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Old 10-06-2017, 09:31 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Examples of natural phenomena being used as proof of religion

Before modern science, certain phenomena didn't make sense and were used as proof of deities or supernatural phenomena.

Examples:

hallucinogenic drugs giving supernatural experiences.

Columbus using an eclipse to scare natives into thinking their deity was angry.

Temporal lobe epilepsy or schizophrenia among religious prophets causing them to have visions.

Some temples in an ancient society were built on sites that produced toxic gas, causing death or visions.

Etc.

Was magnetism ever used as proof of a deity in history?
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:47 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Examples of natural phenomena being used as proof of religion

Pretty much all of them.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:57 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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I have a tendency to ask people who are, shall we say, waxing eloquent on the subject of god and religion to show proof of the existence of the god.

They will invariably say something to the effect of look around you. Do you think the earth and the trees and the people just happened by accident?

I usually reply yes and then hilarity ensues, but that's another story.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:27 AM
coffeecat coffeecat is offline
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The banana.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:32 AM
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Clothahump's experience is similar to mine. I was talking to an acquaintance who found out I was an atheist, and he commented that he couldn't bring himself to think that there's no god when he sees the trees, mountains, and sunset. I didn't push back, but I was just thinking to myself that he picked all things that we have well-known natural explanations for.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:44 AM
Daddypants Daddypants is offline
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The banana.
For those who haven't seen proof of God
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:46 AM
madsircool madsircool is offline
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Clothahump's experience is similar to mine. I was talking to an acquaintance who found out I was an atheist, and he commented that he couldn't bring himself to think that there's no god when he sees the trees, mountains, and sunset. I didn't push back, but I was just thinking to myself that he picked all things that we have well-known natural explanations for.
Religion and atheism are both beliefs. We humans have neither the knowledge nor the sensory ability to understand the true nature of the universe.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:49 AM
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Religion and atheism are both beliefs. We humans have neither the knowledge nor the sensory ability to understand the true nature of the universe.
If only someone could coin a word meaning a lack of belief.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:52 AM
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Two songs come to mind by two different artists, claiming that a God must exist because the songwriter has a baby daughter.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:07 AM
Ornery Bob Ornery Bob is offline
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Existence itself is often seen as "proof." "You don't think something came from nothing do you?"
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:11 AM
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We humans have neither the knowledge nor the sensory ability to understand the true nature of the universe.
That's your belief, is it?
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:12 AM
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Existence itself is often seen as "proof." "You don't think something came from nothing do you?"
It's turtles all the way down
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:12 AM
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That's your belief, is it?
It's not a belief, it's fact.

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Old 10-06-2017, 11:13 AM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Go way back to the original natural phenomenon - are there any religions out there saying "Let there be light" = the Big Bang?
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:39 AM
madsircool madsircool is offline
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That's your belief, is it?
Any opinion on this topic can only be belief because the facts are not known.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:42 AM
madsircool madsircool is offline
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Go way back to the original natural phenomenon - are there any religions out there saying "Let there be light" = the Big Bang?
If there is a God and if God revealed truth to humans 3000 years ago, would not he have to use language and concepts understandable to them.

If God or our alien overlords tried to explain to us on 2017 the specific science explaining the universe and everything within, we could not understand it. They would have to try to explain in using language and concepts that we do understand.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:46 AM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is offline
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Religion and atheism are both beliefs. We humans have neither the knowledge nor the sensory ability to understand the true nature of the universe.
They're both beliefs, but they're not both equally valid. I can believe a flipped coin will land heads up. You can believe it will turn into a potato in mid air. Both beliefs
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:52 AM
madsircool madsircool is offline
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They're both beliefs, but they're not both equally valid. I can believe a flipped coin will land heads up. You can believe it will turn into a potato in mid air. Both beliefs
I have to disagree because again we have no idea whether there is a 'creator' or not. Imo, we should keep as open a mind as possible as new evidence pours in.

Why is the idea of a creator so hard to believe? Where did the matter and energy of the universe come from?
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:53 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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What some are mentioning above it the argument from beauty, which can be summarized as "flowers are pretty, therefore Jesus."
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:05 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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If there is a God and if God revealed truth to humans 3000 years ago, would not he have to use language and concepts understandable to them.
Any concept understandable to people today would be understandable to people 3,000 years ago, if you have the patience. If there was a god 3,000 years ago and wanted people to understand the germ theory of disease, he could have told them how to make a fucking microscope instead of giving instructions on exactly what the curtains in his temple should look like.

