GarryB wrote:There has always been conflict in the Middle East... 2000 years ago it would not surprise me for someone writing a book to talk about conflict in the Middle East... what would surprise me would be for them to mention Antarctica or New Zealand or South America... places they did not know exist...
People talking about reading stuff in the bible being relevant now reminds me of my poor english teachers from high school trying to tell me of the hidden meanings in Shakespeare. What a waste. If he wanted to say stuff and have people understand why was he so vague, why not be more forthright.
Instead billions of western educated teenagers hate that prick and will go on hating him for most of their lives because his work makes them feel stupid when they are not.
The people of the past are not stupid... they don't know as much as we know now but they are not stupid. The vagueness in the bible is because they didn't know what countries would be created and how the world would expand over the next few thousand years. They could make predictions... that is easy... people who write horoscopes do that all the time... the position of Saturn means you should avoid wasting money... when you should avoid wasting money all the time of course but lets not question this... there is obvious scientific evidence that the positions of objects in space have a direct effect on your life... personally and that there is an all powerful being who has some super complicated plan... he will tell people 2,000 years ago but wont tell us personally because his magic power comes from your believing something that cannot be proven... he is faith powered.
Sorry... but science got us to the moon and beyond and gives us machines and medicines... faith and religion has killed a lot of people and been used to oppress many others.
Religion and science have been misused, but one provides real solutions and the other the hope that everything will be OK in the end and all the suffering will be worth it.
Yes you are right about faith and religion has killed a lot of people and been used to oppress many others. However, If you look at all the people Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc have killed, I would say that atheists have killed as many people as anyone else. Humans are violent by nature, and will use all kinds of reasons to kill each other, so wars will continue to plague us. People who kill in the name of religion, tho, tend to be the most unpredictable because of the overwhelming belief and passion they have for their cause. Atheists have killed as many, if not more, and they've done it in a lot less time. Power hungry people will continue to kill for decades, if not centuries, to come, regardless of what banner they do it under whether it's religion or nationalism or despotism.
Just because someone "identifies" themselves with a particular religion doesn't mean they actually adhere to the tenants of said religion. There's evidence of that all over the world! What you need to understand is that most wars and battles fought before the 20th century were fought between a few hundred or a few thousand belligerents. During the 20th century, battles (and massacres) typically involved tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of troops and civilians. More people were killed in wars and massacres in the 20th century than the previous 2,000 years before that. And the large majority of that was caused by atheists! I'm not pointing this out to slam atheists, I'm just saying that people will kill for whatever reason regardless of what they believe in, or don't believe in. And don't look for it to end anytime soon...
The Soviet Union was active in its opposition to religion and oppressed millions of people; North Korea is another country that denies its citizens rights and is an atheistic state.
This website has a good analysis of the religious vs atheistic battle. In the long run, humans will oppress each other under any label
Your comment that,
"Sorry... but science got us to the moon and beyond and gives us machines and medicines." is flawed because this can be easily turned around by making the point that science gave us atomic weapons, biological and chemical weapons.
Religion says ‘love your neighbor.’ Science drops cruise missiles and depleted uranium on noncombatants.
Christian theology was essential for the rise of science. That the leading scientific figures in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries overwhelmingly were devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God’s handiwork. Here is a list of a few noted Bible-believing scientists: Isaac Newton, Copernicus, Lord Kelvin, Joseph Lister, Johann Kepler, Robert Boyle, and Gregor Mendel. Airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright were Christians. There is no inherent conflict between religion and science.
The Christian worldview gave birth in a clear, articulate fashion to the experimental method of science itself. This Christian worldview of science laid the foundation for the space exploration of the USSR and the United States (if true) landing man on the moon so that refutes your point about religion not playing a role in going to the moon.
Natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor Robert Boyle (1627–1691) was a christian. The membership of the Royal Society was made up of many Christians who shared Boyle’s view that “the world was God’s handiwork” and “it was their duty to study and understand this handiwork as a means of glorifying God.
I think you seriously underestimate bible prophecy. For example, the Bible predicted that a man named Cyrus would be born, would rise to power in the Middle East, and would release the Jewish people from captivity (Isaiah 44:28—45:7). Approximately 150 years later, Cyrus the Great became king of Persia and released the Jews.
In Ezekiel 26 God says through the prophet that the Phoenician city of Tyre would be destroyed, specifying that a conqueror would come in and wipe out the city. He said that the city would be scraped clean and that the rubble left on the city's surface would be thrown into the ocean. The prophecy ended by saying that men would dry their fishnets there and that the city would never be rebuilt. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon laid siege to Tyre three years after the prophecy was given.
About 250 years later Alexander the Great came into the area of Tyre needing supplies for his eastern campaign. He sent word to the residents of the island city, but they refused his request. They believed they were safe from attack on the island. Alexander was so infuriated at their response that he and his army picked up the rubble that was left from Nebuchadnezzar's devastation of the mainland city and threw it into the sea. They used it to build a causeway, which allowed them to march to the island and destroy the city. That exactly fulfilled what Ezekiel had predicted hundreds of years previously.
If you travel to the site of Tyre today, you'll see fishermen there drying their nets. The city was never rebuilt.
I am not a bible scholar but I find it intriguing about the prophecies regarding the United States and Russia. On Sunday, I was reading through this this link WWIII and the other regarding the Holy Quran predicting an alliance between Iran, Russia and Turkey and how the bible says the same thing an wanted to share say insight about both.