"Since time wasn't there at all, means that there was no time for God to create the universe in the first place."
--God created time, along with space. So when He created it, it began. He didn't need time to create time, that is illogical. Before the universe existed, there was simply God. God was the universe, so to say.
"Physcists are very near to giving us a clear, true picture of the universe."
--no offense, but ... says no scientist ever :P
I'll have to go look up this M-Theory you keep talking about though, because I have honestly never heard it, I don't think.
"There is an expanding universe where there may be physical reasons on why there had to be a beginning."
--This is assuming science and religion work against each other. There are "physical" reasons for everything that exists in this universe, but what religion does is go beyond that. And anyways, you keep changing your view that time even had a beginning to start with, because later you say: "The possibility that space-time is finite and has no boundary means that it necessarily had no beginning or moment of creation." So you're saying the universe is finite but that it began infinitely?
As to your entire paragraph about us not being alone in the universe....I agree that it seems unlikely that we are. In fact, we might come up with hard evidence that we are not alone--he.ll, we might soon be invaded by an alien species, thus blowing to shreds all thought of being alone. But until that happens, you have no more evidence to believe there are as you say i have to believe that we are in fact alone and that there is a God (though there actually is overwhelming evidence of a god). And as I've said about the multi-universes, even if we weren't alone, how does that go to disprove God? There's simply one more thing that God created and whose existence needs to be explained in that way.
"We can have philosophical answers about God but there is simply a lack of true evidence for me to actually believe in a higher power."
--Fair enough. Not all with come to believe by faith, as we are called to do. But can I just point out, that there's no more "true" evidence to believe in intelligent life besides here on Earth than by rationalizing that there is a great possibility there would be? The reason scientists have theories is because while they may have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that something is true--no, not even true, but feasible, they simply do not know. All of these alternate theories and realities you are describing take as much faith to believe in as religion. In the end it all comes down to mere thought, so I would not discredit philosophy and theology so completely.
"Religion is often unchanging....."
--Here you make a case that science is more reliable because it changes and is self-correcting. Well, it is not self-correcting, the method of scientific inquiry is made by people, the facts themselves never change and have always been the same. And I simply do not see how religion being unchanging is an argument against it.
"I am personally unsure about having faith in a higher power because I simply consider it unnecessary.....Most people turn to science because it on the other hand, provides us a partially good explanation about the laws of the universe right from the origin, it can't although explain why these laws are like this and why not completely different, but it can explain why they are not slightly different."
--I think this last bit is a completely valid point. Science teaches you about things are, religion teaches you about why things are (and even if you did not mean to, you stated this yourself). What we theists are asking you to do is not replace your textbook with the Bible, that would be ludicrous. The Bible is not a book that explains the inner workings of the atom, it is a book that goes beyond that and answers life's toughest questions. It does not provide an alternate answer to how things work, it answers why things work, why we are here.
--As for not seeing the purpose or necessity of religion, I see what you mean. That's a personal things, and I'd be lying if I said I've never been there. But it's easy to say you don't need something when you don't understand it. Religion is necessary when you finally realize what you are missing, that you are dying spiritually and need reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ, who humbled himself to come to Earth as a man and share in our suffering. You see, it's not about this world, it's about when we die, was all of this pain worth it? What's the point of living? Sure, what science does is to help you see what's already there, helps you explain the Seen. So what if the day comes where science can fully explain the universe? It's like finally realizing that a rose is red. So what? What have you really uncovered but a truth that you hadn't seen before but that really has no intrinsic value? What religion does is answer the Unseen, and gives meaning to things like science and life.
If you don't mind, let me quote a few things from Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis:
Why God doesn't simply "appear" and wave a flagging say "I'm here, belive in me!"
"Another possible objection is this. Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the de.vil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the change of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and the announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happnes, it is the end of the world. When the author walks onto the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else--something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so ovserwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us a chance..."
Sorry for the long post! Whether you read all of it or not, if you have other questions you want to be answered, I'm more than willing to tackle them. And I promise I won't always quote authors ;) I just needed to this time.
I encourage you to look into Apologetics, or at least consider the possibility of God seriously, it isn't something you want to just disregard or push off until you're on your deathbed. It's something everyone has to at least seriously and whole-heartedly (understanding full well why and what they are choosing, and the implications of being wrong) either accept or reject.
Have a nice day!
Blah, and sorry for the series posts, I had issues posting it all as one thing and had to go step-by-step to see what the issue was :S
This is always an interesting and hot topic: religion. I'm Christian. I respect anyone of any religion. We're all entitled to our own d*mn opinion, even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else. I respect you for being a person as myself. But the second who step the boundary by ridiculing my faith, then I think that's unfair. And I won't stand for that. God says to love your enemies and to be humble. But He doesn't say to be stupid. And I believe in Him. ^u^ I'm not the most religious person. My lifestyle—no, my thinking isn't what it probably should be. But even so, I can't deny the existence of a great Being Who with Love and Mercy created each and every one of us with His creative powers. And everyday demonstrates His infinite Love to all of us even when we're not worthy of His Love.
