Being offended by a Christian

Canada
April 17, 2010 12:49pm CST
Last night I went out to the nearby university to see a debate between a Christian Astronomer, and an Atheist Psychiatrist. The Christian astronomer sees the universe in a way that, with everything so perfect, there must be a God. He would quote from the bible to describe how everything works, taking his own meanings from the biblical text. The Atheist, went more in a direction of explaining how we would have seen things in the past, looking at how religion jumps to conclusions, rather then remaining open to more possibilities. Some of the people I was with, this being the first debate of such that they've ever seen, were outright offended by the Christian astronomer, seeing his directions more delusional and almost just plain crazy. I admit, someone taking a book that was written thousands of years ago and taking it as fact is pretty out there, even Newton was wrong on directions like how gravity works on a large scale, and the bible has loads of inaccurate information, so how can someone take such an old text, and try to relate it to science of today? Doesn't it only make sense that people with even a bit of education on the matter, would simply be offended by such ideas?
3 people like this
17 responses
@p3ks626 (6550)
• Philippines
18 Apr 10
The bible is a word of God used by preacher to teach the gospel of Christ to the people. You are right about the fact that there are so many errors in the bible because it was studied and translated by men. Men are not perfect, so we could also expect that there are flaws on how they translated the bible. There's only one book in this world today that is perfect in every sense because it was translated by the power of God and that book is another testament of Jesus Christ. There are books in science that helped us understand how things work. I think these are inspired books also coming from God cause he wanted His children to learn. There are things we dont see in the bible that's why we have these books. There are just some things that science cant explain. Even the brightest of all the scientist will not be able to answer everything cause there is indeed a Supreme being who sees ever thing and who knows everything.
2 people like this
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
17 Apr 10
But science doesn't have all the answers either. There is still no adequate explanation for how the universe was created or the placement of the stars. Science itself is still only working with a theory. So in a very real sense both the astronomer and the atheist are at precisely the same point in their belief on the creation of the universe even though their beliefs differ. In other words, you forgot a very crucial part of the argument. That science requires absolute proof. Without the proof, all you have is belief. Then doesn't it boil down to one belief against another? Regardless of whether it came from an old book or whether some scientist came up with a theory it is still a belief. Because if you really think about it, all scientific theories start out with a belief or believing something is true until it is either proven or disproved. Last I checked both the Big Bang Theory and The Theory of Evolution still have "theory" in their names and cannot be taken for scientific proof. So doesn't this make you whole argument mote since Science itself has yet to present absolute proof? Therefore, both theories, that of Creation and the Big Bang are still in all actuality beliefs.
1 person likes this
17 Apr 10
The difference is the scientist uses the theory as a basis for research which may of may not provide absolute proof that the theory was correct. If the theory is proved to be incorrect then it is discarded or modified. In contrast, the religious cling on to whatever they believe to be true and ignore all evidence that tends to disprove what they believe even going as far as extreme torture and killing to suppress any divergant ideas. (see the posts above) And for your information, even though there is still the word "theory" in The theory of evolution, biologists have been able to make direct observations of evolutionary processes in action. So it not actually still a theory, though I'm sure that the creationists would like to think of it as such.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Apr 10
The fact that they have the word "theory" in their names does not mean that they are not scientific proof. A theory is something that has scientific proof behind it, and can not be disproven. Having a theory means it's open to any scientist in that field to verify, challenge, or falsify it. But, over and over again with the research done towards the concepts of the Big Bang or the Theory of Evolution, they have found more and more pieces that support the theory, rather then falsify it. The big bang was seen as simply crazy when it was first discovered, through the proof that was found showing that everything in the universe is moving away from eachother at fast speeds, but as more and more research has happened, it's been shown over and over again to be the most logical direction to these events. Same with evolution, we've found so many fossils and divisions of life that support the concept. Now, if some day, there is an idea that has more scientific backing then evolution or the big bang, while all the evidence we have found goes along with it perfectly, then we won't even look at those theories anymore, and we'll go towards the new ones. The theory of Gravity is also a theory, although it is absolutely proven that it exists, that it holds everything together, and even the speeds and power that it has dependent on the mass of the objects, but, since we may find something that works better someday, it is still proposed as a theory.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Apr 10
