To the first point, I was accounting for wars, plagues, famine, etc. My assumptions were based on historical data that we've actually seen.Donald Dump wrote: In theory, it sounds smart. But in reality it's different. There's war, plague, people not having children and many other factors to it.
This reminded me, if Earth was six to ten thousand years old, how come that scientists found fossiles of dinosaurs old millions of years?
To the second point, I believe that carbon dating is wrong, and the fossils are not millions of years old. You should read some papers on carbon dating and how it works sometime, it's really quite fascinating. Carbon dating measures the relative proportions of the carbon isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-14 in a fossil. Carbon-14 is created by sunlight energizing things in the atmosphere at a pretty constant rate, and chemistry tells us that carbon-14 decays (half life) at a constant rate. So, if you measure how much carbon-14 is left in the fossil and know how much was in the fossil to begin with, you can estimate the age of the fossil within a few percent.
I don't at all disagree with this process. I believe that we can accurately measure the current amount of carbon-14, and I further believe that we have a very good handle on how fast it decays. The point I argue is the starting amount. See, in an old earth that is billions of years old, the sun has been around long enough for carbon-14 levels to reach equilibrium - that is, the rate at which the sun produces carbon-14 in our atmosphere matches the rate at which old carbon-14 decays. Thus, under an evolutionary model, carbon dating can yield fossils that are millions of years. However, if God's creation didn't populate the earth with carbon-14 initially, not enough time has passed for equilibrium to be reached (IIRC it takes about 30k years or so, but don't quote me on that). Thus, the fossils would have been initially made with less carbon-14 than evolutionary science would expect, which throws the results off by potentially many orders of magnitude.
So to sum up, I believe that carbon dating fits BOTH the evolutionary model and the creationist model. In and of itself, it doesn't favor either and is consistent with both worldviews. Regardless of which of the two worldviews you use as your basis for evaluating the evidence provided by carbon dating, you can easily arrive at a conclusion that supports your view.
Honestly, I don't find these questions offensive at all.Donald Dump wrote: Now the main three question,
and I'm sorry but there's just no way to make this not offensive;
1) Religion has caused millions of deaths worldwide and unfortunately, still is. So you two, Shadi and Rainboy, approve your religion, but (I assume, and hope xD) you do not approve burning witches, killings, terrorism, crusades etc... Aren't you bothered that members of your religion, furthermore priests, were doing stuff like that before, some still are?
2)Do you believe in abnormal stuff not mentioned in the Bible (witches, fairies, werewolves etc...)? Just curious, not planning to discuss it.
3)What do you think of both of your religions spreading to more groups (Suni and shia/orthodox, romachatolic, anglo, protestant, Jehova's witnesses). Jesus (and most likely Muhammad, but I might be wrong) never spoke about their religions splitting into groups. But I am assuming that both of you would never want to belong to the other group, am I correct?
1) Yes. I find it extremely offensive. I believe that the bible is extremely clear that Christianity is a religion of love - where I define 'love' as considering the needs, wants and desires of others, including those who intend you harm, as more important than your own. Now certainly none of us are able to fully achieve that, but to twist the bible into justifying the crusades, burning witches, etc. is one of the most abominable things you can do. While I feel immense sorrow for those who are so corrupt or deceived that they act as such, my hatred for the sin itself is beyond my capability to express. If I could think of an appropriate profanity to use in this context, I would.
2) I believe that demons have been granted real power for a time in this world, and that they seek to use that power to deceive and corrupt humanity. I do not believe in ghosts, fairies, werewolves, etc, but I do believe that the bible is clear that since Adam's fall, Satan is the ruler of this world for the time being.
3) I believe that Christ is in the business of building one singular Church. There are a few fundamental beliefs which I consider so core to Christianity that anyone who doesn't believe them cannot honestly call themselves a Christian; but, outside of those who falsely take on the title, I believe that I can have fellowship with many denominations even if we don't agree on some of the other details in the bible.
Specifically, for me to consider someone a Christian, they have to believe that:
- The bible is the word of God and the original texts are inerrant - or without error.
- Current copies of the original language texts are accurate, and can also be considered inerrant. (Note that I did not say that all translations are without error - this is why going to the original language is frequently important for doctrinal discussion of the bible. A translation is usually good enough for most conversations, but to really understand the deeper richness of the bible, you have to understand the nuances of the original.)
- All of mankind has sinned. That is, we have all broken God's law.
- The punishment for sin is death - both physically when our brains finally shut off, but also spiritually when we are separated from God forever in hell.
- Christ is literally God in human form. He lived a perfect life, willingly died an unjust death to pay the price for our sin (see above), and conquered death by rising again.
- Anyone who accepts Christ's gift and makes him lord of their life will effectively transfer their sin debt to Him, such that when God looks on them, He sees the perfection of Christ instead of their sin. There is no requirement to live a good life, go to church, give money, prey a specific prayer, etc.
So I guess to your point, I would consider Protestants, (Christian) Orthodox, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, etc to, in general, still be fully Christian; and I would consider Catholics, Mormons, Jehova's witnesses to be, in general, non-Christian. That isn't to say that specific individuals within those organizations are or are not Christians, just that the general teachings either follow or break what I consider to be fundamental Christianity based on my understanding of the bible. I fully believe, for example, that it is possible for a Roman Catholic to be saved, but I do not believe that the general teachings of Catholicism will directly lead you to salvation.