I am struggling with this whole thing. Science makes sense to me. But there is a design to humans and other animals/plants/whatever, so how was that first cell created? The big bang doesn't make much sense. how are we to know that some little girl made the earth for her sicence project and we won't just get thrown in the trash? What I don't get is why there is discrimination over religion.
Goddess, I'm a Christian. I believe God created the world. That's my belief. It's up to you to believe what you want to believe. No one will ever know how the world was created. No one! It's impossible. It's up to you to believe what you want to believe. I can tell you this is how the world came to be. But you don't have to take my word for it. Every human is allowed to believe what they want. I don't know why some people can't accept that. And why we always have to fight about it. Rather than discuss it. If you believe a little firl created us for her science project, then who am I to tell you that's false. Or some stupid belief. I can't prove some little girl didn't do it. Like I can't prove to you that God made the world. It's all a matter of belief. And what you choose to believe.
It's true that nobody can prove 100% where we came from and how the universe was created (now, being 100% certain is a different thing altogether....). That's really not the point, though... Even the most devout Christians will admit that their must be a certain element of...not doubt (doubt isn't good :P), but knowing that it's not certain....for their to be faith at all. The kind of faith is clearly defined in the Bible: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." So it acknowledges that the truth isn't overtly obvious.... but it also says that "...your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." We don't know. Eh, I'm going on a tangent here.....this wasn't even supposed to be focused on what faith is :P anyways.....
My point is, you can't know. But you can be certain of what you believe. And if you truly think that Jesus is the son of God, and he is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," ......that "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him"......if you truly believe that, how can you go about your business without telling anybody?
"I don't know why people can't accept that."
Well, people like me...they just care. I'm not talking about the people on the street corners who stand with a bullhorn yelling at you about going to He.ll, I'm talking about those who want their loved ones to be with them in Heaven....
Is that so hard to understand?
I mean, it's all perspective.
This wasn't meant to prove any point other than why people feel need to .... evangelize, or share their faith in the hope that others come to Christ.
And last thing--I'd say that the thought: "Choose what you want to believe, because it's all right, there's no real truth that makes other beliefs wrong...." (paraphrasing ideology here....) is an absolute statement on it's own. It says "all beliefs are equally right" and that "this belief (the one just stated) is true" .... i mean, it's a logical contradiction....
Anyways, those are just my thoughts.....
You know I love you. Whole-heartedly. And agree with you whole-heartedly.
The thing I was trying to say, although I didn't say it eloquently or as correctly as you did was that creation is all a matter of belief. No one can prove how it came to be. For no one was there to account it. However, I do believe science disprove evolution. (I'm not going to get into that right now.)
And like you said: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen." This verse from Hebrews defines faith—true faith. What we all believe is are things not seen. Things that we hope—probably not the best word to use—for to be true. Chrsitians, I'll speak on behalf of myself, can't prove God is real. But we believe it. We have faith. It's hard to explain it to someone that might not understand this. But we feel it. Although, we can't see God, we know He is real.
About the "I don't know why people can't accept that."
Ok. Let me clarify that. I, of all people, understand you Jade. Trust me. I have family and friends who aren't Christians. I'm concerned about them too. And it's true. We should share what we know with them. And not keep it to ourselved.
But I do think some people, not Christians only, get way too zealous of what they believe. And they try to force their beliefs on other people. And that's where it's wrong.
God didn't destroy Adam when he sinned. Why? Because God doesn't force His Love on us. Furthermore, He doesn't want us to love Him, because that's what He wants. He wants us to love Him on our free-will. Not like some mindless machines.
Everyone needs to do the same. Share your opinions, thoughts, faith, and beliefs. But not enforce them. Otherwise that's not practicing free will. It's socialism and communism really. Communists don't allow people to believe what they want.
By this, I'm not saying every belief is accurate or right. I believe in one way and one way only. But I'm not here to say you don't have the right to believe what you want. We're all entitled to believe whatever we want.
I know what I said about choosing whatever we want to believe is contradictory but it is free will. God gave us all a free will. We can't take that away from anyone else.
(wow, i've never written such a long forum before like that)
Haha, I know you love meh, I love you too :P I just misunderstood your post (and anyways, I didn't mean it in a confrontational way, I was just clarifying my views).
So yeah, I totally agree! You shouldn't force anyone into something, and even then, it's not a real conversion anyways :)
I was mostly answering "why is their discrimination over religion" ...I took that to mean people shouldn't discuss it cuz it doesn't matter or whatnot. But yeah :P
I wasn't fighting. >.>
Sorry, sometimes I don't write clearly. But I'm glad you understand me now. :P
Neither was I
My post got cut off O:
Forget it :P it was very random anyways, and I realized I was spamming my own thread >.>
like the seafood o.O
I am personally agnostic because I just really don't know what's out there, if anything, and I don't think I've seen enough evidence to compel me to fully support either side (there is some kind of higher power vs there is nothing).
I am leaning more towards nothing's out there, but I like being agnostic because it lets me sort of be open to anything. Usually how I describe agnosticism to people who might ask is "I don't know what's out there and I'm making no effort to find out." Religion is of minor importance to me.
That's just my 2 cents. And I never noticed before but there's no cent sign on the keyboard. Kinda bummed about that.