Yet, the theory still hasn't been proven. Observations do not prove a theory no matter how hard you try to argue it. The very fact that it is not a scientific law proves that the theory still can be disproved. Who knows in a 100 years people in the future maybe laughing at the big bang theory as we are now about the earth revolving around the sun. All theories start out as beliefs. The scientist has to believe that something is possible before he takes the first step in the scientific process. So in some ways science mirrors religion. The only difference is science deals with the tangible and religion deals with the intangible.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Apr 10
He offended the psychiatrist mainly because the psychiatrist atheism offended him. However offend is not an accurate way to describe the astronomers action. It is ritual which is inevitable. I would only call it offending when the Christian raised his voice and told the atheist straight that atheism is wrong. It is a crime with no victim. It's not something that is significant. Either man should forget about what happen for they lack what the other have. None of them wins or loses.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Apr 10
That was something I was questioning. It wasn't the psychiatrist that was offended by the pieces, it was the people I was with. They were offended that he twists science to go along with his own concepts. He was so amazed by the wonders of our universe, being an astronomer, that he simply came to the conclusion that there must be a God, from more of a gut feeling he had. This simply is not science, so why twist the two together?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Apr 10
Science is the one who made this world crazy. Pollution everywhere due to the products of technology and science made technology possible. Now, will all of these happen without science? Did religion made bombs and weapons of mass destruction? I repeat neither wins of the two and it is only necessary that they control the other.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Apr 10
I think that science far outweighs it's negatives with positives. It's thanks to science that you have your computer, electricity, a refrigerator, a car, a TV, a house, sanitation, healthcare, good clothing, easy access to everything you need... Science has given us everything that we have around us... even the parts that science didn't make, like the earth and the sky and weather and everything, science has given us a way better understanding of then we could have possibly had from just guessing, or writing religious text. Even with religious text, it's thanks to science hat we can print it off for anyone to have their own copy of, or access it online, or get to whatever religious center we want. And yes, it was science that made bombs and weapons, but religion has always been a massive factor in getting the people to go to war. Without science, people would still go to war, only they'd be using sticks and stones rather then WMDs and such. And, without science, we wouldn't be able to use our own land as effectively as we do, further pushing our need to take over what others have. Science seems to have much more positive factors then negative ones.
1 person likes this
@zim1fW (286)
• Philippines
17 Apr 10
Bible-only CHristians, even if they are astronomers, are notoriously closeminded about things that appear contradictory with the Bible. The pair simply were a mismatch in favor of the atheist. An open-minded Christians would have done the job well without getting sucked into his fundamentalism. Next time they should look for a Roman Catholic who knows about his faith. That would make an incredible debate.
@kquiming (2999)
• Philippines
17 Apr 10
True, there are lots of Catholic scholars out there. And they could've won the debate.
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
17 Apr 10
If it had been a Catholic, why would that have mattered?
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Apr 10
I think that the mind-set of the University students was already opposed to the concepts the Christian astronomer, because, once the questions from the audience began, 9/10 of the people with questions were showing how his ideas had huge gaps, and how he should be open to more possibilities. I think this would have happened in any situation along these lines, no matter how much the Christian side knew their faith. Its like I was saying, knowing their faith is knowing a book that is thousands of years old, and seeing how far science has gone from then, the two simply do not match up.
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
17 Apr 10
The difference between science and religion is science takes the facts and draws conclusions from that, religion on the other hand takes conclusion and draws facts from that. Being a Christian astronomer he believes in the Bible as the divine word of his deity. The Bible teaches that the Christian deity is all knowing. Well why didn't the Bible contain some scientific proofs. It did not have to be anything hard to understand just something like, "Just as the Earth revolves around the Sun so to should your thought revolve around the word of God." Instead we have stories of the Sun standing still in the sky. If the universe was created so perfectly then why is the universe still expanding.
1 person likes this
• Canada
17 Apr 10
And how come in the early parts of Genesis in the bible, it says that the Earth began before the sun, and that plants grew before the sun? The bible has so many problems after how far we've gotten in science, so how can someone with such great knowledge in science, still have such faith in a book like the bible? Don't the two have too many problems with eachother to intermix both of them?
