Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fwd: Gay marriage

Legalizing gay marriage is a good thing but I am not sure that the way it happened is the best way.  My perception is that a liberal leaning Supreme Court ignored (mangled) the constitution, and a great many other Americans are going to feel the same way.  This is going to leave many people feeling screwed over.  "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."  People's views are not going to change just because the law changed.  Like the civil rights movement, it is still going to take decades.  Although it would have taken a very long time, it might have been better had the states gradually done this on their own.

Eighty seven percent of America
ns are religious.  These people vary from mildly religious to deeply faithful and highly committed to their religion.  The majority of religious people believe homosexuality is wrong, although some are more tolerant than others.  What the supreme court has said is that people's deeply held beliefs are crap and we are going to force upon people a different set of beliefs.  I don't think that people will stand idly by and accept this.  There will be a nasty backlash.  There may be violence toward gays.  Liberals may see themselves voted out of office.  You may see a constitutional amendment defining marriage.

I think that over time people's attitudes will change, mostly due to public pressure, but it will require people to let go a major tenet of their deeply held religious beliefs.  That is a really big hill to overcome.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Re: My comment on Facebook about evolution.

My comment on Facebook about evolution.

I'm sorry that you feel that evolution is a religion. In my opinion, evolution says nothing about the existence or non-existence of God. There are two facts that are irrefutable: The earth is very old and simpler organisms came before more complex ones. If you want to say that God made things happen that way, I'm fine with that. That would be philosophy. Science only deals with what we can observe, predict and reproduce. Evolution is the best explanation for what we observe. It is also supported by evidence from several sciences.

Darwin did not invent evolution. Many people of scientific bent believed in and proposed evolution before Darwin. i.e. Lamark in 1800 and Darwin's grandfather. Darwin's great contribution to science was Natural Selection. He wasn't the first to come up with that either. So did the ancient Greeks.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

both sides


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Coffey

I am not sure that a different view of good and evil is driving the difference between the political parties.   The left is driven by a desire to take from the have's and give to the have-not's.  All their other beliefs stem from this.  They don't see private property as justly earned but something gotten through exploiting others.  They see people in need as people who have been either exploited or victimized by a bad system.

The right espouses the notion that people deserve the property they own, although in reality most seem to be tax and spend politicians anyway.  This is because the political climate does not reward real conservatism, making real conservatives rather rare.

I don't see a strong distinction between left and right except for a few libertarian minded Republicans.

If we want to dig a little deeper, I agree with the notion I have heard that non-religious people have a stronger desire to fix things on Earth and not wait for some pie in the sky afterlife.  However, the method that they want to use to fix things is through government coercion, which is self defeating.  Governments always achieve the opposite of what they trying to do.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, March 21, 2015

THE THEOLOGY OF GAY MARRIAGE (interesting article)

​"Because God can't change his mind."

"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)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fwd: Big bang

I don't think that the big bang theory is intended as proof of the non-existence of God.  Science is in the business of describing how things happen but not why.  I am sure that there are many who believe in both.  

Based on the evidence, the big bang likely happened, but I have heard of other theories.

​Belief in God, however, doesn't necessarily mean belief in the traditional religions.

If one has no understanding of science, then people assume that the workings of the universe are due to magic.  As more things get explained, the realm of magic becomes less and less until maybe all we have remaining is a creator.  Some would prefer to dismiss any role of the supernatural altogether.  So this leads to religion becoming a matter of philosophy and belief as to whether existence requires a creator.

I think that we are hard wired to believe in religion.  It is a natural instinct and maybe a survival skill.  But since we are wired this way, I think that this makes people susceptible to bogus ideas.  Breaking away from this requires that people be objective, which is something that we are not particularly hard wired to do.  

Best wishes,

John Coffey

On Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 11:46 AM, Grant wrote:
When I first read about the Big Bang when I was still in Jr High, Fred Hoyle a just starting to waiver on his steady state theory.  At that time it was believed to have originated from one location depicted in Discovery Magazine as smaller than a golf ball.  Last I heard this was changed to originating everywhere in the universe simultaneously.  There's still a lot of problems with the theory including increased expansion rate which is not consistent with how we view explosions.  Bottom line:  No one apparently knows, so we've been unable to prove or disprove it.  We just keep changing the model. My philosophical view is that it's hardly a proof that God doesn't exist nor has he ever, as one theoretical physicist would have us believe.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fwd: Mummies and Snowcrash

All the copies of Gospels that I have heard about were in Greek, and not Aramaic.  The early English bibles were copied from a multitude of Greek texts.  There were an explosion of Greek gospels starting around 151 AD, which was right after the church leaders gathered together to decide if Jesus was a real person or just a spirit.  The only Gospel that was older was a paragraph from the book of Mark found on a fragment in Egypt.  It was dated around 113 AD.

Pretty much all biblical scholars agree that the book of Mark was the first one written and the usual date given is around 90 AD, although some give a range from 70 AD to 100 AD.  All the other gospels were written in the second century and two appear to have been copied from Mark.  None of the gospels could have been written by the people that the gospels claim wrote them.  Technically, that makes them forgeries.

This lead to common speculation that the gospels were derived from previous unknown works, and these hypothetical works have been called "M Source" (book of Mark source) and "Q Source."

However, most of the stories of the Bible have been shown to have been copied from Egyptian, Babylonian and Sumerian myths.  Moses the lawgiver was copied from the Egyptian Misis the lawgiver, which in turn was copied from the Babylonian (or Sumerian?) Mases the lawgiver.  Jesus was the last of long line of demigod dying god myths going all the way back to Osiris in 4200 BC, and the Jesus story seems to have copied many of these other myths. 

If there is a Gospel older than 90 AD then that would be interesting.

'In recent years scientists have developed a technique that allows the glue of mummy masks to be undone without harming the ink on the paper. The text on the sheets can then be read.

The first-century gospel is one of hundreds of new texts that a team of about three-dozen scientists and scholars is working to uncover, and analyze, by using this technique of ungluing the masks, said Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

"We're recovering ancient documents from the first, second and third centuries. Not just Christian documents, not just biblical documents, but classical Greek texts, business papers, various mundane papers, personal letters," Evans told Live Science. The documents include philosophical texts and copies of stories by the Greek poet Homer. [See Images of Early Christian Inscriptions and Artifacts]

The business and personal letters sometimes have dates on them, he said. When the glue was dissolved, the researchers dated the first-century gospel in part by analyzing the other documents found in the same mask.

One drawback to the process is that the mummy mask is destroyed, and so scholars in the field are debating whether that particular method should be used to reveal the texts they contain.'

Monday, January 5, 2015

Religion vs. Communism | In Praise of Christianity!

The first 9 minutes is interesting, but then he rambles on different topics.

Check out this video on YouTube: