Saturday, November 26, 2011

In response to ...

In response to ...

I'm thankful for "HIS__PROVISIONS & CARE" !!!

We determine our own fate to the extent which we can control it.  Hundreds of millions of people died from wars during the 20nth century.  I am sure that many of them prayed to a god but perished anyway. I do not believe that God intervenes in our behalf.  To say that he does is to say that he chooses to help some people while allowing others to suffer and die.  "God's chosen people" died by the millions at the hands of the Nazis. 

<Here followed a very long response full of religious references and scripture.>

I am sorry that you wasted your time on such a long response.  Empty platitudes do no make something true.  I understand that you want to argue for your viewpoint, as I often do.  I see a harsh reality, and we are better off understanding the world as it is, rather than to believe that some supernatural force is looking out for us or is on our side.  If you drive your car too fast around a curve, the laws of physics are not going to care if you hit a tree.  Best wishes,  John

It's a matter of belief John,& nothing more.

As my Uncle's close friend would say all the time..."We shall see what we shall see".

It is not a question of one belief versus another.  I am a pantheist,
but not with any conviction because there is no credible evidence for
any religious belief.  Religion is a matter of philosophy.

It is a question of do we trust the world as it is presented to us and
try to survive using the evidence of our experience and knowledge , or
do we believe that some supernatural force is going to provide for us,
for which we have no evidence?

People can choose to think rationally, but that means that they make a
distinction between those things that are speculation and those things
that are fact.   People believe because they want to believe, which
means that their reasoning is based upon emotion.

Best wishes, John

Monday, November 14, 2011

Re: Where is Steve Jobs now?

Dean wrote:  Where do you think Steve Jobs is now?

(After some discussion ...)

John wrote:  
To answer your question more directly as to the current whereabouts of Steve Jobs...

I think that one of three things are possible …

1.       Steve is rotting in his grave.  There is no afterlife.

2.       Steve is part of God like everything else.  He has reunited with God.

3.       He is part of some unknown afterlife.

 I do not think that it is possible to know.  All I do know is that I don't believe in the traditional religions, parts of which are evil.

Mardawna wrote:

Dear John,
In my humble opinion your 3 ideas has some flaws.

1.       Steve is rotting in his grave.  There is no afterlife.

I believe that our bodies do rot in the grave if/when we are buried.  But that our spirit rises to what you call the unknown afterlife. 

 John 3:36 is one example of how incredibly clear the Scriptures are on this point.....

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
Another example of this clarity is found in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10.....
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
The truth is that the Bible is super clear on this.  We have the choice of either turning to God and being saved or rejecting Him and going to a place where God offers no protection. 

2.       Steve is part of God like everything else.  He has reunited with God.

Everyone is a part of God.  However, being a part (IE---created by God) does NOT give us the "right" to be reunited with God.  This life we can play by our own rules of what we choose to accept or not accept as truth, the next life, it's God's Chess Game Tournament and God's Truth Will 100% Rule. 

3.       He is part of some unknown afterlife.

Unknown?  Just because you don't believe what has been written in the Bible doesn't mean it is "Unknown".  I would call it un-accepted by you.  Just because people don't believe they are Diabetic, and they are walking around with high sugar counts doesn't mean that they are NOT Diabetic.  They can choose to accept what the test results show, or live in denial of evidence given them.  

Mardawna Grover

John wrote:

Dear Mardawna,

This topic makes me more emotional than I would normally be. 

It is debatable if Steve Jobs was a good person.  I am sure to his friends and family he was a good person.  Maybe to others not so much.  What is certain is that made possible products that benefited millions of people, so much so that huge numbers mourned his passing.  At the very least, tens (if not hundreds) of millions of people noted his passing with some regret.    To the extent that he benefited others, we can say that he was a good person.   

It is clear that Steve Jobs did not believe in Christianity.  He wasn't sure if he believed in anything at all.  I have known many good people who didn't.   