1 person likes this
17 Apr 10
Actually the dogma of the Catholic church asserted that the earth and all the planets and stars revolved around the earth and anyone who asserted that the earth and planets revolved around the sun, was treated as a heretic. I'm aware of at least one man who was burned at the stake for contradicting the church in this matter. The fact of the matter is, in it's blind adherence to dogma and the belief that "if it's not in the bible, it's not true/heretical/its the work of the devil" (take your pick), the christian church held back scientific progress for more than a thousand years by actively opposing anything that went against the accepted dogma of the church.
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
17 Apr 10
Take for instance Giordano Bruno who was burnt at the stake by the Catholic Church for saying that the Sun was just a star in 1600. In 2000 the Catholic Church got around to apologize for killing Bruno. Even though that Cardinal Angelo Sodano defend the Church by saying "that the Inquisitors had the desire to preserve freedom and promote the common good and did everything possible to save his life by trying to make him recant."
1 person likes this
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
18 Apr 10
For me newton is correct about he said that the earth is round and no person who not live in the other universe rather than the earth of what Jehovah God said that in the Isaiah explaining that the earth is round also.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Apr 10
Actually, the first known person to come up with the concept that the world is round (first known person is probably long after someone actually came up with it...) was Pythagoras, around 550BC. The book of Genesis even implies that the world is flat.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
17 Apr 10
Hi Christoph, How can you find a Christian Astronomer who takes the Bible literally? I wouldn't trust his judgment on either. Any Christian could have quoted the Bible, why did they need a Scientist? I have heard that very few Astronomers are atheists and he must have had ideas that would point to there being something more than what we find here with the five senses. I think I would have been offended by anyone quoting the Bible as proof. We all know that religion is based on faith and and science on fact. There is a big difference between the two. I am not an Atheist but I can't proof my belief to another because it comes from within me. The difference with me is that I don't think it matters whether we believe or not, it's a personal choice. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@Arioch (190)
18 Apr 10
The fact you say you can not prove your beliefs because it copmes from within speaks for itself. Also you still accepting another persons words for most scientific proof. Charaltans have always exsisted and in fact thrive in todays society. But you make the best choice belief in your self is amongst the best trait in modern days.
1 person likes this
@Arioch (190)
18 Apr 10
Hmmm odd one this considering christianity is one of the few religions that has an exception for new ideas. Obviously each side went for the things they thought would help back up their theory. Well ok some scientific principles go as far back if not further then the bible. Other people use other number systems then the decimal number system and ancient civilisations seemed more apt concerning mathematics with no machines to do the work then we ever will. Secondly its a matter of perspective years ago people thought and were taught the world was flat, you accept at least part of what you believe without questioning for example have you ever read the bible? Or newton's writings? Education is relative, you are taught to accept certain things and different people and cultures differ widely. Think about this, mathematically they say we should not exist, yet we do. As a last point psychiatry is a relatively new science and by its very nature is subject to the whims of those involved. Some people in fact say as a lot of its matter is subjective it is not really a sciene at all!
@bird123 (10479)
• United States
17 Apr 10
There are facts and there are beliefs. Beliefs are important because they are a patch that covers the gap when all the facts aren't known. Without beliefs, we would lock up just like this old computer of mine. The problem comes when people start taking beliefs as always being facts. Some beliefs are latered discovered not to be true. The real problem with holy books is that they do not correct themselves when truth is discovered. In the end this will prove to be their downfall. Science, on the other hand corrects for mistakes discovered. To most people's surprise, science is walking toward God for science is nothing more than God's handywork. Perhaps you are learning more about God than you realize. Go ahead. Interact with all those differences. Even with all the drama comes learning and growing. That is the most important thing anyway.
1 person likes this
@jwfarrimond (4475)
17 Apr 10
I wonder if this astronomer realises that if he had lived 300 years ago, he'd have been burnt at the stake as a heretic for asserting that the earth revolved round the sun - contrary to the dearly held dogma of the Catholic church of the time. Somehow, I doubt it..