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 10-06-2017 at 12:06 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:16 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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What some are mentioning above it the argument from beauty, which can be summarized as "flowers are pretty, therefore Jesus."
The head of the landscape crew that works on my yard is named Jesus, so yeah.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:22 PM
madsircool madsircool is offline
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Any concept understandable to people today would be understandable to people 3,000 years ago, if you have the patience. If there was a god 3,000 years ago and wanted people to understand the germ theory of disease, he could have told them how to make a fucking microscope instead of giving instructions on exactly what the curtains in his temple should look like.
Why would he care about germ theory? And what good would a microscope be without metallurgy, glass making and optics etc. Your value system might not be the same as a creator of a self-sustaining ecosystem. In fact, humans with such knowledge might destroy such ecosystem.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:31 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Existence itself is often seen as "proof." "You don't think something came from nothing do you?"
Where did God come from?
  #24  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:37 PM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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Let's start with thunder and lightning. Think about the ancient gods Zeus, Thor, etc.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:45 PM
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Imo, we should keep as open a mind as possible as new evidence pours in.
I *am* keeping an open mind about the existence of a god, just as you are surely keeping an open mind about the existence of leprechauns.
  #26  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:00 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
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The frequent ability of mosques to withstand natural disasters that destroy everything else in their vicinity is often taken as proof of the divine. A skeptic might notice that the believers put a lot of resources into building a very sturdy house of worship, while all of the structures around them were flimsy pieces of crap.

Last edited by Machine Elf; 10-06-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:51 PM
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Bill Oreilly and tides.
  #28  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:57 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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If only someone could coin a word meaning a lack of belief.
Disbelief? But the one I like in precisely this context is atheism. I tell people who inquire that by certain knowledge I am agnostic but by belief I am an atheistic. That seems clear enough to me. Whether they believe me or not is another matter. My DIL doesn't. She thinks that deep down I must believe god created all of this. I don't. I believe that it always was and always will be and, no I cannot explain why. But I know that if it wasn't, I wouldn't be here to contemplate it.

The ultimate philosophical question: Why is there something rather than nothing?

Last edited by Hari Seldon; 10-06-2017 at 01:58 PM.
  #29  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:06 PM
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The head of the landscape crew that works on my yard is named Jesus, so yeah.
I'll bet he answers if you call him some other god's name. Try it, say "Hey, Zeus" next time you need to talk to him.
  #30  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:09 PM
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Why is the idea of a creator so hard to believe? Where did the matter and energy of the universe come from?
"We do not know enough to know where it actually came from, but we know how it came to be what it is today starting from the first moment of the Big Bang."

"If we say there is a Creator, then we know where it came from!"

"Where did the Creator come from?"

"There are some things that our feeble minds are just not able to grasp, and the nature of the Creator is one of those things. It is just too complex and beyond our ability to understand."

"Why can't we just say that the origin of the universe is beyond our ability to grasp, and leave it at that? No Creator required."

""
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  #31  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:25 PM
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Let's start with thunder and lightning. Think about the ancient gods Zeus, Thor, etc.
I agree. Let the person who believes in god explain why it is that Zeus, Thor etc DON'T exist. Then apply the same theory as to why their god does not exist.
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:02 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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One point a good friend of mine made. Look at the incredible diversity of life around you. Mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, trees, flowering and other plants, etc. Before Darwin, it was simpler to assume a deity made each of them in individual acts of creation. After Darwin there needed to be only one act of creation of life on earth. Still something of a mystery, but they are coming to understand ways it might have happened. But once life got going, only natural causes need be invoked to explain the diversity.

I wonder if this realization is reason for the opposition to evolution. It removes one of the strongest arguments for god.
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:05 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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And what good would a microscope be without metallurgy, glass making and optics etc.
Implicit in my point is that the god would explain metallurgy and optics to the people 3,000 years ago. Take aside a group of students, teach them principles of science, engineering, medicine, etc for a decade or two out of the god's all-knowing and eternal existence. My point is that there is nothing about people that live in primitive conditions that makes it impossible for a motivated omniscient being to bring them up to a modern level of knowledge, and that your assertion that a god would "have" to use only concepts already known 3,000 years ago is poop

Last edited by Darren Garrison; 10-06-2017 at 03:06 PM.
  #34  
Old 10-06-2017, 03:46 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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I have to disagree because again we have no idea whether there is a 'creator' or not. Imo, we should keep as open a mind as possible as new evidence pours in.

Why is the idea of a creator so hard to believe? Where did the matter and energy of the universe come from?
If you're willing to believe that God came from nothing, you have no basis whatsoever for denying that the Universe could just as easily have come from nothing.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:07 PM
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  #36  
Old 10-06-2017, 04:15 PM
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Go way back to the original natural phenomenon - are there any religions out there saying "Let there be light" = the Big Bang?
Actually, right after the Big Bang the universe was opaque, so the Bible fails on this one also.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:19 PM
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If there is a God and if God revealed truth to humans 3000 years ago, would not he have to use language and concepts understandable to them.

If God or our alien overlords tried to explain to us on 2017 the specific science explaining the universe and everything within, we could not understand it. They would have to try to explain in using language and concepts that we do understand.
Back in my Usenet days I wrote a version of Genesis that got it right but at the same level that Genesis was written at. You don't need equations to say that the universe was created a very long time ago - Eastern religions somehow managed to say that. And you can also get the order of things right.

Really, if God can't explain as well as Carl Sagan, he is a pretty feeble god.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:24 PM
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I have to disagree because again we have no idea whether there is a 'creator' or not. Imo, we should keep as open a mind as possible as new evidence pours in.