I believe myself to be a good person.  I have helped many people whenever I could.  I have been generous and I have an enormous amount of empathy for my fellow man.

Dean quotes scripture that says that no one is good except God.  I disagree.  My mother is a very kind hearted and loving person, and my inspiration.

I feel a little angry and frustrated that some people say that God would send good people to hell.  Ask yourself if I am a good person?  If you think that I am, then ask yourself if I deserve to go to hell?   Do other good people deserve to go to hell?  Do you known anyone who is a really good person but not a Christian?  Do they deserve to suffer for all eternity?  Do you think that God would make people suffer for just being wrong?

The Christian concept of hell is illogical because it says that God would make people suffer for all eternity for no other purpose other than to make them suffer.  This concept says nothing of punishment for reform or redemption.  This is the same god that supposedly loves us.    I am frustrated with this Christian concept of God because it says that God is evil and vindictive.  The bible is full of examples of an evil God, who for example punishes children for the sins of their parents, or kills children himself, or commands the Israelites to murder children and pregnant women.  This same god commands that people who work on the Sabbath be stoned to death (which is reported to have been carried out in the Bible), and commands that raped women be forced to marry their rapist.

In short, the Christian concept of god is blasphemy, because it says that God is evil.

Your talk of believing in evidence struck a nerve with me.  Evolution is supported by overwhelming evidence from several different sciences, yet many people choose to stick their head in the sand not believe it.  I'm O.K. with people believing what they want to believe, until they make absurd scientific claims that they have no real understanding of, as some of them do.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

This inspirational video is well worth watching...

If you have a slow Internet connection, the way to watch a video like
this, or any other video, is to hit play, pause it, and allow at least
a minute for the progress bar to indicate that the video is mostly
loaded. If your Internet connection is really slow then you might
want to go away for five minutes and cone back.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Religion and career

Suppose someone believed that they were doing "God's work" and had the
power to influence other people and make a living doing this work.
Not only would their entire identity be absorbed by this work, but it
would also serve as an excuse not to go into a more difficult and more
productive profession.

It should be noted that when I was around 16 to 17, I desired nothing
more out of life than to serve God. However, this would have been a
poor use of my talents. I am too left brain, not verbal enough, and
too much of a loner to be a successful preacher. The ideal preacher
is someone who is less logical, strongly verbal, and a strong people
person. These are also good qualities for a car salesman.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fwd: Sounds familiar :)

From: <larry.r.trout

'William Wollaston's 1722 book The Religion of Nature Delineated describes the "truest definition" of "natural religion" as being "The pursuit of happiness by the practice of reason and truth.',_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness

Re: FW: Proper Role of Government

From: Coston, Cory P


The attached essay explains the foundation of my political viewpoints:

Rights only come from God.  Rights include life, liberty, and property (or stewardship over the earth).  We are authorized to defend our life, liberty and property with force, even lethal force should it be absolutely necessary.  Proper government is simply an institution whereby the governed delegate the protection of these rights to their government officials.  Dept. of State, Dept. of Defense, and the Federal Court System are clearly the type of institutions that fit the role of a proper government.

Collective action has no moral authority.  What is wrong for 1 person to do is still wrong for 300 million people to do.  If it is wrong for me extort money from another with the threat of force, then it is wrong for my government to do the same.  Government taxation to pay for anything other than protecting our God given rights is immoral.  Endowment for the Arts, Food Stamps, Unemployment, NASA, Welfare, Medicare, and too many others to list do not protect rights.  If the funds collected to pay for this charitable giving were optional then that would be fine.  However the IRS extorts money from people every day to pay for these programs.

Charity is an individual responsibility which will yield blessings from God.  We do not receive benefits when compelled by force to be charitable.



From: John Coffey 

To say that Rights come from God is to say that we know what God wants.  I claim that we can't know that, nor can we be sure that God exists.  I see very little in the Bible that supports rights, instead quite the contrary.  