1 person likes this
@sulynsi (2838)
• Canada
18 Apr 10
You made the comment to one of your respondents that the early part of the Genesis account is wrong. You believe that it is saying that the earth and its plant life were formed before the sun, and therefore, without the light of the sun, how could ANY life have existed at all? Very reasonable question, since we all know the photosynthesis is a process requiring sunlight. However, Christop56, you may find it helpful to go back and reread what it says in the Genesis account. Chapter 1 vs 1 says "God created the heavens and the earth" Then, in the next verse, it states that "the earth was formless and waste" The account is saying that the creation of the earth occurred many billions of years ago, as part of a greater work, that of the "heavens" with its countless stars, our sun and who knows what else. Then, once that was accomplished, there was now a focus on the earth for the preparation of it for life forms. I think it is interesting that the Genesis account then goes on to list accurately the order of life forms appearing on earth, as is found in the fossil record. ie, plants first, then sea creatures, then birds then land animals. Keep in mind too, that the account is told as from the perspective of an earth dweller, had one existed at the time.
• Canada
18 Apr 10
I'm glad you brought up this part that I had questioned, because it's always been a piece that I've been wondering about. It simply does not make sense. It starts with saying that, in the beginning, God made light. Well, lets consider that as the big bang, or whatever beginning the universe might have had. On the second day, it was making earth, creating plants, seeds, trees, fruit, all vegetation. Then, on the third day is where it leads to confusion. It says that this is where the sun, the moon, and the stars were created, all for the purpose of people knowing the seasons, days and years. How can you have plants (including fruits, which evolved from animals eating the best ones, the most) before you had the sun? How can you have light, before the sun? How come the moon and the sun are made at the same time? And how come the stars were made just for the purpose of telling the seasons? If the sky was actually made just for telling the seasons, why wouldn't it be the original idea of just holes in the sky, with massive light behind it all? Then, on the next day, it says, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.". Now, you could say that when it says birds, they mean dinosaurs, which came before mammals, but the first dinosaurs were not flying ones. The first flying dinosaurs started in the late triassic period, which did not evolve to birds, but rather, went extinct. The order it gives to evolution is wrong... And I mean, this is just the first Page of the bible. With the science of today showing how wrong this whole system is, how can you bypass some parts, and say how true the other parts are?
@sulynsi (2838)
• Canada
18 Apr 10
As mentioned previously, it is clear from what we can deduce from scientific experiments and from what Genesis implies, that the heavenly bodies, stars, galaxies, our sun etc etc, were in existence long before the 3rd creative day. (or time period, because obviously, 24 hours would be insufficient time to do this) But from the perspective of an observer on earth, had there been one to jot this all down, the light before that time would have been diffuse, visible, such as on a cloudy day, but the luminaries themselves, though in existence, would not be visible to an earthbound observer until the atmosphere cleared. This changed and luminaries "came to be" in the sense that they were now visible and made it possible for future inhabitants to use them to measure time. Oh, and incidentally, the scriptures do NOT say the earth was flat. Isaiah refers to the "circle' or "sphere" of the earth.
• Canada
19 Apr 10
Ok, then lets go with the sun, moon and stars being created, isn't actually them being created, just viable to the earth. Without the sun shining on them, photosynthetic plants can not exist, and the bible directly mentions seeding fruit on that second day. If the atmosphere was light enough for the fruits to grow, then the sun should be seen, long before that 3rd day. And, the bible does say that the earth is flat. The biggest thing showing that is the use of the word "firmament" for the atmosphere, which means "dome". This would mean that the earth is flat, and the atmosphere is round, and they meet in the corners. Firmament was often used to describe how people would beat brass to turn it into a dome, for helmets and pots and such. Many parts of the bible refer to the sky as a firmament built with great craftsmanship, saying how god made the solid, outside atmosphere by beating a giant round dome with a flat bottom. Then, in spots like Daniel 4:10-11, Matthew 4:8 and Revelation 1:7 mention how when something is high in the air, it can view the entire earth, only possible from a flat earth. However, the spherical earth, like I mentioned earlier, was found in Greece around 500BC, from there on, it was always agreed upon through their schooling, but still, the newer bible chapters still say how it's flat, with a domed atmosphere. Even Isaiah saying circle leads in the direction of a flat earth, with a round dome overtop of it.
