Catholics/I am being misunderstood
QUESTION: Dear Mr. Bode, This is not a question. This is a critical observation. After carefully studying Biblical Literature for about 25 years, over 35 years in magic, and corresponding with the great puzzler Martin Gardner, I am convinced The Bible is not the Inspired Divine Word of God and God had no children. The belief in the supernatural is a false belief based on the human desire for immortality, quick solutions, superstition and limited inquiry. All that exists is the natural world. And if there is a God, this a human creation and part of the natural world.
Though the following is a poor example, it certainly indicates how easily the human mind is entertained and deceived. Hans Moretti Cardboard box [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH-PFecys6Y
] But of course there will always be the Unknown. Ancient peoples did not drive cars. I am interested in your comments.
ANSWER: Having watched the magicians, I am impressed with their skill. I do not think that performance relates directly to the non-existence of God.
Philosophy: From Greeks through the Middle Ages until today, philosophers have reasoned logically to the existence of a supreme and intelligent uncaused cause [God]. One of the famous writings about the necessity of an uncaused cause are the rtational syllogisms of Thomas Aquinas, Summa [part 1, question 2, article 3].
Science: For more than a century until today, physicists have shown from the multiple laws of physics [about 20, including the speed of light] to the expanion of the universe between galaxies [from telescopes (e.g., Mount Palomar)]and radiotelescopes, and the identifiction of dark matter]that our universe came into existence about 13.8 billion years ago. Given the natural laws of physics [about 20, including speed of light, gravitation, entropy] that the probability of our existing universe NOT being caused by an intelligent, external cause has the mathematical probability of 10 to the 10th power to the 125th power. To type out all these digits would just about fill the milky way. An astrophysicist recentlly gave the example of that probability about the same as if a tornado blew through a junkyard and left a jet airliner ready to fly.
If you would like to learn more, you would do well to read Robert Spitzer, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy [Erdmanns, 2010]. The book should be available at a library or inter-library loan. Then you might investigate the contents of the website: http://www.magiscenter.com/
If we could agree on the reasonableness of recognizing the existence of God, then we could proceed to discuss the reasonableness of Christian revelation.
Please feel free to write again, if you wish more from me.
Best wishes, Charles, and thanks for writing.
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QUESTION: Mr. Bode, You have misunderstood me. I am ONLY talking about the GOD of the BIBLE as being a product of human creation. I became suspicious as a child with the story of the BIBLICAL GOD punishing all of Adam and Eve's offspring for a mistake their parents made. I have seen this in the work place and other places, punishing all for the mistakes of a few. I would never punish all my children for the mistakes of one child. That is ridiculous. This does not seem wise to me. This is the wisdom of God? In the Noah story God drowns innocent animals and innocent children. Another barbaric myth coming from a barbaric people, with a barbaric God. I gave the example of a magic trick because it illustrates how easily our minds are deceived. Not as an example that a creator or something OUTSIDE the Bible exists. Which I may think does. Theologically speaking we know today diseases and death existed long before humans. The theology of Original Sin is definitely wrong. It is still taught. As for intelligent life it seems to be evident that there is only intelligent life on Earth not on the other planets and moons in our solar system. Why do they exist? If the story about the demise of the dinosaurs is true, from a interstellar collision, the existence of intelligent humanity is only the result of a fluke. But we do know it is possible. Creatures on Earth come and go. Evolution does not care. Extinctions and epidemics have always been with us. Again they are not the results of sin. It is just the way it is. We live in the unknown. How do you calculate the odds of a tornado building a airliner that CAN or CAN NOT fly? (There has to be a difference). This is bunk. Somewhere I saw the odds of a brick sprouting wings and flying. It fits in that same pseudoscience category. No one can calculate these odds. There are impossibilities. This is just a pseudoscience mind game and you should recognize it as such. I think there is a something, but it is not the GOD of the BIBLE. I am hoping there is an afterlife. I'd like to hold my dear wife again, but that too may be an impossibility. Whatever. Wow did I say all that?
Here is the second answer, which I hope you receive.
Thank you, Charles, for taking time to reveal your thoughts.
We agree on the reasonable and rational conclusion/scientific demonstration that the intelligent and extra-universe maker of the universe does exist [God].
The next step, I think, is whether we agree on the spiritual component of human beings -- something spiritual -- capable of knowing, willing, and doing. Have you looked at the recent scientific studies of near-death experiences? [The fifth video in the Faith and Reason Series on the magis website has some startling reports. Worth viewing.] That a person born blind could see in such an experience but reverted to blind when conscientiousness regained is amazing. Something spiritual does exist in humans -- they can function when "brain dead." Maybe on this question, I am preaching to the choir. However, I'd prefer to know that we can agree before the next step.
Then, the appropriate question is: Do you think the super-intelligent God would have any concern for the universe? Would a Being who constructed from nothing so magnificent a work as the universe just forget about it and not care for the intelligent beings that He brought into existence? [I say "from nothing" since nothing comes from nothing -- without an exterior cause.]
Next, IF we think that God has us in His mind, do you think it possible or probable that the Almighty might want to communicate about some special plans/ideas?
(Is God silent or do our ears need to be opened to hear?)
Finally, we could then proceed to discuss the evidence for Christianity. That issue is a little much for this time, but when we can agree on the preliminaries, we are in a position to continue.
I do hope and pray that we can reach that height.
I'll look forward to your further thoughts.
Again, best wishes.