Therefore the concept of Rights is largely a human construct.  I prefer to live in a society that respects my life and my property and my freedom, and so does everyone else.   Therefore it is to every one's mutual advantage to form a compact to maintain such a society.

However, that opens the door to for people to interpret what is a right.  One person might think that he has an absolute right to property while another person might think that he has an absolute right to eat even if he can't provide that for himself.  In practice, society defines rights.

If there were such a thing as a natural right then I think that it would be the Libertarian principle:  Everyone has a right to do what they want so long as they don't interfere with the same rights of others.  i.e. My right to swing my fist stops before it gets to your nose.   Even that can be a little vague.  The reason why I think that there is a natural right is because humans for the most part have a strong desire to be free.  

However, as Milton Freedman said, I don't think that freedom is the natural state of man.  Most of the human experience has been some form of oppression.  I think that we are experiencing some form of oppression right now.  This doesn't necessarily have to be limited to the government.  It can happen if some people become too powerful and have too much control over other people, but for the most part I think that government is the culprit.

Best wishes,

From: Larry Trout

I do believe it is governments role to protect property rights.

'The Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution declare that governments cannot deprive any person of "life, liberty, or property" without due process of law.'

Unfortunately governments can deprive us of happiness without due process J

From: Larry Trout

'The seventeenth-century cleric and philosopher Richard Cumberland wrote in 1672 that promoting the well-being of our fellow humans is essential to the "pursuit of our own happiness."[2] John Locke, in his 1689 "A Letter Concerning Toleration," wrote that "Civil interest I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things..." Locke wrote in his 1693 Essay Concerning Human Understanding that "the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness." [3] Locke never associated natural right with happiness, but in 1693 Locke's philosophical opponent Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz made such an association in the introduction to his Codex Iuris Gentium.[4] William Wollaston's 1722 book The Religion of Nature Delineated describes the "truest definition" of "natural religion" as being "The pursuit of happiness by the practice of reason and truth."[5] The 1763 English translation of Jean Jacques Burlamaqui's Principles of Natural and Politic Law extolled the "noble pursuit" of "true and solid happiness" in the opening chapter discussing natural rights.[6]

The first and second article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776 and written by George Mason, is:

    That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Benjamin Franklin was in agreement with Thomas Jefferson in downplaying protection of "property" as a goal of government. It is noted that Franklin found property to be a "creature of society" and thus, he believed that it should be taxed as a way to finance civil society.[7] The United States Declaration of Independence, which was primarily drafted by Jefferson, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.'

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Flash Mob Mentality of Scientific Inquiry

This is how religion leads to false scientific thinking ...

Interesting how she refers to Dawkins as an idiot. He is one of the
most learned people I can think of. It is not such a good idea to
tie religion to politics.

There are two basic facts for which the evidence is overwhelming ...

1. The earth us very old.

2. Simpler lifeforms came before more complex ones.

No matter how impossible people say that evolution is, based on these
things we know that it happened. So if it really is impossible i.e.
if we can't explain how it happened (we can), then we would have to
assume that God made evolution happen. I would prefer to look for a
more scientific explanation rather than assume that a miracle
occurred. The purpose of science is to explain how things happen and
not assume that magic made it so. You could assume that at the time
of creation God made the laws of physics, but everything that happened
after that has a mechanism that usually can be determined by science.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Monday, August 22, 2011

Re: nihlism

Good article, but one does not have to accept false and evil religions blindly to have values.  Most atheists I have known have a strong sense of values.  I tend to believe that our values choose our beliefs and not the other way around. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 22, 2011, at 10:44 PM, Larry Trout <utahtrout wrote:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Henry VIII's Divorce and the Bible?

Been watching "The Tudors" which is a highly risqué political soap
opera about King Henry VIII. It is not as risqué as "Rome", but
close. I enjoyed both series quite a bit.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Holiday!

Re: Happy Holiday!

From: John Coffey

It is easy to call someone a fool.  Much harder to prove it.  

Re: Happy Holiday!


A joke I heard is that a religious person is an atheist for all religions except one.

To believe in the bible is to believe in the murder of children, stabbing pregnant women in the belly, genocide, rape and slavery.  These aren't the kind of things you learn about in church because the well intentioned priests emphasize the good parts of the bible.  It is not a question of failing to see God's holiness.  This is clearly an evil and inconsistent book.  It is hard for me to imagine why people would believe any of it.  Why do you believe any of it?

You spoke once about my lack of faith.  Faith is just a word for believing in something without evidence.  This is the ultimate con game.  They tell you that in order to be a good Christian that you must accept the ideas without evidence and without question.  If I told you that you must have faith is Islam, why would you accept that?  You wouldn't.  

Early religion and politics were one in the same.  Religion was a way to get people to do what you want. Church and state were never separate, and religion was used as a way to control people.   I don't believe in any of the other religions either, because they got started the same way.

I don't criticize or attack Christians or you, but I do criticize the bible for being the false document that it is.  It is my hope that people will stop deluding themselves.  A non believer can be a happier person because they don't live their lives in fear that they somehow might piss off God. 

I asked questions like do good Muslims, Hindus and Jews go to Hell?  Dean thinks so.  This notion that God would torment good people  for all eternity for simply making the wrong choice is an evil concept.  I think that this concept is blasphemous toward God.

As always, I wish the best for you.

John Coffey

P.S.  Some interesting scriptures ...

Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night
    But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house.  Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.   (Deuteronomy  22:20-21 NAB)

Laws of Rape

     "If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her."   Deuteronomy 22:28-29

  No child of an incestuous union may be admitted into the community of the Lord, nor any descendent of his even to the tenth generation.   (Deuteronomy 23:3 NAB)

God is the Source of Evil Spirits 1
    The next day an evil spirit from God came over Saul, and he raged in his house.  David was in attendance, playing the harp as at other times, while Saul was holding his spear.  Saul poised his spear, thinking to nail David to the wall, but twice David escaped him.   (1 Samuel 18:10-11 NAB)

God is the Source of Evil Spirits 2
    Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with spear in hand and David was playing the harp nearby.  Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear , but David eluded Saul, so that the spear struck only the wall, and David got away safe.   (1 Samuel 19:9-10 NAB)

God Admits He Did Evil Things
    [The prophet Jeremiah speaking]  "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to offer your prayer: If you remain quietly in this land I will build you up, and not tear you down; I will plant you, not uproot you; for I regret the evil I have done you."   (Jeremiah 42:9-10 NAB)

Rape of Female Captives

    "Suppose you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God hands them over to you and you take captives. And suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her. If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her fingernails, and change all her clothes. Then she must remain in your home for a full month, mourning for her father and mother. After that you may marry her. But if you marry her and then decide you do not like her, you must let her go free. You may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her."    (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NLT)

Kill Homosexuals

    "If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."
(Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Punishment of Innocent Children
    "You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them.  For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their father's wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation"      (Exodus 20:4-5 NAB)

The Prince of Peace?  
    (Jesus speaking)  "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon earth.  I have come to bring not peace but the sword.  For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household'".   (Matthew 10:34-36 NAB)

Death for Cursing Parents
    All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense.   (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

Kill Fortunetellers
    A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death.   (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

Slaves Must Respect Their Masters
    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed.  If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts.  Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.  (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

Slaves Obey Your Masters
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.   (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

Women Are Subordinate to Men
    Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively.  I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly.  For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve.  And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan, and sin was the result.  But women will be saved through childbearing  and by continuing to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.   (1 Timothy 2:11-15 NLT)

Shut Up Women!
    As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says.  But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home.  For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.   (1 Corinthians 14:33-35 NAB)

Wives are Subordinate to Husbands
    You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.  For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior.  As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.   (Ephesians 5:22-24 NLT)

Hate Your Family
    (Jesus Speaking) If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he can not be my disciple.   (Luke 14:26 NAB)