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
18 Apr 10
Hi, Christoph56. They are offended simply because the Christian knows what they are talking about. They are speaking the truth and the atheists can't stand it. Oh well.
• Canada
18 Apr 10
But, this "truth" they got from a man-made text that was written long before the obvious, repeatedly proven science of today. To know something is real, you have to be able to test it, over and over, and get the same results every time. We don't have any kind of tests to show that the bible is true, it continuously has faults.
@sulynsi (2838)
• Canada
18 Apr 10
"to know something is real, you have to be able to test it, over and over, and get the same results every time" Well said. Now, could you please refer me to the evidence, experiments that scientists can reproduce again and again, that life started in an organic soup, as postulated in many a scientific journal, and taught as absolute truth in science class?
• Canada
29 Apr 10
The biggest piece of evidence that life could have started in an "organic soup" is from the Miller-Urey experiments, and many many more that came after them. It's been found that, if given similar conditions to a young earth, Amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, which are the building blocks of life, can be easily formed. The Miller-Urey experiment was water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen (the early elements on earth) put together in 2 connected flasks. The water would be heated on the bottom of one flask, and rise to the top, where electricity would shoot across the top, like lightning. Then, the water would cool, condense, and go into the second flask, slowly moving back to the first to be re-heated. After just one week of this test, 10-15% of the carbon (from the methane) had formed into organic compounds. This test has been done so many times since the 50s, with many variations, but has always shown to make organic compounds.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
20 Apr 10
There are some facts of science that aren't going to change no matter how old the text you take it from is. What exactly was the debate about? What was said that could be taken as offensive?
• Canada
29 Apr 10
The debate was in the direction of the existence or non-existence of God. The Christian astronomer brought up many facts, showing the extremes of how the universe works, saying that it must have been created by a divine creator. The Agnostic side was a Doctor of Psychiatry, showing how much we've changed our views over the course of humanity, and how everytime we find a new direction, it makes far more sense, and has much less problems to it. The people I was with were offended how the Christian Astronomer was simply just pushing towards God as the answer, rather then studying and testing to try and find the next level of what did it.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
1 May 10
Thank you for answering my questions.
• United States
19 Apr 10
I've heard other people say there are inaccuracies in the Bible, but they don't say what they are. Can you tell me? I don't know why anyone would be offended by either the Christian or the Atheist. Both present their arguments and then the audience decides who they'll believe. There's no force involved, so there's no need for anyone to be offended. Were there any Christians in the audience? Were they offended by what the Atheist said?
• Canada
29 Apr 10
The atheist said far less then the Christian scientist. Actually, in the questions from the audience segment, there was only one Christian who went up to talk, but she more ranted both parties down through holy scripture, and didn't exactly have a question or valid argument for either side. It happening at a University made the ratio of skeptics, agnostics and atheists far greater then Christians. Out of the 20 question I heard, only one had a Christian viewpoint, and thats the one I mentioned.
• Romania
29 Apr 10
I'm glad in this ocean of religious minds I hear the sound of reason. The main problem of christians is their unshackeable belive in every word of the bible. They say in the bible we have the answers for every question. I am reading the bible for many years and the more I read it the bigger my questions become. I think it is unreasonable to base your entire life on one ancient book and not question anythig about it.
• India
20 Apr 10
Science with all the resources available at its disposal has not been able to prove yet whether we are alone in this universe or there are others like us. They are not able to understand if the universe is expanding at a speed greater than light where it is going to end. We do not know yet how universe caused self, to create self with self. There are so many unanswered questions. When we do not know much about things visible to us, then how do we expect that we would know about the things, which is invisible to us. Neither the Christian Astronomer, nor the Atheist Psychiatrist could have ever won the debate. It is all an exercise in futility.
• Philippines
18 Apr 10
In what ever way we look at it..we can never reconcile an atheist and a CHRISTIAN'S point of view. Besides..it a BIG no-no to debate with divine truth.