Why is the idea of a creator so hard to believe? Where did the matter and energy of the universe come from?
And here is my challenge - never answered. If there is a creator, please relate him, her or it to any human religion. The creator could be the god of some other planet, long gone to heaven, and we are here until this god decides to clean up. Or it can be a deistic god. Or it can be a grad student doing a universe creation experiment who got lucky.

What we do know is that if there is really a creator god, and he, she or it looks at Genesis, he'd say "who believes in this crap?"
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:33 PM
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I have to disagree because again we have no idea whether there is a 'creator' or not. Imo, we should keep as open a mind as possible as new evidence pours in.

Why is the idea of a creator so hard to believe? Where did the matter and energy of the universe come from?
Where did the matter and energy of your creator come from?
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:44 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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well this went off topic.

My intent was the god of the gaps argument, before science people didn't really understand much, so natural phenomena was attributed to religious and supernatural forces. Chemicals from a mine, chemicals in a plant, eclipses, comets, mental illnesses, etc. were all attributed to a deity. Something would happen, people couldn't explain it so they attributed it to a deity.

I know that the creation of existence is another one, but I recently read an interesting theory from Lawrence Krauss that the universe is in a zero energy state. According to him, the energy of all the matter is counterbalanced by negative energy from gravity, meaning the universe could arise from nothing. I don't get the details, but still interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 10-06-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:51 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Why is the idea of a creator so hard to believe? Where did the matter and energy of the universe come from?
It's been a long time since science classes, but I do recall hearing "energy can neither be created nor destroyed". Just converted between different forms of energy or matter.

So it didn't "come from" anywhere -- it was always there. Or to quote a prayer: "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be".
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:52 PM
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You could argue that every single question that is as yet unanswered by science could be considered a gap. This includes whether my brain functions the same as all the ones studied by science - all those people are meat machines, but since my brain hasn't yet been studied by science I could have a little angel sitting inside my head manipulating me via levers a la Men in Black!

Presuming that people believe that they and the events they're claiming miracles about might be special cases to the normal order of things, there is no possible global counter to this; all you can do is hunt down each specific 'miracle' and subject it to study and disproof one at a time. Which nobody really has time to do, though some people make an effort. (You see this play out with ghost claims from time to time.)
  #43  
Old 10-06-2017, 06:16 PM
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well this went off topic.

My intent was the god of the gaps argument, before science people didn't really understand much, so natural phenomena was attributed to religious and supernatural forces. Chemicals from a mine, chemicals in a plant, eclipses, comets, mental illnesses, etc. were all attributed to a deity. Something would happen, people couldn't explain it so they attributed it to a deity.
In The Age of Reason Tom Paine stated clearly that he was not an atheist since he had no idea of how the solar system could have evolved without the hand of a deity. He was a deist, and not a Christian because the Bible was full of contradictions, incorrect statements and pure nonsense.
That is a great example, because we know how the solar system forms now, and I would hope that Paine would be an atheist if he was living today. But there still people like Martin Gardner who don't feel comfortable with the Bib Bang being random, so maybe not.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:26 PM
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I shit you not, several years ago I was listening to a national call-in show on my car radio, because it was the only station I could get while driving to my parents' house in Bumphuk on Christmas Eve. I don't remember the exact topic, but somebody called in to say that where he lived in New Jersey, it was snowing on Christmas Eve, and how do the atheists explain that?
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:33 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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Back in my Usenet days I wrote a version of Genesis that got it right but at the same level that Genesis was written at. You don't need equations to say that the universe was created a very long time ago - Eastern religions somehow managed to say that. And you can also get the order of things right.
Exactly. I'm OK with Genesis not being a graduate-level text on celestial mechanics, but I'm not OK with it saying fruit trees were growing before the sun was created.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:47 PM
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Look around. Every day you see proof of god - and he is bloody pissed!
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:55 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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Look around. Every day you see proof of god - and he is bloody pissed!
Or she.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:39 PM
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Pretty much all of them.
Right? I mean it starts with "stuff exists, therefore (a) god made it".
  #49  
Old 10-07-2017, 02:10 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Implicit in my point is that the god would explain metallurgy and optics to the people 3,000 years ago. Take aside a group of students, teach them principles of science, engineering, medicine, etc for a decade or two out of the god's all-knowing and eternal existence. My point is that there is nothing about people that live in primitive conditions that makes it impossible for a motivated omniscient being to bring them up to a modern level of knowledge, and that your assertion that a god would "have" to use only concepts already known 3,000 years ago is poop
Total Agreement. SF writer (and real scientist) David Brin joked that space aliens didn't need to build pyramids, or draw figures in the desert, to guide their spacecraft. They only needed to give us a Junior College, and we'd have RADAR inside fifty years.

And the germ theory of disease is a really good example, because it doesn't actually require understanding to work. "Wash your hands, because little bad things you can't see are all over them." Just take it at a level of faith: washing hands actually prevents disease, and the results could be seen even if the idea was laid down as a holy commandment.

(Several holy commandments did deal with cleanliness; they just didn't go far enough. God clearly fumbled that one.)
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Old 10-07-2017, 02:19 PM
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Look around. Every day you see proof of god - and he is bloody pissed!
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Or she.
They/Them or maybe even It.
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