO, Classical physics definition of mass ( whether well defined or otherwise) is not competent enough for this discussion and rather irrelevant in this context !
 
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What happens when somebody dies?
he's gone.
no, his soul has gone but his body is not.
I think we do not need any proof for the existence of god.
We don't see our soul, we don't have a proof that our soul exists although we believe that it exists.
My suggestion for all of us: we should read more & more about our religions even more than any other thing.
Because I do believe that life is a test it last 70 may be 80 years & according to this test our place in the next,second & last life will be determined in heaven or hell.
We are not finished when we die, we just finish the test and then we start our endless life.
 
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Soul is not defined scientifically, so please define soul.

70 or 80 years of life - you said. 70 or 80 of whose years ? Time is different based on the reference frame of the observer.

Second life????? Its not yet proven.

Heaven and hell are also not well defined.

We scientifically oriented people have a slight psychological disposition of not being able to accept anything that might not have evidence. Especially if it comes in the form of a warning or a threat.

May be we will evolve someday :)
 
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What happens when somebody dies?
he's gone.
no, his soul has gone but his body is not.
I think we do not need any proof for the existence of god.
We don't see our soul, we don't have a proof that our soul exists although we believe that it exists.
My suggestion for all of us: we should read more & more about our religions even more than any other thing.
Because I do believe that life is a test it last 70 may be 80 years & according to this test our place in the next,second & last life will be determined in heaven or hell.
We are not finished when we die, we just finish the test and then we start our endless life.

Who are you referring to when you say "we"? I don't believe in an immaterial and ethereal soul. A lot of people don't. I wouldn't go suggesting that we read more about religion than anything else. As a matter of fact, most religious texts are virtually obsolete and does not apply to modern day life. Whether one chooses to believe in a god or a particular religion has very little bearing on day-to-day life. Church was not responsible for the development of vaccines and medicine, technological development, and agricultural advances.
 
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All religion and all faith aside, there has yet to be found any definitive evidence for a god. Nothing that can be observed, even with our best scientific instruments, has even suggested the existence of a god.
There is something wrong with this statement. You are saying you shouldn’t believe in something that by definition is supernatural because you can’t examine it by natural methods.

It is therefore a fact that a claim that god exists is an extraordinary claim. And extraordinary claims dictate the need for proof or evidence.
Presubsistion...

If I said I had the ability to levitate objects with my mind, you might ask to me to prove it. This would of course be a legitimate request, simply because science has yet to find any evidence for telekinesis.
Now, imagine that I responded by saying "hey, prove that I can't"!
This is a claim about an demonstratable ability, not about the existence of an entity. The way we verify the two claims is completely different.

With that in mind, it is my opinion that anyone who asks you for proof that god doesn’t exist, is not to be taken seriously at all.
Depends on the situation. I would say if you are trying to convince me God dne it’s perfectly legitimate. If I am trying to convince you God does exist then it’s bunk. If we are in a debate then it is legitimate, but so is you asking me to prove God does exist.

Only when there is a lack of evidence will people resort to ridiculous counter-questions such as "prove me wrong".
No, only when people don't know or understand the evidence. This shows fault with people not the claim.
 
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unfortunately, it doesnt. When one goes on to this argument, one would ask "what do you mean by heavy?" And the argument dissolves itself promptly into oblivion.

heavyness, as a perception, and as relative, doesnt hold up to being a "standard". Lifting, likewise, is a human interpretation of what he sees. "Does something ever lift another? If so prove!" kicks the question out. One ends up accepting that he is accepting what he sees as "lifting" owing to everyday vocabulary...
No the correct refutation to this argument is to say, “Consistency is predicate of God’s nature”
 
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There is something wrong with this statement. You are saying you shouldn’t believe in something that by definition is supernatural because you can’t examine it by natural methods.
That's exactly right. We SHOULDN'T believe in something defined as "supernatural" because such a definition arises from ignorance and not a well-established set of observations. The fact that it is defined supernatural excuses it from any examination whatsoever. And if we cannot examine it by natural methods, what method do you suggest?
 
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You are still arguing from presumption
 
Firstly,

I strongly believe that we can definitely "examine" God through natural methods. Only that science is not the only way of "natural methods". Infact, subjective examinations and observational methods like "meditation" are all over the place as methods of discovering God's nature. Intuition is how it is described by J.Krishnamurti.

If meditation is not acceptable for today's science, its time to move science to the next level where it clearly understands about subjective experiences. Thats what I am aiming at.

Saint Catherine said "My me is God!" Thats what many mystics and saints said. All the way from the descriptions of God from Vedas to modern day mystics like RamaKrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharshi said that. Even Bible also quotes "I am That I am". "Ayamatma Brahma" in Vedas is one of the four basic principles prescribed. It means "This self is God". It is also preceded by "Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma" meaning "All that exists is God". Buddha said the same thing about Dharma Kaya and Sunyata. Ramana Maharshi says "the I in all is God". Islam's Bayazid and Baha'ullah say in similar terms what "God" is.

All those claim that by meditation and righteous behaviour (path of devotion and surrender, path of discipline and investigation, etc. are all ways to get up to this level) (both physical and psychological) that God can be "realized" or "experienced". I am searching for a way to make this method close to science. But I am not sure how far I would be successful, since so far, science has mostly been objective, and rarely subjective. Experience is essentially subjective and there must be ways to make subjective experiences valid in scientific research. Until then, theres no hope of science and spirituality happening together.

DJ
 
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hey,

I appreciate your views (and I hope all do) as they are probably the closet thing to proving the existence of god. And it is also a very unqiue concept of god (the hindu one as I assume). But the philosophy of science and mathematics and the philosophies of hinudism, buddhism, and other religions differ. Science demands that for something to be truely proved it must be able to be tested over and over without fail. Divine realization so far cannot be tested. Only the few presumably have acheived this. But what I do see in the future for this is a scientist acheiving this divine state and being able to explain in less esoteric, vague terms. That would definite establish the connection and make religion more valid.
 
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You are still arguing from presumption
Okay, I'll rephrase my original response:

We SHOULDN'T read from books which have been scientifically debunked. The earth is not 6,000 years old, the universe was not created in seven days, no one flew up to heaven in a chariot of fire, no one lived in the belly of a whale, no one has turned into a pillar of salt, no one has arisen from the dead, no one fed hundreds of people with one basket of bread and one basket of fish, no one turned water into wine, no burning bush has ever had the capacity to transmit or receive any intelligence... We SHOULDN'T spend more time reading about these things than anything else.

How's that? Am I still arguing from presumption? How about this:

supernatural (adjective):not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws; not physical or material (source: www.onelook.com)

If it does not exist in nature or is subject to natural laws and it is not physical or material, it cannot be observed.
 
Strings:
You hit the nail almost exactly on the head. We need someone to explain it in more "contemporary" terms.

The view I proposed is not only Hindu (because, there essentially is nothing called Hindu religion. We have so many divisions with in it that it is just a collection of philosophies. hehe. India also housed one of the first oganized atheistic religion in Charvakam.) but something that is explained by realized souls all over the world. Infact, the version of God that I am talking about is central to the debunking of many Hindu myths and ill-practices over the ages.

True that we need terms that are clear to our scientific understandings, clearly defined. I am finding "definitions" myself so that many of these terms can be defined.

I will look around for scientists who talked about this view and their versions.

DJ
 
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Okay, I'll rephrase my original response:

We SHOULDN'T read from books which have been scientifically debunked. The earth is not 6,000 years old, the universe was not created in seven days, no one flew up to heaven in a chariot of fire, no one lived in the belly of a whale, no one has turned into a pillar of salt, no one has arisen from the dead, no one fed hundreds of people with one basket of bread and one basket of fish, no one turned water into wine, no burning bush has ever had the capacity to transmit or receive any intelligence... We SHOULDN'T spend more time reading about these things than anything else.
Why not? Just because something does not have a scientific basis does not mean we should discount it entirely. Otherwise, why read philosophy, literature, drama or a host of other subjects that aren't scientific in nature? Even the Bible has something to teach. It can help a person udnerstand the historical context of certain things; it can help a person through a time of crisis and trauma; it can teach (sometimes - some parts are quite violent) about what it means to be moral. To igore it completely means to ignore where we as a society come from. Many people do not believe that the earth is 6000 years old. Nor do they believe most of the tales told in the Bible actually happened. However, many do believe that many the preaching of Jesus, whether or not you believe that he actually existed in history, are good ways to live a moral life. Not having read the Koran, or Torah or other texts of the major religions, I can't speak of their content. However, I imagine they also have things to teach people, such as how to live together in harmony.
 
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The bible, which tells us to stone our mothers, brothers, sisters, spouses, fathers, and friends to death if they tempt us with other gods, is hardly a book for moral code. The bible, which is filled with rape, murder, revenge, temptations, and heresy, is hardly a book designed for teaching morality. The bible, which teaches of a god who kills others mercilessly for looking back at a town or touching a "sacred" box, is hardly a good moral teacher. The bible, which teaches a jealous, vengeful, and angry god is hardly one of good morale.

Yes, the bible should be discounted entirely for its lack of scientific evidence and horrible stories about inflicting a man with disease and killing his family and other atrocities. Don't compare the bible with other literature and philosophy. Whereas Homer, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, and others wrote well and taught us lessons, the bible is horrifically written with grammatical errors and historical inaccuracies. Not to mention the story jumps all over the place, is inconsistent even with itself, and holds little to no verifiable evidence. That's expected when hundreds of men wrote and revised the book over the course of thousands of years.

I've actually read the bible and you'd be thinking the same if you did, too. As far as the other books, the Koran and others do not teach morality and peaceful harmony. They teach the killing of infidels in order to attain entrance to paradise, and should one die in the course of doing so, they will get to choose friends and family to go along with them. The Koran specifically teaches no tolerance of followers of other faiths.


To the original poster of this thread:
We can at least rule out God's omnipotence from the biblical text (can't say the same for gods of other religions) because the bible says so itself. It looks like even with the help of God, or perhaps God himself, iron is still a little too much:
Judges 1:19 "And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron."
 
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Hmmm..apparently some people do not read the entirety of one's post
it can teach (sometimes - some parts are quite violent) about what it means to be moral.
I never said it wasn't violent. However, the view that since some parts are bad and therefore all parts must be discounted is a rather limited viewpoint. No single thing absolutely good or bad, not even science. Do we throw out science because parts of it are bad? The rise of nuclear power gave rise to nuclear weaponry. The rise of antibiotics gave rise to biological weaponry. Assuming you believe GW to be true, the rise of industrialization gave rise to GW. I for one refuse to see only good or only bad in anything. Life and reality are far too complex to compartmentalize and categorize like that. Yes, the Bible has pretty much no scientific basis. If people want to use it to proclaim that evolution is bunk and the world was created 6000 years or so ago, well, they're smoking some serious juju. However, if they want to say that Jesus said "Love thy neighbor as you love yourself" is a way to live your life, why throw that out as well? Taht's no different than those who use the Old Testament to condemn homosexuality by discounting the teachings and actions of Jesus (as written in the Bible).
 

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